Monday, April 25, 2005

And now...

First off, I’d like to explain why this article (and responses to readers’ comments) are coming late -- I’ve been busy celebrating Pesach (Passover). The first two and last two days of Pesach are separate from the days in between: On these days Jews are not supposed to work, write, make fire, drive, use electronics etc. Now that it is after nightfall on the second day my blog is fair game again.
I had planned to write an article about taxes. On discovering, however, that all that remained of a hefty paper I wrote on the topic last year is the bibliography, I realized that it’s going to take me several weeks to do all the necessary researching and writing so I can come out with a finished product.

In the meantime, I am in the process of being kicked off of my high school newspaper, ostensibly to make room for a conservative columnist to get practice for next year. The decision was made by the very Chief Editor who tried (unsuccessfully) to prevent me from conducting a rudimentary evaluation of the quality of our education (see my article “The Culture Quiz” in the January archives with the results listed in a March posting). He has decided to kick me off, despite that no columnist asked to replace me (one had to be recruited), that there is no shortage of space, that there are still people interested in reading my column, and that if one’s first column is actually published, like my successor’s will be, it is not practice or preparation -- it’s the real deal. In addition, the move to replace me was conducted behind my back, so that I only found out about it accidentally. The Chief said he kept his actions a secret from me because he knew that I “would act like this.” In other words, he knew that I would object to being removed, so he decided it would be safer (at least from his point of view) just not to tell me.

Now, to this chief’s credit, he has agreed to print a farewell column in the newspaper (I suppose he may change his mind in retaliation to this post though naturally I‘d rather be published). I thought I’d write a column on the most important topic I could think of -- namely support for the troops. I know that my post last week, on the Medal of Honor, is closely connected to this, and despite the fact the some people find this topic “boring,” I believe that we can never say enough about it.

So here it is:

The men who defend this country are paid very little money, they live in quarters that a civilian wouldn’t tolerate, they are split away from their families so they can fight in a desert half-way around the world, and by the very nature of their job they may be killed in the line of duty. So the question we have to ask is, why do these men volunteer? What compensation could they possibly get to make it worth it?

The answer depends in large part on you.

Soldiers fight for honor, and love of their country; they want to help spread democracy throughout the world. Most of all, perhaps, they want to know that the people they are fighting for appreciate their sacrifice -- that we guys sitting here reading the newspaper in both freedom and security understand that our military allows us to enjoy that privilege.

It is impossible to support the troops without supporting the war.

I divide the anti-warrites into two groups, the honest, and the dishonest -- those who make no qualms about their dislike of the military and those who ‘claim’ to like it (or at least to like the soldiers themselves). The honest sort is the type who drives around with a “No Blood for Oil” bumper sticker and flashes his middle finger at the SUV with the Marine Corps emblem on the back. They are the type of people who, during the Vietnam War, supported the now infamous “F--k the Army” tour -- a series of shows organized by Jane Fonda and preformed right outside military bases (as USAF Col. Patterson wrote, “a perverse USO tour in reverse”).

The dishonest anti-warrites are pathetically bad in a different sense. They pity the soldiers -- they feel sorry for them. ‘Here these men are, thinking that they’re defending freedom or whatever and what really happened is they got duped into fighting in this needless war -- they’re nice guys but they’ve been victimized. So of course we support them, we don’t want them to die, etc.’ This type of “support” of course does nothing for our troops’ morale. If you tell them that you support them, but not the war, you put yourself in a position of snobbish condescension. You’re still saying “f--k the army,” just in a different way.

Alright, now you say, ‘well I really do support the troops; I just can’t bring myself to support this war.’ What is it you can’t support -- ridding the world of a brutal dictator? Bringing freedom to millions of people for the very first time? Making the world safer for ourselves and the world’s other free nations? Maybe, of course, you question that that is what we’re really doing -- you still think that the military mission was launched and is being conducted over a big pack of lies (“f--k the army”).

The patriotic American does not look first to uncover the dastardly things that his own country is doing. He looks proudly at our history of defending freedom with young men who volunteer to be shot at. He knows that these men are fighting for him, so he does what he can to make that fight worthwhile. Without pretensions, reservations, qualifiers, or condescension, he says, “thanks.”

19 Comments:

At 7:36 PM, Blogger Alec Brandon said...

Thank you for rephrasing what you had said in a comment last week.

Anyways, I will address your entry bit by bit. First of all your comment on why people volunteer for the armed services: Well you have a beautifully idealistic view of why people serve in the armed forces, and for a good percentage of those in the military, love of country and honor and large factors. However that is by no means the end all be all of why people serve, the military offers enormous perks, like free education, pay, housing for your family, chance at citizenship, etc. for a reason, because without them, very few would join. There is a market for labor out there, and honor and patriotism don't get people to give up 4-6 years of their life. If you disagree ask yourself a couple of questions. Perhaps, why are poor people and minorities gravely overrepresented in the military? Well perhaps it is because they like honor that much more than the average wealthy white guy, but that is just a stupid argument (though I look forward to using it nonetheless). But why does this matter? Well it matters because when you claim that the sole reason for breathing of a soldier is to spread democracy, it is wrong.

First of all, I'll hit you with the fact that the soldiers in the armed services did not enlist after we invaded Iraq, this is why the Pentagon has to continually hold troops long past their service requirements. Thus, what democracy spreading were troops enlisting for before Iraq and Afghanistan? Because the United States has not used its military to build any democracy since the Korean War, so unless we are talking about a handful of troops in the 80s this is just flat-out wrong.

Thus, people do not enlist to spread democracy, they don't even enlist to go to Iraq and fight wars, they enlist to get money, to get an education, to get citizenship, and when someone like Sina pities those soldiers, it is disgustingly patronizing for you to pretend to know what each and every soldier's reason for enlisting was. You really ought to be ashamed of yourself for such bullshit.

Now this of course, destroys your entire argument (which is rested on an incorrect assertion), but I will continue to address it because you are that wrong.

So then you proceed to have a rather muddle argument, you first argue their are two types of dirty liberals, then you argue that the war was justified, and then you argue that we ought to look to America's strength's not its failures.

I'll address these one by one. The two types of dirty liberals: The first type of liberal you explain about is very rare if nonexistent. You seem to be providing a description of what happened during Vietnam, except saying SUV instead of truck to pretend it’s more modern. I have seen no one give the middle finger to someone who has a Marine’s sticker on the back of their SUV. Maybe you would like to explain that point further, but unless someone is seriously misguided or disturbed, I doubt they view the military or veterans as evil in anyway (and I do know that this happened in Vietnam, but that does not mean it is happening now). Second, you say there are these new slimy liberals who pity the troops. Well look at what I wrote about, because I think I address why this is a reasonable viewpoint (though not necessarily mine). You substantiate your argument against these types of people with the claim that it hurts morale, so you ought not to do it. Well first of all that is just stupid. I don't think it’s the responsibility of the American people to boost the troop’s morale at any given point. If someone has moral objections to a war, that moral objection is not trumped by a soldier being sad. In fact, if anything, that person is doing no harm to any soldier by merely voicing an objection to the circumstances or implementation of the war. If someone’s arguments are wrong, it will only strengthen the correct argument; this is not a bad thing, especially when validating the correct argument through questioning only strengthens it, thus providing the much necessary morale booster. If you disagree with this, go read some John Stuart Mill and then talk to me.

Next you claim the war was justified. This really has no place in your article, but I will address it nonetheless. Alright, the war was justified in some ways. Who cares? It is also not justified in other ways. You have to lay out a much better case than that to respond to those objections (even though I agree that it was a justified war, I am fine with people not agreeing with me, that is what our nation is built upon after all). But furthermore, I think it is legitimate for me to question the success of the occupation, because it has been terrible and for me or anyone to sit by and accept mediocre because it might offend a couple of wack-job troops who also get a subscription to The Economist, is ultimately destructive of the United States, Iraq, and Troops.

Your third argument is basically restating your rant against Ms. Duffy and how she incorrectly centered her class. First I'd like to quote Robert Kennedy,
"The sharpest criticism often goes hand in hand with the deepest idealism and love of country."
Address, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, February 24, 1967. I think it is perfectly tenable to be critical of this country and to love it. In fact with out criticism this country would not function. The people are the most effective check on the governments performance, and understanding the government's flaws and failures is as important as knowing its greatest victories and accomplishments. I am perfectly alright with you disagreeing with this, but to condemn such people is ridiculous and certainly not pragmatic (as it was the case with Ms. Duffy, though Daddy ultimately made it all better).

Now, what I think of this all. Well, the armed services are a provider of jobs. People sign up for jobs for various reasons, but the Army provides incentives for a reason. Obviously we need an army and must use it as the time comes (which in my opinion would include Iraq) and of course the people who signed up for the armed services were aware of this risk, just as a window washer is aware of the risk to his life. They are both compensated accordingly; just the soldier gets a little more honor and a little less money then the high-rise window washer. This view point actually shifts the argument of both you and Sina away from, I love the soldiers, no I LOVE the soldiers, to the reasons and implementation of the war itself, which is a far more important debate to be having. So lets assume I am right about the military, then what do you have Dan? Because all I see are a couple of rhetorical questions which would only be taken seriously on cable TV.

-Mr. Alec

 
At 7:47 PM, Blogger R said...

Just so that all the readers know...

I'm forced to refute the lies posted here, again. And I'll probably have to do it again. And again. Sigh.

So here are some quotations...I explain each one in truth. I guess stuff that I don't mention here is the truth, as posted by Dan.

"He has decided to kick me off, despite that no columnist asked to replace me (one had to be recruited)..."
That's not very true, Dan. Actually, one approached me. He'll vouch for that.

"In other words, he knew that I would object to being removed, so he decided it would be safer (at least from his point of view) just not to tell me."
Just so you all know, when Dan found out about this, there were 17 emails corresponded between the two of us...17!!! Those were within a very short span of time. He accused of me of nearly everything in the book...but I won't put what he wrote...it would most definitely insult him, and I don't play that game. I told the other columnist that he wouldn't be writing this issue...he took it fine. It's a school newspaper, Dan...relax. Dan, by the way, started his column towards the end of last year. But that doesn't really matter, of course.

I don't relatliate, Dan...I would never waste my time. I don't like when people lie though, and you sure do a hell of a lot of it. It's absolutely amazing. Isn't that one of the ten commandents? Thou shalt not lie?


On another note...
"The decision was made by the very Chief Editor who tried (unsuccessfully) to prevent me from conducting a rudimentary evaluation of the quality of our education (see my article “The Culture Quiz” in the January archives with the results listed in a March posting)."
As far as I recall, I believe I, along with the entire working staff of the newspaper, did succeed in preventing you from publishing your survey. Do you find it necessary to impress your readers with your lies?

Please, feel free to ask me if you have any questions. And of course, I will be publishing Dan's column.

 
At 7:52 PM, Blogger R said...

I forgot to identify myself. My name is Ryan Benjamin, and I am one of the Editors-in-Chief of the Amity Trident. Please address with me with any questions.

 
At 8:04 PM, Blogger Kyle said...

I won't bother addressing the entire article yet, it's too late for me to bother. The last paragraph is particularly interesting though.

The patriotic American does not look first to uncover the dastardly things that his own country is doing. He looks proudly at our history of defending freedom with young men who volunteer to be shot at. He knows that these men are fighting for him, so he does what he can to make that fight worthwhile. Without pretensions, reservations, qualifiers, or condescension, he says, “thanks.”

I believe that you described the American who blindly follows leadership, the complacent American who doesn't question authority. Not the patriotic American. You can easily love your country yet, at the same time, not support the direction in which it is going. This is one of those times.

 
At 8:42 PM, Blogger Zach said...

Dan, I will not address your entry bit by bit because I do not have the time or energy and I do not feel that an article this weak deserves that much attention. But there are a couple of things I will respond to. First of all, we all know that you have a vendetta against Amity, the Trident, Ryan, Ms. Duffy, and anything else you feel represents liberal America(anything other than Fox News). You don't need to keep reminding us. Secondly, you don't know what goes through the mind of each soldier in an U.S. military uniform; nobody does. The real reason I am taking the time to post though is to dispel your point "The patriotic American does not look first to uncover the dastardly things that his own country is doing. He looks proudly at our history ..."
this is the most ridiculous statement I have ever heard. Mr. Alec already responded to this quite eloquently, but I feel it needs to be dealt with even more. The patriotic American does not stand idly by and blindly accept whatever his government decides to do. That is what cults do. That is what Nazis and communists do. That is what totaliarian states do. My favorite thing about American is that we do not have to do exactly this. We can voice our opinion, we can put pressure on our leaders to change things, and we can object to whatever we wish. I am sure that during the Clinton administration, and in future Democratic administrations, you have and will have objections to the views and actions of your elected officials and you too will proudly and Patriotically disagree with your American government.
Zach Mancher

 
At 9:33 PM, Blogger Alec Brandon said...

On the Trident issue. Dan it is not a god-given right that you get to write for the Trident. Or that the people who make up the Trident have to like you. I tend to believe someone with the integrity that Ryan Benjamin has and considering that it is a newspaper run by students, those in charge get to make the decisions, and an appropriate one it would seem given Ryan's explanation.

Nothing is stopping you from starting your own newspaper or perhaps...blog in which you voice your own opinions. Your claim seems to be based on a right to write for the school newspaper and an attempt at showing that their is some vast conspiracy against you for your beliefs, all of which seem ridiculous.

With that said, I hope the Trident issue does not gooble up too much of your response time. It would be very unfortunate if you let me so utterly deconstruct your arguement without a word in response, because with passover over, you have no excuse but to actually engage in a discussion of arguements, hell I am in the middle of midterms and I have time for this.

-Mr. Alec

 
At 9:53 PM, Blogger Another Bleeding Heart Liberal said...

I completely agree with Mr. Alec (his first post, not the one about our newspaper; it doesn't get distributed to freshmen anyway).

Liberals support the troops as people; we see them as living breathing human beings, not as a pawn in a war we don't support. We care about them, their needs, whos gonna be there for them when they get home, the limbs they will lose, the families they will leave behind.

And Dan, you seem to think that it's patriotic to not question your country. Patriotic citizens look back at the good achievements of their country and ignore the bad, something along, those lines is what you said. I'd like for you to explain that one to me.

 
At 3:44 AM, Blogger R said...

We definitely distribute to freshmen. Who is your first period teacher? I'll deliver one personally to you. You must have a teacher who doesn't distribute for first period.

 
At 8:25 AM, Blogger Another Bleeding Heart Liberal said...

Thanks. First period is Palmieri. She gave out the first one, but after that we didn't get them anymore.

 
At 12:02 PM, Blogger Theorigamist said...

Republican Dan said:
"In the meantime, I am in the process of being kicked off of my high school newspaper, ostensibly to make room for a conservative columnist to get practice for next year. The decision was made by the very Chief Editor who tried (unsuccessfully) to prevent me from conducting a rudimentary evaluation of the quality of our education (see my article “The Culture Quiz” in the January archives with the results listed in a March posting). He has decided to kick me off, despite that no columnist asked to replace me (one had to be recruited), that there is no shortage of space, that there are still people interested in reading my column, and that if one’s first column is actually published, like my successor’s will be, it is not practice or preparation -- it’s the real deal. In addition, the move to replace me was conducted behind my back, so that I only found out about it accidentally. The Chief said he kept his actions a secret from me because he knew that I “would act like this.” In other words, he knew that I would object to being removed, so he decided it would be safer (at least from his point of view) just not to tell me."

Stop whining. Judging by the quality of your writing on the blog, I'd have done the same thing. But seriously, it's not a big deal at all.

Republican Dan said:
"Most of all, perhaps, they want to know that the people they are fighting for appreciate their sacrifice"

Wait, let me make sure I understand your argument here. You're saying that there is a large group of people that want us to appreciate them, so we should. Is that accurate? That's bullshit. I want all of the US to appreciate me, too, but I'm going to have to earn that beyond just expecting or wanting it to happen.

Republican Dan said:
"Alright, now you say, ‘well I really do support the troops; I just can’t bring myself to support this war.’ What is it you can’t support -- ridding the world of a brutal dictator? Bringing freedom to millions of people for the very first time? Making the world safer for ourselves and the world’s other free nations?"

This is a horrible argument in terms of logic. The fact is, there are a lot of good and a lot of bad things about the war. Just because somebody supports the good things doesn't mean that they also believe the good things outweigh the bad. Your argument here should have been about why you think the pros of the war outweigh the cons.

Republican Dan said:
"The patriotic American does not look first to uncover the dastardly things that his own country is doing. He looks proudly at our history of defending freedom with young men who volunteer to be shot at. He knows that these men are fighting for him, so he does what he can to make that fight worthwhile. Without pretensions, reservations, qualifiers, or condescension, he says, “thanks.”"

The word you're looking for here is dogma. You're trying to say that the patriotic American is the one who looks the other way when they disagree with something, and who always believes they should be thankful because history and other people tell him so. Do I really have to present an argument as to why dogma is stupid?

Mr. Alec said:
"If you disagree with this, go read some John Stuart Mill and then talk to me."

Good call. I assume you're talking about On Liberty here. For the uninformed (Republican Dan), you should focus on Chapter 2.

Mr. Alec said:
"...because with passover over..."

Actually, Passover isn't over until this weekend, which means I need more matzo.

 
At 3:23 PM, Blogger Republican Dan said...

I see that there has been considerable (and entirely liberal) commentary on my last post, so it’s time to talk this over.


Starting with Mr. Alec’s first post. I do not doubt that many men join the military for monetary reasons. That does not alter the fact that the majority, the great majority I would say, join the military because the love their country. That is, at least the reason why I plan to join the military, the reason that some of my friends plan to join the military, and reason that the military men I talk to joined the military. I assure you that any financial “perks” (and they’re pretty small ones compared to the private sector’s) do not cover the possibility that any man taking this job may be shot. Despite the fact that blacks are disproportionately represented in the military as a whole, they are underrepresented in combat positions (fewer than 10% of enlistees that are scheduled for infantry training are black). Relatively poor people really do, however, have a large representation throughout the military. Perhaps it is because many military men have a family history of military service, which has always been a low-paying job. At any rate, I will guarantee you that not a single man who gets the eagle-anchor-and-globe put it into his hand by his DI is thinking about the money.

If you persist in suggesting that not just a few, but many (or even the general candidate) is a military man because he wants the money, I want statistics to back it up. It is patronizing of you to portray the modern military as either a mercenary force, or one built up of people who didn’t ever expect they’d have to live up to their contracts.

As far as the middle-finger thing goes, I am speaking of a real event that happened several months ago to singer Chely Wright.

“I don't think it’s the responsibility of the American people to boost the troop’s morale at any given point” you say. I know this is what you think -- that does not keep it from being an infantile thought. It is our responsibility to boost the troops’ morale at every point. They are fighting for us -- even for people like you.

I’d like to address in general way the problems people have with my suggesting that we “blindly” support our country. Now, it’s perfectly ok to oppose a war -- before it happens. You can be against the United States’ going to war. But once we are there, it is your duty as an American to support us in that war. This issue is a brand-new one of course, because it was never even considered a possibility that a so-called “American” would fail to support his country in a war. This does not mean that there was never a man who thought we shouldn’t be in state of war -- he merely understood that, being in, this was his country and he was behind it 100%.

Criticism of America is permissible and sometimes necessary -- in general -- but in war it weakens our position. It boosts the morale of our enemies and weakens our own. It is the only way that we can end up loosing a war. The lesson of the importance of morale has been repeatedly illustrated throughout the history of warfare, from the Battle of Britain to Israel’s War for Independence to the Vietnam War. (You may also remember that Lincoln allowed for the arrest of men who damaged morale during the Civil War by temporarily suspending Habeas Corpus).

Now, as far as R goes, I’d like to mention (as he no doubt forgot) that the writer he mentions who will “vouch” for the fact that he asked to get column space was a liberal who therefore requested to replace the liberal columnist, not me. The conservative columnist who will be replacing me did, in fact, have to be recruited.

Of course any newspaper has a right to decide what it prints, and I know that R’s explanation “seems” appropriate. This does not alter the fact that R’s decision was a political one.

Since the only reason that R claims he does not mention the correspondence between us is that it would embarrass me, I’ve release the entire set of 17 messages here. Not all the material is germane, but I’d rather release everything than be accused of cutting something out.

By the way, of course, I had to include the comment about retaliation to insure that the article would run after all. And “thou shalt not lie” is not one of the ten commandments. Nevertheless it of course not acceptable to tell a lie, so I would write with more caution in future (if I were you).

Furthermore, it is correct that you prevented me from publishing my results. The subject of my sentence, however, is not that you succeeded in preventing me from publishing the results, but that you failed to prevent me from conducting the survey, which was the important thing. You’re throwing around that word “lies” a lot -- I suggest that you read and think more carefully.

Kyle, what can I say? I can’t respond to you unless you make a point worth discussion.

Zach, I will, no doubt, disagree with many future administrations. I may even disagree with our reasons for going to war. But I will always support my country and our troops completely and without reservation in time of war.

 
At 3:25 PM, Blogger Republican Dan said...

Here is the link I meant to put in my comment.
Correspondance

 
At 5:26 PM, Blogger Zach said...

Dan, publishing those personal emails is perhaps the most rude and out of line thing I have ever seen you do. Do you ever think to yourself, "maybe I'm taking things a little too far"?

But back to my point. I think in war is the most important time to let your real opinions be heard, because people are dying, and if nobody objects to that, people will keep on dying. Also, how does it make a difference in the fighting, if I, here at home, question the war. Will the soldier on the front in Iraq know about it? And if somehow he does, will it affect his ability in battle? Will the bullets from his gun not fly straight because he does not have support from home? I'd love to hear you explain that one.

 
At 6:00 PM, Blogger Another Bleeding Heart Liberal said...

Actually, we do get it distributed to us, nevermind. I just didn't get one last time.

 
At 6:06 PM, Blogger Another Bleeding Heart Liberal said...

Dan:

Since you seem to like numbers so much, where are your numbers that prove that the majority of people who joined the armed forces are doing it because they want to be patriotic/support America?

And about morale:

How many people fighting in Iraq do you think have had their morale lowered by anti-war activism at home? How many are really saying "Oh noes! There are pacifists at home that don't support the war! Now my morale is lowered!" Somewhere in the high 90's, maybe? The fact is the majority of people that went into Iraq had an opinion of their own; the ones who were for the war probably just thought, "Those unpatriotic bastards." Somehow I doubt their morale was lowered.

 
At 6:10 PM, Blogger Alec Brandon said...

Alright, you drop alot of what I said, conviently too.

First a couple of factual issues. I have no memorized statistics that provide the per capita income of the typical soldier, but no one would disagree that is disproportionately made of poor people. The state of West Virginia, one of the poorest, also has the highest rate of service. Poor minorities also are disproportionately represented. All this leads to an easy conclusion. You claim I am making our Army out to be a mercanary force. Fine, if that is what you want to call it I don't care. I would prefer the term free market, but I guess that is just the Marx in you speaking out.

I think it is much more reastic to approach this as any classical economist would. Soldiers enlist to maximize their own utility (whether for money, education, or honor), and seeing as the number of enlistees has plumeted since Iraq and Afghanistan we can easily conclude that utility isn't getting all that maximized by enlisting anymore, namely because wars are being fought instead of not. I think this really destroys your entire arguement. Please respond.

The best you do with responding to this arguement is claim that for some reason I am wrong because black people are under-represented in combat positions, I do not understand this arguement, nor do I think it strengthens your side. Then you claim that you have talked with very patriotic soldiers and that your plan to join the Armed Services would be one for Honor and Service. OBVIOUSLY, you live in the second richest state in the country, you are going to Yale, your Dad is a well known professor (by the way we seem have a mutual friend, your dad works with his dad at Yale, there is hope for us afterall), all of these are not credentials of the average soldier. And if you think that you your upbringing or your small group of self-affirming soldiers that you communicate with are the average soldier then you are wrong. It flies in the face of the statistics I have provided and just common sense.

Do I think it is honorable that you would plan on joining the armed services someday? Absolutely, especially given your rationale for it (and I mean this truthfully). But I do not think that gives you license to claim you know the rationale for every soldier.

The next main thrust of your arguement is that we can not agree with a war until we have gone to war, in which case you have to support the war. Well Dan, what if the war is wrong, or being poorly implemented?

Next you claim there have been wars where morale is a key component in the outcome. First of all, morale is something that rarely rarely tips the scales, especially in any war the United States will be in, as long as it is the worlds hegemon. Especially considering factors like, economic supremacy, militarial supremacy, and an unrivaled air force make wars over very very fast. But then you claim that Vietnam was a war where morale killed it, which I disagree with you on. Considering that we killed 12 Vietnamese for every 1 American soldier that died, and that we could have won the war had we wanted to (if you disagree read John Mearsheimer, he is a professor at University of Chicago and a trustee of Foreign Affairs).

But extend the Vietnam example further. We had a war that had we won, would have accomplished nothing. Where we were hated and that was overall destrutive. Now, American protesting got that war to stop, or at least to be Vietnamized. This was not a bad thing. If anything this speaks to why you are wrong.

Your entire paragraph that details how not supporting a war in the US is a modern phenomenon, is flat out wrong. Lets see, the North did not support the Civil War (there were draft riots after all), the Korean War was very unpopular, and many American's had grave reservations with Vietnam which started half a century ago (not so brand-new is it).

Finally, criticism of our country during war is not a bad thing. Look at the analysis I gave you pertaining to John Stuart Mill which basically says, if people complain, and they are wrong, then the correct arguement will only be strengthened. There is a free-market of ideas out there and embracing that will only soldify the reasons for war, if the reasons for war are correct, or is that too Libertarian for everyone here.

-Mr. Alec

 
At 6:11 PM, Blogger Kyle said...

I love your reply to my comment Dan. Perhaps you can elaborate?

 
At 12:52 PM, Blogger Laverne Lish said...

riz the fin as i always say. ape help is on the collsongillo. neosporin/indochina

 
At 3:48 PM, Blogger Theorigamist said...

Republican Dan said:
"Starting with Mr. Alec’s first post. I do not doubt that many men join the military for monetary reasons. That does not alter the fact that the majority, the great majority I would say, join the military because the love their country. That is, at least the reason why I plan to join the military, the reason that some of my friends plan to join the military, and reason that the military men I talk to joined the military."

You can't make a sweeping generalization like that based on the stories of a few of your friends. That's what a logician would call bullshit.

Republican Dan said:
"Relatively poor people really do, however, have a large representation throughout the military. Perhaps it is because many military men have a family history of military service, which has always been a low-paying job."

This is purely speculative, and you're also forming a causal relationship based solely on observation. This is also bullshit.

Republican Dan said:
"At any rate, I will guarantee you that not a single man who gets the eagle-anchor-and-globe put it into his hand by his DI is thinking about the money."

How can you possibly propose to know this?

Republican Dan said:
"If you persist in suggesting that not just a few, but many (or even the general candidate) is a military man because he wants the money, I want statistics to back it up."

How about, instead of being hypocritical, you could provide some of your own statistics. Your story and your friends stories are not statistics, they are anecdotes, and anecdotal evidence is no evidence.

Republican Dan said:
"“I don't think it’s the responsibility of the American people to boost the troop’s morale at any given point” you say. I know this is what you think -- that does not keep it from being an infantile thought. It is our responsibility to boost the troops’ morale at every point. They are fighting for us -- even for people like you."

So given the choice between writing a real response and writing nothing, you chose to write something incredibly stupid. Just saying 'no' is not an argument, moron.

Republican Dan said:
"Now, it’s perfectly ok to oppose a war -- before it happens. You can be against the United States’ going to war. But once we are there, it is your duty as an American to support us in that war."

How does that make any sense at all? The fact that we go to war should make us all love it, even if we didn't before? And even those who did approve of the war (like Mr. Alec) should just not say anything if it's being run poorly? What inherent quality of being an American tells us that we have to support a war just because we're in it already? (And, as a sidenote, do you also think that the Nazi soldiers who blindly followed Hitler into war were excellent citizens?)

Republican Dan said:
"This issue is a brand-new one of course, because it was never even considered a possibility that a so-called “American” would fail to support his country in a war."

What the hell are you basing that on? Mr. Alec covered this sufficiently.

Republican Dan said, in an email:
"why do you feel you have a right to stop publishing it?)"

Why do you feel you have the right to be published by him? I guess Mr. Alec saw that coming a mile away. Well done.

By the way, I liked your response to my last comment. You don't think making solid logical arguments deserves even a sentence of response? At least try to defend yourself.

 

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