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American Empire

An Exceptional Decline for the Exceptional Country?

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 09.13.2014 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

Today, the U.S. looks less like a functioning and effective empire than an imperial basket case, unable to bring its massive power to bear effectively from Germany to Syria, Iraq to Afghanistan, Libya to the South China Sea, the Crimea to Africa.

What Happened to War and the Imperial Drive to Organize the Planet?

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 05.03.2014 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

If you survey our planet, the situation is remarkably unsettled and confusing. But at least two things stand out, and whatever you make of them, they could be the real news of the first decades of this century. Both are right before our eyes, yet largely unseen.

An Anthropologist Looks at the United States

American Anthropological Association | Posted 04.23.2014 | Impact
American Anthropological Association

We need to look in the mirror, or be remembered as living in a mirage.

The Two Faces of Empire

Greg Grandin | Posted 03.28.2014 | Books
Greg Grandin

Over the years, mad Ahab in Herman Melville's most famous novel, Moby-Dick, has been used as an exemplar of unhinged American power, most recently of George W. Bush's disastrous invasion of Iraq. But what's really frightening isn't our Ahabs.

The Italian Job

David Vine | Posted 01.23.2014 | World
David Vine

The Pentagon has spent the last two decades plowing hundreds of millions of tax dollars into military bases in Italy, turning the country into an increasingly important center for U.S. military power.

The Forgotten War

Ann Jones | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Ann Jones

Will the U.S. still be meddling in Afghanistan 30 years from now? If history is any guide, the answer is yes. And if history is any guide, three decades from now most Americans will have only the haziest idea why.

What Would Chal Think?

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 10.22.2013 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

"Chal" was Chalmers Johnson, who died in November 2010. I've regularly wished that I could just pick up the phone and get his mordant take on the vast global surveillance state Washington is building, another instance of what he called "military Keynesianism" run amok.

Retiring the American Empire

John Feffer | Posted 10.04.2013 | World
John Feffer

If the United States were to change its global behavior, it might discover that the calls for early retirement fade. Then, as a more cooperative international player, America could truly enjoy its imperial twilight in the sure knowledge that the deluge is not imminent.

The Naked Empire

Robert Koehler | Posted 08.27.2013 | Politics
Robert Koehler

Certainly Edward Snowden's crime is one of public relations. What he did by outing the NSA and its gargantuan surveillance operation was mess hugely with the American image -- the American brand -- with its irresistible combination of might and right.

And Then There Was One

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 07.07.2013 | World
Tom Engelhardt

Could the United States actually be the last empire? Is it possible that there will be no successor because something has profoundly changed in the realm of empire building?

Filling the Empty Battlefield

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 06.23.2013 | Books
Tom Engelhardt

There was a secret history of twenty-first-century American war crying out to be written. Now, we have it in the form of Jeremy Scahill's latest book, Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield.

Fear, Security, Escape, and the Pursuit of Empire

Khalid Hanifi | Posted 04.22.2013 | GPS for the Soul
Khalid Hanifi

When Adam Smith wrote "the prosperity, ...the splendour, and ... the duration of the empire," in 1754 (the source of my song title, "The Splendor of E...

The Setting Sun and the American Empire

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 03.30.2013 | World
Tom Engelhardt

This will be the nature of the great Afghan drawdown. The words "retreat," "loss," "defeat," "disaster," and their siblings and cousins won't be allowed on the premises.

Ottoman-America

Michael Vlahos | Posted 11.28.2012 | Politics
Michael Vlahos

We were an outsider civilization that was going to calm and shape the Arab Middle East. Today our enterprise is in ruin. The Ottoman metaphor is relevant because we tried, however unconsciously, to be like them.

The Geopolitics of Compassion

Robert Koehler | Posted 09.18.2012 | Politics
Robert Koehler

Beyond the spectacle of the presidential race, the Washington consensus pursues business as usual. This is the season in which I wonder, with an ever-intensifying sense of urgency, what it would take to turn our political system into a democracy.

Who Lives? Who Dies? On Drone Warfare

Jonathan Weiler | Posted 08.14.2012 | Politics
Jonathan Weiler

There's no guarantee that drones are a replacement for industrial-scale warfare. Meanwhile, we've endorsed a new expansion of presidential power, green-lighting unilateral and unaccountable authority over who should live and who should die.

An Empire of People-Less Homes and Homeless People

Joel John Roberts | Posted 04.23.2012 | Impact
Joel John Roberts

There was once a vast and prosperous empire that was the most powerful in the land. It was mightier than the ancient Mayans, more popular than the Rom...

The Big Lie Marches On

Robert Koehler | Posted 02.20.2012 | Politics
Robert Koehler

The war is over, sort of, but the Big Lie marches on: that democracy is flowering in Iraq, that America is stronger and more secure than ever, that doing what's right is the prime motivator of all our military action.

The News of Empire

Robert Koehler | Posted 01.03.2012 | Media
Robert Koehler

Is there a democracy at either end of the missiles, warships or troop deployments? Suddenly I'm back on the sidewalk with the Occupy movement, which has arisen to confront the corporatocracy and its subservient media.

The Old Integrity

Robert Koehler | Posted 11.22.2011 | Politics
Robert Koehler

We're reeling toward our ecological and political comeuppance in a state of narcissistic denial; there is too little public seriousness about the issues that face us.

The Feminine Side of Private Military Contractors

David Isenberg | Posted 11.13.2011 | Business
David Isenberg

Empire through an internationally sourced feminized labor force. Isn't globalization wonderful?

Has U.S. Foreign Policy Ever Been Such a Mess?

Kevin Zeese | Posted 09.12.2011 | Politics
Kevin Zeese

I can't remember a time when the U.S. military has been stuck in so many war quagmires at once. Some political leaders must recognize that an empire enforced by war is counterproductive to economic and national security.

Is a Broader Peace Movement Here? One That Can Really Stop U.S. Militarism?

Kevin Zeese | Posted 09.05.2011 | Politics
Kevin Zeese

A new anti-war movement that can really challenge U.S. militarism is being born. People from across the political spectrum joined together opposing U.S. war and empire.

The Impact Today and Tomorrow of Chalmers Johnson

Steve Clemons | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Steve Clemons

Chalmers Johnson led the way in understanding the dynamics of how states manipulated their policy conditions and environments to speed up economic growth. Johnson passed away Saturday; He was 79.

"Turning the Page" in Iraq and Afghanistan

David Coates | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
David Coates

The Iraq War has left at least two huge and indelible imprints that no "page-turning" can easily eradicate, and the Afghan War seems poised to leave a third.