Peace is not so much a political mandate as it is a shared state of consciousness that remains elevated and intact only to the degree that those who value it volunteer their existence as living examples of the same... Peace ends with the unraveling of individual hope and the emergence of the will to worship violence as a healer of private and social dis-ease.
In the time that we're here today, more women and children will die violently in the Darfur region than in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Israel or Lebanon. So, after September 30, you won't need the UN - you will simply need men with shovels and bleached white linen and headstones.
An hour later. the moon reflected its light on the Tigris as well. The sun, the moon, and Fatima. What else could I ask for?
Arabs and other Muslims generally agreed that Saddam Hussein might be a bloody tyrant, but, paralleling FDR's thinking, he is our bloody tyrant. In their view, the invasion was a family affair to be settled within the family and those who intervened in the name of some grand theory of international justice were doing so to protect their own selfish interests and to maintain Arab subordination to the west.
First Afghanistan, now Iraq. So who's next? Syria? North Korea? Iran? Where will it all end?' If these illegal interventions are permitted to continue, the implication seems to be, pretty soon, horror of horrors, no murderously repressive regimes might remain.
Ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction. That was the whole idea, right? That‘s why we went. I am reluctant to let that fact disappear down the memory hole, because if— as the war ends, or at least starts to end— if, at this time, the history of the war is written as us going there to topple the regime of a bad man when that frankly isn‘t why were told that we were going there— Aren‘t we still at risk of making this horrific mistake again? And, aren‘t we letting the people who foisted the WMD idea on us, not many years ago, aren‘t we sort of letting them get away with it?
1. Bangladesh.... In 1971 ... Kissinger overrode all advice in order to support the Pakistani generals in both their civilian massacre policy in East Bengal and their armed attack on India from West Pakistan.... This led to a moral and political catastrophe the effects of which are still sorely felt. Kissinger’s undisclosed reason for the ‘tilt’ was the supposed but never materialised ‘brokerage’ offered by the dictator Yahya Khan in the course of secret diplomacy between Nixon and China.... Of the new state of Bangladesh, Kissinger remarked coldly that it was ‘a basket case’ before turning his unsolicited expertise elsewhere.2. Chile.... Kissinger had direct personal knowledge of the CIA’s plan to kidnap and murder General René Schneider, the head of the Chilean Armed Forces ... who refused to countenance military intervention in politics. In his hatred for the Allende Government, Kissinger even outdid Richard Helms ... who warned him that a coup in such a stable democracy would be hard to procure. The murder of Schneider nonetheless went ahead, at Kissinger’s urging and with American financing, just between Allende’s election and his confirmation.... This was one of the relatively few times that Mr Kissinger (his success in getting people to call him ‘Doctor’ is greater than that of most PhDs) involved himself in the assassination of a single named individual rather than the slaughter of anonymous thousands. His jocular remark on this occasion—‘I don’t see why we have to let a country go Marxist just because its people are irresponsible’—suggests he may have been having the best of times....3. Cyprus.... Kissinger approved of the preparations by Greek Cypriot fascists for the murder of President Makarios, and sanctioned the coup which tried to extend the rule of the Athens junta (a favoured client of his) to the island. When despite great waste of life this coup failed in its objective, which was also Kissinger’s, of enforced partition, Kissinger promiscuously switched sides to support an even bloodier intervention by Turkey. Thomas Boyatt ... went to Kissinger in advance of the anti-Makarios putsch and warned him that it could lead to a civil war. ‘Spare me the civics lecture,’ replied Kissinger, who as you can readily see had an aphorism for all occa
Nothing—not even the US Army—more threatens the future of a democratic, pluralistic and (dare we wish, secular) Iraq than the political ascendancy of Islamic fascists like Al Sadr.
The debacle in Iraq has reinforced the realist dictum, disparaged by idealists in the 1990s, that the legacies of geography, history and culture really do set limits on what can be accomplished in any given place. But the experience in the Balkans reinforced an idealist dictum that is equally true: One should always work near the limits of what is possible rather than cynically give up on any place. In this decade idealists went too far; in the previous one, it was realists who did not go far enough.
As a Nobel Peace laureate, I, like most people, agonize over the use of force. But when it comes to rescuing an innocent people from tyranny or genocide, I've never questioned the justification for resorting to force. That's why I supported Vietnam's 1978 invasion of Cambodia, which ended Pol Pot's regime, and Tanzania's invasion of Uganda in 1979, to oust Idi Amin. In both cases, those countries acted without U.N. or international approval—and in both cases they were right to do so.
I think you can be an enemy of Saddam Hussein even if Donald Rumsfeld is also an enemy of Saddam Hussein.
Saddam's politics was the politics of the thug, of violence from the outset of his reign. Realism suggests that some people are not going to be tractable in response to purely peaceable overtures. Indeed, it certainly appears that some individuals, including notably Saddam Hussein, will cheerfully help themselves to a yard for every inch offered by well-meaning peacemakers. When we are dealing with customers as tough as that, there is no alternative to being tough ourselves.
McChrystal had organized a jaw-dropping counterterrorism campaign inside Iraq, but the tactical successes did not translate into a strategic victory. This was why counterinsurgency - blanketing the population in safety and winning them over - was necessary.
As he grew older, which was mostly in my absence, my firstborn son, Alexander, became ever more humorous and courageous. There came a time, as the confrontation with the enemies of our civilization became more acute, when he sent off various applications to enlist in the armed forces. I didn't want to be involved in this decision either way, especially since I was being regularly taunted for not having 'sent' any of my children to fight in the wars of resistance that I supported. (As if I could 'send' anybody, let alone a grown-up and tough and smart young man: what moral imbeciles the 'anti-war' people have become.)
In movies, war only looks romantic. “Tell my gal I love her…” close-up shot, and fade out. It doesn’t work as beautifully and neat in real life. Flying chunks of human flesh and screaming orphans really put that Hollywood take into perspective and there is nothing clean or sterile about any of it. When people die, it’s fucking horrible.
Aside from clinically-diagnosed psychopaths, I have not met one person in war who thoroughly enjoyed killing. If someone ended up bragging over a kill, it was safe to assume that their story was mere fabrication or that they were one bad day away from an inpatient psychiatric ward. No matter how much someone may appear to deserve to be killed, something dies within us when we kill. It's contradictory, the antithesis of our species survival instinct.
A woman in combat? Yes. Since when? Since Native American warrior Buffalo Calf Road Woman knocked that prick General George Custer off of his horse. Since Pantea Arteshbod propelled herself to become one of the greatest Persian commanders during the reign of Cyrus the Great. Since Hua Mulan disguised herself as a male to engage in combat and became one of China’s most respected heroines.
To stay alive, you have to keep moving. Running, relocating, driving, doing everything in your power to stay in motion and make it to safety.
A moving target is harder to kill, and I didn't stop running, maneuvering, until I reached home base, where I could breathe between death-defying sprints. I just need to make it home alive, and this will all be over, I told myself. Home.
This country has not seen and probably will never know the true level of sacrifice of our veterans. As a civilian I owe an unpayable debt to all our military. Going forward let’s not send our servicemen and women off to war or conflict zones unless it is overwhelmingly justifiable and on moral high ground. The men of WWII were the greatest generation, perhaps Korea the forgotten, Vietnam the trampled, Cold War unsung and Iraqi Freedom and Afghanistan vets underestimated. Every generation has proved itself to be worthy to stand up to the precedent of the greatest generation. Going back to the Revolution American soldiers have been the best in the world. Let’s all take a remembrance for all veterans who served or are serving, peace time or wartime and gone or still with us. 11/11/16 May God Bless America and All Veterans.
They might watch American movies, wear American clothes, even read American books but Bush and the Iraq War have made actual American people social lepers; she only has to open her mouth in some places to feel a wave of loathing directed at her. Katie is weary of pointing out that at least half her countrymen detest their President even more than Europe does, but it’s no good.
Ensuring that our home planet is healthy and life sustaining is an overwhelming priority that undercuts all other human activities. The ship must first float. Our failure to grasp these fundamental tenants of existence will be our undoing. And one thing is for certain. No calvary is going to come charging to our rescue. We are going to have to rescue ourselves or die trying. Workable solutions are urgently needed. Saving seals and tigers or fighting yet another oil pipeline through a wilderness area, while laudable, is merely shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic. The real issue is our elementary accord with Earth and the plant and animal kingdoms has to be revitalized and re-understood.The burning question is, How?
I would listen with growing outrage as hypocritical and obtuse American senators made all these demands of Iraqi legislators and yet themselves could not even pass budgets or appropriations bills, not to mention deal with tough challenges like the budget deficit, Social Security, and entitlement reforms. So many times I wanted to come right out of my chair at the witness table and scream, You guys have been in business for over two hundred years and can't pass routine legislation. How can you be so impatient with a bunch of parliamentarians who've been at it a year after four thousand years of dictatorship?
The Chilcot report is a revelation of injustice under the cloak of Aid. The Chilcot report is a sorry report on the current state of humanity. So the ultimate question here is – what are we going to achieve out of the sorry reports when “sorry” has no meaning in action?
I've had people tell me to get over it. I politely tell them, 'How about if I chop off your finger and see if it grows back?
It's something that this country hasn't had to deal with. But there's going to be a whole new generation that doesn't know their father. It's almost selfish of us to die. They train us as warriors. But they don't teach us how to take the pain away.
I knew that these people on their way to work or home or dinner had no idea what it was they were supporting. They did not have a clue as to what war was like. What it made people see, and what it made them do to each other. I felt as though I didn't deserve their support, or anyone's, for what I had done. No one should ever support the activities in which I had participated. No one should ever support the people who do such things. (...) They were uninformed but good people. The kind whose respect we would welcome if it was based upon something true. It was when we were around them that we had to hide the actual truth most consciously. It wasn't enough to not mention the war or being a veteran, because they'd bring it up. The civilians we were most anxious around, and therefore tended the most to avoid, were exactly those good citizens who thought they were helping us.
If feels good to live after death. It feels good to not be dead. It feels so good to find myself alive and flying home. The music plays in my ears and I float further and further away from war. Fucking Baghdad.
A life was a story, and a story was nothing more than a promise that something bad would happen. It was a promise that people would desire and want and ache and burn, but it was not a promise that they would find what they sought.
The cost of war is like an immeasurable tremor that knows no borders, its shockwaves reverberating across the world resulting in universal suffering.
You’ll never let me go, will you? Giving me the space and freedom I want isn’t your idea of love, is it? You’d rather cut me deep on earth to spare me pain in hell, whereas I think hell is right here.
When the president during the campaign said he was against nation building, I didn't realize he meant our nation.
In the evening [the Iraqi interim governor of Maysan province] asked me for fifty dollars to repair his windows, which had been destroyed in a recent demonstration. Although he was the governor, his salary was only four hundred and fifty dollars a month, and Baghdad had still not agreed to give the governors an independent budget.... For the sake of a tiny sum of money - a couple thousand dollars a month from the hundred billion we had spent on the invasion - we were alienating our key partner and successor. p. 264
Women make up one half of society. Our society will remain backward and in chains unless its women are liberated, enlightened and educated.