U.S. Disaster Relief Teams Head for Nepal
Apr27

U.S. Disaster Relief Teams Head for Nepal

As reported here, the death toll from the magnitude-7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday has risen to nearly 3,900 people, a number that is expected to rise. As is typical when such tragedies strike anywhere around the globe, the U.S., civilian disaster response teams and the military are there. The Department of Defense reports that the United States has sent an Air Force aircraft to Nepal to deliver personnel and cargo in...

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Clinton ‘Scandals’ Weekend Relief
Apr24

Clinton ‘Scandals’ Weekend Relief

The Virginia International Tattoo in Norfolk, VA. is an annual performance that brings together “military bands, massed pipes and drums, drill teams, Celtic dancers, cultural performers, choirs and more” and is considered by many to be one of the best and most patriotic of the world’s tattoos. This year’s theme is “A Tribute to Military Families.” Military family members are honored at the 2015 Virginia International Tattoo as part of...

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Strikes against morality
Apr24

Strikes against morality

WASHINGTON — Drone strikes, by their nature, are bound to kill innocent civilians. It is all too easy to ignore this ugly fact — and the dubious morality of the whole enterprise — until the unfortunate victims happen to be Westerners. Only then does “collateral damage” become big news and an occasion for public sorrow. President Obama acknowledged Thursday that a January strike in Pakistan against a...

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DEA Scandal: Drugs, Prostitutes and ‘Grotesque’ Double Standards (La Jornada, Mexico)
Apr23

DEA Scandal: Drugs, Prostitutes and ‘Grotesque’ Double Standards (La Jornada, Mexico)

Given the corruption and duplicity with which U.S. government agencies like the DEA, ATF and Secret Service operate, to say nothing of the public lying and unconstitutional activity of the NSA, what right do U.S. officials have to complain about corruption in places like Colombia and Mexico? This editorial from Mexico’s La Jornada takes on the most recent scandal, which involves DEA agents being entertained by prostitutes at...

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Obama Takes Responsibility for Mission That Killed Hostages, American in al-Qaeda
Apr23

Obama Takes Responsibility for Mission That Killed Hostages, American in al-Qaeda

The White House said Thursday two hostages held by Al-Qaeda were killed during a January counterterrorism operation in the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The hostages were Warren Weinstein, an American who had been held since 2011, and Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian who had been held since 2012. Both were killed during an...

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For Democracies, Can the End Justify the Means?
Apr21

For Democracies, Can the End Justify the Means?

America and its allies had just defeated the Nazis in Europe and the Japanese in the Pacific when they were faced with a new enemy, the Soviet Union. Godless communists were viewed by many Americans as equally evil as the Nazis, and as some countries in Europe and Asia turned communist, the ideology was seen as monolithic and in thrall to the Soviets. (Unfortunately, this naive perception prevented the U.S. from taking advantage of...

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Jeb’s ambition? Be like W. …only more so.
Apr18

Jeb’s ambition? Be like W. …only more so.

Lots more war along with more strong-arming — what this Republican candidate calls “American leadership.” If Jeb Bush is elected president, the United States won’t be on speaking terms with Cuba and will partner more closely with Israel. He’ll tighten sanctions on Iran and urge NATO to deploy more troops in Eastern Europe to counter Vladimir Putin. And he’ll order the U.S. military to root out “barbarians” and...

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‘Learning from the Holocaust: Choosing to Act’
Apr17

‘Learning from the Holocaust: Choosing to Act’

While yesterday, April 16, was the official 2015 Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Week of Remembrance runs from the Sunday before Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah) through the following Sunday — this year April 12-19. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has designated this year’s theme as “Learning from the Holocaust: Choosing to Act.” While the Holocaust is the most heinous and immense “systematic, bureaucratic,...

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Are These Men The Faces Of Evil? No, But Bush, Cheney & Rumsfeld Certainly Were
Apr14

Are These Men The Faces Of Evil? No, But Bush, Cheney & Rumsfeld Certainly Were

Clockwise from top left: Dustin Heard, Nicolas Slatten, Evan Liberty, Paul Slough Even as a blogger who wrote extensively about the criminal excesses of Blackwater’s patriots-for-profit mercenary army and was appalled at the slaughter of 14 unarmed Iraqis, including women and children, in Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007 by four of the politically powerful security contractor’s thugs, I nevertheless was saddened when...

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Appalling humanitarian situation in Yemen says UN
Apr14

Appalling humanitarian situation in Yemen says UN

Aerial bombing and the internal wars in Yemen have killed at least 364 civilians including 84 children and 25 women since March 26 in addition to hundreds of fighters, the UN human rights chief reported today. More than 681 civilians have been injured and dozens of public buildings, including hospitals, schools, airports and mosques have been destroyed in airstrikes, through shelling and other attacks. “The humanitarian situation is...

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Weekend Defense Update –  Images
Apr12

Weekend Defense Update – Images

There is uncertainty as to how successful and convincing Hillary Clinton’s announcement will be and, of course, no one knows who will become our 47th president come January 2017. One thing we can all be absolutely certain of is that our troops will be there, on January 20, 2017, and on every Inauguration Day thereafter, serving our country as they have for more than 200 years. Here are some recent photos of them, their systems, their...

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How America Wages War on Its Own Soldiers
Apr07

How America Wages War on Its Own Soldiers

America has been waging armed conflict for so long that the phrase “perpetual war” has begun to creep into our collective lexicon. The worst part of this is that the American public seems only too willing to forget about the mounting number of casualties—including those happening back on American soil. What I’m talking about is the US government’s apparent war on soldiers returning from combat zones—a war at least as protracted as our...

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The Last Battle That Counted
Apr06

The Last Battle That Counted

A suggestion for a national holiday? Make the Confederacy’s Defeat a National Holiday Brian Beutler / The New Republic —  150 years ago this week, Robert E. Lee surrendered to the Union.  Let’s celebrate it—every year.  —  In a speech one month ago, the first black president of the United States challenged millions of white Americans to resist the convenient allure … Good thought, but jumping the gun on today, in many...

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How a Mandatory IAEA Mechanism Saved the Iran Nuclear Talks (Le Monde, France)
Apr02

How a Mandatory IAEA Mechanism Saved the Iran Nuclear Talks (Le Monde, France)

What was it that saved the Iran nuclear talks from what seemed imminent collapse just over 24 hours ago? For Le Monde, special correspondent Yves-Michel Riols writes that when the deadlock over lifting sanctions on Iran seemed insurmountable, it dawned on negotiators that even if an immediate lifting of sanctions were agreed to, the IAEA will first have to confirm that Iran’s nuclear program is entirely non-military – a...

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Obama’s statement on today’s nuclear deal with Iran
Apr02

Obama’s statement on today’s nuclear deal with Iran

Below is the full text of President Barack Obama’s statement on the nuclear agreement with Iran, as issued by US Public Affairs a few minutes ago. The White House Office of the Press Secretary For Immediate Release April 02, 2015 Statement by the President on the Framework to Prevent Iran from Obtaining a Nuclear Weapon Rose Garden 2:25 P.M. EDT THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. Today, the United States — together with...

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US Public Affairs note on deal with Iran
Apr02

US Public Affairs note on deal with Iran

Below is the full text of a media note from US Public Affairs, Washington. It was published a few minutes ago. Parameters for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Nuclear Program Media Note Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC April 2, 2015 http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2015/04/240170.htm Below are the key parameters of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) regarding the...

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Don’t make a bad situation worse
Mar31

Don’t make a bad situation worse

WASHINGTON — As gung-ho “experts” press President Obama to do this, that or the other in the Middle East, keep a simple rule in mind: Whatever the avid interventionists suggest probably won’t work — and surely will have unintended consequences. Obama’s overall policy toward the region has been modest, cautious, incremental and situational. His boldest move has been to try negotiations, rather than...

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Tammy Duckworth Running for the U.S. Senate
Mar30

Tammy Duckworth Running for the U.S. Senate

In 2012 she ran for the Illinois’ 8th congressional district U.S. Congress seat against a man who — although he never served a day in the military — had the cojones to disparage her heroic, combat service claiming that she — Tammy Duckworth — was not a “true hero.” Her opponent, then-Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), had the audacity to say – after suggesting that President Obama was only elected president...

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Weekend Photography
Mar27

Weekend Photography

It is weekend time again and we miss Ron Beasley’s beautiful photography. We hope he is doing well. As a consolation, above is a photograph taken recently by my grandson in the Seattle area, which I though was pretty neat. Below are some more weekend photos reminding us of our military at work 24/7. The guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald, right, comes alongside the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Pecos...

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(Updates) Saudi Arabia Launches Airstrikes Against Rebels in Yemen
Mar25

(Updates) Saudi Arabia Launches Airstrikes Against Rebels in Yemen

Update (Tikrit) The New York Times is reporting that three major Shiite militia groups who were participating in the fight for Tikrit have “pulled out” of the fight “immediately depriving the Iraqi government of thousands of their fighters on the ground even as American warplanes readied for an expected second day of airstrikes against the Islamic State there.” Apparently the pull-out is in protest of U.S. airstrikes against ISIL...

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