In the op-ed section of the L.A. Times, Joel Stein wrote a piece called Warriors and Wusses where he now claims that he is happy to declare he does not support the troops. Yes, he says that he likes the troops, but no longer supports their efforts and would prefer if we didn’t have parades honoring them afterwards.
But I’m not for the war. And being against the war and saying you support the troops is one of the wussiest positions the pacifists have ever taken ? and they’re wussy by definition. It’s as if the one lesson they took away from Vietnam wasn’t to avoid foreign conflicts with no pressing national interest but to remember to throw a parade afterward.
But blaming the president is a little too easy. The truth is that people who pull triggers are ultimately responsible, whether they’re following orders or not. An army of people making individual moral choices may be inefficient, but an army of people ignoring their morality is horrifying. An army of people ignoring their morality, by the way, is also Jack Abramoff’s pet name for the House of Representatives.
I do sympathize with people who joined up to protect our country, especially after 9/11, and were tricked into fighting in Iraq. I get mad when I’m tricked into clicking on a pop-up ad, so I can only imagine how they feel.
But when you volunteer for the U.S. military, you pretty much know you’re not going to be fending off invasions from Mexico and Canada. So you’re willingly signing up to be a fighting tool of American imperialism, for better or worse. Sometimes you get lucky and get to fight ethnic genocide in Kosovo, but other times it’s Vietnam.
I’m not advocating that we spit on returning veterans like they did after the Vietnam War, but we shouldn’t be celebrating people for doing something we don’t think was a good idea. All I’m asking is that we give our returning soldiers what they need: hospitals, pensions, mental health and a safe, immediate return. But, please, no parades.
Seriously, the traffic is insufferable.
I don’t care if you support this war or not, Mr. Stein, but you have to honor the people that are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for this country regardless of your lack of support. These soldiers were not tricked, but signed up fully-knowing that they could participate in a conflict because they feel they have a duty to defend this nation. To say they were tricked is reprehensible and degrading to the efforts of these brave men and women. These people will be honored regardless of your ill-bred opinion of these parades.
As for the support of the war, what about when Iraq was firing scud missiles into downtown Tel Aviv, killing the elderly in Kuwait hospitals or using chemical weapons on Kurdish villages? Saddam Hussein was a ruthless dictator who put hundreds of thousands to death just like Slobodan Milosevic. Are these crimes any less heinous then the ones in Kosovo? Now with the help of the courageous men and women of our armed forces, Hussein just like Milosevic will be standing trial for those crimes. At the first parade in my area honoring these people, I will be standing there waving an American flag and thinking of your ignorant comments.