Wishing our Troops well

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by digital_signal_, Mar 22, 2003.

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  1. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Mike, I've said it before but it's worth saying again, I am just so impressed with the people here on the gauge that the preceding conversation can take place with less problems than a DC/DCC debate. Insert smile here. Anyway, I was surprised to see how many posts were made while I was typing my reply to you. I was at work and people kept interupting me, they seemed to think I should be working. At any rate, I wanted to say to Val that I think your post was very well thought out and I agree in principle with most of what you said. I am very disappointed with France, as I feel if the western nations had stuck together, Sadaam would've been more likely to cooperate, and we wouldn't be at war now. It's a bit frustrating to me that people don't protest France's stance as being one of an oil profiteer. Oh well, thanks to all for their input, whether we agree or not is not as important as respect for differing opinions.

  2. Matt Probst

    Matt Probst Member

    Ok -it's my 2 cents time... I hope I don't ramble too much! (first let me say that I respect everyone's opinion here and as Gary alluded to; thank God we have the right to debate and disagree and voice opinions in our free societies. Many a good person fought and died in order to preserve this right.) Yes, I'm deeply offended by those who would disobey civil law and burn American and for that matter French flags in order to get their points across. I believe those actions do more harm to their causes than good. That said, I consider our cause a just cause. And for many of the same reasons voiced already in this thread. I consider myself an amateur historian and fairly knowledgeable about U.S. and foreign policy. I am also a registered democrat wh o disagrees with most views of the far right as well as the far left.(consider me a moderate...) I am of the FIRM belief that what we are doing today is the culmination and the last resort due to our failings in the past. (Case in point: a family friend was a tank commander in the first Persian Gulf war who was in the lead elements of his brigade on the outskirts and the main highway into Baghdad with absolutely no opposition or any kind of resistance in front of him when the cease-fire was declared and he was ordered to stop. Had he and his fellow soldiers been allowed to finish what they started, we would not be in this situation today.) I have to agree with our current administrations positions and why they feel we should be at war now. A pre-emptive attack on a sovereign country has never been done before by our country and the history books are being re-written as I type. (with the small exception of the Panama campaign.) We are acting to prevent a hypothetical situation developing. A what-if scenario. What if a cash-strapped Iraqi government opts to sell a cache of chem. weapons to a third party who re-sells them to Al-Quaida or some other fanatical despot group. Then those same chemicals are used against our country. Couldn't happen? My response is jetliners could never be turned into missiles either before 9/11. Is there a direct link between Saddam and terrorist organizations? Other than writing checks to Palestinian families who engage in suicide bombings, I highly doubt it. Saddam's gov't is a type of gov't that goes against everything Al-Quaida stands for.( Women serve in high posts in the Iraqi regime and are allowed in the streets and are allowed to go to school) But there is always the adage "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" and I believe this does apply indirectly in this case. I'm not so sure I am ready to take the chance that our country would ever be attacked the way it was on 9/11 ,and everything we can possibly do to assure that doesn't happen should be done as it is today in the sands of Iraq. A war based on "what-ifs and hypotheticals" has never been attempted by our country but the rules changed on 9/11 I'm sorry to say. Ir-regardless of my beliefs we must remeber that there are never any certainties in war. Escalation is a distinct possibility and our relations with other countries are changing on a day to day basis. The interference by Turkish troops may affect that country's standing with NATO and on and on and on...The relevation that privately owned Russian firms have been selling Saddam high-tech military hardware over the past year is another case in and of itself. But let us always remeber, appeasement is not in any country's best interest. It is ludicrous to compare Saddam with Hitler or the aggressive nature of the Japanese emperor, but had the free countries of the world stood up and sent a clear message to those regimes as the Sudetenland and Austria was absorbed into the Axis, and Japan's brutal rape of Manchuria and China was commencing, WWII might never have happened.
    All that being said, do I agree the war is necessary? Yes. On this timetable? I'm not so sure. The North Korean crisis should have been addressed first IMO. I believe that particular issue has the potential to become a deadlier problem than the Iraqi one. Never the less, I am resigned to what we have engaged in and our country's service men and women NEED and DESERVE our full-fledged support whatever our opinions are on the BIG ISSUES. A repeat of what happened to our troops upon returning home from Vietnam must never happen again....Let's pray that the war is ended soon, but not before the job is finished and that the loss of life is minimized. And that when this over, a clear message has been sent to every other despot dictatorship and terrorist organization on this planet that what happened to Saddam's regime will happen to them next if they choose to follow his path.
    BTW-Where are all the flags and shows of support that flew on 9/12/01?

    Matt--Hershey, Pa.
  3. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    I just watched an excellent program on tv called The Long Road to War. If it comes on in your area (PBS) it is a must-see as it provides some much-needed background to the current conflict. It pulls no punches in showing how America aided and abetted Saddam Hussein in the past, but also shows the frustration of the weapons inspectors who were hung out to dry by the complete lack of support from the UN -- the total unwillingness to back up its demands that these weapons be destroyed.

    It gives a chilling account of Saddam's rise through the ranks as hit-man, enforcer and torturer, and in one disturbing scene shows him at a meeting of the party faithful reading the names of those who were to be executed - some of whom were long time "friends" of his, then wiping a tear from his eye as they were led out to be shot. He is a madman who patterns himself after Joseph Stalin, his hero.

    One thing I learned from this show is that although people now like to say that George Bush Sr. "failed to finish the job" this is untrue. The coalition that he put together at that time was formed to get the Iraqi's out of Kuwait and nothing more. It acheived its goal. Had the US gone on to Baghdad it would have been a betrayal of the coalition, which included Arab nations as well as Russia and the west. The Shia's and Kurds who felt betrayed by the US refusal to widen the conflict should realize that America was honouring its promises to the coaltion. Break those kinds of promises and you ruin future credibility.

    It now appears to me that Bush Sr. was a moderate and a diplomat. The coalition he put together was a brilliant piece of diplomacy. But the UN dropped the ball, and must accept a large part of the responsibility for this war.

    :D Val
  4. Matt Probst

    Matt Probst Member

    Val-thanks for the heads up on the PBS program. I'll be sure to keep an eye out for it.
    As far as your last post, you are absolutely correct in your assesment. I didn't mean to blame only Bush Sr. for failing to finish the job. The UNs mandate at the time was to expel Iraqi forces from Kuwait only. Plain and simple. The UN totally failed to anticipate what would happen to the Shiites and Kurds. They believed a "no-fly zone" would have been sufficient. They believed that weapons inspectors would be able to dis-arm Saddam...what a joke. They believed sanctions were the best way to effectuate a change of regime in Baghdad. Another big joke.
    The UN has been a totally ineffective body at dealing with dictatorships and repressive regimes.(It should not have ever included representatives from those types of countries from it's inception up to the present day.) The only thing the UN is good at is helping nations in times of need; ie: aftermaths of wars, humanitarian aid, natural disasters,and so on. ..I do believe though, that had the U.S. pushed the issue at the time for a change of regime in Iraq, some of the coalition would have dropped out, but not as many as have dropped out since. Just some food for thought....

    Matt--Hershey, Pa.
  5. K.V.Div

    K.V.Div Member

    Speaking as one who has served in the 1st Gulf War, albeit from the deck of a destroyer, I can only hope for a quick resolution to the 2nd one.
    Regardless of the rhetoric put forth by the governments on both sides of this conflict, as well as those on the sidelines, it is, in fact the common soldier, airman and sailor, regardless of rank who must bear the brunt of this struggle and suffer the consequences both during and after, be it battle wounds, psychological trauma, negative puplic oppinion, etc.
    Down through the ages, it has been the lot of the common "Grunt" to step forward and, for right or for wrong, for better or for worse, through thick and thin, regardless of the consequences, step forward to carry out the policies of their country. That is what they signed up for and, for the greater part, they accept it.
    As a retired military member, with 21 years service, I can honestly say that no military member in their right mind looks forward to a war as the consequences can be, and often are quite serious. We ARE the true peace activists, as we are aware, more than anybody else what war is capable of.
    Regardless of what it might have done to the existing coalition during the first gulf war, we were all dismayed to learn that the assualt in Iraq had been stopped and that Saddam was going to remain in charge and free to continue as before, and I can say with certainty that we all knew, to a man or woman, that someday, someone was going to have to go in and finish the job in the future, as dictatorships such as Saddam's simply don't go away on their own. They seldom have, even through old age or military coup, as there are always opportunistic individuals willing to step in to fill any void left by the passing of the previous ruler.
    I pray for those who have made the supreme sacrifice, for those family members who have lost loved ones and for all those in the field and hope that this is all resolved soon
    Happy modeling everyone

  6. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    A wonderful post Terry. Well said.
  7. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    Thankyou Terry,
    Amen to that
  8. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    This is a really neat way to send a message of support to the troops, soldiers and sailors overseas:

    Operation Dear Abby.net/anyservicemember.navy.mil

    It allows you to enter a message of support and send it to a random member of the branch of service of your choice. I sent one to each. They need a site like this for other coalition members.

    You can also send a phone card or care package at the contact center at thebilloreilly.com contact center.
  9. philip

    philip Guest

    my two cents

    Go Army! God be with em.

    U.S. Army
    Retired Paladin Cmdr.

    Jon: saw your post for the Navy. Very touching! The soldiers are in deep again friend.
  10. Excellent link, thanks. I posted a letter to all five this morning too, it's a great idea!

    I thought I would share a sample I sent to the Army:

    Dear random Army person: More then just distance separates most Americans from you now in the middle of the conflict, even if you're stationed in the states or a non hostile zone. While we may struggle with the terms of a big picture, the why's and the what-fors, you have placed yourself in a position within that picture, helping to resolve it and make it clear. I for one, thank you, and know that even the military is made up of different people as well with different opinions, all serving the same common goal of service and duty toward our country. I don't envy your task whether you hold a gun in your hands, a steering wheel, or a wrench. Know that you will prevail. Be vigilant, be noble, be deadly to those who would attempt to take this honor you've earned from both our hearts.

  11. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Guys,I have been watching this war very closely.I am being to see another Veit Nam..You now have civilians fighting along side of the Iraq army...Now,The I.A is using human sheilds to hide behind and shoot at our troops...At whom do you point your M16?

    I also said from the word attack that the I.A was leading our troops into a ambush.I have seen this used before.The NVA and VC in Nam would let you come in on a LZ and then close the door of the ambush and give you a **** of a fight..We are seeing that now...

    I am now very concern on the well being of our troops.I know and fully understand you will take casualties in a war..

    I just hope our Goverment doesn't tie the hands of our troops in order to save civilians and cause our troops to suffer more casualities needlessly like they did in 'Nam..

    Pray for our troops..

    Pray for a quick victory in this war.

    God bless America!

    And above all God bless our troops!
  12. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    I have not really had a lot of time to do much posting recently, but have been following this thread with interest.

    I think one of the things that made an impression on me was not only were the comments being made well thought out, but who is making them is important too. We treat each other here as individuals with a common interest in railroading and each other, regardless of our national origin. I firmly believe that it is at this, the individual level, face to face is where we will sow the seeds of international understanding and peace and where they will grow into meaningful dialogue and understanding.

    I ran across a short item I would like share with you that says it all for me and how I feel about my country.

    "When in England at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell, the United States Secretary of State, was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of empire building by George Bush.

    He answered by saying that. "Over the years the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those who did not return."

    Like I said, there are others who are much better at expressing these things than I can ever hope to do.

    Bob Collins
    Major, United State Army (Ret.)
  13. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Since the Revolutionary War, there have been those that protest and actions, regardless of how just the cause is and no matter how they too benefit from the results. Many of these people forget just who the bad guys are. There are many emails circulating about how and why we should support this action and what they results could be if we just stood by and did nothing. I am tempted to post excerpts from these, but I think that most here have gotten a share of these and need no reminders.

    May the war and justice be swift and unerring in their targets and cause. May we once and for all, rid our world of genuine threats to peace so we may leave this world in better shape for our children and their children. May God look after and protect our and our allies' toops and other innocent victims of these confilcts.

    And most of all, let us be able to preserve our right to publicly say "God Bless America" or "One Nation Under God", without having someone protest it as an infringment on their "rights", won by actions that they probably also protested.

  14. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Larry, I see the parallels you refer to and I really believe that this time the whole concept is different, that we have a definate goal and intend to accomplish it as quickly and painlessly as possible. In Vietnam (first of all I'm no expert on it) it seemed we had no cause other than a vague "fighting communism" and I was definately under the impression we weren't trying to win. It just went on and on, wasting lives. I do think in this case we will let the military run the show as opposed to the politicians. I sure hope so!
  15. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    a U K View and a Canadians as well

    Tony Parsons Daily Mirror
    September 11, 2002

    One year ago, the world witnessed a unique kind of broadcasting -- the mass
    murder of thousands, live on television. As a lesson in the pitiless cruelty
    of the human race, September 11 was up there with Pol Pot's Mountain of
    Skulls in Cambodia, or the skeletal bodies stacked like garbage in the Nazi
    concentration camps.

    An unspeakable act so cruel, so calculated and so utterly merciless that
    surely the world could agree on one thing - nobody deserves this fate.
    Surely there could be consensus: The victims were truly innocent, the
    perpetrators truly evil.

    But to the world's eternal shame, 9/11 is increasingly seen as America's
    comeuppance. Incredibly, anti-Americanism has increased over the last year.
    There has always been a simmering resentment to the USA in this country;
    too loud, too rich, too full of themselves, and so much happier than
    Europeans -
    but it has become an epidemic. And it seems incredible to me. More than
    that, it turns my stomach.

    America is this country's greatest friend and our staunchest ally. We are
    bonded to the US by culture, language and blood. A little over half a
    century ago, around half a million Americans died for our freedoms, as well
    as their own. Have we forgotten so soon? And exactly a year ago, thousands
    of ordinary men, women and children - not just Americans, - but from dozens
    of countries, were butchered by a small group of religious fanatics. Are we
    so quick to betray them?

    What touched the heart about those who died in the Twin Towers and on the
    planes, was that we recognized them. Young fathers and mothers, somebody's
    son and somebody's daughter, husbands, wives, and children, some unborn.

    And these people brought it on themselves? Their nation is to blame for
    their meticulously planned slaughter?

    These days you don't have to be some dust-encrusted nut job in Kabul or
    Karachi or Finsbury Park to see America as the Great Satan. The
    anti-American alliance is made up of self-loathing liberals who blame the
    Americans for every ill in the Third World, and conservatives suffering from
    power-envy, bitter that the world's only superpower can do what it likes
    without having to ask permission.

    The truth is that America has behaved with enormous restraint since
    September 11. Remember - remember - remember the gut-wrenching tapes of
    weeping men phoning their wives to say, "I love you," before they were
    burned alive.

    Remember those people leaping to their deaths from the top of burning

    Remember the hundreds of firemen buried alive.

    Remember the smiling face of that beautiful little girl who was on one of
    the planes with her mum.

    Remember, remember - And realize that America has never retaliated for 9/11
    in anything like the way it could have.

    So a few al-Qaeda tourists got locked up without a trial in Camp X-ray? Pass
    the Kleenex.

    So some Afghan wedding receptions were shot up after they merrily fired
    their semi-automatics in a sky full of American planes? A shame, but maybe
    next time they should stick to confetti.

    AMERICA could have turned a large chunk of the world into a parking lot.

    That it didn't - is a sign of strength. American voices are already being
    raised against attacking Iraq - that's what a democracy is for. How many in
    the Islamic world will have a minute's silence for the slaughtered innocents
    of 9/11? How many Islamic leaders will have the guts to say that the mass
    murder of 9/11 was an abomination?

    When the news of 9/11 broke on the West Bank, those freedom-loving
    Palestinians were dancing in the street. America watched all of that - and
    didn't push the button. We should thank the stars that America is the most
    powerful nation in the world. I still find it incredible that 9/11 did not
    provoke all-out war. Not a "war on terrorism." -- a real war.

    The fundamentalist dudes are talking about "opening the gates of hell," if
    America attacks Iraq. Well, America could have opened the gates of hell like
    you wouldn't believe.

    The US is the most militarily powerful nation that ever strode he face of
    the earth. The campaign in Afghanistan may have been less than perfect and
    the planned war on Iraq may be misconceived.

    But don't blame America for not bringing peace and light to these wretched
    countries. How many democracies are there in the Middle East, or in the
    Muslim world? You can count them on the fingers of one hand - assuming you
    haven't had any chopped off for minor shoplifting.

    I love America, yet America is hated. I guess that makes me Bush's poodle.
    But I would rather be a dog in New York City than a Prince in Riyadh. Above
    all, America is hated because it is what every country wants to be - rich,
    free, strong, open, optimistic. Not ground down by the past, or religion, or
    some caste system. America is the best friend this country ever had and we
    should start remembering that.

    Or do you really think the USA is the root of all evil? Tell it to the loved
    ones of the men and women who leaped to their death from the burning towers.

    Tell it to the nursing mothers whose husbands died on one of the hijacked
    planes, or were ripped apart in a collapsing skyscraper. And tell it to the
    hundreds of young widows whose husbands worked for the New York Fire

    To our shame, George Bush gets a worse press than Saddam Hussein.
    Once we were told that Saddam gassed the Kurds, tortured his own people and
    set up rape-camps in Kuwait. Now we are told he likes Quality Street. Save
    me the range center, Oh Mighty One!

    Remember, remember, September 11 -

    One of the greatest atrocities in human history was committed against

    No! Do more than remember. Never forget.

    Consider passing this on.

    .........And remember....
    Subj: To Kill an American

    The following was said to have been written by a dentist in Australia :

    "You probably missed it in the rush of news last week, but there was
    actually a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper an
    offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American. So I just
    thought I would write to let them know what an American is, so they would
    know when they found one.

    An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish,
    Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Canadian, Mexican,
    African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or
    Pakistani, or Afghan. An American may also be a Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot,
    Navaho, Apache, or one of the many other tribes known as native Americans.

    An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In
    fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only
    difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them
    chooses. An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he
    will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming
    to speak for the government and for God.

    An American is from the most prosperous land in the history of the world.
    The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence,
    which recognizes the God given right of each man and woman to the pursuit of

    An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other
    nation in the world in their time of need. When Afghanistan was overrun by
    the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to
    enable the people to win back their country. As of the morning of September
    11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in

    Americans welcome the best, the best products, the best books, the best
    music, the best food, the best athletes. But they also welcome the least.

    The national symbol of America, The Statue of Liberty, welcomes your tired
    and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless,
    tempest tossed. These in fact are the people who built America. Some of them
    were working in the Twin Towers the morning of September 11, earning a
    better life for their families. I've been told that the World Trade Center
    victims were from at least 30 other countries, cultures, and first
    languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists.

    So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General
    Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung, and every bloodthirsty tyrant in the
    history of the world. But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself.
    Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They
    are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to
    that spirit, everywhere, is an American.

    Pass this around the world.
  16. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Chris, It was nice to read your post, I had been depressed of late, wondering how it had seemed to come to be that the English, Canadiens and Australians, according to what I see on the news, now look upon us as overbearing monsters. I have always considered these countries as just like us. English speaking free societies with similar lifestyles. The articles you posted say things much better than I ever could, but I guess what I've been feeling is regret at the seperation of unity between the left and right leaning folks in all these countries. There are those who will protest any war for any reason, and there are those who would jump too easily into war. But they are usually small fringes or extremes and I thought it should be clear that all these countries would recognize the threat to our way of life represented by the religeous fanatic mid east countries. We (the west in general) ignored this while it only affected Israel, and it seems like Canada wants to continue to ignore it. I am speaking here of the government, not the people, whom I'm sure hold the same varied beliefs people in the US hold. Well, since the US largely ignored it for so long I really can't blame anyone else not yet directly affected for doing the same. But anyone who believes that avoiding conflict will somehow make the danger pass is wrong. It will only make these states realize "Hey, we can get away with this!" I'm not sure the US, as powerful as it is, can eliminate the root of this problem on its own. Winning this war is not the root problem. Unless it were to succeed in convincing states like Iran, Syria et al that terrorism will not be tolerated and will bring about their destruction, we will simply continue as before. And without the support of all the free western nations, they will not be convinced.
  17. Thank you Chris. Our freedom to decide our own fates and choose our own paths truly is a double edged sword. Without love there would be no sorrow, without choice there would be no responsibility. The mere act of a nation debating this war reinforces the need for it, our responsibility, and right to do it.
  18. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Hi Gary. I think it's important to make a distinction between current administrations of countries and it's long-term practices. The US has enjoyed a great deal of well-deserved goodwill during the last century. After the Sept 11 attack, there was widespread outpouring of support for the US, and here in Toronto, American flags suddenly began appearing everywhere in a spontaneous demonstration of solidarity.

    Unfortunately, George W. is no diplomat and with his clumsy handling and "you're either with us or you're with the terrorists" rhetoric he has squandered a lot, if not all, of that goodwill. During the Sept 11 crisis, Canada demonstrated its support of the US when its security is threatened. Bush showed his appreciation by not even mentioning Canada in his keynote speech, thanking Britain and Mexico as his biggest ally and most important trading partner respectively. Thanks man.

    Then there is the softwood lumber issue, the latest of many trade issues where despite the NAFTA agreement, the US continues to apply punitive tarrifs on imports from Canada if they are in the least competitive with US products. NAFTA = shafta.

    And the "friendly fire" issue that killed 6 Canadian soldiers in the Afghanistan campaign which George W. did not even acknowlege until pressured to do so and for which he has yet to apologize.

    Americans and Canadians have a lot in common as you say. Many of us, myself included, have family on both sides of the border. Where we differ however, is in our global aspirations. With this war, the current US administration has signalled to all the world that America is prepared to call itself an empire, and to act accordingly. This scares an awful lot of people all over the world, and rightly so.

    It was Ronald Reagan who coined the term "Evil Empire." Personally, I think by definition all empires are evil. The hawks who are currently running the show are heading down a very dangerous path. I hope to God they don't kill us all in their mad race to total world domination.

    One more point, something that I heard yesterday. Dick Cheney's old company, Halliburton, has just won a multi-million dollar contract from the gov't to rebuild Iraq. If that doesn't make a person cynical about the real motives behind this war I don't know what will.

    Support the troops who put their lives on the line - absolutely! Agree with the need for this human sacrifice? Sorry, no can do.

  19. Chrysler Ford and Chevy all stopped making cars and started making tanks and guns in WW2. Was that just as deplorable as a company once managed by a VP getting a military contract? There were 4 other bidders for the job, and no proof that any underhanded deals were made. There are not a bunch of defense contractors any more, and it's too easy to point fingers.

    Source: Corpwatch.org

    Friendly fire happens, it's a very sad fact of war. The british have suffered a grave loss already recently in terms of friendly fire, yet the nation is largly understanding in terms that humans make war, and humans can error in any process.
  20. Matt Probst

    Matt Probst Member

    Chris: re; your post..........thank you.

    Matt--Hershey, Pa.
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