Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Form of Admission

While chatting with a lawyer friend this morning I discovered a new silly part of the legal system. It's called a "form of admission." On this form is a list of allegations that the person to whom it is directed must either admit or deny.

Here's the silly part--If you fail to deny an allegation it may be taken that you admit it.

So, of course, all the high school questions immediately pop into my head, i.e.,

Admit____Deny____ You still beat your wife.

If you admit it - well, shame on you. If you deny it, you're admitting that at some point you did beat your wife. If you fail to respond, it's assumed that you beat your wife.

Now consider this question...

Admit____Deny____ You support our troops.

It's been on my mind for a while now. Ever since war with Iraq had begun, the death toll began to rise and the military recruiting commercials increased in frequency. The commercials that say something along the lines of "College . . . career training . . . manhood, etc., talk to your kids about joining the military."

I'll have to admit--my thinking about this stems back before the Iraq war, to my own time in the military two decades ago - why I was there and why it disagreed with me.

I'm a non-violent person.
I don't believe that might makes right.
I don't believe in mutually assured destruction to keep the peace.

But I do know that there are many, many, many people who stand on the opposite side of the fence who will impose their will because they can. And the only reason we are not overrun by them is because we have people who will stand against them.

Without a military force or even a police force, the kinder, gentler people would be at the mercy of anyone with a stick.

So, here's the question--You support the troops. Admit____Deny____

What does that even mean: support the troops?

I wouldn't even dream of saying no, because that plasters UNAMERICAN across my forehead. A scarlet letter U that lumps me with terrorists. "You are either with us or against us" Bush has said.

Why can't it simply be "You are either with us or not?"

You support the troops. Admit____Deny____

If I say I am in support of the troops, then am I saying that I also support Bush and agree with why the troops are there? Do I support interrogation tactics? Do I support their treatment of prisoners? Do I support every bullet fired?


Why ARE they there?

"Eleven years ago, as a condition for ending the Persian Gulf War, the Iraqi regime was required to destroy its weapons of mass destruction, to cease all development of such weapons, and to stop all support for terrorist groups. The Iraqi regime has violated all of those obligations. It possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons. It has given shelter and support to terrorism, and practices terror against its own people. The entire world has witnessed Iraq's eleven-year history of defiance, deception and bad faith.". . ."In addition to declaring and destroying all of its weapons of mass destruction, Iraq must end its support for terrorism. It must cease the persecution of its civilian population. It must stop all illicit trade outside the Oil For Food program. It must release or account for all Gulf War personnel, including an American pilot, whose fate is still unknown." G. W. Bush - October 7, 2002

"This is not the fight we entered in Iraq, but it is the fight we're in.". . .
"We're carrying out a new strategy in Iraq -- a plan that demands more from Iraq's elected government, and gives our forces in Iraq the reinforcements they need to complete their mission. Our goal is a democratic Iraq that upholds the rule of law, respects the rights of its people, provides them security, and is an ally in the war on terror.". . ."With Iraqis in the lead, our forces will help secure the city by chasing down the terrorists, insurgents, and the roaming death squads. And in Anbar Province, where al Qaeda terrorists have gathered and local forces have begun showing a willingness to fight them, we're sending an additional 4,000 United States Marines, with orders to find the terrorists and clear them out. (Applause.) We didn't drive al Qaeda out of their safe haven in Afghanistan only to let them set up a new safe haven in a free Iraq."
G.W. Bush - January 23, 2007

Was Hussein's dethroning and death a preemptive strike - or was it retaliation for 9/11? In the beginning, it was played as if Hussein had direct involvement with the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but later it was simply Saddam's regime posed a risk that the world could not afford to take.

-"The United States has no right, no desire, and no intention to impose our form of government on anyone else." - G.W. Bush - February 2, 2005

but now

-"Our goal is a democratic Iraq . . ." - G.W. Bush - January 23, 2007

So, do I support the troops? Admit____Deny____

How can I tell? From the reasons we were given then, or the reasons we are given now? I simply do not know. (If you fail to deny an allegation it may be taken that you admit it.)

-Saddam Hussein
-al-Qaida and bin Laden.
-Democratic reform.
-Idealogical struggle.
-No honor in retreat.
-Radical Islam.
-Terrorists, insurgents and roaming death squads.


If I say I support the troops - will it give some kind of meaning to this?

U.S. Military Deaths by month:
June-2007 - 17
May-2007 - 127
April-2007 - 104
March-2007 - 81
February-2007 - 80
January-2007 - 83
December-2006 - 112
November-2006 - 70
October-2006 - 106
September-2006 - 72
August-2006 - 65
July-2006 - 43
June-2006 - 61
May-2006 - 69
April-2006 - 76
March-2006 - 31
February-2006 - 55
January-2006 - 62
December-2005 - 68
November-2005 - 84
October-2005 - 96
September-2005 - 49
August-2005 - 85
July-2005 - 54
June-2005 - 78
May-2005 - 80
April-2005 - 52
March-2005 - 35
February-2005 - 58
January-2005 - 107
December-2004 - 72
November-2004 - 137
October-2004 - 64
September-2004 - 80
August-2004 - 66
July-2004 - 54
June-2004 - 42
May-2004 - 80
April-2004 - 135
March-2004 - 52
February-2004 - 20
January-2004 - 47
December-2003 - 40
November-2003 - 82
October-2003 - 44
September-2003 - 31
August-2003 - 35
July-2003 - 48
June-2003 - 30
May-2003 - 37
April-2003 - 74
March-2003 - 65
Total - 3495



What do you want me to say?

I am not against you.

I am for life.

I don't know enough to be with you.

I support the safe return of the troops.

You have failed to deny the allegation it may be taken that you admit it.


Anonymous said...

It's actually a "Request for Admission." Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 36 states:

(a) Request for Admission. A party may serve upon any other party a written request for the admission, for purposes of the pending action only, of the truth of any matters within the scope of Rule 26(b)(1) set forth in the request that relate to statements or opinions of fact or of the application of law to fact, including the genuineness of any documents described in the request.


Each matter of which an admission is requested shall be separately set forth.

The matter is admitted unless, within 30 days after service of the request, or within such shorter or longer time as the court may allow or as the parties may agree to in writing, subject to Rule 29, the party to whom the request is directed serves upon the party requesting the admission a written answer or objection addressed to the matter, signed by the party or by the party's attorney. If objection is made, the reasons therefor shall be stated. The answer shall specifically deny the matter or set forth in detail the reasons why the answering party cannot truthfully admit or deny the matter. A denial shall fairly meet the substance of the requested admission, and when good faith requires that a party qualify an answer or deny only a part of the matter of which an admission is requested, the party shall specify so much of it as is true and qualify or deny the remainder. An answering party may not give lack of information or knowledge as a reason for failure to admit or deny unless the party states that the party has made reasonable inquiry and that the information known or readily obtainable by the party is insufficient to enable the party to admit or deny. A party who considers that a matter of which an admission has been requested presents a genuine issue for trial may not, on that ground alone, object to the request; the party may, subject to the provisions of Rule 37(c), deny the matter or set forth reasons why the party cannot admit or deny it.

[Excerpted from Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 36]

Anonymous said...

As someone who has lost a dear friend in Iraq, a work colleague and have a friend who lost her fiance there, I have to say I'm of mixed opinion.

As someone who has had a dear friend deported from our country after 16 years of living a peaceful life here, just because INS wanted to (and who sneered at her that she could always get married, even knowing she was a lesbian and the union would not be recognized) I have to say that I'm not exactly a fan of how the US picks and chooses based on convenience. Make her leave the country and move with her partner to Israel but leave the 911 terrorists in country with expired VISAs?

I don't think we can leave these people (Iraqis) to fend for themselves when it's so obvious that they can't. I don' think we can give terrorists the message that we will cut and run if they just hold out long enough.

Sort of like letting your three year old hold his breath because you just aren't going to give him that extra cookie. Then again, he'll just pass out and start breathing again...

However, I completely and totally talked my son, who turns 18 next week, out of joining.

Then again, so did his Dad who retired last year after 23 years of service in the Navy.

I don't want their deaths to be for nothing. They believed in what they were doing.

But I won't let them have my son.

I am a hypocrite.

However, last week's scare at JFK and the thought that my brother, his wife and my baby nephew who live nearby would have more than likely been killed by the planned attack has brought me right back to "stand the course".

And I have no answers.


Just-Chuck said...

I'm with you, Chaos.

I have no answer either.

I apologize for the heavy blog entry in what is usually a lighthearted environment. It has been on my mind for a while now.

Anonymous said...

Is your angst a result of your inability to extract yourself from a rhetorical trap? Why grant someone that power over you? The question, as framed, is a cheap trick and nothing more and, neither policy nor philosophy should be decided on the basis of simple rhetorical manipulations. The question of support for troops is far more complex than a 1-word answer.

You can't make a blanket statement of support because every soldier is there for his or her own reasons, which may or may not be noble or consistent with our own beliefs. On top of that we have the situation where the reasons we have soldiers in Iraq have been, and will continue to, change. So even the soldiers themselves must confront changing roles and purposes that may not be consistent with their beliefs at the time they volunteered.

The only thing that is clear is that Bush deliberately or unwittingly mislead the American public and was deliberately or unwittingly abetted by the fourth estate. It is also clear that Bush and his advisors didn't anticipate or refused to accept the likelihood of a negative reaction to a US led "regime change". With these ever changing variables it is impossible to say that any one or all of the troops are deserving of my support and what does my "support" do for any one soldier? Nothing I do short of voting in the next election will have any effect on any soldier. A flag or yellow ribbon on my car does nothing for any one soldier and only serves my own ego.

Whether an ordinary individual supports the troops or not is irrelevant. All we can do is vote for the politician who seems to be most consistent with our views on the war and what should be done from this point forward. Voting for or against continued involvement in Iraq based solely on it’s impact on individual soldiers is na├»ve because if nothing else every soldier must be aware that they are pawns in the exercise of policy and whether or not that is a pleasant concept to contemplate doesn’t change it.

If I meet a soldier and he tells me why he volunteered I’ll tell him if I agree with his opinions but I won’t make a blanket statement like I do or do not support our troops it’s far too vague and in my opinion deliberately open to any interpretation.