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Friday, June 17, 2005

Sticks and Stones...But Words Can Never Hurt

I can't stop thinking about what a Major said to me the other day. "The whole country of Iraq, every man, woman, and child... Kill every one of them and it still won't be worth one American's life."

Perhaps this is why we won't win here, because so many feel that the life of an Iraqi doesn't even register when compared to that of an American. This kind of mindset permeate the thoughts of many of the soldiers here in Iraq.

So often I hear, "I gotta go fuc*** guard Hajji!" By the soldiers assigned the duty of watching over the Iraqi workers who are working on our base. Another thing I hear so very often is, "I'm gonna go shoot me some Hajji." The soldiers who say these things speak as if the Iraqi people were some kind of animal to be hunted. You might tell me that terrorists are nothing more than animals to be hunted but if you look at the statistics most of those killed are civilians not foreign fighters.

It is time to wake up and realize that there are more important things than the Michael Jackson trial. There are things like the value of a human life or the value of an entire nation that has been kicked so many times by tyrants that it may look downtrodden and useless but under it all there is the beauty of LIFE

44 comments:

Whetam Knauckweirst said...

Zach, I'm 100% against the war in Iraq, and in 100% support of the troops there. It's an extraordinarily brave thing for you to keep this blog. Keep your head down and come home safe!

hol said...

I can't believe that someone would say that about those innocent people- not to mention a MAJOR! That's horrible. What's wrong with those people? Killing is not the answer! It doesn't solve any problems! A human life is a human life - no matter what nationality!

Snag said...

I'll first say that, as I'm sure my politics and philosophy is evident on my blog, I don't advocate the dehumanization of anyone.
However, it is an ancient coping mechanism for soldiers. We begin at home, as a society accepts stereotypes for being more than the gross generalization about a group of people. But then you ask troops to go somewhere and occasionally or frequently kill them. How do you kill another human being? You have to reduce them to monsters. That's war.

If we go to do a police action, the mindset and relationship need to be different. Police are/should have an affinity with the community. There needs to be a sense of service and connection with the people being policed.

You should never have troops that have been sent for war, doing police work.

We're now in that very bad position of having the dogs of war to do the police work in Iraq.

Anonymous said...

The job would be better done by UN peacekeepers. However, since we alienated the UN over this war, I doubt we will see them in there. I think we may eventually have to go all of the neighboring countries and say, "We have failed, but I don't think you want this instability next to your borders. We need Muslim peacekeepers and we need them now. Shia peacekeepers for the Shia areas, Sunni peacekeepers for the Sunni areas and let the Kurds police themselves.
-roamer in mich

Hurria said...

"You should never have troops that have been sent for war, doing police work."

You should never have sent troops there in the first place.

Kate said...

Beautifully said, Zach. Imagine how much better our world would be if everyone recognized our common humanity.

Take care -- warm wishes to you and your family.

Hurria said...

I know you mean well, Anonymous, but I cannot emphasize enough what a terrible idea it is that Arab countries should send their military to act as "peacekeepers" -in other words to occupy Iraq. Iraq needs to be free from foreign exploitation, not to have half a dozen of its neighbors in there using Iraq to serve its self interest.

And please! Haven't the Americans done enough already to divide Iraqis against each other? We do not need anything that will emphasize even more these terrible false divisions, so please no Sunnis for so-called Sunni areas, Shi`as for so-called Shi`a areas, and so on. Once upon a time Iraqis used to form political affiliations based on social and political ideologies more than sect or ethnicity. After two years of hard work, assisted by the Wahhabi/Salafi fanatics, the US has succeeded in dividing Iraq in a way and to a degree no one thought was possible, and the damage may be irreparable.

Anonymous said...

You must be a parriah in your outfit. They are all murderous anti-Iraqi bigots and there you are a Iraqi - loving, never harmed a soul humanitarian.
Come home and do your anti-war bit because you are worthless as a soldier.In fact you may be a detriment to your fellow soldiers when going out on patrols or involved in serious combat. I know I wouldn't want you in my foxhole.

Snag said...

Hurria,
A couple of things:
I think it was pretty much agreed that we shouldn't be there in the first place. Having said that, I wanted to address how all along the way there are indications that our administration was never acting in good faith.
As for irrecobly damaging the country, that's a complex argument of not black and white. Most of the countries over there are synthetic constructs, formed from former British colonialism. Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia are all a hundred years of western influence with little regard for the actual divergent cultures. Arabs, Persians, Kurds, etc. all forced to cohease in a particular political group for the benefit of western influence.
If we keep thinking in black and white, we will always be fighting.
The cut and run policy made for 30 lost years before Vietnam and American wounds could begin to heal. We should get out of Iraq, but we can't leave the region cold, only to have it be divvied up by other power hungry forces.
Who can step up and replace our presence there now who would not exploit Iraq? Who can help? We broke it, how can it be fixed?

Anonymous said...

We may just have to pull out and let Iraq convulse and fall apart. But then hurria would get what he/she wants, and yet still complain. It is truly a no win situation every which way u turn it. The three countries that would get involved after a US pullout would then be Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Turkey won't allow a Kurdistan, Saudi Arabia for the Sunnis and Iran for the Shi'a. Let them deal with it.

Hurria said...

"I think it was pretty much agreed that we shouldn't be there in the first place."

Then it should be pretty much agreed that for the good of all concerned you should get out as quickly as possible of the place you shouldn't be in the first place.

"Having said that, I wanted to address how all along the way there are indications that our administration was never acting in good faith."

I do not doubt that you believe that obvious fact, but it was not clear to me that this is what you wanted to address.

"As for irrecobly damaging the country, that's a complex argument of not black and white."

You would not say that if you could see how you have affected the very fabric of Iraqi society in ways unheard of before. Part of the problem is that you do not know how tightly interwoven the parts of Iraq's society are and always have been, and the degree to which you have destroyed that fabric.

"Most of the countries over there are synthetic constructs, formed from former British colonialism."

Absolutely 100% irrelevant.

"Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia are all a hundred years of western influence with little regard for the actual divergent cultures."

Yes, this is the "received" version of today's self appointed "experts" who know little or nothing about the realities of Iraqi society.

"Arabs, Persians, Kurds, etc. all forced to cohease in a particular political group for the benefit of western influence."

This is all empty theory with no connection at all to Iraqi reality.

"If we keep thinking in black and white, we will always be fighting."

I do not think in terms of black and white, I think in terms on the ground reality. I think in terms, for example, of the fact that every one of Iraq's large Arab tribes is mixed between Sunni and Shi'a, and so are many, if not most, of the smaller tribes. I think in terms of the fact that intermarriage between Sunni and Shi`a Arabs, Arabs and Kurds, Arabs and Turkmens and Kurds has been for centuries so common as to be unremarkable, and intermarriage between Christians and Muslims, while less common, is cause for concern only among the extreme elements on both sides. I think of it in terms of the personal relationships that have been profoundly affected by the artificial divisions being promoted by your government.

"The cut and run policy made for 30 lost years before Vietnam and American wounds could begin to heal."

I have no idea what this means, but I do know that I do not give a flying rats backside about American wounds. Your wounds, all of which you have inflicted on yourselves, are no one's responsibility but your own.

"Who can step up and replace our presence there now who would not exploit Iraq?"

Why on earth does anyone at all need to "step in and replace your presence" - a presence that has led to nothing but chaos, lawlessness, massive destruction and death? Do you think Iraqis are incapable of doing better for themselves than you have done for them?

"Who can help?"

Given the kind of help you have delivered so far, it seems to me Iraqis are a lot better off with no help at all.

"We broke it, how can it be fixed?"

Given your track record so far, all you know about is breaking things. Iraqis are the ones who have a real stake in fixing their situation, so get the hell out and leave it to Iraqis.

"We should get out of Iraq, but we can't leave the region cold, only to have it be divvied up by other power hungry forces."

Oh, yes, you can, and you should.

"Who can step up and replace our presence there now who would not exploit Iraq?"

How patronizing can you possibly be? What makes you think someone needs to step up and replace your presence?

"Who can help?"

Not you, that's for sure.

"We broke it, how can it be fixed?"

Just get out and let Iraqis work that out.

hol said...

Hurria- I totally agree. You hit the nail on the head.

Snag said...

Sorry Zach for taking this debate on your blog, but definitely an interesting discussion.
My point was, regardless of what ever the U.S. does, there are interests other than ours that factors in.
I had no intention of being patronizing. I have every belief that Iraq can organize itself. However, what of other forces that would seek empire? China's growing need for oil. France's continual colonialization, Britain's desire to maintain BP's influence. Russia's want of international power? I think it is naive to think that whatever happens, one power wouldn't seek to replace the U.S. and exploit the region. And then of course the U.S. would react to that power, placing Iraq in the middle again.
My debate is not in the frame of the U.S. and Iraq alone.
I'm trying to debate among American's and how we see ourselves in the future, not just Iraq? How do we fundamentally change our view so we don't break anymore countries? If we (American's) don't look at the at all the things that we have done wrong, how do we learn? As it is, there are forces in this country that don't care about how many lives are lost, period. And we have the scary ability to cause massive amounts of suffering. We have our own growing, religious extremist movement. Oil has peaked so what will be American policy in the days to come?
"The cut and run policy made for 30 lost years before Vietnam and American wounds could begin to heal."
I have no idea what this means, but I do know that I do not give a flying rats backside about American wounds. Your wounds, all of which you have inflicted on yourselves, are no one's responsibility but your own.
(This means that we've done it before. This means that 30 years later we came and blew-up Iraq. This means that our wounds continue, so we continue to cause wars. Maybe you don't care about American wounds, but they are some of the factors in what has hurt Iraq today. This means that even though we left Vietnam, we still inflicted 30 years of poverty and suffering on the country.)
Even if the U.S. left Iraq today, nothing would be resolved in the heart of American policy. We (American's) need to understand the history of the region, know our own role in all of this so we can follow a better path. There are still many agry, wounded hearts here who want their own jihad against the region because they only know the lies. Until we learn to have constructive dialogue, we're gonna keep killing.

"May all beings be happy, peaceful, and free from suffering."

Lloydyboy said...

I just read Galloway's latest at Common Dreams. Just thought I'd drop in and tell you to hang in there. I was a 98C. Luckily my IRR obligation is over now and I'm out. Try to keep in mind that there is life after the Army.
Pray for Bush's impeachment. He's killed a lot of mofos for nothing.

Kate said...

Beautifully put, Snag. We need a national reckoning of our actions. Harria, you're right too. Iraq should be run by and for Iraqis.

The whole thing is a mess and unfortunately people like Zach are stuck in the middle. And not by choice! The stop-loss is another anti-family policy from our supposed "pro-family" administration. Jon Stewart said once that it was as if Bush Co wanted to "spread irony across the world." Clearly they want to spread chaos too.

I can't imagine the pain you are going through, Harria, seeing your country overtaken by violence. Some of us are trying to get our neighbors to see what this administration has done so we can pressure them to change their policies. As Snag said, we're facing an ideological battle here with the rise of what Chris Hedges has called "Christian Fascism," a horrifying mix of religious fundamentalism, a government run for corporate interests, and the use of bellicose nationalism and fear to control the people. It's a scary time here. A lot of our intellectual leaders reject the idea that we're in a crisis which makes it even worse for those of us who see it for what it is. I was talking to a dear friend last night who just turned 70. He told me this is the worst he'd ever seen; worse than the McCarthy era, worse than Nixon, worse than Vietnam. The lies and the propaganda are difficult to sort through.

We have to work toward peace and reconciliation. Snag is right to point out that ours is not the only government with nefarious sights on Iraq and other countries. Iraq's neighbors, among others, have vested interests in controling Iraq too, like all neighbors of all countries do. It's the nature of the beast. I don't want America to be an empire. Unfortunately the neocons do. This is part of our ideological battle here. We can't even get them to openly admit what they want. We have to rely on little admissions every now and then caught on tape, like the time Bush called his promotion of policy propaganda or the time the Bush official said they are "creating reality" and actively building empire. We are trying, Harria. We are trying not just for the sake of Zach and other Americans but also for the sake of Iraqis. We don't want anyone to die violently in our name.

Zach, you are in my thoughts. Warm wishes to you and your family. Take care, friend.

Hurria said...

"people like Zach are stuck in the middle. And not by choice"

The only ones who are stuck in the middle without any choice are the Iraqis. People like Zach do have many choices. I do not pretend they are easy choices, but they do have choices every step of the way.

The other day one of my relatives, a young man in his mid-20's, said to me "what a terrible thing to realize that the only way I can be safe in my own home, in my own country, is to leave it". People like Zach, who DO have choices - agonizing choices, but choices nonetheless - have left their homes and forced their way into the home of Iraqis, who have no choice at all except to leave their home in order to be safe. Many, many Iraqis have done so, and many more will, and most of the ones who are leaving, are the people Iraq can least afford to lose.

Hurria said...

Snag and Kate, thank you for your comments to me. I appreciate them very much, and I want to take the time to make a thoughtful response, so I will try to respond to you both a bit later.

Lisa said...

Now that I have finished my bag of popcorn after these interesting debates, I want to let Zach know that I pray for his safety every day. It is he and others like him that make me proud, not of the decisions, but of the men and women that they ARE! Zach - don't ever lose your focus because it may be what keeps you alive. Stay strong because you DO have a beautiful family to get back home to. God Bless you always and STAY STRONG! Your feelings and views don't go unnoticed by those of us who DO CARE! Understandably, everyone that has responded to this post cares too, it's just hard not to express personal feelings of what this war is doing to all of you there and all of us here at home too. I wish I could do more to help! Godspeed!

Anonymous said...

here's a suggestion to hurria and everyone else who say they "care".

maybe it would be wise to ask the vietnamese people how this could best be done, getting all these compassionate "coalition" soldiers out of iraq.

or we could ask the people in el salvador. or other invaded countries. those folks have first hand experience how apple pie usa really works.

or ask some of the few remaining american indians.

has anyone on this blog read "Bury my heart at wounded knee" ? its the primer, the classic in american foreign policy.

kate said...

Yes, anonymous, I have read "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee," along with "Trail of Broken Treaties," "God Is Red," and a couple of others by Vine Deloria.

What's your point? Are you saying you 'Care' because you've read one book about how our country colonized Indian lands, and therefore you wouldn't care at all if you hadn't read it? What on earth are you talking about?

Zach, Happy father's day. I'm sorry you're away from your family. You all are in my thoughts.

tara(wife) said...

I am extremely bother about the things you guys are writing about my husband. Stop it now!!!!! His family reads this shit and we do not appreciate it. Expressing your opinion is one thing, but you leaving messages like... I will find you or I hope an I.E.D. finds you is not tolerable. Stop it now!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hopefully we will see Bush and Cheney impeached and sent to the Hague to be tried for war crimes. I'd like to see him there in the cell next to 'ol Slobodan, Saddam and Tony.
-roamer in mich

ScottyB. said...

The recent (last 30 years) actions of the US are nothing new. How many times in the history of Man has one country, nation, tribe or family gone on a military rampage for whatever reason, attempting to subjugate or in some manner affect changes in another group? It seems like everywhere in the world has it's cycles, good and bad. But really it comes down to the strong getting what they want from the weak. Iraqi nationalists and muslim extremists are doing the exact same thing now to the citizens of Iraq. They are also doing what they can to American soldiers, or anyone who would help America.

It is sort of similar to the Crusades, but Christians have not always been the ones doing the attacking. Genghis Khan did a damn fine job of kicking the crap out of almost everyone. His son was even more ruthless. And I am certain that if we all check our history books, we will find all sorts of Persian and Arab individuals, groups and nations that have done the same in the past. Pretty much the aggressor is always the one considered "bad" (unless its a coup or some such)--nothing new here.

Of course, just because idiot humans have done it before doesn't mean we should keep doing it. I am against this war, against our actions there, and against many of Bush's policies. However, as an American, I am pro America. I want to see America just a little bit ahead of everyone else on Earth, or at the very least an equal partner in a world government. I can't imagine that Hurria would feel differently if he had the choice to make his country just a little bit more powerful, more wealthy and more influential then all the rest. That's the bread and butter of national pride. Sort of like a sports team, you want them to win and be the best--though they usually don't have their lives on the line.

To the individual who said "You must be a parriah in your outfit. They are all murderous anti-Iraqi bigots and there you are a Iraqi - loving, never harmed a soul humanitarian. Come home and do your anti-war bit because you are worthless as a soldier.In fact you may be a detriment to your fellow soldiers when going out on patrols or involved in serious combat. I know I wouldn't want you in my foxhole."...


Tara, don't let your kids read this.

Well, I'm not sure how to respond to this. I assume you are talking about Zach, and my question to you is, have you ever met Zach? You strike me as the sort of psychotic, mentally unstable jackass that caused Americans to lash out at vietnam war vets. I know that on the basis of your comment alone I would never hire you to work for me, no matter how qualified you seem to be. You might be one of those career soldiers, the truely messed up individuals who want to kill because it isn't ILLEGAL when you are on a military campaign. I know I don't want you coming home to rape my family, kill my friends and terrorize my fellow citizens. While I am not so terrible as to wish any sort of death on any other person, your ignorant, psychopathic, militaristic viewpoint is enough to make me sick. If God could replace you with a decent human being so that your family and friends would not have to suffer at your loss, I would pray this very moment for it. As it stands, good luck to you, you stupid bastard. You most certainly will need it.

Now, enough of that. We are in Iraq to make sure that the control over oil Iraq has does not effect our oil companies and our citizens. If we leave, someone might take control who doesn't like us, and that might lead to higher gas prices here in the US. Have any of you seen that ridiculous fantasy TV show Oil Storm? Well, it's not so ridiculous, in reality. Who among you wants to pay $9 a gallon for gas. Who can really afford it? Not to mention the prices for all petroluem-based products. Of course, our idiotic government would rather spend $200 billion dollars on taking more control economically of another country then put that money into finding more efficient sources of energy. You realize that we could have a freeway that went all the way around the world (no joke) if our government had put that money on expansion? That would make transporation much cheaper, being able to drive from NYC to London, then on to Moscow and finally to LA. Hell, that sort of money might have been enough to finish the particle accelorator that the government cancelled in Texas (or Arizona or something like that, I can't remember), and maybe we might have feasible cold fusion at this point.

Governments make the really dumb choices, but each individual is no exception. Hurria, your fellow citizens have a choice as well--they can stay and face death. It's not a very good choice, but it's a choice. Don't try to push blame on Zach for his role in this--he is doing his honorable duty that he agreed to do. Maybe honor means nothing to you, but it certainly means a lot to an American. That might be why America is sticking it's nose in your door, and not the other way around.

Hurria said...

"I can't imagine that Hurria would feel differently if he had the choice to make his country just a little bit more powerful, more wealthy and more influential then all the rest."

You need to develop a better imagination if you cannot imagine this. There are millions and millions of people in this world who do not see themselves in any kind of contest over whose country ismore powerful, wealthy, or influential, and I am one of them.

Hurria said...

"Hurria, your fellow citizens have a choice as well--they can stay and face death."

I invite you, who feel qualified to say these things while sitting safe and secure and comfortable half a world away, to manage for one week to live as the average Iraqi lives under the conditions you brought to the country. Before you do that you have absolutely no right whatsoever say one single word about it.

"Don't try to push blame on Zach for his role in this"

The responsibility is solidly on the back of every single person who participates in any role in the the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and that includes Zach.

"--he is doing his honorable duty that he agreed to do. Maybe honor means nothing to you, but it certainly means a lot to an American."

If you see honour in participating in a criminal, immoral attempt to subjugate a foreign country, in turning an entire country into a hell on earth, in destroying entire cities, in the daily festival of death and destruction, then you have not the slightest comprehension of what honour is. The honour, my dear Scotty, and the courage, is in refusing to participate in such activities.

"That might be why America is sticking it's nose in your door, and not the other way around."

Oh, now, this is funny, particularly given the recent revelations of just exactly how much dishonour was and is involved - so much dishonour, in fact, that it may just lead to the downfall of those who perpetrated this disaster.

Anonymous said...

Hurria, I thank you for sharing your point of view. It is very illuminating to hear a completely different side of the story than what's heard in the US.

Kate said...

Ashamed ex-american, you are not reading the posts right at all. I'm the wife of a stop-lossed national guard soldier currently serving in Afghanistan. I care about all of the soldiers but I do not endorse the war at all. Please read carefully! Just because I have sympathy for Hurria's position (I can't imagine having my country overtaken by violence) doesn't mean I don't have sympathy for Zach.

I'd rather our country work toward peace, for all of our sakes, not just Hurria's and Zach's and my husband's. I in no way endorse this war and I have no interest in enlisting.

Zach, I have to say that I have no idea what many of your commenters are saying at all. I guess having your work available to a large audience it's bound to attract a wide array of folks. I'm confused by them. But I'm not confused about this: you've got an incredible voice and your stories are important. I'm so thankful that you're willing to risk so much to tell them. I think about you and your family a lot. I understand their pain because I feel it myself. It's impossible to be separated like this sometimes. It's heartbreaking for everyone involved.

I hope you aren't discouraged by these comments. I'm sorry you're having to take the wrath of so many.

Take care

Anonymous said...

i agree with tara.. some comments are ok..but to wish death upon him is uncalled for. i'm praying for all the soldiers over seas and their families including zach and my boyfriend to come home safe, and soon.

Anonymous said...

Hurria:

I could not imagine living in your country and the daily violence and death that is going on there at this time. I do realize, allegedly, Saddam was also a murderer of his people.

I respect our soliders because they are following their orders, but I in no way approve of this war. Never have. I was able to see in 2000 when the president stole the election what was going to happen in this country.

We are in terrible times and the children will suffer. For any child to see some of the things, death, destruction, violence, that goes on in this situation will leave them emotionally wounded for a life time.

The soliders children who have lost their mothers, fathers, uncles, etc., will also be wounded. My cousin was blown to bits and left a 2 year old daughter.

After a year and a half the sense of loss grows deeper every day.

Be safe Zach. Be safe Hurria.

Hurria said...

"allegedly, Saddam was also a murderer of his people"

There is no disputing that Saddam was a brutal despotic dictator whose regime killed many Iraqis. But in no way can that be compared to the magnitude of the death, destruction, maiming, misery, the complete lack of any degree of security, and lack of even the most basic freedoms that has resulted from the forced presence in Iraq of Zach and his colleagues.

Make no mistake, too, about the fact that the goal of the overwhelming majority of the badly misnamed "insurgents" is to rid Iraq of the occupation, and to end the U.S. attempt to subjugate the country and its people. The only way to bring the violence down is to rid Iraq completely of the U.S. presence. Send Zach and his colleagues back to the warmth and safety of their homes and families. Do not deceive yourself that the U.S. is doing anything at all to reduce the violence or to protect Iraqi people. The overwhelming majority of the violence, and by far the greatest magnitude of violence and destruction comes from their bombs, their guns, their tanks, not from the so-called "insurgents".

I bear Zach no ill will, and hope that no harm will come to him. I wish to see him back in his home in the bosom of his family for both Iraqis' sake and for his sake. At the same time, I do not see anything admirable about the fact that he would unhesitatingly put a bullet through my head, and then post an agonized blog about it afterward.

SPC. Mike Derucki said...

"I was able to see in 2000 when the president stole the election" What A load of Dia-Hurria! BUSH WON FAIR AND SQUARE, GET OVER IT!

Tara, don't let your kids read this....

And ScottyB...

"Well, I'm not sure how to respond to this. I assume you are talking about Zach, and my question to you is, have you ever met Zach?" Have you ever been in combat? When the bullets go whizzing by your head or your ass, ( Take your pick, one hit would take them both out, since your head is so far up your ass! ) you will wish you could hire 20 of these " Stupid Bastards " to do your shooting for you. Since you would probably be all wet from pissing your pants!

"You might be one of those career soldiers, the truely messed up individuals who want to kill because it isn't ILLEGAL when you are on a military campaign."
I'm a soldier trying to do my job. If I have to kill the ENEMY because they won’t surrender, so that my squad & I can come home to our families instead of in a box, then that’s what I will do. That’s what soldiers do! Only a truly messed up individual would berate soldiers for wanting to survive this war!

"I don't want you coming home to rape my family, kill my friends and terrorize my fellow citizens."
You can rest assured sir that after reading your convoluted thoughts in print, I, and probably many others, will have absolutely no desire to be anywhere near your pathetic whining ass!

Good day to you, you stupid bastard. You are beyond hope.

P.S. Oh, & about securing your 1st Amendment rights... You are welcome, Jackass!


SPC. Mike Derucki
----------------------------------------------------
If you can see this, thank God.
If you can read this, thank a Teacher.
If you're reading this in English, thank a Veteran.

Anonymous said...

Mike;
I didn't ask you to do anything for me. Thanks for earning my tax-dollars, if there's anything to thank you for. It wasn't like you joined the military to protect me. And of course I would be looking to hire 20 of you guys to protect me--I'm no combat expert. I was coming down on you (assuming I was even talking to you, too many unnamed anons) for condeming Zach as someone who is against this war and the events taking place in it--if I misunderstood you, by all means accept my appology. If not, well, it sure seemed like you were all gung-ho about killing and degrading Iraqi citizens to me.

Hurria;
Nothing I said was meant as an insult to you, but rather to show that the arguements you used could be used in reverse. Even if they are ridiculous (in particular, that your people having the choice of death is really a choice--of course it isn't, but neither is facing years in prison). I absolutely have sympathy for Iraq, and I think my government was quite foolish in attacking your country--first of all, we should have learned from Veitnam that the whole idea of subjugating a country without the intention of total domination is not really feasable--too much work, too much money, too much death, and little to no real value in return. Second of all, we have no business telling other countries how to run themselves--being asked by a country to step in and help is one thing, forcing ourselves in is another.

Sure I sit at home safe from war--do you expect me to feel bad because other parts of the world have to live in fear and I don't? Hell no, I thank God I don't have to be in the situation too many people on earth find themselves in. Maybe if I become absolutely, ridiculously wealthy I can make a significant impact on the rest of the world for the better--but barring becoming far more powerful then any human alive could even imagine being, I can't do crap for any of you.

As far as you not wanting your country to be better then any other--maybe that's an American attitude, but I really CAN'T imagine not wanting that. Think of it this way--President Bush and the US couldn't have made such a negative impact on your country if we had been less politically, economically and militarily powerful then yours. Are you saying you are glad your country wasn't able to stand up and keep us out? Or that you don't care even if you had been? Being top-dog means others can't do that stuff to you. If you don't want that, well...

But hey, it doesn't matter much, soon China will be beating America around, and the whole world will have to face a new brand of thinly-veild tyranny.

ScottyB.

kingfelix said...

SPC. Mike Derucki said......

"If you can see this, thank God.
If you can read this, thank a Teacher.
If you're reading this in English, thank a Veteran....."



hello, erm, Mike? why should i be thankful that I speak and read English? How do you know that I wouldn't prefer to speak and read Chickasaw or Cherokee?

That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever read in my life.

Now if you put: "if you can read the United States Constitution and comprehend it, and know that your U.S. Supreme Court and the religious right winged politicians haven't shred it, thank your American neighbors for voting with common sense," I might agree with you.

Frank Puma said...

Pinhut,

I take it you have never been overseas? I have, and I thank my lucky stars everyday that I was born an American.

You can learn to speak and read Chickasaw or Cherokee, here in America if you please. Just another good reason to be glad your an American.

I have my own copy of the constitution. You can get one here that will fit in your shirt pocket, for a mere $5.00: http://www.catostore.org/index.asp?fa=ProductDetails&method=cats&scid=15&pid=144278-A And yes I understand it too. But its a shame they don't teach it much nowadays in school.

I suppose you like the kind of supreme court justices that want to take your property and give it to developers who can make more tax revenue with it. But what do you care your only 32, and probably don't own any property yet. You won't find any real conservative judges voting that way though. just the ones who say they are when everyone is watching them because they can't admit to being liberal.

What do you have against religion?

It is your Liberal Left Wing politicians who want to shred the constitution. They would start with the 2nd amendment. Why don't they want us to be able to defend ourselves? And do you want to trust them with our nations security? Or maybe the U.N.?

And if you don't agree with me, that's OK. Another reason to be glad your an American. I just so long as the State doesn't "Require" that we agree with them.

Frank Puma

Saul Steinberg said...

I'm surprised no one has bashed Israel, yet.

banana said...

Frank Puma,
no, nowhere in this world is Chickasaw spoken fluently. That's beside the point.
Surely you're not so thick as to completely miss the point. The point is, why should one be proud of the type of language he speaks? Is there something that happens deep within you if you speak one language and not another? What makes it so great to speak English?

And yes, the Constitution is something that we liberals do fight to protect. And I will stand behind my president if ever there is a war and this precious document is at stake.

And I agree with you that the Supreme Court justices were wrong to interpret our Constitution in such a way as to let private corporations take our private property. And I understand how you can cherish American property law just as you do the language of America, seeing how both are English in origin. :-)

it's a shame that corporations are taking over all of our rights and turning us into a somewhat corporate socialist state. it's worse than socialism by government if you ask me, because we could vote in or out the leaders of a socialist government, but try to vote out the CEO of Haliburton or Exxon, corporations that have made a mess out of Iraq, and the United States as we once knew it, vis a vis Bush, Cheney, Condoleeza and Rummy.

Frank Puma said...

Banana,

"If you can see this, thank God.
If you can read this, thank a Teacher.
If you're reading this in English, thank a Veteran....."

I don't think this makes any mention of SPEAKING any language. Although we may as well throw that one in too.

No, It is not I who is thick.
Its hard to believe you missed this since you are interested in, Justice, Liberty, and Civil Rights.

Regarding the last "if". We might be speaking and reading the German language now, if not for our veterans having defeated the German 3rd Reich. Or, in todays times, the Taliban with their Pashtu language. The point of statement is if you cherish not being required to "Read & Speak" the tongue of the invader, you may wish to thank a veteran for preventing the invasion. Again you may wish to, but are not required. Just another good reason to be glad your an American.

I would hope that you liberals would fight to protect & PRESERVE the constitution for ALL people of America, but so many of you Liberals have made statements like "the Constitution is a Living Document", this idea just will not work. If you still believe in it as a "Living Document" then I would invite you to play a game of poker using "Living Rules", and we will see how long it takes before you cry Foul.

I made no such statement insofar as "Cherishing American Property Law" or the English Language. But now that you bring it up, any law that protects that which a person owns and worked hard for, is a law worth keeping. Wouldn't you agree?
Which is all the more reason to nominate to the supreme court, persons of good moral character who will interpret law, as our forfathers intended, rather that make it.

Regarding your standing by the president, Why have you not done so yet? These terrorists, if given the chance Will destroy our constitution and everything that is America.

There IS NOTHING worse than a Socialist Government. If you think for one moment that leaders of a socialist government would allow themselves to be "Voted out of office" than you are Naive to put it nicely, and just Ignorant otherwise. Just ask the any one of the Cuban refugees trying to get into America, why they couldn't just vote Castro out of office over the last 30 years.

As for companies like Haliburton, or Exxon, you can CHOOSE not to buy their produts. Corporations MUST operate within the Law, or face any penalties they incurr for damages done.

No, It is not I who is thick. {;-)

banana said...

i never said i was against the war in Afghanistan. many of us liberals support that war.

it's a war based on lies that we don't support, which is what we have in iraq right now.

it doesn't matter to me what language i speak. that's a silly argument. didn't we win the war in WWII, and aren't the germans still speaking German?
yes some might know English but I bet if you go there you won't hear it spoken very much!

thank a veteran that the Germans are still speaking german?

and those that drafted up the constitution did intend for it to be a living document that changes with the times. that's why we have amendments. and i'm pretty sure you want to protect that 2nd amendment don't you?

and arguing for property rights fits under the 5th and 14th doesn't it?

how about the 26th Amendment changing the voting age to 18?

if the constitution is not a living breathing document ever-changing with the times, i don't know what is!

and you might want to re-read Marbury v Madison again regarding your idea of what our separation of powers is all about because your idea of what the supreme court is is wrong. no one says that the supreme court is to make laws, but they do interpret them, and it is the supreme court that decides whether laws are constitutional or not, not Congress.

Frank Puma said...

What Lies?

I suppose Iran & Israel bombed a vacant building back in 07 June 1981. Or the Coalition air raid on 17 January 1991. Both air raids, and many more, were specifically designated for the destruction of Iraq's nuclear weapons program infrastructure that was KNOWN to have existed.

Are you saying that we should have stopped in Afghanistan, even after many of the Taliban/Al-Qaeda fighters had fled into Iraq? Do you think that UN sanctions, or harsh words would have made Saddam give them up? Or maybe the UN inspections that worked so well after desert storm?

A leader who is willing to murder his own people wholesale ( http://massgraves.info/ ), will have absolutely have no qualms about using any Weapon of Mass Destruction that he could get his hands on. Now mix in a ready and willing terrorist force, the possiblility of WMD's, and pray they don't strike in your neck of the woods! LIES? I don't think so!

Besides anyone who has been paying attention, will know the only LIES about this war, are political partisan LIES. (What an intersting avatar you have there, Pinnochio, and somewhat fitting too!)

AGAIN; "The point of statement is if you cherish not being required to "Read & Speak" the tongue of the invader, you may wish to thank a veteran for preventing the invasion. Again you may wish to, but are not required. Just another good reason to be glad your an American."

Speak whichever language you choose, Just another good reason to be glad your an American. I don't consider it an argument, or silly either. Of course we won WWII, and they still speak german, now who's being silly here? Would you prefer that we force them to speak english? Thats the nice thing about America, we don't force defeated countries to speak english. thats why we have interpreters. Although it is a nice gesture if they do speak english. I Have been to Germany and they usually have one or two people around who will speak english if you ask them to. If not I can speak a little german, enough to get by.

BTW, What do you have against saying thank you to veterans?

I don't think the founding fathers intended judges to make law through Judicial Activism. You liberals want only liberal judges on the bench so that you can impose your liberal morales on the rest of America. Weren't some of your liberal friends John McCain and Russell Feingold, calling for Campaign Finance Reform, that was eventually enacted into law by Bush? Maybe we need some "Judicial Activism Reform". Or Term Limits for Supreme court judges. Thats what I would call a "living Supreme Court Bench" And yes, I want my 2nd amendment, and access to all my amendments. They are like options, and the more options the better. Even if I don't use all of them, I want them!

Property rights are covered in the 5th amendment. The 14th covers presidential elections, unless you mean by voting for a president that will support that right. The 29th amendment sets the voting age at 18yrs.

The poker invitation with the "Living and Breathing" rules is still open.

I don't recall giving you my idea of the separation of powers. Also I made no mention of congress in reference to the supreme court.

You said that: "your idea of what the supreme court is is wrong, and that no one says that the supreme court is to make laws, but they do interpret them, and it is the supreme court that decides whether laws are constitutional or not".

My Statement was: "Which is all the more reason to nominate to the supreme court, persons of good moral character who will interpret law, as our forfathers intended, rather than make it".

How much difference is there between the two statements, and how can I be wrong when you basically agree with my statement by restating it yourself?

Please put down whatever you are smoking for awhile, before you read & reply to my post, and then try to give me a history lesson of whatever you learned in college today. And since you are passing out reading assignments, heres one for you:

http://www.constitution.org/col/jrb/00420_jrb_fedsoc.htm

Enjoy,
Frank Puma

banana said...

You are so wrong about Iraq's nuclear weapons program that was "known" to have existed.

They had no nuke weapons program.

They WANTED a nuke program but in the early 90s the IAEA busted what little bit of one they had up, which basically consisted of a couple of Germans living in Baghdad, that were disenchanted workers of URENCO, a uranium enrichment facility with plants in Holland, Britain and Germany.

As a side note, it's another reason why private nuke companies give me the heebie jeebies.

In fact, thanks to the German arm of URENCO, Pakistan has nuclear weapons.

Anyway, Saddam had blueprints for centrifuge technology for uranium enrichment but was NOWHERE NEAR having a nuke plant by any means.

What evidence do you have that Al Qaeda fled into Iraq before we invaded them in March 2003?

Yes, I'm saying we should have stopped with Afghanistan, at least until the UN and the rest of the world came to a consensus that Saddam Hussein posed enough of a threat that warranted an invasion.

But as we see with the Rove scandal and Downing Street Memo, Bush scammed us and betrayed the trust of Americans when he lied about Saddam's nonexistent WMD program.

Why can't you people admit that it was clear that the UN inspectors did an excellent job? Instead you people condemn them without recognizing the evidence that is as plain as the nose on your face. There were no WMDs in Iraq, because the UN inspectors over the past 15 years did a stellar job!

If you care so much about mass murders, why don't I hear you crying that we should invade Sudan? Bet you didn't even blink an eye at the travesties that happened in Rwanda.

Unless you enjoy losing an argument, you ought not argue Constitutional law with a law student. You are really showing your ignorance when you talk of the 5th and 14th Amendments.

Frank Puma said...

Right... I'm wrong, Iran & Israel are wrong, the Coalition air raid on 17 January 1991 was wrong, Right? I don't think so!

Saddam had blue prints, but he would NEVER use them Right? Hah, You are so naive. I'll bet they told you that in college.

"What evidence do you have that Al Qaeda fled into Iraq before we invaded them in March 2003"

Well let's see... They're, or were in America, they were in the UK, they were in Saudi-Arabia, and they are or were in Spain, but your'e probably right they would Never have gone into Iraq Right?

You can trust the UN all you want but pretty much everyone knows they are just about useless.

And as far as Rove goes, Wilson Lied about the vice president asking for the Niger report. Wilson Lied in and about his Niger report, which he admitted had errors in it. Besides no one in the white house sent him there for in the first place. Futhermore, there is nothing in the Downing street memo, but none of you college liberals will admit that either. Just so long as you have something to blame on Bush, even if you have to lie about it.

If the UN inspectors did such a fabulous job, why were they denied access to military assets for hours on end, as military trucks drove off in the bases like it was reported on in 60 Minutes???

It was your Bill Clinton that didn't think the tragedies in Rwanda were all that important. Since he gave a public apology for ignoring it. Maybe one day he'll apologize for not getting Bin Laden when Egypt offered him up, or giving national security secrets to the Chinese. But I won't be holding my breath on that one.

I would ask you to forgive me for misqouting the 12th amendment as the 14th, but I can see you already have your heart set on disproving anything I say that you don't agree with.

It's scary to think what kind of law majors we are putting out in our colleges these days, when you have more time to write in blogs, than study law. But than you are most likely in a liberal college (and which ones aren't these days).

I feel sorry for your future clients. Do you think any of them will read your opinions expressed here? maybe they should, before selecting you as their defense. That is unless they draw you as a public defender. They would have no choice then, except to put up with you. Maybe you'll set your sights on political office? Perhaps your potential constituants should read your opinions as expressed here.

Vote _________________ for ____________ office.

Just fill in the blanks so I know who not to vote for. Or if your too shy I'll understand. I'll be able to identify you by your rhetoric.

Anonymous said...

What Do You Think About This?

http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/Kyoto_Count_Up.htm

Anonymous said...

banANAL,

Most lawyers feel they are the only ones who can talk about law.

If you are one of those types of lawyers....

Then you should SHUT UP about war and leave that to the veterans!

Incompetence said...

Can I have the name of the Major who said that quote? It's an interesting quote and I'd like to reference it somewhere, thanks a lot.