My friend said something last night that I just thought was way out of line about the military. He was very derogatory toward silicate in general and soldiers who have joined since the Iraq war started in particular. For some reason, probably because of my fondness for Robert Heinlein and the Baen stable of pro-military writer/lunatics, I flew a little hot. Okay, I flew a lot hot. But I promised him I would put up a blog post about it all, so we could discuss without so much acrimony. So, here we go.
First, we should establish the necessity of a military. The United States is a world economic power. For that reason alone, there are always going to be forces that want to do US interests harm. The Somali pirates that Obama had taken out in the first months of his presidency prove that. And those weren't even back by a nation. Start factoring actual national interests into things and the need for a military goes through the roof.
That being said, serving in the military is a valid thing for patriotic people to do. If someone wants to do right by his fellow Americans, the military is perfectly acceptable, right along with being a paramedic, a police officer or a firefighter. Notice that all those things carry significant risks. And they all have their occasional moral quandaries. But something tells me that my friend doesn't have the same attitude towards a paramedic that he has toward soldiers who have joined the military in the last few years.
I welcome your responses, my good reader.