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The Nexus of a Crisis, and The Origin of Storms
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings,

This was originally going to be posted in a different thread, but I felt like it was too OT there, so here it is. Please feel free to comment, disagree, agree, flame, praise, etc to your hearts content. I would love to know how other people view these situations. Also, Unicron, I dont mean this to be an attack on your personal beliefs (if they are contrary), I just wanted to state how I see things. No offense is intended.



Essentially, I am not in any form or concept a "patriot". I do not believe in patriotism, as I believe it to be a blind view of a highly complicated situation. My government is more than capable of making horrible mistakes, and I even believe that if they feel they can "get away" with it, they will make these mistakes (ie decsions NOT endorsed by the public) on purpose. Thus I offer no special consideration when looking at the actions of any political faction, ruling or not, and judge them harshly using a strict set of expectations. They are, afterall, making choices which affect not millions, but billions of other peoples lives.

That said, I have the utmost respect for those soldiers that HAVE died for our freedom. There is a distinct disconnect here, because it is most definetly not my belief that every soldier or warrior is worthy of praise. Not by a long shot. For those who geniuinely believed in say the liberation of the American colonies from the ruling factions in europe, and those who believed in it so strongly that they were willing to die and kill other men for that liberty, I do have genuine respect and admiration. I don't have respect for the men and women of today's army, flat out. My reasons for this are multitude. First, most of America's soldiers did not actually make the choice to go to Iraq. They are just following orders, "just doing thier job" so to speak (a sickening excuse used by all manner of people for a million reasons to shirk responsibility, but thats another topic entirely). Secondly, they dont take that responsibility for thier individual actions, for which I believe they should each and every one be held accountable for. The idea that soldiers can be pardoned for crimes they comitted because they were just "following orders" is ludicrus. I have no respect for drones. Thirdly, and this point is certainly debatable, I do not believe we went to Iraq and killed 30,000 Iraqis to "free" thier country or find the mythical weapons of mass destruction. We went there because oil baron money calls the shots for our government, and because GWB Jr. had a hard-on for showing up his daddy.

Last, to wrap this up, I want to state what I believe to be a misconception regarding the price of freedom. In my mind there is no question that America's freedom was won with blood and sweat, but has also been slowly leeched away by dusty, greedy politicians who are thoroughly disconnected from the average americans life, and therfor thier needs and wants. The point is that winning freedom is not a price paid once by particularly valiant men, so that freedom will wring forever through future ages. It is a price which has to be paid again and again. It wont be paid by blowing the hell out of third world countries for thier oil, either. When the time comes, when that last freedom is taken from us by the very people we elected (or not) and we have no recourse left, it will paid right here on American soil with American blood. The only possible aversion to this future that I see is the continuing advent of technology which makes possible the absolute control and domination of the populace at large by a select elitist few. Almost makes a Civil War sound like a better outcome. I would really like to take an optimistic point of view and believe that humans will continue to evolve to the point that such controls as government and police will not be a necessary evil, but realistically I dont see that ever happening. As long as government is needed, as long as some people need someone to tell them what and what not to do, there will always be positions of power filled with humans who will be blinded and corrupted by that power.

I think it is also worth mentioning that one of primary reasons for the American revolution was the taxes that were being paid back to England. As americans, after all is said and done with sales, income, property, and automobile taxes, we pay in about 50% of our income to the government. The founders of our country would have strung up every member of the legislative and executive branches by thier entrails before they would have paid that. I think the combined influences of television, and the fact that most people never want to cross that hard line to becoming a person who is capable of killing another person, have allowed a gradual change to the point where we as a people are far more than overtaxed. We are thoroughly dominated, restricted, used, and controlled by the very same sorts of people we preached against and were willing to kill or die trying some 230 years ago. The sad thing is as Americans we speak out and even violently enforce the concepts of democracy and capitolism world-wide as though they are the end-all of human social structure evolution. All this while, ever so slowly, our own system has slowly corrupted right in front of our eyes, while we are being pacified by SUVs, Doritos, and sitcoms.

Ok, now I am starting to sound bitter, so I am going to end this here. Take or leave what you will.

Sincerely,
TastEPlasma
 

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Transcended
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I don't think I have much to say... except qoute from Wing Commander... "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance".

It seems that by losing vigilance, we've lost freedom.
 

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I don't agree with everything you said but I do agree with what you said about this war. Bush could have handled a lot better if his true intentions were to build a better government for Iraq and to rid the world of terrorism. He could have gotten rid of Saddam without killing 30,000 Iraqis and 2,000 Americans. I think he just knew that Americans wanted revenge for 9-11, so he started this war to gain popularity and chose Iraq in particular because of the oil. There are other countries that are home to a lot more terrorist orginizations than Iraq.
 

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I am no US resident, so I cannot judge the way you can. I do not intend to bash anything american, nor would I like to take apart your rant to analyze and emphasize on things said (heating perhaps a touchy debate). What I'd do like though, is to say that I'm glad everytime I realize there are people in the US that feel somewhat like you do, especially on patriotism, TastEPlasma.
 

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BCM124 said:
Erm.. I'm sorry, I think you meant to say Thomas Jefferson Quote.
Sorry... I heard it from Wing Commander 4. I'm not American.

But, yes I agree... Bush mishandled the war. He really has to patch things up soon. The elections are a good step, but I'm not sure what might happen once the U.S. leaves (if ever).
 

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Coffee Demon
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TastEPlasma said:
Greetings,

That said, I have the utmost respect for those soldiers that HAVE died for our freedom. There is a distinct disconnect here, because it is most definetly not my belief that every soldier or warrior is worthy of praise. Not by a long shot. For those who geniuinely believed in say the liberation of the American colonies from the ruling factions in europe, and those who believed in it so strongly that they were willing to die and kill other men for that liberty, I do have genuine respect and admiration. I don't have respect for the men and women of today's army, flat out. My reasons for this are multitude. First, most of America's soldiers did not actually make the choice to go to Iraq. They are just following orders, "just doing thier job" so to speak (a sickening excuse used by all manner of people for a million reasons to shirk responsibility, but thats another topic entirely). Secondly, they dont take that responsibility for thier individual actions, for which I believe they should each and every one be held accountable for. The idea that soldiers can be pardoned for crimes they comitted because they were just "following orders" is ludicrus. I have no respect for drones. Thirdly, and this point is certainly debatable, I do not believe we went to Iraq and killed 30,000 Iraqis to "free" thier country or find the mythical weapons of mass destruction. We went there because oil baron money calls the shots for our government, and because GWB Jr. had a hard-on for showing up his daddy.
We find your view of American soldiers to be quite disturbing. We suppose that it is to be expected of a civilian who has never seen combat, and takes references from a media outlet that always portrays us in a negative light. Don't take it negatively TastE...
Now your views of corrupt government and dirty politians will get no argument from us. The war may have very well been pointless, but the fact remains that we have soldiers away from home...Away from there families during a holiday season...soldiers trying to maintain stability in an unstable country. Sure you could argue that it wouldn't have been that way if we never entered Iraq. Sounds logical...but would you be willing to bet your life on it? Do you know enough about the Iraqi tribes and the Sadaam regime to say that all would have been OK if we left them alone? Do you possess the intel to take that gamble? None of us do...So they send in the soldiers required to "just do thier job". Would you prefer they run off to Canada? Shirk their responsability, and be tried for dissention later? Being a soldier is not like working a part time job that you can quit.

Now we are not saying that all soldiers are deserving of respect. Like human kind as a whole we have our share of idiots, but you cannot lump in the few with the majority and place a label on all. It is interesting to us how the focus is on crimes commited by troops. You never here about the true heros and soldiers. Like Marine Corporal Jason Dunham. All you ever hear on the news is an arguable crime a soldier commited or how many troops were killed in Iraq.

No respect for soldiers? As a soldier we take it you have no respect for us. Not surprising..its a thankless job. We just put our lives on the line with the hopes of protecting your freedoms. Regardless of whether or not we should have been in this Iraq war. Regardless of what stupid job gets assigned by corrupt polititians. We all sign that dotted line in the hopes that we can make a difference. So keep your respect and enjoy your SUVs, Doritos, and sitcoms.
 

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The Nexus of a Crisis, and The Origin of Storms
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965 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Greetings,

and well said Dark Watcher. You make some good points, and I will try to elucidate my position further based on your arguments.

Dark Watcher said:
We find your view of American soldiers to be quite disturbing. We suppose that it is to be expected of a civilian who has never seen combat, and takes references from a media outlet that always portrays us in a negative light. Don't take it negatively TastE....
You are correct in that I have never seen actual combat, and I would never try to claim otherwise. I do not have that expierence, nor have I ever killed a man. However, I can assure you that I am of the sort of mindset that pays no attention to the media idiots and thier mixed message of 'be a patriot, but hate soldiers'. I don't even own a television or radio. The reason for my current beliefs is one derived of logic based upon some particular moral qualms I have, which incidentally is why I would never have joined any armed service in the first place. I believe that each and every human being must take exact responsibility for thier own actions. No 'passing the buck', so to speak.

Dark Watcher said:
Now your views of corrupt government and dirty politians will get no argument from us. The war may have very well been pointless, but the fact remains that we have soldiers away from home...Away from there families during a holiday season...soldiers trying to maintain stability in an unstable country. Sure you could argue that it wouldn't have been that way if we never entered Iraq. Sounds logical...but would you be willing to bet your life on it? Do you know enough about the Iraqi tribes and the Sadaam regime to say that all would have been OK if we left them alone? Do you possess the intel to take that gamble? None of us do...So they send in the soldiers required to "just do thier job". Would you prefer they run off to Canada? Shirk their responsability, and be tried for dissention later? Being a soldier is not like working a part time job that you can quit.
I can agree that the situation is more complicated than the simple yes/no choices that have to be made in order to deal with said situation. I do not believe however that it is America's duty to free the world from whatever it percieves as 'tyranny'. If Iraq had went all to hell in a civil war, and those 30,000 Iraqis that have died so far had went that way, it would not be our responsibility. Instead, now it is our responsability, we have thousands of our own people dying for a cause the American people ... well, they did believe in it, but now they are seeing this administration for what it is. The only absolute duty America has is to itself. As for shirking responsibility and running away, I am sure you can tell I am against that. If a soldier really and truly signed up with the mindset that s/he could make a positive difference in the world, I can respect that. However, how many of those people do you suppose signed up during peace time for the steady job, benefits, and as a way to give direction to thier lives? How many of those people are in Iraq right now, killing for a cause they might not even believe in?

Dark Watcher said:
Now we are not saying that all soldiers are deserving of respect. Like human kind as a whole we have our share of idiots, but you cannot lump in the few with the majority and place a label on all. It is interesting to us how the focus is on crimes commited by troops. You never here about the true heros and soldiers. Like Marine Corporal Jason Dunham. All you ever hear on the news is an arguable crime a soldier commited or how many troops were killed in Iraq.
I can agree pretty much across the board on this one. Indeed, the government regulated media continues to portray thier mixed message, caught between extreme right wing pressure form the gov't and thier own extreme left wing views. Consequently, on reviewing what I wrote from a reasonable, logical stand point, I can conclude that my absolutist view was not entirely correct, and that qualifiers such as "most" or a "lot of" should have been used interspersed through out. I accept that some American soldiers genuinely believed they were doing the right thing, and I can respect that. However, the problem is I believe they weren't doing the right thing, and to some degree I have to condemn the soliders every bit as much as the commanding officers all the way up to the politicians. Responsibility should rest on all shoulders equally for those involved, regardless of personal convictions.

Dark Watcher said:
No respect for soldiers? As a soldier we take it you have no respect for us. Not surprising..its a thankless job. We just put our lives on the line with the hopes of protecting your freedoms. Regardless of whether or not we should have been in this Iraq war. Regardless of what stupid job gets assigned by corrupt polititians. We all sign that dotted line in the hopes that we can make a difference.
Well, I want to make one thing perfectly clear, I do have respect for you, as this entity named "Dark Watcher". Your arguments and views seem well thought out and logical to me, and I have a higher degree of general trust in what you might say as opposed to someone I dont know posting on these boards. Do I respect you as a soldier? I dont know you well enough to make a judgement on you personally. Now, the argument might be made that I don't know each and every American soldier personally, and that is valid. However, it doesnt invalidate my view point because generalization and categorization is the only way that human can deal with the multitude of information that comes to our brain in a lifetime. Point of fact, it would be litterally impossible for me to come to know every single person serving in the armed forces and thus make a judgement on each one individually. Also, and this is not necessarily directed at you Dark Watcher, I dont want to hear about the immorality of judging another human being. Each and every one of us does it all the time, every single time we even look at another person we are making rapid judgements followed by casual categorization. When we speak to people these judgements often undergo rapid change, as we realize our first impression might not have been accurate. Thats just what humans do. However, I digress.

Dark Watcher said:
So keep your respect and enjoy your SUVs, Doritos, and sitcoms.
Um, snap? ;) The fact of the matter is I cannot stand the boring, mindless sitcoms, and I think SUVs are poorly built POS for people with a personal image psychosis. I do like Doritos, however. :xomunch:

On a more serious note, and perhaps because I might have sounded shrill and ungrateful for what I do have, I want to make it clear that I am, in fact, very grateful to be able to live the sort of life I do. I am grateful for so many things that it would be pointless to try and list them, and I am not unaware that to many citizens of the world I live like a king (even though I am considered poor and lower class here). I just dont want to become so blinded by these material things that I fail to realize when the freedoms I value so much are being slowly undermined, and that the government who uses me as a resource generating machine is using those resources to thrash the **** out of third world countries without proper provocation or evidence.

Lastly, a rather personal question for you Dark Watcher. Since you are a soldier, I will ask you this directly. At what point, if any, do you make a choice that deviates from your orders because you so strongly believe from a moral or logical stand point that those orders are absolutely wrong to follow? If, for instance, America were to fall into civil war, I have to wonder would you be fighting along side the rebels (aka the dissenting citizens), or would you continue to follow orders and fight alongside the government in order to smash the rebels? Again, from the first question I stated, where if anywhere is the line that you will not cross regardless of previous allegiance? See, this is why I could never be in an armed service, because for me I have need for that line to be close and easily crossed. The ability to say "I was wrong" or "Im not gonna do this because I dont believe in it" is a freedom that I value so highly I would be willing to die or kill to defend it, and I genuinely mean that. That sort of independence is what makes life worth living to me.

Sincerely,
TastEPlasma
 

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Coffee Demon
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2,916 Posts
TastEPlasma said:
Greetings,


You are correct in that I have never seen actual combat, and I would never try to claim otherwise. I do not have that expierence, nor have I ever killed a man. However, I can assure you that I am of the sort of mindset that pays no attention to the media idiots and thier mixed message of 'be a patriot, but hate soldiers'. I don't even own a television or radio. The reason for my current beliefs is one derived of logic based upon some particular moral qualms I have, which incidentally is why I would never have joined any armed service in the first place. I believe that each and every human being must take exact responsibility for thier own actions. No 'passing the buck', so to speak.
No arguments there

TastEPlasma said:
I can agree that the situation is more complicated than the simple yes/no choices that have to be made in order to deal with said situation. I do not believe however that it is America's duty to free the world from whatever it percieves as 'tyranny'. If Iraq had went all to hell in a civil war, and those 30,000 Iraqis that have died so far had went that way, it would not be our responsibility. Instead, now it is our responsability, we have thousands of our own people dying for a cause the American people ... well, they did believe in it, but now they are seeing this administration for what it is. The only absolute duty America has is to itself. As for shirking responsibility and running away, I am sure you can tell I am against that. If a soldier really and truly signed up with the mindset that s/he could make a positive difference in the world, I can respect that. However, how many of those people do you suppose signed up during peace time for the steady job, benefits, and as a way to give direction to thier lives? How many of those people are in Iraq right now, killing for a cause they might not even believe in?
We agree with you as far as our government getting involved in other country politics, but the funny thing is that if we stopped we are frowned on anyways. Can't please all we suppose.
Now as far as folks enlisting during peacetime for stable employment. We knew you would say that. We will put it this way...Only a fool will believe that things will always be peaceful. You may enlist for work stability and benefits, but you know that putting your name on that sign up line means your life is at risk. This world has never seen "Peacetime", and even if you become complacent to the events that happen worldwide..there is also the risk to life during natural disasters. Put simply...any soldier who have been deployed to Iraq, and claim that they never expected to need to be slapped. Enlistments are usually up to 4 years active and 4 inactive...That means they enlisted maybe as early as 1998. There was no peacetime! If it was just a matter of work, benefits, and stability then more people would enlist..but they don't...so those that do know there are risks

TastEPlasma said:
I can agree pretty much across the board on this one. Indeed, the government regulated media continues to portray thier mixed message, caught between extreme right wing pressure form the gov't and thier own extreme left wing views. Consequently, on reviewing what I wrote from a reasonable, logical stand point, I can conclude that my absolutist view was not entirely correct, and that qualifiers such as "most" or a "lot of" should have been used interspersed through out. I accept that some American soldiers genuinely believed they were doing the right thing, and I can respect that. However, the problem is I believe they weren't doing the right thing, and to some degree I have to condemn the soliders every bit as much as the commanding officers all the way up to the politicians. Responsibility should rest on all shoulders equally for those involved, regardless of personal convictions.
Blame politicians...sure...Blame commanders...in some cases yes. Blame the soldier? Depends on what is viewed as crime. Hopefully if they took a life it was in defense of another. Now as far as firing on command..morality is a tough call. In war you follow orders or people die. Hesitate for a second and your dead. Knowing to disobey a direct order comes with experience...sadly these young soldiers lack that. Disobeying also comes with knowing you will be charged by court martial. damned if you do..damned if you don't. At best you try and trust the commands of your superiors. Your in an environment where even a child will try and kill you. It leaves you afraid of anything. Some lose it and should be tried for crimes (a minority). Your always in doubt so you learn to trust your seniors...this may be the drone effect you refer to. Its hard to explain..even harder to understand. As far as doing the right thing? We agree in that we should get our boys home and focus on the problems internally...BUT!...We were there, and have seen the plight of Iraq and its people..After seeing this it is hard to turn our backs and say "Not our problem"

TastEPlasma said:
Well, I want to make one thing perfectly clear, I do have respect for you, as this entity named "Dark Watcher". Your arguments and views seem well thought out and logical to me, and I have a higher degree of general trust in what you might say as opposed to someone I dont know posting on these boards. Do I respect you as a soldier? I dont know you well enough to make a judgement on you personally. Now, the argument might be made that I don't know each and every American soldier personally, and that is valid. However, it doesnt invalidate my view point because generalization and categorization is the only way that human can deal with the multitude of information that comes to our brain in a lifetime. Point of fact, it would be litterally impossible for me to come to know every single person serving in the armed forces and thus make a judgement on each one individually. Also, and this is not necessarily directed at you Dark Watcher, I dont want to hear about the immorality of judging another human being. Each and every one of us does it all the time, every single time we even look at another person we are making rapid judgements followed by casual categorization. When we speak to people these judgements often undergo rapid change, as we realize our first impression might not have been accurate. Thats just what humans do. However, I digress.
Thank you for your respect. We can only hope that you meet many more soldiers to somehow change casual categorizaton.

TastEPlasma said:
Um, snap? ;) The fact of the matter is I cannot stand the boring, mindless sitcoms, and I think SUVs are poorly built POS for people with a personal image psychosis. I do like Doritos, however. :xomunch:
No argumets there either..on a side note we miss the Dorito girl "Ally Landry"

TastEPlasma said:
Lastly, a rather personal question for you Dark Watcher. Since you are a soldier, I will ask you this directly. At what point, if any, do you make a choice that deviates from your orders because you so strongly believe from a moral or logical stand point that those orders are absolutely wrong to follow? If, for instance, America were to fall into civil war, I have to wonder would you be fighting along side the rebels (aka the dissenting citizens), or would you continue to follow orders and fight alongside the government in order to smash the rebels? Again, from the first question I stated, where if anywhere is the line that you will not cross regardless of previous allegiance? See, this is why I could never be in an armed service, because for me I have need for that line to be close and easily crossed. The ability to say "I was wrong" or "Im not gonna do this because I dont believe in it" is a freedom that I value so highly I would be willing to die or kill to defend it, and I genuinely mean that. That sort of independence is what makes life worth living to me.


Sincerely,
TastEPlasma
We will try our best to address your question...It is difficult to follow your line of thinking. The last civil war encompassed federal and state...so it depends on who the dissention is against and what is the cause.

bah..lets get to the meat of your question...If given a command that we may be not agree with:
We first tactifully try to encourage a better way
If that fails we try to see the good in intention (in the case of Iraq we generally wanted to help the people, and at the same time do what it takes to make sure our men stayed safe.
If we still are not in agreement with an order, we try and get with someone of higher command to make a better judgement call.
Still no way around the order? Depending how far it crosses our morals we will follow it..because thats what we do. We have a strong sense of duty so long as the order falls under the rules of engagement. If your order is to murder in cold blood, then there is a limit to our willingness to follow. We will be willing to be tried for disobeying a direct order if necessary. Keep in mind that we are a crusty sarge..Young soldiers may not find things as easy...

Now in your theoretical citizen dissention..We will follow orders, but may encourage your motives in spirit...Thus is the way of a soldier.

Don't worry TastE...we have had many Marines under our command, and have followed many good commanders. There are good soldiers out there...rather then weighing the amount of respect they should or should not be given...Lets instead wish them safety..and hopefully a return home:thumb:
 
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