READER COMMENTS ON
"Not to be a downer..."
(21 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 11/19/2004 @ 6:18 am PT...
Thank you Brad, for helping to overcome the media blackout on body counts. Also many thanks for exposing what went on in the election. But I object to your suggestion that we in the Red States are now responsible for everything bad. This Blue-Red thing is another unhealthy polarization, and perpetuating it plays into the hands of those who would divide us.
OK I know it feels better to blame someone, but try to keep it more specific. We who worked hard in the Red States would prefer to be painted Purple.
Also consider that some of the Red States might have been Blue, if you believe the Votergate stuff, which I do. Unless you Blues are ready to lead us all to the promised land like Moses, please don't make us feel any worse right now, so we can get our energy back up to fight our coming battles. Better yet--Imagine Blue spreading into Red, like a wave. Don't build bunkers--infiltrate.
Thanks for your excellent website.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 11/19/2004 @ 6:33 am PT...
To Steve from Canada...I read the same article...will look for it to post...the 1,216 is most likely not accurate since they are NOT counting those that die enroute to or upon arrival at the various hospitals.
I found the followig website which alleges that deceased US Soldiers are being dumped in the river and in mass graves to keep the body count down: http://www.iraq-war.ru/t...icle.php?articleId=30770 there is also a video of their findings. Be patient because this seems to load very slowly and also, if you don't get it the first time, just hit the "refresh" button while on the blank white screen. If you still have trouble getting this, just e-mail me and I will give you instructions to another pathway to get to this article and video.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 11/19/2004 @ 7:06 am PT...
Brad, you're not being a downer, you're being "morbid", remember? That's how the conservatives justify this.
You're not a guy who cares, you're just a morbid conspiracy-theory-obsessed leftist.
Now please blog about something that really matters. Like Kerry going sailing again or something. Thanks.
Ps. Wohoo, another Canadian! hey steve.
Pps. May all those poor troops r.i.p. And the iraqis too.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 11/19/2004 @ 8:45 am PT...
sibelion - You couldn't be more correct. And funny enough, I thought about that as I wrote it last night, pondered changing it to "Red voters" or some such phrase just before I hit the "publish" button, and finally --- in my late-night, after long-day stupor --- just left it as is figuring the point would be made.
But you're correct. The "Red state" nonsense is both misleading and divisive - which is usually best left to ...the "Red team".
Thanks for keeping my feet to the fire, and if I was Casey Kasem I might add...keep reaching for the stars.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 11/19/2004 @ 11:56 am PT...
In defense of Brad (and clarifying things better for Blue people in Red States), let me be clear.
Sleep well, you Republicans. If you voted Republican and/or Bush, you allowed for the creation of an environment in American politics that allowed for the type of shenanigans in the Defense department, White House, and CIA that allowed for the War on Iraq to occur. So, never fear progressives and Democrats in red states...we know you tried. My scorn is only for Republicans. You guys condemned us to more war and anti-American hatred from the rest of the world. If you think WE are divisive...how do you think we feel? Divided from the rest of the world by a bunch of fag hating, anti-abortion, Bubbas from the "heartland". thanks a lot!
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 11/19/2004 @ 12:37 pm PT...
I heard, I am sure it was on the Bernie Ward radio show a month or so ago, that 17,000 U.S. troops had died. It was said only the soldiers who die IN Iraq are counted. Those flown back to hospitals in the U.S. or Germany etc., should they die. they are not counted. Pretty terrible if true.
A friend from Canada.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 11/19/2004 @ 1:09 pm PT...
You're Welcome. Go hug a tree.
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
another point of view
said on 11/19/2004 @ 2:36 pm PT...
Not To Be A Downer either ... but you're crying for the wrong 'victims'.
Have you managed to forget that the US troops are the ATTACKERS in this war? And the attack was UNPROVOKED! Have you forgotten that too? Talk about a 'rogue state'!!
HEY! Would YOU welcome foreign troops on the streets of YOUR city? HELL NO! You'd be trying to kill them. You'd see them as 'asking for it' ... and rightly so!
Please realize that today in Iraq it's the US troops who are 'asking for it' ... and every now and then one of them gets what he's asking for. Not to be a downer.
I do NOT feel sorry for the troops. Not a single one of them. They are all volunteers. They all joined the military of their own free will. Did they know that they might be called on to invade foreign a country and destroy it? Did they realize that they might be killed or injured doing so? Of course they did --- but they all joined up anyway ...
Meanwhile Iraqis are being killed and maimed in MUCH larger numbers, and it's THEIR cities that are being destroyed, and THEIR country that's occupied by a foreign army, and what have you to say about THEM? Not a word. Not a single bloody word!
May I remind you that THEY are NOT volunteers; NONE of them signed up for this; they were just trying to live their lives when bombs started falling out of the sky...
Some people think that even the Blue-voting Americans are sick. I used to argue with them but I can't do that anymore. I've run out of ammunition.
If you oppose this war on moral grounds then let's talk about all the damage, all the casualties, not only what the USA has lost but what the rest of humanity has lost as well.
Any American who is truly interested in knowing what their country is doing should start paying attention to foreign media. Most of the time, American news doesn't even make contact with reality anymore.
Of course if you don't want to know then you can close your eyes and your ears and your minds and go back to this ridiculous red-vs-blue bullshit.
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 11/19/2004 @ 3:30 pm PT...
I will dissent from "Another Point of View's" only on this section:
"I do NOT feel sorry for the troops. Not a single one of them. They are all volunteers. They all joined the military of their own free will. Did they know that they might be called on to invade foreign a country and destroy it? Did they realize that they might be killed or injured doing so? Of course they did --- but they all joined up anyway ...
I believe it's fair to say that most of those who volunteered did so for largely economic reasons. And when they did so, it was done on the principle that America's Armed Forces are (generally) not used for purely political, wholly optional, and entirely unnecessary wars. Not until this "President" changed the rules and broke with about 200 years of tradition.
As to the 100,000+ Iraqi civilians that have been slaughtered in this debacle, I believe regular BRAD BLOG readers can attest to the fact that I have covered that issue more frequently and with more fervor and passion and outrage than just about any other blog not solely devoted to that single issue.
Only mentioning that in case you're a new reader and took the point I was making in this particular item about the latest U.S. casualties (the only numbers we are provided with sorta, kinda) with any kind of accuracy or regularity (sorta, kinda) as representative of the general concerns of this blogger.
That statistic, however, does happen to be the only one that "red voters" might likely give a damn about. Though from my experience with them, they don't give much of a shit about that either. If it doesn't happen in their living room, it didn't happen at all.
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 11/19/2004 @ 6:20 pm PT...
Interesting thread you got goin' here!
Me, I feel sorry for ALL of em. ALL the (men/women) who (signed up for active duty/joined the reserve) thinking they were gonna be giving (a few weekends / the best years of their lives / their whole lives) DEFENDING their country but who (are now dead / are badly injured / found out different) ...
I don't understand how anybody could NOT feel sorry for them... and ALL their families ... and ALL their friends ... and I weep for ALL of 'em, even though I agree that they were sent on a bogus mission.
I wish they were ALL back home, defending America against the global rage that this administration has [seemingly deliberately] created. Just my 2 cents for tonight. Sob.
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 11/19/2004 @ 9:22 pm PT...
I don't call them Red Staters anymore. I'm calling them welfare whores from now on since we blue states subsidize them with our tax dollars. Those moral values will take a back seat after our research with embryonic stem cells kicks in.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
another point of view
said on 11/19/2004 @ 9:51 pm PT...
I agree with some of what you've said here, Brad, but not all of it. I have no problem with this part:
"I believe it's fair to say that most of those who volunteered did so for largely economic reasons."
But I disagree with you here:
"America's Armed Forces are (generally) not used for purely political, wholly optional, and entirely unnecessary wars. Not until this "President" changed the rules and broke with about 200 years of tradition."
I'm sorry to say this, Brad, but in my view those "200 years of tradition" included a long series of wars that were "purely political, wholly optional, and entirely unnecessary".
Whether the majority of Americans are aware of it or not, their government has been doing 'regime changes' in foreign countries for a long time.
Sometimes they do it with a black op and try to deny it. They just sit back and destroy a country by proxy. Look at what happened to Guatemala ... or Chile... or El Salvador ... even Iran!
Sometimes they do it openly in a tiny country like Grenada or Haiti or the Dominican Republic ... and then there's virtually no resistance and no American casualties to speak of ... and no dissent at home either. So for the 'policy-makers' it has essentially 'no cost' in the 'domestic arena'. But it's still a crime against humanity in my books.
And once in a while they do it in a bigger stronger country and then there's bound to be some resistance on the ground and therefore some casualties and therefore some dissent on the 'home front' ... in these cases there has to be a pretext ... and foreign countries are understandably reluctant to provide a pretext for the USA to demolish them, so the pretexts have to be 'fabricated' ... and whether we're talking about the phony Gulf of Tonkin incident or the phony claims about Iraq's alleged WMD, the fact remains that the USA has used its Armed Forces aggressively abroad for no good reason, MANY times.
So, Brad, if you are saying that most of the volunteers who are serving right now don't any of know this, that they don't understand what their country does on the world stage, and that they signed up to be part of it because they needed a job, but without knowing what they were getting into, then all right. I believe you. How pathetic. I really do feel sorry for them now.
But if you think that this is the first time in 200 years when the USA has attacked a sovereign state for reasons that were "purely political, wholly optional, and entirely unnecessary", then we have a lot more to talk about...
Meanwhile, regarding your suggestion that I might be a new reader with the impression that the post at the top of this thread is "representative of the general concerns of this blogger" ... No! Not at all! I know it isn't. That's why I keep coming back to your blog, Brad. And I apologize for not making this clear in my previous post.
I wasn't 'venting' at you, but at virtually everybody else --- at the mysterious 'cultural disease' that allows so many Americans to focus on the damage their Armed Forces are suffering, while ignoring the damage they are causing...
Not to be a downer...
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 11/19/2004 @ 11:16 pm PT...
Well then, APOV, if you've been coming by a while, then hopefully you also recognize the irony in the title of this item as well
I'm also glad that your vent wasn't at me (didn't think it was, but wasn't sure since we've just seen from you for the first time).
Much of what I write tends to be directed at folks on the Right more than the choir, thus the points made about dead U.S. troops as something that *might* catch their attention.
Beyond that, I'll not disagree with anything you wrote above and will only note the modifier I used in my original reply to you. Namely, the use of the word "(generally)" --- of which I am now more confident that you understood the (general) point of my having using that word as a modifier
Keep spreading the good word, APOV!
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 11/20/2004 @ 4:22 am PT...
i agree with your historical analysis to a degree, however, you fail to apply a class analysis to the military in general. That is to say, all those kids don't decide when and where military action takes place; they recieve orders and are sent. As i understand it this makes them less culpable than those who send them. Needless to say, its not in the interests of those who do the sending to make sure that these kids dot every i and cross every t when it comes to a proper understanding of international law or even to have an appreciation of the case made for the war. When it finally became unmistakably clear that this war was built on a tissue of lies these kids were already underfire.What i think is very heartening is that somany of the guys in the ready reserves are fighting their reactivation. i think that will spread. We also know that some of the kids in iraq dont want to be there and know they were bullshitted into being sent. They war cant be maintained on that basis.
In the mean time people are dying. Its ugly brutal and unjust. What you and i need to do is work as hard as we can toend this war and hold those who are most directly responsible to an accounting of their crimes.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
Mark Lloyd Baker
said on 11/20/2004 @ 5:33 am PT...
Economic need is a reason to join the military but is not an excuse to commit war crimes.
The invasion and occupation of Iraq are a war of aggression, called "the supreme international crime" by the Nuremberg tribunal who tried the Nazis.
Nothing excuses torture, genocide and the murder of innocents. It makes no difference who's doing it, and those who "support" them are themselves immoral.
If these soldiers really had the "moral values" the fascists pretend, they'd refuse to fight and this sick war would end.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 11/20/2004 @ 10:26 am PT...
Brad wrote: "As to the 100,000+ Iraqi civilians that have been slaughtered in this debacle, I believe regular BRAD BLOG readers can attest to the fact that I have covered that issue more frequently and with more fervor and passion and outrage than just about any other blog not solely devoted to that single issue."
Yup. I can attest to this.
Mark Loyd Bayker, while I totally agree with you, I think the war has now past the point of no return. Leaving Iraq now might be as immoral as staying. How's that for a messed up situation ?
Way to go Dubya. Yo'ure the man. *sarcasm*
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
another point of view
said on 11/20/2004 @ 12:13 pm PT...
There's a good comment from Mark Lloyd Baker starting with:
"Economic need is a reason to join the military but is not an excuse to commit war crimes."
And this is fair enough, on the face of it --- but there's a problem with it, too. As I understand it, joining the military means agreeing to obey orders without questioning them. You might be thinking "I'll just do my job and I won't commit any war crimes" but what happens when you're ordered to bomb a residential area, or lob artillery at a city, or shoot up a mosque? What do you do then?
I'm not saying I have answers to questions like these. I AM saying: if you know anyone who's thinking about enlisting, please ASK questions like these.
A good comment from johnhp too:
"When it finally became unmistakably clear that this war was built on a tissue of lies these kids were already under fire."
"unmistakably clear" to WHOM? The great majority of the world community --- including the UN Security Council, Scott Ritter, Hans Blix, a host of foreign leaders such as Chirac and Schroeder and Chretien --- knew that the 'case' against Iraq was "built on a tissue of lies" a long time ago --- before anybody was under fire in Iraq. And they said so. Colin Powell knew it too, and so did I. And even now, apparently, a huge segment of red America still doesn't know it. Arggggh!
There's a lot of insight in what Mrs. J said:
"I think the war has now past the point of no return. Leaving Iraq now might be as immoral as staying. How's that for a messed up situation ?"
Well it is certainly messed up ... I am starting to suspect that it might have got this "messed up" on purpose --- that is: the geniuses who started this war wanted to get the USA to get so entangled in it, that even if the Democrats won the election they would see no way to disengage. If that's so, then they did a good job of it.
I mean, getting out wasn't even on the table during the campaign. Or was it? I thought the campaign featured two candidates trying to out-tough-guy each other on this issue. How "messed up" is that?
And I don't see any way in which US troops staying in Iraq could possibly be moral --- but I also don't see any chance of them leaving ... Iraq has oil ... bush wants to be 'commander-in-chief' not just 'president' ... and Wolfowitz wants to go to Iran next anyway. How messed up is THAT??
"What you and i need to do is work as hard as we can to end this war and hold those who are most directly responsible to an accounting of their crimes."
I couldn't agree more and I thank all of you for your comments. Thanks also to Brad for hosting a blog where topics such as these and points of view such as mine are welcome. Keep up the good work, everyone!
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 11/22/2004 @ 6:27 am PT...
for another point of view. Go to www.moveamericaforward.com
See the ties between Saddam and terrorism and Al' Qaida. Thanks for supporting our troops.
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 11/22/2004 @ 8:42 am PT...
"I am starting to suspect that it might have got this "messed up" on purpose --- that is: the geniuses who started this war wanted to get the USA to get so entangled in it, that even if the Democrats won the election they would see no way to disengage. If that's so, then they did a good job of it. "
I can guarantee you that this was their intention (in part). Plus, how many Bush voters have I heard recently use the saying, "Well, you just can't change horses mid-stream!". Right. That's a great reason to vote for him.
"I mean, getting out wasn't even on the table during the campaign. Or was it?"
Wasn't it? Didn't Kerry have an exit strategy he was so damn proud of ? Didn't George Bush roll his eyes at Kerry's exit strategy in the debates?
"And I don't see any way in which US troops staying in Iraq could possibly be moral"
I agree. WHat I'm trying to say though, is that there is no way leaving Iraq at this particular point in time could possibly be moral either. You're damned if you do, damned if you don't.
"... Iraq has oil ..."
As JHP put it a while back, Operation Iraqi Liberation (Oil).
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 11/23/2004 @ 7:03 am PT...
Mrs. J -
It is not about oil. If you think it is about oil, you are ignorant, says my father-in-law who is currently in Saudi Arabia. It is about security. If Iraq does become a Democracy, that would change the world. It would change the middle east.
The Iraq war has already convinced Lybia to stop their goal of obtaining nukes. Looks like Iran is having a change of heart.
Only time will tell and history will record what a free Iraq meant to the world.
By the way, my father-in-law said "Europe is not happy about Bush being re-elected but there is no lack of joy in these parts."
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 11/25/2004 @ 11:34 pm PT...
"The Iraq war has already convinced Lybia to stop their goal of obtaining nukes. Looks like Iran is having a change of heart."
Paul, you're a sap. Look a bit deeper into the Libya situation before you just repeat Rush and Bush's Shouting Points. Take a look at how long they had planned to do exactly what they did, and then when BushCo decided the time was right to accept their months old offers.
And if you believe "Iran is having a change of heart", I've got some WMD's just fresh out of Iraq that I'd love to sell ya!