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Monday, July 23, 2007

Three Heroes and Inside The Surge

The morning of July 17th, I happened to catch a story on ABC News that surprised me. That "A 'Normal' Day in Baghdad" was run at all, on an American network, is highly unusual given the one-sided, pro-war propaganda that has routinely passed as journalism since the Bush occupation of the White House began.

The video shown stopped me in my tracks as not one, but two American citizens, soldiers trapped in the ongoing nightmare of illegal war and occupation in Iraq, spoke honestly and directly to the people at home. It was only later that I discovered ABC News had gotten the film from The Guardian Unlimited.

The original version, shot by British photojournalist Sean Smith, runs for 9:55 whereas ABC's version was edited down to 4:11 and voiced over by one of their reporters. Americans, long used to dogooder, happy crap stories of "our heroes" vs "the evil doers" had to be eased into viewing the truth. I thank Sean Smith for his honest record of what has unfolded since the beginning of the American war against Iraq. See his photo slide show here.

Warning! The three videos about the War in Iraq contain graphic images of combat, the injured, and the dead The soundtrack includes yelling, screaming, and gunfire. Combat veterans should be especially careful.

Sean Smith was embedded with the American 2nd. Infantry Division in Baghdad when he filmed "Inside The Surge". (9:55 minutes)

ABC's edited, voiced over version entitled, "A 'Normal' Day in Baghdad" follows. (4:11 minutes.)

ABC News: Response to "Inside the Surge". (2:01 minutes)

For further reactions to "Inside The Surge" please read A Violent 'Normal' Day in Baghdad and the hundreds of comments left by ABC viewers.

Now for my reaction...

My heart is broken for the six soldiers who died in the Bradley fighting vehicle and their families. My heart is also broken for the Iraqi taxi driver and his family.He
was shot for driving. I want to put my arms around the terrified old woman, and make her some hot tea. No one should suffer as the Iraqi people are suffering. No one should suffer as our soldiers are suffering. Our troops are both victims and perpetrators in this Republican war.

I am very proud of and very thankful to Cpl. Joshua Lake and Spec. Michael Vassel for telling the truth. These two heroes courageously spoke for themselves as well as others, and by doing so, have demonstrated loyalty to the Constitution that they have sworn to uphold. I agree, Spec. Vassel, that those who created, implemented, and voted for this war should be there doing 15 month rotations with you. Theirs should have been the first boots on the ground! We need more like you who do not bow to a king.

To Cpl. Lake's mother - I have been through what you are going through. It is terrible. My son is safely home but lives with the nightmares of PTSD. I hope that your son returns to you, and is someday, able to sleep again.

Thank you, once again, Sean Smith for what you did for us, and Thank You ABC News for defying King George.

This last video has been all over the internet, but I included it here anyway, along with my two cents! Thanks to Max Blumenthal for publicly exposing the mindless next generation of Warmongering Republican Chickenhawks.

The following piece is tragic. I am appalled that this ignorant herd of sheep are college students! I am incensed at the arrogant hypocrisy displayed in this gathering of cowards. Like Bush and Cheney, they support wars they have no intention of fighting in - they just start them and stuff their pockets. If you haven't seen this yet try not to get sick.

Young Republican Chickenhawks


......Kitchen Window Woman......
......Resident Scholar, API.........

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Blogger Carol Gee said...

KWW, excellent post, full of passion and compassion. Thanks for it. And, Congrats on including the YouTube things. I haven't quite got the hang of that yet.

12:43 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

Heartbreaking to be sure. I had seen this somewhere. My son is currently stationed in Baghdad and is sent out 7 days a week. His tour has been extended. He should have been home in June. He is stressed to the limit and says everyone is. I told him about this piece and he was glad to hear it's out there. He is counting the days.

4:37 AM  
Blogger moderate said...

great job, kww... if only we could figure out how to stop this damned tragedy...our poor children...

9:01 AM  
Anonymous JollyRoger said...

The College Goppers are the worst form of cowardly scum. How can you cheer on the deaths of people who are off to fight for something YOU say you believe in?

9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, Mr Bush was elected be the citizens of the USA, and not once but twice ... All the world was making fun him because of his ignorance and stupidity while he was only a candidate... You have what you elected, twice ... Every country has exactly the leaders it deserves... You only have yourselves to blame... Unfortunatelly the rest of the world has to cope with this as well ...

10:15 PM  
Blogger beachblogger said...

dear KWW,

thank you, great post. the video makes me think of 'snafu' and the newer 'fubar'. the planning was all wrong but then there was never a legitimate mission so how do you plan for that?

peace, peter

5:38 PM  
Blogger LET'S TALK said...

Why don't Bush give the regular folks a break and start sending the children of some of those rich folks who support this war to Iraq. Let those volunteers sit back and support them.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

Carol Gee...
My daughter helped me with the first couple of embeds. Over at YouTube next to the video on the right is a box - at the bottom of that box are two lines one is URL if you want to link and below that is Embed. To embed just click to highlight, copy, and then paste it where you want it. On the blogger compose page all of the text will show up and stay for a while but then it disappears and the place remains blank. All of the code remains on the html page and if you click preview the video will be there. Then just publish as usual. It took me a bit to get the hang of it - especially after it disappeared from the compose page - I still don't know why it does that but heck it if it works I'm not going to worry about it.

9:28 AM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

How terrible that your son's tour has been extended. How terrible that he is out seven days a week! We have to get this war stopped.

Like I wrote to Cpl. Lake's mother, I know what you are going through. My stomach was in knots for years when my son was in combat overseas. As soon as I read what you wrote about your son, it knotted up again... If you were here I'd give you a hug and make you some tea.

All of our soldiers are trapped over there and stressed because this administration only cares about itself. I see what Bush and Cheney are doing to our military as ABUSE. That is why I keep writing and talking to people everywhere I go. America needs to wake up!

Moderate Man,
Yes, our poor children and grandchildren and all those terrified, orphaned Iraqi children....We have to stop them! I am talking about IMPEACHMENT to everyone and mentioning that we have to redefine what the military is used for and remake it. American Militarism must be stopped!

On the positive side there are many more vets fighting for Peace and Impeachment every day. Vets have seen it and most (unlike Congressman Duncan Hunter) learn from their experiences that war solves nothing. We are starting to make headway.

9:49 AM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

I don't understand the young republican scum. Evidently they've been brought up to believe that they are above others and that others must fight, kill, and die at their bidding. Their parents are probably the same shameful scum that supported the Vietnam War!

Tragically, Bush was elected twice but half of this country voted against him, both times. We did not want him but they cheated, lied, and waged a propaganda war that many Americans are too stupid to see through.

We are a country divided - we are fighting him still. He is a fascist backed by corporate money and a war criminal - no country deserves such a leader!

I guess they thought that it would all fall into place once they had boots on the ground - the Iraqis would just swoon at American might and fall to their knees - such are the dreams of the cowards who wage war for empire and profit. Oh Boy, fubar! They didn't plan for Iraqi patriots!

Let's Talk...
I agree - and I'd send Hillary (no vote for her - she voted to allow Bush to go to war!!) and Nancy, too. Karl Rove has a war-aged son and then there's the Bush twins and Cheney's two daughters. I'd send George and Dick and have them pick up and bag body pieces and wash blood form the streets. And I'd send all of those ignorant, flag-waving chickenhawk Repugs in the video - boys and girls.

10:45 AM  
Blogger redpill8 said...

Thank KWW for another excellent post.

I can't believe we are about five years into this war and the present occupants of the White House are still in power. Why have we not had a military counter-coup yet? Can't America produce anymore Maj. Col. Smedley Butlers anymore? Men and woman who can see through the lies and do what's right for their country?

God, it's sickening.

7:51 AM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

I have Maj. General Smedley Butler's book, "War is a Racket". They don't make them like him any more. One of our Veterans For Peace chapters chose him as their namesake. Our San Diego Chapter #91 is named for Hugh Thompson the hero who stopped the Mai Mai.

1:03 PM  

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