Monday, May 7, 2007

'The Iraq War Was A Game To Us', 'Just A TV Game, A Fantasy'

The following email was received and posted verbatim by my Australian friend Gandhi under the title "Confessions Of An Anonymous Wingnut".

As is my custom, I have corrected spelling and punctuation and added a few links, which I do hope you will explore. The emphasis below is also mine.

OK. I visited your blog again today after seeing your latest comment at ITM. And your last post is exactly right.

I remember you from your previous atttacks on Omar and Mohammed. I always thought you were a jerk, and I admit that I was one of the people who used to post nasty comments about you. To be honest, I guess I never thought too much about what you were saying or why you were saying it. I was just angry that you were disrupting a blog where I enjoyed spending time.

Sorry about that.

My attitude to the Iraq War and other things has changed a lot in the last few months. I no longer believe that the USA will achieve anything like "victory" in Iraq. In fact, I think the whole thing has been a big disaster, and I am very angry about it.

I am angry at all the people like George Tenet and Wolfowitz, who lied to us, but I am also angry at myself for believing the lies. Actually I don't think I ever really believed them, I just accepted them thoughtlessly because they fitted with what I wanted to believe. I didn't really care if they were true of not.

I am also really sorry that I have spent so much of my time and energy on something that was not just worthless, but actually WRONG. Countless people have died because of lies that I helped to spread.
When you stop and think about that, it is chilling.

For my "friends" and I the war was never real, it was just a TV game, a fantasy. We were a big, strong "team" and we worked hard to defeat "the enemy" (and that made us feel good about ourselves). But our enemy was never really Al-Q'aeda or even the insurgency, it was people like YOU. I only just realised that recently.

The Iraq War was a game to us. The rise of blogs and the Internet made it possible for us to join in, to be players on the field of battle. We already knew which "side" we were going to be on when President Bush stood in the rubble of 9/11 and called us to action. What we didn't know was where that action would lead us. Or who we were following.

You need to understand that many of the people "fighting" you are actually good, decent people who are just going in the wrong direction. BTW I still think that people like you and Michael Moore are jerks. Your rudeness actually forces people like me to ignore you, or fight you. A more polite and humble approach would be better. But that's just free advice. What I really wanted to say was "thanks" because you were right and I was wrong, and maybe people like you helped me to wake up, in the end.

Also, I wanted to say
about your comments about Mo and Omar being CIA agents, and people who post comments there being paid US agents and stuff. It's not true, at least I don't think so, but in a way it is true too.

For example, I know a guy with a kinda popular blog who makes a lot of money from advertising right wing stuff. He is also increasingly skeptical about the war but he is afraid to say anything in case he loses his sponsors. Another guy got onto a college campus he never thought he would get and the dean (or somebody) said something like "Great work on the Internet, J." Then you have those US Attorneys, right? It's not as obvious as you think it is, but it's there: everybody supporting the war knows that it could be good for them one way or another, just like everyone who helps out on campaigns knows it could lead to a job or something later.

I'm sure the military is doing PsyOps too, of course, and there have been a few strange comments at ITM that made even me think "HMMM", but I doubt it's like you say.

OK. I gotta go. But I just wanted to say sorry.

I guess I can't blame you if you want to publish my email address, but please don't:
I am working to fix some of the damage I have helped cause, so please give me a chance. Like I said before, don't be a jerk! LOL.
LOL indeed. Cheers, mate!