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Discussion Starter #3
Proving the old adage that Freedom is never free.

Especially with this bunch of robbers in Washington!
Are you trying to say that this war was about freedom? Thats hilarious.
 

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who are we going to bring democracy to next? who ever it is, they probably got plenty of oil. they call it democracy

Lyrics:

Padded with power here they come
International loan sharks backed by the guns
Of market hungry military profiteers
Whose word is a swamp and whose brow is smeared
With the blood of the poor

Who rob life of its quality
Who render rage a necessity
By turning countries into labour camps
Modern slavers in drag as champions of freedom

Sinister cynical instrument
Who makes the gun into a sacrament --
The only response to the deification
Of tyranny by so-called "developed" nations'
Idolatry of ideology

North South East West
Kill the best and buy the rest
It's just spend a buck to make a buck
You don't really give a flying fuck
About the people in misery

IMF dirty MF
Takes away everything it can get
Always making certain that there's one thing left
Keep them on the hook with insupportable debt

See the paid-off local bottom feeders
Passing themselves off as leaders
Kiss the ladies shake hands with the fellows
Open for business like a cheap bordello

And they call it democracy
And they call it democracy
And they call it democracy
And they call it democracy

See the loaded eyes of the children too
Trying to make the best of it the way kids do
One day you're going to rise from your habitual feast
To find yourself staring down the throat of the beast
They call the revolution

IMF dirty MF
Takes away everything it can get
Always making certain that there's one thing left
Keep them on the hook with insupportable debt
 

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Schutzie,

even many of us like gh wouldn't be so crass as to ask someone who has served to answer that touchy question, much less someone who's come back maimed from an IED or suffered other trauma.

the fact of the matter is, these wars have nothing to do with the freedom of the average american. they're all about profits for oil companies and other US corporations, arms manufacturers, and wall street. those clever guys just do as usual and "externalize the costs" onto taxpayers and soldiers who's lives are ruined or ended.

and its not like this is a recent phenomenon. this crap has been going on for quite a long time, and is well summed up, even before "the good war" by retired U.S. Marine Corps Major General, Smedley Butler in 1935 who wrote:

I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.
Butler wrote a book - actually a pamphlet you can read online real easily here. I'm sure that even though it was written in the 1930s, it could be easily updated with all thats happened since then.

hopefully one day we can reclaim our government from wall street tycoons.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah, it was about freedom. You think it was a joke?

Don't believe me; ask a vet why they went.
Why someone joins the military and why someone declares war are vastly different things and I will be more than happy to discuss that with a vet and have several times in the past.

If you believe this war was about freedom then there is nothing farther for us to discuss.
 

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Old Guy in a PFD
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Schutzie,

even many of us like gh wouldn't be so crass as to ask someone who has served to answer that touchy question, much less someone who's come back maimed from an IED or suffered other trauma.

the fact of the matter is, these wars have nothing to do with the freedom of the average american. they're all about profits for oil companies and other US corporations, arms manufacturers, and wall street. those clever guys just do as usual and "externalize the costs" onto taxpayers and soldiers who's lives are ruined or ended.

and its not like this is a recent phenomenon. this crap has been going on for quite a long time, and is well summed up, even before "the good war" by retired U.S. Marine Corps Major General, Smedley Butler in 1935 who wrote:



Butler wrote a book - actually a pamphlet you can read online real easily here. I'm sure that even though it was written in the 1930s, it could be easily updated with all thats happened since then.

hopefully one day we can reclaim our government from wall street tycoons.
I've actually read Butler's stuff. In military circles he's regarded as something of a head case. A well decorated and respected warrior, but a head case none the less.

Look, we ask our veterans all the time what they thought they signed up for, and what they fought for. It isn't crass, and most veterans don't mind answering the question. I mean, is it crass to ask why someone is dumb enough to encase themselves in plastic and throw themselves into the spring run off?
Most of them say they signed up to defend American freedom. More of them say they fought for their brothers in arms.

It severely pisses me off when I hear the tired old "we fought for oil" and for "Bush's revenge" and for "big business". it's simplistic political spin for the voters back home. And it's a lie.

Of more import, it disrespects the sacrifices our best and brightest have made and will make.

That said, in my opinion just about every war since 1900 was avoidable. But it wasn't big business unhappy with their balance sheets making a call to the white house that explains why we have wars.
 

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Old Guy in a PFD
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Why someone joins the military and why someone declares war are vastly different things and I will be more than happy to discuss that with a vet and have several times in the past.

If you believe this war was about freedom then there is nothing farther for us to discuss.
Well then, its a good thing neither you or I will be deciding where and when we should send the troops next; cause, you know, if we aren't going to agree on the problem we shouldn't be trying to fix it.
 

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Why someone joins the military and why someone declares war are vastly different things
^This

American Wars are a complex beast that have very little to do with the spin recruiters put on the experience. Its also always important to recognize that social critique is at its heart about the population level, not the individual. Its the analysis of broader trends and social/cultural behaviors. The question of how one soldier perceives their commitment is important on its own but not relevant to questioning our wars since 9/11.

I traveled to protests in 2003 and still stand strong against these wars as there has been plenty of evidence to support that such disproportional military actions undermine more than just the stability of the sovereign nations we invade. By now its obvious that the military industrial complex fostered by such wars has no problem using itself against its own citizens. If anything these military behaviors actually erode freedom instead of galvanizing it.

Phillip
 

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I've actually read Butler's stuff. In military circles he's regarded as something of a head case. A well decorated and respected warrior, but a head case none the less.

Look, we ask our veterans all the time what they thought they signed up for, and what they fought for. It isn't crass, and most veterans don't mind answering the question. I mean, is it crass to ask why someone is dumb enough to encase themselves in plastic and throw themselves into the spring run off?
Most of them say they signed up to defend American freedom. More of them say they fought for their brothers in arms.

It severely pisses me off when I hear the tired old "we fought for oil" and for "Bush's revenge" and for "big business". it's simplistic political spin for the voters back home. And it's a lie.

Of more import, it disrespects the sacrifices our best and brightest have made and will make.

That said, in my opinion just about every war since 1900 was avoidable. But it wasn't big business unhappy with their balance sheets making a call to the white house that explains why we have wars.
One of the more intelligent things I've read on the buzz.
 

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Old Guy in a PFD
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^This

American Wars are a complex beast that have very little to do with the spin recruiters put on the experience. Its also always important to recognize that social critique is at its heart about the population level, not the individual. Its the analysis of broader trends and social/cultural behaviors. The question of how one soldier perceives their commitment is important on its own but not relevant to questioning our wars since 9/11.

I traveled to protests in 2003 and still stand strong against these wars as there has been plenty of evidence to support that such disproportional military actions undermine more than just the stability of the sovereign nations we invade. By now its obvious that the military industrial complex fostered by such wars has no problem using itself against its own citizens. If anything these military behaviors actually erode freedom instead of galvanizing it.

Phillip
Lets be blunt; the point of war is to achieve goals not gained in other ways. Simply, we want what we want when we want it and we will have it no matter what anyone else thinks. That it destabilizes the invaded country is kind of the point, don't you think? Whether we "restabilize" the country after the goal is achieved is another issue.

Americans ended up united like never before after Pearl Harbor, but was rabidly divided before that. After 9/11 America united, even with the invasion plans for Afghanistan and Iraq; the split came when politics entered the equation.

But lets not fault the "military industrial complex" for the militarization of the police forces in the US (I assume that's what we're talking here); neither GM or Rockwell or Lockheed or Boeing have anything to say about what the military does with it's "surplus" equipment.

The problem is once again the procurement and budget policies of the US Government; management has to spend what it has each year or risk a smaller budget in the future; something no self respecting Government bureaucrat can tolerate. The result is warehouses full of government property while Office Max trucks roll up to government offices, empty government buildings while new ones are being planned and built.
 

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This is an interesting discussion but why are you each arguing it's one or the other? Do we not go to war to promote democracy? Is that not our view of freedom in a nutshell? We go to war to liberate repressed foreign societies and the end goal is to instill a democratic government and capitalistic economy. The benefit to Americans at home is cheaper and more plentiful natural resources, labor pools not to mention remote places to translocate environmental impacts (especially recently). In the end we get a more reliable supply chain at theoretically cheaper costs all while dragging the heathen masses out of the dark ages. We go to war for the freedom to do the things we value, live the lives we as a whole desire and it takes resources at reasonable prices to do this. This promotes both our freedom and big business because in the end they are intimately linked.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I've actually read Butler's stuff. In military circles he's regarded as something of a head case. A well decorated and respected warrior, but a head case none the less.

Look, we ask our veterans all the time what they thought they signed up for, and what they fought for. It isn't crass, and most veterans don't mind answering the question. I mean, is it crass to ask why someone is dumb enough to encase themselves in plastic and throw themselves into the spring run off?
Most of them say they signed up to defend American freedom. More of them say they fought for their brothers in arms.

It severely pisses me off when I hear the tired old "we fought for oil" and for "Bush's revenge" and for "big business". it's simplistic political spin for the voters back home. And it's a lie.

Of more import, it disrespects the sacrifices our best and brightest have made and will make.

That said, in my opinion just about every war since 1900 was avoidable. But it wasn't big business unhappy with their balance sheets making a call to the white house that explains why we have wars.
So in one sentence you say that the reason we go to war is complex and above most of our heads to understand and then you say that some of the reasons stated are a lie. So I guess they are complex enough that most of us cant understand them but you can. I dont buy it and I dont think its all that complex.

Interesting article given to me by a buddy who served.

The Tragedy of the American Military - The Atlantic
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I will add that this has gone off topic. My original post and the original article is about are we getting a good Return on Investment on our capital and human investments in our current wars?
 

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Lets be blunt; the point of war is to achieve goals not gained in other ways. Simply, we want what we want when we want it and we will have it no matter what anyone else thinks. That it destabilizes the invaded country is kind of the point, don't you think? Whether we "restabilize" the country after the goal is achieved is another issue.

Americans ended up united like never before after Pearl Harbor, but was rabidly divided before that. After 9/11 America united, even with the invasion plans for Afghanistan and Iraq; the split came when politics entered the equation.

But lets not fault the "military industrial complex" for the militarization of the police forces in the US (I assume that's what we're talking here); neither GM or Rockwell or Lockheed or Boeing have anything to say about what the military does with it's "surplus" equipment.

The problem is once again the procurement and budget policies of the US Government; management has to spend what it has each year or risk a smaller budget in the future; something no self respecting Government bureaucrat can tolerate. The result is warehouses full of government property while Office Max trucks roll up to government offices, empty government buildings while new ones are being planned and built.
I can agree to a point with the first sentiment. And that is the problem I see when we use phrases like "freedom" to justify war. Freedom has nothing to do with what we did post 9/11. It had to do with an artificial concept of security that doesn't coexist with preemptive war.

And trust me, we were not united after 9/11. That is a myth that was used to bolster our wars. While most of us experienced a solemnness and supported the rescue crews and families that lost so much we didn't agree much beyond that. And its not simple politics that further divided us. The American people have been split on how we proceed with our military for centuries, it goes back to the Civil War at least.

Per the military industrial complex...by definition it is the unity of government and private enterprise and their broad web of interactions. And I am sorry to say but there is enough evidence to show they do push to produce excess equipment and help create bills that provide surplus to the public.

The revolving door between government, lobbyist and private enterprise is well-documented. I mean who got the biggest contracts for post 9/11 war infrastructure overseas? KBR. They were no-bid contracts awarded by the White House who had Dick Cheney sitting as VP and was former CEO of Haliburton. Halburton and its subsidiaries (even former) have reaped roughly $40 billion in military related contracts since 2001. And they are not alone. And ironically many of this companies also feed equipment into other countries, some of them enemies of the US. Haliburton was fined a minuscule amount in the 90s for selling oil and energy technology to Iraq and Libya that had multiple military implications. Yet they still get no-bid retainer contracts for the military. And who built the illegal Guantanamo facilities? KBR. The list goes on.

And did you not read how many companies not only folded but often volunteered to snoop on Americans alongside organizations like the NSA? They profit from the knowledge and technology development that comes from such cooperation. Facebook (who I dropped back in 2013) used those snooping skills to fortify its already impressive marketing technology, like how long your cursor stays over a given ad even if doesn't click. Google, Microsoft, etc, etc.

I have seen no evidence that the private sector and government are isolated in the way you state. They both benefit from the interdependency that has existed for almost a century now. Which might explain why we have been in an almost continuous state of war as a country.

Phillip
 

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This is an interesting discussion but why are you each arguing it's one or the other? Do we not go to war to promote democracy? Is that not our view of freedom in a nutshell? We go to war to liberate repressed foreign societies and the end goal is to instill a democratic government and capitalistic economy. The benefit to Americans at home is cheaper and more plentiful natural resources, labor pools not to mention remote places to translocate environmental impacts (especially recently). In the end we get a more reliable supply chain at theoretically cheaper costs all while dragging the heathen masses out of the dark ages. We go to war for the freedom to do the things we value, live the lives we as a whole desire and it takes resources at reasonable prices to do this. This promotes both our freedom and big business because in the end they are intimately linked.
I would agree that is one of the selling points of war. I would also state there is no united "we" or "us" on those ideologies. Its a major rift in this country. Especially the idea that we can "promote" democracy with the barrel of a gun. And not to mention that many of us worry about the idea that democracy and capitalism (at least American rhetoric about it) are always assumed to be interdependent. From an ethnographic understanding there are a lot of ways for people to be free without capitalism being present.

The benefit to Americans at home is cheaper and more plentiful natural resources, labor pools not to mention remote places to translocate environmental impacts (especially recently).
And this is a major dividing force in American viewpoints. Its hard to have the aforementioned freedom when colonial pressures devalue foreign labor and offset environmental costs. Freedom and colonialism are mutually exclusive.

Phillip
 

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I will add that this has gone off topic. My original post and the original article is about are we getting a good Return on Investment on our capital and human investments in our current wars?
Sorry, I played a role in the broadening of the topic.

To that question....no. Our national debt will exceed any profit a handful of companies made in the short run. Human resources? No, are already seeing what happens to countless lives when we invest in war but don't take the proactive stance needed to deal with the consequences of bodies in a way environment. The article you cite states 1% has gone to soldiers care which is abysmal. Medical, rehabilitation and job placement should be a principle component of military spending.

And the article also shows something that was predicted....when we destabilize a region military spending often perpetuates itself, i.e. spending now means spending again in the future. The military has a way of creating job security for itself. Invading the middle east in the aughts was almost certain to destabilize national boundaries and create groups like ISIS. As was noted we have already spent $1 billion since August, but take heart, thats only 60% of the average noted since our wars started.

Each president perpetuates the problem. Imagine how much money we could have saved if Carter hadn't sent the CIA into Afghanistan in the first place?

Phillip
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Sorry, I played a role in the broadening of the topic.

To that question....no. Our national debt will exceed any profit a handful of companies made in the short run. Human resources? No, are already seeing what happens to countless lives when we invest in war but don't take the proactive stance needed to deal with the consequences of bodies in a way environment. The article you cite states 1% has gone to soldiers care which is abysmal. Medical, rehabilitation and job placement should be a principle component of military spending.

And the article also shows something that was predicted....when we destabilize a region military spending often perpetuates itself, i.e. spending now means spending again in the future. The military has a way of creating job security for itself. Invading the middle east in the aughts was almost certain to destabilize national boundaries and create groups like ISIS. As was noted we have already spent $1 billion since August, but take heart, thats only 60% of the average noted since our wars started.

Each president perpetuates the problem. Imagine how much money we could have saved if Carter hadn't sent the CIA into Afghanistan in the first place?

Phillip
Dont worry. I am not too worried about it. Almost everything goes off topic in the eddy.
I agree with your analysis. Remember that we funded bin laden to fight the russians and Hussein to balance the power in Iran. The more we manipulate, the more we screw up. If there ever were any concerns about what weapons Iraq had it would be easy to confirm since we gave them to them to fight Iran.
 
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