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Re: Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check
Old 04-22-2006, 09:01 PM   #101
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Re: Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
The military is nothing but a pox on the world, plain and simple.
Shucks, I prefer the word "deterrent". *But if "pox" is somehow more scary, that works fine for me. *I can kill people & break things if I have to, but it's much better to achieve the same result by just jumping out from a dark alley and shouting "Boo!"

I spent 31 months sneaking around the North Atlantic practicing launching ICBMs at the USSR. *When Libya shot down an American pilot in 1986 our commanding officer went to battle stations missile for what we were told was a pre-emptive punitive launch at the Russian "advisors" behind the act. *At 2:30 AM, right up until we broke open the authenticators and realized that it was an exercise, I was ready to launch 16 missiles on two different countries RIGHT NOW DAMMIT so that I could get back to bed for a couple hours' sleep before I took the morning watch. *I was mostly ticked off that the Russians & Libyans didn't seem to understand the meaning of the words "mutual assured destruction".

I spent another 32 months sneaking around off the coasts of Vladivostok & Petropavlovsk, and a few other allegedly "international" bodies of water, making sure that we had good fire control solutions entered into our torpedo computers on the "targets" we were following around. *When we found one (and we eventually found them all) we'd practice that trail 24/7 for weeks, ready to take them out before they had their necessary 10 minutes to spin up & launch. *I was just a mediocre member of that crowd of hired killers-- read all about it in "Blind Man's Bluff". *I prefer the analogy of a knife fight in a phone booth but it's the same result from a spectator's perspective.

Having said that, I think we all owe Brewer our respect for his frank, up front, and repeated statements that he's a conscientious objector. *Guys like him kept the U.S. govt from screwing up the war in Vietnam even more than Kennedy & LBJ already had. *Cronkite couldn't have changed LBJ's mind without COs. *Guys like Brewer exist for the express purpose of keeping guys like me from slipping our leashes and terrorizing the neighborhood. *We're just hanging out in the boxes labeled "Break Glass In Case Of Danger". *Brewer's one of the guys who has to decide when to break the glass. *Frankly I don't know who's more dangerous-- frustated autocratic imperialistic retired Navy Reservists like Rumsfeld with a grudge left over from the Mayaguez incident, or head-bobbing military wannabe crowd-followers like Bush. *But without the spectre of guys like Brewer intimidating Karl Rove and the rest of the "national command" authorities, the Pax Americana campaign would already be parading down the streets of Tehran.

I think you veterans & military retirees could stand to lighten up. *You swore an oath to protect the constitution, and guys like Brewer take their oaths just as seriously as we do. *You may not agree with his politics or his morals but he's protecting the same way of life that we are. *Frankly I think he has the harder job because he has much more to be scared of than we do and he's not allowing himself to shoot back. *If we get that "serve at the pleasure of the President" call then all I have to do is go ride the conn again or stand watch in a command center. *COs like Brewer have to go empty our bedpans when we land in the VA hospitals and smile at us to keep our morale up.

For those of you who swear that you'd be right in there with us if it wasn't for the doctors or the family situation or whatever's "keeping" you from serving, don't let it be an excuse. *Brewer didn't use that line of reasoning to avoid stating his convictions and being ready to stand on them just as virtuously as we trained mercenaries do. *I know a tiny Hawaiian woman who worked at our local military exchange, with a loving husband and two beautiful smart daughters, who's agreed to work at the Green Zone exchange for a year. *Sure, she's getting paid a good bit of money to do so, but she didn't have to. *She'd make a ton more money shuffling papers in a Halliburton office in the same compound. *Nobody asked her to volunteer. *She actually had to go on a waiting list of dozens of other exchange/commissary volunteers. *She's no steely-eyed killer of the deep but in her own way she's taking care of "her soldiers". *You can too, so don't tell us that you'd "like to be there" unless you're willing to find a way to do so. *You're only being held back by your self-imposed limits.

One final shot from Brewer's side of the lines. *A recent USNA alumnus, who I'm told was actually a brigade commander (student in charge of the entire student body) was dismissed as a junior officer after successfully completing the process of being declared a conscientious objector. *(Those of you with military law training know how difficult this process can be and how it can lead straight to Leavenworth if not properly, honestly, and quickly completed.) *One of his old USNA professors asked him how he went from being the brigade's top military guy to CO in less than five years. *He said it was because while he was training at USNA and later in his warfare community's pipeline, all he had time to do was to learn his job. *He never had time to think about what he was doing or why, just about how to get it done as quickly and as lethally as possible. *Once he got on the job and had time to think about the consequences of his actions, he was horrified to discover what he'd become. *He then had the courage to act on those convictions, knowing full well what sh!tstorm would ensue. *

Brewer has shown the same courage of his convictions. *I think it's unfair for a bunch of guys like us, who "just have to follow orders" without thinking too hard about it, to object to the example set by guys like him.
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Re: Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check
Old 04-22-2006, 09:15 PM   #102
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Re: Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check

Nords, I'm always amazed at what some people will say just to keep getting good stock tips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
COs like Brewer have to go empty our bedpans when we land in the VA hospitals and smile at us to keep our morale up.
While I don't agree with Brewer I do agree he has a right to his opinion and respect him for having the courage to speak out on his convictions. He can empty my bedpan anytime.
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Re: Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check
Old 04-22-2006, 09:55 PM   #103
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Re: Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
Nords, I'm always amazed at what some people will say just to keep getting good stock tips.

While I don't agree with Brewer I do agree he has a right to his opinion and respect him for having the courage to speak out on his convictions.* He can empty my bedpan anytime.



Yep. Mr. Brewer states he's a CO Objector. (A moot point on a number of fronts. He's past draft age, and there's no draft).

Nords, a retired military officer, is impressed with how much courage Mr. Brewer has to admit that.

The entertainment value available on this board (especially considering the cost) is downright hard to beat.






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Re: Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check
Old 04-22-2006, 10:23 PM   #104
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Re: Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check

ASIDE

A few years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and break-up of the Soviet Union, my husband hired a Russian emigre' programmer at a small company developing a video editing system. One day they had lunch together and began talking about their backgrounds. It turned out that while DH was working in the US military-industrial copmplex (upgrading B52 avionics software for penetration of Soviet airspace), his new hire was working on upgrading software for Russian missile defense. Two old, cold, high-tech warriors meeting after the war was over, as it were. They had a good laugh.
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Re: Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check
Old 04-22-2006, 10:25 PM   #105
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Re: Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check

I'm not quite sure what "lightening up" on Brewer means. The discussion should, of course, stay civil, and every participant here deserves to be respected. That's not to say that every idea put forward is a good one, and I think Brewer would be among the first to say that unsupportable ideas and illogical conclusions should be challenged. So, it should not be a surprise when people challenge statements like "the military is nothing but a pox on the world." This is one example (Brewer supplies them by the handful) of a statement that deserves to be challenged.

Of course "the military" (whatever that means) is not a pox on the world. I would argue (and I hope Brewer would agree) that some governments and societal structures are more just and "better" than others. If a military force serves to defend the more just/better society from the aggression of less just societies, then it is serving an honorable purpose and is a good thing, not a "pox." A military force that is used to extend the dominion of an unjust government or societal structure is not a social good.

Nobody familiar with the stories of many "real" COs who served honorably could question the patriotism of those individuals. Some have given their own lives, some have earned high military honors for their service.

We would all love to live in a world where military force was no longer needed, where societies were free of the need to spend their treasure and talents on arms. Where young people didn't spend their best years away from their loved ones. In the real world, the truth is that most of the big questions have been settled by war or threat of war. It's not logical and no thinking person would design a system like this--but we all know it is true. As some have written, parents who teach their children that "fighting never solved anything" are telling a giant lie. Seen any Carthaginians lately? Fighting solved the "Carthaginian problem" for the Greeks. Societies who beat their swords into plowshares will do the plowing for those who do not.

Rant off.

This is a great place!

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Re: Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check
Old 04-23-2006, 01:43 AM   #106
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Re: Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check

Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem
Of course "the military" (whatever that means) is not a pox on the world.*
I believe Carl von Clausewitz said "War is a continuation of politics." So without the capability of waging war, you are really not a political player. Especially if like the US you owe money to practically the whole world.

Remember Neville Chamberlain and the Munich Agreement with Hitler in 1938? The British reasonably enough wanted to avoid war, but in that case it really couldn't be done, and they wasted precious time and preparations by believing in fairly tales. It took Winston Churchill, a veteran of the Boer War, to realize what had to be done and set about doing it.

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Old 04-23-2006, 02:30 AM   #107
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Re: Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords

Having said that, I think we all owe Brewer our respect for his frank, up front, and repeated statements that he's a conscientious objector. Guys like him kept the U.S. govt from screwing up the war in Vietnam even more than Kennedy & LBJ already had.
Nords, please, run for President. There just isn't enough people who can see things outside their own perspective. Things are so polarized right now that middle ground is almost extinct. I can't wait for that to change.
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Re: Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check
Old 04-23-2006, 02:37 AM   #108
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Re: Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check

Quote:
Originally Posted by Non sequitur

Maybe the people responsible for controlling the greatest and most powerful nation on the planet should try to determine why the "terrorists" and some other more well recognized and organized groups object so strongly to the behavior of these United States.* Maybe the most constructive "action" wil be to modify the objectionable behavior.
So, you're saying we should "modify" our behavior to please the Terrorists and the countries who support them? You can't be serious....are you?
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Re: Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check
Old 04-23-2006, 07:34 AM   #109
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Re: Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check

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Originally Posted by gtmeouttahere
So, you're saying we should "modify" our behavior to please the Terrorists and the countries who support them? You can't be serious....are you?*

I didn't say that and I'm not saying that.
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Re: Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check
Old 04-23-2006, 07:57 AM   #110
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Re: Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check

nonsequitur,
I took the same message away from your post as gtmeoutahere--but i don't think you should back away from it. The US should constantly be evaluating the positions/actions we take to assure we're on the right track. Just because violent extremist wackos urge us to do something doesn't mean it's the wrong course for us. But, if we make a policy change that is perceived as having been an effort to appease terroists and radicals, then we can expect more terrorism.

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Re: Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check
Old 04-23-2006, 08:15 AM   #111
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Re: Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check

Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem
nonsequitur,
* I took the same message away from your post as gtmeoutahere--but i don't think you should back away from it.* The US should constantly be evaluating the positions/actions we take to assure we're on the right track. Just because violent extremist wackos urge us to do something doesn't mean it's the wrong course for us.* But, if we make a policy change that is perceived as having been an effort to appease terroists and radicals, then we can expect more terrorism.


I didn't say the terrorists should be pleased and I'm still not saying that.
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Re: Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check
Old 04-23-2006, 08:59 AM   #112
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Re: Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check

Quote:
Originally Posted by gtmeouttahere
I see your point and I don't necessarily disagree. I think we sit somewhat on the same side. I just worry that if we don't take SOME kind of action soon, it may be too late. Just not sure I want to take that chance. We've been fooled before into thinking all was well.
All right, sounds like we know where we differ. Time for a beer?

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Old 04-23-2006, 09:11 AM   #113
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Re: Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
I think you veterans & military retirees could stand to lighten up........Brewer has shown the same courage of his convictions. *I think it's unfair for a bunch of guys like us, who "just have to follow orders" without thinking too hard about it, to object to the example set by guys like him.
With all respect to you Nords, I do wonder what "lighten up" means in this context.* Brewer stands up and says what he thinks, sometimes uses inflammatory terms to be sure he has your attention and, I think, expects significant rebuttal.* Silence or inattention might very well be showing him less respect than standing right up and shouting back.* You're not suggesting that Brewer's remarks just be "blown off" or ignored are you?

As Laurence said, our country is polarized to a fault these days. *Issues blend together inappropriately. *Discussions become personal, emotional and mean-spirited. *It's quite disconcerting. * *If it wasn't for the fact that I lived through the upheavals of the 60's and the very questionable foreign policy and war of that period, it would be easy to assume we're doomed.........weakened and vulnerable due to our self-destructive infighting.

So....well......errrr...... *How do we appropriately "lighten up?"



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Old 04-23-2006, 09:20 AM   #114
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Re: Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
Nords, please, run for President...
I'm in total support of Nords....not for President, for his quote below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Hey, there's a good reason that only one nuclear submariner has ever been elected president... or ever will be!
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Re: Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check
Old 04-23-2006, 09:25 AM   #115
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Re: Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check

Should be "light up"... :P

To proclaim that there are terrorists only because of US foreign policy is about as ludicrous as proclaiming that US foreign policy is always good...
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Re: Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check
Old 04-23-2006, 09:54 AM   #116
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Re: Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
* Things are so polarized right now that middle ground is almost extinct.* I can't wait for that to change.


Laurence: *You think we're polorized now?

You would have loved the 60's and 70's, when we had:

Race riots on a regular basis.

Assasinations: *JFK, RFK, MLK, attempts at George Wallace, Gerald Ford.

Vietnam, complete with draft requirements.

Bank Burnings, etc. etc. by the anti-Vietnam contingent.

On the financial front: *Much higher tax rates, and no 401K or IRA's to shelter income.

Gas rationing. (That was fun).

Hyperinflation, and a bond and stock market that was in the dumper.

If there would have been an internet at the time, a board like this one would have had a few folks with inherited wealth show up, but that's about it.

Be careful what you wish for.

But, Lawrence, there is a Santa Claus, and he showed up in the early 80's.

I could go on, but starting to get flash-backs, and I have a 9:00 Tee Time.

P.S. *My adult children also get their "Jaws tight" when I tell them how good things have been by comparison.
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Re: Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check
Old 04-23-2006, 10:00 AM   #117
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Heh heh heh heh heh heh - I'm with Jarhead.

If you are retired and above ground - it's another great day in ER - NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS!

P.S. - and I'm a pesimist and worry a lot - but don't take myself as serious anymore.
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Old 04-23-2006, 10:12 AM   #118
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Wasn't going to enter this fray, but there have been some wonderfully wise and diplomatic statements in the last couple pages ... and the topic is the most critical of our time.

Quote:
The military is nothing but a pox on the world, plain and simple.
This statement troubled me as well. *It is at the core of my problem with pacifists. *It takes a dearth of historical perspective, and unrealistic optimism to feel as they do, IMHO.

There are differences in quality between societies. *The U.S. has made plenty of mistakes, and we've killed a lot of innocent people, no question. *But I believe we've done much, much more good than bad, and we've helped lead the world towards better lives for humanity.

Sadly, I expect most of us will live to see additional uses of nuclear bombs. *Iran may prompt their use, by a first strike against Israel. *Or, perhaps we will wake someday to find that LA or NYC have been struck by a nuclear weapon or dirty bomb. *I pray our own country never takes that first step again.* And, we can expect homicide bombers here as well.

I'm sure when this happens, the pacifists will tell us it is our own fault ... they will be a distinct minority. *I'm also sure that most of us who had concerns about our peaceful Muslim friends (and there are many) would sadly agree the radical Islamists / Islamofasciasts have to go. *We'll only rid the world of them as CFB says ... give them their wish, and send them to Allah.* The Patriot Act will become more oppressive, as we strive for survival.

The only real solution I see is for peaceful, wise, true believers of Islam to take the lead in their nations. *Otherwise, we're just playing out the middle acts before the inevitable. *Radical Islamists are barbarians, IMHO, and one cannot negotiate with barbarians.

How's that for optimism? *
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Old 04-23-2006, 10:24 AM   #119
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Jarhead and Unclemick2.......

Thanks for the reminders to keep things in perspective!* Yeah, the 60's and 70's were fun times.* **

Speaking of flashbacks........ *your post caused me to remember DW (then girlfriend) and I heading down to Grant Park during the Democratic National Convention dressed in our Bob Dylan wannabee outfits that were the rage at the time. *We took one look at the jeeps with rolls of barbed wire mounted on their front bumpers and headed back home! *But it was quite a scene and I'm glad I saw it.

I guess a few "word fueds" here on the board aren't such a big deal after all.

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Old 04-23-2006, 12:51 PM   #120
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Re: Fan lined up?check.Excrement ready to hit? check

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet
With all respect to you Nords, I do wonder what "lighten up" means in this context.* Brewer stands up and says what he thinks, sometimes uses inflammatory terms to be sure he has your attention and, I think, expects significant rebuttal.* Silence or inattention might very well be showing him less respect than standing right up and shouting back.* You're not suggesting that Brewer's remarks just be "blown off" or ignored are you?
Challenging a statement on its merits is one thing.* Calling institutions bad names is distracting & irrelevant but not injurious.* Personal attacks and calling each other names is not only distracting, irrelevant, & injurious but is also a good way for the name-caller to admit that they don't have anything better to contribute.* I've indulged in more than my share of name-calling of public figures but I do try to avoid doing it to other posters on this board.* Poster behavior is another thing, but not the posters themselves.

I was surprised at the negative reaction.* Frankly, calling the military a pox doesn't seem to be out of line with its mission and the way it does its business!* I feel pretty much the same way about Congress and the civilian chain of command, too, but giving them public office is a cheaper way to keep an eye on them than incarceration.

Statements like Brewer's can't be belittled or even ignored.* I tend to take an approach on this issue out of Heinlein's "Star Troopers".* If you're a veteran then you have to be especially tolerant of free-speech situations.* Someone who deliberately commits to a CO stance is more than entitled to that free speech.* Someone who evaded or never sought military service, yet stops short of the commitment to a CO stance, is IMO lacking credibility and entitlement to engage in this debate.* (Admittedly this is a somewhat extreme stance.)* However they're still protected by free speech and I respect that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
Nords, please, run for President.
Eh, include me out.* Every time my spouse and I have contemplated a hedonistic decision, we've debated its apparent merits versus the possible damage to our leadership credibility or our reputations.* Eventually one of us would ask the other "Are you wearing your uniform right now?* Are you planning to run for public office someday?"* A few buttons later the answer was always "Heck, no!" and we'd go ahead.*

Considering our liberty-decision record, I don't want to have guys like Hack Hackworth researching my service record or my old tax returns.* I certainly don't want to read headlines of my shipmate's old liberty stories, especially not if they still have the evidence to prove that they're true.* And George Bush's ANG drilling controversy has made all Reservists, especially my spouse, extremely diligent in their records maintenance.* We do good work but we don't want to have to pay the price of submitting to that public scrutiny.

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
I'm in total support of Nords....not for President, for his quote below.
If we've learned nothing else from Jimmy Carter, it's that you don't want a nuclear-trained detail-oriented nitpicker in the Oval Office.* Besides the Potomac's surfing really sucks.*

But, hey, couldn't we put a Flowrider somewhere in the White House?

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