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A soldier speaks [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2006-11-2 08:04:58 |Display all floors
Author: SL Lee
Date:   11-01-06 09:57

http://www.truthdig.com/report/i ... fter_pats_birthday/

After Pat’s Birthday

Posted on Oct 19, 2006
Pat and Kevin Tillman
Courtesy of the Tillman Family

Pat Tillman (left) and his brother Kevin stand in front of a Chinook helicopter in Saudi Arabia before their tour of duty as Army Rangers in Iraq in 2003.

By Kevin Tillman

Editor’s note: Kevin Tillman joined the Army with his brother Pat in 2002, and they served together in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pat was killed in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. Kevin, who was discharged in 2005, has written a powerful, must-read document.


It is Pat’s birthday on November 6, and elections are the day after. It gets me thinking about a conversation I had with Pat before we joined the military. He spoke about the risks with signing the papers. How once we committed, we were at the mercy of the American leadership and the American people. How we could be thrown in a direction not of our volition. How fighting as a soldier would leave us without a voice… until we got out.

Much has happened since we handed over our voice:

Somehow we were sent to invade a nation because it was a direct threat to the American people, or to the world, or harbored terrorists, or was involved in the September 11 attacks, or received weapons-grade uranium from Niger, or had mobile weapons labs, or WMD, or had a need to be liberated, or we needed to establish a democracy, or stop an insurgency, or stop a civil war we created that can’t be called a civil war even though it is. Something like that.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow our elected leaders were subverting international law and humanity by setting up secret prisons around the world, secretly kidnapping people, secretly holding them indefinitely, secretly not charging them with anything, secretly torturing them. Somehow that overt policy of torture became the fault of a few “bad apples” in the military.

Somehow back at home, support for the soldiers meant having a five-year-old kindergartener scribble a picture with crayons and send it overseas, or slapping stickers on cars, or lobbying Congress for an extra pad in a helmet. It’s interesting that a soldier on his third or fourth tour should care about a drawing from a five-year-old; or a faded sticker on a car as his friends die around him; or an extra pad in a helmet, as if it will protect him when an IED throws his vehicle 50 feet into the air as his body comes apart and his skin melts to the seat.

Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.

Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on the ground.

Somehow those afraid to fight an illegal invasion decades ago are allowed to send soldiers to die for an illegal invasion they started.

Somehow faking character, virtue and strength is tolerated.

Somehow profiting from tragedy and horror is tolerated.

Somehow the death of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people is tolerated.

Somehow subversion of the Bill of Rights and The Constitution is tolerated.

Somehow suspension of Habeas Corpus is supposed to keep this country safe.

Somehow torture is tolerated.

Somehow lying is tolerated.

Somehow reason is being discarded for faith, dogma, and nonsense.

Somehow American leadership managed to create a more dangerous world.

Somehow a narrative is more important than reality.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow the most reasonable, trusted and respected country in the world has become one of the most irrational, belligerent, feared, and distrusted countries in the world.

Somehow being politically informed, diligent, and skeptical has been replaced by apathy through active ignorance.

Somehow the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, vacuous, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country.

Somehow this is tolerated.

Somehow nobody is accountable for this.

In a democracy, the policy of the leaders is the policy of the people. So don’t be shocked when our grandkids bury much of this generation as traitors to the nation, to the world and to humanity. Most likely, they will come to know that “somehow” was nurtured by fear, insecurity and indifference, leaving the country vulnerable to unchecked, unchallenged parasites.

Luckily this country is still a democracy. People still have a voice. People still can take action. It can start after Pat’s birthday.
--------------
SL Lee

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Post time 2006-11-2 08:30:49 |Display all floors

Time to stop & regroup

A Brother's Rage
Kevin Tillman抯 incandescent statement against the Iraq war reads like poetry, and is part of a tragic tradition.

By Christopher Dickey
Newsweek
Updated: 5:18 p.m. CT Oct 24, 2006

Oct. 24, 2006 - Anger has its moments, and this is one of them. You will hear that those who vent their fury about the Iraq war offer no solutions. You will hear that they want to cut and run. You will hear all sorts of things. But there is one common theme in the anger you抳e heard of late, and it抯 the outrage that the people who have watched this disaster unfold before their eyes梪p close and personal梖eel for the politicians who have never been held responsible for the horrors they抳e loosed upon Iraq, America and the world.

We have reached the point where men of experience and wisdom can no longer contain themselves, even if in the end they allow their politician bosses to spin them back into line. So, Gen. Sir Richard Dannatt recently told the British newspaper 揟he Daily Mail?of his doubts about how wise it was to 搆ick the door in?in Iraq. So, the spokesman for the Middle East division of the State Department, Alberto Fernandez, spoke on Al-Jazeera television about the American 揳rrogance and stupidity?that contributed so mightily to the current disaster. The general said he was quoted out of context. The diplomat conceded he 搒eriously misspoke.?
But now Kevin Tillman has said his piece. Kevin抯 brother, football star Pat Tillman, was the Bush administration抯 poster boy for patriotism until investigations showed that 揻riendly fire?had killed him in Afghanistan in April 2004, and the Pentagon had buried the facts.  

Kevin and Pat joined the U.S. Army Rangers together in 2002. Both served in Iraq during the invasion. Both knew梠r thought they knew梬hat they were getting into. Kevin writes on Truthdig.com that his brother talked to him 揳bout the risks with signing the papers.  How once we committed, we were at the mercy of the American leadership and the American people.  How we could be thrown in a direction not of our volition.  How fighting as a soldier would leave us without a voice?until we got out.?

Kevin Tillman then writes that 搈uch has happened since we handed over our voice,?and so begins the litany of shame:

揝omehow we were sent to invade a nation because it was a direct threat to the American people, or to the world, or harbored terrorists, or was involved in the September 11 attacks, or received weapons-grade uranium from Niger, or had mobile weapons labs, or WMD, or had a need to be liberated, or we needed to establish a democracy, or stop an insurgency, or stop a civil war we created that can抰 be called a civil war even though it is.  Something like that.?

Tillman doesn抰 stop there. He抯 on a roll, he抯 righteous, and more important still, he抯 right:
揝omehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.
Communication is the most important source of personal power.

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Post time 2006-11-3 00:07:18 |Display all floors
this is the beginning of the end of demobcrazy.

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Post time 2007-3-5 17:19:04 |Display all floors
the japanese american soldier who refused to go kill in iraq also demanded that america pay reparation to iraqi civilian casualties.

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