James Carroll

James Carroll

James Carroll, a TomDispatch regular and former Boston Globe columnist, is the author of 20 books, including the new novel The Cloister (Doubleday). Among other works are: House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power and Christ Actually: The Son of God for the Secular Age. His memoir, An American Requiem, won the National Book Award. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He lives in Boston with his wife, the writer Alexandra Marshall.

 

Articles by this author

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Monday, July 23, 2007
Waking Nightmare
Last night I had the strangest dream. Its soundtrack was the ticking of a kitchen timer. Suddenly, the timer sounded, which was my signal to take a large pot out of the oven. The roast of beef was finished cooking. But before I could remove the cut of meat, a live, foot-long fish leaped out of the pot instead, flopping to the floor.
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Monday, July 09, 2007
A New Declaration of Liberty
The holidays of July Fourth and July 14th are linked by the philosophical and chronological affinities between the American Declaration of Independence and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. That the grand ideals of the French and American revolutions were only partially realized takes nothing away from their importance as milestones on the march toward a better world.
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Monday, July 02, 2007
CIA's Darkest Secret
Every so often, the front page trumpets ethical and legal lapses committed by US intelligence agencies. In Iraq, they have run the gamut from pre war falsification of weapons data to surveillance of American citizens to kidnapping to torture of prisoners. During the Cold War, it was "black operations" that included staging coups, assassinating foreign leaders, infiltrating American organizations, conspiring with Mafia groups, spying on journalists -- perhaps even murder.
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Monday, June 18, 2007
War's Sacred Toll
Last week, explosions once again tore through the great Askariya mosque in Samarra, one of the Shi'ite faith's most revered shrines. Its massive golden dome had been destroyed by bombs last year, and now its proud golden minarets are gone. Dozens of mosques, Sunni as well as Shi'ite, have been targeted in the sectarian violence. These deliberate provocations initiate cycles of attack and revenge, aiming at a broader collapse of moral order that will finally drive the American occupiers out of Iraq, fully discrediting those who embraced them.
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Tuesday, June 05, 2007
The Paradox of Missile Defense
One man picked up a club, and the other answered with a stone. A knife was parried with a sword. The shield followed, then the spear, the mace, the longbow, the fortified wall, the catapult, the castle, the cannon. Across eons, every warrior's improvement in defense was followed by a breakthrough in offense, leading to yet new countermeasures, ever more lethal. This ancient offense-defense cycle was made modern by the machine gun and the tank, then by warplanes and anti aircraft guns, and, ultimately, by ballistic missiles and anti ballistic missiles.
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Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Sacrifice, Pain, and Grief
This article was published on Monday, May 29 - Memorial Day, 2007: The nation pays its respects today to those who have fallen in America's wars. The central ritual of our communal bereavement takes place with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington , Va.
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Wednesday, May 09, 2007
The Disappearance of War-Broken Soldiers
My earliest memory of a trip to the doctor is a happy one. I was 6 or 7. I had hurt my arm, and, because I desperately wanted a cast and a sling, I insisted it was broken. I remember that the doctor was kind, and he gently let me know that my arm was only sprained. Nevertheless, he wrapped it in a tan elastic bandage, and prescribed a sling for me. One of the reasons I loved that sling was its brown color. It was an Army sling. Because we were a military family, the hospital where Mom had taken me was Walter Reed.
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Monday, April 16, 2007
New Thinking To Save The Earth
This week, spring fever takes the form of the fever pitch to which concern over global warming is rising. Last Saturday was the National Day of Climate Action, a campaign organized by writer Bill McKibben, aimed at getting Congress to "step it up" and cut US carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050. Next Sunday is Earth Day -- part festival and part political demonstration, always a call to action for the environment.The urgency of such events comes from recent scientific reports that make impending ecological catastrophes more vivid than ever.
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Monday, April 09, 2007
Fingerprint Foreboding
I was jolted to read last week that public schools in Taunton are planning to use a fingerprint scan as a way to enable students to pay for lunch. At the cash register, the student will simply tap a finger on an electronic reader, and a pre-stored mathematical formula derived from a fingerprint will bring up the student's account.Some parents, as well as lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union, raised objections; in some other states, fingerprints-for-lunch have already been banned.
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Monday, March 26, 2007
Americans Face A Moral Reckoning
YOU HAVE been reading "The Sorrow of War" by Bao Ninh, the classic account of what in Vietnam is called the American war. The title of Bao Ninh's novel captures the feeling of grief and loss that always comes in the wake of violent conflict. Allowing room for fear, grief, and loss must define the dominant experience in Iraq today, where the suffering caused by this American war mounts inexorably.
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