Tom Engelhardt


Tom Engelhardt, author of The American Way of War: How Bush’s Wars Became Obama’s, discusses American ignorance of the unprecedented US empire of bases, fighting one-sided impersonal wars by remote control, forgotten lessons from George Orwell’s 1984, why the USAF plan to run the world from Guam and Diego Garcia won’t be easy, another Green Zone-style US “embassy” planned for Islamabad in Pakistan and why the Obama administration seems to be floundering without the intense (if deluded) strategic vision of the Bush era.

MP3 here. (20:22)

Tom Engelhardt created and runs the website, a project of The Nation Institute where he is a Fellow. He is the author of a highly praised history of American triumphalism in the Cold War, The End of Victory Culture, and of a novel, The Last Days of Publishing, as well as a collection of his Tomdispatch interviews, Mission Unaccomplished. Each spring he is a Teaching Fellow at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. His newest book is The American Way of War: How Bush’s Wars Became Obama’s.

7 thoughts on “Tom Engelhardt”

  1. Scott,
    Just listening to Tom Engelhardt talking about how our wars never have a victory, never end. Something I've wanted to understand better is the process by which we have been going to war without a formal declaration war. From Truman's precedent with Korea to the Bush Doctrine – how/why have these bloodthirsty bastards been able to skirt the law of the land? How to end a war that doesn't legally exist? Or does it? What exactly are these incursions, conflicts, invasions, assaults…?
    I would love to hear a guest provide some insight into this. I've sought info online but it's either ideologically based or written in complex legalese.
    I don't see much hope for global deescalation until declaring war is 100% congress' responsibility and every legal loophole opportunity to abdicate that terrible responsibility is closed.
    (uh oh. goin' on a tangent).
    Keep up the noble work.

  2. It is unfortunate that an interview about a seemingly good book on an important subject is followed by the above reference. The article seems to be one of the many cases when right-wing pet hatreds overshadow all rationality. Specifically here, vilification of the civil-rights movement, FDR, and the UN.

    The comments about the former in the second paragraph are especially striking: they remind the recent comments of Ron Paul’s son, a crypto-, or not so crypto-racist revisionism of the worst kind. If Stalinists were participating in the civil-rights movement, they should be praised, just as right-wing “libertarians” should be praised when they oppose wars, regardless of their bizarre views on “property rights.”

    As for the original question, without being an expert on US history, I think Congress did not declare war when Jackson invaded Florida in 1818.

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