Happy 45th Anniversary, Daniel Ellsberg — or why he belongs in my book

today, almost exactly 45 years after a Marine Corps vet finally rocked the world, here it is. Now you know why I tried, and why my fantastic ex-colleague Judith Ehrlich followed her landmark CO movie with one about Ellsberg.

news: the Monday dozen

I know I haven’t posted one of these in a few days, but that’s not because there wasn’t much to note. Below is a full baker’s dozen, though some are echoes of stories already on our radar. The Toronto Star offers an elegant PTSD history, showing how “soldier’s heart” became “shell shock” became “combat fatigue” becameContinue reading “news: the Monday dozen”

News mix: a house of cards

As ever, my not-quite-daily roundup of items that caught my attention, and still might yours. In Winona, MN, a veteran artist enacts war’s suffering by lying on a bed of nails. 160 retired Israeli defense officials speak out against PM Netanyahu’s address today to the US Congress. The group reminds me a little of the Vietnam-eraContinue reading “News mix: a house of cards”

Friday news dump, belated

As what one writer has called “this insult of a month” comes to an end, a baker’s half-dozen to keep us warm: Famous Veteran: Leonard Nimoy. As many of us mourn the guy who made smart cool, IVAW’s Geoff Millard points out this Military.com Q&A in which Nimoy offered vets tips on making their dreamsContinue reading “Friday news dump, belated”

Moral injury in real time

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”

When troops say no, justice can happen

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”

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”

bowe bergdahl, who walked away from Omelas

Despite all the time and spilled pixels, it feels like we know less about Bergdahl than we did when he was still a Taliban prisoner and we had only Michael Hastings’ vivid 2012 Rolling Stone portrait. What we have instead is speculation, and the understandable anger from members of the unit he walked away from, never to return, and measured words from his parents and his attorneys.