Larry Minear M.Div.
My major writing project in the years since our reunion has been to take a broader and deeper look than in my 2010 book at the impacts of the carnage in Afghanistan and Iraq on U.S. military personnel. This has resulted in two journal articles.
The first is in the Journal of Military Experience, an electronic journal published annually. "Afghanistan and Iraq: The Soldier's Experience" is in the JME's volume 3 and available here. The volume has a number of interesting narrative and artistic pieces by veterans.
The second piece is still in the final editing stage at the Journal of Military Ethics in Oslo, due out later in the year. It tackles some of the paradoxes of the two wars: e.g., the fact that despite many assaults on soldiers' consciences, surprisingly few sought recognition and discharge as conscientious objectors. I had help in sorting out some of the ethical issues from Jock Reeder.
Watch the Journal's site for the finished product here.
The personal highlight of last year was a visit to Israel/Palestine, a two-week trip in October at the time of the annual olive harvest to express solidarity with Palestinian farmers. The group, organized by the YMCA/YWCA, numbered about 120 (only a handful of them Americans) and combined work in the orchards with discussions of the political issues and prospects for peace.
The trip also gave me a chance to visit Tantur, the Ecumenical study center with whose launch in the eary Seventies my father had been involved. My only previous visit to Palestine had been in 1959, when the political and humanitarian situation was obviously quite different.
Closer to home, I've been working with a group of activists called the Cape Downwinders which seeks to shut down the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth, a major public health and safety accident waiting to happen and yet the recent recipient of a 20-year, few questions asked new lease on life by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission. While the 15 towns on Cape Cod have passed referenda urging the Governor to weigh in on this concern, he has yet to do so. Meanwhile, the similarities with Fukushima are alarming: same model Westinghouse reactors, same overloaded nuclear waste depository, and the same dependence for cooling on ocean water which sometimes reaches temperatures exceeding those of the water being discharged. Lots of difficult public policy issues (along with the pro's and con's of civil disobedience) to be sorted out.
That's enough of a ramble, if not too much of one, for one update. Best regards to one and all.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
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