Don't support the troops

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  • #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
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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