Links Memorial Day

Army Sgt. Brian L. Walker, Lucerne Valley; killed in Afghanistan LA Times, 1,974th U.S. death, 3,000th Operation Enduring Freedom death.

Why I Threw Back My ‘Global War on Terror’ Medal Common Dreams

The other US-Afghan alliance in Chicago Guardian

Inquiry Ordered Into Deaths of Afghan Family Times

US will not be price ‘gouged’ by Pakistan: Panetta AFP

Security crisis threatens Yemeni transition FT

Asked to Confirm Military Is Ready for Iran Strike, Panetta Says Pentagon Has Plans for Everything ABC

Panetta: Cuts to defense spending would be ‘disastrous’ LA Times

The amazing expanding Pentagon Boston Globe

Filling in the Details of the Obama Doctrine Bloomberg

Joe Biden: withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan allows military to refocus Guardian

Barack O’Romney Foreign Affairs Foreign Policy. Bi-partisan consensus on foreign policy.

West Point Is Split on the Fate of an Approach to War Times. Counter-insurgency doctrine.

What’s next for army’s ‘warrior spirit’? Military seeks new challenges for troops after Afghanistan Edmonton Journal

Among post-9/11 veterans, deepening antiwar sentiment Christian Science Monitor

Military commanders warned to get troops in line Star-Advertiser

Gays graduate openly at military academies Navy Times

Iraq, Afghanistan Veterans Filing For Disability Benefits At Historic Rate HuffPo

How to house homeless vets LA Times

Service dogs help Wash. soldiers battling PTSD Seattle Post-Intelligencer

On the Epidemic of Military Suicides Daily Beast

A Memorial Day thought: Maybe Pittard really does speak for us on suicides Foreign Policy

Widow Keeps Shell Casings to Remember

After A Year In Afghanistan, Memories That Stick NPR

Ongoing conflict severely limits tourism in Afghanistan USA Today

Afghan road lifelines blocked by graft, kickbacks Reuters

Contractor Accused of $750 Million Overcharge for Wartime Grub Wired

Bush’s Terror Overreach Becomes ’New Normal’ Under Obama Bloomberg

Loving the Warrior, Hating the Wars: Our Memorial Daze Charles Pierce

How to Forget on Memorial Day  Tom Dispatch

The Authoritarian Mind Salon

My war: How I got irony in the infantry Harpers

Against Annihilation of the Spirit: Let Us All Become Cowards The Power of Narrative

Antidote du jour (hat tip, furzy mouse):

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post on by .

About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Aquifer

    Tiger – hmmmm, this one tastes pretty good ..

    Monkey – better get some new aftershave …

    1. SR6719


      There’s an awkward moment of silence after the protestor is hauled away. For a moment, it’s as if they can’t believe the truth has penetrated their “security wall” of lies.

      “I’ll have it investigated immediately” says the moderator, apologizing to the war criminal Blair.

      1. Warren Celli

        Even more pricelesss…

        “MONDAY, MAY 28, 2012

        I just watched an interesting news piece on the Real News Network (RNN) about the continuing push to prosecute Bush II and his cronies for war crimes.

        I urge you to watch it. GO HERE.

        And, yes, it’s easy to be skeptical. But there’s not real need to be. I posted this comment under the story which sums up my thoughts:

        Regardless of the outcome of this pursuit of the Bush Administration war criminals, this is precisely the grinding, long-term, incremental work that must be done to change the status quo. One day we will no longer believe that American leaders can commit crimes with impunity, and at that time our current skepticism will seem as distant as the convictions seem right now. We must all continue to speak out, support good causes, and make our objections and demands visible to the disenfrachised.

        It is Memorial Day in the U.S. and I can’t think of many better ways to support the safety of our troops and the victims of our invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, and to eradicate practises such as torture and extraordinary rendition, than to look at the people who caused so much misery, and help to bring them to justice.

        IF YOU FOUND THIS STORY INTERESTING you might also like to take a look at THE MASS MURDERERS OF WASHINGTON D.C.”

        Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

      2. SR6719

        @Warren Celli. Thanks for this.

        Before watching the video, I didn’t realize Bush et al had been convicted of war crimes by a Malaysian Tribunal.

      3. G3

        The war criminal Blair’s body language is priceless too. He is not looking straight and is stammering. Conscience come-a-rattling? If not for the apologist (judge?), it would have been worse.

  2. Goin' South

    A un-Memorial Day thought:

    “War’s good business,
    So give your son.
    But I’d rather have my country die for me.”

    Grace Slick, “Rejoyce”

  3. Aquifer

    I sat out the Nam war protests while my brother lay down in front of busses, but in ’91 i figured better to come late than never, so i went to protest against, at a rally for, the first Gulf war. The square was filled with the usual rah-rah BS, so i stood on the other side of the street with my sign …

    Being of the recycle sort, and knowing this would not be the last war, I wanted to make a sign that would be “suitable for all occasions”, so i decided on “If we truly love our children, we will not ask them to kill or be killed, or, out of love for us, they just might do it”

    Sigh, as usual, too many words ….

  4. Aquifer

    At what point in time will those tigers “learn” that monkeys are not someone to play with but something to be eaten. Would they eat a monkey they had grown up and played with or only others they had not ….

    At what point in time do children “learn” that some humans are to be cared for and others to be killed ….

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Actually, this is a famous story with a good outcome; the monkey followed the human trainer in “mothering” the tiger, and the tiger treated the monkey no worse than other children treat their parents ;-)

        1. F. Beard

          If the tigers were well fed (and not taught to hunt?), I would expect no trouble.

          And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little boy will lead them. Isaiah 11:6

          1. Steve

            A nice sentiment, but not something to rely on. Training can alter instincts, but does not eradicate them. There are frequent examples in the news.

          2. F. Beard

            There are frequent examples in the news. Steve

            There are examples both ways. The way I’ve seen some people mistreat and disrespect animals, I am surprised the animals tolerate as much as they do.

            And, of course, our own fears can rebound on us.

            But yes, dangerous animals are dangerous. But so are people.

            Life will aways be an art, not a science.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I don’t want to give away all my ‘admission to the 1%’ ideas, but there is money in researching for the ‘cat’ gene that will turn ferocious tigers into adorable pussycats.

    1. greybeard

      Pine Island prices dropping is good news to me. We’ve been shopping for a place there. Our last excursion down, probably March, things seemed to be moving briskly. We had a contract on a place that fell through based on condition, then decided to give it a rest for a few months. The Realtors there we’re breathlessly proclaiming Pine Island to be in a new agressive bull market. We thought it time to step aside and see where the dust was going to settle. One more Charlie in this super hot summer coming up and places will be almost free there (one can hope). Besides, I thought it best to spend a few weeks on the island in July to see just how bad the mosquitoes and no-see-ums really were, in spite of the Realtor insisting they were no problem. Hope to see you down there soon.

      1. LucyLulu

        The realtor is right. If you stay inside with your windows closed and the AC on, the mosquitoes and no-see-ums are no problem at all. Nor is the oppressive heat.

        Seriously, I don’t know about Pine Island, having always lived on the eastern side of Florida. But I’ve found bug problems to be very regional, as in varying from neighborhood to neighborhood, depending on such things as standing water, presence of pine trees, etc. Also, some people don’t get bitten even when swarmed while others will get bitten by the only mosquito around for miles. As my mother used to say, “they like sweet meat”. And so you know, screens don’t stop no-see-ums, or sand flies as we called them.

  5. Ned Ludd

    Dr. Martin Luther King, from his 1967 speech “Beyond Vietnam”:

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation and for those it calls “enemy,” for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers.

    And as I ponder the madness of Vietnam and search within myself for ways to understand and respond in compassion, my mind goes constantly to the people of that peninsula. I speak now not of the soldiers of each side, not of the ideologies of the Liberation Front, not of the junta in Saigon, but simply of the people who have been living under the curse of war for almost three continuous decades now.

    Something to remember today while people celebrate those who do the killing.

    “We had a great day,” Sergeant Schrumpf said. “We killed a lot of people.” […]

    But more than once, Sergeant Schrumpf said, he faced a different choice: one Iraqi soldier standing among two or three civilians. He recalled one such incident, in which he and other men in his unit opened fire. He recalled watching one of the women standing near the Iraqi soldier go down.

    “I’m sorry,” the sergeant said. “But the chick was in the way.”

  6. wunsacon

    >> Army Sgt. Brian L. Walker, Lucerne Valley; killed in Afghanistan LA Times, 1,974th U.S. death, 3,000th Operation Enduring Freedom death.

    I’ve noticed the topic of “Iraqi civilian death toll” rarely comes up in conversations I participate in or overhear. When is *their* memorial day?

    1. ambrit

      Dear wunsacon;
      Probably the day the last ‘foreign’ “pratictioner of armed coercion” leaves their country. Then maybe they can get down to redrawing their borders to follow more natural local lines of division.

  7. Doug Terpstra

    CIA Director Leon Panetta has suffer those greedy and meddlesome Pakistanis. What gall, setting up toll booths on our military supply-lines, just crass money-grubbers attempting to profit from the GWOT! Intolerable.

    And even more laughable hypocrisy in the same article: Put-upon Leon’s moralistic outrage at Pakistan’s conviction of the CIA-funded doctor who pretended to vaccinate children in order to gather DNA data for the CIA’s execution of bin Laden. What a travesty, convicting a doctor for treason and administering fake Hepatitis vaccines to children.

    Is it us? It’s them, right? Greedy, self-righteous bastards!

  8. Susan the other

    Well Lambert, I’m old and jaded so it is good you gave me General Sherman’s exquisite letter yesterday and the Iliad play by play today. Just a thought: Had Sherman been at Troy he would have been as numb as any ancient soul at slaughter by swords and knives. But his soul still had a revulsion against his own slaughters, altho’ they were just as awful. So consider: Sherman’s letter is so much more eloquent than Homer. His letter is a gift of millenia of human cooperation and articulation. So it gives me hope, even in the face of modern war. Like anything else, murderous aggression can evolve.

    I read but found no direction in Silber’s “Let Us All Become Cowards.” Even though it is a truth about the power of refusal which I embrace. I just think it takes courage, conviction and action to change the mindset. For social evolution, the same category as war, we need an articulate vision in order to mutate. No, it won’t be random. It will take a General Sherman to write it up.

  9. Crazy Horse

    All you need to know about the state of the American economy:

    “–lobbyists for the industry that develops and manufactures the drones are already buzzing around Capitol Hill.

    “This is one of the few areas where the government is still spending money and investing,” said Alex Bronstein-Moffly, an analyst at First Street Research, which collects lobbying data.”

    HuffPost, Memorial Day, 2012

  10. Mary Bennett

    I’m in the process of becoming very frustrated with the “Washington Post” because I can’t find an editorial from last Sunday’s paper.

    So, lucky me when I saw this photograph, and a lot of my tension melted. If I succeeded in sending it to myself, I will definitely share it witrh others.

    For me, I think the best caption for the subject is:

Comments are closed.