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Lies in Service of War
JohnH
A portion of President Obama's memorial day speech at the Vietnam memorial.

"And one of the most painful chapters in our history was Vietnam -- most particularly, how we treated our troops who served there. You were often blamed for a war you didn't start, when you should have been commended for serving your country with valor. (Applause.) You were sometimes blamed for misdeeds of a few, when the honorable service of the many should have been praised. You came home and sometimes were denigrated, when you should have been celebrated. It was a national shame, a disgrace that should have never happened. And that's why here today we resolve that it will not happen again. (Applause.)

And so a central part of this 50th anniversary will be to tell your story as it should have been told all along. It's another chance to set the record straight. That's one more way we keep perfecting our Union -- setting the record straight. And it starts today. Because history will honor your service, and your names will join a story of service that stretches back two centuries."

http://www.foxnew...z1wcEBpEfF

I am going to leave the link because to a certain sense taking quotes out of context is unfair to those quoted. I will also offer this link to someone who will comment in greater detail on what Obama said than I will.

http://www.creato...teran.html

I lived through both the Vietnam war and its aftermath. I had to join the army reserves to guarantee I would not go there (a cowards way out but the one I took). I tried to demonstrate in every way I could my objection to the war. I continue to demonstrate in every way I can my objection to US participation in aggressive war.

My neighbor across the street (when I lived in Marin) with the two ugly leg scars from being a medic in Vietnam knows I honor his courage and service. Random vets I meet know I honor their courage and service. Never in my presence has anyone not honored the courage and service of Vietnam vets. If they would I would challenge them.

I once had a rather long conversation in the bar with a vet in full desert camo back from Afghanistan or Iraq. I may have indicated my displeasure at the war in general but he understood that I was happy he was sound and that I wished him the best.

My one visit to DC I of course had to go to the Vietnam Memorial. Standing at the bottom of the slope touching several of the names inscribed I realized I had to leave. I walked up hill and stood away from others and cried, I barely avoided deep sobbing crying (I am after all a man in most of the bad senses of that).

The notion that those of us who opposed the war in Vietnam and subsequent aggressive wars opposed the participants therein is a lie. Some zealots have behaved badly that is all. We want our brothers and sisters home and away from danger that is/was not necessary.

Opposition to war is that, opposition to war. Our army protects us from outside danger. It is in general honored by all americans. Politicians who play on the notion that not supporting their war is not supporting the public's soldiers is a lie to cover their own mistakes.
Edited by JohnH on 06/03/2012 03:33
 
seeker
I tend to think that a lot of the perception that Vietnam vets were mistreated when they came home is due to the unpopularity of that conflict. Vietnam was the first war that gave civilians a chance to see the real horrors that occur on a battlefield. For the first time war wasn't portrayed as some glorious conquest of an implacable enemy, rather we saw the civilian cost, women and children abused and destroyed for some abstract ideology.

i473.photobucket.com/albums/rr95/trkees/s-NAPALM-GIRL-large300.jpg

Vietnam vets came home and never got the fanfare that WWII vets got. Hollywood didn't produce the kinds of glowing recounts of Vietnam war exploits in the way that other wars had been depicted. Movies like 'Coming Home', 'Apocalypse Now', 'Rambo', 'Platoon' etc. gave us images of Vietnam era soldiers as broken, asocial and borderline psychotic.
Edited by seeker on 06/02/2012 10:00
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
 
Theory_Execution
I believe the girl in the centre of the image survived, and that she appeared in an article recently - still bearing the horrendous scars obviously.
 
JohnH
TE, yes she survived.

http://www.sfgate...205D79.DTL

I cannot stand to look at that picture. seeker says all governments participate in evil. I will agree, but I am also an american, I am afraid my government has participated in more conscious evil than most.

Of course you Brits still hold the winning hand there and perhaps the Germans and Russians in a tie for second. With the wonderful Roman church in contention for 1st through 10th.
 
seeker
I don't know that there is a way to measure what civilization committed the most atrocities. The US certainly has committed its share though I suspect we have only just begun.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
 
Theory_Execution
The USofA was a nation forged in fire and misery and death and destruction, whereas the old hats of England and Germany had tribal peoples in some way or other work their way through different incarnations over centuries.

As to wittingly causing misery, all governments do so, that they do so disgusts me, which is why I do not think I would ever be able to shake the hand of a politician who has served in government.

Yet, as we know from our experience with religions, ideas of ones nation, if baked slowly in limited company can blind the minds eye to reason, responsibility and the ethics you would typically espouse.
 
seeker
Just ask anyone who lived in the former USSR. Stalin made a cult out of communism and used that to justify mass murder.

Obama is justifying collateral damage caused by drone strikes by saying that anyone who is close enough to a terrorist target to be caught in a drone strike must be culpable.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
 
Theory_Execution
From the little I know about that era of Russia, there were strong cultish practices in place before Stalin stepped in to take over. He was just a mean bastard after troubles in his personal life.

I believe Obama is a cunt. He is worse than the last one in that he is supposed to be educated, but still makes these abhorrent decisions.

The truth of the matter is, if it turns to violence, the best method is to have the top figure-heads killed, but there is a sense of fair play in that - and instead they opposing fronts decide it is better to send off other people to die in their place. NOW does THAT sound familiar to anyone (whipping boy, scape goat, dead jew on a stick)?
 
Theory_Execution
I am sure we have all engaged in the moral dilemma games of three people on a speeding tram heading towards a certain fall and death, yet you can switch the line, but cause the certain death of a maintenance worker on that line to save the three.

It seems governments opt for dropping bombs in the area and hoping in some way they bend the line to bring the tram to a stop.

Edit:
Would it not be best to come to an understanding as to why the tram is out of control? Why the three passangers find themselves of a tram that is out of control?

In terms of war, it is typically foreign policy that breeds hatred - the average person does not think about things which do not interfere with their lives - or in the case of prolonged wars, the killng of innocent people.

The tram is out of control, because we travelled to the conductors home in the middle of the night, abducted him and locked him up without public trial.
 
seeker
TE - When you trust other people to do all the important work you have to accept the decisions they make along the way, primarily because you don't usually find out about those decisions until you are dealing with their consequences.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
 
Theory_Execution
Is dropping bombs, indiscriminate killing, important work?

I doubt it. I also doubt that these people have the capacity to trouble our lives to any great deal, and further I doubt that they would want to if it wasnt for the power plays our countries make in the world (yes religion is the main communication tool for most terrorists, but without countries doing actual bad, they would have very little to fuel the hatred).

Why is the US giving Israel money for nothing in return? It is not charity, it goes directly to the government.

The only thing to come of dropping bombs in their country, which is supported by the evidence of increased numbers taking sides with AQ, is pain and sorrow and misery for all people.
 
Theory_Execution
I am reminded of the West Wing TV show though, and although he did not want to make a lot of the decisions, his hand was forced a lot of the time.

I just wonder how the world would be if people were honest.

For instance, if America said "Russia, we do not hate you, we simply fearer you competing with us in the global market, how about we put aside our differences and work for the betterment of both our people."

Damn I read like I have been smoking the peace pipe.
 
seeker
Theory_Execution wrote:

Is dropping bombs, indiscriminate killing, important work?


The problem is that the people we elect get to choose whether and where bombs get dropped. Dropping the bombs isn't the important bit, it's the choice of where and how that makes the difference between the US acting like a bunch of idiots and actually doing something worthwhile.

Theory_Execution wrote:I doubt it. I also doubt that these people have the capacity to trouble our lives to any great deal, and further I doubt that they would want to if it wasnt for the power plays our countries make in the world (yes religion is the main communication tool for most terrorists, but without countries doing actual bad, they would have very little to fuel the hatred).


I agree

Theory_Execution wrote:Why is the US giving Israel money for nothing in return? It is not charity, it goes directly to the government.


The US support of Israel is purely religious. I have yet to find one credible reason to support Israel, especially when their record of causing turmoil in their region and their blatant disregard for human rights is considered.

Theory_Execution wrote:The only thing to come of dropping bombs in their country, which is supported by the evidence of increased numbers taking sides with AQ, is pain and sorrow and misery for all people.


I agree.

Theory_Execution wrote:I am reminded of the West Wing TV show though, and although he did not want to make a lot of the decisions, his hand was forced a lot of the time.

I just wonder how the world would be if people were honest.

For instance, if America said "Russia, we do not hate you, we simply fearer you competing with us in the global market, how about we put aside our differences and work for the betterment of both our people."

Damn I read like I have been smoking the peace pipe.


The sad part of this is that most of the technology that we built our civilization from comes from innovations we discovered while making war or killing.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
 
Theory_Execution
seeker takataka'd:The sad part of this is that most of the technology that we built our civilization from comes from innovations we discovered while making war or killing.


That, and men looking for ways to escape their wives...

It is quite surprising how much the world has changed technologically, but strangely, that development has outpaced the development of the average mind.
 
seeker
We are but cavemen with power tools.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
 
Kowboy
http://virtualwal...tGE01a.htm
 
JohnH
Kowboy, I am lucky, though I was born in 46 and graduated from high school in 64, through student deferments and then joining the reserves I avoided getting drafted and who knows what fate. None of the Vietnam vets I have told this story to questioned my actions. I am also lucky in that no close friends or family members died because of service in Vietnam. The closest was a cousin who was a supply officer for the Navy in Vietnam.

I am sorry for your brother. He died in a conflict I did not then and do not now condone. I find no flaw in him or his service, he did as ordered and died as people do in war. I left my tears at the Vietnam Memorial for him and all my countrymen who died there. I continue to feel sad for those lost in all wars, no matter who's side they were on.

I think TE is correct. Let those who propose war do the actual fighting. Say MMA rules or muskets at 20 paces. Those bastards may think twice given those choices.
 
JohnH
seeker, we are but cave men with power tools. I think it behoves us as a commonality to consider our actions with more thought than we do. I am afraid that few of us consider us a commonality and do not want to consider that when taking "action".
 
Theory_Execution
There is not a great (as in large) military history in my family, my grandad fought in WW2 and I have a cousin in the Navy - I think that is as far as it goes.

I would not join the army unless I found myself in a similar situation to my grandad, but quite frankly, I cannot see those times happening again in the UK.

It is shit Kowboy, what happened to your brother, real shit (I cant say more than that).
 
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