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If we’re big enough to fight a war, we should be big enough to look at it.

Photojournalist Kenneth Jarecke, American Photo 1991

Read: The War Photo No One Would Publish







The drone strike in Yemen the day Obama was sworn in served as a potent symbol of a reality that had been clearly established during his first four years in office: U.S. unilateralism and exceptionalism were not only bipartisan principles in Washington, but a permanent American institution. As large-scale military deployments wound down, the United States had simultaneously escalated its use of drones, cruise missiles, and Special Ops raids in an unprecedented number of countries. The war on terror had become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The question all Americans must ask themselves lingers painfully: How does a war like this ever end?



People have this romantic image of the freelancer as a journalist who’s exchanged the certainty of a regular salary for the freedom to cover the stories she is most fascinated by. But we aren’t free at all; it’s just the opposite. The truth is that the only job opportunity I have today is staying in Syria, where nobody else wants to stay. And it’s not even Aleppo, to be precise; it’s the frontline. Because the editors back in Italy only ask us for the blood, the bang-bang. I write about the Islamists and their network of social services, the roots of their power—a piece that is definitely more complex to build than a frontline piece. I strive to explain, not just to move, to touch, and I am answered with: “What’s this? Six thousand words and nobody died?”

Woman’s work: The twisted reality of an Italian freelancer in Syria (via CJR)

h/t azaadi




David Fitzsimmons: Bush library



America’s foreign policy depends on the sanctity of its information. For this reason, questioning the selective use of intelligence to justify the war in Iraq is neither idle sniping nor ”revisionist history,” as Mr. Bush has suggested. The act of war is the last option of a democracy, taken when there is a grave threat to our national security. More than 200 American soldiers have lost their lives in Iraq already. We have a duty to ensure that their sacrifice came for the right reasons.
What I Didn’t Find in Africa, 2003

(Source: The New York Times)



Rachel Maddow’s Drift, reservations about the author aside, is a very important book in that it tackles very complex issues that are generally ignored by the American public at large. The book’s mere 252 pages leaves it lacking in addressing many of these complexities, but Maddow’s ability to present difficult topics with her own brand of sarcasm and wit in a way that can be understood by the average reader makes it worth the read. For most of us who have studied history and/or politics the contents will reinforce already held notions of an inflated military industrial complex that has warped this country’s outlook on the world and thus our foreign policy at the expense of our economic and social well being. For everyone else, throw whatever preconceived notions about the military and America’s ‘noble’ past out the window and read.



When I was asked during the campaign about what I would do if it came down to a choice between defense and deficits I always said national security had to come first, and the people applauded every time.
Ronald Reagan



I didn’t return from Afghanistan as the same person. My personality is the same, or at least close enough, but I’m no longer the “good” person I once thought I was. There’s nothing that can change that; it’s impossible to forget what happened, and the only people who can forgive me are dead.

Marine Capt. Timothy Kudo

If you read one thing today, read this article.

(via letterstomycountry)