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”
I first saw the Manning video below last year, during the very FIRST of Manning’s pre-trial hearings. I was covering that week’s vigil outside Fort Meade, which also doubled as a Veterans for Peace convention. ( I’m the one in the beret in this photo, behind Dan Choi and Ray McGovern). Before he ever was a soldier, Manning was an out gay guy, one with a certain libertarian mindset that may sound familiar.
From last week’s reporting Manning comes off as bright, funny, and clear about what he’s done. And his jailers come off as, at the very least a little dim — naive in that sense that actually means cruel. And this particular drama is a crazy-quilt mirror on the current state of American democracy.
Canada’s long history as a refuge gave young people like Kimberly Rivera, like Joshua Key, like the estimated hundreds still underground, hope that they’d be welcome in the human family, with their struggles respected. Canada deserves its image as a haven, however clouded. And if it yet again embraced its role as a refuge from militarism, we would all be the richer for it, on both sides of the border.
It’s Veterans Day. Read these smart commentaries, and consider all the ways they’ve served.
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”
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”
… if it concurs with the experience of someone you know – or maybe you. From Shannon Meehan’s excellent piece in today’s Home Fires: Killing enemy combatants comes with its own emotional costs. On the surface, we feel as soldiers that killing the enemy should not affect us — it is our job, after all.Continue reading “is this true?”
I’ve hoped to grow up to be Kelly Kennedy ever since my friend, rockstar author Alia Malek, profiled the Military Times reporter for Columbia Journalism Review. I knew it was impossible, of course, as the very first line of Kennedy’s author bio makes clear: “Kelly Kennedy served as a soldier in Desert Storm and Mogadishu,Continue reading “Leave no FNG behind: thoughts on Kelly Kennedy’s They Fought for Each Other “
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”