Ages Old Question

Via Common Dreams
Published on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 by the Guardian/UK

'If You Start Looking at Them as Humans, Then How Are You Gonna Kill Them?'

They are a publicity nightmare for the US military: an ever-growing number of veterans of the Iraq conflict who are campaigning against the war. To mark the third anniversary of the invasion this month, a group of them marched on Katrina-ravaged New Orleans. Inigo Gilmore and Teresa Smith joined them.

At a press conference in a cavernous Alabama warehouse, banners and posters are rolled out: "Abandon Iraq, not the Gulf coast!" A tall, white soldier steps forward in desert fatigues. "I was in Iraq when Katrina happened and I watched US citizens being washed ashore in New Orleans," he says. "War is oppression: we could be setting up hospitals right here. America is war-addicted. America is neglecting its poor."

A black reporter from a Fox TV news affiliate, visibly stunned, whispers: "Wow! That guy's pretty opinionated." Clearly such talk, even three years after the Iraq invasion, is still rare. This, after all, is the Deep South and this soldier less than a year ago was proudly serving his nation in Iraq.
One soldier, Michael Blake of New York state, recalls his perspective on the formula, and how it works with humans for whom deadly, violent conflict is a highly competitive job; one which rewards the employee, and their competition, with either a life of psychological scars, or death.
He claims that US soldiers such as him were told little about Iraq, Iraqis or Islam before serving there; other than a book of Arabic phrases, "the message was always: 'Islam is evil' and 'They hate us.' Most of the guys I was with believed it."

Blake says that the turning point for him came one day when his unit spent eight hours guarding a group of Iraqi women and children whose men were being questioned. He recalls: "The men were taken away and the women were screaming and crying, and I just remember thinking: this was exactly what Saddam used to do - and now we're doing it."
As I don't whenever Cindy Sheehan is in the news, I'll not add much here, except to say that the stories need all be told. Life ends quickly enough without putting politics and economics ahead of it but, if the means are nonviolent, then the ends may indeed Justify them.

It's how I can post other people's opinions when I'm not in complete agreement with those folks' stated agenda.


  1. Isn't it funny how the vet has always been shoved aside in recent wars?

    It will be intriguing to see how the Democrats 9 Iraq vets do in the 06 elections. I believe the GOP has only 1. I'm not sure. Isn't this correct?

  2. That's an interestin' question, Steve. I really don't know. The only Republican of whom I'm sure in that regard is McCain.

    I just read where Clinton's erstwhile opponent worked for the Military, but might pull out of that race.

  3. She is so popular in New York she will kill whoever is stupid enough to run against her.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts