|Qais Usyan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images|
Rep. Barbara Lee and colleagues, including both Maine's reps Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree, have sponsored a resolution calling to limit funding to the rapid, safe and responsible return of all U.S. troops and "Defense" Department contractors. What, just as constructing an even bigger, maximum security prison at Bagram Air Base was getting underway? I applaud the effort that HR 780 represents, but I'm betting those who profit from building the infrastructure of occupation have a lot more influence in Congress than 69% of my fellow citizens. (Let's call Congress anyway: 202-224-
The alleged lone gunman of Kandahar got a lot of press -- once they had whisked his wife and kids on base, shut down public access to her blog about life as a military spouse, and tried to erase Robert Bales from the Internet. That may have soured some hearts and minds here at home, along with the creeping suspicion that he wasn't acting alone, and that the government is lying to us about it.
It's also hard not to notice the increasingly frequent attacks on NATO soldiers by men wearing the uniforms of our supposed partner the Afghan army. Or maybe "Green on Blue" violence is just being reported more in the mainstream press these days?
The narrative of the lone gunman who has had enough and snaps and goes on a killing rampage was eloquently questioned by Chris Hedges in a recent AlterNet piece "Murder Is Not An Anomoly in War". It is an essay update to the thesis of his book War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning, as applied to both soldiers and the journalists who cover their stories. When does killing stop being seen as an anomoly, and start being seen as business as usual?
General John Allen, commander of both U.S. and NATO forces as quoted by CBS reporting on the results of their poll:
"I worry that the complications from these recent events can distract us from the larger strategic imperative of this campaign," Allen said.Or maybe that should read the larger $trategic imperative.