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Sat Dec 29, 2012, 07:43 PM

 

At what point does military worship become dangerous?

There are varying degrees of military worship - the Third Reich practically turned the SS into gods among men in propaganda.

Then you can go to countries like Costa Rica that do not even have an army.

We are somewhere in between the two, but at times I fear the constant military tie ins on the news is taking us in this direction.

I don't think military worship is a safe road for us to travel. To be completely honest, it is relatively new to Americans - it wasn't always so.

IT seemed like it started during WWII but never ended when the war did.

"Support the Troops" has become a litmus test for many, and any time an atrocity caused by them happens, many are stumbling over each other to point out this was "one bad apple" and certainly "there is no problem with the rest of the barrel so please stop looking over there."

And it is a form of blind faith.

I realize not every person in the military commits atrocities.

But you take men and women, at their prime physical peak years, train them to kill in the most efficient way possible - what would you expect? That they wouldn't climb over that metaphorical bridge from "killing under orders and "killing?"

Sadly, it seems every decade we become more militarized, more of a threat to the world and ourselves. Let's not kid ourselves - this is what killed the USSR. It wasn't Reagan, and it wasn't Nixon, but they killed themselves by over-militarizing and overreaching.

To the military worshippers out there, let me suggest a reading. It was written by a veteran of several wars who rose to the rank of Major General. His name was Smedly Butler, and the book he wrote was "War is a Racket."


I suggest you take a look....


http://lmgtfy.com/?q=war+is+a+racket+by+smedly+butler

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Reply At what point does military worship become dangerous? (Original post)
Taverner Dec 2012 OP
Coyotl Dec 2012 #1
CrispyQ Dec 2012 #37
Arctic Dave Dec 2012 #41
snot Dec 2012 #63
ProfessorGAC Dec 2012 #106
panzerfaust Dec 2012 #112
LWolf Dec 2012 #131
former9thward Dec 2012 #2
truebluegreen Dec 2012 #62
libinnyandia Dec 2012 #3
Taverner Dec 2012 #45
panzerfaust Dec 2012 #116
cliffordu Dec 2012 #160
DissidentVoice Dec 2012 #157
Bigmack Dec 2012 #4
bahrbearian Dec 2012 #46
Confusious Dec 2012 #5
Taverner Dec 2012 #6
Confusious Dec 2012 #9
Taverner Dec 2012 #10
Confusious Dec 2012 #11
white_wolf Dec 2012 #17
Confusious Dec 2012 #19
Taverner Dec 2012 #22
Confusious Dec 2012 #27
DisgustipatedinCA Dec 2012 #132
white_wolf Dec 2012 #12
bahrbearian Dec 2012 #48
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #77
DissidentVoice Dec 2012 #83
blueamy66 Dec 2012 #123
DissidentVoice Dec 2012 #156
Confusious Dec 2012 #84
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #86
hobbit709 Dec 2012 #103
blueamy66 Dec 2012 #124
hobbit709 Dec 2012 #129
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #139
blueamy66 Dec 2012 #142
hobbit709 Dec 2012 #143
blueamy66 Dec 2012 #145
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #148
DissidentVoice Dec 2012 #159
pinboy3niner Dec 2012 #87
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #88
pinboy3niner Dec 2012 #89
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #90
pinboy3niner Dec 2012 #93
diphthong Dec 2012 #97
Democracyinkind Dec 2012 #104
pinboy3niner Dec 2012 #105
panzerfaust Dec 2012 #119
pinboy3niner Dec 2012 #122
Democracyinkind Dec 2012 #130
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #136
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #135
Taverner Dec 2012 #141
11 Bravo Dec 2012 #146
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #147
11 Bravo Dec 2012 #153
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #154
DissidentVoice Dec 2012 #162
panzerfaust Dec 2012 #117
pinboy3niner Dec 2012 #128
NoOneMan Dec 2012 #137
TwilightGardener Dec 2012 #7
Taverner Dec 2012 #8
TwilightGardener Dec 2012 #14
bahrbearian Dec 2012 #49
Confusious Dec 2012 #15
Taverner Dec 2012 #20
Confusious Dec 2012 #23
Taverner Dec 2012 #26
cliffordu Dec 2012 #30
Taverner Dec 2012 #36
cliffordu Dec 2012 #57
Taverner Dec 2012 #59
Taverner Dec 2012 #60
cliffordu Dec 2012 #64
DissidentVoice Dec 2012 #158
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #67
Taverner Dec 2012 #79
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #80
malz Dec 2012 #120
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2012 #78
lumberjack_jeff Dec 2012 #133
datasuspect Dec 2012 #29
TwilightGardener Dec 2012 #38
datasuspect Dec 2012 #40
TwilightGardener Dec 2012 #72
bowens43 Dec 2012 #69
TwilightGardener Dec 2012 #73
99Forever Dec 2012 #111
blueamy66 Dec 2012 #126
lumberjack_jeff Dec 2012 #134
Buzz Clik Dec 2012 #115
reteachinwi Dec 2012 #13
datasuspect Dec 2012 #16
Taverner Dec 2012 #18
arely staircase Dec 2012 #21
Taverner Dec 2012 #25
white_wolf Dec 2012 #35
arely staircase Dec 2012 #61
white_wolf Dec 2012 #82
arely staircase Dec 2012 #107
Taverner Dec 2012 #140
Major Nikon Dec 2012 #66
arely staircase Dec 2012 #108
arely staircase Dec 2012 #109
datasuspect Dec 2012 #24
white_wolf Dec 2012 #28
datasuspect Dec 2012 #31
Taverner Dec 2012 #44
catnhatnh Dec 2012 #32
datasuspect Dec 2012 #33
catnhatnh Dec 2012 #34
dflprincess Dec 2012 #58
Recursion Dec 2012 #99
libodem Dec 2012 #39
MADem Dec 2012 #42
Taverner Dec 2012 #43
MADem Dec 2012 #51
bahrbearian Dec 2012 #50
MADem Dec 2012 #52
bahrbearian Dec 2012 #53
MADem Dec 2012 #76
bahrbearian Dec 2012 #55
MADem Dec 2012 #75
bahrbearian Dec 2012 #85
MADem Dec 2012 #101
RomneyLies Dec 2012 #47
patrice Dec 2012 #54
obamanut2012 Dec 2012 #56
bowens43 Dec 2012 #65
TheKentuckian Dec 2012 #68
WooWooWoo Dec 2012 #70
awoke_in_2003 Dec 2012 #71
Zax2me Dec 2012 #74
DissidentVoice Dec 2012 #81
pinboy3niner Dec 2012 #91
DustyJoe Dec 2012 #118
pinboy3niner Dec 2012 #125
DissidentVoice Dec 2012 #155
Rex Dec 2012 #92
pinboy3niner Dec 2012 #94
Rex Dec 2012 #95
pinboy3niner Dec 2012 #96
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #98
Recursion Dec 2012 #100
Democracyinkind Dec 2012 #102
Baitball Blogger Dec 2012 #110
lunatica Dec 2012 #113
L0oniX Dec 2012 #149
Taverner Dec 2012 #152
Buzz Clik Dec 2012 #114
Auntie Bush Dec 2012 #121
Jackpine Radical Dec 2012 #127
Taverner Dec 2012 #151
rrneck Dec 2012 #138
Tierra_y_Libertad Dec 2012 #144
Taverner Dec 2012 #150
Lydia Leftcoast Dec 2012 #161

Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 07:45 PM

1. As soon as it begins

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Response to Coyotl (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:28 PM

37. +1

The only sane response in this thread.

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Response to Coyotl (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:02 PM

41. +1

 

Military worship is a sign of a sick society. It comes with a high mortality rate for those that come down with it.

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Response to Coyotl (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:23 PM

63. +1

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Response to Coyotl (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 09:18 AM

106. My First and Immediate Thought As Well

I'll grant anybody WWII. Folks actually thought, and with some reasonable cause, that their way of life was at risk.

That was somewhat true then, but at no other time since. (Well, maybe the Revolutionary and Civil Wars count prior, but nothing since.)

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Response to Coyotl (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:20 AM

112. Y'All beat me to it. Everyone should read the book ...

 

"How to Control the Military"
By John Kenneth Galbraith

Which demonstrates the danger any military poses to any democracy.

I read it in Vietnam the year (1969) that is was published. It completely changed my view of the military draft.

Galbraith makes, among other points, an excellent case that having non-lifer military conscripts - involuntary draftees - serving on active duty is essential to keeping military establishments from seizing control of governments.




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Response to Coyotl (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 12:05 PM

131. Nailed it. nt

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 07:51 PM

2. In began in 1947.

In 1947 the Department of War changed its name to the Department of Defense. Since then it has become impossible for politicians to vote for cuts in the "Defense" budget. It was much easier to cut the budget of "War".

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Response to former9thward (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:17 PM

62. Yup.

Huge mistake.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 07:56 PM

3. I remember seeing on facebook a billboard equating American soldiers to Jesus. I hid it in seconds.

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Response to libinnyandia (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:22 PM

45. Gott Mitt Uns

 

German for God is with us

On every German Uniform during WWII

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Response to Taverner (Reply #45)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:34 AM

116. Yes: On the belt-buckle of the Wehrmacht

 



And of the Waffen Schutzstaffel



And often featured in propaganda images:


There is, to my mind, no question that we - The United States of America - are well down this road.

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Response to panzerfaust (Reply #116)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 06:08 PM

160. Thanks for sharing!!!



You REALLY have to try harder to come up with something original.

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Response to Taverner (Reply #45)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 05:57 PM

157. Not every German uniform

It was actually mostly the belt buckles of the German army and some police units.

The Luftwaffe and Navy had no wording on theirs.

The SS had "Meine Ehre heisst Treue" (my honour is loyalty).

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 07:57 PM

4. If you quote Butler...

I have to quote my favorite Marine general...


`I believe that if we had and would keep our dirty, bloody, dollar soaked fingers out of the business of these (Third World) nations so full of depressed, exploited people, they will arrive at a solution of their own. And if unfortunately their revolution must be of the violent type because the `haves' refuse to share with the `have-nots' by any peaceful method, at least what they get will be their own, and not the American style, which they donít want and above all donít want crammed down their throats by Americans.' Ė
Gen. David Shoup, United States Marine Commandant...Medal of Honor recipient.... 2 Purple Hearts (I'm proud to say that Gen Shoup was my Commandant during the first part of my time in.)

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Response to Bigmack (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:29 PM

46. I like that , it took some guts to state that,.. anyway we have to find a way to cut SS.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 07:58 PM

5. At what point does it become military worship?

Seems a few people around here have a low bar for what is considered "worship."

Showing a little extra respect to those who have served, in their opinion, is "worship."

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Response to Confusious (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 07:59 PM

6. Calling someone a "hero" just because they wore a uniform is worship

 

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Response to Taverner (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:05 PM

9. Is expecting people to be respectful in a cemetery worship?

I agree with the "hero" part.

audie murphy was a hero, daniel inoway was a hero, anyone who won the congressional medal of honor was a hero.

Just putting on a uniform doesn't make you a hero.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #9)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:06 PM

10. No but arresting someone for not doing it is

 

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Response to Taverner (Reply #10)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:08 PM

11. Who was arrested?


audie murphy was a hero, daniel inoway was a hero, anyone who won the congressional medal of honor was a hero.

Just putting on a uniform doesn't make you a hero.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #11)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:11 PM

17. I think he is referring to the women who flipped off the guards at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

I don't think she got arrested, though.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #17)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:13 PM

19. No she wasn't arrested

Some hyperbole from the OP.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #17)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:15 PM

22. I know she didn't get arrested, but it was discussed here

 

Thing is, the picture isn't that bad. She's not "flipping off" the Unkown Soldier, she was doing one of those "ironic" things you think are cute in your 20s.

And if she did? It's her right.

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Response to Taverner (Reply #22)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:18 PM

27. It is her right, but it was in very poor taste

Should she have been fired over it? no.

But a cemetery, any cemetery, is a place for respect.

If you can't show it, don't go.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #9)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 12:10 PM

132. Daniel was too a hero!

Inoway can you say he was not!

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Response to Taverner (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:10 PM

12. That annoys me.

They are not heroes simply by virtue of wearing a uniform. Maybe some are heroes, but the odds are those people would have been heroes regardless of whether they were in the army or not. This idea that these people enlist to protect our freedoms is nothing more than a pretty myth that is told to boost recruitment numbers and support for the armed forces. The vast majority of these people enlist because they need a job or some way to pay for education. My nephew joined the army after he dropped out of college. He didn't join to serve his country, he joined because he needed a job and wasn't cut out for college. I guarantee if the could have found a decent job with good wages and benefits he would not be wearing that uniform right now. The military is a job to those people. Does it carry risks? Sure, but so does working in coal mines and no one calls those people heroes and most of them deserve that title a lot more than my nephew who spent his tour of duty in South Korea. The only risk he ever faced over there was damage to his liver from all the drinking he says he did.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #12)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:35 PM

48. Exactly , they are just like the rest of us.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 11:38 PM

77. I never got that whole "served" thing

 

I mean, they get paid right? Its a job. Free job training. More training for post-job job. Good retirement package. Good benefits compared to average job. Free housing for many members.

Seems like you have a country serving the military people. Im not saying that this stuff isn't good or right, but damn man...

They aren't "serving". They are working and being compensated fairly. For some people, its the best gig they have access to

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #77)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 01:02 AM

83. It's not free

Especially considering that one of the "downers" about the job is you can get killed.

The pay isn't that great, especially for lower enlisted grades. E-4 (Specialist/Corporal in the Army/Marines, Senior Airman in the Air Force, and Petty Officer Third Class in the Navy/Coast Guard) are eligible for public assistance in some states.

It's an entirely different situation when you are Guard (as I was) or Reserve. Free housing? Not while you're in drill status. The only way you get that is if you're called to FAD (Federal Active Duty), and then it's dependent on rank as to what you get (actual housing or a dormitory). Medical care? Only if you're on Active Duty. Otherwise you're like any other poor sap floundering in the U.S. health care non-system.

You pay income tax on your military pay.

Yes, it's a job. However, it's not a job you can just quit, like in the civilian world, and if you get "fired" (other-than-honorable discharges), it can be a monkey on your back for the rest of your life.

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Response to DissidentVoice (Reply #83)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 11:14 AM

123. If you are in the Guard, you only put in one weekend a month

 

and 1 or 2 weeks a year, correct? So you can also hold down a FT job, with bennies, correct? And get paid for those weekends?

Housing may not be free, but aren't active, enlisted military given a housing "stipend" in their paychecks?

Of course only active duty military should have access to free medical care.

Of course the military should have to pay taxes on their income.

It's not a job you can quit. That's why one should think long and hard before enlisting.



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Response to blueamy66 (Reply #123)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 05:52 PM

156. Not exactly...

By the time I was in the ANG, the "one weekend/two weeks" paradigm was largely untrue. All five branches have come to rely heavily on their Reserve Components.

The Air National Guard is responsible for 100% of defending the airspace of the continental U.S. That's a little more than being a "weekend warrior."

You can hold down a FT job and I'll be the first to say that it was a hell of a lot easier for me in peacetime. For about the past 20 years (or more) being Guard/Reserve is very close to being AD because of all the deployments.

How you hold a civilian job has a lot to do with what degree (if any) of support your employer gives you. Some employers are really generous. Others are not. It's a fallacy that a Reserve component troop can go off to duty, whether for AcDuTra (Active Duty For Training) or actual hostilities, and then come back with everything at their civilian job intact and all is hunky-dory. The law states that your employer must hold a job for you. That does not mean it is the job you held when you left. It can well be the shittiest job the employer has and be the minimum to comply with the law, and the employer can look for other reasons to fire you that they say is unrelated to your service, especially in hardcore right-to-work/employment-at-will states.

I had a former friend (note the emphasis on "former") who was a management type. He told me openly he would never hire someone in the Guard or Reserve because it was "too much of a pain in the ass" for him to try and figure out the laws about Reserve component service and civilian employment.

If we had full, national health insurance the health care problem wouldn't exist. In Canada, full-time military and their dependents have to use the military medical services. Reservists are covered like any other Canadian when not on duty, and when on duty they're covered by the Canadian Forces Medical Service. There's no gap (chasm) like there is here.

Of course one should think long and hard before signing your John Hancock on the dotted line, because once you do, your life is not your own, even when you're in the Guard/Reserve. Fortunately I had a recruiter who really stressed that to me.

I personally would not make a good recruiter, because I would be very frank with a potential enlistee. I would tell them openly that you run the risk of getting your ass shot off, you become a cog in a very big wheel and it can be the best thing, worst thing, or somewhere in between that you ever do with your life.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #77)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 01:16 AM

84. Like the other fellow said, you can die "on the job"

Some, like my grandfather, served during WW2, my dad vietnam, my greatgrandfather WW1.

They had choices, but they put country, family friends first and served.

My greatgrandfather paid the price. My great grandmother never got over it.

I never got to know him.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #84)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 01:27 AM

86. You can die on any job

 

Do roofers, line men and loggers "serve"?

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #86)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 08:18 AM

103. But those jobs don't involve someone shooting at you.

And as someone above said. you can't just quit if you decide you don't like the job conditions.

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #103)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 11:21 AM

124. How about cops and firemen?

 

Seems like alot of them have been shot at in the past few weeks.

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Response to blueamy66 (Reply #124)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 11:35 AM

129. But they can quit their jobs.

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #129)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 01:06 PM

139. With all contractual forms of employment, there are consequences for breaking an agreement

 

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #129)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 02:07 PM

142. Then the recruit should not have signed the enlistment papers.

 

nt

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Response to blueamy66 (Reply #142)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 02:49 PM

143. Easy to say when you're not in the situation.

After the draft, a lot of people signed up since it was the only economic future out of poverty.
In my case I enlisted because my number in the lottery was 98 and they told everyone under 200 to pack.

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #143)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 03:01 PM

145. I respect the military....but I don't worship them.

 

Enlisting is like spinning the roulette wheel.

But there are great benefits and one takes a chance when those papers are signed.

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #143)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 03:42 PM

148. "it was the only economic future out of poverty"

 

Precisely. For many people, its the best gig in town in the economic sense. In my opinion, this makes it more akin to employment than a "service".

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Response to blueamy66 (Reply #124)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 06:03 PM

159. Cops and firemen

I grew up next to a fire station. I have the highest respect for those unsung warriors.

Police officers...I live not far from Detroit and if that's not a combat zone I don't know what is. Of course I respect them.

Do they serve? Yes, in a very unique way.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #77)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 01:57 AM

87. Military service, even in peacetime, involves sacrifice

Frequent moves are one part of it, and the pay in the entry-level years isn't so great, especially for families. When I was a junior officer, I was buying groceries for troops with famiies who couldn't afford to buy milk for their kids.l

In wartime, you can be sent to a combat zone where people are trying to kill you, and you never know if the next round may have your name on it. Death is not the only thing combat troops have to fear. Genital wounds, facial injuries, traumatic amputations, traumatic brain injuries...

I was lucky in my combat service, being wounded and surviving. But it was a facial wound, having half my teeth and jaw blown away by AK fire, requiring 18 months hospitalization. And after I got out, having to go back into a military hospital 7 years later to have my jaw re-built again--twice.

I drew a paycheck for my service, but my job was far beyond any civilian job I've ever had. And when I got back I wasn't looking for anyone to idolize me or call me a'hero.' All I realy wanted was for someone to understand what we went through. What I got was, on one side, the warhawks telling me we should have nuked Hanoi (though wiping out a civilian population wouldn't have made me feel like a winner), and on the other side, people calling me 'Baby-killer.'

Another common consequence of service is PTSD (which I wouldn't fucking wish on ANYBODY). And the loss and grief for those we knew and lost. I knew more than 60 guys who died in Vietnam, and that's something I still live with every damn day. Just one more thing they didn't include in my paycheck...

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #87)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 02:09 AM

88. Every job requires some level of sacrifice

 

I know a guy that was moved around the country twice a year for 3 decades due to his job. His kids grew up a little messed up from it all.


I'm sure I'm missing something here. Maybe there is some secret unique combination of things that makes it "service". So far these justifications for "service" sound like other jobs.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #88)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 02:11 AM

89. You're right. You are missing something here. nt

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #89)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 02:17 AM

90. Its probably something super secret that only club members experience

 

So I guess we will just have to take your word about the "service" thing and keep up the ego stroking.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #90)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 02:47 AM

93. "Ego stroking"?

That is an absolutely ignorant and idiotic response, considering what I shared in Post #87.

And all the more shameful, considering your username.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #90)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 06:09 AM

97. Oh my freakin' God....

 

The guy got his jaw shot off and spent 18 months in the hospital. You equate it to a guy that had to move around a lot with his job (that he could have quit at ANY time if he didn't like it). And THEN you say that the guy with the shot off jaw is looking for "ego stroking"???!!!!

Jesus Christ! What a major league asshole!

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Response to diphthong (Reply #97)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 08:21 AM

104. Logically speaking, he has a valid point.

People get their Jaws blown off in industrial accidents too, after all.

So far, the distinguishing criterion proposed is "putting yourself in harms way". This description is surely not exclusive to military service. A further qualifier is needed.

Many people feel, like you, that it is a distinction with a difference. Most people (all that I know of, including liberal luminaries such as Dworkin etc., who agree with you) have failed in stating the essential difference.

It's not just snark, it's a real philosophical puzzle. What is the distinguishing criterion that most people assume exists yet no one can state? I've yet to see it formulated in a way that is consistent and convincing.

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Response to Democracyinkind (Reply #104)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 09:12 AM

105. No, it's not a valid comparison at all

I come from a family tradition of Irish and Welsh mariners and coal miners, and I have the utmost repect for them and the work they did and the hazards they faced.

To recognize that military combat is far more hazardous for its participants is not to disparage my forebears and the honorable work they did at all (and many of them also served in war).

I've worked in a dangerous civilian job. But I didn't lose more than five dozen people there and many more injured or maimed in the course of only a few years. "In harm's way" does, indeed, have a different meaning for the military than it does in civilian life.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #105)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:59 AM

119. Absolute Truth

 


Looking for a MEDIVAC image made my eyes tear as I looked through all the photographs Google turned up. I could hear again "Whop, Whop, Whop ... Go, Go, GO" and smell the dust and the blood .

Semper Fi

Even if the country is not.



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Response to panzerfaust (Reply #119)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 11:11 AM

122. Semper Fi, brother

From an Army vet who's celebrated with the Marines at the Iwo Jima on their birthday.

The sound of the Hueys never goes away, does it? Billy Joel even used it in his song...

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #105)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 12:02 PM

130. You simply restated the criterion of harm in a more severe form. nt

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #105)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 12:59 PM

136. Fishermen experience a mortality rate of ~120 per 100,000

 

Last edited Sun Dec 30, 2012, 03:40 PM - Edit history (1)

From 1990 to 2011, there was a crude mortality rate of ~70 per 100,000 military employees.


Next time you see a fisherman, thank him or her for their seafood.

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Response to Democracyinkind (Reply #104)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 12:43 PM

135. That distinguishing criterion seems to be cultural

 

And the questioning of such cultural narrative is beyond acceptable from what I can surmise

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #135)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 01:39 PM

141. Unfortunately so

 

Not only can you not challenge it, you can't even define what challenging it means


Reminds me of a Solzhenitsyn tale...

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #90)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 03:09 PM

146. That may just be the single most despicable fucking post I've ever read at DU.

Considering what it was in response to, you are clearly beneath contempt.
Take a shot at me now. Compared to pinboy3niner, I had it easy ... just a sucking chest wound and some frag. Were it not for a ballsy dust-off from a fairly warm LZ, things might have gone south; but I wasn't disfigured, didn't lose a limb, and wasn't shot in the dick, so for my money it was all good.
You know, I don't really mind you not knowing what you're talking about; but for your response to a good man who shared something raw and personal that you will obviously never understand ... fuck off, clown.

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Response to 11 Bravo (Reply #146)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 03:36 PM

147. The illustrated visceral reaction to those who don't consider it "service" worthy of unique respect

 

seems to be derived from damage to this club member's self-esteem/ego.

Collectively, these employees (and the existing cultural narrative) have arbitrarily decided this form of paid employment constitutes some special "service". Do you deny that you have intrinsic pride when others show you respect for your "service"? IOW, do you deny that when people follow this narrative that your very own ego is "stroked"?

Whether you have a distaste of how I worded it or not, the point very well stands. Some undefinable set of attributes--which have yet to really been proven as unique--elevates this form of employment to a status in which other society members must act customarily to in order to reinforce your self-esteem (or face criticism for violating a social taboo). This seems to be the very crux of this particular social phenomenon, and I surely cannot fathom how it imparts any type of "greater good" to continue to perpetrate or follow this artificial narrative.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #147)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 04:21 PM

153. I don't consider anyone's service worthy of unique respect.

I do consider it worthy of not being shit on, and when some clueless asshole responds to a vet's story of having half of his fucking face shot off with snarky bullshit about "ego stroking", I will confess to reacting "viscerally". Deal with it. And trust me, the fact that you fail to recognize the offensive nature of your response to pinboy3niner says more about you than you would probably care to reveal. Face it, you fucked up. You will never admit it, and will doubtless continue to attempt to shift the narrative; but your response to a man who has made a tangible sacrifice greater than you can ever imagine, was contemptible.

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Response to 11 Bravo (Reply #153)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 04:27 PM

154. But you still consider this employment "service" apparently

 

So it is safe to say your entire reaction and perception of this dialogue rests upon unproven (and perhaps unprovable) premises. One should question their perception of reality if they are viewing the world through an unproven cultural construct.

There is no "shitting on" going on here. You are being overly sensitive because you are encountering the uncommon breaking of an unfounded social taboo, which we are not normally used to being confronted with. Creating strawmen to attack does not prove the underlying point regarding what constitutes "service" in a form of employment.

FYI, there was really no snark involved. If arbitrarily classification of this form of employment as "service" serves any purpose other than boosting self-esteem of the former employees, then let me know.

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Response to 11 Bravo (Reply #153)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 02:45 AM

162. K&R NT

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #77)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:46 AM

117. Absolute Bullshit: Serving in the military is not the same as serving at Denny's

 

Compensated fairly??

As a medic in Vietnam my base pay was ~100/month - of course, added to that, was the great $20 month combat pay.

I dislike the military establishment, I despise worship and aggrandizement of the military.

However, those men and women are repeatedly putting their lives on the line in a way that you, and no one who has not SERVED, can ever begin to understand.

Our current wars are wrong and a disgrace to our nation - but We The People are the ones who started them. Do not presume to denigrate those who go off to fight them for you.



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Response to panzerfaust (Reply #117)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 11:34 AM

128. Welcome home, brother

Grunts fucking LOVE our medics and corpsmen!

My frst medic in VN killed himself shortly after he returned home. My last medic found me after 20 years, and we still stay in touch. I still say to him, as I did in my letter to him some 40 years ago, "Your bedside manner SUCKS!"

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Response to panzerfaust (Reply #117)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 01:03 PM

137. Serving at McDonalds is not the same as serving at Denny's

 

Every job is different. In consideration of the general differences, what I am trying to figure out is why one specific form of employment isn't "work", but some greater "service".

The stated standards of service seem entirely arbitrary thus far

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:02 PM

7. Gratitude and respect are not the same as worship.

I'm simply grateful there are people willing to fight overseas for us. This is not the same as thinking they can do no wrong, or agreeing with the various wars or engagements they are sent into. But they take an oath to serve, and can't legally choose to quit when things get tough for them--unlike every other job you can think of. For that reason, they deserve a little more consideration, understanding, and protection from being mistreated or misused on our nation's behalf.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:03 PM

8. They are not fighting for us

 

They might THINK they are fighting for us

They are fighting for Haliburton, Unocal, etc

"Our Freedom" has never been under attack from another country

It's the internal folks you have to worry about

But no, they are not protecting your freedom

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Response to Taverner (Reply #8)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:10 PM

14. Again, you can disagree with every military engagement they participate in--

and still respect the fact that they are willing to do what is asked of them by our country. WE send them where they go, through our elected officials. Every one of us who is able to vote, every one of us who chooses not to bother voting. WE eventually decided that Iraq was a mistake, and elected a guy who ultimately shut that war down. But before that, Iraq had all kinds of public support. These servicemen and women are only doing what WE ask of them.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #14)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:37 PM

49. My respect goes to the Non-Combatiants

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Response to Taverner (Reply #8)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:11 PM

15. The revolution, Civil war, WW1, WW2, Korea

There were good reasons for those wars.

The rest, not so much.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #15)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:14 PM

20. Yes

 

Although I thought Korea had nothing to do with our freedom, it was worth doing because the NKA were seriously psycho. The PRC army not so much...

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Response to Taverner (Reply #20)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:16 PM

23. It had nothing to with our freedom, but our actions

We forced japan to give up it's conquests, so in part, we were responsible for the defense of a defenseless country.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #23)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:17 PM

26. Yes, otherwise it would have been a "dick move"

 

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Response to Taverner (Reply #8)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:21 PM

30. Gotta question for ya:

What the fuck have you ever fought for?

I mean, except attention.

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #30)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:26 PM

36. I never killed anyone for anything, if that's what you're asking

 

I served my country in the Peace Corps, which I will agree is at best a PR wing of the US Government.

But no, I never fired a gun at anyone I didn't know for my country. And I never would.

And would I take a low paying job, that's highly dangerous and has no reward?

No, and nobody else should either.

Especially since the military is not, and I repeat, IS NOT fighting for our freedom.

They may think they are, but they aren't.

We have not been invaded.

Not since the Revolutionary War.

So no, being in the military is not fighting for our freedom.

It's fighting for the corporations who stand to gain or lose a lot.

I'm not going to throw insults, but I'd hope you wouldn't either.

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Response to Taverner (Reply #36)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:53 PM

57. Your obsessive hatred of all things military and

your willingness to smear stupid shits like me for doing what we felt we had to do, to include us in your problem with "The Military" is too broad a brush.

I don't know if you understand completely how harmful your 'take' on this really is.

I had no choice except to go into the military. If I had gone into the Peace Corps or gone to Canada, my family would have never had another word with me. You have to believe that not serving was NEVER a possibility.

Every male in my family served for as far back as any of us could recall. So when it came my turn, I served.

But I was not a moron. I figured it out in Vietnam. I finally understood the Domino theory for the lie that it was, and the fact that Ford/ Philco was having automobile generator armatures wrapped by hand by Vietnamese civilians down the road for a buck a day while I kept the bad guys away with an honest to fucking god assault rifle and a high powered scope.

I was vigilant in my service.

And I am reminded of it, somehow, every goddamned day.

ďBlood a necklace on me all my life.Ē

― Michael Ondaatje, The Collected Works of Billy the Kid


You don't have to rub it in. You aren't saving anyone from the wars. You can flamebait assholes like me because you had choices and some 17 year olds do not.

I am not complaining:

I'm no different than anyone who served in any army, ever.

The Roman army served the rich and Empire.

It's what armies do.

But eventually wars end, and the main players in "The Military" (left alive and reasonably whole) all have to go home and, as Candide says "Tend our gardens"

I'm happy for you, that you got to go do the Peace Corps. I know a couple of mothers who wished their sons could have made the same choice.


More than anything, though, I'd like to be left alone with it, with this thing I did, and was, and am no more.

I'd like people to know that although I was IN the military, I was NOT the military: That civilians make the policy; that if you REALLY hate the military, you are going to have to change the policy.

And that means you might have to sacrifice more than an offensive post on Democratic Underground with the idea that any dogface, jarhead or seagoing bellhop has a fucking thing to say about assignment or task.

Get elected. Picket Congress. Start a revolution. Leave me out of it.

Leave the 17 year olds alone.




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Response to cliffordu (Reply #57)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:59 PM

59. Look - you can't compare today's military with the one you were in

 

For starts, there is no draft.

I do not hate all things military, but I hate the machine. I hate what it did to friends of mine, I hate what it did to the spouses of friends of mine and I hate what it has done since VJ day.

And to me, "supporting the troops" means supporting the machine.

I want the machine to stop.

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #57)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:07 PM

60. Let me spell it out for you

 

My grandfather was career military

My dad served, as did most who were drafted.

I have three friends who died in Afghanistan and Iraq - two were corporals one was a second lieutenant.

I have friends who were stop-lossed. Remember that? They were National Guard.

I have friends who, when they got back, retreated inward instead of dealing with it. One of them is divorced, the other one is thinking about it. She married a preacher, who quit his job to spend more time with family - in the real sense, not the BS DC term. He knows how bad she hurts, and she didn't come back the same.

The machine is the problem.

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Response to Taverner (Reply #60)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:25 PM

64. Policy generates the machine.

Last edited Sun Dec 30, 2012, 01:24 AM - Edit history (1)

Civilians generate the policy.

That's where your problem lies.

What is being done in your name is an abomination.

But don't smear me with it.

I need to say this:

"You have no idea."

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #64)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 06:00 PM

158. Don't smear me with it either (NT)

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Response to Taverner (Reply #60)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:31 PM

67. Are you talking of the Argentinian General Staff?

I mean, it was the General Staff who decided to liberate the Malvinas for the glory of the motherland.

Oh...you are talking of the US military.

Tell me, when was the last time that the US Military went to war without a civilian giving those orders? Oh wait, it as yet to happen.

I told you last night, and I will do it again, blaming the Sergeant for the orders to deploy that ultimately come from the CiC...is not just wrong, nut wrong headed.

The military may advise, but civilians still make that final...fateful...decision.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #67)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 11:51 PM

79. Dear Nadin...

 

I have nothing to do with el Guerro Sucio or any of those shits

I am a pacifist, first and foremost

Have you ever heard of the Military Industrial Complex?

It is the 900 lb elephant in the room

And it rules the roost

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Response to Taverner (Reply #79)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 11:57 PM

80. Once again, the people who make

Those decisions are CIVILIANS...does the US military control the purse? No.

That be the US congress...Generals have told Congress we do not need the Osprey, we have the Chinook...

Congress imposed that piece of junk, not the commandant of the Marine Corp.

Yes, it is real...look at your civilians. A sergeant fills procurement paperwork, to maintain the shit Congress at times forces on the services to keep their friends in the mic happy. Or you think General so and so also decides that something like the Osprey needs 25 factories and components in almost every state? From a logistics POV that makes zero sense.

And if you missed the Falklands reference, that's ok. It was the Argentinian general staff that decided to go to war to try to save the Junta.

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #57)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:59 AM

120. +1 cliffordu

 

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Response to Taverner (Reply #36)


Response to Taverner (Reply #8)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 12:12 PM

133. That isn't the soldiers fault

We elect someone to pick their battles. Don't blame the soldiers for our own shortcomings.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:20 PM

29. they aren't fighting for "us" or our "freedoms"

 

get that straight. that is the biggest load of fucking horseshit ever to be fed to the Uhhhhmerican illiterate public.

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Response to datasuspect (Reply #29)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:31 PM

38. For me, it's the WILLINGNESS to serve that's more meaningful than the

actual wars. I am not willing. I think it would suck to live in deserts and jungles in tents, and get shot at or blown up, and work 14-16-hour days on deployments, and eat crappy food or MRE's. I think the entire experience of basic training would suck. I think not being able to determine for yourself what you're going to do from month to month, year to year, would suck. I think having to obey and salute higher ranks would suck. Because I know I would not want to do it, I give a little extra respect to those who do. Those folks who volunteer keep my own kids from being drafted.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #38)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:38 PM

40. "Those folks who volunteer keep my own kids from being drafted."

 

i can dig that, seems mighty selfish, but i can dig it.

still, why is there such a lack of opportunity in this country for youth? this appalling lack of opportunity is what impels the nameless, lower class/low power/zero power/no voice hordes to run to recruiting centers.

ever notice that recruiting stations are usually close to the dollar stores, payday loan shops, and pawn shops?

it's not like they even have recruiting stations in high dollar zip codes.

the chicago area's north shore illustrates this point: the only recruiting station i could find in that geographic area is in Evanston, IL - a racially mixed suburb - a suburb which borders chicago - howard street is that border, and is fairly high crime.

lake forest - nope

kenilworth - nope

wilmette - nope

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Response to datasuspect (Reply #40)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:42 PM

72. Sure it's selfish. That's why I'm grateful. I don't want my sons

in Afghanistan and Iran or wherever else they'd have to go if there weren't enough volunteers and there was a draft. Other mothers had their kids come back maimed or in boxes. I never forget that, and I won't diminish their service, even if I think the war is a total waste. That said, yes, when job opportunities vanish, they snag a lot of working class kids--lots of rural kids, too. My husband joined up when he graduated from college and couldn't find a job.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:33 PM

69. gratitude and respect for doing the job they are paid to do?

I don't have a problem with that as long as you automatically bestow the same level of gratitude and respect to the guy cut your grass or reamed out your sewer line. It's job they do for money. They are not fighting for me ot for you. The last time the us military fought for us was WWII.

They certainly do NOT deserve consideration, understanding, and protection than the rest of us. Believing that they do IS military worship and it is dangerous and destructive.

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Response to bowens43 (Reply #69)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:47 PM

73. You can quit any other job when it gets shitty--you can walk out that day.

You can turn down an assignment. You can refuse something your boss tells you to do. In the military, you have to wait until your enlistment is up to quit. They give up a lot of free will in four-year increments.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #73)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:06 AM

111. So what?

They knew that when they VOLUNTEERED.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #111)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 11:27 AM

126. +100

 



VOLUNTEERED

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Response to bowens43 (Reply #69)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 12:15 PM

134. Yes. Nurses, teachers, firefighters all can quit if they don't like it.

Can't do that as a soldier, even if you belatedly realize that "getting shot at" is right there in the job description.

The essence of being a soldier is being willing to die on command. Not my cup of tea, but I'm not going to disparage anyone willing to do it, especially since I as a voter picked the guy giving the commands.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:30 AM

115. +1.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:10 PM

13. The all volunteer army

 

began the marketing of military service. In 1971 my oldest brother got a draft number of 41. He was traumatized (that might be hyperbolic, but he was seriously concerned). He joined the Navy. Among my peers military service was out of the question, mostly because of Vietnam. We graduated from high school in 1975 and I was shocked when some of my classmates joined the National Guard as a way to pay for school. By 1983, when Reagan invaded Grenada, I was teaching school. Judging by the reaction of my students to the invasion it was conducted as a recruiting campaign. Marketing the military has been very effective.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:11 PM

16. not just the SS

 

even the civilian "worker korps" (for lack of a better term) were elevated to cynosures of German Kultur.

the wehrmacht, hitler youth, any military function were conferred godlike, mythic status.

watch Triumph of the Will sometime.

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Response to datasuspect (Reply #16)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:12 PM

18. I've seen it and yes...you are right

 

I didn't have the time to list every bizarre permutation of Hitler's racial "logic"

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:14 PM

21. you know there is a church you can join

and express your distaste for them at their funerals.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #21)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:17 PM

25. OK now THIS is military worship, ladies and gentlemen

 

To take what I said, and equate it to the WBC - THAT is military worship


I rest my case

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Response to Taverner (Reply #25)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:25 PM

35. Yep. I can't decide whether it is pathetic or frightening.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #35)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:13 PM

61. it is both

hatred of our service women and men is both of those things.

almost a right-wing parody of liberals.

live those stereotypes!

really helps the cause.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #61)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 01:01 AM

82. No one ever said anything about hating.

You consider anyone who doesn't automatically respect someone for wearing a uniform to be hating.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #82)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 09:36 AM

107. no, i consider people who post long op after long op

about how they don't respect service members to be haters.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #107)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 01:36 PM

140. It's all about word count then...gotchya

 

And if you'll notice I never said I hated the troops

Just that I don't participate in troop worship

I don't hate Ganesh, but I don't worship him either

Drop the kool aid

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Response to Taverner (Reply #25)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:30 PM

66. You never had much of a case to begin with

It's entirely possible to respect members of the military and not respect the military industrial complex.

I respect people in the military just like I respect people who work at McDonalds. It's hard work for low pay, and although the benefits are considerably better in the military, the working conditions aren't. The occupational death rate for the military is nearly double what it is for the rest of the country and that doesn't include combat deaths. Even more telling is the occupational injury rate which is astronomical compared to the rest of the country, and you're talking about people who are in the prime of their life for the most part. So you look at how many veterans we have with physical and mental disabilities, homelessness, joblessness, and poverty, all of which are higher than the rest of the population and most people tend to offer them a bit of respect, YMMV.

Frankly those who tend to lean towards the worship side are the same people who tend to vote for people who screw veterans at every given opportunity, so it's really nothing more than faux worship to begin with. They worship the killing and the bloodlust more than they worship the military members themselves who they really could give a shit about when it comes down to it.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #66)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 09:37 AM

108. thank you

that was perfectly said.

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Response to Taverner (Reply #25)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 09:38 AM

109. nice circular argument

what other logical fallacies do you do?

all of them?

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:16 PM

24. the vietnam vets in my family

 

always said, "don't join the military or go to prison."

i have more sympathy for conscripted vets than i do for volunteers.

if you CHOOSE to join the military, you must be WILLING to accept EVERYTHING that decision results in: ZERO sympathy from me.

same things with cops and first responders: cry me a fucking river. it's a job, you chose it, suck it up.

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Response to datasuspect (Reply #24)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:20 PM

28. I have a lot more respect for firefighters than I do cops.

That's who I assume you mean by first responders. I've never seen a firefighter pepperspray someone for protesting. Everytime I hear of the good a cop does I find myself wondering if that one good action can balance all the bad they've done. So far the scales are tipped in the negative direction and will continue to be that way until they stop acting like thugs.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #28)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:21 PM

31. i can respect anyone who deserves respect

 

respect is earned, it isn't conferred because of what you do for money.

but yeah, fire is infinitely more palatable than PD.

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Response to datasuspect (Reply #31)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:20 PM

44. Exactly - Respect is EARNED not given

 

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:21 PM

32. This was on our table at the diner this morning...



Yeah-when I can't eat my home fries without this nonsense it has gone too far. I think 3 days a year (Memorial day, 4th of July, and Veteran's day) is plenty enough recognition without nagging condiments. It's starting to look like Germany just before they jumped Poland.

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Response to catnhatnh (Reply #32)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:24 PM

33. Reichsketchup

 

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Response to datasuspect (Reply #33)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:25 PM

34. Cool word coinage N/T

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Response to catnhatnh (Reply #32)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:55 PM

58. I was at a Minnesota Twins game on the 4th of July in 2011

and they turned it to Mayday in Red Square.

I think Independence Day should be dedicated to the Declaration of Indepence and what the men who signed it were risking. Turning the 4th into another opportunity to worship the military is just wrong.

There was no mention of Philadelphia, the Declaration or the Founders at the aforementioned baseball game. And I will never attend another Twins game anywhere near the Fourth again.

For that matter, Memorial Day and Veteran's Day should be days we think about the human cost of war and not use those days to glorify the MIC either.

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Response to catnhatnh (Reply #32)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 07:48 AM

99. Yes, a tagline on ketchup is *JUST LIKE* Nazi Germany



And this thread isn't silly at all...

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:33 PM

39. About 2002

When psychopathic meglomaniacs highjacked the government and the national debate. We only have a chance with a strong 4th estate.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:11 PM

42. You're a bit late out of the gate with this....you do know the military is at the start of a HUGE

drawdown, don't you? They've been "talking cheerily" about this for some time--so here's a few readings for you, to counter your gripes:

http://www.army.mil/article/75278/Army_to_stay_strong_while_downsizing/

Based on the fiscal year 2013 budget submission, which has not been approved yet, the active duty Army will be reduced by approximately 80,000 Soldiers to 490,000 by 2017. This will be a slow process, allowing us to take advantage of the attrition that will happen naturally. And, this proposed reduction addresses the active Army only; none of the current force reductions call for cuts in Reserve and National Guard manning.

The Army has already begun drawing down from 570,000 Soldiers, and predictions are that the reduction in Soldiers should be around 13,400 by the middle of 2013. The current budget request allocates $42.8 billion for Army personnel in 2013. That's a reduction of $4 billion from this year and $12.5 billion from 2011. As you can see from these numbers, and regardless of the budget numbers Congress eventually approves, there will be some fiscal belt-tightening within all branches of services.

Our Army will become smaller, but the quality of the force will unquestionably improve. We need to tap into the great levels of leadership and combat experience of Soldiers at all levels and retain those Soldiers and leaders who possess the greatest potential to continue to serve. This is a point that the sergeant major of the Army reiterated during his recent visit to Fort Jackson. In all honesty, there will be some situations in which we will be asking some Soldiers to leave, who, in the past, we might have asked to stay on, consistent with the Army leadership's recently released retention guidance. Ultimately, those Soldiers who continue to meet the Army's standards and demonstrate the greatest potential for continued service will have the best opportunity for continued service.


http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123296808

4/5/2012 - TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. (AFNS) -- In the current economic environment, the best course of action for the U.S. Air Force is to "trade size for quality," said Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley March 30 in a keynote address to attendees of the 39th Tinker and Community Dining Out at the Tinker Club.

The secretary said that budget reductions have compelled all branches of the military to balance competing needs, resulting in some tough choices for the Air Force.

"Although the Air Force is downsizing, we must still provide the force structure and capability and be prepared to respond to a dynamic environment," said Secretary Donley.

"Readiness is essential because if we're going to be smaller, we must be prepared."


http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/feb/11/some-sailors-deflated-as-navy-trims-sails/

Some sailors deflated as Navy trims sails
Sea service cutting nearly 3,000 mid-career troops in a first-of-kind layoff


About 550 San Diego sailors have a clock ticking on their military careers, as the entire U.S. military stands on the cusp of significant downsizing.

The Navy is cutting nearly 3,000 mid-career troops in a first-of-its-kind layoff this year, made necessary by record-high re-enlistment. Generous wartime military benefits, offered during a deep economic recession, left the Navy with 60 percent retention rates.

Cezar Oborn, a 32-year-old aircraft mechanic, is one casualty of the Navyís Enlisted Retention Board. For the first time, the panel is sending sailors back to the civilian ranks in the middle of an enlistment contract.



Promotions will get more difficult, discipline will get more strict, minor infractions will suddenly become major ones, piss tests will become more frequent, PT tests will get harder, overweight people will get a boot up their ass and a shove out the door--all the standard "force shaping" tools to get rid of the "less than optimal" servicemembers. It will be an ugly, ugly time for those in uniform--everyone will have their finger on their number and be looking over their shoulder for that knife in the back.

I feel for them, because they will have to transition out of their jobs, many way sooner than they anticipated, in a less than optimal employment environment. They're human beings who aren't interested in being worshipped, they're just interested in finding work as they transition to civilian life. You're painting them as a bunch of snotty, entitled assholes with your complaints about "worship," and I think that's just rude and wrong.

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Response to MADem (Reply #42)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:18 PM

43. Unless every overseas base is closed, it's never too late

 

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Response to Taverner (Reply #43)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:41 PM

51. They'll never close all the lily pads, but they're downsizing a lot of them.

They'll also create new ones as they need them--even in places like Costa Rica, with the cooperation of the host nations.

You're operating under an old paradigm, both with your view of the military and your anger over "worship" that I haven't seen since the "Nahn Wun Wun" and "Freedom Fries" eras during Bush years.

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Response to MADem (Reply #42)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:41 PM

50. Draw Down ?? is that why the Defense Budget is goin UP ?

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Response to bahrbearian (Reply #50)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:43 PM

52. Talk to the toys lobbyists. It's not personnel costs that are contributing to any increase. nt

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Response to MADem (Reply #52)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:48 PM

53. Oh ,Ok it's the lobbyist fault not our elected Representatives.

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Response to bahrbearian (Reply #53)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 11:05 PM

76. You can talk to them, too if you'd like. nt


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Response to MADem (Reply #52)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:50 PM

55. Is there some way I can contact this Lobbyist ? Or will someone respond to our Polls.

It seems rigged.

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Response to bahrbearian (Reply #55)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 11:02 PM

75. GE, General Dynamics, Boeing, etc--none of them are these "evil" folks in uniforms.

Their uniforms are bespoke suits, larded bellies, and padded expense accounts.

They're in the phone book.

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Response to MADem (Reply #75)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 01:27 AM

85. Nice dodge , I work for 2 of them, should I also promote them or

should I put the blame on their Lobbyist and shrug my shoulders an say there is nothing else I can do, considering that the people want something different. USA USA

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Response to bahrbearian (Reply #85)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 08:11 AM

101. Not a dodge at all, simply a familiarity with the appropriations process.

It doesn't take a genius to see where the money goes, it's a matter of public record.

You might think about shouldering a bit of this thread's self-important excoriation yourself, taking a paycheck from not one, but two Evil Empires of that military industrial complex and all, instead of blaming kids, many of whom have joined the service before they're old enough to buy a legal beer, as a way out of deep and abiding poverty. "USA USA" indeed.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:30 PM

47. At about the same point that hatred for the military beomes stupidity. n/t

 

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:49 PM

54. I'm ag'in' worship period, but then I think respect & worship are mutually exclusive, 'cause you

have to lie to yourself about someone/thing in order to worship it. And, yes, MSM worships military anything.

And all humans deserve the respect that they accord to others.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:52 PM

56. When you call someone unpatriotic

For criticizing, or not being "properly" supporting, the military, military actions, or service members.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:29 PM

65. as soon as society believes that military personal are more important

or more deserving of respect or government assistance then anyone else it has gone too far .

Its a job they get paid to do. it is no different then being a teacher or a plumber or a greeter at walmart. It is no more worthy of unconditional respect then these jobs. They're not automatically heroes and they don't need special jobs bills.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:32 PM

68. Probably about as soon as you have a standing army and definately when you have

multiple wars in a row without ever being attacked.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:36 PM

70. when you only listen to the four star generals

and not the grunts on the ground who actually know what's going on.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:42 PM

71. What point?...

About 20 years ago.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:53 PM

74. I don't know - here - it seems....

 

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 12:55 AM

81. OK, then, from the point of view of a former ANG Airman

First off, I wore stripes. I did not wear brass. What I did in other services could have qualified me to hold Warrant Officer grade, but the Air Force doesn't have WO's.

I was no hero. I did not see combat. I showed up, did what I was told and got a piece of paper with the words "Honorable Discharge" on it.

I worked in C3I - Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence. I was in a unit that was primarily NORAD-dedicated, working in partnership with the Royal Canadian Air Force to defend North America. Although NORAD units were not immune from overseas deployment, our primary focus was defending the North American continent. That was part of the appeal for me - defending State, Nation and helping our Canadian partners. I certainly didn't want to see Tupolev-95's in our skies.

Yes, when you get to Basic Training, you get a lot of Basic Bullshit from the Military Training Instructors (AF version of drill sergeants). Some of them are actually instructor/mentor types and some of them are just assholes (those words are a direct quote from my recruiter). Mine was mostly an asshole. The process is meant as "shock treatment" to acclimate from a civilian to a military mindset, but there are those who throughout the whole process are able to discern the useful knowledge (teamwork) from the bullshit (becoming a "killing machine"). Others don't. The ultra gung-ho types I usually kept my distance from. Officers...you salute the rank, not necessarily the person wearing it.

The vast, vast majority of enlisted/NCO/officers I knew treated it as a job we had to do. Alright, the fighter pilots in my Wing were like fighter pilots everywhere (How do you know you're in a room with a fighter pilot? They'll tell you.) who lived, eat, breathed and shat what they did, even though most of them were airline pilots in their civilian jobs.

Yes, the USSR collapsed under its own overburdened military weight. Afghanistan was the straw that broke the Bear's back. However, I thank God that there was a man like Mikhail Gorbachev who could have the humility to notice this, rather than a Brezhnev or an Andropov who would have used that collapse as an excuse to make a strike against the Western world.

I don't think those who join are under any illusion that it's a job like one on civvy street. You live under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). You can get killed, and you can be called upon to kill another human being. From my point of view, that was a frighteningly sobering possibility. It sure as hell wasn't one to get excited about.

OK, you could say that because I was Guard and served in peacetime that I don't know what I'm talking about, and maybe in comparison to the way things are now I don't. However, there are times when a military member can be directly involved in saving a life...maybe YOUR life. What if your fishing boat capsizes in the Great Lakes? The Coast Guard will do whatever is humanly possible to save you (yes, the USCG is a military service). Tornado, flood? The National Guard (usually the Army Guard) is at the disposal of a state Governor for humanitarian relief. However, the Bush years took a hell of a toll on the Guard/Reserve forces.

Several services have civilian, volunteer, unpaid noncombat auxiliaries to assist with the humanitarian work. The USCG has the Coast Guard Auxiliary. The Air Force has the Civil Air Patrol. I have been a member of both and there are a lot of dedicated volunteers in those auxiliaries.

I don't worship the military, nor do I want to be worshipped because I was in the military. I don't think most military people do.

FWIW.

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Response to DissidentVoice (Reply #81)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 02:37 AM

91. I wore brass, served in combat, and was wounded

But I think your view is a very reasonable one.

I was a draftee, went to Infantry OCS, and was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. at 19 (it was wartime). I served in combat, leading an Infantry rifle platoon in combat in the 101st Airborne Division at 20.

But I think it's perhaps your job, more than mine, that epitomizes how the military protects our freedoms. Because it's not any particular war that does that. It's guys like you, and all of us who served, who were part of our "standing army" that served as a deterrent to attack. That is what has prevented our being defeated and conquered and losing our freedoms.

None of the vets I know are looking for "worship." They just want somebody to understand what it was like, and how hard it could be. That's all.

Thanks for your service, DissidentVoice.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #91)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:54 AM

118. unmarried marriage counselors

3niner/clifford

Sorry guys, can't change the way of thinking of people who never served. They have no comprehension of the service it takes to be in active combat arms at usually a pretty young age. This is why ex and present servicemembers stick together and support each other. The other side will never have a clue and see any talking or writing about it as boasting or 'stroking a self ego'. So from one combat vet to you two, stick together, ignore the advice, criticism from the unmarried marriage counsellors that abound and feel proud of what you did.
.
A fellow vet
1967 504th 101st
1968 199th LIB (Redcatchers) RVN
.

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Response to DustyJoe (Reply #118)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 11:25 AM

125. As I posted in another thread, I hold my head high

And welcome home, brother! I know your time in the 199th must be more meaningful to you, but I also was 101st, 2/501 Infantry.

In the other thread I posted:



I hold my head high

Even though I served in one of those fucked up wars in which we never should have been involved.

I knew many dozens who died for that mistake, and far more who were wounded and maimed.

But I'm proud to have served with honorable men, who were willing to lay down their lives for one another.

When a friend of mine--an officer--was down with a sucking chest wound and the medevac chopper couldn't get in because of intense ground fire, my platoon sergeant came to tell me that my platoon of 36 men had voted--unanimously--to rappel into the firefight to take the pressure off so my friend could be extracted. It would have been a suicidal mission, and our higher HQ nixed the proposal.

My friend didn't make it. But I'll never forget those good,good men with whom I was privileged to serve.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=2096038




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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #91)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 05:28 PM

155. You as well, Sir

I noticed your Vietnam service ribbon straight away. A lot of people in my ANG unit had those, including the wing commander (who had many, many hours "downtown" in F-100's and F-4's).

I came along too late for 'Nam. All I remember was you guys coming home and in many cases being treated like shit.

Man...being a Platoon Leader in Combat Arms at 19 during 'Nam. I can't even begin to imagine what that was like.

Thank you for your generous analysis of what I did being a "deterrent to attack." That's really what it was all about for me and many others I served with. I remember very, very few of the "gung ho," "blood makes the grass grow" types, not even from my former-Marine flight commander, a very low-key guy as it happens.

Like I say, I showed up, did what I was told, got an "attaboy" or two out of it and have a blue uniform hanging in my closet and an honorable discharge among my important papers.

I hope what I did contributed some to The Day After not becoming reality.

And thank you too, Sir.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 02:41 AM

92. Nazi Germany.

Col. David A. Hackworth, get anything that he wrote and read it. Of course MG Butler is a great one too. I just don't see the military worship going on here but just the opposite - so many want us out of Afghanistan, including and especially vets. People that have served in war don't worship it imo. They want it over.

People that worship the military are confused and probably never actually served a day or volunteered for anything.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 03:20 AM

94. On what is the premise of 'miitary worship' based? nt

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #94)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 03:23 AM

95. Ya kinda would like to see some links

on that one. I will be more than happy to agree/disagree based on what is presented.

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Response to Rex (Reply #95)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 03:35 AM

96. Yeah, the OP is pretty much BS without support

I'm still waiting...

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 07:05 AM

98. As happens every time this comes up, the conversation is immediately turned away from

 

the military and toward personnel. This is the game.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #98)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 07:50 AM

100. I don't think "the military" per se is really respected at all

The conservatives I know also dislike "the military" in the abstract (as part of the whole "big government" thing). I don't know that I've seen any public space devoted to praising inefficient acquisitions and lax contract enforcement.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 08:15 AM

102. Around 1933


Of course, it takes some time for the rest to catch up. Let's say, then: When it's much too late.

Yes, that's the most clear answer: When it's much too late.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 09:39 AM

110. At the point where retired military officers in these Florida communities begin

to think they live in a third-world country they conquered and take over, making decisions that undermine everyone's constitutional rights.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:22 AM

113. The Vietnam war gave the military a huge black eye

We, as a country went through a very bad time psychologically over that war. It took 10 years before we were able to even put up a memorial to the dead soldiers. Other than the Civil War and WWI and WWII it was the war with the most US casualties. 58,209 US dead.

My brother was one. President Carter called it when he said this country was suffering from a Malaise. We were and if we had faced our wounds we could have grown up some and matured as a country.

Then Reagan changed all that by whipping up the uber-patriotism all wrapped in the flag with his kick ass Superpower cheering and unleashed the next 40 years on us. In my opinion that kept us, as a country, in the adolescent state of maturation preferring to play at war as if it's a video game. George W Bush was the apex of that infantile thinking. The crowning jewel.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #113)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 03:51 PM

149. Patriotism is for fools!

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #149)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 04:20 PM

152. Exactly.

 

Patriotism is an insidious form of nationalism that uses a hidden curriculum to instill fear into public opinion

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:29 AM

114. The "troops" and supporting them is not the problem.

We need to defund the fat in the DoD and rein in the decision makers.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 11:04 AM

121. It becomes REALLY dangerous when we have WARS to try out all our newly invented weapons.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 11:30 AM

127. I think Andorra has it about right.

Last edited Sun Dec 30, 2012, 05:36 PM - Edit history (1)



ANDORRA

CHORUS (After each verse):

I want to go to Andorra, Andorra, Andorra,
I want to go to Andorra, itís a place that I adore,
They spent four dollars and ninety cents
On armaments and their defense,
Did you ever hear of such confidence?
Andorra, hip hurrah!

In the mountains of the Pyrenees
Thereís an independent state,
Its population five thousand souls,
And I think theyíre simply great.
One hundred and seventy square miles big
And itís awfully dear to me.
Spends less than five dollars on armaments,
And this Iíve got to see.

Itís governed by a council,
All gentle souls and wise,
Theyíve only five dollars for armaments
And the rest for cakes and pies.
They didnít invest in a tommy gun
Or a plane to sweep the sky,
But they bought some blanks for their cap pistols
To shoot on their Fourth of July.

They live by the arts of farm and field
And by making shoes and hats,
And they havenít got room in their tiny land
For a horde of diplomats;
They havenít got room in their tiny land
For armies to march about,
And if anyone comes with a war budget
They throw the rascals out.

I wandered down by the Pentagon
This newspaper clipping in hand
I said, "I want to see everyone
In McNamaraís band."
I said, "Look what they did in Andorra,
They put us all to shame.
The least is first, the biggest is last,
Letís get there just the same."

The general said, "My dear boy,
You just donít understand.
We need these things to feel secure
In our great and wealthy land."
I said, "If securityís what you need
Iíll buy a couch for you,
A headshrinker is cheaper and quicker
And a damn site safer too."

Words by Malvina Reynolds
Music and last two verses by Pete Seeger
(c) 1962 (renewed) Amadeo-Brio Music, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #127)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 04:18 PM

151. +100000000000000000000000000000

 

And an extra +100 for my hero, Pete Seeger's, final verses

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 01:04 PM

138. When it becomes institutionalized or profitable. nt

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 02:53 PM

144. The moment when "just following orders" becomes an acceptable excuse for violence.

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #144)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 04:11 PM

150. That would be now then....

 

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 06:22 PM

161. See what happens?

People express a distaste for the whole glorification of militarism that has steadily intensified since the end of World War II, and all of a sudden, they're accused of hating the individual soldiers.

There's this whole, "I'm patriotic and you're not, because I was in the military and you weren't" mindset.

Or, "I served my country, and you didn't."

Well, news flash, anybody who does any useful job, paid or volunteer, is serving their country. Teachers are serving their country by educating the next generation of citizens. Farmers are serving their country by producing food. Medical personnel are serving their country by saving lives.

You could in fact argue that anyone who voluntarily signs up up with an establishment (and I realize that it's civilian controlled, but it wouldn't be able to do half of what it does if there weren't so many people who buy the whole "serve your country" propaganda) is inadvertently damaging the country. That's not what they intend, of course, but the acts that they participate in--such as invading a country that never attacked us or even threatened to--are certainly helping to ruin America's reputation overseas.

We have an all-volunteer army. If people really understood the System, and if there were more and better paying civilian jobs and opportunities for education, we wouldn't have very many volunteers.

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