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Sunday, February 11, 2007

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shannon

Thank you. I'm so sick and tired of hearing about Anna Nicole and other celebrities. We go on with out lives, while families of the 21 people mentioned in this post will never be the same. And their loved ones died doing something heroic and were not famous for being a ditz with big breasts. I only wish more people would pay less attention to it. Then maybe the tide would turn.

scott

Bring back the draft and the tide would turn immediately.

The overwhelming majority of Americans aren't outraged because the overwhelming majority of Americans aren't affected in any way. Other than, you know, buying a ribbon magnet for the back of your SUV.

[And may I just say again how much I love that? It’s a magnet. A magnet. Not a sticker, as it would have been even just a decade ago. Because, you know, a sticker’s a hassle to remove and leaves a messy residue when you’re tired of it. A magnet? Just pull it off—no muss, no fuss.

That’s how much most Americans really think of this war.]

I wonder, though--the media's getting all breathless over the thought of going to war with Iran, something the administration's clearly all hot and bothered to do. And why not? They’re currently only slightly more popular than gonorrhea, but the last time they went to war unnecessarily they were nearly as popular as American Idol.

But I dunno. The media’s all aroused at the idea of another war, because it’d be great for ratings. But I have the feeling the American people aren’t going to be quite as willing to be sold a bill of goods a second time.

KC

Ugh. No more, please. I don't want to hear about Anna Nicole Smith. It's a tragedy that she died leaving an infant, but as you said there's no mention of these brave men and women who died for their country.

Murray

Then there's Corporal Richard O. Quill III, 22, whose name is also on this list. "III." Did you wonder, as I did, if there have been any news stories about whether or not there is or ever could be a Richard O. Quill IV?

scott

I've been thinking about this question, Murray, ever since you posed it. I can’t figure out which would be better—each answer is just various shades of awful.

Here’s an update on Jennifer Parcell, including a photograph. She was beautiful. And too damn young. 20 years old and she was searching for suicide bombers at a checkpoint.

Unfortunately, she found one.

Jennifer Parcell, all 5’ 2” and slender, probably saved other lives. Her small body, unable to react in time, more than likely absorbed the brunt of the blast that was almost surely designed to kill dozens. Since she was the one who’d turned up the bomber, the blast, I’m sure, went off in her pretty face.

Obviously, the family will be having a closed casket ceremony the day after tomorrow.

My questions, my very disturbing questions:

Why in God’s name are we continually putting teenaged girls and those barely out of their teens into potentially fatal and, literally, explosive situations? And when was it that an alarmingly large percentage of us began viewing these scenarios (Jennifer’s death was officially termed by Marine officials as “supporting combat operations”, according to the Washington Post) as acceptable circumventions of the DoD regulation that prohibits putting females on the front lines or directly in combat situations?

And where are the front lines in a nation-wide battle zone in which the insurgency doesn’t wear uniforms, dig in, fight for real estate in clearly-defined front lines and in which the fighting tends, instead, to be street-to-street if not door-to-door?

And what was a 20 year-old landing support specialist doing checking for suicide bombers? And what’s the protocol for detecting such people and safely neutralizing them? Or is there one? Is such a detail any safer than being a quality inspector whacking bombs with a hammer? If so, can someone who’s had experience in checking for suicide bomb vests tell me how a Marine or soldier can react in time when some adrenalin-flushed maniac already has his or her thumb on the button?

A 20 year-old landing support specialist, checking for suicide bombers.

Can anyone in this entire world really see Barb or Jenna Bush doing such a thing?

scott

Wow.

Cut the Funding: I'm a Soldier and I Approve this Message

As a soldier who's served in both theaters of this war, I'm often
asked whether I think a freeze on war funding would hurt the soldiers.
I usually respond rationally by saying something like, "No, but it
could hurt them in the long term if such a move were to cost the
Democrats the elections in 2008." Well, I don't think this is the
time for long-term planning anymore. I've played the pros and cons of
cutting funding over and over in my head for months, and I am now
convinced that a cessation of funding is the only way to stop this
lunatic. Cutting funding will not endanger the troops.


It endangers the troops
This is propaganda nonsense. The House of Representatives could
easily fashion a bill that halts any funding for the war on March 1,
2008. Such a bill would fully fund the troops in harm's way for the
rest of the year—but it would force the President to begin the
redeployment immediately. How we, as Americans, have gotten it into
our collective consciousnesses that cutting the funding could somehow
"hurt the troops" is something I'll never be able to figure out.

It hurts the troops' morale
Go talk to a 22-year old father who's been there for 13 months and
who's never seen his baby. Ask him how ending the war would affect
his morale.

It emboldens terrorists
Embassy bombings. U.S.S. Cole. 9/11. World Trade Center tumbling
down on TV.

Who the fuck came up with this talking point? In case you missed it,
the "terrorists" were pretty riled up before the invasion of Iraq.
And another thing I hate about this meme is that it is stated from a
position of fear—the implication being that we will be in more danger
if we leave. Sigh. So you're telling me that if we pull out of Iraq,
rebuild our military to its former strength, and re-focus on
Afghanistan and Pakistan, we would be emboldening the terrorists? I
gotta tell you, if I were a terrorist, the thing I'd be most afraid of
would be a fresh, rested, rebuilt, and focused American military. If
I'm a terrorist, I'm currently loving the fact that a beaten down and
confused American Army is sitting at a standstill, stuck in the
February mud of Iraq. It makes my life easier.

It will cause Iraq to fall into a bloody civil war in which
regional players will involve themselves

Have I been sleeping? Were we not at that point already?

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