Tomgram: Steve Fraser, Teaching America a Lesson

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At almost 74, of all the people in my life, it may be the teachers I remember most vividly. Mrs. Kelly, my first grade teacher (who began it all); my fourth grade teacher Miss Thomas (who, when I approached her that initial day in class and said “Hey, you,” assured me in the kindest possible way that I would never call her anything but “Miss Thomas” again); Mrs. Casey, read more

Tomgram: Engelhardt, America Last?

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A Tale of American Hubris
Or Five Lessons in the History of American Defeat
By Tom Engelhardt

The lessons of history? Who needs them? Certainly not Washington’s present cast of characters, a crew in flight from history, the past, or knowledge of more or less any sort. Still, just for the hell of it, let’s take a few moments to think about what some of the lessons of read more

Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, Creating a Perpetual War Machine

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Here’s how Colonel Robert Heinl, Jr., began a June 1971 article in Armed Forces Journal bluntly headlined “The Collapse of the Armed Forces”:

“The morale, discipline, and battleworthiness of the U.S. Armed Forces are, with a few salient exceptions, lower and worse than at anytime in this century and possibly in the history of the United States. By every conceivable read more

Tomgram: Alfred McCoy, A New Age of Sea Power?

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The rise and fall of empires has long been a story at the heart of history. Since the Europeans first burst out of their then-marginal region on wooden sailing ships mounted with cannons in the fifteenth century, the planet seldom has had a moment in which several imperial powers weren’t competing for supremacy. In 1945, that number was reduced to two and then, for what the read more

Tomgram: Danny Sjursen, Cleaning House, Enabling War

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His appointment was a genuine Bolton from the blue (so to speak). After all, everyone knew that former U.N. Ambassador (and Fox News commentator) John Bolton couldn’t be chosen for a major post in the Trump administration. No, not because of his outlandish views on war-making, or his responsibility read more

Tomgram: Michael Klare, The New “Long War”

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Someday, it may seem like history’s classic example of imperial overstretch. There was, after all, only one superpower left on this planet after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. It was challenged by… well, next to no one. Or rather by a single jihadist, his modest set of followers, and an investment of perhaps $400,000-$500,000. read more