Tourists of Empire

W.J. Astore I recently received an update from the National Priorities Project reminding me of this startling fact: “The president announced last week that American troops will remain in Afghanistan beyond the planned withdrawal at the end of 2016. This is a devastating blow. We’ve already spent $716 billion and counting on the war in…

Global Reach, Global Power, Has Deep Roots in America’s Past

W.J. Astore The U.S. military today openly boasts of global reach, global power.  Full spectrum dominance is the goal, with that spectrum encompassing land, sea, and air operations, but also extending to space (“the shining stars, and beyond,” one Air Force advertisement claimed) and cyberspace. The desire for global dominance has deep roots in American…

Everywhere is War

Andy Piascik Summer approaches and the stench of war is all around. Or, as the great Bob Marley put it, Everywhere is War. Start with the commemorations over a five-week span of Memorial Day, Flag Day and Independence Day, all presented varyingly as celebrations of our war dead, symbols of our greatness, the freedoms we…

War Is Becoming Obsolete — In 1884

W.J. Astore One of the occupational hazards of being a historian is reading old books.  The one in front of me is John Fiske’s The Destiny of Man (1884).  Fiske was an American philosopher and popular writer on Darwinism, Spencerism, and many other representative isms of his day.  Like many thinkers of the late 19th…

War is a Racket

The business of wars and weapons sales is booming, with the United States leading the pack as the world’s foremost “merchant of death,” as Michael Klare notes in this article on the global arms trade for TomDispatch.com. But why should we be surprised?  War has always been a racket.  And if you don’t believe me…