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In the first paragraphs of George Orwell’s famed novel 1984, Winston Smith slips through the doors of his apartment building, “Victory Mansions,” to escape a “vile wind.” Hate week — a concept that should seem eerily familiar in Donald Trump’s America — was soon to arrive. “The hallway,” writes Orwell, “smelt of boiled cabbage and old rag mats.” Smith then plods up to his seventh-floor flat, since the building’s elevator rarely works even when there’s electricity, which is seldom the case. And, of course, he immediately sees the most famous poster in the history of the novel, the one in which BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU. (“It was one of those pictures… so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move.”)

Now, imagine us inside our own “Victory Mansions,” an increasingly ramshackle place called the United States of America in which, like Smith, we simply can’t escape our leader. Call him perhaps “Big Muddler.” He may not be looking directly at YOU, but he is, thanks to a never-ending media frenzy, remarkably omnipresent. Go ahead and try, but you know that whatever you do, however you live your life, these days you just can’t escape him. And if Donald Trump’s America isn’t already starting to feel a little like that ill-named, run-down building in a future, poverty-stricken London, then tell me what it’s like.

Can’t you feel how rickety the last superpower on planet Earth is becoming as our very own Big-Muddler-in-Chief praises himself eternally for his “achievements”? Here’s just a small sample from a recent graduation address President Trump gave at the Coast Guard Academy. (You know, the one where he so classically claimed that “no politician in history — and I say this with great surety — has been treated worse or more unfairly”):

“I’ve accomplished a tremendous amount in a very short time as president. Jobs pouring back into our country… We’ve saved the Second Amendment, expanded service for our veterans… I’ve loosened up the strangling environmental chains wrapped around our country and our economy, chains so tight that you couldn’t do anything — that jobs were going down… We’ve begun plans and preparations for the border wall, which is going along very, very well. We’re working on major tax cuts for all… And we’re also getting closer and closer, day by day, to great healthcare for our citizens.”

This is, of course, all balderdash — from the “big, fat, beautiful wall” the Mexicans were going to finance, for which he’s requested $1.6 billion in the next budget (compared to the up to $67 billion it might actually cost) and which he’s unlikely to get, to those scam jobs supposedly flooding in thanks to him. His urge is clearly to establish a fantasy America, a true Victory Mansion (undoubtedly with his name in golden letters above it) in the potential ruins of the country we once knew, which would indeed be an Orwellian trick of the first order. In the meantime, as TomDispatch regular Rebecca Gordon points out, President Trump and his coterie of cabinet plutocrats and advisers have been doing Orwell one better and, 33 years after 1984 passed us by, are in the process of creating their own memory hole down which they plan to stuff reality itself.

(Reprinted from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Donald Trump, TomDispatch Archives 

As his polling figures sag, the chaos of his presidency increases exponentially, and the news turns ever grimmer (for him), President Trump faces growing opposition nationwide. As TomDispatch regular Mattea Kramer reports today, from boycotting businesses carrying his products to jamming the phone lines of his hotels, an expanding, if somewhat uncoordinated, set of anti-Trump organizations are focused on how to divest America of its 45th president. They are, in particular, aiming at what he undoubtedly cares most about (other, of course, than himself): his business dealings and those of his children. (And just wait until such anti-Trumpism gains traction abroad and those businesses with the giant golden letters become ongoing targets of protest — or worse — globally.)

And yet these days, believe it or not, that may be the least of his problems. There seems to be another Resist Trump movement growing right in the heart of our nation’s capital in what has become the unofficial fourth branch of our government, the one not written into the Constitution but funded as if it were the only thing that Constitution contained: the national security state.

Among the many missteps (a kind word under the circumstances) of a president who clearly thought the worst was over when he won the election, none may prove more disastrous than his — you can’t call it a decision, but perhaps an impulse — to take on parts of that state within a state. He began memorably by comparing the CIA and other intelligence agencies to so many Nazis and proceeded from there. That he evidently never imagined such institutions, which now surveil the world in a way that might have amazed George Orwell and stunned the totalitarian regimes of the previous century, having the power to respond to him should amaze us all. That he fired James Comey, for instance, without any sense that the FBI director or his supporters inside the Bureau could or would strike back was perhaps the ultimate in blind self-faith. (Of course, in these years, America’s intelligence agencies have often seemed like the proverbial gang that couldn’t shoot straight, as with the recent — possibly North Korean — ransomware attack on computer networks globally that was based in part on hacking tools pilfered from the National Security Agency.)

Now, from secret memos about “pledges of loyalty” to leaks of every sort, the national security state may be in the process of trying to divest itself of President Trump. It looks like some of its professionals have stopped collecting intelligence for him and started collecting it on him. If his recently tweeted threat — “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” — wasn’t so much hot air (and he does have a past history of taping phone conversations), he might turn out to have done their work for them. If so, he better hope that such tapes turn out to have an 18-and-a-half hour gap.

At the moment, the scandals seem unending. Campaign collusion (or was it confusion?) with Putin’s Russia, the Comey firing, the never-ending disaster of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, including the president’s possible request that the FBI director shut down the Flynn investigation, and the sharing of “highly classified” information with the Russian foreign minister just head a list that seems to grow by the day, as congressional muttering about “obstruction of justice” and “impeachment” grows. Meanwhile — signs of the times — the president’s aides are reportedly polishing their CVs and joining the crew leaking about him, while he remains angry with them for his own crazed behavior.

(Reprinted from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Donald Trump, TomDispatch Archives 

It’s a beautiful day in May. The sun is streaming down; the birds are on their migration paths north; the first daylilies are just breaking into bloom — and students are gathering for their graduation ceremonies on an afternoon when everything seems just right in a world where so much seems so wrong. These are the students who began their college lives within weeks, possibly days, even hours of that moment when, on September 11, 2001, the first hijacked plane hit the north tower of the World Trade Center. Certainly they — above all classes of recent times — have the right to peer into a murky future and wonder, with a certain trepidation, what’s in store for them. Through no fault of their own, they have earned the right to discouragement, even perhaps despair.

And yet, as our commencement speaker steps to the podium, that sun is shining brightly enough to imagine the world begun anew — and don’t we all, these students at the end of their college careers and the rest of us, don’t we all have the right to graduate, all those of us who, whatever our ages, come from the class of 9/11?

So all of you, settle into your chairs, take off your hats, feel the comforting heat of that sun beating down, and consider the words of Howard Zinn as he urges the students of Spelman College not to be discouraged, not to despair, but to enter the world with their heads held high, imagining what each of them might do for him or herself — and for the rest of us.

(Reprinted from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: TomDispatch Archives 

War, American-style, in the twenty-first century hasn’t exactly been a sterling success story. (How did the Brits ever manage to run that empire of theirs for so many years with such modest numbers of troops?) Take Afghanistan, for example. We now know something of Washington’s latest plans for pursuing the war in that country well into its 16th year. They are, according to media reports, just landing on President Trump’s desk with the enthusiastic support of his national security adviser, General H.R. McMaster, the Pentagon, the intelligence services, and General John Nicholson, the U.S. Afghan commander. Pushback seems to be coming only from the administration’s Bannonite wing. Basically, those plans seem to boil down to sending in more U.S. troops and more Special Operations forces, putting them in more combat-like situations, and supporting them with more U.S. air power — or put another way, more of exactly what there has regularly been more of for the last 15 years. Call it a mini-surge. All of this, in turn, is supposed to “break the Afghan deadlock,” shift the war in the favor of the U.S.-backed government, and lead to successful peace negotiations. Oh, and it’s grounded in the conviction that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is capable of weeding corrupt and ineffective commanders out of his military.

It might cross your mind that all of the above could only have been dreamt up by “strategists” who had been on another planet for the last decade and a half. However, the generals who came up with this brilliant plan (for a president who, in 2013, tweeted, “We have wasted an enormous amount of blood and treasure in Afghanistan. Their government has zero appreciation. Let’s get out!”) have been deeply involved in America’s wars across the Greater Middle East in those years. And since it’s hard to believe that they meant to create a failing strategy, the only alternative is to assume that they’ve been involved in this sort of war-making for so long that they are no longer capable of imagining anything else. In other words, what we’re witnessing is a brain-dead version of strategizing that will leave another set of officials in Washington wondering what to do next somewhere down the line.

In the face of such “planning,” woefully typical of Washington’s war on terror, it’s always good to look for some bright spot and there does happen to be one area where the U.S. military remains the undisputed global champ: military bases. As TomDispatch regular David Vine has shown in his essential book, Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World, the U.S. garrisons the globe without competitors and in a fashion previously unimaginable. That “rising power” China, for instance, is only now building its first base outside its own territory — in the small African country of Djibouti, just miles from a large U.S. base, leaving it approximately 799 global garrisons short of Washington. Britain and France each still have some bases, generally left over from their days of imperial glory, and the Russians also have a handful, including two particularly active ones in Syria and another, just unveiled, in its own far northern territories near the Arctic Circle. That’s its second base in the melting north. About such moves, Washington is already raising the alarm. (Secretary of Defense James Mattis at his confirmation hearings typically said, “The U.S. must ensure that Russia doesn’t expand those efforts to dominate the region.”)

Still, at the moment, the U.S. stands alone when it comes to garrisoning Planet Earth, a success story that, strangely enough, never seems to impress the mainstream media enough to consider it a subject worthy of coverage, which is why it’s so useful to have David Vine on hand at moments like this.

(Reprinted from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
 
What It Really Means to Be on a “Flattening” Planet

The closest I ever got to Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, was 1,720.7 miles away — or so the Internet assures me. Although I’ve had a lifelong interest in history, I know next to nothing about Mosul’s, nor do I have more than a glancing sense of what it looks like, or more accurately what it looked like when all its buildings, including those in its “Old City,” were still standing. It has — or at least in better times had — a population of at least 1.8 million, not one of whom have I ever met and significant numbers of whom are now either dead, wounded, uprooted, or in desperate straits.

Consider what I never learned about Mosul my loss, a sign of my ignorance. Yet, in recent months, little as I know about the place, it’s been on my mind — in part because what’s now happening to that city will be the world’s loss as well as mine.

In mid-October 2016, the U.S.-backed Iraqi army first launched an offensive to retake Mosul from the militants of the Islamic State. Relatively small numbers of ISIS fighters had captured it in mid-2014 when the previous version of the Iraqi military (into which the U.S. had poured more than $25 billion) collapsed ignominiously and fled, abandoning weaponry and even uniforms along the way. It was in Mosul’s Great Mosque that the existence of the Islamic State was first triumphantly proclaimed by its “caliph,” Abu Bakr al-Bagdadi.

On the initial day of the offensive to recapture the city, the Pentagon was already congratulating the Iraqi military for being “ahead of schedule” in a campaign that was expected to “take weeks or even months.” Little did its planners — who had been announcing its prospective start for nearly a year — know. A week later, everything was still “proceeding according to our plan,” claimed then-U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter. By the end of January 2017, after 100 days of fierce fighting, the eastern part of that city, divided by the Tigris River, was more or less back in government hands and it had, according to New York Times reporters on the scene, been “spared the wholesale destruction inflicted on other Iraqi cities” like Ramadi and Fallujah, even though those residents who hadn’t fled were reportedly “scratching out a primitive existence, deprived of electricity, running water and other essential city services.”

And that was the good news. More than 100 days later, Iraqi troops continue to edge their way through embattled western Mosul, with parts of it, including the treacherous warren of streets in its Old City, still in the hands of ISIS militants amid continuing bitter building-to-building fighting. The Iraqi government and its generals still insist, however, that everything will be over in mere weeks. An estimated thousand or so ISIS defenders (of the original 4,000-8,000 reportedly entrenched in the city) are still holding out and will assumedly fight to the death. U.S. air power has repeatedly been called in big time, with civilian deaths soaring, and hundreds of thousands of its increasingly desperate and hungry inhabitants still living in battle-scarred Mosul as Islamic State fighters employ countless bomb-laden suicide vehicles and even small drones.

After seven months of unending battle in that single city, perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that Mosul has receded from the news here, even as civilian casualties grow, at least half a million Iraqis have been displaced, and the Iraqi military has suffered grievous losses.

Though there’s been remarkably little writing about it, here’s what now seems obvious: when the fighting is finally over and the Islamic State defeated, the losses will be so much more widespread than that. Despite initial claims that the Iraqi military (and the U.S. Air Force) were taking great care to avoid as much destruction as possible in an urban landscape filled with civilians, the rules of engagement have since changed and it’s clear that, in the end, significant swathes of Iraq’s second largest city will be left in ruins. In this, it will resemble so many other cities and towns in Iraq and Syria, from Fallujah to Ramadi, Homs to Aleppo.

The Disappearance of Mosul

At a moment when Donald Trump makes headlines daily with almost any random thing he says, the fate of Mosul doesn’t even qualify as a major news story. What happens in that city, however, will be no minor thing. It will matter on this increasingly small planet of ours.

What’s to come is also, unfortunately, reasonably predictable. Eight, nine, or more months after this offensive was launched, the grim Islamic State in Mosul will undoubtedly be destroyed, but so will much of the city in a region that continues to be — to invent a word — rubblized.

(Reprinted from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
 

Here’s a footnote to America’s present wars that’s worth pondering for a few moments. The U.S. Air Force is running out of ordinary bombs, smart bombs, and in some cases missiles. No kidding. The air war over Syria and Iraq that began in August 2014 and is now two-and-a-half years old has eaten through America’s supply of bombs. The usual crew of weapons makers evidently can’t produce such munitions fast enough to keep up, so the U.S. military is, for instance, cutting into its stockpiles of smart bombs in Asia to send some to the Middle East and Africa simply to keep pace with demand — and, according to recent reports, it may nonetheless be failing to do so. Consider this a longer term problem since, in the era of Donald Trump, the generals are increasingly running their own wars, which, if the daily drumbeat of news about them is accurate, are only ramping up further.

Everywhere you look, from Yemen to Iraq, Syria to Somalia, the American military is growing more assertive as civilian casualties rise and constraints of any sort, whether on special operations raids, drone strikes, or the use of the most powerful non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. arsenal, fall away. Only last week, for instance, came news that Trump’s generals plan to put recommendations on his desk soon to turn the tide in America’s longest war, the largely forgotten one in Afghanistan, which the U.S. military now refers to as a “stalemate.” (Who cares that, on the ground, the Taliban has in recent months seemed increasingly ascendant and the U.S.-trained, U.S.-supplied, and U.S.-backed Afghan military increasingly battered?) Those recommendations — so claims acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations Theresa Whalen — will help the U.S “move beyond the stalemate.” This will evidently be done by sending 3,000 to 5,000 more U.S. troops there to train the Afghan military. Yes, you read that right. Almost 16 years after the invasion and “liberation” of Afghanistan in 2001, the solution to the never-ending war there is to send in a few thousand more U.S. military personnel to work with a force filled with “ghost soldiers,” into which this country has already reportedly poured $71 billion and which has suffered both staggering casualties and startling desertion rates in recent years. Just off the top of your head, tell me how you think that’s likely to go. And oh yes, once those troops are there, one thing that will certainly be needed: more bombs and missiles to support their activities.

(Reprinted from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
 

Wilbur Ross put the matter… well, mouth-wateringly. At a Milken Institute Global Conference in California, the commerce secretary recalled how President Trump was hosting a dinner for China’s president, Xi Jinping, at his Mar-a-Lago club at the moment when a bevy of Tomahawk missiles were being dispatched against an airfield in Syria. Ross described the moment this way: “Just as dessert was being served, the president explained to Mr. Xi he had something he wanted to tell him, which was the launching of 59 missiles into Syria. It was in lieu of after-dinner entertainment.” To laughter from the crowd, he then added, “The thing was, it didn’t cost the president anything to have that entertainment.”

The president himself recalled the same moment in an interview with Fox Business: “I was sitting at the table. We had finished dinner. We’re now having dessert. And we had the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you’ve ever seen, and President Xi was enjoying it.” (Of course, Donald Trump is hardly the first person to, in essence, say, “Let them eat cake.”)

In the end, of course, someone did have to pick up the tab for that thrillingly militarized dessert and it just happened to be you and me. As TomDispatch regular William Hartung, author of Prophets of War, points out today in a piece on the true costs of war, American-style, the bill for that piece of cake and those Tomahawk missiles was $89 million dollars, admittedly a mere lagniappe by twenty-first-century U.S. military standards. (The tip for the meal naturally went to the maker of those Tomahawks, Raytheon). Rest assured that future desserts will undoubtedly be even more elaborate and expensive. After all, in a rare bipartisan show of unity, Republicans and Democrats just polished off a spending bill that will not only keep the government open through September, but give the Pentagon, an institution that happens to be historically incapable of even auditing itself, an extra little treat: $15 billion above and beyond its already vast budget to tide it over in its never-ending wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, and “replenish equipment and pay for training and maintenance.”

We’re talking chocolate cake all the way to the bank when it comes to the Pentagon and the major weapons contractors it regularly offers its tastiest desserts. Admittedly, that $15 billion wasn’t quite what President Trump wanted, but call it an mouth-watering appetizer when it comes to a meal about which, unlike almost everything else on the table in Washington, Democrats and Republicans always see more or less eye to eye. And expect one thing: a lot more chocolate cake in President Trump’s future. After all, the generals are in charge.

(Reprinted from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
 

Our lives are, of course, our histories, which makes us all, however inadvertently, historians. Part of my own history, my other life — not the TomDispatch one that’s consumed me for the last 14 years — has been editing books. I have no idea how many books I’ve edited since I was in my twenties, but undoubtedly hundreds. Recently, I began rereading War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War, perhaps 33 years after I first put pen to paper (in the days before personal computers were commonplace) and started marking up a draft of it for Pantheon Books, where I then worked, and where I later ushered it into the world.

As it happens, however, my history with the author of that book dips significantly deeper into time than that. I first met Pulitzer Prize-winning historian John Dower in perhaps 1968, almost half a century ago. We were both graduate students in Asian studies then, nothing eminent or prize-winning about either of us in an era when so much of our time was swept away by opposition to the Vietnam War. Our lives, our stories, have crossed many times since, and so it was with a little rush of emotion that I opened his book all over again and began reading its very first paragraphs:

“World War Two meant many things to many people.

“To over fifty million men, women, and children, it meant death. To hundreds of millions more in the occupied areas and theaters of combat, the war meant hell on earth: suffering and grief, often with little if any awareness of a cause or reason beyond the terrifying events of the moment…”

That book — on World War II in the Pacific as a brew of almost unbearable racial hatreds, stereotypes, and savagery — would have a real impact in its moment (as, in fact, it still does) and would be followed by other award-winning books on war and violence and how, occasionally, we humans even manage to change and heal after such terrible, obliterating events. John’s work has regularly offered stunning vistas of both horror and implicit hope. He’s an author (and friend) who, to my mind, will always be award-winning. So it was, I have to admit, with a certain strange nostalgia that, at age 72, so many decades after I first touched a manuscript of his, I found myself editing a new one. It proved to be a small, action- and shock-packed volume on American global violence and war-making in these last 75 years. In doing so, I met on the page both my old friend who had once stood with me in opposition to the horror that was America’s war in Indochina and the award-winning historian who has a unique perspective on our past that is deeply needed on this war- and violence-plagued planet of ours.

So many years later, it felt like a personal honor to be editing and then publishing his new work, The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War Two, at Dispatch Books. If it’s a capstone work for him, it seemed like something of a capstone for me as well, both as an editor and, like all of us, as a historian of myself.

(Reprinted from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
 

They are the outposts of empire. They have been or are being built in countries across the world from Indonesia to Dubai, India to Uruguay, South Korea to Qatar, the Philippines to Turkey, and in the future possibly, from Saudi Arabia to Egypt. They represent a staggering imperial presence for the American commander-in-chief — oh, and just in case you’re confused, no, I’m not talking about the hundreds of U.S. military bases that dot the planet. I’m thinking about all the towers, elite golf courses, clubs, hotels, condos, and residences that already sport, or in the future will sport, those five gaudy, golden letters that spell TRUMP in countries that circle the globe. They, too, are indeed the outposts of empire, a business one that still belongs to the commander-in-chief. And keep in mind that, if you’re thinking imperially in a truly twenty-first-century American fashion, you also need to include the businesses represented by Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, both now key White House advisers.

In our present moment, it’s worth recalling what Charles Wilson, the CEO of General Motors (then the country’s largest defense contractor), so classically said back in 1953 at his Senate confirmation hearings. President Dwight Eisenhower had nominated him for secretary of defense and various senators were challenging him for refusing to sell his GM stock. (After the president requested that he do so, and he did, he was immediately confirmed.) Asked about whether he would be capable of making a decision in the national interest as secretary of defense if it had “extremely adverse” consequences for the company, he responded, “Yes, sir, I could. I cannot conceive of [such a conflict, however,] because for years I thought what was good for the country was good for General Motors and vice versa.”

If once upon a time that was taken as a classic statement of corporate crassness, tell me that, in the shadow of the Trump White House and what are still politely referred to in the media as its “conflicts of interest,” it doesn’t now seem like a quaintly principled, almost patriotic thing to say. Or let me propose something else: read today’s account by TomDispatch regular Nomi Prins, author of All the Presidents’ Bankers, of what family time’s like in the Trump Oval Office and then tell me whether Wilson’s statement doesn’t seem like the good old days to you.

(Reprinted from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Donald Trump, TomDispatch Archives 

If you’re a reader of TomDispatch, then you know something of real importance about this country that most Americans don’t. As an imperial power, there’s never been anything like the United States when it comes to garrisoning this planet. By comparison, the Romans and imperial Chinese were pikers; the Soviet Union in its prime was the poorest of runners-up; even the British, at the moment when the sun theoretically never set on their empire, didn’t compare. The U.S. has hundreds of military bases ranging in size from small American towns to tiny outposts across the planet, and yet you could spend weeks, months, years paying careful attention to the media here and still have no idea that this was so. Though we garrison the globe in a historically unprecedented way, that fact is not part of any discussion or debate in this country; Congress doesn’t hold hearings on global basing policy; reporters aren’t sent out to cover the subject; and presidents never mention it in speeches to the nation. Clearly, nothing is to be made of it.

It’s true that, if you’re watching the news carefully, you will find references to a small number of these bases. In the present Korean crisis, for instance, there has been at least passing mention of Washington’s bases in South Korea (and the danger that the American troops on them might face), though often deep in articles on the subject. If, to pick another example, you were to read about the political situation in Bahrain, you might similarly find mentions of the U.S. base in that small Gulf kingdom that houses the Navy’s Fifth Fleet. Generally, though, despite the millions of Americans, military and civilian, who have cycled through American bases abroad in recent years, despite the vast network of them (the count is now approximately 800), and despite the fact that they undergird American military policy globally, they are, for all intents and purposes, a kind of black hole of non-news. Don’t even think to ask just why the U.S. garrisons the planet in this fashion or what it might mean. It would be un-American of you to do so.

I must admit that, until I met Chalmers Johnson back at the turn of the century, I was a typical American on the subject. I never gave much thought to what he called our “empire of bases.” My own shock on grasping the nature of this country’s highly militarized presence across this planet led me to decide that, at least at TomDispatch, American basing policy would get some of the attention it obviously deserves. This initially happened thanks to Johnson himself; later to David Vine, author of a rare book, Base Nation, on the subject; and finally to this site’s own Nick Turse, who in recent years has been following the U.S. military’s global basing policy as it moved onto the rare continent that had largely lacked them: Africa. No longer. Today, he offers his latest update on the burgeoning set of bases and outposts that the U.S. military has been building or occupying and expanding there without notice, discussion, or debate, a network that will ensure we are plunged into the spreading terror wars on that continent for decades to come.

(Reprinted from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
 
Tom Engelhardt
About Tom Engelhardt

Tom Engelhardt created and runs the Tomdispatch.com website, a project of The Nation Institute where he is a Fellow. He is the author of a highly praised history of American triumphalism in the Cold War, The End of Victory Culture, and of a novel, The Last Days of Publishing, as well as a collection of his Tomdispatch interviews, Mission Unaccomplished. Each spring he is a Teaching Fellow at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley.

Tomdispatch.com is the sideline that ate his life. Before that he worked as an editor at Pacific News Service in the early 1970s, and, these last three decades, as an editor in book publishing. For 15 years, he was Senior Editor at Pantheon Books where he edited and published award-winning works ranging from Art Spiegelman's Maus and John Dower's War Without Mercy to Eduardo Galeano's Memory of Fire trilogy. He is now Consulting Editor at Metropolitan Books, as well as co-founder and co-editor of Metropolitan's The American Empire Project. Many of the authors whose books he has edited and published over the years now write for Tomdispatch.com. He is married to Nancy J. Garrity, a therapist, and has two children, Maggie and Will.

His new book, Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World (Haymarket Books), has just been published.


Personal Classics
Eight Exceptional(ly Dumb) American Achievements of the Twenty-First Century
How the Security State’s Mania for Secrecy Will Create You
Delusional Thinking in the Age of the Single Superpower