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Friday poll: How many of you hawks have actually flown?(31 posts)

Friday poll: How many of you hawks have actually flown?cory
Jan 10, 2003 8:40 AM
I'm not claiming that this is relevant to anything, or that having been in Vietnam makes me an expert on Middle East affairs. But there's obviously a sharp division here on whether we should go to war, and I wonder: How many of you who come down on the pro-Bush, conserative, kill-a-Muslim-for-Christ side of this argument have been in combat, or done any military service at all?
No flame intended. I'm just curious.
I'm not as you describe in your last sentence,sn69
Jan 10, 2003 8:54 AM
but I am a conservative and I am currently on active duty in the United States Navy.

While I don't think "kill a Muslim for Christ" was a particularly good or accurate choice of words (especially considering that I serve with several Muslims), I nonetheless also wonder about the general point that you're trying to make.

As much as I question pacifism, so too do I question unabashed hawkishness on the part of people who have never served. While I do not believe that everyone needs to spend time in the military, I do believe in some form of compulsary public service, be it in the military, the Peace Corps, Teach For America, etc. In the context of war and as a military officer, I take great exception with those who incorrectly characterize us on either end of the political spectrum, and I am suspect of chest-beating flag waivers who have never served a day in their lives.

Step up and toe the line before you so willingly commit us to armed conflict. Remember, as I've said before, war is the failure of diplomacy, and regardless of typical left-winged characterizations to the contrary, no group wants war less than the military. We know the horror, and we are the ones who must kill, hurt and die. It's not cool.

And, as I've also said before, right or wrong, healthy or sociopathic, we are prepared to do just that. It's our role, and we don't make the policy that our electorate demands of us (that's a sublime part of being in the military in a democratic society). If the nation calls us to war, then so be it. I just hope that people know what it's really all about--war, that is--and that they stand behind us.
I was in Nam. I oppose this war. MostOldEdScott
Jan 10, 2003 9:21 AM
of the guys I served with, the ones I still talk to, feel the same. I think serving DOES make you think twice, even three or four times, before jumping headfirst into war. Probably the reason Powell is the most reluctant of the Bush team. He KNOWS.
Jan 10, 2003 9:23 AM
Kill a Muslim for Christ? What an ignorant statement Cory. Are we supposed to beleive we are able to have an intelligent debate on this issue with people who will make this kind of statement? You certainly are right about one thing, you are not an expert on Middle East affairs. What are we supposed to say in response? You are on the-let-them knock-them-down-our buildings-and-destroy-our-economy-while-I-grow-pot-in-my-closet side of the argument? Give me a break.

That is the problem with extremists both left and right. They just get into name calling. If someone disagrees with them, they are automatically. I do not think you are evil though cory. I just think you need to learn better ways to express your views. And your flame was blatent and very intentional.

For your information, I was ready to enlist in the army out of High School but was unable to serve after being hit by a car riding my bicycle. I had to go through rehab on my shoulder for a few years and could not physically meet the standards.

Mike Y.
If I may ...OldEdScott
Jan 10, 2003 10:36 AM
I believe Brother Cory is making an historical allusion many of you don't recognize. If you remember the Vietnam era, there was a common, bitter little slogan, "Kill a Commie for Christ."

I think he's referencing a similar misled zeal on the part of our leaders here. If it's jarring -- well, that's the intent.
Nonetheless, it's not an accurate representation of policy orsn69
Jan 10, 2003 10:59 AM
national intent.

Good grief, Ed, you should see the lengths we've gone to within DOD to ensure that our Muslim service members don't feel singled-out, under scrutiny, etc. And do you know what else? Our concern geniune...not misguided political correctness.

In the meantime, the other side is busy trying to profit from that sort of misguided, misleading rhetoric. From our perspective, this isn't about attempting to damage Islam. From theirs, however, and by their own admission (Al Qaeda, Islamic Jihad, Egyptian Jihad, Hamas, etc), it IS about destroying the West.

If you wish to argue the merits or liabilities of the possibility of waging war for oil, then be my guest. I'll simply read what everyone has to say. If you wish to characterize my peer group based on the archaic and admittedly fundamentally flawed premises of conflicts past, then I've got news for you...that's not who we are now.
That's good, man.OldEdScott
Jan 10, 2003 11:13 AM
Never believed otherwise about the troops or DOD. Wouldn't use the phrase Cory did. But I think I understand where it came from and I was just trying to give some context.
OK, fair enough.sn69
Jan 10, 2003 11:18 AM
OK, fair enough.Jon Billheimer
Jan 10, 2003 11:51 AM
I think Cory is referring to politicians' and ordinary Americans' warlike zeal, not specifically the Armed Forces.
Jan 10, 2003 12:07 PM
I guess I do tend to be a bit sensitive about mischaracterization of the military. I earned my commission the winter after the Tailhook scandal broke. Thus, my first couple of years in the Navy, specifically in Naval Aviation, were spent paying for the crimes of those who came before me. It was bad--we constantly felt under the scrutiny of the far left as if guilt by association was enough to brand us as masogonists, rapists, bigots, and so on. The 90s were not good years for those of us in service....
1968 wasn't a great year either! nmOldEdScott
Jan 10, 2003 12:47 PM
1968 wasn't a great year either! nmsn69
Jan 10, 2003 1:08 PM
Boy, I bet! You know, it's ironic that one of the things we teach our young enlisted troops these days is that it's alright for large segments of the citizenry to not like and/or appreciate us. It's shamefull that such animosity sometimes exists, and it disgusts me what happened to your generation (both being dragged into that senseless war and being treated so badly at home afterwards). Still, it's America, and the United States is about the marketplace of ideas.

I would never condone the burning of our flag and while I'd just as soon box somebody in the nose if I ever saw it, I'd still die for their right to do it.

1968 I'm sure was a bad year, and there were many more bad ones before and after that. Thank you for your contributions (sincerely), no matter how large or small, and thank you for participating in something that our politicians lead us into wrongly.

Let us hope that mankind can trascend such insane violence and someday realize that killing in the name of God (whichever God), is really only killing in the name of man.
To SN69Jon Billheimer
Jan 10, 2003 3:55 PM
I think you'd make a hell of a lot more responsible policy maker than some of the power-mad buffoons currently in charge of the show. To echo some previous remarks, it's interesting that one of the few voices of reason in the current administration is the ex-General.
To SN69sn69
Jan 10, 2003 4:12 PM
Thanks for the compliment, Jon, but let's not forget that I'm a Naval Aviator, which by definition means that I think my own farts are hysterical (and I do, incidentally). Speaking of which, I'm currently doing my "disassicated tour," which according to the Navy is meant to broaden an aviation officer's professional perspective. It has, as my current assignment has granted me insight into how a lot of things work inside and outside of the beltway. What I'm starting to realize but cannot yet fully quantify is that a great deal of what we, the public, see between the various elements of our government is a well choreographed/scripted game, as are a great many of the things that happen internationally. Is Powell genuinely opposed, or is he playing good cop to the President's bad cop?

As a tactician, I can also tell you that even though he is little more than a secular totalitarian dictator, Hussien is still very much in bed with AQ and Hamas. ...Sort of the "enemy of my enemy" thing whereby he provides a great deal of logistical support for various terrorist groups. As for his current strategy to generate an arsenal of WMDs, one has a simple choice: face him now on our terms or face him later on radically different terms. While I am not specifically advocating war just yet, I am stating that if we don't find a way to defuse this--either diplomatically or militarily--for good, then we will have a crisis of much greater proportion on our hands in the out-years. That's exactly how Israel regarded him when they took out Osriak in '81.

Let's hope the diplomats can do their job....
To SN69Jon Billheimer
Jan 10, 2003 7:07 PM
You may well be right about Hussein. The reason I complimented you is that your discussion of these types of issues appears to be far more reasoned and balanced than the propaganda coming out of Washington. In my opinion the government has never reasonably linked Iraq with Al Qaeda, while on the other hand appearing to be inconsistent and hypocritical with respect to its rhetoric about terrorist sponsoring governments. At least in the public domain information seems to point very clearly towards the links between the Pakistani, Saudi Arabian, Iranian and Syrian governments and Al Qaeda. But America has not targeted them. Indeed, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are considered to be friends and allies!

In my mind, as with many other people, failure of the government to convincingly present its case raises suspicions of hidden agendas and/or confused, conflicted policies. It's not as if we haven't been lied to before. My distrust and cynicism of the American government traces back to the Vietnam debacle and the literal lunacy of one Richard M. Nixon. Not that I think George W. is that bad but I do think that he and his advisors are disingenuous at best.

At this juncture my concern as both an American and Canadian citizen is that the United States functions within the same framework of international law as it so vociferously expects everyone else to do. If one can believe the Bush rhetoric, at this point the American government has a very thinly disguised contempt for law and U.N. sanction if it thinks its own narrow interests might be compromised.

So that's my political rant. You're to be complimented on your own attempt at balancing issues. I also think your sensitivity about the public's view of military personnel is probably unnecessary.
If I may ...Alpedhuez55
Jan 10, 2003 11:26 AM
I am familiar with that reference. The world is very different now than it was in the 60's or even the 90's for that matter. I beleive Brother Cory is trying to insult anyone who does not agree with him. It is like asking someone if they have stopped beating their wife or saying "a moron says what" real quickly.

There are several people, you included Ed, who can present an intelligent argument from the left. There are many others who resort to name calling, generalizations and completely wacky conspiracy theories. Cory's post was an weak attempt to belittle anyone who disagrees with hm. I suggest he learns a better way to state his case. Right now the only one he is flaming is himself.

Mike Y.
Jan 11, 2003 7:14 AM
Lest you forget the threads that you and I traded a few weeks back. I believe that you did a bit of name calling indeed. Just food for thought, not ment to disparage you or raise any hairs on your neck.....

Wrong EyeBob/Stop making false accusationsAlpedhuez55
Jan 11, 2003 1:37 PM
You are wrong Eyebob. There is a big difference between calling someone views or motivations stupid than calling someone stupid. I never called you anything other than BT Eyebob or Bob. Sure we had a few spirited exchanges, but I have never called you a name or made any other slur.

There are several posters on this board who like to call other posters facist or racist. I do not think some of them fully understand the meaning of these words. I try not to call people names but am sure I have at some point.

Look at our exchanges. You implied that I posted false information but my information on the posts in question were accurate. I just did not have time to reach you standard of detail since I was writing a post during a break at work. I did tell you to get a life for going to the Massachuestts Division of Insurance Website in a pathetic attempt to claim I posted wrong information. I think you could have made much better use of your time. That was the closest to name calling I got with you. That is different from calling someone a name. Sure things can be implied or read into both of our exchanges but neither of us did any name calling.

The information on the posts were accurate, I just did not have time to reach you standard of detail in the time I had. It was written during breaks at work. Most posters on the board, myself includes, are guilty of "over generalization" as you call them.

Rather than ask a question, you write posts questioning the accuracy of someone elses posts. Usually this is asking someone to produce source or elaborate in a condesending manor like you did with me.

My posts you were questioning were accurate. Now you are accusing me of calling calling you names. I am calling you on that Bob, because you are wrong.

You are usually good on your posts. You can express your views well. I just question the tactic of you use in your posts. That is a very Sophomoric debate tactic you like to use. I think you are capable of better than that.

Mike Y.
Wrong EyeBob/Stop making false accusationseyebob
Jan 12, 2003 7:13 AM
"I did tell you to get a life for going to the Massachuestts Division of Insurance Website in a pathetic attempt to claim I posted wrong information. I think you could have made much better use of your time. That was the closest to name calling I got with you."

No, that was name calling. Plain and simple. No offense, but back peddling from that by you veiled admission isn't gonna cut it. It's not worth pissing about (by either of us) just recognize that whether you thought that it was "the closest to name calling" or not, it was.


Have a great (and friggin cold) day.
I guess it is something we have to agree to disgree onAlpedhuez55
Jan 12, 2003 9:37 AM
There is a difference between telling someone the should get a life and calling someone a facist or racist. You wasted a lot of time in an attemt to discredit my post, I guess it is another thing we disagreee on. I geuss I could say you called my a liar when you tried lump me in with the "pretty long list of people who post on this (and the other RBR Boards) who don't know diddly and take swipes at people, offer bogus facts, and flat out lie to make their point."

I think you sould find a better way to make your point than accusing people of generalizations. You tend to do that to people on the conservative spectum. It is a pattern and it gets old quickly. I think you are intelligent man and can find a better way to make your point.

Mike Y.
Give me a break!DJB
Jan 10, 2003 9:50 AM
Can you give even one example of someone calling for the death of Muslims in the name of Christ?

How can you be so absurd?
Now that's absurd.53T
Jan 10, 2003 12:53 PM
Have you ever heard of the crusades? Have you ever been to Lebanon?
Let me be a little more specific...DJB
Jan 10, 2003 1:19 PM
Aren't you embarrassed to trot out the old 'Crusades' argument? The fact that something like that happened so long ago certainly doesn't apply to the church today.

Secondly, my comments were directed to Cory's 'pro-Bush, conserative, kill-a-Muslim-for-Christ' comment. I didn't think it was necessary to specify 'in the U.S, in these current times' when asking for an example.

Guess it was.
Long time ago?53T
Jan 10, 2003 7:10 PM
I'll forget about the crusades when the muslims do, if you catch my drift.

As far as being embarased, I can handle it. A popular form of attack in debate is the move to generalize to unclutter your point and make it more powerfull. An effective defense, if applied immediatly, is to find factual error in the generalized point. The attacker is then forced to be defensive or redirect his attack so the judges will not dwell on his over-generalization. Your response here would score me one or two points since you are simply admitting the over-generalization and slipping into a sarcastic ad hominum attack.
So true...eyebob
Jan 11, 2003 8:55 AM
You make an excellent point. There are different ways to argue one's point but generalization never works. I'm glad that you're trying to hold this person to his/her assertions.

I agreeDJB
Jan 13, 2003 1:11 PM
That's why I wanted to hold Cory to the assertion that the U.S.'s actions in the Middle East (War on Terror specifically) has a religious ('kill-a-Muslim-for-Christ') component.
so only lawyers can have opinions on laws?DougSloan
Jan 10, 2003 10:04 AM
I'm curious, too, Cory, whether you were drafted or volunteered?

Your discussion I think intentionally ignores several things, like Saddam having invaded Kuwait, having killed lots of his own people, and terrorists having killed several thousand people on 9/11, with an expressed desire to keep on doing it.

So, I take it your implied position is that no one is qualified to have an opinion on national defense unless they served, right? I thought you were more intelligent and fair minded than that.

By your (implied) reasoning, I guess only lawyers are qualified to have opinions about laws, the Constituion, and the court system, right?

I think your "no flame intended" disclaimer is disingenuous, because your post is nothing but a flame or troll.

didn't ask @ opinion--just if it's experience- or dogma-basedcory
Jan 10, 2003 11:54 AM
For a guy so sure of his beliefs, Doug, you're pretty quick to get defensive.
You've said before that your faith is so strong you can't imagine NOT having it. In some ways I envy that certainty, though not the hubris that often goes with it (when you're positive you know what God wants, you don't have to consider any views but your own).
What my point was, though--and it's certainly not original--is that most of the people I hear clamoring for war have no idea what they're committing us to. We'd all like to see the 9/11 terrorists punished, and when you call it "defense," consider it in the abstract and don't ask why we waited a decade to worry about Saddam Hussein, you can make a case for worrying about him now.
In the end, though, some people's kids will have to go in on the ground with rifles, grenades and bayonets. Won't be you,and it won't be your new son, at least not for a few years. But I have a 22- and a 17-year-old--it could be THEM within the year, and I haven't heard anything that convinces me I need to sacrifice them.
I understandDougSloan
Jan 10, 2003 12:13 PM
I understand your point. No doubt someone who has fought in battle will know more about what goes on in war than those who have not.

However, I disagree that the experience makes them any more qualified to decide if war is necessary. I suppose it could equally make them more or less likely to go to war. While some portray them military as trigger happy or war mongering, others, such as yourself, apparently, might be so reluctant to go to war that we jeopardize our country by being too shy about it.

I wasn't being defensive. Is anyone questioning anything you say necessarily defensive? Also, I don't know how this God discussion is relevant. Besides, I never, ever said anything remotely close to "I'm positive I know what God wants." I think almost just the opposite. You must have me confused with someone else or some created image of what I think.

I suppose we have a civilian leader of the military for a reason. Do you disagree with that idea?

War is horrible. It's extremely horrible. Even if I haven't been there, I'll assume it. However, people dying when planes slam into buildings is horrible, too. Nutty dictators killing people is horrible, too.

If you have not been convinced that there is sufficient evidence to go to war, that's fine. We can debate that. However, your post implies, intentionally or not, that non-military, or even non-combat, experienced are less qualified to assess the risk. I don't agree with that. While combat experienced personnel are certainly qualified to give opinions about the expected risk and human cost of war, of which I'm sure the President is advised, the discussion does not end there.

Are your children in the military? If not, what's the worry? There isn't going to be a draft. If it were me, I'd be more concerned about them being killed by drugs or a drunk driver; the risk of them being involuntarily brought into a war and killed in combat is about a million times less.

Jan 10, 2003 3:22 PM
Four years as an officer, in the Infantry at Ft. Benning as part of the cadre of the Ranger School. Though I am Viet Nam era, I was not sent to Viet Nam as the war was winging down at that time. Everyone I served with was a combat veteran, including my pal today at lunch who served two tours in combat in Viet Nam.
Jan 13, 2003 5:51 AM
I wouldn't describe myself as any kind of hawk but I infer that you're trying to smoke out what's commonly known as a "Chicken Hawk."

For several reasons I support military actions in many instances and for several reasons I do not support military actions in many instances. For instance, I do not yet know if I support a war with Iraq on the grounds being debated publicly. I do, though, support a vigorous and indeed punishing struggle against terrorism. We should have been more aggressive in Afghanistan. But that wasn't your question.

I served in the Coast Guard from 70-74 and 77-80. And, for those who don't know, the Guard was in Vietnam in that era. In case you're wondering what the Guard did there, check out Apocalypse Now. The long story line with the river gunboat taking the officer upriver: among other things, that's what the Guard did in Vietnam. We called it Operation Marketime and it was specifically aimed at the seaborn interdiction of North Vietnamese supply lines.

I volunteered twice for southeast Asia but by the time I got in the American involvement was winding down. I had several shipmates who were in Vietnam. I have two cousins who served in Vietnam: one Marines and one Army. The Marine cousin still occasionally suffers boughts of malaria. I have several boyhood friends who served in Vietnam. My father was in the Navy in WWII and did the Murmansk Run (check your history books for that little piece of fun).

All of my uncles were in one service or another. One was wounded in Korea and still has a metal plate in his skull.

In the latter part of my enlistment I was involved in a couple of Cold War type chases of Russians in the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea.

It's true that you never understand combat until you live through it. Although I've never been in combat, I think I have some clues as to what sacrifices are involved.

As to killing a Muslim for Christ? Yikes! I hope you're just being tongue-in-cheek.