William Astore, Common Dreams

William Astore

Common Dreams

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Past articles by William:

We're All Prisoners of War Now

"POWs Never Have A Nice Day." That sentiment was captured on a button a friend of mine wore for our fourth grade class photo in 1972. That prisoners of war could never have such a day was reinforced by the sad face on that button. Soon after, American POWs would indeed be released by their North Vietnamese captors as the American war in Vietnam ended. They came home the → Read More

What My Father Taught Me About Living Through Coronavirus Hard Times

My dad was born in 1917. Somehow, he survived the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-1919, but an outbreak of whooping cough in 1923 claimed his baby sister, Clementina. One of my dad’s first memories was seeing his sister’s tiny white casket. Another sister was permanently marked by scarlet fever. In 1923, my dad was hit by a car and spent two weeks in a hospital with a fractured → Read More

America’s Endless Wars Persist Because They Don’t Exist (For Americans)

Even though the U.S. now lives in a state of perpetual war, for most Americans it’s a peculiar form of non-war... There is no significant anti-war movement in America because there’s no war to protest. Let me explain. In February 2003, millions of people took to the streets around the world to protest America’s march to war against Iraq. That mass movement failed. The administration of George W. → Read More

American Exceptionalism Is Killing Planet Earth

On the many abuses of executing endless war on a finite planet.. Ever since 2007, when I first started writing for TomDispatch, I’ve been arguing against America’s forever wars, whether in Afghanistan, Iraq, or elsewhere. → Read More

Killing Me Softly With Militarism

When Americans think of militarism, they may imagine jackbooted soldiers goose-stepping through the streets as flag-waving crowds exult; or, like our president, they may think of enormous parades featuring troops and missiles and tanks, with warplanes so | By William Astore → Read More

The Ultra-Costly, Underwhelming F-35 Fighter: A Wasteful Weapon for America's Forever Wars

Lockheed Martin remains top gun in the Pentagon's cockpit... How are you with numbers? I can deal with $1.5 million. I think I can even imagine $1.5 billion, a sum a thousand times greater. But how about a million times greater: $1.5 trillion? That happens to be the estimated cost of the Pentagon's program to build, deploy, and maintain the no-longer-so-new F-35 jet fighter over its lifetime. → Read More

How the Pentagon Took Ownership of Donald Trump

People condemn President Trump for his incessant lying and his con games -- and rightly so. But few Americans condemn the Pentagon and the rest of the national security state, even though we’ve been the victims of their long con for decades now. → Read More

The Death of Peace: How the US Empire Starts Wars, But Refuses to End Them

America's senior generals find no exits from endless war.. “Veni, Vidi, Vici,” boasted Julius Caesar, one of history’s great military captains. “I came, I saw, I conquered.” → Read More

The U.S. Military’s Lost Wars

One of the finest military memoirs of any generation is Defeat Into Victory, British Field Marshal Sir William Slim’s perceptive account of World War II’s torturous Burma campaign, which ended in a resounding victory over Japan. When America’s generals write their memoirs about their never-ending war on terror, they’d do well to choose a different title: Victory Into Defeat. | → Read More

Why American Leaders Persist in Waging Losing Wars

As America enters the 18th year of its war in Afghanistan and its 16th in Iraq, the war on terror continues in Yemen, Syria, and parts of Africa, including Libya, Niger, and | By William Astore → Read More


William Astore says the Pentagon may not be able to win foreign wars but it's won one here at home

Nowadays everybody lionizes the military. This is problematic, says Astore. → Read More

Why Can’t We Just Play Ball?

As long as I can remember, I’ve been a sports fan. As long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in the military. Until recently, I experienced those as two separate and distinct worlds. While I was in the military -- I served for 20 years as an officer in the U.S. Air Force -- I did, of course, play sports. As a young lieutenant, I was in a racquetball tournament at my base in Colorado. At… → Read More


America’s Phony War

Overseas, the United States is engaged in real wars in which bombs are dropped, missiles are launched, and people (generally not Americans) are killed, wounded, uprooted, and displaced. Yet here at home, there’s nothing real about those wars. Here, it’s phony war all the way. In the last 17 years of “forever war,” this nation hasn’t for one second been mobilized. Taxes are being cut instead of… → Read More

The Doomsday Machine: The Madness Of America's Nuclear Weapons

Nuclear brinksmanship, threats of nuclear war, and similar uses of nuclear weapons to intimidate hold the potential for catastrophe. → Read More

The U.S. Is Number One

Once again, the U.S. leads the world in weapons sales, notes SIPRI, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The 100 biggest arms prod... → Read More

The American Military Uncontained

Out everywhere and winning nowhere. → Read More

The American Military: Out Everywhere and Winning Nowhere

When it comes to the “world’s greatest military,” the news has been shocking. Two fast U.S. → Read More

Ken Burns And The Vietnam War: 10 Items To Watch For

Initial excerpts suggest the series isn’t looking to provide definitive answers, perhaps as a way of avoiding political controversy in the Age of Trump. → Read More

Ken Burns And The Vietnam War: 10 Items To Watch For

Initial excerpts suggest the series isn’t looking to provide definitive answers, perhaps as a way of avoiding political controversy in the Age of Trump. → Read More

Of Historical Statues And Monuments

Historical statues and monuments are in the news, but sadly not because Americans have taken a new interest in understanding their history. Statues of me... → Read More