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February 24, 2006

Comments

Cunningham

What makes you think that he "laid down his life for the highest motive - that other men and women in a distant land may live free"?

I think it much more likely that he laid it down for perhaps an even higher motive - that his wife and kids would have something to eat !

David Vance

To try and demean the motives of an American patriot and turn them into typical leftist tripe does you no good. Shameful comment.

Cunningham

What makes you think I was trying to demean this man?
What I said was that there is no way you can know he went there for the reasons you give. In fact, they are almost certainly not the reasons he went. You are ascribing a certain motivation to a dead man that he may never have had and that he might even resent.

He was undoubtedly a brave and very committed soldier, but so are most of US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan; yet many of them still don't want to be there, for many different reasons.

The clearest fact from the article is that he was a very good and dedicated father. That he wanted to support his family is therefore a very safe bet, and it definitely does not demean him.

ch in texas

Sorry Cummingham, David's right about this one. From another article:

"It wasn't just an image, though, she said. Gonsalves took his work as a soldier deadly serious. He saw the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as critical fronts in the war on terror, as bringing freedom to oppressed peoples.

He fought hard to transfer from a Special Forces team working in South America to one in Afghanistan; he departed for that country Jan. 10.

"He couldn't get over there fast enough. He was ready. He'd been preparing his whole life," she said. "To be part of it, to do what he believed in."

During a visit home to Turlock with the twins at Christmas, Marsha Gonsalves said, her son reminded her that what he was doing overseas was keeping her safe at home. It was the last time she saw him.

"God needed Chad, evidently, more than we thought we needed him," she said. "I just wish that before something happened to Chad, that he would have had the pleasure of slitting bin Laden's throat."

That last quote is priceless!!!
Full link here.

Monica-Philadelphia

It's unfortunate that Cunningham (and many others apparently) don't understand why it is that Americans voluntarily join the military. To them - and this is what many are being told by our media - the US Military is made up of poor minorities who are starving and so have no other choice. I've heard this before from leftists. It's a lie.

How to explain it to someone who has no concept of patriotism, blood and guts, God and guns??!

I joined the Army at 17 yrs. old. My main motivation for joining was to get the hell out of my house - and rather than run away and hitchhike across country (an option on the table at one point...) I joined the Army. As I have tried to explain to people - it is not a one way street. My father and my father's father were veterans. Not only was I proud to be there but I was ready to give what I had promised to give - I took my oath very seriously. In return I received training, experience, a new direction in my life, decent food, many interesting travels, and some brownie points out in the business world afterward.

The poor and downtrodden are not thrown on the battlefield to be used as cannon fodder in the US Military. Our troops are the best trained, best equipped, best fed men and women out there. The US Military is constantly assessing it's performance on the battlefield to make the job of our volunteer forces safer and more effective.

After 9/11 several relatives of mine immediately went to sign up. It's something that can't be explained to those who suffer from apathy and cynicism.

Cunningham - all I can say is that you are wrong in this matter.

Alison

It is a sacrifice. You dont join the army without knowing that when push comes to shove you might make that sacrifice. Thank god there are men in this country and the States who feel so inclined. It is a pity the very first comment on this post was so dismissive of this.

Cunningham

I obviously hadn't read at the time the article that "ch in Texas" referred to. So, as ch said, David's was inded right in this case and I was wrong.

The general point implicit in my posting still stands, however. One hears far too many trite and melodramatic paeans to servicemen, especially after they are killed, for having gone to war with the same intentions as their political masters.

Firstly, it is totally presumptuous to make such as claim. Despite the obvious patriotism of most US soldiers, soldiers join up for a host of reasons; they also generally join up in uniform (no pun!) numbers at all times, i.e. whether their country is at war or not, and of course they go where they are sent. A soldier’s presence in, say, Iraq, where the conflict may not have started when he first enlisted, therefore cannot be taken as proof that he believes in that war.

Secondly, it is a terrible mistake to elevate unthinking patriotism per sé to a political virtue. It has namely been misused by countless governments on countless occasions to wage wars. Young men from all belligerent nations had such fine sentiments in their hearts when they marched off to slaughter each other in 1914. All of the roughly 10 million who never came back also “laid down their lives for the highest motive - that other men and women in a distant land may live free”, if one is to believe the jingoist press in France, Germany, Britain, Austria, Russia and Italy at the time.

Monica-Philadelphia

So warriors who believe in what they are fighting for - this is a bad thing?

Cunningham

Monika, the warriors of Nazi Germany, well most of them anyway, certainly believed in what they were fighting for - Lebensraum.
And the strength of their belief helped keep WW 2 going, and the gas chambers in operation, for a long, long time.

Madradin Ruad

Odd then that you consider the strength of their convictions to have been a Positive in the case of the 1916 Rebels.

Cunningham

Exactly. I was answering Monica's, indirect, claim that it's a good thing when "warriors" believe in what they're fighting for.

I was implying that it certainly isn't always a good thing.

It depends on the cause. And you know what I think of the cause of Irish freedom.

By the way, is there ANY subject that doesn't bring you to the Troubles by the shortest possible route?

I remember David once posted something about China and your immediate response was some comment about the IRA or something!

Madradin Ruad

It depends on the cause.

That's bizarre.

I was implying that it certainly isn't always a good thing.

It depends on the cause.

So, zealotry is a good thing when you approve of the cause and a bad thing when you disapprove of the cause ? That's a recipe for disaster. As seen here by Loyalists and republicans complaining when the other side does something that is OK in their book when it's their men doing it.

Cunningham

Obviously if the cause is just, let's say D-Day and its aftermath, then, yes, it's good that the soldiers are, amongst other things, also dedicated to that cause.

If the cause is unjust, let's say German invastion of Poland, then it's bad if the soldiers dedicated to it.

Although people will probably differ on what is just and unjust.

In any case, I merely said that it's not right "to elevate unthinking patriotism per sé to a political virtue". I'm sure you'll agree at least with that!

Kristy Ownbey

Dear Dim-witted Cunningham,
It's amazing to me that someone would attribute an attitude or wants and desires to someone that they have never met.
I knew Chad, I know his family very well. Chad didnt join the military for the MONEY! Are you kidding me? Have you seen the pay check of a soldier? They have a calling. Some are born warriors and are wrestless until they do what they were born to do. Chad could have made alot more money doing MANY other things. He joined the military because he was a patriot. He loved this country and the freedoms that our flag represent. He didnt serve in just Afghanistan. He served ALL over the world. He was deployed constantly. He missed his family and his boys, but he did it anyway, because SOMEONE has to do it. So, while you sit there warm or cool and comfortable at your computer, smirking at the reasons soldiers sacrfice what they do, his family is grieving. His boys are growing up without a father, so you can worship whatever you want, wear whatever you'd like, say whatever you'd like and live in whatever way you chose. After I leave this web-site and turn off my computer, I am going to call Chad's mother, Marsha, and tell her that I'm sorry she has to spend another Christmas without her son.

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