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  #1  
Old 03-09-2011, 04:42 AM
donnie darko donnie darko is offline
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Does the military really 'protect our freedom'?

Freedom from what? Communists and Muslims taking over? There's NO CONNECTION between the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and my freedom. None at all!

I think the idea of the military 'protecting our freedom' is just an old saying like 'respect your elders' and 'children should be seen and not heard'. Basically outdated moral statements that no longer hold water in today's world (well, you should respect your elders, but no more than you respect anyone else).
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  #2  
Old 03-09-2011, 05:17 AM
willthekittensurvive? willthekittensurvive? is offline
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Define freedom….

The war in Iraq protects your freedom to use a gas guzzling SUV
The war in Afghanistan protects your freedom to not be blown up by terrorists, denying radicals a safe haven where they can wage war from

In theory that is
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  #3  
Old 03-09-2011, 05:21 AM
BobLibDem BobLibDem is offline
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They would if they had to, but they aren't right now. One of the things I find most disturbing about the hyper-patriotism of the right wing is the constant adulation of the military, as if they can do their jobs only with continuous verbal fellation.
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  #4  
Old 03-09-2011, 06:29 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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The military protects our freedom as a nation. Once we've got that, protecting our freedom as individuals is up to us.
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  #5  
Old 03-09-2011, 06:59 AM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is offline
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The military does have the task (among others) to protect our freedom; sometimes, they may even be called upon to actually act to do so. Ideally those instances should be few and far between, and the protection be mostly through their deterrent effect. Of course, to be a deterrent you have to be ready, willing and able to make good on the threat.

But some other times, well, the government has some things that may not be imminently freedom-protecting but that they need or want done, and we do have that military sitting there, prepared for action -- it being wholly impractical in this day and age to revert to a citizen militia rounded up ad-hoc only in emergencies -- so the CinC uses them. Such is the world.

I have great respect for those who are stuck with doing that unpleasant aspect of the functioning of a real-world power, and wish them all the best, with no need for idolatry.

Last edited by JRDelirious; 03-09-2011 at 07:01 AM..
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  #6  
Old 03-09-2011, 07:01 AM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
The military protects our freedom as a nation. Once we've got that, protecting our freedom as individuals is up to us.
Y'know, that would make a great bumpersticker.
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  #7  
Old 03-09-2011, 07:24 AM
kanicbird kanicbird is online now
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Originally Posted by willthekittensurvive? View Post
Define freedom….

The war in Iraq protects your freedom to use a gas guzzling SUV
Does it? Seems like this war and our aggressive stance is partly a cause of high gas prices, plus the high cost of the war machine which means higher taxes. Seems like the military is really hurting our ability to excessive freedom to drive very nice vehicles with lots of room, they seem to be forcing more and more to drive coach instead of first class.
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  #8  
Old 03-09-2011, 07:59 AM
spifflog spifflog is offline
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Depends on how you define freedom. If the military was disbanded today, would the Chinese be knocking at your door tonight? Nope.

But the U. S. military gives us freedom of action throughout the world. As individuals, as businesses etc. And that influence allows us to live as we'd like. Socially, and economically.

And before we get all naive with the "if we just left 'them' alone, all those terrorists would love us" meme, President Obama won the noble peace prize. How has that worked for us?

I've been to Africa twice in the last six years (yes, working for our government). The Chinese are taking over the place. If there is a natural resources in Africa, they are trying to get their hands on it. So if we don't want to influence the world via our military, we had better be confident that we want to live in the world dictated to us by China.

And living the way we want to is freedom in my book.
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  #9  
Old 03-09-2011, 08:22 AM
BobLibDem BobLibDem is offline
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Originally Posted by spifflog View Post
And before we get all naive with the "if we just left 'them' alone, all those terrorists would love us" meme, President Obama won the noble peace prize. How has that worked for us?
Cite for the claim that people say "if we just left 'them' alone, all those terrorists would love us".

What specifically has Obama done in foreign relations since winning the Nobel (not noble) Peace Prize that makes the US less safe from terrorism?
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  #10  
Old 03-09-2011, 08:26 AM
spifflog spifflog is offline
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Originally Posted by BobLibDem View Post
Cite for the claim that people say "if we just left 'them' alone, all those terrorists would love us".

What specifically has Obama done in foreign relations since winning the Nobel (not noble) Peace Prize that makes the US less safe from terrorism?
What has he done that makes us safer, that's the question.

Dig for your own site. Many here, among others, have stated that a less aggressive foreign policy would make us less of a target. But that really isn't a surprise to you is it?

Thanks for the typo correction.
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  #11  
Old 03-09-2011, 08:38 AM
BobLibDem BobLibDem is offline
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By all impartial accounts, Obama has been more successful in fighting terrorism than Bush. If a CIA briefer told Obama that bin Laden was about to strike and the threat involved airplanes, I can safely assume that Obama would have done more than say "you've covered your ass, now leave." When Obama allows an attack of the same order of magnitude as 9/11, then you would have a point.

There's a middle ground between "just leave them alone" and "let's wage war indiscriminately".
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  #12  
Old 03-09-2011, 08:50 AM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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The OPs question seems fairly naive and insular. No doubt from a lifetime of living under an umbrella of freedom.

Is the US milliary standing between us and the vaste hoards of Communists, Islamacists, Huns, Visigoths, French and other barbarians waiting to tear down the gate? In a literal sense, no. But they provide a valuable tool for the implementation and enforcement of American foreign policy which, like or not, people like you and me benefit from.

It's like asking if the police really keeps you safe from crime just because you haven't been robbed.
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  #13  
Old 03-09-2011, 09:03 AM
elbows elbows is offline
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I have no problem honouring and respecting the armed services. Hard job, I don't want to undertake, they do willingly.

That said, I agree with the OP. It really rubs me the wrong way when they claim they are protecting my freedom. No they aren't. And trying to co opt the 'protecting your freedom' meme from previous generations who were actually doing so, makes them look lame, in my opinion.

They are doing a terribly difficult job, and risking their lives, all to meet the tasks their governments set. That's a decidedly different thing from 'protecting my freedom'. My freedom is not under threat, that I can see.

If that's what they want to tell themselves to make the job easier to take, great. But don't be surprised when people roll their eyes, in response. This isn't 1940 and my freedom doesn't need an army to protect it, at this time.
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  #14  
Old 03-09-2011, 09:04 AM
spifflog spifflog is offline
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Originally Posted by BobLibDem View Post
By all impartial accounts, Obama has been more successful in fighting terrorism than Bush. If a CIA briefer told Obama that bin Laden was about to strike and the threat involved airplanes, I can safely assume that Obama would have done more than say "you've covered your ass, now leave." When Obama allows an attack of the same order of magnitude as 9/11, then you would have a point.

There's a middle ground between "just leave them alone" and "let's wage war indiscriminately".
I don't want to hijack this tread, with more ax grinding on either side. But I'd be interested in reading what "all [the] impartial accounts" have to say about Obama's 25 months in office. (I'd ask for a site, but I think that tactic is over used here.) We've been on the losing end to many around the world beginning with the Korean war 60 years ago. Not sure what effect Obama's long two years in office are going to have. And it doesn't seem like he's doing anything much different from Bush.

He did close Gitmo and stopped the prosecutions. And he did decrease our troop levels in Afghanistan and got us out of there. Those are differences.

The world's pre and post 9/11 are markedly different. And I wouldn't characterize Bush's action as having "allowed" the attacks. Reactions to intel before the attached were viewed differently than they are now. But people are still blaming Roosevelt for Pearl Harbor, so you can believe what you want to believe.

It comes down there what it normally does here:

'Your' guy is right and 'my' guy is wrong - 'we' don't even need to know what the issues are.


It seems like we may both be agreement, that the U.S. military does play a part in keeping our freedoms intact.

Last edited by spifflog; 03-09-2011 at 09:05 AM..
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  #15  
Old 03-09-2011, 09:14 AM
spifflog spifflog is offline
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Originally Posted by elbows View Post
My freedom is not under threat, that I can see.
I think the military trots out the flag way too much, I agree with you there.

But I strongly disagree with your characterization that your freedom is not under threat. It's a big bad world out there. And there are millions throughout the world that want to change the way you and your friends live. And the military, or rather the threat of military actions, keeps that in check.

I think the police analogy above is right on.
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  #16  
Old 03-09-2011, 10:07 AM
gonzomax gonzomax is offline
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It protects business. Gen.Smedley Butler was offended by that.
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  #17  
Old 03-09-2011, 10:19 AM
elbows elbows is offline
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And there are millions throughout the world that want to change the way you and your friends live.
So what? That doesn't mean my freedoms are threatened by what they think. I have no problem assigning them this motive - when it's true. Presently, it is not true. Your paranoia notwithstanding.

That they are trying to co opt the high motives of another generation, makes them look both lame and weak, in my opinion.
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  #18  
Old 03-09-2011, 10:36 AM
XT XT is offline
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And if they attack our trade or our strategic interests, you figure that won't have any sort of effect on your 'freedom'??? Or if they attack Americans living or working abroad, that won't effect you because you never travel abroad? To me, this is a similar attitude to folks who don't worry about anything happening to agriculture because, well, they don't get their food from a farm, they buy it in a store like normal people do. Sort of the ostrich method of danger avoidance...if you don't know about it, it must not be real!

Not only does the military protect YOUR 'freedom', the military (US, European, Japanese, South Korean, Taiwan, Canada, Australia, etc etc) protects the 'freedom' of the entire western world. It's the hammer that says 'don't fuck with our external interests, businesses, citizens outside our countries or our trade or you will regret it'.

I know there have been myriad threads on this same subject in the past, but it always puzzles me why this seemingly simple answer is so difficult for some to understand. It's like they think that, without a strong military everything would stay exactly the same (except that we'd save SO much money, not having to pay for a military and all!), all our interests would be protected, our citizens and businesses safe to be abroad, and everything would be one big happy love in. No one could possibly want to attack our interests, disrupt or take our trade or assert their own power in an attempt at regional dominance...I mean, these are PEOPLE right? Humans! And humans NEVER try to do stuff like that...right? I mean, am I right??

*crickets chirp in disbelief*

-XT

Last edited by XT; 03-09-2011 at 10:37 AM..
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  #19  
Old 03-09-2011, 10:42 AM
elbows elbows is offline
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That a strong and ready military stands poised to act to protect my freedoms, should they come under attack is one thing.

Soldiers currently deployed in Iraq or Afganistan are not doing so, as my freedoms are not under attack. A roadside bomb, a soldier killed, neither threaten my freedoms or way of life, sorry as I am to see such things happen.

It's an incredible reach to claim otherwise, in my opinion.

Fact is they are not currently protecting me from anything, as I am under no threat or danger of losing any of my freedoms.
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  #20  
Old 03-09-2011, 10:42 AM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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The reason why the OP doesn't recognize how the military protects our freedom . . . is precisely because they're doing such a good job of it. It's inconceivable that this country could be attacked and overrun by some kind of dictatorship because we have a strong military preventing that from happening. Without that protection, that possibility wouldn't seem so inconceivable.
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  #21  
Old 03-09-2011, 10:46 AM
jayjay jayjay is offline
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Personally, I'm more worried about assaults on my freedom from the Religious Right and business than I am about the Taliban or Al Qaeda.
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  #22  
Old 03-09-2011, 10:47 AM
jayjay jayjay is offline
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The reason why the OP doesn't recognize how the military protects our freedom . . . is precisely because they're doing such a good job of it. It's inconceivable that this country could be attacked and overrun by some kind of dictatorship because we have a strong military preventing that from happening. Without that protection, that possibility wouldn't seem so inconceivable.
I'm not sanguine about a home-grown dictatorship being impossible, though.
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  #23  
Old 03-09-2011, 10:56 AM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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It protects business.
Which we need for working at and buying stuff from.
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  #24  
Old 03-09-2011, 11:09 AM
elbows elbows is offline
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The reason why the OP doesn't recognize how the military protects our freedom . . . is precisely because they're doing such a good job of it. It's inconceivable that this country could be attacked and overrun by some kind of dictatorship because we have a strong military preventing that from happening. Without that protection, that possibility wouldn't seem so inconceivable.
Wrong, though brilliant rationalization.

I live in Canada where the 'strength' of our military is hardly such as to effectively protect this huge nation and all it's borders. Threat of a strong military is not what's protecting our freedoms. More our good standing in the world and with our allies, than military might, I'd say.

Quote:
precisely because they're doing such a good job of it.
Quote:
Without that protection, that possibility wouldn't seem so inconceivable.
That's the sort of delusion there is little point in trying to reason with, reason has no impact once they've swallowed the Koolaid, in my experience.
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  #25  
Old 03-09-2011, 11:16 AM
MrDibble MrDibble is offline
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No. The military has actively worked against my freedom. It has not protected it at all. Every gain in freedom I have had in my life has been in defiance of the military, and their close buddies the intelligence agencies.
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  #26  
Old 03-09-2011, 11:43 AM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is offline
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Originally Posted by spifflog View Post

He did close Gitmo and stopped the prosecutions. And he did decrease our troop levels in Afghanistan and got us out of there. Those are differences.
Is this meant as some kind of reverse-psychology sarcasm or something? If not, I hate to break it to you, but Gitmo is not closed and Obama increased our troop levels in Afghanistan and we are still there.
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  #27  
Old 03-09-2011, 12:04 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is online now
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Just because the military is not generally used to protect our freedom, it doesn't mean its existence does not do so.
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  #28  
Old 03-09-2011, 12:08 PM
mckall mckall is offline
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No. The military has actively worked against my freedom. It has not protected it at all. Every gain in freedom I have had in my life has been in defiance of the military, and their close buddies the intelligence agencies.
I would love to hear more on this one. As it stands, this statement is just comes off as very paranoid.
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  #29  
Old 03-09-2011, 12:14 PM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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I would love to hear more on this one. As it stands, this statement is just comes off as very paranoid.
Keep in mind that he is posting from South Africa, not the US. And that he's a person of "mixed race" ancestry.

I agree that while much of what the military does isn't directly "protecting my freedom", it's very existence does. The US needs some sort of military to protect its citizens. How big is the operative question.
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  #30  
Old 03-09-2011, 12:16 PM
Dick Dastardly Dick Dastardly is offline
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The military protects the freedom of our corporations to continue doing business as they've become accustomed to do it over the years. In the case of the Middle East and the Muslim world their ongoing protection and US government, uh, protection of various regimes has caused a backlash in that part of the world that caused angry Middle Easterners to knock a couple of our office buildings over a decade ago. This created new opportunities for the military/government to increase freedoms for our corporations abroad, which is creating new generations of angry Middle Easterners......
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  #31  
Old 03-09-2011, 12:27 PM
Commissar Commissar is offline
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I am of the opinion that, as a US resident, the US war machine is actively suppressing rather than protecting my freedoms.

For example, I would like to enjoy the freedom to live in a civilized nation – one which has its spending priorities straight and funds vital national programs such as universal healthcare, free or subsidized higher education, and a meaningful pension program. Instead, I live in an ass-backwards land where the military gobbles up tax revenues like no tomorrow and the masses are forced to fend for themselves.

Moreover, I would like to enjoy the freedom of actually being made safer by the armed forces. Instead, the military’s policy of savage imperialism only endangers me. Not only do I now have people that I have absolutely nothing against seeking to slaughter me, but I am also just one military misadventure away from a Vietnam-style draft. Neither risk is that high, to be sure, but it’s still something I can do without.

Also, there’s the humanitarian angle. I would like to enjoy the freedom of actually liking the nation where I happen to reside, but I can feel nothing but loathing for a country that slaughters innocent civilians halfway around the globe.

So yes, no matter how I slice it, the US military is a net detractor when it comes to my freedoms.
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  #32  
Old 03-09-2011, 12:33 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is online now
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You know we do have free and/or subsidized higher education, right?
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  #33  
Old 03-09-2011, 12:37 PM
humanafterall humanafterall is offline
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Instead, I live in an ass-backwards land where the military gobbles up tax revenues like no tomorrow and the masses are forced to fend for themselves.
Remember ENLISTMENT GUARANTEES CITIZENSHIP! Well, not really. I don't think we could ever get to a state where you only have freedoms and rights if you are an active or retired member of the armed services; I would be surprised, though.

Last edited by humanafterall; 03-09-2011 at 12:39 PM..
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  #34  
Old 03-09-2011, 12:38 PM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is offline
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I live in an ass-backwards land where the military gobbles up tax revenues like no tomorrow and the masses are forced to fend for themselves.
Just like in the USSR, eh comrade? Minus the lines for bread and bare essentials, of course.
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  #35  
Old 03-09-2011, 12:42 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is online now
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Well, not just like the USSR. Russia and the rest of the former Soviet states were poor countries with bad weather and short supplies of several critical resources. The US is a rich country with abundant supplies of almost every resource. We'd do communism much better. That isn't to say that it would work, just that it's unfair to judge communism by the Soviet Union, since they would have been just as broke and hungry as capitalists.
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Old 03-09-2011, 01:04 PM
bump bump is online now
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Originally Posted by Commissar View Post
I am of the opinion that, as a US resident, the US war machine is actively suppressing rather than protecting my freedoms.

For example, I would like to enjoy the freedom to live in a civilized nation – one which has its spending priorities straight and funds vital national programs such as universal healthcare, free or subsidized higher education, and a meaningful pension program. Instead, I live in an ass-backwards land where the military gobbles up tax revenues like no tomorrow and the masses are forced to fend for themselves.
You do know that Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid account for almost twice the amount of money that the defense budget does, right?

Beyond that, it isn't the military forcing Congress to spend money on it, to the detriment of the things you mention. It's the people in the Congressional districts who vote for these people who want those things. Believe it or not, there's a huge chunk of the population who emphatically do not want the things you mentioned.

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Originally Posted by Commissar View Post
Moreover, I would like to enjoy the freedom of actually being made safer by the armed forces. Instead, the military’s policy of savage imperialism only endangers me. Not only do I now have people that I have absolutely nothing against seeking to slaughter me, but I am also just one military misadventure away from a Vietnam-style draft. Neither risk is that high, to be sure, but it’s still something I can do without.
Again, it's not the military that has the policy of "savage imperialism." It's Congress and the President who send them and tell them what to do. They're charged with carrying out those orders, not with generating them.

In many ways, our wars are less lethal to civilians than ones in the past; we actively try to minimize civilian casualties and collateral damage, unlike in prior wars like Vietnam, Korea, the World Wars, etc... In my mind, it's hard to fault the military for trying to do their assigned orders in such a manner; it would be easier for them to just carpet-bomb things and indiscriminately kill.

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Also, there’s the humanitarian angle. I would like to enjoy the freedom of actually liking the nation where I happen to reside, but I can feel nothing but loathing for a country that slaughters innocent civilians halfway around the globe.
I think you're selectively viewing the country's activities. To some degree, civilian casualties and collateral property damage are an inevitable consequence of "hot" military action. I'd argue that we deserve kudos for trying to minimize it. Plus, even if the Federal government doesn't give money for humanitarian aid, the American people sure do, which seems better to me- people can donate where they think best, rather than having a bunch of political hacks and bureaucrats in Washington decide where the politically best place to give foreign aid is.


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So yes, no matter how I slice it, the US military is a net detractor when it comes to my freedoms.
That's absurd. I wouldn't say that they detract from your freedoms in a real way- you're just (wrongly) perceiving a lot of military-related things as standing in the way of the way you think things should be. which is a LONG way from infringing on your freedoms in any way.
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  #37  
Old 03-09-2011, 01:35 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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So yes, no matter how I slice it, the US military is a net detractor when it comes to my freedoms.
Don't give the US military all the credit. There's also reality working against you.
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  #38  
Old 03-09-2011, 01:50 PM
Claverhouse Claverhouse is offline
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...If a CIA briefer told Obama that bin Laden was about to strike and the threat involved airplanes, I can safely assume that Obama would have done more than say "you've covered your ass, now leave."

Hypothetical proof is the best kind.
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  #39  
Old 03-09-2011, 03:59 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
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No, the military is to a large degree a tool used to promote various political policies and economic/corporate interests. They may weaken the political power of countries we don't like by overthrowing governments that ally with our enemies (like the USSR) but I wouldn't call that protecting our freedom.

However the war against Japan in WW2 was a war for our freedom, since Japan had the intention of overtaking us if they thought it was possible. Germany probably did too, but I don't see how they'd be able to overtake the US with Russia and England fighting them.

But aside from Japan in WW2, I can't think of any examples where our freedom as citizens was at risk in recent history, although some may exist. Al Qaeda wants to attack us, but they are responded to with police action as much (if not more) than military action. Most other wars were to weaken allies of the USSR, or promote US interests, or oppose anti-capitalist economic policy.

Last edited by Wesley Clark; 03-09-2011 at 04:00 PM..
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  #40  
Old 03-09-2011, 04:15 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
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To what degree is protecting our freedom a side effect of potential long range planning though? The thinking behind the war in Vietnam was the domino effect, once Vietnam fell then all of SE asia would become communist. Then natural resources, manpower, etc would be allied with the USSR whose interests were not allied with ours. So eventually our freedoms as citizens would be at more risk if the USSR had more allies.

So even if the war in Vietnam wasn't to protect our immediate freedom, down the road a stronger USSR could make our ability to get what we want as a nation weaker.

But the USSR fell within 20 years of the end of the war in Vietnam. And the domino theory did happen. Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos all went communist within a year of us leaving. The USSR dissolved and Vietnam eventually overthrew the communist government in Cambodia. It didn't make a difference to our domestic freedoms.

So again, maybe you can make the argument that the military protects our freedom over the long term. But there is no teling what will happen over the long term. Maybe the USSR will dissolve and attacking their allies is meaningless or counterproductive. Putting US troops in Saudi Arabia helped drive Al Qaeda to want to attack us. How are we free now that we are more or less forced to maintain wars in 2 countries because of that?

If you look at immediate and direct threats to our freedom, Japan in the only one I can think of in recent history, and even that one may be iffy. I don't think the Japanese would have had the resources to invade North America.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timelin...0.E2.80.932009

Last edited by Wesley Clark; 03-09-2011 at 04:16 PM..
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  #41  
Old 03-09-2011, 04:34 PM
Dissonance Dissonance is offline
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So yes, no matter how I slice it, the US military is a net detractor when it comes to my freedoms.
Ah, so it's the imperialist US military that is keeping you from emigrating to China or Belorussia then.
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  #42  
Old 03-09-2011, 05:18 PM
Martin Hyde Martin Hyde is offline
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The reason civilized societies developed military forces was to protect the territorial integrity of the State (or proto-state in the historical context.)

If the society/State itself values individual freedoms, then the military that protects said State's territorial integrity protects the framework that allows those individual freedoms to flourish. But you don't have freedom just because you have guys standing on a wall, because there's lots of societies that have plenty of that and very little individual liberty.

In the year 2010 the military does not in fact protect our territorial integrity on a regular basis, but they serve the same purpose those guys who manned the walls of ancient cities 6,000 years ago did. They aren't there just for the very day the barbarians are coming out of the hills, they have to stand post at all times or they may as well not even bother.

If we adopted pacifism tomorrow and totally eliminated all of our military forces (including the national guard and any form of self defense force) we'd actually probably be safe from territorial incursions for a long time. (Depending heavily on Mexico's ongoing stability.) However, at some point in history who knows what might happen.

While societies create military forces for the purposes of defenses, larger and more complicated societies developed standing armies for a mixture of reasons. Standing armies/professional militaries are usually a tool of State power and are used to expand that State's power and its influence. Militia forces tend to be more about self defense. However, it's an arms race sort of situation, once societies started to develop standing armies all of their neighbors had to seriously consider doing the same, regardless of whether they had expansionist designs. Because a militia defense force will fare poorly in major conflicts with professional armies. Then once you have a standing army, regardless of why you created it, there is a desire to use it and justify the large amount of money being spent..
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Old 03-09-2011, 05:22 PM
Beware of Doug Beware of Doug is online now
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Originally Posted by gonzomax View Post
It protects business. Gen.Smedley Butler was offended by that.
Which may be why young Marines are taught that his career ended with World War I.

Butler exposed an embryonic plot against FDR in 1933. A few years later he wrote a bestselling book, War Is A Racket, about (inter alia) the Marines' banana republic actions of the interwar years, many conducted at the behest of US corporate interests.

Last edited by Beware of Doug; 03-09-2011 at 05:26 PM..
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  #44  
Old 03-09-2011, 05:59 PM
RickJay RickJay is online now
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Originally Posted by spifflog View Post
What has he done that makes us safer, that's the question.

Dig for your own site. Many here, among others, have stated that a less aggressive foreign policy would make us less of a target.
That is a very different claim from saying "if they leave us alone, they'll love us."

I have difficultly believing that anyone would NOT realize that U.S. foreign policy results in it being a popular target for terrorism. It seems almost stupidly obvious, in fact. The reason Islamist nutballs consider the U.S. their primary target, at least after Israel in some circles, is that the U.S. is the most important and influential of Western powers. You'll notice al-Qaida did not attack Switzerland.

This doesn't mean the U.S. is necessarily WRONG in pursing a given foreign policy goal, or should become isolationalist. Sometimes you have to be willing to piss people off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beware of Doug
Butler exposed an embryonic plot against FDR in 1933
It is worth injecting a note of caution that there is not actually the slightest bit of evidence the Business Plot even existed. All we have is the word of Butler, who himself claims to have spoken to only one person. One person isn't a "plot," much less when it's hearsay.
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:30 AM
Walther Ego Walther Ego is offline
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I think this sort of terminology is explained by the era when the US armed forces started to grow.

In the 30s and 40s it seemed that new radical political experiments were challenging old ones. The new ones looked like blocks that threaten democracies universally. A lot of that was superficial. Italy became a puppet of Germany because it was ultimately industrially so weak. Spain had no intention to make sacrifices for Germany. Belgium got overrun because it was on the way and France for a revenge, neither because they were democracies. Poland was not even democratic. Japan's intentions were clearly not to promote any ideology but conquer. Still, Germany and Japan did pose a threat to the liberty of millions of people and Joseph Goebbels did his best on the radio to convince everybody that this was a contest between systems.

After the war, the rise of communism reinforced this idea. The communists originally thought that the proletariat is in this together and must stick together. Again, I think a lot of it was superficial. In Europe, the so-called Euro-communists had a hard time to cope with Stalinism from early on. The example of China, Albania, Yugoslavia and even Romania to some extent shows that spread of communism leads only to fragmentation of the block. In their turn, Cuba and Vietnam show that countries that welcome soviet support and readily provide bases for them don't necessarily increase Soviet strength significantly.

So the US troops felt they were literally defending liberty when they were shipped to far-away places because both their leaders and the leaders of their antagonists believed in permanent struggle between systems. This was always defending the liberty in North-America, Europe and Japan and no effort to ensure the liberty of allied people in Latin America, Africa or Asia was made. This came naturally since originally Britain and France were denying the liberty of much of this area and many of the areas had no tradition of democracy. The soviets in their turn lowered the standards of leftism of their allies. At the time, most people saw the dozens of military rulers in either camp as evidence of their power. In retrospect, they had to be bribed with tanks and money and they took part in struggle only in a very local level, usually to promote their own interests.

Ultimately I believe that Domino Theory is wrong and national interests are such powerful animals that they tear apart any ideology that tries to stand on their way. This is purely an after-thought and I don't think I knew anybody who thought that in the 80s. But the notion of US troops defending US citizen liberty abroad is a relic of the cold war that should be dropped.
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Old 03-10-2011, 02:51 PM
MrDibble MrDibble is offline
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I would love to hear more on this one. As it stands, this statement is just comes off as very paranoid.
Not at all. Entirely factual. I am, as indicated, a non-White South African. I used to live in a police state, which was for a long time also backed up by the US MIC. I have nothing but disgust and distrust for the military.
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Old 03-10-2011, 03:45 PM
spifflog spifflog is offline
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Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
Not at all. Entirely factual. I am, as indicated, a non-White South African. I used to live in a police state, which was for a long time also backed up by the US MIC. I have nothing but disgust and distrust for the military.

And the United States, and the United States military, in concert with other states throughout the world help pressure your police state out of existence.
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  #48  
Old 03-10-2011, 03:46 PM
RickJay RickJay is online now
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Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
Not at all. Entirely factual. I am, as indicated, a non-White South African. I used to live in a police state, which was for a long time also backed up by the US MIC. I have nothing but disgust and distrust for the military.
In fairness, you did not indicate it until this post. (Maybe you've said so in another thread, but who can remember stuff like that?)

The fact that you are a non-white resident of the RSA is a rather enormous factor in judging the meaning of your first post - now what you said is quite understandable. If I'd grown up in a country that was psychotically opposed to my essential humanity and used the army to suppress it, yeah, I'd be suspicious of the military, too. Before, without the context of your nationality, it seemed more in line with what a crank would say.
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:03 PM
Omegaman Omegaman is offline
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Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
Not at all. Entirely factual. I am, as indicated, a non-White South African. I used to live in a police state, which was for a long time also backed up by the US MIC. I have nothing but disgust and distrust for the military.
I see, it makes sense now. I had always presumed (stupidly I might add) you were white and were fighting for the blacks freedoms.

So basically you were on the shit end of the stick. Probably still are to some degree.

I still like you anyway.
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  #50  
Old 03-11-2011, 08:45 AM
constanze constanze is offline
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In a working modern democracy, the military does not protect any freedom. The three seperate powers with a good fourth estate to watch the government protect your basic rights, which include freedom.

When under the Patriot act, the CIA arrests you because you somehow got on a suspect list, and ships you off to Gitmo for "interrogation" (read torture), how does the military protect your freedom and right of habeas corpus and proper trial?

When the police break down your door at night and shoot at you because the SWAT team misread the adress on the no-knock warrant/ a perp gave your adress in cooperation/ 2 years ago a drug dealer lived at your adress - does the military protect your freedom and right to no warrants?

When somebody voices his opinion on the internet or newspaper defending the attitudes (but not the actions) of some Anti-American muslim groups, and he is charged with treason for assisting Americas enemys - does the military protect his freedom and right to free speech?

And so on. In a democratic country, the police has to obey the laws, and the courts punish them if they don't, and the media watches them. The parlament has to make laws that don't run counter to the constitution, or the courts send it back.

So I've always understood people who make this claim to be completly ignorant of how a democracy works and/or be living in a militaristic state, instead of a democracy. (But of course, the USA is not a democracy, but a republic, which in AE somehow are seperate concepts, instead of complimentary aspects).
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