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  #1  
Old 10-26-2006, 10:52 PM
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Kevin Tillman's thoughts about the conflict that took his brother

After Pat's birthday
- Kevin Tillman
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
The SF Chronicle

(Editor's note: Kevin Tillman joined the Army with his brother, Pat Tillman, in 2002, and they served together in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pat was killed in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. Kevin was discharged in 2005.)

It is Pat's birthday on Nov. 6, and elections are the day after. It gets me thinking about a conversation I had with Pat before we joined the military. He spoke about the risks with signing the papers. How, once we committed, we were at the mercy of the American leadership and the American people. How we could be thrown in a direction not of our volition. How fighting as a soldier would leave us without a voice ... until we got out.

Much has happened since we handed over our voice:

Somehow we were sent to invade a nation because it was a direct threat to the American people, or to the world, or harbored terrorists, or was involved in the Sept. 11 attacks, or received weapons-grade uranium from Niger, or had mobile weapons labs, or WMD, or had a need to be liberated, or we needed to establish a democracy, or stop an insurgency, or stop a civil war we created that can't be called a civil war even though it is. Something like that.

Somehow our elected leaders were subverting international law and humanity by setting up secret prisons around the world, secretly kidnapping people, secretly holding them indefinitely, secretly not charging them with anything, secretly torturing them. Somehow that overt policy of torture became the fault of a few "bad apples" in the military.

Somehow back at home, support for the soldiers meant having a 5-year-old kindergartener scribble a picture with crayons and send it overseas, or slapping bumper stickers on cars, or lobbying Congress for an extra pad in a helmet. It's interesting that a soldier on his third or fourth tour should care about a drawing from a 5-year-old; or a faded sticker on a car as his friends die around him; or an extra pad in a helmet, as if it will protect him when an IED throws his vehicle 50 feet into the air as his body comes apart and his skin melts to the seat.

Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.

Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on the ground.

Somehow those afraid to fight an illegal invasion decades ago are allowed to send soldiers to die for an illegal invasion they started.

Somehow faking character, virtue and strength is tolerated.

Somehow profiting from tragedy and horror is tolerated.

Somehow the death of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people is tolerated.

Somehow subversion of the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution is tolerated.

Somehow suspension of habeas corpus is supposed to keep this country safe.

Somehow torture is tolerated.

Somehow lying is tolerated.

Somehow reason is being discarded for faith, dogma and nonsense.

Somehow American leadership managed to create a more dangerous world.

Somehow a narrative is more important than reality.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow the most reasonable, trusted and respected country in the world has become one of the most irrational, belligerent, feared and distrusted countries in the world.

Somehow being politically informed, diligent and skeptical has been replaced by apathy through active ignorance.

Somehow the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, vacuous, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country.

Somehow this is tolerated.

Somehow nobody is accountable for this.

In a democracy, the policy of the leaders is the policy of the people. So don't be shocked when our grandkids bury much of this generation as traitors to the nation, to the world and to humanity. Most likely, they will come to know that "somehow" was nurtured by fear, insecurity and indifference, leaving the country vulnerable to unchecked, unchallenged parasites.

Luckily this country is still a democracy. People still have a voice. People still can take action. It can start after Pat's birthday.

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Old 10-27-2006, 10:01 AM
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It's sad . . .

It's sad that people who were somehow so gung ho, and enthusiastic about serving our country have now come to this. I've been a Republican and a supporter or Bush's administration for a long time. I, too, have become pretty disillusioned with our president, his cabinet, and the majority leaders in Congress.

Thank God we have a two-party system. It's obvious that the amount of power one party can wield when in control of both the Executive and Legislative branches of government, is highly corrupting. I guess it's time for a change. Now, if the Dems can just come up with a moderate candidate for president and some decent congressional candidates.
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  #3  
Old 10-27-2006, 10:55 AM
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It's tragic what is being done to our great country. Let's hope we're just in a low spot and not on a continuing downhill slide.

I would add another "somehow" to Tillman's list: Somehow public discourse has fallen to such a low point that the popular media confer legitimacy on Rush Limbaugh.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F05T9cU8hxQ

Last edited by Honus; 10-27-2006 at 11:12 AM.
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  #4  
Old 10-27-2006, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dee8go View Post
It's sad that people who were somehow so gung ho, and enthusiastic about serving our country have now come to this. I've been a Republican and a supporter or Bush's administration for a long time. I, too, have become pretty disillusioned with our president, his cabinet, and the majority leaders in Congress.

Thank God we have a two-party system. It's obvious that the amount of power one party can wield when in control of both the Executive and Legislative branches of government, is highly corrupting. I guess it's time for a change. Now, if the Dems can just come up with a moderate candidate for president and some decent congressional candidates.
But just like the Republicans look like they are going to go down, the Democrats also saw defeat a few years back when they had been the majority for too long and the power corrupted some.

I say balance the federal budget and cut whatever we can't pay for. The war would be at the top of my list and the homeland security and defense departments would be next. The Federal government is out of control and needs to be reigned in. Then how about taking Social Security out of the general fund so there might be a little left by the time I retire.
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  #5  
Old 10-27-2006, 11:16 AM
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"Somehow nobody is accountable for this."
Didn't the majority of the American citizens reelect GWB in 2004, when his track record, his plans and ambitions were crystal clear??
Cut putting the blame on GWB: everyone that voted for him in 2004 is responsible.
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  #6  
Old 10-27-2006, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vronsky View Post
"Somehow nobody is accountable for this."
Didn't the majority of the American citizens reelect GWB in 2004, when is track record, his plans and ambitions were crystal clear??
Cut putting the blame on GWB: everyone that voted for him in 2004 is responsible.
W's election in 2000 was surprising enough. His re-election in 2004 is one of the great mysteries of our time. He was fully exposed for what he is long before November 2004. He should have gotten 5 votes - his mother, his wife, his two kids, and himself.

But I disagree that we should "cut putting the blame on GWB." The voters share the blame, but their negligence does not absolve him.
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Old 10-27-2006, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dculkin View Post
I would add another "somehow" to Tillman's list: Somehow public discourse has fallen to such a low point that the popular media confer legitimacy on Rush Limbaugh.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F05T9cU8hxQ
I was up very early this am and caught Don Imus. He ripped Rush the biggest one I have ever seen happen on TV--I mean he called him a list of names that almost made ME blush. It was awesome. If you have some way to catch it (msnbc website maybe?), check it out--it will make your week!
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Old 10-27-2006, 11:41 AM
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Rush ridiculing an apparently pretty nice guy with Parkinson's. What will Rush think of next, orphans?

B
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Old 10-27-2006, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by John Doe View Post
I was up very early this am and caught Don Imus. He ripped Rush the biggest one I have ever seen happen on TV--I mean he called him a list of names that almost made ME blush. It was awesome. If you have some way to catch it (msnbc website maybe?), check it out--it will make your week!
I will definitely look for that.
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  #10  
Old 10-27-2006, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Botnst View Post
Rush ridiculing an apparently pretty nice guy with Parkinson's. What will Rush think of next, orphans?

B
If you watch the video of him going into fake convulsions and laughing, I guarantee you will have the physical urge to do him harm. Imus played the image of it at least four-five times this am and I thought he was going to blow a fuse.
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  #11  
Old 10-27-2006, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vronsky View Post
"Somehow nobody is accountable for this."
Didn't the majority of the American citizens reelect GWB in 2004, when his track record, his plans and ambitions were crystal clear??
Cut putting the blame on GWB: everyone that voted for him in 2004 is responsible.
Agree 100%.
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  #12  
Old 10-27-2006, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vronsky View Post
"Somehow nobody is accountable for this."
Didn't the majority of the American citizens reelect GWB in 2004, when his track record, his plans and ambitions were crystal clear??
Cut putting the blame on GWB: everyone that voted for him in 2004 is responsible.
New York didn't elect him. The Supreme Court appointed him.
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  #13  
Old 10-27-2006, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by riethoven View Post
New York didn't elect him. The Supreme Court appointed him.
Re-elected by both popular and electoral votes.

Read'em and weep.

B
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  #14  
Old 10-27-2006, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Botnst View Post
Rush ridiculing an apparently pretty nice guy with Parkinson's. What will Rush think of next, orphans?

B
No kidding, the poster child for painkiller abuse badmouthing someone with an actual disease.

Have never had any use for or listened to the talking heads, from either side.
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  #15  
Old 10-27-2006, 01:10 PM
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Next up . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Botnst View Post
Rush ridiculing an apparently pretty nice guy with Parkinson's. What will Rush think of next, orphans?

B
Next up on the Rush Limbaugh show, an expose' on just how evil and insidious "cutie little puppies" are. Don't miss it!

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