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The Sun Interview

Seduced By War

Andrew J. Bacevich On How The U.S. Came To Put Too Much Faith In Military Power

In retrospect we can see that the Gulf War wasn’t the triumph it seemed to be at the time. In a tactical sense, we succeeded in ejecting Saddam Hussein’s army from Kuwait, and we did it with great speed and remarkably modest casualties on our side. But in the long run all we really did was wade deeper into a political morass that we don’t understand. After the war, the decision was made to maintain U.S. bases in Saudi Arabia. And, because we didn’t remove Saddam Hussein from power, we ended up with a policy of military containment that had us imposing sanctions on Iraq — with horrific results for the Iraqi people — and bombing the country on a weekly, if not daily, basis, beginning in 1998. So we went tripping blindly down the path to September 11, 2001. The Gulf War was a pivotal event leading to this mess we call the “global war on terror.”

The Sun Interview

The War Within Islam

Reza Aslan On How The U.S. Fails To Understand The Muslim World

We’ve made it easier for jihadist propagandists to convince the Muslim world that this is a war against Islamic values. . . . You want to know why we’re losing the war on terror? Because they have the better marketing campaign.

The Sun Interview

In God’s Name

Muslim Scholar Ebrahim Moosa On Freedom, Fundamentalism, And The Spirit Of Islam

In the past Muslims understood that the message of Islam is contained in very specific teachings, and that other teachings in the Koran are very Arabian in character. Unfortunately, some present-day Muslims — and they are properly called “fundamentalists” — do not look at the historical context of the Koran’s teachings, and so they want to transplant those Arabian teachings exactly as they are into twenty-first-century society.

The Sun Interview

A More Perfect Union

Tom Hayden On Democracy And Redemption

I think it’s helpful to remind white ethnics that they, too, came here in boats; that they, too, lived in slums; that they, too, had yellow fever; that they, too, were stigmatized as incorrigible; that they, too, had the highest homicide rates and the highest incarceration rates and the highest rates of mental illness; and that everything that was said about them in those days is now being said about Salvadorans, Dominicans, African Americans, Mexicans, Vietnamese, and Cambodians in our inner cities.

Quotations

Sunbeams

It’s true that I’ve driven through a number of red lights. But on the other hand, I’ve stopped at a lot of green ones I’ve never gotten credit for.

Glenn Gould

The Sun Interview

Sitting In The Fire

Pema Chödrön On Turning Toward Pain

The first noble truth of the Buddha is that people experience dukka, a feeling of dissatisfaction or suffering, a feeling that something is wrong. . . . only in the West is this dissatisfaction articulated as “Something is wrong with me.”

The Sun Interview

Homeland Insecurity

Stan Goff On Why U.S. Foreign Policy Endangers Us All

During the Clinton administration, when Hugh Shelton was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he began what Donald Rumsfeld calls the “revolution of military affairs,” which is the complete restructuring of the U.S. military. The shorthand for it is “full spectrum dominance.” This refers to dominance in three dimensions: technology, the full spectrum of conflict (from street riots to thermonuclear war), and geography. The belief that we can achieve such dominance is quite likely the most grandiose delusion in human history. It simply is not possible. It’s amazing and worrisome to me that people who hold the reins of power would actually believe in something like this.

The Sun Interview

One Patriot Acts

Daniel Ellsberg’s Crusade Against The Abuse Of Presidential Power, From Nixon To Bush

There were times during the Vietnam War when I feared that if the escalation went on and domestic resistance grew, our system of government would move toward a totalitarian state. The FBI was abusing its power. The CIA was illegally spying against domestic “enemies.” There was a tremendous amount of wiretapping going on.

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