Steve Mikulan: Buck McKeon who chairs the powerful House Armed Services Committee, may not be the most retrograde member of the House, but is certainly close to it.
Rebecca Griffin: Depending on whom you ask, the Pentagon either got a free ride or the deal decimates the military budget. Given the leverage that Republicans had in this debate, it’s not surprising that the Pentagon got off easy in the first round of cuts.
Gareth Porter: The Obama administration has relied heavily, of course, on the widespread impression that the Taliban regime was somehow mixed up with Osama bin Laden’s plotting the 9/11 attacks.
Rebecca Griffin: As we gear up to keep the pressure on following President Obama’s disappointing announcement of his plan for a modest withdrawal, we see once again how critical our congressional work has been.
Andrea Nill: Over the past couple of weeks, thousands of Mexicans have taken to the streets to protest the bloody drug war that has ravaged Latin America and left 35,000 people dead since 2006 in Mexico alone.
Irene Monroe: With the momentum of Tea Party candidates, who are anti-Obama, anti-abortion, and anti-gay civil rights, unseating long-term Republican incumbents in this recent primary aggressively trying to retake Congress and with midterm elections now just weeks away the chances of repealing DADT is looking slimmer.
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.
Norman Soloman: And if, these days, “U.S. troops in the field” are not as inclined to express “frustration at having to fight a war without sufficient resources,” the latest boosts of Pentagon outlays for war in Afghanistan merely reflect the unhinged escalation of a war effort that should not exist.
Rev. Irene Monroe: As LGBTQ Americans, our patriotism is not recognized. But one of our community’s greatest moments of patriotism was the Stonewall Riots of June 27–29, 1969, in New York City’s Greenwich Village. We celebrate their heroism every day as out-of-the-closet people who are intentionally visible in various facets of American life.
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 If DADT is not repealed it gives the President an easy out.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.
Rev. Irene Monroe: In February, when the nation’s top two Defense officials — Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — advocated for a repeal of the 1993 “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT)” policy, universities like Brown, Columbia, and Harvard, to name a few, allowed ROTC to march its way back on campus.
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.
No doubt the Pentagon was relieved because the report tears a strip off the Army for not giving commanders in Iraq – and, by extension, Afghanistan – the necessary tools, training and guidance to handle at-risk soldiers.