The Obliteration of Gaza

Reprinted from Bracing Views with the author’s permission.

We are witnessing the obliteration of Gaza. The death toll has already surpassed 16,000 as Israel continues to pummel targets with American-made bombs and missiles. Even CNN is worried (from my email update this AM):

Top UN officials are warning of an “apocalyptic” situation in Gaza with “no place safe to go” for civilians as the deepening humanitarian crisis sparks international concern. Israel is expanding ground operations to the entire territory to “eliminate” Hamas and has told Palestinians to flee large swaths of southern Gaza, where many had previously sought refuge. But the war-torn region is in the midst of a near-total internet blackout as the last major telecommunications operator said services are completely cut off. This means many Palestinians are unable to communicate with one another or call for help while evacuating, and emergency workers can’t coordinate their responses.

Continue reading “The Obliteration of Gaza”

Is the Russia-Ukraine War Sputtering to an End?

Reprinted from Bracing Views with the author’s permission.

A report from Sy Hersh suggests that the Russia-Ukraine War may finally be sputtering to a diplomatic conclusion. The senior generals on both sides seem to be the main actors, but who really cares as long as the killing stops and the healing begins?

Conflicts and wars often exhibit a horrifying form of logic. Military hardliners, convinced of their own righteousness, claim that victory will come only on the battlefield when the enemy is totally defeated by force of arms. Armchair warriors at home and abroad glom on to this, cheering for their side and calling for no compromises, no negotiations, just more killing. Think here of “bomb’em back to the stone age” slogans heard in America during the Vietnam War, or expressions of apocalyptic destruction like “make the rubble bounce.”

Continue reading “Is the Russia-Ukraine War Sputtering to an End?”

The US Military’s Alleged Recruiting Crisis Isn’t the Problem

Reprinted from Bracing Views with the author’s permission.

A recent article by Major General (ret.) Dennis Laich and Colonel (ret.) Lawrence Wilkerson notes a crisis in military recruitment in America. Here’s how their article begins:

The U.S. military’s all-volunteer force (AVF) model is an abject failure. Last year, the active Army fell 15,000 recruits short of its goal. This year, it was 10,000, and the Army Reserve fell 40% short of its goal. This year, the active Navy fell 7,000 short, and the Navy Reserve was 33% short. Finally, the active Air Force fell 3,000 recruits short, and the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard each fell 30% short of their goals. 

There is no reason to believe these trends won’t continue, and even less reason to believe they will not get worse. In the past 10 years, the propensity to serve has fallen from 15% to 9%, and the portion of the recruiting-age population qualified to serve has dropped from 30 % to 23%. The number of children 5 and under in the United States is 12% smaller than the 15- to 25-year-old cohort, presenting a grim demographic reality.  

Our national security crisis is part of a broader civic rot that plagues our democracy. Ultimately, the AVF’s failure could lead to war if the U.S. appears weak to a potential adversary.

Continue reading “The US Military’s Alleged Recruiting Crisis Isn’t the Problem”

15,000 Bombs Equivalent to Two Hiroshimas

Reprinted from Bracing Views with the author’s permission.

After dropping 6000 bombs in six days, the Israeli Air Force has now reached the staggering sum of at least 15,000 bombs dropped on densely populated areas of Gaza. The bomb tonnage is already equivalent to two Hiroshimas, notes Joshua Frank at TomDispatch. As he puts it:

[W]ell over 25,000 tons of bombs had already been dropped on Gaza by early November, the equivalent of two Hiroshima-style nukes (without the radiation). Under such circumstances, a nuclear-capable Israel that blatantly flouts international law could prove a clear and present danger, not only to defenseless Palestinians but to a world already in ever more danger and disarray.

Continue reading “15,000 Bombs Equivalent to Two Hiroshimas”

America, Land of Innocents

Reprinted from Bracing Views with the author’s permission.

It’s depressingly true that no nations or peoples are immune from committing atrocities. History is filled with them. Atrocities, that is.

Did Hamas commit atrocities, most notably on 10/7? Yes. Has Israel committed atrocities in Gaza since those terror attacks? Yes.

Any sane human is outraged by atrocious behavior. What is particularly galling about Israel’s atrocities is that the U.S. government is enabling them while claiming Israel and the U.S. are the good guys—and that, however many innocents die due to U.S. and Israeli bombs, bullets, and missiles, it’s all the fault of Hamas.

Continue reading “America, Land of Innocents”

Israel Is ‘Daddy’ to the US Congress

Reprinted from Bracing Views with the author’s permission.

I wrote a note to my representative in Congress, William Keating (D), who is the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. I expressed my opposition to massive Israeli bombing and massive U.S. aid that facilitates that bombing. Yesterday, I received a form letter in reply that reveals Israel remains the “Daddy” to the U.S. Congress.

How so? The letter from Mr. Keating is plainspoken and direct in its condemnation of Hamas. There is, however, absolutely no criticism of Israel. None. Hamas is pure evil, Israel is a blameless victim, and that’s all you need to know, according to the letter signed by Keating.

Continue reading “Israel Is ‘Daddy’ to the US Congress”