Robert Caruso, Clinton Campaign Fellow, Advocates War Crimes (Before Denying He Did So)

Hillary Clinton’s reputation as a warmongering hawk is a well-established one. As the New York Times reported back in April in an essay titled “How Hillary Clinton Became a Hawk,” she could talk the hawk talk, and walk the hawk talk too: Bruce Riedel, a former intelligence analyst who conducted Obama’s initial review on theContinue reading “Robert Caruso, Clinton Campaign Fellow, Advocates War Crimes (Before Denying He Did So)”

Veterans And The Dallas And Baton Rouge Shootings: Wars Return Home

Today, on Facebook, Chad Kautzer offered some brief reflections–“not interested in condemning or justifying”–on the shootings in Baton Rouge. They begin as follows: First, the police have to stop killing black and brown people. I say that up front, because it’s the social relation and institutional practice that frames everything. Period. Second, although it’s tooContinue reading “Veterans And The Dallas And Baton Rouge Shootings: Wars Return Home”

Francine Prose On The Consolations Of Post-Apocalyptic Literature

In reviewing Margaret Atwood‘s Stone Mattress: Nine Tales Francine Prose makes a pair of perceptive remarks in her conclusion. First, [T]book offers none of the peculiar comforts and reassurances of such post-apocalyptic novels as Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy. It denies us the glorious fantasy of flaming out en masse instead of, so much less dramatically, in aContinue reading “Francine Prose On The Consolations Of Post-Apocalyptic Literature”

The Battle Of Winterfell And The Napoleonic Wars

The prelude to the Battle of Winterfell looked familiar: two armies arrayed at dawn, glaring suspiciously at each other across a patch of land soon to be called a battlefield, horses nervously and impatiently pawing at the ground in front of them, weary soldiers waiting for the slaughter and carnage that has always been theContinue reading “The Battle Of Winterfell And The Napoleonic Wars”

Robespierre On The Iraq War(s)

Robespierre, in a speech to the Jacobin Club, which began on 2 January 1792, and concluded on 11 January, responding to the Girondins call for war: [T]he most extravagant idea that can arise in the mind of a politician is the belief that a people need only make an armed incursion into the territory ofContinue reading “Robespierre On The Iraq War(s)”

Christopher Hitchens: Pro-War, Anti-Death Penalty

A few days ago, Corey Robin wondered on his Facebook status: Something I never understood about Christopher Hitchens: how such a fervent opponent of the death penalty could be such an avid supporter of war. Supporters of the death penalty, of course, are notoriously fond of war (they also tend to be ‘pro-life’ in theContinue reading “Christopher Hitchens: Pro-War, Anti-Death Penalty”

No Atheists in Foxholes, My Ass

Here is vignette #7 from Ernest Hemingway‘s In Our Time: While the bombardment was knocking the trench to pieces at Fossalta, he lay very flat and sweated and prayed oh jesus christ get me out of here. Dear jesus please get me out . Christ please please please christ. If you’ll only keep me from gettingContinue reading “No Atheists in Foxholes, My Ass”

#SderotCinema: War, the Oldest Spectator Sport

News of Israelis watching the bombardment of Gaza–lounging on chairs, perhaps after dinner, smoking hookahs, chatting among themselves–has set many fingers racing on keyboards the world over, pointing to what may seem like a particularly bizarre and novel voyeuristic exploration of the suffering of others. Imagine, people gathering to watch acts of violence. Safely, fromContinue reading “#SderotCinema: War, the Oldest Spectator Sport”

Bowe Bergdahl and the Military: An Unhappy Marriage

Bowe Bergdahl has always been a very interesting young man. As this profile by Kirk Johnson and Matt Furber makes clear, he carried around with him, as interesting people invariably do, a divided self, one drawn in several different directions all at once. Some psychic currents pulled him in the direction of spirituality and bookishContinue reading “Bowe Bergdahl and the Military: An Unhappy Marriage”

Ian McEwan’s ‘Atonement’ and Post-Apocalyptic Literature

There comes a moment, as the reader moves through Part Two of Ian McEwan‘s Atonement, of sensing something familiar and  recognizable, a deja-vu of sorts, in the sparse yet rich, brutal, unsparing descriptions of physical and moral catastrophe on the long, hot, bloodstained road of retreat to Dunkirk. They are all here: the dead–animal andContinue reading “Ian McEwan’s ‘Atonement’ and Post-Apocalyptic Literature”