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Originally posted by TheProudDuck@Jun 28 2004, 03:14 PM

This guy had no reason to want to trash Bush.

... except for having been fired ... :rolleyes:

kind of like listening to what an ex-member of the church has to say about our beliefs when he's been ex'd due to adultry and fraud...

not very credible lol!

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Originally posted by Jenda@Jun 17 2004, 06:00 AM

If the choice is between Kerry and Bush? Yeah, I'll vote for Bush (again).

Good idea! At least this time maybe Bush can actually be elected by a majority of the american public.

On the other hand, if he is re-elected, then I guess americans get what they deserve. Another 4 years of the wholesale selling of America to big business interests at the expense of the environment, the unemployed, our school children, and the overall prosperity of the american people.

Prediction: We will someday look back at the Bush white house and say, at least under Clinton only ONE person was SEDUCED, instead of the whole damned country!

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still hung up on how bush WON eh? every single vote was talied, and talied, and talied...counted again and again again...not ONE source showed that gore won Florida...

get over it already...sheesh

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If the Sierra Club had any integrity, they'd note that the Bush administration has exceeded the Clinton administration in its environmental record.

At this point, partisan attitudes are so set in stone that facts are irrelevant. Everybody knows Republicans like to dirty up the environment -- so it doesn't matter what they actually do; the myth prevails. Same for school children, the unemployed, etc.: school spending continues to increase, and the unemployment rate continues to hover around the 5% full-employment level.

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Originally posted by TheProudDuck@Jun 28 2004, 12:14 PM

This guy had no reason to want to trash Bush.

... except for having been fired ... :rolleyes:

Obviously you haven't read the book. Fired is hardly the word to describe the conditions around his leaving the Bush administration.

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Originally posted by Faerie@Jun 28 2004, 02:48 PM

still hung up on how bush WON eh? every single vote was talied, and talied, and talied...counted again and again again...not ONE source showed that gore won Florida...

get over it already...sheesh

Like I said, any american who STILL backs Bush deserves what he gets. The guy has proven himself to be the biggest JOKE of a president in decades, if not since HARDING.

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Originally posted by TheProudDuck@Jun 28 2004, 03:37 PM

If the Sierra Club had any integrity, they'd note that the Bush administration has exceeded the Clinton administration in its environmental record.

At this point, partisan attitudes are so set in stone that facts are irrelevant. Everybody knows Republicans like to dirty up the environment -- so it doesn't matter what they actually do; the myth prevails. Same for school children, the unemployed, etc.: school spending continues to increase, and the unemployment rate continues to hover around the 5% full-employment level.

You obviously have no clue as to what is happening on the grassroots level in education.

5% unemployment is just PEACHY!............except for the 5% who ARE unemployed! Ask them how they like the stat.

Clinton had it down around 3%. Sure, there will always be SOME unemployment, but my biggest Beef against Bush is, obviously could care less WHAT the figure is. He is the president of the HAVES AND HAVE MORES, in his own words.

As to the environment--you have to be kidding right? Tell me you're not serious! A few words to ponder.... KYOTO, Alaskan Wildlife Preserve, EPA budget..... I could go on, but you might see/hear a grown man start to cry! Read ONiel's book, you will get the picture. (by the way, I remind you, Oneil had NO reason to trash Bush. Oneil was put into the position he was BECAUSE of Bush's ineptitude and myopic agenda. It wasn't Oniel's intention to get in there and try to destroy Bush. On the contrary, he had every expectation of being helpful to the Bush administration. But, it is not hard to see why Oniel soon became disillusioned. Again, read the book, it will all become clear.

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Originally posted by TheProudDuck@Jun 28 2004, 05:37 PM

At this point, partisan attitudes are so set in stone that facts are irrelevant. Everybody knows Republicans like to dirty up the environment -- so it doesn't matter what they actually do; the myth prevails. Same for school children, the unemployed, etc.: school spending continues to increase, and the unemployment rate continues to hover around the 5% full-employment level.

In my case, that isn't true. I am registered independent, but have voted conservatively for my entire voting career... until now.

For the people that think the war in Iraq is a good idea, here is a true test:

If you had a son, and he was drafted, then beheaded in Iraq, would you think it was a worthy sacrifice?

I don't. Things changed when I had a son. It made me look at things differently. Let me add that I would be the first to send my son to fight to DEFEND OUR COUNTRY. But we are not doing that. The American people think we are ridding the world of evil (Hussein), and liberating a country. But most of them do not want to be liberated. I'm not willing to let my son die for that cause.

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Maybe we didn't find any WMD, but we have liberated a country which desperately needed liberating, and (when you look past the liberal media) are praising our name in the streets.

Come on Jenda, this is getting ridiculuous. The saving of many thousands of additional Iraqui lives means nothing. The fact that Saddam killed over a million kurds (his own country-men) and that he'd be willing to do it again if it served his purposes is meaningless. The only thing that matters to the liberals and the liberal media is whether we found WMD. If not then the whole thing was a waste. Well, it was a waste unless you consider the huge oil reserves we've been able to use to help bring down the fuel prices here in America. I'm so pleased to be paying $2.15 a gallon as opposed to the $1.65 I was paying before the war started. Yes indeed, invading Iraq has certainly helped our oil situation!!

Bush is far better for America than Clinton was. Bush is an honorable man who believes in God and tries to do right. Clinton was nothing but a disgusting reprobate who led this country many miles further down the path to hell.

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Originally posted by Kevin@Jun 29 2004, 11:10 AM

Come on Jenda, this is getting ridiculuous. The saving of many thousands of additional Iraqui lives means nothing. The fact that Saddam killed over a million kurds (his own country-men) and that he'd be willing to do it again if it served his purposes is meaningless. The only thing that matters to the liberals and the liberal media is whether we found WMD. If not then the whole thing was a waste. Well, it was a waste unless you consider the huge oil reserves we've been able to use to help bring down the fuel prices here in America. I'm so pleased to be paying $2.15 a gallon as opposed to the $1.65 I was paying before the war started. Yes indeed, invading Iraq has certainly helped our oil situation!!

Bush is far better for America than Clinton was. Bush is an honorable man who believes in God and tries to do right. Clinton was nothing but a disgusting reprobate who led this country many miles further down the path to hell.

I'm with you on that, Clinton did bite!

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Guest TheProudDuck

Cal -- I don't kid. (Usually.) Let's just say that while there is room for disagreement on the Bush environmental record, the hysteria that his administration is the worst ever, raping and pillaging, etc., is overwrought and simplistic. See, for example, New Republic writer Gregg Easterbrook's paper at http://www.aei.brookings.org/admin/authorp.../page.php?id=12 A couple of the paper's points are dated (several European countries have ratified the Kyoto protocols since the paper was written, although none of them have implemented what they supposedly agreed to). But I love this exchange between Easterbrook and a (naturally) liberal newspaper editor:

Me. Why aren’t you praising the Bush emission reduction proposal?

Editor. Because he wants to replace current rules with a single standard. That

means eliminating regulations. That makes it a rollback.

Me. But pollution would decline. What is the goal, more regulations or less

pollution?

Editor. Anything that changes an existing regulation is rollback. We are opposed

to rollbacks.

Education: The fact remains that education spending per pupil continues to rise. There are still huge problems with unfunded mandates, special-needs students, and the need to pretend that there are not fundamental cultural problems underlying the underperformance of large groups of students. But public education is getting more money than ever (and continuing to suck wind).

Employment: True, the unemployment rate bottomed out in the 3% range at the height of the dot-com/telecom bubble. Nobody credible believes that was a sustainable level. Full employment is traditionally considered to be around 5%. The European countries so many liberals love would kill to have that kind of unemployment rate. I know from experience that being unemployed stinks, but I'm also familiar enough with economics to know what's possible, and what constitutes good performance.

Shanstress:

If you had a son, and he was drafted, then beheaded in Iraq, would you think it was a worthy sacrifice?

I honestly don't know. Of course, there is no draft, and there's not going to be, hyperventilations in some quarters notwithstanding, but for purposes of the hypothetical, I'll play along. I suspect I would not think the sacrifice was worth it. I wonder if I would have the same reaction if my son (now five months old) had been killed in, say, Korea, or a peacetime training accident, or in the Italian campaign of World War II after Rome fell. (After that time, most military theorists judge, in retrospect, that the campaign was pointless. Thus, Bob Dole lost the use of his arm for no compelling purpose.) I doubt many parents watch their sons go off to war consciously expecting them to fall in battle; the potential sacrifice seems like it would always be something considered in the abstract. I'm sure there would be many parents in every war who thought the sacrifice was too great, once it was made real. Michael Moore could have found grieving mothers to condemn Lincoln after Gettysburg. (His historical analog would be Clement Vallandigham.)

I do think that if my son were beheaded by terrorists, as opposed to being shot in battle, my rage would be directed at his killers, not at my country or its leadership, and I'd probably support every effort to kill them and their friends wherever they were found.

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Originally posted by TheProudDuck@Jun 29 2004, 01:48 PM

I honestly don't know. Of course, there is no draft, and there's not going to be, hyperventilations in some quarters notwithstanding, but for purposes of the hypothetical, I'll play along. I suspect I would not think the sacrifice was worth it. I wonder if I would have the same reaction if my son (now five months old) had been killed in, say, Korea, or a peacetime training accident, or in the Italian campaign of World War II after Rome fell. (After that time, most military theorists judge, in retrospect, that the campaign was pointless. Thus, Bob Dole lost the use of his arm for no compelling purpose.) I doubt many parents watch their sons go off to war consciously expecting them to fall in battle; the potential sacrifice seems like it would always be something considered in the abstract. I'm sure there would be many parents in every war who thought the sacrifice was too great, once it was made real. Michael Moore could have found grieving mothers to condemn Lincoln after Gettysburg. (His historical analog would be Clement Vallandigham.)

I do think that if my son were beheaded by terrorists, as opposed to being shot in battle, my rage would be directed at his killers, not at my country or its leadership, and I'd probably support every effort to kill them and their friends wherever they were found.

OK then, if your child was 18 and in the military, would you support going into Iraq (circumstances being the same)? And I mean REALLY support it! The reason I say that is because if my child chose to go in the military and was deployed there, no one would know that I didn't really support it but myself. But in my heart, I would be opposed.

The point I'm TRYING to make is that to me, it is not worth any Americans' sons dying just to liberate Iraq. Why are we there? Can anyone give me a good answer? Maybe we should have gone to make sure there were no WMD. I haven't made up my mind about this. But now we're pretty sure there aren't any around anymore. But we're still there, and we're still having our soldiers die. And that will probably be the case for a long time. WHY???

I said it once before, I'm not opposed to war always. If someone invaded America, I would totally support my son going to fight (though I would of course still hate it!) It would be the noble and manly thing to do. But not for someone who doesn't even WANT freedom, and who can't stand America! Screw them! (I know there are some good people there, but I'm generalizing.)

Oh, and PD, why do you say there won't be a draft? Do you mean for this Iraq issue, or ever? Just curious.

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Shanstress,

I'm not so convinced that Iraqis don't want freedom. I hope they do, because more and more now, whether they have it or not is going to be up to them.

In our own Revolution, the consensus is that about a third of the people supported the patriot cause, a third were indifferent, and a third were Tories who actively opposed it. No political program will ever have the support of the whole population. As a whole, it does seem to me that there are plenty of Iraqis who welcome what's happening in their country. Here's one view from Baghdad: http://iraqthemodel.blogspot.com/

No, we shouldn't go around liberating places from tyrants just for the heck of it; there are too many tyrants to go around. But when a particular dictator happens to be a sworn enemy of the United States, and there are reasonable suspicions that he may be supporting terrorism and developing weapons which, in the hands of terrorists, could be horribly dangerous to us, I think it's sound strategy to do what we can to eliminate him. Especially when he gives us the casus belli by reneging on his previous truce with us. It seems to me that there are much more compelling reasons for us to be in Iraq than in Bosnia or Kosovo, where we've been for ten and six years, respectively, with no end in sight. (Fortunately, the parties to those disputes are limited themselves to killing each other and leaving our troops mostly alone.)

As long as the Middle East remains the tangle it is, it will be a danger to us. Taking Iraq away from Saddam Hussein cut one thread in a Gordion knot, so to speak. It won't solve the whole problem, any more than the Allies' North African campaign of 1943 solved World War II -- but it is a sound strategic step.

Incidentally, the number of sarin and mustard gas weapons that have been found is up to ten. They're there, all right.

As to whether there will be a draft -- no, there will never be another draft except in the case of a real war, by which I mean thousands upon thousands of deaths and carriers going down with all hands, that kind of thing. The Vietnam experience has made fighting expeditionary wars with a conscripted army a third rail, as it should be. Professional armies are far more effective. A drafted force would reduce fighting effectiveness so substantially that any gains from numbers would be offset by the reduction in quality.

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Originally posted by TheProudDuck@Jun 29 2004, 08:49 PM

In our own Revolution, the consensus is that about a third of the people supported the patriot cause, a third were indifferent, and a third were Tories who actively opposed it.

You reiterated my point, "IN OUR OWN REVOLUTION..."

Although unfortunate, it's acceptable to lose lives for OUR cause. Although I wish all countries could be free, they won't be. And even if they could be, the cause is not worth my son's life. If everyone could look at it in this way (whether or not they would sacrifice THEIR sons), there would be even less support for this war.

But you know why people don't do that? Because most of the time, wealthy or middle-class kids don't join the military. PD, we all know your son, who will be living the cushy life, won't join. And although not wealthy, my child will most likely not join. The people who go to the military are kids who have no other options: inner-city kids, kids living in a town where all its businesses are closing, kids who can't afford to go to college any other way. As long as they go fight, and not our kids, we don't have to worry about it, I guess. I guess their lives aren't worth quite as much.

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Originally posted by Jenda+Jun 18 2004, 05:52 AM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Jenda @ Jun 18 2004, 05:52 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>
Originally posted by [email protected] 18 2004, 04:27 AM

<[email protected] 17 2004, 08:50 PM

And, are you implying that they didn't (or aren't) protect our country?

If I were you, I'd go back over the last 15-20 years and see who committed all the acts of terrorism against the US (excepting 9/11/01).  You'll find Saddam Hussein's finger in every single one of them.  Maybe you don't mind almost-yearly terrorist attacks against this country or citizens of this country, but I would bet the rest of us are tired of it.

Why are you insinuating that we went over there to show off our stripes and declare everyone needs to be like us?  I think that is far from the agenda the president had.

Yes, I am. I feel bad for saying that in a way, but I truly do think that.

What about the other middle eastern countries? Some of them have also had a hand in terrorism, but we didn't decide to go fight there.

And I take offense to this statement: "Maybe you don't mind almost-yearly terrorist attacks against this country or citizens of this country, but I would bet the rest of us are tired of it." I am all for us going to Afghanistan b/c we know that binLaden had a hand in the WTC. I'm not against war when it's necessary. And for the record, just until the last month or so I was all for the war in Iraq. Since then I have changed my mind. Bush gave us a reason why we were going in, and he was wrong, period. I trusted that we would find WMD.

From what I've read, many soldiers feel the very same way I do.

And look at the way the world's opinion has changed about our country. I think it's dangerous to have everyone see us as the world police. It leads to resentment, and resentment leads to more terrorist attacks.

The bottom line is that I don't feel any safer concerning terrorism since we went to Iraq. If anything, I feel less safe!

Sorry if that comes across as anti-American. I do love this country, but I think we're making some serious mistakes. My grandfather was a Marine and fought in WW2. My brother is a Marine, and fought in the first Gulf War. My brother agrees with me, and if my grandfather was alive, I bet he would too.

The WTC attack was only the last in a string of terrorist attacks. It might have been the biggest, but it is far from the only. What about all the American Embassies that have been attacked? Look at Saddam. What about the people who have been taken hostage? or the planes that have been hijacked and citizens killed? or the ocean liner (forget the name) and the old man who was pushed overboard in the wheelchair? Look to Saddam for all of them.

What is it about the WTC attack that you are so willing to go to war for, but the rest can be ignored? Is it the number of people killed? Is it the fact that it happened on American soil? Tell me why.

What facts do you have to support "look to Saddam for all of them".....Not that I have any affection for the guy, but what facts do you have to support that accusation?

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Originally posted by shanstress70+Jun 30 2004, 04:19 AM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (shanstress70 @ Jun 30 2004, 04:19 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin--TheProudDuck@Jun 29 2004, 08:49 PM

In our own Revolution, the consensus is that about a third of the people supported the patriot cause, a third were indifferent, and a third were Tories who actively opposed it.

You reiterated my point, "IN OUR OWN REVOLUTION..."

Although unfortunate, it's acceptable to lose lives for OUR cause. Although I wish all countries could be free, they won't be. And even if they could be, the cause is not worth my son's life. If everyone could look at it in this way (whether or not they would sacrifice THEIR sons), there would be even less support for this war.

But you know why people don't do that? Because most of the time, wealthy or middle-class kids don't join the military. PD, we all know your son, who will be living the cushy life, won't join. And although not wealthy, my child will most likely not join. The people who go to the military are kids who have no other options: inner-city kids, kids living in a town where all its businesses are closing, kids who can't afford to go to college any other way. As long as they go fight, and not our kids, we don't have to worry about it, I guess. I guess their lives aren't worth quite as much.

Good point, Shantress. It's easy to support a war when you are sitting on capital hill, with your own kids safely away in some elite private college, while the kids of the inner cities and poor rural farms get THEIR brains shot out so that your rich military contractor campaign-financing constituents can get their share of the multi-billion dollar defense spending pie.

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Originally posted by TheProudDuck@Jun 29 2004, 06:49 PM

Shanstress,

I'm not so convinced that Iraqis don't want freedom.  I hope they do, because more and more now, whether they have it or not is going to be up to them.

In our own Revolution, the consensus is that about a third of the people supported the patriot cause, a third were indifferent, and a third were Tories who actively opposed it.  No political program will ever have the support of the whole population.  As a whole, it does seem to me that there are plenty of Iraqis who welcome what's happening in their country.  Here's one view from Baghdad:  http://iraqthemodel.blogspot.com/

No, we shouldn't go around liberating places from tyrants just for the heck of it; there are too many tyrants to go around.  But when a particular dictator happens to be a sworn enemy of the United States, and there are reasonable suspicions that he may be supporting terrorism and developing weapons which, in the hands of terrorists, could be horribly dangerous to us, I think it's sound strategy to do what we can to eliminate him.  Especially when he gives us the casus belli by reneging on his previous truce with us.  It seems to me that there are much more compelling reasons for us to be in Iraq than in Bosnia or Kosovo, where we've been for ten and six years, respectively, with no end in sight.  (Fortunately, the parties to those disputes are limited themselves to killing each other and leaving our troops mostly alone.)

As long as the Middle East remains the tangle it is, it will be a danger to us.  Taking Iraq away from Saddam Hussein cut one thread in a Gordion knot, so to speak.  It won't solve the whole problem, any more than the Allies' North African campaign of 1943 solved World War II -- but it is a sound strategic step. 

Incidentally, the number of sarin and mustard gas weapons that have been found is up to ten.  They're there, all right.

As to whether there will be a draft -- no, there will never be another draft except in the case of a real war, by which I mean thousands upon thousands of deaths and carriers going down with all hands, that kind of thing.  The Vietnam experience has made fighting expeditionary wars with a conscripted army a third rail, as it should be.  Professional armies are far more effective.  A drafted force would reduce fighting effectiveness so substantially that any gains from numbers would be offset by the reduction in quality.

Whooooo -----ten units of serin and mustard gas. Quite the international threat!!!!! BTW--is that what Bush and his cronies were refering to when the duped the rest of us into supporting our UNILATERAL invasion of Irak?

Sound stragegic step? Only time will tell for sure. But for the present, we seem to have CREATED a lot more terrorism than we have abated.

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Cal, this moving of the goalposts is getting tiresome. It seems that no matter how many weapons of mass destruction are found, leftists will keep discounting them as not enough, and saying "There were no weapons of mass destruction." (In antiwar arithmetic, "ten" equals "zero.")

Saddam Hussein was required by his truce to eliminate all his weapons of mass destruction, and verify that this had been done. He didn't. That's beyond dispute. It's also beyond dispute that virtually every national intelligence service, as well as the United Nations inspectors, recognized that large amounts of WMD were unaccounted for. What kind of responsible person would take Saddam's word that there were no such weapons -- especially since gave every sign (refusing access to inspectors until threatened with war, and then continuing to play games with them) of having something to hide? Go back to 1998, when virtually every Democrat from Bill Clinton on down was playing up the threat of Saddam's WMD, to the point of asserting that full-scale war was justified to make sure they were eliminated? (Clinton ultimately settled on a round of heavy bombing, and blowing up a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan.) There sure seems like a double standard here; the Left has provided no evidence that Bush had any knowledge that the weapons Clinton, Kerry et al. were talking about in '98 had definitely been eliminated by 2003.

If I had to make a guess at what was going on with the WMD, based on all the evidence available, I would speculate that Saddam reduced his stockpiles of WMD to a level that was easier to conceal, while maintaining the capability to produce them if needed. (There is plenty of evidence that development of WMD programs continued up to the war's beginning; frankly, producing chemical weapons isn't much harder than producing insecticides.) Then, when the coalition against him called his bluff, he probably did everything he could to eliminate or hide any weapons that remained. That wouldn't be too hard; it doesn't take that big a hole in the desert to conceal a few hundred chemical shells or bioweapons vials.

That's what I would guess with the knowledge I have now. Based on the evidence available pre-war (and Clinton holdover George Tenet's assurance to Bush that the WMD case was a "slam dunk"), it's hard for me to say that concluding Iraq had no WMD would have been a responsible estimate.

As for the strategic soundness of the Iraq campaign, I think I'll let my cousin (a Navy helicopter pilot) respond:

Sent: Thursday, June 24, 2004 7:57 PM

Subject: RE: Brothers Outing

Good times, sorry I couldn't be there, but with current operations it was out of the question.

I really wish I could tell you all the good work we are doing.  I can't fill in the details, but the big picture is, we are hitting the terrorists hard.

One of the nice things about having Muslims for enemies is, they are absolutely blind in their convictions.  Their tactics, as a result, are very predictable, and once we get a bead on them, it is really a one sided

fight. Like I said, can't fill in the details, but the target lists have shrunk substantially.

They hit us hard on 9/11.  Since then it has been a one sided fight.  It is beyond my comprehension why there is such an outcry about Iraq.  By every definable measure, we are safer for having gone to war, the cause of democracy has been served, and the Iraqi people are immeasurably better off.

There is a substantial amount of terrorism in Iraq, but better to have

them in the open where we can get a shot at them than having them plotting.  As long as they are fighting in the open, they are at a substantial disadvantage.

>

> Chris

And Shanstress, I hope that addresses your misperception that only poor inner-city or jerkwater kids join the military. My cousin comes from a very affluent family. His father was a lieutenant governor of California. One of my two closest friends growing up (the son of a surgeon) is a naval officer; his sister's husband is a very young Special Forces major who spent the Iraq campaign running around behind enemy lines getting shot at by pretty much everybody. Another of my friends from my old Scout troop, and another high school friend, are both Air Force pilots. Not that it compares, but if Stanford had responded to my college application with something other than uproarious laughter, I had a Navy ROTC scholarship waiting. Whether my son ultimately wants to serve is up to him. I wouldn't discourage him; in fact, if he chooses not to serve a mission, I would recommend it.

In short, Michael Moore is full of it when he says the only people who join the military are poor people with no other options. In fact, the true underclass don't join; it tends to be upwardly-mobile lower middle class people that do. And the elite troops and aviators that suffer disproportionate casualties tend to come from generally well-off families. To be frank, your statement, "As long as they go fight, and not our kids, we don't have to worry about it, I guess...I guess their lives aren't worth quite as much" is incredibly insulting. I don't want my friends and relatives to die or be widowed, and I don't appreciate glib comments implying otherwise.

You reiterated my point, "IN OUR OWN REVOLUTION..."

Which we would have lost without the help of the French (much as it hurts me to say that). It's rare for a rebellion to succeed without outside help. The French soldiers and sailors who died at Savannah, Newport, the Virginia Capes, and Yorktown deserve far more thanks than they get credit for.

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Guest TheProudDuck

Good idea! At least this time maybe Bush can actually be elected by a majority of the american public.

... unlike Bill Clinton, who never got more than a plurality.

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Originally posted by TheProudDuck@Jun 30 2004, 12:22 PM

In short, Michael Moore is full of it when he says the only people who join the military are poor people with no other options. In fact, the true underclass don't join; it tends to be upwardly-mobile lower middle class people that do. And the elite troops and aviators that suffer disproportionate casualties tend to come from generally well-off families. To be frank, your statement, "As long as they go fight, and not our kids, we don't have to worry about it, I guess...I guess their lives aren't worth quite as much" is incredibly insulting. I don't want my friends and relatives to die or be widowed, and I don't appreciate glib comments implying otherwise.

I need to look for statistics for this, and I will when I get time. But I grew up in a small southern town in the east. Many people joined the military because they had no other options, including my brother. It's possible that I have a skewed picture, but I do think more people join from poor families than from affluent ones. I now this isn't always the case, as it isn't the case in your family, but I think the military members that join from more affluent families do so after college. They tend to have a higher ranking (officers and such), and tend to not be in harm's way quite as much. But this is speculation, and I will try to see if I can back it up.

I do apologize for the way I worded things. I didn't mean to imply that only poor people join the military (I just said this in another thread!). However, I do think that is more the norm that what you are stating.

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Shanstress -- In retrospect, I shouldn't have gotten so growly. I do think, though, that culture has a lot more to do with whether people join the military -- especially the front-line, high-risk, elite specialties -- than economics alone. The South does tend to produce more warriors than the North; the warrior ethic there predates the Civil War. Also, the lower middle classes tend to be less cynical about patriotism and military service than the New Class of well-paid, educated professionals, whose post-1970s worldview tends to view military service as morally suspect, beneath their talents, or just plain uncool.

Incidentally, officers -- especially junior officers -- generally have a higher casualty rate than enlisted men, a natural result of the American military ethos that officers lead from the front. This was true during the conventional phase of the Iraq campaign. (The ratios, unusually, have reversed during the guerilla phase -- so that enlisted men are now slightly more likely to take casualties than officers -- probably because the urban-warfare counterinsurgency tactics being used place heavy emphasis on squad-sized units led by noncommissioned officers.)

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Originally posted by TheProudDuck@Jul 1 2004, 01:11 PM

Incidentally, officers -- especially junior officers -- generally have a higher casualty rate than enlisted men, a natural result of the American military ethos that officers lead from the front. This was true during the conventional phase of the Iraq campaign. (The ratios, unusually, have reversed during the guerilla phase -- so that enlisted men are now slightly more likely to take casualties than officers -- probably because the urban-warfare counterinsurgency tactics being used place heavy emphasis on squad-sized units led by noncommissioned officers.)

But there are a lot more enlisted's than officers. So maybe you're correct, but a lot more enlisted's die, regardless.

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PD says:

"incidentally, the number of sarin and mustard gas weapons that have been found is up to ten. They're there, all right."

hmmm...

"Warheads found in Iraq not chemical weapons, military says

Fri Jul 2, 2:44 PM ET

BAGHDAD (AFP) - Multinational forces in Iraq (news - web sites) said that more than a dozen missile warheads said to contain mustard gas or sarin have tested negative for chemical agents.

Washington had announced the find by Polish troops on Thursday, which was later confirmed by Warsaw.

The head of Poland's military intelligence service also said on Friday that "terrorist" groups were seeking to acquire the weapons.

But the 122mm warheads, found in late June, have been found not to contain the deadly chemicals, a statement from multinational forces here said.

"Those 16 rounds were all empty and tested negative for any type of chemicals," it said.

Two other warheads found in mid-June were found to contain an insignificant amount of sarin gas. The armaments were left over from the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, the statement said.

"Due to the deteriorated state of the rounds and small quantity of remaining agent, these rounds were determined to have limited to no impact if used by insurgents against coalition forces."

Washington justified leading the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 by claiming the country was harbouring weapons of mass destruction. However, none has yet been found. "

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