Tom Engelhardt, creator of Tomdispatch.com and author of The United States of Fear, discusses why the US withdrawal from Iraq seemed a lot like defeat, despite the “success” story peddled by Obama; how the ambitious Bush administration, confident of a “cakewalk” victory, never got the “enduring bases” and tens of thousands of permanent occupation soldiers they wanted; a catalog of what the US took home, and what remains behind; Dick Cheney’s reasonable explanation (in 1994) why George H.W. Bush was wise not to go all the way to Baghdad in the Gulf War; how the State Department has become a junior version of the DoD, more interested in war-making than diplomacy; and the militarized transformation of the US, in response to an al-Qaeda terrorist organization that (in its best days) could pull off an attack every few years.
MP3 here. (19:49)
Tom Engelhardt created and runs the Tomdispatch.com website, a project of The Nation Institute where he is a Fellow. He is the author of The American Way of War: How Bush’s Wars Became Obama’s, 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.