Warriors and Wusses

by badwillie 4 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • badwillie

    From the Los Angeles Times


    Warriors and wusses

    Joel Stein

    January 24, 2006

    I DON'T SUPPORT our troops. This is a particularly difficult opinion to have, especially if you are the kind of person who likes to put bumper stickers on his car. Supporting the troops is a position that even Calvin is unwilling to urinate on.

    I'm sure I'd like the troops. They seem gutsy, young and up for anything. If you're wandering into a recruiter's office and signing up for eight years of unknown danger, I want to hang with you in Vegas.

    And I've got no problem with other people — the ones who were for the Iraq war — supporting the troops. If you think invading Iraq was a good idea, then by all means, support away. Load up on those patriotic magnets and bracelets and other trinkets the Chinese are making money off of.

    But I'm not for the war. And being against the war and saying you support the troops is one of the wussiest positions the pacifists have ever taken — and they're wussy by definition. It's as if the one lesson they took away from Vietnam wasn't to avoid foreign conflicts with no pressing national interest but to remember to throw a parade afterward.

    Blindly lending support to our soldiers, I fear, will keep them overseas longer by giving soft acquiescence to the hawks who sent them there — and who might one day want to send them somewhere else. Trust me, a guy who thought 50.7% was a mandate isn't going to pick up on the subtleties of a parade for just service in an unjust war. He's going to be looking for funnel cake.

    Besides, those little yellow ribbons aren't really for the troops. They need body armor, shorter stays and a USO show by the cast of "Laguna Beach."

    The real purpose of those ribbons is to ease some of the guilt we feel for voting to send them to war and then making absolutely no sacrifices other than enduring two Wolf Blitzer shows a day. Though there should be a ribbon for that.

    I understand the guilt. We know we're sending recruits to do our dirty work, and we want to seem grateful.

    After we've decided that we made a mistake, we don't want to blame the soldiers who were ordered to fight. Or even our representatives, who were deceived by false intelligence. And certainly not ourselves, who failed to object to a war we barely understood.

    But blaming the president is a little too easy. The truth is that people who pull triggers are ultimately responsible, whether they're following orders or not. An army of people making individual moral choices may be inefficient, but an army of people ignoring their morality is horrifying. An army of people ignoring their morality, by the way, is also Jack Abramoff's pet name for the House of Representatives.

    I do sympathize with people who joined up to protect our country, especially after 9/11, and were tricked into fighting in Iraq. I get mad when I'm tricked into clicking on a pop-up ad, so I can only imagine how they feel.

    But when you volunteer for the U.S. military, you pretty much know you're not going to be fending off invasions from Mexico and Canada. So you're willingly signing up to be a fighting tool of American imperialism, for better or worse. Sometimes you get lucky and get to fight ethnic genocide in Kosovo, but other times it's Vietnam.

    And sometimes, for reasons I don't understand, you get to just hang out in Germany.

    I know this is all easy to say for a guy who grew up with money, did well in school and hasn't so much as served on jury duty for his country. But it's really not that easy to say because anyone remotely affiliated with the military could easily beat me up, and I'm listed in the phone book.

    I'm not advocating that we spit on returning veterans like they did after the Vietnam War, but we shouldn't be celebrating people for doing something we don't think was a good idea. All I'm asking is that we give our returning soldiers what they need: hospitals, pensions, mental health and a safe, immediate return. But, please, no parades.

    Seriously, the traffic is insufferable.

  • TallTexan

    From L.A....big surprise...maybe he and that genius Sean Penn have been hanging out again talking politics.

    I guess getting rid of an anti-American, terrorist-supporting (and come on - do you really have ANY doubts that he was more than happy to help ANYONE who was willing to do harm to this country) dictator is not in the best interests of this country? A dictator who most likely either a) shipped off his WMD or b) hid them in the vast Iraqi desert. Oh, I forgot - according to the news he didn't have them. Really? He used them on his own people and on Iran 15-20 years ago. I guess he, what, mellowed out in his old age and didn't try to advance his ability to wage war on everyone around him? Sounds plausible....

    I guess ridding millions of people of the terror of random torture, rape, execution and chemical genocide is not a worthy cause. Maybe it doesn't affect my life, or yours, but that still does not make it 'wrong' just because Iraq is a poor country that will not benefit us in any way.

    But then I guess if you take what the mass (liberal) media says at face value then perhaps you have skewed opinion of not only the war, but how the men fighting it feel about it. I've talked to upwards of a hundred returning active duty and reservists who as a whole are extremely unhappy with the way the media slants the war. They mostly feel good about what they did and state that the Iraqi people as a whole were extremely grateful and hospitable. Sure, there are some dissenters, but that's to be expected. These men and women do not feel that they were deceived. They all believed when they signed up (many after 9/11) that they would be fighting in the Middle East and that is why they signed up.

    I support them because they are doing something that I am unable to do. I find it disturbing that someone would write an article this short-sighted and so obviously lacking in factual basis.

  • Stephanus
    I guess he, what, mellowed out in his old age

    Kinda like Mugabe did, I guess.

  • DIM

    Nice article Badwillie, how have you been...? War sucks.

  • prophecor


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