Thank You Vets

The true cost of war is what vets bring back with them. The money and diplomatic capital are comparatively light. We will all have to bear them, but not in a way that fundamentally changes how we experience life. But the burden vets carry changes them for the rest of their lives.

War should be all of our burden. But we as a society have been ineffective at helping our soldiers when they come home. I say I support the troops, but I can’t honestly say I have adequately tried to share their burden. This realization came to me recently while watching a PBS documentary called Reserved to Fight. It follows several vets from one of the first companies to fight and return from Iraq.

If any of you vets have had similar experiences, or different ones, I would like to hear about them.

Whether someone agrees with the Iraq War doesn't matter. We all have opinions, but that doesn't mean we live with the reality of war. Vets do every day.

They've spent months or years in life or death struggle. They've had to reconcile killing other human beings. The reasons the war was started don't tell us why they fight. They've fought regardless of their political views because the most important things to them are the people they love at home and the friends fighting next to them. For most of them, I believe their motivation is to make the world a better place.

Then they come back to the land they fought for. There might be a parade at their homecoming, and after that it's back to living a “normal” life. But normal seems pointless. No one wants to talk about the war except on a political level. The America these soldiers have idealized now seems petty compared to what they used to worry about. Many of them long for battle because at least there they felt like they belonged.

PTSD afflicts many of our vets and they may not even know it. They might see corpses when they close their eyes, so they can't sleep. They tend to be nervous in large groups of people, so they withdraw. They often have trouble maintaining relationships. And they don't know how to talk about what they are going through. Many self medicate with drugs and alcohol. Many marriages fail. Many end up on the street or in jail.

I believe our soldiers, overwhelmingly, are honorable men and women who have sacrificed more than I can imagine, believing it was for something worth dying for. Many of those who didn't die will never completely leave that hell behind. I haven't yet figured out how to help ease the burden you carry. So, for now I will just say thank you.

Posted by Mark Montie at November 14, 2008 9:29 PM
Comments
Comment #270354

Mark,

Perhaps it’s because their government treats them like a number.

Since Sept. 11th, Americans, other than the families of those that went to war, have had nothing invested in the war. All we were asked to do was go shopping, and to accept that everything we were being told was the truth, and for the first time since the ’30s Americans were spending more than they were saving, a goodly portion of that spending was on credit.
We all can see how that worked out.

Back in the early ’90s I did an installation job at a VA hospital. It was about the grossest, most depressing place I had ever worked, and the money aside I couldn’t wait to get out of there.
After hearing what the VA hospitals are like today, and how our “heroes” are treated when they come home broken, it seems things haven’t changed that much.

America expects that our men and women give their all on the battlefield, yet when they come home broken, they become just another number on a dog tag.
Maybe if we aren’t prepared to deal with the trauma these folks go through being in harm’s way, then we shouldn’t be putting them in harm’s way.

Perhaps those that die the quick death of “heroes on the battlefield” are actually the lucky ones.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at November 15, 2008 12:27 AM
Comment #270356

Like a lot of Americans, I grew up during the Viet Nam war. I was kind of against the war, but what really bothered me was the way the vets were treated. Many vets came back with stories of horrendous things we were doing over there like John Kerry. What really got to me was the way these vets were treated. It’s all happening again! There were Iraq vets protesting outside the last Presidential debate. They were trampled by horses and arrested. Of course like back then the main stream media didn’t cover the event. http://www.democracynow.org/2008/10/16/15_arrested_outside_presidential_debate_in It’s a travesty how we treat our vets. But totally unbelievable how we treat the ones that have a different opinion than the people who run this country. Whether it’s Viet Nam or Iraq, you can’t make people democratic by pointing a gun at them. As I’ve said before Common Cause and Public Citizen are fighting for my freedom. Our boys are over there fighting for corporate profit.

Posted by: Mike the Cynic at November 15, 2008 9:48 AM
Comment #270357

Mark:

Want to help and thank the vets? Do that with your vote.

Vote for those who support the vets in the legislatures.

Vote for those who are very careful about sending them into harm’s way.

Vote for those who are willing to supply them the best of what they need for their mission from the start, including enough troops without calling it a surge.

Vote for those who would supply the best treatment on their return from battle, no matter the cost.

Vote for those who ask the whole nation to share the cost of any war or police action so they don’t bear it alone.

Vote for complete openness and integrity in our government and some of these things will take care of themselves.

Just my first thoughts on reading your post. Too bad it takes a documentary for you to have an inkling of the results of this and any war.

Posted by: womanmarine at November 15, 2008 9:53 AM
Comment #270366

This isn’t exactly a documentary, but AMC did some interviews with real vets in the week before Veterans Day. The first guy talking is Brian Anderson of Rolling Meadows IL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j226JK7aRDY

Posted by: ohrealy at November 15, 2008 12:25 PM
Comment #270375

You can thank these vets by helping to ensure we never again go to a war needlessly.

Posted by: Max at November 15, 2008 1:17 PM
Comment #270377

Montie wrote: “Thank you Vets.”

You are very welcome, Montie.

Max, absolutely on target comment.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 15, 2008 1:23 PM
Comment #270379

Take a look at this to see what truly concerned citizens can do…when our government won’t!!
I’ve donated to this since it’s inception…and continue to do so as often as I can.
Bless the Fisher family for starting a movement that surpassed what our government has done for these veterans! And they aren’t through yet…….
Shame! on those who perpetuate this insane use of our military to further careers or to feed personal needs and egos!
http://www.fallenheroesfund.org/fallenheroes/about/default.htm

Posted by: janedoe at November 15, 2008 2:07 PM
Comment #270395

Thank and hug A vet and do all you can to help and support them , I Remember watching a show on TV a while back where 5-6 vets returned back from Iraq and Afghanistan wounded ,Some were in VA Hospitals and one big fella was living with his folks in Pennsylvania,Just out of high school He was blinded and suffered some brain damage, His folks appeared to be middle class and middle aged, It just was remarkable of the love and care and sacrifice they gave to their son and he was if you want to call it fortunate most of the others were in Va hospitals or were married the show went into good depth about the sacrifices and pain all of the soldiers and wives and parents and children went and are still going through.I also Remember Vietnam Quite well Just on our Little street one of our neighbors who were Dutch and escaped from The Monster Nazis in WW2 lost a son he was on a plane coming back and a Russian Missile hit the plane and it went in the gulf of tonkin. Another neighbor kid had his hand shot off.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at November 15, 2008 4:07 PM
Comment #270411

Does no one have a word for the tragic people of Iraq? Those whose lives, families, homes, cities, livelihoods, and peace of mind have been destroyed? The most socially advanced arab society in the mid east in terms of education, medical care, public investment in infrastructure and in many other ways. For all of the Iraqis displaced within and without Iraq? For a country polluted for God knows how long with radiation from your depleted uranium weapons and children dying from radiation sickness?

Is it that their skin is brown? Or perhaps it is because they are muslim? Or Arab? Perhaps it is because they were weak, and the strong in the wild always devour the weak. But surely in a civilised society the strong should seek to protect the weak? The US is a country strongly influenced by Christianity, at least nominally. Only being raised as a christian I learned that we should treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves. That there are essentially only two commandments; love God and love your neighbour. If we are all children of God, then we are brothers and sisters, even closer than neighbours.

Honour your troops? Surely serving in a military establishment is an honourable profession. However, in order to be an honourable soldier, there is a clear burden to ensure that your orders are lawful, that your cause is just, and that the force used is proportionate. As the US led attack on Iraq was not sanctioned by the UN, it comes within the classification of the Nurenberg tribunals; namely, “to initiate a war of aggression…is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole”

No doubt all of you patriotic USan’s will have a fellow feeling with the Nazi victims of their own wars, those poor souls who were traumatised and whose bodies and minds were broken. After all, they were merely serving their country too. When will you people set aside your love of militarism and war? When will you wake up and recognise that if mankind is to have any future, we must learn to talk to each other as human beings, to listen to each other, and yes, to love each other?

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at November 15, 2008 9:06 PM
Comment #270414

Your questions were great Paul, but you might want to go back through here…..all columns….and read again all the hate being thrown around. You’re sitting on the side right now who espouses the Christianity theme…..living by the bible….all that goes with it. They are also the war-mongers, who continue to support the administration’s determination to remain in Iraq..indefinitely. Aparantly, the concern for lives lost, is not great enough to want an end to it.
Do you see a challenge there? A contradiction? Do you see what we haven’t been able to figure out all these years?
Commendable questions, but don’t expect answers.

Posted by: janedoe at November 15, 2008 9:33 PM
Comment #270416

Janedoe and Paul in Euroland, I will not attempt to dissuade you from your views about Iraq as they are obviously so deeply held as to be unshakeable.

So I’ll just ask you this. Do you ever wonder, even while thinking that those who disagree with you are wrong, that many who supported the Iraq intervention did so and still do so out of noble and humanitarian motives?

You are offering only cartoonish caricatures of crazy warmongers and racists in your attempts to define supporters of the Iraq war. I’d rather see an analysis of good-intentions gone awry, one which accounts for the fact that Iraq was hardly a beacon of human dignity under Saddam.

Are you capable of such an analysis, or is it necessary (Paul) to believe that this all about hatred of brown people, Muslims, and Arabs? And not possibly about care for such people, even if misguided? Or all the work of crazy Christianists (Janedoe?).

I am willing to give you credit for your humanitarian intentions even while disagreeing with you. But if you’re just going to call me and people like me crazy racists, when I know that not to be the case, then I suspect you of being a lot less nuanced in your thinking about human nature and the ambiguity of moral choices than the situation demands. There is a serious discussion and weighing of consequences to be had here, but it’s not one that calls for name-calling, easy labels, and lazy thinking on the part of any of us.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at November 15, 2008 10:56 PM
Comment #270417

womanmarine,

You make a good point about voting. I agree with many of the values you listed in those we should vote for. I think you may be taking my statement about learning something from that documentary farther than I intended it. It was poignant to see the depth of the effect of the war on those vets. I had not seen it that thoroughly presented before. And I would recommend it for others who want to understand more about what vets go through.

I think you may also be assuming some things about my opinions about the war because I’m a conservative. I’m not going to explain it to you here either because that was not the intention of this article. It was to say thank you to those who have taken on the consequences of the war. And guessing by your blog name, that includes you. So thank you womanmarine.

Posted by: Mark at November 15, 2008 11:52 PM
Comment #270419

LO….the answer to your first question to me is a resounding NO!
As for your attempt to pose a second question, I’m not buying it….. when you’ve completely altered what I said….and are using a rare name for an otherwise common group. ( http://althouse.blogspot.com/2006/11/christianist.html )
And I don’t need, or want to “accept” anything from you….since I’ve not called you “crazy” anything….quit putting words into my mouth and my comments both. You are also not my judge, so quit trying that as well.

Posted by: janedoe at November 16, 2008 3:29 AM
Comment #270420

L.O., good intentions gone awry? My late mother used to say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

You also speak of noble and humanitarian motives. Since when do such motives permit breaking the law and committing the “supreme international crime”? Besides, noble and humanitarian motives mean nothing if they are not informed by the truth, but by lies and inventions.

I did not try to define supporters of the Iraqi war, I merely posed some questions as to why so many people, in a supposedly civilised country, can apparently be blind to the evil visited by their country and troops on other human beings while being so concerned about the welfare of those troops and wondered and wonder if it is because they are different racially, religiously or otherwise.

Janedoe, your point is not altogether clear to me. if i understand you correctly, you are saying that Christians are also warmongers? If that is what you are saying, then I have to disagree with you. You cannot by definition be a Christian and a warmonger. Does that mean there are no people who describe themselves as Christians who are war mongers? Of course not. But calling yourself a Christian and actually being faithful to that calling are not the same thing. Christ said that you shall know them by how they love one another. Ever listened to Christian zionists? Surely their distinguishing feature is the hatred and judgementalism that pours forth from them. Or the rapturists? Christs message was at heart very simple. Be transformed by love. Such corruption of His teaching is not indicative of people who devote themselves to following His message. Roosevelt had it about right. We have nothing to fear but fear itself. And love is the opposite of fear. Fear is the cause of all evil in our world, because those who fear are so easily manipulated by those of evil disposition.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at November 16, 2008 6:17 AM
Comment #270423

paul

“As the US led attack on Iraq was not sanctioned by the UN, it comes within the classification of the Nurenberg tribunals; namely, “to initiate a war of aggression…is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole”

sorry paul, like it or not the US does not need th UNs approval to act in it’s own interests.


“Honour your troops? Surely serving in a military establishment is an honourable profession. However, in order to be an honourable soldier, there is a clear burden to ensure that your orders are lawful, that your cause is just, and that the force used is proportionate.”


implying that US military personel some how have a choice as to whether they carry out orders or not, is laughable, and by not refusing to fight the war in iraq they’re some how not honorable. you can argue that the war was unjust, or unnessesary, that is perfectly reasonable, but to slander our service persons like you have makes me want to puke. if it wasn’t for american sacrifice you probably would not have the freedom to speak your mind publicly like you are. how quickly you forget.

i went to a marine corps birthday bash last week, and i’de love to hear stand up in front of them and repeat the comments you’ve made hear. my guess is they might take exception to what you’ve said.

“No doubt all of you patriotic USan’s will have a fellow feeling with the Nazi victims of their own wars, those poor souls who were traumatised and whose bodies and minds were broken. After all, they were merely serving their country too. When will you people set aside your love of militarism and war? When will you wake up and recognise that if mankind is to have any future, we must learn to talk to each other as human beings, to listen to each other, and yes, to love each other?”

when will you learn there are people in this world that can’t be talked to, or reasoned with ? when will you learn there are times when talking, and compromise are seen as weekness to be exploited ? when will you learn there are people who are just eveil by nature, and nothing will change that ? you should thank the united states for your freedom because without us there’s a good chance you wouldn’t have it.


Posted by: dbs at November 16, 2008 9:14 AM
Comment #270424

Mark:

Nice article. IMHO we can not share the burden of those vets, but we can support and help alleviate the burdens that they must deal with for the rest of their lives. I suggest that a very simple thing that practically everyone can do is learn the Internation Sign Language gesture for “thank you”. If you happen to see anyone in uniform you can thank them without disrupting any activities. Speaking from my own experience, nothing is more appreciated and nothing is more moving than a simple thank you from someone to whom you may never speak.

wommanmarine:

Your reply to Mark could not be better in any way. Thank you.

David:

Thank you very much, Sir.

Paul:

“Surely serving in a military establishment is an honourable profession. However, in order to be an honourable soldier, there is a clear burden to ensure that your orders are lawful, that your cause is just, and that the force used is proportionate.” Paul, servicemen and servicewomen are not allowed to decide which causes are just and only in individual combat situations do they get to decide on proportionate force. As for the legality of the Iraq war: Congress authorized it, the President ordered it, the service people had to follow those constitutionally legal orders. Any fault found for the decision to declare war is the government’s not the service member’s.

“No doubt all of you patriotic USan’s will have a fellow feeling with the Nazi victims of their own wars, those poor souls who were traumatised and whose bodies and minds were broken. After all, they were merely serving their country too.” I feel for all of those that have fallen as soldiers for their country. I think that an important point that gets lost in the politics of war is that soldiers do not make war on others, governments do.

Posted by: submarinesforever at November 16, 2008 9:58 AM
Comment #270425

Mark:

My post made no assumptions about you or your opinions. I fully realized your intention with this article. :)

Paul:

Rest assured that many in the US share your sentiments. That does not negate the intent of Mark’s post.

Submarinesforever:

Well said. And thank you too!!

Posted by: womanmarine at November 16, 2008 10:25 AM
Comment #270426

Paul, you’re not misunderstanding me necessarily…..and you are understanding what my predicament is, as well. That is, that those posting and proclaiming their Christianity and their devout adherence to scripture and general faith in the bible, are the ones who speak the loudest of our need to continue with the war. They’re the ones who have been solidly behind Bushco since the announcement of our troops heading to Iraq. Check back through the archives…. you’ve been reading and posting on here for quite some time, so you must remember the differences in opinion.
These are the same people who have (with very few exceptions) spoken most hatefully against Obama…..made fun of his name, carefully steered clear of the color issue, but deomonize his heritage, and call him the anti-Christ. Paints a whole different picture of what the perception of Christianity is….huh??

Posted by: janedoe at November 16, 2008 11:11 AM
Comment #270445

womanmarine, subs,

Feeling that we are on the same page, I accept the criticism that it shouldn’t take a documentary to come to this point. But better from a documentary than never, eh.

I think the lack of first hand experience of seeing what vets go through is a barrier for many Americans to feel moved to help alleviate vets’ burdens. We need to do a better job of educating about this.

I also have felt that a simple thank you might be inadequate or even patronizing for such a sacrifice. I guess it’s a start though, and infinitely better than nothing.

Posted by: Mark at November 16, 2008 3:31 PM
Comment #270448

Mark:

I hope that I was not critical of your thoughts, i definately did not intend to be. As a matter of fact, I appreciate your article and thoughts. It does not matter that you recently watched a documentary that gave you a new perspective on the challanges that veterans face, it only matters that you have somewhat of a perspective of the challanges that some veterans face.

To take that thought a step further, I will remind you that I am a disabled vet rated at 30% service connected by the VA and have lost shipmates in an incident coming out of the shipyard. To make a long story short, we had two people washed overboard and basically beat to death against the hull of our submarine. I tell you that to tell you this: my son spent a year in Rhamadi, Iraq and saw several of his mates killed and maimed by IEDs and sniper fire. I can not relate to his experiences. He does know that I do appreciate all he and his mates have done for my country…..for my freedoms…..for me. He was in the Army Reserves and has since joined the regular Army. He is currently in basic training for the second time. Not a week goes by that I fail to tell him not only that I love him, but that I am proud and appreciative of his service and sacrifices.

Speaking for myself and relaying what my son has told me, there is nothing more special than a stranger saying thank you for your service. I have witnessed grown men cry over a simple act of picking up their dinner bill at a restaurant anonymously. A simple thank you is not only more than most veterans expect, but when it comes from a stranger, it can be therapeutic far beyond adequate.

I thank you very much for for awakening to an issue and bringing it into a public forum.

Posted by: submarinesforever at November 16, 2008 5:19 PM
Comment #270465

dbs, US troops have a choice as to whether to sign up in the first place or not. Since the war has been ongoing in Iraq for over 5 years now, there are lots of enlistees who have signed up since it began.

As I understand it, international treaties signed up to by the US, have the force of law under your constitution and are binding.

As to soldiers having the choice to serve particular orders or conflicts? Never heard of Erhen Watada?

As to thanking the US for my freedom? Well, actually, I thank my grandfathers generation, who put their lives on the line for my freedom. The US was more concerned to stay sweet with its ally the British Empire, so we didn’t figure in US calculations or at least our freedom was not a sufficiently persuasive imperative.

I have not yet found any people in the world that I could not talk to and reason with. Of course that does take some effort and patience sometimes, but you have to be prepared to listen and show respect to others if you demand it for yourself.

People who worry about being perceived as weak if they compromise are in fact themselves fearful that they are weak. Given that the US spends as much if not more on its military as the rest of the world combined, it’s a little illogical to claim that you could be perceived as weak, although it’s interesting that despite this orgy of wasteful spending, the US seems to have great difficulty in making its writ run in it’s nasty little wars. I do however agree with you that there are some people who are evil by nature. We have seen their works, particularly over the last eight years, in warmongering and stirring up fear in order to further their criminal agendas. If you check out the site of Catherine Austin Fitts, which you probably won’t, you will learn much of what I am talking about. She was the undersecretary of State at HUD in the Bush 41 admin. She was also managing director of Dillon Read on Wall Street, so she is an insider. If you want, you can check out her site, www.solari.com and see for yourself. Click on her archive, then the section headed Tapeworm Economics and read all of the articles. If you are prepared to invest the time needed to do this, you will see a very different perspective on the powers that run your country. I am not greatly confident that you will firstly read the above, and secondly, not confident that even if you do, you will sincerely consider what it is she has to say. I suspect you would dismiss it as offending against your probably dearly held beliefs. But if we don’t put our belief under scrutiny , we have no chance of correcting mistakes.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at November 17, 2008 4:58 AM
Comment #270482

paul

“US troops have a choice as to whether to sign up in the first place or not. Since the war has been ongoing in Iraq for over 5 years now, there are lots of enlistees who have signed up since it began.”

i have a nephew who just finished boot camp, and is now a marine, i also have other family members, and friends who are also marines, as well as in other branches, so i find this comment highly offensive. i guess choosing to serve your country is not noble calling i’ve always believed it was. it is also mandatory as far as i know that all males as of thier 18th birthday register for the draft as i did many years ago, so the general premise of this statement is nonsense. those warriors would be aquired one way or another. i for one am greatful we have so many willing to serve.


Posted by: dbs at November 17, 2008 12:05 PM
Comment #270488

dbs,

“it is also mandatory as far as i know that all males as of thier 18th birthday register for the draft as i did many years ago, so the general premise of this statement is nonsense.”

Being forced by law to sign up for a non-existent draft, and willingly signing up for active duty in the myriad of American military branches are two entirely different things.
The “Oath of Enlistment” that a new member of the military takes includes “defending the Constitution of the United States…”
The UCMJ requires members of the military to follow “lawful” orders, as long as they are not “contrary to the Constitution”.
In other words, the military doesn’t require that it’s members be merely lemmings.

Defending America is a noble cause, and make no mistake, I do thank those that are willing to do so, but whether or not the war in Iraq can be considered lawful, or contrary to the Constitution, or defending the Constitution of the United States, is open to discussion.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at November 17, 2008 1:21 PM
Comment #270489

dbs, your response to this comment was a tad bit over-the-edge, since there isn’t anything “offensive” in it at all.

“US troops have a choice as to whether to sign up in the first place or not. Since the war has been ongoing in Iraq for over 5 years now, there are lots of enlistees who have signed up since it began.”

Perhaps the strain of battle is getting to you………….

Posted by: janedoe at November 17, 2008 1:23 PM
Comment #270511

Subs,

Thanks for the added perspective. My dad served aboard a submarine during peace time. He also lost a ship mate in an accident. He has never seemed preoccupied with that time in his life but he has always been passionate about veteran’s issues. I think I understand that a little better now.

Posted by: Mark at November 17, 2008 6:10 PM
Comment #270512

janedoe

“Perhaps the strain of battle is getting to you………….”

perhaps sandra you need to learn to read between the lines. i’ve always had a certain amount of respect for you. appearently feelings aren’t mutual. nice cheap shot though.

Posted by: dbs at November 17, 2008 7:08 PM
Comment #270514

Rocky

“Being forced by law to sign up for a non-existent draft, and willingly signing up for active duty in the myriad of American military branches are two entirely different things.”

“Defending America is a noble cause, and make no mistake, I do thank those that are willing to do so, but whether or not the war in Iraq can be considered lawful, or contrary to the Constitution, or defending the Constitution of the United States, is open to discussion.”


whats your point rocky ?

Posted by: dbs at November 17, 2008 7:20 PM
Comment #270516

dbs,

If I need to spell it out…

Oh, never mind.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at November 17, 2008 9:14 PM
Comment #270527

Rocky

maybe you didn’t understand the point behind my response to paul, or maybe you didn’t understand what he meant when he made that peticular comment about those who have signed up to serve since the war started. it was crystal clear to me, and i found it offensive. anyone who respects those who serve this country as you say you do, i would think would have found that remark equally offensive. as far as that nonexistent draft, where do you suppose the needed bodies would come from if we didn’t enough people willing to serve voluntarily ?

reread your words rocky, and then reread pauls. the man was saying they are criminals and not noble people serving thier country. are you ok with that ? i would hope not.


rocky said: “Defending America is a noble cause, and make no mistake, I do thank those that are willing to do so, but whether or not the war in Iraq can be considered lawful, or contrary to the Constitution, or defending the Constitution of the United States, is open to discussion.”


paul said: “US troops have a choice as to whether to sign up in the first place or not. Since the war has been ongoing in Iraq for over 5 years now, there are lots of enlistees who have signed up since it began.”

this was a slight i assume was aimed at me personally.

“Being forced by law to sign up for a non-existent draft, and willingly signing up for active duty in the myriad of American military branches are two entirely different things.”

hey thats alright though, appearently i’m not worth your time, or you just choose not to elaborate on that flipant remark.


Posted by: dbs at November 18, 2008 10:23 AM
Comment #270544

dbs,

Was my “flippant” remark true or not?

You seemed not to see any difference between signing up for the draft, which is required, and volunteering for the military, which is not.

The noble cause in Iraq was five or ten reasons down Bush’s announced list (kinda like, oh BTW, we’re going to free the Iraqi people too) when we invaded Iraq.
I do believe that it is possible to serve nobly for an ignoble cause, and I don’t believe that this administrations motives in Iraq were all that altruistic.
The “stated” original mission after Sept. 11th was that we were going to hunt down al Qaeda, and destroy them in Afghanistan, and we had the support of the world to do so. We still haven’t completed that mission. Bin Laden is still alive, and the Taliban are still and issue.

We did not have the support of the Iraqis when we invaded Iraq. They didn’t greet us as liberators, they didn’t “greet us with open arms or throw flowers in our path”. Rightly or wrongly we are still in Iraq four years after the stated mission was complete.

You choose to take offence at Paul’s remarks. Whether you like it or not, understand that some of America’s actions since WW2 could be construed as that of a bully. We have pissed off much of the worlds population because they don’t get why we have supported those that oppressed them.

America has the capacity, and the capability, to do great things on this planet, but we also cannot forget that we have ocassionally screwed the pooch when it comes to diplomatic relations with the actual people we are trying to save.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at November 18, 2008 3:40 PM
Comment #270545

Rocky

like i’ve said before, talking about whether the war was right or wrong is a perfectly reasonable discussion to have. if that was all paul had said, i’de have been fine with that. that wasn’t all he said, and if you reread his entire response to me, and understood the context of it, you would take exception to that comment i found exceptionaly offensive. you don’t seem to want to cross that bridge though, and i guess thats fine. when someone makes a degrading remark about our men and women in the armed forces, especialy when i have friends and family involved in them. i’ll be damned if i’m gonna put my tail between my legs and walk away.

Posted by: dbs at November 18, 2008 4:21 PM
Comment #270731

I spent two and a half tours in Viet Nam. The one thing that has shamed me most about my life history is that I returned to Viet Nam after I found out the Gulf of Tonkin was a hoax.

I wonder how many of those returning Iraq vets who are traumatized are suffering the traumatization of SHAME?

The one thing unshameful leaders do is ask the innocent to become unshameful, thus to live in dishonor. Sometimes I wonder if the fallen aren’t the lucky ones, at least they don’t have to face their own conscience in the aftermath of realization.

There is no honor in dishonor. Iraq became dishonorable as soon as we knew Saddam was not a direct threat to America. We found that out even before the invasion, but knew it publicly within the second year. We are still there and our troops are being asked to be shameless about something that is shameful.

Hug a vet, if you must, but by now every one of them has had an opportunity to become familiar with why we are there, and to have acted honorably by opting out. These are not heroes, in the same way that I was not a hero.

Posted by: Nincompoop at November 21, 2008 5:09 AM
Comment #270735

dbs,

Shall we examine the line that you found “offensive”?

“US troops have a choice as to whether to sign up in the first place or not. Since the war has been ongoing in Iraq for over 5 years now, there are lots of enlistees who have signed up since it began.”

Do you have a a problem with the fact that American men and women have a choice to join the military?
Do you think that it’s “nonsense” that American men and women have that choice?
I do not feel the need to parse his opinion.
As for me not wanting to “cross that bridge”, if I take his statement at face value, it seems there is no bridge to cross.
That you feel offense, and feel the need to express that offense is your right. Those folks at the Marine birthday bash fought for your right to take offense as well as his right to express his opinion.
I choose to not take offense at his opinion as it doesn’t change my beliefs, nor should it change yours.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at November 21, 2008 9:50 AM
Comment #270764

Rocky

sorry you don’t seem to get it rocky. your ok with him calling US service people criminals for volunteering to serve in this war ? thats a shame rocky. really nothing else to say.

Posted by: dbs at November 21, 2008 7:33 PM
Comment #270765

dbs,

“your ok with him calling US service people criminals for volunteering to serve in this war ?”

I didn’t say that. I said it doesn’t affect how I think, or beleive, so I choose not to take offence.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at November 21, 2008 7:39 PM
Comment #270767

dbs,

Let me put this another way.

I cannot control how Paul thinks, nor do I control his opinion. I know nothing of his circumstance. I do know that in the world, he is not alone in his opinion.
As an American, I can work to change that opinion, or I can get pissed off, and be insulted.

You chose the latter. What does that plan of action really accomplish?

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at November 21, 2008 10:11 PM
Post a comment