19 February 2007

Supporting the troops

I've never understood the logic of people who say they "support the troops" while opposing the mission those troops are on. How can you claim to support someone while opposing what they are trying to achieve? It's easy to see how nonsensical this is by applying the same kind of position in other areas. "I support Hillary Clinton, but I don't want her to win the election." "I support the scientists working on a cure for AIDS, but I oppose their efforts to find a cure." "I support my city's team in the Super Bowl, but I want to see them abandon the game and forfeit it, not actually play to win." This doesn't make any sense.

I like this slogan -- it removes the fake ambiguity which has been slathered on the phrase "support the troops".

Furthermore, "support" should not be just an empty word. It should mean guaranteeing our troops proper respect and good treatment both during and after the conflict. Specifically, it should mean not tolerating disgraces like this. Or any recurrence of this.



Blogger Larry Hamelin said...

Your analogies are inapt.

The opinions of the members of the Armed forces regarding Iraq are entirely irrelevant. They serve the "mission", they do not define the mission.

The war in Iraq is Bush's war; being against the war is indeed a failure to support Bush, a logical relationship I'm happy to embrace.

If the individual members of the military themselves had decided to pursue the war in Iraq on their own authority, then indeed a failure to support the war would be a failure to support the troops.

You can't have it both ways: You can't ask us to hold the members in the military in esteem just for their service without regard to the actions they are ordered to perform, and then expect us to transfer that esteem to the civilians in government who give them those orders. This is a formula for permanent war.

20 February, 2007 06:58  
Blogger Chris said...

I think it's perfectly possible to support the troops by not wishing them to be thrown into a meatgrinder from which no clear long-term benefits have been established. In other words, cheering the troops on in the greatest strategic miscalculation since Hitler attacked the Soviet Union doesn't necessarily constitute "support" - wanting to pull them out of a futile mission does.

24 February, 2007 12:56  

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