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
Doug, thedailybrew, just handed you your
ass on the chainsaw analogy,
but you're too stubborn, or stupid, to
No, but it
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?
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.
Dude, any relation to.....nevermind.
Do you have any of that great weed for
of us who think peace is preferable to war..."
implying that I support Bush's bloody war.
That would be your second fumble..
Subject: more chainsaw
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
Believe me, it takes more bravery to say
no than it does to go along and get along.
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,
Your way, every order would have to be explained in such
detail that a military would be ineffective.
> 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
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?
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
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.
kids with a machete is not the same as flying a B2 bomber.
I'm thinking that's where everybody's getting
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 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
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
Your bottom line tries to justify mass
murder, torture and rape,
and I'M wrong because I look for
an alternative. Sure.
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
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
...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"
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
lover-boy Tillman as an idiot
for choosing to die for his country in a fit
of steroid-enhanced jingoism.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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 &
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
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
But keep working on this
'support the troops' Bart.
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
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
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.
...you agree with me?
Artie, is that you?
How is it possible someone agrees with me
How did two normal dudes like you and me
get in this party?
(Bart gives GBurton the underground lib-army secret
Subject: Bart, I'm surprised
No military personnel are required to obey
an unlawful order...as 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
Dot, deep down, I'm still that fun guy you like.
Subject: chainsaws and
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.
Thanks for the note.
That means there are at least two Democrats left who see things
friend Barry Crimmins
Subject: war is a semi-organised
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 .
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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