I spoke to the Community Church of Boston yesterday as to the purpose of Memorial Day. Along with my remarks on that topic, I answered questions on Ukraine, the flag, Junior ROTC, the lasting effects of war, and whether the Roman Eagle was present at the Sermon on the Mount (spoiler: it wasn’t).
I referenced a section of Walt Whitman’s When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d in my talk to the Community Church of Boston:
I saw battle-corpses, myriads of them,
And the white skeletons of young men, I saw them,
I saw the debris and debris of all the slain soldiers of the war,
But I saw they were not as was thought,
They themselves were fully at rest, they suffer’d not,
The living remain’d and suffer’d, the mother suffer’d,
And the wife and the child and the musing comrade suffer’d,
A simple summation of my thoughts for Memorial Day: At home only the dead have seen the end of war, as has long been said and understood, while overseas the wars, and their attendant suffering, continue. For what purpose, other than greed and megalomania, I cannot say.
Today, I am excited to announce my campaign seeking the nomination of the North Carolina Green Party for the US Senate.
Below you will find the announcement message from the North Carolina Green Party, which summarizes my reasons for running and a bit of my political philosophy. You can find additional details, including my platform, on my campaign website and watch my campaign announcement on YouTube.
I will keep this message brief, but I hope you will join me in this campaign. I need to gather 14,000 signatures from registered North Carolina voters by May 15 to be on the ballot. Please let me know if you can help by signing up to volunteer here.
You can also directly reply to me and let me know if you can assist with the campaign in any other way. Of course, one of the best ways you can help is by sharing news of my campaign with your family, friends, contacts and followers. You can follow and share my campaign through the campaign website, Twitter and Facebook.
I want to thank all of you for your friendship and support in the past. Again, I am excited about this campaign, and I hope you can also be a part of it. I would not be running if this were not necessary and if I did not think it possible to retake, reimagine, and rebuild our political system.
The North Carolina Green Party is proud to announce our first-ever candidate for nomination for the US Senate, Matthew Hoh. A Wake Forest, NC resident, Matthew is a dues-paying member of the NCGP and has been enthusiastically endorsed by the party membership by consensus.
For much of my life, North Carolina has been my home. It is a place that has welcomed and supported me, where my family lives, and a place where I was able to rebuild my life after the wars.
I spent ten years in the Marine Corps and went to war three timesbefore realizing the courage to stand against those unjust, immoral, and counterproductive wars. Since 2009, I have fought not only against the war machine but also against the systemic political and financial rot that underlies and connects our problems in North Carolina, the United States, and beyond. It’s not just the overseas wars that have stolen futures from our country and others – it’s also the wars against the working class, the continued racial injustices, the War on Drugs, the criminal for-profit healthcare system, our unsustainable housing crisis, and so many other inequalities, injustices, and inequities that not only stifle individuals and families, but diminish and hold back entire neighborhoods, communities, municipalities, and our entire country.
In 2009, Matthew resigned in protest from his post in Afghanistan with the State Department over the American escalation of the war. In 2010, Matthew was named the Ridenhour Prize Recipient for Truth Telling. Matthew’s writings have appeared in online and print periodicals such as the Atlanta Journal Constitution, CounterPunch, Defense News, the Guardian, the Huffington Post, Mother Jones, the Raleigh News & Observer, Charlotte Observer, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. He has been a guest on hundreds of news programs on radio and television networks including the BBC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, Fox, NBC, MSNBC, NPR, and Pacifica. The Council on Foreign Relations has cited Matthew’s resignation letter from his post in Afghanistan as an Essential Document.
For strong potential candidates like Matthew to get on the ballot in North Carolina in 2022 and beyond, the North Carolina Green Party must collect at least 14,000 approved signatures on a petition by early May. Matthew Hoh’s campaign will be strongly committed to getting on the ballot. However, Matthew cannot accomplish this goal without your help. Please visit the NCGP petition site to sign up to volunteer and find other resources. Let us know if you need us to send you a petition form!
Here’s a small sample from many excellent interviews, events, and articles featuring Matthew:
You can find more media links such as interviews with Democracy Now! as well as with Krystal Ball and Kyle Kulinski on Matthew’s Senatecampaign website, where you can also sign up for more information, donate, and join his campaign team:
Please join me in this campaign to break our political system away from the corrupt two-party system beholden to the wealthy, the banks, and the corporations. I would not be running if this were not necessary and if I did not think it possible to retake, reimagine, and rebuild our political system.
The US supports nearly 75% of the world’s dictators, autocracies, monarchies, military regimes, etc., with weapons, military training and money. Please remember this the next time someone tells you the US should do X or Y because such and such a nation is bad…
Comparing Freedom House’s list of Not Free nations* to FY 2020 US overseas weapons sales, military training and financial assistance**, we find that of the 57 nations considered undemocratic, 42 receive weapons, training and/or money for their military and security services. This means 74% of the non-democratic nations of the world are supported militarily by the US. Interestingly, the remaining 15 nations are nearly all sanctioned. The world’s countries can be divided into two parts: those who buy/receive weapons from the US and those sanctioned. It seems like it’s a pretty simple arrangement.
74% is a slight increase from four years ago when Rich Whitney at Truthout utilized the Freedom House list and compared it to FY 2015 military assistance data. It is likely no surprise to anyone that US support for non-democratic governments increased under President Trump, but, to be fair, it was a minor increase. The hypocrisy and dissonance between stated US support for democracy, liberty and freedom, and how the US government conducts itself exists whether a Democrat or Republican is in the White House.
The list of nations is below. I have listed occupied territories with the nations that are occupying them; so, Gaza and West Bank are under Israel, Western Sahara is under Morocco, Tibet is under China, and Donbas and Crimea are under Russia. Also, please note, this list only includes nations not considered democracies. Nations that are listed as partly free or free by Freedom House, but are clear and gross violators of human rights, and that are recipients of US weapons, military training and military assistance funding, like Columbia, Honduras, India, Pakistan, Philippines, and Ukraine are not included.
Y denotes received weapons, military training or military funding assistance, or a combination.
Central African Republic Y
China (includes Tibet) N
Democratic Republic of the Congo Y
Equatorial Guinea N
Morocco (Western Sarhara) Y
North Korea N
Republic of the Congo Y
Russia (includes Crimea and Donbass) N
Saudi Arabia Y
South Sudan Y
United Arab Emirates Y
*This is not an endorsement of Freedom House or its methodology. However, Freedom House is an excellent source for this purpose as no one will accuse Freedom House of being anti-American, pacifist or isolationist in their ideology, leftist or libertarian in their political leanings, non-believers in American Exceptionalism, etc.
Hi everyone. I hope you are all keeping well and healthy.
As many of you know, I was busy these last few months with interviews and commentary on the events in Afghanistan and the 20th anniversary of 9/11. I am grateful to all of you for your support and friendship, particularly these past few months.
Before I post some writings and interviews, I want to say I am on twitter at @matthewphoh if anyone would like to follow me.
First, I want to link to an interview I did with Kenneth Rosen at War, USA on veterans suicides. As many of you know, I have spoken and written a great deal on veterans suicides, and their connection to moral injury and war, but in this interview I go a bit farther in my explanation and discussion:
On the podcast Conflicts of Interest with Kyle Anzalone. Here I share a bunch of stories about my interactions with members of Congress, particularly during 2009-2012, and how so many of them, both Democratic and Republican, willingly chose to go along with the war either due to personal political benefit, willful ignorance, political cowardice, etc. I have another interview scheduled with Kyle to discuss the journalists and media who did the same:
“While there are undoubtedly many causes for veteran and service-member suicide, within the sub-group of combat veterans, we see clearly elevated rates of suicide. The primary reason behind those deaths to suicide may be the guilt, shame, and regret that come home with us after the war. The obstacle, and thus the very thing that will keep these veteran suicides continuing, is the unwillingness of American politicians, generals, bureaucrats, the media, and, yes, the population as a whole, to honestly ask and answer why so many combat veterans kill themselves.”
“This journey towards courage continued until I finally had the strength to confront my own moral and intellectual dishonesty. In many ways it was a breakdown, a collapse of my mind and spirit due to the weight of mendacity, yet it was also a rebirth. To find such courage I needed examples and Mike Gravel was one of them.”
“Much of the argument against withdrawal ignores how truly counterproductive the war in Afghanistan has been. Consider just two facts: In the years prior to the US invasion in 2001, Afghanistan and Pakistan were home to four international terror groups. Now, the Pentagon testifies that the number of such terror groups has grown to 20 or more.
“On my TV, I watched Chris Pratt heroically battle aliens 30 years in the future. However, such a war would be fought almost entirely by robots. The idea of robots fighting aliens is no longer a purely speculative one, as the robots do exist. Autonomous robots that utilize artificial intelligence, machine learning, computerized fire control systems, and amazingly sensitive sensors are machines that do not seem to miss and never hesitate to pull the trigger. It is clear the aliens Chris Pratt fights in the future would not stand a chance against today’s robots. That is Hollywood, though. The question for us, outside of the movie theater and away from our TVs, is what chance we as human beings stand?”
Press statement on Afghanistan. Thank you Institute for Public Accuracy.
MATTHEW HOH, firstname.lastname@example.org Hoh is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and a member of the Eisenhower Media Initiative. He is a 100 percent disabled Marine combat veteran, and, in 2009, he resigned his position with the State Department in Afghanistan in protest of the Afghan War by the Obama administration. He was featured on an accuracy.org news release last month: “Biden Rejection of Afghan Agreement Means the ‘Taliban Will Resume Killing Americans.’ “Comparisons of Afghanistan to Iraq in 2014, play on the specious fear that a U.S. exit from Afghanistan will result in a comeback of Islamic militant forces, are disingenuous, and ignore the reality of what actually happened in Iraq after 2011. “The success of the Islamic State in Iraq in 2014 was not due to the absence of U.S. forces in Iraq, but rather was due to the brutal sectarianism of the Iraqi government against the Sunni minority, and, critically, the the direct and indirect support of the Islamic State in Syria by the United States and its allies. The U.S. believed it could control the Islamic State, and other jihadist groups in Syria, in order to overthrow the Assad government. The U.S. also believed the Islamic State would not cross the literal line in the sand that divides Syria and Iraq, the country that most of the Islamic State leadership came from. The Obama administration decided it could control the Islamic State for its purposes, which resulted in another example of catastrophic blowback in U.S. military and foreign policy. “Further, the idea Kabul will resemble Saigon in 1975 is again specious fear mongering. The Taliban, of course, want power, but they are not suicidal. They understand a violent takeover of Kabul, akin to the Islamic State takeover of Mosul or al Qaeda’s takeover of Aleppo, will result in Kabul being completely devastated by foreign air forces, just as occurred in Afghanistan in 2001, and in multiple cities in Iraq and Syria from 2014-2017, including Mosul and Aleppo. That is an outcome the Taliban are aware of and cannot want. “Additionally, the Taliban cannot win in Afghanistan without the support of the Pakistanis. The Pakistanis want a client state in Afghanistan, but they also do not want the instability and chaos of Afghanistan to continue, particularly if a Taliban takeover of Kabul results in renewed resumption of a U.S.-led escalation of the war similar to 2001. “The Pakistanis have an incentive to see stability and a power sharing agreement occur in Afghanistan, especially if their ally is given a prominent role. This outcome necessitates the need for negotiations and a peace process, and cannot occur if the Taliban are only given the option of victory or defeat. “This is the first formal peace process in Afghanistan in over 30 years in a war whose violence goes back to 1978, prior to the Soviet invasion. This peace process is dependent upon foreign forces leaving Afghanistan. Regardless of whether the 3500 acknowledged U.S. troops leave Afghanistan, the U.S. military will still be present in the form of thousands of special operations and CIA personnel in and around Afghanistan, through dozens of squadrons of manned attack aircraft and drones stationed on land bases and on aircraft carriers in the region, and by hundreds of cruise missiles on ships and submarines. “A peace process is what the Afghan people need and deserve after so many decades of cruel and unimaginable suffering, much of which has been perpetrated and sustained by foreign forces and intentions. Violence has proven to be counterproductive and horrifically destructive, a peace process is the only chance for Afghanistan, its neighbors and the world.”
I uploaded a podcast titled Rush Limbaugh, Settlers in Palestine and Butterflies in Okinawa. This episode is about succeeding and failing in compassion, especially in the context of our political lives, actions and beliefs.
I uploaded another podcast. This one, Coming home, being even more distant…and not having sex, deals with the issues combat veterans and their partners experience with intimacy and sexual relationships. As with my other recordings, while I focus on combat veterans, much of what I say can be applied to others. I hope this may be of benefit to individuals and couples that may be struggling.Here’s the website. Apple and Spotify links are available below as well. Please share.
As some of you know, I began a Master of Divinity program this year via Naropa University. Naropa is a Buddhist school and my program has an emphasis on Buddhist Studies and Contemplative Care. For one of my classes, I created a podcast.
Titled “The Buddha, Kipling and Heartbreak”, this podcast explains how Buddhism, in particular meditation and mindfulness, can help us cope with the loss of a pet. More broadly the teachings explained in this podcast can help with losses of all kinds in our lives. Please give it a listen and let me know what you think. I think this podcast and its theme/content is very much in line with the purposes I had in mind when I started this blog more than 7 years ago.
I hope this is of benefit to some people and please excuse the rough nature of the podcast. Below the link to the podcast you can find the original Kipling poem that inspired the podcast.
THERE is sorrow enough in the natural way From men and women to fill our day; And when we are certain of sorrow in store, Why do we always arrange for more? Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
Buy a pup and your money will buy Love unflinching that cannot lie Perfect passion and worship fed By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head. Nevertheless it is hardly fair To risk your heart for a dog to tear.
When the fourteen years which Nature permits Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits, And the vet’s unspoken prescription runs To lethal chambers or loaded guns, Then you will find – it’s your own affair, – But … you’ve given your heart to a dog to tear.
When the body that lived at your single will, With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!), When the spirit that answered your every mood Is gone – wherever it goes – for good, You will discover how much you care, And will give your heart to a dog to tear!
We’ve sorrow enough in the natural way, When it comes to burying Christian clay. Our loves are not given, but only lent, At compound interest of cent per cent, Though it is not always the case, I believe, That the longer we’ve kept ’em, the more do we grieve; For, when debts are payable, right or wrong, A short-time loan is as bad as a long – So why in – Heaven (before we are there) Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?