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Sat Feb 23, 2013, 12:10 AM

What Is The Point Of Risking Your Life In The Military To Protect The Right Of Billionaires To

pillage the country and working class. Then when you get home you can have a job at Walmart that does not even pay enough to feed yourself much less a family. A company who will persecute you for demanding work rights you fought for. And even worse have you arrested and charged with a felony for eating an effing cookie.

Things are terribly out of place in this country.

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Reply What Is The Point Of Risking Your Life In The Military To Protect The Right Of Billionaires To (Original post)
TheMastersNemesis Feb 2013 OP
cherokeeprogressive Feb 2013 #1
Arctic Dave Feb 2013 #2
cherokeeprogressive Feb 2013 #7
ronnie624 Feb 2013 #15
WinkyDink Feb 2013 #19
Rex Feb 2013 #51
datasuspect Feb 2013 #33
white_wolf Feb 2013 #42
datasuspect Feb 2013 #44
white_wolf Feb 2013 #61
datasuspect Feb 2013 #86
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #45
jberryhill Feb 2013 #80
cali Feb 2013 #21
AnotherMcIntosh Feb 2013 #63
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #3
socialist_n_TN Feb 2013 #9
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #10
socialist_n_TN Feb 2013 #12
LineLineLineLineLineReply *
ronnie624 Feb 2013 #16
DonCoquixote Feb 2013 #43
socialist_n_TN Feb 2013 #49
DonCoquixote Feb 2013 #67
socialist_n_TN Feb 2013 #69
white_wolf Feb 2013 #74
Melinda Feb 2013 #54
socialist_n_TN Feb 2013 #68
white_wolf Feb 2013 #78
WinkyDink Feb 2013 #20
L0oniX Feb 2013 #60
moondust Feb 2013 #4
marions ghost Feb 2013 #28
Initech Feb 2013 #5
RKP5637 Feb 2013 #27
davidn3600 Feb 2013 #6
socialist_n_TN Feb 2013 #8
Scootaloo Feb 2013 #79
Tierra_y_Libertad Feb 2013 #11
reformist2 Feb 2013 #13
FarCenter Feb 2013 #14
Tom Ripley Feb 2013 #37
raouldukelives Feb 2013 #17
pinboy3niner Feb 2013 #23
11 Bravo Feb 2013 #40
ronnie624 Feb 2013 #88
Melinda Feb 2013 #58
raouldukelives Feb 2013 #87
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #50
L0oniX Feb 2013 #59
TheMastersNemesis Feb 2013 #18
midwest irish Feb 2013 #22
Lydia Leftcoast Feb 2013 #24
Bigmack Feb 2013 #25
marions ghost Feb 2013 #29
pa28 Feb 2013 #64
AnotherMcIntosh Feb 2013 #66
MotherPetrie Feb 2013 #26
pinboy3niner Feb 2013 #30
socialist_n_TN Feb 2013 #31
jberryhill Feb 2013 #81
socialist_n_TN Feb 2013 #84
jberryhill Feb 2013 #85
socialist_n_TN Feb 2013 #89
WhaTHellsgoingonhere Feb 2013 #32
moondust Feb 2013 #35
WhaTHellsgoingonhere Feb 2013 #39
Bigmack Feb 2013 #41
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #46
forestpath Feb 2013 #34
Tom Ripley Feb 2013 #36
lonestarnot Feb 2013 #38
bubbayugga Feb 2013 #47
L0oniX Feb 2013 #57
bubbayugga Feb 2013 #83
Victor_c3 Feb 2013 #48
roody Feb 2013 #53
riderinthestorm Feb 2013 #70
daleo Feb 2013 #82
LittleBlue Feb 2013 #52
L0oniX Feb 2013 #55
still_one Feb 2013 #56
brooklynite Feb 2013 #62
white_wolf Feb 2013 #65
brooklynite Feb 2013 #71
white_wolf Feb 2013 #72
brooklynite Feb 2013 #73
white_wolf Feb 2013 #75
brooklynite Feb 2013 #76
white_wolf Feb 2013 #77

Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 12:23 AM

1. I joined the military (Navy) in the 80's. I didn't do it to protect billionaires...

I never had to work at Walmart. In fact, I'm 51 now, and will probably be able to retire within the next 6 years, God willing and the creek don't rise.

For the record, companies can't charge ANYONE with a felony. That's the job of a District Attorney. A DA can decide whatever malfeasance that took place was a felony, misdemeanor, or not prosecutable at all. In the case of the latter, the case would never see the inside of a courtroom.

What I find terribly out of place is the notion that Walmart charges people with crimes.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 12:35 AM

2. You may not have joined to protect billionaires assets

 

but that is what you were doing knowingly or not.

Let me guess, you thought you were fighting the red dread. God, country and the sweet kiss of MJRC.

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Response to Arctic Dave (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 01:25 AM

7. Guess again, Hoss...

I was working at the GM plant in South Gate, CA. I was painting Cadillac Cimarrons and Chevy Cavaliers. 56 every hour. I was making more than my Dad (who was managing an industrial laundry business that serviced gas stations, hotels, and hospitals in Los Angeles). One Friday afternoon I showed up to work the Swing Shift and saw, much to my dismay, a hand printed sign above the door that said "LAST SHIFT".

I turned around and went back to the parking lot where I got in my car and started to my apartment in Whittier. I never even bothered to clock in that day. I was 20 at the time. On the way home I drove past a Navy Recruiting office. My Grandfather sailed with Teddy Roosevelt's Great White Fleet, and my Father sailed during the Korean War. I had various other Uncles who served in the Navy as well. I grew up hearing amazing stories about places like Perth, Manila, Portsmouth, San Juan, Nassau, Naples, Sigonella, Palma, Athens, Nice, Caracas, and other places. I thought "what the fuck, I'm not going to find another job like this any time soon..." so I stopped in, and joined the Navy. I cut a 94 on the ASVAB two weeks later.

It was a fucking awesome ride, which ended after 10 years when I injured myself mounting a tire on an A-6E and had to have an ACL reconstructed, which was an absolutely new surgery at the time.

I didn't join the Navy for YOU, MILLIONAIRES, BILLIONAIRES, or ANY other reason other than going to some of the places I'd heard about as a kid. FOR FREE. And you know what? I not only did that, I got to live experiences very few people could ever know. I'd compare some of the things I did with kids doing backflips on motorcycles in the X Games. I worked on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, in the daylight, at night, in driving rain, in 40 foot seas with GREEN WATER breaking over the bow. I helped fight a couple of fires. In 1988 I sailed on the USS Constellation out of San Diego which caught on fire BEFORE we even passed under the Coronado Bridge.

Yeah... I don't remember fighting any dreaded Reds... I do remember though seeing Russian Bear Bombers in the air and throwing apples at Russian trawlers disguised as fishing boats from the catwalks of the USS America.

It was a fucking blast. Snorting coke on the sidewalk in Caracas with wild parrots in the trees over our table was my Number 1 experience. Or wait... maybe it was meeting the Chief Bo'sun's Mate in Palma who went AWOL in the 70's and now owned the bar and gave me a Marlboro cigarette pack filled with hash. Nope... now that I think about it; it was snorkeling off the coast of Mombasa in the glass bottom boat with the German girls and more weed than I'd ever smoked in my life...

Yeah... Guess again.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #7)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 12:20 PM

15. You should "guess" again.

Better yet, read what the most highly decorated marine in US history has to say about the issue. This isn't about your personal experiences, but instead, about US foreign policy.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #7)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 01:18 PM

19. You are missing the point, to wit: The CONFLICTS had nothing to do with your personal

desire to "see the world," as the old commercials had it. You didn't sign up at your tourist agency; you signed up in a military office. You were sent where they wanted you to go. You weren't trained to lolligag in museums or buy postcards; you were trained to kill the enemy.
You might well have died; many did, and many are still dying.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #19)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 12:54 PM

51. I think they miss the point on purpose, as many do around here.

It is intended to be that way. Of course the point still stands no matter what they type.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #7)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 05:29 PM

33. i hear where you are coming from

 

that sounds like you've lived a pretty full life.

you've probably done more and lived more in those 10 years than any of your detractors possibly could in the entire span of their miserable little lives.

good job, sailor.

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Response to datasuspect (Reply #33)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 10:32 PM

42. So what's your point?

So what if he's "done more and lived more" than his "detractors?" That doesn't change anything the OP write the OP's points about wars being fought for profits any less valid. Oh and as an aside if joining the military and fighting wars for the rich is your idea of "living" then I'm glad I've never lived.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #42)


Response to datasuspect (Reply #44)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 01:21 PM

61. Oh you can't think of a decent reply?

Why am I not surprised?

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #61)


Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #7)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 04:59 AM

45. your best experiences in the military were doing drugs? well, that inspires confidence.

 

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #7)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 11:00 PM

80. You don't need to justify your life choices to these folks


Seriously. You don't.

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Response to Arctic Dave (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 01:22 PM

21. I'm hardly a big military supporter but your comment is fucking disgusting

condescending, and none too swift, either.

Who the hell are YOU to make assumptions about the vets here?

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Response to cali (Reply #21)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 01:35 PM

63. Who is he? He is someone who is familiar with Smedley Butler, the ex-Marine who

 

stopped the coup against FDR's administration in the 30's. The organizing members of the coup to overthrow the FDR Administration in 1933 included Prescott Bush.

(More can be found in Archer's book The Plot to Seize the White House: The Shocking True Story of the Conspiracy to Overthrow FDR. http://www.amazon.com/The-Plot-Seize-White-House/dp/1602390363/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361730353&sr=8-1&keywords=plot+to+overthrow+the+white+house#_ )

He may be someone who may have read Smedley Butler's 1935 book War is a Racket. http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.pdf He is certainly not unfamiliar with it.

He may have read Smedley Butler's words:
"I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."

He may be a veteran.

He may even be an ex-Marine.

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 12:38 AM

3. Because you are defending the poor, downtrodden and hardworking as well.

 

When you join the military, you're protecting and defending all American citizens - poor, wealthy, hardworking, lazy, generous, selfish, etc.

Not just one particular select category of Americans.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 10:12 AM

9. Well, that's what they TELL you you're doing.......

and you might even believe it. And for sure, that would be your personal motivation. But in reality, EVERY war that's been fought since WWII has been over opening up Wall Street markets and resources the capitalists want for themselves. IOW for profit. It's called imperialism.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #9)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 11:02 AM

10. How did the Korean War, the intervention in Bosnia, Kosovo, etc.

 

"open up Wall Street markets and resources the capitalists want for themselves?"


Bosnia and Kosovo hardly sound like places that big greedy capitalists would be interested in.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #10)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 11:49 AM

12. The Korean War was about markets in Asia as well as.....

ideological (fighting the Red Menace). Bosnia and Kosovo was about settling these areas down for capitalist exploitation after the fall of the USSR.

To expand just a little on edit: By settling these areas down, what I meant was that capitalism can't effectively do what it does when an area is beset by internal struggles. At times, the capitalists will push for a short, sharp conflict, ESPECIALLY if it will bring some stability to a region and open it up by backing local Bonapartist strongmen who will guarantee access.

And actually WWII was a battle between imperial ambitions. It just so happened that the fascists also turned out to be ideological enemies of just about everyone EXCEPT the 1% of that time. However the 1% didn't have the control during the 40s that they have now. They had had their wings clipped by the working class to one extent or another in the 30s and those wings hadn't grew back yet.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #12)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 12:22 PM

16. *

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 12:14 AM

43. The Koreas are the one case

where communism truly did lose out to captialism, because, unlike a Castro, a Che, or even a Mao, no one can argue that the reign of King Kim has been good (either the grandfather, the son, or the current little prince.)

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Response to DonCoquixote (Reply #43)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 12:41 PM

49. Well as a Trotskyist, you won't find me on the side........

of the rulers of the northern part of the Korean peninsula. They are Stalinist of the first order and a state capitalist system. And even Castro, Che, and Mao were not true to the Bolshevik (classic Marxist) view of the worker's state.

But the Korean conflict was still about the imperialist ambitions of the capitalist system into Asia.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #49)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 04:10 PM

67. true about che et al

But even at their worst, Che, Castro, even Stalin himself do not deserve as much hate and ridicule as the Kim Dynasty. There are some that would argue that, even as bad as Stalin was, he left Russia a stronger nation than when he came in. The Kim Kings cannot even remotely say that.

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Response to DonCoquixote (Reply #67)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 04:57 PM

69. They are pretty disgusting all right......

But they're just the logical outcome of the degenerated groupings that most Communist Parties across the globe became with Stalin as the model for Party Chairman. And yes, the Kims in Korea are really more akin to a feudal dynastic succession than even a Stalinist party bureaucracy.

IMO, the problem with saying that Stalin (or Mao, Che, or Castro for that matter) left their countries in better shape or "a stronger nation" is that even if it's true, they did it by straying FAR away from the classic Marxism of Lenin or Trotsky.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #69)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 09:47 PM

74. They did make their countries stronger, but...

we should ask ourselves something. Is making your nation stronger the goal of a socialist party?

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 01:07 PM

54. Anglo-saxon Imperialism has been going on for centuries...

Albeit much faster post Industrial Revolution, and even faster since WWII. It's all imperialism, all in the name of profit, and one only need look around the crumbling 19th and early 20th century structures built as memorials to the many robber barons in this country to see that invisible market hand at work.

I wish more would read your posts - when it comes to capitalism joined forces with government and the subsequent affect on us all, your observations can't be beat.

I'm feelin' so free today neighbor, hows about you?

/sarcasm.

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Response to Melinda (Reply #54)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 04:49 PM

68. Why thank you Melinda, for the kind words..........

The stuff on imperialism comes from the Leninist part of Bolshevik-Leninist tradition and ALL of the analysis comes out of applying Marx and Engels to the various scenarios.

I saw a protest sign on here in a picture the other day that I'm stealing and using all the time now. It said: If Marx were alive he'd say "I told you so." That's SO true.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #68)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 10:19 PM

78. "If Marx were alive he'd say "I told you so."

That's signature worthy.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 01:19 PM

20. Oh, right. American poor are somehow being defended by the deaths of Pakistani children.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 01:18 PM

60. Psych! n/t

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 12:40 AM

4. Getting harder all the time to justify service.

Service to what? Corporatocracy? Voter suppression? Gerrymandered dictatorship?

Protect and defend the corrupt and indefensible?

No doubt the bleak job prospects are contributing to both the enlistment rates and the suicide rates.

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Response to moondust (Reply #4)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:03 PM

28. That is the truth

service to what?

Nothing good has come to the American people out of the last decades of War except military-related jobs.

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 12:49 AM

5. I realized that a long time ago.

No way in fucking hell am I risking my life to protect the interests of Exxon Mobil, Goldman Sachs, and the Koch Brothers. Fuck that shit.

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Response to Initech (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 01:51 PM

27. They can go fight their own fucken wars, let them get their asses in a sling, let them send

their kids off to war. Let them go off to die. I used to have a motherhood and apple pie orientation decades ago, but fuck that now. The MIC is just another corporation. What really gets to me are idealistic youth that come back in pieces fighting for what ... and maimed for life. If the US were really about peace, it would not be a war machine and supplier of implements of war. It's all a racket, pure and simple and the profits are great.

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 12:53 AM

6. This is why we need to bring the draft back

Or go to a militia defense.

The government will find it harder to justify wars like Iraq. The people will get angry like they did with Vietnam.

Right now it is way to easy for us to start a war.

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Response to davidn3600 (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 10:09 AM

8. "Or go to a militia defense." That's the one.......

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Response to davidn3600 (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 10:30 PM

79. You're over the draft age, aren't you?

Advocates of the draft always are.

They also seem to be stunningly ignorant. How is it that the majority of wars and invasions the US has ever conducted, happened with drafted forces? If the draft halts wars, why did people trying to end the Vietnam war work for an end to the draft, too?

David, pal, buddy... if the government has the authority to force large numbers of its citizens into armed service, then war is not only cheaper, but actually more appealing as that government no longer has to consider conserving its forces - so long as there are young men (and now women) at home, there is an inexhaustible supply of draftees.

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 11:38 AM

11. War is a racket. And, the GIs are the button men for the racketeers.

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 11:53 AM

13. This is why we need an asset protection tax.


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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 12:15 PM

14. A lot of immigrants came to the US to avoid becoming cannon fodder for the emperors of Europe

Their descendents should avoid military service to the imperialists as well.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #14)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 07:23 PM

37. +1000

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 12:24 PM

17. Because it's a good job with perks.

Once you can swallow killing or assisting in the killing of indigenous people to foster more sympathetic corporate oversight of their lands, everything else is gravy.

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Response to raouldukelives (Reply #17)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 01:28 PM

23. Fuck that shit

Individuals serve for all kinds of reasons, including the "poverty draft."

In my day, many of us served because we were inspired by JFK's appeal to ask what we could do for our country.

The individual troop doesn't set out to go kill people. But if you end up in a combat zone where people are trying to kill you, you're going to fight for your survival and the survival of your comrades. Most valorous combat decorations are awarded not for killing, but for individuals selflessly risking their lives to save others.

My "perks" included 18 months on the Army hospital ward for the facial casualties and amputees... What a great job!

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #23)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 09:05 PM

40. This one won't get answered, pinboy3niner. WAY too much truth in your response.

It's so much easier to sit at one's computer and fling shit at guys who, for whatever reason, put their asses on the line.

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Response to 11 Bravo (Reply #40)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 02:08 PM

88. Actually, that post does not even address the topic.

Last edited Tue Feb 26, 2013, 01:45 AM - Edit history (2)

The US military is a foreign policy tool. An individual's personal motives for joining the military, have absolutely NOTHING to do with how that tool is used, and the fact of the matter is, the US military is use to maintain control over resources, markets and labor, to the detriment of native populations all over the world. This is a fact that is easily discerned by an examination of the historical record. It makes no sense at all, to take personally a critical analysis of our government's conduct.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #23)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 01:14 PM

58. I wonder if maybe he was being sarcastic?

Reads that way to me.

I hope he clarifies.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #23)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 01:47 PM

87. I firmly believe, even though I was not yet alive, that America was different back then.

Maybe that is incredibly naive of me but with what I know from friends who served in those days, the truth of what was truly taking place was unknown to them and not widely accepted until years later. In fact, many have expressed sentiments that if they had known the truth, they wouldn't have enlisted or in case of the draft, may have fled to Canada.
Flashing forward to today, one can try to remain ignorant of the reasons and justifications for killing people in yet another foreign land but they can't say, as a reasonably informed citizen, they do not have reservations. That the information blackout is even comparable to the events that circled your time of service.
However, I do firmly believe we all have free will. That some people when faced with the prospect of assisting in the termination of peoples lives or going hungry, they will still choose the latter. For some this might even extend to their own demise, but I would hasten to allow my own being that much Christian charity.

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Response to raouldukelives (Reply #17)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 12:48 PM

50. BULLHUEY

In the field troops fight for each other and to come home.

Mom, apple pie, the American way or a pay check mean jack shit if you are dead.

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Response to raouldukelives (Reply #17)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 01:16 PM

59. The medals for our hero drone pilots who kill a lot of people are really cool too. n/t

Do I need the sarcasm tag?

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 01:09 PM

18. The Problem Is That The Private Sector Can't Or Won't Create Jobs You Can Live

on. Meanwhile they are reducing and eliminating public sector jobs where a lot of former vets and women I might add have been working. The Walmart scenario where they are providing job at starvation wages for vets is an insult to their service really. Walmart jobs are NOT career jobs but only "pin" money jobs. Most are part time and pay no health benefits. Their ploy tell the vets to go to the VA.

Besides that I believe the Walmart and other corporate businesses get tax credits for hiring veterans and other certain groups. I used to have to certify tax credits for a program called "The Targeted Jobs Tax Credit". I was getting in people to certify that if the company got its tax credit they would be paying on a couple of dollars an hour. Once the credit was over the worker mysteriously lost their job. There were workers who came into my office for their 2nd, 3rd or 4th credit with another low paying employer. The made so little at the previous employer they qualified for yet another federal tax credit for the next employer.

It was a real pain. In fact low wage employers would come to the employer service and have us go out to new restaurant, retail store or other low wage entity to ID tax credit eligible applicants so we could certify them for the federal tax credit.

Walmart is just hiring vets for PR and as I understand it will get a federal tax break for doing it and it WILL NOT IMPROVE THE VET'S LIFE ONE BIT.

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 01:26 PM

22. Raise economic status

 

I grew up in a working class/poor area. People join the military here do so because it is a way to get a skill they can market, get a paycheck, and some college credits (or pay for college). They say it is for love of country and patriotism and all that. I think that is just what they say (both to others and especially themselves) to giver their decision a nobler of more benevolent purpose. In actuality, middle class and upper middle class kids dont join the military...at least not in the numbers that the poor do. Are the poor more patriotic? Do the poor benefit so much more from our economic system that they are willing to die for it?

I bought a gift certificate from Walmart and on the way back to my car some Marine Corps recruiters approached me in the parking lot and asked if I wanted to sign up. I wonder if that same thing happens in the parking lots of country clubs?????

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 01:33 PM

24. It's the "poverty draft" for the empire

and they sweeten the deal by telling naive kids who've hardly been outside their home county that they're "serving their country" by serving as the pawns of the corporatists.

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 01:36 PM

25. Butler and Shoup....

Three Medals of Honor and 10 Purple Hearts between them....
- - - -
My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of the higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military.
- - - - - -
War is a racket. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.
- - - - - -
War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious.
- - - - -
I spent 33 years and 4 months In active service as a member of our country's most agile military force -- the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from a second lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism.

All of the above quotes by Gen. Smedley Butler, USMC two time Medal of Honor recipient.
- - - - -
`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. (I'm proud to say Gen. Shoup was my Commandant for the first part of my time in the Corps)

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Response to Bigmack (Reply #25)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:09 PM

29. I know a colonel in the army

in Afghanistan just about since it started.

He says the same thing. Very disillusioned at this point.

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Response to Bigmack (Reply #25)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 01:36 PM

64. 'high-class muscle for Big Business'

We've returned to that unfortunate place haven't we?

Protecting "American interests" overseas usually translates to "corporate interests".

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Response to Bigmack (Reply #25)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 01:48 PM

66. Butler and Shoup, of course, were both right.

 

I, too, am proud to say that Gen. Shoup was my Commandant.

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 01:44 PM

26. What's really sad is when the dupees actually defend the evil, corrupt system

 

But, they get to be called heroes, and if they're really lucky, a heart-wrenching video of them surprising their sobbing kid at school upon their return from innocently carrying out the bidding of war criminals will go viral.

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:19 PM

30. Regardless of what we may think of certain foreign adventures, I support the troops

The notion that they only are serving big corporate interests is bogus. Individuals who serve in the U.S. military branches constitute the U.S. national defense--something that we would eliminate at our peril.

Disparaging military troops based on disagreement with certain national policies does them a gross injustice.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #30)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 05:19 PM

31. I don't think that anybody was disparaging the troops.........

I know I wasn't. I know a lot of people join the military for a lot of reasons, some of which are legitimately selfless. That doesn't change the fact that the capitalists, through their hired politicos, run the military like their own private protective force. You can bet that any of the foreign adventures this country has engaged in within the last few decades have been economic based. We don't go to war unless there's resources there that the 1% can use one way or another.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #31)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 11:03 PM

81. Questioning their various motives, as a class, seems disparaging to me


My dad was in for two wars and he gave me only two pieces of advice in life.

One was "don't ever join the Army".

The other one was "don't ever be a lawyer".

I at least waited until he passed away before disobeying one of those.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #81)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 09:01 AM

84. The only "class" that I was questioning was the ruling class.....

And as a Marxist, I will CONTINUE to question the motives of the owners. With good reason. The individual soldier/sailor/Marine/airman have all sorts of individual reasons they enlist, but that doesn't change the fact that their orders come from higher up. And ultimately, those orders come from the owners in society, i.e., the capitalist rulers.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #84)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 09:03 AM

85. Weird reading interpretation

But I was using the word "class" in the sense of "set", as in the collection of persons who choose to serve in the military.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #85)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 06:38 PM

89. Even so and once again, I didn't question their individual motives.......

for joining the military. However, WHATEVER their motives are, their orders come from the capitalists owners.

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 05:24 PM

32. Interestingly, my ex-Army Republican friend...

...is at least 3rd generation Army. He and his father, also Republican, have a different take: they told me if they had to do it over, they wouldn't fight for this (where this = blacks, socialism, gays, women, etc..)

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Response to WhaTHellsgoingonhere (Reply #32)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 07:19 PM

35. Soldiers of the White Supremacist Patriarchy: Fall In!

Alas, unfit for the U.S. Army and too late to join the Confederate Army.

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Response to moondust (Reply #35)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 08:22 PM

39. lol!!

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Response to WhaTHellsgoingonhere (Reply #32)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 09:25 PM

41. Un-American fucks!...

You don't fight for "this"... no matter what the "this" is. If you are in the military, you basically shut the fuck up and do what you are told by higher authority.

You fight for the Constitution...

"I, XXXXXXXXXX, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."

If you don't like the President... or Congress... or your Colonel... or your fucking sergeant, why... that's just tough shit.

That's the way I remember it, anyhow.

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Response to WhaTHellsgoingonhere (Reply #32)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 05:01 AM

46. he was in the military that didn't have black people in it?

 

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 05:43 PM

34. K&R

 

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 07:21 PM

36. That's why I always discourage anyone from joining the military...I come from a long line...

of non-soldiers.

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 07:24 PM

38. Pathetic we.

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 05:39 AM

47. Military service can be an excellent opportunity for kids who would otherwise fail in life.

 

It comes at a price and with certain risks of course. Life comes with risks regardless of whether you join the military or not however.

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Response to bubbayugga (Reply #47)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 01:13 PM

57. If you have to join the military to get a job you have already failed in life. n/t

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #57)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 11:51 PM

83. wow. I'm just going to ignore one such as you.

 

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 06:22 AM

48. That wasn't what I joined to fight for, though that is what it seemed like it ended up being about

I grew up in the 80s and 90s and I believed the stuff that was fed to me that the American military fights for freedom and to make the world a better and more equal place for all.

I was 11 during the first gulf war and I was 15 in 1995 when the Dayton Peace Accord was signed and NATO sent its operation into the Balkans to unscrew the failed UN operation there. During my much younger years I watched and played a hell of a lot of G.I. Joe which, in hindsight, probably impacted me more than I thought. I hung onto the words thrown by the Green Berets as their motto "de oppresso libre" or liberator of the oppressed and I believed that we had learned our lessons from entangling ourselves in a war like Vietnam. I truly believed that our military was a force for good and would only be used to that end. I wanted to join to make the world a better place.

I was a fat kid and a nerd in my youth (I'm still a nerd, but I've come to realize that being a nerd isn't a detriment). When I turned 15 I got into weight lifting and even started to compete a little bit. Although I never had any aptitude or interest in sports like helmet touch or ball-pass, I realized that I could push my body and endure a certain amount of pain. I may not be the strongest or the fastest, but I could always endure more pain and just drive myself further than my peers.

I joined the Army when I was 17 and I went to basic training between my junior and senior year of high school. My parents had to sign a waiver to let me do this at my age. Granted, I didn't do "real" basic training with the grunts at Fort Benning, GA like I had hoped to, but I went to Fort Leanardwood, MO and, after completing basic training, I spent my senior year of high school in the Army Reserves. I had a blast at basic training and I loved the Army and the people I was with. I was mildly disappointed with how easy basic training was and I wanted to do more.

During my senior year of high school, I applied for and received and Army ROTC scholarship. Since I would be "double dipping" if I remained in the Reserves and, due to my college schedule I wouldn't be able to attend my AIT (job training) the following summer as was stipulated by my contract, I was discharged from the Reserves and thrown into a track that would put me into Active Duty as an officer when I completed college.

In college I continued to drink the koolaide and I continued to fall more in love with the military. Due to our proximity to Fort Drum, a lot of guys who were in my ROTC program were former enlisted people on ROTC scholarships. I hung out with a group of guys who were former enlisted Infantrymen. One used to be a Drill Sergeant and two spent some time in the Ranger Regiment and were all "tabbed out". I was one of the "PT studs" in my ROTC group and I actively participated in a competition they had called "Ranger Challenge" where they put a squad sized team together from all colleges offering ROTC and competed against eachother in various military competencies (like calling for artillery fire, first aid procedures, shooting, physical fitness test, land navigation with a compass, obstacle courses, forced march, etc). The team that I was a part of finished 3rd out of roughly 270 schools). I was in love with the Army and I wanted nothing more than to hurry up and get active duty and to serve as an Infantry Officer. I had grandiose ideas of going to Ranger School and, when the time was right volunteering for Special Forces Selection with the hopes of making it to Special Forces.

I was a college senior when September 11th happened. In fact, the morning of September 11th, we had just submitted our functional branch request. Infantry was my first choice followed by Armor as my second. I eventually got my first choice - Infantry and I graduated college and went to Fort Benning, GA to complete about a year of training before I would make it to my unit. I completed 16 weeks of Infantry Officer Basic Cource, Airborne School, Ranger School, and Mechanized Infantry Leaders Course. During my last few months at Fort Benning, stuff was heating up with Iraq. I didn't have the time to follow the news, but I remember thinking to myself about how messed up going to war with Iraq would be. I never saw or understood our reasoning to go into that country. But, that didn't really matter. I figured that by the time I actually got to my unit that the "war" part of the war would be over and it would turn into another Kosovo-type of deployment.

I got to my unit in June 2003 as they were returning from Kosovo. They got orders that they were going to deploy to Iraq in Feb 2004. I was given a platoon in January 2004 - just in time to deploy with them to Iraq. None of us had any idea that Iraq in 2004 was going to be as intense as it was. We all thought that maybe we'd see an IED or maybe a small arms ambust (if we were lucky) but we would probably be doing the same thing in Iraq as we did in Kosovo.

I ended up spending 13 months in Iraq as an Infantry Platoon Leader. To make a long story short, it really shook up my core beliefs about how I thought that the military was and should be used. After seeing what combat was really about, I dropped my dream of seeking our Special Forces Selection and the plan I had for my life completely changed. In a deployment that I thought would maybe result in a singe IED strike or maybe a single small arms ambush, I found myself fighting in numerous small and large combat operations. I got lucky in that my platoon was attached to a different battalion during Fallujah in November 2004. The rest of my company went on to spearhead the marine operation there, but I still managed to find more combat than I wished for.

On 18 June my platoon was involved in a 24 hour firefight in which we were credited with kill 26 and on 24 June we were part of an operation in Baqubah and were credited with killed 14 there. After a small-arms exchange on another day I had the privilege of combing a field and finding a young boy that had been shot in the crossfire. It really made me feel like crap to deal with him and his family. After another incident, a van filled with candy was misidentified and hit. Our weapons ripped the middle of it open like a can, set it on fire, and spit candy and soda everywhere. One guy was running around with a big hunk of his head missing and brain spilling out while another guy burned to death in the drivers seat. The combination of his fat burning and the fabric of the seat melting stuck his body to the seat and we had to actually get a scraper to remove him. There was another incident in which 5 Soldiers in my platoon were killed when I lost a Bradley Fighting Vehicle. There is a lot more, but that is the stuff that is just sticking in my head the most right now.

I remember sitting in a palm grove on the side of the road just chilling and eating some lunch when some guy thought it would be a great idea to throw a hand grenade at me. It blew up 15 feet in front of me, but nothing actually hit me (I don't know how that happened). I remember just being pissed and angry that I would have to 1) stop eating my lunch, 2) get off my butt and react to it, 3) and, the worst part, write an after action report about the incident.

None of this had anything to do with the image and ideal that was fed to me during my childhood that the Army was there to liberate and help people. My actions and the situations that I found myself in have disturbed me deeply and I feel even worse when I realize that it was all for nothing.

It is a shame was bush did to our Army. It is filled with good people who want to do the right thing and who care deeply about the values our country was founded on. Unfortunately it keeps finding itself being used the wrong way and used in situations contrary to our core beliefs. I loved the Army and the people and I miss it deeply.

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Response to Victor_c3 (Reply #48)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 01:01 PM

53. Thanks for telling your story. Nt

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Response to Victor_c3 (Reply #48)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 05:27 PM

70. Welcome home. A belated welcome to DU. And a mother's hug

for you.

I hope someday your heart will ease and you can find peace.

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Response to Victor_c3 (Reply #48)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 11:14 PM

82. You seem very intelligent and perceptive

And you are a very good writer.

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 12:59 PM

52. When was the last time they were actually used in defense of the country? WW2?

They're just poorly paid mercenaries of the ruling class.

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 01:09 PM

55. Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy. - Henry Kissinger

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 01:12 PM

56. You are out of work, cannot afford college, need some skills

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 01:25 PM

62. So in your world, ANY Government job would be doing the same thing?

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #62)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 01:36 PM

65. No, because you aren't killing people in other government jobs.

You can't compare working at the DMV to being a solider in Iraq or Afghanistan.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #65)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 09:40 PM

71. How about if I work for the Bureau of Land Management?

or the Internal Revenue Service?

or the Environmental Protection Administration?

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #71)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 09:43 PM

72. Are you killing people in those jobs? No.

Being a solider is very different from other government jobs. The purpose of the military is to fight wars. That is completely different from the purpose of the EPA or IRS.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #72)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 09:45 PM

73. I agree that it's different...

...but most members of the military DON'T kill, and I think it's a stretch to say they're killing for plutocrats. We can argue about the appropriate size of the military, but unless you're being incredibly naive, it's not possible to have a nation without one.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #73)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 09:49 PM

75. Of course it isn't, however...

I think the issue the OP raises is a valid one, though I might phrase it differently. The question at the heart of the OP seems to be "why is the U.S. fighting these wars?" Is it really in the best interests of the American people? Is your average citizen benefiting from these wars? I would say no. I do firmly think that only a small minority of people benefit from the U.S.'s wars in the decades since WWII.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #75)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 10:09 PM

76. Which "wars"?

Iraq, which President Obama is pulling troops out of?

Afghanistan, which President Obama is pulling troops out of?

Sorry they're not moving at the pace you'd like, but if you don't want a "fall of Saigon" scenario, we can't withdraw abruptly.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #76)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 10:17 PM

77. "Which wars?"

Every war since WWII. The fact that Obama is pulling troops out is a good thing, but that doesn't detract from the OP's point which is "who benefits from these wars?" Halaburtion made billions of Iraq just to give one example of who benefited. The American people? Not so much.

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