“I Am Sorry That It Has Come to This”: A Soldier's Last Words

Discussion in 'Politics' started by poncho, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. poncho

    poncho
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    Daniel Somers was a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was part of Task Force Lightning, an intelligence unit. In 2004-2005, he was mainly assigned to a Tactical Human-Intelligence Team (THT) in Baghdad, Iraq, where he ran more than 400 combat missions as a machine gunner in the turret of a Humvee, interviewed countless Iraqis ranging from concerned citizens to community leaders and and government officials, and interrogated dozens of insurgents and terrorist suspects. In 2006-2007, Daniel worked with Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) through his former unit in Mosul where he ran the Northern Iraq Intelligence Center. His official role was as a senior analyst for the Levant (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, and part of Turkey). Daniel suffered greatly from PTSD and had been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and several other war-related conditions. On June 10, 2013, Daniel wrote the following letter to his family before taking his life. Daniel was 30 years old. His wife and family have given permission to publish it.

    CONTINUE . . .Related OP by Paul Joseph Watson . . .CLICK HERE
     
  2. poncho

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    Why are 22 veterans taking their own lives every day? Here's why.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEMKwY1vF_8

    Man, I can just hear what the tough guy red white and blue neocons are thinking about the kids in this video.

    They're thinking these kids are traitors like Snowden and should be prosecuted for being a danger to national security for speaking out!

    How do I know they're thinking this? Because I've heard em say it everytime someone speaks out against these criminal wars our morally bankrupt government and it's corporate masters get us involved in.

    Here's their standard cookie cutter replies anytime anyone tells the truth about our unconstitutional. illegal, immoral wars.

    1. You are a traitor to your country!

    2. You are a danger to your country!

    3. You are unpatriotic!

    4. These guys are traitors for speaking out!

    5. How dare you say Bush lied!

    6. You don't understand geopolitics, the terrorists will get us if we don't make war on . . . Iran will get nukes if don't make war on . . . Saddam was a bad guy! Assad is a bad guy! Chaves was a bad guy! Gaddafi was a bad guy!

    7. And the ultimate tough guy red white and blue neocon insult, you are a liberal!

    I heard these all a thousand times because I was against the Iraq war before the first Tomahawks hit Baghdad. I still hear them today.

    Why are 22 veterans taking their own lives everyday? Because you defend this madness and the madmen that start unconsitutional illegal, immoral wars.

    That's why.

    What do we hear from all the liberals that have let their hero Obama continue and expand this madness? Nothing!

    Why are 22 veterans taking their lives everyday? Because Obama removed your spine as soon as he raised his right hand and lied through his teeth,

    That's why.

    And to top it all off you have the audacity to say you support the troops.
     
    #2 poncho, Jul 7, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2013
  3. Sapper Woody

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    I read that entire letter, then I watched the first 20 minutes of that video. Your outrage seems very misplaced. Yes, these guys admitted to crimes of war. But yet you've taken their testimony, which has nothing to do with the cause of war or the justness of war, and twisted it to your own machinations to say that the war itself is unjust.

    I am not going to debate here about whether the war was just or unjust. But I am going to cry out against your tactics of emotional manipulation, especially in the area of using these former troops' admissions of guilt to your own agenda of outrage against the war.

    Your last line says, "And to top it all off you have the audacity to say you support the troops." Yet, you aren't showing the troops any support here. You are using them and what they said to accomplish your own designs. This is clearly shown in your statement that our support of madmen starting illegal wars is causing veterans to commit suicide. Again, you don't care about the troops (at least not in this post), you only care about using them to further your own agenda.

    Now, these men admitted to war crimes. So they should be punished. Even if it were proven without a doubt that the war was unjust, that does not excuse their actions. They, and any command that sanctioned these actions, need to be punished. Period.

    I've made it through 24 months of combat. 12 in Iraq, and 12 in Afghanistan. At one point in my tour in Afghanistan, I got so low mentally that I scared myself. I was not contemplating suicide, but I talked to my squad leader about me giving him the bolt to my weapon while in garrison so that if I ever did contemplate suicide, I'd have no way to follow through. In the end, he told me that since I was going to take measures to prevent myself from killing myself, he believed that I wouldn't kill myself. Fortunately, I never did sink so low as to think about killing myself.

    While we were deployed, I had soldiers (my soldiers) get hurt. Luckily, none were killed. But I had a soldier lose a leg. I had a soldier break his femur. I had a soldier get multiple TBIs. Sad to say, I allowed this to pull me from God for a time. I hated the terrorists. I hated Afghanistan. I hated the war. But one thing I never did was to even think about drawing down on a child. Even though the children were thieving liars. Literally. They would steal our food off the side of the trucks as we drove through, because they know we wouldn't run them over or shoot them. There was one mission where we went 5 days without a hot meal, because the kids stole our (can't remember the acronym right now, like an MRE, only for about 15 people) food that cooked itself. Doesn't sound like much, but try being out there, knowing you could have cooked food while spreading peanut butter out of a tube onto a cracker.

    Basically, I said all that to say this: Poncho, you have no clue what you're talking about when it comes to the troops. Maybe you have some insight into the government and it's policies. But when it comes to the troops, you're clueless. You just like to hop on board with anything bad that happens, yell "I told you so", then twist it to fit your agenda.
     
  4. saturneptune

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    Well, I do have a clue. Different decade, different war, but much more vicious. First of all, you have no idea if Poncho served or not. While I did not give a lot of thought to the motives of the Johnson or Nixon administrations, 58,000 Americans died and hundreds of thousands were wounded because old, out of touch politicians deemed it such. We had no national interest there. Frankly, at the time, I did not care. But looking back on it, the whole conflict was started on a false premise of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.

    You say that children were thieving liars. What gives us the right to be there in the first place? Maybe they are hungry. As for you going five days without a cooked meal, try five days with no food.

    If you have lost site of why you are in the military, to allow boards like this one to flourish, then maybe its time to leave. The military is suppose to protect and defend the Constitution, freedom, and liberty, not stick politician's neocon nose in every conflict that arises or every country's business. These are sovereign states.

    Anyway, been there, done that, and have a happy war.
     
  5. Sapper Woody

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    For the past 2 years or so, myself and others have asked Poncho to tell us where/when he served. Every time, we go completely ignored and unanswered. So yes, I can reasonably come to the conclusion that he hadn't served.

    Are you excusing them? And also, I never said they weren't hungry (although in this case I know they weren't). But hungry or not, they still lied and stole. Making them thieving liars. Either way, my point was made. They stole, and I did not shoot them.

    Irrelevant to any post so far in this discussion.
     
  6. saturneptune

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    Am I excusing them? What would you do if a foreign army was occupying the United States of America. I know exactly what folks in rural areas around here would do that own an equivalent of an armory. I would steal from them, blow up their supplies, torch their headquarters, whatever it took.

    What gives us the God given right to impose our military might on a sovereign state? They lied and they stole, so what. That is the reasonable and prudent thing to do when someone invades your country.

    You did not shoot them, how gracious to grant a citizen of the country we invaded their life.
     
  7. Sapper Woody

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    This post only shows that you don't know what you are talking about, or the conditions over there.

    Your ignorance brooks no response, and there won't be any more forthcoming. If someone else wants to discuss the issue, I'll respond.
     
  8. Tom Bryant

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    When were you in Viet Nam and where were you stationed? Maybe we chewed some of the same dirt.
     
  9. saturneptune

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    Yeah right. Tough guy with a lot of hot air.
     
    #9 saturneptune, Jul 7, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2013
  10. saturneptune

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    We were with the Navigational Aids Support Unit, with home base in Subic Bay. Our units were sent to Saigon to place geodetic markers at remote sites, sometimes in conjunction with the Seabees.
     
  11. Sapper Woody

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    While I will stick with my original statement about not responding to your claims, I will respond to this post. I can easily tell that you have no clue about the situation or conditions over there, simply by what you've typed. The children in the area we were can be grouped into two groups. The poor, and the (relatively) rich. Granted, even the rich were living in poverty by American standards. But the poor were by no means going hungry. The poorest child in our area was still clothed, fed, and had access to a school.

    The children that stole from us were the "rich" children. Children who had no use for the things they were taking. Children who sold food on the roadside, so obviously didn't need to steal it to eat.

    Second, the area we were in, they didn't care who was in charge. Politics meant nothing to them. Even if (and I am not going to concede this point, just throw it out there) we were an invading army, they don't care. They are so far removed from anything we as Americans would call civilization, that it wouldn't matter to them at all. I have had several conversations (through interpreters) with village heads, and even children (not the ones who stole from us). And none of them were hostile, in actions or attitude. As long as we helped them out by giving them things they needed, like repairing their power lines, they didn't care who we were.

    So, this is not a case of going hungry, or stealing from an invading army. Point is, you are talking without knowing what you're talking about.

    And, about your claim of no counter-points (before you edited it out), how about how you took my entire post, and only tried to counter two things? My knowledge of Poncho's service (which is irrelevant anyway), and whether or not those kids were wrong by stealing. Both of which I countered.

    Plus, all that is totally beside my original point of how Poncho took something and twisted it to his own agenda. Whether or not those men committed war crimes (which I believe they did) is not an indicator of whether or not the war is just. Neither is the rate of veteran suicides. But this did not stop him from using the emotional turmoil these subjects bring up to his own, unconnected gain.
     
  12. saturneptune

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    So how about answering the original question I asked before you started the demeaning posts? What would you do if a foreign army was occupying the United States? If you would do what I hope you would do, then why do expect any less from someone else in a foreign nation?
     
  13. Sapper Woody

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    I will not answer it, because answering it implies that I'm agreeing that we are an invading force. Firstly, I have decided not to debate this issue on the board. Second, we are not perceived that way (at least where I was), and so the question is moot, since it was based upon them treating us as such.
     
  14. saturneptune

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    So, were we an invading force in 2003 when we "entered" Iraq, under the US Government's belief there were weapons of mass destruction, and there were none? Our national anthem states "Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just".................
     
  15. Don

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    (Ahem) If I may step in where I was uninvited?

    We were an invading force. Any force that enters a country not their own is an invading force.

    HOWEVER - there is a difference between "welcomed" and "unwelcomed." The connotation usually associated with "invading" is negative, and assumed to be unwelcomed; this isn't necessarily true.

    As with Woody, I know that most locals are appreciative of why the Americans came, and what we've done to help them since we arrived; and after we've left, will sorely miss all the assistance we provide.


    If I may suggest? Y'all are way off the original topic.
     
  16. saturneptune

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    So what, you won't answer it. Are you afraid of our morally perfect government? I am not. They are basically a collection of thieves and destroyers of the Constitution. It is easy for you to put down someone who has never served, but you have real problems with someone who went through multiples of what you have.

    Just in case you have the gall to tell me again I do not what I am talking about, here is a picture of our team taken after one of the twelve month deployments. It does not matter which one I am. The point is, your big mouth has met its match.

    [​IMG]

    You can take the picture of your medals and stick them up your left nostril. I have three times as many.
     
  17. Sapper Woody

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    Wow. That's pretty much all I can say about your attitude there. But, yes, I do have the gall to tell you again that you do not know what you are talking about in Afghanistan and Iraq. Here's some elementary for you: Vietnam/Korea/WW2 are not Iraq/Afghanistan. Different wars, different time period, different attitude. Even Iraq is not Afghanistan. They are different. Even guys who went with me to Iraq don't know how it was for me in Afghanistan. Just like I don't know exactly how it was (other than stories I've heard from veterans) in Vietnam/Korea/etc. I don't presume to know what war was like back then, and will with all the force I can muster insist that you do not know what war is like today.

    About the medals, even though that was clearly a personal attack, it's not a contest of how many you have versus how many I have. I am proud of the ones I have. Be proud of what you have. On my part, I don't care how many you have. I am glad that you served. I am glad that you got decorated. I appreciate what you and others did back then. And, for the life of me I can't figure out why you were so quick to attack me after my first post.

    Like Don said, this is way off topic. The point I was trying to make in the first place is that Poncho's assumptions were based on nothing but his bias, and that he twisted words to support an argument that had nothing to do with what was being said. Notice, I didn't even say that he was wrong about the war. I simply pointed out the fact that he was using irrelevant things to try and prove his point.
     
  18. poncho

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    The people who should be tried for war crimes are those who send others off to war under false pretenses and without proper constitutional authority. The kids in the video had the courage and conviction to admit their actions were wrong. Their souls are tortured as a result of their actions.

    Not so with those who sent them there. They'll never admit to wrong doing and I seriously doubt they feel any remorse at all. Psychopaths can't feel remorse.

    Who elected the US government to be the world's parents anyway? What right does it have to give out rewards for good behavior (kissing up to Washington) or mete out punishment for bad behavior (telling Washington to kiss off) no one.

    Rewarding other countries for kissing up is unconstitutional. Foreign aid was never meant to be used for that purpose. Nor was it meant to bail other countries out of trouble. It wasn't meant to be used for bribes or supporting dictators and it was definitely not meant to buy weapons for or support "rebel" groups who want to overthrow their government.

    You swore to protect and defend the constitution of the United States. Not to follow orders in unconstitutional, illegal, immoral wars or nation building experiments. There are no legal orders in illegal wars. I think it's safe to say that we would all like to help others that are being oppressed and I'm sure there are those who would be appreciative of our help. But that is not enough of a reason to ignore the constitution and use military force to remove any regime from power or use taxpayer money for nation building experiments. Teary eyed appeals to our emotions do not over ride the constitution. The US government is not the world's parents so therefore the military should not be used as a rod of punishment anymore than it should be used to "create a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community" . No matter how many times the internationalists that have infiltrated and occupied our government claim it is. Unless the constitution has been properly amended to make it so. And to the best of my knowledge it hasn't. UN charters, resolutions and declarations of interdependence are not above the constitution.

    I have found nothing in the constitution that authorizes regime change or nation building. There is no escape clause that I know of that authorizes the use of the military to liberate oppressed peoples or to set up or remove the leaders in other countries or provide security for the people of other countries. If by chance there is and I have missed it please point it out and I will stand corrected.
     
    #18 poncho, Jul 8, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 9, 2013
  19. saturneptune

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    Be consistent in your posts. Do not tell me and others the day before we do not know what we are talking about with posts full of ignorance. Then, when shown you we do know what we are talking about, probably before you were born, then the tone of the posts do a one eighty.
     
  20. Sapper Woody

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    Saturn, I am assuming you didn't read my whole post. I still say you don't have a clue about conditions and attitudes over there. My tone is still the same. One of insistence. But instead of admitting that, you prefer to bash me, the person. Well go ahead. I've been there. I know what I'm talking about.
     

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