Mathew Naismith

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If I had to go to war I would be a coward, how about you?

Of course if my country was invaded that would change things a bit but I just couldn't imagine being in a situation with bullets, bombs & grenades going off around me killing all my mates. Any digger in my mind is worth ten of me any day!!

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    Feb 19 2013: I would much prefer to spend the rest of my days in jail for failure to kill/murder others.
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      Feb 19 2013: So me and all my fellow veterans throughout our nation's history have been nothing more than killers and murderers? Enjoy the freedom to espouse your opinions young lady. We killed and murdered those who would have taken them away from you, so far. There is another way to look at war than to hide your head in the sand. Bad guys want what you have. They will try anything to get your freedom, your safety, your dignity, and your stuff. As to the topic, we were all pretty scared but not many chose to yield to that gut-wrenching fear by shirking our duty. Feeling fear is not cowardice, surrendering to it is.
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        Feb 19 2013: There's no disputing your courage Edward, and I don't see you or any other veterans as murderers - but in the arena of modern warfare, why should I not see God as being another word for Oil?

        If both are manifestations of western political ideals justifying the taking of so many lives, then I can safely call myself a coward.
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          Feb 19 2013: Absolutely, the ethical justification for specific conflicts can, and should, be challenged by a free people. But sweeping condemnation of all participants in military actions under orders from their Commander-In-Chief is not right. Some contributors on this post are damning anyone who goes to war. They are wrong about that.
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        Feb 19 2013: So if you were of an age to go into combat, would you still do so? Or has the justification for modern warfare changed enough for you to change your mind?

        I'm struggling to get my head around the justification for sending 16 year old kids to their death, in the name of... what?
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          Feb 19 2013: IMO, you have asked a very good question sir. I think the minimum age in the US is18.Since WWII ended America has stopped officially declaring a state of war exists but continues to wage wars in an "informal?" way as "police actions". That Declaration of War process was important. It included every American citizen in the effort. It lent a real sense of gravity to the situation. Today the POTUS can put troops in harm's way any time he finds it to be the "right" choice. Today, I think, we have troops fighting, and dying, in places most of us are unaware of. I think the UCMJ still replaces the Constitution for all military personnel. It declares desertion in time of war to be punishable by firing squad. I knew that as a Navy man and accepted it as the most serious of contracts. If no war is officially declared then it is officially peace time. The death penalty is not in effect. All miltary folks today are volunteers who would (I'm guessing now) receive a Dishonorable Discharge if they decided not to participate any more and breeched their contract. If you join today's military you are signing up with an organization that can send you where they want, when they want without getting congressional approval and without declaring war. Would I join such a deal? No. If my country's leaders were to officially declare a state of war against a clear and present danger then I would join. Still, I appreciate the volunteers and career military folks who stand in the many gaps around the world and I don't think they should be looked down upon as killers and murderers. Should the POTUS be allowed to put troops in harm's way by executive order? I say NO! The military is not the POTUS' police force to be sent on beats all over the globe.
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      Feb 19 2013: I think I would be in the jail cell beside you Grace!

      I do NOT see this choice as hiding "your head in the sand", as you say Edward. For me, anyway, it would be a conscious, informed choice.

      I agree with Allan in that there is no disrespect for you or your courage Edward. I do not agree with your previous statement Edward....."God gives freedom...". If this was true, she would genuinely, loving grant freedom to live in peace for all people, I'm sure:>)

      Hopefully, we are evolving beyond the need to kill and torture people in the name of god or freedom.
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        Feb 19 2013: No, no, no, I did not mean the choice to not fight for your country was hiding your head in the sand. I was referring to the reality of hostile forces wanting to conquer your homeland makes it a necessary evil to take-up arms in defense. To deny that is to put too much hope in having evolved beyond the need for countering force with force and to bury one's head in the sand. I agree with TED Lover that God gives freedom, you disagree. OK. 7-billion people will generate more than one opinion. If a person who is capable and qualified to participate in the national defense says "I don't agree with the war" but allows others to go fight and sits home condemning those who go all the while being protected by them is the coward. You can hope all you want but war is a reality of 21st-century life.
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          Feb 19 2013: Edward,
          Grace's statement is:
          "I would much prefer to spend the rest of my days in jail for failure to kill/murder others."

          Your statement is:
          Enjoy the freedom to espouse your opinions young lady. We killed and murdered those who would have taken them away from you, so far. There is another way to look at war than to hide your head in the sand"

          You are not suggesting that her way is hiding her "head in the sand"? That is what your statement looks like to me.

          If this is not what you are saying, even though I've read your comment several times, I cannot see any other meaning, and your explanation does not make sense to me.

          Grace wrote that she would rather go to jail than to kill others. She didn't say anything about sitting home condemning others....nor did I in my folllow up comment.
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        Feb 20 2013: Sorry Ms. Steen, that's all I have. Thanks, as always, for your accurate synopsis and exhaustive analysis of my words.
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          Feb 20 2013: I am simply trying to understand your comment Edward. Yes....it is indeed exhaustive. You"re welcome.
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    Mar 4 2013: Run Forest, run!
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    Feb 20 2013: I think we now more or less know the economics of war. If history is of any lesson, vastly many more wars were started for invasion rather than defense. India was involved in 4 traditional wars since its inception as a republic and I truly believe no side has won anything worthwhile, despite records of land gain and people killed.
    I'd loathe to go to war or send my son to one and I don't believe it's because my son and I are cowards. It takes way more courage to fight against vested interests of wars on a daily basis.
  • Feb 20 2013: Mathew
    I believe that you and I are a little old now.
    I believe you are right - if your country were invaded you would fight anyway.
  • Feb 19 2013: If you had to go to war and went there you would become a different person.
    Me too :)
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      Feb 19 2013: G'day Natasha

      Yes your right......I like the person I am now
      • Feb 19 2013: So do i ! :)

        edited

        What i was trying to say is : the game and the gamer are not distinct.
        I don't know what i would be like and i don't want to .
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    Feb 19 2013: Make Lunch, Not War!
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      Feb 19 2013: Your appointment as Secretary of Defense has been doomed by filibuster. Your proposed strategy will get you either starvation, enslavement, or death. If you have something worth taking someone will try to do just that.
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    Feb 19 2013: I agree with "Edward long" in that freedom is not free, and I'll add that it never has been.
    Although education is the preferred tool to achieve freedom, sometimes war is a necessary evil to keep or achieve it.
    I’m grateful to those who serve in the US and other military for freedom.

    For the past 10-years I fight everyday my own war against a progressive disease, and not once has the thought of taking cowardly path been considered, instead I have and will always take the path of virtues no matter how hard it may be.
    Hehehe; I guess you could say that I shoot/inject myself every day for my freedom and after that, shooting someone that wants to take it away sound easy.
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    Gail .

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    Feb 19 2013: I would not "have" to go to war. Going is a choice.
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      Feb 19 2013: Freedom is not a choice. Freedom is an earned right which comes at a price. Almost always that price is physical combat with opponents. You can choose not to participate in that part of the process and let someone else go for you, but if they share your preference and everyone refuses to go, then kiss your freedom good-bye and enjoy the form of government your conqueror thinks you should have.
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        Gail .

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        Feb 19 2013: Freedom is FREE. War has its prices. Enslaving yourself to the will of the powers that be is a choice that blinds one to the real meaning of freedom.

        It is wholly illogical to think that Free is something one has to buy. It is an innate birthright for those who know what free means.
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          Feb 19 2013: "Freedom is free". What a grand lie. How utterly illogical.
          You actually believe that simply choosing to be free makes you free? Freedom is an "innate birthright"? How is that working out for the suffering,starving masses of Africa today? What makes you free is someone fighting to gain your freedom and to preserve it. You are beneficiary of war TED Lover. Condemn it all you like, after all, that's one of the freedoms it won for you.
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        Gail .

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        Feb 19 2013: "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Ben Franklin in Poor Richard's Almanac)

        I cannot choose freedom for you or anyone else - even if I wanted to. I can only choose it for me. No one but me found my freedom and no one but me can experience MY freedom. No mercenary gave it to me or even made it possible. To use an equivalent you might possibly use, God gave it to me at my birth.

        Of course, I define freedom differently than you, seeing as I am a woman who lives in the USA, and have very few of the freedoms you have. A white, male, christian defines freedom very differently than many others who do not share the same pro-military values.
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          Feb 19 2013: What freedoms do you lack as an American woman? Please itemize. A black, female, Islamic woman enjoys the same freedoms as an American citizen that any white, male, Christian does (and with Affirmative Action Initiatives she may even have a distinct advantage).
          God gives freedom, it is Man who takes it away. If no one has taken away your freedom it is because your fellow citizens faced their fear and went to stand in the gap for you. They fought and many died to let you enjoy your God given freedom. You call that a bad thing for them to have done? You condemn those who make that choice today?
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        Gail .

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        Feb 20 2013: You are saying that God can give me something and man can take it away - and there is nothing that God (or I) can do about it? Rather an impotent God, don't you think?

        Jesus said that ALL that you ask if answered. If you ask to see your own vulnerability, you will see it. If you ask to see your own power to protect yourself from harm, you will see it.

        I am surprised that you would ask what freedoms non-christians are denied in the USA. How about the right to own our own bodies in most states? How about the right for homosexuals to have jobs that they are qualified for, or to marry? How about the right to adopt in many states - and what about the rights of the unadopted children created through such stupidity - who are cast into the streets homeless and penniless at age 18? What about the right to have my sacraments be legal or my religion to be a legitimate religion? What about my right to not be a slave to christian militantism - so that my labor is not required to support that which I view as ethically abhorrent. Jesus did say "Love your enemies" and "Do good to those who would harm you".

        this is not because of any moral mandate. This is how one establishes one's safety in the most hostile of environments.

        I do not condemn those who make that choice. Jesus said, "Judge not". I don't. I simply disagree. I have no gratitude for what they think is a sacrifice made on my behalf. That sacrifice is in their minds only. I do not want them to sacrifice themselves. I want them to live. Do you, a christian, have gratitude for my position?
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          Feb 20 2013: If you had to go to war would you be a coward?
          QUOTE: "Rather an impotent God, don't you think?"--
          All things are possible with God. That does not mean God does all things. His eternal decree is being worled-out as we live our lives. Just because he does not do something does not mean he is impotent. He is omnipotent.
          QUOTE: "the right to own our own bodies in most states?"--
          What specific "right" are you saying is restricted? Abortion? Sodomy? Bestiality? Sadism?, Child Porn? Etc.?
          QUOTE: "the right to have my sacraments be legal or my religion to be a legitimate religion?"--
          What specific religion and sacraments are you talking about?
          Do I have gratitude for your position? No, because I have no definition of what your position is. Are you a Communist Witch, a Druid Goddess, a Tantric Temptress, a Nihilistc Revolutionary, a lovely Christian wife, mother, and Sunday School Teacher, a racist rabble-rouser? I can only guess. Narrow it down for me so I can answer your question.
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        Gail .

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        Feb 20 2013: No need to narrow it down. Your comment says it all. You have explained to yourself why I can't summon up any appreciation for the military or those who CHOOSE to do its bidding.

        Clearly, you know by now that I am not a "lovely Christian wife, mother, and Sunday School Teacher", though I do base my life on the teachings of Jesus - as spoken by the man, not as interpreted by Paul.

        As for your comment: "All things are possible with God. That does not mean God does all things."

        OK, that's what you have asked for, and that's what you have received. I have asked for something different, so I have received something different. All that I ask is answered. I have learned to take care with what I ask.

        Just because I do not value or appreciate your (apparent) service does not meant that I do not value and appreciate you. I just wish that all these mercenaries would stop trying to give me a gift that I never asked for, do not want, do not recognize as a gift, will never appreciate, forces me into unwanted slavery that they call freedom, and that undermines what I taught my children and what their parents are trying to teach theirs.
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      Feb 19 2013: I actually agree with you. I would go especially if I was younger. But I would not go because of some rhetoric about duty or freedom or God or country. All that just is bogus media garbage.

      I would go because my people need me.
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    Feb 19 2013: Everyone wants to live! We all face fears all day long and if we deal with those fears we are not cowards. We are striving to cope with the human condition of wanting to survive. P
  • Feb 19 2013: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13

    Love will turn a coward into a hero in an instant.
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    Feb 19 2013: nobody wants to invade australia. poisonous animals in a big desert.
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      Feb 19 2013: G'day Krisztian

      Australia has huge amounts of mineral resources anyway Iraq was invaded for only it’s oil & it’s all desert , we have a lot more than just oil resources in this country.

      Love
      Mathew
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        Feb 19 2013: but you can't mine them, because you are killed by a spider or snake trying. plus any minerals mined will fall down to space anyway.
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          Feb 19 2013: G'day Krisztian

          Yes I suppose it's a little like that Krisztian, we had one pommy couple come out & they complained that everything bites, well I suppose if you’re born into that situation you know no difference & being down under just adds to the excitement.

          Love
          Mathew
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      Feb 19 2013: You didn't mention the sharks and crocodiles. I guess they're only a problem if you're a swimmer..
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    Feb 20 2013: This is a hypothetical situation, when actual time comes how a person behaves can surprise you. Courage is not predicted , it is seen in action.
    Mathew you are courageous enough to ask this question.
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    Feb 20 2013: I don't think I'd be a coward. It would largely depend on how I felt about the cause I was fighting for. Also I would be oriented toward trying to survive the war, and if being brave meant I had a better chance to survive I'd be brave.

    Does thinking you'd be a coward make you feel bad? Are you courageous in other aspects of your life? If not, how can you increase your courage if that's what you'd like to do?
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      Feb 20 2013: G’day Greg

      Letting down my digger mate’s yes I would feel bad but I have proven that I’m not all together a chicken but who knows until one is faced with such dilemmas?

      Love
      Mathew
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    Feb 20 2013: What's a "digger"?
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      Feb 20 2013: An Australian infantry sodier. It's a slang term from WW1 because we dug the trenches.
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    Feb 19 2013: G’day TED Friends

    This is a reply to Pat Gilbert I thought I would share with everyone.
    I would fight for my own country like they did in both world wars, fighting for someone else’s country &/or freedom!!!!........Hmmmmm…these days there’s usually a reason other than freeing people.
    If everyone just fought for their own country there wouldn’t be any wars however we don’t live in a world like that so war is a necessary evil I’m afraid.
    Not too recently some of the boys came home from Afghanistan & said “what where we doing over there?”, now these are trained professional soldiers not conscripts saying this, it’s a bugger I lost the site address. I really feel for these blokes.

    It is funny mentioning profiteering from war. After the WWII the big money lenders went into Europe & made an even bigger killing by lending huge amounts of money to European countries, a lot of this money they lent came from supplying war materials during the war but this should never take away from the soldiers who fought for our freedom, if it wasn’t for the boys in WWII we wouldn’t be here in Australia as the Japs soldiers weren’t the nicest people back then.

    Very few people like war but it is a necessity for us to live free on the other hand fighting for control of oil & other resources isn’t in my mind quite right, only the big boys up top benefit from such actions & I’m not going to die for them even though they are also a necessary evil.
    Love
    Mathew
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    Feb 19 2013: Everyone is a coward (apart from some deranged individuals). The sad thing about war is that the deranged survive and the sane usually die. War is a faulty selection mechanism, unlike competition.
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      Feb 19 2013: I agree war is faulty mechanism but the fact is that left unopposed it will realize its desired goal. As a combat veteran I always knew it was unfortunate that such carnage was happening. But I also knew that if I wanted America to endure so I could have tea with my grand-daughters it had to be done. Faulty mechanism? Yes. Avoidable? No.
  • Feb 19 2013: Look I am a peace-time vet so I won't talk too much. Military training is designed to deal with that, Soldiers,etc. tend to be very young. Aren't there really worse things than to be dead? One religious story tells us that God rells a prince Arjaqna, the ways of a coward are foreign to heaven. In a modern war most are in the rear with the gear. Don't try to be some sort of comando if you really feel that way. My observation in the Marines is that to be a rifle platoon comander, a jet pilot, or a helicopter pilot is a small select goup.
    Okay I worked as a lwyer so "I was pretty safe, but I was fortunate to get infantry training as all Marine officers did and probably still do. You look pretty safe now too.
    In fact, many young men are unusable. Why even think of things like that except others have died for our freedom and experienced worse things?
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      Feb 19 2013: G’day George

      I think it takes a special person to hack it even after basic training.

      There are worse things in life that can happen I suppose like being raped by a mob of blokes which does happen especially in prisons however the thought of going to war still irks me but I’m well & truly past the age of being called up.

      Love
      Mathew
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    Feb 19 2013: I think my answer would change over time. When I was young, I would have been in line to go. When my children were young, my priorities were different. I would have protected them under any circumstance. Now that they are older, there would have to be a real good reason for me to bust my a** that much.
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      Feb 19 2013: G’day Linda

      When I was going to secondary school we talked about going to war & of course most other kids said yes about going but even then I said no way not because I’m a peace loving hippy or anything like that but I could just imagine the terror & my views to day haven’t changed.

      However like I said if someone invaded this country things could be quite different but I would be still scared out of my wits, not sure how young men do it.

      Love
      Mathew
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    Feb 19 2013: I would be behind you every step of the way.
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      Feb 19 2013: G'day Pat

      I wouldn't be waiting for you that's for surePat, I'm all chicken.
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        Feb 19 2013: All kidding aside, if you had to you would do what you had to do, after you were trained on the subject. Remember you don't want to die for your country you want to make the other bastard die for his country.

        But war is way too often used as a money making activity. It is an investment made by the country with no return. The U.S. has been at war now for what 12 yr. WW2 only lasted 4 yr what is wrong with this picture?
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          Feb 19 2013: G’day Pat

          I would fight for my own country like they did in both world wars, fighting for someone else’s country &/or freedom!!!!........Hmmmmm…these days there’s usually a reason other than freeing people.

          If everyone just fought for their own country there wouldn’t be any wars however we don’t live in a world like that so war is a necessary evil I’m afraid.
          Not too recently some of the boys came home from Afghanistan & said “what where we doing over there?”, now these are trained professional soldiers not conscripts saying this, it’s a bugger I lost the site address. I really feel for these blokes.

          It is funny mentioning profiteering from war. After the WWII the big money lenders went into Europe & made an even bigger killing by lending huge amounts of money to European countries, a lot of this money they lent came from supplying war materials during the war but this should never take away from the soldiers who fought for our freedom, if it wasn’t for the boys in WWII we wouldn’t be here in Australia as the Japs soldiers weren’t the nicest people back then.

          Very few people like war but it is a necessity for us to live free on the other hand fighting for control of oil & other resources isn’t in my mind quite right, only the big boys up top benefit from such actions & I’m not going to die for them even though they are also a necessary evil.

          Love
          Mathew
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        Feb 20 2013: The war industry is necessary but also is crony capitalism that takes in more than it needs to.

        Prescott Bush George H's dad and George W's grandad was found guilty in a U.S. court of law of financing Hitler.

        The wars are created by a third party for financial reasons I.E. keep the defense contractors busy.