A Reply to the Taliban

Dear Taliban,

Thank you for your letter to the American people.

As one person in the United States I cannot offer you a representative reply on behalf of all of us. Nor can I use polls to tell you what my fellow Americans think, because, as far as I know, polling companies haven’t asked the U.S. public about the war on your country in years. Possible explanations for this include:

  1. We have several other wars going on, and the blowback includes a lot of self-inflicted mass-shootings.
  2. Too many wars at a time doesn’t make the most desired packaging for advertisements.
  3. Our previous president announced that your war was over.
  4. Many here actually think it is over, which makes them useless for polling on the topic of ending it.

I do want to let you know that some of us saw your letter, that some news outlets reported on it, that people have read more

Florida Shooter’s JROTC Took NRA Money, Excelled at Marksmanship

35% of U.S. mass shooters are military veterans, as compared with 14.76% in the general population for the same gender and age. See documentation of this below.

First a couple of Tweets:

Now an image from: https://jrotceagles.com

Whether the latest school shooter’s participation in a JROTC program that took NRA money and trained in marksmanship contributed to the shooting or not, it is symptomatic of a culture in which many schools are forgetting that read more

Witness Out of Palestine

Anna Baltzer’s amazing book Witness in Palestine: A Jewish American Woman in the Occupied Territories has been updated over the years, and I’ve just read it for the first time. Rather unfairly, and — as it turns out — wrongly, my first response upon turning the initial pages was: Do we really need another one of these? Jewish person believes pile of myths. Jewish person confronts reality. Jewish person tries to open the eyes of others. It’s become as familiar read more

Video of Debate #2: Is War Ever Justifiable?

Our first debate was February 12th. This was our second, held February 13, 2018, at Eastern Mennonite University, moderated by Lisa Schirch.

Youtube.

Facebook.

The two speakers’ bios:

Pete Kilner is a writer and military ethicist who served more than 28 years in the Army as an infantryman and professor at the U.S. Military Academy. He deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan to conduct research on combat leadership. A graduate of West Point, he holds an MA in Philosophy from read more

Video of Debate on Is War Ever Justifiable?

On February 12, 2018, I debated Pete Kilner on the topic of “Is War Ever Justifiable?” (Location: Radford University; Moderator Glen Martin; videographer Zachary Lyman). Here is video:

Youtube.

Facebook.

The two speakers’ bios:

Pete Kilner is a writer and military ethicist who served more than 28 years in the Army as an infantryman and professor at the U.S. Military Academy. He deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan to conduct research on combat leadership. read more

Bernie Sanders Hits on Winning Message He Avoided in 2016

A video has shown up on Senator Bernie Sanders’ Facebook page, with his name on it and his face in it making all the familiar (to a small number of people) points about U.S. military spending (how much it is, how it compares to the rest of the world, how it does not produce jobs, what wonders could be achieved with a small fraction of it, etc.).

I wish there were mention of the fact that it kills huge numbers of people, or that it risks apocalypse, or that it damages the earth’s environment. read more