Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

W.D. Ehrhart: Afghanistan | Vietnam Redux

The real tragedy in all this is that the United States of America invaded yet another foreign country, imagining that we could bend it to our will and create a “Mini-Me” version of ourselves, and then spent twenty years, trillions of dollars, and thousands of lives ignoring what was obvious from the very outset.

August 20, 2021 · 6 Comments

Alfred W. McCoy: America’s Drug Wars

Fifty Years of Reinforcing Racism

July 7, 2021 · 5 Comments

Richard Levine: Disturbing the Peace

“Do you want to know what war is about?”
Jake asked the talkative one. 
“Don’t say it, Jake,” I said. 

May 31, 2021 · 5 Comments

Michael Simms: American Ash (text and video)

Old warriors rarely
say anything about
people they killed or
horrors they saw

April 24, 2021 · 10 Comments

Richard Levine: One Night in America

The first time I noticed my hands
trembling, I was still a young man,
just returned from a war…

January 19, 2021 · 2 Comments

W. D. Ehrhart: Paul Fussell — A Remembrance

While Fussell wrote on a wide variety of subjects over his long life—ranging from Augustan humanism, Samuel Johnson, and Kingsley Amis to the 2nd Amendment, the Indianapolis 500, and travel in between-the-wars Europe—war, the irony of war, the suffering and lunacy and permanent damage of war, the unfairness of war, lay at the heart of his writing and of his being.

May 31, 2020 · 3 Comments

Barrett Swanson: The Soldier and the Soil

Their prose often stood head and shoulders above the standard freshman drivel, exhibiting a certain rigor of thought and depth of feeling that perhaps comes from having witnessed whole anthologies of trauma—entire villages razed by fire, wide-eyed children draped in gore, wives screaming beside mutilated husbands.

May 31, 2020 · Leave a comment

John Samuel Tieman: Self-portrait with folks in St. Louis

still I recall the rains in the islands
the cold in Mexico and how
I imagined my mother standing
on the porch looking south

February 27, 2020 · 1 Comment

Michael Simms: The end of civilization as we know it

I want to apologize for walking in
When the dog was licking
Your bald head as you lay
On the couch drinking rum
Straight from the bottle…

January 18, 2020 · 23 Comments

Nick Turse: The Moral Injury of War

Some men are very nearly monsters, capable of killing without compunction or remorse. In the everyday civilian world, we generally seek to lock them up. In war, they have a chance to fully flower.

December 4, 2019 · Leave a comment

John Samuel Tieman: Thank you for your service

At the gym the other day, a few of us old veterans were talking among ourselves. The subject drifted to how tired we are of that “Thank you for your … Continue reading

November 11, 2019 · 29 Comments

Andrew J. Bacevich: Reflections on “Peace” in Afghanistan

However great my distaste for President Trump, I support his administration’s efforts to extricate the United States from Afghanistan….Prolonging this folly any longer does not serve U.S. interests. Rule number one of statecraft ought to be: when you’re doing something really stupid, stop.

September 16, 2019 · Leave a comment

Philip Terman: Such Abundance

When he called for help,
they put him on hold
longer than he could stand
and he broke
the phone in half.

August 8, 2019 · 1 Comment

Audio: Martin Luther King — Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. – April 4, 1967 – Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence [Full and unabridged] “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence“, also referred as Riverside … Continue reading

April 4, 2019 · Leave a comment

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