Friday, February 12, 2010

Shared Sacrifice Weekend Dissident Soldiers with special guest Jeff Paterson 2/13/2010 - Shared_Sacrifice on Blog Talk Radio

Shared Sacrifice Weekend Dissident Soldiers with special guest Jeff Paterson 2/13/2010 - Shared_Sacrifice on Blog Talk Radio:

We will explore the story of Marc Hall, Fort Stewart soldier and Hip Hop artist, who wrote an angry hip hop song about stop-loss and is being court-marshalled for it (the Army will actually ship him to Iraq or Kuwait for the trial). We will play the song, 'Stop Loss,' on the podcast. Jeff Paterson is a former dissident soldier himself, and is project director of Courage to Resist. He will talk to us about Marc's case, and his own refusal to deploy in the first Iraq war in 1991. During livestreaming, please share your opinions in the chat room or give us a call at (347) 327-9615.


C.J. Clevenger said...


Please explain why it is acceptable to dissent from the military because of your views. In light of the fact that you agreed to come into the military in the first place knowing full well what they do. Agreed to abide by their laws. But after taking their pay and benefits and asked to do what you agreed to, you refuse, that should be celebrated. I put this same question to you on Facebook, then you proceeded to delete me as a friend. Is that what we are to learn from an educator in communication and a debate coach. Silence dissent, ignore those who oppose what you say. That will really revolutionize the world and convince people that your progressive ideals are right for all of us. Instead, surround yourself with those who agree with you. This make zero sense. That those individuals were asked to do what they agreed to and refused is only acceptable to you based on context, change the context and you get a different result, one that you would object to. Did you ask the people of Iraq, that you like to celebrate boldly that you went to, if they appreciated those soldiers who can and allowed them to even have a debate seminar there. Maybe you should have gone and spoken with those in Baghdad or tribal villages in Afghanistan about why they are afraid of us leaving because they are not ready to defend themselves. No, you do not have those experiences, and when you hear about them you ignore them. This is the reality of the world, a reality that does not fit into your ideals so you choose to ignore the facts that run counter to them. Continuing to surround yourself with others who believe the same things does nothing to advance your movement. You are no different than the elites that you criticize. Knowing full well you are going to delete this is fine with me, but if you take two seconds to look internally it was well worth it.

CJ Clevenger
Debater UMKC 98-01

matt said...

Please explain why it is _unacceptable_ to dissent from the military because of your views.

My private decisions as to who to have as friends on social networking sites have nothing to do with my profession as a debate coach. Perhaps if you'd had anything original to say about this, I'd have kept you in the small circle of conservative friends on my FB page--people who genuinely challenge me and make me see conservatism in a different light.

I have a number of political web sites you are welcome to lurk around or post on. FB is up to each individual and is only as political as those individuals want it to be.

Your nastiness in this particular post tells me I made the right decision. Your inability to correctly spell "independent" on your FB profile is equally enlightening.

C.J. Clevenger said...

Do not really care about whether you choose to have me as a FB friend or not. There is nothing nasty about this post, rather some observations about your actions. Still proceed on your own blog to ignore the question posed. It is very easy for those detached from the situation at hand to make flippant remarks and dismiss dissent to their own ideas as the ignorance of others. Very apparent here. This post is an excellent example of what I was speaking about. You only respond to what you choose to, ignore the rest and dismiss the individual as just another ignorant conservative. Which is really to sad, as I am not a conservative much like I am not a progressive. I wish you no ill will Matt. I have no problems with those who think that progressive ideals are great. Everyone is entitled to their opinions.

My intention was not to come across as nasty, rather as frustration with the fact that often times there are claims made by those on both sides without the actual facts that are based in reality. If the shoe fits wear it. If spelling is my fault then so be it...

C.J. Clevenger said...


I do have a serious analogy to ask of this logic of dissent. You are willing to promote dissent away from the military by those who do not want to go. Justified because they do not think that what the government is doing is right. Would you support these individuals dissent if they were refusing to go to New Orleans after hurricane Katrina or if they refused to go to assist those in Haiti? If those individuals were to dissent against the military in these instances because they did not believe that we should be helping these people, would your view change. My point being that the logic is the same. If you allow one you have to allow the other because the logic of both is what your theory justifies. This is the problem I have with this line of reasoning, because while you and I (at least I think you would say it is good that we stepped in to assist in these instances) would both agree that we should be providing support in these instances, there are others who do not. The theory of dissent against responsibilities that people have agreed to take on is not always good.

matt said...

You have concluded my remarks are flippant and dismissive. That's because you know nothing of my own history and what I have put into the study of the phenomena of dissenting soldiers, anti-war veterans, veterans and deployed soldiers in poverty, and historical movements to democratize the military. You resent the fact that I have boldly publicized the trip that Tuna, Jason, Jonathan, Bojana, Megan and I took to Iraq; what business do we have there, talking with ordinary Iraqis with their complex views of the occupation? In fact, we had debates about whether the occupiers should stay or go, with great arguments on both sides--far more robust than most such debates in the U.S. Many people believed what you apparently believe. Others believed the opposite. Others believed a little of both. I am sorry we didn't go into the right places and talk with the right people. I'd be happy to go anywhere to teach debate--and learn from the people there. My experience with some U.S. soldiers is that they are so filled with training propaganda when they deploy that they see everything through a certain filter, and come back with contempt for Iraqis, eg, and belligerent contempt for those who question the decisions, ideologies, and power struggles that shaped the decisions to invade and occupy. Of course, many soldiers come back with their eyes open, too.

Regarding the Katrina analogy, and whether "the shoe is on the other foot." You ask a good question--if by "good" we mean tightly logical, and completely stripped of historical and political context. As far as I'm concerned, if a soldier doesn't want to deploy because they believe Obama is a Muslim double agent from Kenya (cases which have actually happened), I'm all for it in the abstract; I'll make fun of them, as you are entitled to make fun of the Victor Agostos of the Army, but I would support their legal right to refuse to deploy because I am unconvinced the totalitarian model you assume is necessary for military effectiveness or cohesion. But more importantly, the ethic you defend, stripped of historical authenticity, is one where soldier-citizens are morally bound to execute missions that they know are lies, imperialist adventures, grand distractions, oil wars. You have even gone further in your dogmatic rage today, attacking a single mother whose case was actually mishandled by the Army, comparing her to a police officer --when, in fact, cops have an impressive amount of democratic rights soldiers don't have, including layers upon layers of free speech, union organizing and protection, that sort of thing.

I have interviewed several dissenting soldiers and veterans, and I am unconvinced that your "people agree to something and that's it" thesis is the proper way to look at (a) the democratic rights of soldiers in general and (b) the responsibilities and rights of soldiers in the context of the two current occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

You, on the other hand, should look deep inside yourself and ask yourself why such beliefs make you so angry.