Posts Tagged ‘militarism’

Of Lies, Liberation and American Self-Delusion: Reflections on the Dangers of National Self-Love

Published on ZNet, www.zmag.org, 3/27/03 Iraqis must think the American definition of liberation a strange one. First, we destroy all of the key government buildings that we can find in a search for Saddam Hussein. Then we relentlessly attack the Iraqi military, which of course counts among its troops, members of tens of thousands of […]

The Moral Calculus of Killing: Precision Bombing and the American Definition of Innocence

Published on ZNet, www.zmag.org, 3/24/03 Imagine if you will that an enemy nation — for the sake of argument, let’s say North Korea, or China — were to attack the United States. And let’s say they launched missiles and dropped bombs specifically on Washington D.C., having targeted the White House, Capitol Building, and Pentagon, and […]

We are all Collateral Damage Now: Reflections on War as Emotional Botox

Published on ZNet, www.zmag.org, 3/22/03 I remember the first time I ever visited inmates on Tennessee’s death row. What struck me about the experience was not so much the solemnity or the pall of pending execution that hung over the place, like a threatening storm cloud. Nor was it the incredible humanity and even decency […]

A Dream Distorted: Reflections on the Hijacking of Martin Luther King Jr.

A slightly different version of this article was published on ZNet, www.zmag.org, 2/15/02 Another January has come and gone, and with it, another celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This year, as with the past ten, I once again had the pleasure of addressing a number of audiences during a two-week period of community […]

Selective Indignation: Bin Laden’s Inhumanity, and Ours

Published on ZNet, www.zmag.org, 12/20/01 The reviews came in quickly, and to no one’s surprise, the verdict was two thumbs down. “Can you believe how ruthless this man is? How cold blooded?” “That monster has no regard for human life.” “What kind of person laughs about the deaths of thousands of innocent people?” These are […]

Playing the World War Two Card: Nostalgia and the War on Terrorism

Published as a ZNet Commentary, December 16, 2001 Traveling through airports can prove to be quite an educational experience. Therein, one can engage in people watching, examine the culinary habits of corporate types and tourists, and occasionally gain insight into the mindsets of one’s fellow citizens, or at least some of them. This one can […]

Saying No is a Start: The Validity of Anti-War Criticism

Published on Alternet, www.alternet.org, 11/20/01. Imagine you live in a community that has been experiencing a serious upsurge in crime. The possibility of being victimized is an ever-present reality, and previous attempts to solve the crime problem in the neighborhood have failed. Frustrated by this fact, local officials announce that beginning tomorrow, police will have […]

Consistently Inconsistent: Rhetoric Meets Reality in the War on Terror

Published on ZNet, www.zmag.org, 11/15/01 So it appears as though the Taliban have fallen, or are close to a total collapse; and given what we know about their brutal rule in Afghanistan, this is, so far as it goes, a good thing. Furthermore, this is true no matter how we feel about the war being […]

Who’s Being Naive? War-Time Realism Through the Looking Glass

Published as a ZNet Commentary, October 28, 2001, also in The Power of Nonviolence: Writings by Advocates of Peace, Beacon Press, 2003. To hear those who support the current air assault on Afghanistan tell it, those of us who doubt the likely efficacy of such a campaign, and who question its fundamental morality are not […]

Patriotism as Pathology

Published in LIP Magazine, www.lipmagazine.org, October 23, 2001 Since most Americans fail to appreciate irony, it may be impossible for us to acknowledge how fitting it is, and how typical, that we should launch a “war on terrorism” just in time for our own national celebration of one of the most prolific terrorists in modern […]