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16 February 2011

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BillWade

The people of the United States were lied to, some of us figured it out, most didn't. The ones who knew spoke out but weren't heard by many and often were ostracized.

So, as a former military man with some skills still left from that experience and now seeing my country devestated, I'm plotting revenge with like minded people, I know it will be an uphill battle, a long struggle, more lives will have to be lost but am thinking that we will prevail in the distant future. It has to be done or I am nothing.

b

"an invasion and occupation by Iraqi Muslims"

then

"these altruistic Iranians leave behind a Vice-Regal Embassy "

What, please, have the Iranians to do with this???

The U.S. invaded Iraq, the U.S. build a gigantic embassy. If you want to reverse that picture, the Iraqis invade and build their embassy.

Again - why is Iran in this piece other then to incite more hatred against it?

walrus

The retribution, when it one day comes, is going to be terrible. I pray I won't live to see it.

Paul Escobar

I feel like the relevant peoples are being led by those who crave vengeance. Perhaps with full consent.

They feel that they are doing unto others as others have done unto them. That precedes all else.

These people can't be reached by appeals to God, humanity or empathy. They're busy enjoying the havoc.

They need to be reigned in, but no one is strong enough to do it.

Paul Escobar

B,

I am convinced that many of you lack basic reading comprehension...or are just plain lazy.

Mr. Brenner clearly said:
"Imagine them all as the victims of an invasion and occupation by Iraqi Muslims who were deceived by their lying leaders who had their own dark purposes."

This is a challenge to those cheerleaders of the Iraq war. A challenge to imagine the Iraq war in reverse.

If you cannot see the purpose of this challenge, I feel sorry you.

Fred

Don't forget the ten years of 'condition yellow' to keep up the fear back home.
Then there are those billionaires who have had 5 tax cuts for ten years.
Fifty years of tax cuts, surely that's worth far more than thirty pieces of silver ever were.

FB Ali

A powerful piece!

The calculations that Dr Brenner posits in his closing paragraphs will be done by few Americans, but a similar reckoning remains graven on the hearts of Iraqis who saw it, suffered it. For them the final question is: Can they ever forgive?

And now the same deadly calculus is being imposed on the people of Afghanistan. At the end of that venture, the same final question will remain for them.

Not just them. For the Muslims of the world feel a kinship to each other that national boundaries and distance cannot erase. The suffering of one part of their body affects all its parts. Will they ever forgive?

How many will make the fine distinction that the American people were tricked and lied to by madmen seeking to reshape the world? How many will remember that millions of American and others in the West marched and protested against these criminal adventures?

LeaNder

Again - why is Iran in this piece other then to incite more hatred against it?

bernhard, come on, this is silly. For Iran Michael Brenner's core argument is too late, but Iran, as we all know, is still an issue. Could it be the reason for his choice?

2ndOp

Why have the madmen who tricked and lied America into war not been punised? Is it enough to blame Obama and his administration?

Americans should demand that the miscreants be tried and punished if found guilty of war crimes.

William R. Cumming

The Chinese will enjoy the new embassy built for them by the US and will adminster the GREEN ZONE quite differently.

The sands of time will not take long to erase this decade from being a relevant factor in Iraqi history. IMO of course.

Ingolf Eide


Again - why is Iran in this piece other then to incite more hatred against it?

Seems to me it's far more likely that Mr Brenner simply typed in "Iranians" by mistake instead of "Iraqis".

Arun

“Let humanity be the ultimate measure of all that you do” is a Confucian admonition meant to guide the behavior of officials. America today pays it scant regard.

Even with regard to its own citizens.

CAL

The 'War On Terror' has changed our culture for the much, much worse. Here are some examples: I work with high school students and this fall I asked one of my new 9th graders what he wanted to do when he graduated. He told me he wanted to go to Iraq and bash in people's doors and freak them out. He explained that he had an uncle that did that and had told him it was 'fun.' His mother is interested in enrolling him in a military school so that he can enlist at the officer level to lead troops in these endeavors.

I have another student who is unfortunate to be living with a mother who hooked up with a fellow who robbed a beer store. A few days later my student, a very gentle kid, came to talk to me--he was clearly in shock. He had been woken up at 4:30 in the morning by 8 guns pointed at his head, thrown on the floor, handcuffed and screamed at by local police officers who eventually arrested his mother's 'friend.' The temperature was below zero and he and his mother were left in a house without a front door. After I talked to my 5 officemates I discovered that he is the 3rd of our students to have experienced this type of treatment of their families by the local police. So I talked to our school police officer and he told me that this type of shock and awe behavior is standard protocol anytime they are dealing with a gun-related crime. This is what they now call "Community Policing" not to be confused with the previous variety of community policing where officers knew the players and treated them and their families with as much compassion as possible in order to positively reinforce the cohesive nature of community. My husband was a police officer for 26 years in a much more dangerous city and only once bashed in someone's door -- that was to prevent destruction of an LSD lab in the 70's.

And finally, I have a student who is an Iraqi refugee. When he was young and living in Baghdad soldiers bashed into his family's house. His brother was shot and my student received a rifle butt to the head knocking out his teeth and gashing his skull over his right temporal lobe. The family fled to Syria and eventually ended up in the US. My student has classic TBI symptoms along with PTSD and generalized anxiety issues.

The problem with the War on Terror and Drugs is that it is normalizing our behaviors and expectations that have historically been repellant and considered anti-American. Bashing in doors, terrorizing children and other acts of domestic terrorism are becoming routine here. We need to stop.

patrick lang

Cal

I think you are a little hard on us sojurs. pl

Fred

Mahmoud Chalebi, while an Iraqi, has been serving Iranian interests for decades, thus the Iranian connection. I'm sure there's an L. Paul... IV somewhere too.

Fred

Cal,

Don't worry, I'm sure we'll see democracy in action in Wisconsin where Governor Scott 'Mubarak' Wilson is going to crush the protesters in the Capital and then proceed to crush collective bargaining rights of state employees, then ......

Now how dare Americans protest in the streets against actions of a democratically elected government! (or as they say inside the MSM, "We're all Egyptian's now" just don't expect the politicians to stop this action any more than they stopped the war in Iraq in response to all those protests)

CAL

I don't mean to single out soldiers. Once behavior is introduced into a culture it is very difficult to eradicate it without the general recognition that it is counterproductive and the adoption of positive substitutes. We are introducing many militaristic ideas into our culture as a result of these wars and we are not seeing the consequences on our own society. You've spoken to this before in pieces about the difficulty of unlearning battlefield behaviors and making the shift to civilian life.

And I didn't mean for my previous piece to be a cheap sympathy shot, but rather one snapshot of how the single idea of it's OK to bash in a door is impacting our culture, specifically that culture of young males. Most people would be shocked to learn how prevalent these types of social changes have been over the past 10 years if they looked around. I mean, how many of your childhood chums had their homes stormed? We are reaping what we sow. I do not feel any safer as a result of our wars on terror -- do you?

Medicine Man

I don't think the militarization of police in the US is linked substantially to the soldiery. If anything, I find that the military tends to have a finer understanding of their constitutional duties and limits than Johnny Law. American law enforcement, on the other hand, is increasingly treating the country as one big battlefield and the citizenry as indistinguishable from the enemy. People who know what a real battle field looks like don't worry me at all, can't say the same for the tactical squads. Radley Balko does some good writing on police culture and the drug war, though reading his stuff gives my blood pressure a tweak.

William R. Cumming

Thoughtful comment Medicine Man! Strangely war has brought out some amazing poetry in soldiers. I know of none brought out by civilian policing but perhaps am just ignorant. Lincoln's last full measure of devotion really resonates with me although tragically that also happens to many police also. And many of them are devoted to their work. A difficult area worthy of much more research and commentary . Some real evidence in Hurricane Katrina of police role abandonment and treatment of peaceful citizens as the "other"! Tragic. Also a local policing force long documented as corrupt and poorly trained.
And the Iraqi and Afghani US trained police? I don't have much information about their effectiveness or future prospects!

YT

"I do not feel any safer as a result of our wars on terror."

CAL,

From terrorizin' strange folk in bizarre foreign lands to imposin' their will by martial means on one's own countrymen with "amiable" names other than "state terror".

How I empathize with the plight of Americans.

Now America, comin' soon the rest of "civilization".

http://americangoy.blogspot.com/2010/11/some-news-from-germany-not-on-your-tv.html

Sidney O. Smith III

The good professor pulls back the mask to reveal the carnage behind American exceptionalism. In doing so, the good professor proves he is exceptionally American.

But a great danger lurks, one that is easily discernible if one relies on the analytical assumptions that spring forth from Vayoel Moshe.

Since the good professor, perhaps, views psychology as a religion, I will do my best, time permitting, to use the liturgical language of psychology. The “unconscious” has informed the ego-consciousness of the Satmar rabbis in ways that gives them a much greater awareness than those at the Huffington Post, with whom the good professor hangs out from time to time. Suffice it to say that the rituals upon which Rabbi Teitelbaum relied were not Melrose trendy.

rjj

@CAL and MM -"American law enforcement, on the other hand, is increasingly treating the country as one big battlefield and the citizenry as indistinguishable from the enemy."

The consequence of wars on nouns - in this case poverty and drugs. The Nanny State does not nurture republican virtues.

William P. Fitzgerald III

Pat Lang,

I have an example, I think, of how deeply rooted the idea of American exceptionalism is in our national character. In one of the first days after the fall of Baghdad, a terribly wounded little girl, something like both arms gone, face disfigured, etc., was being interviewed by a perky female cable news reporter. The question, asked through an interpreter, was (I paraphrase); "Aren't you happy we came to make you free?" It was a jaw dropping moment. I don't think she got an answer or that the interpreter even bothered to ask. As an example of irony it was hard to beat and could only be asked by one utterly convinced of her country's virtue and exceptionalism.

Medicine Man

Rather ominous talk there, BillWade.

J

Sidney, WRC,

Have you seen the latest of how the Israeli government types are treating Bedouins and their villages? The residents of the Bedouin village Al Araqib were forced from their land for the 17th time Wednesday and barricaded inside the village cemetery, as Israel continues its ethnic cleansing efforts in the Negev. When the Israeli military arrived in the early morning hours they began shooting rubber bullets at the residents.

Then Israeli Special Forces types began pushing/forcing people from their homes and began demolishing for the 17th time. Three Bedouin children were taken to the hospital.

The Jewish National Fund is a heavy active participant in the forcing of Bedouins from their lands, bulldozing Bedouin property with the express intent to plant 'peace' forests. Some 'peace' huh?

Israeli forces used such excessive violence Wednesday morning that the Bedouin residents fled their homes and sought refuge in the adjacent cemetery. Jewish National Fund bulldozers then approached the cemetery in an attempt to also destroy the Bedouin burial place. All of the cemetery's exits were closed, and the Jewish National Fund bulldozers circled the burial site.

Just one week earlier, women and children of the Bedouin village of Al Araqib were beaten and tear gassed by Israeli forces, as Bedouin residents attempted to halt the 16th demolition of their homes and property.

Not only that, but Israeli police at the scene beat women and children who were standing in quiet protest (reminds one of how Ray McGovern was recently treated by Hilliary's goon squads). Four Israeli police beat a woman in her face with their fists striking blows to the woman's face/neck/ears, and proceeded to kick the woman until she almost lost consciousness. As a result, Bedouins were forced to sit in the rain, while Israeli police pelted them with stun-grenades, and foam bullets at point-blank range.

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