On Thursday morning, law enforcement entered the Oceti Sakowin camp to do a final sweep before officially shutting it down, ending a months-long protest against the completion of the nearby Dakota Access Pipeline.
The Oceti Sakowin camp was the largest of several temporary camps on the northern edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. Protesters have been living on this land for months, in support of members of the Standing Rock Sioux.
Supporters have said that running the pipeline under under a part of the Missouri River known as Lake Oahe would jeopardize the primary water source for the reservation, and construction would damage sacred sites, violating tribal treaty rights. The river crossing is the last major piece of the pipeline that remains unfinished.
I think it’s time to go ahead and clear the fucking air right now.
For those of you taking the extreme black and white, good and evil, imperialist monster versus oppressed victims anonymous finger-pointing route, let’s just get a few things straight. I understand why we were in Afghanistan. I understand it far better than you do. Yes, at the end of it all we were there because of decades of imperialistic American policies that resulted in a lot of pissed off people and the biggest terrorist attack in the history of the United States, but with that being said most of us, the INDIVIDUAL SOLDIERS, special operators, etc. were not there with the express intention of enforcing/expanding united states imperialism. I know exactly what the fuck I did and didn’t do in Afghanistan. I lose a lot more sleep over things I DIDN’T do than things I DID.
Things I did not do in Afghanistan:
drive around murdering civilians
plant american flags in afghan yards
force-feed Afghanis cheeseburgers
fire a gun whilst jumping through the air
fire two guns whilst jumping through the air
Things I DID do in Afghanistan as a member of A Co 1/3 SFG(A)
Run a bi-weekly medical clinic from sunup til sundown wherein I treated hundreds of patients each day it ran(the overwhelming majority of them children)
Give humanitarian assistance to local Afghan villagers in the form of shoes, blankets, grain, fertilizer, vitamins, water purification tablets, medicine, and medical training
Made it my pet project along with a captain from Army Civil Affairs to try to set up a permanent water purification and filtration system at the local district government center so the locals would have clean water and not be drinking straight from the Arghandab
Led Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police, and Afghan Security Forces in combat. All of our operations were joint operations WITH THE AFGHANS.
Took shrapnel in my hip defending an Afghan village from a Taliban attack
Pulled 3 Afghan men out of a freezing river in the middle of the night when their truck went off a bridge, fell 20 feet, flipped upside down, and crushed them underneath it underwater–all of whom suffered crush injuries and were drowned. I managed to resuscitate all 3 and rode on the hood of a moving Humvee performing CPR on the one that kept crashing until we got them to an evac site. Despite my efforts and the efforts of my junior medic, all three died in the helicopter on their way to Qalat.
Acted as veterinarian to an Afghan officer’s horse
Treated an open infected wound on a little afghan boy’s head that had been there for 2 years without healing
Gave end-of-life care to an elderly afghan woman in end-stage renal failure
Treated an infant for severe burns that resulted from his abusive father “spilling” boiling water on him
Treated gunshots, shrapnel wounds, and other injuries inflicted on Afghan security forces by Taliban militants
Killed a known IED maker, cleared out hundreds of pounds of explosives, weapons, and opium from his house, then treated dozens of his relatives for blast injuries (some of them known Taliban) when they hit one of his own fucking IEDs on the way back from his funeral
Gave grief counseling to a regular army infantry medic after he was unable to save one of his teammates who had his skull blown open by an IED blast
Gave substance abuse counseling to an Afghan National Policeman who was hooked on opium
Tried to get a medevac for a severely dehydrated premature newborn. When I was denied one, I sent her to a hospital on a resupply helicopter that happened to be in the area. Someone with a far higher rank than me suggested she be thrown into a canyon rather than ‘wasting resources’. While that didn’t happen, she died anyway. I cried for the first time in a decade and it was at that point that I lost all faith in the claim that we were there for the Afghan people.
That is the last fucking thing I intend to say on the matter.
The general nodded in approval. Rhodey was about to follow
him to the Humvee when his cell phone rang. […] He answered it with a curt,
“Well?” That was all Pepper Potts said.
“Well… he’s alive. We know that much.”
“Because you didn’t find his body.”
“Yeah,” he admitted.
“Who’s got him, Rhodey? What do they want with him?
“We don’t know, Pepper. I wish to God we did, but we
don’t. But we have our best people on it. We’ll find him.”
“You’ll find him.” There was distinct bitterness
in her voice. “Because we’ve done such a fantastic job finding people
hiding in mountains in Afghanistan,
supposed to protect him, dammit! You with all your weapons and security! You
He had never heard her like this. She had never been anything
other than in control, on top of everything. Smiling, efficient, nothing ever
threw her. To hear her like this tore him up.
He tried to respond, but before he could, Pepper had brought
herself under control. “I’m sorry,” she said.
“You don’t have apolo-”
“No. I do.” Her voice had reacquired its detached,
businesslike demeanor. […] You’ll keep me apprised.“
"Absolutely. You’ll be the first one to know.”
He pocketed his cell phone and wondered, not for the first
time, if Tony Stark was aware of just how completely, totally, and madly in
love with him Pepper Potts was. For that matter, he wondered if Pepper herself