This week in OtherWords, we’ve got a suite of veterans-themed pieces in time for Memorial Day weekend.
Iraq war vet Kevin Basl pushes back against the idea that it’s disrespectful to veterans to question U.S. wars. That’s what politicians want you to think, he argues. And Saurav Sarkar explains the concept of moral injury — the trauma that can result from doing things one regrets — and argues that if American soldiers have to feel it, the public should too.
Meanwhile, medical student Mark Luskus reports on some studies showing that VA care is the best care veterans can get, pushing back against calls to privatize veteran health care.
Finally, Jim Hightower tells the story of Smedley Butler, the retired general who famously argued that “war is a racket” — and less famously foiled a coup attempt by Wall Street millionaires against FDR.
Also this week, Sarah Anderson reports on some shocking new numbers showing the disparity between what CEOs and their employees make, and shows how that’s bad for business. Jill Richardson says it’s time for a more humane immigration debate. And Khalil Bendib imagines God sending back all those “thoughts and prayers” that follow mass shootings.
Finally, in a moving personal piece, Razan Azzarkani reflects on what it’s like — as a Palestinian American — to watch the U.S. government support Israel’s mass shooting of Palestinian protesters in Gaza.
- Questioning War is a Civic Duty. Why Do So Few Do It? / Kevin Basl
Politicians and businesses want you to think questioning war disrespects veterans like me. They’re wrong.
- Big Pay Gaps Are Bad for Business / Sarah Anderson
Payday lenders extort poor and rural Americans. One solution? Your friendly neighborhood post office.
- Don’t Privatize Veterans’ Health Care / Mark Luskus
Despite bad headlines, VA medical centers produce better health outcomes than for-profit facilities — and for less.
- America’s Treatment of Palestinians Has Grown Horrendously Cruel / Razan Azzarkani
No words can describe the anger and anguish I feel as a Palestinian in America watching this unfold.
- War and Moral Injury / Saurav Sarkar
Veterans often wrestle with the things they’ve done in war. When will ordinary Americans do the same?
- Our Immigration Debate Needs a Lot More Humanity / Jill Richardson
We should be able to debate immigration policy without calling people “animals” or disparaging the poor.
- The Retired General Who Stopped a Wall Street Coup / Jim Hightower
General Smedley Butler blew the whistle on a millionaire-led effort to oust FDR and the New Deal.
- Thoughts and Prayers: Denied / Khalil Bendib
Maybe humans can try curbing gun violence themselves for a change.