Reasonably Ascertainable Reality

Thoughts and musings on current events and other random occurrences.

Location: South Jersey, United States

Friday, July 29, 2005

Bullshit for Bullshit's sake

I hate it when I see someone on the right just say something that has absolutely no merit at all. I mean, they just say it maybe because that is their experience. Yet, they don't take into account that possibly, somewhere beyond their realm, other people might have different experiences. Its just narrow-minded, idiotic and beyond the pale.

It's a double-bind for the military. When there's a draft, it's evil. When there's not a draft, they're mercenaries. It's almost like the game is rigged so that the military is always wrong . . . .Kennedy's idea of mandatory national service seems pointless, even on his terms. It's been done in Europe, and certainly hasn't produced the results he seeks.
I do agree that the "distance" of the military from American society is really a distance from left-leaning American society. Perhaps we should bring back mandatory ROTC at universities...

I'd like to see some empirical evidence for that last statement Glenn. I'm sure that if you asked 95% of people on the left they would mimic this idea: We support our military whole-heartedly and recognize them for being the heroes they are, we however, do not support the leadership of this country at this time. I wonder if you asked military people who lean to the left if they feel that distance.

Maybe Glenn was talking about that small percentage of leftists who don't support the military? Ok, point taken. Maybe he should take a look at the College Republicans who when asked why they don't enlist gave a myriad of answers including "I got into my first choice grad school" and "I can help more from home." Thats a pretty big 'distance' if you ask me. Glenn, stop, bend over, and please remove your head from your ass.


Blogger Dave Justus said...

I believe he is talking about the intellectual leftists epitomized by so many university instructors.

I don't think you can deny that our universities as a whole tend to be on the left side of the political spectrum and many (most?) are at least somewhat hostile to the military.

It is also undeniable that the military as a whole is more conservative than the general population.

Lastly, your comment about College Republicans is a rephrasing of the old 'chicken-hawk' arguement. That level of weak logic is beneath you.

8:25 AM  
Blogger Katinula said...

Well, what he said was 'left leaning American society' and no left leaning university instructors. I agree universities tend to lean left, but I dont necessarily agree they are hostile to the miliatry. You can't lump universities together because several top schools act a certain way. Stanford, Berkeley and like are maybe 1% of universities.
Lastly, I wasn't re-phrasing the chickenhawk arguement--I haven't linked to or commented on that arguement because I don't agree with it. But, I was pointing out that there is just as much disconnect from part of the right as there are from parts of the left. If someone asks you why you don't enlist for the Iraq campaign and the only response you can come up with is "the military are murderous thugs" or "i got into my first choice grad school"--I'm gonna go out on a limb and say the disconnect is pretty equal.

10:40 AM  
Blogger scott said...

Um, K. The majority of the left in this country do hate the military. I would like to see empirical evidence that supports the statement "about that small percentage of leftists who don't support the military".

Liberalism by its very nature can not support the miltary.

Generally, the only liberals who support the military are those that have met and know someone who serves. The rest--and in my opinion the majority because liberals tend to not hang out with those that would choose the military as a career unless they met them through work--look at the military with disdain.

My empirical evidence is personal experience.

7:57 PM  
Blogger Katinula said...

Scott, I can honestly say I would be disgusted by anyone who did not respect the military. It is one thing not to agree with a war or a president's policies, quite another to heap disdain on the men and women doing their jobs.
Having said that, on personal expererience, two of the most liberal people I know, both uncles-- One, a paratrooper in the forgotten war (Korea) and one a member of the Canadian Black Watch during WWII (enlisted at 16). The fantasy of the left 'hating the military' is not true.

10:07 AM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

I don't think that most people who is are left of center do not support the military.

I do think though that liberalism has changed since WWII and Korea with a much more anti-military focus to it. FDR was of course a 'liberal' but believed in a very strong military and was supportive of the notion that the military can accomplish 'good' in the world.

Liberalism today has changed. Most certainly support the soldiers, and believe that military is important for defense, but the notion that a military campaign, an invasion, can accomplish positive good is fairly unpopular on the liberal side of things, even when you move toward the center.

FDR and Kennedy both strongly believed that a proactive, often military, promotion of Democracy was a proper corse for the U.S. to take. Their beliefs and statements in this area are not dissimilar from those of George W. Bush's.

This is not a popular position among liberals anymore, to a large degree as a result of the Vietnam War. Even those who think that this attitude is sometimes correct are very skeptical of when and how it can and should be used (ironically, this used to be the 'conservative' view on using the military to spread democracy.)

8:31 AM  
Blogger Katinula said...

I'll agree with you there Dave, well said. I think that would pretty much describe my feelings on the use of military power. I'm not a pacifist by any means, but my level of skepticism is pretty high. It just makes me angry when people say the left hates the military since that is not my experience at all and most liberals I read or talk with don't feel that way at all.
However, unfortunately unfounded statements like that have become the norm on both the left and the right, with normal dialogue falling by the wayside.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

It isn't a huge step though from skepticism about the ability of the U.S. military to accomplish good things to a belief that the U.S. military itself is a bad thing.

Let me be clear, I do not believe you hold the latter view, but I think you can see that the train of ideas there is clear.

Given that enough on the left (Michael Moore for example) seem to loudly proclaim the evil of the U.S. military (while claiming to support the troops,) It is easy to see how the entire left get's painted with that brush.

The problem there is exageratted I think by how liberals as a whole respond to challenges about their militarism. They tend to, in my expirience, respond either by claiming the legacy of FDR and Kennedy as proof of the lefts military credentials (which as I explained, doesn't really fit with current reality) or they claim they support the troops because they want to bring them home immediately.

Imagine someone asking you if you supported the local highschool football team during a game and you said yes, that's why I want them forfeit so they can get to the after game party quickly.

People would look at you like you were insane for that answer.

I don't think it is unpatriotic to not support a given military action, but I think it is pretty silly to say I support the troops but I think they are doing the wrong thing.

11:02 AM  
Blogger Katinula said...

I'm not sure I understand that last statement. Its not unpatriotic, but it is silly? How I feel about Iraq can be described as supporting the troops but not supporting the mission. I don't think failure is an option in Iraq, I don't want us to pull out and I don't want our troops to lose. I do however think it was a huge mistake to go there, I don't support the mission, but I believe we are now responsible to finish the mission in the most expedient of manners.
You can support the troops and not support the action. I think people who play games with 'supporting the troops means supporting the mission' are completely devoid of any thought except black and white, yes or no--that isn't a good thing.
Secondly, trains of thought lead many places, it doesn't mean a broad brush can be applied to paint everyone at the starting point as ending up at the same destination. I could just as easily say people who want to fight the war against terrorism are racist against Muslims. Certainly I don't believe it but people who support the GWOT are all starting at the same point,and certainly there is a percentage of those people who want to kill all the Muslims of the world, however, that doesn't mean that everyone at the starting point (supporting the mission) ends up at the same place (kill all the muslims).
It is the broad brush that I object to. With a very few exceptions, using generalizations to paint one side or another is a way to minimize the opposite side with minimal effort, and it just makes the person who said it look narrow minded. I know I do it, everyone does, but its a tactic that reveals more about the person who said it instead of actual criticism of an idea.

3:07 PM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

"You can support the troops and not support the action."

I don't think I agree.

To rephrase this, using my example:

You can support the team and not want them to win the game.

See what I mean?

Even if you think it was a bad idea originally, if you think we need to 'win' now then you DO need to support the mission. The mission is to win.

If, on the other hand, a person sincerely does think that we shouldn't be in Iraq and we need to leave now, it is fine, and quite possibly even patriotic to urge that eventuality. It would not be supporting the troops though. Supporting the troops means hoping they succeed at accomplishing their mission and doing what you can to make that more likely.

8:10 AM  
Blogger Katinula said...

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree, because I don't feel that way. I don't think your paralell holds.
Exactly what can I do to help them 'win', which you say is the mission. Should I support the President and his new 'interrogation policies'? Not gonna happen. Should I pretend like everything in Iraq is going swimmingly? Not gonna happen. Should I not realize that with every single solitary mistake that was made, and I realize mistakes do get made, a person was PROMOTED for it or given a medal? The entire campaign from the impetus for the war up until today has been one of misinformation, fear mongering and borderline incompetence, not on the part of the military. I support the effort of the military, I support their heroics, I support their sacrifice, I support them doing their job when their commander calls, I just don't support the reason their commander called.

10:11 AM  

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