Archives For U.S. Warfare
Operation Enduring Freedom (or, Bomb Brown People) enters the 11th year as conditions in Afghanistan continue to deteriorate, and the American Empire expands into more Arab and Asia-Pacific nations. Democracy Now takes a look at the toll on veterans of the U.S. military.
With suicide killing more soldiers than combat, violent conditioning, disabilities, and shell shock all on the rise, “Is it worth it?” is no longer a question – it’s not. End the war, heal the wounded.
I rode Metra lines all weekend for the NATO Summit, and the passenger count was eerily thin. So thin, Metra is claiming a total loss of $800,000, combined with enhanced security costs. Officers stationed on the platforms inside the Loop and surrounding stations routinely outnumbered the number of travelers. In fact, the largest number of people on the trains that I saw were late Sunday evening/early Monday morning, after the protest at the Art Institute and subsequent march ended, and flocks of protestors jumped on the rails to call it (a very rainy) night.
Given what I saw firsthand, the large police presence on the rail lines, including canine units and groups of 15-20 officers at a time, combined with local Chicago businesses and news urging people to stay home or leave town for the weekend (over concerns about violent protestors,) it’s no wonder the revenue loss is so high. Looks like the PR smear campaign targeted at protestors of the summit, which was completely unwarranted, did the most damage to the city financially.
Considering the millions spent on security for the summit, and this financial loss, if I were still a resident of Chicago, I’d be outraged at the priorities and tactics of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his administration. Then again, financial mismanagement and misguided practices are nothing new for Chicago’s Mayors.
Unfortunately, the cover of the Chicago newspapers on Monday of the NATO Summit focused almost entirely on the Sunday afternoon clashes between police and protestors, and not on the overwhelmingly peaceful march that took place prior. At the end of the march was a special gathering of around 50 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who returned their medals for service in protest of the wars. This story was lucky to get a sentence in most newspapers, and *maybe* a blurb on news channels.
Below is video of the remarks as veterans threw their medals East toward McCormick Place, where the summit was located. Listening to the men and women who have served in the U.S. military is crucial for understanding how U.S. policies are failing, and innocent lives are needlessly being lost, both soldier and civilian alike, home and abroad.
National Lawyers Guild attorney Sarah Gelsomino, speaks with Democracy Now on the terror charges toward three men arrested without warrant after a police raid prior to the start of the start of the summit. Gelsomino represents one (of the five five total.) Two men are being accused by arrested protestors of being undercover officers, who are the sole individuals responsible for proclaimed terror plans.
Watch the interview below:
Three men arrested during the Bridgeport Chicago police raid on May 15th are being accused of plotting multiple terror acts, but their lawyer says it was undercover officers who brought “firebombs” to the apartment they were staying at for the NATO Summit. Prior to the raid, two of the men had already had a confrontation with police that was posted online, with an officer alluding to violence at 1968 Democratic National Convention protestors experienced by Chicago’s finest under the notorious Mayor Richard Daley.
This is definitely a case to keep an eye on.