Archive for January 31st, 2007

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I Support The Troops, But Not The War

January 31, 2007

I saw this over at hot air, and thought it’d be worth a comment… 

The debate over whether one can “support the troops” and not “the mission” isn’t exactly a black and white, I’m-right-and-you’re-wrong issue.  Certainly, vocal opposition here at home doesn’t exactly enhance the morale of the soldiers who are risking their lives to complete the mission that has been laid before them.  On the other hand, what sort of democracy would they be defending if there are those in this country too timid to speak out against what they feel is wrong?   It’s a complex issue, really.

Personally, I hold no animosity toward our soldiers.  I fully supported (and continue to support) Operation Enduring Freedom.  I sleep well at night knowing those guys are out there for our country.  As far as I’m concerned, they are brave and worthy of respect for what they do.

Incidentally, this is one of the reasons why I never supported the Iraq invasion.  Our soldiers are too valuable to be sent on a mission based on hype, political opportunity and greed (as opposed to necessity).  This was an ill-conceived war.  Whether you believe that the war was waged with ulterior motives (oil, no-bid contracts, God, Israel, or simply the thrill of the military industrial complex), or was a well-intentioned but ultimately incompetently timed and/or managed exercise, one shouldn’t be afraid to voice their opinion on it.  To condemn those who do so carries a whiff of totalitarianism.  I think even the most ardent Iraq war supporters could dream up a conflict that they wouldn’t support sending our troops to engage in.

I think it’s disappointing to see everyone lumped into the same group as often as they are.  Brent Scowcroft, for example, was against the invasion because he felt it was a tactical mistake.  Does he support the troops?  If the “anti-war” crowd was just a bunch of pinko pacifists who root for America’s failure, why do they only talk of Iraq, and not Afghanistan?  Would Scowcroft be considered part of the “anti-war” crowd?  What about the the same viewpoint coming from the troops themselves

Like I said, it’s not a black and white issue.  I support the troops who are doing their best to make a difference over there.  I think there is still hope for Iraq.  If they succeed, however,  it will be despite the actions of Bush and his cronies, not because of them.

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