November 25, 2006

Betrayal of our troops

C-Span recently aired a panel at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs with author Trish Woods. Ms. Woods has compiled veterans accounts of what it's really like in Iraq in the book "What Was Asked of Us: An Oral History of the Iraq War by the Soldiers Who Fought It".

The discussion was stark and fascinating and showed just what our service men and women are going through, the toll taken on them and how ill-served they are upon returning home. But perhaps what is most clear is the utterly fruitless mission they've been assigned to do and how immoral, if not criminal, it is to have sent them on so misguided and unjustified a mission.

Bobby Muller, founder of Veterans for America and no shrinking violet, is forceful and eloquent in putting the issue into perspective. A former Marine who was paralysed in Vietnam, Muller's words should be played on every channel 5 times a day for a week. His response to a question from the audience says it all.

The entire show is enlightening, if you have the time. But at the very least, watch Muller's response by clicking here and moving the slider to 48:45, about 3/4 of the way through the program. (requires Real Player)

If you're not moved after having heard it, and not more than a little outraged at what this government has done to these people, you're not alive or in deep denial.

12 Comments:

At 11/25/2006 10:57 PM, Anonymous Robbie said...

TID - Robbie from political wasteland here. Just wanted to say thanks for posting on my blog the other day. I look forward to future encounters.

I had the pleasure of hearing Bobby Muller speak in person a few years ago while in collge. I was a senior at Monmouth College and he came as part of our lecture series. He spoke twice that day to a packed auditorium. At the time he was speaking about the possibility of a draft if we continued to over extend our military. He was a great speaker and totally upfront about his opinions. I didn't get a chance to check out what you quoted him on, but wanted to offer my alternate story as to why he is such a bad ass!

 
At 11/26/2006 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you saying our troops are fighting an illegal war? That their actions are immoral? What is that?

 
At 11/26/2006 1:58 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Why does what I think matter to you?

If you're asking, I think the war is both illegal and immoral, and incredibly stupid to have even begun. I think that yes, the thousands of deaths of U.S. service men and women in Iraq have largely been for nothing.

They died with honor for having done their missions with bravery and expertise, but they died for the failed purposes of a relatively small group of plutocrats and because George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and their band of neo-cons were so reckless and itching to flex what they considered unlimited military power that they sent these soldiers to their deaths for their glory and while thumbing their noses at reality and anyone who pointed it out.

What do you think?

 
At 11/26/2006 2:52 PM, Anonymous TokyoRose said...

I think you terming our troops and President immoral is beyond the pale. What did these brave men and women do to you to make you so angry?

Why are you against the troops? Are you saying that our brave men and women are taking direction from the devil himslef? Everything that he is for, you are against. The people support the war. A few crazy leftist don't, but many do. Where do you stand? Are you against the war, for the troops, or just a peacenick?

Should soldiers be able to deciiede if a war is immoral? What if they thought WW I or II was immoral? Can you speak Japanense?

 
At 11/26/2006 2:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tokyo... I think you must have caught some shrapnel in the head yourself.

 
At 11/26/2006 8:45 PM, Blogger Huck Finn said...

Tokyo, you've got it all wrong. TID asserts that the war is immoral as a function of civilian leadership. Our military subordination to civilian control ensures that decisions to employ military force are made by civilians and executed by the military. If anyone is to be judged for the morality of war it is the President for using military force, the Congress for not questioning his actions, and the people that elected them to power.

 
At 11/27/2006 10:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So now "the people" are corrupt? Just the majority who elected the "leaders" or all the people? Which is it?

 
At 11/27/2006 1:51 PM, Anonymous Samadams said...

After terrorist knock down your big buildings some people are ging to want to fight back. Yes, some people would rather roll over and play dead and pretend it will all go away (aka: the French) and enroll in a "bullying program", but some people think America stands for things worth fighting for.

Some people actually think our soldiers are heros --- some people think they are bad, but encouraging people to go AWOL is always bad. We need more people to stay the course, not more people to cut and run.

Your defeatest attitude and "Nevill Chamberland" view of the world is a losing proposition for the free men and womem of America.

Don't be afraid. Stand up for your country!

Keep America safe from pacifist people who think our country is not worth fighting for.

Why do you feel the need to wreck the Christmas Season?

 
At 11/27/2006 9:36 PM, Blogger Huck Finn said...

We reelected that crew in 2004. Voters kept them in power just at the time when a change in Iraq could have made a difference to Iraqis and could have saved lives.

Wash your hands of that decision in your own mind, but the lost opportunity for American choice on the war in Iraq was the 2004 election. And we chose poorly, starting in the presidential primaries. The 2006 election is merely the epiphany of that lost opportunity.

 
At 11/28/2006 6:26 AM, Anonymous saul said...

This "if you don't support the war then you're against the troops" garbage doesn't fool anyone anymore. The vast majority of our soldiers didn't join up to go to war in Iraq. Most were already in the service, and have to fight where their commander in chief tells them to fight (this is not to say that they are not brave--but once you're in the army you don't choose where you are sent to fight). Many tens of thousands of our soldiers in Iraq are reservists who probably thought they'd be doing disaster relief in our own country if they ever got called up at all--that is, real important work helping their fellow Americans. If anyone did join the military to fight in Iraq, then it's probably because they believed lies like the one about Sadaam trying to buy uranium from Africa to build a nuclear bomb (which the government knew was false before Bush told that lie to the nation).

Huck, who no one can accuse of being against our military, has laid it out clearly: people who oppose the war are not opposing the troops, they are opposing the president's and congress's decision to send the troops to Iraq. It's that simple. Our troops don't want to be in Iraq. The American public doesn't want our troops to be in Iraq. It goes without saying that the Iraqis (the ones we're supposedly there to help) don't want us in Iraq (but I suspect that most "pro-war" people don't care about the Iraqis at all). No attempt to manipulate people into supporting the war with the bogus "support our troops" slogan can change these facts. Really supporting the troops would mean bringing them back home for Christmas.

Iraq didn't knock down our big buildings, or ever attack the United States. Everyone admits this now, including the president--though he had done his best for years to link Iraq to 9/11, by constantly saying "Ever since September 11..." before mentioning Iraq. TID is correct--the war is technically illegal. The president has violated international treaties by attacking a country that did not attack us. International treaties we have signed are, according to our own constitution, the law of the land. The "preemption" argument was a farce--we know (and knew then) that Iraq was not in any position to attack us at any time in the foreseeable future. Bush, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft and Gonzales also instructed (and/or allowed) people under their command to violate the Geneva conventions on the treatment of prisoners and the treatment of civilians. That was also illegal and immoral, and, as Senator McCain has repeatedly argued, puts our own troops at greater risk.

Occupying Iraq doesn't protect us from terrorists. It generates more hate against the United States, and it trains people who want to fight us with real combat skills. All of our intelligence agencies have come to this conclusion. This was big news when it came out in September. The president tried to suppress this report, because it showed his that his policy of going to war, in addition to costing many thousands of lives, hundreds of billions of dollars, and doing tremendous damage to the reputation of this nation, has had the exact opposite effect that it was supposed to have. It was in all of the major newspapers. You can easily find it on the internet.

sadamas--you're right! Where would Christmas be without a good old fashioned war? Peace on Earth? Good will towards men? Who ever heard of that crap? Certainly doesn't sound like Christmas to me! Didn't those peaceniks see that movie where Jesus was out there mowing down the bad guys with an M-60 machine gun? That was awesome! Oh, wait, maybe that was Rambo.... But same difference, right? They share the same values, right?

 
At 11/30/2006 12:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's the thing!
I'm not so sure that anyone from the Middle -East was even involved in 9/11!
Where is the proof that Osama Bin Laden had anything to to with it?
Let alone Sadaam or anyone remotely connected with the Middle -East.
The strange thing is I'm not a conspirisy nut. I think Oswald acted alone. But 9/11? None of it adds up!

 
At 11/30/2006 4:17 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I seem to recall some bin Laden video's which clearly indicated that he was involved, and definitely that he was pleased, though surprised, with the result of the attack.

It's clear that neither he nor the attackers ever imagined that both towers would collapse, as they never had planned for that. They expected just to damage the buildings, not bring them down.

There was a panel shown on C-span of various figures who maintain that our own government was involved somehow. That remains a bit of a stretch, if for no other reason than it would have had to be such a complex conspiracy.

There are however many, many, many things about that day and the timeline, etc. that cast great doubt over what actually happened and why.

I think the main group that's kind of a catch-all for such theories and speculation is found at www.911truth.org. Anyone interested in the evidence and factors that lead many intelligent people to doubt the official story should check it out. (though I haven't as yet.)

 

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