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Robert Mackey

Entries by Robert Mackey

SXSW: Where Soldiers Come From and the Myth of Small Town America

(12) Comments | Posted March 15, 2011 | 5:43 PM

I recently had the opportunity to see an early version of Heather Courtney's new documentary, Where Soldiers Come From, a deeply emotional film following a group of young men from the Upper Peninsula (UP) who enlist in the Michigan National Guard following high school, and find themselves in the midst...

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The Day I Lost What Few Voting Rights I Had

(296) Comments | Posted January 6, 2011 | 12:12 PM

I am a veteran. I served my country -- proudly -- from 24 years, and through three wars (Panama, Gulf War, Iraq).

And yesterday, I lost a bit more of my rights as a citizen in this great republic. My non-voting representative from D.C. lost her ability to vote on...

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When Cowards Speak

(4) Comments | Posted November 22, 2010 | 12:28 PM

I sat last week at my favorite drinking spot in Washington, DC, and watched, with tears in my eyes, a young soldier receive his nation's highest honor. For an old soldier like me, what was just as important as Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta's award was seeing the faces of other...

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Politicizing the "Managers of Violence"

(76) Comments | Posted October 5, 2010 | 1:05 PM

I read The Huffington Post daily, and not just because they were nice enough to allow me to blog. I like the spread of news available; it gives a good balance to other news sites.

However, I keep looking for something on a serious internal debate inside the U.S. military,...

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A Former Military Planner's View: Why Israel Lost

(505) Comments | Posted June 1, 2010 | 3:15 PM

Just like most of you, I've been spending the last day just watching videos and reading spin from all sides.

Here's my 50 cents on the whole mess. And it is a mess, a mess of Israel's making. Recently, I read Ben MacIntyre's new book Operation Mincemeat,...

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Misremembering: The Failure to Teach History in America

(6) Comments | Posted May 25, 2010 | 10:06 AM

I love history, specifically American history. The blame is quite simple; a summer trip for a six year old to the battlefield at Shiloh, Tennessee, in the late 1960's. I came home wearing a blue kepi and a carrying a toy musket. I was bitten by the bug of history,...

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Part 3: Confederate Heritage Month -- What this All Really Means

(21) Comments | Posted April 9, 2010 | 1:04 PM

This is the third, and unless there is a major gaffe tonight from Richmond, the final part of my writing on the serious problems with Confederate Heritage Month in Virginia.

In the first entry, I noted the slight "omission" by Governor McDonnell of the institution of slavery in his proclamation....

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Not Good Enough, Governor: The 'Omission' of an Entire Race and the Union Dead

(38) Comments | Posted April 8, 2010 | 11:48 AM

Yesterday, I wrote on the subject of Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell's proclamation of "Confederate History Month" and the misuse of history.

Then the Governor's office issued a statement noting that "a major omission" in the original proclamation. That oversight?

That there were actual slaves in Virginia in...

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"Confederate" Heritage? The Suppression of Truth and the Misuse of History

(119) Comments | Posted April 7, 2010 | 11:22 AM

I opened this morning's Washington Post ( to find that the governor of Virginia, Robert McDonnell, has determined that the state's tourism demands requires a renewal of "Confederate History Month," which has lain dormant for the past eight years.

Ok, I get it. The state needs money and...

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The Greatest Generation, Minus One

(2) Comments | Posted March 22, 2010 | 11:12 AM

First, sorry it has been a bit since I last posted. Work has been heavy, and my son is getting ready to start at George Mason this fall. Unlike his wastrel father (BA, Political Science, MA, Ph.D in History), the boy is somewhat more motivated and realistic (Applied Computer Science,...

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Double Agentry: How Not to Spy by Your Al Qaeda Friends

(5) Comments | Posted January 6, 2010 | 11:49 AM

First, it has been a while since I last blogged on HuffPost so I am sorry about that--new job, new house, and a new dog (i.e., 80 pounds of thundering love).

I recently wrote a post on my good friend Eric Martin's blog Obsidian Wings. I think that...

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The Only Real "Existential Threat": A Sane Path for Reducing Nuclear Arsenals

(12) Comments | Posted February 11, 2009 | 8:59 AM

"Existential Threat."

In my last decade of active military service, to include a stint as a student at the Army's School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS, aka "the Jedi Knight School"), I heard this phrase bandied around on a fairly common basis. Al Qa'ida was called an "Existential Threat." North...

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Want to Help Veterans? A Guide for the New Administration in Two Easy Steps.

(17) Comments | Posted February 10, 2009 | 11:05 AM

The return of tens of thousands of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan over the past few years, and the expectation of the largest wave of war veterans into US society since 1972 has become an important topic for the new administration. Paul Rieckhoff and the folks at IAVA are advancing...

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150th Civil War Sequiscentennial

(6) Comments | Posted January 27, 2009 | 8:17 AM

In a bit over two years, it will be 150 years since Confederate troops opened fire on the Federal forces inside Fort Sumter, South Carolina. Four years and 650,000 dead later, the guns fell silent.

We have just elected our first African-American President. This singular act brings to focus...

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Rethinking American Defense Strategy

(2) Comments | Posted January 26, 2009 | 12:36 PM

Like many of you, I'm just now catching my breath from the election, the holidays and the inauguration. Unlike many of you, I had a wedding and a trip to Mexico thrown in, so I am just now getting back to the sport of blogging.

With the new administration taking...

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Terrorists, Secessionists, Sarah Palin and Guilt by Association

(179) Comments | Posted October 5, 2008 | 11:43 AM

I was appalled (and annoyed) this weekend by the newest wave of hypocrisy to come spewing perkily forth from the ever-smiling, ever-smirking, perfectly lipsticked mouth of Governor Palin. I'm actually starting to enjoy (for comedic reasons only) her interviews that are nothing more than disconnected prepositional phrases laced with stock...

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Huzzah for Governor Palin, On to Richmond! General McClellan Has Arrived in Afghanistan!

(134) Comments | Posted October 3, 2008 | 10:39 AM

Like everyone else on the planet, I watched Governor Palin attempt to debate Senator Biden last night.

In general, there wasn't a car crash of moose-killing proportions. It was just more of the same -- someone who was so far out of her league on the issues that she could...

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The American Imperative: McCain's Suspension and the Democractic Process

(8) Comments | Posted September 24, 2008 | 6:35 PM

As many of you, I was shocked today by the announcement from the McCain campaign of the suspension of his campaign so he can deal with the economic crisis.

What surprised me was in two major parts. I'll address this to Senator McCain, who I have long respected as an...

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The Real Issue: Governor Palin and the Survival of the Republic

(186) Comments | Posted September 2, 2008 | 10:19 AM

I was reading Jake Tapper's blog post on ABC News and became quite disturbed over Governor Palin's association with the secessionist Alaska Independence Party (AIP). I can slough off the baby rumors. I can live with the Governor's conservative ideology. What I can't stand for is the possibility that...

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Wal Mart's War on America

(57) Comments | Posted August 21, 2008 | 8:30 AM

I received the following yesterday in my inbox, from Jim Campi, communications director of the Civil War Preservation Trust: "Stop the Wilderness Wal Mart!"

I'm a member of the CWPT, and have been for many years. It has done some excellent work in buying and preserving land that...

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