About John Grant

John Grant is a veteran, a writer and a photographer. At age 19, he was a radio direction finder in Vietnam, working in the mountains west of Pleiku to locate enemy radio operators. He returned to the US and, then, read and learned what the war was really about; he has been a member of Veterans For Peace since 1985. He did documentary photography in Central America during the wars there and has traveled twice to the war zone in Iraq, as well as to numerous other places around the world. He has taught creative writing in a Philadelphia prison for ten years.

Red Lines and Bombing in Syria: A Really Bad Idea

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Here we go again. Polls suggest the American people are fed up after two full-bore wars and the killing of an ambassador in Benghazi following our commitment to regime change in Libya. Yet, the Obama administration seems poised to launch another war in Syria. “We can’t do a third war in 12 years!" This exasperated response was not from a leftist peace activist ready to do civil disobedience; it was from Colonel … [Read more...]

The Battle Still Rages Over What Vietnam Means: Individual Honor or Unpleasant History?

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"The experience we have of our lives from within, the story we tell ourselves about ourselves in order to account for what we are doing, is thus a lie -- the truth lies rather outside, in what we do." Slavoj Zizek Soldiers and veterans from Iraq, Afghanistan and other wars are killing themselves, according to Sixty Minutes, at a rate of 22-a-day. For any fair-minded person whose mind is not locked into a dehumanized … [Read more...]

COMMEMORATE THIS! A Short Comedy on History and the Vietnam War

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Backyard Productions presents COMMEMORATE THIS! A short comedy on history and the Vietnam War (To watch the film, click on the title above) In 2008, Congress created a 13-year, $5-million-per-year propaganda project to clean up the image of the Vietnam War. It's called The Vietnam War Commemoration Project and it focuses on issues of individual honor and bravery. It avoids the controversial historical and moral issues … [Read more...]

Women in Combat: A Distraction From the Real Issue

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The Pentagon -- and the United States government in thrall to it -- is congratulating itself on overcoming a hurdle that other nations have long gotten beyond or never faced in the first place. Feminists and progressives sympathetic to women’s rights are expected to be delighted that women can now officially be assigned to combat roles in the US military. The overcoming of this great hurdle follows a long tradition, in … [Read more...]

CLUSTERBALL: James Bond and the Petraeus Affair

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Using one of those overarching dramatic titles we have come to expect in mainstream media news coverage, John Stewart summed up the Petraeus story as “Band of Boners.” It's the sort of thing that may be inevitable when so much power is given so much free rein by so much secrecy. The nature of military and spy craft -- Sun Tzu and Clausewitz would agree -- is that it’s never what it seems. As this unfolding … [Read more...]

Seal Team Imperialism and the Sticky Wicket in Benghazi

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In the parlance of the classic British colonial era, President Obama is faced with a bit of a sticky wicket in Benghazi, Libya. The metaphor refers to a patch of rough grass making it hard to hit the ball through the wicket in the British sport of cricket. British colonials liked to bring a little of England to the warm climes they colonized and played cricket on native-tendered grass between dealing with unruly wogs and … [Read more...]