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The Death Cult of the Military Veteran

charleslb
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11/12/2012 12:40:40 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Well, once again many of us today are briefly reprieved from the soul and mind-killing daily grind of the capitalist workplace to solemnly (or frivolously but respectfully, i.e., by flying the flag and watching sports on TV while imbibing brewed beverages) observe one of the high holy days of the modern, civil cult of the military veteran. This is to say, it"s once again Veterans Day. And in plain English this is to say it"s once again a day for the patriotically spirited shoveling of pro-military horse manure.

But let"s muster a tad bit of moral courage and intellectual intrepidness and try mentally breaking away from the conformist crowd to take an independent-minded and critical look at the current cultural vogue for hero-worshipping G.I. Joe and Jane. Let"s begin then by posing a rather obvious and easy to answer query, Whence from comes this cultural consensus that we ought to effuse nothing but love and gratitude for "the troops" and for those who have "served", to the exclusion of even the mildest criticism regarding the morality, or lack thereof, of the particular wars they"ve "served" in? That is, how has it come about that the national groupthink today holds that we should always praise, and virtually never pan the rank and file members of the nation"s imperialistically-wielded war machine?

Well, Thou shall never hold a veteran personally accountable for participating in a manifestly unjust war and fail to spout rhetorical sweet nothings about his "service" does in fact seem to be something of an American cultural zeitgeist, and the explanation is clear and simple. In a word, Vietnam. Today"s vapid veteran veneration is quite simply overcorrection for the vehement anti-veteran vituperation of the Vietnam era.

Mm-hmm, because some individuals who correctly agreed with the North Vietnamese characterization of the war as a colonialist campaign of terror and bloodletting evilly waged against the Vietnamese people went overboard in chiding Vietnam vets for their unconscientious choice to take part in it (spitting on them and denouncing them as baby-killers), our society has consequently gone overboard in the opposite direction, of pedestaling every man jack (and woman jacqui) who has ever worn the uniform.

Except for the most naively nationalistic nincompoops, deep down in an honest recess of everyone"s conscience resides the realization that this is the case, the realization that it"s simply the legacy of guilt bequeathed to us by the behavior of a few overzealous anti-war protestors (whose political-moral point of view was actually spot-on) that informs the current sappy pro-veteran sentimentality so prevalent in our culture. No, there"s no genuine honor whatsoever in the way we now self-servingly honor veterans to assuage and stem the undercurrent of remorse that still runs through the American psyche.

And, in fact, not only do we do veterans no real honor, neither do we do them any favor, by uncritically idolizing them. Rather, we do future veterans a potentially lethal disservice. Say what?! Yes, the path to a body bag and an early grave in Arlington National Cemetery is paved with the guilt-ridden good intentions of all of you boosters of "the troops" and votaries of the cult of veteran hero worship.

How so? In a couple of what should be fairly obvious ways. Firstly, lionizing veterans as our champions of democracy and apple pie, downright investing them with a halo of heroism, and refusing to rub their fragile consciences in the fact that they often function more as the gunmen of the corporate ruling class than the paladins of our polity, all serves to make military service more appealing. Mm-hmm, seeing that military "service" is viewed and treated in an uncritically positive fashion, i.e., that it"s positively reinforced with Veterans Day parades and words of praise falling from the lips of celebrities and politicians, young people naively succumb to this cultural operant conditioning and are encouraged to enlist. Enlist to do their part in, to kill, and die in crass capitalist aggressions for the economic gain of the economic elite.

Well then, our societal stimmung or ethos of support-the-troops-and-hug-a-veteran contributes to and even conditions an individual's fatal decision to join up, and thereby everyone who endorses said ethos has a culpable part in sealing the tragic fate of tomorrow"s wounded warriors and fallen wannabe heroes.

But of course this isn"t the only way in which our pro-military, pro-veteran ethos works to create more death in the world. It also does so by causing people to moderate and restrain their criticism of and objections to their country"s morally questionable military actions, lest any of their brickbats bruise the sensitive feelings and conscience"s of "the troops". Indeed, this moderation of our opposition to militarism is arguably taken to the point of nullification, the political nullification and impotence of the anti-war movement. Moreover, approbation and praise of veterans translates into virtual if grudging approval of the invasions and occupations they"re tasked to carry out. This of course is conducive to war, and the loss of life that war entails, for it makes it easier for political leaders to make and follow through on the decision to go to war.

So yes, folks, if you"re on the patriotic bandwagon of celebrating the sacrifices of your nation"s military personnel and veterans you"re unwittingly complicit in inflicting their sacrifices. That is, you"re literally killing them with your kindness. If you sincerely care about their welfare wouldn"t it be better to help discourage militarism by being more outspokenly critical of everyone involved in it, including those who actually do the fighting and dying?

Remember that line, "What if they gave a war and nobody came?" Well, what would happen is certainly simple enough; there"d be no mass slaughter to consume "the troops" like expendable cannon fodder! But the scenario of a war that no one will turn out for isn"t going to happen until we all start to practice some tough love with the members of our military, until we begin to impress it upon their misguided consciences that 99.99999999999% of the time the wars their asked to participate in are truly evil mercenary escapades designed to preserve and extend the economic and political hegemony of the plutocratic powers that be. Speaking this truth to "the troops" may sting their sensibilities but it may also save their lives.

And this isn"t the 1950s with the public snug and smug in a childlike belief that we only fight morally legit and noble wars. We all know, or certainly all should know by now, that it"s indeed the truth that our wars are not just, and are not merely mistakes or "quagmires"; rather, they"re glorified gangsterism, i.e., instances of taking what our society"s ruling business and political Establishment wants by brute force of arms.

continued 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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11/12/2012 12:42:40 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Conclusion

Oh sure, war isn"t entirely morally abysmal. There might be ample opportunity for individual acts of morally valorous self-sacrifice (such as a soldier stepping in front of a bullet to save his buddy) even in the sort of immoral greed-motivated wars our society goes in for, but there"s no authentic heroism in fighting for an unrighteous cause. Instead of perpetuating ideological lies to the contrary, instead of hollowly (ethically speaking) honoring veterans today we should be raising their consciousness about war"s harsh moral realities, about the real and dishonorable nature of their "service" to the likes of Bechtel and Halliburton. A national holiday for enlightening those in the military, before they become traumatized veterans/victims of foreign wars with hands stained by the blood of the innocent, how about writing your congressman to propose that! Or would you prefer that "the troops" remain flesh and blood military drones, doing and dying and not reasoning why?

To sum up and to quote the poet William Ernest Henley , "The ways of Death are soothing and serene, And all the words of Death are grave and sweet." Well, the ways that men and women perish on the battlefield tend to not be so soothing and serene; however, today is one of those occasions for words of militarily-incurred death that are grave and sweet, and that will mendaciously help entice the next generation of veterans to a violent end. Do you have the moral guts to stand up and refute these lethal clich"s? Or will you tacitly endorse them with your cowed silence?

(Btw, if you"re thinking of replying with a facile ad hominem dismissal of my views as those of a gutless leftist who has never "served", well, firstly I"m not ashamed to have never served our society"s corporate and political powers and principalities in a military capacity. And, secondly, it"s simply not the case that my views can only be espoused by someone who has never worn the uniform. I refer you to much-decorated Marine Corps general Smedley D. Butler and his famous speech War is a Racket, [http://www.ratical.org... ] in which he sets forth views quite similar to mine. Just try dismissing his bona fides!)
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.
MouthWash
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11/12/2012 12:46:18 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
charleslb
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11/12/2012 1:12:48 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Dear Halitosis,

Please challenge yourself and endeavor to formulate some thoughts, and then strive to express them in your own words. This is the way to grow, intellectually. Thank you.
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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11/12/2012 1:14:01 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/12/2012 1:09:36 AM, airmax1227 wrote:
Interesting... Thanks for posting.

Welcome back. :)

Dear airmax1227,

Thank you for your reply.
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.
bossyburrito
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11/12/2012 1:17:47 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Welcome back.
#UnbanTheMadman

"Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight
Somewhere out of a memory of lighted streets on quiet nights..."

~ Rush
charleslb
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11/12/2012 1:21:03 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/12/2012 1:17:47 AM, bossyburrito wrote:
Welcome back.

Thank you, fellow anarchist communist.
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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11/12/2012 2:55:15 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/12/2012 1:39:30 AM, FREEDO wrote:
Charles!!!! I missed you!!! <3 <3 <3

Thanks.
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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11/12/2012 3:26:20 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Please don't misconstrue my anti-military & war stance as one of unbridled and uncompassionate censoriousness brought to bear upon the pawn-like personnel, the unwitting Gomer Pyles and Private Benjamins, who fill the armed forces' ranks and do the ruling elite's killing. Compassion is the word for all, for everyone from the nineteen-year-old naifs who wind up as boots on the ground of Afghanistan to the old knaves in the Fortune 500 in whose interests (the cynical truth be told) our wars our fought. But being compassionate to military veterans doesn't mean being complicit in our society's mauvaise foi, its collective self-deception as to the real nature of their "service", i.e., their services rendered to the plutocratic profiteers whose capitalist cupidity instigates most of our conflicts.

That is, I'm a hate the sin, not the sinner, focus on contemning & condemning the evil of capitalist militarism not the enlisted cogs in the war machine, sort of fellow, but this doesn't mean refraining from confronting said enlisted cogs and ex-cogs with their higher moral duty to use their ethical intelligence and consciences to recognize the grievous moral wrongness of participating in lamely justified wars motivated by corporate realeconomik and neocon realpolitik. Indeed, we're reprehensibly remiss in doing our own moral duty if we allow our boys and girls in uniform to remain in the jejune illusion that invading countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan is anything other than latter-day imperialism.

We also need to urge a bit more self-honesty and self-criticism upon active military personnel and veterans, i.e., confront them with the truth that choice to "serve" was largely self-interested. Whether they joined up because they were testeronic teenage males who saw the military as a way to prove their manly mettle, or insecure males for whom the military was a form of overcompensation, or unskilled and unemployed casualties of the recession induced by economic incentives, in any case their true motives were hardly purely patriotic. Mm-hmm, just as the fat cats at the top of the military-industrial totem pole are actuated by selfishness, so too do many of the uniformed low men and women on the same totem pole have their ignoble personal reasons for "serving". Enough with the naive hero worship already, not only does the military not really serve the country, a great many of those in it are not genuinely in it to be of service!

But then of course there's our post-Vietnam guilt, and our civilian survivor guilt, as it were, i.e., the guilty feeling we subconsciously experience when we see others go off into harm's way, ostensively on our behalf, and return maimed or in body bags. All of this unwarranted but powerful guilt kicks in and kicks to the curb our rational understanding of the need to call even lowly buck privates and guileless grunts to account for their participation in unjust wars. We give them a free pass, as it were, an unearned grant of immunity from criticism that helps ensure that the truth won't get in the way of the choice of tomorrow's potential cannon fodder to join up and do their bit for God (Mammon) and country (the United $tates of Corporate America). Shame on us all. And most of all, shame on those of us on the conscientized left, who are silenced by the fear that voicing our criticisms of our national tribe's warriors will turn the tribal-minded public against us. We really do need to grow some moral cojones.

Thoughts anyone? Or are we all off doing the conventional thing, i.e., giving our amoral support to and eulogizing the misdirected gallantry of those vets who recently protected us from Saddam's nonexistent weapons of mass destruction?
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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11/12/2012 3:34:55 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/12/2012 3:01:29 PM, Ron-Paul wrote:
Crap...

Thank you for your scatological succinctness, but do you perhaps have any on-topic thoughts that you'd care to share?
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.
PARADIGM_L0ST
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11/12/2012 4:05:53 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
If you don't want to thank a veteran because you feel it's needlessly obligatory, then don't. If you feel like you want to then do so. Problem solved.

I think we should have a "thank a basement-dwelling, communist rag writer day." Charles, you've nominated in this category... Looks like it's going to be a landslide victory!
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
charleslb
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11/12/2012 4:46:44 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/12/2012 4:05:53 PM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:
If you don't want to thank a veteran because you feel it's needlessly obligatory, then don't. If you feel like you want to then do so. Problem solved.

I think we should have a "thank a basement-dwelling, communist rag writer day." Charles, you've nominated in this category... Looks like it's going to be a landslide victory!

Your reductionistic reply glibly glosses over the several reasons given in my OP for withholding expressions of gratitude from and targeting a bit of criticism at members and veterans of the military. As for your little ad hominem jibe, I suppose it would pass for witty in your right-libertarian circle but it's really not a very effecitve derisive polemical comeback, as derisive polemical comebacks go. Is this really all you've got?
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.
royalpaladin
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11/12/2012 5:20:01 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
You do not have to support the wars, but I think it is disrespectful for you to attack the veterans on Veteran's Day. Many of them are ordinary individuals who joined the military for monetary reasons or who were conscripted.
Ron-Paul
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11/12/2012 6:42:28 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/12/2012 3:34:55 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 11/12/2012 3:01:29 PM, Ron-Paul wrote:
Crap...

Thank you for your scatological succinctness, but do you perhaps have any on-topic thoughts that you'd care to share?

First off, I'm sorry to see you're back (unless you'd like to debate me, then your return is awesome).

However, more importantly, it's the fact that you have the nerve to not only damn veterans, but to do it on their day. Really, I mean what is it with you f*cking communists? You realize the only reason you are alive to write that post was because some brave person decided that freedom and individual liberty was better than tyranny and oppression. You are being extremely disrespectful.
charleslb
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11/13/2012 12:59:34 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/12/2012 5:20:01 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
You do not have to support the wars, but I think it is disrespectful for you to attack the veterans on Veteran's Day.

No, it's a bit of tough love, a bit of tough love that will benefit them more than the perfunctory "respect" we're culturally programmed to show them.

Many of them are ordinary individuals

Certainly, but then ordinary individuals have the ethical intelligence and judgment to know right from wrong - both on a personal and a national defense policy scale - and to recognize an egregiously trumped up and unjust war when they're tasked to fight it.

who joined the military for monetary reasons

That G.I. Joe and Jane join up for self-interested reasons is hardly a defense, it hardly absolves them from their deontological duty to conscientiously object to and opt out of participating in an immoral capitalist aggression.

or who were conscripted.

To my knowledge the draft hasn't been reinstated.
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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11/13/2012 1:13:57 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/12/2012 6:42:28 PM, Ron-Paul wrote:

... You realize the only reason you are alive to write that post was because some brave person decided that freedom and individual liberty was better than tyranny and oppression. You are being extremely disrespectful.

Ah, but this is precisely the lameness of your position, for as I point out 99.99999999999999% of the time our armed forces engage in actions that don't in fact protect us and our putatively democratic way of life. Rather, the majority of this country's military actions have been inspired by the economic interests of the plutocratic ruling class and dressed up with rubbishy patriotic rhetoric and insincere idealism. If you had actually read the entire OP you would already have been edified about this morally shameful scantiness of genuinely defensive and "good" wars in our history and would have endeavored to construct a better polemical response.
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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11/13/2012 1:25:29 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Another thought apropos for this thread. The Petraeus scandal, it certainly points up our society's need to get its moral priorities in order. Here we have a former military officer who as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan oversaw this country's foray into imperialism in that land, oversaw a whole lot of wrongful life-taking; and who as head of the CIA has overseen who knows how much murderous mischief, and it's his sexual misconduct that we're clucking our tongues about around the water cooler!
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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11/13/2012 1:44:41 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Oh yeah, as for the criticism that I've demonstrated insensitivity or bad taste by doing an anti-military post on Veterans Day, well, it's called having a calendar and writing a topical piece.
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.
BlackVoid
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11/13/2012 2:33:15 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
@Ron-Paul, you didn't actually give a reason for why Charles is wrong, but I'm eager to hear it. We seem to share the opinion that the WoT is unjust, but you apparently think the troops should be respected. I'd like to think that, but I'm undecided.

The troops are choosing to join the military, likely with the understanding that there's a significant chance of them going to war. So if the war is unjust, it follows that the people voluntarily choosing to participate in it are also acting unjustly. Thats the general argument Charles is making.

He also says (basically) that by glorifying the military, we cause more people to want to join it, leading to more deaths because they're going to war.

@Charles, we had the draft during Vietnam, thats what Royal's talking about.
darkkermit
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11/13/2012 3:01:52 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/13/2012 2:33:15 AM, BlackVoid wrote:
@Ron-Paul, you didn't actually give a reason for why Charles is wrong, but I'm eager to hear it. We seem to share the opinion that the WoT is unjust, but you apparently think the troops should be respected. I'd like to think that, but I'm undecided.

The troops are choosing to join the military, likely with the understanding that there's a significant chance of them going to war. So if the war is unjust, it follows that the people voluntarily choosing to participate in it are also acting unjustly. Thats the general argument Charles is making.

He also says (basically) that by glorifying the military, we cause more people to want to join it, leading to more deaths because they're going to war.

@Charles, we had the draft during Vietnam, thats what Royal's talking about.

As a taxpayer your funding the war, so how is that any different? People in the military might not care either way what the purpose of the war is, and could just be doing it for salary or job training reasons. Is that so wrong?
Open borders debate:
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Ragnar_Rahl
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11/13/2012 4:10:49 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/12/2012 3:26:20 PM, charleslb wrote:
Please don't misconstrue my anti-military & war stance as one of unbridled and uncompassionate censoriousness brought to bear upon the pawn-like personnel, the unwitting Gomer Pyles and Private Benjamins, who fill the armed forces' ranks and do the ruling elite's killing. Compassion is the word for all, for everyone from the nineteen-year-old naifs who wind up as boots on the ground of Afghanistan to the old knaves in the Fortune 500 in whose interests (the cynical truth be told) our wars our fought.
Pretty sure China and other countries were having pretty good luck getting Iraq's oil contracts, not so much Exxon and the like.
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.
royalpaladin
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11/13/2012 6:53:25 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/13/2012 12:59:34 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 11/12/2012 5:20:01 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
You do not have to support the wars, but I think it is disrespectful for you to attack the veterans on Veteran's Day.

No, it's a bit of tough love, a bit of tough love that will benefit them more than the perfunctory "respect" we're culturally programmed to show them.

The troops are not responsible for the wars; the troops are shipped to wars by the government. Attacking the troops will not reduce wars. Attacking the leaders who produce wars may reduce them.
Many of them are ordinary individuals

Certainly, but then ordinary individuals have the ethical intelligence and judgment to know right from wrong - both on a personal and a national defense policy scale - and to recognize an egregiously trumped up and unjust war when they're tasked to fight it.

Sure, but many joined for monetary reasons. See the discussion below.
who joined the military for monetary reasons

That G.I. Joe and Jane join up for self-interested reasons is hardly a defense, it hardly absolves them from their deontological duty to conscientiously object to and opt out of participating in an immoral capitalist aggression.

When someone is facing financial ruin or starvation and the military is his or her best/only option, I cannot fault him or her for joining the military.
or who were conscripted.

To my knowledge the draft hasn't been reinstated.

The Vietnam veterans are still alive, and you are advocating disrespecting them.
SuperRobotWars
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11/13/2012 12:15:06 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Welcome back my dear friend!
Minister Of Trolling
: At 12/6/2011 2:21:41 PM, badger wrote:
: ugly people should beat beautiful people ugly. simple! you'd be killing two birds with the one stone... women like violent men and you're making yourself more attractive, relatively. i met a blonde dude who was prettier than me not so long ago. he's not so pretty now! ha!
:
: ...and well, he wasn't really prettier than me. he just had nice hair.
charleslb
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11/13/2012 3:33:45 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/13/2012 2:33:15 AM, BlackVoid wrote:
@Ron-Paul, you didn't actually give a reason for why Charles is wrong, but I'm eager to hear it. We seem to share the opinion that the WoT is unjust, but you apparently think the troops should be respected. I'd like to think that, but I'm undecided.

The troops are choosing to join the military, likely with the understanding that there's a significant chance of them going to war. So if the war is unjust, it follows that the people voluntarily choosing to participate in it are also acting unjustly. Thats the general argument Charles is making.

He also says (basically) that by glorifying the military, we cause more people to want to join it, leading to more deaths because they're going to war.

@Charles, we had the draft during Vietnam, thats what Royal's talking about.

Thank you for a thoughtful reply.
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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11/13/2012 3:44:24 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/13/2012 3:01:52 AM, darkkermit wrote:

As a taxpayer your funding the war, so how is that any different?

Ah, the ole moral trivialist fallacy that everyone is culpable and therefore no one is culpable, not even the individuals perpetrating the hands-on killing.

People in the military might not care either way what the purpose of the war is,

Wow, depraved indifference as a defense! With apologists like you vets don't need critics like moi!

and could just be doing it for salary or job training reasons. Is that so wrong?

Yes, arguably, taking part in imperialism and military mass murder for your own selfish reasons is wrong.
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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11/13/2012 3:45:20 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/13/2012 12:15:06 PM, SuperRobotWars wrote:
Welcome back my dear friend!

Thank you.
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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11/13/2012 3:48:35 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/13/2012 4:10:49 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 11/12/2012 3:26:20 PM, charleslb wrote:
Please don't misconstrue my anti-military & war stance as one of unbridled and uncompassionate censoriousness brought to bear upon the pawn-like personnel, the unwitting Gomer Pyles and Private Benjamins, who fill the armed forces' ranks and do the ruling elite's killing. Compassion is the word for all, for everyone from the nineteen-year-old naifs who wind up as boots on the ground of Afghanistan to the old knaves in the Fortune 500 in whose interests (the cynical truth be told) our wars our fought.
Pretty sure China and other countries were having pretty good luck getting Iraq's oil contracts, not so much Exxon and the like.

Hm, do you actually doubt the mercenary ulterior motives behind recent U.S. militarism?
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.