The Ghost of Snapped Shot

Or, welcome to my low-maintenance heck.

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Embedded with the Enemy

What holds true of Palestine, holds true of just about anywhere else. Check out this example from Iraq, where we can see our brave, impartial reporters embedding themselves with Iraqi foreign "insurgents" as they fight against Coalition forces:

Gunmen take up position behind a garbage bin as they engage British troops in central Basra, Iraq, 550 kilometers (340 miles) southeast of Baghdad, Monday, July 16, 2007. The clash began before sunset when the Provincial Joint Coordination Center was subjected to small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades, said a British military spokesman. (AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani)


How, oh how, do these brave journalists ever manage to get killed in these places? (Insert weeping and gnashing of teeth here.)

It should be noted, of course, that because these men are fighting against a uniformed army, using weapons which—by nature of the fact that they are photographed—are quite real, they cannot (and should not!) be afforded the protections given by the Geneva Conventions. So, if we aren't to imprison people like this, what would "The World Community™" rather us do with them?

I've got an idea or two that'd be fairly effective:

Brian's solution to terrorism.


More of this enemy-embedded idiocy can be found beyond the fold.
A barefoot gunman carries a rocket-propelled grenade as he and his comrades engage British troops in central Basra, Iraq, 550 kilometers (340 miles) southeast of Baghdad, Monday, July 16, 2007. The clash began before sunset when the Provincial Joint Coordination Center was subjected to small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades, said a British military spokesman. (AP Photo/ Nabil al-Jurani)


Gunmen take up position behind a garbage bin as they engage British troops in central Basra, Iraq, 550 kilometers (340 miles) southeast of Baghdad, Monday, July 16, 2007. The clash began before sunset when the Provincial Joint Coordination Center was subjected to small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades, said a British military spokesman. (AP Photo/ Nabil al-Jurani)


A Shi'ite militant carries a rifle as he runs on a street during clashes in Basra, 550 km (340 miles) south of Baghdad, July 16, 2007. British soldiers clashed with Shi'ite militia in the southern city of Basra on Monday but there were no reports of casualties, a military spokesman said. REUTERS/Atef Hassan (IRAQ)


A Shi'ite militant carries a weapon during clashes in Basra, 550 km (340 miles) south of Baghdad, July 16, 2007. British soldiers clashed with Shi'ite militia in the southern city of Basra on Monday but there were no reports of casualties, a military spokesman said. REUTERS/Atef Hassan (IRAQ)


A gunman takes up position as he and his comrades engage British troops in central Basra, Iraq, 550 kilometers (340 miles) southeast of Baghdad, Monday, July 16, 2007. The clash began before sunset when the Provincial Joint Coordination Center was subjected to small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades, said a British military spokesman. (AP Photo/ Nabil al-Jurani)

  #Round-up


Comments:

#1 forest 16-Jul-2007
"as they engage British troops"

This would be bad enough if the AP guys were mingling with these terrorists during Iraqi infighting, but these guys are firing at the Brits. Abominable.
#2 Joel 16-Jul-2007
Looks to me like a bunch of guys resisting a foreign army sent to occupy their country. It's happened before (in America too).
#3 Brian C. Ledbetter 17-Jul-2007
Joel,

If it weren't for the fact that most of the "insurgents" fighting in Iraq are foreign nationals, you just [i]might[/i] have a point.

Thanks for playing.

Regards,
Brian
#4 Joel 17-Jul-2007
Two points:

1- Not all are foreign nationals, and the reality is that no one knows what % are foreign and what are native. Saying they're mostly foreign-based is an easy way to label this as a terrorist-based insurgency instead of a native civil war which is the true nature of the conflict.

2- Regarding the foreign nationals, change "their country" to "the Arab peninsula".
#5 Brian C. Ledbetter 17-Jul-2007
Joel,

To answer 1, to make the assumption that somehow because the percentage is not definitively known (as if it's trivial to compile a membership and demographic list of any given group of guerillas?), that this somehow "proves" that the "true nature" of the conflict is a "native civil war" is patently absurd.

Point 2 is fairly laughable, as the despots that live in the Arab peninsula are [i]well[/i] aware that their very survival [i]depends[/i] on us being in the area. Think of Kuwait, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia (ironically enough) as a primary example of this.

The fact of the matter is that "Anti-Americanism" and "Anti-Westernism" are two tools that are used by the dictatorial regimes in the "Arab maghreb" to suppress their citizens and keep them subservient. I'm very glad to hear that you're supportive of their efforts.

Regards,
Brian
#6 forest 17-Jul-2007
Joel,

Are the gunmen "a bunch of guys resisting a foreign army" (1st post), or are they really just participating in a "native civil war which is the true nature of the conflict" (2nd post)?
#7 Joel 17-Jul-2007
Breaking news- America isn't the savior of the world. Middle Eastern dictators couldn't play on the fears their people have about Western interference in their country's affairs if those fears didn't exist in the first place.

They do exist, and for good reason. We're over there, we've been over there, and we've given no indication that we're leaving. As Reagan said in his memoirs, we can't even come close to understanding the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics. It's because few Americans, you and I included, can't comprehend the religious devotion of the people over there. We can't comprehend what it's like to see our holy lands occupied by a foreign army. And we never will

Also, the current regimes on the Arab peninsula do not depend on our military presence for their survival. They may depend on our financial and intelligence assistance, but NOT military presence. And it's our military presence that drives people to suicide terrorism. Read the book Dying to Win for a detailed scientific analysis of what drives people to suicide terrorism across the world.

Look, I know you love war and watching Muslims and others get killed, but seriously, look at what's happening over there...nothing good will come of this.
#8 Brian C. Ledbetter 17-Jul-2007
Joel,

Nevermind the fact that much of the anti-Americanism that's present in "that" part of the world originated in anti-Colonial operations [b]set up and duty-managed out of Moscow[/b]. You might want to bone up on the history of the Patrice Lumumba University, a [b]terrorist[/b] anti-colonial UNIVERISTY which was established by the Soviet Union in order to de-stabilise the West, whose laureates include such notables as Yassir Arafat.

Seriously, our "bad reputation" overseas has [b]absolutely [i]nothing[/i][/b] to do with any actions we've taken. [i]Ever[/i]. Anyone who believes otherwise is a childish simpleton that can't comprehend the world without the United States as an archetypical bogeyman.



In other words, there's more than one "world power" in the world. Just because you can't get far enough past your nose to see it doesn't imply that it isn't there.

Hope you can someday look far enough beyond your own blindness to see that.

Regards,
Brian
#9 Joel 17-Jul-2007
Apparently I've hit a nerve, and I'm sorry for hurting your feelings. I know you didn't mean what you said in your personal attacks, so I'll just leave this as is.

I'm reminded of why the overwhelming majority of Americans are rejecting neoconservatism.
#10 Brian C. Ledbetter 17-Jul-2007
Have we run out of points to debate? I don't recall being fazed in the least by your remarks. I do still recommend that you investigate Soviet involvement in the anti-Western movements of the 40 years. I think you'd be surprised at the things you find.

Oh, and if by "a majority," you mean the 0.001% that have registered support for Dr. Paul, I'm quaking in my boots.

;)

Regards,
Brian
#11 forest 17-Jul-2007
Joel,

Typical unhinged and arrogant thinking on your part. Rather than explaining your earlier self-contradictions, you simply make more crazy claims and acusations that assume the US is the source of all problems. This is may favorite from your latest diatribe:

"We can't comprehend what it's like to see our holy lands occupied by a foreign army. And we never will"

Can't we? If you are talking about Christianity, we certainly can. Learn a little history and maybe look at a present day map.
#12 Joel 17-Jul-2007
Brian, by majority I mean the 70% who realize the war is a failure. I agree that there's undoubtedly Soviet-inspired anti-Westernism throughout the Middle East (and world). This doesn't address the issue of why people are so desperate to attack us they'll kill themselves to do so. Middle-Eastern suicide terrorists have only struck countries that have occupying forces on the Arab Peninsula. That's why they're not attacking France or Germany or Austria, but have attacked Britain, US, and Spain (note that once Spain pulled their troops out, no more attacks...interesting).

Forest, as to your earlier contradiction claim, the insurgents are fighting both an internal conflict and a conflict against foreign powers. Also, I never said that the US is the source of all problems...where did you see that? Just curious. But I do say that American intervention in the affairs of Middle Eastern countries does piss some people off and entices them to attack us. Do you agree?

You guys may need some anger management counseling. I sent this conversation to a few people and we're getting a kick out of it. Maybe address issues a little more calmly (and impersonally) and you might get a better response to your message. There's really no reason to blast people because they see the world a little differently.
#13 Brian C. Ledbetter 17-Jul-2007
Joel,

I'm kinda curious to hear what impact "the war" and American "interventionism" has had on the Thai insurgency or the conflict in Kashmir?

I mean, you might notice that there is a thread common to [i]each and every one[/i] of these situations: A radical Islamist group seeking to expand the rule of Islam across the "infidel" world. For good reading, check up on what Dar al Harb means to Muslims. As a "Cliff's Notes," I will say this: It has [i]nothing[/i] to do with America or America's actions throughout history. Nothing.

I dunno about Forest, but I'm most certainly not "angry" in the least—I'm merely trying to point out that things are not quite as "simplistic" as you are presenting them. There's much more to the story than simply "the world hates us," and you're doing yourself a distinct disservice if you haven't bothered to research that yet.

Regards,
Brian
#14 Joel 17-Jul-2007
I think you've got some good points here, and of course there are some I disagree with. Instead of this back and forth with 20-word solutions and arguments, let me propose an idea.

Let's each write an essay, with you arguing why American foreign policy is irrelevant to understanding the actions of Muslim extremist, and with me arguing the reverse. We could both post the essays side-by-side on each of our respective sites.

This could be instructive, interesting, and enlightening. You can powwow with your cohorts and me with mine to come up with the most persuasive arguments.
#15 Brian C. Ledbetter 17-Jul-2007
Joel

Alas, my schedule is more suited for soundbyte discussions than it is for essay polemics. There's a reason for everything, I suppose, and this reason is why this is primarily a "photographic" blog.

I will still do my best to come up with something for you that would be of more adequate size and detail towards debate, but I can't promise that it won't induce deep sleep. I presume you'd want me to e-mail you whenever it's completed and give you a heads up?

Regards,
Brian
#16 forest 17-Jul-2007
Nah, my feelings aren't hurt and I'm not angry either - I actually think this Ron Paul stuff is pretty funny.

OK Joel, so you confirmed that the "true nature" of the conflict in Iraq is not simply civil war as you said earlier. Thanks

You still haven't addressed your outlandish statement about Islam having a monopoly on claims of occupied holy sites. That's just incorrect.

I'm also wondering about the "Arab Peninsula" - It's a single country now? Or are you just arbitrarily lumping these countries together? I don't even think Iraq can properly be called part of the Arabian Peninsula.

Anyway, to be fair, you didn't say the US was responsible for all the world's problems. I overstated a bit there - you only blamed the US involvement for the problems in the middle east.
#17 Joel 17-Jul-2007
Brian, I hear you on the scheduling and time-constraint issues. I'll work up something over the next week as well and send to you.

Forest, I have to do this again, where did I say Islam has a "monopoly" on occupation of holy sites? I'm sure other religions do as well. But I said Americans don't understand Muslims on this point. Christians way back in the past did have holy lands, and warred over their occupation incessantly. But today, what lands can American Christians claim as so holy they would freely give up their lives in the killing of others to reclaim them?

Most Muslims react to this occupation with private disagreement, but some respond with violent force.

The Arab Peninsula is, I agree, a tricky definition. I'm including the block of Middle-Eastern nations with dominant Islamic majorities, some of which extend beyond the geographical peninsula.

Forest, I hope you will contribute to the essay debate. Given my time constraints I need help with mine which I'll be seeking, and it sounds like Brian will need assistance as well.
#18 forest 17-Jul-2007
Right again Joel. You didn't actually say "monopoly". Here's what you did say:
"It's because few Americans, you and I included, can't comprehend the religious devotion of the people over there. We can't comprehend what it's like to see our holy lands occupied by a foreign army. And we never will"

You make several assumptions and one glaring factual error here. And one of the assumptions is quite incorrect as it applies to me...

Anyway, I'll be moving along. It looks like someone in Islamabad blew himself up in the fight against Pakistani occupation of, um, Pakistan.
#19 captainfish 17-Jul-2007
Back to POINT...

Question, if the dude in white with the AK47 gets shot and killed, and his weapon is retrieved by his "unarmed" friends shown in the pictures, would that dead man be deemed a "unarmed civilian casualty" in the media??

Brian, I too am amazed how we can give true dignified treatments as prescribed by the Geneva Cvntn to these unofficial, ununiformed, untrained (officially) fighters is beyond belief. And now, Pres. Bush is going to be closing GTMO and bringing those nasty of nasties to American prisons within the heartland of the USA. !?!?!? WTF?

I liked Joseph Farah's (WND.com) interpretation of when and how we lost the battle in Iraq.
#20 Hapkido 23-Jul-2007
My concerns here rest along the lines of these points:
"70% who realize the war is a failure" &
"(note that once Spain pulled their troops out, no more attacks...interesting)"

Wars aren't won by polling data. I'm not arguing it's won/lost, just that people "realizing" an opinion doesn't make it fact. Media certainly contributes to this perception of failure. Everyday, we see the "casualty count" of US troops in the newspaper. Why not the same for terrorists? Why not a report of progress? Agenda, I believe, drives much of this.

Spain conceded to threats/violence. By that same argument, no Muslim extremists would attack America if we pulled out of Iraq/Afghanistan. During the 1993 & 2001 WTC attacks we weren't in either...

As for France, they're embroiled in a different kind of war - one of conversion. Many Muslims have emigrated to France in large numbers & it does not seem to me that France is encouraging assimilation, rather "tolerance" of a different culture. I can imagine the result will be a not-so-silent minority of Muslims that will steamroll the overly-accomodating government.
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