Germany, 1939; America, 2009; And Perverted Science

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It has become commonplace for Congress to ignore the public’s yearnings for peace and to support the Pentagon’s now habitual wars of aggression. Last November’s anti-war vote illustrates this disconnect between public opinion and public policy. War-weary Americans went to the polls believing they were voting for peace but President Obama has instead merely shifted […]

The March of Folly, Continued

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To understand what’s up with President Obama as he escalates the war in Afghanistan, there may be no better place to look than a book published 25 years ago. The March of Folly, by historian Barbara Tuchman, is a chilling assessment of how very smart people in power can do very stupid things – how […]

Hiding Behind the Skirts of Women

Afghan women lining up for food during the Taliban regime. (UNHCR Photo)

For eight years, many Americans have justified the war in Afghanistan as a moral battle to “protect” Afghan women. But Afghan women tell another story: more U.S. war will bear them more suffering. Three decades of foreign occupation — with little sign of ending — have led to the complete collapse of more than a […]

Mary McCarthy in Vietnam, Barack Obama in Afghanistan

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In 1967, outraged by the course of the Vietnam War, as well as her country’s role in prolonging and worsening it, Mary McCarthy, novelist, memoirist, and author of the bestseller The Group, went to Saigon, then the capital of South Vietnam, to judge the situation for herself. The next year, she went to the North […]

Truth or Consequences

Truth or Consequences was once a TV game show and a town in New Mexico. In the real world, there is always truth, and ignoring the truth has terrible consequences. In Vietnam, we tried to demonstrate that advanced technology could conquer Stone Age nationalism. Using guns that could fire thousands of bullets a minute, chemicals […]