Is It Time for the US to Pull Out of Iraq and Syria?

Is It Time for the US to Pull Out of Iraq and Syria?

On this day in 2011, President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali fled Tunisia, following massive protests in the streets. It was the first victory of the Arab Spring. The lessons, Laila Lalami wrote in The Nation at the time, were several: “To the Arab dictators: you are not...
Empire, Capitalism, and Human Trafficking in Northeast Asia

Empire, Capitalism, and Human Trafficking in Northeast Asia

As a Pentagon report revealed widespread sexual abuse in the U.S. military, the mayor of Osaka, Japan, Toru Hashimoto, came up with a remedy. Speaking to a U.S. military commander, he suggested that U.S. marines stationed in Japan make more use of Okinawa’s sex...
Visions: America after Hegemony

Visions: America after Hegemony

With the Iraq war fading into memory even as the country still simmers, the U.S. peace movement faces the need to reframe its message. We have spent the last 10 years resisting the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – tragedies that have not only devastated those...
The Cost of Occupying Planet Earth

The Cost of Occupying Planet Earth

“Are you monitoring the construction?” asked the middle-aged man on a bike accompanied by his dog. “Ah, sì,” I replied in my barely passable Italian. “Bene,” he answered. Good. In front of us, a backhoe’s guttural...
Dumb and Dumber: Obama’s “Smart Power” Foreign Policy

Dumb and Dumber: Obama’s “Smart Power” Foreign Policy

Barack Obama is a smart guy. So why has he spent the last four years executing such a dumb foreign policy? True, his reliance on “smart power” — a euphemism for giving the Pentagon a stake in all things global — has been a smart move...
Send in the Drones

Send in the Drones

Weaker nations, Take our lead; Or we go And intercede. Whew! The United States finally seems to have gotten the globe pretty much under control. Sure, it’s messy, but empires are like that. There are always malcontents mouthing off about “foreign...

September 11th Didn’t Change the World – September 12th Did

Writing in 2002, just months after the 9/11 attacks, Phyllis Bennis anticipated the consequences of the likely U.S. response: that a war in Afghanistan would likely cause more problems than it solved; that Iraq was already in the crosshairs from the moment of the 9/11...
We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby, Since 1776

We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby, Since 1776

Thirteen colonies Once unfurled; Grew up To rule the world. National Public Radio presented a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence on the Fourth of July. It properly honored the brilliance, perseverance, and clarity of the document’s authors and...
The Crisis of Humanitarian Intervention

The Crisis of Humanitarian Intervention

Events in Libya and Syria have again brought to the forefront the question of armed humanitarian intervention or the “responsibility to protect.” Our hearts all go out to the unarmed demonstrators seeking to bring down corrupt dictatorships that are a...
Tunisia’s Spark and Egypt’s Flame: the Middle East is Rising

Tunisia’s Spark and Egypt’s Flame: the Middle East is Rising

Is this how empires end, with people flooding the streets, demanding the resignation of their leaders and forcing local dictators out? Maybe not entirely, but the breadth and depth of the spreading protests, the helplessness of the U.S.-backed governments to stop...

Honoring a Prophet of Empire

A prophet has died. Did his crying in the wilderness matter? At the end, did he think so? Chalmers Johnson, whose life ended in November at 79, did his “crying” in a distinguished academic career that culminated in four books on the U.S. global empire of...

Imperial Overkill and the Death of U.S. Empire

The oft-cited reference to Afghanistan as the “graveyard of empires” haunts the increasingly desperate military measures of the United States in that beleaguered country. However, beyond Afghanistan and the hydrocarbon-rich Caspian basin region, the...

Senate Committee Holds Hearing on Africa

Many African nations are approaching their 50th anniversary of independence this year, but have they achieved independence worth celebrating? The U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing on Africa exemplified a troubling trend among the world’s leading...
Review: ‘The Insular Empire’

Review: ‘The Insular Empire’

The past colonial possessions of the United States seem to have slipped from public consciousness. Most American troops left Cuba, the Philippines, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic many decades ago, so little more could be expected of a nation that hardly remembers...