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Hide The Dead Soldiers!

Peter T. 23 Apr 04 - 08:17 AM
Midchuck 23 Apr 04 - 08:23 AM
Amos 23 Apr 04 - 09:15 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 23 Apr 04 - 09:37 AM
Don Firth 23 Apr 04 - 12:20 PM
Amos 23 Apr 04 - 12:23 PM
katlaughing 23 Apr 04 - 12:42 PM
Don Firth 23 Apr 04 - 01:00 PM
Stilly River Sage 23 Apr 04 - 01:07 PM
Peter T. 23 Apr 04 - 01:12 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 23 Apr 04 - 01:15 PM
Amos 23 Apr 04 - 01:15 PM
Amos 23 Apr 04 - 01:18 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 23 Apr 04 - 01:27 PM
Rapparee 23 Apr 04 - 01:34 PM
Amos 23 Apr 04 - 01:38 PM
akenaton 23 Apr 04 - 01:48 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 23 Apr 04 - 01:50 PM
harvey andrews 23 Apr 04 - 02:14 PM
jaze 23 Apr 04 - 02:20 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 23 Apr 04 - 02:23 PM
M.Ted 23 Apr 04 - 02:26 PM
Amos 23 Apr 04 - 02:38 PM
artbrooks 23 Apr 04 - 03:14 PM
Don Firth 23 Apr 04 - 03:32 PM
Rapparee 23 Apr 04 - 03:39 PM
dianavan 23 Apr 04 - 03:46 PM
DougR 23 Apr 04 - 04:21 PM
dianavan 23 Apr 04 - 04:33 PM
Strick 23 Apr 04 - 04:39 PM
DougR 23 Apr 04 - 04:48 PM
GUEST,petr 23 Apr 04 - 04:50 PM
Megan L 23 Apr 04 - 04:50 PM
Peter T. 23 Apr 04 - 04:54 PM
Peter T. 23 Apr 04 - 04:56 PM
Strick 23 Apr 04 - 04:58 PM
dianavan 23 Apr 04 - 05:12 PM
Rapparee 23 Apr 04 - 05:13 PM
Strick 23 Apr 04 - 05:21 PM
Rapparee 23 Apr 04 - 05:26 PM
Ebbie 23 Apr 04 - 05:32 PM
Greg F. 23 Apr 04 - 09:35 PM
Rapparee 23 Apr 04 - 09:59 PM
Stilly River Sage 23 Apr 04 - 10:05 PM
Strick 23 Apr 04 - 11:14 PM
GUEST,guest from NW 24 Apr 04 - 02:05 AM
Peter T. 24 Apr 04 - 09:25 AM
Rapparee 24 Apr 04 - 10:25 AM
Strick 24 Apr 04 - 10:36 AM
GUEST 24 Apr 04 - 10:54 AM
Strick 24 Apr 04 - 11:00 AM
GUEST 24 Apr 04 - 11:23 AM
Strick 24 Apr 04 - 11:33 AM
GUEST 24 Apr 04 - 11:43 AM
artbrooks 24 Apr 04 - 12:01 PM
Strick 24 Apr 04 - 12:03 PM
GUEST 24 Apr 04 - 01:18 PM
Stilly River Sage 24 Apr 04 - 01:19 PM
Strick 24 Apr 04 - 01:26 PM
GUEST 24 Apr 04 - 01:41 PM
GUEST,pdc 24 Apr 04 - 01:45 PM
Greg F. 24 Apr 04 - 08:52 PM
jaze 24 Apr 04 - 09:25 PM
Janie 24 Apr 04 - 10:38 PM
Janie 24 Apr 04 - 10:41 PM
Strick 24 Apr 04 - 11:24 PM
dianavan 25 Apr 04 - 01:01 AM
GUEST,pdc 25 Apr 04 - 01:28 AM
Amos 25 Apr 04 - 09:57 AM
GUEST 25 Apr 04 - 11:12 AM
ranger1 25 Apr 04 - 12:32 PM
GUEST 25 Apr 04 - 12:52 PM
Janie 25 Apr 04 - 04:11 PM
Janie 25 Apr 04 - 04:12 PM
pdq 25 Apr 04 - 04:31 PM
GUEST,pdc 25 Apr 04 - 05:03 PM
GUEST 25 Apr 04 - 06:00 PM
GUEST,peedeecee 25 Apr 04 - 07:29 PM
artbrooks 25 Apr 04 - 09:07 PM
GUEST 25 Apr 04 - 11:33 PM
Amos 26 Apr 04 - 12:01 AM
dianavan 26 Apr 04 - 12:14 AM
GUEST 26 Apr 04 - 12:19 AM
Strick 26 Apr 04 - 12:29 AM
Amos 26 Apr 04 - 12:30 AM
Stilly River Sage 26 Apr 04 - 12:38 AM
Strick 26 Apr 04 - 01:28 AM
dianavan 26 Apr 04 - 02:07 AM
Strick 26 Apr 04 - 02:15 AM
GUEST 26 Apr 04 - 08:06 AM
Peter T. 26 Apr 04 - 09:51 AM
Strick 26 Apr 04 - 09:56 AM
Strick 26 Apr 04 - 10:05 AM
Jim McCallan 26 Apr 04 - 09:19 PM
Teribus 27 Apr 04 - 11:53 AM
GUEST,petr 27 Apr 04 - 12:27 PM
Chief Chaos 27 Apr 04 - 04:24 PM
Steve in Idaho 27 Apr 04 - 04:37 PM
Greg F. 27 Apr 04 - 08:16 PM
Strick 27 Apr 04 - 08:23 PM
dianavan 27 Apr 04 - 08:31 PM
flattop 27 Apr 04 - 09:10 PM
Amos 27 Apr 04 - 09:17 PM
GUEST 27 Apr 04 - 09:46 PM
Metchosin 27 Apr 04 - 11:33 PM
Greg F. 28 Apr 04 - 08:02 AM
Strick 28 Apr 04 - 11:00 AM
Steve in Idaho 28 Apr 04 - 12:07 PM
Amos 28 Apr 04 - 12:16 PM
Chief Chaos 28 Apr 04 - 01:10 PM
Greg F. 28 Apr 04 - 10:06 PM
dianavan 29 Apr 04 - 12:12 AM
Metchosin 29 Apr 04 - 04:04 AM
dianavan 29 Apr 04 - 04:39 AM
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Subject: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Peter T.
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 08:17 AM

George Bush refuses to go to soldier's funerals, and now the Pentagon is upset about showing pictures of coffins of American soldiers. What do they think is going on over in Iraq -- picnics? Do they think there is no connection between their grand plans and dead soldiers? Where are the Veterans Associations? You have to shake your head.   

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Midchuck
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 08:23 AM

I agree with you.

But I don't see the music connection. Why's this in the music threads?

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Amos
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 09:15 AM

Maybe because it is a great name for a sad song.

A


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 09:37 AM

Yep, our military learned some valuable lessons in Vietnam. Mainly, that if they want continued public support for a war they have to present the most sanitized version they can come up with.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 12:20 PM

On the Jim Lehrer News Hour (PBS), at the end of each program, they show photos (with name, branch of service, rank, age, and home town), in silence, of each of the soldiers who have been killed that day, or when their death becomes official and photos become available. In the early part of the Iraqi war, they were showing maybe one or two a day. A couple of nights ago, they showed eight.

This, of course, is the sort of thing that makes PBS one of the more blatant members of the "liberal news media."

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Amos
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 12:23 PM

Right. Liberal meaning "free, or espousing freedom, or acting freely". A word not much beloved by control freaks, or by fascists, or by people who have reasons for hiding things. And, too, a word often slandered and distorted by mind-meld mass-think promoters, and also by some Republicans.


A


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 12:42 PM

Sorry, Peter, I didn't see your thread when I posted this one a little later in the day. I've closed it and referred folks to this one. There are some media links in mine, though.

kat


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 01:00 PM

By the way, speaking of "liberal media," don't miss NOW with Bill Moyers tonight. One of the stories compares the relationships between Bush and Congress and Blair and Parliament. Seems that if the Brits have a question they want answered, they're sometimes not quite as polite about it as Congress is. Not quite as easy for Blair to "stonewall" or ignore the issue. I'm looking forward to it. Check your local listings.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 01:07 PM

Well, there are photos and photos. I did a search on "Dead American Soldiers" in the images section of Google and found things like this gruesome page (it takes a long time to load, even on DSL). The point is taken, and there are angry responses at the bottom of the whole thing.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Peter T.
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 01:12 PM

Interesting about the Jim Lehrer hour.

I wonder if George W. will show up at the 60th anniversary of D-Day to mourn the fallen dead of long ago. (I don't wonder, I am sure he will, with knobs on).

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 01:15 PM

I'm really torn on this one. As much as I abhor this occupation of Iraq, I also have respect for the privacy of the families and the dignity of the deceased.

Regardless of my feelings, I would not want my son or daughter's picture to be used as propaganda for either side of the issue.

While I detest the disregard for the freedom of the press, I am also disgusted by the way the media uses such images to push ratings and generate ad revenue.   The PBS approach is a dignified way of putting a human face on the war without stooping to low levels.   If ANYONE feels that what PBS is doing is a sign of their supposed "liberal" bias, I would ask how honoring these heroes could be considered as such?


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Amos
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 01:15 PM

People sometimes wonder why I start foaming at the mouth and resort to strong language about Bush and his &(*^&*#&*% militarism. Well... some people, anyway.

Here's why.

A


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Amos
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 01:18 PM

I am repeating here what I said in the other thread:

Well, I can appreciate the sensibility with which you write, Ron. But if I may say so what I find ghoulish is fomenting blind allegiance to an operation that spills the entrails of innocent humans into the sand and leaves them there smoking in the sun. What I find ghoulish is trying to persuade people that there is glory in invasion and virtue in throwing hot lead into other people's bodies. I find it ghoulish in the extreme that the insurgents of Iraq -- even if they are misguided -- are being identified as terrorists so that they will be identified as linked in some arcane evil way with the nurders of September 2001. I find it ghoulish that human beings can contemplate a unilateral war, all its horror and destruction and pain and bloodletting, and smile with patriotic pride rather than puke their guts out on the White House steps.

But maybe that's just me.

A


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 01:27 PM

I agree with you Amos, but showing those entrails on TV does not make us any better than the ones sending our troops into such a situation.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Rapparee
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 01:34 PM

The deaths should be treated with dignity. ALL of them -- those of the US, those of the Iraquis, all of them. Let the families mourn; if THEY want to share that is their privilege.

That said, I fail to see why it would be undignified to show the coffins of those killed. If the goal is honorable, why would be deaths be less so?

To use these deaths or pictures as propaganda -- that would be both undignified and cheap.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Amos
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 01:38 PM

Well, here's the thing, to my mind, Ron...and I am open to changing my mind. The effort of the Bush crowd is to commit violence and hide it. Sanitzed war information is the one thing that makes was tolerable or, to the very immature, even attractive. If they don't have to see the gore and the dead, then they can focus on the thrill, the courage, the HooRAH and the glory of it all. And, in dooing that,m they can lure another generations of brave but underexposed people to stand up and be mown down for the sake of some little back-room decision taken by a man who never had the courage to go towar himself?

I am in favor, therefore, of making the consequences plain and public, no matter how grim. I am sorry for the families whose losses are restimulated by such an approach, but I assure you it is not the pictuires which are breaking there hearts, but the grim reality of their strife and their love being wasted in the dirt for dubious benefit. We cannot remedy the problem of war -- especially of insanity cloaked as war -- by not looking at it plainly.

On the other hand, I have no wish to hurt anyone unnecessarily, so that is all I am going to say on the subject, at present.

A


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: akenaton
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 01:48 PM

Amos....That was very well said


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 01:50 PM

Good points Amos, but if someone is that immature to sign up for "the glory of it all", seeing a flag drapped coffin is not going to make things better.

I'm reminded of my high school drivers ed class where they showed us pictures of horrific car wrecks and bloody corpses. Did it teach us to not drink and drive?   I honestly don't think the pictures made that much of a difference.

With all due repect Amos (and I have a great deal of respect for your thoughtful posts), I worry that even your response to this issue is somewhat of an example of how these photos can be used as propaganda. No matter how just the cause, I wonder if there are limits.

I honestly not sure. The photos that I have seen are rather anonymous. We do not know who is in the individual coffins and it does make a dramatic impact. There are many issues and thoughts that go through my mind.    I wonder if it will win a Pulitizer? Would that make it "okay"?   Just random thoughts, as I've said, I really don't know what is right and what is wrong in this case.

One last thing, to give credit where it is due - the decision to not show pictures was made back in 1991. Now when it is an issue, Bush refuses to change the decision.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: harvey andrews
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 02:14 PM

Maybe because it is a great name for a sad song.

Just what i thought Amos, maybe Mudcatters could write it;

Hide the dead soldiers
Smuggle them in
Contraband coffins
Somebody's kin
Somebody's child
Who was told "We can win."
Hide the dead soldiers
Smuggle them in


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: jaze
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 02:20 PM

I think the families should be treated with respect. I understand not having them there at Dover or allowing pictures of them when the coffins come off the plane. I don't see how an anonymous photo of flag-draped coffins intrudes on their privacy. If we're expected to support what our gov't is doing, then everything should be out in the open-including the end result-flag-draped coffins.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 02:23 PM

So what's the big difference between a photograph of a row of flag-draped coffins and a row of grave markers in a military cemetery? They're both symbolic, not graphic, and the interpretation of the photo is up to the viewer.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: M.Ted
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 02:26 PM

There was a color picture of rows of caskets draped in flags, on the front page of the Washington Post this morning. I cried when I saw it, and I am sure others did, too. Those kids and their families deserve at least that we share their grief.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Amos
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 02:38 PM

Ah, M. Ted, a more telling point has not been made on this thread.

A


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: artbrooks
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 03:14 PM

Personally, as a veteran, I'd rather see the coffins, properly covered with a flag, so that I am assured that they are getting the respect they deserve. The military and the Bush government (which includes the various Secretaries) are two very different things. This
is from the official Army web site, and they are hardly hiding anything.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 03:32 PM

Years ago, I saw the movie Henry V (1944) with Sir Lawrence Olivier as King Henry (excellent movie, by the way). Filmed during WW II and released just as the war in Europe ended, it reflected the time. It was full of pageantry, trumpets, colorful banners, white steeds, and shining armor. Olivier wanted moviegoers to believe in the justness of the war. It reflected the mid-twentieth century far more than it did the early fifteenth century. The charge of the French knights to the accompaniment of the exciting musical score by Sir William Walton, and the sound of the flight of arrows unleashed at them by the English longbowmen was soul-stirring. War is glorious!   

Kenneth Branagh's 1989 version (another excellent movie) of Henry V reflects a different time and a different view of war. The time was post-Vietnam. The battle scenes, rather than panoramic views of a line of charging horsemen in shining armor with banners waving in the wind, were mostly bewildering close-ups composed of swinging swords and battle-axes, the clash of steel on steel, men slipping and falling in mud . . . screams . . . blood . . . dead bodies. The soldier's-eye view. In one scene, Branagh as King Hal carries a dead boy over the hacked-up bodies of both the English and French, and you can't help but realize that this battle—and war in general—is a panorama of blood and mud and death.

At least, in the Battle of Agincourt, King Henry, the man who decided to go to war, was there, not sitting safely behind his polished desk thousands of miles away.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Rapparee
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 03:39 PM

...masquerading as a veteran.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: dianavan
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 03:46 PM

There's a big difference between a flag-draped coffin and a mutilated, dead body.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: DougR
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 04:21 PM

The feelings of the families of the dead soldiers are far more important than the need to use those photos for political purposes. And that is exactly how they are being used. In my opinion, they should not be published.

Also, PBS does not have a franchise on the listing of names of dead soldiers. ABC's Sunday morning program with George Will lists them at the end of each program too.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: dianavan
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 04:33 PM

Seems to me that if the coffins were shown draped with the flag and handled with dignity, the families would feel sad but proud. Thats alot different than the trauma caused to families if a dead body was shown.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Strick
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 04:39 PM

"Seems to me that if the coffins were shown draped with the flag and handled with dignity, the families would feel sad but proud. Thats alot different than the trauma caused to families if a dead body was shown."

Not when you're using the photos as a weapon to convince other people they died in vain. Military families remember Viet Nam and the treatment their dead and returning Vets received.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: DougR
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 04:48 PM

Strick: I would challenge anyone who has posted to this thread that believes the photos of coffins should be made public, to tell us WHY, if not for political reasons, they should be shown. They are trying to use the dead soldiers to support their view that Iraqi citizens should still be under the thumb of Saddam.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 04:50 PM

and not when youre showing flag draped coffins being taken out of
wtc site - as in BUsh's election ad - while not allowing same photos
dead soldiers from Iraq.

anyway - whatever happened to freedom of the press?


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Megan L
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 04:50 PM

Having stood on a pier and watched the coffin of a loved one being swung of the boat on the freight crane, I would much rather see one draped respectfully flag or not. No one should use another mans death for his own ends


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Peter T.
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 04:54 PM

I thought the picture(s) that I saw were very beautiful, awe-inspiring, made one think. It seems to me that sober reappraisal is not exactly propaganda. Besides, the Bush administration lost the argument about not using them when they showed flag-draped coffins in their ads.

A question that is raised here -- and here I mean to have a reasoned discussion -- is the nature of the role of privacy in this case. My own opinion is that, in a democracy, soldiers are citizens, and are therefore doing a public duty. Reflection on that public duty is part of citizenry, and therefore it seems to me right and proper that some of the rituals of death be carried out in public. We need the weightiness of these rituals, to overcome the flashy grandiosity of our masters, to be citizens. I see no justification for putting a claim for not showing pictures of flag-draped coffins in order to protect the families of the deceased.   That presupposes private over public: but as soldiers, soldiers are partly public, in death as in life (that is why there are memorials and war cemeteries). Speaking only for my country (Canada), our Prime Minister has consistently attended the return of coffins from Afghanistan, Kosovo, and the other places where we have lost soldiers. I cannot imagine the outrage if our Defence department starting talking like the Pentagon. It is true that we have had far fewer deaths, but the principle seems to me to be one that we would adhere to, even if it became wearisome. We need to be able to weigh the consequences of our actions -- one of the terrible strengths of democracies (I believe) is that once we do decide to go to war, because of the preciousness of each individual as citizen, democracies will fight tooth and nail to the last dead dog. That is why we need to be as right as we can.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Peter T.
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 04:56 PM

I thought the picture(s) that I saw were very beautiful, awe-inspiring, made one reflect on the care the military takes with its dead. It seems to me that sober reappraisal is not exactly propaganda. Besides, the Bush administration lost the argument about not using them when they showed flag-draped coffins in their ads.

To try and answer Doug's question -- and here I mean to have a reasoned discussion -- we are speaking in part of the nature of the role of privacy in this case. My own opinion is that, in a democracy, soldiers are citizens, and are therefore doing a public duty. Reflection on that public duty is part of citizenry, and therefore it seems to me right and proper that some of the rituals of death be carried out in public. We need the weightiness of these rituals, to overcome the flashy grandiosity of our masters, to be citizens. I see no justification for putting a claim for not showing pictures of flag-draped coffins in order to protect the families of the deceased.   That presupposes private over public: but as soldiers, soldiers are partly public, in death as in life (that is why there are memorials and war cemeteries). Speaking only for my country (Canada), our Prime Minister has consistently attended the return of coffins from Afghanistan, Kosovo, and the other places where we have lost soldiers. I cannot imagine the outrage if our Defence department starting talking like the Pentagon. It is true that we have had far fewer deaths, but the principle seems to me to be one that we would adhere to, even if it became wearisome. We need to be able to weigh the consequences of our actions -- one of the terrible strengths of democracies (I believe) is that once we do decide to go to war, because of the preciousness of each individual as citizen, democracies will fight tooth and nail to the last dead dog. That is why we need to be as right as we can.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Strick
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 04:58 PM

"anyway - whatever happened to freedom of the press?"

Ask Diana's family. Or Dale Earnhart's when the press wanted to show his autopsy photos. There are limits to any "right". Nothing would be gained by by showing the photos but purient interest or, in this case, pure politics. The military doesn't have to let you on their bases for this purpose if they don't want.

It's a good custom, much like the one Peter refers to in the first post here, where Presidents have [i]never[/i] attended funerals of men killed in action. Memorial services, even cemetary dedications, but not funerals. Keep the politics out of it.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: dianavan
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 05:12 PM

Tell that to Bush!

If I had a family member that died as a result of war, I would want the public to see the sacrifice that had been made. Furthermore, I would want only the flag draped coffin to be shown, not a mutilated body. A body is private, the flag draped coffin is not.

I would also like the president to show some respect by showing up at the airport when the body was returned to home soil.

Of course that might be a little risky for Bush. Personally, I'd probably want to rip his face off.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Rapparee
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 05:13 PM

My comment "...masquerading as a veteran" was aimed at GWB and no one else. As a Guardsman whose unit was activated and served in Vietnam (and I in Korea at that same time) I have little liking and less respect for the "service" of those who, like GWB, used Guard or Reserve duty as a shield against the possibility of being drafted. Moreover, I especially dislike those who, like GWB, "jumped the list" because they had political connections.

I'll say no more on this; if my feelings about the President's military service disagrees with your views, well, you have your views and I have mine. I respect and acknowledge your views and expect the same courtesy in return.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Strick
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 05:21 PM

So how do you feel about Clinton who lied to get in, then out of the ROTC for the same reason?

dianavan, if these were new rules, maybe I'd agree. The one about Presidents not attending the funerals is quite ancient by US standards. Barring any change, ask the families if you can photograph their dead. Just be sure to be honest with why you want the photos.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Rapparee
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 05:26 PM

Didn't say I liked that, either, Strick.

I'd much rather someone spoke up from the beginning. Kerry went to 'Nam and then had the courage to change his mind. Friends of mine spoke up from the first as COs. Other friends of mine went to 'Nam and one died there, others have died later from what I'd consider 'Nam-related causes. Other guys I know, like Kerry, changed their minds after going to 'Nam.

What I object to is hypocrisy in this matter.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Ebbie
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 05:32 PM

When Kennedy's body was returned to Washington and the coffin offloaded at the airbase, I suspect that few of us did NOT mourn. I was not a Kennedy supporter at the time but my very soul was grieved.

It was graphic but "prurient", Strick? How dare you.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Greg F.
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 09:35 PM

And, of course HIDING the dead and the coffins serves no "political purpose", right? Please- you guys are pathetic.

And Strick, as has been raised previously by others, you simply CANNOT post without mentioning Clinton, whether it has anything to do with the point under discussion or not, can you? Also pathetic.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Rapparee
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 09:59 PM

Hide them? No.

War causes death. But in the US most really whitewash it, do everything possible can to blot it out, whether it is death from old age, childbirth, auto wreck, war, or disease. While it shouldn't be dwelt upon (such as those 19th C. folks who picniced in cemeteries), we shouldn't shut it away.

Honor them? Yes. You betcha. Damned straight. And don't forget....


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 10:05 PM

Avoiding the war because you dislike war is fine. During Vietnam deferrments were an honorable and valuable tool that kept many young men in college in order to avoid going to war. Clinton was okay. And Clinton was not the son of a privileged family, he was just smart and figured out how to avoid going to war. But it appears Bush was a faker and a slacker. If he did join the organization, then he was obligated to follow the rules, and should be taken to task now if that slack behavior comes to light.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Strick
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 11:14 PM

"And Clinton was not the son of a privileged family, he was just smart and figured out how to avoid going to war."

Clinton used his connections with Senator Fulbright, a very heavy hitter of the time, to pressure the local draft board and the commandant of the University of Arkansas ROTC to put him in over other candidates when his deferments ran out. He lied about his intentions in regard to the ROTC during the interview and then refused to honor his commitment to them when the time came. No one pulled more strings to get out of Viet Nam than he did.

"And Strick, as has been raised previously by others, you simply CANNOT post without mentioning Clinton, whether it has anything to do with the point under discussion or not, can you?"

Greg, what I can't stand is people who rail about Bush doing something and ignore others they cherish doing the same thing. Again, it's either ignorace or hypocracy. I'm trying to assume ignorance. So far.

Rapaire made a comment where a direct comparison was completely appropriate. Where Bush may or may not have been hard to find for a period of time when the Guard knew the war was all but over for the US and didn't care, Clinton ducked out of his obligation during some of the heaviest fighting of the war. Clinton's behavior during Viet Nam is just a relevant to this thread as Bush's was.

Ebbie, how did I get from purient interest in Dale Earnhart's autopsy to anything to do with any Kennedy?


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: GUEST,guest from NW
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 02:05 AM

"Clinton's behavior during Viet Nam is just a relevant to this thread as Bush's was."

you just can't get this can you, strick? this thread is about george bush, a war he and his administration initiated, soldiers he sent to war, and a policy he is enforcing to keep any photographic depiction of the dead soldiers censored from the american public. if there is any discussion about his vietnam record it would be in relation to this discussion of his current practices as president. check the title and opening remarks.
in other words...NOTHING TO DO WITH BILL CLINTON for crissakes!!

"what I can't stand is people who rail about Bush doing something and ignore others they cherish doing the
same thing."

another ridiculous assumption...that anyone who criticizes GWB "cherishs" clinton. same kind of vacuous reasoning that gives us "if you criticize GWB you're helping the terrorists" or "if you're against the war you don't support our troops". HOGWASH!

FYI i criticized bill clinton too...back when he was president...didn't vote for him either...don't "cherish" him... but am capable of carrying on a political discussion on other subjects without injecting my opinion of him. show us you're not like the rest of the braindead GWB true believers.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Peter T.
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 09:25 AM

Glad to see people took up my challenge for a reasoned discussion.

Anyway, perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps soldiers and their families deserve privacy -- haven't they given enough in life for them to be left alone in death, to grieve? I note that there is an artist who has made a composite photograph of George W using the faces of all the dead soldiers to date. For some reason I find that more offensive than the photographing of coffins with American flags on them. An artist can, of course, do what he likes, but still, that worries me. But I don't know why. Of course, we are all conflicted where the expression or covering up of death is concerned....


yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Rapparee
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 10:25 AM

To get back to the fallen.

The deaths of these soldiers are not simply a loss to their families. They are a loss to the nation and the nation should share in the grief.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Strick
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 10:36 AM

OK, GUEST,guest from NW, maybe I've become obsessive as a not quite lone voice on this forum. Regardless, it's a policy enforced by the last 7 presidents, each of whom had military killed as a result of their orders. Greg, it was worth the exchange just to offer the info to SRS who apparently missed what Clinton did to stay out of the war. Rapaire, I respect your consistency and your view. Forgive me for challenging you.

I do ask folks to remember this. Beyond Hillary, what are the odds that then next few Democrats nominated for president will have a Viet Nam record any different from Clinton or Gore? Some of us thought it was over when Clinton was elected and it wouldn't come up again. It's a little like claiming they did drugs in their youth. Were they teenagers in the 60s or early 70s? How many didn't?

Either way it's a little past time to put that war behind us and remember that the people we will choose our leaders from acted about like we did in those days.   A few fought and were abused when they came home. A few protested from the beginning and grew so bitter they said somethings they might not like to hear repeated now. Even fewer did both. Most of us did what we needed to do to stay out of it.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 10:54 AM

I don't believe the families have the right to keep all photographic images of the soldiers private, whether the soldier is being shown in the photograph alive and doing fine, wounded, or dead. I don't believe the families, or the government on behalf of the families, should dictate the terms of journalistic coverage of war scenes, to the press.

Strick asks a legitimate question when he says "Just be sure to be honest with why you want the photos."

Let me be honest, then. The war dead are treated with a tremendous amount of respect, so for me that isn't an issue.

However, to say that we shouldn't show disturbing images of wars that are currently happening because the showing of those images will influence the politics of waging that war, and possibly turn public sentiment against a continuation of the war as happened with Vietnam, is to give the politicans an authortarian advantage over the citizenry I am not willing to accept. Of course the politicians don't want us to see the images of the consequences of war. Because they know their rhetoric will no longer be believed by a duped citizenry. The reasons politicians have for sending our soldiers to war are rarely, if ever, the same reasons soldiers volunteer to serve in the military.

In our democratic republic at this time, we have citizen soldiers and professional soldiers, fighting wars on two major fronts: Afghanistan and Iraq, and in precarious positions in many others, like Kosovo, Korea, the Phillipines, etc.

War is the most political of all crises a nation faces, and we have a duty as citizens to know what the consequences of waging war are. It is imperative we see what is happening in war time, from all the angles, including the wounded, the dying, and the dead soldiers AND civilians.

A large reason why the Vietnam War was brought to an end when it was, is because the country turned against the war. Why? I believe it was in large part due to the fact that we had the war--including the up close soldiers' view of war, beamed into our living rooms every night. We saw graphic depictions of it.

I believe we should ALWAYS be shown those images when we are fighting a war. Always. They are sobering. They make us evaluate what it is we are doing in the war. It shows us the true cost of war. Our right to see those images supercedes the rights to privacy of the families of the dead soldiers.

Those images are no longer broadcasted in the US. They are now censored by the US military, or censored by the corporate moguls who rule the media, because Vietnam proved it is really impossible for a democratic nation to wage an unjust war against a nation which poses no security threat to us, when the citizenry sees the images of the consequences of that war. In the case of Vietnam, that included showing images of angry citizens showing their disgust for the war to the returning soldiers, as it should.

How many of you saw the reports on the treatment of the Japanese hostages taken and released in Iraq this week, on how they were treated when they returned home? They were treated as villains, pariahs, and were utterly condemned by Japanese society. The images shown in Japan? Of the hostages deeply bowing in apology to the nation, and asking forgiveness, which they likely won't be getting from most Japanese citizens. As citizens of democracies, we have the right to express ourselves in those ways, and to see the images of our actions mirrored back to us, however disturbing it is to us, and no matter how bad it makes us look.

A nation's citizenry that is "at war" has a duty to know what the consequences of being "at war" are--and what price it is that our side and the other side will pay in daily consequences of war. Being an informed citizenry in wartime requires we gain complex knowledge of what is happening on the ground, which can only be perceived from a distance through graphic, truthful images and graphic, truthful description. Once we start ignoring what our warriors are doing to their citizens, the inevitable happens: war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes against the souls of the soldiers doing the fighting, and the citizens trying to survive what the soldiers are doing all around them, and their society being torn asunder.

Rwanda is ultimate example in recent memory, of what happens when we stop looking for and asking to see those horrific images.

Our media is not showing us any of those aspects of the war in Iraq. It is not showing us what Al Jazeera is showing it's viewers in the Middle East, which is the cost to the civilian population of the war. It isn't showing us what the BBC is showing it's constituents. Or what the AFP is showing to theirs. We should be seeing those images in the US too.

We need to find out why the rate of suicide among our soldiers is so high in Iraq, and domestic violence so extreme in their families upon their return. We need to see the wounded in battle and after it, screaming with pain, whether soldier or civilian. We need to see the images of how our occupation forces and the mercenaries and their employers, are living in Iraq, compared to how the average Iraqi is living. We aren't seeing any of that.

A truly free press acting as fourth estate cannot and should not be patriotic. I feel very strongly that patriotism and journalism, like church and state, should not mix.

Last night on NOW with Bill Moyers, he interviewed Greg Dyke, former Director General of the BBC, who was forced out of his job as a result of the Hutton inquiry into the intelligence scandal in the UK over WMD. In essence, he said what I am saying: journalism and patriotism is a very bad mix, and serves neither cause well.

The NOW website has an excellent gallery of photos and stories titled "After War". It can be viewed here:

"After War" gallery at NOW


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Strick
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 11:00 AM

"Strick asks a legitimate question when he says 'Just be sure to be honest with why you want the photos.'"

Even a blind squirrel finds a nut in the woods sometimes.

Just a point of order:

"Those images are no longer broadcasted in the US. They are now censored by the US military, or censored by the corporate moguls who rule the media..."

What the military is doing is not strictly censorship. Remember marshall law and civilian law are very different things. You don't have the same rights. They just won't let you take certain pictures on military bases. Go so where else and take all the pictures other people will let you.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 11:23 AM

We aren't under martial law in the US, so there is no reason why we shouldn't be seeing the images of the occupation and of the war scenes.

As to the military not allowing themselves to be photographed, that isn't accurate. The military has it's own well controlled propaganda machine, which includes their "official" photographers and journalists, as well as mainstream media's military pool of journalists. The official military journalists are always privleged above those pool journalists, who are privleged above the independent photographers, videographers, and journalists who do not participate in the military pools. It is a well known pecking order.

The military always documents and photographs what they don't allow the citizen journalists to document and photograph. The release of the 350 photos this week proves that. They use theirs for propaganda purposes--and what is more political than military propaganda, Strick?

Or are you going to make some idiotic claim like the US military never engages in propaganda? I hope not, because a good portion of the citizenry just isn't that ignorant any more. Plenty of military folks are though, we do know that.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Strick
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 11:33 AM

Go on a military base and demand your rights. See what happens. You might get to meet some nice Federal authorities, but the people working there are definitly under marshal law.

"The military has it's own well controlled propaganda machine, which includes their 'official' photographers and journalists, as well as mainstream media's military pool of journalists. The official military journalists are always privleged above those pool journalists, who are privleged above the independent photographers, videographers, and journalists who do not participate in the military pools."

Been that way for some time now. It was worse during WWII when reporters were put in uniform and were under direct military orders. What were you expecting them to do?

Yep, there are a lot of photos that the military takes they don't let civilians use. Those 350 were a little different but they weren't intended for any propaganda use. You'd have never seen them (these were for historic purposes and in the long run, we're all dead) if someone hadn't exercised the freedom of information act and someone in the Pentagon hadn't screwed up.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 11:43 AM

Strick, you are, as always, playing the role of right wing apologist here, and in relation to what I wrote above, are just plain grasping at straws, rather than addressing any of the issues I raised in my post above. So I'm done responding to you, because to do so is just a waste of time.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: artbrooks
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 12:01 PM

Just a couple of points of clarification. Military personnel on military bases are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, or, in other words, military law. Civilians on the base are subject to the regulations promulgated by the military, but are tried (if necessary) in cililian courts. "Martial Law" is a special case, in which civilians are subject to military courts, and ANON.GUEST is correct that martial law does not exist in the US. The military services still have their own uniformed journalists and photographers who, if they have a higher level of "privileges," earn them by carrying weapons and getting up close and personal for E-4 pay.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Strick
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 12:03 PM

Fair enough. I see what you posted as a wild diversion from the real issue, too. People are hoping that the public will be shocked or saddened by photos of caskets. No one's used those photos for anything other than anti-war propaganda and they have no other use today.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 01:18 PM

No we aren't. We are trying to get at the truth of what is happening in our nation, and in Iraq. Pictures help tell us the story.

You want the story hidden from plain view, because you know that once the American public sees the real stories of what our warrior are doing to their civilians, they will no longer support the war, and will be screaming in the streets for the troops to be brought home.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 01:19 PM

I watched Nightline last night, partly because of a Mudcat discussion and realizing that I hadn't stayed up to watch it for a while. The last remarks were perfect, and friend wrote to me this morning to ask if I'd seen it. He described it, so to save time, I'll post his remarks:

    Did you see Nightline tonight? At the end of the program, Koppel discussed the debate concerning those photographs of the GI coffins in Iraq. As he closed the discussion, he noted that there is nothing inherently wrong with showing those photographs, but context can make it wrong. He traced the current US policy against using those military coffin images to a news conference held by the first Bush, which featured a split screen with coffins being returned to the US on one screen as Big Bush spoke on another screen. Koppel claimed that this was the wrong context for the images. Then, he showed the Little Bush advertisments--the ones where he used images from the WTC disaster. In that advertisement, the Little Bushies threw up an image of firefighters carrying a flag-draped coffin from the WTC site. Koppel said, "If it was wrong to show those images during Bush Sr.'s news conference, the it is wrong for the current Bush Administration to use those images."

    Damn. Finally some cutting criticism of Shrub on mainstream TV.


As a point of clarification, Koppel pointed out that the Bush I news conference and the split screen with the coffins was a network decision that is now seen as innappropriate, and because that juxtaposition so irritated the White House they chose to prohibit photographing the coffin arrival after that. Then Koppel showed the portion of the Bush II ad with him in front of an image of the flag-draped firefighter, concluding with the "I'm George W. Bush and I authorized this ad" or whatever that line says.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Strick
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 01:26 PM

"We are trying to get at the truth of what is happening in our nation, and in Iraq. Pictures help tell us the story."

If I thought you were learning anything from the pictures you don't already know, I might agree. You want to use those pictures portray what you want the world to think.

As I've said, plenty of places to take pictures like these some equally powerful. Go there and ask the permission from the families.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 01:41 PM

Also needed for clarification is where the ban has been in effect, and for how long.

According to this article in the Washington Post from last October:

"Curtains Ordered for Media Coverage of Returning Coffins"

The ban at Dover, the nation's largest military mortuary, was in effect throughout the Clinton administration as well as both Bush administrations, it just wasn't enforced under Clinton--or, oddly, during the Afghanistan war--as it has been for the Iraq war under Shrub II.

The article also talks about this idea that the public should not be allowed to view the returning caskets because it will be "politicized" by an administration's opponents to the war, as being a military world view, that Dana Milbank (the writer) says the military brass refer to as "the Dover test".

However, the myth that this rooted in Vietnam doesn't stand up to reality testing. Milbank also notes that:

"Ceremonies for arriving coffins, not routine during the Vietnam War, became increasingly common and elaborate later. After U.S. soldiers fell in Beirut, Grenada, Panama, the Balkans, Kenya, Afghanistan and elsewhere, the military often invited in cameras for elaborate ceremonies for the returning remains, at Andrews Air Force Base, Dover, Ramstein and elsewhere -- sometimes with the president attending."

The article then cites example after example of Carter, Reagan, and Bush I participating at public, filmed and photographed ceremonies of returning dead soldiers at military bases. Until the Persian Gulf war in 1991, when:

"...the Pentagon said there would be no more media coverage of coffins returning to Dover, the main arrival point; a year earlier, Bush was angered when television networks showed him giving a news briefing on a split screen with caskets arriving. But the photos of coffins arriving at Andrews and elsewhere continued to appear through the Clinton administration...The photos of coffins continued for the first two years of the current Bush administration, from Ramstein and other bases. Then, on the eve of the Iraq invasion, word came from the Pentagon that other bases were to adopt Dover's policy of making the arrival ceremonies off limits."

I saw that press conference, and I disagree that the split screen was inappropriate. I think it was very appropriate. I still don't understand why it so offended the patriotism mongers.

So while that may in fact be the justification for the Bush administration's complete and total censorship policy, the public doesn't perceive it as being about the press conference of his father's during the first war against Iraq. The public myth seems to think this is all about Vietnam.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 01:45 PM

Way upthread, Artbrooks posted, "Personally, as a veteran, I'd rather see the coffins, properly covered with a flag, so that I am assured that they are getting the respect they deserve."

That would be for the families. But personally, as a human being, I'd rather see the soldiers treated with the respect they deserve while they are still living. Sending troops into the filthy quagmire that Iraq has become, based on a lie, is unforgivable. Treating those same troops' bodies with respect after they have died is hypocritical, IMO.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Greg F.
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 08:52 PM

"No one's used those photos for anything other than anti-war propaganda and they have no other use today."

Let me try again: But their suppression as a political act of pro-war propaganda is just fine, right?

Jesus wept.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: jaze
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 09:25 PM

What's the matter with TRUTH? Flag-draped coffins are part of the reality of war. People can make their own judgements once they have the whole the whole picture.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Janie
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 10:38 PM

I had trouble deciding which thread to which I should post this link, http://indyweek.com/durham/current/news.html, but I finally decided to put it here. A very interesting article reporting on a Coalition Provisional Authority memo about the state of affairs in Iraq. The article includes a link to the redacted memo itself and is worth a read.

Janie


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Janie
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 10:41 PM

Oops. Let's try that again. http://indyweek.com/durham/current/news.html


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Strick
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 11:24 PM

"Let me try again: But their suppression as a political act of pro-war propaganda is just fine, right?"

If they were hiding the deaths or fudging the numbers I might accept it as propaganda. This is just drawing a line. Photos of the post-mortems of each of these soldiers also exist. I know no one here is asking they be published, but given what we're seeing all around us, someone will try. The National Military Family Association thinks not showing the photos is the better choice. Many families agree.

More than making politics out of the photos is my revulsion at trying to make political points out of someone else's misery. It's worse than rejoicing when unemployment numbers are higher or gloating when another soldier dies. You want pain to justify your political position. To hell with the pain of the people it affects, you just want to proof you were right. That's all there is to it.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: dianavan
Date: 25 Apr 04 - 01:01 AM

Janie - Thanks for the read.

You should start a new thread entitled Reconstruction in Iraq.

I'd like to discuss it but I don't think this is the appropriate thread.

I saw that photograph and it was artistry. It wasn't about propaganda from either side. It was just plain sad. Everyone should see it. Then the war wouldn't seem so remote to so many.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 25 Apr 04 - 01:28 AM

Strick said, "More than making politics out of the photos is my revulsion at trying to make political points out of someone else's misery. It's worse than rejoicing when unemployment numbers are higher or gloating when another soldier dies. You want pain to justify your political position. To hell with the pain of the people it affects, you just want to proof you were right. That's all there is to it. "

Those are completely offensive statements, and I believe Strick owes the people he intended them for a profound apology. Strick is putting an ugly political slant on a problem that affects all humans, regardless of their political bent. It was an ugly paragraph, Strick, and I believe you should be ashamed.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Amos
Date: 25 Apr 04 - 09:57 AM

Making politics out of misery? Let's talk about creating abysmal misery for political purposes!! And whether that should be exposed or not.

Ya know what causes me misery? Waking up to realize our suystem has been so vioently suborned that we now have a dramatizing psycho in a suit in the Oval Office.

In WW II the coffins came home, or were buried in situ by the tens of thousands.
No-one hesitated to photograph them, that I have ever heard of. I am sure there may have been manyatrocities that were never heard of, but there was nothing secreticve about our nation policy or why we were in a war.

A


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Apr 04 - 11:12 AM

Strick is a right wing apologist, whom I usually ignore. But after those comments above, I'm with Guest PDQ. He is on my official "never respond to" list now.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: ranger1
Date: 25 Apr 04 - 12:32 PM

I saw a picture on the front page of the newspaper on Friday of the flag-draped coffins. It made me cry. It wasn't a picture in bad taste, I didn't find it political, and I don't see how flag-draped coffins can be considered "human remains." The remains are inside, and anonymous. It was, to me, a reminder that in war some people end up paying the ultimate price and that in each one of those coffins lay someone's cherished relative who paid that price. The picture I saw caused me to stop and reflect on the families who have lost loved ones and on the lives cut short. I felt it honored the fallen without having to make a statement about the war. The interpretation is up to the viewer.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Apr 04 - 12:52 PM

"The interpretation is up to the viewer."

If we are allowed to view the photographs.

There are actually two instances of photographs being published last week that showed the coffins. The first was a photograph taken by a photographer who is working with a private contractor in Kuwait, I think. The photograph you are probably refering to ranger1, is that one, which was published for the first time on the front page of last Sunday's Seattle Times. The employee who took the photograph was fired for violating the Pentagon rule of not allowing the coffins to be photographed and published.

The other instance was the Pentagon itself released 350 photographs due to a Freedom of Information Act request they couldn't legally deny. Those photographs were released by the Pentagon last week, and were first published on the internet.

The Seattle Times made the editorial decision to publish the photograph because they felt an important story could be told by doing so. It just so happens the message of that story is also what most would consider a story with a patriotic angle to it. They felt that most people, including the families and loved ones of fallen soldiers, would be deeply moved by the reverence with which the bodies were cared for on their journey home.

Only a sick, right wing political opportunist could twist that into "the leftie liberals are using these photos as anti-war propaganda" sort of thing.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Janie
Date: 25 Apr 04 - 04:11 PM

I think your right, dianavan. Here's the link to the new thread.
http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=69170&messages=1

Janie


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Janie
Date: 25 Apr 04 - 04:12 PM

Hummmm..... Oh well. The new thread is titled as dianavan suggested "Reconstruction in Iraq."

Sorry to clutter this thread.

Janie


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: pdq
Date: 25 Apr 04 - 04:31 PM

Dear GUEST (11.12)...I am pdq, I am a he, and also a member...pdc is a she and, at the present time, has GUEST status. You show a great deal of passion in tour arguments. That is a trait which is in short supply among many Americans and most politicians.

I do not believe I have earned the "never respond to" status, if that statement was meant for me.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 25 Apr 04 - 05:03 PM

I believe I should change my monicker, as it is not the first time that someone has confused me with pdq. The "do not respond" was aimed at Strick, however, pdq, and I believe he deserves indeed to be killfiled. His perspective is small, mean and sour.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Apr 04 - 06:00 PM

Flag draped coffins


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: GUEST,peedeecee
Date: 25 Apr 04 - 07:29 PM

Dead soldiers, hell. How did we come to THIS??

Four children shot dead in Iraq: witnesses

Four schoolchildren have been killed by gunfire in Baghdad, shortly after a roadside bomb ripped through a US military vehicle, witnesses said.

Some witnesses said the children, all aged around 12, were shot dead by US troops WHO HAD OPENED FIRE RANDOMLY after the blast on Canal Street in eastern Baghdad. At least five other people were wounded.

The children had left their nearby school to look at the burning Humvee, the witnesses said.

Children and some passersby were "celebrating" the attack near the vehicle when the deadly shots were fired.

The US military had no immediate word on the incident.

"I saw a child lying on the street with a bullet hole in his neck and another in his side," said a driver who witnessed the incident.

"He had his schoolbag on his back. Some 15 minutes later his relatives came and took his body away."

A nearby hospital confirmed receiving the bodies of four children with gunshot wounds.

---

What are Americans becoming? How do those soldiers live the rest of their lives, after behaving like war criminals? Why the hell are we still hearing rhetoric on bringing peace and democracy to Iraq?


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: artbrooks
Date: 25 Apr 04 - 09:07 PM

Interesting perspective, GUEST 7:29 PM. For a more balanced point of view, here is the news from Al-Jazeera.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Apr 04 - 11:33 PM

Thanks Guest pdc and pdq for pointing out my mistake. Guest pdc is correct in pointing out my remarks about no longer responding, were directed towards Strick.

Guest 7:29, I do share your outrage. I also just started this thread:

US poised to attack Najaf & Falluja

The US and Britain have long since lost the battle for hearts and minds in Iraq, and honestly, I don't think they ever intended to win them. After all, it was Clinton's secretary of state, Madeline Albright, who when confronted with estimated number of child deaths (now estimated to have been at least a quarter of a million children) due to UN sanctions against Iraq in 1996, replied coldly: "The price is worth it."

Madeline Albright also was instrumental in the US refusal to provide any aid whatsoever to Rwanda during the genocide we easily could have stopped, and probably prevented.

So, considering the fact that the Clinton foreign policy was so murderous, just what do you suppose we should expect from Bush/Cheney? Nothing better, that is for sure. They've already killed thousands of Iraqi children since the invasion.

But hey--the US military doesn't count civilian casualties. And why should they? Most Americans could care less how many Iraqi children have died as a result of our wars on Iraq, then and now.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Amos
Date: 26 Apr 04 - 12:01 AM

Namelss:

It is debatable whether those deaths shopuld be laid at the door of UN Sanctions, or at the door of the Hussein power structure.

A


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: dianavan
Date: 26 Apr 04 - 12:14 AM

Not only children in Iraq. Children in Afghanistan, too.

The U.S. never count the children or the women or the elderly.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Apr 04 - 12:19 AM

I don't know where the hell you get that idea Amos. Republicrat propagandists, undoubtedly.

Among authorities who know what they are talking about, there has never been any question that sanctions killed hundreds of thousands of children. The only question was how accurate the numbers were, that came from several studies of those mortality statistics.

The controversy dates from 1995, when researchers with a Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) study in Iraq wrote to The Lancet, the journal of the British Medical Society, asserting that sanctions were responsible for the deaths of 567,000 Iraqi children. In the US, the NY Times picked up the story and declared "Iraq Sanctions Kill Children." CBS followed up with a segment on 60 Minutes that repeated the numbers.

According to The Nation:

"A January 1996 letter to The Lancet found inconsistencies in the mortality figures. A follow-up study in 1996, using the same methodology, found much lower rates of child mortality. In October 1997 the authors of the initial letter wrote again to The Lancet, this time reporting that mortality rates in the follow-up study were "several-fold lower than the estimate for 1995--for unknown reasons." While the initial report of more than 567,000 deaths attracted major news coverage, the subsequent disavowal of those numbers passed unnoticed in the press.

The two most reliable scientific studies on sanctions in Iraq are the 1999 report "Morbidity and Mortality Among Iraqi Children," by Columbia University's Richard Garfield, and "Sanctions and Childhood Mortality in Iraq," a May 2000 article by Mohamed Ali and Iqbal Shah in The Lancet. Garfield, an expert on the public-health impact of sanctions, conducted a comparative analysis of the more than two dozen major studies that have analyzed malnutrition and mortality figures in Iraq during the past decade. He estimated the most likely number of excess deaths among children under five years of age from 1990 through March 1998 to be 227,000. Garfield's analysis showed child mortality rates double those of the previous decade."

But you're right Amos. Even the most recent studies by Garfield, estimate approximately 350,000 child deaths through 2000. And while most of these deaths are associated with sanctions, not all of them can be laid at the door of the UN.

The rest of them are laid on the doorstep of the US, who was responsible for killing thousands more children in the Shrub I administration's ferocious bombing campaign of Iraq during the first Gulf War, destroying the country's infrastructure, and the continuing bombing campaigns of the Clinton administration.

There is no doubt hundreds of thousands of lives might have been spared if Saddam had been more cooperative, and brought sanctions to an end. The oil-for-food program was never intended to be, and did not provide, the needed economic stimulus that alone could end the crisis in Iraq. But it was a bona fide effort by the Security Council to relieve humanitarian suffering. If the government of Iraq had accepted the program when it was first proposed, much of the suffering that occurred in the intervening years could have been avoided.

But I'm guessing all those particulars are cold comfort to the parents who lost children to malnourishment and preventable diseases while we punished Saddam for weapons of mass destruction it turns out he didn't have after all.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Strick
Date: 26 Apr 04 - 12:29 AM

I really don't feel I owe anyone an apology. At least some of the most ardent supporters of releasing these photos do so only because they hope to create a backlash like there was against the Vietnam war. They don't care about the people affected, they only want that result. The perception many of us have is that the anyone-but-Bush-crowd needs as much bad news as possible to have any hope of defeating him and will go out of their way to find it or manufacture it. It is wholely unappealing and only reinforces the polarization of the country. We see these numbers everyday; we know the truth and sadness, the reality of the deaths they represent.

GUEST, since "right wing" is anyone who doesn't automatically adopt the dominant left-of-the-Clintons ideology of this forum, I'm flattered by you comments. After the bizarre way you terminated our exchange on "Why Don't Christians Celebrate Passover" thread, I'm counting on you keeping your promise not to respond in the future.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Amos
Date: 26 Apr 04 - 12:30 AM

I suspect you are leaving out some of the facts, Nameless One. But I don't remember which ones and do not have time to pursue it right now, sorry.

A


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Apr 04 - 12:38 AM

Sanctions killed children because Saddham chose to continue amassing a fortune instead of letting the money to go social services as it was intended.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Strick
Date: 26 Apr 04 - 01:28 AM

"But you're right Amos. Even the most recent studies by Garfield, estimate approximately 350,000 child deaths through 2000. And while most of these deaths are associated with sanctions, not all of them can be laid at the door of the UN."

Amos, using the under 5 mortality numbers UNICEF found in a 1999 survey and birth rates from the CIA fact book, you get numbers that suggest Garfield's estimates are very conservative. The mortality rates for women in childbirth were up dramatically during the same years, too. I'm in shock. I can't comprehend the numbers.

This suggests that sanctions, at least when you're up against someone as insensitive to the suffering of his people as Saddam, are not a useful alternative to war. Their main victims are the innocent, those least able to defend themselves. These children died while Saddam got fatter and built more palaces. So much for resolving our differences with peaceful means.

I'm sick with grief over this. I take back what I said. I realize most people here are only following their conscience in regard to the photos. I do think some people are only in it for political gain, many of the loudest voices do want us to think things are as bad as possible to make them, but I don't believe, I never believed any of you were that way. I still don't believe these photos should be made public without the permission of the families, but I apologize for the way I said the things I said.

Now I can only hope the Iraqis get the finest prosecuting attorney available for Saddam. Most of you won't agree, but I put all these deaths at his door.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: dianavan
Date: 26 Apr 04 - 02:07 AM

Actually Strick, I blame Saddam for the mortality rate due to sanctions. It makes me sick, too.

I also blame Bush for invading Afghanistan in pusuit of a band of thugs and for lying about the weapons of mass destruction and for invading Iraq without U.N. support. He is to blame for all the deaths due to war.

I don't have any answers, Strick. I just wish that the politicians who are paid to do the job, would use a little more diplomacy.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Strick
Date: 26 Apr 04 - 02:15 AM

dianavan, but the people imposing sanctions were doing their diplomatic best. The theory was that sanctions were better than war and would achieve the same results. It's clear that wasn't true.

I don't mean to be argumentative this time, but I have a hard time understanding what you said about Afghanistan just now. You'll see my post in another thread you're active in. I won't ever forget what I saw happening in that soccer field any more than I'll be able to forget the real result sanctions achieved in Iraq. It seems obvious that I come to a different conclusion about the least of all these evils.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Apr 04 - 08:06 AM

To clarify this again, the sanctions were put on Iraq after we had bombed the country back into the stone age, and then didn't provide any aid to rebuild. No matter how much money the oil for food program poured into the country, those children weren't dying just because Saddam had his fingers in the cookie jar. They were dying because there was never any post-war effort to help Iraq rebuild.

As my excerpt from an excellent article about the sanctions states clearly, we can't possibly put all the blame on Saddam, as after the Iraq war, he and Iraq were broke, and the country's infrastructure was in shambles. Because Shrub I and Clinton never requested funds for the rebuilding of Iraq, but left the sanctions in place and the country in a shambles, the child mortality rate skyrocketed. Money was given in the oil for food program for the most cynical of reasons don't forget. We gave them a little food, withheld medicines and health care, and they gave us their oil.

In other words, the Shrub I & II administrations, along with the Clinton administration, used the same "sell or starve" tactics with the Iraqis that 19th century American presidents used with our country's Native American population, to bring them onto the reservations, and conquer them once and for all. Bring 'em to the fort, give 'em just enough food to keep them alive until winter, when you give them blankets, and then ignore them while they starve AND freeze to death. Then you burn down the disease and pest infested "housing" you put them in, and open up Indian country for settlement by Eur-Ams and American business.

Some things never change. Sure, you all can do what will assuage the guilty consciences of Europe, the US, and the Arab world, and blame Saddam for all those deaths. But the Iraqis know better.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Peter T.
Date: 26 Apr 04 - 09:51 AM

Thanks for the reference to the Lancet article, Guest, I had often wondered where the "cutback" on the original numbers came from.

I think one of the big problems in this whole situation was the misperception that Iraq was a rural country, when something like 70% of the country is urban, and had (at least until the end of the Iran-Iraq war in the 80's) a Baathist regime with socialist aims -- something like Cuba, though of course more vicious. If you destroy infrastructure in urban societies, the mortality rates skyrocket -- just as they would if we had a blackout for two or three weeks across North America. Urban areas are so fragile when the basic services collapse. I think the Americans learned that the second time around, which is why the damage last year was relatively minimal, but the first time around was a disaster.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Strick
Date: 26 Apr 04 - 09:56 AM

Sanctions were issued in 1990 after Iraq invaded Kuwait. The US felt that sanctions would not be effective quickly enough and can hardly be blamed for imposing them in the first place. Yes, Iraq suffered the consequences of war in 1991. You think that Saddam was perfectly innocent and had nothing to do with any of that?

As you point out, Saddam alone had control over when the sanctions were lifted. All he had to do with comply with UN resolutions. You expect any nation to pay for rebuilding a country that doesn't comply with the provisions of a ceasefire or UN resolutions like this?

As you point out, Saddam refused to take advantage of it. When he did accept a food-for-oil program 5 years later, he skimmed proceeds from the humanitarian aid for his own purposes. You know that the countries participating in the food-for-oil program were alleged to be involved in corruption, too. US News and World Reports estimates at least $10 billion went into the corruption, not the Iraqi people who needed it.

The vast majority of the oil from this program went to well connected companies in France and Russia. Saddam controlled its distribution and not much if any of it made it to the US. Iraq never gave "us" their oil at all. It went to Saddam's closest friends and allies whose greed matched his.

The common element in all these events, the one person who had the opportunity prevent them or ease their impact. You sound as if you want to absolve the murder because his actions prompted harsh responses even though he could have avoided them.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Strick
Date: 26 Apr 04 - 10:05 AM

Now I'm curious what the impact of UN sanctions was on the other 13 countries that received them:

Afghanistan
Angola
Eritrea and Ethiopia
Haiti
Liberia
Libya
Rwanda
Sierra Leone
Somalia
South Africa
Southern Rhodesia
Sudan
The former Yugoslavia

Sanctions are after all a form of seige warfare that is inherently aimed at the civilian population whatever anyone says. The military, rich and well connected in any country will get what they need. It's always the poor and powerless that suffer.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Jim McCallan
Date: 26 Apr 04 - 09:19 PM

There was no problem during WWII about pictures of the war dead coming home, being published. Or even about the burial of thousands of them in a foreign country.
If it is a 'just war', the problem should never arise.

Jim


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Teribus
Date: 27 Apr 04 - 11:53 AM

GUEST 26 Apr 04 - 12:19 AM

"sanctions were responsible for the deaths of 567,000 Iraqi children."

Utter crap Guest, those figures were based on very shakey projections, not on any study, not on any facts - so read the findings of the WHO.

Other factors that were not taken into account:
- The draining of the Southern Marshes
- What Saddam could not drain he poisoned
- Physical displacement of up to 900,000 Marsh Arabs by Saddam
- Saddam's punitive attacks against the Southern Shia population in the wake of "Desert Storm"

All the above I suggest would have a negative effect on childbirth statistics for the region.

Over the same period I take it that you will attribute the growth in the population of Iraq from 18.1 million to just over 23.3 million to US actions and UN sanctions?

"we can't possibly put all the blame on Saddam, as after the Iraq war, he and Iraq were broke, and the country's infrastructure was in shambles."

But he found the where-with-all to build, what was it? Seventeen Presidential Palaces, and purchase, what was it? 384 rocket engines for his missile programme - no mean feat under the rigorous sanction regime in place at the time - Eh?


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 27 Apr 04 - 12:27 PM

if Bush supporters dont mind BUsh ads showing flag covered caskets being hauled out of the wtc site - purely for political purposes - then have no problem with banning the media from showing same images of caskets of dead soldiers from Iraq - they are not just being hypocritical. That's already a given. They are in favor of suppressing the truth and sanitizing the war.

Because were not talking about some Democratic ads showing coffins
were talking about them being shown at all to the American public.

Leno was right, Iraq needs a new constitution, they can have ours- we're not using it right now anyway.

even in the 91 gulf war - when media access was tightly restricted
some general said - 'hey you guys lost us the war in vietnam'


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Chief Chaos
Date: 27 Apr 04 - 04:24 PM

There is a price to be paid for war.
It is above and beyond the cost of materials and weaponry.
It is far beyond the sacrifices endured by the many so that the few can have what they need to continue the fight.
It is not expressed in dollars and cents but in the flag draped coffins of loved ones lost.
The balance is in weighing the outcome against this cost and determining if this cost is too high.
This is what the pres. is afraid of. No-one, Democrat, Libertarian, or Independant need make any commercial for "political" gain.
The Pres. is responsible for the war. The buck stops there on his desk. Each flag draped coffin is a check to his power that he is not prepared nor willing to pay. And so it remains a hidden cost. Displayed only with a photo of the lost one, proudly in uniform or smiling at the camera. Remembered the way that some would like us to remember them in life, rather than in death for the latter is a much more compelling image.
We have to decide. all of America has to decide if the cost of bringing democracy to Iraq is worth it.
And I have not heard from any family complaining that they were upset about the photos being shown.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 27 Apr 04 - 04:37 PM

And if you want images of the wounded - pick up any copy of the VFW magazine over the past six months. Lots of pictures of men with their arms and legs missing.

Part of the cost we ALL bear. The President represents the people. And what he/she does happens in our name. I think that the apathetic public is more responsible than anyone else. Barely a fourth vote, less than that actually have a clue about the options or the candidates real position on the issues.

So I reckon I'm with Chief - "We have to decide. All of America has to decide if the cost of bringing democracy to Iraq is worth it." I think it is.

But then again I'm just a whiney old Veteran.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Greg F.
Date: 27 Apr 04 - 08:16 PM

"Bring democracy to Iraq?" Complete and utter Bullshit.

This is about justifying a U.S. military presence and intervention anywhere in the world where, in the opinion of the U.S. political classes (i.e. the rich), the indigenous population lack the self-discipline or restraint to conduct themselves
according to the mores of the good old United States of America.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Strick
Date: 27 Apr 04 - 08:23 PM

"...where, ... the indigenous population lack the self-discipline or restraint to conduct themselves"

Funny, this makes me think of how some people with a particular perspective talk about fans in the NASCAR thread. :D


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: dianavan
Date: 27 Apr 04 - 08:31 PM

Steve - Look at whats happened to the voting population in the States - you said it yourself - apathy. What makes you think Iraq will be able to maintain a democracy? They do not have the experience or the education. I'm not sure if they even have the will. Why do you think we can impose a political structure on another country?


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: flattop
Date: 27 Apr 04 - 09:10 PM

No one wants to look to closely when wars aren't going hunky-dory. No normal human would want to look.

Either Albert Speer's surprisingly readable book, Inside the Third Reich, or the Decline of the Third Reich book talked about Hitler having dinner in a train car when another train full of wounded soldiers pulled up beside him. As they stared, Hitler stood up and closed the curtain.

We wouldn't want to put Bush off his dinner, would we?


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Amos
Date: 27 Apr 04 - 09:17 PM

Dianavan's point is well taken. It is true that democracy is something all people are inherently capable of in theory, there's no assurance that any given group of people will know how to handfle it whne given one they did not invent for themselves.

A


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Apr 04 - 09:46 PM

Here is site with photos and descriptions of the fallen American soldiers.


Faces Of Valor


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Metchosin
Date: 27 Apr 04 - 11:33 PM

"What makes you think Iraq will be able to maintain a democracy? They do not have the experience or the education."

Dianavan, I beg to differ with you, Iraq may not have had experience with democracy, as we like to believe it should be, but the Iraqi people were hardly without education and training,

"At the beginning of the 1980s Iraq had one of the best education systems in the Arab world. Gross Enrollment Rate for primary schooling was around 100%. The Higher Education, especially the scientific and technological institutions were of international standard, staffed by high quality personnel. " UN information


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Greg F.
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 08:02 AM

Not exactly- the fans referred to in the NASCAR threa, behaving like mindless assholes exemplify those "mores of the good old United States of America".

More's the pity.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Strick
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 11:00 AM

"Not exactly- the fans referred to in the NASCAR threa, behaving like mindless assholes exemplify those 'mores of the good old United States of America'."

Thank goodness there's no class division in the US. Guess this falls under liberal elitism, then. Perhaps if the right (left?) candidate tells them how they should behave, they will have see the light and vote the right (left?) way. People always respond well to being treated like ignorant slobs by people who don't understand or respect them. Yep, that's the way to win the South back. :D


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 12:07 PM

dianavan - I don't know about what people are capable of. I just know that I need to have faith and hope that the people will make the government into their own. It may not be exactly like ours, it may not be anything remotely close, but I believe that what they ahd was worse than anything we have (or ever had).

A lot of people have come to this country for the opportunities. The least we can do for those folks is offer them an opportunity. We did that for Japan, Germany, and dozens of others over the years and they seem to have made it work for them.

So if the past is any indicator - well I believe that the future is also possible. Railing against that possibility is quitting in my opinion. We are there, can not change that, so why not do what we can to give the country a shot at it?

And having family and friends in Iraq I struggle with the "innocent civilians" being the ones killed. Not true. Simply a blatant lie by some to sway an opinion of others. Many of the people killed over there are extremist Muslims from other countries that have come to stop any change in their fundamentalist view of how the country ought to be run.

And I'm not of the opinion that civilians have not been killed. That's occurred in every conflict since history. I do believe that the majority of our military are doing their level best, as they always have, to avoid those deaths. I think we need to remember that the people fighting over there, on both sides for the most part, are fighting for what they believe and taking the best care to not involve "civilians" or non-military in the actions.

The terrorists don't care who they kill - they are indiscriminate murderers and should be killed for what they are doing.

Just my .01 worth

Steve


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Amos
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 12:16 PM

We are there, can not change that, so why not do what we can to give the country a shot at it?


That is the only redeeming aspect of the whole mess, Steve, and well said. I am sadly doubtful that this perspective will escape the miserable politicization of our spinmeisters and string pullers. I mean, the system they evolve in Iraq has to meet our criteria or it won't be an acceptable system. But I can cross my fingers and pray.

A


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Chief Chaos
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 01:10 PM

Our criteria is what makes it so unlikely that it will succeed.
The Iraqi people need to determine what kind of gov't they will have because they sure as hell don't trust us to do it for them. And isn't that what democracy is about? Deciding for themselves?
We won't accept a Shi'ite state based on Shariah law, we won't accept a gov't formed by the other muslim sects based on their ideological view of shariah either. The funny thing is that although Saddam was a tyrant, mass murderer and all around evil dude, his secular gov't was probably the closest those folks have ever come to a "democracy". Without his secular gov't they are likely to start more inter-religeous warfare as they stake their claim to the state.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Greg F.
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 10:06 PM

Perhaps a way to avoid being treated like an ignorant slob would be to stop behaving as an ignorant slob?


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: dianavan
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 12:12 AM

Metchosin - you don't have to beg.

I would, however, appreciate a few more statistics.

A primary education does not necessarily mean you are literate. Nor does training in science and technology mean that you are prepared to make decisions regarding democracy when you have never experienced democracy. How many Iraqis have a liberal arts education? How many have studied history? How many even know the difference between church and state?

So 100% attended primary school 20 years ago. How many of those actually graduated from high school? Perhaps you can provide the percentage of Iraqis who actually achieved a grade eight education. Or maybe the percentage of highly trained in the entire population.

I, too, hope that the Iraqis will be able to make a democracy of their own but ... how long do you expect foreigners to occupy their land in order for this to be possible? ...and do you really think the Bushites will allow this?

We already know that you cannot impose your values on another culture without destroying the culture. Imposing democracy on Iraq is just a nice way of committing cultural genocide.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Metchosin
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 04:04 AM

I'll ignore that, perhaps it wasn't meant to be rude.

Democracy in Iraq? as I once posted before the invasion, probably not a snowball's chance in hell.....but miracles do happen. Formal education necessary in order to understand the principles of the system? Tell that to George Washington and Benjamin Franklin.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: dianavan
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 04:39 AM

but then again, it was not another country imposing democracy on either George Washington or Benjamin Franklin.


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