Wednesday, August 17, 2005

"Support Our Troops" as code

The ubiquitous magnetic ribbons in yellow, red-white-and-blue, all the colors of the rainbow. On the backs of cars, trucks, vans.

"Support Our Troops"

Of course, we all support our troops. That is, we pray for their safety, for their success, for their home-coming as whole persons, body and mind. Thus, on its face, "Support Our Troops" is akin to "Breathe".

So why the ribbons? It's "code" of course. Code for "support our president." It implies that if you don't support Bush, you are not supporting the troops, and you wish them ill.

Many of us support the troops but don't support their mission. "Nonsense!" say the wingers. "You can't be supporting the troops if you don't support their mission." And since their mission is Bush's policy, if you don't support Bush and his policy and the mission he has given the military then you are not supporting the troops. You are unpatriotic.

Horse manure, I say. Can't criticize the president during war? Well, I'm afraid there is precedent for criticizing the president during war. Kos provides some quotes from when Clinton committed troops to Bosnia. Here are a few:

"You can support the troops but not the president."
--Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"Well, I just think it's a bad idea. What's going to happen is they're going to be over there for 10, 15, maybe 20 years."
--Joe Scarborough (R-FL)

"Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?"
--Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/6/99

"[The] President . . . is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation's armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy."
--Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA)

"If we are going to commit American troops, we must be certain they have a clear mission, an achievable goal and an exit strategy."
--Karen Hughes, speaking on behalf of George W Bush

"I had doubts about the bombing campaign from the beginning . . I didn't think we had done enough in the diplomatic area."
--Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)

As Kos reminds us, "Funny thing is, we won that war without a single killed in action."


Blogger curtis said...

I agree. There is a large faction of the right that believes (hypocritically) exactly this, and it is really unfortunate. I, for one, believe that although most leftists are mistaken about the war, the few that go far enough that I feel comfortable saying they "don't support the troops" are just that- a minority. (Most of them say things like "I don't support the troops" too)

Anyone who says you can't critique a war in progress is mistaken. This very concept is what makes the so-called "western way of war" (VDH) flexible and adaptable. It is the heart of democracy- reference any book on warring Greek city states.

Dissent is always valuable as long as it is reasonable, rational, and well-intentioned.

12:49 AM, August 18, 2005  
Blogger Ron said...

If one doesn't support the plan one would logically be against the planners, not the soliders. Duh!

12:02 AM, August 20, 2005  

Post a Comment

<< Home