The Arrogance—and Ignorance—of Power

VIetnam

As I watch events unfolding in Iraq over the last weeks, I find myself wondering if Iraq War veterans are feeling the way I felt in March and April of 1975 when the fiction that was South Vietnam collapsed like a house of cards. Eight years earlier, I had arrived in Vietnam as an 18-year-old Marine, convinced of the rightness of our cause, and eager to save the Vietnamese from the scourge of communism. I left … [Read more...]

Vet Rants

2013 - Our San Francisco chapter of Veterans for Peace is sitting in a circle at our monthly meeting.  Bill, our president, is conducting the meeting and as vice president I am sitting next to him.  One of our members is reporting on the success of our recent event honoring African American veterans, and describing the catered dinner of delicious Soul Food that was served. One member suddenly interrupts saying, "I … [Read more...]

Memorializing Memorial Day

C U TUESDAY

Wikipedia defines Memorial Day as follows: Memorial Day is a US federal holiday wherein the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces are remembered.[1] The holiday, which is celebrated every year on the final Monday of May,[2] was formerly known as Decoration Day and originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil … [Read more...]

War’s Never-Ending Aftermath

Dennis stares out window

In 1970, British documentary film maker, Michael Grigsby made one of the first films to examine the impact of war on American soldiers recently returned from brutal jungle combat in Vietnam. Entitled I Was a Soldier, the film focuses on Dennis, David and Lamar in their attempts to readjust to “normal” life after a year of combat in bloody Vietnam upon returning home in the barren and desolate Texan hill country near … [Read more...]

Guantanamo Poem

rawlings FEA

  GUANTANAMO POEM (Second Poem For the Veterans Peace Teams, wherever they are) By DOUG RAWLINGS It is legal, you know The state even grants permits Of course there are limits And you do need the landowner's permission Here's how he does it up in Maine: He cuts a good sized sapling Then he augurs a hole through the ice Sticks the steel trap on to one end And lowers it to the pond floor The … [Read more...]

The Case of the Dead Brazilian Torturer Gets Murkier

They haven’t killed him yet. Paulo Malhaes, the confessed Brazilian torturer whose death I recently reported on this site may not have been murdered after all.  At least that’s what police investigating the case have been loudly proclaiming for the past week. The former Army officer who had been an active agent of repression during Brazil’s military dictatorship in the nineteen seventies was found dead in his … [Read more...]