Let's have an informal Poll

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by jimnyc, Nov 24, 2003.

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  1. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    Whether you agree with our governments actions or not, our troops are in Iraq with the belief that they are representing ALL OF US and our very freedoms that allow us to disagree with our governement and the same for the Iraqi citizens.

    How many of you agree with SLClemens that our soldiers are "suckers" or "uneducated from the midwest" or "deluded"?

    This isn't a war vs. anti-war poll, just whether or not you think the namecalling and disrespect to our soldiers is warranted or not.
     
  2. SLClemens
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    SLClemens Guest

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    And a poll here will be like soooo representative of the population at large, lol.

    Let me re-quote, in full, a response to which no few have responded:

    "I find it quite interesting what does and doesn't insult warmongers and nationalists. For instance, at the peak of the fighting, Congress passed $14.6bn in cuts to veterans' benefits. I found this a profound insult to our fighting men and women, but very few others did. In the thread http://www.usmessageboard.com/forum...=&threadid=1014 you expressed ignorance of this and then didn't seem to have interest and / or time to discuss it further. But apparently it's not a great insult to do anything less than ensure that our soldiers have the best possible health care and educational benefits after they've endured the horrors of war. Why is this, I wonder? I think it's because doing so would highlight just how horrific war is on those doing the fighting ... and how expensive it is to us taxpayers ... that might take some wind out of the flag-wavers' sails and put a damper on the drums of war. It might make war seem like more of an absolute last resort.

    What does seem deeply insulting to those who love a good war, however, is the notion that our men are fighting in vain, for causes other than they've come to believe, and for profits that they'll see little of and people who sat out the war in comfort will see much of. I'll refrain from trying to come up with a descriptive noun to characterize such people if it bothers you that much. Here, once again, I see some interesting parallels to Vietnam. It disturbed proponents of that war to no end that opponents called it a useless fight. Nixen's strategy for gaining continuing support was to praise the bravery of our troops (who in many cases proved incredibly brave) and condemn the atrocities of the North and Viet Cong, and also blame the media for informing us graphically (I wasn't around at the time but I've read a lot about it) how many of our young men were dying. This helped a critical majority take a very long time to realize that if we thought we were effectively fighting a communist threat rather than a vain ideological struggle, we were fighting for nothing. We're not unique in such hopeless endeavors. It certainly took the French a long time to realize that their men, conscripts, and les bonnes poires who volunteered because they were told they were glorifying their empire and effectively repressing terrorism, were doing nothing of the sort in North Africa.

    Thankfully, I get the impression that many of our soldiers in Iraq do not match such a characterization. Many of them, I think, see that far from preventing terrorism they are bringing it on. Many of them, regardless of what they think about terrorism or oil, are trying their best to make a Iraq a better, safer, more dignified place, and this is to be commended. But sadly, I do hear the odd one say "this is for 911." If they really think that all their hard work and bravery is to make our lives safer rather than ensuring that the thirsty American economy has an increasing supply of cheap oil, they're sadly mistaken, and have bought into a terrible myth. What insults people about framing the argument that way, I think, is that it implicates the war's proponents in their needless deaths and injuries, to say nothing of Iraqis. It suggests that people - in this case our fellow citizens - have to die to support our affluence.

    If we really want to dignify our fighting men and women we should stop trying to delude them about what they've been fighting for (and stop changing the reasons for war), pay up the necessary money for shorter rotations, give them straight answers about how long they'll have to serve, employ tactics that give Iraqis less cause to hate them, and make sure there's health care, educational and retraining opportunities, and psychological support for them when they leave the military and find themselves faced with the numerous problems that veterans of wars always face.

    It might also be nice if some of our leaders actually visit the wounded and go to some of their funerals.


    "Thankfully, though, some of our soldiers have the guts to tell it like it is, unlike Blair and Hoon, suckers extraordinaire.

    For the record, though, Cheney does not see my point of view, and is by no means a sucker. I'm sure he has friends I'd view in the same light."
     
  3. Joan
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    Joan Mommy Dearest

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    Baby killers? Suckers? I think not! The suckers are the ones that go around spouting out this shit! These boys deserve the utmost respect and gratitude of the entire nation! I for one, salute them all!
     
  4. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    And what in your response gives you the right to show disrespect and level namecalling against the soldiers? Nothing, idiot.
     
  5. SLClemens
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    I should mention that my first response above was to Nighttrain on a different thread. I still stand amazed that the same people get upset by my suggesting that our soldiers are getting used don't seem to mind cuts to veterans' benefits that much or get too worked up about Guld War Syndrome. This just seems to confirm to me that our military, like those of every other nation, is ultimately just a tool for politicians - in our case a select few in the executive branch - to use or misuse.
     
  6. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    I'll repeat myself for the intellectually challenged:

    How does any of this give you the right to start namecalling about our soldiers?
     
  7. SLClemens
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    I was referring to soldiers who think they're fighting a terrorist threat to America by invading and occupying Iraq. They're only increasing such a threat, and I believe that they're been largely fooled. They're not the only ones. I myself was a sucker to believe that Saddam probably had some WMDs before the invasion (though I never thought they were a threat to us). I was a sucker when I cheered on Gulf War I endlessly because I thought we'd make a democracy of Kuwait that would serve as a model to the Middle East - my support would have been much more subdued at best if I had known that we were just replacing a dreadful dictator with a greedy monarchy. I was a sucker when I bragged that Gulf War I caused only a few hundred casualties, having no idea what Gulf War Syndrome and the governments' lack of response to it would do to vets. And I was in very good company!
     
  8. eric
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    Well SL,

    I am glad that you know everything, I did too when I was younger, then I found out how wrong I was. I am sure you have read many books, maybe taken some political science courses, and believe you stand on high moral ground. I will say you seem to be a man of principle and for this I can not fault you, I too stand firm in my beliefs. In my view you are not a bad person, just misguided, but that is fine, many Americans are, so don't feel singled out. I'm sure you think you are doing this nation a service, but sometimes when we mean well we wind up doing harm.

    Now to the matter at hand, none of us know the answers pertaining to Iraq, at this point it is all speculation and conjecture.
    Just because WMD, ties to terrorism, and the like have not yet been found or proven does not mean they did not or do not exist. For it is much harder to prove the absolute existance of something than it is to question it. Let us add to this the fact that Iraq was, and still is, a source of instability in the region, and yes the region does hold resources which are crucial to the functioning and economies of many nations. So it becomes imperative that this region display a balance of power, something we know Saddam wanted all of. Can you honestly tell me his regime was not a treat in the region ? Of course they were ! The invasion of Kuwaite proved this. The very philosophy of the Bathist party was expansion.

    Now the motives for war might not have been limited to these facts, and I am sure there were political and economics factors also fueling the decision for war. To think that they do not affect almost every policy that every nation makes would be naive.

    We all have our opinions about this subject and how it should have been handled, and we all feel that we are right, but sometimes there is no right and wrong, black and white, to choose from. In this case numbers can not be feed into a computer and a definitive answer received. One mans opinions could be as right as the next, only time will tell.

    So now we reach a point where we have to wait and see, but during this time we have men and women in harms way. Just as we do not have the answer neither do they, what they do know is that they are doing what their country asks of them, right or wrong in the end. They should be afforded the utmost respect, for as you pointed out, they are the people who are making the ultimate sacrifice. How in gods name can you say that these people are suckers or deluded for having opinions of their own. What makes you so sure that you are right and bestows up you the right of judgment.

    I'm glad you care about veterans, so do I, and yes cuts to their benefits upset me greatly, so does their low salaries, and long deployments, but I don't just use these facts as a pawns in a debate, I actively try and effect change through campaign contributions,party participation, and voting. So do not for a minute accuse me of not careing. I hold our fighting men and women in the highest regard, re-read many of my posts.

    One thing I will not dare do is to allow myself to feel that I am smarter or wiser than they and that their opinions do not carry the same weight as mine. Who knows in the end maybe they have it right and we are the suckers who are deluded !
     
  9. SLClemens
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    Eric, thanks for your thoughtful reply. Perhaps you'll be happy to know that I was a flagwaver myself when I was younger.

    As for the troops, those who believe they are there to prevent an upset in the balance of power I do not regard as suckers. I think they're wrong about this, but I can see how someone could make an argument that Saddam posed a regional threat and threat to his own people and therefore should be removed because of the *possible* regional threat he posed or for humanitarian reasons. But this isn't the war we were sold. If it was, there would probably more of the nations who supported Gulf War I alongside us. Rather it was sold by the hysteria of 9/11's wake. I don't have a great deal of respect for people who got sucked into this, and it saddens me that people would willingly sacrifice so much for such a futile cause as preventing another 9/11 by invading Iraq. We can reshuffle the deck of cards in the Middle East but cannot control where they fall, and temporary insecurity (or possibly longterm insecurity) will only make terrorism easier. Zero Americans that I'm aware of have died because of Iraq from 1992-2002, yet 430 soldiers have died there this year. This could be just the tip of the iceberg. We're not in this for terrorism, and I find it pathetic that our society has convinced people to fight thinking they are.
     
  10. janeeng
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    I can't sit and comment too much on all the reasons of war, but I surely can comment on our soldiers. To me, it really doesn't matter what the soldier thinks, if they think they are in Iraq fighting for revenge on 9/11 or to bring Iraq out of the hands of Hussein, they are there doing something that neither you or I are doing, and may never had the balls to do. They had a choice, a choice to enlist or to be civilian. I have read so much crap on how the military is full of a bunch of losers, stupid, gay, couldn't do anything else, etc.. - well, maybe, but I can sure say from those that I have met, it sure turned them into a TRUE MAN/WOMAN!!! the respect they have, the polite way, the guts to do what they do, and you can't tell me that they went an enlisted and didn't know that a day can come that they had to fight in War.

    I have a friend that was over during the Gulf War, he was close enough to it all, going into do one thing, disarm Hussein, those were the orders, until they were told to retreat - it was said that they wanted to do it the diplomatic way, anyway, from there, he remained in the army, to only be deployed to Bosnia and deal with all they did there, and beleive me, I heard the stories from over there too. I had the honor of meeting him and others one day, and I couldn't have met more proud soldiers, serving this country and not thinking twice about it. Today, he is still in the Army, and he could have retired from all of it, but chose to remain in the job he loves and that's serving for his Country. He had his views on things, things too he didn't agree on, but did what he was told to do without thinking twice about it. I asked him not long ago what he thought of 9/11 and Iraq, and he separated the two, and gave his views. I was amazed on his views, and we couldn't even begin to understand being we are here just watching the news, and believing that WE know the truth, the war is Oil, Republicans are no good, Libs are no good, this and that, but until you have actually talked to a person that is on the other side, fighting for us, and see the truth, who are we to think we know it all????? I think we have a lot to learn from those that have served, not from what we watch on TV - these are the people you want to get the TRUTH out of. A coward? Suckers? Uneducated??? I think a lot of us have a lot to learn!!! I admire and respect ALL of those that have given up their lives, and served for OUR Country, they aren't as stupid as some believe, I know this for FACT!!!!!!! how awful and heartless it is to think that some believe a soldier is a sucker, uneducated and a coward - remember that should there be an attack again on the US and bombs come flying here, who will save us? who will protect us? I suppose those idiots, suckers, cowards can!!!!!
     
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