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15 November 2006 @ 01:42 pm
US soldier pleads guilty to raping a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and killing her and her family  
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6152118.stm

Dear world,

I am as angry as you. Most Americans aren't like this, but the media doesn't spend much time on ordinary, good people these days, if they ever did.

There are bad apples everywhere. I hope you will turn your anger on the bad apples in your country, while we figure out what best to do with ours.

I am ashamed that anyone from my country would do this, just as I am ashamed that any other human being could do this from any country, anywhere. In the sense that I am a member of this species, I am sorry.

-k.

p.s. My friends, please feel free to remind me that I'm surrounded by people who love and cherish their friends, their families and even strangers - I sometimes want the article about the ordinary, good people and now is one of those times... I will in the meantime remind myself of my friends who have volunteered at rape crisis centers, battered women's shelters, those who have stopped the cycle of violence in their own families and say: THANK YOU. You're hard work and emotional toil MATTERS, and sets things right, day by day, family by family.
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Current Mood: tired of being pissed off
 
 
 
Lawstlawst on November 16th, 2006 08:52 pm (UTC)
Re: actually no
Well, it sounds like you got the whole cross section of people in the military right there in your school. Oh, and thank you for serving and all your sacrifice.

What would you say if someone told you they joined to serve their country? Would you believe them? Yes, I joined to get out of town too. It was one of a few options I had to get out. I could have also packed up a bag and hitch hiked my way to somewhere else in the country. I also could have moved back in with my parents and gotten a real job making more money. People do that too. BTW, I never said or suggested you didn't serve your country, but please don't tell me of the sacrifices you've made when people like me have had to support a family on soldiers pay which included food stamps, WIC and a second job when I was around to actually hold one down.

Lots of people join the military to pay for college, but they have to live under a rock to assume they'll not see combat. There's going to be a point at which every soldier in the military, especially the Army and Marines, will see combat. Suggesting that the only reason someone has to make that career choice is the money is ludicrous! Again, a full time job at McDonald's pays better and has better benefits. Then there are those who re-up in spite of the poor pay and potential dangers. I suppose that's for the money too, even after they have the training to go out into the civilian job market?

I saw a lot of people who went in to "fuck up arabs" and very few who came out the other end with that still on their minds. Thoughts of revenge can't sustain a person for long in the service and won't get them to reinlist. Most vets will give you a launrdy list of reasons they joined, few I know will list service as chief among them, but it's still there. The money isn't good enough to justify the potential damage one might face. Those who re-inlist do so knowing what htey might face and how small the paycheck is. They don't do it for medals, they don't do it to be heroes, they don't do it for the recognition.

You can't speak from experience because the only experience you have is that narrow view of what you saw in highschool. You haven't had to work side by side with soldiers. You haven't spent time in a barracks or in the field. You haven't had to be sent away from your family not knowing if you'll ever see them again or struggle to feed them when you could be holding down a better job for more pay. Lucky you. So how is it that you seem to think you know what it's all about? From watching the news? From observing a small cross-section of guys from your school? War movies? Talking to some vets who I know won't tell you the whole story because you won't get it? You have no clue because you haven't lived it. Not all the reading in the world can give a person any idea of what it's about.