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....