soldiers
February 7, 2005 3:33 AM   Subscribe

This is what American fighters are really like. Spare me all the chest thumping they carry on with. The reality is that they stand around thinking they are playing a video game until somebody gets hurt. And then they go home crying like babies.
posted by milkwood (93 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: hmm, not so hot



 
Uhhhh, what?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:39 AM on February 7, 2005


Either you linked the wrong video, or your post is about the fact that American soldiers do target practice?
posted by Bugbread at 3:40 AM on February 7, 2005


Can anyone translate the subtitles? I have a feeling it's not just translations of what the soldiers are saying in English.
posted by loquacious at 3:48 AM on February 7, 2005


In keeping with the video game thing, perhaps, "OMG, Camper, WTF"?
posted by Bugbread at 3:50 AM on February 7, 2005


Calling a wounded soldier, sitting in a helicopter next to his dead buddy, a crybaby is pure asshole. Fuck you.

Turnley's helicopter filled with medical personnel and equipment touched down about 100 yards from a frantic scene. An American military vehicle had just taken a direct hit. Soldiers on the ground were upset as they said it had mistakenly been struck by a U.S. tank. The wounded were quickly retrieved from the vehicle and carried to the helicopter. Sgt. Ken Kozakiewicz, suffering from a fractured hand, slumped into the helicopter. The body of the driver of Kozakiewicz's vehicle was placed on the floor of the helicopter inside a zippered bag. A medical staff member, perhaps thoughtlessly, handed the dead driver's identification card to Kozakiewicz. Turnley, sitting across from the injured soldier, recorded the emotional moment with his camera when Kozakiewicz realized that his friend was killed by the blast.
posted by srboisvert at 3:56 AM on February 7, 2005


Troll. Keep moving citizens; nothing to see here.
posted by sciurus at 4:00 AM on February 7, 2005


I agree - FUCK YOU milkwook.
posted by matty at 4:00 AM on February 7, 2005


that's right - your name wasn't worth spelling correctly.
posted by matty at 4:01 AM on February 7, 2005


milkwood

I'm as against this war as the next liberal, but your post is fucking stupid. A video of what is apparently target practice by two soldiers...shooting at an empty car? Or is there something else to it? What are the subtitles in English? And yes, soldiers confronted with war often cry their eyes out...a bit of schadenfreude on your part, methinks.

Your subject--which I'm guessing attitudes of US servicemen--is important and complex and far-reaching. Your post is none of these.
posted by zardoz at 4:01 AM on February 7, 2005


AgendaFilter much?

My guess would be that they are trying to detonate a suspected car bomb from a safe distance. I doubt if the poster were standing there with them it would seem much like a video game.

I might suggest a short column I just read from Fred Reed (who deserves his own FFP) called "Objective Journalism And Hen's Teeth:In Search Of The Impossible". It is under Columns and it is Number 262. Fred's Columns

"If you ain't lived it, you can't feel it. If you can't feel it, don't try to talk about it."-The Original Bad Bob
posted by Enron Hubbard at 4:03 AM on February 7, 2005


Man, this doesn't even make the minimum weight requirement for flame bait.
posted by nj_subgenius at 4:19 AM on February 7, 2005


Hopefully, Matt will be deleting this "post" soon.
posted by jperkins at 4:22 AM on February 7, 2005


I thought there was some kind of thing that kept this type of stupidity from happening. If I wanted this nonsense I'd go to fark.
posted by daleshipley at 4:24 AM on February 7, 2005


Good to know I'm not the only person who actually wants his army to be filled with the kind of 'crybabies' who, you know, become sad when people die.
posted by Simon! at 4:29 AM on February 7, 2005


Worst. Post. Ever.


posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:35 AM on February 7, 2005


Oh I'm cut to the bone. And your hypersensitivity regarding your fighters speaks volumes. But can anyone tell me if he
agrees with him
posted by milkwood at 4:57 AM on February 7, 2005


I'd just like to pipe in as another liberal-against-this-post. Fuck you, milkwook. Being anti-war isn't the same as being anti-soldiers. Most people in the armed forces aren't there for the killing practice, they're there for the Montgomery GI Bill dollars.
posted by Plutor at 5:00 AM on February 7, 2005


milkwood, unless you are willing to cough up more details of why any of the initial post might be meaningful, or how it connects, I have to say that this you are being extravagantly trollish, which surprises, given your previous posts. I can understand being furious about the "him" link you just posted, but you are not doing any good this way.
posted by taz at 5:04 AM on February 7, 2005


Taz I'm at a loss of how else to deal with a culture that hypes its youth with the joy of fighting a war in order to feed them into a meat grinder. It is utterly obscene that it is a cultural faux pas to mention the dead and dying as it may upset those soldiers who are about to be dead or dying. The icing on the cake of course is your President who believes he is doing all this with the guidance of Christ. The U.S.A has become the Roman Empire and its time is over.
posted by milkwood at 5:15 AM on February 7, 2005


It is great that you have an opinion and all, and I agree with it, but this post still sucks.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:17 AM on February 7, 2005


SCREW YOU, milkwood. Pure and simple -- you're an ass. Mentioning the dead & dying is one thing -- but calling the US military a bunch of "crybabies" is just sick. There is nothing at all "crybaby-ish" about any of the soldiers, airmen, sailors, and Marines that I know, that I work with.

And I'd wager that ALL US presidents -- and leaders of other countries -- have believed that they are being guided by Christ (or whatever deity that happen to subscribe to). Even as an atheist, the argument that Bush is influenced by his religion doesn't fly with me.
posted by davidmsc at 5:20 AM on February 7, 2005


Hell, I'm an obviously left-leaning poster, and this post was a waste of bandwidth.

I'm glad he's crying - he's human. He may actually come back and recover from this waste of a war. He's stuck in a chopper with his dead buddy and other wounded soldiers, holding his dead buddy's ID. His vehicle was blown up by friendly fire. If that's "crybaby" to you, please, finish withdrawing from the human race. You've lost.

I second Plutor's post - being anti-war does not mean being anti-soldier!
posted by FormlessOne at 5:21 AM on February 7, 2005


*sticks two more magnetic ribbons on the minivan*
posted by quonsar at 5:31 AM on February 7, 2005


Before this post gets the Hammer of Almighty Deletion, I'd just like to add my two cents and concur with many we've already heard. Regardless of our feelings about the war itself, we should never forget that these soldiers are our friends, our brothers, our sisters, our sons, our daughters. They are our family and they are braver than most or all of us. To mock their sorrow is unnecessary and childish. If these soldiers lose the ability to mourn, then they've lost their humanity.

Screw you, Milkwook.
posted by grabbingsand at 5:36 AM on February 7, 2005


Being pro or anti-soldier seems to me like being pro or anti hammer, or screwdriver. In some sense soldiers are tools, and they're all pretty much the same no matter where you go.

Except in Milkwoodland, where, apparently, they don't go to target practice, and they don't cry like babies.
posted by Doug at 5:38 AM on February 7, 2005


I can't believe I just got trolled. I'm never posting when I first wake up again.
posted by Doug at 5:40 AM on February 7, 2005


Add me to the "Anti War, Support the Troops" crowd.
A skilled troll could have done something with this post, but this one was poorly executed and sophomoric.
posted by lobstah at 5:41 AM on February 7, 2005


Jesus, I'm as liberal as they come, but this post sucks ass in so many different ways. As do you milkwood. I hope you're proud of your post and your attitude. Screw you.
posted by damnitkage at 5:43 AM on February 7, 2005


I have no idea what *sticks two more magnetic ribbons on the minivan* means, but I will only say that I can empathise with milkwood's fury, frustration, and helplessness. But, to you, milkwood, I say, " buck up and do something that is either useful or will actually make a positive difference. What you did here is exactly the opposite. You're going to get a lot more shit now. Don't leave MeFi, and don't waste time defending this horrible post. Do better.
posted by taz at 5:46 AM on February 7, 2005


it really doesn't matter what argument is made for this post. It is so poorly thought out and so ignorant in its wording and pointless in its intent that I vote not only for deletion but banning..
posted by HuronBob at 5:51 AM on February 7, 2005


Babies cry because they are in pain and nothing makes sense to them. This guy has an excellent reason for crying like a baby. This guy shares a characteristic with every poster on this page bar milkwook. Righteousness.
posted by milkwood at 5:51 AM on February 7, 2005


"It's fun to kill some people."

Yet I'm still left confused by this post..
posted by Space Coyote at 5:56 AM on February 7, 2005


fuck off milkwook
posted by andrew cooke at 5:56 AM on February 7, 2005


hey! what happened to my >s and <s? is it still not working after preview?
lucky for you my post still conveys meaning without half the contents.
posted by andrew cooke at 5:58 AM on February 7, 2005


<test>
posted by andrew cooke at 5:59 AM on February 7, 2005


There's nothing righteous about supporting people in a horrible position who are doing the best they can given the circumstances. Yes, some of then are driven to insanity, which results in senseless death. It's all senseless death, really. But I'm sure as hell not going to lay the blame at the hands of fucking teenagers who just wanted to get out of their god-forsaken town and try to pay for college.

And I second those who suggest that probably the best thing a soldier can do is cry. Horrible post.
posted by odinsdream at 6:00 AM on February 7, 2005


That's three posts in this thread where you've posted the same two links. We get it already.
posted by emelenjr at 6:00 AM on February 7, 2005


Milkwood, you're making moronic generalizations.
Life is a little more nuanced. Soldiers are human beings. That means that there are good soldiers and bad ones and sometimes the bad ones do good things and the good ones do bad things. And war sucks. War is barbarism. Blame the fuckers that put those human beings in that position.
posted by recurve at 6:06 AM on February 7, 2005


This is what American fighters are really like. They train their soldiers like a hardass so that they'll survive in a hostile situation, and then when they time comes they fend off 100 Iraqi insurgents with a machine gun to protect their men.
posted by jscalzi at 6:08 AM on February 7, 2005


"Hey, I joined the Army to get money for my education and the fuckers make me do bad things to other human beings... Never saw that comin'."
posted by LouReedsSon at 6:10 AM on February 7, 2005


Lou, your argument is disingenous.
posted by odinsdream at 6:12 AM on February 7, 2005


*disingenuous
posted by odinsdream at 6:13 AM on February 7, 2005


The MS Paint arrow was a great.

This is what American fighters are really like.

Umm... Considering there is a guy standing in the middle of a street, unprotected, with a video camera I get the impression they were not in a "hot" area.

This is a really lame "post."
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 6:19 AM on February 7, 2005


If the soldier wasn't crying at the death of his friend, milkwood would be calling him a heartless killing machine.
posted by rcade at 6:20 AM on February 7, 2005


Lou, your argument is disingenous.
posted by odinsdream at 9:12 AM EST on February


Perhaps, but honestly, I'm not arguing here. Maybe playing a little devils advocate, is all.

I view the military as no more than law enforcement or politics, even. No one forces anyone to join, and you're a fool to think it won't be, in our fearless leaders own words, "hard work."

That said, and having nothing at all to do with pretty much much anything, including the FPP I didn't even look at, I just always wonder why everyone is so quick to honor anyone that would volunteer to place themselves in a position where they might have to hurt other humans.

/pacifist by nature
posted by LouReedsSon at 6:24 AM on February 7, 2005


"Hey, I joined the Army to get money for my education and the fuckers make me do bad things to other human beings... Never saw that comin'."

We need soldiers. They make a promise to uphold the constitution. I'm saying don't blame the soldiers when they are used irresponsibly.
posted by recurve at 6:28 AM on February 7, 2005


I just always wonder why everyone is so quick to honor anyone that would volunteer to place themselves in a position where they might have to hurt other humans.

Because it's something that has to be done sometimes. It's what you call a neccessary evil.

As for this FPP, it's a peice of shrill shit. Go repeat the same speech in a bar near Ft. Bragg and we'll see who the "crybaby," is.

This guy shares a characteristic with every poster on this page bar milkwook. Righteousness.

Irony. It's good for the blood.
posted by jonmc at 6:33 AM on February 7, 2005


Here's hoping milkfuck gets somebody he cares about splashed all over him. Then we'll see who's the crybaby.
posted by lumpenprole at 6:38 AM on February 7, 2005


Thanks for the link jscalzi. Only there appears to be some tarnish on that medal.
posted by milkwood at 6:41 AM on February 7, 2005


You're confusing the Congressional Medal of Honor with the Presidental Medal of Freedom, milkwood. Two entirely different medals for two entirely different purposes. There's not the slightest bit of tarnish in this particular case.
posted by jscalzi at 6:45 AM on February 7, 2005


So these soldiers, they go into the armed forces for the school money and now we have to worship at teh communal (Budweiser-sponsored) altar because they are brave? Braver than me because I chose not to join so that I might shoot an iraqi? I call bullshit.

Nonetheless, a callout because a guy is crying - who is playing the machismo card now.
posted by jmgorman at 6:45 AM on February 7, 2005


Who hands out the medals jscalzi?
posted by milkwood at 6:50 AM on February 7, 2005


No good can come of this...

I would suggest that, not only is the original poster a troll, but those of us that continue to respond aren't doing much better... just saying.....
posted by HuronBob at 6:50 AM on February 7, 2005


I just always wonder why everyone is so quick to honor anyone that would volunteer to place themselves in a position where they might have to hurt other humans.

No shit. Specially given the fact that, hey, at least some of them didn't see it coming.

I'm saying don't blame the soldiers when they are used irresponsibly

The Abu Ghraib fiasco comes to mind.
posted by magullo at 6:51 AM on February 7, 2005


Regardless of how you feel about the current Iraq war, if the US had was attacked on its soil tommorrow by, say, North Korea, these "American fighters" would also be the ones jumping to action, being transported to four corners of the world, fighting a hostile army, watching their comrades die, bringing order to the region, sending food and money and rebuilding the country for the good of NK citizens, all the while PROTECTING US, as is their job.

Milkfuck, your bitter criticisms are of something you clearly don't understand. Your comments are where Valid Criticism of US Policy deteriorates into Shallow America-Hating Due to Lack of Understanding, and it's exactly what gives warhawks ammunition for ignoring non-US opinions, right or wrong. Terrible post.
posted by dhoyt at 6:52 AM on February 7, 2005


I think a real victory would be for posts like this, that everyone posted one thing in response, and ONLY one word - "Delete." Why feed the troll?
posted by agregoli at 6:58 AM on February 7, 2005


Hold on. Since everybody seems to be having an even conversation about it, you must all be getting something I'm not: what the hell was that first link about?
posted by Bugbread at 6:58 AM on February 7, 2005


So these soldiers, they go into the armed forces for the school money and now we have to worship at teh communal (Budweiser-sponsored) altar because they are brave? Braver than me because I chose not to join so that I might shoot an iraqi?

I don't know if it's quite that simple. Yes, it's true that it is kind of ridiculous when you hear people saying what amounts to "When I joined the army, I didn't realize I'd have to kill someone!"

But conversley, what I've been told by many veterans is that absolutely nothing can prepare you for the experience of combat, so soldiers showing shock and anguish does not make them crybabies, just human.

And while I certainly support the right of anyone to criticize this rotten war, the actions of various people in it, and the failings of our government, I also realize that it is very easy to get sniffy and judgemental about the behavior of people in a combat zone from the comfort of the couch. And it tends to get people's dander up.

It's not "worship." It's respect. There's a difference.

I think a real victory would be for posts like this, that everyone posted one thing in response, and ONLY one word - "Delete." Why feed the troll?

It gives us a chance to articulate ourselves on the subject, if only to counter what the troll said, thus clarifying a lot of people's positions.
posted by jonmc at 7:01 AM on February 7, 2005


Taz, Quonsar was referring to these and similar magnetic stickers, which have come to be ubiquitous on cars, trucks, and SUVs from, at least Michigan to Tennessee.
posted by kimota at 7:03 AM on February 7, 2005


The reality is that they stand around thinking they are playing a video game until somebody gets hurt.

You know from the experiences of the servicemen I talk to, any illusions of fun and games you have when you sign up end on your first day at basic training. These people are professional soldiers, which have existed for as long as civilizations have, and they have a very serious job. Whether you agree with what they're doing or not (personally I don't), many of them are supporting degrees, families, or both, not to mention putting their lives very honorably on the line every day...and to imagine that they're just playing Medal of Honor inside is idiotic. Sir, the reality you purport is nothing more than a derogatory fantasy.
posted by baphomet at 7:03 AM on February 7, 2005


The US military, just like the USA, is not a homogenous entity.

There are a some people in the military just so they can get money to go to school.

There are a some people in the military because they like to handle weapons.

There are some people in the military because they think they can make a difference.

There are some people in the military for the challenge.

There are some people in the military to find out what it's like to kill a person.

The one thing in common to all of these people is that they react to different situations differently, and it's damn near impossible to find out how they will react until it's actually happened.

The hard may cry, the soft may turn hard. You can't tell, and you can't judge. What you can do is support them through what is most likely to be the most traumatizing events of their lives.

I was in the reserves. I never went to war. I joined so that I could better myself, and I really hoped to be on a UN peacekeeping mission in Bosnia so I could make a difference for those that have been through war. I never had a say in it and so it never happened. Likewise, if I'd been deployed to Iraq I never would of had a say in it either, and I would have done my best to make a difference there, but one thing's for damn sure, I never would of attacked a friend, another human being, for crying when his buddy was lying dead right next to him.

I hope you've got a sincere apology ready Milkwood.

Yeah, I'm a liberal too.
posted by furtive at 7:05 AM on February 7, 2005


Dhoyt, what does a justified defence of one's country have to do with what is going on in Iraq. Oh hold on - you're on my side and this is rhetoric right?
posted by milkwood at 7:05 AM on February 7, 2005


Thanks for the link jscalzi. Only there appears to be some tarnish on that medal.

Milkwood, what on earth are you talking about? jscalzi links to an article from five days ago saying SFC Smith is to be awarded the Medal of Honor. You rebut by posting a link from three months ago showing he didn't receive the Medal of Freedom?

(Oh, and why has this thread not been deleted yet?)
posted by mragreeable at 7:07 AM on February 7, 2005


"what the hell was that first link about?"

Looked to me like a couple guys shooting at a burned-out car.

Oh, the humanity!
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:08 AM on February 7, 2005


Dhoyt, what does a justified defence of one's country have to do with what is going on in Iraq.

It means that no matter what war they're fighting, they are doing a job the rest of us don't want to bring some greater good to someplace far away--whether or not you or I agree with it. Just because you're demonizing them today doesn't mean you won't be owing them your life tommorrow.
posted by dhoyt at 7:08 AM on February 7, 2005


bugbread, nobody knows. If anyone can translate the arabic (if that's what it is?) then we might get some kind of idea, but right now, nobody knows.

To Lou, I never mentioned honoring the soliders, just supporting them; i.e. not villifying them. I believe that's a reasonable argument - very young people trying to make ends meet join the military to get money for school, perhaps some training for civilian jobs, etc. get shipped off to fight an immoral war. It is their duty to follow orders, so though we shouldn't be surprised when they do follow them, they didn't make the orders.

Supporting them is not the same as honoring them. I'm not going to be handing out any medals over this, but I'm also not going to be one to blame these kids for such a horrible mistake as this.
posted by odinsdream at 7:09 AM on February 7, 2005


"Who hands out the medals jscalzi?"

Nice try at evasion, Milkwood, but it's pretty clear you confused the two medals, nor do you have an idea of the nomination process involved for the Congressional Medal of Honor:

"There are two distinct means of being approved for the Medal of Honor. The first and most common is nomination by a service member in the chain of command followed by approval at each level of the Chain of Command and in Congress. The other method is nomination by a member of Congress (generally at the request of a constituent) and approval by a special Act. In either case, the Medal of Honor is presented by the President on behalf of Congress." (via Wikipedia)

In other words, the President enters the process only at the end, to disburse the award. To suggest the award is somehow tainted by the fact that a particular president has touched it is pretty ridiculous.
posted by jscalzi at 7:10 AM on February 7, 2005


(Oh, and why has this thread not been deleted yet?)

Well, milkwood is the type of leftist who makes people hate leftists. From which I can only conclude that he's a Republican plant.
posted by jonmc at 7:10 AM on February 7, 2005


No jscalzi, it's fundamental.
posted by milkwood at 7:13 AM on February 7, 2005


The soldiers don't decide the action or event they are ordered to participate in, but they do execute those orders to the best of their abilities. Blame the politicians for the war, but the soldiers are just doing their job, and yes a job they volunteered for. The stress has to be tremendous, and the situation very confusing. How confusing, read the Military Rules of Engagement and you'll find that popping off weapons here and there is not allowed. Meanwhile you are being targeted 24x7. This ain't office politics people.

I really don't understand the purpose of the FPP, in plain English I am not sure what your point is. Using a photo showing the shock of war to make some alternative political point is pretty low. And throughout this thread you have done nothing to explain further your point (and have done worse by showing ignorance to the difference between the MoF and CMoH awards. Duh, read your own post and the post given to you.)

Let the guy cry (Walk a mile in his moccasins before you judge him.)

My view, like Vietnam, it is the administrators and politicians who should be slapped.

This FPP is a junior highschool reseach paper at best.
posted by fluffycreature at 7:15 AM on February 7, 2005


I hate this post too, jonmc, it doesn't make any sense. The soliders should not take the blame the mistakes or wrongdoing of politicians. It's easy, however, for society to go too far in the other direction, the the referenced Bud commercial on TV last night during the Super Bowl being a perfect example. It was either mawkishness-as-militaristic/nationalist hero worship or exploitation of nationalistic feeling and soldiers for beer sales - it's hard to say which. Either way, it had about as bad an aftertaste as what they were selling.
posted by raysmj at 7:18 AM on February 7, 2005


MeTa, if anyone cares.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:18 AM on February 7, 2005


And I take it Matt's asleep or out?
posted by raysmj at 7:19 AM on February 7, 2005


IncoherentFilter.
posted by jefbla at 7:19 AM on February 7, 2005


The reality is that they stand around thinking they are playing a video game until somebody gets hurt.

Do you have any support for this statement?
posted by boymilo at 7:22 AM on February 7, 2005


It's easy, however, for society to go too far in the other direction, the the referenced Bud commercial on TV last night during the Super Bowl being a perfect example.

I agree Ray, respect should never go over the line into canonization. I didn't see the commercial you mentioned, but I definitely know what you're getting at especially when the honest respect most people feel for veterans is exploited for pecuniary gain.
posted by jonmc at 7:25 AM on February 7, 2005


"No jscalzi, it's fundamental."

Well, no, actually, it's not at all. Had John Kerry been elected President in November, this particular Congressional Medal of Honor would almost certainly have been awarded anyway -- the nomination was already in process. So by definition, it's not fundamental ("forming or serving as an essential component of a system or structure"); it's ancilliary at best.

Your apparent hatred of Bush and/or your need to try to extricate yourself from the potholes your poor rhetorical skills have placed you in should not be a facile excuse to minimize the sacrifice this particular American soldier made on behalf of his troops, or the significance of Congress awarding its first Medal of Honor in over a decade.
posted by jscalzi at 7:30 AM on February 7, 2005


I'm not even pro-soldier and I think this post sucks.

Unless you're trying to make some point about the ability of insurgents to use MS Paint.
posted by inksyndicate at 7:31 AM on February 7, 2005


Supporting them is not the same as honoring them.

I'll agree with you 100%, odinsdream. Normally I just remain silent on the subject, but having been inundated as of late with those magnetic ribbons the q metioned earlier here, I question exactly their purpose. Why now? It bothers me that it took a lot propaganda selling a bullshit war to prompt people to declare their support on their vehicles. I wonder how long until they go the way of the "Baby On Board" signs of the 80's, while the defenders of freedom still exist, still protecting our borders, still ready to do what I am not willing to, that I might enjoy ranting about it here!

/stoopit :)
posted by LouReedsSon at 7:32 AM on February 7, 2005


Look, save the personal attacks for somebody who cares. Those who try to dismiss me as a troll are far more likely to wound me. Those who try to impress me with how tough they are, and how war is hell, ...just shut up. Won't somebody try to address the thesis of the post? The reality of war is there for all to see in that man's tear stained eyes and that is where you are headed in this war. You can't say you are in the wrong place at the wrong time because you went looking for this war, and chased it when it tried to run away. You have pitted a bunch of soft westerners who need hot showers to survive, against people who have fleas from living in caves. Where do you think this is headed? Do you really think this is winnable? Isn't the brave Lt Gen Mattis actually saying "bring 'em on" all over again? Somebody. Anybody.
posted by milkwood at 7:32 AM on February 7, 2005


milkwood RULES!!!
posted by shoos at 7:32 AM on February 7, 2005


"One Tin Soldier Rides Away......."

milkwood, you are preaching to the choir here. And I think you know it, which really makes me doubt your motives.
posted by jonmc at 7:35 AM on February 7, 2005


Won't somebody try to address the thesis of the post?

The thesis of the post, eh? That soldiers, despite their tough facade, are human?

Or that soldiers think they're tough but they're a bunch of pussies!!!

Because your rhetoric points toward the second, and that's not really worth discussing, as far as I am concerned.
posted by trharlan at 7:38 AM on February 7, 2005


"One Tin Soldier Rides Away......."

That song from "Billy Jack" is awesome/terrible.

I clicked on the link expecting at the very least someone blowing up women and children and going, "Dude, that was just like Halo." Instead it was just sort of generic footage.
posted by inksyndicate at 7:38 AM on February 7, 2005


The reality is that they stand around thinking they are playing a video game until somebody gets hurt.

As someone who just spent a week with some soldiers going to Iraq in training, I can tell you first hand this is bullshit.

Do they look forward to killing? Sure I imagine there are some sociopaths who do but the primary thing that is taught is avoid conflict. Save lives and that means, yours, your buddies, fellow Coalition soldiers, Iraqi people, everyone. Do not fire unless given the order or fired upon. When travelling, do not slow down.

This game BS has been around for awhile and get a new surge of life when someone utters it.

Trust me on this: They do not want to take lives nor do they want to die. They want to get the job done and get out of there, hopefully with no blood on their hands. If there is any feeling of anticipation it is a urge to put all of the training they have been given to use. And it is a lot more than just shooting a weapon. Most veterans are damn glad they've never had to discharge their weapon in battle.

The General who said killing is fun or something like that? He's an ass. General consensus. (Ha! Unintentional pun) Is it fun to fire your weapon? Sure. A lot of them like going to the range to qualify. But the idea that at the end of their barrel will be a sentient being for most is a heart stopping thought, something that a lot of them meditate/pray/talk about.

Anyone who advocates killing as a joyous event need some serious help (don't know why that Marine General is still flapping away out there, esp. that he hasn't been on the line in a very, very long time) and any seargent worth his/her salt that heard a private saying that would remove them from the unit because that mindset will get that soldier and his/her mates killed.

And the entire point, if at all possible, is to win without anyone getting killed on either side. Trust me, if this option was offered and could be trusted, many, many soldiers would gladly jump at the chance.
posted by Dagobert at 7:42 AM on February 7, 2005


i don't get it.
really.
I mean, i get the fact that you are conveninently ignoring the real, pointed questions to your post, (the medal thing is teh best example). Are you trying to paint the infantrymen as stupid , infantile idiots?

I can tell you from personal experience, some infantrymen are dumb. Some are queite smart. Most are afraid when the bullets start flying. Some of us owe our lives to others, and when they die, it effects us.

I don't understand your point..and that last ramble does nothing to clarify.

At this point, I think you should be filed under " angry teen who needs to take a critical thinking class"
posted by das_2099 at 7:48 AM on February 7, 2005


This post is so incoherent (note that the crying soldier pic is apparently from the first Gulf War) and mean spirited that had it been posted last fall I'd swear it was another case of Karl Rove spoofing us liberal types to make us look like douchebags.
posted by Toecutter at 7:49 AM on February 7, 2005


Milkwood, don't give into frustration. The majority of Metafilter is against this illegal war (give or take a Steve@ or PP), but that doesn't mean that anybody here is open to the type of rhetoric that you are using. It's worse than pointless, it's harmful to your ideas as it turns people off to them (probably forever). Let this one go. Regroup.
posted by sic at 7:50 AM on February 7, 2005


On the other saide:
JonMC "preaching to the choir"?
what, now you are claiming that liberals hate the military? and that everyone here thinks as poorly as milkwood?

what exactly does that post mean?
posted by das_2099 at 7:51 AM on February 7, 2005


JonMC "preaching to the choir"?
what, now you are claiming that liberals hate the military? and that everyone here thinks as poorly as milkwood?


I meant that if milkwood was, in some hamfisted way, just trying to make the point that this war sucks, he was preaching to the choir. And the desperate tone of it sounds like, well, preaching.

But he did it so poorly and off-puttingly that I suspect his real motive was simply liking to hear himself talk.
posted by jonmc at 8:00 AM on February 7, 2005


"Won't somebody try to address the thesis of the post?"

I have, as have others. Your problem is that you don't like how it's been addressed.

Pointing out that American soldiers like hot showers and video games mostly points out that they come from an affluent culture, not that they are soft -- a point I made by providing the counter-example of Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith, who if you'll read the stories I linked to, gave every early indication of being a dumb-ass party animal in his early years, but stepped up when confronted with the reality of war, made it his business to train his men into combat competence, and then gave his life defending those men nearly single-handedly.

Everything about Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith gives lie to the assertion of American softness -- and indeed makes a far better argument toward the general nature of the American soldier than your own links.

For the record, I think this war has been absymally run, and while I did not oppose going in to Iraq, I regret that we've done such a tremendously poor job of administrating the country, with particular events (Abu Grahib being the most obvious) being particularly shameful to our nation. But that opinion does not reflect on the day-to-day efforts of most of the men and women serving in Iraq. Most of our armed service members are serving both bravely and competently -- despite the occasional desire for a hot shower.

If our Iraq adventure is ultimately a failure, it will almost certainly be from lack of planning at the head, not because of lack of competence on the ground.
posted by jscalzi at 8:04 AM on February 7, 2005


Look, save the personal attacks for somebody who cares. Those who try to dismiss me as a troll are far more likely to wound me. Those who try to impress me with how tough they are, and how war is hell, ...just shut up. Won't somebody try to address the thesis of the post? The reality of war is there for all to see in that man's tear stained eyes and that is where you are headed in this war. You can't say you are in the wrong place at the wrong time because you went looking for this war, and chased it when it tried to run away. You have pitted a bunch of soft westerners who need hot showers to survive, against people who have fleas from living in caves. Where do you think this is headed? Do you really think this is winnable? Isn't the brave Lt Gen Mattis actually saying "bring 'em on" all over again? Somebody. Anybody.
milkwood


But what is the thesis of the post? From this statement, it seems like the "thesis" is: "It is impossible for America to win this war because it is weak and soft." What sort of response do you expect to that? If this is actually your point, your presentation of it was terribly poor. You launch a rant with no semblance of evidence or support. Where is the data on the fighting going on there to show that we are weak? Articles on our military strategy and how it is flawed? Analyses of the strength of the insurgents and why we won't be able to beat them? The reason this is a horrible, troll FPP is because you just toss out an accusation framed in the most inflammatory manner possible with no effort at all. Did you honestly expect any sort of reasoned response to this juvenile venting of rage? Calm down, gather your thoughts, put together a coherent post, and try again.
posted by Sangermaine at 8:08 AM on February 7, 2005


Scott Sather didn't think it was a video game.

Neither did Mike Maltz.

Both of these men I knew personally. Having trained under Mike Maltz and served with Scott Sather.

Try having a point next time milkwood. Your FPP was confusing to me. The subsequent pile on here is evident of its lack of substance.
posted by a3matrix at 8:09 AM on February 7, 2005


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