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Six Days in Fallujah Delayed a Year (Gaming)

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Monday, November 29, 2021, 08:13 (174 days ago)

https://www.sixdays.com/news/2022

Looks like we are looking at a December 2022 date now for HighWire's Next game, while they double the team size.

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Six Days in Fallujah Delayed a Year

by cheapLEY @, Monday, November 29, 2021, 08:43 (174 days ago) @ Cody Miller

The world mourns, I’m sure. Here’s to hoping it just gets cancelled instead.

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Six Days in Fallujah Delayed a Year

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Monday, November 29, 2021, 09:43 (174 days ago) @ cheapLEY

The world mourns, I’m sure. Here’s to hoping it just gets cancelled instead.

I don't know man. I'd honestly like to see what it ends up becoming, and what they do with it. I feel like regardless of how it turns out, it'll be an interesting cultural artifact that we can use to examine games and war.

Six Days in Fallujah Delayed a Year

by Coaxkez, Monday, November 29, 2021, 13:20 (174 days ago) @ cheapLEY

Why?

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Six Days in Fallujah Delayed a Year

by cheapLEY @, Monday, November 29, 2021, 13:24 (174 days ago) @ Coaxkez

Because the world straight up doesn’t need any more Iraq War apologist propaganda.

Six Days in Fallujah Delayed a Year

by Coaxkez, Monday, November 29, 2021, 13:38 (174 days ago) @ cheapLEY

Propaganda? Just because it’s set during a recent modern conflict? I’m not sure if that’s the angle they’re going for with this project. The idea of playing as an American squad in a major battle has a lot of potential, I think, in its capacity to portray the human aspect of the war. That is to say, what combat is actually like, and how it feels to make split-second decisions. I see how that premise could very easily be used as a vehicle for propaganda — but it doesn’t necessarily have to be used that way. To be fair, I haven’t seen much about the game, although I am vaguely aware of its protracted development history, so I could be missing something here. I just don’t see that a video game about the Iraq War is either callous or propagandistic by default. It could turn out that way, but it’s not an inevitability.

Anyway, there are ten thousand games about World War II out there and almost no one has a problem with that.

Six Days in Fallujah Delayed a Year

by EffortlessFury @, Monday, November 29, 2021, 13:43 (174 days ago) @ Coaxkez

The potential? Yes. Nothing I've seen said about the game by those working on it has inspired confidence and plenty I've seen said has inspired doubt.

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Six Days in Fallujah Delayed a Year

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Monday, November 29, 2021, 14:48 (174 days ago) @ EffortlessFury

The potential? Yes. Nothing I've seen said about the game by those working on it has inspired confidence and plenty I've seen said has inspired doubt.

Nobody seems to be challenging or exploring Tamte's assertion that games are empathy machines. They aren't. Games don't have a special ability to impart empathy over say, a movie. They certainly can, but they don't have some sort of special quality that makes this easier or better. In many cases, it has less depending on your choices.

I want to see how they try to accomplish this goal, and whether they do. The fact that you have filmed interviews of the soldiers themselves is telling.

Six Days in Fallujah Delayed a Year

by EffortlessFury @, Monday, November 29, 2021, 16:23 (174 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Nobody seems to be challenging or exploring Tamte's assertion that games are empathy machines.

I'm pretty sure there've been entire books written on the topic.

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Six Days in Fallujah Delayed a Year

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Monday, November 29, 2021, 17:01 (174 days ago) @ EffortlessFury

Nobody seems to be challenging or exploring Tamte's assertion that games are empathy machines.


I'm pretty sure there've been entire books written on the topic.

Any you'd recommend?

Six Days in Fallujah Delayed a Year

by EffortlessFury @, Monday, November 29, 2021, 20:06 (174 days ago) @ Cody Miller

I haven't read it but I'm aware this one exists, at least.

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Six Days in Fallujah Delayed a Year

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Monday, November 29, 2021, 20:45 (174 days ago) @ EffortlessFury

I haven't read it but I'm aware this one exists, at least.

Thanks man.

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Six Days in Fallujah Delayed a Year

by cheapLEY @, Monday, November 29, 2021, 13:45 (174 days ago) @ Coaxkez

Did you watch the interview/teaser thing they put out last time this came up? I legitimately cannot see how anyone could have and not see the angle they’re taking.

Six Days in Fallujah Delayed a Year

by Coaxkez, Monday, November 29, 2021, 14:02 (174 days ago) @ cheapLEY
edited by Coaxkez, Monday, November 29, 2021, 14:08

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VF0c9SwewpA

This is the most recent one I’ve seen.

I don’t know what it’s going to turn out to be, but to me, this looks like a pretty human story about the battle itself and the experiences of the Marines who fought there, and dare I say it, a quite apolitical one at that. I don’t see any commentary on the war being made here. I didn’t agree with the Iraq War at the time and still don’t, but that doesn’t invalidate the sacrifices made by the Marines who were there, or the fact that they are real people who just want to do their job and get home in one piece. They’re not responsible for the war. I’d also make the argument that, regardless of the justifiability of the war or the efficacy of our presence in Iraq (and again, I stress, I didn’t agree with the Iraq War at the time and still don’t), we deposed a terrible regime and fought insurgents who would have installed another terrible regime, which isn’t the worst thing in the world. We were not fighting innocent victims.

On top of that, the Battle of Fallujah is a historically significant event, one that hasn’t been given much attention in popular media due to the generally negative public opinion of the war, and to me that is a shame. This battle saw some of the heaviest urban combat the Marines have ever fought, and certainly the most intense conflict in at least half a century. That sort of combat entails a very high human cost, not only death and injury, but psychological trauma as well. There are hundreds of stories within that framework worth telling. Why would you not want to tell them?

People tend to forget that our wars are fought by human beings. We do not have to agree with the wars to sympathize with the soldiers who were sent there to fight for us. It is entirely within reason to sympathize with them, as well as with the citizens in Fallujah (some of whom were interviewed for this project), and to make a game that attempts to chronicle their experiences. Again, your personal opinion of the war does not invalidate their sacrifice, and I don’t agree with the implied notion that any story about the Iraq War is negligent if it does not portray “our” side overtly as an interloper. Not every war story has to be political.

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Six Days in Fallujah Delayed a Year

by cheapLEY @, Monday, November 29, 2021, 14:29 (174 days ago) @ Coaxkez

Not every war story has to be political.

Every war story is inherently political. Trying to tell an “apolitical” story is deeply political in and of itself. Deciding to tell the story of the Marines instead of something else is political.

They’re basically trying to make a cop game about how it’s scary to pull over black people.

Six Days in Fallujah Delayed a Year

by Coaxkez, Monday, November 29, 2021, 14:43 (174 days ago) @ cheapLEY

They’re basically trying to make a cop game about how it’s scary to pull over black people.

That is not at all equivalent and you know it.

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Six Days in Fallujah Delayed a Year

by Korny @, Dalton, Ga. US. Earth, Sol System, Monday, November 29, 2021, 15:54 (174 days ago) @ Coaxkez

They’re basically trying to make a cop game about how it’s scary to pull over black people.


That is not at all equivalent and you know it.

[image]

It's an apt description, given how myopic the perspective is. That the game is based on a real event in an extremely politically-driven war makes it impossible to separate the politics of it (especially when you compare it to the zeitgeist of previous global conflicts), and the fact that they are game-ifying the perspective of the Marines is extremely gross, given that the targets on the other end of the gun were the terrified people who lived there and were caught in the middle of the conflict between trigger-happy idiots and their nebulously-defined targets.

But hey, wanna play a shooter where you face no real-world consequences to understand the inner turmoil of those poor sad marines? :(
Well then lock and load as we throw you into the procedurally-generated terror halls of Iraq, where you have no idea if that scary brown person screaming as you and your squad kick down their door is the one you're supposed to shoot or not (better shoot just to be safe!), wow, how scary it is to be a Marine and facing those decisions every day! What heroes!
Available on all your favorite gaming systems! USA! USA!

Yeh, I can see an equivalence, my guy.

Six Days in Fallujah Delayed a Year

by Coaxkez, Monday, November 29, 2021, 16:01 (174 days ago) @ Korny

I’m going to just let that stand without a response because it reveals more about your own attitudes than anything that could be revealed by a discussion between us. Your use of the word zeitgeist is precisely the issue here. Nothing can be permitted to challenge the zeitgeist - ever - or it is deemed problematic and silenced. But who controls the zeitgeist?

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Six Days in Fallujah Delayed a Year

by cheapLEY @, Monday, November 29, 2021, 16:10 (174 days ago) @ Coaxkez

The fact that this game is basically the default way America sees war, and you see that as a perspective that’s challenging the status quo is something I honestly don’t know how to respond to.

Six Days in Fallujah Delayed a Year

by Coaxkez, Monday, November 29, 2021, 16:22 (174 days ago) @ cheapLEY

When did I say anything about a challenge to the status quo? I’m just saying that the stories of the men and women who were there during the battle have value and are worth telling. They don’t negate larger conversations about the war.

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Six Days in Fallujah Delayed a Year

by cheapLEY @, Monday, November 29, 2021, 16:36 (174 days ago) @ Coaxkez

Those stories have been told ad nauseam. And they’re often used as a way to excuse atrocities committed or to justify further conflict. You know, propaganda. This game isn’t doing anything new or noteworthy, it’s just the latest in a long line of media trying to portray American troops terrorizing a foreign nation as heroes nobly sacrificing themselves. Without actually considering the conflict as a whole, telling the stories of these Marines is almost inherently propaganda towards that end.

“I was scared for my life!” the video game.

Six Days in Fallujah Delayed a Year

by Coaxkez, Monday, November 29, 2021, 16:39 (174 days ago) @ cheapLEY
edited by Coaxkez, Monday, November 29, 2021, 16:48

We were not terrorizing them. Irrespective of our ultimate reasons for being there, we were fighting violent extremist insurgents (and it is well-documented that they were extremists) who rose up to fill the void left by Saddam Hussein, a man who tortured and killed thousands of his own citizens, including gassing and killing thousands of Kurds in northern Iraq during the mid-1980s. Was that our problem? No. Should we have been there? No. Regardless of that, though, once we were there, was it our moral responsibility to set things right? Of course it was. Would it have been correct to simply get the hell out of dodge and leave the citizens of Iraq to their fate with a giant power vacuum hovering over them? No, it would not have been.

This is all very separate from the discussion about the game, and I think we’re going nowhere fast, so I’m out. Thanks for your indulgence, and no hard feelings. We simply disagree, so let’s move on.

[image]

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Six Days in Fallujah Delayed a Year

by cheapLEY @, Monday, November 29, 2021, 16:56 (174 days ago) @ Coaxkez

I dunno, committing war crimes in a city occupied by civilians probably counts as terrorizing a foreign nation, but I guess that’s just me. I’m sure they’ll leave that part out and focus on how scared those marines were though.

Six Days in Fallujah Delayed a Year

by EffortlessFury @, Monday, November 29, 2021, 20:03 (174 days ago) @ Coaxkez

Yeah, and I know someone who was there and is angry this game is being made the way it is. Because the people who lived there were the victims and the US were the aggressors. Unless the game frames you as playing as the bad guys, it's aggressively reframing things.

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Six Days in Fallujah Delayed a Year

by Korny @, Dalton, Ga. US. Earth, Sol System, Monday, November 29, 2021, 17:00 (174 days ago) @ Coaxkez

I’m going to just let that stand without a response because it reveals more about your own attitudes than anything that could be revealed by a discussion between us.

I mean, that's one way to dodge the points I made, sure. I'd say that definitely says quite a bit about your own approach to a challenged perspective.

Your use of the word zeitgeist is precisely the issue here. Nothing can be permitted to challenge the zeitgeist - ever - or it is deemed problematic and silenced. But who controls the zeitgeist?

That's precisely the issue here. Nobody has said that we shouldn't use the current information that we have to shed light on a situation where nobody seemed to have solid answers or info. We should always be open to understand historical events, and the realities that get lost in the fog of war. Especially when war crimes are involved.

This game does not set out to do any of that. It is presented as a de facto justification for the eponymous "six days in Fallujah". It is a shooter, so you will be expected to pull the trigger on the shadows around every corner, and it is telling you that that was okay. It is telling you that it was "Us vs. Them", and while some civilians may cause you to hesitate, that hesitation- that empathy, doubt, questioning, and moment of "weakness"? That will get you and your men killed.
So don't hesitate. Shooting is justified.
And it's a video game, so have fun doing it!

Could there be reasonable approaches to tell the "True" stories of what happened in order to try to justify or make people agree that maybe all those war crimes weren't so bad after all?
I mean, you seem to think so... But is a video game really the medium to tell that story?
That's why it's propaganda more than anything.

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Six Days in Fallujah Delayed a Year

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Monday, November 29, 2021, 17:11 (174 days ago) @ Korny

But is a video game really the medium to tell that story?

There is a likely answer to this. The worst fate for this game would be for it to be 'no' in exactly the ways we anticipate. I am sincerely hoping the answer is "No, but…"

Yes seems almost inconceivable to me given what we already know. If it weren't an FPS, the chances would be so much better…

Six Days in Fallujah Delayed a Year

by Coaxkez, Monday, November 29, 2021, 17:16 (174 days ago) @ Korny

I mean, that's one way to dodge the points I made, sure. I'd say that definitely says quite a bit about your own approach to a challenged perspective.

Your last paragraph demonstrated my point about the wider cultural belittlement of the Marines over a political point.

That's precisely the issue here. Nobody has said that we shouldn't use the current information that we have to shed light on a situation where nobody seemed to have solid answers or info. We should always be open to understand historical events, and the realities that get lost in the fog of war. Especially when war crimes are involved.

I’m going to be real with you, and this is not going to be a popular opinion here at all, but there is no such thing as a war crime. War crimes do not actually exist. They are a legal fiction we devised to “civilize” the barbarity of war. Throughout history, war has never been waged according to rules. It is brutal, ugly, unfair, and relentless by its very nature. We are fools for ever convincing ourselves otherwise. War is hell. The Marines fight for us. I couldn’t do what they do and you probably couldn’t either. It is possible to both celebrate the heroism of the armed forces and denounce the war they were ordered to fight.

This game does not set out to do any of that. It is presented as a de facto justification for the eponymous "six days in Fallujah". It is a shooter, so you will be expected to pull the trigger on the shadows around every corner, and it is telling you that that was okay. It is telling you that it was "Us vs. Them", and while some civilians may cause you to hesitate, that hesitation- that empathy, doubt, questioning, and moment of "weakness"? That will get you and your men killed.
So don't hesitate. Shooting is justified.
And it's a video game, so have fun doing it!

No, I disagree. Where is the war justified in this game? The Marines are lauded, but that’s not the same thing at all. You don’t even know what the thing is going to look like when it comes out and you’re already passing judgment on it.

Could there be reasonable approaches to tell the "True" stories of what happened in order to try to justify or make people agree that maybe all those war crimes weren't so bad after all?
I mean, you seem to think so...

And I gather that you do not.

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Oh hey giez wha'cha talk'n bout?

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Monday, November 29, 2021, 17:29 (174 days ago) @ Coaxkez

I’m going to be real with you, and this is not going to be a popular opinion here at all, but there is no such thing as a war crime.

[image]

I just want to say that, as mildly civil as all the above back and forth has been so far, I'd like to remind that there is a reason that Wu has a "No Politics" Rule around here.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for hot takes like the so on so on above, but... honestly, it just looks like we're just feeding a fire. Deeper and deeper away from the topic. I just, I get the idea that all that is going to happen is that everyone is angry and no one is any smarter by the exercise.

Aaaaand THAT MY TWO, I'm gonna make like ice cream and SPLIT, y'all have fun! lol.

Oh hey giez wha'cha talk'n bout?

by Coaxkez, Monday, November 29, 2021, 20:17 (174 days ago) @ INSANEdrive

I agree.

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Six Days in Fallujah Delayed a Year

by cheapLEY @, Monday, November 29, 2021, 17:49 (174 days ago) @ Coaxkez

The Marines fight for us.

They most certainly weren’t fighting for me, and I’m honestly pissed you’d suggest they were.

I couldn’t do what they do and you probably couldn’t either.

Because I wasn’t recruited straight of high school and then brainwashed into killing brown people under threat of imprisonment.

It is possible to both celebrate the heroism of the armed forces and denounce the war they were ordered to fight.

Not without a real lack of critical thinking. People perpetrating unjust wars are de facto not heroes.

Six Days in Fallujah Delayed a Year

by Coaxkez, Monday, November 29, 2021, 20:34 (174 days ago) @ cheapLEY

I respect you and your opinion and do not want to engage further because it seems like this is getting too personal now.

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Six Days in Fallujah Delayed a Year

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Monday, November 29, 2021, 20:46 (174 days ago) @ Coaxkez

I respect you and your opinion and do not want to engage further because it seems like this is getting too personal now.

Yeah.

This was just to point out that a game many ex-Bungie folks are working on has been delayed a year. Wasn't really hoping to start stuff.

Six Days in Fallujah Delayed a Year

by Coaxkez, Monday, November 29, 2021, 20:47 (174 days ago) @ Cody Miller

You didn’t do anything.

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I disagree

by kidtsunami @, Atlanta, GA, Monday, November 29, 2021, 17:50 (174 days ago) @ Coaxkez

To be fair, I haven’t seen much about the game, although I am vaguely aware of its protracted development history, so I could be missing something here.

You haven't and you are.

Since you down thread claim war crimes aren't a thing, I'd like to politely not engage with you further. I just wanted to voice my disagreement with what you've been saying.

I disagree

by Coaxkez, Monday, November 29, 2021, 20:25 (174 days ago) @ kidtsunami
edited by Coaxkez, Monday, November 29, 2021, 20:56

The concept of a war crime has only existed with any kind of legal weight or enforceability since the formation of the United Nations, and is only enforced by the existence of the United Nations. Technically we’re not even supposed to go to war with each other at all, “we” meaning any nation that is a member of the UN, since the UN Charter prohibits member states from doing so unless they have met certain very specific (and subjective) criteria. All of our “wars” since WWII have been legally obfuscated as “police actions” and “extraordinary measures” and the like. That is to say, lame and transparent euphemisms for war. Again, we encounter the contemporary desire to “civilize” war, because if we can’t stop it, I guess it is easier on the conscience to call it something other than war?

The real question is, what happens to all of this meaningless posturing and idealism when, inevitably, UN member states do formally declare war on each other? What happens to the enforceability of “war crimes”? I would think it will go right out the window… wouldn’t you? Every major war ever fought has involved “war crimes”, so what exactly do we expect will happen next time? There will be a next time, hopefully not for a long time, but it is an inevitability.

I say this not to upset you or anybody else here, and not because I think war is fine and dandy, or even desirable - because it very much is not. I just think we’ve kind of forgotten, as a global community, what war is really like, because we haven’t really had to deal with war on a global scale since the 1940’s. Simply put, war is hell. War is not fair at all. It is the manifestation of the ugly side of humanity that we like to pretend doesn’t exist - and yet it does. Some might even call it mass hysteria of the absolute worst variety for the extremes that it reaches. Really bad shit goes down in times of war, including inhuman things that can scarcely be imagined by those of us who have been lucky enough not to live through a real war. It is very easy to look back at a war and declare it criminal, or some aspect of it anyway, but I always wonder what the people on the ground at the time were thinking. We are not better than them. We are not above them. We have just convinced ourselves that we are, and that, I think, is actually dangerous and kind of terrifying. The assertion that “war crimes” are a legal fiction is not that upsetting. It’s the idea that human beings are capable of doing those things that really upsets, because it is frightening to realize that any of us can be pushed to that extreme given the right incentive.

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I disagree

by cheapLEY @, Monday, November 29, 2021, 21:02 (174 days ago) @ Coaxkez
edited by cheapLEY, Monday, November 29, 2021, 21:20

We are not better than them. We are not above them.

That’s horseshit. I’m absolutely better than anyone that’s used white phosphorous on civilians by nature of having not done so.

It’s the idea that human beings are capable of doing those things that really upsets, because it is frightening to realize that any of us can be pushed to that extreme given the right incentive.

That incentive being “I was ordered to,” I guess.

That you would trivialize war crimes while simultaneously telling me the people that committed them were heroes is just another level of completely batshit. I just can’t even.

I disagree

by Coaxkez, Monday, November 29, 2021, 21:20 (174 days ago) @ cheapLEY
edited by Coaxkez, Monday, November 29, 2021, 21:30

We are not better than them. We are not above them.


That’s horseshit. I’m absolutely better than anyone that’s used white phosphorous on civilians by nature of having not done so.

I don’t know you and don’t intend for this to be taken as a comment on your character, but have you ever been in a position where you could have done so? Again, it is very easy to pass judgment on servicemen who were there in the moment when you have not actually had any of their experiences. It is much more productive to crucify our politicians for starting the war than it is to go after the servicemen who were simply doing their jobs.

It’s the idea that human beings are capable of doing those things that really upsets, because it is frightening to realize that any of us can be pushed to that extreme given the right incentive.


That incentive being “I was ordered to,” I guess.

That you would trivialize war crimes while simultaneously telling me the people that committed them were heroes is just another level of completely batshit. I just can’t even.

In war, you do as you are ordered. That’s how being in a military works. It has to work that way or the military cannot function as a unit. But now we come to the white phosphorous issue. Tell me how many servicemen used white phosphorous against civilians? How widespread was that tactic during the battle? Do you really want to vilify the entire population of soldiers who were there that day for the actions of a few of their brethren, and do those actions negate the heroism of the servicemen who didn’t use white phosphorous? Maybe we should be asking who told them to use it and not vilifying the grunts on the ground anyway. But I’m sure you would have refused if only you were there…

I’m not trivializing it, but the notion that war conforms to rules is simply wrong, and provably wrong if you examine how literally any major war in history has been fought. We nuked two cities filled with civilians at the end of WWII. We did it because a million of our own soldiers were projected to die in a traditional ground invasion. Did those civilians deserve to die? Of course not. But did our soldiers deserve to die? We made a choice. It’s the cold, hard calculus of war. We weighed our lives against theirs and made a decision, because war is ugly and we wanted it to end faster, and also because we would be killing fewer of their people than they would have killed of ours in a ground invasion. That decision has invited no shortage of criticism in the 60+ years that have followed, but just imagine what would be said about us today if we had lost that war. It’s almost like the victors decide retroactively what constitutes a “war crime”.

We want the safety and protection that our military provides us, but we don’t want to face what that actually entails. We have become accustomed to our freedoms and our way of life and we forget the costs they sometimes demand of us.

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I disagree

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Monday, November 29, 2021, 22:06 (174 days ago) @ Coaxkez

In war, you do as you are ordered. That’s how being in a military works.

Except if the order is clearly unlawful. In which case, you actually have an obligation to refuse.

Locking this - it's gone way past the 'no politics' line

by Claude Errera @, Tuesday, November 30, 2021, 11:33 (173 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Life here has gotten pretty complicated in the past couple of months, and I haven't had the time to monitor this place as I should have been doing... so I apologize this got as bad as it did.

Please - let's stay away from stuff like this in the future. Thanks.

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