2005-03-24 07:40:55 ET

"That's why I feel that the responsible thing to do is to withdraw the troops. That's not abandoning the Iraqi people. I'm not saying we shouldn't give them anything. I'm saying we should give them what they need--aid and assistance--but not in a military form. Many people feel that the Iraqi people would go crazy without us, and not be able to function. But Iraq is the cradle of civilization. They're educated people just like us, and they're capable if given the opportunity and the resources."
this is a direct quote from U.S. veteran of this Iraqi war, Kelly Dougherty.
he said this at the protest that took place on March 19th 2005 at Fayetteville, N.C.--home of Fort Bragg, one of the U.S. Army's biggest bases

2005-04-03 12:30:56 ET

Bragg isn't just "big," it's a central point for many various types of operations. Lots of special forces groups based or coordinated there... Just commenting here because size isn't a factor in importance when it comes to military bases. The base I used to live on, Fort Huachuca, was pretty huge in terms of its land-reserve. It's a fairly important base (centers for intelligence and communication, lots of electronics proving), but all of that happens in a relatively small area.

"Iraq" isn't the cradle of civilization, though the area is. Formerly "Mesopotamia," the "fertile crescent," based between the Tigris and the Euphrates...

Nitpicks, really, but often people will judge your message based on the details, regardless of whether they understood you or not.

2005-04-03 12:50:18 ET

i was in fayetteville for that protest- it was awful. they stuck us in some crappy little neighborhood, searched all our bags, made us go through metal detectors and harassed us about anything they could (one officer accused me of being high).
it was a great get together, but we didnt get through to anybody there- the people counterprotesting had signs that said stuff like "get a job, hippie" "go back to california, mommy needs her suv back" "woodstock- that way" and "codepink gives $ 2 terrorists" (or codepink gives money to terrorists)
i guess though, it was pretty inspiring to see all the people in uniform there, and also pretty scary to see how small minded the people counter-protesting were.

2005-04-03 12:57:24 ET


Really, it was the conservatives who sold Saddam his arsenal in the first place, and he's not even a terrorist even though they now like to call him one, even though he and Bin Laden are in opposing Muslim sects and are therefore mortal enemies and what-not. The conservatives sold the Afghans their arsenal to "fight communism" with, too. Peachy, great to see that worked out so well for the US of A.

Were they really planning this far forward just to make sure that there would be something to fight about so that they could further their corporate bullshit through application of military force?

I don't get the labelling of people as "liberals" (or "pink"), as nobody in the US government actually is a liberal. There is no liberal establishment in the US. Talk to actual balanced world governments, and you'll find that US politicians come in two forms: Far right, and much further right.

Someone once "made up" a "conspiracy theory" story, saying that what the tin-foil hat crowd believes is going on is only a dramatization, and the real conspiracy is simply opposition of "leftism" in order to reinforce traditional values (read: mired in ancient paradigms and unable to socially or politically evolve). That was supposed to be a hyperbole, a "take that, tin-foil hat crowd, this is exactly how ridiculous your ideas are" sort of thing, but I find it to be the most believable. Why? This fight against radical ideas keeps the top on top and the bottom on bottom -- the goal of all world powers is to stay in power. What's so hard to believe about that? Why are conspiracy theories discounted as insane ramblings when they are based on simple facts such as the "iron law of oligarchy?"

Every time I try to share "radical" ideas, people try to rebut with "ZOMG BUT THEN U HAVE ANARCHY!" My thoughts, recently, though I've not had a chance to share, are "So fucking what?" What is "anarchy" anyway? Let's dissect. An-archy -- no authority figures. People seem to think that anarchy implies chaos, but this is not so. Usually the people who argue against anarchy will say that it's obvious that the behavior of animals is the model for the behavior of an anarchic situation. Usually these people are also religious, in the sense that they practice a religion (as opposed to following a spiritual lifestyle). Don't creationistic religions hold that we are above the animals, crafted with intelligence, free will, etc? Shouldn't we be able to govern ourselves? "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures," doth he not? Self-governance should be enough for these religious folks, and yet they continue to be brainwashed by tradition.

I don't need authority figures. I'm evolved enough to make decisions for myself and gather with other people to accomplish things that need to be done for the advancement of mankind and so on without someone else to forcably organize my doing so. I'll never see it happen, though, and I say this because I've lost my faith in the rest of humanity. There are more people just like me, and without any faith in each other, we'll never see this through the way it could be.

2005-04-03 14:00:43 ET

<<<<I don't get the labelling of people as "liberals" (or "pink"), as nobody in the US government actually is a liberal. There is no liberal establishment in the US. Talk to actual balanced world governments, and you'll find that US politicians come in two forms: Far right, and much further right.>>>>

I knew a guy who went AWOL because his unit was going to Iraq and he didn't agree with it. Unfortunately, he'd sworn an oath and personal feelings don't enter into it. I myself have a lot of liberal views but if they tell me tommorow to get on a plane to Balad, You won't here one peep out of me regardless of my actual feelings.

Also, we have two special forces groups, Civil Affairs (an entire wing of the army dedicated to rebuilding infrastructure and giving medical aid to civilians in wars) and Psychological Operations (Call them propagandha if you want and they do do that. Every government on the planet does so get used to it. They also dropped leaflets on Iraq disguised as Dinaris that told troops how to surrender without being shot by my grunty bretheren), USASOC, XVIII Airborne Corps and all of it's associated MI, MP, Artillery and Commo units etc. and my own unit, the 82nd airborne division.

Next time, tell your friends not to rampage around our area calling us babykillers. Guess what, we're not.

EDIT: This is more directed at the original post than anything.


When it involves violating the Geneva conventions. Also note that we never formally ceased hostility against the iraqi government. We only declared a cease fire. That's why we maintained a Brigade sized element in Kuwait from the first war to the second, make of that what you will.

EDIT 2: Heads up, these don't look like cops.


2005-04-03 14:11:41 ET

Because I was quoted, I don't know what's targetted at me and what's targetted at the original poster, so it may seem defensive, but:

I never meant to imply moral opposition against the military itself. If anyone is a babykiller, it's the bureaucrats that put money above human life so they can afford more expensive cars, houses, and land. I do believe, though, that the military as a whole very often ends up contracted out to special interest groups that don't have the good of the world or even the citizens of the US in mind. Someone can say that the US military is not a mercenary force, and that is directly true, but if you have the DOD's employer in your pocket(book)...

It's a sad state when people who dedicate their time and possibly their lives (in the alive-or-dead sense) to doing some good in the world end up doing the bidding of the rich.

Slide: What is that second image, anyway?

2005-04-03 14:47:04 ET

It's a number of men on a roof who look like an SF A-Team.

Before anyone goes fucking nuts, they'd never take action against you. That would be an act of idiocy on their part.

2005-04-04 09:16:39 ET

Presence for the purpose of intimidation, though, is oddly strategic for an inactive SF team. :P

2005-04-04 09:18:06 ET

It's more for surveilance, they're unarmed and out of uniform. It just looks like they're doing threat assessment. That's all.

2005-04-04 09:19:48 ET

But of course. :P

2005-04-04 09:26:01 ET

Worked with them in Afghanistan. They have a spotter scope, I'm willing to bet they were pretty far off and who says they're even on official business. It leaves a lot open to interpretation. They're seeing who's here and if they have to buy new deadbolts, most likely. They're have been some incidents and we're very wary of protestors. Who knows when someone decides it's time to bring back the spirit of the weather underground.

And trust me, Fayetteville PD is way more ruthless... in this hemisphere at any rate.

2005-04-04 09:43:51 ET

I definitely trust cops a whole lot less than the military.

2005-04-07 08:41:52 ET

i'm glad to see this post sparked such an insightful conversation. I havn't even looked at this in a while..I had no idea the quote translated so lamely into html....anyway... thank you guys

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