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You’re going to lose more people this summer than you did last year, I guarantee it.
March 11, 2004 1:30 PM   Subscribe

You’re going to lose more people this summer than you did last year, I guarantee it.
Do you feel it is possible for American citizens to support the troops without supporting the policies under which the troops are acting?
Yes. Most definitely.
posted by specialk420 (31 comments total)

 
We had to go out and buy boots. Not that the military boots are that bad, but they’re not the greatest boots in the world for what you’re going to be doing.

If I knew what kind of boots, canteens, or backpacks he's talking about I would buy some and send them over. Does anyone know of a program set up to do this?
posted by stevis at 1:48 PM on March 11, 2004


anyone wonder where the pentagon's priorities are sometimes?
posted by specialk420 at 1:56 PM on March 11, 2004


Stationed in the area of the Baghdad Airport at the time of President Bush’s Thanksgiving 2003 visit to the troops there, he also recounts that on the day before the president’s visit, the troops were given a questionnaire that asked them whether they “supported the president.” Those who did not declare their support with sufficient enthusiasm were not permitted to take part in the Thanksgiving meal, and had to make do with MREs (meals ready to eat, referred to by the soldiers as “meals refused by Ethiopians”) in their quarters.
posted by y2karl at 2:46 PM on March 11, 2004


On preview. . what y2karl said. . . . but at the risk of getting frogmarched over to Metatalk, I think it bears repeating. . I am in credulous. . .if this is true. . .

What did you think about President Bush’s Thanksgiving visit to Iraq?

I was there when President Bush came to the [Baghdad] airport. The day before, you had to fill out a questionnaire and answer questions, that would determine whether they would allow you in the room with the President.

What was on the questionnaire?

“Do you support the president?”

Really!

Yes.

Members of the military were asked whether they support the president politically?

Yes. And if the answer was not a gung-ho, A-1, 100 percent yes, then you were not allowed into the cafeteria. You were not allowed to eat the Thanksgiving meal that day. You had an MRE.
posted by Danf at 2:53 PM on March 11, 2004


looks like that passage really got keswick and jollywanker all worked up.
posted by specialk420 at 2:55 PM on March 11, 2004


Those who did not declare their support with sufficient enthusiasm were not permitted to take part in the Thanksgiving meal, and had to make do with MREs.

Obviously, Bush only supports the troops who support him. How petty and despicable. A bigger man would have allowed all the troops to have turkey dinner, not just rabid republican supporters. I am no fan of the right-wing, but I wouldn't deny them a Thanksgiving meal only because they don't agree with me.
posted by wsg at 3:16 PM on March 11, 2004


fantastic link. thank you. it definitely reinforces my faith in some of the people who serve in the US armed forces. it's nice to see that some rational people are enlisted.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:19 PM on March 11, 2004


One anonymous source quoted on the internet! Whoa, stop the presses! If you can't believe anonymous comments on the internet that support your worldview/further your political agenda, what can you believe?

On preview, I think the MT thread sums it up. Agenda filter, whapping with hardon filter, whatever. The link neither informs nor provides insight in the least. Just more wanking.

Also, when a third of the comments are by the poster, something is amiss with a thread.
posted by ednopantz at 3:34 PM on March 11, 2004


a soldier without a bush-boner? IT'S A FAKE!
posted by mcsweetie at 3:49 PM on March 11, 2004


Also, when a third of the comments are by the poster, something is amiss with a thread.

Bullshit. When those comments contain links (juicy juicy links!) I don't think there's anything amiss at all, except for the fact that you won't just come out and disagree with the premiss of the post, with, like reasons and stuff.

(You're saying bad things I don't like! Shut Up! Whahhh!)
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:51 PM on March 11, 2004


I'm a little weirded out by the offhand 'video games desensitized me' comment snuck in there.

Some parts of this interview just seem a little too convenient.

Not that it doesn't bring up some things that need to be addressed . . .
posted by cinderful at 4:17 PM on March 11, 2004


If you can't believe anonymous comments on the internet that support your worldview/further your political agenda, what can you believe?

a. what in the post suggests a "political agenda?

b. if its a fake, it's a damn good one, at magazine with a fairly solid/well known editorial staff (certainly no more leftwing than those at the Independent - you've cited in past FPPs)

c. after the whipping the soldiers who on tape criticized donald rumsfeld took, would you really expect anyone to be forthright in an interview that was not anonymous... ?

d. if you don't like hearing criticism of US foreign policy, how it's being administered on the ground, and how our troops are being treated by their superiors by one of our solidiers... then you know what you can go do with yourself ...
posted by specialk420 at 4:23 PM on March 11, 2004


if you don't like hearing criticism of US foreign policy, how it's being administered on the ground, and how our troops are being treated by their superiors by one of our solidiers... then you know what you can go do with yourself

Vote for Bush, even though you have problems with a large percentage of his domestic policy, just to piss of certain members of MeFi?
posted by Mick at 4:27 PM on March 11, 2004


Vote for Bush, even though you have problems with a large percentage of his domestic policy, just to piss of certain members of MeFi?

ding, ding, ding! i like it. better than the other reasons to vote for Bush.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:33 PM on March 11, 2004


My nephew attended that Thanksgiving dinner. He says he didn't have to fill out a questionnaire. (That's a sampling size of one, so I don't know if he was a special case or not. As always, anecdote is not the singular form of data.)

The equipment issue boils down to standard vs. specialized equipment. Would boots optimized for desert terrain in Iraq be the best for snowy mountains in Korea? What would be the cost of maintaining separate sets of footgear optimized for every possible theater? Is it more cost-effective to have a single pair of boots adequate for multiple tasks or multiple pairs of boots, each perfect for a single task? If you have a boot budget, how would you distribute the cost? As a taxpayer, how do you feel about the size of that budget?

The soldier in the interview is identified as a medical corpsman. He talks about becoming "skilled with my M-16". I thought that medical personnel were issued 9 mm sidearms since they have to keep their hands free. Anyone know if medics are being issued M-16s in Iraq?
posted by joaquim at 4:43 PM on March 11, 2004


On preview, I think the MT thread sums it up. Agenda filter, whapping with hardon filter, whatever. The link neither informs nor provides insight in the least. Just more wanking.

You know, back there, where the, ah, Jergen's hand lotion once flowed like the Nile, a little boner boy by the name of ednopantz had no trouble getting his rahs rahs off. You have no problem with posts on current events when you agree with what you perceive to be the politics of the post. It's just when you don't, that it's so intolerable.
posted by y2karl at 4:44 PM on March 11, 2004


I agree with cinderful, something about this interview just sounds too convenient. He seemed to be involved in too many of the newsworthy stories coming out of Iraq (i.e., he was at the Bush Thanksgiving thing, he knew the guy who was shot while getting a coke). And if there really was a questionnaire giving to the soldiers at that dinner, I think the media would have been all over it.

Yes. It’s quite a list. Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, Rove, Rice, and many more. I’m still trying to figure out how Cheney managed to get five draft deferments. They say there is not one person in Congress today that has a son or daughter in combat. Neither house of Congress.

"They say"? It just all sounds too convenient. I don't buy it.
posted by BloodyWallet at 5:03 PM on March 11, 2004


daniel redwood the new stephen glass?
posted by specialk420 at 5:39 PM on March 11, 2004


reads fake to me.
posted by stbalbach at 7:06 PM on March 11, 2004


Wulfgarl, the thrid of the posts in question weren't informative links, just references back to mefi in the last 24 hours. Whoo big information there!

y2, I complain about a dubious, uninformative, highly convenient partisan link and the best you can compare it to is a fpp (I didn't post) about the oil for bribes--er. food program?
I actually thought about posting that (oil for bribes) link but didn't because it was unconfirmed information widely reported and not particularly insight provoking. In other words it was a dubious, uninformative, highly convenient partisan fpp of the sort I am complaining about today. (I did comment on a technical issue in the thread, but stayed away from the issues raised.)

I have actually only made two fpps because I think the fpp is abused by folks posting obvious, polemical crap we can read anywhere else.

Your "mocking link in lieu of coherent argument" is cute at first, but it gets old.

However, let me thank you for causing me to read some 18 month old archives on the subject. It is amazing how less civil mefi now is compared to then. The goal now seems to beat your interlocutors down rather than engage with them. It is also worth noting that a good number of the interesting people in those threads have disappeared. Maybe there is a connection.
posted by ednopantz at 7:07 PM on March 11, 2004


reads fake to me.


"Between living in Virginia Beach-Norfolk area and participating in the Clark campaign, I have been meeting many military folks, although I do not have a military background myself. The medic that I interviewed crossed my path a few weeks before the interview. I found his story compelling enough that I felt it was worth sharing with a broader audience. In my own small way, it is an effort to "support the troops." I have just interviewed a couple of other soldiers about their experiences in the VA medical system. I hope to turn that into an article sometime soon.

It's really too bad I had to eliminate all biographical identifiers from the medic's interview, because he is one of the most impressive people I've ever met. His family and personal history are quite something. His dynamism is almost electric.

I fully understand that the use of an anonymous source legitimately raises questions. I hope this helps."

- redwood
posted by specialk420 at 7:14 PM on March 11, 2004


Unlike some interviews I've seen in past, I do believe that this one is real. And even though I disagree with much of what the young man is saying, for a bunch of different reasons, political to technical, I think it is a very good thing that he gets out his POV.

One of the most disturbing philosophical directions the military is taking these days is singularity of political affiliation. That is, republican. The post-Vietnam mutual distaste the democratic party and the Pentagon/military as a whole have displayed for each other threatens us all. It must end.

The actor Ron Silver, attending the first Clinton inauguration, saw Air Force jets overhead and said his first response was visceral hatred, until he reminded himself that "Those planes are ours, now." But this is the wrong attitude. Just because you are in charge of an institution does not mean you are in control of its people. And beyond a certain point, they will figure this out themselves.

I fear an army without democrats, that is, no longer reflective of our political society, will eventually mean that only a republican president can have a foreign policy; or that the military will be privatized.

The new philosophy must be that true resistance to the misuse of military force must come from within the military. Not by subversion, but by persuasion. Military people do not and should not blindly follow their leaders, and even privates have myriad choices in carrying out their duties.

Has it already progressed too far? Is a draft necessary to invest the military with democrats too?
posted by kablam at 7:15 PM on March 11, 2004


My nephew attended that Thanksgiving dinner. He says he didn't have to fill out a questionnaire....

My goodness ... one doesn't question the credibility of posts like this. One just shakes one's head in a meaningful fashion, agrees that yes, it is just further evidence that Bush sucks and is evil, and moves on. Waiting around to see if one of MeFi's token conservatives dares to say somthing is always an opton (because gang tackling is so much fun and gives one the joy of collective righteousness) ... but really, the point isn't whatever the issue is in a particular thread, it is to make certain that there is a daily post (or two, or five) that maintains the ongoing political agenda - (even if the posts contain nothing but a link to a single far-left opinion piece, or an interview with an unamed person containing anecdotal allegations that cannot be proved).

Its sorta like a dull, throbbing toothache. Always there in the background. Now and then you press on it with your finger, which temporarily eases the pain, but produces a increased pain for a few moments afterwards. Fortunately, from a larger perspective, a dull toothache is sorta meaningless to life, and fairly easy to ignore if you want to.
posted by MidasMulligan at 7:19 PM on March 11, 2004


I know several Marines that have served in Iraq, and an interview with them would be very similar to the one linked in this post. Fake or not, there are certainly servicemen with similar viewpoints.
posted by romanb at 7:19 PM on March 11, 2004


What kablam said. This one party is the party of patriotism and one is the party of treason is a line Senator Joseph McCarthy favored. A one party military is not a good thing.
posted by y2karl at 7:50 PM on March 11, 2004


My brother is a Marine, just got sent back to Iraq. He is no believer in the mission, the president, nor does he give a damn about the Iraqi people at this point. He is being reinserted into an incredibly dangerous situation (he speaks Arabic and Farsi, and will be working a roadblock/checkpoint), for reasons that he (and I) believe do not serve real American interests.

The best case scenario for him is to suffer one more year and he is out. Everybody knows what the worst options are. No matter what happens, none of it means anything to either of us.

Do you feel it is possible for American citizens to support the troops without supporting the policies under which the troops are acting?
Absolutely.
posted by thirteen at 7:53 PM on March 11, 2004


thirteen. wow. thoughts for you and your bro - i can't imagine the stress ...
posted by specialk420 at 8:39 PM on March 11, 2004


we must all look like ants to that stuck-up jerk, MidasMulligan. (props to me for doing with one sentence that which took you two paragraphs!)
posted by mcsweetie at 9:20 PM on March 11, 2004


Hopefully the fact that the U.S. has gone into force-protection mode will help offset the fact that the fresh troops are largely reservists.

It's been fortunate that we've taken as few casualties as we have so far. Our troops' body armor has been a resounding success in saving lives (at least for those that are lucky enough to get it, anyway), and the Iraqis were in worse shape than many thought going into the war. However, it's eaten our force-preparedness up. I just hope to whatever gods there are that we don't have to confront Pakistan or North Korea in the near future. Although there is no doubt we could beat them in a stand-up fight, we'd probably take more losses than we would have otherwise because of the depleted state of our forces.

This mostly-useless war has severely compromised our national security, put our troops through an exhausting exercise, and given the Iraqis a newfound freedom to conduct a civil war. Our troops did a good job at what they were ordered to do, but crikes, what a waste of this good effort. I hope that events prove me so wrong about the outcome in that screwed-up country, but I just don't see any way they are going to avoid it.

Thank goodness we are finally starting to put the proper focus on Al Qaeda again. I just hope that our inattentiveness in that regard hasn't provided that organization enough time to put another attack plan into motion.

It breaks my heart to read stories like this, and see other recent after-action reports on television. These guys did such a good job, worked so damned hard and went through so much, and for what reason? Hallucinations out of the Office of Special Plans, lies out of that charlatan scum Chalabi and those poseurs in the Iraqi National Congress, and disrespect from the office of the President.
posted by moonbiter at 9:49 PM on March 11, 2004


Wow. Well said, kablam. I'm worried that the army as private force for corporate agenda horse may already be out of the barn, though.
posted by squirrel at 11:56 PM on March 11, 2004


The reaction to the kablam's comment kind of lets the air out of MidasMulligan's Waiting around to see if one of MeFi's token conservatives dares to say somthing is always an opton (because gang tackling is so much fun and gives one the joy of collective righteousness) sneer.

I wouldn't call kablam a doctrinaire conservative but, on the other hand, he's definitely not your average Howard Dean supporter. Gee, you'd think sometimes MetaFilter was comprised of a bunch of complex individuals.

But there can be only one Unique Individual! All the rest are mindless sheep wallowing in the joy of collective righteousness! *Cue Highlander theme....*
posted by y2karl at 12:12 AM on March 12, 2004


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