Tomgram: Rajan Menon, Wars of Unintended Consequences

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TomDispatch began with the Afghan War — with a sense I had from its earliest moments that it was a misbegotten venture of the first order. Here, for instance, is a comment I wrote about that disaster in December 2002, a little over a year after the U.S. began bombing and then invaded that country:

“This week, two wounded American soldiers and a dead one brought some modest read more

Tomgram: Jane Braxton Little, Becoming a Climate Refugee

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Last month, I wrote a piece, “My Extreme World and (Un)Welcome to It,” about the shock of finding myself in what might be thought of as World War III, or perhaps World War(m) III; that is, already living in a country experiencing unbelievably extreme weather. July had just been declared the read more

Tomgram: Engelhardt, Post-Afghanistan, Nation (Un)Building Comes Home

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The Decline and Fall of the Roman… Whoops!… American Empire What Really Matters in the U.S. of A. By

They weren’t kidding when they called Afghanistan the “graveyard of empires.” Indeed, that cemetery has just taken another imperial body. And it wasn’t pretty, was it? Not that anyone should be surprised. Even after 20 years of preparation, a burial never is.

In fact, the shock and awe(fulness) in Kabul and Washington over these last weeks shouldn’t have been surprising, read more

Tomgram: Patterson Deppen, America as a Base Nation Revisited

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In January 2004, Chalmers Johnson wrote “America’s Empire of Bases” for TomDispatch, breaking what was, in effect, a silence around those strange edifices, some the size of small towns, scattered around the planet. He began it this way:

“As distinct from other peoples, most Americans do not recognize — or do not want to recognize — that the United States dominates read more

Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Is Higher Education a Pyramid Scheme?

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My parents certainly had college dreams for me. After all, they wanted me to move up in life, big time. Where exactly “up” was seemed less than clear to me then. But after a great fight — I wanted to go to Cornell (girls!) — I lost and, in 1962, ended up just where they wanted me to be, at Yale. Even in those days, it cost a significant pile of dough to go there, a read more

Tomgram: Engelhardt, Our Not-So-Slow-Motion Apocalypse

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My Extreme World
And (Un)Welcome to It

By

Admittedly, I hadn’t been there for 46 years, but old friends of mine still live (or at least lived) in the town of Greenville, California, and now… well, it’s more or less gone, though they survived.  The Dixie Fire, one of those devastating West Coast blazes, had already “blackened” 504 square miles of Northern California in read more

Tomgram: Liz Theoharis, On Choosing Community Over Chaos

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Only recently, almost four decades after his death, I discovered that my father still liked to have some of his friends call him “major.” That was his ultimate rank in what was then known as the U.S. Army Air Corps, not the U.S. Air Force, for which he volunteered within days of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. (He would, symbolically enough, die on Pearl Harbor Day read more