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Obsessed with Stalin, the disciples of Leon Bronstein see betrayed revolutions everywhere
I first encountered Trotskyists in Minnesota half a century ago during the movement against the Vietnam War. I appreciated their skill in organizing anti-war demonstrations and their courage in daring to call themselves “communists” in the United States of America – a profession of faith that did not groom them for the successful careers enjoyed... Read More
A popular way to begin the first day of class in constitutional law in many American law schools is to ask the students what sets the U.S. Constitution apart from all others. Usually, they answer that it's the clauses that guarantee the freedom of speech, privacy and due process. Yes, each of those guarantees --... Read More
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Friday night, April 13, in conjunction with Great Britain and France, President Donald Trump ordered an attack on Syria. And the unleashed war hawks were elated. Just to cite one example, Sebastian Gorka (who had been in the administration last year during the first Syrian “false flag” operation) literally proclaimed the coming of the Eschaton... Read More
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Introduction As of April 7, nearly three thousand unarmed Christian, Muslim and secular Palestinians have been wounded, over three dozen are in critical condition and at least twenty-five unarmed protestors, including children have been assassinated by hundreds of Israeli snipers and heavily armed troops shooting tank shells into crowds of civilians protesting their decades of... Read More
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The same people who assured you that Saddam Hussein had WMD’s now assure you Russian “novochok” nerve agents are being wielded by Vladimir Putin to attack people on British soil. As with the Iraqi WMD dossier, it is essential to comb the evidence very finely. A vital missing word from Theresa May’s statement yesterday was... Read More
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True believer Mike Pence could be a whole lot worse
When President Donald Trump traveled to Davos last week, the second foreign head of government he met with was Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu. When the expected groveling before Bibi was concluded the rest of the world learned that Trump is right on board the Netanyahu bandwagon when it comes to making sure that the Palestinians somehow... Read More
Or How to Build a Wall and Lose an Empire
As 2017 ended with billionaires toasting their tax cuts and energy executives cheering their unfettered access to federal lands as well as coastal waters, there was one sector of the American elite that did not share in the champagne celebration: Washington’s corps of foreign policy experts. Across the political spectrum, many of them felt a... Read More
I have received a letter from Margaret Huang, Amnesty International’s executive director. She is fundraising on the basis of President Trump’s “chilling disregard for our cherished human rights” and his exploitation of “hatred, misogyny, racism and xenophobia,” by which he has “emboldened and empowered the most violent segments of our society.” Considering the hostility of... Read More
Facing the Future With Trepidation in the Age of Trump
As a mother and an activist, here’s what I’ve concluded as 2018 begins: it’s getting harder and harder to think about the future -- at least in that soaring Whitney Houston fashion. You know the song: “I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way...” These days, doesn’t... Read More
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It's fact: Neoconservatives are pleased with President Trump’s foreign policy. A couple of months back, Bloomberg’s Eli Lake let it know he was in neoconservative nirvana: "… for Venezuela, [Donald Trump] came very close to calling for regime change. 'The United States has taken important steps to hold the regime accountable,' Trump said. 'We are... Read More
Many Americans have been shocked by recent revelations of the extent of sexual harassment in Congress. However, no one should be too surprised that those who spend their lives defending and expanding the welfare-warfare state engage in immoral personal conduct. It is only natural that an immoral system, like the welfare-warfare state, tends to attract... Read More
Stop thinking of this country as the sole superpower or the indispensable nation on Earth and start reimagining it as the great fracturer, the exceptional smasher, the indispensable fragmenter. Its wars of the twenty-first century are starting to come home big time -- home being not just this particular country (though that’s true, too) but... Read More
Signs of American collapse are everywhere. Apparently no one notices. The world continues to vote with the US in the UN. When even Russia and China serve as handmaidens to US foreign policy by voting with Washington against North Korea, it appears that the image of America as the exceptional and indispensable country is a... Read More
Last week, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) reminded Congress that in matters of war, they have the authority and the responsibility to speak for the American people. Most Senators were not too happy about the reminder, which came in the form of a forced vote on whether to allow a vote on his amendment to repeal... Read More
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Dear friends: During our conversation you stated the following: The US needs a military One of the reasons why the US needs a military are regimes like the North Korean one The US has a right to intervene outside its borders on a) pragmatic and b) moral grounds During WWII the US “saved Europe” and... Read More
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The Power Elite in the Time of Trump
Introduction In the last few months, several competing political, economic and military sectors - linked to distinct ideological and ethnic groups - have clearly emerged at the centers of power. We can identify some of the key competing and interlocking directorates of the power elite: 1. Free marketers, with the ubiquitous presence of the ‘Israel... Read More
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The state of our military is a bit worrying. Those of us with family members serving have more to worry about than the average. I have no doubt our soldiers, sailors, and airmen will do their fighting best with any mission we assign them. But politicized leadership and stupid ideas about human nature may get... Read More
On the heels of his worst week in office, during which his crude comments about race were widely perceived as defending racism and hatred -- comments that sent some of his natural domestic allies fleeing -- President Donald Trump could not bring himself to articulate a mea culpa. Instead, he purported to defend as "some... Read More
"I have not become the King's First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire," said Winston Churchill to cheers at the Lord Mayor's luncheon in London in November 1942. True to his word, the great man did not begin the liquidation. When his countrymen threw him out in July 1945,... Read More
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The Post-Cold-War Consensus Collapses
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 13th president... Read More
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PREDICTABLY, the Joint Chiefs of Staff have already pooh-poohed President Trump's July 26th LGBTQ directives, banning the politicized transgender production from the theater of war. Why "predictably" (preachy, too)? Whether Republicans like it or not, the military is government; it works like government; is financed like government, and is marred by the same inherent malignancies... Read More
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The man was perceptive. Amalgamation of the states under a central government has led to exactly the effects foreseen by General Lee. In, say, 1950, to an appreciable though imperfect extent America resembled a confederacy. Different regions of the America had little contact with each other, and almost no influence over one another. The federal... Read More
Into the Whirlwind
He’s huge. Outsized. He fills the news hole at any moment of any day. His over-tanned face glows unceasingly in living rooms across America. Never has a president been quite so big. So absolutely monstrous. Or quite so small. He’s our Little Big Man. I know, I know... he induces panic, fear, anxiety, insomnia. Shrinks... Read More
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America’s Great Leap Backwards
Introduction: For almost 50 years, the US economy and society has taken a great leap backward - accelerating during the past three Presidencies. Not only have we experienced the reversal of past socio-economic legislation, but also our presidents and Congress have dragged us into multiple aggressive wars. Now, the threat of a nuclear attack against... Read More
Not Too Many Snowflakes
Boot camp. Yawning gateway to military life, an adventure outrageously funny and frightening, source of a lifetime of lies, all growing worse with each bull session. No one forgets boot. Get two GIs together over a bottle of gin, talking about old times, and sooner or later the talk will turn to tales of boot,... Read More
Photo by Jim Mattis | CC BY 2.0
So the President formerly known as Hitler has apparently pulled his head out of his ass and gotten with the global capitalist program. The ruling classes couldn’t be more relieved, as it was beginning to look like they were going to have to carry on with their totally ridiculous “Manchurian President” propaganda indefinitely, or deal... Read More
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First, a painful, but needed, clarification: Basement crazies. Neocons. Zionists. Israel Lobbyists. Judaics. Jews. Somewhere along this list we bump into the proverbial “elephant in the room”. For some this bumping will happen earlier in the list, for others a little later down the list, but the list will be more or less the same... Read More
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Introduction President Trump is deeply embedded in the politics of the deep state structure of American imperialism. Contrary to occasional references to non-intervention in overseas wars, Trump has followed in the footsteps of his predecessors. While neoconservatives and liberals have raised a hue and cry about Trump’s ties to Russia, his ‘heresies’ over NATO and... Read More
The corporate-deep-state theory In a recent UNZ article titled: Political science’s “theory of everything” a concise map of the US establishment, both the visible and invisible government was mapped. Based on this map a theory emerged that showed how the visible government has been subverted by an invisible unelected government that was described as a... Read More
This week, Congress passed a budget calling for increasing federal spending and adding $1.7 trillion to the national debt over the next ten years. Most so-called “fiscal conservatives" voted for this big-spending budget because it allows Congress to repeal some parts of Obamacare via “reconciliation." As important as it is to repeal Obamacare, it does... Read More
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What President Trump should do
In his election campaign Donald Trump has identified several key themes that defined American malaise. He pointed to capital flight, bad trade deals, illegal immigration, and corruption of the government and of the press. What is missing in Trump’s diagnosis though is an explanation of this crisis. What are the causes of American decline or... Read More
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It is so dark now in the North. The Sun rises at 10 am to go down at 3 pm. White and plentiful snow and glorious stars outside and Christmas trees indoors make this darkness bearable – just. Here one understands why the people of the North had viewed Yuletide with great anxiety: they never... Read More
Rebirth of a Nation?
“So is he going to win?” The question washed over me as I slumped in my hard plastic chair. I had passed the day walking through a town where most homes lay in ruins and human remains were strewn across a field, a day spent looking over my shoulder for soldiers and melting in the... Read More
With President Trump, Is the American Experiment Over?
The one thing you could say about empires is that, at or near their height, they have always represented a principle of order as well as domination. So here’s the confounding thing about the American version of empire in the years when this country was often referred to as “the sole superpower,” when it was... Read More
Introduction Castigating the US electorate as accomplices and facilitators of wars, or at best describing it as ignorant sheep herded by political elites, speaks only to a partial reality; in public opinion polls, even in ones weighted overwhelmingly to the center-right, the American people consistently opposse militarism and wars, past and present. The right and... Read More
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Lots of talk, not much to show
In between nearly daily campaign stops shilling for Hillary, President Barack Obama has been promoting his record as Head of State. To Obama’s credit, he talks nice and appears to be both thoughtful and rational, qualities that were not always evident in his predecessor in office. But the hype about what was achieved in his... Read More
Fighting Fundamentalism in America
I’m not an immigrant, but my grandparents are. More than 50 years ago, they arrived in New York City from Iran. I grew up mainly in central New Jersey, an American kid playing little league for the Raritan Red Sox and soccer for the Raritan Rovers. In 1985, I travelled with my family to our... Read More
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Some Aspects of Irrationality
We’re all crazy. This explains everything. I will elaborate in hopes of joining Plato, Burke, and Hunter Thompson as a lighthouses of the intellects The human mind cannot think of more than a very few things at once. We cannot for example think of a billion citizens of China as individuals, so we say “China,“... Read More
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One explanation why U.S. policies serve no national interests
On September 9th the Washington Post featured a front page article describing how the Defense Department had used warplanes to attack targets and kill suspected militants in six countries over the Labor Day weekend. The article was celebratory, citing Pentagon officials who boasted of the ability to engage “multiple targets” anywhere in the world in... Read More
The Enemies of My Enemy May Be War Criminals
It’s not every day that Republicans publish an open letter announcing that their presidential candidate is unfit for office. But lately this sort of thing has been happening more and more frequently. The most recent example: we justheard from 50 representatives of the national security apparatus, men -- and a few women -- who served... Read More
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Against the wishes of her New York Democratic constituents, Hillary Clinton voted with Senate Republicans to invade Iraq. (It was a pivotal vote. Without Democratic support, George W. Bush’s request for this war of aggression would have failed.) Humayun Khan, 27, was an army captain who got killed during that invasion. Eight years later, the... Read More
Class of 2016, Tell Us Who We Are
Graduates of 2016, don’t be fooled by this glorious day. As you leave campus for the last time, many of you already deeply in debt and with a lifetime of payments to look forward to, you head into a world that’s anything but sunny. In fact, through those gates that have done little enough to... Read More
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It was an epochal moment for the military and perhaps for all of society. Screwing up her courage, Air Force First Lieutenant Kara-Ann McBee walked into her commander’s office on the D-Ring of the Pentagon and announced that she was a giant squid. Kara was slender and tomboyish, with an upturned nose, freckles, and an... Read More
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Six National Security Questions Hillary, Donald, Ted, Marco, et al., Don’t Want to Answer and Won’t Even Be Asked
To judge by the early returns, the presidential race of 2016 is shaping up as the most disheartening in recent memory. Other than as a form of low entertainment, the speeches, debates, campaign events, and slick TV ads already inundating the public sphere offer little of value. Rather than exhibiting the vitality of American democracy,... Read More
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Those who try to understand military policy often confuse themselves by focusing on minor matters such as strategy, tactics, logistics, and armament. Here they err. For years the central goal of the military, the brass ring, has been independence from control by civilians. It has been achieved. In time of war, the first concern of... Read More
The US Treasury’s recent announcement that the government will reach the debt ceiling on November 3 means Congress will soon be debating raising the government’s borrowing limit again. Any delay in, or opposition to, raising the debt ceiling will inevitably be met with hand-wringing over Congress’ alleged irresponsibility. But the real irresponsible act would be... Read More
Barack Obama sought as his legacy to bring an end to the two longest wars in U.S. history. On Oct. 15, he, again, admitted failure. The 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan will remain another year. And, on Inauguration Day 2017, 5,500 U.S. troops will still be there. Why cannot we leave? Because, if we do,... Read More
Comedy in Uniform
The military, once again, puts women into jobs the cannot do–this time, the Army’s Rangers–to advance the careers of political generals–among others, Maj Gen. Scott Miller, who oversees Ranger School. Or what used to be Ranger School. Writes Susan Keating in People magazine: “A woman will graduate Ranger School,” a general told shocked subordinates this... Read More
One of the most depressing things about watching -- even from a distance -- the quadrennial race for the White House is seeing what passes for debate on the one area where the president does have some Constitutional authority: foreign policy. Candidates who have spent little or no time studying or traveling to the rest... Read More
A Self-Indulgent Memoir
Those were wilder times, hardier times, memorable and loose. The veterans of Vietnam were not yet aged and, as happens after wars, did not settle easily into selling air filters at the NAPA outlet. They had lain atop Amtracs in the tropical night, with star shells blazing white in the sky and the smoke trailing... Read More
Category Classics
Confederate Flag Day, State Capitol, Raleigh, N.C. -- March 3, 2007
The sources of America’s immigration problems—and a possible solution
An alliance of pro-immigrant Democrats and anti-immigration Republicans could finally fix our broken system
Not What Tom Jefferson Had in Mind