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Strip and Flip: Democracy in a Cage

By Robert C. Koehler The wound burst open in November. History, suddenly, could no longer be avoided. Reality could no longer be avoided. American democracy is flawed, polluted, gamed by the oligarchs. It always has been. But not until the election process whelped Donald Trump did it become so unbearably obvious. Welcome to The Strip […] more

Cancer with Political Clout

By Robert C. Koehler A suicide bomber inflicts hell at a concert hall in Manchester, England that’s full of children, as though that was the point — to murder children. The horror of war . . . well, terrorism . . . doesn’t get any worse. And the media, as they focus on the spectacle […] more

Hostage to the Rules of Espionage

By Robert C. Koehler “Trump emphasized the need to work together to end the conflict in Syria” . . . and “emphasized his desire to build a better relationship between the United States and Russia.” Welcome to the last paragraph of a Washington Post story the other day, a loose fragment of news, a homeless […] more

‘Classified’ America

By Robert C. Koehler For a journalist — especially one covering government and politics — the most suspicious, least trustworthy word in the language ought to be: “classified.” As the drama continues to swirl around Russiagate, or whatever the central controversy of the Trump administration winds up being known as, that word keeps popping up, […] more

Drumming for Planet Earth

By Robert C. Koehler At the climate rally in Chicago last week, people started drumming in the rain. Pardon me while I walk uncertain ground here, looking for clues and connections in a smattering of unlikely places. The world is in a fragile, dangerous place. We need to create peace, fairness and sustainability. We need […] more

A Public Plan for Peace

By Robert C. Koehler The American will to wage war — endless war, pointless war, total war — is, I fear, impervious to public opinion and even political action. It remains alive deep in the underground bunker of American militarism, protected from sanity. This goes beyond the staying power of our loser generals, who have […] more

Beyond Redemptive Violence

By Robert C. Koehler Sometimes our tame and compliant media upchucks a piece of truth. For instance: “American officials had predicted that the missile strike would result in a major shift in Assad’s calculus, but the U.S. attack appeared to be symbolic in reality. Within 24 hours of the strike, monitoring groups reported that warplanes […] more

The Mental Limits of War

By Robert C. Koehler A Morning Consult poll winks at me from my inbox: 57 percent of Americans support more airstrikes in Syria. My eyeballs roll. Hopelessness permeates me, especially because I’m hardly surprised, but still . . . come on. This is nuts. The poll could be about the next move in a Call […] more

Caligula with Orange Hair

By Robert C. Koehler So maybe this is how the U.S. demilitarizes, or the American public at least returns to the consciousness of the late ’60s, when protests rocked the streets and people demanded an end to the savagery in Vietnam: Donald Trump, the Fool in the Tarot deck, the harbinger of change, removes the […] more

How Many Civilians Can We Kill?

By Robert C. Koehler “The wooden carts that residents use to carry vegetables and other wares in the once busy market area instead ferried out cadavers recovered from the rubble last week.” And so . . . another “precision” bomb strike in America’s war against terror. This was the scene in Mosul earlier this month, […] more