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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Unbecoming An Officer - Unbecoming An American

This is the one that did it. This incident was the straw that broke the camel's back. With a nod to Jollyroger... I finally got it out. It's been rolling around in my mind all of this time. I feel better now.


If there was any doubt about the stinking superior attitude Bush Americans have toward the Iraqi people, it vanished during Hugh Rimintons CNN news report from a village outside of the northern city of Tal Afar, near the Syrian border.

We spent the day before, Memorial Day 2007, with our Veterans For Peace brethren at the Arlington West Memorial on the beach, near the pier, in Oceanside, CA. Standing amid the rows of crosses representing the troops who have fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan, it took VFP members and additional volunteers 5 1/2 hours to read each of the 3,457 names of the dead (ten more were killed in Iraq that day). It was a poignant and profound experience for both my husband and myself. It was a sad and weary sleep we slept that night.

During coffee and CNN the following morning we caught Rimintons infuriating report. The bomb explosion that preceded the events in the sordid piece of video was not limited to the targeted Humvee in which one soldier was killed and another seriously wounded. The blast had blown the lid off of the tentative quiet that the occupying American military had successfully enforced in the northern province for ten months. It was also damaging to the pro-surge propaganda that is daily pumped out of the Pentagon much like sewage.

The explosive resistance by Iraqi insurgents prompted immediate American retaliation. Five villages were sealed off by the U.S. Calvary and some Iraqi soldiers for weapon searches and intimidation. It was not at all surprising that evidence of the Iraqi resistance was uncovered - cash, some guns, and false I.D.s. After prayers, the sheiks were rounded up and made to stand publicly, like naughty schoolboys, for a good old-fashioned American dressing down.

Enter Lt. Col. M.F., U.S. Army, whose behavior toward the assembled village elders provided at least one answer to that bothersome, oft asked question, "Why Do They Hate Us?" The following words were screamed in the faces of the captive men by the very pissed off Lt. Col. whose control in the region had been undermined by Iraqi citizens who do not want to live in an American colony.

"Every single village tells me it is the next village, it is the next village, it is the next village. Well, that is (EXPLETIVE)!

It is this village, it is now. It is all of you here today.

You WILL make a choice. You WILL make a choice today. If you do not choose MY side, the side of Iraq, the side of the government and the security forces, then you are MY Enemy. Understand that.

The enraged American officer who was representing "We the People" to the Iraqi villagers loudmouthed on to a threatening crescendo...

If you or you or you or you, if you are not supporting us, the security forces, (inaudible), and you are not providing information, then you are on the side of the enemy, and you are my enemy. And the next time I come, I will come hard and I will come strong, and I will come in the middle of the night.

Army Strong, sir?

My husband and I were outraged at Lt. Col. M.F.'s Nazi-like treatment of the aged men who stood, in their own country, before him. We were both deeply angered by and ashamed of his arrogant, authoritarian conduct and his threat to TERRORIZE the villagers at night. The Lt. Col. was obviously never taught to respect elders and seemed to consider FORCE and FEAR effective diplomatic tools.

The officer in question also lacked empathy and understanding for the people whose country had been invaded, destroyed, occupied by alien forces, and was about to have its natural resources plundered. Perhaps Lt. Col. M.F., like George W. Bush and Paul Wolfowitz, expected the Iraqis to be happily compliant with American domination. An outdated, chauvinistic adage that used to masquerade as a protective tactic for women, applies nicely to the fanciful, hegemonic delusions that have powered both the war against Iraq, and the continuing occupation... "If you are raped just lay back and enjoy it."

The villagers, who were rounded up at gunpoint, were forced to watch the public intimidation staged by Lt. Col. M.F., his troops, and a handful of newly trained Iraqi army recruits. Did the Iraqi recruits suffer culture shock as they watched the American officer "dis" the local sheiks?

How did the wives, grandmothers, and teen aged sons and daughters feel that day? Were aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, mothers, and fathers convinced to inform on their family members, their neighbors and to consequently betray their culture and their country?

What of the small children, the grandchildren, Iraq's next generation? What lesson did they learn? Was the American boogie man going to thunder back in the night to break the things that made their houses homes and make their mothers cry? Were the little ones converted to the American Dream by what they had witnessed though innocent eyes?

As we watched the video report that morning, we could both see the rage seething in the eyes of the village sheiks who were scolded and threatened like children by the enemy officer. We wondered, and still do, how many more names Veterans For Peace will have to read at the next Arlington because of Lt Col. M.F. and others of the same ilk.

It is rare, given the tightly controlled, highly propagandized media here in the States, for Americans to see what the Arab world sees, and Iraqis experience every day. Embedded journalists are spoon fed doctored truths and are not invited back if they defer from the "official" spin. The media minders must have viewed the video footage of Lt. Col. M.F. "letting the sheiks have it" in a positive "tough on terror" sort of way - but that is not the way his officerly little tirade came across.

Lt. Col. M.F.'s thuggish, contemptuous conduct toward those whom he was supposedly sent to liberate
was Unbecoming an Officer and a Gentleman, and Unbecoming an American. SHAME. He should be demoted and removed from command, and so should the Commander-in-Chief who lied this country into an illegal war and accepts abusive conduct from the officers who carry out his orders.


*Note - the initials given for the Lt. Col. are his own. His full name was given in the CNN transcripts.

............... PEACE................
...Kitchen Window Woman...

Cross Posted on The Peace Train

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Blogger redpill8 said...

I absolutely agree with you KWW that the officer should be demoted and removed from command, but I doubt that will happen as what he did what is expected of him. Today there is an article in the Baltimore Sun about how Marines that were encouraged to amp up the violence by their commanders (see: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nationworld/iraq/bal-te.nationlede15jul15,0,3273712.story?coll=bal-iraq-headlines)

I wish I was wrong, but this guy is just doing what he has been trained to do and will probably be promoted for it.

By the way, sorry to hear about you getting burned out in your previous post. I felt the same as you about these oppressive political situation and took hiatus down to South America to escape. I wrote about this, and my recent observations about South America and the U.S. in my latest post. In case your interested.



5:49 PM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

The Iraqi invasion is bringing out all the worst characteristics of the Vietnam war and, before that, Nazi Germany. It'll be necessary to destroy Iraq (or maybe the whole Middle East) in order to save it. But when we do, remember that "vee ver only following orderss."

5:59 PM  
Anonymous JollyRoger said...

If he were to retire, Chimpy would hang a Medal of Freedom on him.

This is exactly the kind of treatment Chimpy and Shooter have just been ga-ga for.

And not to excuse the officer's behavior, but... he's been in the desert, outnumbered, hated by everyone, and under the command of a monkey that won't give him a clue as to when the insanity will end. He may well have cracked under the pressure, all the more unfortunate if he did it on camera.

11:59 PM  
Blogger LET'S TALK said...

It seems that the enlisted man is punished for what he is told to do and some officers or given a pass as long as they are doing what this administration want.

I would really be shocked if he was demoted or removed from his command.

12:46 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

I think they are all cracking up out there. That's what I hear. And BTW no one cares if you do. Instead you are punished for losing it. But you are absolutely right. Everyone needs to be held accountable for their actions and you know who I want to start with.

(PS- I'd happily answer any questions I could regarding mosaics. Ask any time.)

5:54 AM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

I don't think he will be held accountable either and I agree he was trained to use these methods of intimidation but he could choose NOT to. It makes me sick because it will only cause more American casualties among those poor brain washed kids who are stuck in Bush's nightmare.

I enjoyed your latest post - Good one.

Tom Harper...
Power in the hands of those who suffer delusions of superiority leads to war crimes. It is too bad that so many are willing to abandon human decency to follow such the orders of mad men.

Yeah, he may have cracked under pressure but he also may believe the Bushshit and be willing to act accordingly.

Many of our soldiers are "born agains" who think that Islam is evil and Arabs are not human. They are feed these lines the rising number of evangelical chaplains who have infiltrated our armed forces.

I also think that the Pentagon was breathing down his neck because they didn't want any disruption in an area that had been quiet for so long. The myth of Surge Success must be upheld at all costs!

2:51 PM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

Let's Talk...
The enlisted men are often scapegoated the events at Abu Ghrab are a glaring example of officer involvement going unpunished.

PTSD is rampant among the troops who are often brought up on charges and jailed instead of getting the treatment that they need. The latest trick the military is using involves hanging a less than honorable discharge on soldiers with PTSD which bars them from getting benefits or much needed mental health treatment.

I definitely have some mosaic questions and will get around to asking them when I have a little more time. I am on my way down to town to hunt and gather for my family.

3:02 PM  
Blogger Carol Gee said...

Good post, KWW. Sometimes it takes a shocking event such as you witnessed to elicit a post. Inept U.S. leaders have put the military in an impossible position since the invasion of Iraq, to put it mildly.

4:04 AM  
Blogger beachblogger said...

dear KWW,

BUSH made immaturity, stubbornness and rudeness, arrogance, virtues. How he did it I don't know, repetition on talk radio plays a big part, and FOX news. I think putting BUSH in prison would go a long way toward reconciliation and preventing this from happening again.

peace, peter

5:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wheee ... how nice that we sit in our cozy living rooms and pass judgment on a Battalion Commander who has lost men to IEDs, ambushes, and suicide bombers.

OK, so he wasn't nice. He should have hugged those shrieks instead right? Your moral outrage is almost funny you know. Try walking a klick in his boots first before you get on your high horse.

Now that he has established his "bad ass" side he can not come back and offer his softer & gentler side to garner the cooperation of the clan leaders. It's pure 'good cop-bad cop' and absolutely understandable given the conditions this commander and his unit work under.

7:50 PM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

Carol Gee...
The military sure is in an impossible situation and that is why we have to get them out as soon as possible! I feel so bad for those troops over there - especially when they face such a struggle to get the treatments they need and deserve when they get home. American leadership has failed completely.

I agree. Bush has taken American standards down to a new low. The traits that you listed describe his own character(or lack of it).

Prison is where he and Cheney and their fellow conspirators belong. They planned this war and the rape of the Constitution long before the Supreme Court appointed him president.

3:10 PM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

Yep, I'm in my living room criticizing a officer who would have made a good Nazi. That old saying,"clothes do not make a make man(or a woman) applies here. The insignia on the Lt. Col.'s uniform do not make him any more than he is - a racist jerk.

Similarly, George W. Bush wears expensive suits and occupies a chair in the Oval Office but that does not make him president. He is still the same arrogant,dishonest, destructive, petty little aristocrat that he has always been.

11:30 AM  
Anonymous earl said...

Why We Cannot Win

Here is the link to a post that I heavily quoted in a comment to your post over at the peace train.

It makes a much greater impact coming from a man serving in Iraq. The officier you quoted believes "The beatings will continue, until morale improves", is a practical guide and NOT a joke.

7:05 PM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

Thank you so much for the link. We need to help give voice to those who are trapped in the nightmare in Iraq - Iraqi civilians and American soldiers alike - then maybe we can end the Bush/Cheney/Israeli culture of death for oil and control.

11:07 PM  
Blogger FunkyTown Fighter said...

Great post K.W.W. I'm with mary people need to be held accountable for their actions starting with Shrub! I hope the Bastard rotts in Hell!!!

2:28 PM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

More and more people agree agree but it is still going to be an uphill battle to get rid of Bush and Cheney. I would love to see them both tried in the Hague - that is the only thing that will restore America's standing in the world.

11:51 AM  

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