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AFRICOM and the Self-Investigation Farce

A U.S. Army Special Forces weapons sergeant addresses a group of Nigerien soldiers before a team exercise in Diffa, Niger, in March. (Spc. Zayid Ballesteros / U.S. Army)

  • Consider economist and political scientist Joseph Schumpeter’s description: the nation “pretends to aspire to peace but unerringly generates war … there was no corner of the known world where some interest was not alleged to be in danger … the whole world was pervaded by a host of enemies.” Sound familiar? He was talking about Ancient Rome. We all know how that turned out.
  • Related: How America Spreads Global Chaos
  • Related: 'Stop US Aggression': Venezuela and the World  Reacts to 'Imperialist' Trump’s Military Threat Against Venezuela


Danny Sjursen, TruthDig Miss Another Story

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Nov 10, 2017 | Investigating yourself: a surefire way to never get to the bottom of anything. Of course, in some cases that is exactly the point.

Take the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), the headquarters responsible for U.S. military forces deployed on the vast African continent. Last month, Africa—specifically remote Niger—catapulted (however briefly) to the top of American newscasts when four U.S. Army special operations troops were killed in a ferocious ambush. The details remain sketchy but officials quickly blamed the Islamic State of Greater Sahara (ISGS), a loose affiliate of ISIS, though curiously neither al-Qaida nor Islamic State claimed responsibility. Many tactical questions lingered: Did the troops receive a change of mission, were they set up by local village elders, did they have enough air support? Well, this week AFRICOM’s own, two-star chief of staff was appointed to investigate the “incident” in Niger. Certainly, the general will ask and—hopefully—answer those basic tactical questions.  Danny Sjursen is a U.S. Army officer and former history instructor at West Point. He served tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has written a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, "Ghost Riders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge."

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How America Spreads Global Chaos, Nicolas J. S. Davies, had better hope that we are not so exceptional, and that the world will find a diplomatic rather than a military “solution” to its American problem. Our chances of survival would improve a great deal if American officials and politicians would finally start to act like something other than putty in the hands of the CIA.



'Stop US Aggression': Venezuela and the World  Reacts to 'Imperialist' Trump’s Military Threat Against Venezuela, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

  • Part 1: 'Stop US Aggression': Venezuela Responds to 'Imperialist' Trump
    • U.S. President Donald Trump claims he is exploring "a possible military option" against Venezuela.
  • Part 2: The World Reacts to Trump’s Military Threat Against Venezuela
    • Politicians, social movements and governments have been issuing their responses.
  • Related: Nygaard Notes | Venezuala
No Peace! No Justice!  Please share this post.



Special Project | An Armistice Day Reader (2)

  • Part 1: A New Armistice Day
  • Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans’ Day is not.
  • Part 2: Veterans need opportunity to catch up with those who had ‘bone spurs’
  • To provide adequate care for the veterans who go to war to defend us, we need to … begin increasing the capacity of the (VA) as soon as we go to war.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest  No paywall or advertisements here! Keep Evergreene Digest independent and free from the influence of corporate interests -- make a donation now.

Part 1: A New Armistice Day Vonnegut, a U.S. World War II veteran, wrote in 1973: “Armistice Day has become Veterans’ Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans’ Day is not. So I will throw Veterans’ Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep. I don’t want to throw away any sacred things.”

davidswanson, Let's Try Democracy

November 8, 2017 | Exactly at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 99 years ago, people across Europe suddenly stopped shooting guns at each other. Up until that moment, they were killing and taking bullets, falling and screaming, moaning and dying. Then they stopped, on schedule. It wasn’t that they’d gotten tired or come to their senses. Both before and after 11 o’clock they were simply following orders. The Armistice agreement that ended World War I had set 11 o’clock as quitting time.

And then the world had a party, the likes of which we have not seen or dreamed of — a party now in bad need of a sequel.

davidswanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of and campaign coordinator for Swanson’s books include War Is A Lie and When the World Outlawed War. He blogs at and He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015, 2016, 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.

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Part 2: Veterans need opportunity to catch up with those who had ‘bone spurs’

Lawrence J. Korb, Credit: Robert Adrian Hillman/

To provide adequate care for the veterans who go to war to defend us, we need to raise taxes on the rest of the public and begin increasing the capacity of the Department of Veterans Affairs as soon as we go to war, rather than play catch-up, as we did after the attacks of 9/11.

November 9, 2017 | In deciding what this country owes its veterans, it is important to keep in mind that for the last 50 years, the burden of defending this nation has not been shared equitably among the American population, as it was in World War II.

Beginning in the mid 1960s — when this nation still had a selective service system, or draft — and as the American involvement in the bloody war in Vietnam increased, many of the upper class were able to use a variety of technically legal measures to avoid going to Vietnam. (For example, only one of the past five Americans who served as president and vice president and were of draft age during the war in Vietnam actually served there: Vice President Al Gore. Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Donald Trump, and Vice Presidents Richard Cheney and Joe Biden all had other priorities.)

Lawrence J. Korb is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and a senior adviser to the Center for Defense Information. He served as an assistant secretary of the Department of Defense from 1981 to 1985.

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How the Military-Industrial Complex Preys on the Troops

  • The Scandal of Pentagon Spending 
  • Your Tax Dollars Support Troops of Defense Contractor CEOs 

William Hartung, Tom Dispatch Now you can follow Evergreene Digest on Twitter. 10, 2017 | I’m sure you’ve heard about the $65 million.  Or was it $86 million?  Or was it even more?  You know, the funds the Pentagon sunk into that hotshot plane it was preparing for its Afghan drug interdiction program. You haven’t?

Well, as Megan Rose reported at ProPublica, with its “electro-optical infra-red video capacity,” that counternarcotics plane was supposed to lend a significant hand in surveilling and disrupting the Afghan heroin trade. Only one small problem. That single plane never made it out of a warehouse in Delaware or flew a mission in Afghanistan, whatever its cost (which the Pentagon was typically incapable of tracking), and when it was recently offered for sale at auction, no one wanted to put down a red cent for it.  And lest you think of that as a bizarre anomaly, consider, as Rose points out, the $3 million patrol boats for Afghanistan the Navy purchased that never made it out of Virginia or the 20 planes for the Afghan air force that the Pentagon spent a mere $486 million on, even though they never flew and finally brought in just $32,000 as scrap metal.  Or think for a moment about the more than $65 billion (yep, billion!) that went into the woefulAfghan military, an inept force long mentored by the U.S. military that remains filled with “ghost soldiers” and plagued by soaring casualties and staggering desertion rates.  Or since America’s war zones have, in these years, been sinkholes of corruption, just recall the $43 million gas station built by the Pentagon in the middle of an Afghan nowhere, or the similarly infamous “highway to nowhere,” or the state-of-the-art U.S. military headquarters in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, that doubled in cost to $25 million while under construction and was never used, or the $1.2 billion to $1.6 billion in cash that was somehow stolen from the U.S. in Iraq, which itself was just a drop in the bucket, given the $60 billion lost to waste and fraud in that particular morass of a war zone.  And mind you, that’s just to start down a list of catastrophic “investments” in this country's wars.

William Hartung, a TomDispatch regular, is the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy.  His most recent book is Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex.

Full story …


Gun Violence Created the United States

The foundation of the United States is embedded in gun violence. (Photo: Joe Loong)

  • Until the US comes to terms with its historical embrace of state violence as the key to so-called "American exceptionalism," the horrifying nightmare of gun violence will continue in this country, as the result of white masculine rage and domination.
  • Related: From the Archives | How the NRA Enables Massacres

Mark Karlin, Buzzflash at Truthout  No paywall or advertisements here! Keep Evergreene Digest independent and free from the influence of corporate interests -- make a donation now. Evergreene Digest Editor's Note: Previously I wrote that Evergreene Digest would no longer … provide accounts, descriptions, visuals, comments, discussions, analysis, and suggestions for action of gun massacres from the event in Las Vegas, NV, going forward until and unless the issue, now a dog bites man story, becomes a man bites dog one. Here's two stories that provide an entirely different approach to the issue, so we offer it in hopes it may be the beginning of the end of the bloody horror of mass shootings in this country. 

Wednesday, 04 October 2017 | It happens after every mass shooting. Corporate media outlets have a formula for coverage. They publish stories for a week or so ascertaining a "motive" for the shooter, talking about the details of high-tech -- usually military-style firearms -- used in the massacres and speculating on what gun control would have stopped the specific shooting of the moment. Of course, we can't forget the pro forma, with rare exception, neighbor or relative who can attest that the shooter "was a wonderful guy and always helped when you needed him."

According to the Guardian, there have been 1,516 mass killing sprees in the US in the last 1,735 days. That's a lot of fodder for the templated coverage of the mainstream media.

Mark Karlin: Editor, Buzzflash at Truthout

Full story ... 

From the Archives | How the NRA Enables MassacresCliff Schecter, Daily Beast

As a shooting spree leaves seven dead in California, the gun lobby is trying to thwart attempts to study gun deaths and officials who see gun violence as a public health crisis.

In Memoriam: Paul Wellstone

Sen. Paul Wellstone, D-Minn. Photo credit: US Senate / Wikimedia.

  • Outspoken Senator Was A Lonely Voice Against Iraq War
  • Perhaps if more members of Congress had displayed the courage and conscience that Wellstone showed during that season of jingoistic fervor 15 years ago, the situation in Iraq, and the Middle East as a whole, might be far different today  — and far less hazardous to peace prospects, and to American interests as well, in the region. Now you can follow Evergreene Digest on Twitter.

Jeff Clyburn, Who.What.Why, 2017 | A lot of attention has been given recently to Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) for finally displaying acts of conscience in defiance of an increasingly erratic and reactionary White House. One former Senator who never waited around to speak out was Paul Wellstone.

Wellstone was described by some as “the conscience of the Senate.” When the progressive Democrat from Minnesota addressed the Senate chamber on Oct. 9, 2002, pleading against the nation’s reckless rush to war during the Iraq Resolution debate, he could not have been more prescient.

Jeff Clyburn: Copy editor/Page designer,

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Tomgram: Michael Klare, The New Face of "War" at Home

  • Beyond Harvey and Irma: Militarizing Homeland Security in the Climate-Change Era
  • Our potential saviors, at a moment when the very environment that has for millennia welcomed humanity is up for grabs, might be thought of as the Keystone Cops of the twenty-first century.

Michael T. Klare, TomDispatch

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Dave Culver and Crew 17, 2017 | Deployed to the Houston area to assist in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, U.S. military forces hadn’t even completed their assignments when they were hurriedly dispatched to Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to face Irma, the fiercest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean. Florida Governor Rick Scott, who had sent members of the state National Guard to devastated Houston, anxiously recalled them while putting in place emergency measures for his own state. A small flotilla of naval vessels, originally sent to waters off Texas, was similarly redirected to the Caribbean, while specialized combat units drawn from as far afield as Colorado, Illinois, and Rhode Island were rushed to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Meanwhile, members of the California National Guard were being mobilized to fight wildfires raging across that state (as across much of the West) during its hottest summer on record.

Michael T. Klare is a professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College and the author of Resource Wars and Blood and Oil. Consider this essay a preview of his newest book, Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy, which has just been published by Metropolitan Books.

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From the Archives | The US Carried Out 674 Military Operations in Africa Last Year. Did You Hear About Any of Them?

  • For years, the US military has publicly insisted that its efforts in Africa are negligible, intentionally leaving the American people, not to mention most Africans, in the dark about the true size, scale, and scope of its operations there.
  • Is that why they call it an American “battlefield” behind closed doors?
  • Related: Special Project | US Wars and Covert Actions Around the World: Week Ending  April 25, 2015

Nick Turse, the Nation General James Linder and other military officials at the closing ceremony for a US-led international training mission for African militaries. (Reuters/Joe Penney)

April 14, 2015 | For three days, wearing a kaleidoscope of camouflage patterns, they huddled together on a military base in Florida. They came from US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and US Army Special Operations Command, from France and Norway, from Denmark, Germany, and Canada: 13 nations in all. They came to plan a years-long “Special Operations-centric” military campaign supported by conventional forces, a multinational undertaking that—if carried out—might cost hundreds of millions, maybe billions, of dollars and who knows how many lives.

Ask the men involved and they’ll talk about being mindful of “sensitivities” and “cultural differences,” about the importance of “collaboration and coordination,” about the value of a variety of viewpoints, about “perspectives” and “partnerships.” Nonetheless, behind closed doors and unbeknownst to most of the people in their own countries, let alone the countries fixed in their sights, a coterie of Western special ops planners were sketching out a possible multinational military future for a troubled region of Africa.

Nick Turse is the managing editor of and a fellow at The Nation Institute. A 2014 Izzy Award winner, he has reported from the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Africa, and his pieces have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation and regularly at TomDispatch. Turse's New York Times bestseller Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam received a 2014 American Book Award.

Full story … 


Special Project | US Wars and Covert Actions Around the World: Week Ending  April 25, 2015, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

(Ismael Mohamad / United Press International)

  • For decades beginning during the Cold War, US policy in the Islamic world has been aimed at suppressing secular reformist and leftist movements. Beginning with the CIA-engineered coup against a secular democratic reform government in Iran in 1953 (it was about oil), Washington has propped up dictators, coaching these regimes in the black arts of torture and mayhem against secular liberals and the left.
  • 8 New Items including:
    • The US Carried Out 674 Military Operations in Africa Last Year. Did You Hear About Any of Them?
    • Special Report | Iraq Redux: Week Ending April 18, 2015
    • U.S. military intervenes in Latin America, Marines going to Honduras
    • Tomgram | Christian Appy: "Honor" the Vietnam Veteran, Forget the War
    • America's 30-year Cold War with Iran: Manufacturing A Good Adversary
    • TomGram | William Hartung: Your Money at War Everywhere
    • Defense Industry Whores
    • The Big Dick School of American Patriotism





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