Tom Engelhardt, creator of Tomdispatch.com and author of The United States of Fear, discusses why the US withdrawal from Iraq seemed a lot like defeat, despite the “success” story peddled by Obama; how the ambitious Bush administration, confident of a “cakewalk” victory, never got the “enduring bases” and tens of thousands of permanent occupation soldiers they wanted; a catalog of what the US took home, and what remains behind; Dick Cheney’s reasonable explanation (in 1994) why George H.W. Bush was wise not to go all the way to Baghdad in the Gulf War; how the State Department has become a junior version of the DoD, more interested in war-making than diplomacy; and the militarized transformation of the US, in response to an al-Qaeda terrorist organization that (in its best days) could pull off an attack every few years.
Tom Engelhardt, creator of Tomdispatch.com and author of The United States of Fear, discusses how the Bush administration’s version of the American Dream is dying on the vine; the dull-eyed Obama administration bureaucrats who have unthinkingly carried on the plans of radical visionaries from the Bush era; how Hillary Clinton’s imperial hubris makes her immune from logical contradictions (e.g.: “US forces are in the Persian Gulf to prevent foreign interference”); and why the Iraq War has become a clear defeat for the US, despite the middling security detail and giant embassy that remain.
Tom Engelhardt, creator of Tomdispatch.com and author of The American Way of War: How Bush’s Wars Became Obama’s, discusses why the Cold War only ended for the Soviets in 1991, as the lone remaining superpower traded the “peace dividend” for 20 years of economic and military unilateralism; Chase Madar’s impassioned mock opening statement for the defense of Bradley Manning, featured at Tomdispatch; the death knell sounding for Pax Americana and US exceptionalism, as client states come under siege and US influence wanes; and the self righteous media commentary on Afghan financial corruption, with few willing to concede similarities to the US system of unprecedented fraud and nonexistent prosecutions.
Tom Engelhardt, creator of Tomdispatch.com and author of The American Way of War: How Bushâ€™s Wars Became Obamaâ€™s, discusses Tomdispatch writer Nick Turseâ€™s updated estimate of just how many US foreign military bases exist; how the official DOD tally omits bases in Iraq, Afghanistan and most of the Persian Gulf; why, in the age of billion dollar embassies and $130 million fuel depots, the US â€śempire of basesâ€ť is not economically sustainable; and how your stimulus dollars are being used for building police forces (in Afghanistan).
Tom Engelhardt, author of The American Way of War: How Bushâ€™s Wars Became Obamaâ€™s, discusses the legacy of Blowback author Chalmers Johnson who died November 20, how Johnson changed from a self-described â€śspear carrier for empireâ€ť to a sharp and authoritative critic of US foreign policy, learning from Blowback that covert ops have real consequences even if Americans donâ€™t realize what is being done in their names, how positive initial book reviews of The Sorrows of Empire somehow failed to mention the US empire of bases (which is the central focus of book), how Johnson spent the last few months of his life thinking about dismantling the US empire and wondering what a bankrupt superpower would look like and why Americans are facing a stark choice: either give up your empire or live under it.
This recording is excerpted from the KPFK Strategy Session program of July 26th. Scott Horton separately interviews Eric Margolis and Tom Engelhardt. The audio for Tom Engelhardt begins around 17:10. The complete recording can be heard here.
Internationally syndicated columnist Eric Margolis discusses the differences between the WikiLeaks Afghan War files and the Pentagon Papers, why the media wonâ€™t press the issue and inflame public opinion against the war, the U.S. ultimatum after 9/11 that made Pakistan walk a tightrope between servitude and strategic interests, how private mercenary contractors got out of control and why troop surges are usually met with even larger resistance surges.
Tom Engelhardt, author of The American Way of War: How Bushâ€™s Wars Became Obamaâ€™s, discusses the flood of new leaks following the WikiLeaks blockbuster, a possible insurgency within the U.S. military or intelligence services that is determined to end the Afghanistan War, the unprecedented secrecy revealed in the â€śTop Secret Americaâ€ť Washington Post piece and the markedly different emphasis in the U.K. Guardian vs. The New York Times on the WikiLeaks documents. The show ends with listener calls and some Q&A.
Tom Engelhardt, author of The American Way of War: How Bushâ€™s Wars Became Obamaâ€™s, discusses American ignorance of the unprecedented US empire of bases, fighting one-sided impersonal wars by remote control, forgotten lessons from George Orwellâ€™s 1984, why the USAF plan to run the world from Guam and Diego Garcia wonâ€™t be easy, another Green Zone-style US â€śembassyâ€ť planned for Islamabad in Pakistan and why the Obama administration seems to be floundering without the intense (if deluded) strategic vision of the Bush era.
Tom Engelhardt, editor of TomDispatch.com, discusses the multitude of â€śotherâ€ť surges in Afghanistan overshadowed by the troop deployments, the costs excluded from Obamaâ€™s 30 billion dollar surge estimate, the unfounded belief that a Democratic president canâ€™t end a war, the difficulty of defining â€“ much less achieving â€“ success in Afghanistan and how Bushâ€™s wars continue even though the geopolitical strategy that created them is gone.
Tom Engelhardt, founder and editor of TomDispatch.com, discusses the mainstream mediaâ€™s reverence of error-prone hawkish pundits, the over-reliance on force in U.S. foreign policy, the large numbers of dead or displaced Iraqis and the Obama administrationâ€™s disdain for the historical success rate of foreign intervention in Afghanistan.
Tom Engelhardt, editor of TomDispatch and of The World According to TomDispatch, chronicles the failures of the Bush Administration and their misguided faith in the dark side of force, the state of complete catastrophe inside Afghanistan and on its border with Pakistan, the precarious situation in Iraq, Bushâ€™s failure to get Iran to stop enriching Uranium (his standard), how U.S. policy has benefited Hamas and Hezbollah, the worst crisis on earth: the U.S.-caused war in Somalia and the rise of much more radical forces there than those whose power the invasion was meant to thwart.
Tom Engelhardt, proprietor of TomDispatch.com and editor of the new book, The World According to Tomdispatch: America in the New Age of Empire, discusses his recent article â€śThe Greatest Story Never Toldâ€ť about the immense permanent military bases the U.S. has built throughout Iraq, how most Americans are oblivious to this, the lack of media coverage of the U.S. bombing escalation of Iraq, how Americans would react if we were attacked, how few Americans grasp the enormous number of civilians killed by the U.S in Iraq, the 20% of Iraqis either dead or exiled, and the little, if any, change the presidential candidates will bring to the American empire.