Posts from April 1, 2003

Flag tug-of-war

Flag tug-of-war
: The Guardian says the peace movement in the U.S. is trying to paint itself red-white-and-blue.

Haunted by accusations of anti-Americanism from the Vietnam era, and under pressure from a growing atmosphere of intolerance towards protesters, one anti-war group has unveiled a huge billboard with the message “Peace is Patriotic” against the image of an unfurling Stars and Stripes.

Loose lips sink hopes

Loose lips sink hopes
: So we waited for an hour for Centcom to give a mid-night briefing and it came in once sentence that was already leaked: a POW was rescued. Bravo.

But I imagine the families of all the missing and POWs watching TV tonight, praying, praying, let it me ours.

There shouldn’t have been a leak. It was almost cruel. But this is what live 24/7 is like. All sides need to get used to that.

: But God bless Pfc. Jessica Lynch, the freed POW. She’s just 19.

by Salam Pax

by Salam Pax
: The Guardian prints Salam Pax‘ most recent posts, which is a smart and good thing to do. (I do hope they pay him a correspondent’s fee when he’s freed.) [via Denton]

Micropayment

Micropayment
: A nonwar post:

For those of you waiting for micropayment to arrive, here’s a step in the right direction: The AT&T prepaid content card. PaidContent.org reports on it here. Sounds like a good idea. But keep in mind that selling anything at retail is still tough.

Giving your life

Giving your life
: Look at any man or woman in uniform and know that they are risking their lives. These people volunteered for this. Most go in with their eyes wide open.

Listen to Donald Sensing, an Army veteran and now a Methodist minister (and a blogger), as he talks about his son’s decision about whether or not to enlist:

One of the characteristics of asymmetrical warfare is that future enemies will attempt to strike our non-combat units, as we have seen the Iraqis do for the past two weeks. Logistic trains have always been primary targets, of course, but future conflicts will see a lot more guerrilla-type encounters than the American Army is used to, historically.

Like any father, I want my son to come through his military service alive and well. Where can he serve and do so? At the junior enlisted level, there are really no safe jobs any more, because any soldier can be assigned to a combat theater. And once there, all soldiers are liable to attack in some way.

Eyes wide open.

Now compare that with a twit profiled in today’s New York Times (and, I believe, interviewed on Today): a Marine volunteer who decided that he doesn’t want to fight.

When Stephen E. Funk enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves last fall, going to war was the last thing on his mind. He was 19 and, as he put it, adrift after a year at college when a recruiter sold him on the Marines by talking up the leadership skills, camaraderie and confidence he would learn in the armed forces.

But while in boot camp at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, Mr. Funk said, he began to feel like “a hypocrite” when he was ordered to shout out “Kill!” as the recruits drilled….

“War wasn’t a part of it at all for me. I never even thought about it,” said Mr. Funk, from Seattle, who plans to turn himself in for punishment today at his base in San Jose, Calif., for being absent without leave. “I thought it would be like Boy Scouts.”

Let me say it again: Twit.

I have nothing against anyone deciding not to serve in the armed forces and I’m grateful it is a choice today. In my day, during Vietnam, fate and your birth date determined your odds; there wasn’t a choice.

Soldiers today chose this life; they chose the hardship and the risk and I respect them for it.

In exile

In exile
: Blogspot’s having trouble (!?!?) and so Blogs of War has invited Tim Blair over for a barbie party.

With friends like this…

With friends like this…
: Peter Arnett finds a defender… at Alternet, of course.

In these days of lies and propaganda swallowed whole and dissenters chewed up and spit out similarly, what’s amazing is that the old war dog lasted through almost one whole spin cycle before getting the boot. But then, his traitorous crime was committed on a weekend, when only the right-wing watchdogs who never sleep were holding the perimeter.

Take your blood-pressure medication now and you’ll be fine in a few minutes.

It’s not just us

It’s not just us
: The anti-you-name-it French have gone after the British, vandalizing a British war memorial in France.

The words “Rosbifs [British] go home! Saddam Hussein will win and spill your blood” were painted in French over the base of the cemetery’s main monument – an obelisk topped by a cross.

On one side was a swastika and the words “death to the Yankees”.

Also daubed were the words “dig up your garbage, it is fouling our soil,” and “Bush, Blair to the TPI (International Court of Justice)”.

Some 11,000 British dead are buried at Etaples, which lies on the Channel coast around 24 kilometres south of Boulogne.

Let’s remember that they are buried there because they lost their lives defending France. Well, we remember that. The French are having trouble remembering that.