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We are what they are not

We are the United States of America. We are a good people, a just people and, above all, people who treasure freedom, democracy and all that comes with having those things. They are the rulers of the modern dark ages. They are (or were, as the case may be) Saddam, Uday, Qusay, bin Laden, al Sadr, the Mullahs of Iran and many, many others. They are from many countries, many different places, but they all represent the same thing: evil. For those who say there is no difference between us and them, this should tell you that there is all the difference in the world: Sivits Found Guilty in Iraq Abuse Trial We see abuse of prisoners as a crime. They don't. We make those who abuse others pay for their crimes. They reward them. We view prisoner abuse as an aberration. They encourage it. They cut off their prisoner's hands. We find doctor's to give the victims new hands. We have men and women among our ranks who commit crimes and dishoner the armed forces. We do what's right. They hired people specifically to behead, torture and rape prisoners and that is what they consider honor. That is what separates us from them and why you should never say we are just as bad as they are. We are the good guys. They are not.


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» Michele says it all. from Chaos Central
And much better than I ever could: We see abuse of prisoners as a crime. They don't. We make those who abuse others pay for their crimes. They reward them. We view prisoner abuse as an aberration. They encourage it.... [Read More]

» testing testing. one. two. three. from the red pages
Americans, like most human beings, believe strongly in the concept of "us and them", and subscribe wholeheartedly to a belief in American exceptionalism. The basic idea is that Americans are, by nature, the "good guys" and that we oppose the... [Read More]

» From Michele from Your Daily Prescott
We are what they are not... [Read More]

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If we could just get the likes of Ted Kennedy and Ted Rall to recognize this. Is "Ted" shorthand for moral equivalent idiot? Just kidding, you other Teds out there.

A correction to the Foxnews story: Sivits pleaded guilty.

Very well put. My sentiments,also. Ditto, we can't say it enough.

You're right on, Michele, especially about honor. I'm actually surprised that Sivits got the Big Chicken Dinner (Bad Conduct Discharge) rather than a Dishonorable Discharge; perhaps because he was a smaller player in the abuses and also pleaded guilty.

In either case, it's gonna be tough for him to find work when he gets out of Leavenworth. A BCD is looked upon like a felony for most big companies.

If I recall correctly, McDonald's will not hire someone with a dishonorable discharge. I don't know about BCD.

But knowing Tinseltown, they'll make a movie about Sivits' life. Micheal "Dude, where's my feet?" Moore would love to spin the story and show how Sivits was under direct orders from Dick Cheney and Karl Rove.

I do agree with you, but there are far too many people right now who can't separate those people mentioned above from average citizens in the countries from which they originate. Not ALL are guilty of these crimes. So, while we are not like "them," we need to remember that "they" are a specific group of people. There are many Iraqis who get up in the morning and go to work to support their families just like the rest of us. To blame them for the horror of those other butchers is unfair.

Linda, I think I made that pretty clear when I described who "they" are.

Another great post, Michele. Even if he did plead guilty and get a BCD rather than DD, I still feel some justice has been done in the Sivits case.

"They cut off their prisoner's hands. We find doctor's to give the victims new hands."

Heard that story on the radio yesterday. I cheered when I heard it. If we could only hear ALL the instances where American military/citizens helped people from Iraq and Afghanistan...

JFH - From what I understand, it was a BCD because the hearings were a special court martial, as opposed to a general CM.

Of course you did, Michele. Clarification: NOT a dig to your post. I was talking about the masses of people who don't read your blog and don't separate them.

My limited understanding and recollection is that the only additional punishment a Special Court could have given him that they didn't was "at hard labor"; perhaps that's assumed. A SC can't give out a Dishonorable Discharge, and is limited to a year, at most, of prison time.

I don't know which kind of courts the others are getting; perhaps that he was willing to plea got him a SC rather than a GC, which can hand out DDs and 20-to-life terms.

You don't have to put a BCD down when you fill out a job application. Nobody has ever asked to see my DD-214 except for fire departments who give me extra point for it. Private companies are clueless, mostly.

Great post Michele...beautifully put

Michelle is right, of course, but that these things even have to be said is a problem as well. To me, these things are as obvious as "the sky is blue." What I don't get is why other people can't see it. Has hate clouded the left so much that they are willing to believe the enemy more than their own side? Or am I mistaken in assuming they are on our side?

To be fair, cutting off a hand is a valid form of punishment in Islamic law (generally a punishment for stealing). It's just the sentence allowed by the law (just like the death penalty can be given in many states, or caning in Singapore).

sheeeesh, that sounds a lot like blowing a whistle in the dark. - are you guys frightened of sth?
Only a year of prison for torture & possibly murder as well, you must be kidding - Cutting both hands off of that guy wouldnīt be enough.
Why isnīt there an independent commission going on? - Well, I donīt care, Iīm in OLD EUROPE and proud of it.
Youīll see, faster than the Reps can forge the next election, the UN will be in Iraq and help you out of that 21st century īnam of yours...
PS.: If it wasnīt for Ted Rall, Iīd already think americans were inbreads, you surely sound like it.
PS2.: Tillman was a sap. - Iīm certainly not happy about the death of any person, but his didnīt help anyone
PS3.: Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq were attacked because of your security or to defend you against terrorists. - Guess why bin laden hasnīt been caught yet? - Not īcause heīs so brilliant but simply because as long as heīs free, your current leaders use as a reason to inflict an unjustfied war on yet another country... - whoīs next, Syria, Iran, Jordania?
PS4.: enjoy:
PS5.: surprise, english isnīt my mother tongue - all typos & mistakes are yours to keep

Geez matt where would us inbreds every get the idea that "Old Eurpoe" is full of snotty hypocritical children?

we'd get that idea from Matt. who lives in Old Europe.

Which may well be gone from the planet before I am.

Dave, If Old Europe doesn't close their borders to Islamofascists, you may well be right.

And for po' ol' Matt, it's still 1938.

Matt, with a name like "roensberg"(@mac.com), do you think these people view you any different from Nick "BERG". Old Eurpore, wasn't that the place that quashed that report on anti semitism because they didn't like the ending.

Matt, you are as Lenin said, a useful fool.

Wonderful, Michele. Simply terrific.

Funny how slippery terms like 'we' and 'they' can be at times... Without supreme grace and poise you'd have to be careful you don't end up sprawled on your arse...