Laws of war, man’s inhumanity to man.
@Erin I met a fair share of guys during my enlistment who just wanted to stack bodies, get their count up, “kill, kill, kill em all,” however you want to put it. They got their chance when we went to Afghanistan too, as long as they follow ROE that’s fine, whatever brings em home safe IMO. But I truly believe that they will regret that mindset at some point in their life. I don’t know what my grandfather’s mindset going into Normandy was but I know he really struggled, at the end of his life, with the things he had done.
From my opinion being in Infantry Army, most people don’t even know why the fuck they are there. It’s mostly about money. If there was no money involved, we wouldn’t have anyone to fight wars. It’s not like you can debate about the reason why the war is being fought either, seeing as you can’t have a negative opinion about the guy that sells your soul into combat.
Every Marine I see who’s killed doesn’t talk about it, and when they do, you better fucking believe the thousand yard stare is real.
@Alex that may be the reason some sign up, but I know, at least from my experience, that once you get with your unit, spend all that time, train, relax, go out, and grow those bonds, when you deploy none of that other stuff matters. It’s all about the men and women there with you, being there for them, and if that wasn’t true for someone then that’s someone I wouldn’t want to be with over there. When bullets start flying I don’t want to be next to the guy who’s only thinking about a paycheck.
@Mike you are exactly right. People join for all sorts of reasons, but most of them end up loving it for the same reason. The camaraderie, the brotherhood you don’t get anywhere else ON EARTH. And you would know a lot more about people with the desire to kill than I. As I’ve said, I’m maintenance. I fly to FOBs and that’s the extent of my “outside the wire”. I also agree with you about the men who were “born to be marines”. My grandfather was in the unit in Band of Brothers and he’ll tell me all kinds of stories without missing a beat. But I bet there were nights in his 96 years (and counting) of living that he didn’t feel so tough about it.
no, my Ssgt. pretty much breaks down when he tells stories.
I’d like to throw a new dynamic into this conversation. We all know the US is a mercenary force, (IE: One where soldiers are given incentive to join of their own will.) However, what about countries that can’t afford that and have to support their forces via Draft (Russia, China, Etc.) What would your perspective as soldiers be if you were drafted into Afghanistan or Iraq?
All 4 of my uncles fought in Vietnam, and Vietnam is the one thing they won’t talk to me about to this day.
In Yugoslavia it was mandatory that every man served 6 months when he turned 18, as part of basic training to develop a military state. I personally believe this is good because you get people to learn to work together and there is a place for everyone in the army. Being drafted, I could not imagine though, nor do I want to.
It has been a core part of how civilizations gained dominance and how people actually became civilized – by having other, sometimes stronger and more developed cultures, force them to change and grow. Its also sometimes a necessary means by which to defend your own way of life (sometimes at cost to others – there’s always the assumption that your friends and family matter more to you than random people)
Its overall a natural variation on the aggression that makes people take action to try to make things better for themselves and in so doing make new things happen.
@Nikola: Military service may often be a waste, but military training is likely still good for you – even if you’re forced into it. Perhaps more so when you don’t want it. You learn and grow the most from uncomfortable experiences.
Or you lose parts of your identity and free will.
and you gain a prison mentality where you know nothing else and cannot function doing anything else.
There seems to be an important detail missing from this conversation. There is a difference between a war, and a war of aggression. A war of aggression is conducted on behalf of one side with only a few things in mind: greed and power (to name some big ones). All war does not fall into this category. Many wars have been fought simply because diplomacy had broken down and eventually collapsed, or could not be maintained. Some wars are fought on the behalf of the people of a country that has been attacked by another country (who would be waging a war of aggression).
Since there are such vast varieties of people in the armed forces, it would be foolish for me to claim that I know what “soldiers think” when they are in combat. However, I can tell you what I have experienced. In my experience, the majority of lower enlisted members unfortunately are unaware of any “big picture” concepts that don’t directly affect them. Many economic, class, and political motives go unnoticed and are ignored by lower enlisted members. The higher-ranking members and political leaders cannot afford for every soldier to be constantly analyzing each of the orders given to them by their chain of command. This would undoubtedly cause hesitation during critical moments and would lessen the effectiveness of the fighting force as a whole. That is not to say that there are not many who do indeed consider the larger repercussions of their actions, all I am saying is that in my experience many more do not.
That being said, what the United States is doing in Iraq and Afghanistan (and Syria soon if Sen. John McCain has any more to say about it) is illegal according to international law, and the Constitution of the United States. We claim to have the right to at least be in Afghanistan under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, and some would argue that this claim holds at least some water. It depends on how you look at it. But the fact remains that we have absolutely no right to be in Iraq, nor do should we continue to allow our executive branch to bypass the necessary congressional approval for a true declaration of war under the never-ending guise of “protecting our national security”.
I will end with a few thoughts.
At what point in the “War on Terror” is terror going to surrender? Who will speak for terror and finally admit defeat? How can this happen? If it does not, will we simply continue to wage this war until our resources are drained and our population is exhausted?
What exactly is it about our particular brand of freedom that these “terrorists” don’t like? What makes our freedom so much more enviable than, say, Denmark? Sweden? Could it perhaps have less to do with our desirability as a free nation and more to do with our constant military presence around the world, to include Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Middle East? Could it have anything to do with our relentless need for a global capitalist plutocracy at the expense of the working class?
I realize I may have gotten a bit off topic, but it feels good to get these things out. It gets frustrating sometimes.
Anyway, thank you for listening.
Good post, but it goes beyond a need for discipline to accomplish a mission.
You are a number. You are cattle.
You ever play pikmin? lol
This might sound terrible, but I could see being a warrior just to be a freaking warrior. But I could not be a warrior for an ideal. Does that make sense? BTW, am not a violent person, but could really see myself as a sort of soldier. Still, there has got to be a better way than the type of horrible wars we have now which do not change anything except make people hate us even more.
Sure, be a “fighter” if that’s what you want to do.
If you want to organize arena matches to the death and sell yourself as a modern day gladiator, more power to you. Just don’t join up just as an outlet to kill and indirectly push the agenda of American imperialism.
@Erin, What you’re saying is very wrong. Morally. Keeping war over there? Get the point? Don’t fuck with us… hah! That’s absolute bullshit. It’s the USA and their arrogant/ignorant people (like you seem to be) who fuck with everyone else, because you see yourselves as an ideal for the rest of the world to strive for. Hah, think about it, only two nuclear bombs have ever been dropped in warfare – both by the USA – and yet they have the arrogance to go around regulating other countries, like Iran for example, telling them they can’t utilize nuclear power because they might use it to develop nuclear weapons… Who gave them the right to play guardian when they are the real threat? The United States have been a country for 235 years and at war for 209!
War, hmm, well I’ll quote some hippies who said “Bombing for peace is like fucking for virginity.” Seems to me like you see it like an honor, you know – defending your country, spreading democracy, overrunning tyrants, being patriotic and so on. This is how your government wants you to feel. The problem is that you can’t see through the thick layer of propaganda and bullshit that’s covering the real agenda of war. It’s all for power, resources, control and fear-mongering. Especially the “war on terror.” Wanna know how to stop terrorism? how about you stop being terrorists, perhaps? Your government has lied to you time and time again and used false-flag operations in order to convince and scare you into supporting their inhumane, greedy and evil wars, and you just keep falling for it! It seems people really like being lied to… “do what you want, as long as I’m safe infront of my TV.”
You can’t justify taking an innocent human’s life. If someone tried to kill me or my family, I would declare them my enemy as long as they posed a treat, but I would never ever give myself to anyone as a tool of murder in war. They serve no good. I never trust anyone with power or money interests such as corporations, governments and such.
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