Monday, July 16, 2007

Bringing Democracy to Iraq?

A young girl's terror in the middle of the night,
as U.S. troops hold guns around her after raiding her house

30 Comments:

At 12:12 PM, July 16, 2007 , Blogger Sean said...

Whats the source and context of the picture? I mean, your taking a snap-shot of an instant in time and making a judgement on that without context.

Well, when the enemy hides among the civilians what do you expect the soldiers to do? Surely you dont expect the soldiers to drop their weapons after raiding a house that may have insurgents in them do you? Trust me, soldiers dont get their rocks off of scaring little girls.

 
At 12:25 PM, July 16, 2007 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

How do you know how the soldiers get their rocks off? Do you speak on behalf of each and every soldier?

 
At 12:44 PM, July 16, 2007 , Blogger Sean said...

Nope, I can’t say I speak for all of them. In my experience, limited it may be, soldiers do not enjoy scaring little kids. They do enjoy terrorizing airmen though.

 
At 1:25 PM, July 16, 2007 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

There's a video out there of some soldiers being completely foul with some kids in Afghanistan. I'll try to find the link but, needless to say, it's quite unbecoming.

 
At 7:12 AM, July 17, 2007 , Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Oh hell, if you don't read the accounts of the murder, rape and torture, everything seems all right. It's not about blaming soldiers - it's about them being put into an intolerable place and kept there year after year. Bad things happen. Very bad things happen.

Whether or not whoever is pointing the guns at the kid had reason to fear for his life, it's ugly, it's repulsive it denies all the sunny stories the warmongers tell about our freedom bringing mission.

If we think we can get rid of anti american hatred by kicking doors down and humiliating people in their beds, we're the stupidest people that ever called themselves a country.

 
At 7:31 AM, July 17, 2007 , Blogger skip sievert said...

The Dems and Repubs love the war.
It is the surest way to bump up the economy so that they look better on paper. That is called feathering ones nest.
The United States is a war nation, and is totally controlled by special interest groups of political and belief system groups.
Our economy is based on war, and has been since 1948 at least.

Huge amounts of resources will be spent, and all that costs 'money', (debt tokens).
Liberals make me sick with their ridiculous pronouncements.
Progressive is another word for dumb ass in the present context.
Conservatives also feed on all the false concepts of money.

We destroyed that country.
To make money.
We have tortured, maimed, and killed those people.
To make money.
The comparison of us to Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy is clear in this time frame of now, and it will be interesting to see the unintended consequences of our actions as they play out.
Disaster looms.

 
At 8:11 AM, July 17, 2007 , Blogger Sean said...

Uh, yeah, outside of a few aberrant cases, I can't say I've read a whole lot of stories about our troops raping, murdering, and torturing people over there. Actually, I have seen a lot of reports of the “insurgents” targeting civilians though. Regardless of what you think, our soldiers do not target civilians. The rules of engagement put our soldiers at a distinct disadvantage while fighting the “insurgents” in order to minimize civilian casualties. It sucks that kids get stuck in the middle of this war like that, but when the enemy hides behind civilians, particularly women and children, it is inevitable that things like pictured above will happen. For every picture showing bad things I can find you numerous pictures of our soldiers, airmen, seamen and marines doing good in that country.

What I'd like to see is the source and story behind the picture in order to get some context.

 
At 9:22 AM, July 17, 2007 , Blogger skip sievert said...

Hi Sean.

I would like to give you the most coveted cog of the day award for your ignorant collection of thoughts on this page.

The context of your post tells me that you accept the concepts of the war.

The 'war' is about making money.
Our 'troops' are mercenary forces that kill innocent people on orders, and are made up of good soldiers just like the Nazis and Fascists in the bad old days.
You are dreaming a brainwashed dream.
Hello sucker.

 
At 10:32 AM, July 17, 2007 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Sean, of course you've seen an imbalance of reports of who's doing what. You're obviously relying on corporate media for your information. Corporations who have vested interests in keeping war going.

Have you read the story in The Nation?

http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/56761/

 
At 10:33 AM, July 17, 2007 , Blogger Sean said...

Names, names, names… oh ya got me Skip!
If that’s the best you got, color me not impressed.
The combination of ad hominem attacks and the use of the word Nazi in your logic string sure showed me. I just don’t know what to say to that. Perhaps I may have to resort to the famed “Chewbacca Defense”.

All kidding aside Skip, please tell me where my statements are “ignorant” and/or wrong. And please stop, you only make yourself look foolish when you resort to name calling.

 
At 11:24 AM, July 17, 2007 , Blogger Sean said...

II,

You know, the whole "corporate controlled" media thing is a canard. Some would say the main stream media is left leaning and I tend to agree with that point of view but I also think that journalists are just lazy more than anything. Most of my “war” news comes from milblogs and sites that specialize on news on the war (primarily globalsecurity.net and military.com). And yes I know, from your point of view those sources are “biased” as well.

I also spent some time in Iraq as a member of the Air Force Security Forces. I was responsible for the perimeter security and entry control points at the Kirkuk Regional Airbase. I met a lot of Iraqis who came through my gate who worked on base and all seemed to be grateful that we were there and genuinely friendly open people. And they worked on base at personal risk to themselves because the “insurgents” had been known to target them for working with us. I realize that my sampling is small and comes from primarily the US friendly Kurds but it was eye opening experience nonetheless. In addition, I have in my time with the Army National Guard and Air Force National guard known many former combat vets and none have told me things on the level you and others accuse them of.

On the subject of the Nation’s article: the Nation was able to find 50 some combat vets out of 150,000+ troops that claim to have either witnessed or took part in terrorizing civilians. That still does not constitute a trend, nor does it indicate an official policy of “terror”. In fact, assuming what the Nation claims is true, that constitutes much less than 1% of people who are and who have ever served in Iraq. In addition, I could as easily say, like you do regarding the “corporate controlled media”, that the Nation is a biased source and its claims are nothing better than hearsay.

Anyways, I’m probably not all that welcome here but I thought I’d put in my two cents before I left.

-Sean

 
At 12:03 PM, July 17, 2007 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Sean,

You are of course welcome here. While I may disagree with your faithful devotion to the military, you have engaged in a polite, open discourse thus far.

Touche on your comment about the Nation. Fair point that it is as much media bias.

But nonetheless, I find it difficult to believe that the soldiers of empire who, in increasing numbers, were misfits here at home, are people who would handle themselves with self-restraint in a foreign land where they are under intense pressure.

Your example of Kurdish gratitude for the American presence would be the equivalent of another country invading America and one of the racial/ethnic minority groups thanking that country for invading. If Mexican-Americans thanked Cuba for invading America, would you cite that as evidence that Americans overall were thrilled to have Cuban troops on their soil?

 
At 12:15 PM, July 17, 2007 , Blogger skip sievert said...

You can have your two cents back.

I always think its funny when people bring up the ad hominem attack thing.

Because I called you a cog, Ha ha.

Your reference for the war as said seems like a tiny closed circle of believing the 'war' is a genuine act of concern and caring on the part of the U.S.
That we are helping the Iraqi`s get their lives together.
No doubt you can find other cogs to turn with in that labyrinthine rationale.
We went there on behalf of Israel, and also to take over the control of their oil.
And yes, I would say that soldiers are people also, and that any smart soldier would be giving some serious thought to deserting the military right now, and there is also serious talk of the upper areas of the military doing and 'intervention' in our political system.
In other words would it be possible that perhaps a coup could occur ?
Or perhaps we will let the Kracy Kristians start world war three ?
Even if someone puts a gun to someones head that person can always say, screw you pull the trigger.
It takes a lot of cogs to run a twisted money grubbing template.
Full speed ahead Sean~!~

 
At 1:12 PM, July 17, 2007 , Blogger Sean said...

Hi Skip,

Thanks for actually addressing the issues of the debate (sarcasm). But the two cents wasn’t really for you, I believe only II can give it back to me.

“Ad Hominem – Appealing to personal considerations rather than to logic or reason.”

Pretty much sums it up Skip. When you want to actually debate rather than accuse me of being a “brainwashed” and “ignorant cog”, feel free to engage.

You’ve made a whole lot of accusations and statements – back them up Skip with some sources. And your little Techno website doesn’t count.

So now were on to Israel. Skippy you sound like a walking cliché.

What’s next Skip? The Mossad was behind the WTC attack or did GW do it. Is that what the voices are telling you?

Have fun Skip and keep on trucking.

 
At 1:36 PM, July 17, 2007 , Blogger Sean said...

II,
I disagree with your characterization of most people who join the military as misfits. As with any large sampling of people some will be “misfits” but I believe compared to a sampling of similar people in the civilian world, the military would have a much smaller percentage of “misfits”. People lacking self-restraint would not likely make it through the rigorous training in the military, particularly in the combat arms career fields. But of course some may get through the cracks.
I would argue that military people are some of the most dedicated and disciplined people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and working with. And, as a group, they have more common sense and maturity in their pinky finger than their counterparts in college and so forth.
As I stated, I realize that my observations about the Kurds was probably a very small sampling from my little bubble in Iraq. But I would give more weight to personal observations of troops serving on the ground than to some questionable polls that show the Iraqis want us out. Or for that matter a poll that shows that they want us to stay.
My question to you is do you actually know anybody who is or has served in the military? Because it is my position that a majority of those serving and those who have served have a positive opinion overall about their service, those they served with and the mission in general. And I’m just wondering if your living in a sort of vacuum is all, and I mean no offense by that.

Sean

 
At 1:49 PM, July 17, 2007 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

My question to you is do you actually know anybody who is or has served in the military?

Of course I do. I know those from the older generation who served in Vietnam, our generation who served and serve in Iraq, a cousin of mine spent years on the DMZ in Korea, etc.

Knowing them doesn't make the wars they fight more legitimate.

The forces on the ground are very different from those who make the decisions to fight the wars. That's why Bush can allow Walter Reed to have rats and mould, cut military pension benefits and feel no sense of hypocrisy when he lambasts those against the war as not supporting the troops.

It seems to me that the troops have a strong psychological need to believe in the mission they are fighting and, thus, happily drink all the poisoned Kool-Aid Bush and Iraqi elites give them -- otherwise how do you justify putting yourself in such a position of peril?

Perhaps we should start with the fundamentals? Do you really think the US attack on Iraq had to do with so-called weapons of mass destruction or the non-link between Saddam and 9/11?

 
At 2:51 PM, July 17, 2007 , Blogger Sean said...

Well, I don’t know you personally so I just wanted to know that. I know people whom I live near and work with where I am the only person they have ever known who is in the military. And I wasn’t implying that knowing a vet makes the war more legitimate but it might give you some insight into how they think and what motivates them.

Actually lets not fight the “why we went there” fight. We will never agree. I obviously believe in the reasons we went there and I support the mission; you do not. We can probably both site sources supporting our points and refuting the others. And we will both claim the others sources are “biased” or “corporate controlled”.

I agree there is a need to believe in the mission but I disagree that we readily drink the kool-aid. From my perspective and those of us who agree with the reasons we went there it is not kool-aid that we drink and what you drink from is kool-aid. Fundamentally, our disagreement comes down to whether or not we should remain reactive of proactive and your side lost that debate for now. Perhaps it will change in the future.

Personally, I’m too cynical of a person to believe that we are in the midst of a noble war. But I do believe that the United States and the American people are an essentially good and the people were fighting are essentially evil (and I don’t mean Muslims as a group, but what I would categorize as terrorists I guess). We would be fighting them somewhere eventually, I guess it is better we fight them there. Yes I know, I sound like a cliché, sorry, but it is how I see it and I believe it is reasonably justified.

I came simply to address the picture and the implications of it; partly to present an alternate perspective and some context of my own.

Sean

 
At 2:53 PM, July 17, 2007 , Blogger Sean said...

At least it appears you believe the troops there believe in the mission and arent just mercenaries who are there for money and a few college benefits. I suppose that is somthing.

Sean

 
At 2:58 PM, July 17, 2007 , Blogger skip sievert said...

"What’s next Skip? The Mossad was behind the WTC attack or did GW do it. Is that what the voices are telling you?"

Good luck Insurgent on getting anything out of this one but bullshit.
I think it is fair say that we have a 'dingus erectus' on board.

I can spot an idiot a mile away.

 
At 3:21 PM, July 17, 2007 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Sean,

Americans have been reared on a steady diet of the myth of fighting evil, little guy v. big guy. It's part of our movies (The Matrix, Rocky, Spiderman), books, music, etc. The soldiers of the U.S. military are a reflection of that ethos, seeing themselves as good fighting evil. I am sure there are a few really sick fucks but I'm willing to buy that most think they are there for good reasons.

Unfortunately, life isn't that simple and just like all of us can agree that there is office politics, international politics also offer intrigues.

Perhaps the U.S. would be fighting "terrorists" somewhere, but a review of the history of U.S. aggressions around the world makes clear that the U.S. has brought much of this upon itself.

A friend just sent me this link explaining the reasons behind many wars. I haven't watched it yet, but maybe you'll find it interesting.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-515319560256183936&q=money+masters&total=1169&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0

 
At 3:35 PM, July 17, 2007 , Blogger Sean said...

I'll think about what you say and perhaps have some more comments tomorrow.

BTW, whats with Skip?

Sean

 
At 4:19 PM, July 17, 2007 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

LOL! Skip gives it to everyone. I think it's his way of initiating new readers. :-)

Sean, I highly recommend that you read up. There is so much information out there that is really eye-opening.

Our soldiers are currently dying to try to save the dollar from collapse.

Do you know Israel helped Hamas get its start? It thought it would be amusing to play a religious group off against the more powerful, extremely corrupt and very secular PLO. Now that the tables have turned, and Hamas has the power, America and Israel are funding and arming the PLO. Both groups have been described as terrorist - Yitzhak Shamir didn't want to shake Yasser Arafat's hand at the Oslo Accords, but now his successor Abbas is described as a "moderate". These are all word games.

Each of the so-called "terrorist" groups was once on the CIA payroll. The group inside the Lebanese refugee camp was armed and funded by the U.S. and Israel in the hopes of playing Sunni against Shia Hizballah.

Theocracies are bad when it's Iran or Afghanistan, but are deserving of U.S. weaponry when it's Saudi Arabia or Israel.

Dictators are bad when it's Sudan or Iraq, but are "allies" in Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan.

Communism is bad in Cuba, but deserves all the jobs we can send them in China.

None of these contradictions can be explained by the good v. evil mythos that has been shoved down our throats since birth. To resolve these contradictions requires a lot of honestly and objectivity.

Playing games like this eventually backfires. Or, as the CIA mischievously refers to it, it generates "blowback."

 
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