Where the Real Dangers Lie

A waterinfrastructure

By W. D. Ehrhart The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is violent, fanatical, barbaric, brutal, intolerant, and . . . add whatever other adjectives you’d like to throw in.  I won’t argue that these characterizations are not true.  But over the summer and into the fall, I have watched and listened with increasing dismay to the shifting sands of the US approach to the situation. Not so many months ago, we were … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

Brazil’s 1964 Coup: What ‘Communist Conspiracy’?

UHL Coup FEA

It all began with Cuba in 1959. That was a line in the sand for Tio Sam. Kennedy launched the Alliance for Progress in ‘61, and caudillos throughout South and Central America lined up for lessons on how to prevent their own homegrown communists from reproducing what Fidel and El Che had brought down from the Sierra Maestras. The School of the Americas’ manual of torture, originally drafted in Scotland and likely … [Read more...]

Rio de Janeiro in 1964…

            Rio de Janeiro in 1964 remained the de facto seat of the Brazilian government and home to its corps of international diplomats.  Despite the fact that Brasilia, the modernist architectural ghost town erected in the scrublands of the country’s isolated interior was designated Brazil’s new capital in 1960, the foot dragging went on for years before the embassies and the governing bureaucrats … [Read more...]