I agree with a three-star General


I don't find myself in agreement with military leaders that often, but Lt. General Karl Eikenberry and historian David M. Kennedy have a fascinating piece in the New York Times that I have to say makes a lot of sense.Read more »

The Brit royals send their kids to war


I'm not a big supporter of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I've learned not to glorify military service, which often ends very badly, but I have to say: It's always interested me that when Britain is at war, the kids of the royal family are sent to fight, too. It's an ancient tradition, I guess, but it still goes on -- and it's very different from the United States. Read more »

The Performant: Interpreting Iraq


Aftermath at Stagewerx attempts to humanize recent refugee experience.

An austere set greets the assembled theater-goers in the black box arena of Stagewerx: a projection of a shop-lined street in the Middle East, a few chairs, an aerial photograph of Iraq perched on an easel, an incongruous television, and a pair of shoes.

A lone figure in a headscarf and wide trousers, Rafidain (Yara Badday), approaches the centerstage and begins to speak in Arabic, offering chai, looking anxiously over her shoulder for her interpreter, Shahid (Mohamed Chakmahchi). In Theatre Period’s ongoing production of Aftermath, the year is 2008, the location is Jordan, and all of the characters are Iraqi refugees, their stories gleaned from a series of interviews conducted by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen on the subject of the 2003 US invasion and occupation of Iraq, and its ongoing repercussions. 

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SFPD-FBI spying restrictions could face mayoral veto


If the San Francisco Police Department isn't working with the FBI to secretly spy on law-abiding local residents – as a secret document released last year indicated they had the authority to do – then why are Police Chief Greg Suhr, Mayor Ed Lee, and others opposing legislation that would ban such surveillance?Read more »

End war, bring that money home -- a controversial proposition, even in SF?


A substantial majority of Americans support ending the war in Afghanistan, decreasing the military budget, and redirecting that money to domestic needs, a position held even more strongly in liberal San Francisco. Read more »

Protesters blast Wall Street and war; support OccupySF


Story by Nena Farrell, photos by Ariel Soto-Suver

“We’re mad as hell, and we’re not taking it anymore!” was Tanya Dennis’s cry yesterday (Thurs/6) afternoon at a march and rally that drew from the Occupy San Francisco/Occupy Wall Street and the anti-war movements. It began at the Federal Building at Mission and 7th streets, where protesters will return today at 4:30 pm for a march marking the 10th anniversary of the war against Afghanistan. Read more »

Feinstein gets box of toy soldiers, as Obama prepares to announce troop draw down


As Obama prepares to announce a troop drawdown this week, Peace Action West’s political director Rebecca Griffin delivered a box of thousands of toy soldiers, each attached to a petition for a swift withdrawal of U.S troops from Afghanistan, to Sen. Dianne Feinstein's San Francisco office on Monday afternoon. Unlike many Democratic senators, Feinstein has not publicly demanded a rapid drawdown. Read more »

Anti-war groups disappointed with Obama's speech


By Kristen Peters

Bay Area-based anti-war organizations were disappointed that President Barack Obama reaffirmed his support for war in Afghanistan while ousting the commanding general there, saying the doomed and dangerous military intervention is a bigger problem than the generals involved in executing it. Read more »

The real issue in Afghanistan


The Rolling Stone article on Gen. Stanley McChrystal has the blog and pundit world all atwitter, with calls for the general's resignation, deep sighs of remorse, lofty comments about the sanctity of the commander in chief and the chain of command and lots more. The dude screwed up; you don't let your aides dis the president like that. But that's really off the point.Read more »

Lefty protesters greet Obama in SF


President Barack Obama arrives in San Francisco this afternoon (5/25) for a fundraiser at the Fairmont Hotel, where he'll be greeted by protesters from at least two realms of the progressive movement: immigrant rights activists unhappy with his administration's reluctance to take on immigration reform, and anti-war activists angry that Obama has continued President George W. Bush's pro-war and anti-civil liberties policies.Read more »