Monday, December 14, 2009

I took a leave of absence.

My semester officially ended on Friday. My papers are all handed in and I took my German final. So, I’m back.

What have I missed? 30,000 troop surge in Afghanistan? Check. A plan for the 30,000 troops? Hmm not so much…no check. Tiger Woods flooding the airwaves? Double check. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi punched in the face? Ouch. Check. Copenhagen climate meeting - 200 arrested. Check. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said: "I would still have thought it right to remove him (Saddam Hussein). I mean obviously you would have had to use and deploy different arguments, about the nature of the threat." Blair will be questioned next year at an inquiry into Britain's role in the 2003 conflict. So, former President Bush hanging in Texas while Blair is being questioned for his support for the Iraq War? Check and I’ll check the bullshit box while I’m at it.

What I’ve stumbled upon today.

Back from combat, woman struggle for acceptance.

A great article on what life is like for returning female veterans.

“Female service members have much higher rates of divorce and are more likely to be a single parent. When they do seek help at VA medical centers, they are screening positive at a higher rate for military sexual trauma, meaning they indicated experiencing sexual harassment, assault or rape. Some studies have shown that female veterans are at greater risk for homelessness.”

Vanity Fair article: Tycoon, Contractor, Soldier, Spy By Adam Ciralsky

“Erik Prince, recently outed as a participant in a C.I.A. assassination program, has gained notoriety as head of the military-contracting juggernaut Blackwater, a company dogged by a grand-jury investigation, bribery accusations, and the voluntary-manslaughter trial of five ex-employees, set for next month. Lashing back at his critics, the wealthy former navy seal takes the author inside his operation in the U.S. and Afghanistan, revealing the role he’s been playing in America’s war on terror.”

If you’ve ever had any doubt about what Blackwater really did in Iraq or Afghanistan this article will set you straight. Was I surprised when I read it? Not so much. I figured Blackwater did a little more then drive around in up-armored SUVs and act as security guards. They walked around base like they were Heaven sent and never uttered a word to anyone. After all, a private military that was paid $100,000 plus a year really were in their own league…I mean, why even have the “really” Army in Iraq if you can just use these superheroes for everything?

I have some sad news to report, “Xe Services’ (formerly Blackwater) contract with the C.I.A. was reportedly terminated by C.I.A. director Leon E. Panetta.”


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