Challenging the Myths of the “Good War”

Corporal Bryan Casler served with the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines Fox Company as an infantryman from 2002 to 2006. In those four years, he was sent to Iraq twice and Afghanistan once. He came back profoundly changed by his experiences, joined Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) and dedicated himself to building the antiwar movement.

But since his return and throughout his organizing activities, he says that he’s rarely been asked about his time in Afghanistan.

“Afghanistan was a high-stress environment,” explains Casler. “We worked 100-plus hours a week with a skeleton crew.

“Most of us had already deployed to Iraq, and one of the striking things is that our training for Iraq and Afghanistan wasn’t any different. We treated the situation exactly like it was Iraq. If it was really a different war with different things happening there, they would have trained us differently, but they didn’t.”

When President-elect Barack Obama takes office in January, he has pledged to withdraw a battalion a month from Iraq–and begin a surge of U.S. troops to Afghanistan. He has called for a renewed focus on a military victory in Afghanistan, as well as capturing or killing Osama bin Laden.

But to antiwar U.S. soldiers, Afghan civilians and even a growing portion of the Afghan elite, the consequences of a sharp increase in foreign troops in Afghanistan are predictable and dire–more civilian deaths, more soldiers in harm’s way, and more damage to what little remains of Afghan society.

As Casler puts it, “It’s time for us to start talking about Afghanistan.”

The occupation of Afghanistan is entering its eighth year, and yet the situation for the U.S. is getting worse, not better. American casualties are rising. The Taliban is resurgent and newly confident about challenging both U.S. troops and government forces under the command of U.S.-backed Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

At the same time, segments of the Afghan population that once expressed gratitude toward the U.S. for removing the Taliban from power and took a wait-and-see attitude toward the ongoing U.S. presence are growing increasingly angry.

The reasons are many. First and foremost, the U.S. has increasingly relied on air strikes to suppress the growing influence of the Taliban–to a jaw-dropping extent. U.S. fighters flew only 86 bombing raids in all of 2004; in 2007, the number of air strikes grew to nearly 3,000. The bombing continued to rise in 2008, with 600,000 pounds of bombs dropped on Afghanistan in June and July alone, almost equal to the amount dropped in all of 2006.

While the Taliban has carefully avoided causing harm to civilians in areas under its control and thus succeeded in winning some new bases of support, the U.S. has used its air superiority with a recklessness that undermined what little reserve of good will remained among the Afghan population.

In early November, U.S. air strikes killed 65 civilians in a wedding party–a horrific toll but not unprecedented, as such parties, with their large concentrations of people, have been targets of air strikes in the past.

“The Americans are hitting civilian houses all the time,” exclaimed Mohammad Tawakil Khan, a provincial council member in Baghdis, whose two sons and a grandson were killed along with four others in a U.S. air strike the same week as the wedding party massacre.

“They don’t care, they just say it was a mistake…Afghan officials are only offering their condolences. After some 100 times that they have killed civilians, we have to take revenge, and afterward say our condolences to them.”

Beyond the carnage caused by bombs dropped by their supposed liberators, Afghans also seethe at the U.S. partnership with the warlords, militias and gangsters who make up the Northern Alliance.

Noting that Obama recently told a reporter that he felt no reason to apologize to the Afghan people, Eman, a member of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), expressed disbelief, bitterness and anger.

“Didn’t he feel the need to apologize for the occupation of our country under the banner of democracy, the so-called ‘war on terror,’ and women’s rights, but then compromise with terrorists like the Northern Alliance, who cannot be distinguished from the Taliban in the history of their criminal acts?” Eman said on KPFK’s Uprising Radio, hosted by U.S.-based Afghan rights activist Sonali Kolhatkar.

“In fact, these murderers were the first to destroy our nation. And even after seven years of a very long and very costly ‘war on terror,’ terrorism has not been uprooted in Afghanistan, but has become stronger, and the Taliban are becoming more powerful. From his statements during his election campaign, we don’t think that Obama’s position is different from the Bush administration; it is the continuation of Bush’s foreign policy…

“RAWA strongly believes that whatever happens, a withdrawal of foreign troops should be the first step, because today, with the presence of thousands of troops in Afghanistan, with the presence of many foreign countries in our nation, for the majority of our people, particularly poor people in the other provinces of Afghanistan outside Kabul, the situation is so bad that it cannot get any worse.”

Ted Goodnight served in Afghanistan in 2003 and 2004 with the North Carolina Army National Guard and was stationed primarily at the Bagram Air Base, and for a time at a forward operating base near the Pakistani border.

Like Casler, his time overseas–combined with his horror at deploying to Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina fully armed to repress the people he thought he was supposed to be helping–persuaded him to end 15 years of service with the National Guard after he returned, and to join IVAW.

What he saw and heard in Afghanistan shocked him. “Despite all the planning and flawless execution of all the elements of a combined arms task force, based on supposedly actionable intelligence, we continually came up short–no one captured of any value,” says Goodnight.

“I thought there’s something wrong with this picture, so I asked my company commander why we kept coming up short. Was it an intelligence failure? Or something else? And the response that I got was that these were simply shows of force, that in reality there were no legitimate targets.

“I also remember the various snatch-and-grabs of Afghans that the military carried out. They would come off the helicopters with their handcuffs and leg shackles and hoods over their heads, and were led into this compound, where they were never seen or heard from by us again.

“I remember being in the dining facility and overhearing conversations between military police personnel who were in charge of interrogations, and they were bragging among themselves about their brutality–who could be more intimidating and more demeaning to the detainees.

“This was about dehumanization. They weren’t people. They were acronyms, PUCs, ‘persons under control.’ So we were not only harassing the population through giant shows of military force, but also through thuggish intimidation, kidnapping and abuse of detainees. We were there simply as an occupying force.”

Goodnight says that the U.S. totally failed to deliver on any of its promises to provide humanitarian relief. “We haven’t provided any significant assistance to the farmers who make up the majority of the labor force in Afghanistan,” he said. “We haven’t put forth any real effort to provide alternative crops, so the only option has been to turn to opium production, which the Taliban had largely eliminated before the U.S. came in and kicked them out.

“The humanitarian efforts that we have undertaken have been primarily carried out by contractors who perform shoddy work with foreign workers. The majority of the population needs that income and those jobs, so how are we supposed to win hearts and minds with construction efforts using foreign contractors and foreign workers when the population, which is capable of skilled construction work, is left by the wayside?”

The bombings and callous disregard for civilian life, the routine abuse and mistreatment of detainees, the lack of humanitarian assistance–all of this explains, according to Goodnight, why the Taliban has been able to reassert itself in Afghanistan.

“The Taliban represents an alternative,” says Goodnight. “They say to the people–you know what we’ve done. We provided stability and security, and yes, we were brutal in the enforcement of religious laws, but we provided more for the people and the farmers than the U.S. has or will. So the people figure that they prefer the lesser of two evils–which in this case is in the Taliban.”

But doesn’t the U.S. have the right to pursue Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda to wipe out the terrorist threat?

As Casler says, it’s a mistake “to hold an entire country responsible for the actions of a few people. It wouldn’t make sense to hold the entire American population responsible for Timothy McVeigh’s actions or the Unabomber, would it?

“Retaliation against Afghanistan for the attack by Osama bin Laden never made sense to me, but during my time in the military, I never questioned what I was told to do. So when we went to Afghanistan, it didn’t matter why. They could have told me we’re going into Wisconsin, and I would have done it. The definition of discipline is instant willing obedience to orders, and you strive to have discipline in the military.”

Matthis Chiroux was sent to Afghanistan for a week as an Army reporter in 2005, and he is now fighting the U.S. military’s attempt to reactivate and deploy him involuntarily to Iraq. He echoes Casler’s sentiments.

“Osama bin Laden is not Afghani, and he wasn’t acting on behalf of the Afghani people or the state of Afghanistan,” says Chiroux. “He was supported by their government, which we ourselves also supported, just as we supported Saddam Hussein in Iraq. How many more Afghanis must die for us to stop being terrified?”

In fact, every Afghan killed by the U.S. is used as a recruiting pitch by both the Taliban and al-Qaeda–and it’s working. “The inherent and unjust nature of foreign occupation does far more to foment terrorism than cool it,” says Chiroux. “An occupied Afghanistan will never submit, and it shouldn’t.”

Even before the September 11 attacks, the U.S. had issued threats against Afghanistan’s Taliban regime, which Washington once considered benign but later deemed an obstacle to its plans for controlling the shipment and distribution of oil and natural gas resources in Central Asia.

The 9/11 attacks became more than just a pretext for the invasion of Afghanistan. The “war on terror” has become the justification for a series of interventions and potential military interventions in the service of an American empire.

This is the crucial context for understanding the meaning of an escalation of the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.

“Obama’s plan to shift troops into Afghanistan and then bring the aerial war into Iraq is bringing another failed policy and a failed tactic into a country already devastated by occupation,” says Casler. “I’d personally like to see the removal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, and some real reparations for the people of both these countries, not just ‘reparations’ at the end of the barrel of a gun.

“I’m actively campaigning to include Afghanistan as part of IVAW’s points of unity, but if the organization as a whole doesn’t vote that through, I’m of course going to continue my organizing against the war in Iraq. But we have to understand that there are a lot of Afghanistan veterans who want to see immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan and reparations for the Afghan people, just as in Iraq.

“It’s up to everybody to educate themselves about Afghanistan. We’ve been so hyper-focused on Iraq that the issue of Afghanistan hasn’t been brought up as much as it should have. But we are fighting two wars every single day.

“Whether we like it or not, Afghanistan is going to be thrust into the public eye, and I hope we’re prepared to provide context for what’s going on there when that happens.”

Eric Ruder writes for Socialist Worker where this article first appeared. Thanks to Alan Maass. Read other articles by Eric, or visit Eric's website.

28 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. bozh said on December 10th, 2008 at 9:43am #

    right on! no more invasions/occupation/aggressions based on ‘truth’.
    we’v never had it nor will we ever have it.
    or one cld say that saddam had truth1, milosevic truth2, truman truth3, hitler truth4, ben gurion truth5 and so on.
    so, since all of us r armed w. truths, why not recognize this?
    alas, plutocrats know this; however, it’s their own greed that they can’t handle.
    and wars have alway obtained new lands and new welth for the wealthy.
    thnx

  2. kalidas said on December 10th, 2008 at 10:36am #

    For a second there, when I saw the title, I thought this might be about the myths of “other good war; ” WWII.

  3. Danny Ray said on December 10th, 2008 at 7:01pm #

    Most of us had already deployed to Iraq, and one of the striking things is that our training for Iraq and Afghanistan wasn’t any different. We treated the situation exactly like it was Iraq. If it was really a different war with different things happening there, they would have trained us differently, but they didn’t.”

    For a line grunt or a crew dog they are the same type of war. why should they be any diffeent?
    lets see Desert enviroment Check
    Muslem “freedom Fighters” Check
    fighting people who would rather kill women and children than face a stand up fight check
    Yes they are the same type of war on the ground.
    To the line animals that is, to the people who run the war they are as differnt as night and day.

  4. simon said on December 11th, 2008 at 8:09am #

    Are people still pushing the “bin Laden did it” myth?

  5. Hue Longer said on December 11th, 2008 at 3:10pm #

    Danny,

    “fighting people who would rather kill women and children than face a stand up fight check”

    Is this your opinion or the grunt’s from your example?

  6. Danny Ray said on December 11th, 2008 at 4:31pm #

    Hue.

    These are the lead lines for a few stories, and let me tell you that not one in ten blasts get picked up by the wire.

    A suicide bomber killed at least 55 people Thursday in a packed restaurant near the northern city of Kirkuk

    5.Suicide truck bomb kills at least 20 in Iraq
    Tiscali – Dec 11 7:23 AMBAIJI, Iraq (Reuters)

    BAQUBA, Iraq – The mayor of the Iraqi city of Baquba was among 34 people wounded in a roadside bombing in the restive provincial capital northeast of Baghdad on Sunday, medical and security sources said.

    Bombings across Iraq on Thursday claimed the lives of at least 22 people, including U.S. soldiers, tribal leaders, and an Iraqi government official, according to Iraqi officials.

    A bomb went off on Sunday, wounding 35 police and neighbourhood patrolmen in the volatile northern city of Baquba as they were ceremoniously dismantling security barriers to show that violence was on the decline.

    97.Nine killed in car bomb attacks in western Iraq
    New Kerala – Dec 04 5:17 AMFallujah (Iraq), Dec 4: At least nine people were killed and 15 others injured Thursday in two separate suicide car bomb attacks in

    Hue its easy to blow up a restaurant or set a bomb on a busy road. If they want to free their country maybe they should stop killing their own people and pick up a rifle and go pick a fight with a squad of marines.

    But I have seen it time and again when the troops arrive, either Iraqi or American or British those heros take off like a bunch of stripped ass apes.

  7. Danny Ray said on December 11th, 2008 at 4:45pm #

    Hue,

    In reading the last post I see that I did not answer you question. For this I beg your pardon, This is my opinion based on 26 months in country with another 18 months in the stan.

    and in the interest of full disclosure I have to say that I hate arabs worse that satan hates purity.

  8. jgsman said on December 11th, 2008 at 5:09pm #

    Canada’s New Democratic Party has reversed it’s anti-war position on Canada’s participation in the Afghanistan campaign. The sudden reversal comes as the NDP joins the pro-war Liberal party in an opposition attempt to unseat the Conservative government of Stephen Harper.

    There is practically no mainstream media coverage of the NDP betrayal of significant Canadian opposition to the war. The anti-war/peace movement is holding it’s tongue either in shock or complicity with their NDP “friends”, which have always held a prominent position within progressive movements here in Canada.

    In an attempt to focus outrage and protest back onto the NDP in hopes they will again reverse their position back to a principled opposition to the Afghanistan/Nato war for plunder and pipelines, I am going to give out the email for NDP Party Leader Jack Layton. Please convey suitable negative feedback on their pro-war switch:
    ac.cg.lrapnull@j.notyal NO TO CANADIAN PARTICIPATION IN THIS WAR! NO TO NDP WARMONGERING!

    http://www.canadaeast.com/news/article/500862
    please spread the word far and wide!
    thanks JGS

  9. Hue Longer said on December 11th, 2008 at 8:55pm #

    Danny,

    At least you are honest but I find your racism hasn’t allowed much practicality or empathy to enter into your judgment of cowardice.

    Picking up a rifle accomplishes little against an invader as heavily financed as the US. Perhaps you could gain some perspective from looking at the French Resistance–Who were absolutely brutal with their fellow Frenchmen.

    note to editors: Please don’t delete Danny’s post

  10. Danny Ray said on December 11th, 2008 at 9:02pm #

    So you think it is acceptable to walk into a restaurant with 5 kilo’s of simtec and 5 kilos of nails on you body and then blow up a child’s birthday party for a political statment?
    You don’t know those people, they may well be on your side. But that is the way of the left isn’t it. only the left is fit to judge right and wrong. and wrong is what ever the left wants it to be today.

  11. Hue Longer said on December 11th, 2008 at 9:20pm #

    Danny,

    I don’t know where you get that I think that is acceptable. The Geneva Convention had some interesting things to say regarding waging war and what it does to people–including who is responsible.

  12. Daniel said on December 11th, 2008 at 9:58pm #

    Hue,

    I don’t agree with these wars either. I basically think most war is simply a racket. But what Danny said, sans his antipathy towards terrorists and insurgents, is essentially true. You also cannot possibly compare what we are facing to French Algeria. We are not trying to colonize either place. Neither are these people attacking strictly Americans. They keep attacking one another. They are blowing each other apart with far more zeal than they attack Americans.

    What you said is true. If you are faced with an overwhelming force ratio, you have to use what force you have in a guerrilla fashion; or otherwise asymmetrically. That is what Algerians did. That is not what is happening in Iraq. France was shaking off the fourth republic at the time. We are not nearly in that situation now. If we do get to that point, it will happen because of greed and economy rather than war. Don’t be surprised if the democrats find new wars to increase production either. There is no such thing as a ‘left’ in American politics in any case.

    Lastly, most people who come back from that place take months or years to regain tolerance for what they saw — even when not at war. When I was there in the nineties, they hung a group of men from cranes in the middle of a town for being homosexual (in Saudi Arabia, our ‘allies’). Reading that statement and experiencing it are two different things. This is a place that would leave young schoolgirls in a burning school building because they don’t have head scarves. Yes, that happened too. It is hard to get that out of one’s mind and be tolerant of the people there. I am not justifying how he feels. But you can’t really judge him either, from the comfort of your computer chair. That place *really* sucks. Only Africa seems to be worse.

  13. bozh said on December 12th, 2008 at 6:51am #

    Danny Ray,
    some facts to ponder about:
    Iraq is an empire; evil as any. it was set up by numerous other evil empires.
    all empires r mainatined/expanded by violence/repression, etc.
    US had also expanded by killing lotsof people.
    1n ’19 kurds were awarded by League of Nations (read evil lands) a state of their own only to abrogate it in ’22.
    suppose now US had been invaded and occupied for yrs. which wld mean, that amers wld no lngr have a governance nor government.
    guess what happens in an anarchy?
    we know well what is happening in the two occupied evil empires.
    let me put u in one kitchen w. a person u never got along with or fought against for decades. what do u think wld happen?
    and wldn’t i do just that if i wanted s’mthing from both of u? thnx

  14. Hue Longer said on December 12th, 2008 at 7:32am #

    Not sure you got my point, Daniel

    The French Resistance were not kind to the French puppet regime installed by the Germans and killed many French.

    I get that you and Danny have seen some bad shit and have difficulty seeing beyond the who of it, but just the idea that you were over there suggests that perhaps there are other questions that should be asked. Ignoring the elephant in the room to smell the rat shit is what I see happening here.

  15. Danny Ray said on December 12th, 2008 at 9:40am #

    Hue,

    After reading your last comment, I went on my morning run and began to think “ why is the elephant in the room and why do I smell rat Do Do “ I have come to the conclusion and this is the conclusion of a lot of other Americans there is that we’re there to change things. I know, I know you are gonna tell me they we’re there for the oil. They we’re just there to do those poor primitive devils out of their natural resources and of course to expand the evil empire. I’m going to ignore the evil empire nothin’ I say will change your view on that. I feel that the idea put forth by the left in this country that we went to Iraq to screw those poor heathen devils out of their oil, is perhaps one of the most racist things that can be said. This is reminiscent of the white man’s burden. It goes back to the days when you could give primitive people a box full of beads and walked off with Manhattan Island, or you could show the witch doctor your cigarette lighter and they would think you were God. One thing is for certain you do not have to teach governments in the Middle East what to do with the oil. they know what it is, if not, there’s a cousin down the line that can come in and show them all the marketing tricks they need.

    So why do I feel that we are there? We are there to make a difference. We look at a country of Iraq, which had never had an even break, ruled by the Turks, by the British, by Thugs, this country has never had a decent chance. Why I’m there is because I would love to see a democracy in the Middle East A true democracy. I’d like to see the people of Iraq be allowed to grow to their full potential. I’d like to see schools for all the children, hospitals for all the sick, I’d like to see women treated not only with respect but as full partners in a society for each person has a worth regardless of their sex or their ethnicity or their religion are who their granddaddy was. I would love to see those Kurdish kids that I coached at soccer last year have their own country, be able to go to university and be able to take their place in the world the same as my children. Because as it is there no there’s nothing there for them. Today at Kurdish child’s greatest ambition is to grow up and become a member of the Persh merga. Basically to propagate the violence. I want to see a country built on human rights and dignity. And if you say They’re not ready for it, whoever is? And if you say it’s not our problem And what is our problem somebody has to beat back the forces of darkness so that the light can shine.

    I look at Turkey and almost see my dream, there is an untold amount of work to be done but the Turks are doing it, they are fulfilling their goal on the world stage. But there is one sure and certain idea. That under an Islamic state under Islamic law it will not ever happened. If you do not believe that, you have only to look at Iran. This was a country that had everything they were leapfrogging into the 21st century and we turn our backs on them and the Islamic revolution came and hurled them to the fourteenth century. Iran at one time was a garden spot of the world is not even a good cesspool now.

  16. Hue Longer said on December 12th, 2008 at 4:18pm #

    Danny,

    Straw man–I don’t see the people of Iraq as poor primitive devils or poor heathen devils (although with your further patronizing comments, it does seem that you do)

    I don’t care how many US Americans have come to your same conclusion that we are there to make a difference (positive I’ll assume), I think it’s a mixture of reasons that don’t benefit the Iraqi people or you and oil is certainly involved on more than the level of outright stealing it for its own reward.

    I’m glad you got to play with the kids and that you don’t hate everyone over there.

    It certainly IS our problem because we keep doing it to them. The “it” is what so many US military can’t see while they are doing it as well as the earlier more benign attacks against these peoples through hegemony.

    I hesitate to say this because I don’t want to lend you credit to the idea that there is any benevolence involved with what the US is doing to anyone in the world, but killing, maiming and starving millions of people is not the way to spread Democracy. You brought up Iran…I urge you to Google, Mossadeq Iran 1953. The US does not share your dreams or delusions of spreading Democracy.

  17. Shabnam said on December 12th, 2008 at 7:27pm #

    Please, no one pay any attention to Danny Ray because he has No knowledge of history and right his rubbish based on lies and deceptions, a trade mark of zionofascisent. He responed to one of my comment as follows:
    Danny Ray said on September 9th, 2008 at 7:11pm #
    Shabnam
    “Have you ever given thought that the MAJORITY of the American people know exactly what they are doing. That they vote for the right because that is what they believe in. You on the left always think that people who don’t vote your interest are deluded or uneducated or just plain stupid. However, could it be that Americans feel that they have a right to rule the world, that they are indeed doing Gods work? That the majority of Americans don’t give a rats ass about the poor pitiful arabs.
    That ’s the problem, the United States is a democracy and the guys who get the most votes get what you want and if you lose you are as we say here in the south, Shit Out Of luck. And before you say that the right steals the election let me tell you in advance, bull shit. You on the left need to realize that you will not win until you can get the average Joe to come to your side and that’s not going to happen as long as it seems that the democrat party don’t give a damn about them and their problems. The left in America worries more about some stone age rag head than their own people.”
    From this comment and above comments, it is clear that he cannot be anything except a zionofascit who sees, like those Zionists who have taken over US foreign policy, the world with Zionist galasses.
    If anyone read Oded Yinon’s paper A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s first publish in February 1982 knows that invasion of Iraq and creation of ‘Kurdistan’ is no one’s interest EXCEPT THE world Zionism where have a plan to steal all of the Palestine with assistance of fifth columnists, the Jewish lobby, who sit a Zionist president like Clinton or
    http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2007/855/op1.htm

    Obama in the office. Yinon’s paper leaves one in no doubt that the Zionist movement approaches the Arab East — Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq — differently from the rest of the Arab and Islamic world. It is about geographical expansion within that area.

    http://cosmos.ucc.ie/cs1064/jabowen/IPSC/articles/article0005345.html
    The Zionists want to seize and colonize more land in the Arab East as a prelude to annexing that land to the Jewish state. They want to partition most of the regional states to many mini states for the “greater Israel” mistakenly famous as “the greater Middle East” where I am sure they will take this wish into their fucking graves, ONE BY ONE. Israelis are spying on Arabs through north of Iraq, Kurdistan, for more than 50 years and now north of Iraq is nothing but a spy network and military training for the Kurdish terrorists, Pejak, who are trained by the fascist Zionist to be sent to the neighboring country to commit terrorist acts to destabilize the region for further partition. As we know the partition of Iraq was penned by Leslie Gelb, a Zionist, at the Council on Foreign Relations and brought to the senate by the self claimed Zionist, Joe Biden supported by the slave of zionism, Hillary Clinton, the sectary of state of Obama, a slave of zionofascists. People should not pay any attention to this reactionary person.
    http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2007/855/op1.htm

  18. Shabnam said on December 12th, 2008 at 7:28pm #

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11313

  19. Shabnam said on December 12th, 2008 at 9:23pm #

    should be:
    knowlege of history and writes his..

  20. bozh said on December 13th, 2008 at 10:28am #

    shabnam,
    ur right ab danny.
    as new readers come along, we do need to rebuff his comments. he is a believing person; ie, he believes in everything he believes.
    he oft does not posit one fact in defending his guesses (beliefs?
    if i wld take guess how to bring a fledgling or incipient democracy to US or iraq, i wld only use love/respect to kickstart democratization process everywhere but especially in US.
    i love americans, et al but not their crimes. i hope this page remains for another day so people cld read what i have said.

  21. Hue Longer said on December 13th, 2008 at 3:10pm #

    I disagree on two counts, Shabnam (maybe then you as well, bozh)

    First, Danny shouldn’t be ignored–he’s not full of shit when he notices that the the Democrats (and unfortunately truer leftists) have left him and his behind, and just because his history isn’t on par with the average DV reader, doesn’t mean it’s any worse than that of all the good Americans who voted for Obama–you know, those folks we bother talking to in attempts to educate.

    Also, I highly doubt Danny would see it differently if Israel wasn’t behind the scenes in whatever capacity it may be.

    He says some shocking stuff but at least he’s actually saying it and it’s a point to start from…

  22. bozh said on December 13th, 2008 at 3:43pm #

    hue, ur right; danny shldn’n be ignored. and for me tp remain true egalitarian and democrat, i do not deter free speech.
    anyone is welcome to say anything whatsoever. i shld have stressed this.
    but i have said this in other posts.
    i also suggested that we don’t attack not only a person but also a person’s ideas.
    instead, one just posits own facts, conclussions, etc.
    in any case, i did make a mistake in agreeing w. shabnam to ignore danny. and i did think ab. later; thinking that what i said was contradictory to what said later. i was hoping no one wld notice.thnx

  23. Danny Ray said on December 13th, 2008 at 3:51pm #

    Thank you Hue, that was an extreamly kind thing to say. I read this page every day and sometimes I feel like stating my opinion. I guess I should just keep reading and keep my mouth shut.

    You said also that at least I do not hate everyone in the mid east. I love the kurds and like most of the shia I have met. The Iranians I have met have been some of the most wonderful people in the world. In Afganistan I have enjoyed working with both Puston groups the Durrani and the Ghilzai, And the Tajik Are great fighters and have hands down the best looking women in the world. Up in the old Russian republics I have never had anything other than a warm welcome from any of them.

    Also I did not mean the comments about Iraqi Oil to be patronizing I was making a point that this is unlike the old days. there are no backwards people in the world. you can’t cheat anyone out of oil any more. every one knows its worth. We can’t and should not cheat anyone out of anything. The point I was trying so poorly to make is that the left talks like we are stealing their oil at gun point. I have a friend who works in the oil ministry and I can promis you there are tight controls on it.

    As far as Bozh, I have no facts other than the belief in my heart that our presents there stablizes the reigon so that a decent form of goverment can take root. That if we leave an islamic republic will be established in no time. and we know that freedon cannot exist an atmosphere of religious intolerence. we have to keep a sharp watch on the religious zealots in America and it is the same everywhere.

  24. Danny Ray said on December 13th, 2008 at 3:56pm #

    I guess what I am trying to say that if I hated everyone in the middle east I would not give a damn or a drop of mine or my peoples blood to try to build something wonderful for the people there.

  25. Shabnam said on December 13th, 2008 at 4:31pm #

    Hue Longer:
    Look at the following samples:

    “I guess what I am trying to say that if I hated everyone in the middle east I would not give a damn or a drop of mine or my peoples blood to try to build something wonderful for the people there.”

    How does racist and ignorant one must get before people make a choice to say ” ignore him.” I did not say we should censor him. I am against that. However, I wrote: “Please, no one pays any attention to Danny Ray because he has No knowledge of history and writes his rubbish based on lies and deceptions” and I am going to exactly that no matter what you or anyone else choose to do . Please look at his past interaction with others:
    https://www.dissidentvoice.org/2008/12/mumbai-and-american-terror/
    Ray said on December 4th, 2008 at 1:20am #
    Responding to Joed, who wrote: “seems those people that are continually being opressed have every right to do anything to stop their being opressed–anything. violence is justified sometimes. …
    there is no moral justification for the invasion of iraq by amerika. there is moral justifaction for the opressed peoples to fight back as they can. ”
    If the Iraqis had stood up to Saddam Hussein, would you have supported their right to do so? And why didn’t they? For decades, Iraqis suffered under Saddam. The man was an evil butcher and his two sons (destined to succeed him) were even worse!

    Hue Longer said on December 6th, 2008 at 3:58pm #
    Ray,
    You are one to look to Hollywood because you just did, but more important is that Hollywood looks to you. George Lucas?!
    I don’t think the Iraqis appreciate what you eat popcorn to…
    https://www.dissidentvoice.org/2008/11/the-mumbai-massacres-as-the-defeat-of-counter-terrorism/

    https://www.dissidentvoice.org/2008/11/western-progressive-opinion-bring-on-the-victims-condemn-the-fighters/

    Danny Ray said on November 24th, 2008 at 4:52pm #
    To bring this home: if a foreign (or domestic!) army ever rolled into my neighborhood the first doors I would knock on would be my heavily armed Christian Republican neighbors. A resistance needs guns and people that are willing and able to use them. A people under occupation often find unlikely solidarity with one another.
    Mr. Blackwell, please please tell me that the above was a joke.
    Number one, after 30 years of being called the redneck lunatic Christian fringe, and we have been called Neanderthals, and told how we are paranoid, schizophrenic, delusion or all of the above. After 30 to 40 are even 50 years of being demonized by the left. You are going to tell me that you would run to my front door and asked me to help defend your rights.

    good luck

  26. Hue Longer said on December 13th, 2008 at 8:54pm #

    Thanks Bozh, and I am familiar with your offerings and enjoy most of them (going back to the Bozhidar Bob Balkas days too! —sorry for spelling)

    Back to topic,

    Danny, please Google “Iran Mossedeq 1953”—It’s sure to get you a variety of sources on an inarguable event where the USA overthrew a democratically elected leader who had the audacity to nationalize his country’s resources.

    This speaks directly to your last paragraph and your earlier assertions regarding Iran. This could be one of those moments you wish you hadn’t went looking but you won’t be alone when you come out the other side.

    Cheers

  27. Daniel said on December 14th, 2008 at 3:18am #

    Do we, or do we not, control control Iraq’s oil production levels — though not the profits from selling the oil? Stealing oil revenue and forcing them to outproduce OPEC limits are totally different things. In the latter, the US government can slyly deny stealing anything. After-all, we have documented proof that everything has been accounted. But it’s effects on global prices is the same thing as keeping their oil production low and skimming off the revenue. When you consider that we likely are gaining a hand in many other oil-rich nations, the impact of that, along with falling global demand, is going to be a train wreck for that entire region.

    Neither do I think Iraq’s democracy will last for very long. The nation was only barely held together by Saddam who, though brutal, was quite a bit more effective than our government. That war just seems pointless to me. It was likely a crime by US laws if not by the basis for international law we ourselves set at the Nuremberg trials. Afghanistan was the place on which we needed to focus only in so much as it took to eradicate the upper side of the Al Qaeda organization. Now, with Pakistan looking close to disintegration, Russian hostilities, and obvious loss of the Khyber Pass, it looks increasingly like we will lose that region due to the lack of supply lines. We had a chance for all these years to just destroy Al Qeada and we did not complete that task. Nobody should ever delusion themselves into thinking a foreign power can occupy and pacify that place. It has been a pit that swallows conquerers since before even Alexander walked through.

    The idea that you can invade a region and force a democracy on people is so ridiculous that it defies rationality. I can point all the way back the Delios leagueto find examples where democracies that begin imposing democracy on other people find themselves in increasingly risky expeditions while all of their conquests tend to dissolve back to their original governmental forms or spark and finally find a new equilibrium as something entirely different. You are effectively approaching a complex system, that you do not understand, breaking it apart, and then rearranging the pieces with the expectation that it will take a new *expected* form. It is like waving your hand at a smoke cloud and expecting it to form the shape of Mickey Mouse.

    The more people go in there and absorb themselves into the task of reshaping that region, society, politics, and culture, the less they are able to disconnect themselves from the mess and see how much chaos they continue to produce. We have been watching this same story happen over and over since our nation emerged from the second world war. I am not saying that isolationism, as people understood it before that war, is a good idea. But trying to reshape the world into our own image is nothing but maniacal and hubris.

    However, at the same time, to cast a simplistic narrative as to how Americans fall into right or left, how one side caused all the problems and the other side sees all the answers, is not going to help any of us. Yes, the American right really went much too far. But democrats have their own ideas of wars and reshaping people. I have seen people who marched in the streets over these right wing wars talk hawkish about Africa. As if the middle east was not enough to teach people a lesson, they want a new conquest for their ideas of how to shape the world in a place far more dangerous. This extreme ideological behavior has been going on for so long, nobody remembers what it was like before, because most of the people alive then are dead now. Even when the world fought overtly for power and empire rather than political and economic ideals themselves, there was not so much violence. It is so easy to sit far removed in America and not think about the reality of the last century in terms of blood. It was the worst century of warfare in human history and it is all being renewed once again.

    I am not saying this is the one cause of war or even the biggest. I am saying it is the most dangerous for us *right now*. The world is descending into an economic crisis just as world powers are becoming more hostile. Every major government in the world needs to go into serious deficit spending to induce massive production spikes. You *do not* want that production to be tanks, warships, fighters, and bombers. If you think we are too powerful to be brought down, consider America had virtually no military might going into 1941.

  28. Danny Ray said on December 15th, 2008 at 5:43pm #

    Shabnam

    Sorry Cheif but the top two quotes are not mine but someone named Ray. I would never spell my contries name with a K.

    The bottom is mine and I still stand by it. however you did not include the part where i said that me and mine would already be out to stop the invasion. i als stand by what I said in the first of your post in this artical, that the American people could not care less about your poor Arab brothers.

    And again I love everyone in the mid east except Arabs. whats wrong with that, you seem to hate all Americans.

    Along with that you do not know me. but you read what you want to into my writings and call me a bigot and say that I have no concept of history.