Bill Moyers Journal: BODY OF WAR

Bill Moyers interviews former talk show host Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro on the true cost of war and their documentary, BODY OF WAR, depicting the moving story of one veteran dealing with the aftermath of war.

With extensive excerpts from the film, the filmmakers talk about Iraq war veteran Tomas Young who was shot and paralyzed less than a week into his tour of duty.

Three years in the making, BODY OF WAR tells the poignant tale of the young man’s journey from joining the service after 9/11 to fight in Afghanistan, to living with devastating wounds after being deployed to Iraq instead.

from www.pbs.org posted with vodpod

Go here for part 2.

“They volunteered..”

via: ABC News

In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Vice President Dick Cheney was asked what effect the grim milestone of at least 4,000 U.S. deaths in the five-year Iraq war might have on the nation.

Noting the burden placed on military families, the vice president said the biggest burden is carried by President George W. Bush, who made the decision to commit US troops to war, and reminded the public that U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan volunteered for duty.

The president carries the biggest burden, obviously,” Cheney said. “He’s the one who has to make the decision to commit young Americans, but we are fortunate to have a group of men and women, the all-volunteer force, who voluntarily put on the uniform and go in harm’s way for the rest of us.”

Read entire interview.

The president carries the biggest burden?? Tell that to the soldiers that are being sent back for their 3rd, 4th, 5th ++ tour, leaving their families behind trying to get by without them. Tell that to the soldiers coming home with missing limbs or with traumatic brain injury – and their family members who will be caring for them the rest of their lives.

I don’t know what to say. I’m so disgusted.

Racism bubbling up

I believe we’re going to see an increasingly open and nasty expression of racism in the next few months, particularly if Barack Obama wins the Democratic nomination. In the mainstream press, it will be heavily disguised with code words and innuendo and any criticism of the behavior will be greeted with a “What? Me? Don’t be silly. You people are so sensitive!” The really nasty stuff will appear on the Internet and be referenced repeatedly by the Right. Glenn Greenwald has a pretty good example; read his original post and all the updates here.

Immediately beneath that righteous celebration of Easter is a somewhat less charitable post purporting to take up Barack Obama’s invitation to speak about race. After listing a few black entertainers and sports figures he says he likes, here are some of the thoughts Instapunk offers on race:

On the other hand, I am sick to death of black people as a group. The truth. That is part of the conversation Obama is asking for, isn’t it? I live in an eastern state almost exactly on the fabled Mason-Dixon line. Every day I see young black males wearing tee shirts down to their knees — and jeans belted just above their knees. I’m an old guy. I want to smack them. All of them. They are egregious stereotypes. It’s impossible not to think the unthinkable N-Word when they roll up beside you at a stoplight in their trashed old Hondas with 19-inch spinner wheels and rap recordings that shake the foundations of the buildings. . . . Here’s the dirty secret all of us know and no one will admit to. There ARE niggers. Black people know it. White people know it. And only black people are allowed to notice and pronounce the truth of it. Which would be fine. Except that black people are not a community but a political party. They can squabble with each other in caucus but they absolutely refuse to speak the truth in public. And this is the single biggest obstacle to healing the racial divide in this country.

It doesn’t get any more pleasant, but the analysis that Greenwald and people commenting on his blog is excellent and well worth the time. And in Update II, there is an example of that “subtle” racism evident in the mainstream:

UPDATE II: Instapunk’s far-from-uncommon thoughts on race illustrate another significant point. What explains the media’s Obama/Wright fixation while virtually ignoring McCain’s embrace of people like Rod Parsley and John Hagee is the assumption that the controversial behavior of any one black person is easily attributed to black people generally, while white political leaders aren’t held accountable for the views of others solely by virtue of shared race. That dynamic is what explains this — Tim Russert interviewing Barack Obama, January 22, 2006:

MR. RUSSERT: I want to talk a little bit about the language people are using in the politics now of 2006, and I refer you to some comments that Harry Belafonte made yesterday. He said that Homeland Security had become the new Gestapo. What do you think of that?

MR. RUSSERT: Mr. Belafonte went to Venezuela, as you well know, some time ago and met with the Hugo Chavez, leader of that country, and said some things that obviously were noted in this country and around the world. Let’s listen, and come back and talk about it. . . . Is it appropriate to call the President of the United States “the greatest terrorist in the world”?

Barack Obama has nothing to do with Harry Belafonte and yet, out of the blue, Tim Russert demanded that he opine on Belafonte’s statements — just as Russert demanded that Obama renounce Louis Farrakhan’s. Here, to my knowledge, is the only other time Russert ever asked anyone about the statements of Harry Belafonte — Tim Russert interviewing Colin Powell, May 4, 2003: