Memorial Day, 2011

519px-TouchWall

Another Memorial Day, and it’s been thunder storming here in Woodstock, NY most of the morning. I love it! It’s exactly the kind of weather that I prefer on Memorial Day. With rain, thunder and lightning about, perhaps Memorial Day parades will be cancelled. A Vietnam Veteran, I have never been impressed with martial music from marching bands, us old veterans sporting remnants of too-tight uniforms, or the profusion … [Read more...]

Veterans Court Hits the Beach in Philadelphia

Vets Court logo

John Fleming is a 58-year-old African American born and raised in Philadelphia who served in the Army from 1969 to 1972 maintaining nuclear weapons in silos in Germany. It was 10:45 AM on Friday outside Courtroom 1006 in Philadelphia’s Criminal Justice Center. Fleming had been “caught with an illegal substance." Instead of taking his chances in the regular court system in Philadelphia, he had volunteered to … [Read more...]

The Spat Upon Vet Revisited

vietnam_protest SQ

Back in mid-April, the phone rang one evening.  You have a call from Bob, the woman’s voice said.  I was in end-of-day mode, not the best time for a tele-scammer to invade my home life.  I hung up, and the phone rang again almost immediately.  That dance took two more turns, before I switched to sardonic.  Bob's not here, I answered in my most blandly convivial voice, but she insisted.  It’s a call from … [Read more...]

A Troubled Nation Feeds On bin Laden’s Corpse

YOuth SQuare

Supplying an army at a distance drains the public coffers and impoverishes the common people. - Sun-Tzu, The Art of War With the killing of Osama bin Laden by a 79-member JSOC hunter/killer team inside Pakistan, the nation has entered yet another of those moments when a news media that professes independence has become an unashamed cheerleader for militarism. No one can deny the JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command) … [Read more...]

Becoming the Enemy? Reflections on McChrystal and Afghanistan.

98720450AW011_GIBBS_HOLDS_P

The March/April 2011 edition of Foreign Policy magazine has an article by General Stanley McChrystal (ret.), the former commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan from 2009 - 2010. In the print edition his article is titled, “Becoming the Enemy: To win in Afghanistan, we need to fight more like the Taliban.” (Oddly, the online version has a different title, “It Takes a Network: The new front line of modern … [Read more...]