"Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
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11-09-2012, 06:03 AM
RE: "Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
(11-09-2012 05:47 AM)TheDoctorPhil Wrote:  Thanks Jeff. I like your little H/big H thing.

Nach - I understand your position so I won't question the wording, I would however like to educate you from a my personal military mindset.

I have never once forfeited my moral autonomy. We do not have to follow immoral or illegal orders. In fact we are trained and instructed to disobey and report those who issue and follow such orders.

What country do you come from if I may ask.

I'm from Argentina, just so you can get an idea on how we see the military, the last military dictatorship ended in 1983 and this is the longest period of sustained democracy in our entire history, only 29 years Sad

I get that you are instructed to disobey and report illegal orders. But the problem I see is when an order isn't illegal but is immoral. We could argue about the morality of war and the military institution per se and that would be a whole new topic, but to make it simple, I'm a pacifist of sorts, so having to obey orders like "attack the enemy" is immoral in my eyes...

Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those hippies that march to end all wars and live in a warm and fussy utopia, I know that we live in a pretty much fucked up world and some times doing immoral things in order to survive is the only way, but that doesn't mean I'd say it's a good thing just because is necessary.

Soldiers deserve and get my respect, but not my admiration, and I understand that saying they're heroes is an expression of admiration.

PS: There're cases in which soldiers do heroic deeds I know that, I'm just speaking from a general point of view, not considering the exceptions.

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11-09-2012, 06:18 AM
RE: "Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
I definitely see your point of view now.

I guess the whole immoral thing is based on perception (obviously... I wasn't thinking about that earlier). If you're a pacifist then absolutely immoral. I see military, war, etc. as a necessary evil. Someone always wants to be above everyone else. I wish we all lived in a fuzzy utopia.

I don't even think I want people's respect. Just acknowledgement of what we're doing. We aren't robots all hooked into the same computer. We are living, breathing, human beings with families, children, and friends. Our jobs ask of us more than what the ordinary citizen is asked to do. I just want to be acknowledged that we try to do good even if it doesn't look like it.

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11-09-2012, 07:42 AM
RE: "Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
I've always felt the word "hero" is WAY over-used.

Service members are not heroic by definition. Pat Tilman's death was not heroic. Was he a "hero?" Many people made him out to be. There is nothing heroic about being shot or killed. People that died in the Twin Towers or the Pentagon on 9/11 were not heroes (although I've heard them referenced as such).

That all said - people do heroic things. The solider running out to save his buddy on the battlefield, risking his neck to save another life - that's a heroic act. Not sure if it makes him or her a hero, but the act itself is heroic.

The fireman going up the stairs in the Twin Towers trying to save lives - heroic!

There are all types of examples of people doing heroic things when faced with certain situations. I never felt my service in uniform, in and of itself, was heroic. Most soldiers I know are uncomfortable with the label.

The worst part is, we are a nation/world that loves celebrity - any opportunity to highlight "heroism" feeds that celebrity worship cycle.

As to the relationship between servicemen and women and society - that's a whole other issue. I used to get a little perturbed seeing the magnet stickers on cars saying "I support our troops" - really? how do you support them? Through your taxes? Our military has essentially become mercenaries (I don't mean that pejoratively), separated from the society that work daily to support. Part of this is due to the nature of the military itself - holed up on bases and forts, shopping at the PX/BX/Commissary, and the other part is civil society happy as anything that less than 1% of the population is serving to secure their way of life.

End of rant...

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11-09-2012, 10:09 AM
RE: "Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
(11-09-2012 06:03 AM)nach_in Wrote:  I'm from Argentina, just so you can get an idea on how we see the military, the last military dictatorship ended in 1983 and this is the longest period of sustained democracy in our entire history, only 29 years Sad

I'm vague on my Argentine history but wasn't there military action required to get rid of the dictatorship in 1983? How do you feel about those soldiers?
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11-09-2012, 11:05 AM
RE: "Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
(11-09-2012 10:09 AM)Jeff Wrote:  
(11-09-2012 06:03 AM)nach_in Wrote:  I'm from Argentina, just so you can get an idea on how we see the military, the last military dictatorship ended in 1983 and this is the longest period of sustained democracy in our entire history, only 29 years Sad

I'm vague on my Argentine history but wasn't there military action required to get rid of the dictatorship in 1983? How do you feel about those soldiers?

No there wasn't military action, they gave up the power due to social unrest and protests, the defeat of the Falkland (Malvinas) Islands war, and the international pressure for the violations of human rights. The military junta called for democratic elections in 1983.

But that's not too important, let me clarify my position:
I see that the military (this could be extended to other institution with rigid hierarchy and obedience systems like the catholic church) make those who are not at the top of the chain of command to give up their moral autonomy because they have to follow orders regardless of their moral valuation of that order.
The only exception is if an order is illegal, in that case the moral autonomy is also constrained, to what the law says now, and the law applicable could very well be immoral as usually contains exceptions to what is normally illegal (to kill the enemy is the clearest example)

I'm not talking about the morality of war here, I'm talking about the morality of being in an institution that requires moral dependence. Even if the orders were morally good, the act of renouncing the independence of decision is, in my opinion, wrong.

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11-09-2012, 12:59 PM
RE: "Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
(11-09-2012 05:47 AM)TheDoctorPhil Wrote:  Thanks Jeff. I like your little H/big H thing.

Nach - I understand your position so I won't question the wording, I would however like to educate you from a my personal military mindset.

I have never once forfeited my moral autonomy. We do not have to follow immoral or illegal orders. In fact we are trained and instructed to disobey and report those who issue and follow such orders.

What country do you come from if I may ask.

I was afraid of receiving orders to do something immoral. As we both know "I was only following orders" is not a valid defense in a Court Martial. It is true that it is illegal to follow unlawful orders, but in the heat of the moment, you don't always have time to question the orders, or get enough information to confirm that the order in question was a lawful one or not. I'm just glad that I never had to make that choice but others aren't always so lucky.

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11-09-2012, 01:26 PM
RE: "Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
(11-09-2012 12:59 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  
(11-09-2012 05:47 AM)TheDoctorPhil Wrote:  Thanks Jeff. I like your little H/big H thing.

Nach - I understand your position so I won't question the wording, I would however like to educate you from a my personal military mindset.

I have never once forfeited my moral autonomy. We do not have to follow immoral or illegal orders. In fact we are trained and instructed to disobey and report those who issue and follow such orders.

What country do you come from if I may ask.

I was afraid of receiving orders to do something immoral. As we both know "I was only following orders" is not a valid defense in a Court Martial. It is true that it is illegal to follow unlawful orders, but in the heat of the moment, you don't always have time to question the orders, or get enough information to confirm that the order in question was a lawful one or not. I'm just glad that I never had to make that choice but others aren't always so lucky.

That's exactly my point, thank you Big Grin

I want to say this again, I'm not saying is a mortal sin to be a soldier or anything like that, I'm just explaining my reasons not to think soldiers are heroes by default... I insist because I know it sounds rather pretentious and moralist and that's not the idea Undecided

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11-09-2012, 01:46 PM (This post was last modified: 11-09-2012 01:51 PM by TrainWreck.)
RE: "Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
(11-09-2012 12:52 AM)Luminon Wrote:  And showing off military technology and prowess that's disturbing too, it makes other nations (like me) feel uneasy and want to have an army too, for protection.

What the fuck are you talking about - did you ever notice that only certain countries, which will remain unnamed so as to protect this site from their spy's, only certain countries like to parade their fucking missles down their fucking main streets, and it does not happen in America.

Just because America has a highly progressed military technology and commercial communications network that likes to show the fucking war machines in action, because it makes them feel like they have the power to expose the government, does not mean we should not use the weaponry - there are people who see the progress of American technology to be a threat to their power to rule over the stupid populations of people they oppress.

It would be nice if Obama and the Democrats could deliver the peace treaties (constitutions), so these people could live in paece and harmony, but they do not have anything to offer except free medical and dental for poor worthless ghetto dwellers.

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11-09-2012, 03:18 PM
RE: "Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
(11-09-2012 01:46 PM)TrainWreck Wrote:  
(11-09-2012 12:52 AM)Luminon Wrote:  And showing off military technology and prowess that's disturbing too, it makes other nations (like me) feel uneasy and want to have an army too, for protection.

What the fuck are you talking about - did you ever notice that only certain countries, which will remain unnamed so as to protect this site from their spy's, only certain countries like to parade their fucking missles down their fucking main streets, and it does not happen in America.

Just because America has a highly progressed military technology and commercial communications network that likes to show the fucking war machines in action, because it makes them feel like they have the power to expose the government, does not mean we should not use the weaponry - there are people who see the progress of American technology to be a threat to their power to rule over the stupid populations of people they oppress.

It would be nice if Obama and the Democrats could deliver the peace treaties (constitutions), so these people could live in paece and harmony, but they do not have anything to offer except free medical and dental for poor worthless ghetto dwellers.

Look fucktard... did it ever occur to you that America isn't the only country on the planet? He's from the Czech Republic so he's probably talking about those "certain" countries because they've rolled down his street in real life.

I've heard about you... get lost troll.

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11-09-2012, 05:20 PM
RE: "Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
This is a very uneasy topic for me.

And it is one of the few things I don't have a proper opinion on, proper meaning one that I myself am comfortable with.

I was a Vietnam war protester. In my defense, I never encountered any military in protests. But I was very much against that war. And during my travels in Europe I encountered defectors from the US military and they became part of us.

I also encountered US military back in the day who came to see us (us hippies) with trucks that were kitchens and fed us breakfast with eggs and bacon and pancakes etc. and they were a nice bunch.

Much later, the man I ended up marrying was career US military, just retired. He never in some 30 years talked about his experiences in the military. The most I ever heard is a description of the first computers the military had back in the day, and that wasn't really about the military, it was purely about computers.

I think war is a horrific thing, and a sign of the total immaturity of the entire human race. Holding those who actually fight it blameless is difficult. Back in the Vietnam era the heroes were the ones who refused the draft.

Plus, the rigidity of a system such as the military (and others, like the churches etc) is a horror to me. I doubt I would make it there for a week. The closest I ever came to it was boarding school and I ran away from there after a short stunt.

So between my own inability to accept such rigid structures, and my opinion that war is the most blatant sign of all the things that are bad about humans, it is difficult to think much positive of the military. My husband may could have changed that, but neither of us touched the subject in all that time. He had no idea how I felt about the military. It had nothing to do with our lives. I can only assume that his experiences were bad and he wanted to forget.

However, I have enough empathy to understand the poor kids that find themselves in battle. I can understand the scars this must leave, and the solidarity it must create between people who fight together.

To me, it makes them victims, not heroes. The victims of human immaturity and politics. Yes, I am sure some did heroic acts to save others. No doubt. And that would make them a hero to the ones they saved, but not necessarily to humankind.

Now to reality of life - as long as there is one person in power who decides to fight a war, there is no choice for the target of the attack but to fight back. And as far as society goes - a common enemy unites. And there will always be people who pick sides and join in the fray.

Is it a good thing? Definitely not.

Is it avoidable? Sometimes, but not always.

Are all military members heroes? Definitely not.

Are they victims? Probably.

Do they sometimes do heroic acts? Definitely.

That's how I see it. And it's a highly uncomfortable view and full of contradictions.

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