View Poll Results: Do you agree with the general implications of this quote.

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Thread: Is this famous movie quote generally correct?

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    Is this famous movie quote generally correct?

    We've heard a lot of stuff in the past months about "torture" and various things that are viewed as necessary or unnecessary during a time of war. These lead me to remember a rather famous quote from a well known movie that seemed to be addressing philosophically just this kind of situation. Now, it came from the general "bad guy" of the film yet, like many powerful films, even the bad guys have a tinge of truth or realism inherent in it.

    So, I am curious what the people on the forum think of this quote and the general philosophy surrounding it.

    (Context; a high ranking military officer is on the stand answering questions in regards to the death of a soldier who had undergone an unofficial means of punishment for failing to meet the requirements that his superiors had for him in the service)

    Quote Originally Posted by A Few Good Men
    Son, we live in a world that has walls and those walls need to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lieutenant Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and curse the Marines; you have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives and that my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use then as the backbone of a life trying to defend something. You use them 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 and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said "thank you," and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest that you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.
    Last edited by Zyphlin; 05-04-09 at 01:45 PM.
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    Re: Is this famous movie quote generally correct?

    I would not call it "correct", but Colonel Jessep's monologue does frame a substantive ethical issue--what is the price of freedom?

    If people are not willing to shoulder the burdens and obligations of a Colonel Jessep and his contingent of Marines, do those people have a right to sit in judgment on how he meets those burdens and obligations? If people are not willing to "walk a post," as it were, are they therefore required to accept the actions of a Colonel Jessep, no matter how disturbing they may be?

    I'm not prepared to say that Jessep's monologue is correct, because his perspective places him beyond all accountability, and that does not easily reconcile with the mandate of the military being subordinate to the civilian government, and the government being subordinate to the people in general, which is the proper ordering of things under the Constitution. However, within the accountability that is required under the Constitution, giving the widest latitude to the most challenging tasks in defense of the United States and her citizens is nothing more than simple justice and fairness.

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    Re: Is this famous movie quote generally correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by celticlord View Post
    I would not call it "correct", but Colonel Jessep's monologue does frame a substantive ethical issue--what is the price of freedom?
    This is exactly right.

    I wonder how many of those that have been whining and crying about the supposed torture of terrorists would prefer that they, their families and friends die, over the torture of that terrorist.

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    Re: Is this famous movie quote generally correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    We've heard a lot of stuff in the past months about "torture" and various things that are viewed as necessary or unnecessary during a time of war. These lead me to remember a rather famous quote from a well known movie that seemed to be addressing philosophically just this kind of situation. Now, it came from the general "bad guy" of the film yet, like many powerful films, even the bad guys have a tinge of truth or realism inherent in it.

    So, I am curious what the people on the forum think of this quote and the general philosophy surrounding it.

    (Context; a high ranking military officer is on the stand answering questions in regards to the death of a soldier who had undergone an unofficial means of punishment for failing to meet the requirements that his superiors had for him in the service)
    I don't agree because it's an incredibly arrogant statement and unfortunately the kind of illusion that we live under currently. While I am grateful for the protections afforded me by the military, I certainly don't consider them all infallible or above the law. Military people are still, at the end of the day, people. They are capable of being assholes and jerks just like the rest of us. Personally, I find the suggestion that I should have to automatically kiss anyone's ass a bit ridiculous. Does that mean that I don't appreciate what they do for me? Absolutely not. But in my personal opinion I think respect is earned and not something that is automatically given. On an overall level I completely respect our military and appreciate their sacrifices, but that kind of general respect doesn't work the same way on a personal or individual level and I don't think it should be given on that level.

    Though, maybe I'd feel differently if Jack Nicholson's hadn't ordered that damned Code Red.

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    Re: Is this famous movie quote generally correct?

    When it comes to war and such I think most of us have no stomach for it, no means of relating to it, and no context from which to judge it fairly without having played any part.

    To that end the quote has merit. However it's also true that with great power comes great capacity to get out of control.

    When it comes to torture and other stuff I'd prefer that less of it were made generally public as I don't think many of us have any real understanding of all that goes on when fighting an enemy. I don't believe that all of our military will suddenly all go bad overnight. So I trust them for the most part to police themselves and call each other out on atrocities from a position of knowledge vs having a public airing of laundry where hysterical peace loving pacifists vilify our armed forces.

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    Re: Is this famous movie quote generally correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by dclxvinoise View Post
    I don't agree because it's an incredibly arrogant statement and unfortunately the kind of illusion that we live under currently. While I am grateful for the protections afforded me by the military, I certainly don't consider them all infallible or above the law.
    Question: Are you willing to "walk a post," as challenged by Colonel Jessep?

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    Re: Is this famous movie quote generally correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by dclxvinoise View Post
    I don't agree because it's an incredibly arrogant statement and unfortunately the kind of illusion that we live under currently. While I am grateful for the protections afforded me by the military, I certainly don't consider them all infallible or above the law. Military people are still, at the end of the day, people. They are capable of being assholes and jerks just like the rest of us. Personally, I find the suggestion that I should have to automatically kiss anyone's ass a bit ridiculous. Does that mean that I don't appreciate what they do for me? Absolutely not. But in my personal opinion I think respect is earned and not something that is automatically given. On an overall level I completely respect our military and appreciate their sacrifices, but that kind of general respect doesn't work the same way on a personal or individual level and I don't think it should be given on that level.

    Though, maybe I'd feel differently if Jack Nicholson's hadn't ordered that damned Code Red.
    I don't think you should kiss ass. However I do think there's something to be said for not being privy to everything when you weren't there and have little reference from which to judge.

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    Re: Is this famous movie quote generally correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goobieman View Post
    This is exactly right.

    I wonder how many of those that have been whining and crying about the supposed torture of terrorists would prefer that they, their families and friends die, over the torture of that terrorist.
    False diotchonomy much?
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    Re: Is this famous movie quote generally correct?

    In terms of the respect thing....I view it like the office of the Presidency.

    I would show respect to Bill Clinton, especially when he was the sitting President, because of the position he embodies. However, on a personal level, I have no respect for the man.

    Likewise, I will always be respectful on first meeting to any and every military person for the position they embody. If, in the process of this, they show themselves to be a complete dick and asshole not worthy of respect on a personal level than so be it...I still respect their service to this country, but my respect of them on a personal level is gone.
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    Re: Is this famous movie quote generally correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Travelsonic View Post
    False diotchonomy much?
    How is that a false dichotomy?

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