• @hactar42@lemmy.ml
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    3522 months ago

    As an Air Force veteran this all is all hitting home so hard. I joined the Air Force right out of high school because my dad was in the Air Force and my grandfather was in the Army Air Corp, so of course I bought everything they were selling. We always made jokes about turning the Middle East into glass, or said little slogans like, “When it absolutely has to be destroyed overnight, call the Air Force.” I wish I could chalk that up to being young and dumb, but the leadership perpetuated these things and after 9/11 it really dehumanized what we were doing. I felt proud knowing that bombs I loaded on a plane were not there when it came back. I never once questioned why they attacked us in the first place. And I certainly didn’t learn about global politics with my high school education from Texas.

    After I got out, and got educated, and started seeing the world through a larger lens, it shifted my point of view. I’ve gone from hardcore republican who voted for George W Bush, to voting for Bernie Sanders. I feel ashamed of how I used to think and act. I am very anti-war on all fronts. No one should ever have to lay down their life for some shithead politician.

    With that said, I made the horrible decision to go to the Air Force subreddit to see what they were saying about these recent events. And it hurt me to see them all spouting the same shit I would have said 20 years ago. Crap about how the middle east has been fighting each other for 1,000 years, so we should just let them all kill themselves. And they strongly pushed the Aaron Bushnell was just some crazy radical anarchist. Or people saying his leadership failed him, or how did he have a security clearance, etc. There was not one single mention of how what was going on over there is beyond fucked up.

    So, seeing other veterans stand up for this makes me feel a little better and gives me hope. I just hope that is makes it’s way down the ranks and into the young service members and recruits.

    • fiat_lux
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      1102 months ago

      I feel ashamed of how I used to think and act.

      Hey friend, I would like to offer you a reframing of this situation. Despite being exposed to some of the strongest cultural indoctrination into warmongering and the military, you made it out and embraced empathy and learning. That’s huge. I’m proud of you, that’s a positive change most people never make. You should be proud of it.

      I just hope that is makes it’s way down the ranks

      You have a powerful and important story. Sharing it like you did just now helps more than hopes can. Keep sharing it, you never know who might be reading it and encouraged to question the lessons they were taught.

      • @hactar42@lemmy.ml
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        572 months ago

        Thanks. It definitely helps to hear someone reframe it like that. It was actually cathartic just typing that all out. The hope that it could encourage others is even better.

    • @silkroadtraveler@lemmy.today
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      402 months ago

      I’m 100% with you. The deprogramming took years. It feels like I wasted so much of my life, and I’m still trying to figure out where I fit in. What’s almost worse than knowing so many vets are still so brainwashed is watching people who didn’t go through the same programming shill even harder for regressive destruction. I work on a construction site and have to listen to these overconfident fascist blowhards rant all day.

      • @hactar42@lemmy.ml
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        222 months ago

        I feel you. Luckily I don’t have to deal with it at work because I work remotely and refuse to discuss politics with my colleagues (although I’m sure most of them know which way I lean). But I do have family to deal with. I’d say 90% of my extended family are either Trump supporters or just hate Democrats so much, that they will vote for Trump. Some have gone so far as to call me unpatriotic for things like supporting BLM, not liking Trump, and calling the people who entered the capital on Jan 6th terrorists. The most ironic part is not a single one of them served in the military. I am the only living veteran in my family, and I’m seen as the crazy left-wing guy.

        • @silkroadtraveler@lemmy.today
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          12 months ago

          I appreciate this, you totally get it. I hope you can hold onto that remote job. Makes it so much easier to tune out the hate and nonsense. I remain quiet and comfort myself by knowing that if the chance ever arises, I will do everything I can to undermine them. Which won’t be hard considering most of them have the intellectual capacity of a troglodyte.

          Wow the more I talk about this the more I want to leave the US forever. There’s so little left here that matches my values.

    • @phoneymouse@lemmy.world
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      352 months ago

      Thanks for sharing your story. I hope you continue to tell it. Your point about high school education is important.

      At the time the Iraq war was kicking off, I happened to have a history teacher that made us spend every Friday discussing current events. She made it clear to us that the premise of WMDs in Iraq was a lie and that the war would turn out like Vietnam. All these years later these ideas are not controversial, but way back then she said it when many people were saying the opposite. Needless to say, it kept me out of the military and helped me understand what was going on. Critical thinking is so important and we need capable public educators who can encourage young people to think for themselves. It can have a major impact on the life paths people choose.

      • @hactar42@lemmy.ml
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        182 months ago

        That’s awesome that you had a teacher who did that. That is one of the main reasons I’m planning on moving out of Texas. I want my kids to get educated by teachers who are not under constant threat from the state.

    • @masquenox@lemmy.world
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      152 months ago

      crazy radical anarchist

      Yeah because setting ourselves on fire is just something us “crazy radical anarchists” do on a regular basis.

      • @winkerjadams@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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        42 months ago

        Someone who is stupid would stay brainwashed but clearly this individual woke up. If you’re taught something from the day you were born then it is ingrained into you and quite hard to change. Thankfully many of the youth have started seeing the bullshit sooner but there are still people being bred into this ideology that need a chance to see the world and form their own opinions lest they be stuck in their parents ways.

    • Pistcow
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      522 months ago

      Weeeelllll back in the day we called soldiers “baby killers” and then after 9/11 we had to jerk every military member off we saw and repeat “thank you for your service” with a handful of dick.

  • @kibiz0r@midwest.social
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    812 months ago

    I’m not sure how to feel about the level of support shown for Bushnell, when previous self-immolators have been thoroughly ignored.

    Part of me is glad that his death is not in vain, and his friends and family can take some solace in that fact.

    But part of me is terrified that 20 more people are going to try similar stunts and achieve… less-than-nothing.

    There are already too many martyrs. We need agitators. You can’t agitate if you’re dead or otherwise removed.

    Please: If you’re considering Aaron Bushnell an inspiration, be inspired by the fact that he did something unusual, not that he did something self-destructive. Go throw some soup on a Van Gogh instead.

    • @masquenox@lemmy.world
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      182 months ago

      You are correct… Bushnell isn’t even the first USian to self-immolate as a form of protest this decade - the others barely made the news.

      While I can’t bring myself to criticise people like Bushnell (for obvious reasons), I also cannot endorse it. I don’t want to die for a cause - I want to make the fascists die for theirs.

      • Venia Silente
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        132 months ago

        I don’t want to die for a cause - I want to make the fascists die for theirs.

        Honestly this is one of the best quotables I’ve found on the internet this year. Permission to steal?

        • @ClanOfTheOcho@lemmy.world
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          102 months ago

          It’s a paraphrase from a Patton quote. I don’t have the exact quote readily available, but the gist is, “The objective of war isn’t to die for one’s country, but to make some other poor bastard die for his.”

    • @assassin_aragorn@lemmy.world
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      172 months ago

      I worry about this too. I don’t like self immolation as a form of protest. Normally I’d say it accomplishes nothing, but in this case it did draw a lot of attention – that by no means though should be an endorsement for others to do this. We can find better, equally effective ways to organize. There’s already enough senseless death going on.

      I appreciate his gesture, but I wish he hadn’t done it. I wish he was alive.

    • @nyctre@lemmy.world
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      162 months ago

      Except for that last part. Don’t waste food. And don’t destroy unique stuff.(Yes, the van Gogh was protected by glass iirc, but most other paintings aren’t) Plenty of ways to get attention without doing irreversible damage to art.

      • Trebach
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        62 months ago

        (Yes, the van Gogh was protected by glass iirc, but most other paintings aren’t)

        The van Gogh was chosen specifically because it was protected by glass.

        • @Empricorn@feddit.nl
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          12 months ago

          You apparently have way too much faith in copycats and people without critical-thinking skills…

    • @thecrotch@sh.itjust.works
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      -92 months ago

      previous self-immolators have been thoroughly ignored

      Arguably a self imolator ended the war in Vietnam. He absolutely got the ball rolling.

      • @masquenox@lemmy.world
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        72 months ago

        Arguably a self imolator ended the war in Vietnam.

        No, he fucking didn’t. The Vietnamese breaking the US military through the use of force ended the war in Vietnam.

          • @masquenox@lemmy.world
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            42 months ago

            I hate to be the one to break it to you… but the Vietnamese broke the US military. Swallow all the cope the propagandists have been spoon-feeding you about this since the 70s - it doesn’t change anything.

            • @Anti_Iridium@lemmy.world
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              32 months ago

              What do you mean by “broke”? I’m quite literally in a class on the Vietnam War this semester, writing a paper about how ineffective our policy of bombing an agrarian society that only needed to supply its forces 50 tons of supplies a day.

              Please, elaborate.

              • @masquenox@lemmy.world
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                02 months ago

                ineffective our policy of bombing an agrarian society

                “Ineffective” at what? The indiscriminate carnage that the US visited on SE Asia from the air was possibly the most effective mass-slaughter campaign ever perpetrated by a colonialist power - it was even more effective than the colonialist slaughter Germany visited on eastern Europe and the Soviet Union during WW2.

                So no… as far as the tenets of colonialist warfare is concerned, it was perfectly effective.

                • @Anti_Iridium@lemmy.world
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                  2 months ago

                  At stopping supplies and people from moving south?

                  So, our goal was genocide? I’m not saying we were the good guys, but clearly we weren’t comparable to the fucking Nazis eastern campaign.

                  You still didn’t answer what it meant to break the US military.

  • @Kedly@lemm.ee
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    242 months ago

    No tankies, we dont call all left leaning people Tankies, its specifically those of you that suck off Russia and China

    • @800XL@lemmy.world
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      212 months ago

      But that means a bunch of GOP Reps and Senators are tankies. They love sucking off Russia!

    • @fossilesqueOP
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      22 months ago

      Never said I support either.

    • Grayox
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      -72 months ago

      Tankie has become shorthand for anyone who believes in Communism, Russia isn’t Communist China is.

          • @Count042@lemmy.ml
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            52 months ago

            Russia is more capitalist then we are.

            I don’t see how you could say after ‘shock therapy’ that Russia is still a blend of communism in good faith.

            Like, I’m not trying to say Russia is a democracy, because obviously it isn’t, but the communist party is explicitly banned in Russia.

            • @assassin_aragorn@lemmy.world
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              62 months ago

              It’s quite understated just how much worse capitalism is in Russia. They have outright oligarchs, who make US CEOs look like equitable angels.

              You can use them as a litmus test for Western politicians who claim to be leftist. If they rail against domestic billionaires and corps but have no issue dining with Russian oligarchs, they’re just trying to trick you. Jill Stein is the foremost example that comes to mind.

              • Sybil
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                02 months ago

                jill stein did not dine with russian oligarchs, and she has been critical of them. so you’re kind of making things up.

      • @Kedly@lemm.ee
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        52 months ago

        Its shorthand for those who suck off Russia and China. If you are a communist who understands that those two countries are the exact opposite of ideals we should shoot for, you are not a Tankie

    • @masquenox@lemmy.world
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      -72 months ago

      Oh look… a liberal who doesn’t know what the term tankie means. Do they churn you out in a mould or something?