Pat Elder: Historical evidence, statements by military leaders of the era show JROTC version of Hiroshima is misleading.
Scott Kaufman: A Cold War-era plan to help the United States achieve greater energy independence is once again raising environmental red flags as this country continues to seek means of avoiding overreliance on foreign sources of fuel.
Tom Hall: If Lockheed Martin had been building boats at the time, the Pilgrims would never have reached Plymoth Rock on the Mayflower.
William Astore: Until Americans turn away from militarism and learn again how to “support our Constitution” more than our troops, until we return to a broader vision of national security that deemphasizes a garrison mentality, we will continue to wound, perhaps mortally, a once great republic.
David Love: The land of the free is home to only 5 percent of the world’s population, but 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. And we spend more than all nations combined on “defense”. We are addicted to shooting em up or locking em up. But we can’t provide healthcare to all.
Robert Reich: Republicans haven’t come up with a single new idea in almost 60 years. Herbert Hoover was the last Republican president to introduce a new Republican theme back in 1952 at the Republican National Convention. Since then they’ve repeated the message. Of course, Herbert Hoover, you may remember, didn’t have a sterling record when it came to the economy. As president, he presided over the Great Crash of 1929 and ushered in the Great Depression.
Robert Reich: Obama’s failure to address the decoupling of American corporate profits from American jobs, and explain specifically what he’ll do to get jobs back, not only risks making his grand plans for reviving the nation’s “competitiveness” seem somewhat beside the point but also cedes to Republicans the dominant narrative.
David Greenberg: Eisenhower’s speech itself has come to be romanticized all out of proportion to its merit, and the reasonableness of straightforward critiques of Pentagon spending cannot account for the mad embrace of Eisenhower in recent decades by anti-war leftists and so-called realists.
David Bacon: Last year, almost 400,000 people were deported from the United States. That’s the largest wave of deportations in U.S. history, even larger than the notorious “Operation Wetback” of the 1950s, or the mass deportations during the Great Depression.
Tom Hayden: It is time for Obama, and more Americans, to read their Eisenhower and begin again.
Randy Shaw: The Republican Party and Democratic so-called “deficit hawks” attack any proposed defense cuts as “job killers.” Yet this alliance refused to save the jobs of hundreds of thousands of teachers, and have backed tax and spending policies that have cost the nation millions of jobs in recent years.
David Love: If we are to have a perpetual war, it must be a war against injustice and deprivation at home and abroad. We need to get our own house in order, rather than demolish and rebuild other nations that did not invite us there. And as far as the so-called terrorism problem is concerned, maybe we should stay out of other folks’ backyards and it will go away.
Biden’s questions may have reflected his misgivings about America’s effort in Afghanistan. But his prodding also demonstrated the unique ability of a vice president to help ensure that presidential decisions are based on a full consideration of competing perspectives.