It was the police murder of George Floyd, in mid-2020, that got Toon to identify as a conscientious objector. “The delicacy and fragility of life hit me” after that May 25, he told me. With the national uprising all around him, he realized “I have to create change in myself.”
Though I do tend to think that 5 years being tortured by the Taliban is adequate punishment for what he did, I’m seeing Bergdahl as less a dissenter than an anomaly.
It’s now more than two weeks since the Army brought charges against Robert D. Bowdrie Bergdahl, known to most of us as Bowe.. In that time, journalists and commentators have rushed to characterize a young man most of us knew only from last years’ headlines, and photos of a skinny Army private in Arab robesContinue reading “#Bergdahl = Rashomon”
There’s a reason why one of my chapters is tentatively titled “The Moral Injury of the Long War.” The great Jonathan Shay may have coined the term, based on the accumulated grief of Vietnam, but this generation has claimed it as they try to parse what honor means when it also means killing for uncertainContinue reading “Moral injury in real time”
By “not quite” I mean: Who knew all you needed was ONE quote from the Army secretary and then pack in all the partisan backstory. and Presto – you can get paid?
I hadn’t been following the Lorance case, apparently the right-wing media’s Chelsea Manning — a commander that ordered the shooting of Afghan civilians on a motorcycle, to the shock of the veterans in his platoon: “War is hard, there is collateral da mage. I get that — I’ve got my own stories,” Staff Sgt. DanielContinue reading “When troops say no, justice can happen”
It’s Veterans Day. Read these smart commentaries, and consider all the ways they’ve served.
If I’d been nattering here as much as on Facebook, you’d have heard more than you care to about my interview with former Newsweek editor Evan Thomas. But I’m pretty happy with how it came out. At the bottom, click to read it at Guernica Magazine, and maybe throw in your two cents? Wolf inContinue reading “Evan Thomas at Guernica: how he pushed the Iraq war like Citizen Cane”
When I’m not tracking that moving target, I’m making my last swim through the rest of the book, to tighten the prose and strengthen its themes. Of course, since I’m the one doing it, that latter task means just-a-little-more-research-please — sifting through old files and asking the scholarship for bits that belong in that zig-zagContinue reading “the first lying promise to veterans: outtakes from 1785”
First installment in a not-unprecedented effort to start over and draft a NEW final chapter in plain sight So the scene I included in my Murtha-obit post? I once thought of it as a prologue for the entire book — except that even if I,’d been right on deadline, that 2005 scene would have feltContinue reading “today is a moving target”