A Soldier’s Oath

Posted by on May 30, 2010 in 2010, Choken Word, TheMachine, Truth, WAR

A soldier holds up his hand.
An oath he thinks his family demands.
He promises his life for something noble.
Something more than the simple life he lives.
The simple life that his ego will not soon forgive.
Some are given cash bonuses.
Some want to learn a trade or get a degree.
Most can’t get a good job on the outside to truly feel free.

They are led to believe that their lives are meaningless.
That without serving their country they will not have stories to tell.
That all men must have their war and their hell.
That killing is a birthright of all men.
That without those stories you have not been.

The movies and commercials show a man who is changed.
Not a man who sees death and becomes deranged.
There are no heros on a battlefield.
Most were innocent before being taught to kill.
Now having to live with the murder or damage done.
Realizing that they were pawns in a game that is never won.

Mothers and fathers lose their children to this ongoing lie.
That their children’s service could be their last goodbye.
And then they get the call that their child is gone.
Now they must live forever with the death of their daughter or son.

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50 Comments

  1. crystl37
    May 30, 2010

    This is so so true globatron. My heart literally aches for military families that have such a sense of duty and what they must endure in the name of their country-the leadership of which could give a fuck less about their lives. I have in my conspiracy theorizing and in personal experience with people in my life, learned information that is horrifying. I can not even wrap my head around the blatant disregard for the well being, health and quality of life of its soldiers by the US government. I feel so so bad for people that must travel that path.

    The payoff at one time probably was a good deal, before desert storm. Before depleted uranium was used in munitions, but after agent orange. There seems to have been a window of opportunity there-unless you got some of the shots, or the implants or the MK Ultra. It is so wrong, and so unfair. I can’t imagine the bottomless pain of losing a child or a loved one in the middle east, or any other place we aren’t supposed to be and have no business being, especially when we can’t even support our own population and were never legitimately threatened or attacked. Destroy stuff so Haliburton can rebuild it, WTF?

    I am outraged, dismayed, bewildered and mostly saddened by the images of young people with missing limbs, handicapped children, brain tumors. Permanent life altering conditions, sustained in fulfilling a sense of duty, or to further their education, or career. As you so brilliantly express, the source of their recruitment is a product of manipulation and bribery, dangling a carrot on the way to the gas chamber, breaking the will of strong young people-unknowingly signing their lives away at a Nascar event, or a rock concert.

    I actually just realized that you had been in the military last night-I had read it-but it just didn’t click completely. As a matter of fact, I went back into the archives and emails to verify it. How interesting to see this post today-it is totally resonant with the feelings I have about the military-though from an opposite sphere of experience.

    Reply
  2. logocentric
    May 30, 2010

    what a powerful post, G. powerful words, powerful images. i am especially moved by the sense that war is sustained through focused propaganda, and that war itself becomes propaganda. And given the long military history of this country, is it any wonder that so many people easily get led to the well of blind patriotism, defending ideas whose actual purposes are disguised as personal, individual glory–as personal property of the pawns? is it any wonder that families have to deal with deep psychological uncertainties and dysfunction? life might be hard enough without constant warfare; yet i can’t imagine life without it.

    and your comments are powerful, crystl. i think you nailed something crucial that we almost never talk about in our culture: the cynical enticements dangled in front of very young, uncertain, impressionable people. it’s absolute poison.

    i see in this discussion a cluster of topics that lie very near the center of anxiety in our time. i think that by keeping these topics alive and speaking clearly about them, we are pressing up against THE heart of bitter contention in this multi-culture we call our country and, by imperial extension, our world. moreover, i think that in stating positions which have been carefully contemplated, and in communicating with unprecedented speed and at a time of unprecedented access to information, we are moving toward a moment in which these historical realities–which some would say are inevitable and fixed–could begin to unravel. Point: keep it up. these are the very things we should be talking about and debating, in my opinion.

    Reply
  3. globatron
    May 30, 2010

    Thanks all. This story isn’t easy to tell. So many veterans continue to preach a sort of empty illogical patriotism even after being screwed over. The military is well known for screwing over its veterans during a time of war and after. I’ve seen so many high ranking soldiers who needed back surgery who had to suffer in pain for months. I’ve seen people with real medical issues being weaned out and chaptered out. I’ve seen soldiers with PTSD being treated as if they were shit bags. And I’m sure those stories are nothing in comparison to the ones coming back maimed physically if they come back at all. Soldiers during Memorial Day are so often put on a pedestal and not often enough do have conversations about what it really means to serve. Why are they called to serve? Why is it not noble to be a citizen? The problem is very complex. You can see it in the commercials. You can see it in our movies.

    I see the names of the soldiers who died that are shown at times during these wars. Too often it is the soldiers who have just begun their lives. Army and Marines taken the bulk of the casualties. The average age seems to be 20. What forced these kids into thinking fighting or serving during a time of war for a war that has been proven to be started under false pretenses was or would be a noble cause? Afghanistan is an interesting story for sure but what is the real story of 9/11. We have yet to answer that honestly in a court of law. The evidence that the attack was something more than meets the eye is overwhelming yet it is swept under the carpet as nut-jobbery and conspiracy theory.

    I can some my thoughts on this up with a billboard I saw on the way down to South Florida.

    “If you don’t Love America, Leave it

    I couldn’t disagree more. I would rewrite it to this:

    “If you don’t Love America, stay help us make it better.”

    Reply
  4. logocentric
    May 31, 2010

    i need to qualify a comment i made earlier. sometimes when i’m thinking and not over-editing myself in the process, i let my frustrations come out without explaining them clearly. here is a case in point:
    “life might be hard enough without constant warfare; yet i can’t imagine life without it.” of course, i can imagine life without war, but when i do this, it is usually when i think of myself alone, living without other people. that’s my way, i think, of saying that i have no answers to the enduring problems of war and that it frustrates me. and that i sometimes want badly to escape the social order that continues to rely on war for its purpose and identity. what i have a hard time imagining–which is not to say that i “can’t”–is a history without war. everything we have become as a species has taken place under this dark shadow. and it’s hard to think of who we are without it. that’s all i meant.

    Reply
  5. Greg
    June 1, 2010

    I am just going to reiterate my comments from the other article on photos of soldiers. On this Memorial Day thank you whole-heartly, to the men and women who have sacrificed for the freedoms we enjoy.
    Regardless if it is loss of life or limb, your duty, courage and committment to protecting the country we all love is not forgotten. War never desired but often necessary for with prosperity we enjoy would come those who would threaten that which we have built. And to those who have served to defend us against that, I salute you. God bless you all, and God Bless America.

    Reply
  6. Greg
    June 1, 2010

    I read the comments above, while I will agree that the government has to long way to honoring its committment to our service people I do disagree with others. The idea of serving your country is not sick, twisted, or any kind of mental disorder. It is not a disease or twisted addiction. Some people actually have a sense of duty, I understand if your experiences made you bitter, for that I am sorry. But make no mistake that the choice to serve is not made out of desparation or some empty promise, it saddens me deeply that in all the rage, anger and whatever other ill feelings that have been expressed not one word of gratitude was shown. At all. This day was to remind us of wars past and the people that fell to protect the freedoms we have today. There are other countries where freedom is non-existant like China, who this day would hunt you down and imprison you for having a website like this.

    You want to say the military is a bunch of disillusioned young people being lead by a puppet government as pawns without even a thought about their lives? Got a news flash for you, America has enemies, you might want a world without war but we are not there yet. There are those who this very day would seek to destroy everything we have, all the freedoms we enjoy. We need guardians against those who would do us harm, that is what our service members are. I know I will get many angry responses to this post, frankly I could give two shits about that. I am not going to say if you don’t love this country leave it. I will say that if you don’t love this country you should be thanking a service member who gave the opportunity to say so. To think of a world without war, would be nice, but for now we live in the world that needs soldiers.

    Oh and FYI, yeah I served and I have a daughter who is serving, right now.

    Reply
  7. globatron
    June 1, 2010

    We know you served Greg. You bring it up often. Good for you.

    as far is this line above:
    But make no mistake that the choice to serve is not made out of desparation or some empty promise, it saddens me deeply that in all the rage, anger and whatever other ill feelings that have been expressed not one word of gratitude was shown.
    …………….
    you can not speak for everyone. you can not speak for me or the soldiers I served with. That seems to be an ongoing problem with your logic, you continue to think you know what others think or should think. I assure you there are a huge number of folks who are serving now because they couldn’t find a job, especially now during the recession. I know because a friend of mine is a recruiter currently and has been amazed by how easy it is to find recruits the past year because of the economy.

    So please spare me your fake knowledge of everyone’s reason for serving.

    There are many reasons for this day. You again believe that everyone should celebrate it or remember the lost in the same way. I feel sorry for them more than anything. I feel frustrated that they had to die for the war machine that we continue to feed. I wish your daughter the best.

    Again you ask to get an angry response to your comment. I honestly don’t understand why you feed off of confrontation so much. Why can’t you try to have a civil discourse for once? You would be surprised if you gave it a shot that all parties involved could learn something in the process.

    Reply
  8. Greg
    June 1, 2010

    No Globa, sorry. This day was created by the government originally to honor those lost in the civil war then expanded to include those lost in the WWI. Eventually it was expanded to include all US conflicts and their veterans. You say it means something different. It doesn’t, it was created for specific purpose.

    As far as my fake knowledge, it is no more fake or accurate of your assestment that all military people are in it for the money, or security of a job. You also classify everyone into the pool of this character and it is untrue. Patriotism, while you might not support it, is a good and honorable thing. To those who have served to disparage their efforts and sacrifice with those words is beyond sadness to me.

    It does not matter that I served, I don’t ask for thanks. I do however expect respect for those that have served and given more than I had to by the grace of God. You post pictures of wounded warriors and then disrespect their sacrifice saying it meant nothing? It was all a huge political game? Wow that takes nerve. It seriously does.

    Would love you to do that in their presence and not from behind a keyboard. Walk into a VA hospital and tell them all it was for nothing. You are entitled to you opinion Globa, it is very sad you forgot that serving actually does mean something for MOST of the military. It is not the sick, selfish, addicted portrait you portray, my daughter still confirms that. The only thing I would expect is some humility and respect for those who are supposed to be honored today. Not dressing them up to make a statement about bad the military and war is.

    Reply
  9. globatron
    June 1, 2010

    This is a day or remembrance Greg hence the name Memorial Day. The history of it I am aware of but leave it to tell me of its reason.

    And for another lesson Greg. The word remembrance:
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/remembrance

    I don’t have to remember anyone the way you do. There is no specific way to celebrate or hold this day in remembrance. I’m sorry your daughter serves during these two wars.

    It is people like you who do not question the wars we fight or the reason we do that continue the war machine. Continues to send our young into the economic and political machine that is war. It is just as noble to serve as it is to type these notes behind a keyboard and to practice the freedom of speech you so easily abuse by not thinking before typing.

    There are many in the VA who would agree with me. I have spoken to a few. You claim again some sort of ordained universal intelligence of all who have served. I pray for your daughter and hope if she is in the sandbox she comes back alive and whole.

    Can I at least pray for them? Is that to your standards?

    Reply
  10. Akbar Lightning
    June 1, 2010

    you say we have enemies greg…well, some of us feel the military expansion of the united states is the very reason we have so many enemies…

    and you might believe that patriotism is a good and honorable ‘thing’, but if you can’t show up with a sound argument for that position you are merely using aggression to defend a point…your comments are aggressive…you might not understand that because you live in an aggressive culture…but nonetheless, they are driven by a passion unleavened by reason…and that is a dangerous thing…

    i agree with you that there are enemies to peace, i just don’t think these enemies are national in character. i think the enemies to peace are embedded citizens in every country around the world.

    you may make a home here at globatron, but if you think you can push us around with a simplistic comfort food like patriotism and show no willingness to defend it with reason and logic, then you will get the same forward posture in return.

    “Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism -how passionately I hate them!” Einstein

    “The time is fast approaching when to call a man a patriot will be the deepest insult you can offer him. Patriotism now means advocating plunder in the interest of the privileged classes of the particular State system into which we have happened to be born.” Tolstoy

    “Can anything be stupider than that a man has the right to kill me because he lives on the other side of a river and his ruler has a quarrel with mine, though I have not quarrelled with him?”
    Blaise Pascal

    Reply
  11. Greg
    June 1, 2010

    While I applaud your quotes Akbar, here is the real fact. There is this group of people called Al Quida, while I am sure you will find some dismissive rational for it, they hate us. America, it is a religious war, not started by us. They attacked us, remember 9/11? I supposed that was justified though too. You know we have enemies, I don’t really care if you want to acknowledge them or not. They are real, my daughter is fighting for the fact that she cares about this country. She wanted to serve. I don’t claim to know everyone’s mind, but I know the majority is not what you want it to be Globa.

    As to why we fight, here is a quote for you, “ALL THAT IS REQUIRED FOR EVIL TO TRUIMPH IS FOR GOOD MEN TO DO NOTHING.”

    Next time a bank robbery, car jacking, or other crime is happening, tell the police that they are not needed. It is not our business.

    As for the War Machine as you put it. So who gets to decide when we intervein on the behalf of those who can’t defend themselves? We just create this little bubble around the US and hope kind words and sanctions get the other nations to be nice? Please tell me if you saw someone being raped, robbed, murdered or other wrong, would you bother to lift a finger?

    I get why you don’t want war, yeah it would be nice, but we have war, we have conflict and we have a VERY real threat to the safety of this country. It is not conservative propaganda, even under Obama this has been proven to be a CURRENT reality. There are those who wish to harm our country and would not give one thought about blowing your brains all over the pavement knowing you were simply, American.

    So please don’t preach to me about how the people that serve are all mislead, maybe they just have more of a sense of duty than you give them credit for.

    I have not set a standard Global, all I asked for was some respect to be shown. Guess that is too much to ask for.

    Reply
  12. Akbar Lightning
    June 1, 2010

    yes greg, blind respect is too much to ask from people who have studied the intricacies of history and understand, perhaps more than you do, the overlapping complicities that go into the production of warfare.

    your beliefs would all be much easier to defend if the war you feel so nobly about actually eliminated the threats…if we actually were winning something…but most agree that wars since vietnam no longer represent issues that most of us feel are important enough to justify the rampant destruction, since those issues are so complex and nuanced that the presence of trained killers does nothing but make them orders of magnitude more complicated.

    i will certainly agree that policing of crimes is a social good, but warfare is a different matter. terrorism is a political action, and while i do not condone it, i don’t think warfare does anything but justify, to the invaded country, the terrorists actions…it is simply not effective…an army of social programs builders, a peace corp has much more of a chance for success, but this is impossible because we all know that there are interests at stake in these conflicts that have a lot to do with resources and the protection of trading policies.

    but my faith in peace has nothing to do with political effectiveness…i believe non-violence is a moral necessity, and that engaging in warfare is damaging to our soul…i believe in the Jesus of the New Testament, the one who felt that forgiveness was the highest truth…all my heroes are those courageous enough to stand for peace in a world of frightened people hiding behind guns…

    i can be as indignant about these issues as you can be…warfare is crime, violence is a sin…like many, i understand the pressures that goes into the creation of a soldier population…and because i believe the very notion of ‘service’ is perverted by the application of that idea toward violence, i must exercise my compassion for soldiers by advocating the elimination of warfare as a means of self-realization.

    discipline can be applied to many endeavors, and when this is done, character is built, but turning that discipline toward the machinery of death undermines the temporary interpersonal transcendence that training creates. destruction of lives is the end purpose of the military endeavor…and i am against this…

    Reply
  13. Greg
    June 1, 2010

    Akbar hopefully you will never be in a situation where someone weilding one of those guns is threatening you or your loved ones. Sometimes people are not hiding behind guns, they are protecting those who can’t protect themselves. I can’t believe that you would honestly think there will ever be a complete removal of evil from the world.

    You know the great thing about being a pacisfist is? There is always someone that is ready to stand up and fight for your right to not fight. I will say your post was very articulate and intelligent. You want for a world though that does not exists and most likely won’t for many many years, probably eons. And while I will concede that some alternative motives have be manipulated in the pursuit of war (at least this one) that does not exclude the fact that there was an evil present and an action had to be taken.

    I for one am of the personality that can’t abide by the axiom of looking the other way. Wrong acts by evil men must be confronted, that too builds character.

    Reply
  14. Akbar Lightning
    June 1, 2010

    so too, one must confront wrong thinking…

    warfare is the evil…warfare is the wrong that i am confronting…

    just as you believe that the ‘enemy’ will always be there, so too i believe that the presence of aggression does not mean that one ought to lay down and give up on the dream of peace…

    i don’t know if you own a house…but if you do, you will understand that the perfect house does not exist…but that does not mean one should not clean the gutters, that one should not keep vacuuming, keep maintaining it…the presence of dirt should not so undermine the desire for cleanliness that one eliminates all the living that goes on inside the house, the meals, the playtime, the crayons, the paint, the mud…

    just as you believe warriors will always be present, i believe that pacifists will…

    and since you presented a mental exercise, the common one that claims that soldiers are dying to defend me…i will present one to you…

    of the both of us, only you have within you, among your set of choices, the option of killing me…so if i speak in ways that ultimately threaten whatever it is you identify as the values you ‘protect’ then eventually we would come to a place, if my ideas of de-militarizing society became popular, you would find yourself under pressure to eliminate me…because my very existence is a threat to your perceived understanding of ‘the truth.’ so, i ask you, how can i understand this as protection? since that protection comes at the price of submission?

    you might think you are fighting the terrorists, but when i walk through a train station in the united states of america, and i see military with automatic rifles, men not old enough to consume alcohol, they are terrorists as far as i’m concerned, because they terrify me….when i have to take my shoes off at the airport, and watch my elderly mother get patted down, i say we are letting the terrorists win…

    there is a deeper form of courage, there is a deeper form of authenticity…there is a deeper more expansive means of ‘being all that you can be’ and it is found in collective non-violence…

    Reply
  15. Greg
    June 1, 2010

    Only one flaw in your theory, not everyone will join your collective non violence. You know the easiest people to dominate? The ones that won’t fight back. As much as you might not want violence, war, and evil to exists to close your eyes and blindly ignore it does not mean it goes away.
    As for your airport, it is not evil to secure something. Allow me to remind you that evil men exploited our lack of security in the name of peace and naivity. So you say that guards with guns terrorize you, does the concept of a plane going down into a building at all scare you?
    What I truly don’t understand is how you can attribute all this as being something we brought on ourselves. While I understand the house analogy to expand on it, if the house is on fire, do we not put it out?
    As I said before, you can want for de-militerized society all you like. Does not change the fact that people will do evil to other people. Simply review the lessons of Lord Of The Flies to remember this.

    Reply
  16. crystl37
    June 1, 2010

    wow.

    Reply
  17. Akbar Lightning
    June 1, 2010

    again, you are avoiding the arguments greg…

    do you believe that warfare is effective at eliminating these threats?

    collective non-violence is the most powerful force in the world…it liberated India, and gained recognition of equality for an oppressed people within our own country…

    when people gather around the power of peace nothing can stop them…

    war begets more war, and as someone who has drawn a paycheck from this machine, it is befitting for you to defend it…but it does not mean your defense is any more rational or convincing…

    again, the power of your beliefs, at least in this forum, will be their ability to transform our thoughts…

    i don’t believe our house is on fire…i believe we occasionally have the infestation of ravenous animals…and that more policing and more organized investigation is warranted…but a 10 year war, where many civilians have died does not seem to be an effective way of responding to the actions of a half a dozen mad men…

    there are islamists who argue that the greatest way to destroy america is to draw the country into expensive wars…they call it bleeding the beast…and it seems to be working…so, fight on greg, and get further and further mired down in complex justifications for violence, so you can feel the power of destroying ‘bad’ men…and occasionally apologize for the slaughtered innocents…

    Reply
  18. Akbar Lightning
    June 1, 2010

    by the way, after 911, they installed bullet proof doors on airplane cockpits…as far as i’m concerned, the problem is solved…but we have a difficult time accepting that a minor thing such as this could be so powerful…

    also, there have been quite a few american citizens flying planes into buildings lately…i think the last one was aimed at an IRS building…what about the war within?

    political tension and the presence of desperation is not a defense of violence, but one must not dismiss the stresses that rampant corruption and inequity can cause..to do so is a way of inviting more evil…and if you are truly concerned about the elimination of evil then you must take a more holistic means for understanding it..but i suspect your interest is in defending evil…

    Reply
  19. Greg
    June 1, 2010

    My purpose is understanding that evil is real, regardless of how much you want to deny it. It will always exist because man in his basic nature has the capacity for both good and evil. While that core human element is there someone will always make the choice of the dark side as you might analogize. To use Star Wars as an example, after 1000 years of peace and serenity all it took was one twisted and corrupt man to send the entire utopia into chaos and war. If they had been more vigiliant in watching what happening could this had been prevented? Who knows. But even with peace and serenity there will always be threats to that.
    And the thing is now…now the threats are global in scale. With the technology we have developed evil could simply use one weapon and wipe out your peaceful resistance.

    Answer this for me, if in the time of India’s peaceful resistance they simply decided to make an example and nuke the entire city, would that mean they were right to peacefully resist?

    Look I am not saying I like war, violence or the way things are. But to take a blind eye to it and hope it does not exist is simply naive. 3 of my neighbors were robbed in the last 6 months. Should I simply leave my door unlocked with a sign inviting them in the name of peace? Your argument sounds like you would have us just lay down and surrender in the name of non conflict.

    Oh and as for your cockpit theory, if the cockpit is secure enough why is it necessary to check for explosives? Because people like the underwear bomber and others will find other ways to destroy planes. The problem is far from solved.

    Reply
  20. Akbar Lightning
    June 1, 2010

    we both agree on the presence of evil….

    our differences are not there…

    our differences are in the response to evil…

    for me, to respond to evil with violence is to add to evil…

    non-violent resistance is powerful…

    as far as extremism in the middle east…to look at this situation without an understanding of poverty and exploitation is to be naive…

    we had a string of robberies in our neighborhood…

    1. we lock our doors…

    2. we are aware that given the current economic situation, caused by greed, unfettered by how our actions affects others, will give rise to more social chaos…

    Reply
  21. Greg
    June 1, 2010

    Good argument Akbar, unfortunately a wise man said that locks were made to keep honest people out. Just to be clear, I do not go looking for a fight, I aboor violence, trust me, I never want to take another life as long as I live. That does not mean I will allow someone to violate my home and threaten my family without challenging them. That is called suicide :).

    Oh, and the middle east does not have complete abject poverity. They are sporting Dubai which is going to dwarf NYC in scale and grandeur. Obviously they have resources, wonder why they don’t use them to cure some of the poverity rampant in other regions there.

    Reply
  22. Akbar Lightning
    June 1, 2010

    of course, there are problems with how other countries utilize their resources…but again, if we are to police inequalities in other countries while nurturing inequality at home, that is a recipe for social resentment.

    perhaps warfare was a way that earlier human beings settled border disputes and trading difficulties…but the overlapping and interconnectedness of resources and interdependence make warfare an outdated idea….

    what we are really doing is policing the world…and if the world is to be policed, i simply feel we need an international set of laws that not only protect us, but all those who can fall victim to those police officers who are not operating virtuously…

    if you have seen any video of the people who fire from those planes in the sky, and the coldness with which they say ‘good kill’ and the enthusiasm they show for it, when the presence of weapons is not even verified, you will understand my taking the side of the civilian…and that is a side i am committed to.

    as to your idea of home protection, i assume you are talking about having a gun in the house…well, statistics prove that those guns are more often used on the owners of the house, or stolen and used in murders on the street…so, for my part, i give myself to the graces of human goodness…that is my version of courage…i have good neighbors, and i cultivate unity in my community…that is more powerful than a gun, a gun divides, destroys, causes psychological tension…

    Reply
  23. Greg
    June 1, 2010

    Actually I am packing a sword. No Highlander jokes, really.
    I am however very well trained and skilled with one. To quote Xavier “I feel a great swell of pity for anyone that comes to that school looking for trouble.”

    I know some of my neighbors, many want to be left alone nowadays. There is definitely an aura of apprehension in my neighborhood, there were actually 3 deaths within 3 blocks of my house in the last 5 years. All either tragic accidents or foul play. One kid had a television fall on him because the babysitter wasn’t watching him. Another was shot by a brother or something while playing with a gun I think. Who knows. Lots of tradegy in my area. We are looking to move to the other side of J-ville, more expensive but safer place to live.

    Reply
  24. Akbar Lightning
    June 1, 2010

    i am sorry to hear about that…sounds like a tough place…

    i grew up in neighborhoods like that…i had neighbors down the street, brothers ,who stabbed each other over a piece of steak. i was once mugged, when i was 10 or 11, by a crackhead, thought i was going to die…point being, having experienced such senseless and desperate violence, i have found that the only way to understand it is by understanding how such people are produced, and they are all produced by the legacy of violence…violence is contagious…and so is peace…

    cliche but true…if you live by the sword, you can die by the sword…

    Reply
  25. Kip
    June 1, 2010

    Greg, I am responding to a specific comment.

    “does the concept of a plane going down into a building at all scare you?
    What I truly don’t understand is how you can attribute all this as being something we brought on ourselves. While I understand the house analogy to expand on it, if the house is on fire, do we not put it out?”

    I am not convinced that the 911 events were masterminded by muslim extremists. It could be that they were done to clamp down on people at home while the planners got ready to do things the people would not ordinarily let them do. Have you heard of diversionary war theory? It ain’t rocket science. How about that?

    And the house thing. We’re all in this house together. The question is not whether to put it out but where to aim the hoses first.

    Reply
  26. Greg
    June 1, 2010

    Yeah Kip I have read about those theories, I actually saw some footage that made me scratch my head a bit. One video of the WTC tradegy that showed in super slow motion captures the possible detonation of charges designed to bring the building down. Also evidence the saw the building was designed to handle such an impact and the buildings should have not fallen.

    So is it possible, I can admit it is within the realm of possibility. Do I believe it was so? Nope. Too many other peices of evidence from this that showed the Muslim terrorist were behind it.

    I have always believe that conspiracy can be found anywhere if you search hard enough. From the girl scouts being a para military training group for over agressive female to the faked moon landing in Capricorn one. Who the hell knows, we could be in the f-ing Matrix for all we know.

    thanks for the sentiment Akbar, it is not probably as bad as I make it sound but I can think of nicer places to live.

    Reply
  27. Kip
    June 1, 2010

    “So is it possible, I can admit it is within the realm of possibility. . . . Who the hell knows, we could be in the f-ing Matrix for all we know.”

    I think this is well said. So given this uncertainty, how do we justify sending kids off to die? If we think there may be serious problems with the reasons we’re given for fighting, aren’t we marching people in the wrong direction?

    Reply
  28. Akbar Lightning
    June 1, 2010

    (brace yourself for the sarcastic making of a point)

    oh Kip, who cares about all those particulars…those arabs hate us…they had something to do with that attack, and they deserve it…they are just waiting to take us out…better hit them before they hit us…

    afterall, we are the greatest nation on earth, and we gotta drill that into their tiny little heads…

    Reply
  29. Kip
    June 1, 2010

    Right, the particulars just get in the way of identity and othering–and those must not be tampered with.

    Reply
  30. Greg
    June 1, 2010

    ROFL, Akbar I might disagree with you, but god love you that was funny. I see the message in your sarcasm, not saying I completely agree but I got a visual that was awesome. Nicely said.

    And I hate to admit this I am one of those who does believe we are the greatest nation on Earth. I have proof though, we have not subcumb to the evil that is soccer yet. 🙂

    Reply
  31. Akbar Lightning
    June 1, 2010

    i too am proud of my country, believe it or not…but i am an avid opponent to the production of weaponry and the industry of violence…

    that being said, i am proud that america has been the home of some of the greatest artists, writers and leaders in history…and i am proud of some of the enlightenment principles that this country attempted to inject into the process of government.

    the process of non-violence evolves, like science, like religion, like government…non-violence as a political force is uniquely appropriate to the coming age….

    you might be shocked but i believe we ought to compete with other countries…but we ought to do so by eliminating social problems within our borders, by making the citizens both happy and united…that would be a competition worth having, and one that would spread much faster than ideas spread with bullets…

    Reply
  32. Greg
    June 1, 2010

    Akbar you have utopia like dreams and aspirations. Just don’t see mankind ever being that benevolent or enlightened. I am not saying or dismissing your desire or hope, I am just saying I don’t see it ever happening. There will always be a need to have defenders or guardians. If history has proven one thing that is long as you have something others don’t some one will try and take it from you.

    Reply
  33. Kip
    June 1, 2010

    “There will always be a need to have defenders or guardians.” Even against imaginary foes, right? Even when the enemy is made out of cardboard (“they hate our freedoms,” etc.). It’s idiocy to praise guardians and defenders when, first of all, they’re killing civilians on a regular basis. And second, when you obviously haven’t made an attempt to understand the motivations of people who oppose the policies of the American government. You just defend your country, right or wrong, eh? Moronic.

    Reply
  34. Greg
    June 1, 2010

    Alright Kip, I have not called you names or insulted you. What civilians are you speaking about that are being killed? And exactly what motivations have you made to understand the policies you are so against? Here is a civics lesson for you, it is called voting, vote in people that would support your positions. If you can’t find enough to people to get them voted in then I guess you did not make a strong enough argument. And yeah I defend my country as per my duty as a citizen. Had you bothered to take civics or history you would know that every US citizen is bound to defend the Constitution and this country from it’s enemies. Some of us born here never learn that fact.

    I disagree with lots the government does, but I am not going to go around pouting like a little brat about it. It seems you waste a lot of energy being bitter, maybe if you don’t like it here you should move. That way you would be happier.

    Reply
  35. Akbar Lightning
    June 1, 2010

    greg, by some miracle you and i have found a civil tone with one another…but that does not mean i still don’t find your ideas moronic…

    just because we are told to do something does not mean we are bound to…the constitution is a set of suggestions…just ask any C.E.O…we are only bound by our conscience to do what we think is right.

    there have been uncounted numbers of civilians killed by our military in the last 10 years…that video i saw recently where the military was firing from the sky on a small van that held two children inside, all the while the superior officer was saying ‘nice kill.’

    keep arguing your point greg, but don’t act all surprised that it angers some people…there are lots of people who are genuinely frightened by the militaristic attitude toward life..and those people are just as valid…in my mind, they are the one most in connection with the insanity of warfare…

    Reply
  36. Kip
    June 1, 2010

    Right, so let’s get started.

    “And exactly what motivations have you made to understand the policies you are so against?” What is this sentence asking exactly? Please clarify.

    I do vote. Here’s an example: in 2000 and 2004, I voted in the presidential elections. As I recall, the winner in 2000 got fewer popular votes than the loser. Of course, the popular vote is not how presidents win elections in this country. But what do I know about civics?

    Yeah, the Constitution. That’s a good argument. How about its desecration during the aforementioned administration? Now all American citizens are subject to surveillance on an unprecedented scale, not to mention indefinite incarceration (i.e., without habeas corpus). That’s the way it’s done now, and it applies not only to Arabs and other people with questionable skin-pigmentation, but to everyone: you, me, your kids. Used to be that such measures were very limited and undertaken ONLY during times of declared war–during finite periods of military conflict. Now, it’s indefinite. That takes us back to my premise, which you have conveniently avoided: this is a phony war we’re in today.

    As far as moving, I’ve seriously considered it. But I decided to stay and try to live among the masses, in the hope that I can find intelligent people who can carry a conversation past ‘love it or leave it.’ That’s when I’m not pouting, of course.

    Reply
  37. Greg
    June 1, 2010

    Unfortunately when you fight and serve in war you have to separate yourself from your humanity to some degree. If you hesitate in battle you die. It is as simple as that. Many of those in the military are proud of what we did and serving, as much as I am proud there is also regret for the lives I had to end. Did I at the time feel pride, heck yes, I did a job and did it well. But looking back it weighs on the conscience, it is not regret but lost innocence.

    To fight for something you believe in is not insanity. It is called conviction and courage. Brave men came to this country and fought England because they thought it was wrong the way they were treated. While I will never change your mind on this I know from my life I have had to fight and scrap constantly to get where I am. Life is struggle sometimes and to quote the great Rocky Balboa, “It’s not if you go down, it is if you get back up that matters.”

    Reply
  38. Greg
    June 1, 2010

    You said I defend my country right or wrong, then called me moronic. I was asking what about our country you are so against? What policies, what exactly about this country has you so angry against it?

    In reference to the Patriot Act, love the embleshment of the way you framed it. Yeah you could look at in that light, I don’t think that is the spirit in which it was conceived but anything is subject to abuse and manipulation. I understand the need for the Patriot Act and where I can see what the rational was behind it I believe once we have concluded this conflict it should be discontinued. As to the legitmacy of this war, well maybe you can tell me when we are allowed to go to war? Perhaps if I understood the boundries and framework you lay out then I could understand what you mean. When are we allowed to go to war? Is there an amount of damage needed? Or maybe we should be like Tibet and peacefully resist until we are simply wiped out.

    Try and also remember that more than one administration has twisted the Constitution to their means. It is by no means a singular party tactic.

    The election is won by ELECTORIAL Votes not the popular vote. Sorry. I honestly am not really in favor of it but it is the system in place and requires a literal act of Congress to change. I also would be in huge favor of limiting terms. 20 years overall, 2 terms limit in the Senate and 3 terms in the house. Why because the house terms are shorter than Senate terms.

    I view my country like I few my kids, I might not like what you do, but I will always support you and never stop loving you.

    Reply
  39. Kip
    June 1, 2010

    Well, that’s inspiring and everything, the Rocky quote. And I agree that life is a struggle, that you have to get up and dust yourself off and all of that.

    But this still evades the question of why a person believes what he believes under these circumstances. I don’t discount that you did your job well. I’m sure you were good at killing. Nor do I say that there isn’t a very strong pull on many people to do that kind of work in the name of nation and other such ideas that have been used by the powerful to turn morality on its head and to prescribe the identities that people take for themselves. What I am asking is how much thinking goes into that identity, and whether or not that thinking–once it has committed itself to militarism–can do anything except defend the institutions that prescribed it. It would appear, judging from your comments, that it cannot. Yet I see much evidence to the contrary. So, why do YOU support policies that condone killing and maiming, and that continue the industry of war and make the warmakers wealthier?

    Reply
  40. Kip
    June 1, 2010

    I posted before i saw your previous comment, Greg. Sorry to be so repetitive, but yet again, you’re evading the premise that this is a phony war. That would explain why I frame the PATRIOT Act (it’s an acronym) the way I do.

    Reply
  41. Akbar Lightning
    June 1, 2010

    you are a warrior greg…that is a fact…

    and i am a spiritual man…

    these two classes of people have had their conflicts since the dawn of man….

    the problem, from my perspective, is that you have more to defend….you have taken lives…there is a theory in psychology known as cognitive dissonance….it is a tension that arises when, in the mind, two opposing sets of moralities are in conflict…this places the person in a defensive mindset…

    you can never really have a philosophical or ethical conversation that will not eventually lead you back to grappling with what you have done…this is the nature of sin…the root word meaning ‘separation’, as you said, you had to separate yourself from humanity.

    i believe the human destiny is in peace…that is a change, that is a progressive mindset that is optimistic about our future…whereas you believe we can never eradicate evil, and yet military action is predicated on just that…

    so, we are either dealing with a futile surrender toward militarism or a futile surrender toward peace….either way, pacifism is the least morally questionable….

    as an aside, i have always fought to get where i’ve gotten, but i used my mind, not my body…i do not take credit for this…it was my fate, it was my nature…

    Reply
  42. Kip
    June 1, 2010

    “Try and also remember that more than one administration has twisted the Constitution to their means. It is by no means a singular party tactic.”

    Just wanted to comment on this. I didn’t say that it is a “singular party tactic.” I’m not talking about Democrats vs. Republicans. This is the way business gets done, I agree. But no one can deny that it was during the previous administration that our current state of affairs got rolling. And a lot of people–consciously or not–are relying on the fact that there is a new president in order to relegate those events to history books and the deep recesses of memory.

    It is BECAUSE I see continuity between the present admin and the previous one that I keep bringing this up. The war we continue today was begun under false pretenses. And until we grapple with that, all our flag-waving and patriotism and arguments for the nobility of the “American way of life” that we use to continue it are just empty sentiments.

    Reply
  43. Akbar Lightning
    June 1, 2010

    although i agree with you Kip, i feel that what we ought to ‘grapple’ with is the more ancient struggle of war as a ‘wrong’ in itself…perhaps you agree, or perhaps you are merely looking for a more just administration of the military…i would certainly accept the latter, any decrease in the military is a good thing…

    this country, like most countries is full of human beings, and as such has a history of human folly…and our survival, our thriving is the result of all that has gone on in spite of this, those individuals who pursued justice, truth and goodness in spite of the others who chose to put their heads down and accept the status quo…

    globatron’s founder, under various life pressures, puts himself out there every day, struggling for truthfulness and artfulness even though the world conspires to destroy him…this is heroic, and this is what i memorialize in my life…

    god bless globatron and all the spiritual warriors out there who are struggling to give peace a chance

    Reply
  44. Kip
    June 2, 2010

    Yes, Akbar, war in itself is a wrong. I completely agree. But I believe that history shows us that the means by which we recognize this are mostly proximate. Most of us are consumed by our daily tasks such that ideas of war and peace become abstractions. As you and others suggest, war is a perennial reality that gives meaning to the various world views that people adopt. Yet the conscious consideration of meaning vis a vis war seems to be the terrain of people like you who seek peace as an ideal state; I do not disparage that quest one bit. In fact, I join you. But I believe we get nowhere without demonstrating against the nefarious processes that legitimize war in its most current state. Such processes are not historically unique, to be sure. But they are the most immediate conditions under which we live, and they are the most accessible in terms of documents and memory, and can thus be extracted and analyzed in the headlines of the daily news as well as through those who experienced its most recent catalysts first-hand.

    I sense that although you may agree with my premise, you imply it is nonetheless indefensible. And though I would agree it is a hard sell, given the myriad distractions and hardships that people are expected to endure in recent years, it is no less practical than your position of standing firm on principles of peace. In fact, I think the two could work in tandem. But I’ll be frank and say that I am here to push the image of deception and manipulation, to keep it alive and current, and to make a case that our best recourse to peace is to expose and oppose those who take for granted our complicity in their policies.

    Reply
  45. Akbar Lightning
    June 2, 2010

    wow, well said kip, all around…

    i am not that old, but now in my mid-thirties, i am happy to say that my ideas have developed some nuance…what i mean to say is that i think that we are headed to the same place…i think the adventure i am looking for includes a set of personality types that are different but supplemental….

    i am a mystic, a visionary, always with my eyes on the highest and most ideal forms…i say this not with pride, but with an understanding that you will see my larger point…that it is valuable for me to do so, so that i can provide insights found there…

    the process you are talking about is certainly valuable and one i wholly support, but the danger there is that one is closer to the fire, and as such more vulnerable to getting burned…the mystic provides the sanctuary…much as i imagine john the baptist was to jesus…

    both approaches, as you suggest, are supplemental…

    Reply
  46. Kip
    June 2, 2010

    I appreciate your comment, Akbar. I think that the complementary aspect of difference is at a premium today.

    As for getting burned, I have no illusions about group behavior or the tenacity of cherished ideas. This is just part of who I am and of what I have to do.

    Reply
  47. Globatron.org
    December 17, 2010

    A Soldiers Oath: A soldier holds up his hand. An oath he thinks his family demands. http://bit.ly/gZTAVc #assange #wikileaks

  48. Elvia Carrillo
    January 6, 2012

    I think this article is ridiculous. The military tries its best to keep their promises. And they do. All the people that say that its worthless are wrong. Those young men and women out there are our only hope for this country and with God’s help they help protect us. SO i dont think people should be nagging others about this subject.I lost 3 older siblings in the U.S Marines Corps. Two in Iraq one in Afganhistan. And i’ll be the fourth when i graduate high school. Loosing my two brothers and sister only make me more determined to join the marines and i wish girls could fight. I’ll just die like my brothers. Did it;s a commitment. If you cant commit then stay out. Especially the marines!!!! Semper FI!!!!!

    Reply
  49. Byron King
    January 6, 2012

    Elvia, it’s a poem not an article.

    You can think what you wish, that is the beauty of art. There is no one way to see art.

    I’m sorry for your loss.

    Your statement is strange to me:
    I’ll just die like my brothers?

    What did they die for?

    Wouldn’t you rather choose to live?

    There is so much one can do in service to humanity not to a country or any military.

    Reply
  50. Paul
    September 16, 2012

    Some will always have to stand on the line, my regiment did…..”the thin red line”, there are tbose who wish to chatter in the coffee shops and feel they are above rank and file service men and woman, but without them, there would be no restfull nights, I have seen much in my years and although I no longer serve, I will allways honour my oath and fight for decent democratic rights for all.

    Reply

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