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mygif

Soldiers don’t give freedoms – they defend them.

Yea, it’s a little over the top in the “We’re the ONLY reason you’re free!” but those are the things you have to tell to 18 year old children who don’t know they’re mortal when they have to go off and die.

Honestly, though – looking where a LOT of names the of streets/cities/etc came from, I can at least understand where he’s coming from.

Not saying he’s right, just understanding his point of view.

Here’s the rest of the article the poems seems to have come from:
http://flavets.tripod.com/what.htm

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mygif

Yep. You’re gonna get yelled at, badly.

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mygif

Chris… Why do you hate the military?

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mygif

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Forces_casualties_in_Afghanistan

I just took a quick look-see through that article. Of the 78 casualties, 5 would be considered to have come from actual combat. Is someone who fell off of a tower a hero? What about someone who just had the plain dumb luck to drive over a bomb. How about that guy who got hit with the axe in the village?

To me heroism in its most basic form requires you to be scared shitless and proceed anyways, or just being too dumb to be scared (I doubt this second category applies).

73 of the 78 deaths were surprise attacks or accidents for which there was no warning. These poor bastards didn’t get the chance to be heroes — through no fault of their own. The remaining 5 may or may not have done something heroic — There aren’t enough details to tell.

Some say that they became heroes the minute they volunteered for military duty. Great. When you enlist in the Canadian Forces, you get a street named after you in Toronto.

Since Feb 1, 2000 (an easy date to plug into the search engine) there have been 18 medals for Valour awarded, and 511 awards for Bravery. (I’m not clear on the distinction, but Valour is better.)

Do these (real) heroes get streets named after them or do you have to die to get some recognition around here?
Maybe a little bit of jewelry is sufficient compensation.

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mygif

Ah yes, the eternal legacy of every dead soldier. To wind up as a footnote in some politician’s campaign speech. In America, its the only way in which a soldier can return welcomed. If he’s alive, then he’s a potential economic burden that the government has to sweep under the rug as quickly as possible.

As for these raving war heroes, personally, I’m of the opinion that if they haven’t died for their country, then they have no business talking down to people as if they did.

Plus, not every soldier who sees combat has the right to claim that they have defended our civil liberties. The reality is, no American soldier, outside of Afghanistan has died to defend the USA’s civil liberties in the past 60 years. They didn’t do it in Korea. They didn’t do it in Vietnam. They didn’t do it in Kuwait. They didn’t do it in Bosnia. And they sure as shit aren’t doing it in Iraq today.

People with delusions of glory should be taken down a notch whenever possible.

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mygif

…This just gave me a flashback to high school “Business Technology” class. On Veteran’s Day, we had to type up this poem (it was in reality a typing class) that basically said not only do soldiers give us our rights, but that all the bad things they did in day-to-day life, especially if they died, ceased to matter, because overwhelmingly they were heroes. The poem specifically mentioned alcoholism and a few minor crimes as not mattering, as well as overlooking any bad behavior after enlisting. It doesn’t matter! By serving, they have redeemed themselves for anything they could have possibly done!!

Surprisingly, I couldn’t find this poem by googling it, only the very bleak poems like “Dulce et Decorum Est”, “In Flanders Field”, etc. and the usual patriotic drivel. You’ll have to take my word for it, I guess.

Also, how have American soldiers in Afghanistan been defending my civil liberties?? (By hostile takeover of a nation?)

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mygif

OH SNAP.

Because of my slow connection, I’m just looking at the page the poem was taken from now, and I think I had to type up an adapted version of that very poem!!

Yes, the “dumber than five planks” thing rings a bell.

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mygif

I’m starting to think that I don’t know what patriotism means. There’s a lot of people out there who seem to want everyone to think patriotism means settling for less.

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mygif

Oh, and to touch on something Lopez brought up, that sentiment isn’t isolated to soldiers and pro-military types.

In the Chick Tract “Lisa,” praying to God absolves a waste of skin of molesting his daughter, and letting some other guy JOIN IN on molesting the daughter, which results in the eponymous daughter getting Herpes Simplex. You don’t get to see Lisa until the last panel . . . and when you do, she looks like she’s six years old, at best.

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mygif
Heksefatter said on February 28th, 2008 at 8:12 pm

The…uhm…poem you linked to makes me think of an old refrain from the revolutions of 1848:

Gegen Demokrate.
helfen nur Soldaten.

(Against democrats,
the only help is soldiers).

Which is at least as true as O’Brien’s poem.

I agree pefectly that a good soldier should be respected, but he should not be turned into a mythic figure.

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mygif

The military deserves only as much respect as its mission at any given time.

If there are soldiers stationed somewhere doing something laudable, they should be praised.

If there are soldiers stationed somewhere doing something unconscionable, they should be the objects of disgust. (If somebody gives them an order to do something unconscionable, they should refuse to carry out that order.)

If there are soldiers who consider themselves solely responsible for all the non-soldiers being able to live decent lives and expect all non-soldiers to basically grovel at their feet and treat them like kings and repeatedly thank them for preventing the country from being overrun by…oh I don’ t know, Mongol hordes maybe…those soldiers can kiss my ass.

It’s the elitist types that really irritate me, the ones who believe that it’s unacceptable to ever say anything bad about anybody in the military and/or that everybody in the military deserves constant praise and thanks. Soldiers are just people and they are entitled to the same respect any other person is entitled to, no more and no less. They are not by any means a better class of people. If a soldier does something wrong, they should have to answer for it just the same as any other person would, and nobody should go easy on them.

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mygif

To expand upon something from the end of ‘A Few Good Men’ – You don’t need a badge on your arm to have honor, but having a badge on your arm doesn’t presuppose that you have honor either.

I can’t imagine what kind of conditions that troops have had to deal with in Iraq and what that could possibly do to your psyche. Your sense of wrong and right must become seriously strained and challenged everyday. I have no idea what I would convince myself was appropriate behavior if placed in those kind of environments. While the individual soldiers must be held accountable for their actions when necessary and rewarded when appropriate, mostly I blame the people putting them in those situations to begin with.

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mygif

As an American, I wish more of my neighbors thought more like you Mr. Bird.
The foolish responses saying “shame on you” over at the Torontoist had me chuckling. It’s fun to see people who miss the point attempt to discuss the point, and in the process more often than not attempt to belittle you much more than your piece ever could belittle a hypothetical soldier (which is far and away from your target in the first place).
I love, love, love how “People Have Died” had to be capitalized in one of the dumber comments, as if capitalization actually adds some sort of weight to that statement.

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mygif

I thought it was funny. I think people were missing the point, you weren’t making fun of the military, you were making fun of over the top uber-reverence of the military. The type of reverence that is, ironically, usually trite.

BUT, then you insulted poems… “as poems are wont to do”… FOR THAT I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU MR. BIRD. I love poems. And poets. Mostly because they write poems. Maybe we should name streets after them? Toronto could use a Wordsworth Street! Or a Wilfred Own Blvd. He’s both a poet AND a soldier!

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mygif

I read those comments, and I got to agree with you, Brian. There’s one that was particularly depressing, where the poster suggested that Canadian soldiers would kill Mr. Bird over what he posted.

It’s very depressing.

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mygif

I love, love, love how “People Have Died” had to be capitalized in one of the dumber comments, as if capitalization actually adds some sort of weight to that statement.

I wonder if any of these feebs may have considered the possibility that the “People Who Have Died” may not have died for a Noble Cause but rather for No Good Reason. Or worse, died in the furtherance of a not-so-noble cause.

I could perhaps understand if a street were named after somebody whose nobility is not in question. But to name streets after complete strangers of whom we know little to nothing? Some of whom might have killed innocent people either by accident or intentionally? Some of whom might have turned over prisoners to American forces without evidence of wrongdoing?

Like one of the people who commented at Torontoist said, just because somebody wears a uniform doesn’t automatically make them worthy of adulation.

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mygif

I have a brother who served in the Canadian forces. He was harmed by (the government claims/claimed) those he served with, he had to fight for years to be taken care of properly. I mention this only because I want to establish something before I comment- I’m not just sounding off from an unbiased perspective. I admit I *am* biased, and I am pro-soldier, if not pro-military. The brass can fuck right off until they start leading from the front as policy.

I respect those who serve, I respect those who have served. Do they need to enjoy or do they deserve unswerving undying devotion? No. In fact, I would go so far as to say *never*.

Those who serve in the forces deserve to be respected, but what was proposed, unless it has to do with local families and events, is disrespectful and political grandstanding of the worst nature. To make a soldier’s name a political tool to garner approval is both disgusting and amoral, if not immoral.

As the brother of a veteran, the son of a veteran, and the grandson of two… Bravo Mr Bird, and please, don’t bow out to criticism about this.

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mygif

MGK, you’re right. You know you’re right. Other people know you’re right. I’m the son of a soldier, the grandson of a soldier, and an ex-reservist (soldier-lite!). And you’re right. We don’t deserve or require these mental handjobs from people like Ford.

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mygif

I agree entirely with your sentiment and I clearly understood what you were trying to say without needing it explained… I just think it’s not particularly funny. Not bad, mind you, just… nothing special. Chuckle-worthy, that’s about it. Except for the Dead Canadian Soldier Hero Tower Of Hero Soldiers. That made me giggle.

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mygif

MGK, I want to have your manbabies.

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