War Is Hell

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This is an incredible photograph.

I can't get it out of my head since I first saw it yesterday, via a link on Fark.

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  1. His name is Ty Ziegel … his spirit is quite amamzing

  2. He looks almost ashamed, when he should be anything but.

  3. err … amazing

  4. He looks almost ashamed

    How can you tell?

    It’s hard for me to see this photo and not filter it through my own biases. It’s difficult enough to get my head around the tragedy of it all.

  5. Looking at the pictures of the wounded from only one side of a war is a nice way to manipulate yourself into believing that an unjust war is just after all.

    Maybe next time post two links for better balance.

  6. Aren’t there any pictures of a wounded Iraqi marrying a pretty girl? Please don’t show the ones where they’re marrying their 15-year old cousin, we want to be balanced.

  7. War is hell.

    …love conquers all?

  8. Dave W. –

    How could looking at that image make anyone think that this war is just? Does the image of an injured American make you automatically think we must doing something right? Maybe I’m missing something here.

  9. Aren’t there any pictures of a wounded Iraqi marrying a pretty girl? Please don’t show the ones where they’re marrying their 15-year old cousin, we want to be balanced.

    Especially not if it is the 15 year old bride who is disfigured. Cause then we would forget all about our wounded guy too fast. people get so misty about wounded girls. Kinda sexist when you think about it.

  10. I’m taken by the bride; the look on her face is so achingly ambivalent.

  11. They should take that picture, and thousands of others like it, of injured Americans and injured Iraqis, and put them in a gallery. Put this gallery on the National Mall, and call it the Bush Memorial. So we never forget exactly what the Bush years were all about.

    Oh, and we should get some photos of people tortured by the US (including Jose Padilla’s scars) and put those images in the Bush Memorial as well.

    So we never forget.

    I’m looking at all of you hawks out there.

  12. This being a Balko thd, you might wonder how the pilots are being punished for shooting the vehicles marked in orange that they were not supposed to shoot.

    I’ll give you one guess. Here is a hint for Radley’s regulars: a bit less than the triggerman in the Sal Culosi case.

  13. Dave W.

    My initial reaction was along the lines of “Oh my god how could we keep doing this to our own young men and women?”

    If you already think that the war is just, maybe that reinforces it. I think it’s somewhere on the ill-advised-to-unjust continuum. My guess is that this reinforces whatever your previous beliefs are.

    I also think that this will reinforce some peoples beliefs about propaganda. If you think that this is coming from an anti-war publication and you support the war, you’ll think ‘yet another attempt to manipulate us’. If you tend to be suspicious of MSM as pro-war cheerleaders, you might think the same thing for the opposite reasons.

  14. I also think that this will reinforce some peoples beliefs about propaganda.

    Like I said, I think this would have been fine if he linked a picture of a wounded Iraqi civilian for balance. I think we both know why Radley chose not to do that.

  15. Dave W.

    Fuck you, attributing nefarious motives to people based on your own biases. He didn’t post a photo of an Iraqi because there probably aren’t any photos of guys who looked that fucked up on the day they married their high school sweetheart.

    We’ve all seen photos of wounded soldiers, and they never lose their power, but this one was even more poignant because of the fact that it was his wedding picture.

    Go back to Kos.

  16. I didn’t say the post was nefarious. I said tht it was not balanced, meaning that it was not balanced in a good journalism sense. That is especially important when dealing with images as poignant as the linked one.

    Oh, uh, yeah, fuck you and all your triggerhappy friends over at Little Green Freepers, Andy.

  17. Dave W. —

    Are you really suggesting I posted the picture to drum up support for the war?

    You might want to acquaint yourself with Google.

  18. Dave, get over yourself. Radley passed along something he found moving. It’s a blog post, not a 60 minutes episode.

  19. Are you really suggesting I posted the picture to drum up support for the war?

    Jesus, Radley, you aree smarter than that and I know it. I wrote that you did not post a picture of a wounded Iraqi to avoid upsetting support for the war.

    You have avoided linking such pictures since the war started and you avoid linking them today. You will probably be fired from Reason if you do link one.

    This doesn’t make you a war supporter, but it does cause your journalism to be unbalanced, in a pro-war way, intended or unintended, and, seriously, I expect better out of you.

  20. That’s the dumbest thing I’ve read here in a while. Reason has been decidedly anti-war as far back as I can remember.

  21. The photo is tragic while at the same time hopeful, in and of itself. How this should relate to the Iraq War on anything more than an emotional level is unclear. Soldiers get injured in just and unjust wars alike, and proof of their injury does not make a conflict more or less just. Personally, the message I took away from the pic was that life goes on. Others are entitled to their opinions but anybody who takes this photo as an argument for or against the war has lost a bit of their humanity in service of their pre-existing ideological biases. That is not to say you can’t empathize with the soldier and wish he never went to war, but it is quite infantile to think that his injury is dispositive of the issue of the justness of this war.

  22. What sort of people have Americans become? I see all of you jerks using this for your own political ends, when the real story is the triumph of love over adversity.

    That young lady has a rough life ahead of her, and she has stepped up and accepted the challenge. You know that her man would have tried to push her away, and that she refused to go.

    That takes more character than you critters are showing. Just one of her is worth any 1000 of the kind of people who have posted the political crap.

    Your ancestors would be even more ashamed to claim you as theirs than I am to admit that you are my countrymen.

  23. He didn’t post a photo of an Iraqi because there probably aren’t any photos of guys who looked that fucked up on the day they married their high school sweetheart.

    I doubt that any Iraqi with those sorts of injuries would even have access to the sort of medical care that would enable him to survive long enough to marry his high school sweetheart.

  24. What sort of people have Americans become? I see all of you jerks using this for your own political ends, when the real story is the triumph of love over adversity.

    If the groom had been so injured by a drunk driver on his way to his job as an accountant or zookeeper or lawyer, do you think it would have been linked here?

    There is more to this post than love and adversity.

  25. best years of our lives.

    that is a seriously wonderful photo. thanks.

  26. I doubt that any Iraqi with those sorts of injuries would even have access . . .

    White phosphorous is a bitch, for sure:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_phosphorus

  27. Edna:

    My thoughts exactly.

    Especially the scene in the drugstore, where the guy says the same kind of garbage that most of the critters here are spouting.

  28. Dave, I’m having a hard time here. What, if any, is your point?

  29. What, if any, is your point?

    If you are going to use inflammatory photos as a journalist, then take pains to do so in a politically neutral fashion.

    If you have a political case to make, then do it with words and not pictures.

  30. Dave W.: If this post in biased about the war in any direction, surely it is biased AGAINST the war. I can’t even wrap my head around how someone could make the opposite interpretation. I thought it was a very moving photo regardless of one’s position on the war – it can interpreted as showing the foolishness of this war, the courage of our soldiers, or (my interpretation) both.

  31. I didn’t see it as inflammatory. It just made me sad.

    If you have a political case to make, then do it with words and not pictures.

    Right; I don’t think anyone but you sees this as making political points.

  32. . . . the courage of our soldiers . . .

    What I suggested was that Radley should have also included a link to a similarly injured Iraqi civilian.

    Would you have objected if Balko had done what I suggested, James Kabala?

  33. Thoreau-

    Perhaps we should take thousands of photos of wounded Union and Confederate soldiers, and call that “The Lincoln Memorial” instead of the one we’ve got.

    Or we could take photos of thousands of wounded Americans, Japanese, and Germans and call it the “FDR Memorial”.

    I could go on, but you get the point. Wars you disagree with aren’t the only ones that produce images like this, and the wounds suffered by this man hardly prove the war is wrong.

    Hey, maybe we could withdraw and then post all pictures of the subsequently slaughtered Shia and Sunni children as the “US Out Of Iraq Memorial”. Fair enough?

    You’re going to tell me that if we hadn’t gone in there and removed Saddam, the Shia/Sunni violence wouldn’t have happened (I agree, insofar as it wouldn’t have happened in that particular year. But it was coming nonetheless). So instead, we can post pictures of Saddam’s reign of terror (you know, the one that kept Iraq all peaceful) and call that the “Peace” Protester’s Memorial.
    Still fair?

  34. But I feel bad now. That shouldn’t be the discussion on this thread. The important thing is that people like Ziegel and his wife are an unbelievable inspiration who are going to make me think twice before complaining about my hard day.

  35. If you are going to use inflammatory photos as a journalist, then take pains to do so in a politically neutral fashion.

    With “politically neutral” defined as “exactly the way Dave W. and his misfiring neurons think they should be used.”

  36. Good journalism requires balance? Since when?

    “In tonight’s news, President Bush calls for a surge in Iraq only making extremely bad situation worse.”

    “Hey, you can’t just leave it at that, that’s not balanced, that makes Bush seem like an idiot.”

    “Oh ok. Also in tonight’s news, Bush wins Nobel Peace Prize for successfully bringing a peaceful solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.”

    “Ok, that’s better balance, but that’s not true.”

    “Well, what do you suggest? There’s nothing Bush’s done well that can even remotely compare to how badly he fucked up in Iraq.”

    Truth is truth, it requires no balance. If you make unjustified generalizations from the picture, that’s your problem, not the picture’s or the journalist’s. Frankly I don’t see how this picture suggests that this war is justified. If you look at it from that bias, that’s your bias, it’s not the journalist’s fault, the journalist has no control over what bias you will or will not have. All I see in this picture is the true cost of the war, not just dollars, or even just the deaths, but so many lives outright ruined or negatively impacted. All for what? Just to feed Bush’s delusions or desperate hope to save his political reputation. Nothing we do will stop their civil war. Nothing we do will change their minds from wanting to kill each other. No hawk has any clue how this will be accomplished by our troops, yet they go on with their delusions and their rhetoric. Bush should be tried and convicted as a war criminal at this point. Maybe then future Presidents will think twice about doing something this stupid.

  37. I would rather die then live with those injuries. Hell indeed.

  38. To recap the thd for the late joiners:

    1. Dave W. suggests that this post should have linked a picture to a courageous burned Iraqi civilian.

    2. Some people object that no such thing exists.

    3. Other people have no objection to Dave W.’s proposal, but strong objections to Dave W. himself.

  39. I’d rather have my country die for me.

    – Josh

  40. What I suggested was that Radley should have also included a link to a similarly injured Iraqi civilian.

    I don’t see the point of doing that. Of course, balance is a highly overrated concept and doesn’t really exist in the wild.

    Besides, sometimes a cigar is just a fargin’ cigar.

  41. You forgot:

    4. Dave W. has no clue how to recap a thread.

  42. I would rather die then live with those injuries.

    What keeps him in this world are, among other things, the woman standing to his right.

    Fuck Bush and his sham war.

  43. Kelley, thanks for the link.

    The thing that strikes me aside from the horror of the injuries is that his girlfriend (now wife) didn’t drop him like a hot rock. Not eloquent I know, but you get my point.

  44. It’s amazing how a finished artistic work like this becomes a background on which individuals can project their own thoughts. That’s not a criticism.

    Dave W, you _do_ recognize that the picture will certainly be interpreted by some people in an opposite fashion to your interpretation, right?

    I saw it similarly to the Wine Commonsewer – I was absorbed in the drama of becoming ugly and what that might do to one’s chances of being loved.

  45. Wouldn’t a photo balancing that of Sgt. Ziegel be a portfolio of 10,000,000 images, one for each of the smithareens that the suicide bomber blew himself into? Demanding that a civilian be the counterpart of the Sarge combatant is ludicrous. Many an Iraqi civilian has been killed by the same folks who tried to destroy this new groom.

    None of this says anything for or against the U.S.’s continued presence in Iraq. Thise of us who thought it a bad business from the start will be confirmed in that belief by the horror of the pain and loss felt by the surviving wounded and their families, however bravely borne, to say nothing of those who have had to welcome home corpses. Those who continue to support the war will also mourn the lost and feel for the maimed survivors, focusing on the courage with which they face their adversity.

    Kevin

    P.S.: Jiddy, you need one of these from here.

  46. How is posting pictures of wounded American marines pro-war propaganda? It strikes me as anti-war, if anything, from the “Why are we sending Americans to die (or get hurt)” camp.

    ps: hey Matt; sorry I couldn’t make it to your place for the super bowl. 🙁

  47. I looked at this picture right after the write-up was posted. At the time I figured that no comment was needed and thus I went about doing other things. I still don’t think that a comment is really needed – at least not from myself.

  48. If you are going to use inflammatory photos as a journalist, then take pains to do so in a politically neutral fashion.

    Why? This isn’t a mainstream ” impartial news” site. Glance up at the top of the page. “Continuous news, views, and abuse by the Reason staff.” (Empasis added.) Editorials are supposed to be opinionated.

    If the groom had been so injured by a drunk driver on his way to his job as an accountant or zookeeper or lawyer, do you think it would have been linked here?

    Perhaps, or perhaps not. It wouldn’t have had the same impact because accountants, zookeepers, and lawyers don’t intentionally put themselves in harm’s way as part of their occupation. A photo of a firefighter or law enforcement officer would have been linked, and would have been just as powerful.

    My reaction? Thank God I was lucky enough to come back in one piece.

  49. Aw, jeez.

    Dave, keep digging. There’s a pony in there somewhere.

    Or not.

    I think most people here were ready to read this for what it is… i think maybe your feeling of a need for ‘balance’ doesnt give readers enough credit. Radley’s gloss (‘War is Hell’) says more than enough, and the picture speaks for itself. If you think that Reason Must Be Fair and Balanced… well, take that up with the editors. I think most people are mature enough to not see it as some kind of Pro/Anti war propaganda… just a deeply moving photo.

    Or, you can take on your Whipping Boy role with even greater zeal. 🙂 Do not go gentle into that good night!

  50. Radley,

    Thanks foe posting this and reminding us of one of the tragic costs of this needless war. I’m know that there’re also many photos of the Iraqi victims of our government’s aggression.

    Unless we apply immediate political pressure to forestall it, there will be more suffering due to the administration’s developing attack on Iran.

  51. …Shoulda been: “I know that there’re also many photos of the Iraqi victims of our government’s aggression.”

  52. I think most people are mature enough to not see it as some kind of Pro/Anti war propaganda… just a deeply moving photo.

    Then I imagine that you also think that
    most people are mature enough to look at a picture of a wounded Iraqi civilian and not see it as some kind of Pro/Anti war propaganda… just a deeply moving photo. Accordingly, you should have no problem with what I proposed upthd.

  53. One would have thought that Marine sergeant might have had the decency to lose a little weight for his wedding, for cryin’ out loud!

  54. I think you can look at the photo and simply come to the conclusion that he snagged himself a wonderful woman.

  55. Happy Jack,
    My silliness aside, that marriage will last about as long as one of Britney’s.
    War is Hell’s chain reaction.

    Peace, peace, peace I say.

    Peace NOW!

  56. Ruthless, just how long have you known those two people, that you have such insight?

  57. Keith,
    Are you totally incapable of interpreting the artistry of a photograph?
    Why do you think this one took first prize?

  58. Then I imagine that you also think that
    most people are mature enough to look at a picture of a wounded Iraqi civilian and not see it as some kind of Pro/Anti war propaganda… just a deeply moving photo. Accordingly, you should have no problem with what I proposed upthd.

    Then get your own goddam blog and post a picture of a dead Iraqi civilian on it, rather than trying to boss people around about what they do with their blog. Light a candle instead of cursing the darkness, however much that’s against your MO.

  59. Posting this picture is sapping our national resolve and imboldening the enemy. Look how the insurgentsy in Irag got stronger after they published those pictures with the flags on the coffins.

  60. This is probably in bad taste, but the first thing I thought of when I saw that pic was this:

    http://www.chasingthefrog.com/movie-villains/darth-vader/shawscene.jpg

  61. This is probably in bad taste, but the first thing I thought of when I saw that pic was this:

    Here’s the link

  62. Then get your own goddam blog and post a picture of a dead Iraqi civilian on it, rather than trying to boss people around about what they do with their blog. Light a candle instead of cursing the darkness, however much that’s against your MO.

    I do have a website. Instead of posting pictures of wounded US military men and wounded Iraqi civilians there, I post pictures of neither there. That is another way to maintain journalistic balance.

    While I don’t post pictures of wounded people there, I do, and there is no way to say this politely, put a fuckload of work into the content on my website.

    As far as man-hours of my own labor goes, you have no idea about my MO.

  63. Kevin, that was eloquent. Well said, man. Well said. Thank you.

  64. OMIGIOD DuBois! LOL, you and Ruthless are headed for a twin sled to hell (on a downslope with greased runners).

    The upside it that it won’t be that long before Bailey’s buddies will be able to put this Marine back together right.

  65. Dave W, I think you missed Crimethink’s point. It wasn’t about the quality of your blog or the work that goes into it.

  66. The thing that strikes me aside from the horror of the injuries is that his girlfriend (now wife) didn’t drop him like a hot rock.

    I imagine that there would be a lot of social pressure not to do so, and if she was in love with him beforehand, she would feel very guilty if she did that.

    That being said, if I were the guy coming home with that kind of injury, I would want to privately make sure that the woman I love really still wanted to be with me, and if she didn’t, I would initiate a break-up to spare her the guilt and reproach.

    Of course, I don’t and can’t have any idea what their private relationship is like, I’m just projecting my own feelings on the situation.

  67. Ruthless, are you totally incapable of admitting that you were wrong to make such a comment?

    You shot yourself in the foot, Tex, don’t make it worse by stuffing the wound full of beef byproducts.

  68. Wars you disagree with aren’t the only ones that produce images like this, and the wounds suffered by this man hardly prove the war is wrong.

    If this war had racked up any accomplishments of note then you’d have a point. But this war has been a failure, and so the only legacy will be the broken bodies and ruined lives that it’s left in its wake.

    Bush’s legacy will be those broken bodies and ruined lives, as well as a host of lost liberties and the bankruptcy of a generation due to Bush’s reckless spending.

    I hope for your sake that you live a long life, George Bush, because once it’s over you’re going to hell.

  69. TWC: I said it was in bad taste. 😉

    What makes me feel sorry for this guy is that while he’s done with war (hell), he’s just beginning with marriage (hell squared).

  70. thoreau,

    Come on now. George Bush already accepted Jesus as his personal Savior, so it doesn’t matter what he does for the rest of his life, he’s going to eternal bliss after his graceful exit from this earthly domain.

  71. crimethink-

    I suspect that in 1999 or so he was probably approached by a man of wealth and taste (Cheney, perhaps?) and told “Do what I say, and you will become the ruler of the most powerful country on earth. All the nations will have to acknowledge your power.”

    Apparently, Bush did what that man told him to do. He doesn’t look a thing like Jesus, that’s for sure.

  72. Damn Thoreau,

    I’m hardly a Christian, and I’m even less of a GW fan (I think he’s an arrogant tool who’s caused far more problems than he’s solved) but who are you to say who’s going to hell, should that place exist? A rudimentary reading of the bible would suggest that that would be second-guessing God, and that’s a no-no, right?

  73. “That young lady has a rough life ahead of her, and she has stepped up and accepted the challenge. You know that her man would have tried to push her away, and that she refused to go.”
    Keith,
    You are the one who wedded himself to an untenable position.

  74. Fair enough, andy. I was being arrogant.

    I still think he would do well to reconsider the spiritual implications of some of his decisions…

  75. Ruthless: You’ve shot yourself in the foot once.

    Why in the heck are you RELOADING?

    However, on the slim chance that you can fire three synapses without losing the sequence, just how strong do you consider the probability that calling off the wedding never crossed her mind? Or that she didn’t do her research?

    No, you just came here to prove how smart you aren’t. And when you were caught, you did your Bill Clinton imitation.

  76. There was a guy in Vietnam, Ken McGarrity; he lost both legs and both eyes. The doctor who saved his life wasn’t sure he did the right thing saving him. The Doc looked him
    up 20 yrs. later, the guy had three daughters, fixed his own roof, and scuba dived. Wife said he was a terrific husband and dad. It all depends how you process it inside. Still, the photo is haunting for some reason.

  77. . . . still haven’t figured out what Dave W. is griping about.

    Dave – you were the first to politicize the pic.

  78. My personal bias: I really wish the firm that employs me would hurry up about the job in the Green Zone that they asked me if I was interested in about one month ago so I can support these guys a lot more directly.

    Also, it seems that wounded Marines seem to get hotter chicks than warm, safe, unmarked pacifist cowards.

  79. My silliness aside

    I can appreciate combat humor.

    War is Hell’s chain reaction.

    A moment of comfort is better than none at all.

    Peace NOW!

    Now you are being silly. I’m figuring Iran is about 60/40 right now. Meanwhile, Congress is piddling with non-binding resolutions.

  80. Guy:

    You’re crazy if you want to go to the Sandbox.

    But then, it was the crazies who came to America instead of staying at home and continuing to inbreed.

    This woman knows that she’s getting a man as a husband, not a coward.

  81. Can someone just post a picture of a dead iraqi slathered in HFCS to shut him the hell up?

  82. I’m figuring Iran is about 60/40 right now. Meanwhile, Congress is piddling with non-binding resolutions.

    Serves those Iranians right, for not leaving well enough alone in Iraq. Why can’t they just mind their own business?

    Heck, why stop with Iran? Why don’t we just blanket all of North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia with an overwhelming surge? Then those meddling Iranians would have no place to hide, ha!

    What’s that you say? We don’t have enough troops to do that? Hogwash. According to Federal law, all able-bodied men from age 18 to 42 are members of the militia; we’ve got to have at least 100 million of them sitting at home right now. Bring it on!

  83. “Apparently, Bush did what that man told him to do. He doesn’t look a thing like Jesus, that’s for sure.”

    But he doesn’t talk like a gentleman either…

    I’ll bet a few Iraqis, insurgents and civilians, have been similarly injured. However without the advanced medical care available to Ty, most of them would have died (which is a good thing. Please, if my face ever gets burnt off, just let me slip away).

  84. Wait, Reason did post a picture of a grossly disfigured guy who held the city of Boston hostage for hours. Not just a link like on this story, a full picture.

    Don’t you pay attention before whining Dave W?

  85. I really think that this picture would be best used to show the dumb kids who are still enlisting in the military. Bush wouldn’t be able to fight his little war if he didn’t have military ads that look like videogames on TV every 40 seconds to recruit the young and stupid. This was is wrong in every sense of the word.

  86. And I think it’s time to drop this rhetoric about our soldiers being “brave” and “heroic”. They’re hired thugs. Everybody knows that Iraq has nothing to do with “freedom” or “liberty”.

  87. And I think it’s time to drop this rhetoric about our soldiers being “brave” and “heroic”. They’re hired thugs. Everybody knows that Iraq has nothing to do with “freedom” or “liberty”.

    Frank joins up with General Westmoreland and Charlie Rangel for the slavery method of military service.

  88. Hey, Frank, UP YOURS!

    For it’s Tommy this, and Tommy that, and ‘Chuck him out, the brute!’
    But it’s ‘Saviour of his country’ when the guns begin to shoot …

  89. I hope for your sake that you live a long life, George Bush, because once it’s over you’re going to hell.
    ===================================
    You may be right or you may be wrong, Thoreau. I’m a Christian, and I try not to think about hell and who might populate it since it’s not my business and my perspective’s flawed anyway.

    Another thing I hate to think about is this. Most Americans were just fine with the war until they saw the flag-draped caskets.

    As if God cares whether the dead or the maimed are American or Iraqi.

    Our own hearts are full of rationalizations and selfish motives so vile that Mr. Marine’s face and body look unscarred and virgin-clean by comparison.

    That applies to me just as much as anyone else, but I’ve been forgiven and now I’m busting my ass to make a change.

  90. Hey, Frank, UP YOURS!

    For it’s Tommy this, and Tommy that, and ‘Chuck him out, the brute!’
    But it’s ‘Saviour of his country’ when the guns begin to shoot ..
    ==============================
    Old song quoting aside, trooper, do you honestly believe this country DESERVES to be saved?

  91. I’d stake my life on it.

    Come to think of it, I do stake my life on it.

  92. Also, it seems that wounded Marines seem to get hotter chicks than warm, safe, unmarked pacifist cowards.

    I have a scar from hernia surgery…does that count? Also, I’m not a pacifist; I totally believe in sending other people to war.

  93. Any moral reason for that? Anything at all other than reheated patriotic lines? I love my country, too, but I certainly hate the things it’s been doing lately.

  94. I have a scar from hernia surgery…does that count? Also, I’m not a pacifist; I totally believe in sending other people to war.

    Then why are you trying to break into the set of chickens I was talking about when you were not included to begin with?

    Oh, and that scar does not count. Neither do riot batton wounds.

  95. Then why are you trying to break into the set of chickens I was talking about when you were not included to begin with?

    So how come I don’t have a hot chick?

    This is upsetting and confusing. I’m going to go look at my scar.

  96. So how come I don’t have a hot chick?

    Ah, skip the scar and join the Marines. Bonus if you get to fly, chicks are all over they guys with the longest zippers.

  97. What ralvarez said at 3:30PM.

    The photo is gruesome. It shows that the battlefield is a dangerous place. People get terribly wounded. And yet, they come home and marry their sweet heart and make the most of their lives. Isn’t that (make the most of our lives) what all of us try to do?

    If one were to use this photo as an exercise in propaganda, and this is Reason H&R so of course that is what we are all doing, then the easiest spin to put on this is in support of the war in Iraq. This is a wounded, but proud Marine, in uniform, clearly still a part of the hated war machine. I doubt he would have much patience with all of you weepy, “can’t we all just get along” types.

  98. If one were to use this photo as an exercise in propaganda, and this is Reason H&R so of course that is what we are all doing, then the easiest spin to put on this is in support of the war in Iraq. This is a wounded, but proud Marine, in uniform, clearly still a part of the hated war machine. I doubt he would have much patience with all of you weepy, “can’t we all just get along” types.

    Since this seems to be directed at me, let me respond:

    1. I don’t hate the war machine, or at least the part that is on the ground actually fighting. They are brave, just as the pictures of the wounded Marine indicate.

    2. I hear a lot more weeping and gnashing of teeth here out of the pro-war, and ambivalent-about-the-war crowd here than I do out of me. I can discuss this post objectively as good or bad journalism. Many here seem to have such strong emotions that they cannot do that. I can understand such weepiness, but don’t accuse me of being weepy.

    3. To Guy: my chick is hotter than the Marine’s. That’s the fact, Jack. Whether his is as loyal as mine — we’ll have to check back in 8 years on that. It would be interesting to see a blog post on divorce rates among returning combat vets. There seems to be less sexual infidelity surrounding this war than other wars (which we should probably be thanking the Iraqi civilians for), so hopefully the intact marriage rate is improving apace. Maybe Mr. Balko could do a little research on this and let us know.

  99. Dave,

    Actually, my post was not directed at you. I am pretty sure that I would be classified as a “hawk” by others here, although I don’t really think I fit that description well.

    But since you raise the point. I see no need for “balance”, nor any need to post pictures of Iraqis injured in the war, nor any need to do anything at all greater than what was done.

    I am amazed that so many people here think this photo represents anything other than a hopeful “life goes on” message. Again, see ralvarez’ 3:30PM post. I am astonished that this simple picture motivated more than 100 posts.

  100. Wayne,

    What would your reaction have been if Mr. Balko had chosen to post a picture of a wounded Iraqi civilian instead of a wounded US military person?

    Would you complain? Stop coming to this site? Not have a strong reaction one way or the other?

    (My hunch is that you would get my point about balance here a lot better if it was your ox gettin’ gored.)

  101. There seems to be less sexual infidelity surrounding this war than other wars (which we should probably be thanking the Iraqi civilians for), so hopefully the intact marriage rate is improving apace. Maybe Mr. Balko could do a little research on this and let us know.

    Now THAT is the MO of which I spoke. If you’re that interested in the subject, why not do the research yourself? With the advent of the Intertubes, it shouldn’t be that hard.

  102. Wayne,

    What would your reaction have been if Mr. Balko had chosen to post a picture of a wounded Iraqi civilian instead of a wounded US military person?

    Would you complain? Stop coming to this site? Not have a strong reaction one way or the other?

    (My hunch is that you would get my point about balance here a lot better if it was your ox gettin’ gored.)

    Really not for me to say, but probably Wayne would have thought it equally as poignant – to quote, “a hopeful ‘life goes on’ message.”

    If you honestly think your ox is being gored in this situation, you are a far sillier man than I originally thought.

  103. If you honestly think your ox is being gored in this situation, you are a far sillier man than I originally thought.

    1. The “ox gored” thing is a term of art in political discussion. It doesn’t many that any oxes are disfigured.

    2. If Mr. Balko had linked a photo of a wounded Iraqi civilian, and everybody gushed about how heroically she and her family faced her pain of disfigurement, then I would have still posted on the thread to chide Mr. Balko for not showing any disfigured Marines for balance. Balance is a two way street and I do both ways.

    3. However, if Mr. Balko had linked a photo of a wounded Iraqi civilian, I don’t think I would have had to post on the thd because it is pretty certain that other posters would have made my point for me and in no uncertain terms.

  104. If you’re that interested in the subject

    Because I am more interested in you and Guy and everyone else knowing about the subject than I am in knowing about the subject personally.

    So I am making an appeal to the man with the podium, as it were.

  105. dave w.

    Why don’t you post some of the goddamn pictures you think everyone should see?

    Or just shut up.

  106. Why don’t you post some of the goddamn pictures you think everyone should see?

    I prefer that Mr. Balko clean up this post on his own. it would be a better learning experience for him that way.

    If you want to look at something else, then check out that youtube video I linked upthd. that video is all over the headlines in England, so probably a lot more newsworthy than anything we are discussing way down here.

    The video is interesting because the dude hallucinates and thinks orange panels are orange rockets. Then they think they are going to jail because the hallucination had fatal consequences. However, as it turns out, they didn’t have to go to jail after all. Kind of makes you wonder about military justice.

  107. While their causes may not always have been right, I thank goodness that America produces young men and women who will stand on Lexington Green, rise up behind the wall at
    Gettysburg, go over the top at Belleau Wood,
    and jump into the surf at Omaha Beach. If they hadn’t, would we still have the ability to talk to each other here, in this fashion, and publically debate what the foreign and domestic policy of the United States should be?

  108. I wish that America produced kids that were smart enough to decide if being a soldier was a morally correct thing to do. In this country, we heap praise on our soldiers unconditionally, even if they’re killing little kids in Cambodia or Iraq.

  109. “I wish that America produced kids that were smart enough to decide if being a soldier was a morally correct thing to do.”

    You say this as if America’s kids are not smart enough, and as if being a soldier is immoral.

  110. If they hadn’t, would we still have the ability to talk to each other here, in this fashion, and publically debate what the foreign and domestic policy of the United States should be?

    Most likely, yes. For example, people in England can talk on the Internet, as can people in their former colonies, such as Israel.

    If the South had been allowed to secede, there is no particular reason that the Confederacy would have banned the Internet. Frankly, the Confederacy seemed to tolerate quite a bit of freedom of speech out of non-slaves.

    World War I did not pose a threat to US security, and arguably, neither did WWII.

    I mean, I am glad some of these wars were fought, but lets not get carried away with the counterfactuals here. That is so two thousand and three.

  111. I wish that America produced kids that were smart enough to decide if being a soldier was a morally correct thing to do. In this country, we heap praise on our soldiers unconditionally, even if they’re killing little kids in Cambodia or Iraq.

    Continuing with his slavery theme, no person should make a choice unless it is a choice that Frank approves of.

  112. I prefer that Mr. Balko clean up this post on his own. it would be a better learning experience for him that way.

    If Balko decided this second that for the rest of his life he would never write about anything more important than pop-culture jokes, he could still point to his accomplishments in cases like that of Cory Maye and say with all honesty “I, Radley Balko, have done a hell of a lot more for the cause of justice than has Dave W. with his talentless-music website.”

  113. talentless-music website

    I thought the correct term for that was ‘music that promoters just don’t understand’?

  114. Try listening to it sometime, Guy. I’m embarrassed to say that I have.

  115. . . . have done a hell of a lot more for the cause of justice . . .

    So what do you think of that Youtube video of the strafing that I linked, Jennifer? Was justice done? Were you even aware of that video before I linked it?

    I mean, I agree that Mr. Balko has done more for the cause of justice than I. That is one reason why I am so hopeful that my gentle corrections in this thd will have a positive influence on the guy.

  116. Try listening to it sometime, Guy. I’m embarrassed to say that I have.

    I don’t think I have to listen to it to be in agreement with you 🙂

    Probably was a bit cryptic with my statement. I was harking back to all of the ‘real’ music buffs I have known who are into music nobody listens to and swear that it is because we are too dumb to understand it and/or music companies are in a conspiracy against it.

    Kind of like postmodernist writers.

  117. Dave W,

    Congratulations. Whenever I think of straifing I think of you and the other way around.

  118. Two problems with Dave W.’s dumb argument: One, the picture could have been interpreted as being pro “or” anti-war. Second, if we followed his “logic” then if someone had caught a picture of a drug raid gone wrong – going into the wrong house, then in order for a responsible journalist to print that photo he would also need to print a photo alonside of it of a drug bust gone right – where they did get the house right. For every photo of a school shooting, we’d need to see a photo right along side of it of someone using a gun responsibly. For every photo of a someone delivering an unpopular speech that does not lead to riot, we’d have to have photo alongside of it of people rushing from a theater where someone has just yelled ‘fire.’ And so on.

  119. Yes, Guy, we have already established that you want to kill me. A couple months back. Thank you for the timely reminder, though.

  120. Were you even aware of that video before I linked it?

    Yes, I was. It’s common knowledge on British news sites. Knowing how to access sites whose addresses end in “.co.uk” isn’t a skill rare enough to be worth bragging about.

    That is one reason why I am so hopeful that my gentle corrections in this thd will have a positive influence on the guy.

    He’s probably laughing his ass off at you. I suppose that counts as something positive.

    Seriously, Dave–whichever voice in your head keeps telling you that your purpose in life is to post lunatic comments in hopes of “correcting” people who don’t do as you see fit–the voice lies.

  121. One, the picture could have been interpreted as being pro “or” anti-war.

    So could a picture of a disfigured Iraqi civilian. There is no reason that you can’t be pro-war and still look at pictures of wounded Iraqi civilians.

    Second, if we followed his “logic” then if someone had caught a picture of a drug raid gone wrong – going into the wrong house, then in order for a responsible journalist to print that photo he would also need to print a photo alonside of it of a drug bust gone right – where they did get the house right. For every photo of a school shooting, we’d need to see a photo right along side of it of someone using a gun responsibly. For every photo of a someone delivering an unpopular speech that does not lead to riot, we’d have to have photo alongside of it of people rushing from a theater where someone has just yelled ‘fire.’ And so on.

    Those situations are different. We do see pictures of drug busts gone correctly. For example, there was that picture of the kid urinating that Mr. Balko linked. Mr. Balko also reported on the Buffalo newspaper that went along on drug raids and reported favorably. I don’t specifically recall that pictures were taken, but since it was a newspaper story, I am pretty confident that they had pictures. i have ssen posed pictures of police with their drug stashes in transit to ye olde evidence room.

    We do see pictures where someone is using a gun responsibly. After Cheney shot his lawyer in the face and evaded the drunkeness testing, we got to see pictures of him using guns responsibly at other hunts over the years. the show COPS shows people (that cops) using guns responsibly. King of the Hill had an episode where Bobby and his father used guns responsibly.

    I have seen pictures of rioting crowds and non-rioting crowds. More often it is a non-rioting crowds, but that is because non-rioting crowds so far outnumber non-rioting crowds in the real world.

    What I don’t see is pictures of wounded Iraqi civilians. So there is the difference. If reason had been linking pictures of wounded Iraqi civilians now and again over the years, we would not be having this discussion at all. However, they haven’t and that is part of what makes this post unbalanced and politically manipulative at the margin.

  122. the strafing was a regrettable, fog of war, accident. File it under, “shit happens”.

  123. Dave,

    Balko posted the picture that he wanted to post. He seems content with his decision. Balko does not think the way you want him to think. Get over it.

  124. to be worth bragging about

    First, you accuse me of not doing enough for justice. I concede that I haven’t done as much as Mr. Balko, but make a partial defense by showing that I do do something for the cause of justice.

    Then you characterize this partial defense as “bragging.”

    that is not fair, Jennifer. Like when you treated Horace unfairly.

    My advice to you: get a better sense of justice and apply it in your own dealings with others. Life is not like the club, where the bouncers bounce on your say-so.

  125. the strafing was a regrettable, fog of war, accident. File it under, “shit happens”.

    why is it not in the “drug hallucinations” file? When a drugged person looks at panels and sees rockets, that is a hallucination. That is what that is called. the appropriate metaphor is not “fog,” but rather “trippin’ on speed.”

  126. I concede that I haven’t done as much as Mr. Balko, but make a partial defense by showing that I do do something for the cause of justice.

    Being a thorn in the side of the sane doesn’t count as “doing something.”

  127. Jennifer,

    You crack me up!

  128. Dave W, I just wandered into this thread, and I really don’t even begin to understand your point here. You came in and made a statement which makes no sense (that this photo is somehow biased unless its accompanied by a photo of an injured Iraqi), used that to draw a conclusion that makes even less sense (that Reason is somehow pro-war, despite the fact that the magazine, and this blog especially, have been both practically and philosophically opposed to the war as far back as I’ve been reading it), and then ignored a number of salient and well-phrased responses to complain about personal attacks. You claim to want to raise the level of discussion, but it seems to me that the shrill polemicism you bring with your message will inevitably just cheapen it. Perhaps a more in-depth, reasonable explanation of why you feel a disservice has been done would clear things up, but it seems to me like you are far more anxious to divide the conflict into “wounded Iraqi” and “wounded American”, when many of us are just distressed about the entire category of “wastefully wounded (or, of course, killed).”

    I do not see how linking to more violence and horror on either side would make this image or message more poignant. Lives are being damaged, and no one is quite sure why. But choosing to show an American who has suffered is no less legitimate for the lack of a parallel Iraqi image. It is tempting to make comparisons like have been made above, saying that this doesn’t demand “balance” any more so than the images of civil rights marchers being attacked with fire hoses are less legitimate for not being matched with photos of racial rioting, or every picture of a school shooting victim should be accompanied by a photo of a family saved from home invasion by owning a weapon, but I think that grants your complaint a validity it doesn’t have. Those situations imply some inherent contrast between those points of view, and this situation simply doesn’t. Nothing about the tone of this picture, this blog, or this discussion indicated this picture is meant as a call for vengeance or a slander on Iraqis. To the contrary, everything about them shows it as a sad lament to a tragic event. While an argument for true balance would have to justify why we shouldn’t see it all the time, your argument isn’t really one for balance. It just seems to be one for, at best, a right to write this blog, and at worst, a shallow claim for attention.

  129. “The upside it that it won’t be that long before Bailey’s buddies will be able to put this Marine back together right.”

    Actually, it’s because of Bailey’s buddies (Exxon Mobil) that this guy was wounded in the first place.

  130. Dave W.
    Your follow-up response makes a little more sense but it seems you are shifting the goal posts: your original missive was that two pictures should be linked for balance. That’s a different sort of argument from the argument you make just above that a magazine, over a longer time span, should draw attention to other sides and images of an issue.

    In any case, the photo wasn’t necessarily political at all, in the sense of being pro or for the war – that’s another interpretation. It’s just a startling and moving photo. Sometimes it’s okay to just print things that hit you in the gut.

  131. But choosing to show an American who has suffered is no less legitimate for the lack of a parallel Iraqi image.

    I think I just answered most of your questions in a cross post, but at the risk of repeating myself:

    The Iraq War has been going on almost 4 years now. there has been a noticeable lack of images of the wounded civilians (of which there are many — and we have no idea how many). I mean the images may be out there on Al Jazeera or something, but here at reason and HnR, these images have not been set forth and/or linked.

    We also don’t see photos of disfigured veterans who are angry about the war. we can’t even look at flag draped caskets.

    So when Mr. Balko puts up pictures of this Marine in his uniform, it makes for an unbalanced graphical presentation here at Reason.

    So normally, pictures do not need to be a tit for tat proposition. HOWEVER, when you have a situation where a publication (or worse yet all publications) has consistently and for years avoided showing us images of wounded Iraqi civilians, I don’t think it is fair to show a comparable picture of one of our team, especially not when that particular team member believes in the mission that he advertises his military service at his wedding.

    Tell you what though. The pictures do not have to be side by side. Even I do not require so much. I will be fully satisfied if Mr. Balko links a wounded (by US troops) Iraqi civilian picture tomorrow. Or next week. or the week after that. or the week after that. or the week after that.

    Unless, Guy hunts me down and finally kills me, I look forward to apologizing to Mr. Balko at that time and letting him know that I knew he had journalistic balance, but that I am just a woefully impatient man.

  132. mono
    mania
    mono
    mania
    mono
    mania
    hut hut hike!

  133. Dave, congratulations on taking an amazing photograph and single-handedly turning it into the most worthlessly troll-ridden Reason thread of the year. You must be so proud.

  134. I really don’t know what publications you read, Dave, but the cover of cnn.com just this morning was the aftermath of a market bombing in Iraq, complete with a video link. Hell, even the lead story of foxnews.com right now features a picture of weeping Iraqis surrounding a bombed-out shell of a building.

    But again, I think that even getting to arguing that point grants you a logic I can’t find. For goodness sake, the title of the post that linked the photo was “War Is Hell” – the intended message and personal response of Mr. Balko simply could not be any clearer.

    Your argument that the veteran’s decision to wear his uniform indicates some sort of support for the war rings very hollow. Having grown up in a military family, I can tell you that pride in one’s military service and one’s military branch extend beyond the question of being pro or con this war or that war. And even if it didn’t, if the crux of your argument is really that showing a disfigured man in a military uniform (which, of course, is the only way one could indicate in a single-shot photo where these injuries came from, and in doing so tie his condition to a statement about the war) somehow subliminally encourages support of the war (and keep in mind it must be subliminal, because nothing else about the link or that photo gives you even the slightest inkling of how that gentlemen feels about the war or his injuries) then I don’t know what else to tell you. Because in that case your argument essentially boils down to the case that a photo is a blank canvas open to interpretation, and the possibility, no matter how remote, that that photo might be interpreted in a way that you disagree with somehow entitles you to see explicit photos that you feel cannot be misinterpreted to be posted. (Never mind the fact, of course, that one could just as easily say that linking willy-nilly to wounded Iraqis could and should be interpreted as demonstrating American power and success in the war, and as encouragement for the war effort.)

  135. Yes, Guy, we have already established that you want to kill me. A couple months back. Thank you for the timely reminder, though.

    Your stupid assertions to not establish anything and you are misusing the word “we”. Jennifer covered the others besides you in that set, they lied to you.

  136. the aftermath of a market bombing in Iraq

    Yeah, they show the ones that are presumed not to have done by alliance troops and/or secret agents.

    The political agenda behind showing this photo, but not the Fallujah (sp?) pictures is to: (1) make us believe that Iraqis would be killing each other just as frequently if the US had never intervened; and (2) make us believe that Iraqis will start killing each other more frequently if we pull away the US military presence. I don’t mind these points being made in words, by really resent the fact that they are made instead by CNN’s editors deciding which photos to run and which not to run in order to create the desired impression.

    That is another form of bias. That is even more reason for Mr. Balko to take extraordinary pains to achieve balance in the specific context of an American journalist reporting on an Iraq war related story using pictures of the wounded.

  137. Dave, for the second time you’ve thrown up a post addressing an aside in my response that I have clearly labeled as such, and totally ignored the central basis of what I’ve said. You have in no way explained how Mr. Balko’s post subscribes to your grand conspiracy theory (other than in the terms discussed above) or why your “solution” is a good thing at all.

    I’m not here to argue with you whether there’s a noticeable pro-America bias in the majority of mainstream American media, but I don’t want you to think it’s gone unnoticed that, in failing to address any real questions or complaints about your position, you’re no longer in any way supporting or addressing your original comments. Instead, you’ve merely retreated towards safer ground and acting as though the type of violence depicted in mainstream media photos of Iraq somehow justifies your accusation that Mr. Balko was being “manipulative” and presenting a pro-war view.

  138. I understand Dave W’s argument perfectly. He is standing up for one priciple: “balance” (how that principle is defined is disputed, but that’s beside the point). Balance is the only thing that matters to him. It must be upheld. Period. And he’s standing up for that principle to the ultimate conclusion: insanity laced with a strident refusal of nuance. (And I’m using the real definition of nuance, not the thing that “progressives” do in their underwear.)

    dhex called it right: monomania.

    But you can’t call Dave W unprincipled.

  139. Dave W,

    “When a drugged person looks at panels and sees rockets, that is a hallucination. That is what that is called. the appropriate metaphor is not “fog,” but rather “trippin’ on speed.”

    WHAT are you talking about? What “speed”? These A10 pilots attacked a British tank convoy by mistake. The pilots did everything right. They talked it over between themselves before they fired. They called back to the battle operations center TWICE to verify that no coalition troops were in the area. The battle ops center cleared them to fire TWICE by telling them that no coaltion troops were in the area. One of the pilots thought the orange panels on the tanks were missiles; that is why they fired. They were flying at 300 MPH, and they made a tragic mistake; tragic for them and tragic for the British corporal they killed.

  140. to your grand conspiracy theory

    My theory is that if Mr. Balko links to a picture of a wounded Iraqi civilian, wounded by US troops, that he will be relieved of his duties here at HnR. Especially if the linking post simply says “amazing picture — has been on my mind a lot lately.”

    Why is that a conspiracy theory? It seems more like a theory about the administration of his employment contract. the ppl who fire him in this hypothetical wouldn’t need to have any special secret meetings or organizations to fire him. they would just fire him as part of the ordinary course of business.

    About the only thing that might be conspiratorial is how Mr. Balko and/or Reason announced his firing to us, the public. Even that would not be much of a conspiracy — it is customarily for ex-employer and ex-employee to be somewhat discreet when an employment contract is terminated. For better or for worse, there is nothing unusual about the “moved on to oter opportunities” gambit or the “wanted to spend time with family” gambit.

  141. Continuing with his slavery theme, no person should make a choice unless it is a choice that Frank approves of.

    Not at all. If people want to be soldiers, they should be soldiers. But pretending that they’re “heroes” or “brave” for doing their job is patently absurd. They choose it. They know what they’re getting into. They weren’t drafted. I don’t see how somebody doing their job is a “hero”. We need soldiers, but I certainly don’t consider it an honorable profession. Hired thugs are hired thugs, whether they wear a US military outfit or not.

  142. Hey, nice to see that Dave W. is just himself today and not Sam Franklin to boot. Welcome back to solitary insanity Dave!

  143. Hey, Dave W., Tim Cavenaugh posted a link to lots of dead people in Lebanon last year. Pics of the people you want to see.

    The link is now dead, but at the time, it was filled with horrendous photographs of dead and dying people in a war zone.

    Which leads me to make the following two points:
    1) There’s your balance.
    2) You’re an utterly craven peice of shit.

  144. They called back to the battle operations center TWICE to verify that no coalition troops were in the area.

    Because orange is the color used to mark friendly vehicles, and they were firing upon orange vehicles, they should have gotten better and more specific clearance, or perhaps let the next planes in the air investigate further.

    The one crew member recognized as much when he said that the orange panels were going to screw them (they didn’t though).

    If the trucks hadn’t been marked in orange, i would agree with your view. However, because the vehicles were marked in orange, it is clear that the entire crew’s judgement was way off and casts serious doubt about how panels got hallucinated into rockets.

    I think it was the drugs. i know this because they haven’t made the toxicology results public, which they would do if they were clean.

  145. 1. yeah, I would be pretty mad if they tried to off my family too.

    2. Dead link?

    3. Tim who now?

  146. This reminds me a lot of Jason Schechterle, a Phoenix cop who was horribly burned when his car exploded. There have been any number of articles and a few tv shows about him.

    http://www.officerjason.org/pov/press/ap_part1.html

  147. Dave, here’s a link to The Wayback Machine archive of images from the website.

    Now, I know that Radley’s posting of a single image has gotten your straightjacket in a twist because you perceive it as some sort of bias, but since Tim Cavenaugh posted a link to many, many pictures, I guess we can all conclude that Reason is biased in favor of Islamic nations. Or whatever the opposite is of the stupid point you’re trying to make.

  148. “My personal bias: I really wish the firm that employs me would hurry up about the job in the Green Zone that they asked me if I was interested in about one month ago so I can support these guys a lot more directly.”

    The six-figure salary probably doesn’t hurt, either.

    😉

  149. I know a lot about how war should be conducted, maybe I ought to sign up and show them how it’s really done.

  150. Mediageek: But five months after making that post, Tim left Reason for a similar job with a more prominent periodical! That completely validates everything Dave’s said. Totally.

  151. Besides that, it should also be pointed out that civilians killed by the Israeli military is not the same thing as civilians killed by the US military.

    I can’t see how anyone would confuse the two, really.

  152. You mean where somebody makes an attack under a false flag? Yes, you do seem to get that part, imposter. Where did you find out about false flag attacks? Fascinating subject. I could go on for daze.

  153. The six-figure salary probably doesn’t hurt, either.

    😉

    Don’t forget the per diem in addition to salary.

    However (for the benifit of Dave W. and the other cheese-eating-surrender-monkey Socialists here), if it were just the money I would stay right here and get a similar job to the one I do now with a high travel requirement.

  154. Dave W. Linking to an injured Iraqi might also be balanced. However, it is not necessary to achieve balance. The post is fine the way it is. Your assertions that Radley posted this intentionally as part of a pro-war bias is patently insane. Is this some sort of absurd performance art for you? The idea that Balko is a part of some crypto-fascist pro-war agenda to praise the Iraq debacle through faint damnation is a sign of either batshit frootloopery or brilliant post structuralist farce that makes a the narrative of a Dali painting look straightforward.

  155. My compliments to all. This thread has been a hoot. Dave W, you stay off the meds because the private world you live in is way funny.

    Some of the phrases today have jangled my funny bone big-time!: “thorn in the side of the sane…”, “cheese-eating-surrender-monkeys…”, “straight jacket in a twist…”.

    Who would have thought that a post about a horrifying, “War is Hell” picture could turn out to be so much fun?

  156. “My theory is that if Mr. Balko links to a picture of a wounded Iraqi civilian, wounded by US troops, that he will be relieved of his duties here at HnR.”

    my theory is that a) reason is more anti-war than pro in its editorial stance as a magazine, and decidely moreso in its blog; b) to get rid of someone who is writing on a hot topic (home invasions via SWAT), young and has the potential to blow up (i.e. when a SWAT team finally kills a young pretty white girl and the cable stations need someone who can bring the hammer down in 3 minutes or less) would be incredibly stupid; and c) you either deeply crave attention – hence the music sideline – and you like this way of getting attention, or you are Max.

    Max was an old jewish man who played the fiddle on the Lower East Side back in the 1920s. His poor wife would suffer through his evening practices after meals, and did so for years; Max, you see, only played one note over and over again.

    One day, after 20 years of marriage, she finally broke:

    “MAX! MAX! PLEASE! Other people play songs, or write their own! Why can’t you just play a song?”

    He looked up at her and stopped playing for a moment. “Ahh, but they’re looking for it – I’ve found it.”

  157. “Besides that, it should also be pointed out that civilians killed by the Israeli military is not the same thing as civilians killed by the US military.”

    Whatever, Dave. For as often as you blindfold logic, strap it to a board, and pour water on it, you should be able to make the leap with no problems whatsoever.

  158. The ultimate point is that Dave W. seems to be making the claim that Radley Balko, Reason Magazine, and Reason Online are decidedly pro-war.

    (How one can read a wedding photo of a bride and horribly-wounded groom as being pro-war is, really, quite beyond me.)

    So I posted a link to not only an entry by a Reason staff member*, but also the archive of those photos of dead Lebanese children, etc.

    But since it was a different war, prosecuted by the Israelis, then it obviously doesn’t count as proof of Reason’s stance on war in general, or war as it exists in the Middle East, or even war as prosecuted by one of America’s closest allies.

    To sum up:

    Dave W. is a lunatic, and I’ve wasted time actually trying to argue with him.

    *The fact that he has gone on to bigger and better things is quite immaterial here, regardless of what Dave “Crazy as a fuckin’ Hatter” W. says.

  159. My theory is that if Mr. Balko links to a picture of a wounded Iraqi civilian, wounded by US troops, that he will be relieved of his duties here at HnR. Especially if the linking post simply says “amazing picture — has been on my mind a lot lately.”

    Why is that a conspiracy theory?

    Because there’s absolutely no evidence for it? Because it requires the Ascended Masters at Reason to be publicly against the war, but secretly for it? Seriously, do you have any evidence whatsoever besides your own fevered imaginings that anyone blogging at Hit and Run will be punished for too-obvious anti-war stances?

  160. Grylliade, don’t forget about the Corn Syrup.

    I hear that can result in fever dreams that cause one to take flight of their senses.

  161. Is this some sort of absurd performance art for you?

    No. that is more what my website is about. This discussion is separate from that and more serious to me.

    I know it hurts to be implicitly told that you are not anti-Iraq-War enough, but if the shoe of acquiscent guilt fits then you just have to smack yourself on the side of your own head with it until the pain goes away.

    I look forward to returning to the US soon. I can see the sense starting to come back, collectively and even through the hollow mockery, which is easier to take now that nobody singles me out as a “Bush hater” like they used to do at the war’s dawning. I miss the US. It was hard to leave and it is not that fun where I am. A lot of people suffered for the Iraq War in a lot of different ways. Let’s explore them all together. I am sure that we could not have had this conversation in 2003, 2004, 2005 or 2006 (when I was banned), so you guyses (well most of yous) progress has been grimly rewarding for me.

    I am also sure we continue to follow Mr. Balko’s excellent writings, no matter where his integrity may lead his career in the following months.

  162. you’re not Max at all.

  163. Guys, I know it’s easier said than done, but “Don’t feed the troll” remains the third best piece of advice on the internet. (“Don’t go to the sites where that Dateline NBC reporter hangs out” remains the best advice, and “Don’t reply to Nigerian spam with your bank account number” is the second best advice.)

    Probably 75% of the posts in this thread are replies to a troll. Can anybody say that they’ve enjoyed this thread (besides the troll)?

  164. “I think it was the drugs. i know this because they haven’t made the toxicology results public, which they would do if they were clean.”

    Dave, you’re a loon. I do admire how you take all the bashing here and seem not to notice; maybe it is part of your psychosis.

  165. Aw, thoreau, don’t be a hater. If we didn’t feed the troll, how would we get phrases like “Thorn in the side of sane”? That’s worth all the little bread crumbs we’ve thrown in Dave W’s crazypond.

  166. If we didn’t feed the troll, how would we get phrases like “Thorn in the side of sane”? That’s worth all the little bread crumbs we’ve thrown in Dave W’s crazypond.

    Awwwww. Y’all flatter me, indeed you do.

  167. Pretty moving it has to be said. And that woman right now is most impressive woman on the planet as far as I am concerned.

  168. That photograph is worth at least a thousand words, but this thread far fewer:

    Fuck off, Corn Syrup Boy.

  169. Hey, I admire Jennifer’s posts as much as the next person, but I’ve seen her write insightful and entertaining things without the help of crazy people.

  170. Oh, and coming down from back down to earth for a moment, did anyone else notice the look on the woman’s face? I don’t know how to describe it, but there’s something important in the look on her face.

  171. Lunchstealer:

    That look is grim determination.

  172. Much as I think Dave W. is a loon, “the shoe of acquiescent guilt” is spectacularly funny.

  173. Wow, we’ve gone from Ruthless, who can predict how long complete strangers’s marriage will last, to Dave W, who’s an expert on air-to-ground.

    Ruthless is FUBAR, but Dave, if you are interested in the truth, go flying with someone in the desert, fast, at low level. Even at the 80kts that a Cessna does, you’ll be surprised at how different the world looks. It’s not the same as the view out the window of an airliner. Push it up to the 250kts that those guys were flying and it’s even more of a challenge.

    That’s why they have those strobe lights flashing on smokestacks and antenna towers all day long. Even though they are on the charts, and very rarely change positions, they are much less obvious in the air than they are to someone on the ground.

    This is why the two most frightening words to a close air support pilot are “Danger Close,” warning that the Good Guys are not a safe distance away from the Bad Guys.

  174. Push it up to the 250kts that those guys were flying and it’s even more of a challenge.

    All the more reason that more caution should have been used by the drugged up crew when the one guy saw orange rockets.

  175. Thanks for teaching me about the tiny url thing. As far as the grim determination, I remember my uncle’s marine corp photos with his wife when he was promoted to Lt. Colonel. There was the same flat look. Is this something that you are supposed to do for official pictures in the uniform?

    As I said earlier this photo shows more about her love for this man.

    http://tinyurl.com/yooscf

    (I really do need to learn how to link, is there a place you can put in a url and it will spit out a link?)

  176. jiddy, you have to use html tags to get them to link here. It’s not hard, it’s just kind of annoying.

    Information Here.

  177. Andrew Ian Dodge | February 12, 2007, 3:23pm | #

    Pretty moving it has to be said. And that woman right now is most impressive woman on the planet as far as I am concerned.

    That’s pretty much what I’m thinking.

    jiddy | February 12, 2007, 5:05pm | #

    […] As I said earlier this photo shows more about her love for this man.

    http://tinyurl.com/yooscf

    I like that one … because she looks happy.

    And so does he.

  178. That last picture is beautiful.

  179. Dave W wrote: “moved on to oter opportunities” — obviously he’s drugged up, because that’s why he thinks people make mistakes.

    As a non-aviator (whose opinions on aviation simply are meaningless), he wouldn’t know that there’s that big, hot, bright thing in the sky that the rest of us call the “Sun,” or that it bounces off objects on the ground (we call that “reflection”), and at flight speeds this is a brief flash of less than 1/100th of a second off something the size of the plastic sheeting used for signal panels. Ground flashes are FREQUENTLY mistaken for gunfire, rocket launches, etc (which is why aviators are issued rescue strobes with blue lenses). When you link that to a concentration of military vehicles and personnel, in an area where you are told there are no friendlies, the assumption that any aviator would make (drugged or not) is that they have just been fired on. Since it’s their job to FIRE BACK, that’s what anyone would do.

    Of course, to paraphrase Patton the Elder, I am perhaps committing the greatest heresy by commenting on aviation from the standpoint of an aviator.

  180. When you link that to a concentration of military vehicles and personnel, in an area where you are told there are no friendlies, the assumption that any aviator would make (drugged or not) is that they have just been fired on. Since it’s their job to FIRE BACK, that’s what anyone would do.

    It sounds like you did not watch the video I linked, Keith. Your account is inconsistent with the things the plane crew is saying on that.

    If you want to know what somebodyt sounds like when they are hallucinating from too much military issue speed, then you have to scroll up, control-C that link and control-V it into your browser bar. Unless your boss is as mean as mine is it should work fine. Even in their drugged state the crew thinks it is going to jail. Like these all these wedding pix, it is quite touching.

  181. If you want to know what somebodyt sounds like when they are hallucinating from too much military issue speed…

    …read Dave W.’s comments.

  182. Speed causes hallucinations?

    And here I thought it was just the loud noise made by a gun that was bumped by a bottle of corn syrup.

    Dave, far be it for me to recite a clich?, but here it is:

    It’s better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

  183. “the shoe of acquiescent guilt”

    Good name for an album.

  184. Dave W:

    You don’t get it.

    As a non-aviator, you simply don’t have the qualifications necessary to have a valid opinion on anything having to do with aviation.

  185. As a non-aviator, you simply don’t have the qualifications necessary to have a valid opinion on anything having to do with aviation.

    I’ll remember that next time a legal issue or mechanical engineering issue comes up here at HnR.

    Have you ever flown on methamphetamine, Keith? I mean what is your credential here?

  186. Dave W,

    How do you know it was Meth? Maybe they were dropping acid, or shrooms, or Viagra? I mean as long as we are just pulling accusations out of thin air, why not something really exotic.

  187. Google “U.S. air force” pilots stimulants. i don’t know that they were on meth per se. I don’t know if we would even recognize the name of the stimulant they were on, even if the US chose to disclose it.

    What I do know is that euphoric people tend to engage both in wishful thinking, and in whatever behavior will lead them to getting as much good drugs over as long a time period as they possibly can. For US pilots I imagine this means killing a lot of enemies.

  188. Dave,

    You’re a loon. I am doing my best to satisfy my OCD urge to get the post count to 200 or greater, but I am all talked out. Maybe you would be kind enough to generate another 5 posts about any topic that interests you?

  189. What I do know is that euphoric people tend to engage both in wishful thinking,

    So what euphoriant were you on when you concluded that Reason is run by a secret pro-war cabal?

  190. Don’t think we are getting to 200, but that isn’t the point.

    Worth reading:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jessica_Lynch

    To answer Jennifer’s question, perhaps some Merlot — I don’t remember — and it wouldn’t have been much in any case. Wine is expensive in Canada and also not as good. that is one small imposition I bear in order to avoid paying into the Iraq War fund like you and Mr. Balko do.

  191. “Wine is expensive in Canada…”

    So, you are one of them damn draft dodgers?

  192. So, you are one of them damn draft dodgers?

    I left the US for a couple reasons, but the biggest one was that the Iraq War is an unjust war based on lies and I did not want to support such a bad enterprise with my income taxes.

    Now that the war seems to have basically run its course, and USians are not acting as stupid about it any more, I may come back.

    There are many sacrifices involved in being here, but I do not regret my decision.

    There is an extremely low probability that I would have been drafted, even if they had the draft, and from what I know, I don’t think you can legitimately escape a draft by moving to Canada anymore anyway. In other words, potential conscription was not a factor.

    If I truly felt that US borders were threatened, I would volunteer for military service like my father and grandfather did.

    I don’t have a problem with the US defending its borders. In fact, I wish they had made a better show of doing that on 9/11 when it actually mattered.

  193. “If I truly felt that US borders were threatened, I would volunteer for military service like my father and grandfather did.”

    The southern border is threatened. The US is being invaded by icky brown-skinned people from the south. Maybe you should now volunteer?

    There, that makes 200!

  194. For Christ’s sake, Wayne, be quiet! Our Iraq misadventure is going badly enough without Dave running around harassing the Quartermaster Corps for using the wrong kind of sweeteners.

  195. “What I do know is that euphoric people tend to engage both in wishful thinking, and in whatever behavior will lead them to getting as much good drugs over as long a time period as they possibly can. For US pilots I imagine this means killing a lot of enemies.”

    Every time Dave W. hits the “Submit Comment” button on Hit ‘n’ Run, the nice man in a white lab coat gives him another tab.

  196. Please, don’t post many more times. Please don’t get the post count near 300; I am tired.

    I am tired enough to swallow a handful of bennies and jump in my A10 for combat air patrol. I am tired enough to pull the thorn out of my sane side and see it bloom into a full blown rose as the hallucinogens kick in just before I squeeze the trigger on those oranges.

  197. To get back to the thread, I think Ty Ziegel’s story is well worth reading when told in words instead of pictures:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/article1294008.ece

    Mr. Ziegel does a great job speaking for himself. He comes off funny, smart and not like anybody’s propaganda device.

    I wonder how he feels about the fact that his photos are getting better play than his story.

  198. Dave W: Nope. I don’t do any kind of dope (including tobacco or alcohol). This is why it looks really stupid for the Dope Warriors to go from knocking down doors to knocking back Buds, or busting people smoking grass while they’re smoking formaldehyde.

    However, the point remains: you are completely unqualified to discuss ANY kind of aviation issue. And you appear to be proud of your ignorance, rather than taking the chance that you will learn that you are wrong.

  199. Dave W: Oh, you’re in CANADA.

    Many questions have just answered themselves.

    Have a nice day.

  200. Dave W: Nope. I don’t do any kind of dope (including tobacco or alcohol).

    Then you could not know how POPOV36 was feeling when he saw orange rockets where orange panels really were.

    You should try shrooms. They might free your mind and allow you to (finally) enjoy sex with a woman.

  201. Me = I think most people are mature enough to not see it as some kind of Pro/Anti war propaganda… just a deeply moving photo.

    Dave W = Then I imagine that you also think that
    most people are mature enough to look at a picture of a wounded Iraqi civilian

    yeah, dave, sure.

    But thats not an argument for the whole ‘balance’ framework you set up. Is your approach to winning over older readers of your juvenile comments calling them dumb? or justifying your position? I’m closer in your camp than you realize, but I dont think your defense has much merit

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