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Sunday, May 02, 2004

Comments

steve

Fine, Steve. You call for their resignations -- but, let me know what they say, will ya?

--i'm not calling for anything outside of leaving Iraq--though I would hardly make the call as an individual of course... but if people wanna call for their resignations, that's fine with me...

i do think their resignations would be more intelligent than just punishing a few very low level soldiers, which is probably about all we will see in the end, plus a lot of rhetoric expressing 'shock' 'disgust' etc...

Rus Steel

Forget it. I'll call for their resignations. You hear that Marc? Resignations! And while we're at it, let's get some cheeseburgers!

Marc Cooper

Cheeseburgers? I love cheeseburgers!

steve

I call for a Lakers victory tomorrow night...much better chance of that than any substantive change in military policy coming from this scandal...

i'll have my cheeseburger if the cow is graised naturally on the range...i get that from Ronald Reagan btw...and he was as PC as they get.

William Meisheid

Calling Americans working as contractors for America in Iraq "mercenaries" goes against the fundamental meaning of the word - "A professional soldier hired for service in a foreign army." I know using mercenary hits with strong subliminal baggage but hey, its a bald-face lie. Why don't you do the ethical thing and post a retraction and campaign against its use? Or is that too much to ask?

John Delay

Marc,
You lament the fact the Americans are finally handing over control of Falhujah to ex-Iraqi soldiers from the old regime. However, this is precisely the problem; it took years for Saddam and his military, and secret police to tame to impulsive and terroristic nature of the cauldron that is Iraq. Therefore, maybe Americans ought to learn a few techniques from their predecessors.

Heiko Gerhauser

As one of the most adamant supporters of the coalition action in Iraq, I must say that the aim is to advance democracy and good governance in the Middle East, and that that is rather different from making Iraq pro American.

France is a democracy. We aren't worried about them having WMD's, or that anti Americanism there could lead to war.

Iraq can be virulently anti American, indeed, it may even restock itself with WMD's, without having to fear an American invasion, as long as, like France, it's a stable democracy.

Calling Americans working as contractors for America in Iraq "mercenaries" goes against the fundamental meaning of the word - "A professional soldier hired for service in a foreign army."

mercenary sounds like the right word to me

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0401-14.htm

steve

As one of the most adamant supporters of the coalition action in Iraq, I must say that the aim is to advance democracy and good governance in the Middle East, and that that is rather different from making Iraq pro American

---democracy isn't about pressuring foreign governments that you control to privatize everything under the sun:

http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20030428&s=klein

Heiko Gerhauser

Iraq's oil industry is going to stay nationalised, as it did in Kuwait.

Right now, Iraq is generating lots of costs for the US.

Any net economic benefit is confined to the long term and rests on the presumption that a more peaceful and democratic world, will also be a wealthier world.

Iraq won't accept a puppet regime, and the US doesn't want to impose one.

William Meisheid

"mercenary sounds like the right word to me"

It would to someone thinking ideologically and in the service of propaganda and not rationally or honestly. Americans working for America are not mercenaries by definition. But lets not let the truth or facts get in the way of good propaganda. I dispair of the future when dishonesty is becoming normative for discourse and argument.

steve

It would to someone thinking ideologically and in the service of propaganda and not rationally or honestly. Americans working for America are not mercenaries by definition.

--from dictionary.com

mercenary: One who serves or works merely for monetary gain; a hireling.

William Meisheid

"mercenary: One who serves or works merely for monetary gain; a hireling."

True, but that usage is general, as doing anything for money alone and can be applied to any and all endeavors. This can be applied even to soldiers in your own army as well as teachers, doctors, or anyone. It is however applied individually as I note below.

But the second definition is specific to foreigners hired to serve in military capacities. That does not apply in this case and this is the general meaning applied to mercenaries in conflicts during the last 40-50 years everywhere around the globe and is the common meaning that carries such negative connotations and propaganda value, whether in the Congo or other parts of Africa by way of example. In this context, the Cuban troops used in numerous African locations as Soviet surrogates to aid various communist efforts were true mercenaries as were other foreigners brought in to fight them.

However, by definition that does not apply to American contractors working for American interests in Iraq. Now as to whether the first definition might apply (it cannot be applied as a sweeping generalization for obvious reasons) you cannot honestly do so since each individual's motives will be different and the mere fact they are paid does not ipso facto make them a mercenary--except to the purveyors of propaganda and dishonest use of language.

Enough said.

steve

Iraq won't accept a puppet regime, and the US doesn't want to impose one.

--wow...so all that stuff about getting chalabi in as the next president...just a lot of hot air, eh? and all the privatization taking place without any consultation with the Iraqi people...just stuff of our imaginations, eh? the 14 military bases planned to be kept there permanently...just a fantasy...right.

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