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Old 07-01-2007, 06:08 PM   #76
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Originally posted by shart1780


And why are you bringing Iraq into this in the first place? Don't assume that because I'd be willing to stand up and fight I also support our actions in the Middle East. For speaking so poorly of those who generalize you sure like to do it with me.
Then what are you basing your "this board lacks the attitude that they'd fight for much" statement on then?

I find it funny that you admit yourself that you "don't know exactly how I'd react in the time of war" yet you generalize the board as an attitude you don't respect at all...

What a joke...
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Old 07-01-2007, 06:14 PM   #77
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It's kind of disturbing that we are still living in a time where the question about "loving" the own country gets more or less answered with war.
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Old 07-01-2007, 06:17 PM   #78
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It's kind of disturbing that we are still living in a time where the question about "loving" the own country gets more or less answered with war.
It is...
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Old 07-01-2007, 08:05 PM   #79
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You don't know until you're tested. And we haven't been tested truly. There wasn't much lack of resolve when it came to going into Afghanistan. The dots were connected. We didn't really do too great a job of it. The government lacked the will to continue there. That wasn't a people decision. Too anxious to get to Iraq.

I think most of us respect the soldiers. Are grateful for those who served and especially grateful to those who died even if they shouldn't have. But "support the troops" has become kind of a codeword like "family values". To too many, it means "Shut up, go along." Until the government defines support the troops as giving them sufficient supplies, don't keep them longer incountry than you promised them when they went in, take care of them when they come home, treat them with real respect instead of self-serving lip service, then I won't be paying too much attention to my government's catchphrases.

I know I've had to rethink my country these past several years in ways that make me uncomfortable. I haven't given up on it. But I'm still separating bullshit from reality. I think I'd fight for the good I see in it. I'm not going to look the other way, though.

We don't know what people will do when push comes to shove.
And why they'll do what they do.
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Old 07-01-2007, 10:05 PM   #80
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I won't meditate upon on my own opinion about the present day, but I will say this. I envy previous generations, for whom this question was a lot easier to answer. My two great-uncles were refugees, they fled Turkey in the wake of the Genoicide of 1915, they spoke maybe three sentences of English and had nothing but the clothes on their back. They stepped off the boat in 1918 and enlisted, given citizenship right there. For them in was simple: America was a place of refuge. I don't doubt for many today it is the same. But back then, the media was newspapers and radio. Not as much spin. World War II, it was so easy...there was this madman Hitler who was plotting to take over the world, in the tradition of all grand conquerors of history, and it was question of your realy being in danger. Today all wars are not dramatic, they are guerrilla or at least dirty little unconventional affairs where the cause is murly and the methods even more so.

What disturbs me is even more is that these days America, seems at least to need a war or conflcit, an enemy, to both define itself and test its citizens loyalty. Society itself is becoming more militarized, and miltary service defines strength, and "peaceful" people more contemptuous. We are being asked to assert our patriotism in militant ways. There is no peaceful way to be a patriot. When I see tanks parked in a park with armed sodiers standing around and parents taking their little toddlers up to the tanks and sitting them on them and letting the little ones touch them and look up wonderingly, I dismays me and disturbs me to the very core. My sentiment is with Faramir: "I do not love the sword for its brightness, not the arrow for its swiftness..." etc. Americahas always been a war-loving nation to an extent, but there was a strong pacifist streak here too. More crazy communes and societies, etc.

It's complicated beyond belief. The nation-state is a modern construction, but all I can say is, given a choice between the modern, centralized, bearucratic nation-state with all its clunky machinery of state, and the fuedal city-state or polis (feudalism at its best), I'll take the nation-state, with all its flaws. Our present day is filled with a lamentable dearth of leaders, but at leas the structures they represent lurch along.
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Old 07-02-2007, 01:25 AM   #81
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What disturbs me is even more is that these days America, seems at least to need a war or conflcit, an enemy, to both define itself and test its citizens loyalty.
So true.
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Old 07-05-2007, 01:46 PM   #82
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Then there are a few people--sula's described something like this before I know--who, typically because of a very particular and rather unusual kind of upbringing, truly feel that they could be "at home" almost anywhere (and yet never feel "fully" at home anywhere at the same time). I can't really relate to that either, but as with the type of person who discovers their "true" home through what started out as a visit, I'd imagine it isn't in any meaningful way a kind of "moral" choice. Probably in a sense none of these are really moral decisions.
I don't think it's my upbrigning, but I've lived in several places and felt more "at home" than in America - and they were very, very different places. As Axver said way upthread, I don't love something as artificial as a country. I do have a deep sense of pride and admiration in the original ideas of America, and at the same time a great sense of disgust and alienation at what is presently going on (with democracy/elections, civil liberties, and foreign policy). I think the disgust and alienation contribute greatly to my happiness living elsewhere. I love love love my native city of Boston, and have great pride in it and feel a sense of community, but I have also felt very at home elsewhere (be it passing through or living for several months). In fact, the only place I've felt less at home in than America was Israel, where as a godless liberal Jew who works with refugees and believes Israel treats the Palestinians immorally, I was extremely alienated, but I also didn't come into contact with more liberal and secular Israelis while I was there.

So, there are things about America that I take great pride in, and things that make me feel responsible towards it (no matter where I live, I will always vote and stay informed, even if I get dual citizenship to an EU country). But I feel just as comfortable, if not more, in a variety of other settings, and as I still have a year of college tying me to America, I refer to myself as an ex-pat waiting to happen and have plans to move out as soon as I get my degree. (These are partially career related, though.) And I feel comfortable maybe because of political/moral alienation from America. Combined with Israel I guess you might say I dislike countries for political/moral reasons. But the reasons I like other places aren't moral or political, but more related to culture and people and way/pace of life. (Again I've enjoyed quite the variety of settings - I loved living in Vienna and in a refugee camp in Ghana, and I dearly miss them both.)
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Old 07-05-2007, 07:31 PM   #83
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Yes. I have the freedom to protest that damn war.
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Old 07-06-2007, 02:17 AM   #84
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Unless, of course, you're doing the protesting in a place and at a time where its very visibilty might make an impression or even a difference--like the Republican National Convention in NYC, say.
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Old 07-06-2007, 03:26 PM   #85
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I would say that I love my country. I love it because it is good to me. I love it because it's beautiful. I love it because its home. I love it because of its ideals, its success at incorporating newcomers without losing its identity. There's lots of great things about it.

I wouldn't die for it as in signing up for the army to fight a foreign war. Besides I am too old for all that now. But then again I was never the military type when I was young anyway.

However, if we were invaded that would be a different matter entirely. I would fight and die for it. I would pick up a gun and do my part because there would undoubtedly be those who are weaker than me who would need the help.

Call me a pacifist until someone is actually trying to kill me. Then I will fight to live and to protect those who can't defend themselves.
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