Boston Marathon, This Thing Called Terrorism, and the United States

who terrorizes

William Blum: What is it that makes young men, reasonably well educated, in good health and nice looking, with long lives ahead of them, use powerful explosives to murder complete strangers because of political beliefs? I’m speaking about American military personnel of course, on the ground, in the air, or directing drones from an office in Nevada.

Fantasies of Male Chivalry Ignore the History of Women in Wartime

nurses vietnam

Heather Marie Stur: The debate over women in combat is about gender roles — what is appropriate for men and women to do in wartime. It is also about symbolism — what the American soldier symbolizes about U.S. power and military strength.

Fighting Religious Tyranny in the U.S. Military

marines-afghanistan-wide

Sharon Kyle: Mikey Weinstein established The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, dedicated to ensuring that all members of the United States Armed Forces fully receive the Constitutional guarantee of religious freedom.

Friday Feedback: Veterans — The War After the War

woman veteran

Friday Feedback: Providing basic housing for veterans suffering from severe mental illness is the least we can do for the sacrifices they’ve made.

Remembering the 70th Anniversary of WWII

obama veterans

Mario Rivas: The VA now estimates 10% of the 16 million veterans that served in WWII are still alive. The VA also estimates that between 2015 and 2021 more than 650,000 will die.

A Growing Civilian-Military Gap, and its Consequences

war

Mary L. Dudziak: As Americans become more isolated from the costs of war, military engagement no longer seems to require the support of the American people. Their disengagement does not limit the reach of American military action, but enables its expansion.

GOP Debates: Shock and Aww Two More This Week!?

perry bush

Tina Dupuy: You know what’s never been said? “We should have MORE Republican primary debates.” Why? Because there are (by my count) 734,589 debates this election cycle and not enough hours in the day (spent working harder for less money) to watch eight Republican candidates stand around agreeing with each other for two hours every night.

“Occupy LA” Takes a Step

occupy la

Dick Price: The mood was both festive and earnest, with one third the crowd chronicling the proceedings with their cameras, the second third looking for a bit of shade on a warmish Los Angeles afternoon, and the rest holding a disparate array of mostly hand-painted protest signs.

Don’t Be a Chicken: Go for the Defense Budget!

okinawa

Steve Ybarra: Now that Boner blinked, all this talk about the budget got me to thinking, just how much money do we spend on military bases, where are they, and what difference do they make to the average American?

Jumpstarting Returning Veterans into Firefighting Careers

New York Firefighters Rescue in Worst Storm

State legislation that would provide returning Iraq, Afghanistan and other veterans exclusive opportunities to become state-certified firefighters has received the endorsement of the chair of the Veteran’s Caucus of the California Democratic Party.

Privatize Me

america for sale

Tom Degan: The problem with the elitist mentality of the plutocracy which is seeking to destroy anything concerned with “public works” is that they just can’t stomach the fact that we all own a piece the American infrastructure.

A Hotel, A Phone Number, and a Song

hotelpa

Michael Sigman: But while New York — and the nation — are obsessed about whether a certain cultural center should go up in lower Manhattan, few noticed that the Penn Plaza plan will bring down the legendary Hotel Pennsylvania.

The Vast TV Wasteland

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Brent Budowsky: This wasteland is worsened by waves of negative campaign advertising paid for by partisans and special interests, and by many TV “commentators” who repeat the mudslinging and spin instead of the serious discussions voters and viewers hunger for.

Only Road to Budget Reduction: Across-the-Board Cuts

defense-budget-wide

Ivan Eland: Weapons purchases are often welfare projects doled out to congressional districts and states with political clout. In fact, unlike in the commercial market, defense contractors don’t give subcontracts to the best subcontractors but spread them around the country to build political support, so that it is very difficult to kill weapons programs.

Let’s Rebuild America Now

Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill

Brent Budowsky: The voters want jobs. They do not want Washington to descend further into a Dark Age of vindictive partisan gridlock. We need a Rebuild America Bond to raise private capital to build roads, bridges, schools, military hospitals, vets centers and other shared priorities.

Bob Woodward and All the President’s Men

bob woodward

Andrew J. Bacevich: Once a serious journalist, the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward now makes a very fine living as chief gossip-monger of the governing class.

Colin Powell Makes a Case for the DREAM Act

colin powell

Seth Hoy: Former Secretary of State and retired General, Colin Powell, called for Republicans to stop driving the anti-immigrant bandwagon, made an economic case for immigration.

The Koran Burning-Islamic Center Brouhaha

koran burning site

Ivan Eland:The intense coverage of the Islamic center at Ground Zero, and a bigoted Christian minister’s threat to burn the Koran, are jolting and saddening.

Democrats’ Little Problem

Rep. Charley Rangel (D-NY)

Tom Degan: But as I’ve noted too many times to count in recent years, the “party of FDR” has developed a positive genius for taking a bottle of finely aged, twelve-year-old scotch and turning it into donkey piss.

Costs of War to Climb as Congress Votes to Continue Military Occupation

Tracy Emblem: There has been no real plan explained to the American public for an exit strategy in Afghanistan as mounting injuries and deaths occur and we continue to put our loved ones in harm’s way. In fact, we have no guarantee our troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan anytime soon. Some experts say it could take even longer than the six years we spent in Iraq.

Ever-Expanding Wars: An Appalling New Year Certainty

American shame flag

Emily Spence: We can be assured that, eventually, the ongoing military rampage will lead to a third world war if Russian or Chinese leaders, finally, reach a limit to the threats that can be endured from western imperial hubris. In fact, how can anyone anywhere embrace an increasingly extensive war trajectory? Moreover, we cannot accept the untimely deaths in the hundreds upon hundreds of thousands. They weigh too heavily on the national conscience — that is if one can even exist after so much unbridled wanton carnage.

Weekend Mysteries, Scandals, and Speculations

Donny Hathaway

The nation’s unemployment rate is at 10.2 percent, a 26-year high. These people will be waiting to hear Obama explain how adding to the $10 billion monthly price tag for Iraq and Afghanistan will help them find work. African American men, 17.1 percent of whom are unemployed, want a word from Obama on this,” wrote Columnist Colbert King in the Washington Post last week.

Fewer than Half of Returning Vets Suffering Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome Seek Help, VA Doctor Says

World War III Veteran Maj. Bill Adams

Veterans returning from the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq are displaying many of the same post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms of troops that fought in Viet Nam, yet most do not seek treatment.

Veterans Fight to Preserve West LA Veterans Grounds

Veteran's Day Cartoon

Veterans fight to preserve LA Veterans grounds. Yesterday Citizens For Veterans’ Rights (CFVR) received word from Congressman Henry Waxman’s office that the Real Property Exchange Program Manager ACSIM-Army Reserve Division announced “that phase 2 of the West LA Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will begin in the next few weeks … for the sale or transfer [...]

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