Comments: Marines Sing in Fallujah

That was beautiful. The Marine Corps Birthday is tomorrow. My father in law is celebrating it by taking a well deserved day off.

Posted by ethne at November 9, 2004 09:06 PM

who are you kidding? the war in iraq, originally justified with an aknowledged lie, now has an (iraqi) civilian death count around 15,000, and you're all turned-on by some mediocre singers on home video in front of a flag?

according to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US city of Baltimore the risk of death by violence for civilians in Iraq is now 58 times higher than before the US-led invasion.

the bombs bursting in air might mean that the american flag is still there, but it does not mean that iraqi's are better off.

just because saddam was bad, doesn't mean the american army isn't worse.

Posted by Matthew at November 10, 2004 05:21 PM

Well, first, it wasn't a lie, and second, the US military will have to do a lot more to be "worse than Saddam". Third, did it occur to you that Mikey Moore's vaunted "minutemen" might have a bit to do with that increased violence?

But I guess you don't want tyrannical governments toppled unless everything goes immediately to normal within a few weeks of the toppling. In other words, almost never.

(Cue Democrat talking points in 3... 2... 1...)

Posted by Patrick Chester at November 11, 2004 08:58 AM

there are no weapons of mass destruction, president bush lied.

of course no one expects everything to immediately go back to normal, but no one expects the job to be done so poorly either.

according to the New York Times:

The major causes of death before the invasion were myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular accidents, and other chronic disorders whereas after the invasion violence was the primary cause of death. Violent deaths were widespread, reported in 15 of 33 clusters, and were mainly attributed to coalition forces. Most individuals reportedly killed by coalition forces were women and children. The risk of death from violence in the period after the invasion was 58 times higher than in the period before the war.

if you can't finish the job, don't start it. as it turns out, americans are empirically worse than saddam.

Posted by Matthew at November 16, 2004 09:07 PM

Matthew,

If you really believe that, then you haven't been doing your own research.

As evidence, here are two links exposing the mass graves of Iraq:
"Iraq's Legacy of Terror: The Mass Graves"
and a BBC Article, "Babies found in Iraqi mass grave"

I also refer you to the Iraqi bloggers:

The Mesopotamian
Healing Iraq
Hammorabi
Iraq the Model
Iraq at a Glance

I encourage you to read for yourself the experiences of people from Iraq, who are glad for our assistance, and want for us to stay to help them out.

One more thing: as someone who grew up in the military, and as someone who has a cousin serving there right now, giving me reports from the ground of things as they REALLY are, you are not welcome to come to this blog and bash the military. If you want to spew anti-military, hate-Bush rhetoric, go ahead and do it on your own bandwidth. That's what you have a blog for. I'm rather sick of debating with people like you who refuse to research beyond the mainstream media, or explore the possibility that your information might actually be tainted, or flat-out incorrect.

I have not come to your blog, and posted hatefully there. You may not do so here. If you have curiosity, and are open to a different viewpoint, you are welcome. But bashing the efforts of the men and women on the ground in Iraq is something I will not tolerate.

Got it?

Posted by Linda at November 17, 2004 05:12 PM

how could your cousin "on the ground" know everything that is happening in iraq? that's one person, you think i don't know people who have been to iraq and afghanistan? the difference is i'm not out on the internet using them to establish some kind of faux credibility.

i do not hate bush, i never said i did. i said he lied about weapons of mass destruction, i don't require hatred to tell the truth.

as for iraqis who welcome americans, that is neither here nor there. there are many compelling reasons for iraqis to welcome american troops, but that does mean the campaign there will be a success, that it was ever a good idea, or that the promise of freedom will be fulfilled in the form they have been led to believe. there is a huge difference between being a democracy and being militarily occupied by the army of a democracy.

i'm sorry you believe the new york times is "tainted, or flat-out incorrect.' it would seem that if someone isn't blowing sunshine in your face, they are "refusing to research beyond the mainstream media."

the "your sources are wrong, mine are right" line of argument is a knife that cuts both ways.

have you ever explored the possibility that your information might be tainted? well, i offer you information and you dismiss it without even considering it, on the grounds that your alleged cousin is more reliable than the new york times.

your document says saddam killed 400, 000, but a survey conducted by scientists from Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University and Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad compared the death rates of Iraqis before and after the American invasion. They estimated that 100,000 more Iraqis have died in the 18 months since the invasion than would have been expected based on Iraqi death rates before the war.

considering the americans have been ruling iraq for a fraction of the time that saddam did, how long will it take before those numbers start to even out?

so you have some iraqi bloggers, does that negate what the Al Mustansiriya University in Bagdad has to say?

Posted by Matthew at November 17, 2004 09:02 PM

I do refute the New York Times. I question the statistical sampling performed by Johns Hopkins, Columbia, and by Al Mustansiriya Universities.

Your mask is slipping, with the "blown sunshine" and "faux credibility" comments. You are making the incorrect assumption that my cousin is merely a grunt.

Bush did not lie. There is a basic difference between receiving incorrect intelligence, and outright lying. History needed to be taken into account. In 1988, Saddam Hussein used chemical agents against the Kurds. Have you forgotten the news coverage of the bodies lying in the street; the little children who never made it within doors? A man may be judged by his actions, and it was well known that terrorist elements moved freely in and out of Iraq. Saddam's historical actions proved him to be a megalomaniac. Deposing him was done with just cause, and done in context of both history and the available intelligence. Besides that, I believe that chemical and biological, if not nuclear weapons were in development. The inspection teams found botulinum. Platforms for the delivery of chemical weapons were being planned, and were in design if not actual manufacture. Intent was shown, and that is good enough for me.

You get one more chance to be courteous, Matthew. After that, you're out of here.

Posted by Linda at November 18, 2004 04:41 PM

Wow, comparing our military to Saddam and the "insurgents."

Side by side comparison for a moment, using the newest example of "American Military is evil" propaganda:
A Marine walks into mosque and sees that one of the wounded is still moving. He yells out to his companions "He's faking it! He's not dead!" After dealing with booby trapped bodies and suicide bombers he decides to take the cautionary way out and shoots the wounded man. You can argue about human rights all you want, but after being over there for how long and seeing some of your buddies die the day before by some of the same tactics, I honestly cannot blame him. If I were in the same position, who is to say I wouldn’t have done the same thing.

The other side:
Contract workers are going to their job in helping to rebuild the country. Their SUV is ambushed, and they are dragged from the wreckage, burned alive and strung up over a bridge. Or how about the humanitarian workers being captured, tortured and then having their heads cut off? Killing your own fellow citizens while they are standing in line to get a job. Or how about car-bombing children as they are getting treats from our soldiers? Where does that fall in your range of evil?

By the way, the Iraqi body count does not seem to agree with Johns Hopkins or the 100,000. And they give very compelling reasons why.

Posted by Ethne at November 18, 2004 04:50 PM

actually, the source i quoted says "most individuals reportedly killed by coalition forces were women and children." are the women and children booby trapped as well?

Luckily, all of the scenario's you describe can be easily avoided. stop invading foreign countries, and these scenario's cease to exist. if americans want lucrative private contracts "rebuilding" countries that they themselves demolish, then you can at least can the moral outrage when you encounter resistance.

i have no "range of evil." this is cause and effect. if america wants to build it's militarily enforced empire of global private enterprise, then (in the words of nike) just do it. you don't have to play these silly games of blaming the victim for the whole war when they defend themselves. just take what you want and be done with it. the english never apologized for their empire, why are you apologizing for yours?

Posted by Matthew at November 18, 2004 09:36 PM

Matthew, would you please post the link to your source that says this: "actually, the source i quoted says "most individuals reportedly killed by coalition forces were women and children.""

If the resistance was directed towards military targets, that I would expect. But it's not. It's directed towards humanitarian workers, civilian contractors and the Iraqi people themselves.

Posted by Ethne at November 19, 2004 02:40 PM

the post is from the New York Times Monday Nov 1st. it's from an editorial by Bob Herbert.

if you invade a country and start dividing up the spoils - in this case private contracts given to american companies for infrastructure - no one (especially iraqis) are going to be fooled by what's going on. the very borders of iraq were drawn by the british, do you think this is their first time dealing with a western empire?

americans aren't "rebuilding" iraq, they are taking by force the spoils of war - infrastructure. With the notable exception of the Oil Ministry, which was guarded by American troops, the majority of government and public buildings were totally plundered in the days following the attack of bagdad, to the point of there being nothing of any value left. At the Yarmuk Hospital, not only all beds, but absolutely all its medical equipment, both large or small, was stolen. the only hospital that managed to keep on functioning did it by organizing local vigilante as armed guards. hundreds of american soldiers were placed in and around the Ministry of Oil building, but sat back and allowed mobs to wreck and then burn the Ministry of Planning, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Irrigation, the Ministry of Trade, the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Information. Americans could spare 2,000 soldiers to protect the Kirkuk oilfields but couldn't even invest 200 to protect the Mosul museum.

the plan is simple, the american army invades, allows all government infrastructure to be destroyed (with an obvious exception), and begins handing out "rebuilding" contracts to private companies back home. there is more than one way to make money off a war. all you're doing is using military force instead of the usual political pressure tactics to privatize the public infrastructure in foreign countries. the same goal, but more aggressive tactics.

if the american government is going to use private contracters as military pawns in the building of an international privatized empire, then naturally the iraqis are going to see those contracters as military targets. neither side is "playing fair," and if private contracters can't see their role, naivety is no excuse.

if you want the money so badly, then quit complaining about how you have to risk your neck for it. stay home. no one asked americans to go into iraq, in fact the world was begging you not to go. don't start whining now about how the enemy has no honor (they don't do "what you expect"). americans have created a war and are reaping the economic rewards as we speak, so naturally the most violent and unreasonable people (on both sides) are going to come to the forefront.

it's obvious americans don't like diplomacy - but that is one of the advantages of it, truly dangerous people (on both sides) are kept in a harmless minority. now that you've shunned that advantage and run in with all your guns blazing, you can't start complaining that the worst element of iraqi society has come out to greet you.

there is a big difference between being a democracy and being occupied by the military of a democracy.

Posted by Matthew at November 19, 2004 06:38 PM

Matthew since when are editorials fact?!? You've been invited to provide links, etc. But one opinion piece is enough to make all the research people like Linda and Ethne have done wrong? It's quite obvious you are wasting bandwidth, trying to get a reaction from people wh will never believe your crap. You are the definition of a troll, and personally I can't understand why Linda hasn't banned your IP. So how bout you back the fuck off, and go comiserate with Ted Rall, Michael Moore, and the rest of the moon-bat-shit-crazy-liberals. that refuse to listen to reason, or provide actual fact or proof. Quoting editorials...dumb fuck.

Posted by Viking at November 19, 2004 07:56 PM

Lovely idea, Viking.

Matthew, you have been banned. Trying to pass off an editorial piece as some sort of fact, indeed!

Beyond that, you came here looking for a fight. Your first post was confrontational, and you are not open to exploring other viewpoints. You only want to abuse and belittle us. You want to score verbal points. You are not a good example of liberal ideas, wherein everyone's position is explored with an open mind; wherein every facet of an issue is deconstructed back to its most basic elements, and then put back together with a reality-based sense of context and history. Trust me on the precepts of Renaissance thought. I was a liberal until 9/11.

It's like this: I'm not interested in playing your game. Differing viewpoints are always welcome on this blog, but only when couched in respectful terms. You came in poised for attack, and have pulled out the same tired, disproven theories -- no, outright lies -- that have been refuted over and over again in any number of publications both on-, and offline.

Go back to your blog. Spew your bitterness there.

You are not welcome here, and no more energy or bandwidth will be wasted on you.

Posted by Linda at November 19, 2004 09:28 PM

Divisiveness, I have discovered, is disagreeing with a liberal regardless of how much tact is used.
-Howard E. Halvorsen
Chester, VA

from http://imao.us - Letter from our soldiers in Iraq.

Ok, I know that Linda doesn't want any more waste on bandwidth, but here is a final thought. I notice that Matthew saw fit to blame the soldiers for the fact that Iraqis were looting and plundering all the other building around them. Perhaps the blame would be better suited going to the plunderers. As for the global conspiracy of an international privatized empire, I am wondering where that conspiracy came from. If that were indeed true, I honestly believe that the military would have been allowed to level entire countries. We could have taken over Kuwait if we just needed oil. It probably would have been a lot less messy than Iraq. We could have claimed Afghanistan as well, since we had all ready rooted out the government there.

I'm not buying that claim that the US went into Iraq to build "our Empire."

I do take issue with the whole "Our Soldiers are war criminals" because they aren't. As for your orginal snark point:
"the war in iraq, originally justified with an aknowledged lie, now has an (iraqi) civilian death count around 15,000, and you're all turned-on by some mediocre singers on home video in front of a flag?"
I am -as you say- turned on by some impressive men who have good voices singing our national anthem while many miles from the home that they love so much that they are willing to lay down their lives in foreign lands for it, or for the cause they believe is just. I am turned on for the good in humanity that many of these men and women possess. If you don't believe me, check out operation give's homepage, or tabby's story - they are all linked here. Or all the other various charities that the men and women of this nation have started to help those less fortunate around the world. I am impressed by the generosity of a country that is currently spending 10x more money on AIDS relief in Africa then the rest of the world - combined. I am proud of them, of their sacrifice, and what they stand for. And I will not tolerate anyone spitting on them either literally or figuratively.

Posted by Ethne at November 19, 2004 10:21 PM

Which is the only reason why I began the debate in the first place, Ethne. The insult was given to honorable, courageous men and women, and because they are not here to speak for themselves, it's up to those of us left at home to speak up for them.

If America wanted Empire, we would have it at this very moment. If we merely wanted oil and plunder, there is no one who can stop us, and frankly, gas would be mere cents a gallon. If we meant to level the Middle East and all the souls living there, it would be glowing with radiation as I type these words.

Truth to tell, that's the reason why "Civilization Calls" was first launched. It was meant as a tribute to our service people; a means of thanking them, and speaking to the reasons why the Global War on Terror must be fought, and why wars are never won with a strictly defensive strategy. I wanted a means of keeping the home fires burning; to let my cousin, his battalion, and all our warriors know that we are guarding the van, and they will return to a home worth the name.

The American Armed Forces are not war criminals, whatever our banned troll and his ilk would have us believe.

If anything, I'm grateful that Matthew popped up. It led to reaffirming what I started this blog for, and has answered the question of how I shall proceed.

I'm also grateful to you, Ethne, for your clear arguments, and to Patrick for humorously pointing out the obvious in the first place, and to Viking, who observed that the debate was moot.

So, now that we've cleaned house, as it were, let's get back to having fun while supporting our troops.

Posted by Linda at November 19, 2004 10:59 PM

Awwww, Linda. (pout)  I tried to get over here as quick as I could. :-)

Hey, Mathilda, just in case you still have read privies:

5330 Bent Tree Forest Dr,#712
Dallas, TX

Come spew your Bush-hating, military-hating bullshit to my face, bub.  Let's see how tough you really are, chickenshit.

Anytime your 'nads grow past the size of pinheads, assmunch.

Posted by Lord Spatula I, King & Tyrant at November 20, 2004 02:21 AM

Lord Spatula, Matthew is a Canadian. I highly doubt he will even bother taking the time to follow your link, let alone fly down to Texas. However, I do live a great deal closer to him. (insert evil laughter here). I can handle it... if you would like, M'Lord. :)

Posted by Ethne at November 20, 2004 02:50 PM