The 1964 Coup in Brazil (video)

From Tales of the American Empire:

In March 1963, American President John Kennedy proclaimed “We’ve got to do something about Brazil.” He said: “I think we ought to take every step that we can, be prepared to do everything that we need to do.” Kennedy believed Brazilian President Goulart was too friendly with anti-American radicals in Latin America. “Operation Brother Sam” was the code name given to Kennedy’s military plan to “prevent Brazil from becoming another China or Cuba.” After Kennedy was assassinated, President Lyndon Johnson instructed his staff to send a naval task force and aircraft to Brazil to support a coup organized by the CIA with Generals in the Brazilian military.

Brazil Marks 50th Anniversary of Military Coup; James Hershberg; National Security Archive; April 2, 2014.

Traumatic Brain Injury and the Lingering Costs of War

Some of the lingering costs of the January 2020 Soleimani assassination include the injuries to U.S. personnel that suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in the retaliatory Iranian missile attack:

He used to help run armed drone operations as part of the unit, but the now 31-year-old struggles with vision and hearing problems and suffers from constant headaches and memory loss. He says he can no longer do his job.

“The person I was prior to a traumatic brain injury, he’s gone,” Kvasager said. “There’s parts that remain. The pieces are all still there, just – yeah, he’s not coming back.”

A CBS News investigation found Kvasager is one of dozens of soldiers injured in the attack who have not been recognized with the Purple Heart and who have been denied the medical benefits that come with it, despite appearing to qualify. 

Traumatic brain injuries have been among the most common injuries suffered by US military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan, but much of the time they are not diagnosed properly and even when they are identified they are often not taken as seriously as other injuries. The effects of these injuries on the servicemembers that suffer from them can be severe, and as we can see from this report they can be debilitating and life-changing. They do not receive the recognition or attention that they should, and the veterans that suffer from these injuries are often not receiving appropriate care. Adding insult to injury, CENTCOM failed to report and track these injuries properly, and this is a problem that goes beyond those servicemembers injured in the missile attack at Al Asad.

We know that the Trump administration minimized the injuries suffered in the missile attack, and the president went so far as to dismiss them as nothing more than headaches. Minimizing the severity of the injuries became the standard response:

The soldiers CBS spoke with said after the attack, there was pressure to downplay the growing injuries to avoid a further escalation with Iran and avoid undercutting former President Trump.

Read the rest of the article at Eunomia

Daniel Larison is a weekly columnist for Antiwar.com and maintains his own site at Eunomia. He is former senior editor at The American Conservative. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

Veterans for Peace: Help Us Celebrate Armistice Day 2021!

Over one hundred years ago the world celebrated peace as a universal principle. The first World War had just ended and nations mourning their dead collectively called for an end to all wars. Armistice Day was born and was designated as “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated.”

After World War II, the U.S. Congress decided to rebrand November 11 as Veterans Day. Honoring the warrior quickly morphed into honoring the military and glorifying war. Armistice Day was flipped from a day for peace into a day for displays of militarism.

Continue reading “Veterans for Peace: Help Us Celebrate Armistice Day 2021!”

Promote Peace This Veterans Day

Started 102 years on November 11, Armistice Day was established in the UK to commemorate the armistice which ended WWI a year earlier. In 1926 Congress made it a US remembrance to "perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations…a day dedicated to the cause of world peace."

What a wise way to turn the most destructive war in history at the time into a lesson for peace. Alas, in 1954 Congress changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day to commemorate military personnel past and present. The raging Cold War with Russia may have inspired the switch from peace to militarism during a dark era of fear and loathing in America.

Since then, ‘perpetuating peace and mutual understanding between nations’ has been left behind. Veterans Day has largely become a commercial to promote American militarism around the world, which today sees over 150,000 soldiers deployed at 750 bases in 80 countries. Almost daily we bomb innocents in at least 7 countries we know of. Crippling U.S. economic sanctions degrade, if not extinguish life for innocents in 19 nations.

Continue reading “Promote Peace This Veterans Day”

What I Saw on Election Day in Nicaragua

US media and politicians have condemned the November 7 Nicaragua election as a "fraud" and "sham". On the day of the election, the White House issued a statement saying Nicaragua held a "pantomime election that was neither free nor fair, and most certainly not democratic."

But are these accusations true?

Along with other international volunteers, I was an eyewitness to the election last Sunday. Previously I have been an observer in elections in neighboring Honduras. Here is a snapshot of what I saw:

Our group of 6 people (two from Canada and four from US) visited three voting centers and twenty voting stations in the small city of Juigalpa in Chontales province.

Continue reading “What I Saw on Election Day in Nicaragua”

Biden Caves to the Saudis

Joe Lieberman reminds us that he absolutely does not want any agreement with Iran:

Akbar Shahid Ahmed reports on the Biden administration’s unwillingness to hold the Saudi government accountable for its crimes, including the crimes of the crown prince:

For now, Biden’s team has signaled that it sees the prince as a partner who is going nowhere – and whom Washington does not want to anger because he could threaten the president’s foreign policy agenda.

The Biden administration wants to make it seem as if it is making a difficult trade-off in order to achieve some other important goals, but the reality is that they are just caving to the Saudis and letting Mohammed bin Salman off the hook because it is easier than honoring Biden’s campaign promises. Supporters of the status quo with Riyadh exaggerate how important the relationship is to discourage any pressure from Washington, but it is hard to think of any significant item on Biden’s foreign policy agenda where the Saudi government is a potentially useful partner rather than an impediment or adversary. Then again, as Kate Kizer observed today, it is hard to identify what Biden’s foreign policy agenda is supposed to be now.

On Yemen, where the need to pressure the Saudis is greatest, Biden has been the most timid. Far from cutting off their weapons supplies, his administration has approved two fairly large contracts for helicopter maintenance and missiles. Asma Rassem recently called on the administration to use all leverage at its disposal to press the Saudis to end the blockade of Yemen.

Read the rest of the article at Eunomia

Daniel Larison is a weekly columnist for Antiwar.com and maintains his own site at Eunomia. He is former senior editor at The American Conservative. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.