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A marine in Iraq advice to protestors

Navy Pride

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I think this says it all....God Bless our troops in Iraq and keep them from Harms way.....

staged a "die-in" to protest the liberation of Iraq. Today "The Post," the
Ohio University student newspaper, carried a letter from Marc Fencil, a
senior who is also a Marine currently stationed in Iraq, that is so
excellent we reprint it in full:

****************

The Post
Ohio University
8 April 2005



"It's a shame that I'm here in Iraq with the Marines right now and not back
at Ohio University completing my senior year and joining in blissful
ignorance with the enlightened, war-seasoned protesters who participated in
the recent "die-in" at College Gate. It would appear that all the action is
back home, but why don't we make sure? That's right, this is an open
invitation for you to cut your hair, take a shower, get in shape and come on
over! If Michael Moore can shave and lose enough weight to fit into a pair
of camouflage utilities, then he can come too!

Make sure you all say your goodbyes to your loved ones though, because you
won't be seeing them for at least the next nine months. You need to get here
quick because I don't want you to miss a thing. You missed last month's
discovery of a basement full of suicide vests from the former regime (I'm
sure Saddam's henchmen just wore them because they were trendy though). You
weren't here for the opening of a brand new school we built either. You
might also notice women exercising their new freedom of walking to the
market unaccompanied by their husbands.

There is a man here, we just call him al-Zarqawi, but we think he'd be
delighted to sit down and give you some advice on how you can further
disrespect the victims of Sept. 11 and the 1,600 of America's bravest who
have laid down their lives for a safer world. Of course he'll still call you
"infidel" but since you already agree that there is no real evil in the
world, I see no reason for you to be afraid. Besides, didn't you say that
radical Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance?

I'm warning you though ---- it's not going to be all fun and games over
here. You might have bad dreams for the next several nights after you zip
up the body bag over a friend's disfigured face. I know you think that
nothing, even a world free of terror for one's children, is worth dying for,
but bear with me here. We're going to live in conditions you've never dreamt
about. You should get here soon though, because the temperatures are going
to be over 130 degrees very soon and we will be carrying full combat loads
(we're still going to work though). When it's all over, I promise you can go
back to your coffee houses and preach about social justice and peace while
you continue to live outside of reality.

If you decide to decline my offer, then at least you should sleep well
tonight knowing that men wearing black facemasks and carrying AK-47s yelling
"Allahu Akbar" over here are proud of you and are forever indebted to you
for advancing their cause of terror. While you ponder this, I'll get back to
the real "die-in" over here. I don't mind."

Marc Fencil
USMC
Iraq
 

MiamiFlorida

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Navy Pride said:
I think this says it all....God Bless our troops in Iraq and keep them from Harms way.....

staged a "die-in" to protest the liberation of Iraq. Today "The Post," the
Ohio University student newspaper, carried a letter from Marc Fencil, a
senior who is also a Marine currently stationed in Iraq, that is so
excellent we reprint it in full:

****************

The Post
Ohio University
8 April 2005



"It's a shame that I'm here in Iraq with the Marines right now and not back
at Ohio University completing my senior year and joining in blissful
ignorance with the enlightened, war-seasoned protesters who participated in
the recent "die-in" at College Gate. It would appear that all the action is
back home, but why don't we make sure? That's right, this is an open
invitation for you to cut your hair, take a shower, get in shape and come on
over! If Michael Moore can shave and lose enough weight to fit into a pair
of camouflage utilities, then he can come too!

Make sure you all say your goodbyes to your loved ones though, because you
won't be seeing them for at least the next nine months. You need to get here
quick because I don't want you to miss a thing. You missed last month's
discovery of a basement full of suicide vests from the former regime (I'm
sure Saddam's henchmen just wore them because they were trendy though). You
weren't here for the opening of a brand new school we built either. You
might also notice women exercising their new freedom of walking to the
market unaccompanied by their husbands.

There is a man here, we just call him al-Zarqawi, but we think he'd be
delighted to sit down and give you some advice on how you can further
disrespect the victims of Sept. 11 and the 1,600 of America's bravest who
have laid down their lives for a safer world. Of course he'll still call you
"infidel" but since you already agree that there is no real evil in the
world, I see no reason for you to be afraid. Besides, didn't you say that
radical Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance?

I'm warning you though ---- it's not going to be all fun and games over
here. You might have bad dreams for the next several nights after you zip
up the body bag over a friend's disfigured face. I know you think that
nothing, even a world free of terror for one's children, is worth dying for,
but bear with me here. We're going to live in conditions you've never dreamt
about. You should get here soon though, because the temperatures are going
to be over 130 degrees very soon and we will be carrying full combat loads
(we're still going to work though). When it's all over, I promise you can go
back to your coffee houses and preach about social justice and peace while
you continue to live outside of reality.

If you decide to decline my offer, then at least you should sleep well
tonight knowing that men wearing black facemasks and carrying AK-47s yelling
"Allahu Akbar" over here are proud of you and are forever indebted to you
for advancing their cause of terror. While you ponder this, I'll get back to
the real "die-in" over here. I don't mind."

Marc Fencil
USMC
Iraq
Excellent response to the trust fund babies and armchair revolutionaries.
 

IValueFreedom

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I have no doubts that he has earned the rights to his opinions.

With that said, they're still just opinions.

interesting post though, thanks NP :)
 

Arch Enemy

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Yeah, sadly... the difference between him and the protesters is that he chose to give up his rights and freedoms in order to follow the ambitions of people with suits and tuxedos. Most of which haven't ever experienced the ending of another persons life, I've got news for our marines, war is outdated its nothing more than a conflict between greedy people, theres no more honor in being apart of an army.

I'd pick the protestors over a soldier any-day.
 

IValueFreedom

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Arch Enemy said:
Yeah, sadly... the difference between him and the protesters is that he chose to give up his rights and freedoms in order to follow the ambitions of people with suits and tuxedos. Most of which haven't ever experienced the ending of another persons life, I've got news for our marines, war is outdated its nothing more than a conflict between greedy people, theres no more honor in being apart of an army.

I'd pick the protestors over a soldier any-day.
I couldn't disagree more.

The people of the armed forces are there to protect the rights that you claim to value most. Anyone who claims to value the freedoms that we possess owes a lot to the armed branches. If you can't see that, and give credit to those in uniform, I think you're the type of protester that we don't want to have on our side.

Now, that said, this war IS NOT what the military should be used for. Those boys over there are being "used and abused" for a personal agenda.
 
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I respct your opinions but...
Arch Enemy said:
theres no more honor in being apart of an army.
that is the single most disgusting thing i have heard on here in a long time. Just because you have no resect for the men and women dying for you doesn't mean the rest of us don't.
Arch Enemy said:
I'd pick the protestors over a soldier any-day.
thats why your sittin on your but eating cheetos looking at your computer screen while they are over there.

Much love to all men and women serving in all branches of our military
 
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Navy Pride said:
I think this says it all....God Bless our troops in Iraq and keep them from Harms way.....

staged a "die-in" to protest the liberation of Iraq. Today "The Post," the
Ohio University student newspaper, carried a letter from Marc Fencil, a
senior who is also a Marine currently stationed in Iraq, that is so
excellent we reprint it in full:

****************

The Post
Ohio University
8 April 2005



"It's a shame that I'm here in Iraq with the Marines right now and not back
at Ohio University completing my senior year and joining in blissful
ignorance with the enlightened, war-seasoned protesters who participated in
the recent "die-in" at College Gate. It would appear that all the action is
back home, but why don't we make sure? That's right, this is an open
invitation for you to cut your hair, take a shower, get in shape and come on
over! If Michael Moore can shave and lose enough weight to fit into a pair
of camouflage utilities, then he can come too!

Make sure you all say your goodbyes to your loved ones though, because you
won't be seeing them for at least the next nine months. You need to get here
quick because I don't want you to miss a thing. You missed last month's
discovery of a basement full of suicide vests from the former regime (I'm
sure Saddam's henchmen just wore them because they were trendy though). You
weren't here for the opening of a brand new school we built either. You
might also notice women exercising their new freedom of walking to the
market unaccompanied by their husbands.

There is a man here, we just call him al-Zarqawi, but we think he'd be
delighted to sit down and give you some advice on how you can further
disrespect the victims of Sept. 11 and the 1,600 of America's bravest who
have laid down their lives for a safer world. Of course he'll still call you
"infidel" but since you already agree that there is no real evil in the
world, I see no reason for you to be afraid. Besides, didn't you say that
radical Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance?

I'm warning you though ---- it's not going to be all fun and games over
here. You might have bad dreams for the next several nights after you zip
up the body bag over a friend's disfigured face. I know you think that
nothing, even a world free of terror for one's children, is worth dying for,
but bear with me here. We're going to live in conditions you've never dreamt
about. You should get here soon though, because the temperatures are going
to be over 130 degrees very soon and we will be carrying full combat loads
(we're still going to work though). When it's all over, I promise you can go
back to your coffee houses and preach about social justice and peace while
you continue to live outside of reality.

If you decide to decline my offer, then at least you should sleep well
tonight knowing that men wearing black facemasks and carrying AK-47s yelling
"Allahu Akbar" over here are proud of you and are forever indebted to you
for advancing their cause of terror. While you ponder this, I'll get back to
the real "die-in" over here. I don't mind."

Marc Fencil
USMC
Iraq
Any of those studens wright back with a rebuttal?
 

cnredd

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Arch Enemy said:
Yeah, sadly... the difference between him and the protesters is that he chose to give up his rights and freedoms in order to follow the ambitions of people with suits and tuxedos. Most of which haven't ever experienced the ending of another persons life, I've got news for our marines, war is outdated its nothing more than a conflict between greedy people, theres no more honor in being apart of an army.

I'd pick the protestors over a soldier any-day.
Are you suggesting that all government officials should be required to have been in the military?
 

MiamiFlorida

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Arch Enemy said:
Yeah, sadly... the difference between him and the protesters is that he chose to give up his rights and freedoms in order to follow the ambitions of people with suits and tuxedos. Most of which haven't ever experienced the ending of another persons life, I've got news for our marines, war is outdated its nothing more than a conflict between greedy people, theres no more honor in being apart of an army.

I'd pick the protestors over a soldier any-day.

Pacifists deal in moral absolutes. They do not appeal to the class struggle, but to humanity. Pacifism is premised on the idea that all killing is wrong because all life is sacred. The most extreme expression of this was Gandhi's advice to the Jews of Germany just before the Second World War. Look what happened.

And why did it happan? Because everyone doesn't play by the same rules.

Pacifism accepts the bourgeois idea of "norms" of behavior. The way to end war is to convince all mankind to follow certain moral imperatives, certain norms of human behavior that stand above history and society Be nice to strangers, love they neighbor, thou shalt not kill, and so on. These norms, peddled in schoolbooks, the press, and the pulpit, are merely a cover for a society divided by class, where Iying, deception, bribery, and large-scale killing are truly the norm.
 

saveChief

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"Excellent response to the trust fund babies and armchair revolutionaries."

What does that make politicians?
 

Iriemon

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guns_God_glory said:
Any of those studens wright back with a rebuttal?
I'm not a student, but if I were, I'd write about how much I admire the soldier's devotion to do his duty, and my gratitude that he is willing to risk his life in the performance of his duty as a soldier to do his job.

I'd also say how sorry I am that he has to spend his time in that godforsaken desert, in the midst of a civil war where he cannot tell if the man walking toward him is friend or enemy, and where each response brings with it the chance of killing innocent people.

I'd also express my anger that he and the others were send to sacrifice, and the 1800+ that have paid the ultimate sacrifice, and the thousands more permanently maimed, because of "mistakes" in the use of intellegence.

I'd ask him to hold on to his humanity, and try to keep in mind that although he is fighting against a guerilla insurgency, that the Iraqis are still people, too, and not to hate them all because of the actions of some.

I'd tell him that I am disappointed that the leadership in this country, despite increasing spending on defense over $100 billion a year, sent him and his fellows into hostile terroritory without sufficient forces or proper armament to do the job properly.

Finally, I'd tell him that the reason I was protesting this war is because I believe it is not legitimate or justified, that it is contra-productive in our efforts to protect ourselves against terrorism, that it was based on a (at best) mistake, and that my hope in protesting the war is to bring him and his fellows out of that hell hole as soon as possible, so he won't have to look at his friends' disfigured faces as the body bags are zipped up any more.
 
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cnredd

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Iriemon said:
I'm not a student, but if I were, I'd write about how much I admire the soldier's devotion to do his duty, and my gratitude that he is willing to risk his life in the performance of his duty as a soldier to do his job.

I'd also say how sorry I am that he has to spend his time in that godforsaken desert, in the midst of a civil war where he cannot tell if the man walking toward him is friend or enemy, and where each response brings with it the chance of killing innocent people.

I'd also express my anger that he and the others were send to sacrifice, and the 1800+ that have paid the ultimate sacrifice, and the thousands more permanently maimed, because of "mistakes" in the use of intellegence.

I'd ask him to hold on to his humanity, and try to keep in mind that although he is fighting against a guerilla insurgency, that the Iraqis are still people, too, and not to hate them all because of the actions of some.

I'd tell him that I am disappointed that the leadership in this country, despite increasing spending on defense over $100 billion a year, sent him and his fellows into hostile terroritory without sufficient forces or proper armament to do the job properly.

Finally, I'd tell him that the reason I was protesting this war is because I believe it is not legitimate or justified, that it is contra-productive in our efforts to protect ourselves against terrorism, that it was based on a (at best) mistake, and that my hope in protesting the war is to bring him and his fellows out of that hell hole as soon as possible, so he won't have to look at his friends' disfigured faces as the body bags are zipped up any more.
I have to disagree with almost every point you made.....but...

I have to give to tons of respect for not spewing it in a hateful manner or turning it into a politcal rant...we need more of you here...bowing...:cheers:
 

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saveChief said:
"Excellent response to the trust fund babies and armchair revolutionaries."

What does that make politicians?
Now, there's a question.

Ronald Reagan once said that politics is the second oldest profession, and he had come to the realization that it bears a very close resemblace to the first.
 

Arch Enemy

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I knew I was going to be tore apart instantly, I typed mine up quickly without thinking about it too much. Let me try and clear some things up, disregard that post of mine.

Value said:
The people of the armed forces are there to protect the rights that you claim to value most. Anyone who claims to value the freedoms that we possess owes a lot to the armed branches. If you can't see that, and give credit to those in uniform, I think you're the type of protester that we don't want to have on our side.
I don't believe that people who can kill on command are able to successfully protecting anybodies rights. Aggression doesn't make things safer, instead they make things less safer, granted that some aggressions have prooved to been helpful (Afghanistan Destruction).

Now, that said, this war IS NOT what the military should be used for. Those boys over there are being "used and abused" for a personal agenda.
I totally agree! Liberia for example, we made a promise to send peace-keepers over before the Rebel group LURD seiged the capital. We didn't keep our promise, the once American Loyalists soon turned against America and now they have no reason to think highly of us anymore. If we would have deployeed troops before the 2nd Civil War went underway, we would have saved our relationship with these people... as well as many innocent people.
In an interview, the leaders of Liberia said that if America couldn't keep their promise, then to tell them! They would have turned to the EU who would have helped them in a heart-beat. Our only excuse for not deploying troops in need is the Iraq War.

Guns said:
That is the single most disgusting thing i have heard on here in a long time. Just because you have no resect for the men and women dying for you doesn't mean the rest of us don't.
Whoa, just because I don't respect doesn't mean I don't support them. I want them all to come home safe, I want them to live and survive. Are they really dying for me? If I remember correctly, not once did Iraq attack us... strangely enough they're number 1 target on their hit-list was Iran. The enemy of my enemy is my... .enemy.
Don't forget they chose that life-style, hell, most of them probably joined the military because of the benefits they recieved from it (paid college). Like Albert Einstein said "It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder", I believe that full-hearted.

thats why your sittin on your but eating cheetos looking at your computer screen while they are over there.
Very funny! Its not my fault I can't be over there, did you forget theres an age limit to joining the military. If I believed that we went to war for the right reasons and I was 18 Years Old, then I'd join and fight side by side with my Americans. Yes, I know that was pretty much against my beliefs, but I do believe that (in the case of a reasonable war) no one should have to die for my safety. But obviously, I'm not threatened and too young, therefore I'll just sit here and eat cheetos (dude can I please something more joyful? Cheetos are terrible!)

Much love to all men and women serving in all branches of our military
Agreed! I'll buy them a beer when they return!

CNREDD said:
Are you suggesting that all government officials should be required to have been in the military?
Whoa, No!
They should have to realize what they're asking troops to do. I know they can't or won't do that, but at least they should be able to take the fact that they've killed someones loved one and not say bs like "he died for a noble cause". Sayings like such are nothing more than a way a Leader can fuel the propaganda machine, as well as this saying "...his death cannot be in vain, we must complete the mission".

Pacifists deal in moral absolutes. They do not appeal to the class struggle, but to humanity. Pacifism is premised on the idea that all killing is wrong because all life is sacred. The most extreme expression of this was Gandhi's advice to the Jews of Germany just before the Second World War. Look what happened.

And why did it happan? Because everyone doesn't play by the same rules.

Pacifism accepts the bourgeois idea of "norms" of behavior. The way to end war is to convince all mankind to follow certain moral imperatives, certain norms of human behavior that stand above history and society Be nice to strangers, love they neighbor, thou shalt not kill, and so on. These norms, peddled in schoolbooks, the press, and the pulpit, are merely a cover for a society divided by class, where Iying, deception, bribery, and large-scale killing are truly the norm.
I know, people who'd rather have peace instead of war should be punished for their ideas! They've got no reason for living, they're UN-educated and worst of all, they smell bad! /End Sarcasm

Why you seem to think I'm a pacifist is beyond me. I know theres some situations which cannot be settled peacefully, but war should be a last resort. Reasons for me disliking Armed Forces? because thats a showing of aggression, you don't build an strong military to keep peace. You build a strong Army for military conflicts and to scare others, giving them the feeling that you'd go to war with them, kill their children, their family, and burn their cities to the ground.
I'm in an agreeing that a "Peace-Keeping" Army is needed, but not an armed forces with the power to destroy the world. I find that a national guard is acceptable, as long as they stay in their own nation.


Honestly, damn me for having different ideas.
 

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Arch Enemy said:
Yeah, sadly... the difference between him and the protesters is that he chose to give up his rights and freedoms in order to follow the ambitions of people with suits and tuxedos. Most of which haven't ever experienced the ending of another persons life, I've got news for our marines, war is outdated its nothing more than a conflict between greedy people, theres no more honor in being apart of an army.

I'd pick the protestors over a soldier any-day.
He gave up his freedom to protect your rights. Although unfortunately soldiers don't have the ability to pick and chose who's rights they want to defend.

Because we all know without the protesters the country would be in shambles. What have soldiers ever done but to die. Being a coward is not honorable. The sooner you learn that the better. You couldn't do what they do. I'm betting you don't have the heart or the fortitude to stand up for anything that actually might cost you something
 

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I Know about 8 marines right now that would love for you to tell them how they have no honor. :2razz:
 

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Calm2Chaos said:
He gave up his freedom to protect your rights. Although unfortunately soldiers don't have the ability to pick and chose who's rights they want to defend.

Because we all know without the protesters the country would be in shambles. What have soldiers ever done but to die. Being a coward is not honorable. The sooner you learn that the better. You couldn't do what they do. I'm betting you don't have the heart or the fortitude to stand up for anything that actually might cost you something
Now what if a draft occured? If it stood for my ideas that war is not always the answer, then I'd lose all of my freedoms and I'd be defending my beliefs.

Being a coward is not honorable, I agree, but neither is blowing up your enemy from miles away.
 

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guns_God_glory said:
Any of those studens wright back with a rebuttal?
I doubt it.....They are probably to busy smoking dope and getting high....
 

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Navy Pride said:
I doubt it.....They are probably to busy smoking dope and getting high....
I would too, I'm sure they're feeling the full wrath of the pro-war people of Ohio.
 

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cnredd said:
I have to disagree with almost every point you made.....but...

I have to give to tons of respect for not spewing it in a hateful manner or turning it into a politcal rant...we need more of you here...bowing...:cheers:
Thank you and I appreciate the courtesy ... basic politeness is something too frequently missing in both sides of the fence, in my experience. I have also generally noticed a strong negative correlation between the shrillness of the flame and the quality of the response.
 

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Iriemon said:
I'm not a student, but if I were, I'd write about how much I admire the soldier's devotion to do his duty, and my gratitude that he is willing to risk his life in the performance of his duty as a soldier to do his job.

I'd also say how sorry I am that he has to spend his time in that godforsaken desert, in the midst of a civil war where he cannot tell if the man walking toward him is friend or enemy, and where each response brings with it the chance of killing innocent people.

I'd also express my anger that he and the others were send to sacrifice, and the 1800+ that have paid the ultimate sacrifice, and the thousands more permanently maimed, because of "mistakes" in the use of intellegence.

I'd ask him to hold on to his humanity, and try to keep in mind that although he is fighting against a guerilla insurgency, that the Iraqis are still people, too, and not to hate them all because of the actions of some.

I'd tell him that I am disappointed that the leadership in this country, despite increasing spending on defense over $100 billion a year, sent him and his fellows into hostile terroritory without sufficient forces or proper armament to do the job properly.

Finally, I'd tell him that the reason I was protesting this war is because I believe it is not legitimate or justified, that it is contra-productive in our efforts to protect ourselves against terrorism, that it was based on a (at best) mistake, and that my hope in protesting the war is to bring him and his fellows out of that hell hole as soon as possible, so he won't have to look at his friends' disfigured faces as the body bags are zipped up any more.
I give you credit my friend you have the left wing talking points down pat.......That said you can skip all that tripe and just tell the troops you support them and their mission to free the Iraqi people from a monster and the setting up of a free and democratic society in Iraq where all men and women can be free of terorrism.............

How do I know this? Because I went throiugh the same thing when I was in Viet Nam and that is what we wanted to hear..............We did not want to cut and run like you want to do in Iraq that will cause the deaths of millions of Iraqis who only want to live in peace and harmony with their neighbor and the terrorists would win and all our brave troops who have died would have died in vain........

Think about it my ideolistic friend..........
 

Navy Pride

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Calm2Chaos said:
He gave up his freedom to protect your rights. Although unfortunately soldiers don't have the ability to pick and chose who's rights they want to defend.

Because we all know without the protesters the country would be in shambles. What have soldiers ever done but to die. Being a coward is not honorable. The sooner you learn that the better. You couldn't do what they do. I'm betting you don't have the heart or the fortitude to stand up for anything that actually might cost you something
Regardless whether the President is Clinton or Bush the time to protest the war is before it starts.........Once it starts its time to get behind the troops and back them and their mission.........
 

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Here's a message from another Marine from Iraq. I guess this says it all too!

MIKE HOFFMAN would not be the guy his buddies would expect to see leading a protest movement. The son of a steelworker and a high school janitor from Allentown, Pennsylvania, he enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1999 as an artilleryman to “blow things up.” His transformation into an activist came the hard way—on the streets of Baghdad.

When Hoffman arrived in Kuwait in February 2003, his unit’s highest-ranking enlisted man laid out the mission in stark terms. “You’re not going to make Iraq safe for democracy,” the sergeant said. “You are going for one reason alone: oil. But you’re still going to go, because you signed a contract. And you’re going to go to bring your friends home.” Hoffman, who had his own doubts about the war, was relieved—he’d never expected to hear such a candid assessment from a superior. But it was only when he had been in Iraq for several months that the full meaning of the sergeant’s words began to sink in.

“The reasons for war were wrong,” he says. “They were lies. There were no WMDs. Al Qaeda was not there. And it was evident we couldn’t force democracy on people by force of arms.”

When he returned home and got his honorable discharge in August 2003, Hoffman says, he knew what he had to do next. “After being in Iraq and seeing what this war is, I realized that the only way to support our troops is to demand the withdrawal of all occupying forces in Iraq.” He cofounded a group called Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) and soon found himself emerging as one of the most visible members of a small but growing movement of soldiers who openly oppose the war in Iraq.

Dissent on Iraq within the military is not entirely new. Even before the invasion, senior officers were questioning the optimistic projections of the Pentagon’s civilian leaders, and several retired generals have strongly criticized the war. But now, nearly two years after the first troops rolled across the desert, rank-and-file soldiers and their families are increasingly speaking up. Hoffman’s group was founded in July with 8 members and had grown to 40 by September. Another organization, Military Families Speak Out, began with 2 families two years ago and now represents more than 1,700 families. And soldier-advocacy groups are reporting a rising number of calls from military personnel who are upset about the war and are thinking about refusing to fight; a few soldiers have even fled to Canada rather than go to Iraq.

In a 2003 Gallup Poll, nearly one-fifth of the soldiers surveyed said they felt the situation in Iraq had not been worth going to war over. In another poll, in Pennsylvania last August, 54 percent of households with a member in the military said the war was the “wrong thing to do”; in the population as a whole, only 48 percent felt that way. Doubts about the war have contributed to the decline of troop morale over the past year—and may, some experts say, be a factor in the 40 percent increase in Army suicide rates in Iraq in the past year. “That’s the most basic tool a soldier needs on the battlefield—a reason to be there,” says Paul Rieckhoff, a platoon leader in the New York National Guard and former JPMorgan banker who served in Iraq. Rieckhoff has founded a group called Operation Truth, which provides a freewheeling forum for soldiers’ views on the war. “When you can’t articulate that in one sentence, it starts to affect morale. You had an initial rationale for war that was a moving target. [But] it was a shell game from the beginning, and you can only bullshit people for so long.”

With his baggy pants, red goatee, and moussed hair, Mike Hoffman looks more like a guy taking some time off after college than a 25-year-old combat veteran. But the urgency in his voice belies his relaxed appearance; he speaks rapidly, consumed with the desire to get his point across. As we talk at a coffee shop in Vermont after one of his many speaking engagements, he concedes, “A lot of what I’m doing is basically survivor’s guilt. It’s hard: I’m home. I’m fine. I came back in one piece. But there are a lot of people who haven’t.”

More than a year after his return from Iraq, Hoffman is still battling depression, panic attacks, and nightmares. “I don’t know what I did,” he says, noting that errors and faulty targeting were common in the artillery. “I came home and read that six children were killed in an artillery strike near where I was. I don’t really know if that was my unit or a British unit. But I feel responsible for everything that happened when I was there.”

When he first came home, Hoffman says, he tried to talk to friends and family about his experience. It was not a story most wanted to hear. “One of the hardest things when I came back was people who were slapping me on the back saying ‘Great job,’” he recalls. “Everyone wants this to be a good war so they can sleep at night. But guys like me know it’s not a good war. There’s no such thing as a good war.”

Hoffman finally found some kindred spirits last fall when he discovered Veterans For Peace, the 19-year-old antiwar group. Older veterans encouraged him to speak at rallies, and steadily, he began to connect with other disillusioned Iraq vets. In July, at the Veterans For Peace annual meeting in Boston, Hoffman announced the creation of Iraq Veterans Against the War. The audience of silver-haired vets from wars in Vietnam, Korea, and World War II exploded into applause. Hoffman smiles wryly. “They tell us we’re the rock stars of the antiwar movement.”


The rest of the article can be found here.

http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2004/11/10_400.html
 

Navy Pride

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Arch Enemy said:
I would too, I'm sure they're feeling the full wrath of the pro-war people of Ohio.
You know I have been on this earth a long time and was in the military for 21 years and I have never met a man that was pro war........We just fight the wars so that you are able to exercise your first amndments rights to put us down and the wars we are fighting.......

Sadly that will never change....
 

Calm2Chaos

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Navy Pride said:
Regardless whether the President is Clinton or Bush the time to protest the war is before it starts.........Once it starts its time to get behind the troops and back them and their mission.........
It doesn't take much to complain and do nothing. Standing behind the guys that protect you and bitch at the way they do it. Sounds liek canada for gods sake. But you have a lot of young kids that think it's cool. They don't realise what it takes to earn freedom. Lot of lives got lost so they would have the right to disrespect the ones that fight and or die
 
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