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War - What The Hell Is It Good For

User Thread
 61yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that okcitykid is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
War - What The Hell Is It Good For
Disclaimer: I do not believe that it is Veterans For Common Sense stand that we bring our troops home and end this thing, at least not yet - But stay tuned. It is my belief that we need to starte downsizing, slowly move our troops out. While at the same time work for oil independence here at home.

By: Jason Thelan, Captain in the US Army Reserve during Operation Iraqi Freedom, contributing to Veterans For Common Sense

quote:

I carried a copy of this poem with me during my year in Iraq. It was written by Alan Seeger, a young soldier who was killed during the Battle of the Somme in World War I. I think often about his concepts of destiny and duty.

"I Have a Rendezvous with Death"

I have a rendezvous with Death

At some disputed barricade,

When Spring comes back with rustling shade

And apple-blossoms fill the air-

I have a rendezvous with Death

When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

It may be he shall take my hand

And lead me into his dark land

And close my eyes and quench my breath-

It may be I shall pass him still.

I have a rendezvous with Death

On some scarred slope of battered hill,

When Spring comes round again this year

And the first meadow-flowers appear.

God knows 'twere better to be deep

Pillowed in silk and scented down,

Where love throbs out in blissful sleep,

Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,

Where hushed awakenings are dear...

But I've a rendezvous with Death

At midnight in some flaming town,

When Spring trips north again this year,

And I to my pledged word am true,

I shall not fail that rendezvous."

One winter day in Sadr City, I stood over a wounded Iraqi man that was about my age. An American medic was frantically trying to save his life, but thirty seconds earlier, we had been forced to put a bullet in the Iraqi in self-defense.

It occurred to me that his entire life had led up to this one moment.

From a young boy running with school books, to the first time he held a woman's hand, to his marriage to a loving wife, to the birth of his children. Everything pushed him to this: bleeding out on a filthy street in the slums of Baghdad. Did he suspect anything when he woke that morning and left his house, perhaps giving his wife a lingering hug? Did he think he was doing the right thing when he attacked us?

It could just have easily been me or another soldier in a bloody pool on the curb, and the line dividing the paths to life and death is razor-thin. What steers us to the left or right, to the dirt or back to the base for chow? Is it destiny? Skill or luck? Guardian angels or divine intervention? I wish I had answers, but I guess I'll have to be content with counting my blessings that my fellow soldiers and I made it home that day alive.



Jason Thelen served as a Captain in the US Army Reserve during Operation Iraqi Freedom. This is the third in a series of columns he will be writing for Veterans for Common Sense. He can be reached at jthelen294@yahoo.com

Find more articles by Jason Thelan. Read previous columns here at:

http://www.veteransforcommonsense.org




Somebody somewhere said that the military men and women support the war and Mr. Bush, and what those who have never served do not understand is that (especially) during war time you have to support the president - he is your Commander in Chief. You are trained to support the chain of command and made to believe that the chain of command will support you - once you are discharged, you then learn that the chain of command is not so supportative as you were led to believe. Also, you took an oath to serve the president, it is difficult to do that task if you don't like the guy who happens to be your Commander in Chief. It is ofcourse human nature to support the leader you are forced to serve under, those who don't are not usually very successful in their mission. Mission success is essential as your life depends on it.

Lets support the troops, lets stop this thing and get them home.

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"A fool says I know and a wise man says I wonder."
 34yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Angelfire is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
It might have been a mistake to start this job.

It would definitely be a mistake to leave it half done.

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"Durch Nacht und Blut das Licht"
 61yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that okcitykid is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
DT - you might be right - I added a discrlaimer. We need to tread carefully - not like Vietnam where we just pulled our troops out, it was ugly. We started it and we have a responsibility to ensure its responsible conclusion.

But I have no confidence in Bush, Chaney or Rumsfield, or even now Rice and whoever else is involved. Their only concern is securing the oil and everything else is a smoke screen. And if anybody believes that we went there for anyother reason than oil, they need to look around a bit a pay a little more attention to other people other than Fox News to find the real scoop. I've mentioned this in the past. Iraq.net is a great source of infomation.

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"A fool says I know and a wise man says I wonder."
 43yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that Ironwood is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
"It would definitely be a mistake to leave it half done."

Depending on what "it" is.

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"The Greatest Enemy of Knowledge is Not Ignorance, It is the ILLUSION of Knowledge. Stephen Hawking"
 61yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that okcitykid is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
lol - good one - What exactly is it Mr. Watson - Well I don't quiet know.

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"A fool says I know and a wise man says I wonder."
 61yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that okcitykid is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
It is my belief that we need to starte downsizing, slowly move our troops out. While at the same time work for oil independence here at home.


I said that - well, I just finished watching Meet The Press. I don't normally watch TV, but I got an email message stating that they would have Hillary Clinton from Bagdad. So I did watch it, and it was a double treat, because they also had John McCain. John McCain said something months ago that desturbed me. But maybe it was just out of frustration, but I am still slightly desturbed over his unwaving support of the Bush administration.

But anyways, I respect his opinion. It is the opinion of Hillary Clinton and John McCain that we need more, not less troop support in Iraq. I have to respect that and recend my statement.

I want the troops that are there to be safe.

http://okcitykid.bravejournal.com/entry/10518

I'm going to hold off joining any protest groups just yet - sometimes I am wrong. Most people are wrong sometimes, some people never think they are wrong, or will never admit to it. I only wish I could be that good. If I were, I would be like Enoch, so righteous that God took him.

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"A fool says I know and a wise man says I wonder."
 43yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that Ironwood is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
So what was your revelation. We can't support an unjust war just because we were stupid enough to put our kids in harms way. We can never ignore the fact that our presence is causing serious turmoil, though that alone is not a reason to leave either.

We need the reasoning cleared up of why we are even there at all, because it has changed and was not what we would have allowed ourselves to go there for originally, some say thats the past and doesn't matter, it does if they purposefully decieved us into supporting an illegal, foreign relations nightmare, lie of a war.

The reason why this matters also is because it affects what we are and would be doing in Iraq. It matters because depending on the reality of the situation, beyond the media blitzed propaganda and censorship, there may be a really good reason why people are shooting at us and or eachother as well.

The right complains about armchair coaching and dwelling on the past but do it constantly when it suits them, including when it comes to defending a president they've never met, a war in a country they've never been to and definitely aren't there now, a history that they think classified information doesn't affect or change.

We look at the past because thats how we learn from what did or didn't work, thats how we prosecute criminals, its how we can learn what to expect from the future.

Secrecy, Immunity, propaganda, and lies allow us to live in two worlds, the one we see, and the one we don't. And to clarify, when remarking on secrecy, covert ops,conspiracy, and corruption, the only delusional people are those who deny their existance and significance.

This affects our very perceptions of the world around us and our reactions to it.

When you are told some lunatic has WMD's you react one way, when you say he actually doesn't you react differently. When you say we are freeing an oppressed people, we react one way, when we are told that oil and business interests and long laid plans of world dominance in military and intelligence are the reason for us killing over 100,000 CIVILIANS after years of bombing, wars, and sanctions killing millions more, we react differently.

The problem comes with the fact that all the points hold some validity if not all. Half truths are the soul of spin and the backbone of deception.

And though finding all the facts and truths are difficult (which is what needs to be changed), one thing that will make it harder is what I see so much of, people reasoning that any past GOOD deeds of the US or president(s), is reason enough to blindly trust and follow, to avoid even the possibility that any wrongdoing could present.

Last I checked, if you go out and do a good deed but then rob or kill someone, especially perhaps the person you just helped, you are still gonna go to jail.

There is this beligerant mentality that somehow Bush is morally superior or more honest than most politicians/corporate CEO types. That Bush's photo ops hold more meaning and worth than others, like pavlov's dogs we react in either direction, neither of which reach the answers, but merely half truths in the best light.

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"The Greatest Enemy of Knowledge is Not Ignorance, It is the ILLUSION of Knowledge. Stephen Hawking"
 50yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Xris is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Bravo Okcitykid - I'm glad you stepped back and examined the reality of the situation logically instead of letting your emotional views of the war sway you.

----------

Leftwood - you say you were deceived. Please answer these two questions and please answer them briefly (you can expand your thoughts later).

1. Was Iraq violating UN resolutions?
2. Was Iraq violating it's ceasefire agreement?

As you know, the argument for the resumption of the war was based on the claim that Iraq was doing both #1 and #2. Unless you answer in the negative then there is no possible way for you to claim you were deceived.

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 43yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that Ironwood is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
1. I've heard conflicting reports on the issue, including No.

2. I've heard conflicting reports on the issue, including No.

So unless you have or had actual access to the classified information on either case I wouldn't make any assumptions other than you cannot know for sure, which is the basis of my point anyway.

You ask the question as if you can possibly guarantee the authenticity of your posistion when you cannot.

"As you know, the argument for the resumption of the war was based on the claim that Iraq was doing both #1 and #2."

Actually that was the argument against Iraq that failed to win popular opinion for invading Iraq. It was the threat of terrorism and WMD's that was used to sway that.

What I do know is that the Government as early and late as Feb 2001 said that Saddam was properly isolated, bombed back into the stone age, and not a threat. After a few wars including with America and 12 or whatever years of sanctions, along with intermittent bombing, this isn't hard to believe.

However the change in posistion and the logic for it shortly after 9/11 is very hard to believe.

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"The Greatest Enemy of Knowledge is Not Ignorance, It is the ILLUSION of Knowledge. Stephen Hawking"
 61yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that okcitykid is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
leftwood - First off I/we are on your side. Here is a most recent pool taken by the Veterans For Common Sense:

quote:

What is your view of the best course of action in Iraq:

3 - Continue as we are

424 - Withdraw the troops, but in a way which leaves the
country stable and secure

322 - Withdraw the troops immediately

45 - Unsure





If they do start the draft, it is possible that you might be drafted. They will probebly start with 20 to 24 year olds first. But should it come to that, I will hit the streets in protest, and I imagine many of my veteran friends will also.

I never recieved any great revelation, I just see things the way (I think they are) to the best of my ability and make judgements accordingly. Its easy for me, because I know it is very doubtful that I will go to Iraq. But still I am very concerned about those who are there, and I'm not axactly sure why.

I don't cry very often. I cried when I was in 7th grade, and then I cried again here just before the election, and I was suprized that it bothered me so much. I had gotten into to a fight with my wife, I was spending to much time on the computer and not spending enough time with her. I explained to her that I had to do what I could to stop this a*s hole from becoming president, because I get to come home to my wife every night, but our boys in Iraq don't get to come home, because of this a*s hole in Washington. When I said that, my voice cracked and tears rolled down my face and I was surprised that it bothered me so much.

We should not have gone to iraq - my guess is that it was over oil - but Bush only knows why Bush sent us there. Before it stated, I wrote letters, sent emails, created a web page and made my voice heard on e-thepeople. I did receive an invite to a peace protest, I should have went, but, I wasn't really that concerned. I believed, like many others did, we were bluffing. That's the way we did things, that's how we ended the cold war. Last thing I remember was Bush saying he was going to work with the UN, next thing I know, he started a war. I can't believe we put that criminal back in office, but you know, maybe we didn't, maybe this whole thing was rigged - but that's another story.

Ok so - now we are there, and Iraq is a real mess now. We opened the door to all the terrorists in the region and gave them a cause. They answered the call, doubled in size as they came right in and made camp. That's are fault. Last thing I heard over this weekend is that 100 Iraqis have just been killed by - not the U.S. troops, but terrorists. If they were just attacking us, well I would say, we need to leave, but that's not what's going on.

I would feel a lot better if Kerry had become president, because he had been to Vietnam and has a little bit more experience in this.

I pray every night - that's my only answer - I don't know what else to do. I know we shouldn't be there, but we are, and because we did what we did, we can't just up and leave, that would be wrong.

I can only trust those who have been through something similar to this, those who have been to Nam - like John McCain and Mr. Kerry, and they both agree that we just can't leave. Both of them have been to Bagdad recently.

Bush however is a criminal (a war criminal) and I feel sorry for anyone who is to blind to see that.

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"A fool says I know and a wise man says I wonder."
 50yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Xris is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
My God Leftwood - you are like talking with an answering machine. Are you this naturally indecisive in everything?

Did or did Iraq not fire missiles as jets monitoring the no-fly zone? Yes of course they did - you know they did - yet you are incapable of admitting that is a violation of the ceasefire agreement. WOW! Did or did the UN not vote that Iraq had been in violation of it's resolutions and called for an aggressive response?

"Actually that was the argument against Iraq that failed to win popular opinion for invading Iraq."

Since when is justice determined by popular opinion? What a scary thought. The justness for the war is indisputable. The only question is the necessity for the war - will it have a beneficial consequence. These are legitimate questions and should be debated. The problem is that the anti-warniks have decided to argue the former not the latter. I have no idea why because it simply reduces your credibility when it comes to making your more tenable arguments. Perhaps it is for purely political reasons - perhaps you believe if you can fool enough people with the Bush lied crap you can regain power - since power is the ultimate aim here and not good American foreign policy or justice then such motives are despicable.

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 50yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Xris is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Okcitykid -

I am sorry that you are INCAPABLE of seeing the wisdom behind the Iraq War.

I am sorry that the only thing you mind is able to conclude is that Bush wants their oil.

I am sorry that you have absolutely no ability to figure out for yourself just one of the many good reasons why America should be in Iraq.

Maybe if you had such abilities you would not be so emotional over this and cried on election night.

Please dont scare Leftwood - he's already paranoid enough - there will be NO DRAFT. Even if Bush wanted one, which of course he does not because it would be very detrimental to our military - it would never pass both houses of Congress.

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 61yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that okcitykid is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
I am sorry that you are INCAPABLE of seeing the wisdom behind the Iraq War.


You believe in it so much, why aren't you there fighting it?

quote:
I am sorry that the only thing you mind is able to conclude is that Bush wants their oil.


http://www.captaincynic.com/thread.php3/thrdid=31659-u-frmid=23

After you watch the movie, then tell me why we went to Iraq - It wasn't weapons of mass destruction, the movie proves it, and it also proves that Bush knew it.

quote:
I am sorry that you have absolutely no ability to figure out for yourself just one of the many good reasons why America should be in Iraq.


Why don't you tell me one of the good reasons we had to kill 100,000 Iraqis.

quote:
detrimental to our military


What the hell do you know about the military (YOU'VE NEVER BEEN IT).

But I guess if they declare the draft - you'll protest with us?

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"A fool says I know and a wise man says I wonder."
 61yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that okcitykid is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Islam is an enemy of Isreal, we can kill em all, it's ok, its God's will. Its a good war. Is that the truth? Is that why you believe so much in this war Xris?

Hitler was a good man too - he was saving all the Christians from all those bad old jews.

Jesus will seperate the goats from the lambs.

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"A fool says I know and a wise man says I wonder."
 43yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that Ironwood is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Actually I'm a vet too. Just not of wartime, and I was in Navy intelligence.

"Did or did Iraq not fire missiles as jets monitoring the no-fly zone? Yes of course they did - you know they did - yet you are incapable of admitting that is a violation of the ceasefire agreement. WOW! Did or did the UN not vote that Iraq had been in violation of it's resolutions and called for an aggressive response?"

Uh, I wasn't there, thankfully you were, I've heard of the missiles just as I've heard of us purposefully illegally invading airspace to provoke enemies, don't be a puppet. You cannot know operational details, you will not even have the opportunity to know if things are not what they told you untill 25-70 years when declassification is allowed for documents actually kept instead of burned or shredded.

We even have arguments on facts from within government which are highly contradictory.

Oh the UN decided this or that, good thing you put stock in their opinion then skoff at the opinion of the populus, to some known as the government when speaking in active constitutional terms. Is this the same UN in the oil for food scandal, with the very country and dictator (CIA asset) whose invasion is in question?

You obviously have no idea what propaganda, white wash, spin, National Security, and lies are or that we are saturated with them daily, let alone their significance to our perception of the world. You are even trained to just call me paranoid because I know the government has been proven guilty numerous times for all kinds of conspiracies and don't think much has changed in that department, yet everything is rosey to you.

Now to phrase a question like you

Do you or do you not simply repeat "facts" and information as given by other sources other than your own first hand experience on these points in question. The same as everybody else.

What this means is that the information we have access to is our reality, with National Security and blatant propaganda our reality is then scewed and can never be declared an assured truth.

That is not paranoia, that is just the way things are. Neither your condescendance nor arrogance changes this. And if you don't like it, good, neither do I, that is what I'd like changed. I don't want to have to argue with anyone about this crap, I want to be able to know and to be able to do something about it.

You are speaking idealistically about Bush and our government, trusting their morals, our job is not to blindly trust but to check and balance, we are not allowed to check therefore cannot balance.

Yet in your idealistic speaking you are also condemning and condoning the death of innocent civilians on grounds of information that cannot be proved by you yourself very easily if at all.

I have the strangest feeling that if foreign troops shot or bombed your wife and kids, perhaps tortured raped or beat them, that you would react differently.

I've seen numbers as high as 90% of detainees suspected as terrorists are innocent and if lucky released.

Around the same percent of information gathered by torture is generally innacurate. And if you think our military is compartmentalized where no one room knows more than their share of information about what is going on, imagine rogue or cells of goat herders independantly or with generally minimal contact with any ranking officials of their factions, if they have any.

But, whatever, what do I know, I'm apparently just not fond of war, an anti-warnik, just out to rain on somebodies parade.


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"The Greatest Enemy of Knowledge is Not Ignorance, It is the ILLUSION of Knowledge. Stephen Hawking"
War - What The Hell Is It Good For
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