A short diversion from the discussion of embellishment to look at plausible nonsense.
A Letter of Apology from Lieutenant General Chuck Pitman, US Marine Corps, Retired has been crapping up ... uh, cropping up on right-wing web sites all over the internet. It can be read in its entirety, without my comments, here http://collegiatepatriot.us/news/sorry.asp
, among other places. A colleague sent it to me in an e-mail, prompting this response:
The man's more entitled to an opinion than I am, but, in my humble opinion, the nasty bullshit has to stop somewhere. If we are going to maintain a "holier than thou" attitude, we DON'T need to be doing shit that we complained about when the Nazis or the North Vietnamese did it!
For more of my opinion, read on. For less, you may cheerfully thumb your nose.
A Letter of Apology from Lieutenant General Chuck Pitman, US Marine Corps, Retired
"For good and ill, the Iraqi prisoner abuse mess will remain an issue. On the one hand, right thinking Americans will harbor the stupidity of the actions while on the other hand, political glee will take control and fashion this minor event into some modern day massacre.
( "minor event". "As ye do unto the lowest of (my people), so ye do unto me." Mangled Bible quote mirroring my sentiment that the human race makes too big a deal of numbers. It is no less a crime, to perpetrate a crime against one person, as opposed to 100 or 1000.)
I humbly offer my opinion here:
( Somehow, I don't see this person as humble, but that's ok. Humble is not a trait I would look for in a Lt. General of the Marines. "Booyah!")
I am sorry that the last seven times we Americans took up arms and sacrificed the blood of our youth, it was in the defense of Muslims (Bosnia, Kosovo, Gulf War 1, Kuwait, etc.).
(We sacrificed our youth in defense of our own National Interest, at least that's what we were told at the time. The fact that we bailed on Somalia, did not return to South Vietnam, and never went to Uganda and Burma supports that position. And by the way, Kuwait was
Gulf War 1, and I didn't know the Panamanians were Muslims.)
I am sorry that no such call for an apology upon the extremists came after 9/11.
(And if we got one, would it have been sincere?)
I am sorry that all of the murderers on 9/11 were Islamic Arabs.
( Would you have felt better if they were Baptists?)
I am sorry that most Arabs and Muslims have to live in squalor under savage dictatorships.
(Yeah, that does suck.)
I am sorry that their leaders squander their wealth.
(And our leaders don't squander ours? Just more sources and more left on the table, brother.)
I am sorry that their governments breed hate for the US in their religious schools, mosques, and government-controlled media.
(Yup, we got that hate breeding stuff in our religious schools too, just not everywhere.)
I am sorry that Yasir Arafat was kicked out of every Arab country and high-jacked the Palestinian "cause."
(I'm sorry he wasn't kicked out of every Arab country. The Palestinians kept him.)
I am sorry that no other Arab country will take in or offer more than a token amount of financial help to those same Palestinians.
(The financial aid is a bitch, but would you put them up in your back yard? Didn’t think so. Besides, they don't want charity, they want their own country.)
I am sorry that the USA has to step in and be the biggest financial supporter of poverty stricken Arabs while the insanely wealthy Arabs blame the USA for all their problems.
(Brainwashed and ignorant people react nicely to scapegoating, and what better scapegoat than a super power? Rabble, rabble, rabble. Hey, that works for Christian Fundamentalist flatheads too!)
I am sorry that our own left wing, our media, and our own brainwashed masses do not understand any of this (from the misleading vocal elements of our society, like radical professors, CNN and the NY TIMES).
(Well, if the right-wing media like Fox, and Rush, and the US Government with its "bully pulpit" wasn't blowing so much smoke up our asses, we might have a shot at understanding. Spleen and emotional appeals are no substitute for logic and facts. Do you get extra points for getting the party swipe at the "liberal media" in? Pot, Kettle, both black.)
I am sorry the United Nations scammed the poor people of Iraq out of the "food for oil" money so they could get rich while the common folk suffered.
(Don't apologize for what you didn't do, demand prosecution! Oh yeah, those guys are in the "Friends of the Corrupt Republicans" club.)
I am sorry that some Arab governments pay the families of homicide bombers upon their death.
(No argument there. Which governments again, please?)
I am sorry that those same bombers are brainwashed thinking they will receive 72 virgins in "paradise."
(Yeah, gonna be a real let-down when they get 72 white grapes instead.)
I am sorry that the homicide bombers think pregnant women, babies, children, the elderly and other non-combatant civilians are legitimate targets.
(The whole "casualties of war" thing is a little thin too, brother. Does it really matter if they were blown up accidentally or on purpose? To them, I mean. When the US infantry or the Israeli Army, or anyone else shells an apartment building to take care of a sniper, people are bound to think that's terrorism.)
I am sorry that our troops die to free more Arabs from the gang rape rooms and the filling of mass graves of dissidents of their own making.
(Hey, we already covered that one. We only care when there's oil.)
I am sorry that Muslim extremists have killed more Arabs than any other group.
(Really? Would you rather that the USMC did it? I'm glad we're not #1 in this category!)
I am sorry that foreign trained terrorists are trying to seize control of Iraq and return it to a terrorist state.
(And if we hadn't gone in like we did, they wouldn't have to. Just saying...)
I am sorry we don't drop a few dozen Daisy cutters on Fallujah.
( I believe you mean that one. And what about all those pregnant women, etc. that you were so concerned about a minute ago? Hypocrite!)
I am sorry every time terrorists hide they find a convenient "Holy Site."
( I am sorry that the human race has the concept of "Holy Site". It's all "Holy" or it's all not.)
I am sorry they didn't apologize for driving a jet into the World Trade Center that collapsed and severely damaged Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church -- one of our Holy Sites.
(See above. It's all just bricks and cement to me. None of it worth the life of one child.)
I am sorry they didn't apologize for flight 93 and 175, the USS Cole, the embassy bombings, the murders and beheadings of Nick Berg and Daniel Pearl, etc...etc!
(Do I hear Nagasaki, anyone? How long did that apology take?)
I am sorry Michael Moore is American; he could feed a medium sized village in Africa.
(Cheap shot. You don't like what he has to say? Refute it. The exercise of free speech is necessary in a free Republic. Besides, the Africans have more respect for their bodies.)
America will get past this latest absurdity. We will punish those responsible because that is what we do.
(All the PFCs, every one of them! Baaaah! Was that a Nanny or a Billy?)
We hang out our dirty laundry for the entire world to see. We move on. That's one of the reasons we are hated so much. We don't hide this stuff like all those Arab countries that are now demanding an apology.
(No, we just try to hide it and then get embarrassed when it comes out anyway. That's one of the benefits of living in a free country; it comes out.)
Deep down inside, when most Americans saw this reported in the news, we were like--so what? We lost hundreds and made fun of a few prisoners. Sure, it was wrong! Sure, it dramatically hurts our cause, but until captured, we were trying to kill those same prisoners. Now we're supposed to wring our hands because a few were humiliated?
(Yup. Torture is wrong, even the Sesame Street variety that we are guilty of.)
Our compassion is tempered with the vivid memories of our own people killed, mutilated and burned among a joyous crowd of celebrating Fallujahans.
(Got that right. Now, can you point out the individuals to which you refer? They also need a lesson in humanity. BUT, careful with that tar brush, Eugene!)
If you want an apology from this American, you're going to have a long wait!
( Are you responsible?)
You have a better chance of finding those seventy-two virgins!
(Got 'em! Madame Fatima's Preschool Daycare! Lighten up General. If you're taking it this personally, it suggests that you have something in common with these terrorist guys.)
Chuck Pitman, Lt. Gen., US Marine Corps (Ret.)