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Old 12-09-2007, 04:07 PM   #61
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Not to throw hot water on the fighting dogs, but.......

I do respect that Gumby. And my own observation of your posts is that you do put your own moral/philosophical outlook on a subject ahead of loyalty to one set of politicians. I respect that. It's unusual. I try to do the same, but catch myself failing sometimes.

Now, back to the feud.
Thanks. As an aside, I did write to President Clinton in 1994, urging him not to send troops to Haiti. He ignored me too.
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Old 12-09-2007, 04:25 PM   #62
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Jane Fonda and others that used the same line you use i.e. "we are the patriots" gave the north the needed encouragement to continue.
Jane, IMO, went a little too far. She actually, IMO, aided the enemy directly and I've always had a lot of trouble feeling comfortable with that.

However, in some of those exercise videos she did........ well...... nice butt, very nice!
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Old 12-09-2007, 04:35 PM   #63
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I think Jane went a lot too far. I was particularly angry when she said the US POW's in Hanoi were never tortured and then called them liars when they returned home at the end of the war and told the world what had happened. Objecting to the US government's policies is one thing, mistreating US troops is quite another.
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Old 12-09-2007, 04:53 PM   #64
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Remember that essentially all jurisdictions in the new world which had the agricultural conditions to support a plantation economy employed slaves. Remember also that all these countries and colonies save the US freed the slaves without armed conflict about the same time that the Union aggressed on the South and fought the War Between The States.

So economic and political changes already were afoot to accomplish the freeing of the slaves; bloodlessly and perhaps with far fewer long term negative consequences.

This is somewhat tangential to my main points. You are right that almost all new world countries employed slavery and it pretty much ended everywhere (although persisted in Brazil until 1883 according Wiki) around the same time. However, I disagree that slavery elsewhere disappear without violence.

The 19th Century "World Police" was Great Britain, and their police force (AKA the Royal Navy) fought a 60 year battle against the slave trade. At times upwards of 25% of the British Navy was deployed patrolling off the coast of Africa primarily but also on New World slave port destinations.
They seized 1600 ships freed 150K+ slaves, and routinely invaded African countries that had slave markets and even desposed kings. Britain did this pretty much single handed and unilaterally, in doing so they pissed off most European countries and America, wealthy ship owners, and British insurers.
There was really no economic reason for Britain to wage this fight, but there was strong moral outrage among the British people (probably fueled by guilt over England's long history of being slave traders).

As in most criminal activities, having cops doesn't wipe out an activity but it does drive up prices. As the price of slaves continued to rise they become less competitive with mechanical agriculture.
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Old 12-09-2007, 06:18 PM   #65
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This is somewhat tangential to my main points. You are right that almost all new world countries employed slavery and it pretty much ended everywhere (although persisted in Brazil until 1883 according Wiki) around the same time. However, I disagree that slavery elsewhere disappear without violence.
I can see that you are not a man who likes to lose an argument, so I will just re-iterate my main point. Realpolitik suggests that we could have had a much less costly road to freeing the slaves. Your point about the British navy is true, but erroneous as to your interpretation. Mechaized agriculture was enroute to displace slaves; whatever the British navy did or didn't do was essentially marginal grandstanding. Perhaps even more germaine to my main point is that whatever the British did could not have levied anything like the cost on our country that The War Between The States did.

Remember, the War Between the States cost more lives than any other US war, and on a percentage of population basis it absolutely dwarfs any other US war. "The war, the deadliest in American history, caused 620,000 soldier deaths and an undetermined number of civilian casualties." Were any of your ancestors here to suffer in this travesty?

And you failed to name any country in this hemisphere which has worse ongoing race-based strife than the US.

Ha
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Old 12-09-2007, 06:53 PM   #66
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I can see that you are not a man who likes to lose an argument, so I will just re-iterate my main point. Realpolitik suggests that we could have had a much less costly road to freeing the slaves. Your point about the British navy is true, but erroneous as to your interpretation. Mechaized agriculture was enroute to displace slaves; whatever the British navy did or didn't do was essentially marginal grandstanding. Perhaps even more germaine to my main point is that whatever the British did could not have levied anything like the cost on our country that The War Between The States did.

Remember, the War Between the States cost more lives than any other US war, and on a percentage of population basis it absolutely dwarfs any other US war. "The war, the deadliest in American history, caused 620,000 soldier deaths and an undetermined number of civilian casualties." Were any of your ancestors here to suffer in this travesty?

And you failed to name any country in this hemisphere which has worse ongoing race-based strife than the US.

Ha
Hey HA the wifes great great grandfather walked home back to Macon GA from someplace way north when the war ended.
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Old 12-09-2007, 08:04 PM   #67
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Hey HA the wifes great great grandfather walked home back to Macon GA from someplace way north when the war ended.
5 of my relatives fought in the Civil War, 3 for the Confederacy, and two for the Union. 2 were killed. and one was crippled, and the other two managed to survive the war.
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Old 12-09-2007, 08:24 PM   #68
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There was loud and clear dissent prior to the start of the war; I witnessed firsthand the massive protests in the streets of New York, and I know there were others throughout the country. But "The Decider" ignored them and Congress sold out for perceived political gain. (One of the reasons I would find it very difficult to vote for Hillary Clinton is her vote on the war.)

As to whether dissent should continue -- a mature, robust democracy ought to be able to tolerate dissent, even during war. It is usually your more authoritarian regimes that stifle the voices of the people. But I respect your opinion and will simply agree to disagree on that point.
Gumby you are correct in your statement that there was dissent prior to the start of the Iraq War. I too witnessed the massive protests in the streets of New York, and the peaceful demonstrations for peace in front of some of our military facilities. Senator Obama as a state representative and Congressman Dennis Kucinich are just a few of the people who openly opposed the invasion of Iraq and they have remained steadfast in their statements.

Lot's of times the advocators of war see those who dissent and the advocators for peace as traitors, cut and run, as not supporting the troops, as the dissent empowering the enemy, cowards, etc..., etc... But when someone states "Your right to protest gets GI's killed!" that statement is a little exteme. It is not the disesenters or the advocates for peace that have put our troops in harm's way (it was the DECIDER) and they are not the one's that shoot and kill our troops. It is not the dissenters and the advocates for peace that keep our troops in harm's way in Iraq - it is the DECIDER.

If it was not for the demonstrations in our country, I am sure that the Vietnam War would have lasted quite a few more years and the number of our men and women killed, wounded and maimed would have been a lot greater. We were fighting communism in Vietnam and now we are a trade partner and on friendly terms with that communist country which we were enemies with. One has to wonder if all the dead and destruction were worth it?

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Old 12-09-2007, 11:28 PM   #69
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Somehow we keep drifting off subject: Jane's lovely butt. Please, let's try to get back on topic!

Thank you.
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Old 12-10-2007, 12:59 AM   #70
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This would be the Jane we should just let go and purge from our minds. In that outfit, it is really hard to appreciate her butt. The new, commercialized, multi-zillion dollar Jane (see above post) is where it's at today!
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Old 12-10-2007, 02:05 AM   #71
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I can see that you are not a man who likes to lose an argument, so I will just re-iterate my main point. Realpolitik suggests that we could have had a much less costly road to freeing the slaves. Your point about the British navy is true, but erroneous as to your interpretation. Mechaized agriculture was enroute to displace slaves; whatever the British navy did or didn't do was essentially marginal grandstanding. Perhaps even more germaine to my main point is that whatever the British did could not have levied anything like the cost on our country that The War Between The States did.

Remember, the War Between the States cost more lives than any other US war, and on a percentage of population basis it absolutely dwarfs any other US war. "The war, the deadliest in American history, caused 620,000 soldier deaths and an undetermined number of civilian casualties." Were any of your ancestors here to suffer in this travesty?

And you failed to name any country in this hemisphere which has worse ongoing race-based strife than the US.

Ha
Honestly Ha Ha, I am not even sure you are arguing with me about, since I was arguing with Gumby.

I completely agree that Civil war was the worse war in American history and the loses dwarf anything else. If you say that race relations in the rest of Latin American are better than the US, I don't know enough to dispute you. Although, I do know up recently it has a been a very violent area, if you say race or ethnicity is not factor I'll take your word on it.

I am not sure when slavery would have died out in the US absent both a civil war and the pressure by the British navy, it is interesting hypothesis.

Still let me get on to my larger point and then go back to debating Gumby.
Most US wars have a strong moral component to them. While freeing the slaves, wasn't the sole reason the Civil War was fought, I think you'll agree that if the Abolitionist in the North and moral opposition to slavery didn't exist the Civil War would not have been fought. Perhaps that is why there weren't slavery related civil wars in other countries in the Americas

Now if you want to argue that evils and misery of the civil war were worse than the evils and misery of slavery, feel free to make your case. I'm guessing that somebody who could trace their roots to a slave, might possibly disagree a tad. Personally, I think ending slavery was the morally right thing to do.
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Old 12-10-2007, 02:46 AM   #72
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Now if you want to argue that evils and misery of the civil war were worse than the evils and misery of slavery, feel free to make your case. I'm guessing that somebody who could trace their roots to a slave, might possibly disagree a tad. Personally, I think ending slavery was the morally right thing to do.
Not speaking for Ha.......

I strongly agree that ending slavery was the morally right thing to do. In fact, the only thing to do! But I don't think the question was whether to end it or not, but rather whether the 600K lives and unthinkable misery were well spent if slavery could/would have been ended shortly anyway.
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Old 12-10-2007, 03:27 AM   #73
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If you say that race relations in the rest of Latin American are better than the US, I don't know enough to dispute you. Although, I do know up recently it has a been a very violent area, if you say race or ethnicity is not factor I'll take your word on it.
It has been a violent area forever, and in South and Central America class and economic status is closely tied to ethnicity, but except in Brazil, a relatively stable country, and very small Guyana, Suriname, etc., the allegedly dispossed peoples were never slaves, they are the indigenes.

Looking at Brazil for example, one is struck by how much Afro European and Afro-Euro-Mestizo interracial marriage takes place, compared to North America. And also, the Brazilians themselves, including Afro-Brazilian spokespeople, do not for the most part assert that racism is an important part of social dfficulties in their country.

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Now if you want to argue that evils and misery of the civil war were worse than the evils and misery of slavery, feel free to make your case. I'm guessing that somebody who could trace their roots to a slave, might possibly disagree a tad. Personally, I think ending slavery was the morally right thing to do.
This is a straw man; you know perfectly well that I am not asserting that repugnant idea. For a summary of my argument, once again, please refer to YouBet's consise, easily understood statement just above.

Ha
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Old 12-10-2007, 03:41 AM   #74
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Clifp:

I see that you are a student of history. I have often wondered how things might have turned out if we did not impose an oil and steel embargo on the Japanese in 1941. I suspect that Japan may not have attacked Pearl Harbor, and isolationist sentiment was strong enough here that we may not have gone to war against Germany if they had not declared war on us on December 8th. As youbet suggests, we might well have ended up in a cold war with Germany and Japan (a cold war in which I would certainly have been a part, only with my sub's missiles aimed at Berlin and Tokyo instead of Moscow and Leningrad). One of the things I enjoy are "alternate histories" such as this.

But surely you don't mean to suggest that we started the Spanish-American War to relieve the suffering of the Filipinos, or that we fought Mussolini to succor the Ethiopians. And as a student of history, I'm certain you would never reduce the causes or motivations of the US Civil War to a simple "war to free the slaves".

As I said in my post to Ha Ha, I think a major factor in why the US goes to war is the public and more often our leaders believe that what "those folks over there are doing is wrong/evil. " Now we seldom go to war just because "a bad dictator is doing evil things." If that was the case, Darfur, and Burma would have different rulers. However, when you combine bad guys, with national security/economic interest/protecting American citizens... then we have a makings of the war. Often we are wrong, or exaggerate the pragmatic reasons to go to war. However, we are almost always correct on the moral reason. Losing 620,000+ peole to defend the prinicipal that states can't succeed from the union,seems ridiculous, to end slavery less so.

Similarly whatever the pragmatic reasons for fighting WWI,WW2, Korea, the Cold War, they resulted in ending Facism, Communist, and prevent South Korea from being ruled by the North Korean nutters. These are all very good things and IMO worth the cost.

Even our arguable most imperialist and most jingoist war the Spainish-American war had an strong element of moral undertones. It is pretty clear that simply having the Battleship Maine blow up (allegedly by the Spainish) wouldn't have been enough to start a war if the public wasn't outraged by the (exaggerated) reports of Spainish atrocities in Cuba and other colonies. It seems to me in spite of the nasty yellow journalism, imperialist in the US government, at the end of the day the people of Cuba and Phillipines wanted independence and ultimately got it. (I won't make this case too strongly cause it was IMO our least justified war)

Turning to Iraq. Tony Blairs speech before Congress justified the attack on Iraq this way.
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The risk is that terrorism and states developing weapons of mass destruction come together. And when people say that risk is fanciful, I say we know the Taliban supported al Qaeda; we know Iraq under Saddam gave haven to and supported terrorists; we know there are states in the Middle East now actively funding and helping people who regard it as God's will, in the act of suicide, to take as many innocent lives with them on their way to God's judgment. Some of these states are desperately trying to acquire nuclear weapons. We know that companies and people with expertise sell it to the highest bidder; and we know that at least one state, North Korea, lets its people starve while spending billions of dollars on developing nuclear weapons and exporting the technology abroad. This is not fantasy. It is 21st century reality, and it confronts us now.

Can we be sure that terrorism and weapons of mass destruction will join together? Let us say one thing. If we are wrong, we will have destroyed a threat that, at its least, is responsible for inhuman carnage and suffering. That is something I am confident history will forgive. But if our critics are wrong, if we are right, as I believe with every fiber of instinct and conviction I have that we are, and we do not act, then we will have hesitated in the face of this menace when we should have given leadership. That is something history will not forgive.
Let me concede that all of the pragmatic reasons for invading Iraq are exaggerated and for the sake of arguement lets just say flat out wrong.
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To be clear, I am not a pacifist. But I do believe that going to war is the single most momentous act that a nation can take. The toll is horrific and it is never a decision to be taken lightly. If and when our nation is in clear and present danger, you can count on me to stand shoulder to shoulder with you in our defense. Many years ago, I was prepared to give my life in defense of this country. Even more importantly, I was prepared to kill a lot of people in her defense. I am still prepared to do so. But I am not prepared to blindly accept the dictates of a government that appears unable to properly identify and pursue our national interest.
Would you agree that Saddam's regime was horrendous ?(I believe that when he went to the gallow he was responsible for more violent deaths than any man walking the face of the earth.)

If so would you be willing to sacrifice any American lives for freeing the Iraq people from Saddam and his son rule? Is 100 too many?

A second question. The Korean war cost 36,000+ American soldier lives, the war fighting and continuing the protection of South Korea for 54 years has cost, according to my calculation, the US roughly 1 trillion in todays dollar.

Obviously, we can't know for sure but I think the most likely scenario if we had stayed home is this. Kim Jung Il would be the ruler of South Korea, and it would be an economic basket case, and ghastly place to live. Russia would have still collapsed and China and Russia would be competitors but not outright enemies. Our national debt would be 1 trillion less and 36,000 soldier would not have died. Given my perfect crystal ball, if you were Harry Truman would you have still fought the Korean war?
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Old 12-10-2007, 03:54 AM   #75
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Not speaking for Ha.......

I strongly agree that ending slavery was the morally right thing to do. In fact, the only thing to do! But I don't think the question was whether to end it or not, but rather whether the 600K lives and unthinkable misery were well spent if slavery could/would have been ended shortly anyway.

I understand and it is an interesting point. If shortly is a year or two, I agree and I think even the most rabid abolisionist had he known how bad the war was going to be, would agree also. On the other hand if shortly is within a generation, which I think is more likely than you get far less clearly cut result and your answer would be dependent on your family's history.

My apologies to Ha Ha I meant to frame the question as Civil war and end slavery now vs End Slavery later but avoid the civil war.


(Nords if you daughter is still thinking about taking AP History, these questions were exactly why I loved my High School course.)
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Old 12-10-2007, 06:34 AM   #76
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Would you agree that Saddam's regime was horrendous ?(I believe that when he went to the gallow he was responsible for more violent deaths than any man walking the face of the earth.)

If so would you be willing to sacrifice any American lives for freeing the Iraq people from Saddam and his son rule? Is 100 too many?
No argument here that Saddam was an evil tyrant (although GWB must be closing in on him for sheer number of violent deaths caused). But now you have a war searching for a justification. It was sold to us as a war to defend the US against the weapons of mass destruction allegedly possessed by Saddam and as retribution for 9/11. Neither of the alleged predicates was true, and the evidence is fairly convincing that the Bush administration knew them not to be true prior to the start of the war. (And, frankly, even if Saddam had WMD's, the evidence was insufficient to show that he was threatening to use them on us or crazy enough to even think about it. We have far more WMD's than anyone else and have shown the propensity to use them. We could easily turn him and his country into a parking lot.).


If the war had been presented from the start as a crusade to free the suffering Iraqi's from Saddam's brutal excesses, I would have opposed it, and I'm certain that the vast majority of Americans would also have opposed it. As you note, we haven't gone to war with the generals of Myanmar or the incredibly corrupt and cruel government in the Sudan, or even the crazy Kim. Call me unfeeling, but my main concern is American lives. This is my country and these are my countrymen. I swore to defend this country and these people. I did not swear to be policeman for the world. So yes, the answer is that I would not spend any American lives just to remove Saddam from power (and I'm sure you will agree, we have done far more than that. If removing Saddam was our goal, it was accomplished 4 years ago.)


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A second question. The Korean war cost 36,000+ American soldier lives, the war fighting and continuing the protection of South Korea for 54 years has cost, according to my calculation, the US roughly 1 trillion in todays dollar.

Obviously, we can't know for sure but I think the most likely scenario if we had stayed home is this. Kim Jung Il would be the ruler of South Korea, and it would be an economic basket case, and ghastly place to live. Russia would have still collapsed and China and Russia would be competitors but not outright enemies. Our national debt would be 1 trillion less and 36,000 soldier would not have died. Given my perfect crystal ball, if you were Harry Truman would you have still fought the Korean war?
Probably not. Again, perhaps I am morally deficient, but I really don't care enough who is in charge in Korea to spend 36,000 American lives deciding the question.
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Old 12-10-2007, 09:01 AM   #77
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Old 12-10-2007, 09:14 AM   #78
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No argument here that Saddam was an evil tyrant (although GWB must be closing in on him for sheer number of violent deaths caused). But now you have a war searching for a justification. It was sold to us as a war to defend the US against the weapons of mass destruction allegedly possessed by Saddam and as retribution for 9/11. Neither of the alleged predicates was true, and the evidence is fairly convincing that the Bush administration knew them not to be true prior to the start of the war. (And, frankly, even if Saddam had WMD's, the evidence was insufficient to show that he was threatening to use them on us or crazy enough to even think about it. We have far more WMD's than anyone else and have shown the propensity to use them. We could easily turn him and his country into a parking lot.).
man, for an ex-military guy, you sure seem bitter......... I guess you were either forced into it, or had some horrible experiences while in the service........:confused:


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If the war had been presented from the start as a crusade to free the suffering Iraqi's from Saddam's brutal excesses, I would have opposed it, and I'm certain that the vast majority of Americans would also have opposed it. As you note, we haven't gone to war with the generals of Myanmar or the incredibly corrupt and cruel government in the Sudan, or even the crazy Kim. Call me unfeeling, but my main concern is American lives. This is my country and these are my countrymen. I swore to defend this country and these people. I did not swear to be policeman for the world. So yes, the answer is that I would not spend any American lives just to remove Saddam from power (and I'm sure you will agree, we have done far more than that. If removing Saddam was our goal, it was accomplished 4 years ago.)
The problem with your thinking is that the US has been the policeman for the world for a long time.

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Probably not. Again, perhaps I am morally deficient, but I really don't care enough who is in charge in Korea to spend 36,000 American lives deciding the question.
I posed this question to my dad, the Korean War vet. His response:

At the time, we thought we were helping the South Koreans....... What made a lot of us mad as NOT FINISHING the job, we became political pawns on the process............. They called it a "police action", we thought we were fighting a war........
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Old 12-10-2007, 03:19 PM   #79
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man, for an ex-military guy, you sure seem bitter......... I guess you were either forced into it, or had some horrible experiences while in the service........:confused:
Actually, I'm not bitter at all. I am very proud to have been in the military serving my country and I have nothing but respect for the young men and women who are serving today. I just want to ensure that the sacrifices they are asked to make are truly in our national interest. I find it incredibly sad to see the young faces of the dead soldiers and marines in the newspaper, while all around me the country carries on as if nothing is happening.


And now, a poem from Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology

Knowlt Hoheimer

I WAS the first fruits of the battle of Missionary Ridge.
When I felt the bullet enter my heart
I wished I had staid at home and gone to jail
For stealing the hogs of Curl Trenary,
Instead of running away and joining the army.
Rather a thousand times the country jail
Than to lie under this marble figure with wings,
And this granite pedestal
Bearing the words, ”Pro Patria.”
What do they mean, anyway?
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Old 12-10-2007, 03:33 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
Actually, I'm not bitter at all. I am very proud to have been in the military serving my country and I have nothing but respect for the young men and women who are serving today. I just want to ensure that the sacrifices they are asked to make are truly in our national interest. I find it incredibly sad to see the young faces of the dead soldiers and marines in the newspaper, while all around me the country carries on as if nothing is happening.
Were you not asked to make sacrifices that may NOT have been in the national interest? Not being a military man, I am just asking the question, why would you join the military if you think that the only war worth fighting was World War II......(maybe)?? :confused::confused::confused:

DW's best friend's husband just got back from 18 months in Iraq. He said he was proud of serving his country, and that we don't get to see what good we are doing because the media is more concerned with body counts than how many Iraqi children are going to school for the first time in their lives, among other things.

His unit provided security for the convoys rumbling in and out of Baghdad, and he said he had some hairy moments..............
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