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Iraq War, v5



 
 
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  #41  
Old August 17th, 2008, 7:27 pm
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Re: Iraq War, v5

Wow, that's really sad, Purp.

Especially... since the death toll is going back up.

My condolences go out to both their friends and families.


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  #42  
Old August 17th, 2008, 7:36 pm
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Re: Iraq War, v5

Thanks, Fawkes.

Of Derrick Henden, the Ohio G.I. who left a note saying "I'm just tired," his sister made a comment that really struck my heart: "I think he died in Iraq." Certainly he was never quite right after Iraq.

My younger son lost his best friend to a similar suicide after two tours in Iraq.


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  #43  
Old August 17th, 2008, 7:46 pm
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Re: Iraq War, v5

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
Thanks, Fawkes.

Of Derrick Henden, the Ohio G.I. who left a note saying "I'm just tired," his sister made a comment that really struck my heart: "I think he died in Iraq." Certainly he was never quite right after Iraq.

My younger son lost his best friend to a similar suicide after two tours in Iraq.
You're welcome.

Wow... it sounds like his soul died there as well... sad, really.

Oh, that's really sad as well, Purp -- so many people dying over there...

It's a tragedy of some sorts...


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  #44  
Old August 17th, 2008, 8:02 pm
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Re: Iraq War, v5

It's a tragedy alright.

A Republican legislator, Walter Jones of North Carolina, has introduced a bill that would lift the ban on journalists' access to ceremonies honoring fallen military personnel.

I'd like to see this one pass. It is shameful that these images are hidden from the public.


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  #45  
Old August 17th, 2008, 8:13 pm
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Re: Iraq War, v5

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
It is shameful that these images are hidden from the public.
I can't imagine the families of the dead soldiers wanting this to happen, grief is such a personal thing that it really shouldn't be turned into a PR event for either side of the debate, which will happen if this bill passes. While I don't know all the ins & outs of how it came around that journalists were banned from these ceremonies, I would personally uphold this ban as I believe that the families should have a right to mourn in privacy without the eyes of America and the world on them and without their loved ones funerals becoming an exercise in PR


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  #46  
Old August 17th, 2008, 8:36 pm
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Re: Iraq War, v5

I dunno... I think the ban dehumanizes the fallen and all to conveniently tucks them away where ordinary Americans don't see the real toll of the war. I think it's very self-serving for those responsible for this war.


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  #47  
Old August 17th, 2008, 9:07 pm
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Re: Iraq War, v5

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
I dunno... I think the ban dehumanizes the fallen and all to conveniently tucks them away where ordinary Americans don't see the real toll of the war. I think it's very self-serving for those responsible for this war.
Based on the linked article, the ban has been in effect since Vietnam. I'm not entirely comfortable with the idea of lifting the ban so that the images of flag draped coffins can be exploited to support a political point of view.


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  #48  
Old August 17th, 2008, 9:28 pm
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Re: Iraq War, v5

Not quite.

PDNPhotographs of returning military dead were permitted during Vietnam, but a ban was instated during the 1991 Gulf War, according to Jones' office. The military has granted exceptions on rare occasions, such as the 1996 return of the bodies of Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and other Americans killed in a plane crash in Croatia.

But since the start of the war in Afghanistan in 2001, the Defense Department has specifically prohibited photographs of returning war dead. A policy updated in 2003 states: "There will be no arrival ceremonies for, or media coverage of, deceased military personnel returning or departing from Ramstein Air Base or Dover Air Force Base." Military officials have defended the rule by saying it is in place out of respect to service members and their loved ones.


Emphasis mine.

In other words, the ban(s) are an uniquely Bush thing.


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  #49  
Old August 17th, 2008, 9:51 pm
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Re: Iraq War, v5

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
In other words, the ban(s) are an uniquely Bush thing.
Not exactly, Clinton was in office for 8 years and could have lifted the ban at any time, whether it was Somalia in October 93 or the Kosovo War in 99. So it wasn't entirely a Bush thing.

While I make no attempt to hide my anti-Iraq war feelings, I would be deeply disturbed to see the ban being lifted, and the funerals and ceremonies being made into a PR circus. I believe families should be allowed to grieve and mourn in private, as it is a deeply personal time and journalists shouldn't be allowed anywhere near these ceremonies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monster_mom View Post
Based on the linked article, the ban has been in effect since Vietnam. I'm not entirely comfortable with the idea of lifting the ban so that the images of flag draped coffins can be exploited to support a political point of view.
I completely agree with this view, I don't feel at all comfortable with exploiting a families grief just for the purpose of PR - no matter which side of the debate is trying to use it.


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  #50  
Old August 17th, 2008, 10:04 pm
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Re: Iraq War, v5

I agree up to a point. I think the coffins coming in at airports should be allowed to be photographed, complete with the names of the fallen.

I don't think I'd care for having cameras snapping in my face at the funeral or burial of my loved one. If it could be done as discreetly as it was during Vietnam, as in snapping from a respectful distance, I wouldn't mind as much.


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  #51  
Old August 17th, 2008, 10:11 pm
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Re: Iraq War, v5

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
I agree up to a point. I think the coffins coming in at airports should be allowed to be photographed, complete with the names of the fallen.

I don't think I'd care for having cameras snapping in my face at the funeral or burial of my loved one. If it could be done as discreetly as it was during Vietnam, as in snapping from a respectful distance, I wouldn't mind as much.
I agree with the names of the fallen being released - I assumed they were released anyway or am I wrong? Coffins coming in at airports...meh. It still doesn't stand right with me - families would I assume be at the airports, and I just feel as though it's disrespectful and they should be allowed their privacy to grieve.

Unfortunately, with the advances in modern photography a photographer could be a long distance away and have a great zoom lens - leading to great PR pictures of the family and the coffin. It just doesn't sit right with me to turn something so personal into a PR exercise.


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  #52  
Old August 17th, 2008, 10:59 pm
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Re: Iraq War, v5

I'm a lot older than you and I do remember the images of our fallen warriors coming home during the Vietnam War. There was nothing distasteful about them. Here's a link to the few that have slipped through since Iraq was invaded: Photos of Military Coffins, Dover AFB. The site also offers a gallery.

Here's a link to the story of how these few pictures became available in 2004. A Defense Department contractor fired the woman who took them and also her husband, I guess because he was married to her?

I can't believe pictures like these are infringing on anyone's privacy. It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. The trouble is, the Bush administration doesn't want the American people to visualize these words, or the sad stories behind them.


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  #53  
Old August 18th, 2008, 1:33 am
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Re: Iraq War, v5

Quote:
Originally Posted by monster_mom View Post
Based on the linked article, the ban has been in effect since Vietnam. I'm not entirely comfortable with the idea of lifting the ban so that the images of flag draped coffins can be exploited to support a political point of view.
The ban is also purely political.

Families should have the right to allow or disallow coverage of a funeral. From experience writing obits for a small town paper people are glad the passing of a family member (for whatever) reason is publicly commemorated.


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  #54  
Old August 18th, 2008, 2:16 am
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Re: Iraq War, v5

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The ban is also purely political.
I think so, too. Our neocon contingent was, I think, trying to minimize the chances of a public outcry over the number of flag-draped coffins, such as there was during the Vietnam War.


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  #55  
Old August 18th, 2008, 1:53 pm
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Re: Iraq War, v5

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
I think so, too. Our neocon contingent was, I think, trying to minimize the chances of a public outcry over the number of flag-draped coffins, such as there was during the Vietnam War.
As the ban was in effect during the Clinton Administration I assume you're including him as part of the neocon contingent?

I can understand considering the ban to be just as political as lifting the ban would be. But, in lieu of the fact that the ban remained in effect during the Clinton Administration, I just can't agree with attempts to claim that the ban is political tool of this Bush Administration. I could buy the argument if the ban had been lifted by the Clinton Administration and then replaced by the Bush Administration - but it wasn't, Clinton left the ban in place during his tenure in office and Bush has continued the ban. Therefore, in my opinion, any argument that the ban is a tool which has been exploited solely by this Administration is unjustified and unsubstantiated.

As such, in my opinion, the debate about lifting the ban should be focused on weighing the publics right to know against the families right to privacy.

I would err on the side of respecting the privacy of the soldiers families.


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  #56  
Old August 18th, 2008, 2:02 pm
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Re: Iraq War, v5

Clinton didn't really have a war to deal with, did he?

And the record is clear that the policy was taken to what I consider draconian lengths in 2003, after the Iraq invasion.

Haven't we been asked not to dredge Clinton up every time there is a criticism of Bush?


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  #57  
Old August 18th, 2008, 2:11 pm
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Re: Iraq War, v5

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Originally Posted by Sherlock Holmes View Post

1. With the surge ending, can the Iraqi government maintain peace and order?

2. What should be the role of the coalition military forces post-surge?

3. What are your predictions for the future of the Middle East, especially with regard to Iraq and its neighbors?
1. Well, they need to be allowed to try. It is completely different for the U.S to have a few bases there - like they had in my country for years and years - and being actively militerised in the country. They are there as a threat and that is unfair. This was no war; it was an occupation; done for purely political purposes.

2. Like I said above, I will support any bases from the U.N still in the country. But there's no need for an active military there - if they stay, the Iraqis will obviously continue rebelling, and it is nothing short of unhumane and wrong to try to force them into coalition.

3. The threats towards Iran scare me. I find the U.S foreign policy extremely hypocritical and I do think they produce a bigger threat than all of the Middle East combined. I believe the U.S could've done some good stuff in Afghanistan had they stayed focused; but they didn't; Osama is still running free and the country is in ruins.

They continue to threat Iran over their nuclear weapons, I just hope the weapons continue to be the deterrant they were over the Cold War era, or all hell will break loose. The Middle East will stick together and it would be simply foolish to predict otherwise.
Perhaps Israel will prove important, along with Saudi-Arabia, as the U.S allies in that area.


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  #58  
Old August 18th, 2008, 2:16 pm
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Re: Iraq War, v5

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Sixteen months, or by the end of 2010, isn't "immediate."
It is if you want to hit that timeframe. I can assure you that the number of assets on the ground coupled with the need for security in their movement to stage for overseas movement will make drawing up a plan and implimenting it every bit of a 16 month process, if not longer. We have to safeguard our forces and equipment and as we withdraw the likelihood of violence, specificly against our forces will increase. Trying to just retreat and leave our equipment and ordnance in place is not an option, nor is leaving the standing structures to be infiltrated by potential insurgencies. Hand over of authority, facilities and other assets will take planning and time.


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Old August 18th, 2008, 2:19 pm
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Re: Iraq War, v5

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
Haven't we been asked not to dredge Clinton up every time there is a criticism of Bush?
I'm going to allow mention of Clinton in respect to the ban as I brought it up myself a few posts ago after you mentioned that the ban was a uniquely Bush thing, that Clinton could have lifted the ban during Somalia or Kosovo if he had wanted to, military deaths did occur during both of these.


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  #60  
Old August 18th, 2008, 2:24 pm
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Re: Iraq War, v5

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
I agree up to a point. I think the coffins coming in at airports should be allowed to be photographed, complete with the names of the fallen.

I don't think I'd care for having cameras snapping in my face at the funeral or burial of my loved one. If it could be done as discreetly as it was during Vietnam, as in snapping from a respectful distance, I wouldn't mind as much.

If my brother's coffin was fodder for some photographer trying to push an agenda, whether I agreed with it or not, I would find him and give him incredibly strong motivation not to do anything like that to any other fallen American. The coffin contains the remains of someone who has family and friends, none of whom should be subjected to the type of blatant politicizing Veitnam showed was so brutal and impersonal. I can think of no respectful way that these photos could be displayed. It isn't a public thing, it is very private and should remain that way. What is the purpose to showing these photos, I know it isn't to honor the memory of the fallen, so what does it do to help the soldiers? Doesn't it actually hurt the soldiers? What type of reaction did people unconnected to those fallen have the last time we allowed it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wab View Post
The ban is also purely political.

Families should have the right to allow or disallow coverage of a funeral. From experience writing obits for a small town paper people are glad the passing of a family member (for whatever) reason is publicly commemorated.
That is as long as their death and burial isn't being used as a political device, especially if the politics were at odds with the soldier's beliefs. I very rarely see a picture of a funeral in the paper, maybe a police officer killed in the line of duty, or a public figure, but these soldiers are neither and I can't believe that these photos aren't going to be used as fodder for political commentary and that is distasteful and downright wrong.


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