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Thanks to those who have served and are serving...
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qudjy1
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:28 pm    Post subject: Thanks to those who have served and are serving... Reply with quote

...who have sacrificed so much...

A soldier's view of 4,000 dead in Iraq

I am hoping that we can agree to keep the politics out of this thread...
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EvilJuan
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
When you are evaluating the price of the war, weighing potential rewards versus cost in blood and treasure, I would ask you to consider what is worth the lives of three of your loved ones? Or eight? Or more? It would be a tragedy for my 8 and 3 to have died without us being able to complete our mission, but it maybe even more tragic for 8 and 3 to become anything higher.


These two thoughts at the end of the article, on one level, say it all -- and yet, at the same time, opens the door for the political discussion/debate you hope we will keep out of this thread, my friend (especially the final sentence).

Personally, I wouldn't trade the lives of three friends for Iraq; thankfully, I'm not in a position to do so. All who are there are, as the article clearly stated, volunteers, who, presumably, knew what they were getting into when they enlisted. There are a multitude of reasons for joining up -- each one serving has his or her own, including the sense of service to country that has always been the basis for the core of the military. How can we fail to acknowledge and honor that?

Which would be a greater tragedy? For the numbers to increase? Or for the lives already given (to death or to injury) to have been to no purpose because the troops are withdrawn before the task is completed? I honestly don't know -- especially when the certain reality of staying to finish the task, so that the deaths and injuries until now will not have been in vain, is that the number killed and injured will continue to increase: threes becoming eights, and eights becoming...

I should add that I have never favored our going into Iraq; but that does not mean that I do not support doing what is needed to protect our soldiers who are there now.
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Justin
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EvilJuan wrote:
There are a multitude of reasons for joining up -- each one serving has his or her own, including the sense of service to country that has always been the basis for the core of the military. How can we fail to acknowledge and honor that?


How would we be failing to honor that by pulling out? Who says the soldiers that are over there really want to be there? I know a few poeple that are/were in the armed forces. One of them went to Iraq, left behind 2 small children and a 21 year old wife in a crapy military housing in southern Louisiana. (she told me it was the worst town shed ever lived in and hated S LA and could barely get by) His deployment was supposed to be 1 year but he got extended 6 months. So this girl was essentially on her own financially for 18 months, now what if he had died? Why do people not take into account the other family members when they look at statistics? Its not what Soldier A wants, its what his wife, children, job etc wants.



EvilJuan wrote:
Which would be a greater tragedy? For the numbers to increase? Or for the lives already given (to death or to injury) to have been to no purpose because the troops are withdrawn before the task is completed? I honestly don't know -- especially when the certain reality of staying to finish the task, so that the deaths and injuries until now will not have been in vain, is that the number killed and injured will continue to increase: threes becoming eights, and eights becoming...


I support the troops, but I doid not support the decision to go to war in Iraq and I will not support a decision to go to war with Iran or North Korea. (Maybe North Korea, but I dont think there threat is big enough. They seem to me to be more like Italy inn WW2)

edit- meant to say IF mccain gets in, i hope he doesnt increase troop levels.


Eviljuan wrote:
I should add that I have never favored our going into Iraq;


This is not a populer war. On either the national and certaintly not on the international levels. What immediate threat did Iraq post against us? The had no WMDs, they arent connected to Al Qeada, etc. We should have just left them alone. If we truely felt it was necessary to depose Sadam Hussein, then why not use a covert CIA mission....we did that plenty of times before in South America and even did it to get the Shah of Iran back into power....

EvilJuan wrote:
but that does not mean that I do not support doing what is needed to protect our soldiers who are there now.


Then get them out. All we are doing is killing our youth. We will end up with a generation of disabled vets that have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and have trouble fitting in with civilian life. Again.
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EvilJuan
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ceannsaich wrote:
Who says the soldiers that are over there really want to be there?


Actually, my position regarding the undesirable aspects of withdrawing the troops before the situation has been stabilized comes primarily from the people I know who are serving in the military. They are the ones who speak most persuasively about the need to complete what was started, so that their fallen comrades might have died for something good. Granted, with as many people serving as there are, this opinion is not held universally. No doubt there are those who do not feel this way -- and there's nothing wrong with that in my book. Also, if you read what I said initially, I was not (as you seem to suggest) arguing that position. Rather, I am suggesting it is an open question, with two "no-win" outcomes, both negative, as far as I am concerned.

There's no doubt in my mind that the soldiers and families of military personnel deserve far more, salary-wise and housing-wise, than they are receiving. As with schoolteachers, our military are among the most under-paid for the thankless tasks they perform on our behalf. If I were king, I would certainly take the salary package for Exxon's CEO and distribute it among the teachers and soldiers of this land. (This is why millions are thankful that I am not king. Wink ) Most of the teachers I know knew they were never going to get rich when they entered the profession; and the same is probably true for those who entered the military -- who also knew that, if a shooting war came along, they'd be at risk, and that this could have an impact in their families as well. These aren't unwilling draftees we're talking about, but volunteers. Give them credit for placing their country's interests (right or wrong) and our security above personal gain. This does NOT make it right to underpay them, or to devalue them in any other way -- such as ripping off their benefits. Such actions are outrageous, and political heads should roll for doing such things.

Who is to blame for continuing the war? We all are; as we are the government. If you feel as strongly as your words here suggest, I trust you are writing the senators from your state, and the congressman from your district, and the President of the United States himself to express your views. I trust you are working for the election of the candidate who you think best represents your point of view. As for me, I don't know what the best course of action would be: to end the war, or to stay. I mourn the loss of every young soldier killed in action, and cannot imagine the impact of their loss to family and friends. Yet I value the freedom they provide by what they are doing -- and I cannot honestly say that I would bring them home unconditionally and immediately. As I said initially:

Quote:
Which would be a greater tragedy? For the numbers to increase? Or for the lives already given (to death or to injury) to have been to no purpose because the troops are withdrawn before the task is completed? I honestly don't know -- especially when the certain reality of staying to finish the task, so that the deaths and injuries until now will not have been in vain, is that the number killed and injured will continue to increase: threes becoming eights, and eights becoming...


Just because I asked the question doesn't mean I know the answer. Right now, on this level, it's a Morton's Fork.
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Justin
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Im not as passionate about it as that post apparently dictates. I just had some things I wanted to say. Figured it was about time I contribute inteligently to one of the political threads here Rolling Eyes

btw, if you wondered, though I doubt you did, I am actually ineligible for the draft. I cant even vounteer. Im 4f, medically ineligible because im bilaterally HI. So maybe for me to get up on a soapbox and say some of the points i said this morning was hypocritical (not sure if that the right word...) of me.
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B. O. N. D.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EvilJuan wrote:
before the task is completed


I can't see one task there that can be completed.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

B. O. N. D. wrote:
EvilJuan wrote:
before the task is completed

I can't see one task there that can be completed.

Those that volunteer to go over do.
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B. O. N. D.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know many who have served that didn't. Many that live over there don't. Not that they have a real choice, anyway.

But, what do I know? I'm just a simple "liberal".




Laughing Confused

Not that it's a laughing matter. And I know it's not that simple. And I pray for ours over there.
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Justin
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


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McCray
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ceannsaich wrote:
btw, if you wondered, though I doubt you did, I am actually ineligible for the draft. I cant even vounteer. Im 4f, medically ineligible because im bilaterally HI.


I'm medically ineligible too, which is why I stay out of the Iraq talk for the most part. I walk with a cane, have chronic migraines, and terrible vision. If the US armed forces ever got to the point where they need to draft someone like me, we are totally screwed.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ceannsaich wrote:

btw, if you wondered, though I doubt you did, I am actually ineligible for the draft.



We have a draft in this country now? I know I spend too much time on baseball...but wow...when did I miss THAT ??
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DesertKnight
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shoewizard wrote:
Ceannsaich wrote:

btw, if you wondered, though I doubt you did, I am actually ineligible for the draft.



We have a draft in this country now? I know I spend too much time on baseball...but wow...when did I miss THAT ??


We may not have a draft NOW, but we still have to register for it. If someone is medically unfit, they won't be selected, but they still have to register. And no, Shoe, draftees aren't selected according to their OPS....
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qudjy1
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/05/02/obit.miracle.marine/index.html
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B. O. N. D.
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, there's some perspective for you. Crying or Very sad
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

qudjy1 wrote:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/05/02/obit.miracle.marine/index.html


We often idolize ballplayers, but there is no comparison.

Sgt. Merlin German is a true hero. May God comfort his family.
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

qudjy1 wrote:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/05/02/obit.miracle.marine/index.html

Crying or Very sad

So sad. Such a waste.
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TAP wrote:
B. O. N. D. wrote:
EvilJuan wrote:
before the task is completed

I can't see one task there that can be completed.

Those that volunteer to go over do.

Unfortunately, a great deal of them enlisted after 9/11 to fight the "enemy". Iraq wasn't what they signed up for.
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dirtygary wrote:
qudjy1 wrote:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/05/02/obit.miracle.marine/index.html

Crying or Very sad

So sad. Such a waste.

I'm sure Sgt. Merlin German, were he here today, would take offense at suggesting his life was wasted. He accomplished more good before and after his injuries than most ever dream of accomplishing. His life was not wasted.
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He was 22 years old at the time of his death.

Look at what he was able to accomplish in such a short period of time.

May God grant him eternal rest; and comfort to his family, and all who knew him.
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like I said above, I try my best to stay out of the Iraq debate, but I've got to say just a couple things:

1. What an amazing, amazing man. The world is a better place for him having been here. In my personal belief, that is the final true judgment of a man, and he passes any test in that regard. Wow.

2. TAP, I see what you're saying, but when I read DirtyGary's post, I guess I interpreted it a little different than you did. Isn't it a waste when anyone dies at that young of an age? And isn't it especially a waste when such a young soul with so much personal drive to change the world passes away when they should have had decades and decades left with which to help those in need? That's how I read what he wrote.

3. I have pinkeye.
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Um, sorry if I take away from this thread a little, but I think this is cool. It talks about only the 2nd female to recieve a silver star from the military since WW2. She was a medic (was pulled, but the story is kinda vague on why she was pulled after getting the silver star from combate) She was quoted as saying she didnt want to leave the combat zone.

I think this quote is cool.
Quote:
"I've seen a lot of grown men who didn't have the courage and weren't able to handle themselves under fire like she did," said Staff Sgt. Aaron Best of Canton, N.C., Robbins's gunner that day. "She never missed a beat."

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qudjy1
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TAP wrote:
dirtygary wrote:
qudjy1 wrote:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/05/02/obit.miracle.marine/index.html

Crying or Very sad

So sad. Such a waste.

I'm sure Sgt. Merlin German, were he here today, would take offense at suggesting his life was wasted. He accomplished more good before and after his injuries than most ever dream of accomplishing. His life was not wasted.


LIke Mccray - i read it differently too. I agree with both of you - His time with us was definately not a waste, but it would have been nice to have him around longer.
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The price of war is always paid in the blood of the young. Its not just Iraq and Afganistan, sadly I saw three of my platoon mates die in a helicopter crash and another in my company died in a carcrash just off base.

We all joined knowing what may be asked of us and we did so proudly. So while we may question the motivations of our leadership, a luxuary soldiers dont have, Do not disrespect the sarcrifices our men and women in uniform make...

:::Steps off his soapbox::::
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TAP wrote:
dirtygary wrote:
qudjy1 wrote:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/05/02/obit.miracle.marine/index.html

Crying or Very sad

So sad. Such a waste.

I'm sure Sgt. Merlin German, were he here today, would take offense at suggesting his life was wasted. He accomplished more good before and after his injuries than most ever dream of accomplishing. His life was not wasted.


I certainly don't think that he meant the man's life was a waste. He probably just meant that it was extremely unfortunate that he didn't live longer.
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.iraqbodycount.org/

I overstated (again). It's only between 83,000 and 90,000 civilian deaths.

Innocent civilians.

This whole thing is worse than a waste; and we all knew it before it even began. But the one's that wanted it called us unpatriotic and un-american for questioning the legitimacy of the invasion. Daring to question whether it was worth the blood of our own kids.

And then we lose 4,000 of our own kids like Merlin, and another 85,000 innocent people die (lots of children, too); and we can't say it wasn't worth it, it was a mistake, MAYBE IT'S TIME TO END THE MISTAKE, because that would somehow dishonor and "waste" what the soldiers did?

The one's that throw that accusatory bullshit back at us - and have been doing so for the last five years - are the one's that dishonored, manipulated, wasted, and executed the lifetime of potential in all those kids.

They did it. And they do it every single day.

They do it every single day they wake up and hold on to the hope that this "mission" isn't for nothing, that 90,000 people died for "something"; when it was never for anything but the assholes in the White House and Pentagon and their buddies that build bombs and drill for oil.

And it continues, day after day after day, because they are too prideful to admit that they were fooled by...

George. W. Bush.

And so another Merlin dies.
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