Old comic book depicts US suicide bomber as hero

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81 Responses to “Old comic book depicts US suicide bomber as hero”

  1. howtoplayalone says:

    “I recognize the foregoing as legally, ethically morally correct, and further something to strive for by all.”

    And is sometimes, if too seldom, achieved by America and Canada (for example) and almost never achieved by many other countries.

    The rule of law is our greatest achievement. Disparage it if you want. I’d instead acknowledge its successes while striving for more (much, much, much). But pretending the rule of law is the same as countries (or non-state actors, or terrorist gangs) with no conception of law at all… well, what can you say? If you can’t see the distinction we all lose.

  2. calarts says:

    Er, doesn’t the military nature of the target matter? There have been many suicidal military charges into an opposing army, and there have been many massacres of civilians (suicidal or otherwise.) I think there is a difference.

  3. Takuan says:

    “although all most all of those civilians were killed by other Iraqis”

    because American soldiers created the circumstances to make that so by joining, putting on uniforms,signing oaths, taking orders, getting on that plane, shooting men,woman and children, destroying Iraq’s infrastructures, shattering any political stability, encouraging civil war….

    you dare? You dare to call anyone else “terrorist”?

    American joy in driving big wasteful cars leads to the support and installation of a murderous dictator who, once hanged with an American rope, is already forgotten while the business of looting a nation continues apace?

    If Iraqi is murdering Iraqi it is with a knife put in their hands by an American.

  4. GeeksAreMyPeeps says:

    calarts: Er, doesn’t the military nature of the target matter?

    More significant, I think, is that the attacker himself is in uniform, which puts this comic in a different context than what we today think of as a “suicide bomber”

  5. Santa's Knee says:

    @#1:

    Absolutely!

    If “G-had Joe” had been driving that jeep into a medina – screaming bible verse – THEN you might have the story that Mark is implying…

  6. Takuan says:

    The Rule of Law? Try the Rule of Money. Iraq had a functioning society and economy until it was bombed into ruins. Take your rule of law to the White House, maybe you could get the last two elections overturned.

  7. acrocker says:

    #2.

    I think you got it right. I was reading #1 and thinking that there are car bomb attacks on military checkpoints all the time and they get the same treatment as attacks on markets for the most part.

  8. assumetehposition says:

    Apples and oranges.

  9. whaledawg says:

    This isn’t a suicide bomber, it’s a guy who’s going to die taking out as many of the immediately advancing enemy as possible. I wouldn’t blame a guy for blowing up a food court if that food court was going to kill him anyways. It’s the ones that proactively seek out food courts and blow them up I have a problem with.

    When will people see that not all food courts are alike? Some of them are peaceful and just want you to enjoy a slice of generic, flavorless pizza served by an unmotivated teen with a skin problem.

  10. QSD says:

    Takuan — Shall I go through the same effort and dig up press releases about military people doing some good in this world? It’s not needed. You’ll never be able to absorb the fact that American and/or Canadian soldiers aren’t all bloodthirsty maniacs.

    I’m sorry you’re so deeply and personally offended. I’ve obviously pissed you off.

    Oh well. Sue me.

  11. Marja says:

    Even in the 1990s, comics could still portray suicide bombings as heroic acts. Star Wars: River of Chaos, #4, from 1995 did so.

    However, the news doesn’t distinguish between suicide bombings by uniformed soldiers/militia against military targets and suicide bombings by non-uniformed personnel against civilian targets.

    As long as its by Arabs, it gets called terrorism, even if it doesn’t kill any civilians, and as long as it’s by western troops, it’s okay, even if it’s bombing a hospital, a wedding, a group of journalists, etc. with no military targets … and these have happened many times in the occupation of Iraq.

  12. metafactory says:

    my cautious and tentative two-cents:

    The nature of guerilla warfare, which is typically undertaken when there is a *massive* imbalance of (fire)power makes disguise necessary. An overtly armed jeep moving to a military checkpoint in Iraq will not get within a football field of Captain America (hell, many unarmed civilians seem to get blown up, just for looking suspicious).

    Blowing up civilians is something else altogether. I think that the killing of civilians is deplorable but I also recognize that how we define civilian and military targets is a deeply charged bit of semantics.

    Either way it is interesting to see an American Kamikaze (which is probably more appropos than ‘suicide bomber’ given publication date of the comic) in an era where such personal sacrifice is anathema to ‘western’ culture.

  13. Marja says:

    P.S. Okay, in the above cases, the Western, usually USAF, personnel were not suicide bombing, they were dropping bombs from the air.

    We all know that causes “collateral damage” (= dead civilians), particularly when attacking civilian targets like hospitals, or any targets in urban areas. But the USAF gets 1/3 of all military appropriations, and when your only tool is air bombardment, every problem looks like a bombing target.

  14. howtoplayalone says:

    “The purpose of a soldier is to kill. To kill without question, without hesitation, without argument.”

    And protect, and deter, and save oppressed and end occupations. Don’t pretend they don’t do that as well.

    “We’ll always have My Lai.”

    And the reason people always bring up My Lai all the time is precisely because it was so rare, and Americans were so outraged. In other military cultures these massacres are common and unsurprising, and massacres are celebrated, not mourned.

    There are major moral distinctions to be made between military cultures. For one, the Soviet soldiers raped and looted their way across Europe, and their commanders let them. Americans and English and Canadians did not, and their commanders would have stopped them.

    Soldiers in, at least, Canadian and American militaries are taught to disobey orders that are war crimes. And they do so for moral and cultural reasons as well.

    To compare the INTENTIONAL murder of as many CIVILIANS as possible while dressed as a civilian to go undetected (which always demonstrates contempt for the civilians on the suicide bomber’s ‘side’ because they quickly become suspected) to soldiers – of whatever country – who try as far as possible (yes, they could try more, but it is not their intent at least) to NOT kill civilians, to compare them, to equate them morally, is for fls. f whch Tkn pprs t b n.

  15. howtoplayalone says:

    “If you were ordered to destroy a building containing both armed enemy soldiers and a kindergarten, would you refuse that order?”

    Yes, you could, because that would be a war crime. Canadian military courts can and have acquitted soldiers who disobeyed immoral orders. Canadian courts can and have prosecuted commanders who gave immoral orders.

    There are other military cultures which would not acquit, and not prosecute. And there are some that would do so less. Canada is probably among the most moral militaries in the world.

    Meanwhile, the suicide murder is aiming at that kindergarten. That’s their whole intention.

  16. Deviant says:

    @pahool

    What’s interesting to me is that “suicide bombing” which is a tactic, has become culturally synonymous with “terrorist attack targeting civilians.”

    The most common examples in the last twenty years, by a wide margin, have been Palestinians targeting civilians in crowded areas seeking to maximize loss of life. Like it or not, that connotation is largely accurate.

    @Marja
    However, the news doesn’t distinguish between suicide bombings by uniformed soldiers/militia against military targets and suicide bombings by non-uniformed personnel against civilian targets.

    When was the last time you saw a suicide bombing by uniformed soldiers? What are you talking about?

  17. metafactory says:

    The war in Afghanistan is portrayed in mainstream Canadian press as the good war (as opposed to Iraq) and feeds into a pernicious Canadian holier-than-america attitude. I think this really blinds Canadians to a very challenging debacle. The “We’re liberating women” justification is almost as hollow as America’s “we’re bringing democracy.” Somehow “we’re making the world safe for capitalism” never comes up.

    I don’t know what the answer is but pretending that we’re not killing innocent people surely isn’t part of it. Neither is minimizing it or writing it off as ‘collateral damage.’ The real public secret is that some peoples’ lives are worth more than the lives of others.

  18. Marja says:

    QSD — I see nothing that suggests that Takuan believes that all Amarican and Canadian soldiers are “bloodthirsty maniacs.” I see plenty of evidence that some American and Canadian soldiers kill civilians; we know it happens in war and occupation, and it seems that you’re in denial.

  19. Takuan says:

    “military people doing some good in this world?”

    The purpose of a soldier is to kill. To kill without question, without hesitation, without argument.

    Do not lose sight of that fact.

  20. Antinous says:

    Are we getting back to you being the unpopular one again?

  21. Takuan says:

    we’ll always have My Lai

  22. Antinous says:

    Remember when civilian massacres were a scandal instead of business as usual?

  23. Deviant says:

    @pahool

    There have been many suicide bombings in both Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years which are largely against military targets. [...] I think if you are going to make an assertion like you’ve made, you need to back it up with facts.

    Largely against military targets? Nope. From the Independent:

    “Suicide bombers in Iraq have killed at least 13,000 men, women and children – our most conservative estimate gives a total figure of 13,132 – and wounded a minimum of 16,112 people. If we include the dead and wounded in the mass stampede at the Baghdad Tigris river bridge in the summer of 2005 – caused by fear of suicide bombers – the figures rise to 14,132 and 16,612 respectively.”

    Total coalition military deaths are a small fraction of this total. The targets are largely civilians.

  24. QSD says:

    Re #74, #75: Takuan, it would seem that your arguments are based on a few premises:

    1) Americans (and I assume Canadians and British) are only motivated by money, and the only reason for the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan was the money. It wouldn’t matter how many civilians were killed in the process… it’s all about money.

    2) Iraq and Afghanistan were wonderful places to be before the Westerners came along. Love was in the air, and the Taliban and Saddam were OK dudes.

    3) Al-queda in Iraq (those who seem the most active in bombing markets, etc.) are not really to blame when they kill 40 or 50 women & children a day… it’s our fault.

    If that’s your opinion (and in the US, Canada, and Britain you can express such opinions without being jailed), that’s OK. If that’s the case, there’s really no point continuing this thread. Let’s pick it up again the next time we have a post about: Iraq, Israel, G.W. Bush, or the military.

    Have a lovely day!

  25. Antinous says:

    Oh, you’re on a mission. I think I’ll head out to the pool while you complete it.

  26. Takuan says:

    Is suicide in single combat somehow more “right” if it is the only way you can defeat the other?

  27. QSD says:

    Howtoplayalone & Deviant — Thank you for joining in on the site of rationality.

  28. KurtMac says:

    Wow. I’d love to comment on the whole “suicide-bomber” aspect of this, but I still can’t wrap my mind around the character located on the lower left of the tank. Is he actually sitting in a compartment that is located within the tank’s tracks? That must be uncomfortable.

  29. howtoplayalone says:

    Hopeless.

  30. Antinous says:

    Chartreuse.

  31. QSD says:

    side of rationality… (I should have done a Preview.)

  32. Prairie Dog says:

    As a ex-soldier, I can say that you are slightly off Takuan, the purpose of a soldier is to achieve a military objective.

    How they achieve it is subject to many things. Soldiers, as many of you may be, are humans, subject to the excesses of foibles. My experience in the military has brought me into contact with many extremely admirable people that were extremely caring and thoughtful. In fact, they would say that they are in the fight to protect the innocent, and uphold the good, while the civilian just lounges back and carps about how things are going to pot.

    However, it really doesn’t take that many weak soldiers to tarnish the image. If the news was really representative of the soldier at large, then we have lost the military I knew in the last 15 years.

    My training in the military included riflery, bayonet and (very little) hand to hand. It also included prisoner’s rights, discipline, and how to be respectful in a foreign land. We are trained to achieve a military objective. How that’s done, depends on the soldier and what the difficulties are.

  33. howtoplayalone says:

    QSD – It’s exhausting usually, and I try never to. But (some of) the assertions are just so preposterous.

  34. QSD says:

    Regardless of the method of the attack, the real villain is the combatant who intentionally kills non-combatants.

    No matter how much you disagree with American policies in Iraq, it’s pretty hard to argue that when they intentionally kill non-combatants they get off scott-free. They usually end up in military courts-martial.

    Terrorists / Suicide Bombers, on the other hand, are condemned and are viewed as villains because they usually target non-combatants.

  35. Sister Y says:

    I think the apparent conflict on this thread is largely illusory. I think we all agree that a prohibition against atrocities on civilians is a good thing, and that governments that have such a prohibition are superior to governments that don’t. The only thing we disagree on is to what degree that prohibition exists (and is enforced) in the United States and Canadian militaries. And even then, most of us would probably say, it’s not enforced enough.

  36. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Sister Y @51, FTW!

    Pahool @11: Can you give me the URL of Jay Kinney’s commentary? Apparently my Google-fu isn’t working this morning. His thoughts on that art have to be more nuanced than the discussion that’s sprung up here.

    Takuan @26: Soldiers, mindless killers? Not at all. If I ever have the chance, I’ll introduce you to my godfather. In the meantime, read this and pass it on. Re #32: The right to disobey illegal orders should not be a bad joke. I don’t accept that it is, and (IMO) you shouldn’t either. One of the things that maintains the law is the fact that we take it seriously. @44: The purpose of the military is to help project the nation’s interests, if necessary by force. The duty of individual soldiers is to follow orders and achieve designated objectives. Many people in the U.S. military never see combat. They wind up doing a lot of things that aren’t fighting.

    Metafactory @42, the Canadians have behaved better than the United States. Surely they’re allowed to notice it.

    QSD @53, Antinous was talking to Takuan.

    In re the various disemvowellings: I see we’re still working on the practical aspects of using strong, vigorous language and arguments without becoming uncivil. I trust we’ll get the hang of it eventually.

  37. pahool says:

    The most common examples in the last twenty years, by a wide margin, have been Palestinians targeting civilians in crowded areas seeking to maximize loss of life. Like it or not, that connotation is largely accurate.

    I agree that connotation is largely accepted as accurate in the popular media. Do you have data to back it up? There have been many suicide bombings in both Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years which are largely against military targets. Many Palestinian suicide bombings have been against military checkpoints. Chechen insurgents used suicide bombing as a tactic largely against military targets. These are just a few examples. There are many others.

    I think if you are going to make an assertion like you’ve made, you need to back it up with facts.

  38. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Sister Y @51, FTW!

    Pahool @11: Can you give me the URL of Jay Kinney’s commentary? Apparently my Google-fu isn’t working this morning. His thoughts on that art have to be more nuanced than the discussion that’s sprung up here.

    Takuan @26: Soldiers, mindless killers? Not at all. If I ever have the chance, I’ll introduce you to my godfather. In the meantime, read this and pass it on. Re #32: The right to disobey illegal orders should not be a bad joke. I don’t accept that it is, and (IMO) you shouldn’t either. One of the things that maintains the law is the fact that we take it seriously. @44: The purpose of the military is to help project the nation’s interests, if necessary by force. The duty of individual soldiers is to follow orders and achieve designated objectives. Many people in the U.S. military never see combat. They wind up doing a lot of things that aren’t fighting.

    Metafactory @42, the Canadians have behaved better than the United States. Surely they’re allowed to notice it.

    QSD @53, Antinous was talking to Takuan.

    In re the various disemvowellings: I see we’re still working on the practical aspects of using strong, vigorous language and arguments without becoming uncivil. I trust we’ll get the hang of it eventually.

  39. QSD says:

    Teresa — Thank you for clarifying Antinous’ posts.

  40. spazzm says:

    No, he’s not committing suicide to halt an advancing army. See the guy poking his head up out of the threads, close to the middle of the picture? His body has to be where the threads are, hence the tank is stationary or he would be chopped in two. Furthermore the tank has to be missing a significant portion of its threads for him to fit in there in the first place.

    So the tank is going nowhere.

    And no, he’s not taking out a tank that would take him out regardless. See the construction of the turret? The bluish add-on to the left of the turret proper (put there to fit more bad guys on the tank, I guess) means that the turret can’t rotate.

    So if G-had Joe just takes a few steps to the left or right, he won’t have to worry about this tank at all.

    And no, he’s not necessarily in uniform – how do you know he’s got pants on?

    See how silly it is to pick at details here?

    The point is that the underlying message presented in this picture is that killing yourself in order to kill others is heroic. I very much doubt that the below-average teenage boys this sort of propaganda is aimed at are able to perceive the finer points, although valid, raised in this thread.

  41. Antinous says:

    No matter how much you disagree with American policies in Iraq, it’s pretty hard to argue that when they intentionally kill non-combatants they get off scott-free. They usually end up in military courts-martial.

    That is so completely contradictory to what has actually happened. Virtually everyone involved in the massacre at Haditha walked away scott free or with a slap on the wrist. Blackwater? How about Vietnam, where we killed a million Vietnamese? Do we imagine that they were all combatants?

    To paraphrase Mel Brooks: Terrorism is when I get a paper cut. Appropriate intervention is when you fall into a manhole and die.

  42. Takuan says:

    no,I do not believe I will spend any more time speaking with someone as patently dishonest as yourself. Goodbye.

  43. Takuan says:

    “Regardless of the method of the attack, the real villain is the combatant who intentionally kills non-combatants.”

    Slaughterhouse Five

  44. howtoplayalone says:

    Teresa: I deserve to be disemvowelled. I want to say that I sunk to someone’s level because of the “waterboarding, which you seem to approve of.” Still, my mistake.

    And even you can’t help posting things twice, apparently.

    And I’d second that we shouldn’t disparage the rule of (military) law, and the good it can (and does) do. If it’s screwed up (waterboarding, Guantanamo) fix it. Don’t pretend no military law is the same as a flawed one.

  45. QSD says:

    “patently dishonest” sounds like a good candidate for disemvowelling.

    And, actually… we’re not really “on speaking terms” with each other. That’s the great thing about forums such as this. People who apparently have no respect for each other can carry on some sort of dialog.

  46. QSD says:

    Teresa: I’d also like to say thank you for the disemvowelling. Some of my comments were entirely lacking in merit and were obviously personal attacks. I’ll keep that in mind.

  47. abb3w says:

    WWEBoing: The attacker is in uniform, and the target is military. That you can compare this to the vicious thugs targeting discos, coffee shops, trains, building, and school is evidence of moral blindness.

    You just compared it as well. The distinction being, you highlighted some key differences: the clearly military nature of target and that it’s done by a formal (uniformed) combatant. I’d also say one should highlight that the objective — stopping the enemy advance — is clearly military as well.

    However, all three might vary. This highlights that problem with “suicide attacks” perhaps isn’t so much the certain fatality of such operations, but that those doing so are not “formal” combatants, that the targets often include civilians, and the objective is more political than military in character (though that gets very fuzzy, as both Clausewitz and Chou En Lai can assure you).

    So, from this standpoint, the WTC attacks were obviously a gross violation. However, the attack on the Pentagon, while still violating the rules of war due to the civilan garb and mechanism, was less egregious, due to the Military character of the target (but not the operation; Al Q’aeda gained at best minimal advantage to any other aspect of their military actions against the west by the temporary disruption of Pentagon Operations, making it more Politically symbolic in character).

    Is the offense comparable for only a single missing element? Perhaps a uniformed officer targeting a civilian-run food packaging plant to disrupt logistic supplies? Or a false-uniformed spy setting off an explosion in one of the Nimitz’s main munitions depots? (Err.. I can’t imagine an example of how a military actor could attack a military target for a colorably non-military purpose, aside from a personal squabble.)

  48. QSD says:

    Takuan & Antinous — Perhaps let me re-phrase: When an American (or Canadian… I am one, after all) soldier accidentally or intentionally kills a non-combatant, we as a society generally condemn his actions. When possible, we attempt to bring him to justice. Some of us vote for politicians who join us in the condemnation.

    The terrorists’ peers and society, on the other hand, cheer them on! They hand out candy in the streets.

    Absolutely there are exceptions. But I have enough faith in American and Canadian society, and our military folks to believe that they are not evil. There may be members in those societies who are evil and take pride in killing civilians… but they are the exception.

    Terrorist organizations (like Hamas & Al-queda in Iraq) seem to be the exact opposite.

  49. Antinous says:

    It doesn’t really matter if you drop it from a plane or wear under your niqab.

  50. Takuan says:

    Dear Prairie Dog:

    If you were ordered to destroy a building containing both armed enemy soldiers and a kindergarten, would you refuse that order?

  51. QSD says:

    Antinous — Sorry for harping on your #45 & #49 posts. They were not obviously aimed at my comments, and I had no right sniping at you for them.

  52. Nick D says:

    QSD and Takuan: you guys should save your strongest invective for someone who really deserves it: Denial.

    No, no, I kid. I kid because I love, Denial!

    Good discussion on a very hot-button topic almost guaranteed to make tempers flare and invective fly, IMO.

  53. QSD says:

    Takuan — Based on posting #48 (“QSD’s proudest moment”), I would say you’ve got some issues to deal with. At no point in my postings did I say that I condoned any sort of torture or mutilation.

    Antinous — I really don’t know what you’re talking about, or if you’re just hanging around looking for things to natter about. “Are we getting back to you being the unpopular one again?” “Oh, you’re on a mission. I think I’ll head out to the pool while you complete it.”

    Marja — “I see nothing that suggests that Takuan believes that all American and Canadian soldiers are “bloodthirsty maniacs.” … Actually, that seems to be precisely what Takuan is saying. Shall we ask Takuan?

    In response to “I see plenty of evidence that some American and Canadian soldiers kill civilians; we know it happens in war and occupation, and it seems that you’re in denial.” I’m not in denial — I agree that some do. But we as a moral civilization rightly condemn them. That’s the difference between our soldiers and terrorists.

  54. QSD says:

    Sister Y (#51): I agree 100%. Thank you for stating it so well.

    Prairie Dog (#50): Careful! According to the trend on this thread, any moment now y’r gng t b lbld fscst nd bby kllr.

  55. trr says:

    The 9/11 Pentagon attack was no less “egregious” than the WTC attacks. The airline passengers who died horrible, fiery deaths were not military personnel.

  56. Sam says:

    You don’t have to go back that far to find honored suicide bombers – what about Bruce Willis in Armageddon or that one guy in Terminator 2.

    Then again, fictionalized suicide bombings against major threats like the rise of machines, a giant asteroid hurling towards earth, or even the opposing military force in a war somehow don’t seem as bad to me as the real-life suicide bombings that target civilians.

    Now that would be a different story if it showed a U.S. soldier suicide bombing a Russian market.

  57. Takuan says:

    ys, ‘d sy th slf-srvng, blnd hypcrsy y clrly dmnstrt n yr slctv mmry s qt n ss m frcd t dl wth.

    Don’t try to tell me what Canadian soldiers are like. I KNOW Canadian soldiers. I have seen them work. Just as the odd muslim militant might actually be an honourable man following a belief system he has committed to, regardless of the consequences so indeed the atypical Canadian soldier might be.

    But on average? Give me a break. nyn n nfrm s n rdr wy frm cmmttng wr crms..

    The fact that you dare to say “we as a moral civilization” shows you are willing to burn brown babies the moment you are ordered to. “Moral” my ass. Nw rn ff nd wtrbrd smn, y sm t pprv f tht t.

  58. QSD says:

    SAM: Now that would be a different story if it showed a U.S. soldier suicide bombing a Russian market.

    [sacasm]The U.S. soldier would be acting evil because America is a nation of rich, imperialist, capitalists! When a jihadi does so, he/she is a freedom fighter![/sarcasm]

  59. Takuan says:

    @22

    I was under the impression that Canadian and American soldiers were sworn and trained to kill whoever, wherever, on command. They have no say in it.

  60. Santa's Knee says:

    @#22: No, they can refuse to follow an order that they consider unlawful. It just really sucks for them to PROVE it…

  61. QSD says:

    Takuan — Actually Canadian soldiers are trained to drink beer and play hockey. Oops! That would be a stereotype.

    Seriously, though: If a Canadian military commander orders his soldiers to intentionally kill civilians, he ends up in jail.

    Srry f y’r s dldd t nt s tht.

  62. Takuan says:

    Deluded am I? Shall we examine the ever so long roll of atrocities committed in wartime (and peace time)by men in uniforms everywhere and everywhen? I I suppose that disbandment of a Canadian airborne unit for torture and murder of a civilian youth doesn’t count – they only did that one for fun.

    I don’t care much for your tone.

  63. QSD says:

    Takuan — Contradicting yourself aren’t you?

    disbandment of a Canadian airborne unit for torture and murder of a civilian youth

    Apparently it’s not acceptable behaviour.

  64. Takuan says:

    From Teress’s link:
    “What all this is leading to:

    If you are ordered to violate Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, it is your duty to disobey that order. No “clarification,” whether passed by Congress or signed by the president, relieves you of that duty.

    If you are ordered to violate Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, this is what to do:

    1. Request that your superior put the order in writing.

    2. If your superior puts the order in writing, inform your superior that you intend to disobey that order.

    3. Request trial by courtmartial.

    You will almost certainly face disciplinary action, harassment of various kinds, loss of pay, loss of liberty, discomfort and indignity. America relies on you and your courage to face those challenges.

    We, the people, need you to support and defend the Constitution. I am certain that your honor and patriotism are equal to the task. ”

    I recognize the foregoing as legally, ethically morally correct, and further something to strive for by all.

    I submit it has little or no bearing on reality in historical fact or current practice.

  65. scottfree says:

    Is it me or is the vitriol really spewing today?

    Its a bit naive to believe the US takes effective or extensive action to protect civilians in countries in which the armed forces are deployed. In fact, it is a bit naive to think the US doesn’t intentionally kill civilians when it suits political needs, for instance the 1998 bombing of a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan, killing thousands of civilians, for no discernible reason, other than it was far away so nobody would care. Nobody was brought up on charges for that particular example of mass murder. [I was reading an essay that discussed it earlier, so it was on my mind]. In my opinion, there is no basis in fact for a moral distinction between the US and any other military outfit. There simply isn’t.

  66. Takuan says:

    I call it sweeping it under the rug to avoid real trials and punishments.

    The fact remains: all military everywhere routinely break the laws of their own nation as well as international law. There is much made of “right to disobey illegal orders” but all know this to be a bad joke. The difference between Taliban and Iraqi fighters and the Western invaders is what victors justice creates.

    Just how is it more reprehensible for Al Quaida stooges to blow apart civilians in marketplaces than it is for high trained professional soldiers to call in air strikes on weddings and farming villages?

    Or for Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan to kill as many innocent civilians as they have?

  67. NikFromNYC says:

    The Leftist anti-capitalistic, anti-Western bent of BB is exposed enough without you having to rub it in. Are there and CIVILIANS in this image? Or a children’s school bus or two? Or hint of the fact that 9/11 was similar to a “day that will live in infamy” for it’s surprise attack on a country that was NOT at the time at war with anybody?

  68. pahool says:

    The attacker is in uniform, and the target is military. That you can compare this to the vicious thugs targeting discos, coffee shops, trains, building, and school is evidence of moral blindness.

    I don’t think that there’s any evidence of “moral blindness” here. What’s interesting to me is that “suicide bombing” which is a tactic, has become culturally synonymous with “terrorist attack targeting civilians.” This comic cover, and the attendant commentary by Jay Kinney just asks us to observe this. It’s always a good idea for us to stand back and look a little more objectively at some of the terminology that we accept as status quo.

    Citing “moral blindness” as you do, is a bit of a straw man, don’t you think?

  69. Takuan says:

    @56

    “so rare”? Explain what has been going on in Iraq for the past five years? Civilians have been slaughtered wholesale with no trials until the latest most egregious excesses couldn’t be hidden any more.

    I think I’ll scratch around a little and get a few hundred quotes from returning veterans as to what has really been going on. Unsupervised and directly ordered both.

  70. Antinous says:

    Is it me or is the vitriol really spewing today?

    What a retarded question!

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist. It’s not just online. I’ve almost been vehicularly manslaughtered twice today. In the US at least, there’s a reason. Tomorrow is tax day for those who enjoy income.

  71. Takuan says:

    oh hell, just watch the videos

    http://www.ivaw.org/video

    and remember this is a tiny, tiny percentage of those actually involved. The clear implication is that there is a mountain of atrocity that will never see the light of day

  72. Antinous says:

    We need to get Tenn in on this discussion. Where is she?

  73. Takuan says:

    Posted AT 1:47 PM EDT on 27/02/07
    Afghan civilian shot by Canadian soldiers

    MURRAY BREWSTER

    Canadian Press
    KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Frustrated by a spate of civilian shootings, Afghan National Police and the head of the local human-rights commission have recommended to Canadian commanders that military convoys be shepherded by local authorities. The issue was brought sharply into focus again Tuesday when a civilian driver was gunned down as he approached a broken-down Canadian armoured vehicle.

  74. Takuan says:

    Canadian soldiers kill Afghan police officer, civilian
    Last Updated: Monday, February 19, 2007 | 4:09 PM ET
    CBC News

    Canadian soldiers mistakenly killed an Afghan civilian and a member of the Afghan national police Sunday following an attack on a Canadian convoy.

    No Canadians were injured in the attacks, which took place on a road through Kandahar City and involved soldiers from CFB Gagetown, located outside of Fredericton.

  75. howtoplayalone says:

    Takuan – you can respond to what I wrote, and what others wrote, and explain what you think.

    To your comments: The Iraq war has been a disaster, and innumerable civilians have been slaughtered, although all most all of those civilians were killed by other Iraqis – those particular people who try to kill civilians. (That doesn’t mean Iraqis should just accept the occupation. But rationalizing and justifying terroristic responses isn’t the answer, either).

    The occupation, invasion, and war started all this: I think this is the greatest sin America may ever have committed, this among many. But killing is an action, intentionally taken by terrorists against civilians (yes, maybe because they know they can’t attack occupation soldiers directly. nevertheless – who can rationalize that?).

    Do you not see the difference? Really?

  76. Takuan says:

    Media blind to Afghan civilian deaths
    by Dave Markland

    January 01, 2007

    In early September, Canadian military personnel stationed in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province spearheaded NATO’s Operation Medusa, aimed at Taliban strongholds in the Panjwaii and Zhari districts of that province. Accustomed to seeing the Canadian Forces’ role as that of peace-keepers, many observers were stunned by reports that the Medusa offensive had resulted in hundreds of enemy combatants killed along with five fatalities suffered by Canadian soldiers. Meanwhile, there was a largely unreported civilian exodus as some 80,000 people fled their homes while “at least 50 civilians were killed over several weeks of bombing” (New York Times, Nov 27, A12).

  77. Takuan says:

    “In terms of the Globe and Mail, that paper completely ignored the double tragedy when it came to light. Only when NATO air strikes killed more Afghan civilians the following week did the Globe even mention the earlier case. However, the Globe low-balled the body count when they did (belatedly) report the incident, stating on one day that twenty civilians had been killed by NATO in the October 18 attacks, only to state the next day that nine civilians had died. Evidently, the Globe chose to drop the Helmand province incident from their tally, and then opted to cite the lowest death estimate for the Kandahar attack by itself (Oct 26, A18; Oct 27, A17). Later, Human Rights Watch, in referring to these attacks, would surmise, “at least 22 civilians were killed as a result of NATO air operations in Kandahar and Helmand provinces.” (See HRW Letter to NATO, Nov 28.)”

  78. howtoplayalone says:

    Takuan – you can respond to what I wrote, and what others wrote, and explain what you think.

    To your comments: The Iraq war has been a disaster, and innumerable civilians have been slaughtered, although all most all of those civilians were killed by other Iraqis – those particular people who try to kill civilians. (That doesn’t mean Iraqis should just accept the occupation. But rationalizing and justifying terroristic responses isn’t the answer, either).

    The occupation, invasion, and war started all this: I think this is the greatest sin America may ever have committed, this among many. But killing is an action, intentionally taken by terrorists against civilians (yes, maybe because they know they can’t attack occupation soldiers directly. nevertheless – who can rationalize that?).

    Do you not see the difference? Really?

  79. Takuan says:

    and on and on and on….

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