Skip to main content

When I want to find out what the republicans are thinking, I don't have to go to LGF or Instapundit, I just go to my blue collar, red-state job. My mates are stoked with Fox news talking points, and they are happy to share. We have a lot of time on our hands for discussion, and I stick up for our side regularly. I am a 45 year old lifelong democrat. I like my workmates. In spite of their red ignorance, they are good people. And they respect me because I spent time in Iraq as an electrician in support of our troops. My rethug buddies don't quite know what to make of a "liberal" like myself  - and neither do some kossacks.

So the morning after the London bombings was interesting, with my colleagues calling for more killing, and me saying we were already killing people pointlessly. We had a civil, respectful yet passionate discussion. But my real, most passionate feelings, I just can't tell them to my mates. That's because they involve my memories of dead children, memories that I just can't shake off these days.

Digby had a great post today in "Rights of Passage":

Vietnam, as we were all just mercilessly reminded in the presidential election, was the crucible of the baby boom generation, perhaps the crucible of America as a mature world power.

The war provided two very distinct tribal pathways to manhood. One was to join "the revolution" which included the perk of having equally revolutionary women at their sides, freely joining in sexual as well as political adventure as part of the broader cultural revolution...His masculine image encompassed both sides of the male archetypal coin --- he was both virile and heroic.

The other pathway to prove your manhood was to test your physical courage in battle...tradition requires that you put yourself in the line of fire to prove your courage if the opportunity presents itself. You simply cannot be a warrior if you are not willing to fight. deeply understood by people at a primitive level and all cultures have some version of it deeply embedded in the DNA...Men who went to Vietnam and faced their fears of killing and dying, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, put themselves to this test.

And then there were the chicken hawks. They were neither part of the revolution nor did they take the obvious step of volunteering to fight the war they supported...they allowed others to fight and die in their place despite the fact that they believed heartily that the best response to communism was to aggressively fight it "over there" so we wouldn't have to fight it here. These were empty boys, unwilling to put themselves on the line at the moment of truth, yet they held the masculine virtues as the highest form of human experience and have portrayed themselves ever since as tough, uncompromising manly men while portraying liberals as weak and effeminate.
The only political aspirants among those three groups who failed to meet the test of their generation were the chicken hawks. And our problem today is that they are the ones in charge of the government as we face a national security threat. These unfulfilled men still have something to prove.

For my friends at work, it is easy to call for more killing in the distant desert. It costs them nothing. It's no more real than a video game or movie. They have paid nothing more in taxes, they know no one who is over there, Fox TV shows no dead bodies. Hooray, hooray for us red Americans, it is effortless to be John Wayne! The worship of violence has infected them. And it had me too, at one time.

One day, we had a truck bombing at the camp's perimeter. Our medics responded, and I opened the back doors to one of our ambulances when it got back behind the wire. There was blood on the floor, everywhere, a sloshing dirty pool. A woman screaming, a sharp, unreal noise. A little boy with his guts hanging out. He was still and pale, like ashes. Bodies kept coming that day, by ambulance and chopper, because there were vicious, coordinated bombings in our city.

I have seen a little girl, maybe 8 or 10, with one arm and one leg. Hobbling about on a little crutch, one appendage for each side of her body. Where is the God I don't believe in when I really need him?

I want this real war to have a real cost for my easy-living republican friends. I want them to pay money, to see blood, to think about morality and death. I want them to have bad dreams and question their ideas and their philosophy and their very selves. I want them to know that there is a moral cost to all of this and take it very seriously. I want truth burned into them. I want them to weep and to pray. I have. Is that a lot to want? No. It should be the minimum required to have a war.

I must admit, I was in favor of this war at one time. Colin Powell convinced me that it was all true, that terrible danger loomed over us all. I could not believe that my government would lie to me at such a perilous time about life and death and war. I went to Iraq long after I realized I had been taken in by the neocons. I am still young and foolish enough, even in middle age, to have wanted to test my courage in the ancient male ritual of war, so I went to Iraq. I was neither warrior, nor chicken hawk, nor anti-war activist. Just a seeker.

I found that my courage was fine, but some new wrinkle has appeared in my conscience. Something between despair and passion. I have a desire that my country, all of us, and you kossacks who have helped me so much, and this generation, does not fail the test of these awful, new times. All of the hate-filled culture wars, with a bonus real shooting war on top, has been thrown abruptly in our laps. Our test is here and we cannot escape it. And I have a despairing fear that we may fail.

Originally posted to maskling11 on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 09:32 PM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  I Just Don't Have The Words (4.00)
    to say how this diary has affected me. I wish there was some way to express my gratitude - and comfort you.  But thank you.



    You can't always tell the truth because you don't always know the truth - but you can ALWAYS be honest.

    by mattman on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 09:36:36 PM PDT

  •  You must tell them (4.00)
    You must tell them what's really going on there. They are the one who must know what is going there, what you saw and what they don't show on FOX/CNN/MSNBC.  If they brand you traitor, you tell to go over there to work and come back and tell you that you are a liar.

    BTW, your diary is very moving.

    The moral values crowd is a bunch of lazy people who deep down in their hearts want the government to do their job as parents.

    by phinky on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 09:42:55 PM PDT

    •  I agree. Show them photos (4.00)
      If Americans actually knew what we were doing in Iraq, they'd be horrified and ashamed.

      I recommended this diary BTW

      •  Or maybe try "silent agitators" (4.00)
        It's something we do in the labor movement...leave strategically placed material around the break room, in the bathroom, wherever workers congregate. We'd even post our stuff right up on the company bulletin board. (Didn't stay up for long, but somehow magically and very quickly "reappeared.")

        Maybe even print up this diary and pass it around. Only you can assess the risk to yourself, and heaven knows what kind of rules the employer may have about distributing stuff on company property. But if you can reach just one person there, you've made a difference. Just look at the difference you're making here!

        •  Ah... (4.00)
          so you're the folks that left the labor information in the books at the bookstore I worked in.

          Some customer found one once after she bought the book. She came back in and huffed at us for putting political propaganda in her romance novel. She pointed out that she read romances so that she could escape the political craziness for a while.

          At the time...grrr. Now it's a funny memory.

          "Computer. End holographic program...Computer? Computer?"

          by kredwyn on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 11:54:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Must have been one of my "comrades" (4.00)
            Mainly, I did stuff like that in the airline industry.  One was a real doozy.

            A bunch of us were in Atlanta, trying to organize ground service workers at the notoriously anti-union Delta Airlines. At night we'd go around and stuff union brochures in gate agent podiums.

            One day Delta was having this HUGE party at their main terminal; it was for the inaugural flight of the brand new nonstop service from Atlanta to London. Band, food, governor, crowd, hoopla.

            Everybody was so busy partying, they didn't notice that the door to the jetway was open. I did. I took my brochures, went onboard and put one in each seat on the aircraft.


  •  Operative sentences: (4.00)
    "For my friends at work, it is easy to call for more killing in the desert.  It costs them nothing.  It's no more real than a video game or movie.  They have paid nothing more in taxes, they know no one who is over there, Fox shows no dead bodies.  Hooray, hooray for us red Americans, it is effortless to be John Wayne!  The worship of violence has infected them."

    And that is those are the reasons for my very stong opposiion, to Vietnam and to Iraq.

    However, the difference between the two is the censorship that is preventing the media coverage
    of the invasion of Iraq that is deemed necessary.  If MSM were as vocal re:  Iraq as in Vietnam, the US would be out of there!

    "Free speech is not to be regulated like diseased cattle and impure butter." William O. Douglas.

    by Street Kid on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 09:53:14 PM PDT

    •  You are so right about the MSM here (4.00)
      What a mess they are. They've been so cowed since 9/11, it's a disgrace. Never in my (more than I care to count) years would I have ever thought of an "imbedded" journalist.

      In Vietnam, there were journalists. Period. Maybe the only adjective they bore was "war time" or something to that effect.

      The good news is that, for all their machinations, BushCo is losing control. I've seen a little more spine in the press lately (and among some Dems as well). W's little pep talk on Iraq didn't pay off.

      Could it be that--finally--people see that the Emperor has no clothes?

  •  PS (4.00)
    Post a Tip Jar.

    "Free speech is not to be regulated like diseased cattle and impure butter." William O. Douglas.

    by Street Kid on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 09:55:29 PM PDT

  •  This is exactly what Americans need to know..... (4.00)
    ...and, by and large, don't: What it's like in Iraq from people who experience it--and without the "filter" of pols, pundits and BushCo spinning heads.

    Recently I attended a gathering where an Iraqi trade unionist, Amjad Al-Jawhary, spoke about conditions in Iraq: everyday life for millions of people is pure hell. We had so many questions for him; he answered them all. Most telling was his comment over and over again that the number one issue for people there is just day-to-day survival...not Bush, not depleted uranium, not Downing Street Memos, not war profiteering. These are issues we Americans have the luxury to discuss or debate. For Iraqis is just about staying alive.

    Thanks for your great diary. Recommended!

    •  Here is the problem with many Republicans (4.00)
      They do not care one wit about the hardships, dying/maimed children or any amount of suffering of "those people."  Many Republicans and particularly the warmongers have some basic human element that is missing--the ability to imagine yourself in another's place and feel empathy and compassion. They are broken, incomplete, unevolved...

      The Christian Right is neither Witness Every Day

      by TXsharon on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 05:47:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly! My GS 15 DOD bro-in-law (4.00)
        was asked at a family reunion what he does. "Mong war," he said.

        He not only cannot put himself in another's place, but he never even things of others as people. Empathy and compassion don't even exist for him. It's pathological in some way I don't know the name for.

        I've seen this for 40 years, but never heard it put so well. Thank you!

        It is better to die standing than to live on your knees. - Emiliano Zapata

        by cotterperson on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 07:48:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Been saying this for God-knows-how-long! (4.00)
        And have been trying to get the message across re:  posts/diaries re:  my dependence on social programs (SSD/I, Mecicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Section 8) several years after sustaining traumatic brain injury!

        Keep hearing the same crap re:  cuts in social progams and am sick of it--no more cuts can be made for the purposes of subsidizing the invasion of Iraq and giving tax cuts to those who don't need them.

        My life is harder now than it was before tbi, but, there are others who have it much worse than I do!    

        Like you said, broken, incomplete, unevolved...they just don't get it!

        "Free speech is not to be regulated like diseased cattle and impure butter." William O. Douglas.

        by Street Kid on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 12:01:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The amazing thing is (4.00)
          that their lives are also harder!  Go figure that!

          My life is harder, for sure! But I am not dealing with your level of difficulties.

          I would like to have a community on my little farm made up of people like you and many others here where we could all take care of each other. I believe that is the way it was meant to be.

          How much damned money and STUFF do people need anyway? What is so wrong with sharing? rhetorical questions...

          The Christian Right is neither Witness Every Day

          by TXsharon on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 12:08:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Been pushing your diary.... (4.00)
    Added the following comments to about five other diaries to get this the attention it deserves:

    Iraq diary from someone who's been there

    Get over and read maskling11's My Iraq Diary. Eyewitness account from someone who's been there. Lots of insight.

    Please recommend it to bring it up top.

    Everybody who's got an opinion about what they think is going on over there should read it.

    Thank you, One & All.

    Hope this helps. I've had it up to my adenoids with Judith Miller, Plamegate, etc. What you've got here is something substantial, original and extremely important. Thanks again.

    •  Thanks for pimping (4.00)
      I would have missed this exceptional diary but for your efforts.  Not many like this one on this site... each is precious and shouldn't be missed.

      Lies are the new truth.

      by Dallasdoc on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 11:45:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Glad it helped.... (4.00)
        What has been in my craw for so long about the coverage of this war is the near total absence of firsthand accounts of what's really going on over there.

        My lord, I am so sick of spinning heads debating the war as it were some academic exercise. Worse, the people who've been heard the least in all this are the Iraqis. Anything we can do to get their story out will benefit both them and the (woefully ignorant) American people.

        •  The censorship is near total (4.00)
          Funny, isn't it, how we've been "protected" from almost all the horror of this war?  The few things that have slipped through, like Nick Berg, Pat Tillman, and those poor mercenaries in Fallujah, have been twisted into propaganda points.

          Abu Ghraib is the main exception, and too many Americans have covered themselves in shame by excusing even that.  The estimate of 118,000 Iraqi dead is still cited, even though the British Medical Journal made that estimate last September.

          We are all creatures of propaganda when it comes to this war.  They suppress the truth, and then bash us for liars and traitors when we protest that we know it anyway.

          Dark days in America.  Time to light some fires.

          Lies are the new truth.

          by Dallasdoc on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 12:06:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  thankyou for (4.00)
    your comments and reccomendations. i want to stipulate emphatically that nothing i did in iraq makes me a hero, or a villain, or a martyr, so i would prefer to hear nothing along those lines.

    peace and cheers, mick.

    No member of our generation who wasn't a Communist or a dropout in the thirties is worth a damn. Lyndon B. Johnson

    by maskling11 on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 10:56:54 PM PDT

    •  No, It Don't Make You A Hero (4.00)
      at all.  It just makes you one fine fucking, quality, exceptional human who gives me hope for homo sapiens.

      And someone who can write, educate,  and bear witness.

      Other than that, you're no big deal.

      You can't always tell the truth because you don't always know the truth - but you can ALWAYS be honest.

      by mattman on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 11:31:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (none)
        "fine fucking, quality, exceptional human being..."

        with integrity

        "who gives me hope..."

        everythng else fits!

        "Free speech is not to be regulated like diseased cattle and impure butter." William O. Douglas.

        by Street Kid on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 12:51:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  the mistake is in thinking of heroism (4.00)
       in the first place. you are doing the right thing, as a regular person, and all we should ever hope to do is the same: to do the right thing when circumstances provide us with a choice, and to reflect upon its meaning afterwards. if i could do anything to have made this all not happen i would without hesitation, in a second. the awful reality over there was what those of us who protested the war - not as heroic activists, but as regular people moved to action - were so desperate to prevent. i take some comfort in the fact that a significant % of americans tried to prevent it before it happened, and that our numbers are growing. we may end this yet.

      as a society we have got to stop feeding this beast, before we consume ourselves with our own war machine. take care, and keep bearing witness to the blind, in hopes that they might see.

      crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

      by wu ming on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 11:56:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A word of advice... (4.00)
      As you go along, you are going to experience many of these moments. Some of them are going to be brief flashes and quick memories. Others are going to be longer...those will dig much deeper into you.

      Make sure that you have set up a support network to deal with what you are experiencing...and what you will be experiencing in the future. This can be spouse and family...but it also needs to be close friends. You might consider getting in contact with people who have had some sort of combat oriented  experience.

      Sometimes writing it out will be very helpful. Other times? Maybe not so much.

      Remember to take care of yourself...head, body, heart, and soul.

      "Computer. End holographic program...Computer? Computer?"

      by kredwyn on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 12:11:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is far and away one.... (4.00)
      ..... the best diaries I have read in a while. Thank for sharing your thoughts.

      Cost.... is everything. Everyone on TV treats this war like some lab where ideologies are playing out.

      Thanks again.

    •  Extraordinarily Vivid, Powerful Piece Of Writing (none)
      Very simply, thank you.

      "L'enfer, c'est les autres." - Jean Paul Sartre, Huis Clos

      by JJB on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 04:31:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Addendum (4.00)
        Someone (Arthur Koeslter, I think) once praised a book by another writer by saying "You have not come back from Hell with empty hands."  The same can be said of you.

        Thanks again.

        "L'enfer, c'est les autres." - Jean Paul Sartre, Huis Clos

        by JJB on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 04:37:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for posting this (4.00)
    I want to thank you also. Not just for the part of your post regarding Iraq, which was moving. But I want to that you for this

    I like my workmates. In spite of their red ignorance, they are good people.

    Sometimes I feel almost desperate in my attempts to get that point, that disagreement doesn't make one side evil, across to people. You don't know how much just those 2 sentences mean to me. Thanks.

    Straw Man (homo calami) - when you don't feel like arguing against someone's actual points just assign them new and easier ones to dispute

    by Liberalpalooza on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 10:58:09 PM PDT

    •  Yeah, such 'good people' (none)
      'I like my workmates. In spite of their red ignorance, they are good people.'

      Yeah, they are real heroes. Because they (most likely) personally don't know anyone who has come home in a box, and they certainly haven't had to, even worse, PAY, for the war they just don't care. I am sorry but 'good people' oppose war unless undertaken due to the most extreme circumstances, and there are many on this site who would not even agree at the 'extreme' qualifier.

      Being lazy is not the worst sin out there. But in my opinion, possibly shared by no one else on this site, you loose the right to have the adjective 'good' attached to your person when your laziness allows for the myriad horrors that have been visited upon Iraqis.

      Of course, since this is the New America, along with the ever lowering bar, perhaps being 'good' means only passively supporting the killing of innocents rather than doing it yourself.

      Don't blame me....I voted for Kodos! Neo-Cons don't die....they just go to the private sector to regroup

      by coheninjapan on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 03:45:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sure some people share your opinion (4.00)
        How do they know these aren't the most extreme circumstances? And who gets to decide which are and aren't. Since some here oppose the war in Afghanistan, which I don't. Does that make me not 'good'?

        Every week there are posts on this site about how the MSM isn't doing their job. How they repeat admin talking points, fail to point out lies and haven't given airtime to information that contradicts the administration. Yet we blame the listeners of this disinformation?

        Imagine you live in a red cocoon. People on the radio, the tv stations, the newspaper, the politicians, the people around you are all conservatives. You hear them each repeating the same story. Why would you ever think there was more to it? Even if some piece of truth slips though to you why would you believe it?

        Prior to America joining WWII there was some information about what the Germans were doing. Only most people didn't know and if they did hear rumors they didn't believe. That didn't make them not good. Sometimes evil is hard to believe. Sometimes it's even harder to believe your own government could be complicit in that evil.

        In this new America, we should be careful not to assume that everyone has equal access to information. And we should spend less time blaming the victims of a successful propaganda machine and more time figuring out how to free them from it's clutches.

        Just a qualifier: I'm not saying that everyone who supports the war is unaware of the facts. I'll never say that all people are good or that there aren't extremists on both sides. I'm talking about the less rabid, more moderate individuals or swing voters. Fringe people need more than we could ever give them.

        Straw Man (homo calami) - when you don't feel like arguing against someone's actual points just assign them new and easier ones to dispute

        by Liberalpalooza on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 07:42:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe they are not evil people (4.00)
      but their complacency to remain ignorant makes them accessory to evil!

      The Christian Right is neither Witness Every Day

      by TXsharon on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 06:10:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  LOL but (none)
        You're post made me laugh (not being sarcastic I thought it was cute).

        But following that line of assumptions and logic, you are complacent in their ignorance too. You haven't worked to inform them.

        Now you'll probably say something along the lines of "But I have worked to inform them." How would I know that? And how do you know they haven't tried to be informed themselves? Only sadly, the MSM has done a terrible job.

        Maybe their not complacent, maybe they're tired from working 2 jobs. Or maybe they've watched the news and haven't seen anything but Repub talking points. Perhaps they don't have internet access or even if they do they have no idea how to find more information.

        I'm not talking about fringe people (on both sides those people who would never allow facts stand in the way of their beliefs i.e. Freepers). And just to emphasize I don't think that you haven't worked hard to inform people of the truth I was just trying to make a point.

        Straw Man (homo calami) - when you don't feel like arguing against someone's actual points just assign them new and easier ones to dispute

        by Liberalpalooza on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 07:19:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I understand your point (none)
          that maybe some people are not willfully ignorant but rather just ignorant because they cannot help it. I accept that the media and all of us are responsible in those instances and it causes me no end of shame and sorrow.

          I am not, however, responsible for lack of trying! I spend excessive time on these endeavors. I am a low-income single mother who spends 9 hours a day at an extremely demanding job plus 2 hours a day commuting to that job. I then come home to a broken down place in the middle of nowhere and try to help my son learn what he didn't learn in school that day and try to maintain my home and get ready to do it all again the next day. I still find time to inform others and myself.

          IMO, when your country is killing people in another country, there are few excuses to remain ignorant.

          Cute? You found my post cute. I find that offensive

          The Christian Right is neither Witness Every Day

          by TXsharon on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 07:56:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'll try again (none)
            Yes I found the phrasing in your post humorous. Not in a dismissive or it was meant to be humorous or laugh till my side hurts way but that it was phrased cleverly and I admired it. Sorry that offended you it was meant as a compliment not as an insult or a way to minimize your point.

            I clearly stated that I didn't think you hadn't worked hard so I'm confused about why you felt that you needed to explain that. Although perhaps you are justifiably proud. You certainly have the right to be. I'm sure you are a fine person who cares deeply about these things and has worked hard for the things you believe, I'm not debating that.

            I'm not looking to debate you personally or your character but rather issues and differences of opinion. I don't have to think less of you because you disagree with me. Nor do I need to believe you think less of me. And while I realize that the internet is a difficult medium to have conversations without misunderstandings I think we can all try harder to understand what each is trying to say without assuming that people mean the worst. And without assuming the other thinks less of us because we disagree.

            And that is basically my point in all these posts. That by hating those who disagree, by putting negative labels on them, we will find ourselves doing that more and more and with each other. Not only does it fail to take into account the complexity of people, increase the level of animosity and is generally unproductive, but it's a slippery slope. Demonize one enemy and the next is that much easier to demonize.

            Straw Man (homo calami) - when you don't feel like arguing against someone's actual points just assign them new and easier ones to dispute

            by Liberalpalooza on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 09:51:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Trying again (4.00)
              FYI, I think many people would feel that defining their post as "cute" was condescending.  Whatever...that is the way I took it.  If you had said that my comment was "phrased cleverly", I would not have been offended.

              The reason I felt compelled to explain myself was to show that I am likely one of the people you referenced in your original response to me.  According to what you said, I have earned the right to remain ignorant because I work very long hours and my life has some "extreme circumstances."  In addition, I live "in a red cocoon" where I am the lone liberal.  

              THAT IS NO EXCUSE TO REMAIN IGNORANT!  To remain ignorant is a CHOICE!

              That is why I felt I needed to explain about my life to you--because I think you are wrong to excuse people who choose to remain ignorant.  That said I did acknowledge that we all have a responsibility for the ignorance of our fellow Americans. We could all do more.

              IMO, there is a HUGE difference in holding people accountable and in demonize them. People who choose to remain ignorant, especially when their country is murdering innocent people and making the whole world unsafe ARE accountable.

              Now, if we are still warring with Iraq when my 10-year-old son is old enough to be cannon fodder or if they reinstate the draft and my 23-year-old is drafted then you will see me hate.

              The Christian Right is neither Witness Every Day

              by TXsharon on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 12:01:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  At least we're still talking (none)
                But they don't think they are ignorant. It's not that they are choosing to be that way (again gotta emphasize there are always exceptions). Some of them are reading newspapers, listening to the news and talking to others to be informed.

                It's not like someone is offering them a blue or red pill and they've chosen the one that keeps them ignorant (can't remember which that was). And without knowing each person, we can't tell how hard they've worked to know anything.

                Straw Man (homo calami) - when you don't feel like arguing against someone's actual points just assign them new and easier ones to dispute

                by Liberalpalooza on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 12:32:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  I am so touched by this (4.00)
    the passion and the pain- I don't know what to say-except- thank you for that heartfelt testament.
  •  As hard as it is, the stuff your diary (4.00)
    is made of needs to be shared with your work buds.  B/c our dear leader and the media cabal that backs the BCF, we are not seeing the horrors of war like those around for he Vietnam War saw.  So people like you, strong people like you, need to share your experience to enlighten the rest.  And hopefully, through sharing you will ease your pain as well.
    Please don't keep quite, and thank you for your amazing bravery.
  •  Thank you for so much... (4.00)
    For your service, for your honesty, and for reminding me what toll the sacrifice will cost us all.

    My father was killed in Vietnam. While it devistated the family, I often wonder (in my darker moments) whether or not he was better off not having to live with what he witnessed. 35+ years later, I still don't know.

    I worry for our troops and civilian personel. They'll need a lot of care and support.

    "Is that the Culture of Life in the back of my fridge...?"

    by themis on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 11:10:03 PM PDT

  •  Thank you ... (4.00)
    ... for your heart felt need to go into this war zone to help people in need and the soldiers.  My heart is sad that you have to deal with these memories.  I don't have them, so I'm at a loss to totally understand.  Kept up your faith in the goodness of others, even when you are tested.

    Let your friends know that there is a cost now for this invasion of Iraq and it's payment will be felt by everyone (spiritually and financially) for a long time to come.

    You have a good heart and I respect you.

  •  I thought of Vietnam today (4.00)
    Not sure why... I remembered the nightly battles on the evening news, the casualty counts with those absurd inflations of enemy dead, the demonstrations... the demonstrations... the demonstrations....

    Where are our demonstrations?  We've had a few, but no mass movement has yet begun.  The polls are shifting against the warmongers, but even bumper stickers against the war seem rare.

    I fear you may be right:  we are facing our test, and we are failing.  Our indignation ought to be hot.  We should march with ignored veterans, listen to witness from those fresh from the front lines, and demand that our leaders be held to account.

    I was feeling guilty about that earlier today, and you have sharpened it to a biting pang.  Good for you.  It's time to mobilize.

    Lies are the new truth.

    by Dallasdoc on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 11:23:01 PM PDT

    •  September 24th Impeach Bush demonstration (4.00)

      If I can scrape together the money, I am going to take my 10 year old son out of school and travel to Washington, DC for this.

      The Christian Right is neither Witness Every Day

      by TXsharon on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 06:19:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  dallas... (4.00)
      you ask where the demonstrators? ... here in Tampa a simple husband and wife started protesting back in May.  They reachedf to likeminded acquaintances who reached out to their friends .... word has spread and the numbers of peole and and different groups has mushroomed.  It is now a weekly planned event for those who show up, and the comradrie is unbelievable.  Yes, there is a noticeably evident difference in reaction around the city.  This past week they even had to use the signs to protect themselves from ROCKS thrown!  However, they will go on and they WILL make more aware ... I'm sure that all those signs have made at least a few in the area question and look up the DSM and the websites.  They haven even been joined by folks who knew nothing of it and stopped their cars and joined the spreading of the truth.  Check out their website .... many kuddos to Michelle, John, Susan S, House, and thefos for their tireless dedication to our troops and the welfare of the country.
      •  Every so often, I'll walk to the local (4.00)
        Main Line post office and there will be a group of senior citizens, at least in their 70s, standing outside of the post office (or sitting in folding chairs) and silently holding signs condemning this administration's Iraq policy. It's awesome.

        WALTHAM ROCKS...

        by modchick65 on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 01:45:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  plan on joining them (none)
          the next time you go to the po.  get them riled up!  I betcha there's a couple of WWII, Korean or Vietnam vets who'll get pretty vocal!  Our group has a wide range in ages - from 9 yr old to 80's sitting on the benches holding the banners!  Write your paper and ask them to do a story on them and produce their story!  You'll make some great new friends and they will inspire you!
      •  Thanks for the idea (none)
        I've been researching for local vet's groups.  I firmly believe that an antiwar movement has to coordinate closely with veterans.  People who've been there; people who can't be painted as traitors.  We need to learn from them, support their struggles, and hear their witness.  

        It's difficult, as I'm in the middle of trying to relocate my life, but this suits my passions better than attending school board meetings.

        Lies are the new truth.

        by Dallasdoc on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 05:55:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  dallas (none)
          reach out to the vets and do a google search for progressives in your area.  But DO GO to the school board meetings.  Better yet, make a difference in your child's school by volunteering for the PTA as Legislative Chair! Nat'l PTA is a hard core fighting machine for that wonderful right - a free education for all! Also, you'll find that parents of elementary aged children (probably all parents tbt) are the most likely to be registered to vote, but the least likely to actually do the deed!  As Leg Chair, it would be your duty to INFORM and educate those parents on what the school board, state legs and fed is planning for their children and they're taxes.  Tell them the truth about nclb. Who better to answer their questions than the person writing a column in the schoool newsletter on leg. issues.  You'd have to be bipartisan of course, but share that knowledge and your desire for a better future.
          •  No kids... (none)
            I'm better placed to do health care work, and plan to do some when I settle in my new home.

            I figure that antiwar work, health care advocacy and Democratic party participation is as much as I can handle for now.  Along with some volunteer doctoring when I can fit it in.

            Lies are the new truth.

            by Dallasdoc on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 11:05:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  This is the kind of pain (4.00)
    I thought we did NOT have to feel again- after Nam- I thought there was a period of learning-that would teach us all that there was never again going to be this kind of madness and uselessness and waste.
    I was wrong.
    And the anger that infuses me is never going to go away, this is not a game,a video game, this is a deadly game that those who have nothing to lose play  with other people's lives.
    •  Sadly, that lesson (4.00)
      was learned the wrong way: The GOP learned that the downfall of Vietnam rested upon public unrest, in large part thanks to the barrage of media informing civillians of the horrors occuring at American hands, and the horros experienced by American soldiers and innocent Vietnamese as a result.  They will never allow for that again.  So now we go back to an earlier time, when we relied upon the spoken word to inform.  The only way that we can bring change is to have those with real experience in this war share those experience, and shed light on a subject that to most is intangible, unfathomable.  
      If you have this power, please share it.  I can think of no more important task.
      •  i cannot argue with that (3.90)
        but I can argue with the amazing fact that some people whom I have known, seem to think that it was me, or Jane Fonda who was the source of their disillusionment.
        This must be the hardest thing for anyone to face,and I have faced many,who have said that if the traitors like me had just 'shut up', then that foolish war could have been 'won'.
        plus ca change.....
        •  Those people are idiots (4.00)
          And it is b/c of those people that my favorite Uncle  has never been able to stop wearing the clothes he wore before he left (luckily, he's a trim guy), can not  socialize in groups, prefers darkness to bright day light, and is still shell shocked.  In return he got a purple heart and some stripes and crap for his gov't issued dress uniform.  Thanks Uncle Sam!
            My Uncle HAS had some improvements over the years, and after a long, hard struggle, has become reknown for his amazing art work, and widley collected.  He actually has new clothes and wears them these days, and he has some security for the future, which is good b/c he was never able to join the work force upon his return.
              Today I have 4 family members fighting this rich man's war, and I fear for them daily.  Maybe they'll come back like my uncle, in bad shape, or maybe they won't come back at all.  
              Thank God for you guys, the people that fought and protested Vietnam.  I wish my generation would be as vocal and visable as yours was.
  •  This is beautifully written... (4.00)
    This will haunt me, but I don't regret reading it. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    Freedom isn't free, but the richer you are, the cheaper it gets.--me

    by rcvanoz on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 11:36:34 PM PDT

  •  Even if you can't tell your work mates... (4.00)
    ...please continue to tell us. We need to hear this as much as they do.

    We need to be reminded why we can never rest, why we must keep opposing the lies that got us to where we are today. Otherwise there will be other pools of blood and other little girls without arms or legs, and we would have done nothing to stop it.

    So thank you.

  •  Thank you for this diary. (4.00)
    God, I don't know what to say.

    I just don't know what to say.

  •  I too live in a Republican area (4.00)
    And the people are mostly good people. They are simply overcome by noxious fumes from rightwing radio hosts and FOX news, so they go around talking about when do we hit Syria, or will Iran be next?  They sure wouldn't be talking like that if taxes were going up to pay for it, or if their college-bound kids were drafted.  Lots of kids here do go into the military, though...lots.  
    I'm so sad for all who have terrible memories that seem never to fade.  Thank you for this diary, it's the best of the day, by far.  I really wish you could write a letter to the newspaper that hit on some of the points you make.

    War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

    by Margot on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 11:56:43 PM PDT

    •  Excellent point about LTEs (4.00)
      This would make a wonderful letter to the editor (though, I'm sure, it would have to be shortened; they usually don't like anything longer than 400-500 words).

      Also, if giving one's name is a problem, some papers will accept a pseudonym.

      Actually, I think any local paper worth its salt would want an interview. This is a compelling story.

      •  Oh that's a great idea (4.00)
        An interview, or a guest column. Better than LTE, really.  I just want people in towns and cities everywhere to start seeing, as much as they can, what Maskling and others have experienced. We don't get Vietnam-style coverage now, we have no draft, no war taxes, and there's a swirl of disinformation.
        Not that I'm in favor of a draft, but it did make people think hard about the war, that's for damn sure.

        War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

        by Margot on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 12:34:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, please tell me this isn't real. (4.00)
      so they go around talking about when do we hit Syria, or will Iran be next?

      Do they never think? The military is not an infinite resource, military attacks have real international consequences.  I think the video game analogy is apt.  

      Tyranny goes with poverty;it's cheaper than democracy. (Larry Niven)

      by Fabian on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 04:55:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, it's real (4.00)
        I'm simply not creative or devious enough to make something like that up. These are nurses and doctors saying these things, FOX news afficionados, all.

        One doctor in particular made me wonder what the hell country I was living in, when he was so gung ho on the "Patriot Act." He said we had to lose some freedoms in order to keep safe. I asked him when he thought we'd ever see'em again. "Who cares? We didn't know the attacks were coming, we don't know when they'll come again, we can't afford NOT to do this."

        Note: He had never fought for these freedoms he was so quick to discard.  Everyone was so scared shitless, they wanted a security blankie right this minute.  Disgusting, but very common here.

        War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

        by Margot on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 11:28:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They want to believe (none)
          that Doing Something is better than not doing it.  There is some comfort in action, but every action has a consequence.  It isn't like we could invade Syria and the world would stand up and cheer.  Maybe the world would decide that they'd rather sell their oil to China since shorting the American oil supply would hurt our economy and our ability to wage war. The rest of the world a)counts and b)aren't automatic fans of America.

          War isn't like most people think.  My husband playing detailed war games helps me understand the complexities of military action.  There are supply lines that have to be maintained. Troops and equipment aren't infinite and require time to deploy.  A friendly citizenry makes it easier to hold onto objectives once they've been taken and a hostile citizenry makes it damned difficult.

          Tyranny goes with poverty;it's cheaper than democracy. (Larry Niven)

          by Fabian on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 11:42:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agree (none)
            Doing something does not equal security.  
            That's interesting about your husband and war games. Makes me think about the old computer game, The Oregon Trail. Would be very interesting to see a sort of dumbed-down video war game where all the things you mention (plus more) absolutely had to be taken into consideration.  I bet the conciliatory, think-ahead players would be far ahead of the "bring 'em on" types.

            War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

            by Margot on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 02:51:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Empathy.... (4.00)
    why are so many "good" people void of that emotion these days?

    Disturbing as they are, stories like yours need to be told whenever possible, and to everyone you can.  Disturb them.  Force them to remember empathy, if they ever had it.

    Thanks for sharing it here.

    •  as far as I can see (4.00)
      it seems to be willful ignorance.
      •  I think it's a combination of things (4.00)
        I've lived in blue states and organized in red states and found, by and large, people are pretty much the same no matter where you go.

        I'm in Wisconsin now, Madison. Very educated population, progressive, pay attention to what's going on. That's the culture. But there are other towns that are as closed-minded as any you'd find anywhere in the country, including the Deep South.

        California, same thing. If you went into the valley, you'd think you were deep in the heart of Texas.

        I don't know how that happens or why. It just seems that the more isolated people are, the bigger the risk for little understanding of and interest in the world "outside." Maybe it's a matter of media, too. The wingnuts really dominate the airwaves. Really have to know where to look to find alternatives. If you're not exposed to anything else, how would you know?

        •  Not hopeless here (4.00)
          Peace Fresno gets coverage in the local paper quite often.  A good number of anti-war or anti-Bush LTEs are published too. 1500 Fresnans showed up for a pre-war demonstration.
    •  They aren't "good" people, that's why. (none)
      Sorry to say it, but they aren't.  You don't support this war (or really any war) and call yourself good.  Granted, there are levels of good and evil in the world and maybe we aren't just one or the other.  But these folks have chosen sides; and in the big circle of life they are the Yin to our Yang.
  •  Leaving this page up (4.00)
    so my Vietvet hub can see it--or should I not? he is furious about all of this ridiculous lying war-I don't suppose it would make it any better to let him know that things haven't changed one whit since 1970.
  •  Good Job (4.00)
    You can't read it and not feel.
  •  You say they are good people (4.00)
    but let me remind of you of this phrase although it is not a perfect analogy because of the difference in degrees, but I think it is still applicable to any situation such as this: All that evil needs to flourish is for good men to do nothing.
    •  yes i think they (4.00)
      are good people, generally. i do not often make the mistake of confusing personality with character. they have the common failings we all have, sure.

      it's been over a year since i left, but somehow this stuff has caught up with me in the last few days as it had not before. the confluence of the london bombings and other things, i don't know why.

      i really appreciate all of you kossacks. i have really needed this place and you people in the past and i really appreciate you. mean it.

      No member of our generation who wasn't a Communist or a dropout in the thirties is worth a damn. Lyndon B. Johnson

      by maskling11 on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 12:46:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you very much. (4.00)
    Thank you for this wonderfully moving diary.  

    While I'm certain I haven't gone through anywhere near the same kind of horrific experiences as you have, the one thing I am certain of is that everyone goes through the trials they were meant for, until eventually, in this life or the next, it all comes together and they get it.  The Big Picture.  The Message.  And if you personally haven't gotten it yet, you're certainly right near the front of the line for doing so.

    On the off chance that that time is now, perhaps I can help a bit; an offer that I only extend because of the last line of your diary.

    You say that you have a despairing fear that we may fail.  What you must know is that that is not possible.  The failure you are fearing is comes from the despair itself.

    Success or failure is not a matter of action, but disposition.

    You know that everything in this world is made up of opposites.  Good and bad, left and right, red and blue, dark and light.  It's how it's always been, and always will be.  A manifested maelstrom of cycles and opposites.

    And it's within these opposites that the truth shines.  You cannot fail, WE cannot fail, ever.  Because the only thing that conquers Darkness, is Light.  It's the only thing that ever has, and the only thing that ever will.

    Where is the God you don't believe in when you need him?  Exactly where God is supposed to be.  The next time you two need to meet, just walk up to the mirror...

    ...and look in your own eyes.

    God bless you.

  •  you know what I want (4.00)
    to see your diary as a full page in at least one if not several major MSM newspapers. And I am going to personally take it on as 'my test' to see what it is going to take to get it done. Bless you for your courage - and for being an incredible inspiration at a time when so many of us need it. And also for being a da... good writer. Expect to hear back from me.
  •  I think you should (4.00)
    discuss this with your mates at work.

    They need to know.

    •  Mick (4.00)
      Your diary is beautifully painful and true. I suggest you print the whole thing out, comments and all, and distribute it to your mates at work. Don't say a word, just put it in their hands.

      Thank you for opening your vein and spilling your hard-earned truth here.

      Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

      by bumblebums on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 10:03:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A fellow seeker and optimist (4.00)
    I too went to Iraq to test myself - not in the line of battle but because I wanted to see the people we had attacked and brutally occupied and make a difference.  I was lucky enough to design a solution which solved a very big problem nationwide for the Iraqis (not the occupation forces).  My solution still works - and I didn't even get a Halliburton-sized payment.  

    Maybe the reason so few in London preach vengeance and hatred and religious division is because most Londoners have lived through loss and war (if they are over 65), the after affects of war (45 to 65), and many instances of terrorism (15 to 45).  We know the stupidity of violence and injustice and we reject these - even when confronted with brutality.

    It bothers me that Americans do not value any lives but their own.  They trivialise the deaths and suffereing of anyone else in a way other nations regard as obscene.

    An American colleague of mine - Bush voter - says that mullahs preach hatred and Muslims teach their children to kill. I see US Christian leaders preaching hatred and US parents teaching their children to kill through violent video games and films that trivialise the humanity of anyone who isn't "us".  There is as much goodness and kindness in the Arab world as in the USA in my experience.  And there is more willingness to believe good of others (except Bushco).

    "Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing - after they have exhausted all other possibilities." Winston Churchill

    by LondonYank on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 05:06:10 AM PDT

  •  Last night I went to spend the evening (4.00)
    with my red sisters, and ended up saying that I felt sick and had to go home after an hour.  They had Fox news on and were talking about how the bombing in London would shut up those antiwar protesters in London, etc.  I never spoke because I just didn't feel like fighting, although I was fighting mad.
    •  Reply to "Daisy Democrat" (4.00)
      I know how you feel, DD.  I have 2 sisters who are zombified into Bush-cult lock-step support of this administration.  They only watch Fox-faux news.  It's really putting a strain on family relations, when we always used to be close, because the other 2 of us are die-hard Democrats.  It feels now like our family has split into 2 factions, and it will never be healed, at least not as long as the Bush-cult is in power.  

      It also seems that the more the Bush admin is being cornered for the hopelessly failed policies and the corruption, the more my sisters are reacting toward us "liberals" with an edgy, shrill, thrashing, near-hysteria, even over ordinary, non-political matters, as if they somehow sense their world is coming apart beneath them (and there's no "pat Daddy-Bush" answer to rely on anymore, it's becoming increasingly clear).

      When I read this lovely, poignant diary posting here about his first-person witness of the consequences of our warmongering in Iraq, I thought of printing it out and mailing it to my Bush-cult siblings, wondering if maybe this would finally break the evil zombie-spell hold on their reasoning faculties (they were once intelligent women, and college educated!!).  But probably they would just read the first few lines and then throw it away as "liberal propaganda" attempting to "undermine our President and not support our troops".  (It always astounds me how the rightwing media juggernaut has managed to have ready, bumper-sticker answers relentlessly preprogrammed in to counter any possible dissent that may filter through to the zombied Bush-cult faithful.)

      Well...maybe the siblings will throw it away if I send it, but at least I will have tried.   Perhaps their curiosity will compel them to read it, hoping to find some "treasonous, outlandish liberal bias" that they can self-righteously indict me with at last, before the court of family-clan opinion (all Bush-cultists, except for us 2 Dems).

      I'm grateful for this lovely, articulate diary entry at dKos.  It says everything I ever wanted to or hoped to be able to say to the implacable, unreasoning, unquestioning lock-step loyalty to anything Republican that my family clan has always adhered to (as if being Republican was like being a fan of a losing football/baseball 'em no matter win or lose).  How can they not listen to such a poignant first-hand witness?

      And I really understand how you felt, Daisy, I sure do...BTDT, many times.  My family divided feels like a microcosm of the nation divided, it strikes so close to home.  "I'm a uniter, not a divider."  GWB.

  •  Day 201 (4.00)
    Today's witness of the cost of this war. Look at the pain on those faces. There are 200 other diaries. Take the time to view a few today. Then make it a habit to Witness Everyday.

    The Christian Right is neither Witness Every Day

    by TXsharon on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 06:33:42 AM PDT

  •  Painfullly beautiful (4.00)
    Thank you for this incredible diary.  You found the words I haven't been able to find to express my feelings.
  •  Excellent post (4.00)
    And thank you for citing Digby's column outlining the three ways to manhood:

    • The anti-war "revolution"
    • Joining battle in Vietnam
    • The chickenhawks

    I agree with Digby that the moment Bush-Cheney were appointed pres-vice pres, we were headed for disaster.  Especially Bush.  His whole life was one of being protected from consequences.  Short of drunkenly challenging daddy to a fistfight, he never really had been tested as a human being.  He was and is infantile, in my view.

    But I have to add at least one other path to manhood - the silent majority.

    I don't mean Nixon's silent majority.  I mean the silent majority of men (we're talking predominantly about men, here) who opposed the war but who, because of age (my excuse), fear, social constraints, or whatever, did not take an active role against the war (short of, in my case, debating against the war in junior high and high school).

    Perhaps we're the chickendoves?  No - I don't like that.  I'm not really a dove, though I think war is rarely necessary (WWII springs to mind).  Maybe call us the Vietnam-era silent liberal majority.  

    Any better labels?

  •  very moving testimony. thank you, maskling11. (4.00)
    it is easy to make excuses for your coworkers for the truth imbalance they face.  you are only one man whose voice is overmatched by the onslaught of propaganda they receive from all their other information sources.  they have not had the personal experiences and consequences you have had.  they have not felt any sacrifice.  there are so many reasons why they still believe the lies they have been told.

    but it is not possible for the GOP to control the information blackout forever.  RoveCo has an iron fist clamped down on the major media, but local stories and personal testimony are slowly trickling out the facts.  this is how the truth gets told in times of government corruption.

    BushCo can stop pictures of coffins from being taken at Dover, but cannot stop people from standing at gravesites of their families and friends and openly wondering why.

    the Republican Noise Machine can suppress reports of inadequate vehicle and body armor, but they cannot stop Mary from having a bake sale to get the money to send her son Joe a Kevlar vest.  they cannot stop people from seeing Joe at the donut shop when he comes back from Iraq with one arm and one leg because the vest didn't get there in time.  Rs can suppress news of cuts in veterans' medical benefits, but cannot stop everyone from asking why it is taking Joe so long to get the prosthesis he needs.

    soldiers can be forced to say only good things about the war to reporters in country, and soldiers can face courtmartial for telling the truth in an internet forum.  but eventually these men and women come home, changed forever by what they have seen, and they force their red communities to confront and process the disconnect between the experiences they share and what is not being reported by the smiling pretty young woman wearing pearls on Faux News.

    the timetable for how soon we can get out of Iraq, and whether we can restore some of what we have destroyed there with the help of the rest of the world, will depend on how soon this one-to-one personal information effort can break through the fog of the Republican mass misinformation effort.  right now we are a divided country, with half wanting to take action based on truth and half wanting to sit in comfortable blissful red ignorance.  truth is marching on, even though it is moving very slowly: one person at a time, one story at a time.  only actions based on truth can have a lasting and honorable influence, both over in Iraq and here at home.

    So hold on to your courage, my brother, and do not fear, because you are the reason we will not fail.   every day the Blue Team is gaining the advantage because of men like you.  with this diary you have joined the True Blue bucket brigade of personal witness.  Almost every day another passionate eyewitness account like yours is told somewhere.  maybe heard only by a few in comparison to the millions listening to Rushbo, watching Fox and reading sanitized newspapers, but those few tell another few.  buckets pass from hand to hand.  emails get sent. links get pasted.  hard copies are printed out and xeroxed and put in the snail mail.  slowly, slowly, the tide is turning.

    the truth is a force of nature that cannot be stopped.  The GOP has been very successful up until now at piling on sandbag after sandbag of distraction, but they have not yet figured out a way to stop the tide from coming in altogether.  Every day more and more people are beginning to open their eyes and question the lies.

    even the chickenhawks can no longer run away from the gnawing reality that talking a big game from a safe distance does not make you a man.  it is you and people like you who will help Red America realize that risk-averse warmongers like Jonah Goldberg have no credibility.  you've had the courage to walk the walk, and you've earned the right to talk the talk.  as time goes on, more people will respond to your conscience and compassion than will respond to the chickenhawk lie that war is a consequence-free game.

    i hope your essay does get turned into a form that can be published.  and when it does, I hope you tell your coworkers you wrote it.  if they are the good people you believe they are, they will be moved.  maybe not completely moved from where they are to where you are, but every little bit helps.  every drop of water helps to melt the hearts of stone.  take comfort in this, and do not despair.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 07:00:35 AM PDT

  •  HOW (4.00)
    HOW, i ask, does the right possibly respond to this?

    dismiss him?, call him insane?, cowardly?, somehow profiteering ?, or, more than likely, simply ignore it completely?

    keep this up and alive and link to it often, allow as many to see it as possible...

    thank you for it

  •  I'm posting this link in a few threads... (none)
    because what if more of us burst into MSM reporting like this man did on CNN...

  •  We can't fail that test. (none)
    We just can't.

    If you can read this, thank a Democrat.

    by red clay dem on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 09:17:41 AM PDT

  •  Beautifully written... (4.00)
    I agree with you, many people who quote the Fox talking points ARE good people.  They are also ignorant of the facts and nuances, or they simply want to STAY ignorant.  Because it is so much safer and easier.

    Black and white is always easier to perceive than gray.  Though I didn't believe Iraq was justified, after 911 believe it or not I wanted to throw away a 20 year fairly successful career and join the CIA or something.  I was so outraged and wanted to be part of the problem, not the solution.  

    What I realize now, however, is the people in charge are really not interested in the solution.  Their political and economic goals have nothing to do with ending terror or saving the lives of ordinary people like your colleagues.  You and I and your colleagues are simply potential collateral damage or cannon fodder for them.  Our day to day lives mean nothing.

    I do not for a minute believe ALL leaders are like this.  Clinton was a politico through and through, but I believe there was a sense of duty and public service.  Government and public service mean nothing to these people.  Only power does.

    For all Kerry's many flaws (and in some ways, despite the Repub cheating, the election was his to lose), I believe he was a genuine public servant.  We simply MUST have real public servants  back in charge again, or the lives of us "ordinary" citizens will continue to mean nothing.

    (Not to mention the lives of the "civilian casualties" in Iraq like the children you mention.  They mean even less to those in power - these little brown people of, as Fox News would say, other "odd" religions.)

    True HUMANITY has to re-take Washington.  I'm not an idiot - politics will always be a dirty game and a huge part of what it takes to govern men and women.  But to those in power now, the game is everything.  There IS nothing else.  And, no one else.

    "Every violation of truth is not only a sort of suicide in the liar, but is a stab at the health of human society." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by hopesprings on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 10:36:06 AM PDT

    •  Whoops, I meant (none)
      "the solution not the problem."

      I wonder if that was Freudian.  

      "Every violation of truth is not only a sort of suicide in the liar, but is a stab at the health of human society." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

      by hopesprings on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 10:37:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Seeing the damage (4.00)
    In the 1970's I worked in a VA hosptial as a nurse for almost 8 years. In the beginning  I was only vaguely interested in Vietnam (I was generally against it but not actively so).  When is saw the soldiers long after the shooting, without arms legs, eyes, and spinal cords I realized the futility and stupidity of the war.  Nothing we were doing made any sense anymore. It is worse today, because I understand the stupidity right from the beginning.

    Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities-Voltaire

    by hairspray on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 10:44:09 AM PDT

  •  I put up information on our company bulletin board (none)
    About Operation Iraqi Children - org to send humanitarian aid to the children in iraq. The HR/Receptionist took it down. I said " I guess someone was offended by my posting." She said - It had been up there too long.(four weeks) I said they will need our help for a LONG TIME. Then I said - but you have the power. (so I am silenced)

    She supports Bush. She is from Mexico and her husband is in the Navy stationed in the Great Lakes. She has a two year old boy. This is the very person who will be affected by bush's stupid policies, yet she has the power to censor postings on our company bulletin board.

    It is so difficult to get through to these people. I am so sad.

  •  On a Personal Note, (4.00)
    I know posting this diary must have been hard for you, and I'm grateful that DailyKos is there for you, when discussing the things you saw in person has to be even harder than posting a diary here.  We forget sometimes here the damage war inflicts on the ones who fight it - damage that goes beyond the immediate physical wounds.  I don't have any answers for you about what to do with the memories that haunt you, as you say you don't believe in God.  You have done some good with the experience by posting here.  Maybe doing more, sharing more, will also help you come to some peace.  I hope that is true.

    "Dear God: Do you draw the lines around the countries? If you don't, who does?" Nathan -- Letters to God from Children, The Anglican Digest

    by md jeffersonian on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 04:36:20 PM PDT

  •  Freepers on Iraqis (4.00)
    I couldn't believe this when I saw it. I posted a diary about it, but here's the upshot...

    One of the wingnuts over at the Free Republic found a newspaper article about Iraqi trade unionists touring the US to tell their story to the American people. They were sponsored by US Labor Against the War. You would have thought Joe Stalin was resurrected from the dead. Some excerpts:

    • So Iraqi communists are linking up with American communists on a Milwaukee/Madison "Hate America" tour? Yes, it's laughable on one hand, but it is infuriating on the other. I choose "other."

    • Iraqi Communists are in the country meeting with US Commies

    • And who are these left-wing anti-American trade unions that are giving aid and comfort to the enemy?

    • Either these unions are a collection of morons or they are also representing the terrorists. Or they could be both, but whoever they are, the Democrats and the MSM (fellow morons/traitors) will embrace them as the saviours of Iraq.

    • ding ding ding. Survey says, commies.

    • What do you want to bet that the particular Iraqi unions involved in this effort have always, before, during and after Sadaam been organized by Baathists or communists?

Bad enough these fucktards are stuck in the 1950s, but now they've made the Iraqis (you know, the people we supposedly "liberated") the enemy!


  •  thankyou (4.00)
    This may well be the most profound diary I've read on dkos all year. Simple and poignant - you have moved me, and I'm thankful that there are people out there like you. Remember Gandhi's old adage: 'First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.'

    We will not fail.

    Thanks to all recommenders for putting this on the list as well, otherwise I never would've read it.

  •  Gorgeous (4.00)
    I'm not sure why, but I avoided this diary at first. Inside, I found my concerns about Iraq well articulated. Anyone who supports war in the abstract has a point of view worth nothing. There are some wars that must be fought, but only fools wage the ones that aren't necessary.

    I also appreciate the remark about violence worship. Again, it's easy to support something you will never actually see. Real violence and injury is something many supporters can ignore. I wonder how many war-boosters meditate on the horrors of war before they open their fool mouths. Not many I think.

    Truth doesn't take sides

    by KingJames on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 06:29:48 PM PDT

  •  My repug friends (4.00)
    I e-mailed this diary to two women who voted for bush.  One of them has totally turned against bush and said the diary made her cry. The other one is still intent on her support of the invasion of Iraq.  I will never break through to this one.  She's 80 years old and a life long repug.  She has no dog in this fight.  Her two sons ( who incidentally were draft dodgers in Vietnam) are two old to go to Iraq, and her grandson is a Democrat.  I am running out of breath with her.  In actuality, she and and I agree on 99% of the issues.  She is certainly not a Red State Repub.  But to me, the most important issue right now is Iraq, and we will never agree on that.  (sigh)
  •  Bush's most offensive line in his stump speeches (4.00)
    is that we need to fight terrorists over there so we don't have to fight them on our streets or some variation of the above.  This is so racist.  It's ethnocentrism to the highest degree and no one objects.  So let me get this straight Mr. DumbAss President--it's ok to blow up and maim the citizens of another country (Iraq)--ok to blow limbs off little Iraqi kids --so that Americans are "safe?"  What does that make Iraqi people -- dogs?  Can't get it why people eat up that stupid line, sickening!!
    BTW when Bush goes to hell I hope he's fed a non-stop slide show of people he's killed and maimed.  
  •  the most shocking thing i realized while (4.00)
    reading your entry... these folks have no ability of envisioning dead people. none whatsoever... people just 'disappear', rapture-like.
  • Close


    Meteor Blades, Lavoisier1794, bink, Lestatdelc, Jett, Ed in Montana, jakethomson, citizen lehew, cvcobb01, Garrett, Best in Show, Mark H, shystee, pb, mikepridmore, JJB, Jonathan, James Benjamin, Inky, tankej, comrade, TealVeal, lordkelvin, lanshark, vivacia, hyperbolic pants explosion, Dancing Larry, casamurphy, Trendar, lipris, Margot, jdavidson2, peggy, Ernest T Bass, espresso, Coco Nut, Southern Bird, Pandora, TrueBlueMajority, End of Shrub, Euphronius, mattman, emal, janinsanfran, Maryscott OConnor, bosdcla14, nhselectwoman, RNinNC, wu ming, Dillie Taunt, SanJoseLady, shycat, Pyewacket, AAbshier, OLinda, LEP, Troutfishing, xelnein, cmk, tryptamine, Ddeele, YankInUK, Pompatus, 3rdeye, sersan, MilwMom, frisco, lawnorder, ilona, Luam, Newsie8200, smithsp, object16, Liberalpalooza, Sandia Blanca, timerigger, bumblebums, exNYinTX, madwayne, Thelesis, dnamj, mldostert, HariSeldon, shermanesq, RubDMC, Jean, themis, RumsfeldResign, Miss Devore, ReneInOregon, bronte17, TracieLynn, matthewc, Dr Portia, elveta, Loquatrix, sharman, duckyindc, KMc, flaming dog, shock, M a l c o l m, buckeyekarl, scamp, pyewacket1, pixelthief, MetaGator, chechecule, allysonsta, mauricehall, sgilman, whenallthestarsarefallingdown, bobbycodemonkey, CodeTalker, k2winters, lauri, sophiebrown, Shaniriver, frightwig, big dave, fumie, David Boyle, nuttymango, nio, Oke, modchick65, jhwygirl, rcvanoz, nancelot, sockpuppet, Dallasdoc, jlynne, pointsoflight, crkrjx, TXsharon, SeattleLiberal, Andrea inOregon, tooblue, hairspray, yet another liberal, Caldonia, arb, Rigjob, GN1927, chargrove, AustinTexas, applegal, STOP George, papercut, Cliff Talus, East Bay Molly Girl, ProsaicPill, welshvalleymaid, BlogDog, Wayward Wind, Street Kid, barbwires, cevad, Cablep, AllisonInSeattle, Leggy Starlitz, ybruti, freeyourmind, WV Democrat, YetiMonk, kfred, Lefty Mama, Marianne Benz, Steven D, Dr Seuss, TexasLefty, DarkSyde, rickeagle, kd texan, BigBite, Flann, Shapeshifter, greeseyparrot, alrob1977, Gowrie Gal, memophage, skippythebox, rapala, Skennet Boch, Fabian, Tarindel, ChemGeek, SisTwo, red clay dem, deepintheheartoftx, Caesura, mvr, bellevie, Methion, katfish, Elise, Sam I Am, aitoaster, vinylgirl, Independent Musings, amanda4242, wdsmd58, whatsleft, phinky, demnow, keschen, Luetta, truong son traveler, JessicaDrewSW, Juno, tomfool, Nordic, new creve coeur, DoobyOne, teresab, trinityfly, cheeselord, loba70, Viceroy, Heresiarch514, cd6, jabbausaf, lauramp

    Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

    Click here for the mobile view of the site