Heart of Empire

Heart of Empire — April 26, 2016, 5:07 pm

A Policy of Hypocrisy

Trump wants to cut off Mexicans’ money? That’s what the Obama Administration already does to Somalis.

Heart of Empire — October 23, 2015, 12:36 pm

Flying Blind

The authors of the Drone Papers were delivering a simple message: send more money.

Heart of Empire — August 13, 2015, 11:32 am

Undelivered Goods

How $1.8 billion in aid to Ukraine was funneled to the outposts of the international finance galaxy 

Heart of Empire — March 18, 2015, 1:51 pm

War by Remote

How armchair generals pretend they’re on the front lines.

Heart of Empire — January 16, 2015, 2:07 pm

Clerical Oversight

The Jihadist leader no one wants to touch

Heart of Empire — December 12, 2014, 4:46 pm

Borderline Euphoric

Cold War II gets a bipartisan welcome

Heart of Empire — September 18, 2014, 2:55 pm

Flying Blind

The U.S. air-power lobby, botched bombing missions, and bootless combat.

Heart of Empire, Mentions — June 20, 2014, 11:41 am

Andrew Cockburn on Democracy Now

Andrew Cockburn discusses the origins and possible fate of Nouri al-Maliki’s prime ministership

Heart of Empire — June 12, 2014, 12:41 pm

The Long Shadow of a Neocon

Reassessing a primary architect of Iraq and Afghanistan’s current misery

Heart of Empire, Six Questions — May 6, 2014, 2:37 pm

Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare

Gareth Porter on the true history of Iran’s nuclear program

Heart of Empire — March 20, 2014, 2:09 pm

Sins of the Fatcat

Bob Ivry’s guide for tracking down the live villains and unburied bodies of the 2008 crash

Heart of Empire — January 22, 2014, 2:02 pm

Warthogs and All

The U.S. Air Force’s foolish plan to scrap its most effective plane

Heart of Empire — November 15, 2013, 3:04 pm

Kerry, Iran, and the Wisdom of James Baker

Why John Kerry was bested by France and Israel in negotiations with Iran, and how the Obama Administration could get around the U.S. sanctions regime

Heart of Empire — October 31, 2013, 8:00 am

The Bloom Comes Off the Georgian Rose

In the aftermath of Georgia’s presidential elections, questions emerge about Mikhail Saakashvili’s support for jihadist operations in southern Russia, and about what the United States knew

Heart of Empire — July 17, 2013, 12:12 pm

Boeing’s Plastic Planes

How Boeing’s adoption of defense-contracting practices led to the flawed Dreamliner 787

Heart of Empire — June 6, 2013, 1:24 pm

Flight of the Discords

The military–industrial–congressional complex bullies the F-35 Lightning II into Burlington

Heart of Empire — May 6, 2013, 4:44 pm

Targeting Lincoln

How bank-friendly legislators are gutting the Lincoln Amendment to the Dodd–Frank Act

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A Play with No End

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When I caught up with the Gilets Jaunes on March 2, near the Jardin du Ranelagh, they were moving in such a mass through the streets that all traffic had come to a halt. The residents of Passy, one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Paris, stood agape and apart and afraid. Many of the shops and businesses along the route of the march, which that day crossed seven and a half miles of the city, were shuttered for the occasion, the proprietors fearful of the volatile crowd, who mostly hailed from outside Paris and were considered a rabble of invaders.

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The Great Kurultáj, an event held annually outside the town of Bugac, Hungary, is billed as both the “Tribal Assembly of the Hun-­Turkic Nations” and “Europe’s Largest Equestrian Event.” When I arrived last August, I was fittingly greeted by a variety of riders on horseback: some dressed as Huns, others as Parthian cavalrymen, Scythian archers, Magyar warriors, csikós cowboys, and betyár bandits. In total there were representatives from twenty-­seven “tribes,” all members of the “Hun-­Turkic” fraternity. The festival’s entrance was marked by a sixty-­foot-­tall portrait of Attila himself, wielding an immense broadsword and standing in front of what was either a bonfire or a sky illuminated by the baleful glow of war. He sported a goatee in the style of Steven Seagal and, shorn of his war braids and helmet, might have been someone you could find in a Budapest cellar bar. A slight smirk suggested that great mirth and great violence together mingled in his soul.

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Celebrity sightings are a familiar feature of the modern N.B.A., but this year’s playoffs included an appearance unusual even by the standards of America’s most star-­friendly sports league. A few minutes into the first game of the Western Conference semifinals, between the Golden State Warriors and the Houston ­Rockets—the season’s hottest ticket, featuring the reigning M.V.P. on one side and the reigning league champions on the other—­President Paul Kagame of Rwanda arrived with an entourage of about a dozen people, creating what the sports website The Undefeated called “a scene reminiscent of the fashionably late arrivals of Prince, Jay-­Z, Beyoncé and Rihanna.”

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The Alps·

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A Toyota HiAce with piebald paneling, singing suspension, and a reg from the last millennium rolled into the parking lot of the Swinford Gaels football club late on a Friday evening. The HiAce belonged to Rory Hughes, the eldest of the three brothers known as the Alps, and the Alps traveled everywhere together in it. The three stepped out and with a decisive slam of the van’s side door moved off across the moonscape of the parking lot in the order of their conceptions, Rory on point, the middle brother, Eustace, close behind, and the youngest, ­Bimbo, in dawdling tow.

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Hurrah for the Plaza·

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There has been a proliferation of plazas in the past twenty years, here in New York City but also elsewhere in America, even in Minnesota, where I’m from. Maybe in the zoning laws there is provision for the apportionment of sunshine, or maybe it’s just leftover space waiting to be developed, but here it is, an open ­plaza where people can mingle freely, enjoy face-­to-­face encounters, take a break from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram—­the national unconscious with its fevers of conspiracy and ancient hatreds and malignity—­and walk out into the fresh air of democracy, where the general looseness—­no security personnel, no ropes, no questions—­testifies to the inherent good manners of one’s fellow citizens. There is no sign reading: your consideration of your neighbors is appreciated. thank you for not engaging in abusive talk or elaborate paranoia. People just behave without being told, as if their mothers were watching them.

Cost of renting a giant panda from the Chinese government, per day:

$1,500

A recent earthquake in Chile was found to have shifted the city of Concepción ten feet to the west, shortened Earth’s days by 1.26 microseconds, and shifted the planet’s axis by nearly three inches.

“What’s the point?” said Senator Tim Scott, who is paid at least $174,000 per year as an elected official, when asked whether he had read the Mueller report.

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“Nowadays, most states let just about anybody who wants a concealed-handgun permit have one; in seventeen states, you don’t even have to be a resident. Nobody knows exactly how many Americans carry guns, because not all states release their numbers, and even if they did, not all permit holders carry all the time. But it’s safe to assume that as many as 6 million Americans are walking around with firearms under their clothes.”

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