Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Unconscionable Culpability

Because of recent events involving the people around me I want to get something off my chest. First and foremost there is the issue of the military involvement of "good" or ordinary people. It is my current opinion that no person can, with a clean conscious, voluntarily involve themselves with the military without first understanding what they are signing on for.

Now, this is not to say that if a person has rationally weighed the options about what they are doing and still decided that they want to join up that they are not entitled. The world goes round because different people have differing opinions, and that is fine. I understand that that is not going to change. What bothers me is the fact that so many people do not give a great deal of thought to what they are getting in to when they sign up for service in the military.

Right now I am going to make a few "blanket inflammatory statements" but bear with me. First, if you sign up to be in the military there is a good chance you will be shot at...and that you will be asked to shoot others. A failure to take that into consideration does not make you some sort of "angel with a dirty face", it makes you shortsighted. I recently suffered a berating because someone who claimed to disagree with some of the government's current military actions felt that they were still somehow innocent because they had been shot at. F that. If you did not know what the military was about there is no way you should have signed up. It is not my fault that this person made an uninformed decision. In signing up for the army, etc. you assume the risks involved, end of story.

Second, the risks are many and varied. The items you stand to lose by joining the military: Life, friends, morality, limbs, blood, sanity, etc. Anyone who voluntarily signs up for violent action where their input is neither direct or often heeded has lost moral credibility. For the most part the people in the military are just "doing what they are told." Which essentially means that they have sold their free will for a paycheck. Operating as little more than hired goons to support a system based on profit, not humanity is a choice that they willingly made.

That being said, there are people out there who made the decision based on economic need, to pay for college, or what have you. Hopefully the decision they made was informed, but I find it hard to have sympathy if it was not. I support the PEOPLE in the military in so much as I want them to be safe from harm...but to voluntarily put yourself in harm's way and then expect sympathy for it seems ludicrous to me. Stand up and be willing to accept the consequences of your actions, or act in a different way.

On the other side of this coin are the people who have decided that they are completely behind the government and are ultra gung-ho about their activities overseas. I would just ask them to keep in mind that the people on the other side of the firing line are just as passionate in their beliefs that they are right. Each thinks that they are fighting for freedom, while the other is the evil-doer. Violence creates a grey area that is inescapable and detrimental to almost everyone except those with the coldest of hearts. A little sympathy would go a long way these days.

Okay, sorry for the rant kids, maybe next time I'll be in a more cheery mood. To try and make up for it I'll whine about something else with a song quote about what's on my mind lately:
"What if she doesn't like me? What if I'm not her type? What if all the girls that ever like me are not the kind of girls that I like? What if I meet the right one and screw it up? Will I consider myself a failure, and just give up?" -The Plain White Ts

A.R. Leith

p.s.- The "R" stands for Aaaaarrrrrggghhh!

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