attitude towards war info
This is from a PM conersation I had wth Senior Chief. I have edited some of my original message, i have not edited any of his reply. I was wondering if anybody had any thoughts/opinions elated to this discussion.
I actually wanted to ask you about something i don't quite understand in the USA. Do people- military and/or civillians- here not understand that war costs lives? I of course do not refer to a person who might be on a forum such as this. If someone did not support the Iraq war for example, fromt the very outset, i respect that, but i do cannot fathom how people get whiped up in to a frenzy when soldiers die. |
Of course we do not people dont want their countymen to die in battle, but isn't it a foregone conclusion when you join the military, you might have to put your life at risk sometime?
It first hit me last year, when the radios in the DC-Baltimore area played news about a woman who was protesting against the war BECAUSE her sun died. I sympathise with the bereaved, obviously, but a soldier dying in battle didnt seem like a reason to protest against a war.
Now, with the death tolls being highlighted in the media, and peole reacting the way they are, i really wonder if they realise that in war people die on both sides!
I ask this of you as an outsider wanting an opinion on an observation, from someone who could possibly react meaningfully.
I did not want to post this on the open forum, lest it be offensive/misunderstood by anybody.
I will give you an answer today, but I'm short on time at the moment. This is one that needs some thought and tact in answering. |
I'll be on later this morning
| Here are my responses. I hope they are not offensive or upsetting for you. Let me know if I answered your questions. |
I actually wanted to ask you about something i don't quite understand in the USA. Do people- military and/or civillians- here not understand that war costs lives? I of course do not refer to a person who might be on a forum such as this. If someone did not support the Iraq war for example, fromt the very outset, i respect that, but i do cannot fathom how people get whiped up in to a frenzy when soldiers die.
I too have a problem understanding the thought processes of people in America. I was raised to believe the premise "My Country, Right or Wrong".
I guarantee that the larger percentage of Americans know that in a war young men and women die. There are some political factions that have a total problem with war in general. Some religious groups do not believe in killing just as some do not believe in doctors. The situation here is becomming similar to the time of the Vietnam war. In that war many young men were dying for something that many did not believe in, the rest of the protests were by people that were anti-war for many reasons, I believe some of those reasons was cowardice. I did not want to go to Vietnam, I knew that the draft was there and I was, at the time chosen by the government, at the right age for draft. We had a lottery system in place for the draft. The lottery system had numbers from 1 to 365, if your number was between 1 and a determined number you would be eligible for the draft. The year before my time my lottery number was in the upper 200's, the year after my "window of opportuntiy" my number was 366 (that was a leap year) and when in my window I was between 51-59. I was going to be drafted. To divert from the Army I joined the Navy for 6 years. Due to circumstances beyond my control I ended up in Vietnam anyway. I told that tale only to bring up that many refused the draft and went to jail, others left the country and protested against the war, one William Jefferson Clinton comes to mind as a prominent coward (my words).
See part II.
| Part II |
Of course we do not (clipped)
There are a few rules that come in to play when there is a war, these rules are hard and fast. If you've ever seen M*A*S*H you will have heard that line repeated one time on one episode. "In war young men (and now women) die, doctors cannot do anything about it. The bottom line is that if you are in the military your life is on the line daily. If you are in the Army/Marines, you train with live ammunition to be ready for actions should you be called up, in the Navy/Coast Guard you go to sea and the job of any sailor at sea is inherently dangerous (the Navy also has Marines at sea so they have just added to their risk). In the Air Force the pilots fly planes training on a daily basis, they too are in harm's way, even when we are not at war. Right now we are engaged in a Global War on Terrorism (GWOT), terrorist have determined that the American way of life is wrong and will do anything in their power to destroy the U.S. The shameful thing is that they kill indiscriminately, they care not if they kill women and children or even their own kind.
It first hit me last year, (clipped)
The lady you are speaking of (I think) is Sheehan. She wanted an audience with the President after her son was killed. She got it, but then she kept wanting to come back and gripe some more. Remember the line above? Young men die in war and there is nothing that doctors can do to change that outcome. This lady picked up people that were not so much sympathetic to her pain, but was using her for a national forum, she was willing to play the game because she held the President responsible for his death. She was right, but not in the same manner in which she was bringing it. The President is responsible for each and every life in the military as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, that is an awsome responsibility the each and every president has to bear. President Bush knows that and that is why he gave her audience when her son died, he will do that fore each family that loses a son or daughter, that is just what he is made up of. He does not have to sit by and listen to rantings and ravings of a woman that has become politically motivated to make a pain in the ass of herself. I do not blame him for barring her from further visits.
Now, with the death tolls (clipped)
The news media is reporting the Iraqi civilian deaths and they currently outnumber the American military death rate. The problem I see is that the insurgents (from Iran, Syria, and other places) are the ones doing the killing. I believe that the insurgents are closely tied to Al Queda and they are killing the innocents to keep the pressure on the President to pull out of Iraq. I also see their efforts as being good for the U.S. in the sense that they are not able to pull off further attacks inside our shores while attempting to sway public opinion of the President.
I hope you will put aside (clipped)
I often post off the cuff and typically in my own biased observations. I have never had any hard feelings about anyone on the board, some seem more biased than me and I will responde in like manner to them.
I did not want to post this on the open forum, (clipped)
If you were to post some of this conversation on the board it's OK with me. I will guarantee that there would be some that are offended by my comments as well as yours, it's the nature of the beast.
If you do post, please do not edit what I said. I would have a rebuttal for that.
I see by your flag that you seem to be from India. What part? Last summer I visited at the wrong time of the world. I was in Surat City when the bombs started going off in Bombay (Mumbai). I was concerned if I would ever get out of the country. I had to ride those same trains to get home.
It was strange, some of your countrymen were very well spoken in English, some were a little less capable. Even those with a good grasp of our language were hard for me to understand, Ramia and I figured out that it was the speed at which they spoke. She slowed her speech and I had no problems after that with her. Ramia was a degreed Chemical Engineer, she had a Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering and Process Control. One of the smartest people I have ever worked with, she was also the hardest working individual I've ever been around.
I hear people in the U.S. talking about poverty levels and how some of our people are really suffering because they don't get enough money from our government to exist. I found that disgusting after I saw some of the poorest of the poor in India. A person wants to help but there just isn't enough money to help anyone without becoming overwhelmed with the herculean effort to help. Mabye some day it will be better in India, the people in the U.S. have it good, they just don't know it.