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Why Veteran's Day? Why Praise Veterans?

charleslb
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11/9/2011 6:19:56 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Let me lead off with a tawdry true tale of a certain "veteran" (you'll shortly understand why I place the word "veteran" in quotation marks) with whom I'm quite well acquainted. His name is Richard, but I'll call him Dick, you'll shortly understand why this is appropriate too. Today Dick is a fifty-something wannabe man's man who's wont to affect New York tough-guy diction even though he was born and bred in California, and to express sexist (borderline misogynistic) attitudes about women, whom he datedly calls "broads" and "dames". But these aren't the only ways that he struggles to affirm his manqué machismo, hence his relevance to my topic.

Let me provide some backstory. As a child Dick's cheesy mother dressed him in Donald Ducky sailor suits, in honor of his dear old dad, who was in the navy for all of the last five minutes of WW2, a factoid of family lore that Dick likes to hype for the reflected manhood and glory that it casts upon him. The military had always been extolled to Dick as the honorable bastion of authentic manhood, the preeminent proving ground of one's masculine mettle. So it's hardly surprising then that when he reached his late teens Dick decided to enlist in the "service", to follow in the proud if overmeasured footsteps of his idolized forefathers and join the navy.

Of course starry-eyed Dick went into the navy with the purest of conscious intentions, wishing to pay homage to the high ideals of his family's mythologized military tradition, to serve his benevolently neocolonialist nation – perhaps his subconscious motives included going on an extended male ego trip and partaking of the carousing off-duty lifestyle that sailors are famous for, but then whose true motives are ever 100% pure, after all? Now then, our dear boy Dick was able to muster up enough of the right stuff to make it all the way through basic training, but alas that feat seemed to exhaust his scant supply.

Very shortly after beginning the daily grind of active duty, and finding himself under an overbearing superior (what are the chances of running into one of those in the military?!), he realized that he wasn't liking the reality of life in uniform, and took off without leave, playing hooky from the U.S. Navy for most of his stint. He went on the lamb, flopping with one high-school buddy after another, and trying to get in as much partying as he could before being tracked down by military police.

Eventually he decided to turn himself in and plead for mercy before a court-marshal. On the drive back to base, however, he got in a quite serious vehicular accident and spent the next few months in hospital. When he was finally sufficiently recovered he was placed in the brig for a bit, after which the navy washed its hands of him by granting his sorry derriere a medical discharge. His injuries saved him from a dishonorable expulsion from the "service", and left him with the bogus bragging rights of claiming to be a "veteran".

And boy does he exercise said bogus bragging rights! You'd never guess how paltry are his props as a "veteran" from the way he's embraced that masculine ego-boosting self-image. Yes, if you were ever to meet him socially you'd learn, within the first two minutes of chatting with him, that he was once in the navy, he always finds a way to introduce this little personal fact into any conversation. His e-mail address and online handle even includes a reference to his mediocre military background, so that everyone whom he communicates with knows before even reading his message that he's a "veteran". And now that he's living on disability, his pathetic pièce de résistance of self-misrepresentation is, yes, to describe himself as a "broken-down vet", dishonestly implying that his condition is somehow due to valorously-received war wounds, which is of course about as far as possible from the ignominious truth.

In other words, although Dick rather likes to ballyhooingly bill himself as John Q. Veteran, to overcompensate for his failure to be molded into a man by the military, in actuality he's just a poseur. That is, a fraud who self-identifies with veterans for a self-serving payoff to his shaky male self-esteem.

And how, one might wonder, aside from his e-mail address, does he reinforce this fraudulent self-identification with veterans and members of the military? Why of course by becoming their biggest booster. No one could be a more avid backer of the troops, or a more warm-hearted proponent of the interests of veterans.

It's all quite simple, really. Since ole Dick couldn't quite man-up sufficiently to tough out his tour in the navy, he vicariously attaches himself to the putative machismo of real soldiers and swabbies and vets, thus giving his limp sense of manhood a shot of psychic Viagra, and this all takes the outward form of being empathetically-patriotically pro-military and pro-veteran. It's of course not really armed forces personnel and veterans as individual human persons per se that he identifies with and feels the need to champion, it's a classic masculine stereotype of the military man that his male ego tries to derive backbone from.

Which is to say that Dickie baby's whole shtick of being a staunch supporter of his country's fighting men is an egoic subterfuge with delusions of patriotic legitimacy. But perhaps you're asking "Who cares about the subconscious psychology motivating this fellow Dick's pro-veteran stance, that's just him"? Ah, but is it?

Is overcompensating Dick really such an isolated case, I think not. Take some of the most public apologists of the military, and advocates for its personnel and its alumni, on the right of the political aisle. Take, for instance, former president Ronald Reagan, who was only in the army during World War Two in the most technical sense. In reality being "in the military" didn't cramp or alter Reagan's lifestyle as a movie star an iota, as he was the beneficiary of a form of draft dodging that was made available to Hollywood actors, allowing them to don the uniform but merely continue making films to promote the war effort, without ever having to take part in it on the front lines. Well, as we all know, Ronnie Reagan went on to become one of the great touters of the military of our time!

The same was almost the case with another famous conservative actor, John Wayne. Although Wayne played a somewhat convincing marine, the same one with different names in movie after movie, he managed to avoid induction into the military entirely. But when the Vietnam War came along he was so gung ho to support the American troops fighting in it that one might have mistakenly thought that he could actually relate to what they were experiencing. Nope, you would have never guessed that he successfully evaded military service during the "good war".

Another right-winger who wore being a fan of veterans on his sleeve like a badge of honor and manhood was of course Ross Perot. Like Dick, he couldn't hack it in the navy and got out early, and then became another great, clearly overcompensating advocate for veteran's causes. And speaking of naval washouts, after being "invalided" out of Uncle Sam's navy, "libertarian" author Robert Heinlein became a writer of tales featuring virile military types serving heroically in futuristic "space navies". Thus by promoting the positive archetype of he-manly warriors in his stories, he connected with a bit of macho glory through his characters and the archetype that they embodied.

The conclusion is located directly below
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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11/9/2011 6:21:06 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Conclusion

Aha, it would appear that men who haven't validated their masculine self-worth by authentic and successful military "service" tend to seek to do so by becoming rightist hero-worshippers of men-at-arms. This also dovetails with the macho psychological nature of conservative ideology. That is, in many instances it really does seem to be the case that conservatives are poignant individuals suffering from a masculine inferiority complex who've embraced pro-militarism/hawkishness and other conservative social and political stances because doing so makes them feel like the strong and hairy-chested men that they yearn in their quiet desperation to be.

Indeed then, as the examples above and my anecdote about a certain lame Dick go to show, wrapping oneself in the flag, and in the mantle of a supporter of those who have fought for it, à la so many conservatives, is a tried & true way of overcoming egoically painful insecurity about one's manhood. And signing on with the rest of the conservative worldview and agenda, well, that's truly taking overcompensation to the ideological hilt. Veteran's Day is coming up, and if you listen with a critical mind to commentators and politicians on the political right sing the vapid praises of their country's valiant veterans who've tragically and immorally gone into harm's way to serve & protect the special interests of the plutocratic elite, you should be tipped off to the fact that they're "hollow men" vainly trying to fill the hollowness in their own character with the bravery and manfulness of others.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
blackhawk1331
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11/9/2011 6:39:30 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I can see why you don't want to honor these people and I fully agree. Most soldiers, however, aren't like this, and they deserve our respect. If they have the ability to make it in the military, and they actually fight, then they deserve to be honored for their service. I saw two vets yesterday when I was helping out with election stuff. They had their hats on and that was it. They weren't bragging or anything. One was in WW2 and one has been in the Navy for 20 years. They have both faithfully served this country and deserve the respect.
Because you said it was a waste, numb nuts. - Drafter

So fvck you. :) - TV

Use prima facie correctly or not at all. - Noumena
blackhawk1331
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11/9/2011 6:39:45 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/9/2011 6:34:41 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
Yes your story encapsulates the entirety of the military experience for American soldiers.

Sarcasm?
Because you said it was a waste, numb nuts. - Drafter

So fvck you. :) - TV

Use prima facie correctly or not at all. - Noumena
blackhawk1331
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11/9/2011 6:42:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Just to add a specific situation, consider the soldiers of D-day. They jumped out of plains into a storm of lead behind enemy lines, or drove boats at open beaches covered in barb wire and earth works all up the beach. If they made it to the top, they were faced with massive bunkers armed with German soldiers. During the entire run to the top, they faced an artillery barrage and the fastest firing gun of the time.
Because you said it was a waste, numb nuts. - Drafter

So fvck you. :) - TV

Use prima facie correctly or not at all. - Noumena
Ragnar_Rahl
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11/9/2011 6:51:22 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Heinlein had ~four years in the Naval Academy and 4 or 5 in service before he caught tuberculosis, judging from Wikipedia. It's not like the guy failed boot camp or enlistment inspections with a bad back or something.

Also, LOL@ the idea that the protagonist of Starship Troopers is portrayed as some kind of manly man. Maybe in the movie, I dunno, I only read the book, where he had a damn hard time keeping up. :P
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
mongeese
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11/9/2011 7:02:48 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Did you seriously try to use a wimpy, egotistical jerk's experience and behavior to criticize the whole of support for veterans? Really?

It's true that Reagan didn't fight overseas, but he was disqualified from doing so because of poor eyesight; it's not like he actively tried not to go fight. He served his country the best he could anyway. Are those with poor eyesight not allowed to support the military?

In any case, my opinion is, support the troops, not the war.
PARADIGM_L0ST
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11/9/2011 7:07:03 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Your anecdote has DICK (pun intended) to do with the (il)legitimacy of veterans. Go jack off to another issue of Mother Jones, comrade.
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
Greyparrot
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11/9/2011 8:31:14 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/9/2011 7:07:03 PM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:
Your anecdote has DICK (pun intended) to do with the (il)legitimacy of veterans. Go jack off to another issue of Mother Jones, comrade.

You mean Mother Courage don't you?
blackhawk1331
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11/9/2011 10:29:31 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/9/2011 7:02:48 PM, mongeese wrote:

In any case, my opinion is, support the troops, not the war.

This.
Because you said it was a waste, numb nuts. - Drafter

So fvck you. :) - TV

Use prima facie correctly or not at all. - Noumena
Man-is-good
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11/9/2011 10:31:08 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/9/2011 7:02:48 PM, mongeese wrote:

In any case, my opinion is, support the troops, not the war.

A textbook case for how one short sentence can sum up a thought far more cogently than a rambling, discursive essay...
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
charleslb
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11/9/2011 11:46:16 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/9/2011 6:39:30 PM, blackhawk1331 wrote:
I can see why you don't want to honor these people and I fully agree. Most soldiers, however, aren't like this, and they deserve our respect.

Why, pray tell, do individuals who fail to use their innate moral intelligence and critical faculties to make conscientious ethical judgments about serving in immoral, economically-motivated actions such as the invasions & occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan deserve our respect? That is, anyone who doesn't have a subnormal IQ (and presumably anyone who does have a subnormal IQ would be excluded from the military) possesses the mental and moral discernment to be able to apprehend that Iraq, for example, was subjected to American military aggression to enrich large corporations such as Haliburton and to secure control of that nation's energy resources, and that brutalizing the population of a country for such mercenary motives is, ethically speaking, evil. Mm-hmm, the military personnel and veterans that you seem to admire have no sound ethical defense whatsoever for their complicity in such outright evil, and furthermore they are certainly disqualified from any entitlement to respect by the moral defectiveness of their personal choice to participate in this country's belligerent imperialism.

If they have the ability to make it in the military, and they actually fight,

So, your respect for your national tribe's warriors is an amoral admiration for mere fortitude and battle bravery? The moral issues around the question of who the military really serves, i.e. whether it really serves the interests of the nation or of its capitalist ruling class, don't enter into your estimation of the worthiness of respect of those who wear the uniform? You just admire strong and manly men who are willing to go into battle, regardless of the fraudulence and unrighteousness of their cause?

then they deserve to be honored for their service.

Again, I ask "service" to whom or what? In what way, shape, or form have the invasions & occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan been beneficial to the nation, to its ordinary citizens? I know how certain large firms profited, but how did the rest of us? There were certainly no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to protect us from, it was patently clear even before the invasion had been launched that the Bush administration's claim that it was compelled to take action against Saddam Husein and Iraq to safeguard us against WMDs was just a rubbishy ruse to rally the public to support a war prompted by capitalist motives and neoconservative ideology.

I saw two vets yesterday when I was helping out with election stuff. They had their hats on and that was it. They weren't bragging or anything. One was in WW2 and one has been in the Navy for 20 years. They have both faithfully served this country and deserve the respect.

As for WW2 veterans, in his book American Fascists author Chris Hedges recounts the experience of a mentor of his, theologian James Luther Adams, when he gave a lecture to American army officers just after the end of the war. Adams asked these members of the "Greatest Generation" in uniform "Is there any essential difference between your attitude toward the Negro and the Jew, and the Nazi attitude toward other 'races'" And their response was such that he wrote the following: "I blush when I think of some of the responses I received. I was immediately besieged with questions like these: 'Do you think we should marry the nigger?' 'Aren't Negroes a naturally indolent and dirty race?' 'Haven't you been in business, and don't you know that every Jew is a kike?' Questions like these came back to me for over an hour. I simply repeated my question again and again: 'How do you distinguish between yourself and a Nazi?' "

My point in citing this disillusioning incident? That the uncritically and excessively hero-worshipped veterans of "the good war" weren't so good and noble in attitude and spirit; rather, they were just like the veterans of more recent conflicts, i.e. wind-up soldiers whom the government could wind up with patriotism and propaganda and send off to fight any ole foe for any ole reason.

As for the war itself, it was hardly the great moral crusade that it's been revised into by conventional historians. Prior to Pearl Harbor most Americans were actually somewhat isolationist and certainly could not be sold on the war as a noble and necessary crusade to stop the Führer and his fascist cohorts. And after America entered the hostilities in Europe and the Pacific, well, for the average GI it was all about doling out some punitive payback and expressing one's tribalistic patriotism; again, the typical American soldier or sailor was no white knight for democracy, on a morally-motivated quest to stop the onslaught of Hitler and Tojo's evil genocide machine. Saving the lives of millions of Jew and Chinese peasants was not anywhere on the agenda of Allied leaders and the men who comprised their military forces. Yes, here's a little hard realpolitik and realeconomik for you, the ruling class of the Allied powers were motivated by self-interest, and the cannon fodder who fought and bled were motivated by gang loyalty, as it were, to their national hoods. You may idealize and idolize them if you like, but they were just nationalistic dupes of their leaders. So, my question remains, on what grounds shall we respect and praise our ethically-challenged and biddable veterans?
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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11/9/2011 11:49:48 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
A sloppy typo correction, the following sentence "Saving the lives of millions of Jew and Chinese peasants was not anywhere on the agenda of Allied leaders and the men who comprised their military forces." should of course read "Saving the lives of millions of Jews and Chinese peasants was not anywhere on the agenda of Allied leaders and the men who comprised their military forces."
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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11/9/2011 11:56:51 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/9/2011 7:02:48 PM, mongeese wrote:

In any case, my opinion is, support the troops, not the war.

Hmm, support military personnel for not using their moral intelligence and critical intellect to arrive at the correct moral evaluation of the invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and for not courageously-conscientiously objecting to being asked to take part in what amounts to massive and greed-driven state terrorism? Give the troops support that can't help but translate into support for the immoral wars they wage for the economic elite? An ethically lame and politically naive position dear mongeese.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
Greyparrot
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11/10/2011 12:13:30 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I, (NAME), 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.
RoyLatham
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11/10/2011 12:22:55 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
charleslb, I must admit you have a miraculous ability to fill space with a vacuum. Let me know if you ever get up the nerve to debate, where you would have an opportunity to try to justify your generalities with statistics.
charleslb
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11/10/2011 1:26:25 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/10/2011 12:22:55 AM, RoyLatham wrote:
charleslb, I must admit you have a miraculous ability to fill space with a vacuum. Let me know if you ever get up the nerve to debate, where you would have an opportunity to try to justify your generalities with statistics.

Arguments from statistics are often just another refuge of sophistical scoundrels.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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11/10/2011 1:28:37 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
The hokey hoax of our "representative" system ideologically bamboozles us, the indoctrinated public, into buying into the idealistic idea that our government possesses a democratic and moral legitimacy. And it follows from the supposed legitimacy of our government that its armed enforcer, the military, also possesses legitimacy. That it is another democratic instrument of the will of the people, and that its members and veterans are public servants who deserve appreciation and respect.

However, in reality our society does in fact have a power elite, and both government and the military do its bidding and serve its interest to an extent that seriously deprive them of the legitimacy naively attributed to them. Yes, in terms of being an agent of the will of society, or of being inclined to function in an ethical fashion, our military and its personnel lack any moral standing to claim our fawning respect. For 99.9% of the time our military most certainly does not operate so as to redeem itself as an agent of the popular will and an ethical actor on history's stage. Rather, 99.9% of the time it's nothing more than the million man strong, glorified goon squad of the (capitalist) ruling class.

And so it is that Veteran's Day is a holiday of, for, and by D*cks with a lowercase "D", i.e. individuals whose perception of politico-economic reality is so unconscionably superficial that they fail to apprehend all of the above. Veterans, rather than holding their heads up with dinky little caps that say "WW2 Veteran" or "Vietnam Veteran" on them, should be hanging their heads in remorse. And rather than a Veteran's Day, we should have a National Day of Apology and Atonement to the Victims of Our Foreign Wars of Aggression and Avarice Day.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
Aaronroy
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11/10/2011 1:35:41 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/9/2011 6:21:06 PM, charleslb wrote:
Conclusion


Aha, it would appear that men who haven't validated their masculine self-worth by authentic and successful military "service" tend to seek to do so by becoming rightist hero-worshippers of men-at-arms. This also dovetails with the macho psychological nature of conservative ideology. That is, in many instances it really does seem to be the case that conservatives are poignant individuals suffering from a masculine inferiority complex who've embraced pro-militarism/hawkishness and other conservative social and political stances because doing so makes them feel like the strong and hairy-chested men that they yearn in their quiet desperation to be.

Indeed then, as the examples above and my anecdote about a certain lame Dick go to show, wrapping oneself in the flag, and in the mantle of a supporter of those who have fought for it, à la so many conservatives, is a tried & true way of overcoming egoically painful insecurity about one's manhood. And signing on with the rest of the conservative worldview and agenda, well, that's truly taking overcompensation to the ideological hilt. Veteran's Day is coming up, and if you listen with a critical mind to commentators and politicians on the political right sing the vapid praises of their country's valiant veterans who've tragically and immorally gone into harm's way to serve & protect the special interests of the plutocratic elite, you should be tipped off to the fact that they're "hollow men" vainly trying to fill the hollowness in their own character with the bravery and manfulness of others.

This a bunch of condescending horse crock; I know plenty of left-wingers who would gratefully shake the hand of a veteran.

Narrowing down your ad hominems to only include right-wingers in the insults is utter political bigotry.

"veterans who've tragically and immorally gone into harm's way "

You just killed your credibility by even mentioning morality. Have fun spitting on wounded men coming back to see their family, if you consider that moral by your standards.
turn down for h'what
Aaronroy
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11/10/2011 1:38:17 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/9/2011 11:56:51 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 11/9/2011 7:02:48 PM, mongeese wrote:

In any case, my opinion is, support the troops, not the war.

Hmm, support military personnel for not using their moral intelligence and critical intellect to arrive at the correct moral evaluation of the invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and for not courageously-conscientiously objecting to being asked to take part in what amounts to massive and greed-driven state terrorism? Give the troops support that can't help but translate into support for the immoral wars they wage for the economic elite? An ethically lame and politically naive position dear mongeese.

There is no such thing as a moral intelligence.
turn down for h'what
blackhawk1331
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11/10/2011 2:57:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/9/2011 11:46:16 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 11/9/2011 6:39:30 PM, blackhawk1331 wrote:
I can see why you don't want to honor these people and I fully agree. Most soldiers, however, aren't like this, and they deserve our respect.

Why, pray tell, do individuals who fail to use their innate moral intelligence and critical faculties to make conscientious ethical judgments about serving in immoral, economically-motivated actions such as the invasions & occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan deserve our respect? That is, anyone who doesn't have a subnormal IQ (and presumably anyone who does have a subnormal IQ would be excluded from the military) possesses the mental and moral discernment to be able to apprehend that Iraq, for example, was subjected to American military aggression to enrich large corporations such as Haliburton and to secure control of that nation's energy resources, and that brutalizing the population of a country for such mercenary motives is, ethically speaking, evil. Mm-hmm, the military personnel and veterans that you seem to admire have no sound ethical defense whatsoever for their complicity in such outright evil, and furthermore they are certainly disqualified from any entitlement to respect by the moral defectiveness of their personal choice to participate in this country's belligerent imperialism.

First of all, morals are subjective. Now, did the soldiers declare the war? No, the government did. You assume that the soldiers enlisted to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq. Did you stop to consider the possibility that they enlisted to defend this country in the case of an attack. You know, like 9/11?

If they have the ability to make it in the military, and they actually fight,

So, your respect for your national tribe's warriors is an amoral admiration for mere fortitude and battle bravery? The moral issues around the question of who the military really serves, i.e. whether it really serves the interests of the nation or of its capitalist ruling class, don't enter into your estimation of the worthiness of respect of those who wear the uniform? You just admire strong and manly men who are willing to go into battle, regardless of the fraudulence and unrighteousness of their cause?

No, I admire people who are willing to put their life on the line to fight for what they believe in and defend those they love.

then they deserve to be honored for their service.

Again, I ask "service" to whom or what? In what way, shape, or form have the invasions & occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan been beneficial to the nation, to its ordinary citizens? I know how certain large firms profited, but how did the rest of us? There were certainly no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to protect us from, it was patently clear even before the invasion had been launched that the Bush administration's claim that it was compelled to take action against Saddam Husein and Iraq to safeguard us against WMDs was just a rubbishy ruse to rally the public to support a war prompted by capitalist motives and neoconservative ideology.

You need to expand your horizons. You keep focusing on Iraq and Afghanistan. The title includes those veterans of WW2, Korea, Vietnam, and any other side conflicts. How do you know as 100% fact that there were no WMUs? The fact that we didn't find them means nothing. There's a massive illegal drug trade in America and we can't find all those dealers. That's in our own country. How do you expect us to find WMUs in a foreign country before they can be smuggled out?

*NOTE: I'm not saying there were WMUs, I'm just saying that their lack of existence can't be proven based on us not finding them.

I saw two vets yesterday when I was helping out with election stuff. They had their hats on and that was it. They weren't bragging or anything. One was in WW2 and one has been in the Navy for 20 years. They have both faithfully served this country and deserve the respect.

As for WW2 veterans, in his book American Fascists author Chris Hedges recounts the experience of a mentor of his, theologian James Luther Adams, when he gave a lecture to American army officers just after the end of the war. Adams asked these members of the "Greatest Generation" in uniform "Is there any essential difference between your attitude toward the Negro and the Jew, and the Nazi attitude toward other 'races'" And their response was such that he wrote the following: "I blush when I think of some of the responses I received. I was immediately besieged with questions like these: 'Do you think we should marry the nigger?' 'Aren't Negroes a naturally indolent and dirty race?' 'Haven't you been in business, and don't you know that every Jew is a kike?' Questions like these came back to me for over an hour. I simply repeated my question again and again: 'How do you distinguish between yourself and a Nazi?' "

So the vets shouldn't get any kind of honors because they reflected the same feelings as a great portion of our country at that time ? The vets were the ones fighting to STOP the genocide of the Jews. How do you distinguish between the vets and the Nazis? The Nazis murdered millions of innocent people. The vets are opposed to marrying someone of a different race, and they speak out against the luck Jews have in business. One group of people will forever be remembered for their various crimes. The other will be known for their courageous efforts to stop the bloody war.

My point in citing this disillusioning incident? That the uncritically and excessively hero-worshipped veterans of "the good war" weren't so good and noble in attitude and spirit; rather, they were just like the veterans of more recent conflicts, i.e. wind-up soldiers whom the government could wind up with patriotism and propaganda and send off to fight any ole foe for any ole reason.

As for the war itself, it was hardly the great moral crusade that it's been revised into by conventional historians. Prior to Pearl Harbor most Americans were actually somewhat isolationist and certainly could not be sold on the war as a noble and necessary crusade to stop the Führer and his fascist cohorts. And after America entered the hostilities in Europe and the Pacific, well, for the average GI it was all about doling out some punitive payback and expressing one's tribalistic patriotism; again, the typical American soldier or sailor was no white knight for democracy, on a morally-motivated quest to stop the onslaught of Hitler and Tojo's evil genocide machine. Saving the lives of millions of Jew and Chinese peasants was not anywhere on the agenda of Allied leaders and the men who comprised their military forces. Yes, here's a little hard realpolitik and realeconomik for you, the ruling class of the Allied powers were motivated by self-interest, and the cannon fodder who fought and bled were motivated by gang loyalty, as it were, to their national hoods. You may idealize and idolize them if you like, but they were just nationalistic dupes of their leaders. So, my question remains, on what grounds shall we respect and praise our ethically-challenged and biddable veterans?

I know very well that we didn't enter that war until we were attacked. How could we have entered before that? We had no grounds based on any alliances. When we were personally attacked, we went to war to avenge our people and defend those still here. How is that any ground to disrespect those soldiers. Until you've killed something of significant size, let alone fight a war that could very well claim your life, you have no right to say these vets don't deserve our respect.
Because you said it was a waste, numb nuts. - Drafter

So fvck you. :) - TV

Use prima facie correctly or not at all. - Noumena
blackhawk1331
Posts: 4,932
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11/10/2011 2:59:10 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/9/2011 11:56:51 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 11/9/2011 7:02:48 PM, mongeese wrote:

In any case, my opinion is, support the troops, not the war.

Hmm, support military personnel for not using their moral intelligence and critical intellect to arrive at the correct moral evaluation of the invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and for not courageously-conscientiously objecting to being asked to take part in what amounts to massive and greed-driven state terrorism? Give the troops support that can't help but translate into support for the immoral wars they wage for the economic elite? An ethically lame and politically naive position dear mongeese.

What is the correct moral decision, and what gives you or anyone else the right to decide? I believe that hunting is moral. I have friends that believe any use of animals is immoral. Who's decision is it, and why?
Because you said it was a waste, numb nuts. - Drafter

So fvck you. :) - TV

Use prima facie correctly or not at all. - Noumena
Crede
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11/10/2011 3:27:08 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Wow way to miss the point of Veteran's Day. Yeah military can completely suck, especially during times of war, which is one of the reasons why we give respects. Yes a lot of active duty, and veterans are messed up people but that is just a reflection of people as a whole.
innomen
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11/10/2011 3:28:17 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/9/2011 7:07:03 PM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:
Your anecdote has DICK (pun intended) to do with the (il)legitimacy of veterans. Go jack off to another issue of Mother Jones, comrade.

You're the best.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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11/10/2011 4:17:26 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/10/2011 3:55:17 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
No suprise that sheltered people think guns and military are for offense only and never for defense.

No surprise that folks who've been thoroughly socio-culturally indoctrinated with our society's conventional worldview, i.e. its dominant ideology, think that guns and the military are only for defense and never for dominance and imperialistic aggression.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
sadolite
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11/10/2011 4:52:39 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
The real question is why do people who have never served a day in the millitary get the day off. They didn't contribute Sh!t, good or bad. Only veterans should get the day off. People who criticize the millitary are always the first to send them in and then tell them they have to follow a set of engagement rules. The millitary has only two purposes. To kill people and blow up stuff. To use it for anything else is blasphemy so to speak. The rest of the world should think that is the only thing we use our millitary for. That way when they see them coming only two things are going to happen.
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,240
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11/10/2011 5:09:29 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/10/2011 4:17:26 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 11/10/2011 3:55:17 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
No suprise that sheltered people think guns and military are for offense only and never for defense.

No surprise that folks who've been thoroughly socio-culturally indoctrinated with our society's conventional worldview, i.e. its dominant ideology, think that guns and the military are only for defense and never for dominance and imperialistic aggression.

When's the last time you took a walk at 2 am in a rough part of any city in America?
Get back to me on your worldview then.
blackhawk1331
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11/10/2011 6:21:50 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/10/2011 4:52:39 PM, sadolite wrote:
The real question is why do people who have never served a day in the millitary get the day off. They didn't contribute Sh!t, good or bad. Only veterans should get the day off.

I agree here. I don't get tomorrow off, though. I'm helping with a Veteran's Day ceremony tomorrow as part of a club I'm in. I'd be in school with or without the club, though.
Because you said it was a waste, numb nuts. - Drafter

So fvck you. :) - TV

Use prima facie correctly or not at all. - Noumena