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A Reasonable Email

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

A Reasonable Email : 16 year old : : 2010-01-08

Good afternoon

I just happen to come across your website. And i definitely do want this posted. If you don’t post this you admit you are wrong and i will take that as your answer.

Do you feel the same way when the New York Times fails to post your anonymous screeds? I post as many emails as I have time to process.

I’m not here to say eff you etc. I’m not here to tell you that you’re inbred or whatever half the people say on this.

But you just did! It is a dishonest ploy called fighting in quotes, described in Dr. Eric Berne’s classic book  Games People Play: The Basic Handbook of Transactional Analysis

I believe that what they say may come out wrong, but have good intentions. They’re are trying to make you see there are two sides to every story. I will not deny that there are soldiers in Iraq or Afghan who have committed heinous crimes. Undoubtedly this will happen everywhere, it shouldn’t happen, but it does, in the US, in Canada, in a whole lot of countries. But there are soldiers out there who are good brave men, who go out there and fight for their country.

Nazis too fought for their country, but that did not make it a noble enterprise. You can easily make a case that defending one’s country is a fine thing to do, but going out and attacking and occupying and plundering other countries unprovoked is a war crime, even though most Americans have convinced themselves it is terribly wicked when Nazis do it, but perfectly OK when Americans do the exact same thing.

Yes they do kill, which is wrong. But the Taliban see it as it’s either their way or the highway and that means that everybody around the world will be forced into their religion.

That is a paranoid delusion. The Taliban have no means to hurt you or even influence you. Americans are killing them, not the reverse. You invaded their country, bombed and desecrated their mosques, not the reverse.

Yes soldiers do get PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and that is another major problem, which the new President needs to sort out.

The only way he could do that is to reduce exposure to combat, or stop it altogether. Killing innocent people etches a man’s soul and causes PTSD in a substantial number of the combatants.

But so would you if you had to go out there everyday and collect all thirty pieces of your best friends body parts.

That is like a bank robber complaining about getting shot. Americans have absolutely no business in either Afghanistan or Iraq. You attacked the Taliban and the Iraqis unprovoked, not the reverse. They have every right to shoot illegal invaders, or anything else they choose to do to defend themselves.

And lastly, about the statement that you made about not to marry a soldier because he might lose body parts. That is completely out of line. If you are married or have a loved one, how would you like it if they put a condition on you? Saying that throughout your relationship, if you lose any body parts, they will break it off with you.

It is only realistic to warn wives what they are getting into if they marry a soldier. Similarly the reality is wives are 62% more lively to divorce if there husbands are veterans. The divorce rates jumped 78%, when combat started. The problem is even worse for the disabled. A young man should factor that into his decision to enlist.

Or maybe when they met you they straight away said nah i don’t want to be with you because of your physical appearance. That is discrimination at it’s height and if a soldier came back on a wheel chair he would have been proud to give his legs or loss of feeling to his legs for his country and nothing that you can do or say should take that away from him. Marriage is for better or for worse and you may not understand it, but the women and men who marry the men and the women (respectively) on the frontline love each other and they don’t care because they understand that sacrifices have to be made.

The consequences of war are far worse than disfigurement. Some of the maimed and brain damaged just hide out and watch TV for the rest of their lives. They don’t want to communicate. They can’t do any chores. They can’t work. They don’t want to leave the house. They have no interest in life. They are morose. Their ostomy bags stink. They may neglect bathing and personal hygiene. Most of the time their partners cannot hack it and abandon them, as do their friends. You have naïve romantic notions of marriage. Those than hang in there out of religious motive do so unwillingly. They feel trapped and unhappy and are no fun to live with.

For God’s sake i’m a 16 yo old guy and i have to explain to you how this works?

I was 16 once too — seems like yesterday. I still have all the life experience I had at 16 plus another 46 years. You have never even had a long term relationship much less a marriage. You are an arrogant puppy to think you know the realities of a seriously stressed marriage.

You may take this apart bit by bit and mock everything i say, saying this world isn’t a fair place so it gives you the right to discriminate.

I’m not clear whom you allege is improperly discriminating and on what basis. Women naturally discriminate in choosing their partners. They are in no way required to ignore disability, poverty, illness, deformity or PTSD. Whether you like it or not, guy disabled in combat are the losers and unless they have extremely positive personalities, will end up alone. There are laws to help disabled people find work, but am sure you are aware it is hard enough for fully abled people to get work, so it is triply difficult for disabled people to.

Of course, you have that right because you have free speech. But that does not make you even close to right. I’m planning to join the army when i leave school and i hope i will not kill anyone.

That’s like saying when I grow up, I want to be a computer salesmen, but I hope I don’t sell any computers. Killing people is what the army is for.

I do not live in the US or Canada but i do live in a country that has some of it’s most elite troups and a group of PRT in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan and Iraq did not attack any other countries either. What about 2001-09-11? Bush said that was done by Saudis, not an Afghan(Taliban) or Iraqi in the lot. Pro war folks like to conflate all Muslims, but that is just as immature and unjust as executing Christian Tony Campolo for Christian Pat Robertson’s crime. So you have no legitimate self-defence motive for your desire to join the army. At heart, you are a sadist, even if you refuse to admit it to yourself. Why else would you brave all those risks for a chance to rape, torture and kill? Granted, it is possible, that you have a simple adrenalin addiction. What turns you on is risking your life. So why not become a fire fighter or a policeman, or a SWAT team member where you can serve society rather than kill innocent people to get your fix? If that just won’t do, are a sadist and would-be serial killer, not a simple adrenalin junkie.

I hope that one day you will go on the Internet or go read a book about General Stanley McChrystal because he lives in the hope that he can change this war. He is the best person i have seen yet in Afghanistan who has turned this war around so the Afghani’s feel much less persecuted and are much more willing to help.

McChrystal is no different from Rommel. They were both skilled generals fighting an illegal war. Both blotted the big picture out of consideration.

Or read about Bravo Two Zero, which was the call sign for a SAS troop of 8 men in Iraq during the Gulf War who’s position got comprimised and all 8 (except one who escaped) were either captured and tortured for 6 weeks like no-one has ever known torture before, or died trying to evade capture. They were tortured much worse than i have ever heard and maybe you should think about the British and American troops who have been tortured before you accuse them for doing wrong.

Huh? Suspected terrorists captured by the USA are tortured. So why should not the Afghans torture admitted terrorists (people who kill civilians)? The Americans are the ones who started this torture business. They routinely tortured every POW (Prisoner Of War). The Taliban are angels in comparison. Surely someone as interested in the black arts as you saw the Frontline documentary. Further, since the American invaded unprovoked, the Taliban have a moral right to use any means to evict the invaders, the same as you have the right to use any means to evict a home invader. The Americans have no business even being in Afghanistan or Iraq, much less torturing or killing. If Mike Tyson attacked you, would feel constrained to fight back fairly? A bully with a huge advantage, in money, size and weaponry who attacks and plunders someone/a country much smaller must be prepared for an Aussie Rules defence.

It may not be right but sure as hell is not even close to what the other’s did to Allied troops. So i end on this. You may have just ridiculed my whole argument saying that i will become a child killer or whatever BS comes out of your mouth, but remember this, what happens if all the troops come back from Iraq and Afghanistan and (East) Timor and Bosnia/Herezgovnia, what will you do then?

When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not.
~ Mark Twain (1835-11-30 1910-04-21 age:74)

I have not written on East Timor or Bosnia. What happened there in no way justifies the Afghan or Iraq wars. There are no reports of Iraqi or Afghan terrorism against the west. They have had plenty of motivation. We have been pounding the shit out of the Afghans for 16 years and 6 months and the Iraqis for 15 years and 1 month. If they have not attacked Western civilians by now, why do you think they will soon? Why do you think killing their kids will convince them to continue to be merciful? On the other hand, the USA and friends have killed millions of Afghan and Iraqi civilians. You are the terrorist you idiot! You keep excusing yourself on delusional grounds. You have demonstrated no interest in or understanding of the politics behind these two wars. You cling to a comic-book American propaganda version. You are like a young Nazi who went off to kill for the fatherland without a thought about whether the war was justified. All I ask of you, is that before you enlist and effectively enslaving yourself and before you murder any people, study up on why, really, your superiors are ordering you to kill them. Find out about who benefits from those deaths, really, e.g. Monsanto, Exxon, Unocal, Halliburton, GE… Better to find out before you murder than after. You can’t unkill someone later, no matter how much you regret what you have done.

What will you do when a terrorist runs into your workplace (assuming you work) and makes you get down on your knees to follow his religion or die? what will your website mean then? And i don’t give a shit if you follow this with some sort of witty remark i know in the end you see my point and you realize where you stand. You can have your opinion but you’re not right. And neither am i. So keep on talking and saying what you say, but know in your mind that you’re trying to Brainwash like the Nazi Youth a whole lot of people.

That is as nuts as justifying killing elephants and whales because they might attack me at my computer some time in the future. If the problem ever arises, I will deal with it then. There are thousands of perils far more likely to cause trouble. I have no objection to defence, just unprovoked offence. Further, killing Afghan kids is the best possible way I can think of no better way to motivate terrorists to attack. Kindly cut it out! You don’t even believe your own BS. I am pretty sure you are just looking for an excuse to have fun raping, torturing and killing.

The key to understand is to ask what if some country did to you what your country is doing to Afghanistan and Iraq. The criminality of your own country should become immediately apparent.

Terrorism : killing civilians with the intent of changing their political affiliation.
~ Caleb Carr (1955-08-02 age:62), military historian

I would modify that definition slightly. I don’t think nuts who act completely on their own should count as terrorists. I think they need to be associated with an organisation to count as terrorists.

By that definition, who are the terrorists?

Those who perpetrated 2001-09-11.
Pro-lifers who bomb abortion clinics.
Palestinians killing Israeli civilians occupying their lands.
The Israeli soldiers killing Palestinians.
American soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq killing civilians.
American soldiers in the Gulf War killing Iraqi soldiers.
P.O.W.s in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Those killing occupying American soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Palestinians killing Israeli soldiers occupying their lands.

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