"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Dark Stain on America’s Image; Pillow Fights are Dangerous Too

“Besides having an army for hire, brave kids who are paid to fight so that most Americans are not personally touched by war, we have the real mercenaries.” Maureen Dowd

Reading Maureen Dowd this morning I can understand in part, why TimeSelect was a flop; it would be like DNation charging a price to read it. What, in the quote above is she saying? “Kids,” fighting so that we are not “personally” affected by the war? Geographically she creates a tough scenario, but boy oh boy, it’s a great line.

In bringing the reader up to date with the “facts”:

“It seems as though a bullet struck an Iraqi man driving his mother to pick up his father, a pathologist, at the hospital. The dead man’s weight, The Times reports, “probably remained on the accelerator and propelled the car forward” toward a Blackwater convoy.”

This is the beginning of the incident, which is rife with unknowns at the moment, but “it seems” really gives it that “yeah, right” tone. Continuing with the “facts”:

“Blackwater guards then unleashed a spray of gunfire and explosives, even though witnesses did not see anyone shooting at the American convoy and even though Iraqis were turning their cars around and escaping the scene.”

Is being shot at a necessary pre-requisite to firing a weapon when a vehicle driven by a dead man has just charged peoples adrenaline? I wonder how many knew he was a dead man? Thanks to the “witnesses” are offered, but they really went above and beyond the call of duty keeping their heads up and eyes trained on the scene during a “spray of gunfire and explosives;” I wonder if the “explosives” exploded?

Here is an unknowable at the time, but it’s a nice brush stroke to the image the “artist” wishes to portray, “even though Iraqis were turning their cars around and escaping the scene.” Dowd, “knows and assumes” this now, which is pretty handy for her purposes, but not terribly helpful at the time of the incident initiated by a “seeming” bullet, leading to a dead man driving a car; in turn creating a scene reminiscent of a suicide attack.

Bravo Mo!

Quoting Elijah Cummings at a House hearing yesterday:

“Blackwater appears to have fostered a culture of shoot first and sometimes kill, and then ask the questions.”

This quote to my mind is not too unrealistic an observation and it should be addressed, especially if it further tarnishes the image of those employed in the fight, we don’t need revenge killings or to be blamed as we often are for the planets rotation, but I have to say it is also a good to stay alive in the fight.

To Dowd and co. each scratch is an affront to our image; they have bought into the bloodless war as if a bloodless war could exist. Anything that deviates from this is a “Bush bad” claim as though things of this nature would not happen under a different administration.

This was Blackwater and questions need to be answered and consideration made to address this, but we should be happy and proud that our professional and well trained military doesn’t have more mishaps of this nature. This is war and as ugly as it is these things happen; that doesn’t make them any less horrifying or sad, it’s just a fact.

In Blackwater’s defense one can understand how in Iraq instances like this can and do happen; but this only goes so far. If our soldiers and Marines deal day in and day out with rules of engagement that hamper their efforts and puts them further in harms way we have got a serious issue and we do.

Were I a grunt again and knew of Blackwater’s “rules” I think I might be pretty pissed off about it and wonder ‘what about us?’ How many Blackwater employees have been killed?

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