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Tomgram: Nick Turse, Killing People, Breaking Things, and America's Winless Wars

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  • If you’ve ever wondered how those inside the planet’s self-proclaimed mightiest military force assess their handiwork over these last 15 (or for that matter 50) years, it’s fortunately no longer necessary to guess. Thanks to TomDispatch’s Nick Turse, we now have a document from within that military which will answer your every question on war, American-style, even if those answers beg questions all their own.
  • Related: You Must Be Kidding!

Nick Turse, TomDispatch.com

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Nick%20Turse%20%7C%20Next%20Time%20They%27ll%20Come%20to%20Count%20the%20Dead%20jacket%20illus.jpgSeptember 27, 2016 | It’s the timing that should amaze us (were anyone to think about it for 30 seconds). Let’s start with the conflict in Afghanistan, now regularly described as the longest war in American history.  It began on October 7, 2001, and will soon reach its 15th “anniversary.” Think of it as the stepchild of America’s first Afghan War (against the Soviets), a largely CIA affair which lasted from 1979 to 1989.  Considered a major victory, leading as it did to the implosion of the Soviet Union in 1991, it also devastated Afghanistan and created close to the full cast of characters for America’s second Afghan War.  In reality, you could say that Washington has conducted a quarter-century-plus of warfare there (with a decade off).  And in the Pentagon, they’re already talking about that war's possible extension well into the 2020s.

And then, of course, there’s Iraq.  Where even to begin to count?  You could start perhaps with the military aid and assistance that Washington gave Saddam Hussein in the eight-year war that followed his invasion of Iran in 1980, including crucial information that the Iraqis could use to target Iranian troops with their chemical weapons.  Or you could start with that victory of all victories, the first Gulf War of 1991, in which the U.S. military crushed Saddam’s troops in Kuwait, showed off the snazzy techno-abilities of the mightiest force on the planet... and er, um... somehow didn’t unseat the Iraqi ruler, leading to years of no-fly-zone air war until that second, ultimate victory, the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which led to... er, um... a disastrous occupation, various insurgencies, and finally the withdrawal of American forces in 2011 before... er, um... the Islamic State emerged triumphantly to smash the American-trained Iraqi army, taking over major cities, and establishing its “caliphate.”  That, of course, led to America’s third Iraq War (or is it the fourth?), still ongoing.  In other words, at least a quarter-century of conflict and possibly more with no end in sight.

Nick Turse is the managing editor of TomDispatch, a fellow at the Nation Institute, and a contributing writer for the Intercept. His book Tomorrow's Battlefield: U.S. Proxy Wars and Secret Ops in Africa recently received an American Book Award. His latest book is Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead: War and Survival in South Sudan

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You Must Be Kidding! Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch

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  • War, Peace, and Absurdity
  • Adventures in an American World of Frustration
  • Related: Why the US Can’t Break Its Addiction to War 

Series | Veterans for Peace Action Alert, Part 2- US Military and Foreign Policy in Korea

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  • Our focus this week is US Military and Foreign Policy in Korea.
  • We all know #PeaceIsPossible and working together we will bring about the world we seek, a world without war.
  • http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Take%20Action%20Today%20button.jpg Help Us Put Peace Back In The Conversation!
  • Second in a Series

 

Veterans for Peace (VFP)

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Editor%20Comment%20graphic_0.jpgVFP Submission Notice: Between now and November 8th, the Nation will be caught up in a frenzy of debates, campaign ads, and political commentary.  Raising the visibility of veterans working for peace is more important than ever.  In what has become a polarizing global climate, Veterans For Peace has a unique opportunity to highlight that #PeaceIsPossible.  We can and must use every venue to share our experiences and help people understand that war is not the answer.

Every week, from now until the election, Veterans For Peace will release a list of questions for the presidential candidates, and we want your help.  

October 12, 2016 | Our focus this week is US Military and Foreign Policy in Korea.

  • There are rising military tensions on the Korean Peninsula, with large-scale joint war drills, an alarming arms race, and increasing hostility between the U.S. and North Korea (DPRK). What would you do to reduce the current military tensions and help bring about permanent peace in Korea? 
  • There are no official contacts or exchange programs between the U.S. and North Korea at this time. Is this a good policy? Would you support people-to-people exchange programs between the two countries, including use of the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP)?
  • To help end the agony of the surviving family members of some 5,000 missing U.S. soldiers in North Korea—a painful legacy from the Korean War of 1950-53—do you think the U.S. should resume the Dept. of Defense’s search and repatriation operations to retrieve the remains of missing U.S. soldiers in North Korea, which were suspended in 2005?
  • In September 2014, the Obama Administration announced a new antipersonnel landmine policy, which stated that the United States will “not use antipersonnel landmines outside the Korean Peninsula.” Is this exception a good policy for further development of international humanitarian law? If not, do you think the U.S should join the 162 nations that ratified the Mine Ban Treaty (a.k.a. Ottawa Treaty)?
  • There are over 100,000 Korean American families, who have been separated from their loved ones in North Korea for more than 60 years. What measures do you think the U.S. should take to end this cruel human tragedy and achieve a speedy reunion of separated families?
  • Submit your own question to the candidates about military and foreign policy in Korea.

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• Send the above questions to each of the Presidential Candidates:

Hillary Clinton
Donald Trump
Jill Stein
Gary Johnson

• Tweet to the Presidential candidates.  Make sure to use #PeaceIsPossible.

Hillary Clinton:  @HillaryClinton
Donald Trump:  @realDonaldTrump
Jill Stein: @DrJillStein
Gary Johnson: @GovGaryJohnson

• Find your local presidential campaign office and deliver the questionnaire in person.

The people of the world are crying out for a path different than the one we are on today. You are not fooled by those who are leading us down a path of division and hate.  We all know #PeaceIsPossible and working together we will bring about the world we seek, a world without war.

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Previously in This Series

Part 1- Nuclear Weapons and Their Use

 

 

Veterans Hammer Draft-dodging Trump

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  • Trump says veterans with mental health issues aren't strong. Living with mental illness takes more strength than he will ever know.
  • Apparently, Donald Trump could not even bear going into the service. He couldn’t handle it.
  • Part 1: Veterans Are Hammering Draft Dodging Trump for Calling Soldiers Who Get PTSD "Weak." 
  • Part 2: Wife Of Veteran Who Committed Suicide From PTSD Hits Trump, President Obama Responds

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest



Part 1: Veterans Are Hammering Draft Dodging Trump for Calling Soldiers Who Get PTSD "Weak." 

Of course, Trump knows all about combat. Well, maybe he would if he didn’t need to get 5 draft deferments.

Michael Hayne, IfYouOnlyNews.com

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Disabled%20Vets%20collage.jpgOctober 4, 2016 | Despite trying to present himself as a hero among our active and retired troops, our uniformed men and women are about as impressed with Trump as Megyn Kelly is. And he just pissed them off even further.

After crapping on veterans on three separate occasions, Trump decided the best way to avoid a bombshell story on his tax evasion over the years was to crap on veterans….again. At a town hall and in front of a room full of vets, Trump implied that soldiers with PTSD were weak.

Michael Hayne is a comedian/VO artist/impressionist extraordinaire who co-wrote an award-nominated film, contributed to NY Times Laugh Lines, guest blogged for Joe Biden, appeared in Nat Geo's Drugged: High on Marijuana (where apparently he battled herbal terrorists). He's written pretty much everywhere.

Full story … 



Part 2: Wife Of Veteran Who Committed Suicide From PTSD Hits Trump, President Obama Responds

Apparently, Donald Trump could not even bear going into the service. He couldn’t handle it.

Gloria Christie, Bipartisan Report

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Veterans%27%20concerns%20%26%20stories.jpg Photo Credit: Robert Adrian Hillman/Shutterstock.com 

October 4, 2016 | A Gold Star wife, Amanda Souza told her tearful story about her husband, a man who developed PTSD during his deployment. 

She stood in a presidential town hall meeting and related, that as a result of his untreated PTSD, he tragically committed suicide.

Gloria Christie founded Gloria Christie Reports, a common sense column about liberal politics. She has a masters in Radio-TV-film and an MPA in business/government relations. She is particularly interested in liberal politics, high-tech, complex systems, and change.

Full story (video) … 

Series | Veterans for Peace Action Alert, Part 1- Nuclear Weapons and Their Use

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  • Our focus this week is all too important: nuclear weapons and their use.
  • We all know #PeaceIsPossible and working together we will bring about the world we seek, a world without war.
  •  http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Take%20Action%20Today%20button.jpg Help Us Put Peace Back In The Conversation!

 

Veterans for Peace (VFP) 

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Subscribe%20logo.jpgTo stay on top of important articles like these, sign up here to receive the latest updates from all reader supported Evergreene Digest. 

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Editor%20Comment%20graphic_0.jpg VFP Submission Notice: Between now and November 8th, the Nation will be caught up in a frenzy of debates, campaign ads, and political commentary.  Raising the visibility of veterans working for peace is more important than ever.  In what has become a polarizing global climate, Veterans For Peace has a unique opportunity to highlight that #PeaceIsPossible.  We can and must use every venue to share our experiences and help people understand that war is not the answer.

Every week, from now until the election, Veterans For Peace will release a list of questions for the presidential candidates, and we want your help  

October 6, 2016 | Our focus this week is all too important: nuclear weapons and their use.

It is reported that President Obama may be considering “no first use of nuclear weapons” which would be a major change of US policy.  Would you support a “no first use of nuclear weapons” policy?

Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) requires all nations that possess nuclear weapons to negotiate in good faith to end the nuclear arms race with the goal of ultimately eliminating nuclear weapons.  As President, within the first 100 days of taking office, would you initiate a conference, pursuant to Article VI of the NPT, with all Nuclear Weapons States to negotiate a reduction in nuclear weapons with the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons?

The United States possesses missiles that can be rapidly launched on early warning.  Many experts believe such a system increases the risk of accidental nuclear war.  Would you as President consider taking US nuclear weapons off high operational readiness or what is known as “launch on warning?”  

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) would ban any and all nuclear tests, big or small, above and below the Earth’s surface, and establish a worldwide monitoring system.  The US has signed the CTBT and voluntarily adhered to the treaty since 1992.  The US, however, has yet to ratify the treaty.  Would you as President advocate for ratification of the CTBT?

Submit your own question to the candidates about nuclear weapons!

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Take%20Action%20Today%20button.jpg Help Us Put Peace Back In The Conversation!

 

• Send the above questions to each of the Presidential Candidates:

Hillary Clinton
Donald Trump
Jill Stein
Gary Johnson

• Tweet to the Presidential candidates.  Make sure to use #PeaceIsPossible.

Hillary Clinton:  @HillaryClinton
Donald Trump:  @realDonaldTrump
Jill Stein: @DrJillStein
Gary Johnson: @GovGaryJohnson

• Find your local presidential campaign office and deliver the questionnaire in person.

The people of the world are crying out for a path different than the one we are on today. You are not fooled by those who are leading us down a path of division and hate.  We all know #PeaceIsPossible and working together we will bring about the world we seek, a world without war.

Dear Donald Trump: Veterans with PTSD Aren't Weak

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  • A few words about the acknowledgment of suffering.
  • Related: The Tragedy of the American Military

Phil Klay, Esquire

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October 4, 2016 | It was the children that were the hardest to deal with, that's what all the folks from our medical unit in Iraq told me. Babies needing amputations. Six-year-old boys with shattered bones from stray bullets. Little girls caught in IED blasts. Mentally, it was hard. It should be hard, they said. Like when the corpsman with the three-year-old daughter back home saw the three-year-old Iraqi girl missing half her face, bleeding heavily from her torso, limbs and head, well past the point of saving, and volunteered to hold her hand and care for her as she died. That was hard. That was really, really hard.

But how long should that experience remain hard? How long is she allowed to process before we start to think—she should get over it? That seems to be the question, ever since Donald Trump told an audience of veterans that they had been through worse than those suffering mental health problems but "you're strong and you can handle it." The veteran community immediately objected, though many civilians who read the full transcript of Trump's comments came away confused. "The full quote is actually sympathetic," tweeted Boston Globe columnist Scott Gilmore. One of my own family members told me, "I saw the video and it didn't seem that bad."

Phil Klay is a Marine veteran who served in Anbar Province, Iraq, and the author of Redeployment, a book of short stories about the Iraq War.

Full story … 

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The Tragedy of the American Military, James Fallows, the Atlantic

  • https://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/2014/12/23/opener/1920.jpg?1440086856The American public and its political leadership will do anything for the military except take it seriously. The result is a chickenhawk nation in which careless spending and strategic folly combine to lure America into endless wars it can’t win.
  • Related: Liberal Antiwar Activism is the Problem

 

Clinton And Trump, Call Your Office: America’s Bipartisan Policy Of Perpetual War Has Failed To Deliver Peace

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  • This approach (Perpetual War) is based on the belief that Washington is capable of solving every international problem. If only unnamed bright people implemented theoretically brilliant strategies backed by unidentified resolute citizens, terrorism would be suppressed, ISIS would be defeated, Russia would be compliant, Iraq would be successful, Syria would be peaceful, Libya would be united, and China would be respectful.
  • Related: You Must Be Kidding!

Doug Bandow, Huffington Post

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Calman Lugo via Getty Images 

09/24/2016 | The last three administrations have followed a bipartisan policy of constant war. Unfortunately, the consequences have been ugly: every intervention has laid the groundwork for more conflict.

Yet the architects of this failure claim that all would be well if only Washington had acted more often and more decisively. In their view, the problem is not that America goes to war, but that it doesn’t go to war nearly enough.

Doug Bandow: Contributing writer, policy analyst, Huffington Post

Full story … 

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You Must Be Kidding! Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch


  • War, Peace, and Absurdity
  • Adventures in an American World of Frustration
  • Related: Why the US Can’t Break Its Addiction to War 

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