Anti-recruiting ad in student newspaper

One Reason Recruitment Is Down


It says “You can’t be all you can be if you’re dead. There are other ways to serve your country. There are other ways to get money for college. There are other ways to be all you can be. Think about it. Before you sign your life away.

The ad was created and paid for by a Warwick student who is a member of the Bruderhof community, a Christian-based communal order in Sugar Loaf that preaches pacifism.

It seems that some parents with family members in the armed forces were unhappy with taxpayer money funding this advertisement in a student newspaper. What the exact details are, I can’t say. I scanned the newspaper article source, but now I can’t get back in without registering. I did, but the confirmation hasn’t arrived. Maybe they didn’t like the pseudo-info that I entered. If I get in I’ll post a bit more on this.

UPDATE: Okay. Here’s a clip from the original article:

Calling it a political ad with religious ties, some parents, faculty members and students say the ad undercuts those serving in the military and shouldn’t have appeared in a tax-funded public school newspaper.

Many opposed to the ad noted the school’s “Wall of Honor,” which displays photos and names of about 20 recent Warwick graduates currently serving in the military, many of whom are in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Maggie Adams, the Warwick High nurse, who has two sons who graduated from Warwick and are serving in the Marines, said she was outraged when she first saw the ad and has written a letter to the editor of The Survey.

“I understand the right to free speech and I support that. But I don’t think it’s appropriate for a school newspaper,” Adams said. “I refuse to believe what the ad says. I refuse to believe those people who choose to join the military, like my two sons, are wasting their lives.”

And a point constantly overlooked by anti-war types is noted:

Army Capt. William Bliss, in charge of recruiting at Warwick High, said the ad was misleading and the Army is exploring placing some of its own ads in The Survey.

“It’s disappointing when you see something that blatantly attacks what you do and what you believe in a school newspaper,” Bliss said. “But it’s free speech, ideas and thoughts like that, whether you agree or not, the military is fighting to protect.”

The student who created the ad and placed the order with the paper remains anonymous. He’s apparently been told that the ad will not run in future issues.

UPDATE 2: I noticed that the school’s drama club is putting on “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” next month. While the religious overtones are sure to score points with this student and the communal order (s)he belongs to, I’m wondering if the killing of the wolf attacking Lucy or the battle against the Witch’s army of monsters will be dismissed as pointless warmongering on the part of Aslan’s forces.


  1. This to me is disgusting that someone would do this. And as a Christian I am also disturbed that it is done in the name of Christ. I don’t know if the fellow who put out this ad is truly a believer, but either way I hope he sees how wrong he is. Now lest any one think that God’s word supports such foolishness consider this. – Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for a friend. John 15:13 and… Romans 13:1-4 especially verse 4. God bless and protect all who serve in the armed forces.

  2. Ahhhhh, the pacifists. Would that they could have their own little country, peacefully nestled in between Stalin’s Russia, Hitler’s Germany, and Saddam’s Iraq.

  3. I guess I should have stated my position on the ad. I think it’s misleading and unpatriotic, but I have no particular issue with it being run, though the fact that it’s running in a school newspaper paid for by tax dollars doesn’t seem particularly cool. I’m simply pointing it out. The creator of the ad definitely wanted exposure, and it’s only fair that people see it and have a chance to weigh in.

  4. My point is, there are other, more ignoble ways to die than fighting for what you believe in. I don’t think this sort of thing will discourage the kind of people who would make good members of the military from joining up. It might discourage some people for whom it would be a mistake. It’s best that people who sign up believe in putting themselves in danger for a greater good and for their country.

  5. I’ve been alive for quite a while now, and the citizens of this country have never failed to send their sons and daughters into war if they believe the war is just. And, therein lies the problem with recruitment right now; the majority of people in this country do not believe the war in Iraq is just and they’re not going to sacrifice more sons and daughters to it. Iraq didn’t attack us, they didn’t declare war against us, and Osama bin Laden isn’t there. True patriots have strong enough morals and ethics to not send others to fight and die for them without a just reason. I can guarantee you, that if every soldier in Iraq right now, every soldier who’s died there, who’s lost limbs there, were in Afghanistan, pushing the Taliban out forever and tracking down bin Laden, recruitment wouldn’t be a problem.

  6. Excuse me?? ‘Iraq didn’t attack us, they didn’t declare war against us,’ So, what was all that ‘breach of ceasefire’ business about? Yeah, I guess, what’s a few surface-to-air missiles amongst friends… ‘and Osama bin Laden isn’t there’ No, but Zarquari is. You don’t think he’s as bad? ‘True patriots have strong enough morals and ethics to not send others to fight and die for them without a just reason.’ So, removal of a dictator like Saddam is not a just reason? I suppose that whole World War 2 thing was a big mistake then, eh? After all, Germany never attacked the US. ‘I can guarantee you, that if every soldier in Iraq right now, every soldier who’s died there, who’s lost limbs there, were in Afghanistan, pushing the Taliban out forever and tracking down bin Laden, recruitment wouldn’t be a problem.’ Maybe, maybe not. But I can tell you who and what WOULD be a problem. Saddam and Iraq.

  7. As a follow up… I thought it was made clear that the GWOT is not about waiting for someone to attack us and then hitting back. It seems to me, it’s pretty clearly about going out there and getting rid of terrorists before they can bring their attacks to fruition. When this was said after 9/11, the reception to this tactic amongst the general public seemed pretty positive. I wonder why? So, arguing ‘well, Zarqari/Saddam hadn’t attacked us yet’ is missing the point (besides being, at least technically, incorrect). The more we leave terrorists and dictators alone, the more chaos there will be down the track. Do we really want that? How about deciding whether something is just or not, by comparing the outcome if we do it vs. the outcome if we don’t do it, rather than clutching at straws for some kind of legal reason why it’s not ‘just’. Justice isn’t about whether a chapter in some legal text or convention says something is just. It’s about whether it’s right and fair for those involved. It is NOT justice to let Iraqis rot under Saddam. Nor is it justice to leave now and let the terrorists take over. Any logic which allows one to claim these things are just is flawed logic.

  8. irony, n.: The use of words to express something different from and often opposite to their literal meaning. …I fail to see the irony? I do see something amusing about your statement though. The fact that Jesus died for what he believed in – killed by a tyrant who was oppressing his people. He may have been a pacifist but he wasn’t a coward and he stood up to bullies. Unfortunately, these days, highly religious people are just as likely to blow up hundreds of men, women and children in a church, synagogue or mosque as they are to preach for tolerance.

  9. Many people serve their country and earn college money without serving the armed forces. No argument here. The dishonesty is not in the words but in the use of the picture that implies if you join you *will* die and that if you join you are signing ‘your life away’. That’s the ‘message’ of the ad and it isn’t true.

  10. There are several frustrating things liberals run into with regard to the military and the current GWOT. Among them the most frustrating is there is no draft. All the folks serving are volunteers. They have the right to choose that. It’s one reason why Cindy Sheehan et al are not gaining ‘traction’. So they trump up stuff that is as negative as they can create it. They have the right of free speech…. and so do I dammit. I appreciate everyone who argues against this kind of mindless pacifism. BTW Jesus was not a pacifist, I remember Him kicking some butt in a temple. Assault and battery style.

  11. I must be missing what the concern is here. A PAID article in a paper that receives some sort of ‘public funding’? What makes this inappropriate? Because some people disagree with it? How much public funding does the paper get? How do you define public funding? Would the military be allowed to put a paid ad in the paper if someone disagreed with that? I believe my local paper got a tax break recently and they keep accepting those vexing ads from Art Van Furniture. Perhaps I should play the outrage game and get them to stop taking those paid ads because they offend me…

  12. Actually, no real ‘concern’. Just noticing and pointing out. As I’ve said, I have no problem with someone expressing their opinion. I hope they’ve got no problem with me expressing my opinion about their opinion. And if they do? I don’t care. My guess is that the feeling’s mutual. Now that that’s been established: A) Are you actually saying that the ‘message’ of this ‘ad’, and the controversy it’s apparently started, are the equivalent of the ‘message’ in a furniture store advertisement? This isn’t actually ‘advertising’ anything, of course. It’s a blatant political statement. B) If the school receives tax money and uses some of that money to publish the student paper, doesn’t the ‘public funding’ argument hold water? Recall that this student apparently belongs to a pacifist religious order. What if, instead, it were an anti-abortion ‘ad’ with the gravestones saying women can ‘CHOOSE to do the right thing before throwing a life away’? My guess is that pro-choice groups would be up in arms about religious messages being made using a publicly-funded paper.

  13. There is no real problem with this ad unless because it is so over the line. It is a lie, the kind that causes an automatic backlash. ‘Join the Army and Die’ is the message. In 1998 (and it comes close to the same every year) 43,501 died in motor vehicle accidents. 16,274 died in fall. 10,225 died by poisoning. 4406 died in drowning. 3515 died by chocking. How many have died in Iraq again? Unfortunately none of us are going to get out of this alive. The lie here is a simple political use of a visual image to discourage people from serving in the Army. Furniture ads? Vexing?

  14. The important point is we had a choice: fight the war on terror, or Chimpy’s excellent Iraqi adventure. Chimpy conned the country into the later. We knew where zarqawi (now the offficial ‘bogeyman’ of the pro war crowd) was before the invasion: he had a camp nestled between the two kurdish semi autonomous zones and the Iranian border and underneath the northern no flight zone. ANd when chimpy was offered, on three sepearate occasions, the opportunity to bomb the camp and possibly get zarqawi, he refused. Seems the war on terra took second place to the need to use zarqawi to justify the invasion. saddam would have been more justified then we were in saying that terrorists were being harbored in Iraq. And of course chimpy let Osama get away at tora bora, becouse the we didnt want to deploy sufficient forces to afghanistan with Iraq next up on the agenda.

  15. Aaron: I believe you’re confused over your ‘important point’. I realize you are positive that Iraq is unrelated to the general war on terror, but I’m also positive that you’re wrong. Look at the troops that were deployed to Afghanistan at the end of 2001, look at the troops that were used to invade Iraq in 2003, and please explain how the Iraqi deployments over a year later were responsible for troop shortages at Tora Bora.

  16. Minus the background picture and the first line, this would be a perfectly appropriate add, maybe one the military should be running. Im sure the last thing a soldier in Iraq wants is someone watching his back who only joined up for college money. But this add also makes the implication that a life lost defending our country is a life wasted, a truly disgusting and stupid thing to say.

  17. I realize your commited to whatever excuse you can find to justify Chimpy’s excellent adventure. now if I recall Chimpy promised to get those responsible. And those responsible where in afghanistan. And instead of sending 100,000 troops into the country or whatever it took, chimpy sent more like 30,000. and they were only ever really able to secure the capital. And when we got our last positive fix on Osama- in Tora Bora, instead of flooding the area with US troops, we had to rely on local militia. BECOUSE CHIMPY DID NOT USE ALL NECESSARY FORCE. And those militia had been paid off by Osama. and they let him get away. Why didnt we deploy more forces then? Why didnt we deploy as many troops into Afghanistan as we did later into Iraq? Becouse chimpy had already decided he wanted to invade Iraq. And instead of a maximum effort- or even the powell ‘use maximum force’ doctrine, we sent a minimal amount of US troops to afghanistan. Here’s a link to Christian Science Monitor’s article on Tora Bora. Yup, reporters got to Tora Bora. US troops in force? not so much. Now remind us all again, why didnt chimpy deploy more troops against the people who attacked us on 9/11? Oh thats right: other priorities-

  18. Aaron: You said that there weren’t enough troops at Tora Bora ‘becouse the we didnt want to deploy sufficient forces to afghanistan with Iraq next up on the agenda’. Now, I guess I can’t say with total authority what your point was as it seems to have been written in a hurry. But it seems to say that we didn’t want to deploy sufficient forces in Afghanistan because we were ramping up for Iraq. I called ‘bullshit’ and your reply didn’t address the point at all. Please explain how the invasion of Iraq in 2003 left us without enough troops in Afghanistan in 2001. Remember, the question is about the troop level. That is what you said was wrong and you said it was wrong because of Iraq. No one is arguing that the administration wanted to invade Iraq. Please respond to my question about your point. If you’re going to try and hijack the thread at least have the common courtesy to stick to your own point.

  19. A) I’m saying this is a something that someone wanted to say and paid for the space in a newspaper to put it there. It doesn’t matter whether it is a blatant political statement or advertising. Just pointing that out. Who is it that gets to decide how to gategorize something like that? I would argue that many advertisements are blatant political statements. Do you ever watch Sunday morning television? B) Okay, then, define the limits of that argument. What defines ‘public funding’? $1? And then what does that mean? If it has been ‘publically funded’ it should not be allowed to do anything that offends anyone who pays any taxes? The internet was built with tax payers money. Some of the infrastructure may even still use government property. What rights do I have as a taxpayer to stop the use of the internet for messages I disagree with? I know you well enough to know you are not suggesting that he should be silenced because of his particular religious preference. You seem to be taking exception with the ‘implication’ of the ad that you will die if you join the military. It surely does not say that. But it points out you could. That surely is true. You have this forum where you share your opinions on things. That is great. The person who took out the ad is using a different forum. The anti-abortion groups use paid advertisements quite often. Would they be outraged if anyone denied them the opportunity to pay for an ad in a newspaper? Should they be prevented from advertising because of their views? Should the military be prevented from advertising in a ‘publically funded’ paper because some citizens disagree with the war? What about campaign ads? I need to understand better what you think the limits should be. Can you operationalize your desired result here?

  20. A) So, ‘the furniture store comparison really doesn’t apply’? I don’t believe that it does, and that was my question. I believe that your comparison to a furniture ad is meaningless, as this ‘ad’ is a clear political statement. Note that I’m not saying you cannot put political statements into advertisements. But if you do, don’t pretend that it’s just like a furniture store ad when someone calls you out on it. B) I don’t know that there should be limits. On principle, I’m opposed to limits. But if even $1 of public money is spent on it, then any taxpayer whose unhappy is 100% justified in raising Cain and the burden is on the spenders of public money to explain their funding choices if someone does so. I’m not opposed to the student running the ‘ad’. I’m not even opposed to a publicly-funded paper choosing to accept it. I’m taking that ad, run in the forum of the student’s choice, and pointing it out and calling the message in the ad both wrong and unpatriotic. I’m taking them to task on it. I’m not at all calling for limiting how that ‘ad’ can be run. In fact, I’m happy to reproduce it here on my site on my dime. I’m also happy to point out where it ran. It helps me get one of my favorite messages out, which is ‘not all Americans are patriotic, and not all those who claim to support the troops do’. And regarding ‘You seem to be taking exception with the ‘implication’ of the ad that you will die if you join the military. It surely does not say that. But it points out you could.‘ I say B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T. If you’d like to play defense attorney and break things down and weasel into a ‘can’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt’ defense, go ahead. I’m not going to play, though. The implication is of the ‘ad’ is ‘don’t join or you’ll die’. One of the hints is the message, worded as it is, set over rows of gravestones. It’s not a coincidence. Get real.

  21. Sorry, but as an advertisement, it is equivalent. People pay to put them in and hope to impact people who choose to read them. By all means, raise Cain. Call people unpatriotic because you disagree with them. Define what it means to support the troops in your own way. This is your forum to express your opinions. I appreciate you clarifying some of your opinions on this topic. I wouldd like to better understand how you decide when something is considered ‘publicly funded’. If $1 of public money goes into any part of the organization that does something are they publicly funded? I will presume that when others with whom you disagree take their interpretation of something to be ‘the way it is’ that you will not object. And you will not dig into the specific details of what is being said. For example, I presume that you will call for anyone who is involved with outing Plame to ‘no longer be with the administration’ rather than only those convicted of a crime, or convicted of a felony or whatever the latest adjustment is. Anything else would be parsing the words too tightly and acting a la lawyer. I think most of the world heard it the first way and thought they understood. I think many people also thought they clearly heard that we attacked Iraq because we knew that they had WMDs. Or at least that was the innuendo of Colin Powell’s speech. And many speeches by the president. Should we move on to the innuendo of ‘Mission Accomplished’? Dealing with the actual words can be tedious, to be sure. The innuendo can be interesting to discuss, but the discussion can never move out of the realm of opinion. Nothing objective there. I’d much rather work in the realm of the actual words than the presumed innuendo. I’m more interested in finding common cause than arguing about whose opinion is ‘right’. But I know that not everyone is.

  22. ++ You are just plain wrong about the equivalency to a furniture store ad. You obviously disagree, and it’s pointless to try to convince someone who doesn’t see it. If it makes you feel better to think this ‘ad’ is the same thing as an advertisement for L

  23. I would argue that you are just plain wrong on the advertisement thing. It is an advertisment. It is equivalent in that it is an advertisement. It was purchased to get an idea in front of people. Which is what I said. What type of equivalency did you presume I claimed? If you will define your criteria for patriotism in an objective way, then it can be seen that you are not just calling someone unpatriotic because you disagree with them. I realized that I may be mistaken in my understanding, so I did a search to see what others say about patriotism. From Patriotism Houghton Mifflin says: Love of and devotion to one’s country. WordNet says: love of country and willingness to sacrifice for it. Wikipedia (for what it’s worth) says: ‘Patriotism can be both for or against the current government of a nation. Supporters of the current government may hold the opinion that patriotism implies support of one’s government and its policies, and that opposition to the government’s policies amounts to treason. But in other instances, rebellion against a corrupt or tyrannical government may be justified as an act needed to save the nation, and thus is likewise motivated by patriotism. In politics, the words patriotism and nationalism are often confused. Patriotism is loyalty to the land and people. Nationalism is loyalty to a nation or government. Therefore a rebel who is against the government and not a nationalist, can be a patriot if he is loyal to the people. Even unoppressive governments confuse the two words.’ and also ‘It has been claimed that patriotic fervor has decreased the ability of Americans to obtain objective information about the world situation. In particular, the journal Political Science Quarterly published research showing that those who obtained their news from outlets that appear to make a concerted effort to be patriotic were more likely to have factual misconceptions about the Iraq war. These misperceptions were: that weapons of mass destruction had been found, that evidence linked Saddam Hussein to al Qaeda, and that world public opinion favored the war. Respondents that received their news from public broadcasting, conversely, were far less likely to hold these perceptions.’ I have not read the abovementioned research, and it may be crap, but it is interesting. You may have a different idea of what patriotism is. If you let me know what it is I can judge the ad from that perspective and maybe better see what you are seeing as unpatriotic. What exactly makes this ad unpatriotic? Questioning the government is not inherently unpatriotic to me, even during war. I can’t imagine that you would be quiet if you disagreed with the war. You seem to often question the decisions being made. Shouldn’t you stop doing that until the war is over? The topic I moved to was whether we should make judgements based on actual words, or perceived innuendo, or both. If that is out of bounds, then disregard the rest of this. Regarding the Plame ‘leak’, Scott McLellan said this ( : ‘MR. McCLELLAN: Dana, I mean, think about what you’re asking. If you have specific information to bring to our attention — Q No, but you say that — MR. McCLELLAN: — that suggests White House involvement. There are anonymous reports all the time in the media. The President has set high standards, the highest of standards for people in his administration. He’s made it very clear to people in his administration that he expects them to adhere to the highest standards of conduct. If anyone in this administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this administration.’ To make clear what ‘it’ he is talking about, the question at the beginning of the press conference was, ‘Scott, has anyone — has the President tried to find out who outed the CIA agent? And has he fired anyone in the White House yet?’ So if anyone ‘was involved in’ ‘out[ing] the CIA agent’, ‘they would no longer be in this administration.’ It is clear to me by explicit word and the innuendo that many people apparently got from this is that anyone involved in outing Plame would be fired. It seems pretty straight forward on both the explicit and innuendo level to me. if I’m misunderstading some part of this, please help me to see it. The topic of WMDs brings up the question of how to define the appropriate context. Are things that are said subsequent to an original statement to be considered context for the original statement? It seems that the context of a statement is really only that which has happened before it. My recollection is that many things were said at different times. I’ll defer to you on actual quotes, but I know a good many people are clear that the innuendo was that Iraq had WMDs. I am not sure how the innuendo of ‘Mission Accomplished’ can be misunderstood, but I’ll listen to your ideas of how it is clearly other than ‘We’re done with this war thing’. Right and wrong in many of these topics are really often a matter of context and personal opinion, aren’t they? I hate to throw a Nazi reference in, but many people living in Germany thought that Hitler was ‘right’ and that they were ‘right’ to do what they did to mitigate the ‘wrongs’ that were done to them. Were they right? I’ll bet there are many people who changed their opinion on that through time. Maybe if they had talked to and listened to others they would have changed their opinions sooner. I think I am working towards a different goal. My goal is to try to help move things in this country towards situations that are acceptable to as many people as possible while harming no one, or at least as few as possible. To do that I try to stay informed, try to understand other people’s opinions, and try to be honest and objective. I know that I fail to achieve that often and in many ways, but it is my goal.

  24. Yes MisterRee there are different sorts of ads. Perhaps you cannot see the difference between merchandising furniture and attempting to undermine the Military of the US by visually saying Join the Army and Die, but most can. Porn ads tend to be slightly different from Chevy ads too. To say differently –.. is incredible. This ad is unpatriotic because it’s intent is to decrease military recruiting in the time of war. With regard to WMD, you have obviously never dealt with intelligence. Guess what sometimes it’s wrong. However in the light of 911, and the history of Iraq, and the ties to terriorism of all stripes, I would also err on the side of caution, and eliminate the perceived threat. Yes intel was wrong, get over it. How many attacks have we had since 911? I lost count. Sorta looks like the evil dooers are kinda tied up lately. And since Kadaffy Kduck unplugged his nuc program, I view that as a net gain in the GWOT. Seems like Syria pulled outta somewhere cause they might have been afraid of a major can of whoopass that was loose in the neighborhood. You mentioned Germany. How long did it take to pacify Germany and establish a constitution there? Is it just me or are we way ahead of schedule? The Plame thing and the Delay thing are, in my view an attempt by liberal media to push to the background the significance of the successes in both Afganistan and Iraq. ‘Mission Accomplished’ A mission is a job. A job is made up of tasks, and duties necessary to accomplish a job. The job was to defeat the armed forces of Iraq. The Mission was Accomplished. Or did I miss the part about the dirt bags hittin us with air, artillery and tanks lately? The government must have covered up all that too. Murdoc has a great deal more patience than I have

  25. ++ ‘It is an advertisement. It is equivalent in that it is an advertisement. It was purchased to get an idea in front of people. Which is what I said.‘ Yes. And I said that the comparison was meaningless. You were comparing the reaction to this ‘ad

  26. Briefly, jim b, the attacks in Spain and in the two in great Britain seem to suggest they are not ‘all tied up’.

  27. You got me there both of those overshadow 911. The one in Spain was serious enough to cause the Spanish to run and hide.

  28. MP: You’re kind of funny to read, because I’m not quite sure now serious you’re bieing, or if you’re just baiting. As far as calling someone unpatriotic, it was done in regards to an ad that very specifically attempted to undermine the effectiveness of the forces that defend our country. I know it seems so hard for you to jump from that to ‘unpatriotic’, that you actually accuse Murdoc of calling others unpatriotic simply because they disagree. You’re either being incredibly dense, or incredibly mean-spirited. To accuse someone of that is WRONG when you’re faced with obvious reasons to the contrary. Publicly shouting at a man who had to kill a man that broke into his house and attacked his family, ‘You killed becuase you LIKE killing!’ Sure, make up any reason he did what he did that you like, regardless of the painfully obvious reason right in front of you. It’s your right to say so, but it’s the right of anyone else to take serious offense at the charges you leveled at Murdoc. You get to pick, dense or mean? Sadly, by taking such an agressive stance, you ruled out the happy ‘we just diasgree’ option.

  29. I’m missing the part where I’m taking an agressive stance. I asked for clarification on how Murdoc was defining unpatriotic so I could try to apply his logic to the situation. I could have just said he was wrong and called him a name or challenged his mass to volume ratio. I am trying to understand from his perspective. In re-reading what I wrote I can see where I might have been interpreted to be saying that he calls people unpatriotic just because he disagrees with them. I was trying to say that he, and anyone, is free to do whatever they want. Without specifying what unpatriotic means there is really nothing to discuss. And maybe the point here isn’t really to discuss or listen or try to understand. On the other hand, why is it not aggressive to call someone unpatriotic? Especially when making the presumption that his intent is to undermine the armed forces. If someone can’t look at that ad and still want to join the military it seems to me they probably aren’t the kind of person you want in a dicey situation on the battlefield. And remember that if people want to help the armed forces the thing to do might be join up. Isn’t it awfully unpatriotic to potentially compromise an unknowable number of intelligence operations by blowing an operative’s cover? Actually, I’m thinking that is a direct act that better fits the definition of treason. Yet there an awful lot of people who are trying to dismiss that act. It is puzzling.

  30. –‘By all means, raise Cain. Call people unpatriotic because you disagree with them. Define what it means to support the troops in your own way. This is your forum to express your opinions.’ There’s the quote from you that I ‘interpreted’ as saying he cal

  31. Does anyone really go to a recruiter thinking there’s no chance they could be sent to fight a war and die? How naive would they have to be? If not.. what’s the point of that ad? Surely anyone thinking of joining the military will have thought of that and weighed it up already. Perhaps it’s not aimed at them at all. Perhaps it’s aimed at other people so they can look at it and nod their heads and be glad that many of the baby-killers we sent over there are being killed by the brave freedom fighters. The only reason I can think that it might make sense to aim it at people who are thinking of signing up is to play on their doubts. But they would have to be doubts they already had, I think. I believe people join the military for different reasons but they’re all taking a calculated risk, and know they are. To suggest otherwise is to assume they’re idiots, which a lot of people seem to like to do, but I don’t think is a good generalization. In fact, many people seem to assume these people are monsters when in fact they’re ordinary (and in many cases extraordinary) people. There are one or two exceptions, like those bozos at Abu Ghraib, but there’s always a couple of rotten apples somewhere.

  32. KTLA- I know Murdoc personally and know him to be intelligent and thoughtful. I also know him to have thick skin. I find it ironic that calling someone unpatriotic is not mean-spirited, but my calling him on his criteria for making the claim is. I appreciate you telling me you saw it differently. I reread my comments and saw where what I said could have been misunderstood. I’ll ignore the fact that jim b mocked my beloved online moniker. And Murdoc said bullshit to me and called me a weasel and a LAWYER’. (For clarity, that was meant in humor.) But hey, ‘If someone is going to make bold statements in a bold way, they had better not be so thin-skinned that they cannot cannot take some honest criticism.’ My skin is plenty thick. Let’s move on to actual discussion, if that’s the idea here. It is an assumption I make. Correct me if I’m wrong. I’ll go out on that limb since I’m presumed to be on it already: Murdoc, What is your criteria for something being unpatriotic? It seems that you are calling this person unpatriotic just because you disagree with his sentaments. If that’s not true, help me understand why you think it is unpatriotic. Now that that is out of the way, let’s move on. I’m truly interested in his response, whether you think so or not. If you look at what I’ve said I believe that I have made very few, if any ‘inferences’ in what I have said. On the other hand, there have been a great many inferences made about me and my thoughts and they HAVE BEEN PRESUMED TO BE TRUE. Well, that’s kind of where the whole discussion started. Assuming meaning by making inferences about the picture rather than the words. By all means go ahead, but you cannot fairly deny anyone else their inferences, be they about the reasons for war, the ‘Mission Accomplished’ sign, or whatever. It can be interesting discussion, but conclusions based on it strike me as awfully dubious. If not, let me know, I’ll use more inference and assumption in my posts. If you read what I have said, I make no claim that the ad strengthens the military. Your assumption. I point out that someone who doesn’t understand the reality of what happens in the military doesn’t seem like a good person to have in it. And my statement about joining the military stands alone. I know people who have done it. I think that people who passionately advocate for the war should consider joining. Not everyone needs to, but it strikes me as an awfully congruent thing to do. By all means, help me understand what you are saying. I’ve asked that. To presume to know my thoughts beyond what I’ve actually said doesn’t lead to anyone understanding what I’m really saying. You don’t need to. Call me dense AND mean. I think most that know me would disagree. But they know me and listen to what I say. To think they know what someone thinks when it is contrary to what they is WRONG, as you say. Murdoc, You may claim that I am only telling part of the story. I’ll concede that. I don’t claim to be telling the whole story. Neither do you. You aren’t aware of McClellan’s statement? That is an important part of the story, it seems. I don’t presume you left it out because it was inconvenient. I don’t make that assumption about your motive. My reference to Mission Accomplished was not meant as a reference to your use of the phrase but, rather, the more well known (sorry) use by whomever put the sign up on the carrier. I know that they didn’t explicitly say ‘we’re done with this war thing’, but the photo op, the inference to someone who watched the event or just saw the pictures could easily be that. Just like people believe that we found WMDs in Iraq. I know you disagreed with that whole sign idea and also that you have a more sophisticated view of things. But if inference from what isn’t said but is in the images is allowed, I think it is fair to assume people will get the intent wrong. Consider this scenario: You are upset by the ads being run in the school paper which receives public funding. You go to the school board meeting to plea your case. What is your case? What do you want done? Nothing here is very convincing unless the person already thinks that ‘telling kids they will might die if they join the military’ is something that shouldn’t be allowed to be said. You say, ‘But it is telling kids that they WILL die if they join the military.’ The board members say, ‘It doesn’t say that.’ You say, ‘It implies that with the picture and all. The apparent intent is to dissuade military enlistments in a time of war are unpatriotic.’ And they say, ‘Okay so we will not allow anybody to place any ads that ________________’ Fill in the blank. Show me how to operationalize your view. Maybe that isn’t your point. But if I’m on that school board, I’ll need something to go on here. At risk of going OT, you make the statement that ‘So does publishing lies that will likely cause our soldiers to experience extra attacks or hardships while performing their duties.’ Which are those lies? Do lies that are pro-war count? I hope so. If so, I can probably agree with you at some level on that. jim b, Your original post stated that, ‘Sorta looks like the evil dooers are kinda tied up lately.’ I pointed out that the bombings in Spain and London suggest your assertion is wrong. You may alter your statement to clarify if you wish, but your rebuttal does not change the apparent fallacy of your assertion. If I were to make inferences from your rebuttal, I would have to think that you are implying that Spain got attacked because they run and hide. Except they did that AFTER the bombing. And they haven’t been bombed since, have they? Isn’t that an argument for running and hiding. I do not presume that is what you meant. Your assertion about Syria offers no connection to our actions in Iraq. Assuming you are talking about Lebanon, it seems like it was more of a groundswell of public opinion by people upset by many years of odious control exerted over their country by outsiders. My view of the Plame thing is that someone decided they either felt like they should decide what is supposed to be kept secret for national security (the brieifings show the issue as being a secret issue) or didn’t understand enough about what ‘secret’ or ‘national security’ mean. It doesn’t seem like they should have a security clearance any more either way. The Rove thing seems to me to show how money can change the government from a group of public servants working for the public good, to a group of highly paid, insulated elite working for the good of themselves and their preferred friends. If Rove broke the law, then he should face the appropriate consequences. Assuming the law matters, and I do. To prejudge him innocent is as wrong as to prejudge him guilty. let the system work. Or do we let anyone go if they claim they are being unfairly prosecuted? I’d guess you don’t want that. Nicholas, I don’t know everyone who has ever signed up for the military, but I suspect that there are plenty of people who don’t actually consider they could die if they are in the military. Especially high school students. There is research that hows that teenagers brains are fundamentally different and that they assess risk in a very naive way. There are plenty of stories in the newspapers that seem to corroborate this, unfortunately. I know many people who are for the war and many people who are against the war. There are veterans on both sides. I know no one who doesn’t want everyone who goes to come home. I doubt anyone wants anyone to go. it is a matter of thinking it is the right thing to do or not. I never hear talk of ‘baby-killers’ or ‘freedom fighter’ in the discussion I have. I think that is hyperbole used in lieu of real discussion most of the time.

  33. ++ I’ve already stated that my criteria is ‘loyalty to the American ideal’ and admitted that it is a shallow description of a deep thing. I have tried (unsuccessfully, it seems) to make clear what I believe patriotism to be. I believe very strongly that a

  34. Oh, and to clarify… I absolutely mean my calls of ‘unpatriotic’ to be ‘mean-spirited’. I don’t want there to be any misunderstanding about this. When I call someone unpatriotic, I do so for a reason and because I’m damn sure they are. That means that they are unfriendly to patriots and opposed to me and mine, so I want to be sure that I come across as ‘mean-spirited’ when I address them. Damn straight and no doubts about it.

  35. Mystery poster: you said, “I never hear talk of ‘baby-killers’ or ‘freedom fighter’ in the discussion I have. I think that is hyperbole used in lieu of real discussion most of the time.” I wouldn’t be throwing those things out there if I didn’t hear people saying those things, or equivalents. Mostly in comments on blogs and such, which probably means it’s 15yo kids saying this crazy stuff, but I do come across adults in real life who think that US soldiers are some kind of animals who enjoy shooting peasants as sport. I come across far less people who claim that some of these terrorist elements’ actions are ‘valid’, but there are a couple. I think all the Vietnam movies are what have convinced people that soldiers are sick and twisted (along with plenty of foreign ones who are, e.g. in Bosnia and sub-Saharan Africa).

  36. Well nevermind my trying to have a discussion with an interchange of ideas and an attempt to see others’ point of view. I can see things like the Mission Accomplished signin different ways because I can hold those different ideas in my head at once and discuss them in an objective way. Rant away. Good day. Nicholas, I wasn’t intending to to suggest that you were making up those things. I was saying that in the variety of conversations I have with those of many different views, I don’t hear reasonable people actually use those statements. I’m sorry that anyone does.

  37. MP: ‘My skin is plenty thick. Let’s move on to actual discussion, if that’s the idea here. It is an assumption I make. Correct me if I’m wrong.’ You are wrong. Yes, let’s move on to the actual discussion, which, as far as the thread I’ve started with you, is SPECIFICALLY and ONLY about you calling Murdoc out as calling people unpatriotic with ‘Call people unpatriotic because you disagree with them.’ Those are YOUR words. The context in which they are found (which can be read above) does not in any way make them sound ‘different’, or less harsh. That is your statement, clean and simple, and could not have been made ‘easily’. You call it, period. That, specifically, is what you and I are discussing. Your statement of fact that Murdoc is calling people unpatriotic simply because someone disagrees with him. –‘I find it ironic that calling someone unpatriotic is not mean-spirited, but my calling him on his criteria for making the claim is.’ His criteria is put forth clearly and distinctly in this case: that of someone trying to undermine the effectiveness of the US military by discouraging recruitment. Have a differing opinion if you like, you can’t claim the reason is simply that anyone that ‘disagrees’ with him is unpatriotic. And yet, in the face of that, you make a bold claim otherwise. That is mean-spirited, plain and simple. The reason he is making this call (justified in my opinion) is clear an well spelled out, but you make a statement that it is something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT, simply because you think it makes your argument sound better if his reasoning is so poor. His reasoning is clearly not so poor. I have to assume if you know him, you either know your statement to be false, or you have additional data that proves your statement correct, but no one in this forum is aware of this. PLEASE let us know if you have this data. *TO BE CLEAR:* MP, please let us know, after reading Murdoc’s position, how you have come to such a strong conclusion that you can state, as fact, that Murdoc calls people unpatriotic simply because someone disagrees with him. There is ample evidence here to the contrary, so the burden of proof, ON THIS POINT, is clearly in your court. I call this out because of the incredibly harsh call that you have made. Murdoc has ample evidence, backed up by the ad in question, to call into question the patriotism of the person that ran the ad. (Which has been gone over again and again in this forum.) What do you know to back up a claim this mean-spirited?

  38. Mystery Poster: fair enough. Sorry for the confusion. For what it’s worth, the person I know who has the most radical views happens to be a Muslim, although a very secular one. She’s smart and somewhat westernised but I think this sort of thing is cultural and she seems very much ‘indoctrinated’ to buy into Jewish Conspiracy Theories and believe the worst of westerners, especially the military. It’s pretty annoying because I basically can’t talk to her about politics because it just degrades into something which I frankly find offensive (I believe it’s worth giving reasonable people the benefit of the doubt. I have no trouble believing good things of people from cultures we are in conflicts with. The reverse often does not seem to be true). Anyway, this isn’t the only case of this type of behaviour I experience – I know a lot of people whom you might call intellectuals and I find a lot of them have very radical views (in my opinion). Anti-American, anti-military, anti-capitalism, etc. While I sympathise with pretty much all of those things to an extent, it gets unhealthy when you close your mind. Too many people seem to deal with absolutes. Anyway, rambling here…

  39. So you’re going to hammer away in an attempt to get me to codify exactly what is and what is not ‘patriotic’ even though I’ve not ignored your repeated requests for more clarification, but when I ask why you seem to be saying two different things about the same subject at two different times you’re going to explain how you’re smart enough to understand and that I can just go ‘rant away’? Someone may infer from your reply and the way in which it was worded that you seem to be saying that I am not able to ‘hold those different ideas in my head at once and discuss them in an objective way‘, but since you didn’t say so clearly and explicitly, we can all be sure that that isn’t what you meant.

  40. Arguing against the obvious MP is boring. My first experience in this was a kid in college, who one day was just a guy no one paid much attention to, the next day he was a born anew liberal. He never went lacking for an argument or conversation. Although he said the most outrageous things, and argued against common sense, he continued. I am convinced he needed the attention. Parse words — ‘it depends on what your meaning of is — is’ etc. We have managed to drag in almost all the ills of the universe. Not to bore you but the point is that ad. It is in poor taste, it is unpatriotic, it is meant to harm the Army, and by extension the government and we the people. Why am I doing this .. sigh, oh wait I know cause it is yet another outrageous statement — you said ‘I don’t know everyone who has ever signed up for the military, but I suspect that there are plenty of people who don’t actually consider they could die if they are in the military. Especially high school students. There is research that hows that teenagers brains are fundamentally different and that they assess risk in a very naive way. There are plenty of stories in the newspapers that seem to corroborate this, unfortunately.’ That is possibly one of the silliest statements I have heard to date. So that ad does a public service telling high school kids they will die if they join .. not might btw– will. I work with high school kids everyday. They know the Army can be dangerous, they also know drunk driving is worse, and yet kids die there too. They use the teenage tool of denial .. ie ‘No one told me.’ They practice that on a regular basis, in some cases in relation to assignments, discipline, you name it. Yes even if you have them sign a statement that directly applies to — oh let’s say what time the bus leaves, and promising not leave early for the bus. No one told me is the argument of choice. Don’t you have any kids? They know it is simply to their advantage to play that card. It works with weak administrators. Yanno my dear ole daddy usta tell me, ‘Son’ he said, he usta call me son yanno. ‘Son never argue with a fool, passerby’s can’t tell who is who.’ Thanks dad, on that note I will take my leave, and go argue with a fireplug about something.

  41. Military = Oil Thieves. Military = Targeting AMERICANS now. Military = Doing nothing while the Constitution they swore to protect gets ripped to shreds.