John Furie Zacharias
having a bad day in a strange place
Thunderstorms Anywhere

Thunderstorms in the Imajica

 The different ways I don't like you 
 in a list that may never become organized
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Saturday, May 01, 2004
Weasel-in-chief speaks

Dubya is a weasel
" I share a deep disgust that those prisoners were treated the way they were treated, " Bush said. " Their treatment does not reflect the nature of the American people. That's not the way we do things in America. "
Just when I looked forward to blogging about less serious topics, another steaming pile of shit hits the fan concerning Iraq.

I just knew this story was going to explode sometime down the road back when I watched General Kimmet field increasingly hostile questions about these allegations from the press during his briefing that is sometimes aired on C-Span and cable news.

Photos of the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners have surfaced and were aired on CBS' 60 Minutes II show.  These photos were front page news in Europe and in the Middle East, and now they're the big story here.  Personally, I share a deep disgust with the president's foreign policy in Iraq, the mistreatment of our soldiers there, and the fact the weasel-in-chief would even comment on it.

Just to balance out the piling-on effect a story like this inevitably has,
I posted these comments over on Plastic:

Having served in the Army for several years (luckily between wars), I was curious to find out a little more about these Military Police serving in some hell-hole in Iraq. I mean think about it: being in Iraq would be bad enough, but then to be in charge of a prison there too? I'm not making any excuses for professional soldiers who may have acted unprofessionally, I'm just exploring the story a little further to get a glimpse into the possible causes for this abhorrent unprofessionalism.

In October of last year, a writer for the Army's own Stars and Stripes interviewed people from this very MP unit, so I think the article entitled,
It's a whole new world for guardsmen and reservists, no longer 'weekend warriors' may be especially useful.

A survey was taken about the morale of these weekend warriors now serving full-time in Iraq.

Ninety three percent stated that unit morale was either average, low, or very low and eighty five percent stated their personal morale was similarly as bad.

"We are second-class soldiers," Staff Sgt. Richard Thompson said in an interview. "We are away longer from our families. We are assigned to jobs we're not trained to do. Our equipment is lacking."

Personally, I served 3 years in active duty overseas and then several years as a reservist. There is a difference in the attitudes toward full-time soldiers and that of reservists and guardsmen. This is very dangerous now that our country is relying so heavily on these part-time soldiers to carry out so many operations at the same time all over the world.

Poor morale means little retention of trained soldiers. More than half of surveyed soldiers in Iraq said they would not re-enlist because of the way they were being treated themselves. If the soldiers are not being treated well, how do you think they are going to treat the apparent enemy?

"Our generals need to face the reality here," said Master Sgt. C.J. Nouse, 39, from the 372nd MP Company. "Reserve members can't possibly keep this pace up. With deployments to Bosnia and for homeland defense, our families are continuing to suffer. Does anyone care?"

[> permalink <]

Posted at 11:20 am by John Furie Zacharias

May 1, 2004   04:15 PM PDT
On one side of this coin we have the reservists complaining that they've been active for too long. They knew when they signed up that they could be activated at any time for any length of time (as you and I well know). True, they are only supposed to be active for six months at a time with a year inbetween activations (it's something like that anyway). But this is war, we need all the soldiers we can get and since Slick Willie downsized our military to the numbers of a third world nation it's all we can do until we build it back up to it's pre-Slickster state.

On the otherside of this coin we have the facts that you pointed out. Again as we both know, reservists and guardsmen are treated as lower life forms by the regulars. To be sure, this treatment is going to filter down through their own actions to a certain extent. Though one would hope that morality would prevent this.

The interesting thing here is that the media is of course eating this up like crazy. But what about the atrocities Saddam's regime commited? Why weren't we hearing about that constantly over the past twelve plus years?

Seems to me there is a definite bias in the media all over the world.

I am by no means trying to excuse the behavior of these soldiers, it is disgusting and disgraceful. These soldiers commiting these atrocities don't deserve a hero's welcome nor do they themselves deserve to be mistreated when they come home. Quite simply, they should be tried in a US military court for their crimes and punished accordingly. IMHO
May 2, 2004   12:29 AM PDT
The entire world supported the U.S. going into Afghanistan after 9-11. Iraq was a huge strategic and political mistake. It just was, and is, and will continue to be a problem. I seriously doubt GWB will even have the opportunity after November to try and fix it.

This 'media bias' reflects the attitudes toward the U.S. people all over the world (and increasingly here) feel toward this president's actions. This is what he has reaped from what he has sown in Iraq.
May 3, 2004   12:21 AM PDT
Well, the "media bias" leans much to far to the left on a regular basis no matter what is going on and has done so for as long as I can remember. Thank God for FoxNews and talk radio where you can get a much closer portrait of the truth!

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