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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-06-09 10:29 PM
Original message
Our Troops
U.S. soldiers have long been used by our nations leaders and war profiteers as pawns in the service or their plans. Not only are they sent to foreign lands to fight and die, but they are used in numerous public relations stunts. When people criticize a war, especially during the Bush/Cheney administration, our leaders pretend that our criticisms are directed at the troops rather than at the leaders who started the war. When Democratic Congresspersons threaten to withhold funds for continuation of the war, they are accused of withholding funds for the protection of our troops.

These claims are of course absurd. Criticism of a war is almost always directed at those who create and propagate it not at those who fight in it. And nothing would protect our troops more than to end the war and send them home. Yet, those who have an interest in the continuation of war never miss an opportunity to slam a wars opponents as being unpatriotic and against our troops.


My perspective on war

When I was very young, like the vast majority of Americans I bought into the idea that it was always a good and patriotic thing to fight in American wars. My liberal parents told me that our country was on the side of virtue and justice in every war it had fought in. Undoubtedly, thats what they were taught in school just as I was. But with the onset of the Vietnam War (when I was a teenager) they actually became active in protesting against it.

One thing that makes it difficult to assess justifications for war is that the true motivations are rarely if ever publicly announced, and there are usually multiple true motivations. Different historical accounts provide so many different reasons for wars.

That said, my ideas on valid justifications for war are very similar to the justifications provided by the United Nations. I believe that self-defense and the stopping of genocide (or something similar) are the only two valid justifications for war. As such, the more I read the more I have come to realize that so many of our wars were not justified, contrary to what I had been taught. At this time, our only wars that I believe to have been justified were the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War II, and the war to stop the genocide in Kosovo. A very many of them were motivated largely by the worst kinds of motives, including war profiteering, imperialism and racism.

Therefore, I no longer believe in a draft for my country or any other. I used to believe in it because it made sense to me that if people want the privileges of citizenship they should be required to pay for those privileges in times of great danger to their country. After all, how can a country exist if it doesnt have the power to defend itself in times of need? But since I realized the extent to which war has been abused by our nations leaders through much of our history, I have come to feel differently. If a country cant persuade its citizens voluntarily to fight for it when necessary, then maybe that country shouldnt exist.


Our troops

In order for our nations war profiteers to be able to use our troops as pawns in their propaganda projects, they have to make them out to be so sacred that the least criticism of them, or even implied criticism, is seen as something akin to treason. Sometimes that is not very hard to do. For Americans who have been brought up to believe that the purpose of every American war is to protect them from a fate worse than death, it is easy to understand the unquestioned reverence they have for our troops. They believe that they are in great danger, and the only thing standing between them and a fate worse than death are our American soldiers.

So, our soldiers can be looked upon as heroes. Or, they can be looked upon as nave pawns who obediently do what theyre told in the service of those who start wars for their own benefit. Or they can be looked upon as both at the same time. But who are they really?

The truth is that many of them really are heroes exposing themselves to great risks for what they see as the defense of their country. What percentage of them falls into that category? I wouldnt even hazard to guess. But undoubtedly, many are heroes and very nave about what they are being used for at the same time. In my opinion, the most admirable ones are those who, like John Kerry, joined up with the intention of defending their country, but who kept their minds open enough to later turn against a very unjustified war, and who subsequently led anti-war efforts.

And what about the many atrocities that have been committed in so many of our wars, especially in our war against the Philippines, the Vietnam War, and the most recent war and occupation of Iraq? If our soldiers are heroes, then how do you explain all those atrocities? Well, I would say that in most large groups of people there will be a mixture of bad apples and good ones and everything in between. Im a very non-judgmental person. I dont judge people by the group they belong to, but as individuals for the most part. Im even willing to withhold judgment on individual Republicans until I know something about them individually. And there is a fair share of them in my family.


Variations in U.S. soldiers attitudes and behavior over time or other circumstances

Accounts of the behavior of U.S. soldiers during war time have varied greatly. This does not necessarily mean that the differing accounts are unreliable. It is very likely that soldier behavior varies greatly according to their training, leadership and other circumstances, all which vary greatly over time and even within specific time periods.

Retired Brigadier General S.L.A. Marshall wrote in Men against Fire: The Problem of Battle Command in Future War that, based on his interviews with soldiers during World War II, only about 15% of them fired their guns at the enemy during combat. His conclusion from his interviews was that it was not fear, but rather humanity, that caused this low firing rate.

Marshalls conclusions have since become very controversial, as much higher rates of firing were found during the Vietnam War. But even in that war, firing rates were found to be only around 80% far short of the army ideal of 100%. And Marshall himself found much higher rates during the Vietnam War. So probably the differences were real, reflecting either differences in training or perhaps racial hatred as a factor during the Vietnam War.

Former U.S. Marine Tyler Boudreau, explains in an article in The Progressive, To Kill or Not to Kill, how his Marine training was meant to compensate for the U.S. militarys concerns over low firing rates. Referring to the Marshall studies, he says:

You can just imagine the militarys dismay upon getting this news When I enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1989, drill instructors conveyed the gory destruction of human bodies with genuine zest To master ones reluctance to take life, one must stop revering life so much We trained ourselves with flair to gouge eyeballs from our enemies sockets and crush their skulls with the heels of our boots as they lay quivering on the ground. The higher a Marine could swing his leg up into the air and the deeper his heel sunk into the dirt the more virile he began to feel.

Boudreau wrote about this in Packing Inferno: The Unmaking of a Marine. But then he received an e-mail from a friend and former Marine from an earlier time period (1950s), objecting to what he wrote:

I found this image of a lust to gouge out eyeballs, and to thrust bayonets into real bodies, very off-putting It sounded un-Marine to me Though we came out of our training determined to be very good Marines, I dont think we were ever encouraged to think of ourselves as, or be, bloodthirsty. In my day, we prided ourselves, I thought, on cool professionalism that didnt depend on hating an enemy.

The former Marine who wrote that e-mail was Daniel Ellsberg, the man who blew the whistle on the Vietnam War with his leak of the Pentagon Papers.


The problems posed in combating guerilla warfare by an occupied and repressed population

Boudreau had a change of heart during his service in the Iraq War:

In 2005, after 12 years of active service in the Marine Corps and with growing reservations about the war, I resigned my commission. It struck me that, in our headlong pursuit to deliver freedom and democracy and to expel an oppressive regime and combat terrorism, we had inadvertently lost sight of the very people wed been deployed to help.

Boudreau explains the specific problems that tend to occur during a guerilla war, especially one in which the people of the occupied country respond with hatred and ferocity to what they see as repression and imperialism:

Because the conflict was unconventional, and because our adversaries wore no uniforms and were indistinguishable from the local populace, we began to view all people with suspicion. The distinction between the lives we could revere and those we were compelled to dismiss suddenly became blurred. This was problematic amidst an operation in which gaining popular support, as a method to undermine insurgents, was the paramount task put forth

As our frustration swelled, our operations shifted conspicuously from humanitarian to a fierce battle of will with the insurgents and, by definition, with the populace in which they concealed themselves. The more casualties we took, the heavier our hand became with the locals


Speaking out against the Iraq War Winter Soldiers

An article in The Nation, titled Winter Soldiers Speak, made this point more forcefully. Written by Laila Al-Arian, the article is taken from the accounts of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) at the March 2008 Winter Soldier summit in Silver Spring, Maryland:

Pfc. Clifton Hicks was given an order. Abu Ghraib had become a "free-fire zone," Hicks was told, and no "friendlies" or civilians remained in the area. "Game on. All weapons free," his captain said. Upon that command, Hicks's unit opened a furious fusillade, firing wildly into cars, at people scurrying for cover, at anything that moved. Sent in to survey the damage, Hicks found the area littered with human and animal corpses, including women and children, but he saw no military gear or weapons of any kind near the bodies. In the aftermath of the massacre, Hicks was told that his unit had killed 700-800 "enemy combatants." But he knew the dead were not terrorists or insurgents; they were innocent Iraqis. "I will agree to swear to that till the day I die," he said. "I didn't see one enemy on that operation."

Soldiers and marines at Winter Soldier described the frustration of routinely raiding the wrong homes and arresting the wrong people "This is not an isolated incident," the testifiers uttered over and over insisting that the atrocities they committed or witnessed were common.

While the Winter Soldiers offered a searing critique of the military's treatment of civilians, which they described as alternately inhumane and sadistic, they also empathized with fellow soldiers thrust into a chaotic urban theater where the lines between combatants and civilians are blurred. "It's criminal to put such patriotic Americans...in a situation where their morals are at odds with their survival instincts"

But as much light as was shone on the situation by US veterans, it only begins to scratch the surface of what Iraqis have to put up with:

The Winter Soldier hearings also featured Iraqi testifiers like Salam Talib Though Talib said he was encouraged to see so many US veterans describing their experiences in frank terms, the testimonies were not much of a revelation for him. "What the American soldiers are talking about is everyday life for Iraqis. They're not even talking about 10 percent of what's happening there" "They are simply giving credibility to the stories that have been told over and over from Iraq by journalists, Iraqis and humanitarian organizations

The stories that Talib refers to are the ones that the U.S. corporate news media refuses to cover. To do so would be embarrassing to our country, and what is worse (since the rest of the world already knows about these things) it would cause the American people to turn against the Iraq occupation even more than they already have.


The inherent contradictions of the Iraq War and occupation

Boudreau sums up his article by noting some of the inherent contradictions facing U.S. troops in Iraq:

Empathy and aggression do not go hand in hand It is not possible to reduce ones regard for an enemys life without reducing ones regard for all life. And it is not possible to genuinely strive to help a people, to reach out to them, while simultaneously preparing to kill them. You cannot achieve excellence in both war and humanity at the same time.

As true as Boudreaus statement is, it does not go to the root of the problem in our occupation of Iraq. He says that It is not possible to genuinely strive to help a people while simultaneously preparing to kill them. Well, yeah. But that statement totally ignores the most glaring fact about the Iraq War and occupation (and so many other U.S. wars as well): Its purpose was not genuine and its purpose was NOT to help a people. How can a war that destroys a peoples country, kills over a million, and creates over four million refugees in a country with a population of between 25 and 30 million be said to be based on a desire to help people? And yet we have the nerve to call them terrorists.

The hypocrisy is mind boggling. The purpose of this war was not to remove a threat to our country, not to fight terrorism and not to bring freedom and democracy to the Iraqi people. The purpose of the war was to enrich the profiteers who advocated it. Given that purpose, it shouldnt be difficult to understand why our troops were faced with the hatred and ferocious resistance that they encountered.
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Hydra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-06-09 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
1. All wars are economically based
This fact, more than any, should be kept in mind when talking about war. People are dying to line someone else's pockets. No other reason.

As such, the solution for a peaceful world is MASSIVE PROSPERITY. People who have enough and are not subject to propaganda and/or conscription will not go to war.
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PDJane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-06-09 10:46 PM
Response to Original message
2. Yes. I agree.
But regime change (the US wanted a more malleable dictator) and resource theft were in there too.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 10:03 PM
Response to Reply #2
22. Yes, that too
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-06-09 11:08 PM
Response to Original message
3. And now 'our troops' are killing themselves in record numbers.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 12:42 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. That's awful
It's exceeding the number of combat deaths to U.S. troops.

I sure do hope that Obama turns this around before too long.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-08-09 05:36 AM
Response to Reply #4
26. Not just awful... CRIMINAL.
A close relative supervised their emergency medical treatment. Our weekly phone calls became debriefing sessions. Seeing alarming manifestations, the proper forms requesting histories and exposures were submitted (in triplicate natch) but NEVER addressed by TPTB. I found the missing link here on DU...
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-09-09 08:18 AM
Response to Reply #26
34. Thank you for the info Karenina
Do you have any more details on that?
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-09-09 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #34
35. Please check your PMs.
:hi:
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 03:50 AM
Response to Original message
5. ...what they "see as" repression and imperialism...
...actually IS repression and imperialism. Not meaning to get excessively nitpicky about a very fine essay (which IMO you should try to publish), just commenting on how easy it is for all of us citizens of an imperial power to fall into the "normal" language habits we've been surrounded with all our lives.

I disagree on Kosovo. The intent of the attack on Serbia was to force them into the corporate imperial economic system and to establish the permanent Camp Bondsteel (Isengard to the Mordor of the US embassy in Iraq). Milosevic was no worse than Tudjman or Itzbegovic, both of whom sided with the Nazis in their extermination of 500,000 Serbs in WW II. He was just way more stubborn about selling off national assets.

Yes, it did have humanitarian benefits for Kosovars, just as Russia's thumping of Georgia had similar benefits for South Ossetians. But that was just the luck of the draw. It served neoliberal imperial interests to designate Kosovars as wee innocent lambs in need of defense, just as it suited Russian regional imperialists to do the same for South Ossetia.

If US policymakers gave a flying fuck about genocide and ethnic cleansing, why did US mercenaries help Croatia to do to Serbs of the Krajina in actuality what Serbs wanted to do to Kosovo? The Serbian minority in Croatia somehow missed out on being designated as wee innocent lambs. (I say "wanted to" because most of the atrocities perpetrated by Serbs in Kosovo occured after the bombing and was a vengeful--and perfectly predicted by NATO--response to it.)

Why did the ultimatum to Serbia include a demand to sell off all its state or employee owned assets? What in bleeding hell did that have to do with ethnic cleansing? Why were 95% of the targets in Serbia non-military and directed at infrastructure and non-foreign-owned factories? Why were no foreign-owned factories bombed? If the MSM have been lying through their teeth about Iraq, why would they have told the truth about the Balkans?
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #5
10. Thank you -- a couple points
You're absolutely right that it IS repression and imperialism -- and genocide too I might add. By using the words "what they see as..." I didn't mean to imply otherwise, I was just trying to frame it from the Iraqi point of view.

With regard to Kosovo, you bring up a lot of important points. What makes it difficult to evaluate these things is that there are often multiple motives, not to mention multiple results from war. Another thing that I might add is that we should have waged the war more on the ground and less in the air, so as to decrease the death toll (although some Americans would then have died in the operation).

In stating my opinion that that war was justified, I was swayed by what I read from Samantha Powers' "A Problem from Hell", which is all about genocide in the 20th Century. I would quote from the book here if I could, but I can't find it. Powers documents that we did indeed stop the genocide, and that the Kosovars expressed a great deal of appreciation for our doing that -- not withstanding that some of them died in the process. We were indeed greeted as liberators. You call that "the luck of the draw", but I don't see it that way. Stopping the genocide was the stated purpose of the war, and that's what happened. So I don't see the point of calling it "the luck of the draw".
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-08-09 05:49 AM
Response to Reply #10
27. How did we "stop the genocide" if most of it occurred after the bombing?
Edited on Sun Feb-08-09 05:53 AM by eridani
And what does she say about the almost complete absence of military targets during the bombing? The Serb, Jewish and Rom minorities in Kosovo were jolly well not "liberated." The Albanian majority was freed to continue the slaughter and ethnic cleansing of those minorities that provided the (illegitimate, IMO) justification of the Milosevic response. I regard Powers as a shill for imperialism. She isn't a liar though--all her offenses against truth are strictly sins of ommission.

http://www.chomsky.info/articles/200005--.htm

The vast expulsions from Kosovo began immediately after the March 24 bombing campaign. On March 27, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that 4,000 had fled Kosovo, and on April 1, the flow was high enough for UNHCR to begin to provide daily figures. Its Humanitarian Evacuation Programme began on April 5. From the last week of March to the end of the war in June, forces of the FRY and Serbia forcibly expelled some 863,000 Kosovo Albanians from Kosovo, the OSCE reports, and hundreds of thousands of others were internally displaced, while unknown numbers of Serbs, Gypsies, and others fled as well.

<snip>

As the bombing campaign began, U.S.-NATO Commanding General Wesley Clark informed the press that it was entirely predictable that Serb terror would intensify as a result. Shortly after, Clark explained again that The military authorities fully anticipated the vicious approach that Milosevic would adopt, as well as the terrible efficiency with which he would carry it out. Elaborating a few weeks later, he observed that the NATO operation planned by the political leadership...was not designed as a means of blocking Serb ethnic cleansing. It was not designed as a means of waging war against the Serb and MUP forces in Kosovo. Not in any way. There was never any intent to do that. That was not the idea. General Clark stated further that plans for Operation Horseshoe have never been shared with me, referring to the alleged Serb plan to expel the population that was publicized by NATO after the shocking Serb reaction to the bombing had become evident.

<snip>

The most important question, however, has to do with the diplomatic options. Two proposals were on the table on the eve of the bombing. One was the Rambouillet accord, presented to Serbia as an ultimatum. The second was Serbias position, formulated in its March 15 Revised Draft Agreement and the Serb National Assembly Resolution of March 23. A serious concern for protecting Kosovars might well have brought into consideration other options as well, including, perhaps, something like the 1992-93 proposal of the Serbian president of Yugoslavia, Dobrica Cosic, that Kosovo be partitioned, separating itself from Serbia apart from a number of Serbian enclaves. At the time, the proposal was rejected by Ibrahim Rugovas Republic of Kosovo, which had declared independence and set up a parallel government; but it might have served as a basis for negotiation in the different circumstances of early 1999. Let us, however, keep to the two official positions of late March: the Rambouillet ultimatum and the Serb Resolution.

The Serb National Assembly Resolution, though reported at once on the wire services, has remained a virtual secret. There has been little indication even of its existence, let alone its contents. The Resolution condemned the withdrawal of the OSCE monitors and called on the UN and OSCE to facilitate a diplomatic settlement through negotations toward the reaching of a political agreement on a wide-ranging autonomy for , with the securing of a full equality of all citizens and ethnic communities and with respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It raised the possibility of an international presence of a size and character to be determined to carry out the political accord on the self-rule agreed and accepted by the representatives of all national communities living in . FRY agreement to discuss the scope and character of international presence in to implement the agreement to be accepted in Rambouillet had been formally conveyed to the Negotiators on February 23, and announced by the FRY at a press conference the same day. Whether these proposals had any substance we cannot know, since they were never considered, and remain unknown.


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Duende azul Donating Member (608 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 06:20 PM
Response to Reply #5
16. 
One of the very rare instances when someone dares to disagree on the mainstream point of view on Kosovo. And you name Camp Bondsteel.
Thanks!
Regarding Kosovo one should be cautious when the greatest hero of the folks there is G.W. Bush.
And when the case for war was made with an outright lie by the german defense minister one should really think twice about it.

Lets not forget the wars on Yugoslavia were illegal also. Strange alliances formed before it started - Germany and the US with Croatia, while to the French and British it was difficult to abandon their WWII ally Serbia.

As a matter of fact nowadays Kosovo with its narco-/arms-/and woman-trafficking infrastructure run partly by the UCK-Thugs (and with all probability assisted by their CIA friends) poses a mayor problem to Europe. In the larger picture Kosovo fits perfectly in the broader neocon strategy of destabilization: provoking Russia, assuring a strong presence near important pipeline routes, drug routes and constant warmongering.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-08-09 05:26 AM
Response to Reply #16
25. It's Clinton that is the hero, not Bush. Otherwise, thanks for the extra info.
Clinton also transported Al Qaeda people who had fought in Afghanistan and Chechnya to Bosnia and Kosovo.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 04:34 AM
Response to Original message
6. I Cannot Recommend This Enough
One quibble, though. This commentary was complete, and then doubled. Better to break it up into two parts at the natural stopping point: before the Soldiers viewpoints.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #6
13. Thank you
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 08:49 AM
Response to Original message
7. Yep, and read "War is a Racket" by Gen. Smedley Butler.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 07:25 PM
Response to Reply #7
18. I read it
Short but to the point. It ought to be required reading in school, but it never will be under the current societal power structure.
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The Wizard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 09:13 AM
Response to Original message
8. A few decades back
we were told we were bringing democracy to South East Asia. My inner conflict centered on the fact that we were taught in school that when people choose their government it's called democracy.
So here I was in someone else's land imposing my government's heavy hand on people who never lifted a finger to harm us. To effectuate this international domination at gunpoint we used small arms, claymore mines, mortars, artillery, helicopter gunships, jet fighters, heavy bombers and so on.
We were transformed from normal kids into trained killers, brainwashed to believe that we were saving the world from communist domination and ruthless dictators like Ho Chi Minh who enslaved their people and wanted to enslave Americans. There was the Domino Theory that gave justification to our aggression.
We went to Vietnam to protect the American Constitution, at least that's that's why we were told to take the oath. Although Antonin Scalia uses the Constitution for toilet paper and the Bush Administration did whatever it could to shred it, our Constitution still survives. Through all of it, our number one goal was to get home alive. Most of us did get to return home, albeit damaged.
By the standards set for us we succeeded. Communism stopped spreading (Reagan gets credit for this today), we still have a Constitution, although weakened by by fascists, and most of us made it home.
When something is imposed at gunpoint, democracy is not in the equation.
The short-peckered chest thumpers who were/are too chicken shit to fight wars from which they derive personal profit or a vicarious erection can, in the words of Dick "Chickenhawk" Cheney, go fuck themselves. And I'm still pissed off for what they did to us those many years ago.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. Very interesting discussion of your Vietnam experience
I think you summed up how our leaders manipulated our country in order to gain support for that war very well.

"Pissed off" is too mild a phrase to describe how I feel about them for doing that.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-09-09 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #8
37. Insult to injury... "Are You A Pussy?"
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Larry Ogg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 09:19 AM
Response to Original message
9. 
Youve really showed the power of ideology and how it is used by the psychopathic war profiteers as a mask of sanity. Removing that mask helps reveal their ulterior pathological motives.

You also show how ideology is the motivation behind the followers who will participate in, be used as pawns and defend atrocities, and then you show what steps are taken to increase that percentage, while marginalizing dissent through the use of ideology. The important point is that there is a degree or percentage of participation verses dissent. (That would be a great topic for discussion!)

And in the end you show how some folks who were misled, somehow manage to regain their sense of humanity and moral compass, at which time they begin to tell the true story about how they were misled by warmongering psychopaths who first stole and then made them forget their ideology through lies, so as killing indiscriminately would be made much easier Except why has so many of our troops come home and committed suicide?


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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. Thank you Larry -- I think that the issue of so much suicide in our troops should be investigated
thorougly -- enough to answer your question.

I suspect that the reason releates to the fact that they're trained to be something that they were not and never wanted to be -- brutal killers. I suspect that that is extremely difficult for many of them to accept.
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
11. this is an excellent post-- recommended-- everyone should read it....
Edited on Sat Feb-07-09 11:40 AM by mike_c
Thank you for so eloquently making the point that U.S. troops are not engaged in anything noble in Iraq or Afghanistan-- they are serving as imperialist thugs in support of an evil foreign policy. And that's not a new development, by any means. It has been the norm since the end of the eighteenth century, with the exception of World War Two-- but WWII set the stage for the political and economic ascendancy of military industrial complex, which added massive domestic war profits to our usual justifications for war, e.g. economic and racial imperialism.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #11
21. Thank you -- The ones who most need to read this kind of thing are school children
Maybe some day we will teach our children honestly.
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Poiuyt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 12:53 PM
Response to Original message
12. Excellent! K&R
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #12
24. Thank you
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Duende azul Donating Member (608 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 06:24 PM
Response to Original message
17. Rec
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dolphinsong285 Donating Member (52 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 07:29 PM
Response to Original message
19. Gee, I didn't know we were at war.....
Lack of publicity regarding the fighting, the dead, the injured, the grieving families, knowledge of whether they have sufficient equipment and supplies...not to mention those soldiers who return to no extension of gratitude from their community. What's up with this? Neo-Journalism?
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 10:12 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. I would call it pseudo-journalism
Our corporate media has long ago abdicated any sense of responsibility to tell the American people what we should know.
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mentalslavery Donating Member (215 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-08-09 07:06 AM
Response to Reply #23
28. Thats cause its not news, its just supposed to look like news
and sound like noise. We must find some way to have more control over the mainstream democratic institutions in the future. We can not leave the 30 year cycle without establishing tough safe guard for our accomplishments and process's. In terms of this current corpo-speech, criminal punishments would be a plus. If we leave in a country where they can do this without retribution or punishment then it is going to happen again. That is the only thing I think they will respond to, punishment. How pathetic.
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Tsiyu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 08:34 PM
Response to Original message
20. K & R


Great stuff. Thank you. :kick:
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TWiley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-08-09 09:19 AM
Response to Original message
29. I believe the GHWB administration coined the phrase
"Get behind the troops, or get in front of them" Eventually their argument changed to equate "troops" with "policy". Support the troops always meant support the policy.

The shrub took this false logic to staggering mis-proportions. Soon American, Patriotic, and Troops were equated with the word policy. Those opposed to policy were assumed to be opposed to America, Patriotism, and the Troops.

The Bishop used this false logic to attack all critics. I feel it is at the core of the immense hatred the radical right holds for individuals like Michael Moore.

If I were an investigative political author, I would research the use of false logic and propaganda in American politics. I think the an examination of the previous administration would be stunning.
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dolphinsong285 Donating Member (52 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-08-09 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #29
30. Indeed! Here in the South...
...during the '04 election, most neighborhood yards contained official political signs stating, "Support President Bush and the Troops." Bad enough to use "the Troops" for political gain, but then to screw them royally while doing so in a multitude of ways! The duplicity is beyond belief. A religious person would say there is a special place in hell for these people.
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dolphinsong285 Donating Member (52 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-08-09 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #30
31. Oh wait..I forgot. God is on their side. n/m
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-08-09 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #29
32. Have you ever noticed how often and quickly threads about "Our Troops"
drop off the radar? :shrug:
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-08-09 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #29
33. that is when I first noticed it too, during the first Gulf War
the "support the troops" posters became sorta big business at that time. This was supposedly a reaction to the Vietnam war, which they said we 'lost' because we 'didn't support the troops'. It seemed to be effective too, since there was a substantial anti-war march in the little Wisconsin town where I lived. Several hundred people gathered in this little town of 5,000 people, to oppose the war before it started. Once the war actually started though, there were no further protests.

The same was true this time too. I went to a gathering of 1,000 or so in Lawrence, Kansas in February of 2003, and although there is a small group gathering every week or so, there have been no other mass protests that I can remember. At least none that I have gone to, other than two small protests of semi-local Bush visits.
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OPERATIONMINDCRIME Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-09-09 12:10 PM
Response to Original message
36. God Bless The Brave Heroic Men And Women Of Our Military.
:patriot:
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