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Old 06-13-2011, 06:53 PM
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Default The armed forces - Are they really "Thugs?"

I think it's time to settle this dispute once and for all. I know that some people think that people in the military, perferabley the U.S. Military, are veiwed as thugs who are trained top hurt people on any order.

Yes, the U.S. did make mistakes with their military power in certan points of history like U.S. indian removal, Vietnam and the troops in Iraq. And I know how people can be lead to belivie it all from watching Avatar. But, are they the worst kind of people in the world through out history? Well I know other armys that are worse:



So, do you think you should be bashing americans for little mistakes rather than people like these?

One more thing, what do these pictures say about the U.S. and other armies?



The U.S. military maybe imperfect, but many of the men who serve in them fight for reasons the Na'vi do: Honor, Family and to save lives. I will explain more when the thread picks up. Care to continue?
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:41 PM
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IMO militaries should only be for defense, and defense of only blood-and-bone people. That's what the Founding Fathers believed, and that is what we maintained until after WWII. The problem is today's military-industrial complex, where the military has become a source of profit for defense contractors and politicians, and also a force to acquire resources for said companies. This is military run amuck, and Eisenhower warned us about it during his farewell address.







That is where the line is, in my opinion. A military force becomes a thug when it goes from defense of We the People, to offense in the name of corporations. Neoconservative foreign policy is another problem IMO, all it is is rebranded 19th century colonialism and manipulation of foreign countries in the name of nation building, and it's been a failure. Neocons gave us Saddam, and they gave us the Taliban, and now we're stuck trying to clean up that mess. It's not my country's job to nation build, change must come from within a country. The only time a country should invade another, when not in direct defense, is if they ask for support (like Libya).

And it's not the troops that are the problem, by no means at all. I firmly believe that they believe in honor and justice and liberty, the problem is that those in Washington - the politicians and generals, the real thugs - are the problem. They don't hold these values, they only hold dear the almighty dollar.
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:59 AM
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Myself, and many other Marines I know would gladly defend what we believe in, which is justice, liberty, family, honor (you get the idea.). Sure, there are probably other military members out there that are dirtbags, but dirtbags are found wherever you go.
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:22 AM
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Actually, Rainbowhawk1993, not all of us are American - and your post is slanted in order to defend the US Military, which is not the be all and all of the military. Now, first up, I don't like America as a country - it has a history of imperialism and taking over other countries and invading them and deposing other rulers when said rulers don't do what the US likes) reaching back to the take over of Hawaii, and as a country there is a distinct lack of admitting to it which I find exceedingly dishonest (particularly when the country then turns around and asks 'why does everyone hate us?' Check your own history, kthanx. Helping in WWII does NOT give ANYONE the freedom to try and control the world. And certainly doesn't help a country's reputation outside its own borders, particularly that of the people the government is ordering to go and drop bombs and invade).

(Also, uh, saying 'other armies were worse' is not the....best defence in the world. I have no idea what the Iraqis think of the Nazis, but given they have to deal with the US ruining their country and killing civilians (oh, sorry, COLLATERAL DAMAGE)....yeah, probably not an argument that's going to go down well)

Now, obviously the military is a tool of the government - always has been, always will be. But I would NEVER call the men and women on the ground thugs. For one thing, the ratio is roughly 2.5 support troops to each soldier who goes into actual combat, so statistically, most people in uniform aren't shooting anyone.

And those who do, no, I wouldn't call them thugs. I'd call them highly trained, and part of that training is in how to be brutal, and how to kill people. In WWII, only twenty percent of the American soldiers would even fire their weapons - this isn't aiming and trying to kill someone, this is just pulling the trigger. The US military went 'what' and changed their training - by Korea, fifty percent would be firing. By Vietnam, it was up to ninety if memory serves me correctly (my copy of On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society is at home so I can't double-check). That doesn't mean that the soldiers are now more blood-thirsty, just that the TRAINING that goes into them is different.

And if bad things happen, calling the military 'thugs' doesn't solve the problem at ALL - you have to stop and think about what might have caused it. In Vietnam, you have kids of 19 or 20 who didn't want to be there, being sent into units one at a time as replacements (so they don't have a support network of the guys they trained with), they are just walking all over the jungle randomly being shot at by people who look the same as their allies, and no where really to retreat to for a break...and funnily enough that combination isn't good if you don't want things like My Lai to happen. Good people can do very bad things, the trick is not to go 'well, they were bad all the time', but to sit down and actually work out WHY. And no, 'they are just bloodthirsty thugs' doesn't work. Some of them are, sure, like anyone else in the population, but all? Hardly.

Soldiers in combat have to put up with unbelievable amounts of stress. They aren't all good, but they aren't all bad either. And I find the dismissing of them without even trying to understand, by the people they are fighting for, to actually be gross.

Of course, uh, I really doubt this thread will change anything for those who are determined to view soldiers as thugs *shrugs*
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbowhawk1993 View Post
But, are they the worst kind of people in the world through out history? Well I know other armys that are worse:

i'm sure that's how some countries in the world see the US as. but it's true like someone said, there's always going to be douchebags and it just happens to be that alot of US marines portray themselves as douchebags. it's probably something you need to do in order to fit in with your group (part of the culture).
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:53 AM
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I'd say one of the main reasons people get angry at those in the military, is simply because it seems as if they don't care about anything. They're trained to desensitize themselves - in other words, be completely stoic and neutral in the face of anything. This is also why they are often portrayed as blind pawns of the government.

In a perfect world, we wouldn't even require military forces. In a good world, we would only need them for defence. But we live in a real world, and so armies are used often in offensive and disgraceful purposes.

The 'thug' opinion of a soldier is mostly a stereotype. But there's always some who live true to that stereotype.
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Advent View Post
I'd say one of the main reasons people get angry at those in the military, is simply because it seems as if they don't care about anything. They're trained to desensitize themselves - in other words, be completely stoic and neutral in the face of anything.
They have to be, in order to to do their job. You can't go to pieces in the middle of combat.
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Old 06-14-2011, 06:00 AM
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They have to be, in order to to do their job. You can't go to pieces in the middle of combat.
Exactly. Which is why people are generally untrustworthy of them.
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:59 PM
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Normal person could hardly concentrate when there are bombs and guns going off all around. It's not all about training either. The amount of drugs fed to soldiers has sure helped the "fire - no fire" -ratio..
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:10 PM
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Normal person could hardly concentrate when there are bombs and guns going off all around. It's not all about training either. The amount of drugs fed to soldiers has sure helped the "fire - no fire" -ratio..
Drugs? What drugs? As far as my research has shown, it's pretty much just Pavlovian training. Over and over and over again, until the responses are automatic. They take stimulants and things to stay awake (very useful when they don't get the chance for days), but mostly it's just changing the training.
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Old 06-14-2011, 03:01 PM
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There is not one single soldier that is a thug. I myself am a soldier. The real thugs are the people hiding behind the soldiers.

Even the German soldiers during WWII. They were doing their job defending the country and it were the politicians who made them do what they did.

I'm proud to be a soldier, not because I get to shoot guns and kill people and drive tanks, but because I'm serving my country.

It just sucks that we don't get a single "thank you" at all from society.
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Ashen Key View Post
Actually, Rainbowhawk1993, not all of us are American - and your post is slanted in order to defend the US Military, which is not the be all and all of the military.
Well yeah I know that. I just wanted to try and get a conversation going so people won't stereo type the United States or the military. I'm just so tired that people are hating us just because of only Iraq.

Quote:
Now, first up, I don't like America as a country - it has a history of imperialism and taking over other countries and invading them and deposing other rulers when said rulers don't do what the US likes) reaching back to the take over of Hawaii, and as a country there is a distinct lack of admitting to it which I find exceedingly dishonest (particularly when the country then turns around and asks 'why does everyone hate us?' Check your own history, kthanx.
I DID! Yes, I admit we screwed up with Indian removal and Vietnam and Iraq. But that does not mean that the Government can get away with everything. I mean we tryied to help the world like in world war two, stoping the Nazi spread of concuring europe and the contiuing geniced. And newsflash, the U.S. isn't the only country that did this. So I would question you calling out only us for the imprealist monster.

And thats a pretty strong statement to attack the U.S. like that. Do you mind telling me what country your from?

Quote:
Helping in WWII does NOT give ANYONE the freedom to try and control the world. And certainly doesn't help a country's reputation outside its own borders, particularly that of the people the government is ordering to go and drop bombs and invade).
Um..., I don't think the U.S. conquered the lands the Nazi's took before. (Well except Germeny because the Sovetes wanted half and look at it now, an idependent country free from U.S. atorty).

Quote:
(Also, uh, saying 'other armies were worse' is not the....best defence in the world. I have no idea what the Iraqis think of the Nazis, but given they have to deal with the US ruining their country and killing civilians (oh, sorry, COLLATERAL DAMAGE)....yeah, probably not an argument that's going to go down well)
That's why Obama is getting the troops out of iraq that Bush wanted there and letting the iraqie Army and government back into running the country by themselves. It was a mistake by past athorty but the Government Changes over each term. And are you saying saying the government is saying it is collateral damage to hide the truth that U.S. Solders are murdering civilans to justify the death toll? Well if they were, people within it's own country would find eveidence and expose them and the government would punish it's own gulty members and replace them with different ones. Our motives are for freedom and helping people. Sure we made alot of mistakes in how we did it, but our motives are still the same.

To sum it all up, I'm not happy with alot of the choices my country has made. But that does not mean I hate it now and want to leave or one of the brain-washed killjoys who don't give a s*** about other county's points of view and just go with the government's word. I'm just another human living in a country who had a vision of a free country and with a fair government. And that is what the public is doing; expressing there thoughts to atiority and the atorities are capable of listening to the people to restructure the country to everyone's liking. And I'm standing up and saying my share of thoughts to change this coutry. I belivie if I can let people know the good of the Military and armed forces and making them aware of the bad mistakes they made, then we can influece people to have the military be formend in a way with their thoughts in mind. And that's what our country is about: Change.

Note: I know what I said maybe very off topic with letting it become a U.S. disscussion and I may have got in a little close to personal space with another fourm member, but I just can't go quit when I see a form of discrimination on me and my country. And I'm sorry if it is unacceptable.
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Fosus View Post
Normal person could hardly concentrate when there are bombs and guns going off all around. It's not all about training either. The amount of drugs fed to soldiers has sure helped the "fire - no fire" -ratio..


*tinfoil hat*
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:19 PM
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*tinfoil hat*
I guess so..

will see that in two years.
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:25 PM
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Rainbowhawk1993, I'm Australian. And no, the US is not worse than any other superpower at any other time. They aren't worse than Rome, aren't worse than the British empire, aren't worse than the Mongols.

This doesn't mean I EVER have to like imperialism, particularly when it's the brand currently practised where it's never admitted (if Alexander the Great were alive today, he'd be viewed as a monster, because it's no longer okay to just go and invade someone else). When a country as a political and historical entity supports and instigates coups and regime changes over a century, starting with (and I'm only listing the most blatant) Hawaii, and then going through Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Nicaragua, Honduras, Iran, Guatemala, South Vietnam, Chile, Grenada, Panama, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and maintains military bases in a large number of other countries, and then turns around and acts all surprised when the world at large eyes the US warily, then there is a problem. And then you add in the cultural dominance the US has, and...yeah.

Note how I'm NOT blaming American citizens, nor am I blaming the military here. It's the government. The military itself is just a tool, and I would NEVER attack the individual soldiers who have chosen to serve for whatever reason (ideals, patriotism, steady job with a promised career, etc). They do any number of exceedingly hard, stressful and dangerous jobs, with little to no thanks.
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