Asawin Suebsaeng

Asawin Suebsaeng is an intern at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Civilian Affairs

The Obama administration says civilian safety is a priority in Afghanistan. But have ground tactics really shifted since the Bush era?

Along a sunburnt dirt road, amid the obscure mountain stretches surrounding Kabul, lies a small rural Afghan town called Kharabagh. Situated atop a rocky, angled slope, the village now serves as an unofficial refugee haven for about 30 families. Formerly of the Jalrez district in the Wardak province of Central Afghanistan, these families fled their previous residence after a new U.S. military compound was erected adjacent to their village. The base, built in February, not only encroached on the village's cemetery and school but inevitably attracted Taliban gunfire and harassment. After suffering the burden of U.S. military checkpoints, the terror of extremist combatants regularly stalking them, and mounting civilian casualties, it was no surprise that the villagers abandoned their homes. Since they took shelter with relatives and friends in Kharabagh, their hometown remains generally deserted, bullet-riddled, and overwhelmed by soldiers. Patrick Duplat, a Refugees International...

LOOPS AND PARALLELS.

Armando Iannucci ’s new film In the Loop , a lampoon of the British-American deceptions and bureaucratic hell leading up to the Iraq War, has everything you’d expect out of a satire of its kind: convoluted debates on government informants, accidental intelligence leaks, aggressively silenced voices of dissent, and plenty of doublespeak. The parallels between the zany fiction and pre-invasion reality are made abundantly clear: a "rush to war" in the Middle East, a stoic Rumsfeld -esque official manipulating evidence, and, of course, the fresh-out-of-college mid-level staffers influencing hawkish foreign policy ( Spencer Ackerman , who was a consultant for the film, has an amusing story about this point). But the most insightful parts of the movie are the moments when the line between satirical jabs and sad reality are suddenly blurred, almost to devastating effect. Various excerpts of the movie’s dialogue often read like the perfect summary of reckless Bush -era war policy: "What’s so...

TAP Talks to P.J. O'Rourke

In his new collection of essays, the libertarian political satirist skewers all things government. TAP Online sat down with him to talk about being an avowed ring-winger in the Age of Obama.

P.J. O'Rourke, the libertarian political satirist, is famous for his hilarious -- though usually wrongheaded -- skewering of all things government-related. But these days, as President Barack Obama rolls out nearly $800 billion in stimulus spending and meddles with the financial sector, O'Rourke isn't joking when he says he's mad as hell. With his recently published collection of essays, Driving Like Crazy: Thirty Years of Vehicular Hell-bending, Celebrating America the Way It's Supposed To Be , O'Rourke yells into the wind against almost every public-policy trend in Obama's America. He bemoans the downfall of the American car, reminisces about his youthful gear-head excesses, and takes aim at the political forces he blames for the now-moribund American automobile industry. The Prospect argued with O'Rourke about government regulation and car culture and asked him how it feels to be an avowed right-winger in the Obama era. His short answer? Not so great. In March you predicted a "...