June 12, 2006
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The BuzzFlash Mailbag
The opinions expressed in the Mailbag are not necessarily those of BuzzFlash. More reader opinion is at "Contributors." You can write to Mailbag at http://www.BuzzFlash.com/contact/mail.html. Guidelines for submissions are at BuzzFlash FAQ #18.
Subject: Collateral Damage
If war is hell for the warriors; what is it for civilians?
Yesterday, on a pleasant beach, we saw a family that had been literally ripped apart by an Israeli shell lobbed in retaliation for Palestinian attacks. Although the victims constantly change, this has been going on long before Israel was founded in 1948 by victims of another “holy war” in Nazi Germany.
Unfortunately, most can be considered “collateral damage” in an ideological war for supremacy, those same “old men” who hold our fate in their powerful hands. The connection between the victims of “collateral damage” is not their ethnicity or their religion; it is simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time when someone makes the decision to kill.
Two days ago, while celebrating the victory of a powerful warrior’s death in Iraq, there was silence on the “collateral damage” of at least one woman and one child. They flaunted the face of that warrior, but there were no faces or names of that woman and child. We also learned that those same men making the decisions of war had determined that if Zarqawi was found, they “would take the shot.” And we must assume that “collateral damage” to civilians was not a consideration in that assassination. It usually isn’t.
There does not seem to be a learning curve for lessons involving “collateral damage” either. During the Reagan administration, back in 1986, Reagan ordered bombers launched to attack two Libyan cities, Tripoli and Benghazi. It was said to be an assassination of the leader Qadoufi. But the two 500-pound bombs didn’t exactly fall where they were supposed to. Instead they landed in an area known as Embassy Row, destroying embassies and lives - “collateral damage” of at least 30 civilians; included among them was Qadoufi’s baby daughter.
In 1980, before Reagan’s election, another president, Jimmy Carter, used a military force to try to rescue embassy hostages being held by Iran. Unfortunately, two planes collided during a sandstorm and 8 soldiers died; no civilian “collateral damage.” It was said this unpredictable sandstorm caused Carter to lose the election to Reagan. Reagan’s 30 “collateral damage” in the botched bombing of Libya is almost forgotten although I doubt there is one American who can not tell you about Carter’s failed rescue mission.
As war gets more sophisticated will “collateral damage” be less? A CNN article by Brent Sadler has called our attention to a new innovation; the Predator Drone. He says CNN was given rare access to this highly classified plane and that he was recently “targeted” by this new method of identification while standing on a remote airstrip in Kandahar. It seems this weapon has a precision camera that can zoom in on just one person. It also carries a Hellfire missile that can be released at a touch of a button. In the words of Mr. Sadler, it can “determine whether I should live or die.” And someone at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, about 8,000 miles away will make that determination.
It is being hailed as “a flying assassin.” But it is an impartial, lethal machine. Can it be programmed to avoid the “collateral damage” of civilian deaths or will this Hellfire missile unleashed upon an assassination target spread its damage as far as a conventional weapon of war? As our assassination attempts get more and more removed from human involvement will they become just another joy stick on a computer game?
We don’t see the results of “collateral damage” very often, and when it was being shown on Al Jazeera it was censored. That is why it is so puzzling that the family on the beach has been given so much attention. Is it because WE weren’t the cause? Or have we finally developed a conscience?
Subject: What Is the Tipping Point?
I have been watching the country I love completely ignore its own destruction for years and am so tired, sick and angry I just want to know on any basis what will it take for this country to wake up? Will it be when the first 10,000 Americans are disappeared? Will it be when China calls our debt and we really see how bad that is? Will it be when Bush and Company manage to take the 2006 and 2008 elections and no one, including the Democrats care? And why don't the Democrats care? I feel about as sick of them except for Russ Feingold and John Murtha for stirring up all my worst fears every time just to back down to save their own jobs. Because if they lose THEIR jobs, how can they fight for me? Well, you aren't fighting for me. At some point, this middle-aged white lady is going to quit her job, let her family fend for itself and take to writing venomous letters to the editor and haunting Government buildings looking for an honest person.
Subject: I Am Not Crazy, CNN Said the First Guy To Put Zarqawi on Stretcher Was a Priest
It has been difficult to keep up with all the changes going on with this story. First he was dead, then he lived a while. The house was destroyed but his face and hands were safe. He was identified thru DNA testing, now they are waiting for results on the DNA testing. Even if it is a lie, Bush sticks to one story until it is proven that he is lying. Come on MSM, if you don't get the facts, at least stick to the lies. After all, you managed to stick to the lies about Bush winning in 2000, and 2004. You managed to ignore the Downing Street memo for months. You are currently ignoring the illegal spying on innocent Americans. Anyway back to the topic:
One thing that would explain them getting finger prints: he has been reported to have lost limbs in previous propaganda reports, and magically he regenerates them, so if his hands did not do so well in the latest attack, maybe they grew back.
Earlier today, CNN reported the first person to reach him and put him on the stretcher was a Priest, later that changed to Iraqi Police. And that he muttered something and turned to get off the stretcher and died.
Stories on CNN today said that it took US forces a while to reach the sight. The official propaganda minister (our version of Bagdad Bob) said Zak lived only a short time and when he saw US forces turned away, so doesn't that blow the official story of them reaching the site later out of the water?
Anyhow, stay tuned. This story has more twists and turns than the daytime Soaps. Our number one "terra-ist" that we just killed may be Bin Laden after all.
I have not in my life, seen a bunch of dimwits who do hot even think that we might just wonder why this al-qaeda person looked so well after being hit by 1000 pounds of explosives...there are other oddities, too. The explosion showed many, many homes...or buildings around it, but by the time they zoomed in on the actual blast site...no other houses were there. Okay...they started to wonder...when the first nay sayer questioned his death. "Oh, holy heck, we gotta do something fast! He does look too damn good to be in that mess of rubble"! So, they started (and this was the most pathetic anemic reason ever) saying that some of the people who picked him up, noticed right away he was moving just slightly. Then they started to carry him away...and he died before they got to the medical facility. What a relief for them. One of ten things could happen here...I cannot list them all...but, they caught him off guard, and knowing that many people never thought this man was who they said he was anyway...invented Zarqawi...sort of the way Uday and Qusay looked, and blasted him in the back...or, they thought they had him...and he was in another place, near, and they killed him, and put him at the scene...or, choose one. The same Military man who first said, "Oh, yeah, they were sure it was Al-Zarqawi" is the same damned military person who later said, as they were leaving, they saw him move! You know, listening to them lie would not be nearly as bad as it is, trying in vain to make intelligent people believe that bulls+++. This may be the worst one they have ever tried to pull on us.
Next time...might just as well say...Oh! you Get Bin Ladin...when cows fly! (Useless thought anyway...Bush says he is not bothered by Bin Ladin, which should make us all want to cast a demonic spell upon him!)
Shirley ... St. Louis
Subject: GOP Hypocrite of the Week
I love this site and I come here daily.
I especially love your "GOP Hypocrite of the Week" web site.
However, I do think it's unfair to give Matt Lauer that dubious honor this time.
Your rationale is that he gave conservative blowhard Ann Coulter "a platform" to state her beliefs.
By that rationale, you also need to give Jon Stewart of The Daily Show, a favorite of yours and mine, GOPHOTW as well, since he has had such figures as Bill O'Reilly, Bill Kristol, Bill Bennett, Rick Santorum, and others on his show. Jon gave them a platform to state their beliefs, so where is his GOP Hypocrite of the Week award?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: That Terrorist Guy and His Immaculate Corpse
I'll keep this brief. Could someone please explain to me how it is that when a land mine goes off underfoot of an American soldier, most soldiers lose limbs, or die, or bleed profusely and are covered in burns and whatever other horrible thing. Yet when the Americans drop twin 500 pound kegs of gunpowder from planes flying at thousands of feet above the earth, the corpse of those they hit remains remarkably intact and in fact very attractive. Almost as though it's been on ice for awhile. Almost as though he simply dies in a tragic water boarding mishap ... It kills me!
Please, please, please someone---anyone! I saw the explosion on television and there's no way that anything other than "pieces" of bodies would have come from the target. They identified "Zack" by a series of "distinguishing marks on his person." Ya mean they couldn't tell by looking at his face?! Something isn't right about this. Something is being set up by Bush. I know not what and I could care not why, but something is rotten in the Republic of the United States of America. This "capture" just doesn't make any sense in the way it went down.
Remember Hussein's sons and what they looked like? They only got hit by bullets!
Please try and get more research on this. There's something to be exposed here.
GWB War Criminal
Subject: Letter From New Zealand - Lighten Up
I have been a devoted BuzzFlash reader for many years.
I was a little disturbed by a recent letter in your mailbag by a Canadian writer who has become so disillusioned with America and Americans that he/she has apparently decided their home is now "off limits" to Americans. There was also reference to the fact the writer would call American servicemen on Canadian soil "baby killers" and those with a southern drawl "bigots." The writer claims this is all part of a peaceful protest intended to promote dialogue.
I can understand the frustration this writer obviously feels towards the current administration and the global implications of their tenure. However, to blame all Americans with some sort of collective guilt approach is both unfair and unnecessarily mean.
Some of Bush' most outspoken critics are American. Some of the current administration's most virulent opponents are American. It is only by supporting our American friends who are working hard every day to bring about a change in administration and a change in the current direction, that we will achieve the results we all want and deserve as part of this 'global village.'
Are there some complete whack jobs in America? You bet there are, but show me a country in the world that doesn't have their fair share.
I, for one, want to thank the wonderful people behind 'BuzzFlash' and the many others who work so hard for other like-minded web sites. To all those out there who are committed to bringing about change and who work so tirelessly, we appreciate you.
Subject: The Pentagon
Just listened to another news story about the air strike on a house in Iraq. The talking heads are now backing up on previous reports about time of death of Al Zarqawi. Why would anyone believe any story coming from Bush's buddies or Rummy anyway? I did notice the missing money stories have been forgotten by the MSM, or this administration just stonewalls any attempt to investigate until the snoops get tired and quit looking.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Hacking of Fed Data Bases
There seems to be an epidemic of computer hacking of federal data on employees and contractors, notably at the Pentagon and the National Nuclear Safety Administration that have gone unreported until the trail has gone cold. Odd, don't you think, that a government with the technological smarts to data mine information from an entire civilization can't protect its own national security computer systems from hackers? Makes no sense at all. Unless you gaze Through the Looking Glass.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Zarqawi's Wooden Leg
Well, where is it? We've heard all along he had a wooden leg. Where is it?
No one asks, no one remembers. We are doomed as a nation.
Subject: Interview with Al Gore
Below is the link for an interview with Al Gore on NPR radio. The interview lasts about 35 minutes. We think it's excellent and it helped us to understand not only his concern for global warming but related issues as well.
Denny & Sheila Linn
Subject: War in Iraq and Iran's Nuclear Plans
Saddam Hussein was in the process of changing his price for oil from dollars to euros (Iran has thoughts of going euro also) and he had also signed a contract with Russia and France that dealt with the supplying of oil and purchasing of petroleum producing products and equipment. America was being dealt out of the lucrative business this would have created. "Shock and Awe" successfully short stopped these UnAmerican business dealings.
Guess what, nuclear corporation stockholders? This should make your greedy hearts sing like never before! The Bush administration has agreed to sit down with the Iranian Government for face to face negotiations with the stipulations that American nuclear technology and equipment corporations become suppliers to the Iranian nuclear program. It's apparent that it's okay to spread nuclear programs around the world as long as we're the ones doing the spreading. As the 'little old church lady' frequently and caustically expounds on SNL re-runs, "How utterly Convenient." Maybe we will not have to bomb Iran into oblivion after all.
I agree with Randi Rhodes. Corporate America is leading us down a dark and dangerous road.
Subject: I don't want to save NPR and PBS (again)!
I've been asked to save NPR and PBS (again) from our Congress who have voted to reduce and then remove funding starting with Sesame Street. I don't want to. Why should I ask our Congress to educate our kids so that they will be successful in school? Why should I ask Congress to educate their own kids and grandkids and their kids' and grandkids' playmates so that we will have an educated society? Why should I ask Congress to make sure that the American Public knows the truth about what is going on in the world? Congress wants people who are uneducated and who follow "the decider" without asking any questions. Congress knows the people will just be happy following "the decider" and waiting for their already empty clothes to fall down limp on the floor.
And even more important, why should I ask Congress to educate all those illegal aliens who learn their English from Sesame Street? Why should Congress want to make them educated to do the jobs that Americans want to do? Congress wants to keep them ignorant so they can work for slave wages and be our slave labor and do the jobs that Americans don't want to do.
Why should Congress want to let anyone publish self-evident truths? Why should anyone want to endanger the high esteem in which Fox News is held in the United States and Iraq by telling the people the truth? Congress has obviously learned that if you keep everyone in the ignorant condition that the war prisoners are kept in Guantanamo, then the worst thing that can happen to them is that they will commit suicide. Then Congress will spend less to feed them. Congress can save a lot of money if they just cut out informing people of the truth. Congress obviously believes in the old adage of "keep them barefoot and pregnant." It's easier for Congress that way. People who aren't educated and informed don't get in the way of the dictator -- er "decider."
Congress says that we can make America better if we don't let education and truths get in our way. Who are we to argue with such well educated and knowledgeable people as those in Congress? I'm tired of arguing with these Harvard and Yale educated Congressional corrupt elitists who can afford to fix the voting machines and are willing to let them be fixed to get elected. Vote or not, Congress ultimately counts the votes. If they can fix Harvard and Yale, why do we think we should have anything to say about Sesame Street?
When things get bad enough, all those uneducated people whose votes don't count will just revolt and there will be NO REASONING with them. The government will go and Big Bird won't be around to save them.
Keep trying BuzzFlash. But I'm not signing any petitions to ask Congress to keep NPR and PBS around. I don't want to save these Congressional dorks from themselves. If we re-elect them and don't revolt, we don't deserve the Sesame Street we've enjoyed all these years.
Subject: Inheritance Tax Blowback
Talk about your blowback. Since the Congress has so fatefully spoken on the inheritance tax matter, all you elderly and filthy-rich conservatives better run out and hire yourselves some food-tasters--now, before it is too late! The closer we get to December 31, 2010, after all, the more likely it will be that your greedy little family members invite you over for "dinner".
Subject: Stolen Election
Re Your headline: "Was the 2004 Presidential Election Stolen?: Exit Polls, Election Fraud, and the Official Count, A Great Analysis of the Exit-Poll Discrepancy that Had Kerry Winning by a Large Margin, Only to Mysteriously Lose the Election in 2004. Fact-Based and Rock Solid."
My belief is that there was hanky panky in 2000, 2002 and again in 2004 with the machines and the process.
However, if those candidates that lost like Al Gore, Kerry and others in 2002, and the DNC, refuse to rally their troops around it, then it becomes a non-issue. Outrage isn't going to start from the bottom up. It must be driven by the top down.
Actually, I believe we need multiple parties that are all on equal footing...unlike the "two-some" that we have now that represents the extent of political power in the USA. I suspect there's some truth to the rumors that the Ds and Rs collude to trade places occasionally.
Subject: American Soldier Comes Home for Visit
The middle of last fall I thought it would be an interesting idea to submit a little piece about my nephew, a soldier sent fresh on duty to Iraq. When he left on tour, he was all gung-ho, raring to go, ready to experience a new culture with all its different sights, sounds, and smells. He was ready for action.
We all got together to greet him again when he came home recently. He has appeared to be okay for the most part, and he has appeared to have matured and grown. He was glad to see various relatives and friends all excited to see him. So far on his vacation, as good as it is to be home, it has been difficult with an occasional sleepless night. He has told his father that there are things that he cannot understand about the war. I cannot say where exactly he is stationed and what his duties entail, but he is is not a Marine and not trained at all to handle these dangerous people that he must work with as part of his job. They are the most dangerous of the dangerous, very clever, and one must constantly be vigilant and watch their backs, as well as watch for them clicking a device that could blow him or his comrades to smithereens. Watching for exploding devices or potholes on the road are a part of his daily drives and even on his break he watches the highways here for them and road kill, and adjusts his sleep according to Iraqi time so he can continue to remain as vigilant as he was before he left.
After a half a year the constant vigilance is putting a tremendous stress on him. He is kind to the children, gives them candy, but they tell him and the other soldiers they want their weapons (guns, knives etc.) They are children experienced in the ways of war. And as for Baghdad, when they go on a drive there, they find the city in horrible condition. He does not know at times why he is there and one day thinks that he wants to have another stint there and on another day he changes his mind. It all depends on what kind of day he has. He is due to leave in a few more days. I can only wonder next time that he comes home what he will be like. We are so glad that he is safe among us right now, praying that he will come home to us safely again unharmed in any way, shape, or form.
A BuzzFlash Reader
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