This is why you should not allow rich old men to start wars in your name:
“Every single Marine I know goes to Iraq to help,” she said. “While I was there that is what I thought. That is why I volunteered. I thought I was going to help the Iraqis. I know better now. We did the dirty work. We were used by the government. The military knows that young, single men are dangerous. We breed it in Marines. We push the testosterone. We don’t want them to be educated. They are deprived of a lot and rewarded with very little. It keeps us at ground level. We cannot question anyone. We do what we are told.
. . .
“War is disgusting and horrific,” she said. “It never leaves the people who were involved in it. The damage is far greater than the lists of casualties or cost in dollars. It permeates lifestyles. It infects cultures and people and worldviews. The war is never over for us. The fighting stops. The troops get called back. But the war goes on for those damaged by war.”
This is why you should not rationalize going to war. It is not a rational act. It is not a human act. It is abomination, and those who promote it should be treated accordingly.
“should be treated accordingly” is a great phrase to segway into violence.
I think you meant “segue.”
p>Unless you meant this:
…or maybe more accurately, the lack thereof. If you are arguing that there is no such thing as justified use of our troops, whether for humanitarian or when absolutely necessary more forceful purposes, I can’t agree to that.
Read it again. War is uncivilized, and should be the absolutely last resort of civilized peoples. In our case, it is not, and has not been for a very long time.
p>As for “training,” read the article. Military training is intentionally dehumanizing. It has to be, given the nature of war.
War and the application of it by standing army’s is a fundamental part of all civilizations from the very beginning. How is that no civilized? Was Rome civilized? Because the warriors ethic was a large part of their civilization.
If a country behaved today as Rome did, it would be universally condemned. War is not a “fundamental part of all civilizations.” It is insanity on a national scale.
Reminds me of some history lessons from college. Strictly speaking, the dawn of civilization started with violence. Some people took up farming and became immobile and this became problematic when other more mobile ‘strong men’ used violence and intimidation to extort resources. This was the genesis of civilization – the creation of a system where one large class ends up supporting another – a ruling class. Later the ‘justification’ for class stratification transitions to religion and monarchy as extortion ‘transitions’ to taxes and tithing. The epic of Gilgamesh can be thought of as a culture’s attempt to come to terms with the contradiction of combining ‘barbarian bully on the fringes of society’ and ‘respected strong ruler’.
p>No real point here, just an interesting irony.
In the Peace Studies course I teach, I invited one year a young Iraq War veteran from Central Massachusetts who did the same work Jess Goodell did. He was also a Marine. He spoke about stand-offs with dogs over American soldiers’ limbs, what it was like to see yards of human intestines burst from an abdominal cavity like snakes from dozens of those gag gifts, those cans of fake nuts, and the PTSD he suffers from as a result. His eyes had been opened, too, to the manipulation and exploitation that Goodell describes. He got it, and after the kids heard what war is really like and saw what his experiences had done to him–as dignified and controlled as he was in his telling of his tale–they got it, too.
p>War is obscene under any and all circumstances, exploiting the worst of human urges, not the best. Armchair quarterbacks who sit in the comfort of their living rooms justifying the carnage and suffering war creates are as depraved as those who do the war mongering from on high.
p>Americans love this stuff. They eat up the military & Hollywood propaganda like pablum, all weepy at the “glory” of a spiffy uniform, a salute, and a steely-eyed gaze and a square jaw. Personally, I find the voyeuristic masturbation of these armchair quarterbacks as obscene as any of the depraved violence and atrocities committed by soldiers and civilians alike when they are placed at the extremity of human emotional endurance.
in my all-boys (yes, in a public school) English classes (I teach two) as an intro to some documentaries on war. It was well received, and two students expressed interest in reading her book. Ironically, one of the students is slated to enlist in the Marines upon his graduation in June.
What’s the cost to replace 150 cruise missiles @ $1M/ea? Fuel to power ships and aircraft and spare parts help to make a tidy profit. Blood is cheap.
p>We’ve seen it before and professed disgust when the Republicans were the war party. Now we, too, show our true selves as slaves to the death merchants, allowing our youth’s lives be squandered for the sake of corporate quarterly profits. We professed outrage and disgust with the last administration now the blood is on our hands.
p>I’m shamed of what we are. Anyone else?
p>Our self-proclaimed “leaders” trip over themselves to satisfy the wants of their financial backers to the detriment of the people of the United States.
p>“The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” –BHO/2007