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.

Others blogging:

Update:  My point of view received a very good endorsement today: Mahablog:  Irreconcilable Differences


  1. Hi

    Your writng is enviable, sharp without a lot of extra words. I’m trying to learn myself.

    As John Kerry so eloquently pointed out, since military service people are all either too lazy or too stupid to be somewhere else, I think it’s our duty to support them in every way, and I do.

    I also find that patriotic dissent in America no longer sounds seems viable and the concept of loyal opposition has been brushed aside. Loud, shrill voices on the left scream war monger, war crimes and fascist regime with no regard for morale of either troops or citizens.

    I realize every America Last nutjob, every bitter hate filled person that condemns America at every turn has the right to do so. Cannot civility and reason in this dissent remain a part of the discourse? I believe with some it’s impossible. With some, there can never be a right course of action for America, considering it’s roots are defiled and it’s product is imperialistic control of the planet.

    Stepping away from screwball rhetoric, thanks for this post. I agree no easy answer is available to me.
    Let’s hope this mess winds down before it get’s really ugly here at home.

  2. I love how Fox News seems so capable of reducing arguments to the black and white…it’s their forte, so to say. Most of us who are educated and have a minimal amount of intelligence that is required to see through News Corp. BS aren’t buying it.

    It is possible to hope for the best for our troops, while not supporting the cause in general. I don’t see the disconnect, and I don’t understand people’s love of simplicity.

  3. Your writng is enviable, sharp without a lot of extra words. I’m trying to learn myself.

    Thanks! I think you’re selling yourself short, though. I appreciate the comments. 🙂

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