RANGER AGAINST WAR: Taking the Low Road <

Monday, October 15, 2007

Taking the Low Road

Ranger Question of the Day:

Is it possible that Justice Roberts and Justice Alito
paid for their Supreme Court seats by agreeing

before nomination not to review torture, habeas corpus

or rendition cases while GWB is still in office?

A Faustian bargain, bought and paid for.


Oh! ye'll take the high road and
I'll take the low road,
And I'll be in Scotland afore ye
--Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomand, traditional Scots tune

"Getting home" sounds nice, but in this song it just means you're dead.

The New York Times' Frank Rick penned a good column this weekend on the complicity in torture endemic to this administration (The 'Good Germans" Among Us.)

"Ten days ago The Times unearthed yet another round of secret Department of Justice memos countenancing torture. President Bush gave his standard response: “This government does not torture people.” Of course, it all depends on what the meaning of “torture” is. The whole point of these memos is to repeatedly recalibrate the definition so Mr. Bush can keep pleading innocent.

"By any legal standards except those rubber-stamped by Alberto Gonzales, we are practicing torture, and we have known we are doing so ever since photographic proof emerged from Abu Ghraib more than three years ago."

One must wonder why U.S. Army snipers can gun down unarmed suspects and then beg off by citing the "only following orders" explanation. It is clear and obvious (even to a Ranger) that all the miscreants tried and found guilty at Abu Ghraib were only following orders, also.

Why does that defense work now, but didn't back then? In light of current adjudication, the West Virginia posse should be released. Either all should be prosecuted equally, or none should be.

The entire shooting match is a legal joke. The Abu Ghraib trials prove one thing: the system will find a soldier guilty if the C in C needs a scapegoat. As always, soldiers are expendable, especially if they are hillbilly reservists.

"I have always maintained that the American public was the least culpable of the players during the run-up to Iraq. The war was sold by a brilliant and fear-fueled White House propaganda campaign designed to stampede a nation still shellshocked by 9/11. Both Congress and the press — the powerful institutions that should have provided the checks, balances and due diligence of the administration’s case — failed to do their job. Had they done so, more Americans might have raised more objections. This perfect storm of democratic failure began at the top."

While this encapsulates the con job, it does not address the underlying problem, namely, WHY?

Why is our system incapable of stopping a steamroller run up to a phony war? Why are we as citizens powerless to stop it? Why is Congress sitting on their collective hands? "As the war has dragged on, it is hard to give Americans en masse a pass. We are too slow to notice, let alone protest, the calamities that have followed the original sin."

Rich goes on to mention the armor procurement problems, the failure of Walter Reed and other military hospitals and the problems with the contractor corps' frontier mentality:

"We first learned of the use of contractors as mercenaries when four Blackwater employees were strung up in Falluja in March 2004, just weeks before the first torture photos emerged from Abu Ghraib. We asked few questions. When reports surfaced early this summer that our contractors in Iraq (180,000, of whom some 48,000 are believed to be security personnel) now outnumber our postsurge troop strength, we yawned. Contractor casualties and contractor-inflicted casualties are kept off the books."

Ranger sees the "stringing up" of the four Blackwater employees in 2004 as a backlash by Fallujah residents who had reached a saturation point following contractor abuses and malfeasance. This was not terrorism, but neighborhood street justice. Why did the crowd mete out such barbarous behavior which would seem to exceed the norm?

"We ignored the contractor scandal to our own peril. Ever since Falluja this auxiliary army has been a leading indicator of every element of the war’s failure: not only our inadequate troop strength but also our alienation of Iraqi hearts and minds and our rampant outsourcing to contractors rife with Bush-Cheney cronies and campaign contributors. Contractors remain a bellwether of the war’s progress today. When Blackwater was briefly suspended after the Nisour Square catastrophe, American diplomats were flatly forbidden from leaving the fortified Green Zone. So much for the surge’s great “success” in bringing security to Baghdad."

Exactly. If the surge is so successful, why can't embassy staff travel freely in the new people's democratic republic of Iraq?

"Last week Paul Rieckhoff, an Iraq war combat veteran who directs Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, sketched for me the apocalypse to come. Should Baghdad implode, our contractors, not having to answer to the military chain of command, can simply 'drop their guns and go home.' Vulnerable American troops could be deserted by those 'who deliver their bullets and beans.'”

I have not seen this eventuality discussed by the pundits or the administration. What does happen if there is a general uprising, Mogadishu-style? Will the contractors risk their bacon to deliver the beans? Ranger somehow doubts it, unless of course the bonus packages keep coming.

"Our humanity has been compromised by those who use Gestapo tactics in our war. The longer we stand idly by while they do so, the more we resemble those 'good Germans' who professed ignorance of their own Gestapo."

Our treatment of the occasional dissenters is damning. Lt. Commander Matt Diaz went to prison for leaking the names of the Black Hole of Gitmo disappearees. He was true and righteous in this action, and the system pounded him into the ground. Not a good omen if we wish to escape the epithet of the hypocritical "Good German."

Rich concludes with a call to action to rouse the Congress, to fillibuster all night if need be. "There is nothing left to lose except whatever remains of our country’s good name."

What a shame. What a sham.

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Anonymous Labrys said...

+++Will the contractors risk their bacon to deliver the beans? Ranger somehow doubts it, unless of course the bonus packages keep coming.++

No. They already proved themselves incapable of giving a shit about the troops. In the FIRST summer of this war, as I built the Walk of the Fallen, I wept as I worked in the summer heat because I had read stories of military units being limited to 3 or fewer quart bottles of water per day in 120 degree heat. Why so little? Because the CIVILIAN contractors who were to supply them begged off after Army supply convoys (like Jessica Lynch's unit) were attacked. I was drinking a quart of water per hour in 90 degree heat and I was suffering enough to work only four hours a day. Pity our troops don't have THAT option, as the contractors apparenly DO.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007 at 12:03:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Lisa said...

Doesn't bode well for the troops. does it, labrys?

Not exactly a "coalition of the willing," so much as an uneasy cohabitation of the professional soldier and the not-so-devoted but better-paid mercenary. Only one can cut and run without repercussion.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007 at 12:46:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"ranger" what a chicken-shit little turd you are! You take the safe way out and join the Marxist establishment in attacking the admittedly crummy, politically correct, US military. But assholes like you made it what it is. Buy you wanna be safe when the Marxist terror goes into over drive you pouting puke mouth coward!

You have mange of the brain and I am putting you on quarantine!

Do you get my drift?

Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 1:12:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Labrys (AKA Ass Breath)

Hey Cry Baby.

Kiss My Ass!

Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 1:14:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Anon, jul 3,
It always amazes my chicken shit turd ass brain that people like you hide behind anonymity. Always.
If you have any counter points to make , then do so.
You miss my point- i was attacking contractors.
Labrys is a fine person and is doing a great service to her country.
Anyway , have a nice day.

Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 3:33:00 PM GMT-5  

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