Who's Next? Lessons From the Long War and a Blowback World

Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch.com: "Is it too early - or already too late - to begin drawing lessons from 'the Long War'? That phrase, coined in 2002 and, by 2005, being championed by Centcom Commander General John Abizaid, was meant to be a catchier name for George W. Bush's 'Global War on Terror.' That was back in the days when inside-the-Beltway types were still dreaming about a global Pax Americana and its domestic partner, a Pax Republicana, and imagining that both, once firmly established, might last forever."


Post-Bush Stress Disorder

Jonathan Alter, Newsweek: "In 'The Godfather,' Sonny talks about going 'to the mattresses,' meaning war with rival Mafia families. Now President Obama and the Democrats are holing up together on their Posturepedics as they work out battle plans on health care, banking reform, and Afghanistan. The question is whether they'll be daring soldiers of the future or content to fight the last war."



“War on Terror” II

Cato Institute
by Julian Sanchez


We know the rules by now, the strange conventions and stilted Kabuki scripts that govern our cartoon facsimile of a national security debate. The Obama administration makes vague, reassuring noises about constraining executive power and protecting civil liberties, but then merrily adopts whatever appalling policy George W. Bush put in place. Conservatives hit the panic button on the right-wing noise machine anyway, keeping the delicate ecosystem in balance by creating the false impression that something has changed. We’ve watched the formula play out with Guantanamo Bay, torture prosecutions and the invocation of ’state secrets.’ We appear to be on the verge of doing the same with national security surveillance...


The Pentagon’s recruitment two-step

by Kelley B. Vlahos


While the framers may have had other things to say — this being the eighth year of two simultaneous foreign interventions in which the nation’s leaders still cannot clearly articulate why we are there and what a so-called victory or exit should look like — that is another story. This is a story about how the military sells escalation, and to do so effectively, it must convince the public that its volunteer forces are healthy, hearty, willing, and able to surge another day. For one, it lowers its recruitment goals year after year, and then when it achieves or exceeds those goals, it enjoins mainstream news reporters in the Pentagon briefing room to write the story straight. That’s how you get headlines like this one from the Washington Post: ‘A Historic Success in Military Recruiting; In Midst of Downturn, All Targets Are Met.’ Then it throws the words ‘historic’ and ‘record high’ around so much that reporters like Eli Lake at the right-wing Washington Times apparently get confused...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


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