Letter From A Marine

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Bruce Kesler has a post up about a letter from a Marine currently in Fallujah. The letter was sent to the Marine's hometown paper, the Ridgefield Press, and is published there.

My primary concern is the assertion that these individuals support the troops in Iraq but not our mission. It boggles my mind that this logic is actually utilized on a large scale.
Supporting the troops but not the war is like saying that you support filmmakers but not making films. One cannot claim to support an individual in a given profession but not support what the said profession entails. This is essentially a slap in the face to those in the service.
How protesting the job we are doing in Iraq while demanding our withdrawal constitutes supporting us is beyond me.
Furthermore, I am particularly interested in how these people support us, specifically. I have never once received a letter from an individual who claims to “support the troops, not the war.” Not a single Marine I know has received anything that could be considered remotely supportive from any of these people or the groups they represent. We have received phone cards, hygiene supplies, food, etc. from members of state and local government, radio stations, schools, private individuals and organizations, but never once from any group claiming to “support the troops, but not the war.”
I ask again: How can these groups claim to support our troops while telling us that what we are participating in is wrong?
How can they support us if they are essentially saying that our blood and sacrifices have all been given in vain?
How can they support us if they say that our comrades and brothers who have been wounded or killed in action have done so for a hopeless and morally questionable cause?

This is a very powerful letter, please take the time to read it. Anthony Ippoliti writes a pretty fine letter to the editor.

(Note to other bloggers, links should go to Bruce at Democracy Project.)

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3 Responses to Letter From A Marine

  1. Blackhawk says:

    Gaius, I don’t know if you drop in on the MilBlog Argghhh! now and then. Yes, it’s a real site (www.thedonavan.com). There have been a couple of threads about things like this, and some rather opinionated libbies started accusing folks of being pretenders and hypoctires for ‘ignoring’ the VA situation and a host of other ‘issues’. John of Argghhh! shot back and proved that many of us actively support programs like these mentioned in the article here, we just do trumpet it from the top of the mountains to draw attention to ourselves.

    When John of Argghhh! challenged the libbies to respond…………………..crickets. John’s point was that some people put their money (and time/effort) where the mouth (or keyboard) is, others don’t.

    I have to disagree, however, with the Solider’s premise that one cannot support the troops, but not support the war. I think that is entirely possible. To illustrate, I will use this Soldier’s analogy (about films and filmmaking).

    I love films. I don’t give a rat’s hinder about film making. However, it is possible for a film maker to make a film that I find so offensive, repugnant, and vile, that I consider it to be an affront to the First Amendment. For example: any film with Yahoo Serious. There is nothing wrong with me having standards and expectations regarding the First Amendment…in fact, that ‘s the difference between rule of law, and anarchy. Others may not agree with my interpretation, and our gub-ment would have to sort the mess out. Obviously, anyone who disagrees with me on the Yahoo Serious issue needs to be taken out to the woodshed. And fed to the pengiuns.

    The breakown in this analogy, is that we (Soldiers) are not warmakers. Only the President can do that. We execute his (lawful, ethical, moral) decisions. We don’t make war. We fight (and win) our nation’s wars. The President decides to make war. Wars are between governments, not Soldiers.

    So it is entirely feasible for one to disagree with the war maker (i.e. the Prez) and still support those who must carry out the orders (Soldiers). I remember how contentious the issue of sending US troops to Bosnia was in 95…lots of right wingers disagreed with the Prez. But once he made his decision, Sen Dole said it right (and I badly paraphrase): “the President has made a decsion. Whether or not we agree with it is immaterial. Our job is to support our troops. The time for discussion is over.”

    I think the Soldier’s real frustration lies in the fact that these folks (who support Soldiers but not the war) don’t seem to be showing any positive support, at least not as far as this Soldier (and I) can see. His message (and mine): put yo’ phreekin cash where yo’ flappin mouth is at! I did.

  2. Gaius says:

    Given you can support the troops without supporting the war itself, I think the people who screech that meme the loudest do not, in fact, support the troops. Example of the opposite, oddly enough, is Al Franken. Despite his vehement denunciations of the war and everything associated with Bush, he has gone to Iraq to entertain the troops. That is opposing the war while supporting the troops and is very respectable (and my opinion of Franken improved enormously when I heard about that, by the way). Going to demonstrations and carrying giant puppets and signs spewing hate while completely ignoring the troops in the field is not. (In other words, Code Pink).

  3. Blackhawk says:

    Agreee. There are a lot of possers (those who pose? hey, I’m a history major, not english) out there on all sides. I say ALL sides, because there are several fascets to GWOT.

    Anyhoo, just tossin two more cents out there…

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