The United States of Fear
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In his new book The United States of Fear, Tom Engelhardt makes clear that Americans should don their crash helmets and buckle their seat belts, because the United States is on the path to a major decline at a startling speed. Engelhardt offers a savage anatomy of how successive administrations in Washington took the “Soviet path”—pouring American treasure into the military, war, and national security—and so helped drive their country off the nearest cliff.
This is the startling tale of how fear was profitably shot into the national bloodstream, how the country—gripped by terror fantasies—was locked down, and how a brain-dead Washington elite fiddled (and profited) while America quietly burned.
Think of it as the story of how the Cold War really ended, with the triumphalist “sole superpower” of 1991 heading slowly for the same exit through which the Soviet Union left the stage twenty years earlier.
that make sense of our post-9/11 world. How odd that many of them have never actually been printed. Until now.” —Naomi Klein “TomDispatch is one of the wonders of the electronic age. A touch of the finger and you get the juiciest, meatiest information and analysis, so rich a feast of intelligence and insight I often felt short of breath.” —Howard Zinn “TomDispatch is essential reading. It is a one-stop shop where you can find the most provocative thinkers writing the most eloquent and
other words, special ops troops alone are now operating in close to 40 percent of the 192 countries that make up the United Nations. And talking about what the Pentagon has taken under its wing, I’m reminded of a low-budget sci-fi film of my childhood, The Blob. In it, a gelatinous alien grows ever more humongous by eating every living thing in its path, with the exception of Steve McQueen in his debut screen role. By analogy, take what’s officially called the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC),
thing of all, though no one even bothers to mention it in this context: the Taliban haven’t had tens of billions of dollars in foreign training funds; they haven’t had years of advice from the best U.S. and NATO advisers money can buy; they haven’t had private contractors like DynCorp teaching them how to fight and police, and strangely enough, they seem to have no problem fighting. They are not undermanned, infiltrated by followers of Hamid Karzai, or particularly corrupt. They may be illiterate
landscape. Of the 1,400 Tea Party groups nationwide that the Post tried to contact, it reached 647. Many of the rest may have ceased to exist or may never have existed at all. (“The findings suggest that the breadth of the tea party may be inflated.”) What the Post researchers found bore little relationship to the angry, Obama-as-Hitler-sign-carrying bunch supposedly ready to storm the gates of power. They discovered instead a generally quiescent movement in which “70 percent of the grass-roots
crumble. And whether they want it or not, whether there’s even an antiwar movement or not, those troops will start coming home, not to a happy nation or to an upbeat situation, but home in any case. It may sound terrible, and in Afghanistan and elsewhere, terrible things will indeed happen in the interim, while at home the economy will, at best, limp along, the infrastructure will continue to deteriorate, more jobs will march south, and American finances will worsen. If we’re not quite heading