September 2007 archive

My Dad in the War

Today, Ken Burns will and PBS will air FUBAR on The War. It will discuss Peleliu.  My Dad was on Peleliu. He always pronounced it Pel-Lee-You.
It was always glossed over in the history books about the war in the Pacific. I would read about Midway. Or Iwo Jima which he missed. Or Tarawa which he also missed, but Peleliu was always kind of a footnote.

As a kid, I had figured that the reason he survived was because not much fighting went on. The War to me was in Europe.

I thought his great accomplishment in the war was guarding a Catholic Cemetery in China after the War. Or meeting a 12 foot cobra on the path on Pavuvu.

But I was wrong.

An insight on US strategic thinking – why so much cowering fear?

Earlier last week, I wrote a diary (What the west means and what roles NATO plays therein) that used a recent Financial Times editorial as a springboard for a discussion on what the “West” was, and what the use of NATO was – questions that  left-of-center Europeans tend to see quite differently from most Americans, including left-of-center ones.

The editorial, by a well-respected British pundit, was insightful and interesting, and led me to conclude what many on the European Tribune have long suspected: that NATO is simply an instrument for Europe to support US strategic priorities, and that the “West” exists only when Europe (and in particular France) aligns itself unconditionally on US positions. The UK, as per that senior British commentator, has as its main role that of disrupting and dividing Europe when it is insufficiently respectful of US interests.

Since I’m French, you may be tempted to conclude that this is just sour grapes by a citizen of a supposedly declining country; however, what I found more interesting in that article was the dominant tone of fear – about the west being under siege, and needing security against various threats – in the form of coordinated military power and little else. It was a narrow, downcast, closed vision of the world, with little about values, progress or hope.

The comment thread is worth reading too, and one of the last comments, by Loefing, pointed me to another article on the same topic, this time by a graduate of the US Naval War College, Tony Corn. The article, (The Revolution in Transatlantic Affairs, has the same dominant tone of fear, but a much more detailed examination of the world. Given the credentials of its author, it is likely to have serious influence on the thinking of the strategists in the Pentagon, and it is thus worth deconstructing.

Employment Discrimination: Where do we go from here?

Cross-posted in Orange

Once upon a time…

That’s pretty damn vague.  Re-cue the music.  On September 30, 1992 a teacher told students in 1 pm CDT abstract algebra class that no matter what they heard about their teacher before the next meeting of the class, they should try to concentrate and study for the exam.  The teacher told the students that all Hell was likely to bust loose and there was a good possibility that they would have a new teacher by the next meeting of the class.

But they should try to concentrate and study for the exam. 

Then the teacher dropped her books in her office, walked the carefully prepared letter  down to the office of the Chair, who was not in at the moment, and laid it on his desk.  Then the teacher went to Little Rock for an appointment with a therapist…and the official beginning of hir transition.

It was not lost on her that this was also her deceased father’s birthday.  But he wasn’t using it anymore, so it might as well be hers as well.

Docudharma, a Critical Look

Based on the content of the Docudharma Mission Statement, it would appear that the desire of the Publisher of this site is to generate a controlled burn within American society…. To coax its citizens onto a path that will better serve all people, American and otherwise. To accomplish the mission, those in control (Publisher, Editors, et al) need to take care not to sew the seeds of wild fire.

Now let’s get out there and change the world!

…an evolution.

A Soldier’s Daughter Salutes Her Late Father

[Hat tip to Cronesense, who inspired me like some loving juggernaut.  Thank you.]

[first diary originally published on DKos 11/19/05.  The following are excerpts.]

now cross-posted at DailyKos

This diary is about war, and what it does to people. Although I write about WWII, which is said to be over, it is just a scream back from the other end of a time warp through that tunnel to hell known as warfare. It is an echo of the present war in Iraq, and the last terrified glint in my dying mother’s eyes.

Mine is the information soldiers would tell the U.S. if only they would be allowed to return. For the victors can suffer worse fates, in the end, than the vanquished. I know this because Dad brought World War II home with him.

This is also the story of one of the first internet bloggers (not too successful with the technology in his 80`s) whose nickname happened to be “Webb.” As he lay on his deathbed, I gave my word to Dad that I would write about him – having more capability to honor him than his poor, confused mind would allow at the end of his life. And now I had better get to writing while we still have the freedom to use the internet. For the “military-industrial-complex” government Dad feared and foresaw all his adult life has at last come to power.

Prison Camps & The Trail Of Tears (Part 2)


The Legend of the Cherokee Rose.

No better symbol exists of the pain and suffering of the Trail Where They Cried than the Cherokee Rose(pictured at top of page). The mothers of the Cherokee grieved so much that the chiefs prayed for a sign to lift the mother’s spirits and give them strength to care for their children. From that day forward, a beautiful new flower, a rose, grew wherever a mother’s tear fell to the ground. The rose is white, for the mother’s tears. It has a gold center, for the gold taken from the Cherokee lands, and seven leaves on each stem that represent the seven Cherokee clans that made the journey. To this day, the Cherokee Rose prospers along the route of the “Trail of Tears”.

Pony Party: Sunday music retrospective

Music to Transition by

Nina Simone: I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News THE TOP STORY

And the only one-

1 Taliban rebuffs Karzai’s offer
By JASON STRAZIUSO, Associated Press Writer
30 minutes ago

KABUL, Afghanistan – President Hamid Karzai offered to meet with the Taliban leader and give militants a government position, but a spokesman for the militant group on Sunday said it will “never” negotiate with Afghan authorities until U.S. and NATO forces leave the country.

Karzai made the offer only hours after a suicide bomber in army disguise attacked a military bus Saturday, killing 30 people – nearly all of them Afghan soldiers.

Strengthening a call for negotiations he has made with increasing frequency in recent weeks, Karzai said he was willing to meet with the reclusive leader Mullah Omar and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a former prime minister and factional warlord leader.

Animal Art

I just wanted to share with you some art I thought you might appreciate.  First the Gorillas:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket 
“Apple” by Michael the Gorilla.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Apple, Michael’s dog.

Actually he named this “Apple Chase” in American Sign Language.  Apple was Michael’s dog; their favorite game was Chase.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
“Bird”  by KoKo the Gorilla.
A bird who would sometimes sit near KoKo’s window and sing.

There is a story about a troop of Chimps who–at sunset everyday–would move up over a hill and sit and watch the sunset.  The Chimpanzees:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
“Animal Energy”  by Congo the Chimpanzee.
I think that’s what this is called.  The site wasn’t very specific about the art–the story was about this being estimated as being worth £600 and £800.

Tit for tat

From the Associated Press:

Iran’s parliament on Saturday approved a nonbinding resolution labeling the CIA and the U.S. Army “terrorist organizations,” in apparent response to a Senate resolution seeking to give a similar designation to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The hard-line dominated parliament cited U.S. involvement in dropping nuclear bombs in Japan in World War II, using depleted uranium munitions in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq, supporting the killings of Palestinians by Israel, bombing and killing Iraqi civilians, and torturing terror suspects in prisons.

“The aggressor U.S. Army and the Central Intelligence Agency are terrorists and also nurture terror,” said a statement by the 215 lawmakers who signed the resolution at an open session of the Iranian parliament. The session was broadcast live on state-run radio.

The juvenility of our two national legislatures would be funny- if millions of people’s lives weren’t potentially threatened.


I’m done. I hate you JeffinAlabama.


An Analysis : Critical Role of Bloggers and the Internet in Burma

Hello all.

I don’t normally post here, but the situation in Burma seems to have gotten more coverage on this end.  Plus everyone here seems to lean more towards my progressive political views anyways.

This is kind of long, but I think it’s worth reading all the way through if you are interested in how the internet is shaping current events and the world around us. 

In my last essay (ironically enough) I touched on the importance of the internet and the power we hold to spread the truth to the world instantly.  There has never been a situation that could prove a more perfect example than the uprising going on in Burma. 

If you ever doubted the power we have, this should change your mind.

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