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Old 05-21-2003, 01:20 PM   #1
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Why two women went to war

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Why two women went to war
by Naomi Klein of the Globe & Mail

Jessica Lynch and Rachel Corrie could have passed for sisters. Two all-American blondes, two destinies forever changed in a Middle East war zone. Private Jessica Lynch, the sol­dier, was born in Palestine, W.Va. Rachel Corrie, the activist, died in Israeli-occupied Palestine.

Ms. Corrie was four years older than 19-year-old Pte. Lynch. Her body was crushed by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza seven days before Pte. Lynch was taken into Iraqi custody, on March 23.

Before she went to Iraq, Pte. Lynch or­ganized a pen pal program with a local kindergarten. Before Ms. Corrie left for Gaza, she organized a pen pal program between kids in her hometown of Olympia, Wash., and children in Rafah.

Pte. Lynch went to Iraq as a soldier loyal to her government. Ms. Corrie went to Gaza to oppose the actions of her gov­ernment. As a U.S. citizen, she believed she had a special responsibility to defend Palestinians against U.S.-built weapons, purchased with U.S. aid to Israel. In let­ters home, she described how fresh water was being diverted from Gaza to Israeli settlements, and how death was more normal than life.

Unlike Pte. Lynch, Ms. Corrie did not set out to engage in combat; she went to try to thwart it. Along with fellow mem­bers of the International Solidarity Movement, she believed that the Israeli military's incursions could be slowed by the presence of highly visible "interna­tionals," that Israel would not want the diplomatic or media scandals that would result if it started shooting U.S. and Brit­ish college students.

In a way, Ms. Corrie was harnessing the very thing she disliked most about her country — the belief that American lives are worth more than any others — and trying to use it to save a few Palestin­ian homes from demolition.

Believing her florescent orange jacket would serve as armour, that her bullhorn could repel bullets, she stood in front of bulldozers, slept beside wells, and escorted children to school. If suicide bombers turn their bodies into weapons of death, Ms. Corrie turned hers into a weapon of life, a "human shield."

When that Israeli bulldozer driver pressed the accelerator, her strategy failed. It turns out that the lives of some U.S. citizens — even beautiful, young, white women — are valued more than others. And nothing demonstrates this more starkly than the opposing re­sponses to Ms. Corrie and Pte. Lynch.

When the Pentagon announced Pte. Lynch's rescue, she became an overnight hero, complete with "America loves Jessica" fridge magnets, stickers, T-shirts, mugs, country songs and a made-for-TV movie. According to White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, President George W. Bush was "full of joy for Jessica Lynch." Her rescue, we were told, was a testament to a core American value. As Senator Jay Rockefeller said, "We take care of our people."

Do they? Ms. Corrie's death was met with almost total official silence, despite the fact that witnesses claim it was a de­liberate act. Mr. Bush has said nothing about a U.S. citizen being killed by a U.S.-made bulldozer bought with U.S. tax dollars. A congressional resolution demanding an independent inquiry into Ms. Corrie's death has been buried in committee, leaving the Israeli military's investigation — which conveniently cleared itself of any wrongdoing — as the only official probe.

The ISM activists say this non-re­sponse sent a dangerous signal. Accord­ing to Olivia Jackson, a 25-year-old British citizen still in Rafah, the Israeli military "waited for the response from the American government, and the re­sponse was pathetic. They have realized that they can get away with it, and it has encouraged them to keep on going."

On April 5, Brian Avery, a U.S. citizen, was shot in the face. On April 11, Tom Hurndall, a British ISM activist, was shot in the head and left brain dead. Next was James Miller, a British cameraman shot dead while wearing a vest that read "TV." Witnesses said the shooters in all three cases were Israeli soldiers.

There is something else Pte. Lynch and Ms. Corrie have in common: the mili­tary's distortion of their stories.

According to the Pentagon, Pte. Lynch was captured in a bloody gun battle, mistreated by sadistic Iraqi doctors, then rescued in another storm of bullets by heroic Navy SEALs. But another version has emerged: The Iraqi doctors who treated her found no evidence of battle wounds, and they donated their own blood to save her life. And witnesses have told the BBC that the SEALs already knew there were no Iraqi fighters in the area.

While Pte. Lynch's story has been dis­torted to make its protagonists appear more heroic, Ms. Corrie's has been twisted to make her and her fellow ISM activists appear sinister.

For months, the Israeli military had been looking for an excuse to get rid of the ISM "troublemakers." It found it in Asif Mohammed Hanif and Omar Khan Sharif, the two British suicide bombers. It turns out they had attended a memorial to Ms. Corrie in Rafah, a fact the Israeli military has seized on to link the ISM to terrorism. ISM members say that the me­morial was open to the public, and that they knew nothing of the British visitors' intentions. The ISM says it is opposed to the targeting of civilians, whether by Is­raeli bulldozers or Palestinian bombers. And many ISMers believe their work can reduce terrorist incidents by demonstrating that there are ways to resist occupa­tion other than the nihilistic revenge offered by suicide bombing.

No matter. In the past two weeks, half a dozen ISM activists have been arrested, several have been deported, and the or­ganization's offices have been raided. The crackdown is now spreading to all "internationals." On Monday, the United Nations special co-ordinator for the Mid­dle East peace process told the Security Council that dozens of UN aid workers had been prevented from getting in and out of Gaza.

On June 5, the 36th anniversary of the Israeli occupation, there will be an inter­nationally co-ordinated day of action for Palestinian rights. One of the key de­mands is for the UN to send a monitor­ing force into the occupied territories. Until that happens, many activists are determined to continue Ms. Corrie's work. More than 40 students at Ms. Corrie's college, Evergreen State in Olympia, have already signed up to go to Gaza with the ISM this summer.

So who is a hero? During the war on Iraq, some of Ms. Corrie's friends e-mailed her picture to MSNBC asking that it be included on the station's "wall of heroes," along with Pte. Lynch. The sta­tion didn't comply, but Ms. Corrie is being honoured in other ways. Her fam­ily has received more than 10,000 letters of support, communities across the country have organized dozens of me­morials, and children all over the occupied territories are being named Rachel. It's not a made-for-TV kind of tribute, but perhaps that's for the best.
Naomi Klein is the author of No Logo and Fences and Windows
an interesting analysis on the part of klein, who most of us know from 'no logo' but whose best work is in the newspaper media.

i am uncertain if this belongs in 'war' or not. it has 'war' in the title but isn't about war per se.
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Old 05-21-2003, 01:52 PM   #2
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It can stay where it is. You might get more rational responses in "regular" FYM.
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Old 05-21-2003, 03:19 PM   #3
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More Unobjective, Anti-US military rubbish. Its sad how people will believe the most unsubstantiated rumor over men of honesty and integrity that at any second were ready to give their lives. I know many of the Marines and other soldiers that served in and around Nasiriyah where these events took place and its sad to see inaccurate and out of contexts rumors get thrusts into the limelight and are turned by extremist into the gospel truth. In stead of asking someone at the BBC what happened, ask the soldiers that were actually in the operation what happened. Although losses in the war were light, Nasiriyah was not a playground. More US service men and women were killed in combat in Nasiriyah than in any other town or City in Iraq.
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Old 05-21-2003, 03:19 PM   #4
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This is sad in so many ways. It's sad that these said incidents had to happen to these women, it's sad that people lost their lives, and it's sad that this is very par for the course given today's political atmoshere.
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Old 05-21-2003, 03:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
More Unobjective, Anti-US military rubbish. Its sad how people will believe the most unsubstantiated rumor over men of honesty and integrity that at any second were ready to give their lives. I know many of the Marines and other soldiers that served in and around Nasiriyah where these events took place and its sad to see inaccurate and out of contexts rumors get thrusts into the limelight and are turned by extremist into the gospel truth. In stead of asking someone at the BBC what happened, ask the soldiers that were actually in the operation what happened. Although losses in the war were light, Nasiriyah was not a playground. More US service men and women were killed in combat in Nasiriyah than in any other town or City in Iraq.
'nasiriyah as a playground' was never an image klein projected. not even close to it. she discussed the BBC report.

and on that point, what is your trouble with the BBC? there are already many, many, many accounts of the bravery and stoicism which you speak of elsewhere, even within the BBC. all they have done is gone and spoken to some who are outside of the military operation.
perhaps it is a fabricated story but it is, both at best and worst, no more or no less, truthful than any of the other stories in existence.

i see no rational reasoning to doubt the bbc account more than any other. please enlighten me?
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Old 05-21-2003, 05:26 PM   #6
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Thanks for the article Kobayashi.

I'm saddened by the lack of outrage on the part of my gov't in the Rachel Corrie incident. Any other admin. would have at least sent a stern warning to the Israeli gov't.

I didn't take the article to diminish the ordeal Pvt. Lynch went through just the spin the Gov't put on it.
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Old 05-21-2003, 08:28 PM   #7
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Wow, I'm not the only one asking Sting to enlighten us.
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Old 05-21-2003, 09:33 PM   #8
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Kobayashi,

"'nasiriyah as a playground' was never an image klein projected. not even close to it. she discussed the BBC report."

"and on that point, what is your trouble with the BBC? there are already many, many, many accounts of the bravery and stoicism which you speak of elsewhere, even within the BBC. all they have done is gone and spoken to some who are outside of the military operation.
perhaps it is a fabricated story but it is, both at best and worst, no more or no less, truthful than any of the other stories in existence."

"i see no rational reasoning to doubt the bbc account more than any other. please enlighten me?"

Well look at this:

"The Iraqi doctors who treated her found no evidence of battle wounds, and they donated their own blood to save her life. And witnesses have told the BBC that the SEALs already knew there were no Iraqi fighters in the area."

If Lynch had no battle wounds why the hell was she being treated to save her life? Why was she carried out in a stretcher? Why is her roommate dead? No fighting, no battle eh? What a load of #@$%$#.

No Iraqi fighters in the area? That may have been what the supply convey that was ambushed hoped for prior to being ambushed, but for the BBC to further that claim in light of all the fighting that took place there, primarily from militia dressed as civilians, is poor reporting or simply stubburn attempt to be critical of an operation that was an obvious success despite the claims of what would happen from the anti-war movement.

The most honest account you will get on this particular issue is from the men and women, some of them dear friends of mine, who were there risking their lives for their country. People that were actually there when events were happening rather than people who show up days later and write down strories from people who cannot even prove they were there. The military filmed the operation, does the BBC have any comparable evidence? NO!

The Men and Women of the US military are there for one reason and one reason only, service to their country. The Media has one motive, to find the hottest story that will attract the most viewers, which means more money for them. That does not mean one cannot trust the BBC, but it does make them less trustworthy than a military source that was actually there on the spot when events were taking place, and is not going to profit from the story they tell.
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Old 05-22-2003, 08:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
If Lynch had no battle wounds why the hell was she being treated to save her life? Why was she carried out in a stretcher? Why is her roommate dead? No fighting, no battle eh? What a load of #@$%$#.
well the opinion of the BBC story is that the details surrounding Private Lynch's treatment are, at least in part, a fabrication. that's why. if you don't want to believe it then...don't.

i, and many others around the world i'm sure, don't have the advantageous insight of friends involved in the actual conflicts as you do. you consider this to be a great deficit for me. in some ways i'm sure it is and in others it might be an advantage.

you are correct the media has one motive: eyeballs. and that is why, as i have said many times on this forum, we must take what the media tells us, especially during wartime, at face value and not much more. the bbc report deserves no less scrutiny (i would say no more, but i don't think that too much scrutiny can be placed on such a thing) than the umpteen reports we have of everything else from wmd's, possible-potential-maybe mobile chemical labs to private lynch's story.

you know the points you are focusing on are really part and parcel to the point klein is making, as supastar and scarletwine pointed out.
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Old 05-22-2003, 02:44 PM   #10
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If its a fabrication, then what are the BBC's answers for the above questions I posed? Its rather obvious where the BBC's bias was prior to the war so the fact that they are trying to stir shit up I guess is not surprising. But the evidence the BBC has presented for their allegation is not any better than the evidence Farmer Bill had for the UFO he saw early yesterday morning while milking his Cows.

As for WMD in Iraq, its a fact that Iraq still had 10,000 Liters of Anthrax and 30,000 Bio/Chem capable shells when the UN inspectors were forced to leave back in 1998. Even Iraq admits this fact. The question is where is this WMD now. If it was destroyed, there would be evidence of the destruction and its Iraq's responsibility to show the remains of the destroyed weapons. 30,000 Bio/Chem shells is a hell of a lot of metal. This stuff does not vanish into thin air no matter what you do with it.

The USA and other UN states participating in the disarmament of Iraq have only that requirment, to insure Iraq is disarmed. It was never incumbent on them to find WMD only to insure Iraq no longer had WMD. Iraq was the only country required to produce evidence of its remaining WMD and or its destruction.
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Old 05-22-2003, 05:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
As for WMD in Iraq, its a fact that Iraq still had 10,000 Liters of Anthrax and 30,000 Bio/Chem capable shells when the UN inspectors were forced to leave back in 1998. Even Iraq admits this fact. The question is where is this WMD now. If it was destroyed, there would be evidence of the destruction and its Iraq's responsibility to show the remains of the destroyed weapons. 30,000 Bio/Chem shells is a hell of a lot of metal. This stuff does not vanish into thin air no matter what you do with it.

The USA and other UN states participating in the disarmament of Iraq have only that requirment, to insure Iraq is disarmed. It was never incumbent on them to find WMD only to insure Iraq no longer had WMD. Iraq was the only country required to produce evidence of its remaining WMD and or its destruction.
Cripe why did you turn another ****ing thread into a US mititary in Iraq theme. The subject was the US gov't ignoring the death of Rachel Corrie and glorifying Pvt. Lynch.

Sounds like your getting a little defensive that your gov't lied to you about the proof they had of WMDs.

edited to add:
Sorry that may have been a little harsh, but again? There are other angles to a subject.
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Old 05-22-2003, 06:38 PM   #12
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Scarletwine,

If you would take the chance to ****ing read the thread, you'll see that the subjects of Iraq, the military, and WMD were all mentioned prior to anything I posted on those matters. I have never turned any thread into a different subject matter. I have only responded to things posted by other people in the thread on those matters.

"Sounds like your getting a little defensive that your gov't lied to you about the proof they had of WMDs"

I have said this now for perhaps nearly a year. It is not a requirment of the US government or any other government to prove that Iraq has WMDs. It is Iraq's obligation to prove that they do not have WMD's. The only requirment of the USA or member states of the UN is to insure that Iraq does not have WMDs. There is a difference in proving someone has something and insuring that they do not have something.

The government simply was going by the UN inspectors Claims, Saddams regime's documents, from 1998, that Iraq did indeed have 10,000 liters of Anthrax and 30,000 Chemical/Bio shells at that time. Inspectors were kicked out at the end of 1998.

From 1998 to 2002, Iraq claims that it destroyed the above WMD but never showed the evidence of such destruction or handed the WMD over. They were required to either hand over the WMD that they had back in 1998, or prove that they indeed destroyed it from 1998-2002. If the government of Iraq did indeed destroy the above weapons, they would have plenty of evidence that they could show the international community to prove that point. But they never did.

Its a very simple and basic point and its a bit puzzling how some people after all this time have failed to understand it.
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Old 05-22-2003, 06:52 PM   #13
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Back to the original topic:

I can understand where the author is trying to go with this piece. Unfortunately, the hyperbole relied on to repaint the images of these two women undercuts the author's credibility.

It really shouldn't be surprising that the US government doesn't portray Ms. Corrie as a "hero".
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Old 05-22-2003, 07:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Sounds like your getting a little defensive that your gov't lied to you about the proof they had of WMDs.
Quote:
It is not a requirment of the US government or any other government to prove that Iraq has WMDs.
Sting, when your government speaks before the nation and the UN saying it has intelligence that Iraq has in their poccesion of WMD and they use that as a reason to persuade the people to go to war, then I would say we deserve to know if this "intelligence" was fabricated. If they just used the resolutions as their reason then yes MAYBE they wouldn't be required to prove anything, but they didn't they said they had evidence. Now show us. How are we suppose to trust our "intelligence" for now on if they don't prove it?

Now can we get back to the topic at hand?
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Old 05-22-2003, 07:06 PM   #15
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Rachel was a busy person teaching kids how to properly dispose of American flags.

What was the question? Why isn't the government making a hero out of her?http://www.honestreporting.com/graph...les/corrie.jpg
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