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Saturday, January 27, 2007

DAMF: Iraqis Stand Up, Americans Shot Down

posted by on January 27 at 9:49 AM

Something tells me that this this

In perhaps the boldest and most sophisticated attack in four years of warfare, gunmen speaking English, wearing U.S. military uniforms and carrying American weapons abducted four U.S. soldiers last week at the provincial headquarters in Karbala and then shot them to death….

The new account contradicted a U.S. military statement on Jan. 20, the day of the raid on an Iraqi governor’s office, that five soldiers were killed “repelling” the attack….

In a statement issued late Friday, the military said two of the soldiers were handcuffed together in the back seat of an SUV near the southern Iraqi town of Mahawil. A third dead soldier was on the ground nearby. The fourth soldier died on the way to the hospital.

The brazen assault, 50 miles south of Baghdad, was conducted by nine to 12 gunmen posing as an American security team, the military confirmed. The attackers traveled in black GMC Suburban vehicles—the type used by U.S. government convoys—had American weapons, wore new U.S. military combat fatigues, and spoke English, according to senior U.S. military officials and Iraqi security officials.

…is going to have more on public opinion than this

Tens of thousands of demonstrators from across the country converged on the Mall in Washington this morning to urge the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq as President Bush is proposing to send more troops in an effort to stabilize the country.

The event, which authorities said could draw 100,000 people, began with a rally at 11 a.m. Among those expected to address the crowd are Jane Fonda, Danny Glover, Susan Sarandon and Jesse Jackson.

John Aravosis is on his way to the march, and he just posted this over at Americablog

I’m watching some idiot on C-Span

I’m watching [the march] on C-Span right now, and I’m asking myself—though I’m not surprised—why is some woman from the “US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation” speaking? And why is she speaking, ad naseum, about the “Israeli occupation of Palestine” rather than speaking about the war in Iraq?

…I tend to have issues with “peace rallies,” not because I have issues with peace or rallies, but because I find myself cringing when I see the substance of them, who’s attending, the issues they feel compelled to bring up (Mumia, Israel, trans fats, the suffering of amoeba, whatever). Would it kill someone organizing these events to tell the speakers to speak about Iraq or don’t speak at all? Would it kill people to try to present their message in a way that appeals to the majority of Americans?

RSS icon Comments


I can only speak to my experience with local "peace" rallies...but Aravosis is spot on. Seattle anti-war activists cozily assume that because a person turns out to protest the war, that same person is predisposed to share a host of other opinions or viewpoints - i.e., support for a single-payer health care system; outrage at globalization; opposition to free trade; and the laundry list goes on. I would love to see a new protest movement emerge in Seattle, one that is focused, laser-like, on the Iraq war - not on the full sweep of American foreign policy, not on the WTO, not on "Trabajo con justicia", not on the heroism of Hugo Chavez.

Posted by Ryan | January 27, 2007 10:23 AM


Posted by flamingbanjo | January 27, 2007 10:24 AM

Are you willing to make that gamble, Dan?

How many stories like - and worse - have come up in the past four years and have only slowly eroded public opinion, if at all.

There is no reason to hope for one and not show up at a rally to express publicly your own personal distaste for the action of your government.

If you notice in the comments at AmericaBlog's post the discussion covers drag queens, Isreal, anti-war movements, and democracy. There is no ONE theme.

I find it hard to believe that this is a unique dilemma. America was built upon 200 years of demonstration against goverment. Do you think there were ever similar sentiments in the past 200 years?

A rally should be a loosly organized collection of people from all walks of life unted against an enemy - to educate and inspire - each other as well as all observers. It might be the only real exposure some idiot str8 people get to LGBTs when LGBT people show up at a rally opposed to war AND to promote thier own beef against this government.

Control freaks are also welcome to join in. IF you don't like what you hear at some of the speeches ignore them and focus on what you DO like. Bring a sign that says - I love Jews and I hate some of the things Israel does.

The only thing worse than the possibility of guilt by association by attending a diverse demonstration is the potential for the appearance of disintrist or implied support by staying home.

Do your civic duty and demonstrate against the war. Take what you like and leave the rest.

Posted by patrick C | January 27, 2007 10:31 AM

DAMF: "Department of 'All My Fault.'"

Posted by Dan Savage | January 27, 2007 10:38 AM

if people outside the left actually organized peace rallies, instead of just passively attending them and griping about the motley crew they're surrounded by, maybe you would have protests that cater to the needs of the socalled "majority of americans." until then, suck it up, bitches!

Posted by wf | January 27, 2007 10:45 AM

Right on. The arguments need to be focused at the Rallies. Everyones paying attention and knowing Ameriacans attention spans, thats very short. People like the main Points during a lecture, not thousands of what ifs and , maybes interjected. They want specifics of an argument. Some of these Rallies is like listening to your drunk family members going off in all directions at once. Its like Iraq is the issue, Bring the troops home supports that argument, and then follow with what could better the situation for everybody. Yell and make signs about the answers and solutions, people, use your imagination. But going to a Iraq protest rally and running around naked talking about save the tigers is not the best idea.

I want to start a Save the Planet, just say no to Asteroids campaign.
We spend billions on The war,in and around the whole planet. And we do this because we are all trying to help somebody. Thats all welll and good, but what is it going to matter when we got Asteroids hurtling around our orbits and on the potential to wipe us out. not in a million years, we say, oh yeah theres one swinging around the sun at the moment that just went by us in 2002, got closer in 2004, and by 2026 it is going to be between us and the moons orbit. No biggy, our Earths orbit will bump it out a little so it just goes by us. But heres the kicker by 2039 it just may be hurtling not to go around us, but right through us.

And our money is important to the Wars of puny human endeavors Mr/Ms Politician.
This isn't sci -fi folks this is real. I surely hope we care for future generations to still have a planet and a hospitable planet to live.
So bring the troops home lets get our acts together and put the money where our mouth is. We are a Super Power. But it doesn't mean all the brains come from there. They also come from around the world. Why do'nt we all pool our resources instead of wiping eachother out, and figure out how we can better our knoweldge of outerspace and engineer, right now something that can actually be tested in reality(not theory) if we could actually stop that or anyother Asteroid from hitting the Planet and making everything we do on Earth be for not. Is it more important to go to war in Iran and on and on, Than to actually focus on Peaceful and heroic solutions for mankind. Is this ongoing funding for War on Terror, War on anything actually doing something for everyone. Think of it this way, Does the cost of saving Iraq from its quagmire(which it really isn't, I say let the Shiites and Sunnis have it out)outway the Energy we could focus now on improving the whole of life on this planet. Wars are dragging us down man. We waste brains and money manufacturing guns, instead figuring out how to stop a real threat. Extiction of mankind. Taking nukes or resources of energy from other countries isn't going to help.
How about we apply some of this wisdom a dnh smarts for the entire planets future, not What we just want to focus on at the moment. Sorry for going off like that. But watching and seeing the update of sciece channels '7 deadly ways the planet could be destroyed' tripped me out. I was like Puny human war compared to Total annihilation or extinction of man....By mother nature and Asteroids from space.
Our priorities are screwed. We will not pay attention and we are doomed if we do not stop war and hatred and. Chaos is tearing at the very fabrict of time itself. Read H.G. Wells war of the worlds, and 'Things to Come'.
Now I must get back to my studies.

Posted by sputnik | January 27, 2007 10:45 AM

Oh and i just want ot say in Agreement with Dan that I would not organize that sentiment at an Iraq protest rally. I would do that a Save the Planet rally. But the argument does hold weigh at the issues of Peace vs. War. And thats kind of why some people mix up many arguments around one common theme. But thats better left at the Bar or at home, or the Senate of our major cities.

Posted by sputnik | January 27, 2007 10:55 AM

I thought people just went to protests to get laid.

Posted by Gitai | January 27, 2007 11:31 AM

Thats always good.

Posted by Russian space station Mir | January 27, 2007 11:44 AM

DAMF: "Department of 'All My Fault.'"

THe regret one might feel having supported a war that's resulted in the deaths and horrific disabilities of thousands--soldiers, workers, and civilians--maybe shouldn't be communicated in a flip, toss-away manner.

You need to find a different way of talking about this.

Posted by Boomer | January 27, 2007 12:27 PM

I went to the "world cant wait" protest, or at least i stopped for a bit as i was walking by. It was supposed to be an anti-war rally. There were no actual anto-war speakers though. The majority of the time was taken up by a NARAL rep spouting satats on womens rights. Theres a place for NARAL reps to speak, its called a womens rights rally. she something like said 'were all here against the war now lets talk about womens rights'. i wanted to vomit. Why cant the special intrests groups shut thier damn mouths? why bring up insane or extremely devisive issues like mumia, tibet, abortion, and israel (who i hate as much as the next conscious person)? this shit is why happening to have progressive values, and being stuck with the willy nilly democrats is such a pain in the ass. The repubs manage to keep their freaks mostly in line, we need to do the same, or we can count on morons running this country into the ground for the foreseeable future. I guess what im saying is, shut your fucking hippie mouths till after we win the fucking election you tunnel vision motherfuckers.

Posted by Sex machine | January 27, 2007 12:36 PM

oh but i met a couple hotties there!

Posted by Sex machine | January 27, 2007 12:37 PM

Boomer, practically everything on Slog is communicated in a flip, toss-away manner. If you don't like it, stick to Mudede's posts.

Posted by Megan | January 27, 2007 1:12 PM

I'm in DC, and was at the rally - the speakers actually began at 9am local time, not 11, and ran until 1:45. There were (I'm not making it up) five dozen speakers - regurgitating chants, regurgitating stats, and periodically bringing up completely unrelated issues such as the Israel out of Palestine shit. I watched people leaving, just as I've watched people give up and leave rallies in Seattle for the same reason.

Folks, it's not a liberal cause rally, it's an anti-war rally! Let's by all means have a few anti-war rallying-cry type speeches, but to use it as a catch-all excuse for every liberal interest group to get up there and grind their axe just wastes a great deal of time and energy, so by the time we start marching (3 hours after arrival), we're spent from the standing and constant game attempts to cheer, chant and be supportive.

Anti-war rally = anti-war speeches. Not a difficult concept. Stick to the script, don't confuse the point, don't waste people's time, and we can get back to Vietnam-esque marches, which are DESPERATELY FUCKING NEEDED.

btw, ufpj is claiming somewhere between 400,000 and 600,000 marchers, the AP is claiming "tens of thousands". I'd put it around 120,000 or so. Definitely big and powerful! Also, Jesse Jackson looks much older in person than I thought he would. :-)

Posted by switzerblog | January 27, 2007 2:01 PM

every time savage posts something anti-war, it reminds me of what a reactionary ass-hat he was when it actually counted.

Posted by bing | January 27, 2007 2:05 PM

every time savage posts something anti-war, it reminds me of what a reactionary ass-hat he was when it actually counted.

Posted by bing | January 27, 2007 2:12 PM

#15 we all were.

Posted by Russian space station | January 27, 2007 2:15 PM

speak for yrself, RSS

Posted by bing | January 27, 2007 3:19 PM

I'm tired I've people ripping Dan about his original position on the war.

Anyone who thinks for themselves about an issue will occasionally get one wrong; if you want a left-wing echo chamber, Democratic Underground is a click away.

I come to this blog because Dan writes intelligently and independently about a broad range of issues, and I like hearing what he has to say, even if I disagree with it. If you can't get over the fact that you disagreed with him once, find another blog to read.

I'm sure the "DAMF" is a attempt to head off the constant badgering about his mistake. What would satisfy you people? A 1000-word essay of apology as the preface to any post about the war?

Posted by MHD | January 27, 2007 4:45 PM

Maybe we should all just have a batch of issues with one issue assigned to each citizen and we should find the other members of our community that have the same assigment. It could be done like a lottery.

Then, those with the same issue can get together and rally each other and demonstrate only on their own topic. No influence from other points of view, no watering down the message. Keep it pure.

What world did you all come from that thinks democracy is neat and tidy and organized?

You really do sound like Democrats in an election year - dont talk about any controversy, the hot button issues, the issue that has the potential to make us look bad - until after the election.

Then, after the majority is gained in Congress the winners will pass a non-binding resolution instead of using the power they gained to actually effect the changes they claim to have been elected to effect, and it will be okey dokey with the sheep that end up getting more of the same.

Oh well, lets start the next election early and make more big pronouncements about what needs to be fixed so we can prepare to step back from the controversy of actually doing something.

What is the point of sticking to a single issue - to a simple message that will supposedly unite mainstream America (ugh what a term) if you do nothing to support it?

What exactly are the people that are motivated by the horror story posted by Dan of executed American soldiers going to do that protesters aren't doing? What is the other action that will end the war??

Electing a democrat in 2 years is not the answer to todays dilemma.

Posted by patrick C | January 27, 2007 4:54 PM

Megan--the point of the comment feature is to comment. So kiss my ass, twatwaffle.

RSS--no, we weren't all for the war; in fact, half of us were very much against it. And people on both sides did stupid things, said stupid things, and wrote stupid things.

Bing--Dan Savage is a good man. I know this.

MHD--we all have to live with the consequences of the things we do. Dan can't un-do what he's done. And there is nothing anyone can say, either in cruelty or support, that will damn or resolve it.

Posted by Boomer | January 27, 2007 5:13 PM

What is the point of sticking to a single issue - to a simple message that will supposedly unite mainstream America (ugh what a term) if you do nothing to support it

The point of sticking to a single issue is to get results. People who want to protest to end the war should focus on the war and only the war.

The organizers of anti-war protests pick the people who speak at those protests. They should pick speakers who will only address the war, and, preferably, only have a few of them so the march can get underway in less than three hours. If Mumia supporters, environmentalists, women's rights activists want to attend the protest as well, by all means invite them and let them carry signs for their own pet issues. But they shouldn't be invited to speak.

Is it so difficult for lefties to focus on one important issue, such as this goddamn war, and get it resolved, before we start diverging every which way on hundreds of smaller issues?

Posted by keshmeshi | January 27, 2007 9:53 PM

If people outside the far left didn't go to rallies, they would never manage to put together a crowd thousands strong. And you can bet thousands of those people at the rally in DC were disenfranchised by the speakers, precisely because they pulled the same inane bullshit that ruins every rally in Seattle- Using a soapbox created to speak out against a specific evil to dissemble about personal crusades which are almost totally unrelated. I understand part of the dogma of the RCP and organizations like that is to spread the gospel at every opportunity, but you've hijacked the microphone from people that actually give a shit about the matter at hand. I'm no fan of capitalism, I hate the Bushies for hundreds of reasons too, but at an anti-war rally, how about a ten minute fucking anti-war speech instead of three hours of commie propaganda? I haven't been to a protest since the last inaugural day. Too depressing seeing that lefties like myself can be every inch as retarded as the most inbred of bible belters. Michael Tsarion, Lyndon LaRouche, and all their little wizards can fellate my thingus.

Posted by Christopher Shelton | January 28, 2007 1:34 AM

I went to the rally in Olympia yesterday, and it was very focused on Iraq and supporting military families and Ehren Watada.

It was short and to the point, with a few speakers (including Dwight Pelz) who focused on Iraq and Afghanistan. The only deviation that I heard was "peace trhough social justice" which is a pretty standard activist slogan.

I'm always disappointed by the rallies in Seattle, thus my South Sound commute yesterday - I figured more bodies in Oly would be a useful given the party meetings going on.

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