Tom Engelhardt, creator of Tomdispatch.com and author of The American Way of War: How Bush
Tom Engelhardt, creator of Tomdispatch.com and author of The American Way of War: How Bush’s Wars Became Obama’s, discusses Tomdispatch writer Nick Turse’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 “empire of bases” 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 Bush’s Wars Became Obama’s, discusses the legacy of Blowback author Chalmers Johnson who died November 20, how Johnson changed from a self-described “spear carrier for empire” to a sharp and authoritative critic of US foreign policy, learning from Blowback that covert ops have real consequences even if Americans don’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 won’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 Bush’s Wars Became Obama’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 “Top Secret America” 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 Bush’s Wars Became Obama’s, discusses American ignorance of the unprecedented US empire of bases, fighting one-sided impersonal wars by remote control, forgotten lessons from George Orwell’s 1984, why the USAF plan to run the world from Guam and Diego Garcia won’t be easy, another Green Zone-style US “embassy” 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 “other” surges in Afghanistan overshadowed by the troop deployments, the costs excluded from Obama’s 30 billion dollar surge estimate, the unfounded belief that a Democratic president can’t end a war, the difficulty of defining – much less achieving – success in Afghanistan and how Bush’s wars continue even though the geopolitical strategy that created them is gone.
Tom Engelhardt, founder and editor of TomDispatch.com, discusses the mainstream media’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 administration’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, Bush’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 “The Greatest Story Never Told” 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.