US Military: War is Good for Iraqi Teens' Self-Esteem

Hooray for war! If any one ever asked you what the Iraq war is good for, tell 'em this study by the United States Military Academy: it is good for the self esteem of Iraqi teenagers (if they're still alive ...)[Re-reading my intro, I agree that it was a bit snarky. It's never my intention to denigrate the US armed forces - they have my respect, support, and admiration for doing a difficult and dangerous job. Get back home safely soon, guys.]

Here's an interesting study by the US Army on the effect of war on the psyche of Iraqi teens:

For obvious reasons, few social science researchers have ventured into Iraq since the American-led invasion. However, in 2004, a year into the hostilities, the US Army funded a team of Iraqi interviewers, based at the Asharq Centre for Polls and Marketing Research, to go into ten neighbourhoods of Baghdad to survey the concerns and self-esteem of 1000 teenagers.

The results showed that rather than damaging their sense of self, the war appeared to have bolstered the teenagers' self-esteem, especially in those who felt most strongly that their country was under threat. [...]

The researchers said their finding was consistent with Social Identity Theory, which predicts that people will seek to maintain their sense of self when their identity is under threat. It's also consistent with research on mortality salience, showing that people tend to shore up their sense of self when reminded of, or threatened by, risk of death.

Link (Photo: Staff Stg. Sean A. Foley [wikipedia]) - via Mind Hacks

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Don't be afraid to speak against the Troops and don't be dumb to support them. You can't be that blind not to see the ruthless carnage, you can't be so deaf not to hear the senselessness of conflict and not ever so tasteless not to devour the absurdity of your own words. Rise above reason or at least try to you dumb ass!
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Unsurprisingly, a political discussion has turned into one comment being taken 10 different ways, a correction has been made when none was needed, someone blamed Bush, someone defended Bush, both points were moot, and in the end nothing was clarified, solved, or really even debated. The original point remains the same and nothing was accomplished except wasting time. God Bless politics.
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Alex - you don't have to apologize for your opinions or what you write, and neither does anyone else here. I did comment on it, but no, it doesn't offend me.

As with most things in politics, the war in Iraq isn't a black or white or even shades of gray issue - it's more like the colors of oil swirling in a pool of water. Yes, we never should have started the war in the first place. Yes, even though our government did it with military and economic benefits in mind, the military has tried it's best to protect and rebuild Iraq for it's people. Due to a ridiculous desire to make the world see us as liberators instead of conquerers, the occupation was botched from day one. The problem now is that the terrorists (by that term, I don't mean "the enemy" I mean forces that a) don't wear uniforms b) act with only fear as a goal rather than tactics, and c) deliberately target civilians) target the public utilities, and target civilians who help our soldiers. They're not targeting members of our military, they're targeting the Iraqis who join the police force. Why the world doesn't show 1/10th of the hatred it has for the US on these terrorists (as they're the ones who are murdering people and destroying the country,) I don't know.

So far, there have been many parallels between Iraq and the Vietnam war. If - as so many want us to - the US simply pulls out, then - like after the Vietnam War - everyone who tried to help rebuild their country, everyone who was proud enough to hold up stained fingers after voting in their democracy - will most likely be slaughtered. (Remember all of those who were killed for helping the US after Desert Storm?) So yes, we created the problem, but we are trying - at the cost of our lives and our economy - to solve the problem. I don't understand what other solution there can be.
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