Memorial Day began as “Decoration Day” in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. Civil War. It was a tradition initiated by former slaves to celebrate emancipation and commemorate those who died for that cause.
The Military Industrial Complex
President Eisenhower warned against the dangers of developing a military industrial complex. It appears that when all you have in your toolbox is hammers, everything looks like a nail. The articles below give a sense of the many ways we use all of the hammers we've invested in.
Berry Craig: Count me among supporters of drones or any other weapon authorized by any president that kills the enemy without endangering the lives and limbs of our fighting service men and women.
Ivan Eland: Unfortunately, even if the law is not changed, civil liberties groups already have a perpetual war on their hands–despite the decimation of the main al Qaeda group.
JP Sotille: Everyone is a potential target in the War on Terror’s lingering “With Us or Against Us” protection racket, and drones are the crooked-nosed enforcers that kill without remorse, without hesitation and without accountability.
Tom Hayden: Newcomers like Senator King worry that the Obama administration has “essentially rewritten the Constitution,” giving rise to a new Imperial Presidency, buffered by an expanded security state.
Jeremy Kuzmarov: For more than a decade the CIA has provided wads of dollars to the office of Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan’s president largely as a means of buying political influence.
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.
Joseph Palermo: In U.S.-occupied Iraq, every car bomb, every I.E.D., every suicide bomber, and every sectarian killing that followed that sunny day in May off the San Diego coast made a mockery of Bush’s premature spiking of the proverbial football and brought deserved derision from the rest of the world.
Walter Moss: American Media coverage makes it almost impossible to ignore the tragic deaths mentioned in places like Newtown and Boston, but to empathize with all the similar sufferings in the rest of the world, and to ask ourselves how the USA contributes to any of it, we have to exert ourselves.
Tom Hall: Wouldn’t it be great if this latest Pentagon boondoggle to shovel more taxpayer dollars out the door for worthless crap brought together progressives and tea baggers in opposition to real government waste?
JP Sotille: By shooting of his big mouth, the retired general collaterally damaged the tumultuous pact between his former colleagues in both Islamabad and Washington. In fact, he blew another hole in the crumbling wall of obfuscation around Washington’s kill list.
Michael Haas: Washington refuses to connect the dots and continues to foment more anger among Muslims around the world, who in turn are aware of and eager to retaliate against such obvious American war crimes.
Randy Shaw: Tax Day has passed with little attention to the chief reason U.S. students are overwhelmed by debt, millions are homeless, children go to bed hungry and our public transit infrastructure is being destroyed — the allocation of half of every discretionary dollar to the military.