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The hypocrisy of supporting the soldiers but not the action

DoctorPizza

Banned
Jun 4, 2001
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In many recent threads people have voiced the opinion that they were opposed to the military action in Iraq, but nonetheless supported the soldiers taking part in that action. Further, I have seen people voice the opinion that even if one is opposed to the military action in Iraq, one should support the soldiers taking part in that action unquestioningly.

I suggest that this is absurd. The rhetoric spewed by W, Saddam, Poodle, or anyone else is not itself the problem.

The problem is the people who believe it to be their duty to turn those words into actions. These are the people who gassed and incinerated hundreds of thousands of Jews. These are the people who killed tens of thousands firebombing Dresden. These are the people working hundreds of thousands to death in prison camps. These are the people torturing and killing those who object to the regime under which they live.

These are the people who make repellent ideas concrete.

Without people to do their bidding, Kim Jong Il, Saddam, Stalin, Hitler, W, and all the rest are nothing more than hateful lunatics. Not particularly pleasant people, for sure -- but harmless.

As such, I question how one can state "I disagree with the war but I support those waging it". Without the people waging the war, there would be no war in the first place. It is those people who are responsible for the war; by supporting them you necessarily support the war.

How, then, can one with clear conscience support the soldiers but not the action?
 

because the soldiers do not have much choice in the matter. If its between them going to war, or them protesting and getting thrown in jail and never being able to hold a job ever, I would go to war as well.

IDEALLY, what you are saying is true, if such leaders never had support, then nothing would happen. However, you must face reality now...we have troops over there, and now is the time to support those troops...get bush out of office if you want, disagree with him, but dont blaim the troops for something which they have no control over. If some protested, they would simply be replaced.
 

zer0burn

Golden Member
Jan 30, 2002
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interesting read relating to your post.

I support the war, and I support the troops however The rational that is used by many is wrong.

linky

The middle east does not hate America because they are jealous of their freedoms it stems from a much deeper resentment

linky2
 

DoctorPizza

Banned
Jun 4, 2001
106
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because the soldiers do not have much choice in the matter. If its between them going to war, or them protesting and getting thrown in jail and never being able to hold a job ever, I would go to war as well.
I disagree, for several reasons.

1) It has been established at Nuremberg that soldiers are expected to evaluate the legality of their acts, and act accordingly. The war is illegal, so they should suffer no long-term penalty for refusing to fight.

2) If there were widespread and significant numbers of desertions, I suspect that the infrastructure designed to deal with such events would crumble under the load, and it may colour the administration's decisions, so the repercussions may not be too grave in any case.

3) That you would sacrifice morality for the sake of convenience is, I think, somewhat reprehensible. I wonder where you would draw the line.

IDEALLY, what you are saying is true, if such leaders never had support, then nothing would happen. However, you must face reality now...we have troops over there,
The sooner they desert, the better.

and now is the time to support those troops...
But why? If one does not support the deed, why should one support the perpetrators of the deed?

get bush out of office if you want, disagree with him, but dont blaim the troops for something which they have no control over.
But they do have control. They are not automata. They could lay down their arms and refuse to fight if they chose to.

If some protested, they would simply be replaced.
There is a finite number of soldiers; I suspect that the government would cancel the war before bringing back the draft. If measures to reintroduce the draft were taken then that too would need to be opposed.


 

flavio

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
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The hypocrisy of supporting the soldiers but not the action
I think the war was a mistake but I don't blame the soldiers. It's the people telling them what to do that are the problem. I also don't want to see any of them get hurt.

Is that really so hard to figure out?
 

DoctorPizza

Banned
Jun 4, 2001
106
0
0
I think the war was a mistake but I don't blame the soldiers. It's the people telling them what to do that are the problem.
The people telling them what to do are ultimately impotent. W hasn't launched any cruise missiles. Poodle hasn't dropped any bombs. Rummy hasn't shot down any friendly planes with Patriots. Er...


With no people to follow them, the orders become meaningless. Iraq is not being invaded by the will of the administration alone -- it's being invaded by the people on the ground.

As such, the fault lies with both parties. It lies with the administration for giving the orders, and it lies with the people on the ground for following them.

This is a precedent clearly established at the Nuremberg trials.

I also don't want to see any of them get hurt.
What do you want to see them do, then? Successfully invade another nation? That would strike me as an unusual way to support your claim that the war is a mistake.

Is that really so hard to figure out?
I think so.
 

n0cmonkey

Elite Member
Jun 10, 2001
42,936
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I have friends over there in Iraq and surrounding areas. I support them in the fact that I want them to be safe (them meaning all soldiers, civilians, and whoever else happens to be in the area). Nothing more.
 

drewshin

Golden Member
Dec 14, 1999
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maybe it's just a matter of semantics, but it's easy not to support this war and still support the troops.

I am not "supporting" them per se, I just hope that none of them come to any harm.

I see a lot of anti-war protestors saying stuff like "support our troops, bring them home" does that seem less hypocritical to you?
 

yowolabi

Diamond Member
Jun 29, 2001
4,183
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Originally posted by: FallenHero
because the soldiers do not have much choice in the matter. If its between them going to war, or them protesting and getting thrown in jail and never being able to hold a job ever, I would go to war as well.

IDEALLY, what you are saying is true, if such leaders never had support, then nothing would happen. However, you must face reality now...we have troops over there, and now is the time to support those troops...get bush out of office if you want, disagree with him, but dont blaim the troops for something which they have no control over. If some protested, they would simply be replaced.
DoctorPizza has a good point. Thanks for getting me thinking.

The soldiers actually do have a choice in the matter. It has been established that "I was only following orders," is not a valid defense for acting immorally. This, of course, dates back to Hitler. The U.S. itself has told Iraq soldiers that if ordered to use WMD that they should not do it, or else they will face charges and consequences for doing so. Realistically, a soldier is under too much fear for his own life to refuse to follow an order, but it is still expected.

So if you don't support the war because you believe that it is immoral, then you would expect the soldiers to also recognize it's immorality and refuse to fight for this cause. If they are doing something that is obviously wrong, then you don't support them in those endeavors, and hope their attempt at evil fails.

There are a lot of people that don't support the war for other reasons than it simply being immoral. If you don't support the timing of the war, if you think we should have had U.N. approval, if you think that we have lied about our reasons for waging it, you can still actually be antiwar and pro-troops. In these cases, you may believe that removing Saddam is not wrong, but we haven't done the steps that are necessary to engage in an action this serious. You can be against how we wage the war, but still hope that your fellow countrymen aren't hurt and are ultimately successful.
 

DoctorPizza

Banned
Jun 4, 2001
106
0
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doctorpizza- are you still paying your taxes?
If I could avoid paying taxes without:
1) Losing my right to vote (by being imprisoned)
2) Losing my right to peaceful protest (by being imprisoned)
3) Hurting those goverment programs I believe in (healthcare, opposition parties, road maintenance, and so on)
4) Being forced to steal food and shelter
then I would stop paying in an instant.

A refusal to pay taxes -- which go, in some part, towards funding the troops -- would also sacrifice my ability to influence policy. If I could both influence policy and avoid funding the troops, I would do so. I can't, so I must choose between one or the other. It is my belief that the impact made by protesting, voting, and so on, is greater than the impact made by non-payment of taxation. As such, it remains the preferred course of action.

If I had more direct control over the outcome my position would likely change. If I were drafted and my status as CO rejected, I would prefer to go to prison. In the unlikely event that I were a soldier, I would similarly prefer to go to prison.

The difference is in one of control. As a voter and protester, whilst I can influence policy by voting and protesting, I cannot actually make policy myself. I can't force a soldier not to fight; I can't force the government to order a withdrawal; I can't directly do anything -- if I were to sacrifice these indirect means, I would have no power at all. As a soldier, however, I can make a limited amount of policy myself. I can force at least one soldier -- myself -- not to fight. It would mean forfeiting the indirect means (though soldiers typically forfeit them anyway), but the reward would be a direct influence, which is to be preferred.
 

Alistar7

Lifer
May 13, 2002
11,983
0
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well heres some good news, the income tax is only temporary, just until the war ends....
 

Originally posted by: DoctorPizza
because the soldiers do not have much choice in the matter. If its between them going to war, or them protesting and getting thrown in jail and never being able to hold a job ever, I would go to war as well.
I disagree, for several reasons.

1) It has been established at Nuremberg that soldiers are expected to evaluate the legality of their acts, and act accordingly. The war is illegal, so they should suffer no long-term penalty for refusing to fight.

2) If there were widespread and significant numbers of desertions, I suspect that the infrastructure designed to deal with such events would crumble under the load, and it may colour the administration's decisions, so the repercussions may not be too grave in any case.

3) That you would sacrifice morality for the sake of convenience is, I think, somewhat reprehensible. I wonder where you would draw the line.

IDEALLY, what you are saying is true, if such leaders never had support, then nothing would happen. However, you must face reality now...we have troops over there,
The sooner they desert, the better.

and now is the time to support those troops...
But why? If one does not support the deed, why should one support the perpetrators of the deed?

get bush out of office if you want, disagree with him, but dont blaim the troops for something which they have no control over.
But they do have control. They are not automata. They could lay down their arms and refuse to fight if they chose to.

If some protested, they would simply be replaced.
There is a finite number of soldiers; I suspect that the government would cancel the war before bringing back the draft. If measures to reintroduce the draft were taken then that too would need to be opposed.
Wake up bud, this is the real world. Philosphical debates and arguments are a wonderful thing, as they point us to what one should try to be for the most part, but it is NOT going to happen.
 

DoctorPizza

Banned
Jun 4, 2001
106
0
0
Wake up bud, this is the real world. Philosphical debates and arguments are a wonderful thing, as they point us to what one should try to be for the most part, but it is NOT going to happen.
The "real" nature of the invasion is all the more reason to carefully consider one's position.
 

DoctorPizza

Banned
Jun 4, 2001
106
0
0
then please tell us the "real" reason of the invasion....
I'm not sure what the reason is meant to be this week.
WMDs? Terrorism? Oil? Saddam's not very nice? Something else?

Who knows.
 

zer0burn

Golden Member
Jan 30, 2002
1,485
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theres countless reasons for invasion.

THe oil arguement isnt one of them.

Freeing the iraqi ppl? not the main reason but a bonus

I think a lot of it has to do with forming an ally with an arab country and trying to sway American resentment
 

UltraQuiet

Banned
Sep 22, 2001
5,755
0
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Originally posted by: DoctorPizza
doctorpizza- are you still paying your taxes?
If I could avoid paying taxes without:
1) Losing my right to vote (by being imprisoned)
2) Losing my right to peaceful protest (by being imprisoned)
3) Hurting those goverment programs I believe in (healthcare, opposition parties, road maintenance, and so on)
4) Being forced to steal food and shelter
then I would stop paying in an instant.

A refusal to pay taxes -- which go, in some part, towards funding the troops -- would also sacrifice my ability to influence policy. If I could both influence policy and avoid funding the troops, I would do so. I can't, so I must choose between one or the other. It is my belief that the impact made by protesting, voting, and so on, is greater than the impact made by non-payment of taxation. As such, it remains the preferred course of action.

If I had more direct control over the outcome my position would likely change. If I were drafted and my status as CO rejected, I would prefer to go to prison. In the unlikely event that I were a soldier, I would similarly prefer to go to prison.

The difference is in one of control. As a voter and protester, whilst I can influence policy by voting and protesting, I cannot actually make policy myself. I can't force a soldier not to fight; I can't force the government to order a withdrawal; I can't directly do anything -- if I were to sacrifice these indirect means, I would have no power at all. As a soldier, however, I can make a limited amount of policy myself. I can force at least one soldier -- myself -- not to fight. It would mean forfeiting the indirect means (though soldiers typically forfeit them anyway), but the reward would be a direct influence, which is to be preferred.
You're name wouldn't be PeterB in another life would it?

The war is not illegal. There has been no court that has ruled as such. Our CinC has issued no illegal orders to date. AFAIK no troop in the field has been ordered to do anything illegal. Your opinion in these matters nor the opinion of any US soldier holds any water in these matters. Any soldier that refuses to fight is going to have to face punishment.

3) That you would sacrifice morality for the sake of convenience is, I think, somewhat reprehensible. I wonder where you would draw the line.
That line is certainly applicable unfortunately it only applies to the person you see in the mirror. Your argument that you can do more good as a protester is rationalizing BS. You are wiiling and advocating that the soldier give up his freedom, his livelihood, his means of supporting his family because it is your opinion that he is doing something that you think is immoral/illegal yet you are unwilling to do the same. That my friend is the very definition of hypocrisy.
 

Alistar7

Lifer
May 13, 2002
11,983
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Originally posted by: DoctorPizza
Wake up bud, this is the real world. Philosphical debates and arguments are a wonderful thing, as they point us to what one should try to be for the most part, but it is NOT going to happen.
The "real" nature of the invasion is all the more reason to carefully consider one's position.
what is the REAL nature you suggest we need to consider before we take a position?
 

DoctorPizza

Banned
Jun 4, 2001
106
0
0
I think a lot of it has to do with forming an ally with an arab country
You already had one, in the 1980s, until you decided to screw him over in 1990/1991.

and trying to sway American resentment
Resentment bred in no small part by the sanctions against the country.
 

Alistar7

Lifer
May 13, 2002
11,983
0
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Originally posted by: zer0burn
theres countless reasons for invasion.

THe oil arguement isnt one of them.

Freeing the iraqi ppl? not the main reason but a bonus

I think a lot of it has to do with forming an ally with an arab country and trying to sway American resentment
Under the Food For Oil program, Saddam was allowed to control where alot of the money went, from 1996-2000, 2 billion each to Russia and France (money for program sits in a French bank), that was for trying to get sanctions lifted (another 4 billion each in deals if lifted), but from 2000-2002 the nmoney went to Egypt, Jordan, and Syria (bad relations with Iraq and Saddam historically), most assume he saw this coming and was trying to build allies in the region. What is noteworthy are the roles the French and Russians took in oppposing any action that would remove him from power and the assistance and support from the last 3 countires.

Honestly I think the ONLY motivation was to make sure he didn't pass along ANY MORE of his WMD to terrorists. Freeing the people is a great plus, helps provide a better cover story. Saddam's actions make it easier for us, especially with his own people. But if he had fully complied and destroyed and documented his WMD we would not be there.

I think too many countries worldwide did not place enough stock in Bush saying "we will wipe out terrorism", I don't think this will be the last step in that process by ay means.
 

zer0burn

Golden Member
Jan 30, 2002
1,485
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actual Iraq screwed US over.

I dont mean resentment only in Iraq I mean throughout the whole arab community

The thing is bin laden and saddam hold a deep resentment towards eachother and the CIA was even quoted as saying they couldnt find a link.

I believe the terrorist reason isnt much of a threat to America. There's greater countries posing a greater threat to Americans then IRAQ
 

DoctorPizza

Banned
Jun 4, 2001
106
0
0
The war is not illegal. There has been no court that has ruled as such.
Legality is not conditional on being caught and found guilty. If I were to kill a random passer-by, it would illegal whether or not I got caught and convicted.

Our CinC has issued no illegal orders to date.
Except the invasion of another nation without UN approval.

AFAIK no troop in the field has been ordered to do anything illegal. Your opinion in these matters nor the opinion of any US soldier holds any water in these matters. Any soldier that refuses to fight is going to have to face punishment.
Except he won't because soldiers are duty bound to refuse to follow illegal orders.

That line is certainly applicable unfortunately it only applies to the person you see in the mirror. Your argument that you can do more good as a protester is rationalizing BS.
So you disagree? You think that I will do more good in prison than not? Can you explain?

You are wiiling and advocating that the soldier give up his freedom, his livelihood, his means of supporting his family because it is your opinion that he is doing something that you think is immoral/illegal yet you are unwilling to do the same.
If I could directly influence policy -- if my going to prison directly prevented a soldier from going to war -- I would. I can't; it doesn't. As such, I will retain my ability to directly influence policy.

That my friend is the very definition of hypocrisy.
If our positions were comparable, it most certainly would be.
 

Alistar7

Lifer
May 13, 2002
11,983
0
0
Originally posted by: DoctorPizza
I think a lot of it has to do with forming an ally with an arab country
You already had one, in the 1980s, until you decided to screw him over in 1990/1991.

and trying to sway American resentment
Resentment bred in no small part by the sanctions against the country.
We did have one, but the Shah was removed by a violent revolt which created the Islamic Republic we know today, the birthplace of Islamic fundamentalism aimed at the west.

BTW way the sanctions were UN enacted, not US enacted...
 

DoctorPizza

Banned
Jun 4, 2001
106
0
0
actual Iraq screwed US over.
Not really.

I dont mean resentment only in Iraq I mean throughout the whole arab community
If that is your aim, stop giving Israel $3 billion a year, and start taking serious measures to create some kind of Palestinian state.

 

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