Saturday, November 11, 2006

A Pause, Before Moving On...

Arlington West, Santa Barbara CA

Flags are planted as part of a weekly memorial in Santa Barbara honoring American military personnel killed in the Iraq war.
About a dozen volunteers have shown up week after week since the start. They're joined by up to 30 others who appear now and again. Some started coming only in recent months, prompted by rumors that the project would cease for lack of help.

Except for a few rainouts, this Santa Barbara display has been erected every Sunday since Nov. 2, 2003. At its start the project had 340 of them. Last Sunday, there were 2,831.

A committee is grappling with the question of limiting the crosses, which now span nearly an acre of prime beachfront. Although the city has given its blessing to the project, some volunteers grimly anticipate that it might one day crowd sunbathers and spill over into areas reserved for beach volleyball.

A debate over its propriety recently flared in the letters columns of the Santa Barbara News-Press, with some writers saying it exploits fallen heroes for political gain.

20 Moderated Comments:

Blogger skip sievert said...

Fallen Heroes.? You mean the dupes that were sent over to Iraq.?

Support our Dupes.?

A rag tag assortment of torturers and baby killers and rapists/murderers.?

$20.000 reenlistment bonus.? Short of the $25.000 that Saddam used to give the families of suicide bombers.

$20.000 though was enough to get a few to go back and shoot some more innocent people, and then end up with a silly cross on a beach.

Death is a beach.

Next time to you drive by a service man or women why don`t you roll down the window and yell, baby killer.~!!

I urge people in the military to desert in protest of the war.

Now James Baker head of the Carlyle group and one of the scum of the earth will rejigger things.?

11/11/2006 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger an average patriot said...

Vigilante
First I have to say I am insulted by skips comment. i have a son in Afghanistan and another that is flying in and around the middle east. They are lifers and work for America.
I remember when this project began. I am sorry to see it growing so large but would like to see it continue!

11/11/2006 09:10:00 AM  
Blogger skip sievert said...

I don`t suppose you are insulted enough to actually try and change things.?

Would you encourage your sons to drop out, and blow the whistle on what is actually happening.?

How many innocent people have your sons killed.?

You are a cog.

They work for America.? Right now they are baby killing scumballs.

If you love them help them to desert.

11/11/2006 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger LittleBill said...

Skip, your comments really bother me. We were all duped into this war by a man who said he believed in God and values and freedom. Sure, some, possibly many of our service men and women have done terrible things. Many of them, and many who don't serve, do terrible things here at home, war or no war. The human animal has many flaws, and the more of us there are, the more frequent and terrible will probably be the things that we do in the future. But what is so sad for those who have chosen to serve is that that terrible man chose to build his own personal statue of greatness on their blood.

11/11/2006 06:00:00 PM  
Blogger skip sievert said...

Little Bill , I don`t think this has much to do with Bush. It is the system itself. This type of system has run on a war footing since world war two.

Bush is only doing what all the scoundrels of our system do. Try and make money.

Baker will now try and turn this somehow into some kind of money scam again.
Little Bill, I doubt if you were taken in by the Iraq thing.
Perhaps you were.
Most people just turned a blind eye to the whole thing , and both the so called political party`s were promoting it.
At bottom these people knew that big money , large contracts, huge manipulations of resources were going to happen.
There is enough blame to go around for our lack of caring about human beings.
We need to have a system that is not like this system now.
We reward murder and mayhem. Our economy is dependent on war.

11/11/2006 07:06:00 PM  
Anonymous pekka said...

This just might be my fare well post here for I have a hunch that what I am about to write next is going to offend you, Vigil, and the rest of you, American patriots.

Vigil, you might remember my first post ever on your site in which I was underlining the big difference between how wars are felt there in the U.S.A. and elsewhere? Your wars take place usually thousands of miles from home and hardly make a dent to your life back home.

Elsewhere, totality of a war brings an associated mayhem, bloodshed and depravations to soldiers and civilians alike. It tends also to leave behind a country with ruined cities and without an infrastructure and a hope to go on.

Perhaps, based on this relatively easy way of warring, the American society is the most warlike I know. Acceptance of a war to iron wrinkless off from your foreign tanglements, seem to get still support like nowhere else in the Industrialized world.

There is so much getting together as a nation in celebration of the heroic wars and the heros that took part in them and, I suppose, some of it justifieable. However, this constant marching and parading, at least to me, doesn't increase distaste for the wars but exactly the opposite could be claimed.

When supposingly the best people of your society are the ones that essentially are professional killers, I find it somehow disturbing. I am a realist enough to recognize that the soldiers are (unfortunately) needed just as are the teacher, cops and bus drivers. However, the constant barage of praises for these individuals, whom are just doing what they are paid to do (sometimes well and sometimes not) is puzzling to me.

It has gone so far that no real questioning about the way your boys are behaving can be had. To me, there are two institutions that every nation better scrutinize for their own good; the armed forces, and the police. However, to do it to your rank and file is like taking a stroll on a mine field.

11/11/2006 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger Star A. Decise said...

A heartbreaking tribute

11/12/2006 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger skip sievert said...

Really.? A tribute to what.?

Human greed and stupidity.?

Disregard for human life. ?

A tribute to all the scam artists and hucksters that run our society.?

11/12/2006 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

How easy it is for me to remember one of Pekka's earliest posts in here. On my Mayday '05 post, he made a searing and poignant observation on how America, despite its irregular but frequent use of military force to - as he says immediately above - "to iron wrinkles off from our foreign entanglements ", has never understood the hellish effects of war. He has returned to this theme in these pages occasionally to point out that Americans, apart from suffering casualties, have rarely been one the receiving end of military conflict.

I find that this observation to have been so unique that I have previously labeled it as PEKKA'S COMPLAINT. That is because it also (a) valid and (b) relevant.

A. Valid: Between Pearl Harbor (7 Dec 41) and Twin-Towers & Pentagon (11-Sep-01), America had never suffered massive civilian casualties or damage to its civilian infra-structure as a result of external attack.

B. Relevant: it is arguable the 'shock and awe' with which Americans responded to the attacks of 9-11: that someone would have the audacity to strike us - the US of A - at our very center was the prime motivator for Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld to randomly pick Iraq first out of the pack as a 'target-rich' Arab state and to visit disproportionate 'shock and awe' upon it.

This goes to the heart of Bush's un-provoked, unnecessary, largely unilateral invasion and unplanned occupation of Iraq (UULUIUOI).

I find Pekka's Complaint an embarrassing and discomforting, but compelling theme which we Americans should review and address.

Pekka, in these pages, I have suffered mightily during your long absence, for the lack of an authentic criticism of myself and my once-great country. And I appeal to you again, not to abandon us before your witness is heard and your inconvenient truths understood.

Your work here is far from complete.

11/12/2006 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

I do not find any similar merit in Skip's blame-America-first whining. The best thing I can say about Sievert is that he is no longer engaging in blatant and wholesale spamming for his 'technocracy' as solutions to all our problems. His appearance in these pages serves as a testimony of our free speech commitments.

I have to observe that on his own site, when confronted by Contratimes on the central tenets of technocracy's dogma - the value of currency - Sievert plaintively asked his visitor to leave.)

Sievert has so cavalierly tossed off the epithet of 'you cog' onto all of the best contributors in my pages that I'm about to Google up an iconic symbol of a cog so that I may reproduce it for all of us, that we may paste it on our shoulder as a emblem of solidarity of those whom Sievert attacks.

11/12/2006 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger LTE said...

Call me a cog, if you must, Skip. I resent your disrespecting the troops. Give me your best shot.

11/12/2006 06:24:00 PM  
Anonymous pekka said...

Vigil, it is a great relief to see that my possibly insensitive words were taken in the spirit that they were meant.

As much as I appreciate your (too) kind words and the mysterious kinship between us, I don't find that the person you descripe is me. As the matter of fact, I am scared to make an other comment in oder not to be found out.

11/12/2006 06:59:00 PM  
Blogger Blogging4Food said...

Vigilante, you have enough crosses to bear. I will wear the symbol of Cog-in-Chief for all assembled in here. It's the very least I can do.

11/12/2006 07:32:00 PM  
Blogger skip sievert said...

Vigilante , I pretty much just use my site as a bill board to direct people elsewhere.
I also sensed that Contra times had no real interest , and said that more or less .
I also appreciate forebearance shown me. My role is not so easy sometimes.

Pekka I really adore most of your commentary. Please let fly your thoughts and ideas. Whats the worst that can happen.? If they put up with me here , they most likely will you also.

11/12/2006 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger skip sievert said...

Hey food Blogger thats funny.~!~

11/12/2006 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger skip sievert said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/12/2006 07:53:00 PM  
Blogger the WIZARD, fkap said...

I had overlooked this interesting and heated exchange and only read all the entries tonight.

I realize my position in these matters is often difficult for the group here to understand.

But please be aware that there is no one in our little group with whom I AGREE MORE than pekka.

I believe in ONE WORLD, ONE MORALITY, ONE SET OF HUMAN RIGHTS, ONE PEOPLE,ONE HUMANITY.

pekka's posts make me weep becasue they are so true. Nothing blinds us more than our patriotism, our political agenda and our nationalistic pride.

I cry every time I read a "post" that states we must leave __________ (you name the country or battlefront), before "one more American dies," because in making that statement we assert that an American life somehow has more intrinsic value than any other life.

If we want to say America must leave ____________ (fill in the blank) before our soldiers kill one more inncocent soul, that carries more moral weight. But even that argument is usually flawed and egocentric and covers a hidden agenda.

The situations in the world are complex and Darfur is a better example of that complexity than Iraq. But in both places Innocents are being killed, mained, raped, beaten, renderd homeless, starving and forgotten.

pekka sees this so very clearly. We MUST keep our eye on the people and not the politicians, for the people carry all the weight of war on their shoulders.

the Wizard......

11/12/2006 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger Messenger said...

With respect to the exchange between Vigilante and Pekka and the elevation of 9-11 attacks to the gravity of Pearl Harbor:

I wonder if this isn't breaking against the shores of our national sensitivities. Remember Bill Maher's grudging admiration of Osama's terrorists?
"the armed terrorists who killed 6,000 unarmed are not cowards"
Of course his statement proved to have been as Politically Incorrect as if had he said the same thing of Hiro Hito's bombers of 1941. It is impossible for Americans to discuss this subject of OBL's ingenuity. It takes a Pekka (who is either a Finn or a Canadian) to broach the subject of Americans' shock and outrage of having their vaunted geographic invulnerability being violated. It has been a deeply-felt insult, nationally felt.

But I'm wondering if Vigilante doesn't have a real point here (for a change): To have had something of this magnitude to have happened on his watch must have seemed to George Bush to be an insufferable indignity, causing him to strike out blindly, randomly and self-destructively at Iraq.

At the heart of Americans displeasure at George Bush is his failure to finish off the author of 9-11. That is what makes heroic service and sacrifice of our servicemen and women in Iraq a honorable duty in a dishonorable cause. Especially so, since blood and treasure wasted in Iraq has sacrificed our mission in Afghanistan.

11/13/2006 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger Recidivist said...

Howard Zinn is in alignment with Pekka:

"Veterans Day should be an occasion for a national vow: No more war victims on the other side; no more war veterans on our side."

11/13/2006 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger Wysiwyg said...

I would like to thank Little Bill and the Average American Patriot for their statements.

11/13/2006 11:24:00 AM  

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