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10/20/2008 11:06:01 PM · #26
What I have difficulty resolving is that those men (and women) who would go into battle to defend the freedoms that Americans enjoy would then turn around and seek to limit those same freedoms when exercised to express a viewpoint contrary to their own.

FWIW, my family has been fighting (and sometimes dying) in every one of America's wars since they fought the British as part of George Washington's army.

I took a pass on the military, not through any choice of my own.
10/20/2008 11:08:27 PM · #27
Originally posted by JEM:

Jason, no one would question that your grandfather was a fine man, and no doubt did an
admirable job of work for the Canadian Forest Service in World War Two. You seem to be
a literate, well educated, talented photographer. Did it ever occur to you that the freedom and liberty you inherited was paid for by the blood and death of men who chose
to fight for your comfortable life of today. You live in Washington state...take a
weekend and visit a WWll veteran's hospital in the USA or Canada, and talk quietly to
those men who sacrificed while the objectors evaded battle. You may learn something
about courage and honor.

You had a college or university education so you must be acquainted with the horrors
inflicted by the Japanese and Germans on civilian populations. And the horrendous
battles it took to save your family.

I trust you do not teach your children that the bloodthirsty, cruel Canadian and American military men performed their duty because of their lust for war.

JEM


Some wars are more noble than others. Some testimonies more eloquent than others. Courage and honor can be found in more places than the battlefield. Do not presume I know of neither. I have walked into a room with all eyes on me and my voice was the only thing that counted in whether or not a premature baby just born could be saved. The silence could be cut with a knife when the answer was, "no". I have stared a shrieking mother in the eyes to tell her the 8-week old baby she brought into the ER was dead and nothing could be done. I have consoled a mother in the NICU after life-support was withdrawn from her premature infant and all she could do was weep and cry out "I'm sorry...I'm sorry...I'm sorry". I would wish those moments on no man, but to stand and face them and do your duty requires every bit of fortitude and courage as can be found in taking another man's life.

There is a time to raise your fist and defend your life. That duty should be borne with solemn responsibility. This young man paid the ultimate price, but his death does not lend validity to the attitudes expressed within his letter. I value the defense of our freedom. I do not value apathy toward evaluating if one is Right or Just. I value Truth and Honor. I do not value "might makes right".
10/20/2008 11:08:43 PM · #28
Originally posted by JEM:

Dear Katherine, as you will learn, to your sorrow, mankind is a disagreeable lot...and has been for as long as they have been scratching their history on rocks and clay tablets. That is reality. Even chimpanzees collect in tribes, and kill and eat others, which does not say much for we humanoids.

The good news is, that most humans on this planet only wish for a peaceful life, a roof over their head, healthy children, and love at home as well as in a community.

But you cannot ignore those bad few who wish to impose their beliefs on you on pain of
death, or wish to take your home, or do you harm out of pure meanness. One person's
terrorist is another's freedom fighter. It was ever thus.

You will learn to cope, and build a happy life -- hopefully without the agony some of
us have experienced.

Always be prepared to defend yourself!! Keep your gun clean, oiled and loaded for
defense of your home. If we do not, once again, begin to think like our ancestors
we will lose our personal freedom.

JEM


ehh, my parents took my guns away. so that part will have to wait til i turn 21 or 18 of however old you have to be to own a gun. thanks though, i just like retreating to my happy little world where people dont have a problem with other peoples religions, etc. oh well
10/20/2008 11:39:15 PM · #29
I am concerned that our popular culture no longer champions analytical thought. Critical thinking would cause us to admit today just what an incredible blow the attack on 9-11 was to the United States. It would also require us to realize and admit that we have been spared another attack for seven straight years.

Thank you, all of our men and women of the armed forces, for keeping us safe and doing your best to protect me and the future for my kids. You may not be perfect - but thank God you are there to do what you've been doing so we do not have to re-live the angst and worry of those anxious days of seven years ago. Thank you for having the grace to allow us to sit back and forget about just how safe we've been and even throw a little armchair criticism your way - questioning your motivation and suggesting how much better you could be doing your jobs.

10/21/2008 12:16:22 AM · #30
Originally posted by jjstager2:

I am concerned that our popular culture no longer champions analytical thought. Critical thinking would cause us to admit today just what an incredible blow the attack on 9-11 was to the United States. It would also require us to realize and admit that we have been spared another attack for seven straight years.

Thank you, all of our men and women of the armed forces, for keeping us safe and doing your best to protect me and the future for my kids. You may not be perfect - but thank God you are there to do what you've been doing so we do not have to re-live the angst and worry of those anxious days of seven years ago. Thank you for having the grace to allow us to sit back and forget about just how safe we've been and even throw a little armchair criticism your way - questioning your motivation and suggesting how much better you could be doing your jobs.


Critical thinking, by its nature, requires dissent.

From my own point of view, it's not the soldiers that I criticize, rather it's the short-sighted civilian bosses (and no, I do not exclusively mean those in GW Bush's administration, though they may be the worst offenders) whose failures have caused US soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen to be sent into harm's way more than necessary.
10/21/2008 06:26:00 AM · #31
Originally posted by JEM:

Always be prepared to defend yourself!! Keep your gun clean, oiled and loaded for
defense of your home. If we do not, once again, begin to think like our ancestors
we will lose our personal freedom.


Let's weigh up the scenarios here. Who is most likely to threaten your family's security;

a) Some guy off his face on meth who decides to break into your house

b) The repossession / debt collection agency

or

c) Ahmed the goat herder from Kabul, recently recruited via his local extremist to convert or kill as many American infidels as possible. His mission? To infiltrate airport security and board a plane bound for the US, armed to his teeth with heavy weapons.
10/21/2008 06:32:39 AM · #32
hear hear
10/21/2008 06:57:57 AM · #33
Originally posted by JH:

Originally posted by JEM:

Always be prepared to defend yourself!! Keep your gun clean, oiled and loaded for
defense of your home. If we do not, once again, begin to think like our ancestors
we will lose our personal freedom.


Let's weigh up the scenarios here. Who is most likely to threaten your family's security;

a) Some guy off his face on meth who decides to break into your house

b) The repossession / debt collection agency

or

c) Ahmed the goat herder from Kabul, recently recruited via his local extremist to convert or kill as many American infidels as possible. His mission? To infiltrate airport security and board a plane bound for the US, armed to his teeth with heavy weapons.


D) All of the Above After further review the correct answer is A and C. B isn't a problem if you pay your bills.

Message edited by author 2008-10-21 07:10:45.
10/21/2008 07:35:50 AM · #34
Let's weigh up the scenarios here. Who is most likely to threaten your family's security;

a) Some guy off his face on meth who decides to break into your house

b) The repossession / debt collection agency

or

c) Ahmed the goat herder from Kabul, recently recruited via his local extremist to convert or kill as many American infidels as possible. His mission? To infiltrate airport security and board a plane bound for the US, armed to his teeth with heavy weapons.


I wonder how the people of NYC or Washington D.C., or any major U.S. city might respond to this question. (And may I presume that your reference to goat herders from Kabul is a whistling-past-the-graveyard reference to committed attackers such as those Al Quaeda cell members living in our country who pulled off the events of 9-11?)

10/21/2008 07:46:03 AM · #35
HOOAH!!!! This whole war is definately not in vain. We have lost a lot of good soldiers...Some of which were friends of mine. Us being over here is keeping the terrorists at bay....
10/21/2008 07:50:02 AM · #36
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Some wars are more noble than others.

I refute this.

When beliefs and views differ enough that the only way to resolve it is to kill the other, then we as humans have devolved.

How can we claim sentience, and then view it so cheaply as to kill another because we feel we're right?

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Some testimonies more eloquent than others. Courage and honor can be found in more places than the battlefield. Do not presume I know of neither. I have walked into a room with all eyes on me and my voice was the only thing that counted in whether or not a premature baby just born could be saved. The silence could be cut with a knife when the answer was, "no". I have stared a shrieking mother in the eyes to tell her the 8-week old baby she brought into the ER was dead and nothing could be done. I have consoled a mother in the NICU after life-support was withdrawn from her premature infant and all she could do was weep and cry out "I'm sorry...I'm sorry...I'm sorry". I would wish those moments on no man, but to stand and face them and do your duty requires every bit of fortitude and courage as can be found in taking another man's life.

Heed these words......this is the struggle one must make when one human being has to reflect on the effect of the death of another.....and wonder if at this point, they're doing the right thing.

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

There is a time to raise your fist and defend your life. That duty should be borne with solemn responsibility. This young man paid the ultimate price, but his death does not lend validity to the attitudes expressed within his letter. I value the defense of our freedom. I do not value apathy toward evaluating if one is Right or Just. I value Truth and Honor. I do not value "might makes right".

Well said, sir.

I saw the movie "Traitor" recently. It's a good watch to check your perspective. Yes, you need a little suspension of disbelief, but the message is sound.

Where you stand on honor and righteousness depends on which side of the line you're viewing it from.

What I believe to be right may be anathema to you.....which of us is right, and what gives one of us the right to kill the other for it?

I don't believe that any person has the right to kill another.....much less for belief.

Oh, and for whomever is going to be the clever person to come up with the inevitable, "Well, what about the guy that rapes and murders your daughter?".

I want to watch the look in your eye when you pull the trigger to kill that person personally while they look at you.

Then *I* will know that humanity is really in trouble for sure.

Message edited by author 2008-10-21 07:50:34.
10/21/2008 08:04:59 AM · #37
Originally posted by JH:

Originally posted by JEM:

Always be prepared to defend yourself!! Keep your gun clean, oiled and loaded for
defense of your home. If we do not, once again, begin to think like our ancestors
we will lose our personal freedom.


Let's weigh up the scenarios here. Who is most likely to threaten your family's security;

a) Some guy off his face on meth who decides to break into your house

b) The repossession / debt collection agency

or

c) Ahmed the goat herder from Kabul, recently recruited via his local extremist to convert or kill as many American infidels as possible. His mission? To infiltrate airport security and board a plane bound for the US, armed to his teeth with heavy weapons.


Statistically, I would say b by a mile, then a, and finally the infinitessimal c.
10/21/2008 08:09:42 AM · #38
Originally posted by jjstager2:

I am concerned that our popular culture no longer champions analytical thought. Critical thinking would cause us to admit today just what an incredible blow the attack on 9-11 was to the United States. It would also require us to realize and admit that we have been spared another attack for seven straight years.


We have sacrificed the safety of our children for our own safety. The aggressive policies of the United States create hatred toward us. The First Gulf War engendered 9/11, 10 years later. I shudder to think what the Second Gulf War will bring upon us.
10/21/2008 08:33:33 AM · #39
Originally posted by posthumous:

Originally posted by jjstager2:

I am concerned that our popular culture no longer champions analytical thought. Critical thinking would cause us to admit today just what an incredible blow the attack on 9-11 was to the United States. It would also require us to realize and admit that we have been spared another attack for seven straight years.


We have sacrificed the safety of our children for our own safety. The aggressive policies of the United States create hatred toward us. The First Gulf War engendered 9/11, 10 years later. I shudder to think what the Second Gulf War will bring upon us.


The next Great Depression?
10/21/2008 08:47:06 AM · #40
Originally posted by jjstager2:

I am concerned that our popular culture no longer champions analytical thought. Critical thinking would cause us to admit today just what an incredible blow the attack on 9-11 was to the United States. It would also require us to realize and admit that we have been spared another attack for seven straight years.


Was it really necessary to kill 100.000+, destroy two countries, risk war with a dozen others, etc to retaliate for 2.973 deaths? More children were killed in these wars than adults were killed on 9/11.

The US mutilated and killed more children with Agent Orange than that people died on 9/11, can Vietnam now invade the US and kill a couple of thousand?

For sure you can not say: "Oops, shit, too bad" and do nothing. But the US seems to have lost all measure in this.


10/21/2008 08:49:48 AM · #41
Originally posted by Zigomar:

Ok, the US and Nato bombed my country in '99. and this fascist propaganda bullshit so piss me off:

"Even if this is just a war for profit or to assert America's power, so what? Someone has to be on top and I want it to be us."

" I have chosen my corner. I back my country, and am proud to defend it against aggressors. Also, if you dare accuse us of being inhumane, or overly aggressive because we have rolled into someone else's country and blown some [expletive deleted] up and shot some people, let me remind you of just how inhumane we COULD be in defending ourselves."

I found this rather ridicilous.


I agree, these arguments are ridiculous. It disgusts me.
10/21/2008 09:19:58 AM · #42
Originally posted by cowboy221977:

HOOAH!!!! This whole war is definately not in vain. We have lost a lot of good soldiers...Some of which were friends of mine. Us being over here is keeping the terrorists at bay....


But the terrorists didn't come from either of the two countries that are currently invaded by your forces. Weren't the 19 hijackers mostly Saudis? Maybe with their third attempt, they'll get it right and invade a country that deserves it. But until then, there's no way in hell that anyone on this planet will convince me that Iraq and Afghanistan were justifiable options to end terrorism. That is pure bull and whoever believes it is being taken for a fool.
10/21/2008 10:00:29 AM · #43
Originally posted by posthumous:

Originally posted by jjstager2:

I am concerned that our popular culture no longer champions analytical thought. Critical thinking would cause us to admit today just what an incredible blow the attack on 9-11 was to the United States. It would also require us to realize and admit that we have been spared another attack for seven straight years.


We have sacrificed the safety of our children for our own safety. The aggressive policies of the United States create hatred toward us. The First Gulf War engendered 9/11, 10 years later. I shudder to think what the Second Gulf War will bring upon us.


I'd say that 9/11 is more a product of our proxy war with the Soviets in Afghanistan buring the 1980's than anything else.
10/21/2008 10:06:28 AM · #44
Originally posted by JEM:

Colette, the condescending tone would lead me to believe you are a San Francisco [my base
for most of my worldwide business] liberal. At age 83 my synapses still work, and I hardly need reminding that today's world is different than WWll.
My point is simple...this young soldier, killed in the line of duty, stood between the
weak willed creeps and thieves who have robbed our American economy, and the real enemy
sworn to kill ALL infidels...that includes YOU.
While out of uniform, I ranged the world building a business for several decades, and
know there are collection of religious fanatics who are dedicated to killing, not just
we Americans, but anyone who does not agree with them. What you may not realize is that
today's suicide bomber is simply a later version of the Japanese kamikaze we faced. So it is not so different after all.
All nations have cowards who hide behind ideology. That is not new. However, my dear,
someone has got to volunteer to do the dirty, nasty, bloody, extremely dangerous work
of killing the fanatical murderous enemies of Canada, America, and the Western world.
And this young dead soldier deserves our praise, our prayers, our thanks.
JEM John Masquelier


Sorry you took MY opinion as condescending. The Japanese kamikaze were part of a country that you could identify as the enemy. The suicide bombers do not represent a country. That's a big difference.


10/21/2008 10:06:40 AM · #45
Originally posted by NikonJeb:

I saw the movie "Traitor" recently. It's a good watch to check your perspective. Yes, you need a little suspension of disbelief, but the message is sound.


You should check out The Conscientious Objector. It is a wildly amazing documentary about a guy named Desmond Doss who would not carry a weapon because of his religion but still joined the Army in WWII out of a sense of duty. Amazingly he won the Congressional Medal of Honor. I'll try not to give up all the details, but it is a movie full of conviction.

Anyway, I am not quite the pacifist my grandfather was. There is probably a time when war is justified. I just don't think it's often and I hate to see the cavalier attitude about killing expressed in the letter.
10/21/2008 10:11:02 AM · #46
My father fought in World War II. I fought in Vietnam. My son fought in Afghanistan right after 9/11 and is in between tours in Iraq. I find it so sad that after thousands of years of "civilization", that we cannot solve our problems with out wars.

I have absolutely no problem with those who stand and question this war, or any war. If we do not do a self check, every so often, we wind up rushing over the cliff like a bunch of lemmings. There are times when there is no choice, but war. However, if no one ever questions, we will never look for alternatives.

I do have a problem with those who flee the country till the war is over, and then want to come back and reap the rewards. They shirked their responsiblity. They are fair weather friends of their country.

For those who gave alternative service, and those who took to the streets and/or went to jail, you both have my respect.

I fought for freedom of speech. Not for the freedom for you to only speak when you agree with me.
10/21/2008 10:15:03 AM · #47
Originally posted by Jac:

Originally posted by cowboy221977:

HOOAH!!!! This whole war is definately not in vain. We have lost a lot of good soldiers...Some of which were friends of mine. Us being over here is keeping the terrorists at bay....


But the terrorists didn't come from either of the two countries that are currently invaded by your forces. Weren't the 19 hijackers mostly Saudis? Maybe with their third attempt, they'll get it right and invade a country that deserves it. But until then, there's no way in hell that anyone on this planet will convince me that Iraq and Afghanistan were justifiable options to end terrorism. That is pure bull and whoever believes it is being taken for a fool.


While it's true that the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudi, they were not acting on behalf of the Saudi government. Their organization, Al Qaeda, was based in Afghanistan and had set up training camps with the knowledge, consent and open cooperation of the Afghan Taliban Government.
10/21/2008 10:18:21 AM · #48
Originally posted by Spazmo99:

Originally posted by Jac:

Originally posted by cowboy221977:

HOOAH!!!! This whole war is definately not in vain. We have lost a lot of good soldiers...Some of which were friends of mine. Us being over here is keeping the terrorists at bay....


But the terrorists didn't come from either of the two countries that are currently invaded by your forces. Weren't the 19 hijackers mostly Saudis? Maybe with their third attempt, they'll get it right and invade a country that deserves it. But until then, there's no way in hell that anyone on this planet will convince me that Iraq and Afghanistan were justifiable options to end terrorism. That is pure bull and whoever believes it is being taken for a fool.


While it's true that the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudi, they were not acting on behalf of the Saudi government. Their organization, Al Qaeda, was based in Afghanistan and had set up training camps with the knowledge, consent and open cooperation of the Afghan Taliban Government.


And the Taliban Government was supported by the US when the Russians tried to take over Afghanistan.

And the US once supported Saddam Hussein.

Which way will the wind blow tomorrow?

Message edited by author 2008-10-21 10:19:47.
10/21/2008 10:20:00 AM · #49
Originally posted by ambaker:

I have absolutely no problem with those who stand and question this war, or any war. If we do not do a self check, every so often, we wind up rushing over the cliff like a bunch of lemmings. There are times when there is no choice, but war. However, if no one ever questions, we will never look for alternatives.


Well said. I am glad to see a well-balanced opinion on this topic.
10/21/2008 10:23:41 AM · #50
I have a bit of a gripe with this glorified honor that is being used so easily.

Just out of curiousity, how would you (who are in favor of the late soldiers blog entry) respond to this?

Us Marine Kills Puppy

Where is this courage and honour you speak of? Does he still have it?

If you say - no - then where does he fit in the whole "Protecting my family and children" point of view?

Because think about it - while his actions might not represent that of a "true" marine (whatever that stands for) - he is still putting his life on the line for your safety.

And here are two counter-argument points (to save some time)

a) He does not represent the true marine, and is one in a million.
b) That is what war does to you.

One would be naive to think this is an isolated case. Considering what the troops go through, I was expecting worse to be honest. And worst is unfortunately a reality.

Yet my bottom line is - it doesnt make it right. And throwing a "making me feel safe at night" at it doesn't justify it. Those actions are barbaric.

Simple example, but where is there is any honor in bombing people from miles away? I saw tons of movie clips where "insurgents" are gunned down by Apaches (helicopters) from kilometers away. And the gunner would utter words like "Smoke em"

Are those also just a select few cases?

In my opinion - The greater good, as some said earlier and even the late marine, is not worth the price that is being paid.

And to be honest... who are we to determine what the greater good is.
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