December 01, 2005

Boundless Arrogance II

There are thousands of such pictures. On one side, American thugs and murderers committing every possible atrocity against the helpless people of Iraq, without feeling bound by any principles of humanity or even common decency. On the other side, their President, a thug and murderer of long standing, laughing and smirking it all off.

My other posts on related topics:
What do you care?
Unity, progress, and purpose
The Poodle's UNcle


Anonymous said...

I don't like our president either. I disagree with everything that he has done so far in the war in Iraq. If you can really call it a war. We don't even know what we're fighting for. First it was weapons of mass destruction but they didn't find anything!!! And it made me so mad. Our soliders are overthere dying everyday for nothing!!! I wish I lived in Canada. You are such a peacefull people.

Al S. E. said...

Hi Enterprise. Check out the blog called "We move to Canada" on my blogroll. It belongs to one half of a couple who did make the move.

ironhorse said...

paul martin and the so called liberals are aqlso thugs. Canada has stepped up to the plate in the carribean for their own grab at empire as the US over-busy in the middle east. In particular I would point at HAITI and the canada, france us ouster of democratically elected PM Aristied and the current illeagal government. Also the canadian repression of dissent as evidenced by the political jailing of yves

DDO said...

Dear Enterprise:

The grass may seem greener on the other side of the fence. We Canadians like to complain a lot and we're complacent. We leave important and difficult decisions to countries who actually have power like your own. All of these decisions have persons like yourself who don't agree with them. In the US you can at least voice your opinion. If you had done that in the Iraq of 5 years ago you'd dissappear.
Canada seems peaceful & righteous only because we're not players in the game of global politics, just impotent armchair quarterbacks who live a great lifestyle at the teet of our Southern neighbors. If you want to help people in the Middle East then stay where you are & write your congressman.

jericohS said...

I like what your doing here... if it makes you feel any better i think G.W. BUSH is an idiot as well. The pupet behind coporate almalgamies. The people of the United States are being lied to! Further more, i would like to point out that your freedoms as Americans are nothing short of imaginary! The pages of this website are too real not to notice. RISE AGAINST COPORATISM, cause if you don't they'll own your ass~~~~
i like your website... i will comment more.

Al S. E. said...

You couldn't be more correct, Ironhorse. The Canadian government is a bit-player in the same filthy game that the US government plays. As a bit-player, Canada doesn’t get involved in the huge acts that involve killing hundreds of thousands or millions of people, such as in Iraq or Vietnam. The Canadian government, to prove its loyalty to the ultimate cause of promoting the rule of capital and suppressing any significant deviation from that path, gets involved in minor scenarios, such as the Haitian one that you mentioned. With the recent upgrade in the role of Canadian forces in Afghanistan from "peacekeepers" to full combat, Canadian thugs and murderers are committing unspeakable atrocities against innocent Afghan people right at this moment.

Publius said...

I happen to be a soldier who spent two tours in Iraq. I am a husband and a father of two. I love my family, and would far prefer to be with them than to be in some foreign country. I chose to serve in the forces that defend my nation when I was 18 y/o and have been doing it for over 20 years. It is my chosen career because I like my job, and it pays my bills. I believe am a good person.

I resent the fact that you decide to characterize me, and the people who stand beside me, as "thugs and murderers". The men I know are also decent people from towns all across America. We try our best, under very harsh conditions, to do our jobs. We help the people of Iraq on a daily basis, but you never see it on the news because the broadcasters only see fit to print the bad things. We dig wells, and rebuild homes. We provide supplies for schools.

Please be a little more fair when you choose to paint all of us with such a broad brush.


Al S. E. said...

To TBone: Individuals who invade a foreign country on the basis of government lies and kill, "abuse," or torture the citizens of that country are "thugs and murderers" by definition. It does not matter that some of them, under the influence of government propaganda, imagine it is all for a noble purpose.

Also, I interpret your comment to imply that there are at least some thugs and murderers among US soldiers. That makes the rest of them thugs and murderers by association.

I think the contention that "the broadcasters only see fit to print the bad things" is too facile. The embedded "journalists" sitting in their hotel rooms in Baghdad have been all too willing, in fact, to regurgitate US military bulletins. But there is such a huge amount of "bad things" that some of it inevitably does leak out anyway.

Mohammad - محمد said...

TBone says: “I chose to serve in the forces that defend my nation.” I don't understand how one could be part of an invasion force and still beleive that he's defending his own country. If we expand this mentality to include other nations, any other country on the face of the earth, including the people of the client states, should invade US and bring down this murderous regime.

Al S. E. said...

Yes, Moh'd, Americans have been brainwahsed to believe they can defend their country by going halfway around the world to kill people who are trying to defend their country against Americans!

Pharasalia said...

Its all about ignorance. Dubya has been the best president by far in one aspect, brainwashing Americans with half-truths and outright lies. The majority of our voting public are older generations of baby boomers who are religious conservatives and who were convinced in the latest election that they couldn't change leaders while in the middle of the 'war' without it bringing disaster down upon us and killing even more soldiers. The propaganda here was and is very thick on the points that if you protest the war, then you are going against the soldiers who are dying and being unpatriotic. Any amount of protest brings the unpatriotic label. When Dubya first took us to war the polls were astounding, people were actually conned to believe that we had to do this because it had something to do with 9/11, and then because of imaginary weapons of mass destruction - which were touted as being an immediate threat, as if at any moment Iraq would be raining bombs down upon us. Too much of the general American public is not educated beyond these lies and are not plugged in enough to find sources of news that tell the truth. I am amazed that it has taken this long for people to really become vocal about their unhappiness. His approval rating has dropped immensely and most Americans cannot stand him or his cronies. The Bush's are an international crime family. Its all about his oil and filling daddy's footsteps. Its unfortunate that I think the world doesn't know how embarassed and pissed most of us are over what he has done. He is the worst leader in history. And before you berate us too badly for electing and reelecting him, please remember that daddy bought both of those results. The person in charge of the counts and recounts was none other than a former Bush lawyer. It frightens me how much damage he has done to us and in our name to the world.

Zafrod said...

Totally unfair to call American servicemen thugs and murderers. They have taken an oath to follow the directives of the American people through the orders of our representatives in government. Yes, absolutely, those representatives are currently lying, thieving, murderous weasels. That has nothing to do with the duty of the servicemen, which is to follow orders, period. They can't quit. We press them into service. You'd do better to blame the administration and those who keep them in power; namely, the willfully ignorant in America. Do some American soldiers engage in heinous activities? Doubtlessly they do. But as progressives, we do not hold all Muslims responsible for the actions of the few. Similarly, we can not hold every soldier accountable for the few who are miscreants. Soldiers are not moral philosophers. They are, on average, 19 year old boys given responsibility most of us will never have, and they do the best they can for the most part.

Al S. E. said...

To Zafrod: There are two issues here. (1) The more immediate issue, from a purely intellectual point of view, is that the war on Iraq is a breach of all known international law, making its perpetrators war criminals. The defence of "I was just following orders" has been invalid since the Nuremberg trials following WWII. American soldiers and officers in Iraq are aware of all this, making them knowing participants in crimes against humanity. (2) The deeper, more visceral, issue is that the racist nature of American society, as well as the wider Western society, has been a factor in this war. It is clear that American soldiers in Iraq have been given a free hand to treat the “natives” like dirt. After all, they are “just a bunch of Arabs.” To put it another way, the soldiers act, not as representatives of a “legitimate” military authority, but as agents of racist oppression, which makes them “thugs and murderers.” In still other words, the problem is not that there are “a few miscreants” among US soldiers, but rather that the US army as a whole acts as a group of miscreants. A soldier is by necessity a violent person. His/her violence must be kept under close control. Otherwise, it will necessarily lead to criminal violence.

The fact of their being, on average, 19-year-olds, while unfortunate, is no excuse. A 19-year-old is considered a responsible adult in both the US and Iraq, and can be prosecuted for crimes in both countries.

Progressive Americans must help free the American people’s minds from such amoral slogans as “Support the troops.” Otherwise, the US government will continue to fight such wars far into the future.

Pegasus said...

Impeach Bush, he is a war criminal.

Journeyman said...

Ok, I'm just passing through here but I was so struck by the comments that I feel I'd like to add my two-pence worth. It is obvious that feelings run high around this whole subject whichever side your on, however when I see someone verbally beat up another poster utilising sweeping generalisations, inventive quoting (to be polite) and flawed logic in the guise of informed intellectual argument I despair at the possibility that there can any reasoned discussion at all. Al, your use of " " is highly suspect, you quote from Zafrod and then you insert insulting or demeaning phrases of your own making into quote marks implying that these were also said by Zafrod. It's a cheap trick and not worthy of someone who obviously has some brains.
'A soldier is by necessity a violent person' - flawed. certainly, a soldier, by definition, performs violent acts, but what you're saying implies that it is their personality that is somehow aberrant and that is not helpful to this argument. By your rational, all soldiers everywhere are violent people just waiting for when the leash is let loose enough for them to go on some kind of blood thirsty rampage. Considering the number of soldiers on the planet in armies decidedly less closely controlled than the American military I would imagine that we'd be up to our necks in blood if your argument had any weight.
There are many, many arguments that you could have put forward as to why the Iraq/Afghanistan occupation is illegal, immoral, oppressive etc, just as there are a few arguments that can be put forward as to why they are necessary, moral and/or liberating however just to shout someone down using the, frankly tedious, language of the screaming protester does not add to the debate and simply serves to widen the gap between two groups of people who need to be working together to achieve peace.

After seeing the number of comments pro-Al and the number against I suspect that this post may not see the light of day. Please prove me wrong.

Al S. E. said...

To Journeyman: Thanks for your comment. This blog is run, to the best of my ability, exactly according to the principle stated below its title, which boils downs to this: Ideas and public figures are fair game, but the individual persons involved in this blog’s discussions are not. I admit there is often a fine line between rejecting an idea and rejecting the person who expresses the idea, but I try my best.

I am, of course, a fallible human, and hence liable to the use of flawed logic. I don’t, however, see any particularly flawed logic (or anything demeaning) in my reply to Zafrod. If there were some generalizations, they were ones that are accepted as facts or near-facts by the majority of the progressive community. We speak almost in a code, and therefore, for instance, when I put “Support our troops” in quotations marks, other progressives know that I am not quoting anyone in particular.

Non-progressives, who of course prefer to be called conservatives, are free to comment on what is said here, as long as they do so politely. That does not mean, however, that they are being addressed here. In other words, this blog and many others like it are not any kind of attempt to reach out to American conservatives or begin some kind of a dialogue with them. Any hope for a dialogue evaporated once they voted for Dubya for a second time. The purpose here is to raise the morale of other progressives, and to cooperate in developing new tactical and strategic ideas.

Admittedly, my statement that “soldiers are by nature violent” was a generalization, but I don’t think it was far off the mark. Even the most saintly among us have some violence in them. Those who have enough violence in them that they are willing to kill strangers just because they were ordered to do so become soldiers. That is all I meant. To let a hundred thousand such individuals loose on a helpless civilian population, especially a civilian population that the soldiers have been programmed to think of as enemies of the soldiers’ nation, is criminal. In fact, it is nothing less than a crime against humanity.

Zafrod said...

I hope you're not refering to me above, Al. =) I am a registered republican, but I consider myself to be a social progressive, I am most definitely not a conservative, and I guaran-friggin'-tee that I didn't vote for Bush the second time around. Moderate Republicans do still exist. Feel free to visit for an idea of where I'm coming from... I'll bet you find more that you agree with than that which you don't.

I speak up for the troops only because I still have some vague recollection of what it was like to be 19. I was barely sentient. I could barely handle the responsibility of getting to class by 9. Forget about keeping a neighborhood in Iraq safe. These kids don't have a choice about where they are or what they do. We can not expect them to be moral philosophers, given their age and their experience. By shifting any of the blame onto them, you are shifting it away from the parties that need to be held accountable, that being the superiors from whence the orders originate.

By the way, I didn't take any offense to your reply, but I do hate to see the troops get picked on. They're easy targets, but we should really avoid taking the easy way out.