Over There. Over Here.

The Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography for 2012 goes to Massoud Hossaini for this photograph.

The Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for 2012 goes to the Denver Post’s Craig F. Walker for this series.

I’ll save for another post what these images say — again — of the permanent war brigade in our polity, and especially for those members of 51st Chickenhawk Division whose fighting position is behind a laptop in some LA coffee shop.

That is all.

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83 replies
  1. 1
    John M. Burt says:

    That poor little girl. For the rest of her life, she’s going to be “Not that Tarana Akbari, surely?”

  2. 2
    JPL says:

    After I wipe my eyes, I’ll let you know how I feel Mitt thinking his sons patriotic while campaigning in 2008 for their dad. Maybe I’ll even take the time look up the exact quote.
    Well never mind ..just f..k him with a warmblood.

  3. 3
    JPL says:

    Here’s Romney’s answer to a question about why his sons were not in the military..

    “one of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping to get me elected.”

    Please edit my post above because I wasn’t be king to warmbloods.

  4. 4
    Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn says:

    I thought everyone with a laptop in the LA coffee shops was working on their screenplays? Or have things changed that much in the last ten years since I lived there (working on my screenplays in coffee shops, natch)?

  5. 5
    Wag says:

    This is the second Pulitzer in 3 years for Craig Walker. His first Pulitzer was for this series.

    He is an enormous asset to the Denver Post.

  6. 6
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn: Thinking Breitbart’s chalk outline and the many Breitbart mini-mes.

  7. 7
    The Bobs says:

    The PTSD story is brutal. They will continue to give him ineffective patented drugs when unpatented drugs like MDMA are vastly more effective. But hey, somebody needs to make money off this kid’s suffering, it’s a free market after all.

  8. 8
    xochi says:

    …and the Pulitzer Prize for fiction goes to…


    What a joke.

  9. 9
    Arclite says:

    Hey Tom,

    I thought you would appreciate this reinterpretation of classic artwork.

    Who knew that Darth Vader was in the Last Supper?

  10. 10
    BGinCHI says:

    Jesus Christ. That first photo.

    That little kid upside down and looking dead is going to haunt the hell out of me. I immediately thought of my little guy and how horrible it would be to lose him any way, but especially like that. Words fail.

  11. 11
    LanceThruster says:

    I’ll save for another post what these images say—again—of the permanent war brigade in our polity, and especially for those members of 51st Chickenhawk Division whose fighting position is behind a laptop in some LA coffee shop.

    That is all.

    Actually, that sounds like pretty hazardous duty for the Fighting 51st as they have infiltrated deep within the librul heart of darkness (Lost Angeles) much like Sarah “The Warrior Princess” Palin did recently within the bowels of The Today Show, also, too.

    Mockery aside, all the pics, particularly the one of 12 year old Tanara Akbari, are pretty nightmare inducing.

    A bit of personal history…

    My friend’s son was with Marines 1/5 for the fall of Baghdad. When I asked him what his experience over there was, the first words out of his mouth were, “We killed people for no reason.” He went on to relate how their checkpoints would regularly open up on approaching vehicles that often were full of nothing but women and children because maybe they didn’t slow down enough or heed hand signals properly. He also had to render aid to these same occupants with wounded children screaming in anquish and terror next to their dead or dying mothers, aunts, and/or sisters. He told of a six year old girl with the back of her skull blown off by a rifle round stumbling about unaware of anything but her dead mother on the ground.

    He said he learned first hand just how much we were all lied to about Iraq. His attitude was, “Support the troops, but not the mission” (this sentiment gets regularly mocked on right wing sites). Several of his friends I met at his homecoming never came back from their next tour of duty.

    This former Marine is now suffering from PTSD. I asked if the VA covered his treatment. He said he gets ZERO help/treatment from the VA because they arbitrarily designate a % of level of affliction and his % (60%?) is below the threshhold for treatment.

  12. 12
    Calouste says:


    That was because Paul Ryan was too late with submitting his work “Budget”, and the jury thought it was so far out in regards to fiction that they couldn’t award the prize to anyone else.

  13. 13
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    If you look at the Pulitzer committee, it’s hard to take the awards seriously anymore. I mean the Wanker of the Decade is on there this year as well as Paul Gigot and the biggest piece of Villager shit, Jim VandeHei.

    And yet, it’s hard to argue with the photo awards, that’s riveting stuff.

    The chickenhawks, starting with Mittens and his family, need to live, unguarded in several neighborhoods in Baghdad or Kabul for a couple of years and then see how they feel about sending the poor, aka the Economic Draft, to fight.

    Assholes all.

  14. 14
    rikyrah says:

    those images were powerful

  15. 15
    LanceThruster says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage:

    Here’s my idea to restore the “shared sacrifice” needed to ensure that hawks have some skin in the game too

    (from another blog comment)

    re-instituted draft not enuff – we need to up the ante

    Rush Limbaugh used his anal cysts to stay out of harm’s way. I would create a lottery for the rabid chicken hawks whether in politics or media, and those voting for the chicken hawks…but not for service necessarily (though one’s volunteer service immediately exempts his or her family).

    Consider this.

    There was that Star Trek episode where the warring subgroups on this planet sanitized the warfare in order to eliminate the destruction by computerizing it and having the victims report to be eliminated.

    What I propose would be similar. What caused me to think of it was all those “we thank you for your service and sacrifice” platitudes to troops or their surviving or suffering family members from those most definitely not in anyone’s crosshairs. All those cheerleading for war would submit to a lottery themselves. The first level would be to determine who of the blowhards’ family (over 17 – the age of enlistment with a parent or guardian’s note) in addition to themselves the lottery would include, and the second level would be what traumatization they would incur (if any). The odds of getting any given “assigned” injury would be based on the %’s of what actual combat troops were incurring, from PTSDs (could be induced by a “Clockwork Orange” type immersion/exposure to traumatizing stimuli), to any Purple Heart or negligence type wound or injury (i.e. KBR shower electrocutions – Cheney’s so-called “other priorities” won’t mean sh!t) up to but excluding actual death, though combat KIAs and MIAs would be factored into the odds (we want to be fair, don’t we?). Second chance drawings would be awarded to the most vocal and/or clueless blowhards based on a formula that factored in forced multiple tours of duty, overused and overextended National Guard units, wagging the dog wars, and wars for Israel, and the callous deployment of poorly supplied troops (with bonus penalties for doing so at the enrichment of crooked contractors – see above).

    Finally, bonus penalties for egregious war crimes committed by our side (and not truly “fog of war” and dumb mistakes by kids without much life experiences put in situations that anyone would have difficulty navigating). That means those whose number was called might be water-boarded, put in naked piles while being humiliated (bonus upside for them as they might actually enjoy it), or watching their children being tortured.

    Human sociopathic scum like Bush, Cheney, Beck, Limbaugh, Rumsfeld, et al instead of just claiming such sacrifice was absolutely necessary for the safety and well-being of the nation and its citizenry could actually confirm that by risking/wagering their own safety and that of their families so that could nobly share in that same sacrifice (or at least possible risk of it) themselves. Any cheating or shenanigans from them would result in the execution of *all* on their first level list, no exceptions.

    Hey Mitt! You still want to go to war with Iran now that your five non-Military sons get to roll the dice with you?!? But before you answer, try reading Dalton Trumbo’s “Johnny Got His Gun” (or the movie if it’s Dubya or Bachmann or Palin we are talking about). Sure you got $250 million dollars but maybe now you got no mouth to scream. I guess you *really* felt it was worth it!

    Pro-war Dems get in on this too. And the same plan goes into effect even if it’s agreed the war is just and necessary. That’s the cruel and destructive nature of actual war. Just like that Star Trek episode meant to highlight.

  16. 16
    trollhattan says:

    What a horrifying photo. Why must any twelve-year-old experience such a thing? Afghanistan is utterly “unfixible.”


  17. 17
    rlrr says:


    Now imagine the outrage if a Democrat had said that…

  18. 18
    LanceThruster says:


    Truly gag-inducing vacuousness.

  19. 19
    rlrr says:


    The Romney family, in general, lacks a history of military service…

  20. 20
    AnnaN says:

    Shit, Houssaini’s photo is horrifying.

  21. 21
    trollhattan says:


    My heartful wishes that your friend’s son gets the help he needs. I fear that the tendency of certain commanders to bury PTSD is more widespread than we’d care to believe. Our veterans deserve far better.

    A friend’s son was patched together physically after being gravely injured in Iraq, but fell into substance abuse that, eventually, led to his murder. He was only 20 when nearly killed the first time.


  22. 22
    Sly says:

    And Wanker of the Decade went to the inevitable victor.

    The state of the world is what it is in large part because people in positions of great power think this absurd buffoon of man is a Very Serious Person. This hasn’t actually been the Eschaton Decade, it’s been the Tom Friedman Decade. And the next one probably will be too.
    We’re fucked.

    The nastiest look I ever got was when, in a conversation with a tepidly liberal (I think “totebagger” has become the accepted vernacular) in-law at Thanksgiving a few years ago, I said that The World is Flat is the Battlefield Earth of non-fiction books.

  23. 23
    Tom Levenson says:


    I said that The World is Flat is the Battlefield Earth of non-fiction books.

    I plan to steal this.

  24. 24
    LanceThruster says:


    Thank you for including the story link. The true toll of war on all whom it touches should never be swept under the rug.

    Chickenhawks are masters of shielding themselves from the agony of violence (though they seem to revel in it if inflicted on “the bad guys”).

    In reality, I suspect they’d react much like Himmler touring a death camp and wretch their collective cowardly guts out.

  25. 25
    Roger Moore says:

    If you want something amusingly similar, you might want to check out “In Smog and Thunder“.

  26. 26
    noodler says:

    Fantastic post Tom. Thanks. We’ve been at war far too long, and the PTSD article hits close to home. Had not seen it before. Have some friends dealing with similar issues, while my deployments were not as near the front lines. This will be with us for some time to come.

  27. 27
    BGinCHI says:

    Wanker of the Decade is the Mustache of Understanding. Atrios is devastating. You have to watch that video he embeds of TF with Charlie “Hip Flask” Rose.

    Friedman just has to play the father in the movie version of “Arrested Development.”

  28. 28
    Aaron Baker says:

    ” . . .and especially for those members of 51st Chickenhawk Division whose fighting position is behind a laptop in some LA coffee shop.”

    Hey, don’t mock them; carpal tunnel is no laughing matter.

  29. 29
    Amir Khalid says:

    True story: I bought The World Is Flat in hardcover, rather than wait for the paperback, because the Science and Technology minister* (who regularly saw me among the press at his events) personally recommended it to me. Chapter 1, I was disappointed to find, was a rehash of the same stuff I’d been writing about at my newspaper for the past dozen years. I still haven’t got to chapter 2. I’m not missing anything, am I?

    (* Of Malaysia.)

  30. 30
    Fwiffo says:

    Goddammit, every time I see some smarmy, piece of shit warmonger on TV beating the drums for the next opportunity to bomb brown people, I just want to grab them by the collar and punch their stupid face over and over until my hand is nothing but a stump. It boggles the mind how people can advocate so casually for something that kills so many and ruins those that survive.

  31. 31
    Satanicpanic says:

    @Amir Khalid: It’s sitting on my shelf as well. Lost story, but I didn’t buy it or bother to read it. At the bottom, so far no one has noticed it and tried to discuss it, thankfully.

  32. 32
    Schlemizel says:

    ‘I’m just feeling guilty about the things I did. I was a brutal killer, and I rejoiced in it. I was bred to be a killer, and I did it. Now I’m trying to adapt and feel human again. But to feel human, I feel guilty. I did horrible things to people… That’s why I can’t eat: I feel guilty, I feel sick.’

    jesus h christ on a fucking cracker what we do to our kids when we decide to sacrifice them to the gods of war, I’m going to be sick

  33. 33
    Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn says:


    …and the Pulitzer Prize for fiction goes to…

    Fox News.

    (According to Andy Borowitz, anyway.)

  34. 34
    Schlemizel says:

    My kid has been to VA twice for help & been shut out both times. He gave up trying to get help from them at all. Fortunately he does have private health insurance, unfortunately his bullshit “warrior mentality” prevents him from actually getting the types of treatments that might help him. He will not talk to a non-vet about what happened & has only told me bits & pieces. So he is functional and not a threat to himself or his family but he displays all the anger and isolation my WWII survivor uncles did – that is not healthy for him or his family.

  35. 35
    Raven says:

    @Schlemizel: Um, yes. You just figuring that out?

  36. 36
  37. 37
    nellcote says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage:

    and the biggest piece of Villager shit, Jim VandeHei.

    I guess that explains Politico scoring a Pulitzer.



  38. 38
    Arclite says:

    @Roger Moore: Heh, that’s pretty awesome.

  39. 39
  40. 40


    I am with you.

    Hey Tom, a heads up or warning on the graphic images of dead kids would have been nice. The thought of what is happening there haunts me enough, now I have a real image to go with my imagination.

  41. 41

    @Satanicpanic: My copy of The World is Flat came in an actual totebag. (Conference swag…)

  42. 42
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @Fwiffo: Brown people don’t really count.

  43. 43
    Calouste says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    You don’t have to explain the Science and Technology Minister is the one from Malaysia. We know the United States will never have one.

  44. 44
    Catsy says:


    He went on to relate how their checkpoints would regularly open up on approaching vehicles that often were full of nothing but women and children because maybe they didn’t slow down enough or heed hand signals properly.

    Every time I hear this kind of deadly, tragically common misunderstanding described, I think back to the nice Japanese woman I used to be in a relationship with. Early in our relationship when my grasp of her language and culture was weak, she made this gesture that looked like she was shooing me away, with her palm down and her hand flapping at the wrist. So I took a step back. So she did it again. Turned out that this particular gesture, in Japan, means “come here” and is their equivalent of our crooking a finger at someone or beckoning towards us with our palm up.

    How many people died because too many soldiers weren’t taught the local phrase or body language for “halt”?

  45. 45
    JPL says:

    @rlrr: In fairness, Mitt was doing missionary work during the Vietnam War..(snark) but Obama didn’t serve then either. See both sides do it.
    At least Mitt held up signs in support of the Vietnam War so there’s that. I doubt the President did.

    Now can I have a job on Fox News?

  46. 46
    Raven says:

    @JPL: IN fucking France no less.

  47. 47

    @Calouste: If we did, odds-on he would in fact be a minister.

  48. 48
    Raven says:

    @Catsy: I was explaining that to my wife just the other day. Before we shipped to Vietnam they had these big sessions in the post theater showing us cultural differences. Vietnamese men hold hands when they walk down the street (or they did in the 60’s anyway) and that was one that got a special alert for the troops!

  49. 49
    Catsy says:

    @Amir Khalid: You mean to tell me you haven’t seen Matt Taibbi’s epic takedown of Friedman and Flat?

    (repost: original link is defunct)

    It’s one of the greatest things in the history of ever.

  50. 50
    kindness says:

    Off thread.

    Have you seen the video of the dog who is able to jump rope Double Dutch over at Sully’s? It’s his Mental Health break slot and it’s really a nice thing to see.

  51. 51
    BGinCHI says:

    @kindness: That sounds like an analogy for Friedman’s work: the dog who can jump rope.

  52. 52
    Narcissus says:

    blood for the blood god

  53. 53
    catclub says:

    I think Charlie Pierce looked for the worst in Cohen’s article:

    I think no one but Charlie will see “Lying isn’t a sin. It’s a business plan. ” as a compliment.

    I take this as impressive that some one besides Rachel Maddow is straight up calling Mitt Romney a liar.

    Cohen may still be a giant wanker, but take what good you can get.

  54. 54
    rlrr says:


    Obama avoided service in Vietnam by choosing to be born in 1961. Why isn’t someone investigating this?

  55. 55
    Schlemizel says:

    @Raven:Um, no but when you get gut punched it reminds you how that feels and is as likely to make you throw up as the first time 45 years ago

  56. 56
    Schlemizel says:

    Oh but we might under a President Santorum – it would be the minister from his church & his job would be to see that science and technology conforms to his understanding of biblical requirements

  57. 57
    Schlemizel says:

    How do we know he was born in 61? Nobody has seen his birth certificate!

  58. 58
    Raven says:

    @Schlemizel: Didn’t mean it liked it sounded. I’m sorry to hear about your son. My old man didn’t talk to me about WWII until I came home myself and, by then, I didn’t want to hear it. The entire self-help movement grew out of Nam Vet rap groups (started by the VVAW) because we didn’t relate well to others. It’s a story as old as war and I hope he can work through it. Takes time.

  59. 59
    Amir Khalid says:

    These little things to watch out for are all over the world. Hand-holding between straight guys is also common in much of the world, including Southeast Asia. In the Middle East, a straight guy will greet his buddy with a kiss on both cheeks (of the face, that is). And have you seen some of the more, um, exuberant goal celebrations in European and Latin American football?

    More seriously: It’s been reported that NATO military personnel deployed in Afghanistan have remarked on the shocking bigotry toward Afghans often shown by their American colleagues. I would hope, and not just for America’s sake, that its military makes the effort to educate its personnel (enlisted and officers alike) on why this is wrong; on how it betrays American values, and defeats the political and diplomatic objectives behind American deployments abroad.

  60. 60
    Raven says:

    @Amir Khalid: The military may make the effort, or a symbolic one, but it’s hardly enough. Combine the cultural differences and the violent context of the situation and nasty shit is going to happen. Of course the photo is of the aftermath of a suicide bomber but one could argue it wouldn’t have happened if we were not there. Doesn’t matter to the dead.

  61. 61
    Bunt says:

    Sometimes it’s so very hard to wrap my mound around PTSD. I don’t have any symptoms, but I know plenty that do. And the differences between what we experienced can be large or small, there seems to be no way to tell who is susceptible. I do know that I’ve received my share of late night gun in hand, bottle of Jack empty phone calls from old friends who only get the therapy they need by rehashing details of whatever it is we experienced together, just seems so backwards to me. I will never forgive anyone who had a hand in the travesty that was Iraq. I only hope that by the time my generation who fought there is in charge, we don’t perpetuate the same shit. Good luck with that right?

  62. 62
    Amir Khalid says:

    Taibbi pretty much confirms the impression I got from chapter 1. That’ll teach me to listen to Cabinet ministers.

  63. 63
    kdaug says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Science and Technology minister

    I am seriously thinking of changing my handle.

    10-4, good buddy.

  64. 64
    Roger Moore says:

    I got to go to the actual show at a couple of different museums around here back while it was still an active project. It’s far better in person.

  65. 65
    Stooleo says:

    O.T. The New Hampshire Gazette has an awesome Chicken Hawk hall of shame. Douche bag extraordinaire and fake tough guy Ted Nugent decided not to man up when his country called. I hope the Secret Service throw his ass in jail.

  66. 66
    Roger Moore says:


    Obama avoided service in Vietnam by choosing to be born in 1961.

    Only if you believe that forgery of a birth certificate. Wake up sheeple!

  67. 67
    Sly says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    My reference to Battlefield Earth is that The World is Flat can be summed up as “bad ideas written terribly.” Historians sometimes fall into the trap of historicism, wherein history itself is given a sense of organic destiny above and beyond the agency of human beings, and that destiny is usually derived from the cultural baggage of the historian doing it. Everything is leading inexorably to somewhere, and that somewhere is where the historian wants it to go. Shitty historians do it a lot, but even professionals are not immune.

    The World is Flat is, at its core, badly written and poorly argued post-modern historicism. Everything is leading to a neo-liberal, globalized order and there is nothing that anyone could do about it. Not that any sane person would want to, of course, because neo-liberalism is completely awesome, amrite? What’s more awesome than a Pizza Hut billboard overlooking a gated office park in Bangalore where entry level tech jobs have been outsourced to Phds in computer science for a fifth of the prevailing salary they would have received stateside? Globalization 3.0!

    My real dilemma is that I don’t know what I find more contemptible: that a man spouting obnoxious ideas has such an intense following among the political class, or that the same man is just a terrible, awful, incomprehensibly crappy writer. Layers upon mixed layers of strained metaphors combined with corporate quasi-technospeak. Every book by Tom Friedman is written like some junior analyst at the marketing department of Apple was asked to find out how the world worked after being given an unlimited corporate expense account and a heroic dose of peyote.

  68. 68
    LanceThruster says:


    I hope for the best for him and you all. In my friend’s son’s case (Adam), he related accounts that made me wince only hearing about it. He is a pretty well adjusted young man but as your observations show, being immersed in it changes you, regardless even of whether it can be designated a “good war” or not.

    What bravado he showed in discussing it seemed to be a partial attempt to mask the more horrific aspects of the reality. He showed actual courage in combat recieving a meritorius citation for carrying on a firefight while tending to a wounded fellow Marine who had “half his face blown off” (his words) when their Bradley was blow open by an RPG. He casually pointed out how he and that same Marine were in a screamng match that morning where he kept telling him how much he hated him for being a world-class jerk.

    I hope your kid can share his experiences with others who also need someone in the know to listen. It has the potential to bypass some of the reluntance to reach out by being “strong” for the other person.

  69. 69
    LanceThruster says:


    How tragically true. There are cultures where a nod is “no” and a head shake is “yes.”

    Who knew what they were fleeing from in their mad dash towards the American checkoints? Could an outward palm mean “this way?”

    All I know is it has to be gut-wrenching to a well adjusted individual to have to survey the extent of the consequences of the violence inflicted on innocents; particularly children.

  70. 70
    LanceThruster says:


    Great piece. Thanks for that. Oh, how I love a good (and well deserved) verbal shellacking though I myself can generally only muster a five O’clock shadow of understanding.

  71. 71
    Raven says:

    @LanceThruster: Two of my high school buddies joined the Corps together. They had a big falling out just before they left and one came home and one didn’t. The one that did faded from all previous contact with anyone I knew.

  72. 72
    LanceThruster says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Very cool site. I wonder what the LA/SF equivalent battle cry would be to KROQ radio’s Young Marquee (He was the one in Robocop who was in the fake commercial saying with a leer, “*I’d* pay a dollar for that!”) who intoned at the end of his broadcasts, “Bomb the ball bearing factories but *spare* the breweries!!”

    He autographed a Young Marquee bumpersticker for me with the sage advice, “Stay out of the Atascadero!” (a high-security Central Cal psychiatric hospital).

  73. 73
    Herbal Infusion Bagger says:

    “Mockery aside, all the pics, particularly the one of 12 year old Tanara Akbari, are pretty nightmare inducing.”

    The nightmare is seeing the small corpse of – maybe her 7-year old brother – lying inert beside her.

    The tragedy is knowing we’ll do the same thing and make the same bad choices again. And again. Because of our gnawing fear and those who would exploit it for their gain.

  74. 74
    LanceThruster says:


    Sometimes I think there can be value to the “holing up” mentality to lick wounds (at least for a period), but I also think there is a desire to be drawn out by those who really care even though they’re being told to “leave them alone.” (that is, when they haven’t completely dropped off the map in the first place).

    It is encouraging to see the understanding and compassion you’ve expressed. My sincere best wishes for best of luck to all involved.

  75. 75
    LanceThruster says:

    @Herbal Infusion Bagger:

    So very true. It’s as if one is a time traveller who can see how the future is about to unfold and can do nothing to alter it.

    “Why of course the people don’t want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don’t want war neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” ~~ Herman Goering

  76. 76
    Raven says:

    @LanceThruster: Thanks, it’s been 40 plus years so folks have settled in for the most part. My dad began to suffer what they are now calling “late onset PTSD” from his years in the Pacific in WWII so who knows what the future holds. I do think that those of us who came home and were active in our opposition to the war had somewhat of a better chance at “normalcy”. If you ever want to read something interesting pick up “Remembering Heaven’s Face” by John Balaban. He was a peace activist who went to the Nam to help badly burned children but didn’t escape the ravages of PTSD himself.

  77. 77
    Raven says:

    “if I would have gone over there, I’d have been killed, or I’d have killed, or I’d kill all the hippies in the foxholes … I would have killed everybody,” he told the Detroit Free Press in an interview published July 15, 1990″

    Yea motherfucker because all us “hippies in the foxholes” would have just folded like lawn chairs when we saw you in your feather boa.

  78. 78
    LanceThruster says:


    Much thanks for the reading recommendation. The documentary “Hearts and Minds” sticks with me where the US aviator comes to face the death and destruction he unleashed from above (he was a Tom Cruise “Maverick” archetype i.e. “I was good!”).

    The film cuts to the Vietnamese peasant whose farm was at one end of a bridge continually slated for bombing sorties.

    He plaintively asks, “You kiled my wife, my children, my livestock. What did I ever do to you?”

    I came of draft age in ’75 when Vietnam was all but over. I seriously considered enlisting but could not come to grips with the thought of being ordered to kill another human being that I could not rightfully conclude deserved killing. I think most of us could apply violence in defense of those we loved and cared about. Without such justification, our hesitation is understandably strong (at least in most people). In fact, part of the military training is to make the killing routine.

    The picture of the young Vietnamese girl running through the street after having her clothes burned off by napalm was a stark and permanent reminder to me as to the horrific violence and agony warfare brings about, justified or not.

  79. 79
    Raven says:

    @LanceThruster: Great film. There is a part in there where they interview the parents of a Marine killed in Operation Meade River. That’s where my buddy died, Nov 22, 1968.

  80. 80
    Cain says:

    It seems to me that the draft needs to be put back on the plate. Until everyone does the shared sacrifice we are going to have mistakes like Iraq. If Bush’s daughters were up for selective service, you can fucking bet that he’ll think twice about starting up a war.

    Also why the fuck is the VA being douchebags? I don’t understand why they fight PTSD? Surely our soldiers are worth our tax dollars to get them better? You can’t seriously say that they aren’t worth it..

  81. 81
    samara morgan says:

    heres my candidate for the photo series of the year.

    The trouble with some kinds of warfare (and be certain the Tyrant knew this, because it is implicit in his lesson) is that they destroy all moral decency in susceptible types. Warfare of these kinds will dump the destroyed survivors back into an innocent population that is incapable of even imagining what such returned soldiers might do.
    -Teachings of the Golden Path,
    Bene Gesserit Archives

  82. 82
    samara morgan says:

    Maybe the LaTimes should get the pulitzer.

  83. 83
    LanceThruster says:


    Raven, you do him honor to keep his memory alive.

    I visted the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall one Veterans Day.

    There were two with my last name, and the one that died on my 13th birthday was essentially a Southern Cal neighbor.



    I remember watching the documentary, “Letters Home From Iraq” and instantly recognized the street where I’d ride my bike as a kid to grab stickers out of the dumpster from a label factory. It was where the tanker was from who drowned when his M1 Abrams slid off an embankment into the river.

    Though these connections to me are tenuous at best, these people are loved and missed as if they were my own blood. That’s how I see anybody’s child or parent or sibling or friend who goes off to war. And it’s why I get so infuriated by those so willing to expend their lives so callously.

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