Saturday, October 16, 2010

The most dangerous part of your day

From the Nation's review of Tom Engelhardt's The American Way of War:
How Bush's Wars Became Obama's:

'The embarrassing percentage of Americans who believe Barack Obama is
a Muslim Manchurian candidate sent to impose Sharia—or is it
socialism?—from sea to shining sea should take a look at the
Pentagon's books. Earlier this year Obama, formerly the partial
antiwar candidate, sent Congress the largest defense budget since
World War II: $708 billion for the fiscal year 2011, a sum that
surpassed the 2010 defense budget of $626 billion, which grew this
spring by $33 billion—the initial outlay for an additional 30,000
soldiers in Afghanistan. Nearly $160 billion of the 2011 budget (up
from $128 billion in 2010) covers "Overseas Contingency Operations,"
the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.


Engelhardt excels at extracting lurid details from the annals of
America's ongoing state of war. He has an editor's eye for the most
revealing line buried at the bottom of a war correspondent's dispatch
or an intelligence report filed in Washington. One of his best details
is of the pilots who operate the unmanned drones that drop missiles on
Afghanistan and Pakistan. Some work at computer screens on the
outskirts of Las Vegas. When a day's work is over and the pilots leave
Creech Air Force Base, a sign warns them to "drive carefully"—this is
"the most dangerous part of your day." '

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