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Iraq Veterans Against The War (updated)

April 22, 2008

Iraq Veterans Against The War visited our campus today with a display of boots and shoes.  Lined up in neat rows like tombstones, decorated with a name and in some cases a photo or a medal, each pair of boots belonged to an Illinois soldier who didn’t make it home.  There were also circles of shoes, from Iraqi civilians of all ages.  Veterans were on hand to reflect on the war.

What could I say that is not said by a little pair of fuzzy booties that belonged to a child?  Or by a pair of boots that belonged to a soldier, decorated with his high school graduation picture?  It is bad enough when there is an arguable purpose to it all, but this war is for nothing.  It is a personal vendetta of our codpiece-in-chief.

Mark Twain said; “History does not repeat itself.  But it rhymes.”

Boots in a row
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Civilian shoes
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Civilian shoes
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Civilian shoes
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Overview; boots in foreground, civilian shoes in background
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Boots
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Boots
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Categories: defense, Politics
  1. April 22, 2008 at 22:17 | #1

    Can’t wait to see the photos.

    I stopped out and looked and it really was moving. A pair of boots reading the name and city of a 19 year old service member killed. Really puts things into perspective considering I think of myself as being a fairly young lad.

  2. April 24, 2008 at 06:06 | #2

    Words fail me. When I think about my tax dollars buying ammunition, I daydream of State Dinners and rat poison.

  3. April 24, 2008 at 07:00 | #3

    I wish Bush et al had to sleep with those booties every night.

    Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel during the Yom Kippur war, said this:  “I have given instructions that I be informed every time one of our soldiers is killed, even if it is in the middle of the night. When President Nasser leaves instructions that he is to be awakened in the middle of the night if an Egyptian soldier is killed, there will be peace.”

    More leaders need to be awakened in the middle of the night when their decisions lead to deaths.  If conscience doesn’t get to them, hopefully sleep deprivation will.

  4. Ted
    April 24, 2008 at 08:06 | #4

    “I have given instructions that I be informed every time one of our soldiers is killed, even if it is in the middle of the night. When President Nasser leaves instructions that he is to be awakened in the middle of the night if an Egyptian soldier is killed, there will be peace.”

    This is only useful when one is using soldier-seeking ammunition and weaponry. Somewhere along the line, Israel lost some of the high ground. Nice quote though I prefer Yogi-isms.

    More germane is the predictable way that Americans think.

    Anytime you read, “Saddam had to be replaced…”, one should understand that Saddam is not the Iraqi nation, as it was. The shock and awe at the start of the war was an orgy of sexy explosions, but the great majority of people taken out were civilians. Saddam was captured after 9 months of lawless havoc.

    Saddam was eventually executed, but the real truth that needed telling the US public would have been along the lines of:

    “We’re going to kill a lot of civilians, break a great many things, spend a lot of money, sorta modify the constitution, and probably have dubious results in the end.

    We’re not welcome in Saudi Arabia, and Iraq looks good to host some very large American bases so that we can project power, keep oil available, and keep competing national interests (Russia, Iran, China) at bay.”

    That’s an expensive proposition, so the cost of some footwear seems justified once the real mission is taken into account.

  5. April 24, 2008 at 08:36 | #5

    Pictures are up. 

    Sometimes I feel that I’ve learned very little in life; that there is a scheme behind everything that eludes me.  One small truth that I’m reasonably sure about is that if you want to make someone angry at you, humanize their enemies.  But the fact that people dislike to see their enemies as human is a hopeful sign; it means that, deep in our own humanity, we do not want evil to befall anyone.  There is a sense of community in humanity perhaps hard wired into us so that we must dehumanize our enemies in order to kill them without injuring ourselves. 

    So the thing that we share with our enemies is not only humanity itself but the destruction and pain visited on us by our great leaders.  That the destruction seldom comes to US shores is an accident of history, one we cannot imagine to be permanent.  In that context, we had better find our own humanity and that of our enemies, and stop this senseless slaughter, because the world is growing smaller every day.

  6. April 24, 2008 at 08:57 | #6

    As a Viet Nam war veteran, I can only sadly shake my head at how little knowledge/experience was bought with 54,000 or so American lives and uncounted hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese lives.

    The Iraq War: Viet Nam without the agent Orange.

  7. April 24, 2008 at 12:35 | #7

    That first picture… left me shaken and without words, which almost never happens…

  8. April 24, 2008 at 18:03 | #8

    I never did meet a monster who wasn’t human. I never did meet an angel who had wings or a halo. I always did wonder if those old paintings weren’t born from the hands of artists recreating the ironically inconceivable.”

  9. April 24, 2008 at 19:56 | #9

    “I wish Bush et al had to sleep with those booties every night.”

    Cognitive dissonance.

  10. April 25, 2008 at 11:16 | #10

    “…this war is for nothing.  It is a personal vendetta of our codpiece-in-chief.”

    “Nothing” except to free the Iraqi people from the rule of a ruthless dictator who habitually arrested, imprisoned, tortured and killed his own people without any judicial process. 

    “Codpiece-in-chief”?  Really, I expect better from you.  You’re too intelligent to resort to name-calling.

    MG – <ul>Proud</ul> mother of a U.S. Soldier who is serving in Iraq!

  11. April 25, 2008 at 12:21 | #11

    MG – I hope fervently for the safe return of your soldier. And I apologize for giving offense.  But I cannot share the illusion that the reason we were given is the true reason.  The history of both Iraq and Iran suggest no true concern for the people of either nation by our government or the oil companies it serves.  And our chickenhawk president has strutted around like a little dictator, undermining our constitution and preening in front of the camera, while supporting our troops far more in word than in deed.  He is an empty little man, he has weakened our country in a hundred vital ways.  Al Queda could not hope to damage our nation as much as he has.

  12. April 25, 2008 at 13:49 | #12

    “Nothing” except to free the Iraqi people

    I’ll accept that as a reason if you can find me a couple source from back in 2001 and 2002 where the Bush Administration stated that. The reasons for the war started with Weapons of Mass Destruction, which got started on fabricated evidence and lies. Once that information made it to the mainstream a switch got thrown, the “Freedom Switch”.

    That aside, I find it hard to believe Americans really gave a s*** about Saddam or Iraqis back in 2001. I never heard anyone back then, let alone my conservative friends, striking up a conversation about how they dream at night about Iraqis being free. The majority did not care till we were a couple years into the war and Bush needed a different excuse.

    But the other question on that issue seems to be whether or not Iraqis are ready or ever were ready to be free from Saddam. The country is in complete shambles not to mention we blew up the entire infrastructure of the country. But Iraqi casualties have been ever increasing with no sign of stopping. What are we really doing? Are people more free when hundreds to thousands of people die every month?

    MG – <ul>Proud</ul> mother of a U.S. Soldier who is serving in Iraq!

    I feel for you and your family. It has to be one of the toughest things to go through and I can only imagine.

    If you were making that statement above because you think those of us that do not support the war do not support the troops, I can tell you that is certainly not true. I have friends in the military, some serving and some have finished their time. I have nothing but love for someone that steps up when called to action.

    However, I have no love for any politician that abuses the trust the troops put into our government. They should only be asked to fight when absolutely necessary and should never be used to control political interests or for someone’s personal vendetta.

  13. April 25, 2008 at 18:53 | #13

    MG—There is absolutrly no doubt in my mind that most of the soldiers in Iraq are nobly serving, many going beyond basic duty to help Iraqis on an indiviual level.  The honour of the the soldiers (at least the majority) is not at issue.

    The issue, as has been stated, is the issue is that these men and women are there in the first place.  It is indisputable that the “facts were fixed” around a plan to invade and occupy Iraq (without a credible plan to bring stability, peace and democracy to Iraqis) by a group of idealogues who had been on this course for many years.

    In the process, this administration lied, broke international law, have put your son in harm’s way for their lies, and sent many thousands of innocent Iraqis to their deaths.  Are the deaths of those innocents (having died because of lies and treason) less tragic than those sent to day by the hand of Saddam?  Are we now a nation who justifies two wrongs to attempt to make a “right” ?  (Hint: Even if one can rationalize this, it never works.)

    As for the name-calling, your strong reaction suggest to me that somewhere inside you recognize the kernel of truth.  Did you speak out as strongly when this asministration and its party said those who simply disagree are unpatriotic?  Or worse, traitors?  Compared to the swiftboating of John Kerry, this is harmless homour:

    The final tragedy is that the last two elections were stolen via at least a couple of illegal techniques.  Do you really respect a “Commander-in-Chief” ensconced by the denial of democracy—a democracy we are suppodedly bringung to the Middle East?  How’s it working out?

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