"I was just told we were doing a good job"

Who will stand with Lynndie England?

I will. I pity her. She should elicit our compassion, not our contempt. A poor, disadvantaged girl struggling to make something of herself. Doing what she was told, following the leader, getting lots of positive reinforcement. Just doing what she thought was a good job.

Limbaugh was obscene when he downplayed the prisoner abuse by equating it to a fraternity hazing, but that's exactly the dynamic at play. Hazing, pranks, initiation. Boot camp, military academies. It's cruel and dehumanizing and a rush. And a proud tradition. It starts out being fun and funny and outrageous. Then people get pumped up and they dare each other to go further. They hoot and howl and laugh. It's extreme!

The only thing that reigns it in at all is the larger social context that reminds us of what is unacceptable, what is criminal. But when the context changes, when the victims are not trusting classmates, but dehumanized "enemies," what's to stop it? The superior officers. The structure. The commanders.

Who wouldn't have done the same thing in the same circumstances?

Look at her biography.

Colleen Kesner, a resident from England's hometown, said: "A lot of people here think they ought to just blow up the whole of Iraq. To the country boys here, if you're a different nationality, a different race, you're sub-human. That's the way that girls like Lynndie are raised... Tormenting Iraqis, in her mind, would be no different from shooting a turkey. Every season here you're hunting something. Over there, they're hunting Iraqis."

Consider how she was also sexually manipulated/abused by her superiors and "friends."
Members of the United States Senate reviewed additional photographs supplied by the Department of Defense which have not been publicly released. Senators note that there are photos of Pfc. England naked, having sex with several military guards, sometimes in front of the Iraqi prisoners.

Consider how this is NOT an isolated incident.

According to Lynndie's mom,"nothing happened which wasn't ordered by higher up. They are trying to pin all of this on the lower ranks. My daughter was just following orders. I think there's a conspiracy."

Under the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal, however, "defense of superior orders" is not a defense for war crimes, although it might influence a sentencing authority to lessen the penalty.


I will not sleep better for having pinned our shame on this pitiful scapegoat.
I feel sick for all the ways we have failed and abused her and all those like her.
  • Current Music
    Utah Phillips: Judas Ram

(no subject)

So, so, so sorry I haven't posted in a while.
I'll try and do better.

Now, I need help.
I feel like I'm settling if I go to Oklahoma University

I'm probably going there though
now would you guys go there or pack up your shit, get in your can and drive around the country
until you stopped in LA, Seattle, or something like that, and then go to a college there, keep in mind I'd have no money and no place to live(except my car).
  • imgomez

Why I don't call myself a "Christian"

This is an old, ongoing issue, but it makes me want to puke.
Methodist Church and GLBT

We need new language. When such vastly different, even openly hostile factions are using the the same language and source material to support their positions, it becomes meaningless. Such loaded, simplistic
terms and phrases as "I believe in God," "I am a Christian," or "I'm a
member of a Methodist church," are an invitation to misunderstanding.

As much as everyone believes their own definition is THE ONLY, INDISPUTABLE, TRUE DEFINITION it's just not so. And simply writing off your adversary as stupid, wrong, misguided, led astray by the devil, etc. doesn't help.

Consider that people who identify themselves as very "Christian" are/have been:

For peace and for war ("Just War" with God on our side!)
For racial equality, harmony and unity and slavery, segregation and genocide
Pro-Choice and Pro-Life
Anti Death Penalty and Pro Death Penalty
Welcoming and affirming of GLBT people and hatefully anti-gay
Environmentalists and Deregulation industrialists

Saying "I'm a Christian and I believe in God," to someone who is sensitive to all the horror and injury caused in the name of God and Christianity, is like calling yourself a clansman to an African American: "I'm in the KKK, but I'm not one of those fundamentalist, idiot KKKers. I'm not racist, or anti-semitic or homophobic, and I'm committed to non-violence. And all TRUE KKK members share my beliefs."

When I tally up all the good that has resulted primarily from religious motivation, (As apposed to compassionate secular humanists, who just happen to organize through a church) and weigh it against all the harm that has resulted from religion being (mis)used to justify and sanction behavior ranging from cruelty and disrespect all the way to atrocity, I know that I need a new language to talk about my understanding of the primary creative principle and unifying force, and my obligation concerning relation to my fellow inhabitants of the world.

PLEASE: Don't reply with a defense of a position one way or the other by quoting scripture. Both sides do it, both sides can argue about context, interpretations, translations, the merits of a fundamentalist, literal interpretation and the rationale for believing in an evolving gospel and co-creationism. I've heard it. I get it. I don't care to debate it. Feel free to pray for me if you must. I appreciate your good intentions.

P.S. I'm not singling out Christians. Jews and Muslims certainly have their own problems with disputed interpretations. I'm just talking about my own experience.

The song book at Walker Church contains this brilliant song by member Howard Krantz. It's called "Bye Bye Jesus"

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  • Current Mood
    annoyed vexed

(no subject)

oh my god. i hate my high school. yesterday some students posted these pamphlet things on the walls around the school advertising a gay/lesbian rights assembly at the capitol that happens tonight. our vice principle ripped them all down, saying that it was wrong and disgusting. then he quoted that officially we have to get permission to hang anything up at school, but did he tear any other posters down advertising things? nope.

even better is that he sent one to our superintendant saying that she would have to approve it, after students complained yesterday about them being taken down. when did he take the poster to her? this morning aka the day of the assembly. he is being sneaky and petty and it makes me so angry that all he thinks about is his own personal beliefs when he says that he is all for the students and their rights. grrr...

has any one else had this happen, and if so, how did you deal with it?

i'm afraid of doing anything because i could get suspended for insubordination and then my parents would kill me. nice message, eh? stand up for what you believe in and get expelled.
  • Current Mood
    pissed off pissed off

(no subject)

am 14 and i got my tongue peirced last week and people ask me about it, like if it hurt and what did they do and things. well, my friend copied me and got hers done yesterday. people call her a slut and a whore, more than they did before, because she talked about screwing people a lot like it was nothing. people say bad things about her but not about me. nobody is even interested in her tongue ring but in mine. the only difference bewteen me and this girl is that she screws around and does drugs, but we are both the same size, not thin and not fat. im not popular so i dont really see why they pay attention to me. no one even asks her to give them a blow job like she wanted.

i was wondering, what do you think about it? what do you think about tongue rings, especially when a 14 year old gets one.
sexy leopard girl!

heh...the third debate

To start this synopsis out, I would like to congratulate Mr. President on his slow pronunciation of the word exaggeration to make sure it was said correctly. ;-P Heh...ok, it's out of my system now I promise...wait...I won't be like a politician and make a promise I can't keep. So, I will change my promise...heh...I promise to practice my freedom of speech by making fun of both candidates as I see fit and then give you some of the summary of what the debate is over.

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Ok, that's my swing on things..."God Bless" and Peace Out!
(also in my actual journal)
  • Current Music
    the debate