It's sure to be a little bit controversial but it's an extremely salient point: Chris Hayes, when discussing the meaning of Memorial Day, admitted that he feels "uncomfortable" calling deceased soldiers heroes. Not because they're not heroes, but because the term lionizes and glamorizes war. Hayes discussed how he feels "uncomfortable" with the term: I feel … uncomfortable, about the word because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war. Um, and, I don’t want to obviously desecrate or disrespect memory of anyone that’s fallen, and obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine, tremendous heroism, you know, hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers, and things like that. But it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic. But maybe I’m wrong about that.
Tag Archives | War and Peace
Reports the AP:
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America’s newest veterans are filing for disability benefits at a historic rate, claiming to be the most medically and mentally troubled generation of former troops the nation has ever seen.
A staggering 45 percent of the 1.6 million veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are now seeking compensation for injuries they say are service-related. That is more than double the estimate of 21 percent who filed such claims after the Gulf War in the early 1990s, top government officials told The Associated Press.
What’s more, these new veterans are claiming eight to nine ailments on average, and the most recent ones over the last year are claiming 11 to 14. By comparison, Vietnam veterans are currently receiving compensation for fewer than four, on average, and those from World War II and Korea, just two.
It’s unclear how much worse off these new veterans are than their predecessors.
Anyone in the Windy City, please chime in. Via RT:
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Authorities in Chicago are gearing up for a weekend of anti-NATO activity in the Windy City, but it’s already being reported that law enforcement there might be a little too eager to begin arrests. The home of known activists was raided Wednesday.
The National Lawyers Guild confirms that law enforcement agents broke down the door of a 6-unit apartment building in the Chicago, Illinois neighborhood of Bridgeport at around 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Once inside, they entered the apartment of known activists with guns drawn and then cuffed the residents.
For two hours, tenants were shackled and questioned by officers with the Organized Crime Division of the Chicago Police Department. The Chicago Tribune writes that police reports detailing the incident have been obtained by the newspaper and confirm that nine people were arrested in the raid for allegedly making or possessing Molotov cocktail explosives.
Dan DeWalt writes at This Can’t Be Happening:
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The latest PR catch phrase from business, administration, military, state and local officials after some atrocity or other is that whatever happened, it is certainly “not who we are,” a phrase appropriately initially uttered by the Vietnam War commander, Gen. William Westmoreland, with reference to the My Lai slaughter of 400 women, children and old men, all civilians, by a group of US soldiers.
Yet if all these abominations are not “who we are,” then why do our business, police and military and government institutions generate so many examples of obscene, horrific or criminal behavior?
If we examine the culture that guides our young men and women in battle, our public safety employees in their duties, or our business class in its pursuit of profit, it’s easy to see how shameful and reprehensible episodes such as these have become as routine as they have.
Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:
After assuming command of NATO in 1950, then General Eisenhower said “If in 10 years, all American troops stationed in Europe for national defense purposes have not been returned to the United States, then this whole project will have failed.” The Cold War is over. NATO has long outlived its original purpose.The old system of alliances does little to do to protect sovereign nations, and instead gives more ability to industrialized, wealthier nations to exploit weaker States. Even NATO actions that are done under the guise of “humanitarian intervention” often have catastrophic consequences for the local population. As so many of these interventions have included bombing campaigns, civilian casualties are high. Often, NATO forces have used weapons banned by the Geneva Conventions, including depleted uranium and cluster bombs. Both of these weapons have long lasting and disastrous consequences for a local civilian population long after combat ends and forces withdraw.… Read the rest
Military officers rarely speak out against their services, but in our lead story you'll hear from two elite pilots who question the safety of Air Force's most sophisticated, stealthy, and expensive fighter jet, the F-22 Raptor. Maj. Jeremy Gordon and Capt. Joshua Wilson have chosen to stop flying the F-22 because they say during some flights they and other pilots have experienced oxygen deprivation, disorientation, and worse. They are concerned about their safety in the air, as well as the long-term health consequences. The Air Force says it is doing all it can to investigate and solve the problem, and are keeping the jets in the air with careful supervision of the pilots.
Natalie Solidarity writes at Diatribe Media:
In perusing the online papers, the concern about the NATO summit in Chicago on May 20–21 is palpable in every word. It sticks to the sweaty skin like newspaper ink. The anxiety and fear is obvious across all strata of society.
Chicago police are already threatening violence against Occupy protesters, as documented in this audio footage of a traffic stop. Anti-protester fear mongering rhetoric abounds in the media. A Crain’s Chicago Business article reported that downtown workers have been recommended to doff their suits and ties in order to avoid becoming targets of protester violence.
The same article reported that several downtown banks will shut down leading up to and during the NATO summit. ABC reports that downtown windows are being covered with shatterproof film, high-rise balconies will be closed, entrances locked, and tenants warned to utilize constant vigilance when living their lives during May 20–21.… Read the rest
U.S. troops in six continents. Detailed information via Wikimedia Commons:
Ron Paul writes on the Daily Bell:
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This month Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki announced the addition of some 1,900 mental health nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers to its existing workforce of 20,590 mental health staff in attempt to get a handle on the epidemic of suicides among combat veterans. Unfortunately, when presidents misuse our military on an unprecedented scale – and Congress lets them get away with it – the resulting stress causes military suicides to increase dramatically, both among active duty and retired service members. In fact, military deaths from suicide far outnumber combat deaths. According to an article in the Air Force Times this month, suicides among airmen are up 40 percent over last year.
Considering the multiple deployments service members are forced to endure as the war in Afghanistan stretches into its second decade, these figures are sadly unsurprising.
Ironically, the same VA Secretary Eric Shinseki was forced to retire from the Army by President Bush for daring to suggest that an invasion and occupation of Iraq would not be the cakewalk that neoconservatives promised.