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America’s Post-9/11 Wars Have Cost $5.9 Trillion

William D. Hartung The Nation
240,000 civilian deaths and 21 million more have been displaced. And yet a congressional commission is urging yet more money for a bloated Pentagon. We should be spending less time figuring out how to fight wars, and how to forge partnerships...

I Helped Sell the False Choice of War Once. It’s Happening Again. (Now with Iran)

Lawrence Wilkerson New York Times
Ex- Bush official confesses. President George W. Bush would have ordered the war even without United Nations support. "That led to a war that resulted in catastrophic losses for the region and the United States-led coalition, and that destabilized the entire Middle East". This should not be forgotten, since the Trump administration is using much the same playbook to create a false impression that war is the only way to address the threats posed by Iran.

$700 Billion For What? How Runaway Military Spending Keeps Us from Meeting Our Real Needs

Mark Haim The Indypendent
During the Cold War, the supposed threat of Communism was the justification for super-sized budgets and a continuous stream of wars and interventions-some overt, others covert or proxy-none of which had anything to do with defending the United States-and none of which ended in victory. These were sold to the American people as being fought to "defend freedom" or "support democracy." After the Cold War ended it became more difficult to justify such a massive military.

A Look at Economical and Political Conditions in Iran

Faramarz Dadvar Portside
The danger of Donald Trump resorting to military action to prop up his failing policies cannot be over-looked. National Security Advisor Michael Flynn threatened retaliation against Iran, which for those of us of a certain age sounded like the Gulf of Tonkin incident (used as justification for War in Vietnam) - later proved to be a fabrication. What really is Iran with a population of 82 million people? Here is a report on what is actually happening in Iran today.

Team Refugee and the Normalization of Mass Displacement

Phyllis Bennis and Kareem Faraj Foreign Policy in Focus
Though President Obama rejected the “Global War on Terror” label in favor of the anodyne “overseas contingency operations,” the conflict remains global, and it remains a war. No one even claims that the bombs we’re dropping over Syria are “smart.” And no one except the grieving families even try to count those they kill.

film

Homegrown: A New HBO Film Delves Into FBI Arrests of Youths for Terrorism Crimes They Might Commit

Murtaza Hussain The Intercept
The ethical issues involved in preventive counterterrorism cases are the theme behind much of Homegrown. Following 9/11, law enforcement agencies were given a mandate to halt terrorist acts before they occurred, rather than investigate crimes after the fact. This directive inevitably gave rise to some disturbing ethical questions. When is it acceptable to arrest someone for a crime they haven’t actually committed, but you think they might commit in the future?

books

Book Excerpt: America's Addiction to Terrorism

Michael D. Yates, Monthly Review Press Book Excerpt Monthly Review
The following excerpt is the Foreword to America's Addiction to Terrorism. Portside is pleased to share this with our readers. In the U.S. today, the term "terrorism" conjures up images of dangerous, outside threats: religious extremists and suicide bombers in particular. Harder to see but all the more pervasive is the terrorism perpetuated by the United States, itself, whether through military force overseas or woven into the very fabric of society at home.

Poitras Exhibit at Whitney Turns U.S. Government Threat to Liberty into Political Art

Lucy Komisar The Komisar Scoop
Art as politics in the powerful new exhibit at the Whitney Museum in New York by Laura Poitras. Museum director Adam Weinberg sets the show "in the tradition of socially and politically engaged artists - progressive artists such as Ben Shahn and Alice Neal." He said, "The aim of the projections is to provoke moral and ethical responses." Indeed, they do. Or they should.

Who Benefits From A Post-Paris “Clash of Civilizations”?

Tom Englehardt TomDispatch
ISIS (and al-Qaeda) is engaged in a global “danse macabre” with the U.S. and its allies. ISIS attacks, spreading death, chaos, panic, and alarm in our world at next to no cost at all. Washington and its allies respond with big-budget versions of the same, including intensified air campaigns that wreak death and havoc on civilian populations and infrastructure. Each is committed to creating a world where there are no gray zones, only a “clash of civilizations.”
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