There were 8,920,000 military veterans in the United States as of last June, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Sometime last Sunday or Monday, hours before Veterans Day began, that number dropped by one, when Tomas Young died at home in Seattle, with his wife by his side. He was one of many soldiers who were sent to Iraq and were grievously injured there.
The public may know more about Tomas Young than about most veterans, thanks to the remarkable documentary Body of War, directed and produced by legendary talk-show host Phil Donahue and filmmaker Ellen Spiro. His journey, his struggle and now his death follow an arc along the tragic U.S. wars and occupations in this post-9/11 world.
This four-video series of the Rally to Stop Harper's War, organized by Toronto Coalition to Stop the War, focuses on specific talks.
Sid Lacombe discusses the Ottawa shootings, increased repression of dissent and the "Australia Model."
Carolyn Egan discusses the dangers of Islamophobia ,linking the war to how Islamophobia played itself out in Ausma Malik's campaign for school board trustee.
Rajean, President of Ryerson Student Union, and James Campbell, a teacher gave their views on why educators should oppose the war.
And finally, Ali Mallah talked of the United States' collusion with the dictators they sought to overthrow.
In her epic, Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Guns of August, historian Barbara Tuchman detailed how the First World War began in 1914, and how the belligerence, vanity and poor policies of powerful leaders led millions to gory deaths in that four-year conflagration. Before people realized world wars had to be numbered, the First World War was called "The Great War" or "The War to End All Wars," which it wasn't. It was the first modern war with massive, mechanized slaughter on land, sea and in the air. We can look at that war in retrospect, now 100 years after it started, as if through a distant mirror. The reflection, where we are today, is grim from within the greatest war-making nation in human history, the United States.
In this skill-testing exercise, see if you can spot the one who doesn't belong:
- Patrick Brazeau
- Mike Duffy
- Douglas Roche
- Pamela Wallin
Long-time Ottawa observers will have figured out that Douglas Roche is the one least likely to appear in an RCMP line-up. Certainly he has few of the behavioural traits we've come to associate with Conservative senators (even though he was one from 1998 to 2004).
There are two things you need to know about Tony Benn. The first is that he always saw his primary role, as a politician, as that of an educator who was engaged in developing popular democratic ambitions and capacities. The second is that, again unlike most politicians, he actually took democracy seriously in terms of its potential for changing the world. These two rare qualities explain why he was among very few political leaders of the 20th century who became more rather than less radical over the course of their careers.
The Dogs are Eating them Now
Canada will officially end its military engagement in Afghanistan in March 2014 after losing 158 Canadian Forces personnel and spending billions of dollars on the war effort. So, was it worth it?
You won't find the answer in Graeme Smith's award-winning retrospective The Dogs Are Eating Them Now on his time as a foreign correspondent for the Globe and Mail. In fact, you'll only find more questions that beg for answers -- and our collective attention.
The likelihood of peace in Syria remains distant, as the civil war there rages on. But the grim prospect of a U.S. strike has been forestalled, if only temporarily, preventing a catastrophic deepening of the crisis there. The American people stood up for peace, and for once, the politicians listened. Across the political spectrum, citizens in the U.S. weighed in against the planned military strike. Members of Congress, Democrat and Republican, were inundated with calls and emails demanding they vote "no" on any military authorization.