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When "Support the Troops" Means "Root for a Mutiny"

*update in extended entry* I'm sure you've all read this story by now:
The Army is investigating up to 19 members of a supply platoon in Iraq who refused to go on a convoy mission, the military said yesterday. Relatives of the soldiers said the troops considered the mission too dangerous, in part because their vehicles were in poor shape. [...] On Wednesday, 19 members of the platoon did not show up for a scheduled 7 a.m. meeting in Tallil, in southeastern Iraq, to prepare for the fuel convoy's departure a few hours later, the military statement said. ''An initial report indicated that some of the 19 soldiers [not all] refused to participate in the convoy as directed," the military statement says. The Clarion-Ledger, citing interviews with relatives of some of the soldiers, said platoon members refused to go on Wednesday's mission because their vehicles were in poor condition and they had no capable armed escort. They were going to Taji, which is north of Baghdad. The mission was ultimately carried out by other soldiers from the 343d, which has at least 120 soldiers, the military said.
My commentary here is not on the specifics of the story - I cannot put myself in the place of either a soldier who fears for his life or a commander that fears for the lives of his soldiers. I don't feel as if I know enough of what really went on there to comment on the "mutiny" aspect of the situation and I don't have the military background required to know the legal aspects of the situation. What alarms me is the cheerleading approach to this story taken by some on the left. Over at DU, they're calling the soldiers who refused the command heroes and hoping that more soldiers take similar actions. And suddenly they are making a big deal about "supporting the troops." I suppose a mass mutiny - which would spell certain disaster for the people of Iraq - would be a huge victory for the anti-Bush crowd. Here's some choice comments: bq. [thumbs up] soldiers, for knowing that your lives are not worth sacrificing for oil. This idea is championed throughout the comments on several other message boards I've been checking. Can you say projecting? How could they possibly know that these soldiers were thinking of the war being about oil when they decided to not follow their orders? It looks like they were thinking "our trucks are in crappy shape and we're gonna die," but that doesn't work as well as the fantasy that seventeen soldiers were chanting No blood for oil! as they broke rank.
Mutiny on the Bounty!! It is far past time. Let all our brave soldiers refuse illegal orders. It is far past time.
Do these people put any thought into what they say? Do they think of the implications beyond what their selfish needs are? Apparently not. Imagine the scenario if all soldiers in Iraq suddenly refused orders. How do you think the "insurgents" would react? With bombs, gunfire, glee and victory, that's how. And then you'd have thousands of dead U.S. soldiers and who knows how many dead Iraqis. Ah, but I don't expect these people to think about the consequences of their words or to even think about the lives of the Iraqi people. The only time they bring them up is when they're touting their inflated body counts and blaming the deaths on "gung-ho" soldiers who love to kill, kill, kill. Does anyone see the hypocrisy here besides me?
I'm also SO proud of them for valuing their own lives more than Halliburton, and more than the military values them, and THINKING FOR THEMSELVES!! Woohoo! Freedom really IS on the march, just not where George Bush says it is.
Again with the Halliburton. Yes, I'm sure that's what they were thinking about. Freedom on the march? What flavor Kool-Aid are you people drinking?
These 17 are troops that I am PROUD to support - and it's about damn time...
One fragmented sentence is worth a million fuck yous. For every soldier who has bravely fought against Saddam's henchmen, the "insurgents" and terrorists of all stripes who want nothing more than to stop the spread of democracy, fuck you for that statement. Now you support the troops? Good god. The left of this nation have really sunk to a new low. Ohmigod! Now even our military hates America! Idiotic statement of the year. Seventeen troops refuse to perform duty because their equipment is not up to par and suddenly the military hates their own country. Get your head out of Michael Moore's ass and start breathing a bit of oxygen again. Maybe then your thinking will clear up. Oh, by the way:
In a survey of U.S. troops and their families, President Bush is the strong favorite over John Kerry, with 69 percent saying they place greater trust in Bush to handle the responsibilities of commander-in-chief.
More from the Kool Aid drinkers:
Next group will be smarter, don't go to jail for 5 years, just take out the lieutenant
That's after a few comments about the fragging they believe is about to start.
They will be known as the Platoon that saved America and the World!!!
And, of course, when a story quotes one of the seventeen soldiers saying that he like being in Iraq and it felt like home to him, one of the DU idiots says:
Being at Home in the single wide-- drinking a 12er of Pabst tonite Sounds like Lynndies House--- You know stripping a few "Rag Heads" and then Pissing on them.
How quickly they revert back to the non-supporting of the troops and the belief that all soldiers are poor, stupid killing machines. That's followed by:
. I want to know what color the 17 members were on this suicide job Anyone taking wagers on how many white guys are in the group?
I'm going to email Michael Moore
You do that. Email the guy who thinks the "insurgents" are heroes. I really hope that some day you all look back on this and feel like the fools that you are for pinning your hopes on a lying publicity whore whose only real cause it to reap the monetary rewards that his sycophant followers lay at his feet. And I really don't want to hear how DU doesn't represent the left. Maybe a year ago, I would have given you some slack on that statement. Not anymore. There is no far left anymore. They've all gone anti-Bush apeshit. And don't forget that the "moderate" Oliver Willis posts over at DU. The border between the sane and the consumed by hatred left is so blurred it's unrecognizable. All the quotes above are just case in point on how they are so narrowly focused on getting Bush out of the White House that they cheer on things that could be disastrous for our troops, our freedom and the lives of Iraqis. I read things like this DU thread and I continue to be amazed at the selfishness and win at all expense attitude of these people. To actively cheer on a mass mutiny, to get excited over the prospect of a total breakdown of our military in the midst of a war - I can't find the words to convey what that makes me feel. Seventeen Days. I keep saying I can't wait for this election to be over. And then I think about the pent up rage of the left and I wonder - and fear- what the level of animosity will look like eighteen days from now.
I get emails from people wondering if I'm talking about them when I write stuff like this. Here's a little test: Are you a Democrat (or Republican or Independent, etc.) who is voting for Kerry because you believe in him and truly believe that his policies will make this country a better place? Then I'm not talking about you.

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Comments

"I really hope that some day you all look back on this and feel like the fools that you are..."

Some will, most won't. The proof you see around you, as this is just how things were in '69-71, and only a portion of those loonies (I was one) ever came to their senses.

Fragging. Off The Pigs. Lying before Congress. Baby-killers. Selling out America because a defeat for America is a defeat for "the other side". Same song, different year.

They do hate America so.

If Bush wins their hatred will ratchet higher yet, and I think eventually burn out and be repudiated by the general public when they see how bad it is. If Kerry wins (God Forbid!) we'll have 4 years of gridlock because the Republicans control Congress and the GOP side is going to be so pissed over the media manipulation, etc. that they'll insist on gridlock. John Kerry will not govern this country, either way.

I do think this election is the end of the Democratic Party even if they win. They've shot all their bolts, burned all their bridges, told every lie, even sacrificed careers and companies, and all of it has barely gotten them to 50%. All of their core positions poll badly. They really are getting that 15% from the MSM, and the MSM are tearing themselves apart to do so. With a "real" support of around 35%, a clearly obsolete and failed set of policies and beliefs, and a "party" that is really a loose coalition of warring special-interest groups, can the Dems survive long-term? I don't think so. This is the end of it. Hillary in '08? It is to laugh.

I couldn't agree with you more. I'm appalled at what has been what the children have been writing at forums like DU. I am more shocked by the nonsense such as this article from AP that implies that the citizenry is so clueless, that they are dropping their eyes from the important ball, the economy. http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20041016/ap_on_re_us/top_issues&cid=519&ncid=716

I wish it was as easy as blaming one side for everything wrong in America. Things would be so much simpler. But the sickness of the left that you have showed is equally pervasive on the right. The left gets the spotlight because of the Iraq War and a Republican president. If the roles were reversed, it would be the same on the right. Rhetoric has now deteriorated into gang warfare. No quarter given and screw a middle ground. God help us all if we continue down this road.

Ok, where did I blame the left for everything wrong with America?

And honestly, I don't give a shit about moral equivelancy right now. I'm addressing one issue here, and that's the issue of these people cheering for an all out military disaster in Iraq because it would benefit their candidate.

From what I read, it seems the powers that be in the military were using half their ass to ensure troop safety for this particular mission.

IIRC, troops are supposed to disobey poor (illegal?) orders. Good on them. At worse, a few years in the clink is better than six feet under.

"in the midst of a war" (nice bolding)

War was never declared, and major fighting was declared over quite a while ago by Dear Leader. He can't even get that right. People are actually going to vote for that idiot.

From Salon.com:

Spc. Amber McClenny, 21, managed to sneak away Wednesday as the detained soldiers were being taken to the mess hall. She phoned her mother in Dothan, Ala. Her daughter's steady but urgent voice on the answering machine jolted Teresa Hill from sleep. Hill saved the message and played it for me Friday afternoon over the telephone.

"Hey, Mom. This is Amber. Real, real big emergency," McClenny said in the recorded message. "I need you to contact someone. I mean, raise pure hell. We had broken down trucks. No armored vehicles. Get somebody on this. I need you now, Mom. I need you so bad. Just please, please help me. It's urgent. They are holding us against our will. We are now prisoners."

Is this what you wanted? What if that was your daughter on the answering machine from Iraq? How would you feel about the war, then?

Jesus, Lucas. Read what I wrote. I wasn't commenting on the story itself. I was commenting on the the left's wet dreams of mutiny. Will anyone on "your" side have anything to say about the quotes I printed? Probably not.

"There is no far left anymore. They've all gone anti-Bush apeshit."

The same goes for the right. If you like Bush, you must hate Kerry. I see it on every right wing blog, including this one (and don't even say this isn't a far right blog, because it has turned into one).

Why is everything so divided? Because smart people cannot fathom why any person with two brain cells to rub together would vote for Bush. Not vote Republican, because there a many good and decent Republicans out there (just as there many good and decent Democrats out there) but vote for that lying piece of shit Bush. He has been an utter failure, the entire world knows it and cannot understand why anyone would vote for him again. Bush voters should get a discount on t-shirts that say "I'm with Stupid".

Vince: You've gone anti-Bush apeshit, and are therefore incapable of rational thought. Disconnect from the world for a month and see if your condition improves.

Before I make a decision on this, I would like the facts. Who gave the order, did he know how bad the vehicles were, was it reasonable for the leader of the 17 to say, we just cannot do this with any degree of safety for troops involved or cargo? At this point I think it is a tempest in a teapot. Let the investigation play out and then decide. Nobody knows all of the details at this point.

News flash, Vince. I don't hate Kerry. Not at all. I don't want him as my president, but I harbor no hatred for the man.

I really don't see the right burning effigies of Bush or carrying signs that say Barbara should have aborted him. Got a lot of that going on with the left, though.

The right is voting for Bush -for the most part - because they think he's the best man for the job. A good portion of the left is voting for Kerry as a direct result of their hatred for Bush.

You guys are gonna have one hell of a hatred hangover on Novemeber 3rd if Kerry wins. How will it feel to realize that you elected as president a man you really don't like, just out of spite?

Can I assume that when you lumped me in with the DU you were just frustrated beyond reason? I hope so.

There's a difference between actively cheering on a mutiny and examining the causes of that mutiny. Assuming it actually happened, the military needs to court-martial the offenders, AND we figure out what happened and take steps to prevent it. So far, the only ones being forced to take any responsibility for any mistakes in Iraq are the soldiers. I will be very disappointed if those in command are not held accountable for not providing for the troops and then sending them on a suicide mission.

As for Kerry, you are correct, there are way more people voting against Bush than for Kerry. Personally, that's the way I started out, too. But I am voting for him because I agree with his positions on almost every issue you can name when compared to Bush. And I know a lot of Bush voters who DISAGREE with almost everything Bush stands for, except Iraq, and are voting for him anyway. That is something that just makes my head spin.

I highly doubt that I'm going to wake up on Nov 3 and go "Shit! We've got Kerry in the White House! Now what?"

My .02 cents.

First off, just because an order would be potentially hazardous to carry out does not make it illegal. To be illegal, the order would have to direct the soldiers to do something that, in and of itself, was illegal. 'Dangerous' and 'Illegal' - these are not synonyms.

I'm extremely reluctant to buy, at face value, the 'our trucks are in crappy shape' and the 'we got no armored vehicle support' distractions, since those sound like excuses from a bunch of soldiers that didn't even show up for the briefing that would have detailed the force protection measures for their mission, and are tap dancing because they made a 'barracks lawyer'-inspired boneheaded play of the situation.

As for the DU buffoons - for smart folks, they sure do act like flaming idiots a lot of the time. Just sayin.

See, Michele, this is why God invented trees. You cut them down, pick a tasty branch, whittle it down, and you got yourself a baseball bat. You get hold of a Sharpie and write "Daddy" on the barrel.

Then you club dolts like the DU crew upside the head.

War was never declared, and major fighting was declared over quite a while ago by Dear Leader. He can't even get that right.

Yo, Vince? Newsflash: We'd been officially at war with Saddam's regime since he invaded Kuwait. When the Gulf War engagement was over Saddam signed a ceasefire agreement, brokered by the UN, which he proceeded to violate with impunity the entirety of Clinton's reign. "Dear Leader" decided "enough of this crap" and blew his regime off the map when he realized the UN didn't want to enforce their own edicts.

"Major fighting" was over in that pounding Iraq's cities into dust was no longer a needed thing, since their military forces had been blasted off the battlefield. As ugly, nasty, and sometimes boneheaded as everything that has gone on since is, it's mop-up work. If Bush was the moronic bastard you seem to think he is, Najaf and Fallujah would just be holes in the ground right now.

The mission was ultimately carried out by other soldiers from the 343d, which has at least 120 soldiers, the military said.

So they refused to carry supplies (most likely requested by troops in combat) in a battle zone, so others in the same outfit obeyed orders and did what the detained refused to do.

DSmith:

... Off The Pigs. Lying before Congress. Baby-killers. Selling out America because a defeat for America is a defeat for "the other side". Same song, different year.

And that's just the Democratic nominee.

You know Michele, one reason I couldn't write rants like you do is that I have this seemingly automatic filter that filters out the arguements of really stupid people.

I'm not sure know why, but if I read DU or something I can't even remember the arguements that didn't make sense - my brain tries to follow the thought process of someone too stupid to breath and I'm too busy cringing to follow the idiocy...

Yeah there are a lot of idiots out there, but somehow I can't bring myself to be angry at them. I cringe, I'm embarrassed for them, I pity them for their stupidity, I pity them for their lack of social skills and clues. In a year we'll all have forgotten the arguement, but they'll still be stupid, offensive and unpleasant - somehow that seems the bigger tragedy.

One of the many irritating leftoid non-facts is the 'danger' in Iran. 40% more dangerous than being a citizen of Detroit. So major combat operations are ended and only a fool would say otherwise. So danger is minimal for a military venture.

The big problem for the left is stupidity. Beyond the ability to add and subtract, ususlly amounts of someone elses money, they are innumerate. The statistics of combat deaths versus traffic deaths, suicides, drownings etc. escape them entirely.

Any person who is so angry they call another a 'piece of s**t' is 'not thinking clearly', to put it mildly and charitably. It is trite that angry people do not think clearly and do and say things that are objectively 'stupid.'

Bush and Bush are both imperfect and have made errors. Anyone can accept that. Suggesting that either one of these meen is a total fool, a total liar, a thief, etc. etc. is objectively stupid.

99% of the time when I find a speaker or writer to be objectively stupid I move on. 1% of the time I go all evangelical and tell them they have been behaving badly in an effort to get them to improve. Usually it's wasted effort and I get a series of hysterical emails or comments.

Oh well.

"Uh, everything that guy just said is bullshit. Thank you".

You nailed it in two paragraphs Michele, they're projecting. It's sad really.

Vince, poor judgement maybe, the facts will tell us whether that's so, but it's highly doubtful it was an illegal order.

"I really hope that some day you all look back on this and feel like the fools that you are for pinning your hopes on a lying publicity whore whose only real cause it to reap the monetary rewards that his sycophant followers lay at his feet." - Michele

They won't. And if some of them do, 10-20 years down the line, who cares?

"But I am voting for him because I agree with his positions on almost every issue you can name when compared to Bush." - Solonor

And I'm voting against Kerry because of the idiots like those at the DU [and on most "liberal" blogs] that are voting for him. Mostly 'cause I think it'll be entertaining to watch ya'll's heads explode when Bush wins in November. ;)

Gee, you're looking at me like that's a Bad Thing. Quit that. ;]

i love the smell of burning cordite in the mornin! Smells like…9/11!

I apologize for not being clearer in my point Michele. I know you weren't blaming the left for everything that's wrong in America.

First and foremost, the DU is and has been dead wrong for a long time. But I don't go there anymore since I hate the whine-fests and immaturity. While I identify with the left, there is nothing left in cheering soldiers that refused orders. And that goes also for some black leftists who think whitey deserved 9/11 (and I'm as black as they come and like Al Sharpton). So, on the whole, I am DEEPLY saddened and PISSED OFF by rhetoric from the side I identify with.

No moral equivalency there. :)

Pat in NC makes a hell of a lot of sense here. This is probably a mountain being made out of a molehill.

As for DU, I wish they would just make up their mind if we are poor deluded victims or cold-blooded killers.

Britton: I would guess it depends on their mood swings. :/

Vince: you really need to avoid projecting your own faults upon others. I don't hate Kerry, I just won't vote for him.

Michele,

Nice piece. Hang in there.

I would like for those of us who agree with Michele not to join with the DU and such folks in advocating violence towards the other side, e.g. baseball bats. Yes, it's easy to get very frustrated at persistent irrationality and comments bordering on treason (aiding the enemy, etc.), but we must not get sucked down into their hole.

I'm certainly no expert, but I was under the impression that troops are obliged to disobey "illegal orders", and that illegal orders are immoral ones. It's my understanding that illegal orders are those along the lines of gunning down civilians or enemy soldiers who have already offered an honorable surrender.

I feel for these soldiers, I really do. The situation they were placed in was a Hobson's Choice. But I'm pretty certain that they will be sent to Leavenworth, because their orders were just plain stupid, not illegal per se. As far as I can tell, soldiers have an obligation to obey dumb orders.

Any service members, or more specifically JAGs, who can clarify the situation?

Andy: As far as I'm concerned, DU is Red Sox Nation. Whomping them upside the head is my (well, my Evil Empire avatar's) mission in life.

Actually, going into danger isn't an illegal thing to order a soldier to do. Else, Ike would've been tried for the paradrops into Normandy and Omaha Beach.

I don't know much about military rules, but I do know that a pilot has the right to refuse to fly an aircraft that he/she judges to be in bad repair - I think this applies across the board, in miltary and in civilian aircraft. Orders should be irrelevant.

If that's what the soldiers are doing here, then politicizing their action is just wrong. But, being wrong is what the DU does best.

From the limited information available, this seems like a failure of leadership. Forget all the "romantic" crap about "suicide missions"; if we were doing suicide missions in Iraq the casualties would be significantly higher. IF the assigned task was "legal", i.e., moral, and there were legitimate concerns about the adequacy of the equipment for the task assigned, the responsiblity for expressing those concerns lies with the leader/commander of the affected unit. If his (or her) concerns aren't satisfied, he or she may have to make a moral decision to take those concerns to the next command level. What you don't have the right to do--ever--is refuse to obey lawful orders, and certainly not incite others to disobey them. That may not sit well with left-anarchists, but the system is based on Officers making evaluations and decisions based on the best information available and the mission assigned. Reserve and Guard units can get a little blurry because their members not only serve together, they live together in the same cities and towns back home. This makes it harder to maintain the proper distance and perspective which may be required to order a man or woman to their death, which may very well be required....even in support and logistics units.

I have learned to not accept a story in the media as the truth. During political times many will do many things for the wrong reasons.

Automatically thinking those you disagree with to be stupid, evil, or both is the Mark of the Beast of fantacism. If you think people have to be stupid, malicious, uninformed, or all three to vote for Bush or Kerry, you've stepped off the edge.

I'm voting for Bush. There are a lot of his policies that I disagree with, but I'll still vote for him. Not because of the war in Iraq, but because of the war on terror, because Kerry doesn't take it seriously. We DID think terrorism was a "nuisance". Well, we found out on 9/11 that we were dead wrong. Kerry wants to go back to that; I think it'll lead to disaster. I care a lot less about domestic policy issues when I think foreign policy issues have the potential to become entirely too domestic.

I have a friend that's voting for Kerry. She's not stupid and she's not evil. We have very civil conversations about politics; in the end, we have quite similar opinions but different priorities. We look at the same things, think about them, and come to different conclusions because of that. She doesn't think I'm evil or stupid, either; our friendship is undamaged.

Fred: "What you don't have the right to do--ever--is refuse to obey lawful orders, and certainly not incite others to disobey them."

You just reminded me of something. My husband was in the AF back in the early 80s. He told me that while he was in basic training, the recruits were told by one of the higher ups that if their immediate commanding officer were to ever give what would be considered a "stupid" or "dangerous" order, such as to go jump in the lake, they were to come see him personally, but they better be wet...

The rage will still be present no matter who wins.

If Bush wins, it will be more of the same from the left.

If Kerry wins, the animosity will be transferred to the the cesspool of the religious right, who will blame feminists, gays, free-thinkers, and other godless people for denying their rightful. god ordained place in the political world.

As the saying goes: "I love my country, but I fear my government."

It's interesting how the story keeps changing. When it first broke, the angle being played was that the vehicles weren't fit for use; they didn't all have flak jackets; issues of the military not being properly equipped that could be used on Bush.

When it became clear that they had the same equipment as the soldiers who obeyed orders and successfully carried out the mission, the main reason for refusal shifted to "Oh, we were being asked to deliver contaminated fuel that would have endangered the helicopter pilots. Look how noble we were."

Not sure what's going on here, between the media reporting and what really happened, but I'm thinking that a fast look into the political backgrounds of the "family members" talking to the media would be useful.

And after all the DU-denizen proposals that the tactic is to volunteer for Republican / Bush campaign organizations and then disrupt from within, I have to think that way. I have to consider the possibility that even in our military, we've got to be wary of our fellow citizens as much as the enemy, and for the same reason: they're on the other side. And I hate it.

Fred Z sez: One of the many irritating leftoid non-facts is the 'danger' in Iran. 40% more dangerous than being a citizen of Detroit.

A U.S. soldier in Iraq (not Iran, brainbox) endures a 1-140 chance of being killed by armed violence every year. You claim this is only forty percent higher than the murder rate in Detroit, which has a population of 950,000. If you were telling the truth, then approximately 5000 Detroiters are murdered every year.

This is incorrect by a factor of twelve or so. But you aren't telling the truth, you are unthinkingly regurgitating unchecked, numerically absurd propaganda. Then you have the nerve to continue:

The big problem for the left is stupidity. Beyond the ability to add and subtract, ususlly amounts of someone elses money, they are innumerate.

Speak for yourself.

As for the reckless rhetoric being vended over at Democratic Underground - which is a representative of mainstream Democratic attitudes as, say, "Little Green Footballs" is of Republican voters - that's nothin' man, I know this one right-wing website whose partisans openly advocate the first-degree murder of citizens over the offense of posting messages on a website of the other side. With baseball bats. That threat's a felony, you know. Don't give me your "just kidding!!!1!" crap.

Boy, I bet the guys who flew B-17 missions over germany would of liked the option of refusing because they had no fighter escort, and the Sherman? badly designed equipment that would burn its crew to death. Don't even start me on the odds of getting off the higgins boats on Normandy.

They broke faith with the army and with their fellow soldiers.

Re. the race-baiting Michael-Moore-Mailer...

The funny thing is that White Devils are overrepresented in the really dagnerous MOSes, whereas Noble African Americans tend more toward support (which might well mean that more of these truck drivers were black than white). Speculation as to reasons for this normally centers on the support MOSes being more applicable to useful civilian employment than the frontline combat ones.

So, er, he's gonna mail Michael Moore and complain that too many black people drive trucks in the Army?

I'm so glad I've already voted.

Like I said... time YOU volunteered. Why wait for the draft? H e dubya l I did... Until you do something to make your words stand for something besides guard duty over the Texas-Oklahoma border... everything you say is ... well... (insert a real longhorn expresssion here)

No really I think the draft will be a great solution for the lazy uninformed. Then you can be uniformed and uninformed. That is what we used to call something else.