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Rajiv
02-06-08, 05:09 PM
U.S. Troops Asked If They Would Shoot American Citizens (http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/february2008/020408_shoot_americans.htm)


raq vet exposes how he was trained to round up Americans in martial law exercise, asked if he would kill his own friends and family

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
Monday, February 4th, 2008

U.S. troops are being trained to conduct round-ups, confiscate guns and shoot American citizens, including their own friends and family members, as part of a long-standing program to prepare for the declaration of martial law, according to a soldier who recently returned from Iraq.

We received an e mail from "Scott", a member of a pipefitters union that runs an apprenticeship program called Helmets To Hard Hats, which according to its website, "Is a national program that connects National Guard, Reserve and transitioning active-duty military members with quality career training and employment opportunities within the construction industry."

Scott writes that his company hired a soldier who had recently returned from Iraq, who told him that U.S. troops were being quizzed on whether or not they would be prepared to shoot their own friends and family members during a national state of emergency in America.

"I have become very close to this young man and have gained his respect and trust," writes Scott. "I want you to know that he informed me about one particular training exercise his superiors made them perform. It was concerning the rounding up of American citizens that disobey any type of martial law or in other words any type of infringement on our freedoms."

"He was asked if he could shoot his friends or family members if ordered to do so. At the time he said he could," writes Scott.

Scott says that the soldier later "had time to clear his head" and realize the truth, recanting his vow to kill his own countrymen if ordered to do so.

The issue of whether U.S. troops would be prepared to round-up, disarm and if necessary shoot Americans who disobeyed orders during a state of martial law is a question that military chiefs have been attempting to answer for at least 15 years.

Its known origins can be traced back to an October 1994 Marine questionnaire out of the Twentynine Palms Marine Base in California. Recruits were asked 46 questions, including whether they would kill U.S. citizens who refused to surrender their firearms.

Documentary film maker Alex Jones brought to light similar training programs that were taking place across the country in the late 90's which revolved around U.S. Marines being trained to arrest American citizens and take them to internment camps.

During one such program in Oakland California, dubbed "Operation Urban Warrior," Marines refused to answer if they would target American citizens for gun confiscation if ordered to do so.

FRED
02-06-08, 06:38 PM
U.S. Troops Asked If They Would Shoot American Citizens (http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/february2008/020408_shoot_americans.htm)

Ah, Prison Planet. That bastion of credible and sane journalism.

GRG55
02-06-08, 09:44 PM
Ah, Prison Planet. That bastion of credible and sane journalism.

I am not familiar with and don't read that particular site FRED, but even though I am not a US citizen (and therefore it could be argued these things shouldn't matter to me), I am old enough to remember Kent State. :(

Rajiv
02-06-08, 11:07 PM
I think Fred or Freds should read some of Col. David Grossman's work On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society. (http://www.killology.com/books.htm)


Perhaps some of his articles would serve to enlighten

"Teaching Kids to Kill." (http://www.killology.com/article_teachkid.htm)

"Trained to Kill: Are We Conditioning Our Children to Commit Murder?" (http://www.killology.com/article_trainedtokill.htm)

"On Killing II: The psychological cost of learning to kill." (http://www.killology.com/article_onkilling.htm)

Trained To Kill (http://www.antipas.org/magazine/articles/trained_to_kill.html)


Throughout human history, when humans fight each other, there is a lot of posturing. Adversaries make loud noises and puff themselves up, trying to daunt the enemy. There is a lot of fleeing and submission. Ancient battles were nothing more than great shoving matches. It was not until one side turned and ran that most of the killing happened, and most of that was stabbing people in the back. All of the ancient military historians report that the vast majority of killing happened in pursuit when one side was fleeing.

In more modern times, the average firing rate was incredibly low in Civil War battles. Patty Griffith demonstrates that the killing potential of the average Civil War regiment was anywhere from five hundred to a thousand men per minute. The actual killing rate was only one or two men per minute per regiment (The Battle Tactics of the American Civil War). At the Battle of Gettysburg, of the 27,000 muskets picked up from the dead and dying after the battle, 90 percent were loaded. This is an anomaly, because it took 95 percent of their time to load muskets and only 5 percent to fire. But even more amazingly, of the thousands of loaded muskets, over half had multiple loads in the barrel--one with 23 loads in the barrel.

In reality, the average man would load his musket and bring it to his shoulder, but he could not bring himself to kill. He would be brave, he would stand shoulder to shoulder, he would do what he was trained to do; but at the moment of truth, he could not bring himself to pull the trigger. And so he lowered the weapon and loaded it again. Of those who did fire, only a tiny percentage fired to hit. The vast majority fired over the enemy's head.

During World War II, U.S. Army Brig. Gen. S. L. A. Marshall had a team of researchers study what soldiers did in battle. For the first time in history, they asked individual soldiers what they did in battle. They discovered that only 15 to 20 percent of the individual riflemen could bring themselves to fire at an exposed enemy soldier.

That is the reality of the battlefield. Only a small percentage of soldiers are able and willing to participate. Men are willing to die, they are willing to sacrifice themselves for their nation; but they are not willing to kill. It is a phenomenal insight into human nature; but when the military became aware of that, they systematically went about the process of trying to fix this "problem." From the military perspective, a 15 percent firing rate among riflemen is like a 15 percent literacy rate among librarians. And fix it the military did. By the Korean War, around 55 percent of the soldiers were willing to fire to kill. And by Vietnam, the rate rose to over 90 percent.

The methods in this madness: Desensitization

How the military increases the killing rate of soldiers in combat is instructive, because our culture today is doing the same thing to our children. The training methods militaries use are brutalization, classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and role modeling. I will explain these in the military context and show how these same factors are contributing to the phenomenal increase of violence in our culture.

Brutalization and desensitization are what happens at boot camp. From the moment you step off the bus you are physically and verbally abused: countless pushups, endless hours at attention or running with heavy loads, while carefully trained professionals take turns screaming at you. Your head is shaved, you are herded together naked and dressed alike, losing all individuality. This brutalization is designed to break down your existing mores and norms and to accept a new set of values that embrace destruction, violence, and death as a way of life. In the end, you are desensitized to violence and accept it as a normal and essential survival skill in your brutal new world.

Something very similar to this desensitization toward violence is happening to our children through violence in the media--but instead of 18-year-olds, it begins at the age of 18 months when a child is first able to discern what is happening on television. At that age, a child can watch something happening on television and mimic that action. But it isn't until children are six or seven years old that the part of the brain kicks in that lets them understand where information comes from. Even though young children have some understanding of what it means to pretend, they are developmentally unable to distinguish clearly between fantasy and reality.

When young children see somebody shot, stabbed, raped, brutalized, degraded, or murdered on TV, to them it is as though it were actually happening. To have a child of three, four, or five watch a "splatter" movie, learning to relate to a character for the first 90 minutes and then in the last 30 minutes watch helplessly as that new friend is hunted and brutally murdered is the moral and psychological equivalent of introducing your child to a friend, letting her play with that friend, and then butchering that friend in front of your child's eyes. And this happens to our children hundreds upon hundreds of times.

Sure, they are told: "Hey, it's all for fun. Look, this isn't real, it's just TV." And they nod their little heads and say okay. But they can't tell the difference. Can you remember a point in your life or in your children's lives when dreams, reality, and television were all jumbled together? That's what it is like to be at that level of psychological development. That's what the media are doing to them.

The Journal of the American Medical Association published the definitive epidemiological study on the impact of TV violence. The research demonstrated what happened in numerous nations after television made its appearance as compared to nations and regions without TV. The two nations or regions being compared are demographically and ethnically identical; only one variable is different: the presence of television. In every nation, region, or city with television, there is an immediate explosion of violence on the playground, and within 15 years there is a doubling of the murder rate. Why 15 years? That is how long it takes for the brutalization of a three- to five-year-old to reach the "prime crime age." That is how long it takes for you to reap what you have sown when you brutalize and desensitize a three-year-old.

Today the data linking violence in the media to violence in society are superior to those linking cancer and tobacco. Hundreds of sound scientific studies demonstrate the social impact of brutalization by the media. The Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that "the introduction of television in the 1950's caused a subsequent doubling of the homicide rate, i.e., long-term childhood exposure to television is a causal factor behind approximately one half of the homicides committed in the United States, or approximately 10,000 homicides annually." The article went on to say that ". . . if, hypothetically, television technology had never been developed, there would today be 10,000 fewer homicides each year in the United States, 70,000 fewer rapes, and 700,000 fewer injurious assaults" (June 10, 1992).

Classical conditioning

Classical conditioning is like the famous case of Pavlov's dogs you learned about in Psychology 101: The dogs learned to associate the ringing of the bell with food, and, once conditioned, the dogs could not hear the bell without salivating.

The Japanese were masters at using classical conditioning with their soldiers. Early in World War II, Chinese prisoners were placed in a ditch on their knees with their hands bound behind them. And one by one, a select few Japanese soldiers would go into the ditch and bayonet "their" prisoner to death. This is a horrific way to kill another human being. Up on the bank, countless other young soldiers would cheer them on in their violence. Comparatively few soldiers actually killed in these situations, but by making the others watch and cheer, the Japanese were able to use these kinds of atrocities to classically condition a very large audience to associate pleasure with human death and suffering. Immediately afterwards, the soldiers who had been spectators were treated to sake, the best meal they had had in months, and to so-called comfort girls. The result? They learned to associate committing violent acts with pleasure.

The Japanese found these kinds of techniques to be extraordinarily effective at quickly enabling very large numbers of soldiers to commit atrocities in the years to come. Operant conditioning (which we will look at shortly) teaches you to kill, but classical conditioning is a subtle but powerful mechanism that teaches you to like it.

This technique is so morally reprehensible that there are very few examples of it in modern U.S. military training; but there are some clear-cut examples of it being done by the media to our children. What is happening to our children is the reverse of the aversion therapy portrayed in the movie A Clockwork Orange. In A Clockwork Orange, a brutal sociopath, a mass murderer, is strapped to a chair and forced to watch violent movies while he is injected with a drug that nauseates him. So he sits and gags and retches as he watches the movies. After hundreds of repetitions of this, he associates violence with nausea, and it limits his ability to be violent.

We are doing the exact opposite: Our children watch vivid pictures of human suffering and death, and they learn to associate it with their favorite soft drink and candy bar, or their girlfriend's perfume.

After the Jonesboro shootings, one of the high-school teachers told me how her students reacted when she told them about the shootings at the middle school. "They laughed," she told me with dismay. A similar reaction happens all the time in movie theaters when there is bloody violence. The young people laugh and cheer and keep right on eating popcorn and drinking pop. We have raised a generation of barbarians who have learned to associate violence with pleasure, like the Romans cheering and snacking as the Christians were slaughtered in the Colosseum.

The result is a phenomenon that functions much like AIDS, which I call AVIDS--Acquired Violence Immune Deficiency Syndrome. AIDS has never killed anybody. It destroys your immune system, and then other diseases that shouldn't kill you become fatal. Television violence by itself does not kill you. It destroys your violence immune system and conditions you to derive pleasure from violence. And once you are at close range with another human being, and it's time for you to pull that trigger, Acquired Violence Immune Deficiency Syndrome can destroy your midbrain resistance.

Operant conditioning

The third method the military uses is operant conditioning, a very powerful procedure of stimulus-response, stimulus-response. A benign example is the use of flight simulators to train pilots. An airline pilot in training sits in front of a flight simulator for endless hours; when a particular warning light goes on, he is taught to react in a certain way. When another warning light goes on, a different reaction is required. Stimulus-response, stimulus-response, stimulus-response. One day the pilot is actually flying a jumbo jet; the plane is going down, and 300 people are screaming behind him. He is wetting his seat cushion, and he is scared out of his wits; but he does the right thing. Why? Because he has been conditioned to respond reflexively to this particular crisis.

When people are frightened or angry, they will do what they have been conditioned to do. In fire drills, children learn to file out of the school in orderly fashion. One day there is a real fire, and they are frightened out of their wits; but they do exactly what they have been conditioned to do, and it saves their lives.

The military and law enforcement community have made killing a conditioned response. This has substantially raised the firing rate on the modern battlefield. Whereas infantry training in World War II used bull's-eye targets, now soldiers learn to fire at realistic, man-shaped silhouettes that pop into their field of view. That is the stimulus. The trainees have only a split second to engage the target. The conditioned response is to shoot the target, and then it drops. Stimulus-response, stimulus-response, stimulus-response--soldiers or police officers experience hundreds of repetitions. Later, when soldiers are on the battlefield or a police officer is walking a beat and somebody pops up with a gun, they will shoot reflexively and shoot to kill. We know that 75 to 80 percent of the shooting on the modern battlefield is the result of this kind of stimulus-response training.

Now, if you're a little troubled by that, how much more should we be troubled by the fact that every time a child plays an interactive point-and-shoot video game, he is learning the exact same conditioned reflex and motor skills.

I was an expert witness in a murder case in South Carolina offering mitigation for a kid who was facing the death penalty. I tried to explain to the jury that interactive video games had conditioned him to shoot a gun to kill. He had spent hundreds of dollars on video games learning to point and shoot, point and shoot. One day he and his buddy decided it would be fun to rob the local convenience store. They walked in, and he pointed a snub-nosed .38 pistol at the clerk's head. The clerk turned to look at him, and the defendant shot reflexively from about six feet. The bullet hit the clerk right between the eyes--which is a pretty remarkable shot with that weapon at that range--and killed this father of two. Afterward, we asked the boy what happened and why he did it. It clearly was not part of the plan to kill the guy--it was being videotaped from six different directions. He said, "I don't know. It was a mistake. It wasn't supposed to happen."

In the military and law-enforcement worlds, the right option is often not to shoot. But you never, never put your quarter in that video machine with the intention of not shooting. There is always some stimulus that sets you off. And when he was excited, and his heart rate went up, and vasoconstriction closed his forebrain down, this young man did exactly what he was conditioned to do: he reflexively pulled the trigger, shooting accurately just like all those times he played video games.

This process is extraordinarily powerful and frightening. The result is ever more homemade pseudosociopaths who kill reflexively and show no remorse. Our children are learning to kill and learning to like it; and then we have the audacity to say, "Oh my goodness, what's wrong?"

Contemptuous
02-07-08, 02:25 AM
Rajiv -

I think that's an excellent post. I have also seen instances of kids acting shockingly indifferent to the misery of the destitute (and one suspects equally so the spectre of death).

A few years ago here in San Diego, on a day trip down to Tijuana, I saw some 18 year old American GI's on a drunken binge with their girlfriends - "slumming it" down in TJ. They were grouped around a girl, about the same age, seemed just barely into her teens, with what looked like a 2 year old tot, who was crawling around on all fours, shoeless and barely clothed, on the filthy sidewalk peeling a scrap of bread off the pavement. The girl was begging, clothed in shocking rags, and looked in bad shape.

These american teenagers were out of uniform but obviously from Camp Pendleton, and were openly sniggering at the two year old crawling in the filth. I totally lost my cool. I called them the worst American slime I had come across in 20 years, and told them they were a flaming embarassment to our country. These kids stood around, drunk, and smirking to impress their equally vapid teen girlfriends, and did not understand a thing.

The image of that scene is etched into my memory in complete detail and has somehow never faded.

But here's the thing Rajiv. In order to be truly universal in your disgust for such traits, you have to truly, actively condemn them everywhere - not just here in the US. Please keep in mind that children are being indoctrinated to kill in many different parts of the world - some much more overtly than here in North America. Here is another instance, and it's arguably even worse.

I don't know how to embed video here - could you please embed this video - as the posted link will expire in a few days probably?

Web page here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7231829.stm

Live link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/check/player/nol/newsid_7230000/newsid_7231700?redirect=7231788.stm&news=1&bbram=1&nbwm=1&nbram=1&bbwm=1&asb=1

Rajiv
02-07-08, 09:08 AM
But here's the thing Rajiv. In order to be truly universal in your disgust for such traits, you have to truly, actively condemn them everywhere - not just here in the US. Please keep in mind that children are being indoctrinated to kill in many different parts of the world - some much more overtly than here in North America. Here is another instance, and it's arguably even worse.


Lukester I toatally agree with you here. To me the US is important -- because I live here, and care immensely for the people who are my fellow travellers here. I am embedding the video you linked to.

mms://a678.v422983.c42298.g.vm.akamaistream.net/7/678/42298/1.0/clipdownloads.bbc.co.uk/windowsmedia-acl/news/media_acl/mps/fix/news/world/video/102000/bb/102540_16x9_bb.wmv

santafe2
02-07-08, 07:00 PM
Ah, Prison Planet. That bastion of credible and sane journalism.

Thank you. Alex Jones and Prison Planet have never met a rumor or a well turned conspiracy tale they didn't take for hard science. As with this story, the anecdotal re-telling of a campfire story is standard fare.

sigalarm
02-07-08, 08:31 PM
I read this site when I can, and have normally thought it to be quite insightful and well informed. This thread has me wondering at the moment.

First off, the prison planet kooks concoct their fabrications up to out do each other half the time. Second of all, as a member of the US military, I can tell you right now that I have never participated in such training, nor has anyone I can round up and talk to at the moment. It is a complete load of BS.

This kind of garbage tends to come from people who have not served in the military, or have not been around the military enough to know that they are far more loyal to the people of the US than they are to the government.

The Marines I have served with would rather kill themselves than intentionally harm anyone on US soil.

ASH
02-07-08, 08:56 PM
I served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve from June 2003 to June 2007; presently I am a Corporal in the Individual Ready Reserve (which just means my name is on a list to call up if World War III breaks out).

I'm rather disappointed to see this post on iTulip. It belongs in the far fringe of paranoid conspiracy. iTulip is a place for sober analysis. In case it needs to be said, the Marines -- and the US military in general -- are people just like you, with spouses and families and friends. They treasure American liberties just as much as you do, and have the same familiar motivations. They are not extras in a X-files episode; they would not blindly allow themselves to be used to destroy constitutional government in America for the simple reason that they treasure the same things about America that you do.

I have read Grossman's book with pleasure. Actually, I read it before I went to boot camp, and I recognized many of the techniques from social psychology that Grossman writes of. I believe that Grossman establishes that different levels of empathy are appropriate for peaceful existence in civil society versus military combat operations. In short, it is necessary to reduce the empathy of combat infantrymen to their enemy if they are to emotionally survive killing the enemy. To the degree that this is accomplished with specificity (i.e. no empathy for someone who is presently shooting at you) and on a temporary basis, it is probably a good thing if it enables you to kill without emotional damage. Unfortunately, our training techniques are unequal to a task of that specificity, and our brains are seldom capable of such fine distinctions. The training is a problem, because it can encourage a general lack of empathy for non-Americans. Our inability to make fine emotional distinctions is a particular problem in guerilla warfare, because when American soldiers can't distinguish between insurgents and civilians, they come to lack empathy for all the inhabitants of a foreign country. The circumstances are less than ideal.

As for the sad spectacle that Lukester describes, I can only remark that understanding something is different from condoning it, and that the combination of youth, alcohol, macho posturing, and the occupational necessity of reduced empathy are sufficient to explain it. That said, I have known a lot of young Marines, and college is recent enough that I can still remember what drunk undergrad men are like, and make a comparison. I submit to you that the ugly behavior you witnessed is primarily a product of alcohol, youth, and testosterone -- and less to do with the military.


Respectfully,
Andrew Huntington

Contemptuous
02-07-08, 09:49 PM
Andrew, and Sigalarm -

I don't know how long you've been reading around on this website, but if you've been around here six months or more you'll know that as far as US military is concerned, and the ethics of the average Marine or Armed Forces person is concerned, I've been a consistent proponent that a very large part of the mud that one reads slung at them is unwarranted.

I won't go into it, but it's part of very many of my posts to do with the US, with Geo-politics, and with the wars of recent years. My posts are in fact considered by many here to err too far on the side of such sympathies, specifically with regard to my view that the corrosion of democracy in the US is yet as dire as many here have tried to educate me to better understand.

I take this opportunity to extend my respect to the many very decent and scrupulous Americans who serve or have served. And I'll go further, I would observe to you, that this is a very unfashionable topic on these pages, where widespread condemnation of the US involvement in the entire ME theatre has evidenced an inability to distinguish between compromised decisions at the highest levels in Washington, and the overwhelmingly scrupulous carrying out of those decisions by the professional military. To be quite clear - I have for a long time been a proponent of the view that these issue have a great deal more complexity than can allow for a simple blanket condemnation.

Morality and conversely immorality have many faces. For instance morality was a sorry-ass creature in the ten year long embargo of Saddam - while the UN turned a blind eye to the most widespread corruption and bribe mongering among many western nations for lucrative deals with him, at the expense of the entire people in that country carved up by critical no-fly zones like a pizza. You won't find more than a handful of people who will frankly acknowledge that western complacency during this ten year period at the plight of Iraqis was 'immoral'. So defining morality is a quagmire.

The really thorny issues regarding ethics and scruple are at the interface between the very highest ranks of the military, where it must co-habit and devise coherent strategy with the intelligence services and the White House. This is where arguably their collective efforts have so markedly failed to provide clear and wise intelligence to the administration - actually allow me to correct that - perhaps we may observe the administration received all this (admittedly shoddy data) and systematically further blew what could have been a far wiser synthesis of the possible consequent moves. Many other administrations would have been a good deal more cautious in their ventures - and there is no doubt about that.

So it should be said even here, the Armed Forces were predominantly urging caution (under Powell's and the Joint Chief's more prudent influence) and it was the Secretaries of Executive Branch (Sec-Def!) who were making the more rash or over-ambitious decisions. This should be noted clearly.

I will go further in reference to our context in this community: despite the considerable scruple and very hard work which the Armed Forces have expended to stabilize Iraq, and the very large degree of popular press misunderstanding of the depth and integrity of that effort, be aware that there are many people on this website who make little distinction between compromised decisions at the highest levels of government, and the overwhelmingly scrupulous efforts of a large majority of servicemen.

For many people here, all the above are lumped together in an attribute of collective folly and unscrupulousness, for having ventured into these recent conflicts in the Middle East.

I am not one of those for whom such distinctions were ever lost, or obscured. My excoriation of those young servicemen who were sniggering about a homeless girl with an infant on a street in Tijuana, was in fact fully informed by the knowledge that such behavior contradicts the best traditions of the services. So please don't look at me with disgust for my comments here.

Here is one thread where a lot of the implications of a US careening away from Democracy were hashed out, and I spelled out a lot of views regarding the extreme complexity behind US involvement in various international situations, and the domestic US reaction to those complexities. Be advised, that as far as I could tell, these views were not popular around this website.

http://www.itulip.com/forums/showthread.php?p=20839#poststop

Having said all of this, I must also say that although sometimes Rajiv's selection of certain articles runs contrary to my own views, he is one of the smartest people on this website, and his views are absolutely not to be cartooned or stereotyped. This guy is all over the map on myriad issues.

We have a very broad spectrum of political views on these pages. I'm actually more conservative than a lot of people here, but I cut right across the spectrum in the other direction on a variety of issues. I refuse to be put in a shoebox in that regard. Rajiv may appear much more on the liberal side, but even though I come from a quite different direction, I've learned he's got a tremendous amount to offer, and a great deal of sophistication beyond these narrow issues, and the cited source here you repudiate so clearly.

santafe2
02-07-08, 11:53 PM
I'm rather disappointed to see this post on iTulip. It belongs in the far fringe of paranoid conspiracy. iTulip is a place for sober analysis. In case it needs to be said, the Marines -- and the US military in general -- are people just like you, with spouses and families and friends.

Ash - Thanks for taking the time to put this out to the iTulip community. I've also served in the armed forces know exactly what you mean. I was also disappointed that something like this was posted here from a source I know to be highly suspect. That anyone who has agreed to lay their life on the line has to defend themselves from this sort of hearsay is shameful.

metalman
02-08-08, 01:06 AM
Ash - Thanks for taking the time to put this out to the iTulip community. I've also served in the armed forces know exactly what you mean. I was also disappointed that something like this was posted here from a source I know to be highly suspect. That anyone who has agreed to lay their life on the line has to defend themselves from this sort of hearsay is shameful.

i know this is not a post from itulip and i appreciate that fred jumped in and posted a comment... and i hate censorship but... shit. prison ******* planet? what's a piece of shit conspiracy group like that doing posted here... and by rajiv???

Contemptuous
02-08-08, 02:01 AM
Tell you what - let's put the senior editors on the spot here, where they have to take a hard position, (and some flak from some quarter!).

No fence sitting.

Ask the senior editorial staff to issue a "clear, unequivocal position statement" on the reputability of our military who in overwhelming majority have tried to carry out a policy of suppressing sectarian violence and fostering sufficient stability in the theatres in which the US attempted to intervene - namely Hussein's Iraq and the Taliban's Afghanistan.

Were the US military trying to foster sufficient civil peace so elections could occur in these nations and the US forces could go home with some honor? Yes or no?

Make the call Mr. Janszen. I've heard a heck of a lot of "sophisticated" arguments on this site which equate to a lot of fudging. Let's reiterate them here clearly, so these servicemen can see where iTulip stands without middle terms? Would that be constructive, or do we not comment because "iTulip does not do politics"?

Seems some months ago when I was making some of these same arguments a lot of voices were piping up suggesting to me I was an ingenuous fool? Geez, where are all those voices now, when we have two or three servicemen listening in here, waiting for a clarification?

__________

POSTSCRIPT - Ah yes, I see Fred has moved this "sensitive" topic over to the "rant and rave" pages. We have our answer gentlemen.

santafe2
02-08-08, 02:59 AM
Tell you what - let's put the senior editors on the spot here, where they have to take a hard position, (and some flak from some quarter!).

No fence sitting.

I'll take you up on that. Tell me which armed forces group you'll be joining...no fence sitting. You obviously despise what the volunteer armed forces have become, are you stepping up to change that or just talking a big game?

Contemptuous
02-08-08, 03:05 AM
I'll take you up on that. Tell me which armed forces group you'll be joining...no fence sitting. You obviously despise what the volunteer armed forces have become, are you stepping up to change that or just talking a big game?

Santafe2 -

In all honesty - I have not got the faintest clue what you are talking about. Who am I supposed to be despising here? I'm not going to give you any further hint of my views. Take your best guess. Who do you imagine I'm busy despising from the idled vantagepoint of my armchair and computer keyboard?

Take a deep breath. Shake the cobwebs out of your head. Re-read what I've posted if necessary, and offer me an intelligent, astute observation.

__________

Santafe2 -

I was looking for some old posts of mine to refer you to - from prior to mid 2007, but everything earlier is no longer in the archives. You showed up here a little later. If you had access to those posts you'd readily see that actually of all the iTulip posters I'm one of the few who has been unwaveringly supportive of the decency of ALL our armed services - and there were very damn few of us. So your imaginary beef with me is seriously misguided. What you are failing to note is the large number of "silent others" around here who do NOT share my views. It's almost comical that you are mixing it up with me, while you ignore this large army of people who's views you'd find distinctly alien.

Reality always seems to have a bumbling, stumbling quality about it. Here you are, a late-comer, mixing it up with one of the very few guys on this website who maintained unwavering respect for your service - yes, the "ready reserve" shares no less a respect in my view than the active forces. Meanwhile you should be offering up some of your hard questions to all the "silent ones" - Sapiens, Bart, Metalman, Uncle Jack, Verrocchio, E.J, Fred, then most notably Spartacus, who openly surmises we are all a nest of Fascists, Orforded, World Traveler, TimM, and dozens of others. Look them up on that "The End of America" thread, and then start a thread asking them what the heck they are talking about. Make it a thread where these armchair idealists have to be accountable to the servicemen who might point out to them where they are fantasizing.

But for Pete's sake Santafe2, until you get your bearings on who took what positions on this issue - stay well clear of my back - because you are mixing it up with one of the few people here who has never compromised themself by offering your kind "faint praise". Do you think you grasp the local issue here now a little better?

Why don't you, and ASH, and Sigalarm ask Eric Janszen to climb off the fence and shed a little light on iTulip's breadth of viewpoint on this "delicate" question? Kind of establish whether the editorial line here has an objective viewpoint on the integrity of the rank and file in the services? Your beef is not with me, it's with the fog and equivocation within the general community on this question. What's the matter - don't have the stomach for asking the hard questions here?

santafe2
02-08-08, 03:57 AM
Santafe2 -

In all honesty - I have not got the faintest clue what you are talking about.
Take a deep breath. Shake the cobwebs out of your head.

Ok, at the risk of wasting my too short life, here is what you opened with on this thread.


I think that's an excellent postSorry, this was an awful post, really a despicable post. I've noticed that Rajiv gets a pass here but this post violated every rule of modern civility and the minimal bit structure I've come to expect on iTulip. Please don't defend your wordy position and be thankful this thread has found it's way into the iTulip dustbin.

Contemptuous
02-08-08, 04:05 AM
I've noticed that Rajiv gets a pass here but this post violated every rule of modern civility.

You have no idea how many other people in this comunity you are "giving a pass to" according to your principles and viewpoints, so don't pontificate to me. Stop your yapping to me, and ask some tough questions to the senior editors of this website.

When I have an issue, that's what I do. If I have a real ground to stand on, and I stand my ground, I get an answer. You can too, but you are only performing a "milk run" by sounding off with me. Take your argument of principle upstairs Santafe2, and get some real answers. Guess what? You'll fall out of your chair to find me backing you up! Put up the real questions to this community, or stop getting so puffed up with indignation.

You will find, that if you have a question no-one wants to answer, the asking will be a lonely task. Only occasionally will there be a payoff. I'm watching you now - to see what follow up you can muster on your concerns. No follow up = no seriousness!

santafe2
02-08-08, 04:54 AM
So your imaginary beef with me is seriously misguided...Here you are, a late-comer, mixing it up with one of the very few guys on this website who maintained unwavering respect for your service...But for Pete's sake Santafe2, until you get your bearings on who took what positions on this issue - stay well clear of my back - because you are mixing it up with one of the few people here who has never compromised themself by offering your kind "faint praise".

Point 1: I've been misguided most of my life but thankfully that has not slowed my progress.

Point 2: Um, latecomer, I guess you got me there. But, I'm betting EJ and a few others are glad I'm here. I love this place and I'm sure I'm adding something of value to the iTulip narrative.

Point 3: No one needs your respect, just join up. Are you ready or would you rather intellectualize it to death so you don't have to put your butt on the line?

Point 4: I've never spoken personally with anyone on this board but any person that refers to me as "your kind" scares me.

Contemptuous
02-08-08, 04:59 AM
Go ahead Santafe2, be a woodenhead. I don't have a beef with you. You are the one seems to have a beef with me - and frankly if we are looking at the substantive issues, it's hard to fathom the reason. What is the reason - can you enlighten me? Anything rational at all here?

What about the issue I suggested you put before this community? After all, it's your issue? Are you sliding away from addressing that here, in the midst of all this rhetoric?

santafe2
02-08-08, 05:10 AM
You have no idea how many other people in this comunity you are "giving a pass to"

I've not given a pass to anyone here and thankfully no one has given me a pass, including you. I appreciate the community at iTulip calling me out as my ideas are well formed but never perfect.

santafe2
02-08-08, 05:15 AM
Go ahead Santafe2, be a woodenhead.

Ok, I've nothing of substance to say here, my kids have accused me of this so he might be correct.

EJ
02-08-08, 10:58 AM
Tell you what - let's put the senior editors on the spot here, where they have to take a hard position, (and some flak from some quarter!).

No fence sitting.

Ask the senior editorial staff to issue a "clear, unequivocal position statement" on the reputability of our military who in overwhelming majority have tried to carry out a policy of suppressing sectarian violence and fostering sufficient stability in the theatres in which the US attempted to intervene - namely Hussein's Iraq and the Taliban's Afghanistan.

Were the US military trying to foster sufficient civil peace so elections could occur in these nations and the US forces could go home with some honor? Yes or no?

Make the call Mr. Janszen. I've heard a heck of a lot of "sophisticated" arguments on this site which equate to a lot of fudging. Let's reiterate them here clearly, so these servicemen can see where iTulip stands without middle terms? Would that be constructive, or do we not comment because "iTulip does not do politics"?

Seems some months ago when I was making some of these same arguments a lot of voices were piping up suggesting to me I was an ingenuous fool? Geez, where are all those voices now, when we have two or three servicemen listening in here, waiting for a clarification?

__________

POSTSCRIPT - Ah yes, I see Fred has moved this "sensitive" topic over to the "rant and rave" pages. We have our answer gentlemen.

I'm a fan of free speech because the alternative is worse. The rules here are simple: respect your fellow members. Period. That simple rule covers a lot of ground and simplifies editorial decisions. You'll notice there are no anti-Semitic rants or other bigotry expressed here. We have a one strike rule on that kind of disrespect in particular.

This thread may be over the line as an expression of disrespect for our members who are in the armed forces. Frankly, I find it despicable. That said, it is an opportunity to set the record straight for anyone who may share the sentiments is expresses.

My feeling is that unless you've walked in the shoes of our men and women in the armed forces you have no right to criticize them. The stressful circumstances under which they are routinely asked to make life and death decisions is simply unfathomable to anyone who has not experienced it.

How do I feel about our armed forces in the Gulf? I'll tell you a story.

In 2002 when I was CEO of Bluesocket, my VP Sales came to me with an emergency situation. One of his Systems Engineers who was an Air National Guardsman had been called up to go the Gulf. He had two weeks to settle all of his affairs. Without revealing too much personal information about his circumstances, the economic hardship with respect to his family obligations put him in an impossible situation. I went to my board and requested that the company show its support for him and his service by making up the substantial difference between his service pay and the salary we paid him. In the end the team wound up pitching in to make it work within our payroll budget, the other SEs had to work harder to cover his work load, and everyone contributed with care packages and communications to help keep his spirits up and know that we were thinking about him and supporting him. I was very proud of the team.

Here's the story that ran on it. It states that his tour was 90 days but as I recall it was extended six months.
Aligning around the armed forces (http://www.allbusiness.com/technology/989896-1.html)
February 25 2002 (Network World)

Bluesocket, a wireless gateway vendor in Burlington, Mass., is coping with the absence of a systems engineer on military leave. Stephen Kim, a lieutenant in the Air National Guard, left in October for Central Asia. He returned to the U.S. for two weeks in January and is serving an anticipated 90-day tour of duty with the Massachusetts National Guard. The company is delegating his duties and paying the difference between Kim's military pay and his regular salary.

It's a supportive gesture for the start-up, especially because Kim began working for the company just weeks before being called to active duty. "He's out making sacrifices for his country and it's the right thing to do," says Eric Janszen, Bluesocket CEO.

Bluesocket staff met Kim's family at the company picnic, and they've kept in touch since he left. Colleagues get a chance to exchange frequent e-mail with Kim, a rare military privilege afforded to those who have a communications systems role.

Bluesocket also has mailed care packages containing Halloween candy, beef jerky and ketchup. "We wear more hats, while he wears a helmet." Janszen says.

Contemptuous
02-08-08, 01:28 PM
E.J. -

I much appreciate the gesture your company undertook, and I would have tried to do the same. Here is what sticks in my craw a little bit. What about all those people on this website who have claimed America is a whisper away from a "neo-fascist state", with overt implications that the Armed Services and all police agencies are it's "strongarm"?

You acknowledge that multiple threads on this website have delved into that topic? And you must recall my statements of position on this as expressing some considerable exasperation regarding the overwrought extent of this interpretation? We all have our points of view, and notice I am avoiding any mention of who may be right or wrong here.

My question is another one. Accountability. A good few iTulipers (many quite prominent - who are around reading this in silence today!) were quite outspoken and emphatic that this was the case, and that our trops overseas were merely carrying out (implication = were the uncritical lackeys of) an utterly cynical US foreign policy?

The record evidences that iTulip editorial staff remained studiously silent on those occasions. There was little or no stern expression of a more centrist position on the "police state" thingy back then, only six months ago.

So now we have some US service personnel expressing dismay about a portrayal of the services which would appear much in line with that. I commented on it based on my very high level of respect for the vast majority of Rajiv's contributions here. He's a really decent guy, and far more widely read than nine tenths of us all. Somehow in the process, I wandered into a tangle here, because I recounted a story of some GI's I observed in Tijuana who behaved shamefully. I told what I saw only.

My observation is, that I don't much admire all those people here who were openly stating, categorically, that the US's entire action in the ME is morally bankrupt. Certainly, there are powerful and emotionally laden arguments to be made in all directions. My real beef is with all those here, who were so moralistically outspoken in those discussions, and who remain stunningly silent today in the face of these servicemen's questions.

It's time they all got their seats warmed a little bit, to reiterate those former observations here and stand up to these servicemen's questions. Wouldn't that be real salutary to the propensity to make grandly idealistic claims? Why don't the Spartacus' and Sapiens, and Rajiv's and Barts, and Metalmans of this community - all very intelligent and worthy contributors (and I really appreciate all their many excellent other contributions), step forward here and restate their arguments now that we have some real servicemen here to put forward their point of view?

America is sliding into a police state, according to all of you, and all military, security, intelligence, and armed forces agencies are the arm of this emerging police state. Ok now boys, you hold these principles - step forward, don't be shy now!

There is something in this widespread silence that is less than admirable. If they have some convictions, then show the courage of them and state them here, (like they've stated them so freely elsewhere!) where their principled notions have a foil to face, among those who've actually served and seen what's happening in those war theatres.

Above all, it's hypocrisy that grates on me. We have, as you've doubtless noted, a good few in this community who insist America is sliding into Fascism and the armed forces are sliding towards being the enforcers of that trend. To be factual, iTulip has been notable in it's silence in the face of numerous such posts. Why don't these people show some courage to speak of their convictions here, where they actually have to address the people they have been referring to?

You all know very well who you are, and your silence speaks volumes about the courage of your convictions.

metalman
02-08-08, 01:54 PM
E.J. -

I much appreciate the gesture your company undertook, and I would have tried to do the same. Here is what sticks in my craw a little bit. What about all those people on this website who have claimed America is a whisper away from a "neo-fascist state", with overt implications that the Armed Services and all police agencies are it's "strongarm"?

You acknowledge that multiple threads on this website have delved into that topic? And you must recall my statements of position on this as expressing some considerable exasperation regarding the overwrought extent of this interpretation? We all have our points of view, and notice I am avoiding any mention of who may be right or wrong here.

My question is another one. Accountability. A good few iTulipers (many quite prominent - who are around reading this in silence today!) were quite outspoken and emphatic that this was the case, and that our trops overseas were merely carrying out (implication = were the uncritical lackeys of) an utterly cynical US foreign policy?

The record evidences that iTulip editorial staff remained studiously silent on those occasions. There was little or no stern expression of a more centrist position on the "police state" thingy back then, only six months ago.

So now we have some US service personnel expressing dismay about a portrayal of the services which would appear much in line with that. I commented on it based on my very high level of respect for the vast majority of Rajiv's contributions here. He's a really decent guy, and far more widely read than nine tenths of us all. Somehow in the process, I wandered into a tangle here, because I recounted a story of some GI's I observed in Tijuana who behaved shamefully. I told what I saw only.

My observation is, that I don't much admire all those people here who were openly stating, categorically, that the US's entire action in the ME is morally bankrupt. Certainly, there are powerful and emotionally laden arguments to be made in all directions. My real beef is with all those here, who were so moralistically outspoken in those discussions, and who remain stunningly silent today in the face of these servicemen's questions.

It's time they all got their seats warmed a little bit, to reiterate those former observations here and stand up to these servicemen's questions. Wouldn't that be real salutary to the propensity to make grandly idealistic claims? Why don't the Spartacus' and Sapiens, and Rajiv's and Barts, and Metalmans of this community - all very intelligent and worthy contributors (and I really appreciate all their many excellent other contributions), step forward here and restate their arguments now that we have some real servicemen here to put forward their point of view?

America is sliding into a police state, according to all of you, and all military, security, intelligence, and armed forces agencies are the arm of this emerging police state. Ok now boys, you hold these principles - step forward, don't be shy now!

There is something in this widespread silence that is less than admirable. If they have some convictions, then show the courage of them and state them here, (like they've stated them so freely elsewhere!) where their principled notions have a foil to face, among those who've actually served and seen what's happening in those war theatres.

Above all, it's hypocrisy that grates on me. We have, as you've doubtless noted, a good few in this community who insist America is sliding into Fascism and the armed forces are sliding towards being the enforcers of that trend. To be factual, iTulip has been notable in it's silence in the face of numerous such posts. Why don't these people show some courage to speak of their convictions here, where they actually have to address the people they have been referring to?

You all know very well who you are, and your silence speaks volumes about the courage of your convictions.

what are you yammering on about? this is an econ and finance site. if you want to rant about police states you can do it here but i don't know why anyone has to take a stand here either way... especially on your say so. ridiculous! go to prison planet's site and argue about it with someone over there.

listen, pal. our military happens to be the best in the world and its the people in it that make it so. if they get sent someplace by their commander and chief, well then off they go to do their duty. if their commander and chief and defense secretary turn out to misuse their authority to get usa troops to go to war for reasons other than the ones stated, well, guess who'll settle that score? the military itself, that's who... totally capable of taking care of that and if they need help from civilians to get the politics fixed to deal with the problem, well guess what... they ask for it and they goddamn get it, too. look where bush and rove and rumsfeld are today. you don't think the military that trusted them didn't have a thing or two to do with that?

as for this police state crap, you don't get that from your service people. that's not how it goes. what happens is a separate quasi-military police org develops... a private army with broad police powers granted by the state. you know, brown shirts and other goons. not professional mil. so if you're worried about a fascist state... look out for that development not at the folks who joined the service to defend their country.

WDCRob
02-08-08, 01:59 PM
Brown Shirts, Blackwater...

Contemptuous
02-08-08, 02:03 PM
OK, we have the first of the blanket disclaimers. Any more?

[ Jesus, what a bunch of marshmallows ]

metalman
02-08-08, 02:26 PM
Brown Shirts, Blackwater...

under the right circumstances, possibly. hard to imagine, tho... blackwater operating in the usa as a police force.

luke, i know you...

http://i25.tinypic.com/29p7l0g.jpg

...probably disagree! :D

WDCRob
02-08-08, 02:34 PM
I wasn't saying Blackwater was a threat today, just agreeing with you MM that forces like that are how it happens. i.e. it's not the regular military.

Andreuccio
02-08-08, 03:14 PM
under the right circumstances, possibly. hard to imagine, tho... blackwater operating in the usa as a police force.



Perhaps hard to imagine, but read on:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/07/AR2005090702214.html

or for a slightly more tin-foil-hatish version:

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20051010/scahill.

Agree with you about the US military, though, and especially about this being a financial/econ site, and demanding posters take positions. Still, this is the "Rant and Rave" section.

Contemptuous
02-08-08, 04:05 PM
Agree with you about ... this being a financial/econ site, and demanding posters take positions.

Andreuccio - this is a total red herring. If 'this is a financial / econ site' why have numerous extended discussion on the above issues occurred here over the months? Presumably these entire threads were off topic, but everyone was joining in on those discussions with great enthusiasm then, no?

The request, very clearly phrased above, was that these former posters 'acknowledge statments they've already made in the past. Don't you also recall some long threads around here dedicated to precisely those issues, where lots of people made very clear statements of position? Where are all those 'I have a clear position on this topic' guys now? It is highly disingenuous to now say 'all that is off topic because this is a financial / econ site'. Humbug!

Asking people to merely acknowledge what they've previously stated has to do with that elusive concept called 'being accountable for your prior statements", which is not a red herring. Meanwhile, have you not noticed the yawning gap of silence in response to an invitation that these contributors merely clarify their prior thoughts? They sure seemed fairly convinced of their views at the time.

Police state? What police state? Who ever said anything about it being a police state here, or the security services being agents of repression of Americans? :rolleyes: The sound of silence here, from people who were formerly so self-assured in these observations is *cavernous*.

Andreuccio
02-08-08, 04:35 PM
Andreuccio - this is a total red herring. If 'this is a financial / econ site' why have numerous extended discussion on the above issues occurred here over the months? Presumably these entire threads were off topic, but everyone was joining in on those discussions with great enthusiasm then, no?

The request, very clearly phrased above, was that these former posters 'acknowledge statments they've already made in the past. Don't you also recall some long threads around here dedicated to precisely those issues, where lots of people made very clear statements of position? Where are all those 'I have a clear position on this topic' guys now? It is highy disingenuous to now say 'all that is off topic because this is a financial / econ site'. Humbug!

Asking people to merely acknowledge what they've previously stated has to do with that elusive concept called 'being accountable for your prior statements", which is not a red herring. Meanwhile, have you not noticed the yawning gap of silence in response to an invitation that these contributors merely clarify their prior thoughts? They sure seemed fairly convinced of their views at the time.

Police state? What police state? Who ever said anything about it being a police state here, or the security services being agents of repression of Americans? :rolleyes: The sound of silence here, from people who were formerly so self-assured in these observations is *cavernous*.

Lukester,

I'm not really interested in arguing with you about this. If people want to post about this here, fine. If they don't, that's fine, too. Maybe they have other reasons for not responding, like they're busy at their jobs.

There are lots of websites whose bread and butter is stuff like this, many of them quite reputable. You should try spending some time at DailyKos. It's a great website, and you can post about this stuff all day long if you want.

My point is that people don't come here specifically for politics, they come for finance/econ. Inasmuch as politics impacts the economy, and the people here are generally well informed and intelligent, they will frequently discuss politics. But to rail against them for not taking positions on issues you feel are important strikes me as barking up the wrong tree. You might as well go to www.chess.com (http://www.chess.com) and rant at them for not taking a position on America's slide into fascism.

Contemptuous
02-08-08, 05:17 PM
But to rail against them for not taking positions on issues ... you feel are important ... strikes me as barking up the wrong tree. ... go to www.chess.com (http://www.chess.com) and rant at them for not taking a position on America's slide into fascism.

Dear Andreuccio: your understanding "rail against them for not taking positions on issues" is a fake description.

The question was, why don't they now acknowledge the positions they've already taken. You really can grasp that difference if you try. Police state? You really don't recall any widespread comments about the 'serious erosion of personal liberties in America, eh?

With respect, you wish to portray my comment as a "rant"? Thank you for your intelligent and doubtless quite insincere observation.

Your observation - 'issues you feel are important' is the cherry - presumably you have more weighty matters to discuss (401K strategies, anyone?) than even a fleeting discussion about the possibility democracy in America is gone!?

I mean no disrespect Andreuccio, but given all I was trying to obtain was an acknowledgement that we've already had lengthy discussions on this website on this very same matter, your remark gives new meaning to the word 'glib'.

Andreuccio
02-08-08, 05:36 PM
Dear Andreuccio: your understanding "rail against them for not taking positions on issues" is a fake description.

The question was, why do so many not confirm their own past statements? Police state? You really don't recall any widespread comments about the 'serious erosion of personal liberties in America, eh?

With respect, you wish to portray my comment as a "rant"? Thank you for your intelligent and doubtless quite insincere observation.

Your observation - 'issues you feel are important' is the cherry - presumably you have more weighty matters to discuss (401K strategies, anyone?) than even a fleeting discussion about the possibility democracy in America is gone!?

I mean no disrespect Andreuccio, but given all I was trying to obtain was an acknowledgement that we've had lengthy discussions on this website on this very same matter, your remark gives new meaning to the word 'glib'.

Okay. No worries.

Contemptuous
02-08-08, 05:41 PM
Yeah right. "No Worries". :D

Andreuccio
02-08-08, 05:55 PM
Your observation - 'issues you feel are important' is the cherry - presumably you have more weighty matters to discuss (401K strategies, anyone?) than even a fleeting discussion about the possibility democracy in America is gone!?



Yes, that's precisely it. When I want to discuss the possibility democracy in America is gone, I go to DailyKos. You can even find me posting over there occasionally. When I want to discuss 401k strategies, I come here. If I wanted to discuss chess, I'd go to chess.com. That is the cherry.

Contemptuous
02-08-08, 05:58 PM
That is the cherry.

Your sanitized, apartheid description of acceptable topics at iTulip is the cherry mate. What a bunch of hooey.

Andreuccio
02-08-08, 06:06 PM
Your sanitized, apartheid description of acceptable topics at iTulip is the cherry mate. What a bunch of hooey.

There should be a smiley to express exasperation.

FRED
02-08-08, 06:24 PM
There should be a smiley to express exasperation.

I moved the thread to Rant and Rave for a reason.

Contemptuous
02-08-08, 06:36 PM
Fred -

It's fortunate that you moved this thread to 'rant and rave' as the extent to which it evidences the lack of accountability of a good number of our regular contributors to acknowledge some of their more controversial commentary on the state of the Union is thereby rendered less conspicuous. It would be disingenuous of regular contributors and readers here to disclaim that there have been plenty of references on these pages to the US today as a 'repressive' country, 'creeping Fascism', with a 'vestige of true democracy'.

These "controversial" ideas are certainly to be found posted in this community - that is, they are to be found if you don't indulge in 'selective amnesia'. Seems however there is a remarkable reluctance by those who have proposed such ideas, to make a simple acknowledgement to these servicemen that such views indeed are held by more than a few people here.

It appears that here some of the above iTulipers had a wonderful opportunity to square up their ideas about this topic with two or three members of our community who we've just learned are in the armed forces, and who have had some experiences - perhaps overseas, but also Stateside - which might further inform the iTulip discussion regarding erosion of civil liberties as an issue. To suggest that this topic is 'unsuitable for this website' as one stalwart contributor advises, and that it should be "taken elsewhere' - seems a very insular response.

The type of ideas I've read frequently on these pages, were such as: "Severe Decay of American Democracy" or "Hijacked American Foreign Policy - Leading to Out of Control Military Adventurism". OK. These these ideas may have lots of merit. A lot of intelligent arguments have been put forward why they do have merit. But then you have to wonder - if the ideas have all this merit, why are the people who said these things suddenly so 'shy' about clarifying their views here?

I think if we rummage around enough, we eventually stumble across one or two bonafide "officially sanctioned" instances of B.S. in the iTulip community. Moving this topic despite it's current interest (US in a war) to the 'RANT and RAVE' page, relegates it to the 'RANTS' area of public discussion, where it can best be enveloped in a dense 'diplomatic fog'. This is a startling change of editorial policy, as prior "controversial" commentary regarding "creeping fascism" has appeared quite liberally strewn around various other sections of this website, without any apparent editorial "guidance".

barrydd933
02-17-08, 04:46 PM
Anything in this post using S L A Marshall as an authority should be viewed with deep suspicion,man was full of ****,never saw combat,claimed he did,wrote opinions which were taken as fact.Would have been ripped to shreds in the age of the internet.

Rajiv
02-18-08, 03:48 PM
America is sliding into a police state, according to all of you, and all military, security, intelligence, and armed forces agencies are the arm of this emerging police state. Ok now boys, you hold these principles - step forward, don't be shy now!

Since I originally posted this topic -- I am replying to you Lukester

I do remember Kent State (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kent_State_shootings) -- I was not in this country then but close family was. That was a remarkable event


The Kent State shootings, also known as the May 4 massacre or Kent State massacre, occurred at Kent State University in the city of Kent, Ohio, and involved the shooting of students by members of the Ohio National Guard on Monday, May 4, 1970. Four students were killed and nine others wounded, one of whom suffered permanent paralysis.

Some of the students who were shot were protesting the American invasion of Cambodia, which President Richard Nixon announced in a television address on April 30. However, other students who were shot were merely walking nearby or observing the protest at a distance.

So to say that US soldiers would never fire at unarmed US citizens is a bunch of baloney.

Here is something about fascism in this country from an e-mail newsletter


There's a big difference between someone being sorry because he did
something wrong, and someone being sorry that he got CAUGHT. So my
question for today is, when "law enforcement" punishes one of their
own, is it because they're actually AGAINST police misconduct, or
just because they're trying to save face?

In the case of the Nazis in Stark County, Ohio, who forcibly
restrained and stripped an innocent woman as she screamed for them
to stop, there was NO remorse from the fascists involved, or from
the department as a whole. How do I know this? Because the head
fascist there DEFENDED his underling jackboots, refusing to do
anything about it, until fifteen MONTHS after the incident, when
the abuse drew huge public attention (which I hope I helped). Then
suddenly the Sheriff asked the Ohio DA to investigate the case.

With those facts in mind, only an idiot would believe that the
sheriff was sincere in his concern about the thuggery displayed by
his underlings. The same is true of the gang of fascists who shot
rubber bullets at the lady attorney holding the "fear
totalitarianism" sign at a protest. How do I know that? Because of
the fascists' own video of their debriefing meeting afterwards,
where they all cheered and laughed about having shot her. They sure
didn't look sorry about it.

Later, the head Nazi pretended to show remorse, and apologized. I
hope no one on my list is stupid enough to think he was sincere. He
was sorry only that their fascism was exposed.

I've also mentioned the sheriff's deputy who dumped a quadriplegic
from his wheelchair, in full view of the security cameras. The
story is that that deputy is now being not only fired, but
prosecuted, as she should be. (However, the police lawyers will no
doubt try really hard to get her acquitted of what any moron can
see was assault and battery.) Shortly after the incident came to
light, the head of that department quickly apologized profusely,
saying he doesn't want the public thinking this is normal or
acceptable behavior among his officers.

Should I believe him? No. His response was quick, and his words
sounded like someone who might have been really sorry, so why would
I doubt it? For the answer, watch the following video again, but
instead of watching the guy falling out of the wheelchair, or the
fascist dumping him, keep your eye on the OTHER fascists standing
right there.



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Do they look at all surprised? Do they look like this is something
outside of what they see and do on a daily basis? They don't even
flinch. Just another day at the office. (If someone dumped some guy
out of a wheelchair onto his face right in front of YOU, would you
stand there expressionless and calm?)

Sometimes force, even deadly force, is necessary and justified.
That's why, contrary to what you might expect, when I hear that a
cop beat someone, or shot someone, I don't immediately condemn him.
I ask, "Why?" If he had to use violence to protect someone
innocent, that's just fine with me, just as it would be if anyone
else (any non-cop) had done the same.

However, while there are situations in which people should use
violence, even then good people don't DELIGHT in it. Good people
don't like inflicting pain on others, even when it's necessary. In
the pictures from Abu Ghraib, what shocks me most is NOT the blood,
the gore, and the wounds. (Even seeing a bloody corpse, in and of
itself, doesn't tell me much about what happened, or why.) What
creeps me out the most about those pictures is the open expression
of joy and delight on the faces of the Americans inflicting
suffering on other human beings.

At least the guy who was prosecuted and convicted for it, when
asked if he had any "regrets," said no. He didn't insult our
intelligence by pretending to be anything other than a power-happy,
sadistic bastard. If I have to hear one more god-complex thug who
has been caught harassing, intimidating, terrorizing, and
assaulting innocent people--and ENJOYING it--pretending to be
remorseful, I'm going to throw up. Is touchy-feely America really
so stupid that such phony apologies actually impress them? When
some cop apologizes for misconduct BEFORE the public finds out
about it, then I'll be impressed. But I'm not holding my breath
waiting for that to ever happen.



See also this Disturbing Police Strip Search Gone Bad (http://www.orato.com/current-events/2008/02/05/disturbing-police-strip-search-gone-bad) - this has been referred to in the above e-mail.

Also Broward Cops Laugh About Shooting Rubber Bullets at Innocent Protestors (http://www.discourse.net/archives/2006/08/broward_cops_laugh_about_shooting_rubber_bullets_a t_innocent_protestors.html)

Here is the video in question




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So Lukester tell me whether my concerns are justified or not?