European, my humble explanation

A fellow poster recently expressed great puzzlement at the level of support President Bush enjoys. In truth, this bizarre behaviour is just one manifestation of a much larger problem plaguing the United States.

I share your frustration with the primative political views of the average American soldier, european.

How Bush continues to enjoy overwhelming support among military personnel is both baffling and disturbing. as a fellow enlightened thinker, I humbly offer you the best explanation that I have been able to come up with so far. At the root of the explanation is the unfortunate fact that many American enlisted military personnel are not educated enough to understand what is best for them. Despite seeing what enhanced government power/spending and regulation has done for Europe, these uneducated hicks actually like small government.

Because they have not been to university, they often share in the ignorant political views of their home communities. In other words, they tend to be conservatives.

As we all know, conservatives are simply not as smart as the rest of us. They do not have our levels of education, of sophistication. Their minds are not as nuanced or discerning.

At the end of the day, this is why they should not be allowed to make their own decisions. The military, with its strict chain of command, at least has a head start on this. Sadly, many of the officers share the deluded views of lower-class rabble that they command. Thus, while most officers would agree that a superior/subordinate relationship is the correct way to run an army, they fail to make obvious connection that it is also the correct way to run government policy.

The United States is full of unsophisticated peasants who fail to embrace (and indeed, if you can believe it, actively oppose) the Democratic Party’s enlightened attempts to remove from the lower classes the burdens of self-responsibility. Can these people not see that we are more intelligent, more urbane, and more academically well-credentialed!? Do they not see that by ceding a greater portion of control over their spending decisions to a centralized group of wealthy ex-attorneys in Washington the welfare of the entire nation would be improved?

Let us not forget that in addition to generally being composed of wealthy, educated, superior men and women, the federal government has literally thousands of fellow wealthy, educated people to advise (or “lobby”) them in deciding how the money of the common masses is spent.

Finally there are economies of scale to consider. The common masses uneducated Republican simpletons probably do not even know what this means, and even if they do they probably don’t see how it applies to government spending. So I will try to explain it to them in very simple terms:

Imagine that each of the millions of US citizens each kept $1 for themselves rather than giving it to their intellectual superiors to spend for them. What would each person be able to buy? A pack of gum? Exactly. Now imagine instead that each of these citizens gave their $1 to the federal government instead. With that much money the government (after conferring with their fellow wealthy and educated advisors on the hill) could give literally tens of millions of dollars to Senator Daschles wealthy patrons at Archer Daniels Midland Corporation! Senator Byrd could construct several new superhighways in unpopulated areas that would bear his name!

But just try explaining any of that to the peasants.

Even this board (where one would hope to find a higher class of educated people) you find posters like tigerman and fred_smith. Very nice individuals I am sure – but they clearly have no appreciation for the rightful role that government should play in making decisions for the lower classes.

I wouldn’t be surprised if tigerman thought that adults in France should be able to decide for themselves how many hours they want to work each week! I wouldn’t be surprised if fred_smith thought that poor African-American families ought to be able to decide for themselves where their children went to school (as if were as intelligent and responsible as the wealthy people) rather than allowing the teachers unions keep the poor in their place.

I am afraid that all too often it is people like they that populate the US military. And until the Democratic Party can convince them of their proper role vis-a-vis their Public Servant superiors in Washington, none of this is likely change.

But John Kerry still has six months to close the gap. Here’s hoping that he can do what Mondale and Dole could not!

Cheers,
Hobbes

You

4nr,

I think you need to read what is being said rather than read what is being written.

Or, I could be way wrong on this one. :smiley:

Zip!!! And it’s a strike!

:laughing:

[quote=“4nr”]You’re either joking or an extremely pretentious individual.

[/quote]

Well, Mr. Fourth Nuclear Reactor…

As both Blueface and Durins Bane have suggested, the ball pitched by Hobbes either went over your head or zipped right past you… Well, OK, there is a third possibility… it struck you in the head?

:wink:

There’s not much you can say about as OP as silly as that. It’s absurdity is pretty much summed up right here.

Unless, of course, someone mentions cutting the Pentagon budget. Then watch how fast those “small government” types suddenly become socialists.

The poster cited in the OP was wondering how any vet could favor Bush, given that the Administration has attempted to cut military pay and benefits, extended service in a pointless and illegal war, etc etc etc. There’s lots of reasons for rational veterans of any political stripe to find problems with Bush.

Vorkosigan

V:

Shouldn’t you be in the Iraq thread proving my facts and figures wrong? Have not heard much from you since I posted 11 major sources pointing out the the US was responsible for less than 1 percent of Saddam’s weapons from 1979 to 2002 including your so called major support during the late 1980s and of course the humiliating revelation that sent rascal scurrying off into an early exile that Germany supplied more than half of all Saddam’s wmds and programs. The US so far distant as to be negligible but I am sure that you were going to get back to me on this. Anyway, I too am off to see our Russian allies for a few weeks but will be certain to keep an eye on this thread.

Love Fred Smith V.

[quote=“fred smith”]V:

Shouldn’t you be in the Iraq thread proving my facts and figures wrong? Have not heard much from you since I posted 11 major sources pointing out the the US was responsible for less than 1 percent of Saddam’s weapons from 1979 to 2002 including your so called major support during the late 1980s and of course the humiliating revelation that sent rascal scurrying off into an early exile that Germany supplied more than half of all Saddam’s wmds and programs.
[/quote]

Ricochet!

:unamused:

Fred, I always did think you looked nice in Hugo Boss

[quote=“fred smith”]V:

Shouldn’t you be in the Iraq thread proving my facts and figures wrong? Have not heard much from you since I posted 11 major sources pointing out the the US was responsible for less than 1 percent of Saddam’s weapons from 1979 to 2002 …[/quote]

Fred, I’ve read and re-read that thread. Vorkosigan amply proved your ignorance of the facts. Whatever dirt you’ve subsequently dug up doesn’t alter that, and, as you well know, his argument about US support extended beyond direct financial support. As you are so fond of saying, re-read the post.

I suggest you shut up, crawl back under you rock, and and fill your mouth with umble pie. After all, you did shamelessly call people ignorant butt plugs and then finally have to issue a grudging apology when Vorkosigan clearly showed your ignorance of the issues under discussion.

Butt plug.

That’s not the way I read the thread. Someone, maybe V, maybe Rascal, asserted that Saddam was “our man” in the mid east. All of the documentation cited shows that the US did clearly assist Iraq, although grudgingly, while it was at war with Iran.

Given our problems with Iran and the threat Iran posed at the time, it seems perfectly understandable that the US would provide limited assistance to Iraq, simply to keep Iran from overrunning the region with fundamentalism.

What’s so difficult to understand about this?

FS has admitted many times that the US assisted Iraq at that time. But, he has shown that in comparison to other nations, the US assistance (in terms of weapons) was quite small. That was the original thrust of the assertion, unless my recollection is off.

Yes, the US also provided other assistance (intelligence, etc…), but again, given Iran’s refusal to back down and the threat posed by Iran at the time, what was the US to do… allow Iranian fundamentalism to sweep across the middle east?

Get serious.

[quote=“tigerman”]

Yes, the US also provided other assistance (intelligence, etc…), but again, given Iran’s refusal to back down and the threat posed by Iran at the time, what was the US to do… allow Iranian fundamentalism to sweep across the middle east?[/quote]

Iranian fundamentalism. Iraqi fundamentalism.
Iranian fundamentalism. Iraqi fundamentalism.
Mentalism
Mentalism
Mentalism

:stuck_out_tongue:

Butt plugism. :laughing:

I am amazed at the hostility on forumosa.

It seems as though people have nothing to do except pick on one another and feel important.

Nothing constructive.

I know it was a mistake from getting out of lurker status and actually post something.

goodbye

[quote=“tigerman”]Given our problems with Iran and the threat Iran posed at the time, it seems perfectly understandable that the US would provide limited assistance to Iraq, simply to keep Iran from overrunning the region with fundamentalism.

What’s so difficult to understand about this?

Get serious.[/quote]

Given the US dislike of Moslem fundamentalism, it seems perfectly understandable that the US would aid and abet another murderous dictator, Saddam Hussein.

Given the US dislike of Saddam Hussein it seems perfectly natural that the US would depose Saddam Hussein simply to impose democracy on the region.

What’s so difficult to understand about this?

Get serious.

It saddens me that there are people enlisting. But when you have a system that wants ghettos to exist and there to be no hope for the poor than you are always going to have cannon fodder for wars that don’t need to be fought around the world. Then after the war(if they are lucky not to suffer mentally or physically) what does bush offer for fighting for him? Thank you very much now fuck off!

And of course there is the army faction (no pun intended) in communities that rally people around some cause(government sponsored), and the ignorant follow like nice sheep and don’t think for themselves. But there are people waking up. One million marching before the Iraq invasion last year in London was positive. Although nothing much will change with blair gone I would be very pleased to see that smug liar ousted.

However there are many vets who after service wake up to the fact that the whole thing is bullshit and they realise that they were duped into believing what they were fighting for was just and fair; when really it was for another reason hardly explained on Fox news or the comedy news network. If these vets can educate people, that is a start. The sooner people refuse to accept this crap the government says benefits us(which it doesn’t) the better.
But of course the next 9/11, when it happens will have some people in high places rubbing their hands with glee. They can take full advantage of the situation and no-one will argue or question. The draft is coming anyway, so let’s see some more Ali’s out there refusing to fight some war that doesn’t have anything to do with them. (like I said another 9/11 will be music to cheney’s ears as he can manipulate the press and mislead (lie) the masses into believing the next devil was behind it, be it Syria, Iran or NK or Canada and people will think when they enlist they are going to fight for american freedom - bullshit!.)

Bush hero Flipper asked me if I cared about vets. He obviously doesn’t - he supports Bush. The fact that I have brought the subject up shows that I do. Two of my friends fathers back home were in the SAS. A couple of my friends were in the paras. And my late grandfather who in WW2 spent his time fighting Japanese was an influence for me not wanting to enlist (when it was on my mind when I was about 14/15):
“These medals I got for what? They can stick the fucking medals up their fucking arses!”

Kissinger says it all:

“Military men are dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy”.


“Political language - and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists - is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

  • George Orwell

Fred wrote:

[quote]V:

…Have not heard much from you since I posted 11 major sources pointing out the the US was responsible for less than 1 percent of Saddam’s weapons from 1979 to 2002 including your so called major support during the late 1980s and of course the humiliating revelation that sent rascal scurrying off into an early exile…[/quote]

Much as you scurried off in the Michael Moore thread after I showed serious filmmakers did take MM seriously since he was given a special invite to Cannes. As a man of the cloth Mr Smith, you should be very familiar with the homily on the pot calling the kettle black.

as an asian, i’m damn glad the us sent their military over here to defeat the japanese even if some of the soldiers didn’t think the lives of asians were worth fighting for.

funny, european, you care so much about the troops, but you’re the first to paint them as sadistic baby killers.

Just a couple of quick questions, European. I actually suspect that we do not actually disagree on these, but who knows.

b You say “The fact that I brought the subject up shows that I do [care].” [/b]

Is it your position that by starting a thread or making a comment about vets first the original poster has somehow established themselves as “caring more” about vets than subsequent posters do? If so, does this mean that anyone who posts subsequently (a) does not care about vets at all? or (b) that the subsequent poster may care “a little bit” about vets, but just not as much as the first poster?

I suspect that your actual position is a much more reasonable option ©: that while bringing Subject X up proves that the poster cares about Subject X, it does not necessarily preclude the possibility that other, subsequent posters also care about Subject X.

Thus, if I were to start a new thread saying “The best thing to do for Arab-Americans is to put them in internment camps” this would prove that I care about Arab-Americans, but it would not rule out the possibility that others on this board care about them as well. Does that sound about right?

b You said: “Bush hero Flipper asked me if I cared about vets. He obviously doesn’t - he supports Bush.”[/b]

This is actually the second time I’ve seen you say something like this (the first time was in another thread where you said something like “If you support Bush it means you support his positions.”) I let it slide the first time, but now I really have to ask you if you honestly believe what you are writing. Please do not take this as an attack, because I think there is a very good chance that I have simply misinterpreted what you were saying.

When you say things like “You must not care about vets, because you support Bush” your statement is resting on at least two assumptions:

b You assume that Bush’s position on vets is so “anti-vet” that nobody could support vets and also support Bush’s position on vets.[/b]

Obviously many people disagree with this, but it is a policy argument – reasonable people are always going to be able to disagree right? So fine, for the sake of this discussion let’s just say that your appraisal of Bush’s veterans policy is 100% correct. Bush hates vets. He is actively hostile to their interests. If he had his way he would cover them in mosquito-attracting choudofu and lock them all up in a Taipei rooftop apartments in mid-summer with no air-conditioning and throw away the key. Fine.

But now we get to the assumption that I suspect you and I will both agree is simply logically implausible.

b You assume that anyone who supports Bush supports all of Bush’s policies, disagreeing with none of them.[/b]

Surely you do not actually believe this? Candidates take positions on literally dozens of issues. How many voters are are lucky enough to find a candidate who’s views match up exactly the views of that voter on every single issue. I’m sure these lucky voters exist, but they are certainly statistical anomalies. I am not such a voter, and I doubt you are either.

So what do we do? Well each of us weighs up the positions of each candidate on the various issues and decides which one on balance we think will do less damage.

Note that it is not necessarily as simple as asking “Which of these candidates agrees with my views on the highest NUMBER of issues?” Why? Because not all the issues are of equal importance to us. ]

Examples:

-1- If I believe that legalizing gay marriage is of overwhelming importance to me, then I may well vote for Kerry even if I support Bush on 80% of the other issues.

-2- If I believe that outlawing abortion is of overwhelming importance to me, then I may well vote for Bush even if I agree with Kerry on 80% of the other issues.

-3- Republicans outside of Pennsylvania steele company boardrooms generally opposed Bush’s boneheaded steele-tarrif policy. But they still support Bush overall based on other issues.

-4- Many Democrats did not support John Kerry’s vote authorizing the war with Iraq. But they still support Kerry overall based on other issues.

So surely you can see that claiming “because you support Bush you must also support his policy on X” is just not a position that people will be able to take seriously.

Now to jump to your defense for a bit before I conclude.

In the context of military personnel/vets voting for Bush, I can see that what you were probably trying to say was something like this:

“Soldiers/Vets, as voters, probably place greater voting-importance on military/veteran issues than does the voting population as a whole. Therefore, I am surprised that so many of them support Bush, since in my opinion his veterans policies are counter to the interests of veterans.”

If that is what you were trying to say then we are basically on the same page. We may disagree on the policies themselves (where reasonable people often disagree), but at least one of us is not trying maintain that “If you support Bush, then you must not care about Issue X.” I’m sure you would agree that this is ridiculous since for any given Issue X, the odds are that there are many Bush supporters who disagree with Bush’s position on such Issue X.
Cheers,
Hobbes

[quote=“Flipper”]as an Asian, I’m damn glad the us sent their military over here to defeat the Japanese even if some of the soldiers didn’t think the lives of Asians were worth fighting for.

funny, European, you care so much about the troops, but you’re the first to paint them as sadistic baby killers.[/quote]

It wasn’t just americans who fought the japanese, there were many other soldiers from other countries.

I hold the leaders accountable. Cheney knows exactly what is happening…

[quote=“Hobbes”]Just a couple of quick questions, European. I actually suspect that we do not actually disagree on these, but who knows.

b You say “The fact that I brought the subject up shows that I do [care].” [/b]

Is it your position that by starting a thread or making a comment about vets first the original poster has somehow established themselves as “caring more” about vets than subsequent posters do? [/quote]

No.

[quote=“Hobbes”]]Now to jump to your defense for a bit before I conclude.

In the context of military personnel/vets voting for Bush, I can see that what you were probably trying to say was something like this:

“Soldiers/Vets, as voters, probably place greater voting-importance on military/veteran issues than does the voting population as a whole. Therefore, I am surprised that so many of them support Bush, since in my opinion his veterans policies are counter to the interests of veterans.”

If that is what you were trying to say then we are basically on the same page. We may disagree on the policies themselves (where reasonable people often disagree), but at least one of us is not trying maintain that “If you support Bush, then you must not care about Issue X.” I’m sure you would agree that this is ridiculous since for any given Issue X, the odds are that there are many Bush supporters who disagree with Bush’s position on such Issue X.
[/quote]

Basically yes to the above.

Sorry I never gave you a more detailed response. I feel I don’t have to with you explanations.

When the armchair generals on this board view their military personel as pawns in a chess game that can come and go and be replaced by another pawn, it can drive one to becoming more cynical.
One can feel that there are not many ‘reasonable people’ supporting bush…


“Political language - and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists - is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

  • George Orwell