Free the troops?!?

strykers_under_guard.jpg

A Port of Tacoma Police officer staffs a gate at a Port of Tacoma staging area where Stryker and other military vehicles await shipment to the war in Iraq Monday, March 5, 2007 in Tacoma, Wash. Protestors and police met military convoys entering the gate overnight Sunday and early Monday morning. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Here’s a video of the protest while the Strykers rolled out:

Here’s a quote:

Do not listen to your sergeant! He’s a douche bag!

That’s going to convince soldiers to quit. Real convincing argument, there. No wonder the troops are deserting by the thousands and the public is rallying behind the protesters.

Big hat tips the readers who sent these in!

UPDATE: The reader who sent in the link to the video writes:

It’s eerie watching the soldiers rolling by in the background, off to risk their lives exactly so that folks like this continue to enjoy their freedoms to scream at them.

It’s eerie, all right. Eerie-tating.

UPDATE 2: And get a load of this headline in the Seattle P-I:

3 war protesters at port arrested, 1 shot

It’s not until the very last sentence of the story that they note

No one was seriously injured, he said, but one protester was shot in the thigh with a rubber bullet.

Seems that the headline could potentially confuse folks, huh? I’m sure it’s merely an oversight.

Comments

  1. Here’s a quote: Do not listen to your sergeant! He’s a douche bag! My knee-jerk response? ‘Yes, I _know_ that. It’s his job.’

  2. Just ignore the protestors. They’ll go away, shave their beards off, don business suits and eventually become the backbones of American commercialism. It happened in the 70’s and it will happen again.

  3. WOW!! I discovered the secret of posting. If I ‘preview’ my contribution I have to re-sign into keytype AGAIN before I click on the ‘post’ button. Seems a tad labor intensive, but them’s the rules I guess.

  4. bdunbar: Exactly. It’s like chanting ‘Leave the Army! The food sucks!’ Toejam: I had trouble with the preview page. I’ll look into it. It shouldn’t be so hard.

  5. You don’t have to go’ No shit, it’s a volunteer Army and everyone of the soldiers driving by has enlisted at least once since 2001.

  6. …It’s eerie watching the soldiers rolling by in the background, off to risk their lives exactly so that folks like this continue to enjoy their freedoms to scream at them…’ I have to take issue with this statement. Do not confuse colonial warfare with defense of country. The difference being, that in colonial warfare (like Iraq) we are actively projecting power for strategic (political and economic) advantage, which is not the same thing as going to war in response to an attack. Our freedoms were never in jeopardy from Iraq, rather it was our economic security (energy) that was threatened. This had more to do with being able to drive a Chevy Tahoe to Wal Mart than defending the Constitution. Not that there is anything wrong with Tahoes or Wal Marts, they are great. Just dont confuse the motives for colonial warfare with defending freedom. They are fundamentally different. Afghanistan, by contrast is a war of defense, a bungled and hopeless one (are we really that different from every other military that had failed to secure the country in the last 1000 or so years?) but justified nontheless. Not that any of this hair splitting matters to the boys and girls who go off to do the dying. May God bless them for their sacrifice, and may the politicians sending them be damned.

  7. Of course, it is all about the oil. I guess deposing a ruthless, inhumane dictator doesn’t matter. You must be right, because the radical Muslims LOVE us and want nothing for us but happy and bunnies. The mean, bad radical Muslims who blow stuff up and kill innocent people with no remorse were only in Afghanistan. Give me a break.

  8. Wes, actually, you are right, there were no radical muslims under Hussein, they were a threat to his authority, so he killed them by the thousands, with US-supplied weapons by the way. For all his evil, Hussein was SECULAR dictator in the Stalin/Hitler style, who did a much better job of keeping Iraq free of Muslim extremists than we are. The Shia feared him, so did Iran. He was good for the stability of the region. The only people he threatened, were his own countrymen, and of course we have done an exemplary job of providing security for them, its not like theres a civil war or anything. You are right, pictures of Muslims getting shot by Americans on Al Jazeera every night makes the moderate Muslims support us even more. It doesn’t contribute to Muslim extremism one bit. Last word from Mr. Cheney, who was as right then as he is wrong now: ‘If we’d gone to Baghdad and got rid of Saddam Hussein -assuming we could have found him -we’d have had to put a lot of forces in and run him to ground someplace. He would not have been easy to capture. Then you’ve got to put a new government in his place, and then you’re faced with the question of what kind of government are you going to establish in Iraq?’ ‘Is it going to be a Kurdish government, or a Shia government or a Sunni government? How many forces are you going to have to leave there to keep it propped up, how many casualties are you going to take through the course of this operation?’ Sec. Def. Cheney, 1992, BBC interview, answering the question: why didnt we remove sadaam in Gulf war ’91.

  9. Halap, Are you suggesting that a Stalin/Hitler-style dictator isn’t a threat to us? To everyone? The United States is engaged in a conflict of which the GWOT is only one part. 9/11 showed us the logical result of realist policy, of maintaining the status quo, of looking the other way when people halfway around the world are denied liberty. Vicious and brutal regimes breed terror and death, to whose effects we are not immune. Their problems are now our problems. Stability is no longer the yardstick by which we can measure peace. The only realistic chance for lasting security is to convert authoritarian and totalitarian states into free ones by commerce, diplomacy, and force (in that order). Iraq is not pretty. Mismanagement and fumbles at every turn have stymied progress there, and I’m the first to admit it. But we cannot rewind the clock. The old order has been destroyed. If the reactionaries who want to turn back the clock get their way, there will most certainly be more attacks on the way, not to mention the continued enslavement of millions under illiberal regimes. ‘Colonial warfare,’ as you so misleadingly put it, IS our self-defense. We simply don’t have a choice anymore. And the suggestion that we should return to the old way throws the grand tradition of liberalism out the window – along with the millions of people who live under illiberal authoritarianism.

  10. If Wes doesn’t see that our success or failure in Iraq at this point has very real repercussions for the freedom of his children or grandchildren, he’s not going to be convinced. It’s so obvious now as to be a pointless discussion. His claim that it has nothing to do NOW with freedom (regardless of WHY we went in the FIRST PLACE) says he’s already made up his mind and it isn’t going to be changed without some kind of event that folks work tirelessly every day to prevent. And I hope his mind doesn’t ever change, because I don’t want the kind of thing to happen that would change it.

  11. Whoa whoa, WES thinks that we belong in Iraq and made snide sarcastic remarks about it not being about freedom. You meant to say HALAP doesn’t see that our success or failure in Iraq at this point has very real repercussions for the freedom of his children or grandchildren, he’s not going to be convinced.

  12. Do not listen to your sergeant! He’s a douche bag!’ Er? A sergeant is never a douche bag…That title is generally reserved for select officers. However, a sergeant is.. A sergeant is always right. He may be slow, ugly and mean. He may be misinformed, fickle, and even abnormally stupid, But a sergeant is always right.

  13. Halap, ‘Wes, actually, you are right, there were no radical muslims under Hussein, they were a threat to his authority, so he killed them by the thousands, with US-supplied weapons by the way. For all his evil, Hussein was SECULAR dictator in the Stalin/Hitler style, who did a much better job of keeping Iraq free of Muslim extremists than we are.’ Like Ansar Al Sunnah didn’t exist under Saddam…riiight. But ceding that point. The fundamental point of democracy is that there is no reason to resort to violence. Just run around convince people you idea is better than someone elses…and there you have it…your idea is adopted. I smoke..and am none to happy that smoking has been banned in most public places..the non-smoking freaks didn’t have to run around blowing things up to get their point across. You really need to listen to Osama explaining why he attacked America…it was our support for Hitler/Stalin totalitarian dictators. They were cold war constructs…our thug was better than there thug. Quick, efficient, cheap(unless you were the one being disappeared for opposing Glorious Leader). I’m not going to carry the can on that…the thugs the US installed were a lot nicer than the thugs the Soviets installed…and Saddam was a Soviet creation(you can tell by what kind of tanks he owned). Taking out Saddam was really no different than Noriega. We took out Noriega because he was an American installed Cold War dictator that refused to step down when the cold war ended. Saddam was a Soviet installed Cold war dictator who refused to step down. As there isn’t a Soviet Union any more, and the Russians no longer have the capacity,(Russian GDP is right up there next to Mexico) it was down to us. I’m not a personal fan of GWB…but he is a whole lot better than the morons in the Carter Administration that blathered on about regional ‘Balance of Power’ in the Middle East and were more than happy to stand back and watch a million Iraqis and Iranians get slaughtered. But hey…it was the ‘Moral’ thing to do..or so Jimmy told us..go and read Carters National Security Directive 63 and then blather on about ‘morality’ and colonialism. Go spend some time reading thru the declassified Carter Administration presidential national security directives. Afghanistan…the problem started in the Carter Administration. Iran and Iraq…yet again..the Carter Administration. Millions died while Carter lied.

  14. KTLA is absolutely correct, Iraq is FUBAR, and we cant leave now, it will only lead to much greater instability and even more terror against us. Nowhere in my post did I say that we should leave, we CANT leave. We will eventually draw down, but if we leave all together, it will split into three pieces, with the oil going to Iran and the Sunni areas becoming a terrorist base like no one had ever seen. Unfortunately militant Islam is out of its cage and we cant stop it. My point is simply that we cannot ignore the mistakes we made, because those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it. Yes, our boys and girls are protecting our interests NOW, but it was exactly the type of thinking that Stephan proposes: to ‘…convert authoritarian and totalitarian states into free ones by commerce, diplomacy, and force (in that order)’ that got us here in the first place. You cannot force democracy down a peoples throat. It has to come from within. Commerce is good, diplomacy is marginal, and force only strengthens the autocratic regimes. Remember, every totalitarian dictator needs to have an outside enemy to unite his people, the US is obliging them by threatening force. Remember how Iran was on the verge of a moderate revolution in the late 1990’s, and even helped us out after 9/11? The Mullah are stronger than ever now, because they have an enemy to unite their people: the US. We cant go after every dictator in the world, we dont have nearly enough troops or the will for it. The beauty is, we dont have to. Saddam, Putin, and pre-nuclear Kim Jong Il were mostly threats to their own people, not us. We should strive for containment, economic engagement. It worked with the USSR and China. The Iraq war now makes it harder, because the credibility of our military strength greatly diminished. The whole world sees that we can demolish their army but don’t have the national will to defeat guerrillas. The baddies of the world can now point to Iraq and say: ‘See, all we have to do is outlast them and they will loose’. I cannot imagine how you do not see that as a bad thing.

  15. Halap: Your entire initial post was in response to this quote: ‘…It’s eerie watching the soldiers rolling by in the background, off to risk their lives exactly so that folks like this continue to enjoy their freedoms to scream at them…’ …in which you tell us not to mistake ‘colonial warfare’ with ‘defending freedom’ Then you say: ‘KTLA is absolutely correct, Iraq is FUBAR, and we cant leave now, it will only lead to much greater instability and even more terror against us.’ Since the entire thread was about the guys going over there RIGHT NOW, this looks like rediculous backtracking on your part. You said that in response to the Stryker brigade heading out, so I’m not sure how you expected anyone to take it when you’re talking about their efforts having nothing to do with defending freedom. You ‘took issue’ with that statement, stating clearly that you don’t think that their upcoming deployment had anything to do with defending anyone’s freedoms.

  16. KTLA, theres a difference between the noble motives ascribed to them ‘defending freedom’ and what they were put there to do in the first place, which is colonial warfare. Sure, NOW they are holding back the onslaught of terrorists the invasion created, but your logic in ascribing noble motives for deployment would be the same as if your son shot your dog, and then you tell him he’s a good boy for giving it emergency care. They are defending freedom not from the terrorists that attacked us, but from a huge civil war which was caused by the invasion in the first place. Under those circumstances, we should feel sorry for them going off to die for the folly of the politicians, not sing their praises as brave defenders of country. If we do not, the lesson is lost and there will just be another Iraq in a few years.

  17. Under those circumstances, we should feel sorry for them going off to die for the folly of the politicians, not sing their praises as brave defenders of country.’ Funny, you summarized what might be the fundamental difference between you and I. Whether or not I feel ‘sorry’ for them is not relevant. It won’t help them, or anything else one way or the other. However, these are folks, most of which signed up after 9/11, many signed up after the invasion in 2003, and regardless of what reason we first went there, that are ABSOLUTELY deserving of my praise as defenders of my country. They may agree with the invasion, they may not. They may agree that we need to be there now, they may not. They go regardless because they have sworn to do so, and there are those in this country that will sing their praises NO MATTER WHAT. It is clear from your collection of posts that you won’t understand this. Perhaps years from now you will be able to look back on this and separate these flesh and blood individuals and the job they will be doing in a few weeks from the politicians that made decisions years ago. Or maybe not.

  18. Even though we may have our differences, and we may not come to agreement, I am very pleasantly surprised by the reasoned and respectful tone of KTLA and the others on this thread. You guys obviously care deeply for our country and the people serving in the armed forces, and I respect you for it. Too bad I couldnt change your mind on supporting this war, but at least the people here are able to have an adult discussion, something I have not encountered on any other blog. I look forward to disagreeing with you on many issues to come 🙂

  19. Halap: MO certainly has its share of wingnuts, but I think the general level of discussion here is a cut above that at a lot of political-type sites.