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May 18, 2004

Slandering the Troops in Order to Defeat Them

PROEM:
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In the presence of an embedded reporter, in March 2003, Staff Sgt. Jimmy Massey, of the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Weapons Company, mocked an Iraqi civilian who was trying to communicate with Marines:

They were just two farmers on their way across a familiar field to the nearby town to get gasoline for their vehicle, when suddenly they were on the ground surrounded by men in uniforms pointing weapons at their heads.

"Keep your head down," shouted Staff Sgt. Jimmy Massey, 31, of Waynesville, N.C.

While they waited for interrogators to arrive, O'Neill showed one of the Iraqis pictures of enemy vehicles in a 500-plus-page manual. The man motioned that he didn't recognize any of the vehicles.

The men, who did not speak English, tried to communicate with their hands.

"What, you feel like break-dancing?" joked Massey. "Know any songs by Michael Jackson?"

A little more than a year later, Massey implied to the Associated Press that excessive 9/11 rhetoric might have contributed to the atmosphere that facilitated the Abu Ghraib abuses:

"Soldiers were encouraged to make the incorrect links," said Jimmy Massey, a former Marine sergeant from Waynesboro, N.C., who served in Iraq, then quit the force and has affiliated with an anti-war group called Veterans for Peace.

Massey said "a bunch of innocent civilians" were killed by his platoon and he attributed these deaths in part to military intelligence reports warning of potential terrorist attacks by non-uniformed Iraqis.

"You put a bunch of Army or Marines out in the desert and tell them to guard these supposed terrorists, and they're going to start inventing ways to keep themselves busy," Massey said.

In between these two press mentions, Massey lost his swagger in Iraq, was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, received a discharge, and began decrying war crimes — first to French media, but increasingly in the United States. Suffice to say, it's been a rough, but exciting, year for Sgt. Massey, and thanks, in part, to left-wing blogs, the months to come look to be even more exciting.

The domestic buzz began with an interview that Massey gave to anti-war activist Paul Rockwell for the Sacramento Bee, and some of what he says therein is eerily familiar:

Q: What does the public need to know about your experiences as a Marine?

A: The cause of the Iraqi revolt against the American occupation. What they need to know is we killed a lot of innocent people.

The accounts that Massey relates aren't pleasant. "Trigger happy" American military personnel throwing the corpses of Iraqi civilians in a ditch. Orders from "senior government officials" to wipe out peaceful demonstrators. Marines firing on Iraqi motorists with their hands up at checkpoints. "Fallujah is just littered with civilian bodies." The 31-year-old sergeant told his commanding officer, "We're committing genocide."

According to a February 11 piece in the Waynesville Mountaineer, on April 15, 2003, one year to the day after he was pulled from his duty as a recruiter in North Carolina, Massey approached his commanding officer in Iraq confessing depression. The next stop was a visit to a Navy psychiatrist:

"You have every right to feel the way you feel," the doctor told him.

But did he, Massey wondered? Civilians might be sickened by the killing, but a Marine is not supposed to be. "I was the ultimate war machine, all blood and guts. I was embarrassed. I was supposed to be able to handle it." ...

In the morning Massey was called into the commanding officer's room. He was not cut out to be an officer in the Marines, the superior told him.

"He told me, 'You're a poor leader,' 'You're faking it,' 'You're a conscientious objector,' 'You're a wimp,'" said Massey. "You don't respond to that. You just stand there and take it. But my sanity was not worth the U.S. Marine Corps."

Massey spent the next six months or so in California, apparently sorting out his discharge, with a lawyer "who defended American soldiers after the Mai Lai attack in Vietnam." On November 14, he received the verdict that his would be "a medical retirement." Massey described the incident that precipitated this change, and threatened his sanity, in a French article put into circulation in early April. Translated in the Chronogram:

It was very warm that day, and Baghdad hadn't fallen completely. A red Kia Spectra sped toward our checkpoint at about 45 miles per hour. We fired a warning volley above it but the car kept coming. Then we aimed at the car and fired with full force. I made eye contact with the driver. The Kia came to a stop right in front of me, three of the four men shot dead, the fourth wounded and covered in blood. When he saw that his brother, the driver, was dead, he collapsed and fell to the curb, waving his arms frantically. And when we were pulling his brother out, he started running and screaming, 'Why did you kill my brother?! We didn't do anything!'

In that piece, by Natasha Saulnier, the accusations escalate. Regarding the desecrated contractors:

When I read about the mutilated, charred bodies of the Blackwater mercenaries in the news, all I thought was that we did the same thing to them. They would see us debase their dead all the time. We would be messing around with charred bodies, kicking them out of the vehicles and sticking cigarettes in their mouths.

Regarding operations with Task Force 121, including representatives of the Delta Forces, Navy Seals, and CIA Paramilitaries:

We would go into villages and stick C-4 explosives on the doors of supposed Saddam loyalists, and we would ransack their houses like the Gestapo. The Spooks would wait until we blew them up and secure the occupants inside, then they would go in. They never found anything except for large quantities of money. ... The Spooks would put [the occupants] on the floor and take over. We would leave and I don't know what happened to them but I heard from intelligence reports that some occupants were blown up.

Massey tells of firing on targets the nature of which only "higher headquarters" knew, and Massey didn't trust that the targets weren't civilians. Sprinkled throughout Saulnier's piece are supposedly corroborating accounts from other sources. An anonymous 23-year-old Marine tells of defecating on "run over dead Iraqi bodies." The same source asserts:

One day, I watched as the Marine Corps pushed the bodies of 47 Iraqis into a mass grave with a bulldozer. I don't know if they were civilians but they looked like it because some of them were wearing dress shoes like loafers. Our sergeant was looking for bombs with metal detectors. Then he went out on the bodies and picked them for jewels and money. He also took their IDs and sold them to Marines for trophies to show off when they’d come back to the us.

This slanderous tone is the building rumble. Saulnier quotes a rhyme of unclear origin — "Throw some candy in the school yard / watch the children gather round / Load a belt in your M-50 / mow them little bastards down!" — that appears to have inspired other French accounts, first translated on Islamonline.net:

Massey cited instructions of commanders disregarding lives of Iraq civilians as one of many reasons still driving him nuts.

"Throw candies in the school courtyard, and open fire on children rushing to snatch them. Crush them," he recalled officers as saying during drills.

Thus do the dark, libelous accusations of the anti-war Left from the days of Vietnam reappear. Instead of napalm, we get cluster bombs. Back to the interview with Rockwell:

Q: Cluster bombs are also controversial. U.N. commissions have called for a ban. Were you acquainted with cluster bombs?

A: I had one of my Marines in my battalion who lost his leg from an ICBM.

Q: What's an ICBM?

A: A multi-purpose cluster bomb.

Q: What happened?

A: He stepped on it. We didn't get to training about clusters until about a month before I left.

Q: What kind of training?

A: They told us what they looked like, and not to step on them.

Q: Were you in any areas where they were dropped?

A: Oh, yeah. They were everywhere.

Q: Dropped from the air?

A: From the air as well as artillery.

Q: Are they dropped far away from cities, or inside the cities?

A: They are used everywhere. Now if you talked to a Marine artillery officer, he would give you the runaround, the politically correct answer. But for an average grunt, they're everywhere.

Q: Including inside the towns and cities?

A: Yes, if you were going into a city, you knew there were going to be ICBMs.

Presumably, Massey means ICM (Improved Conventional Munitions), not ICBM (InterContinental Ballistic Missile),* but the point is clear: to raise visions of massacres and indiscriminate killing, simply ignoring claims and evidence of meticulous care to minimize casualties. Rockwell asks about the specter from the 1991 Gulf War, depleted uranium, and Massey includes it in his declaration of genocide to his commanding officer:

He asked me something and I said that with the killing of civilians and the depleted uranium we're leaving over here, we're not going to have to worry about terrorists. He didn't like that. He got up and stormed off. And I knew right then and there that my career was over. I was talking to my commanding officer.

In no previous article has Massey mentioned DU. Rockwell, on the other hand, included the matter in his document "U.S. War Crimes in Iraq: A Prima Facie Case," which he apparently "respectfully submitted to the International Criminal Court."

This is how the anti-war forces seek to defeat the U.S. military. Seeping from conspiratorial Web sites and foreign anti-American rags into the mainstream consciousness like leech-filled swamp water rising through the floor boards, the level of conceivability for accusations notches up as time goes on — as September 11 recedes and as the election approaches. Whatever their motivation, and whether or not they believe the sunny delusions about the world scene after an American defeat, those who enable, promote, and lend credibility to this propaganda assault must be faced and stared down this time around the historical cycle.

Our nation cannot afford to follow either John Kerry or any Generation X versions of the anti-war veteran. Jimmy Massey cannot escape the implications of what he is declaring to all the world by laying blame with the President based on clichés about war for oil and lies about weapons of mass destruction. And we who understand the importance of success cannot afford to keep our heads down.


* Thanks to Donald Sensing for suggesting the proper acronym.

Posted by Justin Katz at May 18, 2004 1:34 AM
Middle East
Comments

John Kerry Jr.

Posted by: ELC at May 18, 2004 9:25 AM

A few things are making my bullshit detectors ring. First off, the rhyme. "Load a belt in your M-50"? What in the name of John Moses Browning is an M-50? I know of M-2's (the infamous 'Ma Deuce'), M-60's, and M-249's, but I have never heard of a belt fed weapon designated M-50. A quick web search confirms that there is no such beast.

Secondly, you would have to be a real idiot to confuse "ICM" with "ICBM".

As for training, you need training to know not to step on what is obviously a piece of military ordnance? Wouldn't that fall under "common sense"?

Moving on to the indiscriminate use of cluster munitions in areas with heavy civilian populations, I don't think so. After all, we used bombs filled with concrete (ie., no explosives) to target Saddam Hussein and other high value targets BECAUSE we were worried about civilian casualties. How do you square the two? One is verifiable in various news media (concrete bombs to avoid civilian casualties), and one is the word of a disgruntled ex-marine (cluster bombing cities).

No, there is something fishy about this Massey character.

Posted by: Bill at May 19, 2004 8:08 AM

John Kerry Jr? But John Kerry is a fine patriot, he would never slander his comrades, meet secretly with enemy comanders, head an organization bent on the murder of American politicians, leave an allied army in the field... um, hmmm.

Posted by: megapotamus at May 19, 2004 8:45 AM

Do you have evidence that this guy is lying?

Posted by: Matthew Cromer at May 19, 2004 9:16 AM

The question remains how to defeat this sort of nonsense. And the bigger question is how to discredit the mainstream media since they are the ones who will pick up this story and push it out over the airwaves. I can almost hear NPR with their oh so very concerned voices asking incredulously "Do you mean that American Forces are committing genocide?". Then breathlessly announcing their horror. The Mainstream media is actively seeking to defeat George Bush and if it means that the enemy wins so be it. This cannot stand and we are the ones who must work to make sure it doesn't stand.

The war is on and finally its in an area that I can participate in since Im too old to fight. We must defeat this enemy, the 5th column press, because this time it doesn't just mean that a far off people get condemned to death and misery. It means that my children get to watch the worlds most powerful military lose a battle against some 8th century knuckleheads due entirely to the help they receive from our OWN people. Then my children will get to watch our world turned upside down by those very same 8th century idiots. Not on my watch if I can help it.

This is a fight for the point of view of the nation, now we will see whether bloggers will make a difference or not. Do we have enough power to discredit the mainstream media when they start straying far from the truth? Can we make a difference? If so then we will have done more than our share of work for Victory.

Pierre Legrand

Posted by: Pierre Legrand at May 19, 2004 9:41 AM

matthew

It's the accuser that must offer evidence.

What if I said "matthew likes to wear women's dresses while home alone."

Prove I'm lying.

Posted by: darleen at May 19, 2004 9:43 AM

The "poem" is ofcourse a cadence-- many many many years old. It does originally refer to an M-60. So yes. What the heck does he know? I think it may be a translation error.... but I tend to doubt it. This guy had way too many issues long before he wanted attention. Indeed, it seems that he was playing up for the reporter in the first account.

The story of the Kia running to the checkpoint... does he forget how many other soldiers and marines were killed because of this? Women used as bombs? This guy is just seeking attention, and it is disgusting. Must have been bottle fed.

Posted by: Rich at May 19, 2004 9:54 AM

Hey it worked for Kerry right?

Hell. In thirty years we might be watching Democratic Presidential Nominee Massey explain how he "voted for it, before he voted against it".

Think it's funny? Just you wait.

Posted by: ed at May 19, 2004 10:12 AM

They're starting to come out of the woodwork, now we have a Ssgt in the Army National Guard saying something similiar. What the hell is going on?
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,120267,00.html

Posted by: Mike H. at May 19, 2004 10:33 AM

Regardingt he passage: "Throw some candy in the school yard / watch the children gather round / Load a belt in your M-50 / mow them little bastards down!"

This is part of the running chant "Napalm sticks to kids" which has been sung by special forces training recruits for years. I sang it while on formation runs while going through SEAL training in 1990, and while attatched to the 1st Mar Div in 1996-96. There are many variations on the versus, but there are also many worse songs that have been sung. Odd that they would pull a jingle that has been around for decades to apply it as something special to this story.

Posted by: Gabriel Chapman at May 19, 2004 10:36 AM

This is about the only comment I believe from SSGT Massey's account is this: 'You're a poor leader,'.

Justin, thanks for getting out ahead of what will surely be the next darling of the Left. "He fought in the war, before he opposed it."

Couple of things. I am an American soldier. We are not a stupid, easy to to manipulate and gullible as many try to protray us. When I see Michael Moore tell a captive audience a Cannes that he, in effect, supports the troops, and Bush hates us, because he sent us to war (note to Mike: it's what soldiers and their families do. We are the rough men and women, to paraphrase Orwell, who allow you to cash your checks by day!) I have to roll my eyes so far, I'm looking at the back of my Kevlar.
Saddam's time was up. Post 9-11. Not because he whispered sweet nothings into the ears of Mohammed Atta, but because 9-11 woke us to the totality of the dangers emanating from that part of the world. Having been restrained for over a decade, and at a cost of billions, we welcomed the opportunity to finish what Saddam started. No one cut me a check for Oil (I did not deploy to OIF, btw...let me get that out there. But I will. We all will.). No one said, go kill them there terrorists in red Kia.
The NCA said here is a job to do. Go do it.
And we did.
And will continue to do it.
History. Took a staff ride to Ardennes, battle of the bulge. Two salient points. The US built some 60 plus divisions during WWII. The US recognized there are not rifles in the front, and reorganized accordingly.
Today, we are building fifteen UA's (BDE sized elements, our current decisive battle configuration), and contracting out slots, and phasing out MOSs to bring more rifles to the front.
We are reshaping, with a realistic eye on the future.
June 30th has always been a funny date, for me. When our senior leaders brief us, they always use the same timelines. "Fifteen Years."
While some ex soldiers are going to want to capitalize on their situation, while we we still have troops on the beaches of Normandy (Iraq), the vast majority are going to "Shut and Soldier, Soldier" (a compliment).
To the Left. Liked you better with the whole spitting and egg throwing thing from Vietman.
At least you were more honest in your feelings, then.

Posted by: Beets at May 19, 2004 11:15 AM

Perhaps I am nitpicking but Massey quotes his commanding officer as saying Massey was not cut out to be an "officer" in the USMC.
Was Massey applying for Officer Training at the time or did whoever wrote that not know the difference between a commissioned officer and a non-commissioned officer,which is what a S/SGT is.No real marine would ever refer to a S/SGT as an officer.

Posted by: austin troy at May 19, 2004 11:16 AM

Far be it from me to defend this sack of shit, but the "M-50" and "ICBM" comments could conceivably be a result of idiot, asshat interviewers who know nothing about the military. When you're trying to transcribe a conversation in a language you literally don't understand (and this applies to both Rockwell and Saulnier -- Saulnier perhaps doubly so), you're likely to make some mistakes. When the various Marine units I was with sang "Napalm Sticks to Kids" (made famous by the movie "Officer and a Gentleman), it was "M-60."

Or, Massey could just be a moron in addition to being a sack of shit.

Probably a little of both.

Posted by: Matt Rustler at May 19, 2004 11:47 AM

Appears the Corps is going to have to ask for volunteers to accept a post-career civilian mission. That is, to talk more than Marines would normally talk. Counter the Masseys. Needs doing.

Posted by: Buddy Larsen at May 19, 2004 11:56 AM

There is an article from 02/11/2004 by Jeff Schmerker about this guy. Most of the same stuff, but he includes a little backround info about Massey. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article5703.htm
It seems to me to have some significance:

"Massey, 30, was born in Pearland, Texas, a suburb of Houston. He spent his summers with his grandfather, who owned a dairy farm in Hendersonville.

When he was 6, his father picked him up in Hendersonville and drove him to Florida. Police were on the lookout for him and caught up with him in Florida, pulling his 18-wheeler over.

Jimmy lay in the sleeping cab of the truck, unaware of what was going on and unaware of what was about to happen. As a police officer would later tell him, as his dad jumped down from the truck, he reached for a weapon. Police shot him dead.

Out of high school, Massey spent a few months in community college but dropped out. He joined the Marines, he said, because they were the toughest soldiers in the world.

He was on his way to a career in the armed forces. After nine years, he became a recruiter and was stationed in Waynesville. His job was to sign up three young men and women a month; sometimes that meant he had to court 500.

On April 15, 2002, Massey was handed orders saying when his duty as a recruiter ended in October he was to report to Twentynine Palms, Calif. He knew he’d be going to war — either Afghanistan or Iraq."

That could cause a person to have some issues. This seems like a guy who had a lot of swagger as a Marine while in the states, but when it turned out he couldn't actually soldier, that had to be the fault of anything or anyone but him.

Posted by: JOE at May 19, 2004 1:33 PM

I'm certainly glad to have found this, and to see the comments. My first reaction to the comments made by Massey were to wonder if he read Jarhead before he opened his mouth.

Being the parent of a son who leaves in a matter of weeks for boot, this bothers me a lot. I take solace though in knowing this POS is no longer in the Corps, therefor capable of coming into contact with my son. I hope that the top brass in the USMC pay damn close attention to the incoming recruits. Each new group is a chance to do it better, and to weed out pond scum such as Massey. And, of course..I have a huge personal interest in it. I want the best of the best training my son, as he truly believes he will become a top notch Marine.

Posted by: radtec at May 19, 2004 2:19 PM

This guy is a card. Total bull.
I am Active Duty military and these stories are that - stories. No way in a million years!

And then (as a Staff Sgt, no less) he gives the wrong acronym for weaponry? Nope. No way.

Posted by: MyAdidas at May 19, 2004 3:21 PM

Matthew Cromer asks: "Do you have evidence that this guy is lying?"

How about the fact that he got the details wrong. "ICBM" "M-50"

Posted by: M. Simon at May 19, 2004 3:35 PM

"Do you have evidence that this guy is lying?"

Evidence the guy is lying: Nowhere in any of the pieces referenced does he state THE NAME of the officers in question. All officers, as well as enlisted, have a name taped above the left breast as well as a rank ensignia on the collar. Don't believe for a second that servicemembers, even Marines, dont question authority. You are required to know the authority of anybody giving you an order, as well as what constitutes a legal order, etc. If somebody orderred me to commit a war crime, I would definitely get the name.

Posted by: Terence at May 19, 2004 4:26 PM

DOH! I mean right breast. Damn, time to go to the tailor again.

Posted by: Terence at May 19, 2004 4:33 PM

This guy will not be a presidential contender. He messed up his creds. He did not become an officer, he did not fakely win any medals and he did not go high enough when he started blathering about the military atrocities. Also, he did not have a fat POS senator from Massachusetts backing him up.

Posted by: dick at May 19, 2004 5:41 PM

The stories that Massey relate here are all credible, but not one of them contains something that would make them stories about HIM. I've heard all of these stories, and could easily insert my name into them if I wanted to get some publicity. ICMs? There are safety sheets about how dangerous these things are on the wall above our urinals, so that's nothing new. The "jodies" he mentions are not new to Iraq (as others have mentioned previous) and he would know they have nothing to do with orders coming from higher about killing kids. But he may believe the morons on the left will think he's telling the truth. Hell, in the early 80's you could still hear jodies about the VC!
This guy may not be lying, but he's not telling anything here that puts him into these war-crime scenes for sure. My belief is he is recounting stories he's read or heard, for the benefit of the audience, and putting himself into the story for self-promotion. Just like Kerry did. And probably for the same reason.
Ego.
Too bad he's slandering hundreds, no wait, thousands, of good servicemen and women in the process.

Posted by: Diggs at May 19, 2004 7:32 PM

This guy is an idiot...when I was a jarhead in the early 80's, we were singing the very same "jodies"...napalm sticks to babies...win their hearts and minds or burn their fucking huts down...etc.

He sounds to me like a self agrandizing bonehead who wants attention and was pissed off because he lost his easy billet (aka "rice bowl") and had to actually go do what Marines are supposed to do. Direct fire upon the enemy and eliminate them.

Posted by: Richard Vail at May 19, 2004 11:53 PM

As for his take on Task Force 121. Marines, or the Regular Army for that matter, would be pulling perimeter security and would never be allowed to work inside a target alongside Delta or the SEALS. His idea that houses may have been ransacked for intel is true and of course blowing doors to gain entry is true as well but I can certify that there is no way in hell any Marine is/was clearing rooms with the Task Force let alone stacking up at the door with Delta.

BTW, if he or his unit had participated in any operation were 121 was on hand he would have been required to sign a non-disclosure form making it illegal to even mention they exist. Therefore he has broken the law........not that he would care of course.

Posted by: John at May 20, 2004 12:33 AM

Data point:

the Jody cadence Massey quotes (which some commenters have titled "Napalm Sticks to Babies") is probably older than he is.
I recall hearing and singing it as far back as 1975, in an ordinary line unit - it wasn't specific to airborne or special forces.
The version I recall was usually titled "Strafe the Town and Kill the People", and the two verses I can recall went like this:

"Strafe the town and kill the people,
Drop some napalm in the square.
Wake up early Sunday morning,
Catch them while they're still at prayer.

Throw some candy to the orphans,
Watch them as they gather 'round.
With a twenty-millimeter*,
Mow the little bastards down."

General opinion was that it dated back to the Vietnam War, and was a sarcastic / satirical response to the "war-criminal-baby-killer" characterization of American troops that was widespread in some circles at the time.
(And which was still very evident in '75, by the way.)

*I know the Army had very few weapons of 20mm caliber (the M-163 Vulcan air-defense weapon is the only one I can think of, off-hand), but "twenty-millimeter" fit the meter perfectly.

Posted by: Fred Simons at May 20, 2004 2:27 AM

"strafe the town" is definitly circa 1965. I didn't hear it in Nam in 65 but heard it later state side. Also "abbushes are murder and murder is fun"

Posted by: ED HANNAN at May 20, 2004 1:00 PM

The version I remember was sung to the tune of "Jesus Loves the Little Children"--

Napalm sticks to little children,
All the children of the world,
Red or yellow, black or white,
Napalm sets them all alight,*
Napalm sticks to all the children of the world.

alt. version, "Napalm makes them all ignite"

In my time, the early 80's, it was usually one of the unit wiseasses who could be counted on to contribute this little gem, and more often than not, it was one of the SNCO's who had served in Vietnam who made us secure that shit. Funny, one would think they didn't share our sense of humor about such things.

Posted by: Mike James at May 20, 2004 6:21 PM

Sorry to jump in, but this pile is getting spred all over the place. I'm duking it out with liberals on the Washington Post discussion forum and this Massey guy pops up.

There definitely is some kind of shit going on here. I am not particularly into conspiracy, but this shit is going far and wide.

Posted by: Mike Wiley at May 21, 2004 4:24 AM

It's nice to see you little girls remember all your rhymes correctly. So if a man has qualms of conscious for murdering innocent human beings he's a "sack of shit" not fit to be a USMC? Nice. Great values, assholes.

Posted by: wax_all_you_nazis at May 21, 2004 7:01 PM

Wax Nazi: That's an interesting reading of the post and the comments. Inaccurate, but interesting.

Posted by: Kerry Is Unelectable at May 22, 2004 12:30 AM

I wouldn't worry much about this shit spreading anywhere but the fevered imaginations of the hard-core anti-war left. Not even the anti-war right would believe this shit. Niether will most Americans. The left is out of touch with most Americans. They would need a good three years of anti-war propoganda before Americans will believe that the U.S. Marines are just a bunch of murderous psychopaths with unit command as loose as an Oliver Stone "Nam flick. The Mainstream media won't pick this shit up because they can't sell it and it stinks of rank amatuerism and if they do print it, it won't be difficult to debunk this asshole. Just ask for names and dates and you can be garaunteed his story will fall apart.

Posted by: Kerry Is Unelectable at May 22, 2004 12:40 AM

I'm liberal (and proud of it), and I wanted to let you all know that I, too, find a lot of what Massey says uncredible.

There's no reason to use this guy's story to attack the left. The story's getting attention; some people believe it, many don't.

You know, it is possible to believe that abuses have been committed that must be investigated, and at the same time recognize that Massey's words are the words of an attention grabber -- they don't ring true.

So if you see or read someone believing this guy, don't use that as an excuse to attack the left. That's just simpleminded, and contributes to the polarization that is unhealthy for our beloved country.

Posted by: Squidocto at May 22, 2004 9:20 AM

Just for a point of reference, I am a leftist, and this story is so fishy I had to look up the guy by name. Don't assume your opposition is made up of morons. Also remember that we are trying to make a better nation TOGETHER. I am glad to hear intelligent debate from any side.

Posted by: Tag at May 22, 2004 7:25 PM

Directed to the two above libs =====> Word is bond brothers. AGREE TOTALLY. Unfortuantly, i cannot spell (get it?), there are TONS of people who will gleefully believe this stuff. Should it be looked into, ya. Should other soldiers come out and say what is really going on, yep. But that non withstanding, people at DU and Counterpunch will happily take anything anti-bush anti-american and just RUN with it. Like that fool who told everyone he was a ranger and wasnt, and reported numerious atrocities (atrocites worse than my grammer or handwrintting). I have some friend (4 who have been deployed / 101st in Afghan, LA tanker in Iraq, Tanker MEchanic in IRaq, and Army recon (i kid you not) Sniper in Iraq) and i definatly will get their stories when they get back. And you know what, I'll be honest about it too. Probably shout out to LGF. Dunno. PEace!

Posted by: UglyAmericanV1.5 at May 23, 2004 4:33 AM

How in the world would any of you people know what happend to him over in Iraq? Were you there with him, inside his head? I don't think so! Who do you think you are to sit around criticizing someone with your own stupid opinions? It happend to him, not you. Get over it! And as far as the M-50 or whatever in the hell it is....reporters make mistakes and misunderstand just like everyone else in the world! NO ONE IS PERFECT! Not even you guys!

Posted by: jessica at May 25, 2004 2:06 PM

Filthy Americans.

Open your eyes to what you are doing, terrorists - or crawl under a rock somewhere and die. You're screwing up the planet for the rest of us.

- Canada

Posted by: Withheld to prevent persecution at May 25, 2004 5:33 PM

O Canada - How does it feel to have to depend totally on the US, the country you so despise, for your very life? Doesn't feel too good, eh? Sorry about that...ROFL!

PS: Unless of course you're a jihadist and looking for martyrdom - that is...if that's the case then I suggest you go play ball in the middle of the highway, ok?

Posted by: Mary at May 25, 2004 11:00 PM

yo jessica, Why are you so angry? Calm down you'll get a heart attack!

Posted by: mary at May 25, 2004 11:04 PM

Thank you for proving my point, Mary. What are they teaching you in school and on Fox?

What, praytell, is it that the States provides that Canadians must suckle at or perish? Is it the clearcutting of our forests by your logging companies? Is it the destruction of our business-men and ways of life by the infection of mega-corps like Walmart and Home Depot? Is it the siphoning of our rivers everytime they pass over US land? Is it the industrial waste, such as mercury and acid rain in our great lakes and eastern provinces by your factories? Is it the buying of our politicians to do your bidding? Is it because many of our low-lying coastal areas will likely be underwater soon because of global warming, of which your country is the largest contributor? Or, wait, is it just that we need you to protect us from every boogey... I mean terrorist hiding around the corner with a nuclear bomb tucked under his jacket and a backpack full of anthrax?

Do you really think that you are the one indispensable 'shinning city' of untarnished morals, indiscriminately spreading your brand (TM) of "freedom", "liberty" and "democracy" throughout the world like a merry little bee distributing pollen?

Most people in the rest of the world see your country as a scourge upon modern civilization. in Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Libya, Nicaragua, Sudan, Iran, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Vietnam, El Salvador,Palestine, Indonesia, Honduras, Chilli, Cuba, and in dozens of other places you will not find many who are fond of your government - not because they are filled with people who hate your brands (TM) of "freedom" and "democracy" but because you've caused them so much death and devestation for such blatant personal gain and settlement of vendettas.

Did you know that your country was found guilty of committing war crimes by the UN? Your government ignored the order to stop their state sponsored genocide and pay reperations and stepped up their campaign, officially allowing the targetting of "soft targets" (civillians, residential buildings, etc). Did you know that your country used Iraq, Iran, and other middle eastern countries as pawns in a diabolical game of chess with Russia throughout the Cold War? Did you know that the newly chosen ebassador (read: leader) to Iraq, Mr Negroponte formed CIA trained 'Death Squads' responsible for the unlawful detainment and deaths of tens of thousands of people? Did you know that Daddy Bush killed 200,000 Iraqis in Bahdad in 1991 including the infamous "highway of death" in the last days of the slaughter when US pilots shot into the backs of retreating soldiers? Did you know your government has now twice overthrew the democratically elected Aristide (won last election with 94%) and installed a war criminal who has since been murdering dozens of Haitians every day? Did you know that in the 1950's, the US sponsored a coup in Guatemala overthrowing the democratically elected leader, resulting in the death of over 120,000 peasants? Did you know your gov't overthrew a democratically elected leader in Iran, resulting in the death of 70,000 civilians and a brutal dictatorship that lasted decades? Did you know your gov't sponsored a coup in Indonesia that killed 800,000 Indonesians? Did you know that since the 1970's (it continues today) your gov't has sponsored a campaign of terror in South Africa that has left 1,000,000 dead and mutilated Africans? Did you know thatyour gov't actively covered up the genocide taking place between the Hutus and the Tutus in the mid-1990's to prevent UN involvement until it was too late, resulting in the death of over a million people (a common tactic was shooting the men in the legs so they couldn't get away, herding women and children of the village into churches, burning down the churches and then going back to finish the men)? Did you know in the 1970's your gov't sponsored a coup to overthrow the democratically elected leaders of Chilli, resulting in the death of over 30,000? Did you know the US waged war on the people of El Salvador, killing over 80,000 "soft targets"? Did you know that between 1954 and 1975 your country shot, bombed, and napalmed over 4 Million civilians in IndoChina?Did you know the US military and the CIA are directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in Somalia, Haiti, Afghanistan, Sudan, Brazil, Argentina, and Yugoslavia?

I could go on for days with this!

And your government *dares* to speak of the US's high moral fabric; of the jealousy other nations have for your liberties and freedoms; of your divine right and duty to impart "democracy" throughout the world (so long as democratic countries do and act exactly how you tell them).

Since WWII, (so not including the 1,000,000+ vaporized and irradiated people from Hiroshima and Nagasaki), the US is responsible for the death of well over 10-12 Million civilians - you would have to combine the efforts of the Nazi's, Stalin, and Ganghis Khan to beat that.


I've said my piece/peace, I won't bother replying again as to prevent this from becoming a bitter and futile flame-war... I'm just trying to get the point across that, while the individual American is, like most humans on Earth, a good person who wants to live a peaceful, happy life, and does not want bad things to happen to other people who don't deserve it, you are also stunningly ignorant. It's not your fault, though - you're being given selective and filtered information to ensure that the leaders have the public support in whatever dispicable thing they want to do.

Americans *must* actively search for the truth - don't rely on having it handed to you, because you're being lied to. If you need some good places to start, try

http://democracynow.org
http://noamchomsky.com
http://www.guardian.co.uk
http://bbc.co.uk

A lot of you will dismiss these as liberal sites promoting propeganda to the side that "wants to see American troops fail", or whatever sort of nonsense hard-core rights are saying these days, but no matter how one-sided you are, you know you are lying to yourself if you refuse to believe that professors, scholars, award-winning independent journalists, and the rest of the world at large has a 'secret agenda' of propeganda, or is just plain wrong about your foreign policies, but that the unbiased truths are coming from "news" stations such as Fox, which is owned by a single _billionaire_ who has never been anything but obscenely rich his entire life and is openly partisan.

Posted by: Withheld to prevent persecution at May 26, 2004 10:35 AM

Well, "Withheld to prevent persecution," that's quite a litany. (Persecution? I thought you lived in the utopian nation of Canada? Aren't all your citizens enveloped in individual auras of bulletproof niceness and goodness that prevent the nastiness of the world seeping in?)

It's pretty clear — and I direct this as advice to other readers — that it would be no less painful, and certainly less useful, to attempt to refute a single one of your points than to mash out a mote along our mutual border with one's forehead. Is America perfect? No. For one thing, I agree that our country (among others) didn't do enough in response to the Hutus and the Tutus. Of course, I had quite a number of differences with our administration throughout the '90s... although I seem to recall the international set's liking it.

But I think you'd best look at your stridency and perhaps wonder who it is whose view is unnaturally narrow and the product of questionable truths.

Meanwhile, I'm perfectly willing to let people post what they like here (within reason), but the thread is getting awfully close to the line at which I'd feel compelled to shut it down.

Posted by: Justin Katz at May 26, 2004 10:59 AM

"Withheld to prevent persecution"- you may be flattering yourself in your belief that all "professors, scholars, award-winning independent journalists and the rest of the world at large" share your views on foreign policy and truth in general. The worst part about it is, it is an attempt to dismiss criticism of your point of view as not simply someone else's perspective, but someone else's uninformed perspective. You're not the only one who reads both sides of the news. Many informed and open minded people do not share your views. I don't think you are ignorant, I think you are strident, which is fine. But please, try not to insult people if you are trying to change their minds...it doesn't work.

Posted by: Joe at May 26, 2004 11:03 PM

You guys are a bunch of freaks!

Posted by: Yukko at May 27, 2004 1:58 AM

Vague hints about "various media reports" validate your claims, while every other media report which goes against your claims is discounted as leftist propaganda.

You are a liar and you're ok with this.

Do you believe anything this Marine is saying?
Do you think the Iraqis believe things similar to what he is saying?
Do you care?
Do you really understand what the mission is here?
Do you think civilian casualties or even civilian attitudes matter in that mission?
Would you RATHER send an American off to die in a completely undefined mission, simply so that we can FEEL better about ourselves and what we're doing about terrorism?
Would you then ignore any and all expert opinions that overwhelmingly indicate we are making the terrorist threat worse?

Would you support a hypothetical President who one close aide after another says is "like a blind man in a room full of deaf people," "not intellectually curious or introspective," or who's terrorist czar says, "he did nothing about terrorism," and "the Iraq war has greatly increased the danger of terrorism?"

Or would you choose to ignore the mountain of evidence against your President because he had the right letter next to his name?

If you just want everyone to lie to themselves and be cheerleaders who never see any problems with the behavior of their country, just say so. Then we'll know up front to ignore you.

Independently Minded But Democrat At least Until W's Gone

Posted by: ImbDauwg at May 29, 2004 11:23 AM

Withheld,

Your erudite and reasoned contributions in literary tones refresh. Jingo speaking ideologues rarely respond adroitly to historical and systemic analysis. It appears that logic and substantial knowledge are frequently demurred. Some would rather inflame reactionary diatribe for the benefit of the military and corporate thugs.

Would that we could do away entirely with national ego deceits and discover that, we are all in this together. I found the enemy, tis ignorance.

Peace,
Freespeaking

Posted by: freelyspeaking at May 31, 2004 8:34 PM

Canada? You meant America, Jr., right?

Posted by: jayef at June 8, 2004 3:57 PM

Name witheld? Awww, come on out Noam . . . we all know it's you.

Posted by: jayef at June 8, 2004 4:02 PM

I have a few problems with his story. Aside from going out to 29 Palms to learn how to shoot just prior to the war, wham, he's heading up a sniper unit. That doesn't happen in the USMC.

An Nu'maniyah pics don't support his statements. After all, why would the locals be running out to the highway to sell them cigarettes, and why would the Marines be evacing wounded Iraqi soldiers if they're really out there shooting up civilians? BTW the name of the town in the original story is wildly incorrect, and it looks like he's only person to ever put together that particular collection of letters.

Nor do stories reported independently at the time in the St Louis Post Dispatch or CNN from reporters who were there.

He says he left the service and consulted with a lawyer (unnamed) who defended soldiers over My Lai. Only two face court martial in 1970, and Calley's lawyer was 70 years old at the time, which would make him 104 or so now. I don't even think Kenneth Raby still practices.

And where did the red Kia Spectra come from? Iraq was under sanctions and the first Kia dealership just now went in. In fact, if you google 'Kia Spectra Iraq' about all you find is him saying "... red Kia Spectra sped toward us ..."

And if his platoon, numbering probably around 30, killed around 30 civilians, wouldn't simple math indicate that our whole invasion should've killed about 180,000 civilians? Yet even the moonbats at Iraq Body Count can only come up with 10,000 from all causes, and they'll count goats, sheep, and chickens if necessary.

Posted by: George Turner at June 9, 2004 12:09 AM

When this story came out, I tracked Massey down, and spoke with him on the phone. Being a Marine (not on active duty) myself, I'm satisfied he was a Marine. He got a medical discharge for PTSD. The poor guy is sick, and I hate the liberal media trying to take advantage of him. The war fucked him up. He couldn't make any sense of what he alleges.

Posted by: Pijoe at June 10, 2004 12:20 AM

Pijoe,

That's about what I suspected — that he'd had the misfortune of stumbling across a ready-made conduit through which to channel his emotions. And I'm certainly not in a position to criticize somebody's emotional reaction to accidentally killing civilians, even if the killing was justified by circumstances. We must scrutinize the claims, but you're right that we should concentrate on those who offered the conduit.

Posted by: Justin Katz at June 11, 2004 11:22 AM

Jessica, let's get this straight...we weren't there, so a guy who freely admits to having mental problems must be telling the truth. One guy - out of half a million soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen who ARE THERE YOU TWIT - makes these claims. Our not-being-there is the critical factor in judging the truth of his statements. Wow! I wasn't with the guy who said he saw a UFO turn you into a total freaking idiot, so that must be true too! I wasn't present when you missed your last dose, so it must be true that you are off of your medication. And while I'm at it, Oh Canada, any citizen of a country that would stifle freedom of speech the way a certain frozen wasteland does has no business sticking his/her slavish snout into the affairs of any other country until they toss out their own tyrants. Canada...the land where the murder of Americans is openly encouraged, but if you say: "I think gays are icky!" you can do serious prison time (where inmates named Jean and Jacques will try to convince you that being gay isn't so icky...along with the joy of not bathing in this lifetime). Canada...the land where they think it's appropriate for top political officials to call our President an idiot, but they file a formal complaint with the State Department when a dog puppet (Triumph the Insult Dog) suggests that they improve their hygeine! I'm beginning to suspect that Massey is French-Canadian (the most hated of hyphenated nationalities). I wasn't there when he emigrated, so it must be true. Right, Jessica?

Posted by: Pat Rand at June 18, 2004 4:15 PM

I have been in Iraq for 5 months now as a US MARINE. Not once have I heard, or heard of, any Officer tell his troops to arbitrarily kill civilians. Routinely, we are instructed to be sure of our targets and what is beyond them to ensure that innocent life is not taken. Does this mean that no civilians have died at the hand of US troops? No, it means that no civilians have been killed when other options are available. I know that you will make your own conclutions about allegations made by this Massey. All I can say is that the overwhelming majority of 'professors, scholars, award-winning independent journalists, an the rest of the world at large' are not in the shoes of our troops and as such have no right second guessing, from the comfort of thier homes and offices, the decisions made by these men on the ground.

Posted by: AKH at June 27, 2004 7:00 PM

Dear Withheld,
Please get your facts straight. Ignoring the fact that claiming the US was responsible for 10-12 million deaths in the 60 years since the end of WWII is totally false; your numbers are still wrong. The Nazis extermninated 11 million people in death camps, and mobile execution squads. IN ADDITION they were responsible for another 10 million civilian deaths in Russia because of mass executions, and withholding food causing mass starvations. Your friend Stalin was responsible for AT LEAST 20 millions deaths as a result of purges, and "social reorganization" that resulted in famines of biblical proportions. Both these figures vastly out-strip even your ficticous numbers.
Maybe the US isn't the most gentle-handed nation in the world. However, the fact remains that someone has to control what goes on in the world. Shouldn't we all thank our lucky stars that it isn't China, Russia, Nazi Germany, France, or Osama Bin Laden running the world?
The US takes action because it MUST take action. Every country can't run and hide behind it's big brother when push comes to shove. Many brave soldiers from all nations of the Coalition will continue to die to protect the rights of you and I to have our petty little debate.

Freedom is not free,
-Brian

Posted by: Historical Facts at July 11, 2004 3:18 PM

I am sickened that the media would give any credence at all to the delusions of this disturbed man. I am a retired Marine Master Sergeant, and NOTHING in that article passes the smell test. Our troops go to extraordinary lengths to avoid harming non-combatants. If anything he said was true it would have been reported by the embeddded media - and it would have made that Abu Ghraib nonsense pale in comparison. Thank goodness that guy only represents .0000001 percent of the Corps. Semper Fi.

Posted by: Andy at December 8, 2004 12:03 PM

Do you think I would believe anything you (yes, you soldier) have to say? This guy obviously is telling the story of every war. Death, destruction, human rights violations, and massacres of citizens. This war will be one more lost war in the lost column for the U.S.

Posted by: Adelante at January 5, 2005 1:26 AM

Yo Witheld due to persecution!!! The United States is canada's largest trade partner. What if we stopped all trade with canada? Nuff Said Dips***!! This is exactly why I HATE F***ING CANADIANS!! Most of them are lousy socialist tit suckers.

Posted by: SemperRick at January 17, 2005 6:37 PM

REMFS and "pogies" don't really know what war is like, yet they watch it on tv and claim to be in the know.

Posted by: sbh at January 20, 2005 3:03 PM

This is a response to 90% of the posts I've read here, but particularly to Brian who wrote that "The US takes action because it MUST take action."

At least in regard to Saddam, if the US had not taken action, he never would have risen to power. The same is true of Osama and Al Qaeda. Many of these bastards that end up killing US soldiers and civilians rose to power with our help. When the Russians invaded Afghanistan, we found the craziest, most fanatical Muslims we could find and armed and trained them. We knew where their training camps were because we set them up. We knew that Saddam had WMD's at one point (although they were all long gone before we ramped up the war again - as I'm sure you all know, the first Gulf War never really ended) because we sold them to him.

Unfortunately, the action that the US often takes is more like throwing gasoline on a fire than throwing water on it.

While withheld obviously has a spelling problem, he (or she) often resorts to name-calling (which doesn't help his position) and, as Brian correctly points out, his numbers don't add up - he nevertheless raises some valid points that none of you have addressed. (Do any of you really think that "At least we're not as bad as Stalin" is the best we can do?" Hell, Charlie Manson wasn't as bad as Stalin either: should we let him out of jail?)

I referring specifically to his laundry list of countries in which the US has intervened, with the results of millions of unnecessary civilian (and military) deaths.

September 11th did not happen because our military is too weak; it happened because we have given many people valid reasons to hate us. As long as we give them reasons to hate us, they will find ways to kill us.

Your conception of terrorists seems to be this: There are X number of "terrorists" in the world, each one we kill reduces X by one, therefore if we continue to kill "them", we will eventually reach a point where X reaches zero.

What you don't seem to realize is that each time we kill one, ten more are created (like the VC); each time we kill one that wasn't truly guilty of terrorism or of fighting against us, we create a hundred more who hate us.

Remember Mel Gibson in "The Patriot". He was against fighting the British until they shot his son in the back, at which point he went ballistic and took out every redcoat he could find.

Now imagine an Iraqi who hated Saddam and suffered under his regime and initially welcomed the American invasion. And imagine that his son or daughter or wife or mother becomes "collateral damage". He will join the insurgency, just as you or I would if there were foreign troops in our country.

So refute my points. Call me names if you must, but try to come up with logical arguments and facts that prove me wrong.

Norm

Posted by: reality based at January 21, 2005 12:01 AM

Norm,

I'm sorry to say that I don't have the time to do all the research, right now, but information contradicting all of your assertions isn't difficult information to find if you give it an honest and considered look. As a general response, though, I will say this: your view of the U.S.'s actions in the world is infinitely cooled-then-reheated rhetoric from a class of people who've taken inappropriate advantage of the tenure system.

Every nation, every organization, and every individual acts in the world, often bringing about good, often bringing about bad — either one of which can be intended or not. Most often nations must make judgments between a series of bad options, picking a path that will one day lead to good. I think the United States is on such a path; you do not. Hopefully whichever of us proves wrong will be able to admit the years of incorrect thinking.

Two responses to flaws in yours:

  • Tyrants like Saddam Hussein are not passive actors in the world. They wheel, deal, cheat, bribe, trade, torture, and kill independently of the involvement of other nations. Yes, for a relatively brief period, the United States considered tenuous alliance with him to be a "less-bad" option, but with respect to his supplies, several other nations far outstripped the United States, even before the Oil for Food corruption.
  • See how far you can straighten out the intricacies of my retooling of your vision of an insurgent in the making: imagine an Iraqi who hated Saddam and suffered under his regime and initially welcomed the American invasion. And imagine that his son or daughter or wife or mother becomes "collateral damage" in an attack from so-called insurgents made up of holdovers from the old regime and foreign terrorists. He will join with the United States, just as you or I would if the KKK and foreign anarchists were fighting to overthrow our government.

But my experience is that there are no "facts to prove you wrong," because those who built the foundation upon which your worldview stands have meticulously worked to redefine the very definition of what counts as a fact.

P.S. — A quick pair of questions, to which I'm not implying that I know answer. Given your impression of the United States, I have to wonder: Would you fight "if there were foreign troops in our country"? Does it depend on who the foreigners are and what they wanted to change about this nation that "many people [have] valid reasons to hate"?

Posted by: Justin Katz at January 21, 2005 12:29 AM

Justin,

First of all, thanks for your instant response. I will begin by answering your 2 questions:

"If there were foreign troops in our country" would not be enough of a reason for me to fight. If it were, I would be fighting now, because there are foreign troops in our country, but they are here as invited guests (embassy guards, military training and exchanges, etc.). However, if we were invaded by foreign troops, whatever the reason they gave for their invasion, the answer is yes, I would fight against them. Just as I imagine you would, even if the invasion was to "save" us from President (Hillary) Clinton, whom I guess you loathe even more than her husband.

As to your retooling of my "insurgent in the making", your argument clearly makes as much sense as mine - when a family member is unjustly killed, most any human being would be enraged enough at the perpetrators to take up arms against them - whether they are the US or the anti-US forces. I can see that your argument makes sense - can you see that mine does, as well?

My point is that we must not become what we are claiming to fight against. After 9-11, George Bush said that "they" hate "us" because they hate freedom. (which I clearly disagree with, but I won't go into that right now). His response was the Patriot Act, which clamped down on our freedom- it basically negated all the rights enshrined in the Constitution. If anyone can be designated an "enemy combatant" and held indefinitely, without access to legal representation, without even being charged, without ever being tried, much less convicted, in a court of law, what rights do we have left? How are we different than the USSR, China, Cuba, etc. who can just lock people up whenever they want without having to prove any guilt ? By George's own definition of the terrorists' goals, he immediately handed them a victory after that one attack.

I am saying that we must be better than the terrorists. It is not enough to claim that we are better, we must live up to our claims: we cannot fight evil with evil. If we do, even if we win, then evil has prevailed.

Fox News would label me "a part of the blame America first crowd." I see it differently.

I am not a Christian, but that does not mean that I don't agree with much of the Bible, particularly with the words that are directly attributed to Jesus. In particular, where he says something to the effect of "Why are you concerned with the speck in your brother's eye, but do not concern yourself with the log in your own? First take the log out of your own eye, then you can help your brother"

The point being, when I say that we are doing bad things, supporting terrorist regimes and authoritarian police states, I'm not saying that I support terrorists and dictators on the other side. When I say that we have done bad things, I'm not saying that the Soviet Union was a shining example of freedom and justice.

I am saying that we are responsible for our own actions - we are not responsible for the actions of our enemies (except in the cases where we have helped those enemies gain and hold power). Our moral responsibility is to make sure that we commit no evil.

Taking it back to the neutral Iraqi civilian, we must make sure that we do not kill innocents. Saying that "they do it too" is not good enough. You're right, they DO kill innocent people. That doen't make it ok for us to do it, too. Saying that "We're not as bad as Stalin, Hitler, Saddam, etc." is not good enough. You're right: when you compare the US to Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, etc, we do look pretty good. I'm just trying to hold us to a higher standard: our own Constitution.

We have supported many cruel, oppressive, and murderous dictators because they were favorable to US business interests or because they were anti-communist. We have overlooked our own morals, our own Constitution, we have looked the other way when our "friends" commit human rights violations. I'm thinking of the Shah of Iran, Somoza, Marcos, Guatemala, Papa Doc and Baby Doc, Diem, Thieu, Noriega, Saddam, Suharto, etc. And we continue to support their ilk today: in Pakistan, Indonesia, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Columbia, etc. The people who are murdered and tortured in their own countries by regimes that we support are the people who I say have valid reasons to hate us.

One last thing, you are correct in noting that many of my points are not original - they are adaptations of the points of university professors. Identifying the source of an argument may be useful information but it does not address the validity of that argument.

I have listened to what those professors have said, and I also seek out contrasting opinions. I adopt the ones that make the most sense to me. The fact that you recognize some of my points indicates that you have read some of the "other side" as well.

Have you read any Chomsky (directly - not someone else's characterizations of him)? Perhaps you can suggest to me an author on the right who presents documented, logical arguments on that level. I have read books by Ann Coulter and Bernard Goldberg, and was greatly disappointed because they were long on name-calling and short on logical arguments (I am even more disappointed when people on "my side" resort to name calling in lieu of making a real point).

I am definitely more interesting in participating in a discussion on this side of the aisle, because I don't see much point in talking with people who already agree with me.
Anyway, I'm not a professional blogger - I need to sign off - but I hope to continue this dialogue.

Norm

Posted by: reality based at January 21, 2005 3:13 AM

"Reality based"

His response was the Patriot Act, which clamped down on our freedom- it basically negated all the rights enshrined in the Constitution. If anyone can be designated an "enemy combatant" and held indefinitely, without access to legal representation, without even being charged, without ever being tried, much less convicted, in a court of law, what rights do we have left?

The PATRIOT Act isn't about "enemy combatants." Read it yourself.

Taking it back to the neutral Iraqi civilian, we must make sure that we do not kill innocents. Saying that "they do it too" is not good enough.

I didn't say "they do it too." I suggested that Iraqis are capable of understanding who's to blame for continued violence. They're also capable of observing that the United States takes tremendous measures to avoid killing civilians, while the terrorists target them.

And regarding the difficulties of geopolitics, it's just not possible to reject every unsavory regime in the world all at once. We've got to work for change in different ways in different circumstances. If anything, this President has moved us closer to the approach that you suggest.

Posted by: Justin Katz at January 28, 2005 8:40 AM

For the benefit of you morons that think Massey is bullsh*tting people or that he's a moron, you might want to WATCH and LISTEN to this:

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/05/24/148212

And if you doubt he was a recruiter, read THIS:

http://www.thesylvaherald.com/things071901.htm
and pay attention DATE on the document!

And as far as the references to the "M-50" and ICBM, did it EVER occur to any of you that maybe the REPORTER got it wrong when transcribing it? It HAPPENS more than you THINK.

Jimmy Massey is NOT and idiot you think he is and if you did your homework before coming on here and running your mouth off on something you obviously know NOTHING about, you would KNOW that.

As far is THIS remark:

As for his take on Task Force 121. Marines, or the Regular Army for that matter, would be pulling perimeter security and would never be allowed to work inside a target alongside Delta or the SEALS. His idea that houses may have been ransacked for intel is true and of course blowing doors to gain entry is true as well but I can certify that there is no way in hell any Marine is/was clearing rooms with the Task Force let alone stacking up at the door with Delta.

BTW, if he or his unit had participated in any operation were 121 was on hand he would have been required to sign a non-disclosure form making it illegal to even mention they exist. Therefore he has broken the law........not that he would care of course.
Posted by: John at May 20, 2004 12:33 AM

Unless YOU are in the postion to MAKE those decisions, John, and I seriously doubt that you are, I would keep my mouth shut on the issue.

And btw, I am in the military, SSGT in the Marine Corps, 2ndMarDiv, Lejeune.

Posted by: Seth at March 17, 2005 7:52 AM

Like most things, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. Just as it's ridiculous to think that the US is the source of all evil in the world, it's also ridiculous to think that the US can do no wrong. I suppose people who think that also think they they've never been wrong in their own personal lives, though. Good luck getting through life with that attitude...

Posted by: Ben at March 22, 2005 10:22 AM

I met him - and I looked into his eyes. He's not lying - and you can speculate all you like, but I believe you may have lost your swagger, too, if you'd been in his shoes. The soldier's swagger is often bravado, and it lifts him up in times of great fear, and I think it's just as wrong to blame a soldier for having it as it is to speculate about his sanity. Jimmy says he's clearing his own conscience, and as an American citizen, he has every right to do so. If you don't care to believe him, no one can force you to do so.

Posted by: Jude at August 8, 2005 2:34 PM