Friday, August 12, 2005

Support Our Troops, NOT the War

I read a story on the front page of the LA Times this morning about 2 brothers who went to fight in Iraq; sadly only one of them came home alive. The two brothers were from the Ohio reserve battalion, the “Three Twenty-Five”, which is now famous for having lost 47 men since arriving in Iraq in March. The article told a touching story about a community paying tribute to one of its fallen sons, and there was a lot in the article that angered me.

The slain marine’s young widow gave a brave eulogy, and I admire her for being able to do so. “In order for me to get through this, honor all our service members every day. If you see one, salute them. Or stop in the recruiting office, or the VFW, and thank them.”

NO! I wanted to yell at her. Don’t thank them in the recruiting office. Convince them not to sign up instead.

The surviving brother also spoke at the funeral. He explained that his dead brother “believed he was fighting to protect his family and fellow citizens.”

My response: in Iraq? He was not protecting his wife and his baby son by being in Iraq, by dying in Iraq. Stop believing the lies already.

The brother went on to tell the story of his brother “scoring” the first combat kills for their battalion when he shot 3 insurgents who were attempting to plant roadside bombs. “He sent all three of those guys to hell where they belonged.”

Perspective is an interesting thing. Why are so many Americans still so sure that we are right?

The surviving brother is not being sent back to Iraq because the unit is scheduled to return home next month. “I wish I was still with them, fighting the good fight.”

It is not a good fight. It is a pointless war.

“I know my brother feels the same way.”

Your brother is dead, tragically and for nothing.

I am deeply disturbed by how so many people think it is their patriotic duty to keep supporting the war. Enough already. Patriotism is better served by objecting to the war, by protesting the war, by bringing our troops back home.

33 comments:

beamis said...

Right on sister!

Anonymous A-Hole said...

One thing, at a minimum of course, still puzzles me.

If we weren't in Iraq right now, how might the "insurgents" be spending their free time? Remember, the vast majority of "insurgents" these days are Baathist loyalists (an interesting loyalty, to say the least) and foreign Al-Qaeda fighters.

Would they be on vacation right now? Would they be working hard to overthrow the Saudi Arabian government? Would they be working toward the establishment of just goverments in Arab lands?

Or would they be focusing their efforts in Israel?

Or would they be here, bringing their fight to us, as everyone knows they'd like to?

I'm not going to blindly back any aspect of the war effort, and I have my questions/concerns about specifics, but I think that, to a certain extent, those soldiers occupying the time of the "insurgents" are, at least in some small way, protecting that widow and her family, keeping, if only for a time, the fight outside the U.S.

Al-Qaeda has proven that they attack where people are vulnerable. We've chosen, as at least one element of the overall strategy, to distract them in Iraq. It's working. Al-Qaeda took the bait, in a sense. They're wasting their time and resources fighting us in Iraq. But it's a catch-22. They can't easily abandon Iraq, home to some of Islam's holiest cities and sites. They're torn.

Their strategy, however, is solid. They're hoping that, by making as much noise in Iraq as possible (by blowing up fellow Muslims in an effort to draw international scrutiny and concern), they'll force a U.S. withdrawal. They know that if the U.S. holds its course in Iraq, they will be wholly defeated. They also know that their only hope is to engender international sympathy (a strategy borrowed from Arafat). If the U.S. leaves Iraq, immediately, then Al-Qaeda not only claims victory there (probably the most important element of future recruiting) but uses the victory to bring their strategy (google the Muslim Brotherhood to learn more about that strategy) to the U.S.

I'm not sure if you've noticed, but Al-Qaeda's not attacking the U.S. on U.S. soil. But it's not for a lack of trying, or wanting to.

Many elements of this war are disturbing, others are questionable, and, some are even wrong.

A few, however, like occupying Al-Qaeda in a land, Iraq, in which they simply can't afford to lose (but can't possibly win), are nothing short of brilliant. Al-Qaeda "insurgents" are streaming to Iraq (mostly through Syria) to fight the U.S. in what is an obvious mass suicide. Better there than here.

I'm willing to admit faults in the war. Are you willing to admit some of its successes?

I have no doubt that the U.S. will be attacked again someday on a scale similar to 9/11. But it's also not lost on me that in the last four years, as badly as you know Al-Qaeda wants it, nothing has happened. Nothing. Nothing. Not here anyway.

Should we give credit to anyone for that? Or should we just wait to blame them when it does happen again?

Whatever, the ultimate irony is that both critics and enemies alike are calling for immediate withdrawal.

Whatever your feelings on the war, a withdrawal, on anything but U.S. terms (but any withdrawal, within the Muslim world, be viewed as an Al-Qaeda victory), would be devestating to future U.S. security.

For all of Bush's faults, and he has many, he's winning the fight against Al-Qaeda.

Which, on 9/12/01, was all I was asking of him.

As to the question of how I, individually, know that I'm right? That's an easy one; 1,400 years of Muslim history confirm it.

beamis said...

It is all so simple: when the U.S. gets out of their Holy Land the bombings will stop. You'll see, if it ever happens.

The Hezbollah have stopped the bombings in northern Israel because the Israelis are no longer occupiers of their territory. 9/11 was a direct result of stationing U.S. troops on the Arabian peninsula. They don't want our imperialist asses anywhere near their holy sites! Does anyone on Bushes staff speak Arabic? Do they understand even the most basic rudiments of a culture they wish to impose the "gift" of democracy upon?

Here's a simple concept: leave our country or else. I'd be streamiing into Texas through neighboring Oklahoma to fight an invading infidel that had killed and maimed my fellow relatives and countrymen.

And NO, I don't see any sucesses in this war. I see only naked bald agression targeted towards a populace that never lifted a finger to harm this country. Why has the president, like Hitler, never once attended a soldier's funeral or shown even the slightest hint of compassion for those killed conducting his vicious warmongering?

Not only have we been soundly defeated but I also see the U.S.A. incurring the emnity of the entire planet over the impending fireball that this is ultiamtely leading us all towards.

We had better get our house in order soon because China is holding the credit card on this fiasco, and I don't see where the 400 billion spent so far and the nearly 2,000 dead and 25,000 wounded Americans is much of an asset in return for the expenditure. Not to mention a wrecked country and 25,000 - 50,000 civilian dead (countless thousands wounded) as much to build democratic hopes upon.

I will say that $67 a barrel oil must make old Count Cheney laugh a ghoulish cascade of sinister chortles down the cold dark corridors of his bat filled castle.

This is not a war about anything other than vain and greedy ambitions of unholy empire.

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Cossax said...

I find it interesting that almost every American (regardless of their view on the war) supports the troops. Sure they didn't make the actual decision to go to Iraq (or any of the other 2 dozen countries the US has intervened in since WW2) but they are the ones on the ground.

They are fighting and killing men, women and children in conflicts that have nothing to do with US security.

They are the ones who're involved in torture and ill-treatment of prisoners, be it in Iraq, 'Gitmo' or elsewhere.

They are the ones who destroyed much of the infrastructure in Iraq.

Following orders does not cut it anymore.

Maybe I'm missing something cultural, perhaps not but I still don't see why those why do the dirty work of the ones that 'liberals' (ooooh, dirty word!) oppose should be supported.

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Anonymous A-Hole said...

Beamis,

Bush is "like Hitler."

I see.

That's a great argument you've got there, replete with a comparison of insurgents to Palestinians.

Have you thought maybe that bombings in Israel have slowed because Saddam no longer pays $25,000 to each bomber's family? Or that maybe the bombings have slowed because of successful strategies (both offensive and defensive) enacted by Israel? Or maybe, just maybe, the death of Arafat has had something to do with it.

No, no, none of that could be it. More likely, "The Hezbollah have stopped the bombings in northern Israel because the Israelis are no longer occupiers of their territory." Sure, Israel and Likud are suddenly appeasing Hezbollah? C'mon dude, go read some and then get back to me. You can't be serious. That stuff's ridiculous. I see you trying to think, but I'm not sure you were successful.

Does the PLO charge royalties for the use of its propaganda?

Keep comparing Bush to Hitler, and insurgents to Hezbollah though, it really seems to strike a chord wih American voters. They particularly enjoyed the one about Bush orchestrating 9/11.

Do you whack off to Michael Moore movies too?

Anonymous A-Hole said...

Beamis,

And, by the way, the view that the bombings will stop when the U.S. leaves ignores the long and painful history between Sunnis and Shiites. Even after the U.S. leaves (if it ever does), factions (tribal and other) will continue to kill each other in Iraq. It's been happening since long before America even existed.

America's battle in Iraq is but one. Check your local library my man, you're missing some vital information.

Like I said, bro, you might want to investigate further, especially if you're labeling it as "all so simple."

Please let us know when your next middle-east history lesson begins, I won't want to miss it.

beamis said...

The so-called "insurgents" are no different than any other person in the world who wishes to fight a foreign invader aggressively occupying their territory. The success of the "insurgent" is almost always guaranteed due to his fervid desire to oust the invader by any means at his disposal. Meanwhile the poor slob soldier sent to kill and maim has no desire to be in, much less conquer, this strange and smelly country he has been shipped to against his will. I don't know what else I need to know (as you imply)in order to see myself doing the exact same thing under similar circumstances.

The U.S. Constitution was written to govern our country not the entire world. The reason we are targets of violence is because of our bases in Saudi Arabia and unquestioning support of Israel, our regional pit bull. The U.S. is a meddler, an atomic bomb dropping war maker with as much style and grace as well.....George W. Bush, the cute, very fit, little dummy sitting on Count Cheney's knee.

The war in Afghanistan and Iraq has already been lost and everyone knows it. Shock and Awe my ass! The U.S. has been whooped and whooped good. Let's all hope this will be her last foray into agressive empire building and just let the whole thing crumble into secession among the 50 states. President Ah-nold of California.

Hitler was notorious for refusing to acknowledge the sacrifices and deaths of his soldiers, most especially so after Stalingrad and the cold cruel death of millions on the eastern front.

(This was gleaned from my recent reading of the two-volume Hitler biography by Ian Kershaw.)

I see no reason not to point out the similarity to the current U.S. president who is asking for the same sort of blind obedience to ever changing war aims, plus all of the same lies, deceits and propoganda.

I think the current Cindy Sheehan thing will be the start of a big decline for Bush and hopefully will be the trigger for the eventual fall of a very corrupt and criminal form of government.

Anonymous A-Hole said...

Beamis, my confused man, most of the "insurgents" are as much foreign invaders as the U.S.

I can't believe that you're willing to defend the "insurgents" as some type of righteous domestic fighters.

Anonymous A-Hole said...

Empire building?

We gave Europe back (both times), we gave Japan back, we gave Korea back, we gave Iraq (the first time) back.

Either we don't really understand empire, or we're the worst imperial force in human history.

Anonymous A-Hole said...

Beamis,

And I'm not implying anything.

I'm stating directly that you need to brush up on the middle east.

beamis said...

I'm glad you can feel pride in the past accomplishments of the U.S. military.

By the way U.S. military is still stationed in Korea (45,000 soldiers strong) as well as Germany, Japan and Iraq (currently in conventional war role).

I don't wish to be as insulting as you've been to me, by questioning my knowledge, but you are a truly delusional person if you actually believe this war is about anything other than greed, oil and raw naked power, which will very shortly and abruptly fall into the scrap heap of history.

Why aren't you fighting in Iraq? Do you know anyone who has fought there recently. I do, and these people are not all right by the experience.

For what I ask? For what?

beamis said...

As far as your assertion that the fighters in Iraq are foriegners then you don't understand the nature of Islam. By the same token the early guerilla fighters for Israel in the 40's were mainly from somewhere else and not born in the Palestine. So what?

The fact is they are ousting the infidel quite handily whether or not they possess Iraqi birth certificates.

Anonymous A-Hole said...

Sounds like Pan-Arabism to me.

Anonymous A-Hole said...

I understand quite well the nature of Islam.

I've spent a great deal of time studying it.

Are Germany, Korea, Japan, and Iraq all part of the American "Empire" then.

Stationing soldiers and ruling lands are two different things entirely.

And speaking of delusional, Pan-Arabism is dead.

Anonymous A-Hole said...

And, by the way, mentioning past wars in no way implies "pride" in them.

Anonymous A-Hole said...

As for all of the supposed righteous fighters entering Iraq, why is that they're mostly busy bombing Iraqis?

Anonymous A-Hole said...

Just out of curiousity, if we were to withdraw tommorrow, is it your contention that the Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds, foreign Al-Qaeda fighters, and Baathist loyalists will immediately cooperate to bring peace to Iraq?

I think I've inferred that to be your opinion, among others.

Anonymous A-Hole said...

I think you'd make more inroads, influence more people, and generally make more sense if you could separate the U.S. from Israel. Your implicit generalizations about Israel and its policies, and your redundant vilificattion of the Jewish state are off-putting to even some of your similarly poltically-oriented peers.

References to "Palestine," to Hezbollah, to "our unquestioning support of Israel," only cloud the issue and force people to question your intentions (rightly or not).

You may not "intend" to insult me (as you feel I've done to you), but it's implicit in your belief that I'd blindly follow anything.

Bush was wrong to fight on the false pretenses of WMD (really, at best only a tertiary concern of his going in).

How about you? Are you willing to acknowledge anything but the predictable? Or are you one of those, that despite all evidence to the contrary, still even believes in the altrusitic benevolence of the United Nations?

beamis said...

You've obviously not read my words or taken the time to comprehend their meaning. You bandy about words like Pan-Arabism and such but never get down to discussing the essense of the issue, which is this: the U.S. is waging war against an innocent civilian population that never laid a hand on our country. There are many people in that region of the world who resent this invasion and have joined together to defeat it's aims and oust it completely from the region. Which, by the way, is what is happening.

What people do in their own country or world region is none of my business nor should it be that of the U.S. military.

Nuff said.

Anonymous A-Hole said...

Methinks you're awfully defensive about your knowledge level.

Anonymous A-Hole said...

Your sophisticated and cogent points must be lost on the delusional likes of me.

All I'm asking for is one original, unpredictable thought. Do you have one?

Anonymous A-Hole said...

The more approriate question might be:

Why aren't you fighting for the insurgency?

Anonymous A-Hole said...

"Bandy?"

I apologize for assuming a basic knowledge level of the mideast.

It was my presumption that somebody so eager to engage me might have already learned the basics.

My bad.

Anonymous A-Hole said...

I agree with you on one thing though.

"Nuff said."

beamis said...

As I've stated repeatedly: if I were to come under similar attack in my home region of Utah I would join an "insurgency" to fight the unwelcome invader.

And, oh yes, I support the current "insurgency" against the brutally agressive occupiers of two formerly sovereign nations, Iraq and Afghanistan.

They've already kicked some serious ass and are just getting started on the hated invading infidel.

Maybe they'll eventually learn a lesson and go home-----for good.

Anonymous A-Hole said...

Good, it's nice to see you finally produce your raw thoughts on the subject.

You're rooting against your own country, in fact believing them already defeated.

In essence, you're "supporting the troops" while hoping for their defeat. Nice.

So, if I'm to understand you correctly, if a foreign invader came to depose Bush, you'd do what? Who would you be fighting for? I guess I'm confused.

beamis said...

My support of the troops extends only as far wanting them to come back home where they belong; especially the National Guardsmen who are needed to fight forest fires and aid flood victims not blow up Iraqi cities.

I don't support the U.S. government's mission in the region and have sympathy and understanding for an insurgency that is attempting to expel an unwanted foreign invader.

Where the chips may ultimately fall among the Shites, Sunnis and Kurds is not my fight. The current Pandoras box of civil war is one the U.S. government blasted open with the first shots of Shock & Awe, the consequences of which we will not see settled for several decades to come.

As for my own involvement in war I'll take it on a case by case basis. If Mexico or Canada started to saber rattle about overthrowing Bush, I'd have to at least give 'em a listen. Who knows, they might have something good up their sleeves. After all it has rarely been this bad when it comes to government leadership. The U.S. regime, in general, is one I doubt I'd ever fight to preserve. If you'll check out my blog posts you'll see I'm quite a committed secessionist.

How you can uphold this corrupt regime for anything other than unjust murder and mayhem I'm at a loss to understand.

Audie said...

If the celebrated (and inebriated) "Bush twins" were in the military, we would not have initiated our unprovoked attack against Iraq. Plain and simple. Shrub is not willing to offer himself what he is asking of the rest of the parents of this country (nor is the Congress). And he fakes them out by painting this red white and blue picture of what a noble sacrifice they are making (in reality, to make him and his wealthy inner circle even wealthier). It's an argument that's only persuasive to the desperate and the ignorant.

As Chris Rock said a few years ago about gays in the military: "Hey, if they wanna fight, let 'em fight. Cuz I ain't fightin'. I wouldn't give a fuck about a Russian tank rollin' down Flatbush Avenue. I ain't killin' nobody. So call me a faggot. At least I'll be a faggot with two legs, walkin' like this -- 'Hey, whassup!'"

Audie said...

BTW, good point, cossax.

Monkey said...

Max, Beamis, you're right on target as usual. Cossax also has a valid point.

I posted a link to a video of Cindy Sheehan on my blog that you should probably see. Max, sorry for the shameless plug but you can find the ad at: http://beingmonkey.blogspot.com/

Out now, it's the only solution; that goes for the troops and the President.

Anonymous A-Hole said...

Hey, what a coincidence, Cindy Sheehan is calling for an immediate withdrawal of Israel from "Palestine."

Who would have thought she had brouht pre-conceived political notions to her "protest?"

Gee, it's nice to see that everyone anti-U.S. is also anti-Israel.

What an amazing display of independent thought. I'm so impressed. Bush should meet with her immediately so they can discuss Israel.