Skip to comments.A U.S. soldier in Iraq wonders: 'How many more must die?'
Posted on 08/26/2003 6:28:52 AM PDT by m1-lightning
A U.S. soldier in Iraq wonders: 'How many more must die?'
August 24, 2003
By TIM PREDMORE
"Shock and Awe" were the words used to describe the awesome display of power the world was to view upon the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. It was to be an up-close, dramatic display of military strength and advanced technology within the arsenal of the United States and the United Kingdom's military.
But as a soldier preparing for the invasion of Iraq, the words "shock and awe" rang deeper within my psyche. These two great superpowers were about to break the very rules they demand of others. Without the consent of the United Nations, and ignoring the pleas of their own citizens, the United States and Britain invaded Iraq.
"Shock and Awe"? Yes, the words correctly described the emotional impact I felt as we prepared to participate in what I believed not to be an act of justice but of hypocrisy. L
From the moment the first shot was fired in this so-called war of liberation and freedom, hypocrisy reigned. Following the broadcasting of recorded images of captured and dead U.S. soldiers over Arab television, American and British leaders vowed revenge while verbally assaulting the networks for displaying such vivid images. Yet within hours of the deaths of Saddam's two sons, the American government released horrific photos of the two dead brothers for the entire world to view. Again, a "do as we say and not as we do" scenario.
As soldiers serving in Iraq, we have been told that our purpose here is to help the people of Iraq by providing them the necessary assistance militarily as well as in humanitarian efforts. Then tell me where the humanity was in the recent Stars and Stripes account of two young children brought to a U.S. military camp by their mother, in search of medical care? The two children had been, unbeknown to them, playing with explosive ordinance they had found and as a result were severely burned. The account tells how the two children, following an hour-long wait, were denied care by two U.S. military doctors. The soldier described the incident as one of many "atrocities" he has witnessed on the part of the U.S. military.
So then, what is our purpose here? Was this invasion due to weapons of mass destruction as we so often heard? If so, where are they? Did we invade to dispose of a leader and his regime on the account of close association with Osama bin Laden? If so, where is the proof? Or is it that our incursion is a result of our own economic advantage? Iraq's oil can be refined at the lowest cost of any in the world. Coincidence?
This looks like a modern-day crusade not to free an oppressed people or to rid the world of a demonic dictator relentless in his pursuit of conquest and domination but a crusade to control another nation's natural resource. At least for us here, oil seems to be the reason for our presence.
There is only one truth, and it is that Americans are dying. There are an estimated 10- to 14-attacks on our servicemen and women daily in Iraq. As the body count continues to grow, it would appear that there is no immediate end in sight.
I once believed that I served for a cause: "to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Now, I no longer believe; I have lost my conviction, my determination. I can no longer justify my service for what I believe to be half-truths and bold lies. My time is done as well as that of many others with whom I serve. We have all faced death here without reason or justification.
How many more must die? How many more tears must be shed before America awakens and demands the return of the men and women whose job it is to protect them rather than their leader's interest?
Tim Predmore is on active duty with the 101st Airborne Division near Mosul, Iraq. A 1985 Richwoods High School graduate and native Peorian, he has been in Iraq since March and in the military for about five years.
Article 88Contempt toward officials
Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
(1) That the accused was a commissioned officer of the United States armed forces;
(2) That the accused used certain words against an official or legislature named in the article;
(3) That by an act of the accused these words came to the knowledge of a person other than the accused; and
(4) That the words used were contemptuous, either in themselves or by virtue of the circumstances under which they were used. Note: If the words were against a Governor or legislature, add the following element
(5) That the accused was then present in the State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession of the Governor or legislature concerned.
Explanation. The official or legislature against whom the words are used must be occupying one of the offices or be one of the legislatures named in Article 88 at the time of the offense. Neither Congress nor legislature includes its members individually. Governor does not include lieutenant governor. It is immaterial whether the words are used against the official in an official or private capacity. If not personally contemptuous, ad-verse criticism of one of the officials or legislatures named in the article in the course of a political discussion, even though emphatically expressed, may not be charged as a violation of the article.
Similarly, expressions of opinion made in a purely private conversation should not rdinarily be charged. Giving broad circulation to a written publication containing contemptuous words of the kind made punishable by this article, or the utterance of contemptuous words of this kind in the presence of military subordinates, aggravates the offense. The truth or falsity of the statements is immaterial.
Lesser included offense. Article 80attempts
Maximum punishment. Dismissal, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 1 year.
Note: While only commissioned officers can be charged under this article, DOD Directive 1344.10 - POLITICAL ACTIVITIES BY MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES ON ACTIVE DUTY, extend these same requirements to all individuals on active duty. Enlisted members and warrant officers who violate these provisions can be charged under Article 92 of the UCMJ, Failure to Obey an Order or Regulation.
Destroy them we will.
Correction: Tim Predmore WAS on active duty with the 101st Airborne Division....
Assuming this is true to begin with...assuming he's a real person. A 1985 graduate has to be at least 35 years old and this says he's been in the military "about 5 years". I don't think the 101st takes 30 year old recruits.
So Timmy was around for Billy Clinton's wag-the-dog Bosnian attack - which suddenly after three years became a critical issue right after his 45 Dem Senator friends refused to find him guilty. I'd love to see Timmy's article on hypocrisy back then.
If there was any substance to this story, the media would have been all over it.
By storming directly to Baghdad without stopping to anililate every Iraqi soldier on the way, we saved thousands of lives, INCLUDING THE LIVES OF MANY OF OUR SOLDIERS.
This was a brilliant strategy.
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