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An article from Hurriyet


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4/4/2003 4:19 AM
Kursad K An article from Hurriyet
I've translated this myself so sorry if it sounds like having a bad English. This is a short article from the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet ("Freedom")  
 
Impressions about the second Gulf war.  
 
Everything has changed.  
 
The symbol of the first Gulf war was a Iraqi soldier who had surrendered to a TV camera, the symbol of the second Gulf war is a villager who has shot down a helicopter with a shotgun.  
 
The idea that USA is a superpower has disappeared within 10 days together with the nondisputable superiority of weapon technology.  
 
Neither the good old USA, nor the trust for the international law, nor the listeners for the stories about weapons that can see a matchbox from the space and hit it. None exist anymore.  
 
Everything is upside down.  
 
"Intelligent" hi-tech rockets hit fields in Urfa instead of Bagdat.  
 
Coalition troops that accidentally kill each other.  
 
Commandos that travel with birds to detect chemical weapons.  
 
Tanks that dont care about rivers and mountains, but do not work on a little mud.  
 
British and American generals who declare that they have taken Basra every day, just like the palavers of the Iran-Iraq war.  
 
A super power that liberates Iraqi children by killing them.  
 
In my opinion, USA, who tries give a new shape to the middle east has lost its own shape.  
 
Honor? Nonexistent.  
 
Respect? Nonexistent.  
 
Al-Jazeera has taken the place of CNN.  
 
The superpower is not a superpower anymore in ethics and technology.  
 
But the worst of all:  
 
The ones who claim to fight against terror has given power to it.  
 
From now on, who is going to stop the bloody Islamic terrorists?  
 
From now on, they have every excuse they ever needed.  
 
 
-----  
Doesn't sound like NYTimes, isn't it?  
 
Kursad
 
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4/4/2003 4:29 AM
Buffaloe

Kursad,  
 
What is your perspective on these reports? The image I am being presented with in America is that we are pretty much cutting through whatever lines of resistence there are, and taking very few casualties while inflictng much harm on enemy troups. I am not challenging you, just wondering which side of the story you're being told. I hate this whole thing and wish it would be over yesterday.
 
4/4/2003 4:46 AM
Kursad K
quote:
"The image I am being presented with in America is that we are pretty much cutting through whatever lines of resistence there are, and taking very few casualties while inflictng much harm on enemy troups. "
 
 
That's probably true. The story is an exaggeration. But it has some fine points.  
 
Iraqi information minister may make it seem like war is going fine as long as they are concerned, but they have to look so and smile, not to lose the support of their troops and the public. Pretty much the same reason as to why US does not give actual numbers about the number of lives that has been lost.  
 
quote:
"I am not challenging you, just wondering which side of the story you're being told. "
 
 
Probably both sides. You can see a picture of an US soldier carrying an Iraqi child to take him away from the battle field, and a picture of a child dead, half of his head gone.  
 
There are journalists with every kind of opinion here. Some journalists support US, some doesn't. But everyone seems to agree that (1) Saddam is an evil guy, (2) US is acting like an hegemony empire.  
 
Kursad
 
4/4/2003 6:13 AM
Enzo

We see this sort of thing all the time, it is simple hyperbole. And it doesn't matter if it is about the war or your favorite brands of amp. How far do we have to look right here to find someone telling us that MArshalls suck, or Peaveys suck, or Fenders suck, or some other extreme pronouncement.  
 
Our politics is overrun with this crap. All you need to do to write your own is to find some incident against some position and present it as though it represents the general case.  
 
This article found a list of US mistakes and presents them as if they represent typical US actions. Not the case.  
 
Try as they might to avoid civilian casualties, there will always be some. Believe me, if we didn't care about civilians, the entirety of Baghdad could be erased fromn the face of the earth in a heartbeat. The fact that a child is killed does not mean the children are usually killed or even just killed a lot.  
 
When a helcopter goes down, that does not mean the other thousand of them also went down, they didn't.  
 
Superiority? Sure the occasional copter can be brought down. But lets line up 100 militiamen from some Iraqi village and 100 of our attack helicopters and let them battle it out one on one. WHo would you bet on? DOes anyone really think that the individual with a rifle on the ground is going to bring down the copter before the copter gets him very many times?  
 
We still can send a cruise missle in the back door of your house. As with anything, when you fire thousands of weapons, a few will stray where they were not intended to go, but they are the exception. Would the writer of that article be willing to bet his life by standing in his house and daring us to miss? I doubt it.  
 
And so on. I am not in favor of this war, but I think it is silly to misrepresent the facts either way. The USA is paying a very high price for this war. Beyond money, we are losing friends, turning our relationships around the world much colder. We are stirring up the Arab world as if we were stoning a hornets nest. If the Arabs and the Muslims didn't hate us before, they sure do now.  
 
I think that newspaper is upset that the US would not agree to have Turkish troops setting up shop in Northern Iraq.
 
4/4/2003 4:00 PM
Kursad K
quote:
"I think that newspaper is upset that the US would not agree to have Turkish troops setting up shop in Northern Iraq."
 
 
Usually these newspapers have different authors that have different opinions. So it's not suitable to say that "this newspaper is upset that the US would not agree to have Turkish troops setting up shop in Northern Iraq." but rather "this author is upset that..."  
 
Kursad
 
4/4/2003 6:55 PM
LFOscalator
The US military is actually doing quite well at what it was trained to do - that being killing people. The minor problems they are having with their weapons systems are not deturing them in any major way.  
 
The US superpower status is still well intact. Nothing has changed significantly in that respect other than world opinion. And I'm sure there are people who believe that opinions don't matter when the US can blow away militarily any nation that disagrees with them. To a certain extent, might will always be right when there is little the weak can do to deter the inclinations of the mighty. Hopefully that is not completely the viewpoint of US leadership.  
 
If the article was intended to slam the US on moral grounds, then it isn't working. It's one thing to disagree with the US based on ethics, and a whole other thing to disparage the US because a few smart bombs went off target. The article confuses the moral issue with tactical issues leaving one to believe it is just another piece of anti-american rant.  
 
What we are witnessing in terms of civilian deaths is normal for war. Wars kill lots of innocent people. In WWII, for example, there were two civilian deaths for every military death.  
 
I'm not saying that I agree with American policy. I'm just pointing out an error in reasoning regarding the article you referenced.  
 
 
 
LFO
 
4/4/2003 7:23 PM
Kursad K
quote:
"one thing to disagree with the US based on ethics, and a whole other thing to disparage the US because a few smart bombs went off target."
 
 
It was about impressions not about logical reasoning. That how it looks from here.  
 
quote:
"If the article was intended to slam the US on moral grounds, then it isn't working."
 
 
Since that's completely unnecessary, I dont think that this was the purpose. In fact to me it looks pretty purposeless.  
 
Kursad
 

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