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Old 06-12-2004, 05:14 PM   #1
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dying for no purpose

It's a taboo subject, but are there times when our soldiers (and I'm talking about all countries here) die for no good reason at all?

lets not sugar coat it, the men who died in vietnam died for no good reason whatsoever...their lives were wasted like dishwater.

I think we in the west so often have the mentality that it is impossible for someone to die in war for nothing. That everyone who dies is a hero in some way.
we have a very romantic view of war my friends...and there are many reasons for that, but it is anything but romantic. And often, men and women die without being heros and without good cause.
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Old 06-12-2004, 06:04 PM   #2
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personally, yes, I think it is possible. So far there's only been one or maybe 2 wars involving America that I have been able to justify. One being World War II, because 6 million people were murdered and something had to be done. And the other is the Civil War, because it stopped slavery. I know that really wasn't the intent of the war so to speak but it had that effect.

I almost never support war. In fact I hate war. But please keep in mind I say I hate the wars, not the soldiers fighting in them. Those brave people give their alll, including their lives sometimes to do their job. No matter what you think of war, I think that makes each and every single one of them a hero.
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Old 06-12-2004, 06:39 PM   #3
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I don't support wars either, generally. I agree with Love Town about that. WWII was a "just war" because Hitler had to go, and the Civil War was about stopping secession and slavery. But I don't think the soldiers in any way die in vain. They are doing their jobs.
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Old 06-12-2004, 07:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by verte76
I don't support wars either, generally. I agree with Love Town about that. WWII was a "just war" because Hitler had to go, and the Civil War was about stopping secession and slavery. But I don't think the soldiers in any way die in vain. They are doing their jobs.
their jobs are a bit different though. Their job is to protect the vulnerable and stop the spread of chaos (by using chaos)

if they died fighting for nothing in particular, then didn't they die in vain?
I think because there is death involved we skirt the issue, we say 'oh, they were heros and died justly'. But is this always the case?

well...perhaps I could give ground on the hero thing. I mean, it's brave enough to put your life on the line even if it is for nothing
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Old 06-12-2004, 08:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by LoveTown
personally, yes, I think it is possible. So far there's only been one or maybe 2 wars involving America that I have been able to justify. One being World War II, because 6 million people were murdered and something had to be done. And the other is the Civil War, because it stopped slavery. I know that really wasn't the intent of the war so to speak but it had that effect.

I almost never support war. In fact I hate war. But please keep in mind I say I hate the wars, not the soldiers fighting in them. Those brave people give their alll, including their lives sometimes to do their job. No matter what you think of war, I think that makes each and every single one of them a hero.
The six million who were murdered, pale in comparsion to the 25
million Stalin murdered. But, Stalin was our ally so we overlooked
that. The U.S knew about the death camps, but didn't do anything. Reason being, if the allies did bomb the death camps
and liberate them, the Nazis would've realized we had broken
their secret codes.
Yes, I agree WWII was a "just" war.
The American Civil War, gruesome as it was, under Lincoln defined this nation. Had Lincoln lived, I believe renconstruction
would've been a lot smoother and kindler.
Vietnam. We ( USA ) should've realized something was bad
when the French pulled out in the 50.s. It was a war based
on a false premise. If the commies take Vietnam, they'll take
over the world. "Domino Theory"
All the sudden, I got the FISH cheer in my head and "I-Feel-
Like-I'm-Fixin-To-Die" song in head.
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Old 06-12-2004, 08:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Basstrap


their jobs are a bit different though. Their job is to protect the vulnerable and stop the spread of chaos (by using chaos)

if they died fighting for nothing in particular, then didn't they die in vain?
I think because there is death involved we skirt the issue, we say 'oh, they were heros and died justly'. But is this always the case?

well...perhaps I could give ground on the hero thing. I mean, it's brave enough to put your life on the line even if it is for nothing
My job was not to protect the vulnerable. Sounds nice, but that is not the job of a soldier.

Here is the oath that is taken upon entering the service.

[Q]Enlistment Oath

In the Armed Forces EXCEPT the National Guard (Army or Air)

I, ___________________________________, do solemly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed overme, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

In the National Guard (Army or Air)

I, _________________________________, do solemly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the State of ___________________________________ against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the Governor of ________________________ and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to law and regulations. So help me God.

Note: The last words, "So help me God," are optional, depending on the individual's personal religious preferences.
[/Q]
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Old 06-12-2004, 10:11 PM   #7
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doesn't matter, my argument still stands
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Old 06-12-2004, 10:26 PM   #8
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To say that they died for no purpose presupposes that you know all purposes and have the ability to rank them.
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Old 06-13-2004, 01:35 AM   #9
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Does a purposeful death require unquestioned public support? I think many soldiers, figures, and numbers of civilians have died less than virtuous deaths from the perspective of their own time. However, upon reflection, the dynamics of their actions may take on different interpretations. What parameters are used to define a death with purpose? Wouldn't it simply come down to personal evaluation? Issues of control over one's life may distort the desirability of a particular situation (eg. the draft for Vietnam)... but how a person or soldier chooses to act on their particular consequences could more suitably gauge their drive and purpose. In that instance, maybe it is noble to dodge the draft, and maybe it is noble to stoically support a code of military honour. Either option could be defined as purposeful, but I think the question of purpose comes down to the evaluation of means and ends.

A senseless death isn't as harsh a thing to think about, as compared to the pursuit of a senseless life. In that regard, the processes in life are valued in higher esteem compared to their ultimate (or untimely) end. So, this topic is probably more geared towards pursuits and choices in life, rather than the circumstances of death. Granted, there is overlap.

Labelling all deaths in "purposeless" battle as lacking purpose is too confining. I don't think you can translate the term onto each individual without making broad stroke generalizations... of detriment and disrespect to all involved (Damn, this is a semantics issue).

Personally I couldn't label anyone's death as one without purpose. Maybe the direction motivating their death was meaningless, and if that's what you're purporting basstrap, I don't contest your post... I do believe descriptions of heroism are too recklessly appointed, and there is definitely an over-romantization of war.
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Old 06-13-2004, 01:53 AM   #10
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I disagree, the whole romantacism of war was destroyed by the 20th century. If you gauge public opinion about what war is it would seem there is absolutely nothing at all worth fighting for and this is why you get shit like Rwanda occuring, there is no will to defend innocent people or look out for a nations security from within those very nations.

As for dying for purpose or not: People die all the time, it is how they meet it that defines heroism and how much good is done through their sacrifice that defines how much their deaths were worth.

If 2000 US soldiers died in Iraq but the country had a stable government and security situation that would really help the middle east and the war on terror as a whole then their deaths would be worth it. If 1500 died and the US left and the situation decended into anarchy then I would say that they died in vain. This is the distinction and this is the only reason people will treat WW2 as a just war and Vietnam, Iraq or Korea as unjust and unwarranted.
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Old 06-13-2004, 02:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
I disagree, the whole romantacism of war was destroyed by the 20th century.
Maybe so, but the media coverage (which often goes beyond the call of fact-delivery) as well as the glory associated with military death, suggests that there is still a chivalric stigma with war. Instead of nationalistic pursuit though, the public sympathy is now with the troops... as it should be... but in a way isn't that romanticizing war? By labelling an action as brave, doesn't subversive affirmation of the cause follow?

I could be just floating this, but it seems for many of the general public, war has retained much of its romantic glow. Of course, war requires purpose and accountability for the seeds of glory to sprout... a sentiment derived from the disatisfaction over Vietnam. Others don't have esteem for war at all, but why is it still used as a tool to bolster public approval? Maybe the legacy of the 21st Century will be the end of war as a political strategy... I guess we'll find out in November if the romance of war still holds sway in public opinion.
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Old 06-13-2004, 05:52 AM   #12
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I'm just glad we don't hear about 'our boys' conquering the natives and spreading the Empire's glory anymore. That stuff got old awfully fast.
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Old 06-13-2004, 08:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Basstrap
doesn't matter, my argument still stands
If your purpose is to serve the oath you took and you do it, you have served a purpose.
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Old 06-13-2004, 10:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox


If your purpose is to serve the oath you took and you do it, you have served a purpose.
I agree.
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Old 06-13-2004, 11:11 AM   #15
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I find that oath interesting.

On the one hand, it says you have to uphold the Constitution and fight against enemies of the USA. On the other hand, it says you have to follow the orders of the president.

Is it not possible that those two things are not true at the same time? The President could, theoretically send you to invade Canada for no good reason, in which case you are following his orders but you are not fighting against enemies or upholding the Constitution, so how do you reconcile the two?

Looking at the US military history, for example (Gulf of Tonkin, interference in South America, Guatemala and the fruit company), I'm not really sure you can make the argument that you were either upholding the constitution (what does the constitution have to do with giving land to United Fruit??) or defending the USA from enemies (for example, Guatemalans who had no designs on US territory or any sort of military offensive against the USA). Yet the president ordered either direct or covert action. So what supercedes what in instances like this?
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