The non-belongers: George Packer's Betrayed

“To this moment, I dream about America.”As the last line of “Betrayed,” George Packer’s acclaimed 2007 New Yorker article about Iraqis working for Americans in Iraq, that sentence was moving and near-elegiac. But as Waleed Zulaiter speaks that line on the stage of the Culture Project, ending Packer’s play BETRAYED, the pain in his voiceContinue reading “The non-belongers: George Packer's Betrayed”

a chinese new year, poe and the spirits of the dead

….Ask yourself what Edgar Allen Poe, William Apess and William Lloyd Garrison have in common. I’m doing the same, while immersing myself in events as they unfold, whether it’s Winter Soldier, ongoing debates about veterans and PTSD, or the end/middle game of this particular war. Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with a poem by a writer I have always mildly detested, even though I’ve taught his work — written the year he enlisted in the U.S. Army as a private.

the newest winter soldiers

In my work on this book, I:ve mostly been immersed in the stories of the first Winter Soldiers in 1776, discovering long-forgotten dissenters like Matthew Lyon and Nicholas Trist. But last weekend, I visited with Vietnam Veterans Against the War, the group that first inspired me to write it. At a gathering im Brooklyn ofContinue reading “the newest winter soldiers”

one soldier's triple avatars: Washington, Lincoln, FDR – and Mahatma Gandhi

pent a good deal of time with this brave captain, who just opened his online shop here.

I was struck when Captain Montalvan and I spoke how much inspiration he drew from earlier eras – this well-decorated Iraq vet was unafraid to draw as much from FDR and Gandhi as from the combat-tested Washington and Lincoln.

one soldier's triple avatars: Washington, Lincoln, FDR – and Mahatma Gandhi

pent a good deal of time with this brave captain, who just opened his online shop here.

I was struck when Captain Montalvan and I spoke how much inspiration he drew from earlier eras – this well-decorated Iraq vet was unafraid to draw as much from FDR and Gandhi as from the combat-tested Washington and Lincoln.

many mazeltovs to a giant

When the Macarthur Awards were announced this spring, I can’t believe I missed it;  that one went to Dr. Jonathan Shay. Luckily,  Lily was more attentive, noting it on her own invaluable blog, Healing Combat Trauma. The debt owed Shay by so many of us is hard to quantify. HCT has the links to severalContinue reading “many mazeltovs to a giant”

you look up and who's there? dave cline.

But David Cline I did. David Cline, former president of Veterans for Peace, whose famous journey from the killing fields of Vietnam to the GI antiwar movement to the fight for Agent Orange survivors was made briefly famous by his friend David Zeiger’s great film. Cline loved the idea of my book, and he and I had countless canceled interview dates, often shoved aside by events in Fayetteville or Washington. I always thought there would be time, and looked forward to seeing him at the Rutgers conference on veterans in two weeks. He was only sixty, after all. Also brilliant and passionate and down to earth,

Silly me, silly us. There is no time, and Cline knew that better than anyone. I can’t hope to match the deeper tributes here from fellow Vietnam veterans and here from the Iraq vets he was so busy mentoring. So I’ll fall back on Berryman, again, who finds a sideways way in to the worst.

you look up and who's there? dave cline.

But David Cline I did. David Cline, former president of Veterans for Peace, whose famous journey from the killing fields of Vietnam to the GI antiwar movement to the fight for Agent Orange survivors was made briefly famous by his friend David Zeiger’s great film. Cline loved the idea of my book, and he and I had countless canceled interview dates, often shoved aside by events in Fayetteville or Washington. I always thought there would be time, and looked forward to seeing him at the Rutgers conference on veterans in two weeks. He was only sixty, after all. Also brilliant and passionate and down to earth,

Silly me, silly us. There is no time, and Cline knew that better than anyone. I can’t hope to match the deeper tributes here from fellow Vietnam veterans and here from the Iraq vets he was so busy mentoring. So I’ll fall back on Berryman, again, who finds a sideways way in to the worst.