Member Rara Avis
And I do wish you'd stop assuming that I am not thinking and not making an effort to see both sides of the issue, because it's just not true. The fact that someone may arrive at a different conclusion than another does not mean that one of them is not thinking or not making an effort to understand an issue.
Denise, my assumptions have to be made on what you've said or failed to say. Show me anything in this thread or any recent thread that indicates any recognition of Arab motive beyond "they're all evil." You keep telling us everyone is wrong, but you've made no effort to tell us WHY you think they're wrong.
Back in high school debate, we were given issues to research but weren't told which side we would argue until we arrived at the meet. It was pretty much the luck of the draw whether your team would be pro or con. Could you do that with these issues? You say you've looked at both sides, so it should be easy. You don't have to believe it, but you should be able to convincingly argue why some have "justified grievances." Care to give it a shot?
In another, older adolescents and young adults are tempted with money for college which is otherwise almost impossible to pay for …
Statistically, Amy, I suspect you'd find that relatively few people join the military only to help pay for college (especially since the G.I. Bill has been essentially emasculated). While I'm sure there are tons of individual reasons, I think the underlying foundation is often one of respect. Can you name any other decision a kid straight out of high school can make and be guaranteed almost instant respect and support?
However, when you sign that paper to join the Army, or Marines, or whatever other branch- you have to be willing to enter the destructive realm... you have to be willing to trade life for death- and that's where I think the similarity lies.
The similarity is probably closer than most suspect, Amy. Boot camp is every bit as much about mental conditioning as it is physical conditioning. Watch a Marine raw out of boot, and you can almost see the bullets bounce off his chest as he walks down the street. He is invincible.
Being willing or prepared to trade life for death has nothing to do with being told to deliberately kill yourself - otherwise recruiting policemen, firemen or anyone whose duties involved the possibility of serious injury or death would be on the same keel as suicide bombers …
You can't easily compare soldiers to policemen or firemen, Mike, because the latter rarely face dangers directly controlled by themselves and they typically only risk their lives for the life of another. Soldiers, on the other hand, face danger because their superiors put them in danger, usually to "gain ground," and almost never to directly save a life. A fireman's risk is strategic, while a soldier's is usually tactical.
The soldiers who stormed the beaches of Normandy were noble and brave, but none of them were rushing into a burning room to save a trapped three-year-old. Their sacrifice, which was statistical suicide during the earlier waves, was a tactic necessary to accomplish a greater strategy. The fireman can see his goal, while the soldier can only believe in his. In the same sense, I strongly suspect, that suicide bombers believe in theirs.
Being told to deliberately kill yourself is, indeed, harsh. Being sent to your death without being told it is suicide is no less harsh, and any Marine in hard combat for more than a few months has surely seen it happen. Pawns must be sacrificed to control the center squares, and officers are trained to make those sacrifices. At the end of the day, dead is dead, and the only thing that matters is who sits where on the board.
All of war is predicated on the notion that some ideals carry a higher value than does human life. That is as true for our enemies as it is for us.
It appears to me that you are saying whatever can be painted with a black brush is equally evil, almost as if to say no one has the right to claim the difference between good and evil because one man's good can be another man's evil and who is one to claim the other as evil just because it is different than the accuser's definition as good?
No, Mike, I'm pretty much trying to say exactly the opposite.
Toerags's condemnation of Democrats in this thread, as well as yours and other's in other threads, is very little different than Denise's condemnation of terrorists. And, that just can't be right. Toe maintains he's willing to "do anything" to save an American life, but presumably that won't include any Democrats. 'Cause they're evil. Just as evil as terrorists. That's the inevitable result of black and white thinking.
Black only comes in one shade.
The only way to avoid painting Democrats with the same broad brush as terrorists, is to look beyond the obvious. Does anyone truly believe their U.S. Senator is in league with the devil? Give me a break! Every American leader in every age always believes they are going to do the greater good at the least cost. You may not agree with their reasoning, but to question their motives leads only to gross contradictions. An evil Bill Clinton could not become President unless this country is either evil or stupid. People make mistakes. Mistakes don't mean a person is evil.
Looking beyond the obvious requires actual thinking, but the result of examining motivation is inevitably a shade of gray. Democrats aren't black, Republicans aren't white, each is just a human being doing the best they know how. It is absolutely fine to disagree with what they think will be best. Even vehemently. The result of such disagreement will simply bring a darker shade of gray.
Democrats are now gray and terrorists are black, and doesn't that make much more sense in a world of meaning and reason?
Not really. Because once you are on the path of actually thinking, you should soon find yourself examining the motivations of the terrorists, too. And, yea, you're going to run into some more grays. Darker grays, perhaps, but still grays and not blacks. No matter how much you disagree with someone, it is always possible to imagine something darker. Pure black is as impossible to find in this world as is pure white.
Personally I'm going to continue to believe that humans are born and grow with an inner knowledge of right and wrong, of good and evil and decency.
I actually agree, Mike. Trouble is, everything I read in these forums seems to suggest they are also born with the innate ability to justify and rationalize anything as right if they try hard enough.
How can hurting "innocent civilians" be inherently wrong when dropping nuclear bombs on Japanese cities was "necessary" to save American lives? Why does our sense of decency seem to twist and turn according to circumstance and need?
I wish the only men in this world I had to face were the evil ones. Because the righteous ones scare the hell out of me.