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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 01:24 pm:   

In his 2003 State of the Union speech, Gov. Bush promised to "do for the people of Iraq what he had done for the poeple of Afghanistan". Below is a description of what the women of Iraq have to look forward to...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1146134,00.html

If you are not angry, you are not paying attention.
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Thomas R
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 02:45 pm:   

I know my voice isn't wanted on things like this, but I just want to say something brief than I'll be silent.

This is interesting, but can you cite something more than an opinion piece from the Guardian. One that mostly just said things haven't yet improved enough. The main exception to that being a single unnamed NGO worker who say things are worse now. It's good to learn about these things, but expecting angry opinion to be based on angry opinion is only realistic for a group like those most vocal here. Granted preaching to the choir is likely the point and if so I apologize.

In closing I am curious what alternative you wish for Afghanistan. What do you think could have or should have been done that would've been better. I will from this point on be silent and listen.
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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 03:15 pm:   

The opinion piece from the Guardian specifically referred to reports by amnesty international. This Opinion piece is actually written by a woman who lives in Afghanistan. I’d be more likely to believe her assessment of the situation then some talking head from the Bush regime. Do your own research. Tell ME what the world press and NGO’s are saying about Afghanistan. Do you do that? No. Instead you disingenuously suggesting that conditions MIGHT not be as described. If you are going to impugn the reliability of this first person account of conditions in Afghanistan, perhaps YOU should dig up the proof that the writer is incorrect. I offered this link because I felt a first person account was compelling -- perhaps compelling enough that some people might look beyond the propaganda (like that which I cited from the 2003 state of the Union) and outright lies that circulate in the media, and find out the truth for themselves. Too much to ask of you, I see.

As to your other question. What I WISH would have happened in Afghanistan is that Bush would have finished what he started... I WISH he wouldn't have put the Northern Alliance warlords in charge of the country, given them guns, and money, and then moved along to Iraq. This was one of the criticism about the Iraqi invasion, that there was still unfinished business in Afghanistan – both socially/politically, and from a “war on terror” standpoint.

I WISH Rumsfield would have actually committed ground troops to Afghanistan, instead of simply arming warlords. If the US had done so, Osama might not have escaped, and we might actually be in a position to affect positive political/social change in the region. Instead we rely on bad intelligence from corrupt warlords to direct air strikes against innocents, among other things.

I Wish that most of our military wasn’t tied down in Iraq, where there never was a threat (militarily, or from terrorism), until we started dropping bombs

This isn't a matter of irrational hatred of a leader, as you have often suggested about critics of Bush and his policies. This is a matter of bad policy decisions, and bad policy execution. If you want to pretend that the problems in Afghanistan aren't there, or is being exaggerated, then, perhaps your name is incredibly appropriate.

-jl
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Thomas R
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 04:08 pm:   

Thank you for your response. It's good to understand your view better. I apologize for taking up your time good day.
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 09:52 am:   

I'm willing to buy what the article from the Guardian has to say. I believe the author is probably correct.

That being said, I suspect RAWA's chances of achieving their goals under the current government are a great deal higher than the previous regime.

Under the Taliban, regardless of the deep roots of feminism in Afghanistan, I suspect their chances were non-existent.

And if we had followed the previous administration's anti-terror policy, they wouldn't even have the chance they have now. We'd still be sitting here stateside dodging falling skyscrapers. Gore would not have lifted a finger.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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rwexler
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 10:29 am:   

"Gore would not have lifted a finger."

I'm sorry, but that's an asinine statement. All presidents send the bombers and the troops. How many wars of the late 20th century were fought with Democrat presidents?

This is the kind of scare-monger crap that the Republicans are going to use in the election. Keep us, and you'll be safe, elect a Democrat, and they'll offer terrorists the other cheek to stab. Oh wait, that's a Christian sentiment, and the Republicans are big on that Christianity stuff. Or maybe just the parts about smiting enemies and keeping marriage safe.

Robert
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R.Wilder
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 10:42 am:   

The rain of death upon Afganistan would've happened regardless of which empty suit was in the Oval Office.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 11:03 am:   

And if we had followed the previous administration's anti-terror policy, they wouldn't even have the chance they have now. We'd still be sitting here stateside dodging falling skyscrapers. Gore would not have lifted a finger.

Clinton was working against terrorism and tried some bungled attacks against Al Qeada. He left plans and warnings for the Bush Administration that were ignored for months. I find it unlikely that Gore would have also ignored them.

I'm not saying Clinton's plans were good, that Gore would have succeeded with them, but they did have an anti-terror policy that involved action, and the current administration ignored it until disaster struck. Following the previous administrations policies would have involved action before September 11 and would have many of the same tactics tried.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/bush/story/0,7369,769399,00.html
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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 11:12 am:   

SF Murphy,
Do you understand WHY the Taliban was able to gain power in Afghanistan? The Northern Alliance Warlords that ran the country, pre-Taliban, made it so completely unsafe for women, with the rapes and murders that were so wanton, that the Taliban instituted a strict behavioral code that (amongst other things) stemmed the tide of violence. It wasn’t SAFE for a woman to be in public without a male relative, etc.

Under the Taliban there WAS a system of law and order. That is what they offered the populace, and that is why they gained the power that they did. I'm not apologizing for their brutalities, or saying that they weren't a heinous regime. What I am saying is that your assessment that "women's rights movements" stand a better chance now is completely idiotic. Essentially the country is right back where it was when the Soviets pulled out -- a completely lawless hell-hole. This is not progress, and the most likely result is that some other extremist religious movement will again take power and squander any advances that have been or could have been made over the last 15 years. As for Gore "not doing anything", who's invasion plan do you think Bush and Cheney used?

Do you want a good parallel in history? Look at the women’s rights movements in Iran. Even in that theocracy, there have been minor but steady improvements since the revolution. A similar pattern MIGHT have been possible under the Talliban regime. No such incremental pattern is currently likely in Afghanistan.
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Thomas R
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 01:21 pm:   

With due respect that's complete and utter nonsense. Have you followed Iran lately? The hard liners are making a comeback and have taken out the reformist from the Majlis. Further it took Iran almost 20 years to get to even this point.

Yes the Taliban did come to bring order, and even protect women from rape. So? The Fascist came to bring order and stopped the Italian Mafia. Once they were gone the mafia returned and Italy remains one of the most corrupt nations in Western Europe. Ending their rule was still right.

True much of Afghanistan remains horrid. Transitions are hard. They aren't made easier by a lack of international funding and the renewed power of warlords. However saying how wrong the whole thing is isn't likely to encourage more to aid things. Further the warlords were the main power base outside the Taliban. I'm not sure what could be done to totally eliminate their power and the Taliban's except an overhaul which would make the reconstruction of Japan look like a tea party.

Ultimately neither of us has a crystal ball. Looking at Haiti of today it seems that well intentioned intervention may indeed fail much of the time. Than again in least now people no more about Afghanistan. I think, unlike in post-Soviet days, we've learned we can't totally ignore them once a war has ended. We can do more yes, but that should be the point. Not spurious ones that there was no progress or that the Taliban would've eventually improved on its own. The VietCong even had a more sensible attitude wrt Pol Pot.
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Kirk
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 01:53 pm:   

Heck, it's the same with this country -- we should have continued with the institution of slavery, under which blacks were making "minor but steady improvements" under a "law and order" regime rather than shoot it all to shit with the Civil War. How's that for a "historical parallel"?

I can just hear those Afghan women saying, please oh please close down the girls' schools and bring back the Taliban so we can have ourselves some of those "minor but steady improvements", massah...
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Thomas R
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 02:05 pm:   

:-) I don't know why I argued as strongly for the Iraq war as I did on that other thread because I did have strong doubts there. The Afghanistan war was one of the best things I think we were ever involved in, and I'd never been so proud. It was a truly world effort with even several Muslim nations supporting it.

However in fairness to Jeremy I still think his main beef is with how we're handling the post-war situation, not with the war itself. I think there's a fear we've given up on Afghanistan and now look elsewhere. I think that's unfair, but efforts at improvement do need to continue. If people like him aid that good for them. My concern is just that people like him want an instant transformation and if they don't get it they give up. I think I'm wrong on that and I hope I am.
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Ellen
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 04:01 pm:   

The US left Afghanistan in the lurch as soon as it committed most of its army to ridding Iraq of Saddam Hussein. Everyone _I_ know knew that's exactly what would happen --they administration can't seem to do more than one thing at a time and even that one thing they can't do thoroughly.
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mark samuels
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 04:28 pm:   

Now I'm confused! "it committed most of its army to ridding Iraq of Saddam Hussein". There was I thinking that Ellen thought it was all about getting hold of oil supplies. And this is the same Jeremy whose cry was "Bring the Troops Home Now".

And so it goes on and on.......

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Ellen
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 04:52 pm:   

Ok. Both reasons--which are related (we couldn't have gotten the oil supplies with Saddam still there, now could we? He wouldn't cooperate.
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rwexler
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 05:33 pm:   

"Further it took Iran almost 20 years to get to even this point."

You mean 20 years after religious extremists overthrew a U.S.-appointed dictator

Robert
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Thomas R
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 06:20 pm:   

Umm yes. I think I mentioned the Mossadeq thing elsewhere. Although the Shah had inherited rule to a degree so the US was more like propping a despot. Not that it matters except for semantics, it's just as bad either way. However in many cases a monarchy can transition to democracy as easy as a theocracy. Iran itself had efforts way back in 1905 to replace the Shah with a system where the Majlis ruled with a constitutional government. This was squelched by Russian and British concerns. Granted too far back and not the US doing it so maybe that's not of much relevance.

Anyway oppressive regimes aren't lessened because the US, or anyone, supported the former oppressive regime. It's like thinking Castro's okey-dokey because Battista was bad. That Myanmar's okay because the British were worse or what have you. Granted Iran isn't as bad as the Saudis, our ally, and they were on the road to reform. However this process took a very long time and is still uncertain. Thinking the Afghanis should've meekly accepted the Taliban's tyranny rather than have international intervention is absurd.

Further it may not have even worked. The Taliban was ran by a form of Islam much more extremist than the Iranian Revolution ever accepted. The Iranians threatened once to destroy Persepolis to show disdain for the previous Zoroastrian age, but they never did it. In fact Zoroastrians live in Iran to this day. The Ayatollah's main emphasis was hatred of the West and the US. He sometimes negotiated with Leftists who also hated those groups. The Taliban was more extreme and more hateful. Hostility to the West, the East, and the strictures on women. The Iranian Revolution allowed women to still have jobs if they were suitably domestic. They could sell Persian rugs, and even do some teaching I think. Further what brought the Taliban to power was largely meddling from the Soviet Union which crushed a poor, but respectable, non-aligned state. When they gave up you had the power vacuum, and yes US backed muhajahdeen.

Anyway as always it's not a simple "US is the source of all world problems" equation. The international allies it sounded like were more willing to spend huge amounts per capita for people like the Kosovars or even Iraqis. For Afghanis they feel they're hopeless so do little. We lead the pack on that perhaps, but the US isn't alone.
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mark samuels
Posted on Saturday, February 14, 2004 - 04:33 am:   

Thomas---I think your analysis is very astute.

Ellen---I don't agree. The cost of the Iraq war was gigantic. Saddam would have happily sold oil to the US if they'd offered to let him remain in power. It's always been about about regime change: as was the case with Afghanistan. We can argue about US motives but I think the objective in both instances was clear.
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anon
Posted on Saturday, February 14, 2004 - 06:25 am:   

what was the us objective in afhanistna? we don't seemto have have achived it...

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T Andrews
Posted on Saturday, February 14, 2004 - 06:50 am:   

Funny how cnn never mentions the Canadians killed in Afghanistan. Canadian peacekeepers have been left holding the bag with outdated vehicles. The Canadians are in charge of maintaining order there right now...we, like many in the international community, are getting tired of cleaning up other people's messes. But we will continue to do so, for humanitarian reasons. Bush even had the nerve to cut Canada out of Iraqi contracts, while Canadians risk their lives on Afghani soil.
I'm glad the Americans are our neighbors, but Bush was better off in Texas...
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Thomas R
Posted on Saturday, February 14, 2004 - 11:48 am:   

Yes I do get the sense of a lot of anger in Canada toward Bush and in their case it has justification. Bush did put in trade restrictions with Canada that I was agaist. They were pretty clearly designed to get votes in the Industrial Midwest. Canada had an alternate idea on Iraq, they weren't hostile like France. Granted Chretien I think did some to alienate the US, but still alienating Canada was one of those things Bush did that I disliked.

Still if you think the Iraqi war was wrong, why do you want the contracts? Isn't any money made there tainted or like blood money for those opposed?

Oh and thanks mark. It's so rare to receive a compliment here I'm not sure what to say.
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Ellen
Posted on Saturday, February 14, 2004 - 02:15 pm:   

Mark,
Sorry, but I have no idea why you're picking at this point. Who cares? I'm against us having gone in to Iraq for either reason. And my specific point was that we basically fucked over Afghanistan by moving on to Iraq without finishing the job (whatever the intention)in Afghanistan.
Ellen

<<<<Ellen---I don't agree. The cost of the Iraq war was gigantic. Saddam would have happily sold oil to the US if they'd offered to let him remain in power. It's always been about about regime change: as was the case with Afghanistan. We can argue about US motives but I think the objective in both instances was clear.
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Rich
Posted on Saturday, February 14, 2004 - 03:51 pm:   

I think it's simplistic to characterize Canada as having one opinion re: reconstruction contracts (should humanitarian aid always be charity work?), the point is Bush gave us a big "Fuck you".
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Thomas R
Posted on Saturday, February 14, 2004 - 05:09 pm:   

I don't think I meant Canada had only one opinion on anything. Canada is more diverse than the US. The US is 77% white, Canada's more like 66%. "White" is also more diverse in Canada than here with "whites" having a stronger French, Scottish, etc. identity than US whites tend to. It's also more diverse on religion, and probably in the political spectrum. Having popular movements much more Left than here, but also having a fairly outspoken Right in the prairie provinces. As well as polititicians who call each other lizards from outer space or whatever that kefuffle had been.

Still if you see reconstruction contracts as humanitarian, than I understand you're complaint and largely agree. Canadan companies may not have even agreed with their government, same with French companies. However for people who think the contracts are corporate opportunism, and that we shouldn't be there anyway, I don't understand why they want to be involved. It seems like hypocrasy to me. Denouncing the US effort, but wanting to reap profit off it. I think that's what tends to puzzle me.
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paulw
Posted on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 03:25 am:   

Thomas, perhaps some people don't feel that it's fair for US companies that are often in bed with the current US administration to be awarded no-bid contracts that line the pockets of companies to which prominent politicians in the current administration once had deep ties, and in some cases still have continuing ties. That smacks of opportunism and corruption. Perhaps some people feel that it is better to ensure that some modicum of fairness and an interest other than that of the US commercial/political class be represented . . . I am one american who frankly would rather see any profits from this crude venture into Iraq go virtually anywhere else but into the coffers of Halliburton et al. I won't even get into the allegations of scamming and price-fixing and bribery that have already begun to surface regarding the involvement of US companies awarded no-bid contracts in Iraq.

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Rich
Posted on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 03:42 am:   

Sorry Thomas, I just typed a knee jerk re-action to your "blood money" comment while I was on my way to work this morning. I don't want to get into a big Canada vs. U.S. thing here, but I must say I'm pretty proud that our government wasn't bullied into sending troops to Iraq. To their credit, our leaders didn’t cave in to Bush's "if you're not with us you're against us" rhetoric, and trade blackmail.

I'm sure there were a lot of Canadians who felt we should have joined the U.S. in Iraq. There certainly were many in our military who were embarrassed we didn't go. Yes, many of our big corps complained that non-support of the U.S. in Iraq would be financial suicide, and the U.S. would get us back in other ways. It just so happened that our government didn't sponsor the war effort, citing a lack of evidence that Iraq was a threat. It just so happened they were right. But hey… it could have gone the other way.

Re: reconstruction contracts. We've supplied to troops to Afghanistan. We've written off the debt that Iraq owes us. But still, for no other reason than to flip the bird to countries who didn't follow his lead, Bush denies reconstruction contracts to several countries who could provide Iraq with really high quality product. Who does this hurt? Iraqi civilians. Why should they be refused the opportunity to have their country repaired at the best price? Can reconstruction be humanitarian? Did you happen to read the recent NYT article titled "Chaos and War Leave Iraq's Hospitals in Ruins"?

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/14/international/middleeast/14HOSP.html

In a nutshell, I think shutting bidders out of the reconstruction effort has the ultimate effect of giving Iraqis fewer choices in determining the price and quality of reconstruction. (Of course, it also alienates folks all over again, just when a joint effort in rebuilding Iraq could fix some strained relations, but that’s just politics).
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Thomas R
Posted on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 12:09 pm:   

There are some thirty nations that were in the war effort. Including large scale economies like Japan, Britain, Australia, Spain, & Italy. So there should be more choices than the US companies. If there aren't that's a fair issue.

I'd be for Canada getting it too to be honest. Chretien's gone, we should try a better start with the "new" guy. As you say you wrote off Iraqi debt and helped Afghanistan.

However I don't think it's entirely irrational that the nations that were involved be the ones reconstructing. We can talk of "corrupt US companies", but companies in France or Russia or China are hardly better. Indeed I think the anger is more about missing out on a profit than anything. Because there are plenty of humanitarian things, more urgent even, that those countries could be doing. In Liberia, Sudan, Nicaragua, Bolivia, East Timor, Cambodia, etc. However, outside Bolivian silver and tin, there isn't profit there so little interest.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 12:29 pm:   

"There are some thirty nations that were in the war effort."

Yeah, there's an article in the Guardian that details one reporter calling an embassy of one of the thirty--can't recall which one, but it was small nation. African, I think. And the reporter asked what that specific country had contributed to the war effort. There was a puzzled silence. The call was passed on to higher and higher stations within the embassy and finially the reporter was told to call back and they would have an answer ready. I believe it took several calls to finally extract an answer--to wit, a single shipment of foodstuffs.

Thirty nations. Uh-huh. Right.
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Rich
Posted on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 02:09 pm:   

"However I don't think it's entirely irrational that the nations that were involved be the ones reconstructing."
Yes, I agree. In a modern conflict these are the spoils of war. It's just that, in this case, keeping help at a distance is prolonging the chaos.
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Thomas R
Posted on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 02:13 pm:   

Which I almost mentioned. All a nation needed to do was supply a bit of food and they could be on the list. Nations on the list compete for contracts, so it was an easy list to get on. In fact I concede the smaller or poorer nations joined because they wanted money. Nations that chose not to did so on principle so it seems like they should stick with principle and stay out of it.

Nevertheless you're assessment is based on one nation you can't even name. I can name UK, Australia, Poland, Italy, and the Czechs who contributed troops or scientific support. Even Iceland sending a chemical crew. More recent Japan and now South Korea are sending troops, when many back when assumed they wouldn't. Support in Japan has even grown where they're about evenly split on the subject. Oh the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and Honduras also have over a hundred each with a Spanish brigade. Spain is another. The Netherlands has about a thousand and Denmark has a few hundred involved. The Ukraine and Romania also have around a thousand. Norway sent a 1oo or so engineers. That's sixteen nations right there, over half the thirty number. They are also named nations and I'd be happy for you to prove me wrong on any of them. I can't really do that with this "small nation in Africa I think"
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Thomas R
Posted on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 02:19 pm:   

Oh that was to Lucius. You maybe right Rich. I didn't entirely approve of cutting all those nations out. France, Russia, and China I approve of cutting out. Two of them are flagrant abusers of Muslims civil rights, while the third is becoming restrictive of Muslim expression. I think chaos may be minimized better without their help. Or that they should stay out on their own principle.

Otherwise I agree we need as much help or ideas as possible on Iraq. I still think the war was a good idea, but I concede the postwar situation should be better. I think the administration itself is realizing that as support of postwar handling dips. Likely the international community will start having a greater role, even by some of what Bush himself says.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 02:51 pm:   

"...Iceland sending a chemical crew."

And the Swedes sent a goat and a kangaroo.

:-)

"Oh the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and Honduras also have over a hundred each with a Spanish brigade"

Translation: the puppet governments of the DR, Salvador, and Honduras have sent a hundred each.

Please argue about this. I've lived in Central America on and off a good portion of my life. I have personal experience of what goes on there.

These instances you mention, these token committments -- none of them except the Brits are full partners, and this makes this coalitiion a far cry from the Gulf War coalition.

As far as the imprecision of my memory relating to the small African nation, it;s because I don't really pay attention to the BS claims of the Bush Administration. The coalition has been a joke from the git-go. We went in alone, on our own authority...except for Toady Blair, of course.

I don't care how many nations and their commitments you list -- you're going on what you've read, and if you trust what you read in the media, well....God bless you for the innocent you are. Your information, whatever detail you care to throw in, is as suspect as any of mine, with or without detail. Except as regards Central America. There I have ongoing experience--last trip late last year--and I have a pretty clear perspective on those nations and the depth of their involvement. Citing Central American accord with US foreign policy proves about as much as quoting one of Charlie Manson's girls claiming that Charlie was god. The governments are in our pocket. The average man and woman on the street down there detest American foreign policy. The governments are uniformly corrupt and oppressive. I don't have to prove you wrong. You've previously declared your essential blindness to certain realities. You want to believe what you read in the media or give it undue credit and have a childlike faith that this is a real coalition and not a unilateral power play -- be my fucking guest.

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Thomas R
Posted on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 03:26 pm:   

Thank you for your input Mr. Shepard. I think I can safely say I value it as much as you value mine. I also thank you for the courtesy of admitting your information is suspect.

For the record Central America, as always, was just a brief blip I put in. I admit partly to annoy you, which was childish and I apologize. Still I'm interested how the Poles, ran by a Left Alliance, and the Dutch are US puppets. They aren't US puppets on other issues. Elsewhere Nick Mamatas stated how the Poles went against IMF and US backed trade initiatives. The Dutch disdain of the US on Gays, Drug policy, etc. is well known.

Further I get little to none of my information from the US media. If all sources I find everywhere on Earth are suspect I'm not sure what to say. I am glad though I'm more of an innocent than you. The level of cynicism needed to disbelieve everything I read, at every moment, would become tiresome.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 03:49 pm:   

ZZZZZZZZZZZ.....
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 03:56 pm:   

Did I say the Dutch and the Poles were US puppets?

Noooo...I did not.

Though I certainly suspect that this was not a spontaneous gesture on their part, but a product of of our inducement.

Those Dutch and Polish contributions were simply crucial to the war effort, werent' they?

You don't have to be a cynic, Tommy-poo, to mistrust (not disbelieve) everything you read, just a realist.

I wouldn't be throwing that word "tiresome" around, Thomas ol' sock. 'Cause it's way to self-defining.
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mark samuels
Posted on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 04:28 pm:   

The anti-war movement can take no credit for having done anything worthwhile whatsoever to help the Iraqis. The anti-war movement is of total irrelevance. They are symbolised by the human shields who went out there shouting and came back in silence, their mission an abject failure.

Saddam murdered over 100,000 of his own people. He would have carried on doing so.

As for Afghanistan: give me Karzai over the Taliban any day of the week.

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Thomas R
Posted on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 06:12 pm:   

You find me tiresome I find you tiresome. I admit you're better at entertaining, it's kind of your job, but in you're own way you are extremely repetitive. In fact almost everything I've heard from you is about word for word the same as when I first went online in 1999, or as the earliest column I read by you in FSF. Even wars in Afghanistan or Iraq doesn't change that much. It's just paste in previous "gringo exploiters" spiel on a new situation. You have a consistent "voice" which isn't a bad thing. I have bedrock principles I believe as well which don't change. Therefore I respect that. Part of that consistence is needing a response to entertain you in some way. By entailing anger or what you view as passion. I don't relate, but I respect the notion behind it.

Still ultimately it means we're at an impasse for the time being.

As for the anti-war movement in Mr. Shepard's defense I don't think he was much for the protesters either. Considering Vietnam was the longest war we had protests rarely work at ending wars. Boycotts, lobbying, etc. are probably more effective. Or fighting things like the Patriot Act through Lawyering. The anti-war side could've even taken a tactic from Thoreau and not paid taxes. However that doesn't get your face in the paper and it doesn't get you a chance to be with like minded people feeling superior. Meeting people and getting publicity is a huge part of protesting, on either side. (I know a tiny bit about protesters on the conservative or "neocon" side of things, so I'm definitely meaning both sides) Mind you protests can have some value in causes people are completely ignorant of. Like Xinjang or the Congolese war. Even then I think we're living in an age where good documentaries or films on those issues might be more effective.

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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 06:47 pm:   

I don't just find you tiresome, Thomas. I find you dull, I find you unperceptive; i find you immune to certain realties that are undeniable and crucial in the formulation of any cogent world view; I find your "bedrock principles" to be hidebound and--though you continually give lip service to compassion--entirely uncompassionate in that they fail to incorporate a notion of compassion that does not come with an America First stamp emblazoned on it. I certainly am repetitive and that is by design -- I've discovered that in this age of media overload, repetition is a central tactic in the cause of smartening up a chump. Points have to be hammered home in order to counteract the hammering home of less salient points to which people are continually exposed. Your tossing off of the term "gringo exploiters spiel" suggests a terrifying ignorance of the more violent expressions of colonialist politics. You appear to think that I, like you, have a black and white view of things, that I deny any virtue brought to the table by Pax Amercana. Which I do not. I merely am puttimg forward the idea that in certain quarters of the world, Amercan excesses have come to outweigh those virtues. If you think this is untrue, I feel badly for you. If you think--as you appear to--that I view the Iraqi and Afghani wars are further examples of gringo exploitation, let me clear that up. While elements of explotation exist in our pursuit of these wars, they are to my mind far more acts of irrationality that have had both good effects and bad, the actions of a group of men whose inadequately considered grasp of their own power has led them to act precipitately and without necessary forethought, and to attempt to justify their gruesome failures by trumpeting successes whose glorious particulars were not foremost in their minds when they acted.



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Thomas R
Posted on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 08:38 pm:   

I read about two sentences of your raving then got bored. As I say, an impasse. Have a nice life, sayonara.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 08:58 pm:   

I hear a faint clucking.

Good fucking riddance. Stay gone, will ya!
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Thomas R
Posted on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 10:57 pm:   

I intended to as I usually have better things to do than this.

However I may change my mind now, I'm not certain. See you do not run this board, you are not the moderator. You have no say on whether I stay or go, nor should you. Therefore on principle I almost feel I should stay now. You need to learn that you have to deal with many kinds of people in this world with many views. If I didn't believe that I may never have came here in the first place.

Because despite everything, I do respect you. I respect your experiences and accomplishments. I also think you have a POV of some value that, as you say, is not often heard in the mainstream. I respect that in you're way you are principled. I have never posted at your personal forum out of respect for your attitude concerning me.

However I don't respect your imperiousness. I don't respect that you consider bitterness and dismissiveness to be enlightened or realistic. I don't respect that you value intolerance. I find you impossible to talk to and hence we are at an impasse.

That doesn't mean I feel at an impasse with everyone present. I certainly will continue to post at Nightshades in general whenever I wish to. However I will gladly "stay gone" from the war topics forever if the Moderators say I should. I don't see that I've done anything to warrant that, but I'll except their verdict.

Still I admit part of me hopes we never cross paths again as it seems this always happens. Our personalities and views make it inevitable I suppose. It's unfortunate, but that's life.
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Thomas R
Posted on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 10:59 pm:   

(And yes I know it's "accept" not except.)
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 11:29 pm:   

You're hilarious. Leave go leave. You always do this, man. Back and forth, back and forth, like a hamster with the runs. "I will continue to post at NS in general whenever I wish to..." I will plant my little flag on the planet of Foomak.

Jesus....


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Brendan
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 01:14 am:   

Mark said: "The anti-war movement can take no credit for having done anything worthwhile whatsoever to help the Iraqis."

Yes, but the war movement can take credit for sending 16,000 of them to their graves, blowing off the arms of children and setting up a base for terrorists to blow up bombs daily. Is that worthwhile?
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mark samuels
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 03:07 am:   

Brendan---Ever thought of moving to North Korea? Their media would give you endless hours of anti-US govt propaganda. You'd be in heaven: you might even ignore the NK gas chambers and call it "imperialist lies".
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mark samuels
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 03:10 am:   

By which I mean: the US acted to minimise civilian deaths. Saddam deliberately killed with no compunction. That's the difference.
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Brendan
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 03:55 am:   

Mark--

The argument is not: Sadaam or the U.S., who is worse?

People who protested against the war were not pro-Sadaam or anti-U.S. That argument is simply wrong, though it is a favourite of neo-conservatives. I am a U.S. citizen and the soldiers who are over there getting maimed and killed for no good reason are my fellow citizens. The 84 billion dollars we are spending there is my money and the money of my neighbours. Being anti-Iraq war is not being anti-U.S. It is being pro-U.S. Because those of us who protest these stupid, pointless wars are simply sick of seeing our country being flushed down the toilet. George Bush and all those who stood by him are not patriots. The real patriots were the ones who, instead of sitting back and watching CNN's sports-game-like coverage of the war, got off their asses and hit the streets.
.
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paulw
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 04:51 am:   

And Mark, I'd like to see what evidence you can produce to back up your statement that the "US acted to minimise civilian deaths" other than propaganda statements put out by the US itself. I suspect the answer is zilch.

On the other hand, there are quite a number of eyewitness accounts of US bombing raids that target civilians both in Iraq and Afghanistan, which the US military at first denies and then, generally, accepts and apologizes for, perhaps even offering $1000 to make the boo-boo all better. Further, the shoot-em-up-first-and-ask-questions-later approach of our patrols in Iraq have led to numerous civilian casualties, as ill-trained soldiers spray their weapons indiscriminately in response to landmines going off. Further, there is credible evidence that the US knowingly targeted journalists during the war -- okay, not civilians, but I thought I'd throw it in as indicative of a particular mind set. Finally, let's not forget all the munitions we've left lying around, cluster bombs, depleted uranium armaments, etc.
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mark samuels
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 07:46 am:   

Damn! I thought I got this all wrong. Of course what the US did was maximise casualties by dropping nuclear bombs on Baghdad and other major Iraqi cities (well away from the oil-fields naturally) I mean, if you're going to really target civilians why take half-measures....like sending in an army or using guidance missiles...

Anyone who doesn't believe the aim was to kill as many Iraqis as possible must be an Imperialist. Even those Iraqis who wanted Saddam gone by force are suspect ideologically...erm...hang on
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Brendan
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 08:19 am:   

Paul has a point. No need to answer with sarcasm. He never said anything about 'maximise'. But the word 'minimise' surely sounds a bit trite to the families of the thousands of dead civilians.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 08:41 am:   

Hey, they've upped the oops-we-shot-your-mama payment to 2K. The freaking Afghanis gotta be thinking, Damn! Two K. I'm offing Uncle Akbar and heading for Vegas.

This is like a 60s flashback, some jag-off incapable of following basic logic going, Love it or leave it, man!

America drinks and goes home.
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mark samuels
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 08:43 am:   

Let me explain something to you very slowly Brendan: soldiers are not social workers. War is not bloodless. When anti-war protestors say "minimise" it means nothing. They have no actual figure in mind. That's my point.

More irony than sarcasm I assure you:-)
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paulw
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 10:33 am:   

Mark -- oh yeah, it was Nagasaki and Hiroshima where we dropped the nukes, not Baghdad -- cause after all, we are now a nation of compassionate conservatives, right?

And I note that you don't respond at all to my points, much less refute them.
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Brendan
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 11:40 am:   

Gee, Mark, war is not bloodless? I thought the Americans were dropping flowers on the Iraqis and serving them lemonade.
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Thomas R
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 01:25 pm:   

mark: Brendan---Ever thought of moving to North Korea? Their media would give you endless hours of anti-US govt propaganda. You'd be in heaven: you might even ignore the NK gas chambers and call it "imperialist lies"

TR: I understand the frustration, but no need to fan things worse than they are.

Brendan: The real patriots were the ones who, instead of sitting back and watching CNN's sports-game-like coverage of the war, got off their asses and hit the streets.

Thomas R: Are you saying being a real patriot means agreeing with you or emulating you're example? Doing what you think or believe is right? The people on either side following their own consciences I think are "real patriots." Whether they are against the war or for it.

Not that I personally care as I don't consider myself any kind of patriot. Nations are just nations, the US being one among many. Just the most powerful at present. It does good, it does bad like about everyone else.


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Lucius
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 01:41 pm:   

"Not that I personally care as I don't consider myself any kind of patriot."

Then what the fuck are you doing shooting your mouth off? I mean, if you have no passionate involvement with this, if this is just an intellectual (and I use the term as a loose approximation only) exercise for you, if your convictions are funded by a disengaged faux-professorial namby pamby dillettantish interest, then you're just farting to hear the noise. Which is what I thought.

As for asserting your right to post on Nightshade, post your little neo-con ass away, because we need laughter in this world and you've become a running joke on this board.
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Thomas R
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 02:05 pm:   

I wasn't talking to you Mr. Shepard. We're at an impasse.

For the record otherwise I have no problem at Nightshades that I know of. I've gotten along fine at the Ratbastards forum, Datlow's, Baker's, & I'm generally liked at FSF. Even Ford's was fairly okay. Mr. Shepard is the only person I consider myself to be having a problem with at present.

I will say whether one is patriotic or not has nothing to do with whether one cares about the world situation. This should simply be obvious.
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paulw
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 02:21 pm:   

Thomas, just out of curiosity, what is your definition of patriotic? What makes a patriot?
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 02:36 pm:   

Right. Uh-huh. Well, I'm talking to you. You don't know what people are saying offline. Trust in this -- you ain't as popular as you think.

"I will say whether one is patriotic or not has nothing to do with whether one cares about the world situation."

The concept of political debate without intellectual passion eludes me.

What's more obvious is that when you come across a dialogue about patriotism that is clearly being had between people who are passionate about the subject, and you are not and you stick your nose in, then what you're doing is no more than fucking around. If you don't have a dog in this fight, don't poke the dog -- otherwise you look a dipshit.

Another few things that are obvious: you don't address points, you back and fill, your idea of proof come from PBS specials, you use this "well, I'll just go now" bit to make people feel badly and thus tolerate your ignorance, and somehow you put this all together and pretend it's a dialogue, when what it truly is, is classic passive aggressive BS and thus utterly valueless.

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Lucius
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 02:40 pm:   

You're asking Thomas a question, Paul? Wow. I think you'd do better asking your Magic 8-Ball.

Ask Again. :-)
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mark samuels
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 02:41 pm:   

Brendan----Yep, but I think you'd then be protesting about cases of Iraqi hayfever and indigestion and the imperialist flower/lemonade biological warfare waged at the behest of deranged neo-cons. Either that or you'd demand to know why we aren't doing the same to Syria etc.

:-)

Seriously, 16,000 dead civilians is a horrible business. But 16,000 dead is just all in a day's work for Saddam. And now he can't do much except catch flies in his cell. It's not a case of disregarding the dead, but of accepting that had Saddam remained in power then many, many, many more innocents would have perished.

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Lucius
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 02:45 pm:   

Saddam didn't dig these particular mass graves....


In the past few months, we‚ve seen a lot of horrific news coverage of the mass graves of Iraq. New ones continue to be found, bringing both grief and a form of closure to the families of those interred. Almost every report notes that without the U.S. invasion of Iraq, these graves might have remained forever covered. But it‚s rarely pointed out that at least some of these burials might not have occurred had U.S. policy been different ˆ both during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s and during the Shi‚a insurgency in 1991 that the White House first blessed, then abandoned.

Some mass graves that U.S. policy was more directly responsible for rarely make the news. Those are scattered across Guatemala, the ones whose remains Fredy Peccerelli and his forensics team have been digging up to examine bone by bone. This week, Peccerelli, having fled his homeland for refuge in the United Kingdom, got some positive feedback from fellow scientists.
Guatemala rights scientist honoured
Most scientists face nothing more serious in their working lives than a low salary, a major caffeine habit and the spectre of a rival making the grand breakthrough first.

Fredy Peccerelli has faced death threats to himself and his family, and been forced to leave his native Guatemala.

At this year's meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) [in Seattle], Mr Peccerelli and his colleagues at the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation (FAFG) are being honoured for their commitment to using science to promote human rights.

Since 1992, the Foundation has been investigating human rights abuses committed during Guatemala's 36-year civil war, particularly the 18-month period in the early 1980s when General Efrain Rios Montt pursued what has been described as a "scorched earth policy". ...

Altogether, it is estimated about 200,000 people were killed or "disappeared", making the civil war one of Latin America's bloodiest.

Mr Peccerelli and his team investigate each massacre, each atrocity, through the principles of sound science. ...

From the remains, Mr Peccerelli's team tries to construct a picture of what happened at the time of death.

For example, was the victim shot or struck by a machete? Where did the bullet enter and exit the body? What was the victim's posture at the time, and what does that imply about what they were doing?

Evidence is given to the Prosecutor's Office where it can be used as evidence in legal cases. ...

"Unfortunately, we have only just begun this work," he says with a resigned shrug. "In the last 12 years, we have exhumed over 400 graves and recovered over 3,000 human skeletal remains.

"If we continue working at this rate, about 70 investigations per year, we will need another 25 or 30 years to finish the work."
The Commission on Historical Clarification (CEH, in the Spanish acronym) reported that the government was responsible for more than 93% of the atrocities committed against the indigenous Mayan population during the war against the communist guerrillas. During General Efrain Ríos Montt‚s 18-month rule in the early 1980s, there were at least 626 massacres "and the so-called scorched earth operations, as planned by the State, resulted in the complete extermination of many Mayan communities, along with their homes, cattle, crops and other elements essential to survival."

Happily, just last month, as a result of losing his campaign for the presidency and leaving his seat in Congress, the 77-year-old evangelical minister lost his immunity from lawsuits and prosecution stemming from the slaughter of 20 years ago. Perhaps he won't be so lucky as his comrade-in-arms, Augusto Pinochet.

From the time of the 1954 CIA-engineered coup against Jacobo Arbenz, Guatemala‚s second freely elected president, the military - much of its notorious officer-corps trained in the U.S. at the School of the Americas ˆ committed atrocities against anyone they deemed the enemy or a friend of the enemy or somebody who might someday be a friend of the enemy. The consequences: 200,000 dead.

Jimmy Carter cut off overt military aid because of the international press around human rights abuses, but military aid was still funneled to the Guatemalan military secretly through the CIA and CIA pals in the Argentine armed forces.

When Ronald Reagan was elected, he pushed hard to get rid of the overt arms embargo. Often personally, frequently through aides, Reagan smeared and otherwise tried to discredit human rights investigators and journalists who exposed various massacres.

During a tour through Latin America, Reagan discounted the ever-growing mountain of reports that hundreds of Maya villages were being eradicated. In December 1982, I was in Huehuetenango, Guatemala, with two colleagues pursuing the latest massacre report when Reagan hailed Rios Montt as "totally dedicated to democracy." Reagan declared that Rios Montt's government had been "getting a bum rap."

No surprise. Remember, this was the same period in which Donald Rumsfeld was making courtesy calls on a fellow by the name of Saddam Hussein.

Documents declassified in 1999 prove that Reagan's praise contradicted U.S. intelligence accounts. The administration knew that the Guatemalan military was engaged in a scorched-earth campaign against the Mayans. While Reagan was praising dictator Rios Montt (and Jeane Kirkpatrick was toasting Argentina‚s generals), the CIA was confirming that the Guatemala government was committing scores of massacres. In addition, Rios Montt had given the go-ahead to the „Archivos‰ intelligence unit to expand death squads that ultimately engaged in hundreds of assassinations

Despite this knowledge and other reports, Reagan allowed Guatemala to buy $3.2 million in military trucks and jeeps in June 1981. To permit the sale, Reagan removed the vehicles from a list of military equipment that was covered by the human rights embargo.

Human rights groups saw the same picture. The Inter-American Human Rights Commission released a report on Oct. 15, 1981, blaming the Guatemalan government for "thousands of illegal executions." [WaPo, Oct. 16, 1981]

Just six weeks later, the Reagan administration issued its own "white paper,‰ which blamed the violence on Castro-backed leftist "extremist groups" and their "terrorist methods."

In January, 1983, Reagan lifted the ban on military aid to Guatemala and authorized the sale of $6 million in military hardware. Approval covered spare parts for UH-1H helicopters and A-37 aircraft used in counterinsurgency operations.

In February 1983, a secret CIA cable noted a rise in "suspect right-wing violence" with kidnappings of students and teachers. Bodies of victims were appearing in ditches and gullies. CIA sources traced these political murders to Rios Montt's order to the „Archivos‰ in October to "apprehend, hold, interrogate and dispose of suspected guerrillas as they saw fit."

A Defense Intelligence Agency cable reported that the Guatemalan military used an air base in Retalhuleu during the mid-1980s as a center for coordinating the counterinsurgency campaign in southwest Guatemala.

Pits were filled with water to hold captured suspects. "Reportedly there were cages over the pits and the water level was such that the individuals held within them were forced to hold on to the bars in order to keep their heads above water and avoid drowning," the DIA report stated. Later, the pits were filled with concrete to eliminate the evidence.

The Guatemalan military used the Pacific Ocean as another dumping spot for political victims, according to the DIA report. Bodies of insurgents tortured to death and of live prisoners marked for „disappearance‰ were loaded on planes that flew out over the ocean where the soldiers would shove the victims into the water.

The history of the Retalhuleu death camp was uncovered by accident in the early 1990s, the DIA reported on April 11, 1994. A Guatemalan officer wanted to let soldiers cultivate their own vegetables on a corner of the base.

But the officer was taken aside and told to drop the request "because the locations he had wanted to cultivate were burial sites that had been used by the D-2 [military intelligence] during the mid-eighties."

Thanks to the help of the Reaganistas, Fredy Peccerelli and other Guatemalans will have plenty of work
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Thomas R
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 02:56 pm:   

I think of patriotism as a specific love for your own nation. A need to make it be the best it can be. Focusing your concern on its betterment more than improving the world in general. Focusing your interest on its dealings rather than the state of the world in general.

More negatively, nationalism. Reverencing your nation in an almost religious way. Placing it's ideals as your own, it's fortunes as your own. Putting it as the main cause above your own self interest.

I don't believe in this at all. At present the US I think is a fairly good nation, but I don't see why being born here means I should feel anything special toward it. Why I should reverence, or condemn, it more than I would nations in general. Why I should care more about oppression it does/supports then oppressions committed by others. Or why praise it for values about 100 nations believe in or praise. There are many aspects where I think other nations are better, and as I have no great attachment to this place I've always been fine with moving elsewhere. Even abandoning US citizenship if need be. I say this rarely to the conservative types I know as it's horrific to them. to me America's just a place, not a devotion. Leaving it is no different than leaving Nebraska to me. Indeed if I spend my whole life here I'll be disappointed. I don't think a patriot would feel that way.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 03:07 pm:   

So you don't think an expatriate can be a patriot....


"At present the US I think is a fairly good nation, but I don't see why being born here means I should feel anything special toward it. Why I should reverence, or condemn, it more than I would nations in general? Why I should care more about oppression it does/supports then oppressions committed by others?"

If you don't know, you don't know diddley.

The whole piece was brilliant, man! A realk knee-slapper!

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Bob Kruger
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 04:46 pm:   

It's disingenuous to affect the pose of citizen of the world when you're in a privileged corner of it, not to mention serving as apologist to those who've pursued a really nasty hegemony in the name of defeating first communism, and now terror. You've got a responsibility to get involved, Thomas. You seem to consider yourself a moral conservative, and I applaud that. Volunteer, read a good book, help an old lady across the street. You don't have to send money across the world, just do something productive.

And these other guys? Look, if for no other reason than instituting this doctrine of preemption, the war on Iraq was a hideously bad idea. It wasn't even preemption based on imminent threat, it was at best preventive or prophylactic or whatever other BS term you want to use. And then there's this retroactive turnaround to make it some humanitarian effort. Well, thanks to our long complicity in Saddam's rise and tenure -- and I'm not apologizing for Clinton or anyone else -- the major killing was pretty much done for the nonce, so don't drag out this crap about numbers. Why not turn our attention to Uganda or Burma in the name of compassion, or maybe conserve our strength for the threat in North Korea or to finish what we -- inevitably, I feel -- started in Afghanistan? Or if it had to be Iraq, why the sudden urgency?

By neither economics, morality, reason, nor compassion did it make sense the way we did this. Brendan, Paul, and Robert W. put it so well that you should go back and do a re-read there and respond honestly to them if you must keep it up.

Bob
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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 04:51 pm:   

Mark,
To claim that removing Saddam Hussain from power was a humanitarian act is ludicrous. Using Saddam's past US supported atrocities as justification for US and British atrocities is simply sad.

Address these points for me, if you care to: Otherwise continue to posture and dissemble.

1) The people of Afghanistan are better of or worse of then they were because the US invaded Iraq.

2) The people of Iraq are better off or worse off now then they were under Saddam.

3) Either something is seriously broke in the US intelligence apparatus, or someone lied -- where is the outrage about either of these possibilities, given the absence of Weapons of mass destruction.

4) anti war protestors were RIGHT --- they said Afghanistan wasn't done, and that Afghani’s would suffer because of the Iraq war... They said there were no weapons of mass destruction, and they said there was no like between al quida and saddam. Given these facts, why do you continue to badmouth them, 0r even bring them up.

so. Do you want to continue to try and Justify a massively failed foreign policy because saddam was a bad guy? As Lucious just pointed out, The US has supported bad guys repeatedly throughout history. Give me a better reason for flushing away our national security. Because your increasingly frantic cries that "Saddam was a bad man that killed people" have less and less relevance to the discussions that we are having.

As for your statement “As for Afghanistan: give me Karzai over the Taliban any day of the week.”… That is currently not the choice. We delivered Afghanistan to the Northern Alliance Warlords, not Karzai, who doesn’t even control all of Kabul. My whole point is that the first person account I provided that started this link says that Now is just as bad/worse then at was under the talliban, and there is no sign that things are getting better.

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Thomas R
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 05:13 pm:   

You make some good points Bob. I'd be happy if the US turned its attention to issues like Burma or Zimbabwe. I have written to my Senator about North Korea and if I could get interest in the region I'd do some activism on Burma.

That's kind of a non-sequitir though. Invading Burma or North Korea would of course be an improbably bad idea. So diplomatic alternatives are done and we do them. We should also punish companies dealing with Burma if we aren't already. The world community, including the US, is very active on North Korea. Maybe we should be smuggling in short wave radios too, so they can hear the BBC or NHK, but I don't know yet if the danger involved would be worth the effort.

I wasn't even initially for the Iraq war because I feared it would justify nations invading places as you state. However they were a nation that considered itself to be at war with the West for over a decade, had invaded or taken territory from two neighbors, had not responded to diplomacy, and did fund suicide bombing. That we should've condemned them back in the late 80s when they poisoned the Kurds is a given. That the US's motivation had nothing to do with humanitarianism is also plausible. My motivation however is them having a better government and life. I'd be fine with a greater international role, even the UN, to do that if it's needed.

Most of you see "for the war" and see red. Even if it was just for the Afghanistan war, not this one. I'm not sure what to say, but as I agree this has become futile I shall take my leave.

However the reality is Saddam was initially not very well liked by the US who saw him as a Socialist and potential Soviet ally. Many to most of his weapons were Soviet. Support for him only picked up because of the Islamic Revil
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 05:21 pm:   

Bob...

"It's disingenuous to affect the pose of citizen of the world when you're in a privileged corner of it, not to mention serving as apologist to those who've pursued a really nasty hegemony in the name of defeating first communism, and now terror."

It's also disgenuous to affect said pose when you've never left the States. :-) And just plain foolish to have opinions about the comparative virtues of other countries when you have never experienced them.

What I love about neocons is that most I've met have never done much and they have developed an attachment to political theories that justify/gloss over/excuse their lack of real informaion and/or experience. When you present them with evidence to the contrary, they'll simply say they don't believe it or something similar. Yet they provide no evidence to the contrary, just more bleats of attitude. Four Legs Good, Two Legs Bad kind of shit.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 05:26 pm:   

Thomas is taking his leave again. Any bets on how soon he and his little bagful of neocon toys will be back? :-)
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Bob Kruger
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 05:35 pm:   

I'm kinda worried about him. That last post was oddly truncated, like he got the stage hook...or worse. :0


Bob
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Rich
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 06:30 pm:   

This is more like James Brown leaving the stage.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 06:46 pm:   

Ejecto-seat? :-)
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Brendan
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 09:10 pm:   

Mark--

Lucius and Jeremy said about all I would in response. So, feel free to reply. As. Slowly. As. You. Want. To their posts.

Thomas--

I live in Switzerland. I have lived in Central America and been around a bit. Go visit some of these countries you think are so cool: Norway, Sweden or what have you. Most of the people in them will give you hell about the U.S. You have to take responsibility for your country. You voted the least popular man in the world into office. To be patriotic does not mean you need to be like me. Being like me is not necessarily a good thing. But when I hear people acting like protesting the war was a shameful thing . . . and acting like the war protesters were the criminals . . . then naturally I get pissed off.
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Brendan
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 09:15 pm:   

Thomas--


Oh, and you said, "Support for him only picked up because of the Islamic Revil."

What history books have you been smoking?

Sadaam was put into power by the U.S.
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Bob Kruger
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 09:51 pm:   

I think he meant that the U.S. threw support to Saddam because we felt threatened by the revolution in Iran.

Bob
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2004 - 08:54 am:   

Here We Go Again.
Same Old Shit Again.
Marching Down the Avenue.
Few More Keystrokes and I'll be through.
I'll be glad and so will you.


Old Army Cadence I find applicable to this Merry Go Round. Modified just a bit.

S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Mofo neocon hunter
Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2004 - 09:33 am:   

That was instructive. Where do these Martians come from?
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2004 - 11:19 am:   

The Midwest, Mofo.

You bring your tofu.

I'll bring my guns and the beer.

:-)

Oh, I might add. I'm a pretty crack shot. I don't have to spray and pray like most folks from the city.

S. F. Murphy
Cadence Caller
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Mofo for short
Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2004 - 11:47 am:   

Yeah, I'm sure you're a manly man -- must be true, cause you like to say it so much...
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mark samuels
Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2004 - 03:31 pm:   

Let's put it this way: the war in Iraq was a damn good thing. Maybe it was done for the wrong reasons, but in the end it was a victory over totalitarianism. Anyone who doesn't agree is a brainwashed "street-cred" moron addicted to fashionable protest. Getting rid of Saddam was like getting rid of Hitler, had we done it, in 1938 rather than 1945.

How's that?
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Bob
Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2004 - 04:49 pm:   

As has been demonstrated by cogent people in this forum, the war was prosecuted for the wrong reasons, in the wrong way, and there is no "in the end" in sight. Your "moron" tack sinks to the rhetorically feeble level of a troll...

Bob
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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2004 - 04:49 pm:   

Okay. I think mark Samuels disconnect from the consensual reality that we are all forced to share is pretty obvious by his last post. Maybe mark lives in a world where Saddam = Hitler, but it is obviously not this world. We probably will never reach common ground, (or even come to an agreement about the color of the sky) with someone from Mark's plain of existence, so I suggest we no longer try.

Please don't feed the trolls. Even if they have beer, and guns, and are crack(sh)pots.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2004 - 07:41 pm:   

For the Neo-morons

"The war in Iraq was a danm good thing,
good for you and for me.
I ate a buncha cheeseburgers
and lotsa French fries
and I watched it all on TV.
It had great big explosions and tons of emotion,
and a star-spangled mise en scene...
I couldn't believe that shock-and-awe deal,
it was da bomb, you know what I mean?

We kicked that raghead Hitlers ass
and it made me so damn proud!
I got a buncha beer and a gun--
sometimes I shoot it off real loud.
I ain't no dummy like them pinkos say
I got me a first-class mind.
I can quote platitudes I heard on Fox News
and talk out my ass the same time.
Now that Iraq is all free and shit
I can stick out my chest like _I_ won,
like I 'm not just anorther anonymous dork
who acts big on the net for fun.

God bless George Bush--he's MY president
We share an intellectual pedigree:
He's never done dick, pretends that he has,
and goes down on Ms. History.
So let's hear it for the good ol' USA,
we're fighting fools, we're number one!
And like the late, great Karen Carpenter said:
We've only just begun.
Far as the rest of the word is concerned,
you better watch out and you better not cry
You even start to think of a nuke,
that's evidence of WMD
and somebody's bound to die.

"The war in Iraq was a damn good thing," good for you and for me.
I ate a buncha cheeseburgers
and lotsa French fries
and I watched it all on TV.
It had tanks, dead heroes, jet planes, and
land mines,
smart bombs, cruise missiles, and more.
It got way better ratings than Friends and Survivor--
I'm watching the sequel for sure.





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Brendan
Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2004 - 10:56 pm:   

I agree. It is a total reality dis-connect. No use arguing here. Though, to me, it is pretty obvious who the real brain-washed folks are.
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ellen
Posted on Thursday, February 19, 2004 - 12:42 pm:   

Eh, I can't believe he actually believes what he posted. Just something to get everyone all riled up about. ;-)
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mark samuels
Posted on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 04:48 am:   

Hitler, Stalin, Bin Laden, Yassin or Saddam. The embodiment of totalitarianism only changes its name. Its goal remains the same. As does that of certain others...


"there is a minority of intellectual pacifists, whose real though unacknowledged motive appears to be hatred of western democracy and admiration for totalitarianism. Pacifist propaganda usually boils down to saying that one side is as bad as the other, but if one looks closely at the writings of the younger intellectual pacifists, one finds that they do not by any means express impartial disapproval but are directed almost entirely against Britain and the United States."

George Orwell.

Think about it.
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Brendan
Posted on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 05:49 am:   

Nonsense.
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Forrest
Posted on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 06:29 am:   

OK, since when is Bin Laden a totalitarianist? Over what state does he rule? Define his political structure, if you can. What kind of "power" does he weild, really?

And what is the connection between Bin Laden and Hussein? Go ahead, prove it. Justify our unprovoked unilateral war against Iraq by showing us exactly how Bin Laden's terrorist activities were sponsored by the Iraqi state. Go on, prove it.

In the meantime, while you're looking up sorry excuses, might I remind you who exactly gave the military and economic support to Hussein to build up his despotic state in the first place? Donald Rumsfeld ring a bell? Yep, that's right, that was Donal Rumsfel who, under Reagan's auspices, signed over a bevy of aid, military and economic, to Hussein in the '80s. The word "enabling" comes to mind.

Oh, and go have a look and listen to this:

http://www.moveon.org/censure/caughtonvideo/

Liar, liar . . .
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Brendan
Posted on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 06:48 am:   

The thing that bothers me is the lumping of everyone together with Hitler. As if any tragedy can match the holocaust.

And then of course, blame the "pacifists" . . . anti-war protesters are the root of all evil and all that nonsense.
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George O'well
Posted on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 08:08 am:   

Orwell was, of course, talking about a radically different period in history.

And if you're looking to categorize Osama bin Laden, I'd go with virtuoso. As in an absolute master at playing Republican US Presidents. He began to display his mastery by getting everything he wanted/needed from Reagan and Bush 1 in terms of military and technical support in Afghanistan for fighting the Soviets.

But he didn't achieve virtuoso status until Bush 2 came along. He's played Bush for the fool that he is. (Don't get me wrong, in his wildest dreams, I don't think Osama could've hoped to have been as successful as he has been in provoking Bush into exactly the kind of responses that aid Osama in trying to destabilize international relations and foment hatred and the radicalization of the world at large. He's swelled the ranks of US-haters, and vastly expanded his pool of potential recruits for terrorist acts by simply provoking Bush.)
Immediately after 9/11, US was at an all-time high for sympathy and positive foreign relations. But by invading Iraq, that's more than just gone, it's utterly devastated. And for what end? To stop a dictator? Puh-lease. We put that dictator in power, and we'd've been fine with that if only he would've kept his place. Now, we've created an extremely unstable nation that has become a hotbed for terrorism. And as the attacks in Spain amply demonstrate, the world at large has become an even more dangerous place, because hatred of the US is rampant and growing. As a direct result of George 2's actions, the world has become less safe and more radicalized. Wake up and smell the fertilizer bombs.

Those of us in NYC are greatly cheered by the notion that the NYPD are prepping for dealing with a nuclear attack. Too bad Bush 2 couldn't pay attention to the terrorists before 9/11 (or didn't you bother to watch last night's 60 minutes with Bush's former Anti-terrorist Czar who worked for Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton & Bush 2. He outright said the world is a much less safe place thanks to George 2.)
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Bob Kruger
Posted on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 12:18 pm:   

Exactly, MUCH LESS SAFE. And yet the Republicans have somehow sold the message to a large portion of the U.S. public that Bush is the candidate that will protect them from terrorists, notwithstanding his inability to protect us in the first place, his squandering of both sympathy and treasure on an Iraq adventure, and his ADD inability to attend to any problem long enough to solve it. In the Sunday comics yesterday, there was this one strip that suggested that the only election issue that really matters is which candidate will least appeal to Al Qaeda -- as if it was understood who that candidate might be.

I don't get it. Is there anyone who really thinks that $200 billion spent in Iraq wouldn't have been better spent shoring up Afghanistan, improving our intelligence network, and securing our domestic facilities? And what about this stupid, stupid "War on Terror" label. It's a war on an emotion, and anyone can provoke it. You might as well declare war on a Jungian archetype. Let's start with the Shadow, huh? But anyone who's taken Psych 101 -- or read Hans Christian Andersen -- knows where that leads.

I despair when I think maybe we're already there.

Bob

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paulw
Posted on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 02:03 pm:   

Bob, we're there, buddy. Just watch Bush get re-elected by playing Kerry's ill-advised (and misquoted) foreign leaders statement back to the boobocracy.
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Michael Cisco
Posted on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 02:25 pm:   

It's a mistake to see this in terms of being for or against America. The people who send soldiers off to fight and die do not themselves take such risks, nor do they give a damn about the people who do - remember the sensationally patriotic hospital scandal, with wounded soldiers warehoused and waiting months for treatment? Soldiers are guard dogs; when they are too damaged to serve any more, they are shoved aside. When they die, they are dropped off at the airport which, to preserve the lie, is closed not only to reporters but to their own family members as well. Someone might, after all, bring a camera.

The neocons honestly and avowedly want to create an American empire. Those who argue that the world is better off for US domination - and I repeat, this isn't a matter of domination by you or me, but by the handful of people who pretend to represent us whatever our beliefs - are giving us the White Man's Burden in disguise. Benighted people around the world, who are just lumps of goo, waiting for the US to come around and make people out of them - in the name of compassion, of course. WE can't allow this suffering! WE must help! I say, sure. But the US isn't a country among countries; the power disparity between the US and everyone else is vast. And what is this "help" anyway? Why is it offered? Humane reasons? Moral outrage? Why would the people who run this country care whether or not people languish in bondage in other countries? When has this nation ever really given power to another? When has any nation? I don't believe power is something that can be given. I don't believe anyone with power should be immune from criticism, and there are all different kinds of immunity. There's the kind that gets question-askers shot, but there's the much more efficient kind that keeps them cooled on the margin, and creates a meaning-proof shield around power. Democracy doesn't mean what looks like us (accent on "looks"), it means self-determination. No one can self-determine for someone else.
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mark samuels
Posted on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 03:19 pm:   

My point is not about Neo-Cons in the United States. Exactly the same charges were made here in the 1930s (about an Imperialist conspiracy) and were levelled back then by the intellectual left against Britain when it stood alone against the Nazis.

Were I American I would not vote for Bush. For your interest (or not) I am British and have always voted Labour. However I am not prepared to allow a dislike of George W. Bush's other policies to deflect my greater repulsion at the activities of modern-day totalitarianists. Nor should dislike of GWB serve as a smoke-screen for a failure on the left to want to deal with a deadly menance to democracy.
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mark samuels
Posted on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 03:21 pm:   

Ummmm---not sure what a "menance" is, but you get the point I hope :-)
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paulw
Posted on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 04:38 pm:   

Mark, perhaps it would help to be an American to understand that in this country it is not Hussein or bin Laden who is the greatest threat to our democracy, but rather Bush and his crew. But perhaps not. You seem unable to entertain the possibility that Blair represents a more fundamental threat to British democracy than Hussein ever did. But luckily for your country, the majority of your citizens don't seem to have such a difficult time with this concept.
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 05:19 pm:   

Michael Cisco wrote: When they die, they are dropped off at the airport which, to preserve the lie, is closed not only to reporters but to their own family members as well. Someone might, after all, bring a camera.

All right, I know that participants and I do not agree on the politics of this conflict and we are not going to change each others minds, so I'm not going to waste a lot of time on that.

But, having fought in Operation Desert Storm and watched as American soldiers were dragged through the streets of Mogadishu, I take a decidedly different view of the notion that anyone has a right to take a picture (whereby, corporate media will most certainly profit from the ratings by airing that image over, and over, and over, and over again) of someone who frankly, deserves just a bit of privacy and dignity in their moment of sacrifice (or as you cynics call it, waste, murder, whatever).

Now, you want to go look at some costs of the war (a war which I continue to support) then maybe you all should go pick up a copy of the latest Mother Earth magazine (not my usual choice, but the interviews of soldiers missing limbs, brain damaged, etc are worth a read whether you are against or for the current war).

Or, I know it might pain some of you to try this, but you just might find out where your local Veterans Administration Medical Center is (which suffered massive cutbacks during the 1990's, a friend of mine lost his job due to Al Gore's campaign to make things more "efficient" at the VA) and perhaps volunteer a bit of time.

Maybe drop off some of your used books (most of you are literate, if somewhat bone headed). Perhaps offer to scratch the ear of a soldier who is missing limbs.

Want to be mad? Fine. I'm thourghly pissed off about Kosovo and was against that operation when there wasn't a single swinging dick one of you antiwar pukes around protesting that one (nor was there any gut wrenching pictures of dead babies from NATO bombing raids either).

But your fucking right to know stops at the damned tarmac at Andrews in my opinion. I don't see why a media vulture has the right to come, take a picture of my dead carcass, parade it around come Pulitzer time, turn it into a Bloody Toga and scream, "War Costs."

It is that thing called "Privacy." Maybe "Respect," and perhaps, "Decency," as opposed to this pornographic lust to see a fucking flag drapped coffin on the part of antiwar opponents.

I know this war is costing this country, five hundred so far and it will probably cost us a shit load more. I've got friends over there, some of them on the way, some on the way back. Some of us support this war INSPITE of that because we believe it is necessary, not for the fucking oil, or because we have a hard on for murdering people.

But for a group of people constantly bitching about civil liberties and how soldiers are treated like dogs, you are sure eager to take a picture of the corpse and slap it on the cover of TIME magazine.

Jesus Christ, to think I wore the uniform of this country, so I could die for ungrateful bastards who'd cheerfully take a picture of my dead ass in a box, then make money off of it.

Fucking burns my ass.

I'll move along now. I'm sure the Thought Police will be looking for me. :-)

Steven Francis Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 05:54 pm:   

sfm = troll. Ignore him. He takes a contrary opinion just to be contrary. He takes the cowards way out by launching a screed, and then saying "I'm out of here, because I can't/won't/don't want to defend my argument."

Don't feed the trolls.
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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 06:00 pm:   

Mark Samuels yet again makes his claim that disagreements with the policies of the Bush administration must be based on irrational hatred of the man.


GET IT THROUGH YOUR SKULLL MARK, it is the man's policies which I find dangerous/bad/ill advised. It is for that reason that I oppose the bush regime. Before the bombs started dropping, you went on and on about how much of a threat Iraq was to the world. GET OVER YOURSELF. You were misled. Iraq was no threat...

This isn't a war about totalitarianism, and your idiotic lumping of Osama with despotic leaders from history shows how idiotic you and your sad/sorry positions really are. Go ahead. Keep shouting “lalalalalala” with your fingers in your ears…

-jl
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Bob Kruger
Posted on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 06:04 pm:   

But, Jeremy, it was such a deft turn, going from families not being allowed to see the bodies of their loved ones to being incensed about liberals wanting to take pictures of his dead ass in a box for profit. I just know with a little prodding he would have made the connection for us.
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Brendan
Posted on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 11:17 pm:   

Mark -

Who cares what ticket you vote on. Blair is as almost as big an ass these days as Bush. You might not back Bush but you obviously back his war, which is basically the same thing. And just saying that everyone that you don't like is a Hitler and quoting George Orwell does not logic or wit make.
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T Andrews
Posted on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 - 08:42 am:   

It will be interesting to see how the 9/11 hearings play out in the next few days...what farcicle (if that's not a word it should be) spin- doctoring will the White House be coming up with when all is said and done?
It is clear that Bush had a hard-on for Iraq long before 9/11, and we have Rumsfeld's big mouth as proof of that.

(Personally, I'm still pissed at Bush thumbing his nose at his northern neighbors after we landed all their air traffic on 9/11 and 9/12. Oh, they may have had terrorists on those planes, but hey-we'll take 'em, and no need to thank us. And he didn't. Just kicked us out of the sandbox for not going after Hussein. We were too busy (and still are) managing Afghanistan for him, anyways.)

And if there wasn't enough poor decision-making going around, Sharon blasts the leader of Hammas with a bunch of missiles. Yes, the guy was bad. But couldn't the Israelis have made it look like an accident? The guy would still be dead; the Hammas organization would still have been weakened, and the man wouldn't have been made a martyr. I find it astounding that with all the money and covert militia, this couldn't have been done a tad more discreetly. Now Sharon has, as Hammas has said, 'opened the gates of Hell'...as if those opened windows weren't trouble enough.
The world has gone crazy.
But in the midst of all this, Bin Laden will be found very soon, so that there's just enough time to primp and preen before the fall election. Timing, after all, is everything.

'Look how much safer the world is NOW!'...I can hear it already.

Btw, I don't agree with Murphy, but he's no troll. His opinion has experience behind it.






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george owell
Posted on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 - 09:15 am:   

I'm all aboard the questioning of Bush's policies towards Iraq and the war on terrorism (which were ENTIRELY SEPARATE ISSUES until Bush converted Iraq into a hotbed of terrorism by invading), but T Andrews, you're wrong about the Hammas leader at least in one sense: if that leader would've died from a staph infection from brushing his teeth, Israel would still have been blamed and the guy still would've been a martyr. The Israel situation is deep and brutal and tangentially related to the rest, but only very peripherally.

As for taking photos/media coverage of casualties, sfm (sorry everyone, but I have to feed the beast), it obviously isn't about profiteering; profiteering is why there are soldiers dying. Just check Cheney's "blind" trust, chock full of extremely profitable Halliburton stock. Not that he's trying to sell or buy any right now, just padding what he and his cronies own. History is going to show that bush and his boys are going to make Harding and his Ohio gang look like a tempest in a teapot (couldn't resist).

And, for fear of being harsh, Bush and Co. don't want broadcasts of images of dead soldiers because it's bad politics. Any other justification is horsehockey. Granted, the other side wants to politicize it as well, but they have a few crazy ideas behind them. Like freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and Americans right to see the price of their government's actions on their behalf. Those soldiers are dying thanks to our tax dollars; they work for us. I do think families of dead soldiers should be left alone (unless they want to come forward), and any images should show respect for the honored dead, but censoring the images themselves flies in the face of what they died for.
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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 - 10:37 am:   

Dead Soldiers are a no-no, but dead firefighters from ground zero are perfectly suitable for campaign commercials. I'd ask where SFM's outrage is at that little twist of the knife, but I know his partisan bias prevents him from maintaining a consistent argument, or having consistent standards for republican and democratic politicians.

Dead babies in Kosovo? What about the dead babies in Iraq? ohh. Democratic party war, vs. republican party war. got it.

SFM's opinion's are worthless, regardless what his "experience" is. I know plenty of smart people who served in the armed forces, and I know plenty of ignorant blowhards who did the same. SFM is more interested in cheering for his favorite football team – er I mean political party then he is in actually engaging in debate about these issues.

A soldiers job is to follow orders. A citizen's job is to hold his elected officials accountable for their actions. One has nothing to do with the other. If it takes dead bodies on TV to get the Bush Regime held accountable for its actions, so be it.
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mark samuels
Posted on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 - 11:01 am:   

Anyway, for what it's worth, my opinion of Bush is that he's effectively one of those "useful idiots" who, despite my disagreeing with him on practically everything else (the death penalty, Kyoto, healthcare etc etc), I am nevertheless convinced that when it comes to the totalitarian mindset the man has the right idea. Confront it and destroy it by the best possible means.

And before anyone jumps in with "but Bush is himself a tyrant!", come back to me when criticising Bush means being tortured in a dungeon for a few years and having your family beaten to a pulp...

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JV
Posted on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 - 11:34 am:   

Hey, Mark--about this:

And before anyone jumps in with "but Bush is himself a tyrant!", come back to me when criticising Bush means being tortured in a dungeon for a few years and having your family beaten to a pulp...

It's pretty damn close to that now. But the point I think you're missing here is that those of us who are Americans need to act *now* so that the scenario you set out above doesn't actually become standard operating procedure for this administration. There's a lot of really scary shit happening on this side of the Atlantic, a lot of which is indistinguishable in methodology from facism. It's not that far from justifying the kinds of things the Bush administration justifies right now to having the shit kicked out of one's family, quite frankly. The *ideology* and the *thought processes* that eventually lead to a country in which such events become all too familiar are already in place.

You've got a coward and a hypocrite in Blair, but your *system* is still largely in place. In the U.S., the Bush administration is actively attempting to dismantle any checks and balances, actively appealing to the ignorance and fear in people, actively putting people at risk for cancer and other health problems through their policies, and creating a Ministry of Double Speak that is very close to that set out in the book 1984.

I've never been this fearful of a right wing administration. Reagan and Bush senior were lightweights compared to this president and his advisors. And I've never thought about evoking the word "evil" until now with regard to a U.S. president. But that's the word that comes to mind most often these days.

And, again, to come back to your statement above...if you're not in the U.S., criticizing Bush--being contrary to his policies--may well lead to you being tortured in a dungeon and having your family beaten to a pulp.

Jeff



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Brendan
Posted on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 - 01:11 pm:   

You might call Bush a "useful idiot", but I would imagine the neo-cons would call you and millions of others who support their totalitarian policies the same thing.
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 07:19 am:   

Actually, my voting aside, I do care about using corpses, regardless of the war, event, or whatever.

I think in your moment of death, you deserve just a notch of privacy, whether you died at Ground Zero, Oklahoma City, Waco, Bosnia, or Iraq. I don't think the Media (who are the only ones who will make any money off of the fucking pictures) should be exploiting corpses.

As for the campaign commericals, all I have seen of them so far is a brief image showing a flag at Ground Zero with Living Firefighters. Not a single corpse or flag drapped coffin to be found.

S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 07:28 am:   

T Andrews wrote: Btw, I don't agree with Murphy, but he's no troll. His opinion has experience behind it.

I don't expect people to agree with me all the time, or even most of the time. I'd get mighty bored if I was surrounded by ditto heads.

That said, my experience is generally discounted when it suits those who don't agree.

It is easier to simply call someone a troll than it is to articulate reasons as to why they disagree.

At any rate, I'd expect that regardless of which president I might have given my life for (thankfully I got out before I had to give it up for one of Clinton's screwball debacles, two of which are presently boiling out of control), I'd expect the Media to keep their God Damned Cameras to their fucking selves and expect the guards at Andrews to shoot any said journalist on sight.

There is such a thing as Right to Privacy. The American Journalist, in their rush to get the latest bloody toga to boost ratings, generally tramples all over it.

Jeremy is right about one thing and I will hand it to him on this.

The Soldier's job is to follow orders (though we do have an obligation to disobey "unlawful orders" which is a different discussion).

It is the Veteran's job to speak while that Soldier is serving his/her country.

Maybe, if Jeremy has some articulate, intelligent friends in the Armed Forces, he should bring them to this thread and ask them if they are prepared to have a picture of their flag drapped coffin paraded around on television, the newspapers, the covers of TIME, and over at Alternet.org.

Even if they disagree with the war (and I know plenty who don't) I doubt they want their dead carcass exploited by a Journalist.

S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com

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paulw
Posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 07:59 am:   

Murphy, you're a fucking idiot.
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 09:15 am:   

:-) Aw, come on, Paulie. Surely you can do better than that? Say it with feeling and depth.

S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com

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George Owell
Posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 10:54 am:   

And the families of victims of 9/11 have no right to privacy in Bush politicizing their deaths and memories? I think the image of the WTC site is a lot more grim and grandstanding than the image of a flag-draped coffin. A flag-draped coffin is the image of a soldier who died defending our country, died doing his job. We should exalt and glorify that. The image of Ground Zero is using the image of innocent victims, people who most decidely did not sign on to be at the front line, did not take on the job of being in the enemy's line of fire.

And if Bush's own counter-terrorism czar is to be believed, it is also the image of Bush's abject failure to protect the people of the United States.
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Michael Cisco
Posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 11:15 am:   

The exploitation relevent to the body in question took place long before it is or is not photographed. The soldier has died for nothing. Now his or her family is forbidden even to meet the body when it arrives back in this country, in the name of an illegitimate effort to prevent American journalists from telling the whole truth about the war.

http://www.veteransforpeace.org/
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 11:28 am:   

Michael, you may think the soldier died for nothing (you do have a right to your opinion) but what does/did the soldier in question think?

You want to see who has died?

I've got a site for you.

http://www.thefinalrollcall.us/

You can look at all of the bodies you want (which no one is trying to hide from you).

Further, I don't know that you want to meet a charred corpse before the personnel at Andrews have had a chance to at least clean it up a bit.

I think, Michael, that you are not so much concerned about the American body count (or the Iraqi one for that matter), nor do you give a fig about those who are wounded.

I think the sole reason the Left wants those pictures is so they can play Mark Anthony, waving the soldier's "bloody toga" around in a replay of Vietnam.

I'm not terribly impressed with the Left's recently developed "concern" for veteran's issues either. Not a thing was done by the Left or the Democrats during the '90's to address Gulf War Syndrome and in fact, they did a great deal to cut the VA budget in the interests of downsizing government.

I think the primary reason John Kerry even shows an ounce of concern today (who by the way, never seemed to be very proud of his combat record until about a year ago, prior to that he was going around saying he was a war criminal and feeding the stereotype that all combat veterans are psychopaths) is because he thinks he can use his veteran's status to his political advantage.

I see him, and others like him at Veterans for Peace, for what they are. They are Repentant Veterans.

Good for them. I am not.

And a lot of the soldiers coming home in those boxes do not believe they are dying in vain.

In the end, I think the flag drapped coffin issue is all about political and commercial exploitation by the Left.

Still haven't seen any recent veterans posting. Surely they are out there Mike. You mean to tell me you can't find ONE of them who agrees with you?

S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Brendan
Posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 11:51 am:   

No, dying for nothing is a good thing. It is the way most of us die. The problem is that these soldiers are dying for a cause that puts American security in jeapardy.
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Bob Kruger
Posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 12:06 pm:   

>It is easier to simply call someone a troll than it is to articulate reasons as to why they disagree.

Precisely why you fit the profile. You do not articulate. You do not address the issues. You addressed a perfectly reasonable reference to a _fact_ -- that relatives have been kept from seeing their own dead -- with a post about not wanting journalists to profit from taking pictures of your corpse, a post devoid of both facts and rational sense.

Your posts are phatic. You are like an ignorant creationist thumping the Bible in an anthropology forum. There are certain implied rules of discourse here that you either ignore or incapable of perceiving.

YOU ARE A TROLL.
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paulw
Posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 01:17 pm:   

And a fucking idiot.
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JV
Posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 01:29 pm:   

I'd like to die before I have to read any more of Murphy's posts. Please.

JeffV
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Chris Dodson
Posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 03:17 pm:   

Why doesn't everyone just take a deep breath and say, "Om." All of you have interesting points to make; why can't you guys make them without trashing someone else?

Om . . .
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mark samuels
Posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 03:55 pm:   

"And, again, to come back to your statement above...if you're not in the U.S., criticizing Bush--being contrary to his policies--may well lead to you being tortured in a dungeon and having your family beaten to a pulp.

Jeff"

How so? The point I was making was that the US has freedom of speech. Totalitarian regimes do not. Are you seriously implying that the US Govt has a policy of imprisoning and abusing foreign nationals who VERBALLY disagree with its policies or who DEMONSTRATE against them? (Not that I was talking about foreign nationals in the first place!) I don't think the Camp Delta prisoners were on a protest march in Afghanistan when they were captured. They were held on suspicion of terrorism and were rounded up in a war-zone. If you raid a brothel it's reasonable to suspect that the men you find are not there for coffee and sympathy.

I really don't understand the point you're trying to make on this one. Rather than addressing the issue you're falling back into the old "grey is as bad as black" argument.

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paulw
Posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 04:39 pm:   

Held on suspicion of terrorism, yes -- but for more than two years? The information coming from those internees recently released is worrisome, to say the least. The 6 Brits recently released, after being held for more than 2 years by the US, incommunicado, were not charged or taken into custody by the British police, who briefly held one, then released him, and declined to hold any of the others.

It is a bit of a stretch to say that every male within a particular country at a particular time must be guilty of a particular offense.
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 05:16 pm:   

See why things are so much better at Asimov's, Chris?

We actually have civil discussions, sometimes disagree, usually agree to disagree and go talk about something interesting. You don't actually dare to DISAGREE around here and particularly on THIS THREAD.

Which in my mind, doesn't make most of these people any better than the close minded creationists that I'm getting compared to, or the neo-cons.

As for who is dying for what, I suppose that is a matter of opinion. I still haven't seen anyone who is actually over there, on the way there, or just come back from there post any opinion one way or the other.

I know from most military personnel I speak with (and some are against the war) that they have a very strong opinion about the flag draped coffin photos (especially if they happen to be the one in the coffin).

And that opinion is, "Don't take the fucking picture!"

As for facts, someone tell me that a photojournalist who takes pictures of corpses at any given event ISN'T making money off of the rights from those photographs?

Surely AP/UPI/CNN/MSNBC/BBC and whatever type of camera wielding journalists don't do what they do for FREE?

You're dodging Bobby Krueger. Tell me someone isn't making any money off of those photos. Tell me CNN's ratings DON'T go up, generating revenue, whenever they show pictures of any given human tragedy?

Better yet, show me the proof that journalists don't profit from the corpses, regardless of what nationality they are from?

S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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JV
Posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 05:56 pm:   

What I love is the argument that just because Bush isn't impaling babies on spikes and putting them on display on the walls outside the White House that somehow the behavior he *does* engage in is somehow less than reprehensible, venal, and, yes, evil.

This is a man whose policies are leading directly to countless thousands of extra cases of terminal cancer and other health risks, whose degradation of the environment affects MILLIONS of people. A man who may ultimately go down in history as one of the main contributors to the destruction of the world's biosphere through his denial of global warming and his failure to go along with the Kyoto Agreement.

If he could get rid of freedom of speech, he would. And as it is, he's done a damn good job of degrading it with his "free speech zones" and other fascist watchwords.

Key words there--rounded up in a war zone. But not treated as prisoners of war. Not given due process. And "rounded up" is also telling, in that, as Paul indicates, it would appear several innocent men have paid an unbearable price for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

JeffV
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george owell
Posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 07:49 pm:   

Mark:

You seriously need to go read up on the Patriot Act--we have freedom of speech here, in theory, but Bush and his boys are doing what they can to end such nonsense. No joke. It's pretty scary stuff.

Nobody here is for totalitarianism. Stopping despots is a good thing. But the only way that has to do with Bush wanting to invade Iraq is if you believe in revisionist history. It's about the bling, bling. If Iraq doesn't have oil, it'd be like any number of African nations suffering under the yoke of one despot after another, while much of the world sits back and ignores their suffering. (I.e. Americans wouldn't even know how to spell it, much less find it on a map.)

And if we really want to stop totalitarianism, how come we haven't gone in and kicked the snot out of North Korea? Or China for that matter?
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Bob Kruger
Posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 10:13 pm:   

>You're dodging Bobby Krueger. Tell me someone isn't making any money off of those photos. Tell me CNN's ratings DON'T go up, generating revenue, whenever they show pictures of any given human tragedy?

Are you _serious_ with this? I guess we'll see. I'll take up this non-issue of yours, but in exchange, I want you to address the real point that was made, and then I want you to answer my last post where I asked, "Is there anyone who really thinks that $200 billion spent in Iraq wouldn't have been better spent shoring up Afghanistan, improving our intelligence network, and securing our domestic facilities?" Do you believe this, and if so, why?

First, I have to try to articulate your point for you, and feel free to correct me if I get this wrong, but you haven't given me much to work with. You're arguing that the Bush administration is perfectly justified in keeping the press from photographing flag-draped coffins because it's disrespectful to the soldiers. The press should not be allowed to use images of American caskets to make news that generates ad revenue. You talked about corpses and asses, but re-reading your post, I infer that you're really talking about caskets and flags.

I'm getting a little ahead of you here, I realize, so let's step back and address your last question, which seems to be whether journalists and photographers make money reporting the news. Yes, I suppose they do. Therefore, you might argue, when they take a picture of a casket with a flag over it, they are making money off the dead soldier inside -- SF Murphy, for instance. Well no, the story isn't that SF Murphy died, but that an American soldier died. In the coffin, he is performing his last function as a member of the U.S. military collective and a representative of the United States. In his role as soldier, he is not a private individual; he does, however, represent an exceedingly precious asset to the country, and I think it is most appropriate that the taxpayers have a right to know what happens to the soldiers they support. I think it's both primetime and front-page newsworthy. Do I want to see the coffins? Yeah, I think so, because the coffin bespeaks finality and loss pretty eloquently, our loss, and it's also a hell of an honor -- at least my grandpa thought so.

My grandfather Kruger was a great soldier. He fought 11 South Pacific campaigns in World War II. He was at Pearl Harbor on that terrible day in 1941. At Tassafaronga, he was on the heavy cruiser Minneapolis on November 30, 1942, when a Japanese torpedo took out the stern and killed his best friend. He was once decorated for bravery under fire when the Japanese knocked out the electricity on his ship and he lugged a generator up to a gun turret. He rejoined that old crew just a few weeks ago -- we said mutual goodbyes just ten minutes before he stared wide-eyed into the face of God -- and we gave him the flag-draped coffin and the honor guard he wanted. We had a lot of people there; the press didn't show, but he wouldn't have minded if they had, not one bit. He was rightfully proud to be buried that way.

I suppose you could consider a desire to see a flag-draped coffin pornographic lust, as you say, just as I suppose it's tragically, sadly true that some people look on little children with pornographic lust. I can't quite get my head around that, though.

But Mike was talking about the Bush administration being so protective of its PR that it wouldn't let families see their own dead. You didn't take that up. Instead you chose to make an oblique shot in the fray, apparently in the hope of getting people emotionally stirred up and draw attention to yourself. That's a loathsome thing to do. Some people are sincerely trying to advance the general understanding here while you play your silly games.

And what's this calculated misspelling of my family name about? Is "Bobby Krueger" supposed to look like "Freddy Krueger"? Let's see, the last time I saw that connection made, it was in a light rising into the filmy eyes of a cretin as he chortled, "Heh heh, Kruger, like Freddy Krueger." Is there some point there, or is it just noise?

If you really want to participate as your last post sort of seems to suggest, then do it so that we can take you seriously. Disagree all you want as long as you have a point. You've made quite a few posts here, and I've yet to see a coherent point emerge. I had to try to make your point for you just now. And I didn't "dodge" anything -- nothing was aimed at me or even into the thrust of discussion on this board.

Bob











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Brendan
Posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 10:54 pm:   

I think Jeff has made a strong point. There is more than one way to commit horrible crimes. Some do it in the old fashioned way by attaching live-wires to your toes--others, such as Bush, do it in the dark. And let's be realistic. Bush, with the power he wields, can and does do far more damage to the world than any of the world's dictators. The whole cry of "democracy" vs. "dictatorship" is a big lie. Because democracy as we know it has very little to do with true democracy, and dictatorships historically have not all been bad. But aside from that, it is up to Americans to change the leadership in their own country, not in another's, and the same applies for the UK and its citizens.
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Bob Kruger
Posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 11:02 pm:   

And while you're at it, why don't you build an argument to support this:

"In the end, I think the flag drapped coffin issue is all about political and commercial exploitation by the Left."

Some questions that may help you:

1. How does the Left stand to gain by showing the coffins? I'm not suggesting it doesn't, just that you need to make this clear.

2. By showing the coffins, how does the Left stand to profit commercially where the right-wing executives at major media outlets can't or won't?

3. How is showing flag-draped coffins at ground zero laudable whereas showing them at Andrews is exploitative? A lot of people support the war in this country. Don't you think they'd feel humbled and proud to see these coffins on TV? Is there some left-wing media conspiracy that precludes these coffins getting a respectful presentation on the set and in the papers?


Bob
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LS Shepard
Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 12:02 am:   

SF Murphy...wow. Let's see. What do we have here? A man who cites and re-cites his experience as a soldier in the Gulf War as if this gives him a perspective that none of us share on foreign policy. Well, OK. I don't know what Murphy's experience of combat was, nor do I care. I've been shot at in three different conflicts and on not one of these occasions did I feel it added to my perspective on international affairs. Having some comprehension of a soldier's psychology is a fine thing, but using that comprehension to serve the agenda of an ideologue is as reprehensible as taking pictures of corpses for profit...which is a joke. I don't know many contemporary war photojournalists, but the ones I have known weren't thinking in terms of profit when they were under fire and taking pictures. They were taking pictures because it was their fucking job, a job that is every bit as essential as the jobs that soldiers do. They took the pictures that came to them to take; they took pictures of everything, shooting hundreds of rolls of film. Most of them were stringers and were not collecting huge sums for their work. Yes, they received a salary or fees, but it wasn't massive. Probably no more than a soldier makes when you factor in meals, transportation and etc. Maybe photojournalists have changed since the early 80s. But that's who I knew. Sure there were asshole journalists, the famous guys, but they were no more relevant to real shit than movie stars.

Murphy talks about not having seen anything written by soldiers who are over there or recently returned from Iraq. That means he hasn't looked. There are plenty of soldiers' blogs online. Google it, dude. He talks about volunteering at Vet Hospitals et al. Fine idea. I recommend it. Wonder if he does it, and if he does, I wonder if there's anything pornographic in his participation in this charitable action, if he's getting some kind of private juice out of this experience. That makes as much sense as any of his suggestions along similar lines. I think it's possible our boy is a war lover, not in the sense that he loves the action, but he loves that he had a smell and wants to keep that smell fresh. I don't know. Just speculating. But I'm getting an unsavory scent off the guy. For all his talk about what a soldier does, is, feels, and so on, he doesn't sound like a soldier--soldiers, after a time in the theater of operations, are generally mildly cynical (not about their government, necessarily; just about talking about the subject) and not prone to jam the Stars and Stripes up their ass and belch platitudes about the purity of our purpose. They're usually too tired for that -- they don't want to think about the whole thing. They want to be left alone about it or else they want to keep what they know private; and when they speak, they do so, generally, in a temperate manner. They don't make great clains for themselves either directly or by implication. These are not, as Murphy characterizes John Kerry, repentant veterans. I would characterize them as ordinary veterans. Normal veterans. The whole Repentant Veteran thing is kind of repulsive coming from someone who clearly has no hold on the complexity of the 1960s, but idiots love labels and bumper stickers, and if you take those away, make them argue without those simple tools, they tend to stammer and make spit-filled noises.

Now I have known soldiers who sounded like Murphy. A lot of them were second lieutenants and second lieutenants in certain wars haven't had a long life span on the average in the theater. Second lieutenants are prone to salute themselves in the mirror, to write down things they say in case they need to spout them later in life. But then Murphy was probably not an officer junior grade. He's not stupid in quite the right way. Maybe a corporal. I've met a few fucked up corporals. They had some of his psychology. They liked to paint themselves as defenders of the weak, as big brothers to the rest of the men, as manly sorts, talking big about their private lives, what they did in a day (yeah, I go down pump a little iron, hit the clubs, blah blah blah)....the thing was, they tended to talk too much about all this, and that wound up leaving people less than convinced that they were anything like what they claimed to be, and thinking that even if they did those things, hey, so fucking what, shut up about it, okay? In other words, those guys put out an odor that was freakily ultranormal and it turned people off.

So anyway, whatever, I guess I'm with Jeremy on this one. I don't know if I'd call Murphy a troll, but I suspect that by responding to him we're not simply arguing with a fool, but playing into a growing pathology. Let him spout and forget about him.
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wexler
Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 06:59 am:   

Okay, this doesn't touch on flag-draped coffins, but it's about journalists covering war, from someone who served in Somalia.

http://www.nealpollack.com/cgi-bin/blog/do.cgi/200304030913/permalink
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 07:06 am:   

ANybody see Bush's comedy stylings last night? Making jokes about not being able to find the WMDs? Nice. Shows his heart, Just as did his comment when he heard about the WTC tiwers going down, the bit about that guy musta been a loisy pilot. He lost some votes last night. Keep it up, George.
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T Andrews
Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 07:43 am:   

After reading Shepard's post, I went looking for a news report on Bush's comments...and instead came across a pic of Blair shaking Gadafi's hand. I'll have to find Bush's remarks later. My stomach can only handle so much.......
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Bob Kruger
Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 08:22 am:   

I like how he showed himself playing cards on Air Force One and said he was on his way to an international summit boning up on the names of leaders he was going to meet. That's actually pretty funny, worthy of Jon Stewart. What's even funnier is that he's so dumb and callow he'd actually say that.

Bob
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R.Wilder
Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 09:44 am:   

Ever since the Vietnam era the government has systematically attempted to control as much media coverage of wars and their aftermath. The ban on photographing coffins is part of this process. Steven perceives this as an attempt of The Left to gain financial and political gains, but I view it as yet another effort by the government, Republican and Democratic, to keep the public's eye from the costs of war. Gotta keep us consumer vessels focused on what's important, emptying the Wal-Mart shelves of plastic and aluminum. Don't want people grumbling and feeling twitchy as they watch the nightly news; it's bad enough that some networks end their newscasts with a silent roll-call of the fallen.

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Pender
Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 10:52 am:   

I hesitate to enter this conversation but, as a soldier currently in Iraq, I would say show the pictures of the flag drapped coffin. I think agree with the war or not, people should see the human cost, not just numbers.
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JV
Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 11:19 am:   

Pender:

Well said. It's like our casualties are invisible, as if none of it's really happening.

I wonder what other thoughts you have on this conversation. After all, you're the one with your ass on the line while we babble on and on.

JeffV
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Bob Kruger
Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 11:27 am:   

Don't hesitate, whether or not you agree. If you're respectfully addressing or making a point, I don't think there's anyone here that will give you shit, and if they do, Big Dog Lucius will put the hurt on them. And tell the guys over there that we're watching and care about them, and it hits us in the gut when we hear bad news.

I don't like the gameplan and priorities of this administration, but the soldiers are cool by me. Your job, taking out a despot and helping oppressed people, is a great thing, even if the policymakers have made shitty plans. Take care of yourself, and come back so we can give you a warm welcome.

Best,
Bob

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Bob Kruger
Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 11:31 am:   

Sorry, Pender, I left off the salutation, but of course that last post was to you.

Bob
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 11:36 am:   

I'm happy to hear Pender's opinions (especially if they are contrary to mine). Pender is there taking the risk. I took my risk fourteen years ago and I'm not in the line of fire, so my perspective is a bit different.

How are things over there? Good, or bad? Are you well treated, or not? Are you getting the body armor you need, or not?

Most importantly, is there anything that you don't have that perhaps can be sent to you? (Besides maybe discharge papers, and I say that only because around about the third month of my deployment to Saudi, I wouldn't have minded seeing my DD-214 early).

I've been taking an informal poll of my coworkers, many of whom are either in the reserves, guard, or were veterans themselves. The feelings are mixed, I'd say about half to two-thirds lean in agreement with Pender's point of view, which is show the coffins (or bodies period). That doesn't sway my point of view (I've seen plenty of charred bodies in my time and I keep pretty close tabs on the currently KIA's).

What we don't see a lot of is the WIA's that are coming back. There is some coverage, but not much.

As a point of information, I'll sum up my career briefly.

I served active from 1989 to 1993, first as a Radio Teletypist (MOS 31 C 10), then as a Mobile Subscriber Equipment Operator (MOS 31 F 10). I left active duty during the downsizing and entered the Kansas Army National Guard to become an Infantryman. I was in the Guard until 1995.

My highest rank was Specialist, which is E-4.

I did earn an Army ROTC scholarship to the University of Kansas both in 1994 and 1995. By 1995, clinical depression (which is not a pathology, but we shall leave some illusions intact) became a serious issue. I left the Guard in 1995.

I've earned a Bachelors and a Masters in European History. Finally, my father is a Vietnam Veteran suffering from two forms of Agent Orange induced cancer. He will be getting a bone marrow transplant for that in the near future (I don't volunteer down at the VA because I spend most of my time taking care of my mom, who is the primary caregiver).

That's "Murph" in a nutshell. Take him or leave him.

Oh, I submit stuff to slushpiles of various magazines in the science fiction field. I'm told there may be hope for the stories, but I don't get my hopes up too high.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Pender
Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 11:42 am:   

Thanks guys! Most of the Iraqi's we work with seem happy we're here. When I rode through downtown Baghdad the other day though, there were lots of evil glares. But, with a 50cal aimed at their asses they didn't do much, funny how that shuts 'em right up! Beware of the Big Dog!
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Pender
Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 11:49 am:   

I was enlisted 19 years ago, E-4 was my rank when i got out. I volunteered again a few years ago and here I am, but an officer this go round. We have body armor and compaired to what alot of other soldiers have, we have it good. Hope things go well for you Murph.
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 11:55 am:   

That is good that you have the body armor. Been a lot of arguing over that. I understand the IBA is a lot more effective than what I wore in 1991.

I'd sign back up, but I expect my medical issue would block my efforts. I now understand the feeling my Dad said he and other Vietnam veterans had when I went the first time. The "Wish I were going in their place, glad I'm staying here," feeling.

I think I can agree with Lucius on at least one thing (he and I don't agree on much of anything). If there is anything you or your soldiers need, I'm sure there are plenty of us who are prepared to send you whatever you are short of. Or if your doing civil affairs work, perhaps items that might help on that end.

Be safe and keep your head down.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 12:07 pm:   

Hey Pender... Your posts are welcome.

Keep your ass safe, and keep a watch out for the National Guard pukes posted in Baghdad as well. One of Night Shade's owner's got called up and sent over in January... This particular national guardsman also served as a Marine, along side the other Night Shade owner.

If you or your unit want some books sent over, please email me the details, and I will have a bunch of titles sent to you.

Best,
Jeremy
jlassen@nightshadebooks.com
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 12:43 pm:   

Well, I find myself agreeing with someone again. Hell, this could become habit forming.

Actually, the Guard is a mixed bag. Some units are really good, some are really, really bad. Active duty was like that. I watched my Guard until going from being one of the best in 1994 to one of the worst in 1995. All it takes is a new company commander.

Might want to keep in mind, we don't know exactly if Pender is Active or Guard/Reserve.

There is also a rivalry between active and reserve. Disagreements aside, I don't think it serves anyone to put salt in that particular wound.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Pender
Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 01:48 pm:   

I'm active, but I can't bash the Guard and Resrve too bad, most I've met have been very professional, and they got real jobs back in the real world. I just got this!

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