Danny and I got the opportunity to sit for our first interview with Marine combat veteran and US State Department whistleblower Matthew Hoh. Matt joins us here to discuss our new president, the unending war in Afghanistan, and recent increases in US activity in Africa.
Here’s part 1. Enjoy!
Matthew Hoh is a member of the advisory boards of Expose Facts, Veterans For Peace and World Beyond War. In 2009 he resigned his position with the State Department in Afghanistan in protest of the escalation of the Afghan War by the Obama Administration. He previously had been in Iraq with a State Department team and with the U.S. Marines. He is a Senior Fellow with the Center for International Policy.
To learn more about Matthew Hoh, visit his blog at https://matthewhoh.com
In Episode 2, Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen discuss recent developments in the military’s case against Bowe Bergdahl and the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen.
01:00 – VA PAWS Act
05:00 – Afghanistan
13:00 – New beret for SFAB
27:00 – Bowe Bergdahl sentence announcement
38:00 – Army secretary nominee
44:40 – HR McMaster on Trump’s use of language
55:10 – Yemen
1:32:00 – Total
American society has always been deeply connected to our military, even if that connection changes as time goes on. Our attitudes aren’t the same about it as they were during the Vietnam era, and even more different during the WWII/Korea era. I firmly believe that a society can be deeply reflected by examining its attitudes towards military service.
Up until 1973, every war Americans fought and died in require conscription to a certain extent (otherwise known as the draft.) This means that during those wars, both volunteers and those compelled to military service fought side by side. That means that every deployment of US forces since the end of the Vietnam War has been fought purely by volunteers. It also means that after the end of the draft, it reduced the number of opinions in the pool of those who determine where and when US troops go. Specifically, since servicemembers from today’s military usually comes from the South or West and generally are lower middle class, it reduced the cost of war to only those sectors of American society. Yes, the occasional famous and or rich person might service (Pat Tillman and Beau Biden are the best recent examples I can remember,) but overall, the pain of war has been reduced to those communities. So if war is only paid by certain classes and it’s those other classes that determine when and where we make war, why not have endless wars? And of course the companies that make the most money from endless war (Haliburton, KBR, Raytheon, General Dynamics, etc.) have no interest in ceasing such a profitable business.
This is one of many subjects Danny and I intend to examine in our podcast. We want our listeners to hear the truth about military service and understand who really pays the most, in wages and blood, when it comes to waging war and who gets paid the most. A recent Military.com article I saw referenced 4,000 troops from Fort Carson are heading to Afghanistan in 2018. For a seventeen year war, in a place that once had over 100,000 troops at one time (to almost no success over time,) it is not going to be significantly changed by so few troops. But that means more American lives in jeopardy, and again as I stressed earlier, the deaths and wounds of these troops will not be felt by our upper classes. They will count their large stacks of money and continue to lobby Congress to buy more weapons and deploy more troops, all the while having no real skin in the game. That’s to say nothing of the foreign national deaths that our long occupations of the Middle East have caused. Hundred of thousands killed and many more than that wounded. And please understand I’m not talking about Taliban deaths or other enemy combatant deaths. I’m talking about innocent people caught between our forces and the people those forces are sent to fight. Clearly, our leaders do not see these lives or their loss to be any kind of a moral question. Often, the only moral question these leaders might have is how many dead ‘terrorists’ we have killed. And to many of them, every dead Arab is a ‘terrorist.’
Please come join our conversation and help us bring an end to the ignorance that continues the losses of both American and foreign national lives.
Why are US troops deployed in Africa? If you’re confused why, you’re not the only one.
In FOH’s first episode, Henri and Danny break down major stories from the military / veteran community, including updates about Bowe Bergdahl, whistleblower and recently released former soldier Chelsea Manning, and the deaths of four US Special Forces soldiers in Niger.
00:30 – Russian missile testing
02:05 – Kurdish MG on the US’s failings in Iraq, Newsweek article by Kurdish general.
03:40 – II MEF stretched thin.
06:50 – Yemen humanitarian crisis
11:25 – Cameroon torturing terror suspects
13:30 – SF deaths in Niger / US military mission in Africa
42:05 – Bowe Bergdahl and his current status
1:01:00 – Chelsea Manning
1:21:00 – Total
Got news to share about our military or veterans?! Or just need to cuss at us for a bit?! Contact us direct by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen
The show was mixed and edited by Chris Henrikson
Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL
Music provided royalty free by Bensound.com
Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.