2007/04/25

Supporting the troops

Just watched Jon Stewart's Daily Show where Stewart debates Senator John McCain. Good conversation between the two. They did an awful lot of trying to talk over the other, but they both got out a lot of good points.

One complete non-sequitur was when Stewart identified several areas where the Bush Administration has very clearly not supported the troops. McCain replied that the troops are determined to succeed.

What really bothers me about that is something Chris Robinson said at the NW Peace & Justice meeting tonight. He said that he and others were conducting one of their usual vigils when they saw someone make a u-turn on the busy street in front of them. The soldier, dressed in civvies because he was home on leave from Iraq, got out and asked them if they supported the troops. Chris and the others were happy to tell him about the peace movement's attitude towards the troops, we support them wholeheartedly! If there are any "bad guys," well, as Michael Dukakis said about GW Bush's father, "The fish rots from the head." The soldier appeared to be pleased with that answer, especially because he seems to have already suspected that.

He and his buddies have been told over and over that the peace movement doesn't support the troops, that the peace movement considers the troops to be morally deficient because they're just doing their jobs.

Well, first of all, the soldiers ARE just doing their jobs. A very large proportion of them were in the service before the Iraq War began and have been kept in the service through stop-loss programs and psychological manipulations. A large number of them continue to be told that they're avenging 9-11 and lies about Saddam Hussein's connections to al Qaeda continue to be told. Of course the troops continue to believe their cause is a worthwhile one!

I would suggest that the soldiers and Marines in the fields and cities of Iraq are not the ones with the best, most accurate views of the Iraq War. When they've been home for awhile is when they start to gain a bit more perspective.

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