Thursday, June 03, 2010
Support the Troops
What pushed me to finally post my anti-war sentiments last time were a series of recent incidents. Here in the second part of my thoughts on war and America I want to walk you through one such situation.
I have to go back a little over a year, right around inauguration time, I was attending a gathering at a friend's house. At one point a gentleman, clearly a democrat, made some comment about Obama as compared to Bush. Being a strong supporter of third parties and a devil's advocate whenever anyone spouts either party line, I pointedly disagreed with him. He responded with something like -- "You can't honestly think Obama would be worse than Bush."
Before I could answer our friend and host stepped in and said -- "No, not you two! I know both of your political positions and --- well, not here." I smiled and bowed to his assessment. The other fellow tried the free speech angle -- "But we were just discussing..." I reiterated that I was going to accept the judgment of our host and the incident was over.
Move to last weekend at a Memorial Day gathering, this time with a discussion about Afghanistan. I made a clear anti-war statement and a fellow responded with something like: "You liberals betray our troops with that pacifist crap." This time I turned to the host for guidance and he responded: "Oh not this time, he deserves everything you are about to give him."
So whether you are a war mongering wing-nut or a thoughtful supporter of the anti-terrorism related foreign policy of the U.S. government; should you be tempted to use such an argument, this is for you:
I would call your argument intellectually weak but that would be conceding that you had a level of intelligence worth engaging. Particularly you tea-party noise makers. Here you are arguing that the people have the right and the duty of speak up and even replace the existing government when "In the course of human events..." Yet you try to silence criticism of war, death, slaughter and carnage by saying someone like me doesn't support our troops. Let me remind you of a lesson learned forty years ago in Vietnam; when mired in ill-conceived militaristic ventures the best way to support the troops is to bring them home. Or do you still think we could have or should have "won" the war in Vietnam?
Do you remember the words of John Kerry? "How do you ask a man to be the last to die for a mistake."
Supporting the troops means not putting them in harm's way for oil reserves or the bottom-line of petroleum/military corporations like Halliburton. You say politicians lie. How is it that only those you oppose are in on this conspiracy? How is it that your foreign policy always means young Americans die?
And one last thing, if you are so supportive of the troops, what have you done for wounded veterans recently? Visited them in the hospital? Wrote a letter to Congress demanding better benefits? Supporting the troops means giving young men and women the opportunity for a full life with all of their limbs and without the life-long post-traumatic disorders that arise when old, rich, business interests win out over compassion and common sense.
I linked to the words of the Declaration of Independence above, try reading it, all of it and then talk to me about supporting those who serve.