The Brit royals send their kids to war


I'm not a big supporter of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I've learned not to glorify military service, which often ends very badly, but I have to say: It's always interested me that when Britain is at war, the kids of the royal family are sent to fight, too. It's an ancient tradition, I guess, but it still goes on -- and it's very different from the United States. Read more »

You need to know about Afghanistan. Here's how you can start


What fresh hell is this. Last weekend, a US Army staff sergeant who has suffered past traumatic head injury walked off his military base and allegedly shot 16 Afghani men, women, and children.

Sadly, that Wall Street Journal article about the matter that I linked to in the first sentence of this post goes on to state that not only does Hilary Clinton think the incident has no bearing on our country's "steadfast dedication to protecting the Afghan people," the Afghan people don't seem to be all that surprised by the US serial killer in their midst. A tribal elder from the Helmand province was quoted as saying "even if he was a madman, what about all the other times when they've killed our innocent women and children? How do you explain those?" Iraq Veterans Against the War has one answer -- the group released a statement that says the military's policy of redeploying mentally unfit troops in the field is to blame. The suspect soldier was on his fourth tour of duty.

The incident only underlines the fact that Afghanistan is no longer on anyone's mind anymore. What is going on out there? Read on for an upcoming Bay Area event that hopes to provide some answers. Read more »

Protesters blast Wall Street and war; support OccupySF


Story by Nena Farrell, photos by Ariel Soto-Suver

“We’re mad as hell, and we’re not taking it anymore!” was Tanya Dennis’s cry yesterday (Thurs/6) afternoon at a march and rally that drew from the Occupy San Francisco/Occupy Wall Street and the anti-war movements. It began at the Federal Building at Mission and 7th streets, where protesters will return today at 4:30 pm for a march marking the 10th anniversary of the war against Afghanistan. Read more »

Feinstein gets box of toy soldiers, as Obama prepares to announce troop draw down


As Obama prepares to announce a troop drawdown this week, Peace Action West’s political director Rebecca Griffin delivered a box of thousands of toy soldiers, each attached to a petition for a swift withdrawal of U.S troops from Afghanistan, to Sen. Dianne Feinstein's San Francisco office on Monday afternoon. Unlike many Democratic senators, Feinstein has not publicly demanded a rapid drawdown. Read more »

Did McChrystal speak out to get out?


Of all the theories  about why McChrystal let his hair down in front of a reporter no less, the idea that he did it to get the hell out of "Chaos-istan" may be the most credible. On the other hand, McChrystal sounds like the kind of guy who wouldn't want to see his men (and women) put in harm's way, if he wasn't around to support them. Read more »