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US soldier suicides exceeds combat deaths
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Sam



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 9194

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah, the war being volunteer only as opposed to this hideous endless quagmire that was eating up your kids and friends, it really cannot be overstated how much of a difference this makes; in terms of issues of anomie and social revolutionary movements, it's a lot more stable a sociopolitical environment and kinder to the troops, as well. The cynical (potentially me!) might even say 'more apathetic' instead.
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Darqcyde



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
Posts: 10092
Location: A false vacuum abiding in ignorance.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll agree with all the above said, but unlike WWI or WWII there's a lot less of a clear enemy.

Also another issue I'm concerned with is who we are calling our enemy and how the people who aren't going to war are treating it. Here's a screen cap of me posting this:

How much you wanna bet they're fighting some "brown skinned guys". There's gonna be a whole generation (and then some) who are going to NOT have actually gone to war themselves and instead will rely on inaccurate and over glorified third party accounts. I think it kinda is a slap in the face and disrespectful towards the soldiers who actually did serve. Only time will tell.
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Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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Location: Bellingham, WA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ignorant people are ignorant because of an unwillingness to seek out information that might prove them wrong. They would be ignorant regardless of how the conflict is framed or carried out.

What I notice is a greater willingness to separate the role of soldiers from those of their commanders. I hear frequently, "I don't support the war(s), but of course I support the troops." Soldiers seem well-respected, even in the pacifistic PNW. Which is cool.
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mouse



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 16644
Location: under the bed

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sam wrote:
yeah, the war being volunteer only as opposed to this hideous endless quagmire that was eating up your kids and friends, it really cannot be overstated how much of a difference this makes; in terms of issues of anomie and social revolutionary movements, it's a lot more stable a sociopolitical environment and kinder to the troops, as well. The cynical (potentially me!) might even say 'more apathetic' instead.


it depends, i guess, on what 'vietnam' means to you. vietnam was an unjust, out of control war that selected young men at random (except not really, as always, the wealthy and well-connected could stay out of it), and sent them off to a meat grinder for a year, and where many of them committed atrocities, and many suffered mental damage due to what they did and saw.

iraq was an unjust, out of control war that took volunteers (who are usually neither wealthy nor well-connected), and sent them into a meat grinder over and over and over again, where it appears many of them committed atrocities, and many suffer mental damage due to what they did and saw.

(afghanistan is a bit different in that we actually had a justification for being there, but that was so screwed up so quickly that it can be considered iraq 1.1. long-term results re: troops no different.)

now, people are certainly much kinder to active duty military now than they were then, but they are still leaving the military to suffer the physical, mental and emotional costs of war. and now, because it is a volunteer army, and it is just a small segment of the population, it seems to me that it is easier for the rest of the country to ignore that cost. in vietnam, because of the draft, you were very likely to know someone who had been drafted, or was at risk of the draft, or was trying to avoid the draft. now, it's really easy not to have any personal connection to someone serving in the military. if it weren't on this forum, i wouldn't know anyone with a iraq/afghanistan military connection. but my brother, and all the guys i knew in high school, had to register for the draft. my major professor and one of my committee members served in vietnam, as did several men i worked with over the years.

i don't know which would be worse - coming home from war and being spat on, but knowing you are home and safe and you never have to go back, and that the people who are spitting on you are also trying to stop the war, so no one else has to go either - or coming home with a free upgrade to first class and people thanking you for your service, but knowing you will probably have to go back, maybe multiple times. and that part of the reason for that is that none of those nice people who are thanking you seem to care too much about putting an end to the whole thing.

either way, it seems like a whole lot of people that we have an ethical duty to take care of are not and have not been getting the help they need, and yet such people are being put in need of that help, years past the time when it was obvious that we shouldn't have been there in the first place.

(there is a case to be made for the parallels between vietnam and iraq in the damage both did to the u.s.'s reputation abroad, polarization of politics, etc., etc., but that's a very different subject.)
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Darqcyde



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
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Location: A false vacuum abiding in ignorance.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
either way, it seems like a whole lot of people that we have an ethical duty to take care of are not and have not been getting the help they need, and yet such people are being put in need of that help, years past the time when it was obvious that we shouldn't have been there in the first place.


Well said, well said.
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