Wednesday, October 26, 2005

KIA2K hath arrived.......

A few months ago, Brando and I were talking about how much pleasure certain individuals in the media seem to take when a US service member dies. Obviously they're not having a party (though some people undoubtedly are), but let's be honest -- a running count of soldiers portrayed as innocent, dumb lambs from the heartland duped into dreams of free college and travel to exotic places coming home in body bags makes some public figures cry in public and tap dance in private.

So why am I talking about this? Well, folks, KIA2K is upon us. That's right, the official tally is 2000 service members killed in Iraq. As quoted by the Irish Times:

The US military death toll in the 2½-year Iraq war has reached the milestone of 2,000 with the announcement by the Pentagon yesterday of the death of a US soldier at a hospital in Texas over the weekend.

Keyword: Milestone.

That's a loaded word, eh?

Here are some quotes from Yahoo News that I got a big kick out of.

"Our armed forces are serving ably in Iraq under enormously difficult circumstances, and the policy of our government must be worthy of their sacrifice. Unfortunately, it is not, and the American people know it." -- Sen. Edward Kennedy

Nice. "Good job guys, you're dying for no reason, and everyone knows it." What an asshole.

"More than 135,000 troops remain in Iraq. They did not ask to be sent to war, but each day, they carry out their duty while risking their lives. It is only reasonable that the American people, and their elected representatives, ask more questions about what the future holds in Iraq." -- Sen. Robert Byrd

I can jive with this one a little more -- it's important to question what's going on. I do, however, take issue with "They did not ask to be sent to war." I'd be interested to see the figures of people serving now and when their enlistment papers were signed, or how many people came back in after a break in service. Probably a pretty high number around, oh, I dunno, Sept 2001ish??? So 135,000 people in Iraq didn't ask to go to war. What did they think the military was, Rompa Room? I've said it about a million times -- even if all of your preconceived notions about the military (before you joined) were based on 80s action flicks and starship troopers, shame on you for not knowing what you were getting into. Just because there's nothing on the enlistment papers that says, "Check one: I request to be sent to War ( ) Yes ( ) No" doesn't excuse that kind of rhetoric.

Another cute one:
"It was unclear who was the 2000th service member to die in Iraq since the U.S. military often delays death announcements until families are notified."

Damn. We'd better get to the bottom of that one so we can go to their house and interview their parents/wife/kids and ask them how it feels, cuz being number 2000 is faaar more significant than number 1, 2, 243, 1647, or 1999.

Lt Col Steve Boylan said:
"I ask that when you report on the events, take a moment to think about the effects on the families, and those serving in Iraq. The 2000 service members killed in Iraq supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom is not a milestone."

Some Irish blokes would disagree.

Here's some DOA2K milestones that we don't hear about:
  • When the 2000th person of the year is killed in a car accident
  • When the 2000th person of the year ODs on drugs
  • When the 2000th person of the year is murdered randomly
  • When the 2000th child dies from child abuse/negligence
  • When the 2000th high school kid of the year commits suicide

    I guess those things are just "status quo." Part of the risk of being born in the USA, eh? Campaigning for those sorts of things doesn't win a presidential race I guess...

    So I beseech the general American population: Don't pretend like you care about the military. You can't spend decades demonizing service members on popular TV dramas and movies, making them the butt of your jokes, calling them stupid and uneducated, and working bit by bit to emasculate and destroy the effectiveness of the military during times of peace, then turn around and act like you care about service members or have a clue about anything military related. Here are a few fun facts I've run into about many people who claim to be "anti-military" (a hysterical notion in and of itself):

  • Don't know the four branches of service, or that there are 4 distinct ones
  • Think that the Army and Marines are the same; think that all airplanes belong to the Air Force
  • Don't know the difference between an Officer and Enlisted
  • Think that being "anti-military" is perfectly reasonable

    ...And apparently I'm brainwashed. Good to see that these people "know their enemy". Hi, welcome to Earth.

    Anyway, that's all I have to say on that.
  • 6 Comments:

    Anonymous Brando said...

    I feel the need to jump in on this one too, yet don't quite know how to express my contempt and arrogant distain for my countrymen who delight and gloat on the graves of servicemen. I know I need to keep it light and campy in order to get anyone to listen, but it's tough. Most days I turn on the TV and end up shaking my head in disgust at the way our brothers are treated. Well done pointing out the concept of folks that pretend to care about the troops whilst simultaneously harpooning them. Ok, here's a quick quote from an AP article 'bout Iraq.

    "Civilians made up more than two-thirds of the Iraqis killed in war-related violence since the country's first elected government took power on April 28, according to the AP count. The rest were Iraqi security personnel."

    So AP says that we haven't killed a SINGLE terrorist since April?

    Roger that.

    -brando

    here's the linky-poo http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051026/ap_on_re_mi_ea/the_iraqi_toll;_ylt=AtDgUqsXOVL9u7RrqEhEk82s0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3b3JuZGZhBHNlYwM3MjE-

    1:57 PM  
    Blogger Paul said...

    I remember when you were in Iraq and I was in Afghanistan, we were talking on Yahoo chat about the word "technically."

    When I was in the Marines in Okinawa, one of my friends began a sentence with, "...well TECHNICALLY" and I cut him off right there. I told him that people who start of sentences with "....well TECHNICALLY" are splitting hairs and are about to say something dickheaded/stupid/try to look smart and analytical. I believe you said you had a squad member who used to do that a lot, and said something about punching him in the mouth the next time he did it? I can't remember exactly.

    OK, so why am I saying this.

    Allow me to step into the shoes of a dickheaded/stupid/try to look smart and analytical AP reporter.

    Technically, "insurgents" (we like calling them insurgents, remember - it makes them seem more noble, but not so left to call them "freedom fighters") are not in the military, nor are they members of the police force (though many are). Therefore, those assclowns blowing up crowds of people are TECHNICALLY civilians, and insurgents/terrorists (gasp) blowing themselves to smithereens are TECHNICALLY civilians, because they're not NOT-civilians, i,e. in the military or police force.

    So TECHNICALLY, yes, all were either civilians or security (police/Iraqi National Army) personel.

    TECHNICALLY, everyone killed in the history of planet Earth has either been a civilian or some sort of security personel. Mercenaries are civilians, technically, as are militia members, but I suppose they could TECHNICALLY be considered security personel. Either way, they make it on list in whichever capacity.

    Hopefully this line of thought sufficiently demonstrates how gay that AP article was.

    2:28 PM  
    Blogger Paul said...

    Just to clarify tho, that article does go on to tell other body counts and stuff... Like number of insurgents, etc etc..

    3:07 PM  
    Anonymous brando said...

    Dang it Paul! Now you've got me running my mouth about stuff that I should just silently endure. You mentioned the terrorist/insurgent concept, and how most news agencys flat out refuse to even say the word terrorist when talking about Iraq. "Insurgent" is often used when talking about Al-Queida in Iraq. btw, I've had someone tell me to my face that there are no terrorists in Iraq. I don't grok what civilized nations have to gain by legitimizing terrorists. I admit that I'm probably hyper-sensitive to it, and that if I were smart I'd just ignore it, but I'm not smart and I'll just file it in the memory banks.....forever. Note-to-self: Certian leftish factions in America believe (and voice) that nefarious mass murder commited by jihadits isn't terrorism, but instead good and reasonable. *save*

    3:12 PM  
    Blogger Paul said...

    Hmm, I guess that whole "almost getting blown to smithereens" thing left a bad taste in your mouth for people who like to mince words.

    Personally, I think any Joe Blowhammed who would try to kill me/my family/my parakeet (RIP)/my friends/my countrymen just for being American citizens is a terrorist. That's just me though. Maybe I'm selfish.

    According to Title 22 of the United States Code, Section 2656f(d), terorrism is:

    "...premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience"

    3:31 PM  
    Blogger Jinxy said...

    Happy Birthday Devil Dogs

    12:38 AM  

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