GERALD FORD & THE SOUL TRAIN
Attention Alexander Cockburn: Don’t be crediting Karl Rove for the postal holiday for Gerald Ford [“Beat the Devil,” Jan. 22]. I’ve gotten a day off from being a postal clerk three times over the years (for Nixon, Reagan and now Ford). I’m surprised that we still get them, but I’m certainly not lobbying Congress to end it. There are two ex-Presidents in their 80s who may give me some days off before I retire. The real worry is which soul superstar is going to go when an ex-President goes. We lost Ray Charles with Reagan and James Brown with Ford. I don’t want to lose Chuck Berry or Little Richard just yet.
TROOPS WHO SAY NO TO THE WAR
Marc Cooper’s “About Face: The Growing Antiwar Movement in the Military” [Jan. 8/15] recognizes a growing resistance within the military to America’s never-ending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a resistance largely ignored by the mainstream media. Invoking “the troops” is a handy mantra for stifling debate about the war by insisting that we betray our soldiers if we question their mission.
Jonathan Hutto and other signers of the Appeal for Redress courageously remind us that they are already betrayed by their Commander in Chief. Cooper rightly notes the risks these servicemen and -women take in signing the Appeal, risks that no doubt keep others from speaking out against the war. We have a very diverse military, made up of many who do question their mission.
About Face is also the title of a radio program sponsored by the Phoenix Veterans for Peace (veteransforpeacephoenix.org) on KPHX-AM Sundays at 1 pm EST (aaphx.com). About Face is a live call-in program that addresses issues such as post-traumatic stress, inadequate VA funding and homelessness that confront service members, veterans and their families. The program hosts are all Vietnam combat veterans; guests include a wide range of local and national peace activists, veterans’ advocates and topical experts. We are looking for sponsors to keep the show on the air. We can continue for a few more weeks, but it’s getting tight.
Jonathan Hutto and several of his colleagues were on the January 14 program to talk about the Appeal for Redress and related events since Cooper’s article came out. A longer pre-recorded version of the program aired on the Progressive Radio Network (progressiveradionetwork.org) on Saturday, January 20.
co-host, About Face
I find your publication very informative, unlike many mainstream sources. Your letters from military families [“Letters,” Oct. 16; Nov. 27] rang true. My son has enlisted and has re-enlisted. Our stretched Army and Marines have a hard time finding “suitable volunteers,” I guess. Maybe it’s due to the following: My son arrived in Iraq for an eight-month peacekeeping mission, which turned into a nearly fourteen-month ordeal. I would hear that he would be home soon, but months went by–and another and another. It is very agonizing waiting, hoping they will be healthy and safe.