U.S. Army: Just serving our country
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18-08-2012, 06:57 AM (This post was last modified: 18-08-2012 09:05 AM by Luminon.)
U.S. Army: Just serving our country
Here maybe I'll touch upon a sensitive topic. Many of you guys serve or served a time in the military, atheists in foxholes and the religious alike. I'm going to ask some straightforward questions and then down there is some highly judgemental fuel for flamewar. I know many here think like I do, so please realize it's all mainly meant for those who were in the army or ever considered to get enlisted. Maybe you just took it as a job, or hoped that you won't get sent into a real action, or went in for the benefits, not like you had a real conviction about it. In that case nevermind. But if you did, tell me.

So tell me, why did you go to the army? What was your motivation? Had it anything to do with a sense of duty towards your country and the desire to serve it?
Are you a patriot? How would you define the patriotism? Is it patriotic to be in military?
If you have served at least one term, how did you presume that local citizens are going to feel about your presence? Did you presume they're gonna welcome you as a liberator from oppression? Was their actual reception somewhat a disappointment?

All right, let's get judgemental and vitriolic. I probably don't qualify as a real America-hater, just a resenter and ocassional slanderer. When it comes to American (and Israeli) politics, army and consumer culture. Apparently America-bashing is one of traditional Sunday family lunch topics all around the world, even in developed countries that only have just one or two American military bases. As such, I have to tell you something. When someone tells you to serve your country in someone else's country, something is very wrong.

Let's say if that was serving the world, or serving that country where you're going, that sounds better and might actually do some good if done right. Things like global police, "attack the attacker" policy for dispatching power-hungry warlords, who don't hesitate to tear the country apart just to be on the top. I'd welcome if someone stopped their armies and assasinated the fuckers. (regardless of how much oil flows beneath their feet) But serving your country when not in your country that's not even trying to cover the crime, not even a try to be apologetic.

You were sent by rich and powerful people to put your lives on the line and about a hundred times as much of foreigners' lives. Nobody seems to get better off out of that, except oil companies and opium traders. Sons of lower middle class Americans killing sons of lower middle class Arabians, where's any honor in it?

You may be against many politicians, yet you still allow them to define what is or isn't service to your country. What do you owe to them? Why do you let them to tell you what is right or wrong? They won't hesitate to send you to death and other miserable people to win some meaningless advantage in countries that are not going to attack you, ever. They stick a pin on a world map and you go without second thought. Then you're dead and all you get is a coffin, a flag over it and a few pathetic ritual moves of uniformed soldiers, maybe a few shots into the air. And a lot of news coverage too, with it all looking clean and honorable.

There are some pretty impressive military videos. How cool it seems to be a part of this great organized system of manliness, strength and top-grade deadly technology? Makes you proud, right? Well, think of how European nations must have felt when Adolf proudly paraded his magnificent 80 billion worth armada, that made Vaterland so proud.
How do you think non-Germans felt? Did they admire the sight? Did it make them feel safe to have such a capable neighbour?
My guess is they were fuckin' scared and creeped out. And they thought all Germans are getting crazy again.

No, this isn't Westboro Baptist Church style hating, I'm not actually sure of what are their guidelines on hate, it seems rather arbitrary.
I just live in a country where USA attempted to install radar on the base and put a missile silo nearby at a neighbouring country. For tactical reasons, obviously. It's not the way to stop a missile with today's technology and even if it does, it falls on my country, not yours.
I just thought for a while that atheists in foxholes might use their critical thinking skills for a moment on something else than religion.
And the few times that soldiers called in at the TTA podcast, I got an impression that their vocation is well-respected in USA. Like someone who brings the oil... pardon, brings the bread home.

You think they're going to attack you, really? Where is a precedent America under attack? The only ones who send attackers are rich and powerful fuckers like Osama bin Laden from Saudi Arabia, or George Bush jr.
I had a teacher of Geography and Politology and he loved to go on a rant in the middle of a lesson. (I can understand that) He travelled a lot and he once was in Russia, in a hospital. The hospital was old, creaky doors it had just one shower and toilets per floor. He talked to an old man there who wasn't happy about this. But right next to the hospital was a Russian military base. The base was impressive, it has a nicely cut lawn and windows of aluminium or plastic, not wooden windows like that hospital. Walls and stuff too, all new and nice. And my teacher asked the old man if it wouldn't be better to transfer money from the army to repair and renew all the hospitals like this.
At this point the old man firmly opposed him! He said Russia needed all these bases and military, otherwise other countries would attack them. He sounded so convinced.
OK, I can almost understand that with Russia, which lies next to China and all the other states of the whole damn continent. But America with allies has the continent for itself! No neighbours at all, except of Mexico and Canada. The borders are protected by two whole goddamn oceans! You think some middle-East country will gather sticks in the desert (when it's not Sabbat), build rafts and float them full of men with AK-47s to shore of Florida and start land-grabbing? Or invade Texas on flying carpets and take over the oil fields? Or discover old oil lamps at the Tikrit Museum, rub them, invoke genies and make them send magical balls of fire from the sky?
Well, maybe now they will, they're certainly pissed off more than enough. Guess by who and by what.
Guess if the foreign missions decrease or increase the number of America's enemies. Guess if you don't serve your country better by staying at home.

OK, enough flamewar material. Now try to consider how would you feel, let's say a country in NATO like Czech Republic somehow decides that it really feels threatened by sudden increase in Indonesian fireworks industry. There are even many records of politicians reflecting on the Indonesian threat and incidents with local Indonesian expats and some trouble with fireworks made in Indonesia during last New Year celebrations. Maybe the National Museum in Prague at the Wenceslas Square was set ablaze by Indonesian petards. This terrible deed must be avenged. And therefore the proud nation of Czechs demand that there would be set some military bases near San Francisco and LA, which are ideally positioned relatively to Indonesia to cover their air space with missile range. Missiles that perhaps might contain warheads from the Temelin power plant leftovers, which we need to get rid of.
Does it seem absurd to you? I hope it does. Not just the country and museum you've never heard of and totally don't care, but the "solution". Arms race is like two people sitting on a branch, they start cutting, so we must start cutting too!

It's just a thought experiment. I thought atheists are thoughtful people, at least when it comes to religion. It is said that a war is long periods of boredom, alternated by short moments of absolute terror. Maybe during the boredom phases some might think about what they're doing in the foxholes with a finger on the trigger far from home, if that makes any sense at all.

If you claim there are nuances to principles, there are no nuances to getting arrested or shot for disobeying the power.
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18-08-2012, 10:15 AM
RE: U.S. Army: Just serving our country
Since it sounds like you only want to hear from those who have served in the military, and I haven't, I'll skip answering your questions. But I will say that many Americans would be thrilled to have us give up our bases around the world and bring our people home. We don't want our people in harm's way, it costs a lot of our tax dollars and the attitude of some host countries just sucks. The problem is that if we did that, and the shit hits the fan in your country or somewhere else, we'd feel obligated to come back and help, and then it would be lot worse, and a lot more deadly, and a lot more costly to everyone to remedy the situation.

Also, if they don't have US protection, a lot more countries would see it as a necessity to develop nuclear weapons, causing a massive proliferation. Is that a good thing?

Maybe you can give me a better solution. Let's say the US pulls its forces out of South Korea, how long before North Korea invades? And when they do, what country(ies) do you see coming to their assistance?
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18-08-2012, 10:25 AM
RE: U.S. Army: Just serving our country
I don't know if you have noticed, but the the world is now connected. Continents and countries are no longer isolated with each other, and the world is now comprised of whole continental governments. The U.S is quite often used as the U.N's police force.

The world is changing, and why people fail to see that is beyond me. The U.S is losing all influence, and has been the world's laughing stock for years. The only thing that makes them a viable world leader is their elite fighting forces. I have been a son of a member of the U.S military all my life, been all over the globe. I can tell you that the majority of countries that still have our bases in them, still want them there.

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18-08-2012, 02:59 PM
RE: U.S. Army: Just serving our country
(18-08-2012 10:15 AM)Jeff Wrote:  Since it sounds like you only want to hear from those who have served in the military, and I haven't, I'll skip answering your questions. But I will say that many Americans would be thrilled to have us give up our bases around the world and bring our people home. We don't want our people in harm's way, it costs a lot of our tax dollars and the attitude of some host countries just sucks.
Amen brother.

(18-08-2012 10:15 AM)Jeff Wrote:  The problem is that if we did that, and the shit hits the fan in your country or somewhere else, we'd feel obligated to come back and help, and then it would be lot worse, and a lot more deadly, and a lot more costly to everyone to remedy the situation.

Maybe you can give me a better solution. Let's say the US pulls its forces out of South Korea, how long before North Korea invades? And when they do, what country(ies) do you see coming to their assistance?

The problem is an involuntary presence. For example in my country the U.S. army just bought my politicians and they negotiated the bases against at least 70% disagreement of the nation. Hell, one idiotic woman (Vlasta Parkanova a former singer) even made a song glorifying the radar. (she's now investigated for corruption in some state order)
OTOH, in South Korea I think Koreans are happy to have someone else's army to guard them, without having to waste money themselves.

In some cases, U.S. army is like someone who comes into a house and destroys all the pillars that hold it up. And then whatever remains, he holds it up himself and cannot go away without all that collapsing. That's what happened in Iraq, for example. In such a case nothing they can do will be right, there'll be no fast and easy solutions.

The solution here is logistics, let's say there's a treaty for protection, a better treaty than NATO, thing like Korean president calls American general and he sends a couple of aircraft carriers to the shore like a policeman would send a car. How fast can that be done? How quickly can one country defend another without maintaining a presence? That's not up to me to answer.

(18-08-2012 10:15 AM)Jeff Wrote:  Also, if they don't have US protection, a lot more countries would see it as a necessity to develop nuclear weapons, causing a massive proliferation. Is that a good thing?
I don't understand this reasoning. In fact, Iran develops its nuclear program (which was meant to be peaceful) exactly because others have nukes. Namely Israel. It is a perfectly safe thing to exist as a state and not have nukes. My state does not have nukes and I feel totally safe. Nukes are pretty damn expensive. States only get nukes if they are under foreign pressure, or think they are.

In fact, nukes are epitome of bigotry. Would you allow the insecure Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to inspect YOUR country for weapons of mass destruction?

United States (the greatest nuclear superpower and the only state which actually used them) sent inspectors to scour thoroughly for weapons of mass destruction across all the Iraq including Saddam's buttcrack and they didn't find any. But it didn't do Saddam any good, he wanted to accept all conditions but he was ignored, they wanted his blood... I mean oil. Now Ahmadinejad is convinced the same is going to happen with him, if not from American hands, then Israelites will do the job. Unless he actually has the nukes. Nobody wants to use them, but everybody wants a decent treatment at the international community and the bombs seem the only way how to be heard.

It is not a coincidence that USA protects Israel even if it as a state behaved psychotically. USA vetoed countless sanctions against Israel at the United Nations, probably to be available for doing dirty jobs in that area. So nukes are not the solution. Decent treatment is.


(18-08-2012 10:25 AM)Logica Humano Wrote:  I don't know if you have noticed, but the the world is now connected. Continents and countries are no longer isolated with each other, and the world is now comprised of whole continental governments. The U.S is quite often used as the U.N's police force.
Very well, I do believe that only UN should control all the armies in the world, except of course local generals in charge of fast reactions like "attack the attacker". I'd say protection is the only purpose of an army and no national government can be involved. Otherwise we get disasters like Israel being the pet state of USA, artificially formed by force, protected from all UN sanctions and even having nukes. That's because nationalism and ideology is involved. (and selfish economic interests) You don't need nationalism or ideology to attack the attacker or protect the attacked or keep things down until it's clear who's who.
Therefore, keeping the army selflessly and using it for the UN is the best thing to do and it needs to be done completely. Global or not, a policeman can not serve private interests, so why not make it official?

(18-08-2012 10:25 AM)Logica Humano Wrote:  The world is changing, and why people fail to see that is beyond me. The U.S is losing all influence, and has been the world's laughing stock for years. The only thing that makes them a viable world leader is their elite fighting forces. I have been a son of a member of the U.S military all my life, been all over the globe. I can tell you that the majority of countries that still have our bases in them, still want them there.
Yes, the pillars of the house are gone and now foreign pillars must hold it against collapse. I can understand that. Although from what I heard the citizens of Iraq see all foreigners as vile invaders and want them gone. Probably so they can return to doing things their way, whatever their way turns out to be after a lengthty bloodshed, Sunni or Shia.

But I can't see how U.S. is losing all influence, that's probably my fault. Although I'd love to see some seemingly bad things happen to America (necessary changes of financial system, etc) it still holds like diehard. Despite of the extreme expenses in Iraq and Afghanistan, despite of 70+ raises of debt ceiling and rising poverty, I still see the influence is there.
Maybe it's American mojo, the magical personal charm.
Maybe it's all the global financial instititutions that use dollar as their primary currency and America as their HQ. I heard people say that Saddam was attacked because he wanted to trade his oil for euro instead of dollar.

But I wanted to have some personal level in this, I can see why U.S. is pushed into the wars. But not why the soldiers go into this madness. I'd believe they need the job. But at least some must realize that they have more in common with the enemy than with people who sent them into the war.
Maybe that's why some soldiers can be 18 years old! Is that right, so young and stupid? Maybe not me and you, but I've seen guys do a plenty of idiotic things around that age and years later too.
Mind you, I've never seen a military service close up, here it officially ended for people older than my older brother and since then we have just a professional army. I just vaguely remember my dad sometimes returning from a military service, must have been drills or something.

If you claim there are nuances to principles, there are no nuances to getting arrested or shot for disobeying the power.
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18-08-2012, 03:06 PM
RE: U.S. Army: Just serving our country
(18-08-2012 06:57 AM)Luminon Wrote:  So tell me, why did you go to the army? What was your motivation?

I went into the Navy 'cause ever since I was a little boy I always wanted to be able to cuss like a sailor.

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18-08-2012, 03:22 PM
RE: U.S. Army: Just serving our country
(18-08-2012 03:06 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  I went into the Navy 'cause ever since I was a little boy I wanted to be an always drunken motherfucker who refuses to swear like a goddamn sailor.
Fixed.

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18-08-2012, 03:51 PM (This post was last modified: 18-08-2012 04:11 PM by Logica Humano.)
RE: U.S. Army: Just serving our country
(18-08-2012 02:59 PM)Luminon Wrote:  Very well, I do believe that only UN should control all the armies in the world, except of course local generals in charge of fast reactions like "attack the attacker". I'd say protection is the only purpose of an army and no national government can be involved. Otherwise we get disasters like Israel being the pet state of USA, artificially formed by force, protected from all UN sanctions and even having nukes. That's because nationalism and ideology is involved. (and selfish economic interests) You don't need nationalism or ideology to attack the attacker or protect the attacked or keep things down until it's clear who's who.
Therefore, keeping the army selflessly and using it for the UN is the best thing to do and it needs to be done completely. Global or not, a policeman can not serve private interests, so why not make it official?

It is not simply the U.S that is involved in the constant wars in the middle east. The NATO alliance, comprised of almost all of the western world, has their hands in it.

Unless you are completely blinded by ideology, you'd know that foreign policies have only personal interests involved. Politicians attempt to have it both ways, trying benefit their country and the world at the same time. It rarely works that way, but it is something that will be ironed out eventually, for better or for worse.

(18-08-2012 02:59 PM)Luminon Wrote:  But I can't see how U.S. is losing all influence, that's probably my fault. Although I'd love to see some seemingly bad things happen to America (necessary changes of financial system, etc) it still holds like diehard. Despite of the extreme expenses in Iraq and Afghanistan, despite of 70+ raises of debt ceiling and rising poverty, I still see the influence is there.
Maybe it's American mojo, the magical personal charm.
Maybe it's all the global financial instititutions that use dollar as their primary currency and America as their HQ. I heard people say that Saddam was attacked because he wanted to trade his oil for euro instead of dollar.

I have several theories as to why the U.S attacked Iraq, all of them have some merit, but I hardly think they are applicable. That is all that they are, theories, and not facts. I do not act as if they are otherwise.

However, the U.S losing its place in the world? That's true. No longer is technological advancement exclusive to the one nation in the west that has all the money. Even in the east, technology is surpassing that of the U.S. Everyone is able to do so now, hell, look at Iran. Nuclear weapons will start pouring out of their ass soon. The only thing that keeps the U.S in its place currently, is its military. Without it, it is forgotten.

(18-08-2012 02:59 PM)Luminon Wrote:  But I wanted to have some personal level in this, I can see why U.S. is pushed into the wars. But not why the soldiers go into this madness. I'd believe they need the job. But at least some must realize that they have more in common with the enemy than with people who sent them into the war.
Maybe that's why some soldiers can be 18 years old! Is that right, so young and stupid? Maybe not me and you, but I've seen guys do a plenty of idiotic things around that age and years later too.
Mind you, I've never seen a military service close up, here it officially ended for people older than my older brother and since then we have just a professional army. I just vaguely remember my dad sometimes returning from a military service, must have been drills or something.

If no one joins the military, who is going to be the police force in the world? Soldiers join because they believe they are serving their country, and sometimes unbeknownst to them, the rest of the world too.

Kids can join the military at the age of sixteen with their parental permission, so yes, young people do join the military. I would never join it unless something threatened the world, such as a nuclear Iran. Let's all not forget that there are still active threats in the world, and despite the slow progression to peace, we still need those police.

I am personally exhausted of these things we call "countries" and "borders". These labels we have such as race and ethnicity. Who the fuck cares? All people want it for is so they can have their own fucking useless identity. You want a real identity? Make one for yourself. Nations are a dying breed in my eyes, and I always look for a way to quicken its demise.

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18-08-2012, 04:08 PM
RE: U.S. Army: Just serving our country
(18-08-2012 03:51 PM)Logica Humano Wrote:  I am personally exhausted of these things we call "countries" and "borders". These labels we have such as race and ethnicity. Who the fuck cares? All people want it for is so they can have their own fucking useless identity. You want a real identity? Make one for yourself. Nations are a dying breed in my eyes, and I always look for a way to quicken its demise.

Much as I find your avatar disturbing, I quite agree with many of your ideas.Thumbsup

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18-08-2012, 04:10 PM
RE: U.S. Army: Just serving our country
(18-08-2012 04:08 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(18-08-2012 03:51 PM)Logica Humano Wrote:  I am personally exhausted of these things we call "countries" and "borders". These labels we have such as race and ethnicity. Who the fuck cares? All people want it for is so they can have their own fucking useless identity. You want a real identity? Make one for yourself. Nations are a dying breed in my eyes, and I always look for a way to quicken its demise.

Much as I find your avatar disturbing, I quite agree with many of your ideas.Thumbsup

What disturbs you the most? Her beauty or her good looks? ;D

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18-08-2012, 04:13 PM (This post was last modified: 18-08-2012 04:23 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: U.S. Army: Just serving our country
(18-08-2012 03:22 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
(18-08-2012 03:06 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  I went into the Navy 'cause ever since I was a little boy I always wanted to be a continually drunk motherfucker who can't help but fuckin' swear like a goddamn drunken sailor.
Fixed. Wink

Refixed. Wink




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