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LarryNaselli.com
Tuesday, May 4, 2004
Supporting the Troops

If you are one of those Americans who believe the war in Iraq and subsequent occupation are immoral or criminal acts, but you still claim to support our troops, I have a question for you: do you support the troops who abused Iraqi POW's? To be consistent, there is no reason you should not support those troops, unless you differentiate that the rest of our troops deserve our support because they are only following orders.

In a way, it would be refreshing to hear you say so, since you would then be admitting that the abuse of POW's is an anomoly and a violation of American policy, rather than the norm. On the other hand, that answer places you in the unenviable position of having to defend the Nazi guards at Auschwitz, on the same basis of "only following orders" - not merely defend those guards, mind you, but assent to the proposition that all German Citizens owed them their support.

For those of us who believe in the goodness of America's mission in Iraq, supporting the troops is simple. I wholeheartedly support the activities of our troops in Iraq, and by extension I support the troops themselves. I do not support the activities of those troops who participated in violations of their code of arms, therefore I do not support those troops themselves. By contrast, the anti-war crowd has staked out a tough position to defend. They claim to support our troops, while opposing the activities of our troops; therefore anti-war Americans, who claim to support our troops generally, have no grounds on which to not support those troops who abused Iraqi POW's.

The fact is that those who do not support the activities of the troops do not support the troops themselves, and indeed insult all those who serve honorably. The only reason the anti-war crowd insists that they do support our troops is that they know it is politically damaging to say otherwise. To accomodate the political needs of anti-war partisans then, the word "support" has been emptied of meaning, so that those who denigrate the mission of our troops can claim that they "support the troops." They are hoping nobody notices how ridiculous that claim is.



Posted by larry_naselli at 1:41 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, May 6, 2004 7:17 AM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (4) | Permalink

Friday, May 7, 2004 - 6:34 PM CDT

Name: Deep Blade
Home Page: http://journal.deepblade.net

This is deeply offensive nonsense for those of us who are against this occupation and have loved ones in harms way.

Monday, May 10, 2004 - 8:48 AM CDT

Name: Larry Naselli
Home Page: http://www.larrynaselli.com

Thanks for your comment. Expressing your pique (or claiming offense on someone else's behalf, as the case may be) does not amount to an argument. Do you support the troops who abused Iraqi prisoners?

Friday, May 14, 2004 - 1:28 AM CDT

Name: Deep Blade
Home Page: http://journal.deepblade.net

It's an emotional response to rubbish like "'support' has been emptied of meaning". If your nephew were in Iraq, you'd "support" him no matter how you felt about the attack & taking of the country, wouldn't you? But in this ridiculous exercise, you've set up an "anti-war" straw man to knock down. Fine. Have your convoluted fun.

Meanwhile for me it's very simple. I support my two loved ones who are over there by working to end the horrors and the killing and bring them back alive as soon as possible.

Friday, May 14, 2004 - 1:08 PM CDT

Name: Larry Naselli
Home Page: http://www.larrynaselli.com

With all my heart, I pray Godspeed to your nephew and to all of our troops serving their Country faithfully. And I do so without any qualification or nuanced re-definitions of terms, because I fully support their noble mission of 1. destroying a grave threat to America's security, and 2. liberating tens of millions of human beings from long suffering under tyranny.

While it is true that the claims of support for our troops, by detractors of what those troops are doing, are as substantial as straw, my argument is no straw man (i.e. a mischaracterization of the claims of anti-war "supporters" of the troops), it is merely a syllogism, the inescapable logic of which you prefer to deny than to confront.

In light of the implications, I'm not surprised that you flinch from answering a straightforward question, ("O what a tangled web we weave...") but, what I find most fascinating about your stance is its self-serving focus. Assuming that you have no political motive for asserting support for troops whose actions you oppose, one is left to wonder who is meant to benefit from such "support?"

The knowledge that the folks back home account their actions to be on behalf of an unworthy cause, cannot but demoralize the troops, unless those warriors have no regard for the opinions of those who disparage their cause. So your opposition to the war that your loved ones are fighting may very well discourage them, and at best, cannot encourage them. So, besides it making you feel better about yourself, who else is better off because of your "support?"

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