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War News Radio: Documenting War

March 18th, 2011 - This week on War News Radio, we hear about a new documentary, "Shepards of Helmand." Then, we talk to veterans coping with traumatic brain injury. This, and the week's news

 

The Sheen's, Lohan's, Oscar's Style's vs The Fallen Soldiers'

Viral post pits coverage of Sheen, fallen soldiers

 

 

March 10th, 2011 - It started with a Facebook status update. Upset at the media's coverage of Charlie Sheen, someone took up for American soldiers dying in Afghanistan.

"Charlie Sheen is all over the news because he's a celebrity drug addict," it said, "while Andrew Wilfahrt 31, Brian Tabada 21, Rudolph Hizon 22, Chauncy Mays 25, are soldiers who gave their lives this week with no media mention. Please honor them by posting this as your status for a little while."

The status update has since gone viral, shared by tens of thousands on Facebook. An abbreviated version is on Twitter.

A Bracelet Can Be Removed

This report just aired on CBS Evening News:

 

Woman wears POW/MIA bracelet for nearly 40 years

 

March 7, 2011 - Kathy Strong was 12 years old when she put on a bracelet to keep vigil for a solider missing in Vietnam -- now it's time for her to take it off

 

A Veteran’s War

At the Movies: A Veteran’s War

March 1, 2011 - It was a long way from a machinegun mount in a military convoy in Baghdad. Robynn Murray’s getup was very elegant on Sunday at the Academy Awards in Beverly Hills, California. What made her stand out from the famous movie stars at Hollywood’s gala event was the brace of tattooed pistols perched on her chest atop a stunning black and gray dress.

The Peace Movement and the Roller Coaster Ride of US War Policy

By John Grant
 
It’s considered unsportsmanlike to say, “We told you so.” But since all’s fair in love and war and we’re definitely at war, it’s fair to say the peace movement has been right about the whole sordid reality of US war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That may sound audacious or ridiculous to some, especially to those knee-jerks who love to ridicule the antiwar movement while knowing nothing about what it really stands for.

It’s important to note, here, that the peace/antiwar movement doesn’t have quite as extensive a public relations and propaganda program as that employed by the military and its supporters in the federal government and the mainstream media.

For instance, the peace movement doesn’t have well-funded, highly-trained Psy-Ops Teams such asRolling Stone has shown the military has. So no one is able to brainwash US congress members intocutting the military budget and de-funding the wars.

Poster Girl

War Enthusiast & Silent Witness: Hillary & Ray

The Push of Conscience & Secretary Clinton

By Ray McGovern
February 23, 2011

It was not until Secretary of State Hillary Clinton walked to the George Washington University podium last week to enthusiastic applause that I decided I had to dissociate myself from the obsequious adulation of a person responsible for so much death, suffering and destruction.

I was reminded of a spring day in Atlanta almost five years earlier when then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld strutted onto a similar stage to loud acclaim from another enraptured audience.

Introducing Rumsfeld on May 4, 2006, the president of the Southern Center for International Policy in Atlanta highlighted his “honesty.” I had just reviewed my notes for an address I was scheduled to give that evening in Atlanta and, alas, the notes demonstrated his dishonesty.

Veterans: WRONG Direction for Funding {once again}

<------- Remember these? They were a big joke and joy for a group still calling themselves republicans and happened as the Country were sending Military Troops into war once again, wars that still continue, and never a real apology for their joke. I'll bet some of them still have some handy to be used and laughed about when their need arises to do so as they wave the flag and condemn others who don't agree with them. Oh and while they seem to get joy about Soldiers being wounded in our wars and awarded the "Purple Heart" these were pointed directly at a brother In-Country Vietnam Navy Veteran, my tour there, as a Navy GunnersMate 3rd, was my last year of my four '70-'71.

Valentine's Day: A Time to Mourn

Mourning Iraqi Wives, Children on Valentine’s Day

By Ray McGovern
February 14, 2011

Twenty years ago, as Americans were celebrating Valentine’s Day, Iraqi husbands and fathers in the Amiriyah section of Baghdad were peeling the remains of their wives and children off the walls and floor of a large neighborhood bomb shelter.

The men had left the shelter the evening before, so their wives would have some measure of privacy as they sought refuge from the U.S.-led coalition bombing campaign, which was at its most intense pre-ground-war stage.

All of the more than 400 women and children were incinerated or boiled to death at 4:30 a.m. on Feb. 13, 1991, when two F-117 stealth fighter-bombers each dropped a 2,000-pound laser-guided “smart bomb” on the civilian shelter at Amiriyah.

Limiting Caregiver Benefits - VA's Fault?

While I respect Senator Murray and was happy she was picked to take over from Senator Akaka on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee her attack is another disconnect in what Agencies can do with what Congress, the peoples representatives, gives them as I wrote a short note to her yesterday. The Veterans Admin. has been underfunded, and in many times politically run, since Korea as they moved funds from the Korean Vets to our brother 'Nam Vets and ignored what we were even telling the Country, i.e. PTSD, Agent Orange, Gulf War Syndrome and more. The Country hasn't wanted to fund the results of their wars and Congress follows that bid especially the tax cutters of which just recently they extended the 'Non Sacrifice', especially for the wealthy many making wealth off these wars and readily pony up big campaign contributions, cuts now over the whole decade of these two conflicts.

A Marine Remembers: Learning to Kill, Learning Not to Kill

By David Lindorff

One of my grandsons recently asked me, “What is wisdom?”   After some discussion, we together concluded that wisdom comes only with experience. 

When it comes to war, though, living in a country that has not experienced a war on its own soil since 1865, Americans, other than those veterans who have actually fought abroad, have no such experience to draw on.

Perhaps this is why so many Americans easily accept, and even cheer the nation’s militarism, and why most of us accept our government’s reflexive resort to military action to settle international disputes.
  
Einstein, who had his share of wisdom, advised forgetting everything one has learned.  This was his way of getting his thinking out of a box. 

Rather than add more to this somewhat evasive notion, let me reflect here on my own experience of war, and on how the concept of war has permeated my life, in hopes of finding  a bit of wisdom to counter the temptation to turn to cynicism. 
   

The Legacy of Agent Orange on WCPN

Connie Schultz, Heather Morris Bowser discuss the legacy of Agent Orange on WCPN

 

Lisa DeJong, The Plain DealerHeather Morris Bowser: "I know there are other Vietnam War veterans' kids like me in America. We need to find each other. We need to break the silence."

January 31, 2011 - Listen to Plain Dealer columnist Connie Schultz and Heather Morris Bowser discuss the legacy of Agent Orange {I have a player below to listen or visit this link} with WCPN FM/90.3's "Sound of Ideas" host Mike McIntyre.

Unfinished Business: The Wake of Agent Orange

The Cleveland Plain Dealer staff , has published a six part series of reports in the Cleveland Plain Dealer on the still lasting effects of the defoliants we used in our destruction of Vietnam. Reports from Vietnam as well as about the daughter of a brother Vietnam Veteran.

 

Unfinished Business: Suffering and sickness in the endless wake of Agent Orange

 

Bartenders May Have Role in Assisting Troubled War Veterans

ScienceDaily (Jan. 25, 2011) — For troubled war veterans, a friendly bartender can be the source of more than just drinks and a sympathetic ear.

A pilot study suggests that some bartenders may be in a good position to identify veterans in need of mental health services and help connect them to the appropriate agency.

Researchers at Ohio State University surveyed 71 bartenders employed at Veterans of Foreign Wars posts in Ohio.

The results showed that bartenders felt very close to their customers and that these customers shared their problems freely with them, said Keith Anderson, lead author of the study and assistant professor of social work at Ohio State.

"Support the Troops Tax"

Retired Capt USAF, Myles Spicer, USAF 1954-57 retired from reserves, lays out the long over due 'Support' for those we send into occupations theaters and then forget about. The so called (T)'s {oh the fun with the 'purple heart bandages' as the wars raged}, once long ago (R)'s and even conservative, won't like this, they want but don't want to pay for, and not just war, as most of them were the ones that remained silent for over a decade, still ongoing silence, as to Real Support but very loud as to support of the failed policies and related lies and costs.

The impelling case to impose a "war tax"

Effects of Deployments on Military Families

Military Families’ Emotional State Showing Signs of Strain

Research highlights opportunities for improved and targeted support

20yrs.: Battle goes on over 'Gulf War Syndrome'

There won't be even a whimper out of the press here. Just as there hasn't been for these 20yrs., about "Gulf War Syndrome" or much about the Gulf War, oh wait NBC said they were going to have daddy bush and company on their broadcasts, again though silence on the Veterans of, the Country doesn't want to hear!

Two decades on, battle goes on over 'Gulf War Syndrome'

Veteran Kerry Fuller: "It would have been far better to be killed in action"

Since his deployment to the Gulf ahead of the war, Kerry has suffered recurring ill health

16 January 2011 - Every week, Kerry Fuller counts out his medication into a plastic pill box.

Of Sorrow and Peace by Tarak Kauff

A cloak of sadness hangs heavy on my shoulders. It drapes to the very roots of my being. Approaching 70, in many ways I have every reason not to be sad. I am grateful to be still physically strong, energetic ,and vibrant. I have not lost much muscle mass, my mental and emotional faculties are still intact, I have a beautiful, intelligent daughter, doing well in college. My finances aren’t that great but I have plenty to eat, a roof over my head, my daughter has earned almost a complete scholarship at one of the best schools in the country, I have a dog and two cats; my girlfriend, also a dedicated activist, loves me; I have wonderful friends. Why on earth does this sadness permeate every cell in my being? Why can I never escape from it?

The Chemistry of Empire

In the beginning, chemicals collided and catalyzed, evolving a system of development from non-living to living things, proteins and nucleic acids interacting--greeting and meeting, dating and mating—in a metaphorical dance of romance. The recipe to make more was born. Now, chemicals portend the end. So much tells us so. An eye for an eye doesn’t just blind the world; it annihilates. The blueprint for reproduction becomes one of destruction.

I’m not relaxed.

Sen. Lindsay Graham advocates permanent military presence in Afghanistan, despite an objection from Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s government.

And despite the deaths of thousands of military men and women during Bush’s war—the War OF Terror that passed seamlessly to Commander Obama. Last week, two US troops died in Iraq where combat ENDED months ago. Because the president told us so, even announcing the improved name of the non-war: Operation New Dawn.

20 Forgotten Veterans

 

NY burials planned for 20 forgotten veterans

 

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. — January 7, 2011 - Twenty servicemen from New York City whose bodies have gone unclaimed for months or longer will receive full military honors at national veterans cemetery service.

The mass service will be held Saturday at Calverton National Cemetery on Long Island. The Department of Veterans Affairs says it’s the largest of it kind in U.S. history.

It’s part of a national initiative in recent years to clear a massive backlog of unburied or unclaimed remains of both veterans and non-veterans.

Fort Hood Suicides!!

And does Anyone hear these patriotic constitution readers, or any of their supporters, even mention their wars of choice or the veterans and families of?!?!

Army efforts don't stem Fort Hood suicides

6 January 2010 - The Army's largest post saw a record-high number of soldiers kill themselves in 2010 despite a mental health effort aimed at reversing the trend.

The Army says 22 soldiers have either killed themselves or are suspected of doing so last year at its post at Fort Hood in Texas, twice the number from 2009.

That is a rate of 47 deaths per 100,000, compared with a 20-per-100,000 rate among civilians in the same age group and a 22-per-100,000 rate Army-wide.

From The War Theaters "Burn Pits." {?} !!

Soldier from W. Babylon dies of rare cancer

 

January 3, 2011 - After a long year of watching the slow death of her husband, Army Sgt. William McKenna, Dina McKenna decided the final goodbye should be dignified without painful lingering.

 

snip

He was deployed in 2003 and was awarded several awards and medals during two tours in Iraq. It was there he breathed fumes from burning garbage pits outside of the military bases - leading to his fatal cancer, his wife believes.

Into the Valley of Death Rode the 140 Thousand

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Obama Should Read WikiLeaks on Afghanistan

By Ray McGovern

Perhaps President Barack Obama should give himself a waiver on the ban prohibiting U.S. government employees from downloading classified cables released by WikiLeaks, so he can get a better grasp on the futility of his Afghan War strategy.

For instance, if Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has hidden from him Ambassador Karl Eikenberry’s cables from Kabul, he might wish to search out KABUL 001892 of July 13, 2009, in which Eikenberry reports that Afghan President Hamid Karzai is “unable to grasp the most rudimentary principles of state building.”

And, while he’s at it, he should dig out the September 2009 cable from the U.S. Ambassador in Pakistan, Anne Patterson, in which she warns: “There is no chance that Pakistan will view enhanced assistance … as sufficient compensation for abandoning support to these [Taliban and similar] groups in Pakistan.”

A Better Time? When?

It’s been so cold I’ve powered on the elliptical trainer. I prefer running through my neighborhood, in sunshine, observing people, reading bumper-sticker messages, and breathing fresh air.

I was on the exerciser, though, and consumed enough by the monotony (groan) to glance OFTEN at the mounting minutes. I was thinking about cutting the workout short but, instead, decided to reverse and go backwards. Backwards, backwards, my legs worked, and, suddenly, I was struck by a thought--the possibility that I could continue this redirection and undo time. I could accelerate the pace until the mile display indicated a negative as I ellipti-seized the past. Faster and faster, I would retreat to a place in my life that carried the promise of fullness, satisfaction, those days when the children were young and more was right in my world.

Dec 26th 1971-Statue of Liberty, Liberation

Back on Tuesday, December 26, 2006 I posted this VVAW Anniversary-Dec 26th 1971-Statue of Liberty, Liberation on my first blog, still in my infancy of blog posting but I had gotten better, like embedding links etc.. This action took place only months after I returned from Vietnam, my last year of my four, and getting discharged back into civilian life. I wasn't with these brothers but I had already started down the path of activism against Wars of Choice and those that create them for profit and power. That post is below slightly refined and updated, had to find a link and embedded a document pdf player.

Conflict TBI: Cognitive Rehab. Therapy Not Covered

Billions have been spent on these Wars of choice! With those Billions spent Billions were made by many, new multi-millionaires with connections were produced as well as a high priced merc private army and more. Directly and indirectly over the decade of these ongoing conflicts!

With the Wars came Tax Cuts that were recently extended, especially for the Wealthy who received the bulk of added to the write offs they already received for business, investment and personal!

During the last decade, the recent political campaigns, the so called debate on tax cut extensions nor in public comments, did anyone, the politicians, those wealthy, the power brokers, wall street, talking heads, media, the so called outraged tea party .........., Demand the Country 'Sacrifice' as those who serve and are sent, as well as their families, do and are the only ones, many now as veterans of for the rest of their lives! And the wars continue!

 

Taking a Moral Stand at the Obama White House

By John Grant

Washington--Defense Secretary Robert Gates may be the consummate insider bureaucrat and a nice man, but his calling our war in the Pashtun homeland “the meat in the sandwich” begins to get at the real problem of the Afghanistan/Pakistan War.

Besides being a preposterously flippant and insensitive metaphor presumably uttered for clueless middle American consumption, his sandwich image is as misleading as all the war-selling PR coming out of the Pentagon and the Obama White House.

Here’s how he described his sandwich: “The Pakistanis come in behind the insurgents from the Pakistani side and, coordinating with us and the Afghans, we’re on the other side.” Of course, he's referring to what is informally dubbed Pashtunistan, down the middle of which Sir Mortimer Durand drew the Afghanistan/Pakistan border in 1893 to divide and conquer the Pashtun people. The border is a Western illusion. And, of course, the Taliban are largely Pashtun.

Black-Out in DC: Pay No Attention to Those Veterans Chained to the White House Fence

By Dave Lindorff

There was a black-out and a white-out Thursday and Friday as over a hundred US veterans opposed to US wars in Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world, and their civilian supporters, chained and tied themselves to the White House fence during an early snowstorm to say enough is enough.

Washington Police arrested 135 of the protesters, in what is being called the largest mass detention in recent years. Among those arrested were Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst who used to provide the president’s daily briefings, Daniel Ellsberg, who released the government’s Pentagon Papers during the Nixon administration, and Chris Hedges, former war correspondent for the New York Times.

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