The Fayetteville Observer on domestic violence in the military

October 17, 2008 by Philip Barron · 2 Comments 

From an article by activist and retired Army Colonel Ann Wright in Truthout:

The October 14, 2008 editorial in the Fayetteville, NC Observer “Our View: Military Domestic Violence Needs More Aggressive Prevention,” focused on the murder of four military women in North Carolina and contained a startling comment: “In a way, it’s surprising that there aren’t more bodies piling up at military bases all over this nation.” The Observer is the newspaper that serves Fort Bragg, one of the military’s largest bases.

The editorial was in response to the vigil held on October 8 at the gates of Fort Bragg to commemorate the murder of four US military women in North Carolina in the past nine months, and to call for action to prevent more murders by members of the US military.

In a nine-month period from December 2007 to September 2008, four US military women were killed by military men near the Army’s Fort Bragg and the Marine Corps’s Camp Lejeune, two military mega-bases in North Carolina.

Col. Wright: “The Observer editorial was remarkable in its clarity on the causes and connections of domestic and state-sponsored violence.” From the editorial:

It’s an old argument. We train men, and now women, to wage war, then we are baffled when they do that to each other. It is driven in times of war by a national culture that can extol violence, conflating it with patriotism. And don’t overlook the general population raised on a steady diet of malevolence disguised as entertainment. In a way, it’s surprising that there aren’t more bodies piling up at military bases all over this nation. We are certain, nevertheless, that the demonstrators (at the gates of Fort Bragg) were on to something that we as a community need to address. This may become an epidemic that threatens us all. It is a problem we, as a community, military and civilian, can’t ignore. It is also a problem that we have not, so far, effectively solved.

An bold editorial from a military-town newspaper, and well worth reading. Thanks to Col. Wright, and to Deborah Newell Tornello of litbrit for the heads-up on the Truthout article.

October 15, 2008 by Philip Barron · 9 Comments 


Gregg Reese, contributor to the Los Angeles-based Our Weekly, has written on the case of PFC LaVena Johnson. The article provides an informative snapshot of the background behind LaVena’s death, autopsy findings and official statements, accounts of Congressional efforts that have thus far fallen short of results, and a broader look at the issue of