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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

My War on Terror

(5) Comments | Posted March 1, 2015 | 6:53 PM

Letter to an Unknown American Patriot
Cross-posted with

Dear American Patriot,

I wish I knew your name. I’ve been thinking about you, about all of us actually and our country, and meaning to write for a while to explain myself.  Let me start...

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Selling Drones - Let the Good Times Begin

(1) Comments | Posted February 24, 2015 | 12:09 PM

My drone is yours, compadre! Or so Washington has now decided. The latest promise of good times in the arms trade comes from an administration that has pioneered a robotic assassination regime organized out of the White House (though credit for groundbreaking drone assassination work should go to...

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The 'Greatest Generation' Didn't Think They Were

(4) Comments | Posted February 19, 2015 | 11:40 AM

Yes, they've become "the greatest generation" (a phrase that's always reminded me of an ad line for a soft drink), but they didn't feel that way at the time. As Susan Faludi pointed out in her classic book Stiffed and as I experienced as a boy, the men who came...

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In Whose America?

(8) Comments | Posted February 17, 2015 | 11:04 AM

Machine Guns, MRAPs, Surveillance, Drones, Permanent War, and a Permanent Election Campaign
Cross-posted with

I never fail to be amazed -- and that’s undoubtedly my failing.  I mean, if you retain a capacity for wonder you can still be awed by a sunset, but should...

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Their Barbarism and Ours

(9) Comments | Posted February 15, 2015 | 8:21 PM

It will come as no surprise to you that we're top-notch when it comes to denouncing barbarism -- as long as it's theirs. So the responses here to the horrific burning to death of a Jordanian pilot by the Islamic State -- the definition...

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Strategizing for Saudi America

(1) Comments | Posted February 12, 2015 | 11:41 AM

Don't think for a minute that this president isn't proud of his climate-changing energy program. To be clear, however, I don't mean his efforts to check the advances of climate change. Consider the introduction to the new U.S. National Security Strategy (NSS) his administration unveiled last week. It's...

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Crimes of the 'Sweep It All Up' Era

(0) Comments | Posted February 10, 2015 | 4:13 PM

The post-9/11 moment offered them their main chance to transform their dreams into reality and they seized it by the throat. They wanted to "take the gloves off." They were convinced that the presidency had been shackled by Congress in the Watergate era and that it...

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How to React to Lone-Wolf Terror Attacks: A Lesson from Norway

(1) Comments | Posted February 5, 2015 | 10:44 AM

He was undoubtedly one of the worst "lone-wolf" terrorists in modern history. On July 22, 2011, after trying to take out Norway's political leadership in Oslo with a car bomb and killing eight people, Anders Breivik boarded a ferry wearing a homemade police uniform and took it to a nearby...

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Remembrance of Wars Past

(3) Comments | Posted February 3, 2015 | 11:03 AM

Why There Is No Massive Antiwar Movement in America
Cross-posted with

Well, it’s one, two, three, look at that amputee,
At least it’s below the knee,
Could have been worse, you see.
Well, it’s true your kids look at you differently,
But you came...

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Battle Cry, Iraq

(0) Comments | Posted February 2, 2015 | 11:26 AM

It was August 2, 1990, and Saddam Hussein, formerly Washington's man in Baghdad and its ally against fundamentalist Iran, had just sent his troops across the border into oil-rich Kuwait. It would prove a turning point in American Middle East policy. Six days later, a brigade of the 82nd Airborne...

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What Is the Sound of a Politician Falling in the Forest?

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2015 | 10:55 AM

Cross-posted with

After a State of the Union Address, we're used to a rebuttal from the other party. This year, two of them turned out to be on the schedule. There was the one you probably missed -- "You see, growing up, I...

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Globalization, 21st Century Style: The National Security State Goes Global

(1) Comments | Posted January 27, 2015 | 1:10 PM

Cross-posted with

Remember the glory days of the 1990s, when our interconnectedness -- the ever-tighter embrace of Disney characters, the Swoosh, and the Golden Arches -- was endlessly hailed? It was the era of "globalization," of Washington-style capitalism triumphant, and the planet, we were told,...

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Drone Addiction on the Border

(0) Comments | Posted January 25, 2015 | 9:54 PM

Predator drones, tested out in this country's distant war zones, have played an increasingly prominent role in the up-armoring of the U.S.-Mexican border. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) launched its first Predator in 2004, but only really ramped up drone use in March 2013. There have been...

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More and War: The Tao of Washington

(3) Comments | Posted January 22, 2015 | 10:22 AM

Cross-posted with

When it comes to the national security state, our capital has become a thought-free zone. The airlessness of the place, the unwillingness of leading players in the corridors of power to explore new ways of approaching crucial problems is right there in plain sight, yet...

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Missing What's Being Built Right Before Our Eyes

(0) Comments | Posted January 20, 2015 | 10:48 AM

Cross-posted with

From the point of view of the U.S. military and the national security state, the period from September 12, 2001 to late last night could be summed up in a single word: more. What Washington funded with your tax dollars was a bacchanalia of expansion...

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The American Gulag

(7) Comments | Posted January 18, 2015 | 8:36 PM

Cross-posted with

If they were moved all at once, they could almost replace the population of Jamaica (2.7 million) and they would leave Qatar, Namibia, Macedonia, or Latvia swimming in extra people. I'm talking about the incarcerated in America -- an estimated 2.4...

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Where Did Iraq War 3.0 Go?

(0) Comments | Posted January 15, 2015 | 9:42 AM

Call it what you will -- Iraq War 3.0, the war against ISIS, the new Syrian War -- it was regularly headline-making news in this country in the second half of last year: the stunning advances of the Islamic State (IS) movement; its newly proclaimed "caliphate"; the collapse...

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(Over)Bearing Arms in America

(166) Comments | Posted January 11, 2015 | 1:34 PM

One of the grimmer small events of recent American life occurred just as 2014 was ending. A mother had her 2-year-old toddler perched in a shopping cart at an Idaho Wal-Mart. He reached into her purse, specially made for carrying a concealed firearm (and a Christmas gift from...

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A Self-Perpetuating Machine for American Insecurity

(8) Comments | Posted January 6, 2015 | 10:05 AM

Welcome to the National Security State of 2015

Cross-posted with

As 2015 begins, let’s take a trip down memory lane.  Imagine that it’s January 1963.  For the last three years, the United States has unsuccessfully faced off against a small island in the Caribbean,...

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New Year's Wishes for the Waning American Century

(2) Comments | Posted December 23, 2014 | 10:18 AM

No one would call TomDispatch a traditional website. Still, we do have our traditions. Among them, none is more "traditional" -- a full decade old at a website that just turned 13 this November -- than having Rebecca Solnit end our year. Sometimes as the year winds down,...

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