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  #151  
Old 05-21-2019, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Bone View Post
War is different, like all things are different from each other. The problem is you haven't demonstrated why any differences are meaningful.
You don't think voluntarily choosing to kill humans en masse and purposefully destroy infrastructure other humans rely on is meaningfully different than gathering resources or providing health care? I'm not sure how exactly to explain that to you, but it seems about as obvious as such complicated things can be to me.

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I think you would be on stronger ground, yet still fundamentally flawed, if we didn't have an all volunteer military.
I think this sounds like the very common attitude that because we have an all-volunteer military, it's not that big of a deal to order them to kill and put themselves at risk. After all, they signed up for it -- and it's a powerful tool in our foreign policy arsenal.

I think that's a fundamentally flawed, and extremely harmful, attitude, and is responsible for most of the non-climate related human suffering of the last several decades.

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Plus, you've been cagey on what you mean by contribute.
There's not a single way to contribute, and I'd take it on a case by case basis. But the overall thrust of my argument is to use social shaming as a tool to help avoid stupid wars.

Do you think stupid wars are a colossal problem, or not that big of a problem? If you think they're catastrophically damaging to humanity and to America, then at least we're on the same page in the importance of preventing these stupid wars. If you don't think they're that big of a problem, then our world view is probably so far apart that there's no chance of understanding between us on this.
  #152  
Old 05-21-2019, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
I consider people who blithely cheer on the idea of carnage and tragedy in those countries, especially when so little is to be gained by such wars, to be reprehensible in their own rights. Further, I worry that if such people did volunteer for military service, they are more likely tend to be the sort of people that I do not wish to carry arms on behalf of this country.

That's because those who see a war of choice as being a reasonable thing to advocate for probably tend to dehumanize the enemy in ways that go beyond the simple psychological necessity to do so in order to make killing a reasonable thing to do. I'd say they are more likely to dehumanize the enemy because they really do believe that they are humans who are not worthy of life. We had a thread going the other day about accused war criminals who fall into that sickening pit of racism and hate.

I suppose my main issue is that for these people we are talking about, goading them into joining the military is probably not a good thing for any party involved. I also have a problem with societal shaming, but I don't think I can explain my concerns here very well. But that does not mean that I think casual warmongers should be given any respect; I just don't think they are worthy of respect whether or not they risk their own lives.

I think you have posted an interesting question and I continue to think about it.
Thank you for this thoughtful post. I understand that social shaming has been used for a lot of awful things, and with that in mind I'd be very hesitant to use it as a tool for preventing anything that wasn't likely to cause severe, catastrophic harm to the country (and the world!), and that didn't look reasonably likely to occur. But stupid wars, especially with this president, meet that bar, IMO.
  #153  
Old 05-21-2019, 12:46 PM
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That's certainly not the principle that motivates my position. My principle is about war, and unnecessary wars in particular. Not some notion of "risk". War is much, much more than just some notion of "risk".
OK, what is different about being shot by enemies in war vs. being shot by criminals in peace? Probably the risk is greater in war - what is the threshold at which the principle kicks in? If only one police officer dies as a result of the CA Assembly's action, does that excuse them for not putting themselves at risk? How about ten? A hundred? What's the cut off, and why is it morally relevant?
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But how do you feel about my position?
So far it seems to be mostly special pleading, where putting soldiers at risk is bad but putting police at risk is something you don't feel to be subject to the same principle.
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Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka
You seem to really like ad hominem attacks. That's my biggest takeaway from this thread.
Based on his posts elsewhere, to which I believe it would not legitimate to link, that is a good part of the idea behind this thread.

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  #154  
Old 05-21-2019, 12:52 PM
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Because lumberjacks don't fall under the UCMJ. Soldiers can't back out of a war. They may be asked to do things that are uniquely dangerous, or psychologically damaging. War is hell.

If lumberjacking were like that, I wouldn't be willing to lumberjack without a damn good reason, and I therefore couldn't expect anyone else to lumberjack either.
I believe the military is a profession, and it should be filled by people who want to have that profession as a job, and feel they can succeed within that profession. Itís a profession filled with severe risks, and nobody should discount those risks or the lives of the people who join the military. However, the military has a purpose. Itís a tool of national policy that enables a nation to prevent other nations from causing harm through the use of force. Some military actions Iíll agree with, some I wonít. If I advocate support for a military action, and donít consider the fact that it could go wrong, or that lives of military personnel will be lost, then I am most certainly in the wrong and deserve condemnation. However, someone making that consideration, and deciding that achievement of the policy is worth the risk has the right to their opinion. Off the top of my head, I can think of several past military actions I agree with. If I took the time to research it, Iím sure I could find dozens.

I disagree with the US invading Iran in a repeat of Gulf War 2. I think that would be horribly costly and have no realistic prospects of achieving anything other than a lot of dead bodies. However, Iím in favour of the US and allied navies defending the Strait of Hormuz. That may mean responding to Iranian aggression, and it may involve military deaths for both Iran and the US. But I disagree with ceding control of international waters to Iran, and the accompanying harm to US allies, on the basis that Iran is willing to act as an aggressor.

Iím sure there are people in their 20ís in the US who agree with my opinions, but have chosen other careers besides the military. I donít believe anyone should be able to tell them that theyíre not entitled to those opinions because theyíve chosen a different career they wish to stay in. And I certainly disagree with trying to shame somebody who doesnít have the desire or aptitude to be in the military into shutting up because theyíre not joining up.
  #155  
Old 05-21-2019, 01:00 PM
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OK, what is different about being shot by enemies in war vs. being shot by criminals in peace? Probably the risk is greater in war - what is the threshold at which the principle kicks in? If only one police officer dies as a result of the CA Assembly's action, does that excuse them for not putting themselves at risk? How about ten? A hundred? What's the cut off, and why is it morally relevant?
The cutoff is "war" (which includes the little wars that usually aren't called wars, but rather "military action" or "operation" or something like that) vs "not war". Not a risk, or a body count, but whether we're talking about war or something else. War really is different, for a myriad of reasons already explained in this thread.

If you don't believe war is different, then fine, but that means our world views are so incredibly far apart that there's no possibility of understanding.

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So far it seems to be mostly special pleading, where putting soldiers at risk is bad but putting police at risk is something you don't feel to be subject to the same principle.
That doesn't answer my question. Here it is again: Do you think it's cowardly, or not cowardly, to advocate for a war that one is capable of but unwilling to participate in?
  #156  
Old 05-21-2019, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
The cutoff is "war" (which includes the little wars that usually aren't called wars, but rather "military action" or "operation" or something like that) vs "not war". Not a risk, or a body count, but whether we're talking about war or something else. War really is different, for a myriad of reasons already explained in this thread.

If you don't believe war is different, then fine, but that means our world views are so incredibly far apart that there's no possibility of understanding.



That doesn't answer my question. Here it is again: Do you think it's cowardly, or not cowardly, to advocate for a war that one is capable of but unwilling to participate in?


I simply do not believe that conflicts and war are the same thing. What I wish for is that when war becomes a thing to do, we actually go to WAR. To WIN the war, not in some humane way but to see your enemies crushed before you and to hear the lamentations of their women .

We don't war like we used to war. Probably since the lukewarm support of Vietnam.
  #157  
Old 05-21-2019, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
The cutoff is "war" (which includes the little wars that usually aren't called wars, but rather "military action" or "operation" or something like that) vs "not war". Not a risk, or a body count, but whether we're talking about war or something else. War really is different, for a myriad of reasons already explained in this thread.
No, you at least haven't given any reasons. Just saying "it's different" isn't a reason.

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  #158  
Old 05-21-2019, 02:59 PM
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No, you at least haven't given any reasons. Just saying "it's different" isn't a reason.



Regards,

Shodan
If you don't believe they're different, then our understanding of the world is so far apart that there's no hope of any understanding on this particular issue.

Thankfully, most folks in this thread agree with me that war is different, and many reasons have been provided as to why. You are free to disagree.
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  #159  
Old 05-21-2019, 03:07 PM
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Shodan, do you think it's cowardly, or not cowardly, to advocate for a war that one is capable of but unwilling to participate in?
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  #160  
Old 05-21-2019, 03:21 PM
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Shodan, do you think it's cowardly, or not cowardly, to advocate for a war that one is capable of but unwilling to participate in?
Even though this wasn't directed at me, I think this is the crux of the disconnect. I don't believe, personally, that a judgement of whether someone is 'cowardly' can be arrived at except by making all sorts of assumptions and having an obvious heavy bias one way or the other based on this level of information. I get that YOU think you can make such a sweeping judgement about someone based solely on this, but, again, I disagree. One does not have to participate in war to be able to advocate for their country to go to war, IMHO, and it's silly to try and make a value judgement such as yours based on that. It's basically the equivalent of others saying that someone opposed to war is obviously cowardly because of their stance, and because they aren't willing to risk themselves. Both are equally stupid and pointless attempts to label the other side with something harmful for no other sake than to tack on a label.

A label of 'coward' is, itself, fairly meaningless except to do harm and lash out. People aren't uniformly heroic OR cowardly in all things, being afraid of or not afraid of myriad things that shift and change due to circumstances. I don't think that people who want gun control because they are afraid of guns as cowards or cowardly, and I'd be saying the same things with the same level of heat if someone tried to do what you are doing and paint with such a broad brush and for no other reason than you want a license, even if just for your own self justification, to tack such a label on someone. I get that you don't see it this way, just like you don't see the natural progression of where such a thing is actually headed...you think that this will limit the discussion (in your own mind I suppose) on who can or can't advocate for military action, and allow you to dismiss anyone who doesn't meet your arbitrary criteria as a coward. My WAG is that you only want to see this in the narrowest terms because you are aware that if YOU do this, then others will do the same on other subjects. Those don't count because you've set arbitrary limits because war is different, but it's all a continuum of human action.
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  #161  
Old 05-21-2019, 03:30 PM
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Even though this wasn't directed at me, I think this is the crux of the disconnect. I don't believe, personally, that a judgement of whether someone is 'cowardly' can be arrived at except by making all sorts of assumptions and having an obvious heavy bias one way or the other based on this level of information. I get that YOU think you can make such a sweeping judgement about someone based solely on this, but, again, I disagree. One does not have to participate in war to be able to advocate for their country to go to war, IMHO, and it's silly to try and make a value judgement such as yours based on that. It's basically the equivalent of others saying that someone opposed to war is obviously cowardly because of their stance, and because they aren't willing to risk themselves. Both are equally stupid and pointless attempts to label the other side with something harmful for no other sake than to tack on a label.



A label of 'coward' is, itself, fairly meaningless except to do harm and lash out. People aren't uniformly heroic OR cowardly in all things, being afraid of or not afraid of myriad things that shift and change due to circumstances. I don't think that people who want gun control because they are afraid of guns as cowards or cowardly, and I'd be saying the same things with the same level of heat if someone tried to do what you are doing and paint with such a broad brush and for no other reason than you want a license, even if just for your own self justification, to tack such a label on someone. I get that you don't see it this way, just like you don't see the natural progression of where such a thing is actually headed...you think that this will limit the discussion (in your own mind I suppose) on who can or can't advocate for military action, and allow you to dismiss anyone who doesn't meet your arbitrary criteria as a coward. My WAG is that you only want to see this in the narrowest terms because you are aware that if YOU do this, then others will do the same on other subjects. Those don't count because you've set arbitrary limits because war is different, but it's all a continuum of human action.
I don't have any illusions that I'm somehow gonna get away with something, or that I'm exempt from being attacked for other issues, or similar. This is really about "desperate times calling for desperate measures" - the desperate times we are in are that a bombastic, incompetent idiot in the White House appears to be clamoring for a colossally stupid war, and I'm willing to break rhetorical rules in order to fight against this incredibly harmful foolishness. War really is different, in that the potential harm is so colossal that it's worth the risk of breaking this rhetorical rule, and we need to throw the kitchen sink, in terms of rhetoric, at the warmongers to try to prevent them from starting this war.

I wouldn't advocate for this in "normal" circumstances.
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  #162  
Old 05-21-2019, 03:33 PM
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... I wouldn't advocate for this in "normal" circumstances.
Like when Obama wanted to bomb Libya?
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Old 05-21-2019, 03:36 PM
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I don't have any illusions that I'm somehow gonna get away with something, or that I'm exempt from being attacked for other issues, or similar. This is really about "desperate times calling for desperate measures" - the desperate times we are in are that a bombastic, incompetent idiot in the White House appears to be clamoring for a colossally stupid war, and I'm willing to break rhetorical rules in order to fight against this incredibly harmful foolishness. War really is different, in that the potential harm is so colossal that it's worth the risk of breaking this rhetorical rule, and we need to throw the kitchen sink, in terms of rhetoric, at the warmongers to try to prevent them from starting this war.

I wouldn't advocate for this in "normal" circumstances.
Why not instead attack the administration and Trump directly on this then, instead of trying to paint with such a broad brush?? I mean, I agree with you mainly that the administration seems (or seemed until recently when things seem to have calmed back down for no reason given) to be arbitrarily pushing up towards military action in Iran based on unspecified intelligence and assessments that no one, especially Congress, seems to be aware of. THAT is something that can and should be attacked. But calling them cowards isn't, IMHO, the way to do that...it's using the facts and also a heavy dollop of (freaking recent) history to show what a bad idea it is, and perhaps reminding Congress to do their freaking job and push back on this sort of horseshit.

I just don't think name calling ever does anything constructive, and I don't see how what you are advocating in this thread is going to have any effect except to get people's backs up and make yourself feel good about labeling those you disagree in the broadest possible terms.
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  #164  
Old 05-21-2019, 03:44 PM
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Why not instead attack the administration and Trump directly on this then, instead of trying to paint with such a broad brush?? I mean, I agree with you mainly that the administration seems (or seemed until recently when things seem to have calmed back down for no reason given) to be arbitrarily pushing up towards military action in Iran based on unspecified intelligence and assessments that no one, especially Congress, seems to be aware of. THAT is something that can and should be attacked. But calling them cowards isn't, IMHO, the way to do that...it's using the facts and also a heavy dollop of (freaking recent) history to show what a bad idea it is, and perhaps reminding Congress to do their freaking job and push back on this sort of horseshit.



I just don't think name calling ever does anything constructive, and I don't see how what you are advocating in this thread is going to have any effect except to get people's backs up and make yourself feel good about labeling those you disagree in the broadest possible terms.
I'm for all possible (rhetorical) tactics. All of the above. I've personally seen the "coward" tactic work on more than one occasion in similar scenarios, but I think every decent person should be making the best argument they can against this idiocy, including breaking the rhetorical rules if they think that would work best for them.

Name calling is indeed rarely constructive, but occasionally, in my experience, it is effective.
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  #165  
Old 05-21-2019, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
This is not an accurate summation of my position.
I think it's pretty much spot on.

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You don't think voluntarily choosing to kill humans en masse and purposefully destroy infrastructure other humans rely on is meaningfully different than gathering resources or providing health care? I'm not sure how exactly to explain that to you, but it seems about as obvious as such complicated things can be to me.
I've acknowledged that they are by definition different. What you've failed to do, and continue to not do, is explain why that is meaningful in your construction. Apples are different than oranges, therefore reasons. Why do the difference matter such that other analogies that you think don't apply are somehow not apt?

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I think this sounds like the very common attitude that because we have an all-volunteer military, it's not that big of a deal to order them to kill and put themselves at risk. After all, they signed up for it -- and it's a powerful tool in our foreign policy arsenal.
Joining the military is a profession. It is an honorable one, certainly, but that does not transform it into any less of a profession than being a firefighter, or an office worker. That's only true because we have an all volunteer military. See, I'm explaining why that criteria matters. When there are fires, I really want firefighters to go put them out - and they often risk injury or death to do so. I do not want to be a fireman. The risk is not worth the wage, nor do I appreciate the hours, etc. But I really do want there to be people who do that kind of work. I don't see that as very different, but feel free to declare it to be so again.

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There's not a single way to contribute, and I'd take it on a case by case basis. But the overall thrust of my argument is to use social shaming as a tool to help avoid stupid wars.

Do you think stupid wars are a colossal problem, or not that big of a problem? If you think they're catastrophically damaging to humanity and to America, then at least we're on the same page in the importance of preventing these stupid wars. If you don't think they're that big of a problem, then our world view is probably so far apart that there's no chance of understanding between us on this.
Of course stupid wars are a problem and should not be engaged in. You've begged the question by defining them as stupid.

Do you understand what comparative advantage is? People contribute simply by adding to GDP. By shopping at Amazon. By paying taxes. Your hair splitting seems like a thin cover to engage in ad hominem.

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Name calling is indeed rarely constructive, but occasionally, in my experience, it is effective.
In all cases it diminishes the person that engages in this tactic.

Last edited by Bone; 05-21-2019 at 04:09 PM.
  #166  
Old 05-21-2019, 04:37 PM
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I think it's pretty much spot on.
If you prefer to argue with this fantasy version of my argument, then you can feel free, but I probably won't take part.

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I've acknowledged that they are by definition different. What you've failed to do, and continue to not do, is explain why that is meaningful in your construction. Apples are different than oranges, therefore reasons. Why do the difference matter such that other analogies that you think don't apply are somehow not apt?

Joining the military is a profession. It is an honorable one, certainly, but that does not transform it into any less of a profession than being a firefighter, or an office worker. That's only true because we have an all volunteer military. See, I'm explaining why that criteria matters. When there are fires, I really want firefighters to go put them out - and they often risk injury or death to do so. I do not want to be a fireman. The risk is not worth the wage, nor do I appreciate the hours, etc. But I really do want there to be people who do that kind of work. I don't see that as very different, but feel free to declare it to be so again.
Because of the massive, incredible, colossal harm that stupid wars do. That's not comparable to the potential harm of doing the wrong thing in any of those other issues that have been brought up. Fires need to be fought - there's no such thing as the wrong fire to fight. There may be different tactics for different types of fires, but they all have to be contained or extinguished.

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Of course stupid wars are a problem and should not be engaged in. You've begged the question by defining them as stupid.

Do you understand what comparative advantage is? People contribute simply by adding to GDP. By shopping at Amazon. By paying taxes. Your hair splitting seems like a thin cover to engage in ad hominem.
This makes war easy, for the vast majority of the population. It shouldn't be easy - it should be hard. War should be hard on everyone, lest we get into it casually.

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In all cases it diminishes the person that engages in this tactic.
That's a risk I'm willing to take. Bravely and honorably, I risk my own diminishment, all for my country.
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Old 05-21-2019, 05:24 PM
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If you prefer to argue with this fantasy version of my argument, then you can feel free, but I probably won't take part.
That's not much different than the rest of the thread where you haven't actually made a bonafide argument.


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Because of the massive, incredible, colossal harm that stupid wars do. That's not comparable to the potential harm of doing the wrong thing in any of those other issues that have been brought up. Fires need to be fought - there's no such thing as the wrong fire to fight. There may be different tactics for different types of fires, but they all have to be contained or extinguished.
The president has the potential to inflict massive, incredible, colossal harm to the world. From your position it would follow that one is cowardly to criticize the president if one doesn't also run for that office. You've drawn some arbitrary line that on all sides is beset with Scotsman.

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This makes war easy, for the vast majority of the population. It shouldn't be easy - it should be hard. War should be hard on everyone, lest we get into it casually.
Perhaps. But then you should be doing everything in your power to change this. A constitutional amendment fixing the War Powers Act. Requiring a greater threshold for declarations of war. Requiring greater requirements for engaging in military activity. Limiting presidential powers to wage war as the commander in chief. But no, name calling is the order of the day.

War should be hard. It should be done after careful calculus of the potential risks and rewards that may occur, and a whole host of other factors that come into play. Ad hominems do nothing to further that.
  #168  
Old 05-21-2019, 05:37 PM
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That's not much different than the rest of the thread where you haven't actually made a bonafide argument.
Lots of people seem to be enjoying themselves. I thank you for taking part in this discussion, as I thank everyone. Even when you disagree with me and tell me my arguments suck!

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The president has the potential to inflict massive, incredible, colossal harm to the world. From your position it would follow that one is cowardly to criticize the president if one doesn't also run for that office. You've drawn some arbitrary line that on all sides is beset with Scotsman.
I've drawn a line around war, which you acknowledge is different. And the president's potential for massive harm is pretty strongly focused on the potential for dumb military action. And I would certainly strongly criticize anyone who criticized the president but refrained from voting.

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Perhaps. But then you should be doing everything in your power to change this. A constitutional amendment fixing the War Powers Act. Requiring a greater threshold for declarations of war. Requiring greater requirements for engaging in military activity. Limiting presidential powers to wage war as the commander in chief. But no, name calling is the order of the day.
All of this sounds great to me. I'm in favor of all possible strategies and tactics to make dumb wars less likely.

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War should be hard. It should be done after careful calculus of the potential risks and rewards that may occur, and a whole host of other factors that come into play. Ad hominems do nothing to further that.
In my personal experience, you're wrong -- carefully crafted personal attacks can indeed occasionally be effective in changing minds, in limited circumstances.
  #169  
Old 05-21-2019, 06:00 PM
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In my personal experience, you're wrong -- carefully crafted personal attacks can indeed occasionally be effective in changing minds, in limited circumstances.
Hmm. IME, personal attacks, no matter how carefully crafted, make people dig in and double down.
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  #170  
Old 05-21-2019, 06:18 PM
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Well, does that extend to everything then? I mean, if I support gay marriage, do I need to become gay and get married? If I support the right for a woman to choose, does that mean I have to get pregnant?
No, because you are somehow, insanely, confusing rights with duties. The right to gay marriage doesn't require anybody to get married at all. War requires compelling service members to travel into harm's way and stay there until they're released. Possibly a draft as well.

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It doesn't seem reasonable to me that if I support some position of my government that means I have to directly participate in it.
I demand that able-bodied men risk their lives in service of our country! Except for... uh... me, because I prefer not to.

Sorry. That's the definition of cowardice.
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:36 PM
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Hmm. IME, personal attacks, no matter how carefully crafted, make people dig in and double down.
I don't think this is true. Or else there wouldn't be such a thing as "fat shaming" or "<other adjective> shaming"
  #172  
Old 05-21-2019, 08:15 PM
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It is an honorable one, certainly, but that does not transform it into any less of a profession than being a firefighter, or an office worker. That's only true because we have an all volunteer military.
Not exactly true. We have all volunteer enlistment. The reason this distinction matters is that once the war starts, it becomes very much not voluntary anymore at that point. You do not simply check out and say "nah, too much for me". Or "nah, I didn't sign up for that kind of war." It is so compulsory that people who serve their 20 years can be pulled back in for another few tours. It is so compulsory that even if you're badly hurt, you will be given medical treatment and potentially get sent back into battle if you can recover enough.

Firefighting is nothing like this in terms of intensity, coercion, degree of freedom sacrificed, or years of lives sacrificed. It's a hollow analogy.

Last edited by HMS Irruncible; 05-21-2019 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 05-21-2019, 08:42 PM
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I don't think this is true. Or else there wouldn't be such a thing as "fat shaming" or "<other adjective> shaming"
I'm not saying personal attacks don't exist, just that they aren't good tools for getting people to change their views.

Have you ever known an overweight person to lose weight because someone on the internet called them a whale?
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Old 05-21-2019, 08:48 PM
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I'm not saying personal attacks don't exist, just that they aren't good tools for getting people to change their views.

Have you ever known an overweight person to lose weight because someone on the internet called them a whale?
No, but has anyone lost weight because someone in real life constantly called them fat? I imagine there are some people who did. I'm thinking maybe husbands or wives whose spouse called them fat all the time.
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Old 05-21-2019, 09:00 PM
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No, but has anyone lost weight because someone in real life constantly called them fat? I imagine there are some people who did. I'm thinking maybe husbands or wives whose spouse called them fat all the time.
Well there are 7 billion people in the world, so anything's possible. But if a person I cared about become so overweight I was worried about their health, I think compassion and support would be a more effective tactic than insults and attacks.

And I'd hope someone in such an abusive relationship would Get the fuck out. If anyone insulted me about my bad habits I'd double down out of spite. And have nothing to do with them in the future.
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Old 05-21-2019, 09:12 PM
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If anyone insulted me about my bad habits I'd double down out of spite. And have nothing to do with them in the future.
Well, that's exactly how I feel about people chastising me for smoking

But this topic is not about compassion, it is about effectiveness.
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Old 05-22-2019, 12:24 AM
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Wanting to prevent war is a great goal but we shouldn't get there with irrational arguments and ad hominems.

Firstly because it's a flawed argument and will only convince those who are not thinking.

But secondly, next time, the same kind of flawed argument will be used to advocate for a bad position.
For example; to me it's not that far from the common line of "So-and-so prominent celebrity who jets all around the world to speak at events and rallies that spread awareness of climate change and urge governments to do more, jets all around the world. Therefore, hypocrite".

Last edited by Mijin; 05-22-2019 at 12:25 AM.
  #178  
Old 05-22-2019, 02:50 AM
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Well, that's exactly how I feel about people chastising me for smoking

But this topic is not about compassion, it is about effectiveness.
Well, I mean, yes. As you say people belittling you about smoking is not likely to change your mind. I think this is true for just about all 7 billion people on the planet. So we can say that personal attacks are not effective ways to change people's views.

I think you know this and are just arguing for the sake of arguing. So I will leave this stupid slap fight. If Andy wants to respond to my point I may engage with him.
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Old 05-22-2019, 04:18 AM
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Well, I mean, yes. As you say people belittling you about smoking is not likely to change your mind. I think this is true for just about all 7 billion people on the planet. So we can say that personal attacks are not effective ways to change people's views.

I think you know this and are just arguing for the sake of arguing. So I will leave this stupid slap fight. If Andy wants to respond to my point I may engage with him.
I think you're right in general, and most of the time. But I think that there are rare circumstances in which certain carefully and specific types of targeted personal attacks can be effective -- not with everyone, but with some folks. I don't think this is the only possible effective tactic just that it's one that could supplement other tactics.

And social shaming has a long history of effectiveness in changing behaviors, and social shaming is a big part of my tactic.
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:22 AM
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Unfortunately, the wars carry on despite public opinion. It would be more productive to shame those who bear more responsibility for war. If you believe criticizing hands-on killers crosses a line of social norms and you are afraid to do it, you’re not going to get very far in preventing wars. But there are still others who bear responsibility such as the executive and legislative warmongers and the academic/policy analyst warmongers. Even criticism of these types of warmongers is at a historical low in US society. I only see criticism of these warmongers on partisan lines, and even then very rarely. There is much intraparty criticism of peaceful pols and academics however.

Your criticism of Joe Schmo cracking a Budweiser and exclaiming “Nuke ‘em all!” is hardly a) controversial or b) effective.

Last edited by WillFarnaby; 05-22-2019 at 05:26 AM.
  #181  
Old 05-22-2019, 08:22 AM
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Also let's focus on the actual events.
I don't think it's useful to think of people as war hawks or doves because for most people it depends on the circumstances: few people (now) would condemn the US joining the european theatre in WWII.

It's better to point out that things like the current moves to war in Iran just make zero sense and are going to cause needless slaughter. Make fun of the view that there has been any basis whatsoever for attacking Iran, not general pro-war sentiment.
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Old 05-22-2019, 08:38 AM
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Also let's focus on the actual events.
I don't think it's useful to think of people as war hawks or doves because for most people it depends on the circumstances: few people (now) would condemn the US joining the european theatre in WWII.

It's better to point out that things like the current moves to war in Iran just make zero sense and are going to cause needless slaughter. Make fun of the view that there has been any basis whatsoever for attacking Iran, not general pro-war sentiment.
But I think "general pro-war sentiment" is a huge part of the problem and shouldn't be considered acceptable, IMO. I think this sort of social shaming could be a part of changing that.
  #183  
Old 05-22-2019, 08:41 AM
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Well, I mean, yes. As you say people belittling you about smoking is not likely to change your mind.
That's because I personally don't care what people say to me.

However, many people DO care how society sees them, and will change behavior to garner societal respect.
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Old 05-22-2019, 09:42 AM
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Well, I mean, yes. As you say people belittling you about smoking is not likely to change your mind.
Shaming is different from belittling. Belittling is personal judgment from me to you. Shaming is letting someone know that they're breaking a social rule that might get them ostracized. Shaming is important and it works because it's the only way to get some people to be good citizens. Whether it actually sticks is the question... it gets rebranded as persecution or posturing or moral signalling... anything, anything at all to avoid shame. But shame is the tool for that job.

That's why on the subject in this thread, we don't see anybody proudly standing up and saying "If I'm a coward, so be it". Instead we see people arguing that cowardice doesn't exist, or it doesn't really matter, or the other side is is wrong for calling it out. That's why Republicans crow about the virtues of military service while voting in shitbird chickenhawks like Trump every chance they get. For them, only 2 things matter: First, their right to compel others to pay the price of their wars before (or instead) of themselves, and second, that they be excused from any public shaming in doing so.

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It's better to point out that things like the current moves to war in Iran just make zero sense and are going to cause needless slaughter.
I think this is wrong. War hawks are always going to say "no no, this slaughter is quite needful." You cannot trust anyone's opinion that a slaughter is needed until you know how they feel about they or their children being at risk in said slaughter. When we look at Republican war-hawk politicians, it always seems to rain draft deferments or excuses for themselves or their children.

Last edited by HMS Irruncible; 05-22-2019 at 09:44 AM.
  #185  
Old 05-22-2019, 10:24 AM
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But I think "general pro-war sentiment" is a huge part of the problem and shouldn't be considered acceptable, IMO. I think this sort of social shaming could be a part of changing that.
Let me change that phrasing; I wasn't alluding to someone being pro-war always. I meant pro-war in the abstract.

If you're saying someone who is pro-war some of the time is a jerk, then the vast majority of people are jerks (I knew it!), because most people think there are circumstances where war is justifiable, such as self-defence. That's why it doesn't make sense to attack "pro-war" in the abstract absent any context.

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I think this is wrong. War hawks are always going to say "no no, this slaughter is quite needful."
Right, so then you talk about why it's needful and what concrete evidence there is of an imminent threat. That's a perfectly reasonable conversation to have, and if both parties are thinking logically and rationally, they would conclude there's FA evidence of a threat.

Meanwhile if either side is unwilling / unable to think rationally, then all bets are off. Arguing about the lack of threat may not work but nor may arguing about "What if it was your kid?" or whatever.
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Old 05-22-2019, 10:39 AM
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Meanwhile if either side is unwilling / unable to think rationally, then all bets are off. Arguing about the lack of threat may not work but nor may arguing about "What if it was your kid?" or whatever.
To boil it down to its essence for me, I specifically don't trust anybody to be completely rational about war, because the bare facts of war tend to emerge from emotionally stressing events or possibilities. And from propaganda. (Somebody got killed. We might get killed. They hate you and they want to kill you!). By the time we add reason to our toolbox of discourse, it's already full of other sharp and rusty edges.

So by the time it comes down to that, I like the moral clarity that comes from asking the question: Do you have skin in this game? Do your children have skin in this game? Are you willing to put skin in the game, and do you even understand what that's like?

I've done my military service, during time of conflict, and I have children at risk of military service in a war that lasts as long as Iraq or Afghanistan. The potential costs are crystal clear to me. I have no respect for people who refuse to put themselves in harm's way who insist on their right to say "Americans should die in this war for my safety, but not me or my children, because I don't prefer it."

You have the right to say that and I have the right to say that's shameful and cowardly.
  #187  
Old 05-22-2019, 10:47 AM
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Maybe it's my imagination, but if I am reading correctly (and my knowledge of Dopers is correct), all the veterans in this thread appear to be on one side (my side ) of the issue. I find that very interesting, if it's accurate.
  #188  
Old 05-22-2019, 10:59 AM
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Joining the military is a profession. It is an honorable one, certainly, but that does not transform it into any less of a profession than being a firefighter, or an office worker. That's only true because we have an all volunteer military. See, I'm explaining why that criteria matters. When there are fires, I really want firefighters to go put them out - and they often risk injury or death to do so. I do not want to be a fireman. The risk is not worth the wage, nor do I appreciate the hours, etc. But I really do want there to be people who do that kind of work. I don't see that as very different, but feel free to declare it to be so again.
I assume you don't advocate for starting fires because you support an able and willing firefighting force.
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  #189  
Old 05-22-2019, 11:15 AM
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I have no respect for people who refuse to put themselves in harm's way who insist on their right to say "Americans should die in this war for my safety, but not me or my children, because I don't prefer it."

You have the right to say that and I have the right to say that's shameful and cowardly.
If anyone actually said that, a sucker punch would be well justified. I know that is not my position. I might say "In my opinion, Americans must die in this war to ensure the safety of our nation, though I will not be enlisting unless my service is required."

I have some skin in the game, because I am a citizen of this country and a war could very well affect me - if not directly, then through taxes at the very least. That being said, my stake pales in comparison to someone with a loved one in the military. You are free to call me out for being insensitive to the human costs of war, and I can try and convince you that it is still necessary. Those are all valid lines of argumentation. But you have no basis to call me a coward because I express an opinion on the matter while still intending to remain a civilian.

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Old 05-22-2019, 11:21 AM
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The president has the potential to inflict massive, incredible, colossal harm to the world. From your position it would follow that one is cowardly to criticize the president if one doesn't also run for that office. You've drawn some arbitrary line that on all sides is beset with Scotsman.
Another poor analogy. Not every able bodied person is qualified to be president. (As evidence plainly shows.) Also, there isn't enough room for more than one president at a time. Also, imagine a field of 2,000,000+ presidential candidates. On the other hand, imagine a military force of 2,000,000+ qualified and able bodied persons. I suspect the latter is far more plausible (actual).

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War should be hard. It should be done after careful calculus of the potential risks and rewards that may occur, and a whole host of other factors that come into play. Ad hominems do nothing to further that.
You think most people who callously advocate for war spend a lot to time considering those factors?
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Old 05-22-2019, 11:21 AM
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I've drawn a line around war, which you acknowledge is different. And the president's potential for massive harm is pretty strongly focused on the potential for dumb military action. And I would certainly strongly criticize anyone who criticized the president but refrained from voting.
This is equivocating. Yes war is different. Red is different than blue, but they are both colors. Saying they are different elides over ways they are similar. You still haven't explained why war is different than the many counter examples that you've dismissed as not really true scotsman. It's blatant special pleading.

Yes the office of the president has the capacity to do massive harm through military action, but that's not nearly the limit. The office of the president has the power to inflict massive harm through its exercise of prosecutorial discretion and law enforcement. The strength of the US and world economy could arguably be toppled if there was intent to do so by the President. There's a whole hell of a lot that the office of the president can do to inflict massive harm outside of military actions. By your calculus unless a person runs for president then they are a coward, or if they don't vote, then they are a coward and disgusting. The rubric doesn't work very well.
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Not exactly true. We have all volunteer enlistment. The reason this distinction matters is that once the war starts, it becomes very much not voluntary anymore at that point. You do not simply check out and say "nah, too much for me". Or "nah, I didn't sign up for that kind of war." It is so compulsory that people who serve their 20 years can be pulled back in for another few tours. It is so compulsory that even if you're badly hurt, you will be given medical treatment and potentially get sent back into battle if you can recover enough.
A distinction without a difference. Enlistment is voluntary, and all the things you describe are part and parcel of that enlistment.
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Old 05-22-2019, 11:24 AM
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I have some skin in the game, because I am a citizen of this country and a war could very well affect me - if not directly, then through taxes at the very least. That being said, my stake pales in comparison to someone with a loved one in the military. You are free to call me out for being insensitive to the human costs of war, and I can try and convince you that it is still necessary. Those are all valid lines of argumentation. But you have no basis to call me a coward because I express an opinion on the matter while still intending to remain a civilian.

~Max
It's important to bear in mind that OP is specifically addressing wars of choice, not necessity.
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Old 05-22-2019, 11:36 AM
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I think a corollary would be if you don't support the enforcement of laws against illegal immigration or the flood of "refugees" being detained, but have the money and resources to host such a family or group of people then I think you're full of shit.

It's not the same as war but it's the same as being all talk and not willing to put your money/welfare where your mouth is. I don't see nearly as many people clamoring to open their homes to illegals as there are very vocal advocates about how somehow they have the right to violate national borders.
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Last edited by pool; 05-22-2019 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 05-22-2019, 11:37 AM
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It's important to bear in mind that OP is specifically addressing wars of choice, not necessity.
Whether the war is necessary or not is exactly the debate in which these accusations of cowardice arise.

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Old 05-22-2019, 11:43 AM
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Maybe it's my imagination, but if I am reading correctly (and my knowledge of Dopers is correct), all the veterans in this thread appear to be on one side (my side ) of the issue. I find that very interesting, if it's accurate.
Yes, military personnel have for some reason come to the belief that they should be privileged. Being able to support wars without being called a coward is another privilege they want to enjoy.
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Old 05-22-2019, 11:47 AM
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A distinction without a difference. Enlistment is voluntary, and all the things you describe are part and parcel of that enlistment.
This is really great... you argue that firefighters and military are equivalent degrees of risk and coercion. We point out that they aren't. You retreat to "that's what they signed up for". So there we have it.

When's the last time we talked about sending fireman into a burning building under penalty of jail or firing squad if they refused? I can't think of any recent reports of that, can you?
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Old 05-22-2019, 12:15 PM
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This is equivocating. Yes war is different. Red is different than blue, but they are both colors. Saying they are different elides over ways they are similar. You still haven't explained why war is different than the many counter examples that you've dismissed as not really true scotsman. It's blatant special pleading.
I have actually, as have several other posters. You either don't like those differences (even though you appear to actually agree that it's different) or you missed them.

Quote:
Yes the office of the president has the capacity to do massive harm through military action, but that's not nearly the limit. The office of the president has the power to inflict massive harm through its exercise of prosecutorial discretion and law enforcement. The strength of the US and world economy could arguably be toppled if there was intent to do so by the President. There's a whole hell of a lot that the office of the president can do to inflict massive harm outside of military actions. By your calculus unless a person runs for president then they are a coward, or if they don't vote, then they are a coward and disgusting. The rubric doesn't work very well.
This is a different "rubric" than mine. Running for President is not comparable in any way to fighting a war, in terms of necessity (i.e. additional people volunteering necessarily helps a war effort, but additional people running for President does not necessarily help the 'president-ing' effort), risks/sacrifices, and much more. I seriously don't get how these are in any way comparable, and you haven't really even bothered to try and explain it. You've just said it is so over and over again.

But it's okay, we don't have to go on and on about it. Plenty of posters clearly understand my point -- you are free to disagree.
  #198  
Old 05-22-2019, 12:16 PM
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This is really great... you argue that firefighters and military are equivalent degrees of risk and coercion. We point out that they aren't. You retreat to "that's what they signed up for". So there we have it.
You're mistaken. I've not asserted that firefighters and military are equivalent degrees of risk. Nor that they share in equivalent degrees of coercion. It is literally what they signed up for, so that part is right.
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Old 05-22-2019, 12:17 PM
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This is really great... you argue that firefighters and military are equivalent degrees of risk and coercion. We point out that they aren't. You retreat to "that's what they signed up for". So there we have it.

When's the last time we talked about sending fireman into a burning building under penalty of jail or firing squad if they refused? I can't think of any recent reports of that, can you?
He also appears to be arguing that running for president is equivalent. If I'm reading him correctly. I don't get it at all.
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Old 05-22-2019, 12:21 PM
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I'd also like to point out that the primary thrust of my argument is "it would be good for society and our country if these folks were shamed as cowards" much more than "it's entirely perfectly logical that these folks should be considered cowards". I don't really care nearly as much if people disagree with the latter -- I'm interested in what folks think about the former.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 05-22-2019 at 12:22 PM.
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