...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

November 22, 2004

All You Did Was Weaken A Country Today

i received another lovely comment from an anonymous troll the other day. Again, using the expletive-laden prose so typical of the frustrated left, i was urged to kill myself. That's the second time this month. This particular commenter was pissed that i hadn't yet posted about the so-called "marine shooting" incident.

The reason i haven't written about the incident until now was because i was still working out my own mixed emotions about what i saw on that video. Well, my emotions were mixed until this afternoon, that is. Now i just feel manipulated and angry. Here's why.

When i first saw the shooting video, i had not yet heard the story, so i watched it without having heard any spin from the right or left. i have to admit, when i heard the shot and the marine saying "he's dead now," i was appalled. My first gut reaction was that something was not right about the way things went down.

Since the time of my initial reaction, i've been able to put the event into its proper context. i understand how the marine was justified in shooting the terrorist under the rules of engagement. i understand that these enemy were not prisoners, and had not surrendered. i understand that marines are not cops. i understand that the act of feigning death is inherently threatening, and any marine who perceives such a threat must protect himself by killing it. But the words "he's dead now" continued to bother me. They sounded like something a sadistic Quentin Tarantino villain might say.

i had assumed that the marine who shot the terrorist was the same marine who said "he's dead now," but i was wrong. Since the day the story broke i've seen the video dissected many, many times on various TV networks, including "fair and balanced" Fox News, and not once have i heard anyone mention that the marine who shot the terrorist was not the same marine who said "he's dead now."

To me, that fact is critical to understanding what happened, and its omission from the news "coverage" of the shooting completely skewed my own perception of what happened. Strange that i learned this crucial piece of the story only by reading the embedded reporter's own website this afternoon. In his pathetic non-apology/explanation to the Marine Corps, Kevin Sites retells what he saw:

While I continue to tape, a Marine walks up to the other two bodies about fifteen feet away, but also lying against the same back wall.

Then I hear him say this about one of the men:

'He's fucking faking he's dead -- he's faking he's fucking dead.'

Through my viewfinder I can see him raise the muzzle of his rifle in the direction of the wounded Iraqi. There are no sudden movements, no reaching or lunging.

However, the Marine could legitimately believe the man poses some kind of danger. Maybe he's going to cover him while another Marine searches for weapons.

Instead, he pulls the trigger. There is a small splatter against the back wall and the man's leg slumps down.

'Well he's dead now,' says another Marine in the background. [emphasis added]

i’m pissed because i’m at the mercy of the gatekeepers in the mainstream media yet again. They wanted to portray this marine, who deserves a medal by the way, as a modern version of Kerry’s “Winter Soldier,” ravaging the countryside in a manner reminiscent of “Jinjiss” Khan. So they deliberately replayed the video without the proper context or explanation, in effect superimposing their anti-military and anti-American bias onto the objective facts in the most sneaky, despicable way.

My outrage doesn’t end there. This punk, Kevin Sites, apparently wants the marines to not hate him for endangering their lives by providing the enemy with propaganda, which they will use to prolong their futile resistance. Make no mistake, Kevin Sites and his superiors have the blood of U.S. marines and soldiers on their hands. Here’s how he tries to explain himself to the marines of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment with whom he had been embedded:

As you know, I'm not some war zone tourist with a camera who doesn't understand that ugly things happen in combat. I've spent most of the last five years covering global conflict. But I have never in my career been a 'gotcha' reporter -- hoping for people to commit wrongdoings so I can catch them at it.

This week I've even been shocked to see myself painted as some kind of anti-war activist.

Shocked, shocked I say . . .
It's time you to have the facts from me, in my own words, about what I saw -- without imposing on that Marine -- guilt or innocence or anything in between.
Then a few paragraphs later, Sites does exactly that. He imposes guilt on the marine, by way of this not-so-subtle sarcasm:
The Marine then abruptly turns away [After killing the insurgent] and strides away, right past the fifth wounded insurgent lying next to a column. He is very much alive and peering from his blanket. He is moving, even trying to talk. But for some reason, it seems he did not pose the same apparent ‘danger’ as the other man -- though he may have been more capable of hiding a weapon or explosive beneath his blanket.
It seems reasonable to assume that a terrorist who looks like he’s “faking he’s dead” is more threatening due to the element of subterfuge, than a terrorist who is only moving and trying to talk. At worst, this shooting was a justifiable mistake of combat - one which no American should lose sleep over. Even Sites admits to this reality of wartime:
No one, especially someone like me who has lived in a war zone with you, would deny that a solider [sic] or Marine could legitimately err on the side of caution under those circumstances. War is about killing your enemy before he kills you.
But Sites’ justification for the video’s release conveniently ignores the harm he has done to our war effort, and to the safety of the Marines whose cameraderie he seems so afraid of losing.
We all knew it was a complicated story, and if not handled responsibly, could have the potential to further inflame the volatile region.
That is exactly what is happening. Two words: al Jazeera. And he knew the risk, too:
I knew NBC would be responsible with the footage. But there were complications. We were part of a video 'pool' in Falluja, and that obligated us to share all of our footage with other networks. I had no idea how our other 'pool' partners might use the footage. . . .

When NBC aired the story 48-hours later, we did so in a way that attempted to highlight every possible mitigating issue for that Marine's actions.

i disagree, see above.
We wanted viewers to have a very clear understanding of the circumstances surrounding the fighting on that frontline. Many of our colleagues were just as responsible. Other foreign networks made different decisions, and because of that, I have become the conflicted conduit who has brought this to the world. [emphasis added]
One thing that puzzles me is this, every time i see footage of our brave soldiers and marines in combat, there’s always a few shots of the dirty terrorists firing of their AKs. And the video is always shot from behind the terrorists, as if there are journalists who are embedded with the enemy. Who shoots that video? i assume it’s al Jazeera photographers. Since al Jazeera is part of the “pool” that shared the marine shooting video, no one could reasonably believe that foreign journalists who actively consort with the enemy would use the video in a neutral way. In fact, al Jazeera and the foreign press have used it to fuel anti-American hatred and embolden our enemies while we are engaged in defeating them. This will only lengthen the resistance, which can only lead to more American deaths.

Sites concludes his non-apology letter like this:

So here, ultimately, is how it all plays out: when the Iraqi man in the mosque posed a threat, he was your enemy; when he was subdued he was your responsibility; when he was killed in front of my eyes and my camera -- the story of his death became my responsibility.
And i am reminded of Jack Nicholson’s final words from the movie A Few Good Men:
All you did was weaken a country today . . . That's all you did. You put people in danger. Sweet dreams, son.
Yeah, sleep well Sites.

More: Read Chris Roach's post about why this shooting was not a "war crime."

Still more context: Via Dean Esmay, this slideshow about "what really happened in Fallujah" should be required web viewing for everyone. John of Argghhh! has more commentary, here and especially here.

Posted by annika, Nov. 22, 2004 |
Rubric: annikapunditry



I hope the jerk somehow gets your post sent to him. Any way to include it in a letter to his editor?

You'd think by now some of these press fools would better understand the meaning of the term "consequential behavior".

This may be your best post yet; keep up the good work.

Posted by: shelly on Nov. 23, 2004

Funny, it was obvious to me that a different Marine said, "He's dead now." I was surprised anyone thought differently.
I read quite a bit about the Pacific theater of WWII, and the Marines learned a lot of very tough lessons from the Imperial Japanese. The terrorist had plenty of chances to surrender before that Marine walked into that room in the mosque. Tough shit, terrorist.
Oh, and why is no one bothering to point out that the terrorist's being in a mosque is evidence in and of itself of his war criminal status.
I have ZERO sympathy for them.

Posted by: pedro on Nov. 23, 2004

Our press laments and debates the shooting of a war criminal, as pedro points out, and yet when they continually cut the heads off of innocent people it gets just a blurb. This world, or at least the Main Stream Media, is just insane. No fucking perspective.

Posted by: Scof on Nov. 23, 2004

I think it's unfair to judge. A free society is free because of the interaction of a number of different communities, each with a different emphasis. The miltiary protects from harm abroad. Journalists are supposed to pursue the truth. Priests and men of the cloth, to fight for God's transcendent truth. Lawyers, to fight for justice.

If any of these groups were to simply submit to the community's demands at any given time in order to avoid popular rancor or to fulfill notions of "hopping on the winning team," than their more abiding ethical obligations to various abstract goods, then their interaction which produces a free society would be undermined. It's paradoxical, but each group must fulfill its particular professional mission as defined by a particular abstract good in order for our society to retain the qualities we want. Conservatives, I think, should oppose this notion that all are subordinate to the state and subordinate to its objectives, even in war. There are things more important than complete unity in the face of a particular, temporal objective.

We know that we are all also citizens. That we have to make judgments. That we need relevant information to do so. I think we'll find that most people can handle these facts and judge the Marine fairly--other than the looney left. But the very problem you decry, the media's filtering and editing, is what you seem to demand of Sites, that he did not distribute this incindiary tape.

I think he did the right thing as a journalist. I think we do not want to live in a world where journalists view their goals as anything other than telling us what they witness; i.e., it would ultimatley undermine the character and quality of our free society if journalists withheld things like this out of some notion of patriotic duty.

I have some stuff on my blog about all this that I hope you take the time to check out. And I'm sorry some asshole told you to kill yourself Annika.

Posted by: Roach on Nov. 23, 2004

My first sentence above should read: I don't think it's fair to condemn Sites for doing his job as a journalist.

Incidentally, I think it telling that the title of your post condemns another learned profession--law--for doing its duty, by commiting to individual justice, without taking into account a community-based or nationalist notion of individual duty.

Posted by: Roach on Nov. 23, 2004

"Letter from a Fallujah Marine" at the lower half of this link's page..........


Posted by: reagan80 on Nov. 23, 2004

Fair points, Roach. But you left out of the equation the key element: "responsibility." In WWII the press self censored because they had a sense of responsibility to the society of which they were a part. And the sky did not fall. Today's press has rejected the values of the society which gives them their freedom. And their coverage can't help but undermine that society. Our system of democracy assumes that people will act responsibly. It can't work otherwise.

In law, you see the same thing. The days are gone when Clarence Darrow would accept Leopold and Loeb as clients, yet refuse to enter a plea of insanity because he knew they were guilty. Now we have Garregos and Cochran, who use every lie they can think of to get their clients off. And we call them good lawyers, instead of what they are, corrupt liars with no sense of responsibility to the society in which they live.

Posted by: annika on Nov. 23, 2004

A lawyer's chief duty is to his client. If that duty were to be corrupted by some notion of community responsibility, I don't see how you could ever have competent defense counsel for criminal defendants. That said, lawyers cannot and should not commit frauds on the court or the public to support their client. Suborning perjury, for instance, is a crime. But to piece together the pieces of evidence in the way most favorable to one's client, that is exactly what a lawyer's duty is. Just like "separation of powers" and "market competition" this commitment to some subpart of the social good, when interacting with the other pieces of the puzzle, brings about our complete social good. It does not need some abstract responsibility to "justice" or "social good" to work. Indeed, it would be impaired thereby.

I agree there's a time for self-censorship for journalists. And I don't know where that would be exactly. I guess here, knowing that the Arab media would have a field day, might have been one, but I'm not convinced. They'll always have a reason to hate us. And I think Americans should know what's going on out there, including the good the bad and the ugly.

Posted by: Roach on Nov. 23, 2004

The first question I would ask a journalist in this situation is 'Are you a journalist or an American first?'. Sadly I believe most would answer journlist. It goes back to the American flag lapel pins after 9/11 that some journalist would not wear for fear of showing bias. What? I do not understand that. Despite what Sikes has said, I can not let go of the feeling he felt he had big story and he could not wait to let it out. Never thinking of the consequences.

Journalist and news agencies show restraint all the time. Juanita Broderick comes to mind. As well as how many stories have you seen of our soldiers passing out school supplys to Iraqi children? This instance in my opinion the journalist could have shown restraint and vetted the story in its complete context.

Posted by: Michael C on Nov. 23, 2004

Annika, I agree with you assessment of the Marine incident. The video was put to the public without any context of the terrorist's tactics such as faking death or booby trapping bodies. This was an important omission and it help create the advocacy piece the "journalists" intended.

I disagree with you assessment of Garregos but I think it applies to Cochran. The Peterson trial was a textbook example of how to conduct a criminal defense in a circumstantial case. Garregos did his job by forcing the prosecution to prove its' case. The most important thing in criminal law is the concept of zealous mutual advocacy. It keeps the system honest. I don not think Garregos knew for certain if Scott did it. (if he did, he certainly would be in volition of the Ca ethics code.) By proposing alternate theories of the case, Garregos forced the DA to prove him wrong. The system worked.

Posted by: lawguy on Nov. 23, 2004

Why are lawyers rarely sanctioned when they use intentional falsehoods to defend their clients?

I'm reminded of a recent San Diego area case where, as part of a plea bargain negotiation, the defendant offered to lead authorities to the body of his victim. The plea bargain fell through, and the defendant's lawyers then presented a court case in which they argued that the defendant had not committed the crime.

I can only assume the simplest explanation: At least some lawyers are able to skew the sanctioning system to innoculate themselves against whatever they might do in the future.

Posted by: gcotharn on Nov. 23, 2004

btw: nice post.

Kevin Sites: "Damn the morality. I'm advancing my career!"

Both the Marine's actions and the media's actions make fascinating ethical studies. The Marine, bone-tired and in an ongoing fight for his and his comrade's lives, made a decisive ethical decision. I believe that Sites and his superiors, less tired and less life-threatened, never really addressed real ethical quandary inherent to their situation. They had that blinking red siren going off in the back of their heads the whole time: "Advance our careers! Advance our careers!" That loud blinking siren of ambition got in the way of their addressing the real issue. They grabbed for the best justification they could come up with, went with it, and released the video.

Now Sites is pouting that the Marines don't like him anymore. Cry me a river "Ambition Boy." If you truly believe you are morally in the right, that will salve your wounded feelings.

Posted by: gcotharn on Nov. 23, 2004

Gcotham raises an interesting issue. Basically lawyers do not testify in most caes. And they do not suborn perjury if they don't put their clients on the stand. They're hired guns; they drawn inferences and make arguments based on the facts presented in the trial. They're within their rights to draw inferences and make arguments that they know not to be actually true because they're not testifying; the jury must ultimately draw its own inferences and review the evidence. The prosecution has the burden of proof.

Likewise, facts that come up in a settlement/plea discussion are inadmissible under the rules (otherwise, as you can imagine, such discussions would be very dangerous).

This "advance their careers stuff" is getting old. Are priests advancing their careers when they maintain the confidedntiality of the confessional (or doctors or psychologists or lawyers)? As I tried to say above, the good of society depends on different groups in that society pursuing their own, more narrowly defined concept of duty that is, in individual cases, not entirely coextensive with society's at that given moment, even though in the long run that's how we want those people to behave, i.e., the doctor's duty to patient, the priest's duty to parishoner, the lawyer's duty to client, the journalist's duty to the story, etc.

Posted by: roach on Nov. 23, 2004

One interesting point you just made, Roach, and i don't know if it's intentional or just because it was a blog comment and therefore written on the fly. You cite: "the doctor's duty to patient, the priest's duty to parishoner, the lawyer's duty to client, the journalist's duty to the story, etc" Did you notice that in your examples the doctor, the lawyer and the priest all owe their duties to actual people, while the journalists owe their duty to an inanimate concept, "the story?"

i forsee a lot of problems and potential for abuse when a group of people can justify irresponsible behavior by reliance on a duty to something inanimate that they themselves can define, i.e. "the story."

Posted by: annika on Nov. 23, 2004

Annika and the crew,

An awful lot of verbiage to explain justify or rationalize the wanton act of murder during battle. I have yet to read anyone disputing the supposed first impression of "faking dead" by the Marine. Do we know whether this guy was injured and unconscious, or sleeping, or something in between? I read that these Iraqi’s were left by another platoon the day before. They had engaged them, prevailed, wounded them and left them to die. They had surrendered, had been captured and were harmless starving, dehydrated human war detritus.

Now we have three or four marines enter the room, looking around and they see four or five injured or dead Iraqi's. According to the logic posited by many that the "dead faker" posed some booby trap threat why not just shoot them all as you entered the room? Didn't they all pose a threat of some sort and should not the entire bunch been shot? Why single one out as an especially high risk: because he appeared to be dead? This is all an exercise in bullshit. Our soldiers, like the soldiers of all armies on the battle field, kill people who are not a threat or are innocent bystanders just because they want to. I am not surprised nor am I changing my opinion of our troops: most are professional, some are jerks, most are well trained some are not. This is an immoral war based on lies and deceptions and all that follows is to one degree or another immoral. This shooting is unfortunately neither surprising nor out of the ordinary.

All this horse shit about a dog-tired Marine making snap “ethical” decision may make some feel better about murder but it has nothing to do with ethics. If the "dead faker" were booby trapped the marine who shot him would be dead. He was too close to avoid the explosion if the guy was rigged. If he was doing what all you war parsers say he was doing it badly. He was, in fact not doing it at all. He killed the guy because he wanted to.

How many saw the video from a battle earlier this year shown on CNN of an Iraqi writhing in the street wounded, when a GI laughs, pumps two more rounds into him and his buddies let out a few whoops and they all laugh. He tells a reporter a minute later "These guys are dead now, ya know, that's a good feeling. Let’s do it again." Your army, not mine. Rubes and rednecks with guns.

How do we rationalize the Apache pilots from the first gulf war yakking to each other over the radio as they play a video game of "rocket into truck" They were hovering and shooting rockets into trucks filled with retreating Iraqi soldiers. That's murder too or if you do it with a weapon "system" is it just cowardice or a war crime?

Let us stop the bullshit, war is ugly and destructive but most assuredly it announces that civilized, sophisticated men and women have lost their way and have regressed to a more primitive state of affairs.

There are so many instances of soldiers in wartime loosing sight of the boundaries between their real mission, their anger, and their fear that I am amazed that this got any press at all.

I can't know for sure what went through the mind of the soldier in this latest incident. It sounded to me like a guy with the juice of battle running through him, got pissed off that some Iraqi piece of shit might be trying to fool him and he was not going to let it pass. Just shoot the fucker. Booby traps, dog tired marine, snap judgments, all rationalizations, all the bulshit vomited up by a public and a command that simply can't sit back and enjoy the war they wished for

Posted by: mike on Nov. 23, 2004

Mike, I'll dignify your post with a response, though I probably shouldn't:

"Murder" is the deliberate killing of a person when it is not committed in self-defense, or on behalf of a legitimate authority.

Shooting trucks full of soldiers isn't murder.

Shooting wounded soldiers who still have the means to resist, are conscious, and are not attempting to surrender isn't murder.

Not all explosives blow up when you shoot them.

You say "This shooting is unfortunately neither surprising nor out of the ordinary." How on earth would you know that? You're great with the generalities, but short on specifics to back them up.

Posted by: Eric Johnson on Nov. 23, 2004

Roach, you said that the lawyer's "chief duty is to his client." I disagree -- his prior duty is to the law, and the court that administers it. You can't call yourself a lawyer unless you are admitted to the bar, and once you're admitted, you're an officer of the court. Only then can you have clients. If you mean the lawyer's immediate duty is to his client, then that's fine, but his highest loyalty must be to the law. Otherwise, you'd have lawyers doing all kinds of unethical crap to further their clients' interests. And we know lawyers would never do anything unethical, right?

Posted by: Eric Johnson on Nov. 23, 2004

Mike walks with the gatekeepers. Eric is one of the keymasters.

Posted by: d-rod on Nov. 23, 2004

In case anyone cares, I decided that Mr. Ambition could use a dose of how others see him, so I went to his site and got his email address. Talk about affected airs...he lists it as:

kevin at kevinsites dot net (sic.)

Give me a break...do ace embedded reporters not get computers with symbols and periods in them?

Posted by: shelly on Nov. 24, 2004

"Our soldiers, like the soldiers of all armies on the battle field, kill people who are not a threat or are innocent bystanders just because they want to."

"Your army, not mine. Rubes and rednecks with guns."

This perfectly epitomizes why I despise the Left. They'll disown their own country and fellow citizen soldiers in a heartbeat.

Posted by: reagan80 on Nov. 24, 2004

Here's another reason why I hate the Left..........

"It does not hurt that in current circumstances, the interests of Muslims coincide with the interests of the socialists in the war against crusaders." Bin Laden quote.........

Posted by: reagan80 on Nov. 24, 2004

Actually Shelly, not using the @ and . is a common way to prevent spam bots from getting your email address off a website. i do it like this: [at] [dot].

Posted by: annika on Nov. 24, 2004

Posted by: Roach on Nov. 24, 2004

THAT is partly why spam has exploded into my email! Thanks! I'll be amending my blog email address forthwith. I always wondered why people listed their email addresses like that(but I didn't wonder enough to ever ask about it!).

FYI: I use Yahoo email, and their spam blocker is wonderful. It lists all my spam emails in a spam file, and it makes a minimal number of mistakes.

Posted by: gcotharn on Nov. 24, 2004

Annika - thanks for the link. I also discussed the Marine in this post:


I don't entirely agree with the demonizing of Sites, but there's plenty of room to argue there.

I'm on the Marine's side, though that's a pretty gray area. I don't think Mike will like my analysis, however.

Posted by: John of Argghhh! on Nov. 24, 2004


So you have told me shooting truck full of soldiers in retreat is not murder but you conveniently avoided another descriptive. What do you call it?

I use the word murder to mean the wonton, needless termination of a human life. If it lets you sleep at night to shield yourself and your image of american soldiers by hiding behind the legal definition, more power to you.

And "some explosives don't go off when you shoot them" is not too specific a statement my friend. Which kind of explosives did this guy not have strapped to his torso?

Posted by: mike on Nov. 24, 2004


I am not "THE LEFT". Are you "THE RIGHT"? Or Just an American with many diverse opinions. Yours just happen to be indefensible bullshit laced with jingoistic dogma simmered over callow youth, but hey, we are both, when the covers touch our necks at night, just a couple of guys sharing our opinions.

Seriously,Mr. Gun, I hope you have a nice thanksgiving dinner with your family.

Posted by: mike on Nov. 24, 2004

The whole issue of one's responsibilities as a "professional" vs one's responsibilities as a *human being* is one that needs a whole lot more explanation. My sense is that a lot of crimes have been justified on the basis of duty to one's profession. Certainly, Leni Riefenstahl felt her "art" justified her work on behalf of the Hitler regime, just as the German rocket scientists believed that their duty to "science" justified the same thing.

In America, my sense is that the "gamesmanship" behavior that has been defined as acceptable for lawyers--taking money to pursue a case regardless of the moral merits of that case--has moved into the broader society. In law, this convention is beneficial, at least up to a certain point, because it is part of a structured adversary system. There are plenty of other contexts in which it is not beneficial.

Posted by: David Foster on Nov. 24, 2004

just finished reading all this stuff....isnt america a great place to live. such serious discussions taking place and no one is dying for it. This country has many heroes and i will only say that humans that join a cause, and not one that makes them $225 an hour, to help others instead of enriching themselves is truly doing what is deserved of the title "hero". people who sit on the sidelines and critique what our military members are doing in a time of war are not ones that i would want protecting me or the freedoms of others. I even wonder if they have the capacity to think of others before themselves? Selfishness and hedonism, i find them to be a common belief among these people and sites like this can only cause them to get angrier at you (us) or cause them to rethink there reasons for living in a country that was built on sacrifices of others. Unless you have walked a mile in the shoes of a marine, soldier, sailor, or airmen then i challenge you to join the "all volunteer" military and see exactly what it is they do and think and sacrifice for.

Posted by: bucket on Nov. 26, 2004


What are you saying? It is a little hard to tell.

If I may attempt to suggest....

We have freedom of speech, OK. And can ramble ad nauseum on line with no repercussions, OK, but so can everybody in Europe, canada, scandinavia, Japan, India, and many other places.

It is a bad thing to excercise our freedom of speech in a time of war? I think when people are dying because of what some people believe it is a GOOD time to try and discover the truth about what they believe.

People who vocalize opinions different from the current administration would not do well defending freedom? That's just too stupid for words.

If a person has not been in the military they should not have opinions or second guess what being a soldier is about? (Bush, Chainey, Rumsfeld, Rice, Wolfowitz, Perle, Rove, and the rest of this group save for Powell).

And lastly, volunteers are the heros of the world.
Not a bad sentiment, except if you think that includes our military which it does not; they are paid professionals.

Posted by: mike on Nov. 26, 2004

Yup, Mike. Certifiable Baby Killers, every one of 'em. Paid killers! Hell, I bet them American soldiers they eat dead, burnt babies for breakfast, every day! And not only, that, Mike. I'll bet they are Christers! Yep. Right out there from Jesusland! Worse yet, Evangelical Christers. They's the nastiest kind, Mike.

Posted by: Just Bill on Nov. 28, 2004

Oh Bill,

You don't really mean that, do you? Or are you just being ironic and I missed it. Let me know for next itme, woodja?

Posted by: mike on Nov. 29, 2004

I used to think it was merely a joke that Scots musicians told, that the bagpipes are the only musical instrument ever banned as a weapon of war. Of course, the point is NOT that they’re scary--- The pipes were used to communicate tactical instructions for battlefield maneuvers, because the sound carried so well over the din of battle. And that was several hundreds of years before the wireless. In the context of the furor over a video that shows a U.S. Marine shooting a terrorist who had been trying to play dead in the immediate aftermath of a battle, I simply must respond to the idiocy of one journalist saying of a shooting he saw earlier in the battle for Fallujah. He described the target as an "innocent man simply talking on his cell phone on a rooftop."

Excuse me, but this is a breathtaking example of EITHER obtuse innocence or bloody-minded perversity. An Iraqi standing on a rooftop in the midst of the battleground of Fallujah, speaking into a cellular phone, MUST BE PRESUMED TO BE COMMUNICATING TACTICAL INFORMATION TO ANOTHER ENEMY COMBATANT. How can a professional journalist who has spent more than ten minutes in a war zone POSSIBLY assume that any person using a cell phone would simply be making casual conversation? What the HELL would that person be discussing? Football scores? Performance of blue chip stocks in the Asian Markets? Or perhaps the relative charms of certain amiable slatterns who might be suddenly single, what with all the young studs being slaughtered of late?

What pathetic excuses for thought must suffice to obtain a degree in journalism these days!

Think back to Vietnam, when American personnel were routinely killed and maimed by bombs and grenades delivered by children and teenaged girls who seemed to our eyes to be far too young to be regarded as threats. Am I saying it’s therefor okay to shoot any kid you see? Of course not. But in a city that has been a haven for terrorists for many months, where a substantial portion of the population can be assumed to be either terrorists or those who have aided and housed and fed and protected terrorists, it is reasonable to assume that anyone that cannot be identified as your own, must be hostile.

Posted by: David March, animator & fiddler on Nov. 29, 2004

A few corrections.

If you look up the word volunteer, the definition includes the following: " a person who freely enlists for (military) service"

The key point is not being paid for service, but whether the decision to enter into paid service was made by the individual without force or coercion (i.e. a draft).

The President served in the Air National Guard. The Secretary of Defense served in the Navy and retired from the Naval Reserves as a Captain.

Having said that, there is the point of civilian control over the military. There is a law that prevents a military person from becoming Secretary of Defense for 10 years upon leaving service - and for good reason (the George Marshalls of the world aside).

When you write, "They were hovering and shooting rockets into trucks filled with retreating Iraqi soldiers. That's murder too or if you do it with a weapon "system" is it just cowardice or a war crime." You must know that the retreating soldiers have the option to declare themselves non-combatants (white flag, stop carrying arms and surrender, etc.); otherwise, they are still legitimate combatants under the Geneva Convention and maybe engaged. The burden falls on both parties.

Rubes and rednecks with guns - Well, if you would like to check the education, race, geographic representation and other demographic aspects of the members of the armed forces to support your claim, here is a site:


Posted by: Col Steve on Nov. 30, 2004

Col Steve,

As to the retreating Iraqi's in '91.

It was night , there was nobody to surrender to, if they desired to do so, and they were murdered by a couple of rubes or rednecks driving helicopters having some fun. You militarists are such word play artists. If that is the pill you need to sleep through the stupor of your moral and ethical shortcomings, you might want to call a drug company and offer them the name-Semantac- The drug that let's you live in peace despite you moral deficit disorder.

If our mission in 91 was to liberate the dictatorship known as Kuwait (but once a province of Iraq), but not to conquer Iraq, how do you justify blowing up truck loads of soldiers in Iraq? Oh wait, I think I know. These guys were headed to Bagdad to reconnect with their units, re-equip, get medical attention, food and then head back south to try and re-take Kuwait. Sorry, I didn't think of that.

BTW, GW may have served out his time in the ANG, the jury is still out. none the less, calling him a military man is like you calling yourself a non-fiction writer and this Blog a collection of your edited works.

Posted by: mike on Dec. 1, 2004

You must have a pretty good view from your box seat looking over the arena of combat.

Justice.. was a rocket and a chain gun that found those poor criminals in their trucks heading back to Baghdad after the r@pe of Kuwait when the Americans came.

But for you, in your sad reality.....the Apache pilots were the monsters.

Talk about needing some "Semantac." You need it in an IV drip. The Brits have an effective way of delivering it sans needle.

You cut off the end of the IV tube so that the medicine flows freely. Then you insert the open ended tube into the rectum of the delusional patient.

Lay the IV bag on the ground...and stomp it.
Take two of those and post in the morning.

Posted by: FarArcher on Dec. 1, 2004


I'm so sorry - I banned Mike after months of being extremely patient with his stupidity.

Apologies that he has ended up here!

Posted by: Moxie on Dec. 1, 2004

Oh Moxie!

You lying Coulter clone! You banned me because you thought I insulted you. I suggested that you might be pleased that a certain left wing blogger could not muster the energy or maintain an erotic vision long enough to jerk off thinking about you. He claimed that your sick, reactionary politics and your MDD were too big a turnoff in spite of your good genes. I though you might take it as a compliment; Who knew you had such thin skin?

Your ineffectual, knee-jerk RW retorts to my arguments had nothing to do with it. You, like most on the right (wrong) have real trouble with ethics and morals. i.e. Tom DeBug can now be in leadership even though the RW was quick to pass a bill banning those under indictment, but now that limp dick Bug man is going to be criminally charged with conspiring to undermine democracy in Texass, they vote the "high minded" bill out of existence. The same mentality that thought a Bill Clinton denial of a blow job was a good pretext to "get him" out of office. Sick f-cking hypocrites every one of them.

In your world, Shooting retreating soldiers is warfare, shooting a man "playing dead" is good soldiering, turning a country to rubble to set it free is spreading freedom, and labeling everyone who fights to expel an invader a "terrorist", it is all wearing thin.

Moxie, you are just another pathetic piece of deluded RW road kill lying, squashed and unawares on the hot macadam of an Iraqi highway.

Mox, I think if W unzipped in the hallway to the Oval Office, you would be falling to you knees faster than you could say Mustafa Robinson.

Posted by: mike on Dec. 2, 2004

When is Annika going to finally give Mike the McClelland treatment? I can't understand his posts. They need to be "translated". *wink*wink*

Posted by: reagan80 on Dec. 2, 2004