45 years ago, people learned what had happened in My Lai

And all  earlier drafts of my book included a sort of big-picture retelling of those events, focusing on signature dissenters like Hugh Thompson and Ron Ridenhour. Now that I’ll be referring to those events ONLY in a leaner, character-based narrative, I wanted this blog to have this version, of which I am pretty proud. IContinue reading “45 years ago, people learned what had happened in My Lai”

a bridge for Memorial Day

(The guy who sang the song above didn’t serve, but his dad Ernest sure did, spending the rest of his life in nightmares.) The piece behind yesterday’s photos went up today at the Inquirer, with a small amount of reader mail. Ak of the latter (so far) was respectful, and some of it was ofContinue reading “a bridge for Memorial Day”

On Memorial Day, remember these priests, poets, politicos and pranksters!

That’s how I’ve tended to characterize the huge, diverse and boisterous movement working to stop the U.S, war against Vietnam, 1963-1975. I should have written an essay here about them last month, for the anniversary of the 1975 evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, but I could barely fit them in a chapter forContinue reading “On Memorial Day, remember these priests, poets, politicos and pranksters!”

No #47traitors here;The Logan Act’s namesake just wanted peace with France

If you’ve been following national politics some, you may have heard, from both the left and the right, people naming the “Logan Act” as a way to penalize those Republican senators who sent a letter to Tehran behind Obama’s back. This isn’t the site for it, so I’ll leave it to Charlie Pierce to  explainContinue reading “No #47traitors here;The Logan Act’s namesake just wanted peace with France”

96-year-old outtake: fort leavenworth goes on strike

Long after the Armistice was signed in November 1918, open rebellions continued to startle military authorities, including the conglomeration of deserters, CO’s and malcontents that stuffed the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks in 1918.

On Veterans’ Day, some important voices on this new forever war

The commentary below was published today in shorter form on Al-Jazeera America, but I liked the whole thing enough to share it here. Inherent Resolve? Try inherent blowback, say recent vets of Iraq war Veterans Day this year falls almost exactly two months after Pres Obama announced an ongoing military campaign against the ‘Islamic State’Continue reading “On Veterans’ Day, some important voices on this new forever war”

D-Day memories from an artist of stature

I first met Knox Martin seven years ago, and every June 6 since I’ve heard his voice. Back then, I was writing for NYC weekly Chelsea Now about Martin’s “Venus” mural on 19th Street and the West Side Highway, since obscured by Jean Nouvel’s 100 Eleventh Avenue condominium complex. When I learned Martin, still fightingContinue reading “D-Day memories from an artist of stature”

in defense of channeling voices

In praise of Harvard’a Jill Lepore — including one book that goes down like an insomniac bedtime story, with endnotes nearly as mesmerizing as the text, and another about Ben Franklin’s sister, whose story is no less than his a biography of America.

PTSD in 1945: let there be truth

I was excited to see Paula Span’s piece today in the Times, “No End to Trauma for Some Older Veterans.” She follows one 80-something vet in his struggles and notes that seeking help wasn’t popular in his war: “The prevailing medical advice — even for someone like Mr. Perna, who had fought in North Africa,Continue reading “PTSD in 1945: let there be truth”