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imperialism & war

An apology

A rad girl rethinks her activism as of late..
I turn on the television and see Iraqis dancing in the streets. I read about the jail where Hussein imprisoned pre-schoolers for not joining his youth brigade, and I see the euphoria in the eyes of an Iraqi woman that her children won't have to grow up in a world run by Saddam Hussein. It all makes me wonder.

Maybe I was wrong.

I have been to all the protests. I carried signs showing Bush and Sharon with a swastika over their faces. At the time I thought that they were murderous nazis out to slaughter an innocent people.

Now I see those people shouting "Bush yes" on television, and I hear reports of Hussein's gang of professional rapists -- men who rape women and girls in retaliation for suspected offenses against the regime.

It seems I was confused over who was the nazi and who was fighting nazis. I like to think that had I been around during WWII, I would have done anything to save the Jews. I am ashamed that based on my behavior this time around, I would have protested any attempts to stop Hitler. After all, Germany was a sovereign nation. Let Europe take care of the problem.

President Bush, Prime Minister Blair, the people of Iraq and the people of the United States - let me say here and now: I was wrong to oppose this war. Wrong to oppose the United States. Wrong to come to the aid of Hussein.

I urge everybody who has protested against this war to stop and think again about what you are doing. Maybe we should use Indymedia as a venue to share ideas about helping the Iraqis and as a space to atone for being on the wrong side of history -- again.

Signed,
Rad Gal
question 10.Apr.2003 22:22

curious

when did the 'war' end?

and what happened to all those 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' that the 'war' was supposed to be about?
question
question

giving in to the propaganda 10.Apr.2003 22:27

pdx radical youth

I for one haven't given in to the propaganda. The question is not whether the Iraqi regime was horrendous, the question is whether we needed to kill thousands of people in order to "end" it. And the bigger question is, where from here? As someone who hasn't turned on a television in months, I haven't the slightest idea as to the propaganda which washes over millions of Americans' living rooms. But I still know that killing is wrong.

Heh heh... 10.Apr.2003 22:27

Woodsman

The pale skinned anarchists are really going to get their shorts in a bunch and this will be hidden within a few hours...

huh, "rad gal"? 10.Apr.2003 22:31

seven

*sniff sniff* huh, i smell a TROLL dressed in sheeps clothing! gee, do you think "rad gal" may be some conservative degenerate posing as a "rad" so that we listen to what she says? gee, yeah, maybe we should reconsider after seeing all those touching (and completely staged) photos care of Fox News. what a weak ass attempt at subversion. "rad gal" isn't Mr. Ashcroft calling you? isn't your shift at the Dept of Homeland Security almost over? oh but maybe you're not some conservative freak, and maybe you're right "rad gal". maybe we are on the wrong side of history. we should probably be on the "right" side of the cowboys, pioneers, and conquistadors and slave owners, like the good americans in the history books. go back to your cave, troll. you don't fool anyone. "rad gal" my ass...

Rethink your change of heart 10.Apr.2003 22:38

Orwell's long lost cousin

Rad girl I urge you to look past the media propaganda swirling around through the airwaves. It is coming out now that the pulling down of the statue of Saddam was an orchestrated photo/media event by the military and intelligence agencies of the US and Britian. If you look at the aerial photos of the event, it clearly shows what is going on.

Nobody I know doubts that Saddam was (or is if he is still alive) a really bad person. He obviously tortured many, many people. The one benefit of the Neo-Conservatives' global power grab is the Iraqi people are out from under the heavy hand of Saddam and his henchmen.

But one has to ask--who and what is going to replace Saddam. If we look at all the other countries that America's military/industrial/corporate machine has "liberated" over the past century, the former evil doer has been replaced with an equally ruthless evil doer. Remember, Saddam and Osama were both put into place and funded by our CIA. When they have no more use for the bad people, they change the evil doer with not that much improvement for the people under them.

As has been reprinted and pointed out numerous times on IndyMedia sites, The Project for New American Century has for almost five years publically published the blueprint for the global corporate takeover by the Neo-Conservatives of the Bush regime. Bush himself has said in speeches that this war will go on for 30 years. I take him at his word. This was their first move in the chess game of the corporate takeover of the world. Pappy Bush called it the New World Order. I simply call it Corporatism--the merging of the power of the state with the power of the corporation. It is also the definition of fascism. Good ol' American Fascism.

Kind of hard to believe really... 10.Apr.2003 22:49

Woodsman

She made a few valid points but its hard to believe anyone would change their mind so quickly. I don't really believe its possible that the majority of the people who view this site would change there mind regardless of what happens. They seem to be hardcore anti-capitalists (in theory at least, but maybe not in practice) so I wouldn't imagine such a quick transformation could take place.

A few people might transition to the right over time but it would be gradual and would probably be the result of some type of life experience. I believe a certain segment of every population is going to have a socialist liberal mindset and there is little you can do to change that.

War wasn't the answer- It still isn't 10.Apr.2003 23:00

Neva

"I think they thought we wouldn't shoot kids. But we showed them we don't care..."

 http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/04/08/1049567660897.html

Killing a child: 'I did what I had to do'
April 8 2003, 12:49 PM




When a young Iraqi boy stooped to pick up a rocket propelled grenade off the body of a dead paramilitary, US Army Private Nick Boggs made his decision.

He unloaded machinegun fire and the boy, whom he puts at about 10 years old, fell dead on a garbage-strewn stretch of waste land at Karbala.

Boggs, a softly spoken 21-year-old former hunting guide from Alaska, says he knew when he joined the army 18 months ago he might someday have to make a decision like that.

He hoped it would never come and, although he has no regrets about opening fire, it is clear he'd rather it wasn't a child he killed.

"I did what I had to do. I don't have a big problem with it but anyone who shoots a little kid has to feel something," he said after fierce weekend fighting in this Shi'ite Muslim holy city that left dozens of Iraqis and one American soldier dead.

As US troops take the Iraq war out of the desert and into the main cities, they are increasingly seeing children in their line of fire.

Many are innocent civilians in the wrong place at the wrong time and military officers concede that some may have been killed in artillery or mortar fire, or shot down by soldiers whose judgment is impaired in the "fog of war".

But others are apparently being used as fighters or more often as scouts and weapons collectors. US officers and soldiers say that turns them into legitimate targets.

"I think they're cowards," Boggs said of the parents or Fedayeen paramilitaries who send out children to the battlefield.

"I think they thought we wouldn't shoot kids. But we showed them we don't care. We are going to do what we have to do to stay alive and keep ourselves safe."

The boy he killed was with another child of around the same age when they reached for the RPG and came under fire. Boggs thinks the second boy was also hit but other soldiers think he escaped and that he dragged his friend's dead body away.

Boggs' platoon leader, Lieutenant Jason Davis, said the young soldier struggles with what happened even if he had no choice but to shoot.

"Does it haunt him? Absolutely. It haunts me and I didn't even pull the trigger," he said. "It blows my mind that they can put their children into that kind of situation."

Although Boggs plays down suggestions he was upset by the incident, he also says his view of combat has changed since Saturday, when his platoon came under intense RPG and rifle fire from the moment they entered Karbala until way after nightfall.

Before - like many young soldiers - he says he was anxious to get his first "kill" in a war. Now, he seems more mature.

"It's not about killing people. It's about accomplishing a mission ... When we talk, we don't say how scared we were. But we found out how you feel when an RPG hits the wall just up from you and you think 'Damn, I could have been right there'," he said.

Reuters

Rad Gal is an Obvious Troll 10.Apr.2003 23:02

Ed Harley

This is so obviously a fraud I can hardly believe anyone bought it. What a ridiculous, invented pack of lies; this was clearly written by some pathetic right-wing cubicle jockey who reads Indymedia (probably envious of people who can think critically), and gets the rest of their "news" from Fox, CNN and Rush Limbaugh.

Get a life.

Events immediately preceeding "Victory" 10.Apr.2003 23:12

NetWatcher

In a two-day period before the claim of victory was made by the mainstream press, these events occured.

1)The Russian Embassy convoy was "accidentally" attacked by US Military leaving Baghdad.
2)US Military "accidentally" attacked the hotel where independent journalists were located, killing three.
3) AlJazeera website was hacked and no English version is yet available.
4) Russian Aeronautics website stopped publishing military activities from Iraq and sited one reason as "we have no right to give away "top secret" information," and this was immediately following the meeting between Condoleeza Rice and Russian leaders.
5) Red Cross discontinued their efforts due to overwhelming numbers of dead and wounded.

It looks like the US simply cut-off the opposing news reports under threat of death and then claimed the war was over.

Wasnt the statue 10.Apr.2003 23:22

Rad Gal

It wasn't the statue being pulled over by a bunch of marines that made me wonder. It was hearing about the jail for children that got me most. That reminded me too much of Hitler and his youth brigades. I don't want to be the kind of person that would have left Hitler in power.

I am ashamed to be the kind of person who, if the government would have listened to me, would have left a man in power who builds palaces for himself while starving his own people, who keeps pre-schoolers locked up in dungeons, and who orders rape of his own citizens. These are only a few of Hussein's crimes.

I don't know what's going to happen next. I do know that if Bush had listened to us, Hussein would still be free to torture a nation.

(No longer) Rad Gal

"radgal"? you are joking right? 10.Apr.2003 23:35

republic of cascadia citizen

anyone who took radgal's post seriously needs to think again. blatant attempt at disinformation, plain and simple. when i see iraqis celebrating, i think "right on, saddam was [or is] a complete tyrant, i hope their sense of freedom lasts", and i consider myself to be very radical in my political perspective. if someone had just bombed the white house with bush in it, i would also be celebrating, along with millions of others. tyrants are tyrants are tyrants, and humans want to be free. but what i do not celebrate is the criminal means in which our government carried out its mass murder of iraqi civilians and their military.

not for a second would it cause me to question my opposition to the hyper-capitalist imperialist exploiters of this planet, whether they are hussein, bush, rumsfeld, cheney, perle, rice, blair, murdoch or any other. i will fight against them every step of the way, and celebrate as each one falls.

'Rad Gal' [*not*] is nothin' but a TROLL. 10.Apr.2003 23:40

%

"ashamed to be the kind of person who, if the government would have listened to me, would have left a man in power who builds palaces for himself while starving his own people, who keeps pre-schoolers locked up in dungeons, and who orders rape of his own citizens."

--what a fucking joke.

and Utter Crock Of Shit.

anyone who has even *peripherally* been involved with antiwar action recently knows ALL ABOUT the US installation of Saddam in the 1960s, and our government's support of him during the 1980s.

This is a hilariously pathetic, D.O.A. sinker.

as Ed Harley said above--

head back to your FReeper cubicle, cram some Twinkies, Big Macs, and child porn, and *at least* try for a FLOATING piece of shit next time.
'Rad Gal' [*not*] is nothin' but a TROLL.
'Rad Gal' [*not*] is nothin' but a TROLL.

try again, radgal 10.Apr.2003 23:45

GRINGO STARS gringo_stars@attbi.com

That was the worst attempt at lying I've ever read. "Radgal" is actually a reactionary, conservative troll with the vocabulary of an idiotic embedded journalist.

It's almost flattering, these disruption/disinformation campaigns aimed at IndyMedia.

Not A Troll 11.Apr.2003 00:00

RadGal

I realize that you feel that you have to discredit me, and I understand because not so long ago I would have done the same if somebody said they were one of us but had a change of heart.

Peace out yall.

(Still) Rad Gal

it *is almost flattering how hard they try... 11.Apr.2003 00:31

Harpyr

My highly tuned b*llshite detector was going haywire before I was even halfway through the post.

I was conversing with a hyper conservative on a message board earlier today and he was telling me how all sorts of former radicals are suddenly having a change of heart now that they see how 'happily liberated' the Iraqi people are.
So I find it interesting to then come over here and find this pretty sorry troll attempt at pushing the exact same line. Methinks I smell the latest bit o' spin doctorin by the righties. *phew* .stinky.

... 11.Apr.2003 00:38

...

ah yes, so now the Iraqi people will be free to "elect whatever official into office that they want"...this comming from a government that was "appointed" not elected. glad to see that the hypocrisy still lives on. Im glad those kids were freed but i wonder how that little boy who got his arms blown off while watching his entire family incinerated feels. I bet he feels REAL liberated...liberated enough to have someone strap a bomb to his chest in 5 years so he can run through the new american built airport that *gasp* RaD Girl is trying to catch a flight out of Iraq after a nice tourist visit, spending her valuable dollars in the brand new Walmart that had just opened in the *new* market place in Baghdad.

Simple minded 11.Apr.2003 04:10

anon

Take any view you want Rad Girl. But if you think either solution (war or no war) is without it's pros and cons, (and very serious cons since we are talking about WAR, and Saddam), then you are being so simple minded, that you're not really up to discussing this issue seriously.

I don't remember 11.Apr.2003 07:34

The Redcoat

Was it Regan or Bush I that put Saddam into Power?

Oh well, it was probably both.

sad 11.Apr.2003 08:17

sick n tired

Its good to see that some people can buy their beliefs like they buy their hair dye.
Stop watching CNN, and start thinking for yourself. And if you are trolling - GET A LIFE

Radgal a troll? 11.Apr.2003 09:28

Been There

Whether or not Radgal is a "troll", or whether she sincerely had a change of heart, is almost irrelevant. The fact is, her assessment of Sadam's regime is accurate. And the fact that some of you can just ignore what Sadam has done, and would have continued to do had the US not brought down his regime, is an indication of just how hypocritical and opportunistic the hard-left faction of the anti-war movement has become. You have marginalized yourselves to a degree that even your worst right-wing enemies could not have hoped for. The picture of dog shit that one of you posted is typical. Is that your best argument? It looks much more like a reflection of your own level of intellectual and moral development.

Been where? 11.Apr.2003 10:10

ranger

rad girl is either a troll or so gullible to the misinformation elicited by newscasts. Been there is spouting disinformation. No one here supports Saddam you ass! The Iraqis have no use for our form of liberation after all the years of our sanctions. The celebrants ad the fallen statue says little about the Iraqi sentiment, it's pure dramatics, misinterpreted by context. Why don't you just get it and realize that the US did nothing but support Saddam. Read your goddam history of US involvement in the middle east. Do some research rad girl on Bush I reign, or are you too young to remember?

such hypocrisy 11.Apr.2003 10:30

someone

It was the US who has killed 1.5 million Iraqis. And you're talking about the evils of Hussein. Give me a fucking break. Read a book, do some research, figure out what happened to your humanity, and come back when you're able to actually discuss the reality of the situation. This war is not about liberation, we won't be seeing US soldiers come home anytime soon (just like they haven't and won't come home from afghanistan). This is about occupation, conquest, control, and domination. For all of your talking about the evils of Saddam Hussein: where the hell were you when the rest of us to were trying to lobby congress in the 80's to stop selling his government weapons? Or were you listening to presidents Reagan and Bush who told you that Hussein as a good man because he was helping us fight the evil Iranians. Where were you when the US told Hussein that he could take over northern Kuwait? Where were you when the taliban was meeting with Texas oil executives to work out the pipeline deal? Were you opposing these evils then, or do you just say it now that it's what the government is telling you? If you talk about the evils of Hussein don't you care that the northern alliance that we put in control of afghanistan is gang a murderous, raping thugs, just as bad as the taliban (unless you count the fact that they're allowing the pipeline to be built)? You can talk all you want about the evils of Hussein but you didn't do anything to stop them when they were happening, and you're not doing anything to stop the same evils happening at the bequest of dictators all over the world today (including in the United States). Do you honestly think Iraq is going to be a better place under US occupation? I'll take a wager with anyone willing to take it that the lives of the Iraqis will be worse under the US than under Hussein in the 80's. Any takers?

Rad Gal 11.Apr.2003 11:47

Bleu Cheez

On the off chance that you really aren't a troll, I ask you a question or two:

1. Why does the vast majority of the world (I'm talking about people and not politicians here) oppose our war in no uncertain terms even though they know Saddam is an evil bastard?
2. Did the world support Hitler's/Germany's military actions? (No--just 85 or 90% of Germany bought into the propaganda, kind of like America, but outside of America the propaganda is not so overwhelming and people can still look at this war mongering with a critical eye. Remember, Hitler was wildly popular, and he stripped freedoms in much the same way Bush is doing now. Since you're an American, I presume, I'd urge you to think about whether or not you're one of the 85% of WWII Germany, or one of the 15%.)
3. Why is international law structured in a way that makes actions such as America's illegal? There are good reasons, I assure you.
4. Why does America ignore countries which offer nothing for them? Is it the ugly face of face of oil-hungry imperialism, or is it something else?

If the people of Iraq are freer, that's great, but it doesn't justify the war, and it doesn't seem likely considering Afghanistan and Kuwait and Iran and so on.

See you out there protesting tomorrow,
Bleu Cheez