US Military sacrifices and the American response....

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by chiefMOJOrisin, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. First off, for those few who like to complain about my posts, yet still take the time out of their day to read them and reply with bull.... save it. You're garbage will not be responded too.

    I was thinking this morning, as I have before, about the US military and their current dealings across the globe.

    We all have opinions on why why we should or shouldn't be wherever. That is for another time. My curent thoughts are based on the individuals who volunteer for such endevours.

    It almost bothers me to say this, but... what are you thinking?? I mean, how many soldiers honestly believe in what they are doing? I see the news stories all the time....
    '15 American G.I.s dead in IED attack'..... how many months after the 'mission was acomplished'? Are there really no other options for you and your life that the college tuition and career opportunities cause you to, in a sense, sell yourself? Obviously times are tough, and the military is often one's only option. I just hope these kids (I am a kid too.... 24 next month) have tried and exhausted other possibilites before settling for a stint, or career in the military. I don't know if this is still practiced, but forcing a kid to join the army instead of jail time seems cruel and unusual these days.

    I totally understand the need for a college education, the need to turn ones life around, become a man, be a part of something bigger than yourself, the comradery, the need for assistance and help in ones future.... but I can not understand those who claim they are fighting for OUR freedom. Please. Afghanistan, sure. Iraq. No way.

    Even Afghanistan is cutting it close, in my opinion. Afghanistan didn't fly planes into buildings and kill thousands of helpless and innocent Americans. Al Queda did. Other than those pussy no-balls coward fucks, I see no imminent threat to American freedoms, rights, or way of life. Do we honestly think that some country is going to land on US soil and launch a military invasion? No. Thats why those cowards had to be cowards. And now that can't happen any more. Although law following citizens now become targets of 'random' searches and I can't bring a fucking bottle of gatorade on a plain.

    (Man that pissed me off! I was flying out of Minot airport in North Dakota.... the whole place has, at the most, 4 terminals... all in one round area. I get bad anxiety and I am prescribed xanax. I also smoke cigs and hate 99.9998% of all humans. So, on plane trips I take a few extra footballs so I get nice and loopy, fall asleep, and forget the trip. So I'm waiting for boarding and I go buy a gatorade to take my medication. I take 3 sips, take my pills, 2 more sips, then it's time to go through security...... yes, I wait to go through security until boarding because you can't smoke on the other side. Anyway, moral of the story is that I got beat for a 4$ gatorade because some asshole pussyfarts used a nail file to hijack a plane).

    I feel like a shmuch thinking this........ but it don't cost nothing to think it, and I do (Grindhouse). I think we are misleading our soldiers into buying false threats and blinding them with tuition and health care and a job. Obviously this can never happen.... but why not throw all that money towards national health care? The homeless? Addicts who need rehab and not prison? Medicare? Roads and highway repair? Police, firemen, probation and parole officers, COs? The extra years we've spent in Iraq must have a huge monetary amount attached to them.

    Don't get me wrong.... I appreciate everything everyone in the armed forces has done for my country. I am a proud American and I love my country. To steal a bit from W's character in Harold and Kumar 2.... you don't have to trust or agree with the government to be a good American. You just have to believe in your country. Which I do. However I do not believe it is right to send kids to their death over oil, inivisible nukes.... shit, even visible nukes.

    We have to have just as many nukes, if not more, than every country out there. Shit, I bet many combined, So why is it our problem if another country wants to play with them? Oooooh... they can aim it at the US and reach. Big deal. So can we. Are we so afraid of slightly possible threats that we are willing to get the whole coutry in a huff? Throwing these newscasts on TV that say how much of a threat and danger North Korea is to put that fear in Americans.

    Fear is a huge tool. Fear of Al queda. Fear of terrorism. Fear of drugs. Fear of poverty. Fucking fear of speeding tickets.

    Like I said before.... it bothers me to think this way. I don't want to feel as if my government is killing off Americans for their own needs. Needs that hardly trickle down to the 'normal' folks. The folks who wait at home for their son, daughter, wife, husband, mom or dad to come home... if they come home at all. The people who suffer most benefit last and that is total bullshit. Again, they blind them with tuition and a career.

    How many times have you seen a family on the news devestated because they lost a 20 year old son in Iraq. Even the opposite brings up emotion.... seeing a mother hug her child and husband after being on her 3rd tour in Fallujah.

    Imagine that.... imagine your husband or wife or son or daughter or whatever. Imagine wondering if he/she is alive. Now imagine the overwhelming joy you would feel once he gets home. Now, reverse that and deal with him leaving again. Now repeat the process 2 more times.

    I respect and appreciate every single soldier who has faught for the United States. I don't want anyone to think I have anything against the individuals who are in our armed foreces. I was just like many people.... after the initial grief and awe of 9/11 subsided, it was replaced with anger and the need to do something. So, as soon as I turned 18 I went to my local Marine Corps recruiter to sign up. I wasn't a felon yet, but I still didn't get in. You want to know why??? Asthma. I could have, as many people must have, just lied. But when asked what medications I was on, I said albuteral and advair. They need people so badly yet they are more than ready to turn away a willing participant because of an extremely treatable affliction. Jerks.

    Again.... I respect and appreciate every single soldeir who has faught, and possibly given their lives for the United States. I, like many, just do not agree with them being there in the first place, or still. They are not 'fighting for freedom'... they are fighting for rich white men who pull the strings behind the scenes...... far away and safe from anything other than a few ballsy news reporters who have the gall to ask a tough question. I just can not trust a goverment who dangles money in someones face so they will do their bidding. They act as if their home, family, and life in general is at risk. Everyone has to flirt with a certain amount of risk in their life... I just think it is wrong to create fear in order to get more soldiers sign up. Then again, they had to do something since they 86ed the draft. Unfortnuately, there is a word for someone who takes money/bribes in order to perform a degrading, unwanted, unneccesary task.

    Freedom isn't free, they say. Well, the infamous 'they' iare right. Freedom isn't free. I wonder if the genius who coined that phrase has a price fro freedom. Is it 4311 dead Americans? Is it the 4127 deaths since 'Mission Acomplished'?? Think about that for a tick. Let is resinate in your dome piece...... 96% of the casualties in Iraq occured AFTER that beady-eyed little prick lied to the entire world claiming 'Mission Accomplished'. If your mission was to kill 4000+ Americans.... great job! Not to mention the 318 foreign troops in Iraq, the 700 Americans in Afghanistan, and the 1444 non-military Americans (138 journalists, 1306 contractors) in Iraq. It must suck to be W. right now.... even though it's only been a few months, there have only been like 83 American deaths in Iraq since Obama took office. Only 20 in combat.

    Some people may say that they knew what they signed up for. They had to have known the ultimate sacrifice was a possibility. Sure they did. They were also lead to believe that what they were doing was worth while, which got them there in the first place. Again... Afghanistan is touchy. We certainly needed to find and murder Osama. But our poor tactics and lack of needed troops allowed that coward cocksucker to escape, and as a direct result, the lenghtening of the campaign and for lives lost. I really wonder if he is dead of alive. I have a feeling, if he is dead, that it wasn't because of us. He probably died in a cave collapse or from an arguement with one of his dumb lackies.

    I, as an ordinary citizen, obviously do not know or understand the inner workings of the government and the minds of the officials. But as an ordinary citizen of the United States, I have the right to question these things. You have the right to disagree with me. And I have the right to disagree with you. Hopefully we can keep it on that level and have some decent rebuttal, opinions, conversations.
  2. I remember reading somewhere that a lot of guys join the armed forces from more rural areas where there literally isn't any other opportunity for them.
  3. You might like this quote:

    That was written in the 19th century, long before America became an imperialistic permanent war economy. Since then the influence of warring has permeated almost every fabric of American life, from education to recreation. Patriotism is too often confused for blind nationalism, and the media certainly contributes to this as well by glorifying war and death.

    For the most part people join up for the incentives provided, the suffering and underprivileged lower class is a god-send for the military industrial complex.
  4. You might be interested to know I just wrote a term paper on "the paradox of perilous commitment", i.e. why people fight increasingly costly and deadly war. You might think, hmm... it's just those dumb soldiers. Well, perhaps you should look at how you fund the war machine when you don't tell it like it is.

    ^ Just a little of my unrespondable bull for ya
  5. Care to expand? :)
  6. Why would war stop unless people started saying it was wrong? Not just costly in terms of money, but WRONG. You think people with the ability to print legitimate money really care about "costliness"?

  7. Some people just want to be a part of a fraternity. Once they are in the govt basically owns them and its been proven they give them pills and don't even tell them what they are. The move em in get em out syndrome is alive and well and don't think the govt wants a bunch of healthy active citizens once they return from two tours in fallujah.
  8. #8 Salmon of Doubt, Jun 11, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2009
    It is rather well known that the military "builds" channels of influence that evoke support and patriotism amongst it's denizens, but it's truly effective mechanisms are aimed at those already within the "military circle".

    I'm talking, of course, about the benefits the military offers it's soldiers. For instance, the military pays handsomely in the form of "financial asistance" for having children. A soldier's salary is adjusted to the amount of children he/she has, and for more reason than "taking care of their own".

    In the early 90's, the DHS issued a study which stated that children who grew up in military families were 7 times more likely to join a branch of service.

    They will always have soldiers, recruits and enthusiasts, and it is because of the underlying, implicit means by which they gain their ends.

  9. In the early 1990s, the DHS did not exist.
  10. Damn, you sure are right about that.

    Maybe I meant DoD? Well, give me a few, let me see if I can locate that study on line, I'll post a link.
  11. In a perfect world, we'd all be philosophers and would think deeply and rationally before making every decision. This not being the case, there are many reasons a person would want to join the military. In my observations, by far the most common reason was money. A close second was an unspoken nod toward doing as society wishes. Most people go to school, get a job, find a spouse, have babies, buy a house, mow the lawn, et cetera. This is what you're "supposed" to do to be respected. Another way to earn society's respect is to join the military so that everyone else doesn't have to. It's a win-win: Patriotic John Q. Public gets to feel good about himself as he praises the soldiers while Private Snuffy gets to feel good about earning that respect.

    Off the top of my head (so bear with the oversimplification), I'd divide soldiers into these groups, most common to least: recent high schoolers who want free college, people who were broke and needed some money, people that have no direction and just joined to grow up a little, people that wanted to shoot guns, and people that admired their relatives who were in the military. As an armchair philospher, I'd say these aren't the greatest reasons for joining. As a normal Joe who struggles with everything that is this crazy world, I understand the situation. Idealism versus realism, or as close as we can get to either.

    That's what I explained above, but I went through it anyway to just give you an idea of what the proportion is like. F your I, y'know.

    If the government throws money at the military, creates neat-o phrases like "Freedom Isn't Free" to support them, and basically convinces everyone that the issue in these wars is freedom, then they get to do what they want. The military doesn't have the general mission of "fighting for freedom," and they don't have the mission of protecting the Constitution (although that one is part of the oath you take to become a soldier), it's simply to do what you're told. The military simply does what Washington says. The politicians can't carry guns and invade countries, so they have others do it for them. And obviously not every or even most motives from Washington are noble.And so it goes.

    I strongly disagree.

    Any time the word "freedom" is used in the context of war, an eyebrow should be raised. Anything that immediately gratifies the senses -- a snappy phrase, a catchy song lyric, an intoxicating woman hitting on you, a deal that sounds too good to be true -- should be scrutinized closely. 9/11 had nothing to do with our freedoms, only our safety. But invading in the name of safety won't get you the same kind of heartfelt support that freedom will get you. In my imaginary perfect world, the support wouldn't have been invoked in the name of freedom, but rather rationality; a battle against irrational ideas that tear us apart as a species. But, as a thinking person wanting others to think as well, I know a crusade of this magnitude in the name of rationality is futile and unrealistic. Oh well.

    I agree especially with that last part. Sure, sacrifice may be a possibility, and sure, soldiers know that it can happen. But just because soldiers are expected by everyone to be possible casualties doesn't mean they should be offered as such for just any ol' reason we can dream up.
  12. I generally agree with everything you wrote, but is this really necessary? It makes it seem like disagreeing with you is a crime. You could have potentially written a post that was completely wrong, and someone may have had good reasons for why everything you wrote was wrong, and this kind of attitude would make you immune to be reasoned with. Being open to criticism just makes you a smarter person. Anywho, your ideas are spot on. Cheers mate.

  13. I dig what you're saying. At the end of the post I mentioned that everyone has the right to disagree and for me to disagree. I enjoy arguments, when they are mature, logical, and not annoying.

    The beginning disclaimer was more for the d-bags who aren't just disagreeing, they are disagreeing and taking it out of context. Then they get personal. Perhaps I should have explained better.

    Thanks for the responses, guys. Good stuff.

    Et Cetera.... why do you strongly disagree? I actually don't know how deep our WMD pockets are, but I assumed (poor decision, and word) since we are a 'super-power', were among the first to develop and use nukes, and the country's need to extend its preverbial penis would translate into a stock pile.

    If we don't have many, I suppose it makes a little more sense to try and sanction a country with them. Although I still think we should back off and let other countries do what they please.

    I'm seriously asking because I don't know, and I'm guessing you do. Not for arguements sake, just for my own knowledge.

    I never really thought about this until just now...... imagine how much damage we are doing to the environment with all these wars and nuke tests. Shit.

  14. It all boils down to what nukes are used for: massive destruction. The less nukes Earth has, the better Earth will do. If a country attains nukes to assert its power, others will do the same. Not only does this increase global anxiety, but it gives weight to the crazy notion that war power is to be respected, that a country makes itself better and stronger by having super-powerful weapons. We shouldn't reinforce that idea. We should abandon, at least, the vast majority of our nukes* in order to practice what we preach, encourage others to do the same, display our commitment to use war only as a last resort, and increase the globe's safety, which in turn decreases global anxiety.

    The only argument I have heard against nuke reduction is, "Why should our enemies have all the nukes?" But don't you think our enemies are asking the same of us? Us, the ones with soldiers scattered across the globe, the ones touting ourselves as the greatest and strongest country on Earth? Put yourself in another part of the globe: should the strongest country command the weaker countries to stay weak? Must the Earth be covered in one mushroom cloud after another before we regret creating these weapons?

    I contend that many problems will be fixed when we stop glorifying brute strength and start doing everything as rationally as possible.

    *I read Andrew Bacevich's 2007 book The Limits of Power a few months ago and he stated the number of nuclear warheads we have, but I don't remember what that number was. The numbers 100,000 and 10,000 sound familiar, but it's hardly relevant; even fifty would be too many, provided you can't list fifty cities that would be worth annihilating in some massive war.

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