Early Warning: Arkin Incoming

Many pixels have died in the flail that was yesterday’s Early Warning post and if you haven’t seen them yet go to Blackfive, LGF, CQ, Powerline, OPFOR, etc. I don’t know that it would do much good to add to the cacophony but as a former soldier (like Arkin) I feel compelled to make the smallest point:

“Troops” exist for one and only one reason: to defend the nation. The exact words used when being sworn-in are “defend the Constitution” and the practical application of those words includes the homeland, its people and national interests. It follows then that if you truly support the troops you are obliged by definition to support what they are doing. They all have family or friends back home so they are already aware that people care for them as individuals, they don’t need more love from strangers in the feel-good crowd.

If you don’t support the war – a right soldiers die trying to protect – then have the stones to say so. If you can’t muster the will then have the common decency to not insult them.

2 comments for “Early Warning: Arkin Incoming

  1. February 2, 2007 at 4:32 PM

    OleHank,
    You make a good point/distinction that most do not (probably myself included).
    There are indeed folks like you who know what it is like to serve and have their heads and hearts in the right place WRT wishing our fighting men well. If I may put words in your mouth – you want them to succeed you just wish they didn’t have to be there in the first place.
    I think it is fairly clear that the hard-core radical anti-war crowd are using the phrase as a buffer to take the edge off of their shrieking. They are attempting to win double points for loving the troops and hating those who sent them off to the war for oil, when in reality they care not a whit for either party. The spitting incident this past weekend and other failed attempts to get protesters to actually engage in a dialog with vets (LT Smash is a good place for references) says more than a million protest signs/songs. It would be interesting to see how much code pink, etc. has donated to Soldiers Angels, Army Emergency Relief, volunteered time at Walter Reed, etc., etc., the proof being found in the pudding and all that.
    Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  2. OleHank
    February 2, 2007 at 12:28 PM

    You make a good point. The problem for me, as a veteran who was opposed to the war from the very beginning, is that every time I speak up the folks on the other side of the fence will throw the whole “Support the troops” yellow-ribbon thing in my face, raising the spectre of soldiers returning home from Vietnam only to be spat upon.
    I don’t support the war. I have the “stones” to say so. And by logical extension I don’t support what the troops are doing in Iraq. But I don’t hate them, they’re my comrades, my brothers-in-arms. The point is that they *are not* slavering baby-killers, they are the defenders of our nation, but when we ask them to go fight they cannot say no, and they do the best they can with what they have. For that reason I do not hold them accountable for what happens over there, which is the real meaning of “I Support the Troops But Not the War” — it’s not their fault. Others are at fault, some to a criminal degree, but not our men and women in uniform.
    And for the record, Arkin seems like a tool.

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