Two weeks to flatten the curve became 18 months of mandates with no end in sight. Government seized new powers from the people to regulate lives. Rules which make no sense dominate us, experiments in compliance not science. How do Covid restrictions end? They likely never will.

I learned all…


It is important to stop every once in awhile and sum up, to lay down some breadcrumbs to refer back to when someone asks “How did we end up here?”

In many ways, the story is the same story. The message of 9/11 was give up freedom for safety, trust…


Wait, stop. I know it’s almost October, but I’m not done with 9/11. I know we had the 20th anniversary, promised for a day to never forget whatever, and then an old-looking Bruce Springsteen rose to sing about everyone dying around him (read the room, Bruce.) …


Since Biden was elected in part as a salve for Trump’s perceived foreign policy blunders, it seems reasonable nine months in to go searching for the Biden Doctrine, to assess his initial foreign policy moves, to see what paths he has sketched out for the next three years.

(Sound of…


Covid caused a very odd thing: the working poor got a raise.

Via stimulus checks, federally funded jumps in unemployment payments, and looser state-based unemployment qualifications (specifically the inclusion of gig workers and independent contractors who weren’t before eligible for regular unemployment benefits) many Americans suddenly had money. It may…


History rarely falls between neat bookends. The Sixties didn’t end until 1975 with the fall of Saigon, for example. …


The Kabul airport suicide bombing was the largest single-day loss of life for Americans in the Afghan War since 2011. It was a terrible day, but begs the question: what was the worst day of the Afghan war?

It is hard not to consider the Kabul airport suicide bombing the…


The story of Afghans fleeing their country seeking Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) is the story of the war.

In the hubris of 20 years ago, no one could conceive the U.S. would need to evacuate locals who worked with us. Instead, they would form the vanguard of a New Afghanistan…


Who should we blame for losing Afghanistan? Why blame anyone?

Did anyone expect the U.S. war in Afghanistan to end cleanly? If so, you bought the lies all along and the cold water now is hitting sharp. …


Anybody miss the Olympics yet? It’s been more than a week now, and I am glad the Olympics are over. There was little joy in them. The closing felt like a mercy killing.

The absurdity of holding the Games at all when in most countries people suffer under various restrictions…

Peter Van Buren

Author of Hooper’s War: A Novel of WWII Japan and WE MEANT WELL: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts + Minds of the Iraqi People

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