I'm a coward and I want you to die for me
Erik, these men need you. Join them.
Opposing the War and Opposing Immediate Withdrawal
In my recent post entitled "The Left and Iraq" I received several negative comments that essentially amount to this: "If you don't support immediately leaving Iraq, you should volunteer yourself because you tacitly support the war." This is an absurd argument. But it is a common argument as well. I want to go over both the major points made in these comments and my reasons for opposing immediate withdrawal.
1. Opposing the war. Obviously this war has been a complete disaster from Day One. There's little reason to go into all the reasons this is so. But everyone reading this blog probably agrees with me here. Bush and the boys and their obsessions with Iraq have gotten us into an unfortunate situation without leaving the Iraqis really any better off. There are many reasons to oppose this war: the lack of a relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda, the Bush/Powell/Blair lies about WMDs in Iraq, the use of unilateral American force (don't forget the Poles), etc. etc. I opposed this war and I still do oppose this war. It was poorly planned with unclear objectives. It was based on lies. There was no realistic plan for the peace. It was driven by ideologues who knew nothing about Iraq. I would even more stringently oppose expanding the war to Syria or Iran. Meanwhile Osama Bin Laden continues to run free, nearly 4 years after 9/11.
2. Opposing immediate withdrawal. What positive would come from immediate withdrawal? Almost certainly, Iraq would plunge into an active and bloody civil war. This may be only somewhat worse than the relatively passive civil war they are already in. But to leave would create a really large power vacuum. Who would fill that vacuum? Islamic extremists of the Zarqawi type? Iran? More terrorist organizations? What about civil rights for women? Do you think those are going to last for one second after we depart? Do you think women will be receiving educations? Women in parliament? Not going to happen. We would create great instability and that is what the Middle East does not need.
Maybe I don't support the troops then. Maybe I think that many of them are getting what they asked for. I've heard and read numerous stories since 9/11 about soldiers, from boot camp all the way to combat, talk about how much fun it was going to be to kill towelheads. I just have trouble feeling too terrible about people who took this bargain and then dehumanized the Islamic world to have to pay the cost. I don't want them to die of course. I wish we weren't over there at all. But we are and I don't have any great compunction about asking soldiers to fulfill their part of the bargain they made with the US government. That doesn't mean that George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney don't have the blood of all of those troops on their hands.
On the other hand, unlike the Republicans, I am deeply disturbed about how we do not support the troops. Supporting the troops is not about wrapping yourself in the flag. It's about not making them pay for their own uniforms. It's about not making them pay for their own meals after they are injured in battle. It's about making sure that they have proper battle armor when they have to fight. It's about providing adequate VA care for the rest of the soldiers' lives. Republicans don't support any of this. And ultimately, it's the Republicans who don't support the troops when it counts.
Nornally, I don't edit blog posts, but this twaddle was long, boring and a justifcation for cowardice, and thus, ran on endlessly.
You are a coward. No matter how you sum it up, or explain it away, you are a coward. You support a war you are unwilling to fight in, and that is cowardice.
What makes you better than someone serving in Iraq? Nothing, and if you were a man you would join them. You would back your cheap and meaningless words with real and concrete action. Not try to explain it away and then sneer at people you aren't fit to wipe the asses of. This isn't a game or some debating point, Mr. Gutless. It is real and 150K families can tell you how real. 1700+ families can explain it in detail.
You talk about the soldier's bargain, what about yours, Mr. Warmonger. If you're so concerned about Iraqi civil life, you can get a job there and work in the Green Zone. You don't need to be a soldier to serve in Iraq. You can work as a contractor, US government official or NGO employee. You don't have to carry a gun. Hell, they even want people to work in the military hospitals if they have the skills. And you will be well compensated. So what exactly is your exscuse for not going to Iraq. "Other priorities?"
Instead, you have crocodile tears for veterans and Iraqis. You want US troops to stay, but do not want to join them. Yet, you can sneer at those who do serve. What do know about them? Nothing, because despite your fake concern for veterans, you think they are beneath you.
Your local military hosptial or VA needs men like you to volunteer. They need people to talk to the soldiers who come home wounded.
You can't split the difference. If you support the war in Iraq, then you need to be there to support it. If not, your words are that of a coward, no matter what cheap excuses you come up with.
posted by Steve @ 9:17:00 AM