S.M.B. - Logic and Rhetoric
Friday, March 28, 2003
 
FOLLOWING THE GOVERNMENT LINE MAKES MONEY FOR THE NEWS MEDIA: ACCORDING TO TOP CONSULTANTS




From the Washington Post:

Now, apparently, is the time for all good radio and TV stations to come to the aid of their country's war.

That is the message pushed by broadcast news consultants, who've been advising news and talk stations across the nation to wave the flag and downplay protest against the war.

"Get the following production pieces in the studio NOW: . . . Patriotic music that makes you cry, salute, get cold chills! Go for the emotion," advised McVay Media, a Cleveland-based consultant, in a "War Manual" memo to its station clients. ". . . Air the National Anthem at a specified time each day as long as the USA is at war."

Thursday, March 27, 2003
 
MORE ON COUNTRIES IN BUSH'S COALITION OF THE WILLING KILLING



This is from a piece on the Guerrilla News Network, one of the best news sites out there. With the 24/7 news coverage, its a wonder that the major corporate news has not done a single in depth feature about the coalition countries...

The following is the list of coalition countries. After each country name, the two numbers in parentheses correspond to political rights and civil liberties, respectively. Both are measured on a one-to-seven scale, with one representing the highest degree and seven the lowest (source: Freedom House 2001-2002).

Next is a rating that represents Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index 2002 (10=highly clean, 0=highly corrupt), followed by a quote from the U.S. State Department's Human Rights Report issued in March 2002:


Afghanistan Not Free (7,7) Not rated The overall human rights situation remained extremely poor.

Albania Partly Free (3,4) 2.5 The Government's human rights record was poor in many areas; however, there were some improvements…. Police beat and otherwise abused suspects, detainees, and prisoners…. Prison conditions remained poor.

Australia Free (1,1) 8.6 The Government generally respects the human rights of its citizens, and the law and judiciary provide effective means of dealing with individual instances of abuse.

Azerbaijan Partly Free (6,5) 2.0 The Government's human rights record remained poor…. Some prison inmates and detainees died in part due to mistreatment by the authorities. Police tortured and beat persons in custody and used excessive force to extract confessions. Arbitrary arrest and detention was a problem.

Bulgaria Free (1,3) 4.0 The Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens; however…its human rights record was poor in other areas. Members of the security forces were responsible for some killings. Security forces commonly beat suspects and inmates and beat and mistreated minorities. Arbitrary arrest and detention were problems.

Colombia Partly Free (4,4) 3.6 Government's human rights record remained poor…. Government security forces continued to commit serious abuses, including extrajudicial killings.

Costa Rica Free (1,1) 4.5 The Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens, and the law and judiciary provide effective means of dealing with individual instances of abuse.

Czech Republic Free (1,2) 3.7 The Government generally respects the human rights of its citizens; however, problems remained in some areas. Occasional police violence and use of excessive force remained a problem.

Denmark Free (1,1) 9.5 The Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens, and the law and judiciary provide effective means of dealing with instances of individual abuse.

Dominican Republic Free (1,1) 3.5 The Government's human rights record was poor…. Police committed extrajudicial killings. At times members of the security forces committed abuses with the tacit acquiescence of the civil authorities. Police arbitrarily arrested and detained suspects and suspects' relatives.

El Salvador Free (2,3) 3.4 The Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens. There were no politically motivated killings or disappearances; however, some police officers committed killings. Police officers kidnapped persons for profit… used excessive force and mistreated detainees.

Eritrea Not Free (7,6) Not rated The Government's poor human rights record worsened, and it committed serious abuses…. Many observers believe that the police occasionally resorted to torture and physical beatings of prisoners, particularly during interrogations.

Estonia Free (1,2) 5.6 The Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens and the large ethnic Russian non-citizen community; however, problems remained in some areas. Police continued to mistreat prisoners and detainees and use excessive force.

Ethiopia Partly Free (5,5) 3.5 The Government's human rights record remained poor; although there were some improvements in a few areas, serious problems remained. Security forces committed a number of extrajudicial killings.

Georgia Partly Free (4,4) 2.4 The Government's human rights record remained poor and worsened in several areas. Security forces continued to torture, beat, and otherwise abuse detainees.

Honduras Partly Free (3,3) 2.7 The Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens; however, serious problems remained. Members of the security forces committed some extrajudicial killings. Well-organized private and vigilante security forces are alleged to have committed a number of arbitrary and summary executions. Security force personnel beat and otherwise abused detainees and other persons.

Hungary Free (1,2) 4.9 The Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens; however, there were serious problems in some areas. Police continued to use excessive force, beat, and harassed suspects.

Iceland Free (1,1) 9.4 The Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens, and the law and judiciary provide effective means of dealing with individual instances of abuse.

Italy Free (1,2) 5.2 The Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens, and the law and the judiciary provide effective means of dealing with instances of individual abuse; however, there were problems in some areas. There were some reports of police abuse of detainees, and use of excessive force against ethnic minorities and demonstrators.

Japan Free (1,2) 7.1 The Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens; however, there were problems in some areas. There continued to be some credible reports that police and prison officials physically and psychologically abused prisoners and detainees.

Kuwait Partly Free (4,5) Not rated The Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens in many areas; however, its record was poor in some significant areas. Some police and members of the security forces abused detainees during interrogation. The judiciary is subject to government influence…. The law empowers the Government to impose restrictions on freedom of speech and the press.

Latvia Free (1,2) 3.7 The Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens and the large resident non-citizen community; however, problems remained in certain areas. Members of the security forces, including the police and other Interior Ministry personnel, sometimes used excessive force and mistreated persons.

Lithuania Free (1,2) 4.8 The Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens; however, problems remained in some areas. Police at times beat or otherwise physically mistreated detainees and misused detention laws.

Macedonia Partly Free (4,4) Not rated The Government's human rights record significantly worsened during the year in the context of the ethnic Albanian insurgency led by the NLA…. Police committed extrajudicial killings and killed civilians during combat operations. Marshall Islands Free (1,1) Not rated The Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens, and the law and the judiciary provide effective means of dealing with individual instances of abuse.

Micronesia Free (1,2) Not rated The Government generally respects the human rights of its citizens, and the law and judiciary provide effective means of dealing with individual instances of abuse.

Mongolia Free (2,3) Not rated The Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens; however, problems remain in some areas. Members of the police at times beat prisoners and detainees. Arbitrary arrest and detention are problems, as is corruption. There are restrictions on due process for persons arrested or suspected of crimes.

Netherlands Free (1,1) 9.0 The Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens, and the law and judiciary provided effective means of dealing with individual instances of abuse.

Nicaragua Partly Free (3,3) 2.5 The Government generally respected many of its citizens' human rights; however, serious problems remained in some areas. Members of the security forces committed 15 reported extrajudicial killings at year's end. Police continued to beat and otherwise abuse detainees. There were allegations of torture by the authorities.

Panama Free (1,2) 3.0 The Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens; however, there continued to be serious problems in several areas. Abuse by prison guards is a recurrent problem of the prison system. The judiciary is subject to political manipulation, and the criminal justice system is inefficient and often corrupt.

Palau Free (1,2) Not rated The Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens.

Philippines Free (2,3) 2.6 The Government generally respected the human rights of citizens; however, there were serious problems in some areas. Members of the security services were responsible for extrajudicial killings, disappearances, torture, and arbitrary arrest and detention; there were allegations by human rights groups that these problems worsened as the Government sought to intensify its campaign against the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

Poland Free (1,2) 4.0 The Government generally respects the human rights of its citizens; however, there were problems in some areas. There were reports that police mistreated persons in refugee camps.

Portugal Free (1,1) 6.3 The Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens; however, there were problems in some areas...security personnel occasionally beat and otherwise abused detainees and prisoners. Discrimination and violence against Roma, minorities, and immigrants also were problems.

Romania Free (2,2) 2.6 The Government generally respected the rights of its citizens; however, its human rights record was poor in some areas. Police use of excessive force resulted in four deaths. Police officers continued to beat detainees and reportedly used excessive force.

Rwanda Not Free (7,6) Not rated The Government's poor human rights record worsened, and the Government continued to commit numerous, serious abuses. Citizens do not have the right to change their government. The security forces committed extrajudicial killings…. Security forces beat suspects, and there were some reports of torture. Prison conditions remained life threatening and prisoners died of starvation and preventable diseases.

Singapore Partly Free (5,5) 9.3 The Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens; however, there were significant problems in some areas. The Government has wide powers to limit citizens' rights and to handicap political opposition. There were a few instances of police abuse of detainees. The Government continues to rely on preventive detention to deal with espionage, terrorism, organized crime, and narcotics.

Slovakia Free (1,2) 3.7 The Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens, and showed improvement in certain areas; however, problems remained in some areas. Police on occasion allegedly beat and abused persons, particularly Roma.

Solomon Islands Partly Free (4,4) Not rated The Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens; however, there were serious problems…. Armed conflict led to a serious deterioration in the human rights situation; police and militants from both sides committed numerous human rights abuses, including killings, abductions, torture, rape, forced displacement, looting, and the burning of homes.

South Korea Free (2,2) 4.5 The Government generally respects the human rights of its citizens; however, problems remain in some areas, despite some improvements.

Spain Free (1,2) 7.1 The Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens; however, there were problems in some areas. There were reports that at times security forces abused detainees and mistreated foreigners and illegal immigrants.

Turkey
Uganda Partly Free (6,5) 2.1 The Government generally respected freedom of speech and of the press; however, there were some instances in which the Government infringed on these rights. The Government restricted freedom of assembly and association, and the constitutional restrictions on political activity effectively continued to limit these rights.

United Kingdom Free (1,2) 8.7 The Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens, and the law and judiciary provide effective means of dealing with individual instances of abuse; however, there were some problems in a few areas. There continued to be deaths in police custody, although their number declined. Members of the police and military occasionally abused detainees and some other persons.

Uzbekistan Not Free (7,6) 2.9 The Government's human rights record remained very poor and it continued to commit numerous serious abuses…. Security force mistreatment resulted in the deaths of several citizens in custody…. Prison conditions were poor, and pretrial detention can be prolonged.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003
 
THIS WEEK'S CONSERVATIVE FEATURE: ANN COULTER!


A conservative friend made a constructive criticism of this page-- it never has strong conservative voices!!! Duh! This is a LIBERAL weblog! In any case I thought that perhaps my friend is on to something, maybe conservative right wing nuts can make my case better than I can sometimes. So without further delay, a slice of Ann Coulter's latest column on how liberals hate America like Nazis:

When the Nazis invaded Norway, Hamsun wrote a newspaper column saying: "NORWEGIANS! Throw down your rifles and go home again. The Germans are fighting for us all." Tearful upon news of the Fuhrer's death, Hamsun was quoted in an obituary on Hitler saying: "I am not worthy to speak his name." He never equivocated and he never apologized. While he issued tributes to Hitler, Hamsun wrote the ironically titled book "The Cultural Life of Modern America," which, as professor Schama sniggeringly writes, was "largely devoted to asserting its nonexistence." Hamsun called America "a strapping child-monster whose runaway physical growth would never be matched by moral or cultural maturity." It must have been a relief for Hamsun to find such genuine "cultural maturity" in Nazi Germany.
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Okay. Nothing stupid, insensitive or contraversial thus far, Nazis are bad, and this guy who loves Hitler is most likely not very nice. Hamsun is a Norwegian writer who was cited by a liberal columnist of New Yorker magazine. Coulter writes on...

Hamsun hated America for all the reasons liberals hate America. To the delight of New York sophisticates, Hamsun once sneered at pathetic Americans marching in veterans' parades, "with tiny flags in their hats and brass medals on their chests marching in step to the hundreds of penny whistles they are blowing." America's little patriotic parades apparently compared unfavorably to a stirring Nazi war rally.
This is the essence of liberal admiration for Europeans and their pompous cultural snobbery. For proof that Americans are immature hicks in an ugly jingoistic mood, they cite a Nazi.

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Alrighty. So Coulter thinks that because one liberal columnist cited one Nazi to prove a point, then every liberal agrees with Nazism. She also equates Nazism with European culture. The United States is not exactly blameless on matters of genocide, the blood of millions of native tribes and hundreds of nations fertilizes the soil across this country. If the United States cared so much about the Nazi regime's aggression during World War 2, why did it take two years for the Government to confront Hitler, why did we turn away thousands of Jews, and why was Hitler fan Charles Lindbergh a national hero?

While I do agree that many European governments are snobby (they do have a legacy of aristocracy and nobility), many American government officials have an inferiority complex, we call it the "big bomb, small toe" theory on this page, you may call it a different name in more private quarters. Ann Coulter starts out with crazy assumtions about liberals, then allies them with an extreme position that nobody in their right mind would defend, well if you're going to start out by saying liberals are Nazis, then of course, liberals are evil.

The reason I don't like putting conservatives like Coulter on the blog and refuting their points is that half the time is spent refuting crazy claims, and not talking about the issues that matter. I would rather build a house than clean up debris...

 
WALKOUT AND MASS PROTEST AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY


If you don't know, this blog operates out of Columbia University in New York City. We're here, in the eye of the storm, target numero uno for anti-American terrorists everywhere, New York (this could be said about Washington too). Nevertheless, Columbia students have walked out of classes, first in protest of the U.S. led aggression in Iraq, and secondly in protest to the first protest. That's Columbia for you.

More to come...

Tuesday, March 25, 2003
 
A PROPOGANDA MESSAGE TO THE AMERICAN PEEPS, FROM THE PRESIDENT


 
JOIN THE MOVEMENT TO END CIRCUMCISION?!?!?!


Although this is one of the most embarassing ways to get your name in the paper, I'd rather be pro-foreskin than pro-war.

Like many American boys, Greg Dervin was circumcised as an infant. Now, the 24-year-old San Francisco State student is fighting mad.

Not only does he want his foreskin back, but he's also part of a growing student movement seeking to end male circumcision as well as other forms of what he and other "intactivists" term genital mutilation in the United States and abroad.

Last year, Dervin formed the first college group in the United States with the mission of ending the cutting of children's genitalia, Students for Genital Integrity. Dervin's group's platform includes educating people about the practices of female genital mutilation as well as the surgical altering of the genitals of intersex children, infants born with both male and female genitalia or ambiguous genitalia.

Dervin's group estimates that 3,000 American boys are circumcised daily (about two-thirds of male babies born daily) and that worldwide 6,000 females daily are at risk for female genital mutilation. According to the Intersex Society of North America, 1 or 2 out of every 1,000 children born have surgery to "normalize" genital appearance.

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WOW. Isn't the whole foreskin thing just out of their control? There's more:

Dervin learned how in the late 1800s in English-speaking countries circumcision became popular as a way of reducing men's libidos and as a deterrent to masturbation.

He read about devices created to keep boys from masturbating, including a ring with spikes meant to be attached to a boy's genitals.

"It's not just about masturbation. It changes your sexual experience," Dervin said. "Yes, I'm pissed. I was denied a whole sexual experience. I was robbed. The experience should be my birthright."


Penis envy does exist.

 
NOTE SLIPPED INTO RANDOM DUDE'S LUGGAGE


Ananova:

Air passenger with anti-war sticker accused of being 'anti-American.' A US air passenger has lodged a complaint after a note criticising his "anti-American attitude" was slipped into his luggage. A baggage screener at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is alleged to have left the note in Seth Goldberg's suitcase. Mr Goldberg found the note saying "Don't appreciate your anti-American attitude!" in his bag after flying to San Diego. He believes the screener was annoyed by a "No Iraq War" sign inside his bag, reports the Seattle Times. Goldberg said he thought the note was an abuse of government authority and a violation of his privacy and free-speech rights. He has lodged a complaint with US authorities.

The authorities? Aren't they the ones pushing this war? C'mon man, be stronger than that!

 
BUSH HAS EXPRESSED OUTRAGE ABOUT THE TREATMENT OF AMERICAN P.O.W.s BUT WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND...



Today's Independent of Britain has an editorial that condemns the treatment of U.S. prisoners of war in Iraq. Nonetheless hundreds of combatants have been held by the United States in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba without charges, access to lawyers or even P.O.W. status. As with 'pre-emptive war' the Bushies should know what the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ knew-- "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." If the U.S. decides to treat prisoners as grundle and call them detainees, perhaps the enemy will be more inclined to do the same when our soldiers' turns at being prisoners come around. Even when this government tries to protect us they screw over our military, they can't even be trusted when they're trustworthy. Here's what the Independent has to say:

The international outcry over the display of American casualties and prisoners on Iraqi state television is thoroughly justified. This was not only a flagrant violation of the Geneva convention, which requires that prisoners of war "must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity"; it was also an offence against the very fundamentals of human decency.

There were times, especially at the start, when the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay came very close to being paraded before television cameras. They were shown in conditions that seemed designed to humiliate, confined to metal cages, led hooded and blindfolded to interrogation sessions that were not, and could not, be monitored. The American authorities resisted all efforts by foreign governments and human rights organisations to have their "detainees", as they termed them, recognised as prisoners of war and so subject to the provisions of the Geneva Convention. [The "detainees"] are in a total legal limbo, in US detention but not recognised as being subject to US jurisdiction – which was the reason why the administration took them to Guantanamo at the start.

There were those, in the US and abroad, with the prescience to warn that America's refusal to recognise their detainees as PoWs could rebound in the event that US soldiers were taken prisoner in future. Even if the US authorities saw a difference between the "terrorist" suspects they had captured in Afghanistan and rank-and-file soldiers subject to military discipline, it was in the US interest – they argued – to recognise them as PoWs.

Rarely indeed does the decision of a political leader return so swiftly to haunt him. More often, it is the next and future leaders who must extricate themselves from such unintended consequences. Mr Bush's call for US prisoners to be treated humanely would command more credibility and wider sympathy if his administration had appeared more amenable to accepting rules that most other civilised countries accept. This does not excuse the behaviour of the Iraqi regime, even one that is fighting for its survival.

 
SUPREME COURT THROWS GASOLINE ON A BURNING CONSTITUTION


WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Monday turned away a preliminary challenge to the government's expanded powers to wiretap and search people who are suspected of having links to foreign terrorists.
Before last year, the FBI had maintained a "wall" between spying and criminal probes, a legacy of the Watergate era.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, allowed the attorney general to obtain secret warrants to spy on suspected foreign agents or international terrorists. The warrants were authorized by a judge inside the Justice Department. But until last year, the government said, it kept these spying operations separate from ordinary criminal probes. Ashcroft said that the separation was outdated and hampered the FBI in its pursuit of terrorists operating in the United States.

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So Ashcroft thinks civil liberties are outdated? I guess a guy who lost his Senate seat to a dead man would be the authority on all things outdated. Why did the Supreme Court deny this case the light of day? I'm sure the 5 Republicans on the court would love to open a debate concerning how Furious George is using Big Government tactics to spy on everybody. Back to the story:

First, [civil libertarians] said, the government may be violating the Constitution's ban on "unreasonable searches and seizures." Normally, the police and federal agents can obtain a search warrant to enter a home or tap a phone only when they have evidence of criminal wrongdoing. Federal agents do not need such evidence to obtain a search warrant under FISA.

Secondly, civil libertarians also object to the closed-door legal hearings on FISA. Since these intelligence probes must be kept secret, the Justice Department was authorized to seek warrants in secret hearings within its building.

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The Bushies are fond of closed doors, and they don't even bring women with them!!! Gee wizz, what don't they want eveybody to see? I simply do not understand why people trust them and hate Clinton. I can understand hating Clinton if they hated Bush too, but just because Clinton got caught doesn't mean Bush isn't lying, I do not understand this...

 


Our friends at White House dot ORG are keeping us on our toes, visit the site!


 
PSYCHEDELIC REPUBLICANS TRADING CARDS!!!



 
SOME INFORMATION ON IRAQ AND OTHER COMMENTS

42 Percent of Iraq's population is under 14 years old. 29 Percent of Iraq's population are women over 14 years old. 71 Percent of Iraq's population are either women or children under 14 years old. 25 Percent of Iraqi's inhabit Baghdad. 450,000 soldiers are in Iraq's standing army, this is a liberal estimate. 800 cruise missiles were launched at Iraq in the first 48 hours of the war. Operation Shock and Awe was launched in Iraq after the first 48 hours. "There will not be a safe place in Baghdad," a Pentagon official told CBS News, "The sheer size of this has never been seen before, never been contemplated before." From Sydney Morning Herald


Zero weapons of mass destruction have been found.

These figures say nothing of what is going to be ruined in Iraq. Furious George will ask the Congress for $75 Billion simply to wage this war. Furious George will propose that pension benefits for our nations veterans be cut. Furious George needs a banana and a heart. $75 Billion will cover bombs, weapons, casualties and other immediate costs of war. This money will not cover rebuilding the Iraqi government, roads, bridges, drinking water, sanitation, homes, schools, mosques and cemeteries that are being destroyed right now. That will require more money, our veterans, according to Bush, require less money, especially after they return home from the traumas of seeing their brothers in uniform killed, tortured, maimed or shell-shocked, or suffering from such things themselves.
Why aren't the Democrats making a big deal of this? Bush is slippery like this, he always uses misdirection to do something destructive, Furious George is using the opportunity of this war to take a chainsaw to the skimpy benefits veterans get from the Government.

Would Bush cut military pensions and benefits if he received them?

 
Afghanistan, Albania, Australia, Azerbaijan, Britain, Bulgaria, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey and Uzbekistan make up the United States led "coalition of the willing."

Here are their digits (not including the United States, except where noted):

Number of nations willing to publicly associate with the U.S. invasion of Iraq: 30

Number of industrialized, "first world," nations in the coalition: 7
Australia, Britain, Denmark, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain.

Number of coalition members with a higher population than metropolitan New York City: 13
Australia, Britain, Colombia, Ethiopia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Phillipines, Poland, Romania, Spain, Turkey, Uzbekistan.

Population of metropolitan New York City (2000): 21,199,865

Number of coalition members on the United Nations Security Council: 4
Britain, Bulgaria, Spain, United States.

Number of seats on the United Nations Security Council: 15

Number of coalition nations in which a majority of the population support the U.S. invasion of Iraq: 0

All information was gathered from the United States Census Bureau.
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This is a broad coalition that represents a cross section of the world community. The public should be confident that the United States consulted with Eritrea and Ethiopia, bordering nations in northeastern Africa that are at war with eachother, but have joined forces just to support the killing of Iraqis and American soldiers. Warring nations never looked better in the same international coalition. Should we not rest assured knowing that nations ranging from Latvia and Albania to Afghanistan and Columbia (involved in a 40-year-old civil war) all have something unique and special to offer our defensive war coalition against Saddam "axe of evil" Hussein.
To be in a war coalition with the U.S. these nations need not provide money, soldiers, humanitarian aid, missionaries or toilet paper. They only need to cash their checks and sign the dotted line The conservatives are fond of comparing Saddam to Hitler, but can they name one country that had to be paid to fight against Hitler?

Sunday, March 23, 2003
 
REALITY OF WAR HITS AMERICAN FAMILIES AND THEIR SONS



I notice that conservatives and other pro-war types have expressed shock and awe at our loss of soldiers during this conflict. We've lost more troops to accidents and friendly fire than we have to the Iraqi military. Nonetheless, a tragedy is a tragedy is a tragedy to all families. Its a wonder that some of the people who were for this war have expressed so much surprise that some of our soldiers have been brutally killed and that some are being tortured, did the pro war people think about these consequences? Why are they so surprised, did they forget about the Gulf War Syndrome, the Vietnam war, the Korean War? War is hell, our soldiers are going through it, and I hope this war ends now... Al Jazeera has been showing footage of dead and imprisoned American soldiers, here's a taste:



If you want more of that, go to the Drudge Report.

While I was in Florida, I enjoyed the privilege of celebrating a break from school and hanging around with my friends. American soldiers in Iraq, many of whom are about my age, began their invasion of Iraq. The South tends to be very pro-war and there is no shortage of conservative extremism in northern Florida. As the bombs started dropping, I was in a bus full of people who just started chanting "F*#% IRAQ, F*#% SADDAM" the 'big bomb, small toe' syndrome characterizes many southerners' attitudes about this war. Whether you're pro war or pro peace the greatest truth about this war is being revealed by the actions of our military and the decisions that U.S. and British military commanders are making; what they choose to target with bombs, where they send the ground troops, and how many forces they deem necessary to achieve these objectives.

In light of our military's specific actions in Iraq, I have a few questions.

Why did the military go for the oil fields first?

Where are the weapons of mass destruction?

Why did the military raise the U.S. flag over an Iraqi city only to lower it a few hours later?

Why wasn't the flag raising covered in length by any major U.S. news outlet?

Who chose the corny, obnoxious name 'Operation Iraq Freedom'?

What's wrong with those military helicopters? Is it me or are those things just plain bad to fly in?

What are the countries in Bush's coalition of the willing of "35" nations?

Do countries like Lithuania and Estonia count?

More to come....


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