Thursday, May 31, 2007

"To say you support the troops and not the war is crap"

The print version of the May 23 Community Free Press has an interesting editorial by Vincent David Jericho, who hosts the local radio commentary show, "Standing Up for What's Right." The issue's Memorial Day theme continues with Jericho's "A Love for the Military":

I have always been a sucker for a man in uniform. I'm not sure when or how it started.

I know I watched a lot of war movies with Audie Murphy and the like when I was younger, and my favorite TV show was The Rat Patrol. Maybe it was the unexplainable understanding of Country, Duty, Honor, and Sacrifice these movie and TV soldiers exemplified. Whatever it was I have, and continue to be, in love with our military.

No word on whether or not those movie and TV soldiers ever compelled Jericho to serve himself. But I'm sure plenty of American troops found themselves on the battlefield after such romantic screen portrayals. Their reactions would make interesting editorials, I imagine.

Throughout the national discourse on war, much criticism from the right has centered on liberals' use of tragedies as political pulpits. However, the right certainly has its own moments of this nature, as Jericho proves after ruminating a bit on the virtues of the American soldier:

In turn they ask for little, just the opportunity to finish the mission and when the politicians have left them alone, the American Soldier has always finished the mission. Be it on Bataan, Omaha Beach, Bastion, Midway, Grenada, or Kuwait, the American Soldier has ALWAYS accomplished the mission.

Grenada? Is he serious? Aside from the obvious fact that politics has started or clouded every war ever known, Grenada is probably the worst possible example of a politics-free war...except maybe for Vietnam and Iraq, both of which are conspicuously absent here.

But, in a sense, I agree with Jericho on this point. If Bush, Cheney, Rice and Co. kept their slimy politician hands out of war, the world would be a much better place. Short of that ideal, our troops may actually accomplish the worthwhile mission they initially set off to do before being diverted into the Iraq mess.

Then again, Jericho says I'm wrong about that.

I apologize for the language, but to say you support troops and not the war is crap.

For you see, you're behind the troops only if you want to keep them in Iraq for endless deployments in an unstable wasteland with no clear mission and woefully inadequate supplies. Wanting them to come home alive is a sign of cowardly weakness. After all, what is the point of having a military if we can't flex its muscle for no clear purpose?

We as a nation decided to go to war.

Really? I don't remember being consulted. I do, however, recall writing numerous editorials in my college newspaper in early 2003 saying what a mistake this was going to be. But Bush didn't listen to anyone but his own yes-circle. And Congress, once they fell for his WMD BS.

Some did not agree, although most did. Either way you cannot back out of that decision.

This is a deadly statement, the very kind of rigid attitude that will be the death of the neocon philosophy - if not much more beloved things as, say, the world. As wretched as a vote for the war was in 2003, some forgiveness is allowable for those who regret said vote (as is the case with most politicians these days...Hillary, are you listening?). We as a nation have to be able to admit mistakes and address weaknesses, no matter how much the Bush administration insists that such admissions are out of style.

What would have happened if, when things went bad in Europe, we bailed on the Second World War?

Nice try. There's as much parallel between World War II and Iraq as there is between perpendicular lines. WWII was not a war of American aggression, based on faulty evidence and one man's obsession with a leader "who tried to kill my dad." The threat was terrifyingly real on both fronts, but even then the U.S. entered only as a last resort. Nothing in Iraq even remotely compares.

This is a war that DOES impact everyone.

No argument there.

Osama Bin Laden [sic] has said in no uncertain terms "convert to Islam or we will kill you." Unless you are prepared to convert to Islam get on board, support our troops and our country, or learn to say Allah Akbar!

Because the best way to fight religious bigotry is with a little religious bigotry of your own.

In a time so jaded and with a generation so embittered we still need our knights in shining armor to remind us what we once were and what we might still be. Yes, I am in love with our men in uniform, what they stand for, and the country they protect, and I hope you are too.

Personally, I think our national obsession with heroes and villains is a weak premise for continuing the tragedy in Iraq. As far as I'm concerned, anyone who puts their life on the life for their country is a hero on principle. I would certainly never ask someone to earn their heroism over and over, especially for an unclear cause. Anyone who does ask that of our fighters is watching too much Fox News. And, perhaps, too many quaint war serials.

No comments: