Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Veteran is eviscerated by the word "veteran"

Here we are in the aftermath of the Paris attacks and I'm trying to make myself disciplined enough to not retort on my Twitter feed to the plethora of people who are touting Islamophobia and the exact same actions that brought about such attacks. [1]

But that is neither here not there. I did make the mistake of giving a thumbs up to Trudeau (Canadian PM) for withdrawing his forces from the "fight" against ISIS [2]. I was immediately confronted by a Canadian conservative who claimed it wasn't brave to abandon allies. I playfully (and thoughtlessly, as it happens) said "since 1914" but didn't think much of it. 

The second tweet was something I've seen before: "@nlowhim obviously you know completely nothing abt our military... our vets dies so u could post idiotic tweets... they're brave". 

Now, I'm not exactly sure how to respond to such statements. I'm well aware of it and its inherent weaknesses. Do I let them know that I'm a veteran? What exactly does this lend the argument, though? Not much, in my opinion. [3]

As I said before, I don't particularly want to start arguments on the internet [4] and Twitter makes it so that it's much too weak to facilitate an argument, even with willing parties. But allow me to tackle the comment itself (and validate the title of this post). 

I find it extremely interesting that the person was associating veterans with a very specific, conservative (better to say reactionary or jingoistic), world view. I also find it interesting that it was used as a kind of trump card, whereby I should, ostensibly, feel enough guilt to cede ground, or perhaps (if I weren't well-informed enough) accept the framing of this world view and stand against veterans, and dead veterans no less, should I want to tweet my idiotic tweets.

It's also interesting that an argument about refugees devolved into the anti-refugee person hiding behind dead veterans. I imagine most people still have the mindset that anything pro-war is automatically pro-veteran and vice versa? It's unfortunate that this is the case. [5]

As for arguments, I think I'll have to find a better way to carry them out on the internet. Anyone have a site?



[1] As I've promised before, I'll dive more fully into ISIS and I will do so, to include these latest attacks.

[2] The idea of gaining anything from comment threads or other linear discussions, such as Twitter, is a whole different matter. I've come to the conclusion that these feeds or threads are at best the id of us people or a way to gain simple facts, but are not a way to build knowledge (other than, again, the simple kind, or to entertain). At best, it is a circle-jerk affair, with no truth arrived at.

[3] Mainly because though having served provided me the impetus to learn more about conflict in general and from that knowledge I base a lot of what I believe in (again, fueled and informed by my trips to Iraq, which can only ever be case studies—the specific experiences, at least—to say nothing of that combustible fuel of emotion). Furthermore, many other veterans, including friends of mine, have experienced the way and have opposing opinions to mine. (and to judge by many of their facebook posts, they have not decided to use emotion to read more on the matter and in many ways, they sound even more extreme than I remember them, while I've drifted off in the opposite direction, having been in the same place as them).

[4] One day, like a bar, there will be no discussions on religion or politics on the internet... not in any of the forms it's currently in.


[5] Another side note is that such a word is now Veterans' day instead of Armistice day. As Vonnegut noted, this is quite the change. Again, note how the word veteran is being

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