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View Diary: I WANT TO HURT SOMEBODY (251 comments)

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  •  I can understand (3+ / 0-)

    why the sniper in question might take up arms against us.  That doesn't mean I want you guys to feel sorrier for him than for me.  Fuck, I'll admit it: when it comes to my impending death, I'm a selfish sonuvabitch.  Please feel sorry for me and get the little fucker who shot me.  Please?

    I don't need to think about how hard the US has fucked these people: I already think about it every day.  My point was not that we should ignore the pain and suffering the Iraqi people-- articles like the one in the Lancet are a great example of what needs to be brought home to the American people-- my point was that for the Average American, including myself, the cost of the war is made clear only in terms we can understand: our own lives.  

    To wit-- and to answer your question about why I don't just give myself up and go to jail as a conscientious objector-- the question becomes, am I willing to give up my life in the name of this bullshit?  (And by extension, the question for Americans is, generally, are we willing to give up more American lives in the name of this bullshit?)  The answer for me is, remarkably, yes.  But not because I'm an unthinking drone.  It's because I swore an oath to serve my country and to follow lawful orders, in order to better protect my family, friends, and fellow Americans-- LIKE YOU.

    I would be a sorry excuse for a soldier if I turned my back on that oath just because I disagree with what we're doing.  Service comes before self.  I don't expect you to understand-- presumably, you are not serving, or else I wouldn't need to explain this to you.  But please don't think of me as a self-centered prick (I can be on occasion, but not in this instance).  I think of this war in personal terms, because I have to.  And when I think of our men and women in uniform being shot, blown up, and maimed, I think of them as my comrades, and even my future patients.  It's not abstract for me, and I kind of resent the thought that I should be forced to think that somehow my death or the deaths of others like me is somehow justified in the name of schadenfreude.

    •  Your service is greatly appreciated (6+ / 0-)

      You are obviously quite thoughtful about this issue, and I hope I can convey my respect for your service to the USA. I don't think you're selfish at all. If you go, you will be asked to do things few of us can imagine. You will probably not come back the same person. I grieve for your sacrifice, no matter what you decide to do.

      And I understand that loyalty to your fellow soldiers is typically the paramount feature of the military mindset. But this positive emotion is being used to keep people like you going back, which feeds the problem.

      I would be a sorry excuse for a soldier if I turned my back on that oath just because I disagree with what we're doing.

      I disagree 100%. You took an oath to defend the United States of America, not Bush. Refusing to go to Iraq would be keeping that oath. Sitting in a prison cell might be the best way to save more lives of Americans (including your own). Yes, many of your buddies will not see it the same way. But they have had their heads fucked with, big time. For example, a huge percentage of US servicemen still think Iraq was involved in 9/11. This horribly incorrect data point is indicative of mental conditioning. If I thought that, I would look at things a lot differently too. We have a military that has been brainwashed into doing what the neocons need done.

      So what would happen if you, and lots of other servicemen refused to serve the neocons any further? I think it would be a huge step in the right direction. It would not be painless to your buddies in Iraq, but ultimately it would help prevent more people from being sent into the meatgrinder.

      when I think of our men and women in uniform being shot, blown up, and maimed, I think of them as my comrades

      When I think of all the Iraqis being shot, blown up, and maimed, I think of them as my fellow human beings who incidentally never asked to have our army come and harm them. Unlike our troops, they didn't volunteer to go into the danger zone, it came to them. And it probably makes a difference to the people fighting us that they didn't start this, we did.

      I kind of resent the thought that I should be forced to think that somehow my death or the deaths of others like me is somehow justified in the name of schadenfreude.

      I get no pleasure from seeing anyone get hurt. I think we all grieve for the little Iraqi kids splattered with their parent's brains, and we all grieve for the US soldiers stuck in hell. There's no way to do otherwise and remain human. But we have to think of a way out of this mess, and I believe that it means that US soldiers being sent to Iraq need to say "No, sir" and sit down. If you don't, it doesn't mean you're a bad person, but if you go, you are helping to continue the war.

      I swore an oath to serve my country and to follow lawful orders, in order to better protect my family, friends, and fellow Americans-- LIKE YOU.

      If there was a reason to think that fighting in Iraq was necessary to defend the American people, I would be in support of it (as I am of the war in Afghanistan). There is actually good reason to think that the war in Iraq is making your family, friends, and fellow Americans LESS safe. And finally I would argue that your orders are NOT legal, the war in Iraq was not legal, and so it would be your duty to not serve there.

      I understand that the words of a non-military person might not hold much weight. It's a lot easier for me to make recommendations than for you to implement them. But I feel strongly that you and your comrades can potentially have the most positive influence over this tragedy.

      Thanks for listening, thanks for your service, and best of luck with whatever you do.

      Stronger than all the armies is an idea whose time has come. - Victor Hugo

      by racerx on Fri Nov 03, 2006 at 02:55:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I guess (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        racerx, Mary Julia, blue in NC

        we may have to agree to disagree on whether or not fighting in Iraq (at this point-- or any point) is "defending" our country.  On a personal level, I don't think it is-- but at the same time, my personal feelings shouldn't enter into it.  And the words of a non-military person like yourself really DO hold a lot of weight (believe me, it's hard to find any other MILITARY people who share my opinions), simply because I like to think that we liberals are, generally speaking, a more thoughtful, considered bunch.  Maybe we aren't, but we sure put up a good show of it.

        Feeling that it's better to serve-- important and even vital to serve, even-- despite my personal misgivings is hard for me to express in words (I used to be so much more eloquent as a Comp Lit major; witness what medical school does to you!).  I was against going into Iraq back when I was in ROTC, and I'm against staying in there now.  But if I have to go, then I'll go.  Who knows?  Maybe by the time I'm eligible to be deployed we'll be out of Iraq.  (and in North Korea.)

        All I'm saying is, when I raised my right hand to accept my commision, I didn't say anything about only doing my duty when I agreed with it.  The American People elected a leader who put us in this mess.  The only hope for our men and women in uniform is to elect leaders who can pull us out.  Until then, they'll grit their teeth and make the sacrifices we've come to take for granted.  After all, it's what we've signed up to do.

        •  And I find myself (0+ / 0-)

          recommending comments in this discussion by TeresaInPa, racerx, and stitifier.

          It's an impossible issue. This is one of the fundamental questions I find myself contemplating nearly daily as I ponder the sentiments conveyed by a yard sign I've seen:

          Support President Bush and Our Troops.

          I think this is a false dichotomy. I don't know what to think. I want each and every American soldier to come back home safely, but I have a hard time thinking that the most heartfelt wish of nearly every "enemy" soldier isn't to get back alive to his or her loved ones too.

          •  I've seen that one too (0+ / 0-)

            It's bullshit, of course. Bush loves to use the troops for a backdrop, because Americans will always support the troops, and he steals that emotion to protect himself. He's a thief, and the people who equate supporting the troops with supporting the CIC are either liars or idiots.

            If Bush supported the troops I might look at it differently, but he doesn't. He USES them, like he does everyone else that he can. He's a user, a con-man, a rat bastard.

            I sure hope we win back at least the House, because then we'll get to have hearings on all the ways he and the Repugs have used our troops. they deserve MUCH better.

            Stronger than all the armies is an idea whose time has come. - Victor Hugo

            by racerx on Sat Nov 04, 2006 at 01:18:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

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