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Specialist Roche is Mad as Hell
July 26, 2004 — 7:00 pm

Army Specialist Joe Roche is mad as hell…at Michael Moore…and, he’s not taking it any more!

I don’t know…I’m kinda bored today and well, it’s been awhile since I posted anything. I guess I’ll take on Specialist Roche.

From his article:

Michael Moore’s film, Fahrenheit 9/11, is making the rounds here at U.S. bases in Kuwait. Some soldiers have received it already and are passing is around. The impact is devastating.

Here we are, soldiers of the 1st Armored Division, just days from finally returning home after over a year serving in Iraq, and Moore’s film is shocking and crushing soldiers, making them feel ashamed. Moore has abused the First Amendment and is hurting us worse than the enemy has.

I saw the movie. It had some serious problems but, for the most part, it was alright. I gotta say, not once during the movie did I think to myself “Man, Michael Moore is really abusing the First Amendment here”. I don’t even know what that half-assed, lame statement is supposed to mean. The thing that scares me is this; Specialist Roche swore an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States of America, against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Perhaps he would like to think about that for just a bit. Abused the first amendment? Hardly.

As for Michael Moore “hurting us worse than the enemy has”; I don’t recall Mr. Moore gunning down nearly 1,000 American service members. I know the press has a liberal bias but Jesus Christ on a stick, I’m sure not even Ted Turner could suppress that story.

There are the young and impressionable soldiers, like those who joined the Army right out of high school. They aren’t familiar w/ the college-type political debate environment, and they haven’t been schooled in the full range of issues involved. They are vulnerable to being hurt by a vicious film like Moore’s.

There are others who joined for reasons of money and other benefits, and never gave full thought to the issues. For them, seeing this film has jolted them grievously because they never even knew where some of these countries were that we have been serving in. Imagine the impact this film has on them.

And there are those who are hurting from being away from family and loved ones. They are burnt out, already hurting inside from 15 months of duty out here, and now to be hit w/ this film.. it is devastating.

What a sanctimonious bastard! Let’s just strip some of this language away and get right down to it.

“These soldiers are young and stupid, they can’t grasp semi-complex arguments. Furthermore, they are ignorant. Well heck, some soldiers are just in it for the money. It is for these reasons that they should be shielded from this film”.

I can empathize with the last statement. I was a soldier for 12 years and know the feeling of being burnt out but, come on! If they were able to handle combat, a little old movie isn’t going to hurt em much.

Lastly, there are those like me, who want to explode in anger and rage at this abuse of the First Amendment and the way Moore has twisted reality so harshly.

Oh for Christ’s sake, grow up already.


We know this is all based on Moore’s lies and deceptions. But we, I’m afraid, are a minority. Right now, just days away from what should be a proud and happy return from 15 months of duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom, your U.S. soldiers are coming back ashamed and hurt because of Moore’s work.

Who the hell is we? Listen, I’m not sticking up for Michael Moore here but, if you are going to throw out a statement like that, shouldn’t you at least try to back it up?

But, if we are going to throw around cool sounding platitudes, how about this one: “We know this is all based on Bush’s lies and deceptions. But we, I’m afraid, are a minority”.

What these good yet impressionable soldiers don’t realize is that twisting reality and manipulating the truth is something lawyers do every day in court for their clients. OJ Simpson, so clearly guilty in the ghastly murders, was able to get off because his lawyer team completely confused the issue. Now today, in typical fashion, Moore is doing the very same thing in this film. This is, frankly, the nature of political debate in a democracy — especially when extremism is allowed to go unchecked.

Huh? Lawyers? OJ Simpson? Democracy? Extremism? WTF?


I sometimes want to be mad at my fellow soldiers for being susceptible to Moore’s distortions, but I can’t really blame them. These are good Americans, who have volunteered to serve our country. Nothing says they all have to be experts in Middle Eastern issues and history and politics to serve. That would be silly. …But this is, of course, the vulnerability that Moore has exploited.

One could almost hear Specialist Roche’s inner thoughts: “I am an expert in Middle Eastern issues and history and politics and well, gosh darn it, if Michael Moore would simply refrain from distorting reality and making these ‘good Americans’ question their actions, well, everything would be just peachy keen.”



I think it is sad and unfortunate that at this last hour of a long and difficult deployment, so many soldiers are being made to feel ashamed and “shitty” for having ever served in this whole mission.

Not only does Specialist Roche insist that soldiers who lend an ear to Mr. Moore’s ideas are ignorant, ill-informed, semi-literate in world affairs and impressionable, they also suffer from chronically low self esteem. Why else would they be “made to feel ashamed and ‘shitty’ for having served in this whole mission”?

What Specialist Roche cannot, will not fathom is that perhaps some soldiers felt “ashamed and ‘shitty'” about this whole state of affairs well before Mr. Moore’s polemic was ever even conceived. Perhaps those soldiers who paid attention to the Oath of Service instead of daydreaming of conquest and booty really DO feel honest deep regret that they were the tools of an unConstitutional war perpetrated upon a populous that posed no threat to the American people.

Moore has abused the First Amendment. This is his right, and we soldiers have defended that right, but we who know better should NOT just sit back and let such enemies w/in our own country get by w/ such assaults unanswered.

Delude yourself much? You have defended the First Amendment? Tell that to the penned up protesters in Boston or the future protesters during the Republican Primaries. Tell that to those who champion “free speech zones”. No, Specialist Roche. You have not defended the First Amendment. In fact, by writing this execrable pile of crap, you have proven that you haven’t the faintest idea what the First Amendment is about.

I feel so much better with people like you “serving our country”. Jackass.

— Justin M. Stoddard served in the United States Army from 1991-2003 when he handed in his Staff Sergeant Stripes for a shirt, tie and an honest living.


— Justin M. StoddardComments (0)

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