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Armed Forces Day, Bad Teaching And Government Propaganda


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Armed Forces Day is simply a failed PR exercise by a Labour Government that was in terminal decline. It was totally unnecessary. It adds nothing to Remembrance Day - a ceremonial designed to celebrat

Have to generally agree - and I did quite a few years in the forces. I do not attend Armed Forces Day events, specifically because of the cynical political involvement that was involved in the set up

http://www.gov.im/lib/news/education/studentsjoininar.xml   Here is a very good example of where schooling and teaching goes terribly wrong and you see how bad it is when it comes to politics.   M

LDV: What would your preferred course of action have been given the situation that faced the UK in 1939?

Possibly very different to that which 'faced the country' in 2003? The result was the same, though - the politicians sent the soldiers to do their dirty work.

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LDV: What would your preferred course of action have been given the situation that faced the UK in 1939?

Possibly very different to that which 'faced the country' in 2003? The result was the same, though - the politicians sent the soldiers to do their dirty work.

Very different, yes. But I am genuinely interested enough to enquire whether LDV thinks that we should have done nothing in the face of imminent invasion.

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LDV: What would your preferred course of action have been given the situation that faced the UK in 1939?

Oh dear, back to WW2 again. A better question is whether you think WW2 is the ONLY conflict that the Armed Forces have been involved in and which is the only thing that exist for throughout history and today?

 

You'd say that was a bit absurd, wouldn't you?

 

Well...so is your line of questioning.

 

Say there was one conflict in which an armed force (or any force whatsoever) was justified in fighting off something, if the ultimate purpose of that force was still to go out and serve private interests which very often means doing bad things, do we still celebrate that force as a whole? No!

Edited by La_Dolce_Vita
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But this myth, the myth of keeping people 'safe in their beds' is a political matter. Keeping safe from whom? Being led by what government? Fighting how and in what ways? For what objectives?

It's all political.

 

And that's why nonsense like Armed Forces day is so appealing because the uneducated have these stock phrases and mythological memes in their minds that are passed from one clueless person to another. It is what these days are built on and the government can cynically plug these ideas to hook the working class public.

 

The problem is that it is impossible to support the soldiers and not support them what they do (say in Iraq or Afghanistan) unless you have a convenient 'get out' clause.

 

By this, I mean that you can't give a soldier a pat on the back and say 'Well done son' if you don't agree with their overall reason for being in that uniform. But their overall reason for being in that uniform is to do stuff like fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan (or Suez, or attack East African mutineers, or kill communists in Malaya, or bomb Kosovo, etc.)

 

And this is the problem, because you can't have a day supporting the Armed Forces if you don't support British government and it's national interests and foreign policy. The Armed Forces are JUST the tool. And the members are MORAL (able think morally - not zombies) actors who make a choice to work as this tool. (All the propaganda about 'safe in beds' make it appealing to join and make servicemen think their role is grand and noble, so we can excuse them a little for being affected by propaganda but we can't applaud them).

 

Firstly I used the "safe in your beds" quote from Blair / Kipling just to tease Lonan3. How I wish I hadn't...

 

Secondly of course those in the forces are not amoral. The only truly amoral folks are psychopaths and with their entire focus on self there is no room for them in the forces. The saying "It's about the man next to you" is very cheesy but basically it's true. Without it nothing the forces do would be possible.

 

I joined up because of the glamour of the uniform. I thought I would look really racy in DPM. Actually that's bollocks but the point is why you joined up is a complete irrelevance. Serving your political masters also doesn't enter into it however true it is. You swear allegiance to Liz and Jug-ears and so on and the likes of Osborne don't even merit a mention. Probably because if they did then no-one would join up...

 

Just because the forces are tasked by the politicians it doesn't make the planks political animals. When you're in the shit you don't think "If only Thatcher had lost the election...." because the label you are using is just too broad. I could quite easily label self-employed plumbers as "the unacceptable face of capitalism" and in a lot of cases I would be right. But it simply doesn't encapsulate what is really going on in the world of blocked toilets.

 

So the peace-keeping/reconstruction deployment to Bosnia was "political" in content. Bearing in mind what was achieved I struggle to see how. Helping those in a desperate situation is a good use of the forces organisation, abilities and manpower. Did the UK electorate note it? The truth is they couldn't give a flying so political capital = zero.

 

That's not to say Clausewitz was wrong but things have moved on since his time....

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P.K. - You don't know what political means. Fair enough, I am trying to explain this to you, but it means you are not picking up on what I am saying.

 

Here are two meaning taken from the dictionary:

 

Adjective
  1. Of or relating to the government or the public affairs of a country.
  2. Of or relating to the ideas or strategies of a particular party or group in politics.

I am referring to the former. You may be referring to the latter. But often, and more sensibly, the tense is even broader than this given its etymology and relation to the polity.

Now...you keep going back to the issue of blame and responsibility here. It is becoming...(apologies) tiresome. I am trying my best to find an alternative way of putting it.

1. Armed Forces Day - a day when the public celebrate the work, duties, action of the Armed Forces. This also include the reasons why they are working in the Armed Forces, such as the myths of protecting the public.

2. Is the work, duties, and action of the Forces worth celebrating? What are those actions?

3. If the work, duties and action is not all for some good cause then it isn't worth celebrating.

Other useful questions are why are we being asked (because we are being asked) to celebrate it? What's the government agenda here, as it is the government that brought it in without any request from the public.

IMPORTANT - You can go and celebrate or support a person without there being something to celebrate or support. If this thing (what they do) is not all good or mainly good then they don't get support. If they overarching purpose is not moral or mythical then they get no support or celebration.

And you cannot have your cake and eat it here. Either the members of the armed forces are moral creatures who make an informed choice over what they get into what they join and therefore take the flak or are applaused when they do wrong or right OR they are amoral beings (possibly not even humans as we know them) who just find themselves in the armed forces and therefore can't be applauded or celebrated because nothing they do is down to their own moral choices.

If you are clever, you'll work out that they are moral creatures, we all are. And if they are in the armed forces they made a choice about that. They therefore deserve support or condemnation depending on what they have done and depending on what the purpose of the Armed Forces really is.

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It's interesting that the army are referred to as "forces".

 

They force.

 

Well they aren't called the Tickle Squad for a reason....

 

Why do people in uniform lock citizens up if they use force, but citizens are expected to admire people in uniform who use force? A citizen who uses force is a criminal, but someone wearing a uniform gets called a hero.

Edited by Thomas Jefferson
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It's interesting that the army are referred to as "forces".

 

They force.

 

Well they aren't called the Tickle Squad for a reason....

 

Why do people in uniform lock citizens up if they use force, but citizens are expected to admire people in uniform who use force? A citizen who uses force is a criminal, but someone wearing a uniform gets called a hero.

 

I didn't realise that criminals follow rules of engagement, the Geneva Convention or are acting with Parliamentary Authority....

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P.K. - You don't know what political means. Fair enough, I am trying to explain this to you, but it means you are not picking up on what I am saying.

 

I do know what "political" means. Here's an idea to get hold of. If one group of anarchists are attacked by another group of anarchists are they all involved in a political act?

 

Try this. The forces of a democracy are apolitical because they have to be as their political masters change their skins on a regular basis. This is a relatively new arrangement. I would say the forces of the Axis were also apolitical as they were directed by a fascist dictator to whom politics were an unnecessary burden. Hence a relatively new arrangement as that's only 70 years or so ago.

 

Now...you keep going back to the issue of blame and responsibility here. It is becoming...(apologies) tiresome. I am trying my best to find an alternative way of putting it.

 

No I don't. The politicos give the planks their orders and off they go and do it. However the task, as in Bosnia, is not necessarily politically motivated. The reason I quoted Clausewitz was because it used to be like that. In a democracy it is not. The electorate end up with the ultimate responsibility because if they don't agree with how the government of the day use their armed forces then they vote them out. That's a recent and major change in line with democracies now ruling the continually warring nations now known as the EU.

 

1. Armed Forces Day - a day when the public celebrate the work, duties, action of the Armed Forces. This also include the reasons why they are working in the Armed Forces, such as the myths of protecting the public.

2. Is the work, duties, and action of the Forces worth celebrating? What are those actions?

3. If the work, duties and action is not all for some good cause then it isn't worth celebrating.

 

Other useful questions are why are we being asked (because we are being asked) to celebrate it? What's the government agenda here, as it is the government that brought it in without any request from the public.

 

IMPORTANT - You can go and celebrate or support a person without there being something to celebrate or support. If this thing (what they do) is not all good or mainly good then they don't get support. If they overarching purpose is not moral or mythical then they get no support or celebration.

 

No-one is being "asked" to celebrate anything. You are being given the opportunity to express your feelings about your armed forces and that is it.

 

And you cannot have your cake and eat it here. Either the members of the armed forces are moral creatures who make an informed choice over what they get into what they join and therefore take the flak or are applaused when they do wrong or right OR they are amoral beings (possibly not even humans as we know them) who just find themselves in the armed forces and therefore can't be applauded or celebrated because nothing they do is down to their own moral choices.

 

If you are clever, you'll work out that they are moral creatures, we all are. And if they are in the armed forces they made a choice about that. They therefore deserve support or condemnation depending on what they have done and depending on what the purpose of the Armed Forces really is.

 

I've already answered that. But just to add that the armed forces are simply a reflection of our society at large - because that's where they come from.

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I do know what "political" means. Here's an idea to get hold of. If one group of anarchists are attacked by another group of anarchists are they all involved in a political act?

Yes, if for political reasons, such as due to political differences or if one group wants to take from the other, or if they want to fight over something. It is all political. But in the context of our talk we are talking about the political where the government is involved.

 

Try this. The forces of a democracy are apolitical because they have to be as their political masters change their skins on a regular basis.

No, P.K. The forces of democracy are supposed to be the people and what they do is politics. What we do to shape our society and affect others is the political.

 

This is a relatively new arrangement. I would say the forces of the Axis were also apolitical as they were directed by a fascist dictator to whom politics were an unnecessary burden. Hence a relatively new arrangement as that's only 70 years or so ago.

You don't understand what the word means. At this stage I am wondering whether to drop the word, as it isn't crucial to the debate. But what do you understand by the word, as it is really is making you come out with strange things from the perspective of understanding the word. By that I mean that the Axis was political force, because it had the politics of wanting to become powerful economical, to have a superior race within, it had the strategy to fight the war, it had plans on how to feed the people, on what weapons to construct, on how to manage supplies, on how to run the bus services in cities, to what kids says and do in school. It is all political.

 

No-one is being "asked" to celebrate anything. You are being given the opportunity to express your feelings about your armed forces and that is it.

 

Yeah, they are. Something was created and then a load of propaganda formed round it to inspire and motivate people to support it. Go on the website. Look at how it is written about in the papers. And then listen to what people like you say about it.

 

I've already answered that. But just to add that the armed forces are simply a reflection of our society at large - because that's where they come from.

Please explain.

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