Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Question Seven: Can You Support Our Troops But Oppose Their Work?

Question 7 in our debate series on the War in Iraq and the War on Terror should is a provocative one.

Is it possible to support our troops but oppose their work? What does “support our troops” mean to you?



Question One: Why did we invade Iraq?

Question Two: Has the Iraq war set any precedents?

Question Three: Are we safer?

Question Four: Why do some think America is the enemy?

Question Five: Why are we so divided?

Question Six: Why do we use words like ‘Hitler’ and ‘unpatriotic’?

12 Comments:

At 10:49 AM, Blogger Robert Rouse said...

Absolutely. I have my "yellow ribbon" magnet proudly displayed next to my "Stop the Bush*t" magnet. I want every soldier who is stationed ANYWHERE in the world to come home safely. These men and women volunteered for military service and they need our support. Most were recruited out of economic necessity or with a "promise" of a college education. And there are still those who follow in the footseteps of other family members.

Although I was opposed to the invasion of Iraq from the beginning, that didn't stop me from watching CNN and MSNBC almost continually after the ground forces started moving in. I (like millions of other Americans) held my breath during live coverage of fire fights. These are our men and women. I respect these people and support them fully. They do their duty and follow the orders given them.

During the Super Bowl, World Series or NBA Finals, how many people out there choose a team to support even after their favorite team is eliminated? What if a family member is arrested for a crime? You may not condone the crime, but you'll show your support for your brother, father, son, etc. Well, I don't condone the war.

I was angry at the protesters who spit on our soldiers returning from Vietnam. And most of these guys didn't even volunteer. It's our Country and even though I'm doing my patriotic duty by speaking out against a war I disagree with, our citizens in uniform have earned and deserve our support.

 
At 11:50 AM, Blogger Tom - doubts and all said...

Of course I can. I served for 11 years, 10 months, and 7 days, and I hurt everytime I hear of a casualty. Then I get angry.

Our servicemembers are doing their best to "obey the lawful orders of those appointed over them" just as they swore to do upon enlistment or commission. That's all I can ever ask, and I am both grateful and supportive of them individually.

I oppose their commander-in-chief and his advisors. I think he took us to war too casually, and has failed to hold accountable those close to him despite gross blunders that have led to avoidable death and mutilation of our troops.

I think I support them best just by the fact that I oppose the war.

 
At 12:44 PM, Blogger AubreyJ said...

Question 7: Is it really possible to support our troops but oppose their work?
My short answer was: “NO- I can’t see it yet many somehow say just that.” I think I’ll have to stick with that answer for in my mind it answers the question in full.

Now you can change the question up in your mind and come up with a yes answer but a yes to this question as written makes no sense to me. I’ve seen the other answers to this question today as from the original some days back and many are good answers yet not true to the question…...

The troops are their work. The troops are an extension of the Presidential Branch. The majority of the troops believe in their Commander In Chief, (President Bush.) They are one and the same. The mass majority of them truly do believe in what they are doing over there to be the right thing.

It doesn’t make a rat what you or I think but what is going on in their minds that counts to me. They are the ones dieing over there for us and I for one truly believe in them. If the majority of them believe in what they are doing, you can only ask yourself one question… “Do I believe in what they are doing as do they?” YES / NO… I say YES…….

 
At 1:26 PM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...

I'm not sure we learned a lot of lessons from Vietnam--but one we definitely seem to have learned is that you can oppose the war but respect the troops. The vast majority of the anti-Iraq war crowd has done an excellent job of separating the war (which they dislike) from the troops (which they treat respectfully). That line has gotten blurred in rhetoric from time to time, but not in action. No one is spitting on the soldiers that come home.

What this question comes down to is the exact meaning of "support." My feeling is while it is possible to oppose the the fact we went to war and still support the troops, it is not possible to oppose our current mission and still support the troops. More exactly, if you're not rooting for our ultimate victory and a free and democratic Iraq, you're not supporting the troops.

Nevertheless, you can strongly question why this war was necessary and strongly criticize the tactics but still root for our victory.

And yet, it's not enough to just hope our troops don't die. I think support requires one to actively root for thier success and, conversely, our enemy's failure.

 
At 2:03 PM, Anonymous Jennifer said...

I absolutely support our troops and oppose the war in Iraq. My son is in the army and is scheduled to land in Iraq in November. I have met some of his army buddies and hear stories about them regularly. You bet I support them.

I believe we need an army to defend our country. I believe the vast majority of these young men and women are doing their best to serve this country. They are doing what they are told. They are being good soldiers. And that is all we can ask of them.

The soldiers are completely out of the decision-making loop when it comes to making war. The current situation is not their fault. But they and their families pay the price even when they come back alive. These kids will never be the same again after killing people -- sometimes accidentally -- and watching their buddies die. And watching insurgent bombs kill innocent children. I wish they did not have to go through this nightmare that is reality.

 
At 2:11 PM, Anonymous Jennifer said...

I also meant to say that I am rooting for the troops. I am against the insurgents and I want our troops to succeed in Iraq. I want a democratic and free Iraq. From the very beginning I said to myself and others that I don't think this is going to work but I hope it does. I hope Bush is right. That said, I hate what the Bush administration did and how it did it.

 
At 3:39 PM, Blogger AubreyJ said...

Jennifer....
Nothing but the best to you, your son and all his Army Buddies.

 
At 3:48 PM, Blogger Robert Rouse said...

Prhaps this is all a matter of semantics, but when I think of support, I think of moral support. Drives to send letters of encouragement to the servicemen and women. To pat them on the back and let them know we appreciate them.

We can't turn our denunciation on them because of what their commander in chief has sent them off to do.

My cousin was in Vietnam. He returned to a country that shunned him over an extremely unpopular war. That was wrong and I believe we learned a valuable lesson from Vietnam. A lot of men over there came back haunted by things they saw and/or did. And I firmly believe it was our lack of support for them that led to so many VN Vets losing touch with society. Homelessness . . . drug abuse . . . violent tempers . . . mental hospitals . . . and the list goes on and on.

While I know there are people still out there who don't believe Vietnam was a mistake, the overwhelming vast majority of US citizens do. We want to let our soldiers know we support them.

No one can tell me how to think! I do not condone what is going on in Iraq. I do want each and every soldier out there to know we appreciate them.

 
At 6:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is demoralizing to the troops to hear people are against a war in which they're putting their lives on the line. It makes them thing they're being fools. All the fine words about "supporting the troops" do not alter this. That's why Bush was given overwhelming support by the military in the elction.

 
At 8:56 PM, Blogger Jami said...

of course you can. look at congress. most of the bills intended to make soldiers' lives better come from "liberal" senators like barbara boxer and hillary clinton. these bills, for things like IED jammers and armor on humvees, then get voted down by republicans!

the people who genuinely support the troops want them to be safe, and that means bringing them home ASAP.

 
At 11:45 PM, Blogger Ted Carmichael said...

My position on the war is pretty clear, so I won't bother to repeat it. And I have three very good friends in Iraq right now. The two in the marines (twin brothers) wholeheartedly support President Bush and the war effort. I just hope I never have the opportunity to say "I told you so" to those guys.

Alan said, "I think support requires one to actively root for thier success and, conversely, our enemy's failure." I agree completely. But I think it is worth asking who the enemy is.

The terrorists? The ones who are bombing civilians in a misguided attempt to destabilize the government and provoke fear? That's easy ... bad guys. The insurgents? Especially the 10% or so from foreign countries? A little harder. Many of them believe strongly that what they are doing is a good thing, and are willing to risk their lives doing it. Or perhaps they are just honest and honorable people being manipulated by beliefs and circumstances. Still, they're viewpoint is generally in the minority among Iraqi citizens, especially if they're fighting for power and control, or out of a misguided sense of morality. Plus, they're trying to kill us. So, they're the enemy ... check.

What about the Iraqi citizens themselves, the ones that just want us to leave? Last poll I could find (Zogby International poll from january) showed that 67% of the Shi'ites and 82% of the Sunnis want us out. Are they the enemy for rooting against us? (And are they rooting against us? What would that mean, exactly? They could want us out even if they totally believe and agree with our stated goals.) What if they give 'aid and comfort' to insurgents? At what point do we become the bad guys for not doing what the majority of Iraqis wants us to do?

The trouble with this war is a lot of the guys fighting against us - a lot of 'the enemy' - are doing exactly what we would do in the same situation. We're asking for a lot of patience, forgiveness, and understanding from the Iraqi citizens we're trying to help. I just hope we aren't asking too much.

 
At 8:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A real sensitive subject however I do support our Troops. I also support the War in Iraq too. I also feel that weeding out the problem was an important step towards securing our Freedom, but I also agree that it will be costly and take time
All too often though, the reasons why we did something are forgotten and we seem to debate it endlessly. We also forget that our country was founded by those wanting change and what that cost us. We also forget the reasons why the Civil War happened and what cost us as well. Times have changed since the Civil War and now the War in Iraq but our Securing our Freedom is still the reason why we are in war.

 

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