"Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
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11-09-2012, 05:31 PM
RE: "Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
(11-09-2012 03:18 PM)TheDoctorPhil Wrote:  
(11-09-2012 01:46 PM)TrainWreck Wrote:  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.
Yes, he's a troll. The independent press says that certain two totalitarian countries much talked about today feel highly pressured by nuclearly armed neighbours to develop nuclear weaponry, which was originally not their intention. They reluctantly develop nukes because it seems to them they need to, to be protected from Israel and China, I think.

Even my little peaceful country got a taste of American militarism, several years ago they wanted to put the radar into our border mountains and a missile silo nearby in Poland. Both reputedly meant to stop potential nuclear missiles going from one of these countries.

However, nowadays missiles are not used to shoot down another missile, that's a yesterday's technology. Instead it is done by surveillance of the launch site and then sending an airplane with a laser to take it down.
Therefore, the purpose of this facility was obviously meant to be rather tactical (threatening) than defensive. And we know that threats lead to arms race. Someone did not learn his lessons from the cold war.

Of course, if it ever shot down a nuke after all, its remains would fall on Europe. Also, such a military base of course must be powered by a nuclear reactor for cases of emergency, so it would be basically the only thing in my country that draws a terrorist attack. My government so far successfully discouraged terrorist attacks by being so terrible, that terrorists reckon they'll do more harm by leaving it in place.

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11-09-2012, 07:32 PM
RE: "Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
(11-09-2012 05:20 PM)Dom Wrote:  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.

Dom,

Like I mentioned earlier, I am a veteran, and I have similar thoughts. I however do NOT think that all veterans are victims. I also think having the courage to tell Uncle Sam "NO!" when he tells you you HAVE to do something immoral takes courage, and that can make you a hero. I am NOT a hero, but not because I am a veteran.

When I joined the military at age 20 I thought the war was a waste of money and was against it for those reasons, especially the war in Iraq (I figured at least terrorists in Afghanistan had attacked us which gave us some justification for military action, just not the extent of military action that was happening). I arrived in Afghanistan a little more than three years later, a day before my 24th Birthday (Happy Birthday to me). I did volunteer to go, for selfish reasons. My life was hell at my command, and I had been working between 100 to 110 hours per week. I fucking HATED life, I was willing to do anything to leave. Though my reasons for going might seem reasonable to some, I am still not particularly proud of it because it was selfish. To fight a war I didn't really agree with...But, being there gave me a lot of time to think, and my philosophy shifted as I learned more. I did a lot of research, and looked up facts. I watched documentaries that soldiers before me had left for me to discover. They were 'hidden' on our shared drive, and given enough time I was bound to stumble upon them. I now believe the war is immoral, along with most our wars. I am now a libertarian, who promotes volunteerism, civil rights, and peace when possible. I have become much more politically active and have very strong positions. It was an awakening to me. With all the information I had I felt obligated, morally, to leave the military. I had swore an oath to the constitution, and was not following it. I swore to obey the President, who was also not upholding the constitution. I swore to defend the country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. I found that I was the enemy, as well as the men I worked for. The only way I could uphold the constitution, and defend my country was to leave the military, relinquishing me from my oath, which is just perplexing. I guess you could argue I could have taken up arms against the government but you'd have to be nuts to do that, and I am not nuts. The best way for me to do my job was to just get out, and spread my ideas. I am unfortunately still in the reserves. (No matter how long your contract for Active service is, all contracts are for 8 years minimum) so I decided to drill actively during my last three years. I left behind a promising career, and financial stability, and really good benefits. It was not an easy thing for me to do, but I don't regret it. Me, and my wife are still getting by, and I'm a college student now.

I do have mental scars from the war, and there are things that I don't talk about, but I am not crazy, I am still in one piece, and I am stronger now than I ever have been. I will never forget the guilt I had when I returned to hear people tell me how proud they were of me, and thank me for fighting for them, fighting for freedom. I really have no idea what to say when someone thanks me for my service. I usually reluctantly say "You're welcome" but I don't mean it.

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11-09-2012, 10:10 PM
RE: "Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
Veterans today are treated like saints. Ya ya I know there are some veterans with medical expenses that are rough, but that's just the entire shitty health care system in this country.

On the media though, yah they are saints and its pretty much completely undeserved in todays age. WW2 sure, you could fork over some respect to those guys who had to endure those hardships, and even volunteered for it. Thats something. But today, your safer in the Navy than a fishing boat.

Its sort of like the firefighters. No one gave two shits, then 9-11 happened and suddenly they are all amazing heroes.
Meanwhile, cops (many of whom have a far more dangerous job than those serving in many branches of the military) are considered shit or not considered at all.

Its all the media, and right now the media says they are saints, so herp derp thats what everyone else thinks too.
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11-09-2012, 10:49 PM
RE: "Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
(11-09-2012 10:10 PM)Diablo666 Wrote:  Veterans today are treated like saints. Ya ya I know there are some veterans with medical expenses that are rough, but that's just the entire shitty health care system in this country.

On the media though, yah they are saints and its pretty much completely undeserved in todays age. WW2 sure, you could fork over some respect to those guys who had to endure those hardships, and even volunteered for it. Thats something. But today, your safer in the Navy than a fishing boat.

Its sort of like the firefighters. No one gave two shits, then 9-11 happened and suddenly they are all amazing heroes.
Meanwhile, cops (many of whom have a far more dangerous job than those serving in many branches of the military) are considered shit or not considered at all.

Its all the media, and right now the media says they are saints, so herp derp thats what everyone else thinks too.

While I don't fully disagree with everything you said, you are ignorant. For one, yes, WWII was probably a scarier war, but if you think it isn't dangerous you are very wrong. It is a different type of warfare against a different type of "soldier". You can die just driving along the street, or walking for that matter. Whether it's moral or immoral to go, it takes balls to go fight, and yes, risk your life. Two, if you think your safe in the Navy you are wrong again. I was active Navy for 5 years, now a reservist, and you can bet your sweet as I got shot at my fair share of times. I saw plenty of Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and even a few Coast Guardsmen. Yes their are some folks that have relatively safe jobs in the sandbox, but I can assure you every branch has people in some dangerous places. You think they don't all endure hardships? You try leaving your family and friends to go to an uncertain place half way round the world risking life and limb for months or years at a time, most people go hundreds of days at a time without having a day off, working 12-18 days a day, carrying the majority of their belongings on their backs along with equipment weapons, ammo, body armor, your sleeping gear, and not hearing from your loved ones for weeks at a time. That is hardship you will likely never know.

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11-09-2012, 11:03 PM
RE: "Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
(11-09-2012 10:10 PM)Diablo666 Wrote:  Meanwhile, cops (many of whom have a far more dangerous job than those serving in many branches of the military) are considered shit or not considered at all.

I have to disagree with you. Between 2001 and 2010 5,877 US troops were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the same timeframe 1,636 US police officers were killed in the states. In terms of wounded or injured in the same ammount of time, 42,018 US troops were injured while 158,328 US police officers were injured.

Without all the fluff:

2001-2010

5,877 US troops KIA
1,636 US police KIA

42,018 US troops injured
157,328 US police injured

With all that being said, I think its safe to say that the military (statistically speaking) is more dangerous assuming of course that death is the most dangerous outcome.

Sources:
http://icasualties.org/
http://www.nleomf.org/facts/officer-fata...facts.html

Give to every human being every right that you claim for yourself. - Robert Ingersoll
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11-09-2012, 11:08 PM
RE: "Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
(11-09-2012 11:05 AM)nach_in Wrote:  
(11-09-2012 10:09 AM)Jeff Wrote:  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.

Thats kinda not true, immoral orders are in and of themselves illegal orders. As to renouncing you independence of descion dont kid yourself that civilians are free, try deciding to not pay your taxes or a 1000 other things your not allowed to decide for yourself.

You stated in a previous post that your a pacifist and would see an order to attack th enemy as immoral, fair enough dont join the army, if conscripted declare your concencious objection and serve either in a support role such as a medic or sit out the war in prison. These are choices open to you.

Certainly, when I served I was never under any compulsion to breach my morals, and if placed in such a position I like all soldiers could object and refuse. Such refusal may well have serious consequences, but none the less.

Lastly, as a volunteer, I never surrendered my indepentent moral sense to the morality of superiors in the chain of command, I never surrendered my freedom of choice. I knowingly accepted the strictures of miltary life as a nessecity of that life. In my expierance, morality was a higher priority in the military than it is in civilian life which from my expierance subsitutes law abiding as the only moral code, outside of that its a vacuum.

I am perhaps fortunate that Im old enough that my military service fell within the cold war. An ideological simplistic time, also as I was a combat medic my service is all about saving lives and not taking them which is certainly a more comfortable moral road than someone serving in a combat arm. The last decade or so, has been a very muddy time, I am certainly glad that I was not serving at the time of Iraq 2 as I would have to have refused to support that action and spent time in prison. At least two people I served with took exactly this course of action, specifically because they saw it as there duty, and they were quite correct in that it was, to refuse the order to deploy to an illegal military action.

As for heros, my vote would go to firemen. I can live with the idea of voluntarily going to and have served in a warzone, but running into burning buildings on a daily basis no thanks.

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11-09-2012, 11:29 PM
RE: "Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
(11-09-2012 11:08 PM)Humakt Wrote:  
(11-09-2012 11:05 AM)nach_in Wrote:  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.

Thats kinda not true, immoral orders are in and of themselves illegal orders. As to renouncing you independence of descion dont kid yourself that civilians are free, try deciding to not pay your taxes or a 1000 other things your not allowed to decide for yourself.

You stated in a previous post that your a pacifist and would see an order to attack th enemy as immoral, fair enough dont join the army, if conscripted declare your concencious objection and serve either in a support role such as a medic or sit out the war in prison. These are choices open to you.

Certainly, when I served I was never under any compulsion to breach my morals, and if placed in such a position I like all soldiers could object and refuse. Such refusal may well have serious consequences, but none the less.

Lastly, as a volunteer, I never surrendered my indepentent moral sense to the morality of superiors in the chain of command, I never surrendered my freedom of choice. I knowingly accepted the strictures of miltary life as a nessecity of that life. In my expierance, morality was a higher priority in the military than it is in civilian life which from my expierance subsitutes law abiding as the only moral code, outside of that its a vacuum.

I am perhaps fortunate that Im old enough that my military service fell within the cold war. An ideological simplistic time, also as I was a combat medic my service is all about saving lives and not taking them which is certainly a more comfortable moral road than someone serving in a combat arm. The last decade or so, has been a very muddy time, I am certainly glad that I was not serving at the time of Iraq 2 as I would have to have refused to support that action and spent time in prison. At least two people I served with took exactly this course of action, specifically because they saw it as there duty, and they were quite correct in that it was, to refuse the order to deploy to an illegal military action.

As for heros, my vote would go to firemen. I can live with the idea of voluntarily going to and have served in a warzone, but running into burning buildings on a daily basis no thanks.

You raise a valid point, I was thinking along the lines of what dark light said:

Quote: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

Maybe what I said is only valid in a more restrictive scenario Consider

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12-09-2012, 12:28 AM
RE: "Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
Quote: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

Maybe what I said is only valid in a more restrictive scenario Consider
[/quote]

As part of my military training, instruction in what does and does not constitute an illegal order was given. As to the heat of the moment, not sure I go along with that, as a soldier you know the parameters of acceptable behaviour, you know your rules of engagement. There may well be orders given than enter into a grey area, but these grey areas are a subject of individual conscience and that is a the individuals moral sense and thus not something that requires to to think over. However, it is not beyond the bounds of possabilty that an order that seems at the time reasonable may well transgress some of the finer points of legality, or based on false information an illegal act is done here the heat of the moment is something I can understand.

For example a sniper outwith a building has a line of sight on a target through 2 windows passing through a building, and takes a shot. From the perspective of those under fire the shot appears to come from the building and they fire upon it. The civilians inside are killed. Strictly speaking, the order to fire on the building is an illegal order and hind site may well jusge it to be so, however in the heat of the moment the building appeared to be from the limited view point of those under fire as a legitimate target. Mistakes of this nature are all to common, the soldiers involved may well face charges of war crimes, but its unlikely. Under such circumstances, it is unfortunate, but no one has acted deliberatly to transgress. Not exactly no harm no foul, but I doubt that they would be found guilty unless of course it was polotcally expediant to make an example of them.

Im not really sure what you mean by a more restrictive scenario, care to clarify?

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12-09-2012, 04:24 AM
RE: "Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
Quote:
(12-09-2012 12:28 AM)Humakt Wrote:  
Quote: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

Maybe what I said is only valid in a more restrictive scenario Consider

As part of my military training, instruction in what does and does not constitute an illegal order was given. As to the heat of the moment, not sure I go along with that, as a soldier you know the parameters of acceptable behaviour, you know your rules of engagement. There may well be orders given than enter into a grey area, but these grey areas are a subject of individual conscience and that is a the individuals moral sense and thus not something that requires to to think over. However, it is not beyond the bounds of possabilty that an order that seems at the time reasonable may well transgress some of the finer points of legality, or based on false information an illegal act is done here the heat of the moment is something I can understand.

For example a sniper outwith a building has a line of sight on a target through 2 windows passing through a building, and takes a shot. From the perspective of those under fire the shot appears to come from the building and they fire upon it. The civilians inside are killed. Strictly speaking, the order to fire on the building is an illegal order and hind site may well jusge it to be so, however in the heat of the moment the building appeared to be from the limited view point of those under fire as a legitimate target. Mistakes of this nature are all to common, the soldiers involved may well face charges of war crimes, but its unlikely. Under such circumstances, it is unfortunate, but no one has acted deliberatly to transgress. Not exactly no harm no foul, but I doubt that they would be found guilty unless of course it was polotcally expediant to make an example of them.

Im not really sure what you mean by a more restrictive scenario, care to clarify?

of course, I meant that my reasoning may be only applicable in some circumstances and not in general to every act a soldier does. Something like the thing you explained.

I'm tired now, but I'll think about this later, it's interesting to see what are the boundaries of ethics Smartass

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12-09-2012, 07:32 AM
RE: "Hero" Woship (Opinions of the military servicemen)
(11-09-2012 01:26 PM)nach_in Wrote:  
(11-09-2012 12:59 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  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

I read all your posts. My conclusion is that you are projecting your view of the Argentinian military onto another country's military. That's just not right.

As for the war and the military. It is an evil, but we must partake in it. It is necessary, it is part of human evolution. You want to complain? Take it up with natural selection and human nature. Try to change that? Good luck doing it within your lifetime.

The U.S and NATO are the only armies standing in the way of total annihilation of world order. You disband them, the enemies who don't give a shit about your pacifist views will be enabled to kill you.

As for respecting soldiers, I have to. They are willing to do things that I am not. They subject themselves to physical and psychological torment, they give up their complete freedom and join military culture. Every one of them did something I cannot, will not do. I can respect them and not have to respect some things that they have done.

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