On the occasional days that I forgo the train and drive into downtown Chicago, I keep my radio dial on a constant, shifting rotation between four stations, news, news/talk, Stern, and NPR. People who think they know me often are surprised that I include NPR, but I like the diversity, and I really try to stay intellectually honest by listening to varied points of view.
Yesterday, I was listening when they played a piece by one of their commentators, Ben Walker. I listened as he told of B.D., the character from the Doonesbury comic strip, who has recently joined the armed forces and went to Iraq. Mr. Walker went on to say how B.D. was the only “person” that he personally knew in Iraq, and how B.D. had brought the war home for him, making him realize the sacrifices being made by brave, young and old men and women. I felt a little odd as he went on about B.D losing a leg in combat. The whole incident seemed to be greatly affecting Mr. Walker on an emotional level. I was not sure how to react to this, it seemed so superficial, being a cartoon, yet if it was the only way for this man to interpret reality, through the cartoon character, I guess it’s okay, right? As he came to the end of his piece, he said that, upon waking up from his ordeal, B.D. was very angry, and with a definitive tone in his voice, a tone that seemed to dismiss the whole idea of the conflict, Walker said “and I am angry too”. As I thought about what I had heard, I got a little angry as well. I was angry at the thought of a parent who had lost an actual, living, son or daughter, or a wife who had lost her husband, hearing this plaintive cry over a cartoon character. I planned to post on it last night, but it slipped my mind.
When I heard the news about Pat Tillman being killed today, it re-entered my mind. I am pissed off. I am sick of people like Walker, living their life through a cartoon character while myself and the rest of the country have blood and friends putting themselves on the firing line for us. I know the destructive, corrosive power of hate, but I hate Michael Moore and his ilk, people so selfish and stupid that they will gladly forgo confronting a festering global problem, increasing the odds that my kids will be in some future war in the godforsaken Middle East. And I am sick of losing the best and the brightest, the ones with the most guts and courage, lost in the defense of freedom for a miserable bunch who don’t deserve it. Ben Walker, I am angry too, but for a completely different reason.
37 thoughts on “Bitterly Ironic”
Pat Tillman was and is the personification of courage. What an original hero. How can we conceive of such men?
It’s the men like Pat Tillman that allow cowardly pieces of shit like Michael Moore to stand on their protected perch and execise their constitutionally protected freedoms bought and paid for by someone else’s blood and guts shed all over the floor of a Blackhawk helicopter. It makes you want to pack up the little scumbag and send his ass out on the line, and let him get a taste of what takes to earn what his kind take for granted.
Moore is the perfect man to represent the worst of our culture. He exercises his rights to implicitly deny others the possibility of their own. The perfect paradox, and oh so consistent with the empty position that the Left embraces. He should be ashamed, but he is not.
God rest the soul of Pat Tillman.
Indeed. And when you can neither vote nor sign up, you end up feeling like a bit of a cartoon character yourself….
“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
– Thomas Jefferson
Pat Tillman – PATRIOT!
The significant fact, missed completely by the arrogance of the ‘geezer media’, is not the $3.6 million – it’s that 10’s of thousands of young men and women, just as Pat Tillman, have abandoned lives of safety and comfort to serve their nation.
I heard the same thing but interpreted it differently. I thought Ben Walker was speaking about the real American’s getting wounded through this charactor that happened to be a cartoon and that he was angry because he felt they were in this situation for spurious reasons.
I would also say that the mess we are making in Iraq now most certainly gaurantees that our children will be there in the future.
“the only definition of Victory is Exit Strategy”
George W. Bush 1999
I sure wish he would have listened to himself.
whoops I misquoted the prez.
“Victory means exit strategy, and it’s important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is.”–Candidate George W. Bush, criticizing Clinton’s Kosovo policies, 4/9/99
How’d Ben Walker get on NPR? Jeez. I like Your Radio Nightlight as much as the next guy, the the ‘real world’ is totally beyond Walker’s area of expertise.
I want my kids to visit Iraq the same way that the current sons and daughters of the U.S. visit Germany, France, and the rest of liberated Free Europe: as tourists, businesspeople, students. I believe the current course of action provides the highest likelihood of that coming to fruition. I have no doubt that when the Marshall Plan was devised and implemented, there was a large contingent of nay Sayers back home. The fact that there IS an exit strategy at such an early date, the planned June 30th hand-off, seems to be being ignored. What has been accomplished so far has been done despite the strident protests of a virulent group who, when cornered with a logical argument, fire back that “this is not my war” and “Bush is not my President”. But my overarching point of the post was my disgust with people who live a detached, insulated, safe existence, while berating the actions that must be taken to maintain their freedoms. Maybe what our society really needs is an extended period of intense fear and suffering to shock us out of this lilywhite view of the world. I reserve the right to curse those bastards who would bring this upon our heads as a result of their failure to recognize the world for the dangerous place that it sometimes is.
“Maybe what our society really needs is an extended period of intense fear and suffering to shock us out of this lilywhite view of the world.”
I have had the unfortunate displeasure of knowing a few fanatics in my life (including Zionist and Islamic and for that matter Christian) and they all fell into this line of thinking: “if only death and destruction could descend upon the populace.. THEN everyone would come to see the world as I see it.” They like to swear angrily at those they feel disagree with them too. I just happened upon your blog last night and man I was really struck by the borderline fanatical anger.
I would love for my children to visit the middle east the way we visit France now too, but as it stands now come June 30th we will be handing over “sovereignty” to an UNELECTED US hand picked group of people (that will still be beholden to some vague coalition body) and we will not be altering our troop deployment by any significant numbers. If you expect the Iraqi people to clap and cheer for the arrival of “democracy” you are NUTS! What terrifies me most is that this will be the tipping point for many many Iraqis to take up arms against the US – and when it comes to this – Michael Moore the blowhard is RIGHT!!! We will not be able to call them “terrorists’ anymore – they will be freedom fighters. (I don’t want Michael Moore to be proved right any more than you do!!!)
Of course, there is a way out of this. We could stay the course and call what we are doing what it is, and assure the Iraqis that eventually Democracy will come and forgo some bogus fake handover until all the bastards are eliminated and the security situation is improved.
Our president is determined to have some Showy June 30th handover.
Tim Blair noticed this trend also and linked to a lachrymose blog post about it – LOTS of comments.
Or,……… we could do something that I think should have been done from the day the Baathists fell. We could float the whole country an interest-free payday loan, secured by future oil revenues. Three months of pay to the average Iraqi, meted out 2 weeks at a time, would go a long way toward stabilizing the country, and would be a hell of a lot cheaper than the current path of action. In the interim, there is a major logistics problem in getting the entire country back to work, but it is a start.
As for your thinking that I want death and destruction at home or abroad, you are doing a good job of parsing statements to arrive at that conclusion because the very next sentence makes it crystal clear that I do not.
For Iraqis to side with us, they don’t have to love us, only to believe that we’re strong enough and won’t quit. So far they know that we’re strong enough, but a lot of them probably aren’t confident that we won’t leave (Mark Steyn puts the argument well). I don’t think lending them money is going to do it. What might help is using local media to counteract the Al Jazeera drumbeat of anti-Americanism, which we are only starting to do.
And of course, this is no time for us to go wobbly at home and talk ourselves out of the war. We can’t just abandon Iraq to the next regime’s bloodbath, a la Vietnam, and expect the ocean to protect us. This time they’ll come after us. There is no choice, as they say in Israel.
Are you some kind of pansy? You don’t like anger? poooor baby! This is why you stupid liberals are losers! You lay there on the floor while the hate mongers ride roughshod right over you. Get a clue man. Hate is a powerful emotion. Check out this blog and the other chicken hawk yapping fools who are part of the massive pro-war blogosphere.
and as for you Andy-
you sir, remind me of Michael Moore – you are both gas bags.
But at least he understands the relationship between the Elite and war. I know history may not be something you like to read (too hard!) but check it out sometime.
During the civil war the Elite rich were allowed to get out of going to war for 300 bucks. Were these draft dodgers against the war? By, no means – they were staunch abolitinists – they just believed it would be better for the poor to do their fighting.
How can you be so fucking dumb as to think the the Elite are all Anti War is beyond me. But then again, our president doesn’t consider himself an elitist and most of this country follows his lead.
The Elite are pro war – the poor do the fighting.
There is a solution you know – manditory military service for all citizens.
Why do we not have a manditory military service (and a non combat option for the hippies)? Because then the country might actually come together and preemptive wars would be impossible to wage. Something the Elite do not want.
every time I dip my toes into the blogosphere I feel so dirty. I got to shower now.
Wonderful, an equal opportunity idiot heard from. Pontificate on a few ambiguities and hit the showers. “The Elite” and “the poor”? Geez you exist in a nice, cleanly drawn world, don’t you? But thanks for giving us the solution.
I am, quite frankly, offended by the poor quality of his insults. I thought we had a better class of troll around here.
Mandatory military service is a good idea if you wish to weaken our military, keep pay levels down, and reduce effectiveness.
Let’s make sure as many people as possible are in the military who don’t want to be there so that nothing get’s done right. Great idea. Dumbass.
Who let xxx in here? I’ve always hated that guy. People like us who never read any history books are shamed by his superior knowledge.
I have to shower now.
The benefits and drawbacks of web anonymity
I heard the same radio show on Chicago NPR. I too was pissed as hell. The men and women with the heart and balls to put their life on the line while the little prattling dogs sit back here in the US and prate about B.D. ffs!
I also heard Stern today (I tend to rotate as you do) prattling on about how it’s ironic that Tillman (who apparently was a Stern fan) died while Stern’s show is under attack. Made me want to vomit.
So few people (it seems at least) in America truly appreciate the sacrifice our men and women are making for the rest of us.
It’s just like the lack of respect we give our war vets. Makes me want to vomit (and no, I’m not a vet and none of my family has been in a war).
Whether I agree or not with the decision to invade Iraq is irrelevant.
[insert diety of choice here] bless those willing to fight for the freedom of others!
I definitely must have missed something. So, the troll’s theory goes, if we have the draft, a mistaken war is less likely. Like…Vietnam for instance ? Since when are draftees asked to decide whether they want to fight or not ? Hello ? McFly ?
Never mind the number of exemptions to the draft granted for all kinds of reasons, and the fact that the educated ones – the evil, reviled ‘Elite’ – are less likely to be infantry grunts.
I should know. With my test scores, I had to ask to be infantry. (Which my talented, dedicated drill sergeant made me regret within 72 hours…)
Jonathan is right though. We have a right to better trolling. Steps will be taken. Measures enforced. A sustainable troll development fund will be set up.
Lets be kind to Mr. Walker here, BD is probably the only person he knows currently in the military.
“National unity does not mean national unanimity. You cannot expect to conciliate everybody. It is no use whittling away our own strong position in the hope of satisfying, for instance, those thin-blooded defeatists, who at every period in the war, whenever they saw the slightest chance, obstructed the measures necessary for victory and eagerly urged upon us a patched-up peace. We shall never succeed in satisfying them, nor ought we to compromise our own position by running after them. Our ideas are fundamentally opposed. The power and splendor of the [military] make no appeal to these gentry. Their ideas are essentially cosmopolitan. They consider that one race of men is as good as another — unless it be their own race, which they are always ready to believe is in the wrong, and which they are always ready to chasten and to humble on every occasion. What is the use of breaking our hearts because we cannot have their help at this critical time? We can do without them. We have done without them before. We have got through the war without their aid, and we will go through this period of reconstruction without their naggings and carpings.”
— Winston Churchill, “The Agony of Russia” (speech delivered 3 January 1920, Victoria Hall, Sunderland)
“I would love for my children to visit the middle east the way we visit France now too, but as it stands now come June 30th we will be handing over “sovereignty” to an UNELECTED US hand picked group of people (that will still be beholden to some vague coalition body) and we will not be altering our troop deployment by any significant numbers. If you expect the Iraqi people to clap and cheer for the arrival of “democracy” you are NUTS! What terrifies me most is that this will be the tipping point for many many Iraqis to take up arms against the US – and when it comes to this – Michael Moore the blowhard is RIGHT!!! We will not be able to call them “terrorists’ anymore – they will be freedom fighters. (I don’t want Michael Moore to be proved right any more than you do!!!)”
Independence and freedom are two different things. An independent Confederacy would not have advanced the cause of liberty, for instance. The people fighting for an independent Iraq run as a tyranny by themselves are not freedom fighters because they’re not fighting for freedom! They’re fighting to make the Americans bugger off so that they can bring back tyranny.
Democracy is also not the same thing as liberty. We could occupy the place forever and never let them cast a single vote and they’d still end up with way more liberty than they started with or would have if we pulled out and wrote the place off. Of course we’d be better off if they could run a free society themselves so our forces could deal with other threats (*cough*Iran*cough*) (*cough*North Korea*cough*).
Ken, when people quote Michael Moore or claim is right, you know you’re dealing with either an ignorant person, a teenager on an hormone rush, or a mentally retarded fool.
For starters, there have been no election in Iraq for 30 years. There is no infrastructure for elections, nor is there an electoral law. Why should we be the ones making up electoral rules for Iraq ? How would that be legitimate ?
Second, Iraqis are not taking arms because they can’t vote. They have never voted. The ones taking arms are not fighting for the right to vote. They are the ones who oppose elections and democracy.
Finally, there were no elections in Germany for almost five years after it was invaded. It took that long. I actually think we’re going a bit too fast here. This June 30 deadline is one of those bogus PR deadlines the administration inflicted on itself and will regret before the elections are over.
June 30th. Way to give the enemy a target.
I thought for a moment about deleting that previous comment just out of human decency, but leaving it will better illustrate how incredibly asinine Rose is.
Guess someone beat me to it.
manditory service is for LOSER countries like ISRAEL!!!!!
we don’t want to be like those motherfuckers
Sex, great name. What works for Israel wouldn’t work for us. We are an immense country with military commitments all over the world. Israel is a tiny country which faces a threat to its very existence every single day. Different threats and capabilities require different approaches to manning the army. That’s not hard to understand.
Jay, terrific quote from Churchill. There is nothing new in the world.
Pat Tillman and your fellow soldiers–
More thanks than I can say.
Great post. I feel the same way about not just the death of Pat Tillman (RIP) but to all the servicemen and women of the Coalition who have lost their lives in this war. Whatever qualms we may legitimately have about the campaign in Afganhistan, Iraq, or anywhere else, a free society will need to have folk like Pat Tillman to stand up and be counted.
I feel humbled by the life of Pat Tillman and those like him.
As a British citizen, I would like to assure American readers of this blog that I greatly admire and appreciate the sacrifices made for my country by yours over the last 50 years. It is payback time, and we are doing that with you in the Middle East, as long as is necessary.
well said. i got the same feeling when i heard the coverage of the casuality photos last week. the part that stuck in my mind is that the cnn poll of the day ask “if you want to see photos of bodies coming home from iraq?” sadly, 63% said yes.
that can only mean that people are using this war and more specifically, the men and women who are on the front lines, as their political ammunition against this administration.
i see th same thing with the coverage of the 9/11 commission hearings. all those people in the background with their lost family member’s photos are doing the same thing—redirecting the emotions stirred by the images of today’s current events to their agendas.
Doesn’t necessarily mean that, seed. It might mean – and I think in the case of much of that percentage does mean – that people want a connection with our war dead. They want to see them honored. (Now, I don’t think, for example, Ted Koppel thinks that way… but Ted Koppel isn’t all of America, and I think he’s mistaken if he thinks more immediate awareness that soldiers have died will shake people’s resolve. I think it will have the opposite effect, shocking though that may be to the media class.)
Go read Blackfive’s story of a Marine casualty’s body being escorted home, and the attitudes of pretty much everyone who came in contact with the event.
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