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The Tragedy of the American Military

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  • The 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

James Fallows, the Atlantic

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Graphic%20%7C%20Arms%20at%20the%20Statue%20of%20Liberty.jpgJanuary/February, 2015 | in mid-September, while President Obama was fending off complaints that he should have done more, done less, or done something different about the overlapping crises in Iraq and Syria, he traveled to Central Command headquarters, at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. There he addressed some of the men and women who would implement whatever the U.S. military strategy turned out to be.

The part of the speech intended to get coverage was Obama’s rationale for re-engaging the United States in Iraq, more than a decade after it first invaded and following the long and painful effort to extricate itself. This was big enough news that many cable channels covered the speech live. I watched it on an overhead TV while I sat waiting for a flight at Chicago’s O’Hare airport. When Obama got to the section of his speech announcing whether he planned to commit U.S. troops in Iraq (at the time, he didn’t), I noticed that many people in the terminal shifted their attention briefly to the TV. As soon as that was over, they went back to their smartphones and their laptops and their Cinnabons as the president droned on.

James Fallows is a national correspondent for the Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne.

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Related:

Liberal Antiwar Activism is the Problem, Vincent Emanuele, Counterpunch

“Liberalism itself has failed, and for a pretty good reason. It has been too often compromised by the people who represented it.”  ― Hunter S. Thompson

 

Photographer Documents The Lesser-Known Victims Of Gun Violence — Those Who Survived

Kathy Shorr’s “Shot” chronicles the physical and emotional scars of gun violence across the United States.

Priscilla Frank, the Huffington Post

http://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/scalefit_970_noupscale/57a1f4072a0000fa01fb466d.jpeg?cache=sggpiwuluj Standing with a group of friends outside of her high school, Karina became the unintended victim of a drive-by shooting fueled by gang revenge. She was 16. (Aurora, Colorado, 2010) KATHY SHORR

08/03/2016 | Karina was standing with friends outside her Aurora, Colorado, high school when she was shot. The unintended victim of a drive-by shooting, Karina had to become a wheelchair user at 16 years old. 

Stories like Karina’s are as horrific as they are commonplace. Homes, schools, movie theaters, nightclubs, religious centers, small businesses and city streets — there are virtually no places on American soil safe from the possibility of gun violence

Priscilla Frank, Arts Writer, the Huffington Post

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“The Khans’ Grief Is Being Used by a Party That Is Treacherous”

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  • “What Trump says is rhetorically belligerent. But what Clinton and the Democrats actually did, it killed people. Why was the Khans’ son in Iraq?” --Cindy Sheehan
  • Will the Democrats fail the Khan family the way they failed Cindy Sheehan?

Brendan James, Slate

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http://www.slate.com/content/dam/slate/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2016/08/160802_POL_CindySheehan.jpg.CROP.promo-xlarge2.jpgCindy Sheehan, whose son Army Specialist Casey Sheehan was killed in Iraq, on Aug. 26, 2005 near President George W. Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Aug. 2 2016 | One after another, reporters and pundits, hacks and flacks all began circulating George W. Bush’s response from more than a decade ago to the protest of a dead soldier’s parent. It was a lesson in manners for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who had just attacked Khizr and Ghazala Khan, themselves the parents of a dead soldier, for having denounced the candidate as an unpatriotic bigot at the Democratic National Convention. “Compare Trump to Bush addressing Cindy Sheehan,” tweeted a Daily Beast editor, echoing dozens of others.

Cindy Sheehan’s son was killed in the same war that later took the life of the Khans’ son, and like them, Sheehan in 2005 was both a living rebuke to the Republican Party’s vision and an asset to the Democrats in their mission to take back the House. A California soccer mom turned anti-war activist, Sheehan had set up camp outside of Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas, where she’d planned to stay until Bush had granted her a meeting.

Brendan James is a freelance writer living in New York. He's written for the Guardian, Newsweek, Vice, and Salon. He also produces the podcast Chapo Trap House. 

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Obama's Last Chance On Nuclear Weapons

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  • Presisdent Obama: Leave a Positive Legacy Toward Nuclear Abolition.
  • President Obama has a little over five months to not only fulfill his Prague speech but to live up to his Nobel Peace Prize. Use our prewritten letter to pressure the White House to take compelling action towards a world free of nuclear weapons

Paul Kawika Martin, Peace Action 

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/War-Peace%20Tree_2.jpgWe know from our administration contacts and from media reports that President Obama plans to take some final actions on nuclear weapons policy. These decisions are being deliberated now, so please urge the President to take the strongest steps possible to rid the world of nuclear weapons and reduce the chance that they would be used either on purpose or by accident.

Founded on this issue nearly 60 years ago, our expectations were set high in 2009 when Obama gave his historic Prague speech where he stated his “commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” He took an important step by negotiating and pushing Senate ratification of New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) with Russia, which, among other important steps, reduced nuclear missile launchers by half and cut strategically deployed warheads by 10%. Obama also made us safer by holding four international Nuclear Security Summits to secure nuclear materials. Even with these positive steps, the Obama administration has set forth plans to completely upgrade the U.S. nuclear weapons program at a cost of $1 trillion dollars over 30 years.

 https://www.eff.org/files/action-1c-2_0.pngPresisdent Obama: Leave a Positive Legacy Toward Nuclear Abolition. 

 

Paul Kawika Martin: Senior Director, Policy and Political Affairs, Peace Action

P.S. We know that President Obama is deliberating his last actions on nuclear weapons. Take the quick action of sending this prewritten letter asking for powerful policy changes towards nuclear abolition. After sending, please forward this important email to your family, friends and colleagues.

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The Staggering, Semi-Secret, $70 Billion Annual U.S. Global Arms Business

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  • The United States continues to hold onto the number one role in the global arms trade, the White House does its part, the Pentagon greases the wheels, and the dollars roll in to profit-hungry U.S. weapons contractors.
  • Welcome to "Weapons R Us."
  • Related: Obama’s Wars and the Liberals Who Love Them

William Hartung, TomDispatch / AlterNet

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http://www.alternet.org/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_170423123-edited.jpgAmmunition and American flag on US Constitution - History of the Second Amendment Photo Credit: larry1235 

July 26, 2016 | When American firms dominate a global market worth more than $70 billion a year, you’d expect to hear about it.  Not so with the global arms trade.  It’s good for one or two stories a year in the mainstream media, usually when the annual statistics on the state of the business come out.

It’s not that no one writes about aspects of the arms trade. There are occasional pieces that, for example, take note of the impact of U.S. weapons transfers, including cluster bombs, to Saudi Arabia, or of the disastrousdispensation of weaponry to U.S. allies in Syria, or of foreign sales of the costly, controversial F-35 combat aircraft.  And once in a while, if a foreign leader meets with the president, U.S. arms sales to his or her country might generate an article or two. But the sheer size of the American arms trade, the politics that drive it, the companies that profit from it, and its devastating global impacts are rarely discussed, much less analyzed in any depth.

William Hartung is director, Arms and Security Project, Center for International Policy.

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Related:

Obama’s Wars and the Liberals Who Love Them, Adam Marletta, West End News 

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  • “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil,” Albert Einstein wrote, “but because of those who look on and do nothing.”
  • Uri Avnery | Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Bomb?

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