Sunday, August 14, 2005

Grieving parents in war--Part I: from Kathe Kollwitz to Cindy Sheehan is a long road

Who is this woman?

The serene young artist, glowing with life:













The worn-out older woman, lines of age etched deeper by profound grief:




She's Kathe Kollwitz, one of the greatest graphic artists of all time, in two of her extraordinary self-portraits. Born in Germany in 1867, she had the sorrowful distinction of living long enough to see her beloved son Peter die at age nineteen in one of the earliest battles of World War I, and her beloved grandson die fighting in WWII. She never got over her grief at either event, but transmuted it--at least partially--into art.

Kollwitz was a socialist and a pacifist. As such, she supported neither war waged by Germany, and so she didn't even have the solace available to those who did.

I first encountered Kollwitz's spare and haunting work about three decades ago, at an exhibit devoted to women artists, and was immediately struck by its power and uncompromising sorrow. Here was a woman who had no need to prettify things. Take a look at some of her graphics, which focus mainly on loss and grieving, particularly in war.

There is little prettiness in her art, but there is much beauty. Although Kollwitz herself had strong political viewpoints, they are a very distant subtext to the main themes of her work, which are universal and human. One cannot read about her life or look at her art without a feeling of deep respect, even if one disagrees with pacifism or socialism itself.

Kollwitz worked for many years on one of her major compositions, a large memorial sculpture in honor of her son Peter. She worked through many prototypes, and in the end decided on two simple but monumental figures of grieving parents, the models for which were Kollwitz herself and her husband Karl. The sculptures are installed permanently at the Vladslo cemetery for German soldiers from World War I at her son's grave, and their restraint and dignity only adds to the intensity of their grief (please click on the link if you'd like to read even more about Kollwitz's reaction to the wars and her losses):

Among the graves [at Vladso, in Belgium] is that of Peter Kollwitz, a student from Berlin who volunteered as soon as the war broke out. Two months later, in October 1914, he was killed, aged nineteen, in one of the war's first major campaigns.

Kathe Kollwitz was informed of her son's death in action on 30 October. 'Your pretty shawl will no longer be able to warm our boy,' was the touching way she broke the news to a close friend. To another friend she admitted, 'There is in our lives a wound which will never heal. Nor should it.'

By December 1914 Kollwitz, one of the foremost artists of her day, had formed the idea of creating a memorial to her son, with his body outstretched, 'the father at the head, the mother at the feet', to commemorate 'the sacrifice of all the young volunteers'. As time went on she attempted various other designs, but was dissatisfied with them all. Kollwitz put the project aside temporarily in 1919, but her commitment to see it through when it was right was unequivocal. 'I will come back, I shall do this work for you, for you and the others,' she noted in her diary in June 1919.

Twelve years later, she kept her word: in April 1931 she was at last able to complete the sculpture. 'In the autumn - Peter, - I shall bring it to you,' she wrote in her diary. Her work was exhibited in the National Gallery in Berlin and then transported to Belgium, where it was placed, as she had promised, adjacent to her son's grave. There it rests to this day.
























This entire meditation on Kollwitz's life and work was occasioned by the media circus around Cindy Sheehan, grieving but activist mother of a soldier son killed in Iraq. Whether you think Sheehan is being exploited herself or exploitating others tends to depend on what side of the fence you are on the war, but sympathy for her grief is near-universal.

Grief-striken parents are a tragic given in war. Whether they consider the sacrifice worthwhile or not, the tragedy, as Kollwitz herself said, leaves a wound which will never really heal--nor should it.

But this sort of angry activism on the part of a mourning parent such as Cindy Sheehan seems to be a relatively recent phenomenon. What is driving it? Why are we seeing it and hearing about it now, as opposed to previous wars? My attempt to answer these questions will be the subject of Part II. For background reading, though, you would do well to read this excellent post from Varifrank.

(Trackback to Mudville Gazette open post. Also, I've started a new post on the topic of the discussion in the comments section of this thread here.)

54 Comments:

At 1:12 PM, August 14, 2005, Blogger David said...

In a biography of General Marshall, mention is made of two letters he received during WII.

(from a father) "In exactly six months from the date of his enlistment, he was landed in France, ill prepared...and no doubt ordered to take some position with his machine gun and was mowed down like rats. My family feels that he was actually murdered for lack of sufficient training."

(from a widow) "I have received word today that my husband...was killed in action. I hope that those who are responsible for his return to active duty are satisfied that four small children are left without their good father and I without my husband. God's curses on all of then."

 
At 1:18 PM, August 14, 2005, Anonymous neo-neocon said...

Letters, yes, I have no doubt.

Thanks for finding those (my quick online research had turned up nothing). My guess would be that far fewer of this particular type of letter were received in previous wars than in this one, however, despite the fact that in previous wars so many casualties were draftees .

Media circus, no.

(More on all of that in Part II.)

 
At 2:46 PM, August 14, 2005, Blogger Dave Schuler said...

Now there's an explanation for why I have so little interest in the Sheehan story: I hate performance art.

 
At 3:35 PM, August 14, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

nnc, and to all your hawkish readers for that matter, just one question: do you have any love ones in Iraq fighting in this war that you folks deem to be so necessary and so noble. And if not, why not?

Thanks.

 
At 4:54 PM, August 14, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

Anonymous - at age 57, I doubt they would take me - too many wrinkles to fool even a drunk recruiter. Of course I would enlist if I were younger, like I did for the Viet Nam war, and fought there too. I have one nephew who might be young enough to enlist, it would be close, but with 3 young children, I doubt he would give up the good job he has to take a drastic cut via military pay. Who knows why young people are enlisting and that is true for both sides of the war. Millions aren't enlisting and haven't in previous wars either. What a dumb question, really. How many were drafted in WW2, Anonymous? What the hell does that tell you? Sheesh......

 
At 5:06 PM, August 14, 2005, Blogger John Moreschi said...

In today's world, the main battlefront of any war that America fights is the hearts and minds of Americans. The bombs and bullets battlefield is primarily used by the anti-American forces as footage for TV, documentaries, and eventually movies to discourage the American public and convince them to stop fighting.

The grief of parents and wives becomes a major weapon in the war for the public opinion of Americans. It is cynical and cruel, but it is the world that we live in. War is hell, and the weapons used are brutal and cruel.

War doesn't look good on TV, so people are easily convinced that if you stop fighting, the war is over. Unfortunately, in this war, if we stop fighting the war will continue, on our shores, I believe.

 
At 5:38 PM, August 14, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grief-stricken parents are tragic. War time or not.

Publically exploiting such grief is an abomination to the life of the lost child.

 
At 5:43 PM, August 14, 2005, Anonymous john moulder said...

Ms. Sheehan I am sorry for you

Becoming more media-savvy,
in her tent after the newshounds have gone to bed
she polishes her presentation
before lying down to sleep.

The next morning she waits for the best camera angle
before kneeling down
in front of the mock grave outside Crawford
& tears up as she feels the lights.

In dark rooms in Fallujah they take heart
& vow to Allah to shoot more wicked American soldiers
in the face.
They desire Paradise
& are in love with death.

In Iran & Syria the grins of the mullahs widen
as they watch nightly carnage on Aljazeera.

Osama in his hideout in the mountains
dismisses the messenger who brings such strange good news,
strokes his beard & marveling,
gives thanks to Allah.

At Casey Sheehan's grave
there are no video cameras,
no microphones,
no crowds jostling for a better view.
There is nothing more silent
than what is forgotten.

O Fame, you are truly the most seductive
of all the wraiths that haunt our psyche.

Ms. Sheehan I am sorry for you.

 
At 6:22 PM, August 14, 2005, Anonymous bob said...

Cindy Sheehan isn't newsworthy. Now, if she had a blonde daughter missing in Arabu...

 
At 7:15 PM, August 14, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goesh, dumb question? I hardly think so. I just wonder how many cheerleaders of the war in Iraq (the most vociferous of which are the so called "compassionate conservatives" on the right) would change their tune if their loved ones were REQUIRED to fight. Care to wager on this score? my bet: the vast majority will turn against this "noble" war on a dime.

 
At 7:38 PM, August 14, 2005, Anonymous Richard Aubrey said...

Anonymous, the chickenhawk argument is old.
Whether an emotional tie leads one to change his mind about a war is irrelevant to the prudential judgment about whether the war is necessary.
You will note that a good many parents of the KIAs still support the war.
Isn't that a relevant datum?

Anyway, to follow your argument, we might find ourselves in Starship Trooper country, where only veterans can vote. When the movie came out, people on your side wailed that it promoted fascism. But that is the logical end of your argument.

 
At 8:01 PM, August 14, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard - just because you perceive an argument to be "old", doesn't make it any less relevant. Will you answer my question, sir?

Your contention that some parents of KIAs remain supporters of the war, is nothing but a red herring. I never said that there will be NO supporters, just that the vast majority 'on your side' will not support this war in Iraq if it meant any kind of sacrifice. It's easy to be a cheerleader if you have nothing what so ever on the line. Oh wait I forgot, it does take some effort to slab a "we support our troops" magnet on your cars.

 
At 8:10 PM, August 14, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will someone please answer my question. If this war (Iraq) is so necessary and noble, why isn't there a campaign from the cheerleaders to help out with the recruiting problem. A very simple question.

 
At 8:19 PM, August 14, 2005, Anonymous strcpy said...

It's still a stupid question, I would be against it if it was REQUIRED, not because I would think the war is wrong, not because I don't think it is worth the sacrifice, not because it would put my family in harms way, but because I think that the only time there should be a requirement is in the final throes, a last resort. In fact, requiring service in todays military to go fight in Iraq would be VERY counter productive - if you actually do cherish life then you would be dead set against this.

I have relatives over there and I have friends over there. Living in East Tennessee and most of my social peers being in gun clubs and veteran families it's pretty common. I hope none of them die and thier family hopes none of them die. If one does, it will not be the first friend or relative that dies defending this country and probably not the last (one never knows, I may die tomorrow). But when one does we celebreate thier commitment and service to this country and thier fellow man, we support thier actions and decisions, and feel a great amount of pride in ones that take that sacrifice to put thier lives on the line for thier fellow man. Further most in this part of the land do so for all the soldiers - if one were to drive around our county seats (not just knoxville) one will find many statues and memorials for veterans.

You try and make the case that only those that haved served in war can make that choice. Well, unless you are against the war - then you are perfectly fine with people expressing it. I bet you feel that we are trying to suppress you by calling your idea stupid or "unpatriotic" (that's usually what the anti-war side seems to jump on, even if it isn't stated or implied) but you will note that only one side has declared the others opinion to not count and shouldn't be heard (yours). Only one side has proposed conscription (yours).

Further, it is stupid because that vast majority of veterans and current service men voted for our current president and fully support the war. If your support of this war is based on the vote of those who have been in military service (or the system you are proposing to decide for war is used) you would be all for invading Iraq and quite a few other countries. Since you are not, could you please explain why you find that line of reasoning valid to be anti-war? It seems a paradox to me, most likely simply a talking point you think will score you points - the end is all you are looking at not if your idea makes any sense at all. Either military service should be required or it should not, it is stupid to say that anyone can be anti-war but only veterans can be pro-war.

 
At 8:46 PM, August 14, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

strcpy - thank you for your lengthy response. to be frank, I'm not necessary anti-war, even this war in iraq. I believe spreading democracy throughout the world IS a noble idea, but if it meant a certain sacrifice from me or my loved ones, I'm not so sure I would be so caveliar in supporting, let alone advocating such an endevour. Not saying that I wouldn't or be willing to make the sacrifice.

The simple point I was making is that the vast majority of the war supporters on your side are doing so because supporting means not having to do anything more than placing a flag on your lawn.

 
At 8:52 PM, August 14, 2005, Blogger David said...

Anonymous--there are lots of people who benefit from the police and fire departments (and presumably support the existence of these departments) even though they don't have any relatives or close friends in these organizations. Similarly, there are lots of people who benefit from those who do dangerous jobs (offshore oil platform work, commercial fishing, railroading) even though they have no close connections with anyone doing such work.

Would you argue that no one should expect the fire department from saving their house unless they have encouraged their kids to join the fire department? Would you argue that no one should use products made out of steel unless they have a close relationship with someone working in a steel mill?

 
At 9:01 PM, August 14, 2005, Anonymous john moulder said...

Anonymous writes:

”I just wonder how many cheerleaders of the war in Iraq (the most vociferous of which are the so called "compassionate conservatives" on the right) would change their tune if their loved ones were REQUIRED to fight. Care to wager on this score? my bet: the vast majority will turn against this "noble" war on a dime.

A question to anonymous: If you believe in what you say, why don’t you say it under your name instead of hiding behind “anonymous”? To “anonymous” no Commander in Chief is valid unless they are a combination of Rambo & Audie Murphy. Never mind policy, never mind advisors or cabinet, never mind doing the right thing – all that matters is the cult of personality or at least you would think so to read them.

Actually it is just more tired non sequitur. They don’t even believe it themselves. They read it on the lefty blogs or hear it in Bush bashing sessions with their buddies & run around waving their arms & whining. Anonymous, I have 2 children still young enough to serve in the military. One of them put 6 years already in the Navy. The other is busy teaching & having kids of her own – but if either one decided to join that would be fine with me. I would support their decision the way I’ve always supported them. I would be proud.

“Required,” you say? It really chaps you lefties not to have a draft to knock, doesn’t it. Bush & Rummy are too smart for you on that one. So you have to throw in a beside-the-point hypothetical. What if it were “REQUIRED,” anonymous snivels. It’s not required, so try another argument.

 
At 9:05 PM, August 14, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

David - sorry, I don't accept your strawman argument. Iraq is a war of choice, not necessity. Please spare me your WMD, terrorist link, imminent threat arguments for why we had to go after Iraq.

BTW, if GW had came out from the start and told the American people that we're going to war with Iraq because we want to spread democracy throughout the world and Iraq would be a good place to start. Do you think he would garner enough support to go ahead?

 
At 9:16 PM, August 14, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Moulder - If I were to go to all of the houses displaying old glory on their lawn, and cars with "support our troops" magnets and asked them a simple question: "would you still support the war in Iraq if it meant that you or your immediate kin would have to join the fight?" How many yeas do you suppose I'll get? my guess, virtually nil.

 
At 10:00 PM, August 14, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must say, the gall of you people to criticize and mock a woman whose son died in the very cause that you folks deem to be so noble. Is it too much to ask for even a modicum of decency from you compassionate conservative types?

 
At 10:15 PM, August 14, 2005, Anonymous john moulder said...

Anonymous is still hiding. Anonymous, I will not hurt you, at least not physically – we are on the internet. Anonymous still will not let go of non sequitur, not even illogical, hypothetical non sequitur. Even though harmless I can’t let you get away with logical fallacies, anonymous:

John Moulder - If I were to go to all of the houses displaying old glory on their lawn, and cars with "support our troops" magnets and asked them a simple question: "would you still support the war in Iraq if it meant that you or your immediate kin would have to join the fight?" How many yeas do you suppose I'll get? my guess, virtually nil.

This is a variation of the phenomenon of “demonizing” that neo-neocon & others have written about. I’m sure most of us has experienced it. Does someone hold an opinion contrary to lefty ideology? Well then, it must be because they are not sincere in their convictions. Is there a policy you disagree with? Then be sure to question the motives & credibility of the opposition. Never argue on the merits of issues, always resort to non sequitur.

Anonymous, the answer to “how many yeas” is: Enough to form a military force precisely the size of what the US now enjoys. Isn’t that exactly what has happened? Metaphorically our leaders over the years have gone to “all of the houses” & “asked them” that “simple question” & the result is an army that is now fighting in Iraq & Afghanistan.

So your “guess,” anonymous, is provably & demonstrably wrong, isn’t it? Or is metaphor too subtle for your anonymous mind? I’m delighted to launch a grenade into what is probably one of your favorite canards. How naughty I am.

Does the left ever attempt to reason beyond platitude & non sequitur? They never seem to offer anything other than cherished bromide, sloganeering & of course when cornered, name-calling.

 
At 10:17 PM, August 14, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

Anonymous....required to fight? You seem to grow more shrill with each post. Are you advocating a draft? That's rather odd considering your opposition to the war in Iraq, and are you counting Afghanistan too, or was it a good thing our troops went in and rooted out the taliban and destroyed al qaidah training camps? I think it is a good thing our troops are killing people who blow up civilians and behead them, and who blow up Red Cross and UN buildings and blow up children getting candy from US soliders. There are about 130,000 troops in Iraq - of that number, most are support people who don't go out on patrols actively seeking to engage jihadis. The most recent offensive involved 1,000 Marines, less than 1% of the troops in Iraq. To answer your question though, I think all of us would continue on as we are if we had family members or close friends over there. Why wouldn't we? You just heard from a guy that has relatives/friends in Iraq.

 
At 10:26 PM, August 14, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous - I am a supporter of this war, military veteran, married with husband who has done one tour of duty in Iraq for 7 months (during which he missed the birth of our second son) and if he is called to go back again, I will support him one hundred percent. I am NOT alone. There are many, mostly silent, thousands who feel exactly as I do. I know them, because we are friends with some of them, military friends who we have known for many years. Look at the re-enlistment numbers for those who have done duty in both Iraq and Afghanistan...they are at near all time highs! That should tell you something. These are people who have actually been there, fighting, who have seen the good and the bad, and have chosen to stay in the military. And don't give me the bogus money argument. There are plenty of jobs out there for guys with military experience. These people are choosing to stay in, their families in the majority of cases are supporting them, and I and my husband continue to support this effort because we all believe that it is both the right thing to do for the Iraqi people, and because there is a threat in our world that would choose to kill you as quickly as it would choose to kill me and that threat must not be appeased or backed away from. That threat thrives on its enemy's weaknesses, and that threat is trying to manipulate the minds of people like you every single day. The car bombs in Iraq do not do any real strategic damage - they are conducted for psychological effect to make you and those who feel like you do turn against the project of freeing the Iraqi people. Noone in the right mind who is sending a family member off to war is not afraid of their possible death. Noone in their right mind cheerleads the idea of simply "going to war". But there are certain causes which are greater than oneself, and for some reason many who share your feelings simply cannot believe that people like my husband, and quite honestly me, if I did not have two children at home, would gladly go to Iraq or Afghanistan to try to help make those countries free and stable and to help them fight the Islamists who, if they could get their hands on you right now, would chop your head of in a New York minute simply for being an American. "Non Sibi, Sed Patriae" it says over the doors to the US Naval Academy chapel - thank God there are still in this country people who believe in that. I salute every single one of them. And by the way, if you don't want people who haven't served in the military or have family in the military to talk about the war, then get all the people on your side who have never served and have no family in the war (most academics and intellectuals, most Congressmen and Senators, most "activists" and Hollywood types) to shut their mouths too. It's a free country people on all sides of this matter can talk as much as they want. I grieve for Cindy Sheehan's loss, but I can not endorse her media entourage or her over-the-top comments. Her son was a grown man who re-enlisted before his tour and also volunteered for the mission he was on. His death was tragic for him, for his family, for the Army, and for the nation. But he made a decision to fight for something greater than himself. He should be honored for that, not used by the anti-war community as an activist for a cause that by all accounts he did not support.
Debbie K

 
At 10:54 PM, August 14, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

By pointing out the hollow convictions of your war supporters I'm "demonizing" you folks??? You can keep YOUR non sequitur to yourself, I want no part of it.

>>>Anonymous, the answer to “how many yeas” is: Enough to form a military force precisely the size of what the US now enjoys. Isn’t that exactly what has happened? Metaphorically our leaders over the years have gone to “all of the houses” & “asked them” that “simple question” & the result is an army that is now fighting in Iraq & Afghanistan.
<<<

Do you actually think that all 130K troops in Iraq VOLUNTEERED to fight in this war? I highly doubt you actually think that. I've got another bet for ya, seeings how you still haven't taken me up on the last one, can't imagine you'll have the courage of your conviction to accept this one, but here goes: If you were to give each and everyone of the soldiers in Iraq right now the chance to stay and fight or leave and come back home with no consequence what so ever, what do you suppose the outcome would be. I'd be willing to bet good money that the outcome would demolish your stated argument.

 
At 11:03 PM, August 14, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Debbie - there should be more Americans like you and your family, especially among the prowar crowd. Sadly, your types are few a far between. And my beef is with those who gallantly advertise their support of the war, but really want no part of the sacrifice.

 
At 11:04 PM, August 14, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11:10 PM, August 14, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous, I'm DebbieK. Read my post. If you don't understand now, you never will. Yes, there are people fighting in Iraq who may not have agreed with this war. When I was in, there were people in Bosnia or Kosovo who didn't agree with Clinton's wars (I by the way was NOT one of them) that is not the point. Your silly "bets" don't prove a thing. There are people out there that are willing to fight and believe in what our country is doing in Iraq. Instead of spending your time ranting in the comments section, go read some of the many milblogs where you can hear directly from soldiers on the ground. The vast majority support the effort. They may have complaints, they may have issues, but they support the effort because they know they are doing the right thing. ACCEPT IT. Unfortunately for you you do not know any of these courageous people. My wish for you is that someday you may actually meet one.
Debbie K

 
At 11:27 PM, August 14, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Debbie -

>>>Your silly "bets" don't prove a thing.<<<

Is it your contention then that I am wrong and would lose those bets? If it is, then would you take me up on it? If not, then your criticisms of me and my position are without merit.

I wish you well.

 
At 11:28 PM, August 14, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous - Thank you for your kind words, but just because you don't know many people who support the Iraq war despite having family involved in fighting, it doesn't mean they don't exist!! They just don't get advertised by the media like all the anti-war types do and that is because, unfortunately much of the media thinks like you appear to - they simply don't want to believe that there are people out there who place things like their country above their own self-preservation. And please stop this stuff about everyone who supports the war having to have someone in their family in the military. The military is a set size - there can only be so many hundreds of thousands of folks in the military at any one time, each of them with their respective families that is a tiny slice of America!! Your argument suggests that those who support the war and don't happen to be part of that slice should not be able to speak! As I said previously - by your logic, then all of those against the war who do not have family directly involved (Do you? you haven't told us yet) should also not be allowed to speak. That would include: Michael Moore, Jane Fonda, Bruce Springsteen, most of the anti-war activists and most of the anti-war politicians. Your suggestion is ridiculous. It also typical condescension that assumes that anyone with a yellow ribbon on their car has only bought the ribbon and not done anything else to support the troops - how do you know? Please, open your mind and listen. You don't have to support this war, I have relatives that don't either - Proclaim it on the rooftops for all I care. But don't act so holier-than-thou as to tell those who support it that they don't have a right to support is as well.
Have a good night - and pray for the safety of our troops around the world.
Debbie K

 
At 11:47 PM, August 14, 2005, Anonymous strcpy said...

"but if it meant a certain sacrifice from me or my loved ones, I'm not so sure I would be so caveliar in supporting, let alone advocating such an endevour."

that is your right to think so. As such I would encourage you to not join the military or encourage any of your friends/relatives to. Fortunatly that is not the majority opinion (see the election).

"The simple point I was making is that the vast majority of the war supporters on your side are doing so because supporting means not having to do anything more than placing a flag on your lawn."

Please show me this data. Or is this your "opinion" (given that the above is a statement of fact and is true or not, opinion is "Lemons taste good", not "Lemons are yellow when ripe"). Otherwise you are making stuff up and giving it as fact.

"Iraq is a war of choice, not necessity. Please spare me your WMD, terrorist link, imminent threat arguments for why we had to go after Iraq."

That's a convinient argument - "Show me why it was not a choice, to note you can not use any argument or evidence that shows it not a choice". This is just the same as trying to silence anyone who is not of the military - you are attempting to create a situation where you hold the only opinion available. There is no reason to ignore valid answers because you do not like them.

"if GW had came out from the start and told the American people that we're going to war with Iraq because we want to spread democracy throughout the world and Iraq would be a good place to start."

May I suggest you read the State of the Union speech (http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/01/20030128-19.html) and congress authorisation of force (http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:uWHCEiaDdboJ:www.c-span.org/resources/pdf/hjres114.pdf+congress+authorization+of+force+in+Iraq&hl=en) both of which list it as a major item. Since it was approved I suppose the anser is that, yes, it would have gone forward. Or do you mean the only reason (hopefully your not so niave to think that there is ever only one reason for a state to wage war, or that there is ever a war with only one reason that would be supported). Again, this is trying to change reality to fit your idealology.

"I must say, the gall of you people to criticize and mock a woman whose son died in the very cause that you folks deem to be so noble."

So you advocate carte blanch for someone that has gone through this? So, if she was advocating all African Americans be killed we shouldn't? If she was advocating (and IMO that is the result of what she is) that we should all become a islamic fundamentalist theocracy or die I should say "great"? I bet this anonymous doesn't really believe what they are saying either and is looking at thier goal ignoring if what they say makes sense. The same as "How dow you critisize this guys beliefes - he is a veteran". I can support and think them valorous for thier service (or feel sorry for thier loss) and still think thier policy is going to destroy us.

"By pointing out the hollow convictions of your war supporters I'm "demonizing" you folks??? You can keep YOUR non sequitur to yourself, I want no part of it."

Ah, we are back to blowing people arguments up to mean something they didn't. Try again.

"Do you actually think that all 130K troops in Iraq VOLUNTEERED to fight in this war? "

They volunteered to fight in a war - that is the job of the military. Since there is no method to volunteer for a specific war one can not know, only speculate. Though you can look at other evidence to have a better speculation than simply saying "I think so".

"I highly doubt you actually think that. I've got another bet for ya, seeings how you still haven't taken me up on the last one, can't imagine you'll have the courage of your conviction to accept this one, but here goes: If you were to give each and everyone of the soldiers in Iraq right now the chance to stay and fight or leave and come back home with no consequence what so ever, what do you suppose the outcome would be."

I suppose, from looking at the re-up rate (along with the veterans from this war that I know) that a large majority would choose to see it through to the end. Also, given that the Democrats and Republicans succesfully set this last election up as a referendum on the war and the military overwhelmingly voted Bush back in I would suppose that many support the war. And, of course, the re-election of Bush continuing the war was MUCH more pertinent to those in the military.

You seem to confuse "I would rather be home" with "I think this is a bad war and shouldn't continue". the first question will get a lot of "yeses" - WWII would have also. Yet the second option will get a whole lot of "no's" along with them staying to fight - and again WWII would have gotten a similar response. I would rather not work and spend all day playing, but that doesn't mean if hate it or think I shouldn't be working.

Given that, I would speculate that a fair percentage, well above 50%, would choose to stay. That's a pretty safe bet as more than 50% have been given the choice and made the one consistent with staying, though it wasn't a direct "want to see this through".

 
At 2:00 AM, August 15, 2005, Blogger Cutler said...

The entire exchange reeks of "when did you stop beating your wife?"

Setting aside the arguments against requiring military service to promote military action is the reality that anonymous does not know how many war supporters have family or are actually in theatre. Noone could possibly know this.

Indeed, according to the 2004 exit polls Bush beat Kerry by over 15 points among military veterans. Other polls predicted current military votes going to Bush by anything from a 3 to 1 and 4 to 1 margin.

So where are your facts anonymous? Do you have any, or is this all conjecture based upon your preconceived but so far unfounded assertions?

 
At 5:09 AM, August 15, 2005, Anonymous Paul said...

Kollwitz' art says so much about the pain of loss. However, what do people expect war to be - pleasant? It is brutal,vicious and deadly. I abhor people who use it to promote a party line or an agenda!

 
At 6:34 AM, August 15, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

Sheehan's extended family has very differing opinions than she has, that much is for certain. Perhaps Anonymous would care to address that. She represents a very typical liberal mind-set of never holding anyone accountable for their actions, but rather scape-goating via casting dispersions elsewhere. Her son was an adult who enlisted in the military - free choice #1. Sheehan did not raise her Public voice at the time her son CHOSE to enlist in the military, free choice #2. She did not raise her Public voice at the time her son shipped out for Iraq, free choice #3. Three (3) strikes and you're out. I don't have one bit of sympathy for her because I believe she is profiting from the death of her son. Does anyone not think there is some income involved here - you know, to meet expenses, to buy food and other necessities with? A book deal in the making? You know how it goes, 'you're story really needs to be told, this war needs to be ended, the US is killing thousands of Iraqi civilians, we would like to publish a book, it could really help the cause, please accept this small cash advance and we can do a contract later, you need some money to keep going with , to get the message out, to hold Bush accountable'. Too bad the Public is not interested in a book deal by a mother whose son was killed in action, but she makes a good stooge, a good pawn, a good dupe for the Left whose only agenda is to denigrate the United States. What do you think her son would tell her? Has she brought to light any of his letters home? What was he saying in his letters home? Since his extended family has much differing views that Cindy Sheehan, what kind of relationship did he have with his mother? Did he even write to her? If we view the threat of islamic fundamentalism as seriously as we did nazism or Japanese imperialism, then we must look at the death of her son in the same light as we did the 5,000+ mostly draftees that jumped of Higgins boats on the beaches of Normandy and were killed on day 1 of the invasion of Europe on 6/6/1944.

 
At 7:36 AM, August 15, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

Body Bags

bits and pieces
sometimes whole
zip zip zip
it's always anonymous grunts
who see their boy last
not old sad mom
not old sad pop
the last part usually seen
is the face
zip zip zip
no time for goodbyes
no tears
chopper maws beckon
grab n' load
grab n' load
death flys high
and its off to home
in sealed coffins
only memories
of old killers remain
of puttin' 'em down
and baggin' 'em up
death's factory workers
both sides doing the tally
zip zip zip packages of war
never quite make it home
when old killers
the keepers of death
harbor memories of faces
tucked and zipped so neatly hidden in eternity
assuaging holes in bodies
with late night bits of soul
so freely given these many years
ex post facto
so far away from old sad mom
so far away from old sad pop
zip zip zip

 
At 8:38 AM, August 15, 2005, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

I must say, the gall of you people to criticize and mock a woman whose son died in the very cause that you folks deem to be so noble

"You people". Interesting phrase.

I've never met Ms. Sheehan, so I can't really make any judgements about her. I do know a lot about the publicity vampires who are keening and wailing in support of her cause - those publicity vampires include the anti-defense left, nazis like David Duke and the pacifist anti-Semites from the Crawford Peace house.

To support Ms. Sheehan, David Duke writes:

"Cindy Sheehan, a mother who lost a son in the Iraq War, is determined to prevent other mothers and fathers from experiencing the same loss.

Courageously she has gone to Texas near the ranch of President Bush and braved the elements and a hostile Jewish supremacist media to demand a meeting with him and a good explanation why her son and other’s sons and daughters must die and be disfigured in a war for Israel rather than for America.

Recently, she had the courage to state the obvious that her son signed up in the military to protect America not to die for Israel...

..Cindy Sheehan’s son died for no true interest for the American people.

It has secured us no new or cheaper oil, it has cost a national treasure of hundreds of billions of dollars, it has alienated friends and allies, it has hurt American business around the world, it has separated and caused hardship upon millions of American military and National Guard families. It has killed almost 2000 and maimed tens of thousands of loyal and brave Americans who do their duty in Iraq. Again, this is war against every true interest of the America. The only nation that benefits from it is Israel!

Cindy Sheehan has a lot to be angry about. Her son was betrayed and his life lost by government officials who treasonably created and continue a war for Israel and the Jewish supremacist agenda rather than that of the United States.

We stand with Cindy Sheehan and the memory of her son which should spur all truly patriotic Americans to demand an end to this war for Israel, this war against America, the Iraq War.

It is not Iraq’s borders that need protecting, it is the American border with Mexico!

Support our troops…bring them home!

Let them protect America and not die for Israel.

Sincerely,

David Duke"

During the sixties, the Leftist anti-defense movement did not join forces with the Nazis. This time, they are joining forces, whether they want to admit it or not.

Anonymous, would you like to explain why David Duke and Pat Buchanan are such an active and accepted part of the "anti-war" movement?

 
At 8:46 AM, August 15, 2005, Anonymous Richard Aubrey said...

Presuming Anon has a serious question, which his later posts make unlikely, here's my personal answer:
I would. I don't have any children in the fighting, but I do have some more distant relatives.
My primary consideration would be my father. He has never gotten over the loss of my brother, Lt. James G. Aubrey, USAF. It would probably kill him if my son enlisted (he said he would after 9-11, but I, thinking it would be over before his training ended, told him so. Not having any fighting in prospect, he changed his mind. I was wrong. My son has since gotten married and no longer thinks of enlisting, although he works to support the families of those called up.) He wasn't killed in Viet Nam, but in a crash on the edges of the Cold War. My father and I think the Cold War had to be fought and won.
His death made me a sole survivor, and I, who had volunteered for Viet Nam, got off orders and did not go.
My father was in combat as was one brother and maybe three brothers-in-law in WW II. He thought the war was necessary, despite having loved ones in it.
Anon's planted axiom, that cheerleaders are exclusively among the uninvolved and would change if they got involved, is false.
The only way you could say that Iraq was a war of choice is to say that we should be fighting this kind of war someplace else--the "choice" idea, wherever Bush chooses it should have been someplace else. To say that a war like this was totally unnecessary is absurd.
The reasons are as well known to Anon as to the rest of us and there is no need to repeat them.
People like Anon apparently bank on the fact that the rest of us will quit repeating the truth eventually, out of boredom. Like Tequila, he thinks this is the same as winning his point.

 
At 9:42 AM, August 15, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you all for engaging me in this lively discussion, on your turf. I don't mean to be condescending, but the simple point I was trying to make is that support for this war in Iraq would be drastically diminished - no, virtually obliterated, if "support" required a certain sacrifice other than to "go shopping and keep the economy from sinking." Current support level is well south of 50%, even your beloved FOX NEWS is acknowledging this.

Sorry I don't have time to address each one of your counterpoints now, will do when I have the time.

Ken
not anti-war/republicans/conservatives
just anti-compassionate conservative hypocrisy.

 
At 10:48 AM, August 15, 2005, Anonymous terryt said...

From what I gather, those who call Iraq a war of choice believe that after Afganistan, we should've gone back to a give out money, appeasement & wait-until-the-next-US embassy bombing /mid-flight commercial airline bombing /USS Cole/WTC bombing-type atrocity policy position, the policy which gave Bin Laden and his ilk the impression that they could strike America as they did 911, without much in the way of repercussion.

My Viet Nam vet friend told me that one of the most important things in war is to establish a battlefield. America did not start this war. One can argue whether Iraq was the best battlefield choice. But after 911, a return to business as usual was not a position any American president could take. I have yet to hear a thoughtful or credible alternative from the "Iraq was an illegal, unnessecary war for oil" crowd.

My nephew is a US Marine and spent 2 tours of duty in Iraq. I knew he may have been killed. He knew he might have been killed. As Debbie points out, every single man or woman who joins the military knows that they may face death or serious injury. And someone else mentioned other professions like NYPD or FDNY that face the real life/death danger everyday.
Until the world transforms into a place without evil and man's essential nature is transformed,(in other words, when the world ends), there will be conflicts, wars and danger. I am constantly in awe of, and humbled by, the brave men and women who accept the role of protectors.

 
At 10:59 AM, August 15, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon

I suppose your points would be reasonable however given the fact that Casey Sheehan signed to do a second tour of duty invalidates most of your argument.

Casey Sheehan was a full-grown adult who had volunteered, had already served one year in Iraq then re-uped his tour to a second tour during which time he himself volunteered to be a part of a rescue mission which ultimately took his life.

Casey Sheehan is a man who stood on his own two feet, and a heroic soldier of great honor to whom I am eternally grateful.


My question posed to you. Would Ms. Sheehan's response be just as valid if Casey had been KIA while helping say the Tsunami victims?
This happens in the US military, soldier are killed in the line of duty even when not at war.

Liberal Hawk
Susan

 
At 11:26 AM, August 15, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

Taken from the VFW Magazine 8/05 issue:

1/3 - 1/13/1945 (10 days)
53 ships are struck by kamikazes, KIAs not listed (talk about homicide bombs)

10/17/1944 - 7/4/1945 (9 months)
Philippines.Luzon/Leyte/S.P.I. campaigns
16,223 KIA
44,232 WIA

 
At 12:09 PM, August 15, 2005, Anonymous Larry said...

Anonymous (Ken): ...the simple point I was trying to make is that support for this war in Iraq would be drastically diminished - no, virtually obliterated, if "support" required a certain sacrifice other than to "go shopping and keep the economy from sinking."

Finally. The point, even as it stands, is questionable and of course insulting, since it assumes those who do support the war are merely fair-weather patriots or, as he later implies, somehow hypocrites. And it ignores altogether the considerable number of Americans who actually have made sacrifices for the war, both voluntary and involuntary, and continue to support it -- including, apparently, much of the rest of Casey Sheehan's own family.

But aside from that, let the point stand -- so what? It hardly argues against the war itself -- if it was necessary, it remains so whether or not it's supported (and if it wasn't necessary, then it's wrong even if it is supported). And it certainly does nothing to justify Cindy Sheehan's grandstanding. In other words, apart from the insult, Anonymous Ken's "point" is entirely empty of content. He's just another troll.

 
At 1:39 PM, August 15, 2005, Anonymous john moulder said...

I was struck by the two excerpts of letters to General Marshall:

From a father: In exactly six months from the date of his enlistment, he was landed in France, ill prepared ... and no doubt ordered to take some position with his machine gun and was mowed down like rats. My family feels that he was actually murdered for lack of sufficient training.

From a widow: I have received word today that my husband...was killed in action. I hope that those who are responsible for his return to active duty are satisfied that four small children are left without their good father and I without my husband. God's curses on all of them.

Aside from the emotion of bitterness these heartfelt letters convey they should also be thought provoking to us because they were the exceptions of that day & time. During WW2 the almost universal sentiment was that the war was just. When people got mad back then they usually railed against the enemy. But these two may have been included in Marshall’s biography because of their unusual nature.

Of the first I’m made to wonder just how long the father thinks would be sufficient time to prepare for combat. Nine months? A year? Careful reading reveals that the father is conjecturing about the actual circumstances of his son’s death. But grief is frequently illogical at first. The father was in the anger stage & couldn’t write to Hitler or Tojo, so Marshall received the brunt. And the truth is also that in a war troops just may have to be dispatched before they are fully ‘combat ready.’ Such are the exigencies of war & the father could have been a veteran of WW1.

And the second is another example of misplaced rage. When we are very angry we may strike out at the convenient target instead of the appropriate target, if for no other reason than the pertinent locus can’t be accessed & therefore can’t be aimed at or is otherwise unavailable for venting. My guess is that we have all seen & experienced this type of misguided anger. It is said to be the root cause of many psychological & social problems.

In Ms. Sheehan’s case we can only be guided by her behavior. We do not know her, we are not there, we see only what is on the tube. When I was first exposed to her I felt sorry for her & I still do. My feelings of sympathy were immediate & strong because when a mother looses a child it is devastating even to imagine. As a parent the thought is not easy to approach – the idea rolls around in your mind like a burr in the mouth & you want to quickly spit it out.

But then quickly came the circus & my sympathy became tinged with repugnance. You do not do what she does now without calculation. These are not acts of spontaneous sorrow she exhibits. What she does now has to be rehearsed; there is no other way to perform it. One has to become conversant with length of sound bite & angle of camera. One has to wait until the curious onlooker steps out of the shot so CNN can tape the tears in front of the mock grave.

She doesn’t grieve now, no, now she goes for the gold – or perhaps tinsel. Tawdry is the word that comes to mind. And does her act have legs? Perhaps she can parley her present condition of celebrity into a permanent place in the pantheon of the left – but I doubt it. Maybe 2 years from now we will see her on the dais of a cspan panel hosted by a think tank or university. But I wouldn’t bet on it. When her moment in the sun is done will her new-found friends still be around? I think not. And then notorious will shade into pathetic. Then a new brand of sympathy will be needed.

Sometimes we humans take sorrow & anger & water it like a poison plant & grow it like stalks of malevolent corn. We nurture the anger & sorrow until it becomes something else – until it becomes disease.

 
At 2:01 PM, August 15, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My discouraged, skeptical, and frank opinion is that "Anonymous" has (generously) been taken far too seriously. Although I do think it is a good thing that somebody still can (for reasons other than arguing with "Anonymous", though). I cannot, not any more.

I guess it is because I have met and honestly tried to argue with too many "Anonymous" out there that have shown amazingly common traits and the same attitude: start a discussion to "beat" and diminish the "other side," never to understand the other side, never to find out what could be best, regardless of whoever proposes it, not to get a glimpse of what is behind some opinions, some stances, how you got to think that way, never to ask yourself could it possibly be there's something I have never thought about, something I have never seen that way? Could there be, simply, people with priorities different from mine that I can just let be? Could I respect somebody else's views when they are built with care, regardless of how different they are from mine? Could we agree to disagree?

Practically none of all the "Anonymous" I have argued with were honestly interested in the discussion or on the subject they claimed they were interested in. That was why there never was an end to it and no argument worked. And that is the really sad part of it. It was never meant to be a real discussion.

Anyway, cheers to al those who can still do it.

Hipolita

 
At 3:16 PM, August 15, 2005, Anonymous strcpy said...

"I guess it is because I have met and honestly tried to argue with too many "Anonymous" out there that have shown amazingly common traits and the same attitude: start a discussion to "beat" and diminish the "other side," never to understand the other side, never to find out what could be best, regardless of whoever proposes it, not to get a glimpse of what is behind some opinions, some stances, how you got to think that way, never to ask yourself could it possibly be there's something I have never thought about, something I have never seen that way?"

The problem is that you seem to be trying to argue for the wrong reasons. As you have come to the conlcusion - that type of anonymous isn't interested in what the other side has to say. As such, trying to persuade that person is fruitless - might as well argue with a stump.

There are two reasons to argue.

One is for self learning. You need to be familiar with the other sides reasoning. First because how do you know you are right if you don't know anyother ideas and data on the subject? Second you can avoid the same pitfals that they make (though this requires trying to pick apart your own beliefes as you would thiers, for one not accepting "I think it is so" for a persuasive reason). If you are lucky enough to find a reasonable/knowledgable opponent you can actually learn something and I have had my mind changed before doing this.

The second reason to argue is for those that are undecided and sitting on the side lines. There are quite a few, though they usually start reading more around election time. Especially in the case of this anonymous - what he/she is claiming has always been a fairly powerful argument that requires no supporting evidence to somewhat stick. In this case there is plenty of evidence to the contrary and needs to be pointed out.

I would guess the vast majority of us understood his simple point from the get go. I sure did - I've heard it a bunch. They have no other evidence for it that "I believe it to be true". He/she even hit it down to the "It's your turf" argument, like it's some sort of football game where home team matters. Never understood how that works in a persuasive argument, unless you are looking for a "win" by having more people posting online agree with you. Not only that, but he/she made the almost perfect downward spiral from "this is fact" to "I think so" to "You guys are mean and I'll would show you but I'm tired" (well, if you are tired wait until the next day and shine your brilliance, logic, and unassaultable mountains of data on us, we can wait a few hours).

It maybe armchair phsychology but I have yet to find someone who believes what this anonymous says without personally feeling that way. After that, they simply do not believe anything contrary to that opinion (while many of us say he is wrong, we would still support I am sure he/she thinks we are simply lieing) - I've always wondered if they are somehow embarassed for that beliefe (not feeling personal sacrafice is worth it) and don't want to consider that anyone else thinks otherwise. They almost always believe not that they are in a simple majority, but believe that thier feeling is almost universal (as our anonymous does). Add in that they are almost always leary of giving thier identity also. Simply the retention rate in the US military shows one of his ideas of personal sacrifice of the soldiers to be totally false.

 
At 5:25 PM, August 15, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think our anti-war Anonymous' questions speak more about himself than war supporters. It's perfectly logical to him that war ought to be about him, and not the country. A war he has to fight is, by definition, a bad war. He can't conceive of the fact that many, if not most, might choose what they believe to be best for the country, even if it's disadvantageous to one's personal situation.

The essence of the canard is: there is no such thing as patriotism. Fortunately our friend is proven wrong every day by the brave men and women that keep us safe, to their own personal peril.

I rarely see this canard's corallary attached: if you're for lower taxes your position is founded on greed. Never mind that our low tax/modest safety net economic policies have taken down an empire (Soviet) and made the US economy the largest in the history of civilization. I've always found that those that think, and openly acuse, others of being motivated by 'base' factors are usually projecting. What is logical for me must also be logical for thee. Again, let's be thankful that this country is largely made up of better stock.

 
At 1:24 AM, August 16, 2005, Blogger Mike's America said...

Here's another Dear Cindy letter:

"What we have seen about the recent abuse at Abu Ghraib is a joke to us," says Ibrahim al-Idrissi, president of the Association for Free Prisoners, an Iraqi non-governmental organization that has been documenting the execution of political prisoners under the regime of Saddam Hussein, reports The Daily Star:

If Idrissi seems a bit callous about the fate of the Iraqis in US-run jails, he has probably earned the right to differ. He recalls a day in 1982, at the General Security prison in Baghdad:

"They called all the prisoners out to the courtyard for what they called a 'celebration.' We all knew what they meant by 'celebration.' All the prisoners were chained to a pipe that ran the length of the courtyard wall. One prisoner, Amer al-Tikriti, was called out. They said if he didn't tell them everything they wanted to know, they would show him torture like he had never seen. He merely told them he would show them patience like they had never seen."

"This is when they brought out his wife, who was five months pregnant. One of the guards said that if he refused to talk he would get 12 guards to rape his wife until she lost the baby. Amer said nothing. So they did. We were forced to watch. Whenever one of us cast down his eyes, they would beat us."

"Amer's wife didn't lose the baby. So the guard took a knife, cut her belly open and took the baby out with his hands. The woman and child died minutes later. Then the guard used the same knife to cut Amer's throat."

How can these moral relativists live with themselves?
Please feel free to print that out and mail a copy to:
Cindy Sheehan
c/o Crawford Peace House
9142 East 5th St
Crawford, TX 76638-3037

 
At 2:02 AM, August 16, 2005, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> David - sorry, I don't accept your strawman argument. Iraq is a war of choice, not necessity.

Correct. And our military men are in the military of choice, not of necessity.

Your point?

There are a host of reasons for being in Iraq. The most obvious is, we went in for our own reasons (taking out Saddam was the reason) and we are still there because we've decided as a nation that it is a bad idea to just go into a place and make a mess for our purposes and do nothing whatsoever to help clean it up.

We are there to help clean up the mess we made -- for good reason on our part (this in no sense suggests it was not to other people's benefit, either!! It was particularly to the benefit of the Iraqis, especially with our followup since).

We are there to finish the job, which is to assist the Iraqis in stablizing the place after we created a power vacuum, hopefully with a stable, effective government which the people of the nation will want and accept as their own (historically, if anything, we have tended to help instill leaders which were entirely in our favor, and often screwed the subject peoples).

It's amazing to me how the Left wanted the Taliban out, and supposedly wants women's rights the world over -- they just refuse to have it happen on Bush's watch.

That's partisan hypocrisy for you... The Left "cares" ssooooo much: "We don't care if another 50,000 Iraqis are tortured to death by Saddam or his goons! Just so long as Bush isn't given credit for saving them or freeing them!"

 
At 9:28 AM, August 16, 2005, Anonymous rightwingtreehugger said...

Cindy Sheehan and her feelings are chickenfeed against what's at stake here. For a variety of motives, including sheer narcissistic vanity, many foolish people are nostalgic for the good old days of VietNam, when they could flatter themselves that they brought down a president and ended a war. Me, I don't know how Iraq will turn out, or whether it will prove to have been a prudent undertaking or not, but damned if I want to see the country put through the paralysis of the 60s-70s again. Better to shut up, roll up our sleeves, and win the damn war. If that means, slapping trouble makers around, so be it.

 
At 12:05 PM, August 17, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

strcpy...

>>>"but if it meant a certain sacrifice from me or my loved ones, I'm not so sure I would be so caveliar in supporting, let alone advocating such an endevour."

that is your right to think so. As such I would encourage you to not join the military or encourage any of your friends/relatives to. Fortunatly that is not the majority opinion (see the election).<<<

So the majority opinion is that they do support this war and are willing to make the sacrifice??? The following FACTS would contradict that notion: current support for the war is well below 50% (I'm no math savant, but that ain't a majority); recruitment shortfall (your war supporters ain't knocking down the doors to enlist in this noble endeavor.

>>>"The simple point I was making is that the vast majority of the war supporters on your side are doing so because supporting means not having to do anything more than placing a flag on your lawn."

Please show me this data. Or is this your "opinion" (given that the above is a statement of fact and is true or not, opinion is "Lemons taste good", not "Lemons are yellow when ripe"). Otherwise you are making stuff up and giving it as fact.<<<

see above.


>>>"Iraq is a war of choice, not necessity. Please spare me your WMD, terrorist link, imminent threat arguments for why we had to go after Iraq."

That's a convinient argument - "Show me why it was not a choice, to note you can not use any argument or evidence that shows it not a choice". This is just the same as trying to silence anyone who is not of the military - you are attempting to create a situation where you hold the only opinion available. There is no reason to ignore valid answers because you do not like them.<<<

You may be surprised at my answer but the "official" but now inoperative justification Bush and Co gave (above) are valid justifications, if true. The problem is, there were no factual basis to make those justifications, Bush and Co knew this, but felt they had to go with it in order to CON FOLKS LIKE YOU INTO GETTING ON BOARD.

>>>"I must say, the gall of you people to criticize and mock a woman whose son died in the very cause that you folks deem to be so noble."

So you advocate carte blanch for someone that has gone through this? So, if she was advocating all African Americans be killed we shouldn't? If she was advocating (and IMO that is the result of what she is) that we should all become a islamic fundamentalist theocracy or die I should say "great"? I bet this anonymous doesn't really believe what they are saying either and is looking at thier goal ignoring if what they say makes sense. The same as "How dow you critisize this guys beliefes - he is a veteran". I can support and think them valorous for thier service (or feel sorry for thier loss) and still think thier policy is going to destroy us.<<<

what a shameless attempt at deflection. You folks are good at that.


>>>"Do you actually think that all 130K troops in Iraq VOLUNTEERED to fight in this war? "

They volunteered to fight in a war - that is the job of the military. Since there is no method to volunteer for a specific war one can not know, only speculate. Though you can look at other evidence to have a better speculation than simply saying "I think so".<<<

Thanks for the education, but I'm cognizant of the fact. really. Now, if you care to understand why I wrote that, please go back and look at what that was in response to.

>>>You seem to confuse "I would rather be home" with "I think this is a bad war and shouldn't continue". the first question will get a lot of "yeses" - WWII would have also. Yet the second option will get a whole lot of "no's" along with them staying to fight<<<

no parsing of my argument is necessary here, "no I want to go home" = "this war is wrong, I'm not willing to sacrifice" And yes, you will get a lot of yeas to this option. bet on it.

Cutler....

>>>Setting aside the arguments against requiring military service to promote military action is the reality that anonymous does not know how many war supporters have family or are actually in theatre. Noone could possibly know this.<<<

I'm not talking about these folks, just the ones that are prowar but have no connection to service whatsoever. Again, I'm no math genius, but a cursory crunching of the numbers would indicate that these folks comprise a vast majority of the prowars.

>>>Indeed, according to the 2004 exit polls Bush beat Kerry by over 15 points among military veterans. Other polls predicted current military votes going to Bush by anything from a 3 to 1 and 4 to 1 margin.

So where are your facts anonymous? Do you have any, or is this all conjecture based upon your preconceived but so far unfounded assertions?<<<

The military tends to swing republican/conservative, what does this have to do with my argument???

Paul....

>>>Kollwitz' art says so much about the pain of loss. However, what do people expect war to be - pleasant? It is brutal,vicious and deadly. I abhor people who use it to promote a party line or an agenda!<<<

Then you would argue that we should try our darnest to avoid it, and only resort to it when necessary, no?

Goesh...

>>>Sheehan's extended family has very differing opinions than she has, that much is for certain. Perhaps Anonymous would care to address that.<<<

What's there to address? Goesh, if your extended family is anti-war, does that negate your opiion??? In that case i shouldn't even be responding. Talk about a stupid assertion.

>>>She represents a very typical liberal mind-set of never holding anyone accountable for their actions, but rather scape-goating via casting dispersions elsewhere.<<<

WOW. I wonder if irony is in your vocabulary?
Do you suppose anyone should be held accountable for the f*ckups in Iraq right now?

>>>I don't have one bit of sympathy for her because I believe she is profiting from the death of her son.<<<<

I suppose that's compassionate conservatism eh?

I'm not responding to the rest of your post because I stopped reading it at this point. It's beneath me to respond. really.

maryatexitzero....

>>>Anonymous, would you like to explain why David Duke and Pat Buchanan are such an active and accepted part of the "anti-war" movement?<<<<

ahhh. the old Osama wants Kerry to win, therefore Kerry must be soft on terror argument. Just one word, despicable. but hey, don't suppose can I expect any better from a compassionate conservative.

BTW, I challenge you to find evidence that these folks are in fact "accepted" by the antiwar crowd, and Cindy Sheehan specifically.


Richard....

Thank you for your answer.

>>>Anon's planted axiom, that cheerleaders are exclusively among the uninvolved and would change if they got involved, is false.<<<

how is it false? BTW, I said vast majority, not "exclusive."


>>>The only way you could say that Iraq was a war of choice is to say that we should be fighting this kind of war someplace else--the "choice" idea, wherever Bush chooses it should have been someplace else.<<<

I think you're making an assumption here that I don't accept: Iraq is part of the war on terror.

>>>To say that a war like this was totally unnecessary is absurd.
The reasons are as well known to Anon as to the rest of us and there is no need to repeat them.
People like Anon apparently bank on the fact that the rest of us will quit repeating the truth eventually, out of boredom. <<<

Please enlighten me, what are the reasons???!!!


terryt...

>>>From what I gather, those who call Iraq a war of choice believe that after Afganistan, we should've gone back to a give out money, appeasement & wait-until-the-next-US embassy bombing /mid-flight commercial airline bombing /USS Cole/WTC bombing-type atrocity policy position, the policy which gave Bin Laden and his ilk the impression that they could strike America as they did 911, without much in the way of repercussion.<<<<

remind me again what the Bush and co, the great protectors of Americans, did in the months leading to 911??

>>>But after 911, a return to business as usual was not a position any American president could take.<<<

no president, dem or rep, worth his title would do that. another red herring.

Susan the liberal hawk...

>>>I suppose your points would be reasonable however given the fact that Casey Sheehan signed to do a second tour of duty invalidates most of your argument.<<<

how does that invalidate ANY of my arguments? Cindy Sheehan lost her son in a war that she is against, and is making that known. what harm is she doing to any of you folks? really. Why not just leave her alone???

Larry...

>>>Finally. The point, even as it stands, is questionable and of course insulting, since it assumes those who do support the war are merely fair-weather patriots or, as he later implies, somehow hypocrites.<<<

I'm sorry if it insults you, but that my position.

>>>And it ignores altogether the considerable number of Americans who actually have made sacrifices for the war, both voluntary and involuntary, and continue to support it -- including, apparently, much of the rest of Casey Sheehan's own family.<<<

not talking about these folks, just the "fair-weather patriots".


>>>But aside from that, let the point stand -- so what? It hardly argues against the war itself -- if it was necessary, it remains so whether or not it's supported (and if it wasn't necessary, then it's wrong even if it is supported).<<<

absolutely agree with you here. But you do note, that I never made the claim that support for war proves it's necessity or vice versa. Another strawman.



ken

 
At 2:46 PM, August 17, 2005, Anonymous Larry said...

Anonymous ken: ... I never made the claim that support for war proves it's necessity or vice versa. Another strawman.

And so your only "claim", such as it is, is that many supporters of the Iraq war wouldn't do so if they had to make any sacrifice for it? First, how would you know this? Do you have any basis for it other than your personal opposition to the war? And aren't you then asserting it merely out of a juvenile desire to insult those with a different opinion? If someone were to say that opponents of the war in Iraq are merely a pack of traitors and cowards, wouldn't that have the same amount of justification as your claim?

Second, as I asked before, so what? Where do you think such a claim gets you? What's your point in making such a claim, if it tells you nothing about the rightness or wrongness of the war itself?

 
At 4:26 PM, September 08, 2005, Blogger Cutler said...

I've got a friend like him. She assumes that since she wouldn't get anything out of military service, it is a 'waste'. The idea that other people do not have her priorities, would be happy with less, does not occur to her. The irony is that she's a psychiatrist, liberal of course.

 
At 11:48 PM, February 19, 2006, Blogger Auguste Louis Lepère said...

your opinion that her art is not political completely misses the point. of course her work was political. it's important to recognize that making art that is not "pretty" and that is explicitly about war put Kollowitz in a position to be pegged as a "degenerate" by Hitler and kicked out of the Berlin Academy (that let very very few women in). in other words, while her work certainly addresses universal themes of mourning and loss, you must also take into consideration the historical context under which the works were made. after 1932, making any art of the kind that she did was necessarily political in the climage of Hitler's germany.

art cannot be separated from politics.

 
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