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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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