War, American Style

W.J. Astore A common belief shared by U.S. political pundits and a compliant and complicit U.S. media is that America never chooses its wars: it’s dragged into them.  Last October, I read an article in the “liberal” New York Times that caught the mood perfectly.  It worried the U.S. was being “sucked into” wars in…

A Very American Coup

W.J. Astore Back in January 2010, I wrote the following article for TomDispatch.com on the possibility of “a very American coup” occurring in conjunction with the presidential election of 2016. I make no claims to prescience: for example, the “great recession” I predicted didn’t come to pass, and there are as yet very few protesters…

The United States of Militarism

W.J. Astore A century ago, the USA was a dynamic, forward-looking, freedom-espousing country that was focused on science and technology and its practical applications, as represented by Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.  We were about to reelect a president, Woodrow Wilson, precisely because he had kept the country out of World War I.  With the exception of…

Special Forces: America’s Jesuits

W.J. Astore Nick Turse has a revealing new piece at TomDispatch.com on the rise of Special Forces and SOCOM (Special Ops Command) within the U.S. military.  (For a telling critique of America’s excess of enthusiasm for Special Forces, see last year’s article here by Dan White for The Contrary Perspective.) What are we to make…

Veterans Day, 2014

Daniel N. White I always liked the original name for this holiday, Armistice Day, and the idea behind it—celebrating the last war this country would ever fight, a lot better than its current iteration as Veterans Day, honoring all the veterans who “served” this country in peace or war.  The Great War (1914-18) certainly wasn’t…

Militarism USA

W.J. Astore As Veterans Day approaches, I thought I’d revive a column I wrote for TomDispatch.com back in 2009.  I continue to marvel at the militarism of the USA, and the way in which the troops are defined as “warriors” and “warfighters” who increasingly see themselves as being divorced from, and superior to, “civilians” in…

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,…