Archive for the ‘military’ Category

Historical Perspective on Today’s War – WWI vs Current Conflict


I have been thinking a lot about today’s veterans and I have to hand it to each and every person who gets on an airplane to go to war to defend our or any country.

I think, however, that the culture has changed so much that we back here tend to think in ‘who is to blame’ far more than we should.

I have been told that there is a quote from the Civil War that “War is Hell” and I was recently watching a documentary on television about World War I where several veterans said yes it is Hell on Earth.

However, I think one big difference between culture then and culture now (NOT the troops the culture here) is that in the first World War the soldiers and everyone knew that every single time there was a firefight or battle that not every soldier was going to come back. They knew it. Now we get really mad at our politicians if a soldier goes into battle and dies.

I don’t want them to die. I am a veteran. NO ONE wants them to die. But SOLDIERS go into these situations knowing that it is possible. They don’t want to but it can happen. They know it. Yet they go. That takes a real sense of duty. I think they should all be commended for facing this fear so we don’t have to. We must rally behind their feeling and accept that risk but only if we have to go to war. War should be the LAST resort. If the current wars are the last resort or not is for people smarter than me to figure out. I hold no sway nor will I render an opinion on the validity of the conflicts we are in merely accept that we are in them.

Second, in some of these interviews the WWI vets states almost uniformly that going to war caused them to appreciate life and get the most they could out of it. THey learned to work hard and sacrifice. Something as a country we need to work harder at.

Third they knew it was kill or be killed. This is something we mess up today I think. We go into war and have rules that come down from politicians who are safe and cozy that killing is a last resort. I think WWI had it right. If that guy wants to kill me…Well I really want to kill him. That is war. We are at war, and our soldiers should be fully in the mode of those from previous conflicts when it comes to those who mean to do them harm.

Also several interviewed veterans said something that stuck me as missing from most of the current dialog. They believed that contry came before self gratification. How many people today would make that statement? I suspect it is VERY few.

DaScienceGuy

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Perspective on the world today from a World War II Era Woman


I was in downtown Boston over the weekend and had the chance to talk with a very long time resident.

When I say long time I really mean it in this case. She moved to Boston at age 20 during World War II!!

I asked her a lot of questions obviously but one of her answers sticks in my head. I asked her what she thought of the world today versus other periods in her life. Her answer was interesting and frightening: “It is far more dangerous.”

I of course had the immediate follow up of why do you think that…

Her answer was long so I am going to paraphrase but this is close….

Today we have North Korea, Iran and to a lessor extent China all being openly aggressive or in the case of China diplomatically aggressive. Her other concern was it took years for people like Hitler to come to power. In the modern day it can happen in months. From Junior Senator to President. (She nor I am saying President Obama is Hitler it is merely an example of rapid rise to power).

Now here is the other concern she had. Weapons and day to day tools are far more dangerous than they ever have been before. Airplanes flown into buildings can kill on the order of the same number of people as an organized attack by a large part of the Japanese Navy did at Pearl Harbor.

Here is her final concern: Celebrity Politicians have gotten worse. She cited John Kerry (to a lessor extent unless you are here in Boston), Hillary, Palin. Many to all of which are more concerned with their ‘brand’ so they can sell the next book than they are with world peace. She was very big on world peace and her dream that one day armies were unneeded (I’m sure all military members hope that day comes until then they proudly serve).

I have to say this was the most intersting and frightening random conversation I have had in a very long time.

DaScienceGuy

Military Tribunals vs. Civilian Court for terrorists


I have been thinking a lot about what I would do if I were President with the prisoners in Gitmo.  I can say this I’m glad I’m not President.  I wouldn’t want to figure this one out.

I also think that we should have done something with them a LONG time ago rather than just letting them sit there.

I think civilian trials are a bad idea, forgetting about the cost.  The cost is one thing and it would be EXPENSIVE but like I said bag the cost just think about the best foot forward.

These guys consider this as a war.  They act against us as a military or paramilitary group.  Let’s forget civilian trials then.  Go with military tribunals.  But lets just get it done.  Stop waiting and move forward smartly.

Civilian trials would end up being a media circus with a movie of the week or something.  Certainly would give the terrorists or suspected terrorists and soapbox from which to scream their politics.  I’m find with free speech and as much as you want to do.  What I am not ok with is doing that at Taxpayer expense.  Feel free to spout your own stuff on your own time and dime.

Military trials would be less showy.  I also think they are probably as fare as anything you are likely to get for these guys.  Move forward and get it done Mr. President.

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, my point of view


I heard the President bring up Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell along with everyone else.  I have been now listening to the talking heads throw it around like a basketball.

Here is my take…And I’ll leave it at this.

Fine, remove the rule but here is how I would do it if I were in charge.

In the non-combat units fully integrated, no problem go for it.

Combat units, make units that are full heterosexual or full homosexual.  These guys have to live together, shower together, they have no privacy.  There can be NO questions.  There can be emotion in these units fine but this is different.  This goes beyond friends, potentially.  You cover your buddy, but do you leave your buddy uncovered to cover someone who is closer to you?  That could be devastating to those units.

Before you say this is homophobic I hold the exact same opinion about women in combat.  Let them in but full up 100% female units.

If you feel I am wrong please leave a comment but tell me WHY I am wrong not just call me names…Be constructive and perhaps I can change my opinion but for the moment this is it.