Sunday, July 17, 2005

Can We Clone Him And Put Him In Charge?

Some readers may have seen this already, but I just came across a great story out of Iraq. While on patrol in Baghdad on June 2nd, Army Pfc. Stephen Tschiderer was shot in the chest by an enemy sniper in a van. Because of his protective body armor, he survived the shot, took cover, pursued the insurgents as they sped away, then gave medical aid to the same man who had just tried to kill him.

The sniper attack was filmed by the insurgents. Read the news report and watch the video here, and be sure your speakers are on.

This is a good illustration of why war must be a last resort, and the pretense for it damn well better not be false. We are approaching two thousand others like him who did not get up, and unless our present course changes it appears there will be many more. "Supporting the troops" means demanding that politicians give men and women like this a viable, defined mission, then bring them home. It means questioning each new justification for an ever-lengthening war that comes out of D.C. And it means being alert for and rejecting the use of cynical word games--such as the insurgents-as-terrorists folly---that accompany and enable mission creep.

How's our political leadership doing in living up to the example of courage and truth set by Pfc. Tschiderer?

9 Comments:

Anonymous Antonie said...

Tony Blair made a step in the right direction by identifying extremist Islam as the evil ideology that's causing the problem of terrorism. Extremist Islam should be our focus. Iraq is a complete sideshow, bungled from the start. I have no idea how it will get resolved.

7/17/2005 9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Tschiderer secured the terrorist" - from the news story. Nice. Do they think that this language change will make americans change their minds and start supporting the war?

I wonder what the insurgents were saying. I caught "Allah" several times but that's it. A translation would be nice.

Is it a common thing that the insurgents bring video cameras on their attacks? I wasn't aware of that. It's disturbing to watch our troop being treated like prey - like a deer on the hunting channel.

7/17/2005 1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the video I heard "allah akbar" repeated over and over, which, I believe, means "god is great"

7/17/2005 1:24 PM  
Anonymous marinmiss said...

Put him in charge, yes, and send those in charge to REPLACE him.

7/17/2005 4:55 PM  
Blogger Chris F. said...

Cunning Realist: AMEN re: "supporting our troops". It's about time that the administration and those conservatives who believe "supporting our troops" means not questioning the president's leadership skills, planning skills and intention for the war; it's time those conservatives realize that supporting our troops means having an overwhelmingly appropriate and focused mission. Appropriate means that there is a positive, unrelenting, indisputible and immediate threat to our national security. There is a reason why we call it the Department of Defense. It is in place to defend our security. The president is failing in his mission in Iraq; which, by the way, I have opposed all along. As was previously discussed, it strikes me as seriously immoral to fight a war on the territory owned by Iraqi civilians, risking those civilians, when they had no part in any terror attempt made against the United States.

Take the war to Afghanistan (where there is even more failure under way), Seria (where those who attacked us were trained), Saudi Arabia (where those who planned to attack us were born, raised, indoctrinated and trained), or anywhere else terror is bred. The Iraqi people do not deserve to die in our war. Granted, in their fight for freedom, they certainly will have to sacrifice. But in the United States' war on terror, the Iraqi people do not deserve to die simply so that American civilian lives are spared. My life is not worth more than a productive Iraqi citizen's life, nor is it worth less. Let me face the terrorists with the same heroism demonstrated by PFC Tschiderer, in my daily life.

I could not disagree with Antoine more. The LAST thing we need to do is focus on Islam of any interpretation (extreme, liberal, conservative, orthodox or otherwise). The United States is not fighting a war against a religion (or any interpretation thereof). We are actually fighting a war against psychopaths who believe the United States Government and the People of the United States are one in the same; and those who believe that because I live in freedom I am as evil as my governement, which does not try to oppress me (theoretically...all up for political discussion at a later date). To focus on Extreme Islam as a means of defeating terrorists will actually only serve to push orthodox Islamists over the edge into Extrem Islam. There will be a massive shift in thinking from the Middle East which would only serve to make more enemies. We need to focus away from Islam, and focus on the value of human life. We need to continue to spread the idea that one human life is as valuable as all human life. My life is as valuable as your life is as valuable as an Iraqi's life is as valuable as any other individual's life; and that destroying one life, including your own is as counter-productive as one man claiming his life is more valuable than another man's life (dictatorships, for example). Once extremists begin to value their lives, and the lives of everyone around them and the lives of those in the global community, they will no longer desire to kill or to be killed. It's not easy, it's not even challenging. This mission is the most difficult mission ever undertaken. But killing innocents and insulting their religion in the pursuit of it will never solve the problem.

7/19/2005 1:49 PM  
Blogger OskarShapley said...

Antonie is wrong.

Blair NEVER identifed islam as an evil ideology. He expilictly differentiated between the religion islam and the terrorists' ideology.

To Bush's credit, he has recently done the same thing. (I guess to the dismay of LGFers.)

7/20/2005 4:50 PM  
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