Saturday, November 11, 2006

In Honor of Veteran's Day, I'm Gonna Pick On Darryl Worley Again*

Actually, I don't mean to attack Darryl, who very likely had good intentions of honoring the sacrifices made by our soldiers in times of war when he recorded his latest single "I Just Came Back (From a War)." Nor am I really attacking the song itself--instead, I am concerned with the unexamined ideas behind the song. The chorus in particular is very upsetting to me:

"...I just came back from a place where they hated me
and everything I stand for
A land where our brothers are dying for others
who don't even care anymore."

I am certain that there are many American soldiers in Iraq who really do feel hated and feel that they are risking (and, frighteningly often, losing) their lives for people who don't care. I am sure, too, that the hatred our soldiers feel from Iraqis in general is very real and not imagined--the Iraqis "not caring" is a whole other matter, but we'll get to that in a moment.

Let's consider the hatred first. Let's ask ourselves why our soldiers are so hated in Iraq. Let's do something those in secure government offices in peaceful neighborhoods seem incapable of or unwilling to do. Let's put ourselves in the Iraqis' position.

How would we feel about an uninvited foreign military crashing through our borders, killing (if not indiscriminately than not quite discriminatingly enough) our friends and family members, toppling our government with no satisfactory, workable plan for replacing that government. (Listen, no one thinks Sadaam was a nice guy (for example, I wouldn't want to have a beer with him), but there is ample evidence that the quality of life in Iraq--especially in its cities--has dropped drastically since the U.S. forces arrived.)

How would we feel hearing the government behind that invading force repeatedly justify the violence and destruction with ever more transparent lies? Wouldn't hate be a mild word for what we would feel toward those soldiers--the only representatives of that government with whom we would ever be face-to-face?

And what is it that our soldiers "stand for" that Iraqis hate so much? Is it our freedom, our liberty, that they hate--as this song seems to imply and as our national leaders have said over and over again? Does that make even the remotest bit of sense?

If it makes sense to you, my apologies, but to me it sounds like empty-headed paranoia at best and a hollow excuse for reprehensible behavior at worst. Maybe the Iraqis actually hate us for something the vast majority of Americans never meant to stand for--opportunistic bullying? Intolerance in the world arena? Condescending and incompetent (not to mention violent and destructive) foreign policy?

As for the Iraqis "not caring", I just don't see any truth in that idea at all. What I see in that kind of thinking is an effort to dehumanize Iraqis, to pretend that they are somehow less fearful or desperate than we would be in their situations. It shows a lack of compassion and inability to empathize that's not only cold-hearted and dysfunctional, but outright dangerous in the world today.

So, now, I'll stumble down off the soapbox before Rummy comes and kicks me off--I hear he's gonna have some free time on his hands.

*Previous attacks on Darryl, among others, can be found here.


  1. Hooray! Hooray! Go you! This was wonderful.

  2. First of all, woah, hold it. Opportunistic bullying? I have no idea where you see that in our nation's efforts. Let's examine the name of this mission we are on in Iraq: Operation Iraqui Freedom. Hmm, sure sounds like we're there to go have some target practice! Not. Yes, honest Iraquis have been killed, but so have thousands of our own. Do you not listen when you hear about our soldiers being tortured? Do you not hear the reports of our death counts that grow daily? If not, listen to the radio- and I don't mean country music. We are in Iraq so that the Iraqui people can be free from their reign of terror that Bin Laden created.

    And oh, by the way, "crashing through their borders, killing their friends and family members" is exactly what we are protecting them from. Sadam Hussein and other terrorists used human shileds composed of women and children so that our men wouldn't shoot at them. Now, if the Iraquis burst into the United States, do you think they would be so hesitant to fire at our women and children? I think not. Besides, it's not the Iraqui people we are targeting, it's the rebellious, war-creating terrorists groups who kill not only US soldiers, but their fellow Iraquis.

    Secondly, I don't think you got those lyrics. When he says,

    "A land where our brothers are dying for others
    who don't even care anymore."

    he's talking about people in America. He's talking about those who speak out against the war and openly oppose all that they are dying for. Americans don't like their own soldiers. Pitiful, truly pitiful. We can't even be strong enough to support those who die for us and can't show enough emotion to "empathize" with our own people who have brothers and husbands dead. And what for? So you can tell them that is wasn't worth it. So you can post blogs and say that what they died for was nothing and that they haven't changed a thing. You call our soldiers heartless? Look at yourself.

  3. A. Real brave to post an anonymous comment.

    B. I don't think I got the lyrics wrong at all--you didn't spell Whoa right, so I'm pretty sure your reading comprehension might be a little compromised.

    C. I think what our soldiers are fighting for (at least in theory) is the freedom to question our government. I think the best way to honor the sacrifices of our military in this conflict and others is to question our goverment's motives. I think the best way to support our troops is to ask what they are dying for and to hold accountable the people who sent them there.

  4. D. At no time did I say (nor did I mean to imply) that our soldiers are heartless. I was referring to the administration that sent them there as lacking compassion and empathy. In fact, part of the reason this conflict is so upsetting to me is that there is a huge emotional and pyschological toll being taken on our soldiers that will reverberate through our society for decades to come.

    E. You have swallowed whole the propaganda. I hope it tasted good and gives you much comfort.

  5. Youngest Sister11/14/06, 10:46 AM

    . . . AND, Bin Laden didn't have anything to do with the reign of terror in Iraq. 9/11 was simply used as an excuse to go after Saddam Hussein. NO weapons of mass destruction. NO link between Hussein and Bin Laden. I think that it's a tragedy that our soldiers, and innocent Iraqi civilians, are dying for a lie.

  6. The Bin Laden thing? I actually am soooooo pathetic that I almost crawled back out of bed last night to add it. I resisted at the last moment so I'm glad you said it for me. :)

  7. A) No better than posting as masked mom.

    B) Everyone's entitled to their own opinion.

    C) Again, Operation Iraqi Freedom. Soldiers (I should know, 5 of my siblings are them) say that they don't fight for anyone but their buddies. They know what they are fighting for, and if they don't, ask a Marine, ask a Naval Officer, ask a Corporal. They'll tell you.

    D) In your "empathy" paragraph, you showed it from their point of view and said that they were killing Iraqi civilians indiscriminately. Does that not imply heartlessness?

    E) The propaganda that you're talking about? well, it makes a great, truthful meal. Delicious, filling, but most of all, from our government, whoo are the people I trust.

  8. 1.I think you mean that posting anonymous comments is no worse than posting as Masked Mom. If you mean it's no better, well, that just doesn't make any sense. If you do mean it's no worse, then yes, it is because even though my identity is somewhat hidden, I am easily contacted by an e-mail adress, instant messenger, etc--all of which are posted on my site. In addition, I have divulged many personal details of my life on this site and so am not as "anonymous" as the fake name might suggest. You, however, appear here, spout stuff and disappear. Not the same at all.

    2.By "everyone", do you mean me too? Or only the people who agree with you?

    3. Again, I was in no way attacking soldiers or what they personally are fighting for. Also, it's nice that you're so proud of your siblings' service. My father was career military and served in Vietnam as well as two tours of duty in Korea and two of my siblings have served in the military as well. I'm well-versed in the sacrifices families and individuals make during times of war. It is BECAUSE of this that I find all of this so upsetting.

    3. In my "empathy" paragraph what I actually say (cut and pasted):"killing
    (if not indiscriminately than not quite discriminatingly enough)." I don't think I'm implying anything here--heartlessness or anything else--I'm simply stating a fact. There are many verifiable stories of innocent (unarmed) Iraqis being slain in front of their families by US soldiers and many more have likely been covered up. It is because I believe the majority of our soldiers aren't heartless that these killings are so distressing to me--a soldier who witnesses or god forbid, participates in an unjust killing will have to live with that the rest of his life. Maybe it would be better if our soldiers were heartless so they won't be haunted by their experiences in this war for the rest of their lives.

    Whether you believe it or not, I don't blame the soldiers in question for the wrongful deaths of innocents. The soldiers are in a horrible situation, where their lives are on the line--and the lives of their friends and everyone around them. When spilt-second decisions must be made, mistakes are likely to be made as well. So I don't blame our soldiers, I blame our government. Which brings me to...

    4. Trust the government all you want--the facts (provable, verifiable FACTS--not to be confused with opinions, which certainly you're entitled to) do not support the government's version of "reality." Please remember that "freeing" Iraqis didn't become a priority until it became obvious that there were none of the supposed "weapons of mass destruction" which had been our initial reason for attacking and that the "link" between bin Laden and Hussein wasn't going to withstand scrutiny.

    I would also like to say, again, that you can support the troops and still disagree with our government. In this case it's not only possible, I think it's imperative.

  9. Holy crap! How did I miss this thread?

    What scares me the most is people, like "anonymous", who post such misinformed and misguided nonsense, are the ones who are actually harming The United States, and in particular, our soldiers. The whole WMD-- no no wait-- Sadam Bad Man-- no no—Bin Laden “connection”—no no-- Freedom (or whatever the Justification Of The Day is) argument IS THE REASON our soldiers are over there dying. Do you not see the terrible irony in this "anonymous"? I support our troops and my country by making intelligent, informed decisions that do not send our brothers and sisters off to an unnecessary war to be possibly killed, or disfigured for life. I do not vote for politicians who do otherwise.

    Your lack of critical thinking and the ease, with which you buy into obvious propaganda, "anonymous", is what scares me the most. As stated before, it is the reason our soldiers are now being killed. Thank you for that. If ignorance is bliss, you must live in Eden.

  10. Hey, Lou B., welcome to the party--better late than never and, really, you're not all that late. The comments are only time, not date, stamped but most of this has been posted since Monday night.

  11. Masked Mom
    1. I try to get as little spam as I can, therefore I keep most of my personal information as I can to myself.

    2. No, I mean everyone, you wrote yours, and I wrote mine. I never said for you to stop expressing yourself, I was showing you my opinion.

    3. To your father and siblings: Oorah. Your father knew and your siblings know that they might at sometime be called to serve, and when they do, they'll be ready. If they already have, I'm sure it was hell, but well worth being able to say, "I kept my country safe." Two of my brothers are going overseas in two months. One of my brothers already is overseas. My sister is retired, and my brother-in-law is in Iraq.

    3(again). You say that you support our soldiers, but in the next breath you are criticizing them. Ex:

    (Cut and pasted)"I was in no way attacking soldiers..."

    And then...

    "There are many verifiable stories of innocent Iraqis being slain in front of their families by US soldiers and many more have likely been covered up."

    Please, please pick a side.

    4. While you may choose to bite the hand that feeds you, I think that I would rather stay smart and get fed. I'm not a fool, I know that there are things that we will never know about that the government covers. But guess what? Everything for a reason. If the president one day stated, "Iraq is planning an attack on the Twins Towers", all hell would break looses. The airports would be hectic, and security would be much lower and more penetrable in its state of confusion than if we hadn't been told at all. What they do sometimes isn't right at all, but they are always looking out for themselves, and if they want to be profitable then it would benefit them to have a safe and happy country. And you know, everyone makes mistakes, everyone lies, and everyone tries to cover it up. Guess that makes our leaders human, doesn't it?

    Lou B.
    OK, so I see your point. Soldiers are dying. But you know what? Would you rather they died fighting in Iraq and die honorably or die in a car crash while under the influence? I'm not saying, "Hey, they're going to die anyways, so why not send them to war?" What I'm saying is that the soldiers, whether they're Marine, Army, Navy, or Air Force, all knew what they were doing when they joined. If they didn't want to go to war, well, they didn't join the service, but those who were willing to fight and sacrifice their lives to make sure that a second 9/11 didn't happen are serving as our present-day soldiers. They are ready and willing to risk and lose all. Some aren't, but they have their fellow soldiers to rely on for support.

    Also, while you may not support the people who are currently in office... they're still in office. How do they get there? By the support of the majority of the United States.

  12. The first thing I want to address is the pick a side, I said I am not attacking our soldiers and I am not. However, there are some few soldiers who have behaved in reprehensible ways. Ways which reflect badly upon us as a nation as well as upon all the soldiers who are out there trying their hardest to truly serve their country. And STILL, I don't blame even those few soldiers for their behavior so much as I blame the government for placing them in the position in the first place.

    Opinions--we are all entitled to them. Facts, however, remain the same regardless of your opinion or attitude toward them.

    The government currently in office gained office WITHOUT the majority--it's easy enough to find tons of evidence that both in 2000 and in 2004, votes were stolen, voters were threatened, and on and on and on--and in 2000, Gore took the popular vote, which I realize doesn't "count" but it would seem to indicate that a majority of VOTERS at least, didn't put Bush in office that year. Even if you do believe that a majority of Americas wanted Bush's administration in both elections, the fact is that he has not lived up to the (I believe misplaced) faith so many people had in him. And in any case, if we aren't permitted to question the actions of an administration while they're in office, when the hell are we supposed to question them? Shouldn't we be questioning them now, while they're actively doing damage?

    Saying that the people who join the military "know" what they're getting into is also not entirely true. Again, ample evidence exists that many of these soldiers have been lied to repeatedly by recruiters and other military personnel--have you not heard of the "stop-loss" program? Where soldiers who have served their initial enlistment are being kept because recruitment numbers are so low? Yeah, that might've been in the fine print of their contract, but you won't see it in any of the recruiting posters and you can bet most recruiters weren't calling that excited 18-year-old boy's attention to it.

    Furthermore, "knowing" what they will truly be facing isn't really possible, in my opinion. A lot of people sign up directly out of high school with limited knowledge of the world in general let alone the world of being under siege in Iraq. No one can possibly "know what they're getting into" when it comes to war.

    Bottom line? I feel great sympathy for you and the many like you. You have family members risking their lives and the only way you can sleep at night is to embrace what you're told is "the cause." I can totally understand why it would be necessary to cling to the idea that all this is noble when so many so close to you are at risk. And, again, it is because of that risk that I can't accept the transparent lies as truth.

  13. PS--"And you know, everyone makes mistakes, everyone lies, and everyone tries to cover it up." Difference is, when I make a mistake or lie or cover it up, thousands of people don't die. Difference is, I didn't run for office and put myself in a position of being accountable to an entire nation and, in many ways, to the entire world.

  14. I keep seeing things I missed: "Would you rather they died fighting in Iraq and die honorably or die in a car crash while under the influence?"--On what planet are these the only two options for young American men and women? At first, I thought I was having a debate with a relatively reasonable human being--a wrong human being, but a reasonable one--and then there's this. Wow. Um, okay, thanks for playing. Game over.