To Those Who Slander The Troops
We enjoy the right to free speech in this country and many people have exercised it in the last week by slandering the very people who guarantee that right. It is fair, appropriate, and well within American tradition to disagree with the government on whether there ought to be any prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. It is right, good and normal to be upset by methods of questioning that may seem harsher than we as Americans want to employ. But the rhetoric of the last week has included words that betray either an utter ignorance of history, or willful disregard of the facts.
It is abominable that the memories of millions dead would be used for political gain. It is disgusting that our sons and daughters, husbands and wives, neighbors and friends who serve and defend us are compared to the likes of Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot. To those who slander the troops, while you disagree with the current political leadership, do you honestly believe that our troops – American troops – as a body would commit atrocities? Yes, in a group where so many thousands serve, you will find the occasional William Calley, or on a much smaller scale a Charles Granier or Lynndie England. And in each of those cases and in other isolated instances where there have been problems, they were dealt with. The honor of our military does not permit those stains, and they are scrubbed out promptly and vigorously.
You are fools, useful idiots who are snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. If we lose this war, you will get what you well deserve – dhimmitude, and the knowledge that you helped bring the rest of us down with you. If we win, those of us who have been paying attention know who you are and you have our eternal disgust, both for your current actions and the bloody-minded ingratitude you will surely display after the victory.
Carrying out terrorism...is one of the tenets of our religion and Shari'ah...This war is fundamentally religious...Under no circumstances should we forget this enmity between us and the infidels. For the enmity is based on creed. - Osama Bin Laden
We don't make a distinction between civilians and non-civilians, innocents and non-innocents. Only between Muslims and unbelievers. And the life of an unbeliever has no value. It has no sanctity. - Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad
We are not fighting so that you will offer us something. We are fighting to eliminate you. - Hussein Massawi, former leader of Hezbollah
It is not the American war machine that should be of the utmost concern to Muslims. What threatens the future of Islam, in fact its very survival, is American democracy. - Yussuf al-Ayyeri
If you walk away from Iraq, the jihadis will follow you wherever you go. You may think you've left them behind, but they will pursue you. - Singaporean Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew
We do not differentiate between those dressed in military uniforms and civilians; they are all targets in this fatwah. - Osama Bin Laden
Can we dialogue with those who desire only our death and nothing but our death? Dialogue about what? The manner in which we will be assassinated? - Emilio Lamo de Espinoza
Al Qaeda's declaration of jihad had, as its first demand, the withdrawal of American troops from Saudi Arabia. Osama bin Laden does not seem to have noticed, but the troops are gone -- yet the jihad continues. The reasons come and go, the violence endures. - Fareed Zakaria
Everyone seems to want a war on terror, but no-one wants any battles to be fought in it. We're evidently going to win it by sitting on our fat a***s and being morally superior. This will so impress our enemies that they will cease to attack us out of respect. - Steven Den Beste
Posted by Laura Curtis at June 19, 2005 07:05 PM
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|# June 19th, 2005 10:33 PM Daddy|
|Laura, I read the thread on "Disclaimer".
Hate to say I told you so...
...no. Wait. I don't hate to say it. I enjoy gloating, actually.
BTW, excellent post!
|# June 19th, 2005 11:06 PM Laura|
|Thanks, Daddy. And yes, you were absolutely right. I'm not sorry to admit it, just sorry that I was wrong - I like to keep my glass half full. |
|# June 21st, 2005 7:56 PM mbrlr|
|Disagreeing with this useless and pointless war and pointing out the lack of preparation that led to the abuse at Guantanamo and elsewhere and also to the death of what is approaching 2,000 US soldiers is not lack of patriotism and making the "love it or leave it" argument doesn't show strength, but weakness. This doesn't apply to you, but it applies to many who make the argument that any dissent is unpatriotic --- as Samuel Johnson put it and it too often turns out to be true, patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels. |
|# June 21st, 2005 8:49 PM Walleye|
I find it frustrating that you (and so many of your brothers and sisters in dissent) find what is going on in Iraq "useless and pointless". What exaclty would you have had us do? What in your opinion would be a war that has a point and is useful? To whom must it be useful? Just the US, NATO, the UN? Where do you as a concerned citizen draw the line? I am not attempting to fan the flames or "tick you off", I want to know what you actually think ought to be done. I have seen through your posts on various threads here that you have strong opinions on many subjects, but I see little for viable solutions (as a head's up, closing Gitmo and pulling out of Iraq don't count as solutions; at least in the short term).
To help you form a more balanced view before replying, why don't you go to some of the mil-blogs out there and read some of the stories from the guys and gals who have been over there and what they are seeing. Maybe you should read the article linked from this very site regarding our Marines finding a real torture center.
As I mentioned on one of my other posts, there have definitely been mistakes made and all four services are continually working to do better and police their own. If you don't like what is happening in the military, just look around you. Any volunteer military is nothing more than a reflection of the society from which it comes. Just like there are bad eggs in society, there are a few in the military too. Much is done to train and teach them, but some do not change and cannot be taught. They will be dealt with (as you have already seen) from within.
So there you have it. Enough political rhetoric, enough complaining about what is without practical thought of what ought to be. Here's your chance to offer practical guidance to the use of our military power.
|# June 22nd, 2005 12:09 AM mbrlr|
|We had Iraq contained. An example of a just war for the US is, generally speaking, when we or our allies are attacked and we attack those who attacked us. That wasn't the situation here; we weren't after al Quaida.
Pull out of Iraq after causing this mess? Not possible, but we can at least acknowledge and discuss how and why we are where we are and how to get out eventually and as quickly as possible.
Close Guantanamo? No. But allow those there access to the courts, not military review hearings. Let's at least try to honor treaties we've signed to implement things such as the rational and humane treatment of prisoners. Away from the fog of war, what we've done down there is shameful and contrary to our traditions, beliefs, and the rule of law.
The lower ranks responsible have been dealt with, although not without some pressure on the part of the press, but the higher ranks? Not at all.
Political rhetoric it may be, but it's also just wishing us to actually live up to the ideals we say our troops are fighting for.
|# June 22nd, 2005 5:31 PM Walleye|
Thanks for the honest response. I am going to attempt to offer some additional information regarding few of your observations, but let that not undermine that while I respectfully disagree with you, I have no malice intended.
"We had Iraq Contained" is not entirely true. Because Hussein was unwilling to abide by the UN resolutions set before him (heck, neither were France, Germany, Russia, or Koffi Annan), it was unclear whether he had indeed stopped his WMD research as he said he had. If he had not, Israel (one of our allies) would certainly be in danger of an attack (from Iraqi developed and modified SCUD missile systems) as well as our troops participating in the UN concepted ONW and OSW (both ops overwhelingly US involved) in which he had already made countless (well, counted by someone I am sure) attempts to shoot down coalition aircraft enforcing the NFZs so he won't attack the Kurds in the north and the Shia in the south. In my (humble) opinion, it was his failure to comply with the UN resolutions that gave us the duty to go in there and enforce them.
I wish I had a good idea for how to get out of Iraq quickly and successfully. To what ends does establishing once and for all how and why we are there achieve? Does knowing how and why we are there in any way change what the end goal should be. I don't think it does. If what you are after is to establish blame, well that hsa been done overe and over again to no avail. I agree that we have to establish a solid goal and exit strategy, but Vietnam showed us that continually focusing on why we were there, helped to prevent us from coming up with a good resolution and exit strategy (there were many other problems but those are WAY outside this conversation).
I have said as much as I will regarding GITMO. I think you are still missing some critical elemnts of the interpretation and application of the Geneva conventions in this case, but I have addressed that above and elsewhere. You do point out one critical distinction though and that is the "fog of war". I think I understand what you are trying to convey, but sustained overt and covert combat against an enemy that uses civillians of any nation to its advantage makes it hard to escape the fog of war until the war's end.
Depending on how you define "lower ranks" there has been at least one general officer stripped of rank and separated from service and Sec. Rumsfeld offered to resign. It is precedented (contrary to "A Few Good Men") that a senior will not be courts marshalled for activity of subordinates unless the issue of an unlawful order (as defined by the UCMJ) can beconfirmed. So yes, there have been consequences up the entire chain of command.
I am sure the overwhelming majority of our troops do indeed feel we are living up to the ideals this nation is founded upon. They, of any of us, have the most at stake and see most clearly what we are doing there and elsewhere in the world. They are the people who need to be listened to and queried about what is going on there and how best we can make things better there. The problem as I see it is that too many people here at home are highlighting the negative things that happen there and completely ignore the good things. They then use this incomplete information (as political rhetoric) to further their own political agenda which in turn often villifies the people out there actually getting the job (war on terror, safeguarding US, its allies, and interests) done. That, to me, is very sad indeed.
|# June 22nd, 2005 5:48 PM otopico|
|You seem to forget that you can't make people free. They have to want it. it isn;'t a gift, its a prize won through severe suffering and conflict.
America isn't here because it was liberated, it is here because 225 years ago, oppressed people were pushed to the point that they fought back. They fought against the most powerful army at the time, and many died, but they wanted freedom and would do anything for it.
The Iraqis never fought back against Hussein. They lived in fear, but never put their lives on the line for freedom. They don't want freedom yet, they aren't willing to do anything to have it. They are cowards, and have no problem letting my countrymen and women dies for them.
Until the Iraqis stop being lazy victims, all the lives lost there are sadly a waste.
And America's troops are too valuable to be wasted on people that don't want to be free.
|# June 22nd, 2005 10:20 PM Walleye|
|As I recall from history class, we had a little help from the French when we earned our independence. Granted there were more US troops than French, but they did help.
Had the British used the same tactics to keep the colonists at bay that Hussein used to keep his population in check, do you think we could have still earned our independence without more help than we already had? While I understand the spirit of your argument, I am not sure I see a strong parallel.
Despite being the most common targets of the insurgents, the Iraqi Police and Army are still doing pretty well getting new recruits. They also had a very good turn-out for their vote. Could they do more? Yes, but I'm not sure I can agree that they are "lazy victims" waiting to have freedom and deomcracy handed to them. Did every early American become part of the Revolution? Nope, lots of them sided with the Crown (though I can't find any reference to gurilla tactics with my feeble attmpt at a quick web search).
I see the sentiment, but I can't buy the argument.
|# June 22nd, 2005 10:31 PM BVBigBro|
|There were loyalist militias in the US. Their numbers dwindled after King's Mountain where the largest group was destroyed. Many loyalists fled to Canada or England. |
|# June 22nd, 2005 10:36 PM Walleye|
|Thanks BVBigBro, my internet hunting skills are poor and most of my on-hand mil history starts with WWI and WWII.