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Bill Moyers Journal tonite: “The Good Soldier” documentary film

Cross-posted at Dkos and FDL


Tonight on Bill Moyers Journal on PBS, Moyers will present excerpts for the documentary film, The Good Soldier.

As America prepares to observe Veterans Day and President Obama weighs sending more troops to fight in Afghanistan, BILL MOYERS JOURNAL broadcasts a powerful documentary about the impact on soldiers of learning to kill – or be killed. THE GOOD SOLDIER follows four veterans – one from World War II, two from Vietnam, and the fourth from Iraq – as they reveal how the experiences of battle changed their lives.

Watch a preview here.


Costs Of War Not Seen In Dover Repatriation Photos; and Bill Moyers Closing Comments

Cross-posted at DKos, Open Left, and Firedoglake

Hat tip to Henry Porter and the other diarists who posted on the videos and photos yesterday of the repatriation of service members slain in Afghanistan.

Henry wrote of how enraged he is that war criminals of the previous administration are walking free, of the pain he felt when he encountered a young disabled veteran, and that he finds “a measure of comfort in the hope that unlike his predecessor, this president has the courage, the character , the compassion and the judgment to make his decisions based on the best possible information and advice available to him.”

It is not often that we are able to see photos depicting the cost of war to our troops and their families.  Few people encounter our disabled veterans.  The face of war is rarely seen.

During the war in Vietnam, Walter Cronkite made sure that Mr. and Mrs. America saw plenty of the reality, during the dinner hour.

Sensitivity to the wishes of our soldiers and their families must prevail over other considerations.

And, there are some soldiers and families who have been willing to share images of their sacrifice with us.

Matthew Hoh, Bless You for Setting The Pace

Cross-posted at Daily Kos, Prarie State Blue, MyDD, Open Left, Firedoglake.

From WaPo, October 27, 2009:

A former Marine Corps captain with combat experience in Iraq, Hoh had also served in uniform at the Pentagon, and as a civilian in Iraq and at the State Department. By July, he was the senior U.S. civilian in Zabul province, a Taliban hotbed.

But last month, in a move that has sent ripples all the way to the White House, Hoh, 36, became the first U.S. official known to resign in protest over the Afghan war, which he had come to believe simply fueled the insurgency.

“I have lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States’ presence in Afghanistan,” he wrote Sept. 10 in a four-page letter to the department’s head of personnel. “I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy, but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and to what end.”

Ike Skelton Pushes For More War in Afghanistan

Cross-posted at Dkos, MyDD, OpenLeft, and FDL.


In today’s WaPo, Ike Skelton, Chair of the House Armed Forces Committee, teamed up with everyone’s favorite former Democrat, Joe Lieberman, on an op-ed for more war in Afghanistan called Don’t Settle for Stalemate in Afghanistan.

The president was right to call the war in Afghanistan “a war of necessity.” Now it is time to treat it as such and commit the decisive force that will allow Gen. McChrystal to break the Taliban’s momentum as quickly as possible.


Here at home, we must stabilize public support by convincing an increasingly skeptical American people that the Afghan war is in fact winnable.

.     .

It comes as no surprise that Ike and Joe are in favor of treating our Armed Forces to more $#!t sandwiches and crap burgers in Afghanistan.  Ike and Joe have been talking it up for quite a while.

The Cost of War: Eyes Wide Open exhibit on the Ellipse, Oct 3 & 4

Cross-posted at Daily Kos, MyDD, and Open Left.


See below for how you can aid this project.


On the weekend of October 3rd and 4th, the American Friends Service Committee, and Military Families Speak Out, are sponsoring the Eyes Wide Open exhibit, which will be the first such exhibit showing the cost of war in Afghanistan.

A pair of boots representing each service member who has died as a result of military operations in Afghanistan will be displayed on the Ellipse in Washington, D.C., 837 officially identified to date at the Washington Post’s Faces of the Fallen site.  Shoes representing civilian deaths will also be exhibited.

Wouldya get on a bus with Palin, Rove, Kristol, McCain, Lieberman, and Graham?


Cross-posted at Dkos and MyDD


We can christen this bus the We Want Obama To Ramp It Up In Afghan Straight Talk Express.

Senators McCain, Graham and Lieberman want you to know that

We are confident that not only is it winnable, but that we have no choice. We must prevail in Afghanistan.


At last, we have the right strategy and the civilian and military leaders on the ground in Afghanistan to carry it out. This is a must-win war. And now is the time to commit the decisive military force necessary to prevail.

And, you TRUST these nice folks, right?

Sunday is Gold Star Mother’s Day


Cross-posted at Daily Kos and MyDD


The last Sunday in September, according to federal statute, is Gold Star Mother’s Day:

(a) Designation.- The last Sunday in September is Gold Star Mother’s Day.

(b) Proclamation.- The President is requested to issue a proclamation calling on United States Government officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings, and the people of the United States to display the flag and hold appropriate meetings at homes, churches, or other suitable places, on Gold Star Mother’s Day as a public expression of the love, sorrow, and reverence of the people for Gold Star Mothers.

For those who do not know, a Gold Star mom is one who has lost a son or daughter in military service.

I was reminded of this mostly overlooked solemn occasion when I checked the VFW wall calendar which hangs in my kitchen.

Arlen Specter Questions Afghan War Necessity


Cross-posted at Daily Kos and MyDD.


Senator Specter addressed the floor yesterday about his letters to the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.  (This is what I get for flipping on C-SPAN late at night!  ; – )

U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding his concerns about sending additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan without greater clarification and assurances that an increase in force is “indispensable” to the defeat of al Qaida and homeland security

McCain-Lieberman-Graham urge Obama for more war in Afghan


Cross-Posted at Dkos…

Also cross-posted at MyDD and Openleft.


In the Wall Street Journal on September 13, the two Repubs and one former Democrat wholeheartedly endorsed sending more of our troops to eat $#!t sandwiches in Afghanistan.

We are confident that not only is it winnable, but that we have no choice. We must prevail in Afghanistan.


However, we need more than the right team and the right strategy. This team must also have the resources it needs to succeed-including a significant increase in U.S. forces.

Former CIA Station Chiefs Agree On Afghanistan



This is a live blog from the front porch at Sen. Dick Durbin’s office in Springfield, Illinois. See the last paragraph for details about the location.    

Posted at Daily Kos, Docudharma, MyDD, and OpenLeft.



It doesn’t matter whether you like or dislike the CIA.  (Personally, I view the professional gathering and analysis of information about military adversaries as a crucial, non-debatable function.)  But a person doesn’t become a CIA station chief by some kind of dumb accident.  You have to be smart, and very capable.

And here’s three former station chiefs who served in Afghanistan and Pakistan who explain why our large scale military occupation in Afghan is dead wrong.

It’s not just me, Senator Durbin.



This is a live blog from the front porch at Sen. Dick Durbin’s office in Springfield, Illinois. See the last paragraph for details about the location.

Cross-posted at DailyKos.…



It’s not just me.  Lots of people are questioning the premises for expending our troops’ lives, plus hundreds of billion of dollars, in Afghanistan.

The Washington Post and ABC News released results of a poll of Americans last week.  

To question #26,  All in all, considering the costs to the United States versus the benefits to the United States, do you think the war in Afghanistan was worth fighting, or not?   51%  responded that it was not worth fighting.

Live from Sen. Durbin’s front porch re Afghan

Note from the essayist:  Cross-posted at Daily Kos.  YELL LOUDER!  and  Stand. The. F. Up!  at your Congress Critters’ offices this August!

The live on-porch blogging was done from approximately 1:30 pm to 4 pm CDT.

As I wrote in a diary last week, Sen. Dick Durbin has an office in Springfield, Illinois, in the Lincoln Home National Historic Site.  It’s a beautiful little park full of historic Lincoln-era homes, owned by the Dept. of the Interior, and managed by the National Park Service.  Sen. Durbin has rented office space in the George Shutt House since Sen. Durbin was a member of the House of Representatives.  As is shown on the bottom of his Senate web site home page, the address is 525 S. 8th St, Springfield IL 62703.

I’m blogging away, right now, on the right side of the porch as you face it.

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