Op-Ed piece from the Spokane Falls CC "Communicator&quo




 
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Boots
 
March 26th, 2005  
Monster
 
 

Topic: Op-Ed piece from the Spokane Falls CC "Communicator&quo


To preface this piece, my Letter to the Editor will be the second post. The young lady stirred up a hornets nest with this article. It was referred to me by a friend and colleague that is currently attending this school, now that he has been released from Active Duty (again) in the Middle East.


NO PITY FOR THE NEW AMERICAN HEROES

Lily Morris

senior reporter

Uncle Sam wants YOU (to volunteer for brainwashing, life under a dictatorship, and death.) Be all that you can (be ordered by your commanding officer to) be. An army of one (inane jackass.) Sugar coat it, candy coat it, wrap it in red-cellophane slogans; joining the military is for the birds.

The popular myth in our dear, sweet Republican land is that military boys (and girls—but mostly boys) are brave young men, courageously following the battle cry in the name of the land he loves. It's touching, and it's bullocks.

I'll let you in on a little secret, since MTV has apparently systematically destroyed the public's ability to read between the lines. There is no special cause. There's no divine being orchestrating the success or not of our military endeavors. There's a ****-off lot of money, and a lot of greedy, old, dry, wrinkly white men lewdly smacking their chops and wringing their hands for more. That's what they're dying for. I won't bother naming names, because the people profiting the very most from this mess are

likely hidden away, outside the limelight behind mountains of shredded documents and glorified media coverage. They're just anonymous, nasty old men in mothball smelling suits who think that God is on their side for no other reason than that they have become freakishly wealthy. God, you see, is telling them they deserve even more.

Congratulations, and welcome to the U.S. Armed Forces, sucker.

In the course of my experience (limited, but undeniably substantial) I have encountered precisely one—yes, only one—recruit who enlisted out of patriotism. The poor guy is not only naïve (the poor dear), but he is also certainly the exception. The military for most proves a viable option when weighed against another, presumably worse option. There are a myriad of (horrifyingly inadequate) reasons why these apparently oblivious boys join.

There are those who join because they don’t feel like attending (or don’t feel they can excel in) college. These geniuses are sacrificing a valuable education for four years of complete servitude that will leave them with frustratingly specific if not completely useless work experience. Others do it because they cannot find work. Often (or invariably, depending on your critical bent) the “can’t find work” excuse is a thin euphemism for “won’t get off my ass and apply myself to finding a job.”

As my grandfather would say, as soon as I find a job opening for someone to hold down a couch, I’ll let you know.

Sure, work is sometimes scarce, and that’s understandable, but this ain’t the depression, folks, and you can’t convince this cynic that you’ve been hitting the job market hard with applications and carefully polished resumes eight hours a day, five days a week, yet you are still not employed. If you have and you are still unemployed, chances are the military doesn’t want you either.

There’s the “security for my wife/children/family” line, but if your wife/children/family would rather have financial security than the comfortable assurance of your continued existence, perhaps you should be searching for other familial options rather than new career paths. There are also those who’d like to travel. I’ve noticed that Iraqi travel packages are going for cheap online if you’re the adventurous type, but a better option by far is the Peace Corp. While its effects on other countries have been inflated in print by our good old ethnocentric America, the life experience it provides for its workers is immeasurable and often profound.

Boot camp is a glorified name for a (mostly casualty-free) concentration camp set up for the purposes of brainwashing and propagandizing recruits. Forced into an isolated world of uniformity, fatigue, humiliation, and degradation, enlistees are broken down to their fundamentals in order to be more effective, more expendable pawns in the government’s bloody game of G.I. Joes.

I don’t feel sorry for a single American soldier killed in Iraq. Not your brother, your husband, your son, or anyone else. Don’t go writing me some sob story about what a fantastic person he was and how he didn’t deserve to die and how you miss him so goddamn much and his baby won’t ever know him; he was stupid. None of these men were drafted. None were taken against their will. Each and every one chose to be there willingly. As the boot camp slogan goes, they signed their lives away to “protect the constitution, not practice it.” Anyone naive enough, dumb enough, or with a following nature that blind deserves whatever comes to him.

There’s no pride in blind faith. No glory. And with the same inclinations G.I. Joe has--to do whatever his commanding officer tells him to do-- comes the potential next cult member, or the next terrorist’s recruit. Pretending that someone who chose knowingly to take on to the death a cause that no one cared if they believed in is any kind of victim is hogwash, and it cheapens the deaths of the hostage draftees who unwillingly went to fight the Vietnam war.

In all this disgusting glorification of machismo, drunkenness, violence, and sameness, I can’t help but be stricken by the pathetic lack of confidence that must surround those that sign up. Besides an utter lack of ambition, a belief that you are incapable of living your own life effectively, besides a sense of inferiority, why would anyone in their right mind chose to discard the next four years of their life (minimum!) to live under a dictatorship-style hierarchy? Why else would anyone subject themselves to possible death, imprisonment by a foreign government, lack of free will, and an environment so controlled it regulates hair length, clothing, sexuality, and living quarters?

Infidelity is as common as jaywalking among the ranks. Men separated from their wives by thousands of miles delight in the women of the places they visit. Their wives, bored at home and likely fully aware of their husbands’ philandering take up with his friends. Rape frequently goes unpunished, homosexuality is a crime, the pay for lower ranking men with families is so low that many, if not most, are on government food stamps in addition to their pay, and the laws are so restrictive that oral sex can result in discharge or jail time. This is rarely brought to trial, but anyone who angers a superior is subject to court martial or dishonorable discharge for the most unlikely of crimes.

As though there was not enough to keep one from donating their lives to the not-exactly-charitable cause of the United Corporations of America, there is a deeper sacrifice of self that accompanies military service. When you are trained to kill a man, when it is drilled into your head that you may have to slaughter a child without blinking, when you are encased in a world of potential violence and threat, it messes you up. Maybe you’ll never kill a soul. Maybe you’ll never so much as swat a fly, but you’ve lost your inhibition to do it. It’s no longer a question of ethics, but a question of circumstance; the theory of it has been dealt with, only the practice needs implemented.


Spokane Falls CC "The Communicator" Opinion Section 25 Feb 05
March 26th, 2005  
Monster
 
 

Topic: Monster's Response


MY RESPONSE

This letter is in response to Ms. Morris’ “No pity for the new American heroes”. I, for one, am glad that we live in a country that allows the individual to voice their opinion, whether the reader agrees or not. While I am one of those that do not share her views, I am proud to be one of the people that allow her the freedom to espouse whatever belief she holds.

As one of the “sucker’s” she refers to, I guess she would not understand the reason behind the fact that I am living and working in the Middle East at the behest of our government is, in fact, the same reason I enlisted in the US Marine Corps over 20 years ago… Patriotism. I love our great country and believe in its ideals. To that end, I have chosen to take on a job where I may not agree with the government’s policies, but have sworn and oath before God and man to “Uphold the Constitution of the United States and defend her against all enemies, both foreign and domestic”. Whether or not the war on terrorism is right or wrong, the politicians that run our country have decided that the might of our country should be used to help free an enslaved country. If Ms. Morris does not believe that the Iraqi people were slaves under the regime of Sadam Hussian, I invite her to come over and see what the conditions are like now and to speak to some of the people involved in that nation’s rebirth as a free nation with an elected government. Afghanistan is another country that we have assisted with their first steps in the long road to Democracy. If she should come to this part of the world, she will find places, even countries, where women are still considered property, and as such, can do very little without a man’s consent. As an apparently outspoken young lady, she should take great umbrage at this fact.

On the not attending collage point, Ms. Morris does not appear to be fully informed. While many of the enlisted recruits of the armed services do come almost straight from High School, there is a large section of them that ether: a) have attended collage for a time, b) have their 2 year or 4 year degree, or c) occasionally have their Masters degree. Also, the military is a good place to begin on the basic skills that the individual will need to survive in the “real world”: communications, working with people that have different beliefs, different lifestyles, and completely different backgrounds to name a few. The military also has a program called the G. I. Bill, which the member pays into for their first year of service, and, in return, the government will assist them with offsetting a good bit of their collage tuition, both while in the service and after they leave. This is good for both 2 and 4-year collages. The Veterans Administration Office of most collages can give her just about all the information she could want on this subject.

On the “security for my wife/children/family” part, she is correct if that is taken in the literal sense, but, when most of us use that line, we are speaking of the “Big Picture”. The security for my wife and daughter to go where they will (within reason) unmolested, the right for them to elect, re-elect, or not, as they see fit, local, state and national politicians, the right to live in a country where free speech is guaranteed for everyone, not just the government’s, the security that our country will not become a dictatorship as long as we have a military to balance the scales of justice. Ms. Morris’ suggestion that a better option is the Peace Corps may be valid for the conscientious objector or even someone that has a disdain of uniformed service or just does not want to put up with the quagmire that the military can sometimes be. I have served in areas where the Peace Corps was working, and as soon as the “Jarheads” and the “Hippies” figured out that we were attempting to effect the same outcome, albeit using different methods, some, on both sides, came to the conclusion that we could actually become friends, despite our political differences.

Ms. Morris is also correct in the statement that “None of these men were drafted. None were taken against their will. Each and every one chose to be there willingly.” Yes, in this day and age, there is no draft. We are all volunteers. Did we want to come back to this place? Hell, no!! But each and every one of us that serves, knows that there is a chance that we may be called on to protect the way of life that we in the US take for granted. The majority of the world does not enjoy many of the freedoms that we assume are our birthright by being in such a country. I’m losing a year of time that I could be with my loving wife, watch my daughter grow and do all the other things that people do in America. “to do whatever his commanding officer tells him to do” has never been a valid excuse for anyone in the military. We are expected to follow lawful orders, but each person has the right and responsibility to question what they believe could be construed as an unlawful order. As I stated earlier, we are, by far, the most educated armed forces in the world. The average soldier, sailor, airman and marine can sniff out BS like a hunting dog can find the scent of it’s prey, and they will pounce upon it just like the afore mentioned hunting dog.

The “hostage draftees”, as she called them, had the choice of showing up at their induction. The majority of those received the dreaded “your friends and neighbors have selected you…” notification did their time in one of the services, some chose to burn their draft cards and others decided to take their chances with our Northern or Southern brethren. Most of the volunteers of that time had no desire to see lovely South East Aisa, ether. Yet they all did what was asked of them, and over 58,000 gave their lives in the belief that we could help South Vietnam become a Democracy.

As to “why would anyone in their right mind chose to discard the next four years of their life (minimum) to live under a dictatorship-style hierarchy? Why else would anyone subject themselves to possible death, imprisonment by a foreign government, lack of free will and an environment so controlled it regulates hair length, clothing, sexuality and living quarters?” So you can ask questions like that in a public forum. So you can do most anything shy of sedition and murder, without worrying about the Police coming to throw you in a dark cell without due process. So you can live and study in a country that allows you all the freedoms that you are accustomed to.

“Infidelity is as common as jaywalking among the ranks.” It’s as common as jaywalking among all walks of life, in all countries throughout the world. Men and women have been cheating on one another since monogamy was introduced. “Rape frequently goes unpunished” only when it is unreported. The military has more stringent laws than our civilian counterparts for a reason. We are held to a higher standard because we are in a position of authority, and the abuse of that authority cannot be tolerated. Homosexuality is still a crime under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, but Congress enacted the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that is common throughout the civilian sector, and most of us don’t give a damn what you do in your own home with whomever your significant other may be. Now, as for pay, it’s true that the junior enlisted person with a husband or wife and children do generally make little enough that they qualify for WIC and food stamps. Congress authorizes an annual pay increase each year, and is attempting to close the gap between the junior enlisted and their civilian counterparts by giving them a larger pay increase each year.

“As though there was not enough to keep one from donating their lives to the not-exactly-charitable cause of the United Corporations of America, there is a deeper sacrifice of self that accompanies military service. When you are trained to kill a man, when it is drilled into your head that you may have to slaughter a child without blinking, when you are encased in a world of potential violence and threat, it messes you up. Maybe you’ll never kill a soul. Maybe you’ll never so much as swat a fly, but you’ve lost your inhibition to do it, It’s no longer a question of ethics, but a question of circumstance; the theory of it has been dealt with, only the practice needs implemented.”

Again, the young lady is sadly misinformed. While all of the services do teach basic marksmanship, the infantry and all other combat arms of the ground forces are taught target recognition, fire discipline, weapon control and a dozen other things that assist the combatant to preserve life. Not just their own, but those of the civilian caught in the crossfire, friendly forces and even surrendering foes. Society is what places the taboo on the taking of another’s life, the military places the individual in the very unenviable position that he may have to break that taboo. Law enforcement officers are placed in the same position every time they answer a call or make a traffic stop. Training is what gives us the ability to recognize a threat and neutralize it, whether it is by a show of force, non-lethal technology, or, as a last resort, deadly force. We are taught to use the minimum force necessary to bring a conflict to an end. Humans do not need to be taught to kill, we are born with that knowledge, just like all other animals. Our society places constraints on us “for the good of all”. Take for instance a drive-by shooting, how many gang members, ages 12 to 20, have ever been trained to kill by the military? Not many would be my guess, yet this has become an everyday occurrence in so many places. Does this mean that the gang member who “smoked” a rival would make a good soldier because the military would not have to train him? I don’t think so. It semes that society as a whole has lost it’s inhibition.

Again, let me say how proud I am to be serving our great nation, and protecting the freedom so Ms. Morris can let the world know how she feels.

mod edit: I added a little title for you as a safe guard.
March 26th, 2005  
Duty Honor Country
 
 
Before I comment, where was this "opinion" published? Is it a mainstream media outlet or some far left peacely loving one?

If it is online, please post a link

SGT Doody
--
Boots
March 26th, 2005  
Monster
 
 
http://faculty.spokanefalls.edu/Communicator/

Unsure how to get to the Feb 25th archive in which it was posted. Someone more computer illegitimate than I can probably find out. The Opinion section of this week's is still all about the article above. I did view the article before sending my reply or posting it here. So far as I can tell, it's not TO liberal.