Remembering 9/11: The Infamous Day That Changed America

Remembering 9/11: The Infamous Day That Changed America

September 11: Photographers Give Eyewitness Accounts of the Attack

Commemorating September 11: A Photographic Remembrance

Father Mychal Judge: The Saint of 9/11

Slide Show: Remembering September 11/The Infamous Day That Changed America

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An Angry Obama Relieves Runaway General McChrystal of Command

An Angry Obama Relieves Runaway General McChrystal of Command

An angry President Obama removed Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal from his position as Commander of American forces in Afghanistan on Wednesday, and named as his replacement the architect of the 2007 surge in Iraq, Gen. David H. Petraeus.  President Obama said he had done so because an article in Rolling Stone featured contemptuous quotes from the general and his staff about senior administration officials, threatening to erode trust among administration and military officials, as well as to undermine civilian control of the military.

War is bigger than any one man or woman, whether a private, a general or president,” President Obama said.  “As difficult as it is to lose General McChrystal, I believe it is the right decision for our national security.”  “I welcome debate among my team,” he said, “but I won’t tolerate division.”

President Obama Relieves General Stanley McChrystal of Command

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The Runaway General: Gen. McChrystal Summoned to Washington Over Remarks

The Runaway General: Gen. McChrystal Summoned to Washington Over Remarks

President Obama’s top commander in Afghanistan was flown to Washington on Tuesday to find out whether he will be fired, after an article in Rolling Stone quoted him and his staff members speaking critically of top members of President Obama’s team.

With the war effort faltering, the comments by General Stanley McChrystal illustrated the disarray and spitefulness that exists among the Afghanistan team, as well as the tensions between the president and the military.  In the magazine article, General McChrystal or his aides spoke derisively of Vice President Biden, Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, National Security Adviser General James L. Jones, Richard C. Holbrooke, the special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and even President Obama himself.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs refused to say outright whether General McChrystal would lose his position.  Gibbs questioned the general’s judgment, calling the comments an “enormous mistake,” adding that military parents need to know that “the structure where they’re sending their children is one that is capable and mature enough in prosecuting a war as important as Afghanistan.”

Gen. Stanley McChrystal Summoned to Washington Over Remarks

White House Calls Back General McChrystal

President Obama Comments on  General McChrystal

Read the full article The Runaway General in Rolling Stone here.

Read more about reactions to General McChrystal’s remarks in The New York Times here.

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Video Released of US Military Helicopter Pilots Slaughtering 12 Iraqi Civilians

Video Released of US Military Helicopter Pilots Slaughtering 12 Iraqi Civilians

Yesterday, WikiLeaks released a video showing U.S. military pilots, shooting from an Apache helicopter, slaughtering twelve Iraqi civilians in 2007, including a Reuters photojournalist and his driver. The dead included several Iraqis who showed up at the scene a few minutes later to carry away the dead and wounded (including two of their children).  The video is truly gruesome and difficult to watch even for the most cynical person, but it should be seen by everyone with responsibility for what the U.S. has done in Iraq and Afghanistan (i.e., every American citizen).  Reuters had been trying to obtain obtain this video for two years through a FOIA request, but had been met with stonewalling by the U.S. military.  The video shows that military officials made categorically false statements about what happened  there and were clearly engaged in a cover-up.

Video Showing US Military Apache Helicopter Pilots Slaughtering 12 Iraqi Civilians

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Yellow Cake: A Modern Parable of Terrorism and Devastating War

Yellow Cake: A Modern Parable of Terrorism and Devastating War

Yellow Cake is a short animated film by the award-winning Canadian animator Nick Cross.  Cross explains that he got the idea for the film in 2003, in light of speculation during the Bush administration that Iraq was buying uranium powder called “Yellow Cake.”  Yellow Cake Uranium was one of the Weapons of Mass Destruction that Iraq allegedly possessed.  Cross’s fantastic animated epic becomes a modern parable of terrorism and catastrophic war, a lamentable tragedy featuring geopolitical bullying, social unrest and worker revolt. In the end, as with most revolutions, the revolt is both crushed by foreign intervention and corrupted from the inside until it becomes as evil as the regime the workers had originally fought.

Yellow Cake initially lures the viewer into a tale of pleasant mirth, filled with adorable blue creatures who spend all day baking and then eating their own  exquisitely delicious yellow cakes.  However, by the end of the film the small town of happy little bakers has been driven to terrorism by the greed of their leader and cake-hungry fat cats, resulting in the town’s ultimate catastrophic destruction.  It seems that no matter what they do, the oppressed have no hope left.

Yellow Cake: A Modern Parable of Terrorism and Devastating War

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Tattooed Under Fire: Fort Hood, War Experiences Inked on the Body

Tattooed Under Fire: Fort Hood, War Experiences Inked on the Body

American’s are deeply saddened by the shooting tragedy at Fort Hood, an attack by Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan on Thursday that killed 13 people and wounded 30 others on the Texas base.  Fort Hood is the largest U.S. military facility in the world and a major center for soldiers being deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.  It also houses the Army’s Warrior Combat Stress Reset Program, which helps soldiers deal with post-traumatic stress when they return.  In both cases, upon deployment and return home, soldiers attempt to deal with serious emotional issues and many seek tattooing as a way to express them or even see the process as therapy.

Tattooed Under Fire is a documentary directed by Nancy Schiesari, a film that follows the young men and women at Fort Hood who seek solace at the tattoo studio, confessing fears, expressing anger, sharing secrets and relaying personal stories about the war.  Watching clips from the film now, seeing young, buzz-headed men and women describe their motivations for getting inked with caskets and corpses, one can’t help but to begin getting a feel for the intense experiences that become material for their body art.

The film was created long before Thursday’s mass shooting; isn’t a retroactive explanation for the shootings on Thursday.  But the film may nevertheless offer some insight into the tragedy in its depiction of the stress and anguish of military duty, of the horrors of war even in the relative comforts of home.  As one soldier explains, “The more times I go over, the more of Iraq’s going to come back with me.”

Tattooed Under Fire will begin airing on PBS stations starting November 8th.  It airs on Texas’s television station KLRU, which co-produced the documentary, at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, November 10th.

Tattooed Under Fire: Fort Hood, War Experiences Inked on the Body

Viewers can read more about this riveting documentary here.

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Road to Moloch: Into the Horrifying Cave of Ancient Evil Incarnate

Road to Moloch: Into the Horrifying Cave of Ancient Evil Incarnate

Well we know where we’re goin,
But we don’t know where we’ve been,
And we know what we’re knowin,
But we can’t say what we’ve seen.

Road to Moloch is a supernatural action-horror short film by filmmaker Robert Glickert.  In recent times, not surprisingly, there have been a number of feature-length horror films set in contemporary war hot-spots, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan.  But what those films set out to do in 90-odd minutes, Glickert’s Road to Moloch manages to accomplish in 16-minutes, and with considerable force.  While on a mission to locate three missing American soldiers, a team of reconnaissance marines encounters a blood-spattered Iraqi stumbling through the desert.  After following the distraught man into the depths of an insurgent cave, the marines make some horrifying discoveries that bring them face-to-face with what may be the home of ancient evil incarnate.  Playing around with the cliches of action and horror movies, Road to Moloch manages to be a highly entertaining piece of filmmaking, if you can withstand the splatter and carnage.

Road to Moloch: Into the Horrifying Cave of Ancient Evil Incarnate

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