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Both Sides

August 15th, 2007 by skippy

Like most, Americans you may have noticed that there is a war going on at the moment.

And like many Americans, myself included, you probably have an opinion about it.

The net is already full of blogs which are full of posts detailing the war and every single perceived good and bad thing about it. I am not going to going to talk about my opinion of the war. I am going to address the opinions themselves, and how we react to them.

Almost every person I have ever spoken to on this issue seems to fall into one of two categories.

Type A thinks the war was the greatest idea since pants, it’s going very well, and that anyone who thinks otherwise is an idiot.

Type B thinks the war was worst thing since boy-bands, it’s going horribly, and anyone who thinks otherwise is an idiot.

Most people try to adopt a black and white, good/bad view of it. I think things are never that simple. And it’s worthwhile to take the effort to try to understand, and perhaps even respect, the opposing view.

For example, I recently heard someone bring up the old chestnut “No Blood for Oil”. And I can understand that sentiment. Human life is precious, and as a society we have a responsibility to protect the lives of our citizens. And material wealth for already rich people probably shouldn’t take priority over that. I can respect that opinion.

And on the flipside, someone I work with responded to the first statement with, “Well wait, how much oil are we talking about?” Our country’s economic function does depend on a regular supply of oil. Safeguarding enough oil for our country to avoid economic collapse is the sort of thing our military can be used for. I can respect that opinion too.

I respect the opinion that some people think we have a valid interest in the region. I respect the opinion of those that think our government misrepresented the case for military intervention. I took the time to listen to the arguments on both sides. And it is possible to be a reasonable intelligent human being and hold those opinions.

I’m not saying I agree with one over the other, only saying that I understand and respect both sides of the debate. And I think a lot of us would be a lot better off if more people tried to do this.

That said there is one set of opinions I have trouble respecting.

I have heard some people express the opinion that the war in Iraq is directly linked to the survival of our country. I’ve seen message boards and blogs full of people claiming that if we don’t win over there, then the terrorists will be in America destroying all that we hold dear. That our soldiers must remain in the Middle East until democracy takes root, or it will go very badly for us.

To those people I say the following:

Enlist, you god damned coward.

Soldiers are spending longer and longer on tours overseas. The military is having trouble keeping up recruitment. These are not opinions. These are verifiable facts.

You can’t say, “This is worth other people giving up their lives for me” and remain worthy of respect. Certain opinions, once held, demand action. Failure to do so renders you a pitiful thing, beneath contempt.

Soldiers, (and of course this includes Sailors, Marines, Airmen, everyone) are of course exempt. By going overseas they have put their body where there mouth is, and can pretty much hold any opinion they want.

But if you think that this war is essential to our survival, and all you can do is talk, and maybe buy a “Support our troops” magnet? Well then all you’re doing is telling the world what color stripe runs down your back.

Edit for response:

I am not saying that you cannot support the war, or the soldiers that fight it. I am merely saying that if you take the very specific, “This war is essential to the survival of our country” stance, well that stance is incompatible with inaction. It doesn’t make your opinion invalid. It just makes you a contemptible human being.

You don’t need to be a police officer to have an opinion on crime. But if you publicly state that you think people should do more to safeguard their own communities, then you witness a crime happen, in my humble opinion, you’d better do something more substantial than wonder “Hmmmm….what’s for dinner tonight?”. Call the cops, get help, intervene, whatever. Just do something.

Yes thousands do more than just make hollow patriotic gestures. But most people don’t. Guess which ones I’m talking about? And I find it hilarious that someone tried to turn my “chicken hawk” argument into a “Guess you don’t believe in supporting the troops argument”.

For Stashiu3:

“Trying to deny them support from the vast majority of people who are not on active-duty is just as bad as trying to silence people who believe we shouldn’t be there.”

This is the line that I interpreted as “You are not supporting the soldiers”.  Which is why I thought your comment was funny.  If that is not what you meant by it, I truly am sorry for treating it that way.

And I think you are slightly misinterpreting my stance.  I have no problem with pro-war.  I have a problem with a very specific pro-war argument, coupled with a lack of action.

Did I oversimplify it?  You betcha.  Are things that easily black and white?  Of course not.  Are there ways to serve besides enlisting? Sure.

You keep overlooking the fact that I am not talking about the thousands of people who find a way to contribute.  I am talking about the thousand upon thousands more who do not, and will not do a thing, while simultaneously claiming that this is the single most important venture that our nation is involved in.

I would never mistake wit for wisdom, please don’t mistake age for it either.

And I do not have the emotional maturity of an adolescent.

I don’t! I don’t! I don’t!

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30 Responses to “Both Sides”

  1. Stashiu3 Says:

    Ah, the chickenhawk argument. I put in 24 years… enough to avoid being a “god damned coward”? The idea that someone who hasn’t served (or isn’t currently serving) shouldn’t have an opinion is fallacy. Should men, or any woman who hasn’t had one, be allowed an opinion about abortion? Just because someone isn’t military doesn’t invalidate their opinion, whether they’re pro or con, liberal or conservative, right-handed or left-handed. You’re right, there are good reasons for both sides and it comes down to what belief is more important to you. We have to pick and choose our own fights and just because I don’t take up the mantle against abortion, it doesn’t mean that I can’t have a worthwhile opinion.

    Try not to be so absolute, even in this. People can’t always fight they way you expect. Someone serving in government, even if they’ve never been in the military, can advocate for troops to stay and help by providing the resources and political will for soldiers to succeed. Thousands of people do more than buy a little yellow magnet for their car. They send packages, buy cellphones, phone cards, airline tickets, provide activities and staples for the families of deployed troops, share their support in a million different ways. They’re entitled to their opinion, even though they’re not getting shot at.

    Nobody has been drafted, as you well know. Anyone who really doesn’t believe they should be there has had plenty of opportunities to get out by now. Trying to deny them support from the vast majority of people who are not on active-duty is just as bad as trying to silence people who believe we shouldn’t be there. You seem like a good kid with a fine sense of humor and I’ve enjoyed your blog so far. Just as you’ve changed from the person you were when you were 16 years old, you’re going to change quite a bit more by the time you’re 35. It might be a good idea to think a little longer before condemning such a large group of well-meaning people (especially those who may not even be physically able to enlist). Just sayin’


  2. Stashiu3 Says:

    BTW, I just retired this year and have been deployed. I don’t think it makes a difference, but apparently it does to you. I mean, you might have assumed I was just one of those “chicken-soldiers” who isn’t entitled to an opinion because I only served during peacetime. That’s the next logical step in your reasoning.


  3. Shane Says:

    While I agree with Skippy’s idea that “if the war is so damn important, you should enlist”, I also understand that not everyone can (I was retired from the Navy on a service connected disability over a decade ago, I can’t re-up).

    I do, however, give little value to the “Chickenhawk” who does little more than prattle on, buys a magnet, and thinks he/she has done their part to fight the good fight. I know people who think the war is important, and they take the time to put together care packages and letters, and arrange for flights home, etc. They may not be putting their bodies on the line, but they are doing something. I applaud them while I disagree with them.

    I know people who hate this war with a passion who do the same thing, because the troops are more important to them than being in some lame-ass protest that is ignored.

    So I guess if you think this war is so important to our safety, you should do more than buy a magnet for your car and sit back in your lawn chair drinking a beer and hooting “Go Get ‘Em Boys!”


  4. D Says:

    Everyone IS entitled to an opinion, no matter what their argument, no matter what their differences. However, I agree 100% with that Skippy has said. If one is so enthusiastic and “gun-ho” with “rage militaire”, then yes, enlist, or go work for one of your nearest government agencies which will guarantee you’ll see the Sandbox or Afghanistan you GOD DAMN COWARDS! Never having been in the military, but in Iraq, nonetheless, with the Army I agree 100% with Skippy’s argument. I come from a VERY large military family and the last 2 generations of all but two uncles in my family have been interred in our nation’s cemeteries. I only chose this route to serve my country because college debt is a bitch, and out-of-state college tuition is a killer. My “old salt” dad and mom are too close to retirement to shoulder such a burden and this was a very fast way to take care of that financial problem.
    Since I started college in 2000 and finished up a couple of years ago, I have seen it all and heard it all from the “old chestnut ‘No Blood for Oil’” the college know-it-all hippies spew out. To the way right of right where it’s all “BUSH, BUSH, BUSH!” It’s all sickening. Especially since none of them have “seen the elephant,” or at least been to the damn circus – Bush never did. Spewing out words and mantras takes very little effort or thought. Actually putting some effort and time in to serve those who serve YOU takes way more. Facing EFPs (for anyone who doesn’t happen to know what that is, it’s essentially a core of molten copper that is shot out at a speed which will penetrate anything from a HMMV up to an Abrahams tank, I have seen what they can do and it’s scary shit, just imagine what it does to a human body) VBIEDs, suicide bombers, amateur and professional snipers, kids and insurgents with grenades, piano wire for turret gunners, dysentery, malaria, lice, booby traps, urban warfare, extreme cold and extreme heat and IEDs takes more guts than anyone could ever possibly imagine. To all you Biff and Buffys out there with your hibachi grills and your 2.5 kids, get off your asses and do something if you haven’t already tried! And if you have, keep it up. And to all the service members out there, past and present. Thanks!


  5. D Says:

    P.S. my great uncle was a 4-F and he was killed (under suspect circumstances) at Metz while a POW!! He was a father, brother, husband, nephew, uncle, brother-in-law and cousin! There’s always a way to serve your country and there’s always a way to get around the red tape our military has.


  6. Captain Whimsy Says:

    I know recruitment is down because they keep calling me, this year alone I have had 10+ calls from recruiters saying I had asked for information. I didnt. I didnt fill anything out, I didnt update anything. They just called me. What did I do? Get out of the Army 3 years ago. For them to need an airbourne Carpenter and Mason back is quite laughable. For them to need another warm body is not.

    I think its more like This War is essential to this Administrations need to prove it can Control/Bully other countries. Sure theres Oil, but isnt this really about who has the biggest dick? Sadly I think it will go the way of Vietnam. No amount of technology or bullying will subvert another’s countries culture permanently. Once we leave, there will be a full blown civil war. I just hope there’s less of a body count on our side before that happens.


  7. Stashiu3 Says:

    “And I find it hilarious that someone tried to turn my “chicken hawk” argument into a “Guess you don’t believe in supporting the troops argument”.”

    Who said they guess you don’t believe in supporting the troops? All I said was that people who believe in the mission without going into harms way can support their belief with service other than in a combat zone. Nothing about whether or not you support the troops, not even by implication. Saying it was is incorrectly rephrasing what I said and then ridiculing it. Finding it “hilarious” would be justified if that is how I had characterized your post. Responding honestly would be much better.

    My point was, just because someone doesn’t enlist or go to work with a combat support operation doesn’t make them a coward. To suggest it does oversimplifies things unfairly. It’s not “either enlist or you’re a coward” and saying so is foolish. My understanding of the point your post attempts is about how things are not always black and white and we should make the attempt to understand one another’s position.

    Apparently you can’t practice what you preach. You’re saying, “if you don’t respond the way I expect you should, you’re a coward.” You ask for people to understand one another and then pigeonhole someone like that. It’s hypocritical.

    Having wit is not the same as wisdom. You don’t want discussion on your blog? No problem, enjoy your echo-chamber. I’m not a troll and won’t bother commenting further since it doesn’t conform with your mindset. One last suggestion, go back to trying to be funny. Don’t expect anyone to take you seriously if you take fallacious or contradictory positions. “Do as I say and not as I do” doesn’t get anyone very far. At least, after you get past the emotional maturity of an adolescent.

    Best of luck in the future.


  8. D Says:

    This has nothing to do with the countless people who do help and support those who put themselves at risk for friends and family. As I understood it, it was about those with very little understanding about what their motives and half-hearted attempts do i.e. little yellow magnets and the people who sit in lawn chairs and toast the war while filling their asses with barley and hops. Then again I may have been entirely wrong according to you sir. I know those who served in times of war and peace and they are all outstanding citizens and selfless people, as are you sir. My contempt is for the “people [who] express the [their] opinion that the war in Iraq is directly linked to the survival of our country . . . [that] the terrorists will be in America destroying all that we hold dear. That our soldiers must remain in the Middle East until democracy takes root, or it will go very badly for us.” People who express opinions such as these while never having done a thing hold absolutely no salt whatsoever. I was told by my grandfather, a combat glider pilot and survivor of four invasions (one of which he was a POW escapee and hid for 10 weeks while all the time wondering if he would ever survive his wounds), that if you ever make statements and hold a position where merit is paramount, then you’d better damn well have something to back it up with. This is what I believe people with such a fervor for war lack: a complete misunderstanding for positions where others are greatly affected.


  9. Norm Says:

    As a European I see the war differently than Americans, I noticed while I was in the US.

    I personally disagree with the invasion of Iraq for I feared it would lead to an unsustainable and unwinnable war. Yet I support the military men and women who have sworn an oath to go where their CiC, however big a twat he may prove to be, tells them to.
    Even after the last shot will have been fired, their war will be far from over. Just don’t forget them when they come home, battle weary and scarred either physically, emotionally or both. War does nasty things to people, as I have seen in my family which has been through wars and “peace keeping” operations.

    Be there for those who risked all so you could enjoy your freedoms and rights, whether you support the cause they are fghting for or not.

    I read Skippy’s message as a call to live an authentic life; live the life you claim to live.
    Everybody can contribute, be it donating money, time, expertise or giving comfort and support. Either pro or contra. But get of your backside and DO something.

    To those out there: good luck and take care.


  10. Skyman Says:

    It seems to me that Stashiu3 is defnitley a Rear Echelon soldier. Having served on the Front lines myself as a 19K, I’d be forced to agree with skippy himself. Now serving in a rear echelon is honorable in and of itself, cause those guys have the Cojones to step up and at least say “I’ll put my life on teh line for the better good”, and that is worthy of respect. It just seems to me that the guys who are rather far away from the actual fighting often have very loud voices as to how such topics like war and enlistments should be conducted


  11. RoseyTheGreer Says:

    Everyone just needs to calm down. as long as you have served or are serving or are at least contributing to supporting when you say you do, then ur not being attacked. It’s the retards over here that want to nsult the military and call it useless while people enlist to protect your right to form said opinions that are being attacked.

    if u arent going to support, dont. we dont need ur guilt, pity or anything. but if u say u support, prove it. if u already have, great.

    i believe that is all that was meant by this blog.

    u all need to not jump to conclusions like that.


  12. Rob Says:

    as i read this thread, i realized, for once, someone is talkign on the internet, in clear, thought out processes. however, id like to ask one simple question, and hopefully it can get answered. now, i knwo im goign to be critized for this. skippy talked about how there are other ways of helping, instead of enlisting. yet no one has offered an way, to help other than enlisting. we should be sharing those other ways. now i knwo im kind fo a hypocryte as a say this. i honestly dont knwo any other ways of helping, but i came here hoping to find out.


  13. Pittsburg Army Officer Says:

    Being a REMF, who ended up on the front lines of this lineless conflict, I struggle to find the balance.

    The comment by Norm made some of the best points, however cliche, in that the war is not likely winnable. The reason for it not being winnable is not the terrorists, the religious factions, or right wing/left wing.

    The reason that it is unwinnable is because we live in a fickle society. I love capitalism, and had no problem putting my life on the line if for no other reason than oil. Countries have been going to war with other countries for resources for centuries. The problem with capitalism in our society, when coupled with a fickle uninformed populace, is that even though we are getting the resource, hand over fist, in which we fought for, we, the consumers, pay just as much for this oil as if there were a huge shortage.

    Why? Because the prices are set at what the market will bear. If our dumb asses are going to pay $3.50 per gallon that is what the fucking oil companies will charge. Even if the price per barrel is low, because we will pay it. The oil lobby in this country is lining enough of the legislatures’ pockets (on both sides of the aisle) to say nothing or do nothing. If and when media reports, do we listen, or do we change the channel? No, we’d rather see who Paris Hilton is fucking this week.

    Support the troops. Watch as much meaningful news, have as much meaningful involvement, and pay attention to both sides of the aisle, or media bias. Then vote. Who cares about Brad Pitt’s newest baby!


  14. Ex275/ROMAD/1C471 Says:

    At this point in the war…we’re pretty much hosed no matter what the powers that be decide to do. I think it’s much more important that our leaders make informed decisions and stick with them and that the populace either gets themselves informed and support the leaders they elected along with the soldiers they sent off to war……or STFU and stand by the wayside.

    I don’t think I’ve done enough to support our troops and that is an issue I’ll have to deal with.

    You want to see infuriating…try going down to the local college and listen to a couple of freshmen teeny boppers discuss the war who can’t even locate Iraq on a map.


  15. tre Says:

    Soldiers have my support just for the fact they are doing there job. Just like any other person out there has my support who is at least doing their job.

    Do I have to like what is set in motion, no.

    There is nothing I wouldn’t do for anyone. Except be controlled for something I do not believe in.

    but kudos :)


  16. Shay Says:

    Skippy- I’m still in, just returned from a few years stationed overseas, coupled with deploying. I still don’t even know what my opinion is on it, but damn if listening to other people’s opinions isn’t funny to me. I can see both sides of the story. Frankly I don’t think I know enough about the ‘real reasons’ we went over there to have a really educated opinion on the matter. It does crack me up that people are so blatantly black and white about it. It’s not that simple. There’s good and bad, and there’s going to be, no matter what we do. I’ll keep serving though- I love this life!


  17. Lucien Says:

    I agree with Skippy. If you’re going to do something for this war, then do it, don’t stand around and agree with yourself that it’s important for our soldiers to be there. I also have a major issue with the “protesters” that seem to think they know what’s best.

    I took my wife to work one day, and since I didn’t have to go anywhere, and my house was 45 minutes from her work, I decided to sit in my car, and read a book. Shortly after I parked in the local grocery store parking lot, and got permission to hang out there, several HUNDRED protesters lined up on the sidewalk, and proceeded to wave flags, yell at cars, and aggravate anyone udner 50 whom walked within earshot.

    The ringleader, a middle aged woman, came over to my van, and decided to interrupt my reading, by proceeding to inform me why this war is wrong, and why I should be out there with them. Me being the jerk I am, I got out.

    I looked at her, and her compatriots, and asked her if she thought she could run the military better. She made some snide comment about how if we had better leadership, this war would have been done with.

    I then explained to her that the leadership of the military wasn’t an issue, it was bleeding hearts like her, our congresspeople, and the media, all interfering with the operations overseas.

    Apparently, this was a call for her to scream and rant that I would be drafted, blah blah blah. So I showed her my shoulder, which has some lovely scars from four .45 rounds I took while on duty, and said I’m not eligible to re-enlist. She called me a coward.

    Seriously, if people think they can do better, then they need to put up, or shut up. Help our soldiers, don’t hamstring them by trying to force governmental officials to do things to shut you up.

    ((End of semi-related rant))

    BTW, Skippy, props to you mate, you’re one of the guys i wished was in my unit in the Navy.


  18. Boris Jimski Says:

    1. Piano wire and Humvee turrets, the Nazis did that little trick in WWII. Occasionally in museums or other displays you’ll see a Jeep with a piece of angle iron welded vertially to the front bumper with a notch or hook in the upper end. The purpose of this was to cut the wire before it decapitated whoever was in the Jeep. Would someone please pass this little 50 yr old tip to our guys?
    2. Supporting the war. Well, if you support the war but can’t join up because of some physical disability, at least you can give back your tax cut that Dubya gave you so instead of paying for this war with money borrowed from China we pay for it as we go and thus don’t tie our hands regarding our policy toward Taiwan, especially since China is on record as saying it would like to solve the Taiwan issue in 2008 (just in time for the Beijing Olympics, rather like the Moscow Olympics of 1980, Afghanistan, and the Soviet Union, eh?) After all, we’re not drafting your kids, so some $ is very little to expect in terms of support (say, as much as those magnetic yellow ribbons cost).
    3. Oil. Even if we achieve our objectives (whatever they are) in Iraq, given global warming we’ll just wind up in control of something whose use is detrimental to the health of the planet anyway. Oh, wait, that’s right, Dubya wants NASA to get us to Mars, so we’ll all be safe when this planet becomes uninhabitable. Good, a plan. I feel so much better now.
    4. Show me a neocon and I’ll show you a chickenhawk.
    5. This war began while I was in my last year of law school here in DC. The professor teaching my criminal procedure course was some kind of Dubyanaut in their Office of Research Ethics or some such (keeping the world safe from cures derived from aborted embryos). He wheeled in a TV on a cart (tuned to the Fox station, of course) so we all could watch as Dubya made his little speech letting is all know the war was on; the professor was so pleased with himself. And there were quite a few other profs at the school who were gung ho for it too, including ones who helped come up with the legal rationales for why this was a “just war”, why torture was OK, why the Geneva Conventions were obsolete, etc. They solicit me for donations; I don’t think they’ll get them.
    6. EFPs. I believe this was another little Nazi invention, but back then they were just called shaped charges or hollow charges. I guess our modern ceramic armor coupled with Kevlar curtains isn’t enough to defeat them. There will always be a cheaper way to defeat the expensive new toys the Pentagon gives our folks; that’s the reason we lose in asymmetric wars.
    7. Recruitment. As I understand it there are two reasons why we’re maintaining recruitment levels. First, the actual number of recruits in the monthly quotas has gone down since the war went south, hence making the projected percentages is easier, although it actually means fewer boots. Second, the standards for recruits has gone down in the same time; we’re back to taking McVeighs who’d have flunked the psychological exams in the ’90’s.
    8. Oil. Many years ago there was an article in Scientific American entitled something like “The True Cost of Oil” which went into how much of the Pentagon budget went toward supporting a standing army to keep up the supply of oil from the Persian Gulf. That number was quite large. Essentially we weren’t paying at the pump the true cost of the oil; instead we were being silently taxed for its provision. Pity the taxes can’t come directly from the oil companies which profit massively from this taxpayer subsidy; look at their profits the last few years, in the double digit billions per quarter, and guess who’s paying for it and where it’s going? Halliburton, KBR, Cheney, Exxon/Mobil, GOP, in one big circle. Wouldn’t it be nice if that money were instead being used to pay for this war? I think it might just be enough to do so, too.
    9. You’re not the first to be screwed around with by your country via the military. Check out chapter 7 of Fussell’s “Wartime – Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War”. Yes, he’s an Eastern egghead “librul” professor, but he was also an infantry lieutenant in WW II with the scars to prove it. Watch for him in that Ken Burns PBS program on WW II this fall.


  19. Aislygn Says:

    I agree with Skippy.
    If you want to sit there, and tell everyone who’ll listen that this war is an integral step to the nation’s survival, with that manic glint in your eye, you cannot be allowed to run behind a water-barrel with your tail between your legs when someone hands you enlistment papers. Or a shopping list for care packages. Or that box of magnets.
    Skippy isn’t saying that someone who isn’t fighting is automatically wrong if their opinion happens to be pro war. He’s saying that if you don’t have the guts to back up your words in some way or another, you’re not entitled for your opinion to be taken seriously. If this whole thing were simply to be put to a vote, and you’re not willing to take up the mantle of responsibility if your answer is “Yessir!” Or find a better way if your answer is “Absolutely not!”, then you should not be allowed a vote.
    He’s basically putting it thus:
    “Do, or do not, but take action to follow your words!”


  20. alisa Says:

    What you said about enlisting and serving, and putting your body where your mouth is reminded me of a quote I received in an email that is apropos to your statement:

    A veteran – whether active duty, retired, national guard or reserve – is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America,” for an amount of “up to and including my life.”


  21. Cypress Lyshra Says:

    First off, I just want to say that you’re not alone. There are a lot of people who have opinions that aren’t black and white, and aren’t static. We’re here, we’re just really quiet, since it’s hard to shout things like “I support the troops but think they don’t need to be where they are” or “The troops don’t deserve the shit we give them!” or “Maybe we should think about this!”. It doesn’t roll off the tounge.
    Of course, not like I’m in much of a position to talk. I couldn’t change my opinions any faster if I were schizophrenic. I’d like to think that those changes are based on newly absorbed information, but one can never be entirely certain. I just hold on to the hope that people will one day figure out it’s OK to decide differently later on, that opinions can change.
    Because I don’t see it these days.
    And that’s all I’ve got. On an unrelated note, I quite enjoy your writing. It makes me laugh, and recently that has been in short supply


  22. brad Says:

    I’m not writing so much to express my opinion on the war itself, but to ask the American people how much do they trust their government? They say we’re bringing freedom and democracy to Iraq through our actions, but how many countries worldwide could use a bit of liberation from oppressive rulers? How did they pick Iraq? Furthermore, has anyone noticed that the only reason we went into Afghanistan is that the Taliban refused to comply with us and turn over bin Laden, not for actual participation in the 9/11 attacks, whether or not they had any part in it? Certainly what I know of the 9/11 attackers is that they were mostly Saudi and a few Sudanis, but I’m not actually sure of the group’s composition. The point I’m getting at is America invades and takes over Afghanistan, then Iraq. Now the real enemy, as is quickly becoming apparent, is Iran, which conveniently falls directly in between two American armies, that only a few years ago, weren’t there, even though Iran has been hostile towards the US since 1979.

    What I think we all need to do is understand who profits from all of this. Every military operation in which the US has participated since Vietnam ended has not required huge amounts of resupply as well as new technology. Its the corporations who profit. Look at how the army looked before the war and now. Those of you with military experience will notice new uniforms, new vehicles, new weapon systems. All new TA-50 style gear done up in the new ACU pattern. New types of armor for vehicles that costs millions in research. Not since vietnam have any of America’s military operations required massive ammounts of replacement equipment, due to the fact that the war quickly ended before those minor deficiencies became major issues.

    In conclusion, every American is being played by their government and large corporations. It’s they who, just like Vietnam, pushed for war and profit from it. No American who isn’t involved in that racket has profited in any way, shape or form from this war.


  23. Peregrine Says:

    Thank you. I’m my generation’s obligatory objector, but I’m also the sibling of 17 men and 3 women currently serving overseas and the daughter and granddaughter of two career military veterans who served in every major military action the US has been involved in since 1900.

    There’s a special place in hell reserved for the people who don’t bother to understand what’s going on before they start the sheeplike “bomb them into a parking lot”/”bring them home” garbage. Most of my family has been overseas for over five years. They’re not home because they can’t leave – the rebuilding is going slowly. If we pull out, innocent civilians will die. Possibly by mass slaughter as they’re left undefended, but mostly they’d starve to death. They’re not bombing them into a parking lot because it won’t fix the problems and civilian lives would be lost. To some, that won’t matter, because those aren’t Americans; they’re dirty little brown people. That’s a disgusting attitude, and it’s the most common.

    The anti-war group scares me more than the pro-war zealots. If these yellow ribbon idiots actually wanted to “Support Our Troops/Bring Them Home”, they’d find a better and more tangible way to do it and the fact that they don’t support the troops but have a bumper sticker so they can pat themselves on the back and make a visible statement on their position on what the administration is doing makes me very angry. Supporting our troops should cost a whole lot more than $2.50, and it should mean more than a damn bumper sticker.

    I want my family to come home. I want them to be safe. I’m terrified every day that I’m going to get another visit by a very polite man in a uniform telling me another sibling isn’t coming home, and sorry, M’am, we can’t give you details – it’s classified, but the body will be arriving later this week. I don’t like what they’re doing, or the need for them to do it, but I am proud of them for being there and doing the job they have to do. They’re protecting lives. They may not be American lives, and they may be doing it most often with accidents with the DFAC reqs and not bullets, but I’m thankful for that.

    I will continue to support my family and the men and women just like them, to the best of my ability until this mess is over. I don’t have a yellow ribbon on my car, and it makes me very angry when people ask why or assume it means I don’t support our troops. I usually reply with a very sarcastic, “Because I spent the $2.50 on more treats to send our troops. This month, I’ve spent $AMOUNT sending care packages to soldiers. I find that a better use of my money.”

    Thank you, Skippy, for your wonderfully amusing list, and for your very down to earth attitude.


  24. Skippyfan111 Says:

    I happen to think that this post is very meaningful. I am not serving. say what you will, I do support the troops with care packages I assemble myself, and donate and collect donations. That said, I also do not support the current war. I will not go into why- but I will say that I also attend anti-war messages. Does this make me a hypocrite?


  25. cARNI Says:

    I don’t know what to think..but I have heard the following from my friends:

    (1) Bush is a fucktard!

    (2) War baby! ‘yea!

    Just don’t come to america and i’m fine..


  26. sidhe3141 Says:

    First off, I agree with Skippy on this one. I’m personally anti-war, but I understand that there are quite a few who are not. I’ve heard arguments from people who support war regardless of cause, and those who oppose it regardless of cause. I’ve listened and given careful consideration to both. Quite unlike some of the people who *claim* to agree with Skippy, and then tell the other side to shut up.


  27. sidhe3141 Says:

    Now then, I admit my opinion on the Iraq war is nowhere NEAR as valid as some of yours, seeing as how I have never been in the military and have no intention of doing so, but I think Skippy has a point. If you’re going to take a position, back it up with action, and if you’re going to rant, at least acknowledge that the other side (or sides) has (or have) a point.
    I do volunteer work for high school students with intellectual disabilities, because that is an important issue to me. I attend forums on civil rights, same reason. I regularly attend meetings of the local Democratic Party. I’ve done research on subjects ranging from Satanism to LGBT issues, SIMPLY SO THAT I CAN HAVE AN INFORMED OPINION ON THOSE SUBJECTS.So, while I haven’t actually took part in a (recent) protest, I agree that on any issue that you find important, you should take a stand, back up your stand with action, be open to other people’s ideas, and most of all, EXCERCISE THE EFFORT TO FORM YOUR OWN OPINION INSTEAD OF PARROTING SOMEONE ELSE’S VIEWS!
    There. Rant’s over. Any rebuttals?


  28. Wolfe Says:

    I have to agree with Skippy about the people that blindly support the war. They claim it is needed to protect the nation but of course do not believe so strongly they would sacrifice their own children. Mind you I am sure some of the supporters would but a vast majority only parrot the talking heads. As for myself, I was deployed with the 56th BDE to Kosovo where I shortly discovered Skippy’s List after violating some of it personally. Now I am a contractor in Fallujah Iraq. I do my best to support the marines I work for and make sure they learn able to do their job as well as educate them in important work skills if they decide to leave the corp.


  29. Mike Paahana Says:

    most guys hoo joing army now days r reely gay and want 2 hang with other guys, if not why would you joing?


  30. Lifat Says:

    for Mike Paahana: Joining the army is a way to get an education for poor people. You might want to consider getting one too. Joining the army can also be a question of beliefs. You might want to join because you think you are doing a good thing. A third reason for enlisting I bet could be “it is an adventure” (I would think that it is a bad reason for doing so… but w/e)

    I agree with Skippy. If you say “The war in Iraq is essential for the survival of my country” then you should find a way to contribute if at all possible.

    I’m one of the guys that believed that going into Iraq was a bad idea from the start (before it all started) but changed my view to “We are already there so now we need to stay untill it is responsible to leave. ie making sure that we don’t get just another saddam”

    oh and btw. I’m not from USA but from Denmark.


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