Chaplains in the US Army

Brotolemaeus
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Chaplains in the US Army

 I have been in the Army for four years now, and one thing that has irritated me beyond measure is the existence and funding of chaplains; and their de facto use as psychiatrists and therapists without the training of said professionals. A case being, a PFC in my company was going through a rough divorce with his wife. He found himself depressed, and we all noticed that he had grown much more reserved and irritable to the point that our chain of command acted upon it. Knowing he was depressed and being out of character, their solution was to send him to the chaplain for counseling even though he was completely neutral on the subject of religion and was not a church-going individual. This same soldier ended up completely cloistering after being sent, and then eventually went AWOL and was not discovered to my knowledge again. If he had been directed to a professional such as a therapist, he may have found some measure of help and may have saved his career and personal hurt/loss of income. All the money spent on their training, their pay (they are paid on the officer scale), and their support could easily pay for a large staff of professional, licensed mental health professionals that could assist from "mundane" issues such as divorce and depression to the problems of PTSD and combat adaption when back stateside. Throughout basic, AIT, and my duty stations I have found chaplains to be very christian in nature though usually at least tolerable to other religions; but the mention of atheism has them scrambling for their bible and proofs that this is a god fearing nation with judeo-christian grounding. I have personally been sent once, as I lost a loved one and my first line supervisor decided I needed "counseling" in the matter. It was nothing more than lip service to why I need to find solace in god and that she is in a better place with no true counseling taking place.

“I join you [John Adams], therefore, in sincere congratulations that this den of the priesthood is at length broken up, and that a Protestant Popedom is no longer to disgrace the American history and character.”
“In every country and in every age the priest [any and every clergyman] has been hostile to liberty; he is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.” Thomas Jefferson


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 Welcome to the forums, I

 Welcome to the forums, 

I was a reconnaissance marine. I didn't personally experience a lot of problems with the chaplains, but I wasn't very vocal about my atheism back then either and mostly just ignored whatever they said. I do agree that it is bullshit to force anyone to see the chaplain for any reason, but I don't really have a problem with chaplains being available for those who might want them. It would be preferable to offer the option of a professional therapist, although in my personal experiences, many professional therapists are as useless as chaplains. 

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson


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But don't we need to make

But don't we need to make soldiers `brave' by making them have faith that if they die in battle, they go strait to paradise?

So we need chaplains to keep any doubt away from the soldiers.

Believing that nothing bad can happen to you no matter what, isn't that the definition of bravery?

If you don't have young men willing to die for a cause they don't understand, how can we wage war?

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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EXC wrote:But don't we need

EXC wrote:

But don't we need to make soldiers `brave' by making them have faith that if they die in battle, they go strait to paradise?

No, religious faith is not a condition of being willing to risk your life in combat.

 

EXC wrote:

Believing that nothing bad can happen to you no matter what, isn't that the definition of bravery?

No, that is the definition of being stupid. Bravery is facing fear, injury and/or death knowing what might happen to you. I would rather have someone brave backing me up than someone stupid.

 

EXC wrote:

If you don't have young men willing to die for a cause they don't understand, how can we wage war?

We do have them because young men love to blow shit up, regardless of whether or not they believe in some ideal. I don't believe most people join the military for idealistic reasons. There were a few, but most had other, more practical reasons. And when you are risking your life in war, your not risking it for some ideal, your risking it for the soldier next to you. The military works relentlessly to build close bonds between a soldier and his fellow soldiers. Since most people joining the military are young and have never had that sort of kinship before, the bond can become very strong and will last a lifetime. It is "us vs them" which is perhaps as primal a response you can evoke in a person.

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson


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 While I do agree that

 While I do agree that there should be some form of religious resource for those religiously inclined folk, I do not believe it should be the current Chaplains. They are paid a ridiculous amount, as it is one of the most easily promotable officer routes. They should have the role of a common priest, there for religious guidance and seen as only that. They should not be the go to for any type of therapy or comfort for the soldier, nor considered as the "official" resource for such help. They should be paid at enlisted rates, “Clerics are to foster simplicity of life and are to refrain from all things that have a semblance of vanity”, and have no need for officer entitlements or privilege. 

 

“I join you [John Adams], therefore, in sincere congratulations that this den of the priesthood is at length broken up, and that a Protestant Popedom is no longer to disgrace the American history and character.”
“In every country and in every age the priest [any and every clergyman] has been hostile to liberty; he is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.” Thomas Jefferson


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EXC wrote:But don't we need

EXC wrote:

But don't we need to make soldiers `brave' by making them have faith that if they die in battle, they go strait to paradise?

So we need chaplains to keep any doubt away from the soldiers.

Believing that nothing bad can happen to you no matter what, isn't that the definition of bravery?

If you don't have young men willing to die for a cause they don't understand, how can we wage war?

 



This is a ridiculous post. There are many of us who are here on our own, secular reasonings. The definition of bravery is being scared to death, but still doing what you are there for, which is the support of the man next to you and the destruction of the enemy. I understand the cause quite well, and the Iraq I read about and heard about from my superiors was not the Iraq I went to on my last deployment; it being much improved and a semblance of democracy. 

 

“I join you [John Adams], therefore, in sincere congratulations that this den of the priesthood is at length broken up, and that a Protestant Popedom is no longer to disgrace the American history and character.”
“In every country and in every age the priest [any and every clergyman] has been hostile to liberty; he is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.” Thomas Jefferson


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Beyond Saving wrote: No,

Beyond Saving wrote:

 

No, religious faith is not a condition of being willing to risk your life in combat.

 

I know, but there sure would be a lot fewer wars if people risked their lives for rational reasons rather than heaven.

Beyond Saving wrote:

No, that is the definition of being stupid. Bravery is facing fear, injury and/or death knowing what might happen to you. I would rather have someone brave backing me up than someone stupid.

 

So this medal of honor winner, was he brave, stupid or suicidal:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/09/18/60minutes/main20107640.shtml

Seems like a pretty fine line, maybe he just wanted a beer with Obama.

And why would anyone that is really brave accept a medal? I mean it's supposed to be a selfless act, so why all the social approval for being a hero? Seems like a real hero wouldn't need the approval of anyone to do what is 'right'?

 

Beyond Saving wrote:

We do have them because young men love to blow shit up, regardless of whether or not they believe in some ideal. I don't believe most people join the military for idealistic reasons. There were a few, but most had other, more practical reasons. And when you are risking your life in war, your not risking it for some ideal, your risking it for the soldier next to you. The military works relentlessly to build close bonds between a soldier and his fellow soldiers. Since most people joining the military are young and have never had that sort of kinship before, the bond can become very strong and will last a lifetime. It is "us vs them" which is perhaps as primal a response you can evoke in a person.

So the military tries to eliminate a person's natural self defenses and natural desire for self preservation. When need for social approval becomes stronger than the need for self preservation, then you have a 'brave' soldier. Seems like bravery is another BS concept designed to control people and deny them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The very things they are supposed to be fighting to protect.

If the people we are fighting are really evil, why not nuke them or at least take them out with drones/robots? Because war is as George Carlin said "a lot of dick waving".

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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Brotolemaeus wrote:This is a

Brotolemaeus wrote:



This is a ridiculous post. There are many of us who are here on our own, secular reasonings. The definition of bravery is being scared to death, but still doing what you are there for, which is the support of the man next to you and the destruction of the enemy. I understand the cause quite well, and the Iraq I read about and heard about from my superiors was not the Iraq I went to on my last deployment; it being much improved and a semblance of democracy. 

Then why does the military need chaplains if all these soldiers have rationally decided to fight for a rational cause? They ought to have Mr. Spock and not a preacher or priest to council the soldiers. The reason we still send people into battle is because people like war, people get an adrenaline rush. You're here because your ancestors wiped out others in war(as to your enemy). A semblance of democracy until the next war, it never ends. War is drug. The soldiers are getting high and getting tons of social approval for their 'bravery.' Not a lot of deep thought about what is really going on either side. That is war.

Is it possible to be a pacifist and be brave, while everyone is call you a coward?


 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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 You are arguing with very

 You are arguing with very twisted words. The army does not take away natural self defense nor the desire for self preservation. The best way to defend and preserve yourself and the man next to you is to take the fight to the enemy and work in cohesion. Bravery is a very real concept, one that has been around in many forms. It has nothing to do with control, and everything to do with finishing the mission, no matter the obstacle. Whether this mission is to capture a village, or be the only atheist in a highschool who speaks out against the school's prayer at graduation in the face of threats and harm. In Iraq, we have given many the very things you speak of denying. Were there errors? Of course, but there is a general positive effect in much of the area. No one is fighting this war for "heaven", or at least the ones that make the decisions. Of course he will accept the medal, he is not only accepting it for himself but all those that fought alongside him. Recognition for doing whats right in the face of grave consequences should always be rewarded. George Carlin had no experience of war (he was in the Air Force and did not complete his enlistment or see action), nor do you. Why not nuke them is a very naive concept, and has no regard for human life or the goals in the war. We are there to free people from the worst of religious nonsense coupled with a terrible tribal/cultural atmosphere that is a nest for terrorism and some of the worst human atrocities committed in our day. 

“I join you [John Adams], therefore, in sincere congratulations that this den of the priesthood is at length broken up, and that a Protestant Popedom is no longer to disgrace the American history and character.”
“In every country and in every age the priest [any and every clergyman] has been hostile to liberty; he is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.” Thomas Jefferson


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EXC wrote:Brotolemaeus

EXC wrote:

Brotolemaeus wrote:

 


This is a ridiculous post. There are many of us who are here on our own, secular reasonings. The definition of bravery is being scared to death, but still doing what you are there for, which is the support of the man next to you and the destruction of the enemy. I understand the cause quite well, and the Iraq I read about and heard about from my superiors was not the Iraq I went to on my last deployment; it being much improved and a semblance of democracy. 

Then why does the military need chaplains if all these soldiers have rationally decided to fight for a rational cause? They ought to have Mr. Spock and not a preacher or priest to council the soldiers. The reason we still send people into battle is because people like war, people get an adrenaline rush. You're here because your ancestors wiped out others in war(as to your enemy). A semblance of democracy until the next war, it never ends. War is drug. The soldiers are getting high and getting tons of social approval for their 'bravery.' Not a lot of deep thought about what is really going on either side. That is war.

Is it possible to be a pacifist and be brave, while everyone is call you a coward?


 



Yes, it is possible and is done by many; hence my reference to the atheist student who stood against his school and parish nonviolently. The Army needs chaplains for the same reason that humanity still clings to religion. I would much rather they not exist in their current form, and would love to have Mr. Spock leading my platoon. You are just fluffing with nothing cited and nothing factual beyond emotions and conjectures. Soldiers get very little social approval, and fight a hard war with almost no attention beyond that of casualties. The bravery is the guy who has gone out on patrol after patrol in the face of IEDs and EFPs to assure the safety, security, and trust of the locals so that they CAN experience democracy and freedom of choice and liberty. This soldier is rarely lauded or praised, but does his job as he should.

 

“I join you [John Adams], therefore, in sincere congratulations that this den of the priesthood is at length broken up, and that a Protestant Popedom is no longer to disgrace the American history and character.”
“In every country and in every age the priest [any and every clergyman] has been hostile to liberty; he is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.” Thomas Jefferson


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EXC has some... interesting

EXC has some... interesting ideas on the nature of humanity.
Welcome!, by the way.

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 Yes, he does. Thanks , I

 Yes, he does. Thanks Smiling, I enjoy reading all the threads here and decided to start one so I don't end up just being a lurker like so many times before.

“I join you [John Adams], therefore, in sincere congratulations that this den of the priesthood is at length broken up, and that a Protestant Popedom is no longer to disgrace the American history and character.”
“In every country and in every age the priest [any and every clergyman] has been hostile to liberty; he is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.” Thomas Jefferson


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Brotolemaeus wrote: You are

Brotolemaeus wrote:

 You are arguing with very twisted words. The army does not take away natural self defense nor the desire for self preservation.

They would if they could, this is another reason why robots are eventually going to replace all soldiers, they won't have this problem.

Brotolemaeus wrote:

The best way to defend and preserve yourself and the man next to you is to take the fight to the enemy and work in cohesion.

Winning wars in the modern world is more about deception, perception and technology. This sending men into battle is more about chest thumping than winning any war.

Brotolemaeus wrote:

Bravery is a very real concept, one that has been around in many forms. It has nothing to do with control, and everything to do with finishing the mission, no matter the obstacle.

If a cause is rational, why do we need bravery and honor? They're just types of social approval. If someone believes in their cause, why do they care if anyone else thinks they are brave or a coward? Why does the army need medals if their causes are always so rational? I risk my life on the freeway to go to work because I want to live, I don't need a medal to make me go. Why do soldiers and officers need all these uniforms and medals? Isn't it just dick waving?

Brotolemaeus wrote:

Why not nuke them is a very naive concept, and has no regard for human life or the goals in the war. We are there to free people from the worst of religious nonsense coupled with a terrible tribal/cultural atmosphere that is a nest for terrorism and some of the worst human atrocities committed in our day. 

Nuking worked pretty good on Japan, they haven't bothered the USA again.

http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Battle_of_Hiroshima

Actually, I think they should just take out a few of the terrorists and political/religious leaders that are creating the problems. There is no reason to send in an army it can all be done with technology, spies and special forces. This send in the troops is just a lot of macho BS.

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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 I don't even know whether

 I don't even know whether to bother continuing this. Did you really just refute my answer by saying they would if they could? I don't think you understand the concept of our two wars. We aren't out for robots to kick in all the doors and kill everyone; I'd be happy if we didn't have to kill another human being. I doubt robots in the sense of automated or remote controlled will ever see heavy usage in a direct combat role beyond that of support (such as dismantlement or scouting). While I will agree on the technology, as geo intelligence coupled with signals intelligence has given us a huge upperhand in the location, monitoring, and capture of the enemy; deception plays a very small part in our modern wars. It is funny you mention perception, as the only way to positively affect that is to have Americans mixed in the local areas providing security, rebuilding, and winning hearts and minds. This isn't dresden, where we are burning down a city in a huge rampage. We are there to root out the cancer, and rebuild a modern society. Bravery and honor have nothing to do with social approval, and if you read the news you would understand that little is given. You seem to have a very odd, and unfounded view of the military. They don't "care what others think" When they pile out of the HMMV to pull their comrades out of a burning wreck from an EFP while returning fire, or jump on that grenade to save the men around them, or risk their lives dismantling and detecting IEDs so they stop blowing up civilians. They do it because its their duty, and their job. Explain to me, beyond hurr it can be done, how this war would be fought by "nukes, technology, spies, and special forces". Nuking was a very serious decision when it came to Japan (a country and war that is so irrelevant to the current conversation that it is hilarious you are even mentioning it) and can honestly be seen in many lights (such as sabre rattling at the Soviet Union more than anything). Did you honestly compare your drive on the freeway to that of a soldier on foreign soil, or that of a highschool student who faces down death threats and the hatred of his superiors in the face of religious intolerance? 

“I join you [John Adams], therefore, in sincere congratulations that this den of the priesthood is at length broken up, and that a Protestant Popedom is no longer to disgrace the American history and character.”
“In every country and in every age the priest [any and every clergyman] has been hostile to liberty; he is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.” Thomas Jefferson


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A suicidal army isn't a very

A suicidal army isn't a very useful one, so I can't believe that any training would occur that would potentially damage the survival instincts of soldiers.
Winning wars has always depended most on intel. Nothing else is half as useful as knowing where the enemy is and what he/she is doing.
Bravery and cowardice don't work quite the same way with military as it does with small town rednecks. Yes, they have the same basic values, but running from a high school fistfight is hardly comparable to running in a war. If you take off in a war then you endanger your fellow soldiers, and potentially your country. Better that you shoot yourself in the foot by "accident" for a free trip home. Since the stakes are so large, and humans are largely inclined to a reward based system, some kind of reward for exceptional devotion to duty is practically necessary to promote morale, which is always on a hair trigger with people who are constantly risking their lives for an often faceless administration.

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Welcome to the forums,

Welcome to the forums, Brotolemaeus!


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Brotolemaeus wrote:I don't

Brotolemaeus wrote:

I don't think you understand the concept of our two wars. We aren't out for robots to kick in all the doors and kill everyone; I'd be happy if we didn't have to kill another human being.

I don't think they have to kill everyone, just the ones causing the problems. But the US military ends up killing a lot of civilians because we don't want to put our soldiers at risk. Why? Bad PR at home if the body count gets to high and the enemy is still killing us after all these years.

To break the moral and will of the enemy, we'd have to kill their fighters and not expose our soldiers to combat. But "keeping me safe" or "fighting for me, so I don't have to" is not what this war or any war is all about it's more about sex, power and a right of passage for young males. Kind of like a football game in front of the cheerleaders, only the stakes are higher.

http://www.amazon.com/Sex-War-Biology-Explains-Terrorism/dp/1933771577

http://fora.tv/2009/03/24/Ask_a_Scientist_Sex_and_War

Brotolemaeus wrote:

I doubt robots in the sense of automated or remote controlled will ever see heavy usage in a direct combat role beyond that of support (such as dismantlement or scouting).

For technical or political reasons?

 

Brotolemaeus wrote:

We are there to root out the cancer, and rebuild a modern society.

Wars have been going on (especially in that part of the world) for a very long time. What makes this war different? Isn't it just a constant cycle of war and rebuilding? Don't we have the same cancer, namely irrationality in our society? Is the root cause of war and poverty ever addressed?

Brotolemaeus wrote:

They don't "care what others think" When they pile out of the HMMV to pull their comrades out of a burning wreck from an EFP while returning fire, or jump on that grenade to save the men around them, or risk their lives dismantling and detecting IEDs so they stop blowing up civilians. They do it because its their duty, and their job.

Of course they care about what others think. Humans are social animals so we care about the approval of others. All this patting soldiers on the back is part of how war is waged. They do their duty because if feels good.

"The rush of battle is often a potent and lethal addiction, for war is a drug." The Hurt Locker.

Brotolemaeus wrote:

Explain to me, beyond hurr it can be done, how this war would be fought by "nukes, technology, spies, and special forces".

What the US should do is lay down some ground rules for these countries over there such as no forced religion, subjugation of women, war lords, etc... Then go after the leaders of groups that  violate these rules, not the naive young underlings.

This won't happen because the powerful of the world are a kind of click that look out for each other. War is about young men dieing and old men get rich and powerful. No one's going to listen to me, so the world goes on with it's wars that never end.

I don't think nukes will be an option until WMDs are used on US soil, then the gloves will come off.

Brotolemaeus wrote:

Nuking was a very serious decision when it came to Japan (a country and war that is so irrelevant to the current conversation that it is hilarious you are even mentioning it) and can honestly be seen in many lights (such as sabre rattling at the Soviet Union more than anything). Did you honestly compare your drive on the freeway to that of a soldier on foreign soil, or that of a highschool student who faces down death threats and the hatred of his superiors in the face of religious intolerance? 

More people die on our highways than from terrorists. As tragic at the 3000 that died on 9/11, that's only a couple weeks of carnage on our highways. So why spend all this blood and treasure? Isn't that what Al Queda wanted, us to go into a war of attrition?

And why aren't people that go to work and pay taxes considered 'heros'? I think the country would go to hell a lot quicker if they stopped what they're doing than if the military stopped what they're doing? The military keeps telling my they need to keep taking taxes from me so they can fight for me, I'm OK with them stopping already.

 

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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EXC, I've never seen this

EXC, I've never seen this side of you.

I can't say that I like it too much.  But it's your right to believe what you want.

A lot of Americans have died to give you that right.

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EXC wrote:Is it possible to

EXC wrote:
Is it possible to be a pacifist and be brave, while everyone is call you a coward?

 

EXC, clearly you have not heard of Desmond Doss.  He was a seventh day adventist who signed on for WW2.  When he refused to even touch a gun, his commanders tried to section 8 him but he insisted in serving in any way that they could use him, so they made him a medic.

 

For the rest of his time, he would run into battle to pull wounded soldiers back to safety.  In his final battle, a group of marines had to scale a cliff only to find several Japanese machine gun nests.  Doss then spent the next six hours pulling men and lowering them down the cliff with a rope.  He was under fire the whole time and the after combat report found that he had personally saved 150 men.  He actually refused to admit to that number so his Medal of Honor citation lists the official number as 75 men.

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Is there any truth to the

Is there any truth to the rumor that Pat Tilman basically told a Chaplin to fly a kite before he died? I know he was an atheist, but is there any truth to that rumor about his last words?

 

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Brian37 wrote:Is there any

Brian37 wrote:

Is there any truth to the rumor that Pat Tilman basically told a Chaplin to fly a kite before he died? I know he was an atheist, but is there any truth to that rumor about his last words?

I read the book by Jon Kraukauer about him, I don't remember reading that. He did become pretty consternated about all the macho Rambo stuff in the army(what got him killed) and the reasons for being there especially Iraq. 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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Watcher wrote:EXC, I've

Watcher wrote:

EXC, I've never seen this side of you.

I can't say that I like it too much.  But it's your right to believe what you want.

A lot of Americans have died to give you that right.

You mean they killed to give me that right. Dieing for a cause does no good. Wars are won by killing, not dieing.

They died for me, I'm just so special. I've learned that whenever some tells me they want to do something for me, it really means bend over, here's your fucking bill for these wars that we never end.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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 Everything you are saying

 Everything you are saying reeks of an individual with no comprehension of history or having ever dealt with a foreigner who is very unlike you. We tried the blow everything away kill count philosophy in Vietnam, and it did not turn out so well. We learned that it is okay if locals kill locals in the most horrendous ways and in extravagant numbers, but if a foreigner comes in and destroys with no immediate sign of reconstruction/benefit to the population; you have an angry nest of support on your hand that just tripled your enemy and gave them many bases of support. It takes men on the ground, individuals that locals can get used to seeing not only fighting the enemy, but also helping local power grids and water distribution come into the modern era to win the "war" and accomplish the only goals that matter. "Robots, nukes, and bombs" as you state, just leads to us fighting an entire people instead of a faction we are forcing to the fringe. These people have known nothing but a theocracy of the harshest manner, and must be handheld and baby-stepped into the modern world. Even in Baghdad, there are constant reportings of IED locations and insurgent gatherings, because as it turns out, the people LIKE these new modern improvements in their life and know what the insurgents promise (a return to the old way). Drop the narrow minded view of how horrible the war is and understand that, in an indirect manner, this is the very movement that many "militant atheists", as the media likes to call them, have wanted. We are a secular nation, stepping in to rid a people of a theocracy of the worst sorts and instill a more secular, open-minded democracy and culture. Already, there are many areas in Iraq where all religious houses find themselves with a medium of security, that showing your flesh as a female does not lead to death (there are even women wearing jeans in some upper class areas of Baghdad), and education is not lead by an Imam based in mysticism, but actual science and logic! Yes, these men killed and died for your right to say anything you want about them, and while they might not have all been good people they were surely for a good cause. 

“I join you [John Adams], therefore, in sincere congratulations that this den of the priesthood is at length broken up, and that a Protestant Popedom is no longer to disgrace the American history and character.”
“In every country and in every age the priest [any and every clergyman] has been hostile to liberty; he is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.” Thomas Jefferson


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Broto,you need to get with

Broto,you need to get with the general plan.  We would love to have you around but you need  to get with the general idea of paragraphs.

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EXC wrote:You mean they

EXC wrote:

You mean they killed to give me that right. Dieing for a cause does no good. Wars are won by killing, not dieing.

They died for me, I'm just so special. I've learned that whenever some tells me they want to do something for me, it really means bend over, here's your fucking bill for these wars that we never end.

Pathetic.

Feel free to move to Switzerland.  They don't seem to engage in a lot of wars.

Or would you rather sit there and bitch?  Yeah.  I think you're going to just sit there and bitch.  A pacifist with no balls.

Oh wait a minute.  You can join Westboro Baptist Church for their soldier funeral protests.

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EXC wrote:You mean they

EXC wrote:

You mean they killed to give me that right. Dieing for a cause does no good. Wars are won by killing, not dieing.

And do you have a problem with the fundamental facts of life on Earth?  There's only three strategies when something tries to kill you no matter what you are.  Die, run, fight back.

Humans didn't invent this shit.

Which of those three choices do you prefer?  I know how you're going to respond.  You won't pick any of the three.

You'll just avoid the question by sitting there and bitching.

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Brotolemaeus wrote: We

Brotolemaeus wrote:

 We tried the blow everything away kill count philosophy in Vietnam, and it did not turn out so well. We learned that it is okay if locals kill locals in the most horrendous ways and in extravagant numbers, but if a foreigner comes in and destroys with no immediate sign of reconstruction/benefit to the population;

 

I was being facetious about using nukes. But you must admit they worked pretty well on Japan, they surrendered right away and haven't bothered us since. The reason was because after Nagasaki, the Emperor new he was next.

We never tried to take out Ho Chi Min. He died in his home from old age. I don't believe we ever targeted any leaders. Just kill young soldiers with lots of colateral damage. But that's war it not about winning, it about DWing. If it was about winning you'd take out the leaders of the enemy, if that doesn't work nuke 'em if they're so damn evil.

Brotolemaeus wrote:

It takes men on the ground, individuals that locals can get used to seeing not only fighting the enemy, but also helping local power grids and water distribution come into the modern era to win the "war" and accomplish the only goals that matter. "Robots, nukes, and bombs" as you state, just leads to us fighting an entire people instead of a faction we are forcing to the fringe. These people have known nothing but a theocracy of the harshest manner, and must be handheld and baby-stepped into the modern world.

Sounds like you're talking about policing. In the case of Iraq, they have oil to buy a police force, so why are we there? In the case of Afganistan it may just be unpolicable.

Brotolemaeus wrote:

Yes, these men killed and died for your right to say anything you want about them, and while they might not have all been good people they were surely for a good cause. 

So why are we taking out the 16 year old that is just following orders. Why not take out the Imam that is telling people to kill. If the only boots on the ground were spies or snipers, this could be done. What does bringing an army do except try to intimidate the population?

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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Watcher wrote:And do you

Watcher wrote:

And do you have a problem with the fundamental facts of life on Earth?  There's only three strategies when something tries to kill you no matter what you are.  Die, run, fight back.

So if someone was trying to kill you, why would you where a uniform? It's like putting a target on your back.

I would first run(like a 'coward'), bide my time at a safe distance, get whatever technology I needed to win and then do a stealth killing of my enemy and anyone that might take revenge on me. I not going to put on a uniform and drive a humvee anouncing where I am.

That's why marching an army in to do policing is doomed to fail.

The Taliban and Insergents win if they kill enough Americans over a long period of time so that we pull out. If the only Americans on the ground were the occasional spies and snipers, they wouldn't have much of a chance to do any killing. We know the strategy of taking out leaders with drones is working because they are calling us cowards for doing so. It pisses off all the DWs that love war.

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EXC wrote:Brotolemaeus

EXC wrote:

Brotolemaeus wrote:

 We tried the blow everything away kill count philosophy in Vietnam, and it did not turn out so well. We learned that it is okay if locals kill locals in the most horrendous ways and in extravagant numbers, but if a foreigner comes in and destroys with no immediate sign of reconstruction/benefit to the population;

 

I was being facetious about using nukes. But you must admit they worked pretty well on Japan, they surrendered right away and haven't bothered us since. The reason was because after Nagasaki, the Emperor new he was next.

We never tried to take out Ho Chi Min. He died in his home from old age. I don't believe we ever targeted any leaders. Just kill young soldiers with lots of colateral damage. But that's war it not about winning, it about DWing. If it was about winning you'd take out the leaders of the enemy, if that doesn't work nuke 'em if they're so damn evil.

Brotolemaeus wrote:

It takes men on the ground, individuals that locals can get used to seeing not only fighting the enemy, but also helping local power grids and water distribution come into the modern era to win the "war" and accomplish the only goals that matter. "Robots, nukes, and bombs" as you state, just leads to us fighting an entire people instead of a faction we are forcing to the fringe. These people have known nothing but a theocracy of the harshest manner, and must be handheld and baby-stepped into the modern world.

Sounds like you're talking about policing. In the case of Iraq, they have oil to buy a police force, so why are we there? In the case of Afganistan it may just be unpolicable.

Brotolemaeus wrote:

Yes, these men killed and died for your right to say anything you want about them, and while they might not have all been good people they were surely for a good cause. 

So why are we taking out the 16 year old that is just following orders. Why not take out the Imam that is telling people to kill. If the only boots on the ground were spies or snipers, this could be done. What does bringing an army do except try to intimidate the population?




I apologize for the lack of paragraphs, as I am typing this on my phone from our training exercise. I should be back to civilization in a week, and will type with actual formatting then.

We did attempt to assassinate high ranking individuals in Vietnam, it was labeled the Pheonix program. As it turned out, most of these individuals were also the main coordinators of not only the resistance in the area, but also control of most of the more mundane parts of leadership such as running the local areas; and their deaths caused more harm and outcry from the local population because it left a vacuum and lead to breakdowns in local government.

We DO target and kill influential individuals in both Iraq and Afghanistan, but usually after we already have a contingency plan in place to take over once they are gone so that the public is assured quality of life and an overall leadership in their absence.

You can't just kill the influence, you have to show the locals WHY they need to change and modernize, not just force it upon them or you will never win them over. These  aren't, for the most part, educated rational individuals. They don't understand modern concepts such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion/free will. They must be spoon fed and taught this, while slowly removing the old, malignant influence.

A rapid change just causes shock, and leads to the people rebelling against the idea of change. In Iraq, this has worked well as I have previously stated, and many fundamental changes can be seen throughout.

A sniper kills, but a patrol tells the people that we are here to stabilize, not just kill. The locals need to see our presence and understand that we aren't just here to kill off the enemy and take off just to let another theocracy form or their allegiance will never switch, for purely self-preservation reasons.

I don't understand why you keep using the Japan example, that was fighting against a government with the people's support; not a fringe faction that has been driven to living in hills and living off rural ignorance. In a historical context, this war actually has one of the lowest collateral damage and friendly casualties of any true engagement (especially for as long as these wars have continued) and is probably the most humane forms of war ever fought. 

(mod edit: paragraphs, free of charge! Eye-wink )

“I join you [John Adams], therefore, in sincere congratulations that this den of the priesthood is at length broken up, and that a Protestant Popedom is no longer to disgrace the American history and character.”
“In every country and in every age the priest [any and every clergyman] has been hostile to liberty; he is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.” Thomas Jefferson


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EXC wrote:So if someone was

EXC wrote:

So if someone was trying to kill you, why would you where a uniform? It's like putting a target on your back.

We'll, uhm, you are a better fighter if you are trained to be one and have the best equipment.  This usually involves joining the military.  When you join the military you have an obligation for a certain period of time to follow orders which sometimes involves in being in a war.

The great thing about our military in the US these days is that it is 100% volunteer.  Our young adults voluntarily go into our military to protect the rest of us when we need it.  I would much rather our young adults that volunteered to defend their country, and were properly trained and supplied to do so, carry the life and death costs.  I did it.

Much better that than having the weak, old, and children of our people suffer the life and death costs.

EXC wrote:

I would first run(like a 'coward'), bide my time at a safe distance, get whatever technology I needed to win and then do a stealth killing of my enemy and anyone that might take revenge on me.

Are you really saying this should be America's policy?  Have no military, wait until someone invades us, then run like cowards and pull a "Wolverine" force like in the movie Red Dawn?

Or just on a personal level.  Let's say I and several other uniformed soldiers come marching up to your house.  You run.  Ok, if it's a family there do you think they can all get away?  Or do you think we might be able to catch some women so we can take turns raping them?  Like your mother, wife, sisters, or daughters.  Maybe we can grab some little boys to take for slaves or just kill outright.  Meanwhile we loot your house and then burn the fucker to the ground.

Then we move onto the next location.

This is your plan?

EXC wrote:

The Taliban and Insergents win if they kill enough Americans over a long period of time so that we pull out. If the only Americans on the ground were the occasional spies and snipers, they wouldn't have much of a chance to do any killing. 

We know the strategy of taking out leaders with drones is working because they are calling us cowards for doing so. It pisses off all the DWs that love war.

That's great...NOW.  Now that we've already crushed the Taliban government that ruled over Afghanistan in 2001 and we are only dealing with furitive, little groups of guerilla fighters.  If we had tried to take down the Taliban government after 9/11 with the "occasional spies and snipers" it would have been a joke.  The Taliban government would still be firmly in control of the country and ALL IT'S RESOURCES.

Now, I know you can say, "Resources, it's Afghanistan!".  True.  Pretty piss poor country.

But they would be able to produce billions in Poppy plants to make Opium.  They would use this to arm more fighters, recruit more fighters, offer bribes to various warlords both in the fringes of their society and around neighboring countries.

You have to disrupt them from being able to do these things.  You can't do this with the occasional sniper or spy.  Nor can you do it with drone attacks or tactical strikes of special forces or Cruise missiles.

You can create a little chaos, sure.  You can't topple a government that way.

We couldn't even prevent the Taliban from taking back over the government of Afghanistan now with those tactics if we pulled out all troops without setting up some kind of native government with local military forces to resist them.

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I think there has to be some

I think there has to be some position between no army and reacting after an invasion and a super army with a government that feels it has to invade countries for no reason so the soldiers can have something to do. The latter is closer to what we currently have.

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jcgadfly wrote:I think there

jcgadfly wrote:

I think there has to be some position between no army and reacting after an invasion and a super army with a government that feels it has to invade countries for no reason so the soldiers can have something to do. The latter is closer to what we currently have.

The invasion of Iraq was an intelligence failure on the side of our Government.

Now I'm not saying that Saddam didn't deserve what he got, nor am I saying that the Iraqi people right now don't have a much better opportunity to actually create a country worth a crap for the first time in centuries.

But we (the US) shouldn't have paid the price, imo, for these things.

Afghanistan is a different story.  Maybe some other countries will get the hint to not harbor terrorist cells.  Especially ones that plan to attack a vastly more powerful country.

If we had not had invaded Afghanistan we would have reeked as being weak and cowards.  And the terrorist attacks on our soil would have increased exponentially.

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 I apologize for letting

 I apologize for letting this topic get so derailed. While discussing the war, this thread is still very relative. ( I am trying to do paragraphs, it might not turn out well but had a friend show me how to add tons of spaces to simulate paragraphs.)

Currently, while deployed, a soldier's only real access to any professional help or therapy on hand is currently the chaplain. I feel this is quite erroneous considering what is seen and done not only during combat, but the extreme separation from loved ones and the normalcy of life. These same chaplains also conduct christian prayers, while voluntarily attended for the mot part, right in front of our local translators and even visiting tribal leaders/officials. I feel this just gives the enemy a basis for their accusations that we are a christian invading force, and that there is a religious connection to the war effort. While a soldier can be referred and sent back to a green zone for professional help, they are first recommended and only have the chaplain on hand at their actual locations, and I feel this sets a horrible precedence as them being an official representative for counseling and therapy, and does a grave disservice to the men and women doing and seeing things that most would not volunteer to do.

 

“I join you [John Adams], therefore, in sincere congratulations that this den of the priesthood is at length broken up, and that a Protestant Popedom is no longer to disgrace the American history and character.”
“In every country and in every age the priest [any and every clergyman] has been hostile to liberty; he is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.” Thomas Jefferson


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Watcher wrote:jcgadfly

Watcher wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

I think there has to be some position between no army and reacting after an invasion and a super army with a government that feels it has to invade countries for no reason so the soldiers can have something to do. The latter is closer to what we currently have.

The invasion of Iraq was an intelligence failure on the side of our Government.

Unless you are speaking of the intelligence of W., that is what is called scapegoating. Iraq was entirely politically motivated. It did not matter what the intelligence said. They were going to war and that's that, as far as they were concerned. The 'intelligence', which did not actually exist, was just smoke and mirrors to convince the public. The decision had already been made.

This charade was entirely obvious to just about everyone not living in the US, and also to many who were.

edit: sorry for adding to derailment. I won't pursue it further.

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Brotolemaeus

Brotolemaeus wrote:

Currently, while deployed, a soldier's only real access to any professional help or therapy on hand is currently the chaplain. I feel this is quite erroneous considering what is seen and done not only during combat, but the extreme separation from loved ones and the normalcy of life. These same chaplains also conduct christian prayers, while voluntarily attended for the mot part, right in front of our local translators and even visiting tribal leaders/officials. I feel this just gives the enemy a basis for their accusations that we are a christian invading force, and that there is a religious connection to the war effort. While a soldier can be referred and sent back to a green zone for professional help, they are first recommended and only have the chaplain on hand at their actual locations, and I feel this sets a horrible precedence as them being an official representative for counseling and therapy, and does a grave disservice to the men and women doing and seeing things that most would not volunteer to do.

 

I was a Marine Corps wife for 11 years. 

I agree with your points.  The chaplains are often not trained in diplomacy, in psychology, in counseling, and so on.  They are only trained in religion and only in the dogma their religion supports for the most part.  There are a few who do have some additional secular training in therapy and counseling or in theology from a historical or scholarly view.  But not many and far from all.

I would guess someone is making a claim that having a chaplain pray before a meeting shows that we are good people, too.  But I am guessing that doesn't work when the other group is Islamic.  Better to have an Iman chaplain - they exist - do a proper Islamic prayer or invocation or whatever is most appropriate.

This is not intended as a defense of chaplains, but I have always been pragmatic.  When you have no authority or right to appeal, the chaplain can intervene in your behalf.  I have used this technique.  When my ex husband had not called or written for 3 months when he was overseas, I contacted the chaplain, who contacted his CO, who stood over him while he make a phone call to me to let me know he was okay.  (We divorced soon after.)  The ex husband was not happy about this, and I figured if he was injured or dead, someone would notify me.  But I was seriously concerned.  And it was the chaplain who pulled the strings.

The chaplain is the family's way of circumventing the chain of command.  The family has no rights.  I would guess those families who are most successful coping with the stress of military life are those who can and will pull the strings necessary to keep their family together.  The chaplain can intervene on the family's behalf.  And the way the military is set up, no one else can.  It sucks that the chaplain is the family's only resource, and I agree it would be nice if there were secular alternatives.

 

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natural wrote:The invasion

natural wrote:

Unless you are speaking of the intelligence of W., that is what is called scapegoating. Iraq was entirely politically motivated. It did not matter what the intelligence said. They were going to war and that's that, as far as they were concerned. The 'intelligence', which did not actually exist, was just smoke and mirrors to convince the public. The decision had already been made.

This charade was entirely obvious to just about everyone not living in the US, and also to many who were.

Maybe.  Some people believe what they want to believe.

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Watcher wrote: The great

Watcher wrote:

 

The great thing about our military in the US these days is that it is 100% volunteer.  Our young adults voluntarily go into our military to protect the rest of us when we need it.  I would much rather our young adults that volunteered to defend their country, and were properly trained and supplied to do so, carry the life and death costs.  I did it.

No it isn't voluntary, it a job, a career choice. Other than a few people like Pat Tillman, they wouldn't join with out pay and benefits. And paying taxes to support it certainly is not voluntary. Maybe if wars were only fought and paid for by volunteers, we wouldn't be so anxious to get into wars that don't actually threaten us.

Watcher wrote:

Are you really saying this should be America's policy?  Have no military, wait until someone invades us, then run like cowards and pull a "Wolverine" force like in the movie Red Dawn?

No you're making stuff up. Since Mexico and Canada ain't much of a threat, we have an army to invade foriegn countries. The treat we have now is terrorists with WMD that use stealth and technology because that is what works. While the US is still waving our dicks around in the middle east.

Watcher wrote:

Or just on a personal level.  Let's say I and several other uniformed soldiers come marching up to your house.  You run.  Ok, if it's a family there do you think they can all get away?  Or do you think we might be able to catch some women so we can take turns raping them?  Like your mother, wife, sisters, or daughters.  Maybe we can grab some little boys to take for slaves or just kill outright.  Meanwhile we loot your house and then burn the fucker to the ground.

Then we move onto the next location.

This is your plan?

But we're not using the army in our own country. But if I was in this situation, what good does getting myself killed as a 'hero' do. You win wars by living to fight another day. As Patton said the goal of war is not to die for your country, but to make the other bastard die for his. I would only risk my life it it meant victory.

 

Watcher wrote:

That's great...NOW.  Now that we've already crushed the Taliban government that ruled over Afghanistan in 2001 and we are only dealing with furitive, little groups of guerilla fighters.  If we had tried to take down the Taliban government after 9/11 with the "occasional spies and snipers" it would have been a joke.  The Taliban government would still be firmly in control of the country and ALL IT'S RESOURCES.

How can an organization be in charge of anything if we take out all the leaders? The problem is we can kill tons of 16 year old boys indoctrinated with jihad and given a gun, there will always be more to take their place. It you keep taking out the war lords and Imams preaching jihad, eventually they stop.

You don't seem to get that war is young men dieing and old men talking, that's why it never ends.

If I was to start an armed organization to stop paying taxes, Uncle Sam would have no problem finding me and taking me out. But they don't want to take out the leaders of the Taliban and their religion becauce the powerful of the world are a clique that watch out for each other.

 

 

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EXC wrote:No it isn't

EXC wrote:

No it isn't voluntary, it a job, a career choice. Other than a few people like Pat Tillman, they wouldn't join with out pay and benefits. And paying taxes to support it certainly is not voluntary. Maybe if wars were only fought and paid for by volunteers, we wouldn't be so anxious to get into wars that don't actually threaten us.

Yes, it is voluntary.  No one holds a gun to anyone's head in America to make them join the military.  I'm in the IT career field.  Just like I was previously in the Military.  Both of these were something I decided to do of my own free will.

I wouldn't work in my current civilian job without pay and benefits.  How does that make my current job involuntary impressment?  I didn't have to work here or in this kind of job.

EXC wrote:

No you're making stuff up. Since Mexico and Canada ain't much of a threat, we have an army to invade foriegn countries. The treat we have now is terrorists with WMD that use stealth and technology because that is what works. While the US is still waving our dicks around in the middle east.

No, I'm responding to exactly what you said that you would do.  You stated that first you would run like a coward.  We weren't at war with Afghanistan and that country supported and gave refuge to a terrorist group that killed over 3000 Americans while they were sitting in their offices one day.

We tried this isolationism shit before.  It got us into two world wars saving Europe's ass.  We learned that we can't just stick our heads inside of our turtle shells and expect everyone to leave us alone.  We have learned that we have to be proactive.

Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

EXC wrote:

But we're not using the army in our own country. But if I was in this situation, what good does getting myself killed as a 'hero' do. You win wars by living to fight another day. As Patton said the goal of war is not to die for your country, but to make the other bastard die for his. I would only risk my life it it meant victory.

Patton has some nice sound bites but he is not some all-knowing oracle of truth.  The "goal" is one thing but war is not just "killing them and not dieing".  If this was true there would be no wars where the winners lost more soldiers than the losers.

Our country founded it's independence because 50,000 patriots died or were wounded.  Britain, on the other hand, had roughly 20,000 casualties.  Or let's look at something a little more recent.  Like the American Vietnam War.  North Vietnam won their objective of making America quit the war and them taking over South Vietnam.  Yet we lost only a fraction of the soldiers than they did.

EXC wrote:

How can an organization be in charge of anything if we take out all the leaders? The problem is we can kill tons of 16 year old boys indoctrinated with jihad and given a gun, there will always be more to take their place. It you keep taking out the war lords and Imams preaching jihad, eventually they stop.

Is it just me or are the first two sentences in the above quotes contradicting each other?  "How can the be in charge if we take out all their leaders?"  "The problem is there will always be more to take their place."

Islam will not "eventually stop".  Ever.  As long as there are Muslims the Jihad will continue.  The Quran is 39% religious and 61% political.  Sixty one percent of it tells Muslims what to do about non-Muslims.  And the lesson is simple.  Never stop fighting them until the world is Islam.

EXC wrote:

You don't seem to get that war is young men dieing and old men talking, that's why it never ends.

I was one of those young men with my fingers wrapped around a .50 caliber machine gun.  I was involved in direct operations in two major military campaigns for our country including the initial invasion of Afghanistan.

I think I know better than you what war is.

EXC wrote:

If I was to start an armed organization to stop paying taxes, Uncle Sam would have no problem finding me and taking me out. But they don't want to take out the leaders of the Taliban and their religion becauce the powerful of the world are a clique that watch out for each other.

Oh the conspiracy theories. Saddam was powerful.  Osama was powerful.  Hitler was powerful.

Paranoia can be treated with medication and therapy.  Maybe look into some kind of treatment.

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Watcher wrote:Yes, it is

Watcher wrote:

Yes, it is voluntary. 

 

So how many people would join the military without pay or benefits? Is everyone that has a paid job and is not a slave, a volunteer? Since you're redefining the meaning of words, how do we now describe the differece between a volunteer fireman and an paid professional one?

Watcher wrote:

No, I'm responding to exactly what you said that you would do.  You stated that first you would run like a coward.

 

I said 'coward' because getting myself killed does no good. Here you can read about our fine 'brave' soldiers:

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/afghan-thrill-kill-us-soldier-pleads-guilty/story?id=14583062

 

Watcher wrote:

We tried this isolationism shit before.  It got us into two world wars saving Europe's ass.

 

How was WWI isolationism? it was like Iraq, going in with bad intelligence. In WWII, we were competing with the Japanese for commodites in the far east, and then used the navy to cut off their oil supplies, hardly isolationsism. Then declared war on Germany and Italy when they never attacked.

I'm not an isolationist, but send in people that use science and reason to win war not some pimpleface kid that thinks he's a man for killing something.

Watcher wrote:

Our country founded it's independence because 50,000 patriots died or were wounded.  Britain, on the other hand, had roughly 20,000 casualties.  Or let's look at something a little more recent.  Like the American Vietnam War.  North Vietnam won their objective of making America quit the war and them taking over South Vietnam.  Yet we lost only a fraction of the soldiers than they did.

 

But we never took out anyone important, so we lost. It was our 19 year olds killing their 15 year olds and visa versa. Everyone else like Johnson, MacNamera, Westmoreland and Ho Chi Minh and Chairman Mao die of old age. This is war.

Watcher wrote:

Is it just me or are the first two sentences in the above quotes contradicting each other?  "How can the be in charge if we take out all their leaders?"  "The problem is there will always be more to take their place."

 

You don't get the distintion. People become leaders because of the perks(power, money, sex). If you make the only perk being killed, no more leaders, no more enemy. You kill all the poor 16 year olds indoctrinated with religon and nationalism, you solve the problem this year. But then next year the 15 y.o become 16 and they don't really have a choice.

 

Watcher wrote:

Islam will not "eventually stop".  Ever.  As long as there are Muslims the Jihad will continue.  The Quran is 39% religious and 61% political.  Sixty one percent of it tells Muslims what to do about non-Muslims.  And the lesson is simple.  Never stop fighting them until the world is Islam.

 

So they need to take out religious leaders, but just like the USA. You can get away with any crime if you protray yourself as a holyman.

Watcher wrote:

I was one of those young men with my fingers wrapped around a .50 caliber machine gun.  I was involved in direct operations in two major military campaigns for our country including the initial invasion of Afghanistan.

I think I know better than you what war is.

 

And did you ever go after anyone of significance? All the fighting done by underlings indoctrinated with politics and religion.

Watcher wrote:

Oh the conspiracy theories. Saddam was powerful.  Osama was powerful.  Hitler was powerful.

Paranoia can be treated with medication and therapy.  Maybe look into some kind of treatment.

Nice try Mr. Strawman.

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca