No Dominion

Righties wag their fingers at us and claim we liberals promote a “culture of death.” The nature of this “culture of death” seems a bit hazy, and wading through overwrought rightie rhetoric on the topic doesn’t clarify it much. But the more I think about it, the more I think there’s a real culture of death alive and well on the Right. Right-wing support for “preventive” war and capital punishment are obvious examples. The rightie culture of death, however, is a complex one, and their enjoyment of death depends a great deal on context.

Yesterday the New York Times published an article by David Carr comparing Iraq War photography to photographs of past wars. More specifically, he noted that compared to Vietnam, Iraq War photography is nearly devoid of dead American bodies.

FOR war photography, Vietnam remains the bloody yardstick. During the Tet offensive, on Feb. 9, 1968, Time magazine ran a story that was accompanied by photos showing dozens of dead American soldiers stacked like cordwood. The images remind that the dead are both the most patient and affecting of all subjects.

The Iraq war is a very different war, especially as rendered at home. While pictures of Iraqi dead are ubiquitous on television and in print, there are very few images of dead American soldiers. (We are offered pictures of the grievously wounded, but those are depictions of hope and sacrifice in equal measure.) A comprehensive survey done last year by James Rainey of The Los Angeles Times found that in a six-month period in which 559 Americans and Western allies died, almost no pictures were published of the American dead in the mainstream print media.

Photographing the dead on a battlefield goes back to Matthew Brady, whose 1862 exhibition “The Dead of Antietam.” shown in his New York gallery, displayed to shocked viewers the mangled corpses of Civil War soldiers. A New York Times review of the exhibition said that Brady had brought “home to us the terrible reality and earnestness of war.” A quickie search at the National Archives turned up photographs of a dead American soldier in Europe, Word War II, and the dead of the Malmedy massacre, which has been in the news lately.

Even though the U.S. military vowed to keep tighter control on war coverage after Vietnam, Carr suggests the biggest reason there are few photographs of American war dead is self-censorship. Squeamish news organizations won’t publish such photos. They don’t seem to have a problem showing Iraqi dead, though.

But what interested me even more than Carr’s article was rightie reaction to it. They were outraged that anyone would even think about showing the bodies of dead soldiers. This guy describes war photographers ghoulishly looking for “potential Pulitzer-winning ‘money shots'” of dead Americans. And another guy wrote,

But why the need to put the bodies of others on display?

Is there something to be proud of in showing those pictures? And these are the same people who won’t show a decapitation because supposedly it’s too gruesome. That leaves one to you wonder if they don’t show those gruesome images because it doesn’t fit their anti-war agenda.

Ah, yes, beheading videos. Rightie bloggers just love beheading videos. They link to them fervently and demand loudly that all good Americans watch them. For example, in 2004 a blogger at Wizbang was incensed that leftie bloggers were not linking to the Nick Berg video. You know how it is — liberals hate America.

Last month, a particularly grisly video alleged to show the beheading of Iraqi journalist Atwar Bahjat turned up. The “money shot” blogger and many others described it in graphic detail. Another said,

Our own media feels the need to shield us from such brutality, even as they report daily on the US and Iraqi death count—or seemed almost to fetishize the torture photos from Abu Ghraib.

But presuming to protect us from the nature of our enemy, like many of the MSM’s other actions in framing the war on terror, is irresponsible—and either presumptuously paternalistic, or cynically calculating.

True, there is a fine line between “war porn” and the dissemination of information. But we nevertheless have the right to know who it is we are fighting.

Rightie bloggers wallowed in white-hot righteousness over the depravity of the murders, usually attributed to “terrorists,” although it was not at all clear from the video who the murderers were. But as my blogger buddy The Heretik noted, there wasn’t a peep from the rightie blogosphere when news stories reported Atwar Bahjat’s death in February. And he poked a stick at a rightie who discussed the difference between “war porn” and “the dissemination of information” — “dissemination of information”? or gratifying a “beheading of the month” fetish?

Unfortunately for the righties, it turned out the beheading video was a hoax. It showed not the horrific murder of a beautiful and virtuous pro-western Iraqi, but just the horrific murder of some guy from Nepal. The blogswarm dissipated quickly.

On the other hand, the death of Rachel Corrie is still viewed with great hilarity by many righties. She was dubbed “St. Pancake” and honored with a pizza-thon. “A pity that St. IHOP could only be run over once,” said one.

So far we’ve seen that showing victims of Islamic terrorism is good, although just about any atrocity committed by a Muslim will do. It’s “dissemination of information.” The more horrific the atrocity, the better. Beheadings should be shown on the evening news when children might be watching. But showing photographs of Iraqis being tortured at Abu Ghraib prison is not “dissemination of information,” but “fetishism.” And it’s bad, and reveals an un-American agenda.

But if Abu Ghraib photos are bad, photographing dead American soldiers must amount to obscenity. The righties, you know, demand protection even from an accounting of the number of dead. Recently this blogger documented the gut-wrenching experience of being forced to listen to an antiwar graduation speech (emphasis added):

He spent a good five minutes talking about how President Bush lied, there were no weapons of mass destruction, we need to bring our troops home, etc. (the typical rhetoric of the left). He even gave the number of U.S. casualties to date.

This poor oppressed child was forced to hear a number! The horror! I hope the boy gets his news from Sinclair Broadcasting.

The same people who supported the Iraq invasion from its misbegotten beginnings do not want to hear the numbers. They do not want to hear the names. They do not want to see the bodies. They will open their eyes only to funerals, where a flag-draped coffin will hide the fruit of their war-mongering from their sensitive eyes. They talk about supporting the troops, and honor and sacrifice, and I understand many look forward to the 2008 release of the film “No True Glory: The Battle for Fallujah,” starring Harrison Ford.

But they don’t want to hear the hard numbers. They don’t want to see actual bodies, even in photographs. They don’t want to know the true names.

30 thoughts on “No Dominion

  1. I think your post is less about a culture of death, which is a side-effect, than it is about the rights’ very selective view of reality, and how this plays out against those who don’t buy their view.

    They have an idea of reality, a set of beliefs, an ideology, that they:

    1) cling to very tightly, and don’t want any contradictory information to challenge

    2) are incensed that others don’t share in these beliefs, because this lack of buy-in threatens their ability to hold their beliefs. They see this as threatening their very survival. They’re extremely insecure.

    3) will do everything possible to recruit others to these beliefs, including all manner of brutish or thuggish behavior to get others to comply

    Part of this belief set is that “we” – “real” Americans – the “in group” – are good and righteous, and others are not. The so-called culture of death is projection, the inability to own what they are doing and instead they ascribe it to others not in their group. They therefore welcome images of brutality by others – which provides the evidence they need to project a “culture of death” – but they likewise shun any evidence that they themselves are brutal.

    Not only is there lots of psychological insecurity, denial, and projection going on, but also a good, healthy dose of sadism – how dare others threaten their precious worldview, their very survival? They must be punished.

    Because these people are so self-righteous, sadism is the last thing they could possibly admit about themselves, that they actually enjoy brutalizing others, hence the pornographic images, and epithets like “towelhead”, “wog” and worse.

    It should be noted that this is not unique to the right. Any group sufficiently married to an ideology will take on these traits. The history of the Soviet Union provides similar bloody examples when leftist ideologues took over.

    But in our time and place, it’s the right that has gone mad down this particular psychological trap. And taken most of the country with them.

  2. “Is there something to be proud of in showing those pictures?”
    No, there’s nothing to be proud of in showing those pictures. But isn’t that the point of such pictures? To humble the viewer and navigate him or her towards honest critical thinking about the institution of war? To force one to take a serious look at their personal beliefs about the purpose war and whether or not the human toll is, in the end, worth it? Life is not always about pride. Neither is war.

  3. I think they’ve always been this way. (Remember John Wayne’s Green Beret?) It’s about honor and glory and “being right.” The messy human part has always been difficult for them to face. They prefer to be inspired, because they believe this is the only way to win and you don’t dare let the enemy see you vulnerable or questioning. Ralley ’round the flag and troops and we’ll make it happen. Objectify the enemy, but not us. Those are “our boys” you’re showing.

    But it’s been this way throughout human history. Our nation is no different. There is an ancient need to band together because of “the others.” It’s fascinating when you think about how war dead were seen in the past. Women and the old would go out and search for the fallen and much public grieving (or stoicism) would take place. Honors would be bestowed on the winners. Losers would be taken away by families with thoughts of revenge for the next time. Poems would be written and songs sung.

    What a difference today! In our culture, we shun the reality of death. We have a horror of what it really looks like. It requires a certain state of mind for modern industrialised man to look at it honestly – shared horror, protest, dismay, sorrow. None of these states of mind are welcome when you’re striving for victory. To slide down this path is treachorous. Traitorous, almost.

  4. Not only do they not want numbers and names but they don’t want to hear from the families.Parents are expected to bury their kids(but they are not ALLOWED to look in the box)and shut the hell up….Just go away unless you are called upon to say how glad you were to give your childs life for dear leaders cause..DON’T DARE bother the righties with your broken heart…Don’t dare cry.Don’t stand up and say it was wrong, hoping to stop the madness before more parents are left to bury their children.Once your child is dead and you have nothing left to give to righties you might as well dry up on the sidewalk and go away..The hate directed at the Gold star moms is nothing short of heartstopping.

    This ties into your prior topic of religion for me, in that I notice no church group, no right to life group .. no one has stood up and shown sadness for the deaths this war has caused. I saw the people standing outside the hospice where Terri Schivo was dying with candles to mourn her death…..I see everyday protestors standing outside our local abortion clinic harrassing women who may just be at the clinic for family planning….why are their no people who claim to love life up in arms about the deaths of innocent Iraqis or the 2500 troops we have lost?

    I am so disgusted with a group of people who’s bloodlust seems to know no bounds that are too big of pussies to look at the results of the policies they claim to support…what are they so afraid of?

  5. oops that should have been why are there no people who claim to love life up in arms about the deaths of innocent Iraqis or the 2500 troops we have lost… sorry

  6. Holy crap, I thought you were kidding about the ex-marine Reagan appointee (turned video game entrepreneur) making a Fallujah movie with Harrison Ford. Ford’s probably digitizing his movements for the co-released video game right now!

    I have two suggestions for the movie. Since Ford has to be the good guy you need some convincing scape goats. 1) Have a homosexual albino marine go ape shit and aim phosphorous illumination flares at city blocks ahead of the advance. “This is for the contractors” or “I like the smell of cooked Haji in the morning” would be good money quotes. 2) Early on you need a conniving cute woman terrorist or perhaps a 3 year old rigged with explosives. Later on when the marines kill unarmed women and children you can do close ups of the marines crying. The terrible unfairness of war. Also if you kick Ford in the balls he does a great tortured, angst-ridden protagonist.

  7. I don’t know. I continue to feel more sadness than anger. When I think of those on the right, I often think of some of the “just regular folks.” They happen to be folks of the military, though. They’ve bought into this whole terrorism deal that Bush sold them and they’re committed now. They continue to hope for the best. They believe the military reporters that they listen to – that we really will improve the lives of the Iraqis one fine day.
    And often, they’re not the ones ranting at the left. They’re the ones watching the news with gritted teeth and sinking stomachs, tense like a cat for every bit of news about their friends and loved ones over there. Please keep them in mind.
    They tell me that thiis news about Haditha makes them feel physically ill, the same way you feel in the pit of your stomach when you hear there was an accident just up the road and your teenage son isn’t back yet. Please don’t forget them in this case, either. For us to complain that we’re not showing the gore somehow makes me feel ill in a different way from what you’ve been discussing.
    I hate seeing the gore from the Iraqi side, too. They have to face it everyday and I weep for them.
    Do they want us to leave, when they will undoubtedly be at the mercy of the thugs surrounding them? Do they want Iran to come sweeping in? Is Iraq really ready to step up? These are the honest questions we need answers to. Some actually want Saddam back, which means they might be happy with a dictator for awhile just so they can have some peace. Some probably still have hope that the US will still save the day. I really don’t know.

    In the meantime, is there some middle way? Maybe something like this?
    Sorry, I’m feeling awfully tearful right now.

  8. “Rightie Bloggers have wallowed in white-hot righteousness over the depravity of the murders, usually attributed to “terrorists”, although it was not at all clear from the video who the murders were”

    Have you noticed that our official information source Faux News, has stopped using the phrase insurgents. Everyone that kills in Iraq (except coalition forces of course) is now a terrorist. No more sectarian strife, no more Sunni on Shiite on Kurdish violence, just terrorism?

    “Righties wag their fingers at us and claim we liberals promote a culture of death”

    This argument is complex and always reverts to (Roe v Wade) versus (The death penalty). It is an age old argument (1-22-1973), Righties tell us liberals that abortion is the culture of death. Some of us liberals believe that the death penalty (including collateral damage) is the culture of death. So given the argument: the logical answer would be that we should not accept the death penalty or abortion. I don’t agree, but I can agree with the consistency of the argument. I’m still confused? Depends on what the meaning of life is! Wow.

  9. Swami,

    That is a particularly disturbing link. Spooky. Makes me wonder if we as a nation today would accept the “bulk” death that was happening to our soldiers back then. We as a nation seem willing to accept the 2-3-4-5-6 dead troops a week. Makes me wonder, how many Iraqi’s died last week? I question if the social discourse that happened in this country back in the 60’s and 70’s, isn’t beginning to take hold (in a much more vengeful manner) on the streets of Baghdad?

  10. Maybe you have to have been there.

    The keyboard commandos, and their chickenhawk idols, almost without exception, have not.

    Every major figure in the Bush administration avoided meaningful military service (with the exception of Rumsfeld, a Navy pilot just after Korea, and Rice, who in those days was not draft bait because of her sex). Without exception, including the prime Yellowstreak W., they made sure they did not go to Southeast Asia to personally support the war they thought was just ducky for the proles to fight.
    And Rush with his anal cyst (there’s something that bears not thinking about) and the rest of the professional (and well remunerated) war hawks (O’Reilly anybody?) dodged their war as well.

    Perhaps if they had had human beings flattened on each side of them by a single burst from an AK, or flown back from a fire base while sharing a Huey with rotting corpses, or had blood and brains spattered on them and wondered why they had not been hit, they might have a different attitude toward war. (My airborne days were over, but I was there taking some of those pictures and writing of what I saw.)

    Particularly a war of choice.

    Why were we in Vietnam? We had the excuse that a “nation” allied with us was under attack and asked us in. LBJ invented the excuse (Gulf of Tonkin) to make it a full court press. His motive: Political, as much as anything else. He feared rejection at the polls if the Republicans could once again accuse the Democrats of “losing” an “ally” in Asia like they supposedly “lost” Chaing Kai-shek’s China. Ignoble? Of course. And he paid for it politically and historically, losing all of his well-earned reputation for trying to cap the New Deal with his Great Society.

    What were the motives for invading Iraq? A whim involving an insult to a father. PNAC ideology driven by Israeli interest. The usual warmongering greed and graft, with oil, of course, paramount. And just like LBJ, the need for an election issue.

    Has this administration ever told the truth about anything? Have they ever accomplished anything besides arranging to win elections by hook or by crook? Have they ever done anything that was not designed to win votes?

    So they cajoled and conned the Congress and a majority of the American people into going along with an unprovoked and illegal agression, without UN sanction, against a tinpot dictatorship that was no threat to anybody, much less America.

    Their lies were, and are, manifest. The changing rationales would be a hoot if the results — for the Iraqis, for America’s standing in the world, for the near destruction of our armed forces recently recovering from the Vietnam disater — were not so tragic.

    Remember, folks, why GIs and Marines and Iraqis are in this meatgrinder: It is for the greater glory of Bush and the Republican majority, and the diminishment of the tagalong Democrats (Kerry included) who did not have the sense or the soul to say, “No. No. Never again.”

    Primarily, it was an election ploy. That is why we are spending our blood and treasure in the sands of Mesopotamia, from whence the Brits finally extracted themselves after an equally unseemly misadventure in the 1920s. Repeat after me: It was for votes. That is why American kids are being mutilated and dying and driven to murder and massacre which will scar them as surely as any near fatal encouter with an IED.

    The cowardly draft dodger, the man who sat in panic and then fled on September 11, did it for votes as much as for anything else.
    Maybe if Shrub had even seen as much of Vietnam as Al Gore, who went as a private and did his thing, and certainly if he had seen as much as John Kerry who won a Silver Star (do the war bloggers have any idea what that means to someone who has been in the combat arms of the military?), he could not have precipatated our suffering nation into this sand trap. (Then, again, why did Kerry go along?) Or maybe he would have anyway, if Dick (“I had other priorities”) and Karl (“I’m too smart to serve”) told him to. Like, of course, they did.

    It is not a culture of death. They do not understand untimely death. They have not risked it in their youth. They do not risk their own youth. Their class is exempt. They send others. Such it has always been when the corrupt cowards rule, as they too often do.

    They must be stopped. They must be punished. This crew of malignant incompetence needs to go. Impeach them all. Impeach them now. Or as soon as possible.

    Today I got another questionaire (with fund solicitation) from the DNC. Social Security. Gun Control. Abortion. NOT A WORD ABOUT IRAQ. What is wrong with these timorous morons? I guess they do not read the polls, just like W. says he doesn’t, except, apparently, they really do not. A pox on them all.

  11. Let them ban pictures of war dead – but they should do it at their own peril. They will not be able to ignore the living dead that come back daily and will be a major presence in this country for the next generation. The caskets they refuse to look at now will be replaced by the homeless men/women they will pass on the street and disregard as beggars, they will be replaced by the men/women that they will discount as being welfare recipients that are too lazy to find a job, they will be the men/women that end up being alcohol/drug dependent because there was not enough help for their post traumatic stress. This has been the plight of the Vietnam veteran and it will be that of the Iraq veteran. But if they close their eyes – maybe they’ll just miss it.

  12. I think that if they looked death in the face it might diminish their appetite for someone else’s blood to be spilled. I’m reminded of what Dwight D. Eisenhower once said….”Farming is easy if your plow is a pencil, and the farm is a thousand miles away”. That same concept applies to the slaughter in Iraq and the people willing to support the carnage born of a lie. Yeah, We weep and we mourn! And that Cindy Sheehan..she’s a traitor. What kind of a mother could say that their son died in vain?..only a heartless one, obviously.

    God Bless America and God honor the valiant effort to save Terry Schiavo…Oh, I’m losing it here,folks..Quick,somebody, please provide me an MP3 link to the Washington Post March.

  13. I’m going to ask a “simple” question. Assume we got everything we wished for: this administration out (and properly called to account), a new administration with whom we agree…

    What do we do about Iraq??
    Leave it? And please don’t answer this with “They messed it up so I don’t know.” Someone is going to have to figure it out. Until we step up and look at this honestly, we’re just preaching to the choir, here.
    And although there are numerous similarities between Iraq and Vietnam, there is a major difference . We took a functioning (although evil) govenment and purposefully broke it. And as Colin Powell said, “You break it, you fix it.” So my question, I repeat, is: What do we do about Iraq?

  14. Well.,Sam. From my point of view here in mom’s basement, I think the first step would be to acknowledge that we’ve already lost in Iraq, at least in respect to how it has been presented to the world.I know we have the resources and the military power as a nation to impose our will on the Iraqi people for a long time into the future, but ultimately the Iraqis will be who they will be, and any efforts to shape them into our idea of what they should be will come to naught.
    I think the question has now become how do we salvage the misguided efforts of Bush and his cadre of adventurers dabbling in areas of complexity that exceed their understanding.
    My answer to what we should do about Iraq might seem simplistic and naive, nevertheless, I believe it would yield the greatest amount of benefit to the United States,Iraq and the world. We should admit we make a mistake in the invasion of Iraq and withdraw unconditionally. We should understand that we cannot “fix” Iraq ,and we should also understand that there is a power greater than the force of arms that is understood universally by all men..the power of the truth. It’s never to late to redeem ourselves as a nation if we can find the courage that honesty can provide..

  15. Maybe I’m slow, but I don’t really understand the distinction between beheading videos and photos of dead troops; don’t both support the “Our Enemy is Evil and they kill Americans ruthlessly” meme? Or are we still not allowed to even say aloud that we might be losing? I guess that’s the distinction. Those crazy Muslims killing one guy and filming it is not the same as five troops lying dead on a street because of a car bomb. Gotcha.

    I don’t care to see any of it, frankly, but I have a weak stomach. I guess I can see the value in having all images of war released, for the sake of recording history. Or, you know, portraying the war as it is instead of how the righties wish it was.

    And I just read that Media Matters post about O’Reilly and Malmédy. Why haven’t the knee-jerker “discussing violent acts slanders the troops” people put that man’s head on a pike yet?

  16. Thanks for climbing those stairs and stepping up to the plate, Swami. You’re a brave soul.

    I don’t know the answer either (from where I sit here at my computer), but I do have certain gut feelings and troubled thoughts about all of this that I can’t just push away.

    You are of the opinion that we “can’t fix Iraq.” I agree with you. I don’t think there is such a thing as a “fix.” However (and I’m stepping up to the plate here), I do think there has to be some other answer than just tipping the cap and sayin’ “Sorry, y’all. Big mistake. You’re on your own, now.”
    What are the repercussions if we do this?
    Perhaps, if we were to threaten to do this, the surrounding regions might step up their efforts to keep a check on Iranian interference and maybe some would send in some Arab peacekeeping forces until things settle down, but I don’t know this. I admit I’m not as well-educated or experienced about the international killing fields of some parts of the Middle East as I think I should be. But I do know that our next president will need to know something about this and the more educated we are as voters, the smarter (and wiser) the candidate we might choose.
    These are the sorts of discussions I feel would be most instructive to me. I believe it would also give our side more clout in the public arena. I think we need to come together with all sides on this issue. There can’t just be a left-sided truth and a right-sided truth. That’s like believing that “God is on our side.” I refuse to play that game or objectify the other side. If I feel they’re mistaken, I’ll try to reach common ground. (I’m not talking about the powers that be, I’m talking about “folks.”)

    “Ultimately, the Iraqis will be who they want to be.” I couldn’t agree more. I wish we could ask them. Their voice is not being heard over here. They’re probably just too busy surviving. If we pull out, will this help them or hurt them more? We need to look at this carefully – beyond our own imagined views here in the safety of our own borders – because we are responsible for the outcome.

    “There is a power greater than the force of arms…the power of truth.” You are so right, Swami. But I have yet to know what this truth is. It was a mistake to go in there, I agree. Is it best to get out? That’s the truth I don’t know.

  17. It might not sound that different from our current course, but honesty and sincere and strenuous diplomacy are what is called for. Bush can’t do it because no one trusts him to listen or compromise. New leadership would have gone a long way toward opening minds and opening opportunities.

    I’d have repeated summits amongst the major power players within Iraq and several summits involving neighboring countries. I might suggest including representatives from Bosnia and South Africa to walk the Iraqis through the steps it takes to rebuild and reinvent a country. The State Department and experienced (not inept) career diplomats would take the lead.

    Iraqi’s need to know we are searching for an Iraqi solution, not an imposed American solution. I suspect the solution will be federal Iraqi government where local control is strong, but oil wealth (and electricity,food, and gas rations) are divided according to population. Continuing problems: religious strife in mixed neighborhoods, Baghdad residents (and Sunni baathists) accustomed to a larger piece of pie, and a radicalized population. The US should set up a withdrawal time line but not withdraw immediately. They should continue to fund security, a justice or greivance system, and what ever else might be neccessary to slow the unrest (voluntary relocation from high violence areas?).

  18. Erin, the distinction lies in the fact that one is civilian and the other is military..we sent the soldiers there so we bear some of the responsibility for their deaths by putting them into the situation that caused their deaths…I’m waitng for a GI to get captured and beheaded, that will change the complexion of every thing. We’ll be howling for the protections of the Geneva convention accords after we’ve written them off as quaint…

  19. Swami….comment #17….with a sadness I wait too…that can of worms is wide open and waiting to be spilled… is like waiting for the other shoe to drop….I don’t think righties, in their blood lust, can see what they have done…can’t you almost hear the outrage from the righties?,,even though their policies are the cause…I just dread watching it all happen.

  20. justme – I didn’t think you meant me! 🙂

    rana – thank you! I think you offer some excellent, thoughtful insights and suggestions. Hope to hear from you over at maha’s newest post, too.

  21. I was comment # 17…the numbers corresponding to the posts are changing as rapidly as Bush’s reasons for invading Iraq.

  22. Swami, truth is the first victim in a war based on lies. I am willing to concede the possibility that most supporters of this war probably lied to themselves, too. I think there is little probability of those same folks having the integrity to embrace truth now.

    I think the much greater probabilty is that a continuing death toll [ours and theirs] is the price America and Iraq will keep on paying because the war supporters [who are mostly simultaneous with Bush supporters] cling with all their ego strength to ‘being right’. That clinging position is reinforced for them by ‘selective focus’ on only some deaths.

    I like what you wrote….a lot. I so wish America would wake up and redeem itself by being truthful, just as you described it could be.

  23. Sorry, at the risk of being the black sheep here, I still can’t totally agree. Being truthful, sure. But I still wonder about the Iraqis. Everyday, they’re over their bravely carrying on as best they can. Don’t they deserve more than our mea culpa? Don’t they deserve our more vocal admiration for their courage? I just wonder if we’re not too caught up in our own selves to appreciate their situation (which we placed them in). I’m just not ready to give up on them. (And I don’t mean just militarily)

  24. I’ve read riverbend often, too, Swami. But I’ve also read some others lately. I think the Iraqis are as diverse in their opinions as we are over here.

  25. An answer to this might be in the Pentagon’s P2OG, or PPOG program. You can find it at Wikipedia. It is designed to piss off the Iraqi poulation ( and the entire Middle East for that matter ) and hopefully, at least in the eyes of the war profiteers, to broaden the conflict. The program at Wikipedia is linked below…

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