Debate and Discussion

When the troops return ...
Jeegoo at 7:47PM, Aug. 21, 2007
(online)
posts: 26
joined: 8-18-2007
I suppose this question would be aimed at anyone who lives in a country that has soldiers/peacekeepers serving in Afghanistan/Iraq or somewhere else.

When the servicemen return, how are you going to treat them? When you pass a soldier on the street are you going to ignore him/shake his hand/spit on him and call him a murderer? Will you support throwing them parades? Will you arrange protests against them?

I ask this because throughout history, the civilian population has reacted in different ways to the return of is victorious/defeated armies and I'm interested to find out how people will view the war and the soldiers who fought in it after it has be won/lost. This reaction has a considerable effect on returning servicemen and women, the proof can be seen when you look at all our past wars.

When servicemen return from a victorious war to a grateful population, ceremonies and parades they feel that their actions are justified. “I know I killed people, but it was for my country, and they appreciate me for that.” This knowledge aids them greatly, and makes it easier for them to adjust to life post-war. For examples of this, look at WWI and WWII servicemen. Compared to more recent wars few of them suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (also known as shell-shock) or other psychological disorders related to the wars.

When servicemen return from a victorious war to a hostile population, many have difficulty justifying their actions. “I killed people to save other people, but my country hates me for it. Am I a murderer or not?” This puts the returned servicemen in two minds - did he do the right thing or not? For examples of this, look at the Korean War. The servicemen left behind a grateful country, and returned to their own homes, which were for the most part hostile towards them. Therefore, many of these servicemen suffered from PTSD and other psychological problems related to the war. Others could not justify their actions, and committed suicide.

Lastly, when servicemen return from a defeat to a hostile population, most of them will have trouble justifying their actions. “I killed people, and now my country hates me for it. I'm a murderer.” The soldier believes that his government turned him into a criminal for no reason, and has considerable difficulty in dealing with this knowledge. For examples of this, look at the Vietnam War. When the servicemen returned, they were ignored and treated with contempt. Most of these men suffer from PTSD and other psychological problems, and many have killed themselves, unable to justify their actions.

So, how will you greet your returned servicemen? Will it depend on whether they win or lose? Why? I personally will support all returned servicemen, regardless on the outcome of the war. I have family who fought in Vietnam, and it is extraordinarily painful to hear about men who survived Vietnam, only to kill themselves after they returned and I think our servicemen and women deserve better treatment. Even if you don't support the war, you can hardly blame it on them.


All of the information here I summarised from the book “On Killing” by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman (IBSN: 0-316-33000-0) XP Just in case anyone is interested.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:07PM
warren at 9:31PM, Aug. 21, 2007
(offline)
posts: 110
joined: 1-9-2007
They served. Regardless of if they should be over there, that deserves recognition.

And anyone who would spit on them is probably too cowardly to do what they did anyway, all politics aside.
Warren

On the Duck:
Title -updating! ~30 strips!
PAC -New! >10 strips.

Others:
Spare Change -updating! ~2000 strips!
Mass Production -hiatus. ~300 strips.

This guy does Piss Mario, Stick, and Filler!
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:48PM
mapaghimagsik at 10:21PM, Aug. 21, 2007
(offline)
posts: 711
joined: 9-8-2006
I know there's this rumor about soliders returning from Vietnam getting spit on by protesters, but there's no real recorded incident. Its all folklore. Its a shame, because its just another wedge used to drive people apart.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
ozoneocean at 2:43AM, Aug. 22, 2007
(online)
posts: 24,995
joined: 1-2-2004
I'm sure that not very many people anywhere will be nasty to the current crop of returning troops. There will be one or two but out of the people who're nice and the people who're indifferent, the nasty ones will be in such a tiny minority that you can ignore that they even exist.

But let me ask this: Say for example your country's troops just came back from doing something like Nanking in China, would it be a good thing to shake their hands and regale them as heroes then?
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
StaceyMontgomery at 4:26AM, Aug. 22, 2007
(offline)
posts: 520
joined: 4-7-2007
The answer, of course, is that most Americans will neither spit upon nor welcome home the troops returning from Iraq. They will simply ignore them, as we have more or less ignored them throughout the war. I predict that Americans will continue to do so. Spitting does not seem so bad to me, in that context.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
Jeegoo at 5:29AM, Aug. 22, 2007
(online)
posts: 26
joined: 8-18-2007
ozoneocean
But let me ask this: Say for example your country's troops just came back from doing something like Nanking in China, would it be a good thing to shake their hands and regale them as heroes then?

I only recently watched a documentary on the events in Nanking (Part 1 and Part 2) and I can honestly say that regardless of the country that perpetrated those crimes, I would have felt the same amount of horror and revulsion. What I find hard to accept, more than the act itself, is the way some Japanese historians deny this atrocity ever happened, and some even accuse the Chinese of setting it up themselves to stir up bad feelings towards the Japanese.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:07PM
Vindibudd at 10:16AM, Aug. 22, 2007
(online)
posts: 416
joined: 1-29-2006
mapaghimagsik
I know there's this rumor about soliders returning from Vietnam getting spit on by protesters, but there's no real recorded incident. Its all folklore. Its a shame, because its just another wedge used to drive people apart.

No, it actually did happen. Who told you that it was folklore?
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
Vindibudd at 10:17AM, Aug. 22, 2007
(online)
posts: 416
joined: 1-29-2006
StaceyMontgomery
The answer, of course, is that most Americans will neither spit upon nor welcome home the troops returning from Iraq. They will simply ignore them, as we have more or less ignored them throughout the war. I predict that Americans will continue to do so. Spitting does not seem so bad to me, in that context.

In what context is spitting on a veteran “not so bad”?
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
Priest_Revan at 11:56AM, Aug. 22, 2007
(offline)
posts: 2,339
joined: 12-31-2006
I'll treat them the same way I treat everyone. No one gets special treatment.

Updates Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday's (depends).

7/0

Offering Project Wonderful Ad space on my website.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:48PM
Vindibudd at 12:24PM, Aug. 22, 2007
(online)
posts: 416
joined: 1-29-2006
Priest_Revan
I'll treat them the same way I treat everyone. No one gets special treatment.

You don't believe that veterans have done anything worthy of special treatment?
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
7384395948urhfdjfrueruieieueue at 12:47PM, Aug. 22, 2007
(offline)
posts: 6,921
joined: 8-5-2006
I'd treat them better because they risked their lives like that. Doesn't mean I support the war, though. But, still, what they did deserves recognition.
i will also like to know you the more
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:04AM
Shar at 12:49PM, Aug. 22, 2007
(offline)
posts: 59
joined: 8-12-2007
Soldiers don't get a say on what their orders are.

Refuse and you get court marshalled.
I'm With Shar.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:33PM
Hawk at 1:00PM, Aug. 22, 2007
(online)
posts: 2,760
joined: 1-2-2006
Shar
Soldiers don't get a say on what their orders are.

Refuse and you get court marshalled.

Or worse, killed.

Last I heard, if you're in the middle of battle and you refuse an order, your commanding officer can shoot you on the spot.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
StaceyMontgomery at 1:01PM, Aug. 22, 2007
(offline)
posts: 520
joined: 4-7-2007
Vindibud - I clearly described the context I was talking about. You are, of course, welcome to disagree with what I said. But please don't just ask me to repeat myself. It's rude, and it rather makes it seem like you are baiting people. If you want me to elaborate on my ideas, the polite thing to say is something along the lines of “I would like you to elaborate on your ideas.” Don't just turn my statement around as a question. Honestly, it makes you seem like a Rogerian Therapist - or ELIZA.

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
Vindibudd at 1:04PM, Aug. 22, 2007
(online)
posts: 416
joined: 1-29-2006
StaceyMontgomery
Vindibud - I clearly described the context I was talking about. You are, of course, welcome to disagree with what I said. But please don't just ask me to repeat myself. It's rude, and it rather makes it seem like you are baiting people. If you want me to elaborate on my ideas, the polite thing to say is something along the lines of “I would like you to elaborate on your ideas.” Don't just turn my statement around as a question. Honestly, it makes you seem like a Rogerian Therapist - or ELIZA.



Well excuse me for asking you where you thought that spitting on someone was “not so bad” in a particular “context.” My apologies.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
mapaghimagsik at 2:27PM, Aug. 22, 2007
(offline)
posts: 711
joined: 9-8-2006
Vindibudd
mapaghimagsik
I know there's this rumor about soliders returning from Vietnam getting spit on by protesters, but there's no real recorded incident. Its all folklore. Its a shame, because its just another wedge used to drive people apart.

No, it actually did happen. Who told you that it was folklore?

There's lots of discussion around your kneejerk response. Start
here

Oh, and one other thing. Surveys indicate 93% of returning Vietnam Vets found their welcomes warm.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
mapaghimagsik at 2:29PM, Aug. 22, 2007
(offline)
posts: 711
joined: 9-8-2006
Hawk
Shar
Soldiers don't get a say on what their orders are.

Refuse and you get court marshalled.

Or worse, killed.

Last I heard, if you're in the middle of battle and you refuse an order, your commanding officer can shoot you on the spot.

Isn't there some facility for refusing an illegal order?
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
StaceyMontgomery at 2:53PM, Aug. 22, 2007
(offline)
posts: 520
joined: 4-7-2007
I have never served in the US military, but my understanding is that the US Uniform Code of Military Conduct requires a member of the armed forces to obey all legal orders - and to not obey illegal ones. Of course, a great deal of leeway is traditionally granted to soldiers in a war zone, but the basic principle is an important one.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
Vindibudd at 3:25PM, Aug. 22, 2007
(online)
posts: 416
joined: 1-29-2006
mapaghimagsik
I know there's this rumor about soliders returning from Vietnam getting spit on by protesters, but there's no real recorded incident. Its all folklore. Its a shame, because its just another wedge used to drive people apart.

There's lots of discussion around your kneejerk response. Start
here.

http://img252.imageshack.us/my.php?image=sheboyganpressmarch1619ue7.jpg

I guess this was a reporter lying.

http://img252.imageshack.us/my.php?image=oshkoshdailynorthwesterlt6.jpg

As was this by that two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, James Reston.

James Reston
It is difficult to report publicly the ugly and vulgar provocation of many of the militants. They spat on some of the soldiers in the front line at the Pentagon and goaded them with the most vicious personal slander. Many of the signs carried by a small number of militants . . . are too obscene to print.

Jerry Lembcke fails at research.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
mapaghimagsik at 3:56PM, Aug. 22, 2007
(offline)
posts: 711
joined: 9-8-2006
Vindibudd
mapaghimagsik
I know there's this rumor about soliders returning from Vietnam getting spit on by protesters, but there's no real recorded incident. Its all folklore. Its a shame, because its just another wedge used to drive people apart.

There's lots of discussion around your kneejerk response. Start
here.

http://img252.imageshack.us/my.php?image=sheboyganpressmarch1619ue7.jpg

I guess this was a reporter lying.

http://img252.imageshack.us/my.php?image=oshkoshdailynorthwesterlt6.jpg

As was this by that two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, James Reston.

James Reston
It is difficult to report publicly the ugly and vulgar provocation of many of the militants. They spat on some of the soldiers in the front line at the Pentagon and goaded them with the most vicious personal slander. Many of the signs carried by a small number of militants . . . are too obscene to print.

Jerry Lembcke fails at research.

It would appear so. But curiously enough, no arrests? Also, it seems this area is contentious. As from Jack Schafer:

But for all his industry, Lindgren has failed so far to produce a contemporaneous news account—or other corroborative evidence—of a protester ambushing a returning veteran with a gob of spit, which I take as the main point of Lembcke's book, Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam.



last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
mapaghimagsik at 4:06PM, Aug. 22, 2007
(offline)
posts: 711
joined: 9-8-2006
ozoneocean
I'm sure that not very many people anywhere will be nasty to the current crop of returning troops. There will be one or two but out of the people who're nice and the people who're indifferent, the nasty ones will be in such a tiny minority that you can ignore that they even exist.

But let me ask this: Say for example your country's troops just came back from doing something like Nanking in China, would it be a good thing to shake their hands and regale them as heroes then?

Great question. It seems that military justice is inconsistent. The soldier who raped a 14 year old Iraqi girl got over a hundred years – I'd consider the death penalty, just as in a civilian case.

At the same time, the soldiers convicted of throwing a man into a hole and shooting him in the back of the head got time served.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
Jeegoo at 7:57PM, Aug. 22, 2007
(online)
posts: 26
joined: 8-18-2007
mapaghimagsik
Oh, and one other thing. Surveys indicate 93% of returning Vietnam Vets found their welcomes warm.

I've asked about this and I can say that it is complete and utter bull. Luckily I have some books here that have accounts of how Vietnam veterans and their families were really treated.

Here is an excerpt from the book “On Killing” by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman:

Page 275
But rather than parades and memorials the Vietnam veteran, who had only done what society had trained and ordered him to do, was greeted by a hostile environment in which he was ashamed to even wear the uniform and decorations that became such a vital part of who he was.
Even the twenty-year-late Vietnam Veterans Memorial had to be constructed in the face of the same indignity and misunderstanding that the veterans had endured for so long. Initially the memorial was not to have the flag and statue traditionally associated with such edifices: instead the monument to our nation's longest war was going to be just a “black gash of shame” with the names of the fallen engraved upon it. It was only after a long and bitter battle that veterans' groups were able to get a statue and a flagpole flying the US flag added to their memorial.

and:

Page 276
“On returning from Vietnam minus my right arm, I was accosted twice… by individuals who inquired, ”Where did you lose your arm? Vietnam?“ I replied, ”Yes.“ The response was ”Good. Serves you right."
– James W. Wagenbach
quoted in Bob Greene, Homecoming

further down on the page:

Page 276-277
The presence of a Viet Nam veteran in uniform in his home town was often the occasion for glares and slurs. He was not told that he had fought well; nor was he reassured that he had done only what his country and fellow citizens had asked him to do. Instead of reassurance there was often condemnations - baby killer, murderer - until he to began to question what he had done and, ultimately, his sanity. The result was that at least 500 000 - perhaps as many as 1,500 000 - returning Viet Nam Veterans suffered some degree of psychiatric debilitation, called Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, an illness which has become associated in the public mind with an entire generation of soldiers sent to war in Vietnam.

And for the person who said that the spitting was unfounded:

Page 278
A typical account is that of Douglas Detmer:

“I was spat upon in the San Francisco airport…. The man who spat on me ran up to me from the left rear, spat, and turned to face me. The spittle hit my on my left shoulder and on my few military decorations above my left breast pockets. He then shouted at me that I was a ”motherf—ing murderer." I was quite shocked and just stared at him….

I've got a whole ‘nother book I can quote from, if you still think that “93% of returning Vietnam Vets found their welcomes warm.”

Also, a question for everyone. Do you expect your military to obey orders? Or do you think they should be allowed to choose which orders they’d like to obey?
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:07PM
mapaghimagsik at 8:37PM, Aug. 22, 2007
(offline)
posts: 711
joined: 9-8-2006
Jeegoo
I've asked about this and I can say that it is complete and utter bull. Luckily I have some books here that have accounts of how Vietnam veterans and their families were really treated.



I dunno your book, so I can't really refute it. You don't refute my point either, but you do offer a different source. Knowing how big this country is, they could both be right.

I think soldiers should follow orders. I can even understand them following illegal orders. I have tremendous respect for those that actually buck illegal orders. Remember the Israeli pilots who didn't want to kill tons of civilians. They had real courage to stand up to the machine like that. I have a lot of respect for them.

It seems no one wants to talk about these guys, either. They stood up and gave a very professional opinion, without the gloss – both good and bad. I have a lot of respect for them because they struck me with a genuineness that actually seemed to care. Its very interesting to watch those people who want to “support the troops” trash guys like this, like they did with Beauchamp, because he gave a differing opinion.

So I guess the idea is that you got books. I got books. They disagree. Without some real analysis, we're waving books at each other. Perhaps another interesting area to explore is how counter intelligence has been used on the American people. Then we can disbelieve everything.

But, this drifts from the topic at hand.

When the troops return, they're gonna need our help. National Guard members have lost their jobs over their commitment overseas. People have lost limbs, familiy, and friends. So we should help them recover, and perhaps better understand the price we're really paying when we play with our “toy soliders.”

Just another interesting note. I have read that 1/3 of our homeless in this country are veterans. I don't have any corroborating data.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
warren at 7:10AM, Aug. 23, 2007
(offline)
posts: 110
joined: 1-9-2007
Perhaps we should just classify any politically motivated attacks (including simple assault) on returning troops as hate crimes. It certainly would meet the criteria.
Warren

On the Duck:
Title -updating! ~30 strips!
PAC -New! >10 strips.

Others:
Spare Change -updating! ~2000 strips!
Mass Production -hiatus. ~300 strips.

This guy does Piss Mario, Stick, and Filler!
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:48PM
Shar at 8:40AM, Aug. 23, 2007
(offline)
posts: 59
joined: 8-12-2007
warren
Perhaps we should just classify any politically motivated attacks (including simple assault) on returning troops as hate crimes. It certainly would meet the criteria.

The law is supposed to treat everyone equal. Who is to say wheter a attack was politically charged or simple anger.

Jeegoo
Also, a question for everyone. Do you expect your military to obey orders? Or do you think they should be allowed to choose which orders they'd like to obey?

A functional military requires blind obedience to orders.

For a comparison imagine that you are playing a rts like Starcraft or Dawn Of War and every once in a while one of your units would either blindly refuse to do what you ordered or tell you to explain why they should do it.

Soldiers are tools. Tools don't question their users.
They know what they signed up for.

But then there is the whole other aspect of things done outside orders. Thoose people should be shot in my truthsome opinion.

People who are given power due to armaments and then use it to exploit thoose of without power are beneath even contempt. They should be dealt with swiftly and left to rot with the rest of the casualties on the battlefield.

But you have to understand they are individuals.

It's like if people started spitting on catholic priests leaving churches because of what other people of that proffesion has done.

Lastly.

A soldier is a tool. Used for good or evil it is still a tool without say. Once they refuse orders or act on their own and commit heinous or commendable acts they are no longer a soldier.



I'm With Shar.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:33PM
warren at 9:03AM, Aug. 23, 2007
(offline)
posts: 110
joined: 1-9-2007
Shar
warren
Perhaps we should just classify any politically motivated attacks (including simple assault) on returning troops as hate crimes. It certainly would meet the criteria.

The law is supposed to treat everyone equal. Who is to say wheter a attack was politically charged or simple anger.
The law is supposed to be equal. However, it has been decided to be more equal in the case of attacks motivated by race or sexual preference. Why should it be any different for political reasons?

You can't have it both ways. Either hate crime legislation should be abolished altogether, or it should be broadened to protect anyone who is attacked for specific reasons of hatred.

Are you in favor of abolishing all hate crime legislation?
Warren

On the Duck:
Title -updating! ~30 strips!
PAC -New! >10 strips.

Others:
Spare Change -updating! ~2000 strips!
Mass Production -hiatus. ~300 strips.

This guy does Piss Mario, Stick, and Filler!
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:48PM
StaceyMontgomery at 9:28AM, Aug. 23, 2007
(offline)
posts: 520
joined: 4-7-2007
Personally, I believe in hate crime legislation. It's proven useful in all kinds of ways for protecting targeted populations. And yes, I would use hate crime legislation to cover veterans.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
Hawk at 9:35AM, Aug. 23, 2007
(online)
posts: 2,760
joined: 1-2-2006
mapaghimagsik
Hawk
Shar
Soldiers don't get a say on what their orders are.

Refuse and you get court marshalled.

Or worse, killed.

Last I heard, if you're in the middle of battle and you refuse an order, your commanding officer can shoot you on the spot.

Isn't there some facility for refusing an illegal order?

I don't know. That may be one to ask Phantom Penguin.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
SpANG at 9:57AM, Aug. 23, 2007
(online)
posts: 3,105
joined: 1-1-2006
mapaghimagsik
When the troops return, they're gonna need our help. National Guard members have lost their jobs over their commitment overseas.
Which is just RIDICULOUS in my opinion. National Gaurd troops were put in to place to what class? Guard OUR NATION.

Not that Bush is the first prez to do this, but it's still idiotic.

Also a little hypritical, since Bush enrolled in the NG so that he DIDN'T need to go to Nam.

Hawk
mapaghimagsik
Hawk
Or worse, killed.

Last I heard, if you're in the middle of battle and you refuse an order, your commanding officer can shoot you on the spot.

Isn't there some facility for refusing an illegal order?

I don't know. That may be one to ask Phantom Penguin.
It's probably true. Though I would HOPE that action would only be used if the soldier was disobeying orders in some treasonous way or another. I don't doubt it's done, though.

Jeegoo
When the servicemen return, how are you going to treat them? When you pass a soldier on the street are you going to ignore him/shake his hand/spit on him and call him a murderer? Will you support throwing them parades? Will you arrange protests against them?
I have no problem with the soldiers that are coming home, and I certainly wouldn't disrespect them. But I wouldn't take a lot of military personnel views to heart. In a big way, these men and women are insulated from the truth until they get back.

Honor them? Well, there is Veteran's Day already. And Memorial Day. And I pay my taxes, so I already contribute to ‘military benefits“ (healthcare, pension, etc.), and I’d certainly never begrudge that.

Hold a parade? Shake their hand and say ”thanks for the freedom"? Nah, that's a little over the top, and unsubstantiated to say the least. Especially when you consider that all a LOT of NY firefighters ( the ones that risked their lives on 9/11) got was a pink slip. Thanks Rudy.

I might also point out here that most protests are against the WAR, not the soldier. People like me just don't want our soldiers to die in vain. Which they are right now.
“To a rational mind, nothing is inexplicable. Only unexplained.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:52PM
TheMidge28 at 10:28AM, Aug. 23, 2007
(online)
posts: 6,847
joined: 7-5-2007
SpANG
mapaghimagsik
When the troops return, they're gonna need our help. National Guard members have lost their jobs over their commitment overseas.
Which is just RIDICULOUS in my opinion. National Gaurd troops were put in to place to what class? Guard OUR NATION.

Not that Bush is the first prez to do this, but it's still idiotic.

Also a little hypritical, since Bush enrolled in the NG so that he DIDN'T need to go to Nam.


What do you mean? Can you clarify?
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:21PM

Forgot Password
©2011 WOWIO, Inc. All Rights Reserved