Charles Hayes: Today I feel very differently about the Vietnam War than I did in my youth, but my own feelings of guilt during that time give me a unique kind of insight into the psychology of courage and commitment. America has never had a shortage of courageous citizens willing to take up arms and fight to the death for reasons and causes beyond their own understanding. Arlington Cemetery in Virginia serves as proof. But my sense of the decades since the end of World War II is that America has and is experiencing a courage crisis of shameful origin and of tragic consequence.
Tracy Emblem: Compare President Truman’s proclamation of equal opportunity and treatment in the military to today’s efforts to repeal the 1993 “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy imposed by Congress. This discriminatory practice is tantamount to silent segregation of gay and lesbian personnel and puts them at continued risk to lose their jobs and all of their benefits.
Tom Hall: Excuse me if don’t start drooling with enthusiasm at the recent disclosure that the Pentagon and Wikileaks have been talking to each other about proper handling of further disclosures on our occupation of Afghanistan.
Norman Solomon: It’s already history. In mid-August 2010, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan launched a huge media campaign to prevent any substantial withdrawal of military forces the next summer.
Ted Vaill: President McCain has urged that the United Nations move its headquarters out of the U.S., and he has proposed that the U.S. leave the UN, which he calls “useless and corrupt”. He also has refused to meet with most foreign leaders in the White House, or to travel abroad, except for heavily guarded and secret trips to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Robert Reich: Having a giant undercover military jobs program is an insane way to keep Americans employed. It creates jobs we don’t need but we keep anyway because there’s no honest alternative.
Rev. Irene Monroe: The posturing last week from Congress was great theater. All the thespians performed their parts well, especially Obama. Why? If DADT is not repealed it gives the President an easy out. It allows the President to distance himself politically by shifting the responsibility and blame for DADT’s outcome from himself to some one else.
Is he the U.S. military’s worst nightmare? Imagine, a radical homosexual with his hands on the military’s purse strings. It’s hard to believe that after 15 years of repressive, misguided military policy (“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”), which stigmatized and prevented gay men and lesbians from serving honestly and openly in our country’s Armed Forces, the [...]
As Democrats, we need to support military families and veterans, and set aside the politics! For too long, we have not done well at separating the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from the troops who must fight them. As a result, we have been missing in action in outreach and philanthropic endeavors to the troops, [...]
Every Friday the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by Trevor in response to Sherwood Ross’s Pentagon Targets African-American and Hispanic Kids to Fight Its Wars: Third in a Three-Part Series: Trevor responded, “This is ridiculous. When I went to basic training just a [...]
by Sherwood Ross – If African-Americans are overrepresented in the armed forces it is likely because of the military’s practice of “strategically targeting low-income youth and students of color,” the ACLU has found. Result: While African-Americans make up only 16% of the same-age civilian population, in 2006 they represented about 22% of enlisted Army personnel.
Truth or Consequences was once a TV game show and a town in New Mexico. In the real world, there is always truth, and ignoring the truth has terrible consequences. In Vietnam, we tried to demonstrate that advanced technology could conquer Stone Age nationalism. Using guns that could fire thousands of bullets a minute, chemicals [...]
I dreamed I saw Joe Hill, last night, Alive as you and me. Says I “But Joe you’re ten years dead.” “I never died says he.” This old song popped into my head while I was reading a rightwing blogger’s paean to Jesse Helms. The blogger praised Helms as a “heroic warrior for conservative values.” [...]