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T I M E Person Of The Year Is....  
User currently offline727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 6631 posts, RR: 21
Posted (11 years 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 1856 times:

http://aolsvc.news.aol.com/news/article.adp?id=20031210134909990001


By Nancy Gibbs

They swept across Iraq and conquered it in 21 days. They stand guard on streets pot-holed with skepticism and rancor. They caught Saddam Hussein. They are the face of America, its might and good will, in a region unused to democracy. The U.S. G.I. is TIME's Person of the Year

Modern history has a way of being modest with its gifts and blunt with its reckonings. Good news comes like a breeze you feel but don't notice; the markets are up, the air is cleaner, we're beating heart disease. It is the bad news that comes with a blast or a crash, to stop us in midsentence to stare at the TV, and shudder.

Maybe that's why we are startled by gratitude in the season of peace. To have pulled Saddam Hussein from his hole in the ground brings the possibility of pulling an entire country out of the dark. In an exhausting year when we've been witness to battles well beyond the battlefields—in the streets, in our homes, with our allies—to share good news felt like breaking a long fast, all the better since it came by surprise. And who delivered this gift, against all odds and risks? The same citizens who share the duty of living with, and dying for, a country's most fateful decisions.




Scholars can debate whether the Bush Doctrine is the most muscular expression of national interest in a half-century; the generals may ponder whether warmaking or peacekeeping is the more fearsome assignment; civilians will remember a winter wrapped in yellow ribbons and duct tape. But in a year when it felt at times as if we had nothing in common anymore, we were united in this hope: that our men and women at arms might soon come safely home, because their job was done. They are the bright, sharp instrument of a blunt policy, and success or failure in a war unlike any in history ultimately rests with them.

For uncommon skills and service, for the choices each one of them has made and the ones still ahead, for the challenge of defending not only our freedoms but those barely stirring half a world away, the American soldier is TIME's Person of the Year. TIME followed a single platoon from the army's 1st armored Division, to watch its life on the line and glimpse what the world's largest army can do while all the expectations for it are changing. There is no such thing as a typical platoon, but every one has a story to tell, about the costs of war and the price of peace and what you learn getting from one to the next.





It is worth remembering that our pilots and sailors and soldiers are, for starters, all volunteers, in contrast to most nations, which conscript those who serve in their armed forces. Ours are serving in 146 countries, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. The 1.4 million men and women on active duty make up the most diverse military in our history, and yet it is not exactly a mirror of the country it defends. It is better educated than the general population and overweighted with working-class kids and minorities. About 40% of the troops are Southern, 60% are white, 22% are black, and a disproportionate number come from empty states like Montana and Wyoming.

When they arrive at the recruiter's door, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told TIME, "they have purple hair and an earring, and they've never walked with another person in step in their life. And suddenly they get this training, in a matter of weeks, and they become part of a unit, a team. They're all sizes and shapes, and they're different ages, and they're different races, and you cannot help when you work with them but come away feeling that that is really a special thing that this country has."

The unstated promise is that soldiers are sent to war only as a last resort, to defend their country from harm. But while the threat posed by Saddam was chief among the stated justifications, George W. Bush's war was always about more than the weapons that have yet to be found. The son of the President who had trouble with the Vision Thing offered a vision so broad it bent the horizon: this was nothing less than a "battle for the future of the Muslim world," an expression of American idealism in all its arrogant generosity. Once again, we thought we could liberate a country just by walking in the door. The President could move this immense fighting machine halfway around the world, and call old allies cowards who don't stand for anything, for leaving it to us to rescue a captive country.






If diplomacy normally involves the disguising of discord, Bush's policy meant inflaming it: nato and the U.N. were divided; so was our own government, as State, the Pentagon and the CIA grappled in a three-way tug-of-war. One Marine, training in Kuwait's northern desert and waiting for war to begin, wondered whether protesters would spit on him when he came home. But for all the dissension, no one was blaming the soldiers: antiwar demonstrators argued they were fighting to defend our troops against an ill-conceived mission based on distorted intelligence. Even Howard Dean, whose antiwar campaign ambushed the Democratic Party, criticized Bush for asking too much of the nation's soldiers and reserves and diverting attention from more imminent threats.

It may be that idealism requires naiveté to survive, because no war ever goes as planned, and peace can be just as confounding. The same soldiers who swept across 350 miles in 21 days, to be greeted by flowers and candy and cheers as the statues fell, soon found themselves being shot at by the people they had come to save. As it turned out, the Iraqi civil servants who were supposed to keep the lights on after Saddam was gone instead stayed home when there was no one to give them orders. The sudden collapse of the Iraqi army was such an indignity to the Iraqi people that in a way it made the Americans' job harder: You can rebuild a bridge, but how do you restore national pride at the same time, or impose order on a country that seems hard-wired to resist it?

The campaign of shock and awe was always aimed at mind and heart: many Iraqis viewed America as magically powerful, which raised their hopes and, in some cases, broke their will to resist. One U.S. soldier, when raiding a house in search of weapons, would aim his cheap key-ring flashlight at the scalp of a suspect, then scan from head to toe before flashing the light onto his wristwatch and humming softly. The Iraqi, perhaps convinced that his thoughts and secrets had been electronically captured in a Casio, would often confess. Of course, there are no magic bullets, and it isn't what the soldiers carry that determines whether they win the day; it's who they are and who they have become.






The fight for peace demands different skills of the soldiers: not just courage but constancy; not just strength but subtlety. Liberty can't be fired like a bullet into the hard ground. It requires, among other things, time and trust, and a nation scarred by tyranny and divided by tribe and faith is not going to turn into Athens overnight. A force intensely trained for its mission finds itself improvising at every turn, required to exercise exquisite judgment in extreme circumstances: Do you shoot the 8-year-old when he picks up the grenade launcher? How do you win the hearts and minds of residents in a town you've had to wrap in barbed wire? How do you teach about freedom through the bars of a cage?

It is a fantastically romantic notion, that thousands of young men and women could descend on a broken place and make it better, not decades from now but right away, hook up the high school Internet lab, send the Army engineers to repair the soccer field, teach the town council about Robert's Rules and all the while watch your back. They debate how much to tell their loved ones back home, who listen to each news report of victories won and lives lost with the acute attention that dread demands. They complain less about the danger than the uncertainty: they are told they're going home in two weeks, and then two months later they have not moved.


Talk About It


Post Thoughts | Chat

When the Pentagon announced that instead of six months abroad the troops would be spending a year, it began rotating them home for a two-week leave to rest and recharge. Some turned the offer down; they said it would be too hard to go back when the 14 days were up. Some went home to meet their babies for the first time. They flush the toilet over and over, just because they can, celebrate a year's worth of birthdays in 14 days, meet the new neighbors, savor rain. Troops come home to a Heroes' Parade; towns don't call it a Victory Parade, because they know it's not over yet.

It now falls to the Iraqis themselves to decide what they are willing and able to do with the chance they have been given, and the rest of the world to decide how to help. Freedom's consequences, intended and otherwise, will determine whether the world is safer for having been forcibly rearranged, and how long it will be before the soldiers can come marching home for good.





[Edited 2003-12-21 16:46:58]


I feel woozy....what did you put in that Pudding Pop?
25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCommander_Rabb From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 771 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (11 years 1 week ago) and read 1835 times:

Excellent choice I would say. The sacrifices these men and women perform are nonpareil.

Thankfully this country continues to produce tremendous people.

A Bravo to all who serve.





User currently offlineAirplay From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (11 years 1 week ago) and read 1827 times:

I wish the US would award the soldiers with at least as much as they award big business in this war.

User currently offlineZak From Greenland, joined Sep 2003, 1993 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (11 years 1 week ago) and read 1811 times:

i cant help it but i really get the impression from alot of different things that the united states are drifting further and further into militarism.
from the neverending creation of "hero" images (pvt lynch etc) that stylize being a soldier and fighting a war as something adoreable to the extreme criticizm people have to endure when they are not fully behind "the people that defend our freedom" to the never tired to be mentioned benefits of being in the military to get education over to certain civillians hold most of their speeches in front of the military and end up in uniform on an aircraft carrier etc the list goes on.
i honestly dont understand how soldiers automatically become heroes just because they are in a warzone. just because they get sent to war on very very doubtful claims doesnt make them heros. it makes them the poor bastards who play the pawns in a game of geopolitical chess.
of course ww2 created many REAL heros that fought against a real threat and defended real values, but that doesnt make every soldier that is from your own country a hero just because he fights in a war.

there is a horrifying similarity to how germany got subjugated by a very military friendly civlillian dictator also wearing uniform by just upholding some democratic tokens while changing a democracy into a totalitarian dictatorship




10=2
User currently offlineJohnboy From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 2602 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (11 years 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 1803 times:

You don't get too many people who would volunteer for today's army unless you elevate that position so that every military person is a "hero".

Look for a draft in the next few years.


User currently offlineJeffM From United States of America, joined May 2005, 3266 posts, RR: 51
Reply 5, posted (11 years 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 1802 times:

there is a horrifying similarity to how germany got subjugated by a very military friendly civlillian dictator ...

and then went about killing millions of people just because of the religion they practiced.

Sorry, I don't see the similarity to Clinton or Bush....


Sierra Hotel to the American soldier....



User currently offlinePacificjourney From New Zealand, joined Jul 2001, 2734 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (11 years 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 1799 times:

Time magazine continues it's journey around the U-bend !

It's free these days isn't it, no one actually pays.



" Help, help ... I'm being oppressed ... "
User currently offlineJAL777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (11 years 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 1787 times:

I wish the US would award the soldiers with at least as much as they award big business in this war.

I wish you would grow up and learn how private sector economics works.


User currently offlineSabena 690 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (11 years 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 1778 times:

Well said, Zak...

Some seem to forget that most wars are due to the failure of diplomacy. And diplomacy is something that clearly isn't listed in Bush his library.

Unfortunately too much people see 'war' as a funny video game on their Play Station.

Frederic


User currently offlineJAL777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (11 years 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 1777 times:

Some seem to forget that most wars are due to the failure of diplomacy. And diplomacy is something that clearly isn't listed in Bush his library.


Since when did you become Judge, Jury, and Executioner on issues of Diplomacy? Remember... everything is relative.


User currently offlineJeffM From United States of America, joined May 2005, 3266 posts, RR: 51
Reply 10, posted (11 years 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 1764 times:

And diplomacy is something that clearly isn't listed in Bush his library.


..either is banging his head against a wall.... Diplomacy is a tool....but not the only one.

v/r
Jeff


User currently offlineAlpha 1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (11 years 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1755 times:

Some seem to forget that most wars are due to the failure of diplomacy. And diplomacy is something that clearly isn't listed in Bush his library.

Stow it for once. This isn't about Bush. It's about the men and women who are put in harms way, no matter who the President is at the moment, and who have performed admirably and honorably in two simultaneous conflicts in the same region of the world. They are the heroes, and they deserve the support and praise of the nation.

This shouldn't be a thread that digresses into a forum on Bush's policy for once. It shouldn't be a political football for people like Airplay to take potshots at the U.S. once again. It's a thread honoring the men and women who, voluntarily, server their country under arms, and do it with great skill, courage and honor.


User currently offlineAloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8771 posts, RR: 42
Reply 12, posted (11 years 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1745 times:

Folks, where did they hide George Bush's face on that cover, for I can't fin it? I even read that the TIME editors emphasize that their choice is no "glorification" of George Bush for sending his country's soldiers to war in Iraq.

So tell me again, why does this choice mean they applaud the war in Iraq? Or their current president?

Whether the US is a militaristic country or not is an entirely different can of worms - it's certainly more militaristic than Germany, on averages, but that's one of the easiest "achievements" (for lack of better words) I could imagine.

[Edited 2003-12-21 19:01:13]


Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineMoPac From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 215 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (11 years 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 1710 times:

i cant help it but i really get the impression from alot of different things that the united states are drifting further and further into militarism.


I can't help but get the impression that your impressions are misguided.

of course ww2 created many REAL heros that fought against a real threat and defended real values, but that doesnt make every soldier that is from your own country a hero just because he fights in a war.

Let me guess, you don't have a single American on you "List" of REAL heros. Was America the "Real Threat" during WWII?

Unfortunately too much people see 'war' as a funny video game on their Play Station.

Video Game??? Tell me again your theory on how peace and stability "Just Happen".

it's certainly more militaristic than Germany, on averages, but that's one of the easiest "achievements" (for lack of better words) I could imagine.

What makes you qualified to say that because I am an American, I am more militaristic than you are, as a German?


User currently offlineAloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8771 posts, RR: 42
Reply 14, posted (11 years 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1683 times:

MoPac, you seem to have read over two little words: "on averages". I didn't say anything about anyone's personality. No need for feeling defensive here.

A nation that proudly looks at its servicemen as "tremendous people" (reply 1), or as "heroes" - you have every right to do so, of course - is more militaristic than a nation that constantly remembers:

- roughly four years of unexistence
- about forty years of lost sovereignty
- a decade-long separation that is still dominating its current state
- an almost unbearable past that has lost none of its explosiveness

due to one major war during which servicemen were glorified like never before. For example, swearing in recruits sometimes causes major trouble over here because people think it's too militaristic and archaic.

Do you have that kind of problem in the USA? If yes, that would be more than new to me, but I'm always willing to learn.

Glorifying the US armed forces and their history doesn't make a majority of people remember mass murder (talking about millions of people here), fanatic racists, "burnt soil" tactics and misery. Therefore, there's no reason for having much of a problem with it - unlike Germany.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineQANTASFOREVER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (11 years 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 1642 times:

Without condoning warfare, the men and women of the COALITION OF NATIONS have liberated Iraq from a tyrannical dictator.

For this reason they must be commended.

I pray they are not exploited for political gain.

QFF



User currently offlineAlpha 1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (11 years 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 1633 times:

I pray they are not exploited for political gain.

War IS a politcal act, so they're always exploited for political advantage. Sad, but true.


User currently offlineSonic From Lithuania, joined Jan 2000, 1670 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (11 years 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1624 times:

I don't understand the way Time chooses the "person of the year"... I always thought it must be a real person, not an abstract figure. If it can be latter, than why, for instance, in 2001 New York Firefighter didn't became person of year (or was nominated for that matter), but Giulliani instead?
Also, as far as I know people can get this title for both positive and negative impact (if I remember correctly, Bin Laden was nominated back in 2001). If so, I think George W. Bush should have got it, since I believe he made the largest impact on year 2003... We can argue werether it is positive or negative though, but I think most of us would agree that his impact on year 2003 was huge.
If, however, this award can only be given for "good" impact, then I have to retreat my words since GW Bush's actions were too controversial.

Aloges,
As you noted, Germany is non-militaristic to the extreme. In fact, in my opinion too non-militaristic. It seems that currently most of Germans are even non-patriots, and after speaking to quite many I've came to a conclusion that this is because they fears to be associated with nazi past. Well, in my opinion past is past, especially since almost 60 years had passed already since the fall of that regime. You shouldn't look back. Of course, I am not saying that Germany should legalise nacionalsocialist party or something like that - nation, like a person, must learn from it's mistakes. However, this fear of nazism reached ridiculous levels in Germany and it doesn't seems that it would diminish anytime soon.
This is a bit off-topic, but recently I've read a book by one German (sort of encyclopedia). One chapter was called "how to recognise fascist". No irony was meant there, it was supposedly a serious study, but at certain places it was hilarious to extreme. For instance "Anyone, who does any kind of genetical experiments could be considered fascist", "Anyone, who tries to prove that we get our IQ with birth, could be considered fascist" (it is a scientifically proved fact that we get our IQ with birth), etc.


User currently offlineAlpha 1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (11 years 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1618 times:

I don't understand the way Time chooses the "person of the year"... I always thought it must be a real person, not an abstract figure. If it can be latter,

There is nothing "abstract", Sonic, about the men and woman fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan. They're real, except to minds like yours I guess.

than why, for instance, in 2001 New York Firefighter didn't became person of year (or was nominated for that matter), but Giulliani instead?

Gee, I don't know Sonic, maybe because they Rudy led NYC through 9/11? And besides, who says because they pick soldiers one year they have to pick fire fighters in another? You need to think a little deeper here, and not be so superficial. Time considers a lot of factors, and then makes a decision. It's THEIR decision, whther any of us like it or not. But this year, I agree with them completely.

Also, as far as I know people can get this title for both positive and negative impact (if I remember correctly, Bin Laden was nominated back in 2001)

That is true, but if they were ever to pick a Bin Laden, they'd be accused from the right of promoting the SOB, and being anti-US for doing so. I think he should have been named POY, because the scumbag DID make the biggest impact of 2001. After all without Osama and his Merry Men, Rudy would never have even been nominated.


User currently offlineSonic From Lithuania, joined Jan 2000, 1670 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (11 years 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1613 times:

Alpha1, of course soldiers are real. What I meant by saying "abstract figure" is that it is "Time person of the year", not "Time group of persons of the year", so I thought that some single person must be awarded (e.g. one soldier or general with name, etc.) not abstract "US GI". Sorry if I didn't made myself clear.

As for Bin Laden, I agree with you. If I remember correctly, Hitler also once got this award, this was in pre-WW2 though.

However, same as with "US GI"/George Bush, "NY Firefighter"/Giulliani there is the same dillema - who is more important: one who does the job or one who orders to do it/controls how it is done. Since this could be discussed endlessly and both sides would have some valid arguements, I will just say that in my opinion "the leader" should be awarded because it is a tradition and it is "person of the year", not "group of the year" or "figure of the year" title. I am not claiming that leader is more important than "ordinary workers" however.

By the way, for OBL it is be the same - he on itself did not much actually (he is more ideological leader of Al Quieda), attack was done and probably planned even by other people. Same as war in Iraq wouldn't be possible without soldiers, Sep 11 would have never happened if not these 19 people who decided that attacking America was more important than their lifes. However, if Time would have even nominated "Al Quieda Terrorist" for the "person of the year", it would have caused many discutions, probably same amount as if Bin Laden would be awarded the title (in my opinion).


User currently offlineB747forlife From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 392 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (11 years 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1597 times:

Was there a big uproar about the person of the year last year? Because it was persons last year also....

The 3 female whistleblowers were the people of the year for 2002.

I'm sensing a little animosity because it the AMERICAN GI that got it...

-Nick


User currently offlineAirplay From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (11 years 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1583 times:

I wish you would grow up and learn how private sector economics works.

JAL777, I do know how it works. The US military sends soldiers into a war zone. They suffer tremendously and are exposed to horrors that would make most men cry like babies.

Then after they serve their countries, some making the supreme sacrifice, they get treated like crap when they return. They don't profit. But...the scum that sent them there (and their big business buddies) do quite well.

Grow up? Get a grip...


User currently offlineYyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16370 posts, RR: 56
Reply 22, posted (11 years 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1575 times:

Then after they serve their countries, some making the supreme sacrifice, they get treated like crap when they return. They don't profit.

More badmouthing of US institutions by Airplay. This time it's the military.  Insane
Well Airplay, the US has no shortage of volunteers for its volunteer army so they can't be treated that badly, can they?

But...the scum that sent them there (and their big business buddies) do quite well.

So you're equating business buddies with scum? Where do you think your own livelihood comes from Airplay? Business with the US is the PRIMARY wealth creation tool in Canada.








Panam, TWA, Ansett, Eastern.......AC next? Might be good for Canada.
User currently offlineMD-90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 8508 posts, RR: 12
Reply 23, posted (11 years 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1563 times:

I think that dedicating the TIME man of the year to the American G.I. is an excellent choice. I bet they just couldn't stomach naming Bush as the man of the year, thus the soldier. It's a good article until the author lets her personal politics be put on display. If she can't keep her personal opinions to herself for such an important (to TIME, at least) nomination, then perhaps she shouldn't have written it.

User currently offlineAirplay From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (11 years 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1528 times:

Business with the US is the PRIMARY wealth creation tool in Canada.


Oh really? Even if this was true, it wouldn't mean I had no right to analyze ANY institution and offer my opinion. Wealth Creation tool? Is this a reference to the trade between our countries? In that case I guess Canada is the prime wealth creation tool to the US.

And, there are a pile of vets that would agree with my assessment. Those volunteers you speak of just don't realize what they are in for...

So you're equating business buddies with scum?

Yes. In the context of for example, Bush, Cheney and Haliburton. You see, if you stick with the context things make sense YYZ717...



User currently offlineJeffM From United States of America, joined May 2005, 3266 posts, RR: 51
Reply 25, posted (11 years 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1523 times:

And, there are a pile of vets that would agree with my assessment. Those volunteers you speak of just don't realize what they are in for...

Well, I'm a VET, and I benefit from my time served nicely. If you have the ability to realize you are joining an armed military service, and not a country club, most people adjust easily, and do well.

...Maybe it's different in canada YYz...



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