Monday, July 11, 2005

How Best To Serve One's Country?

Quick note, commenter Beth brought up a point from my last post where I quoted the family of Master Sergeant James Curtis Coons objection to the fact that the military did not include him in their casualties of Operation Iraqi Freedom after his suicide. Beth pointed out that if the military counted those as casualties, theoretically World War II, Korea and Vietnam would still be mounting casualties. I agree with her that that does not make sense to count them as combat casualties while still empathizing with the sentiment of the family that he was forgotten.

Anonymous, who apparently is a veteran and thus exempt from Operation Yellow Elephant challenges me to serve my country instead of sitting behind my computer complaining about it. The problem here is simple: what he does to serve our country since leaving the military is what I would consider to be a disservice to our nation. Apparently he feels the same about me. I think this war is harmful to the national security of our nation and I am working vigorously to oppose it, even though I don't know how to solve it. To quote The Poor Man:
…And, before you ask: no, I have no clue about how we can improve things in Iraq. I don’t have a single idea for how we can un-shit the bed, and I don’t hold out much hope that this whole bed-shitting episode is ever going to be brought to a lemony-fresh conclusion. I do, however, know who shit the bed, and have some sense of how frequently he shits there. Let’s stop shitting for a start.
The Poor Man: I'm Not Sure How Many More Corners We Can Stand To Turn

To my immense gratification I am seeing that an awareness of this whole bed-shitting ugliness is increasing and in circles where people have, for the past three years, been holding their noses and pretending not to notice that our Commander-In-Chief has produced an incredible pile of excrement on our nice, formerly clean, linen. For example, the current issue of American Conservative Magazine has an article called The Logic of Suicide Terrorism which asserts that:
  • The main force that drives suicide bombers is a desire to expel foriegn troops from thier lands.
  • Osama Bin Laden did not have much of a following, in part because the central message he preached before our invasion of Iraq was that the West was an occupying, colonizing power. Our invasion of Iraq essentially proved Osama Bin Laden right and which has greatly helped terrorists recruit new willing soldiers in jihad against the west.
  • And this means that the Iraq invasion directly threatens the national security of the United States of America.

    Another example of a growing conservative acknowledgement of the poo-on-the-bed problems comes from neo-con Eliot A. Cohen a founding member of the right-wing thinktank Project For The New American Century. In his Op-Ed piece in the Washington Post he confronts the reality of the war he not only supported, but agitated for:
    ...I did not expect that we would begin the occupation with cockamamie schemes of creating an immobile Iraqi army to defend the country's borders rather than maintain internal order, or that the under-planned, under-prepared and in some respects mis-manned Coalition Provisional Authority would seek to rebuild Iraq with big construction contracts awarded under federal acquisition regulations, rather than with small grants aimed at getting angry, bewildered young Iraqi men off the streets and into jobs.

    ...rage that two years into an insurgency, we still expose our troops in Humvees to the blasts of roadside bombs -- knowing that even the armored version of that humble successor to the Jeep is simply not designed for warfare along guerrilla-infested highways, while, at the same time, knowing that plenty of countries manufacture armored cars that are.

    ...A variety of emotions wash over me as I reflect on our Iraq war: Disbelief at the length of time it took to call an insurgency by its name.

    ...Disdain for the general who thinks Job One is simply whacking the bad guys and who, ever conscious of public relations, cannot admit that American soldiers have tortured prisoners or, in panic, killed innocent civilians.

    ...A desire -- barely controlled -- to slap the highly educated fool who, having no soldier friends or family, once explained to me that mistakes happen in all wars, and that the casualties are not really all that high and that I really shouldn't get exercised about them.

    There is a lot of talk these days about shaky public support for the war. That is not really the issue. Nor should cheerleading, as opposed to truth-telling, be our leaders' chief concern. If we fail in Iraq -- and I don't think we will -- it won't be because the American people lack heart, but because leaders and institutions have failed...
    No, he has not become a liberal; rather his son is going to serve his country by fighting in Iraq. I hope he makes it back, healthy and whole.

    Oh, I am serving my country as I see best. I feel no moral obligation to serve in a war I oppose, but I do feel a moral obligation to remove from power those who have harmed our country by propelling us into this needless war. Let's get rid of the bed shitters and the traitors who put political expediency over national security. Men who will put others children in harms way, but not their own.

    Children like Private Devon D. Jones who died at the age of 19 (My God he was so young!) when his humvee fell into a ravine, trying to dodge mortar fire. He wanted to be an english teacher and joined the Army to help pay for college.

    “I would want to live because I haven’t enjoyed life yet,” Jones wrote his girlfriend Deeandra in a letter published by the Tribune. May his God welcome him with great love.

    Now back to working for Peace.
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