Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I saw this very, very stupid bumper sticker on a car this past Saturday.

Yesterday was Memorial Day. I hope it was a day of remembrance for you. It was for me.

What I hope you remembered was the sacrifice so many have made in order for us to have the freedoms we have in this country.

But I want to tell you, that bumper sticker made my blood boil.

Here's why.

It is impossible for one to support the troops without supporting the job they are doing.

If you say you "don't support the war," you are saying to the troops, "What you are doing is a mistake (or dumb, or unnecessary, or wrong...however you want to phrase it), and you shouldn't be doing it...but I support you, for doing your misguided job."

That's not support for the troops. It is demoralizing for them.

They are not there because our government forced them to be (as was done with the draft in WWII, for example). They are volunteers. They are there because they believe in what they are doing.

For you to tell them that they are wonderful, but doing the wrong thing, is not support for them at all.

Now, you have the right not to like the war and the right to express yourself about your lack of support for it.

But do not think you can not support what they are doing and then, pretend that you support them.

It cannot be done, and you are not doing it...no matter what you think you are doing.

The thing about being united (as in The United States of America) is that we have to act together.

We cannot be The Divided/United States of America.

That means we must yield some of our ideas to the ideas of others for the period during which those ideas are in place.

That does NOT mean we cannot oppose the war, if that is where we stand. It means we have to work within the system to extricate ourselves from the war, if that is what we think should be done.

We can protest the war if we like.

That's our right.

We can vote the war supporters out of office, if we can muster the masses to do so.

But we CANNOT pretend to support the troops and not support what they are doing.


What they are doing is part-and-parcel of who they are as troops.

If you are a football player, playing football is what you do.

If you are a soldier, soldiering is what you do.

And soldiers fight in wars.

Support them and what they do, or don't support them and don't support what they do.

You cannot have it both ways.

I know...I know...you WANT it both ways.

But you can't have it.


Scotty said...

That bumper sticker has been around to a long time! It always amused me too! You’re right, the mission is the soldier and the soldier is the mission.

Those that don’t support the war didn’t want to be seen as those during my era that treated us Vietnam veterans so poorly. But, I think, if we were able to look deep inside these folks we would find that they haven’t changed much.

Another phenomenon that has come out of this war is calling ALL those that are serving heroes.

Most military folks that I know are very uncomfortable with that. It certainly, in my opinion, detracts from acts of real heroism.

Mark said...

I am anti-war.

But, at least I recognize there are times when war is the only option.

I always support the troops and I always support their mission.

Xavier Onassis said...

Once again, and as usual, you are incredibly wrong.

Our Armed Forces are made up of brave men and women who volunteer to defend and protect their fellow citizens.

All Americans should whole heartedly support these citizen warriors for the sacrifices they make on our behalf in times of war and peace.

But this in NO WAY obligates Americans to support ill conceived foreign policies that ABUSE the heroism of our soldiers by sending them into meaningless meat grinders to further some political agendas of pea-brained politicians who believe if they repeat a lie often enough it becomes true.

The highest tribute we can pay to our fellow citizens who are in Harms Way and following orders is to preassure our politicians to end these meaningless "wars" and bring our soldiers back home.

Leticia said...

No you can't have it both ways, it's impossible. Typical Left-wing propaganda.

I hate war as much as the next person, but if our men and women are fighting in one, than you had better believe I will support it.

Ducky's here said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ducky's here said...

That's unfortunate that you put people in a corner, Joe.

Many of us support improvements in VA benefits and medical care. Legislation that keeps enlisted folks out of the hands of your capitalist heroes, the payday lenders.

But to you that support requires approving the Afghanistan and Iraq fiascoes. I know, one of the three poorest nations on earth threatened our "freedoms". One trillion dollars because our intelligence services couldn't handle a few guys with box cutters.

Then we have the right winger who cannot under any circumstances manage to deal with ambiguity. It's just so hard.

Lone Ranger said...

"But this in NO WAY obligates Americans to support ill conceived foreign policies that ABUSE the heroism of our soldiers by sending them into meaningless meat grinders to further some political agendas of pea-brained politicians who believe if they repeat a lie often enough it becomes true."

Oh, you mean how Obama has now entangled us in a THIRD war? I'm just a passing student of history, but I can't recall anytime in human history that a country was engaged us in THREE wars simultaneously.

Joe said...

Scotty: I've seen it before, too, but it just rubbed me the wrong way Saturday.

Mark: I agree. I, too, am anti-war, but if we go to war, we need to support it to win it and work to avoid it in the future.

XO: Exactly how I thought a liberal/progressive would react. So, I was right.

As I made clear, we have every right to work to change the rules, but in the mean time, we must follow the rules we have.

The abortion issue is a perfect example.

Those who oppose abortion with violence are idiots.

Those who oppose it by trying to change the rules are doing it right.

In the mean time, peaceful demonstration is certainly appropriate...even if you disagree with me.

Sadly, that does not work the other way around.

Liberal/progressives like demonstrations that are nasty, vulgar, violent and whatever else they feel like doing.

You, sir, are the prototype...and proud of it.

Leticia: Liberal/progressives think they can have it as many ways as they want to.

Ducky: You are what your actions say you are. If you are in a corner, you put yourself there.

"But to you that support requires approving the Afghanistan and Iraq fiascoes."

False. I neither said nor implied anything avout the VA.

You continue to be unable to stay on topic.

Strange for such a self-described intelligent person.

"I know, one of the three poorest nations on earth threatened our "freedoms".

Well, a group from those "poorest" nations took out 3,000 of our peacefully working citizens.

But that's probably OK with you.

LR: And teh Lybian war has no purpose, goal, end game or anything else. He does not even want to persue it, so he turns it over to the feckless UN.

sue said...

Joe - I know what you are saying here, but the bottom line is:

You are telling us what we can and can't do, what we can and can't think.

And this is simply not possible.

You are really not in control of everything as much as you would like it to appear.

Ducky's here said...

Joe, I'm not in a corner, I can think quite clearly. It's you who is being obtuse.

Of course you can support policy which provides proper benefits to troops and oppose ridiculous missions like Afghanistan.

Joe said...

sue: Guess you didn't read my post very carefully.

Ducky: I never said you couldn't oppose the war, I said you should support it.

Those are two different things.

But small minds can't see the difference.

You support the troops by ensuring that they have what they need to carry out their mission.

You can still work to change policy in such a way that a given war might be either won or withdrawn from.

Until then, you can't support the troops without supporting what they are doing.

Joe said...

To Liberal/Progressives: You think with your emotions, instead of your brains.

Supporting the troops does not mean saying,"You're good little boys and girls and we love you."

Supporting the troops means providing them with the resources they need to do the job they have to do ... even if you don't like the job they have to do.

Providing their needs is how you support them.

They need strong, purposeful leadership, the finest equipment, an understanding of their goals and objectives and the kind of training that will help them excell.

It also means not undercutting their work by telling them they are doing the wrong thing...tell that to the politicians, not the troops.

Too hard to understand, I know.

sue said...

Joe - I will be reading your post more carefully by the end of the
(Friday) and will comment on whether I understand what you mean (that I didn't read it very carefully.) (-;

Joe said...

sue: "You are telling us what we can and can't do, what we can and can't think."

Absolutely not. Not even close.

What I am saying is that you can't be double minded and call youself supporting the troops if you disparage the work they do.

Nor can you say you're supporting them if you don't give them the resources they need to execute their duties.

You can't say you're supporting the troops and then undermine what they do with hateful demonstrations.

If you want to call yourself supporting them, then you must give them what they need to do their work, provide encouragement for them and give credence to what they do.

If you disagree with the war, that's fine. But don't use your disagreement with the politicians to hinder the jobs the troops have to do.

Instead, write, call, email or visit the politicians to get them to change policies, if that's what you think should be done.

Meanwhile realize that you can't say you support the troops while not supporting the war effort.

That is paradoxical, incorguous and oxymoronic.

sue said...

Joe - I read your above comment.

My only remark is that I have never demonstrated against any war -
not in a peaceful way, nor in a hateful way.

I have supported the troops (I can't prove it here).

But I still say that just speaking for myself, not for our leaders or any other politicians, not for any political party, but I always have supported the troops. Sometimes with donations, by packing care kits, attending Veterans'Day and Memorial Services - and in my heart.

But I do not support the Vietnam War, nor the present wars. I admit to not being very knowledgable about war (as far as why politicans and the military leaders like them so much.)

But Joe, I cannot allow you to tell me what I can do or think.

Joe said...

sue: "But Joe, I cannot allow you to tell me what I can do or think"

Sue, I cannot allow you to tell me that I can't tell you what you can do or think.

So, how are you going to stop me and how am I going to stop you?

Maybe we should go to war.

sue said...

Joe - supposing you and I do go to war, and it were an unpopular war.

Who would support the troops?

Joe said...

sue: Trust me. If it was a war and you were in it, it would be popular.

(Let's see you figure THAT one out).

sue said...

Joe - That's like the riddle:

Which came first, the chicken or the egg. (-;