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Fri Dec 7, 2012, 01:06 PM

The idea of entangling our military in Syria makes me nauseas

I'm appalled at the idea of the Syrian regime using chemical weapons on civilians too, but I'm scared shitless of Syria turning into another mess like Iraq and Afghanistan.

Doesn't anyone remember that Sadam's use of chemical weapons on his own people in the past was one of the reasons that the bush administration used to justify the 2003 war in Iraq? Was that war and the estimated 100,000 - 1,000,000+ dead civilians and $1 trillion wasted worth it?

I made many of the points in this thread in a post that I made in another thread, but I thought it was worthwhile to post this as a thread in its own right. Anything war related tends to get buried in the rear echelons of this forum. Most people are happy to ignore war and don't want to talk about it.

Before anyone is eager to send our military to fight in anyone's mess we need to know exactly what it is we are sending our Soldiers into and we all need to own it. Unfortunately, that isn't the case. We'll rally at the inhumanity and cry for the use of deployment of our war machine to Syria for a week, the government will do it, then we'll forget about it when the season finale for dancing with the stars or the voice comes up. We as a country will forget about what is going on in Syria and glance over what our military is doing on the ground and how it is impacting our Soldiers.

War turns nice people into evil people. Having been through it first hand myself (I served as an Infantry Platoon Leader in Iraq for 13 months in Iraq in 2004) I've experienced it first hand. Once you start shooting and killing people, it gets easier to do. Once you find yourself comfortable with committing murder what do you suppose that does to a person's moral compass?

When we hear stories of Soldiers posing with bodies of Taliban fighters like they were hunting trophies or videos of Soldiers pissing on the dead surface, we shouldn't be shocked. It's not natural to kill anyone. Having been through that experience myself, it makes you feel like shit regardless of the circumstance or how "justified" you are told it is. And, as much as I like to think that I'm a good person, the honest truth is it only got easier to do it the more the war went on. As soon as you can find yourself easily committing the ultimate transgression what stops you from committing any others? I'm probably doing a great job getting myself the "DU biggest piece of shit" moniker, but the only reason I didn't piss on the body of or pose with the body of a person I killed was because I didn't think of it - and that is the honest truth.

I don't know exactly what circumstances would make war an appropriate option or what a justified military response would be. I'm in the throws of trying to figure out my own anti-war stance and a lot of my positions on the subject is contradictory. However, my biggest sticking point with war is that the media needs to stop sterilizing it. We as a country would be more opposed to war if we understood exactly what it entailed in its full detail. It's just like the average American eating meat. Since most of us are removed from the process that brings us meat, it is easy for us to eat. However, if we all had to go into our backyards and butcher our own cow and take its life with our own hands, I bet many people wouldn't be able to stomach it. The same holds true to war. It's easy to support a war when you are thousands of miles away and you see the clean shrink-wrapped version presented to you by the media but it isn't easy to support a war when you actually have the blood on your hands and you are involved in it.

The media needs to show the dead women and children and report all of the atrocities that happen. The media needs to show the flag draped coffins and the gory images of the mangled dead that is produced. If we can stomach making the decision to send troops into harms way, then we need to stomach the gory details of what the decision fully entails. I know that at some point I need to get over myself, but the personal pain and images that I endure as a result of my war time service needs to be on the conscious of every American who supported the war. Every American who supported the war should have a picture of a mangled child's dead body front and center in their living room. They should have to face that image constantly during every moment of their life and it should haunt them just as much as it haunts the Soldier who killed that child and the family that lost that child. When they are sitting on the floor opening birthday presents with their child on an otherwise happy day, images of a dying 10 year old with a sucking chest wound and his shocked 6 year old little brother and three handcuffed uncles should be front and center in their mind. The parent should have to look at their shocked 4 year old daughter and explain why they are crying on their birthday.

If it wasn't for the support for the war at home there wouldn't have been a war. Everybody would be hard pressed to support any war if they knew the full scope of the violence that will be committed in their name.

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply The idea of entangling our military in Syria makes me nauseas (Original post)
Victor_c3 Dec 2012 OP
NightWatcher Dec 2012 #1
former-republican Dec 2012 #4
Xithras Dec 2012 #7
Victor_c3 Dec 2012 #15
AnotherMcIntosh Dec 2012 #2
former-republican Dec 2012 #3
cpwm17 Dec 2012 #10
Victor_c3 Dec 2012 #13
leftstreet Dec 2012 #5
Mnemosyne Dec 2012 #6
hack89 Dec 2012 #11
Mnemosyne Dec 2012 #17
hack89 Dec 2012 #18
quinnox Dec 2012 #8
Initech Dec 2012 #9
PufPuf23 Dec 2012 #12
Agony Dec 2012 #14
Jazzgirl Dec 2012 #16

Response to Victor_c3 (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 01:11 PM

1. If/when we get involved there, I suspect it would be air-only, like in Libya

I think that the UN countries would join us in providing dominate air cover for the rebels to finish off the regime on the ground. We'd probably just enforce a country wide no-fly zone.

I doubt we'd put boots on the ground.

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 01:19 PM

4. I don't think it will be

 

Someone has to secure those weapons

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Response to former-republican (Reply #4)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 03:01 PM

7. Exactly. It would require a ground invasion.

We can't bomb the chemical weapons stockpiles because doing so would release them and kill thousands or tens of thousands of civilians. It's not like taking out a SAM site.

At the same time, an aerial bombing campaign to support the rebels WOULD trigger a chemical launch, because Assad has already made it clear that they would be used if the country was attacked from the outside.

Sending in a large ground force to seize the sites is the only way to pull it off. That would probably trigger a chemical weapons attack itself, but our forces have the gear to survive it (there would undoubtably be civilians nearby who were killed too though...the western part of Syria is fairly heavily populated).

The problem with sending in a large ground force is the fact that Assad still has a fairly substantial and well trained army with modern weapons. Syria isn't Iraq, where the army had already been decimated by another war and a decade of sanctions, and it isn't Afghanistan, where there wasn't a well trained army of any sort. It has a large regular army equipped with the best weapons the Russians would sell them. I have ZERO doubt that the U.S. military would slaughter them in combat, but we'd probably still be looking at an American death toll higher than that of Afghanistan and Iraq combined. The fight would be short but incredibly brutal.

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Response to Xithras (Reply #7)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 07:21 PM

15. Yes, I have no doubt it would be extremely brutal

You might have your doubts, but the fighting I did in Iraq I did with one hand behind my back. Commanders were reluctant to fire 155 HE artillery into urban areas and they also disliked the use of the main gun on tanks in urban areas as well. I was fortunate not to be involved in Fallujah during November 2004 (although my company spear-headed the Marine assault there) where much of the restrictions I mentioned above weren't there. Syria would look like a larger version of Fallujah in all of its glory.

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Response to Victor_c3 (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 01:12 PM

2. War is profitable. Propaganda in favor of war works.

 

If the big-money people and their politicians want war in Syrian, we are going to have it.

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Response to Victor_c3 (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 01:18 PM

3. poor choice of words

 

"committing murder"

But as to your post it's a crazy situation in that part of the world.
No matter what the U.S decides to do it's going to be a loss , there's no win in this.

I think the MSM is providing pics already of murdered civilians.

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Response to former-republican (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 03:14 PM

10. The Iraq War was entirely unprovoked

and every Iraqi we killed was murdered. Victor chose his words carefully.

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Response to cpwm17 (Reply #10)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 06:55 PM

13. exactly right n/t

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Response to Victor_c3 (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 01:23 PM

5. You want the media to show dead people? How 'bout US troops?

Wait....that's not what you really meant

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Response to Victor_c3 (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 02:43 PM

6. You mean the chemical weapons Saddam bought from us? I am nauseous too. nt

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Response to Mnemosyne (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 03:20 PM

11. Syria made their own with Soviet help.

they have had chemical weapons since the 1960's

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Response to hack89 (Reply #11)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 11:43 AM

17. Sickening that anyone has these weapons at all. nt

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Response to Mnemosyne (Reply #17)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 11:49 AM

18. Most countries including the US have destroyed their stockpiles

and dismantled their programs.

Chemical weapons bans have been a great success.

Syria refused to sign any treaties banning chemical weapons.

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Response to Victor_c3 (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 03:03 PM

8. me too

 

I agree with just about all of it, especially the showing the pictures of the war dead to the people. They deliberately censor it in the mass media because they want to sanitize war. Good post, K&R. I just realized you were a soldier who fought in the Iraq war and it makes your OP that much more powerful.

Everyone should read this OP.

And even though the correct spelling is "nauseous", it doesn't matter, because we all know what you meant, so fuck any of the spelling nazis in advance. (As one myself, I think I can say this )

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Response to Victor_c3 (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 03:14 PM

9. Yay - another war we'll spend trillions on and not win!

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Response to Victor_c3 (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 03:27 PM

12. Thank you Victor for your humanity

Please give yourself absolution, I do.

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Response to Victor_c3 (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 07:06 PM

14. Thanks again for being here.

I abhor war but absolutely support full veterans benefits.

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Response to Victor_c3 (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 07:23 PM

16. I find it interesting that there is so much discussion

on Syria using chemical weapons on its own people very interesting. I've done some searching and the only place I have seen this statement made is by US news. Even the UN says they can't find any evidence of Syria preparing chemical weapons to use.

Do some searching. Pay attention to the sources.

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