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”

Iraq and a hard place

All this Manning talk has distracted me from writing about this amazing mural, powered by the singular organization Warrior Writers. They’re poets, essayists, performers and visual artists of all stripes, mostly from what their director calls “veterans who’ve served since September 11.” Together with the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program,  they produced this testimonial a half-mileContinue reading “Iraq and a hard place”

the singer of the song

I’m in final revisions on the AMA book, so my focus here is shifting for the next five weeks or so; expect to see some musings on the book’s themes, and new stories getting inserted at the last minute. But I’m unlikely to be following the news quite so closely, and there will be silences.Continue reading “the singer of the song”

Can you handle the truth? A guest post from Jane Fonda

The role of Jane Fonda in the Vietnam-era GI movement has always deeply intrigued me, but I had no idea she’d been turned anti-war after meeting deserters in Paris. The fuller story fascinates. I’ve long known the “Hanoi Jane” stuff was a smear job. Now, in “The Truth About My Trip to Hanoi,” which she explicitlyContinue reading “Can you handle the truth? A guest post from Jane Fonda”

A draft? part two: “send me to Iraq and not my mother.”

I’m strangled by multiple deadlines today. But needed to hail Dwayne Betts, writing at Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Atlantic site: Right now my moms is at an airport in Maryland waiting on a plane to send her to Germany, then to Kuwait, then to Iraq. She turns fifty years old on Thursday. At first, I thought sheContinue reading “A draft? part two: “send me to Iraq and not my mother.””

today is a moving target

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”

War films and books: Who can’t handle the truth?

Last fall, I thought a lot about what writing about war really meant.  Two articles this week went at that question kind of sideways: First, a Week in Review piece by Washington insider Elizabeth Bumiller, about the newest rack of books on the Iraq and Afghan wars, saying that these soldier-writers “explore the futility ofContinue reading “War films and books: Who can’t handle the truth?”

Nashville tea party? Not.

I wake up and  the ‘nets are buzzing with a speech last night made in Nashville by that shapeshifter from Alaska (Governor?  Talk show host? Avatar?). But another quiet buzz came in a report about another Battle of Nashville, one that was hardly a tea party. Unsurprisingly, it’s from a Fort Campbell-oriented paper, Clarksville Leaf-Courier, aboutContinue reading “Nashville tea party? Not.”

how do you spell “escalation?”

I don’t know about you, but I needed half a bottle of wine to get through watching President Obama at West Point. The freshman midshipmen, only a few years older than my dear nephew, watched soberly and crowded around him after for cellphone camera photos. As he smiled, Obama giving his trademark grin for theContinue reading “how do you spell “escalation?””

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”