Originally posted by SportyMB
For Kidfinger, ECK and curme.
Assuming that you all were once the "idea soldier", was there an actual turning point for you? When did you start to think the way you do. Was in
while you were in the Army and that's why you got out? Or was it after you got out?
Just trying to see if my age theory has holds any water.
Excellent questions, Sporty. Perhaps you should become a journalist?
First off, let me say, when I joined at 19, I was as gung ho & "patriotic" as a kid can get. Think: Born on the Fourth of July
. I developed
my political opinions at a very early age. And no one told me which way to lean. I was 1000% Republican. Reagan is still one of my few heroes (please
indulge me, left-leaning friends). To this day I am still a card-carrying Republican.
The reasons I was so Republican so early have to do with several factors. My Christian faith. My desire for a STRONG national defense and a robust
foreign policy. (Those of you old enuff to remember Prez. Carter also probly remember his completely ANEMIC foreign policy.
) Economic reasons.
Support for the 2nd Ammendment. Limited government. on and on. All in all, I felt the Republican party was the party of sanity, family values,
strength and fiscal responsibility.
To this day, the only time I have ever voted NOT for a Republican was in the 2004 election (state and local). In that election, I voted for as many
Libertarians as I could and for Kerry/Edwards. That's how extreme I feel.
I have not left my party, b/c I feel it has been taken over by zealots and warmongers - and the only way it will revert back to its rightful place is
if we, the true and moderate Republicans drive those bastards out of the GOP. They don't belong in any American party, in my opinion. They should be
shunned by all.
Thankfully, as street smart and experienced as I was when I was in the Army, I was still YOUNG AND DUMB. Exactly the way they want 'em. Pliable.
Trusting. And also thankfully, I had outstanding leaders. And I mean all the way up to President Bush (THE FIRST). I would have followed my leaders
through hell and back, as if what we went through wasn't something akin to it. Wherever and whatever. That's how much I (still) respect them. They
were beyond battle-tested, some having served three tours of duty in the 'Nam. They were grade A, man.
While I served, I was not this politcal animal you now know me as. My world-view was still forming. Sporty, your age theory, I believe, holds a
tremendous amount of weight. When folks get older and experience more of life, their views morph through the years; that is, unless they are braindead
and happy with that.
One quick example of how I was back then: When we went to Saudi Arabia to prepare to liberate Kuwait in the summer of '90, we were so indoctrinated
already (which is
needed like a weapon) and they had filled our heads so full of BU# propaganda, combined, we were the equivalent of a nuclear
weapon. I personally went over there ready to take out as many Iraqis as I possibly could. I was enraged that this pissant dictator actually had the
audacity to invade a weaker nation and threaten our strategic national interest in the process. I'm not one to pick a fight, but I damn sure will
finish it. I was ready to do my job. We all were.
Such hostitlity felt towards someone and many someones I had never met.
All because the media and the government told me to hate them and want to go deliver upon them, more shock and awe than Donald Rumsfeld could ever
A was a well-meaning pawn.
Here's a little aside I doubt many of you have ever heard of. My commanding officer told me this before we came home. King Fahd, Guardian of the Two
Holy Mosques, offered our president, George Herbert Walker Bush, to give each and every man and woman who served in theater a cash award of $1,000
(dollars) a piece. President Bush declined on our behalf. To the president, I suppose, and possibly the Constitution, it was bad form. Instead, we
each recieved a gold medal from the King and his kingdom.
President Bush, it must be said, reaped a windfall of profit in future business dealings with Saudi Arabia. Carlyle Group, anyone? But, I digress.
Back to the future:
When I got out of military in August 1992, I took some time off and enjoyed the fruits of my labor, so to speak. I enjoyed
with vigor a beautiful relationship and visited colleges in Lousiana (LSU), New York City (NYU) and Arizona (NAU). I eventually settled on Northern
Arizona University, 9,000 feet up in Flagstaff. (Coolest bars in the world. Dogs and bull#ters allowed.) I majored in Political Science and studied
history (with a concentration on Civil-War to WW2).
I had great professors. And most of them were LIBERAL. It didn't matter though. I was so confident of my conservative beliefs and bolstered by the
fact that I just walked through fire and made it out even better. I was strong. The professors knew that. Sitting in an auditorium full of annoyed,
bored, ignorant kids, the prof would call on me. He/she'd ask me what I thought about this happening in whatever country (at that time we labored and
argued over our involvement in Bosnia. I was dead against it. My reasoning being, it's in Europe, let the bloody Europeans deal with it! With our
(NATO)'s support, of course. They
opinion. And I learned a lot from them. Namely: Be civil to one another in debate (give
respect to get) and to QUESTION EVERYTHING.
Think independently. Gather as much info as you can from each end of the spectrum and everywhere in between. Then make up your own mind. # the talking
points and party loyalty. Lives are on the line!
I learned alot in the '90's being a student, being politically active, financially independent, working various jobs in the civilian world. I saw
life from a lot of angles. I've been rich and I've been poor. I've been near suicidal and I've lived decadently. At this point, and I will be 36
years-old in a hand-full of days, I know who I am. I know what I've studied and investigated. I know what I've seen. I've loved and been loved like
- Thank God. I have also carried weapons into someone else's country with a force that would boggle the historians in all of man's
history. At the tender and volatile age of 21, I, and my brothers and sisters went into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and up into Iraq, with orders to
kill. There is no feeling in the world like that of being licensed to kill. And of feeling a multitude of people draw back, maybe even cower in fear
as you walk by with your powerful, well-fed entourage.
Nothing like the feeling of staring a terrorist (literally) in the eyes, promising if he breathes wrong you will blow his brains out all over his
companion next to him. And promising that shotgun passenger would most definitely be a swift next.
Nothing like the feeling of knowing you probably just saved your remaining remnant of soldiers from something ungodly.
At this point in my life, I am progressive. And still a (hopeful) Republican.
I am still a Christian, albeit not one you would probably choose to emulate.
(Iss all good) I am so much more tolerant now. In order to convert
someone, you cannot throw judgement at them. Only calm and logic prevail. I will support any leader who leads by example and follows the path of
common sense, mutual respect, decency and the rule of law. I don't give a damn what party they're a member of. I've seen too much evil activity on
both sides to play favorites. Maybe that's just back to the old military position of a-politix? My concern is what is best for the whole. The
difference is now, I am also concerned for the minority opinion. Because minorities are also people, who feel and suffer. The difference is, back in
my younger days, I had it made. Always. Nice home, new clothes , ATARI
cars from when I was 15, scholarships to college, great duty station,
money.... fame..... Good lovin' All the things the little guy doesn't have & enjoy. My compassion index was out of wack. The difference now is,
I've been to their depths. I do feel their pain.
I now feel true pain for the people of Iraq. For what they have had to endure at the hands of Saddam, at the hands of sanctions and now at the hands
of our unprovoked and unasked for invasion and brutal occupation.
That is how I changed and that is why I am who I am today. That is how - studying the middle east and its history at least 150 years back, fighting in
the middle east and knowing middle easterners and this administration, I came to oppose the Iraq War.
I support the soldiers, sailors, Airmen and Marines with every fiber of my being.
Peace Out and HooWah!