How best to show respect for the U.S. troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and for their families on Memorial Day? Simple: Avoid euphemisms like “the fallen” and expose the lies about what a great idea it was to start those wars and then to “surge” tens of thousands of more troops into those fools’ errands.
First, let’s be clear on at least this much: the 4,500 U.S. troops killed in Iraq—so far—and the 2,350 killed in Afghanistan—so far—did not “fall.” They were wasted on no-win battlefields by politicians and generals—cheered on by neocon pundits and mainstream “journalists”— almost none of whom gave a rat’s patootie about the real-life-and-death troops. They were throwaway soldiers.And, as for the “successful surges,” they were just P.R. devices to buy some “decent intervals” for the architects of these wars and their boosters to get space between themselves and the disastrous endings while pretending that those defeats were really “victories squandered” – all at the “acceptable” price of about 1,000 dead U.S. soldiers each and many times that in dead Iraqis and Afghans.
Memorial Day should be a time for honesty about what enabled the killing and maiming of so many U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama and the senior military brass simply took full advantage of a poverty draft that gives upper-class sons and daughters the equivalent of exemptions, vaccinating them against the disease of war.
What drives me up the wall is the oft-heard, dismissive comment about troop casualties from well-heeled Americans: “Well, they volunteered, didn’t they?” Under the universal draft in effect during Vietnam, far fewer were immune from service, even though the well-connected could still game the system to avoid serving. Vice Presidents Dick Cheney and Joe Biden, for example, each managed to pile up five exemptions. This means, of course, that they brought zero military experience to the job; and this, in turn, may explain a whole lot—particularly given their bosses’ own lack of military experience. [...]
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2005— FBI: Newsweek was right:
Turns out Newsweek was wrong about its source, right about the story.
Darn it. Now who can the wingers blame for setbacks in Afghanistan and Iraq?
The American Civil Liberties Union released the memo and a series of other FBI documents it obtained from the government under court order through the Freedom of Information Act.
"Personally, he has nothing against the United States. The guards in the detention facility do not treat him well. Their behavior is bad. About five months ago, the guards beat the detainees. They flushed a Koran in the toilet," the FBI agent wrote.
"The guards dance around when the detainees are trying to pray. The guards still do these things," the FBI agent wrote.
On today's "encore performance" Kagro in the Morning show, it's our 5/27/14 show. Greg Dworkin joined us to discuss the #YesAllWomen global phenomenon, open carry blowback in TX, the VA issue narrative vs. reality & how Burr stepped in it. Even as the tide turns on marriage equality, we're reminded that some think they can turn it on a dime, because "tradition." And the oldest House Member ever looks to win his primary. Dark money at work in AR-SEN. Twitter's buzzing about corporate social media. Boston's "fusion center" tracked Occupy while missing the marathon bombing. Boing Boing notes Baquet spiked the biggest pre-Snowden NSA story. The prescience of Justice Brandeis.