Nick Turse

Articles by this author

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Thursday, March 28, 2013
Tell It to the Dead: American Promises Buried in Iraq
In the lead-up to the war in Iraq, President George W. Bush made a promise. “The Iraqi people can be certain of this,” he said. “The United States is committed to helping them build a better future.” A decade later, his successor, Barack Obama, seemed to suggest the U.S.
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Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Who Did You Rape in the War, Daddy?
On August 31, 1969, a rape was committed in Vietnam. Maybe numerous rapes were committed there that day, but this was a rare one involving American GIs that actually made its way into the military justice system. And that wasn’t the only thing that set it apart.
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Sunday, February 24, 2013
“I Begged for Them to Stop”: Waterboarding Americans and the Redefinition of Torture
Try to remain calm -- even as you begin to feel your chest tighten and your heart race. Try not to panic as water starts flowing into your nose and mouth, while you attempt to constrict your throat and slow your breathing and keep some air in your lungs and fight that growing feeling of suffocation. Try not to think about dying, because there’s nothing you can do about it, because you’re tied down, because someone is pouring that water over your face, forcing it into you, drowning you slowly and deliberately. You’re helpless. You’re in
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Thursday, January 31, 2013
The Hagel Hearings: Murder in Vietnam
He’s been battered by big-money conservative groups looking to derail his bid for secretary of defense. Critics say he wants to end America’s
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Tuesday, January 08, 2013
'Kill Anything That Moves': The American System of Suffering, 1965-2014
Pham To looked great for 78 years old. (At least, that’s about how old he thought he was.) His hair was thin, gray, and receding at the temples, but his eyes were lively and his physique robust -- all the more remarkable given what he had lived through. I listened intently, as I had so many times before to so many similar stories, but it was still beyond my ability to comprehend. It’s probably beyond yours, too.
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Friday, November 16, 2012
The Secret Building Boom of the Obama Years
A billion dollars from the federal government: that kind of money could go a long way toward revitalizing a country’s aging infrastructure. It could provide housing or better water and sewer systems. It could enhance a transportation network or develop an urban waterfront. It could provide local jobs. It could do any or all of these things. And, in fact, it did. It just happened to be in the Middle East, not the United States.
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Thursday, October 25, 2012
America's Failed Formula for Worldwide War
They looked like a gang of geriatric giants. Clad in smart casual attire -- dress shirts, sweaters, and jeans -- and incongruous blue hospital booties, they strode around “the world,” stopping to stroke their chins and ponder this or that potential crisis. Among them was General Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a button-down shirt and jeans, without a medal or a ribbon in sight, his arms crossed, his gaze fixed.
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Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Afghanistan’s Base Bonanza
Afghanistan may turn out to be one of the great misbegotten “stimulus packages” of the modern era, a construction boom in the middle of nowhere with materials largely shipped in at enormous expense to no lasting purpose whatsoever. With the U.S.
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Thursday, August 09, 2012
Tomorrow's Blowback Today?
In the 1980s, the U.S. government began funneling aid to mujahedeen rebels in Afghanistan as part of an American proxy war against the Soviet Union. It was, in the minds of America’s Cold War leaders, a rare chance to bloody the Soviets, to give them a taste of the sort of defeat the Vietnamese, with Soviet help, had inflicted on Washington the decade before.
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Thursday, July 26, 2012
The Nature of the US Military Presence in Africa: An Exchange
On July 12th, TomDispatch posted the latest piece in Nick Turse’s “changing face of empire" series: “ Obama’s Scramble for Africa .” It laid out in some detail the way in which the U.S.
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