Why America’s Wars Never End

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Almost 20 years after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, as the Taliban takes district after district, withdrawing American troops are discarding vast piles of junk on bases they are now abandoning. In the process, the war on terror has become a retreat of terror, leaving behind horrified Afghans in a wrecked … Continue reading “Why America’s Wars Never End”

Note to Joe: Try These Two Easy Tricks To Promote Freedom in Cuba

“We stand with the Cuban people,” US President Joe Biden says in an official White House statement, responding to protests across the Caribbean island country, “and their clarion call for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic and from the decades of repression and economic suffering to which they have been subjected … Continue reading “Note to Joe: Try These Two Easy Tricks To Promote Freedom in Cuba”

The Origins of the Military Industrial Complex and Its Historically Pernicious Influence on US War and Foreign Policy

As the Biden administration has illegally bombed Syria and Iraq – two countries that pose absolutely no threat whatsoever to the United States or Americans – the familiar policy of militarism has been reinforced by yet another U.S. president. However, it was a previous president who, on his way out of office in 1961, coined … Continue reading “The Origins of the Military Industrial Complex and Its Historically Pernicious Influence on US War and Foreign Policy”

The Guardian: Regurgitating the Russia-Gate Canard

The UK Guardian, and particularly Luke Harding, lead author of Thursday’s Kremlin papers appear to show Putin’s plot to put Trump in the White House, are heaping still more discredit on what was once a respectable newspaper. This long story (long in both senses of the word) regurgitates “what are assessed to be leaked Kremlin … Continue reading “The Guardian: Regurgitating the Russia-Gate Canard”

Israel: Racist, Violent Policing Is at the Heart of Apartheid

Police made sweeping arrests of Israel’s large minority of Palestinian citizens after protests rocked the country in May during Israel’s 11-day attack on Gaza. Officers were documented beating demonstrators, and in some cases torturing them while in detention. Police also failed to protect the Palestinian minority from planned, vigilante-style attacks by far-right Jewish extremists. This … Continue reading “Israel: Racist, Violent Policing Is at the Heart of Apartheid”

In Afghanistan, Watch the Forest as Well as the Trees

It’s always important not to miss the forest for the trees. U.S. government announcements, such as its report of the turnover to the Afghan government of the seventh and last military base in Afghanistan, Bagram, should lead no one to think that US foreign policy has changed worldwide or even in that particular region. Far … Continue reading “In Afghanistan, Watch the Forest as Well as the Trees”

Does the Constitution Mean What It Says?

“No person … shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.” Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution Abdulsalam al-Hela is a 53-year-old Yemeni cleric who has been incarcerated by the United States at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Station in Cuba since 2004. He has not been charged with any crime. … Continue reading “Does the Constitution Mean What It Says?”

US Media Misrepresents Situation in China

One of the most important skills a journalist needs is the skill of research. Proper research and investigation even into the most-simple of stories is vitally important, news should be accurate, verified and unbiased. However, when it comes to China, Western news is often very wrong. Sometimes erroneous but given the number of errors, this … Continue reading “US Media Misrepresents Situation in China”

Why Are We Still at War with Syria?

Syria rocks under continued US bombing and reels under withering US sanctions. But why? Why are we still not friends with Syria? Bashar al-Assad has long courted a relationship with the west. He has long been willing to act in a way that would make friendship possible. In his 2009 article entitled “Syria Calling,” Investigative … Continue reading “Why Are We Still at War with Syria?”

Treat Saudi Arabia Like a Normal Country: No More Special Favors for a Murderous, Aggressive Regime

One of the Saudi royals slunk into town last week. There was little press coverage. Indeed, Deputy Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman, son of the king, might as well have been a covert agent for all the publicity that he generated. President Joe Biden apparently wanted to downplay his continued reliance on America’s dubious ally … Continue reading “Treat Saudi Arabia Like a Normal Country: No More Special Favors for a Murderous, Aggressive Regime”

A Deranged Cult and Our Warped Foreign Policy

Every year the notorious cult and “former” terrorist group Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) holds a political conference to promote its propaganda and call for regime change in Iran, and every year many current and former American, Canadian, and European officials and elected representatives line up to pay homage to the group and their leader, Maryam Rajavi. … Continue reading “A Deranged Cult and Our Warped Foreign Policy”

Refreshing Exception: Resistance Prevented Obama From Starting Another Presidential War

In 2013, the American people came perilously close to being dragged into a full-scale war in Syria. True, Barack Obama’s administration had been meddling in that country’s civil strife for more than a year in an effort to help insurgents oust President Bashar al-Assad, and once ISIS made a bid to establish its “caliphate,” Washington … Continue reading “Refreshing Exception: Resistance Prevented Obama From Starting Another Presidential War”

America’s Afghan War Is Over, So What About Iraq – and Iran?

At Bagram air-base, Afghan scrap merchants are already picking through the graveyard of U.S. military equipment that was until recently the headquarters of America’s 20-year occupation of their country. Afghan officials say the last US forces slipped away from Bagram in the dead of night, without notice or coordination. The Taliban are rapidly expanding their … Continue reading “America’s Afghan War Is Over, So What About Iraq – and Iran?”

Iran’s Election: Making Your Iranian Nightmares Come True

On June 18, 2021, Ebrahim Raisi was elected President of Iran. It was not the first time he had run, but it was the first time he had won. The first time he ran, he was defeated by the moderate Hassan Rouhani. But there were influential Americans who had hoped the hardline Raisi would win. … Continue reading “Iran’s Election: Making Your Iranian Nightmares Come True”

Iraq and Afghan Wars: Requiem for America’s Ineffectual War State

Our country’s fruitless multi-trillion-dollar Wars of Choice in Iraq and Afghanistan are finally coming to an end after 20 years. This historic moment is a fitting occasion to review and constructively critique the performance of our country’s foreign policy and military establishments – the key cogs in Washington’s $1.3-trilllion/year War State – in these two … Continue reading “Iraq and Afghan Wars: Requiem for America’s Ineffectual War State”

Hands Off Haiti!

Associated Press headline, July 8: “Biden with few options to stabilize Haiti in wake of slaying.” Following the assassination of president Jovenel Moïse, AP reports, “the U.S. is unlikely to deploy troops.” Nonetheless, the American political and media establishments seem to blithely assume that Haiti’s internal affairs are very much America’s business. State Department spokesman … Continue reading “Hands Off Haiti!”

A Cyber-Culprit Other Than Russia?

Buffeted on all sides, from the unceremonious (literally) departure from Afghanistan to various cyber crimes blamed on Russia, President Biden is being challenged by the likes of the New York Times’s David Sanger to show he has cojones (free translation from Spanish – manliness). ( See: Biden Weighs a Response to Ransomware Attacks. Will Biden … Continue reading “A Cyber-Culprit Other Than Russia?”

Why Daniel Hale Deserves Gratitude, Not Prison

“Pardon Daniel Hale.” These words hung in the air on a recent Saturday evening, projected onto several Washington, D.C. buildings, above the face of a courageous whistleblower facing ten years in prison. The artists aimed to inform the U.S. public about Daniel E. Hale, a former Air Force analyst who blew the whistle on the … Continue reading “Why Daniel Hale Deserves Gratitude, Not Prison”

New Triangular Axis in Greater Middle East: Turkey, Israel, and Azerbaijan

“Turkey is a sister country of Azerbaijan and Israel is our strategic partner. We want our friends to be friends with each other. If the sides agree to such an initiative, then Azerbaijan will always welcome them.” Trend News Agency of Azerbaijan today features a 22-minute interview in English with the Israeli ambassador to the … Continue reading “New Triangular Axis in Greater Middle East: Turkey, Israel, and Azerbaijan”

Spare Us an Afghan Threequel, Joe: Don’t Get Pulled Back In!

“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!” ~ Michael Corleone, The Godfather III (1990) Kandahar Airfield (“KAF”) was as bizarre as it was dusty. You sort of tasted it before you smelled it – and smelled before you saw it. It’s been a full decade since I first did. When … Continue reading “Spare Us an Afghan Threequel, Joe: Don’t Get Pulled Back In!”

The Assassination of Haiti’s President

Jovenal Moïse, the president of Haiti, was assassinated by what appears to be men who were well armed with heavy-caliber weapons in his home on Wednesday. It is not yet clear who the men are. Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph says that the men spoke English or Spanish but provided no further details. The Miami … Continue reading “The Assassination of Haiti’s President”

Another Failed 20-Year War: America vs. Somalia

This essay is adapted from Antiwar.com editorial director Scott Horton’s new book, Enough Already: Time to End the War on Terrorism. Freedom Works The name “Somalia” has somehow become a slur against Americans who prioritize political liberty. “Oh, you think freedom works, huh? Well, why don’t you just move to Somalia?” This nonsense may have … Continue reading “Another Failed 20-Year War: America vs. Somalia”

Assange To Be ‘Moved Around’ Sine Die

Very bad news for those who still care about freedom of the press and what the fate of Julian Assange means for the artifact-First Amendment added to the U.S. Constitution 240 years ago. The UK High Court just announced it will hear the US appeal of a lower court decision against extraditing Julian Assange. Godot … Continue reading “Assange To Be ‘Moved Around’ Sine Die”

New York Times Pushing the Envelope on Russia

If Wednesday morning’s passive-voice (“Russian hackers are accused of”), evidence-free New York Times article titled “Attempted Hack of R.N.C. and Russian Ransomware Attack Test Biden” has a familiar ring, look who wrote it. The senior author is David Sanger, the NYT’s chief Washington correspondent. Based on Sanger’s unenviable record, the story he wrote with Nicole … Continue reading “New York Times Pushing the Envelope on Russia”

Casting Off the Imperial Diadem

John Quincy Adams delivered his address celebrating American independence two hundred years ago this week, and in that speech he famously told his fellow Americans that their country does not go abroad “in search of monsters to destroy.” This was just one part of his paean to American independence, which was then not yet half … Continue reading “Casting Off the Imperial Diadem”

Ted Cruz and the Military’s Recruitment Advertising

Senator Cruz doesn’t like the new recruiting ads the army is running. He may have a point. Take a look and see for yourself: This is a new approach. If you were drafted in the 60’s to go fight in the late great and unlamented Vietnam War, you were not fulfilling your destiny. You were … Continue reading “Ted Cruz and the Military’s Recruitment Advertising”

Does the World Love America Again?

Joe Biden is president and the world appears to love America again. At least, that’s what the residents of 16 nations recently polled told us. It’s been a long four years. Donald Trump’s awful reputation dragged down America’s image throughout most of the world. There were exceptions, of course, but most people in most countries … Continue reading “Does the World Love America Again?”

Independence Day 2021: Needed, a Foreign Policy for a Republic

In the US July 4th is all about America’s independence. The creation of the new republic on the North American continent – and even more so its survival in an imperial world and transformation into the globe’s most powerful nation – is an extraordinary, and some would say miraculous, story. Looking back through the mists … Continue reading “Independence Day 2021: Needed, a Foreign Policy for a Republic”

Bennett’s Political Theater: The Decisive Israeli-Palestinian Fight Ahead

Many Palestinians believe that the May 10-21 military confrontation between Israel and the Gaza Resistance, along with the simultaneous popular revolt across Palestine, was a game-changer. Israel is doing everything in its power to prove them wrong. Palestinians are justified to hold this viewpoint; after all, their minuscule military capabilities in a besieged and impoverished … Continue reading “Bennett’s Political Theater: The Decisive Israeli-Palestinian Fight Ahead”

FBI Fabrication Against Assange Falls Apart

On the final day of the Assange extradition hearing, magistrate Vanessa Baraitser refused to accept an affidavit from Assange’s solicitor Gareth Peirce, on the grounds it was out of time. The affidavit explained that the defense had been unable to respond to the new accusations in the United States government’s second superseding indictment, because these … Continue reading “FBI Fabrication Against Assange Falls Apart”

When Boss Orders Act of War, Flacks Put On an Act for Him

The Pentagon’s announcement of a series of bombing raids on Syria and Iraq – ordered by President Joe Biden without the constitutional authorization by Congress – raised more questions than it answered. Here are some: 1. Why now? The statement by the Department of Defense, issued Sunday, June 27, claimed that the purpose of the … Continue reading “When Boss Orders Act of War, Flacks Put On an Act for Him”

Redeem American Ideals: US Government Must End the Political Prosecution of Julian Assange

On July 3, 2020, Julian Assange will turn 50 years old, spending his third birthday behind bars. The WikiLeaks publisher has been held without any formal charges alongside criminals and terrorists inside London’s high-security prison for exposing the US government’s war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. On January 4, 2021, the British Judge Vanessa Baraitster … Continue reading “Redeem American Ideals: US Government Must End the Political Prosecution of Julian Assange”

Manufactured Mission: The Iraq & Syria Forever War-Factories

It is by now a near cliché in defense-watcher circles to talk about the common peril of “mission creep” in military interventions. Naturally, that’s not translated to America avoiding this tendency – of gradually shifting objectives during the course military missions, until stuck in unplanned long-term quagmires – very much at all. Nevertheless, as if … Continue reading “Manufactured Mission: The Iraq & Syria Forever War-Factories”

The US Military Presence in the Middle East Needs To End

The U.S. has no compelling reason to keep tens of thousands of troops in the Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Syria, and it should follow the withdrawal from Afghanistan with complete withdrawals of the forces currently located in these countries. There is a growing body of arguments advocating for ending the US military presence in the … Continue reading “The US Military Presence in the Middle East Needs To End”

Countering the ‘China Threat’ – at What Price?

In early June 2021, in a classified directive to Pentagon officials, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin slammed the former Trump administration for talking big but never taking action to counter “the China threat.” Austin made it clear that things would be different under President Biden. His “tough guy” rhetoric strikes just the right tone … Continue reading “Countering the ‘China Threat’ – at What Price?”

The Sanctimonious Destruction of Syria: Washington Starves Syrians To Save Them

In recent years, the U.S. government has turned starvation into official policy. Determined to force hostile states to bend to its will, Washington increasingly imposes economic sanctions, using America’s financial dominance to penalize foreign individuals, companies, and even governments. The Trump administration turned starving already impoverished peoples into a fine art. Among its prime targets … Continue reading “The Sanctimonious Destruction of Syria: Washington Starves Syrians To Save Them”

Boris Johnson Defies Vladimir Putin’s Claim to Crimea

About that clash between a British destroyer and Russian warplanes and warships in the Black Sea last week there are conflicting versions. The Kremlin version is the more dramatic. HMS Defender, says Moscow, entered the Black Sea, made port in Odessa, Ukraine, and then sailed for Batumi on the coast of Georgia. However, the British … Continue reading “Boris Johnson Defies Vladimir Putin’s Claim to Crimea”

Withdrawal From Afghanistan Must Continue: Afghan Government’s Potential Collapse Is Another Reason To Leave

The Biden administration continues its military withdrawal from Afghanistan. Opposition from the U.S. foreign policy establishment known as “the Blob” is fierce. Most Washington policymakers would have American military personnel stay in Afghanistan forever, or at least until the Second Coming, plus a few extra years, just to be safe. The president’s plan naturally is … Continue reading “Withdrawal From Afghanistan Must Continue: Afghan Government’s Potential Collapse Is Another Reason To Leave”