End Illegal War: Support Bradley Manning

collateral damage

Ann Wright: Just as Daniel Ellsberg blew the whistle on the lies of the US leaders of the Vietnam War, Manning is accused of blowing the whistle on the illegality of today’s wars. What will our response to the information Manning is charged with releasing be? Can we make today’s Pentagon Papers lead to an end to illegal and wasteful wars abroad and the return of our troops home?

Heroism, Cowardice, and the National Tragedy of Hidden Guilt

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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.

Holy Wars: Putting the “Mental” into Fundamentalism

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Ed Rampell: General Sherman, who burned Atlanta to the ground, rather famously and pithily said, “War is hell.” Stephen Marshall’s new documentary about religious fanaticism, Holy Wars, turns Sherman’s quote on its head with the clever tagline, “War is Heaven.”

Elisabeth Bumiller: Wrong on the Tonkin Gulf Incident

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Joseph Palermo: If Bumiller really believes that her peers in the establishment press in February/March 1968 were expressing “widespread skepticism” about the facts concerning the Gulf of Tonkin Incident then shouldn’t she have been a little more “skeptical” herself when her good friend Condi Rice (along with Rummy and Cheney and the rest of the gang) were launching their own pretext for invading Iraq?

Unanimous Conformity in the Senate

Sen. Wayne Morse

Norman Solomon: Every living senator voted Wednesday to approve Gen. David Petraeus as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. Call it the unanimity of lemmings – except the senators and their families aren’t the ones who’ll keep plunging into the sea.

Taliban’s Time Horizon Longer Than America’s

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=2815

Ivan Eland: The only solution is to cut the U.S. losses and leave Afghanistan for good. The good news is that removal of U.S. occupation forces from a Muslim land might actually reduce blowback anti-U.S. terrorism around the world.

From Great Man to Great Screwup: Behind the McChrystal Uproar

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Norman Solomon: For months, the McChrystal star had been slipping. A few days before the Rolling Stone piece caused a sudden plunge from war-making grace, Time Magazine’s conventional-wisdom weathervane Joe Klein was notably down on McChrystal’s results: “Six months after Barack Obama announced his new Afghan strategy in a speech at West Point, the policy seems stymied.”

O.J., Blumenthal, Souder, and Other Liars: What’s the Point?

Richard Blumenthal (Photo by Chion Wolf)

Michael Sigman: It’s one thing for a sociopath like Simpson to think he can get away with asking, in effect, “Who do you believe, me or your lying eyes?” But why do politicians — who love to praise the smarts of “the American people” — tell lies time and again when common sense dictates they’ll be caught, especially now that online searches allow facts to be instantly checked and communicated?

Feting a Fetid War

lyndon johnson ngo diem hamid karzai barack obama

Ivan Eland: The U.S. government’s inability to distinguish between al-Qaeda, with global ambitions, and the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban, with their local goals, has merely made more enemies, including those who would begin attacking the United States. How are Americans being made safer by this war?

Fulfilling the Dream: Completing the Undone Work of Martin Luther King Jr.

Rabbi James Wax

H. Scott Prosterman: Those of us who came of age in the late ’60′s did so at a time of painful soul-searching for our nation, but we benefited from the new era of openness and spiritual exploration that followed. I learned from Rabbi Wax that one’s politics is defined by one’s sense of humanity, or the lack thereof.

War Politics: Numb and Number

Senator Wayne Morse

Norman Solomon: While the escalating disaster of war in Afghanistan keeps setting deadly blazes, the few anti-war voices on Capitol Hill usually sound like people whispering “Fire!”

Vietnam: What War Stories Need to Accomplish

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Wayne Karlin: As the grave filled, as Dam was brought to rest, we knew that we were burying the war. We had accomplished what war stories needed to accomplish. We had not left the dead restless in their mass and anonymous graves, and in doing so we had attended to all the wandering souls, Vietnamese and American, dead and still living, that could not come home from the war.

Obama Speaks (Some) Truth From Power

Peace-Prize

President Obama’s Nobel lecture might have showed us that the United States has reached a turning point: either the national security monster we’ve created is going to eat us alive by bankrupting the country or we’re going to have to shift course. We must begin to spin off the 700 or so military bases and installations around the world and focus on building a better life for our own people here at home.

The Hollow Politics of Escalation

Afghan-Monopoly

The next days and weeks will bring an avalanche of hype about insisting on measurable progress and shifting burdens onto the Afghan army — while the U.S. military expands the war.

False Atrocity Tales from the War in Vietnam

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A young lance corporal, who could not distinguish between a legal and an illegal order, shot an unresisting, unarmed, and unnamed woman in the back, in front of children that were likely hers. He and his company commander were court-martialed.

Is Adulation of the Military Really Patriotic?

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And the American public, still feeling guilty over the admittedly terrible treatment of returning draftees from the Vietnam War, has retained its awe of the now voluntary military as an institution, even as it has soured on the Iraq and Afghan Wars.

Obama’s Afghanistan Dilemma

LBJ's ghost chasing Barack Obama cartoon

We will not hear much dissent among the political elite from McChrystal’s recommendations, aside from the usual array of war critics. But what is at work here is that vague, almost incalculable force: public opinion.

Was William Calley a Scapegoat?

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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.

Democrats and War

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There is an admirable strain of pacifism among many Democrats, especially among Democratic activists. Every rational, compassionate individual dislikes war and seeks to avoid it whenever and wherever possible. Yet there are circumstances in which war can be justified from a moral standpoint as well as that of national interest.

To Escalate the Escalation?

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The debate rages among experts on whether to escalate the escalation of Barack Obama’s “war of necessity” in Afghanistan—seemingly oblivious to American public opinion at home that has turned against waging the conflict at all.

Obama Swiftboats Van Jones

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I’ll expand that to say, the loss of Van Jones is a huge loss for Obama. Obama’s one-time supporters on the Left, who demand accountability, backbone, and honor, are fast jumping ship, as he limply swiftboats away.

Warfare Over Health Care

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The Blue Dogs and other fellow travelers ask us to be frugal when considering the general health of our citizens. But where were these spendthrift “deficit hawks” when Congress pushed through the lavish Pentagon spending.

The Way It Wasn’t: Cronkite and Vietnam

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Cronkite made a bold decision to step out of his familiar role as impartial anchor and to express views that he said were “speculative, personal, subjective.” Yet he was speaking for more than himself.

Walter Cronkite

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There’s only one tribute to the memory of Walter Conkrite that means anything and that would be if TV “journalists” somehow learned from his example and did their goddamn jobs!

Mary McCarthy in Vietnam, Barack Obama in Afghanistan

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In 1967, outraged by the course of the Vietnam War, as well as her country’s role in prolonging and worsening it, Mary McCarthy, novelist, memoirist, and author of the bestseller The Group, went to Saigon, then the capital of South Vietnam, to judge the situation for herself. The next year, she went to the North [...]

The War Is Not Over: Letter from a Soldier’s Mother

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I was standing in line at the bank when I heard a customer ask the teller if her son was home from Iraq. The teller responded that he was not home in her house, but he was back and stationed in Texas. The customer said she was glad to hear that. I thought to myself: [...]

Color of Law: U.S. Drug Policy Has Gone to Pot

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In a recent online town hall meeting at the White House, President Obama was asked by the online audience whether he thought legalizing marijuana would create jobs and help the economy. It was the most popular question asked at the meeting.

It’s Not About Ugly Betty: The DTV Transition and Why It Matters

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On May 3, 1963 the North was stunned as it saw broadcast images of Birmingham Commissioner of Public Safety, Bull Connor, turning fire hoses, dogs, cattle prods, and billy clubs on peaceful black protesters that had organized a campaign targeting the local business community. The response was immediate and profound. The public outcry forced President [...]

Something Bad Happens When Ads Are Made by Children

lincoln-continental

I know that it’s typical in the ad agency business for creative types to be about 14 years old but the trend seems to be slipping onto the client side, as well. Take the current commercial for the 2009 Lincoln Continental. Apparently, no one on either the agency side or at the client is old [...]

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