FROM Nadia McCaffrey
Origins of Memorial Day; Honoring Our Fallen Soldiers Memorial Day began after the Civil War, which killed 600,000 Americans, North and South. But the first day of remembrance wasn't really about them. It was started by southern women, mourning what they called the Lost Cause: the Confederacy. When the northern states got into the act, it was all about commemorating the soldiers who died for the Union. We bring the history up to the present holiday—which is also about barbeques, three-day weekends and the beginning of summer. Does America do a good job of remembering war dead? What about grieving families and living veterans?
Iraq and PTSD Pentagon policy calls for equal time on and off duty, but troops in Iraq spend 15 months in combat with just 12 months on leave. If President Bush decides to maintain the current build-up, tours may be extended. A military report says the constant threat of death and exposure to atrocities leads to depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress syndrome. Mental health issues may be more severe than they were during Vietnam or World War II. Senior commanders, veterans and their doctors agree that civilians don't understand the mental health consequences of combat and its aftermath. We hear about flashbacks, panic attacks, fearful wives and frightened children. Are Marines and soldiers getting the help they need when they have to return to combat or when they finally come home to adjust to civilian life?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
GOP 'Nukes' the Senate filibuster on SCOTUS nominees Senate Democrats today blocked Judge Neil Gorsuch's appointment to the US Supreme Court… but just for the moment. The Republican majority has changed the rules to force a likely confirmation as soon as tomorrow.
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.