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I am a Veteran.

I am also progressive, NB, pan, and a whole other list of other things.

Those that continue to bash those that have served, and those that have sacrificed, I beseech you.

Please stop.

I can assure you that your outrage towards the pointless violence and loss of life is not only valid, but equally shared by many in uniform.

That being said, assuming you understand someone's motivation for serving is itself a form of bigotry.

Reserve your anger for those that make policy.

@thenukegirl I think in many ways the meme format is unfortunately reflective of how personal armed forces advertising seeks to make patriotism to individuals, and thus probably those jokes in particular come off as particularly acerbic, instead of as a critique of the superstructure defended by the armed forces.

IMO the outsized capacity of the US government's ability to wage war is a reflection of this stage of late capitalism but also the post-colonial era, but yeah it's a lame meme format.

@thenukegirl I mean, look. Motivation is completely irrelevant to whether an action is ethical or not.

I don't think our military is a force for good in the world. And I mean, you can agree with that as someone in the military, but it doesn't make it ethical to join.

Sorry.

Now, I've done unethical things, so I'm not, like, judging. There's not a whole hell of a lot of ethical work. I am sympathetic. But there's no, like, "out." You do bad things, you're a bad person. That's just kind of it.

@thenukegirl I don't think people are irredeemable, I don't split people into monsters, I don't treat people like they're OMG tainted forever. But like... you join an organization that is evil and devote a lot of your time to it? I can't absolve you of that. I also can't pretend like your motives for doing it matter. My best advice is like, don't do that. But I'm just, like, one person and you're only accountable to you.

@some_qualia If you believe joining the military is inherently an unethical action, I have no idea how we can bridge our difference of opinion.

5 years served. Not a single combat mission. No unethical orders. Built 2 schools. Not one day of violence against another person. I am proud of my service and the work I did.

If you can't separate that from the violence brought on by people in power, then we are at an impasse.

@thenukegirl I cannot possibly see how serving a racist imperialist agenda at the behest of monsters is ethical. You are a person, not an object. Someone tells you to do something and you do it, then that is on you.

"Senators are responsible for what I do" is a bankrupt moral framework. Someone tells you to do something and you do it? 100% of that is on EACH of you.

I will not compartmentalize for you, no. I won't buy excuses.

@thenukegirl Likewise, People who make combat possible are responsible for what they enable. Of course they are. Medics and supply chain folks are also killers.

Like I say, I don't think you're irredeemable. But I think you are in serious denial about the harm you've done, and are making an argument about why you should continue to do that harm. I am really sorry you've fallen into a system that has harmed your character in this way. I hope you will go another direction. But I can't excuse you.

@thenukegirl But then again: not my thing to excuse. It's your soul. Not mine. It's your victims. Try to minimize that count.

But don't BS me and say you have none.

@some_qualia
That is all preconceived notions about service and what the military is. You are welcome to your beliefs, but that is not what I, nor many other believe. To see any of your fellow person as evil for their affiliation and not for their actions is bigotry.

@thenukegirl Look, I'm not here to argue with you. You're clearly not capable of saying why I am wrong — how it possibly can be you are not in a support role for the US military or any positive thing you do in the world.

I am sure there are a lot of people who will buy this lie. But military isn't your affiliation, it's your job. It IS what you do.

If you are going to tell a lie, please don't make it lazy. A lot of people WILL buy it. I have standards.

@thenukegirl Now, you can either explain to me why I am wrong, or you can say I'm a bigot and I have preconceived notions (none of which you can name) until you are blue in the face. I promise you don't know my work history or my family's. So I promise you: I KNOW this is bullshit. And you can lie to yourself, hon. But you can't lie to me.

@some_qualia
I am just going to end this conversation here. This is devolving into ad hominem and that just gets nasty. I'm sorry if you feel like my actions have hurt someone. I can assure you that they have not. If we have to part, I hope it can be on amicable terms.

@thenukegirl

> 5 years served. Not a single combat mission. No unethical orders.
In other words, you had it easy. When people hear "veteran", they usually think you had to actually go and serve in combat. But that's not your case. On one hand, I'm glad that you didn't have to live the hell of war and have to suffer depression and PTSD.

On the other, I think you're barking at the wrong tree - 1/2

When we talk suggest the military, we're talking about invading other countries because corporate interests dictate that X or Y country are a "threat".
@some_qualia - 2/2

@rick_777 @some_qualia
I get what you're saying, Rick, but there are definitely some people who are attacking veterans as whole, calling them complicit and treating them like they can never achieve forgiveness for what they did. And to a certain extent, that may be true.

But there will always be people who feel called to serve, for whatever reason. Attacking them for the entirety of a corrupt machine is like getting mad at a cashier for being complicit in the evils of capitalism. (1/2)

@rick_777 @some_qualia Yeah, you can always disobey orders, but doing so in the military is playing with fire, as I understand. And so many soldiers are forced to live with immense amounts of guilt. Guilt they may not have had going in to their service, because we glorify military service so much that it's hard to understand the horrors of war.

@some_qualia @rick_777 A perfectly valid point. I myself have refused to enlist for this very reason.

But I refuse to exacerbate the guilt of those who do enlist. Especially since so many of them come back with PTSD and other mental disorders.

You don't have to forgive them, but you don't have to go out of your way to make them feel guilty, either.

@Monty_Verdan @rick_777 I don't really go out of my way, and it's not about making them feel or not feel guilty. I have PTSD. It's not an atonement for wrongdoing. It's an illness.

When you do unethical things, guilt isn't a punishment, it's not an atonement, it's not a sign of anything. Their feelings are not the point if they're perps, you get me?

@some_qualia

@rick_777

I mean, yeah, PTSD is not an atonement, nor is guilt. It was not my intention to imply otherwise, and I'm sorry if I did. But it's not like people are suggesting ways for veterans to atone for their sins. Nothing constructive is happening. It's just "all vets are bad people, no exceptions." And I can't get behind that.

I'm all for stopping the glorification of war, as are many veterans that I know IRL. They march in protests, donage to leftist causes, they vote against war-mongering and jingoism, and they search for non-combat positions if they can't leave the service.

@Monty_Verdan @rick_777 And yeah, I mean, that's all I can ask. Cease and do better. 🤷‍♀️

@Monty_Verdan @rick_777 Of course they are complicit in what they do. Who else is holding the gun? Who else is on supply chains? Come on, now.

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