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Author Topic: Stand up for the war  (Read 9292 times)

jgruber

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Re: Stand up for the war
« Reply #80 on: August 17, 2004, 11:32:45 AM »
that site won't  come up.  where do the numbers come from?


 
He's just trying to make the point that the decision congressmen make will send someone's children to war and it most likely will not be their own.

This sounds good, except for the fact that children of congress members are overrepresented among those serving in Iraq. http://timblair.spleenville.com/archives/007268.php


GentleTim

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Re: Stand up for the war
« Reply #81 on: August 17, 2004, 11:36:42 AM »
Advocating war is a decision unlike any other.


I don't see why that's true.  I assume you mean that it's a decision that has life and death concequences.  But so do many other decisions.  Deciding to send/not send food aid to N. Korea, for example.  Discouraging the use of chemical fertilizers in Africa, has indirectly lead to the starvation of millions: http://www.highyieldconservation.org/articles/forgotten_benefactor.html.  It's not just decisions about war in which life and death are involved.

GentleTim

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Re: Stand up for the war
« Reply #82 on: August 17, 2004, 11:38:48 AM »
Many if not most cops never fire a shot and are never fired at.


I suspect that's true of most soliders, too.  Though obviously not those serving in combat zones.

GentleTim

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Re: Stand up for the war
« Reply #83 on: August 17, 2004, 11:42:34 AM »
that site won't  come up.  where do the numbers come from?


 
He's just trying to make the point that the decision congressmen make will send someone's children to war and it most likely will not be their own.

This sounds good, except for the fact that children of congress members are overrepresented among those serving in Iraq. http://timblair.spleenville.com/archives/007268.php


Basic math.  There are 300 million people in the US with about 150K in Iraq.  There are 535 members of congress (both houses) 5 of which have children serving in Iraq.

150,000/300,000,000 = 1 service member per 2000 citizens
5/535 = 1 service member per 107 congressmembers.

But even 1 congress person with a child in Iraq would make them overrepresented.

Bman

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Re: Stand up for the war
« Reply #84 on: August 17, 2004, 11:42:52 AM »
Not advocating war is also, in some cases, a decision unlike any other. Had the U.S. sent troops to Rwanda, it probably would have required a brigade, or at most a division of troops. Casualties would have been almost certainly quite low on the American side and hundreds of thousands of lives might have been saved. I'm much more comfortable believing that military force would have been just in this circumstance than I would be if I believed the opposite. Similarly, there have been wars in history that have been indisputably just. World War II, Korea for example. Not advocating war in the first Gulf War (which I'm sure you opposed) would today mean that Saddam Hussein would stand atop an oil empire of Kuwait, Iraq, and perhaps Saudi Arabia, and almost certainly in possession of nuclear weapons. Let's not pretend that not advocating war doesn't sometimes have deleterious consequences that anti-war folks need to be responsible for.


Advocating war is a decision unlike any other.


I don't see why that's true.  I assume you mean that it's a decision that has life and death concequences.  But so do many other decisions.  Deciding to send/not send food aid to N. Korea, for example.  Discouraging the use of chemical fertilizers in Africa, has indirectly lead to the starvation of millions: http://www.highyieldconservation.org/articles/forgotten_benefactor.html.  It's not just decisions about war in which life and death are involved.

jgruber

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Re: Stand up for the war
« Reply #85 on: August 17, 2004, 11:43:10 AM »
That is the point.  When you advocate war, you are taking the military from a relatively safe environment to a really bad place.

It's almost like advocating a riot.

Many if not most cops never fire a shot and are never fired at.


I suspect that's true of most soliders, too.  Though obviously not those serving in combat zones.

GentleTim

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Re: Stand up for the war
« Reply #86 on: August 17, 2004, 11:44:59 AM »
that site won't  come up.  where do the numbers come from?


 
He's just trying to make the point that the decision congressmen make will send someone's children to war and it most likely will not be their own.

This sounds good, except for the fact that children of congress members are overrepresented among those serving in Iraq. http://timblair.spleenville.com/archives/007268.php


Basic math.  There are 300 million people in the US with about 150K in Iraq.  There are 535 members of congress (both houses) 5 of which have children serving in Iraq.

150,000/300,000,000 = 1 service member per 2000 citizens
5/535 = 1 service member per 107 congressmembers.

But even 1 congress person with a child in Iraq would make them overrepresented.

Which, I hasten to add, I don't think is bad at all.  I just get really tired of this "congress people are sending other people's kids to war!" line of reasoning.  Even if it were true, I don't think that having a child in the military should be a necessary qualifier for deciding whether or not to deploy the military.  Being elected to congress is what gives people that responsibility.

Bman

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Re: Stand up for the war
« Reply #87 on: August 17, 2004, 11:50:47 AM »
"Which, I hasten to add, I don't think is bad at all.  I just get really tired of this "congress people are sending other people's kids to war!" line of reasoning.  Even if it were true, I don't think that having a child in the military should be a necessary qualifier for deciding whether or not to deploy the military.  Being elected to congress is what gives people that responsibility."

Right on. And, it should be noted, the U.S. is a democracy. Congress's stance echoed that of the American people, with about two thirds favoring war on the eve of it (much less, by the way, than the percentage favoring the first Gulf War on its eve). People who push this line of argumentation never tell us what they're arguing in favor of. Is it that Congress's view doesn't mesh with those of the nation. No, that can't be it. Is it that the military and their families, not civilian leaders, should make these decisions? no, that can't be it. We have a civilian-run democracy and, besides, most liberals surely know that present servicemen and veterans support Republicans and hawksih foreign policies far more than Democrats (even with John Kerry's incessent invocation of his Vietnam service, Bush still leads him among veterans by about a two to one margin). So what is this "argument" supposed to be? That no one should be willing to advocate war unless they would send their child to fight it? But this would cancel out just about any conflict in history (I have no doubt that, given the choice in the 1940s, my mom would choose to keep me from going off to Europe/Asia to fight. No one wants to send their kid to war anywhere).

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Re: Stand up for the war
« Reply #88 on: August 17, 2004, 11:57:34 AM »
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GentleTim

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Re: Stand up for the war
« Reply #89 on: August 17, 2004, 12:02:36 PM »
I have no doubt that, given the choice in the 1940s, my mom would choose to keep me from going off to Europe/Asia to fight. No one wants to send their kid to war anywhere.

Bingo.  This is precisely why arguments about war shouldn't be personalized.  I can't imagine a cause that I'd willingly sacrifice my brother, my parents, or my (hopefully future) children for.  But I know that in the abstract, some causes are worth sacrificing for.  We elect our representatives to make that call for us.  People can make their voices hear via letters, votes and their right to assemble.  

I'd be horrified if I heard a member of congress say something like "I voted for X because it would benefit me and my family."  I don't see why people expect them to do that when it comes to deploying the military.