The US militairy are instrumental in the criminal behavior of a criminal administration. Everyone who is serving in the uniform of the amaricain troops put the allied forces of WO II to shame. I realize that soldiers are not to blame for decisions made by their governments but they should think twice before they choose to join the forces of a country that only respects the so called american way of life and fuck the rest of the world.
Your insight is mostly directly on target. It is easy to advocate free speech for those with whom you respectfully disagree. It is far more difficult and distasteful to protect the right of those whose free speech tears at your gut. Nothing in the right of free speech however makes it free from censure. I may attempt to exercise my rights by opposing your opinion by legal means such as boycott or protest.
Also in the sense that sacrifice means giving up something of great personal value for a greater cause, I DO believe a soldier or marine who dies in service has made a sacrifice. We can agree to disagree.
You used an excellent example of one of the burdens of free speech, that we have to take the bad with the good.
Something that I, for one, am willing to do. Limiting other's right to free speech limits my own. I will use my beliefs to limit what I say. I will not stand for others deciding my limits for me.
Your essay is well argued, if not terribly original, until the final paragraph. Sacrifice, at least according to every dictionary I have consulted, usually means to give up something for someone or something else (exactly what you describe soldiers as doing). Your definition seems to be one limited to a specifically business related context. Ultimately, though, it is a difference of semantics rather than substance.
In the U.S. our constitution was intended to replace the tyranny of the British empire and to prevent the rise of another tyranny.
In theory, the U.S. government is a government with limited enumerated powers.
The key brake on the power of the U.S. Government has been the Freedom of Speech and of the press in the First Amendment.
The freedom of speech under the First Amendment is too often misunderstood. The First Amendment begins with the most important phrase, and the most overlooked phrase in the constitution, "CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW." The first amendment freedom limits the government, preventing the government from imposing restrictions on any persons' speech. The First Amendment freedom of speech protects the rights of any individual or group to offend, disturb, embarass, provoke, goad, tease or otherwise attempt to infulence the government, or other members of the public.
The freedom of speech is only needed to protect the unpopular, disturbing speech. When has it ever been necessary to invoke the First Amendment to protect the bland and boring. The speech that is protected is the speech that makes us think, the speech that disturbs us, the speech that can goad the inertial masses to doing something, anything.
In the United States, no individual has the right to not be offended. Similarly, while a person has a right to speak, no one has a right to force me to listen.
The population of the U.S., having always known freedom of speech, is slowly giving it away. Speech codes at colleges and universitys, hate crime laws, and campaign finance laws are just a few of the ways that our government is taking away our freedom of speech, in many cases with our active agreement, but in every case with, at least, our tacit approval.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes noted, "We should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe and believe to be fraught with death, unless they so imminently threaten immediate interference with the lawful and pressing purposes of the law that an immediate check is required to save the country."
People speak of the right to privacy and the right to be left alone. If we have those rights, it is only because we are vigilant in protecting them. Laziness and passivity will do more to undermine our freedom than any terrorist group. Disorder and inconvenience are some of the costs of freedom of speech. The freedom of speech is not self executing. Action, by individuals is required every day to exercise that freedom, to keep it healthy.
The website forsake the troops expresses a particularly offensive hateful message.
No matter how much I disagree with the premise and conclusions of the author, the First Amendment protects his expression of his opinion, just as it protects my right to express my opinion.
Freedom of speach is something that is taken for granted and abused. Outside MCAS New River N.C. is posted, "Pardon our noise, it is the sound of freedom". It was posted when neighbors of MCAS New River complained about the noise from the Helocopters, Harriers, and other aircraft.
I served proudly in the Marines, and yes I chose to enter the military with a very clear understanding that someday I might be called to put my life on the line to defend my Country, my Constitution, and Citizens from all enemies foriegn and domestic. Upholding core values and being strong with moral fortitude I live each day. I may not agree with everyones opinions, but that is what opinions are for. Everyone should have one, good or bad. If you don't have one, then you're living with your head buried in sand.
I don't believe that everything the military does is their fault, I was trained to follow all lawful orders. If it comes from the President, and Congress, to the military it must be lawful. I've been in countries where freedom of speach is met with severe punishment because that person offended their government. I've spoken with the people of those countries and learned a greater value for the Constitution of my country. When you take for granted our freedoms just take a look at history, we will be doomed to repeat it. Just my opinions.
Sacrifice simply does not mean "sell at a loss." It means to give up something relatively small for a greater good. If you don't believe me, look at what the dictionary says. It's primary meaning is "The act of offering something to a deity in propitiation or homage, especially the ritual slaughter of an animal or a person." Closely following it is "Forfeiture of something highly valued for the sake of one considered to have a greater value or claim." The spirit of both is clearly to give up something important. Your definition, which I've never heard before, is last on the list.
As others have noted, sacrifice has more than one definition in the dictionary. In the dictionary that I looked at, it defined sacrifice (in addition to the definition you provided) as "To forfeit (one thing) for another thing considered to be of greater value." By this definition, every death of a soldier is a sacrifice, giving up one human life for a greater goal. And for those soldiers (and non-soldiers too) who believe that men and women in uniform aren't dying for a greater goal, they can always turn to your definition: selling or giving away something at a loss. Either way, it's a sacrifice.
As a former memeber of the USMC I fing this article to in extermely bad taste. Freedom of speech entitles the writer to their opinion , but in no way makes it right. The majority of people in the military are there because they wanted to be, and knew the dangers when they enlisted. The only reason we have the freedom of speech today, is because of people who felt strongly enough to sacirifice themselves to further it. The citizen-soldiers of the revolutionary war to the draftees of WWI & WWII, to the volunteer force in place today make it possible to say this. Go to any 3rd world country and speak out about the leadership and you will be lucky to end up in prison, but will most likely end up dead. No one ever died trying to go from Florida to Cuba, but thousands have trying to come here from there. Any solder, sailor, airman, or marine desrves to be respected for volunterring to make this possible. If we did not volunteer, you would not have the right to speak out about it. Forsake them if you want, but you can only do so because they are willing to sacrifice themselves for you to say it. Your opinion would not exist if they did not defend your right to have it.
I served for two years in Laos so assholes like you can say whatever you want and not get lined up against the wall and shot. I believe in your right to write anything you want, as I also believe its my right to tell you that you are a disgrace to the corps if you are in fact in it. The military personnel do not join the military so they can kill people. They join to protect our way of life and our constitution. They make many sacrifices to do this. At 18 to 22 years of age you don't know dick about sacrifice. And I'm not talking about sacrificing lives either although they do. I don't think the USMC teaches the drivel you have preached in this article and if your marine buddies ever see this you better hope you don't go to Iraq. You'll probably get fragged. No one chooses to go into battle. Politicians do the choosing. In the military you don't CHOOSE to do shit. Command dictates what your "Choices" are. Blaming soldiers for killing and getting killed under orders is like blaming a gun for robbing a bank.
"Vietnam and the draft are things of the past and will likely remain things of the past for a long time."
So when are these things going to cease remaining in the past. God what a stupid child you are.
Anyone gullible enough to believe that rhetoric bullshit is truly stupid. Try living in the real world instead of the hollywood fantasy land.
your last paragraph is, to me, way off track! Sacrifice doesn't have to be for a good cause.
You, like so many others, talk about how since 9/11, so many of our freedoms have been taken away. LIKE WHAT? Where are the abuses of power and reduction of freedoms - and did not abuses exist before 9/11?
As for Evert's, Anonymous, and Anonymous in Earth comments - I am just overwhelmed by the thought provoking and intelligence contained in their submission - it adds so much to our freedoms.
As to what would stop a President from going crazy and trying to infringe too much on our freedoms - our system of government is not based on a single authority - and then there is always the People.
I hope some day you need help and Some one from the 10thMT is who you need and thay can piss in your face.
For once, someone has the backbone to speak his mind, and stand straight up. I appreciate your comments. I think this war is unjustified, and, I'm sorry, but some very gullible young people have been dragged into it. I am sorry for the families of the lost ones, when the history books close on this war, it will be shameful. I am sorry also for the remaining soldiers who have been snookered into believing this is a patriotic act. Cheap gas. That's all this is about.
And Osama bin Laden runs free.....
I don't wholly agree with your arguement but support your right to express it unlike some of the idiots below.
Some advice for
"05/15/05 by Anonymous in USA and proud of it"
Your drivel about soldiers not having a choice ceased to be an excuse in Nuremberg 1945. Any any civilized nation, soldiers don't just have the right, but the DUTY to refuse to obey orders that are clearly illegal. That is ALSO the case in the US. Soldiers HAVE a choice, and those who claim they don't can NEVER defend democracy, because their entire attitude is anathema to its most basic principles.
Forsake the Troops is far more extreme than this article. It's just anti-American BS at it's most ridiculous (and I consider myself a liberal).
...and it may make you sick to your stomach, the term "sacrifice" does indeed fit our troops.
2a.Forfeiture of something highly valued for the sake of one considered to have a greater value or claim.
2.To forfeit (one thing) for another thing considered to be of greater value.
Those are the definitions that I think of when I hear or see the word "sacrifice". Every life is highly valued and to choose (as you state that our troops have done) to put that life on the line for the greater value of defending our rights, our country, and our loved ones, IS a sacrifice.
I am honored that so many have the courage and the belief to make the sacrifice for me, for all of us. I may not fully understand or agree with the war in Iraq, but I do understand that the vast majority of our troops believe in what they are doing there. That is enough for me. I support the troops 100%.
I may be wrong, the troops may not wish to be there. If that is the case, then I believe we, as Americans, need to stand up for our troops and bring them home.
Well written opinion, Sean. It wasn't completely clear, at the beginning, if you agreed with the website or not, but it became clear the further I read.
Kudos for having the courage to write it. Even more for having the courage to submit it for all to see. Thanks for using your freedom of expression, it does take using it to keep it. ~Minx
Renaud could not have said it better. As a retired Air Force Officer (10 years an Officer and 16 years NCO/Enlisted) what Renaud said clearly hits the nail on the head. Heroes? I have seen no heroes in the Iraq ar Afghanistan wars if they could be called wars. A hero is someone who saves a part of the USA or someone on our soil. The last time I checked, Iraq and Afghanistan is on foreign soil. Those that are in the military reserves and are activated, or on active duty clearly were in the military to gain a paycheck, however horrible it may be. No one forced them to join and put on that uniform and while they went for a time of doing their military peacetime duties, each of them were fully aware that if the time came that they might have to shoot at someone or be shot at, even to the point of giving up the last sacrifice.
For those that left behind a little gal that may have had a couple of kids or none, perhaps the best we can do as we remain behind is to console her, or keep her loved and well serviced....maybe her hubby can return home eventually to support one of our bastards or to console her in her remaining months of pregnancy from one of us. He deserves no better, because in reality he has deserted her and gone off to war to be a machismo soldier, as if his manhood depended on it. Anytime I have the chance to fuck one of these little military wives, I'll gladly take it in my attempt(s) to ensure that she is wanting of nothing when it comes to bedroom games while he is over there where he wanted to be, getting shot at.
Everybody who is arguing about "sacrifice", read this!
It's all about semantics. Why is this a big issue? Sean is still saying what the soldiers do is noble, so where is the problem? Writers are often caught up in words, but the truth is often in the meaning, or what the people make it mean.
As for "good art disturbs", where did Sergei Eisenstein come into this? While it's true, good art does disturb, it also makes you think past the initial gut instinct. Anything else is propaganda.
I am somewhat biased about this subject, b/c I am the original poster of the thread on the AH about that web site. I am also a soldier. I don't serve under the military directly, but I am the wife of an Airman. You are right to say that when a man dies in service to his country and his family that he has paid a price that he determined worth it. I do agree also that it is a sacrifice. He didn't cheapen the deal by defecting, he gave up his life for the lives of others. To him, it wasn't a sacrifice, it was the right thing to do but to all of us at home and to his sons and daughters and family, he sacrificed and he is remembered for what he gave at the cost to himself. He gave life and hope to his loved ones and to his /her countrymen. I truly believe the purpose behind your paper. Michael Crook and all the others out there who belittle and whine about our soldiers are who those soldiers are fighting to give rights to and for.
Sean, whether you're writing about licking cum off a bathroom floor or about the few and the proud, you never cease to stir my soul! Well-written! LOVED it! Semper Fi!
original and informative! Good luck!
This seems like more of a personal diatribe against a website than an essay on free speech.
A veteran is some who at some time in his or life wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America for an ammount up to and including their life. That is an HONOR and their are too many many people in this country who no longer understand it.
I served 24 years in the U.S. military. I did 2 tours in Viet Nam 30 month in total. I did so because I believed it was my duty to repay the country that had given me so many freedoms. I believe being KIA would not have been a sacrifice but a but a simple repayment of a huge debt I owed to my country.
Just the way I felt and feel.
You have opened my eyes. I used to think of the soldiers who died as "sacrificing" their lives for our freedom. Now that I think about it after reading this article, I've noticed that your right, it is more like paying a price!!! You've brought me to a level of understanding that im glad to have acheived. Thanks!!!!
thinking about what you say and I agree with it completely
I cannot help but wonder about the motivation of Michael Crook.
Sometimes the best way to make a point is to take the completely opposite tact. With our knowing this man and his motivations I cannot really make a judgement call.
However, what I can say comes from Paul Harvey
'A pat on the back and a kick in the behind both propel you forward. Depending on the circumstances one works better than the other'
I am a firm believer that this country needs a very strong boot to get her back on the right track
I have to wonder if that might be the underlying motivation of Crook...to get the complacent people of this nation mad enough to do something about protecting her and her way of life
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