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Cry Me A Riverbend II

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Some Debate on Whether the "Who Is Riverbend?" Post Belongs on the Riverbend Wikipedia Article

A Riverbend supporter shows a typical Ba'athist love for freedom of critical analysis.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

What If It Happened To You?

This is Unrealist Retort #457:

Q: What if the United States were invaded by another nation? What they overthrew your leaders and imposed the sort of government they liked? What if their soldiers were driving through your streets telling people what to do?

CMAR II, you are a patriotic American. So what would you do about that? Wouldn't you rise up and throw the invaders out?

This is just the sort of question I would expect from an Unrealist. Let me ask a similar question:

Q: If a doctor tried to inject you with morphine and cut open your chest would you:

  • Try to defend yourself
  • Thank him for saving your life

A: That would depend on whether or not I was having a heart attack. The difference in my medical condition would determine whether this hypothetical doctor was Jack the Ripper or Dr Kildare.

See? So here is my answer to Unrealist Query/Retort #457:

A: IF I had lived under a stalinist dictator like Saddam for three decades and Saddam Hussein HIMSELF:

  • Sent troops that overthrew my dictator
  • Established general freedom of speech and thought for the first time
  • Oversaw free elections and a democratic constitutional process within 21 months

THEN I would put a bullet in the head of any so-called Red-Blooded American who tried harm my liberators. (To say nothing of people who would kill Americas new civil-servants, police, and national security forces.)

Simply put: If the DEVIL sent his imps to do those things, they would be angels to me.

Anyone who prefers his nation, party, race, ethnicity, heritage, or religion (as he sees it) over liberty of mind and voice for himself and others has allied himself in his heart to evil, whatever else he might call it.

Let me say it one more time:

Tyrannical dictators are by definition illegitimate. It does not matter who you are or what you've done before or why you are doing it: if you depose a tyrant and replace him/her with a representative democracy it is always legitimate and righteous. It needs no further qualification. It doesn't justify everything or even anything else you do, but *that* act is pure, unadulterated justice.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Who Was SPC Casey Sheehan?


I've updated the Who IS Cindy Sheehan post to link to the Open Letter from a Mother whose son enlisted in the Army at Casey Sheehan's encouragement.

Army SPC Casey Sheehan was the son of Cindy Sheehan. He was killed April 4, 2004 in Sadr City. But you wouldn't recognize him from his mother's description of him today.

His is not the story his mom tells of how he was an infantalized dummy who was fooled into joining up.

Army SPC Casey Sheehan was a war hero and he was a real man. Having recently reenlisted with the Army, SPC Sheehan volunteered to be part of a Quick Response Force (QRF) into Sadr City to rescue soldiers trapped by obstacles under serious enemy fire on the day of the heaviest fighting and most casualties suffered in Iraq since Baghdad's fall; known to the troops as Black Sunday.

Here is Melinda Liu's coverage of the battle for Newsweek. She says:

"Suddenly, Aguero found his unit heading into a Mad Max gauntlet of burning tires and road obstacles of every imaginable description: concrete blocks, metal market stalls, air conditioners, scrap metal, truck axles, even refrigerators. The burning debris put out so much choking black smoke that visibility was down to 300 meters. The street had become 'a 300-meter-long kill zone,' recalls Aguero. The vehicles swerved and ran onto sidewalks, rolling on the rims of flat tires, as gunmen kept up the barrage of bullets.”

Here is another one by Melinda Liu with Rod Norland.

Read the full story here by Ed Marek.

Ed Marek is not the writer that Liu is. His telling has more of the feeling of a "brain dump" than a careful ordering of the facts. But if you are patient, you will gather both a story of a tragic confluence of events and a saga of real heroes including SPC Sheehan.

He takes Liu's reporting and statements from participating soldiers to provide a military expert's account the Black Sunday operation. Point-by-point he fisks and elaborates on eye witness-statements and Liu's reporting of the events of that day, he provides an exceptional analysis of the events that combined to create a perfect storm for the soldiers of the 1st Armored Cavalry Division that day in southern Baghdad -- the most important of which to my mind is this:

The point we wish to leave you with here is that the Battle of Sadr City occurred on April 4, 2004. Formal changeover of responsibility for Baghdad and Sadr City occurred on April 15, 2004. For the April 4 battle, most soldiers had been there for only a week or two, and most of the officers had been there only a month. The commander responsible for the main thrust into Sadr City officially took command about 15 minutes after the battle got nasty. He fought valiantly, as did his soldiers, but one cannot ignore this timing when analyzing the April 4 battle.

Marek also reports how Sheehan volunteered for the mission to rescue his fellow soldiers -- he didn't have to, and he wasn't the only one:

"They had guys who normally don't fight who volunteered to help their buddies. There were guys fighting to get on that convoy."

Cindy Sheehan knows he volunteered for that mission despite now memorializing him has a useful idiot of the Neo-cons. Since we are letting her speak, lets hear what she said to Marek about this too:

“And the sergeant said, 'Sheehan, you don't have to go,' because my son was a mechanic.' And Casey said, 'Where my chief goes, I go.' "

Why should Cindy Sheehan's opinions carry more weight than SPC Sheehan's opinions?
His sister, Carly, said:

“He didn’t have to go,” said Sheehan’s 23-year-old sister, Carly. “He would do anything for anybody. He’d give you the shirt off his back. He was just a loving and caring person...That’s all he wanted to do was serve God and his country his whole life...He was a boy scout from age 6 or 7 and an Eagle Scout. It was kind of a natural progression to go into the military from that. He said he was enjoying the military because it was just like the boy scouts but they got guns.”

Check it out.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Who Is Cindy Sheehan
(aka Let Cindy Speak For Herself

UPDATE (Hattip Sandmonkey)
Residing in the same town as you once resided and knowing your family, I must ask you,"Whatever are you thinking?"
Your son was the one who encouraged my youngest son to enlist. You were very proud of Casey and what he was doing then and he believed very much in what he was doing.
Cindy, you've changed since the Kerry campaign contacted you in early July of last summer. You're not the same grieving mom, especially after you started traveling on the road to support John Kerry's campaign. You've turned into a political puppet for those who are exploiting you and its not pretty nor does it do anything for Casey's memory.
How can you consistently state that you don't want your son's name to be acknowledged by him and on the same hand, turn around and use the name of Joe Williams' Mike, as an example for your cause despite the many requests of the family for you not to do so? How could you print Mike's name in your anti-war advertisement in the newspaper even after seeing the grief and effort his mother went through to go to Crawford to personally remove it from your cross. You knew it caused them pain.
Check it out. Read it all.

Cindy Sheehan took part in the 9-11-05 protests.
Lest there be any doubt about Mrs Sheehan's opinion on the invasion of Afghanistan, she said:

There have been four failures of this administration: Sept. 11, Afghanistan, Iraq and now Hurricane Katrina.
Cindy Sheehan has become the darling of the Unrealists. So I say let her speak for herself. This is great, because I think Raed Jarrar should give Cindy his login information to post at his blog so we can have a contest to see who can guess which posts are whose:

"I was raised in a country by a public school system that taught us that America was good, that America was just. America has been killing people...since we first stepped on this continent, we have been responsible for death and destruction. I passed on that bullshit to my son and my son enlisted.
"This country is not worth dying for.
We were not attacked by Iraq. We might not even have been attacked by Osama bin Laden if [perhaps the neo-cons staged 9/11 because] 9/11 was their Pearl Harbor to get their neo-con agenda through and, if I would have known that before my son was killed, I would have taken him to Canada. I would never have let him go and try and defend this morally repugnant system we have. The people are good, the system is morally repugnant.
What they’re saying, too, is like, it’s okay for Israel to have nuclear weapons. But Iran or Syria better not get nuclear weapons.
We are waging a nuclear war in Iraq right now. That country is contaminated. It will be contaminated for practically eternity now. It’s okay for them to have them, but Iran or Syria can’t have them. It’s okay for Israel to occupy Palestine, but it’s – yeah – and it’s okay for Iraq to occupy – I mean, for the United States to occupy Iraq, but it’s not okay for Syria to be in Lebanon. They’re a bunch of fucking hypocrites!

The above is part of Sheehan's speech at San Francisco State University hosting Lynne Stewart Esq. who was recently convicted of forwarding statements by her terrorist client to his followers urging them to violence.

The event was sponsored by International Socialist Organization which proudly states on the "WHERE WE STAND" page of its website:

Revolution Not Reform

Reforms within the capitalist system cannot put an end to oppression and exploitation. Capitalism must be overthrown.The structures of the present government–the Congress, the army, the police and the judiciary –cannot be taken over and used by the working class. They grew up under capitalism and are designed to protect the ruling class against workers.

It was also sponsored by Students Against War which put out this gem of a flyer:

SAW regularly posts its activities on the Marxism Mailing List, so its connection to ISO is not a fluke.

In the above cited speech, Cindy Sheehan said:

I just want to say that you students, Students Against War, you have all my support and all my organization’s support. I told Kristen if you have any actions and you need a ringleader, that I only live about an hour away. I’ll be here. If I can sleep on somebody’s floor, we can have this, we can camp out, do whatever we need.

Um hm. These are the folks discussing the really interesting question of whether Americans should be on the side of the insurgents (the people who actually killed her son). Cindy thinks they're great!

This is an email from Cindy Sheehan to the producers of Nightline. She was unhappy with Ted Koppel's treatment of her during an "townhall" style panel discussion. I should note that Koppel and the producers of Nightline have made the news several times as opponents of Bush and skeptics on the progress of the New Iraq. It was posted to a Google Group on March 14th, 2005.

Am I emotional? Yes, my first born was murdered. Am I angry? Yes, he was killed for lies and for a PNAC Neo-Con agenda to benefit Israel. My son joined the Army to protect America, not Israel. Am I stupid? No, I know full-well that my son, my family, this nation, and this world were betrayed by a George Bush who was influenced by the neo-con PNAC agenda after 9/11.
It would be so amazing if your show would put me, or another parent who lost their child on who disagrees with the war and this administration: to have just an entire show..without presenting the false side of the debate.

Okaaaay. None of that "showing both sides" nonsense for Cindy.

This is what she says about the email today:

Another “big deal” today was the lie that I had said that Casey died for Israel. I never said that, I never wrote that. I had supposedly said it in a letter that I wrote to Ted Koppel’s producer in March. I wrote the letter because I was upset at the way Ted treated me when I appeared at a Nightline Town Hall meeting in January right after the inauguration. I felt that Ted had totally disrespected me. I wrote the letter to Ted Bettag and cc’d a copy to the person who gave me Ted’s address. I believe he changed the email and sent it out to capitalize on my new found notoriety by promoting his own agenda. Enough about that.

Hmmmm...this letter was posted in March, Cindy. You didn't have any "new found notoriety" then.

Here's more:

The other thing I want him to tell me is 'just what was the noble cause Casey died for?' Was it freedom and democracy? Bull---t! He died for oil. He died to make your friends richer. He died to expand American imperialism in the Middle East.

And she also said:

Saddam was our national leader, And yeah, I know I know…he was a dictator, he was stupid, and self-destructive, but he was our national leader that I didn’t [want] any external forces to come and change....But he was a national leader, and more a phenomena than a person.A phenomenon that Iraq must go through to reach to a better future.

Okay, I lied. That wasn't Cindy. It was Raed.


Check out Mohammed's letter to Cindy at Iraq the Model.