GOOD

Afghanistan: America's Longest War?

This is the 10th Veterans Day we've celebrated since the start of the war in Afghanistan. Does that mean it's our nation's longest war?


As of today, we have been at war in Afghanistan for nine years, one month, and four days. This is the 10th Veterans Day that we've celebrated since the beginning of Afghan combat operations.

Does that make it America's longest war? That depends on whom you ask. Earlier this year, some people in the media awarded the war in Afghanistan that dubious honor. However, as the Obama Administration's special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, told NPR's Robert Seigel, Vietnam should be considered the nation's longest war.


The discrepancy arises from using 1964's Gulf of Tonkin resolution as the official start date for the Vietnam War, which ended in 1973. But as Holbrooke points out, "American casualties [in Vietnam] began no later than 1961," and he believes that in order to honor the memories of those servicemen, it's incumbent on us to recognize them as part of the war effort.

For reference, American's formal involvement in World War I began on April 6, 1917; armistice with Germany was reached on November 11, 1918, though the Treaty of Versailles wasn't signed until June 28, 1919 (that's a total of two years and 66 days). American involvement in World War II lasted from December 8, 1941, to September 2, 1945 (three years and 266 days). That means we've been at war in Afghanistan longer than we were involved World War I and II, combined.

It's worth noting that the Soviet war with Afghanistan—which ultimately resulted in a stalemate, the withdrawal of Soviet forces, an Afghan civil war, and (some would argue) the crippling of the Soviet economy—lasted from December 27, 1979, to February 15, 1989. That's nine years and 50 days. To reiterate, we've been there for nine years and 34 days.

To step back a bit, we've been engaged in some form of military conflict for most of our nation's history. Today, let's keep that in mind by taking time to honor the generations of men and women who've seen that conflict first hand.

Photo (cc) by Flickr user The U.S. Army

Articles
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics

There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

Keep Reading Show less
test
Me Too Kit

The creator of the Me Too kit — an at home rape kit that has yet to hit the market — has come under fire as sexual assault advocates argue the kit is dangerous and misleading for women.

The kit is marketed as "the first ever at home kit for commercial use," according to the company's website. "Your experience. Your kit. Your story. Your life. Your choice. Every survivor has a story, every survivor has a voice." Customers will soon be able order one of the DIY kits in order to collect evidence "within the confines of the survivor's chosen place of safety" after an assault.

"With MeToo Kit, we are able to collect DNA samples and other tissues, which upon testing can provide the necessary time-sensitive evidence required in a court of law to identify a sexual predator's involvement with sexual assault," according to the website.

Keep Reading Show less
Health

Villagers rejoice as they receive the first vaccines ever delivered via drone in the Congo

The area's topography makes transporting medicines a treacherous task.

Photo by Henry Sempangi Senyule

When we discuss barriers to healthcare in the developed world, affordability is commonly the biggest concern. But for some in the developing world, physical distance and topography can be the difference between life and death.

Widjifake, a hard-to-reach village in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with a population of 6,500, struggles with having consistent access to healthcare supplies due to the Congo River and its winding tributaries.

It can take up to three hours for vehicles carrying supplies to reach the village.

Keep Reading Show less
Health
via Keith Boykin / Twitter

Fox News and President Trump seem like they may be headed for a breakup. "Fox is a lot different than it used to be," Trump told reporters in August after one of the network's polls found him trailing for Democrats in the 2020 election.

"There's something going on at Fox, I'll tell you right now. And I'm not happy with it," he continued.

Some Fox anchors have hit back at the president over his criticisms. "Well, first of all, Mr. President, we don't work for you," Neil Cavuto said on the air. "I don't work for you. My job is to cover you, not fawn over you or rip you, just report on you."

Keep Reading Show less
Politics