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,…

Obama’s Speech on ISIS: More of the Same, As in Military Action (Updated)

W.J. Astore President Obama’s speech tonight on the Islamic State (or ISIS) promises more military action.  More airstrikes, more boots on the ground (mainly Special Forces), more training for the Iraqi military (who have endured more than a decade’s worth of U.S. military training, with indifferent results), and more weapons sales (which often end up…

Who Are the “Terrorists”?

Richard Sahn Driving us ever closer to the brink of World War III and possible nuclear annihilation is the bi-partisan, seemingly all-American political position that we “never negotiate with terrorists.” That means having no diplomatic relations with the “bad guys.” “Terrorists,” we’re taught to believe, must be followers of Satan himself. (Witness Joe Biden’s “Gates…