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View Diary: I WANT TO HURT SOMEBODY (251 comments)

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  •  That I agree with; the diary, I do not. (6+ / 0-)

    Had you written the diary, I'm sure it would be much better. As written, it literally says that the sniper was a good man who got angry and wanted to hurt someone. That's a fact? He was a good man? Maybe he was an al-Qaida member. Maybe he was a ruthless Baathist. Maybe he was a Shiite who killed his neighbors for being Sunni.

    The point is, we don't know what he was. So in light of the life he took, I don't want to hear about how I'm supposed to feel sorry for him, or I'm supposed to believe he was a kind man pushed to the edge. It's masturbatory ultra-bleeding-heart fiction.

    "I told them on Inauguration Day. I said look into my eyes: no new enhancements." - President Johnny Gentle (Famous Crooner)

    by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner on Fri Nov 03, 2006 at 11:05:33 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Accidentally recommened you (10+ / 0-)

      slippery mouse click. What I meant to do was reply to this post with a question.

      If some armed soldiers kicked down your door, what would you do?  

      Being unable to put yourself in someone else's place is a typical trait of the black/white Republican thinking that got us into this stupid war. Feeling "sorry" for him and his predicament is not weakness or traitorous, it's human.

      •  No, it's make believe. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mary Julia, rsquire

        You don't know a damned thing about the sniper. That's why I said it's fiction. As I've seen from the other responses to my comments, people are imagining themselves in the sniper's position. Well, realize this: you are NOT that sniper. You have no idea who he was, what he believed, or if he was even an Iraqi.

        On the one hand, we've got a very real, dead American young man who was sent off to fight and be killed in Bush's maniacal, shameful war. On the other hand, we've got a fantasy image of "Mr. Sniper who is a widower with 5 children who saw his youngest son die by American fire and now is blinded by anger and revenge."

        It's an archetype. It's a stereotype. But it's fiction nonetheless. Do some research on the guy and then get back to me. In the meantime, I'm sure as hell not going to swallow that he was a "good man who got angry enough to hurt somebody."

        "I told them on Inauguration Day. I said look into my eyes: no new enhancements." - President Johnny Gentle (Famous Crooner)

        by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner on Fri Nov 03, 2006 at 11:37:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I got an idea, why don't you go ask him, I... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pollbuster, plaid miniskirt

          think you'll find him somewhere in Bush's meatgrinder.

          George Felix Allen Jr, Dumber than George W. Bush

          by ERyd on Fri Nov 03, 2006 at 11:40:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  and the sniper doesn't know the american he shot (4+ / 0-)

          so please tell me what is the difference?
          People are dying who should not be, on both sides and that would not be happening if not for Bush and the idiots who back him up and mostly those who voted for him.

          Don Sherwood, if you campaign on family values, it helps if you have some.

          by TeresaInPa on Fri Nov 03, 2006 at 12:52:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Um, that's the point (4+ / 0-)

          Do some research on the guy and then get back to me.

          That's kind of the point of the piece. No one is bothering to do any research on the Iraqis, to try and find out the facts of the other side.

          •  That is incorrect. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mary Julia, rsquire

            The author apparently has done research, because he states (in the sniper's voice), that he was a "good man" who just got really angry. Seeing as how this is a pretty ridiculous, romanticized, sweeping assertion, you'll have to pardon me if I object.

            I am extremely sympathetic to the Iraqis--you'd have to be a monster or republican not to be--but as far as this one particular unknown sniper who killed a young man, I offer no sympathy.

            "I told them on Inauguration Day. I said look into my eyes: no new enhancements." - President Johnny Gentle (Famous Crooner)

            by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner on Fri Nov 03, 2006 at 01:41:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ahem... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tzt, LeftOverAmerica, MarketTrustee

              Have you ever met anybody who would say "I'm an evil person, and I kill because I like to kill?"  No.  Everybody believes him or herself to be a good person, whether it is true or not.  Now, Greg Palast/Zach says "And if we asked, I'm sure the sniper would tell us, "I am a good man, but seeing what happened, I want to hurt people.""  He did NOT say "the sniper is objectively a good person."  He said, "the sniper, I'm sure, considers himself to be a good person, and given the situation in Iraq, who are we to say he's wrong unless we bother to learn about him?"
              Not once does the article unequivocally declare ANY PERSON AT ALL to be objectively good or bad.  It's simple reading comprehension.

              If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. - George Orwell (-9.75, -9.03)

              by nilocjin on Fri Nov 03, 2006 at 02:30:18 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  okay, at this point, (0+ / 0-)

                i'm going to just refer you to another comments in which i've yet again addressed that same point...
                http://www.dailykos.com/...

                The context is the key.

                "I told them on Inauguration Day. I said look into my eyes: no new enhancements." - President Johnny Gentle (Famous Crooner)

                by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner on Fri Nov 03, 2006 at 02:32:58 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  And I've read your comments (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  tzt, IL dac, LeftOverAmerica

                  and you're right, it is all in the context... but the context is not that Greg Palast is lauding the sniper for shooting an American soldier (or even suggesting his own opinion that the sniper was a good person).  The context was "there are two sides to every story."  Greg Palast never implied or suggested in any way his personal belief that the sniper was a good man.  I don't know how he could have made that clearer except by writing a puff piece on the dead soldier, like the NYT.  

                  If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. - George Orwell (-9.75, -9.03)

                  by nilocjin on Fri Nov 03, 2006 at 02:38:51 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Talk about a lack of reading comprehension. (0+ / 0-)

                    Nilocjin says:

                    Greg Palast never implied or suggested in any way his personal belief that the sniper was a good man.

                    Palast says:

                    And if we asked, I'm sure the sniper would tell us, "I am a good man, but seeing what happened, I want to hurt people."

                    I don't know about you, but as I read that sentence, Mr. Palast says he is SURE that the sniper would tell us he is a good man.

                    I rather doubt that.  And if that doesn't reflect Mr. Palast's belief that the sniper IS a good man. then I am apparently in Wonderland.

                    We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

                    by Mary Julia on Fri Nov 03, 2006 at 07:25:49 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  The sniper killed more than a young man... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LeftOverAmerica, KathyinSC

              He "killed" a tool of empire that also happens to be a young man.  The problem with these discussions is the inability to hold both of these facts in mind at once.  

              Lance Cpl. Smith was a hammer wielded by a madman. Lance Cpl. Smith was also the "young man" to whom you refer.  

              In his death, he is at once a discarded tool and a precious human life wasted without need.   Mourn the young man, but question the use of the tool.  

              As a tool, his task in Iraq was the illegal and immoral brute use of force to achieve the goals(?) of Bush's American Empire. Including murder.

              As a young man, he was "just doing his job."

              American and International law provide ways in which thoughtful service members can find their way out of the conundrum of necessary obedience to immoral command.  It is tough to do, but it is possible.

              "It is up to the most conscious member of the relationship to create the space for the relationship to grow." Ram Dass

              by bosuncookie on Fri Nov 03, 2006 at 05:46:29 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oh, for heaven's sake (0+ / 0-)

                American and International law provide ways in which thoughtful service members can find their way out of the conundrum of necessary obedience to immoral command.  It is tough to do, but it is possible.

                You're right, and I am sure that is comfortably stated from your warm home in the States.  These people are in IRAQ.  And if they refuse to follow a command, the following can happen: charges, courtmartial, prison, dishonorable discharge, loss of job, ruin of your life. And that's after they get OUT of Iraq.  It's just not that simple.  Is it possible? Of course.  It is also possible for me to set myself on fire to protest the war in front of an Army recruiting office.  Do I want to? Ummm...No.

                We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

                by Mary Julia on Fri Nov 03, 2006 at 07:30:56 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I didn't say it was easy, I said (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  LeftOverAmerica

                  it was possible.

                  Others are doing it.

                  Obviously to attempt to extract yourself from the immorality of Iraq would be incredibly difficult and require great moral courage.  Moral courage is tougher to muster than physical courage, it seems to me.

                  Sitting here in my warm house and reflecting, would I do it?  I don't know...  I try to find the courage to speak up and out in my own little piece of the world...  

                  But I do know that pretending as if the question doesn't matter only insures further suffering.

                  "It is up to the most conscious member of the relationship to create the space for the relationship to grow." Ram Dass

                  by bosuncookie on Sat Nov 04, 2006 at 05:16:01 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  And I wonder... (0+ / 0-)

                  Why would you want to set yourself on fire in front of a recruiting office?  I don't see the connection.  What I could see would be working for counter-recruitment in front of the recruiting office or in the schools.

                  Those acts would take moral courage as well.  

                  "It is up to the most conscious member of the relationship to create the space for the relationship to grow." Ram Dass

                  by bosuncookie on Sat Nov 04, 2006 at 09:43:16 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  I tend to agree... (0+ / 0-)

          ... that it doesn't seem right to consider the mindset of the sniper. But one thing bothers me about your reaction to the story. Did you read it? Or did I miss something? You've said more than once in your comments above that the Marine died. The article I read said he survived but was in critical condition. A small, but at least for the marine, important point. I'll have to think about that sniper for awhile. Cheers!

          Man has only those rights he can defend -- Jack McCoy

          by danno50 on Fri Nov 03, 2006 at 07:46:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Then if you don't know (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pollbuster, tzt, Snarcalita, ERyd

      then why should you assume the exact opposite?  Is that 'masturbatory ultra-reactionary-wingnut' fiction?

      Got a problem with my posts? Email me, and let's resolve it.

      by drbloodaxe on Fri Nov 03, 2006 at 11:36:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sorry, but that point is inane. (0+ / 0-)

        Go back and read what I wrote. Slowly. Now tell me where I declared that the sniper was a terrorist. After several hours of looking for a comment that doesn't exist, then we can discuss what I actually said: we don't know anything about the sniper, so why should I assume he was a "good man"? I'm not the one who cast him in a role; the diarist did.

        "I told them on Inauguration Day. I said look into my eyes: no new enhancements." - President Johnny Gentle (Famous Crooner)

        by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner on Fri Nov 03, 2006 at 11:40:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ok, I reread (4+ / 0-)

          and I commented too sloppily, so apologies for that.

          However, you did throw an incendiary label at the diary, and imply (you don't want to hear about it) that you don't believe he was 'pushed to the edge'.

          Therefore, one can and probably will infer that you believe otherwise - that he took a life without being pushed to it, aka, without any reason, and therefore deserves no sympathy.

          If you truly merely wanted to say there was no evidence for the sniper's motivations, level of 'decency' or rationality, you could have done so without namecalling and telling us that you're closeminded to hearing about the point of view of anyone 'on the other side' as it were.

          Got a problem with my posts? Email me, and let's resolve it.

          by drbloodaxe on Fri Nov 03, 2006 at 11:59:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Actually it doesn't say that (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tzt, IL dac, LeftOverAmerica, nilocjin

      the sniper was a good man who got angry...

      It says that if you asked him he would probably tell you he's a good man... Big difference.

      I think the point Palast was trying to make is that Bush the idiot has turned so many people into angry killers over there and that the NYT didn't even come close to touching on that aspect of this ugly situation.

      •  No difference at all. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mary Julia

        I feel like I keep answering the same points on this thread. The diarist has substituted his own voice for the sniper's; by saying "ihe'll tell you he's a good man" the author is basically stating his opinion through a fictional character.

        It's not as if he's a neutral, detached observer. He's telling the reader that they should believe the sniper is a good man.
        Now, if the author had Charles Manson calling himself a good man, then I'd know the author is merely recording his observations of Manson's own beliefs, as you suggest.

        In case the difference is somehow not obvious to you, the author makes this point only after going through great lengths to create the context: anger, sadness and outrage at the Iraqis' treatment. It is undeniable that we are meant to sympathize with the sniper, and just about every responsive comment I've gotten HAS sympathized with the sniper.

        In that context, anyone who thinks there's a "difference" between the sniper "saying" he's a good man and the author wanting us to believe he's a good man is simply wasting time with semantics.

        "I told them on Inauguration Day. I said look into my eyes: no new enhancements." - President Johnny Gentle (Famous Crooner)

        by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner on Fri Nov 03, 2006 at 02:19:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Damn semantics... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wonmug, tzt, LeftOverAmerica

          all that meaning and distinction that we should just get rid of because its easier to be offended by something if you subsitute your opinion for the clear, though narrow, distinctions otherwise present.

          If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. - George Orwell (-9.75, -9.03)

          by nilocjin on Fri Nov 03, 2006 at 02:32:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well said, in all your posts... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nilocjin

            Thank you nilocjin, for injecting logic, and basic reading comprehension, to this debate.

          •  That refuted my comment not at all. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mary Julia, rsquire

            As far as your use of "semantics," I'll just quote Inigo Montoya: "I do not think it means what you think it means." Semantics has nothing to do with "meaning and distinction"...in fact, it's closer to the opposite. It's mere wordplay; it's a focus on the terms but not the meaning.

            It's almost silly to suggest that the author has created some kind of deep, emotional veil of moral ambiguity because he added "he'll tell you" before "that he's a good man." It's the same damn thing. It's a literary device, not a logical argument. The sniper is the author's literary voice; he is telling us, through his fictional sniper, that Iraqi insurgents are not inherently evil.

            Even though we don't know anything about the sniper. Even though he may be al-Qaida, or a coldblooded murderer of children, or anyting else. Nope, the author suggests here's noble everyman pushed to extremes, and we all buy it because we're so eager to villainize anything Bush touches, even our own dead soldiers. But hey, fuck that soldier, he left that poor sniper no choice but to kill him. That'll teach Bush!

            You can respond if you'd like, but I'm done writing and reading this thread. Let me end by saying this: I GET IT. Nobody who's a regular on this site has anything but regret and remorse for the Iraqi poulace. But sometimes, we're so eager to show it that we'll even throw up a hearty cheer for crap like this diary. Anything that sympathizes with Iraqis is inherently good, anyone who dares question if a diarist went too far in that regard is inherently unsensitive. Blah blah, whatever.

            "I told them on Inauguration Day. I said look into my eyes: no new enhancements." - President Johnny Gentle (Famous Crooner)

            by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner on Fri Nov 03, 2006 at 03:02:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm sorry you may not read this (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tzt, LeftOverAmerica

              but your insistence that we are villainizing the soldiers... well, I don't know where that comes from.  I did not get that from the article.  However, if that is the taste the article left you with, then I have a much better understanding of your ire and frustration.  But, I definitely have not gotten the sense from any of the other commenters that having a soldier die was good (in fact, almost all the commenters have noted that they feel terrible for every single person who's died or suffered as a result; no suggestion that the soldier dying is a fuck you to Bush.)  I'm going to just put you ending up there to your frustration and anger, because there doesn't appear to be any other basis.
              Your bit about questioning if a diarist went too far... well... you're always free to suggest that, but you've got to be ready for the response you'll get from people who disagree, many of whom will do so very strenuously.
              (I can only guess you were not a fan of Armando).  

              If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. - George Orwell (-9.75, -9.03)

              by nilocjin on Fri Nov 03, 2006 at 03:08:34 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  I think you're wrong. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tzt, LeftOverAmerica

          Point being that if you had to chance to ask the sniper if he thought he was a good man do you think he'd say he was a bad man?

          I'm pretty sure he would tell you that he prays to Allah, 3,4, however many times a day; that he loves his wife, children, mother, whomever; that he only kicks dogs if they try and hump his leg; that he’s a true patriot, and on and on.

          That's all I think Palast was getting at in regard to the sniper's BELIEF in himself. Not sympathy for the man.

          AND I think it would be fair to say that Palast has no particular empathy for killers of any creed.

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