Background: A local television news commentator used his three minutes of air-time to claim that it was impossible to understand how people could find themselves being against the war being perpetrated in Iraq, while being simultaneously in support of the troops fighting there. I was one of the many who called bullshit on this, as it is most certainly possible to hold these two "contradicting themes" in the mind at once. You can see his original diatribe here, as well as some other responses in a subsequent editorial here.
Sorry Ken, but I must disagree with you on this one. It certainly is possible to support the troops and deplore the war, and such a position needn't come from confusion or hypocrisy.
The argument to refute the war is pretty easy for me. I haven't been convinced that the current regime in Iraq is in any way responsible for the attacks on this country of 9/11. The country that was held accountable has already been dealt with, or so we're told. Nor do I accept that Saddam Hussein is such a bad man, a poor leader, a war monger, or whatever, that it is in the interest of the U.S. to remove him without the cooperation or at least acquiescence of our allies and the international community. If the inspectors couldn't find weapons of mass destruction, it might be because they don't exist. I find each of the arguments for war to be less than compelling. Instead, our government seeks not to provide proof of the necessity of this war, but instead tries to bully our cooperation by trotting out half truths and whole lies in order to convince us that it must be so. I simply do not trust the President to tell me the truth any more.
So no, I don't support the war. But I can support the troops. As a veteran who has served overseas, I'm only too aware of the difficult and demanding tasks placed upon our armed forces. Theirs is not to question why. There only requirement is to follow orders. These orders often place them at great peril, and many of them will die. How can people not be aware of the sacrifices of our men and women who wear the uniform and serve their country?
So I oppose the war AND support the troops. What I don't support is the government that has squandered an enormous amount of international good will after the attacks of 9/11, throwing it away in pursuit of an unnecessary military intervention against a sovereign state that has not shown a willingness to do our country any damage at all. Such a stand comes neither from confusion or hypocrisy, but from a belief that war is (or should be) a last resort, and knowledge that the people in our armed forces do not deserve to have their lives spent so easily and casually by our current government.
Copyright 2003 by Rich Webb
This page is authored and maintained by Rich Webb. You can send E-mail to me by following this link to the contact page. And feel free to contact me if you have any comments, criticisms, or suggestions. I remain, however, perfectly capable of ignoring your useless opinion...
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