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"Stop looking at these kids as heroes," says vet who made war documentary.

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Father Heathen, Mar 16, 2019.

  1. Father Heathen

    Father Heathen Veteran Member

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  2. Duke_Leto

    Duke_Leto Active Member

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    Obviously. There are unfortunately people in the military who joined because they needed the money or college prospects, but as I understand it, there are so many members that it's completely voluntary to see war. Anyone who would volunteer for that is a psychopath, and if they somehow weren't already, then being trained to murder people for the sake of rich people's checkbooks encourages tendencies in that direction. The American military has a long history of acting like this; the My Lai Massacre is one of the better-known and recent examples -- but children, women, and noncombatants die every day from U.S-sanctioned murders. That Marines "swear at children" is nothing.

    Something that rarely enters the popular consciousness is that PTSD isn't just caused by what soldiers saw. It's caused by what they did. The military is an institution for training murderers; nothing more. No veteran since WWII is a hero or should be considered one. Fighting for the interest of the ruling class isn't honorable.
     
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  3. Ellen Brown

    Ellen Brown Well-Known Member
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    The term "PTSD" is seen by some as pertaining only to Combat veterans. However, those who have experienced violence and molestation often develop it to varying degrees. Similar therapy strategies apply.
     
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  4. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    No. Most join to serve their country.
     
  5. Father Heathen

    Father Heathen Veteran Member

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    That's the sentiment, but "serving our country" and "protecting our freedoms" is rather broad and vague; to what to degree do military operations actually serve and protect? Does the nation as a whole really benefit from most of it? What poses a legitimate threat to our liberty other than our own legislators?
     
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  6. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    I find the drug usage quite encouraging, actually, and the "talking lightly of killing innocent people" just reflects the necessary moral mindset of a soldier -- who could not function effectively if he retained the social and religious values he was raised with.

    I find this whole, recent lionization of the military very disturbing.

    To be an effective soldier one has to abdicate moral responsibility; to "just obey orders."
    One has to tap into one's inner tribalism and divide the world into allies and enemies; us and them; self and other.
    One has to make oneself a tool of the state, or, rather, of the corporate interests the military works for.

    Military values are diametrically opposite those promoted by most religions, as well as those promoted in-group. They should not be admired or promoted.
     
  7. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    First, I disagree with this. I believe most join because it appears to be their best option, economically. In many countries, people are forced into the military.

    What does it mean to "serve one's country?"
    In the US, at least, it means to serve the interests of corporations and the owner class, not those of the people. There is no foreign, existential threat to "We The People."
    The function of the military is to secure markets for the benefit of a very tiny sliver of the population. The military is corporate muscle, not a defender of America or of traditional, American values.
     
    #7 Valjean, Mar 17, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
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  8. Kangaroo Feathers

    Kangaroo Feathers Hardline moderate

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    Do you have evidence for that claim? And even if that's what most members say, what does it mean, exactly? I certainly say serving my country was part of why I joined, but is my idea of serving my country the same as others who said the same thing? Further, while "serving my country" was part of my reasons, it sure wasn't my only one. Pay, for example.
     
  9. Kangaroo Feathers

    Kangaroo Feathers Hardline moderate

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    Corrupt and wrongful usage of the military by venal, flawed politicians does not diminish military members' courage and dedication. It's also possible to be "an effective soldier" without "abdicat(ing) moral responsibility"
     
  10. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    No one can criticise the military's courage and dedication. Where else will you find such solidarity, loyalty or in-group altruism (with emphasis on "in-group")?
    What I take exception to is the idea that one can be an effective soldier while retaining values of peace, love, brotherhood and equality.

    I also suspect that most of the time the military is used to promote the interests -- and profits -- of the very rich, owner class, rather than those of the people. Soldiers are patsies.
     
  11. Kangaroo Feathers

    Kangaroo Feathers Hardline moderate

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    Snark noted. I'm not sure why you think those are negative qualities.
    Take exception all you like. I know my own experience.
     
  12. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    Snark misapprehended.
    I'm totally serious about the admirable courage, loyalty and altruism amongst soldiers. The intense band loyalty draws from some of our deepest evolutionary history. It's innate -- and easily co-opted for interests other than those of the band/platoon.
     
  13. Kangaroo Feathers

    Kangaroo Feathers Hardline moderate

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    If I misunderstood, I apologise. Appealing to our deep evolutionary history seems snarky, too, but maybe I'm just over sensitive.
     
  14. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    It's the psychological trait that makes us so good at operating co-operatively -- for good or ill.
    You'll get pretty poor unit cohesion from a roomful of cats.
     
  15. Kangaroo Feathers

    Kangaroo Feathers Hardline moderate

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    True. "Like herding cats" is one of my favourite descriptive analogies.
     
  16. Landon Caeli

    Landon Caeli What's your stoyle?

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    I never joined the military. My brother did, and when he returned, I noticed his heart was gone... He had become cold and selfish, and he was never in a war zone.

    I think it was something in the shots.
     
  17. Landon Caeli

    Landon Caeli What's your stoyle?

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    Do you think you were a nicer person prior to joining the military, or do you think you were always this way?
     
  18. Landon Caeli

    Landon Caeli What's your stoyle?

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    What a radical post. Why go so far? You should be careful what you read.
     
  19. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    To make an effective soldier, who will obey orders quickly, reliably and without question, you first must strip away 18 years of social and religious conditioning. A soldier on the battlefield won't be very effective if he stops to think about the morality, or social or political ramifications of his every decision.
    Pasting the veneer of civilized behavior or out-group compassion back on after discharge can be tricky.
     
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  20. Kangaroo Feathers

    Kangaroo Feathers Hardline moderate

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    I don't want to speak for the militaries of other countries, but in Australia, "obeying orders" is definitely part of military training, "without question" is more complicated.
     
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