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Before you read this article, let me go on record and say that I am 100% against this author and the contents of the article. I just want everyone to know the trash that is out there.

From the editorial section of the UMass Newspaper "The Collegian,":

"Pat Tillman is not a hero: He got what was coming to him

By Rene Gonzalez
April 28, 2004

When the death of Pat Tillman occurred, I turned to my friend who was watching the news with me and said, "How much you want to bet they start talking about him as a 'hero' in about two hours?" Of course, my friend did not want to make that bet. He'd lose. In this self-critical incapable nation, nothing but a knee-jerk "He's a hero" response is to be expected.

I've been mystified at the absolute nonsense of being in "awe" of Tillman's "sacrifice" that has been the American response. Mystified, but not surprised. True, it's not everyday that you forgo a $3.6 million contract for joining the military. And, not just the regular army, but the elite Army Rangers. You know he was a real Rambo, who wanted to be in the "real" thick of things. I could tell he was that type of macho guy, from his scowling, beefy face on the CNN pictures. Well, he got his wish. Even Rambo got shot in the third movie, but in real life, you die as a result of being shot. They should call Pat Tillman's army life "Rambo 4: Rambo Attempts to Strike Back at His Former Rambo 3 Taliban Friends, and Gets Killed."

But, does that make him a hero? I guess it's a matter of perspective. For people in the United States, who seem to be unable to admit the stupidity of both the Afghanistan and Iraqi wars, such a trade-off in life standards (if not expectancy) is nothing short of heroic. Obviously, the man must be made of "stronger stuff" to have had decided to "serve" his country rather than take from it. It's the old JFK exhortation to citizen service to the nation, and it seems to strike an emotional chord. So, it's understandable why Americans automatically knee-jerk into hero worship.

However, in my neighborhood in Puerto Rico, Tillman would have been called a "pendejo," an idiot. Tillman, in the absurd belief that he was defending or serving his all-powerful country from a seventh-rate, Third World nation devastated by the previous conflicts it had endured, decided to give up a comfortable life to place himself in a combat situation that cost him his life. This was not "Ramon or Tyrone," who joined the military out of financial necessity, or to have a chance at education. This was a "G.I. Joe" guy who got what was coming to him. That was not heroism, it was prophetic idiocy.

Tillman, probably acting out his nationalist-patriotic fantasies forged in years of exposure to Clint Eastwood and Rambo movies, decided to insert himself into a conflict he didn't need to insert himself into. It wasn't like he was defending the East coast from an invasion of a foreign power. THAT would have been heroic and laudable. What he did was make himself useful to a foreign invading army, and he paid for it. It's hard to say I have any sympathy for his death because I don't feel like his "service" was necessary. He wasn't defending me, nor was he defending the Afghani people. He was acting out his macho, patriotic crap and I guess someone with a bigger gun did him in.

Perhaps it's the old, dreamy American thought process that forces them to put sports greats and "larger than life" sacrificial lambs on the pedestal of heroism, no matter what they've done. After all, the American nation has no other role to play but to be the cheerleaders of the home team; a sad role to have to play during conflicts that suffer from severe legitimacy and credibility problems.

Matters are a little clearer for those living outside the American borders. Tillman got himself killed in a country other than his own without having been forced to go over to that country to kill its people. After all, whether we like them or not, the Taliban is more Afghani than we are. Their resistance is more legitimate than our invasion, regardless of the fact that our social values are probably more enlightened than theirs. For that, he shouldn't be hailed as a hero, he should be used as a poster boy for the dangerous consequences of too much "America is #1," frat boy, propaganda bull. It might just make a regular man irrationally drop $3.6 million to go fight in a conflict that was anything but "self-defense." The same could be said of the unusual belief of 50 percent of the American nation that thinks Saddam Hussein was behind Sept. 11. One must indeed stand in awe of the amazing success of the American propaganda machine. It works wonders.

Al-Qaeda won't be defeated in Afghanistan, even if we did kill all their operatives there. Only through careful and logical changing of the underlying conditions that allow for the ideology to foster will Al-Qaeda be defeated. Ask the Israelis if 50 years of blunt force have eradicated the Palestinian resistance. For that reason, Tillman's service, along with that of thousands of American soldiers, has been wrongly utilized. He did die in vain, because in the years to come, we will realize the irrationality of the War on Terror and the American reaction to Sept. 11. The sad part is that we won't realize it before we send more people like Pat Tillman over to their deaths.

Rene Gonzalez is a UMass graduate student."

Is this Rene Gonzalez for REAL???
 

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This article only re-affirms one thing... It's because of people like Pat Tillman, that Mr. Gonzalez can write such crap in a free and democratic society.
 

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I read the first line, and will read no further. Ive had a bad enough night after being involved in a motorcycle accident, that if i read any more, ill probably loose any mental stability I have right now
Some people are just too f'ing unnappreciative. I deal with it so mych, ive learned to brush it off as just being brought up wrong by trashy parents. Nothing I can do I used to try to change the world one person at a time but only lead to my own problems so "if you're stupid, suffer" cause this ass-tard has it coming sooner or later...
 

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Reading that just pissed me off and almost ruined my morning.

Rene Gonzalez is an anti-American, pro-terror, thick-headed, shallow, good-for-nothing piece of sh*t! :evil: But that's just my own opinion.

Tillman and all other US soldiers who are fighting throughout the world (or who have previously fought for freedom) are heros regardless of what this Gonzalez sh*t-bumb character has to say... and we all know that!

He better be ready for his ridicule on the UMASS campus.

I feel a little better after that rant.
 

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The papers response:

To our readers:

April 29, 2004

In yesterday's Editorial/Opinion section of The Massachusetts Daily Collegian, a column titled "Pat Tillman is not a hero: he got what was coming to him" appeared. In the piece, graduate student Rene Gonzalez wrote about the death of former NFL player and Army Ranger Pat Tillman, who was killed during a skirmish in Afghanistan last Friday.

A flood of feedback has poured in, nearly all of which is harsh criticism of either Gonzalez's words or of The Collegian's decision to run the column. In fact, reader response has been so great that we would like to take this opportunity to respond to our readers.

Rene Gonzalez is a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts who occasionally submits columns to The Collegian. While his views in no way reflect the opinion of our editorial board or staff, we base our decisions not on whether we agree with the opinion of students submitting opinion pieces, but on the backbone of journalism: The First Amendment.

As a news organization, The Collegian lists the First Amendment as its most important value and asset. We do not hold back from printing news stories, columns or editorials that may upset our readership - instead, we seek to both inform and stir debate through our publication. Our decision to publish Gonzalez's column - an opinion piece written by a member of our campus community - is the only way for us to live up to this ideal.

One of the most important points that we at The Collegian want to stress to our readers is the nature of the Editorial/Opinion page. Not one columnist or student's opinion printed on our page represents that of the paper at large. Gonzalez's opinion is his own, and it runs under our pages as a single voice on our campus. The Editorial/Opinion page is designed to give a wide variety of students a chance to speak through a large-scale medium. With that comes the possibility of discourse and disagreement, and that is an accepted reality for us.

We would also like to draw attention to the fact that The Collegian has reported and commented on Tillman's death, and life, on a number of occasions in the last few days. Two columns written by editors on our staff have been published in praise of Tillman's life and his willingness to sacrifice it for what he believed in, including one column that ran on the page next to Gonzalez's. This was done intentionally, to display to our readers that we do not publish any opinion piece with more favor than any other - instead, we adhered to one of our missions: to create discussion, with dialogue on the merits of each argument.

The opinion of Gonzalez, though it dissented from that of the other two columns, deserved its space within the debate. Through the Web site feedback, phone calls and e-mails we have received, it has become very obvious to us at The Collegian that Gonzalez's opinion has caused a lot of controversy and frustration. We cannot, however, compromise the mission of our publication for the sake of ensuring the constant happiness of our readership. Gonzalez has just as much right to the opinion he presented as anyone else does, and we at The Collegian hope that this incident will foster a relationship with our readers that shows we are open to all opinions, not only the ones many people agree with.

We welcome all feedback on the issue, and hope that this represents growth in our relationship with you, the readers.

Sincerely,

The Massachusetts Daily Collegian Editorial Board
 

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Every citizen who volunteers to protect our country is a hero in my neighborhood...

That about sums it up for me...
 

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Every citizen who volunteers to protect our country is a hero in my neighborhood...

That about sums it up for me...
This is my opinion as well. I think alot of the criticism lately is because theres so much emphasis on Tillman being a "hero," and not enough on the heroics of the thousands of other soldiers over seas. Not to take anything away from the praise of Tillman, but there are thousands of others sacraficing just as much, and receiving zero attention.
 

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This was not "Ramon or Tyrone," who joined the military out of financial necessity, or to have a chance at education Give me a fucking break! Go back to the barrio in Puerto Rico asshole if you're so against how things are done here.
 

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According to Sen John McCain, when Tillman left the NFL to join the Army, Tillman didnt want to do any interviews because he felt that he was no better than any other soldier going to war. I'm sure he would not be too thrilled with all of the attention that his death is getting. However, he gave up a hell of a lot of money and a great career to do what he really believed in.

Unfortunately, it is Gonzalez's 1st Amendment right to publish his demented point of view. I think the "Collegian" should have thought about the reaction before publishing it.

As a UMass Alumni, I am embarrassed and offended. Fortunately, I will remember this article when UMass calls looking for donations this year to help support things like the "Collegian".
Under my 1st Amendment rights, my response will be :up_yours:
 

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What Gonzales does not understand is that Tillman gave his life for people to use their 1st Amendment Rights to print such trash without fear of goverment payback.

"wasn't like he was defending the East coast from an invasion of a foreign power" The sad fact is that America was attacked on 9-11and over 3,000 Americans lost their lives. Tillman was fighting againt the group responsible for the attack and is a hero in my book.
 
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If you ask me they should lock this kid in a room with Pat Tillman's brother and have them "discuss" how much of a hero Pat Tillman, or anyone who dies in the line of duty defending this country, really is.
 

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I think a lot of these "resolutions" are a complete waste of taxpayer dollars, as is this one, but it does make me feel a little better
"The state Senate on Thursday approved a resolution of condemnation, with one member, Sen. Robert Hedlund, R-Weymouth, calling Gonzalez a "nitwit."
Hahah nice!
 

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I think this Writer "Gonzalez" should just carry toilet paper with him, because everytime he opens his mouth, shit falls out.

I reflect on Tillman not only as a hero, like everyone else overseas fighting, but as a role model in the aspect that not everyone will walk away from $3.6 million (or whatever it was) and decide to serve his country. We're not talking about $40k or 50K/yr... we're talking serious set for life cash and opportunities and he traded it in for the green uniform with a Team that fights to win every minute. This team is not fighting for a championship or to increase ticket holders, but rather for the freedom of others whom don't have the necessary means to fight for their own human rights. Unfortunately in this match up, tillman faught with an end result of the ultimate sacrifice.

God bless all the soldiers...
 

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UMass Student Apologizes To Tillman Family For Column
Man Admits Article Was 'Insensitive'


POSTED: 10:39 p.m. EDT April 29, 2004
UPDATED: 11:02 p.m. EDT April 29, 2004

AMHERST, Mass. -- A University of Massachusetts at Amherst graduate student is apologizing to Pat Tillman's family.

Rene Gonzalez had written a column for the campus paper saying the football player-turned-soldier who died in combat in Afghanistan wasn't a hero -- but a "G.I. Joe guy who got what was coming to him."

Gonzalez said in an e-mail to a Boston TV station that he was trying to say Tillman's celebrity had factored into his being labeled a hero.

He admits he tried to prove his point in an "insensitive way" and that the article wasn't worth publishing.

The school's president issued a statement calling Gonzalez's column "a disgusting, arrogant and intellectually immature attack" on Tillman.

The paper ran a letter to readers today saying the column didn't express the paper's views.

Too late shmuck!
 

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UMass student hiding after death threats
Friday, April 30, 2004
By JENNIFER PICARD
[email protected]

AMHERST - A University of Massachusetts student is in hiding after reportedly receiving death threats stemming from a column he wrote in Wednesday's Daily Collegian.

Rene L. Gonzalez's column in the campus newspaper portrayed former National Football League player Pat Tillman, killed in battle last week, as "an idiot" for leaving football to join the Army Rangers.

Gonzalez's column said Tillman was not a hero but a fool for joining the elite Rangers and, consequently, getting shot and killed April 22 in Afghanistan.

The column has sparked a national outcry and triggered sharp criticism, including from the Massachusetts Senate, the university's president and the campus community.

Yesterday, in a brief e-mail to a television reporter from CBS affiliate WBZ-TV in Boston, Gonzalez, 25, apologized to Tillman's family, but declined to be interviewed. Gonzalez has also not responded to The Republican's requests for comment.

"I felt that his celebrity had been a factor in American society calling him a 'hero,' and I felt American society had arrived at that conclusion without much thinking, but rather as some sort of patriotic 'knee-jerk' into hero worship," Gonzalez wrote in the e-mail. "That was my point. I did it (admittedly) in such an insensitive way, that the article was not worth publishing."

Dan Lamothe, the Collegian's managing editor, said yesterday that Gonzalez told the paper's staff that he had received death threats Wednesday night. The staff has not heard from Gonzalez since.

Amherst Police Lt. Scott P. Livingstone said a member of Gonzalez's family talked to officers yesterday about the threats, but did not file a formal complaint.

The state Senate yesterday approved a resolution of condemnation, with one member, Sen. Robert Hedlund, R-Weymouth, calling Gonzalez a "nitwit."

University President Jack M. Wilson called Gonzalez's opinion column "a disgusting, arrogant and intellectually immature attack on a human being who died in service to his country."

"We are fortunate that so many people like Pat Tillman have made the sacrifices necessary to protect the free speech rights of Mr. Gonzalez, myself and our fellow citizens," said Wilson yesterday in his prepared statement.

The University's Student Government Association President, Jared Nokes, has also called for the resignation of Gonzalez from his position in the Office of African, Latino, Asian, and Native American Affairs at the Amherst campus. That office is funded primarily by the association.

Safety Pat Tillman turned down a $3.6 million contract playing with the Arizona Cardinals in 2002 to enlist with the Army. Tillman was promoted posthumously from specialist to corporal.

Gonzalez, a graduate student studying for a doctorate in political science, denounced Tillman in his column, which ran next to another student-written column praising Tillman as a hero.

Gonzalez's piece likened Tillman to a romantic Rambo.

"They should call Pat Tillman's army life "Rambo 4: Rambo Attempts to Strike Back at his former Rambo 3 Taliban Friends, and Gets Killed," wrote Gonzalez.

Americans, he wrote, can't admit the "stupidity of the Afghanistan and Iraqi wars."

"This was a "G.I. Joe" guy who got what was coming to him. That was not heroism, it was prophetic idiocy," Gonzalez wrote.

Gonzalez's small family home at The Hollow in Amherst was silent yesterday, with duct tape covering the house number in an apparent effort to deter the media. No one was home.

Gonzalez's next-door neighbor, Mary Rives, characterized him as a liberal and active student politician, with "politically progressive" views. He had been active in the campaign to stop bomb testing on Vieques Island in the family's native Puerto Rico, she said.

Gonzalez is also a musician whose at-home jam sessions with his father and brother often caught her attention, Rives said.

"I can't defend the lack of consideration he gave (the Tillman family). I would have preferred (Gonzalez) deliver his message in a more sensitive way," said Rives.

But the right to free speech is paramount, she said. The national furor over Gonzalez's column is really a reflection of the often blindly pro-military attitude adopted by Americans after the Sept. 11 attacks, she noted.

The Collegian newsroom was flooded with calls and Internet postings yesterday. So many people were accessing the server that it shut down, said Lamothe and Sports Editor Andrew S. Merritt.

"We've been getting hate mail in the sports (e-mail) account," he said.

Merritt and the paper's editorial board wrote a response to the brouhaha in yesterday's edition.

While the paper, which is financially independent of the university system, may not endorse Gonzalez's views, its pages remain a place for students to express their constitutional right to free speech, said the editorial.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this story.
 

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As a Veteran and U/Mass alumni I would like to point out that I have had a while to think about this..............................

I would like to piss on this "graduate student". I detest unprovoked, unsolicited, unjustified violence. After all they were just words. HOWEVER, there was a malicious intent by this supposed enlightened-educated "person". So although urinating on him would qualify as assault, I would probably consider doing it if the opportunity presented itself.

But since it probably won't:

F*CK HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
:FM:
 
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