BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Monday, March 31, 2003

Again, I'm overwhelmed with info re: Operation Free Oil, March Madness and many things pop culture.

A few recent articles concerning the men and women fighting for my freedom have been bothering me, so I’m gonna vent.

Yeah, sure, I’m anti-war and pro-soldier (the fashionable yet appropriate war-stance in the face of right-wing criticism), but more than anything, I’m anti-retard. And, folks, let me tell you, I’ve been reading about some serious retardation lately.

I’ll let the articles speak for themselves. From the New York Times:

“Either Take a Shot or Take a Chance,” by DEXTER FILKINS

IWANIYA, Iraq, March 28 — At the base camp of the Fifth Marine Regiment here, two sharpshooters, Sgt. Eric Schrumpf, 28, and Cpl. Mikael McIntosh, 20, sat on a sand berm and swapped combat tales while their column stood at a halt on the road toward Baghdad. For five days this week, the two men rode atop armored personnel carriers, barreling up Highway 1.

They said Iraqi fighters had often mixed in with civilians from nearby villages, jumping out of houses and cars to shoot at them, and then often running away. The marines said they had little trouble dispatching their foes, most of whom they characterized as ill trained and cowardly.

"We had a great day," Sergeant Schrumpf said. "We killed a lot of people."

Right on, Seargeant. Let’s jump ahead:

But in the heat of a firefight, both men conceded, when the calculus often warps, a shot not taken in one set of circumstances may suddenly present itself as a life-or-death necessity.

"We dropped a few civilians," Sergeant Schrumpf said, "but what do you do?"

To illustrate, the sergeant offered a pair of examples from earlier in the week.

"There was one Iraqi soldier, and 25 women and children," he said, "I didn't take the shot."

But more than once, Sergeant Schrumpf said, he faced a different choice: one Iraqi soldier standing among two or three civilians. He recalled one such incident, in which he and other men in his unit opened fire. He recalled watching one of the women standing near the Iraqi soldier go down.

"I'm sorry," the sergeant said, "but the chick was in the way."

Aw, man, I hate it when chicks get in the way. Come to think of it, chicks always get in the way. Thank god for your AK-47, Seargeant. Hey, you know what? Might come in handy if your wife gets in the way! Damn straight.

And then this little article from today’s timesonline.co.uk.

Patrick Barkham meets the "friendly fire" victims

THREE wounded British soldiers described yesterday how they survived a terrifying attack by an American anti-tank aircraft that killed one of their troop and destroyed two armoured vehicles.

That’s an A-10, folks. Super-kick ass. Back to the article.

One of the survivors criticized the American pilot for showing “no regard for human life” and accused him of being a cowboy who had gone out on a jolly.

LCoH Gerrard criticised the A10 for shooting when there were civilians so close to the tanks. He said: “There was a boy of about 12 years old. He was no more than 20 metres away when the Yank opened up. There were all these civilians around. He had absolutely no regard for human life. I believe he was a cowboy.

“There were four or five that I noticed earlier and this one had broken off and was on his own when he attacked us. He’d just gone out on a jolly.

“ I’m curious about what’s going to happen to the pilot. He’s killed one of my friends and he’s killed him on the second run.”

Hmm. Hearing the “cowboy” word a lot lately, aren’t we?

And then this quote from a recent article in the U.K.’s Guardian.

"I've been all the way through this desert from Basra to here and I ain't
seen one shopping mall or fast food restaurant. These people got nothing.
Even in a little town like ours of twenty five hundred people you got a
McDonald's at one end and a Hardee's at the other."

Sgt. Sprague, from White Sulphur Springs in West Virginia, deployed as
part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

I’m speechless.

Look, I know that the great majority of our soldiers are doing the best they can, and I’m sure that they’re living with an incredible amount of stress (now that they’ve experienced resistance from Iraqi soldier and civilian). However, that’s no excuse for hard-core stupidity and the kind of behavior that is going to move us further and further away from the rest of the world.

More later.

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