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Winning is everything?
May 24, 2004 9:00 AM   Subscribe

"A reversal of soldiers' fortunes" describes how the first solider to be court-martialed for Abu Ghraib is greeted as a hero, while the soldier who brought these activites to light is treated as a villain.
posted by FormlessOne (71 comments total)

 
There exist people that are A-OK with brown people being humiliated! O M G!!!!

Shouldn't this be a Fark link?
posted by kavasa at 9:04 AM on May 24, 2004


8
posted by brownpau at 9:10 AM on May 24, 2004


The point, of course, has little to do with "brown people being humiliated" and more to do with the fact that we don't reward ethics, we reward success.
posted by FormlessOne at 9:11 AM on May 24, 2004


The point, of course, is that this is a bare link to an uninteresting news article. The further point, of course, is that what "we" do as a great big delightfully diverse nation is reward all sorts of things, depending on what little community you're talking about.

But hey! Keep it up, maybe soon we can have little tags for posts with words like "asinine" and "weird" and "Florida".
posted by kavasa at 9:15 AM on May 24, 2004


Excellent! Instead of talking points, belittlement! And here I was, thinking that it'd be an interesting point for contemplation.

Encouraging.
posted by FormlessOne at 9:19 AM on May 24, 2004


I thought it had some great hillbilly quotes in it. God bless the fearless Canadian press. And Fark is still more interesting than Metafilter.
posted by inksyndicate at 9:23 AM on May 24, 2004


Careful what you wish for kavasa. I don't think you'd like my preferred placement of the "asinine" tag.
posted by Optamystic at 9:23 AM on May 24, 2004


Jesus, kavasa, if you disagree, disagree, but STFU with the whinyness. Five comments and two of them are you shitting all over the place.

This is a good link, FormlessOne. For all the talk about how Iraq- both this war and the previous one- shouldn't be relegated to Vietnam in the sense of villifying the troops, it's depressing to hear how soldiers can be villified and shunned by their own home for following the code of the army. Too many people want their heroes to be movie heroes.

We need stories like this to show just how many "more American than thou" types are hypocrites when it comes to judging the true bravery of some of our troops.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:26 AM on May 24, 2004


(Sorry about the "8" above. It should have been an infinity symbol, a minimal-witty response to the "Fark" comment, but that obviously didn't work out, and I should have just stayed quiet.)
posted by brownpau at 9:28 AM on May 24, 2004


the fact that we don't reward ethics, we reward success.
Seems like general life today. Any past history where their was a reward. Does ethics have a reward? The ethics in it maybe why which is also why some will pass possessing it.

To add to the article, have not heard anything like this around my community, Dallas, Tx.
posted by thomcatspike at 9:35 AM on May 24, 2004


Sweet monkey on a stick ... we're doomed.
These people are troglodites.
It's unfortunate that these morons are the majority of humanity. That's not going to change any time soon.
maybe we should just blow them up and get the hell out.
posted by Dillenger69 at 9:40 AM on May 24, 2004


"At the Tuesday rally, they pray for Jeremy, they sing for Jeremy, they rail about the lack of God's teaching in society and the school, they rage against pornography and Bill Clinton and they rise en masse, without prompting when "God Bless America" blares from the speakers, just to the right of the American flag and the portrait of Jesus."

that article made me sick to my stomach.
posted by y0bhgu0d at 9:52 AM on May 24, 2004


These people are troglodites.
It's unfortunate that these morons are the majority of humanity. That's not going to change any time soon.
maybe we should just blow them up and get the hell out.


Please... I disagree with these people on the war and all that 110% But I thought this "troglodite's" question was spot-on.

"I don't know who is lying, but don't any of these people have a set of (guts) big enough to take some responsibility? Where are the commanders?"

Our military is trying to throw all the blame onto individuals who were encouraged to do this by their superiors. Of course they need to be held accountable, but this can't be blamed soley on some "troglodites," no matter how convenient and comforting it is for your worldview.
posted by Slimemonster at 9:54 AM on May 24, 2004


Note to self. Stay out of Hyndman, Pa.
posted by Outlawyr at 9:55 AM on May 24, 2004


I find it simply amazing that there are people who can't register the connection between our treatment of prisoners and the Berg decapitation. There was some Rumsfeld throw-away line a week or two back about how the 'terrorists' are targetting innocent people... Like, Hello! That's exactly what we're doing, only state-style. And somehow the Iraqis on their homelands are the monsters, while we're the benevolent conquistadors working for the 'defense' of our distant nation? How the hell does that equation work?

Gah. If this sort of reasoning is what you're looking for, you'll find skads over at Free Republic. (I signed up last week and posted about ten moderate (I thought) comments before having posting rights taken away. Supporters of free speech my ass.)
posted by kaibutsu at 10:05 AM on May 24, 2004


Our military is trying to throw all the blame onto individuals who were encouraged to do this by their superiors.

Well, you know, it's always just a few bad apples in the military. Turns out seven grunts in an Iraqi prison regiment were solely responsible for torturing the prisoners, as well as inaccurately calculating Iraqi reception of U.S. forces, allying with Chalabi, indicating the presence of WMDs, and claiming a link between Saddam and al-Qaeda.

That gal in the photo holding the leash? Yeah, her. Wrote the Yellowcake document. All by herself. Bad apples. Giving lifelong servants like Rumsfeld a bad name, they are.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:07 AM on May 24, 2004


He should have kept his mouth shut," said Billy Joe Davis, a 65-year-old Corriganville resident with blunt views expressed in equally blunt language.

"Ask him if he thinks it's cruel to have them dragging the bodies of our people up and down the street. Ask him if he thinks it's cruel hanging our people off the bridges.


Hey Billy Joe, where the hell were you when they handed out basic morals 101 -- "two wrongs don't make a right", remember?

"We should just blow the place up and get the hell out of there."

Absolutely no sense of consequence. Not suprising coming from a person who would seem to think the prison abuses were OK.

But hey, if Billy Joe thinks that the best way to deal with problems is to just blow things up, I'll happily contribute explosives to Corriganville.
posted by namespan at 10:08 AM on May 24, 2004


One thing to remember is that, while the idiotic people quoted in the article exist, it doesn't mean they are the majority or the leaders, or the respected people in this town. I am sure a reporter could go to the same place and file the a story from the exact opposite perspective. One thing that always surprises me is that even in places that can be described like these towns are, is that you can always find intelligent people with the exact opposite perspective if you look for them.
posted by chaz at 10:14 AM on May 24, 2004


Jebuz...this scares me. It scares me to realize that there are people...nay communities, that think this way. It frightens me to realize that the kid who finally put a stop to it is probably in danger from these morons.

What has this country come to when torture is acceptable, honor is disregarded and evil is held up to be a trait of Jesus?

I hadn't seen this story, and I have a page full of rss news feeds...so despite kavasa's infantile whinefest, I appreciate seeing it.
posted by dejah420 at 10:15 AM on May 24, 2004


"Ask him if he thinks it's cruel to have them dragging the bodies of our people up and down the street. Ask him if he thinks it's cruel hanging our people off the bridges.

"We should just blow the place up and get the hell out of there." - Billy Joe Davis, a 65-year-old Corriganville resident.

I've heard this sentiment voiced often recently on websites and radio talks shows.

But most who say this sort of thing seem quite oblivious the fact that the words issuing from their mouths are quite simply calls for the cold blooded murder of millions of innocent people.

Such minds and moral sensibilities have been short circuited by raw hate.

I call this Evil.

Evil. Sounds like "weevil", but much nastier.
posted by troutfishing at 10:31 AM on May 24, 2004


"this is a bare link to an uninteresting news article." - Uninteresting? To you perhaps. I find it very interesting.....and rather unpleasant too. But quite noteworthy.
posted by troutfishing at 10:34 AM on May 24, 2004


chaz wrote: One thing to remember is that, while the idiotic people quoted in the article exist, it doesn't mean they are the majority or the leaders, or the respected people in this town...

Exactly what I was about to post. Generalizing about a whole community based on a small sample is just bad reporting.
posted by tippiedog at 10:34 AM on May 24, 2004


Our military is trying to throw all the blame onto individuals who were encouraged to do this by their superiors.
Their smile in the photos may tell a truer tale.
posted by thomcatspike at 10:36 AM on May 24, 2004


Evil indeed. If they end up with a face-to-face with Jesus, they're going to have a surprise or two:
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

25:43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
(note: somehow I doubt the abuse counts as visiting)
25:44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
I'm ashamed of my fellow Christians who can't seem to read the damn Good book.
posted by namespan at 10:42 AM on May 24, 2004


What has this country come to when torture is acceptable, honor is disregarded and evil is held up to be a trait of Jesus?

let's be honest. we are the historic home of insanely high urban homicide rates, gay bashing, lynching, high school mass murder, slavery, the extinction of native peoples, etc. etc. until we can face our violent past & present honestly and truthfully, i'm really afraid we're not going to evovle.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 10:51 AM on May 24, 2004


"Ask him if he thinks it's cruel to have them dragging the bodies of our people up and down the street. Ask him if he thinks it's cruel hanging our people off the bridges."


"We should just blow the place up and get the hell out of there." - Billy Joe Davis, a 65-year-old

troutfishing:I call this Evil.

I thought only the Bushites described their "enemies" as "evil."

Ugly sentiments, to be sure, but let's actually look at his statement. The first sentence is perfectly understandable raw anger and frustration. The second sentence is reguritation of propoganda he's been fed by our current government. The way to combat this is to acknowledge the validity of the first sentence and to feed him something else to counteract the propoganda he's been fed. Then maybe we'll accomplish something besides widening our current cultural chasms even further.
posted by jonmc at 11:03 AM on May 24, 2004


That's it. I'm heading back to the sea.
posted by troutfishing at 11:04 AM on May 24, 2004


tippledog: The report does contain quotes from folks both pro- & anti-

Unfortunately, some of the, er, less thoughtful comments, are pretty typical of a fair chunk of the US population. Too many people just don't give a shit about really helping out countries like Iraq and see the whole thing in terms of re-inforcing USA #1 status. And also, more worryingly, in terms of revenge/justice for 9/11.

_sirmissalot_: I think the standard response to that involves calling you a America-hating Liberal. As opposed to actually debating the point that is.
posted by i_cola at 11:05 AM on May 24, 2004


Generalizing about a whole community based on a small sample is just bad reporting.

Yea, kinda like the way MetaFilter speaks of the military based on the actions of a few.
posted by Witty at 11:22 AM on May 24, 2004


Witty: Not that you're speaking of MetaFilter based on the actions of the few or anything.
posted by i_cola at 11:28 AM on May 24, 2004


missed this, Neighbours won't talk about him and most in a community so tiny it is not even on most maps, claim not to know him. "He should have kept his mouth shut," said Billy Joe Davis, a 65-year-old Corriganville resident with blunt views expressed in equally blunt language.
posted by thomcatspike at 11:54 AM on May 24, 2004


jonmc:I thought only the Bushites described their "enemies" as "evil."

While, yes, it is a very bad idea to divide people up into 'Good' people and 'Bad,' (or us and them or any such bipolar division), there is a point to be made about the Hannah Arendt style Evil. Specifically, the kind of evil that led the common German civilian to support (or at the very least allow) the mass deportation and execution of the Jews. In this sense, I'm quite willing to agree that Mr. Davis is an evil man, or at least somehow corrupted. I think this is different from old Shrub saying that terr'ists are Evil because he never really defines or leaves room for debate on the application of the term. Also, I think I use the term with the intent of removing the 'evil' from a person, rather than removing the person from the world. Since I don't really believe in 'Good' people, I use the term as a tool to unite, not another division, and even that only rarely.


sirmissalot: let's be honest. we are the historic home of insanely high urban homicide rates, gay bashing, lynching, high school mass murder, slavery, the extinction of native peoples, etc. etc. until we can face our violent past & present honestly and truthfully, i'm really afraid we're not going to evovle.

Damn straight. This is what I think of any time the Administration starts going on about how 'un-american' the Abu Ghraib offenses were. No, there are few things more American, godammit, go read your history books!
posted by kaibutsu at 12:13 PM on May 24, 2004


Somehow I doubt Billy Joe would be singing the same tune had he been pissed upon and raped. Then again...

Does he own a banjo?
posted by bargle at 12:19 PM on May 24, 2004


"Billy Joe Davis, a 65-year-old Corriganville resident..."

No relation.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:20 PM on May 24, 2004


Not that you're speaking of MetaFilter based on the actions of the few or anything.

A few? That's pretty funny.
posted by Witty at 12:24 PM on May 24, 2004


Does he own a banjo?

That kind of shit just destroys the credibility of those who would criticize him.
posted by jpoulos at 12:28 PM on May 24, 2004


Not to mention...it's not just backwards "rednecks" and "hillbillies" who think this way. I work at a computer company in New England. You hear the same sentiments from white collars. To think that this kind of thinking is localized in the rural south mischaracterizes not only the rural south but the problem itself.
posted by jpoulos at 12:31 PM on May 24, 2004


I'm quite willing to agree that Mr. Davis is an evil man, or at least somehow corrupted.

Another half-true statement. I don't know Mr. Davis, so I'm not gonna pass judgement on him, but I'd say "corrupted" is closer to the truth. To call him "evil," merely allows us to oversimplify a complex situation and and divide the situation into "us" and "them" which is exactly what the current administration would like.

I may be crazy, but I'd rather try to get inside his head and figure out why he feels the way he does. Y'know, nothing human being alien to me and all that.

Like him, I felt my blood boiling when I saw the footage of those contractors being killed. I understand where he's coming from on that score. He's chosen to swallow the propoganda that those atrocities justified Abu Ghraib, just as some Iraqi's probably believe that Abu Ghraib justifies Nic Berg. I chose not to. But simply writing him off as "evil," is merely going to inflame divisions in our society further rather than help anyone reach any understanding of eachother.

Am I making any sense? I dunno, but that's how I'm seeing this.

Not to mention...it's not just backwards "rednecks" and "hillbillies" who think this way.

Amen. That kinda talk is cheap scapegoating. Which is made even less amusing by the fact that many of the people bargle would consider "hillbillies" are the ones coming home in body bags.
posted by jonmc at 12:38 PM on May 24, 2004


very interesting. thanks for the link. i was thinking about posting something similar, i.e. Is Winning Everything?, a few months ago

a recent poll indicated that most Americans don't care about large numbers of US war casualties, as long as the war is successful, i.e. the US wins.

in essence, the "mainstream" anti-war movement in Vietnam was not due to the number of dead soldiers. it was due the fact that we weren't killing enough Asians to make it worth it.

damn. i can't find the link. anybody else see the same story back when?

very, very depressing (not surprising, just depressing), though there's some common wisdom to be among the prejudice.

"He was a mechanic," Lehman said. "What's a mechanic doing guarding prisoners in Iraq?"
posted by mrgrimm at 12:44 PM on May 24, 2004


in essence, the "mainstream" anti-war movement in Vietnam was not due to the number of dead soldiers. it was due the fact that we weren't killing enough Asians to make it worth it.

The vagaries of polling aside, mrgrimm, do you honestly believe that's how most Americans think? That they don't care about dead young Americans? Do you have that low a veiw of your countrymen that you'd swallow that?

Saddening.
posted by jonmc at 12:49 PM on May 24, 2004


--Does he own a banjo?

-That kind of shit just destroys the credibility of those who would criticize him.
Think it was a Deliverance reference, yo.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 12:54 PM on May 24, 2004


Think it was a Deliverance reference, yo.

Duh, ya think?

That somehow makes it less offensive?
posted by jonmc at 12:57 PM on May 24, 2004


Neither the fact that the men who gave the orders will probably never be punished, nor the fact that the Iraqis have done similar or worse to Americans, changes the fact that the abuse conducted by servicemen like Sivits was wrong. Ethically, morally, legally - there's no justification. "I was just following orders" went out of style in 1945. To pardon someone because of the wrongdoing of others is just as heinous as to convict someone because of the wrongdoing of others. Let them be judged by their actions alone.
posted by junkbox at 1:27 PM on May 24, 2004


.
posted by troutfishing at 2:56 PM on May 24, 2004


That somehow makes it less offensive?

Jesus fucking christ
posted by crank at 3:07 PM on May 24, 2004


Leave our banjos out of it. I love my 5 string.

The article itself is entirely predictable.

Billy Joe's quote is arresting: that's why the reporter wrote it up for you. That does not mean he is representative.

YHBT. HAND.

Personally, This pinko Kiwi's objections to American conduct include the fact that your occupation doesn't live up to your alleged principles. So it's weird to hear antiwar people forgetting their skepticism, latching on to reportage that pleases them, and tarring the opposition as evil.

jonmc, I do believe I'm with you.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 3:12 PM on May 24, 2004


No, jonmc. What is offensive is the opinion that "we should blow the place up and get the hell out of there". That is Naziism. There is no other word for it. The advocacy for the genocide of a whole population, based on their ethnic background. That is the fucking offensive part of this thread. Not some lame redneck joke.
posted by salmacis at 3:46 PM on May 24, 2004


dejah420:What has this country come to when torture is acceptable, honor is disregarded and evil is held up to be a trait of Jesus?

Actually, I think this is a very good thing. The defenders of the right get to see that their ideology is backwards and immoral. The more of this, the better. Its like there's this slow breaking point occuring, from day one of Bush's presidency to the wedding bombing, it seems people are wising up to how horrid and corrupt this administration is and how untrustworthy the media is. Not to mention questioning those who hide behind flags or portraits/platitudes of Jesus.

Hopefully, paleocons and ethical religious people will show these defenders of hate the door.
posted by skallas at 4:24 PM on May 24, 2004


To think that this kind of thinking is localized in the rural south mischaracterizes not only the rural south but the problem itself.

Considering that this happened in the Northeast, I don't see how the "rural south" comes into play. His apparent approval of rape and torture just made me think of the sociopaths in Deliverance. It was just a random insult thrown at the guy.

Which is made even less amusing by the fact that many of the people bargle would consider "hillbillies" are the ones coming home in body bags.

I AM from the rural south, I grew up in rural Arkansas, and wasn't the one that threw out the word hillbillies either. But please continue profiling me.
posted by bargle at 4:27 PM on May 24, 2004


>in essence, the "mainstream" anti-war movement in Vietnam was not due to the number of dead soldiers. it was due the fact that we weren't killing enough Asians to make it worth it.

>>The vagaries of polling aside, mrgrimm, do you honestly believe that's how most Americans think? That they don't care about dead young Americans? Do you have that low a veiw of your countrymen that you'd swallow that?


Well, then, I guess I have a high opinion of Americans -- that they're killer scum, and that 'not killing enough Asians to make it worth it' sounds like just the sort of evil pigfuck neanderthologisms that some of your most upstanding citizens would use for an excuse to get out of a war, reasoning in their limited way that 'the enemy' are worthless and subhuman and not of the tribe. [/satire, angry]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:48 PM on May 24, 2004


No, jonmc. What is offensive is the opinion that "we should blow the place up and get the hell out of there". That is Naziism. There is no other word for it. The advocacy for the genocide of a whole population, based on their ethnic background.

salamacis, I never said I supported that opinion. I merely attempted to think critically about it. Aren't you lefties supposed to be in favor of that? Or does that go out the window when it gets in the way of the buzz of self-righteousness?

Not some lame redneck joke.

Please. If it was any other ethnic group as the butt of the joke people'd be falling over themselves to condemn it. I have zero problem with "bad" words. I just dig the hypocrisy.

ounds like just the sort of evil pigfuck neanderthologisms that some of your most upstanding citizens would use for an excuse to get out of a war,

So, we're evil pigfucks if we're in a war and we're evil pigfucks if we get out of war. Interesting logical pretzels you're making there. Or will you take any collective action America takes and paint it in a bad light, just to suit you?
posted by jonmc at 4:58 PM on May 24, 2004


Please. If it was any other ethnic group as the butt of the joke people'd be falling over themselves to condemn it. I have zero problem with "bad" words. I just dig the hypocrisy.

Didn't you get the memo? It's okay to pick on rednecks because 1) they're poor, 2) they're rural, 3) they're overweight, and 4) they're white.
posted by keswick at 5:07 PM on May 24, 2004


Didn't you get the memo? It's okay to pick on rednecks because 1) they're poor, 2) they're rural, 3) they're overweight, and 4) they're white.

Don't forget keswick, this is the internet. A lotta science nerds haven't gotten over those schoolyard ass-kickings yet. Bear with them.
posted by jonmc at 5:12 PM on May 24, 2004


Conservative: Everyone but America is Evil.
Liberal: America is Evil.
Me: Everyone is Evil.
posted by chaz at 5:17 PM on May 24, 2004


jonmc, I do believe I'm with you.

Me too. I despise both the acts of the Abu Ghraib offenders and the smug prejudice of those who would take them as typical of 1) hillbillies or 2) Americans in general. Also, anyone who starts talking about Evil had better be on awfully good terms with the Almighty. I consider myself a reasonably humane and pacifistic person, but in the immediate aftermath of September 11 I found myself wanting to see bombers over Afghanistan. Cold-blooded analysis didn't have a chance against the primitive emotions of outrage and vengeance. Was that Evil? Maybe so, but then I suspect we're pretty much all Evil except for those few saints who never even have to suppress a vengeful or violent thought.

Me, I've studied history in general and the Middle East in particular; once I got past the reptilian moment I could think analytically and say "Iraq had nothing to do with it" and all the other right-thinking (left-thinking?) things good MeFites are supposed to think. But a lot of Americans haven't studied history and know jack shit about the Middle East; they just know some bastards are attacking the country they love and they want to get them. And since everyone from the President to their local talk-show host is saying or implying that those damn ragheads (or "hajis" -- how'd that get started?) in Iraq are to blame, it's no surprise that they don't show much regard for the human rights of the prisoners in Abu Ghraib. I don't think they're Evil; I think they're human. I remember back in '68 I told my roommate I didn't want to go to Vietnam not just because the war was wrong but because I was afraid once I went through boot camp and spent my days surrounded by fellow frightened, trained-to-kill young recruits and got to Nam and found myself surrounded by people many of whom were trying to kill me, I would wind up one of the killers I deplored from afar. He was aghast; he was sure we weren't like them. But I think we're mostly pretty much alike in our capabilities; subject us to the same conditions and stimuli and we react pretty much the same. Sure, Abu Ghraib is America; it's also Iraq, and France, and India, and Russia, and everywhere else. We're all torturers in posse, and you and I should get down on our knees every day and be grateful we haven't been put in a position where that potential was likely to be realized.

No, you say, you're different, we're different, those bastards in Abu Ghraib are the scum of the earth, nothing to do with us. Isn't it pretty to think so?
posted by languagehat at 5:43 PM on May 24, 2004


or "hajis" -- how'd that get started?

I haven't seen this one yet. "Jihadis", yes, but using the term "hajji" to describe terrorists? That's pretty ugly; where have you seen it?
posted by mr_roboto at 6:04 PM on May 24, 2004


The vagaries of polling aside, mrgrimm, do you honestly believe that's how most Americans think? That they don't care about dead young Americans?

well, first, i was talking about an article i read, not necessarily my opinion. i didn't make it clear that the poll info and the interpretation of the development of the vietnam antiwar movement were in the same article.

but yes, i think that a lot of people (all of whom don't have family in the active military) don't care much among individual dead American soldiers. they care about dead Americans in general, but the numbers only matter in relationship to the success of the campaign. yes, i'd buy that. cynical? perhaps.

i have a very hard time understanding how anyone could justify the current war in Iraq, yet apparently millions of people do. i'm cynical for a reason.
posted by mrgrimm at 7:56 PM on May 24, 2004


languagehat, that was amazingly well said. I feel very similarly. I believe in free will, but feel that most people, in situations like this, will freely choose to do horrible things. Anyone who says they would never do things like this is lying. I can barley trust myself, at best. No one person, persons, countries or any group of people has a moral high ground.

I still despise those who do such things, though, because they didn't have the moral/intestinal fortitude to not torture, or kill, or what have you. But I also despise those who airily condemn them as being somehow separate, or beneath them, or hold them to a higher standard then anyone else.
posted by Snyder at 8:05 PM on May 24, 2004


but yes, i think that a lot of people (all of whom don't have family in the active military) don't care much among individual dead American soldiers. they care about dead Americans in general, but the numbers only matter in relationship to the success of the campaign. yes, i'd buy that. cynical? perhaps.

Beyond cynical into despairing, man. I don't have any family currently in the military (although some have served), but I have several freinds in the service and the reserves and others in fire departments and law enforcement. When I hear that a soldier, sailor, cop or fireman dies in the line of duty, I see my friends in their place. That's normal human empathy. The soldiers in the photos look like people I might know or hang out with. I don't believe that other people don't feel the same thing.

i have a very hard time understanding how anyone could justify the current war in Iraq, yet apparently millions of people do. i'm cynical for a reason.

I wouldn't try to justify the war either, mrgrimm. That's not what I'm trying to do here. I'm just trying to illustrate that misinformation and misdirected legitamite anger and fear have manipulated many Americans into believing that Iraq had something to do with 9/11. The horrors of Fallujah and Nic Berg stoked that anger even more and provided more ammunition to the pro-war agenda.

What we as anti-war people need to do, is recognize that good people can be led astray, especially in moments of vulnerabilty like post-9/11. Also we need to recognize that anger at 9/11 and fear of terrorism are legitamite and justified, but that our reactions are being misdirected and are actually making the situuation worse. The fact that Bish's approval rating is falling tells me that people may be coming out of the fog on this. I'm just trying to envision a more inclusive and effective anti-iraq-war movement here, that's all.
posted by jonmc at 8:12 PM on May 24, 2004


at least the torture was effective in getting the iraqi scientists to turn over the wmds
posted by specialk420 at 8:14 PM on May 24, 2004


I think we may just have found where Bush's popular support comes from. Thank God for those articles...
posted by clevershark at 9:39 PM on May 24, 2004


To think that this kind of thinking is localized in the rural south mischaracterizes not only the rural south but the problem itself.

That couldn't be more spot on.
posted by justgary at 9:55 PM on May 24, 2004


So, we're evil pigfucks if we're in a war and we're evil pigfucks if we get out of war. Interesting logical pretzels you're making there.

Actually, that's completely consistent.

I'd draw your attention to the fact that 'evil pigfuck' was an adjectival phrase modifying a noun that I came up with on the spur of the moment, that I thought was a cleverly fractal neologism for 'dumb neologisms', though : neanderthologisms.

But then again, I was basically just pulling your dick.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:04 PM on May 24, 2004


"I was basically just pulling your dick..."

Don't stop now.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:23 PM on May 24, 2004


The south has a special type of ignorance, which, for lack of a better term, we'll call "southern Baptist."

/David Cross.
posted by The God Complex at 10:33 PM on May 24, 2004


ps -- I also understand this wasn't actually in the south, but since everyone was talking about it I decided to throw it out there anyway.
posted by The God Complex at 10:56 PM on May 24, 2004


Change a few of the words in this, and it could be a quote straight from 1984 (or else Rise and Fall of the Third Reich):

At the Tuesday rally, they pray for Jeremy, they sing for Jeremy, they rail about the lack of God's teaching in society and the school, they rage against pornography and Bill Clinton and they rise en masse, without prompting when "God Bless America" blares from the speakers, just to the right of the American flag and the portrait of Jesus.

/shudder
posted by psmealey at 8:09 AM on May 25, 2004


but using the term "hajji" to describe terrorists? That's pretty ugly; where have you seen it?

Yes, it is pretty ugly, but it's the functional equivalent of "gook" according to the stories I've been reading. Here's a story that explains "Haji, which means 'pilgrim,' is what the indigenous population is called." And here's a Bob Herbert column ("'Gooks' to 'Hajis'," NY Times, May 21, 2004) that has this revealing quote:
"You just sort of try to block out the fact that they're human beings and see them as enemies," he said. "You call them hajis, you know? You do all the things that make it easier to deal with killing them and mistreating them."
posted by languagehat at 10:03 AM on May 25, 2004


fwiw, i've heard the term "haji" used for a long time now. i definitely agree with languagehat's comparison with "gook." maybe i'm confused, but i remember hearing it as far back as Khomeini.

it seems to be a nonsensical word based on "haj," the muslim pilgrimage to mecca.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:55 AM on May 25, 2004


At the Tuesday rally, they pray for Jeremy, they sing for Jeremy, they rail about the lack of God's teaching in society and the school, they rage against pornography and Bill Clinton and they rise en masse, without prompting when "God Bless America" blares from the speakers, just to the right of the American flag and the portrait of Jesus.

Bushwhackers, condensed version.
Bite me ignorant fucks.
Did Rush preside over this meeting or was it brothers Jerry and Pat?
Cynical and saddened and disappointed in Americans?
Damn straight!
posted by nofundy at 11:15 AM on May 25, 2004


The south has a special type of ignorance, which, for lack of a better term, we'll call "southern Baptist."

/David Cross.
posted by The God Complex at 12:33 AM CST on May 25

You are the ignorant one, for using a quote to justify a false idea today. Bet I have more Middle Eastern neighbors than you do; I live in Dallas, Tx. Have several Mosques near my home, which out number the S. Baptist in my neighborhood. G.A.L.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:07 PM on May 25, 2004


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