Tomgram: Alfred McCoy, Tweeting While Rome Burns

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In 1956, in an interview with journalist Anna Louise Strong, Chinese leader Mao Zedong famously said of American imperialism: “In appearance it is very powerful but in reality it is nothing to be afraid of; it is a paper tiger.”  It wasn’t the first time he had used the image.  Ten years earlier he had told Strong read more

Tomgram: William D. Hartung, 2018 Looks Like an Arms Bonanza

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Here’s a cheery note for you: the last mass killing of 2017 took place moments before midnight on New Year’s Eve.  A 16-year-old New Jersey boy picked up a semi-automatic rifle, “lawfully acquired” by a member of his family, and killed his father, mother, sister, and a family friend.  read more

Tomgram: Nick Turse, The Coming Year in Special Ops

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If you want to know something about life in America these days, consider how New York Times columnist David Leonhardt began his first piece of the year, “7 Wishes for 2018”: “Well, at least it’s not 2017 anymore. I expect that future historians will look back on it as one of the darker non-war years in the country’s history…”

Think about that for a moment: read more

Tomgram: Frida Berrigan, A Mother Confronts a World on Fire

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Let me mention a small joy of my life. One afternoon and evening a week I take care of my 5½-year-old grandson, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that we take care of each other.  We always stop for cookies — grandparents being allowed, according to The Official Rulebook of Child-Rearing (see p. 349), to shamelessly feed sweets to their grandchildren.  read more

Tomgram: Engelhardt, Seeing Our Wars for the First Time

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Mapping a World From Hell
76 Countries Are Now Involved in Washington’s War on Terror
By Tom Engelhardt

He left Air Force Two behind and, unannounced, “shrouded in secrecy,” flew on an unmarked C-17 transport plane into Bagram Air Base, the largest American garrison in Afghanistan. All news of his visit was embargoed until an hour before he was to depart the country.

More read more

Tomgram: Danny Sjursen, Three Administrations, One Standard Playbook

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In a Washington politically riven in ways not seen since the pre-Civil War era, take hope.  Despite everything you’ve read, bipartisanship is not dead. On one issue, congressional Democrats and Republicans, as well as Donald Trump, all speak with a single resounding voice, with, in fact, unmatched unanimity and fervor as they stretch hands across the aisle in a spirit read more