Tag Archives: war on terror

The True Flag, by Stephen Kinzer. America is an Imperialist, Warrior Nation


By Dom Nozzi

April 18, 2017

The True Flag, by Stephen Kinzer, focuses on the lynchpin years of America’s fateful (and in my opinion, ruinous) decision to transition into an imperalist, interventionist, alleged “world policeman” nation starting about 1898 in the battles between the anti-imperialists (led by Mark Twain) and the imperialists (led by Teddy Roosevelt). Ever since then, those opposed to imperialistic intervention (the anti-imperialists) have been pejoratively labeled as naive, timid, weak isolationists.

I am quite proud to consider myself to be a non-interventionist. I believe it is criminal, inhumane, unrealistic, and unsustainable for the US to be a global policeman.

Most of the world now rightly looks upon the US as a Black Hat Bully. As Chomsky says, the US is, by far, the leading terrorist nation on earth. As such, the US is the leading20137256237522734_20 creator of terrorist actions by others throughout the world.

As Derber so importantly points out in The Morality Wars, nearly all infamous Empires in world history (Rome, Nazi Germany, the Soviets, etc.) firmly believed and proclaimed that their violent military interventionism was to promote freedom, democracy, security, justice, morality, and civilization. In almost all cases, this was simply a cover for grabbing natural resources, obtaining cheap labor, or opening up markets for corporations. This method of using morality as a cover for conquest has been a US tactic in nearly all US wars in history up to the present day.

By the way, the US has been at peace for only 21 of our 241 years as a nation.

The following are excerpts from the last chapter of Kinzer’s book.

“For generations, makers of American foreign policy have made decisions based on three assumptions: the United States is the indispensable nation that must lead the world; this leadership requires toughness; and toughness is best demonstrated by the threat and use of force. A host of subsidiary assumptions undergirds this catechism: the United States is inherently virtuous; its influence on the world is always benign; it must often intervene overseas because the risks of inaction are too high; its ideals are universal and can be exported; it welcomes support from other states but may act unilaterally when it chooses. Rather than see in the world a wide spectrum of forces, beliefs, cultures, and interests, Americans often see only good and evil. We rush to take the side of good. This usually brings trouble…

…we intervene because we see bad situations, not because we have a clear plan to improve them. At moments of crisis or decision, emotion overcomes sober reasoning – and emotion is always the enemy of wise statesmanship…

…History’s great counsel to the United States is that it should more carefully weigh the long-term effects of its foreign interventions…

…The United States has not discovered the magic formula that can produce happiness and prosperity everywhere…[Interventions]…are not soberly conceived, with realistic goals and clear exit strategies. Many ultimately harm the target country while weakening the security of the United States.

Violent intervention always leaves a trail of ‘collateral damage’ in the form of families killed, towns destroyed, and lives ruined. Usually these consequences are called mistaken or unavoidable. That does nothing to reduce the damage – or the anger that survivors pass down through generations.

The argument that the United States intervenes to defend freedom rarely matches the facts on the ground. Many interventions have been designed to prop up predatory regimes. Their goal is to increase American power – often economic power – rather than to liberate the suffering…

…Interventions multiply our enemies. They lead people who once bore no ill will toward the United States to begin cursing its name…Americans are shocked and incensed when that passion leads to violent counterattacks. They should not be. The instinct to protect one’s own and to strike back against the attackers is older than humanity itself.

American intervention overseas is hugely expensive. The United States spends more on its military than the next seven countries combined, including trillions of dollars to fight foreign wars. Meanwhile, American communities decay, infrastructure ages and withers, schoolchildren fall behind their counterparts in other countries, and millions go without housing, jobs, or health care. Even worse, at least symbolically, are the lifelong plagues that haunt many combat veterans. War brings ‘collateral damage’ to Americans as well as foreigners…

…The United States was once admired for its refusal to fight imperial wars or impose its will on distant nations. Today, many people around the world see it as a bully, recklessly invading foreign lands, blowing up entire societies, and leaving trails of destruction and conflict. They associate the name ‘United States’ with bombing, invasion, occupation, night raids, convert action, torture, kidnapping, and secret prisons…

…countries [battered] by foreign intervention find ways to take revenge. It comes in the forms from mass migration to terror attacks. These are bad results of assaults that we believed would have no bad results. We were foolish to presume that no matter how awful American or European interventions were, their effects would not reach the United States or Europe. The developed world – the invading world – is not an island or an impregnable fortress. Intervention takes a toll at home as well as abroad.”

“Preventive war is like committing suicide for fear of death.” — Bismark


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Boondoggle or Quagmire?

By Dom Nozzi

February 16, 2017

Not only are our road “improvements” counterproductive (our road system is more dangerous and congested now than it has ever been — after a century of “improvements”), but our 15-plus years of fighting against terrorism has created way more terrorists today than existed when the fighting started in 2001.

Our nation (and Europe) is more in danger of terrorism now than it has ever been. This would all be comical were it not so tragic. Let’s see…how many trillions of dollars have we spent on road “improvements” and the “war” on terror?headlineImage.adapt.1460.high.US_war_on_terror_a.1428940320745

Isn’t this similar to how the Roman Empire fell? Or the Soviet Union?

This is the very definition of a boondoggle. Or is it a quagmire?

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Spiral: Trapped in the Forever War

By Mark Danner, published 2016

Review by Dom Nozzi

January 30, 2017

I just finished reading a powerful, highly disturbing, infuriating and depressing book. Spiral, by Mark Danner, lays out the criminal and exceptionally self-perpetuating downward spiral of the so-called American War on Terror. Danner shows how the “war” continuously induces more and more fear amongst Americans. And how fear is the most effective means that elected officials have to convince voters that our corrupt, militarized government is justified in ramping up, without end, a global forever war. The “war” 41h2vikpal-_sy344_bo1204203200_moves us further and further away from the publicly alleged objective of “making us safer” by endlessly recruiting countless new “terrorists” who have made a lifetime vow to engage in violence in retribution for American violence (even the hawkish Donald Rumsfeld asked if “we [are]…killing… more terrorists…than…the radical clerics are recruiting…”). The fear so sharply escalated by the “war” has led large numbers of Americans to passively accept things now routinely engaged in by the US that throughout history have been considered barbaric: torture, starting wars of aggression, indiscriminately killing countless civilians, spending way more than the next several world military powers combined, and engaging in invasive domestic surveillance of all Americans. There is no end in sight for American forever wars being conducted in so many places today. Neither major party in the US seems to have any interest in ending the murderous boondoggle.

The self-perpetuating nature of these forever wars reminds one of the bursting-at-the-seams US prison system, which is so harsh and retributive that it has become a crime factory ensuring that upon release, prisoners will soon re-offend and be imprisoned again.

In my view, all of us alive today will live for the rest of our lives with a much greater fear of violent extremism (such as domestic lone-wolf bombings and mass shootings) than any previous generation. The great irony is that this increased fear and increased number of terrorist incidents domestically and internationally is the direct result of America engaging in what is now a 14-year (and counting) “war on terror” to make us “safer.” Another irony in all of this: Noam Chomsky is correct when he notes that the US has become the most prolific terrorist nation the world has ever seen. Had we not engaged in this shockingly counterproductive “war,” our future would have been significantly safer.  Instead of making us less safe and substantially increasing the incidence of worldwide terrorism, our nation could have had spent those trillions of war dollars to actually improve our lives rather than worsen it. Money that instead of being used to kill a huge number of mostly innocent people, could have been used to create a national passenger rail system, provide free college education, create much cheaper or free national health care, fund a lot more scientific and medical research, repair infrastructure, and so on.

Excerpts from this sobering book:

“…nearly 33,000 people worldwide died from terrorism in 2014, an increase of 35 percent over the year before – and of 4,000 percent since 2002.”

“Turns out I’m really good at killing people. Didn’t know that was gonna be a strong suit of mine.” – President Barrack Obama, [Nobel Peace Prize winner] September 30, 2011

“[America now routinely engages in] warrantless wiretapping…Extraordinary rendition. Unlawful combatants. Indefinite detention. Targeted assassination. Extrajudicial killing. Enhanced interrogation techniques. Torture. …once unthinkable [these tactics have become] quietly accepted weapons in an endless war.”

“…the reality of [Obama’s] years in office have turned out to be more complicated. Guantanamo remains open. The military commissions go on. Torture goes unpunished [“We must look forward, not backward”]…he sent drones to kill thousands, including many civilians. Americans, believing themselves to stand proudly for the rule of law and human rights, have become for the rest of the world a symbol of something quite opposite: a society that imprisons people indefinitely without trial, kills thousands without due process, and leaves unpunished lawbreaking approved by its highest officials…Even as ‘core’ al Qaeda has been battered and reduced, al Qaedism, the ideology, has thrived…powered by the outrage of young Muslims over Western imperialism, torture, drone attacks…this very plentitude means the odds against those charged with stopping attacks grow ever longer…successful lone-wolf attacks [in the US are] increasingly likely.”

Ordinarily, I’d advise everyone to read this essential book as soon as possible, but as the author notes in his concluding remarks, it seems today that most Americans would hardly bat an eye if they were to learn a lot more about American atrocities and self-defeating actions in the “war on terror.” Indeed, Americans became so apathetic, cynical and callous during Obama’s two terms of office that I suspect most Americans these days would, if anything, applaud upon learning that the US behavior was now similar to the North Koreans, the Chinese, the former Soviet Union, or Nazi Germany. After observing how both major parties seemed to want to aggressively step up the “war on terror” in the 2016 presidential campaign — despite the enormous number of books, essays, investigations, and news reports showing its failures — the author asks “[w]hat if you tear off the veil and no one gasps, no one cringes, no one even blinks? What if, apart from a handful, the public mostly yawns and turns the channel?”



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Why I and Millions of Others on the Left Will Not Be Voting for Hillary Clinton

By Dom Nozzi

September 21, 2016

For my entire adult life, I have been firmly on the left, politically.

In 2008, I voted for Obama because I was convinced that his views were adequately consistent with my own. In his two terms of office, however, it turned out that his views are generally “Republican Lite.” See, for example, https://domdangerous.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/americas-two-party-electoral-system-is-broken/

I am very disappointed in him. And in my being fooled by him.

Hillary Clinton is not even being coy about her remarkably right wing views. She is far more to the right than even Obama.

 Hillary Clinton is clearly a DINO (Democrat in name only). I utterly refuse to vote for a right-winger, and despise the counterproductive idea of voting for a lesser evil. I have had no choice but to vote for the lesser evil for my entire life. What has “lesser evil” 12107265_440026862867494_513858007444231262_nvoting done for the political left? Since 1976, Democratic presidents have moved further and further to the political right. Republican presidents have also moved further and further to the political right. Seems like a losing game for those on the left.

Perhaps my most important issue is seeing that the US stop its seemingly endless “War on Terror.” Actually, it is the “War to Endlessly Fund the Pentagon & Create More People Who Hate the US.” Obama has been, by far, the most militaristic president in US history, given his ramping up or starting countless interventionist wars of aggression in the Middle East that have no end in sight. A huge number of Middle Eastern cities have been brutally bombed and leveled during the Obama years, and millions of civilians have been killed or made homeless – thereby creating a huge increase in the number of “terrorists” who will hate the US for the remainder of their lives. Obama has adopted military budgets that are far higher than any previous president, has continued the unforgivable US subsidies and transfers of weapons (and many other forms of support) to the militaristic and genocidal Israeli government, continued the use of torture and keeping Guatanamo Bay detention camp open, and has substantially ramped up the criminal drone warfare program (a form of assassination without trial responsible for killing many innocents). Ironically, Obama has been the first president in US history to be given a Nobel Peace Prize despite his being the most warmongering president in US history, which in my mind, utterly destroys the credibility of the Nobel Committee.

Hillary Clinton has been the most militaristic presidential candidate in the 2016 presidential nomination process and promises to perpetuate and further ramp up this vote-against-the-repub-maybe-next-time-we-can-vote-for-changeendless, ruinous warfare. If her rhetoric is to be believed (and I have no reason to disbelieve her on this, given her track record as Secretary of State), she will be far more militaristic than a President Trump – particularly because Democratic presidents are given a free hand to do anything militarily (no matter how uncalled for), because unlike a Republican president, both Republican AND Democratic House and Senate members fully support aggressive militarism when done by a Democratic president. Hillary Clinton indicates she will be even more of an Israel lapdog than Obama. For these reasons alone, it is exquisitely shameful that anyone on the left would vote for Hillary. See, for example, http://www.salon.com/2016/05/08/we_cant_vote_for_either_one_on_world_stage_clinton_and_trump_present_different_but_serious_dangers/

Hillary Clinton has been substantially corrupted by huge sums of lobby dollars from Wall 10421236_688936084581901_5921515919292941306_nStreet and military contractors. In the primaries in 2016, she raised over $20.3 million in Super PAC dollars, and $38.8 million in large donor contributions. See, for example, http://www.salon.com/2016/05/09/hillary_clinton_is_wall_streets_preferred_candidate_financial_execs_pouring_millions_into_her_campaign_to_defeat_trum/?source=newsletter

Neoconservatives who are extremely hawkish are flocking to Hillary Clinton. See, for example, http://www.salon.com/2016/05/09/hard_line_right_wing_war_hawk_max_boot_applauds_hillary_clinton_in_op_ed/?source=newsletter

In May of 2016, The New York Times stated that Hillary Clinton was the only military hawk left in the presidential race. See, for example, http://www.salon.com/2016/04/27/democrats_this_is_why_you_need_to_fear_hillary_clinton_the_ny_times_is_absolutely_right_shes_a_bigger_hawk_than_the_republicanse/


A long list of those on the far right are backing Hillary Clinton. A large percentage are doing so because of her many right wing views. See, for example, http://www.salon.com/2016/04/26/a_progressive_in_name_only_charles_koch_joins_a_long_list_of_right_wingers_who_have_lauded_hillary_clinton/

Hillary Clinton intends to aggressively continue the ruinous War on Drugs. See, for example, https://www.merryjane.com/news/want-marijuana-legalized-then-donald-trump-is-your-best-option

Hillary Clinton supported the Iraq war. This position alone should be a deal-breaker for any thinking person.

Hillary Clinton supported the Patriot Act in 2001. Again, this alone should be enough to convince anyone on the left not to vote for her.

Hillary Clinton supports the death penalty.

Hillary Clinton supports the US continuing to spend a disproportionate amount of money on NATO (way more than other members of NATO).

Hillary Clinton is silent on the pressing need to revitalize passenger rail in the US.

Hillary Clinton supports the Keystone XL pipeline.

Hillary Clinton supports border fence legislation.

Hillary Clinton supports offshore oil drilling.

Hillary Clinton’s personal net worth is $21.5 million.

When Hillary Clinton ran for president in 2008, she supported the second amendment, stood by her vote in support of the Iraq war, and opposed same sex marriage.

As a Young Republican, Hillary Clinton worked for Barry Goldwater’s 1964 presidential campaign.

Hillary Clinton supports fracking.12743867_239722933028750_4058262213410045470_n

Hillary Clinton opposes reinstating Glass Steagall (or other Wall St regulations).

Hillary is a great example of a “Rockefeller Republican” from the 70s. See, for example, http://www.salon.com/2016/08/21/clinton-isnt-the-perfect-gop-nominee-but-she-is-the-conservative-option-for-2016/?source=newsletter

Clinton Cash (a book and documentary movie) is devastating. If even a fraction of it is accurate, it indicates a level of corruption on the part of Bill and Hillary Clinton that is breathtaking, and exposes a shocking level of hypocrisy — their “liberal” statements seem to be easily thrown out the window when big money is offered to them. Upon leaving office, Bill and Hillary inform us they are broke. Today, they have amassed something on the order of $200 million. The book and movie indicate that this money looks very dirty.


Polls show that Bernie Sanders would have beaten Republican candidates such as Donald Trump by a far larger margin than Hillary Clinton. This is in part because millions of people on the political left – including me – will stay home (or vote for a Third Party politifact-photos-hilberniestarkdifferencecandidate such as Jill Stein) and not vote for Hillary Clinton. With a largely right wing agenda, Hillary Clinton is having enormous difficulty trying to motivate those on the left to vote for her. Given her shockingly right wing platform, she is utterly failing to energize the left wing base. She and her supporters have only one tool to energize the Left (since her -agenda is so right wing): Terrify them by repeatedly beating the drum about how the WORLD WILL END IF TRUMP IS ELECTED.

See, for example, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msiBZwqLhzA

A good essay on why it is better to vote your conscience rather than a lesser evil: http://ivn.us/2015/12/21/discredit-two-party-system-vote-conscience/

Another: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/09/clinton-trump-president-lesser-evil/

Another: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/ralph-nader-bernie-sanders-lesser-evilism-20160620

Another: https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2016/09/23/resist-lesser-evilism/

democrats-to-the-leftI am utterly done with voting for a lesser evil (in this case, dems-promise-to-move-to-left-after-electionhaving to vote for a DINO like Hillary). Lesser evil voting has resulted in the Dems becoming increasingly right wing and perpetuates the downwardly spiraling shift to the right. Having to choose between a Right Winger and an extreme right winger is no choice at all. Certainly not what a democracy should offer.

Who would have ever guessed, 30 years ago, that in 2016, the Democrats are the war-monger party, the everything-is-fine complacency party, the corporate-funded party, and the Drug War party?

What lesson does the Democratic Party learn if Hillary Clinton wins? We can continue to nominate a Republican as a presidential candidate and win the election.

Hillary’s Popularity is Abysmal

Donald Trump may be the most awful, disgusting, terrifying presidential candidate in history. Every derogatory term imaginable is used against him endless. He is a racist! A misogynist! A sexist! A bully! A moron! A molester! A fascist! And yet despite all this, in late September he was neck and neck with Clinton in polls. http://www.dailywire.com/news/5361/can-trump-beat-hillary-here-are-latest-polls-james-barrett#

Given the hideous characteristics of Trump, one would think that even a high school dropout dog-catcher would be ahead by double digits. This can at least partly be explained by the fact that Hillary Clinton is perhaps the most disliked Democratic presidential candidate in history (for good reason, in my opinion).



Possibly most worrisome of all for Hillary Clinton is that she has very low approval ratings among the “millennial” generation (which is our future, by the way).


A question for “lesser evil” voters on the political left: If Hitler was running against Trump, would you vote for Trump? He is clearly less evil than Hitler.

People wonder why I am not sufficiently terrified of Donald Trump. Why I am not so afraid 13709857_10154383469821602_8787425651648583412_nof Trump that I see, like all reasonable people, the essential need to vote for Hillary Clinton, even though “she is not perfect” (that is like saying that winters on the North Pole are a bit chilly).

Frankly, I am far more terrified of the fact that millions of people on the political left will vote in November for a Republican: Hillary Clinton.

It is painfully clear from the above that Hillary Clinton is on the political right. Her views match quite well with mainstream Republican views from, say, the 50s, 60s, and 70s.

So the dilemma for Hillary Clinton and her supporters is this: How to convince those on the political left to vote for a mainstream Republican such as Hillary Clinton? It will certainly not be effective to trumpet her views, as they are so clearly on the political right. The only tactic left — and its a shamefully manipulative one — is to scare the hell out of those on the political left: “Would you rather vote for a Republican? Or (gasp!) an insane, ignorant, violent, racist fascist???”

Another fear-mongering tactic that I am so very tired of hearing from Democrats is the scare tactic used for the past several elections: “We must vote for the admittedly flawed Democratic candidate because a Republican president will nominate horrible Supreme Court nominees!!” We are to believe, in other words, that the Democratic Party, which is now so blatantly corrupted by Wall Street dollars, Corporate dollars, and militarism dollars will nominate “good” Supremes.

Millions on the political left — including me — are leaving the Democratic Party. We will never again vote for a Democratic presidential candidate until the corporate and militarism corruption of the Democratic Party ends. Hillary Clinton is a Republican masquerading as a Democrat. Corrupted by millions in campaign contributions, she is a corporate and military puppet. We will not look the other way and vote for such a candidate out of fear. We are done with voting AGAINST someone. Voting against someone, rather than FOR someone, is, ultimately, a losing, failed political strategy. It has no real power to energize the base voters.

Unfortunately, fear is all that remains for Hillary Clinton and her supporters.

I am sorry to inform such fear-mongers that I won’t be scared into voting for a Republican. Shame on those on the political left who are voting for Hillary Clinton out of fear. And then trying to shame the millions of us on the political left who will either vote for a Third Party candidate or not vote at all.

When the only “choice” is for the political left to vote for a Republican or a Nazi, the only reasonable option is to send a message by not continuing to play the game of “lesser evil” voting that the political left has been forced to play for decades.

It is time for the political left to draw a line in the sand and refuse to vote for a Big Business and Big Military candidate simply because the opponent is claimed to be terrifying.

These video clips from Jimmy Dore are all worth watching:


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The Colossal Boondoggle of the War on Terrorism

I just finished reading an extremely disturbing, important book. Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War, by James Risen, catalogs the immense, disgusting greed, corruption, unchecked power, incompetency, loss of privacy, waste (of both lives and hundreds of billions of public dollars), and utter dishonesty of both the Bush and Obama administrations.

The War on Terror boondoggle engaged in by Bush and now by Obama has become a vicious, downward spiral of what is now an ENDLESS war against “terrorism” (that, incidentally, is making future terrorism against the US much more likely). The “Terrorism Industry” includes a large number of Republicans AND Democrats, who are criminally, shamelessly leveraging public fear to pocket billions of public dollars (in the name of fighting terrorism). Bush and Obama have been shoveling hundreds of billions of dollars into places like Iraq and Afghanistan to make those nations “democracies.” Countlessl people in both those nations and in the US have quickly succeeded in enriching themselves by directing that money to their bank accounts and their “terrorism/democracy” contractor businesses.

It is obscene how much money has been thrown away in this boondoggle. And how many people, communities and nations have been ruined or killed in the process.

It is despicable how gullible the federal government has been in hiring crooks who have, for example, claimed they have secret software able to decode secret messages from terrorists. Even a 10-year old would be able to see through this scam, yet the “leaders” and “thinkers” of America buy it hook, line and sinker. At the cost of countless public dollars and innocent lives.

Chillingly, the magical code-breaking software created by the charlatan lead, at one point, to a situation where Bush nearly ordered that civilian airliners from France to the US be shot down over the Atlantic. Think about THAT the next time you are flying home from a vacation in France.

The software turned out to be completely bogus.

This fiasco has spawned a large collection of corrupt companies that are gobbling up billions of public dollars naively being showered on them by bureaucratic ideologues and a corrupt Congress. These start-up businesses are happily creating such things as militarized drones that have compelled both Bush and to a much larger degree, Obama, to engage in war crimes by promiscuously killing civilians overseas.

This is not to mention, by the way, the torture that both Bush and Obama have authorized to extract “truth” from “terrorists”. And not to mention the vast domestic spying program that Obama has substantially ramped up.

There is no end in sight to the extreme waste of public dollars and the killing of so many people, because the “War on Terror” is self-perpetuating. The more the US kills people in Iraq and Afghanistan, the more the US breeds hatred against America. The US thereby gives birth to more “terrorists” (like “ISIS”). That compels the US to spend even MORE billions of dollars to fight harder against terrorism. And so on. Endlessly.

Do you wonder why so many American communities are suffering from a severe shortfall in dollars for education, health, and transportation? Why taxes need to be raised so often? We now know an important reason: Our hard-earned tax dollars are being squandered as we pour trillions of dollars, counterproductively, down the Terrorism Rathole.

The key leverage point to enrich all of the corrupt people involved in the Terrorism Industry is fear. The War on Terror is therefore endless. The more we fight the War, the more anger and fear we create. The more anger and fear we create, the harder we must fight the war, and the more public dollars we agree to spend. Great news for the Terrorism Industry: NONE of the US presidential candidates running for the 2016 election will do anything to start ratcheting down this endless war.


Why should they? It is a great way to siphon loads of public money into their pockets, and to pour both money and jobs into their congressional districts.

Don’t miss this exceptional, courageous book by one of America’s leading investigative reporters.

Risen, James (2014). Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 304 pages.

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