Thursday, November 02, 2006

I call for 43 to apologize to the troops AGAIN

Our current military is a very different one from the one that represented us in Vietnam.

The fact that the armed services are all-volunteer means that servicemen and women are much more invested in their service. Many are, or are hoping to, make a career out of their service.

Which makes this growing protest movement extraordinary.

Active duty servicemen and women are adding their names to this statement:

As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the prompt withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from Iraq . Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price. It is time for U.S. troops to come home.

Many members of the military are conflicted about whether soldiers should speak out. Retired Lt. Gen. Robert G Gard, senior military fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, puts it this way:

"That is a tough question to come down on," Gard said. "We have a social contract in this country that the military does not question the civilian control over it."

"But the flip side," Gard continued, "is that there is an implicit assumption that they will not put the military into harm's way and accept casualties except in causes that are reasonably in the national interest. In this case, I can't find a rationale that makes any sense."

Unfortunately, the White House has seen fit to question the patriotism of those servicemen and women who have signed the petition. WH press secretary Tony "dont' worry about me, I sold my soul LONG ago" Snow was asked about the petition last week, when it contained only 65 signatures (it now has over 500):

"You get 65 guys who are, unfortunately -- no, not unfortunately -- 65 people who are going to be able to get more press than the hundreds of thousands who have come back and said they're proud of their service."

Hey, at least he said "not unfortunately."

Although you'll notice that he hasn't read their statement very closely. Hey, they put right at the beginning of the thing that they're "proud" of their service.


Why is it that the right never gets dinged for insulting the troops, anyway? This would seem to go against the prevailing wisdom that our media is a bastion of corporate owners and officers with conservative views, and that support Republican politicians, but still, inexplicably, oversee media outlets with far, far left-wing viewpoints and agendas.

Go figure.


Larry Jones said...

>>Why is it that the right never gets dinged for insulting the troops, anyway?<<

This will seem self-serving or naive but I think the answer is that the right wing, at least the current crop, is concerned almost entirely with "winning": elections, power, money, access to young boys, etc., whereas Democrats and liberals have more of a "make-things-better" agenda. Thus when the Right speaks it is always scheming, manuevering, defending, calculating, covering their flank (and their butts), while the Left often leads with it's (bleeding) heart, and so is vulnerable to attack from the more manipulative neocons, who never miss an opportunity to make political hay.

I realize this is simplistic and you can find exceptions, but I think it is true that the Republican Party has been taken over by win-at-any-cost extremists. As Karl Rove teaches, the story doesn't have to be true. It just has to be a good story.

david said...

I agree with Larry. In fact, I've seen other, similar comments -- somewhere -- to the effect that the entire **culture** is now a culture of winning (and whining), of which the right is either progenitor or reflection, I'm not sure which.

All of which is to say: Good luck gettin' that apology you called for, hon.

Spooney said...

I fully agree with both of you. It's all about ego, money & power.

vikkitikkitavi said...

Larry & David & Spooney: I agree, and I don't think the Democrats are just the flip side of the same coin. I believe the Republicans are worse, and I believe they are worse because of their values.

Rolling Stone's recent article "Time to Go! Inside the Worst Congress Ever" details it in a way that sure to make you laugh and cry at the same time:

dad said...

Most policitians are meglomanics.

Those that add self-righteous into the mix are the dangerous kind, i.e. Republicans.