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.
Heather Marie Stur: The debate over women in combat is about gender roles — what is appropriate for men and women to do in wartime. It is also about symbolism — what the American soldier symbolizes about U.S. power and military strength.
Sharon Kyle: Mikey Weinstein established The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, dedicated to ensuring that all members of the United States Armed Forces fully receive the Constitutional guarantee of religious freedom.
Friday Feedback: Providing basic housing for veterans suffering from severe mental illness is the least we can do for the sacrifices they’ve made.
Mario Rivas: The VA now estimates 10% of the 16 million veterans that served in WWII are still alive. The VA also estimates that between 2015 and 2021 more than 650,000 will die.
Mary L. Dudziak: As Americans become more isolated from the costs of war, military engagement no longer seems to require the support of the American people. Their disengagement does not limit the reach of American military action, but enables its expansion.
Tina Dupuy: You know what’s never been said? “We should have MORE Republican primary debates.” Why? Because there are (by my count) 734,589 debates this election cycle and not enough hours in the day (spent working harder for less money) to watch eight Republican candidates stand around agreeing with each other for two hours every night.
Dick Price: The mood was both festive and earnest, with one third the crowd chronicling the proceedings with their cameras, the second third looking for a bit of shade on a warmish Los Angeles afternoon, and the rest holding a disparate array of mostly hand-painted protest signs.
Steve Ybarra: Now that Boner blinked, all this talk about the budget got me to thinking, just how much money do we spend on military bases, where are they, and what difference do they make to the average American?
State legislation that would provide returning Iraq, Afghanistan and other veterans exclusive opportunities to become state-certified firefighters has received the endorsement of the chair of the Veteran’s Caucus of the California Democratic Party.
Michael Sigman: But while New York — and the nation — are obsessed about whether a certain cultural center should go up in lower Manhattan, few noticed that the Penn Plaza plan will bring down the legendary Hotel Pennsylvania.
Brent Budowsky: This wasteland is worsened by waves of negative campaign advertising paid for by partisans and special interests, and by many TV “commentators” who repeat the mudslinging and spin instead of the serious discussions voters and viewers hunger for.
Ivan Eland: Weapons purchases are often welfare projects doled out to congressional districts and states with political clout. In fact, unlike in the commercial market, defense contractors don’t give subcontracts to the best subcontractors but spread them around the country to build political support, so that it is very difficult to kill weapons programs.