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Thread: Militaries in Europe

  1. #11


    I'm ambivalent about soldiers... on the one hand, I'm in awe of the courage it takes to go into armed combat, and of course, being willing to make the ultimate sacrifice isn't to be sniffed at, either...

    But it's a bit of a two-edged sword. If I were confident in the government's policies being driven by what they say they are, rather than the ambition and greed of the individual politicians and their sponsors, then I'd say those soldiers were the apple of my eye. But since I know this not to be the case, and the soldiers must surely also realise that the causes they're sent to fight and die for are usually morally bankrupt, I can't help but wonder...

    And although I'm sure many soldiers at least believe themselves, that they're doing what they're doing for a noble cause and that this was the reason they signed up, I've known too many soldiers (worked for 3 years at Northwood HQ) to buy the idea that they're all, or even half of them, like that. An awful lot are just thugs, who were always thugs before they joined up. The jingoism that the tabloids whip up about it is quite irritating.

    One thing that does really get on my nerves though, is all the ridiculous grief tourism that goes on in the media every time a solder gets killed in the Middle East. As if people are forgetting what profession it was that this guy voluntarily signed up to, and what the obvious hazards of it are. They go on about it like they were talking about some computer programmer getting gunned down by terrorists on his way home from the office in Taunton, as opposed to a soldier who got killed in the process of fighting in a war... like, duh! Isn't that what soldiers are, frankly, for? I mean, he could've picked any profession he liked, presumably...?

    I just don't get all the shock, that's all.
    I'm male and over 30, FYI.
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  2. #12
    Senior Member Array Lark's Avatar
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    Jun 2009


    Proximo you make a good point about the ultimate sacrifice but do you think soldiers or the public see it that way?

    I know the people I've known who've joined the army right out of school havent exactly thought about it that way, it was remote or something they didnt think about at all, they were all boisterous, adventurous, wild cards or jokers, now they learned discipline and channelled those traits but not a one of them either before or after serving in a war zone were anything like Sigfried Sasson if you know what I mean.

    Soldiering as a career carried out with solemnity and daring isnt really how it is any longer.

    Plus I tend to think if you're going to enter into any one of the social or health services that are charged with looking after or interacting with the very worst elements of the underclasses you could very well be looking at the "ultimate sacrifice", I've no problem believing that the workers involved in the baby P scandal were terrified most of the time.

  3. #13
    Mr. Blue Array entropie's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
    3w2 so


    Europe is in need of Starfleet Academy, the americans seem to have failed at building it so far
    Johari / Nohari

    "How dreadful!" cried Lord Henry. "I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect."
    ~ Oscar Wilde - The picture of Dorian Gray

  4. #14


    Yeah that's what I meant Lark - that though some of them are the "noble Tommy" types, of whom I'm full of admiration, the majority aren't...

    So you've got to wonder, what's so damned heroic about signing up without thinking to go to your potential death at the bidding of some politician who wants to line his pockets a bit more? Why am I bombarded with guilt trips built on received-wisdom slogans (eg "Help for Heroes"), about how I ought to donate to support "our brave boys" who are risking their nuts fighting a war I don't agree with? The payroll department's doing that, I would've thought? And if they don't like the occupational hazards and don't think they're in proportion to their paycheque, they should get another job, ffs.
    I'm male and over 30, FYI.
    Preferences: 20% Extravert, 98% Intuitive, 68% Thinker, 17% Perceiving

  5. #15
    Senior Member Array bighairything's Avatar
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    Oct 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by Shimmy View Post
    I have a great deal of respect for people who are willing to give their lives for what they believe is right (note, I have no respect at all for people who are willing to kill for what they believe is right.) As for the concept of a military. It would be better if noone would need an army, but alas, I don't think that will be realistic in the near future.
    Hmmm, I'm not sure if this quite makes sense to me. So what you're saying is that you believe soldiers are necessary, but you have no respect for them? I think that's an accurate deconstruction of your statement, but I'm not sure it's what you meant.

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