October 27, 2006
The push-up's little recognized yet chief value is development of core strength which for the purposes of our program we've defined as "mid-line stabilization". Very few people can perform full range push-ups without deformations of posture.
Baghdad Vigilantes and the Dark Side of Civil Society, TCS Daily, By Frederick Turner
Post thoughts to comments.
Posted by lauren at October 27, 2006 6:10 PM
get after it! 5.2 mi. hill run
A fairly vapid article. 100% percent hypothesis with no substantiating facts whatsoever.
Coach how about some articles on the controversies withing the fitness industry? Or at least some meatier articles.
That's a real woman right there.
I'll do a hill run tomorrow too on this goat trail in Briones park. It's badarse with logs to hurdle and a couple barbed wire fences to roll under and hella steep hills. Nice rest.
Does this fall under the category of specualtive fiction?
Although I'm cool with suicide bombers used against military targets (well, based on the logic of Battlestar Galactica's Colonel Tigh two weeks ago), I've no love with death squads (to be explored this week on Battlestar Galactica). A bomber, suicide bomber, attack of any sort against civilian targets just disturb me. Death squads targets civilians last I checked. They are terrorists in the very definition of the word in my opinion.
Granted, a recent rest day article lauded the benefits of attacking civilian targets (compare comments on Sept. 09, 2006). I hope it's not the CFHQ philosophy merely because they highlighted the article. Still, there's merit in demoralizing the populace if one believes the populace empowers the government. Course, that validates suicide bombing of civilian population centers to demoralize the support of the government by said population.
Know what, these Rest Day post articles are great. They highlighted the benefits of killing civilians and death squads.
Now if only we can show that as six major corporations own all the media, that any of those that have financial interests in Bally's and 24 Hour Fitness will not positively highlight CrossFit in any news article. Nah, that's being way to paranoid.
An interesting thesis, but I, too, would have liked some facts for the theory. I looked at his bio in the hopes that he was currently on the ground in Iraq or had been there or something else. Despite that, it's an interesting theory - I was puzzled about what point in American history were there death squads that preceded democracy? I don't remember those.
I don't think that the Death Squads are going after civilians. As this guy writes it he is going after the extremists who are supporting and executing the attacks...by that since they are going after "Combatants" in civilian clothing. To me these extremists are hiding behind the law and using it against the Iraqi government and us. The vigilantees are just returning the favor. Atleast the they are protecting their homes and families. Though I don't want to agree with their tactics...I am not in their shoes.
I am reminded of a coach I had who grew up in a neighborhood that started to go south in his late teens. In the late 70's a group of drug dealers moved into the neighborhood. The MEN of the neighborhood waited for several months for the police and the justice system to rid them of this infestation...however it only got worse as junkies started to hang around. Then the MEN of the neighborhood got fed up and yanked who they believed was the "head" of the operation out of his house in the dead of the night. They put his arm over the curb down the street from his house was. They told him in no uncertain terms to get the F*** out of their neighborhood and take his friends and business with him. Then they stomped on his arm snapping it. As he layed there screaming they walked back to their homes and locked the doors. They had already diconnected his phone line as well. The drug dealer was not welcome to use the phone to call for help nor did anyone in the neighborhood give him any quarter. He was gone within 36 hours from the neighborhood.
Who are the criminals?
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
cctjoey, i agree with you totally, a time comes when good MEN can no longer turn a blind eye to what is happening in their own community...everyone hates that their community is going downhill, everyone complains about it, everyone becomes de-sensitised to it...and most everyone expects someone ELSE to solve the problem....
we begin to tolerate the decay of our community over time....we get de-sensitised to it and what was once deplorable becomes tolerable...an analogy i once heard likens this to a frog being put in a cold glass of water...heat the water very slowly and the frog will remain in the glass until it cooks in boiling water....but drop a frog in boiling water and it will leap straight out....it hasnt become de-sensitised to the problem! (and no i havent tested this, i like animals etc!)
It's possible that death squads are responsible... but since there's a lack of proof in his article to back it up, I say that it's a boogeyman or booogeymen that are behind all this violence.
MSM should be happy to hear this, since nothing scares the public more than a boogeyman (or boogeymen). I'm surprised CNN didn't scoop this story first!
Missed Mary wednesday so did her today. Logged in comments wed.
How do you think the American West was "won" or civilized? We like to believe it was the lone sheriff in the white hat facing down the gang of villians that brought order to the wild west. More often it was vigilantes who would hunt down & eliminate real or perceived threats.
Missed Fran on Tuesday, so did today (maybe not so smart, given tomorrow's and Sunday's Cert. Seminar.
As for the article, I thought it was an interesting thought experiment. I think some of the posters above shouldn't be so worried about whether the author's put "time on the ground" in Iraq. This is a very short piece, intended to provoke thought about the role of violence in the founding of a democratic republic.
As such, I'm not sure about his claim that all such republics were founded on death-squad violence. It's certain that most democracies have a violent past, though many of them weren't internal, like death squads (e.g. Japan, Germany), and as far as I know, the transition to democracy in places like Korea were relatively death-squad free.
In any case, I think it's an important point he's making: not that the ends justify the means (i.e. a peaceful, democratic society justifies death squads), but that even peaceful, democratic societies can be founded on the arbitrary (meant in the sense of "Not limited by law; despotic") use of violence.
On the other hand, I'm skeptical of the author's claim that this is a spontaneous upwelling from civil society in Iraq, unless you count the Shiite militias as "civil society". I would be more likely to place them in the camp of "tools of Iran seeking to establish a _Shiite_ Islamic theocracy....but I guess that's just me. From my limited perspective, it looks like civil war.
agreed on the push ups, on my assessments for physical strength/relative strength, there are maybe 10% of everyone that can perform a push up correctly..the modified push ups that CF North uses as well as their bench marks are GREAT starting points for any PT's wanting to use push ups as a starting assessment tool for upper/torso performance
Anybody heard the song "Whiskey for my men (beer for my horses", by Toby and Willie? How about Simple Man, by Charlie Daniels?
It is a wonderful thing that we live in a liberal democracy, which affords a clear set of rights to all men and women: the right to a trial by jury, the right to legal representation, the right to "take the Fifth", etc. Even though we (well, me, with others) may rail against the ACLU, the bottom line is these issues are discussed and resolved without violence. We have a process. Not everyone may like the process at all times, but I think we all believe--certainly I do--that with time and patience whatever things we dislike can be changed, through political election and through legal evolution.
(I will add, as well, parenthetically, that even though I was irritable on the last Rest Day--for which I will repeat my apology--I have, with Scotch and time, come to realize that everyone who opposes me and my opinions is doing my a favor. They are compelling me to become more informed, and a better thinker, if I force myself to keep the debate on a high level. There are certain things that seem to me so obvious, that I can't imagine how anyone could think otherwise, but the fact of the matter is, intelligent people out there are reading books and websites that are just a little bit correct. Because they are just a little bit correct, they can spin arguments off of those facts, to convince people of things that really don't square well with facts.
But the important thing, is there is a process that they go through. They don't pull these opinions, by and large, out of thin air. That means that since they have made up their minds once, they can make new decisions, if new information is provided. That is my task, along with others on this (and other) sites who regularly choose to participate in these discussions.)
Getting back to the topic at hand, it seems clear enough to me that relative peace is a precondition for the exercise of what we might refer to as "refined rights". My right to life logically and practically precedes my right to trial by jury. If there are people in my community who are regularly, by their actions, reducing our liberty to move around, and--in many cases, such as those of suicide bombing--to live at all, then the sum total of rights in the community is INCREASED by the summary removal of those individuals, by any means necessary.
Trial by jury is of course preferable, but who is to say that the trial would not be blown up by another bomber? You're creating a target. The police, as a group, have been a frequent target for homicide bombers. If they do their job correctly--per ACLU guidelines, they both risk their lives, and risk failure.
As mentioned, this guy is basically saying what he HOPES is happening. I have often voiced my support for the war in Iraq. This does not mean it is not painful for me to read about all the death. As anyone who reads the news knows, the deaths which are by FAR the most plentiful are the deaths of ordinary Iraqis, trying to live up to the ideals we have imported and imparted. This man is hoping that they are taking care of business, like Texans with rope and an old oak tree.
Why stop at mid-line stabilization for correct pushup form, why not demand that there be no compromise in cervical alignment as well?
OPT (#15)-- what are the "modified push ups that CF North uses"?
#18, John, at CFN, Coach Dave Werner (sp) has organized athletic skills and levels, scoring, benchmarks for the push ups and modified push ups I use based on that (kneeling with chest to ground)
#17 - agreed, and based on cranio sacral work (forget the guy's name whose data shows that), it has a big part to play
Interesting and thought-provoking. Regardless of how one ultimately feels about death squads, vigilantes, etc. it is always instructive to examine the basic premises upon which an argument or viewpoint is constructed. It is no less instructive here.
If memory serves, it was always rather simple to determine the allegiance of the death squads in prior conflicts, including those mentioned in the article. I seem to be pretty clear simply from reading any newspaper whose side the death squads lined up with in Latin America. But it's not as clear to me which side is represented by the death squads in Iraq. Are they really clearing the way for the elected government and evolving society of self-determination, or are they targeting civilians who could perhaps prevent the type of unrest that would tilt the government toward an Iran puppet-state? In other words, are the goals of the death squads truly in line with the American goals and the Iraqi government goals, or are they actually hopeful of ENHANCING the effect of the suicide bombers, the passing attack to the suicide bombers ground attack (to use a football metaphor)? Whether I read the WSJ or the NYT, watch CNN or FOX, that's kinda fuzzy to me.
No matter how you feel about the concept of death squads I think you need to know WHOSE death squads they are before you can offer any thoughts on their place in Iraq on 10/27/06.
Haha, speculative fiction indeed.
I, for one, am enjoying this day.
I felt good today, so I did Cindy.
16 rounds, 5 more than a month ago. =)
I hope that some sort of civil society is reached by all this death, and targeted killing. Unfortunetaly I fear that the death squads are not all of one political mind.
Shite death squads have their own political agenda, and of course there are death squads within the shite population targeting other shites. Such as Al-sadr's assasins targeting more moderite or even pro-(if it exists) american interests.
The majority of the sunni population I believe stands against suicide bombings, but may very well be using death squads to take out what they see as a pro-Iranian element in their political system.
The bottom line is, I fear that these death squads are just the latest tool in what is becoming a larger Civil War. I hope I am wrong. I hope to see a stable Iraq, and or brave boys and girls home, like the author I am a firm believer in a culture of hope.
Sadly though in Iraq, I fear that hope is in short supply.
21-15-9 reps of Pullup singles, Squats and Pushups (easiest) 8:30
100 single unders ~2:00
10 single/double unders ~1:00 (pr 5 in a row)
total time <12:00 and totally exhausted
NO ONE has mentioned the true & underlying cause of this violence. Tribalism...Iraq has been & always will be tribal. Without a discourse on all of the aspects of anthropolgy, irregular warfare, insurgency, counter insurgency & information operations, and as a person with considerable time on the ground chasing, capturing or killing high value targets, the center of gravity is the tribal context in which we are operating & misunderstanding. The military & intelligence activities I work for & with are studying this assiduously. A good analogy is a full on gangland war but on a scale impossible in the United States.
By the way when I say tribal I DO NOT MEAN Sunni/Shia/Kurd- I mean distict families & clans allied or inter-connected through financial, marriage & blood ties. Think Hatfields & McCoys but again, on a scale unseen in US history.
Barry...glad you're in a more chipper mood today than last rest day.
On today's topic. Sounds like Civil War to me on one hand. But on the other it sounds like if the Iraq people pony up and fight against the insurgents than success will be the outcome for the Iraq civilian majority.
My personal thought on the Iraq War is that the US took on a war bigger than they thought after the relatively easy war in Afghanistan. Especially since we fight it with an emphasis on political correctness and righteous. I don't blame administration for choosing to go to war since Saddam was defiant for so many years regarding the UN resolutions. Based on world wide intelligence it seemed that he was hoarding WMD. I think it is a joke that many in Congress changed their mind after approving the war. I thought it was their job to review the information before making a decision. I don't believe in being ignorant. Where is the accountability and responsibility? There is none in America anymore. Blame someone else seems to be the defense.
I tried to improve my push-up form when I did Cindy the other day (that sounds pornographic, sorry) by using paralletes. Boy am I sore right in the core area that should be being worked in the push-up position.
Here are some good links:
We need to remember, almost 40 years ago, how we WON the Tet offensive, on the battlefield, and LOST it due to the relentless offensive on the home front, waged by the cowardly, on behalf of the evil.
Does anyone think it's coincidence that the violence is up in the leadup to the election? Does anyone not grasp that American and European Leftists are a part of the strategy for all of these terrorist groups, who win power not on their merits, but ONLY through the power vacuums created by the dereliction of duty on the part of those who should know better?
The arguments against this war boil down to: it's hard. I guess the question is, are we a nation that is too soft to complete hard things? Are we going to abandon all the Iraqis who honestly took our rhetoric seriously, like we have abandoned any number of other allies and supporters over the years, with the Shiites in 1991 being a great example.
Could someone please explain what a proper push-up consists of? What "deformations of posture" do most people commit? I've always thought my push-ups were textbook, but now I'm curious to learn how they're not.
I have to go see a man about a horse, and will have to absent myself from the rest of this discussion, but did want to add one thing.
The same people who demanded we leave Vietnam in 1968 were the ones spitting on GI's when they returned home. That is the same crowd that is now saying the oppose the war but support the troops.
There's no reason not to believe a lot of our troops on the ground are confused about what we are doing, because our leadership seems confused. It's a confusing situation. However, it is my belief that the bulk of our troops are idealists. Soldiers tend to be idealists. Not in the sense that they are utopian, or even believe that there is always a match between Washington's overblown rhetoric and reality. In point of fact, I've talked to a lot of soldiers who were pretty cynical in this regard.
However, they are idealists in the sense that they believe in principles which transcend their own desire for comfort, and which are worth dying for. This is quite possibly the most sincere form of idealism possible.
In this sense, it is my considered view that MOST soldiers fear futility more than death. Nobody wants to die. I don't, but the fact remains that I will. So will everyone on this board. It's not often said, but it's true. I can affect, but not ultimately control when and how.
Given this, what I fear, and what I think many others fear, is cowardice itself. Giving in to fear, or weakness. Reducing my light because it just gets too hard.
America will not endure forever. The universe is billions of years old. Everything ends. But that is no reason not to fight with every ounce of strength we have.
Awesome video, Anthony. Great ROM on the HSPUs. I saved the link for form on the DLs.
I won't discuss politics. Instead I'll go do my deformed pushups.
CCTJOEY, all of them are criminals. The difference is that while a drug dealer may help people hurt themselves, vigilantes just hurt people. First is the issue of consensual vs. non-consensual crime. Non-consensual crime is worse. Second, vigilantes are more dangerous to society because they usurp the civil function of dispensing justice. One thing I really like about America is that we have the rule of law. c.f. Iraq.
So... how often does a death squad need to guess wrong before they have a net-negative influence on society?
Gah. Pretend like I didn't switch from singular to plural construction in that last sentence.
Good push-up form:
Hands on the ground approx. should width apart(+/- 6")
Feet no more than 12" apart
Body is held rigid in a straight line from shoulders to ankles
Body moves as one unit
Up = arms extended, locked or nearly so
Down = upper arm should be at least parallel to the ground
Bad push-up form:
Body sags at the hips
Body arches at the hips
Fails to decend until upper arm is parallel
Fails to rise so that arm is fully extended
Shoulders raise before hips do
Hips raise before shoulders do
One shoulder raises before the other
I think that pretty much covers it
Is a kipping pull-up more difficult or favored over a standard pull-up, or vise versa? As you can probably tell by the question, I'm new (1 month) to crossfit. This forum has become my go to for all my excersising questions. Thank you to all that respond to the newbie type questions on the board...the answers are helpful to the individual and many others looking for answers.
Honest on the ground opinion of these "death squads"?
I think they're just another form of sectarian violence, I personally don't believe that the individuals taking part in these actions really care that their government is trying to stand up. They are executing each other in the hopes that they will kill enough of their enemy that when the smoke clears they will be in charge. Iraq is a case of to many chiefs and no indians. Everyone thinks they have a legitimate reason to be in charge. The "death squads" exist because the Iraqi military, their police, and most of their civil operations are useless. The population does not trust the police (they're the same guys that were cops when saddam was in power) The military is at best lazy and at worst corrupt (again, alot of the same people just came back and picked up their old job where they left off). Many of the Iraqi soldiers are active members of one militia or another. The militia's are better outfitted, and more motivated, they use something like tactics and planning. The IA (Iraqi Army) goes through the motions, the will turn and run at the first sign of trouble. These people are not ready for large-scale civilization as we know it. Here's a funny story for you, Baghdad had very little constant power throughout the city the first time I was here. You want to know why? It wasn't because we bombed their powerstations, we left them alone because we knew we would need them. But, in between the Iraqi Army abandoning thier security of the powerplants and us arriving to secure them the local population moved in looted everything; and I mean everything, they pulled the wiring out of the walls to get the copper. They shut down the power, not us. Now when we get here they look at us and say, why don't I have electricity? That pretty much explains their water and sewer problems as well. Do the "death squads" exist, yeah, they probably do, but their not doing anyone any good.
#38 - Steve - go check out the message board, huge amount of info there. short answer; learn the kip, and do dead-hangs. Kip for the timed events dead-hangs for the weighted pull-ups. Oh yeah, and use different grips, palms away, palms facing, palms alternating, palms facing center. Happy CrossFitting!
I know it's all about form and fitness and what's inside that's important, but.....God I love buff women with visible tattoos!
# 28 Tracy- "My personal thought on the Iraq War is that the US took on a war bigger than they thought after the relatively easy war in Afghanistan."
WTF?! Easy war in Afghanistan?! Is it over? If you think that we are done there or have been done since before the start of the Iraqi war then you need to do some searching on Google news. Just because NATO took over there earlier this year does not mean in any way that we are done there. What about all the IED's, the suicide bombers that are starting to take hold there, and the resurgance of the Taliban?
Just because its not sexy to talk about the fighting in Afghaniatan on Fox news or (gag) CNN, because Iraq is on everyone's mind does NOT mean that we are done with or in Afghanistan. Also, Afghanistan is very, very close to becoming a drug war instead of just fighting back an insurgency. Who do you think supplies 90% of the opium to the world? Also, Do you think that they are just growing Poppies there? Do you think that there is any kind of government there? Talk about tribal issues. They have them plenty there in Afghanistan. If I have been reading the news stories correctly then what is about to happen to Afghanistan is what has always happened there. No one but the Afghani's can keep Afghanistan. It is telling of what is to come for Iraq too.
If for thousands of years tribes (families) have fought against each other in any country, you can't change that so quickly with modern politics. Politicians need to become more creative and learn some history about the people that they are dealing with before they can go in and expect to change people to their way of thinking, especially if it is a western way of thinking.
yehhhh! Happy b'day to me!!! just got my assisted Band from ironwoody... my day has gone from good, to perfect! :o)
YOU GO GIRL!!! That's my cousin kickin' ass! Woohoo, go Shari!
Travis 37--thanks. Happy birthday Janine.
This is totally not a slam, as that martial arts guy is amazing, but interesting to note that he can't maintain cervical alignment at times.
Anthony W. # 27, strict hspu's would involve straight legs would it not, good depth indeed though...and why slow down the "strict" dead lifts so as to not bounce... cause then the kip pull ups, barbell thrusters and speed squats are bouncing as well then right???
Day behind. Had afternoon off.
"Diane" posted on ystd comments.
Followed up with weighted PU make-up. Started with old PR of 30, finally failed at 55# so new PR 50#. Finished with 4x1 @ 30.
Executed the Diane WoD today @ ~ 11:00.
-Additional 3 sets of bench press up through 185lbs
-Additional 70 inclined military sit-ups and 50 back extensions.
Steve Cotter's extreme workout from Encyclopedia vol. 2. Pretty hot.
Joe, I don't think that having legs bent or straight makes much of a difference in the amount of weight or force needed to push up the body. I feel that bouncing the weight off the ground is using the weights kinetic energy to rebound it up off of the ground slightly, which in turn helps at the bottom of the deadlift. I tried to just touch and go as best as I could. Also, the deadlift is a lift that needs to be controlled on the way down as well, and dropping it at all isn't really controlling it. Kipping pull ups are totally different, and I don't see how one bounces on thrusters or speed squats. Make a video of your thruster or speed squat form so I can see what you are talking about.
He he..Thanks for the comment cousin (Michele- #45) Are you doing the WOD's now ?? Keep it up cuz I plan on getting you to enter WAY more races with me this year!!! Love ya
Nice job #27, that's a good lookin' Diane. You gonna post it tomorrow, too?
I think a lot of the posts have missed the point entirely regarding the death squads. The death squads are not a loosely organized neighborhood gang out to settle old scores. Rather, they are sanctioned and supported by the United States government and the Iraqi government. Obviously the United States cannot openly condone in any way the use of death squads and terrorist acts. The international outcry would be overwhelming, not to mention what the folks in our own country would say. And the Iraqi cannot support death squads either. The Iraqi government is struggling to be viewed as the legitimate power in control of the country, and state-sponsored death squads don't go real far in winning the hearts and minds of the people. Yet US/Coalition forces and the Iraqi government have been unable to effectively resolve the violence that has plagued the nation since we entered Baghdad. The solution is to empower "death squads" by providing them with arms, intelligence, and perhaps, positions in the government that allow them to operate freely, i.e. special police units. The death-squads can act as judge, jury, and executioner (kind of like Judge Dredd, but without the muscles and special effects). The death-squads are not bound by legal issues of evidence, due process, etc (or whatever equivalents are found in Iraqi law). But perhaps the greatest effect of the death squads is that they put the fear of Allah into prospective insurgents that if they are found to be associated in any way with the insurgency, they can expect to be dealt with by the death squads. This might in theory begin to dry up the pool of wannabe insurgents real fast (I am not sure this would be very effective since violence seems to be increasing and the situation overall is deteriorating). Whether or not there is evidence to support the fact that the death squads are actually part of the government, or even if the government looks the other way, I am unsure. But if in fact the police units, such as the infamous Wolf Brigade, are in fact guilty of extra judicial killings, then there are some problems that I see. The first is plausible deniability on the part of the Iraqi government. How do they authorize and support the killings while distancing themselves from the atrocities? Is there some sort of unspoken agreement on the part of those in the know and those involved to not speak of it, as Fredrick Turner seems to argue? The second issue then is, how does the government balance the appearance that they are not involved and cannot control the death squads, with the success they hope to achieve from the work performed by the death squads? So if we, (meaning the US government) and the Iraqi government do sanction the death squads, how do we justify our support of terrorism? My understanding is simplistic, but it seems to me that the situation is not quite what it appears to be. It is certainly not beyond our government to do some really, really, shady s**t, and the idea that we are empowering these guys is not outside the realm of possibility.
Where would I find info on what constitutes a proper pushup? I'm not sure now that I'm doing em right :) if only 10% of the people are...any videos/explanation somewhere?
No, 54, I will post tomorrows WOD. Thanks for asking though, and I can email you the link tomorrow if you would like to see it again.
Do you think the Afghan war is in the same scope of the Iraqi war? I was just stating my opinion why the US went into Iraq. Granted now that Women and girls can go to school is a nice consequence of defeating the Taliban. Not too many things are easy. The Taliban refused to give up Bin Laden so they had to deal with the consequence.
Maybe I am a day late and dollar short, but I would like to comment on the awesome effort by Brett in his Diane video. He did all the reps without rest. He did good handstand pushup and good deadlifts. Were they perfect? Any decent Oly weightlifting coach can find room for improvement in any single repitition, even in world record lifts. Form will suffer some at the expense of speed. The act of putting bumper plates down quickly will cause them to bounce. Should the athlete wait for the weights to come fully to rest before starting the next lift? As for touching your nose to the ground to increase range of motion, I assert that angle of the spine that is necessary to touch one's nose to the ground is the improper angle for overhead pressing or even being in the proper handstand position. The proper way to increase range of motion is via blocks or parallettes. Regular pushup range of motion can be improved the same way. It doesn't mean that I am cheating if I don't use blocks or parallettes every time regular pushups are prescribed in the WOD. Great job, Brett.
For info on proper form for exercises (including push-ups) go to the following awesome site gymjones.com .
Look under the Knowledge section and read the one titled Quality. A pretty hardcore, motivating, and knowledgable sight
The Turner article is the absolute worst neo-con trash to be posted yet. It is loaded with unsubstantiated generalizations, factually WAY off the reality, and most likely constitutes the worst kind of propaganda to be seen in print since Hitler's time. This is just one more data point that the propagandists for the neoconservative political movement are the worst little chicken pussy wimps extant: a no-count airhead humanities professor living in a fantasy world. Under Sharia Law, which he unwittingly defends with his drivel, he would be yanked out of his comfy little chair, beaten half to death, and then immolated in the street. The American backed government is a crooked sham, and the so-called elections were another sham. Iran sent millions of operatives across the border under the guise of being religious pilgrims to vote in that sham election. The dominant party is the Supreme Islamic Revolutionary party, which only an idiot would believe to be democratic. The US government, being dumb as hell as usual, has set the stage for an Iranian puppet theocracy in Iraq. This isn't going to happen as long as a single Sunni remains alive, and that is why the Shiite murderers are attempting to kill every last one of them. The death squads have nothing to do with killing insurgents, they have everything to do with wholesale extermination of a rival sect.
Then the thesis that "civil society" has a "dark side" by the way of being established by "death squads" is nothing less than OUTRAGEOUS! The US was NOT founded that way and anyone who would say it was is a criminal neo-Nazi! Anyone who would justify or condone the use of death squads is a neo-Nazi! Looks like time is running out for the neo-con trash, they have raped the national treasury to the tune of 4 trillion dollars, they have set the world into the worst turmoil ever, and all of their grand fantasy/faith-based plans have failed miserably. Hopefully the American people will wake up and vote these VERMIN out of office in the upcoming elections- and good riddance to them!
Yes, the reason that we went into Afghanistan was for Bin Laden but now that he is away somewhere in the mountains or the moon for all we know, it has turned into just fighting the Taliban and trying to keep them from coming back. Iraq took the firepower that we could have dumped into Afghanistan. Our military was stretched thin before the start of either war. The Taliban aren't defeated. I still think that you need to read some news articles to understand what better is going on in the region and how it is affecting the whole of Central Asia.
I wonder if I am a neo-nazi RobertP...
I would bet that their was some vigilantism in US history against British Crown sympathizers. I am not here to say what is right or wrong in that situation, but consider that in this article it does not say anything about US sanctioned...though it might be largely ignored. In the example (and true) I gave above it was a small community based operation. I doubt that anyone was proud of what they did, but the MEN saw it as their duty even if it led to their own down fall.
If i lived in an area that was over run by thugs that terrorized my neighborhood and family and I knew that if I "told" the Coalition Forces where they were...then my neighborhood would go up in gunshots and artillery. I might look to take at least part of this situation into my own hands. To give the "good guys" a push since they are overwhelmed and I don't need my neighborhood shot up just to take out the trash. The thugs/terrorist are not playing by the rules, then perhaps they should be met head on. This is my home and family after all.
This is all conjecture of course, but then again I have the luxury of volunteering to do violence on my country's behalf for my wife and newborn son's existance. These MEN may not have that choice of volunteering...violence is on their street. They live 2 doors down from a bomb maker or a militia safe house across the street. My family can walk the streets and not see AK-47s being used as a status symbols.
As a MAN in that part of the world and thursting for freedom and safety for my family and friends as I do...I would imagine that I would have a hard time not turning a bombmaker or a terrorist into a "door stop" to keep them from dragging my family into their COLLECTIVIST REPRESSIVE NET, like the TALIBAN did in. I would also bet that I would find like minded cohorts. Either way, they would not bring their PERVERTED VISION into REALITY while I was breathing.
So to calling them all "bad" is easy, but from my perspective why they are doing it is very important.
Are they doing it to "oppress" and force their ideals on others?
Are they ridding the community from the scurge of extremists?
This is an important distinction to me.
I find it easy to call both lawless murderers from a safe suburb in America. Those Iraqi neighborhoods in the thick of this do not have this.
Now as a citizen you have to ask, do you fix this or at least keep it minimized or do you wait for it to fester and strengthen only to have the Coalition to mount a full scale attack like Fallujia where the enemy ran rough-shod over the locals until the Marines could kill them off. Notice the colateral damage in not taking things into your own hands.
If more people around the globe would have stood up against these collectivist forces that try to rob them of their freedom in an effort to bring about there vision, the world would have seen a lot less death over the last 200 years.
Something to think about.
That being said if these guys are just trying to kill off people of other religions or beliefs they should be rounded up and face the gavel.
RobertP..your neo-conservative rant has little to do with this topic. Though it was a nice segway, as silly as the endstate was
WOD: Built 3 pair of parallettes for $55. Time=1:45
L sit up for 45 seconds.
The only instance of a similitude to death squads used in the American revolution, that I am aware of, was the British arming of the mountain Scotch-Irish in North Carolina to wreak havoc on the low landers, mostly of British descent, patriots, and comparatively well-to-do. The British were playing on a major social resentment as the low landers generally treated the mountain people as the low-life, toothless, illiterate, drunken trash that they were. The atrocities committed by the Scotch-Irish against civilians were so heinous that even the British became disgusted and stopped arming and supplying them.
As for the Iraq situation, it is more than clear from the news reports that the Shiites are targeting individuals because they are Sunni and no more. The are randomly sweeping neighborhoods throughout Baghdad or grabbing Sunnis with those phony police checkpoints. It is more than clear that this has nothing to do with identifying anyone beyond their membership in the Sunni sect.
Since these are always surprise attacks and the Sunni civilians are hopelessly under-armed by comparison to Shiite militia or Defense Ministry police/national guard, ultimately armed by the US, there is little that can be done to defend themselves. The only recourse is revenge assassination of the Shiite criminals. If anything, it is the Sunnis who are more discriminating about who their victims are. All of this murder and mayhem is NOT going to lead to a "civil society" or even a "civil government;" it IS going to lead to a bloody civil war and possibly explode into a regional conflict between the other Arab countries and Iran. This is just one other bit of dire CIA and DIA prediction that has been ignored by the polticians. The choice here is clear: either the US gets down off its high horse and reconciles with the Sunnis, who are basically secular nationalists, or they continue to throw in with born-loser Shiite religious fanatics and Iranian proxies and lose the whole thing.
After re-reading your post more closely, if you were a native Sunni, you would be an insurgent:-)
My point is that your characterisation of the death squads in comparison to the authors reflects two different people.
Yours is reflective of the larger Sunni/Shiite issue. From what I took from the article this guy is talking about militants moving into neighborhoods causing problems against coalition forces and the Iraqi government with the response by the locals to rid themselves of the this disease.
This isn't about Sunni/Shiite warring...its about the people keeping their streets safe.
Though the issue you are discussing is relevent and worthy of a discussion it is not what the author was writing about.
Your example of the Scotish is to broad for what this discussion is about....they were military assets that were in military uniform following military guidance.
I am talking about you and me being neighbors, going down the street and removing Person X from our neighborhood at the small level or a large meeting of tens of MEN from the community excepting the fact that they need to start using some rather ugly tactics to rid the community of some violent outsiders and troublemakers for the good of the community.
You are trying to make this a macro-level issue by linking it to the civil strife in country now and then linking it to the current administration.
I doubt I would have been an insugent with my current state of mind and up-bringing. I would like to believe I would be one of the thousands who work to get the extremist factions out of power in my country and see the light that connectivity is a good thing and fosters liberty and wealth for my people.
However, I am sure you would have been irrelevant in any circle.
Not sure how relevant it is to Iraq 2006, but yes, intimidation, if not exactly "death squads," was part of the reason for the outcome of the American Revolutionary War. The "Patriots" or anti-Royalists seized the machinery of provincial and local government almost everywhere right after Lexington and Concord. Patriot control of the countryside, even without the main army under Washington, forced the British to bring food for their scattered garrisons all the way from Ireland, because local militias and governments were able to keep them from buying it from outside the limited areas they controlled militarily, and those areas did not produce enough on their own to feed the garrisons. The British army tried to install Loyalist (or "Tory") governments wherever they had "boots on the ground," but as soon as they moved on the Loyalists had to go underground or flee. Not a lot of Loyalists/Tories seem to have been killed, but a few barn burnings in the night, some livestock found dead in the morning, and they got the message. There's an oft-quoted assessment by John Adams that one-third of the populace was anti-Royalist, one-third Royalist, and one-third indifferent, but if that was really the case then the "Patriots" were considerably more ruthless, because the British never were able to control any area where they did not have an army of redcoats or Hessians. More likely, it was something like 50-25-25, with more determination on the anti-Royal side to boot. Part of the reason that it took so long to make peace after Yorktown was negotiations over the fate of the Loyalists and compensation for seizures of their property. In the end, large numbers of them went to Upper Canada (now Ontario), providing the first substantial English-speaking population in what had been Quebec.
The link to this article has diminished my enjoyment of the CrossFit web site. Why is it that you've chosen to mix fitness with politics? There are many other venues for discussing Iraq, war, and other controversial subjects. I suspect the author would sing a different tune if a death squad took out his family because of the ideology he preaches.
That's the right way, in my view, to criticize. You are critiquing the specifics of our effort in Iraq, not the war as a whole. It tends to be either/or for most people, and that is not an approach conducive to intelligent debate. Grossly oversimplifying, it seems at times we have a choice between the right thing executed poorly (Bush), and no attempt whatever to do ANYTHING on the other (the Leftist tribe).
For this reason, it has long seemed to me that the shrill histrionics of Leftists have enable some folks on the RIGHT to perform poorly, and still get votes. We need to move the whole debate back to the center, where reason prevails, and people are actually debating again what is in America's interest, and not the very right of America to defend herself, and pursue her own interests.
With respect to vigilantism, it's interesting, I was just reading 1776 last night, and during their stay in New York--which was heavily Loyalist--Washington's army tar and feathered, rode around on a rail, and generally abused MANY Loyalists. After two soldiers were found dead in a whorehouse--mutilated--they also went on a tear in the redlight district. Washington spoke against all that, but from my understanding didn't allocate sufficient--but available--force to stop it.
In the West, in many cases wasn't a posse basically a group of vigilantes?
Couple other things: in war, we shoot enemy combatants, and usually make little effort to arrest them. In a shooting war, there is no "due process". In many cases, mistakes are made of identity--especially when the combatants aren't wearing uniforms--and of course civilians get caught in the crossfire. If we define this as one end of a continuum, and the other modern America, with the ACLU doing its' best to get factually guilty people released on highly idealized notions of principle, then I think it can be seen that there are stages in the middle. The folks interned at Gitmo would logically belong there. We have not killed them, but we have not treated them like AMERICAN prisoners. In the real world, compromise is necessary.
Secondly, it seems to me we really could use a nuanced critique of our policies. We seem, often, to subordinate political utility to actually getting the job done. We give an enormous amount of money to Egypt to basically keep their mouths shut. Yet, many of the most outspoken radicals are there.
We need to catch and arrest Bin Laden. I believe the Pakistanis COULD help us in that, if they so chose. They aren't choosing, though.
The problem is that those of us who take these things seriously have to always be cognizant of the left wing whack jobs who seize on any HINT of error to proclaim the whole enterprise a sham. This makes internal debate among serious people difficult. Whatever errors of management may have resulted on some level from policies of the Republican Party, they are at least in the game.