greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

This was borrowed from another forum.
Any comments No Spam?????


04/16/99 By An American Serviceman

i got this beautiful letter from xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx yesterday.. i posted it on a thread and saw it elsewhere but not in its entire form as i recieved in my xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx email...



By An American Serviceman

I heard in the news yesterday that 55% of Americans who were polled support sending ground troops into Kosovo. Well, I'm a ground troop and I'm willing to go. My only hope is that this 55% of Americans are prepared to deal with the possibility they'll have to look my widow in the eye and provide a plausible explanation as to just what I died for. Good luck on getting her to buy into any of the current rhetoric on why America has no choice but to involve itself in a Serbian Civil war.

I'm a Gulf War vet. In spite of all the B.S. about standing up for Kuwaiti sovereignty we all know what that conflict was about - it was about oil and it's importance as the life blood of the modern world economy. The rank and file who fought that war all understood this and didn't have a problem with it. Fighting to preserve free-market access to oil may lack a certain nobility, but it was clearly in the national interest. Had it come to that, I think my widow would have understood there was some value in her loss.

I've served with U.N. peacekeepers in Former Yugoslavia. At the time, the nation seemed to believe the region was of only minor importance to our larger national interest. Consequently, our involvement was fairly low risk. Had it come to that, I think my widow would have understood that when you take a calculated risk like this, a small number of people are going to have the bad luck to be killed.

Now the nation wants to send it's ground troops off to Kosovo. In the event I go and in the event I'm killed, it's going to be a pretty hard sell to convince my widow that her husband's life wasn't needlessly squandered by a nation that decided to head down the road of good intentions with both its eyes closed.

The current situation in Serbia/Kosovo is a civil war; the inevitable result of two groups of people who have chosen to treat each other badly over the last several hundred years. Is it sad? It certainly is. The current situation in Kosovo offends our sense of humanity. It sparks that outraged voice that lives inside of each of us, both because we're human beings and Americans, that asks "can't we do something to stop this?" The pictures of suffering Kosovo refugees are gut wrenching to anyone with a shred of conscience - As will be the pictures of widows and small children standing over flag draped coffins in American cemeteries.

The talking heads encouraging our intervention in Kosovo all allude (albeit very briefly) to the fact there will be American casualties. How many casualties? No one seems to want to go into that. What the 55% should be asking themselves right about now is very simple - as bad as the situation is in Kosovo, how many dead Americans is it worth? In even simpler terms - how many American widows and orphans are you prepared to try to justify our involvement in a Balkan ground war to?

Is Milosevic a war criminal? Maybe. Was General Sherman a war criminal when he led his Army through Georgia in our own civil war? I'm sure a lot of Georgians at the time felt he was. In our civil war both the North and the South had some legitimate concerns and grievances. In the Serbian civil war both the Serbs and the Muslims have some legitimate concerns and grievances. This is usually the way it goes in a civil war and it is why they tend to be such quagmires. The necessity of our involvement in this quagmire will raise a few questions in the minds of the widows.

I'm going to shift gears a little and try to provide a little insight into the minds of the "rank and file" as it applies to the situation in Kosovo. I joke with my wife about how I'm currently in the unenviable position of having too many people with too much to gain by seeing me dead. My death allows Bill Clinton to distract the nation from his peccadilloes and show international leadership. It allows Milosevic to show Serbians how he has slain the enemy.

It improves Ted Turner's ratings at CNN. It gives Congressional Democrats the opportunity to support their President. It gives Congressional Republicans the opportunity to show they're even more "hawkish" than the Democrats. It even gives my wife a $200,000 GI life insurance pay-off. Is there anyone out there in a position of authority who doesn't have something to gain by seeing me dead? If there is, I wish they'd hurry up and speak out. Otherwise I may find it necessary to increase the benefits of my life insurance policy!

I think it's kind of funny, but she doesn't seem to see the humor in it. This probably has something to do with the worry associated with having seen me off to two combat zones in last ten years. Nevertheless, the rampant behavioral stupidity she has seen in this White House and Congress (and the media's frenzied response to it all) over the last couple of years has left her cynical enough to see a little truth behind my attempt at humor (all except for that life insurance part!).

If I thought for a minute that fighting a ground war in Kosovo was going to end the region's problems I suppose I'd be all in favor of going off to do so. I suspect my prospective widow would be in favor as well. This just begs the question; does anyone really believe we can make everything all better in Kosovo by fighting a ground war there?

Unfortunately, the odds seem to favor an outcome that, at best, will be the political equivalent of willingly entering into a life-long bad marriage in which divorce won't be an option. After all, how many years has it been since we sent the troops off for the one-year mission in Bosnia?

None of this is to say we don't have a national interest in the region. Rather, it is intended to raise the question; "how many dead Americans is this worth?" I can't help but think that once the dust has all settled and the dead are all buried, we could have accomplish as much, or more, by simply using foreign aid to bribe surrounding nations in the region to stay the hell out of another country's civil war.

We've been getting a lot of mileage out of our military since the cold war ended. Through a combination of good training, superior equipment, thoughtful planning, and shear dumb luck; we've been able to do this with very few causalities. I think this has made it easy for the 55% to say they're in favor of committing ground troops to Kosovo. I also think it is very naive of them to believe that luck will hold in ground combat in Kosovo. A study of the German Army's experiences in Yugoslavia during WWII would be illustrative of how likely we are to fight a ground war in the Balkans with minimal causalities. Another point to consider is the simple matter of the will to win. I have a hunch that when the body bags start coming home, we'll discover the Serbians have a much stronger will to hold on to Kosovo than we have to assure its autonomy.

I've always kind of thought of the military as the national chain saw: a very efficient tool when used correctly, but use it carelessly and you'll end up ripping your own leg off. Since the cold war ended, I have to wonder if we haven't been guilty of using the national chain saw somewhat recklessly. I would guess we've militarily intervened in the affairs of other countries as many times in the past ten years as we did in the 90 years that preceded. These interventions have apparently numbed the 55% to the point that they're no longer capable of seriously considering the possibility of an American military intervention running amok.

We've reached a point where 55% of the American public seems to think it is O.K. to put the military into harm's way without serious consideration of the risks involved (very great in this case) relative to the national interest (highly debatable in this case). It's enough to get this old sergeant wondering if they really feel much of a personal stake in the whole thing.

Hell, we're all volunteers these days; we knew the risks going into it didn't we? So what have we got to bitch about if we're sent off to die on some questionable foreign policy intervention? Sure we know the risk when we "sign on the dotted line", but something about this view of the military never the less makes me very nervous. I'd hate to think the American public sees us as little more than contracted mercenaries whose fate has little bearing on the larger affairs of the republic.

Still, I have to wonder if, on some level, this isn't precisely the perception that exists. Would the 55% feel the same way if we were sending conscripted draftees off to Kosovo? Would the 55% be quite so happy to send me off to die in pursuit of a highly dubious foreign policy objective if I were taking their conscripted sons, daughters, husbands, and wives with me? I doubt it. Here is the point, if it matters enough to the national interest to send volunteers off to die, it should also matter enough to send conscripts as well.

Otherwise, our all volunteer force has become nothing but mercenaries. Sadly, I suspect this has become the case. Still, I'd hate to see the 55% become too complacent in how they support the use of their mercenaries. The military is having a hard time of meeting its recruiting goals these days. The available pool of young people eligible for military service is growing smaller each year. Could today's 55%'er be tomorrow's "hell no we won't go" protester? Wouldn't surprise me a bit, if not in Kosovo, then certainly in some future foreign policy adventure. After all, the war in Vietnam didn't take long before it became necessary to suck in increasingly large numbers of draftees to support it. Let's go back and ask those widows if their loved ones died for a good cause.

But I digress. Hopefully the time I've spent wandering away from the original topic has provided those of you who number yourselves among the 55% an opportunity to think. Hopefully, you've been thinking about just what explanation you're going to provide all those widows when they ask, "what exactly did my husband die for?" Good luck, because when it comes time to talk to this old sergeant's widow you're going to have a tough sell on your hands.


The moral of the letter is so simple THINK!!!!

while you all are thinking :

desert storm operation: 383 soldiers died of which 148 were hostile

let's remember that Clinton was elected twice by less than half of those who voted and less than half who could have voted even bothered to show up to the polls. That's makes Clintons "majority" at about 24 percent.

Clinton Dec 3 1969 "I am writing too in the hope that my telling this one story will help you to understand more clearly how so many fine people have come to find themselves still loving their country but loathing the military"

Who said this:

"Every time (the president) talks about trust, it makes chills run up and down my spine. The very idea that the word 'trust' could ever come out of his mouth after what he has done to this country and the way he has trampled on the truth is a travesty of the American political system. There's just no such thing as truth when it comes to him. ... He just says whatever sounds good and worries about it after the election."

--Must be another strange coincidence because no other then Bill Clinton said this describing President George Bush during the 1992 Presidential Campaign !!!!

Clinton can play commander in chief all he wants, but the fact remains; If he had been judged according to the military code, he'd have been sent home to Arkansas.


End of Article

Ray Posted by: alisasny

-- Ray (ray@totacc.com), April 17, 1999


What a surprise. We're off topic again.

-- what about (year@two.thousand), April 17, 1999.

When you're losing the argument, change the subject.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), April 17, 1999.

Flint, anyone that read the letter from this soldier and came back with a remark like yours is a pretty sorry soul!!!


-- Ray (ray@totacc.com), April 17, 1999.

Flint, here is a question I asked you yesterday and NEVER got an answer:

Start =============================================

Flint commented:

"From what I've read, when a new system is being developed, the deadline is the date that system must be implemented. But y2k fixes aren't new systems, they're lots of little bits and pieces. These pieces are unit tested, system tested, and returned to production steadily, rather than all at once. An organization undergoing remediation has pieces in most phases - coding, unit testing, system testing, intersystem testing, time machine testing, IV&V evaluation, you name it. "

Flint, now I have been out of the DP loop for quite some time, but even I can remember those mile long PERT charts. Are you suggesting that NO ONE keeps some kind of overall Project Chart for the COMPLETION of the FAA y2k work? If so we are in DEEPER DO DO's than I suspected. Ray
End =============================================


-- Ray (ray@totacc.com), April 17, 1999.

Bill isn't getting "taken care of". Hillary, no..Monica, no...after Anita Broderik (sp?) and that ruptured lip, I'm sure all the interns are fleeing in fear. So what is a guy to do? He's frustrated, he's mad, he's ...I hate to say it...evil. This seargent's letter is not only well written, it breaks my heart to think the Ego of Bill is fighting the Ego of Miloshevik (sp?) and they're using anyone's lives but thier own, to show off.

-- KIM (KSTINDY@AOL.COM), April 17, 1999.

Noticed another hint to start the Draft again in that essay ...

-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), April 17, 1999.

Leska, I think your right ......... the military has been reduced so in size that if we take the next step, ground forces, a draft will be necessary.

At one time it was a HONOR to volunteer for the military and fight for the things we believed in.


-- Ray (ray@totacc.com), April 17, 1999.

And once again Flit proves what a piece of worthless shit he really is. I wish we could meet face to face you son-of-a-bitch, I would kick your arrogant ass. I wish you people on this forum would quit responding to Flit like he is one of the good old boys here. This prick considers himself a level above the people he converses with.

-- Assholespotter (ihate@flint.com), April 17, 1999.


1) I don't know what that soldier risks dying for. Perhaps he (and you) could get a better answer on the appropriate forum. If he isn't talking about y2k issues, he isn't talking to us here.

2) If you read what I wrote (try it, you might learn something) you'll find that I was *asking* how y2k remediation was charted and monitored, and how 'completion' might be defined given that piecemeal testing is happening now, and testing of broader scope had damn well better continue right through rollover. I certainly hope you're not suggesting that *any* organization should properly declare themselves complete and stop testing (or stop investigating suppliers). I don't work in an IT shop, and I don't know how these things are done in this case. Maybe someone can help us?

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), April 17, 1999.

Flint, I repeat ....anyone that read the letter from this soldier and came back with a remark like yours is a pretty sorry soul!!!


-- Ray (ray@totacc.com), April 17, 1999.


In a few minutes, when I finish editing and posting some quotations about the facts of the Michael New case, some of which come from Michael New himself (he's the U.S. soldier who refused to wear the UN insignia, the case we discussed on the thread http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=000j5u, in which you insulted me for posting a factual correction), you may wish you hadn't posted your insults and taunt so publicly without determining the facts of the case yourself. (Hint: We're both somewhat wrong, but you're wronger than I was. He was never under UN command for even a moment.)

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 17, 1999.

No Spam,

Post whatever you like but when you get a chance read the letter from this soldier and give us you thoughts.

Looking forward to you comments on this BRAVE solidiers letter.


-- Ray (ray@totacc.com), April 17, 1999.

The letter from the serviceman was very well written and expressed valid concerns that may be shared by a majority of soldiers on active duty if you asked neutral poll questions. What happens to morale and the desire and ability to fight with this kind of attitude on why they are there? The survivors will be mentally damaged by what happened to them and their buddies. They are there to defend the Constitution right? This war is about power, profits, oil, politics and distraction. We should not be there. I wonder what the vote for impeachment would be in the Senate today if they had a new vote? This guy is an embarrasment to the Democrat Party but who cares? It is a shame.

-- Jimmy (incharge@clueless.gom), April 17, 1999.


I don't know why you write as though I were anti-U.S.-military or something, but I suspect that you have not read what I've posted carefully, and that you are projecting some assumptions onto me because you equate factual corrections with opposition to the opinions associated with the factual errors. I'm willing to replace this working-theory suspicion with something more accurate if you'll provide the data to do so.

As for the soldier's letter: It's a fine letter. I agree with at least 90% of it, maybe more. There are a couple of details with which I would quibble, but if you hadn't specifically asked me to comment, I wouldn't have. Note that this paragraph is about the soldier's letter alone, not the comments added before and after it.

Did you expect me to say I didn't like the soldier's letter, or something? Did you expect me to disagree with the soldier's main message? If so, it is because you have made invalid assumptions about me, and I ask you to stop doing that.

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 17, 1999.

No Spam Please commented:

"As for the soldier's letter: It's a fine letter. I agree with at least 90% of it, maybe more."

No spam Please, I happen to believe that what Michael New was fighting for is also what I believe. We have no right to be sending our soldiers into combat under the UN banner to places like Somalia where they are butchered. Those soldiers are still DEAD, their loved ones are still here and Somalia has not changed one bit. What are your thoughts on this subject?

Now to your comments on this BRAVE soldiers letter. Exactly what is the 10% you disagreee with?


-- Ray (ray@totacc.com), April 17, 1999.

"I would not recommend anyone join any militia, unless it is one where the few members are known to them for many years and you would trust them with your life.

Infiltrators can appear to be very nice people who seem genuine and patriotic. But you see the extreme right-wing radical elements in CIA, military intelligence, and others who infiltrate true patriotic groups, are the same false patriots who work with Central American, Latin American, and other right-wing death squads, current and former war criminals, rapists and murders of women and children in Third World countries, and those who commit many more crimes against humanity, all in the name of the flag of their country, and to impose a police state.

Most of those who are not directly involved in crimes, just do not know what all of their "comrades" are doing, or do not think it serious, as their minds have been systematically altered through behavior modification techniques of changing loyalties, attitudes and behavior through psychopolitical means.

Governments use their own men and women for pawns and do not care in the least if any of them are injured, suffer, or die. Nor do they care about your family. Everyone is expendable. (A good example is Bill Colby, former DCI [Director of Central Intelligence]) just to name one who was highly placed. And most operatives, agents, and others will not be privy to the truth of what is really going on. They are indoctrinated to believe what is told them by their superiors. I have witnessed law enforcement officers and special intel operative groups become involved in setting up their own men to be shot at and even murdered. I, and many others have documented evidence of government intel agents and military operatives who have been responsible for the deaths of many innocent men, women and children around the world. As long as they accomplish their goal, everyone is expendable! And their goal is for a police state, even if some of them have to sacrifice their own men, or innocent women and children."


@@@.@), April 17, 1999.


Link to previous report:

Patriot Intelligence Report

Wake up and smell the coffee people!

-- @ (@@@.@), April 17, 1999.


For the sake of gentlemanliness, here's an offer:

If you'll do something for me, I'll do something for you.

What you'll do for me:

Before 21:00 GMT (= 17:00 EDT = 14:00 PDT) April 18, 1999 you post a message on this forum, in the "Delusional paranoids render forum useless" thread (or, in the unlikely case that the "Delusional paranoids render forum useless" thread is deleted by that time, in a new thread started by you), which contains the following:

1. Apology for each of the following items you posted in the "Delusional paranoids render forum useless":

(a) "You only WISH you had the GUTS that soldier had."

(b) "Of course LIBERAL, BOOT LICKING, LEFT WING SOCIALISTS expect others to carry out the military duties of their country." [You may, if you wish, note that this was not directly addressed to me, if in fact you did not intend it to be directed to me in your original posting.]

(c) & (d) "when a weasel like No Spam makes a false statement about one our military folks that had the GUTS to stand up and tell it like it was I won't hold back. Don't expect to se it often but expect to see when this kind of weasel pops it's head up." In this, there are two separate items: "weasel" and "false statement".

(e) & (f) "People like No Spam, IMHO who twist the circumstances of one soldiers fight to stand up for what we ALL should have been fighting for, are GUTLESS." In this, there are two separate items: "twist the circumstances" and "GUTLESS".

(g) "No Spam, the soldier was UNDER UN COMMAND. His superior WAS UNDER UN COMMAND not a US MILITARY OFFICER." For this item, the apology will mention a reason (e.g., failure to do research) for your having posted this false assertion.

(h) "You infered. as many do on this forum, that this soldier was under US command, he WAS NOT." For this item, the apology will be for the false assertion that the soldier was not under US command.

(i) "It is folks like you who will suffer the most when we FINALLY discover how badly the President has decimaten and demoralized our military." For this item, the apology will be for the "folks like you" phrase.

(j) "The soldier was under the UN COMMAND." For this item, the apology will mention a reason (e.g., failure to do research) for your having posted this false assertion.

(k) "I believe you would have a MUCH different attitude about this soldier if you had spent time on active duty." For this item, the apology will be for assuming that I had a certain attitude about the soldier which would be different if I had been on active duty.

[What attitude did you think I had, Ray? At the time you posted that, I had not expressed any attitude about the soldier -- I had just posted a factual correction about his case. Do you presume that posting a factual correction necessarily implies that there is a certain attitude you don't like?]

(l) "It is obvious that you share the same attitude for our fighting forces that this administration has."

[Why did you think that was obvious, Ray? What had I posted that would support such an opinion of yours?]

(m) "You've got my answers!!" As anyone reading the thread can see, you had not yet answered the questions I posed, Ray.

Such apology does not have to include a separate sentence for each of the items listed above, but it must refer to each of them specifically enough so that the reader clearly sees that there were thirteen separate items.

What I'll do for you:

1. Refrain from posting the full text of Michael New's own remarks at the Michael New homecoming rally at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Conroe, Texas on July 28, 1996, plus other confirming quotations, in any posting addressed to you. I won't post these at all unless I'm replying to someone else's later reference to the Michael New case.

2. Refrain from pointing out in detail how Michael New's own remarks and the other confirming quotations demonstrate that:

(a) your contention that I made "a false statement" was wrong,

(b) your contention that I did "twist the circumstances" was wrong,

(c) your contention that "the soldier was UNDER UN COMMAND" was wrong,

(d) your contention that "His superior WAS UNDER UN COMMAND not a US MILITARY OFFICER" was wrong, and

(e) your statement that "You infered. as many do on this forum, that this soldier was under US command, he WAS NOT" was wrong insofar as it states that the soldier was not under U.S. command, when in fact he was under U.S. command just as you stated that I and many others had inferred.

3. Post corrections of the details of my recollections about the Michael New case that were wrong.

4. Consider the matter of your insults about my posting of a factual correction about the Michael New case closed, unless you re-open it later.

As I write this, the time is not yet 22:00 GMT, April 17, so there are over 23 hours for you to agree to my offer.

If for some reason you wish to agree to my offer except that you cannot complete your posting of the items specified above under "What you'll do for me:" by 21:00 GMT, April 18, 1999, and you post a message stating that by 21:00 GMT, April 18, 1999, I'll agree to a reasonable extension of the timeframe, such as an extra 24 hours, for completing your posting of the above items.

If you post a rejection of this offer before 21:00 GMT, April 18, 1999, all of my constraints under this offer will immediately be voided and I will have no duty to refrain from posting Michael New's remarks or my comments relating them to your postings at any time.

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 17, 1999.


>Exactly what is the 10% you disagreee with?

1. I don't disagree with 10%. I stated that I agreed with at least 90%.

2. Why is that important to you?

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 17, 1999.

To No Spam Please:

Ray's request from previous post:

"No Spam Please, I happen to believe that what Michael New was fighting for is also what I believe. We have no right to be sending our soldiers into combat under the UN banner to places like Somalia where they are butchered. Those soldiers are still DEAD, their loved ones are still here and Somalia has not changed one bit. What are your thoughts on this subject?

Now to your comments on this BRAVE soldiers letter. Exactly what is the 10% you disagree with?"

No Spam Please answered:

" 1. I don't disagree with 10%. I stated that I agreed with at least 90%.

2. Why is that important to you?"

Now here is my answer to your post requesting and apology.

YOU ARE A WEASEL. You don't even have the GUTS to disclose your thoughts about this soldier's letter and the tragedy in Somalia. What a GUTLESS WONDER!

Excuse me while I Throw Up.


-- Ray (ray@totacc.com), April 17, 1999.


Earlier in this thread I posted:

"As for the soldier's letter: It's a fine letter. I agree with at least 90% of it, maybe more. There are a couple of details with which I would quibble, but if you hadn't specifically asked me to comment, I wouldn't have."

So why do you write that I "don't even have the GUTS to disclose your thoughts about this soldier's letter"? I DID disclose my thoughts about this soldier's letter.

As for my thoughts about "the tragedy in Somalia", YOU'VE NEVER ASKED FOR THEM, so why do you insult me for not having disclosed them?

If you won't answer the questions I ask you, why should you expect anyone else reading your insults to think I have some obligation to answer your questions to me, sometimes before you even ask them?

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 17, 1999.


Oh, now I see where you asked for my thoughts on Somalia. My apology for not having seen it earlier. I apologize for writing that you wanted my thoughts before you asked for them.

See? I can apologize. Can you?

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 17, 1999.


re: Somalia. I do not wish to comment on that subject in this forum.

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 17, 1999.

Well, Ray, do you have the guts to post answers to the questions I ask you? Or do you just hurl insults?

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 17, 1999.

No Spam Please,

For you, just INSULTS.



PS..... No Spam Please!!

-- Ray (ray@totacc.com), April 17, 1999.


Re: Somalia. Changed my mind.

Yesterday on radio I heard an interview with the author of a new book about the battle in Mogadishu (sp?) where 15 U.S. soldiers were killed. The following is some of what I recall from that interview.

He pointed out that it was the first ground firefight U.S. soldiers had been in since Vietnam. The lessons from it are being taught in all the U.S. military academies now.

Basically, the Somalis had grown to hate U.S. soldiers because, among other things, the Rangers had come in with their helicopters flying so low over Somali settlements and cities that they literally blew the roofs off some homes. They analyzed U.S. weaknesses and decided that the best way they had to inflict a lot of casualties would be to shoot down a helicopter and ambush the rescue missions that would be sent after the occupants.

One day Somalis shot down a helicopter and set up the ambush as planned. As rescue missions came in, they were surrounded by armed civilians as well as soldiers.

One soldier reported seeing a child about 5 years old holding an AK47, shooting from the hip. When some other U.S. soldier shot that child, the impact flipped the child head-over-heels "like he'd slipped on some marbles".

Another saw a woman holding an infant with one arm and shooting an AK47 with the other. He had to shoot her.

Somali women ran out into intersections to reconnoiter and point out the positions of U.S. soldiers to the Somali soldiers.

When one's enemy includes armed children and mothers carrying infants who are shooting to kill, self-defense requires shooting back. The reports are clear that at the beginning of the battle, U.S. soldiers were taking particular care to avoid shooting civilians, in accordance with their rules of engagement, but had to start doing that for their own self-defense more and more.

By the end of the battle, 15 U.S. soldiers were dead. Estimated Somali dead: about five hundred.

The video shown on TV of U.S. soldiers' bodies being dragged through the streets was shot by a Somali who agreed to take a video camera into areas where any Western journalist would have been killed. (Several Western journalists were killed in Somalia.)

- - -

Well, IS THIS WHAT YOU WANTED, Ray? Specific instances of the general principle that WAR IS HELL?

Do you want me to describe the graphic details related to me by a former Vietnam medic of the bodily mutilations practiced by Viet Cong and, as a response, U.S. soldiers, on the bodies of enemy soldiers, followed by the display of certain parts where the other side could easily see them? IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT, Ray? MORE specific instances of the general principle that WAR IS HELL?

Or shall I restrict my description to the mental difficulties of that former medic that I observed, and the patience of his wife in coping with them? WILL THAT SATISFY YOU, Ray? JUST EXACTLY HOW MUCH DETAIL OF MY THOUGHTS ABOUT WAR DO YOU WANT?

WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO SATISFY YOU, Ray, oh easy hurler of insults??

All it will take to satisfy me is an apology as outlined above; mere words without violence. Just an acknowledgement that you had no basis for the insults you hurled, dum dum.

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 17, 1999.

Oh, by the way -- the Somalis were the winners in that battle, weren't they, Ray?

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 17, 1999.

Oh, Easy Hurler of Insults Who Doesn't Have The Guts To Admit That He Made A Mistake Ray,

Why don't we see a response from you yet?

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 17, 1999.

Oh, Easy Hurler of Insults Who Doesn't Have The Guts To Admit That He Made A Mistake Ray,

Since you're an expert on "GUTS", answer the following:

Situation: You're in a Mogadishu firefight ambush. Your orders for rules of engagement are not to injure any civilians. Right in front of you is a male Somali soldier firing at you with an AK47, but standing, quite willingly, in front of him so as to shield any possibility of your shooting him without shooting her, is a woman holding an infant in one arm.

Which of these decisions takes more GUTS?

(A) Shoot through the body of the woman until either she drops (dropping her infant as her grasp goes limp) and no longer shields the soldier, or enough of your bullets go through her body into the body of the soldier to incapacitate him.

(B) Refrain from shooting the woman or infant, thus obeying the rules of engagement and standing up for the correct moral principle, but seeing that the soldier's fire is killing your buddies and will soon kill you and that no one will be left alive on your side to return a report of your moral behavior.

Well, Ray-oh-expert-on-GUTS, what is the answer?

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 17, 1999.

Well, Ray, why haven't we seen your courageous answer posted yet?

BTW, in the firefight, you have only 5 seconds to make your decision. WHAT IS YOUR DECISION, OH-SO-COURAGEOUS-Ray-Easy-hurler-of-insults?

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 17, 1999.

Come on, O-S-C-Ray-E-h-o-i, time's running out.

What's the easy courageous answer?

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 17, 1999.

Ray, he's swinging that AK47 toward you, having killed all your buddies. Time's running out. Do you have the GUTS to uphold the honor of the U.S. Army by allowing him to finish you off and drag your body through the streets? Or do you have the GUTS to shoot through the female civilian in direct violation of the lawful orders you have been given about the rules of engagement in order to save your stinking body? Two seconds.

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 17, 1999.


-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 17, 1999.

Remember, you can get out of the whole firefight dilemma by issuing a verbal apology for your own careless mistakes, Ray. Just some words, no violence. The gentlemanly way.

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 17, 1999.

It's going to take REAL guts to issue that apology now, Ray, won't it?

Think it'll get easier if you wait?

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 17, 1999.

Those AK bullets are gettin' closer and closer. Time's slowing down. You can see each bullet as it leaves the muzzle. You can see that the infant's eyes are green. Time for a GUTS decision, Ray.

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 17, 1999.

Ray! Look! He's leaning to the side! Only the green-eyed infant's baby-soft skull is between your (oh-I-forget-the-official-designation-when-I'm-under-pressure-like-thi s) weapon and the AK47-wielding soldier's head. You can get him with a head shot that spares the woman, killing only the green-eyed infant civilian, who'd probably die when dropped if you had shot the woman anyway!

Only fractions of a second left, Ray.

What your GUTS decision, Ray?

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 17, 1999.

We're all waiting, Ray.

It's the GUTS decision of a lifetime, Ray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 17, 1999.

Time's so slow that you find yourself wondering whether the green-eyed infant's eyeballs will bounce onto the body of your buddy to the right when your bullet explodes its baby-soft skull on its way into the AK47-soldier's head.

What's your GUTS decision, Ray? You're the expert, self-declared.

[You _have_ finished Throwing Up from a little while ago, haven't you?]

Just a verbal apology. That's all it takes, Ray.

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 17, 1999.

You wanted my thoughts on the Somalia mess. You're gettin' 'em.

Now answer a few of MY questions, oh Expert-on-GUTS.

Ready for that apology? Or still Throwing Up?

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 17, 1999.


You can't Throw Up forever. Sooner or later you have to come out.

(Got GUTS?)

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 17, 1999.


If you've just skipped down to this point in this thread, please don't read what you've skipped. It's intended only for Ray, but I didn't realize how far it would go when it started, or I'd have issued a general warning to you all then.

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 17, 1999.

Ray, your Throw-Up sounds are annoying, so I'm going to leave for a while. You may post your answers to the challenge, and/or your apology, any time.

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 17, 1999.

Throwing-Up weasel Ray,

If you don't post that apology by the deadline, I'm going to be really pissed that I have to finish editing the quotations about the Michael New case.

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 18, 1999.

Thanks for posting the letter Ray - it certainly gives one a unique perspective on one man's thoughts in this outrageous situation we have all been sucked into.

FWIW I would give young No Spam a wide berth - I fear he has gone over the edge this time.

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), April 18, 1999.

Somebody else noticed that too?
1st time somebody's taken anything so personally and dog-grrrred it to tatters. Post-traumatic stress, flash-back.

-- walkaround (wide@bertha.ax), April 18, 1999.


Ray demanded my thoughts on Somalia. I first politely declined. He insisted, with insult. So eventually I granted his request.

Where do _you_ want to go today, Andy? I've tried the polite approach with you.

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 18, 1999.


Please don't indulge in amateur psychoanalysis. If you haven't had the training, you can't realize how many factors you overlook.

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 18, 1999.

Not like what this thread has devolved to has much relation to what it started as. But:

Friends of mine who fought in Vietnam said one of the hardest things related to the children. It's war. They use the kids. The kids use themselves. A six year old can blow your head off -- and will -- through a variety of means. Men I know who actually took the 'defense' of the South very personally often got close to the people in villages they stayed at for awhile (many being Green Beret) and many said that they nearly got themselves killed for their kindness -- invariably by the children. Then when soldiers, finally getting a clue and defending themselves, shot the kids, they'd be on American TV and everybody would be condemning them as child butchers. Like there wasn't enough going on to give these guys nightmares for the next six lifetimes already, not to mention the amount of assigned drugs they had to take just to stay awake long enough to stay alive.

In the end, all the ranting about fair vs. not fair in war is ludicrous, and is nothing more than grist for the mill for those pushing the buttons of the machines we call populations. War sucks, war is stupid, war is insane and war is gory and gross and there is not one glorious or honorable thing about going out and killing other human beings. Until humanity wakes up to that we are going to be arguing about the issue of whether, for example, the U.N. planes really did kill the people on that train... the people in that convoy. So they did. BFD. Whoops. It's war and that's what war is. People in the media act as if war consists of computer- game animation and the concept of someone innocent getting killed is just so appalling. As if no innocent people have died anywhere else in the world that day, or in the countries of our current-enemies for that matter.

As much as I hate war, if some jerk is going to engage my country in it, I'd really rather he did it with overkill so it was over as fast as possible. All this crap about not being at war -- just bombing people like Libya, Iraq, Yugoslavia -- is ludicrous. I know Marines who've been stationed in a lot of central and South American places that are as "at war" as any official war ever was, at least as far as the men were concerned. Ground troops -- we'll leave a good 5000 men dead on the ground before killing Milosovich. I think -- like with the kings of old -- we should take the commander-in-chief, put a weapon in his hands, stick him on the ground with the soldiers, and put him right in front to lead the way. Assuming none of his own loyal soldiers shot him for being a communist !@#$!#!, he could survive. At this point I think the enemy should spare him -- he is more damage to us alive than dead.

Sorry, I guess I'm in one of those moods.

PJ in TX

-- PJ Gaenir (fire@firedocs.com), April 18, 1999.

Come on Ray, get it over with. No Spam called you to dispute his view, and you're acting like a weasle.

Show some guts.

-- Uncle Deedah (oncebitten@twiceshy.com), April 18, 1999.


For inspiration, here are excerpts from Michael New's remarks.

(I figure this doesn't violate my part of the apology agreement posted earlier because of your response "Now here is my answer to your post requesting and apology. YOU ARE A WEASEL." While not a clear direct full rejection of the proposal, it seems reasonable to interpret that as a partial rejection, in which case it seems reasonable for me to post a small part of Michael New's own remarks.)

From Michael New's own remarks at the Michael New homecoming rally at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Conroe, Texas on July 28, 1996:

"1. I was standing against an unlawful order to deploy to Macedonia; 2. refusing the President's order to wear the UN uniform; 3. refusing to serve under a foreign UN commander; 4. and refusing to be required to carry only the UN identification card."

Note: "the President's order to wear the UN uniform". The President was and is _NOT_ a UN officer. He is the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S., not UN, armed forces.


"However, on January 24, 1996, I was convicted of not obeying what the prosecution called a "lawful order" even though they admitted in open court in Germany that the uniform was not a regulation uniform. My defense was not allowed to put on the overwhelming evidence that the order was unlawful which pointed to presidential wrongdoing and the failure of Congressional oversight. The military judge basically said it was above his pay grade to rule on Presidential wrong doing and bucked it up to the next judiciary level."

Note the consistent reference to the _President_ (and it was the President of the _United States_, not the President of Germany or the UN or anyone else), who was and is NOT a UN officer.

At no place in his remarks does New refer to any refusal to obey an order of a UN officer.

So why aren't you willing to admit that a simple factual correction I posted was accurate, Ray? Why make it so complicated with all the insults?

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 18, 1999.

You're not weird if you talk to yourself. You're not weird if you answer yourself. But you ARE weird if you interrupt your answer.

Roses are red, violets are blue, I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.

-- Talking 2Myself (pshrink@pquack.cuckoo), April 18, 1999.


I've posted the text of Michael New's remarks over in the Delusional paranoids render forum useless thread.

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 21, 1999.

No spam please... remember some time back how you told us you had to take medication for your... problem? Well I think maybe you better get your dosage increased.

-- amazing (no@thank.you), April 21, 1999.


>remember some time back how you told us you had to take medication for your... problem?

You mean my ... color vision deficiency? As revealed in the Know Your Fruitcake! (not for the serious) thread? I don't take any medication for that -- there isn't any.

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 21, 1999.

I dont know about that problem No spam please. This is the problem I was referring to-

It happens that I have mood swings for medical reasons (but not dramatic swings as in people with bipolar disorder), and I can see a distinct correlation between my Y2K outlook and my mood when evaluated as objectively as possible. So it seems reasonable to me that others' Y2K forecasts are affected by their overall moods. And ones mood spectrum is likely to be much the same now as it was several years ago, on average.

-- No Spam Please (anon@ymous.com), December 16, 1998.

-- amazing (no@thank.you), April 21, 1999.


It's nice of you to be concerned about my health. Are you a doctor?

However, the timing makes me wonder whether what you're _really_ referring to is my April 21 posting addressed to Ray. Please, let's not beat around the bush. I was simply taking care of the one remaining loose end. That posting is the end of the matter, as far as I'm concerned, unless others want to resurrect it for their own purposes.

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 22, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ