May 2008

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« Free Will in Fruit Flies | Main | I Support the Troops More Than You Do »

Comments

Vladlena Nyzhnik

Great article! A long battle ahead! Keep the strength.

JW

To tell our young ones not to enlist is NOT the answer! What we really need is a high caliber former military leader with no political party leanings to get in there the presidency)and change our system into what seems to be the obvious ways to get a grip on this endless war. We need to do what was done during the WWII and convert warehouses and manufacturing facilities into these facilities that create these new armored vehicles, the special body armor, etc. that have been proven to work for our troops. The money is there, we all know it is. We are becoming a mediocre military machine in the eyes of the world. Who dropped the ball and let us become so unequipped? If we really were fierce and kicked butt like we did during WWII, we wouldn't be dealing with these Iraq, Iran, North Korea, China problems. But the world knows we have push over leadership, from the presidency on down to the congress and senate. If they aren't push overs, they certain like "tripping" each other constantly so that no one gets anything accomplished.

Paul

Bill Mauldin once wrote about trying to imagine what a US Army soldier experienced in a day in World War II Europe. How you should fill a sack with rocks and walk for miles with it on your back, no shave, no hot food, no sleep, no clean clothes, having to relieve yourself only when you can (not when you need too) and having people shoot at you.

Maybe you should imagine what it is like for a US soldier on patrol in Baghdad. Next time you get in your car to drive to work, look at everything that comes down the road at you. Every garbage can, every parked car, pedestrians, cars that pass you, they could all be bombs. Make sure you check every roof top and window for snipers too. And at each and every intersection, ask yourself if you should slow down, stop, or just blow through in order to avoid an explosion. And do this driving exercise more than once a day, day in, day out, for months.

And please remember that many soldiers who go back to their combat units time and time again, do so because they know if they aren't there, their friends and comrades will die or be wounded. They go back out of love for their fellow soldiers, their brothers and sisters with whom they have trained. It's a more noble reason than making sure the Middle East is free.

My experience with Vietnam is as follows. 3 neighbors a little older than me went to Vietnam. They came back alive, one wounded terribly. All three died young from drug overdoses, without wives, children, or careers. I know that many Vietnam veterans have done great things in life. I just wanted to remember Randy and the other two neighbor boys.

VietVetTiredOfThisCrap

The problem of fielding a mine, automatic-weapons, shoulder launched rocket 'insurgent ambush' resistant vehicle was solved long ago in South Africa.

Read: Taming the Landmine, by Peter Stiff. I think that it was published in 1986.

It certainly was not read by anyone in the Pentagon who had any influence.

Or, perhaps the fact that a very close to the same vehicle as the flat-bottomed HMMWV could be sold (in far greater numbers) as the civilian Hummer had something to do with it? Not much market for v-bottomed SUVs with three feet of ground clearance - not even, I suspect, with "Ahnld"

When I was a 19yo kid I was in VietNam. I learned my lesson, sadly, my country did not.

I would encourage all the civilian war supporters here to go to "www.goarmy.com", there you will find complete information about how you can be a part of it all. Go for it.

Just don't criticize those of us who have seen enough of war and killing: be it done in the name of God, Allah, or Country.

I do think that "Operation Iraqi Liberation" would have been a better name than "Operation Iraqi Freedom". At least the acronym would honestely explain our purpose in having invaded a country that was of no threat to us whatsoever.

As I said, if you support the war, you should be willing to put your butt, or your kid's butt, where your mouth is.

Sadly that butt will most likely be riding in a flat-bottomed death trap.

Stankleberry

You sound like a teenager when you write about the war. Read more things that are written by people that actually know what's going on, please.

Randy - Military Veteran

>Posted by: Paul H. | May 20, 2007 at 05:02 AM
>"The majority of the country opposes the war in Iraq"
>Well then, we must not be having a war in Iraq. I was
>educated in the American public school system and I >happen to know that America is a Democracy, and in a >Democracy, the majority rules.

Question: WHICH majority - the majority of the PEOPLE
of this country, OR the majority of the LOUDEST?

Question: Who said America is a Democracy? If it was, we wouldnt be this war, and we wouldnt have these high gas prices, and all these other problems we face.

Cause as you state, in a Democracy, the Majority rules. And
I do not believe that the Majority of the people of this nation are stupid idiots. So by the definition posted, the USA is NOT a Democracy.

Scott Alan Miller

American doesn't have a federal drinking age. It is by state. Louisiana allows drinking at 18 but you can't sit at the bar.

Unlucky Me

I have about a dozen friends who joined the military in the past three years, and all of them worry about being sent overseas. I don't mean to sound evil, but every time one of them mentions this fear I think "Did you consider that before you enlisted??!!"

Please don't hate me, but if you join the military you should realize there is a chance that you may be sent to a hot, dusty, American-hating country where people may shoot at you. As far as I know there aren't any Americans in the Middle East who should never have expected they could be there.

Unlucky Me

I have about a dozen friends who joined the military in the past three years, and all of them worry about being sent overseas. I don't mean to sound evil, but every time one of them mentions this fear I think "did you consider that before you enlisted??!!"

Please don't hate me, but if you join the military you should realize there is a chance that you may be sent to a hot, dust, American-hating country where people may shoot at you. As far as I know there aren't any Americans in the Middle East who should never have expected they could be there.

Mike

I have to say I'm pretty disappointed in this post Scott. I'm not calling your distributor, cancelling my subscription, smashing my monitor or registerinf a anti-scott domain - but I was sorry to read this none the less.

Maybe my views have been twisted by my father's 33+ years of service in the military - or the enlistment oath I took on the morning of my 17th birthday when I joined the National Guard 24 yrs ago but there is something fundamentally wrong with encouraging people not to enlist in the military.

Perhaps your reason is clouded by a desparation to end this war - and you seized on this idea as you tossed and turned one morning at 2 a.m. - struggling with writer's block for an upcoming Sunday column.

It's an interesting idea - but just as the defections of draft dodgers heading to Canada failed to halt Vietnam, it will be just as ineffective.

I'm not happy with the way things are going, I wish we'd find a way to end this mess, and bring our troops home - I certainly don't have blind support for our president and his policies. But beyond all that, it just strikes me as wrong on a fundamental level - to make the suggestion you did. Anyone who chooses to enlist in the military - at any time, is acting on a love for this country that they cannot express in words. To do so in a time of war is even more impressive. Don't get in the way of that committment in order to make a political statement.

I only pray that you can continue to keep your cartoon as agnostic, unblemished and apolitical as it's been so far. Please don't mistake your (minor)celebrity as an invitation to express your personal views in that venue. It would, I fear, signal the beginning of the end for that strip.

karoosam

The pioneers of a warless world are the youth that refuse military service.
-Albert Einstein

Little me

"It’s ironic that people between the ages of 18 and 21 are the only American adults not allowed to drink. And yet they are the only ones who can stop the war in Iraq in the near term."

Huh? Reading between the lines I understand (and hope!) they're not allowed to drink _alcohol_? Is this really true? Land of the free, indeed :)

And why are only the young enlisting to the army? (And why do the army accept kids? I'd be more scared of a 18y/o kid with an assault rifle than of the enemy. Even if the kid is supposedly on the same team as me...)

Tim

I thought the war in Iraq ended in 2003, I distinctly remember Bush being all smug about it. The remaining troops are just there as peace keepers arn't they?

mr turkle

There are a lot of ill-informed morons posting here.

Paul H.

Boraxis Baugmonster:

"The second you become absolutely certain of your conclusions, I can guarantee you that you got something about it wrong. I know that, because that level of absolute certainty only comes when you stop thinking."

Whew. For a minute there, I thought you were serious, then I saw your self-contradictory statement above and realized what a put-on it was. Well done!

Paul H.

"The majority of the country opposes the war in Iraq"

Well then, we must not be having a war in Iraq. I was educated in the American public school system and I happen to know that America is a Democracy, and in a Democracy, the majority rules.

Or maybe we are having a war in Iraq, and the rulers of America do what they think is best for the country.

Or maybe power is as addictive as a drug, and those in office will do anything they think it takes to stay there, even if it requires quietly opening the aorta of the nation, with no plan for closing it up.

bryn

only a fool would join the american military anyway. they're just cannon fodder, possibly among the worst ground troops in the world. join the airforce or navy - you wont die in those cores.

Alsadius

Maybe the reason that mnone of them have been lost so far is that we don't have enough instances of them getting used. 35000 Humvees over close to 5 years, versus 300 of them over a shorter period of time. How many vehicles has the US lost in total? I don't think it's all that many. I think the reason for the stat you cited is statistical as much as it is a reflection of superior capabilities on the part of these vehicles.

Lizzard Lipps

A few thoughts:

The only morally acceptable use of the military is to repel a foreign invading army. The last time the U.S. military did this was the War of 1812.

Even if we gave the military unlimited funds and the politicians got out of the way, winning is not an option because there is nothing to win.

Will there be millions killed if we pull out? Who knows. Will there be millions killed if we stay? Who knows. When this turns into World War III, will the USA go down in history next to the USSR and Nazi Germany? Probably.

Lizzard Lipps

Boraxis Baugmonster

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+1, MikeE. Well said.

-- baug

MikeE

O.k. It's late where I am and I'm tired, so please forgive me if this is blunt, tactless, or crude. I also stopped reading peoples responses after the first 50 or so, so if someone has said any of this more politely please understand you are not the intended audience of this. However, for the rest of you, I'm going to let all of you in on a little secret that those of us who are Vets figured out a long time ago.

The vast majority of Americans could give a rats ass about the good of America, their fellow citizens, or anyone else but them. This statement includes politicians, all you blind idiot war hawks, all you other blind idiot doves, most people who go to Church/Temple/Mosque regularly, the vast majority of supposedly 'intelligent' atheist, and pretty much any other group that anyone out there can come up with that I have left out, (and yes, this does even include a number of people in the military, though the percentage drops).

The end result of all this stupidity is that every couple years, the U.S. military gets turned into somebody's political bitch, (Kosovo, Bosnia, Not taking Saddam out during the first Gulf War, Starting the second Gulf War just to take Saddam out...), and the media throws itself into its usual histrionic fit aimed at promoting whatever position will get it the most ratings and inflame the most people. So, to cut through some of the media FUD:

Should we be in Iraq right now? No.

Since we were dumb enough to go over there should we quit whining and just find a way to do the damn job? Yes.

Is the right way to do the job to bail out and 'bring the troops home' right now? No.

Is the right way to do the job to just 'stay the course'? Also no.

What about the surge? I don't know.. Some signs are promising, and some are very worrying. I'll tell you in about a year if it was a good idea or not.

Is the surge what I, (MikeE), would have done? No, but I would have spent a lot longer in Afghanistan to truly stabilize things there before ever making a move on Iraq. However, that's the past and can't be undone. Same with the commitment to the Surge. The issue now isn't if those were good or bad decisions, but what the hell should we do next?'

Has our current administration royally screwed the pooch? Yes.

How about the previous administration, they got it all right didn't they? Nope, he was a moron too. He was just smooth about it.

Do any single one of you people who have never served have any inkling what is actually going on? In the vast majority of cases.... No.

Have any of the truly vocal, popular groups out there presented a single useful plan to handle the many problems that the current American Foreign Policy failures have gotten us into? Nope.

To pause on the above question for a moment; apparently, in many of your minds, just 'bringing the troops home' right now will fix all the ills of the world as they relate to the U.S. Equally apparent is that many of the rest of you out there think that either the 'stay the course' policy or the Surge plan will provide nice fixes to all this. Well, your both wrong. Admittedly, the supporters of the surge are closest to right since they, at least, properly identified that a blind pull out is a bad idea and that what we were doing before was also a bad idea, so I'll give some credit to them. Moving on from that question brings us to a real kicker though, and that is.

Are there valid, good plans being put forward by people to get this mess all sorted out without doing anything else stupid and extreme? Yes, unfortunately, it seems that the majority of the people who should be listening are more concerned with pushing their own agenda's than they are with either doing their jobs or solving the problems. So they aren't listening.

Hmph... Seems I went on a rant... and though I have a lot more to say on this. It's still late where I am and I'm most likely just wasting my time anyway. As much as I love this blog and Scott's comics, I haven't yet seen much evidence that the population who responds to this blog is any different from the rest of the world. Some smart, most dumb, and predominantly filled with people who have already made up their minds. That said, I'll just finish briefly with my one though on how we can, (given that the U.S. is still nominally a Democratic Republic), actually correct many of the underlying problems that express themselves in our society.

All of you, please, I'm begging you. Take some time and learn to think. It's really not that hard, but it starts with the realization that you could be wrong. The second you become absolutely certain of your conclusions, I can guarantee you that you got something about it wrong. I know that, because that level of absolute certainty only comes when you stop thinking.

Merlisk

So...take action by doing nothing?!

Perfect!

Ronny

to people who feel they know what is happening in iraq and why the US is still there, may i suggest a book called "Crossing the Rubicon" by Michael C. Ruppert or one of the DVDs from his lectures.
I like him beacause he presents sources for most of what he says.

RML

South Africa has been building this type of armoured vehicles for decades. IIRC they called it the "Ratel".

Boraxis Baugmonster

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Nic, Saddam kept Al Qaeda out of Iraq and many Americans are aware that the war was *started* on false pretenses. Things are obviously much different now, in an obviously worse way. Don't fool yourself about terrorists active in Iraq today. We would all like to believe that if we simply quit and go home everything will be fine.

-- baug

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