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News The Troops = Bad? (surely killing is wrong)

  1. Jun 12, 2009 #1
    I don't understand why everyone is all about supporting the troops

    These people kill other people
    I believe killing is wrong, also war is wrong...

    Am I out of line when I say I hate the troops as much as any other murderer/life taker?!

    I understand using troops for defense...

    But look, Iraq did nothing to UK (where I'm from) and nothing to USA. We are the offense in this example...

    In my school we had to pray for the troops (catholic school >_>). And I never did. How can you pray for some people to kill other people?! (I wasn't atheist at that time). Guess what, Osama Bin Laden praises his 'troops' too for killing westerners

    This week, the Colbert Report is in Iraq and is shooting the TV show at a US-base. This is why I'm posting this topic... it reminded me of my views on the whole issue. And now I cannot even watch that show because they are always praising the troops over and over...

    It just all seems so hypocritical. Hoping our side kills the other side... And yet teaching 'violence is wrong'. We are using violence on a mass scale and NOT as last resort...

    What do you guys think? Can you see where I'm coming from...
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 12, 2009 #2
    You seem to be arguing two different things:
    1. All killing is bad.
    2. Killing is bad unless it is a last resort or is for defense.
    Can you please clarify?
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2009
  4. Jun 12, 2009 #3


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    You realize it's not like everyone in the army took a vote and decided to invade Iraq? Blame the people who made the decision, not the people who have to carry it out
  5. Jun 12, 2009 #4
    Yes, I can clarify, all human killing is bad.
    (I just meant I can -understand- killing in defense or other situations. I'm just pointing out there's a difference between accidentally killing someone, and going into a school and killing every child. I hope you can see this difference! :) )

    But they joined the army in order to kill others right?
    I also do blame the people who made the decision. But the people who are doing the brutal killings are also to 'blame'.
    Maybe the people who flew the planes into the WTC didn't vote to do that either. Perhaps they are the same as the troops. Bin laden may have picked them to do it. We are being equally as wrong it seems...

    It's not really about 'blame' though :p

    I just think it is wrong and I wondered if others share my opinion about this... Especially as we praise and praise and praise these people...
    How about I kill someone I don't like tomorrow? I'll surely go to jail.

    What even separates an army officer from a murdering psychopath... We praise one for killing 100s of the 'enemy'. Yet the other is thrown into jail for killing one person...

    It's a sad world, I guess :(

    I don't think it's possible to say our soldiers are 'good people', without including that the terrorists are also 'good people'. They are both killers, they are both bad and don't have my respect, IMO.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2009
  6. Jun 12, 2009 #5


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    I can't agree with you here, which may cause an issue down the road

    Few people join the army for the purpose of killing people. Many people join the army because it pays well, or for the social benefits/pressure involved, or to defend their country. In fact, I'm pretty sure they try to screen out people coming on board just to blast people with a gun.

    What makes these killings brutal? It's not like they're lining up people execution style in cold blood

    Obviously it is, since you're trying to blame the soldiers for being in a situation where they need to kill people

    They aren't praised for killing people. You seem to be missing the point there

    If a soldier goes out and picks someone at random he doesn't like and kills that person, he'll go to jail too. There's no double standard there.

    Ye gods. Context man. You even said yourself that makes a difference
  7. Jun 12, 2009 #6


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    My nephew is a lifer in the Navy, married to another lifer, and they have a lovely daughter. They did not join the military to kill people, but to serve their country. He has been "sailor of the year" at so many levels and so many times that it's ridiculous. He was the highest-rated chief on an aircraft carrier with 120+ CPOs on board, and finally opted to go for additional training so that he could be commissioned as a Chief Warrant Officer. I am proud of him and his wife, and if they are called upon to kill somebody in the service of this country, I will not hold those actions against them. The same goes for the soldiers, Marines, aviators, etc that got posted in our current wars. They have to do as they are told. The evil is done by their bosses, who start wars of aggression, call in air-strikes on civilian targets when combatants might be present, etc.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2009
  8. Jun 12, 2009 #7
    Oh come on... 'serve your country' means to kill the enemy. I mean people on the front line who are given weapons etc...

    I am amazed you can say "the evil is done by their bosses"!
    Don't join the army/navy etc if you don't want to kill, surely?

    Again, how about the people who flew into the world trade centers? Just their 'boss' told them to do that, right? I heard Bush himself say those people are 'evil-doers'. The troops who kill are also evil-doers.... Just because it is our side we don't say such things...

    The Islamic-fundamentalist terrorists think America are the evil-doers.
    America thinks the Islamic-fundamentalist terrorists are the evil-doers.
    They both dont mind killing in the name of their 'principles' or what they think is right.

    What are they praised for? The person put on the front line with a machine gun is not being praised for killing people? When they praise the troops, they are saying to that person 'well done for killing those enemy soldiers, you served our country'. His/her job is to go on the front line and kill any enemy who approaches... that is their job... we are praising them for their job. Let's be honest.

    Of course it isn't said so blatantly, but this is what they are truly saying. I'd be shocked if you don't agree with this.

    The military exists because there is an enemy or potential for an enemy. A strong army will be one which can kill any others, right?
    We praise our military. Military kill the enemy. (ok, not EVERY single person, but many do)
    If we can kill more of them before they kill us, then we win the war? or at least that is one of the main objectives to winning a war. The details do not matter, you should be able to see what I'm getting at.

    The military is in the business of killing people in the time of war. I'm sure everyone can see this. Again, of course there are certain jobs which don't require blatant killing of human life. But a lot of it is...

    Airplanes carry bombs to kill, people carry guns... this is obvious? or at least should be.

    So the military can kill the enemy because the government says its ok. Even worse, the government will pay you and provide you with all the necessary skills/equipment to do so.
    There is no moral justification there IMO.

    Everyone is as bad as each other. But we know one thing, the strong will go on to survive...

    In that case, how about we teach our children the same thing, and not be hypocritical about it... violence is the way to get things done... ultimately..

    I'm just shocked how so many people, especially in America believe their troops are not as bad as the guys on the other side.... It's laughable.

    And also sad at the same time.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2009
  9. Jun 12, 2009 #8
    Why don't you propose a solution instead of complaining about nonsensical points of view. Your posts reek of absolutely no understanding of geopolitics or the military. Your notion that people join the military to kill others is so far removed from reality, you discredited yourself and anything you have to say. Frankly, I find it offensively ignorant.
  10. Jun 12, 2009 #9
    Were you an vegetarian also?
  11. Jun 12, 2009 #10
    For some reason you find it difficult to admit that the military have to kill people.

    I'm just saying I think both sides are equally as bad. I just wondered if anyone has the same views as myself :)
  12. Jun 12, 2009 #11
    No one is denying that the military kills people. That's what they are trained to do.

    No, because that's an absurd statement. Reading through your OP, I take it your probably in high school. So I will pardon your youthful ignorance in these posts. Were you not in high school, I would rip you apart for what you wrote about the military.
  13. Jun 12, 2009 #12


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    As people have already stated, your argument is very flawed. It's quite dangerous to have people in your military with a psychopathic need to kill people unless you have a powerful method of controlling and directing that need (which in some cases, can be religion for example). That's why it's avoided. Also, you say you're ok with using troops for defense but what do you think that entails? Killing people. As already stated, very very few people who have to take a life in the military see it as a wonderful gratifying experience. In fact, it can be argued that one of the purposes of a modern military is to make the fact that you're killing people as diluted as possible because we all know how killing someone can affect someone mentally.

    Plus of course it's already been mentioned that it's debatable if killing is wrong. Was it wrong for the Allies to kill German and Japanese soldiers and what not during World War II? There is a line between killing and murder. Murdering someone, to me, is killing someone for what they do, who they are personally, and their personal beliefs. Killing people in a war for example, is killing people for what they represent and unfortunately, there is no other way of stopping what they represent aside from killing the soldiers they bring to the table.

    As for your personal issues when you were younger, realize that I really doubt you were being asked to pray for your soldiers to kill other people, rather that they aren't killed themselves. Far more money, planning, and care (along with the simple support and prayers from the general public) go into protecting your country's soldiers then really killing the other side. If the idea really was to just kill kill kill... that's what nuclear weapons are for.

    If Bin Laden all of a sudden appeared tomorrow with his whole army and just said "we surrender", do you really think we'd line them all up in a firing squad and kill every single one of them?

    Oh and yet another hole in your logic, you do realize that the military's primary objective is to hit military targets right? Targets that propel a war-machine. In Al-Qaeda's case, their primary targets are civilians. There is a vast difference between mass killing of civilians and mass killing of a soldiers.
  14. Jun 12, 2009 #13


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    I don't disagree with many of your viewpoints, but I have to take issue with this statement. This is very, very dangerous thinking. The people who pull the triggers are absolutely as guilty as the people who tell them to do so. This is true in criminal law throughout the civilized world. It does not magically become inapplicable when the government is giving the orders.

    One of the greatest troubles with the military is that its members become dependent on it like any other job. They are forced to either follow their leaders' murderous orders (or be complicit in their execution), or leave their jobs and face dishonor and unemployment, often with disastrous consequences for their families.

    This mechanism, which occurs worldwide, is one of the fundamental enablers of despotism.

    - Warren
  15. Jun 12, 2009 #14


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    Pretty lame argument. We will always need some level of armed services to protect our country. Violence should be a last resort, though our previous US administration used it as their first resort against people they didn't like. Do you have a police force where you live? If an officer shoots a person who is trying to kill or rape a relative of yours, would you whine and cry about the senseless loss of the criminal's life? I'd shake the officer's hand and give him/her my heartfelt thanks. I abhor senseless killing. That said, I hunt deer and will do my utmost to guarantee a clean humane kill. In the last 30 years, I have never needed more than one shot to bring down a deer, and have passed up many, many less-certain shots.

    Moral absolutism (sans context) is pretty ridiculous, so you might want to revisit your ideas. It's pretty common to hear right-to-lifers debating when human life begins (zygote, perhaps) and must be protected at all costs, but these are often the same right-wingers that willingly support the execution of prisoners who have (rightfully or wrongfully) been convicted of capitol crimes. The Bush ban on new stem-cell research was motivated by the idea that frozen eggs are "life", yet when Bush was the governor of Texas, he never saw a death-sentence that he didn't like.
  16. Jun 12, 2009 #15
    Given the dissent you've received thus far, I think it's a bit presumptuous to call support for our soldiers either laughable or sad. I hate to sound like a conservative, but American soldiers protect the country's sovereignty, and ultimately provide you with the right to speak your mind and attack them as "bad people." Exercise your right to free speech if you will, but please also exercise some rationality here too.

    Your original contention that all killing is wrong is probably not correct. For example, if you were placed in a situation where you had to choose between your own life and the life or someone who is trying to kill you (i.e. self-defense), would you choose the other person? Maybe you would, and at least your policy is self-consistent. But I think you can see how most reasonable people would make the other choice. Killing is not always wrong. Murder is what we usually define as wrong. Or consider this:

    Question: is it OK to kill the guy who's killing the children in the school, either while he is committing the act (self-defense) or afterwards (capital punishment)?

    Militaries exist because countries usually don't get along, and they try to attack each other. A well-trained military is necessary in order to defend America against our enemies. In the military it's also necessary to follow orders. If soldiers could pick and choose which fights were worthy of their effort, the military just wouldn't work. You can argue all day that the American invasion of Iraq was immoral (and I would agree), but you can't fault the soldiers for doing as they are told. They don't get to influence the government's decision to invade another country, except in the voting power that they have as American citizens.

    Now, it's true that many people in the military view the Iraq war as a just war. Personally I think it's foolish for anyone in the military to hold this view, and I wonder if it stems from a lack of education or from some sort of indoctrination. I also think that the best way to support the troops is to end the Iraq war as quickly as possible. But you can't label them as murderers on the basis of their political views anymore than you can do so to an ordinary citizen with the same view.

    I think that before you decide to not support American troops, you might want to consider the many benefits that you derive from their service.
  17. Jun 12, 2009 #16


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    It's not so cut and dry. For the most part, US/UK soldiers do not plant roadside bombs or IED's. They generally do not shoot unless they come under fire. On the other hand, al Qaida and Taliban forces have massacred civilians intentionally, whereas US/UK/allies forces seem to do it unintentionally. However, we know in some cases, a limited number of US and UK troops have intentionally brutalized and killed innocent people.

    I'm opposed to war, but that doesn't change that fact that if happens. I hope it ends quickly.

    If one feels strongly about, join an NGO or other humanitarian group, and serve in Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan.
  18. Jun 12, 2009 #17


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    I understand your point of view - or at least I think that I do. My point is that the people who join the military are not killers or predisposed to be killers, but are often young kids in need of structure and regimentation in their lives. My nephew came from a family that was torn apart by alcoholism and the accidental death of his younger sister, and the Navy was the best thing that ever happened to him. He's a great guy, and is probably the best father that his step-daughter could ever have hoped for. If he has to kill someone (directly or indirectly) in the defense of our country, I have to reconcile that with his character and past behavior.

    He is a wonderful person with a sense of duty and he is proud to serve our country. I think that it is important to distinguish between wars that we HAVE to fight, and wars that some idiots WANT to fight. The Iraqis were never a threat to the US, and the poor service-members sent there didn't have a choice. BTW, until she turned up pregnant about the time of mobilization, my cousin's daughter (who I am very close to) was scheduled to serve in Abu Ghraib as a Lt, after the first batch of miscreants abused and humiliated their prisoners, providing a really handy recruiting opportunity to Al Qaeda.
  19. Jun 12, 2009 #18


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    Perhaps I'll provoke Cyrus' ire, but his teeth aren't sharp enough...

    I see your point, antd. And, to an extent, I agree with it. The truth is that the people -- soldiers, officers, and those that run the government above them -- almost always act, individually, in ways that they feel are correct. The vast majority of troops on both sides of any conflict fundamentally believe they are doing the right thing, or the conflict would not exist. In that sense, both sides are equally "good," and therefore equally "bad."

    You can argue with global perspective -- the troops on the other side don't have the information we have, the troops on the other side have been brainwashed -- but no one, anywhere, truly has a global perspective.

    Americans often wave their hands at the conflicts of others (Pakistanis vs. Indians, Israelis vs. Palestinians, etc.) as being petty and pointless, often demented and tragic. The readily agree that such wars should not exist in the first place. Then they turn around and claim that our wars have great significance and motivation.

    - Warren
  20. Jun 12, 2009 #19


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    To add to this quote, even with the few few soldiers who kill innocent people in wars, there is a subset of that group that simply snapped (a close friend killed, someone who saved their life is killed, a family member fighting with them is killed) and just like we have leniency with people who have mental breakdowns and commit murders in society, leniency should be applied with how you describe such people in the military. There is a psychology behind fighting in wars that people who have never been in a war probably realize exists, but fail to really acknowledge it.

    I really feel you (the OP) woudl be hard pressed to find someone who really fights in the military who just loves wars and wishes they could continue so they could keep killing people. In reality, that's saying "hey, I want more chances to die".
  21. Jun 12, 2009 #20


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    Since those two statements contradict each other, what you are really saying here is that you are confused and/or have not thought the issue through.
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