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Veterans and military service

KeromeKerome Love, love is mysteryThe Continent Veteran

On another forum I came across a piece which was discussing respect for veterans, people who had been in the military. It’s a forum with a vast majority of American members, and you’re probably aware of prevailing attitudes over there.

I was unable to resist commenting that “if everybody just refused to fight, then wars would die out tomorrow across the globe. In a way, military service is crazy. Killing another human being is morally a huge decision, and by becoming a soldier in an army you are giving away your power to decide who or what to kill”.

The answer to that from another forum member was, “so you’re against national armies even if they are only for defence?” Which I have to say gave me pause for a moment. But I do stand by it, it’s one of the precepts not to kill and if everybody followed the precepts the world would be a better place.

It sometimes just makes me wonder about the rest of the humans on this planet... how do you think about this topic?

kandoajhayes

Comments

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran
    edited November 9

    For me I think it falls into the broad category of "if everybody just did 'fill in the blank' then some problem would be solved". While the statement is logically true, it seems unreasonable to think that you could get that kind of compliance.

    It also reminds of an old Simpsons episode where, if my memory is right, Lisa managed to ban all weapons and the aliens came and conquered the world with a board with a nail in it. Some percent of the world are, and will probably always be a-holes that will take whatever they can. Having a force capable of resisting and enforcing peace and order makes the world work better. Think of the Pax Romana or of the Mongol rule where it was said that some could walk the length of the Silk Road with a bag of gold on their head without being robbed. The Romans and Mongols were absolutely brutal to the "other", but for those within their sphere of control the order and safety they provided increased trade and prosperity.

    Maybe related too are social sharing experiments. What I'm thinking of are studies where people are given a certain amount of money and then freely allowed to contribute, or not, a portion into a common pool that is multiplied by some amount and then redistributed equally among the group. If the experiment is repeated sharing goes down as some people will be free riders or bad actors and not contribute anything but reap the rewards and the cooperators feel as if they are being taken advantage of. If then people are allowed to spend some portion of their money to punish then sharing goes up, people become more cooperative when they feel like they won't be taken advantage of. (At least in most areas of the world, some cultures where corruption is high actually punish cooperators).

    Anyway, my thinking is that some sort of protective force and ability to punish bad actors and protect cooperators increases social harmony.

    Or as the creators of South Park put it. (Warning for pervasive profanity)

    Dimmesdale
  • GuiGui Veteran

    What if they gave a war and nobody came. Unfortunately I think that as long as humans are in the predatory phase of human development, violent conflict will continue. Each of us, however, can have a determining effect on social evolution by our compassion and philosophies.

    personKeromekandolobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited November 9

    I believe (unrealistically) in wars only fought by combatant grannies with knitting patterns and pictures of grand children to swap ...

    I have long advocated a crack team of sangha members to be dropped into war zones to chant, sing hymns, quote from the hadith and koran and generally mess with the minds of the disputers as appropriate ...
    http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/comment/455237/

    Keromekando
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    @Gui said:
    What if they gave a war and nobody came. Unfortunately I think that as long as humans are in the predatory phase of human development, violent conflict will continue. Each of us, however, can have a determining effect on social evolution by our compassion and philosophies.

    Yes and that seems to be what has been occurring as war deaths, and violence in general, has been on the decline as humanity continues to evolve.

    https://ourworldindata.org/war-and-peace

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    "Lest we forget" is the hallowed slogan in Great Britain, accompanying the sale of red poppies, to commemorate the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918... ("In Flanders' Fields, the Poppies grow..."

    100 years ago exactly, saw the end of WW1, known also as "The Great War". An inhuman, savage, mindless carnage and desecration of man and country if ever there was one.

    A century gas passed.

    We cannot forget.

    But what, if anything, have we learnt?

    image

    FosdickKundo
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    @federica said:
    "Lest we forget" is the hallowed slogan in Great Britain, accompanying the sale of red poppies, to commemorate the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918... ("In Flanders' Fields, the Poppies grow..."

    100 years ago exactly, saw the end of WW1, known also as "The Great War". An inhuman, savage, mindless carnage and desecration of man and country if ever there was one.

    A century gas passed.

    We cannot forget.

    But what, if anything, have we learnt?

    image

    The lesson I take away from Our World In Data is that even though humanity hasn't learned everything, we have learned much and continue to learn.

    When I read about or listen to stories of the battlefields of WWI, something even close to that scale of horror happening in today's world is almost unimaginable.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    An interesting article...
    "What Every Person Should Know About War" (Article The New York Times 2003)

    At least 108 million people were killed in wars in the twentieth century. Estimates for the total number killed in wars throughout all of human history range from 150 million to 1 billion. War has several other effects on population, including decreasing the birthrate by taking men away from their wives. The reduced birthrate during World War II is estimated to have caused a population deficit of more than 20 million people.

    Is there a genetic reason why we fight?

    There is no single "war gene." Combinations of genes can predispose a person to violence. However, aggression is a product of biology and environment. In America, sources of aggressive dispositions include domestic violence, the portrayal of violence in the media, threats from enemies, and combat training.

    It would seem that during the wars ( pick a war... any war) developers/inventors are busy looking for ways to improve on weaponry (more effective killing devices) and often come up with a prototype towards the end of that particular war...Example spears, bows and arrow then muskets and cannons...

    So now another war is needed to test the new weapons... ...bigger better faster, more effective..weapons of mass destruction...Any old excuse will do to start a war to test the weapons with the possibility of selling them to other warring nations, whose politicians and unscrupulous businessmen ( and I guess women too) see the potential in making big bucks ..and so the cycle continues....

    If the country to be invaded is rich in natural resources, that a bonus to be exploited...

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Gui said:
    What if they gave a war and nobody came. Unfortunately I think that as long as humans are in the predatory phase of human development, violent conflict will continue. Each of us, however, can have a determining effect on social evolution by our compassion and philosophies.

    People’s relationships with power are crazy... if they decided to give another war in Afghanistan I certainly wouldn’t come. Looking at the last few wars in the Middle East, what has been the great result of that? The war in Yemen might be called predatory, but what will be the outcome?

    The whole business with uniform, ranks, power, medals and so on are just to tie people into the military mindset. I don’t think soldiers should be honoured for succumbing to that and possibly getting mental disorders from it. It is not conducive to peace and meditation...

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited November 10

    From the article posted by @Shoshin:

    *War is defined as an active conflict that has claimed more than 1,000 lives.

    *At least 108 million people were killed in wars in the twentieth century.

    *The combined armed forces of the world have 21.3 million people.

    *Worldwide, 97 percent of today's military personnel are male.

    *War is often regarded by observers as honorable and noble. It can be viewed as a contest between nations, a chance to compete and be declared the victor.

    *The cost of the Gulf War was approximately £59 billion.
    World War II, almost £2.5 trillion.

    *In 2001, U.S. arms manufacturers exported $9.7 billion in weapons worldwide. The United Kingdom was second in international exports with £3.8 billion.

    Between 1900 and 1990, 43 million soldiers died in wars. During the same period, 62 million civilians were killed. More than 34 million civilians died in World War II. In the wars of the 1990s, civilian deaths constituted between 75 and 90 percent of all war deaths. (poppy, anyone?)

    They are shot, bombed, raped, starved, and driven from their homes. During World War II, 135,000 civilians died in two days in the firebombing of Dresden. A week later, in Pforzheim, Germany, 17,800 people were killed in 22 minutes. In Russia, after the three-year battle of Leningrad, only 600,000 civilians remained in a city that had held a population of 2.5 million. One million were evacuated, 100,000 were conscripted into the Red Army, and 800,000 died. In April 2003, during the Iraqi War, half of the 1.3 million civilians in Basra, Iraq, were trapped for days without food and water in temperatures in excess of 100 degrees.

    *More than 2 million children were killed in wars during the 1990s. Three times that number were disabled or seriously injured. Twenty million children were displaced from their homes in 2001. Many were forced into prostitution.

    *Some women in war zones are forced into prostitution to provide for their family. Famine and stress cause increased stillbirth and early infant death. AIDS risk increases for many women in war, from prostitution, husbands who return from military duty with HIV, or rape.

    This isn't just about the Veterans of 2 World Wars. This is about every single man, woman and child that has sacrificed their life as a result of Military conflict, throughout the last century.

    War is NOT noble, and neither is it necessary. War, IS Hell, right here on Earth. And we can't seem to learn the lesson that it should stop. For good.

    lobsterFosdickShoshinKundo
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran
    edited November 10

    @federica said:
    War is NOT noble, and neither is it necessary. War, IS Hell, right here on Earth. And we can't seem to learn the lesson that it should stop. For good.

    My understanding of one of the main lessons from WWI was that war is not noble. Going into it the weapons people were used to using were much less deadly and I believe death in direct combat wasn't as likely as dying from disease or hunger while on campaign. So commanders sent wave after wave against machine guns nests only to be futilely killed on a massive scale, because they were still held by historic romantic notions of war. I think that war (WWI) did a lot to undermine the idea that war is virtuous, not that the idea is gone but it used to be much greater.

    And to the idea whether it is necessary or not. I don't imagine you would argue that Hitler should have just been allowed to March through Europe and take whatever he wanted because of the destruction resistance caused. The truth of the world is that not everyone is going to give up violence, unilaterally laying down arms doesn't solve the problem. It only allows the a-holes to take whatever they want.

    War is hell, I think even most military members would agree to that. I think the real question is how do we get there? Democratic nations are much less likely to go to war, because as you laid out people don't like it and the citizens are allowed to protest involvement. So promoting democracy is helpful. An interdependent world where cooperation and mutually beneficial exchange makes more sense to improve lives than does taking resources, positive sum economics vs zero sum. So promoting trade over tariffs or some other version of nationalist isolation.

    I don't know, maybe I have a pessimistic view of humanity. I think our moral frame has shifted over time (the odds of dying from homicide several hundred years ago was something like 1 in 50 and now its more like 1 in 100,000) and I do think in the long run we can get to a more enlightened state as a whole. I appreciate the importance of highlighting and educating people on the horrors of war, what I'm mostly trying to say is that we aren't there yet and we can't pretend like there aren't bad actors in the world or we do so at our peril.

    kando
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    US President Donald Trump is in France to commemorate the centenary of World War One's end. He then decides to miss the memorial event on Saturday due to rain.

    He cancelled a visit to a US military cemetery, but the White House said other Officials attended.

    Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood commented "rain did not prevent our brave heroes from doing their job".

    I refrain from comment purely on the basis that none is needed.

    person
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    No doubt it was those pesky old bone spurs that prevented him from serving in Vietnam acting up again. 😏

    kando
  • DimmesdaleDimmesdale Illinois New

    It seems to me that conflict is an inevitable consequence of the nature of the reality we are "thrown into", in a sense. I disagree with the adage that hate cannot be driven out by hate. It can. Well, unless the hate is an unreasonable hate, in which case I agree. The point is, sometimes conflict is necessary in this world, and it is actually our duty to fight. Just like when Krishna counseled Arjuna. You can't be a doormat for everyone who wants to take advantage of you. You have to stand your ground. Unless all the facts and reasons point you in the direction of pacifism which may be the most rational position to take in some cases. Yes, war can be inhumane, absurd, barbaric, and so on. But if good people do nothing, then it only takes time before other people perpetuate something even worse.

    My 2 cents.

    person
  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    The romantic idea of war was fortunately kicked in the pants by the cine camera, I feel. it takes a level of determined blindness that is beyond most to ignore the evidence of your own eyes.

    Keromeperson
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Dimmesdale said:
    It seems to me that conflict is an inevitable consequence of the nature of the reality we are "thrown into", in a sense. I disagree with the adage that hate cannot be driven out by hate. It can. Well, unless the hate is an unreasonable hate, in which case I agree. The point is, sometimes conflict is necessary in this world, and it is actually our duty to fight. Just like when Krishna counseled Arjuna. You can't be a doormat for everyone who wants to take advantage of you. You have to stand your ground. Unless all the facts and reasons point you in the direction of pacifism which may be the most rational position to take in some cases. Yes, war can be inhumane, absurd, barbaric, and so on. But if good people do nothing, then it only takes time before other people perpetuate something even worse.

    My 2 cents.

    It’s interesting to note that the dharma doesn’t teach not to fight — see for example the famous Shaolin monks — but that it does teach not to kill. Perhaps an army of the future will fight using entirely non-lethal means... but at the moment they teach you to fire rifles and bigger guns and fly fighter jets, killing as many people as possible, in a way that seems to me very unhealthy.

    So would you consider it any buddhist’s duty to avoid becoming part of a military?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Kerome said: It’s interesting to note that the dharma doesn’t teach not to fight — see for example the famous Shaolin monks — but that it does teach not to kill. Perhaps an army of the future will fight using entirely non-lethal means...

    The Dhamma teaches to do no harm. How on earth one can 'fight' without doing harm is beyond me. What are you going to fight someone with - a feather duster?

    There is only one sector of Buddhism that advocates, trains or celebrates combat and that is the Shaolin sector.
    It is overwhelmingly outnumbered by many other Buddhist sectors which are neither combatitive nor violent.
    Most Buddhists advocate 'Ahimsa'. Many would rather - and have resorted to - "Self-harm" rather than use physical force against others.

  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    @federica said:
    US President Donald Trump is in France to commemorate the centenary of World War One's end. He then decides to miss the memorial event on Saturday due to rain.

    He cancelled a visit to a US military cemetery, but the White House said other Officials attended..

    The Trumper has claimed that he didnt attend to avoid causing traffic jams. Isn't that nice, such thoughtfulness! I think 'tell it to the marines' is apt.

  • The Dhamma teaches to do no harm. How on earth one can 'fight' without doing harm is beyond me. What are you going to fight someone with - a feather duster?

    Sounds like a Doddy plan. 🤪

    Ahimsa is a long term strategy. Inevitebly it ends in sacrifice. Resident Rump and other non solutions never work. What was W| about? Europe was freed from the Nazi threat and left occupied by the stay behind Stalinist regime.

    What and who are the preventative measures?

    @genkaku said:
    My fave on the "honoring veterans" front is, as it has been, "if you really want to honor veterans, stop making them."

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited November 12

    @federica said:
    The Dhamma teaches to do no harm. How on earth one can 'fight' without doing harm is beyond me. What are you going to fight someone with - a feather duster?

    Well you could have an army equipped with tasers, rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannon. It’s all standard policing gear. And of course trained in non-lethal martial arts.

    It would be an advance on Buddhist nations having a standing army with guns and missiles. In the past even the Tibetan Buddhists had armies amongst various factions and fairly bloody wars, so it seems adherence to the dharma wasn’t strict.

    @lobster said:
    Ahimsa is a long term strategy. Inevitably it ends in sacrifice.

    I don’t know... I think much of Buddhist Asia has been pretty peaceful since Vietnam, people seem to have focused on other things. One might say materialism has taken a different form, from imperialist to individualist. Sacrifice may not be inevitable.

    But perhaps the wars of the future are wars like Syria, which is more a civil war between a dictatorship, a religious caliphate upstart, and a series of militia’s fighting for a new Syria. How a mature and responsible UN deals with people rising up to be free of dictators may be one of the challenges of our time.

    person
  • yagryagr Veteran

    @Dimmesdale said:
    I disagree with the adage that hate cannot be driven out by hate. It can. Well, unless the hate is an unreasonable hate, in which case I agree.

    Could you give me an example of reasonable hate, please?

    Kundo
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran
    edited November 12

    @Kerome said:
    It’s interesting to note that the dharma doesn’t teach not to fight — see for example the famous Shaolin monks — but that it does teach not to kill. Perhaps an army of the future will fight using entirely non-lethal means... but at the moment they teach you to fire rifles and bigger guns and fly fighter jets, killing as many people as possible, in a way that seems to me very unhealthy.

    So would you consider it any buddhist’s duty to avoid becoming part of a military?

    I remember several years ago we had a young member, @KnightofBuddha I believe, who wanted to join the military and was asking about it from a Buddhist perspective. I was, and still am of the opinion that as a Buddhist it really isn't appropriate, that there are other ways to serve and benefit your country if that is your motive. I don't believe though that means that no one should join the military. I believe a diverse set of people with differing interests and abilities makes us stronger and that includes people who are willing to fight and die to protect the values and institutions we hold dear. And I believe that includes people who are willing to heal and care for the injured and vulnerable.

    Regarding the use of force and non harm. I am of the opinion that being trained to fight with the knowledge of forceful but non lethal tactics allows people in the position of protectors (such as police) to act in less harmful ways. For example, a police officer who is well trained and competent in methods to subdue and control people has the confidence and control to do it in a way that doesn't go too far or is less likely to feel the need to threaten lethal force. Ask just about any competent martial artist, the more capable they are the less violence they need to enact to overcome a threat.

    I do believe in the maxim that hatred is never overcome by hatred, but by love alone do they cease. I do think that it takes longer and you have to be willing to endure any hate or violence directed at you in the meantime. I don't think you're going to stop an army or a lone shooter by putting flowers in their guns. I think Indian independence and the civil rights movements are the ultimate examples of the power of love to overcome hate. However there was much violence and harm they had to endure in order to appeal to the greater population's humanity. In some situations the amount of harm that needs to be endured isn't acceptable. I think to the US civil war, I doubt some kind of mass peaceful protest would have overturned slavery. But the war didn't really end the hatred, it just morphed into segregation.

    kando
  • ajhayesajhayes Northern Michigan Veteran

    @yagr said:

    @Dimmesdale said:
    I disagree with the adage that hate cannot be driven out by hate. It can. Well, unless the hate is an unreasonable hate, in which case I agree.

    Could you give me an example of reasonable hate, please?

    How my dear, sweet little Great-Grandmother felt about the New York Yankees?

    "Oh, I wish both teams could win. ...except those Yankees."

    yagrlobsterkando
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @ajhayes said:

    @yagr said:

    @Dimmesdale said:
    I disagree with the adage that hate cannot be driven out by hate. It can. Well, unless the hate is an unreasonable hate, in which case I agree.

    Could you give me an example of reasonable hate, please?

    How my dear, sweet little Great-Grandmother felt about the New York Yankees?

    "Oh, I wish both teams could win. ...except those Yankees."

    Pretty ridiculous example. That's not reasonable hate.
    That's simple humour....

  • @Gui said:
    What if they gave a war and nobody came. Unfortunately I think that as long as humans are in the predatory phase of human development, violent conflict will continue. Each of us, however, can have a determining effect on social evolution by our compassion and philosophies.

    You can be our General Porpoise ... I meant to say Purpose but dolphins are better warriors or non-worriers ... ;)

    Well said @Gui
    You can go to The Front. As a predatory Buddhist, I know the battle rages inwardly and dissipates inwardly and ... radiation begins ...

    personkando
  • DimmesdaleDimmesdale Illinois New

    @yagr said:

    @Dimmesdale said:
    I disagree with the adage that hate cannot be driven out by hate. It can. Well, unless the hate is an unreasonable hate, in which case I agree.

    Could you give me an example of reasonable hate, please?

    How about child molesters? Or, if that's too strong, simply child molestation? I think it's a good thing not to be indifferent about such things. Love the sinner but hate the sin? Is it even possible to fight another person justly and remain stoic regarding him or her? Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe we don't have to "hate" per se, but we do have to oppose....

  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    @federica said:

    @ajhayes said:

    @yagr said:

    @Dimmesdale said:
    I disagree with the adage that hate cannot be driven out by hate. It can. Well, unless the hate is an unreasonable hate, in which case I agree.

    Could you give me an example of reasonable hate, please?

    How my dear, sweet little Great-Grandmother felt about the New York Yankees?

    "Oh, I wish both teams could win. ...except those Yankees."

    Pretty ridiculous example. That's not reasonable hate.
    That's simple humour...

    Not if you'd ever been to a football match that plunged into mob warfare it isn't!

    federicaajhayes
  • yagryagr Veteran

    @Dimmesdale said:

    @yagr said:

    @Dimmesdale said:
    I disagree with the adage that hate cannot be driven out by hate. It can. Well, unless the hate is an unreasonable hate, in which case I agree.

    Could you give me an example of reasonable hate, please?

    How about child molesters? Or, if that's too strong, simply child molestation? I think >it's a good thing not to be indifferent about such things.

    As many of the longer term members might be able to tell you, I have a great deal of experience in this matter. I'm going to go outside my comfort zone and not stop to analyze "good thing not to be indifferent" and just say that indifferent wouldn't be my first choice of words to describe my relationship with child molestation.

    That said, I have forgiven my abusers and really, I have no hate for them. People are sleepwalkers, stumbling through their own lives, and oftentimes trampling on ours, in the process. Complex interconnected karma...(remind me to get back to the question: Is there any other kind of karma?) Hell, it boils down to this: I'm not even sure that my abuse history has been a net loss in my life. Who can say? Certainly not me. Of course, I would stop it if I could. I'd gladly give my life to spare a kid that...no hate required.

    lobsterfedericakandoKundo
  • Maybe I'm wrong.

    B)
    Well said.

    Being right, certain, extreme, righteous, on a mission leads to the easy solution of war on:

    • Mexicans
    • Crime
    • Ideology
    • Poets
    • Science
    • Hate

    However ... those like @yagr know their demons, their pet trumps hates and sure we can oppose by working towards:

    • Kindness
    • Compassion
    • Support
    • Stability

    First Earth Battalion is recruiting ...
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Earth_Battalion

    yagr
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Let's not get too far off-topic please.

    Review thread topic in first post.
    Don't want to sound 'The Last Post' on this one... (Do you see what I did there?)

    Incidentally, I purchased a white Poppy pin badge online, the other day.
    I shall wear it next year alongside my red one.

    The red for the Military personnel.
    The white for all unwitting, undeserving, innocent civilians.

    yagrlobsterKundo
  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    Not all veterans are soldiers, I remember seeing a really moving documentary about a concentration camp survivor going back to the camp, standing in one of the watchtowers she was silent for a long time then suddenly said 'I never left this place.' I think survivors of any kind of abuse can feel that way.

    Kundopersonajhayes
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Yes, which is why I am such an ardent admirer of Viktor Frankl.
    I recently read his book, "Man's search for meaning" and it was a real eye-opener.
    Very moving...

    Particularly as all the time the thought of the love of his wife kept him going, she had already been murdered in the same concentration camp. >!

    kando
  • In a way, military service is crazy. Killing another human being is morally a huge decision, and by becoming a soldier in an army you are giving away your power to decide who or what to kill”.

    Not everyone has options. I welcome the military, cult members with private militia, Christians, Trumpettes, unenlightened trolls [trolls are usually excommunicated by our beloved moderators] and Theravadin heretics :p (traditional Māori greeting) ...

    Obviously we should no longer use Christians as Lion food because better forms of entertainment/excitement exist. Same goes for warfare ...

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_without_armed_forces

    Long Live Ahimsa! Not worth fighting for ...

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Don't be sorry. Rather than being a 'fruit salad' it was coherent, weighed up and logical.

    Being on both sides of the 'argument' has given you a better insight than, for example, I have. At least you were there when the rubber hit the road. I admit my stance on war and fighting is very much a single-sided PoV, so hearing from you, is refreshing.

    It actually (in my eyes) endorses my personal opinion, and I furthermore believe that having suffered the side effects as you did, and turning them into a positive, is a total bonus and - pardon the phrase - a godsend.

    Many in your shoes, having had the experiences you have had, and succumbing to the unseen after effects, have not been as fortunate as you to deal with them as ultimately successfully as you have.

    My heart goes out to them.

    yagrlobsterajhayesKundo
  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

    To provide a bit of counterpoint to the idea that we live in an age of unending conflict, I would point you to the Wikipedia article on The Long Peace: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_Peace

    To quote from that article:

    Overall, the number of international wars decreased from a rate of six per year in the 1950s to one per year in the 2000s, and the number of fatalities decreased from 240 reported deaths per million to less than 10 reported deaths per million.

    That's not to minimize the impact of the wars that have occurred over the past 50 or 60 years, but just to point out that overall there are fewer of them, and far fewer fatalities.

    My half-brother is a veteran of the second Iraq war. I know he suffers from PTSD, though that has improved somewhat over the years. I wish all veterans peace and metta....

    @federica I also read Victor Frankl's book, and found his ability to choose not to give into despair amazing. If only I too had that power...

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @nakazcid said:...@federica I also read Victor Frankl's book, and found his ability to choose not to give into despair amazing. If only I too had that power...

    I think it's a bit like Enlightenment. It takes years of devoted practice to arrive at that one blindingly obvious 'Present Moment'... I suspect he was an extraordinary person and he's on my "I wish I'd met..." list.

    Much love and Metta to your half-brother.

    He is one of the 'unseen', uncounted casualties, (I spoke of the countless 'casualties' in my post) which makes me wonder how statistically-accurate your figures are.

    Not blaming you at all, but for every brave soldier who died, and is counted - how many broken, shattered psychologically affected 'war-wounded' are there, that do not make a number...?

    Kundo
  • @Kerome said:
    On another forum I came across a piece which was discussing respect for veterans, people who had been in the military. It’s a forum with a vast majority of American members, and you’re probably aware of prevailing attitudes over there.

    I was unable to resist commenting that “if everybody just refused to fight, then wars would die out tomorrow across the globe. In a way, military service is crazy. Killing another human being is morally a huge decision, and by becoming a soldier in an army you are giving away your power to decide who or what to kill”.

    The answer to that from another forum member was, “so you’re against national armies even if they are only for defence?” Which I have to say gave me pause for a moment. But I do stand by it, it’s one of the precepts not to kill and if everybody followed the precepts the world would be a better place.

    It sometimes just makes me wonder about the rest of the humans on this planet... how do you think about this topic?

    Get everybody meditating and practising first.
    Then war and killing will stop for the most part.
    Otherway around isnt gonna work.
    Thats my only relevant thinking on this topic.

    person
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