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Tag: Military


U.S. Marine Corps / Cpl. Artur Shvartsberg

Today’s U.S. Army and Its Ambitions

It is possible that the creation of an all-professional U.S. Army has been Congress’ most dangerous decision.

Posted on Nov 3, 2009 READ MORE



USMC / Sgt. Christopher R. Rye

Scott Ritter on Afghanistan: Don’t Believe the Hype

Is the war in Afghanistan worth the sacrifice of even one American life? Former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter says, “No! ... We are allowing the battle in Afghanistan to be defined by a domestic American political imperative. There is no urgency in Afghanistan, there is urgency in Washington, D.C.”

Posted on Nov 3, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Musadeq Sadeq

Opium, Rape and the American Way

The warlords we champion in Afghanistan are as venal, as opposed to the rights of women and basic democratic freedoms, and as heavily involved in opium trafficking as the Taliban.

Posted on Nov 2, 2009 READ MORE



AP / David Guttenfelder

McChrystal Doesn’t Get It—Does Obama?

President Obama may have won the Nobel Peace Prize, but if he allows himself to be bullied into supporting Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s foray into Afghanistan, he will reveal himself as the worst kind of warmonger.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE


Afghan Poppy Trade Blurs All the Lines

The opium poppy was introduced to Afghanistan more than 2,300 years ago by the armies of Alexander the Great. His forces were eventually driven out, like those of every would-be conqueror since. The poppy has proved more tenacious.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / cometstarmoon

House Dems Water Down Public Option

If the point of health care reform is to do something about skyrocketing medical costs, then the House reform bill just got a little more pointless. Although the speaker and other House liberals had hoped to hitch the public option’s negotiating power to Medicare’s wagon ... (continued)

Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE


Obama signs bill
AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Obama Trims (Some) Fat with Weapons Bill

In a move that some are praising as a major victory against the powerful weapons lobby, President Barack Obama was able to cut out several expensive programs, thus cutting down on defense spending, in the new $680 billion dollar military bill he signed Wednesday. However, before we get too excited, let’s be clear here: That’s still $680 billion, after all.

Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE


Arrogant U.S. Misses the Message From Pakistan’s People

When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits Pakistan this week, she will hear a lot about how fearful the Pakistan populace is, not of the Taliban and al-Qaida, but of the United States.

Posted on Oct 27, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Tech. Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol

The War Condolences Obama Hasn’t Sent

U.S. Army Reserve Spc. Chancellor Keesling died in Iraq on June 19, 2009, from “a non-combat related incident,” according to the Pentagon. Keesling had killed himself.

Posted on Oct 27, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Rafiq Maqbool

War Is a Hate Crime

The first major federal civil rights law protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, passed last week, was attached to a measure funding ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Posted on Oct 26, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Spc. Tia P. Sokimson

The Country That Cries Wolf

European allies have tired of America’s cries of “wolf! wolf!” in Iraq (yesterday), Afghanistan (today), and (I fear) Pakistan or Somalia or Kashmir tomorrow.

Posted on Oct 22, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Tech. Sgt. Cohen A. Young

Does Military Service Turn Young Men Into Sexual Predators?

It can be shown that the patterns of military sex crimes are old and widespread—for generations, military service has transformed large numbers of American boys into sexual predators. So it seems reasonable to ask whether perhaps there is something about military culture or training or experience that can be identified as causative, and then, perhaps, changed.

Posted on Oct 22, 2009 READ MORE


Turkish Cooperation—and Coffee—in Short Supply for Israel

Other than the United States, Turkey has probably been the most important of Israel’s allies, but now it is getting the “freedom fries” treatment.

Posted on Oct 20, 2009 READ MORE


Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

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Posted on Oct 19, 2009 READ MORE    


With Al-Qaida Fading, Why Expand the Afghan War?

Given the Western world’s obsession with al-Qaida, it’s remarkable that public discourse makes little mention of the fact that the terror group is going out of business.

Posted on Oct 15, 2009 READ MORE


Lt. Choi Won’t Lie for His Country

Since “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993, 13,500 soldiers, sailors and Marines have been discharged from the military.

Posted on Oct 13, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Promises End to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Again.

President Obama, echoing many of the claims he made on the campaign trail, promised at a Human Rights Campaign gala Saturday to overturn “don’t ask, don’t tell” and called for “full [legal] equality” for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and an end to anti-gay discrimination. On Sunday, thousands descended on Washington in a march whose organizers said the LGBT community will not accept a piecemeal approach to civil rights.

Posted on Oct 11, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Emilio Morenatti

Unintended Consequences in Nuclear Pakistan

The Obama administration has already begun to escalate the fighting in Pakistan, a policy that could make even the Nixon-Kissinger destruction of Cambodia seem like a pleasant memory.

Posted on Oct 9, 2009 READ MORE



speaker.gov

Pelosi Responds to Republicans’ Sexist Nonsense

Nancy Pelosi wasted no time slapping down a National Republican Congressional Committee press release that said “taxpayers can only hope [Gen. Stanley] McChrystal is able to put her in her place.” That’s “her,” as in the House speaker, whose place is running one of the coequal branches of government.

Posted on Oct 8, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Put a Sock in it, Stan

How to proceed in Afghanistan will be among the most difficult and fateful decisions that President Obama ever makes. But he’s the one who has to decide, not his generals.

Posted on Oct 5, 2009 READ MORE



pagetutor.com

Pox Americana: The Real Cost of Bailing Out Wall Street

In the 20th century, smallpox killed more people than all of that bloody century’s wars combined. It cost $300 million to eradicate the disease. What might have been achieved with the $4 trillion we gave Wall Street?

Posted on Oct 4, 2009 READ MORE


Who’s in Charge: Obama, Congress or the Military?

The Washington Establishment clearly believes elected officials should defer to the military, no matter what that pesky Constitution says.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE


Communist China Turns 60—and Reveals Its Insecurities

What could and should have been celebrated this week in Beijing is the resumption of effective power in the People’s Republic by the modernizer Deng Xiaoping.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE



DoD / MC1 Chad J. McNeeley

Obama’s Afghanistan Dilemma

During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama repeatedly called for expanding the war in Afghanistan. Be careful what you wish for.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE


A Question of Health—and Equality

My favorite moment so far in the health care debate was when Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl argued against mandating maternity benefits as part of a basic insurance coverage. “I don’t need maternity care,” he blurted out. At which point, Michigan’s Debbie Stabenow quipped, “I think your mom probably did.”

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE



news.bbc.co.uk

Widespread Rape, 157 Dead in Guinea ‘Hell’

A human rights organization reported 157 dead after Guinean troops fired on protesters Tuesday. Widespread rape has also been reported by witnesses. The country’s opposition leader was quoted by the BBC as saying, “I don’t know whether I’m on earth or in hell.”

Posted on Sep 29, 2009 READ MORE



AP / John Froschauer

Soldier of Conscience Survives Court-Martial, Goes Free

Lt. Ehren Watada, the soldier who refused to deploy to Iraq on grounds that serving there would be participating in war crimes, is finally free of the Army. His court-martial ended in a mistrial and the military decided to let Watada go.

Posted on Sep 29, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Lynne Sladky

Washington Plays the Idiot With Guantanamo

With the arrest of Najbullah Zazi, the man allegedly behind the biggest terror plot since 9/11, the truth is clearer than ever: Law enforcement stops terrorism. Not secret island prisons.

Posted on Sep 29, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Airman 1st Class Amber Bressler

Veterans Still Waiting for GI Bill Money

It was a nice idea while it lasted: The new GI Bill promised veterans who wanted to go to college money for tuition, books and living expenses. More than 277,000 signed up for the program, which was supposed to kick in Aug. 1. Many are still waiting for their checks.

Posted on Sep 24, 2009 READ MORE


A Puzzling, Dangerous U.S. Policy Comes to an End

President Barack Obama’s cancellation of his predecessor’s missile-defense scheme for Poland and the Czech Republic presumably brings to a close one of the least explicable and most dangerous American policy initiatives since the Cold War officially ended.

Posted on Sep 23, 2009 READ MORE



CIA / JFK Presidential Library

Justice to Tackle Federal Secrecy Abuses

How about that Eric Holder? The Justice Department plans to make it harder for the government to hide behind “national security” in legal cases—a process that has been abused since a highly flawed Supreme Court decision first allowed wide latitude in such matters.

Posted on Sep 22, 2009 READ MORE


President Zelaya and the Audacity of Action

Manuel Zelaya, the democratically elected president of Honduras, is back in his country after being deposed in a military coup June 28.

Posted on Sep 22, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Marine Corps / Sgt. Pete Thibodeau

It Came From Afghanistan

It’s hard to read Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s assessment of the Afghanistan war without hearing one of those horror-movie voices that seems to come from everywhere and nowhere, a voice that grows louder and more insistent with every page: “Get out. Get out. Get out.”

Posted on Sep 21, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. Stacy L. Pearsall

Army Puts a Woman in Charge

Women make up just 13 percent of the Army, but one of them now oversees the training of every single drill sergeant. That means she also oversees, by extension, the training of every single soldier.

Posted on Sep 21, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Sgt. Teddy Wade

All U.S. Presidents Need a War to Call Their Own—and Obama Has His

The more one hears the discussion among Democrats about the war in Afghanistan, the more one feels that it is a serious handicap that Barack Obama has no personal experience of international relations or of foreign policy or military service.

Posted on Sep 16, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / ISM Palestine

U.N. Finds Israel War Crimes in Gaza

A U.N. fact-finding mission has concluded “there is evidence indicating serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law were committed by Israel during the Gaza conflict, and that Israel committed actions amounting to war crimes, and possibly crimes against humanity.” (Full release after the jump.)

Posted on Sep 15, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Charles Dharapak

Stop Begging Obama and Get Mad

The right-wing accusations against Barack Obama are true. He is a socialist, although he practices socialism for corporations.

Posted on Sep 14, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Susan Walsh

Pelosi Sees Little Support for Troop Deployments

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has thrown a high-level wrench into President Obama’s plans to send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan. Pelosi said Thursday that she sees little support in Congress for new deployments, an observation that comes at a time of rising casualties and strife in Afghanistan.

Posted on Sep 11, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Joseph Kaczmarek

A Hundred Holocausts: An Insider’s Window Into U.S. Nuclear Policy

The document in his hand was almost unthinkable: It projected roughly 600 million deaths in a U.S.-Soviet war. Here’s the first installment of a memoir of the nuclear era by Daniel Ellsberg, the man who revealed the Pentagon Papers.

Posted on Sep 10, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Oded Balilty

Israel’s Holy Warriors

Changes in Israeli policy have military rabbis joining combat troops at the tip of the spear. Ostensibly there to boost morale, critics worry that the rabbis are turning soldiers into Jewish jihadis. One rabbi says he was ordered to blow a ram’s horn like Joshua, because “It makes the war holier.”

Posted on Sep 7, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Rick Rycroft

Food Is Power and the Powerful Are Poisoning Us

Our most potent political weapon is food. If we take back our agriculture, if we buy and raise produce locally, we can begin to break the grip of corporations that control a food system as fragile, unsafe and destined for collapse as our financial system.

Posted on Sep 6, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / MC2 Clay Weis

Cheney Plays to His Crowd

Dick Cheney represents a significant number of conservatives who still believe that the United States can bomb, invade, occupy and torture its way to security.

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / MC3 Joshua Cassatt

Will Japan’s New Leader Maintain His Country’s Fealty to Washington?

The most important political question faced by a Japan led by the Democratic Party concerns the Japanese-American security relationship, which is both humiliating and exploitative.

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE


D
AP / Jack Dempsey

Go to Pittsburgh, Young Man, and Defy Your Empire

Voices of change, who speak in powerful and yet unfamiliar words, are on their way to Pittsburgh. They will cry out to defy the heads of state, bankers and finance ministers meeting there for the G-20.

Posted on Aug 31, 2009 READ MORE



The Science Fiction of Military Marketing

The military’s fantastical advertisements promote a somewhat comforting, if disturbingly misleading, message—and it is aimed not just at potential soldiers, but also at the public at large.

Posted on Aug 28, 2009 READ MORE


Victory at the Cost of Sanity in Obama’s Forever War

Instead of reading ecology and novels on his vacation, the president should read Charles de Gaulle, who ended the dreadful insurrection in Algeria. Obama and his advisers have a dramatic and ahistorical view of Afghanistan—that “There is no alternative to victory.”

Posted on Aug 27, 2009 READ MORE


Putin
Kremlin / Presidential Press and Information Office

Putin’s Pecs and Political Roid Rage

According to a report in Miller-McCune, scientists have determined that muscles make men irritable and politically aggressive. That makes Vladimir Putin’s pecs troublesome, say the researchers: “If governmental decision-makers are like other humans, then their musculature may be playing a role, unconnected from rational evaluation, in their decisions to go to war.”

Posted on Aug 19, 2009 READ MORE



USAF / Master Sgt. James M. Bowman

The Pentagon Can’t Stop Baghdad Bombs

Coordinated bombings in Baghdad on Wednesday targeted the Foreign and Finance ministries, killing at least 95 and wounding hundreds more. It may feel like a flashback, but the violence never really left, as Patrick Cockburn, Scott Ritter, William Pfaff and Chris Hedges explain after the jump.

Posted on Aug 19, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Jae C. Hong

You Can’t Blame Obama for American Stubbornness

The president is simply too decent to get the job done. His advisers never learn from their mistakes and the American public is intolerant and hasn’t a clue as to what really is going on in the world.

Posted on Aug 18, 2009 READ MORE



USMC / Cpl. Kristofer Atkinson

Only Time Can Heal Some Iraqi Wounds

Don’t let the bombings fool you: The American military withdrawal stabilizes Iraq to a degree never admitted by protagonists of the original invasion.

Posted on Aug 17, 2009 READ MORE


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