Ehren Watada (born 1978) is a First Lieutenant of the United States Army who in June 2006 publicly refused to deploy to Iraq for his unit's assigned rotation to Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Watada said he believed the war to be illegal and that, under the doctrine of command responsibility, it would make him party to war crimes. At the time he refused to deploy, he was assigned to duty with the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, part of the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, as a Fire Support Officer.

Watada is the first commissioned officer in the U.S. armed forces to publicly refuse deployment to Iraq. His court-martial ended in a mistrial on February 7, 2007. A second court-martial, originally scheduled to begin July 23, 2007 has been postponed until October 9, 2007. Wiki

posted by persephone 7 years ago • 1,827 views
MINK says...

this is one of the most important *long videos about *worldaffairs on the sift.

siftbot says...

This video has been flagged as being at least 10 minutes in length - declared long by MINK.

Adding video to channels (Worldaffairs) - requested by MINK.

MarineGunrock says...

Ugh. I couldn't watch anymore than two minutes. He signed up after the war started? What the fuck? Illegal or not, it's your duty and responsibility to go. If you didn't want to be there, why the hell would you sign up? Resign your fucking commission, you piece of shit. You disgrace the uniform.

gwiz665 says...

"A war against the forces of tyranny and evil" - it's not really war if it's not declared. And, there is no "force of evil" as such, that's just a propaganda mechanism to dehumanize the enemy.

Soldiers are supposed to follow orders, unless they are in direct conflict with the geneva convention, constitution or similar laws.

If a general tells you to kill a war-prisoner, you have an obligation to defy him and in the end get HIM courtmarshalled (sp?).

Still, as MG notes he signed up after the invasion happened?? Well, he should have just stayed out. The people already in the uniform ought to do this, though.

MINK says...

Marine, you are allowed to learn and change your mind. Your intellect is not frozen the day you sign.

That's why I wouldn't sign. Too much responsibility. Way too much.

Pointing out the illegality of the war doesn't disgrace the uniform, whereas fighting in an illegal war while knowing it is illegal really WOULD disgrace the uniform.

Fighting and agreeing is different, although i don't know how you can defend the legality, you have to argue the irrelevance of international law instead.

Honestly no offence, just separate the threads here instead of kneejerking (understandably, but still)

persephone says...

What would happen if every grunt on the planet said "fuck you, I'm not going. I'd rather help build a new school/hospital/youth centre/free clinic for my community."?

MarineGunrock says...

MINK, you're right, are allowed to learn. But he signed AFTER. And no, objecting to illegality doesn't disgrace it. But Objecting a lawful order does.

quantumushroom says...

What would happen if every grunt on the planet said "fuck you, I'm not going. I'd rather help build a new school/hospital/youth centre/free clinic for my community."?

In countries with tyrants like Saddam, military refuseniks would be killed after watching their whole family put to death for their insubordination. In freer countries, if an invasion was imminent, there'd probably be a draft. Failing that, countries with a military would take over countries without one.

"If you wish peace, prepare for war."

On the bright side, your ultimate wish is already a reality. Only a very small percentage of the population is in the military and more money is spent on health/education/welfare in the USA then on defense.

BoneyD says...

So MG, just because he signed up as the war was underway means that he is therefore unable to ever change his mind about fighting it? It's not like he didn't man up about it and accept his comeuppance, he's doing what he thinks is right. I dare say he would still like to serve his country as a soldier, just not under the current regime.

MINK says...

MG,

He was lied to like the rest of us. He obviously changed his mind. You seem to struggle with the concept of someone changing their mind, thinking, finding new facts etc.

Are you saying there are no circumstances under which a soldier should refuse an order? a soldier should never read?

Fact is that "i was just following orders" is not an excuse.

QM you might be right, but what you are saying is we should invade Russia and China and the Sudan. Think again.

MarineGunrock says...

I wonder how many downvotes my comments will get from this thread.
No, MINK, I am certianly not saying there are no circumstances where a soldier should refuse an order. That's preposterous. While we might not have had UN sanction to enter the country, that doesn't mean that what the individual soldier is doing is illegal. "I was following orders" is not an excuse, you're right.
And no, I'm not saying he can't change his mind. But the fact of the matter is that he is not being ordered to do anything that is contrary to good morality or against any law. He's not being told to kill a hostage. He's not being told to torture someone. He's not being told do anything other than deploy. If he thinks the war was brought on illegally, that's fine. But until he has been told to do something illegal, he has no right to object.

MINK says...

International law. Geneva. Nuremburg. United Nations. Constitution of the United States of America. Next question.

MarineGunrock says...

You're really detracting from the maturity of this discussion with the whole "next question" thing.
But from my understanding, The UN never said "DO NOT GO". They said they didn't want any part in it. They never said it was illegal until 2004. "On September 16, 2004 Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations, said of the invasion, "I have indicated it was not in conformity with the UN charter. From our point of view, from the charter point of view, it was illegal."
And I'm not here to debate the legality of the war. All I'm saying is that it is not illegal for an individual to be deployed to Iraq. Watada was commissioned in late November or 2003, WELL after the war had begun. It's not that he wanted out of the military as far as I can see. He offered to deploy to Afghanistan, but was denied. However, he was even offered a desk job in Iraq that had nothing to do with combat. Doing administrative work, no matter where it is, in not illegal.

MINK says...

I am here to debate the legality of the war, so is Watada. You called him a disgrace. I think that was disgraceful.

Gas chambers in Poland are illegal, and as far as I can tell, obeying an order to go there and sweep the office floor is by extension ... let's say... dubious.

Moving on, your best example of an excuse for the legality of the war is that the UN didn't call it illegal until 2004? Got anything better than that?

I know you're not an evil nazi, I am just working through the legal implications here, seeing as this is a thread about illegal war and international law. I KNOW you are not a bad person, but you held a gun in someone else's country while dark evil shit happened, so man... i am intrigued.

You keep repeating that he signed up after the invasion. Why do you think this matters? You think he should bury his conscience because he missed the deadline for having one?

Sorry you were part of this mess man, I've told you before I protested before the war to try and prevent you being sent there for an obvious lie, but somehow you were sent there anyway. Now the law is all we have, and double standards are not acceptable. You can't just invade a country and hang its president and install a puppet government. That's darkside.

So please, explain why it's OK to insult this man for doing what he believes in. Patriotic doesn't mean "agrees with you".

Doc_M says...

The law of the USA states that all enlists and military officers must follow orders from commanding officers unless those orders go obviously and undoubtedly against the law of the United States. The United States is a sovereign nation and no member of the US citizenry can claim immunity to US law by stating that UN law trumps it. That is the bottom line. The military must respect the law of the USA over all. My understanding is that refusing to deploy is considered conscientious objection and is punishable by dishonorably discharge and revocation of citizenship rights. This is a fair punishment for refusing to meet the needs of the nation on the battlefield in a time of war. His refusal to commit to his obligation could put ground operations, and potentially lives, at risk. He has the right to take a stand and refuse deployment, but for it he must face the legal consequences for that action.

In addition, most people in this country including most of its legislators and supreme court judges do not consider the war to be "illegal" even on international terms. I wish this war would have been delayed longer to reveal more of the truth. I don't support preemption, except under extreme circumstances. It seems worth the sacrifice to let the enemy have at every opportunity to NOT attack. Bush jumped the gun, but I think it would have been ultimately inevitable. I outright do not even begin to believe that it was based on "Bush lies;" that simply implies that far too many members of our government (these are people, folks, not some big-brother secret society like in the movies) are homicidal maniacs bent on murder and destruction. That might happen in the movies and tabloids, but give me a break. On top of that, the UN has repeatedly shown itself to be mostly impotent in any enforcement operation. It never enforces its resolutions, fails to take any sort of stand against anything, and has shown itself to be corrupt even at its highest levels, at least in the case of Kofi. I have little confidence in the UN. It is too easy to play them for fools.
I understand that no one on the sift supports anything remotely defensive of Bush, but people really should consider what they are really saying when they claim Bush "lied" and MEANT to kill multitudes of people. Bush may not be a great president, but insane tyrannical murder? Let's keep our feet on the ground here.

You can say "face it, the war is illegal" all day long, but I can so easily say "face it, the war is legal" and sound just as block-headed. This is a gray-area argument. Let's not attempt to over-simplify. It just makes us look like close-minded zealots determined to scream our so-called "facts" to the hills.

MarineGunrock says...

Hear hear, Doc_M! Hear hear!

Well, even I agree that the entry into war with Iraq was shady at best, and an outright lie at face value. But I still hold that He has no ground on which to stand to disobey his lawful, yes lawful orders.
I also believe that we are doing a lot of good over there. Yes, people are dying. But you can't say that the world hasn't been ridden of a vicious tyrant. Sure, the infrastructure isn't the best around, but it wasn't all that great to begin with. For sake of time (and my laziness) I'm not going to describe how stringent the rules are dealing with collateral damage, human or otherwise. If you really want to hear some stories of how awful and strict they are, lemme know. But to keep it short, 90% of the time, we weren't allowed to shoot. And most of those that we could shoot were only illumination rounds.
No one wants us there? Tell that to the Iraqi people that hugged me and shook my hand. Tell that to the ones that offered what little food they had as a way of saying "Thank you." - And some of that food is hella good.

And MINK, I really do appreciate yours and other's attempts to keep troops safe, but the fact of the matter is that just because Bush sees a protest, it doesn't mean he'll pull out. I know that makes ZERO fucking sense, mainly because our great country was founded to be run by the people and for the people, but like I said in another post, real change requires real effort.

johnald128 says...

thinking that the war is wrong and acting on it is all that really matters, regardless of the law. it turns out this Ehren Watada is doing a good thing.

Lurch says...

I always get around to these videos far after the heated arguements begin. Once again, I'm putting in my delayed two cents to back up MG's original post. Legality arguements aside, since Doc_M did an excellent job, this man is a disgrace to the uniform. If he has such a problem with this particular deployment, he should resign his commission. After that he's free to say whatever he wants, but while still in uniform he's subject to UCMJ. This man should be dishonorably discharged just for the things he said in this video while still a commissioned officer, nevermind the stack of other laws he's broken. The correct course of action is to resign your commission, not to blatantly break military law. He has expressed full knowledge of the consequences of his actions. I hope he receives the maximum penalty.

**EDIT**
johnald128, "thinking that the war is wrong and acting on it is all that really matters, regardless of the law."

What? So because he feels it's wrong, instead of taking the legal course of resigning he should just break the law? Would you want to apply that in other areas of life? Do what you feel is right, to hell with laws. Even better, lets protest doing something we *think* is illegal by racking up our own set of crimes.

MarineGunrock says...

<offtopic>
*PEOPLE*
Downvote all of my comments of you want, I don't give a shit.
But you are all missing the point of downvoting. It says "Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate?" Just because you don't agree with someone's point of view, does NOT mean that it is inappropriate. Please GTFU, (yeah, I'm coining a new acronym for this: Grow The Fuck Up) and stop downvoting a comment just because you don't agree with it.
</offtopic>
Sidenote: I just heartily laughed and the amount of downvotes my first comment got. Six! That's gotta be a new record!

MINK says...

^comment voting sucks... i'm with you on that one...

but i'm also with jonald128... watada has chosen to put his freedom on the line to make a statement. The legality is debatable, he is igniting that debate.

To call a soldier a disgrace when he is trying to protect other soldiers from being sent to die for a lie, well... that's extreme, man.

Laws are only changed by people breaking them, that's how we got the laws we have now, people protested that something considered illegal should be legalised, or vice versa. You think during alcohol prohibition people should have just kept quiet and drank fruit juice?

And lastly, about "a time of war"... are we really in a time of war? Wouldn't that need a declaration, and shouldn't the declaration be so clearly within international law as to not be debatable? Why do you think they went to the UN in the first place? To protect their asses from war crimes tribunals. They knew what they were doing was dodgy, but enough of the population went along with it so they did it anyway.

MarineGunrock says...

MINK, are you saying we're not at war? The guys with missing legs would probably say otherwise. The mortars that nearly missed me for seven months seemed to show me otherwise. The people that I killed would probably say otherwise, if I hadn't of killed them for shooting at us.

We were at war with the Viet-Cong. We're at war with Al-Q and insurgents.

Just because it's not declared, doesn't mean it's not there.

MINK says...

jesus, you think i am a gulf war explosion denier?

of course there is a war, it's fucking undeclared and illegal and disgusting, people are dying for bullshit. "Britain has declared war on Germany" i can understand. "You're either with us or your with the terrorists" sounds like a kind of neverending loosely defined excuse for halliburton to make profits off the blood of brave soldiers.

"Al-Quaeda and insurgents" ... jesus.. you swallowed that one whole didn't you. I guess "CIA assets and desperately deluded poor people" doesn't sound so good, huh?

MarineGunrock says...

Easy, there MINK. That wasn't said with any anger. All I was saying is that we ARE at war/in a time of war, though unofficial that may be.
Call them deluded poor people all you want. It's true. And yeah, people are dying for bullshit.
I mean, Don't get me wrong. I hold that we are doing a lot of good for those people. But at the same time, if we up and left tomorrow, our nation wouldn't be any more at risk than it was today. There is no need from this country to be there.
Not only it would save lives, but money.
Hell, we could even pull out, and just give money to towns to fix their shit and still be saving billions.

MarineGunrock says...

Well, you could say that, but isn't war just an armed conflict between two parties? When I say war, I don't mean declared war, just armed conflict. And it is sad that a country founded by the people and for the people can't have what the majority of the people want. It really just doesn't make sense to me.

MINK says...

so ok, that is why i am being strict on the law here, to define what is a war and what is an illegal occupation.

You should say "in a time of pillage" maybe, that would be more accurate.

Let's use good old wikipedia.
"In public international law, a declaration of war entails the recognition between countries of a state of hostilities between these countries, and such declaration acted to regulate the conduct between the military engagements between the forces of the respective countries. The primary multilateral treaties governing such declarations are the Hague Conventions."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declaration_of_war

So ... which country are the US at war with in Iraq?

And as for war crimes...
Dr. Hans Peter Gasser, former Senior Legal Adviser at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), outlines the basic rules of IHL:

1. Persons who are not, or are no longer, taking part in hostilities shall be respected, protected and treated humanely. They shall be given appropriate care, without any discrimination.
2. Captured combatants and other persons whose freedom has been restricted shall be treated humanely. They shall be protected against all acts of violence, in particular against torture. If put on trial they shall enjoy the fundamental guarantees of a regular judicial procedure.
3. The right of parties to an armed conflict to choose methods or means of warfare is not unlimited. No superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering shall be inflicted.
4. In order to spare the civilian population, armed forces shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and civilian objects on the one hand, and military objectives on the other. Neither the civilian population as such nor individual civilians or civilian objects shall be the target of military attacks. [1].
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_humanitarian_law

So that's 4 strikes and you're out as far as i can tell. If you're not in a proper war, and you're not fighting another country's army, the definition of "civilian" gets a bit confusing, right?

Notice how these "barbarians" always attack whoever is on their land stealing their oil. It's not so confusing.

Arsenault185 says...

I barley got 10 comments down and chose to skip here. Granted I'm a new sifter, but sometimes i think you guys argue for the sake of argument. I saw one comment from MINK about how it is illegal according to certain things. the constitution. Have you read it? Has anybody here? I might have missed it granted, and if you can show me where ill back down, but i didn't see anything in there about what makes an occupation illegal. Geneva? this deals with POWs. Not entrance and occupation regulations. Nuremberg? well this one i am honestly unfamiliar with, but after a quick Google, i found this:

The Nuremberg Trials are a series of trials most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military and economic leadership of Nazi Germany.

I fail to see how that applies. At any rate, there is specific documentation, which clearly states that we will go where we are needed to free others of tyranny and oppression. If you must know where, i can find it for you. Its nearing midnight, so i don't want to be up to much longer.

At any rate, thought this might be good to toss in. http://www.army.mil/CMH/faq/oaths.htm

Its the enlisted and officer oaths of enlistment. MINK, I know I singled you out, but your comment stood out to me. But for everyone, I know MG and myself know the military, and if anyone else in here does they can say what they will, but please don't talk like you know what we are or aren't allowed to do, unless you've served or are serving.

BTW mink in regards to you last post, that very specifically talks about country governments, whereas Al-Q is not a government, there fore we cannot declare "war" on them. Second, Doc_M, your kinda right with the wrong words. Consciouses objector only means you don't believe the war is right, and that you do not have to operate a weapon. you can still go and fuel trucks. The whole losing citizenship and all that, no. Yeah if you back out of a war by just saying "no dude, fuck that" your going to get what we affectionately call "the big green weenie." yeah you'll get a DD and all that but the U.S. isn't going to exile you.

My last big gripe is people saying bush this bush that. PEOPLE! BUSH did not send us to 'war'. YOUR CONGRESS did. Thats right, the people you voted for to take your place sent you. your state reps and senators. BUSH cannot declare war. CONGRESS can declare war. And no one ever said anything about this being illegal when it kicked off. if i remember right, everyone was pro war.

I whole heartedly agree with MarineGunRock in that this waste of a uniform KNEW that war was going on, and whats worse, he was in an infantry unit! IF he wanted to avoid going, he should have joined the band. You cannot in all decent common sense look at the army THE FUCKING ARMY and say to yourself, hey, i don't want to go to war, but that shit looks like fun! and expect not to go. He might have wanted to change his mind afterwards, i got it, but like Lurch said, there was a legal way to do it, and the illegal way.

last thing i promise.... These one or two soldier protesters here and there might be bitching and "thats why we need to pull out. look how bad it is when our soldiers say no" but in all truth for every 1 service member that is publicly protesting, there are 2 or 3 reenlisting in IRAQ. And on top of that think of all the THOUSANDS of other guys that never said shit about having to go. The opinion of the couple of douche bags here and there is not going to sway the opinion of the governing bodies of our military forces.

P.S. ALLLLL the above is what makes our Country so Damn great. All of us (service members included) can bitch and argue all we want about public policy, war, religion etc. Thank a Vet. Thank you MG)

MarineGunrock says...

Well, MINK, as always I thoroughly enjoy debates with you.
But why point out war crimes? I'm not saying we haven't had issues in the past or present, but as a nation, we don't stand for that kind if thing. Everyone involved had their asses handed to them.
As far as civilians - you're right - it does get hard to distinguish a civilian. At least it used to be. Now civilians are not authorized to possess weapons. Therefore, people with guns can be dealt with properly.

twiddles says...

"But why point out war crimes? I'm not saying we haven't had issues in the past or present, but as a nation, we don't stand for that kind if thing. Everyone involved had their asses handed to them."

Boy, are you naive. Are you sure that everyone involved in anything that could be considered a war crime has had their ass handed to them? We have a government that has said it is okay to torture people in "certain" instances and created a climate where it was okay for the occurrences in Iraq to happen and you say that we as a nation don't stand for that, that everyone had their asses handed to them so therefore pointing out war crimes is irrelevant?

What, I ask you, did Iraq do to our nation that we had a grievance to justify invading their nation without the concensus of the United Natioins and thereby causing great harm to their civilian population? The world would like to know.

MINK says...

yeah, i am pretty sure war crimes go unpunished all the time, how are you supposed to put dead people in the witness box? yay twiddles...

@Arsenault185 re:
"BTW mink in regards to you last post, that very specifically talks about country governments, whereas Al-Q is not a government, there fore we cannot declare "war" on them."

EXACTLY. So what this is is not a war, it is a pillage. The word "Al-Quaeda" was made popular as a way to try to define these disparate terrorists as a coherent group, in order to make it more legitimate to prance around the world killing them in other people's countries. (or shooting innocent brazilians in the head, whichever)

I don't think the writers of the constitution, geneva conventions, or nuremburg judgements would class this invasion as a "legitimate war" ... that's why they are relevant here. Think spirit of the law, not letter. I am not suggesting they all have a clause saying "No invading sovereign nations for their natural resources".

again you felt the need to attack watada... this time he's called a "douchebag". The dude is obviously not just tryin to slack off here, i think it takes just as much courage to stand up to the entire united states military and argue points of law as it does to fight poor people who's oil you stole.

If he wins, and in future there is less illegal, disgraceful, blatant pillage during which innocent people and honest servicemen die... well.. he did us all a favour.

Law is an argument, it is in a state of constant flux. If you oppose the opposition, you're basically in line with Hitler and Stalin, telling everyone to STFU. That's not constitutional.

And BTW i served as a cadet in the RAF, a fact which makes me almost 12% more qualified to talk about this than a civvy. I would have enlisted, but my eyes are bad so they wouldn't let me fly the sexy planes, and i realised just in time that i would be asked to do immoral things by whatever government came along and decided to have a war...
unlike Watada I realised this before signing.

welcome arsenault185

MarineGunrock says...

ROFL @ 12%

"What...did Iraq do to our nation..."

At the time of invasion, it was reported they had WMDs. Other than that, they did nothing. Especially now that even that has been proven wrong.
I never said that our entry into the war was justified. At most, we get in there, oust the bastard, find out there are no WMDs and say "Oh shit, guess we were wrong." and get out.
And as far as the whole war crimes thing: I was referring to events such as Gitmo Bay and Haditha.

MINK says...

"ousting the bastard" is also illegal, and if you believe in ousting that bastard, there are plenty more to go die for... but some of them don't have oil, right?

it was "reported" that they had WMD...? It was also reported that they didn't.

so this "war" is a disgrace to the uniform, and anyone who points that out is a credit to the uniform, you and Watada included.

MarineGunrock says...

One thing I don't get, and probably because I'm just not informed, is the whole "We're there for oil" thing.
I mean, if we were there for oil, why is a barrel $90!?!
As humble as I can ask this, will you please enlighten me?

twiddles says...

Who says price has anything to do with it? But logically, if it did, don't you think that would make it that much more attractive? If the price were dictated solely by demand that would mean that oil is in very high demand. The greater the demand the harder it is to get something. The more reason to try to obtain it.

MINK says...

marine... if the price is high, rich people make money. The war is over who sets the price and takes the profit. Saddam wanted to set the price, look what happened to him.

If you don't know much about the oil thing i strongly recommend Robert Newman as an intro:
http://www.videosift.com/video/Robert-Newmans-History-of-Oil

(maybe dead? try: http://politics.videosift.com/video/A-45-minute-history-of-Middle-East-Oil-Robert-Newman)

I mean, this is the thing... the people in power don't tend to use the army to help poor people. Historical fact, unfortunately.

Arsenault185 says...

Bear with me as I'm not sure how to accomplish the whole "so and so wrote blah blah blah" in italics to make things look pretty.

Ok.MINK and MG this is for both of you. Mink I have to start with you first, only because you were ranting about the legality of the Constitution and what it grants people.

- MINK, you said "
Law is an argument, it is in a state of constant flux. If you oppose the opposition, you're basically in line with Hitler and Stalin, telling everyone to STFU. That's not constitutional"

What I gather from telling people to STFU. My question for you is, do you mean the Government? Or people? because if it is the latter of the two, thats exactly what the constitution is for. I may not like what you have to say, but i will to the death, defend your right to say it. (yes i jacked that from somewhere, but it is how i feel) Now I, as a person, not a soldier, wish this guy would just STFU, but that is my given right as an American.

Now this next part is for the both of you. You are talking about WMDs. I'm going to choose my words carefully here... WMDs..... hmm. Well, before this shit kicked off, there was a report and inventory of these WMDs... (which was a term coined for the media. WMDs also included conventional ordnance. ) by the UN. The same UN everyone here seem to be talking about the US not having the sanction of to enter Iraq. So unless the is a different UN I'm not familiar with, we can all safely assume that this is the same UN. Well so theres this 500 page report from the UN that this shit was there. Now, the UN did send Hans Blix over with US troops to do inspections, and was repeatedly denied access to certain areas. Well after a while, ,these "WMDs" could not be found. People then took this into a new light and said "hey, bush was wrong! theres no WMDs!" What they forgot was "OH SHIT! What happened to these WMDs?" Hmmm. They were there, now there not.

Ok.. So now onto the oil thing. As much as i don't believe it was about oil, heres why some people (who think things through instead of just trying to come up with something) might say. Well, Bush has Oil interests in the States. Ok, but some of the oil we use if from the middle east. So if we invade the middle east, then that will cause the price of oil to go up, because rigs are shut down over there, embargoes tariffs and what have you are imposed, so more domestic oil will be sold. Therefore Bush make money. Like i said, i don't think that is a reason at all. Maybe its because Bush might not be 'edumacated' enough to scheme something like this up on his own, or maybe its because he might have had a difficult time trying to convince congress "Hey, would you mind sending us to war and spending billions overseas, so i can make a couple Gs?" Yeah I don't think that happened.

Ok so last part is for MINK. (I'm sorry MINK, but you try to justify your points and back them up, so it makes for a good intellectual conversation, unlike most people who just say what comes to mind)

MINK said - "The war is over who sets the price and takes the profit."
Well, i don't think war is necessary to raise the price of a gallon of gas. Seems like the Government is doing a fine job of that already - http://www.energy.ca.gov/gasoline/margins/index.html
Yeah most of it goes to fees and taxes. And then on top of that, I haven't seen any oil rigs with "PROPERTY OF U.S." stamped on the side. EXXON, MOBILE, CHEVRON maybe, so it looks like the oil company's are setting the price. And i can pretty much guarantee you that Saddam was going to take what he could from anything anyway. So to say this war is about who sets the price, then yeah its a pointless war. because if the us wanted to set a low price they failed. If they wanted to set a high price, they would have anyway, so i fail to see your point. And fact is, the majority of oil rigs over there were civilian owned anyway. Even if Saddam wanted get money from it, he would have, and I'm sure he did.

Oh yeah, Up vote only for the Michal Moore-esque talents in creating such a fine piece of propaganda.

MarineGunrock says...

^Well said. But that's my point. Bush doesn't own shipping companies. He doesn't own pumps in Iraq or refineries. How is he in it for oil? All the profit is going to the oil companies. That's why their profits are in the record highs.

And Arsenault185, HTML tags open and close with "< >" inside these put an 'i' for italics, a 'b' for bold and a 'u' for underline and an 's' for strikeout. Remember to always close with those brackets and a "/" in front of whatever letter you used.

MINK says...

OK, WMD... If you came to my house with soldiers and demanded to see if I had a nuke, I would also tell you to fuck off, even if i didn't have one. It's about sovereignty. I am not gonna just let you walk around my house looking in my cupboards, they are MY cupboards. And if you have hundreds of nukes while you accuse me of the "evil" of having nukes, well... fuck you.

about money: This isn't about the Bush personal fortune. I don't believe Bush came along and corrupted everything individually to increase his bank balance, that's silly. But if you are in power, you have to be nice to the people who put you there, for example by starting a clusterfuck and awarding billion dollar cost plus contracts to "fix" it.

2 words to destroy your naive illusions that big business and the iraq war are unconnected and we're just trying to give these lucky people the gift of democracy:

Dick. Cheney.

2 words to destroy any illusions about helping the Iraqis start their own independent life without oppression:

Permanent. Bases.

MarineGunrock says...

Dick and Cheny really don't answer my question, though. I'm not here for the sake of an argument, but I really want to know how he (I guess it's him now) is benefiting from this. Yeah, I know he used to own Halliburton, but doesn't that also mean that he USED to profit from their business?

MINK says...

sorry.. i edited a bit while you posted.

I think your idea of how super-rich people operate is naive. So Dick Cheney is no longer on the board of Halliburton? Oh well I guess he also changed his simcard and wiped his computer when he left, and broke off all his friendships and promised to God that he would never lift a finger for the oil industry, ever again. And in return, the oil industry promised to stay out of politics.

/dreaming

MarineGunrock says...

I'm not saying that he wouldn't look out for his friends, but to start a war as a "Thank you"? That just seems a little far fetched.
And I don't know where you're getting your info from, but we certainly do have have what's even close to a permanent base there. One day? Maybe, sure. But we have bases in all sorts of nations that are friendly to us. It's called strategic advantage. But once again, I don't think we went to war just because we wanted a parking lot for tanks and choppers. We coulda done that in Israel.

twiddles says...

"We coulda done that in Isreal."
Uh yeah. Could you please show me a citation where where Isreal invited us to establish permanent bases? Perhaps this reading will be a good start at educating you on our plan for bases in Iraq: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11072377/

Far fetched? People with money and power have think tanks of all maner of political thought where like minded people get together, decide what is in their or their industry's or their country's best interest and then run people for political offfice for the sole purpose of achieving those goals.

MINK says...

^thanks again twiddles.

i think what i came to realise is that being a politician is not like other jobs, the motivations are different, the complex web of things we don't know about that you get sucked into, the organised crime, the distancing yourself from the society you are supposed to represent... visiting only when there's a hurricane, smiling, and going back to your office in your private plane.

you reduce it to absurdity, suggesting that cheney would start a war as a favour for an old friend, it's not a direct transaction like that. It's not an isolated event between two parties, they are in a constantly churning soup of power. everything is interrelated.

these people are in a bubble, they act weird. somebody's got to run the world. it's lonely at the top. maybe only the bad guys want the job badly enough, and their bad guy friends stop anyone else getting elected. just maybe. absolute power corrupts absolutely. etc.

Just take it down to the basics... money and energy. in the chaos of government there's a lot of distractions, but it seems to come down to these freaks who think it's their right to create the future and destroy millions of lives for their twisted ideologies, without blinking. All they need is money moving around, and oil flowing out of wherever god chose to inconveniently put it.

"we have bases in all sorts of nations that are friendly to us. It's called strategic advantage" -MG
no... YOU call it strategic advantage. Like calling dead civilians "collateral damage".
Other people call it occupation and state sponsored killing.

it's quotation time!
"The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor" - Voltaire

MarineGunrock says...

Well, all it really comes down to is this:
We don't need to be there, and let's get the fuck out and stay inside our own damn country, thereby saving us trillions.

Lurch says...

Well, while saying we should just leave and save lives sounds wonderful on the surface the reality would be much different. Like Vietnam, we leave behind the area we just screwed up so that the genocide can commence in our absence. Is leaving the best option? I don't know. I don't buy that a complete withdrawl is going to really do a lot of life saving though. American lives yes, but Iraqis? They'll most likely be slaughtered in massive numbers when the Islamic theocracy is re-established.

Oh, and to MINK about strategic advantage... so you would refer to permanent bases in Germany and Korea as "state sponsored killing" and "occupation?" Because I believe that's the type of advantage MG is referring too.

MarineGunrock says...

You're right about the Islamic theocracy and the killings. I know that just leaving won't cut it. That'd be worse than going there in the first place.
Talk about a rock and a hard place.

MINK says...

Lurch, i would refer to bases in germany, uk, lithuania and literally scores of other countries as a form of occupation, it's a kind of quiet empire. The presence of those bases gives the USA considerable political leverage.
"state sponsored killing" referred to collateral damage, not bases. i would definitely call the US Army blowing up Iraqi civilians "state sponsored killing". Hope that explains it.

As for the whole "there will be bloodshed if we withdraw"... damn, as if there isn't bloodshed now, and as if the bloodshed will stop quicker with an occupying christian army on their soil. Comparisons to Vietnam are interesting... last time I checked Vietnam was not a communist stronghold bathing in blood.

What you are saying, by extension, is "there should be US troops in every country where there's bloodshed" and that is totally impossible. What is so different about Iraq? Why not go prevent the bloodshed in Sudan or Burma or China or Russia? No war proponent has ever explained this to me.

About those bases you say aren't permanent:

We're talking about a U.S. embassy compound under construction these last years that's meant to hold 1,000 diplomats, spies, and military types (as well as untold numbers of private security guards, service workers, and heaven knows who else). It will operate in the Iraqi capital's heavily fortified Green Zone as if it were our first lunar colony. According to William Langewiesche, writing in Vanity Fair, it will contain "its own power generators, water wells, drinking-water treatment plant, sewage plant, fire station, irrigation system, Internet uplink, secure intranet, telephone center (Virginia area code), cell-phone network (New York area code), mail service, fuel depot, food and supply warehouses, vehicle-repair garage, and workshops."
...
When it comes to American construction projects in Iraq, the sky's really the limit. Just recently, National Public Radio's Defense Correspondent Guy Raz spent some time at Balad Air Base about 70 kilometers north of Baghdad. As Thomas Ricks of the Washington Post reported, back in 2006, Balad is essentially an "American small town," so big that it has neighborhoods and bus routes -- and its air traffic rivals Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/174858/baseless_considerations

Lurch says...

Well, no, I'm not saying by extension that we should be in every country with bloodshed. What I am saying is this. We already basically waltzed into their country and ignited sectarian violence. Sketchy reasoning aside, it was done. We are now involved in something which we started and can't be solved by just essentially saying, "Oops, see you guys later." To just wash our hands of it now and leave may sound wonderful, just like saying "War is bad" always sounds great, but there would be consequences. There's consequences if we stay, consequences if we leave. My basic point being that whether or not an immediate and complete withdrawl is the best option, I don't buy that line that it will stop the bloodshed. I think it will only multiply until Iraq becomes a theocracy, slaughters millions, and becomes a large propaganda victory to rally all the muslims that want us dead and will continue this fight somewhere else like Afghanistan.

MINK says...

^that kind of reasoning makes me tear my hair out.

withdrawl will not stop the bloodshed immediately. occupation will never stop the bloodshed. choose one.

Lurch says...

Well, I feel the same way about your reasoning basically. We have completely opposite points of view. I don't just form my opinions arbitrarily, I went there and spent over a year in that country as a US soldier. I've seen that everything is not as black and white as some like to make it out to be. Now that we have completely flown off the initial subject of the video, I think we both got our viewpoints out there. Let's just leave it at that.

MINK says...

you want a peaceful iraq, i want a peaceful iraq, our points of view might be different but our aims are the same. i protested the war, you joined it, but we were both trying to help each other.

given that neither of us know what would happen after a withdrawl, we can only argue about what is most likely. I think historical precedent comes down against the idea of occupying a country in order to achieve peace.

Britain occupied America and look what happened.

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