tagged w/ Troops
If you think your electricity bill is a joke, get a load of this. The United States spends more than $20 billion per year on air conditioning for troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. As NPR reports, that’s more than the entire operating budget for NASA.
News flash: the desert is hot.
This comes at a time when not only are Americans increasingly opposed to overseas military operations, but NASA’s 30-year-old space shuttle program has been retired due to, among other things, pricey bills.
And with the space shuttle program officially grounded, it looks like the only thing sky rocketing these days is the cost of keeping the troops cool.
To National Public Radio’s Morning Edition program, retired logistician Steven Anderson says that every inch of the way is costing Americans a pretty penny to keep the climate under control for men and women fighting abroad. "When you consider the cost to deliver the fuel to some of the most isolated places in the world — escorting, command and control, medevac support — when you throw all that infrastructure in, we're talking over $20 billion," he says. "You've got risks that are associated with moving the fuel almost every mile of the way."
It turns out that “every mile of the way” is more than one might expect, too. There are 800 miles of “improved goat trails” between Karachi (where fuel is initially dropped) to Afghanistan, a trip that costs over two weeks of travel.
Anderson adds that more than 1,000 troops have died while transporting fuel alone.
On top of that, Anderson says energy use could be cut by 92 percent in Iraq if the military switches to polyurethane foam insulation for tents, a switch that would also take around 11,000 gas-guzzling fuel trucks off the roads — or should I say goat trails?
"A simple policy signed by the secretary of defense — a one- or two-page memo, saying we will no longer build anything other than energy-efficient structures in Iraq and Afghanistan — would have a profound impact,” says Anderson. In the meantime, however, it doesn’t look like any generals are gung-ho on going green.
In comparison, that $20 billion annually is more than BP has paid to help repair damages from the Gulf oil spill, and even more than the G-8 pledged to help bring democracy to Egypt and Tunisia.
Maybe democracy isn’t the answer. Perhaps all the Middle East needs is a little central air?
http://rt.com/usa/news/air-conditioning-troops-nasa/If you think your electricity bill is a joke, get a load of this. The United States... more
Iraqi leaders have refused to give US troops immunity from prosecution in Iraqi courts. The US refuses to stay without it. Of the roughly 40,000 troops currently in Iraq, there is a possibility that 3,000 or so will stay to help with training Iraqi forces.
Bringing the troops back home was one of candidate Barack Obama's promises when he was campaigning for presidential election in 2008. He constantly reminded the public that it was candidate Hilary Rodham Clinton who voted to authorize the war in the first place, drawing a distinct line between him and Hilary Clinton during the primaries.
It seems as though that promise will be kept.Iraqi leaders have refused to give US troops immunity from prosecution in Iraqi... more
Obama: Iraq war over, US troops coming home
ABC7Chicago.com eTaiwan News - 9 hours ago
"Over the next two months, our troops in Iraq, tens of thousands of them, will pack up their gear and board convoys for the journey home," Obama said
This is a bittersweet time, the troops in Iraq are finally coming home but we all can't help but feel the sorrow about a war that never should have been. It made me think of an essay written in 2005 when Bush&co were getting ready for their second Inaugural Ball while body bags were returning home from Iraq. I found the page and updated it for both a pleasant (The Troops Are Coming Home) and painful (or regretful) memory. tb
War is sometimes a necessary evil. If we were to be invaded, we sure as hell would have to protect ourselves. But Bush’s war was for greed or retaliation to Avenge His Daddy or (THE REAL REASON) The PNAC'S pipedream - "New Pearl Harbor" Rebuilding America's Defenses, entitled "Creating Tomorrow's Dominant Force", includes the sentence: "Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event––LIKE A NEW PEARL HARBOR".
PNAC members used the events of 9/11 as the "Pearl Harbor" that they needed––that is, as an "opportunity" to "capitalize on" in order to enact long-desired plans. (9/11 GAVE THE PNAC WHAT THEY HAD PLANNED, FOR MANY YEARS PRIOR.)
(BUT THE PNAC WERE) Inexperienced in realities of war Former US Congressman Lionel Van Deerlin and UK Labor MP Tam Dalyell, criticized PNAC members for promoting policies which support an IDEALIZED VERSION OF WAR, even though only a handful of PNAC members have served in the military or, if they served, seen combat. (ARMCHAIR CHICKENHAWKS) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_for_the_New_American_Century
Thus, Cindy Sheehan’s son, U.S. Army Specialist Casey Sheehan, became the 714th to die needlessly in a war that should never have happened. I’m so glad the troops are finally coming home but it is so a bittersweet event, for sure.
Below is a page I did after George W. Bush was elected to a 2nd term (actually it was his first elected term since SCOTUS appointed him the first time). I used an extremely intense article written by Susan Lenfestey of the Minneapolis Star Tribune The beginning of 2005 and Bush&co's 2nd term was a very sad time for America and the writer's mocking words implicating those (uncaring individuals) responsible for the illegal war in Iraq, rung so poignantly clear. I started it with a small simplistic poem of tears. thinkingblue
FOR A LIE!
The tears fall each time young soldiers, die.
For a lie…
The tears fall as last breaths whisper, goodbye.
For a lie…
The tears fall, as exploding bombs, fill the sky.
For a lie…
The tears fall, filled with hate, questioning why?
FOR A LIE!
This melancholy essay speaks volumes of the audaciousness of the 2005 Inauguration and the inequities between those with too much power and those with none. A very sad story, indeed. thinkingblue
BLACK TIE AND BODY BAGS
Sent: Thursday, January 20, 2005 12:12 PM
Subject: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Some in black tie; others, body bags
by Susan Lenfestey
It's time to party!
As the families of bomb-flattened Fallujah huddle in make-shift refugee camps, drinking from sewage-filled streams,
Iraqi policy mastermind Paul Wolfowitz fastens the last stud into his starched collar.
As the Iraq Survey Group ends its search for WMD,
concluding that there was no imminent mushroom cloud or even a smoking gun, Condi Rice draws herself a hot bath.
As Sgt. Kevin Benderman, an Army mechanic with nine years of service, refuses a second deployment to Iraq, saying,
"You just don't know how bad it is," Colin Powell pours himself a drink.
As Specialist Charles A. Graner, miscreant and major-domo of Abu Ghraib, shuffles off to prison,
Donald Rumsfeld straightens the black tie of his tux.
As the 9/11 widow tucks her children into bed, wondering why the recommendations made in
"The 9/11 Commission Report" weren't implemented, Tom Ridge tightens his cummerbund.
As prisoners charged with no crimes, and given no recourse, languish in the hellhole of Guantanamo Bay,
torture apologist Alberto Gonzales clicks his cufflinks into place.
As Dan Rather retires in disgrace over forged documents, former CIA Director George Tenet,
proponent of forged documents about Iraq's nonexistent nuclear program, adjusts the Medal of Freedom around his neck.
As the working mother in Chicago wonders how to keep her child from being left behind
now that her special-ed program has been cut, Armstrong Williams polishes his shoes.
As Valerie Plame walks away from a distinguished career as a CIA "operative,"
destroyed when her identity was revealed by columnist Robert Novak, Mr. Novak walks to his limo.
As Osama bin Laden chuckles in his cave to see America's fortunes sink
in the morass of Iraq and as fresh recruits to his cause multiply like flies,
Dick Cheney pops the cork on a bottle of Dom Perignon.
As America's trade gap surges and the red ink in the national debt bleeds to a record level,
Treasury Secretary Paul Snow finishes shaving and dabs at a spot of blood on his chin.
As the Republican Congress gets ready to underfund everything from Head Start to veterans'
benefits, Speaker Dennis Hastert checks his profile in the mirror.
As Pfc. Francis Obaji, oldest son of an immigrant Nigerian family,
is zipped into a body bag for the sad journey home,
And as his corporate pals slide their millions across the table to dance at his ball,
forgetting for a moment the bottom line that forces them to ship jobs overseas,
George W. Bush pulls on his snakeskin boots.
It's time to party!
Susan Lenfestey is a Minneapolis writer.Obama: Iraq war over, US troops coming home ABC7Chicago.com eTaiwan News - 9 hours... more
When the Lord's Resistance Army showed up in the Central African Republican village of Obo in 2008, everyone who refused to join them was killed. One of the men they scooped up, Daba Emmanuel, would spend the next year as one of the LRA's slave-soldiers. Indoctrinated, abused, and eventually forced to perform raids like the one against Obo, he survived to tell journalist Graeme Wood his story. "We killed the old immediately, and kept the young for work," Emmanuel said.
Recalling one raid on a village in the Democratic Republic of Congo, he told Wood that his small LRA faction began by gathering all the villagers together. "We put them into the church and closed the doors," Emmanuel remembered. They'd been ordered to steal supplies and find new children to make into slaves. "We entered only to choose some small girls and boys. The rest we burnt." They killed anyone who tried to escape with machetes, logs, or stones -- new recruits like Emmanuel were not trusted with rifles. As with similar groups, it's children who make the most loyal soldiers -- once their home has been destroyed, their language forgotten, and their religion replaced with a cult-like worship of LRA leader Joseph Kony, betrayal or escape is much less likely.
Part insurgency and part cult, the Lord's Resistance Army has waged a 20-year campaign of terror across Uganda, where it originally formed in opposition to the government there, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, and Sudan. It raids villages, massacres for no other purpose than bloodlust, enslaves child soldiers and child sex slaves, drugs its captives to make them more violent, all in an apparently endless mission that has destroyed countless villages and killed thousands of civilians, transforming one of the world's least governed spaces into one of its most dangerous.
A 2009 U.S. law authorizing financial support to Uganda against the LRA cites studies finding the LRA had abducted 66,000 children and displaced two million civilians. Last year, Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth -- no hawk -- called on Obama to use U.S. military force against the Lord's Resistance Army. Roth cited the group's overwhelming humanitarian toll, its small size, and (unlike, for example, the Taliban) its extreme unpopularity among the populations it terrorizes.
The U.S. already supplies intelligence and a few million dollars to the Ugandan government in its totally failed quest to stop the LRA and to capture Joseph Kony, who is under indictment for war crimes from the International Criminal Court. On Friday, President Obama announced he would be sending approximately 100 U.S. combat troops to "act as advisors to partner forces that have the goal of removing from the battlefield Joseph Kony and other senior leadership of the LRA. Our forces will provide information, advice, and assistance to select partner nation forces." Special forces will be among them. The troops will not fire unless fired upon, but they will be able to provide much-need intelligence and organizational support to the Ugandan forces; they will also provide an important check on Uganda's troops, who might be tempted toward less-than-legal behavior as they crash around Central Africa.
Kony may be barking mad -- he performs bizarre rituals and claims to fight for "the Ten Commandments" -- but he has survived for two decades, outnumbered and outmatched by every metric, on little more than his ideology and his wits. "Kony is a brilliant tactician & knows the terrain better than anybody. He surrounds himself with scouts who have what amounts to an early warning system, which is how he's eluded capture for so long," Morehouse College assistant professor and Central Africa expert Laura Seay warned on twitter. "Kony also operates in some of the least-governed areas of the world's weakest states. Many of these places have no roads, infrastructure. All of this adds up for a potential mess for US troops, who don't know the terrain & can't count on host government troops to be helpful or even to fight. This will not be easy for only 100 US forces to carry out, especially given language barriers." Seay also points out that Kony uses children as human shield -- and as much of his fighting force -- making any direct action ethically and morally difficult.
Obama's decision to send 100 troops is a microscopically small deployment compared to the broader U.S. military diaspora: hundreds of thousands of troops in dozens of countries. The list of countries with around 100 or more U.S. troops might surprise you: Colombia, Thailand, the Philippines, the United Arab Emirates, and Djibouti, to name a few. That list would probably be a lot longer if it included special forces deployment. Last year, Marc Ambinder reported that Obama had approved special forces bases and operations across the Middle East, the Horn of Africa and Central Asia. But those operations, large and small, target terrorist groups and rogue states that threaten the U.S. -- something the Lord's Resistance Army could not possibly do.
If this if the humanitarian mission that the Obama administration says it is, and if it achieves the humanitarian goals it is setting out to achieve, it would be harder to find a more suitable target than the Lord's Resistance Army. Since World War Two, the U.S. has often presented its military, overwhelmingly the most powerful on Earth, as a force for good and global stability. In execution, it has been a force for furthering U.S., not global, interests -- just like every other national military. Some U.S. military actions, such as the intervention in Libya or the toppling of the Taliban in Afghanistan, were sold as efforts for global peace, and that was probably part of the motivation, but they were also designed to promote American interests: to remove threats and replace them with friendly faces.
It's difficult to find a U.S. interest at stake in the Lord's Resistance Army's campaign of violence. The group could go on killing and enslaving for decades -- as they well might -- and the American way of life would continue chugging along. It's possible that there's some immediate U.S. interest at stake we can't obviously see. Maybe, for example, Uganda is offering the U.S. more help with peacekeeping and counterterrorism in East Africa, where the U.S. does have concrete interests, in exchange for the troops. But it certainly looks like a primarily or purely humanitarian military mission, if a very small one. The Obama administration is hoping that these 100 troops will succeed where past U.S. assistance against the LRA -- intelligence, satellite images, fuel, and millions of dollars -- has failed. Maybe they will and maybe they won't. But this seems to suggest a small but important shift in how, where, and why the U.S. uses applies military force.
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/10/why-is-obama-sending-troops-against-the-lords-resistance-army/246748/When the Lord's Resistance Army showed up in the Central African Republican... more
Eight hundred more U.S. military trainers will be sent to Afghanistan by March to help with protecting opium/gas routes and other areas in which the Afghan army is short on skills, Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell, commander of NATO's training mission there, said Monday. Caldwell said training in these areas was needed to enable Afghan army units to be better prepared to operate without U.S. support by 2014, when American combat troops are scheduled to leave.
“That will better help us start getting at some of these specialty skills,” he told reporters in a teleconference from Kabul.
Caldwell said training in these areas was needed to enable Afghan army units to be better prepared to operate without U.S. support by 2014, when American combat troops are scheduled to leave.
Caldwell said that only two of 126 Afghan army battalions are currently operating “by themselves.” But he later said that even those two needed logistics, maintenance, medical and intelligence support. Other battalions operated “very effectively with minimal coalition support,” he said.
He said that training programs once were led by contractors but that Afghans increasingly are taking control. About 3,100 Afghans are assigned to training instruction, and half of those “have been certified through a very deliberate process,” he said.
Caldwell said Afghan police played a key role in protecting civilians during the attack on the U.S. Embassy on Sept. 13.
In another attack that day that was not as well-publicized, a group of students at a high school were saved when an Afghan police officer “did a bear hug around a suicide bomber when he blew himself up and there in the process obviously killed himself,” Caldwell said.
He told of another senior police officer who also ran up to a bomber who got close to Afghan National Civil Order Police headquarters, again giving the assailant a hug as the bomb went off, killing himself but saving the lives of nearby officers.
Caldwell also said that attrition rates within the Afghan military, though higher than desirable, have not kept Afghanistan’s security forces from growing. They are on track to reach 352,000 personnel by 2012.
Literacy remains a problem. But the recruitment of about 3,000 Afghan literacy teachers has eased it somewhat. Caldwell said that about half of all Afghan army and police personnel have gone through the literacy program. Only 18 percent of those currently serving were literate when they joined, he said.
The Afghan security forces program overall costs about $6 billion a year for a country whose government income is estimated at just over $1 billion. Caldwell refused to predict how long it will take for the spending to decrease. He said he is looking for “sources from the international community to help pay for it in the long term,” as well as contributions from the U.S. and Afghan governments.
Caldwell said some savings are already being realized through the purchase of local products. Boots once bought for the Afghan army at $170 a pair from the United States are now bought for less from Afghan factories. A similar approach is being taken when buying uniforms, sheets and pillowcases. The overall savings amount to $168 million a year.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/800-additional-us-military-trainers-to-be-sent-to-afghanistan-by-march/2011/09/26/gIQAju7I0K_story.htmlEight hundred more U.S. military trainers will be sent to Afghanistan by March to help... more
Billions of dollars of taxpayer paid for war equipment and U.S. bases to be turned over to Iraq in three monthsU.S. troops are scheduled to pullout of Iraq in three months and the U.S. government is going to leave behind billions of dollars of taxpayer funded war equipment and U.S. bases.
http://corksphere.blogspot.com/2011/09/billions-of-dollars-of-war-equipment.htmlU.S. troops are scheduled to pullout of Iraq in three months and the U.S. government... more
“That’s how ridiculous this policy was. The apology for the affront is, ‘Alright, sorry! You can go to Afghanistan and fight for your country!’ They’re lucky it was gay people that they discharged from the army. Only gay people would remain in good enough shape to reenlist.”
http://veracitystew.com/2011/09/21/jon-stewarts-a-few-gay-men-video/“That’s how ridiculous this policy was. The apology for the affront is,... more
After a decade of war in Afghanistan, many troops are losing confidence in the long-term likelihood of success for the U.S. military mission there, and their overall support for President Obama has slipped, according to the latest Military Times annual reader survey.
Slightly less than half of readers said the U.S. is “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to succeed in Afghanistan. The figure is lower among troops who have deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, the survey shows.
That has slipped steadily from 2007, when more than 75 percent of readers surveyed said the U.S. was “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to succeed in Afghanistan.
The war in Afghanistan is dampening support for Obama. Support for his handling of the war has dropped significantly since the last Military Times survey in January 2010, with about 41 percent of active-duty respondents disapproving. That’s up from 34 percent in 2010, shortly after Obama announced a surge of 30,000 additional troops for the war effort.
When asked how Obama was handling his job as president, 53 percent disapproved, up from 51 percent in 2010.
When asked superficially about Obama’s handling of his job as commander in chief, 45 percent of active-duty readers disapproved, up from 40 percent in 2010.
Respondents were split on Obama’s decision in July to begin a limited troop drawdown this year in Afghanistan. Some 37 percent “disapprove” or “strongly disapprove,” while 38 percent “approve” or “strongly approve.”
Obama’s weakening support in the ranks comes at a time when his poll numbers are dropping nationwide. Among the general population, Obama’s disapproval rating reached 53 percent in August, up sharply from 45 percent in January 2010, according to weekly Gallup polls of likely voters.
The growing pessimism among troops about the war in Afghanistan may reflect doubts about America’s long-term commitment to the herculean task of executing a counterinsurgency strategy.
“People wonder if we really have the commitment to follow this through,” said retired Army Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Hall, who was the top enlisted service member for the NATO mission in Kabul in 2009 and 2010. “I think everybody knows that we can be successful over there. But it’s going to take time and presence and commitment, and I think folks are worried that we go over there, we sacrifice our families and we work hard — but are we going to follow through? Or is this all going be for naught?”
Doubts about success in Afghanistan are slightly higher among troops who have deployed there. In a series of interviews, some troops say the mission there is fraught with a sense of futility driven by several factors, including a belief that the Afghan security forces are unmotivated.
“A lot of [the Afghan security forces] are just kind of like, ‘Well, we’ll fight with you here today and if tomorrow you all leave, then we’ll just fight for the next guy who comes along,’ said a 33-year-old Army captain who deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 and worked as a mentor to Afghan security forces. He requested anonymity because he said his command discourages talking to the media.
Michael Menning, a recently retired Air Force colonel and hospital administrator, said he became skeptical of the mission in Afghanistan after working with Afghans trying to set up a medical facility.
“They really have no interest in professional development, in learning how to run a hospital,” Menning said. “They really just think, ‘Hey, build us the hospital and we’ll run it the way we’ve always run it.’”
The pessimism is also fueled by a belief that the country is hopelessly corrupt. A 31-year-old Army sergeant who deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 said many troops believe the Afghan central government and many tribal leaders play both sides of the fence.
“Everybody knows that a majority of them still have ties with the Taliban,” said the sergeant, who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak to the press.
Many respondents had different sentiments about Iraq. Some 70 percent say the war there has been a success. The figure was slightly higher among troops who have deployed to Iraq.
Similarly, 70 percent “approve” or “strongly approve” of current plans to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of this year.
Opinions on Obama’s handling of Iraq remain unchanged. About 40 percent of troops approve, the same level shown in the 2010 reader survey.
Still, doubts about the initial decision to invade Iraq remain. When asked, “Should the U.S. have gone to war in Iraq?” 43 percent of troops say yes.
http://www.armytimes.com/news/2011/09/military-times-poll-finds-souring-mood-091411w/#.TnNzQZUxyCA.hotmailAfter a decade of war in Afghanistan, many troops are losing confidence in the... more
Special meeting to discuss 'green helmets' force to intervene in conflicts caused by rising seas levels and shrinking resources.
There has been talk, meanwhile, of a new environmental peacekeeping force – green helmets – which could step into conflicts caused by shrinking resources.
The Pentagon and other military establishments have long recognised climate change as a "threat multiplier" with the potential to escalate existing conflicts, and create new disputes as food, water, and arable land become increasingly scarce.
more at link...
You cannot make this stuff up. These eco-fascists will do anything to push their New World Order agenda. Sorry, but soldiers in "green helmets" shooting people won't stop the Sun from shining. "Peacekeepers" my a$$; more like climate commie gestapo enforcing the carbon taxes that get paid to Al Gore, Goldman Sachs and the Rothschilds, while you live in austerity.
The Anthropogenic Global Warming Theory is a crack-pot, quack scam that has nothing to do with the environment and everything to do with eugenics. Its a Ponzi-scheme backed by scientific fraud.Special meeting to discuss 'green helmets' force to intervene in conflicts... more
And now as part of our Hollywood salute to the military. A special July 4th treat for all the boys "over there." A TOP GUN retrospective. Sorry girls. That's Hollywood.And now as part of our Hollywood salute to the military. A special July 4th treat for... more
Gaddafi`s troops fight among themselves, showing the tension they are under
Lawmakers in U.S. Congress--particularly some Democrats-- are clamoring to scale back the long, expensive war in Afghanistan this summer. British Prime Minister David Cameron has also signaled that he is paving the way for early troop withdrawal.
Now that Osama bin Laden is dead, hopes are rising that peace can be negotiated between the Afghan government and Taliban leaders.
Women in the country are hearing rumors that talks with the Taliban are already taking place in secret and this is alarming. Without the representation and participation of women there can be no assurance that their rights will be upheld after the peace process and that could spell disaster. Women risk losing liberty, education and employment.
The presence of foreign troops has caused significant issues too. For example, May 29 brought an errant NATO strike that killed at least nine women and children. But this tragedy should not be used as a reason for troop withdrawal. The Taliban are responsible for the majority of civilian deaths during the war.
In May, Safia Siddiqi, a women's activist and former member of the Afghan National Economy Committee, said on a national radio broadcast that nothing had improved for women in rural areas and that women need each other and the international forces to attain peace and security.
Women have made gains in the cities and there are many examples of girls now going to school. Yet in some areas, like Helmand, they still risk their lives by attending school. Girls' education is often curtailed after primary school. Daughters are still used to settle disputes. The maternal mortality rate there is among the highest in the world.
Currently Afghans neither support their government, because they know that many are corrupt, nor international forces, which do not appear to take enough care when launching attacks. Both must change before the Taliban can be isolated.
Read the Full article at http://womensenews.org/story/war/110608/hasty-troop-withdrawal-endangers-afghan-womenLawmakers in U.S. Congress--particularly some Democrats-- are clamoring to scale back... more
Sign our petition to end the Afghanistan War: http://rethinkafghanistan.com
Memorial Day is coming up, and we've just passed a grim milestone: 1,500 U.S. troop deaths in Afghanistan. Enough is enough. The war isn't making us safer and it's not worth the cost, and this should be the last Memorial Day when we put military families through this kind of agony. Bring the troops home.Sign our petition to end the Afghanistan War: http://rethinkafghanistan.com... more
Are we at war -- or not?
The reason I ask this is this:
If we are at war, then there must be a pretty good fucking reason that we’re at war. We must be facing an existential threat so large, so well-organized, and so powerful, that it could wipe our entire nation off the map in an instant. If that is the case, then surely, we must be at war. War is something reserved only for the most extreme situations. War is our Tool of last resort. Because we’re America, and we’re a peace-loving nation.
And so, if this threat we’re facing is so massive, and so threatening, then we better get all hands on deck. We need to institute a draft and be at war for real. We need to tax all income at 90% and fund this thing and get it over with. We need every man, woman, and child to be part of the war effort. We need to institute rationing: No more coffee, no more sugar, donate your steel appliances to the war effort, grow a victory garden. Let’s be all in! Let’s win this thing!
But wait-- we’re not facing down any threat like that. There’s no invading army perched on our border. We’re facing down kids throwing rocks, and disgruntled teenagers with no economic future building bombs in their own backyards, who are a far greater threat to our soldiers stationed there, than to our national security.
Less than 1% of Americans serve in the military, and it’s not fair that we should be asking them alone to shoulder the burden of fighting our wars of convenience. Wars that are the pet projects of pencil pushers in DC, with abstract foreign policy agendas.
Some people complain about the constitutionality of these wars-- and they aren’t wars. But I actually don’t really care about the constitutionality of it. That to me, seems like an academic exercise in the face of the fact that people are dying for no goddamned reason.
Yes, while people bicker about the legality (which is important), back in the real world there are people dying for no goddamned reason (which is more important).
I work with so many women whose husbands are serving right now, who are on their umpteenth deployment, who haven’t been around to see their kids grow up. We, the 99% who do not serve, are far too willing to throw other people’s families through meat grinders. We are too willing to let 1% of the population bear all the burdens-- the heartache, the worry, the lost time with their family that they will never get back, the lost limbs, the vivid nightmares that never go away-- while we talk in the abstract about "Supporting the Troops." It's not fucking fair.
So-- are we at war or not? If we are-- let’s institute a draft and be at war for real. If we’re not at war then BRING THEM HOME.Are we at war -- or not? The reason I ask this is this: If we are at war, then... more
The story of Cpl. Andrew Wilfahrt, a gay servicemember who died in the closet in Afghanistan, months after President Obama signed repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."The story of Cpl. Andrew Wilfahrt, a gay servicemember who died in the closet in... more
Israel Defense Forces tank fire struck a home in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday killing four Palestinians, two of whom were from the same family and wounding another 13, Gaza hospital officials said.
The IDF said Palestinian militants had launched mortars against Israeli troops Tuesday and the military shot mortars at the source of the firing.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/idf-tank-fire-kills-four-palestinians-in-gaza-hospital-officials-say-1.351154Israel Defense Forces tank fire struck a home in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday killing... more
Bahrainis flee from the Saudi occupation force: Manamah, March 15th, '11
Saudi Arabia was yesterday drafting up to 10,000 security personnel into its north-eastern Shia Muslim provinces, clogging the highways into Dammam and other cities with busloads of troops in fear of next week's "day of rage" by what is now called the "Hunayn Revolution".
Saudi Arabia's worst nightmare – the arrival of the new Arab awakening of rebellion and insurrection in the kingdom – is now casting its long shadow over the House of Saud. Provoked by the Shia majority uprising in the neighbouring Sunni-dominated island of Bahrain, where protesters are calling for the overthrow of the ruling al-Khalifa family, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is widely reported to have told the Bahraini authorities that if they do not crush their Shia revolt, his own forces will.
The opposition is expecting at least 20,000 Saudis to gather in Riyadh and in the Shia Muslim provinces of the north-east of the country in six days, to demand an end to corruption and, if necessary, the overthrow of the House of Saud. Saudi security forces have deployed troops and armed police across the Qatif area – where most of Saudi Arabia's Shia Muslims live – and yesterday would-be protesters circulated photographs of armoured vehicles and buses of the state-security police on a highway near the port city of Dammam. (more info,sources,at link)Saudi Arabia was yesterday drafting up to 10,000 security personnel into its... more
With a war still going on, more and more are answering the call to fight for their country. There are literally thousands of troops stationed all over overseas, and being a military spouse can be very difficult. However, with the invention of the internet, it is now easier than ever to not only send letters, pictures, and videos, it is easier than ever to meet those who have been where you are going.
link: http://www.homelandsecuritydegree.org/bravery-from-the-home-front-top-50-blogs-for-army-wives-or-spouses/With a war still going on, more and more are answering the call to fight for their... more