Damn this is pretty intense.
@wareagles5o, yes I live in the U.S.
That’s irrelevant, as Pip said.
If you want to deny your freedoms and act as if you’re a helpless victim to the oppression of others, go do it, but when people online who know better don’t buy it, don’t get into insulting them and copping out of the real discussion.
However much knowledge you have about U.S. affairs is undermined by the fact that you think you are subjective to it and can’t do anything to change your situation. It’s the opposite of the truth and indicates you may believe the opposite of the truth in related affairs in order to sustain your belief. Thus any affirmation you make of your beliefs is going to contradict the truth, so when you fail to get others to believe the mental trap you’ve made for yourself, don’t take it as a sign of THEIR ignorance.
Blaming others for your problems is not going to stimulate your problems to change. If you really “hate living here” then don’t live here. You are NOT trapped except by your mind.
@manimal, Since I’m interested in your suggestions, would you like to make a thread in how we can ‘fight’ the u.s.? I’ve been trying to answer this question myself for a long time and I can’t find one. It’s pretty difficult in my (perhaps nearsighted) mind.
@jackflash, I’m not going to attack Manning, because I believe he thought he was doing the right thing. In a way, I guess he was. But let me break down what I’ve seen him release, the things the media wont tell you and the consequences:
The helicopter attack on news reporters. Yes, its terrible. No, you cannot “clearly” see weapons. But the reporters were unauthorized to be there due to the fact that it was an insurgent hotspot. Those pilots were out looking for insurgents because they were expected to be there. The reporters were also not wearing the official reporting gear, the blue vest you see in the news. They were dressed like everyone else around there, and had a large object on their shoulder, which looks like an RPG from two miles away. No, the pilots did not have 100% visual confirmation of their targets before they fired, but in a violently vibrating helicopter, when you see something on someone’s shoulder, the first thought in your mind is “This might be a Stinger, I have no desire to get close enough to find out” Poor decisions were made, and it was handled.
PFC Manning released the names of native born interpreters and informants helping out the US. Then the enemy got a hold of that list and promptly killed them and their families. Now we’re having trouble getting help from the locals. I wonder why,
Also, this is being held under a courts martial. Military trials, while similar to civilian trials, have many radically different aspects. It can be argued that he never should have deployed and his security clearance revoked. That falls on his UDM and supervisors. There’s a good chance he could get off on charges if they can prove he was obviously unfit for the job he was tasked for.
Fighting, scheming, taking them down…. really, guys? Really?
Don’t you see the issue there? Those are not solutions to the problem, they ARE the problem, those things are exactly what the “evil rulers” are doing. 1+1=2 not 1+1=0. If there was a fire, would you suggest burning the fire away?
As I said earlier, the only reason some people have more power is because others give it to them. As long as people keep giving their power to people with questionable intentions, the people will get fucked over. But really, it’s just a deal that they agree to, so technically they’re not getting fucked over, they’re just getting what they signed up for.
And here’s the thing, society gives you many privileges in exchange for your servitude. Rights, welfare, and all that other stuff, the only reason these things exist is to woo you to their side. If you don’t want to be bossed around, you can’t have the reward, if you want the reward you gotta accept being a puppet. It’s that simple, you can’t have both because you haven’t earned them, it’s perfectly fair to be honest. No, none of these things are your birthright, that notion is preposterous, they are things you earn. And when the people offering it is a wicked scumbag, and you agree to the deal, so are you.
It’s like that classic satire comic strip where some politicians are standing on a plank over a canyon giving a speech, the plank is held in place by a bunch of commoners, they’re protesting and shit. That’s exactly how it works in reality, step off the damn plank and the fat cats fall into the canyon. Stay on the plank, and they stay. Push them off the plank, and somebody else takes their place.
The “bad guys” aren’t the problem, the masses are. “Fuck the system,” ” fuck society”… it should be “fuck the masses.” Oh and if you stay in that groupthink, dependent, system validating mindframe, standing on the plank so to speak, you ARE part of the blind masses no matter how much you deny it.
The “commoners” are the only reason the “elite” exist. The “bad guys” are nothing but a symptom of the retarded way people try to live.
I am guilty of letting emotion get the better of me, you do list good reasons why the U.S. fired upon the reporters. But I do believe Manning did the right thing by getting hold of the video and sending it out. It is still a crime to fire upon those reporters, as I believe the U.S. military has strict rules regarding engagement in conflict which they duly broke. I believe it is completely wrong to try and brush these ‘accidents’ under the carpet and prevent them from getting out to the world which is why I believe Bradley Manning is a hero for getting this information out.
When the information leaked turns from war crimes to personnel information or whatever (tactics, troop movements, details regarding insurgents like you mentioned, etc…) thats when I believe it is wrong, as this is no longer exposing one sides war crimes but instead it simply becomes about aiding the opponent, or in other words treason.
@jackflash, Manning was pissed off at the people he worked with and the military because he was treated as an outcast. Releasing those videos does show what’s really happening, but it also breaks the support back home. Things like that are the reasons that troops get spit on when they return home. The ROE varies depending on where you are and when it is, and even specific missions. I dont know what rules that mission was flown under, so I cant begin to speculate.
Its similar to if someone were to break into your house carrying a wooden replica rifle in the middle of the night. If that’s all I saw, I would fire without a second thought. And if I flipped on the lights and saw it was fake, I wouldnt feel like I had done something wrong. War is hell. And believe me, in incidences like that, the penalty you inflict on yourself is often worse than what you can get in court. I dont know if they feel remorse or not. But how do you think they feel, now that what they had to deal with on their own is now a subject of public backlash?
@jackflash, But they said they wouldn’t do it, didn’t they? Who knows. Anyway, if he really were a rapist, I would say, forget it, give him to the Americans and let them put him away forever. But the Swedish laws sound a bit dubious…it’s all politics.
@bongodeburrito, Not releasing that information because it’l break support back home is frankly B.S in my view. It is NOT acceptable to simply hide away information that you do not want to get out. ‘Hey everyone look at all these evil people we have killed and all the good things we have done! Oh but don’t look at us killing reporters and breaking the rules, that wasn’t meant to get out’. Its a shame that some people believe it is somehow acceptable to spit on soldiers as they return home, but as usual that is only a small minority of people protesting the war that taints the picture for the rest of them, and to judge support against the war on actions from a select view is unfair.
@epath, The whole case is dodgy and dubious. Swedish officials claim they simply want to question him, yet Assange and the Ecuadorian embassy have offered to comply via webchat, or meeting inside the embassy. But no he must be questioned in Sweden for some reason, even though it is only ‘questioning’. Also, Assange is willing to face questioning in Sweden given a guarantee from Sweden and the U.S.A. and Britain that he will NOT be extradited to the U.S. But for SOME reason, they won’t give it. A simply guarantee that he won’t be extradited.
The rape charge itself is dubious. Don’t mistake me I would not condone any form or rape in ANY circumstances but this does not sound like what others make it out to be. Here is a list I just found which gives a brief outline of events so far.
Im not sure what he did to which woman, but Assange is accused of forcing one (maybe both, not sure atm sorry) to have consensual sex, attempting to have sex while the woman was sleeping and ‘sexually assaulting’ by placing his erect penis on her stomach. (Someone may correct me if I am wrong). All of these cases occurred after consensual sex between the two not long before. It is all a case of he said/she said, the kind that would normally be settled out of court.
This whole thing reeks of conspiracy.
@jackflash, I’m not saying its the pinnacle of integrity, but things like that compromise our mission. If we lose support back home, morale over here drops, troops lose their sense of purpose and our already insanely high suicide rate goes even higher.
@bongodeburrito, What exactly IS OUR MISSION?
You do realize that ruling with fear begets violence, right?
And ruling with violence is the dark ages.
Wake up man this isn’t the way to run a country.
I do NOT support our troops, I don’t give two shits WHAT your argument is, please watch and fulfill yourself;
@ijesuschrist, Our mission is pointless at the moment. We’re interfering in a region of the world known as the graveyard of empires. Our problem is the way it is handled. Send a 19 year old kid out one day to attack an insurgent stronghold and then the next day he’s handing out water. Its mentally taxing.
No longer can we erase towns off of the planet like we did in WWII, and at this point, it wouldnt help anyway. Public opinion interferes with us getting the job we were sent here to do done. Whenever someone gets caught in the crossfire, which is a shame, it gets plastered over headlines nation wide. And when our guys get killed, its another day in Afghanistan. My job right now is mission support in the (for now) safe country of Kuwait. I carry the bodies of fallen Americans off of planes to be re-iced and then back to the plane to be sent home. Damn near everyday. And its tough. We dont like death. We dont like getting shot at. Half of us have kids and spouses. We’re not cold blooded killers. We’re a bunch of citizens who signed up to protect the ideals this country was founded on. We swore an oath to the Constitution, then to the President. We dont like this war. None of us.
We’re not even fighting a country. We’re fighting an idea. Ideas dont die. For every insurgent we kill, his brothers and sons rise up and join the cause. Mostly because our presence isnt wanted. And none of us want to be here. We’re following orders. We’ve seen first hand what you get from the news. Its our life, so you dont have to tell me about it, I dont need you to tell me about cognitive dissonance. Its something I live with. And I hate it. Its not easy flipping the switch between Airman LeBlanc and Sean all the time, but here I am doing it. I know what’s going on in my head. I spend enough time there to know it in and out.
@mercurial, I dont hate civilians. We arent made to hate them. However, the disrespect we get from some is very tough. The thought of “I went through hell over there, and now I’m home, I finally escaped it” just to be met with protest, spit and hatred. I do find a lot of people without the experience to bitch and moan a lot, but honestly, I would be in the same boat without the experience I have here.
The military is flawed, but we do have honor, you could say. We dont sell our values. Even if your values are out of line with the military, its something you have to work out yourself. Maintaining your identity is a challenge in this lifestyle. The whole point of basic training is to kill the parts of it that dont mesh with the military. For me, working against that just made them stronger. I’ve gotten a lot out of the experience, but for the first few months, it was pretty taxing on me. I didnt think I’d make it through while still being me.
We dont concern ourselves with corporations and whatnot. I’m not going to say we’re not without corruption and bureaucracy, but even a single McDonald’s store has that, though not as much. The government is corrupt. We’re a separate entity that falls under the government, so we escape most of that, especially at my level.
I hope to be able to bring some change, though I dont have any influence on the way it works, a lot of the people I’ve met are free thinkers and have an understanding of what’s really going on. We know what’s wrong, but we cant do anything about it. The laws in place for us would squash our voice before we could do anything.
I like to think of myself as a cool guy too, and clearly so are you, seeing as you didnt attack me while you still disagree with the military. You have a good one.
@ijesuschrist, Do you know why I joined? I wanted to be a paramedic. I wanted to help people. But I got put into a job where I play a crucial part in the death and destruction we create. But that’s how shit works, so I’m waiting until I can get out of this job and into a paramedic slot. I didnt join to kill. I didnt join to serve this country mindlessly while destroying other people’s lives. I work with locals here. Dont assume I think that all Arabs are stupid, violent people that want to kill us. I get along really well with a lot of these guys. And when I leave, I’m going to shake their hands and wish them a happy life. You like jumping to conclusions based on the military stereotype, dont you?
I did watch it. I got nothing out of it. Like I said, I know what’s going on in my head. I dont need someone explaining it to me in a more generic sense when I know exactly how it affects me.
I am sorry if my comments came across as attacks as that was not my intention. I guess we will have to agree to disagree about the leaks. Though I do think it is terrible the treatment some soldiers get, protestors tend to take it out on the soldiers who have been fighting for their lives rather than the government or higher powers who are sending them into war in the first place. I do have tremendous respect for any soldier who has fought in war, it takes courage and bravery to be willing to die for what you believe is worth fighting for. That is something you do not see too often in today’s world.
Your still out there now right? What does a ‘normal’ day consist of?
@mercurial, War is a part of human nature, I agree. and as long as people harbor hatred, its going to happen. Lots of good things come out of war, though. Toothpaste, modern planes, nuclear power, the internet, radar. It serves its purpose. If tomorrow, everyone in the world laid down their weapons, I’d be ecstatic. A little worried that I’d have to find a job now, but still, I’d be happy as all hell. But that probably wont happen, so here I am for the next 4 and a half years.
@jackflash, No man, you’re good. You have your right to disagree, and I feel our exchange has been respectful.
I’m in Kuwait. This deployment has so far been a cakewalk, which is subject to change depending on what happens with Syria and Iran. I wake up at 4:30, we load up to convoy out to where we work, stay there for 8 hours, and make it back to base around 4:30. Its only an eight hour day.
I’m an Ammo troop. I’m responsible for storing, inspecting, tracking, maintaining and transporting anything on base that is explosive. We also build bombs and missiles. However, here I’m on a special tasking. I’m a TCN escort. In Kuwait, the government lets in foreigners to do all of the jobs no one wants to, kind of like illegal immigrants, only they’re legal. Since its cheaper for us to get them to do some work than fly in more troops to do it, we have contracts with them so they clean our bathrooms, empty our dumpsters, work on our AC and generators and cook our food. And I spend all day following them around making sure they dont try any funny stuff. So far, most of them havent and the ones that do have been taken care of. I’m not getting shot at (yet), I dont have to wear body armor (yet) and I only occasionally get a firearm. Like I said, easy as can be.