Sunday, April 6, 2008

And Let's Not Forget: The Troops Are Also Racists!

No leftist theatre, such as the Iraq Veterans Against the War's recently held Winter Soldier (Non-) Investigation (WSI), would be complete unless America and in this case its troops were not subjected to the charge of endemic racism. It is integral to all such scripts.

While most of the post-WSI focus has understandably been on the war crime and atrocity related testimonies that were given, or were not given and were inexplicably missing, little attention has been paid to the panels on Racism and War: the Dehumanization of the Enemy.

Much of the testimony centered on the use of the word "Haji" by our forces in Iraq and was framed in the methods we have become used to in the drive for political correctness on campuses, where a deviation from the PC "norms"of thought and/or language is taken as prima facie proof of racism or other bigotry. One of the prominent IVAW purveyors of the racism/dehumanizing charge was Geoff Millard, who has been pursuing a BA in African-American Studies, a field of study often mired in perpetuating victimhood.

The line is that out forces, from top to bottom, use the word Haji in reference to Iraqis and others, and in doing so dehumanize those people! That, according to the enlightened, intentionally leads to users of the words being able to kill such people indiscriminately and without remorse.

In a July 2006 interview with Amy Goodman, Millard was asked for his reaction to the Mahmudiya rape and killings. Since then four soldiers have already been convicted for those crimes with prison sentences as high as ninety, one hundred and one hundred and ten years, and one more faces civilian trial in 2009 and possibly the death penalty.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to bring Geoffrey Millard into this conversation...Can you talk from your perspective as a U.S. soldier who has returned, your reaction to this [Mahmudiya] story?

GEOFFREY MILLARD: Well, to be perfectly honest with you, Amy, it’s not very shocking to me. It surprises me that most Americans are very surprised by this, in that to the American G.I., they are taught from the day that they land in Kuwait and every moment that they move north into Iraq and every moment they’re in Iraq, they’re taught to dehumanize Iraqi people. This term “haji” is very prevalent, and to the Muslim world, the term “haji” is actually a term of endearment for those who have completed that pillar of Islam, who have made the Hajj to Mecca. But to the U.S. military, it’s a term of dehumanization, one that’s used so that the American G.I. can kill without question and who can follow an order to kill someone without question, whether it’s in a gunfight or any other situation.
That is prima-facie proof of what a self-serving cretinous lout Millard is. The rape of a fourteen year old girl, followed by the killing of her and her family by Americans is shocking. For Millard to say it is not and that he was not surprised by such as we shouldn't be is a vicious and ungrounded charge, but well suited to the Millard/IVAW smear machine.

Millard followed that up with his oft told story, including told at Winter Soldier, of the killing of an Iraqi family by a young American manning a machine gun at a checkpoint. Millard had repeatedly used that story to as an intro to his recounting officers using the dehumanizing term "Haji". Yet there is no connection in Millard's story to using the term Haji and the killing! None! By Millard's own account, the soldier opened fire on the car carrying the family when that car was speeding toward the checkpoint and the soldier made the decision that this was a threat approaching! If the soldier opened fire because the car was occupied by dehumanized Hajis, why wouldn't he open fire at all such cars driven by Hajis regardless of particular actions, and not the one speeding toward the checkpoint!

Such critical thought eludes Goodman and the bobble heads in the Winter Soldier audience.

The ever unreliable Aaron Glantz wrote Winter Soldiers Tell Tales of Dehumanization on that Winter Soldier testimony:
Geoff Millard, a former sergeant in the New York Army National Guard, spoke about his time stationed at Camp Speicher near Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit. He said during his deployment he heard high-ranking officials use the word haji to refer to all the Iraqi people.
Millard, like the other veterans at the gathering, linked the needless deaths of innocent civilians to a culture of racism and dehumanization of the enemy that’s part and parcel of the U.S. occupation of Iraq.
Glantz is correct that Millard "linked" needless deaths of innocent civilians to a culture of racism but like Millard, doesn't establish any grounds for that linking! Glantz continues:
The former National Guard sergeant spoke about one incident he witnessed in the summer of 2005 when a machine gunner in his unit opened fire on an Iraqi vehicle that was driving quickly toward a U.S. military checkpoint and killed an entire Iraqi family.

“He killed a mother, a father and two children,” Millard said. “The boy was four, and the daughter was three.”
Again the reason for the shooting was a vehicle driving fast toward a checkpoint at a time when the enemy was precisely using bomb laden cars as a method of attack. What does that have to do with dehumanizing? Glantz also made a mistake of fact in that writing, but I find myself uncharacteristically forgiving him for this one. Glantz wrote that Millard spoke of an incident he [Millard] witnessed, but Millard did not witness the event and did not claim to. Millard's testimony and repeated telling is that he was present at a briefing to staff about the incident that involved photos. I am somewhat understanding of Glantz making that mistake, though, because unless one listened very carefully, the histrionic manner in which Millard told the story could lead someone to believe he did witness it. At Winter Soldier, Millard introduced the story with:
" of the most horrifying experiences of my tour that still stays with me..."
Yes, Millard was indeed saying that one of the most horrifying experiences of his tour in Iraq was being present at a briefing! He did see graphic photos and supposedly heard an officer use the term Haji in a disparaging manner, but did not see the actual violence, deaths, bodies, etc! He didn't talk to the soldier who opened fire and did not hear that soldier give as his reason for doing so as "They were just Hajis!"!

What horrified Millard, and what didn't shock him about soldiers actually raping and killing, was this, according to Glantz:
That evening, Millard said he was in a briefing where the chain of command was informed of the shooting.

“After the officer in charge briefed it to the general in a very calm manner, a commander turned in his chair to the entire division-level staff, and he said—and I quote—‘If these f------g hajis learned to drive, this s--t wouldn’t happen.’”
That is it! That is why Americans kill innocents! Millard went on to say:
"That stayed with me the rest of my tour.”
This is another example of why in an earlier post I termed Millard a narcissist.

IVAW co-founder and atrocity fabulist Jimmy Massey was exposed in 2005 by embedded reporter Ron Harris of the St. Louis Dispatch who followed up on Massey's fabricated claims. In a debate with Harris conducted by Amy Goodman in November 2005, the subject of checkpoint shootings was prominent. Massey had claimed, untruthfully, that his Marine unit had killed thirty innocent people at checkpoints in two days, and in a very Millard-like manner, spoke of dehumanizing. Toward the end of the debate, there was this exchange:

JIMMY MASSEY: First, I would like to say, why would the military admit to atrocities now? They’ve never admitted to atrocities in Vietnam. And then, furthermore, Mr. Fowler, Corporal Fowler: “There were no explosives but it was highly probable there could have been weapons. We were all”—this is an exact quote from Mr. Fowler. “We were all pissed off at shooting women and children. Nobody was doing it on purpose, but they were doing it. They were killing civilians and plenty of them.”

RON HARRIS: Wait, but you said nobody was doing it on purpose?

AMY GOODMAN: He’s quoting. You are quoting Fowler?

JIMMY MASSEY: Yes, I’m quoting from Fowler, yes.

RON HARRIS: The second shooting of civilians that we reported, the way I found out about it, Marines were pissed off. And they were pissed off at each other. They were pissed off that somebody had accidentally shot some civilians, and they were furious.

Why would those Marines be upset, even furious, pissed off, as even Massey acknowledged, contrary to earlier claims, if to those troops the Iraqis were dehumanized Hajis, whose deaths would be of no consequence to one's conscience?

This is why narcissist Massey leaves a slime trail. He never spoke to that soldier, who pulled the trigger on that machine gun. It is that soldier who had a horrifying experience, not Geoff Millard advancing PowerPoint slides in a briefing. Listen to the audio of Millard telling the story at WSI, and note the emotionalism when he tells of what this incident did to - him! What of the young machine gunner? He may live with a terrible gut wrenching regret his entire life. He may spend that life second guessing himself because people, even children, died at his hands. He may have determined that given what he knew and saw he reacted properly and rationally to protect his unit and himself, and still be burdened with a terrible hurt. Yet for Geoff Millard, it is Geoff Millard who bears the pain and memory and Geoff Millard has pronounced that soldier of being guilty of having dehumanized the family he killed, as he again and again tells that story to make that point!

How could Geoff Millard do that? It is simple. Geoff Millard has dehumanized that young soldier. That soldier only exists as a prop, not a human being, in a story Millard tells to enhance a perception of his own wonderful humanity!

Millard and others from IVAW have at least honestly made the point that the term Haji is one of honor and endearment in Arabic. It is not used by our troops for an enemy but for the people of Iraq. There is a story there they are not telling.

During his testimony, there was one point where the crowd applauded Millard loudly. That was when speaking of the use of Haji to dehumanize Iraqis, he said:

"These things start at the top - not at the bottom."
The applause was loud in something like direct proportion to the asininity of the statement itself.

Somewhere and at some time someone in the US miitary began calling Iraqis Hajis, and it got picked up. I am in the middle of raising my fourth and fifth teenagers. Doing such provides a first hand witness to how language changes and words come into use. Language is fluid, and changes virtually never come from "the top"! Does Millard know how the terms pogue or fobbit came into use?

Rumsfeld, Tommy Franks, Paul Bremmer, Bush, Cheney, et al, never had a meeting where they determined that the Iraqis would be called "Hajis"! Whoever began doing so had to have some knowledge of both Arabic and Islam. It is striking that a term that has come into such wide use by our side is in the language of the locals and rather than insulting, a compliment!

In accepted PC terms, the use of such terms is meant to make people "others", different than "us"! But of course, that is simply true! To Marines, the Army is made up of others. To the Iraq Veterans Against the War, the members of Veterans For Freedom are others. To my family, members of other families are others. Yet Marines and Army soldiers are members of the US military, and the British troops are others. Members of IVAW and VFF are veterans, and non-veterans are others. All the families in my neighborhoods are North Carolinians, and folks from South Carolina are others.

Having a name for others is not inherently racism, bigotry or dehumanizing. Using a term for that otherness that is an honorable one in the other's culture is a sign of respect, not dehumanizing.

Haji can most certainly be and no doubt at times is used disparagingly and as a slur. But the term itself can be used in a positive, neutral or negative manner. Use of the term is not a sign of racism or dehumanization.

Here are other terms for people that can be and are used in positive, neutral or even negative ways: Republicans, Democrats, conservatives, liberals, Frenchmen, Italians, Christians, Jews, Yankees, Southerners, soldiers, Marines, men, women, Americans, Europeans, and on and on.

Yet Millard and IVAW and the left as a whole want to paint the picture of the killing hordes of White Anglo Saxon Protestant Americans brutalizing the darker people of the world, while led by commanders with names like Abizaid and Sanchez! The US military is and has been the most thorougly integrated by race, culture, ethnicity and culture at every level in history.

For Millard and IVAW to try to paint the members of our military as full of people who can kill anyone without qualm simply because they have been led to call them something like Haji is despicable.

Millard may want to try to talk to members of his own IVAW and their allies about dehumanization. Maybe to Adam Kokesh, to whom his political enemies are "Dumbocrats and the criminal Repugs", and speaks of them wearing "jackboots". Maybe he should speak to the IVAW supporters at Daily Kos and DU who call our troops killbots, or those like Dissident Voice who call members of Gathering of Eagles fascists and who wrote of "the Stygian depths of depravity and evil that US service personnel have sunk…" in promoting the video by IVAW's former member Jesse MacBeth. How about the DU commenter writing about the IVAW Bus Arson that wasn't who just knew it had to have been done by a Freeper Nazi?

Any of that dehumanizing?

Green Left Weekly quoted Millard at something called the World Social Forum held in Caracas in January 2006, where Millard's PC indoctrination was on full dislay:
“US soldiers are put into a situation where they are forced to brutalise, forced to racialise, forced to sexualise everyone in order to dominate and control a people..The way that has to be done is that you are forced to dehumanise that person. That’s what they are doing in Iraq. You see this brutalisation factor whenever you talk to World War 2 veterans about 'Japs’..."
The attitude of Americans of the WWII generation towards the Japanese had a lot more to do with things like the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Bataan Death March than that they used a shortened version of the word Japanese, just as they also used the shortened Brits for the British and Poles for the Polish, and they were allies. Millard went on to say and proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is getting an un-education but is getting the left PC drivel down pat:
The real Iraqis getting bombed are the poor. It’s the poor in Iraq who make up the resistance, just like anywhere, because the rich are still going to get their’s, whatever.
Millard doesn't seem to know that a considerablely large part of the insurgency involved the Ba'athist Sunnis, who were trying to get back the exalted social and financial status they had over the country's beleagured, oppressed and sometimes slaughtered majority Shia and Kurds!

And if he ever bothered to read any one of a number of letters from AQI's Al-Zarqawi, he would have noted that it was not objection to poverty that motivated his slaughtering of countless civilians. Likewise, Osama Bin Laden is not impoverished.

Over at Active Duty Patriot IVAW's Army Sergeant has a complaint about Jason Mattera of YAF disobeying some of the WSI rules and harassing people while videotaping. I am sympathetic to the concept that if there are rules of conduct promulgated they should be obeyed. I will just point out that in demostration after demonstration, IVAW members have intentionally broken rules, laws, harassed people and otherwise did not much care abour "rules'.

One such event happened in September 2006, when Geoff Millard was arrested at a demonstration at the UN for breaching security. About the events of that day, Next Left Notes wrote: Iraq War Veteran named Geoff Millard simply walked into the 'secure area’ - finding himself between the NYPD, FBI and Secret Service and the UN itself. Millard told NLN that he was: “tackled, kicked in the forehead and hit with rifle butts” multiple times. Arrested for disorderly conduct he was nylon flex-cuffed so tightly that his circulation was cut off. The following day Millard said that he still couldn’t “feel (his) left thumb”. Millard, who served in the 45th Infantry Division, NY State National Guard, fell when he attempted to climb into the police van. Rather than help him up the NYPD charged him with resisting arrest.

“I fell at the paddy wagon and for this they charged me with resisting arrest,” said Millard who fought in Iraq from October 2004 until October 2005.

Paddy wagon? Perhaps Millard missed PC class on the day the history of the term paddy wagon was explained. It is an ethnic slur against the Irish, which stock accounts for 100% of my breeding. The term came into use in the US, Canada and Australia and was meant to convey the idea of the transport vehicles the police would use to round up all the drunken and misbehaving Irish immigrant scum, all called - Paddy!

I guess in Millard-world I have been dehumanized.


streetsweeper95B said...

He can count his lucky stars that I didn't arrest him....Violate his criminal rights my azz...hehe! He'd of fallen a lot more before reaching that paddy wagon....but thats my twisted sense of agencies would need to apologise for me, lmao!

longwalker said...

I pity that young Marine and all other military personel in simular circumstances. In Berlin in 1962, I served with a fellow NCO, a veteran of the Italian Campaign in WWII. This is his story.

"My unit became noted for our proficiency in house to house combat. If the Germans occupied a group of houses in a strategic location to delay the Allied advance, my unit would be tken out of the line, loaded on trucks and driven to the site. Once there, we would organize our house to house fighting groups and begin our assault.

In my group, my buddy and I were the ones who would enter and clear each building. Under covering fire from machine guns and automatic rifles, we would approach the building and, as the covering fire shifted, we would throw grenades into the building. Then, a quick entry through a window and a dash upstairs. We would clear the building from the top down with grenades and sub-machine gun fire.

If the building was a farmhouse (and most were), we would end up in the kitchen. Every kitchen had a cellar with a trap door. We would approach the trap door on our stomachs, use the muzzle of a Thompson to open the trapdoor a few inches and throw in a couple of grenades. Then we could signal that the building was secure.

One time, as I was throwing in the grenades, we heard a woman cry. Once the grenades went off, we entered the cellar and found an Italian family, badly torn up by the grenades. We called the medics and had the family evcuatd by litter jeep to the nearest Aid Station. My buddy and I went out of the building and threw up."

I asked my friend how long did he take to get over the incident. He replied "I have never got over it and I relive it almost every night."

That is why I pity that Marine. For the rest of his life, he will live with that incident.

Army Sergeant said...

Damn it, Denis, I'm trying to have a vacation here!

At any rate:

I never have and will never use the word "hajji". I find it extremely disrespectful. I don't believe in dehumanizing the enemy. From a letter I wrote into the Army Times about it, from way before I was an IVAW member, which I still agree with:
Dehumanizing “the enemy” may make it easier to pull the trigger, but it will not contribute to our long-term goals. Nor is encouraging racism ever the right answer.

It might behoove us to remember that Arabs and Persians are found not only among the ranks of our enemies. What about Saudi Arabia or Kuwait? Also, according to the 2000 U.S. census, 1.2 million people living in the U.S. identified themselves as Arabs.

If our soldiers are taught to hate an ethnicity, the effects of that hate will be felt on our own citizens. And let us not forget about Arab-Americans in the military forces, including Gen. John Abizaid, the commander of U.S. Central Command.

Yes, hajji originated from a term of respect, but I defy you to find me anyone in the Armed Forces who currently uses it that way.

There is a difference between terms for the "other" which are used with love and affection, and words which are used to separate. "Jarhead" is a term used with some affection, as is "squid" or "flyboy". "Hajji", never.

I have never created a name for VFF and others, and I never will. They are veterans who I happen to disagree with. Just like many others. I will not dehumanize them either, because I need to remember that they, like me, are American citizens.

I think it is important to remember that the enemy is human, that the people you are killing are human. They deserve respect at the same time that you kill them. You should never take another life, even of the enemy, without regret. I think that's important, and I think that's what separates us from the darkness.

We don't need racism. We're Americans. We're from the 'great American melting pot'. We are a grand and wonderful thing, and we don't need to lessen ourselves one whit by doing that.

I can't remember who said it, but they blew me away they day they said, "We never said, 'I killed a man' 'I shot a guy'. But we sure killed us a *load of hajjis. We sure fed up a bunch of sand niggers."

That's a problem.
That's a real problem.
And that needs to be looked at.
It has nothing to do with PCness. I am the anti-PC. I hate saying "people" instead of "guys". I hate rethinking everything I see.

But we don't need a term for a race or a people.

Denis Keohane said...


Take the vacation, enjoy it, rest and relax! You need it!

I actually like you and think, despite our differences, that you have some very admirable qualities. Having said that. logic is not your long suit.

You ended that comment with "But we don't need a term for a race or a people."

That was right after you wrote "We're Americans." The, uh, differentiates between Americans and those who are not - Americans!

You also wrote "It might behoove us to remember that Arabs and Persians are found not only among the ranks of our enemies." Arabs and Persians are names for "peoples', Sarge, and like "Americans", the words "Arabs" and "Persians" can be used in a negative, neutral or respectful manner!

Any of that sinking in?

Sarge, the Millard thing - and his alluding to that soldier having been trained to dehumanize the family that he killed. Do you have nay firsthand knowledge of that soldier's feelings on the matter? Can you ask Millard if he does?

He is the dehumanized one in Millard's tripe, Sarge! You are assisting that, when you go on and on about dehumanizing!

I do know people who have and do use the word Haji in a respectful manner. Just as I know people who use the word American - without respect and affection.

Army Sergeant said...

We don't need derogatory names, is perhaps what I should have said.

There are likely people who use American in a disrespectful manner. But American is not a race. America is a country, and people who live there are called Americans.

Hajji is not a race. Hajji is a term for someone who has made a hajj. That is not how it is being used. It is being used in a manner which is not its definition, in a derogatory manner.

I don't know the individual feelings of that soldier. I know many fine soldiers who use the word 'hajji' simply because it is in common use, and meaning no ill intention. "Hajjimart" "HajjiDVD" or what have you. I respect those soldiers, but I think they're perpetrating something I don't like seeing in my army when they do it, and I always call my soldiers at least out on it.

Do I think that each soldier individually is making an individual choice to dehumanize the enemy? No. Do I think some policymaker somewhere deliberately decided 'Hey, let's dehumanize the Iraqis by calling them hajjis'? No. But I think that commanders and NCOs have the responsibility for not letting that stuff happen in their unit. I don't think encouraging that behavior is helpful.

Zero Ponsdorf said...


I ain't buying it.

You can't have one thing without the other. War is a dehumanizing event by it's very nature.

I wonder if Xerxes had name for The Spartans... do ya think The Immortals went up against The Spartans thinking of them as simply misguided souls.

War ain't PC. Sounds like you're trying to make it so?

"I don't think encouraging that behavior is helpful."

Exactly what would be the alternative??? In detail please.

Army Sergeant said...


I think that you should only kill when necessity compels it, and regret each life that you have taken, even when it was necessary.

That is the alternative. The alternative is acceptance of consequences.

You should never be afraid to take consequences. Some actions need to be done. But they shouldn't be made light of. Perhaps people need to die for whatever reason. They may need to die because they are shooting at you, or perhaps because they were going to, or they would. There are a lot of different reasons. But I think we should be able to look and say, "That is a man. He is a human being, like myself, who believes he is doing the right thing." And if you can't kill him while you're saying that, then maybe your reasons aren't so good in the first place.

I think we should be able to say, "He is a human being. I will regret his death, but it is necessary for me to survive." And afterwards, celebrate still being alive, but don't celebrate the fact that there are others who are dead.

Zero Ponsdorf said...


"I think that you should only kill when necessity compels it, and regret each life that you have taken, even when it was necessary.
That is the alternative. The alternative is acceptance of consequences."

Boy are you in the wrong business.

You'd have every warrior from time immemorial hesitate and/or live with the consequences as something to regret?

I doubt The Red Baron landed filled with angst about those he'd just shot down.

Warriors kill people and break things. Or they're not warriors... they're cannon fodder.

There's an essay that says better than I can, I think I referred you to it before.

Just A Decurion said...

" I think that you should only kill when necessity compels it, and regret each life that you have taken, even when it was necessary."

I never regretted a single time I pulled the trigger. Not once. If Mr. Hajj wants to play the game, he announces it by driving through my kill line, or picking up an RPG, or shooting at me. If I knew a better term, I would use it, but generally I was too busy to ask whether they were Former Regime Elements, or Al-Qaeda, or JAM, or whatever. That's a concern for intel weenies (ooops, I'm dehumanizing our valiant Intelligence Community!) not trigger-pullers.

"There are a lot of different reasons. But I think we should be able to look and say, "That is a man. He is a human being, like myself, who believes he is doing the right thing." And if you can't kill him while you're saying that, then maybe your reasons aren't so good in the first place."

Fuck that and the horse it rode in on. The folks I killed were scum. They were the sort of dirtbags who set off bombs in market squares full of civilians just to make a political point. They were the kind of people who shoot mortars into soccer fields because the kids on it are from the wrong tribe/ethnic group/religious sect. The world is a better place without them. I don't have any respect for them, and the last time the United States fought someone it was possible to respect in the manner you speak of was 1918. Just because some filthy flea-ridden upright ape thinks his god wants him to kill me doesn't mean I have to respect his beliefs. I don't respect the delusions of the crazy folks we lock up on mental institutions in this country. I damn sure am not going to respect the delusions of the crazy people that run certain foreign countries or organizations.

"but don't celebrate the fact that there are others who are dead."

It may be the fact that I'm Combat Arms, but I was always taught that the reason the United States taxpayers pay my salary was to kill people. If that is in fact the case (and I believe it is) then I view dead bad guys as proof that I am earning my pay, doing my job, and doing it well. It may not be a cause for celebration, but I take a deep personal satisfaction in it.

NAMedic said...

I find most of this discussion stupid.

I'm sure AS would like combat soldiers to sit around being all philosophical and conflicted about what they have to do. If the time ever comes when they do that, it is all over for us as a nation.

Many days when I read threads like this discussion, I think that day has already arrived.

What everyone here also does is accept the damn premise Millard poses. I do not accept that what he reports ever happened in the first place.

As I wrote elsewhere to DK - you simply can't trust someone like Millard who is obviously suffering from PTRD - Post Traumatic Remark Disorder.

Army Sergeant said...

Zero: Great essay. I agree with about 98 percent of it.

I think warriors do in fact kill people and break things, but I don't think they should take pleasure in that.

Just a Decurion:

That may be your experience, but I don't think that the infantry on a whole always agrees with you. I know many fine infantry soldiers and marines who regret the deaths they have caused.

I'm not suggesting anyone "angst" about it. I'm saying a moment of regret that a human life is gone is not improper. And having seen what happens when people deny that for too long, I would encourage everyone for their own health to take a long, hard look and think about these things.

Rurik said...

And those deeply honored mushahids also have derogatory and depersonalizing terms for us as well - Infidel, heathen, dhimmi, etc. Probably a lot worse terms exist, but my Arabic is very rusty. And The Deeply Honored Mr. Millard [/sarc], since he majors in Afro-American Studies, might want to learn the meaning and inplications of the term "zanj". Hint it refers to Black Africans and leads into an exploration that despite their theoretical belief in the "equality of all believers", Muslims can be as deeply racist as anyone else - see the story of the Zanj revolt of the late 9th Century - doubly relevant since it happened around Basra.
But then, is the lynching and burning of Blackwater agents less or more depersonalizing? Oh wait, we're talking about the same people who believe that pulling a pair of panties over someone's head is worse that cutting off of that head.

Narcissists like Millard, know self-love only superficially. On a deeper level, they are filled with self-hate which they project onto others. Millard obviously felt all that before he ever was called to active duty. A White guy seeking a major in African-American Studies is usually somebody filled with self-loathing and seeking a new identity. And he'll make up his new identity and his facts as he goes along.

Denis Keohane said...

"I know many fine soldiers who use the word 'hajji' simply because it is in common use, and meaning no ill intention."

Exactly! Words come into use in every language among every people for a variety of reasons!

Tell that to Millard, will you?

Denis Keohane said...

"What everyone here also does is accept the damn premise Millard poses. I do not accept that what he reports ever happened in the first place."

Not quite, Namedic! I'm reacting to Millard's story as told as nonsense, as it is nonsense and crap, whether the events happened as described or not!

There is the debating method of "for the sake of argument". I am not at all accepting that what Millard claims happened as he tells it! But one also doesn't have to show that they didn't happen or question whether they so happened to none-the-less demonstrate what a self serving and illogical moron Millard is!

Zero Ponsdorf said...


"What everyone here also does is accept the damn premise Millard poses. I do not accept that what he reports ever happened in the first place."

I dunno about everyone else, but I don't exactly accept whatever premise you might be referring to. I was reacting to what AS had to offer.

It's kind of important to acknowledge that some put PC crap ahead of reality, I think?

Just A Decurion said...

"That may be your experience, but I don't think that the infantry on a whole always agrees with you. I know many fine infantry soldiers and marines who regret the deaths they have caused."

On what grounds do you presume to know the opinions of "the infantry as a whole"? I mean, are you an infantryman? How many times have you gone on patrol with infantrymen? What percentage of your last deployment was spent on a craptastic COP with a company or less of infantrymen, away from news cameras?

Not that I give a damp fart for the Baby-Blue Mafia, I bleed scarlet and white. 21B, and that's all I'll ever be.

But at any rate, the only thing you should feel when killing an arhabi is recoil.

Thus Spake Ortner said...

INterestingly enough, get which IVAW guy was lurking off to the right hand side of the stage (well, looking out, since I was on stage) and wearing sun glasses at the VFF rally.

Sorry you ran away Geoff, was looking forward to talking to you.

streetsweeper95B said...

hey Denis. got my blog started...go here:

Army Sergeant said...

Just a Decurion:

I'm not saying everyone agrees with me. I'm saying not everyone agrees with you either. I think it's presumptuous for anyone to claim to know what everyone thinks.

Most of the infantry I know regret causing death. In fact, some of the most peaceful men I now know were some of the most personally involved in the grit of war. Hart Viges, for example, exemplifies being a Christian far better than I ever could. Not everyone is you.

Denis: I still don't think it's a good thing.

For example: I grew up using a term my father had used. "Mighty white of you." I didn't know that it was racist until about ten years later. Once I found out, though, you can be sure that I stopped using it. My ignorance explained why I had continued using it until then, but it did not excuse it.

Thus Spake Ortner said...

"Mighty white of you." I didn't know that it was racist until about ten years later."

There is some question as to whether this is indeed a racist statement, as "white" also meant unblemished or honorable, completely aside for racial origins.

I disagree with you basic premise to begin with, but so it goes. At this point I doubt AS and I could agree on the humidity of water.

Anonymous said...


I was hoping you'd reply back to my last post when you get the chance.



streetsweper95b said...

army sergant said:

"I'm not saying everyone agrees with me. I'm saying not everyone agrees with you either. I think it's presumptuous for anyone to claim to know what everyone thinks."

Sarge?? Am I reading double speak into this portion of your reply??

Exactly how do you know not everyone agrees with just a descurion?

You got some kind of an inside line on this one or what?

Anonymous said...

So I'm guessing Denis is either on vacation, has not seen my last blog post, is ignoring it, or is doing some research to back up his pending rebuttal. Anyone else care to take a shot at it while we're waiting?

Anonymous said...

See Please Here

Anonymous said...

Couldn't find it Galmaran. What's the link?

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Anonymous said...

Thought you'd be interested: IVAW is testifying before Congress RE: Winter Soldier. Don't know if it'll be on C-SPAN or what.

Thus Spake Ortner said...

Hey Dennis- Not sure if this is what it purports to be, but certainly sounds like Jason Hurd using the N word. Maybe he and Millard could sit down and discuss at some point?

wsi said...

millard is from New York, Geoff Millard joined the NY Army National guard in1998 at the age of 17. He served for 9 years including tours of duty at ground zero after 9-11 and for 13 months in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

He has not necessarilly been dehumanized, Millard will testify on endemic racism during his tour of Iraq, including among high-ranking Army officers.

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