Category Archives: War

What’s so special about nuclear weapons? (Or, when did “WMDs” become a thing?)

Throughout the present century, the corporate media here in the United States, and much of international discourse, has been in a furor over “Weapons of Mass Destruction.” Why, in 2003, the (G.W.) Bush administration even led an international coalition to go into the once-proud country of Iraq and, basically, destroy the whole country’s infrastructure and … Continue reading What’s so special about nuclear weapons? (Or, when did “WMDs” become a thing?)

The hubris of the long-distance empire

What we are seeing in Afghanistan today, in almost real time, is the implosion and final collapse of the imperial project the US launched there in 2001. As with the final US collapse in Vietnam in 1975 or indeed the generally slightly more orderly withdrawal of British troops from India or so many former outposts … Continue reading The hubris of the long-distance empire

Idlib: A political conflict, not a one-sided “humanitarian” tearjerker

The New York Times continues its lengthy tradition of covering the story of Idlib as if it were one only of a humanitarian crisis brought about by the Syrian government (which they call a “regime”), and its allies. In yet another lengthy, expensive, lavishly illustrated story about Idlib, the NYT once again failed to make … Continue reading Idlib: A political conflict, not a one-sided “humanitarian” tearjerker

What the New York Times doesn’t want you to know about Idlib

If you rely only on the New York Times to understand events in Syria, you likely have the idea that the peaceable people of the Idlib province in the northwest of the country have for some years now been subjected to gratuitous attacks by the Syrian and Russian air forces that, for some unknown reason, … Continue reading What the New York Times doesn’t want you to know about Idlib

On “Humanitarian Intervention”

I am old enough to remember when a “humanitarian intervention” meant organizing collections of food and blankets to send to distant communities in distress. Heck, in my elementary school in England we knitted little 6-inch squares to make up such blankets: they were taken away, sewn together, and delivered to the Red Cross by the … Continue reading On “Humanitarian Intervention”

Suez, Iran, and the perils of imperial over-reach

  Sixty-three years ago, a (possibly amphetamine-addled) British Prime Minister, Anthony Eden, launched a military attack against a Middle Eastern country with the goal of provoking unrest that would topple its troublesome leader. Eden had conspired with others to create the pretext for the military attack. In the last days of October 1956, they swung … Continue reading Suez, Iran, and the perils of imperial over-reach