On this Veteran’s Day, stop fake supporting your troops. Today is Veteran’s Day, a day that spawns a number of cut and paste micro-memes on Facebook. After last month’s screed on pinkwashing, I feel compelled to repeat my rant preemptively as the first posts start to trickle in. People see the “Support our Troops Cut and Paste,” and they dutifully follow directions without taking a moment to honor the sentiment, and without admitting that they’ve accomplished absolutely nothing meaningful in any way. Flag-waving “support your veteran” statuses on Facebook are amusing. They’re pointless. We might as well cut and paste a status from a status
This article lists 20 problems with the current mental and physical health care that vets are receiving. Another depressing day.
According to an article on LiveLeak.com, 18 veterans commit suicide every day, and there are 1,000 attempts per month. According to a CBS news report, veteran suicide rates are twice as high as the regular population. Even the government knows that suicide rates among veterans from the Iraq war are “epidemic.” The comments on this link are depressing and sickening.
War is hell for everyone involved. For women, this hell can be especially deep. Recruiters don’t tell those who enlist that 30% of military women will be sexually assaulted while serving. Women who work as contract employees in Iraq face similar dangers. Jamie Leigh Jones, a former Halliburton/KBR employee in Iraq, recently testified at a Congressional hearing that she was drugged and brutally gang-raped by her co-workers in 2005. Three years later, KBR and the military have failed to punish the perpetrators or provide redress for Jamie Leigh. We met Jamie Leigh in Washington and we were moved by her courage-under tremendous pressure-to speak out
I’ve seen two really good movies this weekend. In the Valley of Elah and Eastern Promises. In the Valley of Elah, directed by Paul Haggis, was very moving and disturbing to me. Much more so than the movie Crash, which I felt ended up reinforcing white privilege as much as challenging racism. One review called the movie “lacerating.” That’s a great word to describe it. I can’t say much about the film because just describing it will give too many spoilers. Apparently, it is based on a true story, however. One of the themes of the film is how the young soldiers in Iraq deal
From Code Pink’s talking points about dogging Hillary re: the war in Iraq: Question: Are you doing this because she’s a woman? Are you holding her to a higher standard because she’s a woman? As women, are you going after her because she’s a woman? Answer: No. No. No. Our campaign has nothing to do with the fact that she is a woman. It is about her enormous power and influence within the Democratic Party. It is about her hawk-like record. We don’t want to end up with another Lyndon Johnson—of whatever gender. Pressuring Hillary to change her stance on the war—and not just her
Counterpunch has an article today on how much money Cheney and other war profiteers have made off the Iraq war. It’s so appalling; I can’t believe that this sort of thing doesn’t make headlines in the mainstream news. For instance, In addition, Cheney’s son-in-law, Philip Perry, Cummings says, was appointed to serve as general counsel to the Department of Homeland Security, and he had been a registered lobbyist for Lockheed who had worked for a law firm representing Lockheed with the Department of Homeland Security. According to Cummings, less than a month after 9/11, in October of 2001, the Pentagon announced a $20 billion contract
Commondreams.org trashes Hillary for skipping town on the day of the big anti-war protest in order to launch her presidential campaign in Iowa. They suggest she would make a terrible president because she is behind the times and too centrist. And, most critically for Hillary Clinton, a desperate yearning on the part of Americans of all political stripes not for a triangulating “centrist” in the Clinton mold, but for someone who can show themselves as both attuned and responsive to the national mood and capable of authenticity and bold leadership. Hillary Clinton could not be a less appropriate candidate for 2008. Let’s recap: The Left
Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.
– John Adams (1814)
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
– Benjamin Franklin