The Failed Logic of Supporting the Troops

In the United States, a growing number of leftists are voicing their opposition to the Israeli occupation. They condemn the demolition of homes, the jailing of Palestinians without charge, and the confiscation of Palestinian land for settlements. They don’t support the Israeli troops or their mission, nor do they give a free pass to those who are just “doing what they are told.”

Nonetheless, many of these same individuals support the US troops in Iraq. Dangerously, most Americans put forth the notion that the troops’ intrinsic heroism provides them with the impunity to destroy any bogeymen who stand in their way, cultivating a code of silence that strongly discourages dissent. It is under this premise that we support our “brave” and “noble” soldiers: we know their stories well, they miss their families, they are “just like us,” and we should respect their service.

While one may comprehend the mindset of the troops, this understanding does not validate support for them. If the invasion of Iraq, the mission, and the occupation as stated policy are all wrong, then support for the armed forces carrying out the mission must also be wrong.

US soldiers are not a monolith and nearly everyone would argue that the majority of the troops are “good people.” Yet, our emotional inclinations and the societal norm that tells us troops are good like bumper sticker slogans shouldn’t serve as justification for supporting them and, by extension, the mission they are carrying out. We are led to believe that a soldier can either serve out the rest of his tour or be branded a disgrace and imprisoned for becoming a conscientious objector. In reality the choice is much starker: a soldier can refuse to serve or contribute to the death of a million Iraqis.
When people invoke the hardships our troops face, I think of the dead Iraqi mother, the splattered torsos painting the pavement, and the .50 caliber bullets that have hollowed out the bodies of Iraqi children. Each American has a distinct face and a tale that chokes us up, but our government and media have systematically dehumanized another people, whittling their presence in the world down to a nuisance that drains our budget, as though Iraq is a welfare state that strips our society of health care, education, and gas for cross country vacations.

Iraq is not Lehman Brothers pillaging our economy. Yet, even many self-described progressives deride the Iraqi people for their $79 billion surplus but make no mention of the fact that they lack proper access to electricity; Baghdad is still one of the most dangerous city in the world, and stability is nowhere in sight. Furthermore, a growing number among the mainstream left discuss Iraq in terms of “our” interests, criticizing the so-called ineptness of Iraqis and their unwillingness to embrace democracy (democracy that was never truly offered), all while five million have been made refugees, Baghdad has been cleansed of Sunnis, and each child, father, and mother live with horror stories we wouldn’t wish upon our worst enemies. This is the result and reality of US occupation.

The assertion that troops are “just following orders” and that it is impossible to refuse once enlisted rings hollow. The US has not implemented a draft; on the contrary, each soldier chooses to fight in Iraq on behalf of the American government. This should not be applauded, nor should it be respected. Real courage would be abandoning this war—against orders, against the US administration—as a number of US soldiers have done (a phenomenon ignored by the mainstream media).

Staff Sergeant Camilo Mejia is a well known conscientious objector who served nine months in prison for refusing to return to Iraq. In a 2005 article on AlterNet, Mejia wrote:

I say without any pride that I did my job as a soldier. I commanded an infantry squad in combat and we never failed to accomplish our mission. But those who called me a coward, without knowing it, are also right. I was a coward not for leaving the war, but for having been a part of it in the first place. Refusing and resisting this war was my moral duty, a moral duty that called me to take a principled action. I failed to fulfill my moral duty as a human being and instead I chose to fulfill my duty as a soldier.

Perhaps most importantly, many people fail to make the connection that supporting the troops enables the war and presents people who are against the occupation with a false reality: the ability to support the troops while rejecting the mission. Standing in solidarity with the troops facilitates funding for the occupation; it redresses the “intrinsic nobility” of the soldier, which further weakens congressmen who rhetorically reject the war, but support it through their votes. Occupation is dirty, and so too are the people who employ it. Following orders should not replace humanitarian law, and the excuse shouldn’t serve to satisfy our consciences.

We are asked to support US troops when logic is absent. We look at the troops as victims who are forced to do things they would not otherwise do; we give them immunity and their crimes become unseen collateral damage. Yet, Iraqis are not monsters; they are the victims that face the gun’s barrel. We should only support the troops as much as we support this war. Anything less supports the victimizer and not the victim.

  • Further articles on the illogic of blindly supporting troops, read:

    American Violence in Iraq: Necrophilia or Savagery?” Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, & Part 5 by Kim Petersen and B.J. Sabri

    and “DON’T Support Our Troops (Inform Them)” by Mickey Z.

  • Remi Kanazi is the editor of Poets For Palestine. He will be touring the US and Canada this fall on the Poets For Palestine tour.He can be contacted at Remroum@gmail.com. Read other articles by Remi, or visit Remi's website.

    42 comments on this article so far ...

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    1. HR said on December 15th, 2008 at 11:11am #

      The best article I’ve seen here in a while. Our “support the troops” mania (religion) has confounded me since the Vietnam War days. We USans must be the most conditioned bunch of meanspirited imbeciles on the planet. I do NOT feel that the military serves me at all. It exists only to enforce the goals of a government that has not represented me in my lifetime. Vets, don’t look to me to buy you a drink or thank you for your “service”. If that’s what you’re looking for, knock on the doors of the wealthy who have used you. Look to them for your benefits, too. The rest of us are trying to find enough to feed and house ourselves after half of our tax dollars go to supporting the bloated military system that you joined.

    2. rosemarie jackowski said on December 15th, 2008 at 12:08pm #

      Good article. To be opposed to war and pro-peace means that you must oppose ALL parts of the war machine. This includes those who are employed in the manufacture, transport, financing, and use of weapons of war.

    3. bozh said on December 15th, 2008 at 2:20pm #

      even tho amers r not, in my evaluating, exceptional, they r s’mwhat or much more illconditioned than any other folk on planet.
      leaders (clero-patrician ‘elite’ ) in other lands/empires had been busy fighting socialism\communism and one another for millennia to start mass condtioning of their respectful pops.
      meanwhile, little by little and always attacking weaklings, US grew and grew.
      most US wars, incursions, invasions were out of site and well sanitized.
      and 300yrs of unprecendented conditioning of domestics worked to such an extent that even in last (s)election 98% of them voted for the same cons. thnx

    4. RG the LG said on December 15th, 2008 at 3:24pm #

      Give ‘em hell Rosemarie!

      Very well said.

      As a sometime victim of the ‘war’ machine, it has always amused me that those who oppose war could in the same breath say they did not oppose the troops. However, I do think it is important to recognize that there are two types of warriors … those who do what they do because they believe in it, and those who do what they are told and are appalled by it.

      I make no excuse for either group … to do what one is told, especially when one knows better should be anathema in a moral society. A war society is never moral.

      RG the LG

    5. Hue Longer said on December 15th, 2008 at 4:38pm #

      People hate to feel they are cowards and when ordered, goaded or otherwise doing something out of fear, they tend to quickly adopt it as their own brave decision if there is a large enough support group calling them heroes for doing it.

      Go to a ball game and look at the people standing slowly for the anthem and watch it play out

    6. HR said on December 15th, 2008 at 4:43pm #

      And, watch the response of the crowd to anyone who fails to stand … or who fails to join in the pledge of allegiance at the opening of local government meetings.

    7. AaronG said on December 15th, 2008 at 8:19pm #

      ”Real courage would be abandoning this war—against orders, against the US administration—as a number of US soldiers have done (a phenomenon ignored by the mainstream media).”

      This is all that needs to be said. Great article. Our ”leaders” bear much of the responsibility of war, as they should, but we the people keep supplying them with a seemingly endless supply of sons and daughters like lemmings to kill and be killed. I can support farmers. I can support bakers. I can support truck drivers. But I cannot support killers/soldiers. Yes, they may be young, naiive and influenced by the military’s advertising campaigns, but they must know at least something of what they’re signing up for. And that something is that at some point of their ”career” they will have to be called upon to kill. Too much emphasis is put on ”he died for us”. Yes, but he also killed on behalf of us.

      Of course, it’s not just the soldiers; it’s their support team that also bear responsibility – the factory worker at Lockheed Martin, the accountant at Boeing, the research scientist in his/her lab devising the next generation of cluster bombs for the kids in Kabul. Where would the main show be without all these lemmings?

    8. Brian said on December 15th, 2008 at 10:23pm #

      Cogently argued. Support the troops really means support the war.

    9. bozh said on December 16th, 2008 at 8:13am #

      i am not sure that a soldier shld be supported more than a hobo. even if US soldiers fought invaders on their own turf, they do not deserve more accolade than anyone else.
      but a mercenary soldier fighting a weak people thousands of miles away earns at least a strong disaproval.
      and at most being accused of war crimes and standing trial.
      but nature is unforgiving; as s’mone had said, God may forgive u ur sins but ur nervous system might not.
      these soldiers may be throwing their lives away as noone knows what mother nature may do to them. thnx

    10. Stewart said on December 16th, 2008 at 9:53am #

      While the U.S. troops are indeed guilty of joining a gang of murderers led by a ruthless cabal, I see 2 issues that may be more strategic for peace activists to focus on. As many of you know this campaign to “support the troops” is a bait and switch campaign. When Americans who do support troops put one of the bumper stickers on their cars they unwittingly are supporting the military industrial complex and their obscene profits instead, while the troops are screwed in countless ways. To a large degree the troops that come home as vets with permanent physical and mental injuries were just fools that the war machine chews up and spits out. When we hear “support the troops” we may first want to point out, to those that buy it, that it is a lie and that if the money really went to supporting the troops instead of the war profiteers that the troops would all come home rich.

      Second, if we want to undermine the cabal that orchestrates these wars we would do well to follow one of the first rules that they use: to divide and conquer. By focusing on the exploitation of the troops and vets we can move some of those that now support the war mongers away from being such blind supporters of their predators and toward a position of opposing the predators. The predatory Powers That Be depend on a certain level support from the majority that they prey on to succeed. This may also be more important as these troops are brought home (in violation of that law with some Latin name) to attack those of us that oppose of the powers that be.

    11. Nicholas said on December 16th, 2008 at 11:32am #

      Hi, I’m one of the soldiers you’re speaking of in this entry. I would actually prefer people to tell me I’m a warmonger and wrong, rather than pretend to say we support the troops only to follow up with an anti-Western, pro-Islamist rant. I’ve heard it before, and it’s very tiring.

      I’m sure the people at Green Peace would rather people be up front and honest with them too. Yes I’m an activist. I believe in securing American and Western interests against enemies who want to destroy us, or undermine our way of life. If you think we’re scum or deluded, come out and say it.

    12. Stewart said on December 16th, 2008 at 12:19pm #

      Nicloas,

      I wouldn’t call you “scum”, but I do indeed think you have been deluded into believing that fighting in the U.S. military actually serves the interests of your fellow average American citizen.

      When you say that you believe in securing “American and Western interests” my question is whose interests are really being served? Are they the interests of the average citizen in America and the West or are they actually the interests of the multinational corporations set up solely to make money with no regard to whether they benefit or harm most citizens of the countries in which they operate.

      While we may not agree whether your fighting serves to make us safer or serves to make more people hate us, I expect we would agree that the Iraq war is making Halliburton, Bechtel and Blackwater fabulously rich, while American vets of this war are being treated like crap.

      Imagine the U.S. had a dictator that brutalized countless people and jailed countless people on dubious charges. How would you feel if the Afghan or Iraqi army came in to “save us” from that dictator while killing countless tens or hundreds of thousands of Americans in the process and torturing those of us that they deemed to be “terrorists” or “insurgents”. These armies quickly subdued the U.S. army, declared victory then continued fighting, acting like they would stay for ever. Would you thank the Iraqi and Afghan armies for saving us or would you want to fight them and get them out of your country?

    13. Danny Ray said on December 16th, 2008 at 2:04pm #

      Nicholas, sorry son you are pissing up a rope talking to these people. I read this every day and when I have ventured an opinion it is amazing how wrong I am. there are some here who are fair and will give some thought to what you say, Hue longer is one and there a few others but for the most part. you can’t believe what these people think. I read one yeaterday that said that we were dropping cluster bombs on Kabul. another said that we used tactical nukes to capture the Stan. I am assigned to a school here at Eglin AFB and we read this for the laughs. some of the better ones we post on the board.

      Anyway they do think we are scum and or deluded or to stupid to go to college.

      No one here seems to understand that if the Jihad wins some of these people wil be the first up againced the wall.

    14. Erroll said on December 16th, 2008 at 2:17pm #

      Nicholas

      As a Vietnam veteran, not only would I say that you are deluded but so does former Marine Dan Felushko, who is quoted in the extremely relevant book Desertion and the American Soldier: 1776-2006 by Robert Fantina, that the reason that he deserted from his unit was because “I didn’t want ‘Died deluded in Iraq’ over my gravestone. ” Felushko went on to point out that “I didn’t see a connection between the attack on America and Saddam Hussein. If I died or killed somebody in Iraq, that would have been wrong. It is my right to choose between what I think is right and wrong.”

      I strongly suggest that you may wish to read David Cortright’s classic work Soldiers in Revolt which chronicled the GI movement that took place during the Vietnam conflict at military bases both at home and abroad those many years ago so that you might perhaps obtain a glimmer of understanding of why those soldiers and sailors and marines and airmen spoke out against that most unnecessary war. You could also rent or buy the powerful documentary Sir! No Sir! which takes some of its information from Cortright’s book. In that film, one would hear former Green Beret Donald Duncan observe that:

      “The problem I had was realizing that what i was doing was not good. I was doing it right, but I wasn’t doing right.”

      One would also hear David Cline, an American soldier who was severely wounded in Vietnam, say in the film that:

      “You find out that it’s all lies, they are just lying to the American people. And your silence just means that you are a part of keeping that lie going. I couldn’t stop; I couldn’t be silent. I felt I had a responsibility to my friends, and to the country in general. And to advocate for the Vietnamese [who were fighting for their country].”

      The parallels of Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq are unmistakable because in all those instances, the American people and those in the military [such as myself, Donald Duncan, Dave Cline and those almost 60,000 poor bastards who died in Vietnam] were lied to by their government, in the same way that you have been lied to by your government. It is instructive to note the words of David Zeiger, the director of Sir! No Sir!, who said in an interview that the soldiers “are just as capable as anyone of knowing right from wrong.”

      Those who participated in the GI rebellion back then and those who participate now are the true heroes of this country because they recognize that there is no glory or honor in killing people who never threatened anyone in these United States. I submit that it much more courageous to say no to orders that one is given while being scorned by one’s peers than it is to blindly go along with those illegal orders that one receives from one’s commanding officer.

    15. Hue Longer said on December 16th, 2008 at 3:00pm #

      Danny Ray,

      Thanks for the words…have you looked up Mosedek Iran 1953?

      Nicholas,

      I agree you shouldn’t lay down your gun…there are some bad assed fighters who like you recognized the enemy in unpopular wars and continued to fight to the best of their ability with honor and bravery. Check Captain David Fagen and Captain John Riley.

    16. bozh said on December 16th, 2008 at 3:20pm #

      danny ray,
      US has not to date produced a shred of evidence that a single iraqi had hurt a single amer in any fashion whatsoever.
      true, saddam, like so many heads of empires, have commited crimes against citizen of own evil empire.
      and an evil empire is mainatained by violence.
      suharto had headed one evil empire and had commited more crimes than saddam.
      china too is an evil empire; it’s maintained by terror also. so is india, pakistan, afgh’n, turkey, israel.
      but US had not attacked any of these evil empires; it attacks only the evil empires it doesn’t like.
      now, what i said thus far is factual. US, self had expanded by warfare;ie, by evil means.
      recall, that US had in ’45 perped one the worst crimes against mostly civilians ever perped merely to expand; ie, establish perm’t bases in japan.
      but u seem not evento notice any of this. to u, US is exceptional; having an apriori right to commit most egregious crimes.
      and then u complain how we ignore u or r unfair to u, etcetc. thnx

    17. Shabnam said on December 16th, 2008 at 4:03pm #

      For those who are interested in history and are curious about the root causes of the Middle East please’s anger, please consult the following links which gives information about a coup staged by CIA/MI6 against Dr. Mohammad Mossadeq, the prime minster of Iran, in 1953.

      http://www.iranian.com/History/2005/January/Kinzer/index.html
      http://www.nytimes.com/library/world/mideast/041600iran-cia-index.html
      http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB126/index.htm

    18. Deadbeat said on December 16th, 2008 at 4:05pm #

      I agree on the premise of the article especially faulting the Left for embracing the “Support the troops” mantra. However we must be mindful that their is an economic draft and in this recessionary/depressionary environment of unemployment and limited opportunities it is going to be fertile ground for recruitment. I know lots of young people who has chosen the military for economic reasons it seem elitist to condemn them when they had no other economic prospects. It would be easier to condemn such behavior when there was a draft but even during the Vietnam War, upper middle class was able to avoid service by going to college.

      I do agree that the Left should have never bought into the “Support the Troops” canard but I think that was a reaction to the myth of the returning troops being berated by anti-war protesters. I know that Michael Albert of Z-Magazine wrote a ridiculous piece called “Support the Troop” around the start of the Iraq War.

      Essentially the author of the article is correct and the Left really put itself in an awful rhetorical position.

    19. Max Shields said on December 16th, 2008 at 5:04pm #

      DB, I pretty much agree with your statements (aside for the harping on the “left”). The overboardness of “supporting” the troops has made a mockery out of any notion of the terror imposed on the people who have these “troops” in their midst.

      This does not mean that each and every soldier is responsible for what is going on. That there persists a sense of “duty” to the “flag” or to some notion of “protecting” the homeland is true of all nation-state military forces. Warriors are sent to fight. They do so under the guise of the authoritarian premise of the nation-state and a longing to belong to something more important – in many cases – than the wretchedness that they find around them before enlisting. Some believe. There will always be some who believe.

      But in the end, the military machine and the political policies which command the forces are the primary target we should contend with.

      The troops should NOT be singled out one way or the other. They are but the limbs and bodies that execute the policy.

    20. HR said on December 16th, 2008 at 5:27pm #

      We need to end the nonsense of calling military personnel “warriors”, a term which is intended to appeal to emotions, to senses of “gallantry” and “heroism”, to glorify war and those who fight them. The military is soldiers, sailors, Airmen, Marines, period. Taxpayer-funded (misleading) military recruitment ads in the media should be banned. This country needs to reduce military spending to the point that it is a defensive force only. If this country was ever attacked by another nation, a draft would provide all the staffing needed, as it did in past times. The military is not protecting us. It simply is a tool for enforcement of policies of the wealthy and powerful. We’re NOT all in this together.

    21. Max Shields said on December 16th, 2008 at 5:38pm #

      HR,

      Every definition of the word “warrior” (from war) simply states that this is a person experienced in war. I really don’t see the “glory” in that. But if someone thinks war is a glorious thing, than I suppose being experienced in it, i.e., being a warrior could be considered just that.

      Max (:

    22. bozh said on December 16th, 2008 at 5:53pm #

      when one or mns defend their interests (or must have it their way), aren’t they like mafia; their members defend having it their way by killings/maimning.
      so how’s a gang of mns in US differ from mafia? thnx

    23. Hue Longer said on December 16th, 2008 at 5:59pm #

      lol, thanks Shabnam,

      I spelled his name incorrectly three times now…maybe that’s why Danny hasn’t googled him up?

      I suggested a Google search over providing a link, because the natural reaction for the entrenched is to go ad hominem and attack the source….with a Google, you won’t find one apologist capable of explaining away that coup.

    24. Danny Ray said on December 16th, 2008 at 6:08pm #

      Hue, I have been to the web site and I got the book on the 53 coup Gasiorowski and Byrne I will start it this weekend. looks like a good read.

      Bozh,
      “but US had not attacked any of these evil empires; it attacks only the evil empires it doesn’t like. ”
      Of course we attack empires we don’t like, What kind of SOB’s do you think we are? Only a real crap head would attack his friends. But it is a good thought, Think of the surprise value. We may have to add that to our book of tricks. I like the way you think!! We will make you a real Cripto Zionionaofashist before you know it.

    25. Stewart said on December 16th, 2008 at 6:23pm #

      It is not the dictionary definition of “warrior” that glorifies the term, it is the context in which it has been used over countless centuries. Though many of us on this list wouldn’t think highly of someone referred to as a “warrior”, I agree with HR that, in our culture, the term “warrior” has tended to glorify people in a profession substantially defined by killing people.

    26. HR said on December 16th, 2008 at 6:25pm #

      Max Shields, then why didn’t we call them warriors up until the last few years? Never heard it once during the Vietnam years. Never heard it used to describe WWI and II military staff. It’s strictly a PR play that I first heard in the sickening commercials put out by the war department. The term was used only to glorify military service, to appeal to the emotions (and meanheartedness) of a conditioned population, particularly the young. It has little to do with dictionary definitions.

    27. Max Shields said on December 16th, 2008 at 6:45pm #

      Since I didn’t use the word in the context you suggest Stewart, I think this is much ado about nothing.

      “Banning” or whatever was suggested, the use of the word warrior because some right-wingers have used in some “glorified” fashion will lead one to think, every time some right-winger decides to use a word we all have to “ban” its use.

      Sorry, unless someone can provide some “context” this is just waaaaaay off topic.

    28. HR said on December 16th, 2008 at 6:59pm #

      Actually, Max, it’s quite on topic. Your response demonstrates just how conditioned this population has become to glorification of the military over the last 30 years. Since the Vietnam debacle, and its concomitant near-revolt within the military, leaders on both “left” and right have been outdoing each other to condition public respect and unquestioning adulation for a huge, unnecessary peacetime military, which they need for their objective of world domination. Use of the term warrior to describe members of the military is just part of that conditioning, along with going to war at every opportunity … as long as the “enemy” is unable to fight back. The conditioning clearly has been successful.

    29. Danny Ray said on December 16th, 2008 at 7:33pm #

      Hue,
      I have looked at your Google search but I must say that Shabnam’s sites were much more detailed. I have read them all but in all honesty I will say that before I form an opinion I need to do some research. I have gotten several books and will get back to you.

      HR
      You are right in your statement. The military started describing each other as warriors during the 90’s. During the 80’s many of the old traditions on the Army were brought back (Spurs and Stetsons for the Cav, along with yellow Garters for the wives) during the 90’s the army was reduced from 27 divisions to 9. We were now looking at five to one odds in most cases. To win a war like that you have to do something to build a sense of exceptionlism. Soldiers have always needed that. You do not win wars by being average. This is one reason that made the movie The 300 such a hit with the military. The thought that 300 almost supermen saved Europe from the hoards from the east. And whether you think we are dumb, deluded, or just plain stupid many of the army and marines today feel that we are doing just that.

      Many feel that Honor Loyalty Duty Sacrifice and Strength are what has made America what it is now and most of the military love this country deeply and would die before they saw it reduced to just another place.

    30. Max Shields said on December 16th, 2008 at 7:35pm #

      HR

      Read what I said in my post. I used the word warrior. No where did I glorify anything.

      Therefore it is irrelevant from my perspective. And someday it will be for you when this nonsense will seem pretty f&kn meaningless.

    31. HR said on December 16th, 2008 at 7:39pm #

      I read your post, and I responded to it. Don’t presume to define what will be relevant for me. The best conditioning is that which has its effect without the conditioned being aware of it.

    32. Max Shields said on December 16th, 2008 at 8:06pm #

      Than you didn’t understand what I wrote.

      My point is that in the end…you do believe there is an end…this little talk about the use of the word warrior isn’t going to matter a rat’s ass.

      This country has been killing since its inception. So, you keep worrying about what we call the killers. I’ll just stick to the facts.

    33. HR said on December 16th, 2008 at 8:07pm #

      Danny Ray, when was the last time the U.S. military went to battle with the odds 5 to 1 against it? Not in my 58 years. The U.S. has not been the underdog in a war since 1812, irrespective of the myth of how we were unprepared for WWII (a million and a half in uniform by the time of the Pearl Harbor bombing). The U.S. spends more on its annual military budget than almost all other other nations combined, and has done so for years.

      Just who is it that will reduce this country to, “Just another place?” Most people around the world would die to defend their country from invasion … as Iraqis and Afghanis do on a daily basis. And most around the world, particularly those who have actually suffered the effects of brutal wars within their borders, want nothing more to do with it.

      As far as I can see, it’s more greed and selfishness that has made this country what it is today than what you suggest. There are all kinds of conditioning in this world.

    34. HR said on December 16th, 2008 at 8:22pm #

      Because if you glamorize the killers by calling them “cool” names, more ignorant youngsters get suckered in to do the killing. In the “end”, as you put it, I want that to stop. Stopping the ads would be a major step in that direction. An even bigger one would be to cut the military budget by 90 percent. A defensive force, particularly one backed by thousands of nukes, is all this country needs to survive … though world domination would become history.

    35. HR said on December 16th, 2008 at 8:23pm #

      Max, because if you glamorize the killers, as you call them, by calling them “cool” names, showing them doing “cool” things, like driving tanks, more ignorant youngsters get suckered in to do the killing. In the “end”, as you put it, I want that to stop. Stopping the ads would be a major step in that direction. An even bigger one would be to cut the military budget by 90 percent. A defensive force, particularly one backed by thousands of nukes, is all this country needs to survive … though world domination would become history.

    36. Michael Hureaux said on December 16th, 2008 at 8:25pm #

      I’m not supporting the war, and the only way to support the troops is not to send them into an imperial war to begin with.

    37. Max Shields said on December 16th, 2008 at 8:26pm #

      Actually, HR, when I wrote the word “warrior” I was think about a book
      by Barbara Ehrenreich “Blood Rites, Origins and History of the Passions of War”. In that book she describes the rituals leading to war. These rituals, she claims, have been with us since warring began, and she regularly refers to the combatants, those who are put through the ritual of war making and then go out and kill, as warriors.

      You may be interested in reading it. I don’t think she was under any brainwashing at the time she did her research. Seemed very insightful to me…and so it seemed rather useful to use the word warrior above.

      Here if you care to read the ebook version:
      http://books.google.com/books?id=C2GM_xXM3pYC&pg=PA153&lpg=PA153&dq=Barbara+Ehrenreich+warrior&source=bl&ots=9yg7ItNQvJ&sig=x4m7ZKnPsRTX7Xg7u4E2prCzcWw&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=3&ct=result#PPP1,M1

    38. Danny Ray said on December 16th, 2008 at 8:29pm #

      HR, all I can say to you is, Si vis pacem, para bellum

    39. Danny Ray said on December 16th, 2008 at 8:32pm #

      And as far as who will reduce America to just another place, My guess is that you will

    40. HR said on December 16th, 2008 at 8:57pm #

      Danny Ray, I repeat, there are all kinds of conditioning. When a person finally wakes up to that fact, they finally begin to see the world as it is. For some, it is the awareness that they have been a walking, talking recruitment ad.

    41. Hue Longer said on December 16th, 2008 at 11:53pm #

      Danny,

      Sorry I insinuated that you may go ad hominem with Shabnam’s link…I hope you enjoy the research from the link he provided (although “enjoy” isn’t the word I’d describe what I went through with similar catalysts– and what I assume you’ll too hopefully go through—with me, I’d have called it anger).

      Though I addressed it to someone else, you’d get a good feel for the US soldiers who DID go against all odds if you check out Fagen and Riley. They made a dressed down movie about Riley, but they will NEVER touch Fagen— That would beat 300, though the ending would be much sadder

    42. Mg said on December 31st, 2008 at 7:07am #

      I make no attempt to defend the morality of my veteran status. I’m just willing to suspend my ethics for enough pay and benefits.

      What I do contest, however, is how you are able to criticize the contribution DoD employees to the war effort, 90% of which have very minor supporting roles in the overall war, yet are able to absolve yourself of all guilt as a source of funding for the war. Presumably you pay taxes. If you expect DoD personnel to willingly become criminals in order to avoid contributing, then you can expect no less from tax-paying civilians.

      In fact, I suspect my role in all this is actually detrimental to the war. With my salary/benefits, cost of school/training, and low work production, I believe I actually place a damper on the DoD’s ability to wage war, whereas the contribution of the taxpayer to the war effort is always positive.