I distinctly remember the first Fort Hood shooting. I was driving to a speaking event in Dallas when my phone started ringing off the hook. The Third Armored Cavalry Regiment - my unit during my Iraq deployment - is based out of Fort Hood, and my friends were doing their own, informal "100 percent accountability" call to make sure we were all alive and unhurt. I can remember feeling simultaneously relieved that my friends were all okay and enraged that other soldiers had been shot down in cold blood on home soil.
My phone didn't ring immediately yesterday. By now, most of my brothers from Sabre Squadron have scattered around the country and around the world, but the thought of soldiers shot down, unarmed, on home soil is still infuriating - even if this time the shooter wasn't a jihadist.
A few thoughts: more >>
The Nigerian army has been accused of committing crimes against humanity in a recent clash with Islamic terrorist organization Boko Haram that left 600 people dead, Amnesty International said in a report, noting that the violence and death toll in the conflict has escalated greatly in 2014.
"The scale of atrocities carried out by Boko Haram is truly shocking, creating a climate of fear and insecurity. But this cannot be used to justify the brutality of the response that is clearly being meted out by the Nigerian security forces," said Netsanet Belay, Research and Advocacy director for Africa at Amnesty International, in a statement Monday.
"The summary killing of these detainees amount to extrajudicial executions and are crimes under international law. These killings follow an entrenched pattern of deaths in custody of detainees held in relation to the situation in the northeast." more >>
Republicans just can't help reminding blacks why they should not consider voting for them, at least not seriously. In a Fox News interview, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld compared President Barack Obama to a "trained ape" for his failure to sign an agreement with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai on the number of US troops allowed to remain in Afghanistan after 2014 to help with security.
"A trained ape could get a status of forces agreement. It does not take a genius. And we have so mismanaged that relationship," said Rumsfeld.
While I agree Obama's retreat from the world stage has virtually neutered America's influence globally in conflicts like Syria, Iran, and Crimea, comparing the first black president to a trained ape is just in the poorest of taste. Since slavery, racists have compared blacks to monkeys, gorillas, apes and called blacks derogatory names like nigger, coon, and darkies. After Obama's election, more than a few Republican politicians have compared him, his family, and other blacks to animals. more >>
Ukraine officials have said that close to 100,000 Russian troops have been stationed around its borders, sparking new tensions as U.S. President Barack Obama urged Russia to move its soldiers away.
"Almost 100,000 soldiers are stationed on the borders of Ukraine and in the direction ... of Kharkiv, Donetsk," said Andriy Parubiy, chairman of Ukraine's national security council, according to AFP.
"Russian troops are not in Crimea only, they are along all Ukrainian borders. They're in the south, they're in the east and in the north." more >>
Far from being repentant of the Armenian Genocide, Turkey, under the leadership of Prime Minister Erdogan, is again targeting Armenians; is again causing their death and dislocation.
In the early morning hours of March 21, al-Qaeda linked Islamic jihadis crossed into Syrian territory from the Turkish border and launched a jihad on the Christian/Armenian town of Kessab. Among other thing, "Snipers targeted the civilian population and launched mortar attacks on the town and the surrounding villages." Reportedly eighty people were killed.
The jihadis later made a video touring the devastated town. No translation is needed, as the main phrase shouted throughout is Islam's triumphant war cry, "Allahu Akbar" (or, according to Sen. John McCain's translation, "thank God"). more >>
Groups supporting the usage of the "So Help Me God" oath for the military have posted a billboard in Colorado near the United States Air Force Academy.
The Chaplains Alliance for Religious Freedom and the Restore Military Religious Freedom coalition erected the billboard in Colorado Springs earlier this week.
Featuring a photo of Mount Rushmore, the billboard has an upper caption that asks, "Air Force cadets, are you free to say so help me God?" and a lower caption that says, "They did," in reference to the presidents on Rushmore. more >>