Memorial Day: Remember The Dead And Salve The Wounds Of The Living
When friends and strangers wish me a “happy” Memorial Day I want to shout back “there is nothing ‘happy’ about Memorial Day” in remembering those who have given the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our nation.
It is a day to lay flowers on the graves of dead soldiers. Â There is nothing happy in this act of remembrance.
During this weekend and on this day especially, families and friends visit cemetaries to remember their dead, clean their graves and leave tokens of love and affection. Â The 9-11 generation has now joined our ancestors who have gone before them–we have been remembering them in quintessential American fashion–with round the clock television broadcasts that focus on surviving veterans and policy discussions on how to address their needs.
The broadcasts will end tonight, although the killing and dying will not.
America, weary by more than a decade of continuous warfare and exorbitant spending, forges ahead in the Afghanistan conflict, which looks more and more like the Vietnam War in every way: Â a futile effort, led by a corrupt head of state, in a country where no one expects to win Afghani “hearts and minds” and ultimately we have quietly admitted to ourselves that even America will be unable to repel the Taliban from its retrogressive advance against modernity.
To his credit, President Obama has carried out a successful lethal campaign against Al-Qaeda leadership, killing them one by one and accelerated America’s withdrawal from active combat missions by one year now planned to end in 2013.
Yet the legacy of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are affecting thousands who survived–the walking and wheelchair bound wounded–the obvious and not so apparent casualties that require ongoing and extensive medical care delivered by a bureaucratic matrix in the Veteran’s Administration (VA)–the nation’s largest hospital system. Â This is our social compact to care for those who fought and sustained injury on our behalf, now rests on tenuous ground. Â Today, less than one-half of one percent of the total population serves in the armed forces. Â Very few of us have relatives or friends in uniform, making the war and its casualties more and more disconnected from our everyday lives.
Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
Shockingly, according to the VA, 18 veterans commit suicide everyday, registering 20 percent of total suicides in America, despite the small fraction of the population that serve.
Indeed, suicides committed by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans total about 6,500 per year, now exceeding the number of the total dead–1,857 in Afghanistan and 4, 485 in Iraq (through its official conclusion on Dec. 15, 2011).
Women veterans commit suicide three times the average of US population according to Service Women’s Action NetworkÂ (SWAN). Â More than 283,000 women have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan and 139 have died. Â But women soldiers are more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted during these wars by colleagues. Â Indeed, the rates of reported Â sexual assaults are mind boggling (men are sexually assaulted too and more than likely under reported to authorities).
According to SWAN, more thanÂ 19,000 sexual assaults occur annually in the ranks, which equates to 52 sexual assaults each day. Like in civilian life, sexual assault crimes are under reported at 13.5 percent of total assaults. Â The unacceptable outcome that results from these crimes, is that women develop PTSD not from serving in war fighting a foreign enemy, but having survived a rape or sexual assault by a fellow soldier while at war. Â Adding insult to injury, only 32 percent of PTSD claims submitted to the VA by women survivors are granted. Â So many sexual assault survivors feel doubly victimized for good reasons.
So as we visit our dead today, let’s also remember the living, the walking wounded in body and soul. Â The psychic wounds of war plague everyday living for thousands of veterans for the horror they may have witnessed or for the sexual crimes that may have trespassed their minds and bodies. Â Many are alone and edge toward an embrace of death and self-destruction. This is what faces America in our moment of remembrance– the high cost of war is the collateral damage done to the souls of the living.
Press your cheek against my medals, listen through them to
Â my heart
Doctor, can you see me if I’m naked?
Spent longer in this place than in the war
No one comes but rarely and I don’t know what for
Went to that desert as man did before
Farewell and believing and hope not to die
Hope not to die and what was the life
Did we think was awaiting after
Lay down your stethoscope back off on your skills
Doctor can you see me when I’m naked?
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â —Quarto, by Adrienne Rich
Image of Â the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers at Arlington National Cemetary courtesy of Wikipedia
Tanya L. DomiÂ is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs atÂ Columbia UniversityÂ who teaches about human rights in East Central Europe and the former Yugoslavia. Â She is aÂ Harriman InstituteÂ affiliated faculty member. Prior to teaching at Columbia, Domi was a nationally recognized LGBT civil rights activist who worked for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force during the campaign to lift the military ban in the early 1990s. Domi also worked internationally in a dozen countries for more than aÂ decade on issues related to democratic transitional development, including political and media development, human rights, gender issues, sex trafficking, and media freedom. Â She is currently writing a book about the emerging LGBT human rights movement in the Western Balkans.
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.
NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.
Trump Trial Could Go Well Into the 2024 Election – Or Possibly Even Past It: Former Prosecutor
Donald Trump, and all of America, could spend the next 18 months – or longer – engrossed in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s trial of the ex-president, and that could bring the trial close to Election Day.
That’s according to a former prosecutor in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, Charles Coleman, who is now a civil rights attorney and MSNBC legal analyst.
Asked by MSNBC’s Chris Jansing, “How long typically might a case like this take?” Coleman offered a two-tiered answer.
“A case like this is usually going to take a year or a year and a half,” Coleman said.
That could be through September of 2024.
READ MORE: ‘Lighting the Match’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Blasted for Off the Rails Rant Defending Trump
“Wow,” a surprised Jansing replied. “So it’s going right up into the campaign.”
“Absolutely,” agreed Coleman. “But it’s important to understand I said a case ‘like this.’ This particular case, I expect may take longer because I am anticipating a number of different legal maneuvers by Donald Trump’s defense team.”
That theoretically means into October of 2024, or longer.
“I do see motions to dismiss at a number of different terms, more likely than not to the point that the judge probably will ultimately end up admonishing them and telling them stop filing motions to dismiss. I think that that’s going to happen,” Coleman explained.
“I’ve said before, and I’ll say again, I do believe that we are going to see an attempt to try to change the venue, in this case outside of somewhere in the five boroughs. All of that is going to extend the time deeper and deeper into election season.”
READ MORE: Manhattan DA Unleashes on Jim Jordan With Stern Warning: You May Not ‘Interfere’ With Trump Prosecution
Reuters agrees, reporting Friday morning, “any potential trial is still at minimum more than a year away, legal experts said, raising the possibility that the former U.S. president could face a jury in a Manhattan courtroom during or even after the 2024 presidential campaign, as he seeks a return to the White House.”
And because “Trump’s case is far from typical,” Reuters notes, his trial could extend “past Election Day in November 2024.”
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
‘Lighting the Match’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Blasted for Off the Rails Rant Defending Trump
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) is being mocked and criticized after issuing an off-the-rails rant defending Donald Trump after the ex-president was indicted late Thursday afternoon.
Trump reportedly will face over 30 charges when he is arraigned in Manhattan Supreme Court Tuesday, two weeks after he claimed would be the day he would be arrested. In that infamous social media post Trump also urged his supporters to “protest!”
Congresswoman Greene, an ultra-MAGA acolyte and far-right extremist, on Friday announced she will travel to New York City to show her support for the indicted ex-president.
“I’m going to New York on Tuesday. We MUST protest the unconstitutional WITCH HUNT!” she tweeted.
Her remarks came barely hours after Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg sent a six-page letter to House Republican Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan warning that Congress must not “interfere” with the prosecution of Donald Trump. It accused him and two other top Republicans of “an improper and dangerous usurpation,” “attempted interference with an ongoing state criminal investigation,” and warned them against “unlawful political interference.”
READ MORE: ‘You Can’t Stand on Fifth Avenue and Just Shoot Somebody’: Donald Trump Indicted – Legal Experts Respond
That letter specifically called out Congresswoman Greene for her rhetoric, noting “some committee members have explicitly stated an intent to interfere with the state proceeding.”
“For example, responding to Trump’s statement that he would be arrested, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene stated that ‘Republicans in Congress MUST subpoena these communists and END this! We have the power to do it and we also have the power to DEFUND their salaries and departments!’ … and that Republicans who ‘do nothing to stop’ the prosecution ‘will be exposed to the people and will be remembered, scorned, and punished by the base.’”
Clearly his warning had little impact on the far-right Georgia Member of Congress.
In response to Greene’s Friday morning tweet, former U.S. Congressman David Jolly, also a former Republican, appeared to suggest she was encouraging an untoward response.
“Lighting the match,” he tweeted.
Lighting the match. https://t.co/LRSeT3p127
— David Jolly (@DavidJollyFL) March 31, 2023
NBC News senior Capitol Hill correspondent Garrett Haake appearing to suggest it was a bad idea, responded by saying, “The situation downtown Tuesday is going to be tense. Narrow streets. Tons of press. Lots of police from different jurisdictions already highly visible.”
READ MORE: Favoring Right Wing Christians, Texas Judge Voids ACA’s Mandate That Insurance Cover Full Cost of HIV Drugs Including PrEP
Top CBS News reporter Robert Costa responded to Greene’s remarks, noting: “By order, NYPD officers here in lower Manhattan, outside the court, are already in full uniform, bracing for protests next week…”
Condé Nast legal affairs editor Luke Zaleski, also responding to Greene, wrote: “They want to incite violence in NYC.”
“Marge is a confederate soldier not an American public servant,” Zaleski added. “She has taken over Congress and wants to destroy the nation from inside. She admits it. Her public agenda is reinstalling a criminal traitor she’s obstructing justice for and breaking up the United States of America.”
Meanwhile, journalist Helen Kennedy appeared to not take Greene’s remarks – or Greene – seriously.
“Clown hurries to circus,” she tweeted.
Image: L E Mormile/Shutterstock
Manhattan DA Unleashes on Jim Jordan With Stern Warning: You May Not ‘Interfere’ With Trump Prosecution
After a Manhattan grand jury indicted Donald Trump late Thursday afternoon on reportedly 34 felony charges, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg took one more step to preserve the rule of law: Friday morning, via his General Counsel, he sent the top three Republican House Chairmen attempting to interfere in his office’s investigation and prosecution of Donald Trump a stern warning.
The letter, addressed to House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, Oversight Chairman James Comer, and Administration Chairman Bryan Steil spans six-pages. Its letterhead does not say District Attorney’s Office, but “District Attorney,” and has Bragg’s name in the upper corner, although it is signed by Bragg’s General Counsel, Leslie B. Dubeck. Politico has published the full letter.
It clearly states Bragg is drawing a red line: “What neither Mr. Trump nor Congress may do is interfere with the ordinary course of proceedings in New York State.”
The letter also accuses the trio of “an improper and dangerous usurpation” and “attempted interference with an ongoing state criminal investigation.” And it warns them against “unlawful political interference.”
READ MORE: ‘You Can’t Stand on Fifth Avenue and Just Shoot Somebody’: Donald Trump Indicted – Legal Experts Respond
“The Committees’ attempted interference with an ongoing state criminal investigation and now prosecution–is an unprecedented and illegitimate incursion on New York’s sovereign interests,” the letter reads. “Moreover, your examination of the facts of a single criminal investigation, for the supposed purpose of determining whether any charges against Mr. Trump are warranted, is an improper and dangerous usurpation of the executive and judicial functions.”
In a section titled, “The Committees Lack Jurisdiction to Oversee a State Criminal Prosecution,” the letter points to reports that the Trump team has been working in coordination with House Republicans.
“Even worse, based on your reportedly close collaboration with Mr. Trump in attacking this Office and the grand jury process, it appears you are acting more like criminal defense counsel trying to gather evidence for a client than a legislative body seeking to achieve a legitimate legislative objective.”
Bragg’s general counsel also uses the letter as a warning to all House Republicans that their actions, behaviors, and words are on the record.
READ MORE: Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Says It Is Coordinating With Trump to ‘Surrender’
He holds up U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) as an example, suggesting to others they should moderate their rhetoric.
After dismissing Jordan’s threat in a previous letter to withhold federal funds from Bragg’s office – noting the Manhattan District Attorney’s office has “has helped the Federal Government secure more than one billion dollars in asset forfeiture funds in the past 15 years” – Bragg serves up another warning.
He notes that “some committee members have explicitly stated an intent to interfere with the state proceeding. For example, responding to Trump’s statement that he would be arrested, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene stated that ‘Republicans in Congress MUST subpoena these communists and END this! We have the power to do it and we also have the power to DEFUND their salaries and departments!’ … and that Republicans who ‘do nothing to stop’ the prosecution ‘will be exposed to the people and will be remembered, scorned, and punished by the base.'”
- COMMENTARY2 days ago
Here’s How Five Republicans in Congress Are Responding to the Mass Shooting of 3 Children and 3 Adults in Nashville (Video)
- News3 days ago
‘Restore My Account Immediately’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Cries After Twitter Suspends Her Over Anti-Trans Tweets
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM1 day ago
Favoring Right Wing Christians, Texas Judge Voids ACA’s Mandate That Insurance Cover Full Cost of HIV Drugs Including PrEP
- News2 days ago
‘Can You Imagine if the Left Did This?’: Morning Joe Profanely Condemns Trump’s Celebration of J6 ‘Rioters and Convicts’
- News2 days ago
Watch: House Dem Mocks Republicans by Thanking Them for Taking Time Away From ‘Trump’s Memorial Service to David Koresh’
- News2 days ago
‘This Is About One Client – Donald Trump’: Eric Swalwell Destroys Jim Jordan and His ‘Insurrection LLC’ Committee (Video)
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM3 days ago
‘Troubling Questions’: Experts Slam Ginni Thomas’ Group That Waged Cultural War Against the Left via Web of Dark Money Orgs
- News1 day ago
New Poll Sends Trump Damning Message About 2024 if He’s Criminally Indicted