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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Just for the record, this is published again out of sequence. Today is Friday, the 30th of June.

For those abroad, it might be remarked that there were by-elections in a couple of seats vacated by a couple of recent deaths..
The Tory's took Westminster, but had a massive inroad in the previous majority, from over 13 thousand to about 630..
It's a message to the Labour Party.. a serious one.
It will be of some interest to see exactly what happens at the White House now, after the Supreme Court ruled Gitmom illegal.. it's a note George would like to mute..

And would you look at those Chinese! They've completed what might be the greatest engineering feat in history, although it remains to be seen whether or not it will stand, literally.An 11 hundred km, that's about 710 miles worth, of high-altitude railway, linking The very heartland of China with Lhasa, in Tibet. Positively amazing, and yet it's not mentioned in many Western papers.. or on any Western newscasts..
Quite a feat, and well done you Chinese...
The BBC itself has started an 'Editors Blog', one which has in today's, and will in the future, give the faithful reader an insight into the minds that make the decisions as to what we will hear, or watch on television.
This is a phenomina, this blogging..
Some of us have been using it for years to explain that which we do on a daily basis, that is analise, and prognosticate on generalities or specifics we have noticed throughout the news of the world. Some of us have been using it as an emotional release, an unburdening, a mental enema so to speak. Some have used this medium as a platform, to preach their own particular tenets and beliefs.
But, and this is imperative, it all depends on who, and how many, read these daily or weekly or sporadic entries. Figures show these personal slices of daily life are becoming more and more popular.. one woman who found herelf unemployed and living in a car, parking it in and about London, had thousands of people a day logging on to appreciate her particular view on this world. She used public libraries to access the net, and was as faithful as possible in making her cry for help a daily message. One says 'a cry for help', yet others would say this particular journal was more a perspective shared by more than any of us could have possibly imagined..
We are in a different world, wherein each of us has a voice. Would more used it, and even more ingested that which is written.

Now, David Cameron has raised some eyebrows both in his Party, and in the Opposition benches, by presenting a plan for a British Bill Of Rights, similar to that enjoyed by the citizens of the United States. This poses a problem, for there already exists a European Bill of Human Rights, and having one of our own might well lead to conflict between Brussels and Westminster.
Good on him.
Every country should devise it's own definition of what a citizen is entitled to, each according to their particular resources and their particular preferred form of government.
Not to say we all want to be Americans, far from it. But, Rights, legal Rights, should be defined clearly by each separate government in this world of ours.
And it should be the business of each of those governments to come to their own decisions as to the limits and boundaries of it's citizens.
Examine the US. While they are allowed jurisprudence, they allow such institutions as Guantanimo Bay, in the 'interests of national security'. They allow departments the likes of the Homeland Security to do as they will in essence. They allow the confiscation of property, without proof of complicity in any crime, simply on suspicion. Now these extreme measures do not have any effect on most of the populace, but it certainly has on some.
Yet there is a 'Bill Of Human Rights' which dates back to 1778.
One would hope David Camerons plans will be somewhat less draconian, but what they hey, we live in a 'democracy'. We trust our politicians.
Sometimes it would be pleasant to see things the same way politicians usually do, but it's regretfull there's not room enough for both our collective heads up their collective backsides.
Pressure is building on Hammas.. and in far more many ways than one..
Israeli forces have destroyed the Gaza's only electrical plant. They have destroyed several key bridges in an attempt to stop the Palistinians from moving their Israeli prisoner. Israeli fighter planes have even buzzed the summer home of the Sudan's President, which, not surprisingly, has annoyed the Sudanese..
This has all the makings of yet another all-out conflict in the Middle East. One finds it somewhat surprising there has been little in the way of response from Egypt, but that, one suspects, would not be far off..
A non sequitur here. With the impending end of George's tenure at the White House, Republicans will soon be looking for a replacement. It might be considered that Condaleesa Rice might be ripe to be the first woman in the role, as well as the first of black heritage. Such a move would be disasterous. Even if she was to run as the candidate for Vice-President, it would leave what might be considered an unstable person one step away from total control.
While it might seem to be a move that would draw votes to a flagging Republican Party, it would, in terms of political machination, be a terrible mistake.
The US has enough problems at home to deal with, and what it needs at this point, be it from the Republicans or the Democrats, is a leader who will maintain marginal presence in areas of global conflict, but who will concentrate on domestic issues.
We will have to wait and see. Those who truely have their hands on the strings of the marionettes will make their purpose known at their leasure, and we plebians will have no other choice but to wait, and see.
Tank Gunner Gilad Shalid.
Not exactly a kitchen-table name, but one that could well go down in history along with Eduard Princip, as causing a major confrontation, one which could have world-wide implications.
The Israeli's have begun a full-scale assault, with bombers, tanks, and ground forces into the Gaza strip to try and gain the release of this man. He was taken prisoner a couple of days ago, when Hammas operatives tunneled into Israel, killing two Israeli soldiers and absconding with Shalid. Hammas wants the release of Palistinian women and children being detained by the Israeli's, for whatever reason they may have provided.
Iraeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says there will be no releasing of anyone..

Thursday, June 22, 2006

This entry should be dated Monday, the 26th of June.. It has been published out of sequence.
An interesting comment today from the former Home Secretary, Charles Clarke..
He told reporters Tony had made a bad decision in sacking him, and that his successor, John Reid, is wrong in saying the Home Office is "not fir for Purpose", while warning him not to jump on any media bandwagons.
Now the interesting point. Mr. Clarke says he will not take responsibility for all subsequent Home Office crises.
What crises might Mr. Clarke be alluding to, and what information has he that has not yet been made public?
Now this might be thought to be the rantings of a politician out of favour, about to be out of a job entirely. But one must pause, for unless Clarke has gone stark raving bonkers, he would not issue a statement that casts such a shadow on Tony, on current government policy, or on what be going on behind the scenes of the elaborate political play the public is meant to watch.
One would suggest there is much being with-held, and there are still many 'dark actors' in this scenario.
Mr Clarke also appeared scathing about Mr Reid's decision to consider introducing a Megan's Law system for dealing with sex offenders in the UK, following the News of the World campaign.
He said if that decision had been influenced by the paper's campaign "then I would criticise it".
"I don't think that's the right thing to do ... The home secretary of the day should not simply be running on the band wagon of some particular media campaign."
He also says he regrets Mr Reid's decision to delay his carefully structured plans for police mergers.
"I think it's wrong to delay it. I think we've got a timetable which was the right thing to do and I don't agree with his decision in that area."

It's always interesting, the pieces of the puzzle that are revealed by a politician who's been gut-punched, and discarded. Especially when it happens here, in the West.
We might expect such from a Balkan State, or the Middle East, but in Britain/USA/Canada?
Doesn't happen often.. and it should be taken note of.
An interesting note here.
The virtually jobless Deputy Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, was the man chosen to re-afirm Britains maintenance of it's nuclear capabilities. There will be vast sums spent on refurbishing and modernising the British Trident submarine fleet.. it being our main platrorm for nuclear strikes..
Seems we, along with all the other nuclear powers, want to keep just a couple in working condition.
One can never tell..
It is odd though, that Gordon was chosen to deliver the message. He is an out and out Europhile, and the Unions position on nuclear arms is that they should be universally disarmed..
Kind of rules him out as any sort of serious candidacy for occupancy of No.10, or No.11, should the Labour Party manage to get past the Mulroney-jawed David Cameron.
Tempus fugit..

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Ahh.. Tony's transition is not turning out as smoothly as he might have wished. Not at all.
First, we have Police panic reactions to the terrorist threat.. two men arrested, one of them shot, and both subsequently released without charge. Now there's a case for the Courts..
Secondly, still with prisons, the news that 53 lifeers have been released within six years or beginning their terms, prompting Tony to re-examine the legislation on sentencing..
No 10 says a review is under way, but Mr Blair was urged to stop tinkering by the ex-chief inspector of prisons. Lord Ramsbotham, giving the opinion of the House of Lords, said the prime minister should stop making changes to the legal system, saying they caused more problems than they solved.
"I just wish he'd shut up, frankly," he told BBC Two's Daily Politics show.
Meanwhile, Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer has defended judges, saying they should not be the "whipping boys" for a flawed system. Typical.

Thirdly, he has lost the confidence of the man on the street, with the Tory's leading in the polls for the first time in more than a decade..
Not good.
And then there's the issue of who will take the reins of the Labour Party once Tony abdicates, and abdicate he will.
This promises to be interesting, with George and Tony on their way out, and no real contenders to replace them.
One can be sure they're smiling in Tehran, Beijing, and Pyongyang..

Now back to the issue of torture, but this time let the focus be on the average Western family, rather than those barbarian states who've been typically branded as uncivilised by we in the superior West.
Lets take the average household in say, Glasgow.
One in lets say Easterhouse, or the Gorbells.
Not recognized by most of those reading this, but they're areas in which the police will not travel alone. In fact, they'll not likely to answer a household complaint without at least 4 or 5 officers, for fear of local reaction.
In these Estates, as they're known over here, child/wife/husband beatings are daily occurrances.
Having said that, the same could be said of any neighbourhood anywhere in this civilised West of ours.
It happened in chat today (and it might be well mentioned that betimes internet chat can be a source of some observational gems..) that it was said 'humans are unique in being capable of seeing undesirable behavior by members of their own species, and may be equally unique in ignoring it...'
We tend to look away from that which we find distasteful, unless it's a behavioral trait of another race, or committed by citizens of another country. We wrap ourselves in a woolen blanket of ignorance and avoidance, while proclaiming our enlightenment and compassion.
It is impossible these days, unless one is completely isolated, to witness in one's own backyard, mistreatment, disinterest, and sickness. It is impossible unless of course, it is more convenient to ignore a situation,and hope, or pray if that's one's preference, that there's a light at the end of the tunnel, an overwhelming force which will make everything just hunky-dory.
That force is within ourselves, and as long as we delude ourselves about that which is common in our own neighbourhood, we will never be able to change that which is commonplace in 'the Third World'
We have no moral high ground.
We are as guilty as anyone, and that means,anyone else.
The etymology of the common word torture goes back to the Latin 'torture', to twist. Thus we have words the likes of torsion, tortuous (as in a torturous effort), and many more which would indicate an extreme physical effort.
Yet it also has another application, that being applied to the human mind itself. Manipulation of peoples thoughts and beliefs can be as difficult to endure as anything which might be done to their physical bodies, and can be far more difficult to redress.
Husbands and wives torture each other universally. Children torture each other almost ritualistically on playgrounds and schoolyards. Those in authority torture their subordinates for the sake of the mere ability to do so. And this, again, is not a practice confined to those countries usually associated with physical abuse, but is present in all.
This is the problem one faces when addressing the atrocity of torture. It is all pervasive, and is indeed a part of our basic animal nature.
It has been said that 'misery loves company', and perhaps the inflicting of such pain is a facet of our intrinsic nature, and in some, leads to an escallation in which physical pain is natural, for either those who are disturbed or for their victims.
We must examine ourselves, and our own proclivity towards sharing anguish, and if we can control such instinctual behavior in our own actions, we may diminish, to some small extent, torture in general.
However, as long as we blindly allow others to make decisions for us under the guise of government or religious leaders, we will continue to allow, if not support, this abhorrent behavior. and vicariously share the blame for whatever might be done in the name of 'security'.
You are responsible for the torture of innocents, as am I.
As long as their are children left in uncaring hands, or prisoners held by suspect governments, or penitents allowing themselves to undergo 'spiritual purification', you and I must accept responsibility.
We know of the problem. We have yet to determine a solution.
But sadly, we, to a large part, have abrogated our accountability, and, in the words of George Bush Sr. and 'The Dude', this will not stand.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The label reads 'Designed in California, made in China'..
The allegations are that i-Pod, in farming out it's manufacturing contracts, has now involved itself in what amounts to, in Western standards, slave labour. The reports continue to say that workers, for the most part women, are paid some $54American a month, but half of that goes towards their housing and meals. They apparently live in dormatories of about a hundred beds or so, and get most likely more to eat than they would were they still in their local villages.
Still, by Western standards, it's a cheap way to make an expensive item.
No argument there.
However, what must be taken into account is, that while these workers are being paid a pittance, again by our standards, it's more than they would make if there were no jobs available, and it's also giving the Chinese the technology to copy this American product, and offering them the chance to eventually flood the market with cheap copies.
China has the second most flourishing economy in the world, right behind India. They have the largest population of any country, and will without a doubt, overtake the West in a matter of decades.
If Western companies continue to use the cheap labour they can, at this time, find in the East, they'll be signing their own death warrants, because being far from stupid, those in the East are taking notes. These lessons they're learning will prove to be invaluable when they begin to dominate the world financial markets.

Now, we were talking about torture.
This practice has a long and continuous history in certain areas of the world, in fact in any country towards the eastern end of the Mediterranian and beyond. In those societies, it's not torture, but a means to an end, a certain means of getting to the truth of an issue.
This in itself is suspect, but more on that later.
However, we in the West are far from being as pure as Caesars wife when it comes to the use of suspect methods of interogation. The CIA, and one would suspect the Homeland Security Department are equally as guilty of using methods which amount to torture to further their own ends. Many a reputation has been ruined by Western security agencies in the pursuit of 'the Truth', and it's not likely they're about to stop when they have the old chestnut of 'national security' to fall back on.
But, let's look at those we normally associate with physical torture.
The Africans, the Middle Eastern States, the old 'Communist' regeme, the Chinese and the Japanese have all been charged with physical abuse to entice a suspect to recant, and implicate all those others involved in whatever plot they're accused of themselves.
Ah. We neglected to mention the Germans, and their methods during the Second World War.
Now wait here. We could list all the countries now extant, and all those which were but have now disappeared, and the same claim could be made. Torture has always been one of the preferred methods of extracting information, and will always be such.
It's deplorable in this day and age, that we should revert to such barbarous practices, but then again, we are limited by our humanity, or lack of it.
As long as there are secrets, there will be those who will steal them. And as long as there are those willing to steal, there will be a sadist or two within the ranks of the wronged who will be happily recruited to stick the bamboo sticks under the fingernails of suspects, and set them alight.
As long as there are factions who have raised themselves to power using brute force, there will be those same feral folk who will deter opposition by dramatically killing or maiming those who would disagree.
It's human nature, and that's the most damning statement that can possibly be made about our species.
We could spend hours documenting incidences of torture, past and present. The point is, that we must spend generations breeding this predeliction out of those among us.
Generations, and even then, there will be sociopaths who enjoy to inflict pain for whatever reason. And there will almost certainly be a government or two who will employ them for their particular skills.
We can report, and report, and report again on human indignities perpetrated by whichever government one might choose, but until we've achieved some degree of mutual goal, on a global scale, there are always going to be those at the receiving end of a lash.
More to follow.
Let's have a word or two about torture.
One hardly knows where to begin, what with all the different types which are perpetrated on a daily basis, from British homes to Middle Eastern jails.. but being there's a case in the news at this moment, concerning three Britons and a Canadian who were held in Saudi prisons for two and a half years based on confessions obtained by physical torture, that might be the logical place to start.
These men, whom the Saudi's claim were part of an 'alcohol turf war', claim they were forced into signing confessions following a series of treatments, which included beatings on their hands and feet, forcible feeding of mind-altering frugs, and being suspended by their arms. These claims have been verified by an independent investigation.
They were granted, back in 2004, the right to sue the Saudi Government for their treatment, but that has been recinded.
Saudi Arabia appealed to the Law Lords, arguing that its officials were protected by the 1978 State Immunity Act. This appeal argued that its officials were protected by the 1978 State Immunity Act, and demanded the British Government itself support the Saudi stance.
After the five Law Lords' ruling, a Department for Constitutional Affairs spokesman said the government "condemns torture in all its forms and works to eradicate it wherever it occurs".
"The intervention in this case is not about criminal responsibility for torture, nor about the UK government's attitude to torture.
"It concerns jurisdiction, and the way in which civil damages can be sought against a foreign state for acts allegedly committed in its own territory."

This is unsatisafactory.
To quote one of the victims, "It's all down to money and oil and planes. Don't upset the Saudis. That's the British government's view."
And that in itself, might well be the truth of the matter.
This, keeping in mind, is only one of many such cases, and we will examine this issue in greater depth.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

"A top US official has described the suicides of three detainees at the US base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as a "good PR move to draw attention".
Colleen Graffy told the BBC the deaths were part of a strategy and "a tactic to further the jihadi cause", but taking their own lives was unnecessary." This, from the London Times, today's edition.

"Muslims have protested outside Scotland Yard against the tactics used by police in an anti-terror raid in east London.
Brothers Abul Koyair, 20, and Mohammed Abdul Kahar, 23, who was shot in the shoulder, were released without charge a week after the raid in "Forest Gate". This from the same paper.

One could read any of the Sunday papers from any part of the country, and would get basically the same message. And what might that message be?
One, that the US is treating the Guantanamo deaths as 'stunts', and two, that the Forest Gate raid and arrests were necissary, but misguided.
We are slipping more and more, faster and faster, into a situation wherein those in charge, those we have elected, supposedly, can do whatever they like in the name of the 'war against terrorism'.
There have been those in this country, who have been killed, such as Tom Kelly.. those who have been charged with spurious breaches of the law and imprisoned amidst great publicity, only to be released, quietly, a month later, their credibility and careers ruined, their finances left in tatters.
This is not uncommon.
Eventually, even the most determined couch-potato, the most desensitised of our citizenry, must ask 'why?', and then follow with 'who?'.
The President of oil giant BP seems assured enough to make a public statement to the effect that oil will begin flowing in greater quantities soon. So, we can put our concerns about looking for alternate fuel supplies on the back-burner for a while..
We are, all of us, living in what amounts to a fantasy, and the unfortunate truth is, most individuals within this Game enjoy their anonymity, their unconcern.
We will never learn. History has never been that popular a subject in high schools, nor has geography.
We cannot expect a change either, unless there is an end to the bread and circus offerings, be they centered about one's television, or one's Mullah.
Let's continue a bit.
Chad is accusing it's neighbour the Sudan of 'exporting war', of sending it's armed troops into another sovereign territory to deal with specific targets. This is a powder keg,, one which could easily blow into a full confrontation, putting the issue of Darfour out of peoples minds for a while.
Kim Jong Il.. now there's a leader we can all have a chuckle at, having watched Matt Stone and Trey Parker's caricature in Team America.. and indeed The little that is known about Kim Jong-il, North Korea's leader, conjures up a caricature of a diminutive playboy, a comic picture at odds with his brutal regime.
Diplomats and escaped dissidents talk of a vain, paranoid, cognac-guzzling hypochondriac.
He is said to wear platform shoes and favour a bouffant hairstyle in order to appear taller than his 5 feet 3 inches.
But analysts are undecided whether his eccentricities mask the cunning mind of a master manipulator or betray an irrational madman. Mr Kim may well encourage the myth-making surrounding him precisely in order to keep the Western world guessing. North Korea has little to bargain with, and ignorance breeds fear.

Ignorance, there's the key.
It is to be expected that the man on the street will be content with the illusion his or her vote means something in determining their country's foreign, domestic, and economic policies. The sooner we open our collective eyes, the sooner we can demand change.
One must pray to all gods, greater and lesser, and to whatever collective conciousness yet remains, that this illumination is soon in coming.
Just a note here.. It seems this blogging has taken off over the past five years or so, and there is a need to complete a directory of those intent on continuing with their comments.
Ergo... Technorati Profile
More later..

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

It may well be, that the consensus is that most Westerners are not that well versed in the history of relations with the Levant, and that the latest moves by the US towards alligning with Europe in the Iran Nuclear Issue might be seen by most to be a step forward.
That, would be a misunderstanding.
What we have had here is first, an offer from Europe to aid the Iranian nuclear power effort, with the US standing like John Wayne, saying 'not a chance'. That, of course, was turned down outright by Tehran, with a retort to the effect of 'screw you, we're doing it our way'.
Meanwhile, the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadenejad along with the Ayatollah Khameni continue insisting that the US is the Great Satan, and must, along with it's insideous ally Israel, be removed from the map. Standard rhetoric.
Now we hit the second stage, wherein representatives the likes of Condaleesa Rice sends a message to a mid-level Iranian politician, in this case their Chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, that the US would be willing to abandon their plans of economic sanctions, and allow the Iranian power deveopment continue, under supervision. Other incentives are said to include the lifting of restrictions on the use of US technology in agriculture and support for Iranian membership of the World Trade Organisation.
The package was delivered to Tehran by the EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

To this, the Iranians have not said no, for it was an agreement that is approved by those who have traditionally backed the Iranian side of this issue, the likes of France, Germany, and China.
It's 'soft force', according to Condaleesa, and speaking after a meeting with Mr Solana, Mr Larijani said that they had held "constructive" talks, adding that Europe was right to try to use diplomatic negotiations to solve the problem and Iran was open to resuming talks to try to find a logical and well-balanced solution.
This is yet another effort on the part of the Iranians to gain time, to see what they can possibly get for outright cooperation. That, by the way, will never be achieved.
It never has.
But now Europe, the 'E3', as Britain, France, and Germany, are to come to the fore in these talks, and these powers, from personal history in that area, might gain some time for the West, to decide whether it's worth throwing the entire area into armed conflict to prevent Iran from developing the Bomb.
It will be interesting to see this unfold. There have already been warnings from Tehran that oil could become scarce should nothing go their way.
Again, this should be enough to prompt those who lead us to work ever harder in reducing our need for that which they produce. Were it not for oil, those countries in the Levant would reduce themselves in quite a short time, to mere Third World powers.
It is time.

Friday, June 02, 2006

A last thought for the night..
Eight oil workers, six Brits, one Canadian, and one American, have been kidnapped by men armed with automatic rifles, from their rig in the Niger Delta. The men apparently managed to get a radio SOS out before they were taken off..
Now it's not unusual for kidnappings in that particular area of the world, in fact it might be said to be close to a national industry.
But what it does is underline the need we have, to distance ourselves from Middle Eastern and African oil.
We are working on arrangements now with Russia to supply us with natural gas. This is a move that is multi-faceted, one of which is to forge an economic alliance between Britain and Russia, over a long-term. This would solidify both the British and the Russian positions among those comprising the European Union.
It also puts some pressure on Russia, to continue the trend which seems of late to have been reversed, that of capitalism, and all it entails. This includes allowing gay-rights marches. Closer ties between Russia and Britain would seem to be inevidable, and with the G8 meetings planned for Moscow, it would enhance Russia's economic credibility within that group to announced a deal for gas exports to a country already credible and established, a country the other members of the Union would like to see more involved in the Unification process.
It can't do us any harm either, knowing Gran's fire will not peter out when our own supplies do.
It's drawing to the end of Tony's visit to Italy, and as it had to come, he and the new Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi met, and, like the walrus and the carpenter, 'talked of many things'..
One would have enjoyed being a fly on the wall at those discussions, which no doubt centered on Italy's withdrawal of troops from Iraq..
Mr. Prodi is not the same man as his predecessor, Mr Berlisconi.. he is not as much of a friend to the US or, in fact, to anything outside the growing boundaries of the European Union. Mr. Prodi would like to see his country be as pre-eminent in this new hegemony as either Germany or France, and a view which is in itself more traditional, a view which is much more cordial with Iran and Iraq and the rest of the Middle East, is doubtless one he will pursue.
As said, Mr. Prodi likes not George, or what he stands for, and despite Tony's influence in getting Mr. Prodi the position of European Commission President back in 1999, a move which by the way didn't turn out to anyone's real satisfaction, relations between Romano and Tony have soured over these past few years..
Iraq is not about to lose one of the major players in that particular war, but Europe is going to see an Italy which is willing to spit in George's eye, should that happen to benifit the Union.

Ahh, and that little terror of an Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is proclaiming from rooftops that neither he nor his physicists will bow to 'Western pressure' and abandon it's rights to nuclear technology. This comes a day after six world powers called on Tehran to bring a halt to research which could, and almost certainly will lead Iran into the group of nuclear powers.
The Director of National Intelligence in the States says Iran could have nuclear capabilities within ten years.
I'd give odds on three or four, tops.
Just in time for the total political confusion to reach it's peak in the West.
American troops will now have to undergo 'ethical training' in the wake of the alleged massacre in Haditha..
That's really going to do a lot of good.. sure. It might placate some of the softer radical groups, but it will be scoffed at, as it should be, by those who pull the strings.
Now, picture this. You have a young, corn-fed boy of a man, a 'Jolly Green Giant with a gun' who's been sent thousands of miles away from his home, to face intensive attack by insurgents who look exactly like the civilians..
Sound familiar?
Now these boys wander into a ville, and one of their buddies, maybe someone they grew up with, is blown to shreds by a bomb. They have no idea now who the enemy is, or where the next attack might come from. They lose it, and in doing so commit an atrocity.
The name Lt. William Calley, and a place called Mai Lai comes to mind.
While not condoning the murders of innocents, one must keep in mind the immediate pressures of being in harms way, constantly.
Truth be told, the wars the United States has committed troops to recently, in neither case were sufficient actions taken to prepare it's fighting forces for that which they have encountered.
War is Hell. For everyone.
Those who fight it from the comfort of an office in Washington are responsible for this mass murder, at least, if not more, than the boys who pulled the triggers.

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