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Tom Engelhardt
Tom Engelhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project, runs the Nation Institute's 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

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...

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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

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...

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The Marriage of War and Disney

(0) Comments | Posted May 14, 2015 | 1:01 PM

In September 2001, the Bush administration launched its "global war on terror," to which its supporters later tried to attach names like "the long war" or "World War IV." Their emphasis: that we were now engaged in nothing less than a multi-generational struggle without end. (World War III...

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Embedded With Afghanistan's Hard-Pressed Civil Society

(0) Comments | Posted May 12, 2015 | 1:34 PM

Soon after 9/11, Ann Jones went to Afghanistan to help in whatever way she could, "embedding" with civilians who had been battered by the rigors of that war-torn land. Out of that experience, especially dealing with the crises of women, she wrote a powerful and moving book, Kabul...

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The Militarization of American Streets

(0) Comments | Posted May 5, 2015 | 12:18 PM

In the part of Baltimore hardest hit by the recent riots and arson, more than a third of families live in poverty, median income is $24,000, the unemployment rate is over 50 percent, some areas burnt out in the riots of 1968 have never been rebuilt,...

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Who Counts?

(3) Comments | Posted May 4, 2015 | 8:40 AM

Body Counts, Drones, and “Collateral Damage” (aka “Bug Splat”)

Cross-posted with

In the twenty-first-century world of drone warfare, one question with two aspects reigns supreme: Who counts?

In Washington, the answers are the same: We don’t count and they don’t count.

The Obama administration has...

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With Allies Like These...

(0) Comments | Posted April 30, 2015 | 12:30 PM

Here's a punchline the Obama administration could affix to the Middle East right now: With allies like these, who needs enemies?

If you happen to be in that administration, that region must seem like an increasingly phantasmagorical place. America's closest allies, Israel and the Saudis, have been expressing something close...

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Assassination, American-Style

(0) Comments | Posted April 28, 2015 | 12:05 PM

James Bond or the Three Stooges?

No one can claim that plotting assassination is new to Washington or that, in the past, American leaders and the CIA didn't aim high: the Congo's Patrice Lumumba, Cuba's Fidel Castro, the Dominican Republic's Rafael Trujillo. The difference...

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A Letter of Apology to My Grandson

(2) Comments | Posted April 23, 2015 | 11:47 AM

A Pox on Twenty-First-Century America 
Cross-posted with

Dear Grandson,

Consider my address book -- and yes, the simple fact that I have one already tells you a good deal about me. All the names, street addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers that matter to me are...

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The U.S. Military Behaving Badly in Africa

(0) Comments | Posted April 21, 2015 | 11:34 AM

There were those secret service agents sent to Colombia to protect the president on a summit trip and the prostitutes they brought back to their hotel rooms. There was the Air Force general on a major bender in Moscow (with more women involved). There were those...

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The Extremes of Climate Change Possibility

(7) Comments | Posted April 16, 2015 | 11:47 AM

Consider the extremes of our present climate moment by the numbers. Recently, Michael Greenstone, the Milton Friedman professor of economics at the University of Chicago and the former chief economist of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, did a little calculating. He was curious to find out just...

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Why Failure Doesn't Daunt the National Security State

(2) Comments | Posted April 14, 2015 | 11:07 AM

Years ago, Chalmers Johnson took a term of CIA tradecraft, "blowback," and put it into our language. Originally, it was meant to describe CIA operations so secret that, when they blew back on this country, Americans would be incapable of tracing the connection or grasping that...

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'Mission Accomplished' (Yet Again)

(1) Comments | Posted April 13, 2015 | 9:05 AM

Cross-posted with

Think of it as the American half-century in the Middle East: from August 17, 1953, when a CIA oil coup brought down democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed the Shah as Washington's man in Tehran, to May 1, 2003, when...

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Does the Pentagon Know That It's the Twenty-First Century?

(0) Comments | Posted March 26, 2015 | 11:49 AM

Fifteen to 20 years ago, a canny friend of mine assured me that I would know I was in a different world when the Europeans said no to Washington. I've been waiting all this time and last week it seemed as if the moment had finally arrived. Germany, France, and...

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The New American Order

(7) Comments | Posted March 19, 2015 | 11:43 AM

1 Percent Elections, The Privatization of the State, a Fourth Branch of Government, and the Demobilization of "We the People"  Cross-posted with

Have you ever undertaken some task you felt less than qualified for, but knew that someone needed to do? Consider this piece my...

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Thanking the U.S. Military for Screwing Up Royally

(2) Comments | Posted March 17, 2015 | 10:41 AM

Cross-posted with

I should be used to it by now. I'm talking about the ever-more-ingrained civilian habit of eternally thanking American troops and veterans for "their service." The most recent example that caught me off-guard: New York Times reporter Matt Richtel, covering a story about...

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The Great Vanishing

(2) Comments | Posted March 16, 2015 | 10:14 AM

Cross-posted with

In her bestselling book The Sixth Extinction, the New Yorker's superb environmental journalist, Elizabeth Kolbert, reports on an event, already unfolding in the present moment, the likes of which may only have been experienced five other times in the distant history of life...

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Updating Our Merchants of Doubt

(3) Comments | Posted March 12, 2015 | 11:41 AM

Welcome to the asylum! I'm talking, of course, about this country, or rather the world Big Oil spent big bucks creating. You know, the one in which the obvious -- climate change -- is doubted and denied, and in which the new Republican Congress is actively opposed to doing...

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The Pentagon, Up Close and Personal

(0) Comments | Posted March 10, 2015 | 11:15 AM

It's a structure we've seldom taken the true measure of, since ground was first broken for its construction in September 1941. With its 6.6 million square feet of floor space, it ranked as the largest building in the country until the World Trade Center came along in 1973...

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Being Wrong in Washington as a Career Enhancer

(5) Comments | Posted March 9, 2015 | 9:28 AM

Cross-posted with

In our era in Washington, whole careers have been built on grotesque mistakes. In fact, when it comes to our various conflicts, God save you if you're right; no one will ever want to hear from you again. If you're wrong, however... well, take the...

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