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Old 2020-01-03, 19:59   #1
ewmayer
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Default General Kelley, RIP

Prime95: This is Ernst's reply to this entry from DrS in the RIP thread: https://www.mersenneforum.org/showpo...postcount=1163


"When you see 144 caskets on an airplane," he later said, remembering his grief at the time, "it will have an impact on you for the rest of your life."

That's the price of spreading American-style democracy to the benighted regions of the world, my friend!

Last fiddled with by Prime95 on 2020-01-05 at 23:25 Reason: Added DrS's original RIP link
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Old 2020-01-03, 20:30   #2
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Looks like we are getting ready to yet another display of the enlightening methods of the current US administration, this time towards the benighted country of Iran.

Someone should remember Mr Trump of the following Sting quote:

"(...) there´s no such thing as a winnable war. It´s a lie we don´t believe anymore"
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Old 2020-01-04, 03:48   #3
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Winning is shoveling more money to the merchants of death. Distant battlefield results are meaningless when you have a corporate propaganda media to spin the results and keep the proles in the dark.
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Old 2020-01-04, 20:05   #4
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Received a PM from DrS alleging that my above post intrudes politics into the supposedly apolitical arena of the RIP thread. exchange copied below, because I consider it important to clarify my personal and editorial policy here - if my fellow mods disagree, we can move the posts in question to the "Politics belongs in the Soapbox thread". Comments welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus
Possibly your most recent post, Mr. Provocateur, and almost certainly the two posts following yours, have veered into politics
My reply:
Lionization/commemoration of political figures by noting their passing in RIP is a political act. In the latest case you noted the passing of a military commander involved in 2 egregious instances of US regime-changing and overseas meddling, in your typical US-centric fashion. Did you think to ask "what business did US have to have a Marine barracks in Lebanon?", or in the context of your 144-coffins tearjerker, "how many coffins on non-USians were this fellow and his colleagues responsible for?" Of course you didn't. I considered that fair game for a short riposte pointing up the jingoism implicit in your post. You wanna lionize warmongers, fine - but don't expect those of us who don't share your views to doff our caps and stand in by in silent reverence just because one of your hero warriors has passed on to his eternal reward.
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Old 2020-01-04, 22:58   #5
Dr Sardonicus
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
Comments welcome!
<snip>
Lionization/commemoration of political figures by noting their passing in RIP is a political act.
<snip>
Did you think to ask "what business did US have to have a Marine barracks in Lebanon?", or in the context of your 144-coffins tearjerker, "how many coffins on non-USians were this fellow and his colleagues responsible for?" Of course you didn't.
General Kelly was not a "political figure." He never held (or even sought AFAIK) public office. He was a military commander.

I quoted from the article I linked to, pursuant to your request in this post,
Quote:
As with any posted URL, I encourage posters to please provide some minimal context for RIP-thread entries - believe it or not, some readers are wary of blindly clicking hyperlinks without a clue as to the nature of the linked material.
My post pertained to a notable person who recently died -- which I thought was the subject of "RIP." I don't see anything in the two posts prior to your publication of my PM that bears even remotely on that person's life (or on the life of anyone else yet mentioned in RIP) -- they were pure political commentaries on current US actions and policies, which IMO are more suited to the Soap Box.

In regard to your ascribing the motive of "lionizing" him to me, what I quoted from the article was just that -- quoted. It wasn't my "lionization" or anything else. I merely quoted passages that summarized his career -- again, pursuant to your request quoted above. If my intent had been to lionize him, I probably would have included the list of medals he'd been awarded.

To question (or polemicize about) US policy during his career would not be pertinent, because he didn't make policy. A possibly relevant observation would be that he did not find US policy unconscionable; if he had, he would have resigned his commission.

I included the "144 casket" quotation not because it was a "tear-jerker" (there you go again, ascribing motives) but because I found it a bit odd that a Marine who had served two tours of duty in Vietnam would be so shocked at the sight of 144 caskets in an airplane. In his second tour in Vietnam he was a regiment commander, so surely would have seen the sight of caskets in an airplane many times. Likely not that many at once, but still... Perhaps the circumstances of the deaths of the Marines in Beirut made the sight harder to take.

I will include one detail about General Kelley that wasn't in the article I linked to: his middle name was Xavier.

In regard to your "short riposte"
Quote:
That's the price of spreading American-style democracy to the benighted regions of the world, my friend!
it brought to mind Rudyard Kipling's poem The White Man's Burden, penned to urge on the good ol' USA in its takeover of the Philippines after the Spanish-American War, and considered an embarrassment even in its day. But it was more realistic about the price to be paid for such ventures than most US Admins I can recall.
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Old 2020-01-05, 20:01   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
General Kelly was not a "political figure." He never held (or even sought AFAIK) public office. He was a military commander.
If you serve in nation's military, especially in command capacity, and moreover not in a clearly national-defensive role but rather in "overseas adventures", you are working to carry out its foreign policy. i.e. its external politics. One does not need to hold elected office to be a political actor.
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Old 2020-01-05, 20:22   #7
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Gotta agree with DrS on this one. There is a difference between policy maker (or "figure") and policy implementer (or "actor").

This has to be the last post on the General in the RIP thread. Readers have enough info to make up their minds on whether the General deserves to rest-in-peace or not.
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Old 2020-01-05, 23:10   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prime95 View Post
Gotta agree with DrS on this one. There is a difference between policy maker (or "figure") and policy implementer (or "actor").
I know it approaches the "Goodwin" point, but, in my opinion, a policy implementer, even if excusable, is responsible.

"I just followed orders" ("Befehl ist Befehl") is not a valid excuse, just a legal one, it can't be used by people claiming to be responsible of their acts. (

Jacob

(Of course military organisations, by essence, abhor responsible people or even worse, people capable of independent thinking. Except if nothing about such capabilities is public. : - )
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