US Wars – Forrestal Memorial Sat, 18 Sep 2021 04:50:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 US Wars – Forrestal Memorial 32 32 American war in Afghanistan, corruption and other loopholes – Prensa Latina Sat, 18 Sep 2021 04:11:55 +0000

The US debacle in Afghanistan has brought to light other issues plaguing them: corruption and other stories about the existence of a shadow government that pulls the strings of power and gets richer.

Billions of dollars from the public treasury are spent in private hands, in the military-industrial complex and unscrupulous politicians, in a filthy way.

A recent article by journalist Juan William in The Hill daily dealt with the thorny issue that is constantly present in the American media; but the answers never appear. How many former generals went to work for companies looking for military contracts? This is a question that, if answered, could reveal corruption, the latest example of which was the war in Afghanistan.

How many of these generals spurred the continuation of “eternal war” in this country, wrapped in the flag while enriching American defense contractors, themselves and corrupt Afghan government officials? asked Guillaume.

The problem is not new and, according to USA Today, for nearly a decade, the Special Inspector General for the Reconstruction of Afghanistan warned in numerous reports that “fraud, waste and abuse” part of the $ 145 billion US taxpayers would have spent on reconstruction. the Asian nation which is nevertheless trapped in total chaos.

The newspaper cited evidence, including “the squandering of $ 43 million in an unnecessary gas station and $ 28 million in uniforms with adequate camouflage for Afghan soldiers in a small part of the country.”

William pointed out that journalist Craig Whitlock’s new book, The Afghanistan Papers, documents in detail how defense and government officials lied to the public about the mission in Afghanistan to keep the war going and that their checks continued to fall. ‘pouring in, which goes way beyond the Pentagon.

But it’s not just in Afghanistan where corruption is prevalent. There are countless cases. Many of them recall that the then presidential candidate Donald Trump, an expert swimmer in these troubled waters, had looked into the issue to encourage American fervor in order to gain support for his bet.

However, he came down the slope that suited him best and there were people who even sought to get their hands in government wallets, staying at Trump’s hotel in Washington. The former head of state even advanced the initiative that his administration paid for a summit of international leaders in his Florida resort.

Trump, William pointed out, entertained his political supporters by promising them to clean up corruption from the federal government, as he cynically used it for his own profit.

According to the Pentagon, total military spending in Afghanistan from October 2001 to September 2019 reached $ 778 billion. Some of that money has been wasted on fraud and abuse over the years.

The tip of the iceberg is an increase in the profits of the military industrial complex during the war, in which Lockheed Martin stood out with 1,236% return, followed by Northrop Grumman (1,196), Boeing (975), General Dynamics (625) and Raytheon (331).

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France cancels reception in Washington, tone down celebrations for US-France War of Independence victory amid underwater spat Fri, 17 Sep 2021 12:08:00 +0000 The embassy said the celebrations had been made “more sober” and the reception scheduled for Friday at the ambassador’s residence to mark the 240th anniversary of the Battle of the Caps was called off. A reception on a frigate in Baltimore was also cut back, a senior French official told CNN, who said the changes were “to make people more comfortable.”

“It’s not anger. We’re not happy, but it’s the practical way to cope,” the official said. “In context, we took some things from the program, kept some things so that we kept the celebrations but don’t want people to have to be together.”

Other parts of the celebration will continue, including a wreath laying in Annapolis on Saturday and a visit by a French destroyer in Baltimore harbor on Monday.

The move comes a day after the United States announced a trilateral security deal with the Australians and the British focused on the Indo-Pacific region. Under the deal, the United States will help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines, which will cost Paris a multibillion-dollar submarine contract.
In a Tweeter French Ambassador to the United States Philippe Etienne noted on Wednesday: “It is interesting to note that exactly 240 years ago the French navy defeated the British navy in Chesapeake Bay, paving the way. victory at Yorktown and independence from the United States.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken sought Thursday to minimize the divide between the United States and France, stressing their importance as a “vital partner” in the Indo-Pacific and around the world.

“I want to stress that there is no regional division separating the interests of our partners in the Atlantic and the Pacific,” he told the State Department on Thursday.

The senior American diplomat said the United States welcomed “European countries playing an important role in the Indo-Pacific”, adding that “France in particular is an essential partner on this issue and on so many others that go back several generations, and we want to find every opportunity to deepen our transatlantic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and around the world. “

French officials on Wednesday expressed their anger at the new deal, with French foreign and defense ministers saying in a joint statement that “the decision is contrary to the letter and spirit of the cooperation that prevailed between France and Australia, based on a relationship of trust and on the development of a very high level defense industrial and technological base in Australia. “

“The American choice to exclude a European ally and partner like France from a structuring partnership with Australia, at a time when we are faced with unprecedented challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, whether in terms of our values ​​or in terms of respect for multilateralism. based on the rule of law, shows a lack of coherence that France can only observe and regret “, they declared.

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South Korean President to speak at Pearl Harbor repatriation ceremony Thu, 16 Sep 2021 21:13:23 +0000

South Korean President Moon Jae-in will be the keynote speaker on Wednesday at the first-ever joint repatriation ceremony at Pearl Harbor-Hickam Joint Base for servicemen who fell in the Korean War, the accounting agency said. POW / MIA.

The agency, which investigates, searches for and recovers missing U.S. war dead around the world, said 68 ROK servicemen and six U.S. servicemen will be repatriated to their home countries. The DPAA has a large identification lab, offices, and hundreds of employees in Hawaii.

The ceremony will be held with the South Korean Ministry of National Defense Agency for the Recovery and Identification of KIAs, or MAKRI, which is one of the only other major nationwide war dead recovery efforts. .

Representing the United States will be Adm. John Aquilino, commander of US Indo-Pacific Command headquartered at Camp HM Smith.

Remarks will also be made by Rear Admiral Darius Banaji, deputy director of operations of the DPAA, “highlighting the US-Rokan alliance and the noble and shared efforts to return our dead,” the US agency said in a statement. .

“This ceremony, like past repatriations, is due to the strong and long-standing partnership between DPAA and MAKRI,” added the accounting agency. “It was the incredible improvements in technology, advances in forensic science, and the strong partnership between DPAA and MAKRI that led to these identifications.”

In June 2020, the DPAA hosted a repatriation ceremony in Hickam in which the remains of 147 fallen South Korean soldiers, who fought alongside US and United Nations forces during the 1950-1953 Korean War. , were brought back to their country.

The efforts were part of the DPAA’s Korean War Identification Project and included remains unilaterally handed over by North Korea from 1990 to 1994 and in 2018. It was the largest transfer of remains between the two countries since a repatriation ceremony in 2018 when the DPAA returned 64 remains to South Korea, the accounting agency said.

Deputy Minister of National Defense Jae Min Park, a senior South Korean official present, accepted the remains on behalf of the Republic of Korea.

In the 2020 case, the remains were analyzed by scientists and staff from the DPAA and MAKRI laboratory in a joint forensic examination conducted in the days leading up to the ceremony, according to the accounting agency.

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Profit from unnecessary wars: why America is not safer after waging existential struggles in faraway lands Wed, 15 Sep 2021 10:05:52 +0000

The United States emerged from its victory in World War II as the world’s preeminent superpower. Its annual military budget, around three-quarters of a trillion dollars a year, exceeds all of the next ten countries of the world.

Yet despite the apparent global military supremacy of the United States, out of the dozen or so wars the United States has fought since 1945, it has lost all of the real wars it has fought. The only “victories” were minor military incursions to overthrow hostile governments in Granada, about 120,000 people, and in Panama, about 4.2 million people.

After millions of deaths of Americans and foreigners and billions of dollars lost in places like Vietnam, Afghanistan and the Middle East, is the United States safer and more secure because it has fought these lost wars in distant lands? No.

Did the American people profit from these wars? No. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers have been killed or injured and billions of dollars have been spent.

So if the American people are not profiting from these endless lost wars, why do we continue to fight them? The short answer is that there are powerful forces in America enriched by endless wars: the military-industrial complex and its political and economic servants and enablers.

“The United States’ war on Afghanistan was not ‘useless’, it enriched precisely who it was intended for. Businesses that profit from war get richer as the world burns down. Remember this as politicians and arms lobbyists try to justify the next war on “humanitarian” grounds! “ – CodePink

President and former General Dwight D. Eisenhower warned in his 1961 farewell address to the nation: “We must never let the weight of this [the military-industrial complex] endanger our freedoms or our democratic processes. […] Only an alert and well-informed population can compel the appropriate meshing of the enormous industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and objectives. “

Drive through the affluent suburbs around the nation’s capital and watch the multi-million dollar McMansions owned by corporate executives and lobbyists who are the true beneficiaries of America’s Eternal Wars. During the war in Afghanistan, the actions of the five largest defense contractors outperformed the S&P 500 by 58%.

Fortunes end up in the pockets of business leaders. They and their companies are spending tens of millions of dollars lobbying Congress and helping Republican and Democratic politicians buy their support for eternal war and defense budgets totaling 60% of the federal government’s discretionary spending.

This is why, even with the end of the war in Afghanistan, much of the corporate elite and corporate media are starting a new cold war with China, to justify continued overspending in the military.

The main threat to the security of the United States is not a military invasion by a heavily armed enemy superpower. The biggest threats to national security today are climate change, cybersecurity and global pandemics. These will not be resolved by spending more on the Traditional Army and fighting more by losing Forever Wars.

They require popular resistance to the military-industrial complex, the defeat of politicians on their payroll, and the transformation of America’s priorities from preparing for and tackling unnecessary wars to tackling climate, economic inequality and justice. equal.

As Warren Gunnels, director of personnel for the Senate Budget Committee, put it: “The only thing we have ‘accomplished’ by going to Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan has been to invest billions of dollars in the military-industrial complex and destroy millions of lives. . It’s time to stop making the same mistakes over and over again.

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United States celebrates 20 years of September 11, in shadow of end of war in Afghanistan Sat, 11 Sep 2021 08:13:49 +0000

The United States is expected to mark the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on Saturday with commemorations at the three attack sites – New York’s World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

The milestone anniversary comes just weeks after the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the return to power of the Taliban, the faction that housed the terrorist group founded by Osama bin Laden that carried out the attacks.

It also comes amid continued concern over the COVID-19 pandemic, which has now killed more than 11 times as many people in New York City as the nearly 3,000 who perished in the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center.

In a video posted Friday evening, President Joe Biden mourned the ongoing losses of September 11.

“Children grew up without parents and parents suffered without children,” said Biden, a childhood friend of the father of a 9/11 victim, Davis Grier Sezna Jr.

But the president also highlighted what he called the “central lesson” of September 11: “that among our most vulnerable (…) unity is our greatest strength”.

Biden is due to visit the three sites of the 2001 attacks.

Former President George W. Bush, leader of the country on September 11, is expected at the Pennsylvania Memorial and his successor, Barack Obama, at Ground Zero. The only other post-September 11 US president, Donald Trump, plans to be in New York, in addition to commenting on a boxing match in Florida that evening.

More celebrations – from a wreath laying in Portland, Maine, to a firefighter parade in Guam – are planned in a country now filled with 9/11 memorial plaques, statues and gardens.

Using hijacked planes as missiles, the attackers inflicted the deadliest terrorist attacks on American soil, killing nearly 3,000, toppling the Twin Towers and ushering in an era of fear.

Security has been redefined, with changes to airport checkpoints, policing practices and government oversight powers. In the years that followed, virtually every major explosion, accident or act of violence seemed to raise a crucial question: “Is this terrorism?” Ideological violence and plots have followed, although federal officials and the public have recently become increasingly concerned about threats from domestic extremists after years of focusing on international terrorist groups in the aftermath of September 11.

From the start, New York City faced questions about whether it could ever recover from the blow to its financial hub and restore a sense of security among the crowds and skyscrapers. New Yorkers eventually rebuilt a more populous and prosperous city, but had to contend with the tactics of a powerful police department after 9/11 and a growing gap between the haves and have-nots.

A “war on terror” led to invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, where America’s longest war ended last month with a massive and rushed airlift punctuated by a suicide bombing which killed 169 Afghans and 13 US servicemen and was assigned to a branch of the Islamic State extremist group. The United States now fears that Al-Qaida, the terrorist network behind 9/11, could regroup in Afghanistan.

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UK supermarket Morrisons plans auction to end auction war | Economic news Wed, 08 Sep 2021 10:06:00 +0000

LONDON (AP) – UK supermarket chain Morrisons plans to end a bidding war for the company by holding an auction between two US-based investment groups that have made competing bids.

Private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice has offered Morrisons about £ 7 billion ($ 9.6 billion), exceeding the £ 6.7 billion offer from a group led by Fortress Investment. But neither of the two bidders declared their final offer within the deadline set by the regulators.

As a result, Morrisons said on Wednesday it was in talks with the bidders and the UK Takeover Panel to hold an auction which will provide “an orderly framework for resolving this competitive situation”.

The competition for Morrisons began in June when Clayton, Dubilier & Rice made an unsolicited bid for the company. Morrisons, the UK’s fourth-largest supermarket chain, operates 497 stores and 339 gas stations across the country.

British assets have attracted interest from overseas buyers after uncertainty surrounding the UK’s departure from the European Union and the fallout from COVID-19 restrictions weighed on stock prices. The UK benchmark FTSE 100 has fallen 6.5% since the start of last year, compared to a 40% gain for the S&P 500.

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Morrisons said he expects the auction to be completed by mid-October, when shareholders are due to meet to review the bids.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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No battle so easily won and no battle so easily lost: the US-Taliban war Wed, 01 Sep 2021 12:28:07 +0000

In the context of the war between the United States and the Taliban, it can be said: no battle so easily won and no battle so easily lost in history. When the United States began operations against the Taliban in 2001, its senior leaders simply fled Afghanistan and sought refuge in the neighboring country. It surprised everyone, even though the Taliban-Al-Qaeda elements continued to fight. The United States was able to hold an election and the national government of Afghanistan was put in place. This year, the United States hastily withdrew, which resembled the surrender of the Axis Powers during World War II. It was just as surprising given the great technological advantage the United States had.

Jeo Biden blamed former US President Trump for the 2020 deal that “did not include any requirement that the Taliban work out a cooperation deal with the Afghan government, but he authorized the release of 5,000 prisoners last year , including some of the Taliban. the main war commanders, among those who have just taken control of Afghanistan. What he did not mention but that he perhaps wanted to make it understood that Trump gave no authority to his successor to review the agreement in view of the new circumstances.

Biden also argues that the terrorist threat has metastasized across the world, far beyond Afghanistan. In this context, he mentions that threats from al-Shabaab in Somalia; Al Qaeda affiliates in Syria and the Arabian Peninsula; and ISIS attempting to create a caliphate in Syria and Iraq, and establishing branches across Africa and Asia. But the point is that the threat from Afghanistan, which was there in 2001, is still present and there is a good chance that Afghanistan will emerge as an epicenter (of terror) stronger than ever.

However, to be fair to Biden, it must be said that he has said he continues to fight IS-K. He said: “We will continue the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan and other countries… We only demonstrated this capability last week. We struck ISIS-K from a distance, days after they murdered 13 of our military and dozens of innocent Afghans. And at ISIS-K: we’re not done with you yet. “

But unless the mother of all terrorism in the region is crushed, terrorism cannot disappear from the region. This must be clearly recognized for adequate action by the international community. The American war in Afghanistan over the past 20 years itself points to the real culprit. When Pakistan was threatened, the Taliban fled. Musharraf then said that if he had not accepted Pakistan could have lost everything. In his memoir, he remembers the Americans telling him that “if we choose the terrorists, then we should be prepared to be bombed to the Stone Age.” When Pakistan obtained ally status in GWOT, it engaged in a deceptive approach and created the Quetta Shura gradually not only allowed the Taliban to regroup, but also received weapons and weapons, in more than a safe shelter.

Not only the main Taliban leaders, but also the leader of Al Qaeda as well as other prominent terrorists with a bounty on their heads were receiving hospitality from the Pak / ISI army. This was known to analysts and senior American officials who very frequently brought it to the attention of the American administration. In April of this year, the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Jack Reed, told the Senate that “a crucial factor contributing enormously to the success of the Taliban” has been the failure of the United States to ” eliminate the sanctuary that the Taliban obtained in Pakistan. ”. He further correctly commented that “the failure of the United States to undermine this safe haven could be the biggest mistake of Washington’s war.”

Imran Khan’s statement praising the Taliban reveals the Pak-Taliban link. Welcoming the reimposition of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, he noted that the Afghan people have broken the “chains of slavery”. What else does it take to bind the Taliban and their associates to the Pak establishment. Former vice president Amrullah Saleh and head of the Afghan intelligence agency made it clear that all of Pakistan was behind the Taliban.

The Pak Army-ISI duo have always been close to Al-Qaeda. In September 2020, Imran Khan admitted that the Pakistani military / ISI trained Al Qaeda and other groups in Afghanistan at an event in New York. While he tried to protect the leaders of the Pak Army and the ISI, stating that only the lower staff knew about it, this is far from the truth. Osama bin Laden could not have stayed for years in Pakistan as well as in Abbottabad without the express permission of senior Pakistani officials.

IS-K’s links with ISI are also palpable. Pak Army and ISI have specialized in creating new fronts to achieve Pak objectives. There are reports suggesting that initially ISI prompted some people in the TTP to form IS-K in order not only to weaken the TTP but also to have an additional outfit to use against American and Indian interests. In 2014, a Pakistani national, Hafiz Saeed Khan, was chosen to lead IS-K province as the first emir. Khan, a veteran TTP commander, took with him other prominent TTP members, including the group’s spokesperson, Sheikh Maqbool and numerous district leaders, when he pledged allegiance to al-Baghdadi in October 2014 Abdul Rauf Khadim, a former Taliban commander was chosen as Khan’s deputy. In 2017, it was reported that some members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jammat-ud-Dawa, the Haqqani Network and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan had also joined the IS-K. This further increases suspicion about the role of the ISI in strengthening the IS-K.

Basically, the IS-K’s objectives are not limited to controlling the ancient land of Khorasan or Iraq and Syria. It claims the Pamir Mountains which include Tajikistan’s Gorno-Badakhshan Province, the Tian Shan Mountains covering Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and China as well as China’s Kongur Tagh in Xingjiang. IS-K seeks to establish a caliphate beginning in South and Central Asia, governed by Sharia law, which will expand as Muslims from across the region and the world join it. His global aspirations include hoisting the banner of al-Uqab over Jerusalem and the White House. He attacked the Chinese engineers with TTP.

It is difficult to determine to what extent the ISI controls this organization, but it has substantial control over the Haqqani network, which in turn has a close relationship with the IS-K. So the ISI can certainly push them against Indian and American interests. IS-K also plans to support IMU and ETIM.

From the above, it is clear that unless the perpetrator of terrorism in Pakistan is rendered incapable of sponsoring terrorism, the region would continue to be the epicenter of terrorism. This lesson learned by the United States in Afghanistan should be internalized by the international community to take the right measures. The UNSC, under the Indian presidency, has taken the right step to address the immediate challenges of preventing terrorist groups in Afghanistan and urged them to assist in the safe evacuation of all Afghan nationals wishing to leave the country. The resolution also stresses that Afghan territory must not be used to threaten or attack any country or to harbor and train terrorists and plan or finance terrorist attacks. It specifically mentions the people designated by UNSCR 1267, ”which includes Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM). There are elements among the Taliban and their associates who would break promises as long as they got support from Pakistan. Al-Qaida’s recent message is a grim reminder of this fact. Therefore, the larger goal should be to cripple the source of terrorism, which should be pursued by all with their parochial interests aside.



The opinions expressed above are those of the author.


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In memory of Nathan Chapman, 1st American soldier killed during the war in Afghanistan: NPR Sat, 28 Aug 2021 10:22:09 +0000

Keith and Lynn Chapman during their StoryCorps taping in Frederick, Maryland on August 20.


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The last conversation Keith Chapman had with his younger brother Nathan Chapman was Christmas Day 2001. Nathan had called his family from Afghanistan.

Although the 31-year-old, Sergeant First Class of the 1st U.S. Army Special Forces Group, was unable to reveal his location, his family rounded him up based on the time Nathan was at. said that was where he was calling from.

“I don’t remember much we said,” Keith said during a StoryCorps interview in Frederick, Md., Last week with their mother, Lynn Chapman.

It wasn’t that unusual. The brothers, who are only two and a half years apart, have always had a complicated dynamic born from their two very different personalities.

A few weeks after that phone call, Keith heard on his car radio that an American soldier had been killed in Afghanistan. He thought, “Well, yeah, Nathan is here, but he’s one of those who knows how many? So I put him out of my mind.”

That is, until he comes home that night.

“My wife greets me at the door and says, ‘I have bad news.’ ” he said.

“It was my birthday and I said, ‘Oh, you burnt the cake.’ She said, ‘No, your father called.’ “

It was then that it became clear to Keith that the fallen soldier was his own brother.

Nathan was killed in action near the town of Khost on January 4, 2002. He was the first American soldier to be killed by enemy fire in the war in Afghanistan.

Chapman’s death was just over a month after the first American combat death in the war. Johnny “Mike” Spann, a 32-year-old CIA paramilitary officer from Alabama, was killed in late November 2001 during a revolt by Taliban prisoners in northern Afghanistan.

Unspoken words

Keith said that growing up with his brother, “I felt like he was too different from me to really understand what was good about him.”

Keith was studious and didn’t make friends easily. Nathan was the outgoing.

“He didn’t withdraw from me,” Keith said. “I think, if anything, I pulled myself away from him.”

Left to right: Nathan, Lynn and Keith Chapman, pictured in 1981 in Contra Costa County, California.

The Chapman family

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The Chapman family

Left to right: Nathan, Lynn and Keith Chapman, pictured in 1981 in Contra Costa County, California.

The Chapman family

Since his death, Keith has struggled to deal with the relationship he had with his brother.

“All of these memories are over 40 years old now and they’re all very thin on my mind,” Keith said. “I haven’t had the last 20 years where an adult could share time with his brother.”

“And I think it probably, if not slowed down my improvement in understanding, maybe it accelerated my loss of understanding.”

The past two decades have given Keith time to think about what he would have liked to say to Nathan. Lynn asked her son what he would have said to his brother if he had had the chance.

“There was an opportunity at his funeral to provide some words to say,” Keith told him. “But I couldn’t find what was really important.

“The thing I would say instead is that – there were times when I thought Nathan was less than me. And that I was wrong. There were times when I thought – and he was. even said – that he would never be anything. And I was wrong. Everything he wanted to do was important and meaningful. “

“I don’t see it as a symbol”

Nathan Chapman immediately joined the army. In 1989, it participated in its first combat mission, in Panama, and continued to deploy to Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm. In September 1991, he volunteered for special forces training.

Nathan Chapman in Haiti, 1995.

The Chapman family

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The Chapman family

“He was a part of the special forces natural fit,” said Lynn. As a “very, very social guy,” she said, he developed a strong bond with his small unit in which supporting each other was crucial.

He also served in Haiti in 1995 before spending three years in Okinawa, Japan.

Nathan has been highly decorated, with accolades including the Bronze Star with the “V” device, denoting “Valor” for his heroism in battle, and a posthumous Purple Heart. It later emerged that Chapman had also worked for the CIA and was honored on the CIA Memorial Wall.

But for Lynn, her son is more than a famous example of American sacrifice and heroism.

“People acquire a quality greater than life when things like this happen,” she said. “But I see him as a son and a child, then as a soldier.

“I don’t see him as a symbol. In a way, it takes him away from me.”

Along with Lynn and Keith, Nathan is survived by his wife Renae, his two children Amanda and Brandon, his father Wilbur and his half-brother Kevin.

Product audio for Weekend edition by Eleanor Vassili.

StoryCorps is a national non-profit organization that gives people the opportunity to interview friends and loved ones about their lives. These conversations are archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, allowing participants to leave a legacy for future generations. Learn more, including how to interview someone in your life, at

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Relatives of Filipino drug war victims alarmed by Duterte’s comments on their continuation | World news Wed, 25 Aug 2021 12:19:00 +0000

MANILA (Reuters) – Filipino activists and families of victims of a war on drugs that has claimed thousands of lives see with dismay the possibility of President Rodrigo Duterte remaining vice president for six more years after the end of his term next year.

The constitution bars a reelection bid for Duterte, 76, but he said on Tuesday he would run for vice president in 2022 -2-philippines- duterte-raises-suspicions-of-rivals-by-seeking-the-vice-presidency-in-2022 / ar-AANF4dE in order to continue his crusade against insurgency, criminal activity and traffickers drug.

“For four years we have been waiting for justice,” said Randy Delos Santos, who believes that if Duterte succeeds it would make justice even more difficult for families like his who have lost a limb to the drug campaign.

“For four years we have lived in fear,” added Delos Santos, who worries about the prospect of reprisals after the August 2017 assassination of his nephew, high school student Kian, which led to the first convictions of police officers in the war on drugs. .

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Since Duterte unleashed the drug crackdown in 2016, Philippine security forces say they have killed 6,165 suspected drug traffickers because they fought back, but human rights groups say authorities summarily executed them.

Three police officers convicted of murder in the murder said they shot Kian Delos Santos in self-defense and appealed to a higher court.

The death features in a report by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which seeks to launch a full investigation into murders linked to the war on drugs international-criminal-court-prosecutor-request-probe-in-philippines-murders-2021-06-14.

Duterte accused the ICC of prejudice against him, canceling the membership of the Philippines to the body in March 2018, just weeks after the prosecutor declared the preliminary examination had begun and later dared to judge him.

“I have never denied, and the ICC can record it: those who destroy my country, I will kill you,” he said in a state of the nation speech last month.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, who belongs to Duterte’s ruling PDP-Laban party, said his post as vice president would ensure the continuation of government agendas, including the war on drugs.

The possibility that Duterte may remain in an executive post beyond 2022 shows that “national accountability mechanisms will not work to achieve justice,” said Cristina Palabay of human rights group Karapatan.

While Duterte is legally entitled to run for vice-president, this “violates the spirit of the law” which sets a term limit to prevent abuse of power, said law professor Antonio La Viña of the Ateneo de Manila University of the capital.

Duterte’s critics believe the prospect of losing immunity after his term ends makes him eager to run for vice-president as a shield against legal action.

“This is motivated by the fear of accountability, both of the ICC and of our own justice system,” said 1Sambayan, a group of opposition figures who include a staunch critic of Duterte, the former judge of Supreme Court Antonio Carpio.

Lawyer Kristina Conti, who represents the families of some of the victims, fears the killings will continue if Duterte remains in office.

Duterte spokesman Harry Roque said on Wednesday that the vice-presidential bid project had not been finalized and would not be continued if the president’s daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio, now mayor from the family’s southern stronghold, Davao City, seek the presidency.

“The president said if Mayor Sara Duterte were to run for president he would be absent, as would Senator Bong Go,” Roque told reporters, referring to Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, Duterte’s assistant and successor. selected.

Sara Duterte, who leads the senator in opinion polls, did not immediately answer questions about her plans for the race in 2022. She previously said she was not interested.

Justice Minister Menardo Guevarra urged people to stay true to the justice system.

“President Duterte has never said that law enforcement officers who have overstepped the bounds of the law in the performance of their duties will be unharmed,” he told Reuters.

“Our justice system, while not perfect with all the institutional challenges it faces, continues to function.”

(Reporting by Karen Lema; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

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Guilderland’s Gold Star fathers: sons lost in a war America has now lost Wed, 25 Aug 2021 00:58:00 +0000

“We are just devastated,” said Raymond Clark.

Clark is the father of Lt. Col. Todd J. Clark, killed in an insider attack by an Afghan National Army soldier on June 8, 2013, in which two other people were also killed and three injured.

Elder Clark is one of three Gold Star Fathers from Guilderland who lost a child to the war in Afghanistan. “The day my son died was the worst day of my life. And that, the world events right now, comes right after. “

The Taliban were in power when the United States started its war in Afghanistan 20 years ago, and the Taliban are back in power now. The United States had hoped to see it as a stable democracy, backed by a strong army, but that hope collapsed just days after the last American troops left.

Clark, who is known to his friends as “Jack”, said he was not yet in a position to formulate many clear ideas on recent developments, but said the troop withdrawal did not appear. well planned strategically.

“At least they haven’t forgotten the Gold Star families,” he said.

Many presenters, he said, told viewers to remember the people who lost loved ones in Afghanistan, Iraq and other parts of the world in the global war on terrorism. Military generals have gone on television telling Gold Star families, “The deaths of your children have not been in vain,” he added, his voice broken.

LC Clark has completed a total of seven deployments, including five combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. During his fourth combat tour, in Afghanistan, he was struck by an improvised explosive device, an improvised explosive device, and he then spent eight months recovering at Walter Reed Hospital where he was involved in the Wounded Warrior Project.

On his fifth and final tour, he returned to Afghanistan as Senior Advisor to the Afghan National Army and commanded the base where he was killed, Afghanistan’s largest forward operating base, serving with the 10th Mountain Division.

Rafael Nieves Sr., whose son was the only one of the three to be killed in action, tried to express his feelings about the end of the war. “It’s sad, and it’s – I don’t know what to think anymore. I have the impression that we went there for nothing. My son lost his life for no reason.

Army specialist Rafael Nieves Jr. was 22 when he was killed on July 10, 2011, with a bullet to the chest while holding the top of a tank and fired back while patrolling in a remote area near the Afghan border with Pakistan.

In the service of the 101st Airborne Division, he had been stationed overseas as an infantryman since the previous November. He was due home only two weeks later, where he had a wife and two young children waiting.

“We should be in Afghanistan right now,” said his father, who owns AC’s Towing and Recovery with his wife. His tow truck is adorned with his son’s photo, stars and stripes and the word “NEVER FORGET”.

He added: “I think our president should never have withdrawn our troops. We had everything under control.

But Nieves also said he was comforted to know his son had died doing something he loved.

Another insider attack

Major General Harold J. Greene, who died August 5, 2014 at the age of 55, was the most senior officer killed in an active combat zone since the Vietnam War. Major-General Greene was an engineer, serving his first posting in a combat zone. Its main task was to set up training programs for the Afghan army and provide the necessary logistical support for these programs.

He was shot dead, his father Harold F. Greene recalls, by a member of the Afghan security team tasked with “sweeping” areas through which dignitaries would pass during their visit, ensuring that buildings were clear of fire. threat. He and other officials at the time were visiting the country’s equivalent of West Point, the premier training ground for military officers.

“The security team was made up of people you trust,” said Jon Greene, the younger brother of the major general, whose elder Greene was visiting the house. “They have to be, right? You go through guard towers and other places where there are armed people.

He continued, “I saw it a thousand times in my head. Why was this guy allowed to have a gun so close – but you have to trust someone. No one had foreseen that the threat would come from the security team.

Harold F. Greene is not surprised by the withdrawal of Afghanistan into the hands of the Taliban. “It was a country that was still very unstable and could have gone one way or the other, towards democracy or, what would you call it, towards a country based on force,” he said. declared.

Elder Greene sees current events through a long lens. He does not see the recent Taliban takeover as a disaster, he said, or even as an end. “To return to Europe after World War II, there is an evolution that brings a country back to democracy, even after Taliban types take power.” Such a change, Greene said, is “an evolving type of thing that happens over a period of years.”

His son had told him in the year of his death that US efforts to build a strong Afghan army were progressing, but there was still a long way to go before the Afghans could provide for themselves.

“Maybe they never got to that point,” Greene said this week. At best, he continued, Afghanistan has “a long and difficult road ahead”.

And the United States no longer has internal contacts or input into decision-making, said Harold F. Greene. “By itself, this can be expressed as a loss if you wish.”

He said the United States and Afghanistan lost a lot with the death of his son.

The fathers of LTC Clark and MG Greene are veterans. Jack Clark made a career in the military and retired as a colonel. Harold F. Greene spent 14 months in Korea between World War II and the Korean War, attended college on the GI Bill, and spent about 30 years teaching math and science in high school.

Because of his military background, he is better equipped to deal with the end of the war than his wife and son are, Clark said. But even so, he can’t help but watch the news which is the source of so much consternation.

Jon Greene said his father had told him a few nights earlier that the United States had two objectives in Afghanistan and that one was successful: to protect the United States from potential attacks at home. The other goal was to make this permanent, helping to make Afghanistan a stable democracy.

“And that unfortunately won’t happen,” said Jon Greene.

Sources of support

Clark was cheered up when asked about his grandchildren, Todd’s children.

He explained that his 21-year-old granddaughter Madison will graduate in December with a special education degree from Texas A&M, Todd’s alma mater, and then come up north to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Albany.

Grandson Collin is a second lieutenant in the army and will serve in the Second Cavalry Regiment, where his father was a troop commander. Clark said, “My grandson is going to be a great officer; he’s phenomenal.

Clark looks forward to the seventh annual TJ Clark Memorial Golf Tournament, which this year takes place on September 11 at the Western Turnpike Golf Course. “September 11 was the only date they had,” he said, and that date seemed very appropriate to him. The event always begins with a ceremony featuring groups of local veterans and motorcyclists, who have been a constant support for his family, he said, as well as a bagpiper and chaplain.

“When Todd got home,” he said, referring to his son’s last flight home from Afghanistan, 250 members of the American Legion Riders and Patriot Guard Riders locals were there for the honor at the airport.

The golf event brings in about $ 20,000 each year to veterans organizations, Clark said. “It’s my way of giving back to the community,” he said. He added, almost in a low voice, “besides sacrificing my son.”

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