Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Grim milestones, maimed veterans, media madness, misguided protesters, and the Marines defend Berkeley

with 7 comments


Maybe grim headstone would be more appropriate. We’re up to 863 dead this year, the previous worst year was 849 in 2004. The grand total now stands at 3,856 American dead since we invaded Iraq in search of non-existent WMDs, the hillside memorial in Lafayette is getting rather crowded. On the one hand, as wars go, it’s not very many dead Americans. On the other hand, for every cross there are dozens of veterans with permanent disfiguring physical and mental injuries. Not to mention that every dead and maimed veteran has friends and family who share their loss and pain. Finally on the gripping hand, even one dead American is too many considering Iraq is a stupid war based on lies and wishful thinking. And of course hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are dead, but who’s counting?

Yes, American casualties are down the past four months. Thank God for small favours. Though as I have stated before, this appears to be because we are withdrawing to our bases and turning authority over to local tribes and clans. Not to mention buying off local leaders. The central Iraqi government is about as legitimate as it ever was, which is to say it’s a quisling government. Restating the obvious: Governments that require foreign troops to stay in power are not legitimate governments.

Great, this milestone is just in time for this weekend’s Memorial Day observances. The Democrats are planning an observance of their own, they are planning to give Bush another blank check to continue the war. And they wonder why their approval rating is lower than Bush’s? Just when did American politics become a race to see who could most cynically misrepresent and ignore their constituents?

And while we on the subject of American casualties, is anyone else creeped out by all the “feel good” stories that seem to be running in the main stream media about Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who are rebuilding their lives with prosthetic arms/legs/heads/etc? Obviously I have nothing wrong with maimed people rebuilding their lives, but the way these stories are run in the media we are not so subtly encouraged to think of this as a noble sacrifice, the implication being that the war is a just cause. I dunno, it smacks of trying to sell/sanitize a war that the majority of the American public is already very disillusioned with.

Moving right along, we get to the Code Pink demonstrators in downtown Berkeley. They periodically picket and blockade the local Marine Corps Recruiting Center. They had a big sign up saying they didn’t want “Marine Predators” in their town. As an ex Marine, that brought tears to my eyes. And not tears of joy. I almost caused a scene, but I’m not quite up to confronting these people yet. Still, I hope some of them read this here…what the hell are they thinking? Are they trying to give the pro war right propaganda ammunition? The Marines didn’t bring us this stupid war, it was our politicians in Washington, both Democrat and Republican, that brought us this war and continue to wage this war despite the overwhelming wish of the American people to get out of Iraq. The Marines are victims of this war as much as anyone else, Code Pink should be talking to Marines about ways to end the war, not insulting them.

This is like insulting and picketing firemen who are conducting a controlled burn you disapprove of, the firemen are just doing their job. And, um, if you actually succeed in pissing them off, who are you going to call when your house catches fire? The problem isn’t the military, we need a military, the problem is the leaders who send our military to wage war in foreign lands where we have no business waging war. Protest them.

God bless everyone this Remembrance Day weekend.

(The above image of the crosses in Lafayette is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is not being used for profit and it is central to illustrating the post. It is from The Crosses of Lafayette Blog and is being legally used in accordance with their creative commons license as well.)

Written by unitedcats

November 9, 2007 at 9:09 am

Posted in Berkeley, Politics, War

7 Responses

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  1. I haven’t interacted much with the Code Pink people, but I appreciate their drawing attention to the illegality of this war, and I sympathize with their desire to protect young people from recruiters who would turn them into hamburger.

    With that said, I agree with you that the military including the Marine Corps. is as much a victim as the rest of America, though perhaps not so much a victim as the Iraqi people.

    In any case, we should not be taking offense at the tactics of our allies, but recognizing that we all share an interest in ending this carnage, and respecting that we all have different jobs to do that sometimes seem to conflict, when really they do not.


    November 9, 2007 at 10:07 am

  2. I think we need to end the private military contracting system. What do you think about that idea?


    November 9, 2007 at 10:10 am

  3. I’m appalled by private military contractors, aka mercenaries. I’ve blogged about them before and will no doubt blog about them again. —Doug


    November 9, 2007 at 10:20 am

  4. It isn’t just the mercenaries, it’s also the weapons manufacturers.


    November 9, 2007 at 3:51 pm

  5. It should never be profitable to make war.


    November 9, 2007 at 3:52 pm

  6. The person who wrote the language calling the Marines “uninvited intruders” is Elliot Cohen of the Peace and Justice Commission, P.O. Box 851, Berkeley, CA 94701, (510) 594-4088. He was appointed to the commission by Karen Hemphill, Director, Board of Education, 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704, (510) 644-6550,

    Patriotic Citizen

    February 12, 2008 at 5:17 pm

  7. Nobody is against the Marines, PC. As I understand it, some folks are upset about the recruiters who are not always looking out for the best interests of the kids in the community, in the sense of wanting to send them off to an occupation in some foreign country to be killed or permanently disabled.


    February 13, 2008 at 11:00 pm

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