my cousin is off to iraq

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by trebblekicked, Nov 15, 2004.

  1. trebblekicked macrumors 6502a

    trebblekicked

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    #1
    today my 19 year old cousin shipped out. they had a party for him in pittsburgh and i got to talk to him, which was nice. my family is pretty politically polarized (nice alliteration, if grammatically incorrect), but everyone was on their best behavior for his farewell.

    this brings the grand total of friends and family in iraq to five. two are remf's, the other three (including my cousin) are seeing or going to see combat.

    who else has friends and family involved in the conflict?
     
  2. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #2
    My family is all too old for service, perhaps thankfully.

    I wish your cousin, and by extension, all serving in the Armed Forces luck...with the phase of fighting the US seems to be entering (city pacification), casaulties will undoubtably be high.

    Five is a lot TK...
     
  3. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #3
    best of luck to your cousin and the other four.
     
  4. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #4
    My brother in law is currently back from a short stint in Afghanistan. Previously, he was in Iraq for a long stint, mostly in Fallujah before the US lost control there last spring. He'll probably be heading back to Iraq early next year. That's it for my family and friends, who are mostly a little too old.
     
  5. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #5
    My prayers go out to all that are serving in the military today. I may be old fashioned, but those in "harms way" deserve special prayers.

    Depending on the reports that you want to believe, the Iraqis that were wounded and left behind for 1 to 3 days deserved better. And the one "executed" by the Marine deserved the same. For if we are to demand/prescribe religious values among those that vote, we need to demand the same that "shoot".

    It seems that we have created a "killing machine", that has little regard for human life. I can not truly judge the Marine in this case. Or that our weapons can "target" the "enemy". That is up to God IMO, and my belief. Much like I view Truman's dropping of the A-Bomb. God will be the "final" judge. We have no place, based on "those without sin" principle, to judge others.

    Looking at a movie like a movie like "Red Dawn:; one can only look at the motives to "protect" a way of life. I truly defy those on the "Right", to take and not use any measures to win the "hearts and & minds" of the populace, to take similar actions. Are they legal, under the "rules of war"? Probably not. You can no tell me that "villagers" would not try to gain the "upper hand" by doing what was outside the "rules of war".

    The "rules of war" were developed during a time that we "accepted" that those we waged war against were "equals". That was before "smart bombs" and "targeted missiles".

    IMO we agreed to war in Iraq based on the premise that it would be a "clean war". We as as an American people have been spoilt by the concept of a "clean war". To this day I have a personal problem with "Gulf War" veterans. Many of my friends lost their fathers during the Vietnam War, and their fathers were never given the "honor" that the Gulf War vets were given. Is it a difference between a "popular" war verses a "political" war.

    My Dad, I believe, thought that he was fighting a "political" and a "moral" war during WWII (and in Europe, many many not find fault with that). And after the attack of Pearl Harbor, he truly felt that he was "protecting" the "values" of the US.

    I might be considered a "Leftist". but I do believe that we need to look at the benefit of the "whole" verses the few. We in the US consume a majority of the resources of the world, even though we are the "minority".

    In some ways it seems that those that "preach", need to look at their words. Maybe then they would look at the minimum wage. maybe then then they would look at the "true" meaning of equal rights under the law.

    I am just feeling that we are moving toward the '50's verses the 2010's.
     
  6. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    Good luck and Godspeed to your family and friends trebblekicked.
     
  7. Backtothemac macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

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    #7
    I have three family members, and four friends there. I love them all, and praise their sacrifice.
     
  8. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #8
    I don't mean to diss anyone, but what is their sacrifice exactly?
     
  9. trebblekicked thread starter macrumors 6502a

    trebblekicked

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    #9
    for the record, i don't find your comment offensive, but i doubt others won't.

    the obvious answer is they're putting themselves in harm's way. that may be true, but it's a pretty glaring prerequisite. all of my friends entered the military knowing the situation (all but one enlisted post 9-11), and they all treated the danger as a simple reality of the life.

    the real sacrifice that i have seen is their voice. of the five i know, only one openly supports the iraq war, another keeps his views to himself, and the other three oppose it. they are able to set aside their personal beliefs and do what their country says it needs them to do.

    whether that's a personality strength or weakness is in the eye of the beholder. it just threw into light the fact that it takes a certain kind of person to be a soldier. not necessarily better or worse, but still something that i'm not.

    <EDIT> thanks, everyone, for the kind words. i will post updates on his experience. and to anyone else with family and friends abroad, my thoughts are with them as well.
     
  10. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #10
    Thanks for the answer. Most issues around this "War" being about as moot as they come, I appreciate and share your ambivalence.
     
  11. Backtothemac macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

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    #11
    Since you clearly say you are not meaning to "diss" I will attempt to answer without "dissing".

    The sacrifice is giving up their choice. See, as a soldier, it doesn't matter if you are pro-war, or anti-war, you have to do what you are told. You leave your family behind, your friends behind, and you do what you are told.

    And it isn't exactly easy work. You follow orders, you kill when you are told to without question. It is a sacrifice to the individual when they serve, and yet it is a very rewarding experience.
     
  12. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #12
    i hope they all come through okay.

    i wonder, when did they join up? post-9/11? post iraq invasion?
     
  13. Backtothemac macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

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    #13
    Two family members before 9/11, one after iraq invasion.
    One friend before 9/11, one after, one after invasion.

    Thank you for the kind words. They will be home I know they will.
     
  14. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #14
    This is in itself a choice.

    Not strictly true: cf. Nuremburg.

    Can be. Many Vietnam vets might not agree.
     
  15. Backtothemac macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

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    #15
    Man, do you always have to find the negative in everything? My father was in Vietnam for four tours, and doesn't have negative things to say. He did his duty, and served his country. He served the people of Vietnam. He did so with Honor, and to this day has friends from that country.
     
  16. themadchemist macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

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    #16
    Right, and that's excellent. But do you know many thousands of vietnam vets suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder? I think it is unfair to characterize war as this peachy, rewarding situation. skunk makes a valid point--war isn't always satisfying; serving isn't always rewarding.

    I wouldn't want to do it. I don't see the reward in following orders to take someone else's life, especially if I believe the cause is unjust. I can't fathom how anyone could in good conscience do something so drastic on a matter that he/she didn't agree with, unless he/she just didn't trust his/her reasoning as much as that of government/military officials.

    Oh well, the problem with military recruitment is that service is made out to be this wonderful, character-building experience...It is clear that there's a little more to it than that.
     
  17. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Very well and good, but there are many others that saw the horrors of what we did there as a military.

    My Dad served 20+ years from WWII on. He never had to see Vietnam, but in the end he questioned the "duty" part of being there. At some point we need to address the damnation that our leaders are placing our troops in.

    Blind faith like yours, or even my Dad's beyond WWII, does no one any good.

    My God, the Cold War is over. The Soviet Union is no more. Have we not learned anything about getting along with others? I am thinking that you have a bunker some where....
     
  18. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #18
    Well thank God for the NRA! These individuals should be drafted today! But I forget that most would be too chicken-**** to shoot at much more than a rabbit.

    I am thinking that anyone that wants to belong to the NRA should be in the military. Regardless of age. That should reduce the ranks a bit. Put their muzzles wear their mouths are.

    At the same point put the anti-abortionists there too. Since they are wanting to preserve life, maybe we won't have a Marine kill unarmed combatant like we did yesterday.

    Has anyone noticed that the military is supposed to be for the defense of the nation? But yet we are the only offensive military? But yet all in the name of God an country of course.

    Don't mind us as we create problems around the world that our military will have to go into.

    We want to bring democracy to the world while denying others in our own nation full rights.

    We allow other countries that we bring "democracy" to the right to one vote to one person; but demand that the Electoral College "vote" for our leader.

    After all this, God Bless the USA. We need all the blessings we can get.
     
  19. Backtothemac macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

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    #19
    Why because I love my country and those who stand up for it in our military?
     
  20. Backtothemac macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

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    Your right, there is more to it, Duty, Honor, Country. Values. Tradition. The ability to defend your country is the greatest honor that a citizen can have.
     
  21. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #21
    No, because some of your comments sound like the Cold War.

    Going off to Vietnam, Somalia, Haiti, or Iraq is not in the direct defense of our nation. I hope I did not include any UN or NATO actions in my list. That is a different matter.

    I love my country too, and I resent anyone like you that might try to cast a different light on that.

    I respect those that join the military. And I see it as my obligation (now that I am too old to serve), to save their lives from the lies and profits from the greedy that are to afraid to serve themselves (hitting to close the GWB administration for you?).

    It is up to those at "home" to "protect" those "overseas". One death based on lies is one too many.
     
  22. Backtothemac macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

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    #22
    So what about Korea, Europe in WWII. Were those actions just? What about Afghanistan was that just action, the first gulf war, was that a just action?
     
  23. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #23
    The "Duty, Honor, Country. Values. Tradition.' begins with the values of the leader, in this case GWB. He has no honor IMO because he looked for every opportunity to get out of duty.

    I would have respected Kerry in any military action, since he had been there.

    The country has to treat all equally in order deserve the respect you demand. The leaders also need to tell the truth. To send our youth to a certain death on false promises deserves damnation in Hell.

    Why did we not take all these troops to Afghanistan to UBL? Maybe because there are profits to be had by him being around?

    This does not mean that I think any less of our troops out there. I hope they live up to "Duty, Honor, Country. Values. Tradition.". What we have seen they are not up to that challenge to a small degree. But in this war, this very important. For we are the "aggressors".
     
  24. Backtothemac macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

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    #24
    And what about Clinton? Would you have respected him? He did the same thing that GW did. You know what, Clinton was my commander in Chief, and I served because it isn't about the honor of the CIC, it is about the honor that comes from serving your country. I did not like Clinton's policies, nor some of his decisions, but he was my CIC and I respected him 100% for it regardless of his service as a young man.
     
  25. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #25
    In WWII, we had an attack that justified our actions. Not that we should have not come to the aid of the world at that point. In Korea, it was a war of profit; like today. It was a "war" without declaration, and without victory. Just like Vietnam.

    The Gulf War was about the oil. Afghanistan was a "just" hunt for those that took down the WTC, and tried to take out the Pentagon, and an unknown target.

    No one that I know faults the actions in Afghanistan. In fact many of us "over age" were willing to go. Iraq is now the focus, despite all your bravado. We have a responsibility to those troops that they are not putting their lives at risk for lies.

    May God watch over them, and truly guide them.
     

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