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WR Steve Smith from Iraq: 'A life-changing experience'


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#16 TheRumGone

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 06:57 PM

in other words, we are lucky as fug to be Americans.

#17 0115

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 07:00 PM

I came here to add this. We sit here debating the best moves for our football team. That should show you the big picture about the luxuries we have in the United States.

#18 Guest_FredLane4Ever_*

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 07:07 PM

The real matter here is that athletes visit all of the fake ass soldiers on big ass Air Force Bases that are like small cities, while all of the real soldiers are in the middle of nowhere sucking. I hate 99 percent of all military members. They are a bunch of pussies collecting a paycheck.


By the way when you watch sports and it shows soldiers watching the game. They are a bunch of pussies that have their own apartment with internet and are served great food. They have great gyms and can watch HD television then go to the shop and buy anything a normal civilian buys.

#19 carpantherfan84

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 07:12 PM

many of these great things we have come, to some extent at least, at the expense of others. just because america's hegemony allows us to sustain our unfettered greed doesn't make the hegemony itself a good thing IMO

you'll never see me knock the individual soldier as immoral for simply being in the military (see the "good nazi" argument for how easily the lines between good and bad are blurred when it comes to things like military action) but questioning the role of nationalism, hegemony, and the agency of the individual as a soldier is critical.

fwiw i spent two years in a marine corps officer development program... it was a dual enrollment through the officer selection office that let you join two years before graduating college, go to OCS in quantico, and get your commission at graduation before heading off to TBS. i made it through PLC OCS just fine, but ended up tearing cartilage in both knees that required arthroscopic surgeries and ultimately got booted from the corps before i could graduate college and get my commission.

i bring this up to show that i at one point stood rank-and-file with the most ardent supporters of military action, american imperialism, exceptionalism, and the seeming infallibility of the american military and american military actions in the eyes of a huge portion of the general public. my viewpoints have not come from institutional liberalization in marxist universities (the accusation that is most often leveled by people who cannot understand how my views have changed) but rather from removing the lens of nationalism that so easily blinds and distorts and looking at things from a larger, dispassionate perspective.

when you consider yourself a citizen of the world residing in america rather than wrapping your identity as a singular nationality - american - you begin to detect subtle problems in the manifestations of the latter worldview that expand into much larger ones the more you pursue them.

/tangent

steve smith is awesome


Honestly, I appreciate your point of view (im not sure how much of that is because of your attempt at joining the military, lol) however, I feel that it is a cop out to blame the soldier or even mention them as a point of contention in debates like these. The military is really a tool of the establishment. We perform a function that the majority of America does not want to do. In fact something like 98% of citizens will never serve a day. But as a constant in American culture, few people take any serious interest in the decision makers. It was incredibly easy to sway public opinion about the war, in the positive at the start and later in the negative when the money ran out. Americans do not put the necessary effort into adjusting the government in a way that would allow us to be a more moral society. IMO that is because the military is just that effective.

That nationalism is absolutely necessary for the survival of the nation. We must exalt the idea of a soldier if we are to maintain an effective, all volunteer fighting force. Not every decision will be good but if no one is willing to act on the decisions made and most importantly act of there own free will, someone else will and we wont have time to converse moral dilemmas.

I am well aware of the implications of the "good nazi" mindset. I do not feel as though America is at risk for that. That may be naive, but I feel that our system of checks and balances in government do not allow for the extreme situation that was Nazi Germany. I also know that in the mind of the soldier there is a line that governs behavior. This line is internal, cultural and deep. It draws a separation between what is acceptable behavior when interacting with other nations and what is not. This line is crossed at times, but be it "shell shock", "soldiers heart", "combat fatigue", or PTSD, crossing that line comes at incredible emotional, mental and often times physical rpain.

And lastly, my feelings of nationalism vs world-ism stems from my experience with so many other cultures. I do not claim to be just, but I do enjoy being comfortable. If there is another way to achieve the comforts of this nation I am more than open to it, but I just dont think the average American cares enough to do anything about it.

#20 KJ89

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 07:24 PM

Kudos to Steve. Again.

#21 top dawg

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 09:17 PM

this may well end up in the tinderbox because of the nature of the subject matter, and i don't mean this as an attack on steve, but i'd like to note that american soldiers in iraq are no more protecting our freedoms than 19th century british soldiers in colonial india were protecting the autonomy of the british isles.

fighting for their country =/= fighting to protect their country (unless you equate your country with hegemony, then i guess there's a case to be made)


I can see your point in the case of Iraq, but what of Afghanistan? Moreover, since you obviously attempt to see things from a more worldly point of view, don't you believe that it is duty as the lone superpower on earth to protect the innocent and stop tyranny in its tracks regardless if there is an ulterior motive and/or serves our nation's interests or not?

It is rare that Philly B and I are on the opposite sides of a conversation but I am a career soldier with multiple combat tours and I feel compelled to respond (though I may regret it later, lol)

The fact of the matter is is that America is a very powerful nation. We exercise our influence across the globe and constantly take military action to protect our "interests" Because of this we as citizens are able to enjoy a way of life unlike any where else in the world in particular we have enjoyed near unlimited access to resources that are rare in the world, i.e. food, water, oil, land. We drive huge gas guzzling cars that we park in our paved driveway that goes to a house that sits on a half acre of land that we spend our free time grooming because we can. There is no threat of starvation from running out of useable farm land. We spend hours on the weekend killing animals that we dont eat or catch fish simply because we like the challenge. There is absolutely no threat of invasion so we have plenty of free time to spend argueing about a game that is played by multimillionaires. As a nation our bellies are seldom empty and even our poor have access to facilities to shelter, clothe and feed them. The common family has such excess that most have tv's they never watch or rooms they never use. Yes these freedoms are many.

Indeed America is unique in its combination of wealth and security. But why is this? Is the rest of the world so incredibly generous that they clamour over one another to bask in the glory that is the US? Do they form lines to offer us tribute, that our country may continue to prosper? What keeps them at bay? A kind word and a firm handshake from the President? Well, I promise you that it is not our good looks and sunny disposition. This is what your military offers you. The knowledge that no matter what, you are safe to pursue your interests as an American citizen, free from the militaristic influence of other nations.

The members of the military volunteer to accept this responsiblity often times at great risk to their own life, but never with a complaint. You are obligated to respect that, because there is not one of you that would trade even one freedom in order to satisfy some trumped up sense of moral dilemna. That is what is meant by supporting the troops not necessarily the war. We do not choose the fight. We do not pick our battles or tell the public what nations we will exercise our influence. ALL of those decisions are made by civilians. If you dont like it vote new people in. That stuff is not our call. But without us there would be no nation to protect. There is one superpower. Just one. There can only be one. I am curious to hear who you would rather have that role other than us.


People may not like it, and when I stand before God I may find that I have to answer for some things, but this is what I do. I love this country. I am third generation Airborne Paratrooper. I have no delusions as to why we are strong, but I am completely comfortable with risking my life that you may keep yours.


"... there is not one of you that would trade even one freedom in order to satisfy some trumped up sense of moral dilemma."

That's very presumptuous. There are people who give up their lives, much less something deemed as a freedom, out of a very real sense of moral dilemma because that's who they are. It's in them.


In any event, I understand both your arguments and respect both points of view. To me, you're both kind of being cynical in your own way, but justifiably so. In my opinion the cynicism should be directed towards those in power, and not necessarily just the politicians, but those who are behind the scenes such as the Bilderberg Group whose agenda strives to manipulate us all. But that's a whole other subject.

#22 Corporal Casto

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 09:55 PM

many of these great things we have come, to some extent at least, at the expense of others. just because america's hegemony allows us to sustain our unfettered greed doesn't make the hegemony itself a good thing IMO

you'll never see me knock the individual soldier as immoral for simply being in the military (see the "good nazi" argument for how easily the lines between good and bad are blurred when it comes to things like military action) but questioning the role of nationalism, hegemony, and the agency of the individual as a soldier is critical.

fwiw i spent two years in a marine corps officer development program... it was a dual enrollment through the officer selection office that let you join two years before graduating college, go to OCS in quantico, and get your commission at graduation before heading off to TBS. i made it through PLC OCS just fine, but ended up tearing cartilage in both knees that required arthroscopic surgeries and ultimately got booted from the corps before i could graduate college and get my commission.

i bring this up to show that i at one point stood rank-and-file with the most ardent supporters of military action, american imperialism, exceptionalism, and the seeming infallibility of the american military and american military actions in the eyes of a huge portion of the general public. my viewpoints have not come from institutional liberalization in marxist universities (the accusation that is most often leveled by people who cannot understand how my views have changed) but rather from removing the lens of nationalism that so easily blinds and distorts and looking at things from a larger, dispassionate perspective.

when you consider yourself a citizen of the world residing in america rather than wrapping your identity as a singular nationality - american - you begin to detect subtle problems in the manifestations of the latter worldview that expand into much larger ones the more you pursue them.

/tangent

steve smith is awesome


Thank you for serving.

#23 rayzor

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 10:53 PM

we need to get these boys and girls home.

that's the greatest thing that can be done for them.

#24 PhillyB

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 12:05 AM

Thank you for serving.


I didn't serve. effectively I wasted two years of taxpayer money in training and then got a medical ejection

#25 Ivan The Awesome

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 12:08 AM

in other words, we are lucky as fug to be Americans.



You have no idea man. No freaking Idea.

#26 googoodan

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 12:31 AM

14088070815

The real matter here is that athletes visit all of the fake ass soldiers on big ass Air Force Bases that are like small cities, while all of the real soldiers are in the middle of nowhere sucking. I hate 99 percent of all military members. They are a bunch of pussies collecting a paycheck.


By the way when you watch sports and it shows soldiers watching the game. They are a bunch of pussies that have their own apartment with internet and are served great food. They have great gyms and can watch HD television then go to the shop and buy anything a normal civilian buys.


Somebody didn't do so hot on the ASVAB.

#27 Corporal Casto

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 01:13 AM

I didn't serve. effectively I wasted two years of taxpayer money in training and then got a medical ejection


I first read that as erection and proceeded to read it again.

Mind if I ask your particular reason for being medically ejected?

I would do anything in the world to serve my country (here or abroad) .. sadly, my maker had other plans and made my body 100% unable.

feelsbadman.

#28 Corporal Casto

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 01:13 AM

On the topic.

Way to go, Steve.

#29 DaveThePanther2008

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 05:36 AM

It is rare that Philly B and I are on the opposite sides of a conversation but I am a career soldier with multiple combat tours and I feel compelled to respond (though I may regret it later, lol)

The fact of the matter is is that America is a very powerful nation. We exercise our influence across the globe and constantly take military action to protect our "interests" Because of this we as citizens are able to enjoy a way of life unlike any where else in the world in particular we have enjoyed near unlimited access to resources that are rare in the world, i.e. food, water, oil, land. We drive huge gas guzzling cars that we park in our paved driveway that goes to a house that sits on a half acre of land that we spend our free time grooming because we can. There is no threat of starvation from running out of useable farm land. We spend hours on the weekend killing animals that we dont eat or catch fish simply because we like the challenge. There is absolutely no threat of invasion so we have plenty of free time to spend argueing about a game that is played by multimillionaires. As a nation our bellies are seldom empty and even our poor have access to facilities to shelter, clothe and feed them. The common family has such excess that most have tv's they never watch or rooms they never use. Yes these freedoms are many.

Indeed America is unique in its combination of wealth and security. But why is this? Is the rest of the world so incredibly generous that they clamour over one another to bask in the glory that is the US? Do they form lines to offer us tribute, that our country may continue to prosper? What keeps them at bay? A kind word and a firm handshake from the President? Well, I promise you that it is not our good looks and sunny disposition. This is what your military offers you. The knowledge that no matter what, you are safe to pursue your interests as an American citizen, free from the militaristic influence of other nations.

The members of the military volunteer to accept this responsiblity often times at great risk to their own life, but never with a complaint. You are obligated to respect that, because there is not one of you that would trade even one freedom in order to satisfy some trumped up sense of moral dilemna. That is what is meant by supporting the troops not necessarily the war. We do not choose the fight. We do not pick our battles or tell the public what nations we will exercise our influence. ALL of those decisions are made by civilians. If you dont like it vote new people in. That stuff is not our call. But without us there would be no nation to protect. There is one superpower. Just one. There can only be one. I am curious to hear who you would rather have that role other than us.


People may not like it, and when I stand before God I may find that I have to answer for some things, but this is what I do. I love this country. I am third generation Airborne Paratrooper. I have no delusions as to why we are strong, but I am completely comfortable with risking my life that you may keep yours.


Very well said.

I, like you, have spent my youth serving this country.

I want to address the point the soldiers in Iraq (or anywhere else) aren't protecting our country. PHILLYB let me ask you this? Have you been attacked by terrorist lately? You, your family, friends and even enemies? Just once? I would be pretty sure I can answer that before you can. The answer would be NO

This isn't by accident. People like CarPantherFan84, myself and a few others on this board go out after those terrorist, those crazy people that threaten your lifestyle. While we may not always get them, we keep them running so they don't have time to FUG with you.

Have you ever been to Iraq or Afghanistan? I have spent the last 9 1/2 years in the Middle East supporting those troops after a 25 year Naval Career. There are many in those countries that HATE AMERICANS just for the reasons CarPantherFan84 pointed out. Time to enjoy a good life while they spend a lifetime trying to feed their families. A lifetime of struggle. Many want to kill you because some fanatic tells them we are evil.

EVERY BRANCH is in Afghanistan, USMC, USN, USAF, USA and USCG Everyone. Chasing down those Mother Fuging Fanatics.

Is it costly, you bet. Is it never ending, probably, does it seem to be a waste of time and life? NO DOUBT.

Next time you think that our troops aren't protecting your interests. Find a time you were last harassed or attacked because you are an AMERICAN. When you can't THEN YOU KNOW WHY!!!!!

God Bless our Troops and GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!!

To the Opening post. Awesome story. Every athlete, every cheerleader, every rock, country, and rap band, every actor and actress and every politician that goes over and witnesses HOW our troop protect this country of ours comes back with that same "Life Changing Point of View" I am glad he got to go. I can bet the soldiers enjoyed that cast. That had some big names. I met Mike Minter in Mosul Iraq during the 2007 Super Bowl week.

#30 Cape Fear Cat

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 08:56 AM

[/background][/size][/font][/color]
yeah, cuz saddam was about to take away our rights


Your comment is a political statement. I also thought the Iraq war was a stupid waste of men and resources that had nothing to do with what happened on 9/11. But neither of those statements has the slightest thing to do with the job our soldiers and Marines do. They don't get to pick the mission - they have to trust the American people and its political leadership to not endanger their lives needlessly - they just have to go where they're told and fight who our elected leaders say are a threat to the nation. They did that, and continue to do that to this very day. The fact that they are still in harms way is on us, as the society that sends them to dangerous places. The fact that they do so with energy, professionalism, and dedication is proof that they are, indeed, defending "our rights' and the principles this nation is built on.


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