Dear hockey mom

As a citizen of this planet I’d rather not have you as the US-president. It’s presumably okay to not know the term “Bush doctrine”, although it’s borderline and many people abroad could have told you immediately what’s meant by it (especially the thousands of dead civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan). However, finding it okay to start a war with Russia makes me hope again that Americans love their children too:

Regards,

Oliver

PS: Given the probability that McCain dies during his presidency I truly meant that she may become president, although initially it will be vice-president.

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6 Responses to Dear hockey mom

  1. Kenji says:

    surely you must know that the U.S. has gone to great lengths to limit civilian casualties, more so than any military in modern history, and in this war particularly avoiding them arguably at risk of jeopardizing U.S. soldiers lives and mission objectives. sadly they still occur, but i find your characterization uninformed and a bit naive.

  2. Oliver says:

    Surely the civilians would disagree (e.g. those at bombed weddings or those in Abu Ghraib prison). And once we have a real nice standoff between NATO and Russia thanks to the fact that Sarah Palin wants to get Georgia and Ukraine into the NATO even now, the most reluctant people will understand that a nuclear war can’t be won by anyone – inluding the US.

    And yes, she was saying “maybe” when asked about a war with Russia, she called the war in Iraq a god-given mission and so forth. Which part makes me uninformed? I was simply hinting at those things 😉

    Naive? I can only hope so, because I’d rather avoid a nuclear standoff of global dimension (and it would be global in any case).

    To continue the thought from above, not only will a nuclear world war not be won, in fact it will be lost and it will show how barbaric all involved parties are/were.

  3. kenji says:

    as i said, civilian casualties are a sad component of war. who could disagree that wedding victims and abu gharaib detainees wouldn’t be impressed with U.S. effort to limit them? not me.
    these incidents are the exception, however, not the rule and their discoveries only highlight the unusual restraint of U.S. military policy. there are, after all, numerous locales in our world where civilian death and prison abuse wouldn’t be a back-page story.
    by the way, have you followed the developments in Camp Bucca in southern Iraq? 23,000 detainees housed there are given the opportunity to learn to read and write, study various academics, learn English, Arabic, and skills allowing them to find productive jobs after their release. They enjoy various recreational activities and are allowed to read and discuss the Koran (now that they are no longer illiterate). Yes, it is still a prison but 8000 detainees have been released in the last year with only 21 re-captured for continued insurgent involvement, an extremely low percentage. What other country is committed to correcting mistakes and continuing its long history of human rights protection?

  4. Oliver says:

    No, I hadn’t heard about Camp Bucca and if it’s true, these are good news. However, very good news would be something like the Marshal plan which would not just educate detainees but all civilians there. So far it doesn’t seem to be an objective to reestablish order in these countries (Afghanistan & Iraq).

    Bad news spread better and faster than good news. It’s a fact.

    Given the cruelties and the one million dead Iraqis either the attempts of the US forces to limit these incidents must be considered a failed attempt, or one is only left to wonder how many more dead (than 1/30 of the Iraqi population) would have to be mourned without such attempt(s).

    Numbers check out quite nicely here, because the US has an about 10 times bigger population. So, in order to have the same magnitude of losses of life, the US would have to suffer 10 million dead. That is a 1 followed by 7 zeros.

    What other country is committed to correcting mistakes and continuing its long history of human rights protection?

    Is this a joke? It is the current US administration that is despising international right and institutions at will, yet violating that right and the rules set by those institutions at will as well. Camp Gitmo and Abu Ghrain are just two example with very similar symptoms. As a matter of fact, though, human rights have been mistreated and cut down in all western countries (and some “ally” countries) which was and is justified by what happened on 2001-09-11. An event that raises more questions than most people are willing to admit.

    You know what happened on 1973-09-11? The country with the “long history in protecting human rights” overthrew a democratically elected president in a latin-american country. Numerous other similar cases exist. Yes, its 35th anniversary happened only a few days ago and the people of Chile remembers …

    The country that once had a doctrine to not get involved in international affairs and gave it up in the first half of last century in order to – among other things – liberate Germany from the Nazis has evolved into a country with a doctrine that sees no problem in preemptive strikes, including strikes with tactical nuclear weapons against countries which don’t own nuclear weapons. A bunch of Christian fundamentalists hoping for Christs coming has their hands on the buttons that could start a very man-made Armageddon.

    // Oliver

    PS: Feel free to post any links that support your point of view or explain it in more detail, if you don’t want to continue the debate here. I am committed to free speech as long as it doesn’t end up in slander 😉

  5. Taylor says:

    Please tell me how the terrorists we’re fighting don’t kill innocent people. The difference is that typically America does it by accident rather than on purpose.

  6. Oliver says:

    “The terrorists we’re fighting”. Which one are you fighting? Given the erosion of civil rights in all Western countries, including the US itself, it seems that the people are considered the terrorists.

    Have you heard of “staged terrorism”? It was done during the Cold War and not only then. How do you know those who are called terrorists on TV are the actual enemies? I personally don’t see a lot of a difference between Christians wanting to establish the law from the Old Testament and Muslims wanting to establish Sharia, so being a Muslim doesn’t automatically qualify for “terrorist” in my book. But that’s the picture of terrorism we’re given. Terrorists? Sure, those are the bearded guys with the evil look, the turban and hailing Allah …

    However, anyone citing “God’s plan” or similar, just like Sarah Palin did, is immediately disqualified. I don’t care if it is the demonized president of Iraq or the running mate of McCain talking about God’s will. I whole-heartedly agree with Matt Damon that someone who believes that dinosaurs roamed the Earth some 4000 years ago is not qualified for the office she’s running for.

    And as for the accidents. Let’s hope you are right. But as far as I remember one of those “smart weapons” with “surgical precision” was led astray and right into the Chinese embassy in Belgrade (during the war at the Balkans). By pure accident, I presume …?! However, would you consider the Chinese making a surgical strike against Washington D.C., taking out the US political elite, as justified in response to this attack?

    If it’s fighting on the ground where humans (and thus human error) are involved, understandable (even though I want to see you say sorry to an Iraqi family that lost their children through you – if you were the soldier). But if surgical strikes in Afghanistan or Iraq are made based on the informations from people who have tribal differences with the people in the next village and the wedding ceremony in the next village then gets surgically bombed because of alleged insurgents in it … not so cool anymore. And it happened more than once.

    It is pathetic how veterans then support McCain just because Obama mentioned the fact that the invasion of Iraq was a mistake. He didn’t say that the soldiers died in vain and all the other things put now into his mouth, but he stated a fact. A fact that is based, among other things, on the observation that no WMDs were found in Iraq, despite all the “evidence”. Not that I support Obama, to me he is not much different than McCain, but that’s another story.

    Oscar Wilde said: “Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious.”, Schopenhauer took a few more words:

    The cheapest form of pride however is national pride. For it betrays in the one thus afflicted the lack of individual qualities of which he could be proud, while he would not otherwise reach for what he shares with so many millions. He who possesses significant personal merits will rather recognise the defects of his own nation, as he has them constantly before his eyes, most clearly. But that poor beggar who has nothing in the world of which he can be proud, latches onto the last means of being proud, the nation to which he belongs to. Thus he recovers and is now in gratitude ready to defend with hands and feet all errors and follies which are its own.

    Hey, guess what? … my great-grandfather died in France during WW II, a war that was started under wrong pretense. Would you be so kind as to honour him, because it shouldn’t matter under what pretense a war was started or how it was led – right? And yes, I am German. This means that he died fighting for the Nazis. Many many young men came back crippled. This doesn’t justify the war, does it? I hope not!

    A German cabaret artist has found a nice way to circumscribe the situation Saddam Hussein was in during 2002/2003. It goes about like this: “If you hold a gun at chancellor Merkel’s head and tell her to give you the two million Euro in her handbag now, because you got footage from the secret service that clearly shows that she has two million in the bag, what is she supposed to do?” What would you do?
    Clearly Hussein was a nasty dictator. So what? The USA has a long record of “helping” (to put it nicely) to install dictators by overthrowing democratically elected leaders, e.g. in South America. 9/11? Yeah, check out 9/11 in 1973, in Chile.

    The dictator in North Korea is actually at least as horrible as Saddam Hussein was. He wasn’t overthrown or so, because he got nuclear weapons as a kind of insurance! Guess why Iran might be striving for them! What’s the use for Iran to have nuclear weapons? To blow away Israel? Heck, the Israelis got nuclear weapons themselves. The whole “conflict” would at best end in a scenario where both countries are radioactive wasteland. What’s the point? If the Iranians want nuclear weapons, it’s more likely because they want an “insurance” against the US invading them …

    The war in Iraq was based on a lie. The original justification was that Iraq had WMDs, which could not be established even until now. The same holds for the alleged connection to the 9/11 attacks. Heck, still a majority of US-Americans was recently thinking that there was a connection and that WMDs were actually found. You really need more than a little bit of fantasy to bend reality to such an extent …
    The war wasn’t based on the fact that Saddam Hussein was a dictator. That’s just a truth-bending attempt to justify the war after the lies have already been uncovered.

    // Oliver

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