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A question to soldiers

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airborne
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After reading Objectivism, I've become very negative about the world(and I've read this usually happens). Now, since I was and still am considering army service in Israel, the thought came up about fighting an enemy for an enemy.

As a soldier, I don't understand how one could fight for any "free" government in this day. Terrorism needs to be fought, but how do you handle the fact that when your away from home your fighting terrorism which threatens your life, but when your back home you need to fight a government which robs your money and may even be continuing on statist trends(environmentalism, taxes, "Free healthcare", "free education")? Does this not encourage you to say 'f*ck em both'?

Edited by Capitalism Forever
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Terrorism needs to be fought, but how do you handle the fact that when your away from home your fighting terrorism which threatens your life, but when your back home you need to fight a government which robs your money and may even be continuing on statist trends(environmentalism, taxes, "Free healthcare", "free education")? Does this not encourage you to say 'f*ck em both'?

As a potential soldier, you need to identify which is a greater threat (or enemy as you said) right now to you and to your values and whether or not it is in your best interest and your values to become a soldier or to fight it or them some other way.

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Does this not encourage you to say 'f*ck em both'?
Which is different from saying 'f

*c

k em all. Emigration may be worth considering -- I don't know how bad the socialism problem really is. I hear that taxes are very high: but is actual death better than taxes? Would it be better to get blown up on a bus than to have a system of state-paid schooling and medicine? Presumably you don't really prefer death. Don't engage in the mistake of thinking that of one choice is imperfect, then it should be avoided. Always make the best choice, not the perfect choice.

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  • 2 weeks later...
After reading Objectivism, I've become very negative about the world(and I've read this usually happens). Now, since I was and still am considering army service in Israel, the thought came up about fighting an enemy for an enemy.

As a soldier, I don't understand how one could fight for any "free" government in this day. Terrorism needs to be fought, but how do you handle the fact that when your away from home your fighting terrorism which threatens your life, but when your back home you need to fight a government which robs your money and may even be continuing on statist trends(environmentalism, taxes, "Free healthcare", "free education")? Does this not encourage you to say 'f*ck em both'?

Take it from me, a U.S Marine. It is extremely hard. The way I see it, I am fighting against our most formidable enemy--terrorism and religious extremism. Don't think that It is easy to fight for this government, but I am fighting for a cause that supercedes any cause the government could have.

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A point I find important to remember when thinking about this subject is that in this country we STILL have the the best government on Earth. Unfortunately, at this time, our elected representatives chose to serve other interests than their oaths of office and our Constitution prescribe.

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  • 1 month later...
As a soldier, I don't understand how one could fight for any "free" government in this day. Terrorism needs to be fought, but how do you handle the fact that when your away from home your fighting terrorism which threatens your life, but when your back home you need to fight a government which robs your money and may even be continuing on statist trends(environmentalism, taxes, "Free healthcare", "free education")? Does this not encourage you to say 'f*ck em both'?

Well I'm in the American military, not the Israeli military, so let me discuss that and hopefully it will help you. In America I think we still have the best Constitution the world has ever seen and despite the steady crawl of socialism and various other evils into our government, we are still a free country. I will go AWOL and rebel if America ceases to be free. My objective criteria for that is the day freedom of speach is struck from the US Constitution (once that is gone, Reason no longer has any power to bring us back and the only resort is armed force). Right now, America is still worth fighting for.

I had a difficult time with this for a while as well, especially since my involvement with the military and with O'ism began at around the same time. My belief at the time was that if America is doomed then there are no longer any values in the world possible for me to pursue. I decided that if that was the case then fighting for America would be my way to honor the memory of the greatest country on earth as it finally plunged into darkness. "Like laying flowers on a grave." Of course my view of the world is not that grim anymore: I think that we will win. I think we will defeat Collectivism, Islamofacism, and anything else our enemies want to throw against us.

Edited by badkarma556
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I am preparing for the Marine Corps and share the sentiment that others have expressed, that America is worth fighting for, and I believe that in a sense that is beyond politics, but in a social sense. I do not like the direction that some of our political movements are heading, though hard-lining capitalism does seem to be growing more popular. But I believe that what supports our political system, our scientific, individualistic, and rational society, is still fundamentally alive, and it can still develop into a more dominant, assertive culture that is applied more consistently. I believe Israeli society, though flawed, is still fundamentally scientific, individualistic, and seeks progress. It is largely a society that values good life and prosperity, and it is worth defending. Yes, the government steals; yes, they conscript your life into involuntary service. These are glaring irrationalities that cannot be forgiven or explained away. But it seems to me the core of good that is still manifest in Israel outweighs this and, in our cultural wars, it can overcome the statist and altruistic elements.

However, all that said, I'm not sure I would serve in the Israeli military. For example, in America, I am preparing to join of my own free will. Still, our government could conscript me if my representatives so decided. If I were conscripted, I believe I would refuse to join and protest by means of civil disobedience. I think that is a matter you should consider thoroughly.

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  • 1 month later...

I am in the American military as well. I will echo SkyTrooper's sentiment in that America is still worth fighting for.

America remains one of the most free and moral countries on this earth. It faces a physical and a philosophical threat. If America is eliminated physically, it obviously cannot be saved philisophically. I believe that it can be saved philisophically, although things are probably going to get worse before they get better.

--Randall

Edited by Randall
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I'm in the Canadian Military and aside from parroting the responses of my American brothers (substituting Canada for the USA of course :D) I will add that I soldier because I am well paid for my service and I am very good at it.

It is the productive work that I was meant to do.

Dealing with conscripted service is a different beast and I would suggest that if you can not find reason to support your nation, if you honestly believe that there is nothing in it worth fighting for (even if that reason is only those you love) in Israel then perhaps you should find the place/ideal that for you is worth fighting for.

Edited by Zip
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  • 3 weeks later...

If you would consider the writings of Thomas Jefferson, as outlined in the American Constitution, then you must defend against enemies both foreign AND domestic, where, apparently those whom are domestic pose the greater danger.

Alexander Hamilton for example, original proponent of the Federal Reserve, and man who's face is on the ten note was/is known for slandering opponents in his "politics" including Thomas Jefferson himself. He died when he tried to do the same to Aaron Burr whom challenged him to a duel in response to his accusations and killed the SOB!

Just goes to show how deep that runs, most people might idealize Hamilton but in reality, he really was an SOB and may best be considered as the Anti Thesis to Jefferson and the original bureaucratic scumbag!

As far as supporting the troops, you should check out youtube. There's one video I saw where a marine threw a puppy off a cliff. But you know how it is, "SUPPORT OUR TROOPS!!" no matter than the reasons for war and whether it is unjust or against constitution or not... We can always make excuses right?

I also wonder what this business about serving your country is, particularly in regards to America. See, I always thought that the only thing I ever owed, and I stress "owed", in any sense of the word, to America, or more so to myself, was to be an individual. With that I do not fully understand how joining the military for the benefit of others necessarily fulfills that. :thumbsup:

Point being, if you want to join the military, do it for yourself. Make it selfish. Get whatever you can out of it, whether it's general self improvement or the shit load of inflated currency they want to offer. :)

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  • 3 weeks later...
There's one video I saw where a marine threw a puppy off a cliff. But you know how it is, "SUPPORT OUR TROOPS!!" no matter than the reasons for war and whether it is unjust or against constitution or not... We can always make excuses right?

Yea I definitely like to kill puppies. Clearly if you saw a video of a marine killing a puppy on YouTube then everyone in the military does it all the time. So it's alright dude, I don't want your "support".

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After reading Objectivism, I've become very negative about the world(and I've read this usually happens). Now, since I was and still am considering army service in Israel, the thought came up about fighting an enemy for an enemy.

As a soldier, I don't understand how one could fight for any "free" government in this day. Terrorism needs to be fought, but how do you handle the fact that when your away from home your fighting terrorism which threatens your life, but when your back home you need to fight a government which robs your money and may even be continuing on statist trends(environmentalism, taxes, "Free healthcare", "free education")? Does this not encourage you to say 'f*ck em both'?

Actually the biggest worry I would have about serving in today's military is about the rules of engagement, courtesy of the Just War Theory. If you join, you will be taught that the life of an enemy civilian is more valuable than your own, and that you should expose yourself to significant risk of death or bodily injury in order to save the lives of enemy civilians.

I don't know how much of that teaching is actually put into practice in the various armed services, here or abroad, but I know it's being taught in the service academies, and I know that the media is judging the actions of militaries -- both foreign and domestic -- accordingly.

So be careful all of you...

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Actually the biggest worry I would have about serving in today's military is about the rules of engagement, courtesy of the Just War Theory. If you join, you will be taught that the life of an enemy civilian is more valuable than your own, and that you should expose yourself to significant risk of death or bodily injury in order to save the lives of enemy civilians.

I don't know how much of that teaching is actually put into practice in the various armed services, here or abroad, but I know it's being taught in the service academies, and I know that the media is judging the actions of militaries -- both foreign and domestic -- accordingly.

So be careful all of you...

What exactly constitutes an "enemy civilian"? The definition of a civilian is a noncombatant. So how are you to say they are your enemy? What's to say they have anything to do with your military opponent? I understand that sometimes civilians aid and abet the enemy, by providing them supplies or shelter, for instance. But there is no reason to think that all civilians do that. I think the conception of civilians in an occupied country as the enemy is extremely dangerous and unproductive. The truth is that you cannot actually end a conflict without winning the "hearts and minds", even though you may technically win militarily. As long as there is still a will to fight on the part of a large segment of the population, the war will go on and the threat will not be neutralized.

The horrible part about war is that it means innocent people have to die, and I don't think you can win a war without killing civilians. But it's one thing to know that civilians are going to be killed by actions you absolutely have to take and quite another not giving a damn whether you kill anything in your path.

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What exactly constitutes an "enemy civilian"? The definition of a civilian is a noncombatant.
That definition is mistaken. Being "military" is a formal relationship. The attack which destroyed the Twin Towers and killed 3,000 people was carried out by enemy civilians -- they were not in the army of e.g. Afghanistan.
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What exactly constitutes an "enemy civilian"? The definition of a civilian is a noncombatant. So how are you to say they are your enemy? What's to say they have anything to do with your military opponent?

Here I am following Yaron Brook, who wrote at great length on this issue in The Objective Standard. In essence he wrote that, if we are fighting a proper war of self-defense, then we are justified in doing whatever is necessary to eliminate the threat to ourselves, with minimal loss of life on our side (civilian and military). While no sane person advocates *gratuitous* killing of enemy non-combatants (why waste the resources?), if some of them are killed in the course of our taking justified actions in self-defense, then their being killed is the responsibility of the aggressor nation. In the course of a proper war (Iraq is not one of these, unfortunately), our military should not be taking on unnecessary risks to themselves, in the course of completing proper military missions, in order to avoid civilian casualties.

Edited by To the Dogs
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While no sane person advocates *gratuitous* killing of enemy non-combatants (why waste the resources?), if some of them are killed in the course of our taking justified actions in self-defense, then their being killed is the responsibility of the aggressor nation.

I think this is a very interesting topic. I would definitely fall in line with Y. Brook on this, too. However, I would like to remind people that the Iraqi people ought to be voting with their feet. If you value your life, isn't the rational move to get on the first train outta Baghdad? I'm not sure how emigration works in the Middle East, especially Iraq in particular, but I'd risk a great deal to get outta dodge once I was in earshot of bombs and bullets! An Iraqi civilian may be innocent of aggression but that does not free him from the responsibility of improving his lot. Withdrawing your support of a tyrannical, backward country like Iraq should be the action of just about every civilian in my book.

I have a question to those who support the troops but not the war/govt./Bush foreign policy etc (I'll leave aside those who enlisted prior to the Afghan/Iraq conflict for the sake of argument alone). If a Aleph_o signs up in 2008 to join the Marines, does it not follow that he or she signs up in support of the war (govt./Bush foreign policy)? Why support Aleph_o and not the war when Aleph_o is responsible for the war? If you join the military in the wake of an unjust war, you are the willing means to the ends of an unjust state. By signing up to be tool of destruction in the hands of this government during a war like this, you should not only lose our support but you should be scorned.

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