Sgt. Dennis Weichel, 29, gave the world a measure of the bravery and humanity of our soldiers serving abroad this week. Weichel, a father of three from Rhode Island, gave his life to save an Afghan girl from being run over by a 16-ton armored fighting vehicle this week. While Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called all Americans “Demons” , Weichel did not hesitate to give his life for a little girl in danger.
Weichel, a Rhode Island National Guardsman, was riding in the convoy in Laghman Province in eastern Afghanistan when he and his comrades saw Afghan children collecting shell casings on the road. The soldiers got out of the convoy to shoo the children away for their safety. Then, one girl suddenly ran back to grab a casing that the children collect for money. Weichel looked up and saw a MRAP, or Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle, heading toward the girl. He ran in front of the armored vehicle, grabbed the girl, threw her to safety, and was then run over himself.
A member of the Rhode Island National Guard since 2001, Weichel had only arrived in Afghanistan a few weeks ago. He previously served in Iraq.
I can only imagine the pain and sorrow of this family. However, if it is some small comfort, the entire nation is mourning the loss of this wonderful human being.
164 thoughts on “Sgt. Dennis Weichel, American Hero”
Welcome to the Turley site…. There are a lot of good folks here longing for the best to come…… One day maybe their will be no need for wars…..
i am the mother of his 2 older children, nick is 8 and hope is 6..he also has a 10mth old little girl…he was a true hero..dennis would of done what he did for anyone…he made the ultimate sacrific..regardless of how u all feel about the war or our troops being there dennis volunteered to go..he didnt have to..yes i agree he should of been her with his family and children but he chose to go and help out..he is a great father and he loves his kids whole heartedly..the child he saved has a guardian angel now besides my kids…my kids understand what happened and they kno what there dad did..and they know he died a true whole hearted hero..it breaks my heart that he is gone and its gonna take some time to get through this..i dont want to see ppl argue over anything..and i thank u all for the kid words it means alot.we are worried about the person who was driving and we hope he or she gets the help they need.. we are not made at what happened we know it was an accident…we love him and always will he will always be in our hearts..
RIP Sgt Dennis P Weichel
“FLY HIGH SUPERMAN”
Oooo. Argumentum verbosium and argument by non-sequitur. Simply precious.
Oh, I know the difference between those fallacies quite well, dingus. I don’t know what your formal training is in, but mine is in logic and argumentation.
I’ve probably forgotten more about logic and argumentation than you’ve ever known as demonstrated by your now misuse of reductio ad absurdum in your defense. Pardon me. Condescending lesson.
“I have not needed to set up any phony ‘straw man’ arguments because the logical absurdity of the stated apologetics reveal their bankruptcy upon simple examination.”
Then you shouldn’t have materially misrepresented my position to attack if you claim you didn’t need to. By the way, I don’t care what you find absurd. That’s your opinion. I don’t care what someone who intentionally and materially misrepresents another’s position simply to attack it opines.
“(1) Attacking and occupying a geographic territory because some ‘bad guy’ training has taken place there requires attacking and occupying other territories where similar, or even more relevant ‘bad guy’ training has taken place.”
No. It doesn’t. That’s a fallacy of false equivalence. Not all targets, even those committing actions of similar nature, are of equal strategic and/or tactical value. We had information that the terrorists involved received substantial training in Afghanistan.
“(2) Occupying a destabilized country for fear that its neighbor might lose control of its nuclear weapons logically requires us to invade and occupy the neighbor with the nuclear weapons, not the country without them.”
I never mentioned occupying Afghanistan as part of my suggested strategy nor did Pakistan ever figure into my statements. My statements suggested limited engagement – destroying the camps and support networks we had actionable intelligence on and leaving Afghanistan with the promise to wipe them off the face of the Earth with little or no risk to our troops should they attempt to resume training terrorists deploying against us within their territory. You quote Hoh to counter me for statements I have not made. The straw man rides again.
“(3) Our concern for remote and impoverished failed states overcome by drug lords and corruption logically demands that we concern ourselves even more with such states on our own southern border.”
I never mentioned Mexico. Mexico didn’t pay for, train or man terrorist attacks on American citizens on American soil – an act of war. Again, you quote Hoh as a straw man.
“As for your puerile fantasy that you have “broken my nose,” I retort that you have only broken wind, and in thinking that you smell a rat’s ass, you only smell your own.”
No one claimed to have broken your nose. I tweaked your nose. I’m still doing it too judging by the hostility you’re displaying.
“Now that admitted barb you may not call an “ad hominem” comment, because “ad hominem” means “to the man,” which excuses you from consideration.”
Awww. Well isn’t that special. Again, my use of ad hominem against you was directly related to your initial use of it against me and it wasn’t a tactical decision but a social decision. Apparently you missed the part where I told you that if you act like a dick I’m going to treat you like you’re acting like a dick. You were acting like a dick before and guess what? You still are. At least you’re consistent. But feel free to try to impugn my manhood again. That was really funny.
Also, I’m still really impressed with your ability to copy and paste items that have no bearing at all to your use of straw men or even what I said.
“Nowhere does Mr Hoh castigate the Afghans for ‘ingratitude,’ as Professor Turley does.”
Really. I love it when you try to shift blame too. If you have an issue Prof. Turley’s statements? I suggest you address them to him directly. I’m sure he’ll find your fundamentally fallacious and dishonest way of “arguing” as amusing as I do.
Also, there is no need to thank me for pointing out how full of crap you are again. I don’t mind. Really.
Thanks for your thoughtfulness. Glad we share that feeling of wonder.
Much can be analyzed scientifically, but it is still wonderful to fall back and enjoy this mystery.
I hope I can reply with the Swedish ones with “bell” calls. Different.
Perhaps they don’t come when they feed here either. Don’t recall.
Appreciated your personal notes.
“As we said back in Vietnam: “We’re here because we’re here because we’re here because we’re here.” There to be there — for as long as possible.”
To which I add: Because they sent us here, sent us here, sent us here. Oh, so drear.
I sat in Bangkok, banging the round eye girls including Peace Corps ones, between designing B 52 bases. One in use today.
My own mil 2 years at Ft Huachuca, shan’t repeat.
The several books you cite are interesting. We learned nothing from Vietnem, except war is profitable for some, and the American public is steerable. Only the draft and racial unrest forced Nixon after many years to honor his campaign promise—-only the honor was missing.
We still wage war for the ticket-punchees and the MIC, not our security. Now they are so audacious as to, as you note, promise us endless insecurity. They have even instigated via FBI programs of “they are everywhere, be alert for signs” and staged threats (even “ball burner” was arranged at our instigation.
Conflicts with a bull-headed man is like bull-fighting, but one is deprived the coup-de-grace pleasure as the bull exits snorting. An assumed premise fails to materialize. Can one argue with a bull.? Ir’s quite impossible.
Normally, I wouldn’t waste my time instructing the intentionally obtuse, but in your case I’ll make an exception. I’ve discovered your problem, or at least the most glaring of them. To wit: you do not know the difference in meaning between “reductio ad absurdum,” “straw man,” and “ad hominem” argumentation, part of what Arthur Schopenhauer called “Dialectical Disputation.” First, consider:
reductio ad absurdum
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Reductio ad absurdum (Latin: “reduction to the absurd”) is a form of argument in which a proposition is disproved by following its implications logically to an absurd consequence.
As an edifying example of this age-old principle or reasoning, consider the following passage from the letter of resignation of Matthew Hoh, former Marine Corps and Foreign Service Political Officer (September 10, 2009):
“I find specious the reasons we ask for blood and sacrifice from our young men and women in Afghanistan. If honest, our stated strategy of securing Afghanistan to prevent al-Qaeda resurgence or regrouping would require us to additionally invade and occupy western Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, etc. [note: by “etc,” read Saudi Arabia, the fountainhead of Islamic Jihadism] Our presence in Afghanistan has only increased destabilization and insurgency in Pakistan where we rightly fear a toppled and weakened Pakistani government may lose control of its nuclear weapons. However, again, to follow the logic of our stated goals we should garrison Pakistan, not Afghanistan. More so, the September 11 attacks, as well as as the Madrid and London bombings, were primarily planned and organized in Western Europe; a point that highlights the threat is not one tied to traditional geographic or political boundaries [emphasis added]. Finally, if our concern is for a failed state crippled by corruption and poverty and under assault from criminal and drug lords, then if we bear our military and financial contributions to Afghanistan, we must reevaluate and increase our commitment to and involvement with Mexico.”
Here we have three separate invocations by Mr Hoh of the reductio ad absurdumprinciple. (1) Attacking and occupying a geographic territory because some “bad guy” training has taken place there requires attacking and occupying other territories where similar, or even more relevant “bad guy” training has taken place. (2) Occupying a destabilized country for fear that its neighbor might lose control of its nuclear weapons logically requires us to invade and occupy the neighbor with the nuclear weapons, not the country without them. (3) Our concern for remote and impoverished failed states overcome by drug lords and corruption logically demands that we concern ourselves even more with such states on our own southern border.
None of these three examples of exploding an absurd proposition constitutes setting up a “straw man,” or deliberately misconstrued argument, advanced by apologists for America’s disastrously failed policy in Afghanistan. Nor does exploding an absurd proposition constitute an “ad hominem” — or personal — attack upon those defending or promoting the absurd proposition. Of course, those who have advanced such untenable apologetics and find them exploded in their faces may experience a sense of personal humiliation and because of their hurt feelings infer from all the egg on their face that those who have pointed to their egg-covered faces have thrown eggs at them. Not so. Simple unconscious projection accounts for it. As America’s premier logician Charles Sanders Peirce put it back in the nineteenth century: “Blame, in every case, appears as a modification, often accompanied by a transference, or projection, of the primary feeling of self reproach.”
In this thread, I have argued the same points in the same way that Mr Hoh has. I have not needed to set up any phony “straw man” arguments because the logical absurdity of the stated apologetics reveal their bankruptcy upon simple examination. As for your puerile fantasy that you have “broken my nose,” I retort that you have only broken wind, and in thinking that you smell a rat’s ass, you only smell your own. Now that admitted barb you may not call an “ad hominem” comment, because “ad hominem” means “to the man,” which excuses you from consideration. By this I mean that I’ll gladly stipulate to making an “ad pueri” comment; but I make it incidentally, and not in any way as part of my logical argumentation. Absurdity remains absurdity, irrespective of whether adults or children indulge in it.
Matthew Hoh has pointed to an unkind truth: namely, that American servicemen like Sergeant Weichel have died for “specious reasons,” often, like the sad case of Pat Tillman, at the hands of their own fellow servicemen. Nowhere does Mr Hoh castigate the Afghans for “ingratitude,” as Professor Turley does. “The fault, Horatio, lies not in the stars, but in ourselves,” as Shakespeare wrote. We should, of course, exit Afghanistan with alacrity, but we should not lie to ourselves about what we have done – and why — on the way out the door. That will only invite and enable the next imperial absurdity, if it hasn’t already done so.
No need to thank me for the lesson.
“On the point of “straw men,” which word-like noise you have learned to parrot, I retort that no one can misrepresent an argument that you fail to make.”
I wasn’t making an argument in my original statement, dingus. I was making a statement you chose to treat as an argument and then proceeded to completely and totally misrepresent. Again, when you misrepresent another’s position just to attack it? That’s a straw man argument. See what happens when you actually know what logical terms mean? You can use them properly like I did.
You’re not very bright, are you?
That was a rhetorical question.
Actually, it was a very good use of alteration as it was intended to tweak your nose, which judging by your reaction it did.
I’ll take a logic critique from you when you demonstrate you can actually argue without straw men and understand what argument from non-sequitur actually constitutes. “What does a wet paper bag have to do with argumentation, anyway? I’d say that constitutes a non sequitur, or utter irrelevance.” See, it’s called a simile. I was comparing your weak argument style to the minimal amount of force it takes to punch through a wet paper bag. That is not an argument from non-sequitur when I am criticizing your lack of skill as illustrated by your wonderfully ridiculous use of multiple straw men and your apparent ability to impress yourself with such argumentation as if making material misrepresentations of another’s position is some kind of genius tactic when, in fact, it was merely wonderfully ridiculous. If it was argument by non-sequitur, it would require a disconnection between the premise and the conclusion. I would also like to add that ad hominem gets it in return, Mr. Can’t Argue Without Misrepresenting Others Positions. Considering your initial feeble and fallacious statement to me was laden with insult (as was id707’s), that’s called a tactical response in kind, not a tu quoque fallacy. A tu quoque fallacy is an appeal to hypocrisy. See, I didn’t dismiss your argument because you were inconsistent. I dismissed your argument because it was composed almost entirely of straw men. Structurally, it was crap. I dismissed id707’s argument because it was also based on straw men and your straw men too, I might add, since he apparently never even bothered to read my original statement. As for the ad hominem, I could have ignored yours or id707’s insults and simply dismissed/disassembled your “arguments” based on structural flaws alone. Both of you were (and still are) making glaring material misrepresentations of what I said. Not really a strong position for you to argue from. I chose to insult you in addition (respond in kind) because, quite simply, you’re acting like a dick so I’m going go treat you like you’re acting like a dick. It wasn’t a strategic or tactical decision. It was a social decision. If you don’t like that? Too bad. There is something called the Golden Rule. It’s a reciprocal relationship. I suggest you look into it. However, thanks for showing once again that you don’t know what the Hell you’re talking about.
I’ll also take English criticism when you demonstrate you write poetry better than a weak minded fifth grader who doesn’t speak English as their first language. I suppose that you can pass off your dreck in Taiwan though. Not a lot of native English speakers there let alone literature majors with law degrees, are there?
You keep flailing away though.
It really is adorable.
(Blouise and SW, beautiful, thanks for sharing with the avatar and the video – this thread definitely needssome beauty and intermission)
Oh, yes, Gene H. … On the point of “straw men,” which word-like noise you have learned to parrot, I retort that no one can misrepresent an argument that you fail to make. You do a good enough job of failing to make an argument yourself. Why should anyone else bother deconstructing your dreary diatribes? (I ask that question rhetorically, expecting no answer from a place where none could possibly originate.)
Mindless Militarism doesn’t work for America. You can keep trying to argue that it does, but the facts and common-sense reasoning defeat you at every turn. Trying to insult people — as I have said — would at least have some entertainment value if you could do it with a minimum of style. But you fail even at that.
My pity you have. My admiration, not so much.
Lousy attempt at alliteration, Gene H. Like most of what I’ve read from you.
I’d gladly swap insults, but you haven’t the talent for it, either in prose or verse. I thought the “wet paper bag” gambit went out with the covered wagon. Got anything from at least the last half of the twentieth century? What does a wet paper bag have to do with argumentation, anyway? I’d say that constitutes a non sequitur, or utter irrelevance. But there you go again …
By the way, attempting to justify your own lousy logic and penchant for the ad hominem through use of the Tu Quo Que — or “You do it, too!” fallacy — fails, of course, as all fallacies do. Should you seriously wish to improve your sloppy screeds, I recommend getting a copy of T. Edward Damer’s excellent text, Attacking Faulty Reasoning: a Guide to Fallacy Free Arguments. You’d have to read it, of course, and that poses the problem of comprehension. But you’ve got to start somewhere. The beginning would do in your case.
Speaking of good argumentation, I thought that Professor Turley did a rather bad job of attacking Afghan President Hamid Karzai for calling all American soldiers “demons.” Although he did not state his objections precisely, Professor Turley seems to think that President Karzai arrived at a general — and unfair — conclusion based on extrapolation from an insufficient sample of American military behavior. In other words, just because “some” American soldiers behave like demons — and many have — that does not make “all” American soldiers demons. Fair enough, but to argue the opposite by postulating that “one” heroic American solider justifies concluding that “all” American soldiers behave bravely and selfishly basically commits the same fallacy in counter argument. In fact, Professor Turley compounds his fallacious reasoning by claiming that, because some Americans mourn the passing of the soldier in question, that therefore the entire nation does. Another conclusion based on obviously insufficient data.
Therefore, I submit that Professor Turley has failed to provide sufficient example data of American heroes versus American demons in order to demonstrate with evidence that he, rather than President Karzai, has the most reason for reaching unjustified conclusions — in his case, not once but twice. Professor Turley should have known better. President Karzai only argued fallaciously once.
You already believe what you want to believe and think that you can say anything whatsoever — like that any sane statesman would contemplate waging nuclear war for any reason — without pausing to acknowledge that no sane statesman since 1945 has initiated any such war, under any pretext, and none would today. One could dispose of your other bald assertions of nonsense equally easily, but I’ve already done that. So have others. You’ve lost. Give it up and move on. Better luck next time.
Resorting to pure ad hominem now that you’re all out of straw men, my pedantic petulant poet? You do know what a straw man is, don’t you? It is an informal logical fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position. A form of lie either intentional or unintentional.
How utterly adorable.
Seriously, you should stick to your bad poetry instead of argumentation. You lack the requisite skills. You couldn’t argue your way out of a wet paper bag given your piteous previous performance precariously prevaricated upon pasturage postulations of phony portrayals. I’ve never seen that many straw men in a single argument from an adult before. One must usually visit with a four year old to get that much fantasy based argument. It was truly impressive. Much more so than your poetry.
That and you can’t argue without using straw men (a logical fallacy – lots of them too), but whatever you like to think, MM. So you’ll pardon me if I don’t just take your word I’m a fallacious arguer when your entire arguement was composed of straw men. You didn’t even come close to accurately representing my position. Then again, I shouldn’t expect cogent argument from a self-styled poet. It is neither your training or your proclivity. And on a personal note of aesthetic review, from one writer to another, your poetry is trite and tedious.
Have a nice day.
You challenge a person in uniform doing what they do to keep you safe, indicates you are a piece of shit.
Whatever it takes to make you feel better about starting shit you can’t finish, id707.
“MM challenged your use of nukes, and so do I. As first measure or retribution. Asinine both uses.”
Wow. I’ve already and almost immediately previously proven you a liar on that “first option” statement once already. Are you really that stupid or simply that far gone into your organic brain syndrome? See . . . that’s both a counter and an insult. It’s what you’ve earned. However, if you care to lie some more, I’ll be glad to point it out some more.
“But MM was wiser and saw immediately that arguing with you is meaningless, if one expects reasonable exchange of ideas without abuse being flung constantly in reply.”
First, arguing with me is meaningless when you either stack your statements with straw men as MM did or with outright unfounded lies as you did. Why is it meaningless? Because I can win arguments like that in my sleep. The duration and amount of invective is directly proportionate to the shit you dish out, old bean. The arguments proper were defeated simply by pointing out the straw men and your “factual inaccuracies”.
Second, the abuse was started at your hand, so quite simply screw you, you belligerent old fart. You call it bullying? You have an odd definition of bullying when you’re the instigator. I call it fighting back when attacked by a lying jackass who can’t take what he dishes out. Like I said, I don’t give a shit what you think about me, but when you start a fight with me (and you most certainly did), you don’t get to claim victim status when I kick your ass at both insult and argument when you were the instigator. You started this. You reap what you have sown. If the fruit of your harvest is bitter, you’ve no one to blame but yourself.
And you should learn to differentiate a threat from advice.
A threat would have been something entirely different. For one thing, I don’t make them. I simply act. Sometimes I warn, sometimes I don’t. But threaten you?
If you’re lucky or smart, you’ll stop picking fights you cannot win.
That’s just good advice.
Whether you take it or not is entirely up to you.
Always have the last word do you. Also typical. I don’t hide behind anyone. I’ve always been the first to raise a hand to challeng overbearing authorities. ( Even as a Lt. in SigOff course. Finished first of 25. ) .
MM challenged your use of nukes, and so do I. As first measure or retribution. Asinine both uses.
But MM was wiser and saw immediately that arguing with you is meaningless, if one expects reasonable exchange of ideas without abuse being flung constantly in reply.
And yes, you can be abusive in bullying but more decorous ways, as you demonstrate now.
Go ahead and have the last sling. I am not retreating further than my bed to read Indian history. I got so engaged by you that it was 3AM when I got to bed. Won’t do the same today.
Not to challenge, but as a question to one who is well-read on Islam.
Have you encountered: Quran, a reformist translation, Brainbow Press?
Again, where did you get your islamic educatiion?
Or do you answer questions from fools?
I shall use you and treat you as I think you deserve. Threats as to future punishment if I should dare challenge you again is, of course, the mark of the bully. As was the choice of your first car would attest also. Touché, mon cher.
You should be very clear on this point: I could give a rat’s ass if someone who starts a fight with me considers me a bully for not taking their crap lying down. The first stone hurled was from your hand while hiding behind MM. He was at least smart enough to drop it. You, on the other hand? If you don’t like the outcome of the battle, then you shouldn’t have started it, but you don’t get to be the instigator and then play victim.
You are right about one thing though.
I am not a fan of retreat. I’ll use it as a tactic when necessary or advantageous, but it’s not my first option of choice. Retreat is neither necessary nor advantageous in the face of a lying (or even simply mistaken) passive/aggressive fool who (completely mistakenly) thinks he can start an ad hominem and factually baseless fight with me and not suffer the repercussions. Fools? I don’t suffer them gladly. I don’t suffer them at all. Ask anyone who knows me.
We will meet again?
Not if you’re lucky or smart.
I haven’t dropped anything, other than you.
As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wisely said: “Controversy equalizes wise men and fools alike — and the fools know it.
I have no wish to join in your contrived controversies. No one can argue sanely for nuclear war, much less with the glib abandon that you routinely exhibit. I would dismiss you with that alone, if I thought you capable of taking a hint. What else you have to say in your fallacy-riddled diatribes touting spastic, atavistic violence for its own sake merits even less consideration. Consider yourself duly dropped.
About a year after I came home from my desultory eighteen month tour of duty in Vietnam (January of 1972), the historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. summed up the entire mad misadventure succinctly in The Imperial Presidency:
“The weight of messianic globalism [proved] too much for the American Constitution. … In fact, the policy of indiscriminate global intervention, far from strengthening American security, … rather [weakened] it by involving the United States in remote, costly and mysterious wars, fought in ways that shamed the nation before the world and, even when thus fought, demonstrating only the inability of the most powerful nation on earth to subdue bands of guerrillas in black pajamas.”
Adding insult to the injury of obvious learning impairment by the U.S. Government, retired Army Colonel Andrew Bacevich writes, in Washington Rules: America’s path to permanent war:
“President Bush had embarked upon successive wars in Afghanistan and Iraq expecting each to end quickly and decisively. Yet in each theater — fighting dragged on, increased in intensity, turned ugly, and consumed prodigious amounts of blood and treasure. The global war on terror morphed into what the Pentagon began styling as the Long War, a conflict defined not by purpose, adversary, or location, but by duration [emphasis added], which was indeterminate.”
In other words, having embarked on a war against already impoverished peoples and nations that had not attacked America — a Saudi criminal gang did that — the U.S. military rushed into a trap halfway around the world, flailed about in the quicksand of its own making, lost any hope of figuring out what it had wanted to accomplish in the first place, and then predictably settled for endless stalling and ass-covering in the hopes of simply keeping the ticket-punching careerism going for as long as possible. Failing to win a war quickly, as promised, our vaunted Visigoths had — and have — no other hope (one can hardly call it a “plan”) than that the American people will just go back to sleep if the status quo of new genius generals and a few heroic enlisted men every year just goes on and on and on and …
As we said back in Vietnam: “We’re here because we’re here because we’re here because we’re here.” There to be there — for as long as possible.
Like many of my friends and high-school classmates, Sergeant Weichel died so that the dying could continue. The big brass simply cannot admit their culpability in monumental failure. Nor can their civilian “leadership.” War has failed, as nearly every war does, yet the American foreign policy “elite” lives in abject terror of the American people growing fed up enough to force their Congress to do what it finally did in 1975: Turn off the bullshit and cut off the money.
I once thought that some of us Vietnam veterans had not died for nothing when the country amended the Constitution so that 18-year-olds could vote, something we couldn’t do and which made conscription possible. I have had to content myself with that, having had to abandon previous foolish thoughts that America might have learned from our experience not to do such stupid things again. Our imperial presidnets, however, have simply dragooned the state reserves into the regular army, and hired a legion of profiteering mercenaries to make up for the dearth of American citizens now unwilling to waste themselves in fruitless military service to America’s unhinged “elite leadership,” political, corporate, military, and media — but I repeat myself.
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