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View Diary: The Bravest Man Who Ever Died (63 comments)

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  •  Thanks for reading such a long piece. (4.00)
    I hope you enjoyed it.

    I wonder if American soldiers in Iraq feel they are fighting for something as valuable as their homeland and freedom.

    Do not feel safe. The poet remembers.
    You can kill one, but another is born.
    The words are written down, the deed, the date.

    Czeslaw Milosz

    by Chris Kulczycki on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 03:31:15 AM PST

    •  Perhaps, perhaps not. (4.00)
      But I'm reasonably sure that there's a fair percentage of 'resistance' fighters there who think that they are.

      Excellent slice of history, and a solid moral lesson.  Thanks for all your work.

      "Sometimes I think we're alone. Sometimes I think we're not. In either case, the thought is staggering." - R. Buckminster Fuller -5.88/-5.23

      by Shadan7 on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 05:15:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  PATRIOT: Watch and ACT NOW! (2.50)
        Please visit this dKos diary and TAKE ACTION!

        I will post this all over town today.

        ACT before it is too late to do anything about it.

      •  That is the advantage the resistance always has. (none)
        Should write a diary about an Iraq resistance fighter? Would I get troll rated?

        Do not feel safe. The poet remembers.
        You can kill one, but another is born.
        The words are written down, the deed, the date.

        Czeslaw Milosz

        by Chris Kulczycki on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 07:22:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The issue is too complicated and hot (none)
          but, for those willing to see, everything is out there to see.

          No, you do not have to write about them. Maybe you shouldn't for the convenience sake. Suffices it to say history sees predecessors in Alegeria's NFL fighters who did not mind bombing French civilians (along with Algerians), or Vietcon troopers who assaulted the US Embassy in Saigon for a mission they knew would end in their deaths.

    •  From today's NYT: (4.00)
       Only marginally related, but worth reading, link:

      WASHINGTON, Dec. 13 - The Army has approved a new, classified set of interrogation methods that may complicate negotiations over legislation proposed by Senator John McCain to bar cruel and inhumane treatment of detainees in American custody, military officials said Tuesday.

      The techniques are included in a 10-page classified addendum to a new Army field manual that was forwarded this week to Stephen A. Cambone, the under secretary of defense for intelligence policy, for final approval, they said.

      The addendum provides dozens of examples and goes into exacting detail on what procedures may or may not be used, and in what circumstances. Army interrogators have never had a set of such specific guidelines that would help teach them how to walk right up to the line between legal and illegal interrogations. -snip-

      "This is a stick in McCain's eye," one official said. "It goes right up to the edge. He's not going to be comfortable with this." -snip-

      Mark Salter, Mr. McCain's chief of staff, said that the Army and Pentagon had not briefed his boss or other aides on the contents of the manual or its addendum.

      He warned that if the interrogation techniques in the addendum were overly aggressive, they could complicate the talks Mr. McCain continued on Tuesday with Stephen J. Hadley, President Bush's national security adviser.

      "This is politically obtuse and damaging," Mr. Salter said in a telephone interview. "The Pentagon hasn't done one molecule of political due diligence on this."

      Do not feel safe. The poet remembers.
      You can kill one, but another is born.
      The words are written down, the deed, the date.

      Czeslaw Milosz

      by Chris Kulczycki on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 05:32:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hope he goes off (4.00)
        He used to be a hero of mine, then I saw him cuddling up to W during the campaign and my heart broke (as someone recently observed , McCain has managed to create a reputation as the most honest man in Washington, and at the same time have people firmly convinced he can't possibly mean what he says about W....its a neat trick)

        But I do believe that he has genuine passion and commitment on the Torture issue, and I think he'll grind the senate to screeching halt before agreeing to a compromise.  

        This is a shot directly across his Bow from Rumsfeld who is a master at the inside Washington game.  This wasn't a screw up it was a deliberate attempt to poke a finger in his eye, a demonstration of power.

        For once however I think Rumsfeld overreached.  I think he underestimated the depths of McCain's passion on this issue and it will cost him.  And if we mean what we say, we've got to stand up too, and do whatever it takes to make that happen.

        Republicans like to toss around phrases like "freedom isn't free" but them its nothing more than empty words that always mean somebody else has to sacrifice, never them.  Heroes like Witold show us that the real price of freedom is an unwavering commitment to defending it, whatever the personal cost.  I'll be proud of my life if I ever do anything 1/100th as brave as Witold in defense of my

        Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

        by Magorn on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 10:01:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Great comment... (none)
          and great diary by Chris.

          I particularly liked this quote:

          "That is why I write this petition,
          That all the punishments, punish only me,
          For though I should lose my life
          I prefer it so - than to live, and bear a wound in my heart."

          I agree with this quote 100%.

          Chris thanks for the comments - I did not know the Pentagon added the torture addendum to the interrogation manual.

          Here is a comment I wrote previously defining torture: Daily Kos

          Here is a quote:

          Torture is the infliction of severe physical or psychological pain as an expression of cruelty, a means of intimidation, deterrent or punishment, or as a tool for the extraction of information or confessions. Although the most obvious dimension of torture is that it achieves its goal through physical pain (or threat of pain), in fact many of its most devastating effects come from the psychological effect of the extremes inflicted upon its victims.

          Although torture is usually thought of in terms of its physical impact (pain and damage), the psychological impact is often greater and tends to remain with the victim long after the actual activity is discontinued.
          ......
          "It is very tempting to take the side of the perpetrator. All the perpetrator asks is that the bystander do nothing. He appeals to the universal desire to see, hear, and speak no evil. The victim, on the contrary, asks the bystander to share the burden of pain. The victim demands action, engagement, and remembering."

          Torture is, of course supposed to be illegal under US law, but when the justice department refuses to enforce the convention against mental torture, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment you have a problem.

          It is a fact that the current detention practices that we are using are producing psychological damage consistent with the justice departments own definition of mental torture (December 04). It cannot be denied that prisoners are being subjected to mental torture and that the cumulative effect of systematic abuses amounts to torture.

          Furthermore, the current detention practices in Iraq are degrading and the military JAG officers already testified that the practices are degrading before Lindsey Graham's armed forces subcommittee. The practices also violate long standing army regulations not to mention constitute "grave war crimes".

          I am honestly hoping and praying that Senator McCain succeeds and gets all of these abusive practices banned that violate long-standing army regulations. This issue is so important from a human rights standpoint, from a rule of law standpoint, from a reputational standpoint, from an ethical standpoint and from the fact that these practices are causing resentment in the Middle East that makes us less safe not more safe.

          Thank you again Chris for this diary.

          "When the government fears the people, that is Liberty. When the people fear the government, that is tyranny." Thomas Jefferson

          by RichardG on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 06:33:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Not just soldiers (4.00)
      I wonder if the American people feel they are fighting oppression and torture, or they are the oppressors and torturers?

      I wonder if they will appreciate stories like this told about brave souls who resisted American tyranny?

      The poem is beautiful, and I wonder how we have found it so easy to live with these "wounds in our hearts"?

      -8.38, -4.97 "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

      by thingamabob on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 07:48:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No... (none)
      Thank you for producing such a long piece.  I thoroughly enjoyed every word of it.

      You must understand, Preston, that...it is not the message that is important, it is our obedience to it. -- DuPont, "Equilibrium"

      by DH from MD on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 12:21:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  To answer your question (none)
      No. In order to really feel you are fighting for your homeland and for freedom, you must have experienced in your own life, with your own body and soul and in your own country to have been deprived of your homeland and your freedom. The majority of Americans haven't experienced that (take out different, but at least more direct experiences of the Afro-American's lack or loss of freedom) and therefore their feelings can't be the same as the ones of Pilecki. Even if they claim the same honorable motivations, it's not the same, by far not the same.

      Thanks for introducing such vivid details of a Polish freedom fighter's life story. That's a rare find and at least for me, a very welcome surpise.

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