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  1. #1
    hty2
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    What has happened to America? A brother speaks

    After Patís Birthday
    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/200601019_after_pats_birthday/
    Posted on Oct 19, 2006
    By Kevin Tillman

    Editorís note: Kevin Tillman joined the Army with his brother Pat in 2002, and they served together in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pat was killed in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. Kevin, who was discharged in 2005, has written a powerful, must-read document.


    It is Patís birthday on November 6, and elections are the day after. It gets me thinking about a conversation I had with Pat before we joined the military. He spoke about the risks with signing the papers. How once we committed, we were at the mercy of the American leadership and the American people. How we could be thrown in a direction not of our volition. How fighting as a soldier would leave us without a voiceÖ until we got out.

    Much has happened since we handed over our voice:

    Somehow we were sent to invade a nation because it was a direct threat to the American people, or to the world, or harbored terrorists, or was involved in the September 11 attacks, or received weapons-grade uranium from Niger, or had mobile weapons labs, or WMD, or had a need to be liberated, or we needed to establish a democracy, or stop an insurgency, or stop a civil war we created that canít be called a civil war even though it is. Something like that.

    Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

    Somehow our elected leaders were subverting international law and humanity by setting up secret prisons around the world, secretly kidnapping people, secretly holding them indefinitely, secretly not charging them with anything, secretly torturing them. Somehow that overt policy of torture became the fault of a few ďbad applesĒ in the military.

    Somehow back at home, support for the soldiers meant having a five-year-old kindergartener scribble a picture with crayons and send it overseas, or slapping stickers on cars, or lobbying Congress for an extra pad in a helmet. Itís interesting that a soldier on his third or fourth tour should care about a drawing from a five-year-old; or a faded sticker on a car as his friends die around him; or an extra pad in a helmet, as if it will protect him when an IED throws his vehicle 50 feet into the air as his body comes apart and his skin melts to the seat.

    Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.

    Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on the ground.

    Somehow those afraid to fight an illegal invasion decades ago are allowed to send soldiers to die for an illegal invasion they started.

    Somehow faking character, virtue and strength is tolerated.

    Somehow profiting from tragedy and horror is tolerated.

    Somehow the death of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people is tolerated.

    Somehow subversion of the Bill of Rights and The Constitution is tolerated.

    Somehow suspension of Habeas Corpus is supposed to keep this country safe.

    Somehow torture is tolerated.

    Somehow lying is tolerated.

    Somehow reason is being discarded for faith, dogma, and nonsense.

    Somehow American leadership managed to create a more dangerous world.

    Somehow a narrative is more important than reality.

    Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

    Somehow the most reasonable, trusted and respected country in the world has become one of the most irrational, belligerent, feared, and distrusted countries in the world.

    Somehow being politically informed, diligent, and skeptical has been replaced by apathy through active ignorance.

    Somehow the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, vacuous, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country.

    Somehow this is tolerated.

    Somehow nobody is accountable for this.

    In a democracy, the policy of the leaders is the policy of the people. So donít be shocked when our grandkids bury much of this generation as traitors to the nation, to the world and to humanity. Most likely, they will come to know that ďsomehowĒ was nurtured by fear, insecurity and indifference, leaving the country vulnerable to unchecked, unchallenged parasites.
    Luckily this country is still a democracy. People still have a voice. People still can take action. It can start after Patís birthday.

    Brother and Friend of Pat Tillman,
    Kevin Tillman

  2. #2
    Rambunctiously Pugnacious JayHawk's Avatar
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    Re: What has happened to America? A brother speaks

    Somehow your own higjly publicized loss means your opinion counts more, somehow.
    Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.
    ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


  3. #3

    Re: What has happened to America? A brother speaks

    So many young Americans enlisted after 9-11.
    They did so to protect our country and make it stronger.
    Instead of defeating the perpetrators of 9-11 our leaders saw fit to send these soldiers into Iraq.
    Iraq had an unpopular regime led by a monster but was not a threat to this country.
    Not only have we sent patriots to their slaughter, but we have galvanized world opinion against us and our brave soldiers.
    Tillman and Cindy Sheehan are but two voices imploring us to make radical changes.
    We owe them and our wounded and dead military our relentless support.

  4. #4
    General_Alfie
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    Re: What has happened to America? A brother speaks

    Quote Originally Posted by mazda3boi View Post
    Somehow your own higjly publicized loss means your opinion counts more, somehow.
    Thank you for yet another telling example of just how astoundingly hypocritical right wing extremists really are.

    The radical wingers seemed to really love Tilman when he took his football uniform off and suited up instead as an Army Ranger, along with his brother. I mean, after all, the wingnuts weren't about to risk ANYTHING to avenge the attacks of 9-11, were they? No, the flower of American wingnuttery hunkered down in their parent's basement and launched war blogs and fought on the home front. Why, even the Bush family showed it's penchant for avoiding risk at all costs by staying firmly planted in their blue-blooded estates in Bar Harbor and Key Biscayne: not a single member of the extended Bush crime family is in the US armed forces, not one. Seems those freaks and cowards are only interested in avoiding fighting in wars and making money off of them.

    So here we have the brother of Pat Tilman, himself a "soldier of 9-11," writing about the made-up stories that the GOP used during the 2004 election campaign to win votes, and you dismiss these words and this man as another cry baby. That makes perfect sense. When it comes to personal cowardice in face of political danger, count of the kooky cons to do the wrong thing -- always. Of course, we all know that Republicans care more about their party than they do about their country, but perhaps you shouldn't be so eager to paint that picture for us.

  5. #5

    Re: What has happened to America? A brother speaks

    Quote Originally Posted by mazda3boi View Post
    Somehow your own higjly publicized loss means your opinion counts more, somehow.
    I believe it is that due to his highly publicized loss and time spent fighting in Iraq that has netted him an opportunity to speak up on what he thinks has cost him a brother and his own time, both of which cannot be replaced, by an administration that has been tactically and strategically pathetic.

  6. #6
    Banned chance1's Avatar
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    Re: What has happened to America? A brother speaks

    Kevin Tillman has a right to his opinion. He suffered a terrible loss with the death of his brother Pat from friendly fire, after it was reported otherwise. He served his country honorably. While I'm sure his feelings about his brother's death and the war are raw, they are real - and he as earned his right to dissent and I respect his opinions.

    Kevin has not disrespectd the President/the admin/the country with ranting/raving like Cindy Sheehan who dishonors her son with her absurd rantings and connections to political hacks. So I do not see the connection between these 2 - not at all. She is a publicity hound who has not carried herself with dignity.

    Kevin is displaying his god given right of expressing his views

    Alfie on the other hand resorts to personal attacks - perhaps you should follow Kevin's lead Alfie in subsequent posts

  7. #7
    General_Alfie
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    Re: What has happened to America? A brother speaks

    ^ Sorry that the truth is so painful for you.

  8. #8
    JUB Addict WYSIWYG's Avatar
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    Re: What has happened to America? A brother speaks

    The American people voted for the present administration twice and elected Republicans to a majority of both houses of Congress....the American people have themselves to blame for the presnt hatred that we ourselves have fostered in the World against us.

    As was stated a long time ago, "War is hell". Allnations sent there young to be mamed and killed..you name the war and you will find thousands of young men who have died for a "Noble War". We never should have gone to Iraq. The evidence is clear, and the Iraq people don;t even want us there!! If I were a soulder on Iraq I would have serious doubts about being there. It is a full blown civil was there and we need to get out and let the Iraq people decide what they want and how to run their own country!

    As with most super powers, we are super one day and at the bottom the pile the next! We better wake up as a nation and find other ways to make the American society better, and improve our image abroad!

  9. #9
    Rambunctiously Pugnacious JayHawk's Avatar
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    Re: What has happened to America? A brother speaks

    Quote Originally Posted by General_Alfie View Post
    Thank you for yet another telling example of just how astoundingly hypocritical right wing extremists really are.

    The radical wingers seemed to really love Tilman when he took his football uniform off and suited up instead as an Army Ranger, along with his brother. I mean, after all, the wingnuts weren't about to risk ANYTHING to avenge the attacks of 9-11, were they? No, the flower of American wingnuttery hunkered down in their parent's basement and launched war blogs and fought on the home front. Why, even the Bush family showed it's penchant for avoiding risk at all costs by staying firmly planted in their blue-blooded estates in Bar Harbor and Key Biscayne: not a single member of the extended Bush crime family is in the US armed forces, not one. Seems those freaks and cowards are only interested in avoiding fighting in wars and making money off of them.

    So here we have the brother of Pat Tilman, himself a "soldier of 9-11," writing about the made-up stories that the GOP used during the 2004 election campaign to win votes, and you dismiss these words and this man as another cry baby. That makes perfect sense. When it comes to personal cowardice in face of political danger, count of the kooky cons to do the wrong thing -- always. Of course, we all know that Republicans care more about their party than they do about their country, but perhaps you shouldn't be so eager to paint that picture for us.
    No Alpo. You have no idea where to come from on this issue. Tilman was a tragedy as was every loss this country has suffered and every loss that will come. But to somehow lend more credence to a voice given simply because he has one that agrees with the liberal press is not only biased it is obscene.

    Who spoke or rather who listened when the over nine hundred americans died prior to 9-11. Very few and their voice was not aired in the media. WHy? It didn't meet with the agenda.

    WHether you agree with our intentions or think it is some right wing conspiracy, the battle currently waging in the middle east certainly has invited terrorist, certainly many have died. You can argue whether they would attack if our heads were buried back up our asses just like before 9-11 but you can't argue they are doing what the muslim extremist need to do, they are dying.

    SO while this issue WILL change the guard in the white house IF the libs can find a candidate America will vote for this time. I hope it WON'T change our tactics against killers who will either fight us here or there. Our choice.
    Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.
    ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


  10. #10
    Banned chance1's Avatar
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    Re: What has happened to America? A brother speaks

    Quote Originally Posted by General_Alfie View Post
    ^ Sorry that the truth is so painful for you.
    Not sure what u are referring to Alfie. The truth is not painful. Your redundant attacks on anything related to the administration - now that's painful.

    I'll repeat my point for you. Try showing some decorum - next time will be the first - and change is good for the soul.

  11. #11
    Delusions of Adequacy MadeUpName27's Avatar
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    Re: What has happened to America? A brother speaks

    Hey guys -
    Take a break from the bitching and moaning.
    Forward Tillman's letter to 20 or 30 undecided voters.
    Who knows, you might actually accomplish something...
    "For your benefit, learn from our tragedy. It is not a written law that the next victims must be Jews."
    ~ ~ ~ Simon Wiesenthal ~ ~ ~

  12. #12
    General_Alfie
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    Re: What has happened to America? A brother speaks

    Quote Originally Posted by mazda3boi View Post
    No Alpo. You have no idea where to come from on this issue. Tilman was a tragedy as was every loss this country has suffered and every loss that will come. But to somehow lend more credence to a voice given simply because he has one that agrees with the liberal press is not only biased it is obscene.
    You are in argument free-fall. Your contorted, disjointed babblings aren't' worth replying to. I will say, though, how terribly sad it is that Bush and his fellow loons so badly botched Afghanistan. Instead of finishing off one war and finding the perp of 9-11, Bush lied to the world and got us stuck in Iraq, a nation that had neither Osama nor the jewel in the crown, the nukes and other WMD. You pray at the altar of immorality, incompetence and liars.

  13. #13
    grizzled
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    Re: What has happened to America? A brother speaks

    Quote Originally Posted by mazda3boi View Post
    Somehow your own higjly publicized loss means your opinion counts more, somehow.
    Somehow it's better not to comment when you have nothing to add.

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