Articles by William J. Astore

We found 11 results.


The American Cult of Bombing and Endless Wars
William J. Astore - TomDispatch, 10 Jun 2019

4 Jun 2019 – From Syria to Yemen in the Middle East, Libya to Somalia in Africa, Afghanistan to Pakistan in South Asia, an American aerial curtain has descended across a huge swath of the planet. Its stated purpose: combating terrorism. Its economic benefit: plenty of high-profit business for weapons makers for whom the president can now declare a national security emergency whenever he likes and so sell their warplanes and munitions to preferred dictatorships in the Middle East (no congressional approval required).

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The Pentagon’s Long Con
William J. Astore | Bracing Views – TRANSCEND Media Service, 6 May 2019

30 Apr 2019 – “War is a racket,” wrote General Smedley Butler in the 1930s. Dwight D. Eisenhower warned at the end of his presidency about the military-industrial complex and its misplaced, anti-democratic power. Martin Luther King Jr spoke against militarism and the “spiritual death” he believed Americans were suffering from in the 1960s… The Pentagon will never be forced to make significant reforms until Americans stop believing in (and consenting to) its comforting lies.

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Military Dissent Is Not an Oxymoron – Freeing Democracy from Perpetual War
William J. Astore | TomDispatch – TRANSCEND Media Service, 15 Aug 2016

11 Aug 2016 – The United States is now engaged in perpetual war with victory nowhere in sight. Having spent trillions of dollars on war with such sorry results, it’s a wonder that key figures in the U.S. military or officials in any other part of America’s colossal national security state and the military-industrial complex (“the Complex” for short) haven’t spoken out forcefully and critically about the disasters on their watch.

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A Force unto Itself: A Military Leviathan Has Emerged as the U.S. 51st and Most Powerful State
William J. Astore - TomDispatch, 28 Mar 2016

A Military Leviathan Has Emerged as the U.S. 51st and Most Powerful State – A post-democratic force that prides itself on its warrior ethos rather than the old-fashioned citizen-soldier ideal, increasingly divorced from the people, with a way of life ever more foreign to most Americans (adulatory as they may feel toward its troops).

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America’s Got War – Poverty, Drugs, Afghanistan, Iraq, Terror, or How to Make War on Everything
William J. Astore - TomDispatch, 6 Jul 2015

The biggest mistake in American policy, foreign and domestic, is looking at everything as war. When a war mentality takes over, it chooses the weapons and tactics for you. It limits the terms of debate before you even begin. It answers questions before they’re even asked.

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War Is the New Normal: Seven Deadly Reasons That America’s Wars Persist
William J. Astore - TomDispatch, 2 Feb 2015

What’s truly “exceptional” in twenty-first-century America is any articulated vision of what a land at peace with itself and other nations might be like. Instead, war, backed by a diet of fear, is the backdrop against which the young have grown to adulthood. It’s the background noise of their world, so much a part of their lives that they hardly recognize it for what it is. And that’s the most insidious danger of them all.

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The American Cult of Bombing
William J. Astore – TomDispatch, 25 Aug 2014

Why You Should Expect More Bombs to Be Dropped Everywhere – Few Americans question the sanity or cult-like behavior of American presidents as they continue to seek solutions to complex issues by bombing Iraq (as well as numerous other countries across the globe).

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The Business of America Is War
William J. Astore – TomDispatch, 21 Oct 2013

Disaster Capitalism on the Battlefield and in the Boardroom

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Fighting 1% Wars
William J. Astore – TomDispatch, 26 Dec 2011

Why Our Wars of Choice May Prove Fatal – America’s wars are remote from us geographically, emotionally, and from our major media outlets, which have given us no compelling narrative about them, except that they’re being fought by “America’s heroes” against foreign terrorists and evil-doers. They’re even being fought by robotic drones “piloted” by operators from hundreds, if not thousands, of miles from the danger of the battlefield. Behold a horrifying fate: a people that allows its wars of choice to compromise the very core of its self-image as a freedom-loving society, while letting itself be estranged from the young men and women who served in the frontlines of these wars.

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The New American Isolationism: The Cost of Turning Away from War’s Horrific Realities
William J. Astore - TomDispatch, 8 Nov 2010

A new isolationism is metastasizing in the American body politic. At its heart lies not an urge to avoid war, but an urge to avoid contemplating the costs and realities of war. It sees war as having analgesic qualities — as lessening a collective feeling of impotence, a collective sense of fear and terror. Making war in the name of reducing terror serves this state of mind and helps to preserve it. Marked by a calculated estrangement from war’s horrific realities and mercenary purposes, the new isolationism magically turns an historic term on its head, for it keeps us in wars, rather than out of them.

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“Our American Heroes”: Why It’s Wrong to Equate Military Service with Heroism
William J. Astore - TomDispatch.com, 26 Jul 2010

In rejecting the “heroic” label, don’t think we’d be insulting our troops. Quite the opposite: we’d be making common cause with them, for most of our troops undoubtedly already reject the “hero” label, just as the young “heroes” of Germany did in 1917-18. With the typical sardonic humor of front-line soldiers, they preferred the less comforting, if far more realistically descriptive label (given their grim situation in the trenches) of “front pigs.” Whatever nationality they may be, troops at the front know the score. Even as our media and our culture seek to elevate our troops into the pantheon of demi-gods, our “front pigs” carry on, plying an ancient and brutal trade. Most simply want to survive and come home with their bodies, their minds, and their buddies intact. Part of the world’s deadliest war machine, they are naturally concerned first about saving their own skins, and only secondarily worried about the lives of others. This is not beastliness. Nor is it heroism. It’s simply a front pig’s nature.

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