Kerry Chews Up Right Wing Fodder on Bergdahl Swap

Today, Secretary of State John Kerry made his first remarks on the release of Bowe Berghdal in exchange for five members of the Taliban freed from Guantanamo, stressing that he “felt confident the five Taliban detainees freed in a swap for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl posed little risk to Americans.” Kerry added that “Qatari officials were not the only ones monitoring them — and that while the five might be able to return to the battlefield, “they also have the ability to get killed doing that.”” Mr. Kerry, in some of his first public remarks on the exchange, struck a decidedly tough tone, dismissing as “baloney” the suggestion that terrorists would have new incentive to kidnap Americans. He also hinted, without offering … Continue reading

The Appalling Demonization of Bowe Bergdahl

I have been appalled by the demonization of Bowe Bergdahl, which began hours after his release culminated by the “exchange of five hard-core Taliban leaders,” earlier this week. Most notable in the right wing uproar over the prisoner of war exchange is the flip flop of Senator John McCain who told CNN four months ago, “I would support… Obviously I’d have to know the details, but I would support ways of bringing him home and if exchange was one of them I think that would be something I think we should seriously consider.” No sooner had the exchange been made when Senator McCain, “as he has so often in the past, switched positions for maximum political advantage. “I would not have made this deal,” … Continue reading

A Mother’s Day Tribute— That Should Not Have to Be Written

  By Walter Brasch   Nine American mothers will not enjoy Mother’s Day this year. Their sons were killed in the past month in Afghanistan. This past Wednesday, a family of nine was killed by Taliban forces in Afghanistan. On Friday, 9 Pakistani soldiers were killed. That same day, 29 Taliban were killed. 2,319 American soldiers were killed in America’s longest war. A war that should never have lasted that long. 3,438 coalition troops, including Americans, were killed. 4,486 American soldiers were killed in the Iraq War. A war that should never have been begun. 4,804 coalition troops, including Americans were killed. There are no accurate estimates of how many Iraqis—civilian and military—were killed. The best estimates place the total … Continue reading

Secretary of State John Kerry on ‘This Week’

In an exclusive interview with ABC’s Martha Raddatz for “This Week,” Secretary of State John Kerry said, “the United States had not abandoned former FBI agent Robert Levinson — the 65-year-old American who went missing in Iran seven years ago — and said he was personally involved in the effort to locate him.” Unfortunately your browser does not support IFrames. In his interview with Raddatz, Kerry rejected the Levinson family’s claim that Robert Levinson was working for a rogue CIA operation when he disappeared. “There hasn’t been progress in the sense that we don’t have him back. But to suggest that we have abandoned him or anybody has abandoned him is simply incorrect and not helpful,” Kerry said. “The fact … Continue reading

Former Gen. McChrystal: Assault Rifles For Battlefields, Not Schools

Gun control is the hot topic of the day today and today on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, former Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who led the Afghanistan war, jumped into the fray and endorsed stronger gun control laws: “I spent a career carrying typically either an M16 or an M4 Carbine. An M4 Carbine fires a .223 caliber round which is 5.56 mm at about 3000 feet per second. When it hits a human body, the effects are devastating. It’s designed for that,” McChrystal explained. “That’s what our soldiers ought to carry. I personally don’t think there’s any need for that kind of weaponry on the streets and particularly around the schools in America.” McChrystal went on to say: “We’ve got to take … Continue reading

Memorial Day 2012: A Lesson Not Yet Learned

by WALTER BRASCH   Today is Memorial Day, the last day of the three-day weekend. Veterans and community groups will remember those who died in battle and, as they have done for more than a century, will place small flags on graves. But, for most of America, Memorial Day is a three-day picnic-filled weekend that heralds the start of Summer, just as Labor Day has become a three-day picnic-filled weekend that laments the end of Summer.  There will be memorial concerts and parades. The media, shoving aside political and celebrity news, will all have stories. Among those who will be the first to patriotically salute those who died in battle are those who enthusiastically pushed for them to go to … Continue reading

Iraq: Just Another War Without an End

We know the names of every one of the 4,479 Americans who were killed and the 32,200 who were wounded, both civilian and military, between March 20, 2003 and Oct. 21, 2011, the day President Barack Obama, fulfilling a campaign promise, declared the last American soldier would leave Iraq before the end of the year. We know Second Lieutenant Therrel Shane Childers was the first American soldier killed by hostile fire in Operation Iraqi Freedom. On March 21, 2003, less than a day after the U.S.-led invasion, Childers was shot in the stomach by hostile forces while leading a Marine platoon to secure an oil field in southern Iraq.  His father, Joseph, told NPR that it was his dream to … Continue reading

Dizzy’s Ten Post Round-Up

I slept the day away in hopes that I would feel better, but, today’s Ten Post Round-Up tells me I probably should crawl back into bed: 1: Shameful: US servicewomen more likely to be raped by fellow soldiers than killed by enemy fire… At War With Ourselves: Battling Sexual Violence in the Military–AlterNet 2: Not A Surprise: Teenage girls adopting eating disorders from healthy eating messages at school… ‘Eating disorders fuelled by teachers’–The Australian 3: ACLU comes out in defense of polygamist ranch… ACLU weighs in on Texas polygamist custody case–CNN.com 4: Florida fire hydrants to begin multi-tasking as spyware… Florida Gets All Stasi On Citizens–duckplops 5: Smart: Bush sneaks into New Orleans, Not So Smart (?): To discuss expanding … Continue reading