Sunday, January 10, 2010

Chosmky reading soldier MURDERED

here another embedded-news fairy-tale...

Tilmann was shot on purpose. He was reading chomsky.
He would have been a killer for the "war effort",
a killer for US public opinion supporting the occupation
of gas and oil pipeline-istan:


The sad odyssey of Pat Tillman

BY GEORGE POAGUE . JANUARY 10, 2010

When the Arizona Cardinals football player Pat Tillman joined the Army in 2002, he wanted to be another anonymous soldier.

But as Jon Krakauer observes in his book, "Where Men Win Glory," Tillman became an unwilling political symbol. This book is so riveting, I devoured it in a single night . just as I did earlier Krakauer books such as "Into the Wild" and "Into Thin Air."

The "right-wing harridan Ann Coulter" claimed Tillman as an "exemplar of Republican political values," Krakauer writes. "The left-wing editorial cartoonist Ted Rall denigrated him in a four-panel comic strip as an 'idiot' who joined the Army to 'kill Arabs.'

"Neither Coulter nor Rall had any idea what motivated Pat Tillman. Beyond his family and a small circle of close friends, few people did."

Tillman took pride in being a nonconformist, and found inspiration in Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay, "Self-Reliance," which states, "Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist."

Although a star athlete from an early age, Tillman wasn't some swaggering jock who picked on "nerds." He read books constantly and listened to National Public Radio. He grew his hair to shoulder length. He questioned the existence of God. While his NFL teammates were driving "blinged-out Escalades," he drove a battered Volvo station wagon.

Fortunately, Tillman could get along with people who didn't share his views . which was just about everyone he met in the Army. Krakauer writes that Tillman admired the writings of antiwar activist Noam Chomsky, and even tried to arrange a meeting with the academic.

When Chomsky said in an interview, "If the American population had the slightest idea of what is being done in their name, they would be utterly appalled," it jibed with what Tillman had seen in Iraq . a war he considered "illegal as hell."

The Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks (USA inside job) had a huge impact on Tillman. Throughout that fall, Krakauer writes, "many NFL players expressed outrage over the attacks on New York and Washington, declared their support for the war in Afghanistan, and made a lot of noise about wanting to kill bin Laden with their bare hands. But none of them took any meaningful action. They continued playing football and leading comfortable lives, with no discernible sacrifice. This didn't sit well with Pat. Given the enormity of what happened on 9/11, he felt he should do more than issue empty pronouncements."

During World War II, many wealthy athletes, movie stars and sons of privilege (such as John F. Kennedy and George H.W. Bush) had joined the armed forces. But 2002 wasn't 1942. Most of Tillman's friends, colleagues and relatives were opposed when he and his brother Kevin . who gave up a promising baseball career . announced they were enlisting together.

The Army seemed to have no idea what to do with Tillman. It was unused to a celebrity in the ranks. The White House naturally wanted to use him for propaganda purposes, but was rebuffed by Tillman's refusal to grant media interviews or cooperate with public-affairs officers on gushy press releases.

Unknown to Tillman, the White House was shifting the focus to its war of choice in Iraq. Krakauer notes that George W. Bush and his senior advisers regarded Afghanistan as a "sideshow" and a "distraction." From the start, the administration's top priority was taking down Saddam Hussein.

The White House adapted the political tactics of Karl Rove, which relied heavily on deceit, to selling the "Global War on Terror." When Pvt. Jessica Lynch was captured and rescued, a Republican strategist named Jim Wilkinson concocted the story that Lynch had mowed down Iraqi soldiers until running out of ammo, then was shot, stabbed, tortured and raped. As Lynch herself later admitted, none of this was true. But the fabrications worked in the short term . they created a heroine and temporarily won support for Bush's war.

Pat Tillman was killed in Afghanistan by "friendly fire" in April 2004, the month the Abu Ghraib scandal broke. According to Krakauer, the White House saw Tillman's death as the perfect PR tool for countering bad news. He was hailed as a great hero who'd been killed by the evil Taliban.

Tillman's family eventually forced the Pentagon to reveal the truth. You can read the whole sorry, disgraceful story in "Where Men Win Glory."

This book creates a mood of overwhelming sadness. Tillman joined up for the most idealistic reasons, but ran headlong into cynical political maneuvering . and hypocrisy. The NFL, which loves to wave the flag and proclaim its patriotism, tried to cut a deal . which Tillman rejected . to get him out of the Army before his three-year contract expired.

In the end, Krakauer offers a bleak assessment of the Afghan war. Unless the United States can compel Pakistan to stop providing sanctuary for al-Qaida and Taliban fighters, he writes, it won't matter how many troops we send. America will join Britain and the Soviet Union as another victim of "the graveyard of empires."

If that happens, Pat Tillman really will have died in vain.

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posted by u2r2h at 6:59 PM

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