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Old 02-11-2008, 09:12 PM   #41
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Arc, I hope you haven't bought into the Bush/Republican propaganda that Americans are in Iraq are "fighting for our freedom". You and your son need to ask yourselves: Is Iraq worth dying for or becoming a cripple for life?

Doesn't anybody here remember the Vietnam War? And BTW anybody under 21 who wants to join the military should first be required to see "Born on the Fourth of July" and to read Johnny Got His Gun.
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Old 02-12-2008, 02:03 PM   #42
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Most Americans believe in having a strong military - just as long as it's not their own son or daughter that's joining


Not to go down a rathole here, but I would point a couple of things out relative to this comment.

First, I think that a lot of the folks (myself included) who would argue against joining at this time have strong military backgrounds. For myself, (3rd gen. Navy), I'm pro-military and oppose this war precisely because I believe it is throwing away our military lives for an unwinnable objective.

My uncle carried shrapnel from the Battle of the Bulge his whole life, but considered it a small price to pay given the objective he helped to reach. I don't see the same clear and noble objective here, (though I respect the fact that others do). I respectfully object to the idea that I cannot support our fighting troops without supporting every war they're sent to die in.

From the other end of the spectrum, we have ARC, the OP. If I remember his other posts correctly he DOES support the war, and he is willing to let his child risk injury or death for a cause they both believe in -- if not now, when that child is 18 years old.

So there's no hypocrisy on his part either - he's consistent in his beliefs and I think we need to respect him for that.
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Old 02-12-2008, 02:56 PM   #43
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Caroline,
I am not sure I will get my response to your post right.

My problem is:

I don't support this war, so, I would not support my son or daughter joining the military

For me, it is a question of weather the US is to have a strong and capable military, and for me the answer is YES. Therefore, having my son in the Marines makes since. Weather I agree or disagree with the current civilian leadership has nothing to do with it. I get one vote to change or keep that civilian leadership just like every other citizen.

I too, however, believe that the majority of Americans believe in a strong military, and support our troops, 'JUST AS LONG AS THEIR SON IS NOT ONE OF THEM'. I believe the previous post that pointed out that more and more of our military is being drawn from military families is correct. I think the reason for this is two fold. The all volunteer force, and the current view put forth by Hollywood and the national news. Those that have had little or no contact with the military are not willing to let their kids serve in peace or war.

So, my child risk injury or death, not for the cause of Iraq or Afghanistan, but for the United States of America.
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Old 02-12-2008, 03:11 PM   #44
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In what is surely a red letter day, I find myself in agreement with Rustic23.

There are a large number of people in this county who are all for the war in Iraq, but not if it involves their own children. In a recent discussion with my mother-in-law, a woman who believes that GWB walks on water and that the Iraq war is a matter of life or death for this country, I proposed that since she believed that, she would not mind her teenage grandsons (my nephews) going into the fight. With no apparent sense of shame, she informed me that under no circumstances would she want any of them in the military. There are millions more like her, and the blatant hypocrisy of it all appalls me.

I have posted here before that if the children of the rich and powerful were subject to being drafted and sent to fight, we would have far fewer wars.
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Old 02-12-2008, 03:37 PM   #45
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the blatant hypocrisy of it all appalls me.
Sometimes I even struggle with my own feelings being hypocritical. For example, I believe in a strong military, that others would quickly run us off this earth without one. Yet, I can't think of many wars that we shouldn't have found a way to stay out of or have never started, even the Civil War or WW II seem avoidable as previously discussed.
Quote:

I have posted here before that if the children of the rich and powerful were subject to being drafted and sent to fight, we would have far fewer wars.
More or less agree, although we've had a draft system in effect during the last few wars. I know the kids of the rich and famous are more successful at draft dodging, but not all of them......
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Old 02-12-2008, 03:39 PM   #46
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Rustic -- I think you got your response to my post exactly right -- you said what is right for YOU, and your opinion is every bit as valid as mine.

And I respect and admire anyone who's putting their life on the line for the United States, as so many of my family members have done. Please don't think that I mean to minimize the sacrifices being made.

What I actually wanted to do (in my own clumsy way) was to defend people like the OP, and you, who have family members doing the hard and dangerous work of implementing the government's policies. While MANY Americans are not willing to see their children joing the military, you and the OP are exceptions and we should recognize that.

(By way of background, a columnist in our local paper, who supports the war, actually wrote that she was not happy that her son wanted to enlist because he was such a smart and talented kid. I guess she thinks that it's ok to sacrifice other people's average kids.)

I also wanted to point out that I don't support the war AND I don't want to see other people's kids sent to die in it.* So I think that I'm consistent too, but in a different way than you are.

Of course, I served in peacetime and have no kids of my own, so its easy for me to spout off.

My best to you and your son.



*Note -- I'm actually FOR a draft, which I don't think is inconsistent -- if there's going to be pain and suffering for our country despite my wishing otherwise, it should be spread across all segments of society, rich, poor, and in-between.
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Old 02-12-2008, 05:06 PM   #47
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I am happy there are kids like Arc's son, Nord's nephew, and bunch of young men and woman who I play poker with.

I am curious for those you who support a strong military and oppose virtually every war. If we are going to have an isolationist/non-interventionist foreign policy why do we need to spend a huge amount on on our Armed forces?

I count 10 shooting wars since WWII (defined as 1 week or more of combat action by US forces) Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, 1st Gulf War, Somalia, Desert Fox, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq. In addition at least a couple of dozen time US forces were placed in harms way as a stabilizing forces (e.g. Lebannon (twice), Bosnia, Haiti) and many others.

Did you support any of these wars at the beginning? in retrospect?
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Old 02-13-2008, 12:00 AM   #48
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Sometimes I even struggle with my own feelings being hypocritical. For example, I believe in a strong military, that others would quickly run us off this earth without one. Yet, I can't think of many wars that we shouldn't have found a way to stay out of or have never started, even the Civil War or WW II seem avoidable as previously discussed. More or less agree, although we've had a draft system in effect during the last few wars. I know the kids of the rich and famous are more successful at draft dodging, but not all of them......
During the Vietnam War George Bush was one of them, at least in terms of combat service.
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Old 02-13-2008, 04:15 AM   #49
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During the Vietnam War George Bush was one of them, at least in terms of combat service.
Bush's dodging of combat duty is well publicized. But I can't remember how Clinton dodged serving. Born in August, 1946, he should have been eligible for the draft. Was he just fortunate to receive a high lottery number? A deferment?

Actually, it doesn't look like a US President served in combat in over 60 years, since WWII. If McCain winds up as Pres, he'll be the first.

List of United States Presidents by military service - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:07 AM   #50
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Bush's dodging of combat duty is well publicized. But I can't remember how Clinton dodged serving. Born in August, 1946, he should have been eligible for the draft. Was he just fortunate to receive a high lottery number? A deferment?

Actually, it doesn't look like a US President served in combat in over 60 years, since WWII. If McCain winds up as Pres, he'll be the first.

List of United States Presidents by military service - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bush Sr was shot down during WWII.
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Old 02-13-2008, 11:46 AM   #51
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Bush Sr was shot down during WWII.
And of course we all remember Jack kennedy and Pt. 109. And the little matter of Dwight David Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander in WW2.

But I believe that Youbet was referring to the fact that no US president has served in combat since WW2.

Ha
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Old 02-13-2008, 12:27 PM   #52
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And of course we all remember Jack kennedy and Pt. 109. And the little matter of Dwight David Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander in WW2.

But I believe that Youbet was referring to the fact that no US president has served in combat since WW2.

Ha
Thanks for reiterating that Ha. Perhaps Razor was skim reading this morning......
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Old 02-13-2008, 12:34 PM   #53
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Thanks for reiterating that Ha. Perhaps Razor was skim reading this morning......
I misunderstood the wording of your statement.
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Old 02-13-2008, 06:01 PM   #54
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I'm sorry I'm late to this and would like to give my perspective as well - why am I late to this - I am a Reservist - in fact this weekend was my assumption of command ceremony for my squadron - I also have a full-time civilian job - so much for early-retirement!

Several comments: first - Nords comment about the discharge from the Reserves not affecting someone - I have to disagree. One of my jobs as commander is to decide whether to not to excuse people for not showing up on their weekend and after 9 unexcused, they are processed for a discharge. One of the things I told my staff is please let's think about the age of the person making these decisions about their weekends - if they are young and are hormone driven or just immature, I don't want them to make an inadvertent decision which might affect their future. If they truly are not willing to finish out the contract, and are not paying their govt credit card, then I go for the discharge. Enlistment is for 2, 4 or 6 years. It shows character and builds it to finish out your committment.

As for deployments, well, that's another buagaboo of mine - many of my squadron will be leaving soon for deployments in Iraq. It is difficult to manage this as we are being encouraged to 'volunteer' as Reservists and not be mobilized. However, things are getting so dire in some of the officer areas (the one I'm in) that mobilization authority is being granted. That means close to 220 days for many. The Air Force is a bit more lenient on the timeframe (and the Army hates us for it), but it is still demanding nonetheless. I know that I am vulnerable all the time to go. That being said, I know that having a military career (of sorts) with a deployment makes for a more complete career.

Regarding the parents and families of the Reservists - it is a strain. I see it on my husband and he's active duty - remember I have another civilian job. This job as a commander has got to be one of the most demanding so far because I'm ultimately responsible.

Regarding your son - I didn't realize it but my parents had to sign so I could get my ROTC scholarship when I was 17. Theoretically you are in the military and if you don't meet th eobligations of the scholarship, you are sent to basic in Lackland. I think it depends on the maturity of the child. Some are more mature than others. I've seen some more mature 16 year olds than 40 year olds. I would just be sure that he understands all of the ramifications of his choice - or as many as he or you can grasp at that time.

Good luck - just the fact you are interested and care will lead you to help him make the right decision.
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:57 PM   #55
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Several comments: first - Nords comment about the discharge from the Reserves not affecting someone - I have to disagree. One of my jobs as commander is to decide whether to not to excuse people for not showing up on their weekend and after 9 unexcused, they are processed for a discharge. One of the things I told my staff is please let's think about the age of the person making these decisions about their weekends - if they are young and are hormone driven or just immature, I don't want them to make an inadvertent decision which might affect their future. If they truly are not willing to finish out the contract, and are not paying their govt credit card, then I go for the discharge. Enlistment is for 2, 4 or 6 years. It shows character and builds it to finish out your committment.
I agree that there are adverse consequences for bad behavior, yet so few of today's civilian employers have a clue about the characterization of a military discharge. It might complicate some GI Bill benefits or make it difficult to enter state/federal civil service, but I have yet to hear of a veteran whose OTHD made it difficult for them to find employment. And some of that employment included a security clearance.

It's my observation, from admittedly limited experience, that Navy doesn't take punitive action against Reserve enlistees with no prior active-duty service who choose to stop showing up for weekend drills. They're counseled, warned, and threatened but in the end they're simply discharged with a general and a "never enlist again" code.

I've sat admin boards for all manner of slimeballs who desperately deserved a court-martial for their offenses, let alone a negotiated discharge. We're not just talking drugs but offenses like deliberate/sustained perjury, sexual assault, deliberate assault with an STD, or gross dereliction of duty resulting in injured shipmates. Yet for all the bitching & whining I've heard over awarding general discharges, let alone an OTHD, you'd think we were vigilantes. (The civilian equivalent would be like trying to give negative feedback on eBay.) After my opinion had been clearly stated to a few higher-ups in my chain of command, somehow the admin board rotation never got back around to me.

So in today's more lenient environment, a veteran carrying an OTHD usually had to work really really hard for it, and probably only avoided prison by virtue of the prosecuter's error.
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Old 02-14-2008, 03:59 AM   #56
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My husband used to surf with four young men who, if I am remembering correctly, were National Guard reservists. They were sent to Iraq and survived and were not supposed to have to go back, however they were sent again. Three of the four were killed last year and the fourth was wounded. My husband saw him the other day and didn't recognize him. He lives in his car. He can't surf anymore. His injuries left one of his legs so messed up he can barely walk. The worst part, however, is that he's now mentally completely gone. He's so messed up that he doesn't have the presence of mind to know how to get help. This young man is in very bad shape and I doubt that he will ever be OK again.

My husband is an ex marine, combat veteran. He lives with a lot of pain every day as a result of his injuries from Vietnam. He gets zero from the VA. They like to lose records, so they don't have to pay anything. My husband saved a lot of lives and earned a bronze star and a silver star and a purple heart. He lost a lot of friends and still has nightmares sometimes after all these years. He would do whatever it takes to keep his son from going to Iraq. It's not like in the John Wayne movies. There is nothing glorious about war.

Your son wants to go to Iraq, but I don't think he knows what the reality of war is like. My husband can tell you about stomach wounds with intestines spilling out and that no amount of morphine can help with and dying men asking for their mothers. He witnessed many young men dying and it wasn't unusual for them to cry out for their mothers. My husband can tell you about arms being shot off and about the soldier next to him getting shot in the head and his brain matter splattered all over my husband. He can tell you story after story of horrific things that he experienced in only 13 months time. He was injured about 30 days before he was to be sent home. His helicopter was hit with an RPG. My husband and the pilot survived. Everyone else was killed.

Like Vietnam, the Iraq war is senseless. It's only purpose is to make rich men richer. But, whatever you believe, the reality of war is very different from the idealistic notions of a young man who has no idea of the horrors that await him.

If I were his mother, I would do everything in my power and more, to keep him from going to war.
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Old 02-14-2008, 07:21 AM   #57
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My husband used to surf with four young men who, if I am remembering correctly, were National Guard reservists. They were sent to Iraq and survived and were not supposed to have to go back, however they were sent again. Three of the four were killed last year and the fourth was wounded. My husband saw him the other day and didn't recognize him. He lives in his car. He can't surf anymore. His injuries left one of his legs so messed up he can barely walk. The worst part, however, is that he's now mentally completely gone. He's so messed up that he doesn't have the presence of mind to know how to get help. This young man is in very bad shape and I doubt that he will ever be OK again.

My husband is an ex marine, combat veteran. He lives with a lot of pain every day as a result of his injuries from Vietnam. He gets zero from the VA. They like to lose records, so they don't have to pay anything. My husband saved a lot of lives and earned a bronze star and a silver star and a purple heart. He lost a lot of friends and still has nightmares sometimes after all these years. He would do whatever it takes to keep his son from going to Iraq. It's not like in the John Wayne movies. There is nothing glorious about war.

Your son wants to go to Iraq, but I don't think he knows what the reality of war is like. My husband can tell you about stomach wounds with intestines spilling out and that no amount of morphine can help with and dying men asking for their mothers. He witnessed many young men dying and it wasn't unusual for them to cry out for their mothers. My husband can tell you about arms being shot off and about the soldier next to him getting shot in the head and his brain matter splattered all over my husband. He can tell you story after story of horrific things that he experienced in only 13 months time. He was injured about 30 days before he was to be sent home. His helicopter was hit with an RPG. My husband and the pilot survived. Everyone else was killed.

Like Vietnam, the Iraq war is senseless. It's only purpose is to make rich men richer. But, whatever you believe, the reality of war is very different from the idealistic notions of a young man who has no idea of the horrors that await him.

If I were his mother, I would do everything in my power and more, to keep him from going to war.
You might be made a freak a nut case by posting what you just did.

Not a chance in the world would I have any of our fantastic young people JOIN the military today UNTIL we leave Iraq. The country has not had to make any sacrifice for this war as a whole. Only a small minority of young men and women who joined are being sacrificed in the name of a war on terror which is so disgusting when bin laden and alzwahiri are still living. Who is recieving the huge funds for the upkeep in Iraq? Halliburton! Remember?? No other companies got to bid on most any contract to rebuild things like water sewer roads etc. Then there is the OIL angle. We are there because we have not the guts to admit that well over 1/2 the oil on the planet is under lands in the middle east and well we need a police station there, since we LEFT saudi arabia after 9/11. Yes we left saudi arabia one of bin ladens demands after 9/11. Yes I had stayed away from this thread until this last post.

Sorry but if the war on terror is so important then every young man and women who turn 18 should have to put on a uniform and fight. But alas, it really is not about Iraqi Freedoms, or terror its about big corporations a military state that still sells billions of dollars of weapons to countries and a continuation of american suburban sprawal and happy motoring by SUV and Nascar weekends in america.

How about health care for all americans, new railroads, vehicles that get 75 mpg, new nuke plants, rebuild our schools roads and bridges and build the strongest military that can defend what really is important. Americans. Let the Chinese deal with Asia, you still want to eat their exports?? Heck Trader Joes is not going to sell any food from China starting in April! Let other countries in Europe take care of their part of the world. Let it be known that we will intervene when and only when it is really an issue. Iraq is not and never was our problem. But as Colon Powell said you break it you bought it. The dude was right even if he screwed things up in that UN speech.

So I would find a way to have your son do something else until the Iraqi adventure is over.
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Old 02-14-2008, 07:36 AM   #58
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I am happy there are kids like Arc's son, Nord's nephew, and bunch of young men and woman who I play poker with.

I am curious for those you who support a strong military and oppose virtually every war. If we are going to have an isolationist/non-interventionist foreign policy why do we need to spend a huge amount on on our Armed forces?

I count 10 shooting wars since WWII (defined as 1 week or more of combat action by US forces) Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, 1st Gulf War, Somalia, Desert Fox, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq. In addition at least a couple of dozen time US forces were placed in harms way as a stabilizing forces (e.g. Lebannon (twice), Bosnia, Haiti) and many others.

Did you support any of these wars at the beginning? in retrospect?
Then have a draft, make it so everyone has an interest in defending america. But the Iraq trip was never about defending america, and it was not about defending america back in gulf war I either. Korea? Heck the Chinese chased my father all over the country when they decided to enter the war BUT he was DRAFTED. He did what he was ordered to do and proudly, and when I came of age during Vietnam I did not agree with the war BUT I had a draft card and a lottery number of 288 and followed the rules. If I would be drafted I would go period, but again I followed the rules, draft card and lottery number 288. I never burned my draft card. I still have it.
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:25 PM   #59
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You might be made a freak a nut case by posting what you just did.

Not a chance in the world would I have any of our fantastic young people JOIN the military today UNTIL we leave Iraq. The country has not had to make any sacrifice for this war as a whole. Only a small minority of young men and women who joined are being sacrificed in the name of a war on terror which is so disgusting when bin laden and alzwahiri are still living. Who is recieving the huge funds for the upkeep in Iraq? Halliburton! Remember?? No other companies got to bid on most any contract to rebuild things like water sewer roads etc. Then there is the OIL angle. We are there because we have not the guts to admit that well over 1/2 the oil on the planet is under lands in the middle east and well we need a police station there, since we LEFT saudi arabia after 9/11. Yes we left saudi arabia one of bin ladens demands after 9/11. Yes I had stayed away from this thread until this last post.

Sorry but if the war on terror is so important then every young man and women who turn 18 should have to put on a uniform and fight. But alas, it really is not about Iraqi Freedoms, or terror its about big corporations a military state that still sells billions of dollars of weapons to countries and a continuation of american suburban sprawal and happy motoring by SUV and Nascar weekends in america.

How about health care for all americans, new railroads, vehicles that get 75 mpg, new nuke plants, rebuild our schools roads and bridges and build the strongest military that can defend what really is important. Americans. Let the Chinese deal with Asia, you still want to eat their exports?? Heck Trader Joes is not going to sell any food from China starting in April! Let other countries in Europe take care of their part of the world. Let it be known that we will intervene when and only when it is really an issue. Iraq is not and never was our problem. But as Colon Powell said you break it you bought it. The dude was right even if he screwed things up in that UN speech.

So I would find a way to have your son do something else until the Iraqi adventure is over.
Not sure what you mean by: "You might be made a freak a nut case by posting what you just did."

My intention was to illustrate the reality of war. Too many naieve, young men dream of some kind of macho, John Wayne-type of adventure. The reality is so very ugly, shocking, and tragic. If sharing some real-life experiences in graphic detail can help wake-up anyone, or their parents, and help them avoid going to war, then I think it's worth posting these ugly, graphic details. Frankly, the reality is much worse than I can possibly explain. My knowledge is second hand, after all, and it is my husband who lives with the nightmares, not me.
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Old 02-15-2008, 12:04 AM   #60
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You might be made a freak a nut case by posting what you just did.

Not a chance in the world would I have any of our fantastic young people JOIN the military today UNTIL we leave Iraq. The country has not had to make any sacrifice for this war as a whole. Only a small minority of young men and women who joined are being sacrificed in the name of a war on terror which is so disgusting when bin laden and alzwahiri are still living. Who is recieving the huge funds for the upkeep in Iraq? Halliburton! Remember?? No other companies got to bid on most any contract to rebuild things like water sewer roads etc. Then there is the OIL angle. We are there because we have not the guts to admit that well over 1/2 the oil on the planet is under lands in the middle east and well we need a police station there, since we LEFT saudi arabia after 9/11. Yes we left saudi arabia one of bin ladens demands after 9/11. Yes I had stayed away from this thread until this last post.

Sorry but if the war on terror is so important then every young man and women who turn 18 should have to put on a uniform and fight. But alas, it really is not about Iraqi Freedoms, or terror its about big corporations a military state that still sells billions of dollars of weapons to countries and a continuation of american suburban sprawal and happy motoring by SUV and Nascar weekends in america.

How about health care for all americans, new railroads, vehicles that get 75 mpg, new nuke plants, rebuild our schools roads and bridges and build the strongest military that can defend what really is important. Americans. Let the Chinese deal with Asia, you still want to eat their exports?? Heck Trader Joes is not going to sell any food from China starting in April! Let other countries in Europe take care of their part of the world. Let it be known that we will intervene when and only when it is really an issue. Iraq is not and never was our problem. But as Colon Powell said you break it you bought it. The dude was right even if he screwed things up in that UN speech.

So I would find a way to have your son do something else until the Iraqi adventure is over.
newguy888 and zoey, I wish that I could have articulated my post as well as you two did. You both said it all. Bush and Cheney are responsible for squandering thousands of lives and billions of dollars in this Iraq madness. But they'll likely never be held accountable.
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