A Rant Against African American Tribalism


By Brandon Whitney

The Black Artist Association’s leader, Amnau Eele, condemned Michelle Obama, saying that she should have worn a Black Designers dress during the presidential inauguration. Normally, I like to comment on how we have to pick and choose our battles, and we shouldn’t worry about such minor things as dresses but in this particular case I think it is important to call a spade a spade. The Black Artist Association’s comments speak to a sort of tribalism that has developed among some African Americans and has affected their expectations of Obama.

The person who designed the dress the Michelle Obama wore is Asian. I am going to venture a guess that the reason Michelle Obama wore the dress is because she liked the way it looked. For Amanu Eele to demand that Michelle pick a Black designer’s dress to the inauguration is not an example of racial or cultural solidarity, it’s racist. Having a Black president is not an opportunity for the African American people to grab as much as we can like some dictator’s ethnic group in a failed third world nation. It is an opportunity to live in an America where we are unrestrained by racism and inequality. Barack is not “ours”. He is of us, he was molded in many ways by the African American community, but we do not own him. President Obama belongs to America in all of its shades and colors. American’s of every ethnic group and background have a claim on him just as we do. Barack is the President of the United States, not of Black America.

Finally, two hundred years ago the best job Barack could have gotten in Washington D.C. is field hand. He would have been a slave. Last week he became president, a position that not even a poor White could aspire to at the inception of our Republic. For Amanu to cheapen that day with race baiting is not only in poor taste, but it is insulting to the spirit of our ancestors who sacrificed so that a day like this could arrive.

To learn more about Brandon Whitney visit his column on the main Black Men In America.com page at www.blackmeninamerica.com/politics.htm.


37 Responses to “A Rant Against African American Tribalism”

  1. mr. whitney,

    go to “myblackgirlsite.com”, Amanu Eele has issued a response to this public lynching or mobbing.

  2. Mr. Whitney,

    …i suggest you practice what you preach. seems as though you have unfairly condemned “some” African Americans whose expectations in “YOUR” eyes are a resemblance of tribalism.

    you’re absolutely right about Michelle Obama choosing to wear what she pleases. however, since the mainsteam media has thrust her into this fashion icon slot, it would be nice to see Michelle Obama sporting a few designs created by African Americans also.

    it’s most important that you not fall into that same ole “stereotypical” or judgmental mindset. African Americans asking to be inclusive doesn’t equate to a “grab as much as i can” mentality…and it most certainly doesn’t equate to “racism” or “race baiting”. although, this may be an act of fashion baiting (smile)…

  3. Bruce – You’ve really got a point. I’m all in for supporting black businesses, but they should (and do by the way) provide the best service–it should not be an expectation. It is also important to note that President Obama and Michelle are the first-family of ALL the people. Instead of focusing on who made the dress, or even that the dress was bought from a minority designer, we should be focusing on how dignified they both looked and how ready and able they are to do the nations business. As Americans, let’s focus on finding workable solutions to the problems we face; which includes improving business opportunities for minorities.

  4. @seventh

    If Michelle Obama was the first lady at the local Baptist Church or at the NAACP then she should by all means wear something that was made in the community where she works. However, since she’s the first lady, she should not make an effort to turn her position to try and get an advantage for African Americans. We’re better than that.


      since she’s the first lady, she should not make an effort to turn her position to try and get an advantage for African Americans. We’re better than that.

      Better than trying to get wha has been overdue for generations. Every other group does and after this four year window slams shut ( should reelection fail- it’s back to business as usual. Given our dismal stats, getting advantages for our people is the only sane usuage of the preisdency.

  5. Here is the thing: You are both right. What you are missing is the the bigger issue. This story made a major publication — WWD. Has it ever occurred to you to ask the question — WHY? I will help you out: The reason is that is a FALSE STORY. A false story , a term coined for stories manipulated by journalists to create controversy and outrage. Controversy has become the gold standard that today’s media is mining. Controversy is rewarded by more visibility for the journalist, never mind the effect on the subject of the controversy.

    Amnau Eele had an opinion, her intent and motives was to be a voice for African Americans in the fashion industry. Think about it, we all have opinions, what made hers so significant that it merited calls from CBS, CNN, Chicago Sun Times.? Hers is an underground organization. that has no political clout. But, just as the silly comment by Etta James became another false story today, this false story made the media rounds solely based on its mileage to create negative devisive drama among us, against the Obamas…however the media cam make effective use of the exercise in manipulation. Eele is not the enemy. The media is. And you can expect a continuation in the number of false story efforts as the media continues attempts to turn President Obama’s presidency into a reality show.
    Visit http://affiliate.kickapps.com/_Amnau-Lee-Interview-The-Real-Story/blog/172433/16936.html and read the authentic interview

  6. Military Bible!!!
    1. Criminals of the Bible
    2. War
    3. Racism
    4. Slavery
    5. Antisemitism
    6. Genocide
    7. Cannibalism
    8. Pedophily
    9. Militarism+Monotheism+Fashism+Phallophilism+Egoism

    Criminals of the Bible
    1. Martin Luthers Bible
    2. Adolf Hitlers Bible
    3. Adolf Eichmanns Bible
    4. Nazi-Bible
    5. Joseph Stalins Bible
    6. Martin Luther Kings Bible ( Genocide+Racism+Slavery )
    7. George W. Bushs Bible
    8. Barack Obamas Bible ( Slavery+Racism )

    Military Bible
    1. Soldiers Bible
    2. SOCOM-Bible
    3. NATO-Bible
    4. CIA-Bible
    5. MOSSAD-Bible
    6. SENTCOP-Bible
    7. WASP-Bible
    8. Nuclearwar in Iraq!!!
    9. Evangelical U.S. Killer in Iraq and Afghanistanwar

    Atheist 100%

  7. Military Bible!!!
    1. Adolf Hitlers Bible ( Racism+Genocide+Massexecutions: Ex.32:26-29.)
    2. Barack Obamas Bible: Racism+Slavery=Old and New Testament!!!
    3. Slavery and Racism in Mrs. Michelle Obamas Bible!!!
    4. Slavery, Cruelty, Violence in Martin Luther Kings Bible!!! Shame!
    5. Pedophily, Cannibalism, Genocide in Desmond Tutus Bible! Shame!!!
    6. Genocide, Militarism, War, Slavery in Dencel Washingtons Bible!!!
    7. Black American Bible-Rassist-People!!! Shame You!!!
    8. Black Christian Rassist-America!!!
    9. Black U.S. Evangelical Soldiers as Killer in Iraq-and Afgh.war! Shame!!!

    From Slavery to Afghanistanwar!!!
    1. Obamas Waragenda in Afghanistan
    2. Black U.S. Evangelical Soldiers in Nuclearwar in Iraq!!! SHAME!!!
    3. From Slavery to U.S. White Christian Army!!!
    4. From Slavery to Nuclearwar of Mr. George W. Bush!
    5. From Slavery to Nuclearwar for White America!

    The Song of Moses
    1 15.1 Rev 15.3.
    Moses and the Israelites sang this song in praise of the Lord:

    I sing praises to the Lord
    for his great victory!
    He has thrown the horses
    and their riders
    into the sea.

    2 15.2 Ps 118.14; Is 12.2.
    The Lord is my strength,
    the reason for my song,
    because he has saved me.
    I praise and honor the Lord—
    he is my God
    and the God
    of my ancestors.

    3 The Lord is his name,
    and he is a warrior!

    Mr. Obamas &Michelles S L A V E R Y + Bible!!!

    1 If you are a slave, you should respect and honor your owner. This will keep people from saying bad things about God and about our teaching.
    2 If any of you slaves have owners who are followers, you should show them respect. After all, they are also followers of Christ, and he loves them. So you should serve and help them the best you can.
    False Teaching and True Wealth
    These are the things you must teach and tell the people to do.
    3 Anyone who teaches something different disagrees with the correct and godly teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    9 Tell slaves always to please their owners by obeying them in everything. Slaves must not talk back to their owners
    10 or steal from them. They must be completely honest and trustworthy. Then everyone will show great respect for what is taught about God our Savior.

    18 Servants, you must obey your masters and always show respect to them. Do this, not only to those who are kind and thoughtful, but also to those who are cruel.
    19 God will bless you, even if others treat you unfairly for being loyal to him.
    20 You don’t gain anything by being punished for some wrong you have done. But God will bless you, if you have to suffer for doing something good.
    21 After all, God chose you to suffer as you follow in the footsteps of Christ, who set an example by suffering for you.

    Atheist 100%

  8. Mr. Obama: You, as first black President in U.S. Story, You kill a inocent
    people in Iraqwar and Afghanistanwar to! Only 1 Tenk kost more as 300
    Billion Dollars! You can make to much Hospitals, Apartments, Schools,
    University,s Children Garden, not just in U.S.A., round the World to!
    You has a children, but You has a very poor children in State to!

    With a money for 1 Tenk “Abraham”, You can make Apartments and to
    much Schools, Streets, Building for poor people! Black and white, for
    Children no Home in New York City, L.A. Mr. Obama: You do not need
    Tenks, You do not need Military Bibles, You do not need Soldiers, You
    do not need nuclear Bombs!!! You has a Children, do not kill Children
    in Iraq and Afghanistan!

    You need Schools, Science, not Religion! You need Telescope, not a
    Jesus! Do not forget: You has a Children!!!


  9. The Bible and Racism

    The Bible is clear in teaching the equal opportunity of all races to join God’s family by accepting God’s laws and principles. There are no Scriptures which support the separation of races or the superiority of one racial group over the other. The Bible translation used is the New International Version (NIV).

    Genesis 1:27
    So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
    Genesis 2:22
    Then the Lord made a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man, and He brought her to the man.
    These two verses illustrate that in the beginning there were two people, obviously of one ‘race.’ Just as both were made in God’s image, so would their offspring be. Thus, all mankind is equal in the sight of God as all are offspring of Adam and Eve.

    Genesis 1:24
    And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds…”
    The God-given natural law for each creature to reproduce according to its ‘kind’ may be applied to man: since there were only two humans, Adam and Eve, and all people descended from them, there is no Biblical mandate against racial intermarriage.

    Genesis 9:1
    Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.”
    With the great flood, the only human life remaining on planet earth was Noah, his wife, their three sons and their wives. The racial makeup of these wives is not known or mentioned in the Bible. If, however, racial characteristics are physical variations God allowed to help different peoples adapt to the habitat in the varied regions of the world, these wives could be the sources of the three races. Some scholars have postulated a racial breakdown of the three sons, with the Semitic peoples (such as the Jews), descending from Shem, the black peoples from Ham and white peoples from Japeth.

    Genesis 9:24-25
    When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son had done to him, he said: “Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers.”
    Because Ham means ‘dark’ or ‘black,’ some have incorrectly theorized that Ham was cursed with blackness because of the sin of the ‘youngest son.’ Since Canaan is specifically named as the guilty party, it is likely that the crime (likely a homosexual act or action) was committed by him personally. The ‘youngest son’ refers to the grandson, a common literary practice in Biblical writings. This curse definitely does not cover all of the Hamitic peoples, just the Canaanites. Additionally, all Hamitic peoples were not ‘black’ or negro: the Babylonians were a Hamitic people.

    Genesis 11:9
    This is why it is called Babel – because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.
    The Tower of Babel is sited by some as the origin of different racial groups, but this challenges the specific nature of God’s action in relation to language. The racial differences which result from living in different regions of the earth may have been a result of this scattering, but were not part of God’s act at this time.

    Leviticus 19:19
    “Keep my decrees. Do not mate different kinds of animals. Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.”
    Mating of different kinds of animals can produce infertile offspring, planting seeds together lead to problems in harvesting and different kinds of clothe create a problem in cleaning and care of the fabric. These are practical laws… there is no context to assume it applies toward humans. Even if it did, all mankind has two common ancestors and thus is classed as one ‘kind.’


    Genesis 15:16
    “In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”
    God did not give the Israelites the land of an ‘innocent’ or ‘inferior’ people (the Canaanites), but rather of a wicked people whose religious practices were an abomination to God. This verse shows that God delayed the entry of Israel into the land until the magnitude of the Amorites’ sin justified their annihilation.

    Exodus 34:15-16
    Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land (Canaanites and related peoples); for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you and you will eat their sacrifices. And when you choose some of their daughters as wives for your sons and those daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will lead your sons to do the same.
    This is the initial warning to Israel about intermarriage with the peoples of Canaan whose abominable pagan religious practices were the reason God was giving them the land. Adopting those practices would turn Israel from God, and this was the reason for prohibition of intermarriage and contact in general (Deuteronomy 7 expands on this as does Exodus 23:31-33). Numbers 25:1-9 records a plague sent from God which killed 24,000 Israelites as a punishment for sexual relations and idol worship with Moabite and Midianite women, stopped only by the spearing of a brazen couple by Phineas.

    Judges 3:6
    They took their daughters in marriage and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods.
    This passage summarizes the reason behind the events throughout the Book of Judges: the Canaanite people left behind as a ‘test’ (Judges 3:4) of the obedience of the Israelites to remain separate, entice Israel into idolatry and pagan worship, resulting in God allowing a foreign oppressor to assault them. The repentance of the Israelites and turning to God lasts only a short time, and the Israelites again return to their sin and disobedience

    1 Kings 11:1-3
    King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharoah’s daughter – Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, “You must no intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray.
    The ‘greatest’ King of Israel serves as the greatest example of the result of the sin of intermarriage with pagan women. The subsequent idolatry of the soon-to-be-divided nation of Israel/Judah, which led to their eventual conquest and removal from the land by foreign empires, is directly traceable to disobeying God’s commands concerning intermixing with the pagan peoples.

    Nehemiah 13:26-27
    “Was it not because of marriages like these that Solomon king of Israel sinned…Must we hear now that you too are doing all this terrible wickedness and are being unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women?”

    Ezra 9:2; 10-12
    “They have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, and have mingled the holy race with the peoples around them. And the leaders and officials have led the way in this unfaithfulness.”
    “But now, O our God, what we say after this? For we have disregarded the commands you gave through your servants the prophets when you said: The land you are entering to possess is a land polluted by the corruption of this peoples. By their detestable practices they have filled it with their impurity from one end to the other. Therefore do not give your daughters in marriage to their sons or take their daughters for your sons…
    The reason for remaining separate from the people is reiterated while post-captivity leaders Ezra and Nehemiah deal with the seemingly unending problem of intermarriage with pagan peoples. The term ‘holy race,’ or ‘seed’ as in the King James, does not designate a ‘racial’ group of people but rather is meant to designate the unique status of the Jewish people as a religio-ethnic group

    CONCLUSION: God’s prohibition against intermarriage with the Canaanite and other peoples of the land was not based on racial but rather the religious and societal practices of those peoples. Using this prohibition to support racist theories of superiority or segregationist policy is inaccurate. A further proof that the covenant was not ‘racial’ in nature is found in the accepting and honoring of non-Israelite (and non-Semitic) people in Scripture:
    Numbers 12:21 – Moses marries an Ethiopian woman, resulting in Aaron and Miriam challenging his leadership; God forcefully supports Moses with no condemnation of the marriage
    Matthew 1:5 – Rahab, the Canaanite from Jericho, and Ruth, the Moabite, are part of Jesus’ genealogy
    2 Samuel 3:3 – David’s wife Macaah was a Geshurite, an Aramean
    1 Chronicles 11:26-47 – the list of David’s honored Mighty Men included Zelek the Ammonite, Ithmah the Moabite and Uriah the Hittite, all non-Israelite peoples.


    2 Kings 17:28
    So one of the priests who had been exiled from Samaria came to live in Bethel and taught them how to worship the Lord. Nevertheless, each national group made its own gods in the several towns where they settled, and set them up in the shrines the people of Samaria had made at the high places.
    The ‘Samaritans’ were actually foreign peoples that Assyria brought in to populate the Northern Kingdom of Israel (also called Samaria) after the native Israelites had been deported. The mixing of their own pagan religious practices with the corrupted ‘Israelite’ religion which Jeroboam established at Bethel, led the Israelites to avoid contact with the Samaritans as the new ‘Canaanites.’ Their racial/ethnic makeup was not the issue.

    John 4:21-23
    Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.”
    In His conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus reveals the true nature of the point of hostility between the two groups of people (true verses false worship of God), and the ultimate goal of God to have all, regardless of race or ethnic group, to worship Him together.

    Matthew 28:19
    Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…
    While Jesus’ personal ministry was spent with the Jewish nation (Matthew 15:24), He did minister to non-Jews (Gentiles) who called upon him (the ‘woman of Canaan’ in Matthew 15:22, the Samaritan leper in Luke 17:16, and the Roman centurion in Matthew 8). The New Covenant, however, was for all people and the disciples were given the Great Commission to spread it to all, regardless of race.

    Romans 4:16-17
    Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring – not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. As it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations…”
    After writing that all men (Jew and Gentile in Romans 3:9-10) are equally guilty of sin, Paul writes that the true heirs of Abraham and his promise are those people of all nations who believe.

    Acts 8:14; 8:34-39; 11:1
    These verses show how the Samaritans, a black Ethiopian and white Roman Gentiles receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Ethiopian is a direct refutation of racists propaganda that declares blacks are not ‘human.’

    1 John 2:9
    Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.
    The Greek word for brother (adelphos) is used widely in the New Testament to denote a neighbor (Luke 10:29), the ‘brethren’ of Jesus bound by belief in Him (Matthew 25:40 and Mark 3:35), and is widened to include all human believers and angels (Revelation 22:9). Thus, hatred of any person for any reason, including race, is sinful.

    James 2:9
    But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.
    James is specifically addressing favoritism shown to wealthier individuals who visit the church. This command, however, is applicable to showing favoritism for any characteristic, including race.

  10. Jesus said!!!

    29 As he was getting near Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives,
    he sent two of his disciples on ahead.

  11. Cannibalism in the Bible!!!

    53 while you wait in horror. Finally, you will get so hungry that you will eat the sons and daughters that the Lord gave you.

    9 And while your enemies are trying to break through your city walls to kill you, the food supply will run out. You will become so hungry that you will eat the flesh of your friends and even of your own children.

    23 If you remain my enemies after this, 24 I’ll remain your enemy and punish you even worse. 25 War will break out because you broke our agreement, and if you escape to your walled cities, I’ll punish you with horrible diseases, and you will be captured by your enemies.

    The Law of Moses
    17 Don’t suppose that I came to do away with the Law and the Prophets.
    u 5.17 the Law and the Prophets: The Jewish Scriptures, that is, the Old Testament.
    I did not come to do away with them, but to give them their full meaning.
    18 5.18 Lk 16.17.
    Heaven and earth may disappear. But I promise you that not even a period or comma will ever disappear from the Law. Everything written in it must happen.
    19 If you reject even the least important command in the Law and teach others to do the same, you will be the least important person in the kingdom of heaven. But if you obey and teach others its commands, you will have an important place in the kingdom.

    Atheist 100%

  12. MARK. I am not certain why you are here with all of whatever it is you are trying to say, but it is clear — at least to me — that it has absolutely nothing to do with the thread. The discussion is about journalism, false stories and misrepresentation of a person’s point of view. And the conversation ended months ago.

    Whatever you are preaching about has nothing to do with the subject matter, nor is it an accurate depiction of the Bible…or President Obama.

    If you are supposedly attempting to preach to some perceived unknowledgeable group of people, I would encourage you to take your diatribe elsewhere.

  13. Mr. E Joyce!!!
    Joyce, I do not know realy, why you are here, but I talking about criminal
    Nuclearwar, U.S. War in Iraq, and I want say know: American Soldiers do
    pretty job in Iraq!!! 1.400.000 people die, inocent people die in Iraq, be-
    cause american criminal christian World need Oil. And Evangelical Soldiers killed and killing children in Iraq, Afghanistan with a Military Bible and Gun. And Mr. Obama, as first black President do same shit as George W. Bush! He make new War in Afghanistan!
    Why is I am, it is not important, what is important, Mr. Obama is a first
    black President, and he do nothing, something to chang.
    He maked Inauguration with a Bible, witch a Racism and Slavery propa


  14. The Criminal Defendant’s Bible is over 400 pages of remarkable and unique case busting tools; hard core strategies developed by Brown taken from actual cases Brown worked on. The original paper work, motions, writs, petitions, appeals, disqualifications, discovery,challenges, etc. In this “military” style hand book one learns how to prosecute the legal war, battle by battle. Each well described step is a surgical strike on the prosecutor’s case,resulting in a methodical dismantling of your enemy’s case. Learn how to prosecute those who attempt to prosecute you. Learn how to use paper and pen as weapons. Pepper your opponent with precision weapons(motions,discovery,bill of particulars,etc.) on every level, beginning with the so called “charging instrument” and complete follow through. Brown has had numerous wins in both state and federal court and he teaches not by theory, but by example. See the actual paperwork filed in cases. Learn how to formulate and develop a devastating counter attack;learn how to set booby traps; learn how to set up your case your for an appellate victory;learn how to set up the judge and prosector for misconduct,etc. This “Bible” is akin to the Special Forces Manual. Don’t go into battle without it.

  15. The 3000 Understatement


    Well, we all knew it would happen. We all sat, watched, and waited for that momment when we would cross that threshold of 3000 U.S. troops killed in Iraq.

    And as predicted, it happened, as if on cue.

    But for some wingnuts 3000 U.S. Soldiers losing their lives in Iraq doesn’t quite cut the mustard gas. Many continue to regurgitate talking points such as “more people die on car accidents every year” or “more Americans are killed by illegals each year than have died in Iraq”.

    I’ve never quite understood why it means something that more people die this way or that way as compared to Soldiers dying in battle. Like, oh my God! 2000 people died as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Is that supposed to somehow make it seem reasonable for 3000 U.S. Soldiers to have died in Iraq? As if it’s just not that bad?

    Yes thousands of people die all the time all over the world. But the point is that another 3000 have died due to an unecessary invasion and occupation on top of the expected thousands of people that die due to ordinary circumstances.

    Worst of all though is that these Soldiers that died did not have a choice in the matter. Ok, well, I can hear the wingnuts screaming “but they volunteered!!! They knew there was a chance they would be sent to war, they volunteered so it’s their fault!”

    I can’t speak for every single troop in the military. Hell, I can’t and won’t even presume I can speak for one. But what I can say is that dying in a car accident is far different than dying during a military engagement.

    For one, you voluntarily get in you car each day and speed along the freeway. No one is making you do it. And for two, if you decide to not speed on the freeway, or better yet if you choose to drive very carefully, no one is going to punish you.

    Our Soldiers are not afforded that same luxury. They are given orders that they must follow. They are told to patrol a road, interrogate an Iraqi family, or break down a suspected insurgent’s door. They cannot decide for themselves whether or not to carry out these orders.

    Contrary to what wingnuts believe, dying on the highway is far different than dying in combat on many multiple levels. But I don’t expect Hannity, O’Reilly, Limbaugh, Coulter, or Malkin to understand that fact. I’m only asking that the good, decent ordinary American Public come to that understanding.

    Hidden behind the 3000 “official” dead U.S. Soldiers are the hundreds that have died since returning home due to suicide, PTSD, and circumstances shrouded by mental illness. And hidden behind the 3000+ that have died as a result of the occupation of Iraq are the tens of thousands of U.S. Soldiers that would have been dead 20 years ago if not for the advancements in battlefield medicine.

    And behind the tens of thousands that would have been dead 20 years ago are tens of thousands of amputees, brain trauma, and seriously injured troops.

    So I guess what I am asking from Americans on this tragic day is to remember that dying for your country, dying for your President, dying to maintain your honor and obligation to your duty is significantly different than dying in a car accident or being murdered by an “illegal”.

    Can the wingnuts in the audience do that for just one day? Thanks…

    And P.S.:

    The next wingnut that says it’s not a big deal that 3000 U.S. Soldiers have died in Iraq “casue more troops died during the battle of Iwo Jima” is going to get a personal kick in the teeth from me…You’ve been warned and you know who you are…

    Atheist against War and against Church-Military Propagand!!!

  16. The voice of atheism since 1881
    mag pic
    ‘Evangelical Christian tyranny and persecution is rife in the US Military’
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    IN APRIL we reported on the case of a young atheist soldier – Specialist Jeremy Hall – who filed a lawsuit against American Department of Defence. Hall alleged that, as a result of “coming out” as an atheist while on active duty in Iraq, he was harassed and reviled, and that his constitutional rights had been violated.

    We have now learned that – just hours before the deadline for the US Government to respond to the lawsuit, filed by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) against the Department of Defence – the Justice Department responded with a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

    Shortly before the motion was received, Hall featured in a compelling CNN TV report the which alleged that the US Military was subjecting soldiers to undue religious pressure, and that non-Christians were discriminated against by the Military.

    After the broadcast, which can be seen in its entirety here, dozens of military personnel contacted the MRFF to confirm that they had been put under similar pressure.
    MRFF founder and president Mikey Weinstein

    MRFF founder and president Mikey Weinstein

    MRFF founder and president Mikey Weinstein, an Air Force Academy graduate, former JAG, and a White House counsel in the Reagan administration, had this to say about the DoJ’s motion to dismiss:

    The United States armed forces are quite simply awash in completely unconstitutional fundamentalist Christian tyranny and persecution. Having the Department of Justice, on behalf of the Department of Defensc, tell us in 350 pages of legal documents that this malicious, universal disgrace and national security threat does NOT exist merely because current DoD regulations forbid it from so existing is as ludicrous as saying that cancer does not exist because the American Cancer Society has prohibited its existence.

    The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is in this fight for Constitutional religious freedom for the long haul, and we WILL win it if we have to go all the way to the United States Supreme Court. Gandhi said, ‘First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. Then they fight you. Then you win.’

    In the past several years, MRFF has been through the ‘ignore’ and ‘ridicule’ stages. We’re clearly in the ‘fight’ stage now and MRFF is constantly gratified by the growing thousands of noble and honorable service men and women of the USMC, USN, USAF and USA, Reserve, Guard, and vets who have swelled our Foundation’s ranks and stand with us as we carry this battle for religious freedom into the Federal Courts.

    In a study conducted by MediaCurves, over 200 Christians and over 100 non-Christians were asked a series of questions both before and after viewing the CNN footage.

    These were some of the questions and results from the MediaCurves study:

    • Do you believe that the US Army discriminates against non-Christians?

    Before viewing the segment, only 13 percent of the Christians answered yes. After viewing it, 46 percent answered yes. Among the non-Christians, those answering yes rose from 37 percent to 75 percent.

    • Do you believe that there is pressure to embrace Evangelical Christianity in the US Military?

    Before viewing the segment, only 24 percent of the Christians answered yes. After viewing it, 49 percent answered yes. Among the non-Christians, those answering yes rose from 44 percent to 79 percent.

    • Do you agree with Army Specialist Jeremy Hall’s decision to bring a lawsuit against the US Department of Defence?

    In answer to this question, asked after the study group viewed the footage, 53 percent of the Christians and 84 percent of the non-Christians said yes.

  17. • Do you believe that there is pressure to embrace Evangelical Christianity
    in the US Military?

    Military Bible&Soldiers Bible!!!
    1. George W. Bush Inauguration with the Bible!!! ( War in Iraq )
    2. Barack Obamas Inauguration with a Lincoln Bible ( War in Afgh. )
    3. Bill Clintons Inauguration with the Bible ( War in Jugoslavia )

  18. “Jesus Special Force” in Iraqwar!
    1. Military Bible by U.S. Soldiers in Iraqwar
    2. Military or Soldiers Bible by U.S. Evangelical Soldiers in Afgh.war!
    3. The U.S. Ev. Priest in Iraqwar! ( Internet )
    4. The U.S. Churchwarpropagand in Internet!
    5. Adolf Hitlers Soldiers with the Bible in Russianwar
    6. “Holy Bible” in Nazi-Propagand
    7. Evangelical Church in Third Reich
    8. The Churchpropagand with SOCOM
    9. “I am Soldiers for Jesus Christ” ( “I am Soldiers of Jesus Christ” )

  19. Who send very young people to war, to die… is a not American! Who acept Lies from people 19 or 21, 25 years old, is against America and american Society. Who akcept Lies from young people, (Children) is against America.
    Young people is american Future, american Life, american Demokracy.
    Who akcept Lies from young american people, is against America!
    Who akcept only 1 Lies, is against America. Terrorism we do not
    have. We have religios Fanatism in Islam, Judaism and Christi
    anity. We have islams Fanatism in Gaza, U.S.A, Europa, and
    christian Fanatism in U.S.A., Europa and round the World.
    And we have jewish Fanatism to!!! (Noam Chomsky, Norman
    Finkelstein, Michel Onfray!!! )

    Who send young Americans to war, is against America!!! Who akcept
    Lies from Young Americans, is against Amerika!!!

    Atheist 100%

  20. Who kill only 1 young american Soldier in War, is against America. This is
    Criminality. Because I talking about Life. Who kill only 1 Soldier, 20 or 25
    Years old, is an Killer. Do not send young people to War!!! Do not send
    young people – Children to stupid War! Who send Children to War, is a
    criminal Person! We do not need War!!!
    1. We need Schools
    2. Children Gardens
    3. Apartments
    4. University
    5. Library
    6. Never, never Weapons!!! Never, never Tenks and Bombs!!!
    7. We need young people!!!
    8. We need Hospitals
    9. And we need first young people!!!

    Fuck a War!!!

    Atheist 100%

  21. Witch Education we need!!! ( Ateisteducation: Richard Dawkins!!! )
    1. We do not need Christians,
    2. We do not need Muslems
    3. We do not need Jewish
    4. We need only People round the World.
    5. We are all only a people! ( Same people!!! )

    But Weaponsindustry need a Muslems, Jewish and Christians!
    Weaponsindustry need Fanatics! “Holy Bible” need Fanatics.
    Weaponsindustry+Military Bible!!!

    Atheist 100%

  22. If I love my people, I love american people to!!!
    And I say again: Who akcept only, only 1 Lies, is again America! Do not kill young Americans. Do not send Children in War!!! Do net send Children, 21, 25 Years old, in War! If I love my people, my Nation, I love american Nation to. I do not see diference!

    Do not send young people to stupid War!!!
    1. We need young people, not dead people, not Invalids!!!
    2. We need young people for Future!
    3. We need young people for Work, for America and the World.
    4. We need young people for Cience, not for War!
    5 Do not send young people to War!!!

    Atheist 100%

  23. Dear Mr. Obama!!!
    You want change something in U.S.A.
    1. Change only criminal-christian-military Education with
    2. This is your first Duty now!
    3. Christian criminal Education with 50 Wars!!!
    4. Mr. Obama: You need to much Schools and Apartments in U.S.A.
    5. Mr. Obama: You need new Atheistseducation in american schools!
    6. Mr. Obama: You need Mr. Richard Dawkins in Your Elementar Schools!
    7. Mr Obama: You do not need Priest, You need Tichers! You need Michel
    Onfray, You need Cience in a Schools, nor Religion!

    8. Michel Onfray: “We do not need God” ( Bestseller round the World!!! )

    Atheist 100%

  24. The war in Afghanistan against the Taliban and Al Qaeda was called “the good war” — the one U.S. had to win to make the nation safer from terrorist attacks.

    Eight years after it began, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commander in Afghanistan, says the war could be lost unless more troops are committed to win it. Some military analysts say it could take up to 40,000 more troops to be successful. Read and see more coverage of McChrystal’s remarks from NPR.

    President Obama is on the spot because he campaigned for president last year saying resources should be removed from Iraq and transferred to Afghanistan.

    Listen to the show:

    The American people are also less patient. A recent poll indicated six in 10 Americans are less confident the war in Afghanistan will be won. However, 55% say they oppose an early withdrawl.

  25. max benser Says:

    Mr. President, we are still torturing?
    By Nat Hentoff – Zanesville Times | Jul 16, 09

    On Dec. 26, 2002, Dana Priest and Barton Gellman broke, in the Washington Post, the first undeniable story of American torturing of suspected terrorists. In a CIA secret prison at our Bagram air base detention center in Afghanistan, prisoners were being subjected to the by now all-too-familiar ways of “breaking” suspects during the Bush-Cheney “terror presidency.”

    WaterboardingThe Bagram detention center itself has continued to operate with currently more than 600 prisoners and is being planned to expand its capacity to more than 1,100 as President Obama sends more troops into Afghanistan.

    In a continuation of the Bush-Cheney practice of deliberately keeping certain groups of suspects far away from our courts and our laws, as well as hidden from monitoring by international human rights groups, the Obama administration has told a federal court that our prisoners at Bagram, many held for more than six years without charges, have no rights under our laws.

    On June 30, Glenn Greenwald (Salon) – one of the most consistently reliable reporters on Bush and Obama degrading what both call “American values” – quoted Human Rights Watch researcher John Sifton, a reliable source for this column, as having documented that at Bagram:

    “Approximately 100 detainees, including CIA-held detainees, have died during U.S. interrogations, and some are known to have been tortured to death.”

    More conservatively, actual autopsy reports obtained by the ACLU disclose that at least 21 Bagram “detainees,” and possibly more, have been killed during “coercive interrogations.” It’s difficult to get precise statistics from legal black holes.

    Says Tina Foster, executive director of the International Justice Network, representing Bagram prisoners: “If the Obama Administration genuinely wants to restore the moral authority of the United States, commitment to ‘change’ must extend to Bagram and all the detainees held there. … It is now more urgent than ever that the Obama administration end the Bush administration’s inhumane and unlawful detention practices in Afghanistan.”

    But how do we know that the Obama administration is not itself continuing those inhumane practices at Bagram? Since President Obama also shrouds our prison there in Cheney-style secrecy, the ACLU is trying very hard to find out exactly what is happening there.

    On April 23, the ACLU Foundation sent a request under the Freedom of Information Act, stating that concerning the Bagram Theater Interment Facility at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan:

    “A federal judge recently observed that the ‘process at Bagram falls well short of what the Supreme Court found inadequate at Guantanamo.”‘ That Supreme Court found the forbidding of those prisoners’ habeas corpus rights in our courts was unconstitutional.

    Moreover, the ACLU continued, there is growing public concern here that “the U.S. government is holding many prisoners at Bagram, rather than at Guantanamo (still open), specifically to avoid any judicial review of their detentions in U.S. courts.”

    What has happened to Obama’s repeated pledge to ensure “the most transparent administration in American history?”

    This is ACLU Freedom of Information request, Mr. President, calls your attention to the widespread “Media reports (which) suggest that the conditions of confinement at Bagram are primitive and that abuse and mistreatment of prisoners was once, and MAY STILL BE, widespread.”

    On July 8,Inquisition Torture The Public Record’s William Fisher (www.pubrecord.org) revealed that the International Committee of the Red Cross – from sources it cannot reveal (so it can keep them) – recently, in a confidential Bagram report, cited “prisoners held ‘incommunicado’ in ‘a previously undisclosed warren of isolation cells’ and ‘sometimes subjected to cruel treatment in violation of the Geneva Conventions.’ … The Red Cross said that dozens of prisoners have been held incommunicado for weeks or even months, hidden from prison inspectors.”

    What are their American captors trying to hide from us? From the world? Surely the commander in chief at the White House is kept informed? The ACLU, among much other specific information, wants to get: “All records created after Sept. 11, 2001, pertaining to the treatment of and conditions of confinement for prisoners detained at Bagram, including but not limited to memoranda, correspondence, procedures, policies, directives, guidance, or guidelines, investigatory records, disciplinary records, medical records, and autopsy reports.”

    The ACLU’s Jonathan Hafetz, deeply involved in piercing the Bagram mystery, underscores that “Torture and abuse at Bagram is further evidence that prisoner abuse in U.S. custody was systemic, not aberrational, and originated at the highest levels of government. We must learn the truth about what went wrong, hold the proper people accountable and make sure these failed policies are not continued or repeated.”

    And to what degree and extent is Obama accountable for what’s happening under his watch at Guantanamo?

    To be continued. At a presidential press conference, will only reporter Helen Thomas ask the commander in chief a direct question about Bagram?

    Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights. He is a member of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and the Cato Institute, where he is a senior fellow.

  26. max benser Says:

    Breaking the Silence on War Crimes.
    16 July 2009 at 02:58 by Fionna
    Tags: IsraelOPT war crimes ICC accountability
    Testimony from Israeli soldiers
    Testimony from Israeli soldiers

    When yesterdays report by Israeli NGO “Breaking the Silence” was released it was another report confirming the findings of the Amnesty report “Operation Cast Lead 22 Days of Death and Destruction.” Both reports found a disproportionate use of force, the use of human shields by the Israelis and a by any means necessary approach to minimising Israeli casualties at the cost of Palestinian civilians.

    The two organisations are quite different, Amnesty is an international pressure group which sends researchers to areas where there are potential human rights abuses to gather information, it tries to remain impartial and to simply catalogue human rights abuses where and when they occur. Our researcher was one of the first people into Gaza after the conflict, and found evidence of the use of white phosphorous and interviewed hundreds of witnesses both in Gaza and in the towns affected by the missiles shot into Israel by militants. Facts are checked and checked again approaches were made to both governments and to military personnel.

    Breaking the silence is an organisation made up of disillusioned ex-Israeli soldiers; it was initially established to support those soldiers who refused to serve in the Occupied Territories. It has gathered the testimony of hundreds of soldiers about what abuses during the second intifada. I think it is important to note at this point that joining the military in Israel is not a choice, it is by conscription but it does enjoy considerable support by the majority of Israelis. Breaking the Silence is not anti-Israel or even anti military but it does want the Israeli state to face up to the brutalities being carried out in its name.

    Both these reports a report by Human Rights Watch and a report by the UN have uncovered extensive war crimes during the Gaza conflict. The only investigation which has exonerated Israel is their own internal investigation which admitted a few mistakes were made but this was not policy. Yet still Western governments refuse to hold Israel to account. They run scared of being too critical, keen to profit by selling them weapons, unwilling to censor them at the UN and terrified of being called anti-Semitic for criticising Israel. There is a further report for the UN Human rights Committee being chaired by Richard Goldstone who was the most senior judge in the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia it will be interesting to see if any action will be taken by the international community if it finds further evidence of war crimes. The British government has taken small steps by halting the sale of arms to Israel but an interesting question will be…If it is proved that a nation has sold weapons to a sate (Israel) where there is a real danger that they will be used to commit human rights abuses/ war crimes will that state be in fact in breach of international law?

    Any time Israel Palestine is mentioned in the blogosphere it elicits strong reactions and numerous posts. CIF gets more posts on Israel/Palestine than any other issue. Yet it is also important to remember that states employ an army of PRs to rebut allegations in the press, blogs, goodness probably even on private facebook pages. The Israeli PR machine has been in over drive since the report came out yesterday, why are the testimonies anonymous? The accounts have already been investigated.
    Well the reports are anonymous because when soldiers have come forward they have had their credibility and reputation shredded publically, and there is a strong correlation between military service and getting a good job in the future, it takes guts and maturity to challenge a state machine and most conscripts are 19-21 year old kids who may not feel equipped to put themselves against the full might of the state. Breaking the Silence have pointed out that many of the reports have been passed up the command for investigation. Unfortunately after cases such as Tom Hurndall and James Miller it is difficult to have faith in Israeli justice.

  27. max benser Says:

    Obamas Inauguration with Military-Lincoln Bible!
    1. Military Bible in Nuclearwar in Iraq!!!
    2. U.S. Soldiers with Soldiers Bible in Iraqwar!
    3. “Jesus Special Force” in Iraqwar!
    4. Obamas Nobels-Waragenda in Afghanistan!
    5. George W. Bush with a Military Bible in Iraqwar. 1.450.000 Iraqis die!!!

  28. max benser Says:

    Mission Rejected
    U.S. Soldiers Who Say No to Iraq
    by Peter Laufer
    Foreword by Norman Solomon

    Americans need to read these stories.

    —Tom Hayden, Ending the War in Iraq

    Disillusioned, outraged, and betrayed, American soldiers are taking a stand against the war in Iraq.

    A shattering journey of revelation, pain, and betrayal, Mission Rejected takes the reader deep into the turmoil of U.S. troops confronting the Iraq War. Some of these soldiers have decided not to fight in Iraq. Others, who have served in the “Sand Box” only to return so appalled by their experience and by what that experience has done to them, choose to declare, in the words of the old Phil Ochs song, “I’m not marchin’ anymore!”

    Consider Specialist Jeremy Hinzman, who chose Canada over his military career. When queried about his obligation to follow orders, his answer came fast: “I was told in basic training that, if I’m given an illegal or immoral order, it is my duty to disobey it. I feel that invading and occupying Iraq is an illegal and immoral thing to do.” Meet Sergeant Camilo Mejía, who said from prison, “Behind these bars I sit a free man because I listened to a higher power: the voice of my conscience.”

    Increasing numbers of U.S. soldiers are returning from Iraq horrified by what they witnessed and what they did. Journalist Peter Laufer tells how these soldiers are transformed from trained warriors to activists in the struggle to end the Iraq War. He puts their experiences into context by drawing on the lessons of the Vietnam War and citing the historical precedents for troops who refuse unconscionable orders.

    Mission Rejected probes the universal issue of resistance to war by the very men who chose to defend the nation.

    Meet the Soldiers
    Clara Gomez was 17 when she was contacted by military recruiters who were under pressure to sign up people for an endless “war on terror.” The recruiters used heavy-handed tactics that she found unnerving. She signed up while still in high school, then fought the military and successfully rescinded her decision.
    Aidan Delgado signed up for the Army Reserves on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. A year later, he was in Iraq, ending up at Abu Ghraib prison. Convinced by what he experienced in Iraq that U.S. policy is wrong, he returned to the U.S. where he filed for conscientious objector status and received an honorable discharge.

    Portraits by Kate Gridley. Drawn from photographs taken during interviews conducted by Peter Laufer.

    Meet more Soldiers profiled in Mission Rejected

    About the Author
    Peter Laufer

    Peter Laufer, winner of major awards for excellence in reporting, is an independent journalist, broadcaster and documentary filmmaker working in traditional and new media. While a globe-trotting correspondent for NBC News, he also reported, wrote, and produced several documentaries and special event broadcasts for the network that dealt in detail with crucial social issues, including the first nationwide live radio discussion of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. “Healing the Wounds” was an analysis of ongoing problems afflicting Vietnam War veterans. “Hunger in America” documented malnutrition in our contemporary society. “A Loss for Words” exposed the magnitude and impact of illiteracy in America. …

  29. max benser Says:

    Human rights ruling against classroom crucifixes angers Italy

    European court of human rights rules crucifixes that hang in classrooms violate religious and educational freedoms

    1. U.S. Mr. Obamas Inauguration with Lincolnbible!!!

    Comments (232)
    * Buzz up!
    * Digg it

    * John Hooper in Rome
    * guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 3 November 2009 19.11 GMT
    * Article history

    A crucifix on a classroom wall in Rome

    A crucifix on a classroom wall in Rome. Photograph: Tony Gentile/Reuters

    There was uproar in Italy today over a ruling by the European court of human rights that the crucifixes that hang in most Italian classrooms are a violation of religious and educational freedoms.

    The seven judges, whose decision could prompt a Europe-wide review of the use of religious symbols on public premises, said state schools had to “observe confessional neutrality”.

    Except on the far left, the ruling met with condemnation among Italian politicians and was denounced by the Vatican. Silvio Berlusconi’s education minister, Maria Stella Gelmini, said: “No one, not even some ideologically motivated European court, will succeed in rubbing out our identity.”

    A Vatican spokesman, Federico Lombardi, said the crucifix was a fundamental sign of the importance of religious values in Italian history and culture, and was a symbol of unity and welcoming for all of humanity, not one of exclusion.

    A European court had no right intervening in such a profoundly Italian matter, he said, adding: “It seems as if the court wanted to ignore the role of Christianity in forming Europe’s identity, which was and remains essential.”

    The ruling marked the end of an eight-year battle by a Finnish-born mother, Soile Lautsi. She took her cause to court after failing to get crucifixes removed from the school at which her two children were being taught at a town in north-east Italy.

    Lautsi appealed to Strasbourg three years ago when her case was thrown out by Italy’s constitutional court.

    Although more than 7% of Italy’s population is now of immigrant origin, multiculturalism has made few inroads and most Italians argue passionately, as did their government’s advocate in Strasbourg, that the crucifix is a symbol of national identity.

    The court disagreed. “The presence of the crucifix could easily be interpreted by pupils of all ages as a religious sign, and they would feel that they were being educated in a school environment bearing the stamp of a given religion,” it ruled, ordering the Italian state to pay Lautsi €5,000 (£4,476) in damages.

    Classroom crucifixes were made compulsory by two laws in the 1920s when Italy was a fascist state.

    They have been applied less rigorously since 1984, when Catholicism ceased to be the state religion.

    One government minister, Roberto Calderoli, of the Northern League, said yesterday: “The European court has trodden on our rights, our culture, our history, our traditions and our values.”

    Claudio Scajola, a member of Berlusconi’s Freedom People party, said: “The crucifix is a universal symbol of love, meekness and peace. Preventing it from being displayed is an act of violence against the deep-seated feelings of the Italian people and all persons of goodwill.”

    The mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno, said he was flabbergasted. And the new, ex-communist leader of Italy’s biggest opposition group, the Democratic party, Pierluigi Bersani, protested: “An ancient tradition like the crucifix cannot be offensive to anyone.”

    On the Facebook website, 23,000 people signed up to two pages opposed to the court’s decision within hours of the news breaking.

    The government’s lawyer said he would seek leave to appeal to the Strasbourg court’s 17-member Grand Chamber. If his petition is rejected, or if an appeal is subsequently thrown out, then Italy would be obliged to comply.

  30. max benser Says:

    US Soldiers Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    (By Ray D.)

    It has happened before: Members of the German media have tried and convicted American soldiers of alleged war crimes before they ever go to trial. The latest case involves an article featured on the homepage of ARD tagesschau, a large, state-sponsored news program:

    The headline above speaks of a “massacre” even though it has not been conclusively determined that the killings were part of an actual massacre. Additionally, the lead paragraph claims that the 24 civilians involved were “murdered.” Certainly, if an investigation and trial determine that the soldiers in question are, in fact, guilty of murder and participation in a massacre, they should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. But the bottom line is that the German media has no right to conclusively label the killings murders (and thus imply that the soldiers are murderers) until all the facts are known and until said soldiers are found guilty and convicted.

    The fact that other media outlets, including ZDF and the BBC, have chosen their words more carefully further highlights ARD’s blatant bias and lack of professionalism. Just compare this ZDF piece to the ARD piece. You will notice that ZDF has a question mark after the word “massacre” and reports that the soldiers allegedly killed the 24 civilians in an act of revenge and that they may well stand trial for murder. In other words, ARD immediately jumped to the conclusion that the soldiers are murderers, ZDF did not.

    Ironically, the same ARD journalists who can’t seem to stop screaming about the denial of judicial due process to Guantanamo inmates are not even willing to afford the same privilege to American soldiers, despite the fact that American soldiers stood guard for decades and guaranteed their freedom of speech during the Cold War. In the ARD world, Guantanamo terrorists are innocent until proven guilty, American soldiers guilty until proven innocent. The agenda of ARD and many on the Angry Left in dealing with the alleged massacre is best summarized in the following passage by John Gibson:

    “It was last November and according to the story that is now shaping up, Marines went on a rampage after one of their own was killed by a roadside bomb. In the end, it appears they killed 24 people, including women and children.

    The original story of the incident said the civilians were also killed by the roadside bomb that killed the Marine. That appears to be not true and the military is running a full-scale investigation. If it turns out to be not true, then the crime is doubled: first the massacre, then the cover-up.

    I’m against massacres of civilians — I think we all are. I’m against cover-ups — you probably are too.

    But I’m also against taking an incident in which our troops overreact and commit an arguably criminal act and making it stand for the entire war. The war in Iraq is not the story of massacres by Americans. If Iraqis know their own history they know this is true. Massacres have been committed in Iraq by warring parties for millennia piled on millennia. This is the part of the world that was in on the massacre game early, played it often and the last character to be up to his eyeballs in massacres was the very guy we went in to regime change: Saddam Hussein himself.

    Those people who oppose the war and want to make those who supported it pay with shame, embarrassment and a complete loss of credibility and reputation, want desperately for this massacre — if it turns out to be what happened — to be the name this war is known by forever. Haditha — My Lai — Iraq — Vietnam: it all fits together neatly in a slime fest designed to win elections and set the direction of the history books.

    The Iraq War may not be the best war we ever fought. When the dust settles we’ll know for sure. But it accomplished a great goal that no one else had managed for the last 15 years at least: ridding the world of Saddam. No matter what the political spinners say, that was a great thing. And the Iraq War should be known for that fact — Saddam is gone — not for one incident of alleged revenge killing in a place called Haditha.” (emphasis ours)

    That is exactly what this is about for ARD, SPIEGEL ONLINE, Stern, SZ and other members of the anti-American German media establishment. This is about shaming the United States of America and those who supported the war, regardless of the facts, right or wrong. This is about seizing the moral high ground, pure and simple. The killing of two dozen Iraqi civilians suddenly matters to the German media elite. Why? Because it has the potential to discredit the United States, Bush and supporters of the war. Conversely, the same media cynics stood by and largely ignored the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians during the Hussein regime. Today they stand by and ignore the fact that their own government continues to promote trade with a government guilty of an ongoing campaign of mass murder in Sudan.

    Finally, to top it all off, Germany’s media cynics continue to blatantly mislead the German people by insinuating that the American media is somehow in bed with the Bush administration and only presenting a heroic view of the war that ignores the suffering. The most recent examples come from correspondents Udo Lielischkies of ARD in Washington (who claims the US media is only presenting a one-sided, heroic view of the war) and Sebastian Heinzel of SPIEGEL ONLINE in New York (who claims that almost nothing in American society or media exists to remind people of the war). Apparently these “journalists” just haven’t seen the daily television news or read many newspapers while in the United States. They must have missed the thousands and thousands of articles and televised news features on bombings, beheadings, killings and kidnappings in Iraq run day for day for day in the US media with no positive story in sight. They must have missed all of Michael Moore’s books and films, (quite an accomplishment for a German!) They must have missed Noam Chomsky and Gore Vidal and Cindy Sheehan and Air America. They must have missed George Clooney’s Syriana. They must have missed the recent parade of retired generals calling for Don Rumsfeld’s head. They must have missed John Murtha and Cobra II. They must have missed the daily casualty count on CNN, FoxNews, MSNBC and every other significant news network in the United States.

    Simply put: The “journalists” in question must be blind, deaf and dumb. Or they must be lying our their asses to the German people. We strongly suspect it’s the latter…

    UPDATE: Michelle Malkin is also on the case…

    UPDATE #2: Below is ARD’s confusing new homepage summary of its latest Haditha piece. The headline calls the Haditha incident a “massacre” while the introductory paragraph that follows speaks of an “alleged massacre.” So which is it at this point? As a reader, you really wouldn’t know by looking at tagesschau online.

    Unfortunately, ARD continues to call the 24 killings “murder.” Again, whether it was murder or not ought to be determined by the appropriate legal and investigative authorities, not by the mainstream media or anyone else.

    UPDATE #3: American troops are also guilty until proven innocent at SPIEGEL ONLINE. The Haditha incident has given SPON and other members of the Angry Left a new excuse to make further brain-dead comparisons to Vietnam.

    UPDATE #4: Now members of the German media are referring to wide segments of the US military as “White Trash.” Where does this end…?

  31. John Heilemann&Mark Halperin: “Game Change”
    1. Bill Clinton about Mr. Obama: “5 Years ago, the boy,…

  32. “GAME CHANGE!!!”

    In another passage, which was widely reported over the weekend, Mr. Halperin and Mr. Heilemann write that the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, encouraged Mr. Obama to run early on, arguing that “the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama — a ‘light-skinned’ African American ‘with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.’ ” Over the weekend Mr. Reid called the president to apologize for his choice of words. Other senators, including Charles E. Schumer, Byron L. Dorgan, Ben Nelson, Bill Nelson, Barbara Boxer and Edward M. Kennedy, the authors add, were also nudging Mr. Obama, then a senator, to take the plunge, though most would “root for Obama secretly,” as they feared retribution from the Clintons should Mrs. Clinton eventually prevail.

    Mrs. Clinton, long the front-runner in the race, was so confident of winning, Mr. Heilemann and Mr. Halperin write, that she went so far as to start thinking about her choice of a running mate in fall 2007: she “had already determined without a sliver of doubt that she was not going to choose Obama,” they say, and told her aides that Evan Bayh, Joseph R. Biden Jr., Tom Vilsack and Ted Strickland were at the top of her short list. Around the same time, they write, Mrs. Clinton asked her friend Roger Altman, deputy Treasury secretary in her husband’s administration, to lead a secret project — planning her transition to the White House based on the assumption that a year later she would win the general election.

    Mr. Heilemann wrote incisively about Mrs. Clinton in the pages of New York magazine — chunks of his reportage and analysis, taken directly from his articles, appear in this book — and there is more revealing material about her and Mr. Clinton in this volume than the other candidates and their wives. The authors not only dissect the dysfunctional, conflict-ridden Clinton campaign — something that has already been done in detail by many other reporters — but they also emphasize that communication difficulties between the Clintons exacerbated that campaign’s problems.

    They write that Mrs. Clinton “couldn’t bear to confront her husband directly” after his heated words about Mr. Obama caused an uproar in South Carolina, and asked aides “to implore him either to leave the state or to pipe down.” They write that Patti Solis Doyle, Cheryl Mills and Howard Wolfson “formed a war room within a war room inside Hillaryland, dedicated to managing the threat posed by Bill’s libido.” And they quote one “old Clinton hand” who suggests that Mrs. Clinton stayed in the primary race to the bitter end, because Mr. Clinton’s approval mattered a lot to her, and “throwing in the towel would mark her as a failure in his eyes.”

    In a fascinating account about Mrs. Clinton’s initial decision to decline the post of secretary of state, Mr. Halperin and Mr. Heilemann paraphrase a conversation between the two former rivals in which, they contend, Mrs. Clinton brought up the Bill issue: “You know my husband, she said. You’ve seen what happens. We’re going to be explaining something that he said every other day. You know I can’t control him, and at some point he’ll be a problem.”

    The authors describe the Obamas’ marriage as a model one (“Obama adored his wife” and “didn’t even bother to pretend that he enjoyed anyone else’s company remotely as much as he relished being with her and their daughters”), but their portraits of the other candidates’ contentious spousal relationships actually make the Clintons’ partnership seem like a happy one in comparison.

    Mr. Halperin and Mr. Heilemann write, for instance, that the strategist John Weaver suspected the rumor Cindy McCain had a “long-term boyfriend” in Arizona “was rooted in truth,” and that the McCains “fought in front of others, during small meetings and before large events, to the amazement and discomfort of the staff.” The authors say that Mrs. McCain accused the senator of ruining her life, that she never wanted him to run again for president, and that “when it came time to film campaign videos of the couple, the camera crews had to roll for hours to capture a few minutes of warmth.”

    As for John and Elizabeth Edwards, the authors are even harsher. They describe in detail Mr. Edwards’s infatuation with the video maker Rielle Hunter — whose behavior they call “freaky, wildly inappropriate, and all too visible,” and they write that he continued to nurse delusional hopes of being named attorney general in an Obama administration even after the National Enquirer ran a photograph of him holding Ms. Hunter’s new baby. In the wake of the first Enquirer story about Mr. Edwards’s affair, the authors write, Mrs. Edwards “was sobbing, out of control, incoherent,” and vented her fury on the “very aides who had kept the matter from mushrooming” further.

    Edwards aides, Mr. Heilemann and Mr. Halperin write, felt that their boss had become increasingly megalomaniacal and narcissistic over the years, and that while the aides had sympathy for Mrs. Edwards’s struggle with cancer, they regarded her as a badgering, often irrational presence on the campaign. “The nearly universal assessment among them,” Mr. Halperin and Mr. Heilemann write of the Edwards aides, “was that there was no one on the national stage for whom the disparity between public image and private reality was vaster or more disturbing. What the world saw in Elizabeth: a valiant, determined, heroic everywoman. What the Edwards insiders saw: an abusive, intrusive, paranoid, condescending crazywoman.”

    Though this book focuses on personal matters, not policy concerns, and though some of what will be its most talked about passages fall into the realm of gossip and reflect the views of chatty and, in some cases, bitter, regretful or spin-conscious aides, the volume does leave the reader with a vivid, visceral sense of the campaign and a keen understanding of the paradoxes and contingencies of history. The authors note, for instance, that had Mrs. Clinton decided to run for president in 2004, John Kerry might not have become the Democratic nominee that year and would not have had the opportunity to choose as the convention’s keynote speaker a young and then largely unknown Illinois state legislator by the name of Barack Obama.

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