All that is wrong with the world…

February 3, 2014

Thoughts on support for the military

This is a pretty short post, but the idea is interesting enough to me that I may grow it into something larger. Essentially, I don’t understand why the public has seemingly unconditional support for members of the military in many countries. I am well aware that many members of the public can oppose actions to go to war or similar actions, but when it comes to individuals wearing the uniform, no one seems to say anything bad about them and often gives thanks.

This is what I do not understand. Let’s use the US military as an example, since they are the most well known. Members of the US military (as well as members of militaries from countries that support the US) made a decision to join the military for various reasons. Perhaps due to life circumstances, perhaps simply due to career, or perhaps because they genuinely believed they were serving their country. The thing is though, the US was not under threat of invasion, they were in a war they instigated and could have ended at any time. There is a huge difference between military men who were called to action to defend their country, and by extension friends and families from invasion in times of war and the military and many of the military men today who are simply doing their countries bidding because they believe it is the right thing to do.

Outside of there actually being a legitimate reason to go to war and defend your country….being a member of the military signifies to me a lack of free well and critical thinking. These people are giving up their free lives, being with their families, putting themselves in live threatening situations…for what? For misguided reasons? Was the US really any safer because of the 8 year war in Iraq? How many civilians lives were destroyed by members of the US military who believed they were doing the right thing?

For that reason, in general, when I see a member of the military in modern day, I simply can’t respect them.

6 Comments »

  1. You are thankless for the sacrifices made for your freedom. Very tacky. I’ve occasionally read your blog ever since your ill informed rant against OpenBSD. You certainly haven’t grown much. Only in a free country, secured by the sacrifices of men and women in uniform, would you DARE to critique military service.

    Comment by Kirk Pearson (TronaTux) — October 11, 2014 @ 8:42 am

    • My criticism of OpenBSD was not ill informed. They’re being vulnerable to heartbleed is yet another example of why I was correct. I acknowledge people going to protect freedom is something to be thankful for. Those who join all gung-ho because of indoctrinated patriotism..not so much.

      Comment by allthatiswrong — October 12, 2014 @ 7:41 pm

      • They were not vulnerable to heartbleed at all. As I said you are ignorant of the situation. I’m an information security consultant and am retired but still learning daily. Read up young man and be thankful you can read it in English.

        Comment by Kirk — October 12, 2014 @ 7:46 pm

  2. I realize this is kind of old by now, but just wanted to have my say:
    Firstly, you are certainly correct that the war was unjustified, causing more harm than good and definitely not leaving America any safer than before the invasion.

    However, I believe you need to better understand the reasons behind each individual’s decisions to join the military. Most of the folks in the army are drawn from the lower classes (lower-income..certainly not implying lower status). To many, the military is one of few options at getting out of poverty and their crappy towns / neighborhoods — and one that has the aura of bestowing dignity and honor and manhood. They usually join in their late-teens. This is a time when one is especially concerned with such notions as ‘manliness’ and how others perceive these virtues in them. And I don’t know about you, but when I was 18 (one year after 9/11), I was not that clear-headed nor full of foresight for the consequences of my decisions. I did not join the military, went to college instead..but should my situation have been different, I very well may have. Then, there is the prevalent culture among lower-classes, wherein military service and especially military combat is held in much higher regard than elsewhere…Service to Country is not just some notion to be scoffed at there; and if the 18 year-old kid isn’t exactly all gung-ho patriotism, the respect conferred upon him by those who are for his signing up may very well outweigh this. Here’s a poor kid, crapped all over his whole life, never respected, nor having anyone around them for themselves to respect, and staring down the tunnel of the rest of their life and not seeing much that could change — maybe an early marriage, probably a future-less job, certainly nothing in which to prove themselves. Half my family is lower-income, the other side being middle to upper-middle class; the former boasts five cousins of mine who are in the armed forces, while the latter show zero.

    Now, enter the decision of the U.S. Government to invade Iraq. None of the poor boys soldiering had any say in this. Like it or not, they’re headed overseas. What should they do? Walk out on their contract, risk dishonorable discharge and fuck up their future with the very real stigma — both practical and social — that this brings?…not to mention the possible scorn — real or imagined — of their friends and family back home. As well as their fellow soldiers. These are folks they’ve lived with and struggled with and taken beatings with and done shit labor with, all in extremely close proximity for all hours of the day, seven days a week. These are their peers, their friends and comrades and fellow employees and roommates and brothers…and to an 18, 19 year old kid, they may very well mean the world to them. So, instead, they may choose to buy the government line, or find their own justifications, or simply place a greater respect for the overall entity that is the United States Military and choose to serve it and trust it — especially the men and women they see day in and day out who run it — to do them right wherever it may take them. And then, thoughtfully or otherwise, they go off to fight and bleed and possibly die in some far-off desert, fighting not because their family back home is directly threatened (maybe some residual 9/11 fears for that..) but for the sake of some people they had never even heard of before we went to war…because, choosing to “tow the line”, that is exactly what they are fighting for over there (whether they are correct or not); that, and for their fellow soldiers by their side.

    For all of those reasons, when I see a member of the military today, I simply cannot help but respect them.

    Comment by Alex — November 7, 2014 @ 3:57 am

    • Thank you for your post, and sorry for the late reply. I just wanted to add that…at least in my opinion…leaving the military, voiding a contract and dealing with that stigma is entirely worthwhile. The alternative is risking my life not to protect my family or country, but…to help win the games of people played at a higher level. No thanks.

      Comment by allthatiswrong — October 30, 2016 @ 1:53 am

  3. I read this just today and needed to address this. I am a Navy Veteran. I served during the Global War on Terror. The issue is, while yes this country is at war for no good reason, the military is not just a war machine. The Navy protects free trade on the high seas as well as fires tomahawk missiles into countries and flies planes to support marines. My point is, when a hurricane hit in Haiti, it was the Navy that sent ships filled with Navy doctors to help the injured. It was the Navy pilots that flew helicopters from the damaged areas to the hospital ships waiting out at sea (Google “USNS Hospital ship”) The coast guard routinely prevents drugs from entering our country so that our borders (which are majority water based) aren’t wide open. The Army National guard may come is constantly helping disaster victims. Piracy is still a thing, just watch the Captain Phillips movie. I was off of the coast of Somalia, and you don’t want to go. But we saved lives because the big ships on the oceans with all of the stuff America imports aren’t allowed to have guns and pirates do. So while I recognize that everybody joins for a different reason, I repeat the fact that they (and I) “temporarily” gave up their free will to make sure you can “always” use your free will to buy crap shipped from China.

    Comment by Jaren Briggs — December 14, 2015 @ 1:11 pm


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