Tom Engelhardt

Articles by this author

"As it turned out, that urge to take everything would prove the perfect launching pad for this country's decline." (Photo: Mr. Fish) Views
Thursday, March 01, 2018
The Ultimate Blowback Universe
You want to see “blowback” in action? That's easy enough. All you need is a vague sense of how Google Search works. Then type into it phrases like “ warmest years ,” “ rising sea levels ,” “ melting ice ,” “ lengthening wildfire season ,” or “ future climate refugees ,” and you’ll find yourself...
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In a draft-less country, those of us not in or connected to our military are expected to say “thank you” to the warriors and otherwise go about our lives as if their wars (and the mayhem they continue to generate abroad) were not a fact of global life. (Photo: Martyn Aim/Getty Images) Views
Friday, February 16, 2018
And the Winners (in America’s Wars) Are…
When it comes to America’s wars, more than 16 years later our generals are victorious. Not, of course, in the distant lands where those conflicts grind on unendingly, but in the one place that matters: Washington, D.C. Could there be a more striking sign of that than the elevation of three of those...
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"After all, in these years, the two groups the Bush administration went after in 2001, al-Qaeda and the Taliban, have somehow morphed into “more than 20 terrorist and insurgent groups” on either side of the Afghani-Pakistani border." (Photo: David B. Gleason/Flickr/cc) Views
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Whistling Past the Graveyard (of Empires)
If you’re in the mood, would you consider taking a walk with me and, while we’re at it, thinking a little about America’s wars? Nothing particularly ambitious, mind you, just — if you’re up for it — a stroll to the corner. Now, admittedly, there’s a small catch here. Where exactly is that corner? I...
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"Think of such moves not as acts of petty theft, but as robbery of the most basic sort, since they involve stealing from the future to fund an increasingly plutocratic present."(Photo: NASA) Views
Monday, February 12, 2018
Donald Trump Is Stealing From Our Children
Think of President Trump and his administration as a den of thieves. There is, of course, the obvious thievery: what they will in the end, as with the recently passed tax “reform” bill, steal from ordinary citizens and offer as never-ending presents to the already staggeringly wealthy, among them...
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Tuesday, January 30, 2018
The Military God of America’s Losing Wars
I recently read Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House . No book -- that antiquated object that displays writing on pages of paper -- has gotten news attention quite like it in a long time. Of course, that’s what happens when only one person truly matters anymore -- and you...
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'Trump continues to show us in new ways quite an old reality: how terrifying a force for destruction, possibly even on a planetary level, U.S. power can be." (Photo:Flickr/Joe Brusky/cc) Views
Thursday, January 25, 2018
Creating an Empire of Graveyards?
Recently, a memory of my son as a small boy came back to me. He was, in those days, terrified of clowns. Something about their strange, mask-like, painted faces unnerved him utterly, chilled him to the bone. To the rest of us, they were comic, but to him -- or so I came to imagine anyway -- they...
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Tuesday, January 23, 2018
In 1888, The Story of a Parentless Dreamer from Shithole Europe
More than three decades ago, my aunt Hilda wrote an account of her father’s voyage to and life in America for my daughter to read “someday.” She began it this way: “Your great grandfather, Moore Engelhardt, a boy of 16, arrived in New York from Europe in March 1888. It was during the famous...
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Tuesday, January 09, 2018
Welcome to 2018: Another "Non-War Year" in Oblivious America
If you want to know something about life in America these days, consider how New York Times columnist David Leonhardt began his first piece of the year, “ 7 Wishes for 2018 ”: "Well, at least it’s not 2017 anymore. I expect that future historians will look back on it as one of the darker non-war...
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"There was then just one country targeted, the very one where, a little more than a decade earlier, the U.S. had ended a long proxy war against the Soviet Union during which it had financed, armed, or backed an extreme set of Islamic fundamentalist groups, including a rich young Saudi by the name of Osama bin Laden." (Photo: Alisdare Hickson/flickr/cc) Views
Thursday, January 04, 2018
Mapping a World From Hell
He left Air Force Two behind and, unannounced, “ shrouded in secrecy ,” flew on an unmarked C-17 transport plane into Bagram Air Base, the largest American garrison in Afghanistan. All news of his visit was embargoed until an hour before he was to depart the country. More than 16 years after an...
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"It’s possible that he might indeed be the first president since Harry Truman in 1945 to order the use of nuclear weapons." (Photo: Getty) Views
Thursday, December 21, 2017
The Most Dangerous Man on Earth
Let’s start with the universe and work our way in. Who cares? Not them because as far as we know they aren’t there. As far as we know, no one exists in our galaxy or perhaps anywhere else but us (and the other creatures on this all-too-modest planet of ours). So don’t count on any aliens out there...
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