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Here is an email I received in response to one of my essays.

Misconceptions : Ann Rhodes : : 2012-01-22


Your website is laughable. You obviously know nothing of the military, or those who serve. Your website reads like a over sensationalized true crime paperback.

Well, Karla, the statistics came from official military websites, veterans websites, mainstream newspapers and magazines. Please be specific about what think is wrong and what you evidence is.

You gladly take advantage of their sacrifices while being too lazy, cowardly, or selfish to do any of the work yourself. The military works to ensure your freedom will not be hindered and yet you still push hysterical and groundless claims. If you lived in such pleasant locales as North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Russia, The Congo and others then you wouldn’t even have had your first article up for a day without having been dragged off in the middle of the night and never heard from again. I’m opposed to the Iraq debacle and feel the previous American administration should be brought up on charges. I am also a veteran who served honorably (as did my friends) and was privileged to witness the integrity and courage of the other NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) soldiers (including those from your country.)

In WWII (World War II) the military worked for my freedom, but it did no such thing in Afghanistan or Iraq. Neither country attacked the USA or Canada. The USA attacked because the wanted to steal their oil. Obama announced a giant auction of the remainder of Iraq’s oil to US and European oil companies on the same day he announced the troop withdrawal. The US targeted children, used banned weapons and routinely tortured detainees. They declared the Geneva conventions quaint. Afghans and Iraqis who formerly admired the USA now have vowed eternal revenge for generations to come. I am much less safe than I used to be as a result of your country’s Nazi-like behaviour.

You appear to be ignorant of international law. If you aided or abetted in any way, either the Afghanistan or Iraq wars, which were aggressive (first strike wars), you have committed a capital war crime. That cannot possibly be called serving honourably. You have the same status in my mind an a child rapist/murderer sitting on death row. You likely helped kill even more children.

Most of the major technological advances (and a good bit of the medical ones) were created thanks to military R&D funding. But don’t worry: the sheepdogs will continue to protect the sheep such as yourself from the wolves no matter how much you disparage us. i would be hesitant to sanctify the insurgencies considering their penchant for cutting the ears and noses off of voters, throw acid in the faces of girls, torture other sects with drills and blowtorches and bring young children along when they place IED (Improvised Explosive Device) s since they know our ROE precludes us from firing. Unless you feel that we should have capitulated to the Nazis in WWII because soldiers are apparently so evil.

That is a rather weak argument. It almost impossible to spend trillions of dollars without something good coming out of it. The proper question is, what if you had spend that money directly on R&D, alternative energy, housing, cleaning up the environment… Infinitely more good would have come of it. The USA spends more on defence that the rest of the world put together. I think that is paranoid and wasteful of resources. However, that is your business. I have no objection to you putting up the most spirited defence imaginable. I object when you start attacking other countries unprovoked. That’s what you have been doing. When you did that, nearly all your soldiers became guilty of capital war crime. In theory they should all be hanged, as were the Nazis convicted of the same crime. However, solitary life confinement would suffice for you and your fellows to my way of thinking. The bad behaviour of the Taliban does not give you a licence to do even worse atrocities. White phosphorus is even nastier than acid.

I think if you were kidnapped in some thid world country for God knows what reason, then you would quickly change your tune and beg for rescue (which would have be done regardless of your agenda.) Your fanatical dualism leaves you incapable of forming a rational viewpoint or allowing critique of your misconceptions.

I have been to third world countries such as India, Indonesia and Malaysia where people treated me like a king. I would not dare travel now least I be mistaken for an American. You stupid Americans think you can make people love/respect you by killing and torturing their children. The whole county of the USA is suffering from extreme paranoid delusions.

It is especially humorous that you claim Iraq is about oil considering they haven’t even begun to export it yet. I know you won’t, but I still encourage you to reconsider your viewpoint.

It is not just me who says the war was about oil, it was a number of famous people including Noam Chomsky, Mike Ruppert, Hans Blix, Alan Greenspan, John McCain, Richard Heinberg, Donald Wolfowitz, Charles Penña, Gwynne Dyer, Terry Jones and even George W. Bush. It is no great secret why oil cannot be piped during active hostilities. All it takes one bullet to knock out a billion dollar pipeline for a week. The economics strongly strongly favour the resistance.

Just because a child rapist once helped an old lady across the street is utterly irrelevant in determining whether child-raping is acceptable behaviour. Ditto for the behaviour of military personnel. It is simply not acceptable to go killing people, especially children who did not attack you first. The war-at-a-distance techniques used to keep US killers safe, kill randomly, especially children. Some would look on sacrificing children for personal safety as cowardly.

Like every US military person I have encountered, you are wilfully ignorant of international law. You imagine if you ignore it, it will go away and could not possibly apply to you. Even Bush and Cheney are afraid to go to Europe out of fear of being arrested. And then there is, of course, vigilante law, the way Israelis kidnapped and killed WWII war criminals. You come across like Marie Antoinette, totally out of touch with reality and totally in denial of your wrongdoing. You are the kind of person people love to hate and take revenge on.

Misconceptions 2 : Ann Rhodes : : 2012-01-23

almost forgot to add this last bit. I in no way excuse any crime a veteran commits. PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) does not negate free will. I have PTSD, and I know people who also suffer from it. Some have it worse than me, some have it less. One of the first things you learn in the military is that you will be held accountable for your action or inaction. You are held to a higher standard. Fear, moral cowardice and “I was just doing what I was told’ are explicitly identified as inexcusable. If committing vile acts due to some PTSD induced psychosis was so inevitable then part of your discharge would involve a lobotomy, and spending the rest of your life on a valium drip. It’s unfortunate that PTSD has been hijacked and became the military equivalent of the insanity/multiple personality/amnesia trope in the civilian world. This disease was finally getting the recognition and research it deserved, but has become tied into stigma.

Thugs such as those involved with the Abu Ghraib, Haditha, Mahmoudiya incidents are cowardly scum. They and their legal counsel love to push the myth that PTSD somehow absolves them of choice and responsibility. If they never enlisted then they might have never committed any crimes, but sociopathy isn’t the flu. You can’t catch it, and stress may have triggered what otherwise would have remained dormant; however, it does not interfere with understanding what behavior is impermissible in a society. Steven Green may not feel any empathy, but it doesn’t mean that he didn’t know what he did was unacceptable. That’s one of the main reasons I vehemently opposed OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom) thanks to unrealistic raises in troop levels.

We could have easily maintained a larger force of active duty, reserves and guard by canceling one those redundant or useless weapons projects. Then we wouldn’t need to issues waivers for felonies as was happening two to six years ago thanks to bloating the number of required personnel way too rapidly. I think just about every Stateside crime or wartime human rights violation was either committed by one of these guys, or featured one as an accomplice.

We are in general agreement. Were we talking about WWII, you probably could not tell our stances apart. However, I am talking about two illegal wars, Afghanistan and Iraq which nearly everyone in the US military today implicitly signed on for. The place where we disagree is on is the war crime of aiding and abetting an aggressive (first strike) war, a capital crime you personally are guilty of. Like nearly all Americans you don’t believe this is a crime mainly because your country commits it so brazenly. Like all soldiers, even when you are confronted with the evidence, you deny it both because you don’t want to be a war criminal and because it violates the peer denial and the conspiracy of silence of the US military.

When I call it a crime I don’t mean it is reprehensible behaviour, that I personally disapprove of. I mean that it violates the law. What the law is has nothing to do with what you or I think the law should be.

Some soldiers admit what they did was a war crime, but assert the US has such a powerful military it will protect them for the rest of their lives from prosecution. 70 years is a long time into the future to be making predictions, so I would not be so cocky. Some Nazis did not face prosecution until they were in their 90s. I am not arguing you will necessarily hang or face a life in solitary, just that you are a war criminal guilty of a capital crime.

It would be irresponsible of you to take the word of some crank like me on the Internet. I invite you to research this for yourself. If you were about to commit some iffy act like having an abortion, would you not research the legality first even if you planned to break the law? Surely the same is true of murder or aiding and abetting an agressive war.

Why do I think this what you did is a capital crime?

  1. Benjamin C. Ferencz was a lead prosecutor at Nuremberg. He has written extensively about the experience and how all the Nazis were tried on but a single charge at the end of aiding and abetting an aggressive war. He is 98 years old now but he is still writing about how those laws still apply.
  2. Three secretaries General of the UN have declared the Iraq war illegal. They ought to know. When the USA joined the UN (United Nations) it signed a treaty agreeing to leave international borders intact, not to attack other nations and to hand over an suspected war criminals within its borders for trial.
  3. You can read the Geneva Conventions online for yourself.
  4. In my judgement, this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva’s strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions.
    ~ Alberto Gonzales (1955-08-04 age:62) Attorney General Of the USA in the Bush administration

    The is the attorney General of the USA spitting in the face of international law, freely admitting the USA is a rogue state.

  5. Bush and Cheney have cancelled trips to Europe for speaking engagements fearing possible arrest on war crimes charges.
  6. Miscellaneous arguments in my essay on war crimes and motives the war. Since the war had nothing to do with defence, it was illegal. Since it had nothing to do with defence there is no legitimate motive for participating in the war. Since there is no legitimate motive, there can only be illegitimate ones like sadism, sexual depravity and corruption. Look in the mirror. Either you were extremely naïve or you have been kidding yourself about your moral character. I suppose you could then argue that both wars were launched in self defence. There is overwhelming evidence that is not so, but you could argue you acted in wilful ignorance and everyone else signing up did so as well. That is akin to the slimy I was just following orders Nazi defence.

If you research this for yourself, you too will have to come to the conclusion that aiding an abetting an aggressive war is a capital war crime. Then you will have to decide if you approve of this crime as a special case, or if you include it with the other crimes you have condemned.

Misconceptions 3 : Ann Rhodes : : 2012-01-23

Ugh, I forgot something else. I apologize for clogging your inbox. This should be it, though:

I don’t think I was being clear enough about my statement on other countries. I was not implying foreigners are evil, or will kidnap you. I travelled abroad and I agree the people are very gracious and welcoming. I also enjoy learning about other cultures. Collecting idioms is probably one of my favorite things. I’m referring to situations such as Somali pirates, the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia), Lebanese Hezbollah and similar groups. Whenever someone is kidnapped for whatever reason. it almost always ends up being the military who rescues them. This is especially true in places such as Somali where there is no law enforcement, or if they are sympathetic to whatever group has you.

The military kills 1,000 people for every one it rescues. If they stuck to rescuing and defending I would cheer them on.

Misconceptions 4 : Ann Rhodes : : 2012-02-03

Are you okay? I never got a reply from the last emails I sent you.

There are thousands of emails in my in basket I have not got around to replying to or posting.

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