I Support the Troops But Not the War - BS!
by Prioleau Alexander
You Can't Handle the Truth
During the past seven years, a new phrase has worked its way into the lexicon of the left-- I support the troops, but not the war.
I've listened to it for quite some time now, and failed to address it, filing it under the mental category "too moronic to discuss."
With the election of Barack Obama, however, it is clear that well over half our nation has no understanding of the military whatsoever. I thought I'd take a few minutes to bring them up to speed.
First and foremost, a news flash for the troops-but-not-the-war
gang: Every single enlisted serviceman currently serving in the military enlisted or reenlisted while the country was at war. Since the military's job is war, and war is designed to kill people and break things, it's pretty much certain that every single serviceman took their oath knowing that violence was part of the package.
For the contrarians in the crowd, let me dumb that down a bit: How many soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines do you suppose joined up thinking, "I disagree with this illegal and unnecessary war, but - hey, sign me up anyway. I'm willing to risk life and limb for a per-hour paycheck of less than minimum wage."
If your guess was zero
, step forward and collect your prize.
Look, I'm quite sure there are servicemen who regret their decision to join, and now want us (and themselves) out of Iraq and Afghanistan, but that kind of military mind-changing has been happening since armies first clashed with rocks and saber-tooth tiger teeth. War is horrible, and wanting to be home is a sane response to an insane situation. Wanting to be home, however, should not be confused with the sense of purpose and duty these brave individuals felt when joining.
Now, if 100% of our troops joined while the nation was at war, what can we conclude that means?
Logically, it means that those young men and women thought it through, and decided the war was righteous. They decided the cause of fighting fundamental Islamic terrorism at its source (instead of here in America) was worth the risk. They decided, "You don't get to blow up the Twin Towers, then live in peace. This is America, and we will not abide such behavior. Someone's got to pay, and I'm willing to be the man who collects that debt."
Is this barbarous? For the John Mellencamp's who view America as nothing more than a geographic location, it surely is. For the Keith Olbermann's who believe America is the problem, not the solution, it surely is. And for the Michael Moore's who believe America is an evil empire, it's more than barbarous - it's imperialistic murder.
But what is it to the troops?
It's duty. Honor. Country.
You see, not-the-war
gang, our nation still gives birth to these rare souls - men and women who don't need a briefing from the United Nations to determine right from wrong. They don't care about geo-political deal making; they don't care about Sunni-Shia squabbles over who should have inherited Mohammad's camels;
they don't care who's getting what oil from where. They know America was attacked, and thousands of innocent men, women and children were murdered.
Somebody has got to pay. Ed: And they've got to be stopped from doing it again.
And if you ask our combat troops about collecting on that payment, 95% of them would say, "Afghanistan? Of course. Iraq? Sure, why not. Oh, no WMD's were discovered? Gee, I'll just have to soothe my aching conscience with the knowledge that Sadam Hussein, who murdered over 50,000 Kurds and ran rape/torture rooms for political opponents, is now dead and in hell. Maybe I can get through the day knowing that Islamic terrorists are still flooding into Iraq like salmon to spawn, and by killing those animals here they won't make to my homeland."
The men and women on the front lines of this war simply don't care that Bill Maher thinks the war is bad. They don't care that decades ago, before they were born, America was in bed with Saddam. And they certainly don't care about the opinions of the pinot grigio and foie gras crowd.
When they joined, they cared about duty, honor, and country. Now that they've experienced the horrors of war, they care more about the man on their left and their right. And they care about winning, and returning home with honor.
A hypothetical situation for all the not-the-war
supporters: You find yourself sitting next to an Iraq War veteran in a bar, and you hear him talking to the bartender about the media's coverage of the war, and how demoralizing it was to hear the Democrats proclaiming the war to be lost, unjust, illegal, and pointless. You hear him speak of the losses his unit suffered. You want to speak up, but - oops, you are no longer oh-so-bravely poised behind your computer screen, able to comment anonymously. You are not surrounded by a crowd of fellow protestors, bolstered by mob bravery. It's just you, and him.
What do you do? Do you speak up, and tell him you supported him, but not the war?
Of course you don't. He stands for something, and is willing to put pain and mutilation on the line to defend his beliefs. You stand for nothing, and are equally willing to put nothing on the line. Perhaps you will go home and post on your blog about what you "felt like saying," but you won't actually say anything.
Want to know why? Because physical violence is scary. And a weak man is always afraid of a hard man.
The same holds true for nations. And we know these Islamic fundamentalists are, if nothing else, hard men, backed by hard governments.
And if you won't even face down a fellow American with your beliefs, what makes you think you and your equally rubber-kneed leaders can face down Muslim terrorists?
Seriously, go tear the I-support-the-troops-but-not-the-war
sticker off your car. You're an embarrassment.
Prioleau Alexander is the author of You Want Fries With That?
A White-Collar Burnout Experiences Life at Minimum Wage. (Arcade Publishing, 2008) You can find him at www.SouthernFriedWriter.com.
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