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What was the point?

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What was the point?

Post by Stan Dane on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 2:25 am

I see that Al-Qaeda forces have taken over Fallujah in Iraq.
 
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/al-qaeda-force-captures-fallujah-amid-rise-in-violence-in-iraq/2014/01/03/8abaeb2a-74aa-11e3-8def-a33011492df2_story.html
 
We went in there 10 years ago to get them and all other evil-doers outta there. A big to-do it was. And we paid a damn heavy price. My family did too. My sister lost her only son, 20, near Fallujah in 2005. I sweated out my son doing two tours of duty in Iraq. I was the lucky one.
 
Now it's the same as it ever was...same as it ever was….
 
My nephew died for nothing. That's tough to swallow.

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Re: What was the point?

Post by dwdunn(akaDan) on Fri 10 Jan 2014, 5:27 pm

Stan,

I was very sorry to read this, as well as angry. There's really not much I can say, but no one dies for nothing. He died serving his country, even if the country was wrong to put him in that position; he deserved better of us.

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Re: What was the point?

Post by greg parker on Fri 10 Jan 2014, 5:43 pm

dwdunn(akaDan) wrote:Stan,

I was very sorry to read this, as well as angry. There's really not much I can say, but no one dies for nothing. He died serving his country, even if the country was wrong to put him in that position; he deserved better of us.
Stan,

that pretty well sums it up for me, too. 

A soldier can die with homor, even where none exists in the raison dete of the battle.


Last edited by greg parker on Fri 10 Jan 2014, 8:11 pm; edited 1 time in total

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

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Re: What was the point?

Post by Stan Dane on Fri 10 Jan 2014, 7:19 pm

greg parker wrote:
dwdunn(akaDan) wrote:Stan,

I was very sorry to read this, as well as angry. There's really not much I can say, but no one dies for nothing. He died serving his country, even if the country was wrong to put him in that position; he deserved better of us.
Stan,

that pretty well sums it up for me, too. 

A soldier can die with honor, even where none exists in the raison dete of the battle.
You guys are right, of course. Thanks.
 
I see now how governments get people all jacked up to go play their war games. They play on people's best qualities. "Sure I'll help you cross the street...sure I'll help you get out of that burning building…sure I'll stick up for you and defend you." The ones that do this are the honorable ones, unlike the cowardly fucks who profit from it all. My nephew was honorable, but he died because of lies.
 
A few verses from this old song come to mind:
 
The songs of the wars are as old as the hills
They cling like the rust on the cold steel that kills
They tell of the boys who went down to the tracks
In a patriotic manner with the cold steel on their backs


The patriot's dream is as old as the sky
It lives in the lust of a cold callous lie
Let's drink to the men who got caught by the chill
Of the patriotic fever and the cold steel that kills


The patriot's dream still lives on today
It makes mothers weep and it makes lovers pray
Let's drink to the men who got caught by the chill
Of the patriotic fever and the cold steel that kills

The Patriot's Dream – Gordon Lightfoot

 
I've really become something of a pacifist in the past 10 years.

Enough rambling.

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Re: What was the point?

Post by Mark A. O'Blazney on Fri 10 Jan 2014, 8:37 pm

Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came?

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Re: What was the point?

Post by Stan Dane on Fri 13 Jun 2014, 5:18 am

"Iraq disintegrating as insurgents advance; Kurds seize Kirkuk"
 
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/iraq-disintegrating-as-insurgents-advance-kurds-seize-kirkuk/2014/06/12/22e79e2b-f793-4120-8161-36f17c287e5f_story.html?hpid=z1
 
Three of Iraq's four major cities are under control of rebel forces. Next up: Baghdad. All the places my son and nephew fought hard to secure are lost.
 
When you take a moment and think about the enormous cost—the lives, the money, the opportunity cost of it all—for this 2000s version of Vietnam, it makes you wonder if we are capable of learning anything anymore.

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Re: What was the point?

Post by Terry W. Martin on Fri 13 Jun 2014, 5:40 am

Stan Dane wrote:"Iraq disintegrating as insurgents advance; Kurds seize Kirkuk"
 
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/iraq-disintegrating-as-insurgents-advance-kurds-seize-kirkuk/2014/06/12/22e79e2b-f793-4120-8161-36f17c287e5f_story.html?hpid=z1
 
Three of Iraq's four major cities are under control of rebel forces. Next up: Baghdad. All the places my son and nephew fought hard to secure are lost.
 
When you take a moment and think about the enormous cost—the lives, the money, the opportunity cost of it all—for this 2000s version of Vietnam, it makes you wonder if we are capable of learning anything anymore.

Yes, we are capable of learning.

Unfortunately we are at least as capable of forgetting.

As an historian, I can offer examples too numerous. But it stands as little consolation when we follow the old form: those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it.

It is as true in wars as it is in assassinations and cover-ups.

Sad but true.

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Re: What was the point?

Post by greg parker on Fri 13 Jun 2014, 6:54 am

To use the phrase for the second time in two days... cui bono? 


Who benefited from the Iraq war?

Not Iraq
Not the troops who went there
Not the so-called "War on Terror"

Those companies which held military contracts to provide services and the machinery of war were only ones to benefit as far as I can tell.

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

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Re: What was the point?

Post by Stan Dane on Fri 13 Jun 2014, 7:00 am

greg parker wrote:To use the phrase for the second time in two days... cui bono? 


Who benefited from the Iraq war?

Not Iraq
Not the troops who went there
Not the so-called "War on Terror"

Those companies which held military contracts to provide services and the machinery of war were only ones to benefit as far as I can tell.
And the politicians in bed with those companies. Because they all get rich together.

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Re: What was the point?

Post by beowulf on Fri 13 Jun 2014, 7:16 am

Stan, I'm sorry for the loss of your nephew.  The only solace I can offer is something an English historian once wrote:
"When ten men are so earnest on one side that they will sooner be killed than give way, and twenty are earnest enough on the other to cast their votes for it, but will not risk their skins, the ten will give the law to the twenty."
Even soldiers who die in stupid wars or in accidents--and virtually all wars are both stupid and accidental once you look for a preceding failure of diplomacy-- keep us free by reminding potential adversaries that the voters in our country and our allies still have plenty of young men and women willing to go overseas to risk their skins.

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Re: What was the point?

Post by Stan Dane on Fri 13 Jun 2014, 8:26 am

beowulf wrote:Stan, I'm sorry for the loss of your nephew.  The only solace I can offer is something an English historian once wrote:
"When ten men are so earnest on one side that they will sooner be killed than give way, and twenty are earnest enough on the other to cast their votes for it, but will not risk their skins, the ten will give the law to the twenty."
Even soldiers who die in stupid wars or in accidents--and virtually all wars are both stupid and accidental once you look for a preceding failure of diplomacy-- keep us free by reminding potential adversaries that the voters in our country and our allies still have plenty of young men and women willing to go overseas to risk their skins.
Thanks.

Permit me to put human faces on this.
 
This is my nephew. He died in December, 2005. He is pictured here with his fiance. They were to be married in 2006, after he got out of the Army.
 

 
This is my son in 2007 on his first of two tours in Iraq. Smoking one of the cigars I sent him.
 

 
On a light note, this is my son as he joined the USMC. This is an official USMC photograph; the Marines had fun with this and it was posted up in the local recruiting office.
 

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Re: What was the point?

Post by greg parker on Fri 13 Jun 2014, 8:44 am

Two fine looking young men, Stan. And that last shot is just classic!

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
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Re: What was the point?

Post by Terry W. Martin on Fri 13 Jun 2014, 11:59 am

A couple of days ago, I saw an article online about US lawmakers debating whether or not to remove the PM of Iraq for doing such a poor job.

Our country wanting to remove a legitimately elected official of another country because he is not meeting our expectations.

Bush claimed he wanted to expand democracy to all the countries of the world or as he put it, "our" brand of democracy.

It looks a bit more like Imperialism than democracy. But maybe that IS our "brand of democracy."

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Re: What was the point?

Post by beowulf on Fri 13 Jun 2014, 12:01 pm

Looks like your son played a last gig with his rock band and then drove all night to Parris Island. Surprised)

I always thought it unconscionable that soldiers and Marines were ordered to serve multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan instead of Congress meeting manpower needs by simply drafting young men (and these days, women) into the Army.
In Vietnam, draftees served their one tour and went home. No one went back a second time unless they became an officer or otherwise volunteered.  Since the politicians wouldn't touch the draft after Bush declared Iraq Mission Accomplished, the military really was stretched to the breaking point. Besides sending young men for repeat tours, they had to keep lowering standards to keep the ranks filled.
Both convicted leaker Pvt Manning and suspected deserter Sgt Bergdahl had red flags in their record that should have kept them home (Manning had a commander disturbed about his behavioral issues and Bergdahl had already washed out of the Coast Guard on psych issues).  The Army looked the other way and sent unfit men to units overseas. 
In any event, glad your son made it through his two tours.  Clearly you needed him there to take you to the hospital after your bike crash. Surprised)

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Re: What was the point?

Post by Stan Dane on Sun 15 Jun 2014, 5:04 pm

"U.S. War Veterans Watching Iraq’s Reversal Of Fortune With Dismay"
 
http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2014/06/13/us-war-veterans-watch-iraqs-reversal-of-fortune-with-dismay/
 
These are the sentiments I expressed in my first post. All for nothing. I know these guys were serving their country and they did their duty with honor and distinction. But they were pawns sacrificed as part of someone's misguided game. Their sacrifices were for naught.
 
The real tragic thing is the opportunity cost. The US spent over a trillion dollars—money we didn't have—for nothing. Now we are far weaker economically. We have infrastructure problems, we have education problems, we have unemployment problems, we have veterans, like my brother, who have been waiting for months and years to get medical treatment from a corrupt, mismanaged Veterans Administration. Imagine if we had spent those trillion dollars wisely on real problems like these. But wisdom is not one of our national qualities anymore. Just greed and stupidity.

Depressing.

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Re: What was the point?

Post by greg parker on Sun 15 Jun 2014, 7:19 pm

If you were following the news during the March 2010 elections in Iraq, you might remember that the American press was flooded with stories declaring the elections a success, complete with upbeat anecdotes and photographs of Iraqi women proudly displaying their ink-stained fingers. The subtext was that United States military operations had succeeded in creating a stable and democratic Iraq.

Those of us stationed there were acutely aware of a more complicated reality.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/15/opinion/sunday/chelsea-manning-the-us-militarys-campaign-against-media-freedom.html


That's the crux of the problem: control of both message and messenger to, as Chomsky put it, manufacture consent (he had to get something right).

TASS as state owned and controlled. Everyone knew it, and knew what it contained should be viewed with that knowledge.

That is more honest than what happens in the west where the media is controlled in hidden ways so that trust is not disturbed.

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

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Re: What was the point?

Post by Terry W. Martin on Sun 15 Jun 2014, 8:28 pm

Stan Dane wrote:...we have veterans, like my brother, who have been waiting for months and years to get medical treatment from a corrupt, mismanaged Veterans Administration. Imagine if we had spent those trillion dollars wisely on real problems like these. But wisdom is not one of our national qualities anymore. Just greed and stupidity.

Depressing.

The VA hospitals are still understaffed and horribly mismanaged. But that's not really anything new. My Dad died in the VA hospital in Phoenix in '92 from gross negligence.

Chelsea Manning is now saying the 2010 elections were a sham.

I had friends in the Guard who were sent for three or more tours in Iraq because the Army could not get enough new soldiers to send and they sent what was available even though it was in violation of rules. The causes of the war and the miserable treatment of those wounded because of the corporate greed in putting us there does not bode well for the future.

It's some macabre form of self-induced domino effect.

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Re: What was the point?

Post by Stan Dane on Tue 17 Jun 2014, 2:57 am

"Iraq army capitulates to Isis militants in four cities"
 
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/11/mosul-isis-gunmen-middle-east-states
 
In 2003 we marched into Iraq (Iraqi Freedom!) to force a regime change. We'd give the Iraqis the "gift" of our brand of freedom, apple pie and Chevrolets. We'd make 'em like us, and in the process, strengthen our interests in the region.
 
I confess back then that I was so smitten by this "something in the air" bug that I commented if the Navy asked for help from former nucs to run the reactors on their ships, I'd volunteer. When people perceive there's a problem, they respond to calls for action. A great many did.
 
Well, we set them up real good. Got rid of the people we didn't like. We gave them equipment, weapons and training. Mission accomplished!
 
But did we know anything at all about the Iraqis? Did we assume they were just like us? Did we assume they wanted the exact same things we did?
 
"Iraqi officials told the Guardian that two divisions of Iraqi soldiers—roughly 30,000 men—simply turned and ran in the face of the assault by an insurgent force of just 800 fighters."
 
800 determined insurgents can make an army of 30,000 drop their guns and run. We never saw that coming.

There's not much left to say.

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Re: What was the point?

Post by Guest on Tue 17 Jun 2014, 11:24 am

Up until 2 weeks ago ISIS was a Bob Dylan song. Its now an opportunity to test new weapons.

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Re: What was the point?

Post by Guest on Wed 18 Jun 2014, 7:44 am

Stan Dane wrote:"Iraq army capitulates to Isis militants in four cities"
 
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/11/mosul-isis-gunmen-middle-east-states
 
In 2003 we marched into Iraq (Iraqi Freedom!) to force a regime change. We'd give the Iraqis the "gift" of our brand of freedom, apple pie and Chevrolets. We'd make 'em like us, and in the process, strengthen our interests in the region.
 

Stan,

I'd recommend to anyone interested in world affairs and geopolitics to become familiar with Dr. Clare Graves Emergent Cyclical Levels of Existence Theory.  This theory of human development (both individual and collective) has been refined by Grave's torch bearers Don Beck and Ken Wilber and it has become more well known as Spiral Dynamics.

It is a theory that means a lot to me...

...mainly because it makes complete sense.  

If anyone wants to understand why "making 'em like us" never really works (unless it's after dropping, let's say, two atomic bombs) then they should check out the work of Graves, Beck and Wilber.

Lee

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Re: What was the point?

Post by Terry W. Martin on Wed 18 Jun 2014, 11:54 am

Hello Goodbye wrote:Stan,

I'd recommend to anyone interested in world affairs and geopolitics to become familiar with Dr. Clare Graves Emergent Cyclical Levels of Existence Theory.  This theory of human development (both individual and collective) has been refined by Grave's torch bearers Don Beck and Ken Wilber and it has become more well known as Spiral Dynamics.

It is a theory that means a lot to me...

...mainly because it makes complete sense.  

If anyone wants to understand why "making 'em like us" never really works (unless it's after dropping, let's say, two atomic bombs) then they should check out the work of Graves, Beck and Wilber.

Lee

I had not heard of this Spiral Dynamics. I read his Eye to Eye: The Quest for the New Paradigm, back in 1984 when it came out and was very much impressed.

Thanks for the nudge.

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Re: What was the point?

Post by Stan Dane on Wed 18 Jun 2014, 4:18 pm

terlin wrote:
Hello Goodbye wrote:Stan,

I'd recommend to anyone interested in world affairs and geopolitics to become familiar with Dr. Clare Graves Emergent Cyclical Levels of Existence Theory.  This theory of human development (both individual and collective) has been refined by Grave's torch bearers Don Beck and Ken Wilber and it has become more well known as Spiral Dynamics.

It is a theory that means a lot to me...

...mainly because it makes complete sense.  

If anyone wants to understand why "making 'em like us" never really works (unless it's after dropping, let's say, two atomic bombs) then they should check out the work of Graves, Beck and Wilber.

Lee

I had not heard of this Spiral Dynamics. I read his Eye to Eye: The Quest for the New Paradigm, back in 1984 when it came out and was very much impressed.

Thanks for the nudge.
I'm not familiar with Dr. Clare Graves. I'll have to check out his work. Thanks for the heads up, Lee.

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Re: What was the point?

Post by Guest on Wed 18 Jun 2014, 4:39 pm

Stan Dane wrote:
terlin wrote:
Hello Goodbye wrote:Stan,

I'd recommend to anyone interested in world affairs and geopolitics to become familiar with Dr. Clare Graves Emergent Cyclical Levels of Existence Theory.  This theory of human development (both individual and collective) has been refined by Grave's torch bearers Don Beck and Ken Wilber and it has become more well known as Spiral Dynamics.

It is a theory that means a lot to me...

...mainly because it makes complete sense.  

If anyone wants to understand why "making 'em like us" never really works (unless it's after dropping, let's say, two atomic bombs) then they should check out the work of Graves, Beck and Wilber.

Lee

I had not heard of this Spiral Dynamics. I read his Eye to Eye: The Quest for the New Paradigm, back in 1984 when it came out and was very much impressed.

Thanks for the nudge.
I'm not familiar with Dr. Clare Graves. I'll have to check out his work. Thanks for the heads up, Lee.

No problem, Stan.

Although Graves' work is the grandfather of the theory it is Beck's and Wilber's take on it that is far more accessible.

Beck actually used Spiral Dynamics to support the South African government gain some consensus post-apartheid.  Fascinating stuff...

I'm pretty sure we'll all be talking in terms of coloured [colored] 'memes' here over the coming months.  I'm sure Greg will be interested that the Fez and his brainwashed buddies operate from a blue meme when discussing Harvey & Lee before dropping into the red meme when someone comes along to challenge them.

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Re: What was the point?

Post by Stan Dane on Thu 26 Jun 2014, 7:21 am

My son sent me this the other day and I thought I'd share:
 
"Tal Afar was the closest major city to the airstrip we called home in Sal Sinjar on my second deployment. We would drive through the city on just about every mission we did. Back in 08-09 it was considered the highest risk for terrorist activity in our area (outside of the smugglers that came from the Syrian border, which we could see to our west, as it was marked every mile or so with the kind of light you see on an airport runway).
 
"[On the map provided] you can see where Tal Afar is in relation to Mosul, Syria, and the Turkish border above. We would drive through Tal Afar but didn't conduct operations there, because an LAV [Light Armored Vehicle] battalion is best suited for open areas due to its long ranged weaponry and high speed.  Existing in a large city was impractical for our battalion, hindered our 25mm cannons, and left us susceptible to ambushes.
 
"So we drove through the city and left it to the Army infantry battalions who patrolled the city on humvee, while we cordoned off all areas north, south, and west (anything easy towards Mosul was Army territory as well).
 
"Northern Iraq was considered the last frontier in our fight to rid the people we didn't like from the country. In my deployment there, activity was seemingly nonexistent. As the last 5 years have shown, the 'people we don't like' merely regrouped in neighboring countries. In Syria, they had the luxury of receiving weaponry and training from our own country. The beast we have aided is now returning to conquer and reclaim its home, and also execute everyone who, to them, sold out like pussies and sided with America.

"What went wrong with the Iraq war is what's problematic in our own country. We thought we could coddle and 'empower' a bunch of weak bitches. We trained a bunch of 'mall cops' and now the bullies are back to shake down every Iraqi Dinar or AK-47. The same cowards who laid down ten years ago are the same people who are willingly handing over control in the hopes they too won't be fall out of favor with the 'the guy holding the American gun.'"

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Re: What was the point?

Post by Guest on Thu 26 Jun 2014, 7:53 am

Stan Dane wrote:My son sent me this the other day and I thought I'd share:
 
"Tal Afar was the closest major city to the airstrip we called home in Sal Sinjar on my second deployment. We would drive through the city on just about every mission we did. Back in 08-09 it was considered the highest risk for terrorist activity in our area (outside of the smugglers that came from the Syrian border, which we could see to our west, as it was marked every mile or so with the kind of light you see on an airport runway).
 
"[On the map provided] you can see where Tal Afar is in relation to Mosul, Syria, and the Turkish border above. We would drive through Tal Afar but didn't conduct operations there, because an LAV [Light Armored Vehicle] battalion is best suited for open areas due to its long ranged weaponry and high speed.  Existing in a large city was impractical for our battalion, hindered our 25mm cannons, and left us susceptible to ambushes.
 
"So we drove through the city and left it to the Army infantry battalions who patrolled the city on humvee, while we cordoned off all areas north, south, and west (anything easy towards Mosul was Army territory as well).
 
"Northern Iraq was considered the last frontier in our fight to rid the people we didn't like from the country. In my deployment there, activity was seemingly nonexistent. As the last 5 years have shown, the 'people we don't like' merely regrouped in neighboring countries. In Syria, they had the luxury of receiving weaponry and training from our own country. The beast we have aided is now returning to conquer and reclaim its home, and also execute everyone who, to them, sold out like pussies and sided with America.

"What went wrong with the Iraq war is what's problematic in our own country. We thought we could coddle and 'empower' a bunch of weak bitches. We trained a bunch of 'mall cops' and now the bullies are back to shake down every Iraqi Dinar or AK-47. The same cowards who laid down ten years ago are the same people who are willingly handing over control in the hopes they too won't be fall out of favor with the 'the guy holding the American gun.'"
Your son got to leave Iraq, Stan. Fortunately alive. Those who live there, have to make long term decisions only agreeable to themselves and their families. Fuck the country. The country is already fucked up. Lets not forget this is an invasion and to call it anything else is dishonest. The invaders may call themselves liberators, and equally,  terrorists will call themselves freedom fighters. Its a fucking mess that your son and other brave souls have been asked to sweep under the carpet while the real war criminals are being endorsed in this campaign of blatant looting and profiteering.
As John Lennon famously said; "Suppose they had a war and nobody came?" I'd go a step further and say suppose they had an election and nobody turned up to vote. We don't need politicians to defend our own freedoms.

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Re: What was the point?

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