So while doing my thing, surfing the Internet today, I came across this title to a blog post that I had subscribed to: “Egyptian Blogger Asks the Real Questions“.
I thought to myself: cool.
Clicked on the title, was taken to the blog’s address, started reading the story and discovered that the Egyptian blogger in question was Sandmonkey, and no other!
Another Neo-Con, let’s see what they have to say about this. Turns out they just copy and pasted Sandmonkey’s post with a preceding two-line comment.
Okay. Nothing new; I’d already read Sandmonkey’s post before. Then I noticed the comments: 112(They’ve since increased by 4). Wow. People had a lot to say, or lots of people had a little to say, or somethingortheother.
I was transported to Neo-Con heaven. Needless to say, I felt the walls closing in around me, temperature rising, etc etc. There were a lot of comments, some intelligent, mostly ignorant, some rational, mostly savage… nothing out of the ordinary for a conservative blog or website.
Then I came across this link that someone had left as part of their comment (which were the link and the required clause pointing people to read the story there).
I clicked on the link. There were two thoughts that crossed my mind then (one after the other and not simultaneously). The first was: Oh. Another one of those people who thinks that the best way to argue something is to point people towards another’s argument [I had read most of the comments by that point in time. Savage and ignorant, I had become].
The second thought was: Holy Shit! That’s a long post.
By this point in time, the blog page/post was done loading… and the scroll bar thingy on the right had significantly decreased in size. And there weren’t even comments at the bottom of the page! I checked!
So anyway, I read the post. It took me sometime, to be sure. Every couple of minutes I would have something or the other to complete (I was at work), but on the whole today wasn’t a very busy day and that helped.
The article itself was well-written. I liked it because the author lay down his arguments clearly and supported his words well. He wasn’t trying to be sensational (at least, I got that impression) though I do have some points to make on that account.
I actually started off disagreeing with what he was saying, but as he continued, I found myself agreeing with the lion’s share of points he was making. That is not to say he won me over with his arguments… the points that were made at the beginning of his post were, at times, distinctly different from the ones he made later on. That, coupled with the fact that he discussed something that I loved to use in my arguments on Hezbollah but in a context that I’d never thought of before; Iraq.
That sort of threw me off.
Plus, he was the most rational republican/conservative/pro-war blogger that I’ve read until now (keep in mind that the aforementioned statement in no way implies I read a lot of republican/conservative/pro-war blogs).
So why have I written this much and am just about to start disseminating the article now? Simple. I want this post to be at least almost as long as his.
As Julie Andrews so eloquently put it: Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start…
I love his blog title. No. I’m kidding. That’s not what I wanted to discuss. still do like it being a fighter plane fanatic and all…
Proteus, the blogger who wrote this, says:
During the actual Major Combat Operations of Iraqi Freedom, US generosity and grace toward defeated elements of the Iraqi regular army was in the highest tradition of the US Military, which is justifiably well-known for its benevolence toward a defeated adversary on the battlefield. Surrendering Iraqi regular units were given rations and medical care, and their officers were allowed to keep their sidearms as a show of respect and authority. I have not seen or heard of a single case of anything less than exemplary conduct regarding enemy regular-army soldiers.
I haven’t heard anything contrary to what Proteus has seen or heard either. I just want to draw the reader’s attention to the italicized, bolded words (that I’ve italicized myself); highest tradition, justifiably and exemplary.
Please excuse my ignorance here, but a justifiably well-known highest tradition? Why? Why is it justifiably well-known? It may be true that I haven’t heard of them carrying out mass-murders against personnel of the Iraqi regulars, but please explain to me why it’s justifiably well-known… I seem to have missed why it is automatically assumed that they are good if they didn’t do bad. If he’d said “The British”, I might have been more willing to accommodate him (and only more willing!).
It may make sense to say: Well, if they didn’t treat them badly, then they must have carried out their operations and actions according to the highest tradition.
That must have been meant as a joke. Proteus’s obvious choice of words that are biased (whether intentionally or not) betrays two things; First, he is obviously writing for an American audience which will naturally read the words I just highlighted and nod to themselves. Second, there is a clear bias towards the idea that American Military Personnel are, by definition, inherently decent, honorable and good.
I find that obviously naive… AND, I have not seen nor heard a single thing (other than beautifully filmed hollywood movies) to support this claim.
Proteus also says:
Now if that’s all there was to it, you might say that the whole uniform thing is not such a groovy idea. BUT! What a uniform also does — the corollary to the whole idea of a uniformed person – is to say that if the individual wearing a uniform is a legitimate target, then the person standing next to him in civilian clothes is not.
I have to say that I find myself agreeing with the general theory behind his corollary. There is an obvious reason why military personnel wear uniforms that differentiate them from your average civilian. The fact that the civilians should not be shot at seems to me to be the perfect reason, as a matter of fact.
But what about this bit?
Most of the time, you do not have time to think. A person jumps up from below a window three feet away. If he is wearing a grey tunic and a coal-scuttle helmet, it’s a Kraut and you let him have it before he kills you and your buddies. But what if he is wearing street clothes? What if he is smiling at you?
For brutal soldiers – like the Nazi’s those of the far left accuse us of being precisely equal to – this is a moot point. The SS killed everything that moved. They executed prisoners in uniforms, partisans, hostages and children. They were animals.
Two points here.
One, not all Germany’s troops during the Second World War belonged to the SS. [More about the SS here]
Two, based on what evidence does he say “the SS”, meaning all of the Armed Schutzstaffelm, killed children, civilans etc. Some SS units committed war crimes during the war. This in no way implies they all did. The SS weren’t even all German!
Our soldiers are civilized, compassionate and decent citizens doing a tough, horrible job. That means when they see someone who might be a civilian, they hesitate. That hesitation can and has killed them. And some people wonder why enemy soldiers without the honor and courage to wear a uniform are treated less than honorably after being captured by men full of courage and restraint.
And they’re naturally, inherently like that because… they’re American? Where does this guy come from? Utopia?!
But, since he decided to delve into history for his analogies and stories, I think I will too.
American Soldiers that did not commit a massacre.
Americans do not take action against their own soldiers.
Let’s not forget the American Indians.
I did not mention any action taken by American civilians who, I supposed, would be honorable people just like their counterparts in the military.
Makes me wonder where Klan members come from? Iraqi expatriates?
I bolded and italicized from proteus’s quote to point out something that Proteus, indeed many westerners seem to miss. Most of those people carrying out “terrorist” attacks against the US army are in fact, not part of the Iraqi army. They thus do not have to wear uniforms.
Why don’t they organize themselves into an army? I suppose their way of thinking goes along the lines of:
Let’s create a new army, with a banner and a leader and weapons which we carry out in the open, and uniforms. And, because the Americans aren’t going to allow us to do this even if we ask nicely, let’s make our base of operations Antarctica. Coz there’s no way in hell anyone else will let us use their country. Who would want to be next?
Yeah. I’m quite sure they’d rather use their civilian clothes to hide the fact that they are normal citizens of this country that does not want the United States Army on their soil.
I keep hearing, from other neo-con bloggers and those (apparently) very highly educated and all-knowledgeable group of people that comment on their blogs, that the Iraqis welcomed the American Army with flowers and all that. There are just so many ways to respond to that.
- Not all Iraqis did that. In fact, statistically, it doesn’t seem a majority of Iraqis did that.
- Not wanting Saddam Hussein in power does not mean wanting US troops in Iraq.
- Saddam was beaten and they were overcome with the spirit of the moment.
- They had no way of knowing that America was there to stay, and hand out contracts to almost every single utility, infrastructure, oil etc project to American businesses or people who hail from countries that know how to kiss ass (Egyptians included – Orascom being my case in point).
- The United States was definitely not clear on how long it was to remain in Iraq in the first place… many, many Iraqis (as observed by me on television, blogs, reports, newspapers, magazines etc) expected the Americans to leave relatively promptly.
Proteus also says:
Our Minutemen fought for Freedom and Liberty; these fight for repression, state torture, and the right to force everyone to behave as they see fit.
(Side note: Fuckin A! Don’t they get tired of that Freedom and Liberty bullshit?! It’s cute when you’re telling your own public – naive and innocent as they may be – but they actually have the audacity in thinking that most of the world just listen awe-struck and dumbed by the sheer magnificence of American benevolence).
What Proteus doesn’t understand here is that there are terrorists and then there are resistance fighters. I myself cannot draw the line in Iraq.
Seems to me that many of their resistance think it is alright to attack communities of other religious denominations. I don’t. I think that’s bullshit. But I sure as hell will not criticize anyone attacking US Army personnel. They want them to leave. It’s their god-damned country… and they will use whatever means, in terms of weapons and subterfuge, they can employ to inflict maximum possible damage on a well-equipped, modern army that vastly outnumbers them in terms of numbers, armament and training.
I would rather fight with the Islamists against the Americans than support the Americans against the Islamists on this one. It’s simply a matter of what’s right and what’s wrong. America remaining in Iraq is wrong. And that’s it.
All in all, I don’t disagree with Proteus on many points. For example, most of the points he makes for the remainder of the article make sense. Sadly, it’s the Iraqis who will be on the receiving end of it… but I would have done the same were I in the Americans’ place. For example, I am not against the idea of torture in times of war to get information that will lead to saving my troops. The whole idea of the safety of the person Vs. the safety of the group still leans towards the group with me (I learnt that from American Movies… but it sorta stuck with me).
Here is a violation of Sanctuary written as plainly as the eye can see. They use safe havens — hospitals, hotels and places of worship — as military fortresses because they are counting on our decency and honor to spare them from retaliation.
I heard they bomb them, but to routinely use them as military fortresses… I mean, come on! The American military is giving them time to set up their shit eh? “Rifles go in the emergency room and ammunition in the pediatric ward ya Abdallah!”, and then they accuse them of using them as whatever? I don’t get it… what’s up with that?
Decency and Honor… er, right. Not that I’m saying they do it… but it would be more of: military stupidity, ignorance and lethargic reaction time.
If America can’t keep the peace, then they can get the fuck out. Why was that never posted in the god-damned post? RIGHT. I Forgot. Freedom & Liberty. Well, if you want to forcibly spread Freedom & Liberty… what are you complaining about? Deal with the liberty-haters then.
Besides, he uses the word Sanctuary way too much.
That’s it for this part of his post… the rest, maybe later on.
And that’s the way I see it.