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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.

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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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Special Report | Burns / Novick PBS Series 'The Vietnam War': The Critics Speak Out

Everything wrong with the new ten-part PBS documentary on the Vietnam War is apparent in the first five minutes.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest Media Shouldn't Sell Out

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6 New Items including:

6) America’s Amnesia
5) The Killing of History
4) Making history safe again: What Ken Burns gets wrong about Vietnam
3) Does Vietnam Even Matter Any More? Does Ken Burns?
2) There Is No Rehabilitating the Vietnam War
1) The Ken Burns Vietnam War Documentary Glosses Over Devastating Civilian Toll

Fall, 2017 |

6) America’s Amnesia, Thomas A. Bass, Vietnam Full Disclosure 
Everything wrong with the new ten-part PBS documentary on the Vietnam War is apparent in the first five minutes. A voice from nowhere intones about a war “begun in good faith” that somehow ran off the rails and killed millions of people. We see a firefight and a dead soldier in a body bag being winched into a helicopter, as the rotor goes thump, thump, thump, like a scene from Apocalypse Now. Then we cut to a funeral on Main Street and a coffin covered in Stars and Stripes, which multiply, as the camera zooms out, into dozens and then hundreds of flags, waving like a hex against warmongers who might be inclined to think that this film is insufficiently patriotic.

5) The Killing of History, John Pilger, Consortium News
PBS’ “The Vietnam War” may show some of the conflict’s horrors but still soft-pedals the horrific war crimes that America inflicted on Vietnam, fitting with a corporate-dependent documentary project.

4) Making history safe again: What Ken Burns gets wrong about Vietnam, Patrick Lawrence, Salon <>
Historian Christian Appy: Vietnam was not a “tragic misunderstanding” but a campaign of “imperial aggression” A U.S. B-66 Destroyer and F-105 Thunderchief dropping bombs on North Vietnam during Operation Rolling Thunder on June 14, 1966. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

3) Does Vietnam Even Matter Any More? Does Ken Burns? Robert Freeman, Common Dreams

"There's no scoping out," the author writes. "That is intentional." The Vietnam War, writes Freeman, "must be remembered and condemned for the debacle it actually was." (Image:

2) There Is No Rehabilitating the Vietnam War, Robert Freeman, Common Dreams
There is enormous pressure and a lot of money working to rehabilitate Vietnam, to put the guilt and the shame of it behind us. But it was precisely the guilt of the people, their shame at what was being done in their name, and their courage to denounce it that made it impossible for their government to carry out the savagery any longer. The Ken Burns Vietnam War Documentary Glosses Over Devastating Civilian Toll, Nick Turse, The Intercept

If you really want to get a sense of “what happened” in Vietnam, just imagine that you’re actually crouched in your basement, that your home above is ablaze, that lethal helicopters are hovering overhead, and that heavily-armed teenagers — foreigners who don’t speak your language — are out there in your yard, screaming commands you don’t understand, rolling grenades into your neighbor’s cellar, and if you run out through the flames, into the chaos, one of them might just shoot you.


Special Report | Ken Burns / Lynn Novick PBS Documentary Series 'The Vietnam War' Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

The series will almost certainly avoid the fundamental moral issues that define the US as an historically imperial, dangerous, and deceitful political/economic nation state and culture.

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