For black soldiers, the wound goes that far back

The photo is of Sgt. Major Lewis H. Douglass, survivor of the battle of Fort Wagner, who never complained about  his pension but did observe,long before he became outspoken against the next war, that the supposed unity of the “Grand Army of the Republic” —given the differing treatment of black and white veterans groups —Continue reading “For black soldiers, the wound goes that far back”

Bring back the draft? A-gain?

Last time there was a national call to resume conscription, it came from former Marine and zillion-term Congressman Charles Rangel (left), who fought on the famous Hill 902 during the Korean War. Rangel’s bill to do so, introduced on the eve of the 2003 Iraq invasion, was mostly meant to highlight the still-deep inequity betweenContinue reading “Bring back the draft? A-gain?”

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?”

People who Died: Now Murtha, too (UPDATE Two)

Three obituaries inside a week or so: first the World War II-vet peers Howard Zinn and J.D. Salinger, only one of whom became a dissenter. Now Murtha, of the Vietnam generation but only a dissenter much later, who I sort of pre-eulogized last week when he went into hospital. Respect to CBS News for notContinue reading “People who Died: Now Murtha, too (UPDATE Two)”

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.”

the right to seek redress: now more of it for soldiers

Wow. Here’s a piece of news that snuck by many of us, at least me. From Legal Times: The House Judiciary Committee has approved a bill that would expand the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, allowing it to review petitions filed by military service members challenging courts-martial decisions. Under current law, a service member isContinue reading “the right to seek redress: now more of it for soldiers”

“the erroneous belief that they have rights”

Certainly not those guaranteed by the First Amendment, with its pesky talk of free speech. This just in from Iraq Veterans Against the War: The U.S .military plans to extradite stop-lossed Iraq war vet to Iraq for court martial over protest rap song Fort Stewart, Ga. – The US military plans to extradite a stop-lossedContinue reading ““the erroneous belief that they have rights””

Howard Zinn, part two

One of the things that makes me personally sad about Zinn leaving us when he did is that I’d hoped to, when Ain’t Marchin’ finally came out, introduce him to Garett Reppenhagen (left), president of Veterans Green Jobs and former president of Iraq Veterans Against the War. The latter had told me, when I interviewedContinue reading “Howard Zinn, part two”

Some news and a promise

I almost literally crawled under a rock toward the end of the year, in an effort to finally get this book completed. I can now report honestly that it’s almost there. (For a cheat sheet on its ultimate shape, check out my draft introduction at the book’s own site.) Some  bits and pieces from aroundContinue reading “Some news and a promise”

Matt Taibbi: "The entire economy was a fake"

The latest Rolling Stone piece from Matt Taibbi, our Tiresias of Wall Street, was horrifying enough for Halloween (as Susie Madrak points out),  with its latest details of how it all came down. It also gave the best summary I’ve seen of the whole Dantean reality created by it all. Back when I was writingContinue reading “Matt Taibbi: "The entire economy was a fake"”