Should we support the troops or not?


The Support The Troops magnets were banned from employees of the University of Oregon. The reasoning being that it might be perceived as "political speech," which they say state employees are barred from making. MarKos doesn't agree with the magnet's message; dKos says F-u, You Support the Troops! Cindy Sheehan and Michael Moore both have the similar feelings about the magnets. Some people find them to be hypocritical or not the real way to support troops at all. Does supporting the troops mean you support the war? And then you also support (#6 there) not giving them proper armor, ammo, and relief? Or maybe like NPR says, "I believe that most yellow-magnet bearers want support not just for the troops, but for the mission, the presence, the president. Maybe the magnets should say: 'Shut up and support our troops.'" And where is the cheaper oil the left said was coming? They said that was the reason we were in Iraq.

What is necessary then to show the support that makes these "experts" happy? Do I have to donate to the USO to show support? There are places selling magnets that donated $1 of the sales to the USO. Should I volunteer at my local VFW to show support? Should I mow the lawn at the nearest Armory? Change jobs so I can work at an Army Depot? Should I go to any available parades at Veteran's and Memorial Days? How about putting flowers on the graves that have flags on them? But what if the soldier fought in an unpopular war? Refer back to the above links and like for instructions....

What's the real beef with the Support our Troops things? Does one have the same feelings about the "Eat at Joe's" signs? How about "Think Mink"? Or Apple's "Think Different"? There certainly must be large groups that must have set up a ban of Nike for their "Just Do It" slogan. I still wonder why no one complained about 7up's "Make 7up Yours." Who are these companies to tell me what to do and buy?? I personally won't fly American airlines because of the slogan, "Fly The American Way." If I'm a citizen of the Planet Earth, I should be sensitive to the emotions of other Earthlings. This is blatantly anti-Earth. Plus it's a hidden message to push the US, Authoritarian, Right-Wing agenda. They won't get my business!!

You can't even wave the flag. Don't display it publicly. Don't support your Heritage. Nationalism is terrible. Patriotism is bad. And dissent is the action of any true American. What I'm saying is, when I was growing up, no one got insulted for waving a flag if they were proud to be an American. You can't wave a flag and be proud anymore. Or you're a neo-con, warmonger, right-winger, or a Nationalist. Just like the Support the Troops magnets. Yet there was no problem with "Uncle Sam Wants You" to kill innocent Germans and Japanese in a war we don't belong in. This Flag Waving/Patriotism is another subject. More of my research of that subject here.

Chris Kelly is a local, Anarchist, left leaning, Robert Scheer wannabe, and a Scranton Times-Tribune columnist. He Op-Ed's the following:

If you’re against the president or the war, this twisted logic goes, you’re against the troops. If you point out, for instance, that EVERY SINGLE ASSERTION the Bush team made before the war has since been proved false, you’re somehow questioning the honor, resolve and integrity of the troops.
Bull. And if this wasn’t a family newspaper, I’d use all eight letters.

There are people who don’t appreciate the sacrifices our soldiers and their families are making. There are people who hate the military, people who don’t believe there’s any such thing as a just war and who would be delighted to see us fail in Iraq.

I am not a politician, nor am I a member of the Lunatic Fringe. I was honest about my opposition to invading Iraq before the war and remain so.

While I continue to question the wisdom of the war, I have no doubts about our troops. They are dedicated, heroic professionals doing a job the overwhelming majority of Americans couldn’t handle for three minutes, let alone three years. They are all volunteers, and despite all the bad news from Iraq, they are doing many good things there.
Our soldiers deserve our respect, our support, and yes, our willingness to question the leaders who send them into harm’s way. The central charge of our military is to preserve and protect our freedoms, including the freedom to ask these questions.

It’s our responsibility to exercise the freedoms our soldiers are willing to die for. Our soldiers understand that.

I have called this writer on a few issues thru the Letters area of the paper. Once he even apologized for what I called him on. Of course in that instance they wouldn't print my letter (go figure). In the second paragraph I do believe he is referring to persons such as Chomsky,,, and other Left wing groups that are Anarchistic, anti-Establishment, and are currently selectively Pacifists (only for the Bush administration). Although Chomsky has been more consistently against any warring administration. The Lefties didn't side with him during the 90s for obvious reasons.

He is most certainly anti-Bush. I seriously doubt his support for the troops. He could not talk like he did in the article around his Lefty friends. They tell us you can't possibly be for the troops and against the Bush administration. As seen in the links above, that kind of talk is hypocrisy. I assure you Kelly has no American flag waving on his property, or any Support The Troops magnets on his car. If he really supported the troops, he would do it the only way he really can; he would write an encouraging article in the paper. He would tell about all the great things the troops are doing in Iraq. The schools being built. The roads and hospitals being fixed. The water, electricity, sewage and other systems restored and updated. The Iraqi Police being trained. But you won't hear a word of that from Kelly. Try and find an article in his list here. I would have called him on it directly thru the Letters section, but I figured if he did write one after my letter, it would have only been lip service. He does not support the troops. Think about it. If he wrote an article including anything I listed above, according to the Anarchists, he is supporting the war in Iraq and ultimately, President Bush. And everyone in my area knows how Kelly and the Scranton Times feel about President Bush. And the last paragraph he wrote above is laughable. He should have added his true opinion.

It’s our responsibility to exercise the freedoms our soldiers are willing to die for. [But only have dissent against the Bush administration.]--Kelly's true opinion. Or at least the opinion of the anti-Bush paper he works for.

Another Op-Ed comes from the LA Times. Joel Stein is the writer. It starts off like this, "I DON'T SUPPORT our troops." Just a PR ploy to get readers? Think again. My friend Joe6pack breaks it down well: Joe is in bold. Stein in italics.

"... [P]eople 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. ..."
Is this how he views our military? If so, why?
"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."
The classic liberal argument that all members of the military are ignorant poor kids duped into doing the wrong thing to pay the bills. Honestly, this is such BS.
"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."

Imperialism? So it's only imperialism when the republicans do it, but it's noble when the Dems lead us into battle? What a political hack! There was plenty of genocide in Iraq's recent history and I'm sure there would have been plenty more if Saddam was still in power. But never mind that, if the President was trying to trick the American people and the troops, most of the world's intelligence agencies must have been in on the joke too then.
"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."
Again more liberal BS about military kids are poor and uneducated. What does his family's income and his school grades matter in this discussion? Such crap! I would love to know how many military members this guy really knows. Most of the people I serve with have plenty of money and college educations. So many of us can kick his ass both physically and mentally.
"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."
It may be hard for this guy to understand, but for most of the folks that serve in uniform, a little thing called 'service before self' really does mean something. Joel Stein has no understanding when it comes to honor & duty.

Hugh Hewitt got a great interview with Joel Stein. Complete transcript here. Audio here. Hewitt very meticulously shows the young Stein his errors. It's worth reading the whole thing. Alot of stuttering coming from Stein. Turns out Stein has no family or friends in active duty. So he has no personal contacts as example to deal with intimately. He's never been to any military academies. He's never read any books about the military. He admits he's no expert. He admits making what turns out to be more than 3X more than the Privates he is dissing. He has never been to a Military hospital. Never met a wounded vet. Doesn't know how many troops are deployed anywhere. Doesn't know how much they make a year. No research whatsoever by the sounds of it. Hewitt tries to get what exactly Stein means by "I don't support the troops."

HH: But Joel, I'm talking about you. I'm talking about what you honor, and you obviously don't honor military service.

JS: I honor police service. I honor military service. Any...I just think that...

HH: You do honor military service?

JS: Yeah. No, I'm grateful for people that serve in the military.

HH: But you don't support our troops?

JS: I don't...I don't believe in supporting the troops in an action that you don't believe in.

HH: And so, that would be everything I've named thus far. So I guess...did you support and honor the troops in the Pentagon on 9/11?

JS: Sure, yeah.

HH: All right.

JS: All the troops that are here to defend our country, I'm very, very grateful for. I'm grateful for the police...

HH: Provided they don't leave the country?

JS: Yeah, provided they don't fight in wars that I think are endangering them for no reason.

HH: And the moment they do, you stop honoring them?

JS: The moment I do, I think it's a poor idea to show support for them and prolong that engagement.

Hewitt then continues to clarify what Stein had written:

HH: ...[Stein's article continues:] "Sometimes, you get lucky and get to fight ethnic genocide in Kosovo, but other times, it's Vietnam." Did you support the war in Kosovo?

JS: I had very mixed feelings about the war in Kosovo. Again, I don't know if the U.S. should be used as a police force.

HH: Well, mixed feelings know, someone...either you've got to go or you don't. Should Clinton have sent them?

JS: At the time, I thought he shouldn't.

HH: And so, should they come home now?

JS: The troops in Kosovo?

HH: Yeah.

JS: The U.N. peacekeeping force in Kosovo? Or the U.S. part of the peacekeeping force in Kosovo?

HH: All of them. Just, you know, just U.S. Let's stay focused. Should they come home?

JS: To be honest...I'd like to know more about Kosovo before I said.

HH: Joel, do you know anything about the U.S. military? I mean, in a really serious way, the way that you know about like...

JS: No. I told you right away I don't.

HH: And don't you think that might have limited...

JS: No, I don't. I think I made a very simple statement, that I think it's hypocritical and illogical to be against the war, and yet tell people you support the troops.

HH: And so...

JS: That's the simple...I mean, I'm not...that is my argument. Whether I'm wrong about not supporting Iraq or not is a legitimate question, and maybe I can be convinced that I was wrong about not supporting Iraq. But I think if you're not going to support Iraq, you shouldn't support the troops. I think that doesn't help anything.

HH: But do you think you should investigate before writing about the reality of these people, the reality people like J.P. Blecksmith, the reality of the 2,000 plus men and women who've died in the service of their country, and do you think you ought to be more cautious when you write about the military the next time?

JS: I definitely should be more cautious.

You should read the whole thing for an interesting enlightenment that Stein receives from Hewitt. Hewitt doesn't go the knee-jerk avenue either. Nice job.

Now for another Stein- Ben Stein. The brilliant writer, actor, economist, and lawyer. Also the host of the late Win Ben Stein's Money. His piece about Joel Stein's article is over at The American Spectator.

The most heroic, ethically courageous, morally resolute men and women in the world today are the Americans, British, and other forces fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are fighting the most evil men and women currently on the world scene. The American Army soldier, Marine, Navy sailor, Air Force warrior, and Coast Guardsman fighting in Ramadi or Mosul is fighting men and women who kill children and old people for sport. The men and women of the United States military are fighting the remnants of a regime so evil that it pioneered the use of torture against children -- just for the amusement of Saddam and his family. The men and women whom Joel despises rid the world of a dictator so twisted and murderous that he openly admired Stalin and Hitler and sought to match their level of atrocities.

Do I support men and women who are fighting Nazis who call themselves insurgents or Islamic militants? Do I support men and women who offer up their lives to fight the very same terrorists who killed three thousand totally guiltless Americans on 9/11? Do I support the troops who have more moral decency in their toes than I do or anyone I know does in our whole bodies? I support them, pray for them, am humbled just to be on the same planet with them. With every morning I wake up, every meal I eat, every walk I take in freedom, every night I sleep in peace, I ask God to look after the men and women who guard the ramparts of this blessed island of peace and decency called America. Without them, we would be nothing. Without them, Joel Stein would have his head sawed off. Saints in armor is what I call them and what they are. They are God's gifts to a wayward world.