Author's posts

Gaza lives on.

On December 27, 2008 (one year ago today), the Israeli government launched a brutal assault on the Gaza strip, killing an estimated 1,400 Palestinians, including hundreds of children and 14 Israelis, in less than 1 month.  This clip was created by the Never Before Campaign in support of the Gaza Freedom March.

For more on the Israeli massacre of Gaza,  Al Jazeera has the best timeline of events. I also recommend Amnesty International’s report, B’TSelem’s report, Human Rights Watch report, and The Goldstone Report.

December 8, 1980… 29 years later




And Howard Cosell on “Monday Night Football.”

Dahr Jamail: Honoring The Vets Who Go Unnoticed

Crossposted at Air America Radio.

Today is Veteran’s Day and every year, veterans are honored on television, the newspapers, parades, etc. We salute the American flag, wear yellow ribbons in honor of the troops, listen to the playing of Taps, watch the 21-gun salutes and hear the speeches about those who gave their lives for freedom and democracy.

But what about those who sacrificed and served their country and speak against the horrors of war? What about those who come back from war never the same? Why do we honor the silent, dead warriors, but not those who have been harmed by war and feel the need to speak out?

Dahr Jamail is an award-winning independent journalist whose work has appeared on National Public Radio, in The Guardian (UK), The Nation, The Progressive, and more. In his latest book, The Will to Resist: Soliders who refuse to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, Jamail brings us inside the movement of military resistance to the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. War is traumatic and many veterans who speak out against their actions (or their government’s policies) want their experiences to be validated, understood and accepted. Yet anti-war veterans organizations are not honored to the same degree as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion or Disabled American Veterans. Jamail believes all veterans must be honored, even those who speak out against war. The Will to Resist opens the door to the lives of many servicemen and veterans who speak out against war and killing, and their need to regain their humanity. Jamail talked about what war resisters endure on a daily basis, including the recent tragedy at Fort Hood, TX.

Mothers and Soldiers: Healing the bonds destroyed by war

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Crossposted at Huffington Post. Tomorrow is independent journalist Dahr Jamail.

The bonds established between mothers and children are sacred.  Mothers provide unconditional love, caring and support, and they teach their children to live in the world with a sense of purpose.  But life circumstances oftentimes get in the way of relationships and affect the outcomes for better or for worse.  In times of war, the bonds between mothers and children can change in the blink of an eye.  Strong relationships that took years to develop can be wiped out when a loved one is killed by enemy fire and other circumstances beyond their control.  Many families in America have experienced this.  So have many others in the Mideast.

Susan Galleymore is the author of Long Time Passing: Mothers Speak About War & Terror. Galleymore, co-founder of Courage to Resist, made international headlines as she traveled to Iraq to visit her son stationed in the Sunni Triangle.  The more Galleymore learned about the military, the more she learned about how war affects mothers at home and mothers in Iraq.  Her journey continued as she met with mothers in other war zones such as Israel and the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan and the U.S..  I spoke with Galleymore about her new book and how war affects mothers and children, communities and cultures, veterans, and current service members.

Full interview after the break.  

Peeling away the “Obama phenomenon”: An interview with Paul Street

Crossposted at Huffington Post.


How progressive is Barack Obama?  It’s a question pundits, bloggers, and journalists have trouble grappling with.  But one individual goes beyond the Obama phenomenon and investigates who Obama is and what he’s all about.  In Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics,  author Paul Street cuts to the chase and takes a closer look at the man who became the 44th president of the United States. What Street uncovers is a man crafted by campaign consultants with political beliefs consistent with elite party interests.  

Street is an independent journalist, policy adviser, and historian.  He is a former vice-president for research and planning at the Chicago Urban League, and author of Racial Oppression in the Global Metropolis: a Living Black Chicago History and Segregated Schools: Educational Apartheid in the Post-Civil Rights Era.

I caught up with Street to discuss his new book by Paradigm Publishers.  

“Why can’t they just say congratulations?”

Crossposted at Blue Hampshire.

Today marks the first day of marriage equality in Vermont. It’s been a long battle since the state passed civil unions back in 2000. It’s also been a long battle for those who fought for marriage equality in the Granite State, the Pine Tree State (Maine), and other states who fought for it through the courts. But today’s a special day in Vermont and for all of us who believe in civil rights.

Below is a video of Rep. Jason Lorber (D-Burlington). I remember his speech very vividly as they were debating marriage equality on the House floor. It was hard to hold back my tears. Today is his day. “Congratulations” Rep. Lorber.

US Policies Empower Taliban: Experts


                                                                                                                 – Army Times

Crossposted at Huffington Post and OpEd News.

“Mission compromised” may best describe U.S. military efforts in Afghanistan.  According to journalists Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald, American foreign policy and military officials are making several costly miscalculations of Afghanistan’s politics, history, and culture.  In their new book, Invisible History: Afghanistan’s Untold Story, Gould and Fitzgerald demolish the myths, falsehoods, and assumptions that are being perpetuated since the 1980s.  

In 1981, Gould and Fitzgerald were the first US television crew granted visas to enter Afghanistan.  One year later, they produced the landmark PBS documentary, Afghanistan Between Three Worlds.  Gould and Fitzgerald continued to write about Afghanistan including a script with Oliver Stone and contributed to another book called, Women for Afghan Women: Shattering Myths and Claiming the Future.  Since the release of Invisible History,  Gould and Fitzgerald appeared on Democracy Now!, GRITtv, and C-SPAN Book TV.  

I caught up with Gould and Fitzgerald and discussed recent developments in Afghanistan.  Here’s what they had to say.

– Christian Avard, formerly known to all of you at Docudharma as “ctrenta.”