Tomgram: Ariel Dorfman, A Tale of Two Donalds

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In 1985, at age 41, I visited Disney World for the first time. I remember the experience for two things: the endless lines so cleverly organized that you never knew how long they truly were and the Hawaiian Luau dinner I attended. Yes, a genuine Hawaiian feast that reminded me of American Chinese food circa 1953 and the unforgettable “entertainment” offered by “native” read more

Tomgram: William Astore, The Superpower That Fought Itself — And Lost

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After 19 al-Qaeda militants armed only with box-cutters and knives hijacked four American commercial airliners, the U.S. military moved with remarkable efficiency to rectify the problem. In the years since, in its global war on terror, the Pentagon has ensured that America’s enemies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere have regularly been able to arm themselves with… read more

Tomgram: Alfred McCoy, How the Pentagon Snatched Innovation From the Jaws of Defeat

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In the early 1950s, my father ran a gas station on Governors Island, a military base in New York harbor. In those years, it would be my only encounter with the suburbs. And there, for maybe a dime on any Saturday afternoon, I could join the kids from military families at the local movie house for the usual Westerns or war movies preceded by either a Buck read more

Tomgram: Danny Sjursen, Whose Side Are You On?

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In some closet, I still have toy soldiers from my 1950s childhood.  They played a crucial role in an all-American world of good guys and bad guys I learned about, in part, from the westerns and war movies my father took me to at local movie theaters. I can still remember playing out those long-lost stories out with a motley assortment of bluecoats, redcoats, GIs (of the green read more

Tomgram: Engelhardt, The Last Men Standing

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Victory at Last!
In America’s Wars, Failure Is the New Success
By Tom Engelhardt

It was bloody and brutal, a true generational struggle, but give them credit. In the end, they won when so many lost.

James Comey was axed. Sean Spicer went down in a heap of ashes. Anthony Scaramucci crashed and burned instantaneously. Reince Priebus hung on for dear life but was finally canned. read more

Tomgram: Alfred McCoy, The CIA and Me

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When historian Alfred McCoy began his long journey to expose some of the darkest secrets of the U.S. national security establishment, America was embroiled in wars in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.  Almost 50 years later, the United States is, in one way or another, involved in so many more conflicts from Afghanistan, read more

Tomgram: Engelhardt, Welcome to the Post-American World

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Pardon Me!
High Crimes and Demeanors in the Age of Trump
By Tom Engelhardt

Let me try to get this straight: from the moment the Soviet Union imploded in 1991 until recently just about every politician and mainstream pundit in America assured us that we were the planet’s indispensable nation, the only truly exceptional one on this small orb of ours.

We were the sole superpower, read more

Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Is Anything the Moral Equivalent of War?

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Ever since 2001, when President George W. Bush launched an endless “global war” not on al-Qaeda but on a phenomenon, or perhaps simply a feeling (“terror”) and those who could potentially induce it, America’s all-too-real conflicts have become, as TomDispatch regular Rebecca Gordon writes today, ever more read more

Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, The Great Hysteria

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Slouching Toward Mar-a-Lago
The Post-Cold-War Consensus Collapses
By Andrew J. Bacevich

Like it or not, the president of the United States embodies America itself. The individual inhabiting the White House has become the preeminent symbol of who we are and what we represent as a nation and a people. In a fundamental sense, he is us.

It was not always so. Millard Fillmore, the read more