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Tom Engelhardt | A Record of Unparalleled Failure

  • More than half a century of American-style war by the most powerful and potentially destructive military on the planet adds up to worse than nothing.
  • Part 1: Don’t Walk Away from War 
  • Part 2: Stop Here

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest



Part 1: Don’t Walk Away from War 

  • It’s Not the American Way 
  • Here are five straightforward lessons -- none acceptable in what passes for discussion and debate in this country -- that could be drawn from that last half century of every kind of American warfare.

Tom Engelhardt, Tom Dispatch

End%20the%20War.jpg June 10, 2014 | The United States has been at war -- major boots-on-the-ground conflicts and minor interventions, firefights, air strikes, drone assassination campaigns, occupations, special ops raids, proxy conflicts, and covert actions -- nearly nonstop since the Vietnam War began.  That’s more than half a century of experience with war, American-style, and yet few in our world bother to draw the obvious conclusions.

Given the historical record, those conclusions should be staring us in the face.  They are, however, the words that can’t be said in a country committed to a military-first approach to the world, a continual build-up of its forces, an emphasis on pioneering work in the development and deployment of the latest destructive technology, and a repetitious cycling through styles of war from full-scale invasions and occupations to counterinsurgency, proxy wars, and back again.

Tom Engelhardt created and runs the Tomdispatch.com website, a project of The Nation Institute where he is a Fellow. He is the author of a highly praised history of American triumphalism in the Cold War, The End of Victory Culture, and of a novel, The Last Days of Publishing, as well as a collection of his Tomdispatch interviews, Mission Unaccomplished. Each spring he is a Teaching Fellow at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley.

Full story … 



Part 2: Stop Here ~ Beverly Gologorsky

One summer reading recommendation tied to today’s piece: don’t miss TomDispatch author Beverly Gologorsky’s Stop Here, a powerful working class novel about the effects on this country of its endless, distant wars. It’s riveting! Tom

Described in Good Reads

books/1364250859l/17412773.jpg June 10, 2014 | Ava, Mila, and Rosalyn all work at Murray's Diner in Long Island. They are friends and coworkers struggling to hold together their disordered lives. While Ava privately grieves the loss of her husband in the first Iraq War, Mila struggles to dissuade her seventeen-year-old daughter from enlisting in the second. Rosalyn works as an escort by night until love and illness to disrupt the tenuous balance she'd found and the past she'd kept at a safe distance. The promise of a new relationship with a coworker soon begins to restore Ava's faith in her own ability to feel, and Mila learns through wrenching loss that children must learn from their own mistakes. But ultimately it is love–for one another and for their wayward families–that sustains them through the pain and uncertainty of a world with no easy answers.

With tender, unadorned prose and a supremely human sympathy for the triumphs and defeats of everyday life, in this long-awaited second novel Beverly Gologorsky delivers a moving and incisive story about loss, friendship, and healing in the shadow of a seemingly endless war.

Full story … 

So Who's The Guy Who Just Beat Eric Cantor? Meet Dave Brat.

  • He's an Ayn Rand proselytizer, successfully tarred Cantor as a "pro-amnesty" candidate, thinks religion has been short-shrifted, and supports getting rid of the federal role in farm regulation.
  • Eric Cantor's Stunning Demise and What It All Means

Samantha Lachman, Huffington Post 

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goposaur_upsidedown.jpeg?13455644106/10/2014 | David Brat, a tea party activist and professor, scored one of the biggest upsets in political history Tuesday when he defeated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the Republican primary to represent Virginia's 7th District.

Brat's campaign website crashed in the immediate aftermath of the news. Here, more about his background.

Samantha Lachman: Elections Fellow at Huffington Post

Full story … 

Related:

Eric Cantor's Stunning Demise and What It All Means, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • This is a huge victory for anti-immigration extremists, including Ann Coulter, Matt Drudge, Laura Ingraham and Mickey Kaus. 
  • Part 1: Tea Party eats its own: Why Cantor’s right-wing obstruction wasn’t enough
  • Part 2: Eric Cantor got what he deserved: A political fraud’s stunning demise

 

The US Gun Culture, June 10, 2014

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  • America is living under the gun. America has lost its mind.
  • Part 1: If It's A School Week In America, Odds Are There Will Be A School Shooting
  • Part 2: Shooter And Student Reported Dead At Reynolds High School

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: If It's A School Week In America, Odds Are There Will Be A School Shooting

Including Tuesday's incident at a high school in Troutdale, Oregon, 74 school shootings have taken place in the approximately 18 months since the Dec. 14, 2012, Newtown shooting.

Nick Wing & Sam Stein, Huffington Post

2014_SchoolShootingsSinceNewtown1.png06/10/2014 | Since the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, there have been an average of 1.37 school shootings for each school week, according to data maintained by Everytown for Gun Safety, a group fighting to end gun violence.

Including Tuesday's incident at a high school in Troutdale, Oregon, 74 school shootings have taken place in the approximately 18 months since the Dec. 14, 2012, Newtown shooting. The average school year typically lasts about 180 days, which means there have been roughly 270 school days, or 54 weeks, of class since the shooting at Newtown. With 74 total incidents over that period, the nation is averaging well over a shooting per school week.

Nick Wing: Senior Viral Editor at Huffington Post

Sam Stein: Political Editor and White House Correspondent at Huffington Post

Full story … 



Part 2: Shooter And Student Reported Dead At Reynolds High School

The Oregon violence came less than a week after a gunman opened fire on a college campus in neighboring Washington state, killing a 19-year-old man and wounding two others. It follows a string of mass shootings that have disturbed the nation, including one on Sunday in Nevada that left two Las Vegas police officers and a civilian dead.

Nigel Duara and Jonathan Cooper, Associated Press / Huffington Post

06/10/2014 | A teen gunman armed with a rifle shot and killed a student Tuesday and injured a teacher before he likely killed himself at a high school in a quiet Columbia River town in Oregon, authorities said.

After the shooting stopped, police spotted the suspect slumped on a toilet in a bathroom but couldn't see what was happening with him.

Nigel Duara: Associated Press (AP) legal affairs reporter, focusing on civil liberties, mental health and terrorism.

Jonathan Cooper: Associated Press (AP) reporter covering Oregon politics and government. 

Full story … 

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Chris Hedges | The Rules of Revolt

A nonviolent movement that disrupts the machinery of state and speaks a truth a state hopes to suppress has the force to terrify authority and create deep fissures within the power structure.

‘We Are Either Gonna Step Off the Board or They’re Gonna Kill Us’

Chris Hedges, Truthdig

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hedgestiananmen_590.jpgA visitor to Hong Kong’s June 4th Museum—dedicated to the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989—watches a film last month. The phrase on the wall reads “Refuse to forget.” AP/Vincent Yu

Jun 9, 2014 | There are some essential lessons we can learn from the student occupation of Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, which took place 25 years ago. The 1989 protests began as a demonstration by university students to mourn the death of Hu Yaobang, the reformist Communist Party chief who had been forced out by Deng Xiaoping. The protests swiftly expanded to include demands for an end to corruption, for press freedom and for democracy. At their height, perhaps a million people were in the square. The protests were crushed on the night of June 3-4 when some 200,000 soldiers, backed by tanks and armored personnel carriers, attacked. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of unarmed demonstrators were killed.

Lesson No. 1. A nonviolent movement that disrupts the machinery of state and speaks a truth a state hopes to suppress has the force to terrify authority and create deep fissures within the power structure. The ruling elites in China, we now know from leaked internal documents and the work of a handful of historians, believed the protests had the potential to dislodge them from power. Monolithic power, as we saw in China, is often a mirage. Some of the internal documents that exposed the fears and deep divisions within the ruling elite have been collected by the Princeton University Library.

Chris Hedges, a weekly columnist for Truthdig, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has reported from more than 50 countries, specializing in American politics and society. 

Full story … 

Related: 

‘We Are Either Gonna Step Off the Board or They’re Gonna Kill Us’, Alexander Reed KellyTruthdig 

War—on the battlefield, for oil, in our minds. Chris Hedges and Mr. Fish about their dealings with our civilization’s war against itself in all its ugly forms.

 

 

Totally Nuts

  • Let's not try to figure out everything at once / It’s hard to keep track of you falling through the sky --The National, from their song “Fake Empire”
  • America dumbs down

Mankh (Walter E. Harris III), Axis of Logic

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(Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: Brian Hillegas, Reigh LeBlanc, abrinskyimages_2014_01/2014.1.7.Chomsky.Main.jpg

Sunday, Jun 8, 2014 | The 65th anniversary of the first publication of George Orwell’s 1984 – June 8th, 1949 – is a fitting time to address things totalitarian, fascist, nazi, authoritarian, oligarchic, plutocratic, dictatorial, and police state. Each has its distinct significance; yet to simplify, perhaps, they are all engineered, to a large degree, by Supremacist Control Freaks.

According to Orwell: "Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for socialism, as I understand it."

Mankh (Walter E. Harris III) is an essayist and resident poet on Axis of Logic. In addition to his work as a writer, he is a small press publisher.

Full story … 

Related:

America dumbs downJonathon GatehouseMacleans

  • The U.S. is being overrun by a wave of anti-science, anti-intellectual thinking. Has the most powerful nation on Earth lost its mind?
  • #BringBackOurCriticalThinking

 

 

Gun control impotency is another failure of the traditional media

Media%20%26%20Technology%20Banner.jpg

  • Imagine how different it would be if all news networks covered this story. A country similar to America adopted gun control. Some of its politicians sacrificed themselves for the better good of society by passing substantive gun control laws. After several years the evidence is in. Gun control works. Imagine if we really had a traditional media the nation could actually count on. Our gun control impotency is another failure of the traditional media.
  • The postcard the NRA doesn't want you to send

Egberto Willies, Daily Kos

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white_house_reporters_afraid_to_criticize_the_white_house-460x307.jpg  Jun 01, 2014 |  How bad is the gun violence in America? NPR’s David Schaper covered a story about the impoverished Chicago Englewood neighborhood with a reputation for crime and violence. He was interviewing the co-founder of R.A.G.E (Resident Association of Greater Englewood) Asiaha Butler about community engagement. During the interview gunfire erupted. A bullet struck one man in a vehicle in the head.

Elliot Rodger kills 7 people and terrorizes a neighborhood by indiscriminately shooting as he drives through a neighborhood. At least 80 people were killed by gun violence the week prior to his rampage. The Elliot Rodger massacre made for sensational news and was covered nationally. After all, these were affluent college students. The 80 people killed throughout the nation did not meet that criterion. Shouldn’t killings equivalent to a jumbo jet crashing every two weeks be covered nationally?

Egberto Willies is a political activist, author, political blogger, radio show host, business owner, software developer, web designer, and mechanical engineer in Kingwood, TX. Egberto is an ardent Liberal that believes tolerance is essential. His favorite phrase is “political involvement should be a requirement for citizenship”. 

Full story … 

Related:

The postcard the NRA doesn't want you to send, Andy Kelley, Digital Programs Manager, Democracy for America 

  • In the wake of the tragic shooting at UC Santa Barbara this past weekend, Democracy for America is standing with our friends at Everytown for Gun Safety and with all those working to reduce gun violence and make our streets and homes into safer places for our families. 
  • http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/In that spirit, we wanted to share with you this simple action you can take to let your elected officials know that you will no longer tolerate inaction when it comes to gun safety. Read the message from John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, below.
  • NRA’s constitutional fraud: The truth behind the “right to bear arms”
  • How the NRA Enables Massacres

Section(s): 

Obama was right to bargain with Taliban for Bergdahl

  • The criticisms can be countered. In the big picture, this made sense.
  • Part 1: The Real Villains of the Bergdahl Tale
  • Part 2: Bergdahl critics desert U.S. values

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Part 1: The Real Villains of the Bergdahl Tale

The right-wing media is denouncing Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl as a “deserter” who wasn’t worth ransoming from the Taliban, but the real villains are the architects of the disastrous Iraq and Afghan wars who frivolously put the many Bergdahls in harm’s way.

Ray McGovern, Consortium News

tenet-cheney-bush-300x199.jpg President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet. Also present is Chief of Staff Andy Card (on right).

June 3, 2014 | For me, the Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl affair brings back angry memories of how, in 2009, President Barack Obama caved in to be-medaled and be-ribboned generals like David Petraeus and ordered a modified-limited-hangout-type “surge” of 33,000 troops into Afghanistan. Consequential cowardice at work – trading lives for political advantage – as bad as it gets.

Bergdahl was quick to discern that he and his comrades were pawns of a policy doing far more harm than good in terms of helping the Afghans. Emailing from Afghanistan in late June 2009, Bergdahl pointed out the main problem in these words: “In the US army you are cut down for being honest… but if you are a conceited brown nosing shit-bag you will be allowed to do what ever you want.”

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. In the Sixties he served as an infantry/intelligence officer and then became a CIA analyst for the next 27 years. He is on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

Full story … 



 

Part 2: Bergdahl critics desert U.S. values

Trading for POWs is nothing new, and honors obligation to troops.

Editorial Board, Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune

U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Photo: U.S. ARMY, NYT - NYT471*425/02bowe+gal53114.JPG

June 3, 2014 - 5:57 PM | After five years as a prisoner of war, Bowe Bergdahl’s freedom is what matters, not the circumstances of his capture.

It’s to our nation’s disgrace that rather than welcome the young man home from Afghanistan, some have marred this occasion with attacks on Bergdahl’s character because it’s unclear how he fell into enemy hands.

Full story … 

 

The postcard the NRA doesn't want you to send

  • In the wake of the tragic shooting at UC Santa Barbara this past weekend, Democracy for America is standing with our friends at Everytown for Gun Safety and with all those working to reduce gun violence and make our streets and homes into safer places for our families. 
  • Take%20Action%20button%20with%20arrows.jpg In that spirit, we wanted to share with you this simple action you can take to let your elected officials know that you will no longer tolerate inaction when it comes to gun safety. Read the message from John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, below.
  • NRA’s constitutional fraud: The truth behind the “right to bear arms”

How the NRA Enables Massacres

Andy Kelley, Digital Programs Manager, Democracy for America

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editors Jim Fuller and Amelia Kroeger

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Postcard%20Not%20One%20More.jpgThu, 29 May 2014 | On Tuesday night, I (John Feinblatt, President, Everytown for Gun Safety ) was on MSNBC following Richard Martinez, whose son Christopher was shot and killed at UC Santa Barbara. Earlier that day, Mr. Martinez inspired Americans with this idea:

"Today, I'm going to ask every person I can find to send a postcard to every politician they can think of with three words on it: Not One More. People are looking for something to do. I'm asking people to stand up for something. Enough is enough."

Everytown for Gun Safety celebrates Mr. Martinez's courage, and we want to make his idea a reality.

Take%20Action%20button%20with%20arrows.jpg Click here to sign a postcard, and we'll mail one in your name to each of your members of Congress and your governor to tell them that Not One More person should die from our broken gun laws.

Here's what the postcards will look like (above).

Mr. Martinez is right. Not one more person should die because of our broken gun laws. Not one more father should lose his child to gun violence. And not one more politician should put the gun lobby ahead of the lives of Americans.

Our elected officers need to know that we will no longer tolerate inaction. Not one more person should die needlessly. Not one more.

Take%20Action%20button%20with%20arrows.jpg Click here and we'll send a postcard to your members of Congress and your governor telling them that not one more person should die because of our broken gun laws.

Thanks for standing with us.

 

Related:

NRA’s constitutional fraud: The truth behind the “right to bear arms” Heather Digby Parton, Salon

  • The notion that the framers meant for every nut to have unlimited guns is a sham. Here's the little-known reality.
  • How the NRA Enables Massacres

###

How the NRA Enables Massacres, Cliff Schecter, Daily Beast

As a shooting spree leaves seven dead in California, the gun lobby is trying to thwart attempts to study gun deaths and officials who see gun violence as a public health crisis.

 

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