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Quote of the week
Posted by: McQ on Sunday, August 13, 2006

Speaking of the 24 arrested in the UK in the plot to blow up airliners, Chris Matthews says to Brian Williams of the NBC Nightly News:
"Here we have maybe 24 people who have lived in London and England and the free world for all these years that become citizens, subjects of the Crown, and, yet, after having gotten to know us, they want to kill themselves to hurt us. Isn't that an even deeper conundrum here than the chemicals being used in these attacks?"
And how does Brian Williams respond?
"And that, Chris, that last aspect, the willingness to take one's own life — I always tell people there are guys on our team like that, too. They're called Army Rangers and Navy Seals and the Special Forces folks and the first responders on 9/11 who went into those buildings knowing, by the way, they weren't going to come out. So we have players like that on our team."
Wow.

I must have missed that class in Ranger school. While it certainly is a possiblity a Ranger, SF, SEAL or Delta type may not survive a particular event or incident, none of them do so with the sole intent of killing others by killing themselves. In fact they have this penchant for trying to fulfill Patton's dictum of letting the other poor bastards die for their country.

So tell me again how going into a building to do something positive - like trying to save lives - and knowing they may not survive is like going into a building to purposely murder people and die in the process (in fact, die as a part of the process)?

I'm sure our special operators and first responders would like to know.

Somehow it just doesn't track.
 
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You kidding? He said we also have people willing to die for the mission. They don’t have the market cornered on zeal. It wasn’t unclear.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
...willing to die for the mission.
"willing to die?"

Uh, no.

Know they MAY die if it all goes bad?

Yes.

Quite a difference.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
That means they’re willing to die for the mission. There is no difference between the two. If they know they may die and they do it anyway, then they’re willing to die. Firefighters — those at Ground Zero, for example — know they may die fighting a fire, yet they do it anyway.

Williams simply said that we too have people who put their lives on the line willingly; who will give it all for a cause.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
In fact, Islamist terrorists are different than any other group we have seen. There was a profesor from the University of Chicago who argued that the reason for suicide bombing is nationalistic in nature. He cited the Tamil Tigers as the most prolific suicide bombers in history - and they are secular.

He is wrong. The Japaneses were the most prolific suicide bombers. And both the Kamikaze or the Tigers use suicide as an mean to an end, not an end it self. If a Japanese pilot can take out a US carrier without killing himself, he would choose not to die. The same is true of the Tigers.

On the other hands, the 7/7 UK bombers could have set the bombs on timer and live; but they chose to die. They seek death for death itself.
 
Written By: Minh-Duc
URL: http://
That means they’re willing to die for the mission.
No, it doesn’t. It means they understand it could be a consequence of the mission.

The fact that you could die while driving your car doesn’t mean you are willing to die to drive your car, it simply means you understand it is a possible consequence of driving a car.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Jon, "Mission First" may require the death of the team member(s). HOWEVER, being willing to die, is not the same as being DETERMINED to die. If you can’t see that or refuse to see it, well this is on its way to a fairly typical QandO discussion, pedantic and picky.

The USMC at Tarawa died in large numbers to defeat the Special Naval Landing Force(s) on Betio. They WERE willing to die for the United States and their mates. The Sasebo and Yokusuka Base and Special Landing Forces were dedicated to DYING for the Emperor. The Imperial Japanese military was willing to let them DIE, in furtherance of their defense plans...plans which the Japanese were INCAPABLE of fulfilling. Even knowing that, the Japanese on Betio didn’t surrender. Even after command and control had failed and the Japanese forces as small units and INDVIDUALS did not surrender.

Jon that’s the critical difference between SEALS and Western forces and the Islamo-Fascists...there IS a difference between willing to die and and planning on it.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
No, it doesn’t. It means they understand it could be a consequence of the mission.
Are you suggesting that we don’t have soldiers and firefighters who would go on missions knowing "they weren’t going to come out"? This is a simple yes or no question. Would, e.g., Rangers or firefighters ever undertake or continue a mission knowing they would not survive the mission?

If yes, then you’ve just agreed with Williams. If no, then we’ll have to disagree on the nature of US Rangers and firefighters.
Jon, "Mission First" may require the death of the team member(s). HOWEVER, being willing to die, is not the same as being DETERMINED to die.
No, it’s not. If Williams says anything about US soldiers and firefighters being determined to die, you make sure you bring that up again.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
Stop it.

You’re arguing over a total side point that nobody really made. This guy is posing the question of how they can still want to kill us after living in our free society, and prettyboy newsman lets it fly over his head entirely. It’s not just a question of being "willing to die".

In short, his answer has ZERO to do with the question. Without a teleprompter, these emtpy-headed fu*kwits are disasters.

 
Written By: Shark
URL: http://
If you can’t see that or refuse to see it, well this is on its way to a fairly typical QandO discussion, pedantic and picky.
You missed the key criteria, that Jon Henke is defending a position that is laughable on its face. He does this at least ten times as often as any other of the Q&O majors.

If he can’t tell, with respect to being a "suicide trooper", the difference between members of the American armed forces who know they may be killed on a mission and may at some theoretical circumstance in the future be offered a chance to volunteer for a mission they are very likely to die during, and Islamists who volunteer with the desire and intent they certainly expend their lives killing their "enemies"...

...just let the fool be.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Mr. Henke, you show yourself to be such an utter effing fool on any subject other than economics.

Let’s put it this way: if you throw elite troops into battle with the stated goal that they will destroy themselves to take out their targets, you won’t have any elite troops after a very short period of time.

Only your fevered imagination could equate the two. Ok, your fevered imagination and some feeble-minded newsclot.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Thanks Tom...

Good Point Shark...

"Death as light as feather. Duty as heavy as a mountain"-Unit motto 2nd or 38th Imperial Japanese Army Division

"the object of war is not to die for your country but make the other poor bastard die for his’’.-General Patton.

Please note the differences.

Oh and Jon:
who went into those buildings knowing, by the way, they weren’t going to come out. So we have players like that on our team."
Gee looks to me like ole’ Bryan is saying they volunteered for a SUICICE mission, Jon, but you just argue in a lawyerly/scholarly manner.

And he’s wrong, BTW, Rangers, Special Forces are extremely valuable and professional. Their mission is not to DIE, but to accomplish their assignment(s). You might examine any number of memoirs of LRRPS, Rangers, and Blue Light (Beckworth)... a willlingness to die, note willingness, to die was NOT.

In fact, a unit commander would be a FOOL to use Spec. Op’s forces in a cavalier manner, they take YEARS to create, one does not "P*ss them away." Hezbollah and others don’t field troops as good as Western Spec. Op’s forces, they attempt to "compensate" by greater "ardour".
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
So, I guess that means you don’t want to answer the questions then.

Look, if your point is that there are substantive and important distinctions between suicide bombers and dedicated US soldiers....well, we don’t disagree. Nor did I or Williams say otherwise. But, really, that’s irrelevant to the point Williams made.

Or perhaps I should just let fools whack away at your strawmen. It’s not an intellectual exercise, but I’m sure it gets your blood going, nonetheless.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
Finally the first responders didn’t rush into the WTC KNOWING they were going to die. They rushed in to SAVE lives, at POSSIBLE risk to their lives.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://

"That means they’re willing to die for the mission"

No, it means they are willing to RISK their lives. There is a significant difference.There may indeed be a few kamikaze types in the ranks, but I sure as he** wouldn’t want to serve with them, or close to them. And I sure as he** wouldn’t serve under one. And any commander who invests time and resources training lackwits who look forward to dying on a mission should be relieved. Aside from being repugnant, it is wasteful and inefficient for any but unskilled jobs.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Finally the first responders didn’t rush into the WTC KNOWING they were going to die. They rushed in to SAVE lives, at POSSIBLE risk to their lives.

Written By: Joe
The cops and firefighter "hero 1st responders" had the 35th and 47th most risk of death civilian jobs in America in 2001.

Less risk of dying doing what they agreed to do for compensation and benefits than farmers and traveling salesmen.

Dubya’s "heroes fighting evildoers by job title" narrative is as phony and disregarding of the reality of risk in US jobs than the Jessica Lynch Hero Female Killer/Warrior narrative the Pentagon tried foisting on us.

Same with Flight 93. "They could have chose to just sit and die. Instead, they tried to save their asses!! The heroes!!
++++++++++++++++++++++
As for Brian Williams, his clueless equating of SEALS and Rangers and Special Ops to suicide Jihadis is proof positive he advanced to Anchorhood by fellating gay Media Moguls since he was a copyboy.
 
Written By: C. Ford
URL: http://
Are you suggesting that we don’t have soldiers and firefighters who would go on missions knowing "they weren’t going to come out"?
Yes.

Jon, you haven’t a clue and apparently are in some silly argumentive mood.

Enjoy ... I’m simply not interested in discussing this with someone who can’t tell the difference between people willing to risk death for a mission and people who are willing to die for one.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Yes.
Then you’ve a terribly low opinion of our soldiers. I believe many soldiers, firefighters, and others would undertake a certain suicide mission for the right cause. Donald Davey, for example, said he was "resigned to [the idea that I] would die for my country" — that it was "inevitable" — and yet he willingly went on with it. If you really want to argue that no soldier would undertake an actual suicide mission, I’m guessing I could find an example of that, too, so you could spit on their decision.

None of them want to die for a cause, but they’re willing to do so. That’s what accepting the risk means. And that’s why this...
someone who can’t tell the difference between people willing to risk death for a mission and people who are willing to die for one.
...is pure foolishness. I’m sure you intend there to be some difference between the two, but wishing doesn’t make it so. If one is willing to risk death, then one is willing to die. Nobody — least of all Williams — said anything about US soldiers intending to die. That may be what you intend by "willing to die", but that’s not the plain meaning.

Worse, you tried to pretend he was comparing US servicemembers dedication to "purposely murder[ing] people" when he said no such thing. In fact, he specifically identified the comparison he wanted to make. Your inferrence is not his implication.

Williams tried to compliment US servicemembers by saying that they were every bit as dedicated to our cause as our enemies are to theirs, and you had to spit on it.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
In the sf creed they kind of address the issue of suicde missons.
I am an American Special Forces soldier. A professional! I will do all that my nation requires of me.

I am a volunteer, knowing well the hazards of my profession. I serve with the memory of those who have gone before me: Roger’s Rangers, Francis Marion, Mosby’s Rangers, the first Special Service Forces and Ranger Battalions of World War II, the Airborne Ranger Companies of Korea. I pledge to uphold the honor and integrity of all I am - in all I do.

I am a professional soldier. I will teach and fight wherever my nation requires. I will strive always, to excel in every art and artifice of war. I know that I will be called upon to perform tasks in isolation, far from familiar faces and voices, with the help and guidance of my God.

I will keep my mind and body clean, alert and strong, for this is my debt to those who depend upon me. I will not fail those with whom I serve. I will not bring shame upon myself or the forces. I will maintain myself, my arms, and my equipment in an immaculate state as befits a Special Forces soldier.

I will never surrender though I be the last. If I am taken, I pray that I may have the strength to spit upon my enemy. My goal is to succeed in any mission - and live to succeed again.

I am a member of my nation’s chosen soldiery. God grant that I may not be found wanting, that I will not fail this sacred trust.

"De Oppresso Liber"
The rangers have a simalar creed these guys dont want to die but they will if they have to. They will die for they succes of the mission or to spare the lives of one of their fellow service men or even a civilain.

Their are alot of examples like the guys who willing throw themselfs on grenades to save the rest of their squad.

I think he was just trying to say that just because they have guys who strap bombs to themselves it dosnt mean they want it more it just makes them dumb
 
Written By: ace
URL: http://
Delicate subject here, huh?

Look, it’s natural to be offended by a comparison between terrorists whose methods we abhor and our most elite troops, but frankly, human beings are human beings everywhere. If you can find a human emotion on one side of a conflict, you can find it on the other. Americans - Christians - whomever - comfort themselves in fear of death with the beliefs and statements that they are going to meet their god - especially if they are making a deliberate choice to put themselves in harm’s way.

I understand McQ’s point, but it’s not a difference in morality so much as doctrine and circumstances. The USArmy rarely, if ever, sends soldiers into a mission where their own death is a specifcally neccesary step in achieving the objective, at least in an offensive sense.

However, not only do we give a soldier our highest honors when he throws himself on a grenade to save his friends, but what do we do when the Army orders a unit to serve as a rear-guard while trying to retreat in a catastrophic situation? The defenders of the Phillipines in 1941 had essentially zero chance of survival, and yet they were ordered to stand their ground. And they did so.

If a US SpecOps soldier was asked to perform a task with almost zero chance to survive - protect an evacuating base from overwhelming attack until everyone else had fled - would he refuse it?

————————

There’s something twisted about a society that sends its kids off to die and celebrates it, we say about, say, Palestinian society - but it’s been said about other societies in the midst of truly debilitating wars. But almost all societies celebrate the death of people they send out to die. The celebration shields from the ultimate waste of life.


BTW, off-topic, but the liquid explosives plot looks like it came from Pakistan.. so much for the shifting axis of terrorism.


 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Ummm, I usually don’t step into these comments threads...but this one begs a response.

How ridiculous is all of this?

First of all, McQ is right. Williams’ uses a poor choice of words. Here’s the sentence that raised my ire: "And that, Chris, that last aspect, the willingness to take one’s own life — I always tell people there are guys on our team like that, too."

I’m a first responder, and I completely missed the day where we were encouraged to be willing to take our own life. In fact, it’s pumped into us at every training that our first duty is to stay alive. It’s the only way you can achieve your mission. Williams is speaking nonsense when he goes on to say: "They’re called Army Rangers and Navy Seals and the Special Forces folks and the first responders on 9/11 who went into those buildings knowing, by the way, they weren’t going to come out." The first responders on 9/11 did not go into those buildings knowing that they weren’t going to come out.

Even not being privy to Army Ranger, Navy Seals, and Special Forces training, I’m confident that same holds true - that they are always taught to preserve their life. Besides, I think someone in the chain of command would be pretty p.o.’d at having to retrain another soldier because someone decided to take his own life in a pre-planned operaton. When a soldier throws himself on a grenade in order to save the lives of his brother soldiers, there is no comparison to a terrorist who plots to kill himself and as many others as he can. We don’t have that kind of guys on our team.
 
Written By: Sharon
URL: http://
You guys feel free to argue about how stupid Brian Williams is. To me, the more important part of the quoted exchange was the question posed by Chris Matthews:
"Here we have maybe 24 people who have lived in London and England and the free world for all these years that become citizens, subjects of the Crown, and, yet, after having gotten to know us, they want to kill themselves to hurt us. Isn’t that an even deeper conundrum here than the chemicals being used in these attacks?"
I’ve been reading the preliminary accounts of the suspects’ lives and it is, indeed, alarming that people who have been inculcated in Western culture could turn against it so violently. I’m sure that, like all religions and cultures, there is a chunk of the Muslim population that is just mentally ill or sociopathic and it seems that many of those people are finding their expresssion in Islamofacism. That is bad enough. But from the descriptions I’ve read at least some the Brits involved in this airliner conspiracy (as well as the subway/bus attacks) were — or appeared to be — relatively well-adjusted and integrated into society. Now I realize that it is nearly cliched that when a serial killer’s neighbors are interviewed they invariably describe him as "ordinary," "polite," etc. So the observations of others is far from an authoritative depiction of any person’s inner world, but still . . . The fact that these people have lived reasonably comfortably within Western culture for many years yet can be transformed so completely and so abruptly into suicidal murderers is a grave concern, both because of what is says about the relative allures of the cultures — Western vs. Islamofacist — and also because of the implications for detection and prevention of terrorist attacks.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://dsthinkingloud.blogspot.com/
I can’t believe the way a simple comment is being butchered.

First, Shark is right. Williams gave an answer that didn’t follow the question that was actually asked of him.

Second, McQ, you are erecting a strawman. Williams’ point was not that their purposes are alike. No reasonable person would say such a thing.

Now, it’s the spoken word, and when people break off their comment on television and start a new thought, sometimes the transcript reads poorly. If he had said, the willingness to give one’s own life, his point would be more clear. But it’s twisted to read this type of transcript as though it were a written article. Parsing words is not representative of the point being made. No wonder he now says that he has been "aggressively misunderstood".

Williams’ point is that we, too, have people who put the success of the mission above their own safety - above their own lives. And that’s completely true.

Defending your position in the face of Jon’s comments has made you flat out incorrect. We absolutely have people in our military and rescue services who sometimes take actions that can only be taken by a person who is prepared and willing to die in order to complete the mission. To imply that the sacrifice is never will full knowledge is to dishonor that sacrifice. Sometimes it goes beyond just risk - it’s certain death, and they do it anyway, for the mission. I have seen it done, timactual. Don’t tell me that it doesn’t ever happen, McQ.
 
Written By: Wulf
URL: http://www.atlasblogged.com
To imply that the sacrifice is never will full knowledge is to dishonor that sacrifice. Sometimes it goes beyond just risk - it’s certain death, and they do it anyway, for the mission. I have seen it done, timactual. Don’t tell me that it doesn’t ever happen, McQ.
That’s not his point, Wulf. His point is they all do it as a matter of course ... they’re just like the suicide bombers. What an individual may decide in the heat of the moment in a mission gone bad does not mean that he’s trained to do it or actually went into the mission willing to do it. It means that circumstance gave him little choice. Like Gary Gordon and Randy Shughart in Somolia. They went into a very bad situation with the aim of saving air crewman, not dying. They never hesitated, but that doesn’t mean they went in to willingly die. They accepted the risk thinking they could save those men and somehow get out themselves.

Name a single organization of the military which teaches its members to willingly sacrifice their lives in order to kill others as a part of their duty. Just one.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Well David, I’m not so sure that they WERE "well-adjusted" members of society. It’s argument by definition, but anyone willing to die in a suicide attack IS NOT a well-adjusted person.

It’s on the surface they fit in, but underneath they may be in "Search" of something. These are the sorts of folks cults prey on. Sure they club and swill pints, bang the odd "bird" now and again, but I don’t think that it’s satisfying. Most of us grow out of clubbing, meet a person, settle down, have kids, get a mortgage, we become "healthy, well-adjusted people" (whatever THAT means).

But these folks are looking for more and they would like to ge it NOW. I’d argue they are like trees that look healthy on the outside, but inside are hollow and rotten. Islam, or Islamism helps fill the void that they have in their life. It’s not Islam per se, it could have been Charlie Manson, it could have Jim Jones and the "People’s Temple".

I guess the thing Britons and others in West, this from a believing Catholic, might ask is, "IS a secualr society, or is OUR secular society providing its citizens with the range of SPIRITUAL sustenance, that is neccessary?" The USSR fell apart because it failed to provide shoes AND sense of well-being, it failed materially, psychologically AND spiritually. The West provides the material things and can help with Depression and a host of mental issues, BUT it can be devoid of a sense of Higher Purpose and a Higher Power. People, in general, tend to want all three things in their lives.

Alternatively, people can just tell themselves that these are outliers and that it was unfortuante the path they chose, but they could have ended up in ANY OLD cult and there’s no problem at home.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
McQ I believe the People’s Judean Liberation Front has a Kamikaze squad, or is it the People’s Front for the Liberation of Judea? And I might add one of them are a lot of DIRTY SPLITTERS! And then there is "Her Majesty’s Own Highland Kamikaze Regiment." "How many men do you have sergeant?" "Twelve sir...no, 11 sir... 10 now Sir"
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Name a single organization of the military which teaches its members to willingly sacrifice their lives in order to kill others as a part of their duty. Just one.
If Williams said that, you’d have a good point. Again, you’re taking Williams reasonable statement and inferring something far beyond what he said.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
The USArmy rarely, if ever, sends soldiers into a mission where their own death is a specifcally neccesary step in achieving the objective, at least in an offensive sense.
Which means Williams has no point. The Jihadists want to die if it will let them kill. Our first responders want to live while saving lives, our soldiers want to live while defending us.

Certainly circumstances may make a sacrifice of one’s own life plausibly to the benefit of mankind, and man times that life may be given, but with regret at the circumstance—it is not the avidly saught means of murder.

It is a very poor choice of words if the above is what he intended to express. If he intended to equate them in a willingness to die to kill the enemy.

Then he is a fool.

Williams said:
"the willingness to take one’s own life"
and
"They’re called Army Rangers and Navy Seals and the Special Forces folks and the first responders on 9/11 who went into those buildings knowing, by the way, they weren’t going to come out."
The wordings "take" their own life and "knowing, by the way, they weren’t going to come out" are counterfactual to the mindset of EVERY member of emergency services groups and the military that I have ever met and interacted with even slightly that they have to be regarded as evidence of:

A) Appallingly bad word choice, and something deserving of correction, or,
B) Real misunderstanding of the psychology of first responders and the military, something in need of correction.

And B is being kind.

Being willing to risk death and being willing to certainly die are two different things.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Wulf Wrote:
Second, McQ, you are erecting a strawman. Williams’ point was not that their purposes are alike.
Wulf, McQ doesn’t accuse Williams of saying their purposes are alike, he’s talking about their intentions with respect to neccessarily dying.

"We absolutely have people in our military and rescue services who sometimes take actions that can only be taken by a person who is prepared and willing to die in order to complete the mission. To imply that the sacrifice is never will full knowledge is to dishonor that sacrifice."
Which is still not at all the same thing as getting up in the morning planning on certainly dying. Recognizing that difference does not "dishonor that sacrifice".

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Glasnost wrote:
...but what do we do when the Army orders a unit to serve as a rear-guard while trying to retreat in a catastrophic situation? The defenders of the Phillipines in 1941 had essentially zero chance of survival, and yet they were ordered to stand their ground. And they did so.

If a US SpecOps soldier was asked to perform a task with almost zero chance to survive - protect an evacuating base from overwhelming attack until everyone else had fled - would he refuse it?
And the crucial difference is that they did not go to the Phillipines to die, the SpecOps soldier did not volunteer in order to die. By the time they were on Corregidor and Bataan, many of them were going to die, and many died fighting before food and ammo ran out, and many were ordered to fight until food and ammo ran out—not that they had any way to get anybody off the island in the first place*. Mass evacuations weren’t going to happen.

*Except for a certain very important General by PT boat.

If you can’t see the difference in intention and attitude, honestly I pity you.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
I guess the thing Britons and others in West, this from a believing Catholic, might ask is, "IS a secualr society, or is OUR secular society providing its citizens with the range of SPIRITUAL sustenance, that is neccessary?" The USSR fell apart because it failed to provide shoes AND sense of well-being, it failed materially, psychologically AND spiritually. The West provides the material things and can help with Depression and a host of mental issues, BUT it can be devoid of a sense of Higher Purpose and a Higher Power. People, in general, tend to want all three things in their lives.


Joe:

I think yours is an accurate assessment. Obviously, there will always be some dysphoric people in any society and, for a Muslim today, a natural recourse for such people is in Islamic fundamentalism. IMO, Western culture overemphasizes materialism at the expense of core values and there is a price to be paid for that in anomie. Islamofacists lack many things but a sense of purpose isn’t one of them. This is a broad topic, however, and probably best addressed at another time on a dedicated thread.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
I qgree with McQ when he says:
someone who can’t tell the difference between people willing to risk death for a mission and people who are willing to die for one.
But with one minor quibble. I would state it as: someone who can’t tell the difference between people willing to risk death for a mission and people who desire to die for one.
 
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
"Then you’ve a terribly low opinion of our soldiers."

Oh, pshaw. Why not ask some of them? There are evidently a fair sampling that frequent this site. Ask them if they would, or would have, willingly gone on a one way mission.

"said he was "resigned to [the idea that I] would die for my country" — that it was "inevitable" — and yet he willingly went on with it."

Talk. Even if true, people like that are dangerous to be around. They get careless, and if they don’t care about their own life, they sure as s** don’t care about yours.

"I’m guessing I could find an example of that, too, so you could spit on their decision"

So go ahead, and there is no reason to get nasty.

"Nobody — least of all Williams — said anything about US soldiers intending to die."

Absolutely wrong. The comparisonm was to people who do exactly that. Or are you implying that the folks who blow themselves up actually think they have a chance of surviving?

"The defenders of the Phillipines in 1941 had essentially zero chance of survival,"

Amazing how many of them actually survived.





," the willingness to take one’s own life’

Bingo. The point. Williams has a pretty, but empty, head. Why try to defend his idiocy, or at best his inability to express himself intelligently?

"Williams’ point was not that their purposes are alike. No reasonable person would say such a thing."

That may not have been his point, but that is what he said. And what makes you think he is reasonable?

"he has been "aggressively misunderstood"."

No, his words were understood. He just used the wrong ones. It is typical, though, that he chooses to attack rather than clarify. If you can explain it, why can’t he? He sure gets paid enough to be able to do so.





 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
But with one minor quibble. I would state it as: someone who can’t tell the difference between people willing to risk death for a mission and people who desire to die for one.
Yeah, that’s fair. And you might go one step further, not only is it their desire, it’s a requirement of the mission.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I can’t believe some people are making the sorts of arguments I am reading.

Take first responders, no fire chief would order someone into a situation that was clearly going to be fatal. That commander would be charged and liable for the deaths of those men. To argue otherwise is rank foolishness.As for the military, I think the People’s Judean Front covers taht and they aren’t part of a Western OrBat.

Shark’s point was a good point but then some people went and argued that our "people" and theirs were the same. That just compounded stupidity. pfft. I just couldn’t believe what I was reading. Must be too must exposure to Element 312, Monarium.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
If Williams said that, you’d have a good point. Again, you’re taking Williams reasonable statement and inferring something far beyond what he said.
Umm, he did say that, dude. What part of "the willingness to take one’s own life" don’t you comprehend? There’s a mighty big difference between suicide and taking even a large risk to one’s life — the difference between a cop taking a huge risk of getting shot in a hostage situation, and that same cop putting his own gun to his head and pulling the trigger. It’s the difference between an EOD man risking his life trying to disarm a booby-trapped bomb and failing, and the Paleostinian deliberately blowing himself up in a f****** pizzeria. Arguing that they really are the same is almost unbelievable nitwittery, like arguing that an 8th Air force bomber crewman in WWII was really just like a Japanese kamikaze pilot. Sheesh.

For the slow-witted, I don’t believe anybody went into the Twin Towers or Pentagon knowing they were going to die. Any evidence for that? For that matter, none of the passengers on Flight 93 intended to die when they rushed the hijackers, it was just that they knew they were going to die if they didn’t. They were hoping and trying to live.

Brian Williams may have mis-spoke, but if he did, I think it was a Freudian slip.
 
Written By: larry
URL: http://
Are you suggesting that we don’t have soldiers and firefighters who would go on missions knowing "they weren’t going to come out"? This is a simple yes or no question. Would, e.g., Rangers or firefighters ever undertake or continue a mission knowing they would not survive the mission?

If yes, then you’ve just agreed with Williams. If no, then we’ll have to disagree on the nature of US Rangers and firefighters.
Are you bringing up your own strawman?

Is it part of Western military doctrine to create and deploy suicide units? Is an order telling a soldier or sailor to perform a mission with a guaranteed 100% casuality rate a legal order or not?

Henke, I’ve dealt with more Rangers than you have. How many ex-soldiers does it take to convince you that your head is up your fourth point of contact?
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Henke, I’ve dealt with more Rangers than you have. How many ex-soldiers does it take to convince you that your head is up your fourth point of contact?
No amount will suffice, Mark. Because to Jon, the semantics will always assume greater importance than the substance. That’s why he understands this argument:

Islamic terrorist: WANTS to kill himself because he believes he/she will be transported to paradise. Goes on his mission for the express PURPOSE of killing himself along with others.

U.S. SpecOps Soldier: WILLING to undertake risky missions but FULLY INTENDS to survive his mission and FULLY BELIEVES he will, BECAUSE of his confidence in his training and the support of his fellow soldiers. Instances of self-sacrifice are situationally based and typically arise from a desire to save his friends, not the desire to be killed and go to heaven.

But he’ll just shift gears and say "But that’s not what Brian Williams was arguing." Totally disregarding that Brian Williams wasn’t arguing anything -
he blurted out an idiotic statement without thinking.

That’s why Jon and Mona are so infuriating - they try to find and defend the "nuance" in completely idiotic statements by people like Williams or Glenn Greenwald, and then after having their @sses handed to them, say "But that’s not what he meant - I was talking about what he meant!"
If no, then we’ll have to disagree on the nature of US Rangers and firefighters.
Sorry - just because you agree to create an alternate reality where our highly trained specialists routinely and willingly undertake suicide missions doesn’t mean that reality exists.

I repeat: Men of Action vs. Men of Words. Where do you think you fall?

 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
Williams didn’t mispeak. He simply related his philosophy on the matter, which should scare the hell out of just about everybody for all it implies. And the bad about that are comparing their people do ours is just downright stupid. At the very least, Williams is completely discounting the question of motivation. And in that discounting Williams comes very close to the level of being slanderous, particularly today when we’re dealing with a group of people who are aiming at killing civilians.

I am reminded of general George Patton telling his troops; "You don’t win a war by dying for your country. You want a war by making the other poor SOB die for his country. This is perhaps a more western view.

The kamikaze pilot, and the Islamic suicide bomber, share(d) one thing in common, outside of their obviously not being children of the west;(Cultural implications intended) They shared the desire to kill their enemy. Death for its own sake wasn’t the purpose, nor was it ever a goal. If by their deaths they could advance their respective cause, then it was worth it to them. Simply offing themselves didn’t cut it.

OTOH, Their being a success or not at killing their enemy by their own deaths mattered little; it was the attempt,the INTENT, that in their eyes placed them among the honored dead, or in Paradise.

in the case of the Islamic terrorist it is dying to advance the cause of Islam. In the case of the kamikaze pilot, it is dying to advance the cause of the emperor, who you should note had taken on a godlike status in Japan.

And perhaps, here is the difference involved; I’m unaware of any mainstream western religion that holds that works, particularly causing someone else’s death, will gain you entry to paradise.

Williams discounting this point in his discussion shows a complete lack of understanding of the drives of these people. One wonders how much of that misunderstanding is projected in his newscasts.

I won’t even bother commenting on Jon’s apparent defense of the man; I see others have taken up that cause better than I’m in the mood to do just now.

Ideas, poeple. Ideas.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
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Written By: OOOYY
URL: http://
http://de.geocities.com/earchiv21/murdering.people.htm
 
Written By: brian jones
URL: http://de.geocities.com/earchiv21/earchiv21/htm

 
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