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 Problematic: Penny Lewis Repairs Some Misconceptions About the Vietnam War

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The Vietnam War seems to be drawing attention increasingly from researchers born during or after the tumultuous decade in which that deadly drama played out.  One sees mostly this generation’s higher profile works, like Fredrik Logevall’s Embers of War; The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam, winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for History, and Nick Turse's Kill Anything That Moves: The Real … [Read more...]

Another 4th of July In AmeriKa

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         And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,  Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there: Oh, say! does that star-spangled banner yet wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?                                                           Francis Scott Key It’s several mornings after the 4th of July holiday, which … [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...]

Strange Vibes in Van Buren

I was chatting with the host at a house party recently who was telling me of his family link to the Acadian town of Van Buren on Maine’s border with Canada.  I was immediately reminded of an article I’d been assigned to write years ago by Down East Magazine, a slick vehicle for boosting Maine’s touristic image.  Down East had excerpted a chapter from my back roads guide to Maine, and the enthusiastic editor whose … [Read more...]