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  •  Heroification articles are b.s. (4.00)
    All these herofication stories in the local hometown papers of the 'local kids who did right' is b.s.  

    The authors of these fluff pieces should be made to serve on the frontlines themselves so they can get a better picture of whether participating in war is more heroic than it is barbaric, more self-serving than self-sacrificing, more a display of physical courage to compensate for a lack of moral courage - or maybe it's just a bunch of lower-economic class American kids getting fed to the war machine.

    Like Anthony Swofford said, it's all "war porn" to the kids.  Talk to kids about how heroic their whole town will think of them, and how they'll have so many friends, and how all the girls with talk about them and start paying attention to them, and how their families will respect them - and you've just got your next batch of new recruits.

    Mainly, I intend to criticize the authors/editors of these fluff 'heroification' pieces - not the kids who served - though some of the kids who serve in the U.S. military, or any military, are due some heavy scorn - especially those who've received a good education and have had a chance to think for themselves - a pretty rare situation, I suppose.

    The heroification of these kids who get 'straightened-out' and then go on to glory and fame by getting chewed up in a devious war is only likely to lead to more kids getting chewed up.  And more violence, and hatred, and war.  Flores and the thousands of other young kids who got brainwashed before they ever had a real chance of getting informed are being used as pawns in these fluff stories.  Used by soulless reporters, editors, and media owners.

    The politicians of both major parties are obvious about it, but these newspaper articles that run quote after quote of how heroic these young, dead kids were are much more subtle.  You hardly realize it when you're reading it, and then your son or daughter comes home and tells you that s/he has just enlisted because they bought into the myth of war, and they wanted you to be proud of them - your kid wanted to be a hero, too, and who can blame them?  It's about the only patriotic thing you can do is to serve, right?  Because being anti-war is the least patriotic thing you can do, right?

    Pat Tillman, alone, was probably responsible for getting 1,000 new recruits for the U.S. war machine - if not more.  How many of those kids are now dead?  How many of those kids went on to kill/rape/murder/torture how many innocent civilians?  Pat Tillman would have made his way over to the anti-war side of the aisle, and he would have been a strong voice in opposition to this war and other wars.  Like anyone else, he just needed some time to see through the veil of deceipt of his own government, but he didn't get that time.  

    All of these fluff stories about the kids who died from SmallTown, USA are mini-Pat Tillman pieces - designed to foster an image of the brave young GI, going off to fight in a glorious war - to create the next Greatest Generation - and it dares not, in general, criticize the war effort, its leaders, or its rationale - because that would detract from the heroification of the dead soldier, and portraying the dead soldiers as anything less than heroic is just not permissible - lest it hurt the families' feelings, or make recruiters' jobs more difficult.

    It is not glorious to participate in the killing of innocents.  It is not heroic to blindly follow orders.  It is not patriotic to participate in a war that endangers your fellow soldiers and citizens.  It is not humane to participate in an occupation.  And it is certainly not heroic to convince other young kids to follow in your footsteps to becoming a professional killer.  It is not right - it is not fair - and those who do it should not be praised for doing it.  

    This is more an indictment of the media, the parents of these dead kids, the war party, and anyone else who thinks that war is generally acceptable - including the depressingly-high percentage of Kossacks that probably thinks that most American wars to date have been 'good' and 'honorable'.

    Check out Link TV's daily Middle East digest program, Mosaic.

    by shmooth on Sat Jun 18, 2005 at 12:58:18 AM PDT

    •  I agree with some of what you said... (4.00)
      I agree that it is wrong to use soldiers' deaths for political or economical gain.  I also agree that war crimes are neither heroic or glamorous.  But that is basically where our agreement ends.  I strongly disagree with your characterazation of US soldiers.  You make it sound as if every soldier that joins is a stupid, uneducated kid who loves the idea of war, that is simply not the case.  You also assume that all of the soldiers in the army joined after the Iraq invasion, which is also not true.

      The majority of soldiers here joined before Iraq.  The younger soldiers, like myself, generally joined after 9/11.  Although it might have been a little naive of us to expect Bush to fight the people who actually attacked us, I don't believe it was stupid.  And yes, I do believe that it is honorable to fight and even die for your country.  Iraq is not that fight, but I'm already in the army so there's not much I can do until they let me go.  The older soldiers have generally been in the military for a long time, this is their career.  They and their families depend on the income, and they don't have a lot of marketable skills in the civilian sector.  Although they might have reenlisted after the Iraq invasion, they didn't do it for the war, they did it for their families.  There are definately a goodly number of soldiers who either support the war, or are to ignorant to care, but I wouldn't say that they are the majority.  They majority are people who had committed themselves to the military before the Iraq war even begun.

      The fact is that we, as a nation, need a military.  Because there are countries that hate us, it is important that we have a group of men who are willing to devote their lives to the military.  I'm not that man, I'm out in 2008, but I have some respect for the men and women who do make that choice.  I'm not going to debate with you about how honorable America's past wars have been; many of them have been dispicable.  But in the end, if we didn't have someone to stand up and fight for America, there wouldn't be much America to speak of.  I joined because I wanted to defend the US.  I wanted to fight for freedom and liberty and all of those other corny things that one fights for.  I'd still like to, it just seems that Bush has made that imposible and I'm not willing to stay in until we get this shit squared away.  

      Please don't insult the individuals who make it possible for you to insult them.  I can't stop you, I just don't think it's productive.  Instead, if I was you, I'd focus my attention on campaining for politicians who don't want to take advantage of them.  If it was me, I'd focus my attention on bringing down the man that makes it all possible, Bush, rather than some small town paper who may actually just be trying to justify why their son has died.  

      "I think war is a dangerous place." - George Bush

      by Nameless Soldier on Sat Jun 18, 2005 at 01:53:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A soldier (none)
        is the one who used his body as a weapon of the war. Our young recruits are more victim than hero and I think it's partly guilt at knowing that they are cannon fodder that makes us describe them as "heros" whether they have, in fact, done anything heroic or not. Part of the whole problem is that our culture glorifies war. That is why it was easy for the administration to get believers for the lies.
      •  Amen (none)
        We need more like you.

        I can't explain myself...because I'm not myself, you see. - Alice

        by SisTwo on Sat Jun 18, 2005 at 07:12:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The thing is (none)
        I don't really think you are fighting "for America"....

        You're fighting for Halliburton, Bechtel, KBR and others.

        If you were fighting the people who attacked us, you'd be in Saudi Arabia right now.

        Saudi Arabia owns 15% of the United States.  They basically own us along with China.

        No one really "makes it possible" for me to speak out against them.  I don't buy that "freedom isn't free" stuff.  It's a bunch of jingoistic hype IMO.

        Countries hate us because of our hegemony.  Look up Cheju or a number of other massacres in S. Korea, under US military watch.  Do Okinawans want us on their island do you figure?  No way.  "Remember the Maine" et al.  The greatest minds in America, guys like Twain, have been anti-war without fail.  

        If you were fighting for "America" then it would look like Iraq does.  As in, we've been invaded and are being occupied.

        And I'd be right alongside with you fighting, in that case.  I'm capable with firearms but there's no way I'll be hornswaggled into a "Bush" war like the one you are in.

        That said, keep your head down.  We're going to need liberals like you to come back and combat the growing feeling of "the liberals are losing the war for us."...

        "You can't awaken a man who pretends to be asleep."-Navajo saying.

        by quartzite on Sat Jun 18, 2005 at 08:48:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know if I disagree (none)
      or just don't want to believe it.  But you have me thinking, and for that you get a 4.

      My gut tells me, though that nameless soldier has it right, and for that he gets a 4.

      Thanks to both of you.

      "It's been headed this way since the World began, when a vicious creature made the jump from Monkey to Man."--Elvis Costello

      by BigOkie on Sat Jun 18, 2005 at 07:44:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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