Pass The Cheese: Iraqi Soldier Kills Two American Soldiers

An Iraqi soldier shot and killed two American soldiers and wounded several others yesterday on the outskirts of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, according to various sources. Details are sketchy, except in Australia.

You can read the rest here, and/or comment below.



Incredibly absorbing post. And horribly depressing. And certifiably true.

I thought ...

... you were gonna say "incredibly cheesy".

I woulda hadta slapya! ;-(

Thanks for your kind words.

newjesustimes's picture

Thanks for the investigation

I knew there had to be a reason why the Iraqi soldier shot the American troops, but I also knew that the press wasn't telling. Thanks for finding the answer from the other side of the world. I'm sure there's even more to this story (such as what preceded the alleged slap?) but I guess most American news consumers will be content to assume that the Iraqi soldier was crazy and / or had terrorist ties (don't they all?)

they never have any reason

That's what makes them such horrible people. All the violence these terrorists do is utterly unprovoked! ... or at least that's what the American "news" media wants you to believe.

I wasn't curious --

I just assumed that the Iraqi soldier shot the American soldiers just because he was an Iraqi -- because that's what I'd do if I was an Iraqi, and I would do it with great enthusiasm. Of course the same thing is true on the other side of the coin: If I were an American soldier in Iraq, I'd shoot Iraqi soldiers with great enthusiasm just because I'm an American.

I really gotta take issue with you here WP. Last few posts you've been blaming soldiers for doing things that they wouldn't be doing if the people who run this blasted country hadn't sent them to war. And yeah, I know all about the pacifist howl that is the Donovan lyric: "he's the universal soldier and he really is to blame." But that's really cheap shit.

On the one hand you tell us that the soldiers are victims: they've been brainwashed all their lives instead of being taught to think. On the other hand you tell us the soldiers are perpetrators: they do these things because they're just naturally perverse. It's a variant of the gun-controllers' insane argument that blames the handgun instead of the hand that pulled the trigger.

All of the war criminals of the Iraq War live and work in Washington, D.C. Most of them have never spent more than a few hours in Iraq and few of those whove been to Iraq have ever heard a shot fired in anger.

"It may be thought that I am prejudiced. Perhaps I am. I would be ashamed of myself if I were not." Mark Twain

Some of each, Jimmy.

Indeed, the American people have been victims of propaganda, but that doesn't excuse their behavior -- not even a little bit. According to the principles established at Nuremberg, just following orders is never an excuse.

And I disagree with you 100% when you say:

"All of the war criminals of the Iraq War live and work in Washington, D.C."

Ours is an all-volunteer army. Not a single one of them was drafted. They chose this; they chose to do this, to themselves and other people -- for money! I can never forget that, nor can I forgive it.

I was lied to, too -- and I went in a different direction. They could have done the same. But they chose the easy way: follow the orders, do whatever, take the money.

The American military has been a blight on humanity for decades. This is no secret. In my opinion, anyone who joins it is a war criminal. And so is anyone who supports it in any way.

It that offends you -- if that offends other people, that's fine with me.

Culture of Violence

"On the other hand you tell us the soldiers are perpetrators: they do these things because they're just naturally perverse."
I don't think WP claims it's "natural" to be a good SS man.
From the bone crushing "team" sports to the Barbie trophy wife, this culture is about getting what's rightfully yours. From "24" to "dancing with the Stars" a stampede to grab and keep stuff is at the center of the brainwash.
All those not believing in consumerism are suspect.
And Real Americans are ready to use force to protect Freedom, wheresoever it may be threatened.
Pretty simple.
That's the secret of effective propaganda-simplicity.

No Cheers For Murdoch

WP, I had to laugh when you said three cheers for The Australian. This is Rupert Murdoch's flagship Australian newspaper and the editorial is every bit as crazy righwing batshit as the Wall Street Journal.

OTOH they do have a few good independent reporters on staff, and like the WSJ they occasionally come up with decent work in spite of their publisher and editors.

I guess it's a sign of how bad things are in the USA today that a newspaper like this seems to be an illuminating read!

Also, doesn't this shooting episode remind you of something? There was a similar shooting in Iraq a year or more ago, where an Iraqi nicknamed "Caesar" opened fire on US colleagues who were abusing a young Iraqi girl. He quickly became a cult hero to ordinary Iraqis - the US soldiers shot him dead, but I think he killed two of them first and the girl got away. But of course it was never reported in the Western media, so perhaps you and your readers never even heard of him.

Maybe it never happened. Who knows anything, when everything is lies?

they were lukewarm cheers, after all ...

but I had to say something nice about them before I ripped them, too.

didn't I?

WP Needs A Holiday

Jimmy>"I really gotta take issue with you here WP. Last few posts you've been blaming soldiers for doing things that they wouldn't be doing if the people who run this blasted country hadn't sent them to war.

WP>"The American military has been a blight on humanity for decades. This is no secret. In my opinion, anyone who joins it is a war criminal. And so is anyone who supports it in any way."

I'll have to partly agree with Jimmy about the tone of your last few articles. I think McJ called it "snark"
The articles were still good.

WP unlike you I had no idea what the US/CIA were up to and like most other folk have been a real drongo for most of my life. Still am. I will agree that some people going in to the millitary joined cause they are creeps and like guns and power etc. Not all though. There's most likely a mixture.

What you are doing is very hard WP. Please get some rest. Chris Floyd is brilliant and I'll be reading him more untill he loses it or collapses from the strain smiling There is a difference between you and Chris in that even though he doesn't pretend 911 was straight up re official story, he doesnt cover it. You are diiferent, and certainly not less readable but please have a holiday or if you must finish you must and we'll miss you but the blog is still there. There's mountains of stuff to read still.

NO WP needs to keep at it

Keep beating that drum my brother. We out here in the outskirts of the internet are getting restless. Keep pounding them out WP and we'll be waiting to read the next one!
Thank you!!

McJ's picture

Not Me

I have been out of the loop for a few days so it wasn't me calling anything 'snark'. smiling
I certainly don't perceive WP's tone in that way.
It comes across to me as anger. One that comes from being willing to seek the truth about the horrors that surround us.

"I set it down,
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain..." -- Shakespeare, Hamlet, I, v

It was Debbie from Australia

and unless I'm mistaken she was talking about stuff like this:

"In 1980, Carter lost his bid for re-election; Ronald Reagan took over in 1981 and opened the spigots. Freedom-fighters everywhere were welcome to unlimited American aid, as long as they were terrorizing communist countries, or countries that bordered communist countries, or countries in which people had heard of communism."

sorry. no holiday.

I'm pressed for time, all the time, and sometimes pressed for energy too, but there are a million things to write about, and I have no plans to take it easy anytime soon. There are times when my blogging will necessarily be light, but I intend to keep going as long as possible. If I start spelling things wrong, you might have to help me a bit. But otherwise the rush and the fatigue shouldn't make too much of a difference -- it's been like this for years, more or less.

Please don't confuse snark with fatigue. And please don't confuse either of them with my attitude about the US military. Snark is where I say something I obviously don't mean, or something that obviously doesn't make any sense, in order to make a larger point, and hopefully to make you grin, even though the stuff you're reading is so horrible. I'm asking you to read about horrendous, soul-searing stuff every day; I'm asking you to stay alive to the pain and the horror of it all; the least I can do is offer you a lame joke now and then. That's the reason for the snark. There aren't too many ways to make jokes about this stuff.

But on the other hand, I've been saying the same things about the people who sign up to fight America's wars of aggression for years -- for decades.

I grew up during the "national trauma" of Vietnam, when soldiers went overseas to fight because they were forced to. That stopped when the draft was discontinued. Now soldiers join the Army because they want to.

Forty years ago, they had to force people to go and fight because the war was brutal, stupid, illegal, immoral, and "justified" on one lie after another. Just like today's wars.

But there's a difference. In THAT war, soldiers were unwilling victims of the military system. They were there against their will. It WAS possible to support the troops but not the war. But not anymore. Not with an all-volunteer army.

The collective experience of the Vietnam vets was a great howling warning to the rest of the country, and the rest of the world -- for those who would listen. Why would anyone with a brain and a heart willingly do what those guys were forced to do? That should have been the end of America's foreign wars for all time. That should have been the end of America's military culture forever.

But who listens? Who remembers? Who cares? How many psychopaths are there in the Army now because they want to be there, because they have no regard for the damage they do -- to themselves, to innocent people in foreign countries, to humanity as a whole, to our children's future! -- as long as Uncle Sam is there with the food and the clothing and the pay checks and the great uplifting inspirational lies about how they are all heroes fighting for a noble cause?

Way too many. Nobody was drafted into this. I don't respect any of them, except the few who had to see it for themselves, and who saw what was what, and who refused to fight. The rest of them can go screw, as far as I'm concerned. And no amount of "holiday" is going to change that.

If I offend Sally, or Jimmy, or others, by saying this, then so be it. If I challenge you to re-think (or think for the first time) about some of the things I'm saying, that's a good thing. If you still disagree with me, speak freely. That's what we're here for. I'm not gonna bite. But I'm not gonna mince words, either.

God, I hope the readers here

God, I hope the readers here aren't turning as dumb as the military members I've had 'encounters' with. They won't let any of this type of talk get into their heads. They absolutely refuse to even think about it. All that comes out of their mouths is "Were over there fighting for your FREEDOMS!!" "If it weren't for us, you wouldn't be allowed to say that shit!!" Etc., fucking etc. Of course, when they're asked to explain exactly how any number of terrorists are going to take away my freedoms, they go silent. Then I get booted from the forums. They'll even go so far as to flat out lie and claim Tillman was FOR the war...and to say anything other than that is somehow disrespectful. They really are fucking sick in the head. Whether or not they were that way before they joined I don't know, but very few of them seem to be capable of resisting the bullshit lies and avoiding turning that way.

What's really strange though is that when you ask what they'd do if the shoe was on the other foot, they say they'd do the exact same thing the Iraqis are doing...well at least the ones they now call terrorists or insurgents. And yet they get mad when I tell them that the military doesn't want 'thinking' soldiers...

Oh, as for spelling errors, I did recall seeing where your fingers apparently shifted to the right and you typed 'er' instead of 'we', in one of your latest entries. wink

newjesustimes's picture

not offended

but respectfully disagree with the sweeping generalization; when guys sign on at the age of 18 I don't think they necessarily go into it with the full knowledge and comprehension of the crimes they may be asked to commit.

I think there are a lot of reasons people join the American armed forces;
money, family, legal trouble, naivety, because they want to kill or be killed is on the list as well, but i'd wager money ranks higher.

What do they think armies DO?

"when guys sign on at the age of 18 I don't think they necessarily go into it with the full knowledge and comprehension of the crimes they may be asked to commit."

What do you suppose they think armies DO?

"... money ranks higher"

say it again, NJT! You're makin' my point better than I could.

They willingly become hired killers. What makes this ok?

What YOU said --

A lot of those guys are there because they love their country. Love of country, you may recall, is part of the lifelong brainwash to which you say they've all been subjected. And you're right. They are brainwashed. It starts the first time, as infants, their mothers park them in front of a TV set. Then later, they go to school and learn about George Washington and the rest of that mythology. And every night when they come home they get supper in front of the TV set. And on it goes, for eighteen or twenty years, at which time they get pushed out of the nest and told to get a job. But there aren't any jobs that pay a living wage. And then they find their Uncle Sam with his hand out saying "I want you." And they love their Uncle Sam. And so it goes. Some of them go even though they have good jobs -- the name 'Pat Tillman' comes to mind.

I joined the Marines in September, 1968, for the fabulous wage of $96 a month. I wised up quick and, knowing what I know now, I would do everything in my power to stop my son (if I had a son, which I don't) from making the same mistake. Out here on these Midwestern acres, the corn grows green and the kids grow red, white and blue. I laugh at them now. They seem silly to me, knowing what I know. But what I know is what they have yet to learn, and love of country is what keeps them from listening to guys like me. They simply will not believe that their Uncle Sam is the willing tool of evil men and set by them to an evil purpose. We all joke a lot about 'vast conspiracies' but we know that they happen. Young minds are not so sophisticated and they simply cannot believe that all they've been told is a lie.

Gus Hasford told it, best I know of. Going to war is like falling into a hole. You start out in a nice place. The lawns are sparkling green, the houses well kept, the stores full of candy and pop and toys. You get into a plane. You get out of the plane at a place where there are no lawns but the building is clean and well kept and there's plenty of places to get candy and pop and toys. You get into another plane. You get out of that plane at a place where the buildings look kinda different. Less solid. Less clean. There are lots of people in uniform and everybody is in a hurry. Nobody will talk to you. You get into a really ratty looking airplane . . . the devolution ends when a helicopter swoops low and dumps you into this shithole where everything is concrete and sandbags and plywood. There are holes in the ground all over the place. Everything is dirty. It smells like burning shit. Everyone you meet is heavily armed. They are dirty and they stink. They all look at you like you're some kind of freak and they smile this really nasty smile that isn't like any smile you've ever seen in your life. Maybe you hear gunshots or ordinance. It doesn't yet occur to you that somebody might be shooting at you. But you soon get the joke. Then you shoot back.

You wish you could go home again. You'll never get home again, never in all your life, but you wish that you could because you don't yet know you can never go back. You got here without knowing anyone could hate you enough to actually shoot at you. You go back to the States (if you're lucky) without knowing that everyone at home will hate you when you get there because you're not the kid they put on that plane. Instead, you're some creature from another planet who knows things they don't know; says things they can't believe; laughs at things they don't find funny. You have a way of smiling, when you're angry or when you get your whiskey up, that just gives everyone the creeps. They don't know you any more and they don't want to know you because they are afraid of you. In service, with your buddies all around you, you felt lonely and wished you could go home. Now you are home, you miss your buddies. You feel lonely because, here at home with your old friends and your family, you really are alone.

You did all of this to yourself because everyone at home always said it was an honorable thing to serve your country. Now you've done what they asked and nobody honors you for it. Nobody even likes you any more. At first you feel guilty about it, like maybe you didn't do it right. . . . But that's another story. One thing is certain: you damn sure didn't do it to get rich.


"It may be thought that I am prejudiced. Perhaps I am. I would be ashamed of myself if I were not." Mark Twain

What did you think armies DO?

When you joined the Marines, what did you think they were FOR?

It's one thing to love your country, but what did you think you were defending it FROM?

Not trying to be snarky -- would dearly love to know.

Motives? What's motives?

My reasons were complex, just like most others. I knew what the Marines were for: they're sent to kill people who hate my good old Uncle Sam. Then there's the stories about Marine heroes: Chesty Puller, Ira Hayes, Smedley D. Butler, GySgt Dan Daily, etc. Then there's all the mythology about patriotism and love of country. There's the fact that I grew up on an intellectual diet of television and romantic fiction. We lived on a farm: outside of school, I had nothing to do with children other than my siblings. We knew about crops and livestock; the outside world was this big wonderful place we never got to see, and I wanted to see it. There's the whole thing about manhood: am I as tough as those other guys? All of that shit goes around in your head. The TV news says long-haired hippies hate God and the United States. Walter Cronkite poured my head full of anti-communism. And, like I said, I was ignorant. And I loved my country. And I wanted to defend the free world. And I wanted to be a hero. And I was a child who didn't know he was a child any longer, because he was 20 years old and therefore believed he might be a man but was uncertain of the fact. All of my friends were being drafted. Some had already gone to Vietnam. Four I knew who were not coming back, guys I had known since kindergarten, dead in some strange place full of evil people who hated Americans. And it's just not a case of any one thing, any one factor, and it sure wasn't the case that I was a kill-crazed psychopath. And 95 percent of these "crazed killers" you talk about are just as confused as I was. William Calley was a human being who was sacrificed on the altar of politics. Nuff said.


"It may be thought that I am prejudiced. Perhaps I am. I would be ashamed of myself if I were not." Mark Twain

to be clear

I'm not saying everyone who joins the army is a crazed killer. I am saying they joined it because they wanted to. Why they wanted to, as Jimmy says, is complex. And it's different for each of them.

You'll notice that in amongst all the things Jimmy told us, he didn't answer the question I asked. I don't think he's trying to duck it; I think he never even considered it. In other words, unless I'm reading this conversation way wrong, "what does an Army do?" was never as important as all that other stuff. Of course that was a long time ago, and Jimmy sees things differently now. Obviously.

And I understand the country / honor / manhood / travel, and some other aspects too. But I really don't see why anyone was fooled by the propaganda. Lies such as "the hippies hate God" were so ridiculous, in a context where the hippies were the ONLY ones saying "Thou Shalt Not Kill" ... not to mention growing their hair long and wearing sandals and robes because they wanted to be like Jesus ... and meanwhile the pro-war guys -- military men, politicians, and pundits -- were given all the TV time they could fill, and allowed every opportunity to make their case for the war, and nothing they ever said made any sense. At least not to me. We hadn't been attacked. We hadn't been invaded. According to the "official story", one of our patrol boats had been shot at in the Gulf of Tonkin. But what was it doing there? What would we do if a North Vietnamese patrol boat showed up in Chesapeake Bay?

I can't speak for everybody, of course. And who knows what was going on inside other people's heads at the time? But as far as I could see, from watching what was going on around me, people were deceived because they wanted to be deceived. The pro-war propaganda didn't make any more sense to them than it did to me -- it couldn't have -- but they decided not to think about it. It would have been too scary. The alternative -- just going along with the program -- seemed so much more comfortable. So they ignored the contradictions that were staring them in the face, and went on with the deception as if nothing were amiss. And to a very large degree, they put us where we are now.

When it comes to swallowing the propaganda, I see "willing victims", but in the case of guys who join the army, I see "willing perpetrators", too. The so-called "angry left" complains about how the returning warriors are treated, and rightly so. But hardly anybody complains about the damage these guys do -- for honor, for money, for thrills, for country: who cares why? -- and that's very wrong, as I see it.

Sorry Jimmy, but the

Sorry Jimmy, but the military of today does promote you getting wealthy from joining. Just look at their fucking commercials. They don't show grunts getting shot at and dying or getting wounded. They show kids playing video games transforming into adults working on sophisticated equipment, with the obvious suggeston that they're going to get paid very good money for doing so. Whether or not that's actually the truth, doesn't matter. It's what the majority of kids today join for. And Tillman wasn't one of them. He did love his country. That's why when he found out the truth about the wars, and what we were doing to the people over there who love their country just as much as he loved his, he didn't want anything more to do with our wars of aggression.

McJ's picture

Some more tidbits on this story...

This was posted on SOTT today - The information comes from a blog called Roads to Iraq.
The link at the bottom to AMSI is in arabic.
Below is a link to the site (translated) but I don't see any info on this story.

Roads to Iraq
Wed, 12 Nov 2008 00:25 UTC
Reuters don't wants to tell you the reason behind the shooting and BBC uses the word "altercation". This is the truth of what really happened:

According to eyewitnesses, an Iraqi soldier called "Barzan Mohammed Abdullah" from the northern city of Telkeef" used a machine gun fixed on a military "pick-up" patrol vehicle, shot American soldiers killing four [not two as the news agencies claim] and injured three in Zndjeli district - Mosul. The shooting came after the U.S. soldiers beat Abdullah inhumanly in public in front of the people.

AMSI says; the soldier took revenge after the Americans humiliated him in public.

From the New Yorks Times Nov. 12

It gives the official story first which is:
US soldiers were attacked by an Iraqi soldier. An Iraqi soldier "suddenly" walked up to a group of US soldiers, said something to another Iraqi soldier and then began spraying bullets in all directions. The episode is under investigation...

Then this:
An Iraqi Army officer and two soldiers who witnessed the attack provided a detailed account on the condition of anonymity, for fear of retribution from their commanders.
They said an American military patrol stopped on Wednesday afternoon to inspect a post staffed by Iraqi soldiers in the predominantly Sunni Arab neighborhood of Zanjili, a notoriously violent part of Mosul.
A heated argument ensued between one of the American soldiers and an Iraqi soldier identified as Barzan Mohammed Abdullah, prompting the American to curse at the Iraqi, spit in his face and slap him, the Iraqis said. The Iraqi soldier then opened fire on the Americans, they said, and other American soldiers responded with a barrage of gunfire at the Iraqi.

"I set it down,
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain..." -- Shakespeare, Hamlet, I, v

he spat in his face!

that's probably what you'd call a "perceived insult"

Sorry re confusion to McJ WP Debbie

Sorry bout that and thanks for correcting me.
Yes its is anger and its a state of mind I relate to pretty well. During our election campaign here in NZ some issues came up that confirmed to me just how gutless most of society is. No one, not our Newspapers, not our TV stations would publish certain info about our potential new government (now in power) which would have changed the election results pretty dramatically or at least provoked a heated debate which it should have done. I don't have the energy to go into it right now and its off the general topic, but I may post on it later.
I sometimes feel enormous rage at the state of our society and it affects me. There are days when I just have no respect for anyone at all which is very arrogant. Then I get a brief look at myself and I realise I'm the same in some way and that everyone I know is to one extent or another not completely true.
So coping with more truth reading WP can be difficult. Its encouraging to hear some truth and I'm grateful its not too boring. Its encouraging because its breaking down the lies. Thats powerful and even with a small readership it will spread out.

McJ's picture

no worries Sally

no worries Sally smiling

I know how you feel! There are times when I think my head is going to explode or that I need to crawl out of my skin or something, reading about what is really going on around us. If you try to talk to anyone about it you find out really quickly; everyone has drawn their 'line in the sand'. You go over it and the conversation is over.

I had a conversation some time ago with a lawyer acquaintance of mine, a smart guy - very successful criminal attorney in our town. When I began talking about the ways the PTB's were changing the laws to take away our freedoms, (and things like: legalizing torture, blacks sites, renditions etc.) he stopped me in mid sentence and said: "I just can't afford to think about things like that." I so was dumbfounded, I didn't know how to respond. It changed my opinion of him, and I wouldn't call it arrogance, but I think I understand what you are saying.
"I set it down,
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain..." -- Shakespeare, Hamlet, I, v

About Being A Drongo

Well I admit to using that term without knowing exactly what it meant so have just looked it up.

"The Australian slang is from a racehorse called Drongo (foaled 1921, retired 1925) which ran poorly, and by transferrance anyone slow-witted or clumsy became a drongo."

Its an OK sort of fit for what I was trying to convey and heres a wee story I'm completely ashamed of.
In a conversation about the Iraq war in 2002 I defended the war at least on this point. I could not percieve why the US would invest so much money in the war if oil were somehow the prize. I didn't see that they would get a good return. That might actually be correct. What I had no idea of was that Big Oil and corporations had hyjacked the government and and were bleeding the American taxpayer for all they are worth. I had some crazy idea that democrtic governments had its peoples best interests in mind and actually represented those who elected them. Even after 2000 and that supreme court decision I still somehow believed. Its taken a lot to shake the old conditioning and it may still exist.
WP is telling us that there are no excuses for going to war voluntarily and I agree someone needs to set a new benchmark. He's actually right but it needs to sink in. WP's articles certainly help things to sink in. We have become very far removed from the truth most of us not intentionally and need clearer perception of reality. Some of us do need help with this.

You gotta be Hercules

"You get up.
You get down.
You stand up.
This whole world keeps spinning round.
And I've found
That it helps
If you can be Hercules."

- Karl Wallinger, World Party

Recent news:

"4 years ago, Karl Wallinger's World Party fell apart. He terminated his long term record deal when, without his knowledge and at the suggestion of his label, most of his former band and his former label manager partnered with Robbie Williams to produce a near identical version of his hit "She's The One" that went on to win Williams the Brit Awards' Single of the Year. His manager and mentor Steve Fargnoli passed away, and then Karl had an aneurysm...

Despite feeling like his head's been sawn in half (which, incidentally, it has), Wallinger has regained control of his voice, his legs, his warped sense of humor and his music catalog. "

We now return you to your regular program.

Thank you, Jimmy & WP

Thank you to two men whose thoughts and writing I admire greatly, for having this conversation.

Like WP, I was a youth during Vietnam. I watched as my mother's cousin was drafted and sent away, and I recall when he returned with a Purple Heart but no long-term physical injury. The Purple Heart was given to him because he was psychologically ruined. He spent about a year in the psych wing at Walter Reed before he was released to society. He came to visit us and was trembling like a late-stage Parkinson's victim, but the trembling was not due to organic disease. It was the result of his being ruined mentally by the harrowing hell of battle. He went from job to job, always getting fired because he was "undependable" and finally the good folks at Xerox gave him a job as a janitor, which he was able to keep because he didn't have to interact with many people. He became so proud of this job that his car's license plate said XEROX, his tribute to the employer who kept him working.

Between what I saw from my cousin Billy, and the photo of Kim Phuc running naked down a street, I knew I would never ever EVER be a soldier. I knew that if any war arose and there was a draft, I'd skip town, leave the country, high-tail it to the woods of Canada.

Nowadays we don't see pictures like Kim Phuc, pictures of Iraqis mutilated and horror-stricken thanks to the noble American occupation. The military knows its task if it is to keep the volunteers rolling in -- it sells itself as a stable career, it minimizes the reality of military battle when it speaks of such things at all. The military knows there are people like Jimmy Montague who can eloquently tell of the sudden smack of reality delivered to an optimistic and patriotic young man or woman.

I do not think WP needs to apologize for his writing, not for his tone, not for his perspective. Not for anything. He does us all a great service by writing as he is here, and as he does in other essays.

Nor should Jimmy apologize for so well explaining how he got into and out of the Marines.

I wanted to join the Air Force

There was a time when I wanted to join the Air Force. It happened when I was 12 years old, and it lasted about 10 minutes.

Like Jimmy, I was raised on a diet of romantic fiction and television -- often together (i.e. Disney). I had no anti-war friends. My father was a vocal supporter of the war. My mother said nothing about politics, ever. As far as politics, international relations, and all that stuff was concerned, I was on my own.

When I was 12, I read a book that glorified the Air Force. And for about 10 minutes it almost had me hooked.

I thought the planes were cool. I thought it would be neat to travel. I thought it might be fun to go really high, and really fast.

Then I thought about what those planes were FOR. And that was the end of my Air Force fantasy.

And if I seem harsh when I talk about people who do enlist, it's because I can't understand how they could have got themselves past that wee little hurdle.

You must be smarter than me, WP.

Most young men are foolish. I was probably more foolish than most. After all: I did join the Marines. Still, I'm not so foolish as to accuse others of being psychopaths, when all that's really wrong with them is that they're just fools like me.


"It may be thought that I am prejudiced. Perhaps I am. I would be ashamed of myself if I were not." Mark Twain


In my opinion: If you're foolish, that's your business -- as long as you don't hurt anybody else. You want to wear a lampshade on your head at parties? Go ahead. You can go stand outside in the snow naked for all I care. Be as foolish as you want.

But if you're willing to use lethal weapons on people you've never met, that's beyond foolishness, in my view. Maybe it's not exactly psychopathic, although I do believe that's the right word. But whatever it is, I have no respect for it. And I'm not gonna pretend that I do.

I DO respect the people who have gone through it and came back and told the truth. I don't think they're foolish anymore. I only wish there were more of them, and less of the sort who have gone through it and came back telling lies.

I don't expect you to pretend sympathy.

I expect you to understand that the young men don't see it that way. Their vision is blinkered by the world of bullshit they've been living in. They keep living in it, right on through training until, eventually, the blinkers are ripped away and they find themselves standing face to face with naked savagery. It's a thing that nobody can see until they see it. The old soldiers onced talked of having 'seen the elephant,' and that is what they meant.

Think of joining the service as you think of buying a car. Everybody said you'd really like it, and you really do. And then, suddenly, somebody comes through a stop light and T-bones you at fifty mph. When you come to yourself, you find you're in a hospital missing two limbs and paralyzed. Everybody knows that car accidents happen. Everybody knows that people get injured and killed, but you bought the car anyway because you never thought it would happen to you.

There it is.

Put your sympathy where the sun don't shine -- same place you should put your pretense.

I'm outa here.


"It may be thought that I am prejudiced. Perhaps I am. I would be ashamed of myself if I were not." Mark Twain

You'd have to be a fool to

You'd have to be a fool to think that only Americans understand the notion of defending oneself, their loved ones and their country.

And excuse me for being the fool, but was the following sarcasm? If so, just ignore the comment that follows it.

"I just assumed that the Iraqi soldier shot the American soldiers just because he was an Iraqi -- because that's what I'd do if I was an Iraqi, and I would do it with great enthusiasm. Of course the same thing is true on the other side of the coin: If I were an American soldier in Iraq, I'd shoot Iraqi soldiers with great enthusiasm just because I'm an American."

There's a big fucking difference between the Iraqi in his own sovereign country, surrounded by illegal occupiers and the American occupier, yet you appear to attempt to portray them as equals? Sorry, but they are not two sides of the same coin. They're worlds apart. You sure you left the marines?

for the record

I have only used the word "psychopath" once recently. I was referring to one particular case.

A psychopath is a person with no conscience; no regard for the well-being of others.

The word seemed accurate at the time, and it still does.


I admit it, it was me. And I was talking about the little bits WP writes that make you smile/snicker, buried within a post of horribleness. Great post, as usual. Comments add interesting dimension today.
Like Gandhi, I had to laugh at the Australian newspaper telling it like it is. Wow, wonders will never cease.

Sympathies, Pretense, and Expectations

My sympathies are with the victims. The real victims, the ones who didn't sign up for anything. The ones who aren't getting paid for being in the war, the ones who never had any choice about any of it. The innocent people who were simply trying to live their lives, sometimes in very difficult conditions, until they got T-boned by the United States of America. Those are the people who have my sympathy.

I checked my pretense at the door, a long time ago. I tell you what I know; I tell you what I think; I try my best not to mince words. I'm not pretending. I'm telling you what America looks like to 95% of the world. Of course I don't expect everyone to see it the same way I do; that's why I'm trying so hard to get this point of view across.

The Pentagon has been doling out signing bonuses in the $30k-$40k range, dropping their standards like crazy, recruting the worst actors they can find ... and here on a pointedly dissident blog, I catch hell for calling the guys they recruit hired killers? I'm sorry if it's offensive, but that's what they are.

I expect to keep digging as hard as I can to find out the truth, and telling that truth the best I can, even if it costs me every reader I ever had. But I don't expect that to happen.

Sorry to see you go, Jimmy. You'll be welcome back anytime.


We disagree "a litlle", that doesn't mean we aint going to read you. Anyone who thinks that way should consider the merrits of democratic debate and honesty. It can be really hard but we gotta just keep at it.

What I have seen lately of human nature makes me think that you might just be right but I'm not 100% sure one way or other.
I'm almost certain I would never ever have signed up voluntarily for war and if I thought gals could be draughted I'd be looking to emigrate to save my own life but abhorance at killing others by itself would be enough to keep me well away from that scene. It really is one of those things that from my own perspective is incomprehensible and why its acceptable to others I just dunno.

Jimmy Come Back

We need more than one opinion here Jimmy cause we all have our own minds and must speak our own truth. It would be pointless if we agreed all the time. The contrast of opposing viewpoints are at least
genuinely meant (not the MSM) and that makes this site unique, challenging and slightly wierd.

spiv's picture

Nuremburg tribunals....

Sorry to see you go, Jimmy, but I'm certainly with Winter on this one.

As you may know, I want to see Blair, Brown, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and many many others, including senior military and judicial officers, on both sides of the Atlantic, stand trial in a Nuremburg style tribunal for their crimes.



Its amazing what people will post in these forums, some of it is quite brilliant!

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