Monday, October 08, 2007

Controversy over LA Times Op-ed

Just wanted to share two of my favorites of the many, many emails I've received to date about my op-ed in Saturday's LA Times, entitled "I Survived Blackwater".

It's not the first time I've mentioned something about the effect our actions have on the lives of Iraqis. My two other op-eds all concentrated on the same issue, yet they garnered very little attention.

The Blackwater issue is highly sensationalized and unfortunately for the firm, has become the scapegoat for American frustrations about the war in Iraq.

So, on the with fanmail (or not),



Janessa,

We met briefly in Baghdad when I arrived. I read your LA times op-ed, which was linked to Talking Points Memo. I'm glad you published it - at least three Iraqi colleagues of mine have been either shot at or forced off the road by private security contractors, in separate incidents. Every Iraqi I know - even very pro-American Kurdish friends - fear these security companies and resent their presence. Certainly, those of us in the NGO world are uniformly upset about the damage groups like Blackwater do and we question the need to use them rather than US soldiers or marines.

Best,

_____


Janessa,

I just read your October 6, 2007 piece on latimes.com. How silly can you get? You didn’t mention your idiotic concerns to your protectors until..... Wow Sweetie!!!!

However you’re alive and well and enjoying life right here in good old America after having spent some time in Iraq. How do you think that happened? Was it a matter of chance? Is it possible that Blackwater did what it takes to keep your sorry backside alive?

It is too bad that Blackwater couldn’t have played a game of security ping pong with your security, that is the kind of security game you support, without also endangering their own lives and failing to meet their commitments so that if someone hadn’t been able to survive and return it would have been just you. That sounds really fair to me.

I think its a boy thing so I don’t believe that you will ever be able to really understand. You are, after all, a girl and you really didn’t belong where you were in the first place. It was a place for men, not girls. OH I KNOW!!! WHAT A TERRIBLE THOUGHT!!!

I suggest you continue to study political “science” whatever kind of “science” that is, and get your hair and nails done frequently or perhaps you could get a tattoo or have a hole drilled in your lips or some other part of our body so you can appropriately express whatever it is those kinds of things display.

I would suggest you also get married and have children but I am not really sure children is a good idea. Who knows what you would teach them.

However, you could marry a guy that gets a vasectomy. You wouldn’t even have to use any other forms of birth control to keep from adding to the world population. I mean, how modern can you get?

Ta Ta Sweetie,

10 comments:

gabe said...

Janessa,
I was very interested in your recent articles as they were well written and informative. This is especially true when viewed in comparison to what is in most of the MSM. I am not professionally involved in foreign policy although I have been interested in it for years. In reading your article on Blackwater where you talk about ramming a car with three small children, I was saddened at the lack of concern for human life.

As a distant observer I am very curious how you got into the position of being a "US representative" in Iraq.
The reason I am so curious is this: I am glad to see you saddened by the random maiming of innocent people, it has been apparent as a distant observer it was obvious to me that the American political establishment didn't care much about the welfare of millions of people abroad. If they had, they wouldn't have put a despotic brutal regime in charge of Iran in the 50's and supported him for decades…helping create a horrid KGB/SS trooper like secret police to help enforce the tyrants power. Madalaine Albright's infamous quote about a half million dead children being "worth it" etc…as a highly educated person whom I respect I'm sure you can think of more obvious examples than me, but if not I can name a lot more examples off the top of my head.
In arguing with my peers it is common for them to bring out the old line about not blaming horrid things on evil when it can merely be attributed to human ignorance. I used to market that lien as well, but it is so obvious that our political establishment from the CFR cronies on down knew what Cheney knew in his now famous quotes viewable on Youtube in '92 and '94 that invading Iraq would quickly become a "quagmire". This was coupled with the knowledge that it has now come out that Sadam would have left Iraq before the invasion if the politcal establishment had allowed him. So this whole quagmire was obviously supposed to be a quagmire.

gabeharrsi@alum.mit.edu

gabe said...

"Brzezinski, along with other elite figures such as Gary Hart of the Council on foreign relations, have also implied that a false flag terrorist event, either within the U.S. or Iraq could be used as justification to launch immediate strikes on Iran.

Clearly the Neocons realise that the public is not going to accept a fresh confrontation with Iran based on a different set of circumstances and so has shifted its rhetoric from the nuclear issue back to the so called "war on terror" and is attempting to tie Iran in with the insurgency in Iraq despite any convincing intelligence.

The fact that the justification for any attack on Iran keeps changing, just as it did with Iraq before and after the 2003 invasion, clearly indicates that the only thing that matters to the Neocon globalists running the Whitehouse is that they get their conflict escalation and are able to march on unimpeded and conquer another financially independent and sovereign state in the middle east.

...

Given this info...and the many links and media reports that Bush and Hillary are already workign together on smoothly transitioning foreign policy intitiatives...do you really believe that Hillary will bring about change in our foreign policy?

Muhannad said...

"Is it possible that Blackwater did what it takes to keep your sorry backside alive?"

Blackwater has to kill women and children in order to protect their clients??

That guy's obviously a jerk. Real men do not shoot at civilians to protect themselves and their clients. Maybe the 'men' who do 'what it takes' should be replaced by girls who aren't as trigger happy or stupid.

chelle_belle said...

I think it's pretty obvious that someone who reverts to sexism and misogyny to refute your articles on Blackwater is ignorant on apparently many levels and was left with nothing more substantive to say. And of course someone who is so apparently sexist and misogynistic would have no problem with Blackwater killing women and children as a means to their end. Simply sad that we still have to deal with people like that.

Janessa Gans said...

Thanks guys, appreciate your comments.

rp_in_the_oc said...

Wow, that guy is a nut! His argument is so ridiculous. Wouldn't take it personally though, he hasn't popped his roids or beat anyone up yet today. It seems to me that there really isn't any legitimate way to hold Blackwater retrospectively. Just redraft the law and revoke immunity...shouldn't take long for them to either screw up or get wise. Either way, liberals get their scapegoat and conservatives get to survive another day through this terrible war :( Alllllright, time to go read some stuff for this crazy middle eastern politics class im taking...go figure! FIGHT THE MACHINE mini J.G!!!

PM said...

Your sad tale has been corroborated by at least a couple of videos I've seen over at Livelink.com -- a good website for seeing all kinds of raw video from the war. I recall one video just as you described -- an American armored vehicle banging Iraqi vehicles off the road. There was no apparent good reason for it -- anybody with a NYC taxicab license could weave through traffic better. It looked like they were having a good time, at the expense of humanity and our foreign relations. In a second, there was no vehicle banging -- just U.S. soldiers laughing as they taunted Iraqi kids with promises of bottled water.

In both cases, the baboon mentality matched those of your "Ta Ta" critic. I apologize on behalf of real men.

Divya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Divya said...

Sweetie? let's just start there. What does any of that misogynistic crap have to do with anything you wrote?

Oh yeah, it doesn't. But regardless, he can't even construct a coherent argument.

And despite what that loon and others might say, I'm proud of you for speaking out and for writing these op eds. div

Iraqi Mojo said...

Nice blog. I posted and linked to your post titled "Getting the Inside Scoop--Dinner with Iraqi Officials" - very interesting.