Monday, July 03, 2006

Independence Day

Tomorrow is our day of independence and a day of national pride. I haven’t thought much about it until just now, as I lay awake in my house with all my family still asleep. The day will be a celebration of WAR where we see explosions and starbursts which are so beautiful. It is not a lie that war can be beautiful; such explosions can be beautiful even when they are real and deadly as the ones I have seen in Iraq.

Such national pride I see around me, especially as July 4 nears. We are a prideful nation aren’t we? Yet the world sees our pride as such a different thing. In the world of OZ to see the emerald city you must wear emerald green glasses, and here we are just coming to the realization that our star spangled eyes don’t cover up everything, do they? We are left with questions.

Are we still a righteous nation? Does America still deserve my pride towards it? I say no, we are not righteous for righteousness is what a fool uses to justify their lack of wisdom and common sense. However, America still does deserve our pride. Pride for what we were and what we can be again. Let us not forget why we were once the greatest nation.

Embrace the love you have for America tomorrow, and enjoy the fireworks. Remember what they represent and from where we were born. Never forget the face of your father and from where we came. Tell a veteran how much you appreciate their service and you will have made their celebration complete. Our military and our veterans are a powerful force which the world fears. I know that the Iraqi’s fear us, yet might doesn’t make right and we would be wise to remember that when we are told the war is over and the flight suit comes off.

31 comments:

Jodi said...

Great post Zach, hope you have a great 4th with your family!

Anonymous said...

Zach,
You can't say it yourself but I can.
Everyone should read your blog back from the very first entry and they'd know that YOU are evidence of the fact that we have reason to maintain the faith of the Founding Fathers in a Country that can and will once again be one of which we can be proud because no other produces young Men like you and so many of you.
It is you and your Brothers in arms whom every American should be toasting this 4th and put all the other stuff aside until November when we MUST ALL do OUR duty to make sure that your sacrifices and those of all who serve most definitely were not in vain and that nothing like what has taken place in the last five years ever happens again.
We could never restore our standing and reputation in the eyes of the World to where it was six years ago without Men such as you. But because of you, we will.
You did that which was YOUR job completely and you did it perfectly. You were trained to take orders and given a task and that is what you did. No one can dare take issue with that. You didn't create the job nor design your tasks. You did what you were trained for and swore to do.
Be proud for yourself and sorry for those in far higher positions for it is they who created the job and put you there. And it is they who should hang their heads in shame on this Independance day.
You and everyone who wore a uniform now and ever in this Country's history should be bursting with pride.
God did us all a favor bringing you into this world and for bringing you home not only to your beloved famiy but to a Nation that desperately needs people like you in it.

Halla said...

WOW!! Have a happy 4th with your family Zach. Am glad that you are one veteran that is home and safe where he should be. America is a great nation and we should honor that and our veterans even if we don't agree with some of its policies!!

Halla said...

Hi Zach,
I started reading your blog in June 2005 and just realized that you had previous posts ( I know, duh)and started reading them which gives me a beginning to your blogs, kinda nice. anyway, am curious, have you gone back and read your past entries? Last year you were questioning what you will be doing a year from now. Any insight? sorry for the rambling.

bytw, are you done with your road trip?

Being Made said...

Very well said. I am not at all comfortable with devaluing or only bad-mouthing the U.S. because our politicians and foreign policy are screwed up. The stories of our country seem to be getting swallowed up by our arrogance and that makes me sad. When I look around at our church (live in a military community), and see the wizened faces of the veterans we have there I am humbled and honored. I think you have a good perpsective on all of this. Thank you.

Jana Lane said...

Zach - Our country has always been a land of possibilities: never perfect but open to better possibilities. It is Americans like you and many others who have worked and dreamed to make them realities. It has never been easy. Think of our grandparents in the depression and WWII. The important thing about us is that we don't give up and our system give us options in our struggle. We just have to continue now as our people have in the past. Happy Fourth of July to you and your family and all Americans.

Anonymous said...

Zach I hope to see you continue writing; Your insight into what has taken place, along with your ability to express yourself are the reason I have kept up with your blog.

Albatroz said...

Many years ago I was an exchange student in the US, and stayed for one year with an American family. Later on I worked for an American group and went often to the US. I never had any reason not to like Americans and the US. Today I no longer know what to think of your country. Your foreign policies have caused more harm, more grief, more destruction around the world than any other country since WW II. Your administrations have systematically supported the most corrupt governments around the world, assisting them in oppressing their peoples. While claiming to fight against terrorism, your policies have done everything possible to foster the frustrations which give rise to terrorism. I have no doubt that the majority of Americans are decent people, and that yourselves will end up being the main victims of your governments folies. I also know that unless all those decent people decide to act, the world is heading for disaster. Many people like me around the world do not hate America and Americans, but we will end up by having to distance ourselves from you and your government's policies, maybe even establishing new alliances with Russia or even China, in order to stop you from destroying the planet. Our hope lays with people like you, who must do everything possible to vote out of office the bunch of criminal lunatics that took your country and the world hostage. I hope this will be something to think about on this 4th of July.

Libby said...

America may not be perfect. No nation comprised of mere mortals will ever attain perfection. But the United States of America is the closest nations come to that goal. We give more to impoverished nations around the world than any other nation on earth both as a nation and as individuals. Our nation has freed hundreds of millions of people in my life time by OUR blood and tears and sweat and the willingness to die for that freedom. No other country on earth can say that. On Indepenedence Day I savored the fact that I live in the greatest, kindest, most caring of nations with the highest ideals that are not surpassed by any other on earth. Oh, others may talk, but we have always been willing to put action and money and lives were our mouth is. The foreign exchange student that thinks little of America - why did you choose to come HERE and why did we allow you to. You came because an American degree/study would be impressive on your resume and we allowed you to because we are always willing to give our best to others.

I see you, Zach as one very small minority in the military, of which I see you are no longer a member and while I saluted your effort and welcomed you home, I am glad you are out. I salute those who continue the mission and have faith in America. No we are not perfect but when you can find me ANY other nation with our history of exporting freedom, I will listen. The Iraqis that fear us ar the ones who bomb and maim and kill. They do not build up they destroy. They do not vote, join, celebrate etc, they spread dissention, and wreck havoc. You are a young man in your twenties and frankly as one who is in my seventh decade of life I can say you just do not know what you are talking about. I am sorry you are so jaded but that is not America's problem, that is Zach's. I regret your inability to truly see but I cannot make you and that is not our way. You are free to see America is unflattering ways and write about it on the internet for all to see. That too is our way.

But I question your judgement since there are despotic people in Al Qaeda and mad men in countries in the Middle East and in N. Korea who want to send ICBM's with nuclear war heads and it is America you are castigating? People who have sworn to eradicate those who do not subscribe to their brand of radical fundamentalism and have blown up innocents in NY, Washington, London, Madrid, Bali, Turkey, the Philipines and thousands in Iraq etc and it is America you find fault with?? We are not going to roll over and accept Sharia Law any more than we were willing to goose step and shout Seig Heil, or allow the Soviets to dictate surrender terms. That is not what was handed down by our Founding Fathers. I do not see most in our military subscribing to your views, Zach. For this I say, "Thank-you, God" and I repeat as I often do both in my heart and out loud, "God Bless America".

Carol said...

Zach,

Thanks for voicing your feelings about the 4th. You said exactly what I've been feeling in my heart. The 4th is a celebration of the birth of our country, and those of us who oppose the administration oppose them BECAUSE we love our country, and what it used to represent, and what we know it can represent again. I think some have made it into a celebration of military strength, but that feels like propaganda to me.

I have to wonder if Libby above ever fought in a war, or really believes that the things he/she mentions about us being a caring nation are the things the current administration values. Those things have nothing to do with why we went to war, and why you, Zach, were sent over there. And I think there are probably a lot of military folks who share your feelings.

I'm so glad you're back. I thank your for your service, and for your thoughtfulness, and for sharing your wisdom with us.

Peace, Zach.

Anonymous said...

Libby, Libby, Libby. A fine name for a can of vegetables. Or is your last name Dole.
Where did you get the idea that Zach is anything but American Born and Bred? And just where did your Ancestors come from?
You are the quintessential example of why some people say that the lying, greed driven, current brand of deceitful Wolves in Christian's clothing that are today's, Republicans will not be eradicated from this Country until your generation, who really believes that the Republicans of yesteryear are all at last dust in coffins.
I'll bet you can be found every day between 3:00 and 6:00 cheering on that hillbilly heroin addict, Rush Limbaugh and that you believe news is what you get from that hypocritical, sexual predator and author of pedophilic, pornographic literature and bastion of the closeted Republican OWNED Bill O'Reilly.
How many of Zach's blogs have you read Granny? Why don't you go into the archives and start with the first and read them all and see how he honestly and naturally evolved from a trained GI (That's Government Issue) to an experience awakened enlightened Soldier. If our horribly broken and corrupt government was comprised of all clones of Zach, we wouldn't fabricate false wars to send thousands of our Nation's youth to their deaths for the purpose of lining the pockets of corporate fat cats and cronies of an active alcoholic, drug using puppet President.
Five years ago we had a budget surplus and the rich AND poor were getting richer. More low income families were buying their first homes in higher numbers than at anytime in the Country's history and the Government was no larger only far more productive and filled largely with validly experienced people not horse show handlers and dishonest, convicted rapists and pedophiles and a number of other recently indicted criminals.
Who attacked us on 9/11 a Saudi. One who's uncle was in a meeting that very morning with your president's father and the only group spirited out of the US back to Arabia while all other flights were grounded. All while your President the IDIOT was sitting for a photo op in a grade school even though he'd been informed that we had been attacked twice and supposedly had no way of knowing that there would be no more.
Let me add that the man of whom I speak is a draft dodging cowardly DOG unlike Zach and the Heroic young Men and Women who ENLISTED to fight what they thought would be those who attacked but rather be diverted along with all of the money allotted by congress for said war to a country that not only did not attack us but one that never asked us to help them overthrow their admittedly despotic dictator. Who are we to take it upon ourselves to spread our brand of currently non working democracy all over the world?
Why is it that over fifty Iraq and Gulf War Veterans are running for Congress and various public offices as DEMOCRATS but only one or is it up to three yet are running as Republicans.
How dare you attack a young Man braver than anyone in the Whitehouse and most of Congress and the Senate combined not to mention that other Coward that Swine of a Vice President who bought FIVE deferments to stay out of Vietnam and cower around college compasses waiting to meet his Sweetheart and someday wife who at the time was busy writing lesbian porn (Look it up Genius) Sergeant Singley put his life on the line and sacrificed his life and the happiness and welfare of a beautiful wife and two children so that Corporations could profit by stealing jobs that in the days of WWII would have been performed by the American troops themselves and the Countrymen of the Nations we conquered then stayed and worked side by side with and let rebuild what they already had before. Do you think Haliburton built those beautiful Mosques and Museums and Modern Universities and Schools that we bombed to rubble in Iraq? NO. Did we hire law breaking companies to feed troops in WWII? NO. To build bridges? Ever hear of the Army Corp of Engineers?
Are your Grandchildren or Nieces and Nephews serving? Planning on it?
Go pick on a Nazi Dog Like Bush or Cheney and The Republican Pigs and all of their service age Sons and Daughters who relish the kind of Government you and your other senile addle brained ilk voted into office and leave the country to Men like the AMERICAN WHO'S Blog you dare blight to repair to the free Democracy it once was. Go play Mah Jong and wait for the Grim Reaper. You and your type of ill informed out of touch fools driving around with your very improper little plastic car topping flags and your meaningless bumper stickers that may as well say I support the killing of thousands of Americans and just about anyone else especially children as long as my Moron, Victim of Fetal Alcohol syndrome President have had more than enough time to screw up this Country and the World for that matter.
Cheers for learning how to navigate the Internet at your age. Now why don't you go Casket shopping you foolish old Bat!
An American and Son of a WWII Veteran who believed the Government's job was to help and serve the people not oppress and steal from them.

Anonymous said...

Well Zach, I won't add my anger and amazed frustration at the 70+ person named Libby. Everyone else has got that covered. But Libby's absolute faith in the GOP government is the biggest threat to your country. And yes, we have manure swallowing twits like that too in Canada. I guess it is incomprehensible to people like Libby that corruption could possibly exsist at such high levels of government, absolute power like this administration has grabbed corrupts absolutely. Sounds like Libby was a diehard Nixon fan too. And remember that not only your vote is needed this November, but volunteers are always needed for elections. Don't just vote, people, start participating now, by working on a campaign, inundating editors of local and national papers with letters, get your words that you say here out there. Zach's blog is great and far reaching, but do more than just complain here. Organize protests, join groups that help oversee elections, etc. Elections aren't just about one day. And when you debate with people that are Libby minded, stick with the facts and the truth, cause they are on your side. My father, a WWII vet, always argued with me about my politics. Then I realized he was just making sure I really knew why I felt that way and not just knee jerk reacting and swallowing BS, like Libby obviously does. Thanks Zach, for finding the time to blog again.
Kate M.

Halla said...

You always have at least one misguided sheep in the flock, believing what they are told by the government (ie: WMD's, Iraq responsible for 9/11)and thats what has landed on this comment page (Libby).

Zach, you are to be commended for your service! Don't listen to the likes of Libby, YOU were there, she wasn't! There is always one in the bunch!

Albatroz said...

Libby,

You have been sufficiently answered already, but I would like to clarify a point often mentioned on the net:

"We give more to impoverished nations around the world than any other nation on earth both as a nation and as individuals."

I have no doubt there are many people in the US who give money to help poor people around the world, but do not forget that US aid to other countries represents only 0.27% of your GDP, while Scandinavian countries spend about 0.8% of their GDP. In fact, as a percentage of GDP the US is the industrialized country that gives the least aid to less developed countries. Less money spent on killing innocent Iraqis could help the US coming closer to developed countries' aid standards.

Marty said...

Libby speaks from ignorance regarding the occupation of Iraq. I would suggest to her that Zach's opinion IS shared by the majority of enlisted. How many Iraq vets have you talked with Libby?

Oh and Zach, thanks for reminding me that there is hope for a better tomorrow. And thanks for your sacrifice. No one knows it better than a mother of a soldier.

Elizabeth or Libby said...

A few thoughts:

I at no time stated or implied that Zach was born anywhere but here in the greatest nation on earth, the United States of America. My ancestors arrived from England around 1630. Seventh decade of life means that you are in your sixties. For those unaware, it runs the way centuries do - this is the 21st century year 2006! Libby is short for Elizabeth and I am immune from cheap shots about a nickname or cheap shots of any kind, and the surname is not Dole.

No, I never served in the military but did keep the home fires burning for a 20 year military career. I still carry an ID card and support our military. I have been following all our nation's wars on a daily basis since I was less than a teen - Korea! I read many blogs and Zach is one of a very few that is anti- war. The ones I read are about evenly distributed between enlisted and officer. I see countless pictures of children smiling and interacting with soldiers. I know about parents, both my own and as one and I would never, nor would they have allowed our children around troops considered to be a threat or part of an illegal occupation. How do you explain the children? I am thrilled to say I send toys to these children and my adult kids have been sending school supplies for many months.

Someone above implied I was ingnorant and a follower of the party line. Sorry, I do my own thinking but if I arrive at 2+2=4 and not 5, then the correct answer is 4!!

I did not say that Iraq was responsible for 9/11 but there was a tie in to the first WTC bombing - check that out!! The President indicated that those who harbored terrorist would be dealt with. Saddam harbored a terrorist from the 1st WTC named Abdul Rahman Yasin from the time he left NYC after the bombing to the time of the entry of American troops in 2003. Check this link for details from Chuck Schumer: http://www.senate.gov/~schumer/SchumerWebsite/pressroom/press_releases/PR01627.html. He also provided a home for a variety of other terrorist, some Al Qaeda connected.

Zach you said, "we are told the war is over and the flight suit comes off" but no, we were never told that the war was over - what the President said was it was "the end of major combat" in Iraq and that "Marines and soldiers charged to Baghdad across 350 miles of hostile ground, in one of the swiftest advances of heavy arms in history". The context was that the taking of Iraq was completed but that "The war on terror is not over". These quotes are taken directly from the speech given on the USS Abraham Lincoln.

Since I am old enough to recall the use of WMD by Saddam against Halabja in which men, women, and children died from poison gas - around 5,000 souls, I know he had WMD. He used them against Iran. I did not have to be told by any government, it was in the news - MSM too. I will never forget the faces of the dead children of Halabja. Zach you are a parent of two beautiful children, it could have been them had we lived under Saddam. So, yes he had WMD! When he disposed of them or where he hid them or to whom he transfered them (Syria?)the future will undoubtedly advise us. There are millions of pages of untranslated papers from Saddam awaiting translation. The answer may lie there. In your profile Zach you state "I'm an Arabic translator" A job Opportunity? An eye opener? Perhaps both!

It is the last defense of the ill informed to move to disparaging personal attacks, but even in my 60's and not 70's it has been along time since I qualified as any kind of a twit!! Even one so called above.

The point initially if you recall before your comments descended in to personal venom, folks, was my defense of the United States of America. Zach, if you recall did not use personal vilification against those who love and defend the honor of their country. I actually can distinguish between Zach the human being with a lovely family and an honorable service record and Zach who for whatever reason turned against his country as it is and the mission he was serving. I believe him to be a good person who is misguided. If once he saw clearly, he may again. But I do not believe he is of the calibre of those who use personal vilification against someone who would defend the land they love.

Many of you equate the current president with the nation. That is an error I never made when I did not care for the sitting President. My nation endures and the President sits for a max of eight years. They are not the same. I rather loathed Jimmy Carter but when our soldiers died in the Iranian desert (look it up), I wrote him a letter commisserating with the loss as he was the Commander in Chief and ordered the raid. You all need to take a deep breath and think about the distinctions between nation and President.

Finally, I have never listened to Rush and I turned against Nixon when the Saturday Night Massacre occured. And did you know that Papa Joe and Jack Kennedy donated to Nixon's Congressional campaign?


God bless America.



PS: Hope that you find a good job soon Zach. God Bless.

Albatroz said...

Libby,

You wrote:

"...in the greatest nation on earth, the United States of America..."

I am all infavour of patriotism, but considering one's country - no matter which country - "the greatest nation on earth" is no longer patriotism but outright foolishness. And is the first step towards aggressiveness, imperialism, and racism. Everything one sees the US practicing in Iraq. Saying one's country is "the greatest nation on earth" is similar to saying one's parents are the brightest, strongest, most beautiful people on earth. We all know that not to be true, and it isn't even necessary in order to love one's parents. We love our parents because they are our parents. We love our country because it is our country. And we would love it even if it was a third world country, poor and weak. If we feel our country is "the greatest nation on earth" we are automatically considering it has special rights, and that all other countries are, objectively, inferior to ours. No wonder Libby is a warmonger, who thinks the US is entitled to invade Iraq - and other countries - that stand on the way of US "greatness". Libby is not much different from German nazis, who also thought Germany was "the greatest nation on earth", and because of that were responsible for millions of dead in Europe.

Libby said...

No, saying your country is the greatest nation on earth says that you love it. No more no less. I do consider it that way but it has zero to do with your progressive buzz words, "aggressiveness, imperialism, and racism". I am almost the antithesis of aggressiveness, I have never gone for imperialism and I have less than zero tolerance for racism. Whenever I have confronted it I have stood against it even when it might have been dangerous to do so.

If you had actually read my comment you would have seen, "I am thrilled to say I send toys to these children [Iraqi] and my adult kids have been sending school supplies for many months [to Iraqi school kids]. I have been doing this kind of thing all my life for those who have needs here and elsewhere around the globe. Far from thinking we have special rights I adhere to the belief that we have special obligations and since my earliest childhood I have been sharing what I had with others around the world. I brought my kids up that way and as adults they share what God has given them with ones with less around the world.

The Left always has this self drawn portrait of the conservative - almost universally 180 degrees off the mark. You listen to yourselves talk too much of the time. You need to broaden your horizens. I am a universally loving person and use of that other buzz word "warmongering" as illustrative of my character is so ludicrous as to be side splittingly funny. However, it actually says so much that is not just under educated about the foaming left but also what is incredibly sad. As to being a Nazi - yet another standard word lobbed like a grenade when real argument to support your far left political stance runs dry - obviously very near the start of things. Sorry it just says more about you than me. I recall as a very small child my fear of just the people I am supposed to identify with. Now my childhood heroine was Anne Frank - obviously not a Nazi, killed by them actually. Schindler's List is my favorite movie. I said before and I will say it again the last resort for those with no argument and a deficit of ability to actually discuss is to hurl invective and names. Like I say, it says more about you than me.

God bless America

Albatroz said...

Libby,

"...I am a universally loving person..."

If that is so, how can you condone what American troops are doing in Iraq? Is it "loving" to kill innocent children, to rape teenage girls, to torture and humiliate your prisoners, to carelessly shoot innocent passers-by?... Is all that "colateral damage" an act of love?... What in Heavens name are you defending in the American intervention in Iraq?... The replacement of a bloody dictator by a fundamentalist teocracy which is about to destroy Iraq? If you are such a loving person, why don't you ask that your soldiers leave Iraq before any more bloodshed?

Your "heroine was Anne Frank" because she was killed by imperialist and racist Germans. Well, my heroes are all the Iraqi children which are being killed by the soldiers of "the greatest nation on earth"... Please stop insulting them by sending them toys, and send them instead the lives they lost, the parents they saw being killed, the sisters they saw being raped by your heroes... And stop using God's name in the defense of so much cruelty!...

Libby said...

Albatroz:

Before you say any more about the United States of America why not ID the nation that gave you a homeland and where you are writing from. Lets give us an idea what shaped your views so we can all determine what right you have to find fault with a nation that returned Europe to Europeans and South Korea to them, freed the Pacific and kept the Aussies and the Kiwis from being invaded by Japan, provided for a transition to democracy in Germany and Japan. Have you missed the fact that there have been elections in both Afghanistan and Iraq?? America has given freedom and democracy/right to resume democracy to hundreds of millions of people. What has your country done??? And Anne Frank was murdered by the Nazis - I guess you can throw that term at me but when I bring it into context the Nazis are not Nazis anymore they are "imperialist and racist Germans" - so are you saying I am a imperialist, racist German?? Give me a break!!! I loathed the Nazis (I also loathed the Commies). If all you can do is sling around buzz words and slogans you are intellectually bankrupt.

There have been a few alleged incidents of appalling crimes in the war zone. They are being investigated and if there are guilty parties I want the death penalty. We do not condone such actions and they do not represent the 99.9999999999999999999999% of the dedicated young men and woman who serve in America's military. And before you shoot off your mouth, do recall that Zach served in Iraq. I do not believe him anymore capable of ths kind of deplorable allegation than the % given above. But do tell us Albatroz around our neck what proud land you hail from and do please be honest. Or do you not have the guts. I stand with my country and accept and want punishment for our wrong doings, but that means also publishing and broadcasting about the incredible good that we have done. Of course if your are on the far, far left, you would not have been pleased that we out did the Soviets and their gulags and their Imperialist ways. Now when "they" come for your country and you - who will you call?? 911-USA?

Have a nice day.

God Bless America - He has and continues to do so!!

Albatroz said...

Libby,
My country is not an issue here. It has not invaded Iraq, it has not been guilty of murdering innocent people under the obscene guise of "colateral damage", it is not guiving coverage to Israel for crimes similar to its own. But I am not ashamed of speaking about it. My country has a long history of good and bad things. We have been creators and destroyers, and thus we do not claim it to be the greatest country on earth. We love it, but we recognize its shortcomings. My country sent me for two years to Africa, to fight a rebellion, so I know what it means to be a soldier and to be in a war. But my country never asked me to kill children or women or other innocent people. And if it had done so, I would have refused. My country and the countries whose independence we had finally to recognize, remain close to each other, inspite of a sometimes violent history. Because we never went too far. Because we never indiscriminately killed or maimed their peoples. Because we may have been oppressors but we never despised them. And today we can walk in their cities without risking being attacked, or killed, or insulted. My country, Portugal, is an old country which finally learned to accept and respect those who are different, without any sense of superiority or illusions about the superiority of our values. And we owe nothing to you, having found by ourselves the way to free ourselves from a dictatorial regime.

Libby said...

Your are still so full of it Albatroz. No one sent our troops to kill or destroy children or women. It is you who are so full of superiority in the guise of humility while you shout insults at me and my country. I never said my country was without flaw but I still believe it to be the best place on earth as I would consider my husband to be the "greatest". You called ME a Nazi while I know for a fact your "neutral" country crawled with them in WWII. You know that war - the one during which we rescued Europe at the cost of our treasure, our youth and our own possible future. And your country was doing what - defending the poor and oppressed?? Rescuing those under the heel of the Nazi?? No!! Has your nation done anything monumental to HELP the world that I can recall, that is in the past 55-60 years??? Sent incredible amounts of Navy and personnel and food and medical supplies during the Tsunami?? Not that I noticed! There are worse things than daring to help the oppressed and getting the world down on you because they envy you and that is doing nothing at all! I have no intention to trade insults with you about your country. I respect that people love their nation but you have called me and my country unfounded, ludicrous and robotically delivered insults such as above about our sending people into kill and maim women and children. Check out all the smiling faces of children on the Milblogs and tell me those kids think our soldiers are going to kill them. I repeat no parent lets their kids interact with the likes you describe, the murdering, raping and pillaging - oops, now I know what has happened, you have confused the USA with the USSR!! Open your mind. We have given the Iraqis the first THREE real elections in my life time. I was in my mid teens when a coup sent Iraq spiralling downward into an evil of unbelievable proportions. The Iraqi people voted under threat of death NOT from the Americans but from radical Islamists/Terrorist. They voted under the PROTECTION of the Americans. However, Albatroz I am signing out because it is impossible to carry on a discussion with one one who spews out venom that is lacking in fact and logic. You do not want fact and logic. You want your anti-American racist beliefs and if I were to guess I would say that you are somewhere on the political spectrum that gave allegiance to the thought patterns of Marx and Lenin. Oh yes and by the way, the Nazi's were not Imperialists - that was the Kaiser. The Nazi's were far right thugs. As I indicated I hate extremes - that would be Nazis on the right and Marxist/Leninists on the Left. Guess where that leaves me - in the center!! Where you will find most of my countrymen. There may still come a time when your nation will pick up the phone and dial 911-USA! The world is in a downward spiral in WWIII and the Islamists want Europe for a start, the world for a finish. Will we pretend that we do not hear the call?? No, cause America's heart is always on duty and we will help if there is any way to do so. Most likely we will find a way or make it. And we will do so despite the things such as you have heaped upon us. And would I agree - yes because I am an AMERICAN. I see a need and I will fill it. Do I ever recall hearing that the your countrymen are out front in the great questions of our time? No, just one ill informed man screaming irrational epithets at an older woman on a blog. Faz exame de um herói real para testar seu manhood gritando os gostos do nazi, do warmonger etc. em uma mulher idosa anonymously em um blog porque defendeu a honra de seu país. Pessoalmente eu penso de que makes mim uma pessoa mais grande do que você, amigo!! Finally I would look into the action of you and your country in Africa and there you DO find Imperialism and no doubt horrific brutality in a war in which one side was attempting to maintain empire?? An interesting thought - its called projection - placing on another country and its soldiers what you and your nation have done to others.. Projection...murder, rape, slaughter of children; indicriminantly perhaps??? Let me Google Portugal in Africa. That will be interesting, I do believe. Projection...I think I begin to understand Albatrtoz...and maybe even pity you. A memória é uma cadela.

E eu sou fora de aqui!!

Albatroz said...

Libby,
You are a pathetic woman. And I do not say a pathetic "old" woman because I am your age and do not feel at all old... But I feel tired. Tired of unnecessary violence. Tired of seeing American and Israeli forces killing dozens of innocents just in the off chance of getting maybe one "terrorist". Tired of torture, bigotry, arrogance, total lack of humanity by those who have self-appointed themselves the saviours of the world. It is true that Iraq was subject to a merciless dictatorship. And how is Iraq today? Half destroyed, with women enjoying much less rights than they did under Saddam Hussein, subject to the bigotry of religious fanatics, on the way to civil war and partition, with the shiite south about to merge with your friends in Iran... Once, on a flight in the US, I read on an airline magazine an interesting definition: "Stupid is he who causes harm to another, without taking any benefit from it." Under this definition the US government must be the most stupid on earth. Half destroys Iraq and, as a result of its imperialistic follies, will be increasingly subject to the enmity of most moslim countries and to increased terrorist attacks. Brilliantly planned and executed! Congratulations!... You can indeed be proud of your "greatest nation on earth"...

As to comparing Portugal and the US, I will only point out that as a percentage of GDP, Portugal gives three times more aid to poor countries than the US. And we haven't killed any innocent women and children, or tortured anyone, in over 30 years... We must, therefore, be greater than the "greastest nation on earth"...

(P.S. - Don't waste anytime trying to use Google's translators to write in Portuguese! The result is really comical and it is impossible to understand...)

Libby said...

Albatroz:

Those who have no ideals to stand up for and nothing that they are willing to die for are going to be tired and defeated. To be called pathetic by one like yourself is really an accolade and I will treasure it. It is my "wound" from the fight against global terror - however small.

I did look up Portugal. Your nation started its subjugation of Africa roughly 120 years before the first settler landed at Plymouth Rock in 1607 seeking religious freedom unavailable in Europe. I was right about the brutality and horror wrought in your nation's Imperialistic past to very recent years. You ARE projecting the sins of the Portugese army onto the dedication and freedom delivering actions of American troops throughout our history and to 99.99999999999999% of our troops in Iraq.

Here are 2 quotes culled from a long article in which there are many references to brutality, I chose two concise ones to lift for your benefit, “In Guinea-Bissau, the enlisted students and now officers question themselves more and more, along with other officers. The young captain Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho notices that all the exactions (tortures, rapes, massacres of civilians) are caused by the Portuguese army, never by the enemy” and Angola: “on February 4, 1961, the Portuguese are engaged in indiscriminate massacres and deportations.” You served in the Portuguese army in Africa!!

This was from one article and there were dozens on European colonial activities in Africa during the 60's and 70's. Protugal was listed as among the most brutal. In the last thirty years?????????????????? You were in Africa from about 1485! And I note you have dropped the topic of Nazis....good idea since all during WWII when our guys were fighting and dying to free your neighbors, your country was fascist and filled with German Nazis on the OK with your government. We go to free people, and give them open and true elections and lose our best and most dedicated and you compare that to an Imperialistic colonial war where it is fact that your policy was to prevent freedom and self-determination and you did all the things that you sling at us only on a multiplier of hundreds of thousands and possibly more - certainly more over all those centuries.

It is possible a few criminals in our army may have done something very bad for which they will be severely punished if found guilty. We do not ever condone such things and it is 180 degrees off our goal and purpose. Yours was hundreds of thousands of cases of murder, rape and massacre AND government policy. You served in Africa for the Portugese Military??? I do not think with your nations record in my lifetime, that giving a little conscience money now will absolve you for the past. That will take action not money and time to heal the memory. No, your nation does not stack up against the sacrifices of lives and treasure to bring deliverance to hundreds of MILLIONS of people. If you are my age you will be old enough to remember the Nazi's of Germany in your midst and the fascists in your own goverment. Yet you called me a Nazi??????????????????

I am proud that in my lifetime my country has done so much good for individuals and nations. Freedom to Hundreds of Millions of People!!! It is a sad fact of human character or perhaps lack of character that these same people are usually over time, less than grateful. We did not do it for gratitude mind you, we did it because it was the right thing to do, but humanity hates those who do the right thing. It places a mirror up against personal or their own nation's actions which did not come close to being right. So what is done - well you scream and rant against the good guy to bring him down. Well, calling me a bag or pathetic does not hurt me because I KNOW that what my country has done over the past 66 years is so far and above the actions of other countries that I am very, very proud to say I live in the United States of America. And I do not even go into the fact that we spent our sons in WWI in Europe too and it is highly unlikely that the Kaiser would have invaded the USA.

It is amusing that you would say, "those who have self-appointed themselves the saviours of the world" for I imagine that the fascist Portugese government in WWII would not have felt too happy with our being a saviour to the continent!! Yet the people we saved were happy at the time. So are the Iraqi people, those that are not out bombing, killing and maiming. I saw the women lined up to vote - men and women in 3 separate elections so don't talk to me about Iraqis hating us. They held up their purple fingers for the world to see their faces whreated in smiles. They were thrilled and proud. I saw and felt a wonderful sense of brotherhood and pride inside that you will never know. I knew I helped make that possible. The Iraqis who are against us are the ones that killed their fellow citizens for four decades and are Saddam's pals. Rome was not built in a day and this will take time. It will work out for Iraq and you will be forced to eat your heart out. And then I ask you to ask yourself why you wanted this to fail. Because you did not want America to succeed. You would have these people back in chains and under a butcher for that reason and that reason alone. Ah, but you will throw a few GDP dollars (or your equivalent) at the world's poor and think that makes it even!!!!!!!!! I don't think so.

By the way, I do not have anything at all against either you or your nation. I do not consider you pathetic only misguided for how else could you possible make such ludicrous comparisons. There will be wars and rumors of wars until the end of time. There will always be evil nations and/or people who will covet what others have. Or who wish to serve dominion over others for the sake of their own commercial, imperial or theocratic obsessions. There are only two choices when faced with such nations about to strike or who have struck and that is to roll over and accept subjugation or fight to retain your freedom. America will never roll over. You may not like that and having to send every generation of our best and brightest to fight those who threaten us or have killed our citizens or our friend's citizens is not how we would chose to live our lives either. However we even less choose to live under the heel of a brutal tyrant or ideology.

Now I am gone. You can have the last word if that is your desire. I think I have made the distinctions quite clear here. There are those who are just too blind to see and those I have no further time for foolishness.

God Bless America.

Albatroz said...

Libby is indeed pathetic. Unfortunately she represents a large section of the American people, and that's why the US are now the main source of violence and imperialism in the world. Libby didn't like my comparing present day US to Nazi Germany. But if you look at American war crimes, Guantanamo concentration camp, torture, attempts at controlling free speech by means of the notorious Patriot Act, jailings for unlimited periods of time without legal assistance being authorized to those jailed, widespread feelings of racial superiority, we see that many Americans are the closest thing we have seen for over 50 years to a Nazi rabble. But I refuse to blame Americans as a whole for this sad reality. Americans as a whole are decent and kind people, but they have not been able to find an alternative to the twin lunatic bodies known as the Republican and the Democratic parties. Under the semblance of democracy, the US have become a vicious oligarchy where the rich become richer, and the poor poorer, as American statistics have proven. The so-called democratic Americans have supported the most vicious dictatorships around the world - Pinochet and Somoza, just to name two of the most notorious -, mainly in Latin America. Americans died in their thousands to support the corrupt regime of South Vietnam. And now they are destroying any chances of the Middle East ever becoming a region free of fanatics since all that the US cares about is access to oil.

It is true that Portugal has been guilty, throughout its history of crimes against other peoples. But the seven countries that came out of our colonial past and have adopted Portuguese as their language, are all close friends to Portugal, and that's not because they are afraid we might bomb them to the ground. We did harm, but we did a lot more good, and freely mixed with them without any misplaced feelings of cultural or racial superiority. I myself have two mixed blood daughters, of Angolan descent, my wife and I adopted a few years ago and now bear my name on equal footing with my two natural children.

Libby, you are hundreds of years away from even beginning to understand what I am talking about. Your reactions are cave-people reactions. You are too close to the killing of native American peoples and to the destruction of their identities. You are too close to lynching parties of your black fellowcountrymen. You still think that the death penalty is a good thing. I pity those Americans who must endure the consequences of your political choices...

Libby said...

Albatroz:

I am not hundreds of years away from understanding your dishonest and looney tunes views, I am an eternity away from them. It is moronic that you cannot understand what has been said to you. I did not resent my country being referred to a Nazi. I was appalled at the nerve of you - a solidier from a fascist nation calling me and my country fascists. I saw what you were doing: as soldiers from a fascist country (fascist at the time) going to Colonial Africa and mistreating Africans in horrific and brutal ways and then taking those things and saying Americans were doing it to Iraqis. That's projection: a recognized phenomenon in psychiatric medicine.

Since you cannot refute or give a good reasoning for any of your comments - most of them just foolish and derogatory comments that advance no logic or any clear argument. Perhaps that is the level of your capability. I am "a caveman"? well, even there you fouled up as it should have been cavewoman but let us not quibble over a stupid statement that says and conveys nothing. I am "too close to the killing of Native Aericans and the lynching of blacks". No friend...I am liberal in my social stances and was in fact a member of the Civil Rights Movement. That would have been about the time you were in Africa with Portugals troops committing massacres and other dastardly things. As for the world enduring the consequences of my political choices - I have supported the liberation of Western Europe, fighting for the Liberation of the Pacific, the fall of the Soviet Union and the liberation of Eastern Europe. I supported the liberation of Kuwait and the Liberation of Afghanistan and Iraq. I am rather proud of those consequences. I supported the Civil Rights Movement and spent my life fighting against bigots. I have given always to charity and helped those who were in pain or in need. I have repeated this a number of times and you are as General Honore said "stuck on stupid" because you continue to rehash the old saws and the tired buzz words of those incapable of actually hearing, assimilating and working with new data. You are an automaton - spewing forth the same thoughts over and over because there is no capability of coherent reasoning or perhaps insufficient gray matter with which to do it.

It is wonderful that you adopted children from Angola. I will not comment on the reasoning that may have underscored your decision except to ask: was it Angola were you served as a young soldier in Portugals brutal colonial army?

Albatroz said...

Libby,

Yes, I was in Angola as a second-lieutenant for two years, one of which in operational areas. For all that time, in spite of extensive patrolling, I was never shot at nor did I shoot anybody. We built bush-schools for children who had never had a chance at schooling, and we gave extensive free medical help to thousands of people. Contrarily to what happens in Iraq, we had a friendly relationship with the local population. When I left Angola, in 1968, there hardly was any fighting, except in two border areas with Zaire and Zambia. I returned to Angola in 1975 and again in 2004, and I was received as a friend by people whom I very much like. Angolans wanted to be independent, but they knew that whatever problems they had with us, they were not of a racial nature. Once independence was achieved, we could reestablish a centuries old relationship with very little hard feelings. I realize this whole thing will be incomprehensible to you, who will probably think that a good Iraqi - as your people used to say about American Indians - is a dead one. I am not saying that there were no situations of brutality whatsoever in Angola, I am only saying that there were none in my experience. Contrarily to so many Americans in Iraq, I have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of in my Angolan experience. And I know, had I ever been in a difficult situation in Angola, I would never, absolutely never, have shot a woman or a child.

Libby said...

You start out by saying truly quite admirable things which I would consider believing you were you not such a Jekyl and Hyde personality in the next breath. "You, who will probably think that a good Iraqi - as your people used to say about American Indians - is a dead one". Your ignorance is so profound, not simply from failing to read what I have said about myself, but of the situation in Iraq. You read the lefty trash but seek out a rounded picture and see clearly our troops lovingly interacting with these children as they did through Europe in '44 and '45 and later dropping candy to the children of Berlin during the airlift to supply the city during the Soviet blockade. I send toys and dolls to the children - I told you that but it doesn't fit your picture of me and the marines who gave them out for me. So you repeat the garbage and ignore the truth. As for the baance of those comments about you, who knows. These where bitter years of colonial war and you were a soldier. The situation was a brutal one. "I am not saying that there were no situations of brutality whatsoever in Angola, I am only saying that there were none in my experience". I have no way to refute or substantiate your claims. Your claims can be easily disproved by studying the faces of our smiling soldiers and the smiling Iraqi children, looking up in trust and good faith. I will say something else. Our soldiers have written up accounts of friends who have died in the line of duty. Not all have been American. Two recent ones were about the loss of Iraqi counterparts who were clearly being grieved over. One recent one was an Iraqi Police Office named Ali. The account started, "This is my friend..." with his picture. The story was so moving I was soon weeping heavily and harshly. Neither the young service man nor I fit your streotype, nor did the suprising number of people who commented with emotion and caring about the loss of smiling Ali, Iraqi Cop, murdered in cold blood by the insurgency. There is another saying, "There are none so blind as those who WILL NOT see!"

Finally, " I would never, absolutely never, have shot a woman or a child". And neither would 99.9999999999999999999% of American Soldiers. You are not unique, for goodness sake. Nor am I saying you hjave as you keep insisting that all our soldieers do. My reading tells me that much brutality took place in those colonial years of war in Angola and elswhere. The several incidents under investigation by our military are the rarity not the rule and it was the other way in Angola.

Good day!

Albatroz said...

Libby,

What I object to in relation to Americans in general is their easy acceptance of the use of force to solve most problems. For most of you the ends justify the means, and that's why you object so little to collateral damage. If to kill an insurgency leader you end up killing a dozen innocent civilians, including children, that's acceptable to you. If to implement your idea of democracy you end up destroying half Iraq, that's acceptable. If women in Iraq are thrown back to the Middle Ages because you didn't like Saddam Hussein, that's acceptable. "Defeat" - in the sense of not being able to carry out your initial plan - is unacceptable to you, even if you realize that you have made a mistake to start with. There are lots of decent Americans, and I am sure you are one of them, but you are, collectively, an intolerant and violent people. You have a messianic touch that makes you highly dangerous to everyone else. Truth is your truth. Right is what you think. Well, Libby, there is no place in our world for a people like that. You are too dangerous, too reckless. You will end up destroying all of us.

Libby said...

Albatroz: You live in an alternate universe, that off center, out of synch, fraction off, ill percentive place that exists with homicide bombers, bombers, hyjackers and destroyers that kill all over the globe but not once have you ever mentioned these pre-medieval individuals who wantonly kill and maim. No, you speak of those who have saved and helped over all our history. There is a reason for this and it is political. You really do not care a wit about women and children, about saving lives and restoring people, you want to destroy America because it generally speaking does not support your world view.

"If women in Iraq are thrown back to the Middle Ages" and this of course would mean that they are allowed to go to school, work, vote, run for political office, are protected in the constitution and do not have to live under sharia law - ah, yes - that would definately be middle ages while, hidden, dominated, mistreated and with no rights would be your definition of the modern woman.

You do not have logical arguments. London, Madrid, Bali, Baghdad, New York, Washington the near miss near Hamburg, etc etc etc going back 2 1/2 decades. Meanwhile Zach has sat back and allowed his former fellow service people to be be villified along with his country on his blog without one word in defence of anything. And you Albatroz say that there is no place in the world for people like Americans who have given freedom and liberty around the globe? Intolerant and violent? Messianic - oh I love that. You have not one word against the demented, murdering Islamofascists whom you support by decrying the one force willing to fight their domination but you decry the Prince of Peace. That is rich. The really ironic thing is that as a man with opinions - even ones that support the Islamofascists, you will be headless like the rest of the folks with opinions because they do not, like the old Soviets, allow ANY people with views - they could be warped into an anti-view. Think about it.

America - too dangerous, too reckless; no place in the world for us - I do believe you are in need of a Prozac moment.

Albatroz said...

Libby,

Do you really think that, generally speaking, Iraqis are now better off than they were under Saddam Hussein, even considering the brutality of his regime? Do you really think that Iraqi women are better off under the present religious dominated regime than under Saddam's secular regime? Do you really think it justifiable to have given cover to Israeli actions against Lebanon, with over a thousand innocent civilians killed and widespread destruction of infraestructures, to get back two Israeli soldiers, for whose release a deal has had finally to be negotiated with Hezbollah? Do you really think that an attack on Iran would be justifiable to prevent Iran having, maybe, nuclear weapons ten years from now, especially as no one bothered with the fact that Israel has at least 200 such weapons? Do you really think that the US is entitled to use force whenever it feels that some country has a political system it doesn't approve of? Do you really think that the US has a God given mandate to interfere in other peoples' affairs?

Terrorism is indeed a problem. But it is a problem up to a point fostered by American and Israeli actions. If the US was not so keen to support Israel even when Israeli actions are illegitimate, fewer Arabs would see the US as the enemy, and there would be no terrorist actions against your country. Your aggressive posture is the main reason why some countries feel that they need nuclear weapons. Your obsession with the Iranian theocracy is the main source of instability, not the ayatollahs. Leave them alone and, someday, the Iranians themselves will get rid of those clerics. Threaten them, and you are ensuring they will last a lot longer. Just as it has happened with Castro in Cuba. Time to learn you cannot always have it your way. You lost in Vietnam and Vietnam is no danger to anyone. Was it worth the lives of fifty thousand Americans?... Think about it.