Knight

The Knights of Earth

Steve Naidamast After surviving tragedy at the World Trade Center on 9-11-2001 (I escaped from building #5, which was engulfed in a fireball 30 to 45 minutes after I evacuated), I became driven to find out the underlying causes of that event.  My studies took me toward subjects in sociology and political history as well as…

Deploy them only when needed, and in wars only when approved by a formal Congressional declaration

The Worst Cancer of All

W.J. Astore Also at Huffington Post. President Obama’s decision to deploy 3,000 troops to Liberia in Africa to assist in efforts to contain Ebola got me to thinking about the military as white blood cells. As a military officer, I took an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. In a…

The Misfortune Teller

Polemical Poetry VIII: The Inflated Style as Euphemism

Michael Murry President Barack Obama’s most recent speech launching yet another self-declared Personal Presidential Crusade against yet another Evil Muslim Acronym (ISIS/ISIL/IS, whatever) reminds me of something that General David Petraeus, Commander of the International Security Assistance Forces in Afghanistan once said regarding his mission objectives and his prospects for achieving them: “I think no…

The three Afghan officers who went missing (Cape Cod Times)

Two Afghan Stories

W.J. Astore Two Afghan stories this week suggest much about U.S. progress in winning hearts and minds there.  The first involves Hamid Karzai. Afghanistan’s departing president, the “Mayor of Kabul,” Karzai asserted that “America did not want peace for Afghanistan, because it had its own agendas and goals here.”  It’s easy to paint Karzai as…

Fighters of the Islamic State (Associated Press)

War Again in Iraq and the American Desire Never to be Labeled a Loser

W.J. Astore In April 2009, I wrote an article for TomDispatch.com recounting Mary McCarthy’s critique of the American experience in Vietnam, and how her lessons applied to President Obama’s “surge” in Afghanistan.  A central lesson cited by McCarthy was the American desire never to be labeled a loser.  That desire explains, at least in part,…

Who Is Listening to You?

Fascist America?

By KokonutGrove As a student of American history and politics, in my lifetime I’ve witnessed a dangerous erosion of civil and personal liberties.  Such an erosion is the hallmark of fascism. Back in the 1970s and ‘80s when my father was stationed in Berlin, he often discussed the totalitarian police state the East Germans created as…

Lame duck, indeed.

A Lame Duck Nation on Steroids

W.J. Astore The more the United States has come to talk about dominance, the less dominant we’ve become. To compensate, we’ve become a steroidal nation, to include the violent side effects associated with steroid use (just look at the latest stories out of the NFL about spousal and child abuse, or our steroidal police forces,…