We Need to Talk About the Middle East
My father and I always had a tacit agreement. We would never speak of “that part of the world.” He’d grown up in an Orthodox Jewish family in Norfolk, Virginia. His own father, a refugee from early-20th-century pogroms in what is now Ukraine, had been the president of his... Read more
An Empire of Nothing at All?
This essay is the introduction to Tom Engelhardt’s new book, A Nation Unmade by War, a Dispatch Book published by Haymarket Books. As I was putting the finishing touches on my new book, the Costs of War Project at Brown University’s Watson Institute published an estimate of the taxpayer... Read more
Mobilizing for the Third Gulf War
With Donald Trump’s decision to shred the Iran nuclear agreement, it’s time for the rest of us to start thinking about what a Third Gulf War would mean. The answer, based on the last 16 years of American experience in the Greater Middle East, is that it won’t be... Read more
‘Tell Me How This Ends’
It took 14 years, but now we have an answer. It was March 2003, the invasion of Iraq was underway, and U.S. Army major general David Petraeus was in command of the 101st Airborne Division heading for the Iraqi capital Baghdad. Rick Atkinson, The Washington Post journalist and military... Read more
When It Comes to the War in the Greater Middle East, Maybe We’re the Bad Guys
I used to command soldiers. Over the years, lots of them actually. In Iraq, Colorado, Afghanistan and Kansas. And I’m still fixated on a few of them like this one private first class in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2011. All of 18, he was short, scrawny and popular. Nine months... Read more
How to Lose the Next War in the Middle East
Make no mistake: after 15 years of losing wars, spreading terror movements, and multiplying failed states across the Greater Middle East, America will fight the next versions of our ongoing wars. Not that we ever really stopped. Sure, Washington traded in George W. Bush’s expansive, almost messianic attitude toward... Read more
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