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Tom Engelhardt
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Tom Engelhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project, runs the Nation Institute's TomDispatch.com. He is the author of Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World and The End of Victory Culture, a history of the American Age of Denial. The World According to TomDispatch: America in the New Age of Empire (Verso, 2008), a collection of some of the best pieces from his site and an alternative history of the mad Bush years, has recently been published.

Entries by Tom Engelhardt

An American Tale From Hell

(0) Comments | Posted February 9, 2016 | 10:54 AM

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

Talk about nightmares: the children of a city, thousands of them, may have been poisoned by lead in its drinking water in a process set off by adults intent on saving a little money, who learned of the dangers and then ignored the...

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Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

(42) Comments | Posted February 8, 2016 | 11:06 AM

The U.S. Military Bombs in the Twenty-First Century 
Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

Here’s my twenty-first-century rule of thumb about this country: if you have to say it over and over, it probably ain’t so. Which is why I’d think twice every time we’re told how...

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Fear of the Invisible

(0) Comments | Posted February 4, 2016 | 11:16 AM

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

Is there a category of human beings who, in election 2016, have been the focus of more negative attention, fear-mongering, or worse press than immigrants, especially undocumented ones coming from or through Mexico (those infamous "rapists")? I doubt it. Thought of in another...

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How the Post-9/11 Antiwar Movement Was Erased From History

(3) Comments | Posted February 2, 2016 | 11:01 AM

A Civil War Story About the Islamic State Might Spark a Peace Movement Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

Who even remembers the moment in mid-February 2003, almost 13 years ago, when millions of people across this country and the planet turned out in an antiwar moment...

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1% Democracy, a Billionaire's Field of Dreams

(1) Comments | Posted February 1, 2016 | 10:18 AM

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

Honestly, you couldn't make this stuff up. How do you respond to a rampaging bull of a billionaire in the political arena? In America in 2016, the answer is obvious. You send in not the clowns, but the matador: another billionaire, of course. So Michael...

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Assassination, Russian (and American) Style

(1) Comments | Posted January 26, 2016 | 11:24 AM

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

It was the grisliest of stories: a decade and a half ago a former KGB man, Alexander Litvinenko, defected to England and turned on the powers-that-be in his own country, accusing its leader of both acts of assassination and, among other...

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'We Destroyed the Cities to Save Them' and Other Future Headlines

(0) Comments | Posted January 25, 2016 | 10:09 AM

Failed States and States of Failure

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

One of the charms of the future is its powerful element of unpredictability, its ability to ambush us in lovely ways or bite us unexpectedly in the ass. Most of the futures I imagined as a...

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How to Build Spectral Armies

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2016 | 11:37 AM

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

Iraq and Afghanistan are separated by more than 1,000 miles and, although they both exist in what is now known as the Greater Middle East, they had little in common -- at least until March 2003, when the Bush administration followed up its 2001 invasion...

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History's Deal Breaker

(0) Comments | Posted January 19, 2016 | 10:36 AM

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

Here we are just a couple of weeks into 2016 and we already know that last year was the second-warmest on record in the continental United States (the winner so far being 2012); the month of December was a U.S. record-breaker...

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'The Finest Fighting Force in the History of the World' Revisited

(0) Comments | Posted January 18, 2016 | 9:46 AM

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

Last Tuesday night, President Obama gave his final State of the (Dis)Union address. It was clearly meant to sweep Donald Trump preemptively into the dustbin of history. In case you hadn't noticed, there's no need to "make America great...

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Washington's Imperial Shock Troops

(0) Comments | Posted January 14, 2016 | 10:33 AM

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

Meet the hottest new commander in the increasingly secretive world of American warfare, Lieutenant General Raymond "Tony" Thomas. A rare portrait in the Washington Post paints him as a "shadowy figure" -- an appropriate phrase for the general who has been leading the...

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Is the Oil Business Becoming the Natural Resource Equivalent of a Failed State?

(0) Comments | Posted January 12, 2016 | 12:04 PM

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

When it comes to news about Saudi Arabia, the execution of an oppositional Shiite cleric, Nimr al-Nimr, has topped the headlines recently -- and small wonder. Aging King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud and his 30-year-old son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the...

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Impunity in the Billionaire Class and the National Security State

(0) Comments | Posted January 7, 2016 | 11:16 AM

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

What a scam! Noam Scheiber and Patricia Cohen described it this way in a front-page New York Times report on how a small group of incredibly wealthy Americans funded their way into another tax universe: "Operating largely out of public view -- in...

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Why the Islamic State Is the Minor Leagues of Terror

(11) Comments | Posted January 5, 2016 | 11:15 AM

Putting Threats into Perspective for 2016
Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

It’s time to panic!

As 2015 ended, this country was certifiably terror-stricken. It had the Islamic State (IS) on the brain. Hoax terror threats or terror imbroglios shut down school systems from

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Fashion Tips for the Apocalypse

(0) Comments | Posted December 22, 2015 | 5:11 PM

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

Fear? Tell me about it. Unfortunately, I'm so old that I'm not sure I really remember what I felt when, along with millions of other schoolchildren of the 1950s, I ducked and covered like Bert the Turtle, huddling under my desk...

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The New American Normal in Policing

(5) Comments | Posted December 20, 2015 | 9:13 PM

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

Sometime in late November, after the Paris terror attacks but before the one in San Bernardino, I was walking to New York's Grand Central Station to catch the subway home. In front of one of its main entrances, the police had set up shop, blocking...

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America's Empire of Bases (Updated Edition)

(0) Comments | Posted December 17, 2015 | 10:36 AM

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

Am I the only person who still remembers how Pentagon officials spoke of the major military bases already on the drawing boards as the invasion of Iraq ended in April 2003? It was taboo back then to refer to those future installations as...

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Winners and Losers in Our New Media Moment

(5) Comments | Posted December 15, 2015 | 9:50 AM

Donald Trump, Mass Shootings With an Islamic Terrorist Flavor, and the Rise of the "Spectaculection"

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

Sometimes what matters most takes up every inch of space in the room and somehow we still don’t see it. That’s how I feel about our present media...

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Good News and Climate Change (Yes, You Read That Right!)

(6) Comments | Posted December 13, 2015 | 9:08 PM

Excuse me if I take a flier today and write an introduction on the good news about climate change. Yep, the good news. It would, of course, be easy enough to do the opposite. When it comes to climate change, gloomy is a cinch. Just about any piece on the...

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Was San Bernardino the End of Civilization as We Know It?

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2015 | 12:50 PM

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

Who can't feel that something's in the air? Some mood of fear, panic, and pure meanness ratcheting up in the planet's "exceptional" nation. Or at least exceptionally jumpy nation. In the wake of the San Bernardino slaughter and news of an online pledge...

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