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Author Topic: News from the front line...
garlicguy

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Icon 1 posted July 14, 2005 16:18      Profile for garlicguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I read a lot of what folks post on GC Forums and elsewhere about the war in Irag and Afghanistan. To me, much of it seems to be informed by the media outlets. Maybe I'm wrong in saying that, but that is exactly how it looks from where I'm standing. I know more than a handful of people who have been deployed over there and have returned. Their stories differ significantly from the world's media outlets.

Anyway, for those who have not looked at the other side of the news, go here and click on the link to Corporal Casey Allen's update (says 'Here') in the middle right hand window. No one says you have to believe it, but reading it may give an insight to another perspective on the Middle East goings on...

FWIW

garlicguy

[Edit: BTW, when you're done with that, read the update by SSGT Marvin E. HernandezGarcia. Thanks for humoring the old guy in Montana]

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I don't know what I was thinking... it seemed like a good idea at the time.

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GMx

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Icon 1 posted July 14, 2005 16:30      Profile for GMx     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think most of the volunteer military has a right-wing bent, so that's what you're going to see. Also, the sight is run by a bunch of rich white lawyers and pols. I don't think they would put up any reports by people who are disgruntled. [ohwell]
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garlicguy

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Icon 1 posted July 14, 2005 16:35      Profile for garlicguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You may be right, GMx. Which is exactly the opposite number of most of the news we get (Left wing leaning, run by rich white lawyers, etc.) [Smile]
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GameMaster
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Icon 1 posted July 14, 2005 16:52      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
And the troops are troops... People on the ground in Iraq... not a fat cat behind a desk. Most of the soldiers ask for simple enough things, and don't sound like they are shiny military brass officers with ebony desks and gold pens.

So, you can either hear about Iraq from the men and women looking at numbers and spinning whatever tragedies they can get a hold of for ratings, or from the people who are really their and just want to tell us what's going on and ask for something to read while off duty.

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My Site

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ASM65816
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Icon 1 posted July 14, 2005 21:27      Profile for ASM65816   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Gunner Palace (DVD)
http://www.gunnerpalace.com/content/

You should be able to rent it at local video stores now.

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Once a proud programmer of Apple II's, he now spends his days and nights in cheap dives fraternizing with exotic dancers....

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted July 15, 2005 03:27      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Garlic Guy_______________Interesting that you should have started this thread as this link arrived in my eMail last night.





This site is one that will make you sad, mad, and proud all at the same time. It's too bad the media is what it is! !


http://www.wtv-zone.com/Mary/THISWILLMAKEYOUPROUD.HTML

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted July 15, 2005 07:37      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've got to admit, I stopped reading when he started justifying the war by referring to September 11.

I lived in London when the IRA were planting bombs all over the place, including a truck bomb that blew the fsck out of the HQ of the bank I worked for, and a fair tract of the financial district.

Never once did I hear anyone suggest the appropriate response was to invade Italy (after all, the IRA are Catholics, and the Catholics leader is based in Rome...)

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ooby
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Icon 1 posted July 15, 2005 07:48      Profile for ooby     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by garlicguy:
goings on...

/me motices the seldom used proper grammar, returns to lurking.

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garlicguy

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Icon 1 posted July 15, 2005 08:31      Profile for garlicguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
I've got to admit, I stopped reading when he started justifying the war by referring to September 11.

I lived in London when the IRA were planting bombs all over the place, including a truck bomb that blew the fsck out of the HQ of the bank I worked for, and a fair tract of the financial district.

Never once did I hear anyone suggest the appropriate response was to invade Italy (after all, the IRA are Catholics, and the Catholics leader is based in Rome...)

Hi Druid.

I read somewhere that Hitler claimed to be Catholic, but his behavior indicated otherwise. It seems that the Al Q and Taliban factions of Islam are also extreme factions, not endorsed by the mainlain adherents of the religion. (Theorem: Religious extremists can be dangerous, no matter the religion they claim!)

So I doubt the Church supports the IRA, but I took your comment above as illustrative, not literal. (I hope I got that right.) If you don't mind, I would like to press the point a bit further though.

Whether 9/11 should be considered the "start of the war", or attributed only as political rhetoric seems secondary to the issue of information reporting that we get from the media. Admittedly, the Marines and Army personnel from the US are going to fall in line with the command sound bites that they hear.

But that the Hussein family was conducting a reign of terror and that the Iraqi people (the majority, anyway) really want to be liberated and have the opportunity to live in a democratic republic does not seem to be a fantasy. WMD's? None found that have been reported. Exploitation of oil resources? A likely political and economic goal of our current administration. A population delivered from the unspeakable atrocities of a select regime of extremists and their followers? Maybe. I hope so. I don't generally favor situational ethics, and I do not favor unjust, unnecesary war. But I'm having real difficulty determining the facts in this one.

Either way, I respect that people have differing opinions here at GC. I'm rather hoping to have an intelligent debate on the topic of "news reliability", and offered the link(s) as a counterpoint to what I get from the mainline media. You know, the whole, "two sides to every story" thing that Mom taught us.

Which is why I appreciate your candor and civility, and if we continue to disagree on this point, that's fine. I'm hoping to become more informed myself and maybe at the same time help a few others to do the same.
[Wink]

Yours,

garlicguy

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I don't know what I was thinking... it seemed like a good idea at the time.

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nerdwithnofriends
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Icon 1 posted July 15, 2005 09:24      Profile for nerdwithnofriends     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks, GG, you basically voiced my entire opinion on the war. And I feel the same way: It's kind of hard to figure out.

Anyways, just thought I'd tell you that someone agrees.

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"The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower." - Robert M. Pirsig

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ChildeRoland
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Icon 1 posted July 15, 2005 16:02      Profile for ChildeRoland     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build the big bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks

You that never done nothin'
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it's your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain

You fasten the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
As young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud

You've thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain't worth the blood
That runs in your veins

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I'm young
You might say I'm unlearned
But there's one thing I know
Though I'm younger than you
Even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul

And I hope that you die
And your death'll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand o'er your grave
'Til I'm sure that you're dead

-Robert Zimmerman (aka Bob Dylan)

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Childe Roland

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted July 15, 2005 16:04      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by garlicguy:
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
I've got to admit, I stopped reading when he started justifying the war by referring to September 11.

I lived in London when the IRA were planting bombs all over the place, including a truck bomb that blew the fsck out of the HQ of the bank I worked for, and a fair tract of the financial district.

Never once did I hear anyone suggest the appropriate response was to invade Italy (after all, the IRA are Catholics, and the Catholics leader is based in Rome...)

Hi Druid.

I read somewhere that Hitler claimed to be Catholic, but his behavior indicated otherwise. It seems that the Al Q and Taliban factions of Islam are also extreme factions, not endorsed by the mainlain adherents of the religion. (Theorem: Religious extremists can be dangerous, no matter the religion they claim!)


While I agree with your mistrust of religious extremists, I don't think that's an accurate description of the IRA. I doubt if most of them have seen the inside of a church in years.

So I doubt the Church supports the IRA,

Correct. Last I heard, you could get excommunicated for belonging to the IRA.


but I took your comment above as illustrative, not literal.

Well done. [thumbsup]
If you can explain why it would be wrong to invade Italy in response to an IRA attack, then you should know why it's wrong to invade Iraq in response to S11.
Iraq had nothing to do with S11 (unless, or course, all muslims look alike to you).


secondary to the issue of information reporting that we get from the media.
Of course, the media prefer 'bad news' stories, it's kind of hard to sell papers based on "no-one killed in any disasters today" stories.
In war, 'bad news' stories are never hard to find, if a media outlet is concentrating on 'good news' stories, (can you say 'Fox News'?) you know you're being fed government propaganda.

A little aside: Traveling around Africa, I made a point of buying the local newspapers, it's a good way to get a feel for the local community.
In most countries, the papers were full of 'good news' stories about what a great job the government are doing, usually referring to the president as "Our Beloved President". When I got to Uganda, I picked up the paper to find a front-page editorial demanding the resignation of the president. That's how I knew the Ugandan government was one of the best in Africa.


Admittedly, the Marines and Army personnel from the US are going to fall in line with the command sound bites that they hear.

Some will, others won't.
There was an aussie documentary on the TV here a while back that interviewed a lot of US soldiers, and got a wide range of opinions, many far from complimentary about the justification and conduct of the war.

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Jace Raven

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Icon 1 posted July 15, 2005 16:52      Profile for Jace Raven         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I was once attached to 2nd FR BTN (If you dont know what this is dont worry about it just know that it is a grunt unit) as a comm augment. I was a radio operator/radio net master and my platoon sergeant asked me to come to the side and we discussed my views on the war.

I told him that, though i listen to the news, I take what they say knowing that 1)they will never report the whole story and 2) it will be reported the way that they are told to report it. There are always more than one way to tell a story and every way will show a different hero.

He said he was happy with my answer and asked me to listen to a CD that he had of a Recon Squad that had come accross a small issue. Most of you may remember. The news reported on it.

A fire team had bust into a room where there were a bunch of dead Insurgents laying around. The corporal who had gone point did the initial clear as the rest of the 4 man team came in the room. One of the bodies moved. He was laying on his chest with his arms positioned so that is hands "could" hold something about his chest level. The body moved to expose his chest to the team. "Look! He Moved!" they shot him. BAM! BAM "Got 'im!" and the cnn news crew had reported that a Marine had broke one of the laws of land warfare. Marines will provide care and treat all wounded enemies. What wasn't reported was that the day before that corporal had watched the same scenario played out and saw his Sergeant that went point into a room get killed because of an insurgent that had booby-traped his own body, rolled over and well...

Because of the news this marine was investigated and taken out of country. Normally the Fire Team Leader would have written a report once returned to base and he would have been dismissed on the grounds that the corporal felt his life was truly threatened.

Instead he WAS courts-marshalled for numerous actions and now lies in the brig for saving the lives of himself and fellow team members.

In the Marine Corps every marine is a rifle man first. This means even those few marines who sit behind a desk all day and type or do logistics or the supply marines who work in a warehouse all day, if asked to (and are commonly asked to), will be required to pick up a weapon and be what was earlier stated as a "real soldier" or a "ground unit".

I myself will be deploying as a comm augment to the 2nd FR Btn and have to pass a recon inaguration and will be providing basic radio communications for a fire team, convoy security, and CQB (room clearing and shit of the like). I'm going from a POG (person other-than grunt) to a combat unit.

This is something that persons in all services have to endure; going from a desk to the field and back occasionally. So to say that someone isn't a "real" soldier just becasue they aren't currently attached to a ground unit or in a combat MOS doesn't mean that they wont see their fare share of action.

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ChildeRoland
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Icon 1 posted July 15, 2005 17:48      Profile for ChildeRoland     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Who said anything about soldiers that run logistics (or report or do anything behind a desk)??

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Childe Roland

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garlicguy

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Icon 1 posted July 15, 2005 18:25      Profile for garlicguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
If you can explain why it would be wrong to invade Italy in response to an IRA attack, then you should know why it's wrong to invade Iraq in response to S11.

I don't think attacking Iraq based on 9/11 is right. I think that was a part of the multi-pronged justification (even if false) that the governments involved used to appease their constituencies when the invasion was launched.

Iraq had nothing to do with S11 (unless, or course, all muslims look alike to you).

Well I hope that all Muslims, Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, etc, and non-believers look alike. We're all humans, after all - [Big Grin]

A little aside: Traveling around Africa, I made a point of buying the local newspapers, it's a good way to get a feel for the local community.
In most countries, the papers were full of 'good news' stories about what a great job the government are doing, usually referring to the president as "Our Beloved President". When I got to Uganda, I picked up the paper to find a front-page editorial demanding the resignation of the president. That's how I knew the Ugandan government was one of the best in Africa.

Kindly ask these folk to send a few copies of their operations manual to our (collective) governments next time you're passing thru, will ya'? [Smile]

[Edit: My belated 'Howdy'to you ChildeRoland. Welcome to GC Forums. (I didn't dash your stars; in fact, I'll probably do what I can to help the little twinklers under your handle as soon as I finish this.) Robert Zimmerman is a near relative of mine. I'll leave you to figure out if he's the same one you quoted. But I enjoyed those lyrics, as I have many of Bob's finest. Not that he's always right, but he makes us think.]

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I don't know what I was thinking... it seemed like a good idea at the time.

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted July 15, 2005 18:41      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Jace Raven:


A fire team had bust into a room where there were a bunch of dead Insurgents laying around. The corporal who had gone point did the initial clear as the rest of the 4 man team came in the room. One of the bodies moved. He was laying on his chest with his arms positioned so that is hands "could" hold something about his chest level. The body moved to expose his chest to the team. "Look! He Moved!" they shot him. BAM! BAM "Got 'im!" and the cnn news crew had reported that a Marine had broke one of the laws of land warfare. Marines will provide care and treat all wounded enemies. What wasn't reported was that the day before that corporal had watched the same scenario played out and saw his Sergeant that went point into a room get killed because of an insurgent that had booby-traped his own body, rolled over and well...

I remember this. I remember the embedded journalist at the scene writing a piece defending this soldier (he told it pretty much the same way you did). I remember reflecting on the huge mess our government got us all into. :/

I'm not a huge fan of this war. I respect your choice to join the military Jace, but I really wish you didn't have to be sent to Iraq. Best of luck. Take care. And please...don't do anything stupid.

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ChildeRoland
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Icon 1 posted July 15, 2005 19:15      Profile for ChildeRoland     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by garlicguy:
Not that he's always right, but he makes us think.]

exactly.

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Childe Roland

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted July 16, 2005 16:30      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by garlicguy:
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
That's how I knew the Ugandan government was one of the best in Africa.[/b]

Kindly ask these folk to send a few copies of their operations manual to our (collective) governments next time you're passing thru, will ya'? [Smile]

'Best government in Africa' isn't really saying much [Frown]

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Groggle
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Icon 1 posted July 16, 2005 19:11      Profile for Groggle     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The troops on the ground always have my support - they are doing a job that I couldn't do; and they are doing it in the midst of conditions that are best described as unfortunately hideous.

(One exception - when events like Abu Ghraib take place - even under orders, those acts are reprehensible beyond excuse)

Most people I know direct their distaste for the situation that troops in Iraq find themselves in at the political masters of those troops.

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tweety
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Icon 1 posted July 16, 2005 21:41      Profile for tweety   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
First things first, the American public was, at the most charitable, unwittingly misled through bad intelligence. At worst, we were out and out lied to. Regardless of our current administrations inability to lead through honesty and true science (slight jab there), Hussein was in direct violation of numerous UN resolutions for over a decade. IMO, that is grounds enough to go to war in order to remove him. (Don't start with N. Korea, they have nukes and are crazy enough to use them, which changes the playing field greatly.)

Everyone seems to forget history. It was through the inactions of those nations with enough power to prevent the first WW that it started. It was again through inactions, and even worse, appeasement of a tyrannical, genocidal leader that WW II occurred. (As an aside, during WW II, before Pearl Harbor was bombed and the US formerly joined the war, the US was illegaly supplying Britain with weapons and ammunition, which is also what we did during WW I -> Lucetania) As the sole world power we must ensure that those who would wish to create havoc and disorder are dealt with properly. Otherwise, who else will? Containment of madmen only works for so long. Most of Europe learned that the hard way starting in the late '30's.

I used to work for a DoD contractor and had the pleasure to work with a bunch of great guys, mostly ex-Navy. While their perspective tended to be a bit to the right, I really did learn a lot once I figured out how to read between the lines and filter out just the facts. (I tend to lean to the left, mostly center, though. Mostly I feel that we as a society need to take care of each other, but I mistrust government, especially big government.) Truth is there is a certain segment of the US population which hates this country and would like to see many of its institutions razed to the ground. Fine, a revolution every 20 years is good for the country. But, there doesn't seem to be an answer as to what comes next, which to me is a very dangerous thing. So, much of what is reported is sensationalized for ratings, and is mostly negative because of personal and political agendas. But, journalism has always been this way, I'm sure many of you have heard of yellow journalism. It hasn't gone away, it's just better disguised.

The punch line to all this is that everyone has an agenda. Those who fight for this country fight so that we all have the freedom to have our agenda. I wholeheartedly support them, and I do support this war. Not because of what the administration tells us, it's full of half-truths and marketing spin. But. because Hussein is a madman and would have eventually brought the entire region into a war. And, because the terrorists targeting our country have rallied around false gods and beliefs and are using them against us. Don't think that we were attacked because we have some military units on someone elses soil. We were attacked because of who we are, our society, our beliefs, our way of life. It is jealousy, fanaticism and a massive G-d complex. Funny thing is, that if it weren't for our money, bin Laden wouldn't be so damned wealthy.

Take this for what it's worth, a short history lesson mixed with some random guys opinion.

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tweety
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Icon 1 posted July 17, 2005 08:48      Profile for tweety   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
guys opinion.
AHHH...how could I have made such a stupid grammatical error.

Please read "guy's opinion." There are not multiples of me, I hope. Boy, that probably wouldn't be good if there were more than one of me.

All other grammitcal and spelling errors you will have to catch on your own. Good luck, and G-d speed.

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If I were a good man I'd talk to you more often than I do.
American Fairy Tales
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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted July 17, 2005 16:11      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
tweety: Please note the little pencil icon above and to the right of your post - this is the "Edit" button.

Welcome! [Smile]

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted July 22, 2005 02:42      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well please accept this with as much humility as GG's original post IMHO, YMMV etc etc, but I have recently met a charming family on my holidays here in Greece. The parents are both doctors, and the father is a member of the TA reserve, and as such was posted to Basra in Iraq last year.

His story (told to me very humbly, and with no particular political axe to grind) is the polar opposite of those on GG's web site, and that our media rather than having an anti war agenda, is reluctant to report exactly how bad things are. I will not go into more detail as it is obviously 2nd hand evidence, but GG you should consider the possibility that tha purpose of that web site may be right wing propaganda, and to bolster morale both domestic and for the troops. The US right has over the last few years become expert in using the media in general and the web in particular for naked and particularly virulent propaganda.

It is very convenient for the supporters of the Bush administration to blame a "liberal media conspiracy" when things are not going their way, but this handily ignores the fact that the media in general and US media in particular is actually much more right wing than it ever has been before. This sadly is in my opinion, just another example of how partisan and intolerant US politics has become. Neither side has any respect for the other, and you conservatives cannot even countenance another point of view being made.

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"Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon" - Milton

Posts: 2922 | From: Brighton - UK | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Serenak

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Icon 1 posted July 22, 2005 03:31      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Trouble is in this situation (and probably why GG started this thread) EVERYONE has an agenda be it open for all to see (i.e. the military) or hidden (who knows who?)

The media might be telling the truth, or they might be a load of bleeding hearts bleating over what we should/shouldn't be doing or then again they might be being manipulated by the powers that be to tell us what they think we want to hear (or not as the case might be).

When you can't be sure what the truth is (and short of taking a trip to Basra or somewhere to take a look for myself I sure don't know what it is) how can you make any sort of judgement at all?

Knowledge is power and the removal of "clean" information (by whomever for whatever purpose) removes our ability to judge the situation for ourselves and increases the ability of "THEM" to manipulate the majority of the populace by instructing them what to think about it....

Am I paranoid enough yet? Trouble is I don't know - usually I prefer the "cock up over conspiracy" view but only "they" know the truth....

[Frown]

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"So if you want my address - it's No. 1 at the end of the bar, where I sit with the broken angels, clutching at straws and nursing my scars..."

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Sxeptomaniac

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Icon 1 posted July 22, 2005 09:22      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Callipygous:
This sadly is in my opinion, just another example of how partisan and intolerant US politics has become. Neither side has any respect for the other

True. I haven't been able to stomach the dialogue coming out of either party for years now.

quote:
Originally posted by Callipygous:
and you conservatives cannot even countenance another point of view being made.

Liberals have been just as bad in the past few years. Each side has it's preferred method of ignoring, discounting, or simply shouting down the opposition.

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Let's pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere. - C. S. Lewis

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