- In Search Of Lost Time - is a streaming mix of beautiful 78s from around the world, collected and curated by Ian Nagoski. "I started sifting through boxes of junky old 78s that no one else wanted about 15 years ago, and almost right away, I made a rule: Anything that wasn't in English, buy it." [more inside]
Earlier today, the first Viet Nam veteran ever elected to congress, died.
(as of this past Saturday, Pennsylvania’s longest serving congressman) was the 19 term representative of Pennsylvania’s 12th district, most notably the home of Johnstown
, and which for most of his service included Shanksville
. He was a hawkish, conservative Democrat, infamous for his involvement in the Abscam controversy
, and most recently the FBI’s inquiry into the lobbying firm PMA
. He could be said to have been very representative, and certainly very supportive
of his blue collar district—Pro-gun
, and at first a supporter of the invasion of Iraq
, but eventually one of its greatest critics
. But that criticism came at a price
John Murtha was 77. [more inside]
The Wars of John McCain.
"John McCain believes the Vietnam War was winnable. Now he argues that an Obama administration would accept defeat in Iraq, with grave costs to American honor and national security. Is McCain’s quest for victory a reflection of an antiquated pre-Vietnam mind-set? Or of a commitment to principles we abandon at our peril? Is there any war McCain thinks can’t be won?"
[NSFW]"The following program is in living color and has been rated X by the Vietnam academy of maggots. The purpose of this program is to bring vital news, information and hard acid rock to the first termers and non-re-enlistees in the Republic of Vietnam. Radio First Termer operates under no Air Force regulations or manuals. In the event of a vice squad raid this program will automatically self-destruct." Radio First Termer
was a pirate radio show broadcast by "Dave Rabbit," an anonymous USAF sergeant, for 63 hours between January 1st and 21st, 1971, out of the back room of a brothel in Saigon, gracing the dial at 69 MHz and 690 AM.>>
Fearing reprisal from his superiors, Dave Rabbit
then shut Radio First Termer
down and, after returning to the States, went back to living a normal life. 34 years later, while helping his son on a homework assignment, Dave came across old recordings of his show
. He's since revived his old persona
, and has also brought Radio First Termer back to the warzone--to Baghdad, Iraq. [more inside]
What Cats Know About War.
A reporter adopts cats to reconnect with life amid unremitting death. [Via linkfilter.] [more inside]
Turns out Colin Powell was actually fired.
In other administration news, it looks like one of the pre-9/11 anti-terrorism meetings wasn't mentioned
to the 9/11 commission. According to Bob Woodward's new book
, where we also find out
that Bush meet with Henry Kissinger at least once a month, and Kissinger's theories on Vietnam inform Bush's reasoning on Iraq.
...The United States, whose costliest political and military adventures since 1950 have ended in failure, now must face the fact that the technology for confronting its power is rapidly becoming widespread and cheap. It is within the reach of not merely states but of relatively small groups of people. Destructive power is now virtually 'democratized.' If the challenges of producing a realistic concept of the world that confronts the mounting dangers and limits of military technology seriously are not resolved soon, recognizing that a decisive equality of military power is today in the process of being re-imposed, there is nothing more than wars and mankind’s eventual destruction to look forward to.The Great Equalizer - Lessons From Iraq and Lebanon
By Gabriel Kolko, author of Century of War: Politics, Conflicts, and Society Since 1914
, The Age of War: The United States Confronts the World
and Another Century of War?
U.S. Marines "overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood
", according to Rep. Murtha (D - Pa.)
, whose previous comments regarding the "unwinnable
" nature of the Iraq conflict drew retaliation
and accusations of treason
from the GOP and associates. From reports verified by the military, troops "shot dead 15 members of two families, including a 3-year-old girl", despite initial reports
that officially claimed a firefight had killed Iraqi civilians. Some have suggested this incident echoes the My Lai
massacre of the Vietnam War
"I've been silent long enough...
My sincere view is that the commitment of our forces to this fight was done with a casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions--or bury the results." Marine Lieutenant General Greg Newbold, the Pentagon's former top operations officer, becomes the latest military insider to raise his voice against the "zealots" who led the US into war in Iraq. He writes in Time
magazine: "Never again, we thought, would our military's senior leaders remain silent as American troops were marched off to an ill-considered engagement. It's 35 years later, and the judgment is in: the Who had it wrong. We have been fooled again... After 9/11, I was a witness and therefore a party to the actions that led us to the invasion of Iraq--an unnecessary war." During the Vietnam war, such discontent among soldiers sparked a massive campaign of disobedience and peace activism (as well as, more darkly, fragging
) within the ranks, as recounted in a new documentary called Sir! No Sir!
Can it happen again? Ask the Soldiers for the Truth
I don't believe they'll give up on the bases and the oil. Nor will its successors, Republican or Democrat. So I think that's what we will be doing, staying forever. Unless the rest of us, outside the government, force change on the leadership of the Democrats as well as the Republicans, which will be difficult and take a long time.
From DailyKos comes an excellent series of interviews with Daniel Ellsberg
; leaker of The Pentagon Papers. Part 1: The Pentagon Papers and the Overlooked 1968 Leaks
, Part 2: Judith Miller, the New York Times and Government-Controlled Press
, Part 3: The Cult of Secrecy in Government and Its Undermining of Democracy
, Part 4: Whistleblowing and Effective Activism
, Part 5: Iraq/Vietnam Parallels and Other Foreign Policy Fiascos
and Part 6: Bush, the Next 9/11 and the Approaching Police State
Q - Mr. Secretary, on Iraq, how much money do you think the Department of Defense would need to pay for a war with Iraq?
Rumsfeld - Well, the Office of Management and Budget, has come up come up with a number that's something under $50 billion for the cost. How much of that would be the U.S. burden, and how much would be other countries, is an open question.
The estimated cost to US taxpayers of the Iraq war to date is $250 billion and rising, or $100,000 per minute. Total cost of the Bush doctrine of spreading "democracy" since September 11th -- half a trillion dollars
, or nearly the cost of the 13 years of the Vietnam War, adjusted for inflation. What else could we have done with that kind of money
? Also see here
For misleading the American people, and launching the most foolish war since Emperor Augustus in 9 B.C sent his legions into Germany and lost them, Bush deserves to be impeached and, once he has been removed from office, put on trial along with the rest of the president's men. If convicted, they'll have plenty of time to mull over their sins.Costly Withdrawal Is the Price To Be Paid for a Foolish War
Martin van Creveld, a professor of military history at the Hebrew University, is author of "Transformation of War" (Free Press, 1991). He is the only non-American author on the U.S. Army's required reading list for officers. An interview
with Martin Van Creveld. See also Nowhere To Run
- from the London Review of Books, a review of Jane Fonda’s War: A Political Biography of an Anti-war Icon
by Mary Hershberger.
So, what is the story behind Jane Fonda? You will find few people so reviled among macho warrior types. Back in the Depressingly Christian Private School (DCPS) that I went to, to hear some of the things she had been accused of you'd have thought she was the Whore of Babylon herself.
The truly interesting thing about this article isn't the discussion of the reality of Fonda's anti-war protesting measured against the myth, but as an illustration of the kind of pass-it-along info, whose truth is a matter of almost-scriptural faith, that serves as the conventional wisdom concerning the Left in the ill-educated backwaters that compose so much of our nation. This kind of thing is the political equivilent of the story of the midget who hanged himself on the set of The Wizard of Oz
Additional reading: the Snopes page on Jane Fonda
Col. David Hackworth
, who billed himself as America's most decorated living soldier (he had eight Purple Hearts and ten Silver Stars), died in Mexico this week
at age 74. Hackworth saw combat in World War II (having joined the Army at 15), Korea, and Vietnam; in 1967 he and Gen. Samuel Marshall
wrote the Vietnam Primer
, a "lessons learned" document prepared for the Army to explain how not
to fight a guerilla war. In 1971, after years in-country, Hackworth turned publically against the war, telling ABC News that it could not be won and moving to Australia, where his anti-nuclear efforts earned him a United Nations Medal for Peace. Hackworth was a distinguished war correspondent, a self-appointed advocate for the average soldier who used his website
as a soapbox, a best-selling author
, a critic of American tactics in the Iraq War, and possibly the only figure respected by both WorldNetDaily
and Common Dreams
"We are here to hand over to you the power in order to avoid bloodshed." Today
is the thirtieth anniversary
of the Fall
A secret plan
to end the war. After the rewarding the Vietnam war's technocratic architect
with the Presidency of the World Bank
, after the twin failures of President Nixon's "madman plan",
to scare the Soviet Union
into concessions over Vietnam out of fear of Nixon's insanity, and of "Vietnamization"
, turning over responsibility for the war
to the South Vietnamese
, the North nevertheless won the war.
. Operation Frequent Wind
, the chaotic evacuation
of the American Embassy
, brought to a close
of American hubris
. Karl Marx, who got little else right, observed "History repeats itself, the first as tragedy
, then as farce
For young deserters, refuge is hard to find
It seemed like a drastic but simple solution: a step over the border into a country that had offered sanctuary before to Americans fleeing their homeland.
Instead, the growing band of US soldiers who have sought political refuge in Canada after defying orders to serve in Iraq have found themselves in a political limbo.
United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in [insert country]'s presidential election despite a [insert terror group] terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting.
According to reports from [insert besieged capital city], 83 per cent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the [insert terror group].
....A successful election has long been seen as the keystone in President [insert idiotic Texas Republican]'s policy of encouraging the growth of constitutional processes in [insert besieged country]. The election was the culmination of a constitutional development that began in [insert date], to which President [insert idiotic Texas Republican] gave his personal commitment when he met [foreign puppet politician], the chief of state, in Honolulu in February.
Dateline? Sept. 4th, 1967.
Fact-Checked with archived NYT links at Daily KOS
Fixin'to Die after all these years
Woodstock-era protest singer Country Joe McDonald still keeps an active pulse on today's events on his website.
One of what eventually came to be perhaps his most famous song, the "I-Feel-Like-Fixin'-to-Die rag"
has taken new life in light of current events, which is quite simple to deduct: just substitute all the Vietnam references with "Iraq" and there you have it
- as many people have been happy to do by submitting their own lyrics versions
to the site, somehow confirming that the world actually hasn't changed much in that respect 30 years after Vietnam...
"Cops of the World": remembering Phil Ochs
Ochs lyrics: “We're hairy and horny and ready to shack. We don't care if you're yellow or black. Just take off your clothes and lie down on your back.'Cause we're the Cops of the World, boys. We're the Cops of the World.”------------ LISTEN to his songs
Amidst the unilateralist
talk of invading Iraq, and the (mostly media ignored) “biggest anti-war protests since the Vietnam War”
[quote-Wash.Post,Oct. 27] last saturday, I thought of Phil Ochs.
.....some of his songs [see Ochs lyrics index
] haven't aged well
, but some are still as searingly acidic
as the day he wrote them, as above or in ”Love me, I’m a liberal”
:“Once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin...But I've grown older and wiser, and that's why I'm turning you in. So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal.” ------- Phil Ochs ------- (born 1940, suicide 1976)
Daschle Accuses Bush of Politicizing Iraq Debate
"You tell those who fought in Vietnam and World War II they are not interested in the security of the American people" because they are Democrats, Daschle said. "That is outrageous. Outrageous." The full text of Daschle's comments
. Do we finally have an opposition party?
Dead Men Walking
Thomas Lipscome urges us to think about 4th generation warfare, the nature of the battle, and the potential dangers well beyond the idea of nations such as Afghanistan and Iraq. From the article: "Terrorists become extraordinarily resourceful playing weak hands against the strong and rich. So do revolutionaries. And it is time to realize bin Laden is both"
This article is short yet wide-ranging, neatly bringing together the Balkans, Clinton, the Media, and 4G warfare.
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