Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Interview of Henry Rollins on his USO visits to Iraq in TNR
April 13, 2007 8:38 AM   Subscribe

You'll go by the phone kiosk and you'll hear young men having these very strange, almost surreal arguments or discussions with their wives over something like, "Hey the garage is leaking, how do we fix that?" And what she maybe doesn't understand is, maybe that guy just got ambushed, like half an hour ago, and he's shaking from the adrenaline, and he's just calling her just to hear a familiar voice, and she's like, "We gotta get the sprinklers fixed." And he's like, "Oh, OK ... . I love you." He just wants to get back to the ground. And that's what makes me angry, is what all of this is doing to these very young families. It just makes me mad. It makes anybody mad.
Henry Rollins, interviewed in TNR (reg required, free) on his frequent USO visits to Afghanistan and Iraq.
posted by Ethereal Bligh (59 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
bugmenot

great piece. thanks
posted by anotherpanacea at 8:47 AM on April 13, 2007


password / password
posted by rxrfrx at 8:47 AM on April 13, 2007


Henry's correct here. Good for him.
posted by jonmc at 8:54 AM on April 13, 2007


Metafilter..."Prewar information was manipulated ..."

Good piece.
posted by fire&wings at 8:55 AM on April 13, 2007


interesting stuff. not the biggest fan of Henry Rollins, but in this case, his heart seems to be in the right place.
posted by dubold at 9:03 AM on April 13, 2007


That pesky guy drives me crazy, but damn does he give a good interview.
posted by ImJustRick at 9:09 AM on April 13, 2007


password / password

...Seriously?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:12 AM on April 13, 2007


Knowledge without mileage is just bullshit to me.

Very nice.
posted by fatllama at 9:12 AM on April 13, 2007


...Seriously?

Worked for me.
posted by katillathehun at 9:15 AM on April 13, 2007


How can you take anything this guy says seriously? He's not even an alcoholic.
posted by breakfast_yeti at 9:20 AM on April 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


And that's what makes me angry, is what all of this is doing to these very young families. It just makes me mad. It makes anybody mad.

Good thing they're getting blood money so they can pay someone else to fix the roof while they're out killing sand people.

Poor young families forced into the military against their will.
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:22 AM on April 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


Poor young families forced into the military against their will.

Exactly. Oh wait, that was sarcastic wasn't it?
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 9:25 AM on April 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Just recently saw his latest spoken word DVD. It was very entertaining.
posted by daq at 9:25 AM on April 13, 2007


And who will suffer the mayor curley, forced to post in a thread he doesn't care about? Oh, woe betides us all during these dark days, lawks and lairds.

Interesting interview. HR tends to ♥ his own voice a little too much, but he can pull off a good interview every once in a while, when there's someone to guide that giant vocabulary of his.
posted by boo_radley at 9:28 AM on April 13, 2007


Mayor Curley: in the world we live in maintaining a military falls under the category of 'necessary evil.' I would love it if we lived in a world where soldiering was unneccessary. In this one, however, it is not, so I give respect to those who chose to take up the dangerous job. What our leaders do with them is a different story.
posted by jonmc at 9:32 AM on April 13, 2007


Even if you don't like Henry Rollins or his style, he is an incisive, articulate opponent of the war who is simultaneously a more fervent supporter of "the troops" than all the chickenhawks in Washington D.C. combined.
posted by jonp72 at 9:35 AM on April 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's funny but the only thing I've ever seen him in was Bad Boys II, wherein he helped to glamourise the invasion of a foreign country. Now he's saying it's not all fun and games - it's very confusing.
posted by biffa at 9:48 AM on April 13, 2007


Perhaps he's able to differentiate between reality and fiction.
posted by infidelpants at 9:57 AM on April 13, 2007


Neat, sad piece. Bless Rollins.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:06 AM on April 13, 2007


Mayor Curley: I may be wrong... but it sounds like you're slamming the troops. If I'm mistaken, then disregard. But if you ARE slamming the troops then it's broken record time...

Don't blame the troops, blame the government that orders them to do what they do. Or have you forgotten some of the humanitarian work?

Really, those are just Tsunami related. We can cite further examples if you're jaded enough...
posted by matty at 10:10 AM on April 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Rollings has always been wonderfully insightful and unafraid of a nuanced position. I would doubt he'd ever paused for one second in voicing an anti-war position out of worry that someone would call him anti-troop.

Thinking about it, it makes me sad few of our elected representatives give me an impression of integrity - whether I agree with them or not - the way Rollins does.
posted by phearlez at 10:20 AM on April 13, 2007


And that's what makes me angry, is what all of this is doing to these very young families. It just makes me mad. It makes anybody mad.

Henry Rollins responds to anything he disagrees with by getting mad.

Furthermore, this is nonsense. The paragraph excerpted here could be written about any war. I'm sure the same could be said about soldiers reading mail from home on the first quiet night after they stormed the beaches at Normandy. The war could be unquestionably morally right and have the support of absolutely everyone on the planet, and the soldier calling home would always feel a surreal disconnection from the mundane matters of the life he left behind.

"Supporting the troops" means understanding that regardless of the politics of any war, war is always brutal, physically or emotionally, to the ones actually fighting it. I feel like we are continually trying to wipe the public's misconception that wars should always end like World War II-era newsreels of V-day parades.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:48 AM on April 13, 2007


I'm sure I need to RTFA, but just from that pull quote in the FPP, I wonder if servicepersons and their families were better or worse off during Big Mistake #2 when they had to settle for infrequent letters rather than phone calls, near-real-time emails and chat, and webcam hookups. The isolation was greater, but the distraction was less frequent. Especially in front-line units, guys who needed to keep certain things compartmented and stay focused would get letters from home and sometimes read them somewhat uncomprehendingly, as if they were reading descriptions of dreams they vaguely remembered once having.

I'm trying, for instance, to picture my dad trying to call my grandfather (who managed to miss Big Mistake #1 by being in early middle age and having a farm to run) right after getting picked on by Wehrmacht snipers having his FOP overrun and having to "play infantryman," or finishing clearing a hangfire in one of his battery's 155s: My dad, a guy in his mid-20s shaking with adrenaline while trying to touch base with a fairly serene, phlegmatic New Jersey dairy farmer. Here's Dad, having just come within a whisker of getting 8mm daylight through him or being blown to Kingdom come, trying to stay calm and talk to Senior about how one of the Shire horses was having a little hoof trouble or how one of the Guernseys had stepped on Senior's big toe the other morning getting milked or how, raising most of their own food anyway, some rationing was no big deal, but other rationing was making it harder to run the farm day to day.

The home front and the "front" front were pretty isolated psychologically from each other in that war. Most folks back home had little real inkling what the guys were going through then; it's hinted at this cathartically acclaimed movie, but for the most part, returning vets couldn't really explain it (or didn't dare try), and the folks who were at home would've had trouble helping them deal with it -- the culture didn't understand yet what PTSD was, and it was viewed as weakness. (Vets of the preceding unpleasantnesses, of course, had somewhat more understanding, although air war, Blitzkrieg and major naval and amphibious ops were spectacles unimaginable to most of them.)

But I suppose you can't look at the phenomenon in isolation: Back then, the entire country was united and mobilized in a way it decidedly isn't now, the war was about conventionally destroying an enemy rather than doing battle with insurgents while acting as an occupying force, and that casus belli lacked this one's air of multi-layered illegitimacy.
posted by pax digita at 10:49 AM on April 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


It's funny but the only thing I've ever seen him in was Bad Boys II, wherein he helped to glamourise the invasion of a foreign country. Now he's saying it's not all fun and games - it's very confusing.
posted by biffa at 12:48 PM on April 13


He also got his ass kicked by Al Pacino in Heat.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:50 AM on April 13, 2007


It's funny but the only thing I've ever seen him in was Bad Boys II, wherein he helped to glamourise the invasion of a foreign country. Now he's saying it's not all fun and games - it's very confusing.
posted by biffa at 12:48 PM on April 13

He also got his ass kicked by Al Pacino in Heat.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:50 PM on April 13


Hey, remember Johnny Mnemonic? There was a dolphin in it.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:54 AM on April 13, 2007


Furthermore, this is nonsense. The paragraph excerpted here could be written about any war. I'm sure the same could be said about soldiers reading mail from home on the first quiet night after they stormed the beaches at Normandy.

Having grown up around some veterans of that war, I respectfully disagree. I believe that, while getting shot at is pretty much the same in all modern wars, for WW II the times, the motivations, the shortcomings, and the strengths and the foibles were all different from what we're seeing the current insanity. (At least, I haven't seen where Tommy Franks got in trouble for slapping a shell-shocked soldier.)

As a bit of briefing material on the how and why of those differences, I recommend starting with two books -- a large library system should have 'em both or can get 'em for you via interlibrary loan:

The Good War by Studs Turkel

Up Front by Bill Mauldin

(Or hit the VA or a nursing home and talk to some guys -- fewer every month -- who were at Normandy, or New Guinea, or Guadalcanal, or aboard a destroyer on convoy duty in the North Atlantic, or facing kamikaze off Okinawa. It's right educational.)
posted by pax digita at 11:05 AM on April 13, 2007


Sticherbeast writes "Hey, remember Johnny Mnemonic?"

Trying not to.
posted by brundlefly at 11:21 AM on April 13, 2007


"Hey, remember Johnny Mnemonic?"

I wish there were some sort of clever method by which one could easily forget stupid shit like that movie.

Something like an "enemonic".
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:36 AM on April 13, 2007


A rather obvious password combo worked for me. Perhaps TNR does not sweep up old accounts.

Also TNR has always been the "liberal neo-con" paper, so it's intresting they would run this.
posted by delmoi at 11:48 AM on April 13, 2007


"Also TNR has always been the 'liberal neo-con' paper, so it's intresting they would run this."

Not really and not really.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:02 PM on April 13, 2007


Having grown up around some veterans of that war, I respectfully disagree. I believe that, while getting shot at is pretty much the same in all modern wars, for WW II the times, the motivations, the shortcomings, and the strengths and the foibles were all different from what we're seeing the current insanity.

But there are other aspects of US military policy that were more demanding I would suggest. US policy in WW2 was to keep soldiers in action for long periods (rather than rotating them regularly and fairly often as was the case with UK forces). Casualties in some US units was 180%, which I imagine is quite sapping.
posted by biffa at 12:02 PM on April 13, 2007


“Good thing they're getting blood money so they can pay someone else to fix the roof while they're out killing sand people.”

You’ll never know how many sand people were killed. They travel in columns to hide their numbers. Jawas too. Fortunately instead of the filthy clone troopers we have the noble peace-seeking Jedi like Mayor Curley. And no Jedi would never harm the sand people.

“Back then, the entire country was united and mobilized in a way it decidedly isn't now”

Well said.

“And they're so happy that someone visits them. It means so much to them.... It is a problem. It is 25 hours to get out there, with layovers and all that. And the food isn't great, and the sleeping accommodations are eh. And... ”

It means more than you know. And they know the sacrifice. Thanks Henry. And the USO does a lot of good work. I got so many books, comics, etc., from them, practically a second education. I really have to respect Rollins’ “go and see” attitude. In addition to his actual human connection with the actual troops instead of the pervasive “Support the Troops” mantra with nothing behind it. Or the ‘hate the troops’ knee jerk - same deal, nothing behind it.
Rollins is - exactly - supporting the troops. What he’s doing is exactly what it is. He thinks the war is bullshit, great. But he’s communicating, getting to know people, sending them some goodies maybe. But communication is key. Even a letter from just some guy somewhere taking - at the very least just an interest - means something. Might even make a difference.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:09 PM on April 13, 2007 [3 favorites]


So whenever I hear some of these people who say, "Oh, you all don't have the stomach for war," or whatever, it's like, you know, if you're sane and civilized, I don't think any person in their right mind has the stomach for this crap. To have a stomach for it--Stalin probably had a stomach for it.
You know who else had the stomach for war?
posted by Brak at 12:22 PM on April 13, 2007


Leave it to Mayor Curley to reliably stick his dick in the mashed potatoes with his tired "I have no pity for the lapdogs of imperialist aggression" schtick in any Iraq thread...
posted by stenseng at 12:23 PM on April 13, 2007


Leave it to Mayor Curley to reliably stick his dick in the mashed potatoes

You complain, but he can really liven up a party with that.
posted by COBRA! at 12:53 PM on April 13, 2007


Well, it is that kind of a party.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:02 PM on April 13, 2007


Well NOW what am I going to do with all this gravy?
posted by absalom at 2:05 PM on April 13, 2007


Gravy? Do we tell him?
posted by maxwelton at 2:45 PM on April 13, 2007


jonmc writes "in the world we live in maintaining a military falls under the category of 'necessary evil.'"

But the United States does not need a standing army. We can maintain a navy, airforce, and missle command. No one is going to invade us, and an army is useless (counterproductive, even) for counterterrorism. Having the army around is just a temptation for incompetent leaders to go throwing away American lives pointlessly in foreign lands. If we ever really need an army, the people will mobilize.

The founding fathers were right about this.
posted by mr_roboto at 4:06 PM on April 13, 2007


Having the army around is just a temptation for incompetent leaders to go throwing away American lives pointlessly in foreign lands.

Yes, or an ace in the hole if the oil/water/arable land/cheap imported food starts to run out.

It's really cute that Americans don't seem to think their own massive army will probably be used against them at some point.
posted by poweredbybeard at 6:17 PM on April 13, 2007


poweredbybeard writes "It's really cute that Americans don't seem to think their own massive army will probably be used against them at some point."

While I don't think our militarized culture is altogether healthy, one critical aspect of our particular military culture is that they feel strongly that they are protecting US citizens. As our police departments become militarized, however, I'm not sure that is true as much within their ranks.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:01 PM on April 13, 2007


yeah, fuck Mayor Curley for pointing out that there is no draft anymore, how dare he.

I'll cut you a deal: have President Krugman give free health care to 100% of Americans and establish some good civlian scolarship program for college (Iraq will end up costing a trillion dollars anyway, so the objection that it'd be too expensive is just laughable) and let's see how many kids still enlist.


They travel in columns to hide their numbers. Jawas too.

I suspect that the relatives of some charred corpse that once used to be a regular Iraqi wouldn't find this particularly funny. I even suspect that your own family, had your luck been any different -- and frankly, I'm sure it could have been, and I'm sure you agree with this -- wouldn't have enjoyed some guy making fun of your getting killed. with all due respect for your service*, etc.

*(because of course in Freedom's Land any hint of criticism must have the BUT I SUPPORT THE TROOPS IM NO TERRAHIST SIR! disclaimer)
posted by matteo at 1:30 AM on April 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


(and the Johnny Mnemonic Japanese DVD has a different, less sucky cut of the film. In it, though, Rollins still sucks. And the New Republic, once a noble magazine and now just a lamer edition of the National Review, at this point after all the "liberal hawk" shit they published, has no one left to talk to -- as useful idiots, they've been used and dumped by the cheerful GOP. they're just like their former editor -- they're Andrew Sullivan minus the elegant writing and the funny "Ass Of Steel" personal ad)
posted by matteo at 1:34 AM on April 14, 2007


breakfast_yeti writes "How can you take anything this guy says seriously? He's not even an alcoholic."

Maybe not, but he sure looks like a man with a raging steroid habit to me.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:10 AM on April 14, 2007


krinklyfig writes "While I don't think our militarized culture is altogether healthy, one critical aspect of our particular military culture is that they feel strongly that they are protecting US citizens. "

Unless those US citizens happen to be protesting students at Kent State University, in which case, all bets are off.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:17 AM on April 14, 2007


Ah, bless the old guard of hardcore. Between Rollins and Mackaye, we're still doing all right in the ideology department. (Jello Biafra, please phone in for your consolation prize.)
posted by mykescipark at 10:51 AM on April 14, 2007


“I suspect that the relatives of some charred corpse that once used to be a regular Iraqi wouldn't find this particularly funny.”

Considering Mayor Curley used it, and considering the use of subtlety on my part to imply he is an ersatz Annakin Skywalker (insofar as he’s previously stated he would outright kill Nazis (and their families) without a trial and such), and considering the implication there that we should not, in fact, kill them much less oversimplify the complex - albeit harsh for Iraqis - situation, I think they’d see that I was championing their cause, not making light of it. (Of course, I was making light of Curley’s comments)

In short - racism and/or a mercinary attitude on the part of any individual soldier or even the military as a collective is a foolish oversimplification of the events taking place in Iraq particularly with regard to a civilian controlled military. I think such oversimplification is far more denegrative and explotive of the Iraqi people than a realistic criticism of the underlying motivations of this war and so I pointed out the similarity between Curley’s use of the term and the Star Wars sand people - whom Lucas uses in much the same iconic and flat and ultimately meaningless way.

Indeed, much as your left handed compliment of my own service is.

But what do I know, I’m just a dumb mudfoot. I shore don’t know nuthin’ about no being subtle. Shucks. I must be a facist if I served my country. It takes a real man NOT to serve. Boy howdy, them are the smart fellas, yessir. And I bet if there wus a REAL war where the cominazis invaded us, you all would be up in front stoppin them bullets with your own bodies instead of hiding behind the lines bitching about knowing better how to run things yourself.
Indeed, criticism would entail actually putting forth a proposition counter to the situation as it stands and asserting it’s superiority. Which I believe I’ve done on a number of occasions. Which indeed, Rollins has done. It takes a degree of effort and some risk to put forth a position and subject it to consensual validation. Mockery requires little of either.* But it can be fun. Someone might craftily combine the two so as to entertain as well as make a point and open some depth in diologue instead of merely engage in hurling feces back and forth. But being an ex-servicemember, that’d be far too subtle for me.

*(because of course on Metafilter any hint of earnestness in patriotic matters must have the BUT I HATE BUSH IM NO NEOCON SIR! disclaimer)

“Having the army around is just a temptation for incompetent leaders to go throwing away American lives pointlessly in foreign lands. If we ever really need an army, the people will mobilize.”

I agree with the former. The latter I have some trouble with. While I’m sure all the hardcore badasses here would up and mobilize the second the country was in peril, some - a few perhaps - might question whether it’s worth it. I mean we took this land from the indians after all. What right do we really have to it? And indeed, how do we know being ruled by (say) China won’t be better? Etc. etc. People can rationalize just about anything. Although if there were tanks rolling through the streets I suspect the guerilla war would be tremendously costly. I don’t know that we need people to mobilize though. Training that many people that quickly would be a pain.

I suppose I’m thinking there is a false dichotomy there. Infantry has specific uses, but the modern army is a vastly different animal than it was 200 years ago. The training is different. The objectives are different. Our interests lay around the world and need force protection. I suppose if we changed our interests and our strategic posture we could eliminate the need for an army. I’d be all for that really. We were headed toward a leaner structure composed mainly of professionals. That changed pretty quickly.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:04 PM on April 16, 2007


I must be a facist if I served my country.

You didn't serve your country, you served Haliburton, Raytheon, ExxonMobil and yourself.

I used "sand people" to illustrate the fact that Iraqi citizens are designated subhuman obstacles in our war over the right to waste resources.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:17 AM on April 17, 2007


“You didn't serve your country, you served Haliburton, Raytheon, ExxonMobil and yourself.”

Yeah, because you’re my fucking biographer. And don’t throw that gangster for capitalism shit at me I know more than enough about it to actually make a realistic cogent argument against methodology instead of knee jerk platitudes.
Beyond that - you know exactly dick about what I’ve personally seen or done.
But hey, why don’t you kill my family if I’m the moral equivalent of a Nazi in your eyes?
That’s judging you from what I know of you - and what you’ve said, not some presumptive bullshit.

“I used "sand people" to illustrate the fact that Iraqi citizens are designated subhuman obstacles in our war over the right to waste resources.”

Proves my point perfectly.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:06 PM on April 17, 2007


And don’t throw that gangster for capitalism shit at me I know more than enough about it to actually make a realistic cogent argument against methodology instead of knee jerk platitudes.

Then fucking do it. Or force someone from the third world to do it at gunpoint.

But hey, why don’t you kill my family if I’m the moral equivalent of a Nazi in your eyes?

Way to tun it around. I said it, but you've actually lived it. How does it feel to help melt a village for a paycheck and college money? Did you get a boner the first time you heard that your efforts helped crisp up some foreigners, or did you just think about how close you were getting to a down payment on a new truck?
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:56 PM on April 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


This shtick of yours is really damn tiresome, Mayor Curley.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:12 PM on April 17, 2007


“Then fucking do it.”

Already have. Many, many times on MeFi and in the real world. I’ve stated here that I applaud Rollins support as well as his position on the war.

“ I said it, but you've actually lived it.”

Really? How do you know that? Maybe I was (and am) a firefighter. Maybe I was a medic and I drive an ambulance now. There are a whole number of military occupations that have nothing to do with firing a weapon ever.
I know what you’ve said. You have no idea what I’ve done. See the difference?

Clearly, you fantasize and obsess about killing and attempt to lay some sort of moral superiority / guilt trip off on troops when you yourself have advocated bloody slaughter.
Your words easily reveal you as a hypocrite. You are exactly the sort of person you revile. Anyone who would actually be put in harms way is the last to advocate for it.
You’ve asserted that the authorities should kill families based on ideology.
And it’s exactly that willingness to send someone else out to fight to stop whatever ideology from your keyboard attitude that gets wars started, villages burned and havoc unleashed.
Your rhetoric is merely of a different stripe, and with different enemies, but you are the same sort of creature as the chickenhawks who demand we fight in Iraq. Only the labels differ. In another world you’d be shouting “traitor” at Cindy Sheehan. It’s the same form, just different labels.

And hell, maybe I’m a smart ass 15 year old poseur, but I still know more about how to form a cogent argument than you.

And considering the roughshod level of argument I’m typically capable of bringing to bear, and most particularly that compared to the truly clear minds here I might as well be a juvenile, that you are less capable than I am is a truly scathing insult.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:00 PM on April 17, 2007


Already have. Many, many times on MeFi and in the real world.

Right. Right. You've expressed a tenable position on why it's fine to do the Multinationals' dirty work for money, but I'll have to take you word for it. Trust you, it's been laid out and it's irrefutable, right?

Maybe I was (and am) a firefighter. Maybe I was a medic and I drive an ambulance now. There are a whole number of military occupations that have nothing to do with firing a weapon ever.

No matter what you were, you were a cog in a machine used to fuck up every group standing over resources that we want. The American military is all volunteer, and all subservient to the corporations that own it.

Clearly, you fantasize and obsess about killing and attempt to lay some sort of moral superiority / guilt trip off on troops when you yourself have advocated bloody slaughter.

Didn't you just admonish me for making assumptions? How dare you make assumptions about my character and motivations when you just told me it's wrong to do! Ooh!

I’m typically capable of bringing to bear, and most particularly that compared to the truly clear minds here I might as well be a juvenile, that you are less capable than I am is a truly scathing insult.

"I'm bad, but you're worse than me. Never mind whether I back it up or not. It must be true because I'm self-effacing until I declare you the loser."

Last refuge if a scoundrel. Especially the part when you butter up everyone that might side with you to get them to jump to your defense. "Oh, you all are so smart!" And especially especially when you got just got done contradicting yourself about whether assumptions are a good idea or not.

No wonder you were reduced to thuggery on a grand scale in order to eat.

You’ve asserted that the authorities should kill families based on ideology.

Lastly, you need to either go reread that thread or stop intentionally putting words in my mouth. I never said that nazis should be targeted by the government in some sort of cull like you're suggesting that I did. I said that we should be happy when a nazi is dead, no matter how it happens. Not that the US government should be dispatching squads to intentionally kill Nazis. But I wouldn't give a shit if they did-- there are a lot of injustices to actual human beings that we can get upset about.

I can't believe that you're so hung up on fair play for the Weaver family. If you love Randy Weaver so much, you should marry him. Are you white?
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:02 PM on April 17, 2007


This shtick of yours is really damn tiresome, Mayor Curley.

It's not a schtick, it's my position. If you disagree, argue that the US military is working for good in Iraq based on good, honest intentions and I'm wrong in thinking that the US presence there is bad. Or failing that, that free will somehow doesn't apply to people who accept money to further the military-industrial complex and enable atrocities.
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:10 PM on April 17, 2007


And smedleyman, I want an answer to

"Did you get a boner the first time you heard that your efforts helped crisp up some foreigners, or did you just think about how close you were getting to a down payment on a new truck?"

Even if you were just putting out fires in a Navy band barracks in the Aleutian Islands, every little efforts helps put your comrades that much closer to mowing down or subverting everyone who stands between the US and the resources it rightfully controls beyond its borders.

So the first time you heard that Our Boys in a faraway land had burned some stupid foreign subhumans to a crisp for standing up to us, did you feel like the world was a little better? Or did you just shrug and think about when you could get a new truck?
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:18 PM on April 17, 2007


I think you, as a taxpaying citizen of the US who has the right to emigrate, are—though marginally less directly responsible for the US's imperialist aggression than, say, a medic in the US military—still sufficiently responsible that you have no fucking place to be on your high horse while being so vehemently condemnational.

More to the point, though, is that it as much theater as it is earnest, which every damn person who's been reading MetaFilter for more than a couple years knows is Mayor Curley's “thing”. There's people who could be writing what you're writing that I could take seriously. But not you. I'm not sure you know how to be truly sincere. You're a outrageous rhetoric machine. And, given how truly weighty are the moral issues involved, your performance is revolting.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:22 PM on April 17, 2007


I think you, as a taxpaying citizen of the US who has the right to emigrate, are—though marginally less directly responsible for the US's imperialist aggression than, say, a medic in the US military—still sufficiently responsible that you have no fucking place to be on your high horse while being so vehemently condemnational.

I got drafted. They asked to do it, and added "and here's where to send the checks."
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:39 PM on April 17, 2007


“You've expressed a tenable position on why it's fine to do the Multinationals' dirty work for money, but I'll have to take you word for it.”

Huh? I’ve pretty much expressed opposition to the Iraq war on many occasions.
War in general as at best a necessary evil. And most certainly I’ve echoed Smedley Butlers’ sentiments on many occasion.
So, what the fuck are you talking about?
Seriously - what’s your position? No standing army? No police?
I have read few comments from you on these sorts of issues that do anything other then superficially denegrate or mock.
I have strong and deep criticism concerning the very issues you levy against me.
Of course, the very fact you have little substance to offer other than more wild accusation further proves my point about your rhetoric and your true position.

“No matter what you were, you were a cog in a machine used to fuck up every group standing over resources that we want.”

And people like you direct that machine. What then, are you?

“How dare you make assumptions about my character and motivations when you just told me it's wrong to do!”

No assumptions made. I did not say you actively burned villages. Your character and motivations are easily derived from your statements.

“Not that the US government should be dispatching squads to intentionally kill Nazis. But I wouldn't give a shit if they did-”

A rose by any other name....
Thanks for again proving another of my points.

“If you love Randy Weaver so much, you should marry him. Are you white?”

Wow. Just, wow.

“If you disagree, argue that the US military is working for good in Iraq based on good, honest intentions and I'm wrong in thinking that the US presence there is bad.”

Who argued that? Hell, I’ve repeatedly argued the U.S. presence there is bad.

“that free will somehow doesn't apply to people who accept money to further the military-industrial complex and enable atrocities.”

I don’t think you get the whole “civilian control of the military thing.” That doesn’t excuse any connection with the military industrial complex, you can’t...ah, why bother.

“So the first time you heard that Our Boys in a faraway land had burned some stupid foreign subhumans to a crisp for standing up to us, did you feel like the world was a little better? Or did you just shrug and think about when you could get a new truck?”

Bit of a false dichotomy there? Someone should really explain to you how war crimes work. People are responsible for their own actions. You can work from within a system or from without. Being part of a system does not mean you support someone else’s abuse of it.

But ok, first time you heard about atrocities committed by your government you did - what, exactly? Actively revolted?
I’m actively working in a number of ways - for example to stop what’s going on at Gitmo. Opened your wallet have you pal? Donated your time have you? What is it you do with your weekends?


“I got drafted.”

Sure ya did pal. Mote in someone else’s eye. Beam in yours. All that.
C’mon. You know and I both know you’re just looking around for someone to feel better than. In your case it’s soldiers and nazis (and their children) and whomever slightly disagrees with you.
I’ve met you thousands of times bearing many different labels.
Whatever my past, hate isn’t in my future. And I’ve long since put my weapons down.
Yours are far more insidious tools of ill omen.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:11 PM on April 17, 2007


War in general as at best a necessary evil. And most certainly I’ve echoed Smedley Butlers’ sentiments on many occasion.
So, what the fuck are you talking about?
Seriously - what’s your position? No standing army?


Jesus Christ. The American military is the enforcement arm of the companies that own the government. "War is a neccessary evil"? You're not bothering to think up responses now, you're just spouting your favorite aphorisms. And then patting yourself on the back saying "HA HA! I AM SO CLEVER YOU ARE DUMB! I WIN AND IT IS MORAL TO JOIN THE ARMY EVEN THOUGH I NEVER ADDRESS IT. I KNOW ALL OF MAYOR CURLEY'S MOTIVATIONS BUT IF HE TRIES TO KNOW MINE HE IS WRONG AND PRESUMPTUOUS!"

But my favorite response is this:

That doesn’t excuse any connection with the military industrial complex, you can’t...ah, why bother.

Which translates to "I have all the answers, but you must take my word for it. Trust me, my reasoning is brilliant but you're not allowed to know what it is." It's a total echo of your previous Already have. Many, many times on MeFi and in the real world..

Well, I'm sick of that shit. When you can't retort with an insult or cheap analysis of me (that you get bent out of shape when I give back), you reply with "I know but I'm not gonna tell right now."

So just reply to this and I'll let you have the last word and on the Internet that means you won.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:43 AM on April 18, 2007


« Older Destroy the world, one sneeze at a time....  |  114 seconds.... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments