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[P]
Early Exits

By adimovk5 in Culture
Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 03:53:08 AM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

Recently a news story in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer has led to widespread outrage. In her article, columnist Susan Paynter tells a story about a Mom and son who have been relentlessly pursued by USMC recruiters since her son's 17th birthday. The Mom appears to be anti-military. The son seems to be weak-willed. When in the presence of his Mom, his words are anti-military but his resolve is weak. Without his Mom, he listens to the recruiters and goes with them when asked.

Public opinion is divided. Some proclaim the story as an example of over zealous warmongers. Some are sorrowed by the tarnishing of the military image caused by zealots. Others are angry at a controlling Mom. A few go so far as to call her unpatriotic. Shots were even taken at the son for not having enough backbone to either stand up to the recruiters or stand up to his Mom.

Much of the anger directed at the recruiters is born of fear. People are afraid that their loved ones will be impressed into the military against their will. This fear is groundless. Even after signing papers and taking the oath, it's possible to make an early exit.


Avoiding recruitment

Recruiters are amateur psychologists. They sense hesitation and uncertainty. They will interpret both as an opportunity to influence and they are very good at persuading people to join the military. If you are anti-military you should avoid recruiters.

Don't take the ASVAB. The ASVAB was designed by the Department of Defense to identify 10th, 11th and 12th graders who had the potential to meet DOD needs. If you don't take the test, you lessen yours odds of being pursued as a recruitment candidate.

Don't talk to recruiters. If a recruiter calls, hang up the phone. Don't engage the recruiter in conversation. Don't say no. Don't say good-bye, just hang up the phone. If the recruiter comes to your home, your school, or your work place, don't talk to them.

Don't attend military sponsored functions. The military has become adept at promotions with hidden agendas. Contests and prizes are used to entice the unsuspecting.

If you are pursued against your will, make some noise. Talk to the commander of the recruiter. Talk to reporters. Talk to your Congressman and Senator. Talk to a lawyer.

Cold feet

If you've taken the ASVAB or done some other thing to draw attention to yourself, the military will come calling. That includes every branch. Each branch (Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy) has its own goals, standards and recruiters. You will be contacted many many times.

After 12 or 13 years of school, many teens are tired of the years of homework. Four more years of school are unappealling, especially to those who the system has left poorly prepared. The military offers a four year break plus special training plus $36,000 for college. The benefits package looks very good compared to life at minimum wage.

The recruiters will attempt to drawn you in a step at a time. You will be asked to sign letters of intent. You will be asked to enter the delayed entry program. You will be told that each action is irreversible. No action is irreversible until the day you walk into a MEPS, sign a contract and take the oath.

At any time prior to entering boot camp, you can notify the commanding officer of the recruiting station or MEPS station in writing. You must explain why you have changed your mind. You should list every reason. You should keep a copy of your letter.

The miltary will process your notification and void your paperwork. This doesn't mean you won't be contacted. They will try to get you to change your mind. Many people get cold feet and then join later.

Second thoughts

Boot camp is tough for many recruits. Everything is disorienting. There's physical exhaustion from changed sleep patterns and physical conditioning. There's mental exhaustion from the new rules and surroundings. There's emotional exhaustion from the separation from family and friends and introduction to a multitude of strangers.

Someone who has trouble handling the new stresses can be "washed back" into another group. This allows the recruit time to adjust. "Wash out" is the term used to describe someone who can't handle all the new stresses. Some people break down completely. Others just can't keep up the demands of military life. For whatever the reason, the military sends thousands back to civilian life before they can complete boot camp.

At any time during boot camp, you can notify the commander that you wish to leave the military. There's no need to lie about being a conscientious objector or sexual orientation. There's no need to commit an offense. You need only be firm in your desire to leave. The military will try to convince you to stay, but will eventually give in and discharge you.

Last chance

The first 180 days are a time of learning and adjustment. Military life isn't for everyone. With that in mind, the military allows you to leave during the first 180 days. It isn't as easy as sending in a letter before MEPS or walking into the commander's office during boot camp. The military has a lot of time and money invested by this time. It will resist you as much as legally possible. In the end, if you remain firm in your committment, it must let you go.

Miranda

The military isn't required to tell you about your rights. You aren't told about how easy it is to withdraw. You aren't told that discharge is free of consequences (as long as there is no fraud). You live in a free society and you have the responsibility to discover these things for yourself. However, sometimes military members will tell you after the 180 day window is closed. It's a bit of cruel humor among those who have chosen the military as a career.

It's possible to obtain a discharge after 180 days, but it's extremely difficult. The military believes that six months is more than enough time to decide. Most discharges after 180 days are due to prosecution for offenses against the military. Such discharges cause damage to a person for life. Many government benefits are denied and many employers won't hire a person who receives anything less than an honorable discharge.

Service

I hope that this article isn't taken as a call to avoid service. My intention is quite the opposite. Military service is an honorable tradition. Throughout the years, the military has protected the United States and made it possible for the nation to grow and prosper. The military helps ensure that the Blessings of Liberty are secured for ourselves and our Posterity.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty. - John F Kennedy
A strong military requires all of its constituent parts to be strong. As the old adage goes, a chain is only as strong as it's weakest link. It's my hope that those who are unwilling to be a part of the military will take advantage of the advice given here and extricate themselves with a minimum amount of damage to themselves, strengthening the military by their leaving.

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Poll
I am
o Pro military, Pro Iraq/Afghanistan 7%
o Pro military, Anti Iraq/Afghanistan 30%
o Pro military 11%
o Anti military 10%
o Anti military, Pro Iraq/Afghanistan 4%
o Anti military, Anti Iraq/Afghanistan 35%

Votes: 68
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o news story
o USMC
o Public opinion
o ASVAB
o $36,000 for college
o delayed entry program
o MEPS
o Boot camp
o Military service
o John F Kennedy
o old adage
o Also by adimovk5


Display: Sort:
Early Exits | 107 comments (98 topical, 9 editorial, 0 hidden)
Great! (2.66 / 6) (#1)
by forgotten on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 12:31:32 AM EST

I was really hoping someone would bring up this story here on kuro5hin.

--

Actually... (none / 1) (#2)
by Arvedui on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 01:39:46 AM EST

...as one of the other guilty parties, I'm trying to see if I can get my story resectioned to a Diary entry without losing the comments posted so far. If that can't be done, then I'll put it into voting and let it sink or swim as it will.

However, even if it comes to that (and I hope my version would still squeak through), I'm going to vote +1 on this one too. Despite the introduction, which may lead people to believe that this is just the third article in a row about the same damn thing, this story is about something related-but-totally-different and definitely worth knowing about.

Here's hoping we make it through voting together. ;)

on the other hand (none / 0) (#3)
by forgotten on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 02:10:19 AM EST

if your story and this one gets voted section, we will have 5 stories about two topics (military recruitingment and free/libre software).

that, plus the other insanity in the queue right now, convinces me that kuro5hin is dying.

--

[ Parent ]

wouldn't that be (none / 1) (#6)
by destroy all monsters on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 02:41:46 AM EST

k5 *and* BSD is dying?

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]
Netcraft confirms it! [nt] (3.00 / 2) (#18)
by rusty on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 10:25:31 AM EST



____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
haha : ) [n/t] (none / 0) (#27)
by destroy all monsters on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 02:48:56 PM EST



"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]
Iminenet death of the net predicted! (none / 1) (#36)
by strawser on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 05:58:57 PM EST

that, plus the other insanity in the queue right now, convinces me that kuro5hin is dying.

It may or may not be, but I swear I've been hearing "K5 is dying" since the day I registered.



"Traveler, there is no path. You make the path as you walk." -- Antonio Machado
[ Parent ]

that should be a standard option (3.00 / 2) (#4)
by forgotten on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 02:13:21 AM EST

for all failed stories.

--

[ Parent ]

I think that it's too bad there's no way to merge (none / 0) (#5)
by destroy all monsters on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 02:38:46 AM EST

the two entries as there's good stuff in both of them and together they're a stronger article.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]
You can, sort of. (none / 0) (#49)
by wiredog on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 08:02:04 AM EST

Link to the story in the diary, but replace '/story/' in the URL with '/comments/'

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
Strengthening? (2.57 / 7) (#7)
by Kasreyn on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 03:22:43 AM EST

Unwilling, dilatory spineless people stop a bullet just as well as gung-ho killers.

Also, could you please point to the bit in the Constitution about how our military must secure the Blessings of Liberty for every distant nation that can't be bothered to rise up and overthrow their dictators? pls k thx~


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Hey idiot, (2.28 / 7) (#8)
by trhurler on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 03:59:53 AM EST

First of all, in order to stop a bullet, you must be willing to stand your ground.

Second, to misquote a famous man of substantially superior character to yourself, "Wars are not won by dying for your country. Wars are won by making the other bastard die for his own." The point being, stopping bullets is not the purpose of having soldiers. Bullets stop just fine on their own.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
If only I could give this comment more than +3 nt (none / 0) (#29)
by dissonant on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 03:20:37 PM EST



[ Parent ]
It's not a +3 (none / 0) (#45)
by Spendocrat on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 12:03:21 AM EST



[ Parent ]
I know I've done a good job (3.00 / 4) (#35)
by Kasreyn on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 05:56:09 PM EST

when trhurler is pissed off.

I'm also curious where you think Old Blood and Guts Patton gained this moral superiority. Especially seeing as how the army he led was composed of conscripts, whose willingness to stand their ground is not perhaps utterly reliable.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
Hehe (none / 0) (#65)
by trhurler on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 09:53:39 PM EST

People who think they've pissed me off are always entertaining.

As for Patton, he didn't need moral superiority. He was right on the facts, and his job was not to judge what should be done, but to do what he was told. He did it in superlative fashion. As long as a military man doesn't commit war crimes or violate military law, he must be judged by his loyalty, his work ethic, and his effectiveness rather than by the outcome of his actions. If you do that, your military can remain an impartial arm of the government. As soon as you judge military men on the basis of the outcome of what they were told to do, they become political actors, and THEN you are in trouble.

But remember: he was right on the facts. The goal of war is to cause your enemy to surrender. The way you do that is to kill his men, destroy his equipment, occupy his land, and so on. This means your soldiers must actually do those things.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Hmm... (none / 1) (#71)
by Kasreyn on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 01:39:36 AM EST

He was right on the facts, and his job was not to judge what should be done, but to do what he was told.

Wasn't Georgie the one they had to reign in after the Allies shook hands in Berlin, because he wanted to keep rolling 'till he got to Moscow and "greased the treads of his tanks" with Uncle Joe's face?

I mean, history showed he had the right idea and that the iron curtain was a terrible fate to abandon eastern Europe to, but his grasp on this whole "not a political actor" thing (which of course you're entirely right about) seemed a bit shaky.

I'm also curious - in all honesty - what your opinion is of the concept that soldiers have an obligation to disobey a dishonorable or criminal order? Should soldiers cede all responsibility for their actions when they join up? Because if you follow that line of reasoning, we may have wrongfully executed some of those guys at Nuremburg.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
I do not understand (none / 0) (#96)
by trhurler on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 07:57:25 PM EST

I quoted Patton. I did not say he was perfect. I said that in one particular case, he was right. What don't you understand about that? I just do not see why you think he either has to have been in every way a paragon of virtue or else I shouldn't be quoting him.

Also, there is a reason I specifically said "as long as they don't commit war crimes or break military law." Yes, soldiers have an obligation to disobey illegal orders. Not "dishonorable" ones. Those they must follow. But illegal ones, yes. Beyond that, they should not be judged for doing what they're told. Period.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Not really... (3.00 / 3) (#48)
by danro on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 05:43:03 AM EST

First of all, in order to stop a bullet, you must be willing to stand your ground.
Not really, getting shot in the back works just as well.

[ Parent ]
distant forces (3.00 / 2) (#9)
by adimovk5 on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 04:24:48 AM EST

.....could you please point to the bit in the Constitution about how our military must secure the Blessings of Liberty for every distant nation that can't be bothered to rise up and overthrow their dictators?.....

Article I Section 8

Clause 1: The Congress shall have Power To.....provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States

Clause 10: To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations

Clause 11: To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water

Clause 12: To raise and support Armies

Combined together these clauses contain the authority and necessary power to wage war any place in the world so long as it benefits the United States. Nothing in the Constitution prevents the uses of the military in distant nations. The acts are Constitutional though the wisdom of any particular use of force may be up for debate and must eventually be approved by the representatives of the voters of the United States.

[ Parent ]
There's nothing in there that says *must* n/t (none / 0) (#10)
by destroy all monsters on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 04:58:50 AM EST



"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]
true (none / 0) (#11)
by adimovk5 on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 06:01:28 AM EST

but it must also be pointed out that the US isn't against all dictators, only the anti-US ones.

[ Parent ]
No argument from me on that account- (none / 0) (#13)
by destroy all monsters on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 06:14:22 AM EST

but then I don't think that this country has any interest in what's good for the world and its citizens.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]
I think it has a wee bit (none / 1) (#14)
by adimovk5 on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 07:38:34 AM EST

of interest in other countries but it's largely driven by self interest. It amazes me that politicians and leaders try so hard to act like they are benevolent world leaders who have the best interests of the world in mind. It reminds me of Charles Wilson's quote when he was nominated for Secretary of Defence, "for years I thought what was good for the country was good for General Motors and vice versa." Some people have trouble separating what's best for the world and their country. They can't conceive of a situation in which the two are different.

[ Parent ]
Your corrected comment should read (none / 0) (#16)
by destroy all monsters on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 08:23:49 AM EST

in the first sentence: I think it has a wee bit of interest in other countries' _oil_ but it's _entirely_ driven by self interest.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]
oil is a primary interest (none / 0) (#21)
by adimovk5 on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 11:42:47 AM EST

A human pursues air, water, and food. The pursuit of oil is one of the primary interests of an industrial nation. Oil:
  • powers most modern vehicles
  • heats and cools buildings
  • fuels the electric grid
  • provides industry with plastics
If the US didn't pursue its interests, people would wonder why.

[ Parent ]
There are limits to everything (none / 0) (#24)
by destroy all monsters on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 02:07:15 PM EST

and the extent to which we try to control the resources of other nations is exceptional for this time in history.Anyone with a lick of sense would have been planning for the post-oil years since 1974.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]
planning for the future (none / 0) (#37)
by janra on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 07:00:33 PM EST

Yeah, you'd think people would have realised that the oil will in fact eventually run out, and would have started planning for that time.

But then, most people can't plan beyond their next paycheque. Just look at the stats on personal debt...
--
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]

I don't know what it's like elsewhere (none / 0) (#40)
by destroy all monsters on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 09:12:08 PM EST

but almost everyone I know in the U.S. is living paycheck to paycheck anyway. Perhaps in other areas where rents aren't so high they can actually save.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]
USA = ADD (none / 0) (#46)
by destroy all monsters on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 02:47:26 AM EST

"Yeah, you'd think people would have realised that the oil will in fact eventually run out, and would have started planning for that time."

That's against american principles. Short-term profits are the only thing americans understand.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]

The Constitution can say what it likes. (3.00 / 5) (#12)
by Arvedui on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 06:09:57 AM EST

Combined together these clauses contain the authority and necessary power to wage war any place in the world so long as it benefits the United States.

Though, as signatories to things like the Geneva Conventions and the UN Charter (an anti-war document if ever there was one), a country becomes subject to certain restrictions. Even the WTO trumps constitutional law if it rules against you, and that's only dealing with trade.

Nothing in the Constitution prevents the uses of the military in distant nations.

Of course, even the Geneva Conventions can be belittled as "quaint" while the Charter can be tossed aside and the UN dismissed as irrelevant (a message driven home loud and clear by the appointment of a goon like Bolton as your UN representative). But above all of those, you still have the Nuremberg Principles and the judgements of the Tribunal to deal with, declaring aggressive war to be not just a crime but the "supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole." Is your government really ready to openly renounce the principles that form the ultimate basis of international law and defined the Nazis as war criminals in the first place? Or will it just act de facto as if they don't exist, daring someone to call them on it? If it gets away with that, does that make it right?

The Rule of Law can be such a terribly fragile thing, no matter how much lip service is paid to it...

[ Parent ]

Constitution and treaties... (none / 1) (#23)
by Gooba42 on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 01:24:17 PM EST

The US constitution contains a clause that says the nation must abide by all of it's treaties.

A breach of the Geneva Convention or anything similar is thus a breach of constitutional law.

It doesn't say we can't break off the treaty but it does imply that we must formally withdraw from the treaty before violating its conditions.

[ Parent ]

Stop the presses!! (3.00 / 2) (#39)
by Arvedui on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 08:53:40 PM EST

The US constitution contains a clause that says the nation must abide by all of its treaties.

Are you SERIOUS?!? Quick, send the White House a bulletin letting them know what page it's on! I think they must've missed that bit!!

A breach of the Geneva Convention or anything similar is thus a breach of constitutional law.

Unless, of course, you go and set up a "Geneva-free Zone" through a quirk of constitutional law and an unusual lease of land, or use mercenar--oh, sorry, contractors to fight your wars for you and granting them total legal immunity. But finger-wagging about honoring international treaties isn't the point here. The point is the US government's apparently increasing desire (dangerous when coupled with its obvious ability) to disregard over 50 years worth of established international law because it's become... "inconvenient" for national/imperial ambitions. "Well, fine," people might say, "my country right or wrong, and at least we're the fuckers rather than the fuckees!" But there are consequences, both legal and moral, that should really be considered. So far, I haven't seen much of that.

[ Parent ]

You might have missed it... (none / 0) (#99)
by Gooba42 on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 01:43:22 AM EST

I was actually indicating that things like your WTO reference are not trumping constitutional law, they are actually part of it.

It is a legal basis upon which the violation of our treaties would be prosecutable rather than simply abominable.

[ Parent ]

Would be could be should be... (none / 0) (#100)
by Arvedui on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 05:14:11 PM EST

I was actually indicating that things like your WTO reference are not trumping constitutional law, they are actually part of it.

Well, no, what I meant by that was that in *any* conflict between the constitution and the WTO, the WTO comes out on top. This applies globally to all member-states. It goes kind of like this:

WTO: You are not allowed to provide cheaper food to the poor (or some other trade liberalisation issue). You must stop immediately by repealing these various laws and regulations.

COUNTRY: Well, we can't change those, because the right to affordable food (or whatever) is guaranteed by our constitution.

WTO: Yes, we noticed. We're here to help! We've already prepared the required constitutional amendment for you to go pass, so you can finally begin to enjoy the glories of the free market!

And if they don't do it, they face sanctions. The WTO trumps the constitution.

You might have missed it... It is a legal basis upon which the violation of our treaties would be prosecutable rather than simply abominable.

No, I didn't miss it, and I also didn't mean to come off harshly against you. Your concern is commendable. But who exactly are you imagining will be doing the prosecuting? Can you seriously picture the Bushites being marched out of the White House (or Pentagon, or now World Bank) to go stand in the dock and have the charges read against them? Where do you suppose they would be tried? The Republican-stacked USSC? Can you imagine them being convicted by the people who gave them the jobs in the first place?

What does it say about the law, international or otherwise, that that's never, EVER going to happen? What does it say about the average USAmerican's sense of justice that "their" crimes are always worth the most extraordinary measures to punish, up to and including all-out war involving (at least) tens of thousands of casualties, whether the world is against it or not (and regardless of US complicity in said crimes), but "our" crimes never are? Notice how carefully the administration (indeed every administration) neuters anything like the World Court, and how it will *always* insist on, basically, total immunity from any prosecution whatsoever, if they're even going to deign to play *at all*.

And notice, further, that they have fairly widespread public support for doing so! American exceptionalism uber alles... "we don't want any dirty cheese-eating FRENCHIES or nasty towelheads to start prosecuting our boys just cuz they committed some pissant atrocity or other... let alone our leaders for starting 3 illegal wars in just under four years! We know their hearts were in the right place, and it's not like we'd do bad stuff on purpose!" I'd suggest they have this support because many people genuinely believe the USA is a pure force for good in the world, spreading the bright light of capitalist democracy and human rights, and that these wars are moral and just and selfless and UN-sanctioned and all the other feeble fig-leaves that the government and FOX News can plaster onto them.

My point was that people can rationalize their support for them because they don't seem to realize that illegal war is the supreme international crime (raised on video games and Hollywood, they certainly don't realize what any war necessarily entails), and that to flout it the way the US does is, in a very real sense, to nullify the Nuremberg principles and exonerate the Nazis. Remember, the leadership was tried and convicted for making preventative (read: aggressive) war. That's the entire essence of the so-called "Bush Doctrine"! Oh, sure, they got a bit carried away internally, but the whole Poland thing? Apparently not a problem anymore! If a country can base its foreign policy in large part on its ability to commit the supreme international crime of war at will, it just doesn't get to claim the high moral ground anymore, no matter how important it is to spread the glories of consumer capitalism. It's too bad most USAmericans don't seem to get that.

[ Parent ]

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing... (3.00 / 2) (#104)
by Gooba42 on Sat Jun 25, 2005 at 01:37:01 PM EST

I don't know who said it, but that's the case here.

Tacit approval of these policies is the real problem here. We believe and are reinforced by our media and government in the belief that we are powerless to do anything so why bother questioning it anyway?

We are the power of the government. It can't accomplish anything without us behind it. The catch is that even apathy is help to those in power. They wage these wars and do these things because we allow it, not because we support it.


[ Parent ]

The best defense is a good attack (2.85 / 7) (#15)
by svampa on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 07:58:48 AM EST

The most common task of USA military since WWII is not to protect USA, but to submit 3rd world countries to USA economic interests.

The USA military, sometimes by direct attacks, sometimes by menage, sometimes by "military advisors" acting by means of puppet dictators, is getting contracts and access to naturales resources, oil, mines, land for farming for USA companies in conditions that would be unacceptable by USA for foreign companies

You may deny it, or critize it, but in fact they are protecting your standard of living.



[ Parent ]
Any nation that requires its military (3.00 / 2) (#28)
by destroy all monsters on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 02:54:47 PM EST

ensure its citizens' standard of living is morally bankrupt.

There *are* other ways. No one needs to be as rich as Bill Gates. That's just a start.Strip-mining the world is not a viable long term strategy.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]

morally bankrupt? (none / 1) (#31)
by svampa on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 03:48:43 PM EST

morally bankrupt? is that bad? does it hurts?

That sentence has not sense. Moral changes, what was good yesterday, today it's not. What was bad yesterday, today it's not

No one needs to be as rich as Bill Gates. That's just a start.

You are right.

In fact none needs to have more than two shirts, two pairs of shoes and two trousers, and of course they must last several years. None needs to have a shower every day, with 10 litres of water by day/person should be enought. None needs a car, buses, trains, undergroud and taxies should be enought.

Even like that your are richer than 80% people of the world. There is nothing like a minimum or maximum standard of living, everybody thinks, the higher the better.

There *are* other ways [...] Strip-mining the world is not a viable long term strategy.

What's long-term? 5 centuries like Roman Empire?

Well, you can use it for the short-term and medium-term, when it begins to fail, then you can change to those other ways that *are* there.



[ Parent ]
"That sentence has not sense"? (none / 0) (#32)
by destroy all monsters on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 04:06:34 PM EST

I can't say as I understand your response or the points you're trying to make.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]
morally bankrupt? (none / 0) (#50)
by svampa on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 08:02:09 AM EST

"Morally bankrupt" is a too fuzzy concept by itself (try to define it), and talking about a country has even less sense.

For you Billy Gates standard of living is an abuse, but for most human kind (supposed you live in the first world) even your standard of living is an abuse. You say taht no one needs to be as rich as Bill Gates, the rest of the world could say no one needs to be as rich as you. And any action you suggest to avoid people like Billy Gates, the rest of the world could suggest actions to avoid people as rich as you are.

There is no objective answer to what is the "right" standard of living. Is 100 millions dollars the limit? or 10 millions dollars?.



[ Parent ]
Still unclear (1.50 / 2) (#51)
by destroy all monsters on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 08:36:26 AM EST

Noun 1.bankruptcy  

bankruptcy - a state of complete lack of some abstract property; "spiritual bankruptcy"; "moral bankruptcy"; "intellectual bankruptcy"

from: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/bankruptcy

moral
adj.

   1. Of or concerned with the judgment of the goodness or badness of human action and character: moral scrutiny; a moral quandary.
   2. Teaching or exhibiting goodness or correctness of character and behavior: a moral lesson.
   3. Conforming to standards of what is right or just in behavior; virtuous: a moral life.
   4. Arising from conscience or the sense of right and wrong: a moral obligation.
   5. Having psychological rather than physical or tangible effects: a moral victory; moral support.
   6. Based on strong likelihood or firm conviction, rather than on the actual evidence: a moral certainty.

adj.
1. Of or concerned with the judgment of the goodness or badness of human action and character: moral scrutiny; a moral quandary.
2. Teaching or exhibiting goodness or correctness of character and behavior: a moral lesson.
3. Conforming to standards of what is right or just in behavior; virtuous: a moral life.
4. Arising from conscience or the sense of right and wrong: a moral obligation.
5. Having psychological rather than physical or tangible effects: a moral victory; moral support.
6. Based on strong likelihood or firm conviction, rather than on the actual evidence: a moral certainty.
n.
1. The lesson or principle contained in or taught by a fable, a story, or an event.
2. A concisely expressed precept or general truth; a maxim.
3. morals Rules or habits of conduct, especially of sexual conduct, with reference to standards of right and wrong: a person of loose morals; a decline in the public morals.

from: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/moral

Ergo, the complete lack of morals. It really isn't that hard to define. I can understand that english is your second,third whatever language but it's unambiguous.

"For you Billy Gates standard of living is an abuse, but for most human kind (supposed you live in the first world) even your standard of living is an abuse."

Did you not read my comments about how strip-mining the world wasn't in the world's best interests? I mean when kids in Indonesia or wherever are making our clothes for $.14/hour it's pretty damn clear.

I'm not saying "avoid" Bill Gates (does even his mom call him "Billy"?). I'm saying that there's alternatives to using your military to ensure your standard of living and that those in power have lost the moral authority to rule if that's what they "need" to do to continue along that path.

Again, you make no clear points. What are you arguing for, against?

On a final note - and at the risk of sounding cruel you might want to more carefully proof-read what you write on a site that isn't in your native language. It is difficult to tell whether you've missed the points completely or just not put your ideas across properly in english.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]

Subjective morality (none / 1) (#77)
by neuroplasma on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 09:04:43 AM EST

I believe the point was that "morals" are completely subjective. What makes one morally bankrupt? As stated earlier, those in the third world might argue that you are morally bankrupt for having the amount of money that you do. An amount that doesn't need to be very large to seem like a treasure trove to them.

--
"...you know how you pple are... very sneaky with untrusting slanty eyes" - LxXCaligulaXxl@aol.com
[ Parent ]
So are morals subjective when (none / 0) (#78)
by destroy all monsters on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 12:24:45 PM EST

I'm poking your 13 year old daughter and then doing your wife doggie style while I put out cigarettes on your face? Cause hey, if that's wrong I don't wanna be right.

The entirety of the social contract is based on morality. We presume that there is a right and wrong. To do otherwise is to be barbaric. In all reality the only time we excuse anything that is immoral is when it happens to be for our government  since they are supposedly acting in our best interests.

"those in the third world might argue that you are morally bankrupt for having the amount of money that you do."

Which I already addressed. I could conceivably make my standard of living better or worse but I can't do so for the rest of the country. It isn't applicable to an individual in this case.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]

Well, of course. (3.00 / 4) (#34)
by Kasreyn on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 05:27:44 PM EST

The most common task of USA military since WWII is not to protect USA, but to submit 3rd world countries to USA economic interests.

Well yeah, I knew that. That was actually kind of my point. I was just replying to the commonly stated tomfoolery that our justification is somehow Constitutional. It's a rather quaint conceit and I know it wasn't exactly a challenging thing for me to debunk, but I was feeling lazy.

I suppose when you have no ideals left and your entire nation is one vast sellout, I guess there's nothing better to do with your armed forces than secure an artificially high standard of living on the backs of the downtrodden. USA! USA! USA!


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
casualties... (none / 0) (#47)
by mikelist on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 05:30:02 AM EST

...usually don't prevent other casualties. The short term plan is to cause casualties rather than fatalities, the only way one can 'help' a dead buddy is to fight harder, care of the wounded distracts resources from the mission. Casualties often cause further casualties, and 'cannon fodder' is too expensive to field, given current technology. Statistically, 25% percent of a military force is unable to engage targets due to their response to being shot at, or worse. A modern military force that can prevent that 25% from being along for the campaign will probably do much better. Even the Gulf War 1 Iraqi unarmed line guards were more of an expensive demonstration of loyalty than cannon fodder, nearly all gave up on approach of US forces.

[ Parent ]
Well written (none / 1) (#20)
by tmalo on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 11:40:31 AM EST

Your point of view is clear. Even though I am a little bit suspicious about the state of mind of people in power (like soldiers, policemen,...), I see no reason for this article to be in the edit queue any longer :)

Really? (none / 1) (#44)
by Spendocrat on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 11:59:00 PM EST

What about the "it's" that should be "its"?

+1 despite tiny yet obvious punctuation error.

[ Parent ]

+1 fp (3.00 / 5) (#38)
by guidoreichstadter on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 08:04:14 PM EST

Have you contacted your local PTSA about producing an informational pamphlet outlining the basic mechanics of getting out the military? If public schools in America are going to be strongarmed into hosting agressive and indiscriminate military recruiters, the least the community can do is let kids know their options.


you are human:
no masters,
no slaves.
Not another friggin' recruitment story. (1.50 / 2) (#43)
by OzJuggler on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 11:46:13 PM EST

Join the Empire! See the galaxy! Shoot strange alien beings!

-1. It makes me ill just thinking about it.

OzJuggler.
"And I will not rest until every year families gather to spend December 25th together
at Osama's homo abortion pot and commie jizzporium." - Jon Stewart's gift to Bill O'Reilly, 7 Dec 2005.

What if you're allready in the millitary? (3.00 / 5) (#52)
by Mylakovich on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 09:14:51 AM EST

and have been for over a year now?

I like the bit about "washing out". In Air Force Basic we call it "recycling". Its not as simple and serene as you make it out to be; It can be akin to the worst feelings of anger and remorse. Also, it can take an increadably long time to out-process. We had a trainee wash out at the end of the first week. They kept him in this little prison-like room while he waiting for the paperwork, which was subject to inspections and all that. By the time we were graduating about 7 weeks later, he was STILL waiting for some signitures from the Squadron Commander's staff to release him.

It's true what they say, the fastest way out of Basic Training is to graduate.

One for ...backbone... please: (1.20 / 5) (#53)
by karlandtanya on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 10:02:24 AM EST

hearing protection--check eye protection--check downrange clear--check all other shooters accounte for--check commencing firing...

"I've been trained to be pretty friendly. I guess you might even say I'm kind of passive," Axel told me

At least you recognize your problem. You're young. Party's over; time to go to work.

Let's hope you aren't still living with Mom at 40.

Guess the k5 folks need the /. sig.

Thought you were smarter than that.

Oh, well.

If all you can complain about is the spelling, everyone assumes you support the content.

You can not take the ASVAB? (2.50 / 2) (#54)
by brontus on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 11:27:22 AM EST

When I was in a senior in high school (1999) it wasn't an optional test. The entire class was required to take it. I aparently got a perfect score on the academic part, but scored abysmally in the more "practical" sections like automotive repair and decoding. Something like the 12th percentile.

think back (2.80 / 5) (#58)
by adimovk5 on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 12:59:31 PM EST

Were you required to take the test or were you not told that there was an option? It's not the same thng. There are many things the authority figures convince you to do that you aren't required to do.

What is ASVAB?
The ASVAB is the admissions and placement test for the US military. All persons enlisting in the US military are required to take ASVAB. It determines whether a potential recruit is qualified for the military and for certain military jobs. Military recruiters also claim that it will help a person choose a civilian career, but that is not what it was designed for.

Are schools required to give the ASVAB test?
No. One of the main reasons schools give ASVAB is that it is offered by the Pentagon at no charge to the school.

Are students required to take the ASVAB?
No. While the military has encouraged schools to have all students take the ASVAB, students cannot be forced to give this kind of personal information to the military. Unfortunately some schools tell students that they must take the test or may try to coerce them (harassment, ridicule, counselors telling students they won't help them in other ways if they don't take the ASVAB). While schools may require their students to take an assessment test approved by the state, there is no legal requirement that students take the ASVAB.

Do students have to give personal information on the test form?
Yes, if the student wants the test to be scored. Before taking the test, students are required to sign a form (known as a "waiver") that allows the military to keep any information provided on the form (contact information and scores) and to use it in various ways. If the student does not include all the information asked for and sign the waiver, the test won't be processed.

Militarism in Schools



[ Parent ]
3 for the information, 1 for your implications. (none / 1) (#87)
by Arvedui on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 02:46:00 AM EST

Were you required to take the test or were you not told that there was an option? It's not the same thng. There are many things the authority figures convince you to do that you aren't required to do.

You seem distressingly comfortable with the military's policy here of (by proxy no less, through its pressuring the schools) lying by insinuation and omission--why, much like the way the current administration sold its latest war! but I digress--and I would say that your expectations of juvenile students, who've been raised for 12 years on a strict diet of "Do whatever teacher says," to object strenuously to an "authority figure" telling them to do something that seems perfectly reasonable without knowing the true implications, are astoundingly unrealistic and maybe a bit frightening for someone who seems to spend so much time in the realist/pragmatist camp.

Unfortunately some schools tell students that they must take the test or may try to coerce them (harassment, ridicule, counselors telling students they won't help them in other ways if they don't take the ASVAB).

And then you come right out and say that sometimes even those who might otherwise object are pressured/coerced into taking it anyway! But all the outrage that generates from you (at least in this particular post) is an "unfortunately" before you go on to point out that the school can't actually do what in fact it just did. It's like getting run over by a semi that ran a red light, and somehow thinking that because it's not allowed to run red lights, you couldn't possibly be dead. That schools can't actually make you take a certain test becomes a sick joke if they only let you find that out once it's too late.

[ Parent ]

Ah, it was a quote... (none / 0) (#88)
by Arvedui on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 03:05:26 AM EST

It sounded just like you usually do, so I didn't notice you were actually quoting the website. Heh.

Well, the point stands, with the minor modification that each "You" should be replaced with "They"... and that I suppose if the word "Unfortunately" is coming from the Quakers, it's a rather stronger condemnation than I first suspected.

I'm afraid I still think my overall complaint was valid, though, if not against this particular reply, then against the assumptions behind the article as a whole.

[ Parent ]

Same Here... (none / 0) (#97)
by wageslave on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 02:27:30 AM EST

I was also told that the ASVAB wasn't optional, despite my strong objection to it. I was told that I was not allowed to refuse to take the test.

Instead, I simply filled out all of the personal information with incorrect data. I then went and took the test the same as everyone else.

I laugh in hope that somewhere, there's a recruiter unsuccessfully trying to get ahold of "Mike Oxe".
--- Wage Slave
[ Parent ]

What do you mean by anti-military? (none / 0) (#55)
by nebbish on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 11:51:15 AM EST

Disbanding the US army? Making war illegal? Seems like an odd term to use.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee

some people (3.00 / 2) (#57)
by emmons on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 12:27:40 PM EST

Some people just have an irrational hatred for the military. Many of those would like to see a greatly reduced military or even the abolishion of a standing army.

---
In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
-Douglas Adams

[ Parent ]
The UN outlawed War in 1948 (3.00 / 2) (#59)
by ab762 on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 01:40:59 PM EST

... it didn't take.

Some dumb Canadian
[ Parent ]
That's what I mean (none / 0) (#74)
by nebbish on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 06:48:11 AM EST

It's like being anti-death or something.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

I've taken the ASVAB (none / 0) (#56)
by LilDebbie on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 12:02:08 PM EST

Scored 99th percentile overall. Even did well on the automotive sections (I may know shit about cars, but when a question asks you to point out the "master cylinder" in a diagram, you pick the thing that looks like a big ass cylinder - it's not rocket science people). I've talked to many recruiters, even hung out at the Marine Corp pool functions one recruiter threw (think pre-Boot camp training).

After a while, I think they realized I wasn't about to commit to anything for a while and stopped calling. Granted, this was pre-9/11, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

Doonesbury's take... (none / 0) (#60)
by ctid on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 02:31:37 PM EST

I couldn't resist posting a link to the start of a very funny Doonesbury series on the topic of army recruitment. The theme runs on-and-off for a couple of months, so it's worth pursuing if you like it: Doonesbury, 4th April 2005

Reality is defined by the maddest person in the room.
Over zealous or bad accounting (none / 0) (#61)
by errgh on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 02:35:51 PM EST

This could be a case of extremely bad annotation in a calling list. See, recruiters get lists of all the local H.S. graduates at the end of their term, which isn't anything nobody else can get. When they are in telemarketer mode they go down the list alphabetically and try and make appointments with kids. If a person is not interested, disabled, not graduating, going to college, etc... its annoted by their name with a time/date stamp. That way the next recruiter two or three years down the line can pick up the same list and call all the people who werent interested before, because of course now if they arent in college they are probably in some dopey job working minimum wage or sleeping till noon at home with their parents. It's very possible that a recruiter, either lazy or new, just didnt put down correct marks for the kid. Then maybe an assistant got hold of the list and recalled the kid, then another different recruiter. Recruiters, Marine Corps especially, arent in the business of brainwashing young kids. If a person gives them shit like not showing up for appointments repeatedly or badmouthing them, they wont even bother. There are people on a daily basis that try to enter the USMC and get turned away. People may think lowly of the USMC, but its enlisted ranks have a higher ASVAB minimum than any other branch, which is not saying much. Of course the physical requirement is greater than any other branch. That means that a person that could slink his way into the Army or Navy, couldnt get into the Marines. The recruiters know this, and they try to work with people to mold them into passable poolees. They have a lot of people they can work with that want to be in, they don't need to work with someone thats being really uncooperative. I mean just saying that you are a Jehovahs Witness will get them off your back. Marines may be getting spread like butter over burnt toast right now, but there is no reasoning behind hounding 17 year old kids. Especially when he would still have to get his moms signature until 18.

USMC doesn't have the highest minimum score (none / 1) (#76)
by neuroplasma on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 08:49:58 AM EST

"People may think lowly of the USMC, but its enlisted ranks have a higher ASVAB minimum than any other branch" That is completely untrue. In fact, the USMC is the second lowest, requiring only one point more than the Army's minimum of 31 points. The Navy requires a minimum of 35 and the Coast Guard and Air Force require a minimum of 40.

--
"...you know how you pple are... very sneaky with untrusting slanty eyes" - LxXCaligulaXxl@aol.com
[ Parent ]
What about the Draft? (none / 1) (#62)
by claes on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 03:49:51 PM EST

Any ideas? Seems to me that it's a'comin in. The meat grinder in Iraq seems to pull in our poor boys at a pretty steady rate.

-- claes (Not really anti-military, but with teenage son, I'm worried)

nah (none / 0) (#63)
by errgh on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 04:15:23 PM EST

a draft wont happen, the reserves are too big. theres so much more stretching available in the armed forces. if the US were to fight on two fronts... that might give them reason to start a draft. like somewhere in the eastern pacific. other than that, it would never happen

[ Parent ]
from the "meat grinder" (none / 0) (#84)
by Sairon on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 05:11:08 PM EST

it doesn't look like there's a need for a draft. More than enough willing soldiers here. Unless your son is volunteering for service I don't believe you have any worries. I'd say it's not even remotely on the radar.

Jared

[ Parent ]

What do you expect (1.40 / 5) (#64)
by alphaxer0 on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 05:34:38 PM EST

From an organization, whose sole purpose, now matter how you dress it with propaganda, fancy uniforms, or bullshit about honor and courage, is to engage in large scale murder and mayhem? Seriously, expecting self-control, respect for others, and common decency out a group of individuals, who enlisted for the primary purpose of engaging in legalized mass violence, is a bit much. Yeah, this is a dupe comment,but its a dupe story, so why not go slashdot with it.

I'd rather agressive recruiters... (none / 0) (#66)
by hershmire on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 10:36:23 PM EST

than draft officers. And really, how hard is it to say no?
FIXME: Insert quote about procrastination
Saying "no" (none / 1) (#68)
by Pseudonym on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 10:56:59 PM EST

And really, how hard is it to say no?

If you're the kind of person who finds it difficult to say "no" a lot of badgering and coercion, then you might well be millitary material. Think of it as a screening technique.


sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
Poll complaint (none / 1) (#67)
by Pseudonym on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 10:51:34 PM EST

I know it's considered very nerdy to complain about poll options, but next time could you please split Iraq and Afghanistan? The two conflicts raise distinctly different legal and moral issues.


sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
I think it's vague (none / 0) (#69)
by destroy all monsters on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 11:16:35 PM EST

I'm pro-soldier, anti-militarist, and anti-adventurist. I don't see how that translates to the poll options at all.  

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]
Well done (none / 0) (#70)
by C Montgomery Burns on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 01:27:36 AM EST

As the person who had the original MLP about this posted, I must say that this article is far, far better than mine.

Good job.
--
ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD
Intelligent design

thank you <nt> (none / 0) (#93)
by adimovk5 on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 04:41:50 PM EST



[ Parent ]
How it worked for me: (3.00 / 4) (#72)
by tsecni on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 01:41:25 AM EST

I created an account just to share this story, since I think it's kinda interesting. When I was nearing the end of HS, way back ca. '98-'99, I, like many people, started getting calls from recruiters. After about a week of them trying to catch me in phone tag, I finally got stuck talking to one of them.

I get what I assume is the usual spiel about how the military is great for young people looking into college--waving the "free" money in my face.

Now, I don't want to deal with these guys. But I'm just a kid. So I don't have that much confidence either. So, I'd love to say I was way confident, and said this calmly, but I sounded like a total wimp.

"What if," I said hesitantly, "I'm gay?"

"Oh, you're a homo?"

"Yeah."

*click*

Hand to God. They really did call me a homo and hang up.

But I never got another phone call.

So, just tell them you're gay. It doesn't have to be true (I, for example, am a heterosexual), and apparently, they keep records of that stuff, so they know not to try you again. I'm sort of hoping that somewhere, there's a pentagon database of "known homosexuals" with my name on it. It'd be way funny.


I doubt it will last forever (none / 0) (#73)
by C Montgomery Burns on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 01:56:11 AM EST

When they get really desperate, that will go right out the window.
--
ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD
Intelligent design
[ Parent ]
Desperate? (none / 1) (#98)
by One Childish n00b on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 05:30:50 AM EST

After all, a mouth's a mouth... ;)

[ Parent ]
that's fucking hilarious, thanks for sharing ;-)nt (none / 0) (#75)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 06:50:11 AM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
the original story (none / 1) (#79)
by ProfessorBooty on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 01:06:00 PM EST

http://nationalreview.com/comment/spruiell200506141217.asp take it for whatver you will, but according to the marines involved, the reporter never called them to confirm anything. Recruiters are most certainly aggressive, even more so with recent events. Recruiters backed down whenever I told them I already had an AFROTC scholarship, oddly enough i still got calls from the USAF trying to get me to enlist even after I was already enlisted in the USAFR (you are enlisted for administrative purposes if you have a scholarship, plus to ensure their investment).

yeah (none / 0) (#83)
by Sairon on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 05:03:40 PM EST

I got calls for two years after I enlisted. I don't think they really share information between branches well at that level.

Jared

[ Parent ]

Poll needed more options (none / 0) (#80)
by Stickerboy on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 03:18:51 PM EST

There are many people, for instance, that are pro-Afghanistan War and anti-Iraq War.

Because those Taleeban folks actually DID have something to do with the World Trade Center attacks.

Oh that dirty woman-hating Taleeban! (none / 0) (#89)
by Arvedui on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 03:12:00 AM EST

Because those Taleeban folks actually DID have something to do with the World Trade Center attacks.

Oh I know! The nerve of those towelheads, asking for evidence before processing bin Laden's extradition! Just obscene!! They're lucky they didn't get a nuke dropped on 'em right then and there!!!

[ Parent ]

LOL (none / 0) (#90)
by Stickerboy on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 03:43:54 AM EST

I don't know which is more funny, that you apparently missed every scrap of sarcasm in my previous post or that you actually believe the Taliban would have handed over bin Laden, no matter what evidence was presented.

[ Parent ]
Curiously enough... (none / 0) (#91)
by Arvedui on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 04:01:55 AM EST

I actually *did* miss it, which is really bad, since I've been known to get a bit sarcastic from time to time myself. *embarrassed*

As to the other, well, we'll never know now, will we? The Taliban were playing it straight, it's the USA that came across as the insane-n-crazy hair-trigger mofo. I mean, imagine that kind of exchange between any other pair of countries:

---

Oh no, zee cheese fectory hes been blown up! Zut alors, zee culprit is hiding in Belgium! Ve must bring heem to justeece!

FRANCE: Ok Belgium, give him up, we know he's in there.

BELGIUM: Oh, this guy? We don't think he did it, and he denies it too. Can you give us some evidence before we send him back to you for summary execution?

FRANCE: No! Hand him over!!

BELGIUM: Uhh, that's not the way extradition treaties work...

FRANCE: Tick-tock-tick-tock little country, oops, too late, time's up! You're pseudo-French TOAST!!

[commence massive bombing campaign with thousands of direct and indirect civilian casualties and disastrous consequences for pretty much everyone not living in the capital city of Brussels.]

It's just another nail in the lid of international law's coffin, and not really surprising in any real way, but most USAmericans have no idea that all the Taliban were asking for was simple, standard proof. Most people probably think they were making outrageous and unreasonable demands or else refusing outright. What they would've done if actually presented with proof is now a moot point.

[ Parent ]

Lies Lies Lies Lies! (3.00 / 2) (#81)
by MercyBeat on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 04:56:30 PM EST

Once you step foot out of the swearing in room you are in the military. You are no longer a civilian. You are the PROPERTY of the United States. Don't be fooled by some joker telling you can get out after n number of days. If you try to wash out in Basic they will run you through another cycle. If you walk into your company commanders office and asked to be released because you are a objector you will be picking up trash on the side of the road for the next year while they wait for you to come to your senses.

Whats a man got left to fight for when he's bought his freedom.
I hate to tell you this. (none / 1) (#82)
by Sairon on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 05:01:39 PM EST

But you are wrong. I've personally seen all of the above cases occur. My drill specifically told us every day we could go home whenever we wanted to. Actually made it harder for some seeing that they had a choice. One gave in. He went home.

Jared

[ Parent ]

Funny? (3.00 / 2) (#85)
by MercyBeat on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 05:45:01 PM EST

When I was in. Everyone that thought they were getting out of basic got put into a special platoon that had to do basic over again. And there was not a war going on then. Personally i don't find it funny spreading stories about people getting out of military service by just asking.

Whats a man got left to fight for when he's bought his freedom.
[ Parent ]
Check your sources (none / 1) (#101)
by Hyppy on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 03:01:51 AM EST

Just because you have never heard of an IES (Initial entry separation), doesn't mean it does not exist. There are many routes for new recruits to take if they cannot hack it in the military. The most common discharge under this provision is Failure To Adapt. Sounds like you took the drill sergeant's (instructor, etc, whatever) propaganda a little too seriously. They can SAY whatever they want, that doesn't mean you have to believe them. 5 Years in, 18 months spent in Iraq. So long, and thanks for all the fish.

[ Parent ]
Not wrong (none / 0) (#94)
by destroy all monsters on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 07:04:31 PM EST

different units and commands as well as services do things different ways. I am curious where you took boot camp and for what service though as your experience seems far removed from my own.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]
True, True, True! (3.00 / 4) (#86)
by Haxx on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 08:56:46 PM EST

Funny thing about the last post is that many people go through 4 years of active duty and still don't know that there are ways to exit the military.

In boot camp I witnessed several people "refuse to train", and they all disappeared. The rest of us figured they went to jail or something. It wasn't until after boot camp that we relised that you could quit at any time.

We all knew that when you were waiting to go to boot camp that you could decide not to go at any time. lots of people bail out of delayed entry.

As far as the 180 day thing. I heard rumors of this the whole 4 years I was in, I'm sure it is true, but I never saw anyone do it. It wouldn't be easy, that is for sure.

Another way to get out is to fake a chronic lower back problem. It is hard to prove or disprove this condition. This takes a long time (8-14 months). This method has consequences you'd have to witness to believe. People do it though.

It is never clear at any time while you are in the military weather or not you can legally make an exit. They do not publicize it and ever higher ranking people do not know for sure. Years later when you learn the truth it still seems like way to much of a hassle to make an exit after boot camp. It seems easier and more honorable to just do your 4 years and get out if it isn't for you. Things could be different now in wartime, I missed the war by 18 months.

Marines 96-2000

changes? (none / 1) (#92)
by trav on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 01:41:07 PM EST

In my senior year of high school, I spoke with a recruiter about joining the Army with the intention of becoming a Ranger.  I talked to him quite a bit about how to proceed and gave him all my contact info and so on.

I took the ASVAB as well.  I was told that I had scored higher than any they had seen (at that testing center) and obviously qualified for anything I wanted to try for.  They weren't entirely sure that I would actually get infantry if I asked for it and might be reassigned to some technical MOS.

During this whole process I never received a single phone call from any recruiter besides the one I approached.  This was in 1994.  A lot of people in that area went into the military, so perhaps they just had no trouble with quotas.  Think that 20% of my graduating class went in.  I always find these stories of hard-sell recruiters interesting, since my experience was the exact opposite.

Also: when I took the ASVAB, the test administrator told us to write our names at the top, in the box that said "Name".  Then he said, "If you're going into the Marines, you can leave now.  You just qualified!".

It sounds to me (none / 0) (#95)
by destroy all monsters on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 07:07:42 PM EST

as though they had their quotas covered in your area. I'd guess that you're in one of those depressed areas there's not a lot of jobs in so that the military is pretty much one of the only places to go. Twenty percent of your graduating class is significant.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]
got just one call (none / 1) (#102)
by brettd on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 07:46:30 PM EST

Don't talk to recruiters. If a recruiter calls, hang up the phone. Don't engage the recruiter in conversation. Don't say no. Don't say good-bye, just hang up the phone. If the recruiter comes to your home, your school, or your work place, don't talk to them.

I got just one call...this was about ten years ago.

"Hello! This is major blah blah blah. I was wondering what your plans are after high school?"

"I'm not sure."

"Well, maybe I can discuss the opportunities in the (insert service here) with you."

"I may not be sure what my plans are, but I'm quite sure they don't involve any of the armed services"

I hung up the phone. My best friend ended the conversation even quicker- his first line to the recruiter was that he was late out the door to the Young Socialists meeting, and had to go. Worked like a charm :-)

Dont give them your number (none / 0) (#103)
by 3454234 on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 11:05:35 PM EST

If you've taken the ASVAB or done some other thing to draw attention to yourself, the military will come calling

quotes and attributions (none / 0) (#105)
by adimovk5 on Sun Jun 26, 2005 at 02:47:43 PM EST

.....Evil triumphs when good men do nothing.....

The quote is a misquote or fake quote often attributed to Edmund Burke. It's a recent invention that can be traced as far as "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." However, that particular quote can't be traced back to anyone. For a full explanation see Martin Porter in his essay on the quote and follow up essay. In the follow up essay he ends with four principles:

Principle 1 (for readers)
Whenever you see a quotation given with an author but no source assume that it is probably bogus.

Principle 2 (for readers)
Whenever you see a quotation given with a full source assume that it is probably being misused, unless you find good evidence that the quoter has read it in the source.

Principle 3 (for quoters)
Whenever you make a quotation, give the exact source.

Principle 4 (for quoters)
Only quote from works that you have read.



The enemy is not us (none / 1) (#106)
by adimovk5 on Sun Jun 26, 2005 at 02:53:58 PM EST

.....Tacit approval of these policies is the real problem here. We believe and are reinforced by our media and government in the belief that we are powerless to do anything so why bother questioning it anyway?

We are the power of the government. It can't accomplish anything without us behind it. The catch is that even apathy is help to those in power. They wage these wars and do these things because we allow it, not because we support it.....

We are not the power of government. The power of government rests with other classes of people. There are people who don't care what the government does. There are those don't care what the government does unless it does it to them. There are those who care but choose to do nothing but rant. There are those who hold the reins of power and wish to maintain their power.

It is against these groups that we struggle. The government takes property and power and wages wars without our approval. It doesn't need our approval. It exercises the proxy votes of others and our wishes are immaterial. It's not that we allow it. Many people stand between us and the power to change things.

Change requires the mobilization of critical mass. One person can't cause change unless he can move a critical mass of people. Once that critical mass is activated, change is possible.

first (none / 0) (#107)
by soart on Wed Jun 29, 2005 at 12:17:07 PM EST

The first 180 days are a time of learning and adjustment. Military life isn't for everyone. With that in mind, the military allows you to leave during the first 180 days. It isn't as easy as sending in a letter before MEPS or walking into the commander's office during boot camp. The military has a lot of time and money invested by this time. It will resist you as much as legally possible. In the end, if you remain firm in your committment, it must let you go.
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Early Exits | 107 comments (98 topical, 9 editorial, 0 hidden)
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