Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html en-gb 30 Fri 29 Aug 2014 23:39:03 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=99#comment103 As far as non-military support,this helps instill a sense of pride in soldiers when they know the people back home are behind them and support what they are trying to do.wouldnt you feel worse if no one came to greet and cheer the men and women in uniform.-------------------------------------------------------------------------No where in a soldier's contract does it say that his motivation or pride is dependent on the cheering of civilians. You would feel worse for not cheering them..Because soldiers can turn their patriotism on to the non cheering ungrateful people.. Tue 31 Aug 2010 17:01:30 GMT+1 RHCracker http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=98#comment102 98. At 7:09pm on 30 Aug 2010, militaryspouse wrote:I'm a military spouse in Ohio, and I have a neighbor-friend who has a newborn baby and a husband on his second tour in Afghanistan. Frankly, the applause and accolades from non-military people who are making no sacrifice and really have no idea what military families go through makes me sick.What you are not considering is a lot of the people who come out and cheer the military,or give up their seat to military personnel returning home have already made those sacrifices,and have been in your shoes,This is not the first war we've been in.You should also remember that those of us who signed up to serve this country did so voluntarily.As far as non-military support,this helps instill a sense of pride in soldiers when they know the people back home are behind them and support what they are trying to do.wouldnt you feel worse if no one came to greet and cheer the men and women in uniform. Tue 31 Aug 2010 16:49:25 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=97#comment101 Linds;"I bet there were plenty of people on that plane that clapped because that's what they were supposed to do."Were it not for America's soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines, there is a pathetic little chain of islands in the North Sea whose inhabitants would now be slaves of an now extinct dinosaur called the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or another called Nazi Germany. Those people never had the will or the means to resist themselves and they proved it time and again. If you ever knew enough about history to understand that, you would have been applauding too. Tue 31 Aug 2010 09:06:39 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=96#comment100 Re #91 "Our taxpayer dollars (£'s) could potentially now be used to set up terrorist cells within our own borders. Madness."And may I add, in case of U.S., to facilitate Mexican drug cartels operations in the United States, by tacitly accepting a presence of 12 million (approx.) strong presense of illegal aliens on our territory; quite a few of them gang mambers and drug smugglers. Tue 31 Aug 2010 06:55:12 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=95#comment99 #90 (Clive Hill): "The point is that the Twin Towers attack was a rallying point for Al Qaeda but it was not suddenly formed at that point. It had been in existence for many years. Its aim has always been the universal Sunni Caliphate."Hear, hear!It may also be worth pointing out that al-Qaida per se was formed by Usama ibn Laden with a specific purpose to topple the House of Saudi, after ibn Laden (a billioner's sonny) fell out of favour with Saudi monarchs.And that Taliban has been created, with more than a little help from ISI, in Pakistani madrassas in 1994, long after Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, with a specific purpose to destabilize and subjugate Afghanistan to Pakistani rulers.So much for "freedom fighters".BTW. The current Archbishop of Canterbury has been on the record saying that "introducing some Sharia laws into UK would improve social harmony" in that country.So much for 'useful idiots'. Tue 31 Aug 2010 06:48:57 GMT+1 Linds http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=94#comment98 The flight attendant may have honestly felt reverence for the soldier. However, I bet there were plenty of people on that plane that clapped because that's what they were supposed to do. It's like giving your bus seat up to a senior citizen. If you don't, people will think you are disrespectful and uncivilized. You definitely can't assume that everyone who claps feels anything more than respect. Mon 30 Aug 2010 18:54:59 GMT+1 militaryspouse http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=93#comment97 I'm a military spouse in Ohio, and I have a neighbor-friend who has a newborn baby and a husband on his second tour in Afghanistan. Frankly, the applause and accolades from non-military people who are making no sacrifice and really have no idea what military families go through makes me sick.It's easy to cheer when you see someone in uniform. It's easy to be for the war when you don't personally have any connection to the people fighting it.It's quite another thing to actually share the burdens of war. It's quite different when you are the one getting ready for a loved one to deploy yet AGAIN. Unfortunately, I've seen far too many civilians cheer and applaud at public events, then get back into their fancy SUVs and return to air-conditioned homes and comfy beds, without another thought for military families until the next time someone makes an announcement over a loudspeaker.If EVERYONE were sharing this burden, instead of just military families, attitudes would very different in this country. And I truly believe we would have been out of Iraq and Afghanistan a long time ago. Mon 30 Aug 2010 18:09:47 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=92#comment96 I agree, and I believe most thoughtful Americans do as well. I hope they are taking such risks for their country's future, and not for us.KScurmudgeon-------------------------------------------------------------------------Then, I want you to remember this...Remind the people, and your government the favours of dostum and karzai when it tries to get rid of these two men..Especially dostum. Trust me, they are taking the risk for usa..not for their country..the country had seen them in action after the fall of ussr and before taliban took over.. Mon 30 Aug 2010 14:57:07 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=91#comment95 The point is that the Twin Towers attack was a rallying point for Al Qaeda but it was not suddenly formed at that point. It had been in existence for many years. Its aim has always been the universal Sunni Caliphate. In that it had some common cause with Saddam Hussein who had problems with the Shi'a majority in Iraq. Note also that contrary to pouplar belief, Saddam was moving away from secularism in the 1990s / early 2000s, cf. my earlier comment in this blog.------------------------------------------------------------------------The fact is when the invader dismissed the army and military of iraq in a most un-military way, the ex military of iraq fought in civilian clothes, that again the invaders exploited to the fullest, so that they could call people fighting, terrorists or alqaida in iraq..so the illegal and unlawful dismantle of iraq's military was all part of american plan..No worry of treating fighters as soldiers and no worry about upholding generva convention about POW..Its pathetic that not one single american or the supporter of war or the brave soldiers, ever wondered what happened to the much talked about military of iraq..As far as your sunni and alqaida and caliphate touch (all three terms used in one sentence, you deserve a salute) i have only to say, that the chief of alqaida, your ben laden, is supposed to be a wahabi, its the first time someone has called alqaida, sunni..Survival of saddam and stability of Iraq depended on a secular state, or a forced secular state..Just like India..Forget the blog, before the war, if you had gone to iraq, you would hardly find someone, except in the mosques, talking in terms of shia or sunni, that debate and narrative was born in the west and brought to iraq with invasion. Invaders always divide to rule..thats their modus operandi.. Mon 30 Aug 2010 14:51:34 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=90#comment94 ref #92 Three Million Posse On Employed In A Dub wrote:I feel for all the civilians caught up in the Danger Zone ☣in Iraq over 100,000 were killed dead_____________Then please support the fight against Islamic terrorism because they caused almost every death. Mon 30 Aug 2010 14:47:28 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=89#comment93 Reply to clive.You are wrong about hitler and the world going to germany to stage a coup against Hitler..that is the narrative which was established after the war ended.. Germany had opened a lot of battle fronts, in europe and in africa..Iraq none. It was not even threatening any of the countries which attacked it...There is no ground proof, just your narrative to support what you support...Kuwait was more free than Iraq after gulf war..Iraq's airspace was controlled by the americans, between 91 to 2003...Remember the no fly zones, from where usa airforce regularaly used to attack iraq, just as it does now in PAkistan..Even then, Iraq didnt threaten any of the attacking country..All the anti iraq propoganda came from those who occupies iraq's airspace..Saddam would never even dream of attacking saudi arabia, he was never interested in it..Saudi arabia has much less oil reserves than Iraq. Saudi arabia was never ever a part of present day iraq and the past days civilization of babylon..Kuwait however was part of past iraq, before the west civilization came to that area and created artificial countries...Its only by comparing oranges and apples that you and the rest who share your view point can compare germany and iraq...The reality and the facts beg to differ.. Mon 30 Aug 2010 14:38:46 GMT+1 Philly-Mom http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=88#comment92 Aw now, Mark Honey - I am sad to say that I checked in on line only briefly on Saturday and merely gave your post a quick skim before commenting. (you can tell from my less than well redacted syntax.)I now see that you invoked those great and fearsome words "Guilt and Shame," and therefore half of my comment was completely unnecessary.My bad. Still, a good post. Thank you.The next post? About War? Egads. Methinks I should consume my coffee before reading & pondering. Mon 30 Aug 2010 12:39:33 GMT+1 Three Million Posse On Employed In A Dub http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=87#comment91 I feel for all the civilians caught up in the Danger Zone ☣in Iraq over 100,000 were killed dead Mon 30 Aug 2010 12:17:33 GMT+1 fastbowler http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=86#comment90 89. At 06:55am on 30 Aug 2010, quickstudy78 wrote: "This article must be focused just on the "baby boomer" generation that was around for Vietnam. That is not me. I am in my mid 30's and don't even think of Vietnam when I think of our armed services. My respect and reverence for them simply comes from a deep sense of gratitude that I have for their service and protection. I'm really surprised at this authors need to wonder what the motivation is for appreciating armed services. Do you appreciate yours in the UK? Why? I bet it's the same reason anyone would."= = = = = = = = = =I am of the "baby Boomer" generation and spent several of my formative years in service with the RAF in Kenya, Aden, Cyprus and other areas of conflict during those times. Just as (I suspect) many of today's American grunts do, I volunteered to stay in military service, after National Service conscription finished, to escape the civilian gloom of a Socialist government bent on taxing and spending private industry workers into unemployment and penury. (Not much has changed since then either).I didn't join up specifically to stop MauMau terrorists killing white settlers in an orgy of tribal wars, or to bring peace between Greek and Turkish Cypriots who still hate each other to this day - or to interfere in the tribal warfare between Arab factions in the Gulf. The UK's governments of the day decided to pursue these pointless and unwinnable hostilities to show off our military capabilities to the US, the UN and, even more pointedly to our perceived Cold War enemies. Despite high achievement in general education and technical skills in electronics (my real job with the RAF), I was continually used as expendable cannon-fodder in all these theatres of conflict - as were thousands of my Army and Navy contemporaries. Many of the ex-WW2 and Korea public understood this and that, I suspect, is why whenever I wore uniform on leave back in Britain I was treated with respect and gratitude by the public at large. Hopefully, this is also why America's returning combatants are, at last, receiving the respect and appreciation so sadly lacking at the end of the Vietnam debacle. They've realised the folly of sending their sons and daughters to fight in overseas political minefields where friend and foe are likely to change sides on a whim and are indistinguishable from each other. Also, let's not forget the waves of asylum seekers (from countries we are, IMHO, mistakenly trying to force into alien democracy) who have inundated both our nations with governmental approval. Our taxpayer dollars (£'s) could potentially now be used to set up terrorist cells within our own borders. Madness! Mon 30 Aug 2010 09:56:59 GMT+1 Clive Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=85#comment89 #44 colonelartist The world didnt go in germany to stage a coup against hitler...Hitler was enganged in the war....his armies, invaded france, holland poland...Next time when you compare iraq and afghanistan with germany and generously declare hitler with saddam, remind yourself that saddam nor the taliban sent their armies to invade other countries, the countries which attacked them...The world did go in to Germany to stage a coup against Hitler. The only terms the allies would accept were unconditional surrender. Notably different from WW1 after which the German leadership changed itself.Saddam did send his army into another country and invade it in Kuwait before the first Gulf War. That event is comparable to Hitler's annexation of the Sudetenland and beyond in 1938 which gave rise to the policy of appeasement which was mercifully absent with Saddam. It tends to get lost in the anti-Iraq War rhetoric that there were real fears that Saddam was going to invade Saudi Arabia. He needed money after the Iran/Iraq war.#85 SafinCCdYou might add Belgium to the list of nations unable to form a government. Belgium has an ethnic/cultural problem not dissimilar to Iraq in the division between Flemings and Walloons - not so violent, of course as Iraq. The Belgian government of 2007 took 196 days of negotiation to form. This is long but periods of many weeks and even months are not uncommon in nations - like Israel and continental Europe - which have proportional representation and therefore many small parties to accommodate.I have read non-partisan estimates that there were 4 million Iraqi refugees in the West before the second Gulf War started. Essentially, Saddam replaced the Iraqi ruling class with his own Ba'ath party people not dissimilar to the nomenclatura in Soviet Russia.#86 Brad and previousAl Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) was formed by Ahmed Khalayleh aka Abu Musab al Zarqawi. He was in Iraq, in Ansal al-Islam which dominated some Kurdish areas of Iraq in 2002, before the invasion of Iraq. His purpose with AQI appears certainly to attack Americans but his bitterest hatred is for the Shi'a, according to an intercepted letter. It says "...Shi`ism is a religion that has nothing in common with Islam except in the way that Jews have something in common with Christians under the banner of the People of the Book. From patent polytheism, worshipping at graves, and circumambulating shrines, to calling the Companions [of the Prophet] infidels and insulting the mothers of the believers..." and there follows a long, long rant against the Shi'a.The point is that the Twin Towers attack was a rallying point for Al Qaeda but it was not suddenly formed at that point. It had been in existence for many years. Its aim has always been the universal Sunni Caliphate. In that it had some common cause with Saddam Hussein who had problems with the Shi'a majority in Iraq. Note also that contrary to pouplar belief, Saddam was moving away from secularism in the 1990s / early 2000s, cf. my earlier comment in this blog. Mon 30 Aug 2010 07:10:11 GMT+1 quickstudy78 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=84#comment88 First - Reverence and Respect are really the same thing. Look up the definition of reverence and it is essentially respect.Second - Why would anyone feel the need to even question why a country would have reverence and respect for the members of their armed services?Third - This article must be focused just on the "baby boomer" generation that was around for Vietnam. That is not me. I am in my mid 30's and don't even think of Vietnam when I think of our armed services. My respect and reverence for them simply comes from a deep sense of gratitude that I have for their service and protection. I'm really surprised at this authors need to wonder what the motivation is for appreciating armed services. Do you appreciate yours in the UK? Why? I bet it's the same reason anyone would. This author really needs to widen his perspective. Mon 30 Aug 2010 05:55:28 GMT+1 KScurmudgeon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=83#comment87 45. At 1:49pm on 29 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:Soldiers who do their duty have always deserved our respect and reverence, and a sincere individual thanks.KScurmudgeon just a citizen ... not a soldier------------------------------------------------------------------------"..However, the american civilians and citizens, should thank people like karzai, dostum and his militias, because they are the afghans fighting for the americans and the militias do not even get half the pay the american solsiers get, they dont have the same ammo, and no pension..and when they are killed, no one even thinks about their families..These are the people americans should really rever and respect."I agree, and I believe most thoughtful Americans do as well. I hope they are taking such risks for their country's future, and not for us.KScurmudgeon Mon 30 Aug 2010 05:54:45 GMT+1 KScurmudgeon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=82#comment86 76. At 10:19pm on 29 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:"And here I differ, usa went to iraq with clear goal of imposing democracy..that is, if we for fun believe in that reason...I never believed in it so I dont have to present alternative and pathetic arguments to support this reason..those who did believe, that includes everyone in the west, on the other hand have to come up with such arguments, to prove...that they were right, and that democracy didnt happen because....and here read your own post...Iraq had some history prior to saddam, if you had read it, you would have perhaps not hung on to your democracy to iraq wish...Your history is not like iraq...it wasnt bunch of allies, which invaded usa so that you could have a democracy, it all came from within...So, its useless and pointless to compare what usa did to iraq with what usa did to itself.. ..."So, then - will democracy work in Iraq?KScurmudgeon Mon 30 Aug 2010 05:45:35 GMT+1 Brad http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=81#comment85 Ref # 70 Colonelartist:"You can disagree all you want, but this "alqaida in iraq, alqaida in iraq" became popular because bush and cheney both had claimed that there was alqaida in iraq before going to war...So, all of a sudden, alqaida from afghanistan ( I cannot even figure their route, thats why I believe they took the flying carpets) came to that specific province of iraq" Al Qaeda is an international loosely bonded organization, it's not like Cobra (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cobra_Command). Key players could leave Afghanistan to Pakistan and fly into SW Asia. "Grunts", can be made up of disaffected Iraqis, and non Iraqis who would wish to help out their brothers in peril. No carpets required. Al Anbar would be a great place for a Sunni religious extremist group, as it's a Sunni stronghold with enough Shia to terrorize. It does not take a great leap of imagination to figure that it is plausible that Al Qaeda would set up an Iraqi branch. The existence of AQI does not negate the existence of other armed groups, however. Yes, plenty of insurgents were former military and funded by tribal leaders. Iraq still is a complicated place, I know one Sunni Sheikh who was formerly in the Republican Guard. I suppose that eventually he figured that it was more advantageous to be friendly towards the government and US forces than antagonistic towards them.Also, the US does have a history of dissolving armies (http://www.feldgrau.com/main1.php?ID=2). Mon 30 Aug 2010 03:50:06 GMT+1 SafinCCd http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=80#comment84 This was an incredible and insightful blog. Although I am surprised you did not mention that the US Army already crossed the Rubicon River, well actually the Rouge River. Well perhaps the 1967 invasion of Detroit does not qualify as ‘purifying the political process’ as it was Johnson who ordered the invasion. Now then, there are a few posts here I feel compelled to comment upon. The first concerns the recent Iraqi elections and the subsequent failure to form a government, and other references to the lack of government in Iraq. The absence of a functioning government along parliamentary lines is no indication whatsoever of the situation within the state. Take the examples of post-communism states in Europe. In 1991 the Polish elections returned so many different political parties to the Sejm (the lower house) that there was even a People’s Party for the Advancement of Beer! In 1993, four parties managed to gain only half of the votes; however, by 1997 there was relative stability of political parties. The Czech republic? Same problem. Initially there was a plethora of political parties: they were more like factions that were led by the charisma of an individual than large groups of people committed to a similar set of goals. Despite the instability within the Parliaments of the two aforementioned states, there was real peace and stability; however, it took nine years before a reliable, efficient, and stable government could be formed.On the other extreme there is the most unfortunate cases of Mexico and Columbia where relatively stable governments have been formed in the past, but there is a great deal of instability and unrest within the state. I think (I may be wrong) that for the past two years the government of Mexico has been much more stable than that in Iraq; however, the suffering cause by the conflict between the drug cartels and the government in the past few months may be on par with that of the suffering caused by the unrest in Iraq. In response to colonelartist’s comments in 44 I will offer this anecdote from a professor of mine who lived through communist Poland. He said that while he did not agree with the war in Iraq for the state reasons of WMD’s, he volunteered the comparison between Saddam, Hitler and Stalin. The primary difference was that Saddam didn’t have as many people available to kill. Saddam used chemical weapons on subjects of his own state. And no comparison to any other use of such weapons diminishes Saddam’s horrific crime: the suffering he caused cannot be mitigated. Two last comments. First it is of utmost importance not to underestimate the impact of the ‘city on the hill’ concept in development of the US and even its current geopolitical stance. While this ideal has rarely been achieved, it remains a force to be reckoned with, even if it is not explicitly referred to in the political discourse. And a response to colonelartist’s comments in 46 about refugees: they didn’t all leave after the current Iraq war began. Suffice to say that Detroit now has the largest community of Arabs outside the Middle East (though impossible to prove, it’s an oft cited statistic and is widely believed around here). Many of those Arabs are former refugees from Iraq: they are Chaldean and it was Saddam, not this Iraq war, that forced the Chaldean community (which existed within the boundaries of the present Iraq state since the first centuries of the Gregorian calendar) into exile. And it was from this exile group that many of America’s Iraq-exile-experts came from. Oh and, Detroit has had a higher per capita violent death rate than even Bagdhad had at the height of the insurgency. (And don’t ask me to cite this because reliable numbers of dead are so hard to come by). Mon 30 Aug 2010 03:43:49 GMT+1 american grizzly http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=79#comment83 How many truely Democratic Islamic states are there existing today, that practice democracy, religious diversity, where Sharia law is used on the non Muslims, and have elected officials who are really in charge? Not an Imam, or a puppet dictator. Someone freely elected. Maybe Turkey, Eygpt? Still problems there. An as far as the US controling Iraq airspace. Turkey bombed the Kurds there even when the no fly zone was in effect prior to Sadaams final act. Gasing villages, shooting Shia's, stuffing people into industrial shredders. I guess people like Sadaam and the Taliban or this type of leadership? I remember the Saudi Arabian ambassador during the start of the Gulf War say. "In the Arab world they would rather have 999 years of tyranny, than one year of instability." So perhaps like ancient Persia, obedience is all. By the way I wonder how Persia may rise again? Will Saudi and the rest of the Sunni's be dominated by the Shia's modern Empire? This may get real interesting. Mon 30 Aug 2010 02:36:21 GMT+1 McJakome http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=78#comment82 66. At 8:28pm on 29 Aug 2010, HabitualHero wrote:"The slavering enthusiasm that americans have for war and militarism is weird and creepy. People who treat war like religion need there heads looking at."Your slavering enthusiasm for seeing militarism where it isn't is almost as weird and creepy as your tarring 300,000,000+ people with your outrageous overgeneralization. People who talk/write like you obviously know few if any Americans, and virtually no US history [as in anti-war demonstrations of which there have been many and serious]. Mon 30 Aug 2010 01:41:57 GMT+1 Three Million Posse On Employed In A Dub http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=77#comment81 It's a damn shame the costs of war* couldn't be spent eradicating world poverty..[Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]Up Ye Mighty Race - All Will Be Fine - Friends For Life(*) The war is costing $720 million a day or $500000 a minute, Mon 30 Aug 2010 01:03:59 GMT+1 _ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=76#comment80 If a person takes U.S. taxpayer funds to secure military training, does their job as a soldier and leaves it at that, great. If they take that very expensive training and become a mercenary for Xe / Blackwater or other mercenary outfit, all respect is out the window.You wanna play soldier...? Fine... Refund the training money... You don't pay to train me for my job and I don't pay to train you for yours...Same goes for the revolving door working for the Military Industrial Complex... Sun 29 Aug 2010 23:28:27 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=75#comment79 75. And dont underestimate the fantasy of under previelged children of the under develop country, they dont need toys to play with, they can make toys out of mud..-------------------------------------------------------------------------Actually, many kids, in general, love mud. I remember very fondly making mud cakes with 'decorations' as well as splashing around in the puddles.I think its great to give underpriviledged kids whatever you can...but I know in the instance in Afghanistan and such countries, you do have to be really careful and only give the kids such things in safe places where the Taliban cannot see them, cause' there have been instances where the Taliban have attacked adults, teens and kids for accepting gifts from Westerners, which is why the soldiers say if the locals won't accept their gifts, that means the Taliban is watching them and they are scared of being attacked for accepting such things...the Taliban have also been known to attack females who are carrying school supplies or going to school, as the Taliban oppose female education... Sun 29 Aug 2010 22:00:49 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=75#comment78 You still did not answer the point raised by RHcracker in #60, although you did fling an insult at them by implying that they're stupid... Unless of course, RHcracker's name is actually Einstein, or it's an additional handle. -------------------------------------------------------------------------I am busy trying to think if I should refer Rhcracker, who I believe likes radicals, to the jewish rabbi's statement regarding palestinians... Sun 29 Aug 2010 21:47:35 GMT+1 Three Million Posse On Employed In A Dub http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=74#comment77 Art Of War❖ We Can Make It Better ▣ Kanye West, Q-Tip, Talib Qweli, Common❖ Dr. Martin Luther King Speaks ❖ My Prayer ▣ Featuring Illinoise❖ Ghandi Speaks ❖ Road To Zion ▣ Damian Marley & Nas ❖ Walk Like A Warrior ▣ Featuring Dead Prez❖ Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos ▣ Public Enemy❖ The Message ▣ Featuring Cassidy Sun 29 Aug 2010 21:36:24 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=73#comment76 I disagree with your implication that Al Qaeda existed solely in Afghanistan. In addition to their being locals who might join a movement, others from other SW Asian countries could easily go into Iraq, without "flying carpets". Consider that forces that were against the Coalition may not have been unified in all aspects. There are people who disdained the killing of Iraqi civilians who were anti American, and their are people who seem to be fine with it. ------------------------------------------------------------------------You can disagree all you want, but this "alqaida in iraq, alqaida in iraq" became popular because bush and cheney both had claimed that there was alqaida in iraq before going to war...So, all of a sudden, alqaida from afghanistan ( I cannot even figure their route, thats why I believe they took the flying carpets) came to that specific province of iraq...Its your media that gave you these terms, both "aldaida in iraq" and the "sunni triangle" to ordinary iraqi and common person, they were just ex military and police men, fighting, some because they were dismissed from their jobs without any pay or pension...You dont just fire military persons the way americans did...military is supposed to surrender...there are certain rules and regulations, which the usa military completely ignored..what happened was against the geneva convention..against the military tradition...and americans rever and respect their brave soldiers...The men in uniform are men in uniform, iraqi military and police was not like taliban..that they were treated pathetically. End of lecture. Part one. Sun 29 Aug 2010 21:29:02 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=72#comment75 Clearly that is not in our power - nor is it realistic to impose 'democracy'. The notion is self-contradictory. If political conditions in Iraq oppose cooperation, and continue to prefer stalemate to government - Iraq will have to find its own future. The presence of 'democratic' soldiers is clearly not a persuasive example.If you have read our history you may know how close we came to anarchy ourselves in the beginning.-------------------------------------------------------------------------And here I differ, usa went to iraq with clear goal of imposing democracy..that is, if we for fun believe in that reason...I never believed in it so I dont have to present alternative and pathetic arguments to support this reason..those who did believe, that includes everyone in the west, on the other hand have to come up with such arguments, to prove...that they were right, and that democracy didnt happen because....and here read your own post...Iraq had some history prior to saddam, if you had read it, you would have perhaps not hung on to your democracy to iraq wish...Your history is not like iraq...it wasnt bunch of allies, which invaded usa so that you could have a democracy, it all came from within...So, its useless and pointless to compare what usa did to iraq with what usa did to itself..and when the context is difference, things cannot be compared...apples and oranges comparison...The real reason was to get rid of saddan.Period..the rest of soap opera created by powell and the rest was to satisfy the american citizens...to get and then increase the rating...You really belive in it..your fault..And as far as american influence in iraq is concerned. its there. they control its airspace, and its groundspace..and its government...the weak puppet government is easily controlled...americans are extremely involved in iraqis politics, and my bet is, the reason new government has not been made as yet, because americans dont approve the cabinet...they need assurance that the government would be "their guys"..the one which would work for american interests...Bush said so...when he attacked iraq, "regime change to replace saddam with someone who would work for american interest"...And another reason, which people will deny is israel...A weak iraq is another weak state in its neighbourhood..If you start a process then follow it through..no matter what..otherwise, its a Lt. col T. E lawrance all over again.. Sun 29 Aug 2010 21:19:28 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=71#comment74 As for the ethical issue of fostering trust of strangers in children who could then be exploited, the children in the developing world are much more likely to be exploited by someone from their own nation than a Western tourist.-------------------------------------------------------------------------You are the adult here, and you have to act responsible, if you know such things are harmful to the children, you just do do it.Period. Just because children in under developed countries are more likely to be expolited by someone from their own nation, does not give you the right to break your own rules...if you give alms to the children, you encourage them to go to any adult they think will give them some money, or candies or stuff toys. And dont underestimate the fantasy of under previelged children of the under develop country, they dont need toys to play with, they can make toys out of mud.. Sun 29 Aug 2010 20:50:14 GMT+1 Brad http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=70#comment73 Ref #59 Colonelartist"Sure, alqaida came all the way from afghanistan to iraq in anbar province to fight the americans" I disagree with your implication that Al Qaeda existed solely in Afghanistan. In addition to their being locals who might join a movement, others from other SW Asian countries could easily go into Iraq, without "flying carpets". Consider that forces that were against the Coalition may not have been unified in all aspects. There are people who disdained the killing of Iraqi civilians who were anti American, and their are people who seem to be fine with it. One Sunni group that killed Sunni civilians was labeled as Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), as opposed to some other Sunni groups. AQI has a significant non Iraqi component, much as it is non Afghan in Afghanistan. The police, and Army, and whatever "tribals" are can still attack Coalition and government forces without belonging to, or being labeled as, AQI. Ref 63 Colonelartist "Einstein, the elections were held in march, the so called elected members cannot even sit together and raise a government....and all this, under the invasion of american democratic soldiers..."You still did not answer the point raised by RHcracker in #60, although you did fling an insult at them by implying that they're stupid... Unless of course, RHcracker's name is actually Einstein, or it's an additional handle. Sun 29 Aug 2010 20:47:14 GMT+1 KScurmudgeon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=69#comment72 63. At 7:23pm on 29 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:And you did not answer ,who is blowing up the police and innocent civilians,disrupting elections,and making it impossible for the Iraqi people to have a stable government and a safe place to live.Loosen your turbin its cutting the oxygen to your brain.-------------------------------------------------------------------------Einstein, the elections were held in march, the so called elected members cannot even sit together and raise a government....and all this, under the invasion of american democratic soldiers..."In general, I agree with Curt at #65 - you make a valuable contribution here.But I think you mean more an irrelevant slap than any useful point in the comment above. If our troops or our influence in Iraq could bring about a popularly elected, effective government we could declare success, eat our cake and go home imagining we had made a new friend. Clearly that is not in our power - nor is it realistic to impose 'democracy'. The notion is self-contradictory. If political conditions in Iraq oppose cooperation, and continue to prefer stalemate to government - Iraq will have to find its own future. The presence of 'democratic' soldiers is clearly not a persuasive example.If you have read our history you may know how close we came to anarchy ourselves in the beginning.KDcurmudgeon Sun 29 Aug 2010 20:38:58 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=68#comment71 I also draw a distinction between strangers and persons who encounter children as part of their official job duties. This could include law enforcement professionals, medical professionals, and military personnel. If an American soldier has a stuffed toy, then I see nothing wrong with him/her giving it to an Afghan child. ------------------------------------------------------------------------You can make that distinction, but the children dont...You I guess do not know the number of children killed or made handicapped due to the landmines that looked like toys...in previous war...And also keep in mind the catholic church scandel, priests harming the kids, especially in under developed countries where they go to work for the children...From school teachers to boyscout group leaders to little league baseball coaches, in every proffession such people exist..even in army... Sun 29 Aug 2010 20:24:52 GMT+1 DCHeretic http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=67#comment70 64. At 7:26pm on 29 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:To the people like you, I ask one of my usual question...Do you or would you allow your children to take things from complete strangers? -------------------------------------------------------------------------First, I do not have children. But if I did, I would not permit them to accept gifts from strangers because there would be no need for them to do so. Sadly, many parents and children in the developing world do not have the luxury to be discriminating. For instance, in India and Guatemala, I encountered many children who were asking me, a complete stranger, for gifts and food. I obliged when I could. My gifts often meant the difference between a child eating or going hungry. As for the ethical issue of fostering trust of strangers in children who could then be exploited, the children in the developing world are much more likely to be exploited by someone from their own nation than a Western tourist.I also draw a distinction between strangers and persons who encounter children as part of their official job duties. This could include law enforcement professionals, medical professionals, and military personnel. If an American soldier has a stuffed toy, then I see nothing wrong with him/her giving it to an Afghan child. Sun 29 Aug 2010 19:50:08 GMT+1 sayasay http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=66#comment69 Mark Mardell says “…to end America's longest war”I thought US Army Official History listed Indian Wars as the longest war fought by the US Military. The American Indian Wars was a series of battles with various Native American tribes. If it is a war outside continental USA, then, it would be Afghanistan. Sun 29 Aug 2010 19:48:31 GMT+1 american grizzly http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=65#comment68 Gee Colonel isn't there charity in Islam? Or just for those you know? Sun 29 Aug 2010 19:45:21 GMT+1 american grizzly http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=64#comment67 How about the Islamic warriors HabitualHero???? Jihadists? Do they need their heads looked into? Sun 29 Aug 2010 19:43:49 GMT+1 american grizzly http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=63#comment66 The belief system of the Islamic radicals equal or greater than Nazi's of World War II.Murderous acts, in the name of a belief system, that persecutes almost every group except the choosen. Nothing new, so do you wait for a year like 1939 to come to the realization..... Or act now? Sun 29 Aug 2010 19:40:20 GMT+1 HabitualHero http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=62#comment65 The slavering enthusiasm that americans have for war and militarism is weird and creepy. People who treat war like religion need there heads looking at. Sun 29 Aug 2010 19:28:11 GMT+1 Curt Carpenter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=61#comment64 60. At 5:43pm on 29 Aug 2010, RHCracker wrote:...Loosen your turbin its cutting the oxygen to your brain. ---------Actually, the good Colonel (Still no promotion? A damned shame!) performs a real and valuable service to all of us. He reminds us that there is another point of view, and that what may be OUR point of view is subject to question -- not to mention ridicule. We could have it all wrong!If your mind is open at all, you need to respect that. Thinking -- even that provoked by a poke in the eye -- can't hurt any of us, can it? You don't need to -agree- with the Colonel -- but his (sometimes bizarre but usually entertaining) views do deserve attention. I suspect that HE's right about as often as everybody else here, including myself.Keep up the good work Colonel! We're rooting for that long-overdue promotion! Sun 29 Aug 2010 19:19:10 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=60#comment63 This weekend my partner and I spent over US$100 sending a care package of snacks and hygiene supplies to a Marine unit in Afghanistan. We even included some fun things for them to hand out to the children that they encounter. We do not know any of the Marines assigned to the unit. ------------------------------------------------------------------------To the people like you, I ask one of my usual question...Do you or would you allow your children to take things from complete strangers? Sun 29 Aug 2010 18:26:52 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=59#comment62 And you did not answer ,who is blowing up the police and innocent civilians,disrupting elections,and making it impossible for the Iraqi people to have a stable government and a safe place to live.Loosen your turbin its cutting the oxygen to your brain.-------------------------------------------------------------------------Einstein, the elections were held in march, the so called elected members cannot even sit together and raise a government....and all this, under the invasion of american democratic soldiers... Sun 29 Aug 2010 18:23:20 GMT+1 DCHeretic http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=58#comment61 This weekend my partner and I spent over US$100 sending a care package of snacks and hygiene supplies to a Marine unit in Afghanistan. We even included some fun things for them to hand out to the children that they encounter. We do not know any of the Marines assigned to the unit. Indeed, we do not know any of the military personnel currently serving in Afghanistan. We sent the package because we are grateful for the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform.I strongly supported (and still do) the Afghan campaign and strongly opposed the Iraq war. I have a profound sense of outrage over Iraq that will not fade any time soon. My outrage, however, is solely directed towards the Bush administration. The civilian leadership of the US permitted the Iraq disaster to occur, not our men and women in uniform. The military personnel who went to Iraq served honorably (a few exceptions aside) and tried to make the best of a bad situation.My support for the troops will continue even after the last American soldier has withdrawn from Afghanistan and Iraq. I will press my congressional representatives to ensure that the veterans receive the support that they need to integrate into the civlian world. I will also donate money to nonprofits supporting veteran causes. Sun 29 Aug 2010 17:51:58 GMT+1 RHCracker http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=57#comment60 57. At 5:04pm on 29 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:.and departing from there so quietly to not attract any attention...G-d knows what these sodliers packed in their luggage..Colonel,you can bet its not a bomb in their luggage or in their shoe or in their underwear. Sun 29 Aug 2010 17:18:04 GMT+1 RHCracker http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=56#comment59 57. At 5:04pm on 29 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:and departing from there so quietly to not attract any attention...G-d knows what these sodliers packed in their luggage..Departing quietly,its on every t.v. network around the world or is it hard to get t.v. reception in your cave.And you did not answer ,who is blowing up the police and innocent civilians,disrupting elections,and making it impossible for the Iraqi people to have a stable government and a safe place to live.Loosen your turbin its cutting the oxygen to your brain. Sun 29 Aug 2010 16:43:53 GMT+1 Three Million Posse On Employed In A Dub http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=55#comment58 This post has been Removed Sun 29 Aug 2010 16:43:15 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=54#comment57 Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) decided to show the US and Iraqi government impotence to the Iraqi people in Anbar province by blowing the stuffing out of them. At some point, local leaders decided that AQI was a bigger threat than the government and threw in with the US. Eventually they got paid, and a similar structure was set up for Shia militias.-------------------------------------------------------------------------Sure, alqaida came all the way from afghanistan to iraq in anbar province to fight the americans...they must be flying on the magic carpets and wearing the caps that made them invisible to human eyes...the so called "alqaida in iraq" were the police and army personals and tribals who were dismissed within 24 hours of invasion, without pay and employment with lots of ammo at their disposel...they fought and when the brave soldiers couldnt bring any change, the bravest of them all, went to washington and came up with dividing neighbourhoods with huge walls and giving them to people whom they decided to pay...All this could have been prevented if the bravest of the brave, bush, and the rest of lesser bravers had gone for a more military look alike surrender..the way nazis did....the americans dont even know how to handle an invasion, they mess that too...pathetic.. Sun 29 Aug 2010 16:14:23 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=53#comment56 Why do you think they have no government,------------------------------------------------------------------------Allow me to salute your ignorance...and then, allow me to tell you, they have no government because they have not being able to raise a government after they had their famous, much publisized all over the tv screens, elections in march...Atleast the theieves of baghdad before leaving, should have made/forced/bought the elected members to set up a quickly a government, which could atleast give you, the much wished and promised "thank you" and flowers to the departing brave soldiers...Remember the funfair with which the brave soldiers entered iraq? if not, google the old videos and you will see it...and departing from there so quietly to not attract any attention...G-d knows what these sodliers packed in their luggage.. Sun 29 Aug 2010 16:04:56 GMT+1 RHCracker http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=52#comment55 46. At 1:56pm on 29 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:When you went to iraq, through your brave soldiers, you went there thumping your chests, shouting that you will better iraqis lives, and bring a better and free government and what not (remind all the lies you told iraqis) when you pretend to leave iraq, the people are living in worse conditions, millions are living outside iraq as refugees, and it has no government...Leaving like thieves of baghdad, arent you?...........................................................Why do you think they have no government,is it us killing the new police and those just standing in line to vote,no it is the radical islamists that are the reason these people are suffering,and are living in harsh conditions. Sun 29 Aug 2010 15:52:49 GMT+1 Brad http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=51#comment54 Ref #12 Colonelartist"Well, your soldiers come from your own society, and its not as if they fought the war themselves, they hired local militias who fought and fight for them...." and almost every other of colonel artist's post. While I can't speak with any fair certainty about Afghanistan, as I've never been there, US and allied forces did a good share of the fighting in Iraq for quite a while. Sunni militias became popular to pay only after the "Anbar Awakening", which if I recall from previous posts some people don't believe in. Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) decided to show the US and Iraqi government impotence to the Iraqi people in Anbar province by blowing the stuffing out of them. At some point, local leaders decided that AQI was a bigger threat than the government and threw in with the US. Eventually they got paid, and a similar structure was set up for Shia militias.Ref 13 LucyJ Yeah, First Blood is a great movie. Although its treatment of National Guard cheeses me off. Of course with the popular view that Guardsmen did not participate in Vietnam, I suppose that it makes sense in the film. Regarding the idea that's surfacing about the reintroduction of the draft, etc, I think that R. Heinlein had an interesting suggestion in one of his novels. In "For Us the Living" the society depicted needed a non secret vote in order for an offensive war to be declared. If the ballot succeeded and war was declared, all who voted "yes" would be drafted, followed by those who didn't vote, and finally those who voted "no". All in all pretty interesting. Sun 29 Aug 2010 15:48:26 GMT+1 RHCracker http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=50#comment53 45. At 1:49pm on 29 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:the american civilians and citizens, should thank people like karzai, dostum and his militias, because they are the afghans fighting for the americans and the militias do not even get half the pay the american solsiers get, they dont have the same ammo, and no pension..and when they are killed, no one even thinks about their families..These are the people americans should really rever and respect........................................................yeah we should just forget about the extortion racket karzia and his cousin is running on our troops,charging 1200. for safe passage through some routes or they will have our supply convoys attacked.And they kill anyone who refuses their services. Sun 29 Aug 2010 15:47:35 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=50#comment52 Yeah world waited for Hitler to gain power and paid a steep price for that. The same will happen again with this radical Islamics.------------------------------------------------------------------------from fighting hitler to fighting windmills, if the west had learnt from hitler, it would not be behaving like don quixote and sancho panza...or in simple words, it wouldnt be acting like a perfect paraonoid with psychopath characteristics..acting like hitler... Sun 29 Aug 2010 13:45:05 GMT+1 american grizzly http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=49#comment51 "It's too bad that our society doesn't provide more ways for our young people to serve, along the lines of VISTA, Peace Corps -- and require such a period of service. And service outside of a military context would be more conducive to "winning hearts and minds," I think -- whether in the Middle East or South LA." Curt Carpenter wrote Yeah, and what about the doctered they murdered and all the other aid workers killed without any remorse, pretty steep price with no justice there. Sun 29 Aug 2010 13:39:39 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=48#comment50 Andy's comment is fundamentally correct: in a democracy all citizens should bear the burden of a national decision to go to war. It is not right that this burden should fall merely upon a few, and the rest of us should be free riders. Acceptance of this view is typified by national service in Switzerland.-------------------------------------------------------------------------Trust me they did..those who were not for war,supported the soldiers..out of this burden of living in a democracy...you are not free riders...Go and do some research on the swiss "military" and you will understand much more than a mere reverence for the swiss and their national service..And on the other extreme, learn the history of taliban, and you will find national service and draft both in the shap of taliban.... Sun 29 Aug 2010 13:36:59 GMT+1 american grizzly http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=47#comment49 Yeah world waited for Hitler to gain power and paid a steep price for that. The same will happen again with this radical Islamics. Sun 29 Aug 2010 13:29:39 GMT+1 american grizzly http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=46#comment48 No chest thumping. I mean I could care less if the Islamic nations keep stoning people to death. Stuff their people into industrial shredders like Sadaam did, practice murderous racism on Jews, Christians and any personse that disaree with their barbaric methods. Blowing up Buddha's in Afghanistan shows how tolerant. If that is what the radical Islamic world wants = modern Nazi's with a religious belief system that murders oppresses those different. Yeah, I guess I could live with it. Just don't let them migrate, or expand like the Nazi mein kampf of the Islamic jihadists. But hopefully they aren't that blind, maybe in another thousand years they will learn. As they pretty much hate all that don't subscibe to those tenets at present. Sun 29 Aug 2010 13:27:56 GMT+1 Three Million Posse On Employed In A Dub http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=45#comment47 Peter Tosh – Mystery Babylonhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4z4FA6KpI1ISong Lyrics(Chorus)Mystery BabylonBiblical ReferenceRevelation 17:5 – And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.Song LyricsYour queendom a fallingTumbling downBiblical ReferenceIsaiah 21:9 – And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground. Sun 29 Aug 2010 13:27:41 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=44#comment46 19. At 9:16pm on 28 Aug 2010, Gala wrote:[[Responding to Andy's comment at #9 - "I don't like the draft, but I can't help feel that when the People decide to make war, the People should fight that war, all the People."]]------------------"What about when not all the People want the war to begin with? Nobody here has mentioned anything about any Americans who are against the war. Isn't it more important for a country not to start a war if there is a significant number of people against it?"____________Participation in a democracy is not buffet or cafeteria style. You don't get to pick which laws to obey, and which not. One can well imagine how much income tax would be collected in any given year were it otherwise.Quite apart from Vietnam, in the Civil War, the Great War, and WWII there were very significant portions of the population against going to war.In the Great War, Wilson had campaigned in 1916 on the campaign slogan "He kept us out of the war".Similarly, Robert Taft sought the Republican presidential nomination in 1940 campaigning against involvement in the new European war, and there were groups prominent at the time, notoriously the "America Firsters", who promoted American isolationism. One might note that FDR instituted the draft in the Summer of 1940 in light of the fall of France.------------The draft has been problematic in countries other than the United States, and the issue of conscription and national service has been highly controversial in many countries.In Switzerland, for example, the army is the quintessential national institution, and performing national service is seen almost as the defining duty of citizenship. There have been several referenda (referendums?) seeking abolition of national service but they always fail. It goes back to the founding of the country at Rutli meadow.In Israel national service is necessary for the survival of the country. There is nothing theoretical about it. But, at the same time there is a large and frequently abused religious exemption. This has caused a great deal of resentment and division in the country, and is, (as I understand it) in part why Israelis of my acquaintance seem unable to use the word "Shas" in any sentence that does not also include the word "parasites".In Germany and France (and other countries) the topic of conscription is inseparable from 1870 - 1914. More recently, the trend has been away from conscript armies to entirely volunteer forces. A volunteer force tends to be much more highly motivated, and, overall, much more effective. In Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries of the British Empire and Commonwealth, the history of all volunteer forces is a very long one. Britain ultimately had to introduce conscription. The introduction and enforcement of conscription in both the first and second world wars led to political crises in Canada - and to one of the great slippery and disingenuous electoral campaign slogans of all time: "Conscription if necessary, but not necessarily conscription."In Russia (or the former Soviet Union) conscription has been seen as a period in which Russian young people are put through a period of harsh brutalization and hazing, as something of a rite of passage. There are awful stories about this experience as a feature of culture.In wartime, the draft and efforts to enforce or evade the draft have led to a great deal of corruption. In the Civil war Union soldiers frequently did not want draftees amongst their ranks as they were associated with morale problems, theft, shirking, discord, and so on.----------Andy's comment is fundamentally correct: in a democracy all citizens should bear the burden of a national decision to go to war. It is not right that this burden should fall merely upon a few, and the rest of us should be free riders. Acceptance of this view is typified by national service in Switzerland.But at the same time the issue of compelled military service is a very controversial and complex one, as shown in the experiences of many other countries.This is not a simple issue, at all. Sun 29 Aug 2010 13:14:32 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=43#comment45 38. At 11:02am on 29 Aug 2010, Clive Hill wrote:#6 colonelartist "...When the brave soldiers went to iraq, it had a government, and when they come home, iraq has no government...."The same could be said for Nazi Germany. Bad idea to overthrow Hitler ? Just to keep any government ?-------------------------------------------------------------------------When you went to iraq, through your brave soldiers, you went there thumping your chests, shouting that you will better iraqis lives, and bring a better and free government and what not (remind all the lies you told iraqis) when you pretend to leave iraq, the people are living in worse conditions, millions are living outside iraq as refugees, and it has no government...Leaving like thieves of baghdad, arent you? Sun 29 Aug 2010 12:56:10 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=42#comment44 Soldiers who do their duty have always deserved our respect and reverence, and a sincere individual thanks.KScurmudgeon just a citizen ... not a soldier ------------------------------------------------------------------------Let me put you at ease...the soldiers get paid for their job..Those who show some sort of heroism during the battle, get medals, the dead soldiers' famlies get benefits...the civilians do not have to thank them, unless ofcourse the civilians thank everyone else for doing their jobs..However, the american civilians and citizens, should thank people like karzai, dostum and his militias, because they are the afghans fighting for the americans and the militias do not even get half the pay the american solsiers get, they dont have the same ammo, and no pension..and when they are killed, no one even thinks about their families..These are the people americans should really rever and respect. Sun 29 Aug 2010 12:49:49 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=41#comment43 38. At 11:02am on 29 Aug 2010, Clive Hill wrote:#6 colonelartist "...When the brave soldiers went to iraq, it had a government, and when they come home, iraq has no government...."The same could be said for Nazi Germany. Bad idea to overthrow Hitler ? Just to keep any government ?-------------------------------------------------------------------------The world didnt go in germany to stage a coup against hitler...Hitler was enganged in the war....his armies, invaded france, holland poland and were in Africa...In the end he was defeated in the war...You can pretend that a defeated general would sit in his office and wait for the winners to take him as a prisoner, most try to flee to safe places, just like your american generals and everyone did in vietnam, ran away as soon as they could...Next time when you compare iraq and afghanistan with germany and generously declare hitler with saddam, remind yourself that saddam nor the taliban sent their armies to invade other countries, the countries which attacked them...If anyone is to be compared to hitler is your bush, and british, blair... Sun 29 Aug 2010 12:39:57 GMT+1 Three Million Posse On Employed In A Dub http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=40#comment42 mystery moderators turn stuck up..# 42. At 1:02pm on 29 Aug 2010, you wrote:This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules. Sun 29 Aug 2010 12:12:17 GMT+1 Three Million Posse On Employed In A Dub http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=39#comment41 This post has been Removed Sun 29 Aug 2010 12:02:20 GMT+1 Three Million Posse On Employed In A Dub http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=38#comment40 This post has been Removed Sun 29 Aug 2010 11:41:37 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=37#comment39 MM: No wonder your comment re Iran was met with laughter.There's absolutely no need to invade Islamic Republic of Iran with a dozen of infantry and armor divisions if the objective is to deny ayatollahs nuclear arsenal and prevent them from tacitly supplying nuclear weapons to terrorist outfits acting as Tehran's proxies.On the contrary: presence of such troops would only hinder missile/bomb attacks on such huge uranium enrichment centers as Natanz.Anybody with a military experience above a level of platoon commander would know that. Sun 29 Aug 2010 11:36:43 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=36#comment38 Re #38There's only small problem; the same one as in Iraq:nobody from the outside can want freedom and democracy more than locals and succeed in making them a reality.The same, btw. goes for Iran.If the autochtons really want it we can help.Otherwise - forget it. Sun 29 Aug 2010 11:29:54 GMT+1 Clive Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=35#comment37 #6 colonelartist "...When the brave soldiers went to iraq, it had a government, and when they come home, iraq has no government...."The same could be said for Nazi Germany. Bad idea to overthrow Hitler ? Just to keep any government ? #20 MarcusAureliusII "...The game of chess is the ultimate instructor of the psychology of war. You play to decapitate your opponent at all costs, before he can decapitate you..."No it isn't, not any more. This war like other recent wars is cultural, not merely physical. It is not about taking geography, it is about taking society. It is why the Taliban have a point when they say that the Americans will destroy their way of life. That is what we are trying to do, destroy their way of life. We think parts of it - like draconian tribal law and the treatment of women generally - barbaric. The Afghan war became a social war when the US army did not leave after destroying the Al Qaeda bases.It is a source of much confusion, I believe, that the Iraq War is not, for the most part, a cultural war. In that it is, it is a war between Shi'a and Sunni with characters like Moqtada Sadr on the Shi'a side and Al Qaeda on the Sunni. Each side merely exploits the western troops for propaganda value. for the most part they kill each other.It can be argued that Saddam Hussein started and mostly won the cultural war in Iraq with his secular society. He began to give up on that idea in the year 2000 when he started to be more 'Islamic', politically. "...The most significant political factor was Saddam Hussein's decision to embrace Islamic and tribal traditions as a political tool in order to consolidate power...""...According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), as a result of the national literacy campaign, as of 1987 approximately 75 percent of Iraqi women were literate; however, by year-end 2000, Iraq had the lowest regional adult literacy levels, with the percentage of literate women at less than 25 percent..."I quote this because much has been made of the secularism of Saddam Hussein's government. That changed, as you can see. He was losing the cultural war, possibly partly due to the efforts of Al Qaeda - a Sunni organisation, as Saddam's government was - promoting a kind of Sunni nationalism which Saddam found hard to resist in the face of tribal pressure from his own side.This kind of nationalism was also carrying him to WMD and profound and genocidal brutality against Kurds and some Shi'a. All of this is well documented, see Operation Anfal for instance.The point is that the USA did not have to say it was waging a cultural war in Iraq - even though Saddam was losing it, he had not yet - but it does in Afghanistan. These are profoundly different wars and Barack Obama has nailed his national colours to the Afghan War. A war of cultural extermination.I have no problem with the Afghan War, as I did not with the Iraq War. Were I one of the many oppressed in either of those countries I would want to think of someone, somewhere in the world on my side and coming to help. The Petraeus attitude is a huge help. In a cultural war, all of the participants are equal. If you are converting me to a coca-cola drinking muslim, then I am like any American. You should not kill me as you would not kill your own neighbour back in Georgia.MarcusAureliusII misses the point completely. This is the war to win. No-one in America imagines that if the USA 'wins' Afghanistan will become a colony. Many imagine it will be a free democracy. Sun 29 Aug 2010 10:02:25 GMT+1 catcloud http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=34#comment36 Mark, I've always read your blog but have never bothered to comment until now. People (and I'm talking about the ones who don't join the military) here always say that the military protects us and that we should respect it, but it never really seems like they completely understand the situation. Protect us from what? Did invading Iraq or even Vietnam prevent someone from attacking us?I think part of it is that their loved ones are going to war, and possibly to get killed, so this is all they can think to say. Hearing anything about how horrible the war is for the locals in the countries we go to war in doesn't seem to affect them at all. Many of them (not all) probably couldn't tell me anything besides Iraq and Afganistan other than the words 'Muslim' and 'Terrorists'. Their vision of war is incredibly one-sided. And does every soldier deserve to be respected? What about the ones that rape or kill civilians or even some of their fellow soldiers?War is still war, people will still die, both by our hands and by the hands of others. War and the people who fight them are still connected. I'm sick of our national anthem and flag that people use now to justify war. But at the same time, many people join the military because they have nowhere else to turn to, or because they don't have the money they need for education. Many families of soldiers struggle with money problems, and soldiers who come back sometimes have many problems (mental, physical, money, etc.) that aren't always addressed. While I disagree with treating these people as heroes or even saviors, they are still human and should be given the resources they need to recover from what they have endured.I might be a bit off topic from what you were talking about, though... Mark, you probably already know this but you seeing this issue from the perspective of people in the military. Outside of it, there are some people who do base their votes on the military and military service and there are others who hardly think about it. There's a huge spectrum of opinions. So will the military's opinion affect politics on a citizen level? Republicans are seen as the ones who are involved in the wars which is part of the reason many of them can't stand Democrats, which they often see as disrespecting the soldiers and their sacrifices. They will probably be more affected opinion-wise. Those who don't have military ties might begin to forget about vets since in their minds Iraq is in and becoming part of the past. But I'm just hypothesizing. Sun 29 Aug 2010 09:11:48 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=33#comment35 Mr. Mardell, no wonder your comment about Iran has been met with laughter.For it displayed a total ignorance of things military.Invasion of Islamic Republic of Iran has not been planned because it would not be necessary.Injecting a dozen or so of infantry and armor divisions into that country would be simply silly since the objective of any US military action would be not to occupy Iran, but simply to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons and becoming a tacit supplier of nuclear weapons to different terrorist groups acting as ayatollahs' proxies.Destroying/rendering useless Iran's nuclear facilitites (such as, e.g., huge uranium enrichment complex in Natanz) doesn't require any ground troops; on the contrary: presence of such troops could only hinder missile strikes required for the task. P.S. If revelations of such 'reputable investigative reporters' as Seymour Hersh (by now almost completely discredited) were to be believed we would have occupied Iran 2 years ago. Sun 29 Aug 2010 08:51:18 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=32#comment34 Andy Post wrote(#9):"I don't like the draft, but I can't help feel that when the People decide to make war, the People should fight that war, all the People."I miss a draft for a different reason: general service was a unifying experience and allowed millions of Americans to form opinions about successive governments' decisions re national security (and vote accordingly) based on their own first hand military, often combat experience.However there's no turning back for an obvious reason: these days branches of U.S. military are saturated and dependable on more&more sophisticated technology (incl. IT) and one cannot train soldiers who use them in 12 months; let alone discard them 12 months later.BTW. There are more and more soldiers with college degrees and officers with PhDs from MIT, Caltech, etc. - on the front lines.So much for nonsense about Harvard&Yale-educated top brass.Particularly since both those universities have not been famous for any programs really useful to the military (aeronautical engineering, IT, electronics, mathematics, etc.) but mostly for producing even more lawyers, accountants, administrators and governmental bureaucrats. Sun 29 Aug 2010 08:23:49 GMT+1 KScurmudgeon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=31#comment33 It's an odd thing to say, but please don't confuse war with the military. When we talk about respect or reverence we are showing respect for people, and revering the nation through those who serve it honorably. War, or any particular war, is another matter. In a democracy we can each choose whether we approve or not. It may be even more difficult to parse, but one must also be prepared to separate the Military from the soldiers who serve in it. One is an institution that may or may not deserve respect depending on how it performs and what it sees as its duty and interests. The others are individuals who commit themselves to serving their fellow citizens in an extraordinary capacity - who are prepared to die at our collective order and in our interest.The military may or may not be worthy of respect, and has deserved both respect and disrespect at one time and another. Soldiers who do their duty have always deserved our respect and reverence, and a sincere individual thanks.KScurmudgeon just a citizen ... not a soldier Sun 29 Aug 2010 07:26:32 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=30#comment32 "Anyway, the United States cannot afford to let war stop. It must never be without a war.1. The American economy is too dependent on weapon mnanufacturing and sales."Statements like this can only be made by America-haters who don't know anything about U.S. economy.3/4ths of which consist of manufacturing of consumer goods and providing services to the civilian sector.[I won't even go into others' comments about "wars for oil" since even a mediocre economist knows that it's cheaper for U.S. to pay for imported oil (.e.g. from Canada and Mexico, its two biggers oil suppliers) than to invade foreign countries allegedly in order to "steal it".] Sun 29 Aug 2010 07:23:58 GMT+1 Epona111 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=29#comment31 As an American, I am disgusted how much respect is given to the military. I think murder is murder, whether you're paid to do it or not. But, I also understand that the military attracts people who have no other opportunities, or need the money to go to college. I hear people call it "the poverty draft". It is sickens me that American "defense" (should be called aggression) spending overshadows all other spending in our federal budget. As was previously mentioned, war is profitable for those corporations who get government contracts, and war instills fear in the populace which usually makes them easier to manipulate. The "war on terror" was/is a fear-mongering operation, which certainly helped garner support for Bush's policies (at least in the beginning). And of course, corporate media exacerbates the problem. Fox "News" has certainly kept a large number of American citizens in fear and ignorance. it keeps them thinking about "us" versus "them", and encourages discriminatory thinking and actions. I am ashamed to think that people in the countries that the US has disrupted and destroyed due to unchecked its militarism are suffering in part because US citizens didn't stand up and say, "that's enough, we don't want any more needless killing". The war in Iraq didn't make us safer. The war in Afghanistan is not making us safer. It is another venture to make money for those vested interests already in power. And ordinary people all over the world are suffering because of US greed and aggression. Sun 29 Aug 2010 05:07:21 GMT+1 BLUES55 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=28#comment30 All these discretionary wars prove Orwell's predictions absolutely true Sun 29 Aug 2010 02:23:15 GMT+1 BLUES55 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=27#comment29 Pax Romanus is now Pax Americanus, it is no peace at all, just Imperialistic values disguised by nationalism, who is benefiting from the middle east wars?, most folk are in more danger now than before and of course the right wing predatory politicians are doing really well off of it, one other reason that the viet vets were dispised is that it was thefirst war where American war crimes were made public, My Lai (Irony) is just one story, same in the latest wars, and of course the high rate of ex vets going on to do crazy stuff in the states has further devalued the militaries currency, america cannot afford peace, the weapons industry is the largest in the world, such a dichotomy. Sun 29 Aug 2010 02:08:29 GMT+1 Three Million Posse On Employed In A Dub http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=26#comment28 ❖ War boosts the US economy (Weapons Industries)❖ Prior to the 1st Gulf War, America was due to drastically reduce it's military budget❖ There is usually a war every 10 years or every recessionNEW WORLD ORDER1987-1982☮ PEACE Sun 29 Aug 2010 01:27:31 GMT+1 american grizzly http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=25#comment27 I think disrespect is being done by states that seek to limit the rights of those in the Armed Forces from voting. I think that is the biggest insult of all. Even now certain states are looking to be exempt from having to provide this right to those currently serving. But I guess some politicians really don't like to see those votes. Tough! I think they have earned that right, and I will wager the majority will agree. Sun 29 Aug 2010 00:53:01 GMT+1 american grizzly http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=25#comment26 Actually, Many who served in Vietnam were volunteers, just your average person from the US. Read on. I have served joint service over the years and have served with this nations finest, as well as our assorted allies. The UK, Aus, NZ, Canadians, Germans, and many more. I think all deserve at least decent respect for their service in any country. After all they are somebodies, Brother, Father, Mother, or Sister, regardless of the circumstances. I have had the honour to serve with quite a few Vietnam pilots while in my final Airborne unit. Most are retiring now, I thank them for the guidance they gave all soldiers during their time. Total draftees (1965-73) : 1,728,344.Actually served in Vietnam : 38%.25% of the total forces in country were draftees 648,500.Draftees accounted for 30.4% (17,725) of combat deaths.Reservists killed : 5,977.National Guard : 6,140 served; 101 died.Marine Corps draft : 42,633.Last man drafted : June 30, 1973. Sun 29 Aug 2010 00:28:02 GMT+1 Curt Carpenter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=24#comment25 19. At 9:16pm on 28 Aug 2010, Gala wrote:What about when not all the People want the war to begin with? Nobody here has mentioned anything about any Americans who are against the war. Isn't it more important for a country not to start a war if there is a significant number of people against it? ----I doubt if there has ever been a war that didn't have a significant number of people against it. Thucydides describes dissent against the Peloponnesian war in 431BC (the Greek Hippie faction). But there are times, I think, when force of arms is necessary, and there -are- just wars that need to be fought in spite of the scale of the dissent at home. We Americans just haven't seen such a war in most of our lifetimes.But see Andy Post @ 21 above where he writes "War should hurt, lest we become too fond of it." THAT, I think, is the fundamental point. Casual war -- "discretionary" if you prefer -- seems to me to have no place in any Just War theory. Sun 29 Aug 2010 00:18:57 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=23#comment24 If you are going to fight a war, it is best to either fight to win at all cost or not fight at all. If we are going to give up in Afghanistan, we should start the pullout tomorrow and get out as soon as possible. In the end the result will be the same and we would lose less money and American lives that way. It appears we are going to surrender in Iran too. You have to wonder if the Israelis will do the same. -------------------------------------------------------------------------The only problem with all this is, that your country along with the rest of member countries of UN have signed certain agreements in UN to solve the conflicts through talks and negotiations rather than war....and usa could not wage war without having allies which it had because of such agreements...otherwise it could have ended up as an official offender country...Neither afghanistan nor iraq attacked or threatened to attack usa...in reality its usa thats the offender,so all the drama that we saw in UN, and americans quickly selecting local afghanis and iraqis on cia pay rolls as the governments, to not putting the american soldiers in harms way so that americans dont start protesting against these wars is the next best strategy that usa could use, after the failure of its air firepower...If you were going to fight war, then you should have put more soldiers in afghanistan and in iraq in the first place... Sat 28 Aug 2010 22:47:17 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=22#comment23 What about when not all the People want the war to begin with? Nobody here has mentioned anything about any Americans who are against the war. Isn't it more important for a country not to start a war if there is a significant number of people against it?------------------------------------------------------------------------Rebranding Iraq: Playing with Numbers and Human LivesSo what if the US army downgrades its military presence in Iraq and re-labels over 50,000 remaining soldiers? Will the US military now stop chasing after perceived terrorist threats? Will it concede an inch of its unchallenged control over Iraqi skies? Will it relinquish power over the country’s self-serving political elite? Will it give up its influence over every relevant aspect of life in the country, from the now autonomous Kurdish region in the north all the way to the border with Kuwait in the south, which the jubilant soldiers crossed while hollering the shrieks of victory? The Iraq war has been one of the most well-controlled wars the US has ever fought, in terms of its language and discourse. Even those opposed to the war tend to be misguided as to their reasons: "Iraqis need to take charge of their own country"; "Iraq is a sectarian society and America cannot rectify that"; "It is not possible to create a Western-style democracy in Iraq"; "It’s a good thing Saddam Hussein was taken down, but the US should have left straight after". These ideas might be described as "anti-war", but they are all based on fallacious assumptions that were fed to us by the same recycled official and media rhetoric. http://www.ramzybaroud.net/ Sat 28 Aug 2010 22:29:08 GMT+1 George Milton - Baltimore http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=21#comment22 Mr. Mardell's pretend objective perspective exhibits an attitude that is almost a caricature of what many in the US perceive (wrongly) of European sentiment and more in line with the actual perspective of EU journalists.The only intelligent response is: Yawn. Sat 28 Aug 2010 22:24:11 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=20#comment21 ref #15Well it seems you can't point out the liberal actors and Code Pink show disrespect to the troops anymore.Most of America and U.K do show the respect.But the friends of the dictator Hugo Chavez do not Sat 28 Aug 2010 21:53:56 GMT+1 Andy Post http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=19#comment20 Ref. 19, Gala:"Isn't it more important for a country not to start a war if there is a significant number of people against it?"That's my point. A draft makes going to war all that more difficult.At heart we're a democracy, though. If enough of the electorate believes that a draft is necessary to protect the country, then we're definitely under a threat. It takes a lot to overcome the I didn't raise my boy to be a soldier sentiment.War should hurt, lest we become too fond of it. Sat 28 Aug 2010 21:02:05 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=18#comment19 To most Americans, I think those who volunteer to give up their time, their energy, and possibly their lives to defend us are heroes. Sadly I can't say the same about our military leaders either civilian or in the military.I heard part of BBC's interview with General Petraeus the other evening. General Petraeus is a very disappointing but not surprising man. His philosophy of war is not what I want defending me. It is a philosophy which seems to place as much or even more value on the lives of civilians who are caught up in combat as on the lives of our own troops and which allows the government on whose soil we are figthing to defend ourselves from further attack (not them) to dictate our priorities and methods in prosecuting the war. Beyond the technology of war machinery and the tactics and strategy there is the psychology of war. In that respect the US is not winning and doesn't seem to stand a prayer of winning. Because of this, with the exceptions of Kosovo and Grenada it hasn't won a war since WWII. If it had fought WWII with this psychology it would not have one that war either. The game of chess is the ultimate instructor of the psychology of war. You play to decapitate your opponent at all costs, before he can decapitate you. You use every trick, every idea, every method you know and you never divert your attention from the goal for one second. In this regard the US psychology is one that is not likely to win but the Taleban's is. In this regard they have the advantage and that can and usually does negate all of the other advantages we have. America could have easily won any and all of the wars it fought without nuclear weapons or other WMDs. Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, any of them. Afghnistan and Pakistan where al Qaeda and the Taleban who protect them live could be bombed into oblivion in a matter of weeks or days. Instead we have given the enemy sanctuaries, tried to negotiate, worried about our public image, worried about winning hearts and minds and a lot of other nonsense which has nothing to do with winning wars. In fact even the terminology of fighting a war on strictly military terms has become derogatory. If you are going to fight a war, it is best to either fight to win at all cost or not fight at all. If we are going to give up in Afghanistan, we should start the pullout tomorrow and get out as soon as possible. In the end the result will be the same and we would lose less money and American lives that way. It appears we are going to surrender in Iran too. You have to wonder if the Israelis will do the same. Sat 28 Aug 2010 20:41:31 GMT+1 Gala http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=17#comment18 I don't like the draft, but I can't help feel that when the People decide to make war, the People should fight that war, all the People."------------------What about when not all the People want the war to begin with? Nobody here has mentioned anything about any Americans who are against the war. Isn't it more important for a country not to start a war if there is a significant number of people against it? Sat 28 Aug 2010 20:16:47 GMT+1 Curt Carpenter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=16#comment17 17. At 7:28pm on 28 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:"...that it was the introduction of draft that turned americans against Vietnam war"Some truth there, whether we like it or not, although I would have said "many" Americans -- not all.If the U.S. government had been required to impose a significant war tax and institute a draft -before- it went to war in the Middle East under G.W. Bush, I personally doubt that it would have done so -- or at least it would not have done so in Iraq on the basis of such flimsy, over-spun, hacked and over-manipulated data. War taxes and drafts are probably the best inoculations our country can hope for against politically-inspired wars that will be fought by the non-political classes' children. 16. At 6:57pm on 28 Aug 2010, JMM wrote:"We have high debt, high unemployment, a high rate of incivility and a high rate of selfishness. What we need is universal service for 2 years for women and men with a choice of forms [military, education, social service and infrastructure maintenance/repair]."Agree absolutely and 100%. American citizenship is far too cheap -- and it shows. One of the reasons that the young men and women that have served in Bush's wars deserve our respect, IMHO, is that they, at least, stepped up to the plate -- for whatever reasons.It's too bad that our society doesn't provide more ways for our young people to serve, along the lines of VISTA, Peace Corps -- and require such a period of service. And service outside of a military context would be more conducive to "winning hearts and minds," I think -- whether in the Middle East or South LA. Sat 28 Aug 2010 20:08:20 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=15#comment16 I don't like the draft, but I can't help feel that when the People decide to make war, the People should fight that war, all the People."------------------------------------------------------------------------Can someone go back in history and enlighten themselves and all of us, when exactly draft was introduced in vietnam...Einsteins..american who over praise their under wared soldiers of iraq and afghanistan, should first remind themselves, that it was the introduction of draft that turned americans against vietnam war, had the american government been sucessful in buying militias in vietnam, it would not have introduced the draft and americans would not have a horrible memory of 50,000 dead americans carved on a wall...the draft was avoided by buying local militias to fight for americans, both in afghanistan and iraq..plus america has the military of pakistan fighting for it...All of this, done to avoid draft and to keep the death rate of soldiers down..ergo..americans acceptance of the war...its another thing that somehow economy is at its worst...so if draft had been introduced, billions usa use in contractors, militias, governments in iraq, afghanistan and even pakistan, would have been saved...the american government would have some angry americans protesting against war because of draft a bit more disobidiently...thats all.. Sat 28 Aug 2010 18:28:44 GMT+1 McJakome http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=14#comment15 9. At 5:26pm on 28 Aug 2010, Andy Post wrote:"I would also add guilt at the inherent iniquity in having just a small portion of the People make all the sacrifice and take all of the risk.The rest of aren't even paying for it! It's all borrowed money.I don't like the draft, but I can't help feel that when the People decide to make war, the People should fight that war, all the People."We have high debt, high unemployment, a high rate of incivility and a high rate of selfishness. What we need is universal service for 2 years for women and men with a choice of forms [military, education, social service and infrastructure maintenance/repair]. We need to fight the war to its, I hope, early conclusion, but it is even more urgent to redevelop the nation. Sat 28 Aug 2010 17:57:39 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=13#comment14 This post has been Removed Sat 28 Aug 2010 17:25:59 GMT+1 Curt Carpenter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=12#comment13 9. At 5:26pm on 28 Aug 2010, Andy Post wrote:I would also add guilt at the inherent iniquity in having just a small portion of the People make all the sacrifice and take all of the risk...------------Well put indeed (although I wouldn't have used the word "guilt". Public guilt and shame are scarce commodities in America anymore, I'm afraid).I can't help but wonder what the United States would look like today if our government had launched both a meaningful war tax and a national draft on the same day it decided to start two concurrent and discretionary wars. The scenario, hypothetical as it is, is genuinely worth thinking about -- especially after nine long years.I'd also admonish Mr. Mardell to keep a clear distinction in his mind between the military careerists and today's young one-or-two tour "volunteers." There are certainly good men and women worthy of our respect in both groups, but they work in general from different sets of motivations. Sat 28 Aug 2010 17:20:24 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=11#comment12 This article and talking about Vietnam does also make me think of Rambo. Yeah, sounds silly, but growing up as a child in the 80's, my older brothers absolutely loved Rambo and we watched those movies countless times. Fictional character, yes, but they definitely leave an impression.In the first Rambo, he has come back from Vietnam and is going to a small town to look for his friend. His friend's mother informs him that he passed away and so Rambo goes into town. The officials there tell him they don't want him hanging around, he is treated poorly with disrespect and from then on, the movie takes off. It is very intensive.The second Rambo, he goes back to Vietnam and helps rescue some of the POWs. The third Rambo, he goes to Afghanistan to help his leader who is being held by the Soviets. The fourth and most recent Rambo, he helps a Christian church group who is trying to help the people in Burma and is taken captive. Rambo is dear to my heart. Sat 28 Aug 2010 17:06:54 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=10#comment11 The rest of aren't even paying for it! It's all borrowed money.I don't like the draft, but I can't help feel that when the People decide to make war, the People should fight that war, all the People.-------------------------------------------------------------------------Well, your soldiers come from your own society, and its not as if they fought the war themselves, they hired local militias who fought and fight for them.... Sat 28 Aug 2010 17:03:05 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=9#comment10 Philly Mom wrote:c) they look really handsome in uniform.-------------------------------------------------------------------------So true, Philly Mom, so true...Our soldiers bring out the best in us... Sat 28 Aug 2010 16:40:22 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=8#comment9 MM wrote: In part this is the unfaded afterglow of the sunburst of patriotism that followed the attack on 11 September 2001. -------------------------------------------------------------------------I disagree with this statement. Yes, the country bonded together very much so after 9/11 in a way that only a country who has experienced great grief, pain, loss and anger together does. But before that, we were extremely patriotic as well. 9/11 may have expanded and unified us, but patriotism runs in our blood.With the Vietnam War, it sounds like there were some incidents in which the soldiers coming home were not treated the way they should have been. It is ironic, as well, because many of the soldiers who fought in Vietnam were drafted- they did not have a choice, if they wanted to be Americans living in USA, they had to fight. So why would the public blame them? I simply do not understand that, but I am not of that generation. I know that my parents have a lot of patriotism for the soldiers and my dad has not only American flag gear, but POW gear, as well. When I wear the American flag, it is because I feel pride for my country. When I see the American flag, it gives me comfort.I could never treat a soldier with disrespect, cause' they are putting their neck on the line for my country and could not ask for more.Our soldiers motivate and inspire me to reach greater heights. Sat 28 Aug 2010 16:29:31 GMT+1 Andy Post http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=7#comment8 I would also add guilt at the inherent iniquity in having just a small portion of the People make all the sacrifice and take all of the risk.The rest of aren't even paying for it! It's all borrowed money.I don't like the draft, but I can't help feel that when the People decide to make war, the People should fight that war, all the People. Sat 28 Aug 2010 16:26:29 GMT+1 Andy Post http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=6#comment7 "He suggested the military's political views may now be respected as much as their dutiful service."Only after you take off the uniform, sir, will you make your political opinions public. The military must stay apolitical. Anything else is too big a risk to our form of government. Sat 28 Aug 2010 16:20:55 GMT+1 Andy Post http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=5#comment6 Mark:One of your best. Insightful. You're starting to catch on, I think. Sat 28 Aug 2010 16:17:50 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=4#comment5 You don't have to be pro-war to celebrate that someone's alive, do you?Ain't nuthin' wrong with it. -------------------------------------------------------------------------So this is going to be how discourse about iraq's withdrawl going to be in usa...the anti warriors decided to support the brave soldiers when the paid and proffessional soldiers went to iraq, and the pro and anti warriors will now celebrate the arrival of alive soldiers..When the brave soldiers went to iraq, it had a government, and when they come home, iraq has no government.... Sat 28 Aug 2010 16:14:03 GMT+1 Tom Roche http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/how_america_sees_the_military.html?page=3#comment4 2 questions for Mr Mardell:Firstly, regarding the claim that Vietnam veterans returning to the US were "spat upon" by US civilians. I note that Mardell (perhaps with care?) does not make the claim himself, but merely relays the statement of Major Ali Johnston that "veterans spoke about being spat on when they came home." I suspect Mardell relays this at third-hand because he is aware of the controversiality of that particular claim (that US veterans returning from Vietnam were spat upon). In fact, I assert (1) no such incidents were documented at the time (2) all such claims surfaced years after their alleged occurrence. So I'd like to know, are my assertions incorrect? Particularly, is Mardell aware of any contemporaneous documentation of returning Vietnam veterans being "spat upon"? If not, why not note that? or at least note the claim is disputed? It would seem the difference between a journalist and a stenographer is, the latter merely records, the former also evaluates.Secondly: as an American who is continually bombarded by militaristic propaganda, I'd like to thank him for even asking the question, "due respect or reverence?" Unfortunately I can't envision any major part of the allegedly "liberal" US media asking such a question in the near future. But I'm wondering why even a BBC journalist is unable to ask the question properly: "due respect or *undue* reverence?" Sat 28 Aug 2010 16:12:16 GMT+1