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[P]
Women and the Draft

By dave behrens in Op-Ed
Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 01:23:41 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

Every man in the United States 18 to 25 years of age is required to register for the Selective Service, and thereby subject himself to the possibility of involuntary military service. Yet, on the eve of war with Iraq, the prosecution of which may require millions of U.S. military personnel, no woman in the U.S. is required to register.  This clear fact of gender discrimination has not been focused upon in public discussions, I believe, because an active draft has not been in effect since 1973.


The United States Selective Service System offers on its Website a short history of the draft with respect to women. The primary reason given for non-registration of women is a twenty-year-old Supreme Court decision, Rostker v. Goldberg.  Simply stated, this decision says that since all men registered with the Selective Service are considered combat replacements, and since Congress forbids women to go into combat, women should not be registered. Of course, this reasoning is absolutely absurd, since it presupposes that every man called for involuntary military service will be used for combat, and that no man called will be used for the approximately 90% of military jobs which are non-combat related.

Some questions arise as a result of this blatant fact of gender discrimination:

1.  While U.S. women enjoy exactly the same civil rights as U.S. men, why is the pretext of a ridiculous Supreme Court decision used to exempt the majority of the population, i.e. females, from even the possibility of involuntary military service in any capacity?

2.  Should women be permitted to vote in elections for candidates who may have to decide on war for our country, when women will never serve involuntarily in any military conflict?

3.  Title IX demands that proportionately equal funds be used for school-based athletics for males and females. Many schools have had to abandon male team sports that earn revenue in excess of their costs and which aid in the preparation of males for the teamwork and organization of military service, in order to provide gender-equal funding for female sports which perennially lose revenue. Yet there is no requirement for females to utilize the skills and strengths learned on the athletic field in the military defense of their country. Should Title IX continue?  

4.  Do equal civil rights for women obligate women to equal civil responsibilities?

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Poll
Should women be required to register with the Selective Service as men are required to register and serve involuntarily if men are required to serve involuntarily?
o Yes. Women shall register and serve equally with men. 80%
o Yes. Women shall register and serve only in non-combat jobs even if men are required to serve involuntarily in combat jobs. 12%
o No. Women shall not register or serve involuntarily even if men are required to. 6%

Votes: 318
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Also by dave behrens


Display: Sort:
Women and the Draft | 701 comments (698 topical, 3 editorial, 0 hidden)
Equal Rights (3.81 / 11) (#1)
by influx on Thu Dec 26, 2002 at 09:09:54 PM EST

Absolutely they should be required to register for the draft. I am for equal rights, which means true equality, not you get access to the things you want and get exempted from the things you don't want.

And if women want to fight in combat, that's fine with me too. Just require they meet all the requirements that the men do, including grooming standards and physical fitness requirements. There should also be penalties for suddenly becoming pregnent before a combat deployment.

---
The more you know, the less you understand.

yes or no (4.00 / 2) (#4)
by /dev/trash on Thu Dec 26, 2002 at 09:40:29 PM EST

I think that women would be included.  It is not fair AT all that a woman doesn't have to register but can still get federal benefits, while a man would be denied such benefits.

I'm surprised their haven't been more lawsuits.
I'd file one myself but I'm 30 and my SS card was placed in the garbage 3 years ago.

---
Updated 02/20/2004
New Site
[ Parent ]

I would take it one step further (3.16 / 6) (#8)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu Dec 26, 2002 at 10:19:54 PM EST

And have citizenship contingent on a tour of duty. The only halfway interesting problem would be how to give equal access to individuals who cannot meet the physical requirements for active duty. And even this is only halfway interesting because there are a multitude of jobs that need to done in the military that does not require much in the way of physical labor (positions involving logistics, encrypting/decrypting, etc.).

[ Parent ]
Thank you, Robert Heinlein. [nt] (5.00 / 1) (#38)
by spaceghoti on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:44:47 AM EST



"Humor. It is a difficult concept. It is not logical." -Saavik, ST: Wrath of Khan

[ Parent ]
Broaden your horizons. (none / 0) (#91)
by physicsgod on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:15:40 AM EST

There are plenty of things that need to be done in this country that don't require being a bullet sponge. I also don't think it does the armed forces much good to have new conscripts constantly rotating through.

My idea would be that everyone who is registered to vote is also automatically registered for emergency federal service. The exact nature of that service would be determined by the abilities of the person involved and the needs of the nation. Anything from stacking sandbags to filing paperwork to building computer networks to dodging bullets. The service would also be voluntary in that all you need to do to not be subject to call-up is not register.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]

Voluntary? (none / 0) (#101)
by bloat on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:30:15 AM EST

The service would also be voluntary in that all you need to do to not be subject to call-up is not register.

I'm not sure if you've noticed, but people aren't exactly queuing up to vote in America. This is a sure fire way to reduce general participation in the political process even further.

CheersAndrewC.
--
There are no PanAsian supermarkets down in Hell, so you can't buy Golden Boy peanuts there.
[ Parent ]
"...But that one is a Lion" (5.00 / 2) (#115)
by physicsgod on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:59:59 AM EST

Yes, there would probably be a drop-off in registered voters, but those left might be more civic-minded and responsable, less likely to be suckered by content-free attack ads.

Or they might just vote for whoever promised never to call up emergency services.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]

Is it? (4.00 / 1) (#421)
by Anonymous 242 on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 11:16:26 PM EST

I'm not sure if you've noticed, but people aren't exactly queuing up to vote in America. This is a sure fire way to reduce general participation in the political process even further.
Dissonance theory (as in cognitive dissonance) would predict the opposite of what you contend to be the case. In situations where X is difficult to obtain, the more likely individuals are to place a high value on X. In other words citizenship at a cost is worth more to the human psyche than citizenship by default. I would expect that if citizenship were difficult to come by, more citizens would take the time to vote.

Dissonance theory aside, the real problem is a lack of options. Until this gets fixed, then the number of those eligible who bother to go cast a ballot will continue to plummet.

[ Parent ]

Broaden your own horizons (none / 0) (#126)
by curien on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 08:40:40 AM EST

Your first paragraph belies your total ignorance of how the US military works. First, not everyone in the military is a "bullet sponge". My career field, for instance, is generally not deployable. If I wanted to go to war, I'd have to ask for a favor from my Chief. Second, approximately half of all first-termers reenlist for a second term. New personnel are already constantly rotating.

--
Murder your babies. -- R Mutt
[ Parent ]
A couple of things. (5.00 / 1) (#230)
by physicsgod on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 03:44:27 PM EST

I know that not everyone in the military is a bullet sponge, I know I'm not (at least if anyone's throwing bullets around the bowels of a CVN quite a few people've fucked up). But a draft is supposed to replace attrition, and the greatest attrition is going to be in combat roles. In other words the same reasons we're not in great danger are the reasons there aren't going to be many draftees coming to replace us.

As for current personnel rotation, that's voluntary meaning that 1) people want to be there and 2) The DOD (who write the enlistment contracts) dictates the replacement tempo. In a draft situation the replacement tempo is going to be dictated more by the vagaries of war.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]

Re: A couple of things. (none / 0) (#428)
by The Snowman on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 11:45:17 PM EST

But a draft is supposed to replace attrition, and the greatest attrition is going to be in combat roles.

From what I can tell, the greatest attrition is in technical fields. For example, I make about $20,000 with allowances and benefits. In the civilian world, my skills and education would easily make me over $80,000. This is where the attrition problem is.

The people with crappy jobs generally reenlist but retrain into better jobs.


John Gaughan
[ Parent ]
Yes but, (none / 0) (#520)
by physicsgod on Mon Dec 30, 2002 at 04:21:10 AM EST

That's in peacetime. You can bet your ass that if things ever got to the point they're drafting civillians our contracts are going to see a nice little indefinite extension.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
Reply (none / 0) (#661)
by dave behrens on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 12:12:34 PM EST

You obviously do not work in a combat MOS. Could a female perform your job? Should a female perform your job, if she is incapable of performing a combat job, freeing you to perform the combat job?
dave_behrens@juno.com
[ Parent ]
What about the German model ? (none / 0) (#120)
by Chakotay on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 06:48:16 AM EST

If you are "discarded" from the military on any ground (of if you don't want to on personal grounds), you are required to do a civil service. Generally this entails park cleaning service and other such petty (and some less petty) jobs in the interest of the general population.

I recall a quote from Ghost Dog. A mafioso just killed a female cop. His friend said "You just killed a woman!" "No, I killed a cop." "But she was a woman!" "HEY! They WANT to be equal? I MADE her equal!"

--
Linux like wigwam. No windows, no gates, Apache inside.

[ Parent ]
Sometimes very worthwhile (none / 0) (#143)
by Dephex Twin on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 10:16:20 AM EST

My friend spent his Zivildienst working at a school for children with severe disabilities, and not only was it very good for the children, but it was a great experience for him as a person.


Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]
The German Model (none / 0) (#399)
by yooden on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 07:12:14 PM EST

If you are discarded, you are just discarded. Civil service is for conscientious objectors.

From what I hear, most work in the public health care system.

There is a discussion going on to replace the conscription army with a volunteer army. One of the main problem is indeed that the public health care is already stretched thin and the Zivis are needed.

[ Parent ]

Thanks for the clarification (none / 0) (#532)
by Chakotay on Mon Dec 30, 2002 at 10:42:41 AM EST

IANAGerman :) Luckily there are some out there though to correct me.

In my original neck of the woods (the Netherlands) conscription was abolished just about when I was to be called up. In my current neck of the woods (France), conscription was abolished much later, but heck, I'm not French, so the French armed forces wouldn't let me in anyway even if I wanted to (except for the Foreign Legion ofcourse, but I don't have a death wish...)

--
Linux like wigwam. No windows, no gates, Apache inside.

[ Parent ]
Re: Equal Rights (none / 0) (#426)
by The Snowman on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 11:40:14 PM EST

According to a DOD directive, don't know the exact one, women are forbidden from any combat job. There is no rational given.

I think women and homosexuals need to have equal rights and equal opportunities in the military and with the selective service. Discrimination is wrong, no matter how you slice it.

Why is it that the women in my office have to meet the same standards for weight and fitness as I do, yet they will never in a million years actually need to be slim and in shape? It's not like I'm going off to fight either, being a desk jockey for the Chair Force.

The military is all screwed up. Most of the problems you never see from the outside. There are people high up in the Pentagon that make decisions giving direction to the military. Congress, for the most part, lets them do what they want even if it isn't the right thing. And when Congress does step in, the first thing they do is ask the Pentagon what they think -- then they back them up. The Generals, Admirals and SES civilians have full reign over the military. There is no Congressional or civilian oversight that can actually make necessary changes.

The end point is, even if everybody wants change, it won't happen. There is nothing you can do. Trust me. I'm on the inside looking out. I can't wait to get away from the military, away from the hipocrisy, the discrimination, the bullshit.


John Gaughan
[ Parent ]
You freakin nazi (none / 0) (#695)
by ddsaves on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 10:49:21 AM EST

You should have lived in the days of Hitler and been his right hand man.... If you really want a Communist nation, why don't you move to one. What you said is pathetic... What kind of penalty do you think a woman should have for getting pregnant???? You think pregnancy isn't a punishment in itself sometimes. Being a pregnant woman is not the most wonderful thing in the world sometimes. Considering your little quote there "The more you know, the less you understand." You must know it all, but not understand a damn thing. Thank you.

[ Parent ]
Yes! (4.41 / 17) (#2)
by psicE on Thu Dec 26, 2002 at 09:21:04 PM EST

There are two possible interpretations for the draft: the American way, and the Swiss way.

The American interpretation holds that government is generally above the people, and special trained citizens take priority over ordinary citizens. People with special military training thus fight, while most people simply sit and watch. The draft exists for times of national emergency, when there simply are not enough people to successfully keep the nation secure without drafting more people.

By this interpretation, the SSS should ultimately be eliminated, in favor of an expanded armed forces reserve program. Pragmatically, including women in the SSS for the time being could help; suddenly, a huge segment of the population, that has shown to be more pro-peace and anti-war than the population as a whole, is required to join the army, and thus there would be a newfound political incentive to disband the SSS.

The Swiss interpretation holds that government is by the people, and no one is above any other. Thus, in lieu of having a professional army at all, all citizens are required to participate in the army, and weapons are kept militia-style unloaded at home. Positions of seniority are still filled by full-time professionals, but even those professionals originally start as draftsmen - they simply move up in the ranks. The army is not so much a defense force as a citizen's militia, designed to protect the country not just against other countries but against itself - if ever a goverment tries to oppress its citizens, the army is ready. (Incidentally, this method is used in Turkey, and has helped save the country many times from being overrun by fundamentalists.)

By this model, women and all other citizens of age should be included in the army. Partial and full exemptions should be allowed, for people who don't like death and for people who don't like guns, respectively - the former would be given the same training but would not be forced to fight in a wartime scenario, while the latter would assist the community in nonmilitaristic ways, i.e. being a nurse or teacher - but most people would want to be included; they are not just doing their civic duty for their community (not country; people have a much stronger connection to smaller groups than larger ones), they are ensuring their own personal survival by making sure that the "community's" interest will always be in harmony with its members.

Obviously, I would prefer the latter system to be implemented at the community level, similar to the way the US militia originally existed. But in both systems, there are both pragmatic and moral reasons why women should be included.

Swiss Way: Real! (4.20 / 5) (#7)
by snowlion on Thu Dec 26, 2002 at 10:13:50 PM EST

I was shocked to hear that initially, and thought you must be mistaken. I looked around- with all the Switch Army watches being sold, it was hard to find anything.

But I finally found a link about the Swiss Army.

Yep! You serve for a couple weeks out of the year. When you go home, you take your gun and ammo with you..!

Wow!

Democracy in action! Way to go!
--
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]

hmm (4.00 / 3) (#160)
by adequate nathan on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 11:34:04 AM EST

What about Apache pilots? Could they take their helicopters home and unload them?

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Forget Apaches (4.33 / 3) (#174)
by The Archpadre on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:30:59 PM EST

I'd be more interested to know what happens when the folks in charge of aircraft carriers go home at night.
__
Where did my waffles go?


[ Parent ]
aircraft carriers (3.66 / 3) (#191)
by Anon 17933 on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 01:28:37 PM EST

I don't think the swiss military has them... Or Apaches...

[ Parent ]
uh. (3.00 / 4) (#217)
by adequate nathan on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:32:50 PM EST

No kidding.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Swiss military has no Apaches (5.00 / 3) (#283)
by Rk on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 08:01:15 PM EST

There is some talk about buying combat helicopters though.

We don't have any ships at all, since Switzerland is land-locked. We have an airforce consisting of militia part and a professional part, the latter being responsible for policing Swiss airspace. The Swiss airforce is quite small, consisting of 85 F-5E and Fs, all for use by the miltia section, and 33 F/A-18Cs and Ds, used exclusively by the professional section. There are also some high ranked officers, border guards and military instructors who are full-time, but the rest is miltia. Fully mobilised, the Swiss army comes in at about 300,000 - 400,000 troops.

Women are not required to do military service, but can volunteer if they want to. For those unfit for military service, there are alternatives available.

The Swiss army is militia, but far from amateur. You get the same level of training you would if you entered the army in America, something like 4-5 months at first, with repetition courses thereafter. Germany and Austria have a similiar system, but I believe they both have a standing army as well.

[ Parent ]

austrian army (4.50 / 2) (#379)
by drgonzo on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 02:27:46 PM EST

that's right

althought austria is landlocked too it hast a navy
which consists of a few scout boat (apocalypse now style) that 'secure' the danube (which is a joke; like the airforce ...)

this is IMO out of nostalgia (austro-hungaryan reich befor 1918)

btw, this navy, although big at this time, only won one battle if i remember correctly

so you see the army is a joke (like the rest of this country ... yes i am austrian [in a bad mood]

so long
raou

[ Parent ]

Aren't you buying new aircraft? (5.00 / 1) (#586)
by Rk on Tue Dec 31, 2002 at 10:55:44 AM EST

I seem to recall that Austria wanted to buy Eurofighter aircaft to replace it's archaic Saab fighters...

[ Parent ]
The world's only land-locked naval power... (5.00 / 1) (#284)
by fenix down on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 08:31:25 PM EST

Hey, you never know when France might slide off into the Atlantic.

[ Parent ]
Always amusing (2.00 / 4) (#292)
by QuantumG on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 10:17:57 PM EST

to hear someone discover something that is common knowledge. To do it using the Internet is just sugar on the cake. You could have opened your door and asked the first person to walk past and they would have been able to tell you the exact same thing. Way to go. You're a regular Thomas Edison.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Would be nice, but won't happen soon (2.75 / 8) (#47)
by Greyshade on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 01:26:27 AM EST

There is a large segment of the US population that have no interested in owning or learning to use a gun for self-defense, they also want to deny me the right to posess one for my own defense. The government places ever-increasing restrictions on the ownership and use of firearms to make it's citizens feel more 'secure'.

I don't see this changing in the near future.

[ Parent ]

Not Quite (4.50 / 2) (#140)
by Merk00 on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 10:05:02 AM EST

I think you fundementally misunderstand the concept of the US armed forces. Given the proactive defense stance of the US armed forces, it's really necessary to have a professional full-time force. It's not that the US thinks that some people are better than others and that only some should fight. That has nothing to do with it. In fact, common defense of the state by the citizenry is a very common theme in US history (most wars in US history have been fought by "citizen soldiers"). Given experiences in World War 1 and 2 (where the US was rather unprepared), it was realized that simply having a civilian defense force wasn't going to work. In times of national emergency, when it requires more than just the standing army to defeat, then citizen are called to defend the nation.

Also, the US does have something similiar to the Swiss system of defense: the national guard and reserves. The difference between the US and Swiss system is that the US is all volunteer. The main difference is that weaponry is not taken home with the soldier.

------
"At FIRST we see a world where science and technology are celebrated, where kids think science is cool and dream of becoming science and technology heroes."
- FIRST Mission
[ Parent ]

'Proactive' defense is the problem. (3.83 / 6) (#196)
by nstenz on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 01:44:13 PM EST

The Swiss can operate their army the way they do because they stay out of other people's business. If the United States would keep to itself and not get involved in foreign politics (like our forefathers told us to, yadda yadda), a Swiss-style military would work just fine.

Some say we have to be more global because we have a global economy and whatnot. However, I don't think the Swiss have any trouble selling watches or chocolate to the rest of the world. For that matter, I don't think the Swiss have any problem storing everyone else's money in their banks, either. Having a big bully of a military force is not required for global commerce.

[ Parent ]

Two things (4.66 / 3) (#323)
by tjb on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 01:39:06 AM EST

  1. The Swiss are blessed with very easy to defend territory: The whole country is made of big-ass mountains.  In that kind of terrain, infantry with bazookas is a match for tanks anyday and air operations are generally hindered.
  2. The Swiss position of neutrality can leady to some moral compromise.  In WW2, the swiss position can be pretty much summed as: "Axis Europe, Allied Europe, Soviet Europe, who cares."  Unless you feel comfortable making that statement, I wouldn't suggest Swiss-style neutrality.
Even the US, while technically neutral in 1940, was engaging German subs in the Atlantic - Swiss neutrality really means neutral.

But without point 1, the whole issue becomes moot.  Belgium had a history of proclaiming and exercising a truly neutral status (to the point of not allowing French and British troops in the country to defend its neutrality), but that didn't stop German armies from using Belgian turf as a highway to Paris three times in 60 years.

Tim

[ Parent ]

Switzerland is hardly a major military power (5.00 / 2) (#382)
by Demiurge on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 04:06:48 PM EST

The same army/social club they have isn't going to cut it when you're the world's sole superpower, and have to extend force all the way around the globe.

[ Parent ]
Well damn. (1.00 / 1) (#383)
by valeko on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 04:08:28 PM EST

Maybe the U.S. shouldn't be the "world's only superpower" then, eh? :)

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Are you nominating a replacement? (5.00 / 1) (#404)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 07:31:45 PM EST

or an addition to the super power club? Japan doesn't want to join, the EU couldn't conquer a British soccer stadium, China maybe could, but they don't have the resources yet....


--
Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.


[ Parent ]

no super power wanted (1.00 / 6) (#449)
by Quietti on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 08:20:30 AM EST

Death to dubya butch!

--
The whole point of civilization is to reduce how much the average person has to think. - Stef Murky
[ Parent ]
Remember you said that (5.00 / 1) (#563)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Dec 30, 2002 at 08:59:07 PM EST

The next time you go looking for peace keepers


--
Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.


[ Parent ]

I will NEVER be looking for US help - the opposite (3.00 / 2) (#583)
by Quietti on Tue Dec 31, 2002 at 09:25:44 AM EST

If there's one thing, I'd rather see all American megacorporations and the US Army sent in to enforce its world conquest all stayed in Yankeeland and left us alone. I repeat: go home, Microsoft, McDonald, Nike, GM, Ford and Mars; bugger off, US Navy. Oh yeah, and death to Dubya Bush and his cocaine-snorting convicted felons buddies in Texas and DC.

--
The whole point of civilization is to reduce how much the average person has to think. - Stef Murky
[ Parent ]
I don't think (5.00 / 1) (#587)
by CENGEL3 on Tue Dec 31, 2002 at 01:26:48 PM EST

I don't think you'd like a world with an isolationist U.S. very much. You do remember what happaned the last time we tried that little experiment don't you?.... it was called World War II.

Without the U.S. ability to exert power who would have kept Stalin from rolling all over Western Europe post WWII? Please don't try to feed me any propaganda that he wouldn't have... You can try telling that to the Poles (invaded by the U.S.S.R. 2 weeks after Stalins ally Hitler) or the Finns or the Baltic States.

Who would keep Iraq, Milsovic, North Korea and China from rolling over anyone that they could reach? Again, if you don't think they would if given the opportunity you might want to tell that to Tibet, Kuwait, the Kurds and the Albanians.

I'm not trying to say that the U.S. motives have always been altruistic or that we're all sweetness and light ourselves. Certainly there is room to debate whether certain instances of U.S. intervention were warranted and what thier motivations were. However considering alot of the other nations that are out there we practicaly end up looking like choir boys by comparison.

No I don't think you would like a world with an isolatioist U.S. in it very much at all.

[ Parent ]

Think again (3.00 / 2) (#627)
by Quietti on Thu Jan 02, 2003 at 06:43:45 AM EST

And stop pretending that Americans saved the world from all evils. It's the exact opposite. Ben Ladden was on the CIA's payroll during the Soviet years. Ditto for Saddam Hussein during the US Embassy crisis in Iran. If you really wanna save the world, start by cleaning your own backyard. Fat chances we'll ever see you again, given the amount of corruption, lobbying and overcrowded prisons USA has. As for the Baltics and Finland, I happen to be living here, so I am in a much better position than any Yankee to know what really goes on here. Next.

--
The whole point of civilization is to reduce how much the average person has to think. - Stef Murky
[ Parent ]
Some Facts (5.00 / 2) (#630)
by CENGEL3 on Thu Jan 02, 2003 at 10:04:46 AM EST

Bin Ladden wasn't on the CIA's payroll, he's a member of the Saudi royal family... he could afford to fund the CIA if he wanted.

We DID fund the Muhajadin... but they happaned to be fighting the Soviets at the time... and the Muhajadin includes both Northern Alliance (i.e. the guys we are currently supporting) and what became Taliban (though less of the latter). So I'm not really sure what you see is hypocritical about that stance.

As far as Saddam you're wrong. Saddam was mostly in the Soviet camp .... although he did court the west a bit and very early in his career the CIA did lend some support in hopes of drawing him away from the Soviet camp.

I'm not saying that some of the people we have funded in the past weren't thugs, they were. However when you are in a life and death struggle you don't always have the luxury of choosing to only accept help from choir boys.... and like it or not the perception of the U.S. during the Cold War years was (with good justification) that it was in a life and death struggle with the U.S.S.R.

I could turn your language around on you and say

"As for the [U.S.], I happen to be living here, so I am in a much better position than any [Eurotrash] to know what really goes on here."

However I'm not that assinine. So I'm actualy going to call upon you to try to support (what seems to be) your absurd position that Stalin was justified in attacking the Baltics, Finland and Poland. Go ahead I'm waiting......

[ Parent ]

The Allies handed over East Europe to Stalin (3.66 / 3) (#647)
by Quietti on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 01:48:50 PM EST

I never said that Stalin taking over Eastern Europe was justified, quite the contrary, if you bother reading my previous posts on the subject. I've always stated that USA is horrendously arrogant to pretend that they saved Europe, even though they (along with France and UK - a.k.a. The Allies) essentially allowed it to be split in two, only to return 50 years later, bomb everything south-east of Berlin and claim to be Europe's saviour again, this time meaning turning ex-communist countries into McConsumers (as if the mere buying of American products was gonna turn e.g. Polish farmland, into paradise... rrrright).

Nice attempt at diverting the topic and putting words in my mouth; you failed at it, though.

--
The whole point of civilization is to reduce how much the average person has to think. - Stef Murky
[ Parent ]

Lets review (5.00 / 1) (#649)
by CENGEL3 on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 04:02:35 PM EST

You Posted:

"I will NEVER be looking for US help - the opposite"

Actualy that was the title of your post. Anyway you basicly stated that the world could do very well without the U.S. millitary.

I replied:

That you really wouldn't enjoy living in a world where the U.S. wasn't willing to exert millitary power. I then provided an example of where the U.S. willingness to exert millitary power saved Western Europe from a very unpleasant situation.
The clear implication being if this occured in the past it certainly can (and I believe DOES) apply to present and future situations. My stated example was....

"Without the U.S. ability to exert power who would have kept Stalin from rolling all over Western Europe post WWII? "

And then I went on to use Poland, Finland & the Baltic states as examples that pointed out Stalins willingness to engage against unprovoked agression (i.e. If he was willing to do it to those countries he certainly would have been willing to do it to Western Europe if he thought he could get away with it).

Your Reply to that comment completely avoided addressing what would have happaned to Western Europe if the U.S. had not been willing to provide a millitary presence there during the Stalin era. You essentialy told me to go take a flying leap and that you lived in Finland & the Baltic States and were "in a much better position than any Yankee to know what really goes on here. ". Now how else is a person supposed to interpret that statement other then to conclude you disagreed with my conclusion about what Stalin did to those countries?

I returned with a reply basicly stating that if you disagreed with my statement about what Stalin did to Poland, Finland & the Baltic states you had better prove it because I stand by those statements.

Now you accuse me of "diverting the topic and putting words " in your mouth. The only person trying to divert the topic here is you.

Let's hear a straight answer from you to 1 very simple question.... Did U.S. millitary presence save Western Europe from attack by Stalin or not?

As far as Eastern Europe goes I wish the U.S. and Allies could have saved it (both my parents were born in Poland), Gen. Patton wanted to try, however with the number of divisions the Red Army had sitting on Eastern Europe at the time I don't think it was a very practical option.

Don't get me wrong there may have been times that we have been on the wrong side of an issue... but there also have been plenty of times when America's willingness to exert millitary power has saved people a whole lot of misery. Trying to deny that just shows you up as a political hack.

[ Parent ]

In a nutshell: NO (3.00 / 2) (#651)
by Quietti on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 05:05:45 PM EST

Did U.S. millitary presence save Western Europe from attack by Stalin or not?
No, it did not, since Stalin had no pretention on Western Europe, in the first place.

Stalin's plans did not even include half of Central Europe. Among other things, it was later clarified that he had no pretention whatsoever on Hungaria; he just got it as a bonus, as a part of the "you take the East, we take the West" end of war deal with the Allies. That's also how Hungaria was able to quietly open its border to allow its Germanic ethnics to leave, in the late 80s, without USSR as much as blinking an eye.

Obviously, other parts of Central Europe such as Czekoslovakia were considered more desirable, as the Spring of Prague events showed.

--
The whole point of civilization is to reduce how much the average person has to think. - Stef Murky
[ Parent ]

Stalins Plans (5.00 / 1) (#663)
by CENGEL3 on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 10:53:26 AM EST

Stalins plans included whatever he thought he could get his hands on.

But I was wrong about one thing, clearly you would enjoy living in a world with an isolationist U.S.

I'm not sure exactly what fantasy world it is that you're living on, but I'll be happy to leave you to it.

As the old saying goes.. "only a fool argues with crazy people" ... and I've been feeling awfully foolish ever since I discovered K5.

Think I'll stop wasting my time.

[ Parent ]

LOL (3.50 / 2) (#664)
by valeko on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 08:53:22 PM EST

Stalins plans included whatever he thought he could get his hands on.

Oh, how completely wrong you are!

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Mujahideen, bin Laden, Saddam, etc. (1.00 / 1) (#654)
by Jizzbug on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 12:02:30 AM EST

While some of the things you say may be "official U.S. Federal Government history", "official history" rarely ever comes into contact with reality.  If you seriously investigate the matters yourself, you'll discover that you're quite wrong in a lot of the things you've said.  This isn't your fault: you've been under-informed, misinformed, and lied to.

With regard to the mujahideen and U.S. support, I'll refer you to this story's comment #600.  There you may learn the truth about U.S. support of the mujahideen.  If that helps you to think twice about credulously accepting "the official truth", then I'll leave it up to you to investigate the matters of U.S. support of bin Laden and Saddam.  If that doesn't help you think twice about credulously accepting "the official truth", then I fear nothing will.

I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. I say unto you: you still have chaos in yourselves.
 -- Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

[ Parent ]

I suppose (5.00 / 1) (#662)
by CENGEL3 on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 10:22:30 AM EST

I suppose next your going to try to tell me that the T-72's, Mig 29's, SAM 6's, Mirage 3's and SCUD's that Iraq had in it's arsenal during the last war were supplied by the CIA too.... yeah right.

I read your post before, nothing in there counter-acts the arguement that we supplied funding to Muhajadin to fight the Soviets. The fact that the President signed a funding authorization 6 months before the Soviet's rolled in doesn't discredit anything.  You think full scale millitary interventions happen overnight? No, there is alot of planning and buildup required, even for countries you share a border with... that's especialy true for Soviet millitary doctrine.
The handwriting was already on the wall when the funding order had been signed. Washington well knew the intentions of Khabul and Moscow.

Let me give you a recap, in case you missed it. Soviet friendly Afghan government has problems with rebellious factions inside it's own border. Soviets begin millitary buildup along Afghan border and Afghan government starts talking contingency plans with Soviets. U.S. President signs funding order for Afghan rebels. Soviets roll in. Years later CIA admin takes credit for "Soviet Vietnam".

Most of the Muhajadin we funded back then are the same guys we are funding today... Northern Alliance. Sure there were some guys who would later become Taliban too.... is that any surprise? They were fighting the Soviets just as much as the guys who later became Northen Alliance.

What's you smoking gun here... that we fund guys who our fighting our enemies?... in a word, "Duh!!!"

[ Parent ]

Turkey (2.00 / 1) (#400)
by yooden on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 07:12:24 PM EST

(Incidentally, this method is used in Turkey, and has helped save the country many times from being overrun by fundamentalists.)

I wonder what you mean by "overrun". Those fundamentalists were democratically elected.

[ Parent ]
LoL. (3.00 / 1) (#402)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 07:29:33 PM EST

The American interpretation holds that government is generally above the people, and special trained citizens take priority over ordinary citizens.

Which citizens are those? The ones who get special privleges?


--
Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.


[ Parent ]

SSS not discriminatory but the draft is immoral (4.71 / 14) (#3)
by El Volio on Thu Dec 26, 2002 at 09:28:37 PM EST

It's important to note that the Selective Service does have a page on this, though the author saw fit not to link to this page or to their site at all. In fact, they state, "The Selective Service System, if given the mission and additional funding, is capable of registering and drafting women with its existing infrastructure." In general, the impression I got is that this requirement is due to the wording of the existing law, which refers specifically to "male persons". Rostker v. Goldberg is one of three reasons mentioned, and it's not even the first. I fail to see why the author claims that it is the "primary reason given". The Selective Service is not discriminating; they are enforcing the law as written and upheld by the highest court in the land. Whether that is discriminatory or not is evidently the question, which I respond to below.

Further background information from the SSS is available.

As to the question itself, I personally believe that a draft is in and of itself immoral, and the issue as presented presupposes otherwise. Persons of either gender can enlist of their own free will, and if a republic cannot defend its interests based on this, then the will of the people becomes clear. Forcing individuals to fight (or support the fight) for an institution in which they do not believe or via methods they do not accept is contrary to democratic principles. The majority believing that a fight is necessary does not make it right; democracy is not mob rule. In fact, compulsory military service violates at least the first three articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and possibly several others (I personally might include Articles 4, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, and 23). Given all this, the issue isn't whether only requiring males to register for a possible draft is discriminatory or not; the issue is whether anyone should be compelled to military service under any conditions.

Women and the Draft (2.50 / 8) (#9)
by dave behrens on Thu Dec 26, 2002 at 10:41:35 PM EST

Tell me, is democracy a system wherby all the population vote on a question, perhaps through their representatives, then whatever the majority choose, the whole population does? Or is democracy a system whereby a person can arbitrarily opt-out of a democratically decided decision if he chooses?  

I find it difficult to compehend an individual who enjoys the benefits of American society, but refuses to defend that society against those who would destroy it.  There is no doubt that the enemy we are now facing has the absolute annihilation of the U.S. and every person therein.  Even those who choose not to be involved, as you do.  Are you that self-absorbed?  Are you that selfish?  

I am not suggesting that every person should be an Airborne Ranger.  I am suggesting that everyone who enjoys the benefits of our society has an equal obligation to contribute to the defense of that society.  Can you drive a truck, cook, fix a radio?  Or perhaps build a house for a disabled person, monitor a dam, or manage a group home?  It is too late to choose to be involved when a dirty bomb explodes near your home, or the Muslim cleric who rules your town requires you to subjugate yourself to his idea of God.  Tell him you do not wish to participate.  
dave_behrens@juno.com
[ Parent ]

So as long as we want it that way... (1.25 / 4) (#45)
by Greyshade on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 01:05:01 AM EST

You'll do it? I think that we should vote for Dave to divvy up all his material assets to the registered membership of K5.

And some would opine that American society is doing a fine job of destroying itself without much outside help.

[ Parent ]

Give me some feedback, webwench (1.00 / 2) (#57)
by Greyshade on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 01:59:22 AM EST

Do you beleive as Dave does?

I don't understand how stripping someone of their constitutional rights suddenly becomes OK if a bunch of people want it to happen to you. Could someone please enlighten me?

[ Parent ]

How did I come into this? (none / 0) (#682)
by webwench on Tue Feb 04, 2003 at 05:46:53 PM EST

Heh. So this is what a late vanity search gets you.

The entire concept of a draft is troubling to me, because it is the ultimate coercion of an individual by the state. I also happen to think we have more than enough people willing to man a volunteer army for the right cause, particularly for national defense, that a draft won't be necessary. I say this as someone who was born the year the U.S.'s involvement in Vietnam ended, so I don't have a firsthand perspective of how all this works.

If a draft were necessary, and I think that is a big If, I think it needs to be applied equally to all people regardless of gender, race, etc., and I think there's no need to play Victorian and exempt 'the fairer sex' from the draft. I do think there should be some allowance made for those whose philosophy or religion prohibit violence, so that they may instead take part in other aspects of service. I do think citizens have a duty to perform when called upon by their nation. This probably isn't Libertarian party line, but it is my opinion.

[ Parent ]

Little logic, much cant (5.00 / 5) (#112)
by pyramid termite on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:56:27 AM EST

I find it difficult to compehend an individual who enjoys the benefits of American society, but refuses to defend that society against those who would destroy it.

There are some who would state that turning the USA into a modern Roman Empire would be a destruction of our society.

There is no doubt that the enemy we are now facing has the absolute annihilation of the U.S. and every person therein.

There is no doubt that this same enemy has no capability of achieving this absolute annihilation or anything close to it, or that drafting millions of people into uniform would be an effective way of preventing what the enemy is capable of doing.

I am suggesting that everyone who enjoys the benefits of our society has an equal obligation to contribute to the defense of that society. Can you drive a truck, cook, fix a radio? Or perhaps build a house for a disabled person, monitor a dam, or manage a group home?

Is Al-Qaeda recruiting disabled people? You're confusing defense of a society with support of it and solving social problems with preventing terrorism - unless you're attempting to argue that our policies overseas are creating social problems that breed terrorists. I don't suppose you would agree with that statement, though. Then why make the connection in domestic matters when you refuse to make it in international matters?

It is too late to choose to be involved when a dirty bomb explodes near your home, or the Muslim cleric who rules your town requires you to subjugate yourself to his idea of God.

Which strikes me as being somewhat unlikely and damn near impossible, respectively. Still, I wasn't aware that cleaning out bedpans in a senior citizens home would protect me against radiation or religious fascism. Why haven't I heard about this?

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
This relies on a false supposition. (4.14 / 7) (#129)
by Alarmist on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 09:15:17 AM EST

The United States is not a democratic nation.

Think back to your civics classes (if you had them; for me, I picked up the following in history classes). The teachers, if they were at all competent, would have been very careful to say that the United States is not a democratic nation.

The U.S. is a federal republic; the citizens elect officials to run things in lieu of every individual citizen having to do so. These officials frequently do not consult the will of the people before enacting legislation or pushing for action, and it is a not uncommon occurrence for them to take actions that their constituents dislike and would vote against if given the chance.

Therefore, the government of the United States sometimes does things that the citizenry does not like and would vote against if the matter was put to them. Fortunately or not, the matter is not put to individual citizens. That's because we live in a republic, where we elect surrogates to make these decisions for us. The idea is that these people will have some inclination to at least listen to what the citizenry has to say, but there's no guarantee (other than impeachment or the next election) that this will be so.

To sum it all up: the United States has fought wars that a significant portion of the population disagreed with. The U.S. has on occasion acted with malice aforethought and with the ultimate goal of "protecting its interests" through naked aggression against another nation.

The enemy we are now facing is not Al-Qaida. They are not shadowy assassins bent on the destruction of life as we know it. Instead, the enemy we now face are found in Washington, D.C. at the highest levels of government. These are the people that are trying to destroy the American Way.

The Founding Fathers did not fight for detention without trial, assumption of guilt before due process, violation of individual privacy or any of the other outrages currently being perpetrated on U.S. citizens by their own government. Kindly forgive me if I am "selfish" and "self-absorbed" enough to resent the government that tries to subvert what my ancestors fought for.

When this nation finds itself in a war that is truly just, I won't wait to be drafted. I'll enlist myself. Until such time as that happens, though, I will continue to resist, through all legal means available, the stripping of my civil liberties by my own government.

[ Parent ]

Democracy (none / 0) (#401)
by yooden on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 07:26:59 PM EST

The United States is not a democratic nation.

The current president notwithstanding, the USA is a democratic nation, representative democracy. Democracy means 'Rule by the People', not 'Rule by the People and everyone has to have a personal say on anything'.

Ask a dictionary.

[ Parent ]

A dictionary (none / 0) (#407)
by Dephex Twin on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 08:05:49 PM EST

From dictionary.com:

Republic: A political order in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who are entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them.

That's what the United States is.


Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]
Sure (none / 0) (#415)
by yooden on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 10:21:12 PM EST

I never claimed otherwise. The USA is a democracy and a republic. Just as Denmark is a monarchy and a democracy, and the Roman Republic was a aristocracy and a republic.


[ Parent ]
Neutrality (4.00 / 1) (#130)
by El Volio on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 09:28:28 AM EST

I'm neutral towards this government; on the one hand, there are certain freedoms I enjoy here (freedom of speech and worship being the most important to me) that some portions of the world don't enjoy. On the other hand, there is much that is wrong here, and it starts at the core of society and the government it has chosen for itself. You conveniently address the question of democracy while ignoring the question of human rights, which supercede the rights of any government or group of people from whom that government purports to derive its right to exist and control.

Not willing to be drafted is very different from not being willing to try to make our society (globally) a better one. I do not wish to fight for this government — I'm just not willing to kill anyone for that purpose, or indeed any other — and supporting such a fight, even if I'm not carrying a rifle, is morally equivalent to being directly in it. But I do spend time trying to help my fellow man; your unjustified assumption is very trollish. In fact, your article and every response you've written is quite trollish. Is this what happens when Adequacy goes away?

[ Parent ]

Irrelevant (4.00 / 1) (#204)
by dh003i on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:13:17 PM EST

We don't live in an absolute democracy.  Absolute democracies are worse than the worst tyranies we've seen (ref. the execution of Socrats in Ancient Greece).

I wouldn't mind replacing our corrupt legislative branch with a real democracy, where people vote on the issues:  but it still needs to be checked by the Amendments.  The idea of a Republic (or a Democratic-Republic, as I proposed) is that the will of the majority has limits as to what it can do.  The majority can't decide to violate my rights.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Democracies vs. Dictatorship (none / 0) (#405)
by yooden on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 07:40:01 PM EST

Absolute democracies are worse than the worst tyranies we've seen (ref. the execution of Socrats in Ancient Greece).

Ref. the murder of several million people in Germany and the Soviet Union last century.


[ Parent ]
Ref... (none / 0) (#469)
by dh003i on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 12:39:03 PM EST

Ref the people killed during the French Revolution.  Ref the Salem Witch Trials.

The point is, an absolute Democracy can be just as cruel and disrespectful of human rights as an absolute Tyranny.  If there was an absolute Democracy of people who hated Jews, you can bet they'd be killing millions of Jews, and probably more quickly than Hitler and Stalin did.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Comparison (none / 0) (#471)
by yooden on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 01:01:06 PM EST

Ref the people killed during the French Revolution.

Which is not a democracy in my book.

Ref the Salem Witch Trials.

Which had how many victims, 40? I really don't know.

In any case, it had nothing to do with democracy.

The point is, an absolute Democracy can be just as cruel and disrespectful of human rights as an absolute Tyranny.

In theory, yes, but history has far, far more cases with far more victims from tyrannies.


[ Parent ]
wtf does your title have to do with what you wrote (4.66 / 3) (#222)
by Ndog on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:45:54 PM EST

What does "Women and the Draft" have to do with what you wrote? Are you suggesting that because Congress, populated largely by white males (even moreso when it was enacted) chose to exclude women from the Selective Service system that women are somehow choosing not to serve and dodging their responsibilities? I can't reconcile your subject with the rest of what you wrote, but maybe it was just an error on your part. I know subject lines can be a pain.

The democracy part has been covered by others, I think. So:

I find it difficult to compehend an individual who enjoys the benefits of American society, but refuses to defend that society against those who would destroy it. There is no doubt that the enemy we are now facing has the absolute annihilation of the U.S. and every person therein. Even those who choose not to be involved, as you do. Are you that self-absorbed? Are you that selfish?
You're right, we should all fight against the repressive John Ashcroft, George Bush... oh, wait, you weren't talking about them, were you? Well, guess what? In a lot of people's views, they are doing much more to destroy our freedom and our society than Saddam Hussein can ever possibly do. Yes, in the name of preserving freedoms let's take away freedoms and make a more intrusive government! Great plan!

How about this idea. Instead of flexing our muscle and making more and more people hate us, how about we come up with at least one other method to help prevent terrorism and hostility from other countries. You know, play nice, share, everything you supposedly learned in kindergarten. Sure we may need some military action, too, for the people that didn't go to kindergarten (or it's equivalent in other societies), but what ever happened to diplomacy?



[ Parent ]
The Enemy (none / 0) (#403)
by yooden on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 07:31:17 PM EST

There is no doubt that the enemy we are now facing has the absolute annihilation of the U.S. and every person therein.

You should change your medication.

[ Parent ]
What's our other option? (5.00 / 2) (#258)
by jmzero on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:31:02 PM EST

Ugly reality means that sometimes "the number of soldiers required" exceeds "the number of people who want to be soldiers".  

Even if I can see that the value of my soldiering will be a net benefit to society, I'm unlikely to volunteer.  Why?  Because the drawbacks of being a soldier fall disproportionately on me.  

Living in a social world demands this sort of tradeoff all the time - the draft is simply an extreme example.  Allowing people to opt out of military service is in the same vein as letting people opt out of traffic laws - it just doesn't work.  Sometimes society needs something from individuals and those individuals must be compelled to give it - freedoms be damned.  Today we have driving on the right hand side of the road and tomorrow we have naming of parts.

All this said, I can't imagine a plausible future situation that would require a draft.  Hopefully the need for such a thing is gone forever.

.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

If only everyone had this attitude! (none / 0) (#290)
by QuantumG on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 10:11:37 PM EST

We might not have any more wars, but more importantly, we may no longer have walls that need people to defend them.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
What a jump! (none / 0) (#534)
by El Volio on Mon Dec 30, 2002 at 10:47:03 AM EST

Allowing people to opt out of military service is in the same vein as letting people opt out of traffic laws - it just doesn't work. Sometimes society needs something from individuals and those individuals must be compelled to give it - freedoms be damned. Today we have driving on the right hand side of the road and tomorrow we have naming of parts.
This is a poor analogy. I see what you're getting at, but there is a huge gulf between the two "restrictions". One is a set of standards for traffic flow and safety; it's essentially a protocol. The other is a violation of basic human rights. Simply by being born, I have no right to interpret red as "go" and green as "stop", but I do have a right to freedom of belief and freedom from coercion against my religious and philosophical beliefs.

[ Parent ]
Indeed.. (none / 0) (#546)
by jmzero on Mon Dec 30, 2002 at 12:32:23 PM EST

Simply by being born, I have no right to interpret red as "go" and green as "stop".  

Why don't you have that right?  It seems like a reasonable right to me.  The only difference is in how painful it is to give up.  You don't hear a lot of people complaining about how they have to drive on the right hand side of the road - but that's only because the left is just as good (and the alternative has likely immediate consequences).  Compare that to offenses like tailgating or speeding, and see how the complaining and the number of offenses rise.  Society asks for all sorts of things, and has ways to make sure that the people who don't want to give still have to give.

Is it my natural right to kill and eat whatever animals I choose?  How about to eat food I find lying around?  Or mate with someone by force?  

It's not coincidence that the things we see as wrong are precisely the things we have had to give up to live in an orderly society.  In another place and another time, dodging a draft would be as clearly wrong as rape or murder because it would result in not vague deaths or losses, but in very clear ones - your family and your village.  I'm thankful that this is not such a time.

Imagine the situation is different.  Imagine that all of humanity lives under a volcano.  It will explode, killing 40% of the people, unless someone jumps in on ritual day.  Despite the attempts of rescuers, this person will die 60% of the time - but either way the volcano is satisfied.  Assume that we know this to be true somehow, and that everyone is similar in their ability to do the jump.

Most years, somebody has volunteered.  However, this year, nobody does.  What do we do?

  1.  We could let many people die, as everybody would rather play the 40% odds.
  2.  We could attempt to bribe someone into doing it.  Perhaps we could offer money, free education, and the promise of glory.  We could give these volunteers special honor in society and glorify them in works of fiction.  We could apply whatever moral force possible to persuade people that volunteering was the patriotic way, the better way, and that through extra training their odds of survival would not be too awful.
  3. *.  Assuming 2 didn't work, we could open a pool.  People would be encouraged to join, and the sacrificee would be chosen randomly from among this group.  Perhaps we would find that everyone wants this group to exist, but nobody is willing to join it (for the same reason they don't want to volunteer).
  4. **.  Assuming number 2* failed to fill requirements, we could enact a law whereby the sacrificee will be determined at random from the population as a whole.  That person is then unavoidably compelled to do the leap.
Under what moral framework is 1 better than 2 (and all its *s)?  Is there a 3 somewhere that I'm missing?
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]
Mixed feelings (4.40 / 10) (#5)
by godix on Thu Dec 26, 2002 at 10:08:10 PM EST

If you actually sit down and think about it this (and SSS in general) is a tough question. For a variety of reasons Americas military is not currently ready for large scale operations if they're ever needed (I mean something along the same scale as WWII was). As a superpower we need the capability to quickly gain that strength since we're definately going to be one of the first targets should an enemy of that scale ever emerge. It could be argued that with technology a large number of troops isn't needed but that's just wrong, no war has ever been won without a large amount of grunt troops. The SSS is the most logical, fair, and simple way of having that capability without having the costs/waste/PR disaster of maintaining a huge peacetime army. For fairness females should be included in this. There's also sound military reasons to include females, I've heard studies that show they're better at certain things than men (like subs, which use small people rather than stong large men).

On the other hand, a teacher I had years ago put it best:
'The draft is a total loss of freedom, if 50% of the population can be free then good for them'

I know what he meant, you lose freedom when you're drafted into the military. I take it farther than he does though. Up until a man turns 18 it's theoretically possible to remain off all government records (highly unlikely, but possible). At 18 a man is required to tell the government who he is and where he can be found. America has become so used to being tracked that we rarely notice it, but the SSS is the first government form of tracking absolutely required by law for any male. Just because Americans accept this doesn't means that the government has any justifcation for gathering records on people who have commited no wrong.

Because of these considerations I keep waffling on the issue. Either everyone should register or no one should, but which I think should happen varies according to the political climate of the times.


Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.

No army in the world is ready for WWII or WWIII (5.00 / 3) (#111)
by ender81b on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:54:25 AM EST

There isn't an army in the world that is capable of fighting a conflict like World War II right now. None, not even china which has an amry of about 1.2 million last time I checked, and a total armed forces of around 2 million. Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union by the germans, utilized 120 odd divisions and over 2 million men of all the services. That is just the invasion of the soviet union and doesn't count all the garrison forces.

The enormous resources required to fight an conflict on the size of WWII takes years to build up and maintaining them at no apparent need would be foolish, extremely expensive, and a definite sign of a dictatorship or totalitarian state.

In 1941 the United States army had around 250,000 men. That's it. By 1945 it had around 3 million enlisted and 50 division deployed in Europe + about 30 in the pacific. The point of a conflict like WWII is how quickly you can build up resources and how much you can sustain them. Japanese armed forces - and german - basically stayed the same size from 1942 on due to losses of combat personal, need to garrison occupied territory, and the simple fact that they had already mobilized the better part of their citizenry. On the other hand the US, and to a lesser extent the Soviet Union, where able to mobilize vast amounts of resources and men/material and basically outlast and overwhelm the Japanese and the Germans. The US strategy in WWII was fairly straightforward - outproduce, outgun, and overwhelm all opposition.

As it stands right now, in 2002, the US has no need for any more divisions than it has now. Oh, it could use some more airlift/sealift capacity but right now there is no concievable enemy that could challenge the US to need the huge amounts of manpower that was involved in WWII - or the need for a draft. All of our opponents/enemies are backward 3rd world countrys which have impressive paper armies and that's about it (remember Iraq's enormous army?) The US relies on technological superiority and the support of its allies to give it the edge in any conflict - as Desert Storm, various campaigns in Bosnia, and Afghanistan have shown us. Remember how many years the Soviets fought in Afghanistan?

At home no country (and I mean COUNTRY not terrorists) would dare attack the US directly. Our nuclear stockpile is still enough to blow up the world a few times over again - not to mention that an invasion of the US would consume resources at the rate that no modern country could hope to sustain.

Outside the US an invasion of Europe by some entity hardly seems possible right now (NATO pretty much precludes that possibility) and in Asia the only possible major war would involve China and they seem quite content on contiuining building trade relations with the US.

My point to all this is there is or maintain large amounts of military manpower *Right Now*. And as we can not forsee such a time when that would come it makes a little sense to maintain the SS, however in times of war a draft could be called for without the SS (as was done with the civil war, WWI, and WWII) if need be.

[ Parent ]

You make some good points (4.50 / 2) (#124)
by godix on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 08:10:48 AM EST

"There isn't an army in the world that is capable of fighting a conflict like World War II right now."

You're right, there isn't. This is the main reason I don't think we need a large peacetime army. This doesn't mean there won't be one in the future though, which is the main reason I think we do need the capability of quickly creating a large army.

"The US strategy in WWII was fairly straightforward - outproduce, outgun, and overwhelm all opposition."

That's been our strategy in every war, except Vietnam and Korea, which we lost.

"in Asia the only possible major war would involve China and they seem quite content on contiuining building trade relations with the US."

China is not Americas friend, that point has been repeatedly proven in the past (it's usually ignored by the US though). I strongly suspect we're heading into a cold war with them. The only reason we aren't already there is that China has no prayer of matching the US in tech and troop deliver capabilities, although they're trying.

"My point to all this is there is or maintain large amounts of military manpower Right Now."

Quite true. I've long maintained that Clintons greatest failure was that he never re-organized the militaries role after the cold war. Until Bush came around there was no serious push to change the 'two theatre' preparation America has maintained. Unfortunately 9/11 appears to have scraped any attempts to reogranize now.

"And as we can not forsee such a time when that would come it makes a little sense to maintain the SS, however in times of war a draft could be called for without the SS (as was done with the civil war, WWI, and WWII) if need be."

This is where we disagree. It took America a long time to build up for WWI and WWII after we entered either war. Especially since in both wars we entered rathre late and had years where we knew there was a war but we weren't in it or preparing for it. The future isn't likely to give us that much time again. America is a superpower now, if China produces another Hitler we'll be one of his main concerns. Our allies of Japan, Taiwan, etc. would be one his first targets and America itself would definately be in his sights. We wouldn't have the time to build up like we did previously, we'd need to gather a large number of forces and ship them overseas in a matter of months instead of years. This is why on some days I think the SSS is still needed.


Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.

[ Parent ]

Korea & WW2 (none / 0) (#136)
by Merk00 on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 09:52:38 AM EST

I wouldn't really consider the Korean War to have been lost. Namely, a South Korea exists which was the initial aim of the war. While that was later extended into reunification, which didn't occur, the original objective was accomplished. For that matter, officially, the Korean War never ended (there was an armistice but no peace treaty).

You're a bit wrong with the US not preparing for World War 2. In 1941, Congress authorized the first and only peace time draft in US history. It also passed the Two Ocean Navies Act. Both of which contributed to a much swifter victory for the United Nations in World War 2.

------
"At FIRST we see a world where science and technology are celebrated, where kids think science is cool and dream of becoming science and technology heroes."
- FIRST Mission
[ Parent ]

Nits to pick. (none / 0) (#158)
by Alarmist on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 11:32:50 AM EST

The United Nations was founded after World War II had ended.

Furthermore, there was a substantial objection to the United States becoming involved in what was initially perceived to be yet another European war. Charles Lindbergh, he of the solo Atlantic flight fame, was one of the leading public figures who spoke out against U.S. involvement in the war. Privately, a fair number of people expressed the opinion that maybe the Nazis had the right idea after all.

While some preparations for war were made, they were not terribly helpful at first. In 1939, the United States was still struggling with a poor economy and a civilian population that remembered our brief taste of agony in the last war. After 7 December 1941, that mood changed. Because the attack was widely viewed as a dirty, underhanded sort of thing, the initial desire was to destroy the Japanese utterly. When Germany tossed its hat into the ring by declaring war on the United States, then the stage was set for our entry into the war in both theaters. Only then did the United States really get into the business of producing weapons and building up its armed forces, and in a way, many of the early battles in the Pacific can be viewed as stalling tactics to allow us to buy the time we needed to build the army that would eventually crush the Japanese and the Germans.

Ack. I've rambled. My apologies.

[ Parent ]

No Nits (none / 0) (#165)
by Merk00 on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 11:55:08 AM EST

The United Nations was founded after World War II had ended.
The United Nations was also the name of the allied nations that sought to defeat the Axis (the term Allies is usually reserved for the US, Britain, Canada, Australia, etc.).

Furthermore, there was a substantial objection to the United States becoming involved in what was initially perceived to be yet another European war. Charles Lindbergh, he of the solo Atlantic flight fame, was one of the leading public figures who spoke out against U.S. involvement in the war. Privately, a fair number of people expressed the opinion that maybe the Nazis had the right idea after all.
There was some support for the Nazi's in the United States. However, by 1941, the US was very much anti-Nazi and very much pro-Allies. This is made even more clear by the effects of Lend-Lease aid. Not only that, but by 1941 the US was involved in fighting the Battle of the Atlantic against German U-boats.
While some preparations for war were made, they were not terribly helpful at first. In 1939, the United States was still struggling with a poor economy and a civilian population that remembered our brief taste of agony in the last war. After 7 December 1941, that mood changed. Because the attack was widely viewed as a dirty, underhanded sort of thing, the initial desire was to destroy the Japanese utterly. When Germany tossed its hat into the ring by declaring war on the United States, then the stage was set for our entry into the war in both theaters. Only then did the United States really get into the business of producing weapons and building up its armed forces, and in a way, many of the early battles in the Pacific can be viewed as stalling tactics to allow us to buy the time we needed to build the army that would eventually crush the Japanese and the Germans.
While the US was still unprepared for the war in some cases, the preparations that were made before Pearl Harbor were immensely helpful. An Allied invasion of Africa (Operation Torch) wouldn't have been possible without the draftees inducted before the US was involved in the war. Most of the ships that fought in the Pacific were ordered as part of the Two Ocean Navies Act. There was a delaying action in the Pacific in order to allow time for the ships to be built. However, they were ordered well before the war begun.

------
"At FIRST we see a world where science and technology are celebrated, where kids think science is cool and dream of becoming science and technology heroes."
- FIRST Mission
[ Parent ]

You're still fighting in Afghanistan. (4.00 / 8) (#215)
by rodgerd on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:29:07 PM EST

It's just Fox hasn't reminded you recently, so you've forgotten.

In fact, you've done worse in Afghanistan that the Soviets.  US troops and their puppet regimes hold less of the country than the Soviet army and its puppet regime did, with lesss effective control than they had.  Your government has been smrt enough to enlist the aid of allies silly enough to do most of the bleeding for the United States, which is why the ongoing war of attrition the Soviets experienced isn't falling so heavily on US troops.

The myth that the good ol' US armed services have done what the British and Soviets couldn't do is just that: a myth.  You've done exactly what they did.  Unless you declare victory and quit, you'll be there another 10 years, too.

[ Parent ]

word up. [nt] (none / 0) (#376)
by drgonzo on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 02:06:41 PM EST



[ Parent ]
You're a bitter, pathetic little man. (3.40 / 5) (#384)
by Demiurge on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 04:11:55 PM EST

I doubt you will ever see reason, but I'll try none the less.

The major Taliban strongholds fell in a matter of months. The military might of the Taliban and Al Qaeda resources in the country was easily swept away by what was a remarkably restrained American campaign. While some vestiges of the Taliban are still operatingin remote parts of the country, they're hardly a considerable force. You, with your pathological hatred of America and Americans, can't seem to realize the truth even when it's right in front of you.

[ Parent ]
Equal Rights, Equal Responsibilities NT (2.37 / 8) (#6)
by B M on Thu Dec 26, 2002 at 10:09:14 PM EST



What about cats? (3.73 / 15) (#10)
by Pistol on Thu Dec 26, 2002 at 10:45:42 PM EST

I think cats should have to register as well. Those lazy bastards sit around thehouse all day, make 'em do some work I say. And if people don't think they'd be good soldiers, my gf's cat scratched me the other day and it fucking hurt like fuck!

Hey now. (4.75 / 8) (#24)
by kitten on Thu Dec 26, 2002 at 11:43:33 PM EST

Once I was minding my own business when a bug crawled into the kitchen. A hideous bug with slavering jaws a mile wide and eyes that burned with the fierce light of a thousand suns and mandibles like railroad spikes! I could have been killed!

So I ran away shrieking like a Catholic schoolgirl during her first lesbian orgasm, and grabbed Molly and put her in the kitchen. In less than three seconds, though the bug tried mightily to run away and hide, Molly expertly dispatched of the crawling menace.

Keeping predatory animals as companions is not only rewarding, but has enormous payoffs, as demosntrated above. She earned many treats for saving my life.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
like War Dogs [nt] (none / 0) (#670)
by livus on Thu Jan 09, 2003 at 02:22:55 AM EST



---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
Responsibilities? (4.30 / 13) (#11)
by Maclir on Thu Dec 26, 2002 at 10:50:31 PM EST

4. Do equal civil rights for women obligate women to equal civil responsibilities?
Surely you don't mean that in return for our rights that we have a set of responsibilities that we are obliged to fulfil?

what is a right (4.28 / 7) (#13)
by turmeric on Thu Dec 26, 2002 at 11:04:22 PM EST

its something you have when you are born. it doesnt matter where or how or who or when.

government is something foisted upon you. no, you have no 'responsibility' to it, for you have no choice in it.

[ Parent ]

Women and the Draft (2.50 / 6) (#16)
by dave behrens on Thu Dec 26, 2002 at 11:17:48 PM EST

You have the right to vote with your feet against this country.  Simply leave.  Do not allow the U.S. government to be foisted upon you.  Denounce your American citizenship.  You have the choice to leave and, by your absence, not have any responsibility toward the government and/or American society.  Your absence will moot any responsibility the government and/or American society has to you. It is really so simple...
dave_behrens@juno.com
[ Parent ]
That's right. (3.00 / 3) (#17)
by valeko on Thu Dec 26, 2002 at 11:24:01 PM EST

I think you mean "renounce" your citizenship, not denounce, but yeah. I think in a draft that's the way to go. I don't know about you, but I can't think up any scenarios where I could actually justify my own participation in the adventures of the U.S. military. Perhaps some truly exotic civil defense emergency would meet my high standards, but otherwise, there's no way in hell.

It is unfortunate that the U.S. has extradition treaties with a great deal of the world, though, and that the U.S., being the biggest and the baddest, has the ability to coerce various countries to which you might flee to hand you over. At any rate, it can certainly put pressure. While it would be an extremely uneconomical use of the U.S. Government's time to do that over an individual or even a small group of draft-dodgers, they could certainly start looking into it if it ever made a serious dent in their numbers of conscripts.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Women and the Draft (2.75 / 4) (#25)
by dave behrens on Thu Dec 26, 2002 at 11:49:26 PM EST

Yes, I did mean renounce your citizenship.

Well, I'm sure China, Iraq, Iran, Cuba, or North Korea don't have extradition treaties with the U.S.  I'm sure they would all welcome you when you told them of your reluctance to fight, or to participate in any helpful capacity, with the U.S. military.  Start with the renouncement of your citizenship...
dave_behrens@juno.com
[ Parent ]

Yep. (3.00 / 2) (#28)
by valeko on Thu Dec 26, 2002 at 11:56:23 PM EST

Cuba's okay. Not too many large, loud tourists demanding better "customer service."

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

If you like Cuba, Valeko... (5.00 / 3) (#73)
by Meatbomb on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 04:14:31 AM EST

...my $200 offer still stands.

_______________

Good News for Liberal Democracy!

[ Parent ]
Go away. (3.00 / 2) (#95)
by valeko on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:21:21 AM EST

Don't talk to me. Or at me. Or in response to me.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

But you started it. (5.00 / 4) (#123)
by Meatbomb on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 07:50:04 AM EST

Now I'm your kuro5hin buddy! :)

_______________

Good News for Liberal Democracy!

[ Parent ]
And now, I propose that we stop it. (5.00 / 1) (#373)
by valeko on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 01:04:40 PM EST

What do you want from me? To retract my criticism of your tales from Kyrgyzstan? I will. It is not so simple as I have put it. I got angry -- largely due to your oversimplification of the issue, and the use of "Soviet decay" even though the only decay is post-Soviet decay. I apologise for that; given the choice to say that again, after having gotten to know you a little better (and having read some of your other stories), I would certainly not.

I am sorry for my hasty judgement.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

eat shit and die (2.50 / 10) (#55)
by turmeric on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 01:57:24 AM EST

'get up and leave' is not a goddamn right you moron. go spread your nazi aphorism on slashdot where your purile pasty assed gundam brothers will jizm for you.

[ Parent ]
Not an acceptable solution (4.40 / 5) (#76)
by cpt kangarooski on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 04:25:35 AM EST

People should not be forced to flee from oppressive government; it should be changed internally to be unoppressive, or if absolutely necessary, overthrown and replaced. Government is a creature of people and must remain subordinate to them. I'm sure that plenty of southern whites in the 60's would've been happy to see blacks leave the country seeking relief from harms caused by the government. But it's a far better thing for them to have stayed and forced change. If I had to leave the US to escape conscription I would in a heartbeat. It's been a successful strategy in my family's history, as my great-great-grandfather came to the US for just that reason. Up to the point at which I would have to do so, however, I'd rather work to eliminate any possibility of there ever being a draft, both because I don't like the idea of this country having one, and since I don't really desire the trouble that conscription could cause me, personally. Yet you seem to be hostile to this. Why?

--
All my posts including this one are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.
[ Parent ]
Hmmm (4.16 / 6) (#113)
by pyramid termite on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:59:19 AM EST

You have the right to vote with your feet against this country. Simply leave. Do not allow the U.S. government to be foisted upon you. Denounce your American citizenship.

Quite a few Native Americans tried that and it didn't work out for them. Any other ideas?

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Didn't work out so well for the Confederates... (4.00 / 3) (#209)
by rodgerd on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:23:23 PM EST

...either.  Conversely, Japanese Americans could get their rights in WW II no matter what they did.

[ Parent ]
What is a Right? (4.66 / 3) (#180)
by Maclir on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:52:49 PM EST

its something you have when you are born
No, it is something that some people believe they have. For example, in the US Declaration of Independence, there are the words: We hold these truths to be self-evident. That is, the framers of that document didn't produce any arguments or evidence to justify what they were stating, they just believed them to be so.

And why did the framers of the US Constution believe it necessary to add the "Bill of Rights" to that document? If these rights were also "self-evident", then why did they need to state:

THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

One would imagine that self-evident and inalienable rights would be firmly enshrined within the common law, and since everyone in the society (or the vast majority) shared these common beliefs, then why need to lock them into a document such as the Constitution?

If you look at what people in the US believe are their fundamental rights, not all of these are shared by other societies. The "right to bear arms" is an obvious "right" that people in the US have, but is not shared by many other countries. And I am sure that some other countries have certain "rights" (whether accepted as part of common law, enshrined in a constution or part of some other statute law) that is not enjoyed by people in the US. Several countries provide a right of access to old age pensions, or standard unemployment benefits, that does not apply in the US.

So "rights" are not really some universal, innate absolute. Rather, they are a reflection of what a society believes is just and appropriate for their people.



[ Parent ]
Self evidence (4.50 / 2) (#279)
by betaray on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 07:28:14 PM EST

OK first of all "self-evident" means obvious without needing proof. It is self-evident that the sky is blue. You can prove the sky is blue by analyzing the reflected light off of the atmosphere and making sure it falls into the correct wave lengths. However, that's not nessecary, you can simple look up and see that, yes the sky is blue. It's not a belief or an opinion. It is a fact, but not one that I should have to prove to you.

Also, you are severly distorting what they are talking about here. The truths that are self-evident are:

  • All men are created equal.
  • They are endowed with certain unalienable Rights, (including but not limited to: Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness)
I hope you won't argue that all men are not created equal. As the framers put this, this is self evident. It takes more explaination that, "look at the sky, it is blue." So, like the framers I'm going to avoid going into the arguement, and just hope you're following me here.

Now, there are people that don't value other's rights, but I don't believe that you'll find a single rational person anywhere that does not believe that they have the right to Life and self determination (Liberty & Pursuit of Happiness). If that's not universal I don't know what is.

Those rights for the basis for the United States government. Everything else is just a restriction on our liberties. In fact things like "the right to bare arms" are redundant. They're just there for clarification purposes. Even if the second amendment disappeared tomorrow I would still have the right to bare arms since no liberty not explicitly disallowed is assumed to be OK.

I'd also agree with the parent's assertion that we don't have a responsiblity to the government. The government is our current system of protecting our basic rights from each other. If the government fails at this we don't have to accept it.

However, if you accept the protection of the United Stated armed forces, then you have the responsiblity to fulfill their requirements for that protection. If that means that as a male you have to sign up for a death lottery, then those are the breaks.

[ Parent ]

Where to begin... (none / 0) (#658)
by MrMikey on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 11:17:45 AM EST

OK first of all "self-evident" means obvious without needing proof. It is self-evident that the sky is blue. You can prove the sky is blue by analyzing the reflected light off of the atmosphere and making sure it falls into the correct wave lengths. However, that's not nessecary, you can simple look up and see that, yes the sky is blue. It's not a belief or an opinion. It is a fact, but not one that I should have to prove to you.
So, if I'm colorblind, how "self-evident" is it then? How do you know that you and I are having the same subjective experience when we both point at the sky and agree, "Yes, it is blue." ? You do know that the label "blue" doesn't correspond to one particular frequency of light, don't you?

Given the ambiguity of as simple a statement as "The sky is blue", I suggest you rethink this whole "self-evident" thing...

Also, you are severly distorting what they are talking about here. The truths that are self-evident are:

  • All men are created equal.
  • They are endowed with certain unalienable Rights, (including but not limited to: Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness)
You should try reading a history or sociology book at some point in your life. These two "self-evident truths" have been rather less than self-evident throughout most of history, and are still less than "self-evident" in many parts of the world today. Please, don't elevate your own beliefs to the level of physical law... it just makes you look silly.
I hope you won't argue that all men are not created equal. As the framers put this, this is self evident.
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Why don't you tell us about the self-evidence of equality that the Framers saw when it came to those who weren't white, male, landowners.

If you ask me if I think that all sentient beings should be granted the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of their happiness, I'd say "Hell, yes!"... but I'm not so foolish as to claim that this was "self-evident."... but I do think it is a very, very good idea, one that yields many benefits.

It takes more explaination that, "look at the sky, it is blue." So, like the framers I'm going to avoid going into the arguement, and just hope you're following me here.
Oh, I'm following you quite well... but you aren't leading me to the place you think you are.
Now, there are people that don't value other's rights, but I don't believe that you'll find a single rational person anywhere that does not believe that they have the right to Life and self determination (Liberty & Pursuit of Happiness). If that's not universal I don't know what is.
Now, ask those same people "What, exactly, does having a right to life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness mean? How do you exactly define these rights?" What are the odds that everyone you ask gives you the same answer? So much for your supposed "universal", eh?
Those rights for the basis for the United States government. Everything else is just a restriction on our liberties. In fact things like "the right to bare arms" are redundant. They're just there for clarification purposes. Even if the second amendment disappeared tomorrow I would still have the right to bare arms since no liberty not explicitly disallowed is assumed to be OK.
Let me guess: you've never been to law school.
I'd also agree with the parent's assertion that we don't have a responsiblity to the government. The government is our current system of protecting our basic rights from each other. If the government fails at this we don't have to accept it.

However, if you accept the protection of the United Stated armed forces, then you have the responsiblity to fulfill their requirements for that protection. If that means that as a male you have to sign up for a death lottery, then those are the breaks.

I suggest that you read up on the concept of a "social contract."

[ Parent ]
bullshit (none / 0) (#388)
by turmeric on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 04:54:49 PM EST

every child cries when you abuse them. its wrong. its self evident. its obvious. only morally corrupt bastards use relativism on things like oppression, violence, death, warfare, and discrimination.

[ Parent ]
Nothing like a nuanced, well-reasoned response... (none / 0) (#659)
by MrMikey on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 11:26:55 AM EST

There are many different kinds of child abuse... and not all of them result in tears. There are many reasons why children cry... and not all of them are a result of abuse. Given some actual thought, these two statements should be fairly clear to anyone who reads them.

You, turmeric, complain about "morally corrupt bastards [who] use relativism on things like oppression, violence, death, warfare, and discrimination." What does this statement actually mean, if anything? What constitutes "moral relativism", as you see it? Are you trying to claim that there is one and only one valid set of views when it comes to this rather broad list of generic terms?

In short, I read your post and wonder if you actually said anything.

[ Parent ]

Women and the Draft (3.00 / 5) (#14)
by dave behrens on Thu Dec 26, 2002 at 11:06:56 PM EST

I sure do mean that since each gender has the same civil rights, each gender has the same civil responsibilities.
dave_behrens@juno.com
[ Parent ]
classic fascist ideas (2.71 / 7) (#135)
by pathetic on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 09:48:09 AM EST

like mutual obligation, responsibliity to society.
it's all about destroying the individual and putting the group first.

[ Parent ]
Responsibility to Society != Fascism (4.33 / 3) (#144)
by Maclir on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 10:30:10 AM EST

There are many countries that can balance responsibility to society without going to the extreme of fascism. On the greater scale of pure individual rights at one end to absolute fascism at the other end, the US certainly tends towards the "individual rights" end of the spectrum.

Other countries - Australia, New Zealand, the UK, some European countries to name a few - try to balance responsibility to society with individual rights. Who is "correct"? I suspect all of them - and the US as well.

If you asked the majority of Australians whether they felt that their society was "fascist" because society expected certain responsibilities from them that could impinge on their individual rights, they would generally reply "We are not fascists - our responsibilities to society is an extension of the Australian concept of mateship."

Where you place the ideal point on the scale of individual rights vs community responsibility depends on a range of cultural values, and is not an absolute.

[ Parent ]

Classic sophmore thinking. (4.60 / 5) (#208)
by rodgerd on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:21:48 PM EST

Unless you live in a Spanish Civil War style anarchy, you're living in a "facist" society by your simplistic criteria.

Having a society always entails compromises to the group.  My society allows me to put some pegs in the ground and talk about my land.  It'll enforce the santity of that land - but it'll demand I respect others' pegs.  It offers me services, but it demands taxes.

It's one thing to damn a social convention because you feel the balance has tilted the wrong way or skewed in the wrong direction.  But yelling "facist" any time you're asked to do something you don't want is sophmore bullshit.

[ Parent ]

Spanish Anarchists (2.33 / 3) (#300)
by mideast on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 11:33:10 PM EST

You'd realize that the Spanish Anarchists were also fascists, by this definition. They were quite a bit nastier than that propagandistic literature written about them makes them out to be.

Call PETA at 757-622-PETA (7382) and tell them how much you like to eat meat!
[ Parent ]
No. (3.50 / 2) (#338)
by valeko on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 05:18:37 AM EST

That's not true at all. I don't know where you come up with this shit, and then, without skipping a beat, come up with the audacity to write bullshit like this.

Anyways, you're not doing anyone any good by continuing to mod down everything I say to either 1 or 2. I'm not the one looking silly in this case; you are.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Valeko, Valeko (5.00 / 1) (#398)
by mideast on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 06:34:00 PM EST

You tell your story like Jonathan Walther tells his: by conveniently forgetting the little details that make your place in this clear. He forgets to tell people about his dangerous behavior around his child's birth, not unlike Michael Jackson's baby-dangling incident, while complaining about social service taking his baby away from him for a few months; and you forget to tell about your frequent modstorms against my comments, while complaining about some twos, threes, and a few ones that you've gotten from me. Tell the whole story, or don't tell it at all. No one likes people who distort the truth to make themselves out to be the victim.

Call PETA at 757-622-PETA (7382) and tell them how much you like to eat meat!
[ Parent ]
HELL NO! WE WON'T GO! (2.54 / 11) (#15)
by valeko on Thu Dec 26, 2002 at 11:14:27 PM EST

So it doesn't really matter. I don't know about you, but I'm not fighting in any imperialist wars, and you shouldn't either, woman or man.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart

heh (5.00 / 3) (#157)
by adequate nathan on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 11:31:48 AM EST

What about the Great Patriotic War of 2007-2012?

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

We'll see. :) [n/t] (3.00 / 2) (#244)
by valeko on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 04:52:05 PM EST


"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Great Patriotic War (1.00 / 2) (#325)
by tjb on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 02:00:34 AM EST

Since you're the only Stalin-apologist I've ever seen, I gotta ask:

Draft is bad, NKVD marching people out to battle at gunpoint is good?  

"It takes a brave man to not be a hero in the Soviet army" -Josef Stalin

Tim

[ Parent ]

If you think I'm a Stalin apologist. (none / 0) (#326)
by valeko on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 02:21:01 AM EST

That's your own misunderstanding. I am no Stalin apologist.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Stalin (5.00 / 1) (#327)
by tjb on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 02:47:09 AM EST

I distinctly remember you stating that the USSR forcing people to work in factories without pay wasn't slavery.  

Perhaps I misinterpreted, but that sounds a hell of a lot like a Stalin-apologist.

So, I was just interested in your opinion of the NKVD forcing people into combat at gunpoint, given your 'Draft is bad' beliefs.

(as a side note, I don't particularly care for the draft either, but I also believe forcing people to work without pay is slavery)

Tim

[ Parent ]

Riiight. (5.00 / 1) (#330)
by valeko on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 03:06:34 AM EST

I distinctly remember you stating that the USSR forcing people to work in factories without pay wasn't slavery.

I do distinctly remember saying that the circumstances under which the USSR was in World War II made paying anyone anything in a life-or-death struggle kind of a moot point. If you think otherwise, you have a poor understanding of the conditions in the USSR during World War II.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Well,.. (2.00 / 1) (#435)
by tjb on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 02:09:16 AM EST

I think I understand the situation in 1941 as well as anybody who wasn't there can possbily understand it.  I've read a ton of history, ranging from the Keegan style naarratories to the journals of Russian and Ukranian peasants from the period.  However, I still believe that what the USSR did was slavery.

Lets put that aside though.

From 1943 on, when the Red Army was winning battle after battle and slowly but surely advancing upon Berlin, the war was no longer a war war of survival, it became an imperialist adventure.  The Soviet Union installed puppet governments in every country it crossed: Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Hungary, Romania, BUlgaria, do I have to go on?  It was perhaps the fastest land-grab in the history of empires.

And people in the USSR were still slaves in serice of this.  Do you really support this?  The Red Army, in 1944 was beginning to scrape the bottom of the manpower bucket and began forcefully recruiting everyone, do you really support that, while still proclaiming the US draft to be an unmitigated evil?

Tim

[ Parent ]

Real test of the Democracy + Thought Experiament (3.20 / 5) (#18)
by omegadan on Thu Dec 26, 2002 at 11:24:09 PM EST

The draft is clearly a violation of just about every constitutional principle imaginable. When you join the military, you literally sign away your constitutional rights; this is bad enough when someone joins voluntarily, but forcing someone to sign away their rights is really no better then slavery. However, the need for a draft at certain times is obvious. The social contract has always been that drafts are an abridgement of your rights, but they are also necessary (a mundane paradox, but not an uncommon one). Thus the draft should be reserved for emergencies of the worst kind. The military, the draft, and the presidency lost all legitimacy when they wasted the lives of men in Vietnam in a war that we knew we couldn't win, and that there was no consequence to losing. Men were literally sent to their deaths for philosophical ideals and principles, the least of which was not wanting to admit defeat. That's so horrible it makes me sick to think about, it's a black spot on our soul next to, slavery, interment of the Japanese in WWII, and selling out our children by leaving them a crushing national debt. They violated the contract, and its null and void now. That being said, a draft still may be necessary regardless of "social contracts." A part of me says "yea women should have to go, its only fair", but another part of me says, "we should protect women" ... and still another part says that logically, men are better fighters then women because male musculature is better suited to the task, so logically the men should be used first. It really doesn't matter because in dire circumstances women will be needed to manufacture the planes, guns and munitions the men will take to their graves. Please note in WWII, this is exactly what happened. So as you can see with a little thought experiment, things are exactly as they should be in an imperfect world.

Religion is a gateway psychosis. - Dave Foley

Another perspective... (3.50 / 22) (#19)
by Jizzbug on Thu Dec 26, 2002 at 11:27:29 PM EST

This is a case where men need to be treated as equally as women.  Nobody should be drafted into war!

Fuck war.  Especially imperialistic ones.

Congress can suck my balls, I ain't registering for the draft.

I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. I say unto you: you still have chaos in yourselves.
 -- Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

Well spoken! [n/t] (3.66 / 3) (#20)
by valeko on Thu Dec 26, 2002 at 11:27:55 PM EST


"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Imperialistic War (2.44 / 9) (#22)
by dave behrens on Thu Dec 26, 2002 at 11:39:42 PM EST

This is one war where 'they deliver'.  It has been and may continue to be delivered to our doorstep.  There is no imperial parameter associated with it.

If this war is not won, against an enemy that has explicitly stated as its goal the complete annihilation of America and all things and people American, your balls will be dead, along with the rest of you.
dave_behrens@juno.com
[ Parent ]

Oh okay. (3.33 / 3) (#27)
by valeko on Thu Dec 26, 2002 at 11:55:19 PM EST

I'll sit it out, still.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

In that case... (1.80 / 5) (#100)
by physicsgod on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:30:02 AM EST

Can you tell me where you live so I can take your stuff, rape your women, and torture you to death? If you're not willing to defend the system that gives you the rights of life, liberty, and property why should you be granted them?

People do things they don't like all the time because there is a greater good. Most people don't like to get up and go to work every day, but it needs to be done to put food on the table. And I know that nobody likes being seperated from their loved ones for months at a time to hide under the ocean, sit off some hostile coast, or lay claim to a patch of desert nobody really wants, but it still needs to be done. There's a word for people who do unpleasant things because they need to be done: adults.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]

What the fuck? (4.20 / 5) (#103)
by valeko on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:35:23 AM EST

If you're not willing to defend the system that gives you the rights of life, liberty, and property why should you be granted them?

That's not the same thing as fighting the "war" on "terrorism." Naked imperialist aggression isn't "defending" anyone's rights, but violating quite a few.

Anyways, your thesis that I should have some obligation to fight for anything is silly. I feel that one of the rights that makes up my so-called 'freedom' is the right to not be violently coerced into fighting for anything or anyone. Rest assured, if my own rights and freedoms were threatened, I would fight for them. That's not what this farcical "war" is about, unfortunately.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

That's nice... (1.66 / 6) (#117)
by physicsgod on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 06:12:42 AM EST

Just who do you think is going to watch your back when They come for you? Odds are pretty good that you won't even know your own "rights" and freedoms are threatened until armed thugs come crashing in your bedroom in the middle of the night, then you have the freedom to make a choice: submit or die.

Do you derive benefits from this society? Of course you do, otherwise you wouldn't be sitting around airing your empty prattlings for all the world to see. TANSTAAFL still applies to you kiddo, get used to it.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]

Total, complete, utter nonsense. (4.00 / 5) (#238)
by valeko on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 04:33:33 PM EST

You're attempting to lure me into your incorrect illusion that the military is the essence -- the source -- of my 'freedoms' and everything I can do. If it weren't for the military, we wouldn't have any freedom, because they so valiantly defend our freedom!

I call bullshit. The military is an instrument of the ruling class that keeps us in our pen. I know what preserves the freedom that I do have here; the conscious activism of freedom-loving citizens. Not the army.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Listen kiddo... (2.66 / 3) (#335)
by physicsgod on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 03:59:08 AM EST

It's obvious that I'm dealing with a religious fanatic, but I feel compelled to respond.

There exist people in this world who are willing to use violence to get what they want. In the face of violence "conscious activism of freedom-loving citizens" is worth exactly nothing and will result only in dead citizens.

Your cherished freedoms are a product of the society you live in; no society, no freedoms. It would not be inaccurate to say that the people responsible for the creation and preservation of that society are responsible for the creation and preservation of those freedoms.

Would you mind explaining to me how an organization that hasn't had a combat deployment on American soil in 130+ years "keeps us in our pens"? If you're going to have paranoid delusions at least make the agents of your persecution plausable ones. Instead of facts you "call bullshit", I in turn call MacBeth act V, scene v. (for the lazy or google-impaired that would be the part that ends "it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.")

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]

Oh, right. (5.00 / 1) (#340)
by valeko on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 05:26:42 AM EST

There exist people in this world who are willing to use violence to get what they want. In the face of violence "conscious activism of freedom-loving citizens" is worth exactly nothing and will result only in dead citizens.

Hold on, you're mixing two very divergent themes together. I assume that when you speak of "people in this world who are willing to use violence to get what they want," you're talking about actual (not imagined or invented) external threats to the security of the United States' citizens. Of course such threats exist, and they must be dealt with accordingly. You don't really think I'm one of those utopian "peace" folks who doesn't believe that militaries or combat should exist all, do you?

The problem is that this, by and large, is not the job of the U.S. military. Sure, there's an overhead role in "protecting" us, but mostly it is the way in which American imperialists get things done. The "national security" that they're "defending" by bombing Iraq or the "freedom" they're dispensing by attacking Serbia is not in the interest of the people, but only the imperialist gangsters and their allies. That is what I oppose.

Your cherished freedoms are a product of the society you live in; no society, no freedoms. It would not be inaccurate to say that the people responsible for the creation and preservation of that society are responsible for the creation and preservation of those freedoms.

That's right. My 'freedoms' are social constructs. I entirely agree. But surely you don't think that they're derived from the military?

Freedom doesn't come from might. Norman Schwarzkopf and Tommy Franks don't give me my freedoms. My society does -- and I assure you, that's not predicated on the state's military.

Would you mind explaining to me how an organization that hasn't had a combat deployment on American soil in 130+ years "keeps us in our pens"?

I am talking about the capitalist-imperialist state, not about the military per se. You are correct; the military does not domestically enforce the state's mandate. That's what the police forces and such are for.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

yes right. (none / 0) (#386)
by physicsgod on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 04:40:18 PM EST

So you're saying that the US military should just sit within its borders and protect America? We already tried that once and the result was the largest amphibious assault in history. After WWII the US decided that it was better and easier to ask permission from friends to put tanks somewhere than to force permission from enemies (not to mention the deterrent effect a few thousand well trained and nuclear armed troops have on an invasion).

Now let's look at the two examples you cite: Iraq and Serbia. In the first case a government invades and annexes a sovereign nation and is then kicked out by an international coalition led by US troops, in the second a government attempts to maintain control of a region by eliminating the dissenting ethnic group, again they are stopped by military strikes by NATO, again led by the US. So is the US military engaging in imperialist aggression (remember the definition of empire) or fighting it? Bear in mind that nowhere are US troops rounding up hapless pesants and forcing them to spend their hard-earned money buying BIg Macs and Cokes.

No, I don't think Gens. Schwarzkopf and Franks gave me my freedoms, Gen. Washington did that by creating the society (imagine what would have happened to the members of the Continental Congress if the Continental Army hadn't been victorious) that granted my freedoms. Schwarzkopf and Franks merely protect my freedoms by protecting said society. In other words the military is not the immediate cause of my freedoms, but they are a necessary condition.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]

I think *I* am dealing with a religious fanatic. (4.00 / 2) (#391)
by valeko on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 05:11:37 PM EST

So you're saying that the US military should just sit within its borders and protect America? We already tried that once and the result was the largest amphibious assault in history. After WWII the US decided that it was better and easier to ask permission from friends to put tanks somewhere than to force permission from enemies (not to mention the deterrent effect a few thousand well trained and nuclear armed troops have on an invasion).

Ah yes, the renowned 'isolationism' myth. I'm sorry, but throughout the 1920s and 1930s, the U.S. was as much of an empire as it was since it burst onto the world scene. Are you forgetting the troops stationed in Latin America to protect American business interests? Haiti? Veracruz? The U.S. military wasn't anywhere near sitting within its borders and protecting the nation. Not by a light year!

So is the US military engaging in imperialist aggression (remember the definition of empire) or fighting it? Bear in mind that nowhere are US troops rounding up hapless pesants and forcing them to spend their hard-earned money buying BIg Macs and Cokes.

The U.S. military is engaging in imperialist aggression. With regard to Iraq, I won't even bother answering, due to the self-evident nature of the answer, but with regard to Kosovo, I'll refer you here, here, and here.

I'll leave your stupid caricature of 'globalisation' (Cokes, Big Macs) alone too. It's not worth arguing with a religious fanatic who only sees it on that level.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

I'm afraid I don't understand (none / 0) (#465)
by physicsgod on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 12:08:52 PM EST

What you mean by "imperialist agression". The current global role of the US does not fit the standard definition of "empire", if it did US troops would be installing a new German Chancellor. And it seems that you're not talking about any kind of economic empire, so that leaves two choice that I see: Either you've swallowed Soviet propaganda hook, line, and sinker, in which case further discussion is pointless, or you're using it as shorthand for "actions taken to maintain the American Hegemony in global politics", in which case could you tell me the threat Iraq and North Korea pose that Venezuela and South Africa don't?

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
War (1.75 / 8) (#29)
by Eisernkreuz on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:01:56 AM EST

Well, you have to understand, that most guys aren't interested in anything that reaches beyond their wallet or the end of their penis. So, the idea of actually having to fight ANYONE for ANYTHING at ANY TIME is anathema for most people.

Once one has been bathed in the freedom bought by the blood of others long enough it seems that it is easy to:

A) forget how much it cost
B) forget anyone else who doesn't have it
C) not be willing to do anything for anyone anywhere that won't directly affect my penis or my wallet.

However, this is the level that most people worldwide have sunk to, so they are relatively useless for anyone who can't pay them enough or have sex with them enough to control them.

America was founded by people seeking freedom, primarily to worship God however they wanted, and couldn't find it where they were.

What America has slid towards since then is not a land that welcomes the oppressed and seeks to free others from oppression, so much as bunch of rats in an open-topped cage, who instead of teaming up to escape the cage by forming a living ladder, are all turning on each other to see how much sex or money they can extract from the others.

America TRIES to ignore the rest of the world, but, time and time again, the rest of the oppressed and needy around the world comes and kicks down the door, as with the Lusitania in WWI, Pearl Harbor in WWII, and in this recent act on 9/11, where Americans have finally partially realized just how evil and bloodthirsty this "Allah" really is.

It is like being the best-built, best-armed guy on the block watching through his window as women and children are gang-raped and murdered by gangs of roving Sodom and Gomorrites and not doing anything because it is not happening in YOUR living room. History repeats itself. Let's go do something for Iraq, and Israel, before the raping, murdering "servants of Allah" have to kill 500 thousand of us in one diseased whack to make it clear just how much of threat they are.

When America grows apathetic to a world that is oppressed, the oppression finally makes itself felt at home, and finally, more Americans look beyond themselves and to the world, and try to make it a better place.

I would anticipate even MORE stuff that is WORSE than what we have already seen, if Americans turn their backs on a hurting world once again. It never seems to fail.

One way or another, we are forced by circumstances to be good neighbors even if we are too lazy and selfish to do it without the threat of immediate destruction hanging over our heads.

.

[ Parent ]

You know. (3.00 / 3) (#33)
by valeko on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:28:52 AM EST

I think you'd get along pretty well with circletimessquare.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Really? (2.00 / 4) (#51)
by Eisernkreuz on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 01:46:26 AM EST

Is that a smug little insult that leaves you giggling with sissy buddies, or what? I have noted that the way sissy men and poison-tongued women insult you is to say "I think you would get along great with..." and name someone that is not in approval with their spineless little group.

So, is that what you were doing? If so, go back to your little pathetic approval-circle.

.

[ Parent ]

Hmm. (3.00 / 2) (#79)
by valeko on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 04:38:29 AM EST

What's a "sissy" to you?

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

alsd (2.25 / 4) (#86)
by Eisernkreuz on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:12:56 AM EST

Someone who engages in the afore described behaviors is one variation of "sissy".

[ Parent ]
Oh. (3.00 / 3) (#93)
by valeko on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:18:38 AM EST

Fair enough. Well, you can think what you want... I think you and circlestimessquare share the same illusions about a "new kind of war," "America attacked," etc.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Yes, I forgot, "the terrorists". (3.33 / 12) (#30)
by Jizzbug on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:10:32 AM EST

Uh, why do you think "they" "attacked" us in the first place? Could it be because of American hegemony? Yes, I surely think so. Is America's hegemony due to its imperialistic position? Yes, I surely think so. Does that mean that the "War on Terrorism" is an imperialistic war with the objective of maintaining America's hegemony? Yes, I surely think so.

If I'm not gonna fight in any imperialistic wars, I'm certainly not gonna fight in any open-ended imperialistic wars where the enemy is not (or hardly) defined (or where the boggyman enemy is everywhere). Besides, we were already at war, and we've been at war non-stop in the Middle East for over a decade, the American people just weren't being told about it. (If you wish to contest that last sentence, maybe you should think about why CNN's head honcho said the same thing just after Sept. 11th.)

If it wasn't for all the imperialistic wars of past, we wouldn't have our current problem with terrorism. We created this mess, not "them". And we're only creating more of a mess with this oxymoronic "War on Terrorism".

Personally, I think that in a real "War on Terrorism", you would also have a "War on War", as war is terrorism! If we're really going to fight a "War on Terrorism", maybe we should start at home and cease our terrorist ways. Changing our foreign policies so that they don't encourage terrorism against us would be a good way to start off the "War on Terrorism". Terrorism begets terrorism. We're fucked so long as we don't change our ways.

Besides, it's about time somebody stood up against Rome, D.C.

Fuckin'-a, I'm the real enemy of America's hegemony; for I am the future. The youngens are fed up, pissed off, and riled up. We won't stand for this much longer, especially when our peers start dyin' like flies in the Middle East. You can expect mass revolution before you can expect mass ignorance and patriotism from my generation!

I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. I say unto you: you still have chaos in yourselves.
 -- Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

[ Parent ]

Nonsense child (3.40 / 5) (#61)
by cr8dle2grave on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:07:25 AM EST

Fuckin'-a, I'm the real enemy of America's hegemony; for I am the future. The youngens are fed up, pissed off, and riled up. We won't stand for this much longer, especially when our peers start dyin' like flies in the Middle East. You can expect mass revolution before you can expect mass ignorance and patriotism from my generation!

Ya'll will grow up like the rest of us did and leave behind the youthful cognitive disease of contrarianism. Not to mention the fact that my, admittedly limited, exposure to the younger generation doesn't lead me to believe that your's is an age of anything but uninhibited and overly pampered consumers.  

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
We're more active and intelligent than most think. (3.33 / 3) (#72)
by Jizzbug on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 03:59:45 AM EST

I agree that a good segment of my generation (I'm talkin' late X, early Y ['cause them's my peers]) are indeed unthinking, overly pampered consumers raised on MTV and junkfood.  That is true.  But it is also true that we're a very radical generation.  The anti-globalization movement is proof of that.  Composed largely of gen-x-ers and gen-y-ers, the anti-globalization movement was drawing crowds upwards of 30,000 people at protests and actions in a pre-9/11, apolitical climate.  These were durin' the comfortable days of the economic boom, yet we were already revolting.  Imagine what these tantrams will be like if all out war ever occurs, or if the police state apparatus becomes more forceful and apparent.

Also, a large percentage--I'd speculate 80% or so--of the people I know have very anti-government views.  And this high percentage isn't due to me having some ultra-radical social circle; I'm talkin' about friends of friends, aquantances, people I meet out in the real world, people I went through school with that I hadn't seen in a few years, etc.  I don't know exactly why this is so, maybe it's that the midwest is just more radical than the two coasts; I dunno.  I certainly do notice that it's very much dependent upon age, though.  The phenomenon seems largely to be confined to the demographic that is 26 or 27 and under.

In any case, there really is quite a lot goin' on amongst the younger population.  I suppose we're makin' up for the 80s.  Don't be surprised when you turn on the news some day and see something reminscent of Paris May '68, though.

Btw, at least we're both sportin' Nietzche quotes in our signatures.  *grin*

I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. I say unto you: you still have chaos in yourselves.
 -- Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

[ Parent ]

Well. (3.33 / 3) (#78)
by valeko on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 04:36:45 AM EST

I don't share your optimism, it suffices to say. You overestimate the radicalism of our generation.

If it were this easy, why didn't previous generations turn into radical leaderships?

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Optimism. (4.25 / 4) (#106)
by Jizzbug on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:39:15 AM EST

I'm not so much optimistic...  I just mean to recognize the potential.  I, myself, am not sure what to think about it all.  I was mostly talkin' about the people with radical perspectives and outlooks in our generation.  However, radical perspectives rarely translate into radical actions, as I've learned first hand tryin' to get my friends that agree with me to actually get off their asses and do somethin' about it.  (I couldn't even get my pothead friends to come to a Million Marijuana March I helped organize [and I'm the non-pothead].)

Regardless of their progressive outlooks on governments and politics, they're also largely middle or upper-middle class.  So they lead very comfortable and confined lives.  They don't work on, say, the IMC Tech Collective, which exposes one to world events otherwise unheard of; they're don't read, say, Foreign Affairs, Z Magazine, or Covert Action Quarterly; so they don't share the sense of urgency and immediacy of action that I have.

I suppose their lives will have to be affected more directly and more drastically before they get off their asses.  The shit will have to hit their fans, so to speak, before they think, "Oh, I'd better do something about all this mess."  If the economy continues to deteriorate, if all out war breaks loose, if the police state apparatus comes into full force, I have no problem imagining that our generation will be capable of some cool shit.

As it stands now, though, they're comfortable and have no need to worry.  Things will probably just have to get much worse before we see any real mass action.  But it's happening right now in Argentina, a middle class country much like the U.S.  (Actually, whenever neoliberal developmental models were criticized, World Bankers and IMFers would point to Argentina as the model for success.)  See http://argentina.indymedia.org/ for mass middle-class rebellion in action.

I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. I say unto you: you still have chaos in yourselves.
 -- Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

[ Parent ]

"Do Something About It" (none / 0) (#381)
by UptownGuy on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 04:02:55 PM EST

However, radical perspectives rarely translate into radical actions, as I've learned first hand tryin' to get my friends that agree with me to actually get off their asses and do somethin' about it. (I couldn't even get my pothead friends to come to a Million Marijuana March I helped organize.)

Sigh.

I actually have a friend coming over in about 5 minutes so I have to keep this brief -- I'll stay away from the whole assumed "radicalism and being anti government is good" area and stick to my point...

Maybe the first few times there were protests and marches they actually did something. But now? Now you can get 200,000 people marching in SF and not get a mention in the paper for a day or two. "Million man march" is a buzzword, part of the vernacular. You aren't "doing something" at a march except for milling around. No one notices. In fact, you often marginalize your cause by turning off the undecided middle...

You really want to change things? Get those million people to all work for 8 hours and send you a check. At $8/hour that'd be over $50 million after taxes -- close to what it costs to run a presidential campaign...!

I may disagree with your assumption that government = bad -- but I can't in good conscience avoid pointing out that protesting is near the bottom in the catalog of ways you can be effective and "do something about it".

[ Parent ]
Oh goody... (4.50 / 2) (#107)
by physicsgod on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:45:04 AM EST

Also, a large percentage--I'd speculate 80% or so--of the people I know have very anti-government views.
Could that possibly be because you meet most people at places/events with a high anti-government population? I want you to look up something: selection bias.

Everyone thinks they're quite intelligent...until they meet someone smarter than they are.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]

My bias... (3.33 / 3) (#119)
by Jizzbug on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 06:41:08 AM EST

I was actually trying to take my selection bias into consideration as I wrote what I did.  I was specifically not thinking about all the anti-war and anti-globalization people I know, I was specifically thinking about all the "little people", all the "normal people".  My figure of 80% was meant only as a gauge, as an over-generalization, as an idea.  In all reality, it's probably not that high, but still it seems to be a very significant percentage of the population...  I was just trying to get across the idea that I'm often surprised with the great many people I meet that are very government-skeptical, etc.  I'm talkin' about real, normal young people, outside of protests or rallies; people that I meet at random parties (college and art school parties), friends from high school that I haven't seen or talked to in a few years, people I meet random, relatives, friends of friends that I'm meeting by chance, etc.  Often times, the sentiments come from people I wouldn't otherwise expect to have such outlooks.  I'm considering people that aren't familiar with my activist career, people that are outside of that circle and that world.  The trend is very much there.

In other words, I, myself, am often surprised with the sheer number of normal, everyday young folks that communicate in everyday conversation outside of political settings their distrust and/or rejection of the authority of governments, politicians, and officials.

While my observations are by no means scientific or quantitative, they are by every means real and general--and somewhat qualitative.

I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. I say unto you: you still have chaos in yourselves.
 -- Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

[ Parent ]

Nonsense old fart (3.00 / 3) (#148)
by Dephex Twin on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 11:15:12 AM EST

Not to mention the fact that my, admittedly limited, exposure to the younger generation doesn't lead me to believe that your's is an age of anything but uninhibited and overly pampered consumers.
You admit your exposure is limited, so why insert your knowingly ignorant opinion of a group of people into the discussion? My, admittedly limited, exposure to you doesn't lead me to believe that you are anything but a condescending old fogey.


Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]
Whoa there, junior! (4.00 / 2) (#155)
by cr8dle2grave on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 11:29:10 AM EST

I hardly think that at a mere thirty years of age I qualify as an old fogey. Although I was trying to be condescending, so you got that much correct. Anyhow, the idea of great revolutionary ferment rising up from a generation that assembles in greater numbers for a Brittany Spears concert than for anything else is laughably stupid.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Woah there, gramps! (3.25 / 4) (#171)
by Dephex Twin on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:19:06 PM EST

I hardly think that at a mere thirty years of age I qualify as an old fogey
And I seriously doubt that the person you were talking to was a "child" either. Thus, my point has been made.
Anyhow, the idea of great revolutionary ferment rising up from a generation that assembles in greater numbers for a Brittany Spears concert than for anything else is laughably stupid.
And your inability to see that all adults were once foolish teenagers is disappointingly ignorant.


Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]
your not the future (3.75 / 4) (#67)
by metalgeek on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:56:40 AM EST

your not the future,, a large group of sheeples raised on MTV who get there news from kurt loader and will belive what the nice box tells emm to is the future. free and critical thinking is in the minority, and whoever gets ahold of the box, gets ahold of the majority of minds.

"K5 is a site where users have the motto 'Anyone Who Isn't Me Is An Idiot, And Anyone Who Disagrees With Me Is Gay'." skyknight
[ Parent ]
You forgot one thing (3.50 / 2) (#152)
by Dephex Twin on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 11:19:26 AM EST

your not the future,, a large group of sheeples raised on MTV who get there news from kurt loader and will belive what the nice box tells emm to is the future. free and critical thinking is in the minority, and whoever gets ahold of the box, gets ahold of the majority of minds.
By the time these kids have grown up and are making the decisions, they will have long since stopped watching Mtv. I grew up with Mtv my whole life, stopped watching when I left for college, and haven't been even remotely interested since. Nor are any of my friends. Maybe some people don't grow beyond that, but for those people, if Mtv didn't exist yet then they would be brainwashed by some other stupid thing.


Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]
Is that the war we're fighting? (4.70 / 10) (#98)
by pyramid termite on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:28:32 AM EST

This is one war where 'they deliver'. It has been and may continue to be delivered to our doorstep. There is no imperial parameter associated with it.

Which is why we are currently making plans to war with one country, Iraq, that has not been proved to have anything to do with the attack, citing "weapons of mass destruction" that our government has refused to give public proof of. Meanwhile, another country, North Korea, which has confessed to having a WMD program, has had no war plans made against it whatever. The contradictions can't be explained with an explanation of self-defence or a war on terrorism. They can be explained with imperialistic tendencies, though.

And for the war on terrorism - the majority of the terrorists, as well as their support, came from Saudi Arabia. That's why we invaded Afghanistan ...

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
This IS a troll, right? n/t (2.66 / 3) (#102)
by valeko on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:30:53 AM EST


"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

All the trolls are numbered (5.00 / 1) (#367)
by Noam Chompsky on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 12:02:33 PM EST

like every grain of sand.

--
Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

Imperialistic Miltiary Action, actually (4.25 / 4) (#288)
by libertine on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 08:45:31 PM EST

A little perspective here, please.  This is not a war.  As a veteran, and someone who served during the Central American conflicts in the 80's, I think I might know the difference.  Let me explain:

1.  War powers act was not enacted.  The ability to confer extra command capability onto the President was granted by Congress, but this is not a declaration of war.  This means, that legally, there is NO WAR.

2.  Since the war powers have not been enacted, this means that soldiers killed or wounded in any conflicts don't have the same protections under the law that they normally would in a declared war.  They don't get the same kind of death benefits.  They don't get life-long assistance by the VA if they lose a leg.  They don't get testing for after effects of those "WMD"s that some people keep ranting about.  Thusly, for soldiers, this isn't a war either.  Its an opportunity for them to get fucked by the government if they get wounded or dead.  Most of the soldiers I know have been trying to stay off the various 'fronts' for these very reasons.  Part of this is the reason I didn't volunteer to go back into the service- if my wife isn't going to get my wartime death benefits, I sure as hell ain't going.

3.  In a war, you have a country with an army, or at least a definable group of people as an enemy.  You know- those people with the red stars on their uniforms, or those people with that pattern of camo on their uniforms.  That is because wars are declared upon a definable enemy.  This might be news to some folks, but wars are supposed to have a definable enemy, and a beginning (reasons for the war, and an enemy to declare a war against), a middle (objectives to meet against the enemy), and an end(the enemy nation or army is defeated, we all clean up and go home now).  'Terrorists everywhere' is not a definable enemy.  'This week afghanistan, next week Iraq' doesn't even come near to a definable, much less logical, objective.  'We'll stop when we get all the terrorists' is not a reachable or definite goal since nobody really knows who the terrorists are, which terrorists are supposed to be terrorists (example- who were terrorists 10 years ago- the Sandanista govt army or the Contra rebels?  According to the US, the Sandanistas, even though they were the legal and recognized army of Nicaragua, while the Contras ran death squads), where they are, or what their capabilities and support nations are.  

So, really, this isn't a war.  It is something more than a police action, and we can't say that US troops are "advisors".  The best thing you could call it is a military action.

Now, on to the rest of the comment, the part where "they" wipe out "all things American"- no standing army could possibly overrun or destroy the continental US.  That means, really, that "wiping out all things American" is pretty unlikely.  Very very unlikely, since Americans have proven that their own civilians will fight back, and started fighting back from the time, of oh, the third or fourth plane on 9/11. People- American people -started cluing in and fighting back ever since (remember the shoe bomber who got his ass kicked in flight?).  The people on flight 93 died, but I think that the message to any terrorist organization is pretty clear...try to take over a plane, or any type of cargo craft, and you will probably get killed by your hostages before you acheive your goal.  Not very good odds if you are under-armed and under-staffed opfor.

Beyond that, what can some terrorist organization offer in the way of a threat?  Bio weapons?  They don't have the facilities to deal with diseases, much less weaponize them (before you comment on that, talk to a biochemist- really, bioweaons fab is incredibly hard to do, and its easy to track down facilities like that).  Chemical weapons are another option, but almost impossible to deliver in the right quantities to the right places.  Nuclear fuel fabrication is almost as impossible as weaponized bio-agents, and there really isn't enough fuel out there to make a decent nuke.  Dirty bombs can't hit enough space in a city or otherwise to be lethal on a "mass" scale.

I suppose that if the ENTIRE middle east took up arms against the US, down to the last man, woman, and child there, and were to march across China, some ex-soviet states, Alaska, and Canada, maybe a 1/3 of them might make it alive to the northern borders of the USA if they were unopposed.  Then they would have to contend with a very well-fed populace that has over 1.5 million UNREGISTERED firearms floating around.  I don't think it would be Americans getting wiped.

So, got any other propaganda or jingoism to spread?  Something better than "they will kill you all, fight, fight, fight makes right!"?


"Live for lust. Lust for life."
[ Parent ]

Testing of soldiers... (none / 0) (#337)
by Jizzbug on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 04:40:54 AM EST

They don't get testing for after effects of those "WMD"s that some people keep ranting about.

Or they don't get tested for the after effects of all the tons of depleted uranium they exploded in combat and its connection with "Gulf War Syndrome". ... It wasn't Hussein and his chemical or biological weapons.  It was us and our solid depleted uranium shells.

I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. I say unto you: you still have chaos in yourselves.
 -- Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

[ Parent ]

Sexual segregation (4.45 / 11) (#23)
by Eisernkreuz on Thu Dec 26, 2002 at 11:43:06 PM EST

Well. If women and everyone want equal rights, then, yes, with them come equal responsibilities. Since war is no longer really all that "up close and personal", AND the 17-year old males really don't have much more strength than 17  year old females, why should women NOT just be more people in the military?

How much maleness does it take to haul a pack and pull the trigger on an M16A2? Or more likely, man a station in a sub, or flick a switch on a Patriot?

I mean, really, how often is anyone EVER in a stand-up fight with the enemy? So, sure, let women fight. If they fail, and die more often than the men, then so be it. However, if they show a greater success rate than the men, THEN WHAT??? :)

I mean, biblically, women never went to war. But back in those pre-Christ times, women didn't do much but breed and cook. Since Jesus came, there has been much more freedom for women (at least in nations that allow it) than ever before in history. So, why not let women into combat? In fact, if they are equal, form all-female combat units. That would prove beyond a shadow of a doubt their combat effectiveness, wouldn't it?

I mean, if physical size really mattered that much, then how is it that 70-pound full-grown vietnamese men were so combat effective in the Vietnam Sacrifice of Anyone Too Poor or Too Minority to Not Legally Avoid the Draft, er Vietnam War?

The best way to find out just how good women are in combat is to let them into it. If they can't pull their weight, it will show and show quickly. If they can, then we have just expanded dramatically the numbers of intelligent, skilled, and aggressive people who can fight. To cut off half the population from any activity is to limit the available people who are REALLY suited to that activity.

What would have happened to golf if the quiet segregation continued? Or to tennis?

The larger the pool from which you draw your potential soldiers/marines/sailors/pilots/warriors, then the higher quality they will be.

And, until PROVEN LESS EFFECTIVE, women should be allowed to be in ANY role that a man is...

Don't you agree?

.

What the Hell [sic]... (4.66 / 9) (#133)
by chemista on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 09:42:49 AM EST

does Jesus have to do with anything? The cultural idea of gender equality was unrelated to Jesus -- it was Plato who first imagined a truly gender-equal society in The Republic. He also made it policy (at least while he was alive) to have equal opportunity in his university for men and women, whereas Jesus' official inner circle included not a single woman.

Moreover, in modern times, it was not religious authority but the atheist John Stuart Mill who really started the international movement toward gender equality. It wasn't until well after women were being accepted into the workplace that it became acceptable for women to be leaders of churches, and the push for it was from the outside in rather than from the inside out. Christianity is less hostile toward women than other Near Eastern religions principally because its own cultural environment was already less anti-female (due to Greek influence) than the prior era of the Old Testament or the later era of the Qu'ran.
Stop reminding people about the overvalued stock market! I'm depending on that overvalued stock market to retire some day! - porkchop_d_clown
[ Parent ]

Nice troll, I hope (3.42 / 7) (#145)
by JonesBoy on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 10:57:56 AM EST

-17-year old males really don't have much more strength than 17  year old females
http://www.benning.army.mil/usapfs/Training/APFT/
Thats the Army physical fitness test.  At age 17, a female is only held to 60-70% of the standards for males.

-Since war is no longer really all that "up close and personal"
I hope you don't believe that troops are not being used extensively.   If you think we really fight point and click wars, try reading some books about the Gulf war instead of watching FOX.

-How much maleness does it take to haul a pack and pull the trigger on an M16A2?
Well, a lot.   A pack with food, water, ammo, and armor can easily weigh 100lbs.   Thats a lot of weight for any person to carry.

-I mean, biblically, women never went to war.
Well, I hate to break it to you, but the Bible is only about a specific group of people in a specific time in history.   It is also a book that has undergone several revisions to match its use in repressing groups of people (espically women).   There is a lot of historical evidence that shows women have not always been as timid as you imply.

-how is it that 70-pound full-grown vietnamese men were so combat effective
They were fit from working in fields, knew the terrain, were determined, motivated, and it was impossible to identify civilians from combatants.   Espically that last one.

You can preach equality all you want, but "equality" is just a societal concept.   Look in your pants, and the pants of a person of an opposite sex if you don't believe me.   Strength is derived from muscle.  Muscle is developed with hormones called seroids (like testosterone).   Men make more than women, because these hormones are also responsible for genter.   Men will, on average, be stronger than women.   Yes, genetic predispositions also affect muscle mass, but that only means there will be a lesser group of females who will be stronger than the average male.
Speeding never killed anyone. Stopping did.
[ Parent ]

Irrelevant (3.33 / 3) (#212)
by dh003i on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:25:54 PM EST

So, all of your arguments come down to "men are more muscular"?  That's completely irrelevant due to modern medicine and various hormone treatments.  Testosterone, HGH, and various other hormones can be administered to women, giving them the equivalent natural strength that men have.

The military should have certain standards and hold everyone to them:  if a women can meet those standards, then she should be able to serve; if not, then she shouldn't.

Also, there are many areas of military service in which the natural attributes of a woman are very beneficial:  for example, submarine work and air-combat.  Submarines are small and confined.  Air-combat requires pulling high-G turns, which is easier to do if you're smaller.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

I agree with you AND jonesboy (4.00 / 1) (#289)
by libertine on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 09:11:34 PM EST

His comments are absolutely correct in regards to women and combat.  This applies to anybody who might end up in combat by accident or by design of the enemy, like pilots and logistical support staff.

The standards he quotes are the based on the MINIMUM standards.  If you are in a grunt unit, you are expected to acheive as close to the MAXIMUM standards that you are humanly capable of reaching.

Now, as for your comment.  I agree that if women can't hold to a universal standard, then they shouldn't serve.  That doesn't mean I think that they shouldn't serve- I just want the ones who can qualify on the men's physical training test backing me up.  Regardless, I think that women still should be included in the draft.  If women want equal rights, and the equal opportunity to serve in congress and the white house, then they should have the equal opportunity to die painfully and miserably in some forsaken battlefield.

I don't agree on hormone treatments.  They can and do affect the ability of women to have normal children in the future, and can also make them sterile.  The US military considered this on more than one occasion.  Also, it is impossible to administer those supplements in a field situation- which is why most "agression inducing" drugs are generally not distributed to combat troops- they always cause some form of addiction, and make troops worthless when those drugs are unavailable.  

It is similarly impossible to depend on people to only fill their job requirements in the field, and nothing else.  Even if you are a file clerk, you still have to drill and carry a pack- you never know when your unit might get hit, and you have to carry the M-60 ammo.  Fighter pilots have to worry about being captured when shot down, which is partially why their physical standards are HIGHER in order to fly combat.  Basically, no place should be considered "safe" duty, and have a different standard than a forward position- that presents a juicy target in and of itself.


"Live for lust. Lust for life."
[ Parent ]

Women and Combat (5.00 / 1) (#353)
by Eisernkreuz on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 09:58:59 AM EST

There are women who are bigger than men. And vice versa. There are also women who are more aggressive than men, and vice versa. I just figure that "combat capability" should be based on actual capabilities and dispositions, not on presupposed boundaries placed on people because of their gender. If we do that, should we place presupposed boundaries on people because of their race?

Why not let whoever does whatever qualify based on their merits and abilities, and not on what "most people of your type" are capable of? What do I want to fight alongside me, a guy who weighs 120 lbs and is a selfish coward, or a woman who is a muscular 180? Do I choose the guy because "most men are bigger and more aggressive than most women"? Or would I prefer the female who is an aggressive soldier and a martial-arts expert, and who would risk her neck to save mine?

This isn't a romance novel, this is the real world. I would rather have my ass saved by some female who was physically and mentally suited to combat than take comfort in the fact that we didn't draft women while some 120 lb guy runs off screaming, pissing his pants while an enemy soldier HE could have shot puts a bayonet in my guts. Think "Saving Private Ryan"

Yes, I know women are generally smaller and less aggressive than men. But that doesn't mean ALL women are. So, why exclude ALL women from combat just because MOST aren't suited to it?

If we use that rationale, why let Tiger Woods play golf? Who ever heard of a black guy kicking all the white guys' asses on the golf course? Since it didn't happen before, we can't let it happen now?

Venus and Serena Williams? How about Albert Einstin? Whoever heard of a jew like him? Or, Larry Bird? He can't jump. He's white. Tell him to play golf. Silly Larry, basketball is for blacks. And since when can American Indians help us by talking Navajo that the Japanese can't understand?

And, lest you think I am one of those small guys that dreams of being dominated by big amazons, I'm not. I'm well over 6 feet, and over 270 and a power bodybuilder. (no steroids or any of that sissy artificial crap, either)

Let those who can and will fight, do so. And don't prevent them just because 87% of "their type" can't, won't or don't.

.

[ Parent ]

Perhaps you misunderstood (5.00 / 1) (#575)
by JonesBoy on Tue Dec 31, 2002 at 02:58:05 AM EST

I didn't mean women shouldn't be in combat, or the military.   What I was saying is that there are fewer women who are as capable as the average male, even after crash course physical training, like boot camp.   Yes, there are positions in the military that do not require physical ability as a primary skill.   But we are talking about the draft.   In the draft, people are involuentarily selected for reinforcements of soldiers in the field.   Combat positions tend to have a high mortality rate in long term battles, and many draftees would end up in those positions.   If you want to minimize your dropout rate in boot camp, and maximize the throughput of soldiers to the field, you would want to make large generalizations (like the male/female thing, psychological profiles, and physical condition) to eliminate the candidates with the greatest rate of failure.

Female hormones have other effects, such as emotional changes, which may impare combat readiness.   Males also undergo these changes, but they are not typically as pronounced.   As far as feeding women hormones(which one other person recommended), that is the dumbest thing I have ever heard.   Why feed women hormones when men already make them for free?   Espically when doing so causes a semipermenent expressions of the male gender. (facial hair, deepening voice, reproductive organ failure, and many more strange things.)

You also have personal biases (well, moreso a lack of them).   Yeah, you have an open mind, but gender equality is a relatively (50 yrs or so) new thing.   Many people haven't really caught on yet.   I am sure there are many officers that make female soldiers lives miserable, and I am sure more will do it if they are invited into combat.   Give it time, and I am sure it will happen eventually, when the populus begins to accept females in male dominated roles/positions.   Just wait until a few generations die off, and there will be dramatic changes in the way people think.

Then again, why anyone would WANT to be included in the draft amazes me.   If anyone is that gung-ho, just enlist and leave the other poor souls out of it.   There are just too many brutal, mean, nasty ways of getting killed out there to justify this crusade of equality.   I personally can't wait until I am past the draft age, espically with this rabble rousing fool in office.

Speeding never killed anyone. Stopping did.
[ Parent ]

Girls with guns (5.00 / 1) (#589)
by Eisernkreuz on Tue Dec 31, 2002 at 02:31:07 PM EST

I see the value of what you are saying.

And as you said, why not just sign up if you are that gung-ho.

And, we have hundreds of thousands who already have signed up, and it seems the greater the prospect of war, the more people sign up.

But, yeah, it will take time and more, to get people to quit segregating women to a lower spot in anything.

Women can help themselves out in that regard. I can't improve the image of women personally (not being female) but women can, and men can NOT interfere with it, if they want to help. AND we can NOT refuse or base any behavior we have regarding others on what the OTHERS of your type do.

[ Parent ]

The reason (2.14 / 7) (#151)
by miah on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 11:18:28 AM EST

the militray doesn't want women on the front lines is that it is near impossible to provide adequate sanitary supplies to half of your fighting force whence they bleed once a month. They found that women are generally a better shot than men and they found that with proper training they can carry just as much equipment. The problem comes in when you have to justify airlifting 70 tons of Tampax onto the battlefield and putting that in your ration. There are plenty of places where women can excel in the military, combat is just not practical. So, they get to do things off the "field of glory" like building runways and managing supply lines. They are both just as important as carrying an M16A with an M203.

Religion is not the opiate of the masses. It is the biker grade crystal meth of the masses.
SLAVEWAGE
[ Parent ]
This article gave me a stiffy (2.88 / 9) (#26)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Thu Dec 26, 2002 at 11:49:26 PM EST

Female soldiers are SEXY! I always wanted to have sex with a woman who could kill me. Like that chick from that James Bond movie. I could seduce her and convince her to smite my enemies for me.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
Oh yeah. (2.66 / 3) (#36)
by Jorge Gutierrez on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:42:40 AM EST

Plus, when times get rough in combat, the passion increases exponentially. The sparks start flying. The good part of being in a war zone with female soldiers is that there is almost a 97% chance of being laid at some point.

One way it could happen is competition. Men are competitive so they will try to prove how superior they are to their trenchside women, and everything will end in a nice orgy, the way it does on TV.

-- Jorge Gutierrez
K5 Liaison for Racial and Cultural Concerns.
Multicultural Diversity Consultant
[ Parent ]

damn it all! (none / 0) (#41)
by Greyshade on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:48:59 AM EST

I don't have the co-ed warzone military trench orgy station =(

[ Parent ]
Sucks. (none / 0) (#44)
by Jorge Gutierrez on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:56:40 AM EST

All of my Army buddies do. Ask them what's their secret.

-- Jorge Gutierrez
K5 Liaison for Racial and Cultural Concerns.
Multicultural Diversity Consultant
[ Parent ]

whoa! (3.50 / 2) (#122)
by martingale on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 07:29:58 AM EST

Just think of the extra possibilities! Maybe a grenade explodes close-by, dismembering a female soldier! Instant access to her booty in a small, handy package! Place it in your rucksack for later needs!

Urgh. Gross. Maybe not.

[ Parent ]

I'll kill ya! (5.00 / 1) (#132)
by truffle on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 09:42:22 AM EST

;)

meow
[ Parent ]

No they aren't (5.00 / 1) (#184)
by Thrasymachus on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 01:02:30 PM EST

Female soldiers are flat! Now, female officers are sexy.

[ Parent ]
Dirty. Tired. Angry. Heavily Armed. (5.00 / 1) (#259)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:33:02 PM EST

What's not for a man to like?


--
Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.


[ Parent ]

I agree with this article (2.78 / 14) (#31)
by untrusteduser on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:17:29 AM EST

The military could use women. For example, they could cook, clean the equipment, or work as secrataries for the higher ups.

Great story, good sir!

My view. (4.00 / 15) (#32)
by valeko on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:23:20 AM EST

I think a lot of this discussion of discrimination, civil rights, democracy, etc. in respect to the draft is quite the red herring. At least, it is for me, personally.

Instead of discussing how men are discriminated against and how both genders should be equally fucked over, we should be discussing why this vile institution -- the draft -- exists at all. Some would say that it really doesn't exist in the U.S., except through the vestige of the SSS, but why would such an active bureaucracy exist if it weren't necessary at all? Some would say that here in the U.S. we're luckier than some citizens of Western Europe who are subject to conscription, to which I retort that this is horrible too, but the role you play in the militaries of such countries is not nearly as harmful (and yes, cynics will point out that this may be because the U.S. provides for Europe's defense needs). In the U.S., were a draft to actually come into existence, it would probably mean a pretty serious military adventure.

The whole notion of "conscientious objector" is a red herring too; the SSS page on the subject explicitly says that you cannot be a conscientious objector out of political or self-preservation motives, but only out of, say, religious ones. Well gee, that conveniently disqualifies me, although I do find it pretty funny. Sounds like state endorsement of religion to me. :-)

Some people argue that there wouldn't ever be another Vietnam-like situation, but that the draft is still necessary in case of a truly exotic civil defense emergency or other unexpected catastrophe. No, it's not. As a rational human being, I would certainly volunteer to help if confronted with apocalypse/Armageddon/holocaust, but no government has the right to force me to do so. If I wanted to sit the Final Battle of Good vs. Evil out, that is my perfect right. I will uphold this right, not to dignify some "constitutional freedoms" or whatnot, but because it is my human right.

However, barring such an apocalypse/Armageddon/holocaust situation, I can't think of any other scenario in which I could justify participating in any military operation, not just for myself but for anyone. Another genocidal slaughter like Vietnam? Carpet-bombing Cambodia? Turkey shooting in Iraq? Catastrophic spasm of imperialist crisis aimed at redividing the world once again? I think not, but in any case, conscription is a vile institution in which nobody should have to participate. If you want to participate in non-combat jobs and/or make a career in the U.S. military, you have my sincere pity, but by all means do enlist. Voluntarily! If you want to sign your freedom away to a repressive institution like that, that's fine. When you are the sucker that pays with his life for your lack of foresight, you'll be sorry. If you make it out satisfied with your "job training" and experience, power to you.

In any case, I'm not too concerned about having to register for the SSS. I'm not sure when anyone was last prosecuted for not doing so, although you do receive a rather threatening letter from the Justice Department if you don't I hear, but here in this state, as with many others I suspect, it's a condition for any kind of state financial aid. That's the only way I'm going to university, so, it's not worth "living on the edge," given the emptyness of the statement. After all, it's a rather stubborn and meaningless middle finger to the SSS, and not much else.

I will sign their little paper. It's meaningless to me. I do not regard it as a binding contract. They should make toilet paper of those SSS registration cards for all I care. If there is ever a draft for the purposes described above, rest assured, I'm not going anywhere. Over my dead body. If that sounds hollow, that's too bad. I'm dead serious.

Right, so to bring this back to the issue of gender discrimination -- it's an entirely pointless debate. Working to abolish the draft formally is kind of pointless too; rest assured that if a crisis broke out, it would be re-instituted before you can say, "Hell no, I won't go!" Just do what's right -- don't ever, ever participate.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart

My view on your view... (3.75 / 4) (#50)
by inertia on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 01:46:17 AM EST

I think what you're trying to say here is that you don't want to be forced into serving for a nation that does not agree with your opinions. If you don't want war with Iraq, why should you be drafted to go and kill Iraqis? I don't think I should have to go blow up Iraqis for a government that hides its pretenses and motives from me while I go into combat (combat isn't necessarily the case always, as someone pointed out, 90% of military jobs are non-combatant (eew ugly term)). Unfortunately, for the so-called, as of late, United States police state, patriotism and conformity are more valued characteristics than conviction and intelligence; so the draft will take those who flow with the tide, and those that try to stand up against it.

[ Parent ]
My view on your view of my view. (3.50 / 4) (#59)
by valeko on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:02:20 AM EST

I think what you're trying to say here is that you don't want to be forced into serving for a nation that does not agree with your opinions. If you don't want war with Iraq, why should you be drafted to go and kill Iraqis?

Well, that's not really the best way to put it. That explains why I don't want to serve for the United States Army, but that doesn't mean I agree with conscription if it's for a cause to which I'm sympathetic. Nobody should be conscripted for any purpose, categorically.

combat isn't necessarily the case always, as someone pointed out, 90% of military jobs are non-combatant (eew ugly term)).

Myself, I don't believe in this "non-combat" nonsense. If you're working for the U.S. military apparatus, you're a combatant. At least, that's certainly how the U.S. regards the people surrounding whoever it is they're at war with. I don't think I'd volunteer to work in the kitchen on an aircraft carrier in Iraq. It's not just about self-preservation, but of principle, certainly.

Unfortunately, for the so-called, as of late, United States police state, patriotism and conformity are more valued characteristics than conviction and intelligence;

It's always been that way. I object fiercely to the notion that this is some aspect of the post-September 11th world. I was alive before 11 September and I've always seen the same thing.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

My view on yuor view of my view of your view (3.50 / 4) (#63)
by inertia on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:32:18 AM EST

It's always been that way. I object fiercely to the notion that this is some aspect of the post-September 11th world. I was alive before 11 September and I've always seen the same thing.
Certainly this may have always been the case, but it is only post 9/11 that the prospect of a United States police state has hit a portion of the general consciousness (to digress on that point, it is doubtful that this has even been impressed on anyone but the impotent middle class intelligensia; I don't know how to stop this sort of lack of knowledge. It is like Winston's belief of a future enlightened proletariet, but the belief never realizes itself (in 1984). If we are to believe the propaganda that the rest of the world is basically a police state too, the US doesn't seem so bad; but if the propaganda is false, where does that leave the some 280 million US citizens who are calmly being led into an even more restrictive corral?) Have you had any experiences outside the US that has led you to believe the police state nature the USA has been condoning in the (according to you, not-so-recent) past? Or was it just comparison through literature, or knowledge of the popular regimes around the world and how [un-]different they are from America?

[ Parent ]
Right, stop that! (2.00 / 2) (#161)
by Dephex Twin on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 11:34:46 AM EST

This "view on view on view" talk has become far too silly.


Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]
side note (4.00 / 2) (#121)
by theburtman on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 07:07:23 AM EST

If your not prepared to work for the "military apparatus" as a non combatant because you consider it to be unethical, would you work in a diffrent goverment institution if it could in someway help the "war effort" even administration duties in goverment offices could be considered helpfull to the militery apparatus. Even just paying taxes could count if you take it to its (il)logical conclusion. <brp> I would like to point out that i agree entirely with your opion on non-combat personall, i wouldnt serve in the miltery for these reasons either. I'm just thinking (out loud) at what stage when your country is at war which you belive is wrong do you draw a line?
--
Cant spell wont spell, Dsylexi and Lazy
Deal
[ Parent ]
dude (2.00 / 4) (#54)
by turmeric on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 01:55:38 AM EST

right on ... but what you are saying is the government has no rights over your body... sounds like.... feminists. and lots of them weigh in on the military too. women in the military, gays int he miliatry, families in the military, etc. so why not relate it all together.

[ Parent ]
Can you elaborate on that? (3.33 / 3) (#60)
by valeko on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:04:20 AM EST

I don't really understand what you mean.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

its not a total red herring (4.66 / 3) (#287)
by turmeric on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 08:43:52 PM EST

its kind of actually related even though it seems not to be.

[ Parent ]
So you want (3.00 / 4) (#154)
by CENGEL3 on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 11:27:51 AM EST

You want to enjoy all the benefits of living within a society without shouldering any of the burdens of that society?

You derive alot of benefits from being a citizen of a country (any country). One of those benefits is the protection of that countries millitary from those who would do you harm... and please don't try to tell me that such people don't exist because history has provided countless examples to prove that they do.

Along with those benefits come a responsibilty that you are required to help ensure those same benefits for your fellow citizens should it become neccesary fo you to do so. I see nothing wrong with the government requiring you to do so.
If you aren't willing to accept that responsibilty then you should relinquish your citizenship and all the benefits provided along with it.

Personaly I think the U.S. should have compulsary service for 1 or 2 years after highschool. It might instill a little more responsibilty in those who wish to be citizens and would actualy require them to provide something back for the benefits they derive from society. Although I would add the proviso that such service could include things like medical, construction, firefighting, etc duties as an alternative for those that truely do have objections of conscience to strictly millitary duty.

[ Parent ]

Typical, but totally wrong. (3.00 / 2) (#240)
by valeko on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 04:44:04 PM EST

Your view is not uncommon, but it's also predicated on the incorrect idea that the military is what defends my -- our -- freedom. If that were so, I could say that serving in it would be "shouldering the burdens" of which you speak.

However, that is not so. The military is an instrument of the ruling class, used to engage in imperialist aggression. I know you may have illusions that when they go overseas to fight, they "fight for our freedom," but that is not their purpose at all. What they do is take away others' freedom (not to mention bomb them), not give me mine.

I know the source of my freedoms. It is the conscious activism of freedom-loving citizens who [hopefully] know when to stand up to the U.S. government (and its military!) and say, "no more!" That is where my freedom comes from, not from your army.

One of those benefits is the protection of that countries millitary from those who would do you harm

The military may have a role in protecting me, but that doesn't make me obligated in any way to serve in it. I am confident that in the absence of it, a citizens' militia made to serve the people -- and not the U.S. government -- could do the same thing. I feel no obligation to join the military apparatus whatsoever, so, excuse me if that's lack of civic responsibility or "duty" in your eyes.

Personaly I think the U.S. should have compulsary service for 1 or 2 years after highschool.

Just keep dreaming your coercive dreams. You're on the right road to fascism. I don't think anybody who knows what 'freedom' really is would ever, ever put up with that. No state has the right to coerce me to serve in anything.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Source of Freedom (5.00 / 1) (#254)
by bearclaw on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:15:28 PM EST

I know the source of my freedoms. It is the conscious activism of freedom-loving citizens who [hopefully] know when to stand up to the U.S. government (and its military!) and say, "no more!" That is where my freedom comes from, not from your army.
I think we also fought a war .. a war which was fought with a military army, which pretty much helped to guarantee your freedoms.

Would you advocate having no military? The idea of a "citizens' militia made to serve the people" is nice, but I highly doubt it would be capable of defending our country from an agressor in the 21st century. How would it be funded? You couldn't very well tax people for it (like we do now) because then it would be beholden to the gov't.

However, that is not so. The military is an instrument of the ruling class, used to engage in imperialist aggression. I know you may have illusions that when they go overseas to fight, they "fight for our freedom," but that is not their purpose at all. What they do is take away others' freedom (not to mention bomb them), not give me mine.
Often times our military is also called upon to defend the freedoms of others, outside of our country - such as when one group of people decides to try and eradicate another. For example, when Milosevic wanted to eradicate an entire people. Genocide is bad, so we helped out.

I think this is a good thing. Now, I didn't run out and join up, but if there was a draft in the future, I would answer my call.

I respect your opinion, but if you don't like it, why not try to effect a change in the gov't? It seems you are only belittling people in the Armed Forces.

+
-- bearclaw
[ Parent ]
Well... (2.00 / 1) (#275)
by valeko on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 06:46:08 PM EST

Would you advocate having no military? The idea of a "citizens' militia made to serve the people" is nice, but I highly doubt it would be capable of defending our country from an agressor in the 21st century. How would it be funded? You couldn't very well tax people for it (like we do now) because then it would be beholden to the gov't.

That's not really what I meant. I support having a military beholden to the government, but only so far as the role of the military is civil defense. Seeing as the overwhelming majority of the U.S. military's purpose lies in projecting imperialist power everywhere, I disagree with its existence. That's all. See comment below about the Swiss approach.

Often times our military is also called upon to defend the freedoms of others, outside of our country - such as when one group of people decides to try and eradicate another. For example, when Milosevic wanted to eradicate an entire people. Genocide is bad, so we helped out.

Surely you jest. The atrocious intervention in Kosovo had absolutely nothing to do with rescuing the poor Albanians from the hand of the Hitler-incarnate-of-the-moment, Mr. Milosevic. It was waged for a number of reasons, not the least of which is removing the last bastion of serious opposition to NATO expansion throughout Eastern Europe. It was an imperialist conflict as much as anything else.

I sincerely hope you don't believe in this cynical,, Orwellian "military humanitarianism" propaganda that corporate media spouts.

It seems you are only belittling people in the Armed Forces.

I am. I think what they're doing is wrong. If you sign up for the military while consciously grasping its purpose -- giving violent expression to the desires of the American ruling class, you deserve to be belittled.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

So.. (none / 0) (#304)
by bearclaw on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 11:57:13 PM EST

You would support the Swiss approach, where you are REQUIRED to serve some years in the military as opposed to the current US scheme where you *might* have to serve in the future?


-- bearclaw
[ Parent ]
Maybe. (3.00 / 2) (#316)
by valeko on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 12:46:30 AM EST

Of course, to say that, you have to take into account the entirely different nature of the Swiss nation. As a small, peaceful, and traditionally neutral European nation, their compulsory military exists for actual civil defense purposes. The U.S. is a bloated, hegemonic empire, and has no need for such useless, ornamental armies.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

OK (5.00 / 1) (#378)
by bearclaw on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 02:24:10 PM EST

We shall agree to disagree.


-- bearclaw
[ Parent ]
Sure. (none / 0) (#492)
by luser on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 07:56:36 PM EST

If woman do it too. Wait...

[ Parent ]
Question for valeko (4.33 / 3) (#156)
by bearclaw on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 11:30:03 AM EST

Question: Assuming you were of military age (17+) during the era of World War II, would you have enlisted voluntarily to fight the Nazi regime?

Just a question, I'm not comparing you to a Nazi sympathizer or anything. :)


-- bearclaw
[ Parent ]
Good question. (4.25 / 4) (#237)
by valeko on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 04:29:28 PM EST

Not one I can answer without accounting for quite a few different variables that I couldn't possibly imagine, unless I lived in the 1940s.

My intuitive answer is this, though: Yes, unless I intricately knew the U.S.'s role in world affairs and what the actual purpose of getting involved in the war in Europe was (mopping up the blood and guts after the Soviets mostly defeated Germany), in which case, no.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Thanks. (4.33 / 3) (#245)
by bearclaw on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 04:56:22 PM EST

A fair answer.

Thanks for replying.


-- bearclaw
[ Parent ]
Starship Troopers. (3.30 / 10) (#34)
by Icehouseman on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:37:42 AM EST

I say that we should change it all to the way it is with Starship Troopers. Co-Ed dorms, Co-ed training, co-ed showers. True fairness. I would love co-ed showers in locker rooms and such. Of course the possible bad part is that women will see that I'm small and have a good reason to have nothing to do with me.
----------------
Bush's $3 trillion state is allegedly a mark of "anti-government bias" on the right. -- Anthony Gregory
Hehe, yeah, but. (3.50 / 2) (#35)
by Jorge Gutierrez on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:40:23 AM EST

They'd see that all other men are small too, and then say, hey, this won't hurt so much after all.

Believe me, nobody has an 8 inch dong like on TV. NOBODY.

-- Jorge Gutierrez
K5 Liaison for Racial and Cultural Concerns.
Multicultural Diversity Consultant
[ Parent ]

I do. *grin* [n/t] (none / 0) (#42)
by Jizzbug on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:52:09 AM EST



I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. I say unto you: you still have chaos in yourselves.
 -- Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

[ Parent ]
I'm sorry. (5.00 / 1) (#43)
by Jorge Gutierrez on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:54:48 AM EST

But that is anatomically impossible, although I realize you're creative with your warez-d copy of Photoshop 5.

Thanks for the photo, anyways. I always get into dicksize wars with people and end up with their photos. Some "proof" that is. I just sit back, cackle, and pet my dong.

-- Jorge Gutierrez
K5 Liaison for Racial and Cultural Concerns.
Multicultural Diversity Consultant
[ Parent ]

wow (2.50 / 2) (#134)
by pathetic on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 09:46:45 AM EST

i can really think of no more pointless activity than arguing about dick size on the net. Even arguging about religion or politics there's a chance you might learn something interesting....

anyway I have a big 9 inch cock. And that's just the width.

[ Parent ]

Only take cold showers (5.00 / 1) (#39)
by Greyshade on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:45:24 AM EST

Blame it on shrinkage =)

[ Parent ]
Sure. (5.00 / 2) (#40)
by Jorge Gutierrez on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:47:28 AM EST

But then you have to tell them their cervix is FREEZING too!

-- Jorge Gutierrez
K5 Liaison for Racial and Cultural Concerns.
Multicultural Diversity Consultant
[ Parent ]

eeeeeh.... (4.50 / 2) (#69)
by Greyshade on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 03:06:55 AM EST

I was only thinking as far as the shower. You'll have to work on other methods of deception for other environments.

I guess you could always claim it's a voodooan curse, and you need womanly secretions to break the spell. <shrug>

[ Parent ]

You should have said.. (5.00 / 2) (#131)
by Atomic Eco on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 09:31:57 AM EST

..Starship Troopers - The Movie. In Robert Heinlein's original book, the mobile infantry was an all-stag outfit. Women were busy piloting the starships and doing other things Heinlein thought they were better suited for. The female grunts were added to the movie in a pathetic attempt to pander to particular audiences.

By the way, I'm having a hard time appreciating Verhoeven's vision of the story and the characters. All philosophical angles have been lost in the conversion, sargeant Zim is made into a sadistic bully (missing the point ENTIRELY), cheesy love interests.. And to top it all off, the soldiers in the movie are pathetic bootcamp drop-outs without discipline, skills or real weapons; the mobile infantry in the book wears badass powered armor and is armed to the teeth with everything, up to miniature nuclear weapons.

I warmly recommend the book, the movie cannot spoil it for you.

Finland.. where polar bears roam the streets.
[ Parent ]

But they have (none / 0) (#491)
by luser on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 07:52:40 PM EST

Unlimited ammo!

[ Parent ]
Um (5.00 / 1) (#163)
by Dephex Twin on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 11:40:19 AM EST

I would love co-ed showers in locker rooms and such. Of course the possible bad part is that women will see that I'm small and have a good reason to have nothing to do with me.
Maybe this hasn't come up yet, but you do realize a girl would have to find out the size eventually, right?


Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]
You make a good point. (none / 0) (#172)
by Icehouseman on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:25:55 PM EST

NT.
----------------
Bush's $3 trillion state is allegedly a mark of "anti-government bias" on the right. -- Anthony Gregory
[ Parent ]
Push-up bras busted in the co-ed shower (none / 0) (#452)
by Quietti on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 09:39:21 AM EST

All girls wearing super-thight push-up bras to make it look like they have more than they really have, or to spruce up a big flabby post-third-kid breasts would equally be unmasked - not just guys with small reproductive appendices. In common nudity, everyone's vulnerable to each other's looks; there's no hiding - for males or females alike.

--
The whole point of civilization is to reduce how much the average person has to think. - Stef Murky
[ Parent ]
Sounds ok. (3.50 / 2) (#37)
by Jorge Gutierrez on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:43:46 AM EST

However I don't know how you'd ever resolve the competitiveness and brutishness of male soldiers. There's no way they would ever accept that there's a female standing next to them that is as slick as they are.

Of course, they'd just mitigate the whole situation by having spontaneous, wild sex. It's a time-honored human thing to do.

-- Jorge Gutierrez
K5 Liaison for Racial and Cultural Concerns.
Multicultural Diversity Consultant

yeah thats unfair ! (2.07 / 13) (#46)
by zzzeek on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 01:25:31 AM EST

women are also allowed to have abortions in this country and not men, whats up with that ?

Really? (5.00 / 1) (#260)
by damiam on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:36:40 PM EST

Where's the law that bans male abortions?

[ Parent ]
um, the law of nature ? [NT] (5.00 / 1) (#366)
by zzzeek on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 11:37:46 AM EST



[ Parent ]
lol (none / 0) (#696)
by ddsaves on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 11:04:30 AM EST

damn good point!!!

[ Parent ]
more discussion. (3.00 / 4) (#48)
by dirvish on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 01:26:31 AM EST

A little more discussion on the draft and military recruitment of school children.

Technical Certification Blog, Anti Spam Blog
Their's a reason women don't fight wars (2.37 / 8) (#49)
by auraslip on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 01:41:25 AM EST

Actaully 3 come to mind
1) Rape
2) Women are usally not aggressive enough to be made in to killing machine armys of one(tm)
3) By fighting side by side with women you are elevating them to the same ground as men, and how christian would that be?
124
but what about the non-fighting roles? (4.33 / 3) (#53)
by autopr0n on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 01:52:56 AM EST

Women arn't put into combat, but there are still lots of women in the military. Why can't women be drafted to fill those roles, should the need arise? If the current women arn't being raped, why would the draftees?


[autopr0n] got pr0n?
autopr0n.com is a categorically searchable database of porn links, updated every day (or so). no popups!
[ Parent ]
I beleive (4.00 / 3) (#97)
by Greyshade on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:27:39 AM EST

The poster was likely referring to treatment of frontline POW's by the enemy, not our own military personell raping our female recruits.

[ Parent ]
Male soldiers aren't raped as POW's (4.00 / 1) (#221)
by dh003i on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:45:51 PM EST

So, you're saying that male soldier's aren't raped as POW's or otherwise mistreated?  I can see it now, that sexy Taliban mistress who rapes a male POW :-)

The point is, all POW's face risks.  And if you think about it, its actually beneficial to have a female POW in a group of POW's, since she could use her femininity to confuse and distract the enemy soldiers, while her fellow soldiers did something.  In other words, femininity can gain one an advantage over a male captor.  Not saying that anyone should be ordered to do such, but it is still a good advantage to have.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Male soldiers ARE OFTEN RAPED as POWs (5.00 / 1) (#453)
by Quietti on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 09:49:32 AM EST

Same idea as in prisons. Break the POW's male pride and put him under your control by stuffing his ass with a big one, or worse, with a loaded weapon or huge nanchafu stick. Guaranteed to shatter even the tallest, most muscular stud's ego for the rest of his life.

(OT) rumour has it that black berets are tested for their resistance to sexual molestation, as a part of their training. I wonder why...

--
The whole point of civilization is to reduce how much the average person has to think. - Stef Murky
[ Parent ]

Grayshade is right (4.00 / 1) (#234)
by auraslip on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 04:15:43 PM EST

I was just relating what my 6th grade history teacher told me when I asked the same question.
The risk comes in women being raped as pows. Of course, you could call that sexist as it is infering that women can't protect themselves from being raped....
Maybe when we start fighting aliens and not men they'll realize they won't have any excuses, and start drafting women.

btw,,,,,autopr0n your my hero
124
[ Parent ]

Why Women Aren't Wanted in the Military (4.11 / 9) (#52)
by egg troll on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 01:51:55 AM EST

There's a reason why women aren't desired by the Armed Forces. Its the same reason they're not encouraged to play against men in sports. War is primarily a male activity. When men are made to compete against a woman, they're put in a lose/lose position. If they win, they've beaten a girl. And, God help them if they lose because they've lost to a girl.

He's a bondage fan, a gastronome, a sensualist
Unparalleled for sinister lasciviousness.

War is primarily... (3.71 / 7) (#71)
by Jizzbug on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 03:24:30 AM EST

...the activity of sexually deprived and repressed cultures.

I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. I say unto you: you still have chaos in yourselves.
 -- Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

[ Parent ]
What is your evidence for that? (4.25 / 4) (#201)
by egg troll on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:07:03 PM EST

Can you support that statement?

He's a bondage fan, a gastronome, a sensualist
Unparalleled for sinister lasciviousness.

[ Parent ]

Evidence... (3.25 / 4) (#219)
by 0xdeadbeef on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:37:48 PM EST

is legion

[ Parent ]
Anthropology and psychology... (5.00 / 3) (#336)
by Jizzbug on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 04:20:45 AM EST

...are replete with evidence for the theory that aggressive and violence-infatuated cultures form out of societies with sexual-puritanism and infant/child-punishment.  Science is also full-to-bursting with evidence for the theory that societies that don't repress natural sexual development and curiosity and that don't punish their young are generally non-aggressive inter- and intra-societally and tend to abhor violence (especially intra-societal violence, although inter-societal violence will occur from time to time [usually in the form of short-lived feuds between groups, etc.]).

For a fiarly decent introduction to the topic, check out <http://www.violence.de/>.  It's a pretty good site, and it should be enough to get you pointed in the right direction.

Also, if you're interested on the topic in a more general sense, read Thomas Huxley's writings about when he was a naturalist on expeditions exploring the New World.  He talks quite a lot about these kinds of issues, and how quickly these prestine--he describes them as almost utopian--cultures become corrupted as a result of Western Christian assimilationism.  (Thomas Huxley is a highly respected naturalist that lived during Darwin's time.  He was known as "Darwin's bulldog".  And his accounts of the cultures he encountered during these voyages are amazing.  He said something to the effect that every new island they'd land on, he'd feel horrible, because he knew that after they'd "discovered" the existence of these incredible people, the Christian missionaries would be on their way to destroy all that was good about these indigenous cultures.  Also, it was Thomas Huxley that coined the term "agnostic".)

I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. I say unto you: you still have chaos in yourselves.
 -- Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

[ Parent ]

Your mainstream meter... (3.00 / 1) (#538)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Dec 30, 2002 at 11:33:39 AM EST

...needs a little adjusting. The views you point to at violence.de (authored by K5's eloquence) are what would be technically known as, "way the fuck out in left field."

As for Huxley, you are aware, aren't you, that there exists what amounts to a subdiscipline within Anthropology dedicated to the analysis and critique of 19th century travelogues? In brief, modern Anthropologists regard antique ethnographies with great suspicion and the consensus view is that such ethnographies reveal far more about the culture of their authors than they do about the culture of their supposed subjects. I'd suggest reading Claude Levi-Strauss's Tristes Tropiques to get a good feel for the epistemological crises which underlies the ethnographic task.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
You mean .. (4.66 / 3) (#558)
by Eloquence on Mon Dec 30, 2002 at 05:15:25 PM EST

"way the fuck out in left field."

.. contradictory to established doctrine and therefore unacceptable? Or is there anything substantial you have to say? Arguments ad verecundium don't count. The site is not "authored" by me. The site mostly presents research published in peer reviewed journals (and easier to digest summaries from popular magazines). I have done most of the web and digitization work, but translations of materials have been provided by volunteers in French, Dutch, German and Spanish, and an abridged Finnish translation of the 1975 article also exists. (There are rumors about a Japanese version, but I have not seen it.) Volunteers have also helped with the creation of the video material (currently online is the full length Time Life documentary Rock-A-Bye-Baby, and more is to come). The Peacelist mailing list currently has 170 members from all around the world, many of them medical doctors or practitioners working with children. There are several other websites about Prescott's work, including a fairly detailed one here. Prescott himself is very active and his assistance has been key in getting this work online, as well as getting permissions to put other related materials by Drs. Heath, Berman, Saltzberg, Coleman, Essman etc. up.

Prescott's cross-cultural work is based on that of Textor et al., who have created the Human Relations Area Files (HRAF), the most extensive quantified summary of anthropological data created specifically for the purpose of facilitating comparative studies. He has kept a close eye on the field of anthropology to correct incorrect observations on the particular variables he observed, and correcting such observations e.g. about Samoa as per Freeman strengthened the S-SAD theory. His and his colleagues' neuropsychological research (on humans and other primates) extended that of earlier researchers such as Harry Harlow, who is a part of every psychology textbook, whereas Prescott is usually not mentioned. He is starting to get credit again, thanks in large part to our website -- he was quoted recently in a long Scientific American article by Martin Teicher titled "The Neurobiology of Child Abuse", for example, and is quoted in Judith Levine's book "Harmful to Minors"; Carl Sagan was among the first to promote Prescott's work in 1980 in his book Cosmos. In 1998 I did a database search in the Science Citation Index to find out who has cited Prescott's 1975 article, the results are here. (I have checked some of them, almost all are favorable, the most critical review I've seen was by a Rabbi, it's online here along with Prescott's reply.

Robert Heath's work, which is presented in part, is also highly interesting, and his approach of targeted electrostimulation is slowly being rediscovered in the form of so-called "brain pacemakers", but stimulation of the pleasure region (septal region in the limbic system) is, to my knowledge, no longer done. Besides trying to cure schizophrenics, Heath unfortunately also tried to cure a homosexual by making him feel pleasure when looking at women, this being the darker side of the story. Homosexuality was still a DSM-level disease at the time, and lots of this kind of scary stuff was going on back then.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy ˇ Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

I mean (5.00 / 1) (#562)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Dec 30, 2002 at 07:21:13 PM EST

.. contradictory to established doctrine and therefore unacceptable?

Uh, no! I meant what I said, way the fuck out in left field. Now it is certainly true that an occasional "left field" theory gains credibility and eventual replaces the prevailing orthodoxy, but this is rare. The poster I was replying to presented your site as if it represented consensus view among anthropologists and psychologists. It doesn't.

There are several other websites about Prescott's work, including a fairly detailed one here.

Well, I skimmed the first couple of paragraphs and it does not inspire great confidence that he relies upon Gibbons to support his absurd claim that religious violence is unique to monotheistic religions. The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire is a wonderful read, but it is hardly considered authoritative in any field these days.

Prescott's cross-cultural work is based on that of Textor et al., who have created the Human Relations Area Files (HRAF), the most extensive quantified summary of anthropological data created specifically for the purpose of facilitating comparative studies.

The challenge I posted in a comment to your last article still stands: name me any culture you believe to be without violence and I'll find a study or ethnography which seriously undermines that claim or outright refutes it.

I am not at a University these days so you'll have to be patient in waiting for a response.

His and his colleagues' neuropsychological research (on humans and other primates) extended that of earlier researchers such as Harry Harlow, who is a part of every psychology textbook, whereas Prescott is usually not mentioned. He is starting to get credit again, thanks in large part to our website -- he was quoted recently in a long Scientific American article by Martin Teicher titled "The Neurobiology of Child Abuse", for example, and is quoted in Judith Levine's book "Harmful to Minors"; Carl Sagan was among the first to promote Prescott's work in 1980 in his book Cosmos.

I did not before, and I will not now take issue with Prescott's neuropsychological work, as it is outside the domain in which I can speak with any competence. My objections primarily concern his interpretation -- or is it just your interpretation? -- of culture and history, his facile condemnation of religion, and the dubious extension of neurophysiology into the realm of ethics.

My rough objection: no sexual repression & no latent violence --> no Joyce, no Mozart, no Nabakov, no Augustine, etc. = no way in hell do I want anything to do with your putatively "healthy" culture.  

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Just a few points. (5.00 / 1) (#569)
by Jizzbug on Mon Dec 30, 2002 at 10:09:57 PM EST

The poster I was replying to presented your site as if it represented consensus view among anthropologists and psychologists. It doesn't.

I never suggested his site represented some consensus view.  I said it was a good introduction to the topic, because, well, it is.  First of all, I don't believe in "consensus views".  "Consensus views", in many cases, aren't much different from "herd mentality", "groupthink", or "acculturation" (I was under the impression that science itself had already demonstrated this rather thoroughly).

I only recently ran across violence.de, but I'd read quite a bit about violence in cultures before then (e.g., Eric Fromm's The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness, Carl Sagan's Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, Huxley's writings on the subject, etc.).  I did think violence.de focused too much on Prescott's work, as there's a lot of other insightful and interesting work and perspectives out there about violence in cultures besides just Prescott's.  But I did find it overall more interesting and informative than most sites on the topic I'd seen before, hence my recommendation of it as an introduction to the dialogue of violence in cultures.

As for Huxley, you are aware, aren't you, that there exists what amounts to a subdiscipline within Anthropology dedicated to the analysis and critique of 19th century travelogues? In brief, modern Anthropologists regard antique ethnographies with great suspicion and the consensus view is that such ethnographies reveal far more about the culture of their authors than they do about the culture of their supposed subjects.

To a degree, yes, I was.  However, I was under the impression that most of the analysis and critique was due to the prevailing view among scientists of the 19th century that they were studying savage, primitive, disgusting, depraved, and sub-human cultures; etc.

Huxley was certainly not one of those people, and he did his own fair amount of critiquing and analyzing those prevailing more-human-than-thou, much-better-than-thou attitudes.

This supposed consensus view does not, however, automagically invalidate anything and everything Huxley ever wrote or observed.

Also, this supposed consensus view of modern anthropologists considering antique studies to reveal for more about the culture of their authors than they do about the culture of their subjects kinda throws modern anthropologists into a subjectivistic/perspectivistic tailspin (not necessarily a bad thing, so long as they recognize it).  After all, 21st century anthropologists are going to look at 20th century antropologists' studies as though those studies reveal more about the culture of those anthropologists than they do of something quantitative or scientific.  And the same for 22nd century anthropologists vs. 21st century anthropologists, ad infinitum.  Scientists today are not somehow more objective, more impartial, or less acculturated than their 19th century counterparts, after all.

After all, most of these softer sciences like psychology and (some areas of) anthropology really boil down to this:  Someone thinks up something cool and writes it down.  They publish it.  Others read it and think, "Hey, this is neat, I'll promote this view."  And enough people do that, and you now have an established "scientific" doctrine.  Then someone else has a different neat idea, which they in turn write theirs down and distribute it.  Which in turn others read, and think, "Neato beans, science!"  And the cycle goes on and on and on.

Scientists today are just as stupid as the scientists of yesterday, who are just as stupid as the scientists of yesteryear, who are just as stupid as the guy that says, "You want fries with that?"

There's nothing wrong with this, of course.  I think it's better to be conscious of it, myself.  It's just a matter of the inherent fallibility and ignorance of human beings in action.

I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. I say unto you: you still have chaos in yourselves.
 -- Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

[ Parent ]

Ethnograpy and Error (5.00 / 1) (#590)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Dec 31, 2002 at 03:02:29 PM EST

I never suggested his site represented some consensus view.  I said it was a good introduction to the topic, because, well, it is.  First of all, I don't believe in "consensus views".  "Consensus views", in many cases, aren't much different from "herd mentality", "groupthink", or "acculturation" (I was under the impression that science itself had already demonstrated this rather thoroughly).

Fair enough, but I do think that it is necessary to qualify a scientific source when presenting it to a general audience. Rhetorically speaking, a so-called scientific source has quite a bit of ready made credibility. A general audience is not capable of evaluating the science and so they must rely upon a rough sense of consensus among experts. A consensus view among the experts is no guarantee of correctness, but it is nonetheless the only reasonable means by which a non-expert can orient themselves within a domain in which they have no personal competence. The truth is, the overwhelming majority of those ideas rejected by the consensus view are rubbish.

For instance, my knowledge of physics doesn't extend beyond what I've picked up reading Scientific American and a handful of popular physics books intended for a general audience. I can't possibly form an intelligent opinion about the merits of Bohm's model of the universe vs. the standard model (hell, I don't even know if that opposition would really make sense to a physicist), but I do know that Bohm's view is not accepted by the majority of experts in the field. He could be right, but it is unlikely. Actually, I kinda like the idea of non-locality in trippy sort of sci-fi way, but I'm not about to maintain that I even really understand it, much less that I have an intelligent and well reasoned argument for why it is true.

To a degree, yes, I was.  However, I was under the impression that most of the analysis and critique was due to the prevailing view among scientists of the 19th century that they were studying savage, primitive, disgusting, depraved, and sub-human cultures; etc.

The catalog of misperceptions ran the gamut from the patronizing gaze which glimpsed the "noble savage" to the condemning judgment of missionary who saw only sinners and heathens. Generally the overly simplified and highly idealized falsifications which conform to the noble savage stereotype are given the most attention because they are incorrect in more subtle and interesting ways.

This supposed consensus view does not, however, automagically invalidate anything and everything Huxley ever wrote or observed.

I never meant to say that everything he wrote is invalid, only that the whole genre of the naturalist travelouge is regarded with some suspicion. For example, later ethnographers have invariably found some form of violence -- often highly ritualized -- in all those cultures earlier observers portrayed as peaceful and utopian.

If you are interested, while googling for something else I came across an excellent survey of the taxonomic and genetic debates within anthropology as to the proper classification and origin of wars, fueds, revenge killings and the like. You can read it in PDF or in html. It even reviews Prescott's work (although presented in a much more limited and properly constrained form than at violence.de).

Also, this supposed consensus view of modern anthropologists considering antique studies to reveal for more about the culture of their authors than they do about the culture of their subjects kinda throws modern anthropologists into a subjectivistic/perspectivistic tailspin (not necessarily a bad thing, so long as they recognize it).

Absolutely, and it is a "tailspin" that most ethnographers are very well aware of. In fact, it has been made the center piece of many anthropological and ethnographic theories.

You can read a couple of Clifford Geertz's essays online that might give you an idea of for how this "tailspin" is dealt with. Geertz is among the most influential ethnographic and anthroplogical theorists of the last 50 years.

Thick Description: Toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture Covers some of the basics of Geertz's methodology.
Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight Is an ethnography about, well, Balinese cockfights (highly recommended, one of the most famous and widely read ethnographic essays ever written).  

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Superficial (5.00 / 2) (#592)
by Eloquence on Tue Dec 31, 2002 at 05:03:11 PM EST

Uh, no! I meant what I said, way the fuck out in left field. Now it is certainly true that an occasional "left field" theory gains credibility and eventual replaces the prevailing orthodoxy, but this is rare. The poster I was replying to presented your site as if it represented consensus view among anthropologists and psychologists. It doesn't.

The simple truth is that there isn't even a dissent about the matter -- most anthropologists and psychologists do not have an opinion on the question. Prescott's theory has never been debunked, it is simply ignored.

Well, I skimmed the first couple of paragraphs and it does not inspire great confidence that he relies upon Gibbons to support his absurd claim that religious violence is unique to monotheistic religions.

So where are the religious wars among polytheistic cultures? Can you refute the claim?

The challenge I posted in a comment to your last article still stands: name me any culture you believe to be without violence and I'll find a study or ethnography which seriously undermines that claim or outright refutes it.

That's a stupid challenge, because nobody seriously claims that such a culture exists, for the simple reason alone that there are so many different types of violence. There's institutionalized violence that survives simply because it is tradition and people have come to ignore it. There is interventionist violence which you will find in the mother/child relationship among all primates. There is violence imposed by the ruling elite, which is the category that most wars fall into.

But then there is terroristic, sadistic, criminal violence that serves no purpose. There is aggression, greed, hatred, xenophobia, homophobia. These are the behavioral patterns we are talking about. (To some degree, we are also talking about tolerance towards institutionalized violence.)

My rough objection: no sexual repression & no latent violence --> no Joyce, no Mozart, no Nabakov, no Augustine, etc. = no way in hell do I want anything to do with your putatively "healthy" culture.

I fail to see the relationship. The art we have from Pompeii (where we have the most data), a hardly sexually repressive culture, is highly sophisticated; musical instruments are everywhere. The artistic level when western culture was most sexually repressive, in the Middle Ages, is laughably primitive, the artists all understanding of perspective or aesthetic. Cross-cultural comparisons also show that artistic complexity was highest in those cultures with the most liberal attitude towards pleasure. The iconoclastic period of the Middle Ages or the Taliban destruction of all artistic beauty speak for themselves.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy ˇ Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

Correction (none / 0) (#599)
by Eloquence on Tue Dec 31, 2002 at 09:25:39 PM EST

the artists lack all understanding of perspective or aesthetic.

It's hard to even find collections of these pictures because they are so ugly, and most people don't like to create websites about ugly art. Most websites you will find about "medieval art" contain primarily pictures from the 13th, 14th or even 15th century. Others collect only photos of buildings, castles etc. or focus on Byzantium where the Dark Ages weren't quite as dark. I have a pretty large art archive on CD, which is searchable by period. To first cycle through the images from the Roman period and then through those from the medieval period is quite an impressive experience. I plan to put these images online at Wikipedia when I find the time.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy ˇ Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

You Are Disposable (2.62 / 8) (#58)
by Bad Harmony on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:02:05 AM EST

Young men are disposable. We can make more. Young women are more valuable to society.

54ş40' or Fight!

Get rid of it (3.50 / 6) (#62)
by NoBeardPete on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:31:44 AM EST

Like several other people here, I'm going to suggest that getting rid of the draft entirely is the best solution.

First, let me try to anticipate the main objection to this scheme. "What if the US is being invaded," you might ask "and we absolutely need to fight off the invaders, but no one wants to enlist?" I think most objections will be in this vein, although perhaps with less severity (what if we need to invade some other country, or protect our interests overseas, or to simply have a strong enough military to make people respect us). This scenario is clearly the most extreme one. I say that if no one wants to enlist then we need stronger encouragements for people to willingly sign up. Pay soldiers more, offer them a better exit package for when the war is over, or let them hold on to more of their civil rights.

Suppose the US was facing a massive invasion, and needed many ground troops, grunts, who would face a serious risk of death in combat. Suppose a tenth of the population was needed in arms to fight the threat. If a draft was being used, 10 percent of the population would be chosen through a somewhat random system, although with many exclusions (at the moment females, those who are too old or too young, infirm, insane, etc). Every man, woman, and child, infirm, insane, or otherwise gains the full benefit of the country being effectively defended. But who pays for it? Everyone will pay for training and equipment through their taxes, but some fraction of the population, chosen randomly from those eligible, pay by putting their lives on the line. The disparity between what burder most people bear (some money, in the form of taxes), and that which those drafted bear (loss of almost all civil rights, and a great risk of loss of life and limb). Even if every person in the country was eligible for the draft, this would seem unfair. Given that many are not eligible for the draft, and could not be under any sensible drafting system (cripples, for example), it is even more unfair.

Suppose, in the light of our hypothetical great threat, inducements to enlist were increased. Pay could be doubled, which would doubtless bring in more recruits. Still not enough? Recruits could be offered generous retirement packages for after the hostilities were over - assistance in buying a house, or pursuing higher education, lifelong medical benefits, or any of a million perks. Each person could decide if, in their own estimation, they valued the risk of their life to be worth what was being offered. Those that enlisted, presumably would have found that it was a fair trade. In this way, everyone pays (through taxes, to fund the whole scheme) equally, while none are picked out to bear some further, much greater burden.

Some might object that it might be prohibitively expensive to recruit a sufficiently large force in this way. To this, I would respond that though the burden might be very large, it is better for all to share a large monetary burden, then for a select few be forced to bear a much, much larger burden of serious risk of death. If, for the most part, people value their lives very highly, it is possible that after the hostilities, those who served might end up owning most of the country, on account of the magnitude of the inducements to enlist. If people value their lives highly, this is only fair. Those who risked their (valuable) lives are paid very highly. Those who stay comfortably at home, neither having to march forth to meet the enemy, nor endure having the enemy burn down their cities or bayonette them in their house, on the other hand, pay dearly to protect the life they value so highly.

This scheme has the further benefits that it allows each person to decide whether or not to enlist given their values and their own situation. While a single father would not, I believe, be eligible for the draft under current SSS rules, as he would need to stay home to care for his children, the SSS cannot anticipate all possible situations, such as a father whose wife makes a poor mother, say, or a man who often helps his dimwitted brother through lifes sticky situations. As a result, the SSS is forced to use rigid rules that do not take into account the subtleties of each person's situation. If each person can decide for themselves whether or not they should join, this is trivially easy.


Arrr, it be the infamous pirate, No Beard Pete!

One minor point (3.75 / 4) (#88)
by ericc on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:13:34 AM EST

Suppose the US was facing a massive invasion

I would imagine that every gun-owner in the country would be out there ready to kill $hated_group_of_the_moment in a heartbeat.

[ Parent ]

Yes, and that's very, very scary. (3.75 / 4) (#92)
by valeko on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:16:54 AM EST

I would imagine that every gun-owner in the country would be out there ready to kill $hated_group_of_the_moment in a heartbeat.

$hated_group_of_the_moment = $enemy, real or imagined.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Few things (3.62 / 8) (#64)
by strlen on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:40:55 AM EST

The originally reason there's a gender disparity, is because the men are supposed to fight, due to men being more aggressive by nature, and usually more physical fit, while women would be supposed to stay with the children and if needed [wo?]man the factories.

In reality, I tend to cite with those who think the draft shouldn't exist, as it violates the 13th ammendment (being slavery), and is also immoral in a sense that a nation that can't recruit enough citizens to defend itself, shouldn't survive.

However, I doubt this discussion will be needed, as there won't be a draft. Ronald Reagen, who is considered the founder of the new-right revolution, was very much opposed to the draft and wanted to deal away with it. Barry Goldwater, another figure instrumental in creation of the modern right (who also, in his last days was a big gay rights activist, and was an NAACP member at one point), was also greatly opposed to the draft, and used opposition to the draft as one of his platform plans. And it is very much the new right, who are now in charge. In addition, the miliatary opposes the draft as well. Since 1975 the doctrine has been fully professional, volunteer army.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.

But you have to be careful. (2.40 / 5) (#65)
by valeko on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:44:26 AM EST

And it is very much the new right, who are now in charge. In addition, the miliatary opposes the draft as well. Since 1975 the doctrine has been fully professional, volunteer army.

It doesn't take more than another 11 September or so to change that. Really. If the pretext can be found, I'm sure they'd get away with it. As for what the "politicians" say, might as well print it out and wipe your ass with it.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Heh (3.75 / 4) (#68)
by strlen on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 03:02:38 AM EST

Would you like to receive a cookie for yet another political abuse of september 11th? Was the war of 1812, by the way, not a september 11th (when the entire Washington was burnt?).

The only ones asking for a draft now, are those who have been doing so for the last 20 years. I see no change of opinion, from any think tank (including pro-war ones), or any prominent pundits.

In addition, if there was a change among politicians, there wouldn't be one among the miliatary. You also have to realize, the draft, is very much unworkable nowadays: draftee soldiers don't have nearly trhe moral of professional soldiers, they aren't commited for nearly the same amount of time (else there woulod be a strain on domestic industry and massive discontent), and not as much time can be spent to train them and have them go through excersize.

In addition, in case of a draft, we'd also be faced with a great amount of  illiterates, drug abusers, and the like, who all have to be 'corrected' first before being basically trained. But, as Afghanistan and Gulf
War 1.0 have shown, the war may be over before they'd even have time to receive basic training. And since the war is scheduled to begin in Februrary, and there's already troops in the region, and there may as well be something going on in Northern Iraq, and there's no draft now, I fully don't see a reason, there will be a draft again.

Military leaders, these day's won't let the politicians dictate how the war is taught. The days of Vietnam, where the president would be on the line with a fighter pilot telling him what to strike, are over. And the days of an army of illiterate, ignorant, poorly trained, over-weight, and demoralized draftees being of any use to the miliatary are over as well.


--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

Response (5.00 / 3) (#82)
by br14n on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:03:06 AM EST

Don't you feel you would be a better function if you returned some unsigned integer 'size' member of a string struct rather than searching for a zero byte at the end of the string?

[ Parent ]
I agree. (3.33 / 3) (#85)
by valeko on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:10:47 AM EST


"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Eh? Pre-fixed strings? (5.00 / 2) (#231)
by strlen on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 03:47:49 PM EST

But that would require changing the way C does strings, which would at times making writing your own string processing functions, inefficient. To transverse a string with a 0 delimeter all I have to do is a while loop, and using a pointer instead of an array subindex (while *ptr != 0) { blah blah.. ptr++ } rather than a) get the size of the string, b) create a for loop c) then wait for the terminating condition, when instead you could just doo (c). There's a reason K&R did what they did with strings, and I'll trust em.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Just FYI (2.87 / 8) (#90)
by gbd on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:14:37 AM EST

The 2 rating that you received from me is pursuant to my new policy of 2-rating every comment where the word "amendment" is spelled incorrectly. It has nothing to do with the actual content of your comment (which, if you think about it, is really how the rating system should work anyway.)

You also misspelled "Reagan", but I can't be bothered to care about that. :-)

--
Gunter glieben glauchen globen.
[ Parent ]

FYI (3.66 / 6) (#128)
by autopr0n on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 08:50:41 AM EST

The zero rating you got from me was due to your comment being totaly worthless.


[autopr0n] got pr0n?
autopr0n.com is a categorically searchable database of porn links, updated every day (or so). no popups!
[ Parent ]
*shrug* (4.50 / 4) (#205)
by gbd on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:16:11 PM EST

That's fine. You'll notice that it hasn't had much of an effect. :-) Besides, I view being zeroed by a porn addict as somewhat of a moral victory. FYI, I gave your comment a 5 out of pity.

Personally, I think it's ridiculous that so many people these days can so consistently misspell such simple and common words, and if there is something that I can do to help stem that tide, I will. It makes English-speaking people in general (and Americans in particular) look like idiots when they are outspelled by people who do not even speak English as a first language. Therefore, I will continue my fight for a minimum of third-grade literacy standards on Kuro5hin, and if you do not like it, well .. that will have to be your problem, not mine.

--
Gunter glieben glauchen globen.
[ Parent ]

Draft and 13th Amendment (4.00 / 1) (#554)
by Ndog on Mon Dec 30, 2002 at 02:26:54 PM EST

There is a brief explanation of why the 13th Amendment doesn't help prevent the draft here. There are other legal challenges that have a better chance of winning.



[ Parent ]
Easy answer: get rid of the draft (4.12 / 8) (#66)
by hardburn on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:47:01 AM EST

Current military jobs require a lot of in-depth, technical skills that will take months of training just to get a running start. The draft is an inefficent way of gaining new recruits, unless you're planning on having a long, drawn out war with lots of casualties.

This is nothing like WWII, where you send a few thousand bombers on one mission, hitting a wide area and hoping a bomb will land near the actual target, and hope half of the planes sent make it back. These days, it's front page news if a Spec Ops unit stubs his toe during a mission.

A large scale war is unlikely to happen in the forseeable future. The small guys get crushed whenever the US gets around to it. All the large guys are so tightly bound to the US that war is economically infeasible for both sides.

The draft was built for a relatively low-tech system of war, where you could yell at new recruits for a few months, shave their heads, give them a uniform and a gun, and call them soldiers. Wars don't work like that anymore, so the draft should be discared as obsolete.


----
while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }


A minor nitpick (4.66 / 6) (#70)
by Kal on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 03:07:32 AM EST

While I know it's just meant as an example I'd like to point out that this:

This is nothing like WWII, where you send a few thousand bombers on one mission, hitting a wide area and hoping a bomb will land near the actual target, and hope half of the planes sent make it back. These days, it's front page news if a Spec Ops unit stubs his toe during a mission.

is slightly inaccurate. A thousand bomber raid was a big deal, a 10% loss rate was considered catastrophic, and about half the strategic bombing in WW2 was precision bombing.

[ Parent ]
Precision bombing, my arse. (2.00 / 2) (#202)
by rodgerd on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:09:15 PM EST

WW II was carpet bombing, pure and simple.  "Precision Bombing" was a lie for the troops to make them feel like they weren't flattening homes, schools, and hospitals.  Hell, the troops probably realised that, anyway.

Not, of course, that precision bombing is all it's cut up to be these days, but hey, it's nice for people to believe they're only hitting the bad guys.

[ Parent ]

Hmm (4.66 / 3) (#228)
by Kal on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 03:06:07 PM EST

You don't seem to have too good a grasp of the difference between precision and carpet bombing.

Precision bombing involves having a specific target you want to hit, often a factory, bridge, rail yard, etc. Sure, a lot of bombs aren't going to hit the target, but more than enough will. For a fine example of precision bombing take a look at the US 8th Airforce during world war 2. Their accurate bombing of refineries almost shut down the German economy before the planes were redirected to Normandy.

Carpet bombing involves picking an area on a map, often a city or a large piece of the countryside, and basically plastering it with bombs. Good examples of this would be the Cobra operation, Dresden, Hamburg, Tokyo, and a slew of other cities whose names I can't remember at the moment.

One other thing to note, in no way did they ever deny that they carpet bombed cities specifically to kill civilians. In fact, that was the main thing the British strategic bombers did during the war (Note: This is not meant as a dig against British conduct during the war, just that their tactics were defined by their equipment and manpower restrictions).

[ Parent ]
I have to agree with you (4.33 / 3) (#81)
by ericc on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 04:59:48 AM EST

Disclaimer: My opinions may not reflect the opinion of the DOD or US Government.

OK, now that the legalities are done, here's my feeling:

I definitely agree that the draft solves a manning problem, in the old style of war. It doesn't do well now.

Also, consider how many people volunteer in times of war. After September 11, the armed forces saw a pretty large increase in new recruits. Most of our conflicts are against small forces that we can handle with no problem. The only conflict I personally see in the near future requiring a lot out of the armed forces is Iraq, and given that a lot of Americans agree with attacking, I'm sure we won't have a manning issue there either.

Also, the military can now send women into combat, but I think they are still not able to join the special forces.

[ Parent ]

Hmm. (3.50 / 2) (#84)
by valeko on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:09:53 AM EST

Disclaimer: My opinions may not reflect the opinion of the DOD or US Government.

You work for the Department of Defense?

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

The Real Reason (3.18 / 11) (#74)
by Chasuk on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 04:14:57 AM EST

What is the real reason that there will never be a draft for women?

Let me ask every father here this simple question: would you let your daughter be drafted? I know what my answer would be, and I don't think that I'm any different (in this regard) than millions of other Dads.

In other words, I would reply: "FUCK, NO!"

This isn't arguable. The only way my daughter is going to war is if she makes that voluntary decision, after all of my pleading and threats have not disuaded her.

Is this fair or logical? Probably not, but I don't care if is, or if it isn't. I suspect that I'm not the only Dad who feels that way.

The Supreme Court is, and has been, composed almost entirely of men. I don't see that changing soon. I imagine that most of these men are, or have been, the fathers of daughters. Justice is usually not blind when fatherhood intervenes.

And remember, most lawmakers are men.

As an ancilliary, but still important reason, consider this:

You are an 18 year old girl eligible for the draft, and a war is being fought in some part of the world which means nothing to you. However, if you are pregnant, they won't send you into combat. Being pregnant, in fact, means that you might avoid being drafted altogether.

Do I need to explain the math?


Neopets - the best free game on the Internet.

Would you... (4.85 / 7) (#77)
by Jizzbug on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 04:30:45 AM EST

...readily send your son off to die in a war, then?  Or would you respond with "FUCK NO!" here, too?  I'm hopin' you'd respond with the latter.

I can't see why any mother or father would want to even think of allowing either their son or daughter to go off to war.

Or maybe I've just read too much Thomas Jefferson, too much Thomas Paine, too much Ralph Waldo Emerson, too much Henry David Thoreau, too much Bertrand Russell, too much Albert Einstein, too much Voltaire, too much Mark Twain, too much Jean-Paul Sartre, and too much of all the other thinkers that mainstream culture holds up on a pedestal.  (I would add Chomsky to the list, but he's not a dead, sacred, and romanticized thinker yet.)

I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. I say unto you: you still have chaos in yourselves.
 -- Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

[ Parent ]

I don't Know (4.75 / 4) (#87)
by Chasuk on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:13:32 AM EST

I don't know. I don't have any sons.

Part of parenting is visceral. Part of it is intellectual, and part of it is emotional. I am deliberately separating visceral from emotional, because I do not equate unreasoning (the visceral part) with emotion. They are frequently kin, and one can overwhelm the other, but I try to partition them as distinct entities within my own life.

That visceral part of me would not permit my daughter to be drafted. I truthfully do not known if this would spply to sons; if you had asked me before I had daughters for my opinion of woman and the draft, I probably would have said that it was equitable, all things considered. I do not consider that war is fair, or sensible, or equitable itself in any sense, but that is too big a subject for this thread.

Largely, I don't care what men do with themselves, so that informs your question regarding my putative sons and the draft. I am gentically male, but I am first and foremost human, susceptible to the frailties of human nature, including (too frequently) testosterone poisoning. I think of myself as ambisexual - possessing characteristics of both sexes - but I let others judge me as they perceive me. I know what I am inside, and it is what I am to myself that counts.

Incidentally, aside from the Nietzsche, our reading lists would seem to imply similar philosophies. I exclude Nietzsche only because I do know have enough understanding of his work to judge.

Does that answer your question?


Neopets - the best free game on the Internet.
[ Parent ]

The answer to your question of an answer. (4.75 / 4) (#114)
by Jizzbug on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:59:49 AM EST

Yes, your answer was very satisfactory and thorough.  You also have very beautiful and eloquent prose, especially for 4:13 in the morning.

Btw, like you, I've always kinda fantasized about bein' female.  Not so much terribly seriously.  But I think had I been given the chance, I would have opted to be a hot female lesbian!  But I think it's my sex drive and infatuation with lesbianism that drives me to that conclusion.  If I were female, I fear I'd spend too much time naked in front of a mirror.  *smile*  In the end, I don't mind much bein' a guy.  If only I could be lesbian a few weeks out of the year, my life would be perfect.  *grin*

I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. I say unto you: you still have chaos in yourselves.
 -- Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

[ Parent ]

Hmm. (3.55 / 9) (#89)
by valeko on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:14:16 AM EST

What's the big deal about your daughter? Is she somehow more valuable than a son? Or have silly, stone-age impulses made you believe that it is your son's "duty" to be a cog in the war machine?

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Stone-age Impulses (4.75 / 4) (#104)
by Chasuk on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:36:31 AM EST

Silly, stone-age impulses are probably involved, but operating in hyper-protective mode rather than inculcated duty mode.

This emotion probably extends more to daughters that to sons, but I will never know because I had no sons, and intend no further offspring.

I know that it was fortunate for my children to have been born daughters; I don't like boys much. I am male, and have always wished (less now than in my youth) that it had been otherwise. I was thrilled that my children were girls, because I have never wanted to be cool, or tough (I dislike anything associated with machismo), and I would not have been a good parent to a being who exhibited those stereotypically male behaviors.

My daughters are both strong, independent people, but without the testosterone baggage that I dislike in my own sex. I added that only because it is almost 3:00am, and I have just talked to my eldest on the phone, and she fills me with pride to bursting.

Pride and sleep deprivation always lead me to being verbose and indiscreet, so I've almost certainly provided you with more information than you needed. Still, did I answer your question?


Neopets - the best free game on the Internet.
[ Parent ]

Well no, it doesn't answer my question. (3.66 / 9) (#105)
by valeko on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:38:26 AM EST

This is all very nice, but it doesn't make your daughters any more deservant of being spared from war than your hypothetical son. Doesn't really matter which one you're more proud of.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Yes, My Daughters Are More Valuable (2.77 / 9) (#108)
by Chasuk on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:46:23 AM EST

I was trying to answer this question:

What's the big deal about your daughter? Is she somehow more valuable than a son? Or have silly, stone-age impulses made you believe that it is your son's "duty" to be a cog in the war machine?

I thought I'd made myself pretty clear: yes, my daughters are more valuable to me than any sons I might have had. Right or wrong, that's the case.


Neopets - the best free game on the Internet.
[ Parent ]

Well. (2.00 / 9) (#110)
by valeko on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:49:06 AM EST

That makes you a rather crass, disgusting human being, in my eyes.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Oh, Well (4.91 / 12) (#116)
by Chasuk on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 06:10:07 AM EST

That makes you a rather crass, disgusting human being, in my eyes.

Several things:

First, you asked me a question. I wasn't certain of the answer, but I did some soul-searching and reported the truth after I discovered it, as unpalatable as it may be.

Second, I don't know you. I don't care whether you live or die. What makes you think that I would value your opinion of me as a human being?

Third, I engage in forums on Kuro5hin and other places for my own educative benefit. It is my custom to be truthful in my postings, sometimes even at personal expense - risking insult from others in the dialogue, for example - because to lie would be the opposite of educative.

Lastly, I already know that valuing the life of one child over another, based on gender (or any other reason), is loathsome. I would prefer that it were not true about myself, but why lie? To make anonymous strangers think better of me? The receipt of warm fuzzies was not my purpose for partipating in this dialogue.


Neopets - the best free game on the Internet.
[ Parent ]

Well this is typical Valeko (2.22 / 9) (#162)
by Meatbomb on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 11:39:37 AM EST

Stringing strangers along, and handing out his judgements from on high.

I wonder how many kids Valeko has? Oh, I forgot, he's still a pimply teenager.

Judge on, dude.

_______________

Good News for Liberal Democracy!

[ Parent ]

well, then how would you know? (3.60 / 5) (#127)
by autopr0n on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 08:46:21 AM EST

And what makes you so sure your idiocy is universal?


[autopr0n] got pr0n?
autopr0n.com is a categorically searchable database of porn links, updated every day (or so). no popups!
[ Parent ]
Well of course... (4.66 / 3) (#166)
by Dephex Twin on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 11:58:20 AM EST

You should try to see that this probably has a heck of a lot to do with the fact that you have daughters and you have never had a son.  If you actually had one, your opinion would change greatly, I'd wager.  It's like the people who have never had kids, and don't much care for them, but once one is born, everything changes.
<BR><BR>
I know you have the idea that you wouldn't like a boy as much as a girl because of the qualities of being a male, but I stand by my opinion nonetheless.


Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]
Suggestion (none / 0) (#543)
by HollyHopDrive on Mon Dec 30, 2002 at 12:00:12 PM EST

As a young woman with one sister, no brothers and no children, I can't and don't pretend to know a great deal about parental relationships with their sons and daughters. I just have a suggestion.

Maybe you feel more PROTECTIVE of your daughters. Not that you love or value them more, but feel that they need more protection than your hypothetical sons. I don't want to go into whether or not daughters do need more protection than sons, but I wonder if a greater desire to protect can feel like valuing them more. Perhaps it does.

I make too much sense to be on the Internet.
[ Parent ]

Speaking as a father (4.50 / 8) (#99)
by Cloaked User on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:29:50 AM EST

I would say "Fuck, no - you want my child, you've got to come through me". I would say that whether they were coming for my daughter (which I do have), or my son, if I had one. I would also do my best to dissuade a son from going to war voluntarily, just as much as I would my daughter.

In that respect, and especially as I'm of "fighting age" myself (28), I'm very glad that I live in a country that doesn't have any sort of compulsory military service. Of course, in time of war that may change, but hopefully the war against Iraq, should it happen, won't get so out of hand that civilians start getting called up.
--
"What the fuck do you mean 'Are you inspired to come to work'? Of course I'm not 'inspired'. It's a job for God's sake! The money's enough and the work's not so crap that I leave."
[ Parent ]

You sound like my dad. (2.40 / 5) (#137)
by Icehouseman on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 09:55:34 AM EST

Full of shit.
----------------
Bush's $3 trillion state is allegedly a mark of "anti-government bias" on the right. -- Anthony Gregory
[ Parent ]
I love you!! (5.00 / 1) (#697)
by ddsaves on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 11:39:06 AM EST

I have come to the realization that a lot of people posting on here are complete dumbasses, like valeko. If you don't have kids, then you have no idea the protective instinct you have as a parent.... It has been a tradition throughout time, that girls tend to be "daddy's little girl" (even when they are 20). She is the little girl that daddy loves so much that he would move heaven and earth to protect her from any harm. It's like the whole dating scene. If a father really loves his daughter, he's going to threaten the life of her courter, warning to not have sexual relations with his daughter or he will at least break the boy's legs. Are dad's that protective of their sons? No!!!!!! Because the boys are stronger and they don't need protection. I think a father would not want to send either of his kids off to war. But, given the choice of his son going, who is strong and knows how to defend himself well. Versus his little, petite girl that he has spent the last four years fighting off the boys trying to protect her..... hmm... what do you think? Regardless, I think a father who loves his children would like the choice of sacrificing himself for his kids, and choose to be drafted instead of his children if the draft went into effect. Regardless, it's really screwed up that this topic is really a debate. I think there is a whole lot more cons than pros of women getting drafted, and the men out there talking crap are lazy cowards, and it's pathetic that they would throw a woman out in front of them in the line of fire to save their own ass.

[ Parent ]
Missing poll option: (4.00 / 8) (#75)
by evilpenguin on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 04:19:53 AM EST

No, neither men nor women shall be required to register (no more draft).

I, for one, have not sent in my draft card (I burned the first one on my birthday two years ago, and just "forgot" to send in the others).  Until the day armed forces come to my door to force me to register, well, that is the day I move to Canada.  I will not support a country I do not believe in, let alone die for it.
--
# nohup cat /dev/dsp > /dev/hda & killall -9 getty

Me, too. (4.50 / 6) (#80)
by Jizzbug on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 04:51:46 AM EST

I, for one, have not sent in my draft card (I burned the first one on my birthday two years ago, and just "forgot" to send in the others).

Me, too!  *grin*

I also got such a high score on the ASVAB that the Army wouldn't leave me alone (we were forced to take the ASVAB in high school; my results said I should be a professor or composer).  They'd consistently bug the hell out o' me.  So one day I invited 'em to my house, as per their request.  I figured if they came over, and I still turned them down, maybe they'd finally leave me alone.  They came over, we chatted, they had me take some test on their laptop.  The laptop was running Windows NT, and one o' the guys said it was really slick and secure, so I proceeded to tell him about my involvement in the computer underground, and how insecure and technically inferior Microsoft technologies were, and if he wanted me to demonstrate on his laptop, etc.  He declined my offer of technical demonstration, so I took the test.  They commented that they hadn't seen anybody score that high yet.  I commented that I thought I could have done better, as I'd just woken up and I was still very groggy.  They asked me if I was interested in settin' up another, more formal, appointment at the recruitment station; I said no.

Well, I didn't hear from them for a while after that, but then they started calling again.  So the last time they called (several months ago now), I gave the recruiter a long philosophical lecture on my moral opposition to militarism and the support thereof.  He said, "Well, you don't have to be on the front lines, killing people.  I work on helicopter engines, and I don't feel like I have a part in that."  To which I responded, "You're playing a supporting role, if that helicopter is functional because of you, it can be employed in the bombing of civilians, because of you.  You're consciously enabling others to murder human.  For moral, ethical, and philosophical reasons, I can take no part or role in the destruction of humanity.  Blah blah blah."  That was the last I've heard from the Army.

I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. I say unto you: you still have chaos in yourselves.
 -- Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

[ Parent ]

Wtf!? (2.00 / 1) (#83)
by valeko on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:08:33 AM EST

They required you to take the ASVAB? How's that? I've heard some rumours from acquaintances I have out west that high schools over there do that sort of thing, but all of them said you can opt out if you so please.

Here, the ASVAB is something nobody even knows about the except JROTC people. It wouldn't occur to me in my dreams that the school could make me take it.

On the other hand, I've read some interesting stories about high school students organising mass walkouts/protests when confronted with the ASVAB. However, I'm not sure to what extent it was required that they take it.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Required or not... (3.00 / 1) (#109)
by Jizzbug on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:48:23 AM EST

I'm not sure how "required" it was or not...  But they certainly didn't present it to us as though it were optional.  They just called our entire class to the library, sat us six at a table, and had us take the test.  I think the counselors set it up, because the ASVAB is also a rather sophisticated career assessment test.  And that's how it was pitched to us, as a career assessment test, so we could get an idea of what areas and fields we excelled in, etc.  But, of course, the military also kept and used the results of the tests.

I found that it was actually a pretty fun test.  Of all the standardized tests I'd ever taken, it was the most enjoyable.  *grin*

I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. I say unto you: you still have chaos in yourselves.
 -- Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

[ Parent ]

My experience... (4.00 / 2) (#270)
by beergut on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 06:31:49 PM EST

... was pretty much the same as the parallel poster's.

Get straight 99.9 percentile scores and see how they want you to join up. Heh.

The test was a joke.

I would have joined, though, if they'd have had a NROTC program at an in-state school, so I could have afforded the tuition. Pity, that.

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

Easiest way to get rid of recruiters (5.00 / 4) (#94)
by ericc on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:20:51 AM EST

The easiest way to get rid of them is to tell them you've decided to enlist in a different branch. When I enlisted in the Air Force, my recruiter told me to let him know if any recruiter for a different branch tried for me after telling them I was going AF. He said that they can get in serious trouble for that.

This trick worked for my cousin. He talked to all four branches, and decided to go Air Force. After taking the oath, he was contacted by each of the other three branches. After telling them he decided to go AF, they left him alone.

[ Parent ]

Easiest way to get rid of recruiters. (3.75 / 4) (#96)
by valeko on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:22:30 AM EST

Is to tell them you don't join terrorist organisations.

But that would put you on some .. erm ... lists ... it's better to avoid being on for as long as you can.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Even easier. (4.80 / 5) (#141)
by kitten on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 10:10:44 AM EST

After I'd been hassled by the Marines every week for a year after high school, I finally told them I was gay.

I never heard from them again.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
heh <g> (4.33 / 3) (#199)
by budcub on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 01:59:51 PM EST

I know a guy who slept with his recruiter (male). He still joined the army and got kicked out shortly after basic training. They caught him and another guy having sex. Since they all "knew" he was gay they kicked him out but the other guy was straight so they let him stay. What made them think the other guy was straight? Nothing more than a judgement call.

After being kicked out, he got a job with a company as a contracter, doing something similar to what he would have done in the army.

[ Parent ]

Gays in the military. (4.33 / 3) (#272)
by Jizzbug on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 06:34:25 PM EST

I have a friend in the Marines.  He works in intelligence at top secret levels in the Middle East and such.  He's gay.  And he says he was initially surprised with the number of gay people in the Marines.  Apparently there's a whole bunch of 'em.  He'll go out to gay bars, and see a whole bunch o' people from his base there.  Weird, huh?  I thought so, too.  Maybe it's like prison, you're around guys so much, ya just start wantin' to fuck 'em.

I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. I say unto you: you still have chaos in yourselves.
 -- Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

[ Parent ]
The ASVAB (5.00 / 1) (#655)
by strlen on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 03:26:46 AM EST

The ASVAB was quite an invitation for recruiters. I took it for 20 pts extra credit in a business class I took freshman year in HS. It was ridiculously easy, especially the science and electronics sections. Now I get tons of junk mail and junk calls from army/navy/marines. Honestly, with the economy being this fucked up, I'd consider joining the navy in a technical position (voluntarily, I'm not opposed to the idea of serving a country, or of war, I'm just opposed to the draft; plus navy is pretty safe, you're just as disposable as the ship you're on, and aircraft carriers aren't disposabel at all!), but as I'm not a US citizen I won't get the needed security clearance, so it's not worth it.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
I hope you don't plan . . . (5.00 / 4) (#139)
by acceleriter on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 10:02:06 AM EST

. . . on requesting Federal aid for college at some time in your life, since it is conditioned upon having registered for Selective Service, and a database match is performed to check this.

Provided you are still young enough to register (< 26) when you apply, you can simply register and be OK (no harm no foul)--but if you haven't registered, you can be denied aid if you failure to register was "knowing and willful," which seems to be the case for you.

Other than a minor protest, I don't see what you accomplish by not registering--it isn't as if a draft ever came to be, that you couldn't be found based on Social Security, motor vehicle, tax, or voting records anyway.

[ Parent ]

Minor protest (4.25 / 4) (#146)
by evilpenguin on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 10:58:31 AM EST

No, I do not need federal aid for college.

Yes, if a draft came to be, they could find me via Social Security, etc. -- I do not doubt this.  But what of it?  I still would not go.

So many will say "the draft is wrong", and then go right about registering anyway.  Well, I may as well stick to my principles, even if it means breaking the law without influencing any change.  Passive resistance, or something.
--
# nohup cat /dev/dsp > /dev/hda & killall -9 getty
[ Parent ]

I can respect that-- (none / 0) (#392)
by acceleriter on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 05:20:09 PM EST

at least you are willing to put your money where your mouth is, which is much more than most of us can say.

[ Parent ]
Cool... (2.00 / 1) (#276)
by Bill Godfrey on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 06:54:53 PM EST

on requesting Federal aid for college at some time in your life, since it is conditioned upon having registered for Selective Service, and a database match is performed to check this.

Cool. Is payment of taxes conditional on registration as well?

[ Parent ]

More than that. (4.75 / 4) (#277)
by valeko on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 06:57:41 PM EST

In many states, including this one, legislation exists that makes state financial aid (and possibly a number of other features of state government) predicated on registration as well.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

My thoughts on the draft (4.66 / 6) (#118)
by ericc on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 06:15:36 AM EST

Disclaimer: My opinions are exactly that: mine, no one else's.

I think there's one big thing the US could do to remove a need for the draft: pay their people better.

Case in point: my roommate is a telephone switch technician. He maintains a telephone switch that manages thousands of telephone lines on our base. He could easily get a job at probably any telco in the US and make plenty of money.

Case in point number 2: I'm a Network Infrastructure Technician. I manage a MAN with thousands of computers on it. I work with Cisco Catalyst 5000s and 6509s as well as Cisco LightStream 1010 switches on a daily basis. We haven't had a major network outage in months. I'm testing for my CCNA in a few weeks. I could easily get a job with a large company that has dozens of locations, and make some pretty good money at it.

How much would you expect people with our experience to make in the civilian sector? I would say at the very least $40,000 per year. Do you think we make that much? Not even close.

Personally, I make $12,000 a year, after taxes. My roommate makes a little more than that (maybe $1000/year more). We are both planning on getting out of the military as soon as possible, with pay being a BIG reason. And we both know quite a few people who have been in a while, and now that they have transferred to our career fields, are also planning on getting out.

The Air Force does give re-enlistment bonuses. They are supposed to match 4 years worth of salary in the civilian sector. I'll probably get about $35,000 (not sure the exact amount, but its $60,000 MAX). Do you think that's a very reasonable amount to make in 4 years as a telephone switch tech or network engineer? HELL NO.

$12,000 per year (4.88 / 9) (#138)
by acceleriter on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 09:56:20 AM EST

+ health care for you and any dependents
+ housing for your and any dependents (or BAQ/VHA)
+ free food for you (or BAS)
+ special sales tax-free stores (Exchange and Commissary)
+ all the of the above non-taxable

= much more than $12,000/year.

While I don't doubt you could earn a better salary on the outside, and I don't begrudge the military competitive compensation, quoting base pay after taxes as your salary and comparing it with a civilian salary before taxes, health insurance, rent/mortgage, and food is a bit misleading.

[ Parent ]

sure... (5.00 / 5) (#186)
by Anon 17933 on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 01:10:16 PM EST

Health care -- let's just say that military health-care is free for a reason. Military doctors are typically not board certified, and you only get to see a real doctor if you have to have surgery. Otherwise, you're stuck with a possibly-competent nurse who will perscribe motrin for you no matter what the problem is. And as for my dependents -- Tricare pays for essentially nothing. I refuse to put my wife on prime so she can only be seen by a navy "doctor", and as a result we pay esentially all of the costs of her health care. Not to mention the fact that Tricare doesn't pay reliably, so even for the things we're not supposed to have to pay, I wind up paying a number of them anyway.

Housing -- Suuuure.... A first class in the Navy(E-6) gets paid 830 bucks a month for housing -- the normal mortgage in the area where I live is almost 300 a month out of pocket (you can't get a house for 830 a month around here). And that doesn't even take into account utilities, etc, which add up to around 400 a month above that. The military really pays for housing.

Free food -- okay, I'll give you that one, if you're lucky enough to be on shore duty and qualify for BAS, that's an extra 240 a month. Otherwise, you can take that free food and shove it where the sun don't shine, because that's all it's good for. Someday if they learn to cook without deep-fat-frying everything, maybe their food will be edible again.

Tax free stores -- well, the commissary charges a fee equivalent to sales tax, plus you have to "tip" (read: pay -- they don't get paid) the baggers, so you really don't come out ahead there. Their prices are typically just about the same as anywhere else. The exchanges can be a good deal sometimes, but their selections are typically very limited.

You can preach the "The military pays almost as well as the civilian sector does" all you want, it's simply not true, and it never has been. The only thing the military has going for it is job security, and even that is dubious. They can kick you out for pretty much anything they want to.



[ Parent ]

But (4.80 / 5) (#210)
by Ndog on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:23:29 PM EST

You're complaining about $830 a month for housing? That's almost $10,000 a year! And you don't pay taxes on the housing allowance, correct? I live in a very expensive area and that would cover 2/3 of my mortgage every month. It sounds like it's worth well over $10,000 a year in salary if you aren't paying taxes on it.

Also, are you saying that the $40,000 you think you'd make in the private sector is after taxes? I have very similar qualifications as you according to those you listed, and I certainly don't make anywhere near that after taxes. If you were thinking $40,000 before taxes then don't compare it to your current after-tax salary.

I certainly have no current knowledge of military doctors' credentials, but when my grandfather was a flight surgeon in the Navy I can assure you that they were typically board certified, and having a nurse perform most or all of your care when visiting the doctor's office is certainly not unique to the military's system.

I'm certainly not saying you are overpaid or even paid enough, but I think you may be drastically overestimating how big the disparity is between the military and private sector in terms of pay and total benefits. No surprise. Ask most people whether they make enough money and most will say no.



[ Parent ]
Military health care (none / 0) (#393)
by acceleriter on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 05:22:29 PM EST

My experience with military medicine during my time in the Navy was very good, including for my dependents, which were covered by CHAMPUS. I never incurred any out of pocket costs. Back then, there was lots of bitching and moaning about "rationed health care." Guess what--on the outside, health care is rationed, with greedy insurance companies taking quite a bit off the top.

Anyway, if the current military health care system isn't meeting your wife's needs, I hope you've at least looked into some kind of supplemental policy (from those same greedy insurance companies, I know) to insulate you a bit from the full cost of that care.

[ Parent ]

sounds like tricare prime (3.00 / 1) (#474)
by Anon 17933 on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 01:51:18 PM EST

With Tricare Prime, you don't have to pay anything out of pocket -- the catch is that you cannot see a civilian doctor. They won't pay a penny if you do. Or, you can go with Tricare Standard (which is what I did -- my dependents will never see a navy doctor if I can help it), and they pay about 80% of whatever expenses you incur over their deductible, which is set ridiculously high. It's a lose-lose situation if you don't want to send your dependents to military doctors. At least on the outside you have a bit more choice -- we did have trigon for a while, but that just got too expensive, plus they were a major hassle when it came time to get them to pay for anything (worse than tricare, if you can believe that).

[ Parent ]
Where I was stationed (Groton, CT) (none / 0) (#496)
by acceleriter on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 09:18:35 PM EST

the Navy doctors wouldn't see dependents--if you weren't active duty or retired, you were referred to civilian care. I guess things are different in Virginia. Are you by any chance at Dam Neck? Or are you a NARDAC weenie :)?

[ Parent ]
yup (none / 0) (#547)
by Anon 17933 on Mon Dec 30, 2002 at 12:56:08 PM EST

Never heard of Nardac... I'm at Dam Neck. And yes, Tricare Prime here pretty much won't do referrals.

[ Parent ]
NARDAC . . . (none / 0) (#641)
by acceleriter on Thu Jan 02, 2003 at 03:04:31 PM EST

. . . was the command in Norfolk concerned with PCs, computer security, etc., back when the Zenith Z-248 roamed the Earth. Think that might be SPAWAR now.

I went to Dam Neck for A and C schools (GMS bubblehead).

[ Parent ]

ah yes... (none / 0) (#643)
by Anon 17933 on Thu Jan 02, 2003 at 07:21:21 PM EST

Spawar it is...
I went to Dam Neck for C school also. Now I'm back... Great base -- best kept secret on the east coast.

[ Parent ]
A different experience (5.00 / 1) (#672)
by southerner on Thu Jan 09, 2003 at 02:36:28 AM EST

Note that I was infantry -- we weren't pampered like y'all. ;)

A couple of experiences:

1) We were scheduled to do our annual qualification the next day, and we had a record of pulling best in Europe. My oh-so-impressive brand-new private dropped a .50-cal M2 barrel on my foot from about 4' up, and I broke my toe. I know I broke it, as I could see it in the X-ray (read: clear separation of the bone) and could see the purple line around my toe. The result? The mighty PA (after being informed about our MORTEP the following day) said I was fine, and told me not to take my boots off for a day or so!

2)I know of 3 individuals who lost teeth while having a root canal done. Seemed like an "oops" kind of issue when the dentist went too deep.

3) A buddy jacked up his shoulder while at 82nd Airborne on a jump (the static like was wrapped around his arm when he exited the plane, and it got worst from there.) The quota for the kind of surgery required for his injury had been used up, so he'd been given increasing doses of motrin as treatment for the previous eight months instead of the proper treatment. It didn't get fixed until he transferred to Germany, where we didn't have the same number of those kinds of injuries.

I understand your experiences were different, but some of us who bitch about our experiences with the military health care system have good reason. My wife is an intern now, and I could tell you some stories about the Army interns that rotate through. Well, actually, I can't. :)

[ Parent ]

$12,000 a year plus what yuo get free (4.80 / 5) (#193)
by doormat on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 01:36:40 PM EST

IIRC, you do get free housing right? Well thats say, $700/mo (depending on where in the US, $700 is fairly conservative), which is 8400/yr. So thats up to $20K. Are there any other things you get for free (food?) that other people would have to pay for. Granted, even factoring those things in you're still underpaid, but you "make" more than the 12K you stated.
|\
|/oormat

[ Parent ]
Food, medical, and so on. (5.00 / 4) (#256)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:19:29 PM EST

Still doesn't bring it up to civilian pay rates - particularly if you're trying to support a family.


--
Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.


[ Parent ]

There is no draft (3.66 / 3) (#125)
by mbrannig on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 08:19:35 AM EST

For those in selective service, Congress still has to pass a draft law in order to start inducting people.  It is a kinda of compromise between inducting all able bodied men into service and the all volunteer military we have now.  

I for one would like to see women in the selective service.  But perhaps, we all should serve for some time in some capacity.  Like for one or two years after high school or college.  

matt

Of course I am for mandatory service for all (2.50 / 6) (#142)
by mami on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 10:11:50 AM EST

Every woman and man should serve in the military and all of them should vote, especially after they went through combat.

Then we would finally get a real commander in chief voted into office, one, who will be courageous enough to send his daugthers to the hot spots of the globe to get the best exposure to chemical, biological and nuclear weapons attacks there are, one who will think twice, before talking and one, who might be as protective of his sons as the current commander in chief is of his daugthers.

This is a bad idea (5.00 / 5) (#170)
by AtADeadRun on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:17:08 PM EST

I don't want to stand watch in the engine room next to a draftee who's more concerned about the fact that he got selected against his will and spends all his time thinking, "I shouldn't even be here!" It's bad enough to stand watch next to someone who volunteered and decided he didn't want to be there after all. A small, motivated, professional force with the best equipment and training is by far superior to a huge conscript force.

Forcing everyone to serve would make that service far less meaningful that it is.



-------
Pain heals. Glory is forever. Keep running.

We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
[ Parent ]
An argument rebutted by WWII. (2.50 / 2) (#200)
by rodgerd on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:04:06 PM EST

This is one regularly run up the flagpole by current and former millitary personel, but a quick look at how quickly the professional armies of the day got steamrolled by Germany in WW II suggests it's unrealistic.  It was the conscript rabble of the Soviet Union, Britain, the Commonwealth and Empire, and the United States that won the war.

[ Parent ]
Not all conscripts are involuntary. (5.00 / 2) (#220)
by squigly on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:44:58 PM EST

WW2 was a popular war.  An overwhelming majority of people supported the war, and believed fundamentally that the war was just and legitimate.  This applies to the german conscripts as well.  How many people would have signed up without the draft?    We can't know of course.  However, many of those people who were forced into the army were probably quite happy to serve.  It was unpleasant, but a neccesary discomfort to defeat evil.

Nevertheless, there were probably some people who did feel that way, and they may have been a danger to themselves and to their unit.  

The thing is, if it is a just and noble war, then there should be no shortage of people to sign up, and social presure will persuade them to do so.

[ Parent ]

Social pressure applies... (3.00 / 1) (#233)
by rodgerd on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 04:05:57 PM EST

...regardless of the "justness" and "nobility" of the war; look at World War I as a perfect example.  Plenty of Brits couldn't wait to get at the "beastly Hun."

All wars that are successfully propagandised are well supported.  The Confederate Army of the US Civil War era enjoyed widespread support, and still does in some circles.

The disparity between conscript and professional armies is one regularly beat on by professional millitary men; it's one tht doesn't really stand up to scrutiny.

[ Parent ]

oh well, all I can say is ... (5.00 / 1) (#246)
by mami on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 04:57:27 PM EST

as nobody got the point of my comment ( I won't flag them either ), better not to put women in the encryption department for secret messages ... if they even can't spell "daughters" unencrypted, what would you expect how they would spell "commander in chief" encrypted?

[ Parent ]
We aren't fucking nazi's! (5.00 / 2) (#223)
by dh003i on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:47:16 PM EST

If we were fucking nazi's, sure we could get anyone into fighting form, whether they wanted to be there or not.  That would involve unconsciable tactics.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Point. (4.00 / 2) (#255)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:17:22 PM EST

I've always been sort of fond of the starship troopers model (the book, not the movie) where no one makes you enlist, but (a) you can't vote unless you've done 2 years in the service and (b) if you're determined to enlist, the military must take you. It may decide that you're so useless that it gives you a job catching butterflies - but if you stick it out, you get the vote.


--
Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.


[ Parent ]

Unfortunately (5.00 / 1) (#307)
by Dephex Twin on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 12:01:56 AM EST

you can't vote unless you've done 2 years in the service
In America especially, this will simply lead to an even LOWER voter turnout. A lot of people don't think about the importance of their right to vote.


Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]
Well, that can be seen in multiple ways. (5.00 / 1) (#349)
by valeko on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 06:23:52 AM EST

. A lot of people don't think about the importance of their right to vote.

And a lot of people do, and realise it's not very important when they're confined to this little Republicrat "politics" playpen.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

hrmm.. (5.00 / 1) (#364)
by zerth on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 11:18:02 AM EST

I'd be more likely to trust a politician if he'd stuck his head out to be shot at, and also have more confidence in the people who elected him.

Rusty isn't God here, he's the pope; our God is pedantry. -- Subtillus
[ Parent ]
that is, of course, the whole point. (none / 0) (#602)
by ethereal on Tue Dec 31, 2002 at 11:45:33 PM EST

The whole Heinlein idea is that only the people who care about society should be voting. "Low voter turnout" is only a problem because people's interests may not be accurately represented by the government; if the people honestly don't give a damn, I'm not sure that it's a tragedy that they don't get to help select the government.

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

That's nice in theory (none / 0) (#616)
by Dephex Twin on Wed Jan 01, 2003 at 05:19:38 PM EST

Yeah, but since you're tying it to serving in the army, you'll lose people like me who *do* care a lot about the direction of the government and keep themselves well-informed, but couldn't imagine serving in the army for two years (or even two months).

Most people already don't vote, and maybe that's the way it should be...however, I don't think we need an even smaller sampling than we currently have.

We should be trying to get more people interested rather than making qualifying for the right to vote FAR more difficult, in my opinion.


Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]

yep. (none / 0) (#624)
by ethereal on Wed Jan 01, 2003 at 10:25:03 PM EST

I agree that increasing the interest level of the overall population is the best solution. I think Heinlein might have been a bit of a cynic in that regard. Or perhaps he felt that most people wouldn't have as much interest if there was some effort to be undertaken before that interest could really be expressed.

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

The whole idea of sci-fi... (none / 0) (#619)
by Jizzbug on Wed Jan 01, 2003 at 06:33:36 PM EST

...is often to use hyperbole to prove a point.  While I'm not Heinlein, I highly doubt he was in favor of what he was writing about.  Most science fiction is written to show a world that could be if things stay the same.  I'm pretty sure this was the motive behind Heinlein writing Starship Troopers.  I highly doubt he really advocated required military service before one was allowed to vote.  In fact, I would bet that in real life he advocated quite the opposite (assuming he's as intelligent and socially conscious as most other sci-fi authors).

But then again, I haven't read Starship Troopers, and I'm not Heinlein, so I could be wrong.  I'm just making this statement upon what I know to be generally true about the sci-fi genre.

I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. I say unto you: you still have chaos in yourselves.
 -- Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

[ Parent ]

well... (5.00 / 1) (#625)
by ethereal on Wed Jan 01, 2003 at 10:26:55 PM EST

From what I hear, and from some of his other books, Heinlein was kinda reactionary in a political sense. I'm not him either, but based on his other works, I don't find the positions that he describes in Starship Troopers to be totally out of line with his personal beliefs. If he's using hyperbole and speaking as the devil's advocate, he does it pretty consistently throughout his books.

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

The real reason women aren't drafted... (4.37 / 8) (#147)
by InigoMontoya on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 11:01:33 AM EST

I remember being told this once, and I don't know if it's true, but it might be.

Suppose we did get into a catastrophic huge-ass war, one which required a draft like we've never seen before in which up to 70 or 80 percent of eligible males were taken. If enough of them get killed in war, that means that our country is now missing millions of males 18-26... the best age for them to breed.

If such a thing were to happen and most of the male population were to be wiped out by war (as happened in parts of Britain and many other European countries after WWI), one male could conceivably impregnate many females, thus replenishing the population. Each female, though, can only reproduce once every nine months. Thus, a high ratio of women to men can repopulate a country; a low or even ratio cannot.

(Postscript: how many guys do you think would want to be the one left behind?)

InigoMontoya
This signature is self-referential.
mistersite.net

An interesting point... (4.71 / 7) (#207)
by dh003i on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:21:24 PM EST

But not a justification.  In fact, as a justification, this is insulting:  it reduces women to being nothing more than walking incubators.  Women are not breed-mares.  If such an event happened, the government could not (much to the chagrine of horny males) force the remaning women left to have sex with the few guys that came along, which means that it would have to be voluntary.  

I can imagine the government ads now:  "Women, do your patriotic duty:  eat like hogs and fuck like dogs!"  I seriously doubt, however, that any amount of government propaganda could convince women to have sex frequently enough to rapidly replenish the population, thus it would not happen.  Hence, that entire rationalization (not justification) is moot.

That rationalization is also moot as such an event (such a catastrophic war) simply would not happen -- it is so unlikely that it can be relegated to the land of the impossible.  WWII wasn't even that catastrophic as a war.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

insulting, yes. still true. (4.33 / 3) (#347)
by F a l c o n on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 06:16:42 AM EST

During war, governments show a less "nice guy" face. And they absolutely treat men as expendable cannon fodder and women as breeding machines.

"Soldaten fuer den Fuehrer" ("soldiers for the fuehrer") was a common saying in Nazi Germany. Guess what it meant.

--
Back in Beta (too many new features added): BattleMaster
[ Parent ]

Cannon fodder. (5.00 / 1) (#348)
by valeko on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 06:21:34 AM EST

And they absolutely treat men as expendable cannon fodder and women as breeding machines.

I think it'd be more accurate to say that some governments do. It depends on the nature of the war. The USSR during World War II probably was the definition of "men as cannon fodder," but in modern times, with a high-tech approach to warfare (meaning less personnel in the army), individual soldiers tend to be quite valuable. Not as people, of course, but as fighting capital into which investment (i.e. a lot of training, especially in technical skills) has been made.

Just look at how the U.S. goes berserk whenever one or two of its soldiers die somewhere. It's not desirable.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

fodder (4.50 / 2) (#576)
by F a l c o n on Tue Dec 31, 2002 at 03:19:29 AM EST

Just look at how the U.S. goes berserk whenever one or two of its soldiers die somewhere. It's not desirable.

In fact, I believe they don't give a f**k. However, dead people are always good propaganda material.

--
Back in Beta (too many new features added): BattleMaster
[ Parent ]

Yes. (4.00 / 1) (#578)
by valeko on Tue Dec 31, 2002 at 03:36:02 AM EST

But dead people are propaganda for any government, and you don't see other governments making a huge deal about somebody being killed. It seems that several Russian soldiers die in Chechnya every day, but you don't see a massive media blitz about it. Perhaps that's because it's better propaganda to omit this information when so many of them die, but I think there's still a point to be made.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

hm (4.00 / 1) (#582)
by F a l c o n on Tue Dec 31, 2002 at 07:22:42 AM EST

Yes, I agree it ain't that simple.

The US is not used to losses of its own, and the population massively dislikes them. However, there's an interesting graph to be drawn here.

It appears that low losses fuel the desire for war (maybe that's a kind of revenge feeling), while high losses dampen it.

--
Back in Beta (too many new features added): BattleMaster
[ Parent ]

Darwinism (none / 0) (#374)
by Anonymous Hiro on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 01:31:31 PM EST

Hopefully that reduces warlike tendencies in the genepool ;).

Might have happened with the Nordic countries. They seem a lot more peaceable nowadays.

Maybe the Vikings spread their genes to Britain, which are now being expressed in some football fans...

Corollary: If you want to breed for peace, all soldiers should be voluntary. Forbid all forms of draft by a worldwide convention.

:)

p.s. Don't forget the baby boom.


[ Parent ]

They wouldn't need to. (none / 0) (#506)
by kitten on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 11:59:50 PM EST

the government could not (much to the chagrine of horny males) force the remaning women left to have sex with the few guys that came along

They wouldn't need to. Assuming the proposed scenario happened, men would be in extremely short supply. The sex drive being what it is (for both genders), well. You do the math.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Women in Body Bags (4.33 / 6) (#149)
by bearclaw on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 11:16:57 AM EST

The subject lines says it all. People do not want to see body bags filled with the bodies of women. Plain and simple. Now, I'm not saying people want to see body bags filled with men, but people can tolerate that; given the choice, people would rather see dead men than women. I'm sure there is some sort of mother-related psychology at work, I don't know.

That's it, plain and simple.

I'm confident that any women, given sufficient (as much as a male counterpart) training, can do any of the "90% of military jobs which are non-combat related." But you won't see women having to register for the selective service any time (next 25-50 years) soon.


-- bearclaw
habit (3.50 / 2) (#178)
by Platy on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:38:24 PM EST

I guess that's just a matter of habit. Noone can imagine a woman in a body bag because there aren't many if few at all.
--
Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earthbound misfit, I.
[ Parent ]
women do not enjoy the same rights as men (1.84 / 13) (#150)
by Smleprty on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 11:17:40 AM EST

This statement is the worst kind of falsehood - because someone is bound to believe it and it is absolutely not true. women have not reached even a fraction of the equality they deserve - as long as my body is subject to unfair laws, i am passed over for promotions for men who are half as smart as me, and make 65 cents on that less smart man's dollar i do NOT have equal rights. oh - the poor man who has to register for selective service. as long as you all are running the show (half as well as we would) then suck it up and fight for that right. women are too busy fighting for rights men have enjoyed for hundreds of years.

But (3.00 / 1) (#159)
by RoOoBo on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 11:33:54 AM EST

the poor man who has to register for selective service. as long as you all are running the show (half as well as we would) then suck it up and fight for that right

many don't want those 'rights' so why should they fight for them?



[ Parent ]
yes, but: (3.00 / 6) (#164)
by Smleprty on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 11:49:43 AM EST

it's just an expectation that the men will do it - much like women are expected to stay home and raise more little men to go fight and so on and so on. not a cycle that i condone or enjoy, but one that is not stopping. the born advantage that men have, just by being male is not free. and as a woman, i can't help but be enraged by the notion that just because women are not chattle in the traditional sense of being owned by husbands or fathers, we should shoulder up and bear the full load of men. when equal rights are truly equal, then i will stand up and do is required of me. until then, i want the military to stay the hell away from me.

[ Parent ]
Could you clarifiy which right ? (5.00 / 5) (#169)
by blakdogg on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:16:04 PM EST

I am sure there are others who are also wondering, exactly which rights are you referring to. Could you list the rights that men possess that women do not ?
Woe be onto the United Nations, there nothing but a front.
[ Parent ]
Issues (4.75 / 4) (#175)
by Dephex Twin on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:31:36 PM EST

Yeah, I'd say I don't have more freedom than my fiancee. She's deciding whether she wants to work full-time, or part-time and be a homemaker/mother. Man, I honestly wish I could decide to be supported and just pursue my (not-financially-viable) interests, but it's pretty much understood that if anyone works, it's the man. Freedom indeed. Who cares if I'm the "breadwinner"?
when equal rights are truly equal, then i will stand up and do is required of me. until then, i want the military to stay the hell away from me.
So, you're saying the men should make the first sacrifices for equality before you're willing to. You'll fight for equality where it is in your best interests. How can you expect the men to make any sacrifice for female equality then?


Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]
Re: Issues (3.00 / 2) (#185)
by belldandi on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 01:07:52 PM EST

If this is bothering you, maybe you should try and talk to your significant other about it. If she is unsure about it, maybe she is looking for your input. Without talking about it, about the only thing you are doing is perpetuating the system you don't seem to agree with.

On a side note, my husband and I have had this discussion already. We both work full-time and have a young child, and if I could, I would be the one to work full-time and he would stay home. But in this wonderful world of equality, whilst we both share the same profession (Software Engineering) and the same level of completed schooling from the same university, he is making 30+% more than me with only 9 months more experience.

Regards,
-Tammie

Every time I hear an OO purist talk, I want to pick up my bat object, come to their house object, and start bashing their skull object. -- hardburn[ Parent ]
I basically agree (4.50 / 2) (#192)
by Dephex Twin on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 01:31:57 PM EST

We are actually continually talking about it.  The whole problem is, I'm probably going to make more money than my significant other, just like what you said.  I'd have a lot of trouble justifying that I ought to be the one who would be the homemaker, because the truth is that she *is* better at that stuff, and if only one of us can be around the someday child, she'd be the better choice for it.  We'd be shooting ourselves in the foot to reverse the roles for either person, and we know it.  I'd like to say "screw the system", but, especially once we have children, screwing the system will not be the highest priority.

We'll both want what is best for the kid.  Maybe the wife still doesn't have a whole lot of freedom in this scenario, but I just don't think that the husband really has freedom to speak of either in this society.  And that's more what I was trying to address.  The fact that the man will probably make more money pushes *both* parents into certain roles.


Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]

Education vs. Experience (5.00 / 1) (#371)
by Shajenko on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 01:04:04 PM EST

But in this wonderful world of equality, whilst we both share the same profession (Software Engineering) and the same level of completed schooling from the same university, he is making 30+% more than me with only 9 months more experience.
Depending on how much experience you're talking about, experience is MUCH more important to companies than education is. Sometimes education is actually an impediment; I know for a fact that my MS kept me from getting a tech support job (the only IT-type job that I've even gotten an interview for).

[ Parent ]
Tired diatribes (3.00 / 5) (#281)
by scoobytech on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 07:35:22 PM EST

What happened to "I am woman, hear me roar". You are simply whining. In a country where Oprah Winfrey, an African-American woman, has gotten rich beyond all reason simply for sitting around and chatting with people, we're expected to listen and empathize with your cries of oppression? Martha Stewart was well on her way to ridiculous riches before funking up with her pharmaceutical stocks and we're to believe that The Man is holding her and all women down? The only person holding you back is you. Get over it, get off your soapbox and get back to work.

[ Parent ]
Agreed (4.75 / 4) (#168)
by Dephex Twin on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:13:36 PM EST

women have not reached even a fraction of the equality they deserve
True. For example, they do not have to register for a draft.
oh - the poor man who has to register for selective service. as long as you all are running the show (half as well as we would) then suck it up and fight for that right
So, do you have any objections to black men being drafted? Poor white males? Are these people really "running the show"? How many men aged 18-25 are? In any case, should people be forced to register for the draft according to income, instead of age? Is income the true measure of equality?


Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]
don't agree (2.50 / 2) (#195)
by Smleprty on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 01:42:39 PM EST

i did not specify white male - although they clearly have the advantage in this country. i don't believe in any kind of draft - but if there is one, i don't want to be called on to support a country where i am a second class citizen. income is not the true measure of equality, and that was not the only disparity I suggested. As far as how many men 18-25 are running the show - they clearly have an advantage over more experienced, older women. There are males at my job who are younger (22-28) and less experienced who make more money AND have more responsility AND have to prove their strength less than the women here. sorry, but that's the way it is - and i understand you reaction because it is the same one from all men who are secretly (or openly) fearful of loosing the upper hand. it's a backlash that feminists expect.

[ Parent ]
I'm not saying there isn't a disparity (5.00 / 2) (#216)
by Dephex Twin on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:29:32 PM EST

i did not specify white male
I know you didn't, and it is very relevant that you didn't. You say that women make some percentage less than men on the average, so we should suck it up. But that's not the only way to divide people. Blacks make less than whites on the average, so why shouldn't white men just suck it up and blacks shouldn't have to fight? Or, if a man is actually at or below poverty level, he isn't making more money, why does he have to suck it up just because other men are advantaged? Or if a woman (or, of course, a man) is making six figures, should she have to sign up for the army if she's young enough? Yes, there is definitely the disparity you are talking about with pay, I don't argue that one bit. But averages aren't individuals. And men vs. women isn't the only way to look at the world.
i understand you reaction because it is the same one from all men who are secretly (or openly) fearful of loosing the upper hand.
I'm not fearful of losing the upper hand to women (though some are)...but can't you see that just by living in (I assume) the US, you already have the upper hand on a lot of people? Or, by being white? I don't want a woman to be paid less than a man if she is truly just as qualified, and many men in higher positions are unfair in that respect. But saying "you men run things so boo hoo if you have to go to war" is polarizing the situation into a simple men vs. women thing.
it's a backlash that feminists expect.
And I can understand that often people dislike things that are unfair towards them, but can justify things that are unfair towards others. Nobody's perfect in that regard.


Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]
I believe you are a troll but I will respond (4.00 / 2) (#247)
by Mister Pmosh on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:00:32 PM EST

"i don't want to be called on to support a country where i am a second class citizen"

Please explain how the government and people of America treat you as a second class citizen. Perhaps your place of employment does, but that is a sign to get a new job, not that we are all out to get you.

"As far as how many men 18-25 are running the show - they clearly have an advantage over more experienced, older women."

Newer people usually have an advantage over veterans, whether they are male or female in most offices. You will find that seniority only applies in blue collar jobs.

"i understand you reaction because it is the same one from all men who are secretly (or openly) fearful of loosing the upper hand."

This is why I believe you are a troll. If you are not, then you are truly delusional. What evidence do you have that anything you have said is true?


"I don't need no instructions to know how to rock!" -- Carl
[ Parent ]

Actually (5.00 / 2) (#182)
by n8f8 on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:58:49 PM EST

The statistics show a near parity on the pay issue when education and experience are put into the equation. RIGHT NOW the biggest disparity is due to the "cost" women incur from taking timne out mid-career to birth and raise children.

Otherwise, please state any "rights" than men have that women don't.

On a personal note, the biggest problems I've seen in women moving up in the corporate world are the inability to play well with others and the inability to seperate work-issues from non-work issues.

 

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]

no, actually (3.00 / 4) (#197)
by Smleprty on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 01:58:43 PM EST

No - there is not pay equality. It is a statistic and it is a reality. the women where i work make less than the men (even the ones who are not planning to leave and have children) regardless of education or experience. that is a fact generally across the board - not just where i work or in the career i chose. the problem with women that move up the corporate ladder is not thier problem - it is the problem of the men that they supervise. to make it in the corporate world youhave to take on manly qualities: being tough, cold, stern, unemotional, bitchy, etc. when women take on these qualities it makes them seem unfeminine, and therefore a threat to the men. add to that the fact that most men deep down HATE taking orders form a women because they have been socialized to be the leader and the momen the follower. we are just doing what we need to survive and succeed - and i'll keep doing it no matter who i have to piss off.

[ Parent ]
Different priorities (2.00 / 1) (#380)
by Anonymous Hiro on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 02:32:08 PM EST

Women have different priorities.

Otherwise they'd be starting their own businesses, etc. The best way up the corporate ladder is to build your own. If you're at the top of that ladder, you make more money. Not saying it's easy.

As for discrimination etc being discouraging, it sure hasn't stopped many entrepreneurs of "wrong race" from making a lot of money in my country (they're mostly men). In my country there are many race based rules/quotas for business and education. (there are religion based rules too). Wrong race? Score better. Get "for show" business partners of the right race and handle them, deal with the additional costs etc.

Discrimination sure didn't stop the Jews from dominating in many sectors.

More men/boys tend to see barriers/rules as a challenge to be overcomed/bypassed (which is why more men/boys are in jail/psychiatric wards/ER).

Just whining and bitching doesn't take one far in many fields. You often have to DO.

In many countries women have a lot of benefits that men don't have, but most of us don't give a damn. And actually I believe the reverse is true as well, it's only a small bunch of people whining and bitching. Most women don't seem to be really bothered.

If a guy had a compulsion to wash his hands often, there's a good chance he'd form an interest group of like minded guys and exchange tips on soap, water, technique and brag about it.

Most women would probably try to hide it or seek psychiatric help.

See the gender ratio for trainspotters, overclockers, etc. Or nonmainstream sport for that matter.

I can only conclude that the main reason for lack of women in any field is that most women just aren't interested enough, or they think it's silly.

In fact from the deathbed perspective many things are not worth that much time and resources.

p.s. bitchy != manly quality. Go figure.

[ Parent ]

Oh, so you're one of them... (2.33 / 3) (#503)
by MSBob on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 11:20:38 PM EST

Oh you must be related to someone I met once in my previous job: that old, loud annoying cow that was perpetually cranky. She got fired thanks to my and others' complaints about her behaviour. I don't care what gender my supervisor is so long as they are at least somewhat sociable. Cranky bastards belong on welfare whether they are men or women. I hope you lose your job soon.

Us, schauvinist pigs hate taking orders from spiteful people who won't listen and have a superiority complex. It has nothing to do with genders. Get real and change your attitude if you want to remain where you are let alone move any further.

I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
Question (4.00 / 2) (#232)
by paine in the ass on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 03:49:37 PM EST

as long as you all are running the show

Who do you mean by "you all"? I'm a white male but if you think I run anything, I'll gladly show you otherwise. As I believe Scott Adams once famously wrote, no one comes to my door asking my opinion as one of the white men who run the world.

But you probably know that; statements like "then suck it up and fight for that right" are blatantly inflammatory and made only out of ignorance, anger, or hatred, none of which will get you anywhere. It's about as constructive as if I said to you, "Well, you get mandated maternity leave, so suck it up" or "The family law system is inherently and heavily prejudiced in favor of your gender, so suck it up". Sure, it blows off steam, but it also alienates people who might be willing to help you otherwise, and if you're really as oppressed as you claim to be, you don't need to be alienating anyone...


I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion.
[ Parent ]

I don't think 'equality' is your problem..... (2.80 / 5) (#271)
by godix on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 06:33:49 PM EST

"women have not reached even a fraction of the equality they deserve"

Women are legally equal or legally superior to men. You have every single legal protection that I do, PLUS you have no threat of being hauled off against your will and being shot at. If you find that you are considered socially inferior it might be time to ask what you're doing to be consider such.

"as long as my body is subject to unfair laws"
"women are too busy fighting for rights men have enjoyed for hundreds of years."

List one. That's all, just one.

"i am passed over for promotions for men who are half as smart as me"

Perhaps this has to do with the fact that you have an angry and abusive personality while at the same time you're egotistical enough to claim you're twice as smart as your co-workers. Most men who walk around screaming about how unfair life is while at the same time claiming they're better than everyone don't get promoted either.

"and make 65 cents on that less smart man's dollar"

There's a wonderful site that might help you. Here's the link.

"as long as you all are running the show"

What, do you think every male sneaks off and plots the downfall of women they know? You're angry, abusive, egotistical, and paranoid. Being a woman is the least of your problems.



Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.

[ Parent ]

They have all the rights, actually (4.50 / 2) (#339)
by Mysidia on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 05:19:17 AM EST

as long as my body is subject to unfair laws

What unfair law?

passed over for promotions for men who are half as smart as me, and make 65 cents on that less smart man's dollar

That's life. Getting promoted doesn't have much to do with how intelligent you claim to be or think you are compared to others, or even how much experience you have: promotions often have a lot more to do with performance and other factors that vary widely.

Promotions are more of a matter of luck, man or woman, there is absolutely no right to promotion or certain level of pay, whether it deserved or not, because they involve businesses, and free enterprise.

Pay and promotions aren't government services, they are negotiated for by or won by valuable employees, they are fought for, and companies evaluate and judge who they promote and how much they pay people based on the market itself (They'll always want to pay the least they can without you going elsewhere, ofcourse!), but promotions certainly are not in general just given based on something menial like gender.

You can find statistics to say just about anything you want to say, but that doesn't mean that they are valid or have any bearing on the actual situation; your argument on statistics is too vague to merit consideration.

Maybe the statistics just suggest that many women are not good at negotiating their pay or are willing to concede more than men are for the sake of security or some other notion? Statistics can be interpreted in various ways.

Personal anecdotes aren't useful evidence either: there is no guarantee that the experience you have is even periodic, let-alone common.



[ Parent ]
exactly [NT]... (none / 0) (#671)
by livus on Thu Jan 09, 2003 at 02:25:56 AM EST



---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
Yes-No (4.50 / 10) (#153)
by dh003i on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 11:22:56 AM EST

Well, I think the draft is an unconstitutional violation of the rights of individual persons.  No-one should be forced into a career that they don't want to partake in.  The draft makes the US no better than Russia, where a person's career was mapped out before him by the government, in that particular respect.  There are other constitutional issues, however, such as equality before the law.

On the one hand, all individuals should be treated equally before the law, on a non-discriminatory.  In that respect, it is discrimination to only violate the rights of men, and not those of women.

On the other hand, it makes matters no better if more people's rights are violated, and the government is an equal-opportunity rights violater.  Of course, I'm assuming here that if women were available for the draft, twice as many people would get drafted.  If the same number of people got drafted either way, this point would be irrelevant.

However, even if no-more people are drafted than before, does it really make the rights-violations mroe acceptable if we distribute them evenly between men, women, races, sexual orientations, etc?  No, I think it does not, just as murdering someone because they owe you money is not any better than murdering someone because they're black:  the person's still dead.  I think, however, that as the government's doing this, it is about more than just tangible effects:  by only drafting men, the government is sending the message that women are inferior, thus perpetuating sexual discrimination; like-wise with the "don't-ask-don't-tell" policy for homosexuals.  

So the real "benefit" is marginal at best.  No, the government should not send the message that women and homosexuals are unworthy to serve in the military by not drafting those people.  But there shouldn't ever be a draft in the first place.  The number of people who volunteer to fight in a war will reflect the importance of that war:  why should American's be forced to die off in some nation they don't even care about?  If the US is ever attacked, then many Americans will volunteer to defend it.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.

I am in agreement. The draft is slavery. (4.40 / 5) (#183)
by Mister Pmosh on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 01:02:29 PM EST

"Well, I think the draft is an unconstitutional violation of the rights of individual persons. No-one should be forced into a career that they don't want to partake in."

According to Amendment XIII, Section 1 of the Constitution:

"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." The draft is a form of involuntary servitude, which is clearly outlawed in this amendment. One has to wonder how a draft can be passed as an exception to this rule. Personally, I believe that in times of war most government leaders try to appear patriotic, and will overlook this amendment to the Constitution.
"I don't need no instructions to know how to rock!" -- Carl
[ Parent ]

GP, and.... (2.66 / 3) (#203)
by dh003i on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:10:07 PM EST

Personally, I believe that in times of war most government leaders try to appear patriotic, and will overlook this amendment to the Constitution.

I was under the impression that its a fact that government leaders trample all over the Constitution and the Amendments during war-time, and any other time it suits them?

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Never been tested (4.33 / 3) (#218)
by duffbeer703 on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:37:15 PM EST

The draft has been opposed to by political figures ranging from Ronald Reagan to Daniel Webster.

I'm sure the issue will never appear before a federal court, so the draft will stand.

[ Parent ]

You are likely right (3.00 / 3) (#224)
by Mister Pmosh on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:50:58 PM EST

"I'm sure the issue will never appear before a federal court, so the draft will stand."

The draft is not an ongoing thing, so people do not resist it in a time of peace. In wartime, there is a lot of fear in the public, so people are more in agreement with it, whether or not it is constitutional. Some things that have happened in the name of the war on terror and the war on drugs are prime examples. People are more concerned with "getting the bad guy" than doing the right thing.
"I don't need no instructions to know how to rock!" -- Carl
[ Parent ]

Do you understand why the draft no longer exists? (4.75 / 4) (#302)
by Skywise on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 11:39:37 PM EST

From the late 1800's to present day, the military was increasingly being used to serve commercial interests over actual military ones.  The powers of a large standing army were just too good NOT to wield in some way.

Killing the standing draft, made the US's leaders have to really SHOW a need for the military to take a significant, long term action before they could actually call up the draft.

The result is that the US Military has evolved from a traditional army to a hi-tech, fast strike, military that needs far fewer men to accomplish its goals, can do it in less time, and cause far fewer civilian casualties.

The Gulf War proved that this was feasible, Clinton used it to great effect in Yugoslavia, and now George W. and his team is escalating this to the next generation.  And that's the downside... Now that we've completely separated the public from the military actions, the public doesn't have to know what's really going on.

This is *BETTER* for the political powers.  They don't WANT the draft again now that they can have their commerical military campaigns without a public uproar.  If you re-established the draft again, they'd have to become accountable for their actions again, which they don't want.

[ Parent ]

Not really... (4.00 / 1) (#540)
by duffbeer703 on Mon Dec 30, 2002 at 11:48:57 AM EST

Your points are valid, but have little to do with the draft. Many of the actions that assisted commercial interests (China garrisions, bananna republic wars) were conducted by the Marine Corps, which has been a volunteer force for much of its history.

The standing draft was eliminated in the early 80's because the Army was a collection of castoff drug addicts and misfits. At one point in the Carter administration, 30% of US Army forces in Germany were AWOL.

Reagan removed these people and replaced them with more intelligent, motivated soldiers who were largely motivated to join the army to seek higher education.

[ Parent ]

The unconstitutional aspects of the draft (5.00 / 2) (#250)
by alizasmurf on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:10:14 PM EST

While theoretically the draft is unconstitutional, it isn't. According to Article 1, section 8 (of the Constitution of course) "Congress shall have the power...To raise and support Armies" in addition to which, "provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the laws of the Union...to provide for organizing, arming and disciplining the Militia." Now correct me if I am wrong, but the selective service is considered to be a modern day militia. Furthermore, if someone wants to accept the benefits of a government, the penalty is accept the responsibilities of defending that government. By agreeing to be a citizen of the US, and thus receiving the rights of the first amendment etc etc, one accepts the whole constitution, including the draft. Deal with it.
We think therefore we are, therefore, are we what we think? ewwww
[ Parent ]
Wrong (3.50 / 2) (#261)
by dh003i on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:44:21 PM EST

The draft is unconstitutional under the 13th Amendment, regarding slavery.  It also violates the right to life.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Wrong. (5.00 / 1) (#299)
by Skywise on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 11:22:09 PM EST

Declarations of war supercede the US Constitution for a limited time period persuant to the goals of war. (In simpler language... Constitutional liberties are suspended in war time for the good of the state... IE, with the restriction of press freedom regarding military information.)  These suspensions are part of the "Articles of War" which will explicitly lay out what restrictions are to be incurred, and ALWAYS declare at which point the restrictions will be lifted (either through achieving a specific military goal, or by time limiting the restrictions)

Note also that there is *no* draft currently, and all military actions are taking place with "voluntary" soldiers.  No articles of war are needed.

The other major legal safety catch is that Bush can't run this war for more than 6 months without getting approval from congress. (Or was it 3 months... It's definitely no more than 6...)


[ Parent ]

BS (4.00 / 2) (#305)
by dh003i on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 11:57:39 PM EST

That's BS.  The Constitution and Amendments are the supreme law in this nation.  Just because it's a time of war doesn't mean the government gets to imprison you without a fair trial, torture you, or enslave you.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Wrong. (5.00 / 1) (#310)
by Skywise on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 12:18:38 AM EST

Article I - Section 9

The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

That means the government gets to imprison you without trial.

http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_mlaw.html

[ Parent ]

Oh yes? (3.50 / 2) (#315)
by valeko on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 12:42:13 AM EST

Well, how about explaining to me how, for example, in this so-called "war on terrorism," there exists a need for all this nonsense that can be expressed in terms of "public safety"?

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Duh... (5.00 / 1) (#321)
by Skywise on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 01:13:32 AM EST

Oh let's see... a handful of terrorists hijacked a few jumbo jets and flew them into buildings and a military target?

Somebody sent Anthrax throughout the US Postal System to government officials and the National Enquirer resulting in the deaths of many people?

The terrorists who took credit for flying those planes into the buildings have continually threated to escalate their actions with even more mass casualties including nuclear devices?

You don't think that falls into... public safety... somewhere?

[ Parent ]

WTF? (3.00 / 2) (#322)
by valeko on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 01:38:42 AM EST

You don't think that falls into... public safety... somewhere?

To the extent that habeas corpus needs to be suspended, justice called off, and martial law imposed? Why, no, as a matter of a fact I don't.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Re (3.00 / 1) (#360)
by dh003i on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 10:53:56 AM EST

The idiocy and short-sightedness of the founding father's does not justify our own.  A disaster or war doesn't justify violating people's rights.  The founding father's were not perfect (I believe they supported slavery), nor should their word be treated as infallable.  Article I, Section 9 should be re-written.

Note, even your example says "may require it," meaning that the government has to prove that the public safety requires such.


--------
Read my Diary and my st
[
Parent ]

not at all (none / 0) (#429)
by alizasmurf on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 12:19:48 AM EST

The SS is in no way slavery. If you feel that you are being enslaved by the requirement, move to an area without a strong, mandatory, national defense.
We think therefore we are, therefore, are we what we think? ewwww
[ Parent ]
Bullshit (5.00 / 2) (#466)
by dh003i on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 12:16:50 PM EST

Being forced to do a job you don't want to do, for a specified (meager) wage, is most definately slavery.  Especially when you can be executed for not doing as told.

Fact:  forced military service = slavery.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Yes at all (5.00 / 1) (#652)
by yonatan on Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 06:07:10 PM EST

It is slavery, especially when used, not for national defence (ie defending the physical borders of the nation), but to defend other countries we're friends with, share ideologies with, or who have some fruit or oil we'd like to consume.
--- Wheeee!!!
[ Parent ]
www.sss.gov (3.00 / 1) (#311)
by Skywise on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 12:34:51 AM EST

Selective Service government website

Interesting stuff here...

For instance it was FDR (Roosevelt) who established the peacetime draft in 1940... of all times... (not after the US entered WW2... but one full year before Pearl Harbor...hmmm...were we planning something?)

Not registering with the Selective Service is punishable by 5 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines. (although I've never heard of anyone actually being charged with this).

Illegal aliens and refugees must register.  (I wonder if they do a better job than the INS?)

[ Parent ]

Right. (4.00 / 1) (#253)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:13:50 PM EST

Why should you have to contribute to the defense of the country you live in?

Let the poor people who can't get better jobs do it.


--
Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.


[ Parent ]

Idiot (4.00 / 4) (#263)
by dh003i on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:52:39 PM EST

Typical republican drivel.  This "defend your country" crap.  If the country is really in serious danger (i.e., of invasion) people will voluntarily sign up for the military services.  If they don't, then maybe the country who's people weren't willing to fight for it deserves to perish.

Yes, the terrorist situation is a serious threat to our country.  Yet, somehow we're dealing with it (attacking nations which host terrorists) without the draft.  Why?  People who had previously volunteered and now volunteer for military service.

When was the last time this country was in serious threat of possible invasion?  Well, you'd have to go back to Nazi Germany, because Hitler "wanted to take over the world".  Even that's a little bit iffy, as there's a good argument that Hitler would have left America alone.

Sorry, but our nation was not threatened by the Vietnamese, the Koreans, or Sadam Hussein (not for the reasons we cited).  They were not planning to invade the US.  Its fine that we declare war -- a nation can declare war on whoever we like.  But that doesn't mean that we can violate people's rights by forcing them to go off and die for a cause they don't believe in, when they had better lives ahead of them; or worse, forcing people to become murderers, which is how some view it.

I forget his name, but one of the greatest scientists in Britain (physicist, I believe) was killed in World War I.  Yep, this war thing is real great.  People who could be discovering ways to cure diseases are instead killing on the battlefield and dying, because of the US' big-dick syndrome.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

WTF are you babbling about? (3.00 / 2) (#293)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 10:49:11 PM EST

Did you really just blame the US for killing a british physicist in WWI and thereby preventing a cure for disease?

Did you go to the Lyndon LaRouche school of logic?

As for defending my country, it's not crap - I signed up, my tour was embarrassingly short, but my discharge was honorable. And I'd do it again. You people who insist that the US government was lying about why they went to war in Vietnam - what exactly, are you smoking? Have you actually seen what the lives of North Koreans are like? Or maybe you should just compare the GDPs of North and South Korea before you conclude that the South Koreans gained nothing from our defending them.


--
Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.


[ Parent ]

Surely you jest. (3.00 / 2) (#298)
by valeko on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 11:11:23 PM EST

You people who insist that the US government was lying about why they went to war in Vietnam - what exactly, are you smoking?

You've got to be kidding me. Surely you haven't been duped into thinking it was about "fighting Communism" as part of a widespread program of "containing" the influence of the "International Communist Conspiracy," have you?

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Well, Yes. (3.00 / 1) (#301)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 11:39:01 PM EST

That's me. A dupe to the end.


--
Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.


[ Parent ]

Apparently so! (2.50 / 2) (#312)
by valeko on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 12:36:12 AM EST

Sad to hear.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

I'll bite... (4.50 / 2) (#303)
by Skywise on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 11:46:00 PM EST

I'm willing to believe there were other motives besides communism that got us involved in Vietnam.
(Although you'll have to get past that the North Vietnamese WERE communist and WERE attacking the South Vietnamese.)

But I don't know of any commercial needs of Vietnam offhand. (Cheap asian labor?  Fear that the Vietnamese would go after Japan next which we have an agreement to defend?  Oil pipeline through... oh sorry, mixing wars...)

[ Parent ]

Wrong. (2.75 / 4) (#314)
by valeko on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 12:39:58 AM EST

Although you'll have to get past that the North Vietnamese WERE communist and WERE attacking the South Vietnamese.

No, they weren't!

But I don't know of any commercial needs of Vietnam offhand. (Cheap asian labor? Fear that the Vietnamese would go after Japan next which we have an agreement to defend? Oil pipeline through... oh sorry, mixing wars...)

Hey, you've made a discovery! Not every imperialist war has a rationale that can be reduced to plainly visible, immediate economic goals.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Wrong about WHAT? (5.00 / 1) (#319)
by Skywise on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 01:08:16 AM EST

Okay, HERE:

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1965US-vietnamaggression1.html

Admittedly, this is US propoganda...  But its much easier to push a half-truth, than to tell a whole lie.

Now, where's your evidence to the contrary?

I'm waiting.

[ Parent ]

The truth about the Vietnam War. (4.12 / 8) (#333)
by valeko on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 03:41:24 AM EST

This is how you challenge actually-existing reality? You throw a State Department white paper at me that has repeatedly been assaulted by historians for the kind of manifest inconsistency that defined the U.S. line during the Vietnam War? What kind of duel is this? Do you think you're D'Artagnan?

Your "half-truth" is not even that; it is a completely invented lie, in concert with the consistent (yet inconsistent) mythology of the International Communist Conspiracy. I'm not sure how much point there is in arguing with someone who uncritically accepts this elaborate act of smoke and mirrors, but it might be educational to take a look at Vietnam once more.

Let us start by defining what exactly a Communist is, where U.S. foreign policy is concerned. Being the dead horse that it is, I'll quote, admittedly at length, from one of the numerous comments I have written on the subject:

Of course, can't leave that thought without mentioning the variable definition of "communist subversive activities." It is patently obvious that what Washington chose to label "Communist subversion of the free world" often had little correlation with any Communism, and more with a desire for independence from Washington's hegemonic arrangement. Dare any Third World nation decide to adopt a neutral stance or support an economic/political system that does not yield maximum benefit to America's corporate gangsters, it's engaging in subversive Communist activity. Should some populist decide they want to try some real democracy, rather than being a complicit and subservient pawn in the American hegemonic scheme, this obviously proves that subversive Communists have infiltrated their government and are underming "freedom and democracy" there.

This is very important. The outward facade of "fighting Communism" was applied to pretty much every American intervention throughout the Cold War, with no real regard to whether Communism was at all involved. I'll say it again, in the same thread:
Everywhere that an elected socialist leader comes to power, you claim that ingenious Soviets had merely rigged the election. These Soviet Communists of yours seem like some kind of rodent - perhaps an ant. Through every hole, through every orifice, in every opening they crawl! Everywhere that they are appointed to posts in government, it is because they have "infiltrated" it like some kind of subhuman parasites. Every process by which socialism could possibly gain popular acceptance has got to be the product of a truly devious Soviet scheme. Wherever you find Third World nations unwilling to dance to Washington's neoliberal tune, it's got to be that Soviet intelligence at work!

There is a major problem with this theory when applied to many of America's imperialist adventures. The fly in the ointment is that irrespective of actual Communist character, many Third World governments were overthrown by the US merely on the basis of attempting to pursue an independent foreign policy. Yes, being partial to the socialist bloc was often included in this independent foreign policy, but this is a far, far cry from being a "Soviet pawn" or succumbing to "Communist infiltration". Yes this is exactly what American propaganda accused them of; should any Third World nation deviate from strict adherence to the American political and economic gospel, should it try to pursue some measure of economic independence or political nonalignment (far, far cry from "alignment with the Soviet Union!"), it was ruthlessly and barbarically unseated because it was engaging in "subversive Communist activities." As often as not, the agenda of independent-minded Third World leaderships had absolutely nothing to do with Communism in the least.

If you don't believe me, read about just a few American interventions all over the Third World in order to get a general idea. It is quite obvious that you don't really know anything about them, or you would find some better source material to throw at me than your cynical State Department paper. It is as though I claimed that the Czechs lovingly invited the Soviets to intervene in 1968, and justified it with a Pravda article. There are no "half-truths" here.

Conclusion: Communists were whatever the U.S. wanted them to be. It's a catch-all euphemism for anyone that decides not to be part of the U.S.'s "free world" (yeah, the "free world" that included Suharto's Indonesia, Pinochet's Chile, Diem's South Vietnam, and ad nauseum.)

It is easy to get lost on the question of Vietnam if you fail to grasp its history of colonial domination. Vietnam had been ruled by the French colonialists since the second half of the nineteenth century, its people (especially the peasantry) subjugated in kind. Native uprisings were not uncommon, but they were duly crushed. In 1930, the Indochinese Communist Party, led by the Ho Chi Minh, emerged, and the French responded viciously; by 1932, more than ten thousand Communists were executed. Later, at the onset of World War II, the Vietnamese Independence League (the Vietminh) was formed, also under Ho Chi Minh's leadership, in order to fight both the Japanese invaders and the French colonialists.

Here is where the circumstances that led to American involvement really come together. By the end of World War II, the Vietminh managed to gain power throughout most of the country, and elected a provisional government. The Vietnamese people united unanimously behind this government; thousands of political prisoners incarcerated by the French and Japanese were set free, and the Vietminh, along with Ho Chi Minh, were considered to have liberated Vietnam.

Not for long, of course, did the Vietminh hold power. Ho's government was remarkably polite; it contacted major governments and the United Nations (!) and asked permission to disarm remaining Japanese contingents in Vietnam. However, the Great Powers at the Potsdam Conference had decided otherwise; the consensus there was that Vietnam still belonged to France. The decision was that the Chinese Kuomintang (Chiang Kai-Shek's national government) should disarm the Japanese north of the 16th parallel, while the British would be in charge of that south of it. So, after a very short period of peaceful rule by the Vietminh, the British showed up and were mistakenly welcomed by Ho's government as "anti-fascist allies." However, the British were just there to cater to the imperatives of European imperialism; several thousand French Foreign Legion troops were re-armed by them, and martial law was declared. They didn't even disarm the Japanese -- they were enlisted as allies to be used against the Vietnamese. Meanwhile on the north side, the Chinese did faithfully disarm the Japanese, thus enabling the Vietnamese partisans to develop a nucleus of political control around Hanoi. That's pretty much how North Vietnam came to be.

So, of course French units (many of which were materially aided by the United States in no small part) arrived en masse to expropriate the Vietminh and their Vietnamese supporters from the south. The Chinese, having other, more pressing concerns, withdrew from the north, leaving the Vietminh power base there without any actual support. Ho tried a settlement in 1946, and so a treaty was signed with the French creating the "Republic of Vietnam," a sort of autonomous nation that remained within the French Union and all that. Yeah, right, like that was going to happen. The occupying French army thoroughly undermined any possibility of establishing such a state, and so everything quickly degenerated into the protracted French-Indochinese war of fame. This ended with the death of about a million Vietnamese and about 25,000 Frenchmen.

A slight digression here is necessary in order to underscore the fact that Ho Chi Minh was mainly an independence fighter and a liberator, and not so much a communist. It is true that Ho Chi Minh found an ideology of national liberation in Marxism-Leninism, but he was no extension of Soviet or Chinese projection of power, as American propagandists (like the author of your silly pamphlet) tried to claim later on. (First the American propagandists claimed that Stalin (who had nothing to do with any of this) was the aggressor and Ho Chi Minh was his puppet, then they claimed that the South Vietnamese (NLF) guerillas were the aggressors, then they claimed that North Vietnam was the aggressor and the southern NLF was their puppet (this is the era of the ever-changing line from which your State Department white paper comes from), and then they decided that China was the aggressor, and North Vietnam was its puppet. Just this in itself should help you see the light.)

Ho Chi Minh was not inherently hostile toward the U.S. in the very beginning. Indeed, when the Vietminh briefly governed in 1945, the Declaration of Independence was quoted as the inspiration for the new, free nation of Vietnam. (This, in my opinion, is probably Ho Chi Minh's greatest error of line.) While fighting the French, Ho repeatedly stated that his goal was a state free of colonial domination and neutral in the Cold War -- this is frequently overlooked by idiots who try to paint him as a cog in the machine of the International Communist Conspiracy. He only became overtly hostile to the U.S. as it became clear as day that the U.S. was funding and nontrivially supporting the French. In fact, by the war's end, the U.S. was paying over 80 percent (!) of the war cost and had provided an additional US$2.5bil to the French colonial army in Vietnam. Secretary of State Foster Dulles, in fact, was urging that American forces directly intervene in the battle, but this idea was rejected by Eisenhower. If you want to know where any general hostility to the U.S. would come from, this is a good guess.

A cease-fire line was established at the 17th parallel by the 1954 Geneva Agreements, with the Vietminh forces controlling the north and the French the south. Free elections for the whole of Vietnam were promised by 1956, and so on and so forth. Unsurprisingly, the USSR and newly "Red" China pressured Ho for quick settlement at the expense of maximum reward to his independence programme. This should tell you something about just how much the Vietminh was a "Soviet tool" or a "Chinese tool."

As the French departed, the U.S. moved in to prop up Ngo Dihn Diem's government in the south. Eisenhower, of course, had no intention of allowing the promised free elections in Vietnam, knowing full well that "the communists" (i.e. Ho & company) would easily take such an election by a landslide, in the north and south, where the Vietminh enjoyed overwhelming support, as always. Diem, meanwhile, received generous U.S. assistance, as well as a sizeable army of so-called "advisors" throughout the 1950s. This U.S. puppet belongs in the hall of fame of 20th century tyrants; there was a notorious secret police that ruthlessly dealt with political opponents in the south. Diem also made illegal the councils that governed villages in Vietnam since time immemorial (this was such a heavy-handed move that even the French didn't do it!), and redistributed land that was given to the peasants by the Vietminh back to the hated landlords. In short, Diem's dictatorship did not enjoy any popular support at all, despite whatever your precious State Department might tell you.

I think you know the rest of the story. Nationalist resistence cells scattered throughout the south began to fight against this latest imperialist dictatorship. Noticeable guerilla operations began in 1957 and had broken out into full partisan war in the south by 1959. It is crucial to stop and observe here that the North Vietnamese government did not acknowledge or encourage these resistence operations! Ho openly encouraged peaceful coexistence with the southern government, and it was not until 1960 that he finally had to bend to the public pressure, overwhelmingly in support of independence, and endorse the southern people's war. That same year, the southern partisan fighters united under the National Liberation Front, which eventually grew into a massive fighting force several hundred thousand strong, allied with North Vietnam.

The southern government's army showed no desire to fight against these rebels, so by 1965 the U.S. was doing the bombing, as the conflict quickly escalated and the U.S. became thoroughly entrenched in this war against the Vietnamese people. The "domino theory" that Vietnam should "fall to the communists" made absolutely no sense here; as I'm sure you can see for yourself from what I said above, they couldn't even define who the aggressor was! First it was Moscow, then it was the NLF itself, then it was Hanoi, then it was Peking!

The Vietnam War turned into a massive conflict between the American imperialists and the Vietnamese partisans. If you need to be reminded of the genocidal atrocities of the U.S. army there, that's an excellent discussion for another day.

"Communist" or not, the nature of this particular war is just the same as any other; national liberation. However, according to the U.S., independence from imperialist hegemony constitutes "communism." In a sense, your propaganda is right; it was of some concern that independence from imperialist dictatorship might become a popular theme throughout the Third World, much like "dominoes," so it was necessary to "contain" it. I'm not sure that even this "containment" proposition adequately explains why exterminating hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese was necessary; the napalm that literally lit up the sky as it fell on villages, the chemicals with which the ecosystem of Vietnam was doused, the merciless bombing of civilian targets and infrastructure, the destruction of food supplies, etc.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

I nominate this for... (3.00 / 3) (#342)
by Jizzbug on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 05:52:16 AM EST

...the prize of Best and Most Thorough Post in the History of K5!

I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. I say unto you: you still have chaos in yourselves.
 -- Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

[ Parent ]
have to agree with Jizzbug (3.00 / 3) (#356)
by scoobytech on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 10:17:54 AM EST

Thorough and objective. This is the kind of post that should be voted to the front page! Nice Valeko!

[ Parent ]
Nice spin... (3.75 / 4) (#372)
by Skywise on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 01:04:23 PM EST

Let's try it this way:

Vietnam was a French colony.

in 1941, the Japanese invaded Vietnam to set it up as a military foothold for attacking China.  France, essentially, let them walk right in.  From this a rebellion was formed of Vietnamese to kick the Japanese out of the country.  They were called the Viet Minh, and were formed by Ho Chi Minh.  The group were self-proclaimed communists but were directly supported by the United States as they were working towards stopping Japan.

After the Allies defeated Japan in August of 1945, the Viet Minh led a full-on revolt and easily defeated the remaining demoralized Japanese and declared Vietnamese Independance on September 2, 1945 with the United States at his side and the US flag flying above.

US Intelligence at the time acknowledged that the newly liberated Vietnamese government was communist, it was believed that they were far more nationalistic than wanting to get involved with the international communist growth in Russia and China.  At the same time, France demanded US support for retaking Vietnam as A> France had been part of the allies in WW2, and B> France would refuse to support the US in its European negotiations for building a defense against Stalin.  President Truman sided with France as part of overall foreign policy of stopping all Communism (which led to the start of the Cold War).

THAT'S the key piece of information I was looking for.  From there its all like falling dominoes...

US and France easily retook Vietnam and setup a government roughly equivalent to the British Commonwealth of Hong Kong.  France couldn't hold the power, however, because of the Viet Minh's overall popularity,especially in the rural areas that were difficult to patrol.

This forced the Viet Minh to ally with Russia and China ANYWAY to garner the support they needed to continue the war.

Fast Forward to 1952.  The Geneva Convention gets France and the US to agree to let the Vietnamese people determine their own fate by a national election to determine their next government.  To prepare for this stage, Vietnam is split into two pieces.  North Vietnam which will be given to Ho Chi Minh, and South Vietnam which will remain under French/US control until the election.  One slight problem... North Vietnamese = 12 million people, South Vietnamese = 11 million people.  The North Vietnamese *ARE* supported by Russia and China.  Truman, still anti-communist as ever, sees this as basically setting the US up for a loss and reneges on the national vote unless Ho Chi Minh's government doesn't run because he's a national hero and will easily sweep the 12 million North Vietnamese votes his way and win the election.  France is completely out of the picture at this point.

Well, Ho Chi Minh flips the US the bird, and the US sets up its own puppet government with Ngo Dinh Diem in charge in South Vietnam, and cuts off all trade ties with North Vietnam.

This kill North Vietnam's economy almost instantly as they're dependant on South Vietnam's rice crops, and are now forced to buy expensive imported rice from outside sources.  North Vietnam responds by setting up communist insurregents in South Vietnam, the Viet Cong which use a combination of "support" and terrorist tactics to disrupt trade and the strength of the US Government, while adding people to their cause.

This cat and mouse game goes on for about 5 years, when it turns out that Diem has been wholesale slaughtering Buddhists.  The US drops support for Diem, and Diem turns around and offers to reunify with North Vietnam.  Then there's a military coup and Diem gets knocked off, and from that point forward there's never a stable government in South Vietnam.

The US has a relatively small military presence, but prefers to let the Vietnamese do their own thing.  However, in 1965, the Viet Cong attack and wipe out a US military outpost.  The US responds by bombing a military base in North Vietnam.  Russia immediately offers military support which North Vietnam happily agrees to and begins moving in Russian forces.  Which immediately turns this into a US/Russia pissing contest and... well, you know the rest of the story...

So while it wasn't "Communism" that started the war.  It was most definitely "Communism" that prolonged the war.

It should also be noted that the US ALSO offered many times to pull support for Vietnam, providing that Russia and China would do the same, but Russia and China wouldn't acquiesce either.

Sources: Microsoft Expedia (2002)
Wikipedia


[ Parent ]

Spin?? (Vietnam, Part II: Let's try this again) (3.37 / 8) (#385)
by valeko on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 04:12:07 PM EST

in 1941, the Japanese invaded Vietnam to set it up as a military foothold for attacking China. France, essentially, let them walk right in.

I don't think France let anyone walk in; France had rather pressing domestic concerns (i.e. being fully occupied by Nazi Germany) and a slight shortage of resources for maintaining its colonies, to make an understatement.

From this a rebellion was formed of Vietnamese to kick the Japanese out of the country. They were called the Viet Minh, and were formed by Ho Chi Minh. The group were self-proclaimed communists but were directly supported by the United States as they were working towards stopping Japan.

Well, yes, the U.S. supported the Vietminh for a time so far as it was useful to its own ends. This is no more or less surprising than the U.S. supporting the Soviet Union in its offensive against the fascists. However, as can be exhaustively demonstrated through history, the U.S. had absolutely no interest in granting the Vietnamese any kind of self-determination. Ho Chi Minh finally came to that realisation while in Europe in the 1920s; he understood that Wilsonian "idealism" was another euphemism for colonial subjugation. He found an ideology of national liberation in Marxism-Leninism after becoming acquainted with Lenin's "Thesis on the National and Colonial Questions," but he adopted ML because he saw that only Marxist-Leninists were actually interested in liberation for the European colonies.

After the Allies defeated Japan in August of 1945, the Viet Minh led a full-on revolt and easily defeated the remaining demoralized Japanese and declared Vietnamese Independance on September 2, 1945 with the United States at his side and the US flag flying above.

This is an incomplete story. While the Allies defeated Japan, the partisan war waged by the Vietminh inside Vietnam had great successes of its own. In the grand scheme of things, it was relatively insignificant where defeating Japan was concerned, but to say that the Vietminh piggy-backed entirely on the Allied defeat of the Japanese is not correct. They fought tenaciously. As for the U.S. being at anyone's side on the question of independence, this is for post-war theatrics only.

At the same time, France demanded US support for retaking Vietnam as A) France had been part of the allies in WW2, and B) France would refuse to support the US in its European negotiations for building a defense against Stalin.

This is true, but it just underscores my point: Vietnam was at the mercy of colonialists. The political spasms (internal to the imperialists) that gave way to American support of the French aren't really material here. However, it is of significant importance that the U.S. didn't reluctantly and unwillingly submit to this French blackmail, as you maintain.

One of the factors that immediately led the U.S. to increase its aid to France, though, was the immediate French proclamation that they have returned to Indochina to fight for the "free world" and against communism, to which the U.S. immediately perked up as far as aid is concerned. This is, of course, an affirmation of your statement that "President Truman sided with France as part of overall foreign policy of stopping all Communism (which led to the start of the Cold War)." If you want, you're welcome to believe that the start of the Cold War had anything to do with "stopping communism," but all and any historical evidence is not on your side. However, I don't think it is wise, for the time being, to delve into why this is so, in terms of the events in Europe.

Also, as it became obvious that the Kuomintang was doomed, the U.S. quickly came to see the French war in Indochina as a direct extension of its own interests, even if we accept, for purposes of discussion, that it was initially skeptical of the need for it. The U.S. was vehemently opposed to the idea that the French should try to negotiate some kind of settlement that would leave the north in Vietminh hands and the south in French ones. Such offers for peace negotiations were repeatedly extended by the Vietminh throughout the French-Indochinese war, but the U.S. quickly stomped on them in the form of intense pressure on France.

One of the more immediate reasons for this was the Korean War, of course. The conflict in Vietnam was of some interest to the Chinese, no doubt, so the U.S. didn't want to see a stable situation in Vietnam that would allow China to concetrate exclusively on its Korean front. No matter how rational you think this is, it is patently clear that Vietnam was a cog being tossed around by the U.S. already at this point in time.

Anyway, the point is that this had less to do with stopping "communism" than stopping various independent movements, which either painted themselves as "communist" or lent themselves to being painted as such. However, you seem to want to paint the Vietminh as some kind of gangsters that filed in to fill the WWII power vacuum; that's not really true. And considering the brutal oppression of Vietnam by the imperialist powers, Ho Chi Minh's tendency toward diplomacy and cooperation with the West is almost humiliating. Ho had been appealing to Great Powers and such to intervene in Vietnam and mediate some kind of improvement arrangement since the end of World War I, in 1919! (That, of course, is before he understood that the Great Powers had no interest in improving conditions in Vietnam, let alone its independence. Quite the opposite.) He tried again in 1945, as I mentioned, and also repeatedly extended the offer of a peaceful settlement to the French in good faith. Your spin on the Vietminh as uncooperative, rabid nationalist-communists is entirely erroneous.

US and France easily retook Vietnam and setup a government roughly equivalent to the British Commonwealth of Hong Kong. France couldn't hold the power, however, because of the Viet Minh's overall popularity,especially in the rural areas that were difficult to patrol.

This forced the Viet Minh to ally with Russia and China ANYWAY to garner the support they needed to continue the war.


To what are you referring when you say that the "US and France easily retook Vietnam"? You're at best confused, and at worst grossly misinformed here. When in 1946 the French went for a political sentiment with the Vietminh, as I described in my previous comment, the occupying French army decided to act somewhat contrary (but not really) to this agreement and made the conditions for creating the Republic of Vietnam in the north impossible. The details on how exactly this went are somewhat hairy -- it's not really that simple. There was a lot of U.S. pressure to not "cede" to the Vietminh involved. But that's what happened. Key point here: The French and the U.S. were the aggressors in this situation. It's not as though angry Vietminh guerillas showed up and wreaked havoc, although I realise that's still the official line.

As far as the alliance with China and Russia, the evidence is stretched quite thinly. Whatever cooperation the North Vietnamese had from either the USSR or China, the U.S. sure wasn't consistent about pinpointing it! That says something about the subsance of this "alliance" you claim.

I will quote, somewhat at length, historian Michael Parenti on this question:

In 1950, Secretary Acheson stated that our objective was to prevent Southeast Asia from being "dominated by Soviet Imperialism." By 1954, another expert, Richard Nixon, offered this novel analysis: "The main target of the Communists in Indochina ... is Japan. Conquest of areas so vital to Japan's economy would reduce Japan to an economic satellite of the Soviet Union ..." Ten years later, W. W. Rostow, a top advisor to President Johnson, stated with all apparent seriousness that the Indochina insurgency against the French in 1946 resulted from a decision by Stalin to launch an offensive in the East.

Confronted with an insurgency against the Diem regime a few years after Geneva, Washington policymakers now declared that the aggressors were native South Vietnamese "Communists" employing classic guerilla tactics. Moscow no longer seemed to be the guilty party. As late as 1964 David Halberstam could report with no contradition from Washington:

This war is largely a conflict of Southerners fought on Southern land. No capture of North Vietnamese in the South has come to light, and it is generally believed that most Vietcong weapons have been seized from the South Vietnamese forces.

So, first it was the evil Soviets, then it was the NLF guerillas themselves in the south that launched the conflict! Interesting. But now that the U.S. began to actively wage war, it was necessary to realign the mirrors and blow fresh smoke in once more in order to underscore who the real enemy was:
But as America embarked upon a massive escalation in early 1965 to rescue what had become a nearly hopeless military situation, the Johnson Administration--by unilateral declaration--redefined the war from a South Vietnamese guerilla insurgency to an invasion from the North.

This is what your fine State Department publication says. It directly refutes the previous line by saying that
Above all, the war in Viet-Nam is not a spontaneous and local rebellion against the established government. In Viet-Nam a Communist government has set out delibarately to conquer a sovereign people in a neighboring state. And to achieve its end, it has used every resource of its own government in order to carry out its planned program of concealed aggression.

So, now it was the North that invaded and placed those guerillas there. That doesn't explain the home-brewed rebellion that began to take on concetrated character in the late 1950s, but never mind that! We don't care about the truth. However, this doesn't survive basic analysis of where the guerillas came from at that point in time. Parenti does a good job of exposing the glaring contradiction:
Almost all of the NLF weapons captured were of American origin and the Vietcong prisoners were overwhelmingly South Vietnamese. In February 1966 [me: the State Department paper you cite is from 1965], [Secretary of State Dean] Rusk admitted that "80 percent of those who are called Vietcong are or have been Southerners." In 1967, former Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs Roger Hilsman testified: "Of the 300,000 total enemy force in the South now, 250,000 were recruited in the South." Nevertheless, it was now charged that the war began in 1958 because Hanoi had committed aggression against the South -- albeit with such finesse as to have escaped the attention of the State Department until some seven years later.

This doesn't explain the northern government's unwillingness to support the southern rebellion until 1960 -- in the name of peace!

But wait! There's more smoke and mirrors still! Even if we assume that the North Vietnamese magically invaded the south, implanting several hundred thousand guerillas down there and making them look "indigenous," we still have to explain why any of this is a threat to American security. After all, does the North invading the South mean that the South is "falling to Communism" like some kind of "domino"? Of course it does! After all, North Vietnam is just a pawn of the International Communist Conspiracy. Oh, wait, but now we decided the Soviet Union isn't behind any of this! Oh, but that's okay, because there's always China to shift the blame on -- it's closer, anyway:

The imagery of diabolic puppetry was conjured once more. In Korea we had declared the North Koreans and the Chinese to be Moscow's puppets. Years later when China became our number one demon, she was promoted from puppet to aggressor in Korea, and from bystander to grand puppeteer in Vietnam.

So, now the Chinese were behind it all. What evidence was there that Communist China was pulling the strings? None whatsoever! But that didn't stop Lyndon Johnson from switching the line in less than a year: "[The conflict] is spurred by Communist China. Its goal is to conquer the South, to defeat American power and extend the Asiatic dominion of Communism." Were there any Chinese troops in Vietnam? Why, no. But that didn't matter to Dean Rusk, who pointed out matter-of-a-factly that "the Chinese are willing to fight to the last Vietnamese." If so, why didn't they have troops there? Besides, throughout much of the mid-60s, China was torn by the great internal struggle/civil war known as the Cultural Revolution. Not being able to get a handle on its own country, it is doubtful that the Communist leadership of China had much time to busy itself with VIetnam. Furthermore, the Chinese leadership actually disagreed strongly with some tendencies on the part of the North Vietnamese toward concession (i.e. an invitation to peace talks, bombing halts). But North Vietnam didn't listen, and on many occasions did its own thing. Get it? North Vietnam and China disagreed on fundamental policy questions! North Vietnam also refused to tow the Chinese line on the revisionist coup in the Soviet Union, which, if you know anything about Marxism-Leninism, is quite a schism indeed.

As far as evidence of arms shipments from China or the Soviet Union, the details are similarly convoluted. Oh, to be sure, the Vietcong employed weapons of Soviet origin, but that didn't make the Soviet Union the Grand Puppeteer. Even the U.S. didn't think so, since the blame now lay at the feet of the Asiatic hoardes of Communist China. The NLF used lots of American weapons, as pointed out above. Does that make the U.S. the Grand Puppeteer controlling the NLF? Yeah right.

Fast Forward to 1952. The Geneva Convention gets France and the US to agree to let the Vietnamese people determine their own fate by a national election to determine their next government. To prepare for this stage, Vietnam is split into two pieces. North Vietnam which will be given to Ho Chi Minh, and South Vietnam which will remain under French/US control until the election. One slight problem... North Vietnamese = 12 million people, South Vietnamese = 11 million people. The North Vietnamese *ARE* supported by Russia and China. Truman, still anti-communist as ever, sees this as basically setting the US up for a loss and reneges on the national vote unless Ho Chi Minh's government doesn't run because he's a national hero and will easily sweep the 12 million North Vietnamese votes his way and win the election. France is completely out of the picture at this point.

Truman is basically out by this point. According to the 9-power Geneva Agreements, which took place in 1954, not 1952, free elections were to be called by 1956. Eisenhower repeatedly denied free elections.

As we have seen from the deconstruction of the Puppet Myth during the Vietnam War itself, it is ludicruous to suppose that if the Vietminh won the elections, Vietnam would "fall to the Communists" like a "domino" and set forth a chain-reaction that led to the enrichment of the International Communist Conspiracy. You saw from the brief rule of the Vietminh in 1945 that they were not Soviet puppets. You saw that Ho Chi Minh was interested in independence, and initially (that is, throughout the 1950s!) committed to neutrality in the Cold War. I'm not making this up -- he said so! But neutrality is not an acceptable option to the U.S. -- mandatory assimilation into the "free world" is required and non-negotiable. If you don't believe this, you have a lot of explaining to do about why the U.S. violently toppled dozens of democratic, popular Third World governments that had not the faintest inkling of "communist" tendencies.

(An example would be Jacobo Arbenz's Guatemalan administration during the late 1950s. Guatemala had no Soviet embassy, no diplomatic relations with the socialist bloc, no trade with the socialist bloc, and voted the U.S. line on all questions of "Soviet imperialism" in the UN. If there was a country on earth that was not influenced by the Soviet Union in any way, Guatemala was it. Ah, but Arbenz sought to expropriate the United Fruit Company, which owned about 75% of Guatemala's arable land, all of its infrastructure, and its only major port. He sought to make his country wriggle free from its status as a "banana republic" colony. That, you see, made him a "communist."

This is just one mere example out of dozens. I suggest you do some reading.)

Well, Ho Chi Minh flips the US the bird, and the US sets up its own puppet government with Ngo Dinh Diem in charge in South Vietnam, and cuts off all trade ties with North Vietnam.

Ho Chi Minh doesn't "flip the US the bird," he merely says that this substitution of one imperialist dictatorship for another is not satisfactory to him. (Incidentally, there was no joint French-American government that looked "roughly equivalent to the British Commonwealth of Hong Kong." I don't know where you're getting this nonsense from.)

North Vietnam responds by setting up communist insurregents in South Vietnam, the Viet Cong which use a combination of "support" and terrorist tactics to disrupt trade and the strength of the US Government, while adding people to their cause.

Ah, yes, that's Line #3 again: North Vietnam is the aggressor and the NLF is its puppet. Interesting, but if this were so, why didn't the U.S. stick to this line consistently from the end of the 50s toward the end of the Vietnam War? Prior to about 1964-1965, the official line was overwhelmingly that the NLF guerillas themselves are the insurgents. Only when the U.S. started the actual war did it have to re-organise its propaganda in order to include North Vietnam as "the aggressor," since that's convenient.

This cat and mouse game goes on for about 5 years, when it turns out that Diem has been wholesale slaughtering Buddhists.

Diem and other U.S. cronies did a shitload more than that.

However, in 1965, the Viet Cong attack and wipe out a US military outpost.

Oh, really? Well gee, even my high school history textbook, the definition of orthodoxy, doesn't try to tell me that the Vietcong attacked and "destroyed a military outpost." Sure, there was the Gulf of Tonkin incident, in which North Vietnamese gunboats supposedly fired on some American vessels doing manouevres there. In reality it was a provocation, not unlike the German propaganda scheme that launched the invasion of Poland. (The Germans set up some kind of disaster, though I forget which at the moment, to show that the Poles were the aggressors. Yeah right.) The Gulf of Tonkin incident is right up there with that and the burning of the Reichstag. The North Vietnamese didn't attack anything. That wouldn't have been real bright, now would it?

The US responds by bombing a military base in North Vietnam.

Actually, the U.S. "responds" with a massive bombing campaign across the whole of Vietnam.

Russia immediately offers military support which North Vietnam happily agrees to and begins moving in Russian forces.

What!? You've got to be kidding me. Russia never sent any forces to Vietnam! Ever! I don't know where you're getting this from.

It should also be noted that the US ALSO offered many times to pull support for Vietnam, providing that Russia and China would do the same, but Russia and China wouldn't acquiesce either.

Bullshit!

I think you've been thoroughly brainwashed, my good sir.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Spin. (Geez man, you're all over the place) (3.66 / 3) (#411)
by Skywise on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 09:10:53 PM EST

in 1941, the Japanese invaded Vietnam to set it up as a military foothold for attacking China. France, essentially, let them walk right in.

I don't think France let anyone walk in; France had rather pressing domestic concerns (i.e. being fully occupied by Nazi Germany) and a slight shortage of resources for maintaining its colonies, to make an understatement.
Yeeah... France essentially let them walk right in, because otherwise, Herr Hitler might raise their occupation fees... The statement is correct, especially from a Vietnamese standpoint. It demonstrated to the Vietnamese that France was beatable, and wouldn't defend Vietnam for their own interests. That led to the forming of the Viet Minh
Well, yes, the U.S. supported the Vietminh for a time so far as it was useful to its own ends. This is no more or less surprising than the U.S. supporting the Soviet Union in its offensive against the fascists. However, as can be exhaustively demonstrated through history, the U.S. had absolutely no interest in granting the Vietnamese any kind of self-determination. Ho Chi Minh finally came to that realisation while in Europe in the 1920s; he understood that Wilsonian "idealism" was another euphemism for colonial subjugation. He found an ideology of national liberation in Marxism-Leninism after becoming acquainted with Lenin's "Thesis on the National and Colonial Questions," but he adopted ML because he saw that only Marxist-Leninists were actually interested in liberation for the European colonies.
From MS Encarta:
When Japan surrendered in August 1945, Viet Minh units seized power in northern Vietnam and proclaimed the formation of an independent Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV), with Ho as president. At this time Ho formally adopted the pseudonym Ho Chi Minh, which means "he who enlightens." But Ho's hope that his new government would be recognized by the victorious Allied powers was soon dashed. In October, French troops returned to southern Vietnam and drove Viet Minh and other anticolonialist elements out of Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) and into the countryside. With some reluctance, the United States recognized the restoration of French sovereignty in Indochina, but urged the French government to grant more autonomy to local political forces inside the country. During the next year Ho Chi Minh engaged in delicate negotiations with French representatives to reach a compromise agreement and avoid war. When those talks failed, in December 1946 Viet Minh troops attacked French units stationed in the DRV and the First Indochina War broke out.
This is an incomplete story. While the Allies defeated Japan, the partisan war waged by the Vietminh inside Vietnam had great successes of its own. In the grand scheme of things, it was relatively insignificant where defeating Japan was concerned, but to say that the Vietminh piggy-backed entirely on the Allied defeat of the Japanese is not correct. They fought tenaciously. As for the U.S. being at anyone's side on the question of independence, this is for post-war theatrics only.
I didn't say the Viet Minh piggy-backed their victory on the allied defeat of Japan... As you so eloquently pointed out above, like France, Japan had its own problems (y'know nuclear fallout) and weren't really in the mood to put up a fight for Vietnam. To be clear, the allies never fought in Vietnam, it was Ho Chi Minh's forces that did all the work and passed back japanese military intel to the US who PUBLICALLY THANKED them for their work.
This is true, but it just underscores my point: Vietnam was at the mercy of colonialists. The political spasms (internal to the imperialists) that gave way to American support of the French aren't really material here. However, it is of significant importance that the U.S. didn't reluctantly and unwillingly submit to this French blackmail, as you maintain.

One of the factors that immediately led the U.S. to increase its aid to France, though, was the immediate French proclamation that they have returned to Indochina to fight for the "free world" and against communism, to which the U.S. immediately perked up as far as aid is concerned. This is, of course, an affirmation of your statement that "President Truman sided with France as part of overall foreign policy of stopping all Communism (which led to the start of the Cold War)." If you want, you're welcome to believe that the start of the Cold War had anything to do with "stopping communism," but all and any historical evidence is not on your side. However, I don't think it is wise, for the time being, to delve into why this is so, in terms of the events in Europe.

Also, as it became obvious that the Kuomintang was doomed, the U.S. quickly came to see the French war in Indochina as a direct extension of its own interests, even if we accept, for purposes of discussion, that it was initially skeptical of the need for it. The U.S. was vehemently opposed to the idea that the French should try to negotiate some kind of settlement that would leave the north in Vietminh hands and the south in French ones. Such offers for peace negotiations were repeatedly extended by the Vietminh throughout the French-Indochinese war, but the U.S. quickly stomped on them in the form of intense pressure on France.

One of the more immediate reasons for this was the Korean War, of course. The conflict in Vietnam was of some interest to the Chinese, no doubt, so the U.S. didn't want to see a stable situation in Vietnam that would allow China to concetrate exclusively on its Korean front. No matter how rational you think this is, it is patently clear that Vietnam was a cog being tossed around by the U.S. already at this point in time.

Anyway, the point is that this had less to do with stopping "communism" than stopping various independent movements, which either painted themselves as "communist" or lent themselves to being painted as such. However, you seem to want to paint the Vietminh as some kind of gangsters that filed in to fill the WWII power vacuum; that's not really true. And considering the brutal oppression of Vietnam by the imperialist powers, Ho Chi Minh's tendency toward diplomacy and cooperation with the West is almost humiliating. Ho had been appealing to Great Powers and such to intervene in Vietnam and mediate some kind of improvement arrangement since the end of World War I, in 1919! (That, of course, is before he understood that the Great Powers had no interest in improving conditions in Vietnam, let alone its independence. Quite the opposite.) He tried again in 1945, as I mentioned, and also repeatedly extended the offer of a peaceful settlement to the French in good faith. Your spin on the Vietminh as uncooperative, rabid nationalist-communists is entirely erroneous.
I never once said that Vietnam wasn't at the mercy of french colonialism. Remember YOUR ORIGINAL POINT was that the US was in Vietnam to do anything but fight communism. The US isn't IN Vietnam yet and we're talking about FRENCH colonialism here. The US *is* already fighting communism but its taking an ideological position against Russia, and Vietnam is not even on the US radar... Yet...

Now, LATER, when the US is in Vietnam, they are fighting several different groups. North Vietnam, which wants communism and is enjoying Soviet support, and the communist run Viet Cong (NLF), who are allied with North Vietnam. Now, with 20/20 hindsight we can look back at the various records and see that the communistic support stopped at giving weapons... But in the day, it's fairly strong intel that you may be fighting a unified force. (Heck, it's what the US would do. So why not them?)

But that's in the future... what's going on in that time looks like this...

From MS Encarta Yearbook (France and French Colonies 1947):
In Indo-China, France had recognized the Republic of Viet Nam as an autonomous state of the Indo-Chinese Federation within the framework of the French Union on March 6, 1946. In order to settle in a practical manner the relations between Viet Nam and France, the old leader of the Viet Nam, Ho Chi Minh, who, although he had been trained in Moscow, showed relative moderation in his attitude in regard to political problems, went to France in 1946, and conferred with French authorities at Fontainebleau. In his absence, however, extremist elements, generally with Communist connections, led by the young and energetic Vo Nguyen Giap, gained the upper hand within the Viet Nam government.

When the Fontainebleau Conference failed, Ho Chi Minh signed with the French a modus vivendi intended to prevent an open conflict and bloodshed, until an agreement could be reached between Viet Nam and France. But, when he returned to Indo-China, he found that his prestige had been severely damaged by his failure, and that the Viet Nam's Executive Committee, the Tong Bô, was now under the influence of those who were in favor of resorting to force to secure their claims.
...[stuff about displaced japanese military officials still in Vietnam]...
The Ramadier government sent to Indo-China military reinforcements, which soon occupied strongly the main strategic points. But the French troops did not succeed in bringing the fighting to an end, and in eliminating the resistance of the Viet Nam's armed forces. In France, the Communists, both inside and outside the National Assembly, objected strongly to the measures taken in Indo-China by the cabinet.

A deadlock was reached in the summer. Many of the inhabitants of Viet Nam, particularly the wealthy, became increasingly alarmed by the more and more apparent link of the Viet Nam with Moscow. Everywhere, the farmers were longing for quiet and peace. Only a comparatively small group stuck to their uncompromising claims, but reducing that small group by force of arms would undoubtedly entail long, arduous and costly efforts on the part of the French. As the rainy season set in, the war operations dwindled to isolated murders and sporadic coups de main.

On September 10 the French High Commissioner, Bollaert, who had gone back to France to confer with the Ramadier government during the summer, made in Haidong a speech in which he offered, on behalf of France, to the Viet Nam absolute administrative autonomy within the French Union. The army and the diplomacy alone would be controlled by the French.

Shortly afterwards, a group of notables appealed to the former Emperor of Annam, Bao Dai, asking him to serve as an intermediary between the Viet Nam and France. Bao Dai accepted this request formally. The hostilities practically came to a standstill, and even though no complete understanding was reached, it is certain that complicated negotiations were secretly pursued between the interested parties until the end of the year.
France was obviously hoping to tap into the Vietnamese as a way of restoring their former (pre WW2) wealth and strength and were not anxious to give away the land. Definitely a colonialism action. But, again, the US is not involved at this stage.

However, note from the article that even the Vietnamese themselves were alarmed about Ho Chi Minh's links to Moscow.
That the US "stomped" on French efforts at peace is questionable itself. Eisenhower forced a peace with the Chinese by telling them to concede to a treaty or get nuked. China conceeded and Korea was restored to its original north/south division. Which means now France was in the same predicament if they had settled with the Vietnamese. Namely that the troops would've been reallocated to Vietnam. Didn't happen.

Now, you can also rationalize away that these were just poor freedom fighters tyranized by the evil US empire. But the world was scared enough that it allow Eisenhower to form the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization right after the French were ordered to withdrawal from Vietnam, whose primary motivation was to prevent the spread of communism.

Michael Parenti is *not* an historian. He's a political ANALYST. He's got a PhD in Poli-Sci, not HISTORY.

Otherwise, I'm not sure what you're arguing? That 3 diametrically and POLITLCALLY opposite White House Administrations couldn't agree on what the US was doing in Vietnam? (Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson) Ok. You got it. Neither the Clinton Administration, nor the Bush Jr. Administration ALONE could pull off that trick with their respective wars. It doesn't prove your point. All of the statements still say that the issue was to stop communism in whatever form. You, yourself, point out that the Viet Minh were using soviet made weapons. What's the US supposed to think? They're not REALLY allied with Russia?
Truman is basically out by this point. According to the 9-power Geneva Agreements, which took place in 1954, not 1952, free elections were to be called by 1956. Eisenhower repeatedly denied free elections.
My bad... I misread the year from my notes. (Although I'll attempt to save face by saying that I still think the US was running by the Truman Doctrine playbook still...)

Regarding Ho Chi Minh's neutrality, it wasn't wildly believed. The guy said it all the time, but like Bush Jr. talking about going into Iraq for WMD, nobody believed it.

(Oh, and regarding Jacobo, I suggest YOU need to do some reading of non-progressive political commentators.)

MS Encarta--
In 1951 Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán, who had helped lead the 1944 revolt, succeeded Arévalo as president and turned the revolution more sharply to the left. Arbenz's most revolutionary act was the land reform law of June 1952, which attempted to take unused agricultural land from large property owners and give it to landless rural workers. The law was carefully written to avoid angering the powerful coffee planters, but it was aimed directly at the United Fruit Company's huge banana plantations. In 1953 the program approved the taking of 91,000 hectares (225,000 acres) of United Fruit lands, offering compensation that the company considered inadequate. More than 162,000 hectares (400,000 acres) of government-owned land was also distributed to rural residents. Meanwhile, Arbenz allowed the Communist Party to organize and included leftist labor leaders among his advisers.

United Fruit's propaganda campaign against the Guatemalan revolution influenced the U.S. government, which was fighting Communist forces in Korea and trying to contain Communist influence in eastern Europe and Asia. When arms from eastern Europe began to arrive in Guatemala in May 1954, the United States launched a plan to overthrow Arbenz, with the help of the governments of Nicaragua and Honduras. A group of Guatemalan exiles, commanded by Colonel Carlos Castillo Armas, were armed and trained by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and U.S. Marine Corps officers. The group invaded Guatemala on June 18, supported by the CIA, which used radio broadcasts and leaflets dropped on the capital to create an illusion of a much stronger invasion force. The Guatemalan army refused to resist the invaders, and Arbenz was forced to resign on June 27. A military government replaced him and disbanded the legislature. The new government arrested prominent Communist leaders, and released some 600 political prisoners arrested under Arbenz. Castillo Armas became president.
I'll admit that's not a kosher thing to do, and it shows how easily the US can be manipulated... But it's hardly the US going after a democratic state.
Ho Chi Minh doesn't "flip the US the bird," he merely says that this substitution of one imperialist dictatorship for another is not satisfactory to him. (Incidentally, there was no joint French-American government that looked "roughly equivalent to the British Commonwealth of Hong Kong." I don't know where you're getting this nonsense from.)
No. Ho Chi Minh refuses to step down because he cares more about reuniting his people under his ideology than the US does. He, justifiably, "flips them the bird". There's nothing about substituting one dictatorship for another... except Ho Chi Minh's, or your own mind. And yes there was a desire on the US for France to establish a british commonwealth style government back in 1946, which is the paragraph in which I made that comment.
Ah, yes, that's Line #3 again: North Vietnam is the aggressor and the NLF is its puppet. Interesting, but if this were so, why didn't the U.S. stick to this line consistently from the end of the 50s toward the end of the Vietnam War? Prior to about 1964-1965, the official line was overwhelmingly that the NLF guerillas themselves are the insurgents. Only when the U.S. started the actual war did it have to re-organise its propaganda in order to include North Vietnam as "the aggressor," since that's convenient.
Well, that's simple enough. In the beginning, the viet-cong were loosely affiliated South Vietnamese insurgents. In the 10 years since the original puppet government was put in place, they got affiliated with the North Vietnamese (that's documented) who supported them.

Which is *WHY* (follow me here) the US attacked the North Vietnamese when the Viet Cong attacked them, because it was seen as a proxy assault.
What!? You've got to be kidding me. Russia never sent any forces to Vietnam! Ever! I don't know where you're getting this from.
misquote on my part.. I meant to say "Russian Military Support", but my brain synonimized it out as "Forces"

MS Encarta yearbook: 1965 - Vietnam
On the night of February 7, a Vietcong squad staged a daring attack on a U.S. air base near Pleiku in South Vietnam's central highlands, killing 8 American servicemen and wounding over 100. In retaliation, President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered 49 American aircraft to bomb barracks and staging areas in North Vietnam which, a White House statement charged, were used for "supplying men and arms for attacks in South Vietnam." On February 11 the guerrillas killed another 23 Americans in a raid on a U.S. Army barracks in the port city of Quinhon. Once again the United States retaliated against the North--this time with a 160-plane raid. These Vietcong attacks and the U.S. ripostes unmistakably signaled an escalation of the war. And although President Johnson solemnly declared that the United States sought "no wider war," it soon became clear that the whole military complexion of the conflict had changed.

The gravity of the situation was underscored by two significant factors. First, during the initial U.S. air attack on North Vietnam, Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin was visiting Hanoi. Promising that Moscow would help strengthen the defense potential of North Vietnam, Kosygin offered to send Soviet antiaircraft guns, MIG jet fighters, surface-to-air missiles, and, presumably, Soviet rocket crews to man them. This raised the chilling specter of a direct confrontation between U.S. pilots and Soviet ground forces. The second factor weighing in the strategic balance was the danger that the Vietcong, having effectively established control over a majority of South Vietnam's villages, would make a serious bid to cut the country in half at about the 14th parallel by a major offensive during the monsoon season. To U.S. military strategists, then, the possibility of increased Soviet--and, perhaps, Communist Chinese--intervention was seen as a risk that had to be faced in order to stave off imminent defeat.

Regarding the US wanting peace:

MS Encarta 1964 Vietnam yearbook-
The Evolving U.S. Role.

Throughout 1964 the United States tried to make clear to the Communists that it was willing to wage war as well as to negotiate for peace in South Vietnam. President Lyndon B. Johnson said on February 1 that the United States would consider sympathetically the neutralization of both North and South Vietnam but not South Vietnam alone, as proposed by General Charles de Gaulle. This position was modified by Secretary of State Dean Rusk, who said on March 6 that the United States would consider the neutralization of South Vietnam alone provided that the Vietcong halted its military action and North Vietnam and China ceased their intervention and permitted South Vietnam to live in peace. On the other hand, Secretary of Defense McNamara let it be known on March 26 that the president was studying several courses of action, including the initiation of military actions against North Vietnam. On June 8 it was disclosed that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had actually urged military action against North Vietnam.

So, in summary:

This whole discussion started from the claim that the US wasn't in Vietnam to stop communism, and was there for purely commercial reasons. Well, every evidence you or I have cited have NOT supported those claims, but in fact have supported the commonly known history. That the US went to Vietnam under a political ideology of quashing communism in any form, and got themselves into a quagmire.

And just to put your fears to rest, once the US left Vietnam, the North Vietnamese communists went to war with the South and took it over.

Do I support the US actions in Vietnam? No. But that's with years of hindsight behind us. Too much woulda-coulda-shoulda, if Vietnam was comfortably a Communistic country, who's to say that it wouldn't have been a staging ground to go after Hong Kong early, and then Japan next? If the US had been completely successful in Vietnam, would there have been the guilt and reflection of the American public to see our own hubris?

What I find most striking after researching for this discussion is that the US' creation of puppet regime's is not a recent construction. The similarities of Ho Chi Minh to Hussein or even Bin Laden are striking. (You'd think we'd have learned after Vietnam). Even more fascinating is that all countries of power and growth seem to use these techniques, making them something that is, I think inarguably, a typical power growth tool used by all nations for centuries.

No, that doesn't make it right. But I'm not sure how you grow and evolve beyond your resources otherwise... Or when somebody else is trying to grow and evolve into YOUR resources...

Sources: MS Encarta (yearbook entries are originally from Collier's Year Book and were published shortly after events occurred, and reflect the information available at that time.)

[ Parent ]
Wrong still. (5.00 / 1) (#432)
by valeko on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 01:00:11 AM EST

I'll concede that the 1946 negotiations with the French may have taken place as you describe, although I came upon several different conflicting accounts of how the fighting actually broke out. It is possible, yes, that while Ho Chi Minh was away negotiating in France, the more "extremist" (by that we mean pro-independence) elements of the Vietminh gained the upper hand and decided to do things their way. But, it's difficult to not see the big picture here; these "extremists" saw the possibility of independence and unification again being compromised by wankery with the colonialists, so they decided to seize the initiative. Gee, how brutal and unjustified they are!

However, note from the article that even the Vietnamese themselves were alarmed about Ho Chi Minh's links to Moscow.

You have an interesting definition of "the Vietnamese." What you mean here, of course, is the bourgeoisie; the class that was allied with the French colonialists. That would include the hated absentee landlords and usurers, as well as many other symbols of capitalist ruthlessness. The article you quote makes allusions to that here: "Many of the inhabitants of Viet Nam, particularly the wealthy, became increasingly alarmed by the more and more apparent link of the Viet Nam with Moscow." However, as is typical of euphemistic, reactionary accounts of such situations, it doesn't go nearly far enough to demarcate the actual class interests involved.

Now, you can also rationalize away that these were just poor freedom fighters tyranized by the evil US empire.

Are you telling me you have an alternate explanation? How about we go investigate the Jewish Conspiracy that invented the Holocaust next?

Michael Parenti is *not* an historian. He's a political ANALYST. He's got a PhD in Poli-Sci, not HISTORY.

Michael Parenti is most certainly a historian, for our intents and purposes. Howard Zinn was a political science professor too, you know. Are you going to tell me, then, that he's no historian either? It doesn't matter what the guy's a got Ph.D. in; if he can make plausible, academic accounts of history, he's a historian.

That 3 diametrically and POLITLCALLY opposite White House Administrations couldn't agree on what the US was doing in Vietnam? (Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson) Ok. You got it.

Oh no, the Big Lie technique can't be rationalised away as merely a difference in how different 'White House administrations' spun it. You are sadly mistaken.

(Oh, and regarding Jacobo, I suggest YOU need to do some reading of non-progressive political commentators.)

Interesting. What should I read then? Reactionary political commentators? Shall I go ask the research staff at the National Review? The whole point of 'progressive' scholarship on this issue is to expose the glaring lies that make up the mythology of the Cold War - a mythology that continues to feed American national chauvinism to this day.

But I shouldn't let that cloud my judgement. In fact, you should read some more Pravda commentary about the Czech and Hungarian invasions -- quit polluting your mind with that nasty samizdat propaganda!

United Fruit's propaganda campaign against the Guatemalan revolution influenced the U.S. government, which was fighting Communist forces in Korea and trying to contain Communist influence in eastern Europe and Asia. When arms from eastern Europe began to arrive in Guatemala in May 1954, the United States launched a plan to overthrow Arbenz, with the help of the governments of Nicaragua and Honduras.

Hah! I'm afraid you (or the good writers at Encarta) have been trolled by one of the most ingenious American propaganda lies in the history of the entire Cold War.

I don't think I can summarise it better than William Blum did:

With the exception of one occasion, the countries of Eastern Europe had as little to do with Guatemala as did the Soviet Union. A month before the coup, that is, long after Washington had begun preparation for it, Czechoslovakia made a single arms sale to Guatemala for cash, something the Czechs would no doubt have done for any other country willing to pay the price. The weapons, it turned out, were, in the words of the New York Times, "worthless military junk". Time magazine pooh-poohed the newspaper's report and cited US military men giving a better apprisal of the weapons. [...]

The American propaganda mill made much of this arms transaction. Less publicized was the fact that Guatemala had to seek arms from Czechoslovakia because the United States had refused to sell it any since 1948 due to its reformist governments, and had pressured other countries to do the same despite Arbenz's repeated pleas to lift the embargo.


And so on. It is noteworthy to re-iterate also that Arbenz was no Communist. Out of his ruling coalition of 51 seats in the national legislator, the Guatemalan Labor Party (that is, "the Communists") had a whopping 4. And a State Department report actually said that Arbenz was backed "not only from Communist-led labor and the radical fringe of professional and intellectual groups, but also among many anti-Communist nationalists in urban areas."

Of course, it is worth mentioning that the CIA went to great lengths to turn their dream of Soviet arms going to Guatemala into reality. On one particular occasion in neighbouring Nicaragua:

The same month, [Anastasio] Somoza called in the diplomatic corps in Nicaragua and told them, his voice shaking with anger, that his police had discovered a secret Soviet shipment of arms (which had been planted by the CIA) near the Pacific Coast, and suggested that the communists wanted to convert Nicaragua into "a new Korean situation". A few weeks later, an unmarked plane parachuted arms with Soviet markings onto Guatemala's coasts.

I won't go into the atrocities that characterised the coup and the subsequent Armas dictatorship, but let it be made loud and clear that the it did a hell of a lot more bad things than what your Encarta text says. The details are ample.

Well, that's simple enough. In the beginning, the viet-cong were loosely affiliated South Vietnamese insurgents. In the 10 years since the original puppet government was put in place, they got affiliated with the North Vietnamese (that's documented) who supported them.

Fair enough, but this an entirely moot point. The convergence of the North Vietnamese with the NLF guerillas was the result of a national desire by the Vietnamese people for independence from imperialist domination. It is not an issue of "North Vietnam" spreading its "communist" influence about, but rather an issue of the Vietnamese people (and yes, I mean Vietnamese people, not the Vietnamese American proxies or wealthy) uniting, for life and death, under the banner of communism for national liberation. That is what the U.S. government was fighting, not whatever "communism" may have been involved.

If you think the U.S. ever sought a peaceful solution to the conflict, you're sadly mistaken. You should look into the activities of infamous Secretary of State and National Security Advisor (not in that order) Henry Kissinger before you take faith in that.

What I find most striking after researching for this discussion is that the US' creation of puppet regime's is not a recent construction. The similarities of Ho Chi Minh to Hussein or even Bin Laden are striking. (You'd think we'd have learned after Vietnam).

That's hardly the most striking of all. You need to research the dozens upon dozens of other puppet regimes that the U.S. established throughout the Third World, far beyond Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, or Saudi Arabia. Some good case studies I recommend are Freece, the Philippines, Iran, Indonesia, the Congo/Zaire, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Chile, Bolivia, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. And those are the few I can remember offhand.

No, that doesn't make it right. But I'm not sure how you grow and evolve beyond your resources otherwise... Or when somebody else is trying to grow and evolve into YOUR resources...

Hmm? What on earth are you on about here?

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Important correction. (4.00 / 1) (#433)
by valeko on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 01:05:58 AM EST

Of course, I hasten to point out, in response to this paragraph,
What I find most striking after researching for this discussion is that the US' creation of puppet regime's is not a recent construction. The similarities of Ho Chi Minh to Hussein or even Bin Laden are striking. (You'd think we'd have learned after Vietnam).

that Ho Chi Minh was not a U.S. puppet. Far from it. While the Vietminh may have received some U.S. aid during World War II, the U.S. did not give birth to it.

Now, Ngo Dinn Diem ... that was a U.S. puppet.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

What's the 0 for, Caton? [n/t] (none / 0) (#495)
by valeko on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 09:06:14 PM EST


"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Fatal Mistake (none / 0) (#517)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Dec 30, 2002 at 01:28:54 AM EST

He found an ideology of national liberation in Marxism-Leninism after becoming acquainted with Lenin's "Thesis on the National and Colonial Questions," but he adopted ML because he saw that only Marxist-Leninists were actually interested in liberation for the European colonies.

Ho's fatal mistake (and your's as well it seems) was in failing to recognize that Marxism, and its bastard children Leninism, Stalinism, Maoism, et. al., were as imperialistic in nature as classic liberalism. The Marxist rhetoric of liberation is no less duplicitous than is liberalism's.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
It was a radio station (5.00 / 2) (#591)
by CENGEL3 on Tue Dec 31, 2002 at 04:24:10 PM EST

The incident of Nazi propaganda that was staged as a justification for the attack on Poland was an attack on a german radio station.

The Germans took about a dozen (german)convicts, dressed them up in stolen polish uniforms, shot them and planted the bodies around a German radio station that was situated about 2 miles away from the Polish border. That night they staged a fake polish attack on the radio station which featured at one point a "Polish" voice broadcasting inflamitory remarks in polish from the "captured" german radio station. The next morning after German forces had "driven off the Polish insurgents", they dutifully shiped the press corps out to the site to take pictures of the bodies of the "poles killed in the attack".

While my SouthEast Asian history is piss poor even I know that the Gulf of Tonkin incident doesn't compare with that. On the night of 8/2/64
the U.S. destroyer, Maddox, WAS attacked by North Vietnamese PT boats. That fact is not disputed by the official North Vietnamese records.

What is in dispute is whether a 2nd attack on the Maddox occured on the night of 8/4/64 and what the Maddox was actualy doing in those waters.

The official U.S. Navy version was (and is to this day) that the Maddox was on a DeSoto patrol.
This has also been maintained privately by the captain and crew of the Maddox.

The official North Vietnamese version was that Maddox was conducting intel gathering operations in support of South Vietnamese special forces 34 Alpha raids.

My personal opinion was that while the North Vietnamese may well have had good reason to believe the Maddox was conducting intel in support of 34 Alpha that wasn't factualy the case and the Maddox was actualy doing regular DeSoto operations. All the first hand documents made available seem to support that. Now you could argue that these documents were fabricated to support the official version. However if they were doctored you would think that they wouldn't contradict McNamara's official version that Maddox had no knowledge of 34 Alpha.... however they do. In fact, documents from Maddox indicate that not only was her captain keenly aware of 34 Alpha operations in the vicinity but that he was concerned that such activities were placing his ship at risk.

In any event, the attack of 8/2 is not in question. It happaned, both sides agree on that.

What is in question was what motivated the attack and whether a 2nd attack occured on 8/4 or not.
The "official" U.S. version was that an attack had occured. First hand accounts indicate that Maddox and USS C. Turner Joy believed they may have been under attack....

"the ships reported more than 20 torpedo attacks, the visual sighting of torpedo wakes, searchlight illumination, automatic-weapons fire, and radar and sonar contact."

However the Captain of the Maddox indicated that he couldn't be certain that these were authentic attacks and that many of the reports may have been due to "darkness, stormy seas and nervous, inexperienced crewmen".

Earlier versions of North Vietnamese history text take credit for the 8/4 attack although the most recent ones deny it... so I'm not really sure to make of that.

If you want to read more about the Gulf of Tonkin incident, I would suggest:

http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/54/106.html

which is where I got most of my information from and seems overall quite balanced.

The U.S. Administration did spin the Gulf of Tonkin incident to further it's political agenda. The incident may have even been provoked (whether deliberately or not) but there is absolutely no question that the incident DID occur. To compare it with the staged "Polish" attack on the German radio station is thorougly disingeous and only serves to point out your bias.

I'll admit my knowledge of the Vietnam conflict is quite poor, however I find Skywise's account far more credible. Yours smacks of political bias and spin engineered to support an agenda.

[ Parent ]

Of course I'm biased. (4.00 / 2) (#593)
by valeko on Tue Dec 31, 2002 at 05:10:24 PM EST

I'll admit my knowledge of the Vietnam conflict is quite poor, however I find Skywise's account far more credible. Yours smacks of political bias and spin engineered to support an agenda.

Of course I'm biased, in that I'm inclined to underline and otherwise specially emphasise details that are instrumental to the issue. I am biased in favour of the people - of independence for the people of Vietnam. To be sure, there's other ways to spin it and totally turn the tables and even argue that imperialism is "beneficial" for them; that's what conservative think-tanks are for.

But if you're going to call me biased, please realise that Skywise's view no less reflects a political agenda. The difference is that it is the "official" political agenda; the political agenda of the ruling class.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Question - OT (none / 0) (#634)
by CENGEL3 on Thu Jan 02, 2003 at 10:50:57 AM EST

Valeko,

         I have to ask you a serious question... and please don't take this the wrong way.

         From the posts that you've made that I read... not just in this topic but in others.... you seem to hate the U.S., the U.S. system and the people of the U.S., but from what I've heard you are a naturalized citizen which means you chose to come here.

         Why if you hate the U.S. and it's system so much did you choose to move here? Seriously, I'm not trying to be facetious, nor am I trying to pull some "Love it or Leave it" crap. However I can't imagine why anyone would choose to move to a country who's government and political system they aborhed. That's different then being born into that system... I can see that, but immigration implies a concious choice.

        I also don't see why you would expect the U.S. people to be receptive to your position. Believe it or not but the U.S. government does, by and large, represent the will of it's citizens.
Every single U.S. citizen over the age of 18 has the right to vote..... that includes people from all social classes and income levels. Heck, even most people in prison still have the right to vote (despite the fact that some states do have laws which disenfranchise people convicted of certain felonies). Nor are we really restircted in who we can vote for either.... even Communist and Socialist party candidates are on the ballot in most states.... I've certainly seen them on ballots before.... and getting on the ballot doesn't really require anything more then getting a pettition signed by a certain number of registered voters. Nor is there anything stopping anyone from voting for whoever they want on that ballot. Advertising might try to CONVINCE people  to vote for certain candidates but it can't FORCE anyone to put a check mark next to republican if they really want to put a check mark next to Socialist. Nor is it impossible to educate yourself about the other people on the ballot if you really want to.

So I guess I'm really having trouble understanding where you are coming from? You move to a country who's system you hate... who's people support views diametricaly opposed to yours. I'm not trying to dispute your right to be here... nor your right to hold opposite views and express them... but it really confounds me as to why you would choose to be in the first place (given what your views seem to be) or what you would hope to accomplish.

I mean do you really expect people to smack themselves on the forehead and say "Wow, all these years I've been voting Republican and I could have had a Valeko instead!" ?

       

[ Parent ]

Wrong assumption. (none / 0) (#642)
by valeko on Thu Jan 02, 2003 at 04:24:07 PM EST

From the posts that you've made that I read... not just in this topic but in others.... you seem to hate the U.S., the U.S. system and the people of the U.S.

If you're going to say something so stupid, baseless, and insulting as that, I see no need to reply to you, for that would imply acceptance of those premises. Granted, it's up to you interpret my posts (and inflate and conjecture the hell out of them), but I don't "hate the U.S.," etc.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Let's not forget the illustrious CIA, of course. (3.66 / 3) (#387)
by valeko on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 04:52:56 PM EST

Of course, it was true that there were movement patterns from the North to the South, and other strange incidents, that were used by American reality manufacturers to explain that the Vietcong had "invaded" South Vietnam, etc. We can't forget the role of the CIA.

Ever heard of a guy named Edward Landsdale? He headed the paramilitary team that the U.S. assembled inside Vietnam right after cease-fire agreement (though, we should note, the U.S. was alone in refusing to actually sign the Final Declaration). A nice, friendly CIA cadre. According to William Blum, who has researched this and quite a few other CIA destabilisation operations, American intelligence proxies in Vietnam performed operations such as the following:

  • "Encouraged the migration of Vietnamese from the North to the South through "an extremely intensive, well-coordinated, and, in terms of its objective, very successful ... psychological warfare operation. Propaganda slogans and leaflets appealed to the devout Catholics [in the North] with such themes as 'Christ has gone to the South' and 'the Virgin Mary has departed from the north."'" (Blum isn't making this up -- it's described in the infamous Pentagon Papers.)
  • "Distributed other bogus leaflets, supposedly put out by the Vietminh, to instill trepidation in the minds of people in the North about how life would be under Communist rule. The following day, refugee registration to move South tripled. (The exodus of Vietnamese to the South during the "regrouping" period that followed the Geneva Accords was often cited by American officials in the 1960s, as well as earlier, as proof of the fact that the people did not want to live under Communism -- "They voted with their feet" was the catchphrase.) Still other "Vietminh" leaflets were aimed at discouraging people in the South from returning to the North."
  • "Infiltrated paramilitary forces into the North under the guise of individuals choosing to live there."
  • "Contamined the oil supply of the bus company in Hanoi so as to lead to a gradual wreckage of the bus engines."
  • "Instigated a rumor campaign to stir up hatred of the Chinese, with the usual stories of rapes."
  • "Published and circulated anti-Communist articles and 'news' reports in newspapers and leaflets." (They did this in the West too, routinely inventing Chinese "arms shipments" to the North. This has been exhaustively documented.)
  • "Attempted, unsuccessfully, to destroy the largest printing establishment in the North because it intended to remain in Hanoi and do business with the Vietminh."
  • "Laid some of the foundation for the future American war in Vietnam by: sending selected Vietnamese to US Pacific bases for guerilla training; training the armed forces of the South who had fought with the French; creating various military support facilities in the Philippines; smuggling into Vienam large quantities of armsa nd military equipment to be stored in hidden locations; developing plans for the 'pacification of Vietminh and dissident areas.'"

Unsurprisingly, the U.S. also instigated a massive economic boycott of North Vietnam, and went so far as to threaten sanctions against French firms that were engaged in business there. This economic terrorism also meant cutting off trade ties to South Vietnam, as you correctly pointed out. You seem to have a knack for overlooking the essence of the matter; the U.S. is causing all this. There's no internal stimulus within North Vietnam to go conquer the world.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Doesn't suprise me... (3.00 / 1) (#414)
by Skywise on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 09:37:39 PM EST

I'm not saying the US is the United Federation of Planets here and doesn't use cloaking devices because its not up front and honest.  The US DOES play dirty, and it plays to win, just like I would expect any country to.  If North Vietnam was supporting the NLF, that meant the borders were not strong, and the US could easily have been doing similar things on the North's side.

Although I'm suprised that the only "lethal" incident was attempting to blow up a printing company.  Surely you don't mean to imply that the US was "noble" enough to not institute attacks on the public at large? ;>

The catholic part is interesting and ties in with what I've been reading this afternoon...  There appears to have been a whole undercurrent in Vietnam of a religious war between the buddhists and the catholics, with the catholics trying to garner power in the south, and the Buddhists accusing them of promoting the war.  Which is what led Diem to kill many of them. (Though none of my info says if Diem was Catholic or not)  Offhand, I can't help but wonder if that isn't tied in in some weird way with Kennedy being the first Catholic president? (probably not)

[ Parent ]

South Vietnam (3.00 / 3) (#341)
by Jizzbug on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 05:37:22 AM EST

(Although you'll have to get past that the North Vietnamese WERE communist and WERE attacking the South Vietnamese.)

While valeko easily gets past those two points, you'll have to get past why an overwhelming majority of the Viet Nam conflict took place in South Viet Nam.  If North Viet Nam was the enemy and we were trying to liberate South Vietnamese, why did all the massacres and bombings take place in South Viet Nam against South Vietnamese?

The "other motives" you ask about have something to do with neoliberal capitalist America's obsession with not allowing competing models of development to be successful.  Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, and Michael Parenti (to name only a few) have written quite a lot about this "successful alternative economic models to American capitalism" theory.  It basically goes something like this: it's an economic/mathematical fact that the prosperity we experience (as it exists today) is due mostly to our global hegemony.  Via the World Bank, the IMF, the WTO, GATT/NAFTA/FTAA, etc., we promote (and impose) our neoliberal developmental model.  If a country comes along and tries to be independent, tries to develop itself from within, tries to fix itself on its own terms, if that country is success in its endeavors, that country will prove to be a model for its neighbors.  And then you'll have a domino effect that will destroy America's hegemony, which we depend upon.  Therefore, alternatives to the neoliberal model can not be allowed to flourish.

This is the case of Afghanistan.  Seriously, read your history.  Before Afghanistan vs. the Soviets, Afghanistan's optimistic, Western-educated, social democratic King attempted to independently reform Afghanistan, using a social democratic model.  And it was working for Afghanistan, the country was stabilizing and things were improving greatly, people (esp. women) were gaining freedoms left and right, the standard of living was skyrocketing, etc.  It was about this time that the CIA started funding the Taliban.  We couldn't have Afghanistan providing a successful model of independent development for the rest of the Middle East, or the dreaded domino effect would occur and that would destabilize our vested interests there.  With the American-funded fundamentalist Muslims running amok in Afghanistan, the King asked for help from the Soviets.  Enter the Soviets.  We provide the fundies with all sorts of weaponry and strategy and funds, and we give the Soviets their Viet Nam.  The King's reforms crumble, and the fundies take power and make a waste land out of Afghanistan.  It's also interesting to note that Papa Bush was head o' the CIA at the beginnings of all this.  About the time the Soviets got involved is about the time Papa Bush left the CIA, but only to become Vice President, of course.

But, please: DON'T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT.  Make the effort to educate yourself.  Read the history.  Find out for yourself whether I'm full of shit or not.

I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. I say unto you: you still have chaos in yourselves.
 -- Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

[ Parent ]

Except for the fact (none / 0) (#588)
by CENGEL3 on Tue Dec 31, 2002 at 01:44:51 PM EST

That the Taliban movement didn't exist as any sort of a power until well AFTER the Soviet pull out of Afghanistan.

The U.S. didn't start funding Muhajadin until AFTER the Soviets rolled in (and even then we did a piss poor excuse of a job of it).

Next time you go spouting revisionist historian drivel you might want to actualy throw a couple FACTS in there.

[ Parent ]

Exceptional facts. (5.00 / 2) (#600)
by Jizzbug on Tue Dec 31, 2002 at 09:50:06 PM EST

Thanks for the reply. I had written my post that you had replied to without consulting any literature; I was relying solely upon my memory. And now, upon consulting literature, I realize I'd introduced a few inaccuracies. Hopefully I can redeem myself.
That the Taliban movement didn't exist as any sort of a power until well AFTER the Soviet pull out of Afghanistan.
Okay, you've got me there. I did say, "The CIA started funding the Taliban." I should have said "mujahideen" or "Muslim fundamentalists". The "Taliban" wasn't an issue 'til 1994 or so; however, I could have said, "The CIA started funding what would become the Taliban", and I would have been correct.

While I may have over-simplified my lil' history of Afghanistan (and gotten a thing or two mixed-up/wrong while I was at it *smile*), the overall sentiment is still in line with the actual, more complex history.

The U.S. didn't start funding Muhajadin until AFTER the Soviets rolled in (and even then we did a piss poor excuse of a job of it).
To reply to your "piss poor job" assertion, I'll clinch my teeth and quote Congressman Joe Pitts:
"In December of 1979, Soviet troops began entering Afghanistan... One of the bloodiest and most destructive wars of the 20th century had begun. The United States, intent on containing communist aggression, supported the opposition forces. Both sides spent billions of dollars on arms and equipment. Two million Afghans died. Six million fled the country."
I would suggest that "billions of dollars" is nowhere near "a piss poor excuse of a job".

And to reply to your assertion and the U.S. Federal Government's official history that we started funding the mujahideen only after Soviet aggression, I'll point you towards this rather telling interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski. Brzezinski will only admit to starting the funding a year or so before the Soviets entered Afghanistan, but there's evidence that CIA involvement started many years earlier (through Pakistan's ISI).

Instead of attempting to recount another history, and possibly botching a point or two again, I'll quote an authoritative source:

For Freedom, Mujahideen Style

Some have pointed to Afghanistan as an example of a good intervention, the rescuing of an embattled people from Soviet aggression. In fact, the destabilizer in Afghanistan was not Moscow but the U.S. national security state. Years before Soviet troops entered the country, the Carter administration was providing assistance to Afghan tribes rebelling against the Kabul government. Kabul had a nonaggression pact with Moscow and received Soviet military and economic aid. In the late 1970s, the Afghan military embarked upon a social revolution that included programs in land reform, literacy, housing, and public health.

The priviledged landowners and mujahideen tribesmen--based mostly in Iran and Pakistan--accelerated their rebellion, assisted by billions of dollars in aid from the United States and Saudi Arabia. For the feudal landowners, the insufferable feature of the revolutionary government was its land reform program on behalf of tenant farmers. For the tribesmen, it was the government's dedication to gender equality and the education of women and children, and the campaign to abolish opium cultivation. The Soviets entered the war after repeated requests from the besieged Kabul government. By 1988, Moscow sought to withdraw its troops and called for a nonsocialist, multiparty, coalition government that included a major role for the rebels.

The United States intervened in Afghanistan on the side of the ousted feudal lords, reactionary tribal chieftains, and opium traffickers. If this was a worthy cause, what could be an unworthy one? One of the most vicious of the mujahideen leaders was Gulbaddin Hekmatyar, who invaded Afghanistan in 1975 with a force largely created by the Pakistani military and the CIA. A major recipient of U.S. military assistance, he was Afghanistan's prime heroin trafficker. By the mid-1980s, the Afghan mujahideen were providing about half the heroin consumed in the United Sates and were the world's biggest exporters of opium.

Independent investigators like Steven Galster and John Fullerton, in their respective books on the Afghan war, report that the mujahideen indulged in widespread torture and execution of prisoners, killing of civilians, looting, and raping. These atrocities went unnoticed by the U.S. press.

The Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan in 1988. The Kabul government lasted until 1992, when it was forced from power by the rebels. The triumphant mujahideen immediately began waging a war on each other, laying waste to cities, terrorizing civilian populations, and staging mass executions. Hundreds of fundamentalists from other countries like Algeria were trained by the CIA and fought in Afghanistan. After the war, they returned home to carry on organized terrorist attacks against women's-rights activists and other "westernizers" in their own countries.

U.S. intervention in Afghanistan proved not much different from U.S. intervention in Cambodia, Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Nicaragua, and elsewhere. It had the same intent of preventing egalitarian social change, and the same effect of overthrowing an economically reformist government. In all these instances, the intervention brought retrograde elements into ascendence, left the economy in ruins, and pitilessly laid waste to hundreds of thousands of lives.
 -- Michael Parenti, Against Empire (San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1995), pp. 120-122.

So there. *smile*

I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. I say unto you: you still have chaos in yourselves.
 -- Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

[ Parent ]
Irrelevant (none / 0) (#361)
by dh003i on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 10:58:33 AM EST

No, I'm not blaming the US for the death of a British physicist.  I'm saying that war kills people who could otherwise be providing cures for diseases.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

You *do* realize (5.00 / 1) (#389)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 05:01:02 PM EST

that physicists study the nature of matter and radiation, not illness. Don't you?


--
Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.


[ Parent ]

god, you're dense... (5.00 / 1) (#430)
by dh003i on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 12:41:51 AM EST

This was only one specific example.  Knowledge gained of the nature of matter and energy can also be very useful to society, possibly saving lives.  The point is, he had more to offer to the world than he was permitted to:  that's thanks to war.

Any given individual, if allowed to live off their life instead of sent off to war to die, could undoubtedly contribute plenty of good to the world, as opposed to killing people in war.

War kills people who had a lot to offer to society.  It destroy's brilliant minds by killing their owners.  Think of how many potential Einsteins, Watsons, and Cricks who may have been killed in WWII.  These people had more to offer to the world than a premature death and killing.

Of course, war-mongers wouldn't understand that:  they need to be forced to go off to some foreign land and die alone, because of the US' big-dick syndrome.  I'm not saying I'm against war, but people shouldn't be forced to throw away their lives for a cause they don't believe in, or for one they don't believe enough in to sacrafice their life-plans.

This crap about "not supporting one's country" is BS.  We already support wars by paying taxes:  the government steals 15-40% of our income, so I don't want to hear them whining about "draft-dodgers".  And, of course, outside of the Revolution and perhaps WWI & WWII, there hasn't been a war in US history that you could show was for self-defense.  So, except in those cases, there was no "defending the US".

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

I'm dense? (none / 0) (#565)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Dec 30, 2002 at 09:03:49 PM EST

You plop a pile of words, like spaghetti, into a post and expect people to be impressed with your logic?

Child, your view of the world is so myopic and pollyanna it defies belief. Yes. Wars are caused by war mongers. Show me how to get rid of the Pol Pots, the Sadam Husseins of the world without fighting their fire with fire.

And don't tell me we should just let them massacre their own people and be happy with their cultural differences.


--
Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.


[ Parent ]

Missing the point again (5.00 / 1) (#595)
by dh003i on Tue Dec 31, 2002 at 06:24:58 PM EST

The point is that the US has never been in a war in defense of US lands, except the Revolution...there's a case to be made for WW 1.5, but that's it.  Thus, you can't use this drivel about how people who "benefit from the freedoms this country offers" aren't "fighting to defend this country".

You want to declare war on Iraq for whatever reason?  Fine.  But that's not even close to justifying a draft.  Even if the US was under attack, that wouldn't justify a draft:  if the people of the US aren't willing to defend it from attack, then this nation should be conquered.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

So the war with mexico doesn't count? (none / 0) (#608)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Jan 01, 2003 at 10:31:25 AM EST

I'm pretty sure Texans would dispute with you about whether or not that was in defense of their lands.

And, in any case, it's *not* "the point". Your original argument was full of goofy assertions that were intended to convince people that war is bad. No fooling.

That doesn't mean wars don't happen and that defense of yourself, or your principles, is never required.


--
Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.


[ Parent ]

Irrelevant (2) (none / 0) (#362)
by dh003i on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 11:03:30 AM EST

Your points about the way the N. Koreans and S. Koreans live are true but irrelevant to my point.  The US was never in any way threatened by N. Korea.  We were not defending ourselves in that war, thus you can't use the bullshit argument "so you don't want to fight to protect the country which gives you X, Y, Z".

I'm not saying the S. Koreans gained nothing from us defending them.  Obviously, they gained a lot.  However, the US gained little if anything; we were certainly not defending ourselves.  US citizens died in that war fighting for something which had little if anything to do with US interests, and certainly nothing at all to do with protecting the US.  The men who died in the Korean war could have lived on and done very useful things with their lives, like discovering cures for diseases.  Instead, they're dead because some US President decided they should go off and die, when he wouldn't even participate in the war.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

And.... (5.00 / 1) (#434)
by tjb on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 01:58:41 AM EST

All those Koreans could be living under the rule of a Stalin wannabe instead of trading (fruitfully, for both sides) with the United States.

The amount of trade that the US has done with SOuth Korea covers the material costs of the war a million times over and the amount of freedom that SOuth Koreans Koreans enjoy today versus their brethren in the North is worth an indescribable amount.  The only failure of the Korean war was not liberating the northern part of the peninsula from Stalinist rule.

Tim

[ Parent ]

still irrelevant (none / 0) (#467)
by dh003i on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 12:19:42 PM EST

This is still irrelevant.  The US was in no way threatened; thus, it was not a war of self-defense; thus, you cannot use that bullshit argument, "you should be willing to defend the country which gives you freedom."  Some people have moral objections to killing individuals because they believe in a different form of government, which is what the Korean war was about.  Though the war may have paid for itself over again, it still hasn't paid for the American lives lost.  Then, of course, there's Vietnam -- a total and complete failure, during which many good Americans were killed for no reason.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Nonsense. (3.33 / 3) (#269)
by valeko on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 06:30:53 PM EST

That's not what you do by serving in the U.S. military. You participate in the atrocities of the U.S. government, not "defend your country." That's absolutely ludicruous. The reason "our boys" are "fighting over there" isn't to "fight for freedom."

Oh, sure, the military has a role in civil defense and protecting us citizens. But that doesn't mean I'm obligated to serve in it if the overwhelming majority of its purpose lies elsewhere. If there was a citizens' civil defense militia, I would be honoured to serve in it for that purpose. However, I am not interested in executing the bidding of the ruling class thugs, of whom the U.S. military is an instrument.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Wrong. (5.00 / 1) (#308)
by Skywise on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 12:09:44 AM EST

Article I of the US Constitution.
(Section 8)
The Congress shall have the power to:

...

 To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

...

 To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

[ Parent ]

Yeah. (3.00 / 2) (#313)
by valeko on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 12:37:48 AM EST

What the fuck does any of this have to do with what the U.S. government has been using its army for since the odd century or two ago? Oh yes, I forgot, the Mexican-American War, the Spanish-American War, the Philippines, Latin American interventions, Vietnam, Kosovo, etc. -- that's all "repelling invasions," eh?

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Don't be a twit... (5.00 / 2) (#318)
by Skywise on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 01:04:34 AM EST

Of course those wars had NOTHING to do with invasions.

This discussion has NOTHING to do with invasions.

This discussion is about the US' right to establish a draft and conscript men in times of need if the us is invaded or to put down rebellions or for the safety of the US.

Note that we had a TREATY with each of the organizations that we joined in wars.  Those treaties made their problems OUR problems.

Now, elsewhere on this discussion, I've already posted that all wars are commercial and that's why we don't have the draft anymore.  I don't like seeing the military used for wanton purposes.  But that's not the same argument as "The draft is unconstitutional."


[ Parent ]

Oh, I see. (2.00 / 1) (#320)
by valeko on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 01:12:43 AM EST

I think I misunderstood. Might be selective reading. Sorry.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Irrelevant. (4.33 / 3) (#368)
by Scott A. Wood on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 12:15:50 PM EST

Even if you read into that the authority to draft an army rather than raise an army of volunteers, it is modified by the Thirteenth Amendment:
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Unless you'd care to explain how the draft is not involuntary servitude?

[ Parent ]
You lost me on point 3 (4.75 / 4) (#167)
by Karmakaze on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:07:08 PM EST

1, 2, and 4 are rational points, but you lost me on the Title IX rant (which was, oddly, nearly as long as the other three combined.

[...]Title IX demands that proportionately equal funds be used for school-based athletics for males and females. Many schools have had to abandon male team sports [...] which aid in the preparation of males for the teamwork and organization of military service, in order to provide gender-equal funding for female...

I was entirely unaware that the reason for collegiate athletics was supplemental military training. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's not. If you have a beef with Title IX, that's fine, but it's got nothing whatsoever to do with the draft. A number of conscientious objectors participate in team sports, but I doubt you would suggest that they be ineligible for sport scholarships because they are wasting potential military training. Don't mix your pet peeves.

That said, I do think that if it is right to require males to register for the draft, then females should be similarly required. That sort of thing should have straight parity. Whether anyone should be subject to compulsory service is, of course, a separate issue I'm not going to address here.

This is all academic to me, as even if I were male, I'd be too old for the draft now. I was of the right age during the Gulf War (there was talk of instituting the draft then), and discovered that I still could have been exempted any number of ways.


--
Karmakaze
His reasoning (3.00 / 2) (#214)
by duffbeer703 on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:28:54 PM EST

I sounded to me like he was suggesting that participation in college athletics develops the kind of skills that are needed by military personnel.

He is right. Organized sports developes teamwork, leadership and athletic skills, all of which are key combat skills.

If women can perform in basketball, hockey and volleyball, why couldn't they perform well as infantrymen, tankers and artillerymen?

Women demanded equal rights in the workplace, and the impact of that is still being felt today. Why should they be denied these rights in the armed services?

[ Parent ]

So? (3.00 / 2) (#265)
by Karmakaze on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 06:06:01 PM EST

I sounded to me like he was suggesting that participation in college athletics develops the kind of skills that are needed by military personnel.

So does kindergarten.  In kindergarten you learn to work with other children, lead play groups, and develop coordination by playing kickball.

Does that mean that state funded schooling should be kept from female children?

Sure, you can learn some skills in collegiate sports that are potentially useful in a military situation.  But that's not the purpose of the activities by any stretch of the imagination.  In fact, students involved in collegiate activities are less likely to be drafted, as just by being in college, they have a better chance of receiving an educational deferment.
--
Karmakaze
[ Parent ]

forest for the trees.... (none / 0) (#541)
by duffbeer703 on Mon Dec 30, 2002 at 11:52:14 AM EST

If women can succeed in collegiate athletics, they can succeed in the military.

If women are granted equal rights and opportunities (as they should) they should also have the opportunity to be conscripted.

Not making women eligible for the draft is discriminatory towards men.

[ Parent ]

Absolutely (none / 0) (#557)
by Karmakaze on Mon Dec 30, 2002 at 03:30:21 PM EST

None of which has very much to do with Title IX.
--
Karmakaze
[ Parent ]
It absolutely does (none / 0) (#638)
by duffbeer703 on Thu Jan 02, 2003 at 01:09:50 PM EST

Title IX requires that equal funding be provided to women's collegiate athletics in order to encourage equality.

A female draft would encourage equality within the armed forces.

[ Parent ]

school sports = military training (4.50 / 2) (#346)
by F a l c o n on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 06:13:11 AM EST

I was entirely unaware that the reason for collegiate athletics was supplemental military training. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's not.

Actually, I'm afraid it is. At least that's what compulsive school sports started out with, over here in prussia. Over time, I'm sure other reasonings have crept in (public health,  etc.) but I would be very surprised if military preparation were entirely off the plate.
Of course, not many politicians would discuss that publicly.

--
Back in Beta (too many new features added): BattleMaster
[ Parent ]

Woen and the Draft (4.00 / 1) (#462)
by dave behrens on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 11:08:44 AM EST

Athletic competition is preparation for war.  Take a good look at the careful organization of a  football play.  Or the way soccer players can deftly exploit their fluid field positions to attack the goal, a direct analogy of land warfare.  To demand that gender-equal funding of sports be implemented, and then not use the resource created is a waste of time and money.

You boast of the many ways you could have not fulfilled a civil responsibility.  Do you limit the exercise of your civil rights in  similar way?  
dave_behrens@juno.com
[ Parent ]

Err, boast? (none / 0) (#528)
by Karmakaze on Mon Dec 30, 2002 at 08:38:35 AM EST

I didn't boast a thing, I just pointed out that the draft was academic to me. My decision not to enter the military (I was recruited for officer's school in both the Navy and the Air Force) was a reasoned decision. What, you say? Women are recruited for the military and some actually enlist? Why, it's even possible there are more women in the armed forces right now who voluntarily joined than there are men who were drafted. Amazing!

Fact is, I am (and was) far more valuable to the military in a non-infantry function (which is primarily what the draft is for). That's a big part of why they have academic deferments in the first place, because academic training received in college happens to be also useful to the military, even among the civilian population (any idea how many civilian consultants work for the military - it's a lot).

Yes, skills learned in sports are theoretically useful in combat. But to argue that the primary purpose of sports is combat training in this day and age is silly. Joe Soldier drafted into military service isn't going to be planning field assaults. For one thing, that sort of face-off battle with two forces facing each other across a field went out of style a couple hundred years ago. Field sports may once have been designed as infantry training - centuries ago. But the sports themselves have become more and more stylized and the skills necessary for a soldier have changed.

The computer training received in actual college classes are far more useful to the things soldiers are actually doing today. Where did you think the skills used to guide missiles come from anyway? Yet you don't seem to have any problem with academic scholarships for females. There are a lot of sources of training a lot more directly relevant to your modern soldier than football that have equal funding for males and females that don't kick up nearly the fuss as Title IX.
--
Karmakaze
[ Parent ]

sports = military training (5.00 / 1) (#524)
by WaronWar on Mon Dec 30, 2002 at 06:42:42 AM EST

Plato discussed state-sanctioned sport competitions as necessary to keep the public prepared for military conflict; by having physical conflict as a matter of course, to numb them to it; and to train athletes/soldiers. It's in Republic.

[ Parent ]
Oy! (3.50 / 4) (#173)
by flippy on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:29:32 PM EST

I hear so much talk about our 'rights'.  I am so tired of people assuming that we have any rights.  What the hell is a 'right' anyway?  a Right is something given to you not something you demand.  A right is something you can also take.

I think the best definition I can think of is as follows:

A right is something for which you must decide what it is worth to you to defend.

You have the right to vote... until I put a gun to your head.  If you proclaim your rights I pull the trigger.  You now have no rights.

You have the right to exist and to live as you see fit.  Until I put a gun to your head and tell you to live the way I see fit.

Rights are only given when it is convenient, and taken when it isn't.  

I have the right to live as I see fit, until someone puts a gun to my head.  However, if I am prepared to shoot first, I have defended my so called rights.

I'm just babbling but does anyone here see my point?

We really don't have any rights.  I don't care where you live or under what political establishment you occupy.  

You dont have the right to live, vote, eat, sleep, exist, drive, copulate, etc etc.  

Inalienable rights?  whatever.  

Flippy

maybe I should write an article about this (1.00 / 1) (#176)
by flippy on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:33:19 PM EST

and post it here.

If only I had the right to do it ;)

Flippy

[ Parent ]

The definition I've used... (3.50 / 2) (#181)
by Noodle on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:53:12 PM EST

A right is a privilege that it is "right" to have.

Figure that out.

{The Nefarious Noodle}

[ Parent ]

right = privilege (2.00 / 1) (#194)
by flippy on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 01:38:55 PM EST

Interesting insight grasshopper... However, who decides what privilege is "right" to have?

What you are about to tread lightly upon is the whole nation-state building phenomenon introduced soon after despotism was found to be lacking for large populations.

Basically people who share similar beliefs (those who agree on the principles with which you might agree on whatever privileges are right to have) form a sort of collective consciousness that manifests itself into some sort of gov't process be it either a monarchy or a democracy or whatever.  This consciousness is shared amongst the people... until it isn't.  Much like the various ramblings here on k5 (including mine).  

This collective consciousness decides what priviges it chooses to impose upon its collective.

That CHOICE is at the heart of my premise.  When we choose which rights we have, what are we choosing?  If it is a RIGHT, how can it be chosen?  It is a RIGHT right?

Of course it isn't silly. ;)

[The not so nefarious flippy]

[ Parent ]

Any rights that one possesses... (4.50 / 2) (#206)
by skyknight on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:17:30 PM EST

are only as good as one's capacity to defend said rights. One can claim a "right" to X, but if someone comes along and tries to revoke that right, then one does not really have that right, short of having the firepower to assert it.

One might delude oneself into thinking that one has a right not to be murdered, raped, robbed, etc, but if someone makes an attempt to do such a thing, and does not meet violent resistance as a response, then that "right" was just a meaningless social construct residing in some neurons, based upon a faulty premise.

Governments, when well intentioned, serve a vital role in society. One should not, however, make the dangerous assumption that they can do no wrong, and that they have an infinite capacity to protect citizens. The fact of the matter is that a government's capacity to defend its citizens in their moments of need is limited, and worse, governments can not be wholy trusted to be good-intentioned at all.

If one does not have the "right" to defend oneself, then in fact, one has no rights whatsoever.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
You have rights... (4.00 / 2) (#227)
by dh003i on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:59:15 PM EST

We define rights.  They're a human invention.  See the international declaration of human rights.

So we all have human rights.  The only question is whether the government or other individuals respect those rights.  You can choose to respect my rights or not, but that doesn't make my rights go away.

Its like rape.  Rape is wrong.  Period.  Just because I rape you doesn't somehow make it right because it happened.  Bad thing happen all the time:  that does not make them right.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Here's a scenario (3.75 / 4) (#177)
by Mr.Surly on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:35:24 PM EST

First off, I pretty much agree with this article. Women have demanded and gotten equal rights under the law. Whether they get equal treatment in practice is another matter. I don't happen to see any of the "Women's Rights" advocates demanding that women be included in the draft. Oh, and the "women have been oppressed for hundreds of years" argument holds little weight. The idea that you should be compensated for the hardships of your ancestors is ridiculous.

Having said that, consider a these simple scenarios where men and women are truly equal in the eyes of the draft, and the military branches. You have two soldiers on the battlefield -- one man, one woman:

Scenario 1: Woman is injured, unable to walk. The man must carry her out to safety.

Scenario 2: Man is injured, unable to walk. The woman must carry him out to safety.

Now, the reasonable person realizes that men are generally stronger than women. I don't need to back this up with links or studies; this truth is self evident (to coin a phrase). In these scenarios, with all else being equal, there's no way your average woman can carry your average man.

This brings us to the larger truth that - in general - women are not suited for the rigors of combat. I know some women would certainly be better than some men, but let's be realistic here.

Even in the civilian sector where a woman can choose to enter a male-dominated field (even something like being a chef), they generally do not, due to the physical hardship.

Equality is great, but when will people stop pretending that men and women are physically equal? Or even psychologically equal?

That's solved (4.00 / 3) (#179)
by Dephex Twin on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 12:48:51 PM EST

By having physical requirements for people.  A 90-pound man is going to have more trouble carrying a man than a 150-pound woman.  So have physical fitness requirements, and don't have different standards for men and women.  Problem solved.


Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]
Exactly (n/t) (5.00 / 1) (#243)
by Mr.Surly on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 04:48:34 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Agreed (none / 0) (#545)
by Cro Magnon on Mon Dec 30, 2002 at 12:15:41 PM EST

If someone can't drag 200 pounds of dead weight to safety, s/he doesn't belong on a battlefield.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
draft != infantry (4.00 / 2) (#213)
by dubious9 on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:26:02 PM EST

I agree with you that I would rather have a man than a woman next to me on the front line. However the majority of the armed forces are not on the front line. Support personnel, pilots, hq staff, medical, communications etc. are all open to women.

If you had women in the draft, you would have more men on the front line where strength counts with no deficiency behind them as women are as good as men in the non-physiscal part of the military. I see no reason why women shouldn't be drafted.

[ Parent ]
Discriminatory (5.00 / 1) (#242)
by Mr.Surly on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 04:47:38 PM EST

Wouldn't that still be discriminatory. Women in the military now enjoy "easier" jobs already.

[ Parent ]
Is discrimination always wrong? (4.50 / 2) (#248)
by dubious9 on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:06:09 PM EST

Wouldn't that still be discriminatory. Women in the military now enjoy "easier" jobs already.

Yes it would be. But if trained men are physically perform better than equally trained women, then I would choose the better physically fit people. You don't see any 120 pound five foot nothing guy in the special forces do you? If they descriminate against weaker guys, why not descriminate against girls?

[ Parent ]
It's not always wrong. (5.00 / 1) (#278)
by Mr.Surly on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 07:24:19 PM EST

It's not always wrong. In this case, women not being allowed into combat is both discriminatory, and it's probably saving lives at the same time.

My argument is that the "true equality" that women often demand isn't that at all. They want all the plusses, but none of the minuses. Equality means taking the good with the bad. Want true equality? Register women for the selective service, and let them get killed like everyone else. Anything less isn't really equal, is it?

If you're willing to have limits on your equality, then don't complain that things aren't equal.

[ Parent ]
Irrelevant (3.66 / 3) (#226)
by dh003i on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:54:38 PM EST

The military should have certain non-discriminatory standards:  any who can meet them, women, man, gay, straight, whatever, should be allowed to serve.  Standards include:  strength, endurance, toughness, mental strenght, intelligence, integrity, speed, agility, etc.  If a woman can meet the standards, she should be let in.

Your example of carrying a person on the battle-field is interesting, but irrelevant.  Two-(wo)man teams could be created considering such (i.e., pairing equivalently weighted individuals).  There's also no way a soldier could carry his muscular 300-pound buddy out of combat:  doesn't mean we shouldn't disallow people who are 300 pounds of muscle.

And your stereotype example can be counteracted by considering other stereotype examples:  man's injured in combat on the field, and would probably rather have a woman dealing with his wounds.  Why?  Because women tend to be more gentle and can handle such things better; also of course the emotional aspect.  Of course this is a generality which does not by any means apply to all situations, but neither does your generality.

Its very simple:  if a woman can meet the standards of the military, then she should be let in.  Standards also shouldn't be static, and should consider that excelling in one area may compensate for being poor in another.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Physical standards (4.00 / 2) (#239)
by Peaker on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 04:38:46 PM EST

Few women would be able to fit the physical standards, and double-standards are likely to be formed.

[ Parent ]
Standards (5.00 / 1) (#241)
by Mr.Surly on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 04:46:13 PM EST

There are physical standards for women in the military. They're far lower than the standards for men. It's no secret -- it's there for anyone to see.

There is a reason for generalities and stereotypes. While there are exceptions to the rule (which I acknowlede in my original post), there is _still_ a rule, and it does apply. This is plain to see. Pointing out exceptions does not invalidate the norm.

Also, 'excelling in one area may compensate for being poor in another' isn't exactly workable. There should be minimum standards in all areas.

[ Parent ]
Partial non-sense (3.00 / 2) (#264)
by dh003i on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:59:58 PM EST

Yes, presently there are lower standards for women in the military.  This is wrong and should be fixed.  It degrades the quality of the military and is insulting to women.

Part of my point is that -- due to the easy-wonders of modern medicine, like HGH and testosterone administration -- the "rules" you speak of are irrelevant.  Women can be just as strong as men, though the taking of such hormones has various negative consequences.

Also, if a woman can meet the standards for the job, then let her do it.  If not, then don't.

Your last point is complete non-sense, and I suspect that's why you don't back it up.  The physical requirements needed to be a fighter pilot or work in a submarine are vastly different from those needed to be a front-line soldier or a sniper.  Thus, depending on what area of the service one is interested in, the standards should be different.  As I pointed out, there are many areas where the natural attributes of women are beneficial, such as being a fighter pilot, or working in a submarine.  Other examples would include counter-intelligence (i.e., spies) and assasins.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Not nonsense (none / 0) (#413)
by Mr.Surly on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 09:30:52 PM EST

My last point is completely valid. Certain minimum requirements are certainly necessary. While they need not be too high (and certainly, they are not), they ought to be there. Things like minimum visual acuity, strength, endurance, age, health and intelligence.

Part of the idea of the military is that everyone involved could (in theory) do certain minimum things like running, shooting, and killing. That's why there are minimum standards. The fact that women have lower standards, and in fact are not allowed into combat kind of goes against this idea. Why not let weaker men into the military, hold them to lower standards of physical strength, and let them have the cushy jobs because they (whether it's true or not) "can't handle" combat? That's exactly what happens with the women.

[ Parent ]
Stupid way of going about things (4.00 / 1) (#596)
by dh003i on Tue Dec 31, 2002 at 06:33:29 PM EST

I agree there should be one standard for both men and women in every aspect of military service, but standards should be different for different jobs.  If you're a ground soldier, you don't have to withstand 9G-forces without passing out.  If you're a fighter pilot, you do.  If your a fighter pilot you don't have to carry 200 pounds of gear; if you're a ground soldier, you do.  In short, different jobs in the military require different attributes.

Its stupid to deny someone who would otherwise be a great fighter pilot that job because they don't meet ad-hoc standards which have nothing to do with the primary job of being a pilot.  Sure, if you're choosing between two people equally qualified to be a fighter pilot, you want the one who can better fend for his/her own should the plane crash...but you don't pick someone who's an inferior pilot just because "should the plane crash, they'll be better off than the person who's a superior pilot".

In other words, you hire people based on the primary qualities necessary for that job first...other qualities which may be necessary should X, Y, Z occur are secondary, and should be considered secondarily.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

No double standards here ... (none / 0) (#533)
by palmersperry on Mon Dec 30, 2002 at 10:45:26 AM EST

Mr.Surly twisted the electrons to say:
> There are physical standards for women in the military.  They're far lower than the standards for men.

Maybe that's the case in *your* military but it's by no means universally true ...

[ Parent ]

physical equality (5.00 / 1) (#345)
by F a l c o n on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 06:10:34 AM EST

There's two sides to this - a truth and a myth. The truth is that men and women do have differences in anatomy, from muscle build to hormones. The myth is that what we have become imprinted with as archetypes is true. A lot of that is in education and culture. A simple example: Almost all males are expected to and encouraged to do sports during their school years, join a team, play some ball, whatever. Women are often discouraged from the same thing, or moved towards "lighter" sports (dancing or gymnastics). Several years of training during your most important physical growth phase do, of course, have an effect.
--
Back in Beta (too many new features added): BattleMaster
[ Parent ]
Equality On The Battlefield (4.75 / 4) (#187)
by n8f8 on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 01:10:22 PM EST

We aren't likely to ever know the impact of co-ed military forces. The issues is simply too politically sensitive to be seriously approached. Numbers are constantly skewed for political -correctness sakes. Even propose a serious study on the effect of pregnancy, PMS and the threat of harrassment on combat effectivness and morale and just see how far you get.

What you wind up with on the other side of the issue is a bunch of anecdotes about how many pregnant women were flown off/out mid-deployment during the Gulf War, real-life experiences of having to deal with PMSing women and the constant fear of having some mere accusation destroy your career.

The latter is what real people are dealing with. The former amplifies the effects of the latter.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)

Women in the army should be infertile (4.66 / 3) (#235)
by auraslip on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 04:18:59 PM EST

If getting pregneant interfears with their work, they shouldn't be allowed to have children.
And the pill would reduce the affects of PMS too.

Actually I think the US gov. should give the pill out to whoever wants it.
124
[ Parent ]

The Pill (4.00 / 1) (#437)
by harrellj on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 02:35:24 AM EST

If getting pregnant interferes with their work, they shouldn't be allowed to have children.

I had to comment on this even though I know it will prolly open up one hell of a flame, but I believe women have the right to choose. On the issue of whether or not a woman should be drafted, I frankly hope we're not. Mainly because too many of my relatives were in the military and came out with health problems. Then of course, there's the pay issue. And the fact that in our society, women are raised to be non-violent. We don't mind getting pissed if someone hurts our children, but asking us to kill someone? Thats just asking for major psychiatric bills. Yes, I know men also suffer when they kill a person, but they are raised more to handle the violence. Look at how popular first person shooters are. I know they're not half as realistic as real life battle but they are violent. I also know some women play them (myself included, however since my hand-eye coordination quite frankly sucks I prefer puzzle/strategy games).

Now that I'm done ranting, on to your other statement.

And the pill would reduce the affects of PMS too.

I have to strongly disagree with that. I took the pill when I was in middle school all for the purpose of reducing my PMS symptoms. Didn't work. I get horrible PMS too, enough that for several years I literally couldn't do anything for the first couple of days of my cycle except moan in pain. Besides, if you want to get the government to give out the pill, you might first want to encourage the insurance companies to pay for women to get it, especially since there sometimes is more of a medical reason to have the pill than for a guy to take viagra, yet viagra is covered by insurance (something that really really pisses me off but I won't get into that here more than the sentence).

So, even tho I'm almost out of the age limit for the draft, if you sent me into combat, then I'd have to not fight for several days a month (even tho I somewhat have the symptoms of pms under conrol because I know what to look for it still almost incapacitates me) plus I would have some serious mental issues. My parents raised me to be able to choose my own path in life and that path is very far from the military.

[ Parent ]
PMS (none / 0) (#463)
by dave behrens on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 11:18:22 AM EST

Does you PMS prevent you from cooking in a mess hall?  Driving a truck?  Tending the wounded?    

Does you PMS prevent you from fully enjoying you equal civil rights, or only limit the performance of you equal civil responsibilities?
dave_behrens@juno.com
[ Parent ]

optional duties (none / 0) (#485)
by OneEyedApe on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 05:56:52 PM EST

I would suggest that you go back and read the post to which you replied. It sounds like PMS would, for a day or two, prevent this individual from doing much of anything useful.

[ Parent ]
regardless of PMS (none / 0) (#598)
by ethereal on Tue Dec 31, 2002 at 08:22:02 PM EST

My parents raised me to be able to choose my own path in life and that path is very far from the military.

But men aren't raised to choose their own paths in life? Frankly, you had me for your entire argument until you went off on that one. "Because I like to do what I want" is an argument that men could make just as effectively, but that doesn't seem to get us out of selective service registration.

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

Mary Jane (none / 0) (#680)
by auraslip on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 02:14:55 AM EST

can be used to treat extreme migraines brought on by PMS. If you live in california that is....
124
[ Parent ]
Hysterectomy (none / 0) (#698)
by ddsaves on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 11:59:21 AM EST

These are the options of women not being allowed to have children 1) I was on birth control when I got pregnant. Any form of birth control is not completely effective. 2) With all forms of birth control, besides not having sex, women increase many health risks. Women have a higher risk of death, heart problems, cancer... you name it... there can be soooo many side effects caused from birth control. If a woman is going to be on birth control, that should be her choice considering all the risks involved, besides the fact that it may not work. 3) So if you say that women should not be allowed to have children, the other alternatives are 1) hysterectomy (which really screws up women psychologically because of the hormone problems) 2) forced abortion - might as well live in a communist nation..... The great thing about America is the freedom of choice!!! Saying women enlisted can't have kids, is about as realistic and communistic as saying men cannot have sex while in the military... and if they do, they shall have their peckers cut off as a punishmet for the crime.

[ Parent ]
Infantry = Carrying Stuff (4.60 / 5) (#188)
by bjlhct on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 01:10:42 PM EST

Sure, carrying an M16 around doesn't require too much strength. But when you account for armor (~20 pounds) camping gear (~30 pounds, army always camping gear of 10 years ago) ammunition and food (varies, but always heavy) some hand grenades, a digging tool, maybe a rocket or RR, you're looking at something like 100 pounds. Where women have done as well is in guerilla warfare, which the US army tends to dislike. Everyone has to wait for the slowest person, too. So have consistent requirements, which are not discriminatory. Different requirements are what's discrimination, despite whining by feminist organizations that accomplished their goals but won't die, kind of like MADD.

When if doubt, treat people equally. But fact is sometimes people aren't equal. Then they should be treated equal where they are equal.

*
kur0(or)5hin - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism

There are plenty of girly-men (4.50 / 4) (#198)
by rodgerd on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 01:59:27 PM EST

...who wouldn't qualify for infantry duty when they come up in the draft; they're ll reassigned elsewhere (non-combat roles, for example), or bounced out on a failed physical.  Why should women be exempt from the same process?

[ Parent ]
Women can carry stuff (4.25 / 4) (#211)
by duffbeer703 on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:24:24 PM EST

There are plenty of wimpy men out there too who were forced by the draft to shape up.

Women serve as policement, firemen, and construction workers, let them pull their weight in the infantry as well.

[ Parent ]

so your for women in the infantry or not? (4.00 / 2) (#236)
by auraslip on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 04:21:11 PM EST

I mean, If they are strong enough and meet the requirements?
124
[ Parent ]
My baby sister survived Army infantry training (4.00 / 3) (#251)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:10:33 PM EST

and did a damned sight better than I did...


--
Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.


[ Parent ]

That excludes me (3.00 / 2) (#266)
by Pseudonym on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 06:06:30 PM EST

I'm a fat bearded geek type. Most women could carry stuff better than I could. This was also true when I was 18-25.



sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
If you're fat... (4.50 / 2) (#297)
by mideast on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 11:11:06 PM EST

...the military can make you thin. Then you can carry stuff.

Call PETA at 757-622-PETA (7382) and tell them how much you like to eat meat!
[ Parent ]
the military as a weight loss program (5.00 / 1) (#483)
by OneEyedApe on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 05:50:41 PM EST

Then by this logic the military could also increase the strength of women to the point where they could carry as much as men.

[ Parent ]
Likewise (5.00 / 1) (#493)
by Andy P on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 08:42:35 PM EST

I know some pretty butch women who can carry more than I can.

[ Parent ]
True. (none / 0) (#494)
by valeko on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 09:01:41 PM EST

But they aren't supposed to know that.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

You shock me! (none / 0) (#507)
by not a geek on Mon Dec 30, 2002 at 12:08:13 AM EST

Are you talking about ME?!?!

;)






-----------
Keep out of reach of children. Do not apply to broken skin. If rash or irritation occurs, discontinue use.
[ Parent ]
So? (none / 0) (#470)
by mikael_j on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 12:52:41 PM EST

I'm a tall pale skinny guy, the Swedish army didn't want me, I was too weak for them. Just like there are women who aren't strong enough to be footsoldiers there are men who have no reason to be in a combat zone.. (and don't get me started on whether drafting people is right or wrong..)

/Mikael
We give a bad name to the internet in general. - Rusty
[ Parent ]

False. (3.28 / 7) (#189)
by Pig Hogger on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 01:14:05 PM EST

1. While U.S. women enjoy exactly the same civil rights as U.S. men, why is the pretext of a ridiculous Supreme Court decision used to exempt the majority of the population, i.e. females, from even the possibility of involuntary military service in any capacity?
This is false.

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) has still not been passed, despite attempts to do so as far back as 1923.

Here is the full text of the ERA:

Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

--

Somewhere in Texas, a village is missing it's idiot

Um... (3.83 / 6) (#225)
by paine in the ass on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 02:52:31 PM EST

You ought to go re-read the U.S. Constitution. There's this thing called Amendment XIV that makes any so-called "equal rights amendment" just a teensy bit redundant. What we need is enforcement of the equality already mandated, not more laws that we won't put to use...


I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion.
[ Parent ]
yes (4.00 / 2) (#262)
by Ndog on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:45:36 PM EST

There's this thing called Amendment XIV that makes any so-called "equal rights amendment" just a teensy bit redundant. What we need is enforcement of the equality already mandated, not more laws that we won't put to use...
So I guess Amendments XV and XIX were redundant, too, by that argument, and never should have been ratified. After all, women and blacks could vote before those because of Amendment XIV, right?



[ Parent ]
Possibly. (5.00 / 2) (#274)
by paine in the ass on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 06:38:02 PM EST

But even after Amendment XV it took another hundred years or so before blacks could reliably have a right to vote. Law on books != problem solved was my point, I believe. That, and that we should set about enforcing the laws we've got before we blindly pile on more. The fact we have a couple possibly redundant Amendments on file just shows I'm right. ;)


I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion.
[ Parent ]
Or (3.00 / 2) (#317)
by Ndog on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 12:51:58 AM EST

Or it shows that you're wrong because parts of the Amendment that was already there didn't get enforced equally until after adding additional Amendments to make sure that some specific points were very clear -- which was definitely at least part of the idea behnd the ERA, as many people still saw it as enforced unequally with regard to women.

Anyway, I don't quite understand why so many people use the argument that we already have an Amendment that says basically the same thing. What's the big problem with having multiple Amendments overlap in scope?



[ Parent ]
Simple principle: (3.00 / 1) (#324)
by paine in the ass on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 01:41:07 AM EST

That government which governs least, governs best. Corollary: the government which governs effectively with the fewest laws, governs best. Hence, fewer Amendments needed = better. Work on enforcing and interpreting what we've got.


I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion.
[ Parent ]
Why the 14th isn't sufficient (4.50 / 4) (#273)
by dachshund on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 06:35:19 PM EST

The Supreme Court currently uses a fairly restrictive interpretation of the Equal Protection clause of the 14th amendment. In most cases, they only invoke it when race is involved, because of the specific legislative history behind the law.

I think this is bogus, but it's actually the interpretation prefered by the conservative wing of the court, particularly the strict constructionists (Scalia). The general refrain from those justices is "if you want a broad equal rights amendment you should pass one". And of course, efforts to do just that are regularly stymied by political conservatives.

[ Parent ]

Say it with me, kids... (4.00 / 3) (#291)
by paine in the ass on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 10:12:30 PM EST

With feeling:

Failure to enforce laws on the books does not constitute a reason to pass new laws which would have the same effect.

Otherwise, 100 years from now when [hypothetical minority] is being discriminated against, we're in the same boat -- "Well, the Equal Rights Amendment says 'everybody', but historically was intended only to prevent gender discrimination, so it doesn't work for you".

Now how about all the ERA folks get their heads out of their asses and get behind trusty old #14?


I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion.
[ Parent ]

And how do you propose to do that? (5.00 / 2) (#331)
by dachshund on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 03:09:57 AM EST

Now how about all the ERA folks get their heads out of their asses and get behind trusty old #14?

Er, um, because the 14th amendment is already written, and can only now be interpreted by Federal Judges. The system doesn't really provide much in the way of a guaranteed procedure for the people to politically "get behind" a particular interpretation by already-elected judges except by, perhaps, bribing them. Which is, of course, illegal.

If the Judicial branch believes that the Constitution, as written, doesn't mean what you want it to mean, the only guaranteeable response is to go in and modify that document to explicitly say what you want it to say. Everything else is just lobbying, and is as reliable as standing in front of the Justices houses waving signs and hoping that makes them do what you want them to do.

Remember, the Constitution has a clear upgrade path through the political process. If you want to include a particular guarantee into the Constitution, there are clearly defined ways to do it that don't require you to hope some fickle Justices agree with you. You seem to be arguing against using that system; instead you want us to throw the dice.

Why should we fool around when we can just use the system as it was designed to be used?

[ Parent ]

I see. (none / 0) (#431)
by paine in the ass on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 12:45:02 AM EST

So, once a law is written, it's useless because it can only be interpreted by judges, who see a different meaning in it than you do. Now, you want another law to be written why again?


I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion.
[ Parent ]
Clearing it up (5.00 / 2) (#442)
by dachshund on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 04:34:50 AM EST

So, once a law is written, it's useless because it can only be interpreted by judges, who see a different meaning in it than you do. Now, you want another law to be written why again?

I don't want to defend the courts' interpretation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment. They don't interpret it the way I'd interpret it, but like it or not, they've set a broad precedent based on the legislative history behind it. Take a look at it, for god's sake--the framers of the amendment didn't even devote a full sentence to the damn thing, and it's maddeningly vague.

No State shall [do some other stuff] nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Now what in the heck does "the equal protection of its laws" mean? Does it mean that no government can pass a law that favors one group above another (for example, building a road to one neighborhood and not another)? One individual above another? How far can you take this...? What the courts decided to do was look at the history behind the amendment and see what Congress wanted from it. And basically, what that Congress wanted was to keep states from passing laws that blatantly discriminated against blacks. So the court, lacking clearer instruction, decided to limit its application of the vague requirement to that relatively narrow set of conditions.

In other words, the Congress that put that amendment together made it clear that they only intended it to apply in certain limited cases, rather than being a more powerful tool for general equality like, for example, the Common Benefit Clause of the Vermont Constitution (which is a much older and more broadly interpreted predecessor of the US's EPC, and has led to rulings like Baker v. Vermont that mandated civil unions for same-sex couples in that state.)

I personally would like the courts to interpret the EPC broadly, as a tool to insure that government doesn't discriminate against any group (regardless of sex, race, religion or creed). Occasionally it's used that way. Other times, it's abused in other ways. The ERA is an attempt to clarify the intent of the Equal Protection Clause and make it explicit, in such a way that the courts don't have to guess at what it means.

To pursue the issue in the manner you suggest is to place the fate of equal rights at the mercy of the peripheral issue of judicial philosophy, something over which the voting public has (intentionally) limited control. Trying to alter a judicial interpretation is like throwing your weight around inside your car in order to get it to make a right turn. Why fool around like that and risk your life, when you can just grab the steering wheel and turn it to acheive precisely the effect you wanted. In other words, rather than subordinating the main issue (equal rights for all) to the secondary one (method of interpretation of Constitutional amendments), you can just pass an amendment that explicitly mandates such a protection, and make judicial philosophy an academic issue rather than an insurmountable barrier to equal rights.

The simple fact is either you support equal rights for all as guaranteed by the ERA or you don't. If you want to change the way courts interpret law, you can still do that after you pass the ERA. Anyone who votes against the ERA is doing so because they don't believe that it should become law. But to sit on the ERA because you hope that maybe, eventually, the courts can be brought around to your way of thinking... that's bass ackwards.

[ Parent ]

Seems clear to me. (3.00 / 1) (#446)
by paine in the ass on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 06:35:04 AM EST

No State shall [do some other stuff] nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Excellent summary. Now, if some idiot judges get it in their heads that because of historical circumstance and other BS "any person" actually means "black people", then the problem is not the law, it's the judge.

As I've said before in this thread, an "equal rights amendment" would simply set up some other group years from now to get screwed because (*channels a future Supreme Court Justice*) "we all know the ERA was only meant to protect women, right? And the fact they had to pass it even though Amendment XIV existed is just more proof that 'equal protection for everybody' doesn't really mean everybody -- why would they have needed the ERA otherwise? Obviously it wasn't meant for your group!"

And I'm not "sittin on the ERA because I hope that maybe, eventually, the courts can be brought around to my way of thinking". I think that if you could muster enough political clout to push the ERA through, then you could damn well bring the judiciary into line instead; there are always benches waiting to be filled, after all...and if you think Amendment XIV doesn't really mean "everybody", then you don't get to fill one...

You're also wrong in saying that anyone who votes against the ERA would do so because he/she didn't think it should become law -- some of us think it already is law, and that we just need to get with it, already.


I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion.
[ Parent ]

the reason the ERA didn't get voted up (3.85 / 7) (#249)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:09:37 PM EST

was because like the various "feel good" hate-crime laws, it was redundant. Unequal treatment is already banned in the constitution. Why do it twice?


--
Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.


[ Parent ]

our Taliban beat the ERA (5.00 / 3) (#370)
by edgarde on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 12:50:33 PM EST

The reason the Equal Rights Amendment didn't win ratification by the states was a widespread Reagan-era public discomfort with changes in gender roles. Several states which had passed the amendment withdrew their ratification, as did a few members of Congress, in response to a very successful anti-ERA campaign spearheaded by (but probably not limited to) the newly activated religious right.

One common objection was the potential for a gender-neutral military. More objections detailed here (Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, an ultra-conservative group founded originally to oppose the ERA). The 14th amendment was not a leading point of objection at the time, tho it is now a common sop offered by conservatives.

There was also a phenomenon where the ERA came to represent for many americans their fears about what they thought feminism wanted, even though 5 years prior it was widely agreed the ERA was simply a common sense law.

[ Parent ]

Sure. Why believe a perfectly rational explanation (none / 0) (#390)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 05:06:03 PM EST

when there are vast right wing conspiracies to be uncovered?

Let me put it this way: what forms of discrimination are legal today that would be illegal if the ERA had passed?


--
Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.


[ Parent ]

Now that you mention it ... (none / 0) (#424)
by Anonymous 242 on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 11:21:56 PM EST

... I believe that the ERA would make unconstitutional the requirement that only men register with the selective service.

[ Parent ]
LoL. Interesting point. (none / 0) (#564)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Dec 30, 2002 at 09:00:46 PM EST

And, I have to say, that it did occur to me recently that saying the same thing two different ways makes it harder for some future generation to "interpret the intent" of the Constitution...


--
Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.


[ Parent ]

Where Are Those Feminists??? (3.16 / 6) (#190)
by virtualjay222 on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 01:16:05 PM EST

With great power comes great responsibility

-Spiderman

Forgive my quoting spiderman, but I believe if you were to substitute equal in for great the statement would still hold true. By saying you are incapable of performing your duties as a citizen, you are saying you are indeed not equal and, in turn, do not deserve equal power.

Not to say that all women should be required to fight, but if you are capable, you should be utilized in whatever fashion you are most effective - male or female.

---

I'm not in denial, I'm just selective about the reality I choose to accept.

-Calvin and Hobbes


Ah dear (5.00 / 1) (#294)
by qwertyasher on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 10:54:07 PM EST

Off Topic But the quote isn't from spider-man, its Vladimir Lenin, not dead uncle ben
The party says there are five, how many fingers are there, winston?
[ Parent ]
"Many schools have had to abandon male team s (3.66 / 6) (#229)
by squinky on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 03:14:30 PM EST

that earn revenue in excess of their costs."

I seriously doubt that. As far as I've heard, there are only a handfull of schools that have *a* sport that is profitable, my understanding is that most of them are giant money pits.

I know this was the case at my school. The football and basketball teams totally sucked, but received most of the funding. They got a lot of donations, but mostly for football/basketball related stuff (scholarships and equipment) and those donations still needed to be subsidized by general funds.

Wrestling was fantastic and lost most of it's funding. The rowing crew (both sexes) was excellent and was totally team funded-- it was a club sport that competed favorably against very well-funded teams. Lacrosse-- pretty good, club sport. Track and field (both sexes), excellent, underfunded.

Regardless of the quality of the teams, the popularity of the sport, or the size of the donation, they all lost money (I'm counting participant funding as a loss, 'cause it's certainly not profit).


or the flip side... (4.70 / 10) (#252)
by ryochiji on Fri Dec 27, 2002 at 05:13:45 PM EST

Why should there be a draft for men in the first place?  Or let me put it this way:  Isn't there something inherently undemocratic about a nation that forces it's youth to fight involuntarily?  

Convince the people that there's a war worth fighting, and the people will fight.  Men and women in the past have shown the courage to do so.  But if the people have to be forced and threatened, either the government's not doing good enough of a job convincing the people, or it's simply not worth fighting.

---
IlohaMail: Webmail that works.

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