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Doolittle81
08-21-2007, 11:19 AM
In another thread, on the subject of "Why Study War", John Stuart Mill was quoted, but in a truncated version. The longer John Stuart Mill quote is:

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

An engraving of that quote on a plaque hung on my office/study wall(s) for the 28 years I served in the military. Over that time, on a cyclical basis (history does repeat itself, after all), the media/public from the left side of the political spectrum would attack and denigrate "the military" with great vigor and venom. When that happened, as it predictably has again in the last couple of years in the US, I'd glance over at that plaque and smile to myself...and get back to the job at hand.



A somewhat related thought is expressed in the famed Rudyard Kipling Poem, "Tommy". I offer it here in a separate thread so as not to hijack that other thread on "Why Study War":

The term "Tommy" for a British soldier was popularized in the 1890's by Rudyard Kipling, in his poem of the same name. It's 'message' is that in Britain (and any democracy, for that matter), the military is denigrated and underpaid and disrespected during times of peace; BUT, when there is danger for the nation, or war, then the military becomes highly praised and respected as they go out, as they always do, to defend their civilian counterparts.

It is a great poem (beware that is has some references to the culture/language of 19th century England which aren't necessarily understandable these days)... When I was a young captain during the years of the Vietnam war,(and I was one who had passed though SanFrancisco airport and been physically spit upon by the civilian hippie rabble), I was about to quit and resign my commission out of frustration with the treatment I had seen and experienced from American civilians. My boss, a US Naval Academy graduate by the way, recited this poem to me totally from memory! It had quite an impact...I stayed in the Air Force and retired a couple decades later. Every military person who has served for a career (in any modern democratic nation) will have seen the Ups and Downs of his experience, and will readily relate to the experience of Mr.Tommy Atkins...

----------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------

TOMMY by Rudyard Kipling [[With some footnotes on language/cultural references]]


I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer, [[public-house -- a pub, drinking house]]
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here. [[ publican -- the pub owner]]

"The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
..........O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
..........But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to play -
..........The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
..........O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to play.


I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls! [[stalls -- Prime seats near the stage]]
..........For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
..........But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide -
..........The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
..........O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.




Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
..........Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
..........But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll -
..........The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
..........O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.



We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too, [[blackguards -- coarse ruffians(pronounced "blaggards")]]
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
..........While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind,"
..........But it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind -
..........There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
..........O it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.



You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.


..........For it's Tommy this an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
..........But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
..........An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
..........An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Food for thought: Jack Nicholson as the Colonel in "A Few Good Men" with the wimp H'ahvad lawyer played by Cruise: " You can't handle the truth! Because deep down, in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You want me there. We use words like honor, code,loyalty...we use these words as the backbone to a life spent defending something. You use 'em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it. I'd prefer you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post...."

Blutarski2004
08-21-2007, 11:37 AM
Originally posted by Doolittle81:
In another thread, on the subject of "Why Study War", John Stuart Mill was quoted, but in a truncated version. The longer John Stuart Mill quote is:

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

An engraving of that quote on a plaque hung on my office/study wall(s) for the 28 years I served in the military. Over that time, on a cyclical basis (history does repeat itself, after all), the media/public from the left side of the political spectrum would attack and denigrate "the military" with great vigor and venom. When that happened, as it predictably has again in the last couple of years in the US, I'd glance over at that plaque and smile to myself...and get back to the job at hand.



A somewhat related thought is expressed in the famed Rudyard Kipling Poem, "Tommy". I offer it here in a separate thread so as not to hijack that other thread on "Why Study War":

The term "Tommy" for a British soldier was popularized in the 1890's by Rudyard Kipling, in his poem of the same name. It's 'message' is that in Britain (and any democracy, for that matter), the military is denigrated and underpaid and disrespected during times of peace; BUT, when there is danger for the nation, or war, then the military becomes highly praised and respected as they go out, as they always do, to defend their civilian counterparts.

It is a great poem (beware that is has some references to the culture/language of 19th century England which aren't necessarily understandable these days)... When I was a young captain during the years of the Vietnam war,(and I was one who had passed though SanFrancisco airport and been physically spit upon by the civilian hippie rabble), I was about to quit and resign my commission out of frustration with the treatment I had seen and experienced from American civilians. My boss, a US Naval Academy graduate by the way, recited this poem to me totally from memory! It had quite an impact...I stayed in the Air Force and retired a couple decades later. Every military person who has served for a career (in any modern democratic nation) will have seen the Ups and Downs of his experience, and will readily relate to the experience of Mr.Tommy Atkins...

----------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------

TOMMY by Rudyard Kipling [[With some footnotes on language/cultural references]]


I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer, [[public-house -- a pub, drinking house]]
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here. [[ publican -- the pub owner]]

"The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
..........O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
..........But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to play -
..........The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
..........O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to play.


I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls! [[stalls -- Prime seats near the stage]]
..........For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
..........But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide -
..........The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
..........O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.




Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
..........Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
..........But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll -
..........The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
..........O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.



We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too, [[blackguards -- coarse ruffians(pronounced "blaggards")]]
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
..........While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind,"
..........But it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind -
..........There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
..........O it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.



You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.


..........For it's Tommy this an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
..........But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
..........An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
..........An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Food for thought: Jack Nicholson as the Colonel in "A Few Good Men" with the wimp H'ahvad lawyer played by Cruise: " You can't handle the truth! Because deep down, in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You want me there. We use words like honor, code,loyalty...we use these words as the backbone to a life spent defending something. You use 'em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it. I'd prefer you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post...."


Can't immediately put my hands on it, but there is a bit of doggerel dating back to the mid-18th century which expresses much the same sentiment with respect to England's sailors being called up in time of danger to man the fleet then being unceremoniously forgotten when the danger has passed.

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

ploughman
08-21-2007, 11:43 AM
This is the Kipling verse that sticks in my mind most at the moment.

"A scrimmage in a Border Station
A canter down some dark defile
Two thousand pounds of education
Drops to a ten-rupee jezail."

Toten_Waffe
08-21-2007, 12:03 PM
Awesome post..........thankyou http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

BaldieJr
08-21-2007, 09:26 PM
I don't see the rich or powerful dieing in any wars.

Doolittle81
08-21-2007, 10:32 PM
Originally posted by BaldieJr:
I don't see the rich or powerful dieing in any wars.

I'm not sure if I understand what that statement is meant to convey.

leitmotiv
08-21-2007, 10:38 PM
Just a few years ago serving soldiers in the U.S. Army couldn't feed their families and were receiving welfare during the 1990's rundown of the armed forces.

As a fatuous, conceited Left-winger Senior in high school in fall 1969, I yelled an insult at a young man in U.S. Army uniform minding his own business driving alongside the car in which I sat.

Well done, Doolittle81.

M_Gunz
08-22-2007, 12:24 AM
Has the basic pay rate has increased then?
I've seen nothing but cuts on the veterans end, deep ones since 2000.
It's the private Vets groups that are taking up what slack they can, check the VVLP.

BaldieJr
08-22-2007, 01:22 AM
Originally posted by Doolittle81:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by BaldieJr:
I don't see the rich or powerful dieing in any wars.

I'm not sure if I understand what that statement is meant to convey. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

my dislike for war.

Friendly_flyer
08-22-2007, 01:41 AM
Originally posted by Doolittle81:
(John Stuart Mill)

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."


While I believe none of us would disagree with Mill, I think the modern debate on the matter is about where one draws the line at what to fight for. When we agree that war are ugly and that not being willing to fight for anything is ugly too, it all rather unglamorously boils down to a cost-benefit analysis.

joeap
08-22-2007, 02:44 AM
Originally posted by BaldieJr:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Doolittle81:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by BaldieJr:
I don't see the rich or powerful dieing in any wars.

I'm not sure if I understand what that statement is meant to convey. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

my dislike for war. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

..yet you play war sims. Anyway, there have been rich and powerful killed in wars. Just not as many as poor and expendable. Look at how many famous people served in WWII, Glenn Miller (rich at least) lost his life. Heck 2 of the main instigators did too, one killed by his own people and hung upside down, the main guy thankfully offed himself.

Plenty of generals and admirals died too...if one would do some research one could make a list. Don't assume everything was like the neo-cons today.

stanford-ukded
08-22-2007, 02:48 AM
Before Baldie sucessfully brings this thread in to a flame war, here's one of my favourite poems. It's short, to the point, and sums up morale at the time.

Edit: Eugh, I see someone's already taken the bait! Can we keep it to war poetry / accounts / stories? This has potential to be a great thread if it's not steered off course.

Requiem for an RAF Bomber Rear Gunner:


My brief sweet life is over, my eyes no longer see,
No summer walks - no Christmas Trees - no pretty girls for me,
I've got the chop, I've had it, my nightly ops are done
Yet in another hundred years, I'll still be twenty-one

by R W Gilbert

leitmotiv
08-22-2007, 10:54 AM
"When a Beau goes in" Gavin Ewart

http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s261/G6AS/Picture1-29.png

leitmotiv
08-22-2007, 11:19 AM
from Gulf War 2

http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s261/G6AS/Picture1-30.png
http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s261/G6AS/Picture2-24.jpg