THE VOICE OF MILITARY FAMILIES
My son is in the 172nd Stryker Brigade (Army). It recently had its one-year deployment to Iraq extended while in the midst of deploying back to the United States. He is one of the 400 soldiers who had made it back to Fairbanks, Alaska. A few days later he was informed that he was going to be sent back to Iraq. His brigade has been sent to Baghdad to save the occupation.
Don’t be fooled by the military commanders’ talk of the willingness of these brave men and women. The vast majority of the 4,000 172nd Stryker troops and families are angry and devastated at the last-minute extension. These troops had completed their year in Mosul, passed on their Stryker vehicles and gear to replacement troops and shipped their personal gear home. Worse, their heads were back home, where they had plans for family reunions, weddings and to see children born while they were deployed. Now they are expected to re-gear and reset their minds for battle. They are soldiers. They will do their duty, their mission.
I am a proud member of Military Families Speak Out. We are not an antiwar group; we are an organization of more than 3,000 military families who oppose this war, this occupation, based on the lies told to start the war and the greed for oil and profits that sustain it. It is our loved ones who are dying. Our mission is to support the troops by bringing them home now and taking care of them when they get here. This is only the most recent logistical mismanagement of this war.
Military Families Speak Out, Capital Region
BRAVE NEW DEAL WORLD
I thank David Rieff for his wide-ranging review of my new book, A New Deal for the World: America’s Vision for Human Rights [“We Are the World,” July 3]. Rieff’s main worry seems to be with the policy prescriptions of the other book he reviews in the same essay, Michael Mandelbaum’s The Case for Goliath, which focuses on the projected leadership role of the United States in the twenty-first century. My sense is that some of these policy-related concerns may be less salient when considering a work of history, especially where one of my main objectives was to treat the human rights-related rhetoric of the early and mid-1940s on its own terms.
Another of my key interests in researching and writing my book was to recapture what I perceived to be an overlooked historical moment. The existing literature has tended to treat the US role in the international politics of the early 1940s as material to be mined for evidence of early cold war tensions. But before the advent of the full-blown cold war in 1946, the rhetoric of the mature New Deal–notably relating to social and economic rights–blended with wartime ideologies that used constitutional traditions of civil and political rights as a way of highlighting contrasts with Axis ideologies.