Having a tad bit more experience with the military than Mark (20 years worth), let me say that I disagree with Mark's generality. Most volunteer soldiers today (very different than the ones drafted for Vietnam) DO care about whether a war is just or not. Most did not want to go into Somalia, Haiti, or Yugoslavia, and it had little to do with being away from their families. It was a matter of whether it strengthened the USA and supported its interests. Most soldiers would prefer we back out of some overseas areas, including much of the Middle East. Except for those soldiers who love living in Germany, most really don't see a need for us to be in Europe anymore, and would prefer we pull more out of there. The volunteer military is very conservative, compared with the rest of the nation. I would guess that 85% voted for Bush, rather than Gore. Compare that with the rest of the country, which was split down the middle. Given a choice, most would rather watch Fox News channel than CNN or MSNBC. Most desire to defend freedom, which is why we are eager to be in Afghanistan, and why many want to go into Iraq. They see the potential dangers of Hussein, and realize that it will only become more dangerous down the road. Many soldiers prefer being called "peacekeepers", realizing that we won the Cold War with few shots fired (with exceptions for Vietnam and Korean conflicts). But they love freedom more than peace, and are willing to jump into the fray to defend it. Exceptions? of course there are. But I want you to know that I'm proud to have been part of the world's best military over the past two decades. I'm proud we haven't been war hawks, yet have gone to battle when our nation's leaders have ordered it-whether we agreed or not. And I'm mostly proud of how we have defended freedom and reminded the rest of the world of the importance of freedom and democracy. We were condemned for invading Afghanistan. Yet, there is not a single woman in Afghanistan who is not happy to have us there today. And there are many other peoples just yearning to be freed from their dictatorial leaders. We don't have the right to step in and overthrow just any nation. But we do have a right to defend our own nation from real threats, and let the ensuing freedom be an example for the rest of the world. Kind of like what happened to socialism under the Reagan administration. It lost to freedom, proudly waved.
Now, is a war with Iraq just? I guess it depends on who you ask. Bush and others may have hidden agendas, but I can assure you that the average soldier doesn't. Why would he? What is in it for him to go to battle, risk death, so he can collect $150 month danger pay? I don't think so. Our soldiers see the danger of that area of the world. They have been serving there on and off for over twenty years. We were in Iraq with Carter, Lebanon during Reagan's years, Kuwait with Bush Sr, Somalia with Clinton, and Afghanistan with GWBush. Has American policy affected some of the actions? Of course. But soldiers aren't involved much in political issues. Once ordered, they obey. Many soldiers would disagree with the tinkering our nation does in many other nations. However, they also see the good we've done, delivering millions of pounds of food and goods to them. Do you leave them alone, or step in and keep the people from starving? To step in, means you'll step on dictator toes, which is exactly what we've done in many instances. Many of our soldiers didn't want to be in Vietnam, most questioned whether it was a just war or not. Clearly, the answer was not cut and dried one way or the other. Even clearer was the political actions of LBJ and others in getting us into the war, then just allowing the war to drift for years. Today it is different. We are always looking at the Vietnam syndrome, when considering a war: do we have actual goals, is it in our nation's interests, etc. Yes, sometimes we still stray, and soldiers still obey. Yet, I've seen many in retirement become major critics of the decision makers. And so they should. That's what will help keep our nation free. K'aya K'ama, Gerald/gary Smith gszion1 @juno.com http://www .geocities.com/rameumptom/index.html "No one is as hopelessly enslaved as the person who thinks he's free." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Mark Gregson: As a side note, my extremely limited experience shows that most soldiers don't think about whether a war is just or not. They oppose war because it takes them away from loved ones, is generally an unpleasant experience and they know they could be maimed or killed. No theory, just self-concern. ________________________________________________________________ GET INTERNET ACCESS FROM JUNO! Juno offers FREE or PREMIUM Internet access for less! Join Juno today! For your FREE software, visit: http://dl.www.juno.com/get/web/. ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// /// ZION LIST CHARTER: Please read it at /// /// http://www.zionsbest.com/charter.html /// ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ==^================================================================ This email was sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org EASY UNSUBSCRIBE click here: http://topica.com/u/?aaP9AU.bWix1n Or send an email to: [EMAIL PROTECTED] T O P I C A -- Register now to manage your mail! http://www.topica.com/partner/tag02/register ==^================================================================