A Teen's Opinion of Those Young People Dying For Us In Iraq

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Discus: College Confidential Café: 2004 Archive: A Teen's Opinion of Those Young People Dying For Us In Iraq
By Backhandgrip (Backhandgrip) on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 07:43 am: Edit

I have noticed there are some angry and I suspect overindulged young people on some C.C. forums. I am wondering what the prevailing opinion among young people may be of those young U.S. men and women putting their life on the line and dying for us in Iraq.I would appreciate your putting your geographic location with your opinion. Thank you.

By H0neymoon (H0neymoon) on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 09:12 am: Edit

London England- I've heard of many students having their college fees paid provided they enlist in the army and go to Iraq. That's absolutely terrible I think. I also think it's a terrible shame that so many young people are dying... for what reason? How far have we really come? How far can we really go?

Although, I do respect those people who head out there to fight for what they believe is right, even if that conflicts with what I believe. I can't imagine being in that situation, and I don't know any guy who would put themselves on the line like that.

I think the bottom line is.... I hate that people my age are dying for what is, in my opinion, a lost cause.

By Britbrat8604 (Britbrat8604) on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 09:21 am: Edit

they are dying because they are SEVERELY understaffed

By Simba (Simba) on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 09:44 am: Edit

If moderators are reading, I would like to report on the posters by backhandgrip. His posters should be banned. This person seem to derive pleasure in discussing socially charged issues on a forum that is mainly used for college information. If one were to examine initiation of his last 4-5 threads, one can conclude that this person tempts people by posting emotional topics (I was baited), stays on the sideline-gloating. He/she keeps the thread alive by posting once in a while by name calling those who do not seem to agree with him (e.g ‘children’, ‘angry kids’).

If this person wants to discuss those issues he can go to number of discussion sites and discuss to his heart’s content.

By Calkidd (Calkidd) on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 10:03 am: Edit

Look everyone, I think this is a simple issue of semantic misunderstanding. Those of us who aren't good Americans like Backhandgrip should try to understand where she's coming from. A little knowledge of baiting-conservative vocabulary helps:

"overindulged young people" - People under 40 who disagree with the conservative viewpoint

"hard working Americans" - People who listen to conservative talk radio

"people are dying for us in ______" - How dare you question the policies of our current administration

"soldiers" - Somebody else's kids

Keep in mind that even if your heart does go out to the brave men and women who are risking their lives every day in Iraq, your support of them doesn't count UNLESS you also support (unquestionably) the reasons they are over there. This is a black and white issue.

By Optimizerdad (Optimizerdad) on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 10:07 am: Edit

This thread has nothing whatsoever to do with college life. I'd strongly suggest that it be moved to the 'College Confidential Cafe' section.

By Matth (Matth) on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 12:37 pm: Edit

I'm a teen. Whether I'm 'overindulged' is debatable. I am not of the opinion that the young men and women who are dying in Iraq are dying for ME. They are dying because our president made a decision to send them into a situation which he has no idea how to solve. There is obviously no clear exit plan. Over a year has passed since he declared the "mission accomplished". I wonder how often he has regretted that ridiculous statement and the accompanying photo op. I feel for the soldiers and their families because they're the ones suffering from the ill-advised blundering of our illustrious leader. While I agree that the people of Iraq, and the world, are better off without Saddam Hussein in power, I fear that the current situation is not going to improve any time soon. And, since I follow instructions well, I am in the northeast.

By Woogiewilly25 (Woogiewilly25) on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 01:05 pm: Edit

I think Iraq is just another Vietnam...and I think it's purpose is pointless, because here they are trying to create a democratic government...however, majority of people in Iraq are Shiat (dunno if Im spelling that right...prnounced shee-ite...sorry), and their religion believes in a theocracy for leadership...no matter what kind of government we try to impliment there, religion will always come sneaking through the cracks and some people will be "better" than others in their view...I support our troops, fully, but I don't think supporting them means sending them off to some desert where no one wants help from them to die...The Iraquis don't like us, and I doubt they ever will. I think it's rediculous to keep sending troops in...for what purpose? To keep order? There will ALWAYS be car bombs in iraq, and suicide bombers, and extreme radicals, it's something no amoung of american troops can put down, and all we're doing is putting innocent lives on the line to protect people who would rather kill us than work with us...

just my view...dont bite my head off plz

By Backhandgrip (Backhandgrip) on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 01:16 pm: Edit

Well, just checking back here Simba and I apologize if I have offended anyone. Yes, I made a gross error in my first sentenceand definitely should not have started out saying such a thing although I did seem to notice this. I wish I could cut that first sentence. If you don't like it report me if you wish. However, it's valid to wish to know how young folks across the country feel about this. I do think some kids may become very defensive. And others, like Matth express themselves very well and do not. It's only your opinion. Hoever, I do want to say, some kids are not taking our involvement in Iraq very well at all.That for all their insults and bravado, there are some very fragile egos. No, I don't know of any other computer sites. My ENTIRE life has revolved around my family and community for the past 30 years.I have 4 children.These are the issues that interest me right now. I believe in expressing oneself without attacking the initiator of a conversation.

By Trinity (Trinity) on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 02:03 pm: Edit

This thread was moved from the College Life forum

By Bumblebee83 (Bumblebee83) on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 03:26 pm: Edit

Let's just start off by saying that I live in CA, I grew up in north Ca, now I live in LA. My parents are hippies, so not just blindly following orders was expected of us.
The kids who are dying in Iraq aren't dying for us....I have friends there, and in other places around the world in the army and the air force...We're in our 20s, so when they enlisted 9/11 hadn't happened yet and no one thought that war was approaching at all.....which, I realize happens sometimes and it doens't excuse them from the duties they signed up for, but they didn't say hey, I really want to fight. It was more like, hey Im broke and they'll pay for me to go to college in four years. They signed up for it though so....more than anything I'm worried that I'll lose my friends or that they'll reinstitute the draft and I'll be sent there or my brother will be. I support our troops...I support them coming home and getting out of dangerous and ofetn fatal situation ASAP, unfortunatley that's probably a long time of now that we've destroyed their country
By the way, I'm down right offended by being called overindulged. In no way is that true of myself and many others here at CC. A lot of us have worked hard and are paying our own way through school.

By Unluckycharms (Unluckycharms) on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 04:19 pm: Edit

My opinion on the people dying in Iraq... I'm sorry that their lives were wasted in vain. Nobody deserves to be used as a mindless pawn by a war-mongering government.

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Saturday, June 05, 2004 - 11:11 am: Edit

On a numbers basis, fewer Americans die in Iraq than die in DC from gunfire.

I do support our troops and their families. Very tough situation for them. A year ago, they were hailed as they came through, with people crying and shaking their hands. Not the case now (or less so... some have said that it still happens), but quite a debacle.

By Morgantruce (Morgantruce) on Saturday, June 05, 2004 - 12:26 pm: Edit

One could make the argument that soldiers who die in Afghanistan died fighting to make the world a safer place--- and that soldiers who die in Iraq died mainly because of a commander in chief who seems incapable of changing strategy... but that is an argument that is hard to dish up to families who have lost their loved ones. Those families and many Americans cling to the hope that the entire Middle East will some day change for the better as a result of those soldier's sacrifice... that would be nice.

By Eyesclozedtight (Eyesclozedtight) on Saturday, June 05, 2004 - 01:54 pm: Edit

did 800 people really die in DC in one year?

By Mrbesch (Mrbesch) on Saturday, June 05, 2004 - 03:54 pm: Edit

I think that the soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan are the bravest men and women in the world.

By Monarchsfan16 (Monarchsfan16) on Saturday, June 05, 2004 - 05:29 pm: Edit

I agree with Mrbesch.
Whether you like it or not American men and women are fighting and need our support. I think that our soldiers are heroes, and unlike the rest of you I think that they are doing the right thing in Iraq. And they are NOT dying in vain. This is a global war on terror, and by all definitions Saddam Hussein was a terrorist. Everyone wants something to be done about the situation in the middle east. But no one actually wants to take action to resolve problems of any kind (even beyond Israel/Palastine). Problems aren't always resolved quickly or neatly. Our troops are doing the right thing.
And I live in NH.

By Ndcountrygirl (Ndcountrygirl) on Sunday, June 06, 2004 - 02:50 pm: Edit

This forward I received relates to this subject and I found it inspiring. I support our troops 100 percent, they know what they are fighting for. I live in ND.


My fellow Americans:

As you all know, the defeat of Iraq's regime has been completed. Since congress does not want to spend any more money on this war, our mission in Iraq is complete.

This morning I gave the order for a complete removal of all American forces from Iraq. This action will be complete within 30 days.

It is now time to begin the reckoning.

Before me, I have two lists. One list contains the names of countries which have stood by our side during the Iraq conflict. This list is short. The United Kingdom, Spain, Bulgaria, Australia, and Poland are some of the countries listed there.

The other list contains everyone not on the first list. Most of the world's nations are on that list. My press secretary will be distributing copies of both lists later this evening.
Let me start by saying that effective immediately, foreign aid to those nations on List 2 ceases immediately and indefinitely. The money saved during the first year alone will pretty much pay for the costs of the Iraqi war.

The American people are no longer going to pour money into third world hell-holes and watch those government leaders grow fat on corruption. Need help with a famine? Wrestling with an epidemic? Call France.

In the future, together with Congress, I will work to redirect this money toward solving the vexing social problems we still have at home. On that note, a word to terrorist organizations. Screw with us and we will hunt you down and eliminate you and all your friends from the face of the Earth. Thirsting for a gutsy country to terrorize? Try France, or maybe China.

To Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Yo, boys. Work out a peace deal now. Just note that Camp David is closed. Maybe all of you can go to Russia for negotiations. They have some great palaces there. Big tables, too

I'm ordering the immediate severing of diplomatic relations with France, Germany, and Russia. Thanks for all your help, comrades. We are retiring from NATO as well. Bon chance, mes amis.

I have instructed the Mayor of New York City to begin towing the many UN diplomatic vehicles located in Manhattan with more than two unpaid tickets to sites where those vehicles will be stripped, shredded and crushed. I don't care about whatever treaty pertains to this. Pay your tickets tomorrow or watch your precious Benzes, Beamers, and limos be turned over to some of the finest chop shops in the world. I love New York.

A special note to our neighbors. Canada is on List 2. Since we are going to be seeing a lot more of each other, you folks might want to try not pissing us off for a change. Mexico is also on List 2. President Fox and his entire corrupt government really need an attitude adjustment. I have a couple extra tank and infantry divisions sitting around. Guess where I'm gonna put 'em? Yep, border security. So start doing something with your oil. Oh, by the way, the United States is abrogating the NAFTA treaty starting now.

It is time for America to focus on its own welfare and its own citizens. Some will accuse us of isolationism. I answer them be saying darn tootin'. Nearly a century of trying to help folks live a decent life around the world has only earned us the undying enmity of just about everyone on the planet. It is time to eliminate hunger in America. It is time to eliminate homelessness in America. It is time to eliminate World Cup soccer from America.

To the nations on List 1, a final thought. Thanks guys. We owe you. To the nations on List 2, a final thought. Drop dead. God bless America. Thank you and good night. (If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English, thank a soldier).

By Allison (Allison) on Sunday, June 06, 2004 - 04:01 pm: Edit

i'm sorry, but even if i were the biggest supporter ever of the campaign in iraq, i'd still think that email was crap.

By Averagemathgeek (Averagemathgeek) on Sunday, June 06, 2004 - 04:08 pm: Edit

I really like that plan. However, what about pulling out of the UN?

In addition, it seems like the plan would make the nations on list 2 our enemies. I say we make them 100% neutral. I also believe we should gradually decrease the foreign aid going to the nations on list 1. The only way to protect peace is to remain neutral with all nations.

By Ndcountrygirl (Ndcountrygirl) on Sunday, June 06, 2004 - 11:38 pm: Edit

True. Sounds like a good addition. Why do we need to give out billions of dollars of aid every year?

By Noodleman (Noodleman) on Monday, June 07, 2004 - 08:31 am: Edit

By Demingy (Demingy) on Monday, June 07, 2004 - 11:49 am: Edit

I agree, Noodleman. We have to remember though that most of the people here are just starting college.....

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Monday, June 07, 2004 - 12:33 pm: Edit

Overall for the country (1998), the rate was 14.24 gun deaths per 100,000 people. Obviously, that number varies regionally. In DC (2001 CDC website), the rate is 28.75 gun deaths per 100,000 people, for about 165 deaths.

That stat was probably more relevant before the past few months - say from March 2003 until about January 2004. That's DC alone though.

Let's examine the entire country. Roughly 300 million people and 14.24 gun deaths per 100,000 (or 148 per million). 148 * 300 = 44,000 gun deaths annually in the US.

Not trying to start a gun control controversy here. Just want some perspective.

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Monday, June 07, 2004 - 12:51 pm: Edit

241 violence related deaths in DC in 2001, if you want that stat

By Billingdate (Billingdate) on Monday, June 07, 2004 - 02:09 pm: Edit

Gas prices are completely inflated.
Clinton administration- people were protesting the demolition of forests to create paper and other products.
Those people are now using big paper signs to protest the war on oil. (May I add, they all hop into their dad's SUVs to arrive at these protests.)
Everyone is basically contradicting themselves. I think whatever we're doing with oil is cool, i'm sick of paying $2.10 for a gallon of gas! I don't have a job, man!
What i'm trying to say is...I'm not the one who's dying for gas prices to go down! Do whatever they may, $1.50 a gallon, here I come.

By Esmeralda1 (Esmeralda1) on Tuesday, June 08, 2004 - 09:09 am: Edit

Ok, here are some thoughts:
Many of the soldiers in Iraq are in the army to get a free ride through college. I'm not saying that this is wrong; most of these kids are poor and really have few opportunities in life. I just don't think we should look at them as flawless. I feel sorry for the people dying in Iraq and their families, but, as the affair with pictures of the Iraqi prisoners shows, they're people, some kind, some cruel, some heroes, some not.

As far as pulling out of commitments to other countries and"punishing" those who did not support us:
1. What obligation do other countries have to support anything America does? Does the US always support the wars that other countries start uncoditionally?
2. As much as some people might want to pretend America is the only coutnry in the world, it's not. Besides the moral obligation to help developing countries, America is tied to other countries through trade. If America is to have economic stability, it needs to develop good diplomatic relations with its trading partners.

sorry this is kind of long

By Neo (Neo) on Tuesday, June 08, 2004 - 01:00 pm: Edit

Billinggate -- most of the folks in the world pay MUCH higher gas prices than we do. As in, typically $4 - $5 a gallon. Our average pump prices are SEVERAL times cheaper than they are in, say, Europe or Asia. This is why almost every other country puts a significant amount of research and money into developing fuel-efficient vehicles. With us, our cars just keep on getting bigger...it's kind of ridiculous when you do a little bit of research about it.

But hey...we're America, right? If we want our gas cheap, well, screw everyone else, right? Drill in Alaska, barter with the Saudis, destoy the Earth gallon by gallon...whatever it takes to fill up that tank...

By Noodleman (Noodleman) on Tuesday, June 08, 2004 - 03:10 pm: Edit


By Noodleman (Noodleman) on Tuesday, June 08, 2004 - 03:14 pm: Edit

Great quote from Ron Erskine

Whenever the United States goes to war, the subject of patriotism comes off the shelf and takes center stage. Who is a patriot and who is not? What is patriotism and what is not?
The dictionary definition is simple enough: “Love for or devotion to one’s country.” How can such a concise definition be attached to a concept so open to interpretation? Love for and devotion to one’s country will be a very different thing in Berkeley, California than it will be in Rapid City, South Dakota.

As people take sides over the Iraq War, patriotism is discussed at a deafening volume and with red-faced passion. The outcome of this year’s presidential election will no doubt depend, at least in part, on which public relations team paints their candidate as the biggest patriot.

My high school and college years coincided with the Vietnam War. No debate was more central to that time than defining patriotism. Those who supported our presence in Vietnam believed anything short of unbridled support for the war was unpatriotic. This group’s most popular bumper sticker read: “Love it or Leave it.” Directed at the anti-war protesters, this sentiment clearly implied that if you didn’t support the war, you didn’t love your country, so go.

Those of us who protested the war insisted we did so exactly because we loved our country, but that was absurd to the Love-it-or-Leave-it crowd.

So, what is love of country? I have been thinking about this in a fresh way since I read a passage in Al Franken’s new book that has stuck with me. In essence, Franken said, some people love America like a four year-old loves his mother and some people love America like an adult loves a mate.

I think he has something there. With a simple analogy, he has crystallized a fundamental difference in the way people think about their country. The Vietnam War supporters had another favorite bumper sticker that read: “My Country Right or Wrong.” That’s how a four year-old loves his mother. With all of her faults, no matter how horrible they might be, when we were four, we loved Mom without question. She could do no wrong.

But how do we love as adults? The fortunate ones among us have spouses or children for whom we would make any sacrifice. We would love and support them whatever the obstacle. But if a loved one was an alcoholic or a child molester wouldn’t it be best to acknowledge the fact and fight to ‘correct’ things?

As adults, we can see and acknowledge the faults that our loved ones have. We can adjust to some of their faults. No one is perfect, but through our love we can help them realize the destructive ones and support their struggle to be better.

And so it is with patriotism. It is okay to say, “America, I love you, but...” Taking to the streets in the 60s against the Vietnam War or in support of civil rights was, in fact, the very height of patriotism. Protesters screamed our national faults from the rooftops and fought to fix them.

Probably the single greatest thing about the United States is that whatever your opinion, there is parchment paper at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., that guarantees your right to have it. Good opinions come from patriots because they love their country. The best opinions come from patriots who love their country like an adult.

By Averagemathgeek (Averagemathgeek) on Tuesday, June 08, 2004 - 04:06 pm: Edit


The government does not have a "moral obligation to help developing countries." The government has only the obligations listed in the preamble of the Constitution. If people want to help a developing country, they should donate money to the country themselves.

By Eyesclozedtight (Eyesclozedtight) on Tuesday, June 08, 2004 - 05:15 pm: Edit

i read the passage in franken's book as well. it really put things in perspective for me, and it was at that point that i knew i loved my country more than any chicken hawk ever could.

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