Why Pat Tillman’s Death Matters

Marie Tillman

Dick Price: Amir Bar-Lev’s powerful documentary, “The Tillman Story,” fleshes out the tragic arc of Pat Tillman’s life in what becomes less an anti-war movie and more the story of one indomitable family’s struggle for truth and justice in the face of arrogant indifference by our nation’s top military and civilian leaders, abetted by a cheerleading press.

Heroism, Cowardice, and the National Tragedy of Hidden Guilt

combat

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.

General McChrystal, General Petraeus, and General Confusion

Michael H. Hunt

Michael Hunt: This might be a good time to put a stop to general confusion and to that end assert firm civilian control, order the brass back to the Pentagon, and above all ask if the militarization of our society is consistent with our historic values.

End the Silent Segregation in the U.S. Military

Don't Ask; Don't Tell

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.

Wikileaks: An Antidote for the Pentagon’s Long History of Burying the Truth?

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.

On Reading the Sunday Paper

sunday newspaper

Ron Wolff: Like many people, I get some of my news these days from blogs. But I still read a daily newspaper. Had I not, I might have missed several key reports.

General Petraeus Goes to Media War

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.

Converting Military Restraint in Wars into an Effective National Strategy

bombingbaghdad

Ivan Eland: The US should attempt to win hearts and minds in the Muslim world by ending meddling in places such as Yemen and Somalia and withdrawing forces rapidly from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Why People Hate Politics

gautam dutta

Gautam Dutta: Rather than engage in discussion and debate, many politicians find it easier to demonize their opponents, rather than debate the issues.

President John McCain’s First 18 Months in Office

ted vaill

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.

America’s Biggest Jobs Program: The U.S. Military

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.

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.

Is Obama Avoiding Responsibly for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”?

Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. James Pietrangelo

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.

Was William Calley a Scapegoat?

Calley

Ever since the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, many have held that higher-ups were more responsible than William Calley, who was convicted of murder and now has issued his first public apology. Gary Kulik, himself a Vietnam veteran, declines to shift the blame.

U.S. Military Needs a Radical Homosexual

barney-frank

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 [...]

Bringing Veterans and Military Personnel into the Democratic Party

mays_01

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, [...]

LaVena Johnson Military Rape Coverup

LaVena Johnson

LaVena Johnson was found dead on a military base in Balad, Iraq, in a tent belonging to military contractor KBR, a spinoff and former subsidiary of Halliburton.

Friday Feedback: Military Recruiters Target Poor, Not Just Blacks and Latinos

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 [...]

Pentagon Targets African-American and Hispanic Kids to Fight Its Wars: Third in a Three-Part Series

blacksoldiers

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.

U.S. Breaks International Pledge Not to Recruit Children Under 17: First in a Three-Part Series

jrotc

by Sherwood Ross – In violation of its pledge to the United Nations not to recruit children into the military, the Pentagon “regularly target(s) children under 17,” the American Civil Liberties Union(ACLU) says.

Truth or Consequences

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 [...]

Jesse and Joe

Jesse Helms

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.” [...]

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