Reasonably Ascertainable Reality

Thoughts and musings on current events and other random occurrences.

Location: South Jersey, United States

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Sorry, but I call "bullshit"

This video seems to be making the rounds of the right-wing blogosphere, with directives of "lefties should watch this" and such.

The jist of the video is that some American troops think that people back home "can't have it both ways." That if we "support the troops", we have to support them all the way, including their mission. I'm sorry, but this is bullshit.

First of all, lets ignore the huge numbers of active duty troops in Iraq who don't agree with the mission. I guess they don't support the "troops" either. And you know, those veterans of this War, like Patrick Murphy, in Congress? Yeah, they don't support the troops either. And you know, veterans of other American wars like Vietnam, yeah, they don't support the troops either.

Second of all, and I don't think I'm making any intellectual news here, but I think that most people in this country understand that when the country "decides" to go to war, it isnt the place of the armed forces to decide if they support the mission and if they are going to participate. They joined the armed forces full well knowing that they must follow orders, the orders of the President, no matter what.

Therefore, when I opposed the war in Iraq, I certainly didn't expect that our armed forces were to immediately go AWOL and desert if they didn't support the invasion. No, I understood that they must follow orders, agree or disagree, and thats what the defense of this country requires.

Therefore, when I say I "support the troops", I mean that I support them and the job they MUST do, which is to follow their leaders.

However, if I'm supposed support the complete mismanagement of every part of this war, just so I can prove I support the troops, well guess what, I guess I don't support the troops then. If I'm supposed to accept the reasoning for going into this war, which I NEVER DID, just to prove I support the troops, well then I guess I don't support the troops. If I'm supposed to support torture and denial of habeas corpus and the outsourcing of "rendition" to places like Syria and the unconstitutional imprisonment of Jose Padilla, well then I guess I don't support the troops.

Here is what I support. The fact that the security of this country falls upon the shoulders of an armed forces who don't have the luxury of deciding whether or not they agree or disagree with the President. That, knowing full well they won't have a choice if the time comes, they still enlist and join to be a part of defending this nation. I support and wish for their success and scream and vote AGAINST efforts that put them in harms way needlessly or for political cover. I support congressional oversight of the President in times of war to ensure what we are doing is in our nations interest.

I always thought I supported the troops. Turns out, according to some of them, because I don't agree with the Iraq War, and think that the Bush Administration has done a PISS POOR job of executing it, including, quite possibly, willful negligence, that means I don't support the troops.

So be it.


Blogger Dave Justus said...

Doesn't supporting the troops include, at a minimum, hoping that they win?

1:49 PM  
Blogger Katinula said...

Hoping that they win? Of course. What would make you think that I don't hope they win? Because I didnt agree with the rationale of sending them over in the first place? Because I believe that the effort has been mismanaged and bungled at every opportunity?

I don't understand this sentiment that disagreeing with Bush Administration policy means I don't hope they win. What you are really saying is that I actively hope they lose, so that I can be right and Bush can be wrong. Thats dangerous territory if you ask me. The converse of that argument is that I should support whatever the administration decides, even in the face of moral outrage (torture policies), outright incompetance and political expediency just so that I can "prove" I support the troops.
Why should my support for the policies of this administration have any relationship to my support of our troops, who have no say in the policies, where they go, what they do and what their goals are?

9:52 AM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

I didn't say that you didn't hope they would win. I was merely pointing out that your criteria for 'supporting the troops' didn't include that.

I do think that their are people who claim to support the troops but who hope that they don't win in Iraq. Their motivations range from partisan political hopes, to a laudable but naieve desire to reduce war to, most egregiously outright anti-Americanism. I don't think that those people's claim to 'support the troops' holds water.

I don't accuse you of this, but I do think it important to keep in mind. I also acknowledge that their might be the opposite views, of sacrificing the troops for some less then noble goal, but if such attitudes exist they are will hidden.

I certainly don't think that supporting the troops means you can't criticize the President. I do think though that if you make failures in war your evidence for poor leadership, you run into a dangerous situation where your case is proved by failure of the troops, and even worse, where helping the troops succeed would disprove your case. That is something I personally would wish to be very cautious about and I think when getting into that situation a whole lot of thought and care should go into how people make that argument.

As a case in point, your post on the surge where you basically concluded that you couldn't be bothered to access whether it was a good or a bad idea because you are so sure that the President would fuck it up is coming very close to that sort of thinking.

2:55 PM  
Blogger Katinula said...

I dont think I said I couldnt be bothered to assess whether the plan was a good or bad idea, especially considering the plan hadn't been announced at that point. My point was, and actually supports my arguement, that I was open to a new plan/strategy for Iraq, even considering I was against the war from the outset. I was open to a plan which could bring about something resembling peace to the country. However, considering the history of the past 4 years, the outright denial of reality, the rhetoric used to pacify the American citizen, torture, blaming everyday soldiers, EVERYTHING, that I didnt trust the President to be truthful, honest and most importantly WISE enough to construct the right plan. Blindly supporting whatever he puts out is just not something I can do. Maybe if had earned that trust, it would be possible. Maybe if Cheney and the rest of the neo-cons had been right about ANYTHING, maybe I could trust them. But being skeptical regarding the plan he puts forth, and pretty much not trusting him to get anything right, I don't think puts me in the category of hoping for failure. And unfortunately, if you predict something wont work(which i haven't done), when it doesn't work it doesn't mean that you hoped for failure. It just means you were right.

1:34 PM  

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