"Support The Troops" is nonsense.

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"Support The Troops" is nonsense.

We often here about the support the troops nonsense. We even hear this from people who are against the war. These people say "im against the war, but I support the troops." If your against the war, then what could possibly justify you supporting the troops? A common response is that they are just doing their jobs. This kind of reasoning, when applied in other contexts, fails. If one held to this kind of reasoning, one would have to hold that the soldiers on Nazi Germany were not really immoral people...they were just doing their job. Or take a hitman hired to kill someone. he is just doing his job...leave him alone.

If you against the war, it is irrational to to be for the very people who carry out the war. The very people one claims to be for, are the very ones murdering women and children.

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  Well, when they say

Smiling

 

Well, when they say "Support the troops" it's possible that they mean the soldiers that are in the hospital or something. I don't know...


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Americans have turned

Americans have turned patriotism into religion. Sad

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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American Atheist

American Atheist wrote:

Smiling

 

Well, when they say "Support the troops" it's possible that they mean the soldiers that are in the hospital or something. I don't know...

So?  Would you support a Nazi soldier that was in the hospital?  this is my point.  Supporting American troops...in virtue of their being American troops is irrational.  Support the troops, in virtue of something else.  If I would have been alive during WWII I would have supported the troops, not because they were American troops, but because they were fighting that cock-sucker Adolf Hitler. 

"In the high school halls, in the shopping malls, conform or be cast out" ~ Rush, from Subdivisions


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I think it is that they

I think it is that they view the soldiers as victims. For the soldiers against the war that is probably the case, but otherwise it is shaky to suggest they weren't aware of the possibility of fighting.

To be realistic though the people in the military are in a whole other world where it is even harder to suggest the authority might be wrong. If I remember right they are even trained not to question the orders and will be punished for not doing as you are told.

For the most part I think the soldier who is under command becomes a cog in a machine. The question that should be asked is are the soldiers thinking about the actions or how much time do they have to think about them and then what can the soldier do about it.

You also have to remember war and the military has been romanticized so people will probably think of the people who join as to good for even the suggestion of a malice act.


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Quote: So? They're

Quote:
So?

They're hurt. 

 

Quote:
Would you support a Nazi soldier that was in the hospital?

Of course not. 

Quote:
this is my point.  Supporting American troops...in virtue of their being American troops is irrational.

Just think of it as football, each team member has a weapon, though.

"Support the (insert team name)!!"

 Ya know?

 

Quote:
Support the troops, in virtue of something else.  If I would have been alive during WWII I would have supported the troops, not because they were American troops, but because they were fighting that cock-sucker Adolf Hitler. 

Well yeah...

 I got pwned. Sad


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"support the troops" is

"support the troops" is annoying and farcical because it holds no meaning.   what happens when you say that?  it makes you feel good about yourself? is that it?  how exactly are the troops being supported simply by you saying that?

"hey guys, we're behind you! we're really rootin' for ya's (from over here)"

if i was in the desert getting shot at, and had to hear that every day, i would come back here and shoot as many people as i possibly could.  and people called mcveigh "unbalanced".  

it's idiotic to place any value on that statement unless it is made while standing in line to enlist. 

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Chaoslord2004 wrote: We

Chaoslord2004 wrote:
We often here about the support the troops nonsense. We even hear this from people who are against the war. These people say "im against the war, but I support the troops." If your against the war, then what could possibly justify you supporting the troops? A common response is that they are just doing their jobs. This kind of reasoning, when applied in other contexts, fails. If one held to this kind of reasoning, one would have to hold that the soldiers on Nazi Germany were not really immoral people...they were just doing their job. Or take a hitman hired to kill someone. he is just doing his job...leave him alone. If you against the war, it is irrational to to be for the very people who carry out the war. The very people one claims to be for, are the very ones murdering women and children.

Eeeyuh.

Is it actually your intent to bring even more opprobrium and hatred down on atheists?

Because that is the only possible result of your ill-considered statement, which embodies a gross oversimplification of a complex issue.

Let me be the first to say that as a strong atheist, and an ex-US Air Force officer, that I most definitely do support our troops.

I do not believe that the best way to support them is to send them to die in an illegal, immoral, pointless war of aggression while stealing the money that should be used to give their families decent living accommodations in order to give tax breaks to the ultra-wealthy.

No human society not existing in total geographic isolation has ever been able to exist without the willingness to engage in organized violence in defense of their lives and resources.

 Studies of chimp society would indicate that this condition has existed at least as far back as the chimp-human common ancestor.

We may rue and abhor this condition, we may work in some way towards building a world where this condition will not persist, but to deny that it does exist is absurd.

Even the arch-pacifist Einstein encouraged development of atomic weapons when faced with the alternative of Hitler's Reich.

Because of this fact of human life, those who undertake the risks and sacrifices inherent in engaging in armed conflict have always gained the respect and reverence of their societies at large, while those who refuse to risk their own skins out of selfishness or simple cowardice - when the situation demands it - have always been reviled.

Of course this tends to be taken to horrible extremes, but the way to combat this is not to take the opposite and equally extreme view.

The person who conscientiously objects to some particular exercise of organized violent force is also deserving of respect, but will not receive it if their objection is not distinguishable from the objections of selfish cowards.

While I greatly respect the courage and intellect of a person like First Lieutenant Ehren Watada, who has refused deployment to Iraq for excellent and clearly stated reasons, I submit that such intellect and moral courage is quite rare.

The common soldier, who feels the whole weight of the authority of the military structure pressing down upon him, in a war effort generated and supported by the entire legitimately elected government of this nation, should not be blamed for following orders if they do not include such atrocities as directly murdering civilians or torturing captives.

Blame the President, blame the congress, blame the American people as whole, if you like, for allowing this evil war to be pursued. But do not blame the soldier who is out there risking his ass, especially when yours is not on the line.

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Ok this is where I part

Ok this is where I part company with the original poster.

I support the defense of our Constitition. No one should blindly follow orders when it gets inocent people killed. But, the guilt by association crap is just a blanket statement and another "for or against" bullshit attitude.

I dare any atheist who has not served to tell an atheist who has to their face that they should be treated like a criminal simply because they signed a contract, which is what military service is.

If people want to challenge our govement or individuals that is what freedom and our constitution protects.

I DARE YOU TO go to www.maaf.info and e-mail these atheists who surve and call them criminals.

Goverment is a fact of global life and not everything our goverment does is good, that is true, but I see shades of grey that you blanketly condemn everyone who picks up a gun through our military.

Nice of atheists to judge others when they say that they dont want to be judged themselves.

You want to attack goverment or an individual, that is fine. But this guilt by association crap is the same crap theists aim at us. No one is asking anyone to blindly worship any person. But dont pull that guilt by association crap either!

HAVE THE BALLS TO condemn Reggie to his face, he served as an atheist. Have the balls to spit on my atheist friend's grave who saved your ass from being forced to speak German in WW2.

Someone commits a crime doesnt mean everyone around them is a criminal. 

 

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  Nice try but doesnt

 

Nice try but doesnt wash. Not every single German was a Nazi supporter. If Oscar Shindler didnt joint the Nazi party he wouldnt have been able to save a the Jews he did.If you had your way the non Nazi members should  be convicted as well. Do you honestly think that all Iraqi's were involved in gassing the Kurds? Guilt by association is bullshit and you know it.

Not every single german knew about what was happening to the Jews, and not every German soldier was a Nazi. 

You cant, nor should we be callous enough to convict people of a crime if they did so under dirresss. If I put a gun to your head and tell you to rob a bank or I will shoot your kid, no one would or should blame you for doing such.

If you want to attack individuals as to why they support something, that is fine, but to make blanket statements about every single soldier is bullshit guilt by association. 

The military may be volutary, but once you sign up it is manditory or you get arrested and go to jail for not following orders. Not every single soldier wants to be there and generals have been speaking out against our administration. Do you think that military personell who serve and dont agree should be treated in the same mannor as Bush? 

Freedom is not "us vs them" you equating anyone who supports the soldiers as deserving condemnation is a "us vs them" attitude. I hate it when people make blanket statements, I wont give you a pass either simply because we share a lack of belief. 

 

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chaospump wrote: Is it

chaospump wrote:
Is it actually your intent to bring even more opprobrium and hatred down on atheists?

This has nothing to do with atheism, so your point is irrelevant.

 

chaospump wrote:
Because that is the only possible result of your ill-considered statement, which embodies a gross oversimplification of a complex issue.

Um, no, actually my argument was a reducto against supporting the troops...in virtue of nothing else, but to support the troops.

 

chaospump wrote:

Let me be the first to say that as a strong atheist, and an ex-US Air Force officer, that I most definitely do support our troops.

I do not believe that the best way to support them is to send them to die in an illegal, immoral, pointless war of aggression while stealing the money that should be used to give their families decent living accommodations in order to give tax breaks to the ultra-wealthy.

No human society not existing in total geographic isolation has ever been able to exist without the willingness to engage in organized violence in defense of their lives and resources.

 Studies of chimp society would indicate that this condition has existed at least as far back as the chimp-human common ancestor.

We may rue and abhor this condition, we may work in some way towards building a world where this condition will not persist, but to deny that it does exist is absurd.

Even the arch-pacifist Einstein encouraged development of atomic weapons when faced with the alternative of Hitler's Reich.

Because of this fact of human life, those who undertake the risks and sacrifices inherent in engaging in armed conflict have always gained the respect and reverence of their societies at large, while those who refuse to risk their own skins out of selfishness or simple cowardice - when the situation demands it - have always been reviled.

Of course this tends to be taken to horrible extremes, but the way to combat this is not to take the opposite and equally extreme view.

What are you going on about?  This has nothing to do with my original post, nor is it relevant to my argument.

chaospump wrote:
But do not blame the soldier who is out there risking his ass, especially when yours is not on the line.

but he is doing the killing.  He is as responsible as the leaders.

 

Brian37 wrote:
Ok this is where I part company with the original poster.

Well, let us see if your critique is more relevant than the last posters...

 

Brian37 wrote:
But, the guilt by association crap is just a blanket statement and another "for or against" bullshit attitude.

Its not guilt by association.  The soldiers are not just hanging out by the water-cooler while the president kills people.  The soldiers are actively taking part in killing people.  If this is guilt by association, then you ought to let every hitman out of jail.

 

Brian37 wrote:
I dare any atheist who has not served to tell an atheist who has to their face that they should be treated like a criminal simply because they signed a contract, which is what military service is.

This is fucking stupid emotional rhetoric.  Think the Nazi soldiers didn't sign a contract?  They did.  They are still criminals.  And if the war we are fighting is unjust...then out soldiers are criminals.  Hey, if you want to excuse the Nazi soldiers from responsibility...then my argument fails.  However, if you hold Nazi soldiers responsible, then you must hold American soldiers responsible.  

 

Brian37 wrote:
Goverment is a fact of global life and not everything our goverment does is good, that is true, but I see shades of grey that you blanketly condemn everyone who picks up a gun through our military.

Actually, I never said that.  What I actually said, was that if you don't agree with this war.  And you think that the Nazi soldiers should be held accountable, then you must also hold our soldiers responsible who fight in this war.  

 

Brian37 wrote:
Nice of atheists to judge others when they say that they dont want to be judged themselves.

Judge me all you want, see if I care.

 

Brian37 wrote:
But dont pull that guilt by association crap either!

But im not.

 

Brian37 wrote:
Have the balls to spit on my atheist friend's grave who saved your ass from being forced to speak German in WW2.

do you read before you respond?  I guess not, for I already discussed this:

"If I would have been alive during WWII I would have supported the troops, not because they were American troops, but because they were fighting that cock-sucker Adolf Hitler."

Read what I write...and try to understand what I write, before you respond.  You obviously missed the entire point of my argument, and deemed it necessary to substitute rhetoric in place of an authentic argument.

 

Brian37 wrote:
Nice try but doesnt wash. Not every single German was a Nazi supporter.

And when did I say they were?

 

Brian37 wrote:
If you had your way the non Nazi members should  be convicted as well.

Show me where this was implied, mother-fucker?

Go away, all you have done is toss rhetoric and ad homs against me.  Im done deal with your nonsense.   

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Chaoslord2004

Chaoslord2004 wrote:

chaospump wrote:
Is it actually your intent to bring even more opprobrium and hatred down on atheists?

This has nothing to do with atheism, so your point is irrelevant.

chaospump wrote:
Because that is the only possible result of your ill-considered statement, which embodies a gross oversimplification of a complex issue.

Um, no, actually my argument was a reducto against supporting the troops...in virtue of nothing else, but to support the troops.

chaospump wrote:

Let me be the first to say that as a strong atheist, and an ex-US Air Force officer, that I most definitely do support our troops.

I do not believe that the best way to support them is to send them to die in an illegal, immoral, pointless war of aggression while stealing the money that should be used to give their families decent living accommodations in order to give tax breaks to the ultra-wealthy.

No human society not existing in total geographic isolation has ever been able to exist without the willingness to engage in organized violence in defense of their lives and resources.

Studies of chimp society would indicate that this condition has existed at least as far back as the chimp-human common ancestor.

We may rue and abhor this condition, we may work in some way towards building a world where this condition will not persist, but to deny that it does exist is absurd.

Even the arch-pacifist Einstein encouraged development of atomic weapons when faced with the alternative of Hitler's Reich.

Because of this fact of human life, those who undertake the risks and sacrifices inherent in engaging in armed conflict have always gained the respect and reverence of their societies at large, while those who refuse to risk their own skins out of selfishness or simple cowardice - when the situation demands it - have always been reviled.

Of course this tends to be taken to horrible extremes, but the way to combat this is not to take the opposite and equally extreme view.

What are you going on about? This has nothing to do with my original post, nor is it relevant to my argument.

chaospump wrote:
But do not blame the soldier who is out there risking his ass, especially when yours is not on the line.

but he is doing the killing. He is as responsible as the leaders.

Brian37 wrote:
Ok this is where I part company with the original poster.

Well, let us see if your critique is more relevant than the last posters...

Brian37 wrote:
But, the guilt by association crap is just a blanket statement and another "for or against" bullshit attitude.

Its not guilt by association. The soldiers are not just hanging out by the water-cooler while the president kills people. The soldiers are actively taking part in killing people. If this is guilt by association, then you ought to let every hitman out of jail.

Brian37 wrote:
I dare any atheist who has not served to tell an atheist who has to their face that they should be treated like a criminal simply because they signed a contract, which is what military service is.

This is fucking stupid emotional rhetoric. Think the Nazi soldiers didn't sign a contract? They did. They are still criminals. And if the war we are fighting is unjust...then out soldiers are criminals. Hey, if you want to excuse the Nazi soldiers from responsibility...then my argument fails. However, if you hold Nazi soldiers responsible, then you must hold American soldiers responsible.

Brian37 wrote:
Goverment is a fact of global life and not everything our goverment does is good, that is true, but I see shades of grey that you blanketly condemn everyone who picks up a gun through our military.

Actually, I never said that. What I actually said, was that if you don't agree with this war. And you think that the Nazi soldiers should be held accountable, then you must also hold our soldiers responsible who fight in this war.

Brian37 wrote:
Nice of atheists to judge others when they say that they dont want to be judged themselves.

Judge me all you want, see if I care.

Brian37 wrote:
But dont pull that guilt by association crap either!

But im not.

Brian37 wrote:
Have the balls to spit on my atheist friend's grave who saved your ass from being forced to speak German in WW2.

do you read before you respond? I guess not, for I already discussed this:

"If I would have been alive during WWII I would have supported the troops, not because they were American troops, but because they were fighting that cock-sucker Adolf Hitler."

Read what I write...and try to understand what I write, before you respond. You obviously missed the entire point of my argument, and deemed it necessary to substitute rhetoric in place of an authentic argument.

Brian37 wrote:
Nice try but doesnt wash. Not every single German was a Nazi supporter.

And when did I say they were?

Brian37 wrote:
If you had your way the non Nazi members should be convicted as well.

Show me where this was implied, mother-fucker?

Go away, all you have done is toss rhetoric and ad homs against me. Im done deal with your nonsense.

Where did I say that we should blindly support our goverment's efforts? NEVER, the very Constitution provides you the freedom criticise people as you are doing here. Pleanty of soldiers have expressed concern and pleanty of military have broken ranks expressing concern with the mess this war has gotten us into.

But, I think you wont put your money where your mouth is. If you think all soldiers should be treated the same then I dare you to go to www.maaf.info and tell those atheists they should go awol and ignore orders because you think you are right. Good luck, see how far you get. I DARE YOU!

 

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Brian37 wrote: Pleanty of

Brian37 wrote:
Pleanty of soldiers have expressed concern and pleanty of military have broken ranks expressing concern with the mess this war has gotten us into.

Im glad.  I applaud those individuals.

 

Brian37 wrote:
If you think all soldiers should be treated the same then I dare you to go to www.maaf.info and tell those atheists

What I find hillarious, is that you're focusing on the "atheist" soldiers.  Who gives a shit if they are atheist?

 

Brian37 wrote:
they should go awol and ignore orders because you think you are right.

Yes, pretty much.   Stand up for whats right.  Bertrand Russell did.  He spent a few years in prison because he refused to fight in WWI.  Is it easy?  No.  Is it just? Yes.  Do what is just.

Brian37 wrote:
Good luck, see how far you get.

it won't get me far.  People like to take the easy road. 

"In the high school halls, in the shopping malls, conform or be cast out" ~ Rush, from Subdivisions


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Brian37 wrote:

[MOD EDIT - Removed duplicate post]


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Brian37 wrote:

[MOD EDIT - Removed duplicate post]


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Chaoslord2004

Chaoslord2004 wrote:

chaospump wrote:
Is it actually your intent to bring even more opprobrium and hatred down on atheists?

This has nothing to do with atheism, so your point is irrelevant.

 

chaospump wrote:
Because that is the only possible result of your ill-considered statement, which embodies a gross oversimplification of a complex issue.

Um, no, actually my argument was a reducto against supporting the troops...in virtue of nothing else, but to support the troops.

 

chaospump wrote:

Let me be the first to say that as a strong atheist, and an ex-US Air Force officer, that I most definitely do support our troops.

I do not believe that the best way to support them is to send them to die in an illegal, immoral, pointless war of aggression while stealing the money that should be used to give their families decent living accommodations in order to give tax breaks to the ultra-wealthy.

No human society not existing in total geographic isolation has ever been able to exist without the willingness to engage in organized violence in defense of their lives and resources.

 Studies of chimp society would indicate that this condition has existed at least as far back as the chimp-human common ancestor.

We may rue and abhor this condition, we may work in some way towards building a world where this condition will not persist, but to deny that it does exist is absurd.

Even the arch-pacifist Einstein encouraged development of atomic weapons when faced with the alternative of Hitler's Reich.

Because of this fact of human life, those who undertake the risks and sacrifices inherent in engaging in armed conflict have always gained the respect and reverence of their societies at large, while those who refuse to risk their own skins out of selfishness or simple cowardice - when the situation demands it - have always been reviled.

Of course this tends to be taken to horrible extremes, but the way to combat this is not to take the opposite and equally extreme view.

What are you going on about?  This has nothing to do with my original post, nor is it relevant to my argument.

chaospump wrote:
But do not blame the soldier who is out there risking his ass, especially when yours is not on the line.

but he is doing the killing.  He is as responsible as the leaders.

 

OK, I'll play along, and pretend that you really are as obtuse as your first response would indicate.

As a moderator, and therefore part of the apparatus of this website, which is dedicated to anti-theism, and is regularly visited by many theists interested in what atheists have to say - about various issues - you are in a de facto role as some sort of representative of atheist thought.

You should therefore take that responsibility into account before you post.

Especially if you are going to post such reprehensible garbage as a broad-brush characterization of American soldiers as murderers of women and children. You did say that, didn't you?

 Next, you dismiss my reasons for why we should take a default position of respect for and support of the people serving in our military.

 Fine - so you agree that it is a proper default position. So, we don't need some additional special reason to support our troops - we support them for the reasons I outlined.

That is certainly relevant to the discussion - because you are implying that people support the troops for no reason at  all - "in virtue of nothing else, but to support the troops."

But you wish to deny the troops currently serving in Iraq that support and respect, apparently because you do not agree with the correctness of this war.

So let's dispense with any emotional ploys like accusing them (wholesale!) of murder, or saying that they are doing the killing.

Killing is what soldiers do, in any war. Your added item about women and children is a purely gratuitous appeal to emotion; women and children are killed in every war - it is not called murder unless they are specifically targeted, for non-military reasons.

You completely ignored my point that these soldiers are obeying the lawful orders of their superiors in a war that was initiated and supported by the government and people of this country.

You also ignored my reference to Lt Watada - who showed exceptional intelligence and courage in his opposition to this war - but not until it became clear to him that the war was indefensibly immoral.

We can hope that it will become clearer to more of our military in time (or that the people and government will end it even sooner), but until it does, they have a duty to follow the orders of their superiors except where those orders are to commit specific atrocities - the kinds of acts that would be considered atrocities regardless of the rightness or wrongness of the war as a whole.

Since you do have the de facto responsibility I referred to above, despite your attempt to deny or evade it, maybe you should think a little more about how average Americans - whether or not they support the war - especially those that have served in the military themselves, or have family members serving, will perceive your words.

In case you plan to pretend obtuseness about that as well, I'll lay it out for you.

They will perceive you as a smug, self-righteous, contemptible, whining, sniveling coward, with a vastly over-inflated sense of his own intelligence, sitting safely in his home, and daring to slander the people who have the courage to risk their lives in the defense of this nation, who are doing their duty as they best understand it, and as their duly constituted military and political leaders have presented it to them.

And unless there is a significant expression of disagreement from other members here (thank you, Brian37!) , the site itself, and the atheist viewpoint (insofar as this site is an influential presenter of that viewpoint), will suffer the taint of that opinion.

All of the faith and prayer in the world

All of your dumb show and circuses

You know it's a lie, it'll always be a lie

The invention of an animal who knows he's going to die

-Randy Newman


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Quote:

Quote:
And unless there is a significant expression of disagreement from other members here (thank you, Brian37!) , the site itself, and the atheist viewpoint (insofar as this site is an influential presenter of that viewpoint), will suffer the taint of that opinion.

I disagree. With you, and chaoslord as well.

While I fully support his right not to support the troops, I do feel for many of the young people who have enlisted in the hope that being a soldier is a noble endeavour. You're a dog of the military, expected to obey the beck and call, heel, sit, roll over, and kill innocents as well as guilty. And once you're in, you're in. There's not a lot of sympathy for changing your mind. That being said, there are some shitty soldiers as evidenced by stories like this. And pictures like this and this.

Do you suppert these soldiers? No? Then don't say everyone should just automatically support ALL the troops because they are troops. That being said, there are good soldiers, fighting to protect loved ones back home from outside threats. I am anti-war, but my opinion is usually take it on a case by case basis.

And also? Just because someone is a moderator, or an atheist doesn't make their opinion the official standpoint of the site. This is a forum, and people are allowed to hold controversial opinions, without that being the "atheist stance". This is where sterotyping comes from. According to you, unless we all rip chaos a new asshole, then we are all equally guilty of holding his opinion.


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GlamourKat

GlamourKat wrote:

Quote:
And unless there is a significant expression of disagreement from other members here (thank you, Brian37!) , the site itself, and the atheist viewpoint (insofar as this site is an influential presenter of that viewpoint), will suffer the taint of that opinion.

I disagree. With you, and chaoslord as well.

While I fully support his right not to support the troops, I do feel for many of the young people who have enlisted in the hope that being a soldier is a noble endeavour. You're a dog of the military, expected to obey the beck and call, heel, sit, roll over, and kill innocents as well as guilty. And once you're in, you're in. There's not a lot of sympathy for changing your mind. That being said, there are some shitty soldiers as evidenced by stories like this. And pictures like this and this.

Do you suppert these soldiers? No? Then don't say everyone should just automatically support ALL the troops because they are troops. That being said, there are good soldiers, fighting to protect loved ones back home from outside threats. I am anti-war, but my opinion is usually take it on a case by case basis.

And also? Just because someone is a moderator, or an atheist doesn't make their opinion the official standpoint of the site. This is a forum, and people are allowed to hold controversial opinions, without that being the "atheist stance". This is where sterotyping comes from. According to you, unless we all rip chaos a new asshole, then we are all equally guilty of holding his opinion.

 Where did I say that I support all the troops just because they are troops?

Did I not acknowledge that troops guilty of atrocities do not deserve our support?

As for the responsibility as a moderator, as I said, it is a de facto responsibility.

Whether he or you like it or not, and whether or not it makes sense for people to consider him as a spokesman just because he's a moderator, the fact is that many will.

And I'm not asking anyone to tear him a new one, just to distance themselves from his reprehensible slander - which you have done, and I thank you for it.

My response was so emphatic because I served in the military and have family serving in the military now. 

I admit that some emotion may have colored the vehemence of my response - though not the substance of it - and that was probably counterproductive, too.

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Chaoslord2004

Chaoslord2004 wrote:

Brian37 wrote:
Pleanty of soldiers have expressed concern and pleanty of military have broken ranks expressing concern with the mess this war has gotten us into.

Im glad. I applaud those individuals.

Brian37 wrote:
If you think all soldiers should be treated the same then I dare you to go to www.maaf.info and tell those atheists

What I find hillarious, is that you're focusing on the "atheist" soldiers. Who gives a shit if they are atheist?

Brian37 wrote:
they should go awol and ignore orders because you think you are right.

Yes, pretty much. Stand up for whats right. Bertrand Russell did. He spent a few years in prison because he refused to fight in WWI. Is it easy? No. Is it just? Yes. Do what is just.

Brian37 wrote:
Good luck, see how far you get.

it won't get me far. People like to take the easy road.

I dont give a shit if the soldiers are atheist are not either. But if you are going to start somewhere why not call all of them criminals even the ones who have families and babies who they couldnt support if they were in prision all the more reason to appeal to freethinkers and atheists, after all we should be open minded right?

Your utopian mindset, not your intent is what I object to. Not everyone who serves agrees with what has been done, but by the same token not everyone of these people can afford to do what you suggest, even if I agreed with you, which I dont, that they are all criminals.

If you want to shame people into stopping bad behaivor I doubt this tactic will work. I blame the person in charge and not everyone who surves under that asshat deserves to be called a "criminal".

 Pleanty of germans hid jews and pleanty of german soldiers had no idea what was being done by Hitler. And I dont think every single Sunni or Shiite supported the butchery that Sadamn committed.

I am not about to place that label on every single person serving in our military because you have a beef with the asshole who put them there. Again, if you think they are all criminals, then put your money where your mouth is and say it directly to their face. Easy to hide behind a keyboard where no one can talk to you face to face in person. 

Your beef is not with me, I agree that we had no right going in there and I have said that constantly. But I am not going to criminalize every single person in the military because of the beef I have with Bush. To me that is the same as saying, "All people in the military should be arrested if they speak out against Bush"  It is a blanket statement and does not and should not apply to every single individual even if it applies to some.

 Maybe you should treat every individual as such and not make blanket statements about people. We dont live in a vacuum and being pragmatic in dealing with reality insted of pushing for impossible utopias is a much better way of "I am right and if you appose me you are a criminal". Dont we have enough of that crap being done by theists?

I think the best thing we can do right now is let Bush hang himself and have history serve as a lesson to future people warning them from playing cowboy. But even you admited that you wouldnt get far  using this tactic of calling them criminals. Maybe that is because not all of them are "criminals" just because you want to shame them into leaving.

War sucks and it would be nice to see a world without it. But you certainly dont contribute to the goal of ending war by making blanket statements like that. Blanket statements are what blind worshipers do, be it worship of the state, person or religion. I certainly think you are smart enough not to lower yourself to their standards.

Blame those who deserve to be blamed but not every soldier is a criminal anymore than every Catholic Priest is a pedeophile anymore than every atheist wants to use goverment to rip bibles out of their neighbor's hands.

 

 

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chaospump wrote: As a

chaospump wrote:
As a moderator, and therefore part of the apparatus of this website, which is dedicated to anti-theism, and is regularly visited by many theists interested in what atheists have to say - about various issues - you are in a de facto role as some sort of representative of atheist thought.

So because I have an unpopular opinion about something, I should just stay silent?  Smells like dogma.  Who cares whether it is true or false.  What matters, is how appealing we look to the the theists; the cause, after all, comes first.  Man, this smells like religion.  I don't see FREEthought indicated in this post.

 

chaospump wrote:
But you wish to deny the troops currently serving in Iraq that support and respect, apparently because you do not agree with the correctness of this war.

Do you respect Nazi soldiers?  Just because you disagree with the correctness of Nazi politics?  How dare you, sir.  They were fighting for a cause they believed in.

 

chaospump wrote:
Your added item about women and children is a purely gratuitous appeal to emotion

Statement of fact actually.

  *****************

Alot of attacks on me.  However, not alot of authentic argumentation.  So, let me pose a question:

If you do not support the War In Iraq, then in virtue of what, can you support the troops? 

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GlamourKat wrote:

Quote:
And unless there is a significant expression of disagreement from other members here (thank you, Brian37!) , the site itself, and the atheist viewpoint (insofar as this site is an influential presenter of that viewpoint), will suffer the taint of that opinion.

I disagree. With you, and chaoslord as well.

While I fully support his right not to support the troops, I do feel for many of the young people who have enlisted in the hope that being a soldier is a noble endeavour. You're a dog of the military, expected to obey the beck and call, heel, sit, roll over, and kill innocents as well as guilty. And once you're in, you're in. There's not a lot of sympathy for changing your mind. That being said, there are some shitty soldiers as evidenced by stories like this. And pictures like this and this.

Do you suppert these soldiers? No? Then don't say everyone should just automatically support ALL the troops because they are troops. That being said, there are good soldiers, fighting to protect loved ones back home from outside threats. I am anti-war, but my opinion is usually take it on a case by case basis.

And also? Just because someone is a moderator, or an atheist doesn't make their opinion the official standpoint of the site. This is a forum, and people are allowed to hold controversial opinions, without that being the "atheist stance". This is where sterotyping comes from. According to you, unless we all rip chaos a new asshole, then we are all equally guilty of holding his opinion.

Correct. Dissenting views are part of a free market of ideas and as much as it revials me to think that a blanket solution to a complex problem is not the answer. Caos is certainly intitled to say what he has to say without a doubt, NO QUESTION.

I merely could not bring myself to do that and am miffed as to why anyone would want to call all our soldiers criminals? That seems to me to be just as divisive and bad as saying any soilder who speaks out against their leader should be arrested.

The official position of this site is that their is none other than being against advocation of crime or physical threats wich is normal for most websites.

I think this site goes out of its way to provide the variety of voices and I think it also serves as a good example that we atheists are not all the same and this is a prime example that we are individuals.

Caos may be treating my stance harshly and I think he has good intent in wanting all the death to stop, but I think his tactic is more utopian and lacks pragmatism. BUT BY NO MEANS should he be prevented from voicing his views. He hasnt said anything threating or criminal to me. I simply dissagree with him.

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Quote:

Quote:
If you do not support the War In Iraq, then in virtue of what, can you support the troops?

Let me see if this uneducated doofus can word this right.

I support the troops like I support our police.

A few bad apples doesnt make the whole bunch bad.

 

We must favor verifiable evidence over private feeling. Otherwise we leave ourselves vulnerable to those who would obscure the truth.
~ Richard Dawkins


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Chaoslord2004

Chaoslord2004 wrote:

chaospump wrote:
As a moderator, and therefore part of the apparatus of this website, which is dedicated to anti-theism, and is regularly visited by many theists interested in what atheists have to say - about various issues - you are in a de facto role as some sort of representative of atheist thought.

So because I have an unpopular opinion about something, I should just stay silent?  Smells like dogma.  Who cares whether it is true or false.  What matters, is how appealing we look to the the theists; the cause, after all, comes first.  Man, this smells like religion.  I don't see FREEthought indicated in this post.

 

chaospump wrote:
But you wish to deny the troops currently serving in Iraq that support and respect, apparently because you do not agree with the correctness of this war.

Do you respect Nazi soldiers?  Just because you disagree with the correctness of Nazi politics?  How dare you, sir.  They were fighting for a cause they believed in.

 

chaospump wrote:
Your added item about women and children is a purely gratuitous appeal to emotion

Statement of fact actually.

  *****************

Alot of attacks on me.  However, not alot of authentic argumentation.  So, let me pose a question:

If you do not support the War In Iraq, then in virtue of what, can you support the troops? 

I have no desire to suppress your free expression, but, yes - I think you should temper and self-moderate that expression on this site because of the de facto responsibility you have here as a moderator.

You didn't even post it in a politics forum, but rather in one that bears your name in its title, adding to the (unjustified but inevitable) perception that it somehow is indicative of the thinking of the membership generally or of the site as an entity.

I would not have reacted as I did if you hadn't chosen to put it this way:

"If you against the war, it is irrational to to be for the very people who carry out the war. The very people one claims to be for, are the very ones murdering women and children."

You are the linguist - do you not see that you have unjustifiably characterized ALL the troops, in a general sense, as guilty of "murdering women and children." -?

My opinion of the the ordinary German soldier in WWII is the same as the world 's opinion was then and has always been - they were not held to be responsible for the wrongness of the war, and they were not punished for the atrocities committed by the regime, but only for specific atrocities if they took part in them.

Yes, I respect the ordinary soldier in the WWII German army. Unless he was a Nazi himself, or personally guilty of atrocities, he almost certainly saw himself as acting in the vital interests of his homeland and the women and children there.

Many women and children were killed by Allied forces in fighting that war, by the way - do you contend that they were all "murdered?"

I respect those German soldiers who saw through to the horror of the Nazi regime and tried to fight against it even more.

And I respect our soldiers despite my opinion about the war, for the same reason - they see themselves as defending America from a deadly threat, and they are willing to risk their lives to do so.

They have been trained and indoctrinated to obey, as soldiers have been throughout history, for obvious military reasons.

They may hear the arguments against the war, but they also hear arguments for it - from the very authorities they have been trained to respect and obey.

They have been sent by the elected government of the country to prosecute this war, with the overwhelming support of the American people - at least at the outset.

Lt Watada's decision must have been an extraordinarily difficult one, and I respect him all the more for it.

 But that doesn't mean that I disrespect all the soldiers who haven't been able to recognize the wrongness of the war in the face of the propaganda and indoctrination they are subject to, and I respect and support their courage and commitment - even if it is misguided in this case - I blame the guides...

It's very easy to sit at your computer and type "Do the right thing!" - but the right thing may not be as clear to these people (many of them teenagers) as it is to you or I or Lt Watada, and even if they have an inkling of it, they are facing difficulties in expanding and solidifying - and acting - on that knowledge that you or I do not have to contend with.

 To broad-brush our troops as "murdering women and children" is, I think, a very unfair, and quite unecessarily inflammatory way to state your case.

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Vastet wrote: Americans

Vastet wrote:
Americans have turned patriotism into religion. Sad

Yep.

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Voiderest wrote: I think

Voiderest wrote:

I think it is that they view the soldiers as victims.

In my opinion, You hit the nail on the head.

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Vastet wrote: Vastet

Vastet wrote:
Vastet wrote:
Americans have turned patriotism into religion. Sad
Yep.

 

Well - I think you do religion a disservice there.

At least, non-monotheistic religions.

Patriotism had people slaughtering each other on a massive scale long before religion turned monotheistic, inherently intolerant, and bloodily violent.

True, religion has managed to cause even fellow patriots to slaughter one another, and generally failed to keep co-religionists from slaughtering each other over patriotism.

...

All of the faith and prayer in the world

All of your dumb show and circuses

You know it's a lie, it'll always be a lie

The invention of an animal who knows he's going to die

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chaospump wrote: Vastet

chaospump wrote:

Vastet wrote:
Vastet wrote:
Americans have turned patriotism into religion. Sad
Yep.

 

Well - I think you do religion a disservice there.

At least, non-monotheistic religions.

Patriotism had people slaughtering each other on a massive scale long before religion turned monotheistic, inherently intolerant, and bloodily violent.

True, religion has managed to cause even fellow patriots to slaughter one another, and generally failed to keep co-religionists from slaughtering each other over patriotism.

...

Weither you are talking about patriotism or religion or worship of a state or person, it is blindness without question that leads people to do horrible things. As such, I do not think the way to combat blind following is to default to assuming a person who dissagrees with you is a willing partisipant in every single case. I think you show compassion by treating people as individuals to insure that when you go after criminals you insure that you dont take the unwitting victims misslead by the perpitrators along with the truely guilty.

Blanket statements about anyone group prevents watchdogs from constraning themselves from overkill themselves. Once you get into "My way or the highway" you end up setting a stage where you could potentally commit those same crimes you say you are fighting against.

  The fact is that a communist soldier is fighting for the same thing a capitalist soldier is fighting for. To protect their family, country and way of life. I cant blaime a human for the natural human disire to protect themselves. I can blame goverments for putting those people in that position when most likely if given the chance would not kill their neighbor.

I think the world's goverments have a duty to humanity to stop looking at apposing politics and ideology as a divisive tool to get otherwise peacefull people to kill each other. Our enemy is not human nature, our enemy are all the world's goverments pitting us against each other when the reality is we are all human.

I dont think turning humans who dont realize they are being used into criminals is the answer.

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Chaoslord2004 wrote:We

Chaoslord2004 wrote:
We often here about the support the troops nonsense. We even hear this from people who are against the war. These people say "im against the war, but I support the troops." If your against the war, then what could possibly justify you supporting the troops?

Those who support the war attempt to silence dissent by equating anti-war thoughts with being 'against the troops', i.e., with having bad wishes towards the soldiers and hoping that they come to some harm.

It's an old rhetorical ploy: if you are against the views of some americans, then you must hate america. And you must wish harm to americans.

Therfore, those who say "I am against the war, but I am in support of the troops' are really just attempting to deny this connection, i.e., they are attempting to foil the rhetorical ploy, by making it clear that they do not wish any harm to come to anyone.

 

Edit: I just noticed the whole "core member' thing.... I'm glad that the site cares enough to want to give me such a fancy title, but I think our posts should speak for themselves...  

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chaospump

chaospump wrote:

Patriotism had people slaughtering each other on a massive scale long before religion turned monotheistic, inherently intolerant, and bloodily violent.

I agree. And if you open up the concept of 'patriotism' to include the more abstract "Us vs them", well then, this spirit of "we're better than you are just be virtue of belonging to this group" pretty much defines human behavior through the ages.... Religion in one sense is simply another way to divide groups into 'us' and 'them'. So, in one sense, religion worsens the problem (kill him, he's a protestant!), and yet, since I think that the broadening of the concept of who we consider to be "one of us" could eventually solve the problem, religion also seems to be something a step along the process of healing this human pathology, in that in a tolerant religion a white anglo saxon male and an african american female and a homosexual asian can all consider each other "christians' and sit together in the same church.

 

Quote:
 

 True, religion has managed to cause even fellow patriots to slaughter one another, and generally failed to keep co-religionists from slaughtering each other over patriotism.

...

 

agreed.  

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todangst wrote: Those who

todangst wrote:
Those who support the war attempt to silence dissent by equating anti-war thoughts with being 'against the troops', i.e., with having bad wishes towards the soldiers and hoping that they come to some harm.

I know, im well aware of the Republican propaganda.

 

todangst wrote:
Therfore, those who say "I am against the war, but I am in support of the troops' are really just attempting to deny this connection, i.e., they are attempting to foil the rhetorical ploy, by making it clear that they do not wish any harm to come to anyone.

Fair enough, makes sense.  However in other contexts, this idea fails.  If the war one is fighting is unjust, then I fail to see how one can "support" what the troops are doing.  Im a logician, which means I notice contradictions like Anna Nichole Smith notices food.  It is inconsistent to "support" our troops, MERELY because they are American troops, while at the same time condemning the nazi troops.  To reason that they are "just doing what they are told" is a morally bankrupt statement.  What if they were told to go rape as many girls as they could find?  Should we support them?  Moreover, imagine using this line of reasoning in other contexts.  Your boss tells you to go steal a car.  If you do, should you get off scotfree?  The following conditional proposition holds:  If the given war is unjust, then the actions taken by the soldiers are unjust.  So, what the soldiers are doing is unjust...yet, we should still support them?  In virtue of what?

To support the troops, in virtue of nothing else, then the fact that they belong to the same country as you, is a moral bankrupt and can be shown to be rediculus by a reductio argument.

 

todangst wrote:
by making it clear that they do not wish any harm to come to anyone.

 but why not?  They are the ones dropping bombs on hospitals.  They don't deserve our support, they deserve our contempt.  I know this makes me unpopular, but I cannot square my sense of deciency with "supporting the troops" as they kill people.

 

todangst wrote:
Edit: I just noticed the whole "core member' thing.... I'm glad that the site cares enough to want to give me such a fancy title, but I think our posts should speak for themselves...

i'v never cared much about titles... 

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Chaoslord2004 wrote: These

Chaoslord2004 wrote:
These people say "im against the war, but I support the troops." If your against the war, then what could possibly justify you supporting the troops? A common response is that they are just doing their jobs. This kind of reasoning, when applied in other contexts, fails. If one held to this kind of reasoning, one would have to hold that the soldiers on Nazi Germany were not really immoral people..

I'm with you all the way on this. It was quite amusing that nobody saw the irony that these "support the troops" folks also got so irate at Ward Churchill's remarks about the "little Eichmanns"...

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rickcopeland648

rickcopeland648 wrote:

Chaoslord2004 wrote:
These people say "im against the war, but I support the troops." If your against the war, then what could possibly justify you supporting the troops? A common response is that they are just doing their jobs. This kind of reasoning, when applied in other contexts, fails. If one held to this kind of reasoning, one would have to hold that the soldiers on Nazi Germany were not really immoral people..

I'm with you all the way on this. It was quite amusing that nobody saw the irony that these "support the troops" folks also got so irate at Ward Churchill's remarks about the "little Eichmanns"...

Its good to know atleast one person sees where i'm coming from. 

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I agree with you, for the

I agree with you, for the most part. One thing that i came up with that concerns me is,what about the people who do it because it is the only place they think they could make a living? They may not even want to bomb or anything, but they still have to do it or face not getting the money they normally would if they weren't kicked out of the army.


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I don't want to just jump on

I don't want to just jump on the bandwagon here but I agree with the original poster too. I don't respect people who just follow orders and think that somehow excuses their actions and I certainly don't support them. If you want my support go awol and do your prison time then not only will I support you I'll applaud you.

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The way I see it, when

The way I see it, when you're in the army you have to place a certain amount of trust in your authorities. You trust your command to be right on its intelligence, you trust your government that it is using you properly. If I had been in the army I would've trusted what the army had claim it's intelligence was over the press. If you've seen that Micheal Moore documentary, the troops were promised what sort of campaign it would be, (a liberation where they'd be welcomed like heros) that they'd be saving the world from terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. Once they found out what it was really like... they were already in the thick of it.

I think there's a coherent difference between supporting the government's decision and supporting the troops involved.


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The objective of Nazi

The objective of Nazi troops was ethnic cleansing and imperialist expansion, and their justification was racial superiority. The objective of American troops is to stabilize Iraq, reduce ethnic/religious violence, and bring some semblence of order to that nation. Their justification is that freedom and democracy for Iraqis is a legitimate cause to fight for.

It seems that we have run into Godwin's Law at 88 miles per hour.

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Always obey Godwin's Law!

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Chaoslord2004

Chaoslord2004 wrote:
rickcopeland648 wrote:

Chaoslord2004 wrote:
These people say "im against the war, but I support the troops." If your against the war, then what could possibly justify you supporting the troops? A common response is that they are just doing their jobs. This kind of reasoning, when applied in other contexts, fails. If one held to this kind of reasoning, one would have to hold that the soldiers on Nazi Germany were not really immoral people..

I'm with you all the way on this. It was quite amusing that nobody saw the irony that these "support the troops" folks also got so irate at Ward Churchill's remarks about the "little Eichmanns"...

Its good to know atleast one person sees where i'm coming from. 

He's not the only one. I probably should have said as much earlier. As far as I see it, everyone in the army joined of their own free will. The US isn't Israel. If they were manipulated unfairly and feel like getting out, there's always Canada here to welcome them. If they however participate in illegal actions, it doesn't matter who ordered it. They are as guilty as anyone else who would do such an act. You cannot support the troops who are in a war that you can't support. It's an oxymoron.

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Strafio wrote: The way I

Strafio wrote:
The way I see it, when you're in the army you have to place a certain amount of trust in your authorities.

This is their first mistake.  Trusting authorities is like trusting a pedophile around a group of children.  Governments, including the American government, lie pathalogically.

 

Strafio wrote:
Once they found out what it was really like... they were already in the thick of it.

Its never to late to take a stand

 

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Insidium Profundis

Insidium Profundis wrote:
The objective of American troops is to stabilize Iraq, reduce ethnic/religious violence, and bring some semblence of order to that nation.

You really believe this?  This is pure republican propoganda

 

Insidium Profundis wrote:
Their justification is that freedom and democracy for Iraqis is a legitimate cause to fight for.

more republican propoganda. 

 

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Chaoslord2004 wrote: more

Chaoslord2004 wrote:
more republican propoganda.

 

Are you saying that what I wrote was incorrect? I assume that the motivation - that which drives the average American soldier - is noble: to restore order to a war-torn nation. Do you contest this? Do you think they have some other motivation such as, say, Dick Cheney's bank account, or perhaps the belief that brown people dying serves is a good thing? Remember, I am referring here to what specifically motivates individual soldiers in the war zone. The average Nazi soldier, on the other hand, was indoctrinated with and motivated by propaganda about his superiority over the undermen.

Remember, Nazi brigades wiped out villages all across eastern Europe. Are Americans doing this? Is it Army policy to try to exterminate as many Shiites, or Sunnis as possible? Does the individual soldier desire this? The Nazis certainly did. The American military in Iraq is incredibly gentle, when viewed in the context of previous wars. Violent deaths are primarily brought down upon Iraqis by militias and insurgents, not the US military. There have been several incidents when soldiers became bloodthirsty and lost their cool, in the process murdering innocent Iraqis. These incidents are rare and the offenders have been punished. Horror is inevitable in war, though.

Thus, having surveyed the motivations and actions of the individual American soldier, it seems unreasonable and alarmist to bring up Nazis. There have been very few "just" wars, whatever that means, and if the entire military would stop functioning as soon as there were moral qualms with the combat, the military would not be very reliable. Thus, your expectations of mass defection is irrational.

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Insidium Profundis

Insidium Profundis wrote:
Chaoslord2004 wrote:
more republican propoganda.

Are you saying that what I wrote was incorrect? I assume that the motivation - that which drives the average American soldier - is noble: to restore order to a war-torn nation. Do you contest this?

I do. There are a few who joined just to go to Iraq or especially Afghanistan in the last few years, but the majority joined for their country or for themselves and their families or both. They did not join so they could go to a foreign nation, illegally overthrow it, and induce a level of chaos that the region hasn't seen in decades. They did it to defend their homes and families, and/or to insure that they'd have a good education and/or income.

Insidium Profundis wrote:

Do you think they have some other motivation such as, say, Dick Cheney's bank account, or perhaps the belief that brown people dying serves is a good thing? Remember, I am referring here to what specifically motivates individual soldiers in the war zone. The average Nazi soldier, on the other hand, was indoctrinated with and motivated by propaganda about his superiority over the undermen.

All soldiers are indoctrinated. That's why you can't join the military if you're 40. They only accept young, moldable minds.

Insidium Profundis wrote:
Remember, Nazi brigades wiped out villages all across eastern Europe. Are Americans doing this?

Indirectly, yes. I don't see much of a difference between wiping out villages and inciting civil and local war.

Insidium Profundis wrote:
Is it Army policy to try to exterminate as many Shiites, or Sunnis as possible? Does the individual soldier desire this? The Nazis certainly did.

No they did not. The Nazi's had to construct gas chambers because their soldiers couldn't handle slaughtering children personally.

Insidium Profundis wrote:
The American military in Iraq is incredibly gentle, when viewed in the context of previous wars.

Abu Ghraib anyone? Even ignoring that, your comment shows no knowledge of military tactics. The Americans aren't gentle in Iraq. They are insular and fearful, always watching for the next attack. Always on guard, always watching everyone around them. Gentle is the last thing on their minds. Gentle would get them killed.

Insidium Profundis wrote:
Violent deaths are primarily brought down upon Iraqis by militias and insurgents, not the US military.

They only have such power in Iraq because of the US military, so anything they do the US is indirectly responsible for. Not to mention that there's plenty of allied and civillian casualties that can be chalked up as American kills.

Insidium Profundis wrote:
There have been several incidents when soldiers became bloodthirsty and lost their cool, in the process murdering innocent Iraqis. These incidents are rare and the offenders have been punished. Horror is inevitable in war, though.

This isn't a war. This is an occupation. Iraq never mobilized against the US. Afghanistan did, but they are still in power anyway. Go figure.

Insidium Profundis wrote:
Thus, having surveyed the motivations and actions of the individual American soldier, it seems unreasonable and alarmist to bring up Nazis. There have been very few "just" wars, whatever that means, and if the entire military would stop functioning as soon as there were moral qualms with the combat, the military would not be very reliable. Thus, your expectations of mass defection is irrational.

Soldiers or not, they are still human, and can still recognize the difference between legal and illegal acts. They are participating in an illegal act. They are as responsible as those who ordered them there.

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I will reply to your post

I will reply to your post later.

 For now, I want to second the comment that atheists do themselves no favor in the public light if they espouse such views. All this sanctimonious attitude gains is another easy way for the religious right to paint all atheists in a negative light.

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Insidium Profundis

Insidium Profundis wrote:

I will reply to your post later.

 For now, I want to second the comment that atheists do themselves no favor in the public light if they espouse such views. All this sanctimonious attitude gains is another easy way for the religious right to paint all atheists in a negative light.

I don't particularly care what the religious right in the US wants to do. They've been steadily loosing ground for years, and will continue to. The more they speak up the faster they slide down the hill to oblivion. Even better, the religious right you refer to has little power where I am.

Supporting the troops without supporting the cause is illogical. It's an oxymoron. It's like saying I want the soldier to win but I want the soldier to lose. Doesn't work that way I'm afraid. No matter who wants it to.

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Insidium Profundis

Insidium Profundis wrote:
All this sanctimonious attitude gains is another easy way for the religious right to paint all atheists in a negative light.

And truth be damned.  Are we right?  Who cares?  We might look bad.  This is the kind of bullshit that stiffles free-inquiry and which holds back intellectual revolutions. 

"In the high school halls, in the shopping malls, conform or be cast out" ~ Rush, from Subdivisions


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It seems that we have run

It seems that we have run into a problem. We do not have a solid definition of "supporting," at least in regards to supporting the troops. I imagine that there are several classifications of support:

a) hoping that the soldier is not injured or killed

b) hoping that the mission the soldier engages in is successful

c) possessing the belief that the war in which the soldier is engaged is morally justified.

People who claim to be against the war, but still claim to support the troops hold to positions a and b, but not c (whereas someone for the conflict would likely hold all 3). It is possible to hold positions a and b but not c.

I will cover these positions in some depth. Position a is reasonable to hold - after all, if one believes that death or injury is bad (I assume most of us do), it is reasonable to wish for it not to occur to anyone, including our soldiers. It is also reasonable to hold the desire that harm is not inflicted upon soldiers to a greater extent than the average person because soldiers are more likely to come to harm. There is also something to be said about granting greater respect to the military because ideally, it serves to defend our country or further our country's interests in some fashion. This Perhaps that last concept will not appeal to you, but it is not necessary for one to accept it in order to hold positions a and b but not c.

Position b is also reasonable to hold. In this part, perhaps we should refer to the sorts of missions soldiers generally engage in. The primary objective of most US forces in Iraq has been to eliminate insurgets who terrorize civilians, and to defend existing infrastructure from insurgent attacks. Is there something ignoble about these goals? Escort the convoy of food/materials to the site, patrol and take out any militants, engage in operations against known terrorist/insurgent cells, etc. The torture of detainees and the executions of civilians, while tragic, are rare instances and do not represent the objectives of the average American soldier in Iraq. I severely doubt that those who claim to support the troops yet oppose the war consider such incidents to be justified.

Position c can be held for a number of reasons. However, this seems to be "supporting the war" moreso than supporting the troops. You still have not adequately supported your argument (at best, you've swatted away several strawmen), and the Nazi comparison was grotesquely out of place, easily justifying the invocation of Godwin's law.

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Insidium Profundis

Insidium Profundis wrote:

It seems that we have run into a problem. We do not have a solid definition of "supporting," at least in regards to supporting the troops. I imagine that there are several classifications of support:

a) hoping that the soldier is not injured or killed

b) hoping that the mission the soldier engages in is successful

c) possessing the belief that the war in which the soldier is engaged is morally justified.

People who claim to be against the war, but still claim to support the troops hold to positions a and b, but not c (whereas someone for the conflict would likely hold all 3). It is possible to hold positions a and b but not c.

I will cover these positions in some depth. Position a is reasonable to hold - after all, if one believes that death or injury is bad (I assume most of us do), it is reasonable to wish for it not to occur to anyone, including our soldiers. It is also reasonable to hold the desire that harm is not inflicted upon soldiers to a greater extent than the average person because soldiers are more likely to come to harm. There is also something to be said about granting greater respect to the military because ideally, it serves to defend our country or further our country's interests in some fashion. This Perhaps that last concept will not appeal to you, but it is not necessary for one to accept it in order to hold positions a and b but not c.

Position b is also reasonable to hold. In this part, perhaps we should refer to the sorts of missions soldiers generally engage in. The primary objective of most US forces in Iraq has been to eliminate insurgets who terrorize civilians, and to defend existing infrastructure from insurgent attacks. Is there something ignoble about these goals? Escort the convoy of food/materials to the site, patrol and take out any militants, engage in operations against known terrorist/insurgent cells, etc. The torture of detainees and the executions of civilians, while tragic, are rare instances and do not represent the objectives of the average American soldier in Iraq. I severely doubt that those who claim to support the troops yet oppose the war consider such incidents to be justified.

Position c can be held for a number of reasons. However, this seems to be "supporting the war" moreso than supporting the troops. You still have not adequately supported your argument (at best, you've swatted away several strawmen), and the Nazi comparison was grotesquely out of place, easily justifying the invocation of Godwin's law.

B and C are directly tied. You can't want the mission to be a success if you don't support the overall mission in the first place. As for A, logically, it applies to the enemy as much as it does to the ally. If you call yourself moral and hold that murder is immoral, you must support everyones efforts to live. And so supporting the troops without supporting the war or the enemies troops is still contradictory.

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I disagree. Perhaps this

I disagree. Perhaps this analogy might help:
You have a friend who's about to pull a stupid extreme jackass stunt. But given that the idiot is going to do it, you hope that it goes according to plan. The reasons for opposing the war are numerous. However, an objective of "bringing stability in the middle east" is an objective we all hope to see achieved.
Our opposition is because we think that this is a bad approach to the objective, that other objectives our governments have are clouding their decisions or other objections of that nature. The fact remains there are certain objectives of this war that we want to see fulfilled.

Given that these badly planned operations are happening, we want them to go as smoothly as possible.
(Major kudos to Insidium Profundis for that analysis. I was a bit stuck on how I'd go about arguing this point.)


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Strafio wrote:

Strafio wrote:
I disagree. Perhaps this analogy might help:
You have a friend who's about to pull a stupid extreme jackass stunt. But given that the idiot is going to do it, you hope that it goes according to plan. The reasons for opposing the war are numerous. However, an objective of "bringing stability in the middle east" is an objective we all hope to see achieved.
Our opposition is because we think that this is a bad approach to the objective, that other objectives our governments have are clouding their decisions or other objections of that nature. The fact remains there are certain objectives of this war that we want to see fulfilled.

Given that these badly planned operations are happening, we want them to go as smoothly as possible.
(Major kudos to Insidium Profundis for that analysis. I was a bit stuck on how I'd go about arguing this point.)

I don't think you can separate the desired outcome from the steps that must be taken to reach that out come.

So taking your analogy I have a friend who is going to rob a bank then use the money from the bank robbery to start an international drug cartel, then use the money and the connections with influential people in rouge governments made from the drug cartel to buy a nuclear weapon, then use the nuclear weapon to threaten the government into stopping the war.

How does it make sense for me to say I don't support bank robbery, drug trafficking, nuclear proliferation, or extortion but I support ending the war so I support my friend? Like you said it's a bad approach but that's the approach he's taking and I don't support my friend even if his intentions are good.

Vastet is right b) and c) are directly tied. If you're doing b) but not c) then it's a tacit admission that you are immoral. 

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Quote: B and C are directly

Quote:
B and C are directly tied. You can't want the mission to be a success if you don't support the overall mission in the first place. As for A, logically, it applies to the enemy as much as it does to the ally. If you call yourself moral and hold that murder is immoral, you must support everyones efforts to live. And so supporting the troops without supporting the war or the enemies troops is still contradictory.

Earlier, you accused the US of "inciting civil war" and suggested it was no different than the active extermination of villages. You also brought up Abu Ghraib, and attributed the moral responsibility for the insurgency to the US invasion. Right now, we are no longer in the situation where we get to decide whether we ought to invade Iraq. Given the information we possess now, we have retroactively concluded that the war was not justified (position c is false). However, currently we are in a different situation. Given: Iraq is destabilized (due to our actions), there is an insurgency (due to our actions). Punishing ourselves, for example hoping that the current mission (which is to stabilize Iraq) fails seems incredibly lazy and counterproductive, dripping with hyperbolic guilt. This is the same sort of simplistic thinking that anti-abortionists use: if two people had sex (did something immoral), they deserve the punishment (having to take care of the child). Likewise, you suggest that since the war was not morally justified, hoping that make something better of a bad situation would be immoral, or inconsistent, because the soldiers "deserve" to fail. Finally, you fail to differentiate between the mission and the moral justification for the war, instead of focusing on an essentially irrelevant difference between the overall mission and individual missions. I never argued that the overall mission was wrong.

Perhaps someone ought to have analyzed Iraq better before the invasion. But the soldiers themselves - and the lower-ranking officers - surely had no reason to suspect that the reasons for the war were ignoble. And any criminal court will tell you that if one is not aware that one is doing something wrong, then he cannot be held accountable for that wrong. This means we can definitely crucify the ring-leaders who started the war in the first place, but the soldiers are surely not at fault. The war occured and the situation is bad. It seems irresponsible to leave it to rot. Since we have caused the situation, it is our job to fix it, and this is what position b entails: the desire to fix the mess that was created by position c.

 On position a: I despise egalitarianism, since it is idealistic and unrealistic. Regardless, the moral difference between US troops and insurgents is that of deliberate targeting of civilians on the side of the latter. Of course, there are many other legitimate reasons to support "our" boys over their enemies. The majority of Americans probably have friends or siblings in the military, and know that (as mentioned earlier) ideally, the armed forces serve to defend us. You will probably discount these, though. It is perfectly legitimate for an American to sympathize moreso with an American soldier than an insurgent who would likely have the citizen in question killed if the situation arose. Of course, I do not expect anyone outside of America (or perhaps a select few other nations) to have such
a preference.

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Quote: I don't think you

Quote:

I don't think you can separate the desired outcome from the steps that must be taken to reach that out come.

So taking your analogy I have a friend who is going to rob a bank then use the money from the bank robbery to start an international drug cartel, then use the money and the connections with influential people in rouge governments made from the drug cartel to buy a nuclear weapon, then use the nuclear weapon to threaten the government into stopping the war.

How does it make sense for me to say I don't support bank robbery, drug trafficking, nuclear proliferation, or extortion but I support ending the war so I support my friend? Like you said it's a bad approach but that's the approach he's taking and I don't support my friend even if his intentions are good.

Vastet is right b) and c) are directly tied. If you're doing b) but not c) then it's a tacit admission that you are immoral.

 The desired outcome is stability in Iraq, as well as (hopefully) friendlier relations with the West. Position c is: we didn't fuck up. Position b is: we fucked up, but now we should do our best to fix our mess. 

An open mind is like a fortress with its gates unbarred and unguarded.