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.

A day late salute to St. Patrick’s Battalion

In yesterday’s excitement at the Inquirer piece, I forgot to observe St.Patrick’s Day by saluting the dissenting soldiers who took that saint’s name as inspiration. These Catholic soldiers emerged amid the killing spree known as the Mexican-American War, 1845-47. In a war staffed entirely by career staff and volunteers, morale started  low and got worse. Between nonexistent wages andContinue reading “A day late salute to St. Patrick’s Battalion”

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.

Operation Recovery’s Oleo Strut

About a year ago, Iraq Veterans Against the Wars began a campaign that sounded almost conservative: Operation Recovery, against the deployment of traumatized troops. The celebrated Camilo Mejia, when he and I talked in Philadelphia, was skeptical : “Sounds like the VFW.” Actually, it’s a sign that IVAW gets it, in a very deep way. ByContinue reading “Operation Recovery’s Oleo Strut”

it sounds so much simpler when he says it

I know this blog has been silent for so many m0nths: more than six! How can it be? But I  didn’t feel like I could keep writing here until I had the book actually delivered to the publisher. That has now happened, and I’ll say more about it later. But right now, I wanted toContinue reading “it sounds so much simpler when he says it”

Don’t ask, don’t tell — don’t fight? queer notes from another pacifist for soldiers

I mentioned David Mixner back on Groundhog Day, when, appropriately enough, the Senate held their first-ever hearings on DADT. Now, you can click here to read a longer version of my interviews with him, including one about Sec. Gates’ slow-mo plan for repeal. The money quote, to me: If Obama had to live by (DADT)Continue reading “Don’t ask, don’t tell — don’t fight? queer notes from another pacifist for soldiers”

Maxine Hong Kingston’s sangha speaks

This coming Monday, with “Veterans Day Sales” all over the newspapers, most Americans observe Veterans Day with flags and parades, honoring men and women who have gone to war for the United States. These days, few recollect that the original name of the holiday was Armistice Day, in honor of the November 11, 1918 endContinue reading “Maxine Hong Kingston’s sangha speaks”

is this the Alabama portion of Wisconsin?

I’m told it’s not. But what about this? Although the parade website says the event is “Honoring all Americans who have served,” it has refused to allow Veterans for Peace members – many of whom are combat veterans with Purple Hearts – from taking part in the observance on Saturday, Nov. 7. The parade committeeContinue reading “is this the Alabama portion of Wisconsin?”

“It’s about the demilitarization of society.”

Via Stephen Funk, who was the very first U.S. soldier I interviewed for the book three years ago. I’m so heartened to see it: while Iraq Veterans Against the War argued out a nonviolence resolution, these guys see it simply: “It’s about the demilitarization of society.” Among demilitarizations tasks they include eradicating sexism, which mattersContinue reading ““It’s about the demilitarization of society.””