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[very heavy] Virtues

John Smith
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Joined: Oct 08, 2001
Posts: 2937
There is something that I never understood and have always been afraid to ask here (MD is a tough place, sometimes intimidating). In the on-going US presidential campaign, the question of loyalty and patriotism frequently pops up. Among the democratic candidates, Kerry is recognized as the most qualified to be the Commander In Chief based on his military service and experience in Vietnam. I don't doubt for a second Kerry's patriotism, bravery, and honor. But what I don't understand is why the willing, brave, and honorary participation in the immoral war is considered a virtue for a potential president.
When I was in Germany, I was overwhelmed by the extend of self-beating and self-humiliation that the Germans impose upon themselves for their crimes against humanity during the WW2. It's their national pastime to label themselves as evil, look back at their history, and think about the ways to prevent the evil in the future. Can you imagine how it would look if a potential German chancellor would say, "I [or my father] was a war hero on the Eastern front, so I know what's good for this country, and I am fully qualified to be the commander in chief"? Yet in the United States, it seems almost natural to cite the participation in the Vietnam War as a virtue for a future president.
So, here is my "very heavy" take on this. Since the function of the Commander in Chief is not to follow orders or to drop bombs, but instead to make the moral decisions and to issue orders, it follows that it's not the war hero that will make the best President, but the draft dodger who felt that it was immoral to kill the innocent just because someone told him they were the enemies of the state. The best president would be the former draft dodger who was afraid of God and who was brave enough to listen to his consciousness and refused to compromize his morality for the sake of loyalty to his state. But the best soldier would indeed be someone who is a killing machine without any doubts about the righteousness of the generals.
I'd rather abstract from the concrete instances, such as Kerry, Bush, or Clinton. I am missing the design on the interface level. That is, why is someone who is willing to kill when his government asked him to do it is considered a better person and a more qualified President than someone who decides for himself whether the killing is justified? It is as though the entire population of the country is made of foot soldiers, and the civil doctrine of obedience to the government is as sturdy as the military doctrine of obedience to commanders. Shouldn't it be the other way around, -- shouldn't we tell our government who it can or cannot kill, and evaluate our government on the basis of its obedience to our will?
[ February 07, 2004: Message edited by: Eugene Kononov ]
Joe Pluta
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Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Posts: 1376
I've been staying on the sidelines. But this particular statement, designed as it is to stir up more controversy, annoyed me enough to respond.
There are a lot of generalizations with implicit moral judgments in this statement, so many as to make it impossible to address the question without incidentally dignifying some of the assumptions. "Immoral war", "draft dodgers", "brave enough to listen to his conscience", "loyalty to his state", "killing machine"; many of these phrases imply a world view which I most emphatically do not share. Thus, I will not respond to the question raised in this discussion lest that lend credibility to some of these concepts.
I will simply point out one thing:
Draft dodgers are not brave, nor do they exhibit moral character. Someone who avoids service to their country through fraud, deceit or deception is actually severely deficient in moral character. The best example of a truly moral objection to war was that of Muhammad Ali, who was willing to be stripped of his boxing title and serve a prison term in order to follow his moral conscience. (He did in fact lose his title, but the Supreme Court overturned his draft evasion conviction.)
A question I would pose: if one is not willing to serve the country of their citizenship in time of war, is that person actually living up to that citizenship? I say most emphatically no.
Joe
John Smith
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Joined: Oct 08, 2001
Posts: 2937
Joe: The best example of a truly moral objection to war was that of Muhammad Ali, who was willing to be stripped of his boxing title and serve a prison term in order to follow his moral conscience. (He did in fact lose his title, but the Supreme Court overturned his draft evasion conviction.)
A question I would pose: if one is not willing to serve the country of their citizenship in time of war, is that person actually living up to that citizenship? I say most emphatically no.

Yo Joe, welcome back, good to see you here. While you have been on vacation, I've been holding the fort for you.
I did in fact had draft dodgers such as Muhammad Ali in mind when I refered to individual consciousness overriding the collective state-sponsored consciousness. But I am not sure I follow you, -- do you believe that Muhammad Ali should have been stripped of his citizenship?
Marilyn de Queiroz
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Joined: Jul 22, 2000
Posts: 9047
    
  10
When my father was drafted into the WWII US army, he had a moral disagreement with the necessity to bear arms. He went through a court marshall procedure and then was told that they did that to test the depth of his convictions. He remained in the army as a "consciencious objector" and served his country in the medical corps.

I do not believe that anyone should be stripped of their citizenship for their "moral" beliefs, but I do think that it takes a lot more courage to stand and face your opponents than it does to run away to a convenient place because you "object". Did they really run away because they were afraid? Nobody will ever know.


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Kevin Thompson
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Joined: May 04, 2001
Posts: 237
Eugene -
You make good points that I have always agreed with.
What I can't stand is that "Greatest Generation" stuff. I think the greatest generation will be the one that says "HELL NO!" instead of marching off to war.
And the "service to your country" that people talk about - is more appropriately rephrased as "slavery to your master".
I feel sorry for those poor 18-19 year old boys out in Iraq dying for nothing and having their limbs blown off for no reason. They have been lied to and manipulated into thinking they are doing it for "freedom". What a crock. And then, to add insult to injury, after they are permanently disabled by their horrific injuries in Iraq, they come home to America to find out what they really get in return for their permanent sacrifice.
They get the rest of their life on welfare(living in poverty).
However, in contrast, I am sure after the war & after his presidency, Bush will have a happy life out hunting on his ranch and fishing off his daddy's boat.
And for Joe - I owe nothing to my government because I am a citizen. I owe nothing to anybody for any of my rights. I was born with my rights. I own them free and clear.

Kevin
[ February 07, 2004: Message edited by: Kevin Thompson ]
Marilyn de Queiroz
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Joined: Jul 22, 2000
Posts: 9047
    
  10
Originally posted by Kevin Thompson:
I owe nothing to my government because I am a citizen. I owe nothing to anybody for any of my rights. I was born with my rights. I own them free and clear.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

The Declaration of Independence

Did the signers of the Declaration run away?
[ February 07, 2004: Message edited by: Marilyn de Queiroz ]
Jason Menard
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Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Kevin Thompson:
And the "service to your country" that people talk about - is more appropriately rephrased as "slavery to your master".

Is this based on first hand experience? Quite honestly, I find the above statement quite offensive. The people I served with in the military are some of the finest human beings I've ever met. They are far from the poor uneducated and deluded souls those who would mistakenly hold themselves to be morally and intellectually superior to would have us believe.
I feel sorry for those poor 18-19 year old boys out in Iraq dying for nothing and having their limbs blown off for no reason. They have been lied to and manipulated into thinking they are doing it for "freedom". What a crock.
Don't feel sorry for them. Based on my personal experience they generally have the lowest opinion of people who espouse ideas such as these, unless maybe something has changed in their attitudes in the past few years. Back around the time of the first Gulf War, when I was in slavery to the master, me and some of my fellow slaves were approached by a couple of college students who said some similar things. I think they idolized the cowards from the Vietnam era and were just trying to recapture some of that time. It was hard to take these guys seriously when it became so blatantly obvious how clueless they were as well as how morally screwed up they seemed to be. We came away from the encounter with little more than an interesting mixture of amusement, contempt, and disgust. I had a similar encounter with a guy when I was going to college during Kosovo (although this time I approached him while he was passing out leaflets). He was as clueless as the guys during the Gulf War, so at least there was some comfort in that some things never change.
And then, to add insult to injury, after they are permanently disabled by their horrific injuries in Iraq, they come home to America to find out what they really get in return for their permanent sacrifice.
They get the rest of their life on welfare(living in poverty).

Are you aware of any recent information which would support that? They know what they're getting into and have few illusions. Would it surprise you to know that many in the military volunteer to be placed in harm's way?
And for Joe - I owe nothing to my government because I am a citizen. I owe nothing to anybody for any of my rights. I was born with my rights. I own them free and clear.
Your rights and freedoms - courtesy of those who have fought and died to maintain them for you.
[ February 07, 2004: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Jason Menard
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Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Marilyn de Queiroz:
When my father was drafted into the WWII US army, he had a moral disagreement with the necessity to bear arms. He went through a court marshall procedure and then was told that they did that to test the depth of his convictions. He remained in the army as a "consciencious objector" and served his country in the medical corps.

Thanks for that story Marilyn. I have always held true consciencious objectors in the highest regards. They were able to honorably uphold their convictions yet still perform their required service to their fellow countrymen. They didn't run away and force someone else to fight and maybe die in their place. They deserve our utmost respect.
Joe Pluta
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Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Posts: 1376
But I am not sure I follow you, -- do you believe that Muhammad Ali should have been stripped of his citizenship?
No, you mixed two concepts here.
1. If you oppose the law of the land, the moral stand is civil disobedience with the understanding that you will receive whatever punishment the current law proscribes. This is what Ali did. If the standard sentence at the time had been to strip him of his citizenship, then that too would have been appropriate. I'm glad it was not; like Marilyn I do not believe that simply being a poor citizen means you lose your citizenship (if that were the case, there would be far fewer people in the country, ).
2. I DO believe that anybody who lives in this country and avoids military service through deception is not living up to their end of the contract of citizenship. The only reason we have these right in this country, as Marilyn and Jason have so eloquently pointed out, is because people have been willing to fight and die for them. It is my belief that assuming these rights without acknowledging my debt to those who died for them (and thus my commitment to future generations) would be a difficult position to substantiate.
What should happen to people who are not being good citizens? I don't know. They have to live with themselves, I don't. My wife and my daughter are good citizens, and I will raise my new baby boy to be a good citizen as well. And if he is called to war, he will go and I will be proud and afraid, and if he dies in battle I will mourn. But until the day when nobody is willing to commit genocide or take over another country by force or turn an airliner into a bomb, this is the price of freedom. To think otherwise is folly.
Joe
Jason Cox
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Joined: Jan 21, 2004
Posts: 287
You know what amazes me?
That as developers, programmers, and the like we typically deal with hard-data, unforgiving logic, and strict rules that do not bend or flex. The compiler does not care if we think our code is good, the computer does not give an inch if we make a mistake. If we do something that causes a problem, that problem will manifest itself whether we like it or not.
Our profession, more than any other, deals very stringently with cold hard facts. We work with them, we create elaborate schemes and "best practices" in order to adhere to them.
So it amazes and astounds me to see the blind rhetoric I do spouted here. Granted, I read the title of the forum, but I am still shocked. You know, I can't really identify with either of the major political parties in this country simply because I can't ignore the cold hard facts about either. At the same time, when I hear the "evils" of either being spouted by the other, I can't help but roll my eyes and sigh.
Maybe I shouldn't be surprised. After all, isn't it our profession where people typically make comments like "85% of programmers are chaff" while assuming they must be in the top 15% to be able to make a statement like that? Don't many of us simply refuse to believe an error could be our fault because we're so self-assured that our code works? Don't we often refuse to face facts despite having to deal with them as part of our jobs?
Joe Pluta
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Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Posts: 1376
So it amazes and astounds me to see the blind rhetoric I do spouted here.
I guess my only question is: what part of the thread do you see as blind rhetoric and why?
Joe
frank davis
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Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:
... But what I don't understand is why the willing, brave, and honorary participation in the immoral war is considered a virtue for a potential president.
[Eugene continues with analogy to Nazi Germany's aggression and crimes against humanity with the US's experience in Vietnam]

This analogy comparing Nazi Germany's war of aggression with the US support of South Vietnam is way out of bounds, even for the most fanatical and traditional America haters. Like Joe, I also was taking a break from MD, but seeing that no one (not even Joe) is even thinking to question such an analogy is quite disturbing.
For those who habitually label Republicans as Nazis it is perhaps not a big deal, but as I sit here trying to wonder how to begin, you cannot begin to imagine how surreally bizarre I feel in to attempting to refute an analogy of Nazi aggression with the US military support of South Vietnam.
Colin Powell stated it best in contrasting US involvement in various wars as compared with various other nations such as Nazi Germany; 'Other nations fought to gain territory, we just wanted enough land to bury our dead' [paraphrased]. Was the US motivation in Vietnam to enslave its people, etc, etc, as compared to Nazi motivations?
Any analogies of the US and Nazi Germany are too disgusting to contemplate and show a profound ignorance of the aims, motivations, and actual practices of Nazi Germany.

Not only do I reject the comparison with Nazi Germany, but being the fanatic that I am, I also dispute the allegations that the Vietnam War itself was immoral. Was the Korean War also immoral, or is it prefferable that all Koreans live in poverty, fear, and oppression as North Koreans do now? Or do wars only become immoral when we lose them?
Communism is and was evil. Stalin, Pol Pot, Romania's last communist despot, Kim in Korea (many allegations that famine is being used against opponents like Stalin), etc,etc. Communism relies on brutal suppression to survive. The US was in Cold War against the spread of Communism. To oppose that spread, as in Vietnam, is a moral cause.

http://www.ku.edu/carrie/archives/korean-war-l/2001/04/msg00212.html
"The legal and moral justification for western intervention in South Vietnam had already been established earlier on September 6, 1954, with the formation of the unilateral defensive pact called the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO). This broad spectrum alliance was designed by the United States for the sole purpose of containing Communist bloc aggression in Asia. Although its mandates were vague, it permitted the use of arms to defend Asia, specifically South Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos."
http://www.gingerb.com/vietnam_text_orchestration_for_war.htm
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
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Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
EK: When I was in Germany, I was overwhelmed by the extend of self-beating and self-humiliation that the Germans impose upon themselves for their crimes against humanity during the WW2. <...>Yet in the United States, it seems almost natural to cite the participation in the Vietnam War as a virtue for a future president.
This is the other (dark) side of winning a war -- winners never learn a thing. They don't need to. At this stage of my spiritual development I plan to make a research on culture of losers -- this is where real humanity lives, it seems.


Uncontrolled vocabularies
"I try my best to make *all* my posts nice, even when I feel upset" -- Philippe Maquet
Marilyn de Queiroz
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Joined: Jul 22, 2000
Posts: 9047
    
  10
Which "winners" are you talking about?
Jim Yingst
Wanderer
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Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 18671
And in your response to Marilyn's question, feel free to find less offensive ways of rephrasing "never learn anything" and "real humanity". :roll: Perhaps it wasn't your intent, but I can easily imagine people perceiving those as insults.
[ February 08, 2004: Message edited by: Jim Yingst ]

"I'm not back." - Bill Harding, Twister
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
This is the other (dark) side of winning a war -- winners never learn a thing. They don't need to. At this stage of my spiritual development I plan to make a research on culture of losers -- this is where real humanity lives, it seems.
The US lost the Vietnam War.


Associate Instructor - Hofstra University
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Mapraputa Is
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Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
We (I am getting tired of referring to the US as "You") *decided* to lose the Vietnam War, as we decided to lose the Afghan war. There is a difference from being defeated and not having other choice. Both decisions were right.
frank davis
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Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
At this stage of my spiritual development I plan to make a research on culture of losers -- this is where real humanity lives, it seems.

By defeating Nazi Germany, Italy, and Japan, the USA left the ranks of "real humanity"
John Smith
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Joined: Oct 08, 2001
Posts: 2937
Map: We (I am getting tired of referring to the US as "You") *decided* to lose the Vietnam War, as we decided to lose the Afghan war.
I am getting dizzy in here. Does the first "we" refer to the US, and the second "we" refers to the former Soviet Union? I suggest we ban "we" from MD, -- the pronouns don't seem to do any good.
frank davis
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Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
EK: When I was in Germany, I was overwhelmed by the extend of self-beating and self-humiliation that the Germans impose upon themselves for their crimes against humanity during the WW2. <...>Yet in the United States, it seems almost natural to cite the participation in the Vietnam War as a virtue for a future president.
This is the other (dark) side of winning a war -- winners never learn a thing. They don't need to. At this stage of my spiritual development I plan to make a research on culture of losers -- this is where real humanity lives, it seems.

What lessons did you want the US to learn from defeating fascism and imperial Japan? Maybe that we should have intervened sooner and prevented more loss of life ? Somehow I think that's the answer you would never , ever want to hear, so give me a few the real lessons we should have learned. Feel free to quote Chumpsky.
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
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EK: I am getting dizzy in here. Does the first "we" refer to the US, and the second "we" refers to the former Soviet Union?
Yes. Let's abandon "you", there are only "we", or do you have objections?
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Marilyn: Which "winners" are you talking about?
Any winners, in the broadest possible sense of this word. During Iraq campaign preparations I came across these words, a black guy said it: "we know how to live with people who hate us". I didn't save a link of course; you only realize something is important when you lose it. Whatever, it doesn't mater. This is a whole new line of thinking. I think, it's much easier for women to understand me.
frank davis
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Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Kevin Thompson:
Eugene -

What I can't stand is that "Greatest Generation" stuff. I think the greatest generation will be the one that says "HELL NO!" instead of marching off to war.

Yes!, Yes ! it would have been great to sit on our ass and watch half of Europe go to the Nazi slave camps and the other half go to the ovens

And the other half of the world would have been raped by Japan as in Nanking, Korea, etc

Then in a few years it would have been our turn to get gang raped by both Japan and Germany
But its all worth it because Peace is the most important thing isn't it



And the "service to your country" that people talk about - is more appropriately rephrased as "slavery to your master".

Well that depends. If I voluntarily agree to do what I think will further the interests of my nation, there is no slavery.

I feel sorry for those poor 18-19 year old boys out in Iraq dying for nothing and having their limbs blown off for no reason.

I thought there were quite a number of reasons....

They have been lied to and manipulated into thinking they are doing it for "freedom".

Aha, now we have a reason... And for the record there were other reasons as well which you do not mention. Never the less, the fact remains that Iraq was freed. I suggest a visit to the mass graves and tally up the number murdered before spouting off. Report back to MD your findings.


I owe nothing to anybody for any of my rights. I was born with my rights. I own them free and clear.


Your rights are yours as long as other people are willing to die to defend you. Pity, you loathe those who die for you to do what you will not do for yourself.
frank davis
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Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Jason Menard:

... I have always held true consciencious objectors in the highest regards. ... They deserve our utmost respect.

You admire people who would sit back and watch as others are burned alive in in ovens by the millions? Someone who would allow tens of thousands of Korean women to be forced into sex slaves for Japanese brutes ? Someone who would allow every conceivable horror imaginable that was perpetrated by Nazi Germany and Japan and do nothing violent to stop it is not to be admired. Quite the contrary....
frank davis
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Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Marilyn: Which "winners" are you talking about?
Any winners, in the broadest possible sense of this word.

So the US, by defeating Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan; both of which perpetrated horrors on a scale never before seen in human history, means the US left "ranks of humanity". The North by defeating the South and ending slavery left the "ranks of humanity"? This premise, that only the losers are truly human, is so impossibly, irrationally and historically disgusting that MD has reached a new low. I'm outta here. Enjoy your Chumpsky folks. Sayanora
John Smith
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Joined: Oct 08, 2001
Posts: 2937
Herb: I also dispute the allegations that the Vietnam War itself was immoral.
Well, perhaps my underlying assumption was wrong. I thought that the Vietnam War was more than controversial, -- I assumed that despite the difference of opinions, there is some consensus within the US that the Vietnam war was started and faught not with the deep moral convictions of the American soldiers or the American people, but with the executive decisions of the very few politicians who masked their quest for geo-political influence with the noble desire to spread the democracy around the globe.
Remember that episode from the "Apocalypse Now" when the Special Forces went into a camp to innoculate the Cambodian children for Polio? When the Special Forces returned to the camp, they found that the parents hacked off every innoculated arm of their children. There was a pile of little arms. It was the "perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure <...> strength of people who fought with their hearts."
So, here is my definition of the moral war: if the solders are fighting it with their hearts, it is a moral war. Does the US war against Vietnam qualify? I seriously doubt that.
Let's ask John Kerry, -- does his heart tell him that he was killing the right people for the right reasons? If yes, I'll endorse him with all my heart. If not, I'll call him a politician for using his participation in the Vietnam War as a virtue. Is that fair?
[ February 08, 2004: Message edited by: Eugene Kononov ]
Jason Menard
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Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by herb slocomb:
You admire people who would sit back and watch as others are burned alive in in ovens by the millions?

You misunderstand me. Bonafide consciencious objectors must usually still serve in the military, and often end up in the medical corps. Anybody who is willing to work the front lines without benefit of a sidearm because their moral convictions forbid them from taking a life under any circumstances is somebody to be respected. They are not willing to stand by and do nothing while others are suffering, they are just not willing to take up arms. I don't agree with such a choice, but I can respect it in certain circumstances. Individuals may serve as vital parts of the war effort, placing their lives at great risk for their fellow man's welfare, without having to directly bare arms. There are many ways to "fight" in a war, and they don't all involve pulling a trigger.
Now those who claim they are consciencious objectors and burn their draft card, flee the country, or otherwise refuse to serve deserve nothing but contempt and derision, along with a nice dose of prison time if applicable.
[ February 08, 2004: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Joe Pluta
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Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Posts: 1376
seeing that no one (not even Joe) is even thinking to question such an analogy is quite disturbing.
Herb, I've decided on a modified approach to MD. You and I both know that Eugene likes to post this stuff to bait the audience. He has himself said that as a philosophical policy, he wants to stop people on MD from agreeing on things.
So, when I run across something that I see as logically baseless and designed specifically to bait, I simply point it out and move on. Anyone who equates Viet Nam and Nazi Germany is simply looking for a fight, and they won't get it from me.
Not because I don't want to give it to them, but because the rules at JavaRanch make it counterproductive. Responding civilly to such an obviously inflammatory statement merely serves to legitimize it, while the response such a statement does deserve will get me in trouble. That's because it's within the rules to equate America with Nazi Germany, but it's bad manners to call someone names for doing so.
That being the stated rules, I feel the best option is to simply identify material that I deem not worthy of response and then go on. I said in the other thread: "In any event, I will simply state in my post that I am not going to respond to the objectionable material, and then go on with my post." Comparing America and Nazi Germany is the type of inflammatory baiting that fits that description exactly. I leave policing that sort of thing to the moderators now.
And while such policing happens infrequently - denigrating America, Americans (in general, not specifically ), American policy and the President sometimes seem to be protected forms of speech here at the Ranch - I still think it's counterproductive to lend any credibility to the blatantly inflammatory statements, and so I'd rather remain silent when they arise.
Joe
[ February 08, 2004: Message edited by: Joe Pluta ]
[ February 08, 2004: Message edited by: Marilyn de Queiroz ]
frank davis
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Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Jason Menard:

... their moral convictions forbid them from taking a life under any circumstances is somebody to be respected. [ February 08, 2004: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]

Sorry, I can't admire a person who will not kill those who seek to kill his own family members when killing is the only option. Or will not kill to prevent a trainload of people on their way to be gassed and roasted. Or will not kill a Columbine type sniper who methodically begins killing everyone in sight. Anyone who cannot recognize the necessity for killing in some circumstances is out of touch with reality, dogmatic to the point of indifference of human suffering, or a coward. Anyone who recognizes the necessity for killing, but refuses to do it shirks their moral responsibility by leaving it to others.
Now a conscientious objector to a specifc war rather than to all violence in general is more acceptable. There can be differing legitimate opinions on Vietnam for example. If you don't agree with the aims of the war I don't think you should be conscripted to fight in it.
frank davis
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Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Joe Pluta:
seeing that no one (not even Joe) is even thinking to question such an analogy is quite disturbing.
Herb, I've decided on a modified approach to MD. You and I both know that Eugene likes to post this stuff to bait the audience....- I still think it's counterproductive to lend any credibility to the blatantly inflammatory statements, and so I'd rather remain silent when they arise.
Joe
[ February 08, 2004: Message edited by: Joe Pluta ]

You're right, the same thought occurred to me as I responded in my first post yet I continued on and on and keep doing so... I need to get off the internet for a while and take a break...
frank davis
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Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:
Herb: I also dispute the allegations that the Vietnam War itself was immoral.
Well, perhaps my underlying assumption was wrong. I thought that the Vietnam War was more than controversial, -- I assumed that despite the difference of opinions, there is some consensus within the US that the Vietnam war was started and faught not with the deep moral convictions of the American soldiers or the American people, but with the executive decisions of the very few politicians who masked their quest for geo-political influence with the noble desire to spread the democracy around the globe.
[ February 08, 2004: Message edited by: Eugene Kononov ]

Yes, there were executive(s) decisions by a few politicians to fight in Vietnam. The purpose of executives is make decisions, and matters of foreign policy have never been subject to popular election. If by "geo-political influence" you mean an influence that would deter the spread of communism, then you are mistaken if you think most Americans did not agree with that aim when the war began.
frank davis
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Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:
Herb: I also dispute the allegations that the Vietnam War itself was immoral.
Eugene : So, here is my definition of the moral war: if the solders are fighting it with their hearts, it is a moral war. Does the US war against Vietnam qualify? I seriously doubt that.

[ February 08, 2004: Message edited by: Eugene Kononov ]

So, by your novel definition of moral, the dedicated Nazis on the front lines invading the Soviet Union were fighting a moral war if they really fighting with their hearts?
I find this definition of moral absurd. The aims and motivations of the war should obviously be paramount. The US aim was to prevent the spread of oppressive communism, therefore the VIetnam war was a moral war.
John Smith
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Joined: Oct 08, 2001
Posts: 2937
Herb: You're right, the same thought occurred to me as I responded in my first post yet I continued on and on and keep doing so... I need to get off the internet for a while and take a break...
We have not played chess in a while, Herb, -- my blitz rating is now full 90 points above yours. Catch up, bro.
Joe Pluta
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Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Posts: 1376
I need to get off the internet for a while and take a break...
Purposely avoiding posting here for several days helped. I read the stuff, but didn't post, and it gradually became obviously that it really wasn't life or death if someone said something patently obnoxious and I didn't call them on it . And in fact, there are a small group of people whose statements are consistently and reassuring sensible, so that if one or two of us aren't around to keep the peace, someone else seems to be willing to pick up the slack.
But the baiting, that I have to learn to avoid, and I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who get sucked in .
At the same time, there are some undeniably cool things on the Internet, and it turns out to be a great tool for certain things. For example, 8X DVD burners are available for about $229 now, and full-blown camcorders the size of a small stack of credit cards (4" x 1 15/16" x 13/16") for $400. I only wish that there were American firms building this stuff. But with the baby literally days away, I gotta get me a camcorder...
Joe
John Smith
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Joined: Oct 08, 2001
Posts: 2937
Herb: So, by your novel definition of moral, the dedicated Nazis on the front lines invading the Soviet Union were fighting a moral war if they really fighting with their hearts?
The Nazis were fighting with their minds, and the state of their minds was altered by the governmental propaganda and mass hysteria. The hearts of the Nazis were in the nagual abyss, unreachable by their minds.
So, there is no contradiction, -- and I stand by my definition of the morality, -- the morals that you can trust come from the heart, not from the head, and certainly not from the politicians.
Joe: For example, 8X DVD burners are available for about $229 now, and full-blown camcorders the size of a small stack of credit cards (4" x 1 15/16" x 13/16") for $400. I only wish that there were American firms building this stuff.
DVD by General Electric
[ February 08, 2004: Message edited by: Eugene Kononov ]
Jason Cox
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Joined: Jan 21, 2004
Posts: 287
Originally posted by Joe Pluta:
So it amazes and astounds me to see the blind rhetoric I do spouted here.
I guess my only question is: what part of the thread do you see as blind rhetoric and why?
Joe

Can't say because it might imply someone here is less than perfect. Although I will say the topic didn't exactly get off to a rock-solid start if that gives you an idea.
michael bradly
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Joined: Oct 06, 2000
Posts: 112

Draft dodgers are not brave, nor do they exhibit moral character. Someone who avoids service to their country through fraud, deceit or deception is actually severely deficient in moral character. The best example of a truly moral objection to war was that of Muhammad Ali... Joe Pluta

Is Ali really the best example? What about George W. Bush? He managed to jump the the head of the line with the Air National Guard in Texas. He managed to score 1 point above too dumb to fly. He also went AWOL. Who died in his place? For some sources and articles you can refer to www.awolbush.com
How about Cheney. He received 5 deferals.
Did anyone in this administration server? http://www.nhgazette.com/cgi-bin/NHGstore.cgi?user_action=list&category=%20NEWS%3B%20Chickenhawks
A question I would pose: if one is not willing to serve the country of their citizenship in time of war, is that person actually living up to that citizenship? Joe Pluta

Apparenty our administration is not living up to their citizenzhip then.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
The Declaration of Independence
Did the signers of the Declaration run away? Marilyn de Queiroz

Let's not delude ourselves in believing that this was an altruistic statement. The founding fathers definition of a man- rich white landowners.
Slaves were only 3/5th of a man, non-property owners would not be considered worthy of suffrage and women, of course, were not men at all.
Any analogies of the US and Nazi Germany are too disgusting to contemplate and show a profound ignorance of the aims, motivations, and actual practices of Nazi Germany. Herb Slocomb

Really? Then I guess I must be ignorant. Ignorant to the policy of eugenics that had been practiced in the US and the Nazi regime followed.
"Three Generations of Imbeciles Are Enough" -- Former US Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, ruling in 1927, in the case of Buck v. Bell, which involved forced sterilization of a human being, a practice which was legalized under policies promoted by Prescott Bush and his father, Samuel Bush, along with many other 'bluebloods' in the USA including Rockefellers, Roosevelts" http://csf.colorado.edu/forums/peace/nov03/msg00011.html

You admire people who would sit back and watch as others are burned alive in in ovens by the millions? Someone who would allow tens of thousands of Korean women to be forced into sex slaves for Japanese brutes ? Someone who would allow every conceivable horror imaginable that was perpetrated by Nazi Germany and Japan and do nothing violent to stop it is not to be admired. Quite the contrary.... Herb Slocomb

Well, don't admire the US, since the US had knowledge of what was going on and did little to prevent the systemic slaughter that the Nazi perpetuated.
"Warnings from the allies to the Jews of Europe of a planned genocide never came," IWG public member Thomas H. Baer said. "The Nazi murders depended on secrecy and subterfuge. Warnings would not have stopped the Holocaust, but they could have saved lives."
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/07/02/national/main299399.shtml
Just as the US did little to intervene during the slaughters occuring in Rwanda and Yugoslavia. When Saddam was gassing Kurds and Iranians, did the US speak out? Did Britain? Or were they too busy supplying him the resources and maintaining diplomatic ties and sending envoys like Rumsfield over to maintain ties? Our policy makers did little to slow the AIDS epedemic since it was seen as a disease afflicting gay males. Our policy makers did little to slow the crack epedemic since it was localized to inner city ghettos.
Let us not forget the Tuskegee airmen, nor other soldiers used as guinea pigs for drug studies and other atrocities. Nor let us forget the number of Nazi doctors that were allowed into this country to continue their work, nor the use of their documentation from their "scientific" studies.
I guess I am ignorant of IBM's compliance.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/03/27/print/main504730.shtml
I guess I too am ignorant that Prescott Bush helped build the German war machine while withholding that same technology from Allied forces.
http://www.lpdallas.org/features/draheim/dr991216.htm
I guess I am ignorant to people dissappearing off the streets of America under the guise of Homestead Security. People stripped of their due process and Constitutional rights. A policy much like that which occured to Japanese citizens during World War 2. And not just Japanese citizens in this country- no, even those from as far away as Peru were rounded up and interned. Much like those "Noble Savages" whose idea of Democracy was co-opted by the founding fathers, while they were interened on slivers of land kept warm by pox filled blankes and bottles of booze until their culture, practices and belief eroded.
No, it would be ignorant to make any comparisons between Germany and the US.


That's because it's within the rules to equate America with Nazi Germany, but it's bad manners to tell someone they're an idiot for doing so. Joe Pluta

Joe, you and anyone else on this post can call me names by all means. I won't take offence. However I'd ask of anyone who does feel I'm an idiot or flaming this post to pass along references to be debated. I realize this is the Meaningless Drivel board, however that doesn't mean facts can't be introduced!
Regards,
Michael
[ February 08, 2004: Message edited by: michael bradly ]
[ February 08, 2004: Message edited by: Marilyn de Queiroz ]
Kevin Thompson
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Joined: May 04, 2001
Posts: 237
Michael,
Thanks for your post. All of it looks like something I would say.
And I really like the chickenhawk stuff. Our chickenhawks have no shame!
Kevin
Joe Pluta
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Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Posts: 1376
Well, don't admire the US, since the US had knowledge of what was going on and did little to prevent the systemic slaughter that the Nazi perpetuated.
Moderators?
Joe
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
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Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

Originally posted by Joe Pluta:
That's because it's within the rules to equate America with Nazi Germany, but it's bad manners to tell someone they're an idiot for doing so.

Is calling someone an idiot a civil rebuttal to what they said?

And while such policing happens infrequently - denigrating America, Americans, American policy and the President sometimes seem to be protected forms of speech here at the Ranch.

There's just as much room for people here that are happy with America, its people, its policies, and its President as there is for people who aren't. What we don't maintain room for is calling someone an idiot because they express an opinion you don't like.


Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.
- Robert Bresson
 
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subject: [very heavy] Virtues