Confusion Over 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...]

The Problematic: Penny Lewis Repairs Some Misconceptions About the Vietnam War

Lewis book cover FET

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

FireworksOverFlag

         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...]

What Is a Hero?

X army.mil-2007-02-02-112713

My local newspaper recently printed a trio of articles about fallen heroes. One was the story of a young Marine who died in a training exercise, months short of discharge. His body was welcomed home with 2200 American flags. Another was a comment by a columnist questioning the economics of providing military honors to people who died in circumstances other than combat. Still another opined that lots of people are heroes … [Read more...]

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

FEATURE

"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...]