What a Busted Robot Airplane Tells Us About the American Empire in 2012 and Beyond
Sometimes, just when you least expect it, symbolism steps right up and coldcocks you. So how about this headline for – in the spirit of our last president – ushering America’s withdrawal from Iraq right over the nearest symbolic cliff: “U.S. empties biggest Iraq base, takes Saddam’s toilet.” They’re talking about Victory Base, formerly – again in the spirit of thoroughly malevolent symbolism – Camp Victory, the enormous American military base that sits at the edge of Baghdad International Airport and that we were never going to leave.
The Complex is forever (at least as its managers see it). Despite modest rumblings in Washington about the Pentagon and intelligence budgets and the deficit, it”s not just considered too big to fail, but generally too big to question, and too deeply embedded to think much about.
When we build those bases on that global field of screams, when we send our armadas of drones out to kill, don’t be surprised if the rest of the world doesn’t see us as the good guys or the heroes, but as terminators.
Can Washington move from Pacific power to Pacific partner?
On my many drives from West Bank city to West Bank city, from Ramallah to Jenin, Abu Dis to Jericho, Bethlehem to Hebron, I’d play a little game: Could I travel for an entire minute without seeing physical evidence of the occupation?
This is, of course, the week before the tenth anniversary of the day that “changed everything.”
And here’s the saddest thing: the Bush administration’s most extreme ideas when it comes to Global War On Terror are now the humdrum norm of Obama administration policies — and hardly anyone thinks it’s worth a comment.
A 30-year war for energy preeminence? You wouldn’t wish it even on a desperate planet. But that’s where we’re headed and there’s no turning back.
In only one area of life are Americans officially considered 100% scared, and so 100% in need of protection, and that’s when it comes to terrorism.
How the President and the Pentagon Prop Up Both Middle Eastern Despots and American Arms Dealers
Facing the challenges of a world at the edge — from Japan to the Greater Middle East, from a shaky global economic system to weather that has become anything but entertainment — the United States looks increasingly incapable of coping.
Just how American bullets make their way into Bahraini guns, into weapons used by troops suppressing pro-democracy protesters, opens a wider window into the shadowy relationships between the Pentagon and a number of autocratic states in the Arab world.
Seeing Arabs demanding something we were convinced was the birthright and property of the West, of the United States in particular, has to send a shiver down anyone’s spine.
As we’ve watched the dramatic events in the Middle East, you would hardly know that we had a thing to do with them.