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Can I question his patriotism and support for the troops without being sent to rehab?

I've complained about Truthout.org's spamming, but I think I finally found the pearl in the daily steaming pile of offal they've been leaving in my inbox. The one thing that makes the whole hemorrhoidal experience almost worthwhile.

Dr. Camillo Mac Bica is a professor of philosophy at New York City's School for Visual Arts. He is also a "recovering" Viet Nam veteran of the Marine Corps. He's apparently transmogrified himself from a gung-ho Marine into a full-blown moonbat.

Dr. Mac Bica's latest endeavor is a little program called "counter recruitment."

Counter recruitment is a strategy for bringing attention to deceptive recruitment practices and to the immorality and illegality of the war in Iraq. Its ultimate goal is to discourage enlistment into the military, primarily through counseling and educating prospective recruits and by denying recruiters access to our schools and to our children.

As others have noted, it's remarkable how so many critics of the war decry allegedly falling recruitment rates as a general lack of support for the war, while actively fighting the military's ability to recruit by trying to deny them access to schools and other traditional venues. While I've noted that the higher-than-average re-enlistment rates of troops in Iraq as opposed to those stationed elsewhere kind of puts a dent in that theory, it also strikes me as odd that they don't see the possible causative relationship between their actions and their conclusions.

Let me begin by saying that counter recruitment is motivated neither by hatred of America nor hatred of the military. Rather, it is inspired, first and foremost, by love, like that of a responsible parent who realizes that, besides praise and approval, sometimes love and responsibility require providing direction and even correction to a child who has gone astray. Further, it is motivated by an awareness of a moral and civic responsibility to oppose immoral and unjust wars, and by a sensitivity and concern for the plight of war victims and for the young men and women who are dishonestly recruited into the military and asked - no, required - to fight, kill and die unnecessarily.

One of my big beefs with many of the tenets of liberalism is the overweening paternalism it embodies. The notion that they are not only entitled to make decisions on my behalf, but morally superior for doing so gravely offends and insults me. It's one area where I am wholeheartedly libertarian -- no one has the right to make my decisions for me, especially when telling me it's "for my own good." If we never let our children make wrong decisions, they will never learn how to make the right ones. It's a formula pretty much guaranteed to lead to a life of dependency and need -- and that is anathema to freedom.

Although it is beyond the scope of this essay to argue the issue at length, the preemptive invasion of Iraq, a sovereign nation, is clearly a violation both of international and moral law, based as it was on misinformation, faulty intelligence and lies. There were no weapons of mass destruction. Saddam Hussein was not the mastermind behind the events of 9/11, nor was he harboring al-Qaeda terrorists. Further, since it was never intended as a war to save the Iraqi people from mass slaughter, there was no ongoing or imminent genocide. Neither can it be justified as a humanitarian intervention. It is a war not of necessity, nor of last resort, but of choice.

Ah, the old "I don't have time to argue this point, but I'm going to just assert it as truth and expect you to accept it" bit. I think that a rather healthy (or, rather, unhealthy or just plain dead) number of Kurds and Shiites would argue that Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction, mass slaughter, or genocide -- and no intentions of returning to any of them. The lie that Saddam was the mastermind behind 9/11 is only topped by those who say that the Bush administration ever tried to pass off that lie. And ties and connections between Saddam and Al Qaeda go back almost a decade, when President Clinton cited them in explaining his missile strikes in the Sudan and elsewhere.

As we begin our fifth year of occupation, with the situation in Iraq continuing to degenerate into sectarian violence and civil war, it is clear as well that a military resolution of the debacle is impossible and that our continued military presence in Iraq merely serves to exacerbate the turmoil and violence.

Oh, really?

Even were there a glimmer of hope for a successful military resolution, to continue to wage, perhaps even to escalate, an illegal and immoral war and occupation to finish the job and achieve victory because it is in our national interest to do so, or because to admit a mistake or a crime of aggression would negatively affect our nation's prestige and standing in the world and devalue the sacrifices of those who have already suffered and died, makes no moral sense. It is like arguing that a rapist must persevere in his assault, perhaps even escalate his violence and kill his victim and eye witnesses, because it is in his interest to eliminate anyone who could identify him, or because his reputation as a bully and a thug would be diminished were he to admit a crime of aggression and cut and run. Further, to continue to wage an immoral and illegal war despite recognition of its unjustness indicates a wanton disregard for the dictates of morality and international law.

His rapist analogy -- besides being rather insightful into his own character -- is interesting. The reason that many rapists don't follow the escalation theory is the sliding scale of our justice system. It is the fact that, generally, we escalate the penalty for a crime to suit the severity of the offense. Rape is a hideous crime, but it is considered less harmful than murder -- and hence the penalty is less. The motivation for the rapist to step up to murder is a gamble -- to risk a greater penalty in exchange for a decreased chance of suffering any sort of punishment.

The difference is, crassly put, one of power. The rapist has to worry about the police. There is no "global cop" for us to fret over. Rather, when one is called for, we are most often asked to take up the badge. And the only restraints on us are our own laws, our own system of governance, and our own conscience.

Considering the alternatives (such as submitting ourselves to the "pure democracy" of the United Nations, where theocrats, tyrants, thugs, dictators, and sociopaths are given equal standing with free democracies), and general US history, I can live with that.

Such criminal behavior, arrogance and hypocrisy are the characteristics of a rogue nation. They bring no credibility, prestige or standing in the world - only disdain, animosity, hatred and righteous indignation. Nor do acts of aggression bring glory or vindication to those already killed or wounded in battle. Justice and morality require that an immoral war be ended immediately; that the aggressors possess the moral courage to acknowledge their crime; that they make retribution to the victims of their aggression, and apologize to the citizens of the aggressed nation and the rest of the world community for their transgression.

"Rogue nation?" "Acts of aggression?" I kind of thought those were the terms to describe Saddam's Iraq, which defiantly flouted the terms of its 1991 surrender and twisted the humanitarian-minded (but soft-headed) "Oil For Food" program into a private cash cow that he used to spread bribes around the Security Council to get the sanctions lifted.

Given the dangerous world in which we live, maintaining a proficient and well-trained professional military is prudent. However, faced with the reality of increasing recruiter wrongdoing and unscrupulous enlistment practices; of a continuing, even escalating, illegal and immoral war; of a president who has contempt for, and arrogantly ignores, the Constitution, international law and treaties, the recommendations of his military leaders, the advice of Congress and of historical allies, and most important, the will of the American people, prudence must give way to the dictates of morality and justice. Prudence must give way to the dictates of morality and justice.

Huh? I'm confused. If it's such a dangerous world, then wouldn't being a "rogue" be a good thing? It seems like he's contradicting himself here. "It's a dangerous world, filled with bad actors and those who wish us harm, so we should try to be more like them and ingratiate ourselves with them."

Consequently, when our beloved nation has lost its moral compass, when alternative means of conflict resolution have not been creatively explored, when our youth are aggressively recruited through deceit, misrepresentation and/or coercion to kill and be themselves killed or maimed unnecessarily, and the military becomes, not an instrument of national defense or deterrence, but of aggression, oppression and murder, it is not only permissible, it is morally required, that we counter recruitment.

"Lost its moral compass?" Sheesh, Dr. Mac Bica sounds like one of those bible-thumping Jesus freaks. I thought his was the side of "anything goes," that things like "morality" were subjective at best and obsolete at worst, and signs of the patriarchal, judgmental, theocratic, hegemonic, phallocentric tyranny. I'm getting more and more confused.

This obligation to counter recruitment requires that we protect those most vulnerable, impressionable young people in our high schools and colleges and the underprivileged who see the military as their only alternative to poverty, crime and unemployment from being enticed, seduced, brainwashed and deceived into becoming complicit in crimes of aggression and cannon fodder for corporate war profiteers and opportunists. Therefore, we are morally obligated to remove recruiters from our schools; rescind the No Child Left Behind Act's military recruitment provision which requires schools, in order to receive financial assistance under the act, to provide military recruiters with students' contact and other information; and to inform prospective recruits and their parents of the realities of military service, the horrors of war, the immorality and futility of the war in Iraq, and of other educational options and employment opportunities available to them other than by joining the military. I doubt this information is contained within a recruiter's motivational packet of hats, tee shirts, bumper stickers and violent video games.

Let's see... does he bring up the "chickenhawk" argument? Almost. He focuses on the poor as "victims" of military recruitment, but apparently has no compassion for any of those exploited and conned from the middle and upper classes. He also doesn't like the No Child Left Behind Act, and demands "equal time" to present his position -- never mind that there's no one preventing him and others of his ilk from doing precisely what he's calling for. (Hell, on most college campuses, his ilk routinely outnumber (and frequently outshout) military recruiters.) What he wants, apparently, is for the recruiters to present their side of things, then his side as well -- and make sure that his side is made far more compelling.

In conclusion, the duty to counter recruitment is not absolute but situationally relative. Given the unethical and unscrupulous practices utilized by recruiters to meet their quotas, the immorality and illegality of the Iraq War and occupation, the needless sacrifice of thousands of American soldiers and Marines, the unconscionable killing of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, the expenditure of billions of taxpayer dollars that could have been better spent elsewhere, it is clear that counter recruitment is a moral and civic duty. To do anything less would be unpatriotic - nay, treasonous and morally irresponsible.

Darn, I guess I can't question his patriotism. In fact, it seems that if I don't agree with him, then I'm a traitor.

Well, as Patrick Henry famously said (you might not have heard of him, Dr. Mac Bica, but he was a fairly important person at one point), "If this be treason, make the most of it."

Dr. Mac Bica's piece is a wonderfully-written piece. It attempts to confiscate the standard rhetorical devices of his opponents and use them for his own ends -- a tactic I have used myself, and it's great fun.

But it's no guarantee of success. As a persuasive piece, it's pretty much a flop. It's preaching to the choir -- those who agree with him will welcome the fig-leaf of moral and ethical rationalizing, while those who disagree will find it repulsive at best, and infuriating at worst.

Count me firmly in the latter category.


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Comments (18)

The man's love for his coun... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

The man's love for his country is only matched by Ike Turner's love for Tina.
-=Mike

Jay, good read. It is no sh... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Jay, good read. It is no shock to me. I have always known with total confidence in my opinion that the left HATES the military. They can dress it up, say the right things but it all comes down to their hatred. They do not think we should have a military. ww

When my son enlisted last s... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:

When my son enlisted last summer, I invited the recruiter to my home so I could ask questions myself. Admittedly I had the advantage of spending 20 years in the Army and knew what I wanted to ask.

But I think this argument about recruiters telling lies stems from lumping all recruitment personnel together based on a couple of bad apples. Sort of the same way the extreme moonbat element lump all military personnel into baby killers, torturers and dumb-asses that can't find jobs in this great economy.

Based on the essay by Dr. Camillo Mac Bica it is obvious by the use of extremely old propaganda that the real motivation is the same as anyone of the left leaning persuasion, and that is "we must lose this war" to maintain any credibility. And trying to curb enlistment is just one more method of undermining our efforts in the GWOT.

BTW, two weeks ago I traveled to Fort Benning to pin my son's Airborne wings on. For three of those days I watched the jumps on Frayer DZ. (Frayer DZ is open to the public to watch airborne drops)
During weather delays I visited with the Airborne instructors (I was a former Airborne School instructor myself) and they all were telling me their stories about Iraq and Afghanistan and all of them were very, very proud of their service.

At one point I sat about 10 feet away from a young Marine who had a moonbat mother of a soldier questioning the war to him. This Marine was so polite and blew her away with his knowledge of why they fight and whom they are fighting. I could tell she was very concerned over her son's choices of joining the military, but it was obvious it was his choice and not hers. She clammed up shortly there after when she realized she came to the wrong place to bitch, especially since her son was out there to earn his paratrooper status.

It's too bad more moonbats don't get out of their caves and interact with those with the most firsthand knowledge of what is going on in the world.

This moonbat anti-military ... (Below threshold)
mathman:

This moonbat anti-military person has laid out for all to see his conviction that emotion trumps all. Emotion trumps fact. Emotion trumps reason. Emotion trumps history. Emotion rules!

That Saddam knew we were coming in 2002, had allies willing to help him export his WMD materials, and that we have evidence of both, has never crossed his mind.

That mass graves are still being disinterred throughout Iraq, filled with the genocidal outpouring of the Ba'athist party, has never crossed his mind.

That an airplane fuselage, used to train the 9-11 hijackers, was found in Iraq, does not disturb him. His emotional filters are set on blackout.

That a 14-century-old war is still going on has never been allowed to occur to him shows what happens when emotions are allowed to rule. The Prophet Muhammed explained it all, in the Koran, in words anyone can understand. Kill all the infidels, he told them. That has not changed.

Last but not least: there is only one way not to be attacked. That way is to be so strong and scary that the other side does not dare! Speak softly, but carry a big stick. Disarmament always invites attack: see Pearl Harbor for details. A strong military achieves objectives: see Gulf War I and a free Kuwait. Clinton systematically weakened out military (who, exactly, was it that prevented body armor and armored Humvees from being supplied to the troops?) and downgraded our readiness.

Save this essay. The threadbare lies of the liberal higher-than-thou moralists are all here, in one easy-to-read package.

I know this question is pro... (Below threshold)
Diane:

I know this question is probably rhetorical as far as the professoris concerned, but here goes:

Are ALL wars immoral and unjust?

Many who protest the Iraq war, do agree it is ok to have military to protect against or respond to an attack on US soil. Thus, we need prepared US soldiers.

The professor's efforts to curtail recruitment (seemingly because of our invasion/"occupation") of Iraq would hurt our abilities to defend ourselves here on this continent. The lack of logic and attention to thought concerning the future astounds me with members of the so called intelligencia.

"There is no "global cop... (Below threshold)
fea nicks:

"There is no "global cop" for us to fret over. Rather, when one is called for, we are most often asked to take up the badge. And the only restraints on us are our own laws, our own system of governance, and our own conscience."

Who asked the US to take up the badge in Iraq? Certainly not most of the world.

And as to our so-called "restraints," what restraints were there when the Bush regime railroaded this nation into war with false claims of WMD's and false images of mushroom clouds?

fea nicks,Of cours... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

fea nicks,

Of course not most of the rest of the world asked us, they just joined us. Who has offered troops and support in Iraq?

US
UK
Canada
Poland
Romania
Denmark
El Salvador
Georgia
Bulgaria
Mongolia
Latvia
Czech Republic
Lithuania
Armenia
Bosnia
Estonia
Kazakhstan
Netherlands
Japan
Italy
Norway
Portugal
Ukraine
Thailand
Hungary
New Zealand
Australia
Spain
Dominican Republic
Philippines

Even Iceland was kind enough to pledge a few personnel.

Damn that "Bush Regime" for "railroading" 30 countries into war.

Who asked the US ... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
Who asked the US to take up the badge in Iraq

Where were you people when Clinton bombed Iraq?

You do know the world condemned that attack to include scathing remarks from three permanent members of the UN Security Council, right?

Just for a refresher, when Gulf War One was voted on Democrats voted against that action even though it "passed the world test".

Since they missed the boat on that one, they rallied behind Clinton and then GWB.

Democrats continued to condemn Saddam Hussein and called for his removal from power especially after these threats:

What Saddam said after that attack:

1/5/1999 "If [other Arab nations] persist on pursuing their wrongful path, then we should - or rather we must - place the swords of jihad on their necks..." Saddam Hussein, January 5, 1999
1/5/1999 "Oh sons of Arabs and the Arab Gulf, rebel against the foreigner...Take revenge for your dignity, holy places, security, interests and exalted values." Saddam Hussein, January 5, 1999

My, my.....Clinton pissing off OBL because he attacked an Arab nation. Why did you lefties make the world hate us so much?

1/8/1999 Three days after Saddam Hussein's speech in which he appealed to Islamists to rise up in Jihad, Osama Bin Laden issues (another) call for Jihad against the Americans and their allies-specifically citing the attacks on Iraq as a reason for the Jihad.
2/16/1999 "Whoever continues to be involved in a despicable aggressive war against the people of Iraq as a subservient party must realize that this aggressive act has a dear price." Saddam Hussein, February 16, 1999
2/27/1999 "What is required now is to deal strong blows to U.S. and British interests. These blows should be strong enough to make them feel that their interests are indeed threatened not only by words but also in deeds." Al-Qadisiyah, February 27, 1999 (State-controlled newspaper)
When anyone says (or writes... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

When anyone says (or writes) "immoral and illegal war" when referring to the current Iraqi conflict it's safe to assume that they are either (1)a total idiot parroting a liar, or (2) a liar and therefore it is safe to disregard everything they say (or write).

It's that simple.

I did get a chuckle out of ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

I did get a chuckle out of the "moral compass" statement in Mac Bica's manefesto, however. Considering I've never met or hear of a lefty that has a moral compass. At best they have moral weathervanes, but most lefties lack even that.

I wanted to slam this guy's... (Below threshold)
SShiell:

I wanted to slam this guy's manifesto in so many ways but after reading the above comments, it seems I am too late and could not have done half as well.

And when comments seemed to slow down, "fea nicks" came to our rescue to remind us what a Leftie Troll is good for - nothing! What a bufoon!

"Situationally relative" - ... (Below threshold)
Mnemosyne:

"Situationally relative" - the depths of illogical "reasoning" is amazing. Absolutely anything can be rationalized if you excuse yourself from logic and reason at the outset.

Typical vacuous argument, setting up a straw man (recruitment misdeeds) to rationalize counter recruitment. The fact that this guy is a philosiphy professor in the current university structure is of no surprise. However, this is about as sophomoric as it gets in debate.

The liberal mime that new recruits aren't smart enough to do anything else has been debunked so many times, it doesn't even warrant a response.

.

I will make one comment - o... (Below threshold)
SShiell:

I will make one comment - on Diane's entry.

"The professor's efforts to curtail recruitment (seemingly because of our invasion/"occupation") of Iraq would hurt our abilities to defend ourselves here on this continent."

Diane, you bring up a very good point. The Anti-War Left has a real problem when dealing with any and all things military. The problem is: right now the military is in a conflict not of their choosing but one which the Left abhors. To counter this conflict they attack anyone and everyone associated with it. What happens when there is a conflict the Left seemingly agrees with?

Example: Darfur. The Left seems intent upon "doing something" to the point of intervention in what is a real "Civil War". What if that intervention requires the application of military force, not just military presence?

No "Weapons of Mass Destruction" here.
No "Halliburton" to enrich here.

And if the American public responds overwhelmingly to this "manifesto" and recruitment is virtually eliminated - who will be there to do the job?

And then there is the issue of homeland security. "The professor's efforts to curtail recruitment (seemingly because of our invasion/"occupation") of Iraq would hurt our abilities to defend ourselves here on this continent. The lack of logic and attention to thought concerning the future astounds me with members of the so called intelligencia." Who will be there to defend these shores from another 9/11 - remember that one?

Who asked the US to tak... (Below threshold)
marc:

Who asked the US to take up the badge in Iraq? Certainly not most of the world. Posted by: fea nicks at March 8, 2007 09:31 AM

Flea & ticks... who put the badge on Clinton when "invading" Kosovo via airstrikes?

Grenada?

Panama?

Sorry, Marc. Correction - ... (Below threshold)
SShiell:

Sorry, Marc. Correction - Grenada was on Reagan's watch and Panama was on Bush Senior's watch.

Trackbacked by The Thunder ... (Below threshold)

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 03/08/2007
A short recon of what's out there that might draw your attention.

I guess it's not just poten... (Below threshold)

I guess it's not just potential recruits that need to be saved from themselves, it's all the Democrats and Liberals who supported the invasion of Iraq. Dupes, all of them. Not responsible for their own decision making processes and in need of protection from people who might persuade them if allowed to speak.

It's always someone elses fault.

The idea that counter-recruitment doesn't have a loud voice through-out our society is just silly, yet it's not enough to speak, it's necessary to shut up the recruiters, to keep them from speaking to young people, to keep them from presenting the opportunities available in the military to those who need opportunities.

The fact, so easily ignored, is that students who qualify for military service, no matter their race or economic situation, have other options. By definition they have a high school diploma and decent grades, no police involvement, and no drug involvement. They are healthy and strong. They, every one of them, are employable. They have options to weigh and to chose between and are capable of doing that.

Having gone through that decision making process I can only believe that I, personally, am being insulted by the notion that I needed protecting for my own good.

And in the end of things... who is more dangerous? The person giving you a choice or the person who wants to make that choice for you?

I think it would be prudent... (Below threshold)
Steven:

I think it would be prudent if you could counter each of of these exerpts from Bica's article with some facts rather than name calling and pretentious humor. Only one thing you said persuaded me to your point: the "oh really?" link. And as much as I praise you for finding such an obscure article, it, alas, was not your own words. Well, the "oh really" was, but I mean besides your wonderful use of SAT words your whole argument is very lacking and childish, frankly. When I used to have a good point over my older brother, he would usually retaliate with calling me names and giving me a few noogies.

You hardly counterpoint his thoughts on counter recruitment, you barely defend this unjust war, and you dismiss the philisophical truths Bica presents by claiming he's a "Jesus freak."

Watch the film "A Patriot Act," there are some very good points in there about who just might be the Jesus freak here.

Bica is not preaching anything other than moral truths reminiscent of great philosphers such as John Stuart Mill and Henry David Thoreau. Which makes sense because you did mention that he is a professor of philosophy.

So, I'm glad you got the name calling out of your system, but it's time to do a little more research rather than flipping through your internal dictionary and present a more valid argument. I look forward to reading it.




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