Originally Posted by heliodorus04
On a tangent:
As an ex-military member, I think it's an unfair (and impolite) ad hominem to attack CM for not being in the military. He's entitled to his opinions about the best use of the US Military to keep the US populace safe as a member of that populace. His affiliation with that military is immaterial.
In addition, comparing CM to Cheney in regards to military service is also unfair (and specious) because Cheney received deferments during a period in which there was a National Registration for involuntary service (i.e. The Draft). CM did not foist a citizen's responsibility onto others.
I hear what you're saying, and as a guy with a military background I absolutely respect your opinion. I personally never considered serving in the military because I never felt that I could trust my government (Republican or Democrat) not to use my service in unjust wars. I imagine a lot of folks would call that 'chickenshit'; I think I read too many Vietnam history books.
I do think that the situation in Iraq is unique - For one, given what we now know war, this war was one that we can all safely say did not
need to be fought for the initial reasons given. Additionally, the presence of a 'backdoor draft' vis-a-vis the "stop-loss" program meant that soldiers were serving more tours than they should have had there been a traditional draft in place. Perfectly legal, of course (and used while Clinton was President); but had there been enough volunteers to serve in their place, maybe some of those guys could have returned so that their wives could go back to school and get their degrees. Among all the other things they have to give up, like the births of their children...their homes....their marriages. And we all know that the military is near or at its breaking point, moreso than at any time in our history.
So I think that the average american has a very
solemn duty to be very cautious as to how they advocate when & where to send our volunteer army- so much of politics is played within public discourse. If an individual feels so compelled to support a certain foreign policy, day in and day out, that places those volunteers at risk, than they should have a damn good reason why they can't sacrifice as well. If CM believes that we should stay in Iraq for as long as it takes, then I don't think it's unreasonable that his justifications should hold water against those families that wait 14 months to see their loves ones. Given the many posts Mike has made regarding his support for the Iraq war, I concluded that the rationale for declining his own service is weak. Someone DID serve in his place; likely when they would have rather not. (BTW Mike - Chickenhawk
is not the same as chickenshit.)
If Mike had said "I figured a Democrat would win this election, and I don't trust a Democrat like Obama to use my service to my country wisely", then I could have respected that answer 100%.
Personally, I support mandatory 'Military and Service Corps" service at age 18, similar to Isreal. No deferments, no special favors for the power elite. I think we would avoid war at all costs with that kind of program.
BTW Mike- I think you're salvageable as well. I get pissed at you because it's clear you haven't done your homework. I have no problem with you being a conservative, but I can't stand uneducated partisans on either side. Luckily you have a fire in your belly that allows you to be involved - now take Helio's advice and go read books that are both for and against the ideals you think you stand for. You might surprise yourself.