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Patriot Day: Remembering 9-11
Posted: 11 September 2007 05:00 PM   [ Ignore ]
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To me the day was predictable. Not just that it happened, but how we responded and how the government perverted it into a jingoistic frenzy. I knew some perversion like “Patriot Day” would be created so we could exploit this day for the benefit of the horrors that would surely follow.

It was only a matter of time before the chickens came home to roost. in fact, many analysts were saying before that the threat was large. I remember shortly after Hurricane Katrina an old report came out from the 1990s about the top three threats america faced: terrorist attack in NYC, hurricane in New Orleans and earthquake in San Francisco.

So long as our government was aiding and abetting Israel in its crimes in the region, propping up brutal dictators in the Gulf States, committing genocide in Iraq via the sanctions regime (Hans Von Sponeck has a recent book out on the sanctions regime that ALL should check out) and imposing political and economic reforms on others with the threat of and use of military force (see Serbia for example, but hardly the only one) then it was just a matter of when we would piss off enough people to strike back.

No one likes to hear dissenters say we should look in the mirror and see what we have done to contribute to these things. Many would prefer to delude themselves with empty slogans and self-serving notions that do away with our responsibility. Or they prefer to focus on others. But if we are to escape from contemporary barbarism we must begin at home.

The troops who allow themselves to be imperial cannon fodder have earned NO respect in my book. I say this with conviction: I do not support our troops. (With maybe the exception of a small minority who have had the courage to resist and/or speak out.) If you have to hide behind intimidating suggestions that you are serving or protecting us then I do not respect you. If you were serving us you would DO YOUR JOB and protect the constitution from the domestic enemies that sent you to Iraq and Afghanistan; that have you stationed in Guantanamo; or any of the other 1,000 bases all over the world.

By participating in these wars and following unlawful orders you have done nothing but to undermine our rights and provide an excuse for others to harm us. Keep in mind that the US Constitution says that any treaties signed are “the supreme law of the land.” The UN Charter is the supreme law of our land; the Geneva Conventions are the supreme law of our land; the Chemical Weapons Convention is the supreme law of our land; international law is the supreme law of our land. If your job is to protect our constitution then you have an obligation to prevent our leaders from violating those treaties, because when they do violate those orders they have made themselves into the domestic enemies you have sworn to protect us from. And, likewise, if you follow their orders you have made your self an accomplice and an enemy to us.

In 2004 the Pentagon and CIA both had internal reports that were leaked. These reports acknowledged that our policies in the regions have elevated the support of violent extremists and as the CIA noted, created a new generation of “professionalized terrorists.” For the time being we can move beyond semantical and legal arguments that show we are terrorists on a much larger scale, but if we want to be patriotic; if we want to remember those who suffered on 9-11, then there is no better way then to ensure it doesnt happen again. To ensure that we cannot escalate the violence, we cannot seek to dominate people with military might. We have got to drain the swamp so there will be no mosquitoes. This means recognizing our role in geo-political affairs and changing those policies that breed hatred, resentment and violence against us. We cannot expect the government to do this on their own. And we cannot expect the soldiers who mindlessly obey their unlawful orders to stand up for what is right. In the end, like history shows us with ALL other progressive struggles, we will have to rely on people’s movements to draw a line in the sand and declare that we will not tolerate policies that harm so many people, ourselves included.

I choose to remember 9-11 as a reason why we should not remain loyal to our government; I choose to remember it as a call to action!

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Posted: 11 September 2007 05:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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how many are familiar with Toto Constant?

how many are familiar with Haitis extradition request of Toto at the same time we were asking the Taliban for bin Laden? Bush rejected!

how many are familiar with the fact that the Taliban offered to hand over bin Laden numerous times, before and after our bombings began? Bush rejected!

how many are familiar with the fact that Robert Mueller admitted to the Washington Post in June of 2002 that we only “thought” we knew who the culprit was? Do you not see how criminal it is to harm people without evidence? The Taliban offered to hand over bin Laden and Bush rejected the offers! By our own standards that would mean Haiti would have the right to do the same to us!!!

how many are familiar with what aid agencies and humanitarian groups were saying the risks were to the Afghans before our bombing?

how many are familiar with the fact that the US military cut off those aid shortly before bombing began?

how many are familiar with the conference in Peshwar, Pakistan in October 2001 when over 1,000 tribal leaders showed up to discuss the events unfolding in Afghanistan and how the one thing they ALL agreed on was their opposition to the US bombing?

how many are familiar with RAWA? Look them up!

None of these things above even gets to Iraq. It doesnt cover the CIA’s involvement in putting the Baathists in power. It doesnt cover the US/UK support for Saddam. It doesnt cover the sanctions regime or the “genocide” that forced Dennis Halliday and Hans Von Sponeck to resign in protest. It doesnt scratch the surface of the lies that the Downing Street Memo exposed about our rush to war with Iraq.

All of these things should be in the forefront of American minds when thinking about 9-11. We should not only know our history - the plethora of crimes that lead to 9-11 - but our actions afterward. The very crimes we committed by exploiting that day in 2001.

[ Edited: 11 September 2007 05:31 PM by truthaddict ]
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Posted: 11 September 2007 05:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I have said over and over again that 9/11 should never had happened if the US government had not supported the Israelis who stole Palestine from the Palestinians as I consist them Zionist Nazi Jews no different than the German Nazis whom murdered millions of Jews. They had good teachers but they never learned anything. The Israelis are the real terrorist and the US ought to attack Israel not Iraq. Real orthodox Jews do not support Israel and in fact there is a large Jewish organization headquartered in NYC that is opposed to Israel in which I am a supporting member of.

Yes I agree with both posters in every way on this one and can not add anything they have not covered as it is absolutely true other than to say all of these men and women announcing on TV they want the war to continue in Iraq I say to them; “If you want the war to go on why don’t you go over there and fight along with our troops?
Put your money where your mouth is as it is easy to tell others to continue the war when you have no intentions of taking up arms and fighting your self but are willing to sacrifice others in your place.
To me that is cowardly and sadistic and you are no better than the murdering terrorist Israelis.”

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Posted: 11 September 2007 06:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I certainly agree that 9/11 was predictable in general, if not in the exact specifics. And I was not sympathetic at all with those who felt shocked, traumatized (except those directly affected, of course) or suddenly felt the world had changed. Certainly the perpetrators have direct responsibility, but we have motivated some of the antipathy. And the use of the event to justify the evils of the Bush administration are sickening.

I disagree strongly about the issue of how we should view soldiers in Iraq, though. I’m sure we won’t agree, truthaddict, but I think you’re ignoring all the historical and cultural and economic and psychological factors that lead people to become soldiers and to buy into the notion that they don’t have the moral authority to question any but the most egregiously evil orders. It’s not fair to say “I did evil because I was told to so I’m not responsible.” But it’s also not fair to say “If you have any doubts about what hyou’re told to do, your are wrong and evil to do it. And if you don’t have any doubts you are wrong and evil for thinking it’s the right thing to do.” I think the situation leading to our soldiers being there and doing what they’re trained and ordered to do is a lot less morally simplistic than you frame it, and I think your rhetoric is lacking in deep understanding and simple compassion.

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Posted: 11 September 2007 08:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Well, I’m a concencious objector, but my objections don’t count because there are no religious grounds for them.  rolleyes  Whatever.  Regardless of that, I see this war as being nothing more than yet another Crusade.  I feel really bad for those who lost family and friends on 9/11 and since then due to exposure to the aftermath of what happen, but I cannot say I agree to this war.  I don’t.  However, I do feel for the soldiers.  They didn’t all chose to go over there and fight, but since they were in the military, they did have to do what the president said after he declared war.  So, the military people’s hands were tied.  The war isn’t their fault, but rather the various governments involved.

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Posted: 11 September 2007 09:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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truthaddict
To me the day was predictable. Not just that it happened, but how we responded and how the government perverted it into a jingoistic frenzy. I knew some perversion like “Patriot Day” would be created so we could exploit this day for the benefit of the horrors that would surely follow.

9/11 was the best thing to happen to Atheist. It was the inspiration for Sam Harris’ book, The End of Faith, which capitalized on the renewed intense attention given to religion. The book ended up on the NYT best and I would argue, is the sole reason for the continued success of other recent “Atheist books” that have hit the best selling list.

Could just call it “Atheist Day”.

[ Edited: 11 September 2007 09:37 PM by zarcus ]
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Posted: 11 September 2007 10:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Conservatives and liberals view events through the prism of their own respective political philosophies and then try to explain events based on extrapolations from their belief systems. 

For example, since some types of crime have increased in the time since the Supreme Court ruled staff-sanctioned prayer in government schools unconstitutional, conservatives point out that since the one event (increased crime) happened after the other event (outlawing of staff-sanctioned prayer in government schools), then the crime increase was somehow directly due to the Supreme Court decision. 

Conservatives are not alone in committing this type of Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc fallacy.  Many liberals make a similar mistake when viewing the events of 9/11.  9/11 had nothing to do with U.S. foreign policy, even if many Arab Muslims disagree with certain of those policies.  9/11 had nothing to do with U.S. support for Israel.  Oh sure, Osama bin Laden might mention (in passing) something about how bad he thinks Israel is along with his myriad of other rants.  But what would you expect?  The area of the world he is from indoctrinates their people from birth to (early) death—due to the culture glorifying suicide—to hate everything about Israel and fills their heads with outrageous lies about what Israel supposedly does, despite the fact that Israel, for all its faults, treats Muslims better than any Muslim nation treats any Israeli or Jew.

But the Islamo fascist* planners and perpetrators who carried out 9/11 didn’t do it for any of the reasons commonly cited by the U.S. political left.  Those on the left may like to think that is the reason.  But as mentioned above those on the right also like to think crime is due to lack of school prayer.  Both are wrong. 

The Islamo fascists who committed 9/11 did so in an attempt to bring back the caliphate.  The U.S. left’s belief system and concerns didn’t figure into the final goal other than to possibly use them as “useful idiots” in the overall effort. 

Their biggest problem was not the U.S. or Israel.  Jews, Christians and Infidels may be bad in their mind.  But Muslims who are not Muslim-enough?  Whoa!  Watch out!  big surprise  It was the panoply of “secular”  (in al-Q’adea’s mind) governments of the Middle East that was their ultimate target for change.  Attacking the U.S. was just a means to that end.  Al-Q’adea wanted to do something so big as to guarantee to provoke a military response from the U.S.  They then thought the invasion of U.S. forces in Arab Muslim lands would lead to U.S. collaboration with these same “secular” Muslim nations—which, to some extent, happened.  This would cause the Muslim populations to be so outraged as to overthrow their current “secular” governments and install even more radical Islamo fascist regimes in these Arab nations.  To that extent, al-Q’aeda failed. 

Some on the U.S, left may not like U.S. foreign policy.  They may even have some legitimate concerns or grievances about U.S. foreign policy (or Israeli policy), but just because they don’t like it, and just because 9/11 happened after those policies have been in place, doesn’t automatically mean that those who committed 9/11 share the same mindset to the point of planning and carrying it out based on those beliefs.  Because not only is such thinking illogical, it flies in the face of the actual reasons al-Q’adea committed 9/11. 

I would think that a forum board that recognizes the dangers of radical fundamentalist religion entangling itself in politics would realize such things.  Many on the left in the U.S. seem to have their radar dialed in to just pick up dangers with Christianity getting the reigns of government, and seem to ignore (almost completely!) the even bigger threat posed by other religions such as Islam controlling governments.  Put your biases on the back burner, step back and take a look at the big picture.  It’s not all about the U.S.

*Please note, I use the term “fascist” in its correct definition of private ownership of items but only under a stringent centralized control.  That control does not have to be a state, but could just as easily be a religion.  I am sick of people tossing about the word “fascist” for anyone they don’t like when they don’t even know what the word means!

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Posted: 12 September 2007 09:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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mckenzievmd - 11 September 2007 06:26 PM

I disagree strongly about the issue of how we should view soldiers in Iraq, though. I’m sure we won’t agree, truthaddict, but I think you’re ignoring all the historical and cultural and economic and psychological factors that lead people to become soldiers and to buy into the notion that they don’t have the moral authority to question any but the most egregiously evil orders. It’s not fair to say “I did evil because I was told to so I’m not responsible.” But it’s also not fair to say “If you have any doubts about what hyou’re told to do, your are wrong and evil to do it. And if you don’t have any doubts you are wrong and evil for thinking it’s the right thing to do.” I think the situation leading to our soldiers being there and doing what they’re trained and ordered to do is a lot less morally simplistic than you frame it, and I think your rhetoric is lacking in deep understanding and simple compassion.

I take their situations into consideration, but that is still no excuse. The “historical and cultural and economic and psychological factors that lead people to become soldiers” do not outweigh the costs and effects of their actions. The damage done - foreign and domestic - is a very high cost, actually its too high of a cost.

I come from a family with a military background. Some of my friends have been in the family. One of them was a SGT in the USMC. We talked about all of these things, especially Smedley Butler (look him up, Brennen) and I eventually got him to goto anti-war protests and aware of IVAW.

You are talking about how well they have been duped - whether by their own volition or that of military propagandists (ie recruiters, trainers, etc) - but that is still no excuse, especially when you know some of our victims. Im not going to name-drop but I had made some friends in Iraq and Jordan before the Iraq War started and what happened to their families is disgusting.

Brennen, the one group that can have the biggest effect on ending this war or altering our social conciousness are the soldiers. My comments on their betrayal were rooted in the constitution and the oaths they took. We should view the soldiers for who they are and what they have done. When Nazi soldiers appeared in front of the Nuremberg tribunals they tried to use similar arguments, but that didn’t fly. And it shouldnt fly for us either. Coming from desparate backgrounds, being duped by superiors or just following orders is not a valid excuse to carry out the crimes.

I am more than aware of some of the circumstances that bring many of them to joining the military. However, absolutely none of that minimizes the severity or justifies what they do.

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Posted: 12 September 2007 09:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Rocinante - 11 September 2007 10:34 PM

The Islamo fascists who committed 9/11 did so in an attempt to bring back the caliphate.

yeah, their warcalls were, “we did this to have the caliphate.” sorry, but no. You are completely overplaying the religious card and ignoring the bigger issues that drive them.

the biggest recruitment tool for al qaeda and other “terrorist” groups has been social, economic and political issues.

if it was just about religious extremism then things like US soldiers in Mecca, sanctions regime in Iraq, Serb oppression of Kosovar Muslims, bombing of US Afghanistan, occupation of Iraq, etc would not have radicalized the region and escalated support and recruitment. That it is those things and more only goes to show that the most effective way to take mortal blow at “Islamo fascism” is to deny its main recruiting tool.

In fact, folks like Michael Scheuer, Peter Bergen or reports by the Saudi, Israeli, British and American intelligence and “defense” apparatuses are concluding that political issues are the hot button.

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Posted: 12 September 2007 11:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Rocinante, while I wouldn’t say that there is a cause-effect relationship, I tend to think that the foreign policy of USA and Israel had contributed, at some degree, to raise and recruit terrorist. Of course, the foreign policy is not the responsible of their belief system, in which the feelings caused by the US’s action are processed, but I think the US’s foreign policy is a variable in the whole equation.

I base my thought in an analogy: I live in a country where the anti-US feelings are strongs. While many persons hate US for bad reasons (a couple of years ago, a classmate said me: “you are incoherent, you are leftist and you admire USA”), a lot of persons can tell the root of their bad feelings was the foreign policy of US in the 70s ( we are now out of the US foreign policy focus, in a situation I hope lasts forever ), and the engagement of Kissinger in the coups de tat in the 70s. So I tend to think that many arabs developed a similar feeling, and, proceesed in a belief system with strong religous values, it produces what we all are suffering ( here we have two muslims bomb attack )


Regarding the military, I must admit that I am not objective: I have a strong opinion about the army, based mainly in the history of my country and in my personal history. Here, after the last dictaroship the trials against its heads started, but when the judges started to go against the middle line, a shameful law was dictated: the ‘due obedience’, which states that to follow terrible orders (like torture) when you are militar it is not a crime. I disagree with it, but it is a fact that, while the vast majority of militars here enthusiastically took part in the crimes, the few who opposed sometimes paid with their lives their ethical position. So my question is… what is wrong with military brain? why a free person would choose to voluntary give his/her freedom away, puting him/hersel in a position where they have to kill another persons based on a third person decision?. Frankly, I don’t understand what is in the head of someone who decided to follow the militar career.

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Posted: 12 September 2007 11:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I think it is easy to imagine a situation, and quite a plausible one, in which someone joins the military for reasons which seem, and may even be, sound, and then gets caught up in a culture and a system that has been designed and refined over millenia to produce obedience. You’re poor and living amidst violence already, with little opportunity. The military offers structure, a “family” of sorts, a possibility for a career, social and personal development. So you join, usully as a teenager. Then they put you through a process that strips you of ego and identity and replaces them with a new identity, as a memeber of a select society, a “band of brothers.” You share suffering and hardship with people like yourself, often from similar circumstances. Your sense of self and worth becomes tied up in this identity. Then you are sent someplace where horrible things happen to you and your companions, and where you are told repeatedly that what you’re doing is a painful but honorable necessity that makes life as you imagine and dream it possible for those “back home.” Remeber, TA, while the evil and stupidity of the war seems evident to us, there are plenty of peopple who still don’t believe that’s true, and their not all crazy or evil. And as a self-professed champion of Deb’s underclass, remember who we send to fight our wars, and how we get them to do so.

Anyway, my point is that it is easy to sit here and analyze the war and its ills and then blame the soldiers for not giving up everything that they have been taught to value in order to stand up against it, but I think it’s naive, arrogant, and unfair to blame them for not doing so. Sure, war wound be impossible if nobody agreed to fight, but guess what-that’s never going to happen, and writing off the footsoldiers as monsters or zombies or whatever isn’t going to make it any better. I’m all for trying to convert them to our cause by using arguments and strategies for framing the situation that are effective in doing so. But condemning them a priori for being there and fighting is wrong and not productive.

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Posted: 12 September 2007 11:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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barto,

Take Iran in 1953 and 1979. In 1953 they had a secular democracy led by Mohammed Mossadegh. In 1979 they had a theocracy run by Shah Palavi. What happened in between?

The CIA engineered a coup and installed a brutal dictatorship. The people of Iran no longer had a political forum in which to constructively resolve their problems like they had through their majils, etc. When the SAVAK clamped down on political groups the people turned to their primary source to seek change: religion.

The US, Israel, Russian and Western policies have more than “contribued, at some degree.” They have acted as a massive watershed or reservoir for religious extremism to be channeled through.

There are two primary examples of why I focus on the US, my native country. It’s not because I think the political and religious leaders and movements in the Muslim World - or elsewhere - are without faults, flaws, etc. Quite the contrary. But, those two reasons why I focus on the US are deeply rooted in elementary morality:

1) I am American. I live in a relatively free society. We have much more of a say on our governments policies and actions than say the people of Egypt or Saudi Arabia. I hate to quote a movie, but as Peter Parker’s uncle, Ben, said in Spiderman: “With great powers come great responsibilities.” Our first obligation is to things we are responsible for. One of the most valuable definitions of “hypocrisy” comes from Christian mythology when the character Jesus said (Mattew 7:1-5)

1Judge not, that ye be not judged.

2For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

3And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

4Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

5Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

In other words, to focus on the speck in the Muslims eye while ignoring the plank in our own eye is hypocritical. We cant begin to help others until we have helped ourselves. That basic moral is the primary reason why I focus on the US. Blaming the Red Coats, Witches, Indian Savages, Yellow Peril, Commies, Gooks, Towel Heads, Islamo Fascists and any other proverbial boogeymen we can conjur up will do nothing but further distract us from the mounting skeletons in our closet.

2) We just happen to live in a time where the US is the modern day Roman Empire. The balance of geo-political power - though some may argue that it is wanning - is heavily shifted to the US. No other country spends as much on “defense” or has so many foreign military bases, etc. We share a large portion of responsibility in many of the conflicts and injustices going on all over the world. And, going back to the point made above, that we have freedom means we have the responsibility to use those freedoms to reign in our government and private tyrannies.

We can’t even begin to help solve the Middle Easts problems untill we first deal with what we contribute to it. If we want to avoid more 9-11’s then the obvious place to begin is at home.

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Posted: 12 September 2007 11:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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brennen,

my point was to highlight that they are undermining and betraying their own oath and that if they want my respect and to REALLY serve and protect me or the constitution they have got to resist the domestic enemies who have issued them unlawful orders.

rather than call them babykillers, I am trying to highlight a constitutional approach to reach them.

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Posted: 12 September 2007 12:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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mckenzievmd - 12 September 2007 11:50 AM

I think it is easy to imagine a situation, and quite a plausible one, in which someone joins the military for reasons which seem, and may even be, sound, and then gets caught up in a culture and a system that has been designed and refined over millenia to produce obedience. You’re poor and living amidst violence already, with little opportunity. The military offers structure, a “family” of sorts, a possibility for a career, social and personal development. So you join, usully as a teenager. Then they put you through a process that strips you of ego and identity and replaces them with a new identity, as a memeber of a select society, a “band of brothers.” You share suffering and hardship with people like yourself, often from similar circumstances. Your sense of self and worth becomes tied up in this identity. Then you are sent someplace where horrible things happen to you and your companions, and where you are told repeatedly that what you’re doing is a painful but honorable necessity that makes life as you imagine and dream it possible for those “back home.” Remeber, TA, while the evil and stupidity of the war seems evident to us, there are plenty of peopple who still don’t believe that’s true, and their not all crazy or evil. And as a self-professed champion of Deb’s underclass, remember who we send to fight our wars, and how we get them to do so.

Anyway, my point is that it is easy to sit here and analyze the war and its ills and then blame the soldiers for not giving up everything that they have been taught to value in order to stand up against it, but I think it’s naive, arrogant, and unfair to blame them for not doing so. Sure, war wound be impossible if nobody agreed to fight, but guess what-that’s never going to happen, and writing off the footsoldiers as monsters or zombies or whatever isn’t going to make it any better. I’m all for trying to convert them to our cause by using arguments and strategies for framing the situation that are effective in doing so. But condemning them a priori for being there and fighting is wrong and not productive.

Thanks for the support. There are some unsupported assumptions in your post, however.

There is a large amount of camaraderie that gets built up by serving together in life and death situations, this is true, but most of it is self-reported by those who feel it. I was in the military for 13 years and I can promise you that I never felt any need to do things against my better nature just because I may have been ordered to do so. In fact, I was quite notorius for speaking up when things seemed strange.

When my National Guard unit got activated to go to Iraq, there were two reasons why I decided to go with them (I did have legal optiosn to not go). One was to help the younger soldiers process the situations they were about to find themselves in. If you read All Quite on the Western Front, you may recall a discussion about how the older soldiers didn’t develop “shell shock” because they many references outside of the war. They had families to go back to and lives to resume and they had propably experienced death of a close friend or family member already. The young kids, on the other hand, didn’t have these reference points, so the extreme emotions they experienced in war affected them much more. I viewed my role as a tempering influence for the younger soldiers.

Another role I sought to play was as a voice of reason for the rest of the command. I knew from prior experience serving with Americans overseas that many of my fellow service-members see themselves as saviors to people who don’t really deserve saving, and Crusaders against the Forces of Evil. Most do not, most just see themselves as “batter” because they are American sevicemembers. I keep reminding my fellow servicepeople that all the “foreigners” we were dealing with were people too, and even those we considered enemies might have very good reasons for what they were doing, reasons that we would use to justify our actions if we were in similar circumstances. In the midst of battle, second-guessing is lethal, but before the battle is even joined, one should consider if it is even necessary and actually will achieve the objective.

I played these roles during our run up, but not in the war zone of Iraq, however, because while I was in the staging camp in Kuwait, I developed some medical problems that led to my discharge via medical evaluation board. I stayed in contact with a few of my friends, but they never really talked about their day to day lives while serving there.

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Posted: 12 September 2007 01:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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TA, what I was trying to say was that the foreign policy of US contributed to the growth of an anti american feelings, especially where ‘battles’ of the ‘cold war’ took place, as midle east and latin america, but diferents cultural backgrounds leaded to diferents responses: we don’t have suicidal bombers in latam, a no armored group (very common here in the 70s) tried to attack US. I was trying to tell Rocinante that the US’s foreign policy had to do with the raising of terrorism, because the US’s policies raised anti american feelings, not only in the midle east… what is typical from midle east, and perhaps limited to it, is the reaction, not the feelings.

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Posted: 12 September 2007 01:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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WattaQuestion,
Thanks for the personal insight. As I said, it’s easy for those of us with no direct experience in the service to make up ideas of what it’s like. I’m the first generation since the revolutionary war not to be in the service, though my parents both hated it and got out ASAP and I was raised way to the left and pretty critical of the military in general, so my understanding is obviously indirect and skewed. I imagine the experience is also not the same for everybody, and I think it’s telling that the older folks seem to have a better time maintaining the values they joined up with. I applied for an Army scholarship to vet school (since the alternative, which I ultimately took, was borrowing almost $200,000), and though I eventually decided not to go into the service, I went through the physical and some initial screenig activities. I remember running around in my underwear while these guys yelled at us and thinking how ridiculous and laughably superficial the pschological manipulation seemed to me (at 31). But it was a whole different experience for most of the guys 18 or 19 who were there.

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Militant Agnostic: I don’t know, and neither do you!

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