Monthly Archives: February 2015

Human and Moral Dimensions

“Washington and Military Assistance Command, Vietnam assessed the war through the rose-colored glasses of body counts. In so doing they violated the basic principles of fighting wars that the Marine Corps had lived and died by for more than 190 years: war is ultimately a test of wills, in which the human and moral dimensions are far more vital than the technological and administrative ones.”
– from a section about the Vietnam war in the book American Spartans, by James Warren

Is this ringing true again, except in the Middle East.

I’m torn on the Middle East, should we give a flying crap about them building a caliphate, and becoming a giant force? What if their goal is to become powerful enough that everyone will quit inserting themselves into their business. We love freedom, as I’m sure a lot of them would love to have…but what if the majority is fine with business as usual? It’s tricky, do we try to enlighten them to western ways by squashing those who oppose freedom?

The problem arises here, they don’t want just the Middle East, they want it all, and always have. Martel stopped the Muslim advance in the battle of Tours over 1,300 years ago. The Crusades were partly in response to the Muslim push into Europe. The Ottoman Empire was huge and ruled a large swath for hundreds of years…oh, and the current Middle East map is a result of the west redrawing the map to their liking.

If they would stick to screwing with their own, oh well, that’s the way they’ve always operated. BUT, they are screwing with everyone else…and for that they MUST be crushed down to the person doing the dishes for the radical Islamists.

This harkens back to the book quote…do we understand smart bombs won’t do it? Do we understand throwing a bunch of troops at it isn’t enough? We NEED a leader who can tell the world the human and moral dimensions we champion are why we have to crush this enemy of the civilized world. If the people feel it IS the right thing to do, then it can be done. But I fear our weak kneed half ass approach will be our ultimate downfall. This goes back far before Obama, what did Carter do about the Iranian embassy takeover? Nothing. What did Reagan do after the Beirut bombing? Nothing. Did Bush 1 finish the job in the gulf war? No. What did Clinton do after the Cole, after the Mogadishu debacle? Nothing. What did Bush 2 do about 9/11…not nearly enough. What is Obama doing about the domino effect taking place now, the ISIS butchers around the world? He is using technology (and limited)…nothing about the human and moral dimensions ever comes out of his mouth. He has so little stomach for war (and love for Islam) that he can’t even muster an attempt to convince us to squash this brutal enemy of the whole world.

Sgt. Hug

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31%

I’m a military guy, spent eight years in the Marine Corps, served in the Gulf War.  I didn’t see actual combat, didn’t see killed or wounded, only had rockets fired in the direction of our bomb dump that sent us running for the bunker numerous times.  We did spend a lot of time loading munitions on helicopters that expended it on Iraqi soldiers.  I want to share the following stats with you.  The stats from each encompass all branches of the military.

War                   Length        Served         Killed        Wounded   % Total on Disability

WWII                  3.5 yrs      16 million    450,000        671,846                  8.6%

Korea                 3 years      1.8 million      36,751        103,284                  5.0%

Vietnam           10.8 yrs      3.4 million      58,303        153,303                  9.6%

Gulf War          6 months        700,000           293              467                    25%

Iraq/Afghan   8.8/13.2 yrs   2.4 million       6,802        52,000                  31%

Does anyone besides me see a pattern here?

Jim Benson, a VA public relations officer, said the numbers are higher now days because “we have a greater ability to assess combat and theater related injuries”.  What kind of injuries is he talking about?  Not the physical, that’s for sure.  He is talking about PTSD type “injuries”.  Now I don’t deny the existence of PTSD, people can experience some brutal stuff in war and not deal with it well.  But look at that list of wars, the three previous to the Gulf War were meat grinders that made the Gulf War and Iraq/Afghanistan look like a preschools preschool.

There are one of three things going on here, or maybe a combination. 1. They are over diagnosing war related mental issues just to increase the government dependency roster ($129 to $2,816 a month are the range of disability payments). 2. The general population, to include the military, wants freebies.  3. We are becoming a nation of complete wusses, and the wussdom is crossing over to the military.   Personally, I think it’s all three, or different combinations of those three.

There are plenty of bad asses still serving, guys who will go above and beyond to help their buddy, county, or to defend the little guy.  Naturally there were cases of people who mentally couldn’t handle what happened in the wars they served, but by and large veterans from the wars before the Gulf War sucked it up, they fought, endured some horrible crap, then they came home and forged ahead, had families and made a lives for themselves.

Final thought.  Out of the total served in each conflict, how many were combat troops, and how many were in supporting roles far from the action (Air Force), or out on a ship, away from IEDs and flying bullets.  Me for example, I was in theater, but I was working in a bomb dump 20 miles from the Saudi/Kuwait border, in other words, a kind of  supporting role.

Sgt. Hug

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