iOS app Android app

Tom Engelhardt
GET UPDATES FROM Tom Engelhardt
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

Bringing Back the Dead -- In Memory of Eduardo Galeano

(0) Comments | Posted July 27, 2015 | 10:47 AM

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

Recently, Susan Bergholz, the devoted literary agent of the late Uruguayan writer and planetary great Eduardo Galeano, sent me this brief email: "A friend of Eduardo's and mine called yesterday to tell me, 'Now we know where Eduardo went: he became pope!'" Somehow, that thought...

Read Post

Who's Delusional?

(1) Comments | Posted July 23, 2015 | 12:56 PM

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

The several hundred Republicans who have thrown their hats into the ring for the 2016 presidential race and the war hawks in Congress (mainly but hardly only Republicans) have already been in full howl about the Vienna nuclear deal with Iran. Jeb Bush took about...

Read Post

Requiem for the Home Front

(0) Comments | Posted July 21, 2015 | 11:28 AM

A Cheer for Irma the Caricaturist 
Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

Almost three-quarters of a century ago, my mother placed a message in a bottle and tossed it out beyond the waves. It bobbed along through tides, storms, and squalls until just recently, almost four decades...

Read Post

Richard Nixon's Blueprint for Twenty-First Century America

(1) Comments | Posted July 14, 2015 | 11:19 AM

Let me give you a reason that's anything but historical for reading Tim Weiner's remarkable new book, One Man Against the World: The Tragedy of Richard Nixon. Mind you, with the last of the secret Nixon White House tapes finally made public some 40 years after the first...

Read Post

Terminating Our Terminators?

(0) Comments | Posted July 13, 2015 | 9:53 AM

Since November 2002, when a CIA drone strike destroyed the SUV of "al-Qaeda's chief operative in Yemen," Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi ("U.S. kills al-Qaeda suspects in Yemen"), it's been almost 13 years of unending repeat headlines. Here are a few recent ones: "U.S. drone...

Read Post

The Superpower Conundrum

(37) Comments | Posted July 2, 2015 | 10:04 AM

The Rise and Fall of Just About Everything

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

The rise and fall of great powers and their imperial domains has been a central fact of history for centuries.  It’s been a sensible, repeatedly validated framework for thinking about the fate of the planet. ...

Read Post

The Pottery Barn Rule Updated

(0) Comments | Posted June 29, 2015 | 11:02 AM

It was the summer of 2002. The Bush administration's top officials knew that they were going into Iraq in a big way. They were then in planning mode, but waiting until fall to launch their full-throttle campaign to persuade Congress and the American people to back them. As White House...

Read Post

Why Is Up the Only Direction on the Ladder of Escalation?

(0) Comments | Posted June 25, 2015 | 11:45 AM

On June 13th, Greg Jaffe and Missy Ryan of the Washington Post reported what should have been big news (though it was hardly noted). In recent White House "debates" over a disastrously deteriorating situation in Iraq, President Obama's top military officials were dragging their feet on the question...

Read Post

An Election That Has Next to Nothing to Do With You

(2) Comments | Posted June 23, 2015 | 11:13 AM

Money, they say, makes the world go round. So how's $10 billion for you? That's a top-end estimate for the record-breaking spending in this 1% presidential election campaign season. But is "season" even the right word, now that such campaigns are essentially four-year events that seem...

Read Post

Our Jihadis and Theirs: The Real (Armed) Dangers of American Life

(11) Comments | Posted June 22, 2015 | 9:16 AM

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

Consider this paragraph a holding action on the subject of getting blown away in America. While I write this dispatch, I’m waiting patiently for the next set of dispiriting killings in this country. And I have faith. Before I’m done, some angry -- or simply...

Read Post

Disappearing Bases: History Down the Memory Hole in Iraq

(0) Comments | Posted June 18, 2015 | 11:01 AM

In April 2003, with Baghdad occupied by American troops, the top officials of the Bush administration were already dreaming of building bases in Iraq that would be garrisoned more or less in perpetuity. Everyone was too polite to call them "permanent bases," so they were sometimes referred to by the...

Read Post

Hiding in Plain Sight: The Spectacle of Climate Denial

(2) Comments | Posted June 16, 2015 | 12:09 PM

When I go out with my not quite three-year-old grandson, his idea of a good time is hide-and-seek. This means suddenly darting behind a bush too small to fully obscure him or into a doorway where he remains in plain sight, while I wander around wondering aloud where in the...

Read Post

On Not Noticing America's Empire of Bases

(3) Comments | Posted June 15, 2015 | 10:56 AM

I'm sure that you've heard about the three bare-bones "staging outposts" or, in the lingo of the trade, "cooperative security locations" that the U.S. Marines have established in Senegal, Ghana, and Gabon. We're talking about personnel from Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa, a unit at present garrisoned...

Read Post

Regime Change in America

(1) Comments | Posted June 9, 2015 | 11:33 AM

They say that imperial wars come home in all sorts of ways. Think of the Michigan that TomDispatch regular Laura Gottesdiener describes today in "A Magical Mystery Tour of American Austerity Politics" as one curious example of that dictum. If you remember, in the spring of...

Read Post

Two Hundred Years of 'Containment' -- Imperial History Revisited

(0) Comments | Posted June 8, 2015 | 9:36 AM

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

It might have been the most influential single sentence of that era: "In these circumstances it is clear that the main element of any United States policy toward the Soviet Union must be that of long-term, patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive...

Read Post

You've Been Scammed!

(8) Comments | Posted June 2, 2015 | 10:53 AM

Kept Politicians and Demobilized Americans in a System Without a Name 
Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

It couldn’t be a sunnier, more beautiful day to exit your lives -- or enter them -- depending on how you care to look at it. After all, here...

Read Post

The Folly of the Sole Superpower Writ Small

(0) Comments | Posted May 28, 2015 | 4:33 PM

Think of this as a little imperial folly update -- and here's the backstory. In the years after invading Iraq and disbanding Saddam Hussein's military, the U.S. sunk about $25 billion into "standing up" a new Iraqi army. By June 2014, however, that army, filled with at least...

Read Post

Awaiting the Great Post-Orwellian Novel 2051

(2) Comments | Posted May 26, 2015 | 1:17 PM

Today in "The Worst of All Possible Worlds," John Feffer, the director of Foreign Policy In Focus, offers a cunning bow to the convergence theorists of the Cold War era, a crew of thinkers who imagined that someday the two superpowers would merge into one conglomerate creature in strangely...

Read Post

How to Destroy the Arctic

(0) Comments | Posted May 21, 2015 | 12:18 PM

It isn't the best of times for the American Arctic and let me explain why.

The world is in the midst of an oil glut. In the last year, oil prices bottomed out before rising modestly. A NASA study just offered the news that a massive...

Read Post

Writing History Before It Happens

(23) Comments | Posted May 19, 2015 | 12:24 PM

Nine Surefire Future Headlines From a Bizarro American World
Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

It’s commonplace to speak of “the fog of war,” of what can’t be known in the midst of battle, of the inability of both generals and foot soldiers to foresee developments once fighting...

Read Post