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Stone Cold
August 23, 2005 7:29 PM   Subscribe

It's never too late to declare your support for Operation Iraqi Freedom.
posted by digaman (49 comments total)

 
classy.
maybe the anti-Sheehan gang, between smears, will find the time to stick a band-aid with a little purple heart on her kid's gravestone, who knows
posted by matteo at 7:32 PM on August 23, 2005


Yuck.
posted by angry modem at 7:36 PM on August 23, 2005


I'm getting 'Pepsi' on my gravestone when I die.
posted by angry modem at 7:36 PM on August 23, 2005


disgusting. if i was a family member, i'd chisel that shit off.
posted by amberglow at 7:39 PM on August 23, 2005


Yeah, I agree with Matteo - classy.

And oh so typical, dontcha think?
posted by newfers at 7:40 PM on August 23, 2005


"Why was I there? Why am I here? Why am I not at home?"

"I get the twins, now, right?"

"Operation I'm dead."

Disgusting.
posted by trip and a half at 7:40 PM on August 23, 2005


inscribed with the slogan-like operation names the Pentagon selected to promote public support for the conflicts.

How in the name of anything holy this supposed to be positive PR? "Y'know, I was agin this war until I saw its name on the headstones of all those dead kids! Now I'm fer it!"
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:41 PM on August 23, 2005


What an incredibly stupid move. "I know, let's associate the name of the operation with dead soldiers! I'm sure that will generate support!"
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:43 PM on August 23, 2005


they should also include the name of the world leader who started the war
posted by braksandwich at 7:51 PM on August 23, 2005


excellent idea brak--"Killed by Bush", "Killed by Bush", "Killed by Bush", ...
posted by amberglow at 7:55 PM on August 23, 2005


They have an interesting page on this, on the VA web site. It looks like they have to explicitly authorize each "war" before it can go on the headstones, and they haven't done Iraq yet (otherwise they would say "Iraq", like the older ones say "Persian Gulf"). The last one they did was Somalia in 1992.
posted by smackfu at 7:56 PM on August 23, 2005


Oh, and

.
posted by trip and a half at 7:59 PM on August 23, 2005


Doesn't this all sound a bit Orwellian? Come on, what the hell is 'Operation Just Cause'? If it's a just cause, shouldn't it be obvious without you declaring it?

Double-plus good post, digaman.
posted by number9dream at 8:32 PM on August 23, 2005


Cue operation "fuck the next of kin".
posted by clevershark at 8:35 PM on August 23, 2005


or is it "Operation fuck'em, they volunteered"?
posted by clevershark at 8:38 PM on August 23, 2005


Why don't they use "Bring 'Em On!" Or "Let's Roll!" or "We were just kidding about those WMD's"

C'mon.. These aren't things that will sit next to your corpse for as long as there can still be a connection, or anything.

Howsabout "But Condi's got her own Tanker"
posted by Balisong at 8:39 PM on August 23, 2005


From the article:

"...they have the option to have the government-furnished headstones engraved with "Operation Enduring Freedom" or "Operation Iraqi Freedom" at no extra charge"

and

"...families always had the option of including information like battle or operation names, but didn't always know it."

So...one particular family was given a headstone without being asked about the contents -- and that's wrong. But where is the broader issue here? I don't see it.
posted by event at 8:39 PM on August 23, 2005


The greater issue is that his tombstone didn't say."Died at the ripe old age of 94. Suffered a heart attack while laughing while tickleing his great grandchild"

That, and this is an illegal war, built on lies. I sure wouldn't want that on MY tombstone.
posted by Balisong at 9:07 PM on August 23, 2005


On these military headstones I see Christian crosses, Jewish Stars and blurs. What do atheist troops get on their headstones? Can you request a "Finger"? Can Asatru believers get a rune and Stalinists a Hammer-&-Sickle?

On my headstone I'd want a chiselled picture of a burning U.S. flag. Or better yet, a Perpetually Flaming Flag exhibit instead of a headstone. One of my biggest claims to fame was burning a flag on TV at three consecutive anti-"Gulf War I" protests; once that gave some preppie liberal kid a chance to "rescue" a lit flag from me while his sister and girlfriend applauded, also on camera. He tried to go on about how "anti-war" does not mean "weirdo"; I replied that was MY flag he snatched, that he should exercise his to right to not burn his own damn flag instead of stealing mine. (Of course the TV news included everything except my retort.)

But anyway. To undigress: if one dies as a "Troop" does one's family (or one's lawyer waving a notarized document) have the option of not letting one be buried in a military boneyard? Or do they own your ass after they've killed you too?
posted by davy at 9:09 PM on August 23, 2005


The authorized emblems. Atheism is an atom, if they wish, but much more likely to just be blank. You can actually see a blank one in the first photo attached to the original story.
posted by smackfu at 9:20 PM on August 23, 2005


Cpl. John Doe
Jan. 1, 1987- Aug. 23, 2005
Army
Operation Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism or Global War on Terror (Take Your Pick)
posted by moonbird at 9:22 PM on August 23, 2005


Propaganda is just the first stage--soon they'll be billboards on tombstones, too!
posted by Citizen Premier at 9:23 PM on August 23, 2005


The authorized emblems. Atheism is an atom, if they wish, but much more likely to just be blank. You can actually see a blank one in the first photo attached to the original story.

I wonder if Satanists can request their crosses upside-down.
posted by Citizen Premier at 9:25 PM on August 23, 2005


And if putting slogans on their gravestones isn't enough for you, you can always put words in their mouths... Since dead guys don't talk, they can't stand up and say you're full of shit when you start saying things like "we owe them something" as a means to perpetuating your own personal war. If you really want to settle up, say you owed it to them to not start the elective war that got them killed...that you owe them and their families their lives back.
posted by MrSoyBoy at 9:28 PM on August 23, 2005


I say again:

"the option of including information like battle or operation names"

Did anybody actually read the article? It's a complete non-issue.
posted by event at 9:38 PM on August 23, 2005


Yes event, but the man in question didn't request to have "Operation Iraqi Freedom" written on his tombstone, and neither did any of his family members. His tombstone was used as propaganda against his living wishes and those of his family, and I'd bet this is not the first time it's happened.
posted by Citizen Premier at 9:41 PM on August 23, 2005


If someone put "Really liked Nascar" on my tombstone, I'd really be pissed and haunt them, and I don't give a rat's piss about Nascar.
This shit is important. What goes on a tombstone had better well be verified by those that knew him, and not by some PR department.
posted by Balisong at 9:50 PM on August 23, 2005


Yes. One family got a tombstone with a mistake. And that's it. I'm sure it's the first time that's happened.

It's a shame, but there's nothing "orwellian" about it.
posted by event at 10:00 PM on August 23, 2005


The authorized emblems.

Hm. Apparently the Crusader Cross is not an option.

/rimshot
posted by deanc at 10:09 PM on August 23, 2005


Come on, what the hell is 'Operation Just Cause'?

The US invasion of Panama. Although I think they left out the apostrophe: Operation Just 'Cause.

"One notorious after-effect of the invasion was nearly two weeks of widespread looting and lawlessness, a contingency which the United States military apparently had not anticipated." Well, that was a lesson learned, then.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:11 PM on August 23, 2005


I'm sure it's the first time that's happened.

This was intended as sarcasm, by the way. This thread boils down to, "Look, there's a mistake on this guy's tombstone." It's sad, but it happens.
posted by event at 10:22 PM on August 23, 2005


Earth to event: If phrases like "Operation Iraqi Freedom" and "Operation Infinite Justice" aren't Orwellian, nothing is.
posted by digaman at 10:22 PM on August 23, 2005


event said:
"I'm sure it's the first time that's happened.

This was intended as sarcasm, by the way. This thread boils down to, "Look, there's a mistake on this guy's tombstone." It's sad, but it happens."

Yes event, we all know what sarcasm is. If you assume we're all idiots we're not going to respect your opinions.
posted by Citizen Premier at 10:39 PM on August 23, 2005


event is right. The problem isn't that they're pissing on the graves, it's that the graves exist.

Tens of thousands of people have died, and many more than that have been injured because of a war based on Scheherazade's tales. That's the goddamned problem.
posted by mosch at 11:34 PM on August 23, 2005


I've met and shaken hands with three men who have died in Iraq. It was only a quirk of scheduling that kept my brother on the ground the day that two to them had the tail shot off their helicopter, flying the same route they all flew every day (big tactical mistake, yes...) leaving behind children and an eight month pregnant wife.

I never wanted those guys over there, but the level of snark in this thread is making me throw up in my mouth a little.

You think someone is trying to score political points over the graves of those men?

Look in the fucking mirror.
posted by Cyrano at 11:36 PM on August 23, 2005


The classy mirror.
posted by techgnollogic at 11:45 PM on August 23, 2005


Cyrano, I support our troops--I want them to come home.
posted by Citizen Premier at 12:01 AM on August 24, 2005


The classy mirror.

funny how our bootlicking friends appear briefly, if at all, in these threads. and if they do, they try to push weird arguments like, equating the Pentagon and a 501(c)3 organization like Veterans for Peace. Because of course the Federal government shouldn't be held to higher standards. (not to mention, Veterans for Peace didn't exactly send kids to slaughter like somebody else did, but I'm digressing)

keep enjoying the taste of victory, children
posted by matteo at 2:23 AM on August 24, 2005


Jesus. You're a little quick to judge today, aren't you, matteo? So some idiot somewhere made a bad decision. It's easily righted, so maybe Cyrano is right; it's a little disrespectful to be wrangling over gravesites.

Sadly, respect doesn't really matter anymore. First conservatives, then liberals, got used to being perpetually disrespectful. Now it's the norm, and both sides rush to say 'but my disrespect serves a higher purpose-- keeping/getting THEM out of power!' Whatever. It's still disgusting. Can't we be fair and just and civil and decent?

posted by koeselitz at 4:04 AM on August 24, 2005


Why not just pay for this fiasco (aka Operation Iraqi Liberation) by selling ad space on the headstones. "This dead body brought to you by Exxon-Mobil"
posted by ElvisJesus at 4:35 AM on August 24, 2005


Cyrano, the difference is, the people on this side of the fucking mirror didn't send those guys to die to... increase national secur... spread democracy... find WM.... what was it again?
posted by digaman at 6:45 AM on August 24, 2005


Come on. It's the family's option. The faulty tombstone can be replaced if the families really didn't want it.

But many of the comments in this thread are acting as if this is a policy implemented on unwitting families. "event" is the only user here who seems to be honest about this non-issue. The rest are using this rather innocuous story as another chance to jump on their soapboxes.

There is nothing Orwellian about calling it Operation: Iraqi Freedom.... calling it such is just another bastardization of the term Orwellian. Eventually, it will be a meaningless term used to describe something the speaker doesn't like and thinks is evil. Of course the government isn't going to name a military operation in a way to make it seem horrible. Regardless of your stance on the Iraq war, there are some factual things that you cannot deny: (1) Prior to the war, Iraq had a dictator that was a brutal tyrant; (2) after the war, they were "free" of that tyrant; (3) they are also free of sanctions. As such, Iraqi Freedom could be said to have some semblance of being correct. I can already envision the retort trying to suggest that Iraqis are worse off, but from a pure grammatical standpoint, the name can be apt regardless of whether you think the situation is better or worse off.

Please quit calling everything Orwellian. The word and brilliant thoughts of Orwell do have meaning. The idea of a fixed meaning is something that Orwell very much supported. Don't ruin him and turn him into a propaganda/talking point/cliche when his writing existed to fight those very things.

Look, we all know many of you hate the war and hate Bush. Do we need to regurgitate this fact every day? Do we need to manufacture things to be outraged about? Do you honestly think that this option for families to have the name of the conflict placed on the tombstone is really something that gives credence to your cause or will change anyone's mind? All you are doing is exhausting people's ability to get outraged about things that need outrage. So when something truly terrible comes up, people are too exhausted to care because you have tried to agitate them about a military policy that has always been in place.
posted by dios at 7:39 AM on August 24, 2005


There is nothing Orwellian about calling it Operation: Iraqi Freedom.... calling it such is just another bastardization of the term Orwellian.

Is there another, more appropriate term that expressed the concept of, "Goverment-created marketing slogan"?
posted by deanc at 7:54 AM on August 24, 2005


When I die I want an image of my lord's noodly appendage chisled into the tombstone.
posted by papercake at 8:03 AM on August 24, 2005


The emblems page doesn't display three authorized emblems "because of copyrights:" United Church of Christ, Christian Science Cross and Crown, and Islamic 5 Point Star.

The five-pointed star is copyrighted?
posted by mdeatherage at 8:33 AM on August 24, 2005


The Nation of Islam...I believe.
posted by Cassford at 9:36 AM on August 24, 2005


dios, while freely conceding that the Bush regime exhibits certain features which the humanitarian may be inclined to deplore, we must, I think, agree that a certain curtailment of the right to political opposition is an unavoidable concomitant of transitional periods, and that the rigors which the Iraqi people have been called upon to undergo have been amply justified in the sphere of concrete achievement.
posted by Floydd at 1:34 PM on August 24, 2005


Shouldn't "the name of the conflict" be something simple and descriptive, then, rather than propaganda? (I like Gulf War II ... we can call it GW2 for short.)
posted by Vidiot at 10:47 PM on August 24, 2005


Like Global War on Terror...
posted by techgnollogic at 1:12 PM on August 25, 2005


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