berdww's Blog

Apr. 7, 2010 at 9:14pm

Military Cargo

Stryker Vehicles Spotted Near JBLM

Does anyone know whether there is a shipment of Strykers being process at the Port of Tacoma? A train loaded with Strykers was spotted near Fort Lewis (JBLM) earlier today. Any information would be helpful so that protesters can respond to what many believe are the USA's inappropriate and wrongful policies of dominance and associated wars of aggression and control.

comments [32]  |  posted under fort lewis, jblm, military, port of tacoma, stryker vehicles


by L.S.Erhardt on 4/7/2010 @ 10:59pm
What good does protesting the Strykers themselves being loaded?


Public protest is fine and dandy, and it is our Constitutional Right. But what good would protesting in the port do? For those unfamiliar with it, you have industry. The people there are too busy working and being productive to pay attention to protesters. They have a job to do, unlike some.

Protesting in Olympia in front of the Capitol, out on the public streets of Lakewood in front of Ft Lewis or on the "Freedom Bridge" over I-5 would pack far more punch than a protest that only truckers and longshoremen will see. Call the News Tribune, call King 5... let them know there's a protest happening. Make noise in more publicly visible places.

Or better yet, stop supporting politicians who keep the war going. That means NOT voting for Norm Dicks, Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell and President Obama. They all support the war, just look at their actions.

Or even better, vote with your wallet. Money doesn't just talk, it screams. Don't support companies that contract to the armed forces. Don't fly on airlines that use Boeing products. Don't buy gas from companies that refine Middle-Eastern oil. Et cetera, et cetera.

by jenyum on 4/7/2010 @ 11:35pm
Yeah, fraid I gotta agree with Thorax on this one. (Except for the don't vote for dems part) A good friend of my husband's just came back from Afghanistan with a case of tuberculosis and a maybe you should live somewhere else from his wife.

Want to make the world a better place? Hug a stryker. Then go protest the appropriate SOB who makes the actual decisions. Follow the money, and get mad at the right people.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 4/7/2010 @ 11:56pm
Watch the following video on wikileaks and let me know what you think:

I think that the war protesters show more courage than the people that perpetrated the act in the above video. I know this is Pierce County and it is good business to suck up to the military but enough is enough. I can't thank anyone for this kind of service.

by berdww on 4/8/2010 @ 12:07am
Thanks for the feedback. As for my participation in protests against the Strykers, I want to make it clear that I am in no way against the soldiers. I am against what they do, I am against their deployment. But I am not against them as human beings.

I also want to make it clear that many if not most of those who protest military shipments are also engaged in other efforts to effect change at the policy and legislative levels.

I realize that the shipments are really only a very surface level symptom of a much deeper problem. However protesting has the potential to raise awareness, and to educate the body politic. A well orchestrated campaign of nonviolent civil resistance also has the potential to effectively stop the gears of the war machine. So there is potential for direct application of people power also.

The war is awful. It is horrible and terrible. It would be foolish to limit the ways in which we can resist such a terrible and horrible reality, simply because those ways might make us feel uncomfortable.

Yes, soldiers ought to be hugged. They deserve hugs. Even the poor soldiers in the video that Crenshaw is referring to, who were intentionally taught to devalue human life in order to be effective killers. Those people, most of all probably, need hugs.

I am also strongly in favor of bringing the struggle directly to those who profit from the war, in the most assertive, vigorous, and nonviolent ways possible. That includes confronting elected officials, lawmakers, government as well as corporate executives, and shareholders.

It's also important to understand how the constituents of entire municipalities can be made complicit with offensive war-making, when their public infrastructure is used to accomplish and enable such wrongful military efforts.

Peace and cheer in the struggle,

by L.S.Erhardt on 4/8/2010 @ 12:08am
Call a pig a pig. No amount of red or blue lipstick changes it.

If you don't support the war, don't vote for the politicians that do. And one's party is irrelevant when the person votes to support the war that you believe is wrong.

I strongly believe in practicing what you preach.

by L.S.Erhardt on 4/8/2010 @ 12:17am
But also do consider that Joint Base Lewis McChord employs tens of thousands of civilians. The base also employs something like 20,000 soldiers. The war is indeed awful, but would be another 30,000 or 40,000 unemployed people in King/Pierce/Thurston counties be a good thing?

It's a gray world we live in, there really are no black-and-white answers.
What is an acceptable trade off?

by The Jinxmedic on 4/8/2010 @ 8:31am
Give it a freakin' break, already.

Get this- If you protest the military-in any form- YOU ARE AGAINST THE TROOPS. It cripples morale. Good going.

Our troops have VOLUNTEERED to endure many hardships and risks to protect the rights of all of us. They certainly don't do it for the pay, they do it primarily out of a feeling of duty to serve their country and citizens. All they expect from you is an acknowledgement for being willing to do the kind of job and take the kinds of risks most of us would never even consider.

If you don't like current policy, no problem- that is your right. exercise that right by voting for "change" if you must. By working within the system of our representative government, you are doing your part as a citizen to influence policy. Not through misguided protests by alienating the very people who take it on the chin to protect your rights.

If you don't like the current system of our representative government, do your part to help break the "business as usual" two-party system, and help to create a strong third, fourth, and fifth party. The power IS in the hands of the people. Just don't mess with the troops, they have long memories- ask any Vietnam vet.

Rant over.

By the way,

TESC grad '87
with 7 deployments since 11 Sep 2001

by dolly varden on 4/8/2010 @ 8:39am
Thorax, who are you going to vote for who's against the wars? Both parties support them -- and the candidates you suggest voting out are likely to be less pro-war than their Republican opponents. In other words, Jinx is right that neither mainstream party is going to challenge the status quo much when it comes to national defense, although the Dems are less jingoistic than many Republicans. On Jinx's other point, members of the volunteer military know they didn't sign up for controversy free work -- they should be able to handle the exercise of free speech now and then. After all, that's one of the principles they signed up to defend.

by NineInchNachos on 4/8/2010 @ 8:44am


by NineInchNachos on 4/8/2010 @ 9:47am
the wikileaks video above did more to damage the war effort in a single week than all the past port protests in history combined.

contemplate that.

by The Jinxmedic on 4/8/2010 @ 10:07am
And so did Abu Gharaib, Haditha, and My Lai before that. Ungood things happen, and the longer that this goes on, the more of them that will happen. History shows us that is inevitable.

What to do?

Change the system from within, organize a strong third party of those who are tired of the status quo, and make a difference. This is where grass roots organizing works, and we have the Tea Party movement to prove it. Like them or hate them, they do demonstrate the principal.

Similarly, if you could organize any set of disaffected individuals into being productive, (you would have to exclude the racists and lunatics that are attracted to such movements- there are plenty of examples on both sides), you have your basis for a third or fourth party right there.

On the other hand, certainly feel free to protest the military- as Dolly posted above, our troops are used to it, just DON'T say that you support them at the same time. You can't have it both ways.

And also- the protest accomplishes nothing other than dividing people who may actually support the same things that you believe. You break down military morale, you get things like helicopter attacks on civilians, mistreatment of prisoners, and other such horrors. Want us out? Help create a strong third party. Exercise your right to boycott. Do something that matters.

by L.S.Erhardt on 4/8/2010 @ 10:19am
@ Dolly Varden...
If someone feels strongly enough about the war, is it not then their responsibility to their own personal integrity to go out and find a candidate who agrees with their view, even if they're a member of a minor party with basically zero chance to win? Should one compromise their int3gr1ty and vote "mainstream" because one party is "less likely" to approve of the war you hate? Must one vote party lines? Must one actually think in the terms of "democrat" versus "republican"? Why not assess the views of each candidate individually? Does it matter of one votes purple?

And if a candidate with views like yours cannot be found, instead of whining about it, perhaps one should be productive and proactive and run for office themselves.

by NineInchNachos on 4/8/2010 @ 10:25am
is "low morale" an excuse to do evil things or a symptom of doing evil things?

by NineInchNachos on 4/8/2010 @ 10:28am
Lt. Ehren Watada.jpg

What would watada do?

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 4/8/2010 @ 10:35am
For a second I thought that was a picture of Derek Young in uniform. I have to stop drinking so early in the day.

by L.S.Erhardt on 4/8/2010 @ 10:44am
low morale is a symptom of a person accepting the societal opinion that they are powerless, worthless and are just another brick in the wall. Low morale easily leads to apathy... the worst of human emotions.

People who understand their own self worth rarely suffer from low morale.

Low morale isn't the problem, it's the symptom of a terrible social disease we're suffering from.

by NineInchNachos on 4/8/2010 @ 11:05am
"symptom of a terrible social disease we're suffering from."

fortune cookies aside,
these arent acts of apathy. This is standard operating procedure. The investigation for the helicopter shooting concluded that everything was done right... nobody's fault... just a tragedy.

I mean what is wrong with this picture?

furthermore: I am against the war, but I support the troops. I mean I dunno. I support the Jinxmedic and Derek Tong in all their endeavors... I'll do what I can to help them. I will also keep drawing cartoons critical of foreign policy decisions. I don't think this is having it both ways. Is it?

by The Jinxmedic on 4/8/2010 @ 11:05am
Thorax demonstrates that he gets it.

(Edited below due to exact same-time posting as RR):

BTW- cartoons critical of foreign policy are fair game, and always are (it's what we DO fer cryin' out loud- and is actually one of the constructive ways to make a difference.)

My complaint is merely addressed to those who stand outside the base gates and protest as equipment is on the move- all while saying that they support the troops-the same troops that are driving the very equipment that they are protesting. Trust me, the troops don't see that as support, and they have long memories come voting time. Therefore, that is NOT the way to make a difference, that is the way to make permanent enemies of your protectors.

Now I have nothing further to post on this thread.

Have fun, everybody!

by L.S.Erhardt on 4/8/2010 @ 11:18am
@ Jinx: thanks! It's nice to see that someone else gets it too.

by NineInchNachos on 4/8/2010 @ 11:33am
Yes. Well, I am relieved.

I think the protesters standing outside the base with signs is a huge waste of time also. They could spend their time better pouring over huge stacks of 'freedom of information act' requests that folks like the News Tribune have no time to do.

The Olympian has a story of military personnel infiltrating and spying on local anarchist groups--an activity forbidden by law. It was discovered by a freedom of information act request. . . surely there are more interesting stories hidden in those stacks of paper.

eh? eh?

by fredo on 4/8/2010 @ 11:43am
Obviously electing John McCain and Sarah Palin was a bad idea. We should have gone with Obama.

by L.S.Erhardt on 4/8/2010 @ 11:51am
+3 to Fredo

by NineInchNachos on 4/8/2010 @ 11:51am
ha ha McCain.. the bacon mummy.

by arguscrush on 4/8/2010 @ 12:09pm
The people who filed public records request and the people who stood outside Fort Lewis are one in the same. There is lots of time to kill while those request are being processed, and since any serious 'movement', '3rd party' or whatever should be multifaceted in its approach, protesting still has validity. And although the political right would like to think otherwise, these same people work in the military, or are veterans of it. Although protesting might not be the absolute most productive thing, I believe there is still some validity in it.

by Nick on 4/8/2010 @ 12:43pm
We could argue the merits of protesting a shipment until we're blue in the face. Ultimately it's an issue of picking your battles. You can't do everything everywhere all of the time, so you have to pick the most effective use of your time to make the biggest impact.

If you think that is protesting the shipment of military equipment in a legal/constitutionally-protected manner, then by all means do so. Personally, I think you'd get more bang for your buck/time doing something else.

by NineInchNachos on 4/8/2010 @ 1:10pm
flash-mob, anti-war protest zombie march through the Tacoma Maul ? Eh? eh?

seeing a bunch of zombies hauled away in a paddy wagon would make the front page of any newspaper.

by NineInchNachos on 4/12/2010 @ 9:03am

“This is How These Soldiers Were Trained to Act”–Veteran of Military Unit Involved in 2007 Baghdad Helicopter Shooting Says Incident Is Part of Much Larger Problem

by jenyum on 4/12/2010 @ 10:05am
What Josh Stieber said. These guys are basically trained to be a gun, and to want to shoot. If we don't like that we need to make changes at the upper echelons of our society. It sounds horrible and it is horrible, but sadly it's not new and I'm surprised at how many people find it shocking. (Not morally justifying it.)

I don't see the value in protesting the troops because they've got enough problems, many of which are created by the military culture that produces situations like the one in the video.

Coffee Strong is seeking interns and volunteers:

by NineInchNachos on 4/12/2010 @ 11:26am
veterans against the war dude overlaps a lot of that the JinxMedic was saying which I found cool.

by NineInchNachos on 4/12/2010 @ 2:22pm
"Even more disturbing,for the moment, are the civilian deaths from nighttime raids andaerial bombings by American and other NATO troops. Just this week, we learned of an apparent cover-up following a Special Forces raid in February that killed five civilians, including three women, two of whom were pregnant. It's believed bullets were gouged from the women's bodies to conceal evidence of American involvement.

This slaughter of innocents has led the pro-American "Economist" magazine to question whether ourentire effort in Afghanistan" has been nothing but a meaningless exercise of misguided violence."

by Altered Chords on 4/12/2010 @ 2:58pm
Where can I go to protest Al Quaida?

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 4/12/2010 @ 4:16pm
There is something called "Freedom Bridge" over the freeway by Ft. Lewis or what ever it is called today. I'm sure they'll welcome any Al Quaida protesters there. I think so long as you are for the war you are free to protest there with impunity.