One Place to Cut Defense Spending – Dependents

imagesShould tax-payers be footing the bill to send dependents and their belongings over-seas to join their active-duty spouses on two-years assignments? This paper examines the question and demands the pentagon audit release the figures. Continue reading →

War in Algeria: Remembering the Harkis – a dark page in French colonial history.

Paris, France. If there is one thing you did not want to be in France in 1944, it was a suspected Nazi collaborator or a woman who slept with a German. In 1962, the last thing you wanted to be in Algeria was a Harki; an Algerian who fought against the independence of his country and in favor of French rule.

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US Elections – Why the Vietnam War is so important today.

UnknownA lot has been made of Donald Trump’s refusal to serve in the military during the Vietnam War. As a wealthy young man, he probably knew much better than we Grunts did, what that war was all about.  At the same time, when Muhammad Ali died this year, little was made in the mainstream media about his refusal to serve when he said: “I got nothing against the Viet Cong. No Vietnamese ever called me nigger.”  1  The major reason for this is the US has never drawn the right conclusions on that war even though the military did. Continue reading →

Charlie and the Banlieues

They came in their hundreds of thousands. Jews, Muslims (although fewer than hoped for), Christians and atheists: Students, workers, the unemployed and the bourgeoisie. They said “I am Charlie.” “I am Ahmed.” (the policeman executed at Charlie Hebdo). “I am a Jew.” Or, they just said nothing.

They were anarchists, communists and ultra nationalists, social democrats and conservatives. There were also islamophobes and anti-Semites. The one thing that united them all was their refusal to yield to fear and their desire to keep the freedom to think what they want and to be able to say it in public without facing obscurantist violence. This coming together of those who want the right to disagree with each is extraordinary. France, which gave us the enlightenment, 1789 and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is still Une Grande Nation.

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Norway killings and our selective outrage

What happened in Oslo Friday is a tragedy but it is no different than what is happening in the world on a daily basis.  What is different is it happened to blond-haired-blue-eyed kids.  What I find outrageous is that all of a sudden we are shocked in our comfortable Western countries. There are some deaths that are worth more than others in our selective outrage. Let me explain briefly. Continue reading →

Libya and NATO’s ‘mauvaise foi’

Mauvaise foi: that is what the French call a bare-faced lie you tell to a person you know is aware you are lying but you pretend everything is up front and normal. This year, in Cote d’Ivoire and Libya, the French have demonstrated they are the masters at mauvaise foi. Continue reading →

Terrorist Trespassers. I’m so scared.

Oh my God. He wrote words on a piece of paper ! Ah, but what words? Terrorist words! Words like ‘Taliban’, ‘Al Qaeda’ and ‘Mujahid’. He must be a terrorist. Quick, everybody run. Quick, pass new laws taking away more of our freedoms. We are not safe. Continue reading →