Don't support the troops

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  • #26
Pengwuino
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Well think about it. Think of everything our military does and what supports it. It comes to a point where its easier to think of who CAN we let go. To list the people we can let go goes something like this...

1) A good portion of the army
2) A good portion of the marine corps

And thast about it. I mean really, to maintain a defensive military, you still need a tremendous number of people. Ships dont run themselves and air defense networks don't run themselves. Then you have personel to support everyone! To put it in numbers... we have some 150,000 people in Iraq but our military currently numbers over 2.2 million soldiers. Now add in soldiers in the small combat situations where US soldiers are in and you still don't come close to even 25% probably. Now thats a tremendous # of people simply supporting the military's existance....
 
  • #27
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It's clear that we don't even have a good definition of what "support the troops" means, even within the confines of this thread.

Why don't we take care of that little technicality first, before deciding if it's something we should do or not?
 
  • #28
Pengwuino
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moose said:
I almost always agree with you, but hold on a moment.

This year, in my ap us history course, I have read countless examples of crazed generals who made their troops do some crazy things. However, these have all been examples of the 19th century, and some beginning 20th. I will give examples later, right now I'm studying for this very class(test tomorow).

Yah the whole civil war kinda screws up my statement, I wasn't really keeping my statement inline with all of US history and dis-similar troop deployments.
 
  • #29
Pengwuino
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Gokul43201 said:
The 1975 civil trial established that there was a verbal command given to the guardsmen, upon which they fired into the crowd. Nothing accidental about that.

Hmm, never heard of that but at least it wasn't a standing order; that's where you'd see if your troops will really do anything you say.
 
  • #30
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I havn't read it all because I can't be bothered to. I just read this bit:
champ2823 said:
Unfortunately, it just isn’t so. In fact, the situation is the exact opposite – the troops serve as the primary instrument by which both our freedoms and well-being are threatened.?
And have this to say about it:

DUH!!
 
  • #31
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They have never, in practice, had to take unconstitutional measures.
Although we were attacked and were at war with Japan, the internment camps are actually a decent example of this though.
Never say never. Ignoring your contention that foreigners are not people under the Constitution, the latter two examples I provided excellently illustrate my point: that the military will do what the President wants, regardless of the Constitution. In fact, when the suspension of habeas corpus occurred, the Supreme Court actually ruled against it. You want to know what the military did in response? They completely ignored it. It doesn't matter whether we were at war or not. Many Bush fanatics actually believe us to be in a "War on Terror;" hence, many soldiers would do whatever the President feels is necessary. Is this acceptable to you?
 
  • #32
Pengwuino
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Ok so you ignore my contentions for 1

Then, to top it all off, you ignorantly call people who support Bush and our country "fanatics" and with no evidence ot support it, claim they will do anything and everything. Of course, you back up this view by listening to the propoganda you hear equating a few naked terrorists with the Nazi concentration camps most likely.
 
  • #33
loseyourname
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I don't think the suspension of habeas corpus is a good example. That occured only within the city limits of DC. When are we ever going to have another situation in which our national capital is located within the enemy country we are at war with? It was an unconstitutional act, and I understand the slippery slope implications of allowing it to happen, but even so, given that a violation of the Constitution in a standing presidential order to the military required such an extraordinary situation to occur, and even then was still opposed by the courts, shouldn't that be cause for us not to worry that there is any realistic chance of the president using the military to subdue the American people?

Besides, what reason is there to do that? Plain old fashioned propoganda and sociocultural controls work perfectly fine. The American people is already basically what the government wants it to be; it didn't have to force a certain behavior using the military.
 
  • #34
BobG
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Gokul43201 said:
Kent State immediately comes to mind.
I agree with Pengwuino on Kent State. It was a screw-up by a stressed unit on station, not a policy of the National Guard. You'd have to read the story on the whole weekend to understand the frame of mind of the Guardsmen at the time they opened fire on the crowd.

Pengwuino said:
The US constitution does not apply to foreigners. Although we were attacked and were at war with Japan, the internment camps are actually a decent example of this though. Habeas corpus, again, good example if you ignore hte fact we were at war.
wow again... do you even understand the military infrastructure of our country?
If you're only talking about mandatory internment camps, you're right about only non-citizens and Japanese that had renounced their US citizenship being interned. During WWII, 31,000 were interned as enemy aliens because they were non-citizens from Japan, Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria, or Romania. About 17,000 interees were Japanese.

There's a discrepancy when it comes to Germans and Italians, however. The US actually started arresting them before war was declared between the US, Germany, and Italy.

The mandatory internments were just the tip of the iceberg. American citizens of Japanese, German, or Italian descent had to 'relocate' to areas away from the US coast. Camps were made in the West for the 112,000 Japanese relocated. They weren't technically mandatory, since, if the West coast Japanese could make some other living arrangements in the middle of the country, they could do so. Of course, most of their family and friends were from the West coast, so other arrangements weren't possible for most. The German and Italian relocatees from the East coast were just told to relocate and make their own arrangements as best they could (their lack of a few central gathering places is why you generally don't hear about them).
 
  • #35
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Pengwuino said:
Ok so you ignore my contentions for 1
Then, to top it all off, you ignorantly call people who support Bush and our country "fanatics" and with no evidence ot support it, claim they will do anything and everything. Of course, you back up this view by listening to the propoganda you hear equating a few naked terrorists with the Nazi concentration camps most likely.
I ignored your contention because I didn't think that you could possibly argue it. The Bill of Rights clearly refers to "people," not "U.S. citizens." Do you dispute this? If not, then how can you claim that it somehow doesn't apply to foreigners unless you don't think that they are, in fact, "people?"

And no, I did not say that people who support Bush are fanatics. I said "Bush fanatics." Here's a hint for future math classes that you might take: if someone tells you that A is a subset of B, then that isn't the same thing as saying that A and B are the same set. Do you deny that there is such a thing as a Bush fanatic?
 
  • #36
BobG
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Art said:
BobG said:
They were very adament about this and held firm on this principle right up until, about 1812, when the US was invaded by a foreign country that burned down the capitol.
This was in response to the opportunistic US declaration of war against Great Britain (as Britain's military was tied up fighting Napoleon) and the US invasion of Canada and their burning of Toronto.
The comment wasn't aimed at demonizing the British.

My comment was aimed at the original founding fathers' idea that national defense could be accomplished by local state militias. That idea only lasted about twenty-five years before it was proven to be a bad one.

If a person is respected in any field at all, people like to trot out quotes from that person to support their position, regardless of whether or not that respected person knew what the heck they were talking about. (The respect shown Aristotle's geocentric model of the solar system, for example).
 
  • #37
Gokul43201
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BobG said:
I agree with Pengwuino on Kent State. It was a screw-up by a stressed unit on station, not a policy of the National Guard. You'd have to read the story on the whole weekend to understand the frame of mind of the Guardsmen at the time they opened fire on the crowd.
I didn't say it was a policy of the Guard (and I've read several versions of the events leading up to the massacre). But that isn't necessary to show that soldiers have obeyed orders (even if only from a superior officer on the ground) that are unconstitutional.

It seems like your counter, then, is that under sufficient stress, it's understandable if soldiers do act on orders that are unconstitutional. But that's not the point here.

The claim is that soldiers never have had to take unconstitutional measures. Even if the guardsmen disobeyed the order to shoot, it does not nnullify the fact that such an order - an unconstitutional one - was given.
 
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  • #38
BobG
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Gokul43201 said:
I didn't say it was a policy of the Guard (and I've read several versions of the events leading up to the massacre). But that isn't necessary to show that soldiers have obeyed orders (even if only from a superior officer on the ground) that are unconstitutional.

It seems like your counter, then, is that under sufficient stress, it's understandable if soldiers do act on orders that are unconstitutional. But that's not the point here.

The claim is that soldiers never have had to take unconstitutional measures. Even if the guardsmen disobeyed the order to shoot, it does not nnullify the fact that such an order - an unconstitutional one - was given.
True enough. Part of the problem at Abu Graib was that the person that might have had enough experience to provide a sanity check and enough confidence to jump a level to stop the abuse was a psycho himself. In that type of environment, Manchot's idea could apply to your junior military or poorly trained military.

The fact that it could apply in a few cases doesn't support Manchot's idea that a president could use the military to create a dictatorship that stripped the rights away from citizens (which is why I mentioned the policy part). You'd need near 100% military subservience regardless of whether the soldier had been in the military for 30 years or 3 months. And then you'd still have to hope some general doesn't retire and become an analyst on CNN or MSNBC, or worse yet, try to run for President.

Edit: Just for the record, one of the more humorous things that happens in the military from time to time is when a captain (O-3 for you Navy guys) tries to chew out a master sergeant for not supporting him strongly enough. I think it's part of educating officers that they have to try that at least once, but if they ever become a unit commander, it's probably reassuring to know everyone's not drinking the kool-aid.
 
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  • #39
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Manchot said:
Abu Ghraib? Guantánamo Bay? The internment of Japanese-American citizens during WWII with no cause? The suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War? Any of those ring a bell?
Art said:
How about the 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry interned in the US by executive order no. 9066 during WW2? Two thirds of whom were full US citizens and none of them had committed any crime or given any cause to doubt their loyalty to the USA.
Pengwuino" said:
The US constitution does not apply to foreigners. Although we were attacked and were at war with Japan, the internment camps are actually a decent example of this though. Habeas corpus, again, good example if you ignore hte fact we were at war.
However shouldn't those Japanese who were citizens, have had their constitutional rights protected?
 
  • #40
Skyhunter
Pengwuino said:
So you support the OP's line of thinking.
I was referring to deckart's post. Pointing out that if he biased his opinion he prejudged the OP, threfore his opinion is prejudiced.

You ask simple and broad questions.

I remember a brief period, when the world was not afraid.

That has only happeneded once in my lifetime.

I grew up in the 60's and 70's, nuclear war was an ever present danger.

I saw a glimpse of what the future holds, if we can get it together as one people, on one planet.

That future does not include an Imperial army.

Those who claim America needs this powerful military to execute wars for resources, do not share my belief in a peaceful future.
 

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