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war, sport and ugly names

Sure, it's a great thing that U.S. forces killed or captured over 60 Fedayeen members. The Fedayeen are the scum of the earth - they are the ones who carried out Saddam's plans for torture, rape and murder.

However, I think it really does the right a disservice to refer to the firefight with such vim and vigor, to mark the deaths of Saddam's goons as if one were keeping score in a basketball game. Calling them camel-fuckers or towelheads or whatever term you are using. When you call them such names, you are referencing people who are indiginous to that area. It is a derrogatory name and, no matter how you feel about those that are members of the Fedayeen, using those terms is an insult to everyone of the same race.

I think those words make their users look . This is not about political correctness so much as it is about looking ignorant and childhish. When I read those words, I imagine a ten year old boy shouting them. I don't know, an adult using those words to describe someone of a certain race, religion or color just strikes me as ignorant and childish and is borne of the same juvenile use of language that so many on the right accuse the left of using.

War is not a game. One does not keep score or carve a notch in your weblog for every dead enemy. War may be necessary, but it is ugly, brutal and mostly barbaric and not something to make sport of. Let's count the Iraqis that have been saved rather than the enemies that have been killed.


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Frank is having some sort of readership drive...or something. Anyway, "In My World" is really funny today. Michele disapproves of the ugly names some have used to describe the Fedayeen who ambushed the wrong convoys yesterday. Intellectually, I know sh... [Read More]

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If you look through your monitor, through your computer, through your internet connection, through the internet backbone connecting New York to Florida, through my internet connection, through my computer, and finally through my monitor...you will see me giving you a standing ovation.

I don't believe your piety for a fucking second. I, unlike conservatives, have a brain.

Yeah, woop dee fucking do! You wankers are actually wet over the mass murder of people simply because they have dark skin and worship a different (and far superior) religion than Bush!

I don't! That, and much, much else is why I am so superior to all of you!

Yeah, Bob, like you'd ever know what gets a woman wet, lefty or righty.

Why must personal attacks always work there way into conversation. That was not called for Sekimori.

Hm...I think it was Bob's comment that was uncalled for.

What if I actually encounter somebody fucking a camel? You know, I'm walking down an alley somewhere and suddenly happen upon a camel fucking episode. Would it be un-PC of me to point out that individual's camel fucking proclivities by labeling him a camel fucker? I need some guidance here.

I have a public email address, Drew. Bring it.

GASP Sekimori, you've just invited attacks upon yourself! How many countless people will die as a result? :)
Bob can probably tell you.

Ahhh, Mondays.

I actually thought Bob was being sarcastic. His closing sentence seems to give it away.

Perhaps not. Whatever.

Hear hear, Michele.

I don't want to bring anything. Rather follow a discussion on the issues then watch mud fly. And yes Bob comments were also uncalled for as well.

I cannot find the site again,but over the weekend some blogmeister calculated how many Iraqi people have been spared a horrible death at the hands od Saddam and his spawn since he was sent packing.That is the bigger story,you are correct Michele.

Gregory, Bob is a troll. He left a rather nasty comment on another thread today. He's been banned.

Michele - Heh. How about that. Bob seemed just so over the top (e.g.: That, and much, much else is why I am so superior to all of you!) that I assumed he had to be parodying the antiwar left.

I'm with you on this, Michele, at least for civilian types. It's why I am careful to use such terms as bad guys, enemies, Jihadis, the most charged term I use is splodeydope.
It is normal, though, for soldiers to use dehumanising terms for those they have to fight. It's much easier, for instance, to pull the trigger on a kraut, Nazi or Jerry than to pull the trigger on a German draftee. I'll go so far as to say that a combat troop must dehumanise his enemy or face being a casualty from hesitating. I saw plenty of that during my war some thirty-five+ years ago.
Unless and until we go into a total war with carpet bombing of civilians, as in Dresden, Hamburg, Hiroshima and Nagasaki there's no need for civilians to revert to such things. I pray that time doesn't come. If it does we'll have to all dehumanise the enemy. Otherwise we'll not be able to stand it.

Very well said, Michele.
The sort of idiotically vile name-calling and death-count cheerleading you describe will only serve to drive away many of those Iraqis and others throughout the world who might have otherwise chosen to support our efforts. Besides which, it's just plain wrong.

I feel similarly, though less strongly since it's a considerably lesser offence, about the bloggers -- many of whom are my friends, and with whom I share the majority of views -- who feel compelled to, when discussing Israeli/Palestinian issues, refer to one side as "the pals."

I've written about this before on my own blog, a couple of times, such as here. I wish people wouldn't do that. It's unnecessary to making any point.

I agree with your post, Michelle, for another reason besides the fact that war is not a game.

We are in Iraq in part to help that country establish itself as a stable, multiethnic country with a representative government. The names applied to Iraqis suggest contempt for everyone who lives there. Bad idea.

Ok, maybe I don't hang with the blogs who referred to the Iraqi "insurgents" by the terms you have listed. And certainly, anyone espousing "kill 'em all and let Allah sort 'em out" should be watched closely and not allowed near the cutlery;

however (and you knew this was coming)

after the drumbeat of "quagmire, quagmire, quagmire" and the incessant invocations of Vietnam, even unto sprinkling being unable to see even one sentence of good things going on without it being immediately contrasted with the bad....

You should forgive some of us for being happy that THIS ambush failed to find its target.

And it certainly took, what, less than an hour for screams of "American bloodbath!" "Americans commit massacre" to start rolling out of arab press and on democratic underground forum.


I am having a damn hard time telling the difference between parody and reality these days. I wish I could say that the confusion confines itself to the far left, but alas, it doesn't.

> The names applied to Iraqis suggest contempt for everyone who lives there. Bad idea.

Not necessarily.

We keep hearing how they're a "proud people", but what have they done to be proud of?

They're currently tolerating folks who are peeing in their pool. They're whining that if we don't rig their govt correctly, they're going to kill one another. Economically, they make Mississippi look like paradise.

They claim to be the "cradle of civilization", but they haven't gotten out of the terrible twos.

They need to know that they're failing.

Personally, most of us in the military may joke occaisionally using derogitory terms for indigenous people but usually, we just call them Iraqis. I know, I know, there always are exceptions.

It's so refreshing to see some grown-ups on this side of the debate.
I'd just come up from the site in question, and was quite depressed! 10-year old kid? Puppy more like.

"We keep hearing how they're a 'proud people' butwhat have they done to be proud of?"

"They claim to be the "cradle of civilization", but they haven't gotten out of the terrible twos."

You seriously need to read some history. Try "Mesopotamia" and "Babylon," and "Sumeria." Does the name "Hammurabi" ring a bell?

"Sure, it's a great thing that U.S. forces killed or captured over 60 Fedayeen members."

This has now become a highly debated assertion, incidently. (See Jim Henley and Andrew Olmstead, for instance.) Not to mention that many are noting: "I thought we didn't do body counts anymore?"

> You seriously need to read some history. Try "Mesopotamia" and "Babylon," and "Sumeria." Does the name "Hammurabi" ring a bell?

That's the supporting evidence for my comment. The best of the world has moved forward. The Iraqis, to be charitable, haven't.

Yes, a long time ago some folks living in the same area made some huge advances. That doesn't change the fact that these people haven't done anything to be proud of for a long, long, time.

The terrorists' score is plastered across our TV screens and in our newspapers' frontpage stories almost daily in big bold numbers by the elite media. It's called "(Score #1) Number of American troops killed since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and (Score #2) the number killed since President Bush declared an end to major combat operations on May 1." Like ghouls, their cameras were right there eager to capture images of the flag-draped coffins of our servicemen and women being unloaded off planes--until the Pentagon wisely put a stop to that disrespectfulness.

If I were a terrorist or "insurgent" or whatever, and just escaped from a firefight against Americans in Iraq, I don't need to hang around or even rely on some high-tech, big-budget intelligence-gathering operation of my own to find out how well my fellow thugs and I did. We just need to click on CNN a few hours later (at most) and see what our latest and total scores are. A real morale booster for us.

Normally I would agree that chalking up our kills is repugnant. After knowing how terrorists slaughtered nearly 3,000 American civilians in a span of 2 hours on September 11, 2001, however, I see nothing normal about the elite media's showing us day after day its one-sided scoreboard of just the terrorists' kills. A dead or captured bad guy is progress; and until the elite media decides to take down their scoreboard altogether, what is wrong with demanding they show on it such progress of both sides instead of just one? Would be harder for the bad guys to sell their organization to any potential recruit when they no longer have this uncompared measure of how well they're doing.