3818, died in service to lies

 In Bush Administration, Congress, Iraq, Middle East, military, terror, troops, Veterans, War

Those who died in Iraq from Sep 30 to Oct 6:

Sgt Randel Olguin  24  Ralls TX

Spc Chirasak Vidhyarkorn  32  Queens NY

Sgt Herman Murkerson Jr  35  Adger AL

Sea Shayna Schnell  19  Tell City IN

Sgt Bartosz Orzechowski  29  Zamosc Poland

Spc Avealalo Milo  23  Hayward CA

Sgt Ricardo Rodriguez  23  Arecibo PR

Spc Vincent Kamka  23  Everett WA

Spc Jason Marchand  26  Greenwood WV

Sgt Joseph Milledge  23  Pointblank TX

Spc Rachael Hugo  24  Madison WI

23 were seriously wounded and maimed.

61 wounded were returned to kill fields.

383 Iraqi brothers and sisters were killed.

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Showing 34 comments
  • knighthospitaller

    What lies?

  • barbpa

    That Iraq had weapons of mass destruction which were a threat to the U.S.
    That Iraq had something to do with 9/11 and Al Queda.
    That the U.S. had to free the Iraqi people from a dictator.
    That the U.S. was supporting democracy and fighting terrorism.
    All of the above are lies the Bush administration told with the first year of the occupation of Iraq. None have turned out to be true. Indeed we are less safe as a Nation and more hated then even the military junta in Myanmar.

    Those lies buddy…and the ones I talk about on a daily basis.
    That Iraqi’s are safer than they used to be.
    That we must support our troops by keeping them in war.
    That Peace protestors are unAmerican.
    That war is a suitable response to conflict.
    That this is an all volunteer army.
    That the government has control over their contractors.
    That U.S. troops are not being raped daily by their fellow soldiers.

  • knighthospitaller

    Interesting. I have heard this list before, but before I respond I have to clarify one thing…

    Perhaps your definition of “lie” is a bit different from that in the English language. But let us begin with the English definition:

    Lie: 1. A false statement deliberately presented as being true (Key word being deliberately).
    2. Something meant to deceive or give a wrong impression.

    Now lets put you in a hypothetical situation…

    You are a judge. I am a police officer. I come to you and make a case that there are individuals who we have been watching for many years, and are know for black market weapon dealings. I have recently obtained information from my men, that the individuals are smuggling in high explosives and heavy machine guns en mass.

    I ask you for a search and seizure warrant. Do you give it to me???

    Assuming you did, lets presume the search goes ahead. There is a massive raid, and in the process, several people are killed and wounded. Furthermore, the weapons are not found.

    The big question is Judge. Did you lie when you approved the action?

    Did I lie when I asked for the warrant?

    There MUST be intention to deceive and there has not been one shred of evidence that the US intentionally mislead the world. It was faulty intelligence that lead to the War in Iraq.

    And as an added question, do you think Al Qaeda should be fought by the US?
    If so, they are very prominently active in Iraq now. To leave at this point would be to give them another stronghold.

    My POINT IS, barbpa, America was NOT lied to, the world is NOT perfect and the inaccurate flow of Intel coupled with Saddam’s past, coupled with the still-stinging wound of 9/11, lead to the invasion, right or wrong that is the truth.

    Be careful how you choose your words, they are powerful little things…

  • barbpa

    Indeed they are powerful, especially when amplified by a complacent media who do no investigative research – only believing what the President has to say.

    As to your scenario, you are creating a false comparison. If I were a judge and you were a cop I would have given you a warrant. A warrant is simple a tool to discover not a war. To compare “several people getting killed in a police raid” to a WAR that has killed hundreds of thousands, depleted out Federal budget, disgraced our Nation, and crippled another country for decades is callous and ignorant.

    Iraq had passed this ‘discovery’ or ‘warrant to search’ stage when UN weapons inspectors came through and said that there were no weapons – despite what any faulty intelligence (btw dated a decade before 9/11 and given by a source the CIA called unreliable) said. The weapons inspectors spent months looking through the country and found nothing. Bush knew that, Congress knew that, the American people knew that. The rhetoric spouted by the Bush administration and amplified by the media made logical facts ‘unAmerican’

    A more proper analogy would be to say I, as a judge (let’s call the judge the UN), gave you a warrant to search. You as a police officer (weapons inspector) launched a massive raid where a few people were killed. You found no weapons and you were condemned for conducting the raid badly (because you would be as the police or as a weapons inspector luckily this aspect did not really happen). Despite the condemnation you BELIEVE there really are weapons. You go back with another massive raid, but this time without a warrant (let’s call the warrant international and UN endorsement). You go in GUNS BALZIN – killing anyone who stands in your way. No one protests as you tear down the walls, kill the leader, and destroy ever bit of the complex.

    Still you find no weapons. Now these people (who by the way had nothing to do with Saddam or weapons) have no homes, no jobs, no food; all that was destroyed in the raid. You PROMISED you would bring these things but as the months pass you do not. A neighbor comes over with food and guns. He tells these people…if you fight the cops I’ll give you food. So they fight the cops. Then, the cops come over and say “if you don’t stop fighting us we will never leave.” So you start fighting your neighbor too. Now, the people who had no idea who is fighting who…all they know is everyone is out to kill them.

    I think there was an intentional deception then and I believe there is another attempt at deception to bring us to war with Iran. If you believe that rich powerful politicians (dem or repub) will not lie to make more money and get elected you are the most naive person I’ve ever heard from.

    Now, what about Al Queda? They were not in Iraq until we got there. They are the neighbors coming over and taking advantage of the situation we created. What would I like to do with the Taliban? I want to uproot their base with education, food aid, and economic aid. If you take out the foot soldier with a gun another soldier will follow. If you eliminate the appeal of becoming of foot soldier you end the war. In Iraq, you are right, Al Queda is there now and there isn’t much we can do about that. Certianly, continuing to wage war in Iraq will only further fan the flames of terrorism if not Iraq than another country. You wanna bomb someone else in two years?

    We can apply tactics we did not in Afghanistan by living up to our promises. We must provide education and stability – that is the ONLY way to combat the Taliban. Read a book I just finished call, Three Cups of Tea, it’s about Pakistan and one man’s mission to bring girls education to very remote mountainous locations.

    MY POINT IS: The American people were lied to, whether because of complete incompetence or with outright greed. The current administration ignored any good intelligence to proceed with a war they had been planning for decades (since the first gulf war). This is about oil not terrorism. If it were about terrorism we would have finished the job in Afghanistan by providing the aid we promised and still have yet to produce. If it were about terrorism we would have bombed Saudi Arabia where most of the hijackers were from and from which most of the mardassas are funded. It is about oil and that is why the Iraqi oil law has not been passed despite the fact that it is an essential benchmark for us to leave. The U.S. demands privatization of Iraqi oil. The Iraqis want to keep it public. The companies who are brokering this deal include Exxon, Chevron, and BP. Who do you think will benefit from privatization? Not the Iraqis – Cheney (Halliburton) Bush and his oil lovin daddy.

    Get your facts straight before you callously make analogies and quote the dictionary.

  • knighthospitaller

    “If it were about terrorism we would have bombed Saudi Arabia where most of the hijackers were from and from which most of the mardassas are funded.”

    Do you know nothing of world affairs? Why would you bomb an allied nation because a hand-full of hijackers hailed from that nation? Afghanistan was different, in the sense that it was a major base of Al Qaeda operations.

    You said “We must provide education…” Where do you think all that money goes? Do you know how many, bridges, schools, dams… ect… have been build by the United States? (But you have to remember, WE are the bad guys).

    If the United States was in this war for oil, then why isn’t this being reflected in the economy? Why isn’t our economy booming as a result of our current acquisition of one of the richest oil fields in the world?

    I’m glad the world is so transparent in your eyes. You should run for president, so that we can base our future endeavors off of your clarity and foresight…

  • Shirley Hall


    We ask you kindly to leave this place
    We no longer want you around.
    Your chiefs and leaders equivocate
    Our authority remains propound.

    Your armies harass and pilfer
    Your security teams rape and kill
    You’re holding no one accountable
    For the blood my people spill.

    This is the place our forefathers braved
    Where thousands of ancestors died.
    You destroyed everything they accomplished
    With your browbeating, loathing and lies.

    In the midst of our political crisis
    Statewide resolution absconds.
    Our leaders are wadding the waters
    As our tribes and our clans slowly drown.

    Is my parliament made up of puppets
    Controlled by your margins and bounds,
    Whilst your coalition provisional pundit
    Remains unabashed and profound?

    Don’t sell me your internal hearings
    Your assessment’s no more than a ruse.
    This is my country my homeland
    To hell with your canons and views.

    Everywhere people are dying
    Our civil war isn’t a joke
    This bloodbath you created is over
    Your license has been revoked.
    “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

  • Angela Hall

    that was awesome

  • barbpa

    I believe I did not make myself clear. Let me try to reiterate my points. I would not bomb anyone! The use of military force should be the absolute LAST resort in international relations. First diplomacy; then more diplomacy, bring in new actors and try diplomacy again. Offer incentives, carrots and sticks if you will, “you work with us we’ll give you aid.” “If you won’t work with us we’ll send Peacekeepers to subvert your sovereignty.” You know where I’d like to see U.S. military action – DARFUR. I’d like the president to send PeaceKeeping troops to help the African Union stop the genocide. Instead what we got is George Clooney and Bush pounding their fists on the table saying, “someone need to do something.”

    My next blog will be just for you, a breakdown of the spending priorities in Afghanistan. Did you not see the blog on military contractors? You know that’s not just in Iraq – that’s Afghanistan. Halliburton gets ‘cost plus’ for there no bid contracts with the U.S government (no bid, as in technically illegal by U.S. law the government must accept the lowest contracting bid). Literally, they have footage of Halliburton workers burning trucks because the muffler is broken. They get paid more when they spend more – so doing a project badly once so you can do it again is good business. They made schools that leak from the sewage pipes into classrooms in Iraq. They don’t chlorinate the water used by U.S. troops to bathe – allowing bacteria to grow in their water. OUR TROOPS!!!! These are not good people who are accountable for their work. And by people, I mean CEO’s who are not on the ground and only accountable to shareholders.

    If we invested even a half of our military budget in quality development projects (here and abroad) we could correct these issues with a proper contract bidding process and use of local labor, knowledge, and leadership. Right now, the money goes to bombs – that is in fact why we are having this conversation in the first place. If the money didn’t go to bombs those women and men listed above our argument would not be dead from war.

    Why is our economy in the toilet? Again, I point to contractors driving the nominal cost of war to astronomical proportions. I also point to mismanagement of the economy by the president and his advisors. Tax cuts for the rich and a trillion dollar war will do wonders to build up a deficit from a million dollar surplus left by the Clinton administration. What happened to the REAL Republicans who believe in fiscal responsibility? We have not acquired the Iraqi oil field as a state. That would be way too clear for modern international trade. If the U.S., as a state, were to take the oil everyone would be saying that was wrong. The OIL COMPANIES, who are multinational and without loyalty to either the U.S. or any other state, are taking control of Iraqi oil. Bush will make money too – because he’s in bed with the oil companies not because he is U.S. citizen. I thought made that clear. Our economy will continue to go into the toilet while the oil companies get richer.

    I hope I’ve cleared up where I mis-communicated earlier.
    1. War is never a good answer. It is an absolute last resort only when so many civilians are being killed it can be considered genocide.
    2. The U.S. invests more in military might than all other states combined. If we spend even a quarter of the percentage Sweden does on international aid things might be different around this world. We, as Americans, have so many resources to share. I wish our leadership reflected the generosity of our nation. (FYI, in case you’ve never made the distinction: when I say “state” I mean the U.S. government, leadership and infrastructure when I say “nation” I mean us – the people. But, of course some one so well educated on international relations knows that.)
    3. The U.S. state will only loose MORE money the longer we stay in Iraq. The oil companies will make trillions off this war. George Bush will personally put a few million in his own pocket. Our economy will continue to go into the toilet and the oil companies will get richer and richer off the backs of poor people.

    THE U.S. IS NOT THE BAD GUY. That’s my country you’re talking about – so stop it. We are a nation of intelligent and compassionate people who innovate and drive the world to better things. The current state (as in the Bush administration, congress, the military machine) is detrimental to the survival of human kind. The world is hardly transparent and I don’t want to run for President because I’m not qualified (yet) – I wish Bush had realized that he was not qualified either. But keep writing, I can do this all day.

  • knighthospitaller

    We should pull out like we did when we left Vietnam.

    Oh wait. 3 million people were ruthlessly slaughtered when we left…

    -The last official American military action in South East Asia occurred on May 15, 1975.

    -The Pathet Lao overthrew the royalist government of Laos in December 1975.

    -After repeated border clashes in 1978, Vietnam invaded Democratic Kampuchea (Cambodia) and ousted the Khmer Rouge. As many as two million died during the Khmer Rouge genocide.

    Lets just leave. That’s a great idea. 😀

  • Nicole

    I just wanted to say that my sister, SEA Shayna Ann Schnell, did NOT die in Iraq. She died from injuries sustained from a car accident while off duty. She was serving as a Master at Arms in Dubai, UAE.
    ~Nicole Schnell

  • barbpa

    Without a doubt what we have in Iraq is very similar to what we had in Vietnam. We invaded a country, destroyed it, and then left without offering any money to deal with the refugee crisis, not peace keeping troops to help locals, and all that good stuff. But, polls of Iraqi people say they believe it would be safer without the U.S. Polls from the U.S. say we ought to pull out of Iraq. It seems to me that there are only a small number of people (yourself included I see) who believe there is still potential for us to do something good in Iraq. I do not agree. I think our military occupation is only fueling the fire that (yes) led to the horrible situation in Iraq now and will continue long after we leave (no matter when that is).

    Again, your logic fails me. First you want to defend the invasion in the first place, now you just want to throw your hands up and say “well, there is nothing we can do now.” What a defeatist attitude! The only way to win the war on terror is to stop terrorist before they attack: when they are children by educating them and caring for them as human beings. We left Vietnam at the last possible moment under distress. I believe if we leave under peaceful and proper diplomatic terms we can try to avoid a ‘killing fields’ situation. If we leave now that is possible if our ‘de-occupation’ includes a huge amount of aid to be used by the local governments and we continue to help Iraqi’s create a new government. All I am saying is that the current strategy is NOT WORKING. It’s time to try something new, and perhaps save a few lives in the process. DIPLOMATIC SURGE is the only thing Bush refuses to try.

    FYI, we have plenty of military presence in S.E. Asia:
    (Global Security website) “The ROK Air Force operates from eight major airbases. Most personnel are stationed at large, well-defended air bases located at Ch’ongju, Kangnong, Kunsan, Kwangju, Osan, Sunch’on, Suwon, and Taegu. The air force also operates an unknown number of smaller airbases. Civilian airfields, including three international airfields at Seoul, Pusan, and Cheju, would be utilized in wartime, as would specially designed sections of major highways.”

  • barbpa

    I am sorry you feel your sister’s death was not properly reported. When she died she was part of “Operation Iraqi Freedom” her presence in Dubai was part of that mission, which is why her name appeared on this list. Some died in Iraq, some died in the Persian Gulf, your sister died tragically in Dubai. My next words seem so hollow to write on a blog but I want to reach out to you. I am so sorry for your loss. I know the fear of having a family member away; the small relief you may have felt because she was in the Navy — only to be squashed with the reality that there is no safe post in operation ‘Iraqi freedom’. I cannot imagine what you and your family are going through now because the Navy officer in my life came home months ago — he is now safe. For that, I am eternally grateful. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family along with the thousands of other families who have lost loved ones to this horrible war. To you and those thousands of other families my advice is pathetically ignorant – take it if you like. Be strong, because your sister would want you to live your life. Be loving, because life is tragically short and we must show those we love how much they mean to us. Lean on your family and friends now. I wish you and your family peace during what is, I am sure, insurmountable grief.

  • knighthospitaller

    “But, polls of Iraqi people say they believe it would be safer without the U.S. Polls from the U.S. say we ought to pull out of Iraq.”

    How many of those individuals were educated? How many of them were sympathetic to the insurgents?

    By the way, when I said “we should just leave” I was being sarcastic… I said it to reaffirm how tremendously stupid that would be.

    I’m afraid it is YOUR logic that fails me… You don’t want the US to meddle in other peoples affairs as the “world police” but somehow it is okay to go from country to country and educate the populous with materials we deem fit? This is an interesting ideology, and quite frankly it boggles the mind.

  • barbpa

    I figured you were being sarcastic, you don’t think we should leave at all – even though it seems you agree that the occupation has been mishandled and like almost everyone else in this country you believe there are limited ways we can withdraw without causing more trouble for those people.

    How many are educated, how many supported insurgents? I know most of the educated and rich have left the country –fleeing from terror and war on visas granted by universities, or they are in refugee camps. But I don’t think you need to be a Rhodes Scholar to know you don’t like a foreign army sticking a gun in your face telling you what to do; fearing your connection with that army will get you killed by your neighbor. How many were sympathetic to insurgents. No one has any idea who is on which side and when. Any soldier will tell you. At the beginning they were elated and taking down the statue of Saddam. Then the U.S. government disbanded the Iraqi army and left thousands without jobs, took their oil, and failed to install a workable government. If you’re seen to be working with Americans you life is in danger. If you don’t work with Americans your life is in danger. Hard choice – to me it makes sense they would just like to eliminate the one foreign factor.

    And finally, you say something I can agree with. I could never endorse a global educational program where we (or any other state for that matter) picked and chose materials for school children in other countries. (Although we do it with sex education for our AIDS relief…your president believes we need to tell those Africans to just stop having sex.) A program I’m talking about would be funded by the U.S. (hopefully other economically wealthy countries) and implemented by civil society and government in the country. The only way international aid works is with organic programs from that country and its culture. There would be stipulations of course: nothing too religious, must cover the basics (reading, writing, arithmetic), must not discriminate based on gender or ethnicity, and must have qualification tests/training programs for teachers.

    See your problem is you not looking at the details — that’s where my logic is. The details make any international or national policy/program. HOW WILL THIS BE IMPLEMENTED? That is the question. Look into the details of how Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Rice implemented this war. You will see one horrible error after another. Don’t discount a program because you cannot picture how it would be implemented. It would change in every country. Some would want more input from the U.S. as to how to set up a good public school system. Some countries would want less. Some may need incentives to start one — an incentive might be to lift trade barriers or stop economic sanctions. There are so many avenues to explore without resorting to war. War is the coward’s way out of difficult diplomatic situations. War is old men out of ideas sending young men and women to die for their stupidity.

  • knighthospitaller

    “If you’re seen to be working with Americans you life is in danger. If you don’t work with Americans your life is in danger. Hard choice – to me it makes sense they would just like to eliminate the one foreign factor.”

    To borrow a quote from you, “you are not looking at the details.” The situation is far more complex then just picking sides between the US and those who dislike the US.

    You have the sunni-shiia conflict, and they would be happy to have us leave so they can commence slaughtering each other ruthlessly. Then you have Iran, who would be more then happy to let the Iraqis duke it out until they can subvert their power. Not to mention the Turks and the Kurds….

    You think Iraq is a blood bath now, just wait until we leave prematurely…

    You tend to focus, as do the more liberal thinkers, on how wrong the US was to engage in this war, yet you do not come up with practical solutions.

    We made this God damn mess, now we have to fix it! There is no get out of jail free card. The majority of American’s are happy to do what is necessary for peace and justice, but at the first sign of blood, we get squeamish. I love how the US is seen as the most greedy and powerful empire (Even though it is NOT an empire in any sense of the word…), yet are wars are fought to free and protect others, and a huge sum of US earned money goes to aid around the world.

    Your logic, if you one can call it that, baffles me…

  • barbpa

    Thank you for your rudimentary glace at the multitude of conflicts going on in Iraq. You forgot Russia and the missile base in Kazakhstan where Bush would like to attack Iran from; China who recently met with Iraqi and Iranian officials and are in constant diplomatic ties through the ‘non aligned nations’ which also include Cuba and Venezuela; and, incidentally China’s investment in the Sudanese government maintaining the genocide currently RAGING in Darfur. If you’re worried about genocide why don’t you put your efforts toward one that is already underway.

    And, btw, all those you named DO hate the U.S. including Turkey because of our presence in Iraq. It’s hurt the region and perpetuating more fighting – of course they resent our presence. The internal fighting in Iraq is horrible yes, but I contend the U.S. occupation only exacerbates the situation. I don’t believe that our military presence stops any potential killing and I believe it does create a situation where innocent Iraqi lives are lost. I believe we need U.N. peacekeepers not military occupation.

    As for Iran, you made the exact case for not going to war in the first place. None of us know what will happen at this point in this regard. All of our pandering here is pure speculation. What we know is Iran and Iraq have a complex violent past relationship and now Iran is pandering to help rebuild Iraq. We do not know the motivation behind this.

    Tell me how you believe peace and justice can be won through blood. That baffles me. I can tell you exactly how I would end our occupation. This is what Peace Action wants necessarily but it’s what I believe.
    1. Reinstate the old Iraqi army under the current government, bring them into training with Iraqi police. Reverse de-Bathifcaton laws and give people with limited involvement in the party back their old jobs.
    2. Cut ground combat troops levels by half not including training personnel, reassign remaining troops around Iraq as necessary, turn over substantial portions to police officers.
    3. While in the process, continue engaging local leaders telling them of the situation and asking where they believe a US presence would be both welcome and needed.
    4. Engage the UNAMI, UNHCR, and NATO for peacekeeping troops specialized in Western Asia.
    5. Send immediate financial aid to Syria, Lebanon, and surrounding countries earmarked specifically for the refugee situation.
    6. Cut troops again to the number of peacekeeping troops and Iraqi military working as peacekeepers in country. Surge trained diplomats into the rural and urban areas to negotiate with local level leaders for peace. Establish relationships in closed quarters (no qid pro quo) then bring warring parties together. We don’t have the cultural competency right now to make much of a difference but it is important to try.
    7. Engage civil society organizations working in Iraq and fund health, education, job placement and women’s empowerment programs. Cut troops again to only training troops.
    8. Reassess violence level and refugee situation. While working out the government issues. Turn over Iraqi oil to the Iraq government and let them hold elections for it’s use. Train and pay teachers, local contractors, social service workers, health service workers, other infrastructure positions. Create social service programs to assist those in poverty and refugee camps, build hospitals, schools, and roads. If they get bombed – build them again.
    9. Keep working with the situation until elections and political stability is certain. In the mean time a small contingent of CIA should remain at the US embassy in Iraq monitoring and collecting intelligence on al Qaeda in Iraq.

    People will die in this process – but they are dieing now. The death rate for civilians is staggering and multi national forces lead by the US are significantly to blame. The UN just released a report on air strikes which kill indiscriminately. Something has to change and you are sadly mistaken if you believe that we invade and then send billions of dollars in aid. Look at what’s going on in Afghanistan and imagine how much worse it will be after 5 more years in Iraq.

    We are a greedy empire, but I’m not going to get into that here because it’s a bit off topic and very complicated (I can explain if you like). I can also tell you the story of the ‘greatest war’ how war stopped genocide but diplomacy prevented future wars. The American people are sick to death of watching this occupation make matters worse.

  • barbpa

    excuse — I should have said this is NOT want Peace Action wants. Peace Action believes there should be an immediate withdrawal of all troops from Iraq within 90 days

  • knighthospitaller

    “We are a greedy empire…”

    Empire: “A political unit having an extensive territory or comprising a number of territories or nations and ruled by a single supreme authority.”

    America is not an empire, get over it. 😀
    You need to take a few courses in US history and govenment, or english… or both.

  • barbpa

    Taken all three thank you as well as advanced international peace and conflict resolution/negotiation/politics/globalization/development studies at one of the most prestigious universities in the U.S. So, you revert to name calling because you are out of ideas and you have no facts — get over it.

    Globalization leads to a process called neo-colonialism where ’empires’ are not set up by states necessarily but multinational corporations working with states and non state actors like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Basically they offer these countries extraordinary loans they can never pay back and then demand tax breaks in international trading. It’s kinda like what is happening domestically with the housing market — only on a much larger scale. So, banana farmers in Costa Rica are forced to sell their product at half the price it’s worth to Chiquita. Chiquita then jacks up the price to sell to us in the US and extraordinarily back to Costa Rica. So Costa Rica makes no money from their main export and can never pay back the debt, the debt forces them to lower trade buffers again. It’s a nasty cycle that mostly hurts individuals but will literally put a country out of business and completely dependent on countries like the US who consume the most natural resources and have the most wealth. Look at what happened under imperialism — not a dictionary definition. We also have colonies and military bases all over the world. I mention S. Korea already, Germany, Puerto Rico, Greenland, ect.

    You have a limited knowledge of US history, government, international politics, and English…you get over it.

  • knighthospitaller

    So call it neo-colonialism then, don’t call it imperialism, the two imply different meaning. Look, I have taken these courses including peace studies and conflict resolution as well, yet it is clear that you and I massively disagree.

    We are living proof of why wars happen in the first place. It is called the human element, and it is the reason that the idea of complete world peace is a utopian idea, and why the world will never see it whilst humans walk the face of the earth…

  • barbpa

    Actually I think we are living proof that wars don’t have to happen. I would never think of shooting you dead and I don’t want anything ill to happen to you at all. I want our conversation to continue. Yes, we disagree but we continue dialog because we can learn from each other (if only how to best participate in a live debate through pre-butting). I’m sorry if things got a bit personal but they are hot button issues.

    I only wish that heads of state could blog and have blog wars so they would stop bombing each other. Peace to you and your family. I respect you and your right to have an opinion about our country (as I am sure you do me). We do disagree but the truth is the real solution is somewhere situated between my solution and yours – Buddha taught the Middle Way and I think we could learn a lot from that idea; an understanding that anything so extreme can never be sustainable.

  • knighthospitaller

    Yes, by being on this very website we have shown that we are interested in getting to the heart of issues via dialog. It is those individuals who do not wish that, that make (complete) world peace unachievable. Human nature is the entity which is the root of war, but it is at the same time, the root of all compassion… The only way to get rid of conflict absolutely is to be in essence, inhuman. One can minimize conflict, and maximize dialog, but you can not eliminate it. Ying and Yang. The two are polar opposites but need each other.

  • barbpa

    Now we get to the root of our discourse. I believe humans are innately good. I believe that, given the opportunity, we want to find commonality and love more than argument and hate. I believe, we humans, are drawn into community with one another because of necessity and, for some, by divinity. What has corrupted our personal divinity and love for one another is a select few (who come along in every generation) to manipulate our need for resources to benefit themselves. They, Bush, Osama, CEOs at Enron, pedophiles, rapists, Stalin, Hitler – all contribute to bringing us further from our mission as divine humans to commune with one another. There are also heroes: Gandhi, MLK, Muhammad Unis, the CEOs of Goggle, people who work with the homeless and sick, those who provide services to kids, Mother Teresa, Wangari Mathai – all contribute to enhancing our love for one another. In both categories we have the ‘celebrity’ and the ‘preliterate’ contributing. Celebrities only become so because they are the right person at the right time to capitalize on that celebrity. But, look at the outcomes. People the world over look at Hitler and Bush as war criminals while they see Mother Teresa and Gandhi as saints. We want to live up to our divinity – we just lose track every 50 years or so. If we learn from our past we can stop the cycle of violence. I believe it only takes time. After all, we used to live in trees. We came down, built homes in communities which eventually began the cities of the world we see today. Just a few centuries ought to do it – as long as we recognize the possibility and DESPERATE NEED for a change.

  • knighthospitaller

    “What has corrupted our personal divinity and love for one another is a select few (who come along in every generation) to manipulate our need for resources to benefit themselves.”

    This being the “Yang”. (“That select few” also drives oppositional forces closer together. Some of the greatest and truest friendships come from war…).

    “They, Bush, Osama, CEOs at Enron, pedophiles, rapists, Stalin, Hitler – all contribute to bringing us further from our mission as divine humans to commune with one another.”

    I disagree, sometimes the evils of this world wake us up from our lackadaisical bliss that is developed from prolonged prosperity.

    “There are also heroes: Gandhi, MLK, Muhammad Unis, the CEOs of Goggle, people who work with the homeless and sick, those who provide services to kids, Mother Teresa, Wangari Mathai – all contribute to enhancing our love for one another.”

    These heroes would not be heroes at all without an evil to combat… (Ying and Yang).

    “We want to live up to our divinity – we just lose track every 50 years or so.”

    Because we are human, as I have said. 😉

    “After all, we used to live in trees. We came down, built homes in communities which eventually began the cities of the world we see today. Just a few centuries ought to do it – as long as we recognize the possibility and DESPERATE NEED for a change.”

    You assume the cities we have today are a good thing. They also spew forth the smog that fuels global warming… 😀

  • barbpa

    OK, I’ll buy into the ying and yang need for balance. BUT, I’d much rather we get to a place where the evil is something like, “Alex took my apple” not “Alex killed my grandmother.” Then the heroes could be the people who help Alex and I find a good compromise where we both get to eat.

    I don’t think us living in cities is unnecessarily a good or bad thing — only that we are. It is our job to TRY find a more sustainable way to have our lifestyles. We must accept that we are human and bound for mistakes while we strive to be BETTER humans.

    It is only a matter of thinking it is possible. When you throw your hands up and say “we’re human” you are only appealing to the lowest potential. We only use like 1/4 of our brain — what happens if we use more. So much has yet to be discovered about humanity and our potential — you shouldn’t limit the potential of yourself. After all, humans are the most innovative and adaptable species on this earth.

  • knighthospitaller

    “When you throw your hands up and say “we’re human” you are only appealing to the lowest potential.”

    And when you believe you can make the world perfect, you set yourself up for a fall…

    We must identify and recognize our weaknesses and limitations in order to make the world a better place.

  • barbpa

    No I think we create a dialogue for something better. If Edison had just said, it’s a weakness of the human race that we’re burning down our houses with candles lit at night we wouldn’t have electricity. He sought to find a way to harness his power and the power of the earth. We can too. We need to have high benchmarks to strive for.

    And hey, you never said anything about my exit strategy…any thoughts?

  • knighthospitaller

    I think your strategy makes sense. It is far from being the complete “pull out” that I thought you were advocating before. Yes I think a plan like this will work but it will take time. There is no quick fix, no easy button, to this problem. I noticed that many of these ideas you laid out we have started doing in recent months. The biggest mistake we disbanding the army and putting thousands out of a job by doing so. I just wonder if re-forming the army would remedy their dislike of that prior action, or if it would come off as the US simply trying to save face…

    Now if we could just get the rest of the country to start thinking about plans and actions, instead of calling for lynching’s and pointing fingers at past mistakes, we would be in good shape.

  • barbpa

    For Peace Action I lobby for an immediate pull out. That is what Peace Action stands for. Honestly, we must take this strategy because any action we demand will be watered down by the democratic process. If we call for an immediate pull out then in two years our government MIGHT get around to it. Even as an individual though I place blame squarely on the Bush administration and his cronies. I believe they should be tried for their crimes in the International Criminal Court as war criminals. I think at the very least both The Pres. and VP ought to be impeached and kicked out of office. They are a stain on our American legacy and a shame on the human race. They disgust me in ways I cannot describe here. I think there is a big difference between people in power who sometimes make mistakes (as Clinton did when he decided to bomb all of Yugoslavia to stop the tyrant Milosevic – I can’t articulate what approach I would have used here) those mistakes have HORRIBLE consequences but they are mistakes none the less. Bush, Cheney and the whole lot are simply bad people who put their own greed above the lives of thousands of people — including our troops. It makes me sick.

  • barbpa

    oh yeah, we found something we can completely agree on. One of the most egregious things done during this occupation was to disband the army and send them home jobless with guns and plenty of military training. GROSS INCOMPETANCE. Even Patten let the Japanese army keep their swords in one of the most ferocious wars of our existence. If we could only learn from our own history.

  • knighthospitaller

    We seem to agree that massive mistakes were made, but what I fail to see how this makes the Bush administration “evil”.

    You even went so far as to say that the mistakes made by Clinton which led to violence, were of a lesser degree. How many lives does it take to make a mistake? How many lives does it take to make a crime?

    And why such malice towards Bush and Cheney? For someone who advocates peace and believes people are inherently good, that seems a bit harsh… Where is the forgiveness? Where is the love?

  • barbpa

    The difference, as I see it, is in intention. I believe that Bush Senior, Junior, Cheney and company orchestrated this occupation way back in the early 1980’s. The relationship the Bush family has with the Saudi Royal family and their ties to the oil industry show clear path between financial benefits for the Bush family and the occupation in Iraq. The amount of military contractors used in this particular occupation show how the Bush family appeased their cohorts and political supporters (like the founder of Blackwater) who stand to make a large chuck of change from their participation and cooperation. Clinton was trying to stop genocide. This is a particularly hard topic for me to discuss as I lived in Kosova for some time working with survivors of the Milosevic regime. There may be numerous ways Clinton made money (or political gain) by using air strikes rather than ground troops in Bosnia, Kosova, and Croatia but I don’t know them — until I have facts I have to assume he was doing the best he could with a horrible situation.

  • knighthospitaller

    Until you give me proof of money transactions and a growing Bush bank account, you are just speculating (just as the pre-war intel speculated that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq). In America you are innocent until proven guilty, remember…?

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