View Single Post
Old 06-02-2019, 03:39 PM
Wrenching Spanners is offline
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: London
Posts: 518
Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
The first part was his opinion. One that I do share. That advocating for a war of choice that you could fight in, but don't, means that you are asking others to risk them and theirs so that you and yours don't have to, gutless coward is a kinder label than I would use. This is his personal opinion, and why he is making this proposal. This is not the proposal itself.
I want the people who join the military to be people who believe that they can be successful in the military. There are many people who honestly believe they'd be terrible in the military. I think we should trust their beliefs, and they shouldn't be intimidated into joining. There are also people who have chosen career paths outside the military because they'll be more successful in those paths, than inside the military. Again, I think we should respect their judgement.

You seem to be in favour of people supporting the military in other ways than joining, but that is flat out not what the OP says. Regardless, there are hundreds of noble charities that don't support the military. It's great if someone supports the VFW. It's also great if someone supports the local women's shelter, or the youth centre that gives kids a safe space outside of gangs. I don't think the former is any more virtuous than the either of the latter. And I don't think someone should be choosing the charity they want to support based on fear of intimidation of being called a gutless coward.

The second part is the proposed policy, that people should be shamed and humiliated for this. As far as public figures go, I have no problem with this. Trump is a gutless coward (though saying that is an insult to gutless cowards), Bolton too. Any of the elected representatives or political appointees that beat the drum for war who have never seen, nor have any desire to see, the horrors that a war truly is are gutless cowards, and IMHO, can and should be called out for being so.

As far as private individuals, I don't see that he is calling for them being walked down the streets naked while chanting "shame" and throwing rotten fruit at them. But if we change the mindset so that calling for others to risk themselves while you hold down the couch leads your friends and family to think poorly of you, then this would be effective.

My goal, and I think iiandyiiii's as well, is not to shame or humiliation people, but to get people to think twice about their support for unnecessary wars. I think that that is what some of you have been reading into this, as many have made statements to the effect that it is looking for an excuse to get to shame and humiliate people that we don't like, and that is not the case. The goal is to reduce support for unnecessary wars of choice, and the proposal was a consideration as a tool in that kit to help towards that goal.

Whether that is an effective tool or not is up for debate, (I, for example, am not entirely convinced), but all the projection of motivations as to the purpose of the tool has obscured that the tool is not the ends, it is not the goal, it is simply a means towards an ends.
The end justifies the means? It's okay to commit evil now, because the evil will result in good tomorrow? Is that really your argument?

Regarding "not to shame or humiliation people", I won't speculate to your goals, but if you're claiming that's not a goal of the OP, you're ignoring the actual statement of the OP:
I believe such cowardice should lead to public shame and humiliation
You're also speaking about "unnecessary wars of choice". Is the US support, via military strikes, of the Kurdish forces in Syria an unnecessary war of choice? I believe that's an example of US military force where you'll find people if favour of the action, and people opposed to the action. That's fine. Each side should get their say. The premise of the OP is that the people opposed to the action, assuming he believes it's an unnecessary war/military action, should have their say. People supporting that action should only speak up if they're in or willing to join the military, or maybe make some nebulous sacrifice. I think that premise is fundamentally wrong. Both sides should have their say, and both sides should recognise that society as a group needs to accept responsibility for the consequences of what the government ultimately decides. I'm not disagreeing with your objection towards someone who shirks that responsibility. I disagree with someone who wants a war, but doesn't want to pay for it, or someone who thinks it's unnecessary to fully support veterans dealing with physical or psychological wounds. However, I disagree with the idea that you have to have "skin in the game" to support a military action. And, restating myself, I think it's an affront to free speech to support the concept that it's okay to oppose some given military action, whether you have "skin in the game" or not, but it's forbidden, at the risk of being shamed and humiliated as a "gutless coward" to support that same military action unless you have "skin in the game".