Wednesday, January 25, 2006

GOING AGAINST THE HERD

The LA Times has published a must-read editorial by Joel Stein:

“Warriors and wusses”

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-stein24jan24,0,4137172.column?coll=la-news-comment-opinions

A slap in the face long overdue…

“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.”

Time to raise the body politics’ blood pressure:

I don’t support the troops, either. Furthermore, I don’t think America does – including many of the Americans who sport those silly yellow ribbons…

And I don’t think America’s government does, either.

Mr. Stein opines:

“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.”

Piss you off, ribbon-toter? Aside from supporting the bumper magnet industry, have you done anything? Are you one of those who have sent a care package? Helped a soldier’s family? Even attended a “support the troops” rally?

You’ll forgive me for being a bit fuzzy on the alternatives, but then, I don’t support the troops.

Here in the Puget Sound region, the large number of people affiliated with the military suggests there are probably a lot of people who have tangibly contributed. But nationwide if there were as many contributions as there are yellow ribbons, the troops wouldn’t be able to wade through the goodies…

And I think that defines the whole tone of this endeavor. America doesn’t really support the troops in Iraq.

We went into this war poorly prepared on many levels. It has become apparent there was no realistic plan to win the peace after winning the war, just a hope of being greeted with an enthusiasm to rival the Allied arrival in Paris. Within six months of the GWB victory on the carrier show it was obvious the whirlwind victory had turned into an open ended occupation. At that point, the volunteer army became inadequate. We have failed to rectify the situation. We should have instituted a draft. But that would entail sacrifices beyond “enduring two Wolf Blitzer shows a day.”

The same conditions that made the volunteer army inadequate made its supply structure inadequate as well. We should have pulled out the stops on funding and supplies procurement. The tools of a mechanized army wear out whether they get shot up or not. America went to war without being on a war footing industrially – and we’re still not. All manner of supply issues have arisen in the almost three years of war. Many are still hostage to peacetime red tape.

Meanwhile, the troops we “support” try to cope with this. As Mr. Stein notes, “They need body armor, shorter stays and a USO show by the cast of "Laguna Beach."

Not yellow bumper magnets…

I don’t support the war. I think there is a world of difference between respecting the military’s true mission and cheering for a band of the fooled pledged to a fool’s errand. I have therefore neither supported nor hindered the troops.

I do however support honoring your commitments, finishing what you start, and paying for your mistakes. If that means America has to stay the course on this debacle, OK.

I’ll support the debacle.

Comments:
I respect your honesty, but you are dead wrong about the truth. I'm not saying that EVERYONE has to spend 13 months on the ground rebuilding Iraq, but it sure helped me.
 
He is no different than all the rest of the anti-war crowd who believe that "I support the troops but..." is an effective prayer against having their real self exposed.
You don't support our troops by feeding the enemy.
 
You call yourself a moderate and then parrot the left-wing talking points, most of which are false or in dispute.

I say BS to you, sir!
 
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