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J McCain's passing & the veneration if not near deification of war heroes since VN

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  • #16
    The military motto is respect the uniform even if the individual doesn't live up to expectations, it is a necessary part of discipline. Civilians have reversed the concept to focus on the individual because there is very little respect for discipline for it's own sake in today's society. Heroes are those that do the right thing at the right time for the right reasons. It requires discipline to stand your ground and fight when it would be easier to run away and not shoulder responsibility. In some sense standing your ground starts with enlistment, it is the necessary first step to becoming a military hero. The number of people who do not consider military service their responsibility means it is reasonable to consider every volunteer a hero. All heroes however are flawed individuals. Making it about the real individual and not the idealized behavior is just another symptom of a lack of discipline that prevents people from seeing the world as it is when it is easier to live in the delusional world where everything is black and white.
    We hunt the hunters

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by Massena View Post

      BS. Once again you are getting it wrong.

      McCain suffered three broken limbs, was tortured and refused early release. That's why he is considered a hero-not because he was captured. You listen to Trump too much.
      So are we all heroes here for putting up with you?
      "It is a fine fox chase, my boys"

      "It is well that war is so terrible-we would grow too fond of it"

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by Massena View Post

        Who's 'Custis'?
        Ah, I meant Custer. I’ve been reading too much Robert E Lee lately. He married a Custis, you know.

        He was a real hero. He evaded capture several times in Mexico too.
        "It is a fine fox chase, my boys"

        "It is well that war is so terrible-we would grow too fond of it"

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Massena View Post

          I don't act like you.

          And your opinion on this, as on most things, is irrelevant and not worth anything. The four men that I listed are worthy of both admiration and emulation. All you remind me of is excrement.
          Ahhh, your hero worship is lame just like yourself, get over it, put on the big boy pants for a "change."
          My worst jump story:
          My 13th jump was on the 13th day of the month, aircraft number 013.
          As recorded on my DA Form 1307 Individual Jump Log.
          No lie.

          ~
          "Everything looks all right. Have a good jump, eh."
          -2 Commando Jumpmaster

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by American87 View Post

            So are we all heroes here for putting up with you?
            None of that **** he lists makes McCain a hero unless standards are in the gutter, which his usually are.
            My worst jump story:
            My 13th jump was on the 13th day of the month, aircraft number 013.
            As recorded on my DA Form 1307 Individual Jump Log.
            No lie.

            ~
            "Everything looks all right. Have a good jump, eh."
            -2 Commando Jumpmaster

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by wolfhnd View Post
              The military motto is respect the uniform even if the individual doesn't live up to expectations, it is a necessary part of discipline. Civilians have reversed the concept to focus on the individual because there is very little respect for discipline for it's own sake in today's society. Heroes are those that do the right thing at the right time for the right reasons. It requires discipline to stand your ground and fight when it would be easier to run away and not shoulder responsibility. In some sense standing your ground starts with enlistment, it is the necessary first step to becoming a military hero. The number of people who do not consider military service their responsibility means it is reasonable to consider every volunteer a hero. All heroes however are flawed individuals. Making it about the real individual and not the idealized behavior is just another symptom of a lack of discipline that prevents people from seeing the world as it is when it is easier to live in the delusional world where everything is black and white.
              The term is used too often, as with the list mentioned early.
              My worst jump story:
              My 13th jump was on the 13th day of the month, aircraft number 013.
              As recorded on my DA Form 1307 Individual Jump Log.
              No lie.

              ~
              "Everything looks all right. Have a good jump, eh."
              -2 Commando Jumpmaster

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by lodestar View Post
                The passing of John McCain and the veneration of nearly all service people and near deification of war heroes since VN?

                The venerable John McCain’s passing raises the interesting issue of the status and the way the ‘soldier’ is perceived and regarded in the modern USA.

                I’m re-working some old 1970’s tutorial material along the lines ‘War and warriors - mythologies and realities’ (yeah, yeah, amazingly original hey) with a view to eventually assist in presenting a new tute along those lines.

                I’m interested in the phenomenon of the adoration that nowadays seems to surround the position of anyone ‘in the services’.
                Cripes even Doc Phil makes a point of saying ‘Oh by the way before we start, thank you for your service to this country’ every time he has a former service man or woman on his show.
                (Ummmm… …err…ummm… not that I watch the show, I’m just going by what my wife tells me.)

                This mythologising of vets and near deification war heroes (and don’t get me wrong McCain clearly was one) seems to be a near permanent feature of the current political landscape.


                An old episode on Australian Radio National’s ‘Late Night Live’ covering the Perth Writers Festival on modern warfare saw a question raised by American writer Kevin Powers (an Iraq War veteran, author of ‘The Yellow Birds’):
                one of the products of Vietnam has been this kind of blind inclination to valorise every soldier. To kind of deify them. To put them on a pedestal. A pedestal can be an isolating place.”

                I’m sure it’s the last thing McCain himself would have wanted.

                So, I’m interested in whether posters think that what Powers says is basically true?

                Vietnam left an indelible mark on America so the cliché goes (which of course begs the question about what the hell it did tenfold to Indo-China itself! – BTW correctly, it’s the Indo-China War).
                Not just the war itself but the subsequent treatment and ‘regard’ of returning veterans from the late 60’s to at least the late 70’s.
                Has the Post VN veneration (or near deification) of service men starting in the Reagan essentially been an overreaction to that era.

                Powers also made the point in relation to America ‘learning from its past mistakes’ (Indian Wars, Vietnam, Iraq) is that:
                When America losses its innocence you can be assured that it will get it back very soon.”

                Meaning I guess that America’s appetite for foreign ventures, justified or not, may wax and wane due to results for a particular episode but will probably never be completely sated.

                My history professors had an informal motto back in my Uni days which went something like: 'Straight answers to straight questions are for idiots and cowards, you're here to learn how to think not what to think!'


                regards lodestar
                It may be off-topic but the USA is certainly not alone in expressing such an attitude-rightly or wrongly- to service in the armed forces.
                What's your take on the militarification (my word-patent pending) of Australia's history ?
                "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
                Samuel Johnson.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by 101combatvet View Post

                  The term is used too often, as with the list mentioned early.
                  Jordan Peterson has some interesting ideas on the subject. He s stresses the importance of heroes from the quasi religious perspective and suggests that the hero myth in Western Civilization is important to the development of the idea of the sanctity of the individual. Certainly overcoming your fear and descending into the belly of the beast to rescue your father is archetypical theme. I'm not sure how that motif translates into a military perspective. While individual initiative is essential to military success war remains a collective activity.

                  Great military leaders honor heroism but as Patton pointed out letting the other guy die for his country while you continue to fight is what wins wars. We should want heroes that vanquish the enemy not make unnecessary sacrifices. I wonder if making heroes out of people like McCain is a reflection of creeping nihilism in which winning is no longer the objective. For those that have lost faith in Western Civilization the belief that our values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated that isn't a reflection of cultural bias relieves them of responsibility.

                  Outside of the military discipline and vanguishing the enemy is no longer highly admired. The idea of equality as an absolute moral goal necessarily makes winning immoral. Especially if there is nothing worth fighting for. It's a childish, sentimental consequence of the nanny state and feminization.

                  While you are right that hero is an overused term it isn't clear to me that in our present cultural state anyone who resists cultural relativism isn't a hero. It should be a personal goal to develop a heroic attitude in the face of so much nihilism.
                  We hunt the hunters

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    I don't regard being a POW as "heroic" unless the individual was captured after accomplishing something under impossible conditions that should have killed him.

                    McCain was shot down, the occupational hazard of pilots over enemy positions.

                    I feel for his suffering while a POW, but I see heroism in that. I don't recall survivors of German WWII POW camps receiving any Silver Stars.
                    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                      I don't regard being a POW as "heroic" unless the individual was captured after accomplishing something under impossible conditions that should have killed him.

                      McCain was shot down, the occupational hazard of pilots over enemy positions.

                      I feel for his suffering while a POW, but I see heroism in that. I don't recall survivors of German WWII POW camps receiving any Silver Stars.
                      You do not need to equate everybody with people earning the highest war decorations. What I see is that people honor EVERY wwii veteran, without waiting first to learn if he served in combat or if he served in a training center! And they certainly do not try to minimize the value of the veterans' service or talk about "tarnishing" POW records as trolls do these days in politics and internet!
                      Last edited by pamak; 01 Sep 18, 21:23.
                      My most dangerous mission: I landed in the middle of an enemy tank battalion and I immediately, started spraying bullets killing everybody around me having fun up until my computer froze...

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        The word Hero has been overused for the last 25 years or so!
                        Trying hard to be the Man, that my Dog believes I am!

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by wolfhnd View Post

                          Jordan Peterson has some interesting ideas on the subject. He s stresses the importance of heroes from the quasi religious perspective and suggests that the hero myth in Western Civilization is important to the development of the idea of the sanctity of the individual. Certainly overcoming your fear and descending into the belly of the beast to rescue your father is archetypical theme. I'm not sure how that motif translates into a military perspective. While individual initiative is essential to military success war remains a collective activity.

                          Great military leaders honor heroism but as Patton pointed out letting the other guy die for his country while you continue to fight is what wins wars. We should want heroes that vanquish the enemy not make unnecessary sacrifices. I wonder if making heroes out of people like McCain is a reflection of creeping nihilism in which winning is no longer the objective. For those that have lost faith in Western Civilization the belief that our values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated that isn't a reflection of cultural bias relieves them of responsibility.

                          Outside of the military discipline and vanguishing the enemy is no longer highly admired. The idea of equality as an absolute moral goal necessarily makes winning immoral. Especially if there is nothing worth fighting for. It's a childish, sentimental consequence of the nanny state and feminization.

                          While you are right that hero is an overused term it isn't clear to me that in our present cultural state anyone who resists cultural relativism isn't a hero. It should be a personal goal to develop a heroic attitude in the face of so much nihilism.
                          For me, bravery is often confused with heroism. Heroism is extreme bravery; I label people as heroes that knowing risked their lives to save another. We can identify heroes in the military or as civilians. Firefighters in the Twin Towers risked their lives to save others knowing that any second those buildings would be coming down. McCain was a brave man but not a hero in my book.
                          My worst jump story:
                          My 13th jump was on the 13th day of the month, aircraft number 013.
                          As recorded on my DA Form 1307 Individual Jump Log.
                          No lie.

                          ~
                          "Everything looks all right. Have a good jump, eh."
                          -2 Commando Jumpmaster

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by 101combatvet View Post

                            Please define "hero."
                            This entire issue was debated at great length and depth on my World War II thread-starter of some years ago:

                            "Has democratizing military history made the term ‘heroes’ increasingly meaningless?"

                            It's been shifted to another Sub forum as it covered so much more than WWII but is well worth revisiting if anyone's interested in the issue.

                            However It would be good to continue the debate on this thread-starter in a modern context, so I'll just re-post part of my opening idea for that thread because it kinda summed up my problem with the whole conundrum.

                            "Look maybe it’s just me.
                            Maybe the thought of going back to tertiary studies in a couple of years has simply made me deliberately look for provocative potential issues to ‘run’ with and to always question popular perceptions of issues
                            I stress, I AM NOT repeat NOT posting this as a deliberate wind up or inflammatory diatribe.

                            But of late I’ve become increasingly uneasy with the widespread, almost arbitrary use of the term ‘heroes’ when the mass media (at least in the so-called ‘Anglosphere’) refers to the WWI and WWII ‘generations’.


                            It struck me most strongly in a recent visit to a local newsagency when I was pursuing the history magazine section.
                            There were three genealogical mags and each featured a cover and lead article on tracing family military. Each article had an emotive title along the lines of
                            “Tracing your World War II hero ancestors”, “Find your Great War family heroes” etc.

                            Other magazines peddle stuff something like: “The hero housewives of Bromley -by-Bow, how they faced butter rationing and working in factories”. Get the idea.

                            Anyone else find this stuff a bit galling?

                            Then there’s tabloid TV shows featuring segments that, for example in Australia, refer to anything whatsoever to do with World War II veterans as being about “our Aussie heroes”.

                            Now I’m not suggesting for a moment that we don’t honour men and women of the “greatest generation” (a very recent term by the way)
                            Just that the whole thing is getting out of hand"


                            Debate took off from there.

                            Fascinating subject and, (if I don't get stuck with a bunch of 'you just don't get it' preeners who don't understand how real discussion works) should make a great tutorial just like back in the day.

                            Which at present rate of progress what with 'retirement activities, household stuff, travel, kids and grandkid etc. etc. should happen around 2026 or 27!

                            My history professors had an informal motto back in my Uni days which went something like: 'Straight answers to straight questions are for idiots and cowards, you're here to learn how to think not what to think!'

                            Regards
                            lodestar


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                            • #29
                              All this is the result of the fact that the Millennials have received no education and that they confound emotion with knowledge .

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Trung Si View Post
                                The word Hero has been overused for the last 25 years or so!
                                How long since we came back from NAM? How ever your point is correct. Within the US the child that saves and ice cream cone on a hot summers day well be called a hero from some. Many want to call all of us Nam Vets, HERO but most of use weren't and don't want the term applied because we have known real heroes
                                "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                                Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                                you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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