It is the Soldier....

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 23, 2010 7:12 PM GMT
    In light of McChrystal's replacement, a blogger critical of Obama cited this poem.

    It is the Soldier, not the minister
    Who has given us freedom of religion.

    It is the Soldier, not the reporter
    Who has given us freedom of the press.

    It is the Soldier, not the poet
    Who has given us freedom of speech.

    It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
    Who has given us freedom to protest.

    It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
    Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

    It is the Soldier, not the politician
    Who has given us the right to vote.

    It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
    Who serves beneath the flag,
    And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
    Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

    Charles Michael Province, U.S. Army

    I'm not sure I agree with it 100%.... What do you think?
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    Jun 24, 2010 3:56 AM GMT
    We would have no freedoms or "rights" if it were not for the ability to back our Constitution with hard power.

    However, even Sun-Tsu (circa 6th century B.C.) acknowledges that "war" is a sign of failure to keep peace via more intelligent, sophisticated, and diplomatic means.

    A famous West Aftrican proverb quoted by Teddy Roosevelt also gives us guidance: "Speak softly and carry a big stick"

    Peace through strength.

  • NashRugger

    Posts: 1089

    Jun 24, 2010 3:59 AM GMT
    The soldier also knows when to STFU and not have comments in print of him criticizing his boss.
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    Jun 24, 2010 4:09 AM GMT
    GAMRican saidWe would have no freedoms or "rights" if it were not for the ability to back our Constitution with hard power.

    However, even Sun-Tsu (circa 6th century B.C.) acknowledges that "war" is a sign of failure to keep peace via more intelligent, sophisticated, and diplomatic means.

    A famous West Aftrican proverb quoted by Teddy Roosevelt also gives us guidance: "Speak softly and carry a big stick"

    Peace through strength.



    Don’t get me wrong—it’s not that I think “providing for the common defence” isn’t an integral part of freedom. I just fail to see how military action has ever provided people with any type of freedom. Soldiers certainly pave the way for freedom, but the more difficult work is finding a way to establish freedom and sustain it. How many of the Founding Fathers used military tactics to draft the Constitution? Military brassheads (carrer ones) usually don’t made good political leaders (of course there are some exceptions).
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    Jun 24, 2010 4:32 AM GMT
    conscienti1984 saidHow many of the Founding Fathers used military tactics to draft the Constitution?


    How much weight would the Constitution of the United States of America if soldiers hadn't fought to make it its own country with its own set of laws? In more contemporary events, soldiers were the ones to who enforced Brown v. Board of Education. If it hadn't been for them numerous states would have chosen to ignore the Supreme Court's ruling on civil rights.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jun 24, 2010 4:49 AM GMT
    actually, most revolutions and changes begin with artists and thinkers.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Jun 24, 2010 5:03 AM GMT
    Please don't credit the blogger those words. It's actually by anonymous..
  • vintovka

    Posts: 588

    Jun 24, 2010 5:09 AM GMT
    calibro saidactually, most revolutions and changes begin with artists and thinkers.


    An excellent point--in fact the poem is pretty much wrong on all counts--freedoms and liberties have always been won by citizens organizing against their own governments.

    One of the most fundamental indicators of a modern democracy is civilian control over the military. In nations where this is not maintained democracy is pretty much doomed because the military solution is violence and violence is fundamentally undemocratic. There are lots of examples of countries that have extensive military power and no free press, no free religion, etc. (If you need a list I can provide one.)

    At the same time there are very few (real) countries that have taken the chance of dissolving their military--I can think of only one, Costa Rica, which has the longest running and most stable democracy in Latin America.

    In the real world the most free nations are generally not he ones that are the most powerful militarily, and the most powerful are not generally the most free. So explain to me again how soldiers protect liberty? Does it only work in the USA? Why is that? Is it because of civilian control over the military?

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    Jun 24, 2010 5:38 AM GMT
    Dahas said
    conscienti1984 saidHow many of the Founding Fathers used military tactics to draft the Constitution?


    How much weight would the Constitution of the United States of America if soldiers hadn't fought to make it its own country with its own set of laws? In more contemporary events, soldiers were the ones to who enforced Brown v. Board of Education. If it hadn't been for them numerous states would have chosen to ignore the Supreme Court's ruling on civil rights.


    I'm not saying the military had no part in the formation of our country... my views are in response to the poem which seems to take a very hard-line towards military appreciation. (BTW: the reaction to Brown v. Board of Education was a rare stituation... how many other laws are (or have been) enforced by the military?) I can think of times in American history when the military--under the orders of politicians--helped to surpress freedoms.

    It's kinda the same thing when people say that the military is "fighting for our freedom" in Iraq and Afganistan. Uh... no it's a little more complicated than that.
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    Jun 24, 2010 5:40 AM GMT
    coolarmydude saidPlease don't credit the blogger those words. It's actually by anonymous..


    I knew the blogger did not write it... but when I googled the poem, the name "Charles Michael Province, U.S. Army" followed... so I assumed Province was the author.
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    Jun 24, 2010 6:02 AM GMT
    The soldier protects those rights and freedoms, and that must always be acknowledged. But the soldier does not GIVE us those rights and freedoms. The soldier did not create the philosophical foundation out of which those rights and freedoms came to be recognized, and the soldier did not build the institutions which enshrined them into law.

    The soldiers deserve our respect, but so do the others who also form the fabric of society.
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    Jun 24, 2010 6:06 AM GMT
    As a solider/airmen/sailor whatever you also need to know when to "Shut the f**k up and color" apparently the General didn't so tough titties.

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    Jun 24, 2010 6:08 AM GMT
    conscienti1984 said
    I'm not saying the military had no part in the formation of our country... my views are in response to the poem which seems to take a very hard-line towards military appreciation. (BTW: the reaction to Brown v. Board of Education was a rare stituation... how many other laws are (or have been) enforced by the military?) I can think of times in American history when the military--under the orders of politicians--helped to surpress freedoms.

    It's kinda the same thing when people say that the military is "fighting for our freedom" in Iraq and Afganistan. Uh... no it's a little more complicated than that.


    I agree, the poem does have a hard-line view of military appreciation. Personally I might switch out "given" with something else, perhaps "protects". Either way I agree with the poem's message that appreciation towards those who serve in the military is rightly due. The extent to which we demonstrate that appreciation is a whole other subject.

    Yes, I agree that the situation posed by Brown was a rare moment in history with few similar events coming to mind. Though towards your question, all other laws are enforced by the military as often the military will work with local law enforcement.

    I also agree that there have been times in American history where the military has supressed freedoms, the most dramatic I can think of being the internment of Japanese Americans.
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    Jun 24, 2010 6:11 AM GMT
    I was going to go off the tangent about this being blind military worship.... but the poem speaks for itself.
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    Jun 24, 2010 6:12 AM GMT
    Ha! They had soldiers in Soviet Russia too.

    What they say sounds plausible to the unthinking, but the truth is that it is "the soldier" fighting in defence of the ideals of the minister, reporter, poet, lawyer, politician or gay rights advocate which allows these things. The solider can just as easily fight to commit genocide, oppress women, and destroy freedom and justice. And they often do.

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    Jun 24, 2010 6:14 AM GMT
    Lostboy saidHa! They had soldiers in Soviet Russia too.

    What they say sounds plausible to the unthinking, but the truth is that it is "the soldier" fighting in defence of the ideals of the minister, reporter, poet, lawyer, politician or gay rights advocate which allows these things. The solider can just as easily fight to commit genocide, oppress women, and destroy freedom and justice. And they often do.



    Well said!
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    Jun 24, 2010 6:15 AM GMT
    Perhaps it needs to be pointed out that there are many soldiers out there. Some are not necessarily there to protect their people. (North Korea?)

    I'm not making any insinuations about the US, but this poem has a short memory: the English Empire had plenty of soldiers, but they mostly bought a relatively longer lifespan for white males in the UK. Their soldiers protected little or none of those freedoms for centuries.
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    Jun 24, 2010 6:16 AM GMT
    Lostboy saidHa! They had soldiers in Soviet Russia too.

    What they say sounds plausible to the unthinking, but the truth is that it is "the soldier" fighting in defence of the ideals of the minister, reporter, poet, lawyer, politician or gay rights advocate which allows these things. The solider can just as easily fight to commit genocide, oppress women, and destroy freedom and justice. And they often do.



    You beat me to it. icon_idea.gif
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jun 24, 2010 10:32 AM GMT
    He didn't Finish his little PO - EM

    It was the Soldier who gave us Nazi Germany

    It was the Soldier who carries out the plan of all of our War Criminals
  • ncaahockey

    Posts: 59

    Jun 24, 2010 10:53 AM GMT
    RamWX saidThe soldier also knows when to STFU and not have comments in print of him criticizing his boss.


    Well said young one!
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    Jun 24, 2010 10:57 AM GMT
    GQjock saidHe didn't Finish his little PO - EM

    It was the Soldier who gave us Nazi Germany


    HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

    true
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    Jun 24, 2010 10:59 AM GMT
    RamWX saidThe soldier also knows when to STFU and not have comments in print of him criticizing his boss.


    ^
    this
  • DanOmatic

    Posts: 1155

    Jun 24, 2010 11:29 AM GMT
    I agree with those of you who point out that whoever wrote this poem failed to realize that those individuals serving under Hitler, Stalin and other dictators were also soldiers.

    It is also incredibly infantile and jingoistic to assume that only American soldiers can uphold the values of freedom and democracy (or corporatocracy or whatever we have here in the US). The author also fails to realize that for the most part of history, soldiers were chiefly illiterate peasants and farmers pressed into fighting by an overlord, with little or no knowledge of the root of the conflict they were engaged in. They fought because they were told to, under pain of death, not because they had any notion of anything as lofty as "freedom". Also, for a good chunk of history, soliders returning from wars abroad would form roving bands of criminal militias that terrorized the inhabitants (this still occurs in much of Africa).
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    Jun 24, 2010 11:43 AM GMT
    RamWX saidThe soldier also knows when to STFU and not have comments in print of him criticizing his boss.

    Especially in a magazine with this cover page. Look how small and insignificant his article was marketed. But don't miss Lady Gaga!!!100622100201resized_00lg.jpg

  • cowboyathlete

    Posts: 1346

    Jun 24, 2010 11:44 AM GMT
    MenschPress saidThe soldier protects those rights and freedoms, and that must always be acknowledged. But the soldier does not GIVE us those rights and freedoms. The soldier did not create the philosophical foundation out of which those rights and freedoms came to be recognized, and the soldier did not build the institutions which enshrined them into law.

    The soldiers deserve our respect, but so do the others who also form the fabric of society.
    Well said. Just because a poem sounds nice does not make it right.