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Sun, Sep. 25th, 2005 02:24 pm (UTC)
gonzo_theory: Re: Something about the way ...

Some things not taken into account.
Do the soldiers actually willingly want to commit those acts, or are they being forced to do so by loyalty, Blind or not, towards their ideals?
Are all the soldiers sociopaths? are all Americans?
Yes there are some sick people in the world and the people that perpetrate grouchymedia do so for amusement. In that perspective, is this so different from a video game? Well, yes because of the reality factor. However I could just as easily cite the murder rates in the US, My hometown switches titles for the murder capital of the US every few days. But you do not hear about that. There are thousands of people who are without homes without food but you don't hear about that. You hear about what the media tells you. Do we turn a blind eye to the troubles at home to point a finger somewhere else? yes.
Now is everyone here in Iraq, from the USA, by their own will. Not necessarily.
My very personal feelings? grouchymedia is sick, but It is better than having people who are doing this on a regular basis all the time. That is not how things work here in Iraq though. I have also seen some very wonderful things happen. Schools are built, people get health care. The infrastructure for this to happen on a regular basis. It probably will not happen on a regular basis. Also, it's bad for ratings
But it is the sad reality that this is still a war and there are people who cling to their beliefs so strongly, they are justified in killing people and intimidating and bullying them is how they get their way.
I think their reaction is justified in defending their country, and if you pay attention to the Iraqi history, they have not known any periods of prolonged peace in hundreds of years. To them in a very basic level, we are but the next tyrant who is sitting on their throne. But there are people here who have been assigned the ultimate mission impossible, and just be glad that you can say what you can say.
Understand that I respect your opinion. I respect your right to state what you said. But I feel slightly offended in the generalization that all soldiers are sick because of what you saw on grouchymedia. I think the name says a lot. "media" the sensationalistic half truths of a bored mind. Ultimately though it comes down to a matter of perspective. You have yours, I have mine. They differ a lot however.
Overall, it's just some plot somewhere for some people to get very rich over the next several decades.
I await your answer. I think this is a good, if heated discussion.

Sun, Sep. 25th, 2005 09:25 pm (UTC)
holyloki: Re: Something about the way ...

I think there is a problem with defending any act as based purely in loyalty. I do understand that there are 'good' things being done in Iraq, and that killing is not the primary ojective. (Although I must admit I think it's a cop out to talk about building schools when you just got through blowing them up.) However, your loyalty to an ideal is being demonstrated by perpetrating the opposite on a whole nation. Freedom includes the right to be tyrranized. Most people here in the US exercise that right on a daily basis through their consumption of propaganda, consumerism, and impossible sick dreams. Just because someone gives you an order doesn't mean you have to take it. Your decisions are always your own, regardless of their consequences, and so regardless of your loyalty, I still think you are complicit. I don't want you to have to be there, and I definitely do not ascribe the same level of responsibility to anyone in your position, but I still believe you are making a choice. You have decided to be on the payroll of a corporate military, and that was your choice, that was your freedom, but I don't know how well you count it since you have signed it over to another person.

I am glad for my freedom, but I also understand one thing—it's not just a political thing. So, when a foreign political/military force comes tromping through my hometown claiming the Bush regime is tyrranical, do you think whether I agree with them is going to matter to me? I believe my right to exercise my own decision making as to how I respond to my political situation is just as important. Having an outside force do it for me is insulting and frightening. I would rather die in a terrorist camp in my own country, perpetrated upon me by my own people than have someone else come in with their on the sly financial goals to attempt to give me my freedom, while they steal from my brother and call me an insurgent for wanting my country back.

I grant you that my statement about soldiers was a generalization, an overreaction to a very disturbing occurance. I do not think there is a lack of humanity amongst you, and I think most of you have very good intentions. However, at the moment you are as tyrranized as the people you are oppressing, and I believe there needs to be a rebuilding of ideals and a takedown of beuracracy if you are to be able to do what you really signed on for. You are acting as a tool, and I would like to see you acting on your own free will, and not at the behest of a play for power and money, which I think is disgusting and sick.

What would happen if soldiers voted on a plan of action instead of taking orders? I admit, it would be chaotic, and there would probably be contingencies of those who would just start blowing stuff up and killing people. Others would probably turn to aiding the people around them, building civic structures, aiding the sick, etc. But, if your goals are altruistic, why not join another group, with more attuned goals? Why support the military complex instead of aid groups? Is it the pay?

Regarding home, I think that is one of the worst thing about this whole situation. We have all our organized support forces somewhere else. Instead of being ready for an actual emergency, you are all off creating an emergency in another land. What if military personnel were here in the US commandeering food crops that were about to be burned to maintain wheat prices? Perhaps you could be teaching people to read or mentoring children who need just a little more support. And, while it may be true that there is need for that kind of support in Iraq, and that wishing for perfection at home doesn't mean we are in the most dire need of it, it still should be considered. Who are you taking your orders from, and why? Are they leading you down the road you want to follow, and if not, perhaps you should do a little trailblazing...

I must be off now, but I'd be glad to hear your thoughts/response further.

Mon, Sep. 26th, 2005 10:57 am (UTC)
gonzo_theory: Re: Something about the way ...

To certain degree we are all victims of the choices we make and must face the consequences and make good on what promises were made. This is something I am sure many people besides me struggle every day. I will definitely give you the point in reference to comparing grouchymedia to Grand Theft Auto. I think it would have been more painful though to compare grouchymedia to say CNN or any other news network that showed footage of New York four years ago.
There is always a clash of ideals and opinions, and they are not always as peaceful. The unfortunate reality is this is war. Unlike other wars however, this is a war that is everywhere and nowhere at the same time. I do not know the footage or dates on when the videos that led to the generalization, but being here now, I know that it is not so much like that anymore. The forces acting directly against coalition forces are outsider forces, just as we are outsider forces in Iraq. There are those who were in power who want to get back in power, and they are maybe at an ignorant analysis, as bad as the people who enjoy perpetrating the acts in the videos. They are people like those who killed Nick Berg and Daniel Pearl, and countless other people. As long as those people remain "here", there really will be no lack of unrest for a long time and leadership of various nations will see a necessity for military action.
In regards to having things done outside a bureaucracy, there are soldiers who are adopting Iraqi children that have been left without families. It is a small measure for what has been taken away, but t is something that is being done with a "greater good" in mind.
Some of my thoughts on the whole "payroll" concept that you have come up with, I am tempted to bring my own amateur analysis of the vast majority of what would be cultural minorities in the US reaping the benefits of that because the pay is not that great to be out here risking lives for the opportunity to give families a better chance, a better existence back home. That is not the truth for all the troops, but it is the reality for a decent number of troops here. Perhaps I am drifting way of topic.
The support for the troops when they get back home, especially if they have been hurt, or maybe if they have hurts beyond the physical, the support is not that great and resources are limited. There are also people who are so narrow in their views; they will attack soldiers or families of soldiers shouting things like "Baby-killers" (a personal favorite of mine). It kind of puts a "we're screwed if we do and we're screwed if we don't" on soldiers.
Ultimately though, I defer to my opening statement, we are all subject to the consequences of our choices. Those choices are often determined by circumstances, sometimes beyond our control, but it all depends on perspective.

I really hope that makes sense....
I will say one last thing which sums up my mentality as a whole
"I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" --I don't remember who said this originally.
In some ways though, it is the delusion I am under in order to not go grouchymedia.com-like....