Re: Tillman, Again


So we're so far gone that "mak[ing] the disctinction between fighting Al Qaeda and attacking Iraq" counts as political sophistication? Shit. (Not to cast aspersions on Mr. Tillman, of course.)

Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 09-26-05 7:42 AM
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Well, not quite. It's a sophisticated view among those who are both patriotic and brave enough to enlist after 9-11, I think. (I could be wrong, obviously.)

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-26-05 7:46 AM
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no, we are so far gone.

Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-26-05 8:47 AM
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Yes to the post and 1 and 3. I remember thinking at the time, "At least he was in Afghanistan. They could've bait-and-switched him and sent him to Iraq."

OK, just read this paragraph:

Tillman's death came at a sensitive time for the Bush administration just a week before the Army's abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in Iraq became public and sparked a huge scandal. The Pentagon immediately announced that Tillman had died heroically in combat with the enemy, and President Bush hailed him as "an inspiration on and off the football field, as with all who made the ultimate sacrifice in the war on terror."

and am going to go punch a bunch of random people in the face. I guess that's why they had to lie about his death.

Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 09-26-05 10:14 AM
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It serves me right for visiting Sullivan's site, but WTF is this?

THE OTHER CINDY SHEEHAN: A far more credible person with some serious questions about the death of her son in combat.

Far more credible? Why? Because Sheehan makes Sullivan uncomfortable? Because an anti-war movement full of stinky hippies coalesced around her? I mean, really, what the fuck?

Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 09-26-05 10:41 AM
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There is no end to my loathing for Sullivan.

Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-26-05 10:53 AM
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Not even in the Arena of Doom? I hear a lot of things end in the Arena of Doom.

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-26-05 11:01 AM
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Probably because of Sheehan's conspiratoral beliefs.

Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 09-26-05 11:02 AM
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Yes, but Tillman was a Chomsky fan -- one of Sully's favorite "loony left" whipping boys. Surely more outrageous on the Sully-meter than anything Sheehan has speculated about.

Or so I would have thought.

Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 09-26-05 1:24 PM
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Searching for internal consistency in the mind of Andrew Sullivan will keep you busy for a very, very long time.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-26-05 1:29 PM
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Tillman was a really interesting, and politically hard-to-categorize, guy, which is one of the reasons why the right-wing appropriation of his death was so annoying. One of the things that wasn't reported about him is that he contemplated quitting football and joining the military long before Sept. 11 happened. He came from a military family and considered football insufficiently challenging and character-forming. He was also a Buddhist, or at least a dabbler in Buddhism.

It's interesting that, despite having such a militaristic culture right now, there's actually very little space for thinking about military service in romantic terms as something done glad fully, rather than begrudgingly out of patriotic duty, and as something that is sought out for the experiences it offers, rather than for the causes it allows you to serve. I suspect that if we were more in tune with that vision of military service we'd see fewer soldiers willing to go along with torture. But maybe that's wrong.

Posted by: pjs | Link to this comment | 09-26-05 2:56 PM
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If you are thinking of Roman virtues, I think they probably tortured some Gauls and Germans, but can't say for sure.

Anyway, we are pretty much Rome.

Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-26-05 3:05 PM
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Everything I turn up on google is about buddhists being tortured. Point in their favor, I guess.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-26-05 3:14 PM
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Re: torturing Buddhists, a friend and I went to go see the Dalai Lama give a lecture a while ago. We were talking about it with my usually mellow Chinese cubemate and I asked if she agreed with the official Chinese line on Tibet or if it was like Americans and Iraq (meaning just because that's the US foreign policy, it doesn't mean all Americans agree with it.) Her response, which was creepy as hell, was something along the lines of "It's our land and we're keeping it. If they were killing us, like the Palestinians do to the Israelis, maybe I'd mind. As long as the Buddhists are just setting themselves on fire, why should I care?"

Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 09-26-05 3:32 PM
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Hey, the Chinese have their Republicans too.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-26-05 3:35 PM
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13: The Sinhalese in Sri Lanka, who are mostly Buddhist, apparently do some torturing of Tamils:

The protection of the group's cultural and religious rights, including the use of Tamil in official dealings, are an important issue for the vast majority as is continuing government repression. Repressive actions which include widescale arrests, the use of torture, confiscation of property, restrictions on movement, interdiction of food supplies, states of emergency, and destruction of rebel areas increased in the year 2000 as the government sought to counteract the LTTE's territorial gains.


3.6.5 Human Rights organisations, including Amnesty International, have acknowledged that the Government of Sri Lanka has taken steps to restore the rule of law. Although these organisations remain concerned about the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, it is considered that the Government has taken genuine steps to address this issue and that it continues to respond positively to international concerns over reported serious human rights violations.


My colleague who teaches World Religions says that all religions have their fundamentalists, although I think on further review it was changed to all religions have their assholes.

Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 09-26-05 4:33 PM
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My colleague who teaches World Religions says that all religions have their fundamentalists, although I think on further review it was changed to all religions have their assholes.

Po-tay-to, po-tah-to...

Posted by: sexualchocolate | Link to this comment | 09-26-05 10:05 PM
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Re: #11. That's the point. THere is a difference.

I ended-up here as a new grad student following a thread and I am a retired SF type.

I know plenty of buddist/jewish/christian well-read philosopher types who are doing the military thing for what it is in the strictest sense. They DON'T condone torture and they act in accordance with those values and virtues normally considered worthy. Now whether the 'warrior' mentality is valued by society, or should be, is a different matter. It can be, and is IMHO, an honorable profession.

Underneath all of that is the premise that your leadership is not going to waste you on some unethical adventure. When that happens, they tend to finish their tour and leave - some to become antagonist to that administration. I believe that is exactly what Tillman would have done.



Posted by: Bill | Link to this comment | 09-28-05 8:04 AM
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