Thursday, May 05, 2005

Real support for the troops

I was driving yesterday, and I saw a sticker that said "Support our troops. Don't question where they fight, don't question our leaders that send them to fight," (I'm paraphrasing, because I don't remember the exact wording). I'm sure that if Clinton had sent the troops to Iraq, the sticker would've read something like, "Support our troops, tell Clinton to bring them home," or something more vulgar, perhaps.

What is it with people like this? Supporting our troops does not ever, ever mean blind faith. Supporting our troops means praying for them, not treating them like many did after Vietnam (my uncle fought there), doing anything we can to help them. However, supporting the troops does not mean we fall in line behind George W. Bush or any other president who sends our troops into harm's way.

Any president who sends troops into battle should be watched, should be scrutinized, should be questioned on what he is doing and why, because there are times where a president isn't doing the right thing for our troops. LBJ, Richard Nixon, and George W. Bush all fit in that category. LBJ and Nixon perpetuated a war that was unnecessary, and today Bush is conducting a war in all the wrong ways.

Supporting our troops means not cutting their benefits. Supporting our troops means not leaving them vulnerable in the new handout to credit card companies known as the Bankruptcy Bill of 2005. Supporting our troops means they have enough firepower to defend themselves well. Supporting our troops means they have the right weapons, the right armor, enough troops, enough armor, a leadership that understands the nature of the mission, and the proper training.

You know why recruitment is down for the Army, why they are cutting corners to bring people in? It's because this war has become an albatross. It was the right thing to do. It has been done in all the wrong ways. If we sent in the troops we needed in the numbers we needed, if we thought everything through and realized that this wouldn't be a cakewalk (and how did we all buy that it would be a cakewalk?), if we had help from Arab nations, if we had just listened to others before doing this, maybe we wouldn't be in the mess we're in.

Maybe those corners wouldn't need to be cut because recruits wouldn't be seeing soldiers dying in the numbers they are. Maybe these corners wouldn't need to be cut because Abu Ghraib wouldn't have turned many people against this war. Maybe those corners wouldn't need to be cut because more people would be willing to join the cause, because it would seem a much nobler cause than what it has become in many respects.

Finally, maybe corners wouldn't need to be cut because the nation would believe this wasn't a futile effort, which, sadly, it seems to be becoming.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nixon didn't send troops into battle, and Viet Nam was not an unnecessary war. Unwinable maybe, due to the policy of detente, which essentially precluded a win from the very start, and due to the horrid British policies that returned control of Viet Nam to the French early on in the conflict. Nixon ended a war that his predecessors had lost. Not the other way around.

Why do you Americans believe that a war is easily winnable? Is it that desire for instantaneous results? Or the hubris? Why do you believe that you have quagmired yourself? You have not. Without the war in Iraq, there would be no democracy in the Middle East, and that is the key to true peace--read a little Natan Sharansky, instead of the Daily Kos, and perhaps you will come to enlightenment. Death is an inevitability of war, but the deaths decrease every month (unless in some insane mathematical equation, 35 is somehow greater than 36). There is no nobler cause than democracy, no nobler cause than peace. A futile effort? Tell that to those who now have democratic governments, the Lebanses, the Palestinians, and maybe the Syrians and the Iranians. Tell that to Libya, who has pledged disaramament. Those who remain as dictators in this world finally have someone to fear, and that is an accomplishment.

Listening is not the solution. Were it the solution, many, many problems would be solved that have not been solved. The United Nations listens, yet amazingly, is ineffective, even a detriment to the world at the present. Should we have listened to those in the Middle East? What, pray tell, would they have told us but we are doing fine?

If you insist on scrutinizing Bush, perhaps you should look at the actions of Clinton, who sent troops to Yugoslavia without any American interest, and managed to do, well, abosolutely nothing. America lost troops there, too, but do you demand scrutiny of that conflict? Amazingly, no.

Question the adminstration, yes, but do not automatically assume that the rhetoric that is spewed by the mainstream media and others is true because it reveals the shortcomings. Each person has an agenda. Check your facts, and rely on those. Truth comes not from those who criticise.

11:00 PM  

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