Now that we know who they were, I think its fair to say they knew exactly what they were getting into when they took Blackwater's huge dineros. BTW, at one time, those four guys who died in Falluja took the same oath as did you, DA.
Then they got out of the US military and went to join Blackwater, where, armed to the teeth and acting with ROE's we could opnly dream about, there in Iraq protecting whatever or whoever for damn good money. Did you read about those FOUR guys who held off the entire f'n Sadr army on thw weekend, holy crap, balls of steel man. Woooooooooooooo!
That being said, DA, and while I admire their guts, the fact of the matter is they were getting into when they quit the SEALs or other special ops and took the big bucks that comes with foreign
They died for money, not cause they were Americans volunteering to serve an American sponsored war. (They were protecting civilian oil workers and contracted by a civilian oil firm)
They did not die over an oath, there was no sense of national honour in their deaths like there is when one of the active soldiers goes down, there mothers and fathers dont get calls by... well, whoever GW delegates the job to... snort... and there isnt no government pension.
I suggest the oath of allegiance is mandatory for all Canadians/Americans, whatever, even concientious objectors, murderers, the entire breadth of our society encompasses, it is a symbol of nationality, not commitment.
The oath you took, DA, when you were commissioned (And I and the others took when we VOLUNTEERED to serve our respective nations, elevated you/us unto an entirely separate dimension. We live by a different code, one our respective nations do not expect of the general citizenship. We learn arts that would be considered insane anywhere else but on the field of which that trade is practiced. We have, every time we put on the uniform, a responsibility they do not share, our actions are a direct representation of the flag or helmet were wear. And when the sheet hits the fan, when it us against the world, our nation bestows another rite upon us the general population will never see.
The rite to choose who lives and who dies, the legitimate power to decide upon life and death made in the moment, not after waiting for permision, but in that second it takes to pull the trigger. Or launch the bomb... The flag we wear on our shoulder and the rifle we bear is not for show, we are not there as tourists and are not deployed unless the threat of combat is imminent. Most of the times, there arent any civilians in a combat zone unless there spooks or mercenaries ala Blackwater.
Conversely, we are the ones who have to go out and hunt the bastards down in there own backyards when POLICIES fail, such as now. I dont see any civy boys and girls in the cross fire in fallujah today, or eight other major citys, at least not any who took the American oath of allegiance.
IN fact, Bush's Folly had created a great chasm between tghem and us, today, considering the all to predicatble spiral Folly is taking, it's the brethern who are being subject to infinetly higher risks then are necessary. Good Lord, everybody else has been withdraw, the only thing they go left to kill is coalition troops.
No civies, even blackwater types, if you can call them civies.
Its combat time.
Which means Bush's policies have failed and the situation had devolved to the point, a year later, wherein to population must be suppressed by the riflemen. (You cannot compare that riflemen's death to anything, its unique) Time where men who volunteered the oath to bear arms for their respective nations set the standard, a standard none of those examples you cited can match. Today and then.
For example, the sea bees, that good ole John Wayne movie I watched just a week or so ago. Those poor bastards fought because they had no choice, history tells us America woefully underestimated the Japanese force or intent and when they attacked Wake, it was fight or die. (Otherwise, the seabees would have been better protected, eh?)
Those aboard the Hood? Well, historically, the Island was about to be invaded, ole Winston was making dire predictions as only he can (Check out famous speeches on kazzaa, incredible!!!) The nation was under seige, one could say all men were under arms, there was no alternative. Specially when Hitler started blitzing cities. When the Bismark broke out... giddy up, IM sure those civilians volunteered, just as did the thousands of merchant mariners who died in the north Atlantic for the cause but, only recently, recieved compensation for there services. Anyhow, in that sense, we could add every civilian who died in the blitz, eh? Or the WTC, or in Baghdad, objectively, anyways. Again, and this is important, it not like they had a choice!
UNlike those of us who take the aoth to bear arms, as we know when we sign on the dotted line, we volunteered to go to the war zone.
Just as I believe those who choose to serve peace take there own oaths, DA, but its not to the United States or the UN, its to themselves and a higher calling. The UN, the peace corps, hundreds of others of NGO's...
People like that are special, clearly chosen, and their sacrifice is probably of greater merit then of ours. Blessed are the meek... blessed are the peacemakers...
Indeed, it should be our duty to protect them.
Are you watching? Damn, that woman can talk, they should have booked two and half days instead of two and a half hours considering th length of her meandering responces.
The gallery clapped when bendudeiti bitched about it, should make a good soundbite for the media later.
Another one now with Kerry's opening statement about the adverse effect the Iraq has had on the war on terror. The omwna said they would be following up in private session later, I thought this was it.