Sunday, June 04, 2006

Writing about Haditha, thinking about Haditha

I haven't written about Haditha yet.

I know that we don't yet know what happened there, or why. So all we can do is speculate, and to me the speculation seems rather obvious: if innocent civilians were murdered by the Marines there, and if the situation did not involve well-motivated and understandable mistaken identity of some sort, then it was a war crime and should (and will) be deplored by all right-thinking (and I mean that in the moral, not the political, sense) people, including myself. And it should, and will, be prosecuted as such, to the fullest extent of the law.

Those things are so obvious to me that they almost go without saying. But I'm saying them anyway, just to be clear.

But this is a post not so much about Haditha itself but about the current speculation about Haditha, and what that might mean. I've noticed that Haditha follows certain patterns that seem familiar. I wrote about those patterns back in late April, in this post about My Lai and the press:

The massacre at My Lai was a turning point in America's perception of itself. It represented a loss of innocence about the military, who until then had been thought incapable of the kind of atrocity that occurred there. It also made Americans more cynical towards the military command and its ability to investigate its own wrongdoings. And lastly, the press was seen in the role of heroes bent on publicizing the truth.

These three elements are still in play today. Whether or not Haditha ends up proving to be in the mold of My Lai, My Lai remains the template, the frame for all subsequent events that might fall into the category of possible American war crimes.

My Lai itself was a war crime, and there's no doubt the initial internal military field investigation was a coverup:

The facts of My Lai were sensational, and they make shocking reading today, even in our far more jaded age. I've written about My Lai before, here. It was an event of great complexity, and I highly recommend this must-read teaching case study on the subject, which comes as close to explaining what happened there--and why it happened--as I think anything ever could.

I want to reiterate the must-read status of the teaching case. Even if you think you know all about My Lai and what happened there--and especially why it happened--please think again, and read it if you haven't already done so.

There's an old saying to the effect that the military is always fighting the previous war rather than the present one. That's another way of saying it's hard to foresee what will happen, and much easier (although still surprisingly difficult) to know what already has happened, and that institutions have a tendency to become hidebound in their thinking processes. Creativity is needed, although creativity is risky--but it's just as risky to lack it.

The military seems to be a bit better nowadays at thinking ahead, although far from perfect. But it's the press that seems stuck in fighting previous wars--especially the previous war in which the press believes itself to have been the hero, Vietnam. Haditha fits quite well into that vision; it may indeed be the My Lai the press has long been expecting, or it may not (and please, read Belmont Club on the subject of press coverage of Haditha so far).

Is a new set of rules emerging under which modern warfare must be waged by the West? Here are those rules, as best I can determine them (with only a little bit of exaggeration):

(1) Wars cannot last more than a few weeks.

(2) In the "hot" stage of the war, no civilians can die.

(3) In the aftermath of a war, no civilians can die.

(4) All military investigations of possible war crimes and atrocities must be treated by the press as though they are already coverups. The accused are guilty until proven innocent. And, of course, since the military always lies and covers up, the accused can never really be proven innocent by a military court.

What would these rules do? They would set up war as an impossible to execute but morally black and white situation in which we keep our hands impeccably clean (see here for my previous essay on that subject.)

Yes indeed, the goal is to be perfect--to never commit a war crime, to never have an innocent civilian die. But realistically, that goal will never be reached. The best we--or any nation--can do is to train our troops as well as possible in order to reduce the number of such incidents to almost nothing, and to ruthlessly investigate and prosecute them whenever they do occur.

Because the truth is that in wars innocent civilians will always be killed, and always tragically--whether it be in targeted and precision bombing raids gone awry in the "hot" segment of the war, or even in true war crimes during the later "assymetrical guerilla and/or terrorist warfare" stage.

Some would say that the best way to remain morally pure--if that is our interest--is to never wage war. But that ignores the price of inaction and passivity. Back in November I wrote the following, which still seems relevant:

Yes, indeed, there's enough blood to go around. There always is in war; wars involve blood on everyone's hands, including pacifists, who are responsible for some of the blood involved in feeding the crocodile.

Of course, the price that inaction would have cost is always speculative--and therefore deniable--if action has been taken instead. And the price of an action taken is relatively real and quantifiable. It's only if inaction has been followed that we can know its true consequences.

Take your choice of which price you would like to pay. Please remember that neither can be known in advance, that all decisions must be made based on incomplete and possibly flawed information, and that hindsight is always 20/20.

132 Comments:

At 4:16 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger Jason H. Bowden said...

We need to keep in mind that the world is far more integrated as far as communications go today. If troops are committing atrocities, one way or the other they'll eventually be shown all over the world. Where public opinion home and abroad is critical to our success, as in Iraq, it is important that atrocities do not occur. Bad things happen in conflicts and we shouldn't have to fight a PC battle, but that's simply the nature of using our military as a quasi-police force

We can survive Abu Ghraib; I'm far more pessimistic about the future of Iraq if the Haditha allegations are true.

 
At 4:43 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger Randi said...

We can survive Abu Ghraib; I'm far more pessimistic about the future of Iraq if the Haditha allegations are true.

And so you will die, Jason, the moment the Haditha allegations are shown to be true? I don't think so. Hyperbole can get a bit ridiculous if not used judiciously.

I like it when muslim terrorists can commit hundreds of atrocities and it only makes them more popular with the media and leftists. If coalition troops commit a rare atrocity, "we can't survive."

Bullshit. You'd better learn to survive a lot worse than that buddy, cause this war ain't gonna be over any time soon, even if Hillary's elected in 08. This war ain't Iraq, it ain't Afghanistan, it's every f'n country in the world that's got muslims and non-muslims together.

As long as muslims act like supremacist asholes committed to bombing the hell out of anyone that gives them the slightest offense, this war's on. But that's just jihad, baby, just jihad.

 
At 4:47 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger patrick said...

Amazing. As our military becomes ever better, the media perception becomes ever worse.

Haditha is nothing compared with My Lai,
at worst, an isolated oversight in an otherwise very calibrated military that is doing a superb job overall; a response to an IED where in a a split second a car-ful of men - normally would indicate a bunch of insurgents - was ordered to lie down. They didnt, they started running; got killed; no weapons. That was 5 of the claimed body count, and the remainder, there are post facto allegations that the US wantonly killed people in homes. original SitRep was US forces responded to fire in homes. Hmmm, and the accusers including journalists jailed for suspect insurgent activity. So, marines popped off instead of simply them being in the crossfire, as the insurgents *deliberately* put the people in harms way as "human shields" to help make such events happen?

Wait and see on truth (which may never come out, because their is vested insurgent interest in creating atrocity accounts even if untrue).

The US is attempting-to-be-precise in the most imprecise and harshest of wars, insurgency and counter insurgency ... as we wring our hands over this 7 months ago incident, *another* 20 civilians were murdered in cold blood by terrorists. It's what they do. Daily.

And My Lai was nothing compared with Dresden. and then ... in the revolutionary war, the 'patriots' and 'tories' would just take the other side and tar and feather them, or in some cases they would string 'em up and hang them. We cannot judge our selves by the standards of other times, but neither can we be fools for the double-standards of the enemies who want us defeated.

Whatever the truth of this incident, the US military and 'our side' are doing our best to win this war as humanely as possible. "Humane" and "war" harldy go well together, and so we are left with these sorts of tragedies and possible crimes. What to do, then? Discipline those who did wrong, fix the problem, and redouble the effort to defeat the terrorists and insurgents.

 
At 5:15 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

To be fair to Jason i think what he is saying is that if these allegations are true the impact on the situation will be as gasoline on a bonfire.

After all Abu Ghraib is alleged combatants being mistreated. Bad but... this is the alleged murder of woman and children....hard to explain without sounding very callous and always likely to create yet more mayhem.

It has been reported in european media that the impact of Haditha in Iraq is limited as it is widely taken for granted thatthe US military is 'gung ho' and a little indifferent toward civilian casualties.

The big question remains that given we are there (dumb move in my opinion but...) how do we turn it into something positive? I would argue that giving an impression of difference toward Iraqi casualties is not the best way.

It is not good enough to say ths is the fault of the MSM reporting only bad stuff about iraq...there is something substantial here thatneeds to be dealt with.

 
At 5:39 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

Neo i have just read that link and I was truly shocked by the contents. I hope to God what is going on in Iraq is nowhere near this....catch the flavour(sorry this is so long but...)

XXX Two soldiers were taken by surprise when a woman, carrying an infant in her arms and with a toddler barely able to walk not far behind, came running out of a bamboo hut. One of them fired and injured her. An elderly woman, with an unexploded M-79 grenade lodged inside her open stomach, was spotted staggering down the path.

[NOTE. The instructor can discuss at this juncture two of the four targeting principles (on the use of weapons) found in the Hague Conventions -- proportionality and unnecessary suffering.]

XXX One soldier stabbed a middle aged Vietnamese farmer with his bayonet for no apparent reason. Then, while the victim was on the ground gasping for breath, the soldier killed him. This same soldier then grabbed another man that was being detained, shot him in the neck, threw him inside a well, and lobbed an M-26 grenade after him.

[NOTE. The shooting, once it began, created almost a chain reaction. Inside the hamlet, soldiers appeared out of control. Families who had huddled together for safety inside houses, in their yards, and in bunkers, were mercilessly mowed down with automatic weapon fire or blown apart by fragmentation grenades. Some women along with their children were forced inside bunkers and grenades thrown in after them.]

XXX One soldier who had wandered off on his own, found a woman about age 20 with a four-year-old child. He forced her to perform oral sex on him while he held a gun at the child’s head, threatening to kill the child. When 1LT Calley happened along, he angrily told this soldier to pull up his pants and get over to where he was supposed to be.
[NOTE. Sigmund Freud once remarked that man is driven by two instincts, the erotic and the destructive.]

XXX At one point, amid all the mayhem, the 1st and 2nd PLTs overlapped when the right flank of 2nd PLT crossed paths with the left flank of 1st PLT. Troops from 1st PLT who were walking back a small group of villagers for screening were accosted by a soldier from 2nd PLT who angrily insisted that the villagers be killed on the spot. He solicited an M-16 in exchange for his M-79 so that he could initiate the executions. When this was refused, he grabbed an M-16 from a soldier and shot a Vietnamese farmer in the head. He was later calmed down.

[NOTE. The instructor can discuss poor command and control at this juncture. As may have been noted earlier, the instructor could have introduced the topic of poor command and control, which was pervasive throughout the operation, at several past junctures in this outline. The instructor will undoubtedly also discover several upcoming junctures where it would also be appropriate to discuss the same topic.]

The Causes of the My Lai Massacre.

There is no one cause for the Massacre at My Lai, nor can it be said that one cause in particular dominated the others or stands out. Rather the My Lai Massacre occurred from an amalgam of several factors that contributed effectively, and in their own specific way, to the whole. The following list is not in any particular order.

The Dehumanization of The Enemy, and Racism.


I only put one of the reasons given but it seemed relevant.

 
At 5:41 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

there is something substantial here thatneeds to be dealt with.

Yes "individuals" alleged of wrongdoing need to be dealt with by a system of justice -- ...to decode that conclusion.

 
At 5:42 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

I only put one of the reasons given but it seemed relevant.

is that opinioned or sourced?

 
At 6:06 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger Jason H. Bowden said...

Randi--

Civilian causalities are to be expected, even by the Iraqi security forces. Soldiers executing civilians is not. We are not terrorists and should not be any committing atrocities, period. If we are going to reason, "fanatic Muslims target civilians, so it is okay for Americans to do so from time to time" we might as well pack up our bags and go home, because that's not the war I'm supporting.

This is not only a matter of duty, it is a matter of consequence. Getting Iraqis to buy into the government is critical if we wish to succeed. While the use of American force is a necessary condition for success in Iraq, it is *not* a sufficient condition.

I understand the current war against fascism. However, it is a gross contradiction in your position to claim we're in Iraq to support democratic and reform-minded Muslims and we're there to kill Muslims because they're supremacist assholes. There is more complexity to the situation than this.

 
At 6:14 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

This is what American soldiers do as a joke.

Atomic situps

Imagine what real trouble is like, how real trouble is prosecuted if even a whiff of sexual discrimination scares the pants off NCOs.

Human behavior is controlled by rewards, discipline, and punishments. The discipline of the United States military is uniform to a degree Sun Tzu would have shat a brick to have in his army. Its' quality is greater than all armies on this planet put together, because no other army on this planet has combat tested experience even near the United State's.

As I advised here before. Expect the worse, prepare yourself psychologically for a critical strike. Only through this, can the psychological impact of whatever propaganda victory the enemy scores, be lessened. Starting from the individual outwards. The propaganda damage is already being done and already has been done, it can't be recovered. It only remains as to see whether the propagandists have picked a falcon that'll hunt or just fly away.

In the end, in any guerrila war or propaganda war or psychological war, it is perceptions that matter. Not the truth. Truth matters on the battlefield when precision guided munitions are dropped via the support of Predator B UAVs armed with hellfire missiles, because no amount of deception can piece together your body after being blown up by such weapons of war ex post facto. But perception can make terroist execution of Shiite and Kurdish students traveling on a bus to take final exams into "successful sectarian violence unhindred by US efforts". While Haditha is created as "war crimes indicative of regular and formative US policy and action". The target is the US, death by a thousand cuts. The Japanese culture and philosophy has a lot of education and worthwhile things that apply to the situation the US and Iraq finds itself in. But I doubt I will ever hear the fake multiculturalists use Japanese philosophy to justify their policies.

The President has the powers and abilities to degrade the use of enemy propaganda. But just seeing how he reacted firstly to the Haditha question by reporters, is quite unimpressive. He should have reminded the American people not to lose faith in the military just because the media is jealous of America's faith in the military, a faith the media does not have. He should have reminded people that the ACLU will defend the most hardened of criminals, and cheer when his death sentence is cut, but will cry for blood and cruel torture when their arch enemies the military does a 1/4th serious crime.

Proportionality, perspective, context, and psychological cushioning should be the benefits of a powerful and united central leader. In the 21st century, no ruler can afford to be incompetent at PR. It is only by the grace of God such people as Washington survived to lead the Revolution, and such people as Bush wins elections. There is no other way I can explain it, if you look at the history of Washington's reckless military actions and Bush's unorthodox political strategies. Holding the Final Fallujah offensive until AFTER the 2004 elections, cause he "didn't want the media attention to distract the troops" is a wise decision. But not even wise decisions can affect deception and perception in a propaganda war.

 
At 6:17 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Jason said..

However, it is a gross contradiction in your position to claim we're in Iraq to support democratic and reform-minded Muslims and we're there to kill Muslims because they're supremacist assholes. There is more complexity to the situation than this.

Amen to that.

 
At 6:39 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger kcom said...

And in the time (let's say the last week) that Haditha has been a subject of public discussion, here are some events that have happened in Iraq:

Suicide car bomb hits crowded Iraqi market, killing 28
--

CNN
"Gunmen killed 20 people in Diyala province after stopping two minibuses and a car, forcing people out of their vehicles and shooting them, Iraqi police said.

The dead included seven students and five elderly men. Two other people were injured. The victims were Shiites and the incident was thought to be the result of sectarian hostilities."
--

China Daily
"Another bomb planted in a parked minivan killed at least seven and wounded 20 at the entrance to an open-air market selling clothes in the northern Baghdad suburb of Kazimiyah, police said."
--

Edmonton Sun
"Two bombs struck in quick succession at a pet market yesterday in Baghdad, killing at least five people and wounding 57, while the leader of "al-Qaida in Iraq" urged Sunnis to confront Shiites and ignore calls for national reconciliation.

The explosives were left in bags at the entrance and the centre of the al-Ghazil market, where Iraqis can go every Friday to buy dogs, birds, snakes and other animals, Lieut. Ahmed Muhammad Ali said."
--

So does this excuse anything that American troops might have done? No. But it does call for people to get some perspective, for god's sake. What is remarkable about these allegations is that they are remarkable and out of the ordinary. There are investigations ongoing to determine what happened because what is alleged is against United States policy and the policy of the Marine Corps. There is process in place to determine who did what and there will be penalties for the perpetrators should they be found guilty. This was one incident that happened in November.

Meanwhile, just in the last four days, the four incidents I mentioned above have occurred. They weren't aberrations, either, but rather the standard m.o. of the people we are fighting. They didn't accidentally kill civilians or snap and kill them in a moment of great stress. No, they cold-bloodedly planned each incident and specifically targeted non-combatants. As their policy. Who will investigate them and determine who is responsible for bombing a pet market? A pet market, for god's sake! Or a clothing market? Or murdering old men and students hauled off of a bus?

No one will, of course. And yet Haditha will be the god-awful worst thing that has ever happened in Iraq. And a reason for us to pull out, according to many. And the subject of a media frenzy. And yet, the pet market bombers will get barely one headline and absolutely no scrutiny. Where is the condemnation? Where are the big headlines about them? Why doesn't the media go to the people (the survivors) in that market and profile their lives and talk about the perpetrators of that atrocity? I want to know what kind of threat people selling pets posed.

The media keeps arguing that they are being scrupulous and even-handed in their coverage of Iraq and yet, even though we're facing one of the most brutal enemies ever, the same moral judgment is never applied to them. Their countless, ongoing atrocities are merely tallied, "they did this here, they killed that many there" in some sort of clinical manner, with barely any acknowledgment of the meaning of it all and no moral component whatsoever. Why is that? On any objective scale, what they are doing day after day after day blows away even the worst accusations against the US military (so far I have yet to see anyone in American uniform saw off the head of an Iraqi on videotape) and yet they practically get a pass. If the media really are "citizens of the world" and are reporting things without bias why won't the papers be filled with days and days of coverage of someone taking a bomb to a pet market and blowing up someone trying to buy a bird?

 
At 6:53 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger dcat said...

Funny how wind bags have to always call it "Racism"!

 
At 7:00 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Those "new rules" you mention, neo, are actually implicit ones -- I think they're quite real, but in a sick joke sort of way. This is because the people behind such "rules" don't -- couldn't -- believe in them as such, but do believe that pushing for them will ensure the defeat of any American force in any engagement. It's just another way, in other words, of using the very virtues of the West as a weapon against it.

Why these people wish to see the US defeated is another matter, or rather set of matters. For some, it's obviously because their hostility to a particular administration has overcome their loyalty to their country; for some, it's because they have a bitter envy of anything they perceive as great or noble, and a perverse desire to see it ruined; for some, it's because they actually identify with the terrorists, whom they perceive as heroic freedom-fighters struggling to expell an invader rather than as demented killers in a last stand against a liberator. For all of them, events such as Haditha -- quite regardless of any facts of the matter -- are greeted not with real revulsion or horror but with a barely concealed savage schadenfreude.

 
At 7:23 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger Brad said...

You're right dcat, the racism thing comes out often and without cause when one has no other view of life. It demonstrates the shallowness of the accuser.

 
At 8:47 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Brad, hear, hear.

 
At 9:03 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, 8 June 1977.

Preamble

The High Contracting Parties,

Proclaiming their earnest wish to see peace prevail among peoples,

Recalling that every State has the duty, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations, to refrain in its international relations from the threat or use of force against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations,

Believing it necessary nevertheless to reaffirm and develop the provisions protecting the victims of armed conflicts and to supplement measures intended to reinforce their application,

Expressing their conviction that nothing in this Protocol or in the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 can be construed as legitimizing or authorizing any act of aggression or any other use of force inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations,

Reaffirming further that the provisions of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and of this Protocol must be fully applied in all circumstances to all persons who are protected by those instruments, without any adverse distinction based on the nature or origin of the armed conflict or on the causes espoused by or attributed to the Parties to the conflict,

 
At 9:21 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger Jen said...

Well said, Kcom. The pet shop bombing is just...incomprehensible. I think I first felt this way a year or so ago when they bombed an ice cream parlor. It is utterly ghastly.

Wasp offered a link at the end of a very lengthy comment section of an earlier post that I am going to repeat because it is even more apropos to this post:

Strategic Counterinsurgency Modelling

Because we are dealing with an insurgency embedded in a civilian population that we are trying to protect and win over, we can't even risk responding to attacks too violently. Forget about war crimes. If atrocities were committed then our soldiers not only violated U.S. and international law, they aided the enemy.

And if we really care about the people in Iraq, we need to annihilate this enemy.

 
At 10:27 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

No one will, of course.

I am reminded of the often ancient saying. The strong take what they will, the weak suffer what they must. It is still true today. The media with all their power will do what they desire, everything else being kicked upon will just have to suffer what they must, without the media's help. There are darker places than the Pendleton and the Marines in Iraq. But so long as it is out of sight, it is out of mind. What one does not see, one does not believe that it exists. Such is the principle upon which all propaganda operators in order to persuade and conjole.

If the media really are "citizens of the world" and are reporting things without bias why won't the papers be filled with days and days of coverage of someone taking a bomb to a pet market and blowing up someone trying to buy a bird?

Such compassionate outcries are stamped down underneath the bootheels of power and wealth. Such as it has always been, before humanity invented the United States of America to solve such problems. These problems are so pernicious, so much of a cancer in the human soul, that not even the might and power of the United States can whisk it away at a moment's notice. It lingers, like some miasma from the dark pits of despair.

The media, Reuters and AP which supplies foreign news to local and international networks, are very subtle. When they cover Haditha, they get personal testimonies and outcries that "We Will Not Forgive Americans For This" from the Times reporting on locals in Haditha. But then, the victims of terror are just faceless non-entities, to be trampled as the media sees fit in order to weave a story of their choice. And what can the victims do about it? Nothing. There is no Confud, no Conned, no Spank lobbying for the victims of suicide bombers in Iraq or even Israel. They don't exist and they never will. Because powerless people are worth nothing in the eyes of the powerful. Not even the United States can cure this calamity of humanity with a whim or because we care to give them our best. Not with the forces arrayed against us as it stands.

Why is it frustrating that the most powerful nation in the history of the world cannot seem to stop an insurgency that blows up women and children on demand? Because if any other nation tried, they would suffer 10,000 times the fatalities and require 100 times the time it would take us. The problem is that serious. What about an alliance of nations, people might wonder. That's even worse, it's just another cabal of oppressors to me. Nazi Germany and the Soviets dividing up Poland after they purge the indigenous pops.

From what I've seen, the protests from Confud and others of similar mind, prefer solutions that apply to one nation, the US, and not any others. BMC prefers universal enforcement, but as I noted, his problem is in his details. Which he probably didn't like me pointing it out, and therefore brushed aside my objections as a caricature he created. The Geneva Conventions were designed to function when both parties agree to a mutual beneficial treaty, that allows both sides to benefit from having their prisoners treated well if the enemy captures them.

People still quote it in today's 21st century terror war, for some weird unknown reason. As if they still expect a tripod to be standing with 2 legs removed.

 
At 10:58 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

If the media really are "citizens of the world" and are reporting things without bias why won't the papers be filled with days and days of coverage of someone taking a bomb to a pet market and blowing up someone trying to buy a bird?


How many column inches have been spent on 11/9?

Gooses and ganders, pots and kettles and all that there stuff.

 
At 10:59 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Someone who has a blog that has moderated comments might want to check their blog for a comment waiting for acceptance.

Sorry, neo, for using your comments for "clandestine" communications, there was no other opportunity. Enjoy Seattle and keep moving or you can get moss on your north side.

 
At 11:05 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Ymay said....

The Geneva Conventions were designed to function when both parties agree to a mutual beneficial treaty, that allows both sides to benefit from having their prisoners treated well if the enemy captures them.



Here you go.

http://www.lib.byu.edu/~rdh/wwi/hague.html

http://www.genevaconventions.org/


BTW Ymar, you are inventing others' opinions for them again.

 
At 11:14 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Clandestine communication to me, means reading some ad in the singles page that says "XX looking for hot action, at 3874@yumale.com"

Which always seemed pretty hilarious.

There's one thing I wished COIN made mention of. Which is the fact that if you push out the insurgency from the battlespace of men's minds in Iraq, there's still a problem. Notably, even if you reduce support for jihadists in Kurdland and Shia land to zero (which it is fast becoming), that just means there is going to be a select small region which the terroists try harder and harder to acquire. The sunnis in other words.

Since in 2003-4, I heard a lot about how people won't like AMericans or Jews because we were heavy handed and invaded. Then I watched the news and saw reports that terroists were blowing up women and children, and I thought to myself, "woah, that's not exactly smart for the terroists".

Among those dark days of despair, watching US troops seemingly helpless as the barrage of IEDs and daily bombings and casualties rocketed up, the belief and the knowledge that the insurgents were cutting their own throats with these bombs that kill women and children definitly kept up my morale.

They've gotten smarter it seems, or maybe all the stupid ones have died or been captured. there was a bush I mentioned that had students going to exam. They kileld all the Kurds and Shia, but they left the 2 Sunnis alive.

The message was clear. Fight against us, we will slaughter you and your children. Fight with us against the government, and we will treat you well.

There are still insurgent strongholds, haditha being one, in existence. The latest round of propaganda, just goes to show, keeping terroists alive is just giving bacteria a chance to mutate into a more virulent disease.

The US forces can't go back into our bases and play xbox games, because the locals would get slaughtered. But if the US goes out on patrol, IEDs blow up Americans. Or Americans kill somebody and people didn't like that.

The only thing worse than having to fight a guerrila insurgency as the occupation force, is to be an insurgent fighting against said occupation force.

Big tug of war problem, who is going to give up first?

 
At 12:02 AM, June 05, 2006, Blogger kcom said...

Confud: "How many column inches have been spent on 11/9?"

What does that have to do with anything said here? Honestly, I don't understand and would appreciate clarification.

"There is no Confud, no Conned, no Spank lobbying for the victims of suicide bombers in Iraq or even Israel. They don't exist and they never will."

The question I had throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s (which has never been answered) is why the "human shield" groups never sent human shields to Iraq to protect the Shiites and the Kurds and the marsh Arabs from Saddam's depredations? They certainly would have have had plenty of shielding to do. But thousands were dying and no one did a damn thing.

In fact, those groups were nowhere to be found until it looked like there might be an invasion by the US and others and then they sprang up like mushrooms to protect Saddam -- in essence, if not by intent. So when I hear anti-war people wailing and gnashing their teeth about the suffering of the poor Iraqi people I find it pretty hard to take them seriously because when they had a real chance to establish their bona fides they did not. They are poseurs and the Iraqi people are just their convenient tool of the moment. As soon as those people aren't needed they will be forgotten again. If they haven't already, as pointed out above.

 
At 12:12 AM, June 05, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I think what Confud is doing is what a lot of Leftists do when they defend their beliefs. It just seems like a Standard Operating Procedure. If someone challenges belief A, challenge the challenger's belief B.

In this case, I suppose Confud is arguing that kcom is wrong that the media does not give adequate coverage to terroist strikes in Iraq by pointing to the coverage (or non-coverage as the case may be concerning bodies falling from buildings) on 9/11.

It doesn't change anything, from where I see things of course. If a platoon of Marines threw some Iraqis off a building and they splattered on the ground, the media would have a circus interviewing the victims and asking them how they felt, feel, what they will do, how they are, etc and etc going on forever and ever.

For 9/11, no show bodies. Blood doesn't lead, because this blood might enrage Americans and this would produce violence, a big no no.

It is one of the many reasons why I believe the media really doesn't ascribe to the "if it bleeds, it leads" philosophy. The media, rather, ascribes to the philosophy "if America bleeds, then it will lead"

Kcom is correct in believing that the coverage of 9/11 does not mandate the effective coverage of Iraq or anything else. But of course, reality didn't stop just cause deception said it would.

 
At 12:20 AM, June 05, 2006, Blogger gosilent said...

(4) All military investigations of possible war crimes and atrocities must be treated by the press as though they are already coverups. The accused are guilty until proven innocent. And, of course, since the military always lies and covers up, the accused can never really be proven innocent by a military court.


This is simplification. The media is reporting the Haditha event. No one assumes guilt just because they were accused. Everyone has questions.


The reporting has centered around the event in question of course. What has been the major focus was the knowledge (or lack thereof) in the administration and the Military. The press should ask questions and investigate as well should the Military and the Administration.


After all, do we not all want the truth?

 
At 12:40 AM, June 05, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

kcom said...
Confud: "How many column inches have been spent on 11/9?"

What does that have to do with anything said here? Honestly, I don't understand and would appreciate clarification

Clearly, the outrages committed on 11/9/2001 have received far more coverage than any 3000 odd other deaths in history.

That was committed by 'the other side'. The contention above is that there is little coverage of atrocities perpetrated by the other side. They are trying to have their cake and eat it.

The human shields you refer to couldn't have done much for the shiites and kurds because they probably thought that Bush1 would protect them anyway. How wrong they all were.

 
At 12:44 AM, June 05, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Murtha didn't seem to have any burning questions and neither was he speaking truth, from the mouth of gods.

 
At 6:06 AM, June 05, 2006, Blogger reliapundit said...

haditha = jeningrad = enemy propaganda eagerly spread by a left/msm.

 
At 6:49 AM, June 05, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

gosilent: After all, do we not all want the truth?

Unfortunately, no -- that was the point. The idealized media simply "ask questions" and "investigate" in order to find the truth, as you say; but the real media, post-Vietnam and especially post-Watergate, too often have other wants. They would rather, for example, find a Cover-Up than find the truth, and their "evidence" for the former can be statements that differ, statements that are the same (collusion, get it?), or a simple delay. If the "exposure" of such a Cover-Up, through the persistent and fearless investigations of the intrepid media, can lead to undermining and even toppling the powerful, so much the better; and if those "powerful" are Republicans, conservatives, or right-wingers of any description, well that's just the Watergate-defined pinnacle. "Truth" has only an accidental, though always welcome, connection with the process.

This isn't to say that cover-ups don't happen -- it is to say that the media, with their implit agenda, contribute nearly as much to obscuring as to clarifying politicized events.

 
At 6:55 AM, June 05, 2006, Blogger Bill Baar said...

I thought it interesting Zarqawi didn't have much too say about Haditha (if anything). It's been known for while. He's focused on the Shia instead,

"O Sunnis! Prepare to get rid of the infidel snakes and their poison ... and don't listen to those advocating an end to sectarianism and calling for national unity. This is a weapon to get you to surrender," said the speaker on the tape who sounded like al-Zarqawi.

 
At 9:30 AM, June 05, 2006, Blogger Huan said...

I do not think the Iraqi in general care as much about this as the American press does.
The Vietnamese did not care that much about My Lai as the American press did either. When your nation are embroidered in a war, with explosion and killings on a regular basis, atrocities are expected as an unfortunate consequence.
This is no worse, and no better, than pulling people of a bus and then executing a selection based on ethnicity. The real difference in the people's eye will be about accountability.

The Iraqi, like the American people, are smarter than the American press treat them.

 
At 9:31 AM, June 05, 2006, Blogger Goesh said...

I want to see the forensic data - I wouldn't be surprised to see some 7.62x39 AK-47 bullets in some of the bodies, shot from the back

 
At 10:07 AM, June 05, 2006, Blogger eatyourbeans said...

The medias' interest in this matter is purely one of power. 30 years ago they lost a war, brought down a President and paralyized America's military will for decades. In effect, they appointed themselves the forth and equal branch of the US Government, which was fun and profitable for them. Naturally, they want to restore their old glory days.
In this regard, I can't see how this MSM and our country can co-exist. I have my strong druthers as to which should disappear.

 
At 11:25 AM, June 05, 2006, Blogger neo-neocon said...

Blogger seems to be up to its old tricks again. I can't get there to post at the moment. I think it's Blogger rather than the reception here, because everything else seems to be working fine.

I'll be busy for a while and try to post some time later today. Until then, blame Blogger!

 
At 12:26 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger neo-neocon said...

Fixed! Managed to post.

 
At 1:20 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Blogger is taking forever to load. Could be part of the problem.

I believe the Haditha article from the Times, listing various vague and specific reasons to feel demoralized about American projects in Iraq, detailed that the Navy investigators were not allowed to unearth the bodies and perform forensic tests because this "goes against local practices".

So unless the US sheds off the fear of the bully and orders the Navy to dig them up, bar nothing, Goesh will be waiting a long time for those ballistic forensics.

 
At 4:38 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

Just thought i would remind you this comment

At 6:02 AM, May 31, 2006, neoneoconned said...
I think we may about to see the whole neo neocon nonsense tested to its ridiculous limits on this affair.

I predict the following will emerge as comments

1. It is all the fault of leftist defeatists - that is a definite.
check
2. It is the fault of the UN/international community.
not yet seen but must be soon
3. It is Iran's fault
no
4. It is the fault of Saddam
no
5. You make omlettes without breaking eggs - that will be yrmdwnkr and the other fans of adolf
check
6. They killed themselves to make the usa look bad - i think this is more likely than you think, examine the comments about rachel corrie.
we have got close
7. It is the fault of the MSM reporting all this stuff when other far worse acts are taking place - another definite
check and have we gotthis more than once? oh yes! *sigh*
8. Completely ignore the whole thing and rattle on about more pressing matters like imaginary new weapons that can be used by the 101 fighting chickenhawks to destroy other people's neighbourhoods live from the safety of their own little suburb.
check
9. Make some long tendentious post that plays games with philosophy and morality and miss the central point. When you let the military loose civilians get killed and there has been more of this going on than we realise as there always is in a war zone - they are intrinsicly dangerous places.
check
10. Call me, and others, trolls and run away from the debate. Well that is definitely neo's strategy :-)
check

so come on guys you have still a bit of work to do here.

 
At 5:45 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

I'm just surprised that they haven't blamed it on me changing my profile yet.


:-)

 
At 5:49 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Ncnd said....

7. It is the fault of the MSM reporting all this stuff when other far worse acts are taking place - another definite



This is the one that really has me scratching my head. Do they actually want the proof of the mayhem, killing and descent into anarchy in Iraq more widely publicised?

Now, neocons, rearrange the following sentence.

What wish for you careful.

 
At 5:56 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

I'm just surprised that they haven't blamed it on me changing my profile yet.

oh that is clearly implicit in point 10.

another rule of neo cons "never discuss the serious issue when there is something trivial concerning whch you may have a point that you can bang on about forever."
Me i have no profile....never a complaint. Surely that is worse....I could be saddam! oh and before you all start i am not honest!

 
At 6:25 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger kcom said...

kcom said...
Confud: "How many column inches have been spent on 11/9?"

What does that have to do with anything said here? Honestly, I don't understand and would appreciate clarification."

- - -

Clearly, the outrages committed on 11/9/2001 have received far more coverage than any 3000 odd other deaths in history.

That was committed by 'the other side'. The contention above is that there is little coverage of atrocities perpetrated by the other side. They are trying to have their cake and eat it.


No, that's not the contention above. Please read more carefully. The contention above is that there is very little coverage of the atrocities perpetrated by the other side on Iraqi non-combatants. And what coverage there is tends to be purely clinical, a laundry of list of incidents and numbers of deaths, with no moral component whatsoever.

Where is the exposé on the bombing of a pet market? Where are the interviews with survivors? Where are the calls for investigations? Why don't reporters who are known to have contacts with insurgent groups ask them hard questions about what they are doing and how they justify it? Where are the anti-war protesters with their signs in the streets saying "No more pet market bombings." Where are the discussions in foreign capitals and in the UN, and what resolutions have been passed about it? Where is there any effort whatsoever in the media to demand that those people are held to some minimum human standard of behavior?

The human shields you refer to couldn't have done much for the shiites and kurds because they probably thought that Bush1 would protect them anyway. How wrong they all were.

 
At 6:40 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Kcom said...
No, that's not the contention above. Please read more carefully. The contention above is that there is very little coverage of the atrocities perpetrated by the other side on Iraqi non-combatants. And what coverage there is tends to be purely clinical, a laundry of list of incidents and numbers of deaths, with no moral component whatsoever.

Where is the exposé on the bombing of a pet market? Where are the interviews with survivors? Where are the calls for investigations? Why don't reporters who are known to have contacts with insurgent groups ask them hard questions about what they are doing and how they justify it? Where are the anti-war protesters with their signs in the streets saying "No more pet market bombings." Where are the discussions in foreign capitals and in the UN, and what resolutions have been passed about it? Where is there any effort whatsoever in the media to demand that those people are held to some minimum human standard of behavior?


So...the references to My Lai and Dresden etc were actually designed to confine the issue to Iraqi suicide bombings? Sorry I didn't get that.

What has the UN to do with it? Who will they pass a resolution against? They are discussing the deteriorating situation in Iraq though I assure you.
Perhaps you need to read a broader range of media. The press outside of the US has all that you ask for and more. Remember, Al Jazeera has been bombed twice, possibly for doing exactly what you are complaining about your press not doing.

The Palestinians and there supporters often ask why Israeli deaths get much more publicity in the west than Palestinian deaths at the hands of Israelis.

It's a funny old world isn't it?

 
At 6:51 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

OK neocons, serious question.

What is the function of a free press in a democracy?

 
At 7:03 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

http://www.dartcenter.org/articles/headlines/2004/2004_03_22.html

http://foi.missouri.edu/newsmgmtabroad/pwatchdog.html

http://www.cpj.org/Briefings/2004/DA_fall04/Iraq_Prothero_DA_fall04.html

Join the dots.

 
At 7:06 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

scapegoat?

 
At 7:06 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger Huan said...

the function of a free press in a free society is to inform.
not to sensationalize
not to judge
not to set/drive a political agenda
not to influence or manipulate

 
At 7:17 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger kcom said...

Sorry about the partial comment above. Blogger has been acting up on me.

(...continued)

The only answer that seems to make any sense to the above questions is that the media are firm believers in the "they can't help it department." Apparently, those poor little brown people have no control over their emotions and actions and therefore we can't expect them to abide by any decent standard of behavior. That would be asking too much so we won't even ask. So what if they blow up a pet market and kill a bunch of bird lovers, that doesn't bear any further examination or critical reaction.

Well, that's not how I see them. They are people of god, educated in many cases, and they are independent moral agents -- not children. They are responsible for what they do and the decisions they make. They can choose not to blow up a pet market or drag old men off a bus and murder them. Since they are perpetrating atrocities every single day that dwarf anything the Marines are accused of doing once last November you'd think there would be column inch after column inch discussing it and its moral implications.

You might expect that the pontificators would demand they obey the most basic of human standards in their conduct. Sure, it might not have any effect, but the point would be made and they would be held to moral account if nothing else. But, no, I guess it's just too much to expect to apply any standard of decency to the side committing the worst atrocities. We'll just catalogue their sins but not actually examine them or the moral implications of them. And if we have to make any sort of judgment, instead of condemning them, we'll use faintly admiring terms like "increasingly bold" and "increasingly brazen" instead of "increasingly barbaric" and "increasingly inhuman" (i.e. executing election workers in the street). Hell, we'll even give out prizes to those who document the atrocities as if it's an accomplishment to stand by and film someone's murder.

The human shields you refer to couldn't have done much for the shiites and kurds because they probably thought that Bush1 would protect them anyway. How wrong they all were.

First, that sentence doesn't make much sense, but to the extent that it does make some sense it's a transparent attempt to dodge the question by redirecting the argument to a completely separate topic. Let's stick to the actual point I made. Where were the human shields when the Marsh Arabs could have used their help in stopping Saddam from destroying their way of life? Where were the human shields when Saddam was massacring Shiites after the Gulf War and filling up even more mass graves? They were nowhere to be found.

Yet, when it looked like there might be an invasion of Iraq to remove Saddam and free those people from his oppression, suddenly the human shields sprouted again like mushrooms, in order to "protect" the Iraqi people and infrastructure. It would have all been very touching if it was true, but it was a lie. When they had a chance to establish their bona fides and show their true concern they were nowhere to be found.

And Bush (either one) had nothing to do with it. The human shield brigade showed before Desert Storm and before OIF that there were perfectly capable of acting independently of the US and independently of either of the George Bushes. They did nothing to oppose Saddam because they didn't want to. Because their concern for the Iraqi people was and is a sham. Any tears they purport to shed for them now are simply crocodile tears. And when the Iraqi peoples' use for propaganda purposes is at an end, they will be forgotten as quickly as they were noticed. If, as the stories above indicate, they haven't been already.

 
At 7:32 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger kcom said...

"So...the references to My Lai and Dresden etc were actually designed to confine the issue to Iraqi suicide bombings? Sorry I didn't get that."

I made no references to My Lai or Dresden and and those topics are not germane to the point I was making. Nor were they part of your response to me, so I'm not sure why you're bringing them up now. I hope it's not an attempt to change the subject again.

My point is quite simple. Why the double standard in assigning moral responsibility for atrocities committed in this war?

 
At 7:40 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Kcom..

the human shields were clearly and OVERTLY symbolic offerings to gain press attention for an issue that must obviously felt very strongly about.

They were never going to stop the bombings and I doubt whether any of them were deluded enough to think they were.

What possible good would standing between the shiite opr kurdish fighters and Saddam's Republican Guards have achieved when there were no press allowed in there anyway, even if they'd been allowed by Saddam there?

One of the issues that they were highlighting though was the targeting of infrastructure by US/Coalition forces. What good does blowing up water treatment and sewage treatment plants serve?

 
At 7:44 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger kcom said...

Another way to put it is that the United States has a system of laws to punish war crimes and atrocities and a political society that feels revulsion at them while those fighting against us exult in their successful conclusion and publicize them for all to see.

Yet, the moral opprobrium does not seem to fall along lines that accord with this fact. That's a mystery that I would hope someone could explain. Why will the events at Haditha remain in the news long after the pet market bombing (and a thousand similar and worse atrocities) are but a whisper in some newspaper archive? Are the people killed in the pet market not worth acknowledging and are the perpetrators of the crime not moral agents responsible for their conduct on this Earth? Who will speak against them? Where is the public revulsion? Where are the speeches? Where are the demands for accountability? Why the kid gloves? Why is there a difference?

 
At 7:47 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Well OK. Do you think the 3 links above may be 'germane'(sic) to your argument? Or the fact that foreign media agencies have come under pressure and possibly attack from the occupiers for doing what you are asking your press to do?


I don't know anyone outside the US that thinks that your media isn't pathetically biased toward or at least cowed into silence by your neocon heroes.

 
At 7:51 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger kcom said...

"the human shields were clearly and OVERTLY symbolic offerings to gain press attention for an issue that must obviously felt very strongly about."

So you are saying they didn't feel strongly about Saddam murdering ten of thousands of people and destroying the lives of hundreds of thousands more?

Do you see why I have a hard time taking them seriously? They are posers and narcissists with a political agenda that is more important to them than actually helping people. And if there is actual risk involved, as opposed to symbolic risk, they just run away. My admiration goes instead to all those taking real risks in Iraq today, including the US military, Iraqi politicians, doctors trying to provide medical services, tennis coaches, bird lovers, students, women who want to drive cars, electricians trying to restore infrastructure, etc., etc. They are the ones putting it on the line in a real way.

 
At 7:55 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

There are many differences.

Practicality(refer to the security links), newsworthiness (i.e. selling papers), not really knowing who to blame and not being able to find out, who do you demand avccountability of? And many more.

The US, as the aggressor and the occupying power will be under the most scrutiny as a matter of course. The peace and light rhetoric is in itself a reason to demand high standards.

The situation is clearly out of control and it is up to the people that started this to show some semblance of a plan to stop it. I have no reason whatsoever to be optimistic about their ability or their goodwill to do so. And it ain't your 'msm' that made me that way.

 
At 8:01 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

kcom.. they obviously thought they could do SOME good with limited opportunities. Just because they aren't omnipotent saints doesn't mean they are narcissistic or anything else. Many of them probably were complaining about Saddams butchery, as well as the crazy sanctions too.

Amnesty International does all these things and gets accused by the neocons of much the same as you are criticising these people for now.

I agree that the people on the ground there are worthy of our support, it doesn,t mean you have to criticise others to make that point.

The people trying to rebuild the infrastructure aren't getting much support though from your heroes though.

Where is the money going?

 
At 8:04 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger kcom said...

"Well OK. Do you think the 3 links above may be 'germane'(sic) to your argument?

You might want to un-sic that reference to germane. I understand that English might not be your first language so no harm done.

Or the fact that foreign media agencies have come under pressure and possibly attack from the occupiers for doing what you are asking your press to do?"

I'm not asking my press to do anything as much as I'm asking my society, and by that I mean the whole world, to do something. I'm asking them to notice all the people getting blown up at pet markets, and hauled of buses, and pulled out of cars for wearing tennis shorts, and shot for not wearing a veil, etc., etc., etc. and I'm asking them to apply to that the same moral opprobrium they apply to reports of US troops violating laws of war. I'm sure if they did, the situation in Iraq, and in the rest of the world, for that matter, would be vastly different.

But speaking of the press angle specifically, again what you say makes no sense. You're telling me that foreign media agencies have come under pressure (or would come under pressure) for interviewing people injured at the pet market and trying to assign moral responsibility for it? Please clarify that because I don't get it.

 
At 8:22 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger kcom said...

"The situation is clearly out of control and it is up to the people that started this to show some semblance of a plan to stop it. I have no reason whatsoever to be optimistic about their ability or their goodwill to do so. And it ain't your 'msm' that made me that way."

Again, you're changing the topic. We're talking about the moral responsibility in regards to atrocities and the holding to account of said perpetrators. That's Neo-Con's topic in this thread and that's the topic I'm addressing. And in case you haven't noticed, I haven't once mentioned the MSM. I'm talking about society in general and not any specific segment of it. And I'll just say it one more time -- where is the outrage and the questioning and the moral indignation about what the pet market bombers are doing? We do, and are right to, demand a certain level of behavior from our troops. That is as it should be. But what does it say about humanity that we apparently demand no minimum level of behavior from the pet market bombers? How can they do something like that and people in positions of moral and political and religious authority say nothing? Where is the outrage?

There were marches all over the world against apartheid. There were marches all over the world against the US intervention in Iraq. Where are the marches all over the world protesting the behavior of people blowing up pet markets, cutting of people's heads on videotape, destroying infrastructure (it's not like it's destroying itself), killing women for driving cars, killing doctors and professors and others trying to better peoples' lives, murdering ethnic minorities, bombing churches, blowing up children getting candy, destroying Muslim houses of God, and on and on and on. Were are those marches?

 
At 8:27 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

They might be killed if they complain to Muslims, kcom. Would you support such violence? It is after all, safe for CNN to criticize the US because the US won't incinerate their children. Can't say that for enemies of the US.

It is hard to win people's support when one side is weaker than the other.

In the end, people will not defend victims from terror because terroists will kill them and their children, and so they justify it as being the fault of people like kcom for suggesting that they do anything more that might jeapardize people's lives. It is not the terroist's that jeapordize people's lives, it is actions that provoke the terroists. The occupation must be focused upon, because the occupation is the enemy in perception, and not the terroists.

A weird form of Stockholm's Syndrome and denial. But it doesn't come from the victims and hostages themselves, unless you count those peace protestors (4) that got caught by terroists and were rescued by the military, and gave no thanks except to the terroists. But the people who live there obviously knows the evil of the insurgents.

People who don't have to deal with the insurgents on a daily basis, has more of a liberty to say that it is the fault of the US because they "started it".

The thinking is too twisted for non-invasive techniques, drastic measures are necessary for persuading their mind.

 
At 8:30 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Kcom...
But speaking of the press angle specifically, again what you say makes no sense. You're telling me that foreign media agencies have come under pressure (or would come under pressure) for interviewing people injured at the pet market and trying to assign moral responsibility for it? Please clarify that because I don't get it.


What makes sense is that the Occupying Power ie GWB and his band of merry men don't want the desperate situation in Iraq to be publicised. It looks bad for them and their 'cause'. Much better to blandly say that things are on the mend and publicise a fairly meaningless election and the formation of a cabinet that will be gone in 5 minutes anyway, while they manufacture a new crisis to divert attention.

And believe me, the rest of the world IS watching in outright horror. But how much horror in the media do you have until it means nothing to most people. It is a fact of life that people become immune to these things and sadly, it is already happening.

No offence intended but I think you have the media manipulation 100% about face.

 
At 8:30 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Most of them, kcom, are too shocked that they lost their boondogle in the Oil for Food scheme, so they are too busy trying to find some other way to get rich and power to protest in the streets against women and children being executed by the insurgents.

 
At 8:31 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger kcom said...

Oops, meant to say that's "Neo-Neocon's topic".

 
At 8:35 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Speaking from a psychological and propaganda perspective, no one is invulnerable to psychological and mental attacks, contrary to what Confud claims.

It is true that familiarity breeds contempt, but there are always ways to bypass that instinct in humanity. Those way should be obvious. If people can withstand a normal level of torture and pain, like Abu Ghraib, then just up the anty with Haditha and there is your solution to a person's immunity to standard pain.

 
At 8:36 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Ymar that is denying the reality of the situation. Nearly all the US press contingent is bunkered behind the green line and can only venture out when 'embedded' with troops.

If they have Stockholm syndrome they will be sympathetic to the hive of military 'press attaches' and their hours of numbing briefings on ordinance figures, sorties reports and other spin.

 
At 9:11 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger kcom said...

"What makes sense is that the Occupying Power ie GWB and his band of merry men don't want the desperate situation in Iraq to be publicised."

Again, not much sense there since the situation in Iraq is publicized every day. Even in this country. What would make sense is that if you're going to assign moral culpability (i.e. Haditha) then you ought to at least attempt to assign moral culpability to the bombing of a pet market. How it would be against US interests to show the nature of the enemy is beyond me.

"no offence intended but I think you have the media manipulation 100% about face."

You're the only one talking about media manipulation. I certainly am not. I'm talking about society, of which the media is a part but not the whole. In fact, if I remember correctly, I've spent more time talking about human shields than the media.

 
At 9:18 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Propaganda is not based upon reality, propaganda is about making perceptions that people have of reality. The inability to understand this basic technique of manipulation, is an example of how people don't know what they are talking about.

This applies as well to their colored views about Haliburton, Bush, terroism, Jews, and the Palestins.

 
At 9:19 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger kcom said...

Are you having Blogger problems, too?

 
At 9:21 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

To clarify the semi Stockholme Syndrome implication, i'll say this.

The media were gushing and positive when they were imbedded with US troops, as anyone could see watching the media report on the invasion of Iraq in OIF 1. When they started holeing up in their hotels, then they had no one else to be sympathetic to except the terroists, because it was the terroists attacking them and holding them within the Green Zone, and not the US troops.

There are people who aren't imbedded with US troops, like Vincent, but they died. This threat covers and makes sure the reporters do not report the truth. And even if the reporters do report the truth, the ABC, the BBC, Al-Reuters, Al-Jaazera, and the AP will be there to make sure the truth disappears.

And that is what I mean when I say semi Stockholme Syndrome.

 
At 9:37 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Oh OK Ymar, so, you aren't ACTUALLY talking about Stockholm syndrome, you are talking about something quite opposite (I think) but CALLING IT Stockholm Syndrome.

Clear as mud.

 
At 9:42 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

kcom:

You will never get an honest answer from Confudeforeigner about why there is no opprobrium directed at the terrorists for one simple reason: he does not harbor any outrage against the acts of the terrorists; he supports them. He and his ilk, though they will deny it vehemently, do not want Western society to survive as-is. They would prefer a socialist global federation run by people like themselves, who, of course, know what's best for the rest of us.

You will see it in the constant redirection of the conversation to the "atrocities" of Israelis against the "Palestinians", of the "rampant imperialism" of the U.S. throughout the rest of the world, etc., etc. ad infinitum.

You are just the latest in a long line of people suckered into allowing him to pontificate.

 
At 9:46 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

OK but the media, particularly in the US where there is no not for profit mainstream media, reports on what people want to hear or what they are manipulated to report.

I agree that society doesn't place equal values on dead people and atrocities. It is where this knowledge leads us that we part.

I would contend that the US media with the outright wilfull agreement of the public place Israeli lives at a far greater value than arab lives. (Helmet on)

And yes, I have had trouble posting.

BTW I would contend that it is you that doesn't speak English as a first language.

Spell colour and cheque for me.

And then write me 300 words on the difference between irony and paradox.

Just kidding :-)

 
At 10:04 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger kcom said...

Maybe you're right. Maybe I "doesn't speak" English as a first language.

 
At 10:05 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger kcom said...

Oops, never mind! :)

 
At 10:28 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger kcom said...

"And believe me, the rest of the world IS watching in outright horror."

You'll excuse me if I don't take your word for what the entire rest of the world thinks.

"I don't know anyone outside the US that thinks that your media isn't pathetically biased toward or at least cowed into silence by your neocon heroes."

Well, I know at least one person outside the US that thinks that even though I have only made the acquaintance of a relative handful of the other 6 billion people in the world so you'll excuse me if I don't take your experience in this area as definitive either.

And as a general rule I'm suspicious of arguments that begin by telling me what the whole world thinks.

(And also, just for clarification, one time insomuch as it's a cheap little debating trick that only warrants one mention, I have no "neocon heroes". Others might, perhaps, but I don't, so you can drop that little pretension, at least when you're speaking directly to me.)

What I do have enough experience to know, though, is how pathetically misinformed (despite their belief otherwise) many Europeans* are about all sorts of aspects of American life. Some are comical and amusing but some are not. So I'm also a little suspsicious of "most people" arguments, especially when it comes to Europeans, even if it's true that "most people" in Europe believe something. That large numbers of people believe something has no direct bearing on whether it's actually true or not. Plenty of people have believed plenty of silly things over the years.

* I have no idea what your nationality is so this is not a direct comment on you.

 
At 11:00 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I don't expect Confud to understand the complexities of the argument when someone says "people act like they have a form Stockholme Syndrome", not even when I explain what form that it takes.

People who don't know basic logic, who can't operate basic arguments, don't have the ability to tell clear from translucent and translucent from opaque.

There might be some benefit to others, which is why I clarify my positions. Beyond what is necessary.

A more advanced form of Stockhome Syndrome is how Confud can both be for the terroists and against the terroists. This kind of tug of war must be quite intricate a complex of self-rationalities and false justifications wrapped around a self-deceptive core.

Threats from terroists that they will execute children, is part of the Stockhome Syndrome. The person who has the power to punish, is seen as the pack leader, and is to be obeyed without thought. Thus the media and Confud obey the dictates of terrorism, in the one respect where terrorism requires obedience.

You Must Attack the United States at all costs. That is the dictate of terrorism. And it don't matter to them if they blow up an Iraqi child, that to them is still attacking America through propaganda, guilt, and mental attacks.

But another aspect exists. Confud does not obey terrorism, and yet he does obey terrorism when he isn't obeying terrorism. Thus the intricacy. How do you know what is in Schroedinger's Box and not know what is in his box at the same time? Quantum Mechanics helps us delve within this intricacy of alternative realities and rationalities.

Kcom is venting, stumbley. That is the closest approximation that I can see of his motives. He, like most classical liberals (which includes people like me and neo neo con) will no longer tolerate the support and appeasement of fascism and the torture of children.

Anyone who tries to get in our way, has gone beyond simple disagreement. Some things ought not to be tolerated. Intolerance should not be tolerated.

 
At 11:04 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Well, we are generalizing of necessity. I'd taken that as a given but maybe I should have said something like "my general impression is that the majority of people outside the US". But then I'd never get any work done.

I'm an Australian, but don't tell Ymar, you'll spoil his fun, but I travel with work a lot. I've spent a lot of time in the states over the years too and have family on both coasts. I only live in Australia for part of the year.

OK (on the neocon heros) I'd assumed you were one of them. Welcome to the board then comrade.

(That's a little dig at Stumbley)

 
At 11:06 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Confud used certain phrases and mannerisms that only the British use. Then Confud used the word "mate".

nobody's fun is ruined when Confud now admits after much protest, that he is from Australia. It is pretty obvious to anyone that can do basic pattern analysis.

 
At 11:13 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

kcom and ariel...


You can clearly see what happens as above from Stumbley and Yfronts can't you?

Tiring, sickening, childish. Can't argue just point their grubby little fingers.

And Stumbley, I thought you were boycotting me. It was better that way.

 
At 2:35 AM, June 06, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

I think the human shields are an interesting case- but for a slightly different reason.
They stand up against the United States and other countries that they know to be 'civilized' in their warmaking. If they did not believe this to be so, they wouldn't go, as I think all have agreed upon previously. This discounts their intentions not at all. You won't see them be shields for the Afghani's under the Taliban, or in China, or North Korea, or the Sudan, not only because they wouldn't have access to some of these places, but also because they understand that it would be pointless against those who are not 'civilized' in warmaking or who do not treat human rights with seriousness. Their very selection of who to be shields against actually is an indicator of who ARE concerned about the safety of innocents and human rights. Ironic, no?

It also brings to mind Ghandi. His positions on civil disobedience and non-violence are often misunderstood. This bit seems to get left out-
"I do believe that, where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence. Thus when my eldest son asked me what he should have done, had he been present when I was almost fatally assaulted in 1908, whether he should have run away and seen me killed or whether he should have used his physical force, which he could and wanted to use, and defended me, I told him it was his duty to defend me even by using violence Hence it was that I took part in the Boer War, the so-called Zulu Rebellion, and the late war. Hence also do I advocate training in arms for those who believe in the method of violence. I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honor than that she should in a cowardly manner become or remain a helpless witness to her own dishonor.

But I believe that nonviolence is infinitely superior to violence..."


the rest available here

the point being that Ghandi understood that civil disobedience would work against the British, because they were civil, but would not work in other situations. We should heed his lessons, and understand who the enemies of civil order, and thus of true peace are.

 
At 4:52 AM, June 06, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Fair point, but if you have no empathy, it is a worthless exercise. Seriously.

A civilized nation may not be governed by civilized individuals also.

Just a thought.

 
At 4:53 AM, June 06, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

douglas: They [the "human shields"] stand up against the United States and other countries that they know to be 'civilized' in their warmaking.

What's even more interesting, to my mind, is how this realization is used by the latest breed of terrorists and terrorist-supporters (both witting and unwitting), who see this very decency as both a shield and a weapon against such civilized cultures. This is what leads them to use ambulances as military transports, for example, and leads their apologists in the West to make bald-faced denials of such usage. It leads them to use mosques, schools and hospitals as military bases and store houses, with the simple but effective idea that, even if such targets are eventually attacked, the terrorist enablers around the world will condemn the response not the use. It leads them to use women and children as military scouts, with the same idea that the West's very decency will be their shield, or their propaganda weapon should the shield fail. And it leads them and their Western supporters to make sick, cynical use of every moral failing of the West as an opportunity to push for the defeat and retreat of the West.

(Re: Haditha, for example, notice that even if the allegations are borne out, the incident would just be standard operating procedure for the thugs that confud and his like consider to be heroic freedom-fighters. The only thing that makes it an issue at all is the very moral superiority of the West, the superiority that Western terrorist-apologists work strenuously to deny.)

 
At 5:39 AM, June 06, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

So, we're back to good vs evil and black vs white. Tiring.

Read the IDF report on the nonexistant "well debunked" massacres yet Sally?

Here's something a bit shorter for you.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/anomalous/138519847/

Heroic eh? These are the thugs that you apologize for and more.

 
At 5:49 AM, June 06, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig4/bovard1.html

 
At 8:08 AM, June 06, 2006, Blogger kcom said...

As far as I can see, unless you're referring to some earlier comment of hers, she's not standing up for anyone committing atrocities. She's merely point out that committing atrocities is the standard operating procedure of the people we are fighting against. Yet, they get very little in the way of scrutiny regarding that fact.

 
At 8:28 AM, June 06, 2006, Blogger kcom said...

It brings to mind the old joke about the drunk man and the car keys. (adpated from this version).

- - - -
A drunk was crawling about on the sidewalk under a lamppost at night.

A police officer came up to him and inquired, "What are you doing?"

The drunk replied, "I'm looking for my car keys."

The officer looked around in the lamplight, then asked the drunk, "I don't see any car keys. Are you sure you lost them here?"

The drunk replied, "No, I lost them over there", and pointed to an area of the sidewalk deep in shadow.

"Well, if you lost them over there, why are you looking over here?"

"Because the light is better over here."
- - - - -

I understand that it's easier to look where the light is (America, Israel) and, in fact, I grant that you might actually find something there. Maybe a couple of key rings even. What I don't understand is why people want to completely ignore the mountain of key rings that are a little ways off in the shadows. Perhaps they don't want to look there because they are drunk on something, too.

 
At 8:29 AM, June 06, 2006, Blogger cakreiz said...

Neo- I haven't read the comments so pardon me if I'm repetitive. While I agree generally that the anti-war drumbeat of the MSM hampers a war's prosecution, it is a known, post-Vietnam. An administration must consider it as part of the calculus as to whether to go to War, regardless of whether it's unfair. I don't have much sympathy for anyone who downplays or ignores it.

I'm also reluctant to blame the MSM for the war's stalemate. US voters are long-suffering if they believe that it's a necesssary fight and there's a winning strategy in place. The Administration occasionally addresses necessity; it rarely mentions winning strategy. There are no benchmarks to measure the "Iraqis must stand up" strategy. So instead, we get anecdotal evidence: roadside bombings, roaming sectarian militias, weak Iraqi training, etc. It's difficult to blame the MSM for this when there are no parameters in place to measure success. My question is: assume an imaginary gag order was issued preventing negative news by the MSM. Would we have a winning strategy in place in Iraq? After 3 years, no one knows.

 
At 8:57 AM, June 06, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

I understand that it's easier to look where the light is (America, Israel) and, in fact, I grant that you might actually find something there. Maybe a couple of key rings even. What I don't understand is why people want to completely ignore the mountain of key rings that are a little ways off in the shadows. Perhaps they don't want to look there because they are drunk on something, too.

9:28 AM, June 06, 2006

The fact is that America and Israel are the 2 countries attacking and occupying others right now.

I don't see either country as any sort of light while the neocons are in charge and any significant proportion votes for them. Civilized countries don't kill thousands of civilians for money and/or oil. And civilized countries don't let their leaders rob their treasuries, for 2 terms.

Are you defending Sally? She has made the statement that civilian victims of US bombings are are responsible for their own demise. She has also denied the Chatila and Sabra massacres.

Defend her all you like but I'll offer you a pearl too.

If you lie down with dogs, you'll get fleas.

If you're happy to be identified with some of these ultranationalist extremists, then good luck to you. You'll need it.

I'd rather stay in the middle and out of the asylums of the ultraright or left thanks. That little chickenhawk of yours has a bad habit of getting in my face though.

How much cash can the world bank disappear in 5 years dyareckon?

 
At 9:09 AM, June 06, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

cakreiz: I don't have much sympathy for anyone who downplays or ignores it [the "anti-war drumbeat of the MSM"].

I don't know who or what is downplaying or ignoring it -- the point of neo's post here and of many other posts and comments is precisely the opposite: to emphasize and highlight it. The reason to do that is simply to point out that such a drumbeat, whether a "known" or not, saps the morale of the people who must do the actual fighting, undermines the support for those people among the general populace, and generally hampers the prosecution of a just war. The other factor in this -- and what makes the MSM "drumbeat" so much worse -- is the degree to which the terrorists and their more conscious sympathizers rely upon the Western media to further their own war aims, using the West's own sense of decency as a guilt-club with which to beat it.

To say that such a demoralizing and defeatist drumbeat is simply a post Vietnam "known" comes close to excusing it, and I don't have much sympathy for those who do that.

 
At 9:37 AM, June 06, 2006, Blogger Jason H. Bowden said...

Confud --

If there is no good or evil, what is the basis of your complaint? If supporting liberal democracy in Iraq is equivalent to suicide bombing civilians in a market or eating ice cream, why do you persist in arguing about it?

If you have a conscience, deep down you know what the terrorists are doing is wrong. It is one thing to criticize America for not always being consistent with its liberal ideals. It is another thing entirely to oppose its ideals, which is what the terrorists and you at times are doing.

 
At 9:51 AM, June 06, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Just for the record, and for any who may be new here, this:

She has made the statement that civilian victims of US bombings are are responsible for their own demise. She has also denied the Chatila and Sabra massacres.

... is a simple and outright lie.

 
At 10:31 AM, June 06, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

The issue as I see it is that Haditha (if true), My Lai and Abu Ghraib are aberrations, not standard practice. The were identified by people in the military itself, and ultimately, those who were guilty were punished. The acts of the terrorists (bombings, beheadings) are standard practice, a tactic, designed to induce fear and demoralize the Iraqi populace and the American public.

It is asymmetric warfare, and it succeeds, as others have said, due to the very morality of the military and the nation it's used against. And I find it absolutely repellent that there are those who cannot or will not condemn it, while pointing to the anomalies of American mistakes. That's playground debate: "Yes, I gave Janey a bloody nose, but she stepped on my toe." The two are not equivalent.

 
At 3:10 PM, June 06, 2006, Blogger kcom said...

"I don't see either country as any sort of light while the neocons are in charge and any significant proportion votes for them."

Please, you really ought to work on your reading comprehension skills. Or your analogy skills. The light referred to above clearly is not analogous to the country itself, it represents the ease with which questions can be asked and an actual investigation done. The US has procedures and a tradition in place (the light) to investigate what happened. As many others have pointed out, Abu Ghraib came to light when it was reported by the US military. Meanwhile, no one is even bothering to look into the pet market bombing (the shadow).

Are you going to hold your breath waiting for the Association of Muslim Scholars to come out with a report laying out how that incident came about and how they are going to punish the perpetrators? That's what I mean by light and shadow. Because it's relatively easy to investigate what US soldiers might have done we'll be all over that, but when it comes to any probe into why a guy buying a bird got killed there's no interest because it's just too hard. The questions won't even be asked. You said as much yourself in an earlier entry:"...not really knowing who to blame and not being able to find out, who do you demand accountability of?").

Just because it's hard doesn't mean it shouldn't be done. My beef is that the world isn't even asking anyone to do it. Where is the outrage and where is the demand that the people targeting pet markets stop? Why is it that no one even calls them on it? If the world actually gave a sh*t about human rights, it would. Isn't that what the new Human Rights Council is all about? It seems to me that sawing someone's head off might be a violation of their human rights. Where are the hearings and resolutions on that one?

That's the context I'll understand Haditha in. The US military, being composed of fallible human beings, is not and will never be immune from the possibility of committing war crimes. But it doesn't make them it's standard operating procedure and it punishes transgressions when it finds them. There is no comparison to an enemy that conversely, and I would say perversely, celebrates and exults in committing atrocities. All you have to do is read their press releases. And the beauty of it for them is that they are never even called on to uphold the most minimal of human standards no matter what they do. In fact, most of the time there's someone out there ready to explain and justify their behavior. It's a great gig if you can get it.

"Civilized countries don't kill thousands of civilians for money and/or oil."

I'll have to remember that one for the time when we actually get into a discussion about a war where a country is killing thousands of civilians for money or oil. Wait, I think that's what Saddam was doing in Kuwait. You want to talk about that now?

Are you defending Sally?

No, I'm having a conversation with you. I don't know Sally.

Defend her all you like but I'll offer you a pearl too.

See above.

I don't own any neo-cons or chickenhawks. Your cute little references to such things are tiresome, and in my opinion beneath you, since they interrupt the flow of your argument. You'd be a much better debater without them. Sure, you'd have less fun, but then you aren't one of those political narcissists I referred to earlier, are you?

 
At 3:25 PM, June 06, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

To Kcom. Confud read something that Sally said about civilian casualties in Iraq and jumped to his extremist and prejudiced conclusion that anyone who disagrees with him concerning pivotal focal matters are warmongers and neo-con extremists.

What sally said was simply that a government is responsible for their civilians in war time, that any civilians the US is forced to kill in Iraq was the fault of those who did not allow those civilians to evacuate. Japan's civilian casualties were Japan's fault, because they did not surrender, not Truman's fault. Confud sees this, as all justified and rational arguments made by classical liberal neo-conservatives, as proof positive that Confud's prejudices are correct.

Since sally didn't explain it, I thought I'd do it for her.

Stumb,

No, that's not playground debate, that's asymmetrical warfare. Using your strengths against their weaknesses. If they hit you on the toe cause they have a strong kick, then you hit them with your fist because your arm is stronger. Thereby making the justification, "I hit her in the nose because she kicked me in my foot", valid.

Why do people insist on seeing terroist tactics as fundamentally different from what people see on internet arguments? They both use fundamental principles that are the same.

Take this for example by Confud

The fact is that America and Israel are the 2 countries attacking and occupying others right now.


The fact is that the person who stomped on my toe hurt my toe, therefore I'm going to use my strength against her weaknesses. It is quite the same kind of thinking after all that the terroists themselves ascribe to logically.

What is so different about the argument that it is the US's fault that people die in Iraq because the US started the mess in Iraq, from the terroist propaganda that the US can be made to feel guilty because they care about civilians?

Cak seems to act like he requires marching orders from the administration, in order to figure out what is a winning strategy, what solutions are good, and what things will benefit people.

Why don't people find their own winning strategies, like what I did, instead of demanding and complaining that Bush hasn't given them one.

I had believed that we lived in a country where the government is for the people by the people, in which I assumed that the people were the ones that would dictate the strategy, not Bush the President.

I have no problems with people that are curious and want to know what Bush is up to in the war, but that is entirely different than saying what cak did, that he knew nothing about what was going on unless Bush told him.

No one knows the winning strategy because they are too busy bitching about the problem rather than finding the solutions for themselves, to be blunt. America is the country it is because the people dictate what is tolerable or intolerable in victory and defeat. It is they that fight wars and win them, not the generals or the presidents.

If America don't know how to win, that's the fault of Americans. But Americans do know how to win. The problem is, an equal amount claim that they don't know how to win because Bush hasn't told them. If America's highest point is relying on someone like Bush to do their thinking for them, no wonder cak believes nobody knows the winning strategy.

Whenever there is a military meeting between the senior and junior officers of a company, you have the Captain drawing comments and thoughts from the LTs. If an LT criticizes a strategy that the Captain favors, then that LT will be heard. The Captain, however, will ask the LT if he has anything better. If the LT does not have anything better, the Captain will still go with the plan he favors regardless of the criticism.

It is the job of Americans to give Bush a better plan, if they don't like what plan he currently has. If Americans can't find a better plan, then they should find a politician or general that has a better plan and convince him to lead.

I've already said here and at bookworm's site where Bush has gone wrong and where he can improve. Bush prefers to do it his own way, that being his decision to make.

I'm not angry at cak for believing or doing as he does with the war. This war is bigger than cak, or me, or even Bush. Cak can do or believe as he wills concerning the war, but that does not make it behavior befitting a citizen of the United States in war time.

It's been 3 years. Plenty of time for people to learn war tacics, strategy, and logistics and form their own winning strategies. It is not Bush's fault or my fault that they don't make use of the internet to enlighten themselves. Maybe they're too busy to learn about war when their job takes 45 hours a week to do, but then again maybe Bush is too busy to listen to people who don't have any solutions.

I know I don't tend to listen to people who just complain and offer nothing better.

 
At 3:30 PM, June 06, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

Your cute little references to such things are tiresome, and in my opinion beneath you, since they interrupt the flow of your argument. You'd be a much better debater without them. Sure, you'd have less fun, but then you aren't one of those political narcissists I referred to earlier, are you?


You are just the latest in a long line of people suckered into allowing him to pontificate.

 
At 3:48 PM, June 06, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I don't believe "cute" is the right description for such prejudices.

 
At 3:55 PM, June 06, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Jason H. Bowden said...
Confud --

If there is no good or evil, what is the basis of your complaint? If supporting liberal democracy in Iraq is equivalent to suicide bombing civilians in a market or eating ice cream, why do you persist in arguing about it?

If you have a conscience, deep down you know what the terrorists are doing is wrong. It is one thing to criticize America for not always being consistent with its liberal ideals. It is another thing entirely to oppose its ideals, which is what the terrorists and you at times are doing.

10:37 AM, June 06, 2006


Yes Jason, I know what the terrorists are doing is wrong and I am 100% against them. I don't know who they are though, so my condemning them means 2/5 of FA.

You're a smart guy Jason and I understand that you are proud of your country as is your right. I am proud of my country too, but it doesn't mean that a) I don't have the right to loathe John Howard and his band of crooks with all my being and b) that I have to support his military adventures or any other thing that he has done, and it's my right to say so. I'll support my country but I won't idly sit by and watch crooks pervert patriotism to nationalism whilst lining their own pockets and creating a business opportunity for their cronies. And I won't support individual leaders in my country in the 'right or wrong' style thanks.

All this freedom and democracy for the middle east is bs and they're not really even pretending anymore. It's less than lip service.

As I said jason, you're a smart guy. Follow the money.

 
At 4:00 PM, June 06, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Ahem,
you people need to look at the time line of the Haditha investigation I think.

 
At 4:40 PM, June 06, 2006, Blogger kcom said...

"As I said jason, you're a smart guy. Follow the money."

Always a great start to any conspiracy theory. :)

 
At 5:13 PM, June 06, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

This might be of interest to some:

http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?f882c1b8-aa42-431f-83a6-0066e7629ace

"Notably, Kimber says he heard nothing about a civilian massacre during weekly meetings with the Haditha City Council and talks with local leaders. "It would have been huge, there would have been no question it would have filtered down to us," he said. "We reported no significant atmospheric change as a result of that day." "

 
At 5:37 PM, June 06, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Obviously no one reported an atmospheric change because the bs artists in the US government made some threats.

This is my sign in word

ymakqrx that I wrote in just now. Even the deadly neo-cons are in on this, I tell ya.

 
At 7:08 PM, June 06, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

kcom said...
"As I said jason, you're a smart guy. Follow the money."

Always a great start to any conspiracy theory. :)


It's all there in black and white, hidden in plain sight. It is so obvious that you can't believe it.

Just wrap it in a flag and you can sell turds to farm boys.

 
At 7:28 PM, June 06, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

That was an interesting link, stumbley, thanks.

Whatever the doubts at this point, though, it's well to remember that atrocities can be committed by anyone, including the US (in which case, it should go without saying [but, like neo, I'll say it anyway], the perpetrators should be brought to justice). Of all the armed forces of any country, however, those of the US are among the least likely to be involved in such incidents, owing to the trained professionalism of their all-volunteer force.

One thing does concern me now, though -- can you just imagine the level of shock, horror, and disbelief, the howls of agony, the tearing of hair, the rending of garments, the terrible gnashing of teeth displayed by distraught lefties if it should eventually be shown that Haditha was NOT a US atrocity after all?! Their hopes dashed after being so cruelly raised!! Oh, the humanity!

 
At 8:04 PM, June 06, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

It wouldn't matter if Haditha proved to be untrue. The damage would have been done.

Just imagine Plame and RatherGate, except multiplied by 600 times the length.

Blackfive has a good video with that reporter in stumb's link.

Vid

 
At 8:47 PM, June 06, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

Sally, as Ymar says, it won't matter anyway. The "not guilty" verdict will be a "whitewash" or "coverup", and it will go into the lexicon of the left as another Jenin.

If true, I agree, the perpetrators should be punished to the fullest extent. Our military MUST be above such things.

 
At 9:02 PM, June 06, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

The problem isn't that the military will go soft on the people. The problem is that the military will be motivated to throw innocent people under the bus and use more death sentences against people who don't deserve it. Either way, justice is not served.

Giving criminals what they don't deserve is just as bad as giving them more than they deserve.

The reason why punishing innocent people is a bad thing, is because that is an injustice. It is wrong to give people more than they deserve in the way of punishment. And it is also wrong to give people less than they deserve in the way of punishment, let's say zero jail for child molestors.

There have been several incidents in the past 3 years that the military has crushed soldiers who were alleged to have done something, but in actuality had done nothing. Their careers were wrecked, their ranks stripped, their honor stolen and stomped upon.

Those who the military could not prosecute with any guarantee of conviction, they kicked out of the army with an honorable discharge.

The danger is not that the military will go soft on the accused, the danger and the all too possible probability, is that the military will crush more innocents than guilty in their zealousness to "be above such things".

Thus, the insurgents and the media make you do their dirty work for them. Since they can't destroy Marines, they get you to do it for them, and it matters not to them that you do it because they are "above such things" while the terroists do it because they are "below such things". If the end result is death, then it does not matter the means by which itw as accomplished.

Victory at all costs, if you recall.

 
At 9:15 PM, June 06, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

The military isn't afraid of the enemy. They are no longer being taken captive on "supply convoy ambushes" like before. Terroists is not what the Marines fear.

Dishonor by the media is what the Marines fear, and rightfully so.

Because while the enemy may take your life, the media will take your honor. And to a Marine, his honor is indeed worth more than his own life.

 
At 12:58 AM, June 07, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

Confude, you have said in the past that you are more widely read than we neos (I'm not even sure that label applies to me though). Have you read Michael Yon?

Perhaps you should. It might help with your polarized world view. What's that? We black/white folks are the polarized ones? Because we see black and white doesn't preclude seeing gray. Your world of gray is really a twisting of the lenses into a reactionary gray fog of nothingness.

I think a critical point is being missed here. What is the pragmatic effect of playing the Haditha incident out in Abu Ghraib fashion, whether it is true or not?
The reality is that by now, the terrorists are already plotting how they can either get previous incidents of collateral damage reposited as atrocity, or manufacture more of these events. The more this becomes a club used by one side of the political spectrum to beat the other, they will pick it up and make it as wicked an instrument as possible- happily killing many more Iraqis in the process if they can blame it on US troops. I'm not saying the incident should never have seen the light of day and been covered up in the interest of the war effort (though I believe one could make a principled argument for that approach), but that it should be investigated, and reported on matter of factly, in proportion to it's true import in the context of the larger picture so that a new media weapon isn't handed to the terrorists. If it is unnecessarily played up and expanded beyond it's true significance, there is some blood on the hands of those who do so.

That said, a complete investigation should be carried out, including exhumation and examination of the bodies, and if those Marines are guilty, they should be punished severely. If not, the incident should be left behind. Those who would have it linger are tools in the terrorists hands.

Atrocities occurred in WWII by Allied troops. Did that make the war effort less important? If not, then one who is claiming that Haditha shows how we are unjust (systemically) is being inconsistant in their logic, or worse, is USING THE DEATHS OF INNOCENTS to push an agenda. I'd hate to believe that is really the case.

 
At 1:22 AM, June 07, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

Believe it.

 
At 7:46 AM, June 07, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

The military usually conducts investigations and keeps both the preliminary and evidential results sealed, as if the rape shield laws affected everyone in the military. Nobody in the chain of command, although perhaps not including the president but surely including the SecDef, are not allowed to comment in anyway concerning ongoing investigations. This is designed not to taint the procedures and the preliminary results. If a LT is conducting the investigation, and a superior officer suggests that he wants the findings to be positive, then this is undue influence by the chain of command. hence the sealed orders.

The military is perfectly capable of sealing the investigation to enemy propaganda, and still conducting the investigation. However, without the iron hand of the powers of the Presidency crushing the global media and Congress, there is no way that the military can keep secure information that Congressmen like Murtha blares out onto the air ways.

It is not a choice between a cover up and between demoralization of the troops and the homefront through an investigation. This Catch 22 is what all conscientious and competent propagandists seek to produce, but that does not mean it describes all the possibilities in reality itself. There are always loopholes that can provide an escape.

 
At 9:52 AM, June 07, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

The reason why the police doesn't just announce everything they find off the bat is because this taints the investigation.

Who wants to bet that the people at Haditha refused to allow Navy investigators to dig up the bodies, in order to give time to local insurgents to dig those bodies up and shoot them full of captured and black market M4s and M16s that they procured?

This ain't CSI. Or if it is CSI, the CSI team is working for the insurgents.

 
At 10:30 AM, June 07, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

douglas: great link. I just came to it today.

An interesting quote from Yon's article:

"A smart Australian recently told me during an interview that “terrorist” is not a subjective term; after all, terror is their principle weapon, and so the term is accurate."

Apparently, there really IS at least one, despite what we've been led to believe.

 
At 11:04 AM, June 07, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

A lot of Australians can't defend themselves because they would get charged with assault. Aussie land has banned handguns and anything other "excessive retaliation" in self-defense.

So what the women do to stay safe, is to bring along mace cans, bats, and etc in their homes and to carry.

In Australia, if someone attacks you with his fists and he is 300 pounds, 6'2, and you're a woman that is 90 pounds 5'2 who uses a knife to kill the assailant, you can be charged with manslaughter or assault yourself.

Why? Simply because you "exceeded" the force levels the state will allow you. If you use a baseball bat to beat on someone using only his fists against you, that is called excessive force and is not covered by the self-defense laws in Aussie land. Assuming any self-defense laws exist there.

See it doesn't really matter to the judges and the government if you are 90 pounds and can't fight fist to fist with a 300 pound 6 foot man. They don't care. Just as they don't care if they confiscate your home with Eminent Domain here in the US. They can do it, therefore they will.

So sure, you won't be murdered by firearms compared to the United States. However, living under the tyranny and terror of unjust laws and the rule of criminals and judges is not my idea of liberty either.

Criminals will always pump iron so that they can pick on weaker people, they will always band together to form gangs and groups that outnumber the "mark". Disarming everyone, simply gives the advantage to the enemy, because the enemy is on the attack and he will always bring a superior force to the equation.

A person trained in the use of a gun is a great equalizer when 3 hooligans begin to oppress that person.

Go here for a story about how a former Marine kicked 4 criminals' ass, two armed with guns at that, because the Marine was trained and hardcore at the ready to do unto others before they do unto him

Aussies are living under the threat of constant violence. Not from the US, but by their own warlords. you should feel pity for such a condition. As anyone would feel pity for New orleans, when Ray I wanna confiscate guns Nagin stole people's ability to defend themselves and allowed rioters, rapists, looters free reign in the city.

If you are attacked by superior numbers, people who have planned to do harm to you and have chosen the location of battle with the intent of surrounding you and bashing your skull into the ground, then your only hope is to break their morale. You break their morale by shooting one of them in the balls with your gun so that he goes screaming off to fairy land, stunning and shocking his com-patriots. If you don't have a gun, you pick the meanest and toughest leader amongst the group and you take him down by crushing his wind pipe, exploding his eye, shattering his temple, and breaking his knee in whatever order the situation presents itself. The only hope a small number of people on the defense has against a greater number of attacks is to ATTACK.

Nobody wins a fight just parrying and blocking blows, attack hard enough and furiously enough and you will buy time to either escape or disable others.

The Australians see this "self-defense as an attack strategy" as being unlawful. The person who attacked you with the bat is the victim here, if you reply with a gun, because it just ain't "fair" you know. That is the legal philosophy of Australia, and it has had untoward effects in the culture.

 
At 7:51 PM, June 07, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Yfronts,

you do realise that inventing things about which you no nothing just makes youi like a bigger idiot don't you?

 
At 7:53 PM, June 07, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

umm....know....not no.

?????

 
At 7:59 PM, June 07, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Douglas,

if you want to spend all your days reading opeds from clearly right wing journalists, up to you.

I actually have not mentioned Haditha much at all. I'm quite fond of habeas corpus, thanks, for everyone. Clearly your chickenhawk clique isn't, except for themselves of course and even then only when caught.

 
At 8:02 PM, June 07, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

The only big idiot is Ymir. Ymar and Sakar are quite smart if we may say so ourselves.

 
At 8:37 PM, June 07, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

OK Ymar, what are these "untoward effects" you are pontificating on?

You'd better clarify which criminal code and which jursidiction you are talking about first though. Wise to be accurate after all.

 
At 10:48 PM, June 07, 2006, Blogger The probligo said...

Neo, rather than clutter your site and this thread with Y's nonsense I have posted my response at the probligo's place...

www.probligo.blogspot.com

 
At 3:56 AM, June 08, 2006, Blogger cakreiz said...

Cak can do or believe as he wills concerning the war, but that does not make it behavior befitting a citizen of the United States in war time.

Never been accused of this before, Ymarsakar. Vietnam era vet, two time Bush voter and a war supporter who is thrilled that Al Zarqawi was killed last night. So kindly don't make assumptions about my politics just because I question whether we have a winning strategy.

My criticism is aligned with Powell and Scowcroft's- questioning whether it's possible to mend the sectarian divide to create a peaceful, stable Iraq. That's up for grabs, although Zarqawi's timely demise may aid the process. Jason started this thread off by saying that we're using our military "as a quasi-police force." The question is how do we attain our goal of peace. Thus far, our strategies to do so has been haphazard, largely due to the complexities of Iraqi society. Couple that with insufficient troop levels, roving militias and porous borders aiding the insurgents (Iraq, Syria), and it's a very tough mix. (Yes, I'd put more troops in.)

Part of the reason that Powell was a reluctant warrior was because he recognized that the sheer number of factors would make victory very elusive. He couldn't identify winning strategies at the outset (I don't know why you suggest that I should have them if Powell didn't.) You're right though- the war is bigger than me or Bush-and hopefully something good will come of it.

 
At 6:34 AM, June 08, 2006, Blogger cakreiz said...

Which reminds me, Neo- you're consistently a class act who never degrades others. The rest of us need to look to your sterling example when making comments. It's very possible to vehemently disagree with someone's positions without attacking their person.

 
At 3:10 PM, June 08, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

What I mean, is that behaving in the manner in which I described is not befitting a citizen of the United States in war time. To remake the point, for everyone's benefit.

The behavior I am describing had nothing to do with who served in what unit in Vietnam, it had nothing to do with being a Republican or a Democrat, it had nothing to do with who voted for whom.

In fact, I precisely described how cak acts is not the foremost concern that I had. My foremost concern, the one that angers me, is the common behavior pattern of humans. Other people.

The common behavior pattern being, that they don't find solutions of their own, that they don't have anything better as a plan. Specifically, behaving as if the Administration were there to give them marching orders, and that without those orders nothing would get accomplished. This is the behavior that I did not approve of.

How this relates to you, cak, is only a secondary matter. It could only apply to you as to what you said in your first comment, in which you offered no solution nor a position implying specific personal modifications of the strategy. While at the same time saying the administration is negligent for not providing a strategy or parameters. I will further make the point that Bush has already decided on a strategy, and since it isn't more troops, it is a strategy that you don't like. While it is true Bush doesn't broadcast this out, Bush is not a media mogul like Trump or an actor like Reagan and Schwarzenegger. Whether Bush tells the public his strategy or not, the military obviously has a clear chain of command and clear orders.

The only thing I directly accused you, cak, if you will check the records, is behaving in an unfitting manner for a citizen of the US in war time.

There are some things you can reply to that charge, like providing your own solutions (more troops may be old, but it is your solution). But even if you do, you don't negate the larger point that the real problem is that there are many people behaving as if everything would be fine if only Bush gave the right orders. From what I've seen and read, there are many Vietnam generation folks with that view. These are the people who prefer a draft, who prefer to see more sacrifice in this war akin to WWII.

Serving in Vietnam, voting for Bush twice, these are not things which affect how you behave in the now. Therefore it has no bearing on whether what I say is true or not.

They are not relevant. Saying that someone's behavior in a single comment is not good, is not an accussation about politics either.

That is your misunderstanding cak, and I believe I've demonstrated to some extent why that is so.

The real question should be asked, is what I believe is behavior befitting a citizen of the United States in war time. And then compare and contrast your own behavior, cak, with my words and debate the merits thus.

Calling into place your life history and your character, is actually a step you took to make things personal, rather than simple disagreement.

It's simple really. I believe people cannot rely on Bush for winning this war, I believe people should rely upon themselves, and not place the responsibility for communication on Bush when we know he is not good at communication.

Austin Bay made the point that this isn't a single administration war, this is a multi-administration war. Would he fit into my criteria? No, he wouldn't. The reason being that Bay is not relying upon the President to win the war for him by giving some magical order.

Whether that magical order be for more troops or not. This President is not going to win the war in Iraq, simply because whatever he does, it will require more than 2 years to accomplish.

So what's the point of you, cak, talking about a lack of parameters to measure success and how people don't know how to win the war. It's been 3 years, if you don't know what parameters are necessary to win this war and what things should be done, why do you think the President can solve this problem for you?

If your solution is more troops, and the president does not authorize more troops, then that just means you disagree with the President, it is not true that the President has presented no parameters and no war strategy for victory.

The President has, he just didn't agree with your theory that more troops were needed. This is akin to the criticism leveled by the Generals at the President and Don Rumsfield.

They always keep saying the President and Rumsfield provided no parameters for victory in Iraq and had no plans, had fewer troops, and etc.

Does this make them right because they voted for Bush? No. If people understand that, as I do, then they might understand why I don't accuse people of being wrong based upon politics.

 
At 4:02 PM, June 08, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Yfronts said...


If people understand that, as I do, then they might understand why I don't accuse people of being wrong based upon politics


ROTFFLMFAO You've outdone yourself Ymar.

 
At 11:16 PM, June 08, 2006, Blogger cakreiz said...

I think I understand now. I'm responsible for not making suggestions to an administration that will ignore them anyway, I'm responsible for the failures of a war over which I have no control, and I'm responsible for making our little disagreement personal after being accused of conduct unbefitting of a citizen in war time.

Very nicely done. Lewis Carroll would be most proud.

 
At 5:56 AM, June 09, 2006, Blogger cakreiz said...

Specifically, behaving as if the Administration were there to give them marching orders, and that without those orders nothing would get accomplished. This is the behavior that I did not approve of.

Honestly, I have no idea what these means. I served in the Army. I received marching orders to Vietnam. I had no say in the matter. I had no say in the strategic choices of the Nixon Administration's war prosecution. I obeyed. It's kinda how the military works.

The average civilian voter is the rough equivalent of a single shareholder in Microsoft. He has a right to cast a vote for the directors of MS, who choose its officers. MS's marketing strategies are determined by its officers. To charge the s/h with the responsibility of making recommendations to Bill Gates on MS's marketing strategies in Europe, for example, is patently absurd given his limited legal rights. Most importantly, the directors and officers owe a fiduciary duty of care to the shareholders and the corporation- not the other way around. You can turn this on its head and try to shift the burden to the shareholder- but it's simply incorrect.

The US is democratic republic, not a democracy. We vote for leaders who assume responsibilities. It's not my duty to figure out how we should handle roving Shi'ite militias. Or roving Sunni militias. Or the porous borders of Syria and Iran. Or the helter skelter Iraqi government. Simply, I'm not charged with the strategic decisions of the War. In the meantime, I can bitch all I want. But come election day, I get to cast my vote up or down on our leaders' performances.

 
At 7:38 AM, June 09, 2006, Blogger cakreiz said...

In fairness, I appreciate the abstraction that people need to be self-reliant and find their own answers rather than rely upon others for them. In many contexts, this makes perfect sense. So your complaint doesn't fall on deaf ears and resonates with me on many levels. But taking this abstraction into areas of international and military policy is risky business indeed.

The truth is that we're debating a minor, tangential point. Like you, I've bought into the necessity of the war. Like you (I suspect), I believe that a hasty withdrawal would be disasterous and winning this war is more necessary now than ever. We're simply disagreeing about whether we've got a winning strategy. Hopefully, you're right- we do.

 
At 8:51 AM, June 09, 2006, Blogger cakreiz said...

Dave Schuler at The Glittering Eye summarizes my doubts in this short sentence:

I honestly don’t believe that either we or the new Iraqi government will ever end the insurgency until some formula is found to change the incentives that are in place. It seems to me that’s the missing piece in what’s going on."

He doesn't offer what those incentives are- and I haven't a clue. But on some level, it makes sense. The Sunni-Shi'ite divide is the reason for my doubts. That divide is pervasive and mysterious (to me at least).

*A final aside, ymar. Don't bother addressing the 'personal' aspect of this. It really didn't bother me nor do I believe you attacked me personally. I shouldn't have alluded to it in my 6/9 12:16 am comment above. It's not worth belaboring.

 
At 12:50 PM, June 09, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

You're not in the army now. What a soldier should do is different than what a civilian should do in war time. So what I meant, is that civilians should not behave as Privates in the army, doing only what they are ordered to do. Just as it is wrong for Colonels to behave as Privates, Spec Ops to behave as Sergeants in the Army, it is wrong for a civilian to behave like they need marching orders from the Admin to do, approve, or consider everything.

I've said this before, you can believe as you like, cak. But that does not mean you would be right to do so, nor that your justifications and reasonings are correct.

No human is perfect, so why do you act as if I called you evil by saying you aren't acting in a correct way? You don't even say what you think is the correct way of behavior, you just claim that I shouldn't make the claim. You don't say why it is wrong or right, you just say that I made and .... so on.

That's usually not how matters of substance are debated among reasonable folks. I can talk about the subject and I would have, But I tend to think it is more productive to get the preliminaries out of the way first.

In reply to what you said about the Admin not listening to you. Joint Chiefs do this all the time, give advice and suggestions and the President may or may not use it. Should they stop doing it? If they don't stop, why should a civilian stop doing it?

If you feel you can make criticisms of Bush and Co without figuring out your own strategies and solutions, then you're free to cast your vote in ignorance. Having knowledge does not mean you get to apply that knowledge in a command decision. The command decision is with Bush, but the knowledge is available to all self-aware beings.

The duty of a civilian is as inflexible as the duty of a military soldier.

Your duty is not to the President. Your duty, regardless of any oaths given, is to protect the United States Constitution against all enemies, foreign or domestic, because it is the Constitution that protects civilians. In effect, you're protecting yourself by figuring out which is the best winning strategy and where it exists in what space-time coord.

If you feel you can do your duty without knowing which is the right strategy from the wrong strategy, by voting for who you like the most rather than who has the best plan to protect the Constitution, then you're free to do so. But as I said before, that don't mean I have to agree with you about your duty or the duty of civilians.

This abstraction you refer to isn't abstract to me. It's proven conduct and a good principle to follow. Principles as I see it, should be followed regardless of the convenience reality may or may not give us.

We're disagreeing on more fundamental things than minor points of war strategy and logistics here. You believe you are not required by duty to figure out international politics for yourself, that who you vote for should decide. I don't believe that.

In for a penny, in for a pound. If you're going to go with self-reliance on regular day matters, then you'd better do it with military policy and international politics. This is not an abstraction to me, although it might be to you.

Thus, this is not a tangential matter. You can agree with someone on the end results, as you and I do more or less, but that don't mean we got there via the same route.

I take things from core principles and ideas and then follow them to the end, I don't do the re-engineering route. I just can't jump to the End Answer, check the similarities, and then say everything is okay because the answers are similar.

My main contentions are presented to you, right at the top of this comment. Everything else is mostly comments and descriptions and my own ideas.

I have dropped the matter about personal details and personal attacks. I did this from the beginning of this comment at least, so all my points still remain, because they are unconnected to any personal detail in your real life. It concerns what you believe and what you are doing, not who you are and what you have done in the past.

My personal beliefs are that the Admin is not offering enough decentives. Their incentives of reconstruction, bribery, democracy is effectively negated by the terroist decentives of execution, assassination, bombs, and terror.

Even the improved police is an example of more incentives and not decentives. Both the Sunnis and Shia must understand the price they will pay if they fail, without that understanding there will be no peace or prosperity.

Sherman's address to Atlanta, summarizes the situation quite well.

Bush disagrees, obviously. But he is the President. And in 2 more years, he won't be the President. Complaining that Bush isn't more ruthless and hardcore might feel good, but it changes nothing substantial.

 
At 1:50 PM, June 09, 2006, Blogger cakreiz said...

I agree that disincentives, especially in the ME, would be more effective than incentives. My sense is that they are seen as strong whereas incentive are deemed weak. But as you say

Complaining that Bush isn't more ruthless and hardcore might feel good, but it changes nothing substantial.

Which sounds like something I would say.

Nevertheless, you've offered plenty for me to ruminate on.

 
At 5:08 PM, June 09, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

The new generation always sees things differently than the older generation, it seems.

Your generation is of Vietnam, mine is a bit more recent. Thus our life experiences dictate how we see and judge things, and as such, the difference in how we see is much more important than what we end up seeing in the end.

There is wisdom in age and experience, but there is a flaw as well. For people who have experienced things one way, they will always see the future based upon those experiences.

I, who have not been through Vietnam as Neo here has, or WWII, or WWI, am unhindered by past experiences and judgements.

I can understand the need of older generations to desire more unity of purpose, Total Warfare, absolute victory, civic virtue through the draft, but because I am who I am, I cannot believe that those things are the solutions to new wars in the 21st century.

The disagreement is fundamental, because it is about self-identity. The fundamental agreement or disagreement over whether people on the Right desire ultimate victory for the US, is totally separate from the former.

I have always believed that it is more people to know why people desire things, than to know what they desire.

 
At 5:32 PM, June 09, 2006, Blogger cakreiz said...

Well said.

 
At 12:55 AM, June 10, 2006, Blogger The probligo said...

Good grief!! What a long, tedious, and self-gratuitous string of confused thinking, misinterpretation and shouting past each other.

To show how "important" the US will consider Haditha and the war crimes committed there (and those committed elsewhere in Iraq that we will NOT hear about)...

1. Any of the Marines responsible for Haditha murders who return to the US alive will be charged with the murder of those civilians.

2. It will take at least two years, likely as long as four years, for them to appear in Court as there will be delays "for the gathering of evidence" and "while the defendants recover from PTSD".

3. When they do eventually appear in US Military Court, they will be committed on the grounds that they were suffering from PTSD at the time of the offences owing to the fact that they had narrowly escaped being killed by an IED.

4. If any are found guilty (and that is a very long shot) they will probably be sentenced to another season in Iraq.

 
At 8:19 AM, June 10, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I don't consider Probligo, who can't even understand a need to self-arm for self-defense, a person that qualifies to judge anything relating to war including violations of the Military Code.

 
At 7:55 PM, June 10, 2006, Blogger The probligo said...

No, dear Y, as I keep saying to you, and as you are obviously totally unable to understand or perceive -

Where I live, where confude lives, there is no need to carry arms for protection.

When you are able to wrap your four neurons around that idea perhaps you might be able to think a little more clearly about how the rest of the world see you and your kind.

Neo, sorry. I did not intend to include you in this but Y, his stupidity, his racism, his need for penile compensation with big-bore weapons, has gotten to me totally. He hasn't the guts to reply to my post on my site. He had to take his reply away to his own site - probably because he feared I might delete it...

I feel sorry for those who live in places that are so insecure, so unsafe, that carrying arms for defence as a matter of course is a neccessity. That is not how I live my life. It should not be neccessary to live like that in any country that promotes freedom.

I have freedom and no need for a gun.

Why does Y need a gun? Because he lives in fear, not freedom.

 
At 10:43 PM, June 10, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I've said this recently toConfud in a more recent thread at Neo. Handguns and rifles rank a mere 3 on an absolute scale of 1 to 10.

The logic is simple, as it is demanding of attention. Racism isn't the difference between someone disbelieving he needs weapons and someone that believes weapons are useful. And that's it.

He had to take his reply away to his own site - probably because he feared I might delete it...

You wrote your reply on your blog instead of here at neo's, so I wrote my reply at my own blog instead of here. That's it, simple logic.

Guts is part of weapons making, but in this case it is not relevant.

Probligo has described being assaulted twice or thrice. I have never been assaulted by anyone, with or without a weapon, although there was a burglary once. The difference between the philosophy of warriors and those who live by the sword, to other folks, is not about what is necessary. It is about what is virtuous, or in this case, what is good for human beings.

 

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