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Does military service give you words on military matters more weight?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Freemason, Apr 6, 2004.

  1. Freemason

    Freemason Banned

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    Does military service give you words on military matters more weight?

    Does prior military service matter when talking about military matters? I'm medically unfit for military service because of extremely bad eyesight. But does my lack of military service mean that I can't speak about how the military needs to be used? I don't think it does. In fact, I think it's an excuse people use to try to denigrate people like myself when we take a stand the other side doesn't like.

    Wearing a uniform and packing a rifle through the mud doesn't make somebody an expert. It makes them a grunt. If they were experts they'd be officers. What it does, is give you an unparalleled knowledge about the misery of being in the field. But it doesn't impart any special knowledge on how you should be used.

    There have been many great leaders who have never spend a day in the military. President Roosevelt comes to mind. He was medically unfit and yet lead the Allies to victory.

    So what is it? Do you think that people with no service shouldn't say anything about the military? Or should they keep speaking out?
     
  2. maccool

    maccool IncGamers Member

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    I reckon someone who has/is served/is serving knows a whole heck of a lot more than you with regards to military matters. You're free to make any sort of wild off-the-cuff remarks you want, but expect to be called on it. Your background is fair game. Man, Anakha1 really got to you. You used the word 'denigrate' twice in two days.

    If it makes you feel better, I don't think it's your eyesight that's the problem. Oh, and don't be such a baby; suck it up :D
     
  3. caddad

    caddad IncGamers Member

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    If it does then..........

    Prior religious experience should be had before you can talk about religion.
    Prior athletic ability should be shown before you can talk sports.
    Prior experience as a parent should be shown before you give advice on it.


    My vote goes for everyone expressing what they want when they want. I'm very confident in my ability to know when someone is full of **** and when they make sense.

    I think you do the same smeg.

    -D2netDad

    P.S. Even self-proclaimed experts are full of **** sometimes.
     
  4. Freemason

    Freemason Banned

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    If that were so, then why have officers? That would make it that the Gunny should be in command instead of the Lt. fresh out of ROTC.

    Gotcha! I have more experince in military matters than you. Being that I'm a military brat and spend 23 years with military men. So what gives you any right to comment on Iraq? You're own logic. :lol:
     
  5. warding

    warding Banned

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    Obviously it does, if we're talking about military leadership; but Roosevelt was neither a military leader, nor did he exclusively "lead the allies to victory", nor was he totally inexperienced in military affairs, since he served for a while as secretary to the navy.
     
  6. maccool

    maccool IncGamers Member

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    Last I checked, the Sgts. run the show anyway.


    Wrong on two counts. I was actually hoping you'd fall for it. Didn't think it'd be this easy, though.

    1) Say my father is a carpenter, can I tell you how to build or design a house? Since daddy don't post here, you can't use him as a character reference.

    But if you want to play that game, since I've spent 28 years in a military family, I guess I know more than you with regards to the military. As such, please refrain from posting in Iraq threads as I am obviously 18% more knowledgeable than you. Yup, it was sarcasm. Please continue to post where you want to.

    2) But 1) is immaterial (and obviously wrong) because I don't comment on military things like guns, maneuvers and how to do whatever it is they do. I speak only of the political aspect of the Iraq invasion. Since I ran for office while in college and have followed politics since the Reagan administration, I'm at least average in that respect.


    Swing and a miss, Smeg. Man, I'm glad it's baseball season.
     
  7. nnndave

    nnndave IncGamers Member

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    I think it was more Eisenhower who won the war.
     
  8. Corneo

    Corneo IncGamers Member

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    I think it does carry more weight. To say that a veteran's words hold no water is no correct. Usually I go with this method, if you aren't an expert at it, don't say anything drastic. If you want to go ahead, you might just make yourself look like an ***. This works for all topics.
     
  9. Ash Housewares

    Ash Housewares IncGamers Member

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    last time I got involved in a subject where I am an expert I still looked like an ***, so theres that too :thumbsup:
     
  10. tydon

    tydon IncGamers Member

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    Anyone who knows more about the military than you do has a better backed up opinion. They can use your lack of knowledge agaisnt you however they feel it relates to the arguement. To say even someone who served for 4 years knows less than you could be possible, but not probable. I have studied past wars for years, and yet, I know that people who served in those wars know more about it than I do.

    Knowing your idealogical limits is good, and if it takes someone pointing it out to you, so be it.
     
  11. AeroJonesy

    AeroJonesy IncGamers Member

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    Couldn't have said it better myself tydon.

    I think since the military's job is to ensure security for the nation and since all people who pay federal tax are funding the armed forces, they should get some say in the matter. But certainly someone who is actually in the service would have a more enlightened opinion.
     
  12. Yaboosh

    Yaboosh IncGamers Member

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    This argument makes me think of cops and the us versus them mentality many seem to have. Even between Ranking officers and patrolman, there is a mentality coming from the patrolman that they just dont know the reality of the situation. This comes up a lot in the justifications for the use of force and justifying stops and searches and seizures. You really do not know what it is like to have to be a cop until you are one. I dont know, you dont know, unless you put on the badge and patrol.

    I imagine it is similar to military experience. I see Smeg all the time exhibiting desire to kill a whole bunch of damned terrorists, but you frankly dont know what you would do or how you would feel about the situation, when it may be women or children in front of these alleged terrorists, until you are in the situation yourself.

    Dad, of course he can say whatever the hell he wants, but that doesnt mean that we have to give his words as much weight as someone who has military experience. That would be silly. Knowledge based on factors outside service should be considered, but anecdotal experience of military activity is hardly equivalent, in my mind, to hands on experience.
     
  13. SaroDarksbane

    SaroDarksbane IncGamers Site Pal

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    Depends on whether or not the experience is relevant to the topic at hand, and you can't use it to dismiss arguments.

    You know, like when Lieberman asked Kerry why he voted for the war but voted against the funding, and Kerry puffed up his chest and basically said "I was in Vietnam. I know best."

    That isn't an answer, it isn't relevant to the topic at hand, and he's using the "I'm a veteran" response to simply dismiss criticism.

    So yes, it does matter somewhat, but you have to be careful how you use it.
     
  14. Bakerking31

    Bakerking31 IncGamers Member

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    I think you need to look up your history a little more ... EVERY president with the exception of Clinton has had some sort of military background. Clinton is the only exception and you can see how he used the military ... he used it to cover up his scandal, and take the heat off of him by bombing sadam.

    in short, no its not necessary to have a military background to talk about how the military should be used, BUT it does carry greator weight because you know of the stress of war and know what an individual soldier must go through, this will make you stop and think twice about any decisions
     
  15. Bakerking31

    Bakerking31 IncGamers Member

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    ooo soo smart ... shoulda read this b4 makin my post :buddies:
     
  16. warding

    warding Banned

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    That was and is of course, a nonsense answer. However this is campaigning and lamentable rhetoric must be expected, and we ought to make the distinctions

    1) Whether Freemason meant by "military matters" on a political or military level
    2) Whether by "serving in the military" means serving as a private or a general officer
    and
    3) Whether we are speaking of the present situation in the United States or on a broader scale in history.

    If the topic was begun on the assertion that Kerry is more qualified for military matters than Bush because of his experience, I don't think this is an appropriate premise to draw for the elections :)
     
  17. warding

    warding Banned

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    Well let me see, Ronald Reagan spent the Second World War in hollywood making obscure movies if I recall correctly.
     
  18. Bakerking31

    Bakerking31 IncGamers Member

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  19. warding

    warding Banned

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    This is a rather glossy summary of Reagan's wartime activities, the listing of which obscures the fact that subsequent to getting off serving overseas due to eyesight, Reagan continued to work in hollywood (appearing in three major commercial films in 1942) while making the tributary contributions to his army by making war films on the odd basis. This is the extent of his "military service".
     
  20. IDupedInMyPants

    IDupedInMyPants Banned

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    I think as with any subject, authority in and of itself isn't the sole basis for factual correctness, but can and most definitely should lend weight to any argument. I'm perfectly free to express my feelings, opinions, and ideas about, say, nuclear fission, but if Einstein busts in and says "Yeah, this part here is factually inaccurate," you'd be pretty well-advised to believe him. Some things just have to be taken on authority because they're so difficult and/or costly to test for yourself that it's just not worth it. Essentially, in some arguments you either have to appeal to authority or have to talk out your ***. For most of us there will be no middle ground between these two options in a debate about nuclear power sources.

    So if I'm talking to someone currently in the military about whether or not our troops are capable of mission type X, he's got a clear experience advantage over me and it would probably be in my best interests to defer to that experience. If we start talking about whether or not it's in our or any other nation's best interest to undertake mission X, we're suddenly back on even footing. It just depends on the situation and the type/relevance of the person's experience.
     

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