The Biggest Lie You’ve Ever Heard

"No one who objects to the war
in Iraq for whatever reasons is disrespecting the servicemen who
actually have to go and serve there"

That was Peter Rivendell, commenting on this post.

This is without doubt the biggest lie out there, since this whole
thing began. Anyone who "objects to the war" but claims to "support the
troops" is either a moron, or is just fat out lying.

My support for these troops stems from the imperative to kill as
many radical Islamists–who have vowed to preemptively kill us–as soon
as possible.

I want to see slaughter. Lots and lots and lots of it. Several
hundred thousand ought to do the trick in pacifying the lot of those
primitive savages, over there. And if it doesn’t, give me a few hundred
thousand more.

They are welcome to renounce their oath to kill us at any time, and
should they do that, sincerely, then the killing should stop,
immediately. They are welcome to their primitive, evolutionary-stunted,
ape-like ways. They are not welcome to force those ways upon me, and
when they vow to kill me because I refuse to become the blithering
religious morons they have already demonstrated themselves to be, then
my only rational recourse is to see to their obliteration as best and
as fast as I can.

I have said it again and again: It is morally imperative to
kill anyone who threatens to kill you and means it (and they certainly
do). Those who refuse to acknowledge that are juvenile imbeciles, which
counts for most of the left. They’re dangerous; and should never be left
unattended anywhere near another human life. They have defaulted upon the "human" part and are incompetent in major areas of what the concept of "life" implies.

Those risking their lives for me in that most sacred of human moral
responsibilities (competent and effective self defense) command my
utmost respect.


Since Covid killed my Cabo San Lucas vacation-rental business in 2021, this is my day job. I can't do it without you. Memberships are $10 monthly, $20 quarterly, or $65 annually. Two premium coffees per month. Every membership helps finance this work I do, and if you like what I do, please chip in. No grandiose pitches.

37 Comments

  1. Richard Nikoley on March 10, 2006 at 14:29

    I think it was about as good of a place to start as anywhere, over there.

  2. Richard Nikoley on March 10, 2006 at 14:36

    Danielle:

    You really must get your head out of the mush.

    I hate war too. Hate killing and lies as well. But as a human being, I have a responsibility to operate on facts, withing a framework of what's right and wrong. Things we hate have sometimes to be done, and this is one of those times.

  3. Elrod on March 10, 2006 at 11:00

    Amen, brother.

  4. danielle on March 10, 2006 at 12:55

    Wow, as someone whos brother is oversees in the army right now, I have to say you are really wrong. I hate war. I didn't want to go into Afghanistan. I hate killing and lies. But I love my brother, and respect what he is doing. I respect my friends that have been over there, but I do not support war. You have called me a liar. I call you ignorant.

  5. M A F on March 10, 2006 at 13:50

    "My support for these troops stems from the imperative to kill as many radical Islamists–who have vowed to preemptively kill us…"

    If you really believe this, then why did you support the invasion of Iraq? Are you aware that the insurgency in Iraq consists mainly of "Saddamists and deadenders?" (That is what Bush calls them.) The "radical Islamists" were not in Iraq before Bush's war of choice.

    Peter Rivendell's words are not a lie. The words are his opinion, not a statement of fact. Just as your post is not truth, it is your opinion and not a statement of fact.

  6. Rich on March 10, 2006 at 22:14

    Tom:

    It is a seemingly fair question, but it's manipulative, and really, dishonest. The question is about the morality of war, as such.

    We all know how thing are done. We have a professional army of volunteers. If you acknowledge the necessity of war, when called for, then you go with what you've got to prosecute it.

    I was ready for anyting that came up when I did my time, had things come to that, and I rightly presume others were as well. Still others are doing it today and others will do it tomorrow.

  7. Kyle Bennett on March 10, 2006 at 22:51

    Bullshit, Tom.

    You want to eat, don't you? So why aren't you down on the farm picking corn and slopping the hogs? You seem happy to use a computer, but do you drive down to the Intel plant to build chips, then over to Redmond to work on that operating system?

    You arbitrarily assert that defense is the one thing that shouldn't be done by those best at it, but by everyone for himself, else they're hypocrites of some kind. You're completely transparent in that you only hold that standard for things you disapprove of. You probably think that if I eat meat, I should have to do the butchering myself – but then are perfectly happy to let somebody else harvest your bean sprouts and make your Birkenstocks and 100% organic hemp t-shirts for you.

    Your question is beyond manipulative and dishonest, it's downright immoral. In the process of flailing about for some way, no matter how illogical, to discredit any support for the war, you toss out a primary moral imperative in the context of a society of human beings, which is the trading value for value.

    The best way to achieve anything you value, whether it be lunch or clothes or defense, is to do whatever thing you do best and trade that effort for the efforts of someone else who is really good at doing the thing you value. Being against the war does not necessarily make you some kind of communist. Using your particular argument in opposing it just might.

  8. Tom Harper on March 10, 2006 at 17:27

    OK, we know what you think of people who oppose the Iraqi war and say they support the troops. What do you think of people who support the war — often to the point of slandering people who are against it — but haven't enlisted? People who are doing all their fighting at their keyboard instead of in the trenches? (I know you have a military background.)

    Just wondering.

  9. Billy Beck on March 11, 2006 at 06:52

    Tom: if you're a man, you'll cop to what Kyle just told you because it's true.

    "Division of labor" is a good thing. You know it. Now; go ahead and say it.

  10. Rich on March 11, 2006 at 08:50

    "…seems to imply that everyone in Iraq is a radical Islamist and vowed to kill Americans."

    No, it doesn't. It just simply doesn't imply anything close to that.

    "turn a blind eye to the root cause of what's going on…"

    Knowing the root cause of why crazies vow to kill us because they despise our cluture is not the imperative. The imperative is to kill them befor they can carry out their oaths, or until they sincerely rescind such oaths.

    "It's time we stop the hypocrisy and look at what's driving these people to act so crazy. Let's stop being stupid and assuming that these people come out of the womb ready to strap a bom around their neck."

    Be my guest. Nobody is stopping you. Go right ahead and take as primary the duty to find out why a killer wants and has vowed to kill you for the simple reason that you exist and refuse to submit to his creed. As for me, I've already said what my primary duty is.

  11. Geronimo on March 11, 2006 at 06:56

    Richard,

    Your post is very short sighted and seems to imply that everyone in Iraq is a radical Islamist and vowed to kill Americans. That's just not the case. It's a fact that the relationship between Iraq and the 9/11 terrorists is tenuous at best. It's a fact, that we were going to invade Iraq qith or without 9/11. It's also a fact that Americans were stupid enough to believe that 9/11 and Iraq were one in the same. Evidence of this can be seen by the fact that the Administration was too stupid to realize that there were three different types of Muslims in Iraq. That is precisely why Iraq is in chaos now.

    If we as Americans continue to turn a blind eye to the root cause of what's going on we will continue down this path of destructive behavior that we're on. I could go on and on about this, but every person in the Muslim world DID NOT vow to kill Americans. Stop being ignorant and do your homework before making such baseless claims. What we're doing is only adding fuel to the fire. How would Americans have reacted if Pakistan fired a missle on a small town in Idaho if Pakistan were going after a wanted criminal. We clearly violated their sovereignty.

    It's time we stop the hypocrisy and look at what's driving these people to act so crazy. Let's stop being stupid and assuming that these people come out of the womb ready to strap a bom around their neck.

  12. Kyle Bennett on March 11, 2006 at 19:58

    Ah, the old "I feel sorry for you" canard. In football, they call that "punting".

  13. Peter Rivendell on March 11, 2006 at 18:34

    You are so awash with hatred, moral corruption, bigotry and pig-ignorant prejudice that I can only assume you believe yourself to be a Christian.

    "I have said it again and again: It is morally imperative to kill anyone who threatens to kill you and means it (and they certainly do). Those who refuse to acknowledge that are juvenile imbeciles, which counts for most of the left. They’re dangerous; and should never be left unattended anywhere near another human life. They have defaulted upon the "human" part and are incompetent in major areas of what the concept of "life" implies."

    If you genuinely believe that then I feel truly sorry for you, and if your country genuinely feels that then I feel sorry for the world.

  14. CSC5502D on March 11, 2006 at 11:44

    Rich, you are dead on. I boil it down to this.

    You don't have to blame the rabid dog, hate the rabid dog, or pretend the rabid dog was "borne" wanting to kill you.

    But you damned well better shoot it.

  15. Kyle Bennett on March 12, 2006 at 07:50

    Michael,

    Religion is once again used as a scapegoat for underlying political issues that were caused by meddling in affairs of another country and then pulling support at a critical time.

    That may be true to some extent, however the reverse is also true: that political meddling is the scapegoat for underlying religious issues. And it is not religious differences so much as a unilateral religious imperative.

    The fact is that Islamic religious doctrine can reasonably be interpreted to mean that it is the duty of any Muslim to either convert or kill us. Many have interpreted it just that way. The question that will shape the ultimate outcome of all this is whether or not it can "reasonably" be interpreted some other way.

  16. Jack Jones on March 12, 2006 at 01:02

    Tom Harper's comment illustrates the inate decietfulness of the left. He wrote his comment knowing full well there are many who support the war who are unable to enlist for any of a million reasons.

    Is Tom really suggesting that the elderly or infirmed should attempt to enlist if they support the war? What about young parents with children to raise? In light of the fact that the military seems to be meeting or exceeding their recruitment goals, is it really wise to advocate needless enlistment by people who lack the talent or desire for military service? And what about those who have abilities which could be better used elsewhere?

    Unless he's stupid–Tom is well aware that military service in our country is voluntary. Further–unless he's stupid–Tom also knows that the type of war being fought in the Middle East isn't dependent on manpower so much as intelligence, secrecy, diplomacy and propoganda.

    Of course, Tom isn't stupid. Tom knows full well that his arguments are specious and disengenuous. But like the good leftist soldier that he is, Tom feels he must do his part to defeat the evil United States. Go Tom!

    As for Peter Rivendell, You must be one of the "juvenile Imbeciles" referenced in the above post. I find it maddening that Mr Rivendell and others get to behave like spoiled children only because that luxury was paid for with the lives of our men and women in uniform.

    I hope someday Mr Rivendell and Tom Harper will come to realize the cost of their endless childhood.

    It isn't cheap.

  17. Kyle Bennett on March 12, 2006 at 08:08

    Karl, and Voice,

    The reason my previous comment went right over your heads is that you're looking at it from the collectivist point of view. That's understandable, since even most of those vehemently in support of the war and the troops take that view as well.

    It's still wrong.

    The individualist view says that everything from shoes to defense is just a prodcut or service, to be provided by those able and willing, and traded for by everyone else. You ask what I'm doing? I'm paying for it. That's the honorable way to get anything I'm not able or willing to produce directly.

    We can agree on one thing: you should not have to pay for it if you don't value it. But the flip side of that is that if you're not willing to pay for it, you should not see the benefits of it.

    It's wrong that both of us are being forced to pay for it through taxes stolen from us. In my case, it works out, since I would pay for this war (or something like it) even if doing so was voluntary. In you're case, you'd be a free rider if you weren't forced to pay for it.

    The fact that the choice is to either force you to pay it or to let you be a free rider is a manifestation of a much deeper contradiction in the way our government and society is structured: it is based on collectivist principles.

    There is a way to structure government to eliminate that dilemma and allow us both the freedom to choose which values we will and will not pay for. This blog, my blog, and a few others that we both link to have and likely will continue to discuss some of those alternatives in detail.

    If you care to try and understand them, read the archives and keep checking back. I won't hold my breath.

  18. Michael on March 12, 2006 at 01:14

    Wow, there is so much to say yet so many have taken so much out of context. Almost like a bad case of that old childhood game "telephone" and it's twists and turns.

    First off, Richard, do you know the root cause of the hatered toward us, the US? I am a Marine (once and always) and have personally always felt the following:
    1. Do my duty when called upon
    2. Later, as time permits, find answers to my questions about why. Provided I had any.

    So when it came to our military actions in the Middle East I ask myself, what did we do to deserve such destructive behavior from any fellow human beings. Iraq we know our reasons and the nations that didn't follow through on their obligations in the subsequent embargos; why a select section of Muslim extremists have vowed to kill us…I couldn't figure out at first. Read about the CIA's involvment long before this all started (Afghan and al-Qaeda) and you will find that they have good reason to hate us.

    Religion has been used as an excuse for war much to often. Usually there is underlying causes as history has taught us.

    Persoanlly I still have issues when I see middle eastern people, not that I choose to be bias, far from it. However, once you have been thrust into that kind of thing you become forever cautious.

    Long post but to sum it up:
    We support our troops by not undermining them, I agree with you there. However, it is a common myth that the main reason we have these fellow human beings after us is just because of religious diffrences. Religion is once again used as a scapegoat for underlying political issues that were caused by meddling in affairs of another country and then pulling support at a critical time.

  19. Karl Olson on March 12, 2006 at 03:24

    Sorry, but I don't buy the arguments that those who are eligible to serve and support the war have no obligation to consider [just consider] serving in it.

    There may very well be valid reasons for someone theoretically eligible to serve who supports the war not to serve. But they shouldn't come up unless the person first considers [just considers] serving.

    Our Army may be making its recruiting quotas, barely, but that does not mean that recruiters are turning away well qualified applicants.

    Today, you're only off the hook if the recruiters have told you, "Thanks for your interest, but we can't use you."

    If this war is worth fighting (or continuing to fight) by American volunteers, anyone supporting it can legitimately be Asked The Question. Their answer is a valid part of political debate.

    Like all Americans, so-called chickenhawks have the right to express their opinions on any issue. But their is no right to have their opinions respected; respect is earned.

  20. Voice of Reason on March 12, 2006 at 03:49

    Alright, geniouses, if you won't join the military, what will you do? According to a recent survey, 72% of troops think we should be out of Iraq within a year. Will you replace them? Can't serve for physical reasons? Drive a truck for Halliburton then.
    Most gave some, some gave all, chickenhawks give none.

  21. Voice of Reason on March 12, 2006 at 03:53

    If this war was worth fighting, like WW2, people would be lined up at the recruiting stations. Even for Korea young men signed up just so they wouldn't have to hear from their fellow citizens "Why aren't you fighting for our country".
    Considering the support that existed in the run up to the invasion, you would have thought that the recruiters would be beating Young Republicans away with sticks- but instead they think helping out starts and ends with a Chinese ribbon magnet.

  22. Richard Nikoley on March 12, 2006 at 11:21

    "You are so awash with hatred, moral corruption, bigotry and pig-ignorant prejudice that I can only assume you believe yourself to be a Christian."

    Peter Rivendell, commenting way further up there. And, of course, he feels so sorry for me and I'm quite certain he is sincere.

    Here's the essential problem, Peter. You see the world as a set of competing "positions." Everybody has a certain position, eh? You've guessed that mine at least roughly approximates that of a Christian. After all, I've got to be a member of some sort of position-taking tribe, haven't I?

    Well, you must be a new reader, because, in fact, not only am I not a Christian, I am every bit as disrespectful to their utterly moronic primitive beliefs as I am to any and all who believe literally in fairy tales and want to "throw my ass into their cannibal pot" in order to live up to their fanaticized ideals.

    I reject religion on epistemological grounds. The metaphysical reality underlying it all; the epistemological basis for genuine knowledge; the ethical principles implied by individual human nature; the political principles that individualist ethics combined with life in society gives rise to…these are why any rational human being must necessarily reject religion and why they should also see the moral necessity of some kinds of war.

    There is room for a lot of disagreement on this war, but there is none as concerns the human moral imperative of self-protection and defense.

    There is also no room for disagreement that the zealotry found in the Middle East is of no real concern or that it will just go away if we leave them alone.

    And Kyle is right: you're a pussy, to paraphrase him. Put up a real argument, or get the fuck out.

  23. Kyle Bennett on March 12, 2006 at 12:02

    Ayn Rand, was able to get her views across without using snide comments and petty personal attacks. Maybe it’s time to go back and re-read some of her books — after you grow up.

    Actually, she used plenty of snide comments and personal attacks. If they're true and germane to the point, then they're anything but petty.

    And if "growing up" means reducing my sight to the narrow and superficial vision of the world that is all that you can see, and filling my mouth with the words and thoughts of others, then no thanks.

  24. Jack Jones on March 12, 2006 at 09:59

    Michael, in spite of your inability to understand the issue, you make a good point. It should be obvious to everyone that Middle Eastern terrorists are not motivated by religious zeal alone. Since the beginning of time thugs like Hammas and Al Queada have been motivated by the pursuit of power and a desire to hurt others because they enjoy doing so. It shouldn't come as any surprise that they've figured out a way to weaponize their religion in order to acheive those goals.

    Also, your apparent belief that the U.S. is the only nation that "meddles" in the affairs of other countries is a load of nonsense. Historically, many nations have attempted to imapact the policies of their neighbors. It's called geo-politics and it's been going on for thousands of years. You may want to look into it.

    Further, as the most powerful nation on earth, our "meddling" has been highly sought after by countries unable to see to their own affairs.

    What do you think our response should be the next time we are asked to "meddle" in the affairs of Europe or the Middle East or Africa or South America? Should we simply allow them to kill each other by the tens of millions–their historical tendency– because we can't be bothered?

    Like it or not, our world has managed to escape world war three precisely because the United States has chosen — however imperfectly– to promote global stability through our "meddling".

    People on the left like Michael–who may or may not be a member of the military– deliberately avoid the reality that our world would be a much darker place were it not for The United States.

  25. Tom Harper on March 12, 2006 at 11:00

    Kyle: “…but then are perfectly happy to let somebody else harvest your bean sprouts and make your Birkenstocks and 100% organic hemp t-shirts for you.” Oooohh!! Your mentor, Ayn Rand, was able to get her views across without using snide comments and petty personal attacks. Maybe it’s time to go back and re-read some of her books — after you grow up.

    Jack Jones: “In light of the fact that the military seems to be meeting or exceeding their recruitment goals…” Jack, Jack, Jack — meeting or exceeding their recruitment goals???? So many National Guardsmen have been sent to Iraq that they’re stretched way too thin over here, which is where they’re needed. A top Pentagon official has said the U.S. Army is stretched to the breaking point. Sure, the Army is meeting its recruitment goals, technically. Drug addicts, high school dropouts, people with criminal records, people who are waaaay overweight — people who never would’ve previously been accepted — are being admitted. Oh, and the enlistment age keeps going up and up and up. Right now it’s either 39 or 42; I forget which (and it might’ve gone up while I’m writing this).

    I didn’t provide links to the above facts since they’ve been all over the news in the past year. Do a web search if you don’t believe me.

    Unless you people are stupid (quoting Jack Jones again) you’re aware that serving in the military is not a single specialized skill that only a few people have. All kinds of job skills are utilized, including non-combat positions. And as noted above, since recruiters are so desperate, you can be completely unskilled and still enlist.

    By the way, Jack, referring to a Marine as “people on the left like Michael — who may or may not be a member of the military” — well, I already criticized Kyle for being petty and spiteful, so I won’t make a snide comment. Let’s just say that if you said something like that to a Marine face to face…

  26. Jack Jones on March 12, 2006 at 14:25

    Tom, please cite your sources. One well publicised Pentagon study indicated strained troop levels a few weeks ago. According to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, their are other Pentagon studies which refute this. He went on to say that the Pentagon commisions many studies some of which yield contradictory results. The last I heard, the active military continues to meet or exceed it's recruitment goals. I believe the reserves do as well. In addition, I don't believe any branch of the military has accepted high school dropouts with no GED for some time. If you know this to be false please cite three verifiable sources. Further, I believe the reserves have for some time had mechanisms whereby people of advanced years can be allowed to serve, at least that's what I've been told by reservists I know.

    As too your last point, I'm not afraid to speak my mind under any circumstance, in any company, if I believe the situation calls for it. As you know, many leftist have falsely claimed military service. Just as many leftists falsely claim to be lifelong Republicans. Leftists have been known to make many false claims because they feel deceit is part of their soldierly / religious duty. I think it's a good idea to point this out from time to time.

    You know Tom, we could bypass all of these pointless discussions and save everyone alot of time if you would just admit that–like all leftists– you see the United States as evil and you hope for, and do all you can to promote, disaster in the Middle East.

  27. Billy Beck on March 13, 2006 at 21:31

    "Sure, the Army is meeting its recruitment goals, technically. Drug addicts, high school dropouts, people with criminal records, people who are waaaay overweight — people who never would’ve previously been accepted — are being admitted."

    It's time to sit down, shut up, and stop being a moron, Tom.

  28. Tom Harper on March 13, 2006 at 22:33

    Hey Moron (Billy Beck), your link only refers to ages 17-24. They recently raised the enlistment age to 39. Ever wonder about that? Ever wonder about all the National Guardsmen being sent to Iraq, or the soldiers over there who keep getting their tours of duty extended? Didn't think so.

  29. Billy Beck on March 14, 2006 at 06:17

    "They recently raised the enlistment age to 39. Ever wonder about that?"

    Looking at 17-24 year-olds (what has always been the preferred military demograph) these days, Tom, I would solicit 39 year-olds, too. I don't feel sorry for the National Guard: I know people (like: a couple in my extended family, even) who signed-up because it looked like a sort-of honorable welfare program to them, for which they would never have to seriously produce anything in return. As for the enlistments gag: that's called "Stop Loss", in DoD-noise. Actually, you see, I've not only "wonder[ed]" about it more than you, you fucking dink, I also understand it. It's slavery.

    You can go eat shit and die, now.

  30. Jack Jones on March 14, 2006 at 04:02

    Tom, you seem to be something of an expert on Reserve recruitment policy. I'd be curious to know the basis of your expertise.

    No matter.

    At the core of this entire issue is your sincere hope for some sort of bad outcome for the military generally and for George Bush specifically.

    When The Left's ultimate goals and motives are understood, you begin to see that discussions like the one above are just a diversion and a waste of time. Remember, for The Left–Anarchist, Communists, Marxists, they're all the same–the real enemy is the United States.

  31. Billy Beck on March 14, 2006 at 12:45

    "…can't express himself without cussing and name-calling."

    That's what you think.

  32. Jersey McJones on March 14, 2006 at 06:27

    Well, my posts mysteriously disappeared…

    Anyway, National Guardsmen DID NOT sign up to fight in optional foreign expeditionary colonial oil wars.

    JMJ

  33. Tom Harper on March 14, 2006 at 10:33

    Poor little Billy Beck, can't express himself without cussing and name-calling. His mother must be so proud of him.

  34. Tom Harper on March 14, 2006 at 12:20

    Jack Jones: An "expert on reserve recruitment?" Hardly. I follow the news; that's all it takes. All of the things I talked about in my earlier comment have been all over the news. As I said then, that's why I didn't provide any links. Do a web search on any of those things and you'll get more links than you can shake a stick at.

    Do you have any idea how old and overused your Talking Points are? The Left "hopes that we'll fail in Iraq." The Left "thinks the United States is the enemy." I don't know where you get your daily instructions, but thousands of rightwing automatons are spewing out the same Talking Points every day in the blogosphere. Surfing through Blog Explosion and seeing the same rightwing phrases again and again and again — if you could only see how mind-numbing and hilarious it looks, you might be embarrassed into saying something original.

  35. Jack Jones on March 15, 2006 at 11:37

    Sorry Tom, I guess I'm just not so easily embarrassed.

    I inquired about the basis of your expertise because Active Military and Reservists I've spoken to personally, indicate that you don't know what you're talking about. If you're depending on Mainstream Media for your information, my sources are better than yours.

    Actually, I don't see my "talking points" expressed by others nearly often enough in my opinion.
    And if your mind is numbed by the truthfullnes of my "talking points", that's your problem. You might as well get used to reading and hearing them because I use them a lot. Furthermore, you know every word is spot on.

    So sorry if I broke up your lame attempt to divert our attention away from your real motives. I'm sure you'll continue to push ahead like the good soldier you are.

  36. Kyle Bennett on March 26, 2006 at 07:49

    Karl,

    But I don't see that cohort having much success in encouraging others to enlist.

    This is a key point to our disagreement. It shows how completely differently we look at the issue.

    Let's take an example that carries no cotroversy with it. I support the production and use of computers. I'm for it, I believe it should be done. But I can't build them. Oh, I could probably put one together from parts, but I certainly can't go and build chips and hard drives, even if I wanted to. And I don't want to.

    So should I worry that I won't have any credibility in convincing others to go to work for Dell or for Gateway?

    No, that's not even an issue. They go to work there because Dell and Gateway make it worth their while, even if they don't care one bit for computers, though certainly some have chosen that career because they do care, very deeply, about computers.

    But you (in this analogy) want people to go work for a computer company out of a sense of duty. You think they should go work there because this country needs computers, and because people have a duty to do what is needed for their country.

    But "this country" does not need computers, individuals do. Defense is no different. There is no such thing as "national defense", there is only the defense of individuals. The difference now is that we have an enemy who realizes this, who isn't a nation, and the flaws in the collectivized model that have previously been able to be swept under the rug are now causing the whole thing to fall apart.

    Nobody has a duty to go and fight for my protection. It's my responsibility to defend myself, just as it is my responsibility to provide myself with a computer when I need one. But just as it is better for me to acquire my computer by trading for it with someone who builds computers in pursuit of their own interests, so too is it better for me to acquire the value of defense from those who do it out of their own best interests.

    If enough people are willing to pay for the value of defense, it will be in somebody's best interests to provide it, and I won't have to "convince" anyone to go and fight on my behalf. The problem we have now is that nobody gets to decide whether they will pay for it or not, and everybody is isolated from the consequences of their decision to support it or not. Until those are connected, until those who do not want the war are both allowed to not pay for it and have to face the consequences of not paying for it, we will continue to have these irreconcilable contradictions.

    They cannot be resolved under a model of duty and country, where soldiers are encouraged to do the work they do under a sense of duty to others rather than for their own interests and the costs and benefits are collectivised. A model based on individual values, costs, and benefits makes these contradictions disappear. We all get what we're willing to pay for, and nothing we're not.

    You, and most other people, are looking at superficial results that arise inevitably from much deeper causes. If you're not willing to address those deeper issues, issues that go right down to the root of what this country is based on and fundamental things about the way government is constituted, you can expect this argument to continue going round and round in pointless circles.

    P.S. I really don't understand your last two paragraphs.

  37. Karl Olson on March 26, 2006 at 04:54

    Kyle-

    OK, let's accept, for a moment, the "division of labor" thing, in that one who is eligible to serve can support the war without being invited to consider military service personally.

    It's certainly possible that such people probably wouldn't work out in the military, and are doing everyone a favor by not considering it, for themselves, that is.

    But I don't see that cohort having much success in encouraging others to enlist.

    Through 2004, our Army was actually turning away prospects who met the bare minimum requirements; there were sufficient well qualified applicants that recruiters could select those who could best serve in our military. That's no longer true.

    And the proportion of Category IV recruits, limited to 4% of the annual cohort (recently doubled from 2% for many years) was 12% in October, "in the double digits" in November [but the Army won't give the number] and they refuse to disclose it for January and February. [Nobody enlists for the first time in December.]

    We're in for a serious challenge this summer, when the monthly quotas are high and, it appears, the annual quota of Category IV recruits is basically used up.

    Is the next Lynndie England already in basic training?

    Think about it. The Marine Corps talks about the "strategic corporal" and she was a PFC.

    If you really support the "division of labor," what credibility do you have convincing "other people" to stay on the other side?

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