Jun
03
2009

On the Forgotten Profiteers of a Forgotten Iraq War

Pratap Chatterjee's new TomDispatch essay (5/31/09) explores how Dick Cheney's mercenary corporation Halliburton recently has managed to largely "Stay Out of Sight While Profiting From the War in Iraq" despite what Tom Engelhardt's introduction calls "hatfuls of charges against the company for a laundry list of alleged misdeeds": There were no protesters outside the [annual Halliburton shareholders] meeting this year, nor the kind of national media stakeouts commonplace when [CEO David] Lesar addressed the same crew at the posh Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Houston in May 2004. Then, dozens of mounted police faced off against 300 protesters in the […]

May
18
2009

MSM Blind to Energy Factor in U.S. Wars

In his introduction (TomDispatch, 5/12/09) to Pepe Escobar analyzing the current politics of the Aghanistan/Pakistan region, Tom Engelhardt describes how "there, the skies are filled with planes and unmanned aerial drones, and civilians as well as combatants die every day in increasing numbers as ever more frequent attacks and expanding conflicts make daily headlines." But there's more to the story: Those are, of course, the front-page stories. Energy, especially in the form of oil and natural gas, fuels everything from civilization to its various discontents and means of destruction, and yet it remains largely on the business pages of our […]

May
08
2009

On Journalism's 'Long Line' of 'Everyday Extremists'

Reading Mark Lander's and Elizabeth Bumiller's New York Times "tidbit out of an overheated Washington last week: 'President Obama and his top advisers have been meeting almost daily to discuss options for helping the Pakistani government and military repel the [Taliban] offensive,'" Tom Engelhardt (TomDispatch, 5/7/09) decides to toss some cold water on "this kind of atmosphere that naturally produces the bureaucratic equivalent of mass hysteria": Reports indicate that Obama's national security team has been convening regular "crisis" meetings and having "nearly nonstop discussions" at the White House, not to mention issuing alarming and alarmist statements of all sorts about […]

Apr
28
2009

Why Some Deaths 'Don't Seem to Impinge on Our Lives'

Having covered the U.S. war on Afghanistan at his TomDispatch website from the outset, Tom Engelhardt marvels (4/23/09) at how, "almost like clockwork, the reports float up to us from thousands of miles away" of "so many lives snuffed out so regularly for more than seven years now." But at this point, "unfortunately, those news stories are so unimportant in our world that they seldom make it onto, no less off of, the inside pages of our papers." And the context of such news, when it does make those inside pages, is cookie-cutter awful: Like obituaries, they follow a simple […]