s=”rhexcerpt”>By Holly Arrow, Director, Groups and War Lab, University of Oregon and William M. Schumacher, Clinical Psychology Doctoral Candidate, University of Oregon. What is moral injury? Truthout.org, CC BY-NC-SA On Memorial Day, Americans remember those who died while in service to the country. In the past five years, a large proportion of these deaths have been… Continue Reading →
We’re told ISIS was building some tunnels along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, which means they needed to drop a BOMB on them. Not just a bomb, but the biggest bomb in our arsenal, a bomb capable of blasting debris in a one-mile radius. The bomb, nicknamed MOAB (Mother of All Bombs), was developed but not used in… Continue Reading →
The dirty hippies were right again. I’m sure none of us are surprised, exactly, but it’s still shocking to see it all laid out:
Last week, the independent British committee established to delve into the blunders that led to that country joining the Iraq misadventure released a report astonishing for its breadth and sobriety. It is no easy read—with 2.6 million words in 12 volumes, it explores every detail of the processes and decisions that cost the lives of 179 British servicemen and women. And since the goal of the inquiry was to determine what went wrong across the board, it provides information no Republican politician would allow anyone on Capitol Hill to dig up.
The report’s shocking conclusion is obvious: The White House, the Pentagon and, to a lesser extent, the State Department had no idea what they were doing.
Incompetence permeates the tale, with Bush officials arrogantly waving aside warnings and pleas for better planning. The march toward war took on an unstoppable political momentum as evidence piled up that this invasion would be a colossal catastrophe. Preconceptions—such as blithe dismissals of a humanitarian and governmental role in the invasion for the United Nations, as well as a disregard for day-after-war preparations in favor of gut feelings and slogans—undermined the chance for success. Records show the British considered themselves indispensable to the effort, if only to counter the Bush administration’s reckless planning, which officials in Prime Minister Tony Blair’s government derided as fantastical.
If you have the stomach for it, go read the rest.
This post originally appeared in The Washington Spectator. When the United States revealed in January that it is testing a more nimble, more precise version of its B61 atom bomb, some were immediately alarmed. General James Cartwright, a former strategist for President Obama, warned that “going smaller” could make nuclear weapons “more thinkable” and “more usable.”… Continue Reading →
Media in Gaza reported on Friday that a Palestinian fell to his death from the sixth floor of a building in Rafah in the southern Strip. Less than 24 hours later, reports emerged to the effect that the man, who was in his 20s, had committed suicide. A week earlier, a 33-year-old Palestinian, a resident of… Continue Reading →
We don’t know who did it this time, but at this point, it doesn’t really matter: Suddenly, purposely bombing medical facilities is no big deal!
Thank God! I am happy to hear this:
MUNICH — The United States, Russia and other powers have reached agreement on a “cessation of hostilities” in Syria’s civil war that allows for immediate humanitarian access to besieged areas, Secretary of State John F. Kerry announced here early Friday morning.
The end of hostilities, which Kerry avoided calling a cease-fire, is scheduled to go into effect “in one week’s time,” Kerry said. Humanitarian access to towns and cities in Syria where food and medical supplies have been blocked, sometimes for months, is to begin immediately.
“It was unanimous,” Kerry said. “Everybody today agreed on the urgency of humanitarian access. What we have here are words on paper. What we need to see in the next few days are actions on the ground.”
Agreement came after day-long consultations that lasted until early Friday here. Hours earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov huddled with his counterpart from Iran, Russia’s ally in backing the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad, and Secretary of State John F. Kerry sat down with allies backing the Syrian opposition, before all parties gathered for a joint meeting at which the deal was struck.
Lavrov called cessation of hostilities the “first step” toward a full cease-fire.
The effort has been considered a last chance to stop the carnage in Syria that has left hundreds of thousands dead and sent millions fleeing from the country. What was already a desperate situation in Syria has greatly worsened over the past few weeks, as massive Russian bombardment in and around the city of Aleppo has scattered opposition fighters and driven tens of thousands of civilians toward the barricaded Turkish border.
We don’t know whose airstrikes these are, but I’m sure it was one of the “good guys”:
Airstrikes hit a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)-supported hospital in Dara’a Governorate in southern Syria, killing three people and wounding at least six, including a nurse, says MSF.
The strike on Tafas field hospital, some 12 kilometers [7.5 miles] from the Jordanian border, took place on the night of February 5, 2016. It damaged part of the hospital building itself and incapacitated its heavily used ambulance service. In fear for their lives, more than 20,000 people from the town of Tafas fled to the surrounding countryside.
The hospital is the latest medical facility to be hit in an escalating series of airstrikes in southern Syria over the past two months.
“I was on my way to the hospital to help admit people who had been injured by the airstrikes,” says one staff member. “But as soon as I reached the hospital, I myself got injured. It all happened very quickly. I saw what looked like an explosion and then a flash of light, and then I lost consciousness for five minutes. My colleagues saw me lying on the ground, bleeding, and rushed me inside. I was injured in both my arm and leg by shrapnel.”
This latest incident further weakens Syria’s already exhausted health care system, and prevents more people from accessing desperately needed medical care.
Israel’s Defense Ministry has confirmed that the country is on the verge of seizing large swathes of fertile land in the occupied West Bank, a move that will likely exacerbate its already cooling relationship with Western allies, Reuters reports. COGAT, a unit of Israel’s Defense Ministry, told Reuters in an email that “the lands are in… Continue Reading →
WASHINGTON — Three Guantánamo detainees were slated to leave the American prison in Cuba this week after about 14 years in captivity. But early Wednesday morning, only two were willing to board the plane.
The third — Mohammed Ali Abdullah Bwazir of Yemen — balked at the last minute, even though he has a history of hunger striking to protest his indefinite detention without trial. In recent days, Mr. Bwazir was “frightened” to leave the prison and go to a country where he has no family, his lawyer, John Chandler, said. The country has not been identified.
Mr. Chandler also said his client — who was born around 1980 and brought to Guantánamo in 2002 — was depressed. He compared his client to a character in the prison movie “The Shawshank Redemption” who has spent so much of his life behind bars that he cannot handle life on the outside after finally being paroled.
“Can you imagine being there for 14 years and going to a plane where you could finally leave, and saying ‘No, take me back to my cell?’ ” Mr. Chandler said. “This is one of the saddest days of my life.”