Why do people assume you disrespect the troops if you disagree with war?
I have seen what Iraq has done to people both times around. I see a lot of armchair quarterbacks who scream "support the troops" but do nothing to insist they get the PTSD care they need when they come home.
Do you really feel that those who don't want our young men and women used as cannon fodder are disrespecting our troops? I come from a long line of military family members. I respect their ideals and their desire to serve. I don't appreciate a govt that sends them to die for false purposes. I will never support these bogus wars, but I DO and HAVE supported many military members.
Always support our troops. They are only doing what they are told. "Following orders." I totally agree with you.
You have to have had someone in a war like Vietnam like I did to understand the impact of war. We're very immune to the reality of it all. While my husband was in Vietnam, I was protesting the bombing of Cambodia. I went around with a petition and an older man who answered the door said to me, "You're killing our troops by doing this." I answered, "My husband is serving in Quang Tri, South Vietnam." "Well, you're going to get HIM killed," he responded. People don't understand young people's motivation for going to war. There was a tremendous degree of patriotism as the reason for going into service in Iraq after 9/11. But always, patriotism is wrapped up all around a young person's individual life situation. There's a memorable quote by the main character in Tim O'Brien's, "The Things They Carried." He said something to the effect, "I enlisted because I was embarrassed not to." It was expected from his father a World War II veteran, regardless of the fact that the young man had no understanding of the reason we were in Vietnam. You should always be sure of the reason you go to war!
There's a few memorable lines in the poem "Women My Age":
"And don't you think I didn't pay, I watched my husband go away to Vietnam,
and I tell you straight, a bomb's a bomb and CHILDREN die,
and I ask why no one's out protesting THAT abortion.
And former Rumsfeld's are never replaced by neo-Ghandi's
now that's disgrace
of the third order or the fourth estate or of our fate,
it can't be hate
and to all of that I SCREAM F***
(But nice women my age don't say F***.)
The implication of your question is exactly right, Christin. You can support the people whose conscious told them it was the honorable thing to do while at the same time you yourself conclude that the war they think is honorable isn't honorable to you. All in all, none of us can say with certainty whether any war has been or is honorable or not. We each have to do what our conscious tells us and respect the other person for a choice made with knowledge and honor.
I believe many people equate "patriotism" with supporting whatever the military does. They feel that virtually any time troops are put on the ground that a very good reason for it must exist. This however, is not often the case, especially with regard to modern conflicts. Many people just assume that you couldn't care less about soldiers getting killed just because you are against a conflict.
We must realize that true patriotism is not simply supporting whatever those in authority do---it's doing what is truly best for this country.
Not everyone who opposes a military action does stand against the troops. But there have been a long line of Jane Fonda's and John Kerry's of the world that have gone around accusing the troops of things that often never took place. Or at times just repeating things that they heard second and third hand and claimed to be witnesses to. And many of them have disgraced these brave souls.
One of the problems is often how people go about disagreeing with a policy. Battles are often won and lost based on morale. After the Tet Offensive the Vietcong were nearly wiped out and the NVA regulars were in shambles. The entire attack was a massive failure for the Communist from a military perspective. But when Walter Cronkite went on national television and declared the entire military action a stalemate it hurt the morale of the troops on the ground. As my uncle who was at Saigon during the Tet attack said, they felt like the whole country back home gave up on them. Even though they were better positioned at that point to march north and take out Ho Chi Minh than at any other point, the will power to win was lost back home. From the perspective of affecting morale...Tet and the publicity it received was a huge success for the North. From that point on, there was no point anymore. Whether or not US troops should have gone to Vietnam or not was a different argument. Perhaps had we stayed 500k south Vietnamese wouldn't have been slaughtered when we left. Maybe it's also none of our business. But not too many people were thanking the troops when they came home for their bravery. Too many were called baby killers. There is certainly a lot less of that today. Yet, the media will still run endless stories about the small number of soldiers who operate outside of the chain of command on their own and do something terrible, and rarely want to tell the story of the men like Dakota Meyer. I would just caution people in how they exercise their disagreements. Especially nowadays with the technology of today, the word reaches the soldier on the battle field rather quickly.
I agree with your explanation. There are many in the military that agree with you also - and they are doing something about it: infowars.com/military-revolt-against-obamas-attack-on-syria/ And so are these guys: oathkeepers.org
As for the question: For the ones that do make that assumption, maybe it’s because ... if there was no war, there wouldn’t be much need for troops. It goes the other way around too. There are several countries that have no army - and of course, they have no wars either.
I think people who don't see it from frontlines of a family member, especially a spouse or a child of a soldier are clueless. I remember when I protested against Vietnam as a teen my father pulled me aside and said Army dependents don't do that.
When he came back from Vietnam , a much sadder person, who rarely talked to us about the experience except to say he got tired of trying to put children calling for their mom back together he had no animosity for the protesters, Jane Fonda or anyone else who disagreed with war I know he understood me more.
I will always support the troops but not the wars the politicians get them into and I really want those who never served to shut their mouths when they try to critique others behavior. You want to support our troops? Make sure they get what they earned when they are back instead of cheering them on like they are on a friggin football field while they are serving and then ignoring them when they are broken and no longer able to play.
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