Tuesday, October 31, 2006

On military bulletins...

I've received 2 military related bulletins today on MySpace, and the second one just finally pissed me off enough to blow off a little steam. I haven't posted on this topic in quite awhile, so I guess maybe I was due for a little rant. ;-)

My responses (as should be obvious) are below in italic.

I'm going to post a point by point rebuttal to some of these statements as a "food for thought" type polemic.


Read to the end before you snap back...


Your alarm goes off, you hit the snooze and sleep for another 10 minutes.
He stays up for days on end.

You take a warm shower to help you wake up.
He goes days or weeks without running water.

As do hundreds of thousands of civilians, whose infrastructure we bombed into oblivion, directly and indirectly taking the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

You complain of a "headache", and call in sick.
He gets shot at as others are hit, and keeps moving forward.

You put on your anti war/don't support the troops shirt, and go meet up with your friends.
He still fights for your right to wear that shirt.

I wouldn't wear a "don't support the troops" shirt, and it's incredibly stupid to think that not supporting the war means that you don't support the troops. Those soldiers are a bunch of men and women who signed up to defend an ideal... freedom and liberty... and they're putting their lives on the line in the belief that that is what they're defending. Whether or not they understand the full weight of what they're doing, their intentions are generally for the best, and to put their lives on the line for that deserves respect. But that doesn't mean that if someone disagrees with the government policy that has sent good men and women to die for no good reason, that they don't support those men and women. It is the same mentality that cannot understand what true patriotism actually is... and who believe that questioning the actions of the current administration is unpatriotic, when the very founding fathers themselves made it clear that to be a patriot was to question that very government, to be ever vigilant... that sometimes the blood of patriots must be shed to show that government who is actually in charge... THE PEOPLE of the United States... the government exists for no other purpose than to serve the people and the constitution of the United States of America, NOT the other way around.

Not to mention that he is NOT fighting for my right to wear that shirt. Our country is not and was not EVER under attack by Saddam Hussein OR Iraq. Our Freedoms are not under attack by any foreign power... they are under attack by our own government, which is plain to see for anyone who actually takes the time to look at the legislation that has been passed over the past few years, and just how many of your constitutional rights have vanished. You have been completely hoodwinked and blinded to who the real enemy is here. These men and women, however honorable their intentions, are fighting a war for a very difference reason, a reason decided and enforced by the current administration, not by the soldiers themselves... and again, even if the soldiers do believe they're fighting for that reason... they're not. Iraq/Saddam are not the enemy... they are not the ones that attacked us... and even the ones who did have at least in part, valid reasons for their attack that the government and many of the people either cannot see, or refuse to see.

You need to understand these things much more thoroughly (if you do at all) before you condemn or praise those involved.

You make sure you're cell phone is in your pocket.
He clutches the cross hanging on his chain next to his dog tags.

Just another reminder that a large part of this war is a matter of religious dogma and not rationality or truth.

That goes in part to the fact that Bush had launched this war believing that God told him to do so... and believing that we essentially have some divine moral high ground that ensures our victory... this is the same kind of mindset that the other side has... they BOTH believe in figments of their imaginations, and they BOTH believe ABSOLUTELY that they are Just and Right and WILL PREVAIL etc... both are convinced 100% that the other side is wrong, that the other side CANNOT be right, because that would mean giving up their own fairy tale belief in religion. It is a No Win situation until rational thinkers can bury this scourge of irrational superstitious nonsense and get the world to wake up to the reality of the modern day.

You talk trash about your "buddies" that aren't with you.
He knows he may not see some of his buddies again.

And it's our fault that his friends are dying? We who oppose them having been sent there to die, and not the actual government who made that decision, against the majority will of the people? What kind of backwards thinking is that? Seriously.

You walk down the beach, staring at all the pretty girls.
He walks the streets, searching for insurgents and terrorists.

Again, how is this our fault?

You complain about how hot it is.
He wears his heavy gear, not daring to take off his helmet to wipe his brow.

Yet another case of "not my fault, I didn't want him there to begin with. There's no good reason for him to be there. blame the government that sent him, not me". Starting to catch on yet?

You go out to lunch, and complain because the restaurant got your order wrong.
He doesn't get to eat today.

I call bullshit on that one. The military is very well stocked, and if you want to cry about him maybe missing a meal, then maybe you should take a look at the many thousands that have died of starvation due to their homes, stores, water supplies, hospitals and so on... all being bombed into rubble. Actually go and learn about the hundreds of thousands who have died, and the conditions which led to their deaths... and then you bitch about a soldier missing a few meals while on patrol, if it even happens.

You need to get your perspective straight.

Your maid makes your bed and washes your clothes.
He wears the same things for weeks, but makes sure his weapons are clean.

A MAID? Since when do I have a maid... and what on earth would it have to do with a soldier in Iraq, even if I did? Nothing. Again, another straw man statement that means nothing. Remember, I didn't send him there and even while he's there, he's not fighting for my freedom... at most he's fighting to keep my gasoline cheap... something that he's basically failed at doing. If he wanted to fight people that are more of a threat to the US, he'd be in Syria or Iran or any number of other places, fighting fundamentalist Islam, and our government would be fighting religious fundamentalism the world over, not simply breeding our own version of the same sickness domestically.

You people are so far off the base with this tripe that it's horribly disheartening.

You go to the mall and get your hair redone.
He doesn't have time to brush his teeth today.

Another straw man, not to mention that I've shaved my own head for the past 10 years plus... and that it's misleading to say he doesn't have time to brush his teeth today... the military are trained that proper oral hygiene is paramount and they are provided with the necessary supplies. And I highly doubt that missing brushing your teeth here and there is going to be that big of a deal. Extenuating circumstances.

You're angry because your class ran 5 minutes over.
He's told he will be held over an extra 2 months.

And this is a good point... but again a responsibility that lies firmly on the shoulders of the government who betrayed the trust of it's own soldiers under false pretenses and used a backdoor clause to force them in for extended tours because they needed the extra bodies to fight their war for them. I didn't want them there to begin with.

You call your girlfriend and set a date for tonight.
He waits for the mail to see if there is a letter from home.

Again, place the blame where it belongs, not with the people who never wanted them far from home and dying in the first place.

You hug and kiss your girlfriend, like you do everyday.
He holds his letter close and smells his love's perfume.

See above... again.

You roll your eyes as a baby cries.
He gets a letter with pictures of his new child, and wonders if they'll ever meet

See above... again.

You criticize your government, and say that war never solves anything.
He sees the innocent tortured and killed by their own people and remembers why he is fighting.

WHAT!? This coming from a government who has flat out stated that we are not beholden to the Geneva conventions or laws of war and who admit to torture and who have actually passed new laws to ensure that we can torture prisoners of war and not be accountable to any international human rights bodies etc...

This statement is THE height of HYPOCRISY.

We have caused the deaths of over 100 TIMES as many as Saddam ever killed... in a SECULAR country that was actually one of the most stable in the region... turning it into a graveyard and the hottest breeding ground in the region, if not the world, for terrorist activity. We have created and exacerbated a problem far FAR beyond anything we claimed to be solving.

You hear the jokes about the war, and make fun of men like him.
He hears the gunfire, bombs and screams of the wounded.

I've never done any such thing. And as for the screams... when you consider that we've killed over 100 TIMES as many of them as they have us, and that 60% of those deaths have been children... I think you'll forgive me a lack of pity here.

You see only what the media wants you to see.
He sees the broken bodies lying around him.

I couldn't agree with this more.

You are asked to go to the store by your parents. You don't.
He does exactly what he is told.

And while, as I've said before, I respect the reason he believes he's fighting... I feel that one of the main problems today is this mindless, blind obedience to the government... to authority figures. People need to start THINKING... to understand the history and the FACTS that have led us to this point... and to use their own minds to make informed, rational decisions... and have the spines to act on those.

You stay at home and watch TV.
He takes whatever time he is given to call, write home, sleep, and eat.

I don't watch TV. I don't have cable. But that's beside the point. Again, any discomfort he feels is the fault of the government for sending him there... and perhaps I'd feel more compassion for him if he really were defending my freedom and liberty... but to do that, he'd have to not be blindly obedient and would honestly have to be here, in the US, fighting to overthrow our own government, abolish all these laws lately that have overridden the constitution and take us back to the kind of free country that the founding fathers intended... to actually fight for my rights. What is going on today couldn't be farther from the "truth" the government does it's damnedest to try to convince you of.

You crawl into your soft bed, with down pillows, and get comfortable.
He crawls under a tank for shade and a 5 minute nap, only to be woken by gunfire.

*sigh*... these meaningless comparisons get REALLY OLD when you're not enough of a sheep to swallow them hook line and sinker without thinking.

You sit there and judge him, saying the world is probably a worse place because of men like him.
If only there were more men like him!

Again, I commend the soldiers who sign up to the military believing that they'll be making the world a better place. That they'll be defending Freedom and Liberty... those are noble ideals... but the truth is far from the belief... it is not always so... but sadly, with the US... it is almost always the case that good men and women die because of lies... because of money... for any reasons but freedom and liberty. I guess such is often the case when a government can spend the lives of it's youth as easily as it spends our tax dollars...

As Stalin said "the death of one man is a tragedy... the death of a million is but a statistic."

Food for thought.

And as a footnote... if you really want to do a service to your country as a patriot... try going and reading about the founding of our country... read the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence. Read the Federalist Papers... the works of Jefferson and Washington... understand the turmoil and the bloodshed that surrounded the founding of this country...

I want to leave you with a few quotes to contrast... and see if you can't get an idea who had a better idea of what true freedom and liberty actually was...

"Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost." --Thomas Jefferson

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." --Thomas Jefferson

"We are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it." --Thomas Jefferson

"The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." --Thomas Jefferson

"Delay is preferable to error." --Thomas Jefferson

"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ... What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure." --Thomas Jefferson

"I am really mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, a fact like this can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too, as an offence against religion; that a question about the sale of a book can be carried before the civil magistrate. Is this then our freedom of religion? and are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule for what we are to read, and what we must believe? It is an insult to our citizens to question whether they are rational beings or not, and blasphemy against religion to suppose it cannot stand the test of truth and reason." --Thomas Jefferson

"You don't get everything you want. A dictatorship would be a lot easier... So long as I'm the dictator." --George W. Bush

"I think people attack me because they are fearful that I will then say that you're not equally as patriotic if you're not a religious person. ... I've never said that. I've never acted like that. I think that's just the way it is." --George W. Bush

"There ought to be limits to freedom." --George W. Bush


As always... read, learn, educate yourselves.

Thank you for taking the time to read this far.