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#101 Posted by forkboy (1135 posts) -

Funny, I just came across a quote this morning from the 19th century philosopher Herbert Spencer, talking about the 2nd Afghan War in the 1870s which sums up feelings quite conscisely. "When men hire themselves out to shoot other men to order, asking nothing about the justice of their cause, I don't care if they are shot themselves." A slightly controversial viewpoint in the "support our troops as they fight for our freedom!!!" era but I don't really buy that propaganda. I tend to believe a military should exist solely for defensive purposes. People willing to get sent over seas to impose an ideology on other people don't really rank that highly in my esteem. Bit lacking in judgement.

I think I'd be willing to die for a cause I believe in if it really came down to revolution. But for my nation? Nah son. I was born here, it's an alright place, bit damp & windy, but worthy fighting & dying for? You're shitting yourself. Not even if I was desperate for a job & it was the only one going. Free thinkers aren't really tolerated in the military.

I'd like to imagine that if I was born in 1904 instead of 1984 that I'd have been willing to travel to Spain & fight Franco's fascists during the Civil War, that would be a war worth fighting, to stop a reactionary counter-revolution against a democratically elected government enacting change to help the poorest in society. But if the cause is just "what our leaders say" then nah son, not happening. I'm not dying to spread the dogma of globalism, free trade & make the rich richer. Fuck that.

#102 Posted by VanderSEXXX (552 posts) -

It was actually an option when I couldn't find a job, and I just didn't want to live as a bum anymore but thankfully I got a decent and stable job now that I didn't have to give in anymore.

#103 Posted by Erk_Forever (157 posts) -

@JustKamToo said:

When I was young and stupid I pulled out just before I formally enlisted. Thinking about it now I’d only join up again if my country was invaded nothing else. I’m not dying just so you can get cheap oil.

You do understand that there is no oil in Afghanistan, right? China is actually getting a hold of most of the natural resource rights.

#104 Posted by Erk_Forever (157 posts) -

@forkboy said:

I'm not dying to spread the dogma of globalism, free trade & make the rich richer. Fuck that.

You really don't know what you're talking about, do you?

#105 Posted by Draugen (636 posts) -

I have, and I did. And I don't regret it.

#106 Posted by Stink_Meaner (60 posts) -

I thought about joining the U.S.A.F. but when some of my friends came back from service they had hard time finding jobs. They were promised free education and a skill that could be applied for a lifetime after service, but it's seems as though the the only thing they were skilled enough to do was to return to the military.

#107 Posted by forkboy (1135 posts) -

@Erk_Forever: So pray tell, what does the military fight for then?

#108 Posted by Zleunamme (655 posts) -

My family has discouraged me from joining the Armed services. They were traumatized by the Vietnam war. Classmates or people they knew from the neighborhood would never come back after the war ended. Or they returned with missing limps or would not be the same person they once were - shell shock. I am not cut off for that line of work. I'm greatly appreciate the people who made the call and joined.

#109 Posted by VelourMustache (54 posts) -

I recommend people educate themselves on the military, what it's doing abroad, and the day-to-day lives of typical soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines before they dismiss it for asinine talking points about "warmongering" or "no blood for oil."

Good luck finding someone else willing to pay and train you, and feed, house, and insure you and your family with no prior experience or education required, then offer you countless opportunities and incentives to continue your education with little to no charge.

I contend that the military is the single, best opportunity anyone (in the US at least) has to get moving forward after high school or college.

#110 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@Erk_Forever said:

@JustKamToo said:

When I was young and stupid I pulled out just before I formally enlisted. Thinking about it now I’d only join up again if my country was invaded nothing else. I’m not dying just so you can get cheap oil.

You do understand that there is no oil in Afghanistan, right? China is actually getting a hold of most of the natural resource rights.

No America invaded Afghanistan because they needed some revenge for 9\11, going after Taliban and such, George W. Bush used this as a excuse to get into Iraq which have ALOT of oil, even made up WMD stories to get people to back him. But people don't just make money from the the oil fields of Iraq, when you are involved in a expensive war like Iraq (1.9 trillion dollars that's $6,300 from every US citizen including babys) you spend alot of money on Weapons, Tanks, Helicopters and Bombs which is supplied by GE and Halliburton which Dick Cheney and friends are heavily invested in. So while it helped America go bankrupt it made the rich get richer.

#111 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@VelourMustache said:

I recommend people educate themselves on the military, what it's doing abroad, and the day-to-day lives of typical soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines before they dismiss it for asinine talking points about "warmongering" or "no blood for oil."

Good luck finding someone else willing to pay and train you, and feed, house, and insure you and your family with no prior experience or education required, then offer you countless opportunities and incentives to continue your education with little to no charge.

I contend that the military is the single, best opportunity anyone (in the US at least) has to get moving forward after high school or college.

I'm sure these soldiers loved the single, best opportunity that George W. Bush gave them and the 6,500 others.

#112 Posted by NegativeCero (2995 posts) -

Briefly because I was hoping to have them pay for college after I was done. I ended up not, big reason is that I never signed the waiver for not allowing recruiters to get access to my information and call me. I don't like recruiters.

#113 Posted by JeanLuc (3579 posts) -

No. Its less that I don't want to put my life on the line but more that I feel I won't have much to offer.

#114 Posted by jacksmedulla (279 posts) -

@TwoOneFive: It is a valid criticism of a poor poll. The two definitive options are either A. Yes, I'm a patriot or B. No, I'm a timid and selfish pussy. As Jrinswand said, I would have no problems with "putting my life on the line" if I felt there was actually something worth risking my life and taking another's for.

#115 Posted by Hunter5024 (5612 posts) -

They wouldn't take me if I wanted them too because I've got weird legs.

#116 Posted by Gamer_152 (14070 posts) -

Physically and probably mentally, I just don't think I'm anywhere near cut out for the military, but I notice a lot of the responses about the positives or benefits of the military are people just focusing on themselves. That's all well and good up to a point, but I think we also need to see the larger picture. Even if I was more suited to that kind of career I don't think I'd want to join the military, because I think there are serious ethical problems surrounding the way my country's military has been used over the past few years, and I don't think I should have any part in that.

Moderator
#117 Posted by forkboy (1135 posts) -

@VelourMustache said:

I recommend people educate themselves on the military, what it's doing abroad, and the day-to-day lives of typical soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines before they dismiss it for asinine talking points about "warmongering" or "no blood for oil."

Good luck finding someone else willing to pay and train you, and feed, house, and insure you and your family with no prior experience or education required, then offer you countless opportunities and incentives to continue your education with little to no charge.

I contend that the military is the single, best opportunity anyone (in the US at least) has to get moving forward after high school or college.

And all you have to do get this moderate benefits is vastly increase your chances of premature death, the risk of killing people, both those designated "enemy combatants" & civilians, the chance to get to deal with something like PTSD & other mental health issues, & worst of all give up your freedom of thought & actions. Brilliant deal.

#118 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@forkboy said:

@VelourMustache said:

I recommend people educate themselves on the military, what it's doing abroad, and the day-to-day lives of typical soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines before they dismiss it for asinine talking points about "warmongering" or "no blood for oil."

Good luck finding someone else willing to pay and train you, and feed, house, and insure you and your family with no prior experience or education required, then offer you countless opportunities and incentives to continue your education with little to no charge.

I contend that the military is the single, best opportunity anyone (in the US at least) has to get moving forward after high school or college.

And all you have to do get this moderate benefits is vastly increase your chances of premature death, the risk of killing people, both those designated "enemy combatants" & civilians, the chance to get to deal with something like PTSD & other mental health issues, & worst of all give up your freedom of thought & actions. Brilliant deal.

And be involved with fine individuals like this...

#119 Posted by Cincaid (2956 posts) -

I'm a pacifist. So no.

#120 Posted by Grillbar (1812 posts) -

where im from when you turn 18 you get drafted to join the army.

unless you: got some kind of injure that exclude you from ever joining, are doing drugs, in school/starting some kind of education or when you get your physical,mental and logical test you pick a number that designates what station your going to be at, if you pick a "get out of jail free card" you can choose to not join.

you under training for 9 month but you never get called in to action. and you can get kick out. you can get kicked out

and its not so bad.

i loved it and was going to do a career in that line most likely artillery division but due to several injuries to different part of my body i could not continue.

#121 Posted by Neurotic (632 posts) -

Fuck no. I am nowhere near in enough shape, physically or mentally and as for all the non-physical stuff you can do, my area of study isn't helpful for the military and I'm dumb when it comes to science and technology. I agree that the military does offer good programmes for some people to continue study and stuff but it's not for me.

Also, I'm totally not patriotic so I don't hold any romantic notions about 'fighting for my country' (or helping other, more athletic dudes fight for our country).

#122 Posted by Sploder (917 posts) -

Yeah and I wanted to be a boxer to but a variety of health related issues befell me and I wasn't able to do either. Nor was I allowed to play rugby anymore :(

#123 Posted by TooWalrus (13161 posts) -

Literally never. The idea of dying for my country has never appealed to me (nor has making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country, actually)

#124 Posted by Vigil (231 posts) -

@TwoOneFive said:

I'm in the Air Force. I'm a TACP JTAC.

Best decision I ever made in my life. I love my job.

TACP is actually the field I'm quite interested in, didn't think Id find a JTAC in the gb community.

#125 Posted by mtcantor (947 posts) -

Thought about it, but, in gym class, I could never climb a rope. No joke. This was the one thing that really put me off about it.

#126 Posted by joshth (504 posts) -

I would never join the army, because I could never kill another human being. And if they trained me to somehow think that was ok, I wouldn't want to live anymore.

#127 Posted by GiantLizardKing (398 posts) -

@Jrinswand said:

Christ, your poll options are always shite. I wouldn't mind putting my life on the line if it were for something worthwhile, not warmongering in the name of freedom.

Hm, that sounds a little harsh. I served in the Army guard for 6 years. I did 12 months in Iraq in 2005. I enlisted before there was a war going on so I certainly don't fall under that categorization, but then again, neither does almost everybody else I ever served with. There were lot's of people just wanting to pay for school, some people with nowhere else to go and maybe a few of the "true believers" who were drinking the kool aid. You would probably be surprised how many people I talked to over seas thought being in Iraq was a total waste of everybody's time.

#128 Posted by Laksa (240 posts) -

@Grillbar: What country are you from?

#129 Posted by Erk_Forever (157 posts) -

@forkboy: As far as Afghanistan is concerned, we wanted Osama Bin laden and had reason to believe he was there; unfortunately, Muslims are required to offer shelter (and protection) to just about anyone who come seeking it. After asking for them to turn him over to us, we were left with the option of not seeking someone out who has proven to be a threat to the American citizens; or going to war and destroying terrorists and attempting to offer a country the chance to rule by law as opposed to violence. The motives for Iraq might be a little more questionable, but, what is not in question is that we deposed a dictator who was committing acts of genocide against his own people.

#130 Posted by EuanDewar (4889 posts) -

@wjb said:

"I got soul, but I'm not a soldier."

"I got ham, but I'm not a hamster."

#131 Posted by Galiant (2193 posts) -

"No I'm not up to putting my life on the line."

Why do you add such specific reasons to your poll? There are positions in the military where you're not actively risking your life, aren't there? There are also plenty of other reasons to say "no".

#132 Posted by banishedsoul1 (294 posts) -

As a kid maybe but as an adult i find they are just pons of imperlalism young men dying to fight the wars of rich old men.

#133 Edited by Praab_NZ (280 posts) -

I find it weird that most people's reasons for not going to war is that they are unfit in some way. What about the fact that you would be killing other people and ruining others lives in the process (possibly your own)? That seems kinda bad.

#134 Posted by forkboy (1135 posts) -

@Erk_Forever said:

@forkboy: As far as Afghanistan is concerned, we wanted Osama Bin laden and had reason to believe he was there; unfortunately, Muslims are required to offer shelter (and protection) to just about anyone who come seeking it. After asking for them to turn him over to us, we were left with the option of not seeking someone out who has proven to be a threat to the American citizens; or going to war and destroying terrorists and attempting to offer a country the chance to rule by law as opposed to violence. The motives for Iraq might be a little more questionable, but, what is not in question is that we deposed a dictator who was committing acts of genocide against his own people.

And then promptly left Iraq on the verge of civil war. It's not black & white. Far from it. Geopolitics is never simple.

From a moral perspective it's hard to question the invasions of Afghanistan & Iraq (I'll never defend a regime like the Taliban or the Ba'athists). Though I think war in the name of regime change is a questionable road to go down because where does it end? Personally I find the Burmese just as abhorrent as Saddam's lot. And is liberal democracy really the greatest system in the world? It's a valid question. And where do you draw the line? I mean the Chinese state is appalling when it comes to human rights. And well...so is America according to some metrics.

#135 Posted by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

"No I'm not up to putting my life on the line."

Great poll, ugh.

#136 Posted by Philantrophy (354 posts) -

I spent one year in the Norwegian military as a medic, so I learnt a lot about prehospital emergency routines. It was fun, only professional soldiers get sent to Afghanistan is a important fact though.

#137 Posted by Erk_Forever (157 posts) -

@forkboy said:

@Erk_Forever said:

@forkboy: As far as Afghanistan is concerned, we wanted Osama Bin laden and had reason to believe he was there; unfortunately, Muslims are required to offer shelter (and protection) to just about anyone who come seeking it. After asking for them to turn him over to us, we were left with the option of not seeking someone out who has proven to be a threat to the American citizens; or going to war and destroying terrorists and attempting to offer a country the chance to rule by law as opposed to violence. The motives for Iraq might be a little more questionable, but, what is not in question is that we deposed a dictator who was committing acts of genocide against his own people.

And then promptly left Iraq on the verge of civil war. It's not black & white. Far from it. Geopolitics is never simple.

From a moral perspective it's hard to question the invasions of Afghanistan & Iraq (I'll never defend a regime like the Taliban or the Ba'athists). Though I think war in the name of regime change is a questionable road to go down because where does it end? Personally I find the Burmese just as abhorrent as Saddam's lot. And is liberal democracy really the greatest system in the world? It's a valid question. And where do you draw the line? I mean the Chinese state is appalling when it comes to human rights. And well...so is America according to some metrics.

As far as I can tell, Iraq and Afghanistan are worlds apart as far as motivation goes. There wasn't really a regime to change in Afghanistan; there was essentially no regime. The here government mostly been the government of Kabul and not much else. Regardless we have established some sort of governing body, and we are putting things in their hands. We train their police, and try to teach the the value of rule by law. If the people don't want it, that's on them. We really are doing our best to do nothing. I couldn't speak much on the specifics in Iraq, but, to get back on point; the united states doesn't stand to gain much from either war. They are unpopular, and neither country has much to give. What they do have, we aren't rally getting preference for. I wouldn't say we're spreading much in the way of free trade or globalism by doing what we have done.

#138 Posted by falserelic (5412 posts) -

Yes I know I should have gave the poll more thought. I know I'm not going to hear the end of it anyway. Feel free to bashed the poll all you want have fun.

#139 Posted by theguy (796 posts) -

You can be up to serving your country and not want to. I would never join the military.

#140 Posted by Jams (2960 posts) -

I don't think they'd let me in after that cafeteria fight I had a while ago. Some guy was wanking me but when he asked for money when it was over I hit him with a lunch tray instead of paying him.

#141 Posted by forkboy (1135 posts) -

@Erk_Forever: Well, that's where we differ. Going to Iraq meant an end to sanctions on the oil trade, lucrative contracts for a large number of western corporations. Private security firms, military contractors, the infamous Haliburton & other companies related to the oil busines like Washington Group International, Perini whose owner is married to Senator Dianne Feinstein & have lucrative environmental cleanup contracts & umpteen more. Iraq, thanks to sanctions on Iraq since the war to defend Kuwait (another shady regime ruled by a despotic monarchy, but they were pals with the Saudis & we can't fuck them off), was closed to most western companies.

Ditto with Afghanistan, sanctions were put in place in 1999 I believe. Which for one thing stopped construction of the Trans-Afghan oil pipeline, which had Unocal as one of the major backers.

Opening up markets that were previously closed to business for western corporations, & in turn installing liberal democracies is absolutely furthering the reach of globalisation.

#142 Posted by TeflonBilly (4713 posts) -

You get conscripted for a year at 18 here. Honestly, it's a good learning experience.

It's a break before you go from high school to uni and you learn to live independent from your parents. Plus it's not like conscripted first timers get deployed like soldiers. You just lean stuff like how to fire a rifle, clean everything spic and spam, have good posture and other general good habits which you'll probably drink away as soon as you're out again.

I never would've know I was immune to CS gas if I hadn't been in the army. Or how I looked like with a shaved head.

#143 Posted by Bamsen (341 posts) -

I served my year in the Norwegian military as a 50.cal gunner.

Inf. 2nd Battalion heavy weapons company

Here are some pictures of the company emblem, my 50.cal and me :)

#144 Posted by falserelic (5412 posts) -

@Bamsen: How was things like for you as a heavy gunner in the military?

#145 Posted by Bamsen (341 posts) -

@falserelic said:

@Bamsen: How was things like for you as a heavy gunner in the military?

It was goddamn fun when you got to shoot, this one time we had 5 50.cals shooting at a target at night with lots of tracers :D. When we didnt shoot or maintain the weapon there was a lot of waiting, just sitting around and be bored as fuck. But I was also a rifleman on my team when we didn't have the 50.cal around, then there where just ordinary infantry stuff like marching, combat drills etc etc. So overall it was a cool experience, for me anyway

#146 Posted by falserelic (5412 posts) -

@Bamsen said:

@falserelic said:

@Bamsen: How was things like for you as a heavy gunner in the military?

It was goddamn fun when you got to shoot, this one time we had 5 50.cals shooting at a target at night with lots of tracers :D. When we didnt shoot or maintain the weapon there was a lot of waiting, just sitting around and be bored as fuck. But I was also a rifleman on my team when we didn't have the 50.cal around, then there where just ordinary infantry stuff like marching, combat drills etc etc. So overall it was a cool experience, for me anyway

That's good to hear sounds like alot of fun.

#147 Posted by lazyturtle (1228 posts) -

You need to work on created a less... judgmental tone to your options. Not choosing to join the military may have nothing to do with "putting your life on the life". You make it sound as if not joining the military is morally wrong. Me for example. I didn't consider my personal safety when deciding against the military. I realized that I'd make more money, have a more enjoyable life if I didn't join. I realized that culturally I'm not the military type (I'm neither religious, nor conservative as it seems the majority of military folk are). I think there are lots of non-military tools our country can use to effect a desired outcome. I realized that I don't like being told when to wake up, when to work out, and having my entire day defined for me. Basically I realized that the military life was not for me. And that's a good thing for people to figure out BEFORE they join.

Funny thing is that I DO serve my country, just in a different way. I make sure the food you eat is safe. But you know what? People don't line up in the airport cheering when I walk by. No one ever thanks me for my service. I don't get discounts when I shop. I don't have a special tax free shopping outlet. I'm refered to in the media as a leach, lazy, horrible, a waste of resources...etc. This is despite people eating far more frequently than people attacking our country.

If we were talking about a WW2 type situation, where our country was in actual peril..I'd join in a heartbeat. If we are talking about wars without purpose (i.e. Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc)..not so much.

#148 Posted by falserelic (5412 posts) -

@lazyturtle said:

You need to work on created a less... judgmental tone to your options. Not choosing to join the military may have nothing to do with "putting your life on the life". You make it sound as if not joining the military is morally wrong. Me for example. I didn't consider my personal safety when deciding against the military. I realized that I'd make more money, have a more enjoyable life if I didn't join. I realized that culturally I'm not the military type (I'm neither religious, nor conservative as it seems the majority of military folk are). I think there are lots of non-military tools our country can use to effect a desired outcome. I realized that I don't like being told when to wake up, when to work out, and having my entire day defined for me. Basically I realized that the military life was not for me. And that's a good thing for people to figure out BEFORE they join.

Funny thing is that I DO serve my country, just in a different way. I make sure the food you eat is safe. But you know what? People don't line up in the airport cheering when I walk by. No one ever thanks me for my service. I don't get discounts when I shop. I don't have a special tax free shopping outlet. I'm refered to in the media as a leach, lazy, horrible, a waste of resources...etc. This is despite people eating far more frequently than people attacking our country.

If we were talking about a WW2 type situation, where our country was in actual peril..I'd join in a heartbeat. If we are talking about wars without purpose (i.e. Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc)..not so much.

I wasn't trying to be one-sided with the poll. But I should have came up with better options. My apologies.

#149 Posted by lazyturtle (1228 posts) -

Eh..all good. Sorry I laid into you a bit too. I actually come from a military family and whole laying your life on the line does have a place in my heart.

And its not just your actual being alive, its part of your life too. My memories of my dad when I was a kid? Few and far between. That was another reason for me not to join.

Anyway..since (I think pretty clearly) you did or are planning on joining, stay safe.

#150 Posted by Erk_Forever (157 posts) -

@forkboy said:

@Erk_Forever: Well, that's where we differ. Going to Iraq meant an end to sanctions on the oil trade, lucrative contracts for a large number of western corporations. Private security firms, military contractors, the infamous Haliburton & other companies related to the oil busines like Washington Group International, Perini whose owner is married to Senator Dianne Feinstein & have lucrative environmental cleanup contracts & umpteen more. Iraq, thanks to sanctions on Iraq since the war to defend Kuwait (another shady regime ruled by a despotic monarchy, but they were pals with the Saudis & we can't fuck them off), was closed to most western companies.

Ditto with Afghanistan, sanctions were put in place in 1999 I believe. Which for one thing stopped construction of the Trans-Afghan oil pipeline, which had Unocal as one of the major backers.

Opening up markets that were previously closed to business for western corporations, & in turn installing liberal democracies is absolutely furthering the reach of globalisation.

You do know that there is no significant amount of oil in Afghanistan, right? You'd be making a pretty good argument for us wanting things like copper here, if, china wasn't getting most of the rights to mine. Ps, trans afghan-pipeline is a natural gas pipeline.