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Chainsaws and 57 Chevys

 Subject: obeying orders


 By your logic, every piece of shit Nazi who stood on the witness stand in Nuremberg
 that denied responsibility for the Holocaust by claiming to be "just following orders"
 should have been acquitted.

 Get a grip!
 joe in Japan

 Joe, I'm not sure, but it sounds like you just threatened the new Pope,
 because I think you just said, "all German soldiers were equally guilty."

 ...and the lady who made Hitler's coffee - she should've been hanged, too?


 Subject: 64 might be a reach...


 Doug, thedailybrew, just handed you your ass on the chainsaw analogy,
 but you're too stubborn, or stupid, to admit it.

 No, but it is true, that the first rule of scoundrelity is "Never admit nothin."

 Closer to the truth, maybe, is that you agree with Doug more than you agree with me.
 My being "too stupid" to see it your way is an example of your not being Mr. Manners.

 Your argument that "agreeing to obey orders, then changing your mind - that's not good"
 is the same one that "good Germans" used to defend their actions in WWII - "I was just obeying orders."

 You just threatened the new Pope, too?

 Or could the new pope have been less guilty than, ...say, ...Dr Josef Mengele?

 And please stop implying that those of us who think peace is preferable to war are naive enough to
 insist on a "pacifism" plank in the Democratic platform. You know better...or you should.
 Dan Leahy

 Dude, any relation to.....nevermind.
 Do you have any of that great weed for sale?
 You said,"those of us who think peace is preferable to war..."

 Now you're implying that I support Bush's bloody war.
 That would be your second fumble..


 Subject: more chainsaw talk

 I think Doug (formerly thedailybrew) makes a number of good points that you conveniently ignore.
 You wrote in response to Doug:

>>I agree that not enlisting solves many problems.
>>But agreeing to obey orders, then changing your mind - that's not good.

 So, you're saying that those German troops who ran the extermination camps, then claimed they were
 "just following orders," and were hanged following the Nuremberg Trials were punished unjustly.

 No. I said:

> Dozens of you mentioned Nuremburg, which is 100 percent horse hockey.
> Can't you see there's a difference between
> 1) a pilot bombing a target
> 2) soldiers herding starving Jews into an oven at Auschwitz?

 Sorry, even the Uniform Code of Military Justice - U.S. Military Law - allows disobeying unlawful orders.
 Therefore, if the war is illegal (and I think Iraq qualifies), any order advancing the prosecution of that war is illegal.

 Believe me, it takes more bravery to say no than it does to go along and get along.

 John Zutz
 Vietnam Veterans Against the War

 John, if we follow that line of reasoning, we have no military.
 If a soldier is ordered to drive a truck to Point B, should he demand to know
what's in the truck,
why it's going to Point B,
who is receiving the contents of the truck,
what will happen to the contents of the truck afterwards, etc etc etc?

 How can that soldier know he'd not delivering WMDs to Al Qaeda, right?
 Your way, every order would have to be explained in such detail that a military would be ineffective.
  I said:

> Unless the order is something like, "Shoot that baby," soldiers don't have the right to refuse a direct order.

 I'm guessing your experience turned you against the military, but I still think it's necessary.

 ...and a shot of Chinaco Anejo for you.



 Subject: chainsaws and common sense

 Your position on our "military heroes" makes absolutely no sense, none.

 Bob, it's great to hear from you.

 Where have you left your brain, or are you afraid of losing your last dozen subscribers?

 ha ha
 You caught me!
  I have 12 right-wing subscribers left and I must whore to their whims :)

 You cannot take the position that the war in Iraq is illegal, and then defend
 the perpetrators because they are just "following orders".

 The perpetrators are in the White House and I think they're guilty of murder.

 By your logic, concentration camp guards in Germany did nothing wrong, right?

 See the many replies on this page

 By your logic, Pol Pot's minions did nothing wrong when they killed what,
 about 1 million of their countrymen because they were following orders.

 Hacking up kids with a machete is not the same as flying a B2 bomber.
 I'm thinking that's where everybody's getting hung up.
 Would people prefer different words that mean the same thing?

 By your logic, the soldiers who mowed down innocent civilians at Tiananmen Square
 in China were innocent because they too were just following orders.

 How so?
 How is mowing down innocent civilians with tanks, the same as an American pilot?

 By your logic, four dead in Ohio at the hands of the National Guard was not a problem either,
 because those guardsmen were just following orders, right?

 I hope you only have a few more dozen of these, because the scenery ain't changing much :)

 I served in the Marine Corps, and if I had been sent to Iraq I would be in the brig right now.
 There is no way my conscious would have allowed me to participate in this sort of killing.
 Being a real hero has consequences, that's why we call them heroes.

 Figure it out.
 Bob in San Diego

 Stupidity prevents me from seeing things the right way.


 Subject: chainsaws and 57 Chevys

 Bart mate
 Your bottom line tries to justify mass murder, torture and rape,
 and I'M wrong because I look for an alternative.    Sure.

 ha ha
 Stop it!

 Ol' Bart tries to justify murder, torture and rape?
 And you're "wrong" for looking for alternatives to rape and murder?

 Dude, I gotta ask, ...down there in Kangaroo-land, do you walk up to a man
 drinking whiskey in a bar and say something like that - right to his face?

 Tell me, how heavy is that burden - being the only person who wants fewer murders?

 And by the way, how many Vietnam veterans (who were irreparably damaged by the
 useless war crime they were forced to commit by your brilliant military)  still survive on
 the streets of America, and how many have committed suicide?

 How many?
 I'll guess 4,158 and 622.

 If, as you've said so many times,
 the war in Iraq is illegal then the people involved in it are criminals.

 I would never use such imprecise language.
 "the people involved?"

 Somehow, you figured the best way to win this was to paint Ol' Bart as "pro-rape."
 In what imiginary universe does Bart take that crap in a debate?

 How about we attack the bastards who actually caused the killings,
 the sons of bitches who are stealing the $100M each and every day,
 instead of beating up each other?
"Ineffective though, alas, the sanctions proved and showed to be, the nations of the world had,
 as it will be my purpose in addressing the Tribunal to show, sought to make aggressive war an
 international crime, and although previous tradition has sought to punish states rather than individuals,
 it is both logical and right that, if the act of waging war is itself an offense against international law,
 those individuals who shared personal responsibility for bringing such wars about should answer
 personally for the course into which they led their states. Again, individual war crimes have long been
 recognized by international law as triable by the courts of those states whose nationals have been
 outraged, at least so long as a state of war persists. It would be illogical in the extreme if those who,
 although they may not with their own hands have committed individual crimes, were responsible for
 systematic breaches of the laws of war affecting the nationals of many states should escape for that reason.
 So also in regard to Crimes against Humanity. The rights of humanitarian intervention on behalf of the
 rights of man, trampled upon by a state in a manner shocking the sense of mankind, has long been
 considered to form part of the recognized law of nations. Here too the Charter merely develops a
 pre-existing principle. If murder rape, and robbery are indictable under the ordinary municipal laws
 of our countries, shall those who differ from the common criminal only by the extent and systematic
 nature of their offenses escape accusation?"
      - Hartley Shawcross -  Nuremburg tribunal


 Wal, I didn't have a chance to read and reflect on that long paragraph, but in a quick speed-read
 I thought I saw the sentence, "Harry Truman should've been strung up, then shot."

 I would not want you to do that to Harry Truman.


Subject: You tendentious ignoramus

Again, to defend your view, you miss the point being made -- rather like many of those righties you despise.

That's not a good way to start a conversation.
Was that allegation gratuitous or were you planning on laying some foundation?

Keep in mind that the war in Iraq is NOT A LEGAL WAR.

...have you ever read this page before?

It is an act of brigandry, undertaken by two bullies who reckoned, correctly, that no one would seriously try to stop them.
In my world, all rules (and that goes for agreements) are merely guidelines for decent behaviour.

I don't know what "brigandry" means and neither does Webster.

By the way, by your own statement ("not enlisting solves many problems"),
you effectively make it possible for me to dismiss your lover-boy Tillman as an idiot
for choosing to die for his country in a fit of steroid-enhanced jingoism.

Your lady-friend,

Your "lover-boy Tillman" is either an attempt at humor that didn't-fly or an example of you
distorting my position in order to attack it, meaning what I actually said was not as attackable.

If you're ever upside down after a car wreck and your car is leaking gasoline, I sure hope a Pat Tillman-type
is nearby - and let's hope his "steroid-enhanced jingoism" is sap enough to make him risk his ass to help you.


Subject: chainsaws and 57 Chevys

 Hey BC:

 Do I detect a contradiction or just a change of mind? Your tool analogy asserts that 57 Chevies,
 chainsaws, and soldiers have no say as to how they are used and therefore can't be blamed for anything.

 You almost had it right until you got to "can't be blamed for anything."

 Yet a few months ago you insisted that if some soldiers were ordered to take you out, they would question
 the orders and either balk at carrying them out or flat out refuse to do it.

 That's because I'm hardly a threat to America.
 Do *I* look like an Iraqi military command and control center?

 Are our troops mindless automatons to be manipulated at the whim of Bush or do they actually think?

 They are to follow orders unless they're certain those orders are illegal.
 Certain is the key - you can't question every order you get.

 Seriously, neither a 57 Chevy nor a chainsaw possess an intellect; some capacity for rational, intelligent
 thought, so blaming them for anything is as asinine as the local media whores blaming the fog for a 40 car
 pileup on the Interstate when, in fact, it was caused by speeding, driving too fast for conditions, and following
 too closely - your basic reckless driving, given the conditions. However, people/soldiers do have an intellect.

 Believe it or not, I knew that before I read your letter.

 They have free will. They have choices. They get to choose if they will carry out orders from insane a**holes.
 I suspect your counter argument is, "They don't really have a choice because they have to follow orders...
 a military that won't follow orders is useless."

 Again, "Shoot that baby" would be a bad order to follow.
"Bomb that building" or "Drive that truck," is a lot easier order to follow.

 That flies nicely as a sound bite until we acknowledge that the principles from Nuremburg clearly state that
 'just following orders' is neither a defense nor an excuse.Indeed, as the world saw during those infamous war
 crime trials, not only were the soldiers guilty, but so too were those who ordered them.

 Nuremburg, Nuremburg, Nuremburg, Nuremburg, Nuremburg, Nuremburg, Nuremburg, Nuremburg.
 Do people think every German soldier, millions of them, were tried at Nuremburg?
 Or do we think it was just the big fish - the ones in control, the ones who gave the orders?

"Do we need a military?" is an incomplete question because it doesn't address what kind of military.
 Do we need a military that will blindly travel around the world and kill anyone Bush doesn't like?
 I think answering yes to that is as insane as proudly declaring, "My country, right or wrong."

 I agree with that.

 Of course we need a military, for the same reason you or I would need a Glock if some lowlife broke into our
 homes and was waving a knife around. We also need a government to oversee the military as well as the country.
 As we are learning too late, a corrupt government that misuses the military can only lead to disaster.
  Joe Blo

 Now you've confused me.
 Each e-mail writer has their own nuance, and I'm trying to work in giant, meat-cleaver chunks.

 If you own a Glock, can you be anti-military?
 Isn't the intention for both "to protect?"


Dr. Laura says "Check out my hooters!"

 Subject: chainsaws & Chevys

 I would like to say this, as an American soldier, I was supposed to uphold the ideals and to protect
 the people of the USofA.

 When in a situation, that was iffy, at best, to protect, when all hell is coming at you to duck and cover,
 And when holding wounded, or prisoners, to protect them and save them, not the shit that went on.
 They are intent on creating what I don't want to see.


 Subject: Doug is right


 Did you know Germans soldiers are allowed/expected to (a lesson learned from WWII)
 to disobey a direct order if it is immoral.  Now you might think that makes them weak,
 I think it makes them thinking human beings, unlike chimpy and it's mindless murdering sheep.

 It's easy killing people dressed in shorts and T-shirts while your wrapped in upgraded Kevlar
 shooting weapons made by Boeing with infrared sights at beyond response range with air support
 (list goes on and on).  And this is what makes our dumb ass US troops proud and thump their chest?
 Fuck the mindless murderers.

 Dude, flame down.
 You're condemning millions of innocent people for the misdeeds of a few.

 A German soldier can say "this is bullshit" when he's asked to spray a bus load of women and
 children with your M16 for a monkey after some oil in a country that never attacked us.

 I'm disgusted by our soldiers.

 Mitch, are you saying that happened?
 Nobody endorses that - were you thinking somebody was?

 Is any of your anger directed at the people who sent them there?
 Or you just hate the 2 weeks-a-year, one weekend-a-month guys?


 Subject: Shell's exodus

 I, too, left Oklahoma soon after graduating college (in Shell's mother's hometown of Tahlequah, no less),
 but for different reasons.  Being a second-generation Agrarian Populist (my Daddy was born in Indian Territory,
 stayed through it changing to Oklahoma and never left there.....except for 4 years in WWII) I was happy as
 a pig in mud about the politics when I pulled stakes in 1960 and headed for the golden streets of California
 (you know the mythology).

 We had Bob Kerr, Carl Albert, Mike Monroney and, later, the Edmundsons( Prairie Fire and all that).
 There were few Repuglicans there then.  Anyone badmouthing the New Deal risked harm.  I still keep a pic
 of FDR hanging in my kitchen as a reminder of where I was born and raised, about 8 miles from where the
 Joad family farm was fictionally located.  My family ate during the depression because of the WPA.

 The political change has been insidious and clandestine, taking about 40 years from blue to red, with the help
 of the mainstream media, religion and survivalists (I just threw that last group in because they get little press
 coverage now that the middle east is hot).  And now we're red, replete with Colburn and Inhofe....
 GOD!  what a couple of jerks!

 No, I left because I wrecked a girl's cherry 1956 Ford with a see-through plexiglass roof (Skyline Model)
 at an after-party in Muskogee and was broke when it was fixed.  California had more jobs to offer then.
 The ticks and chiggers and humidity played major roles, too.  And there was the bit about seeing the world,
 which I've done at least enough to not want to do any more looking.  So Oklahoma wasn't always like it is now.
 I remember it back then.  Hope it can return to former status.  Hang in there.  I respect your staying in Tulsa.
 How else could I brag to my Northern California buddies about this great progressive website emanating
 out of my old stomping grounds, deep in the heart of red state country?
  Jack the Okie

 Jack, good one - thanks for that.

 Note: I took that round off to give the cut over my eye a chance to close.


 Subject: the chainsaw

 Bart:  I really admire you. I love your website.
 But keep working on this 'support the troops' Bart.

 ha ha
 That's as nice as anybody's been to me all night :)

 I was almost as extreme as you, (well, not this extreme) but I came to see the light. Hence,
 the "One Nation Under Ribbons" ribbon now in place of the jingoistic "Support the Troops" one.

 You're suggesting they break the law, break their word, break their contract like Bush did in 1972? .....YES!
 You're suggesting they should take action which might prevent them from ever touching American soil again? .....YES!
 You're suggesting they permanently stain their resume with "quitter" and "backstabber?" .....YES!
 You're suggesting they brand themselves "unemployable" for the rest of their lives? .....YES!

 Geez, those are great FEAR instillers there, but let's not scare kids if they have the 'ganos' to stand up to
 "authority" for a principle.  All of the above could result for refusing to kill innocent folk and reducing their
 homeland to Stoneage rubble.  The alternative of NOT following their conscience is far costlier, or as
 Howard Zinn put it (so much better),

"Civil disobedience is not the problem.
 The greatest danger is civil obedience, the submission of individual conscience to governmental authority."

 Dada, I understand your point.


 Subject: American soldiers and illegal orders

 You are right on Bart, don't worry, don't give an inch.
 I don't think - you are.

 I'm a proud liberal and former military.  If our Liberal friends think it's so easy for soldiers to
 disobey orders and probably go to prison then why don't they march on Washington with pitchforks
 and firebrands to run Bush out tarred and feathered on a rail -- see how that works out for 'em.

 If all these good liberals would stand up and do something bedsides bitch and moralize about how
 others should act, we might defeat these Bastards.

 You are absolutely right.
 The military is a tool that can be misused and shouldn't be trusted in the hands of right wing monkeys.
 Bush and pals are destroying our military along with the country they are supposed to defend.
 People on the left wishing our soldiers would suddenly throw up their hands and quit are living in a fantasy world.
 GBurton mean, agree with me?

 Artie, is that you?

 ha ha

 How is it possible someone agrees with me on this?
 How did two normal dudes like you and me get in this party?

(Bart gives GBurton the underground lib-army secret handshake.)


 Subject: Bart, I'm surprised at you

 No military personnel are required to obey an unlawful a matter of fact, if they do,
 then they can be held as complicit, if not out-right responsible, as seems to be the case for the
 low-ranking peons who have been held responsible for all the horror so far.

 Yep, it takes courage, more courage than blowing away civilians in Iraq takes, and it may well
 cost people their right of return to the U.S., it may cost them even more than that.

 This thing is going to cost us all, royally, even beyond what it has already cost us.
 It will cost us war-tax resisters, possibly, our right of return, and much more.

 But if the people do not have the courage of their convictions now, none of it will matter,
 because there won't be a USA to come back to or live in. It will be the Theocratic,
 Corporate States of America, the Last Great Evil Empire.

 Dot, deep down, I'm still that fun guy you like.


 Subject: chainsaws and 57 Chevys

 My Dear Bartman

 You are absolutely correct about the troops and obeying orders.
 In fact, a soldier is obliged to refuse a unlawful order unfortunately however,
 the shades of grey multiply when you are enlisted and not an officer.

 My dad was a Marine in the Korean War, brother was in the Navy and
 National Guard for over 20 years, I was in the Army and then I married the Air Force.

 I missed you while you were in the Pacific.
 Diane E.

 Diane, ...really?
 Thanks for the note.
 That means there are at least two Democrats left who see things my way.


My good friend Barry Crimmins

 Subject: war is a semi-organised riot

 I agree with you Bart, mostly. I have never been in a war personally.
 I have in my teens been part of a riot or two, growing up in Berkeley in the 60's .

 ha ha

 We had to go thru barracaded check points just to get to the damn school .
 Tear gas for lunch somedays .

 I totally agree about the right to make war being in the wrong hands now.
 I personally think no one should ever have that power, but it isn't a perfect world .
 Having had long conversations with Nam Vets that I have chanced to meet,
 I agree that when you are in WAR , all the gloves come off . Anything with the slightest
 implication of hostility , even imagined , is dealt with as heavily as possible .
 You do become a chainsaw once you are in a firefight , auto pilot .

 You can not presume to judge a person involved in a firefight by any " standards " that we
 in the rear area believe in . It is the 21rst century , you would have thought that by now,  we as
 a peoplewould have a figured out a better way to deal with problems than by resorting to War .

 Shrub must be some primative throwback or genetic mutation , all that greed and hostility
 and ignorance , in one spoiled brat of a man .
 He should be given a " Darwin Award " .


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