Thursday, February 02, 2006

The War: Should we stop supporting our troops?

About a week ago, Los Angeles Times columnist Joel Stein argued that Americans should not support the members of the military. According to Stein:

I do sympathize with people who joined up to protect our country, especially after 9/11, and were tricked into fighting in Iraq. I get mad when I'm tricked into clicking on a pop-up ad, so I can only imagine how they feel.

But when you volunteer for the U.S. military, you pretty much know you're not going to be fending off invasions from Mexico and Canada. So you're willingly signing up to be a fighting tool of American imperialism, for better or worse. Sometimes you get lucky and get to fight ethnic genocide in Kosovo, but other times it's Vietnam.

And sometimes, for reasons I don't understand, you get to just hang out in Germany.

I know this is all easy to say for a guy who grew up with money, did well in school and hasn't so much as served on jury duty for his country. But it's really not that easy to say because anyone remotely affiliated with the military could easily beat me up, and I'm listed in the phone book.

I'm not advocating that we spit on returning veterans like they did after the Vietnam War, but we shouldn't be celebrating people for doing something we don't think was a good idea. All I'm asking is that we give our returning soldiers what they need: hospitals, pensions, mental health and a safe, immediate return. But, please, no parades.
So the war against Islamic jihad is misunderstood--it's really just a war of "American imperialism." If only we were so lucky. Right now, this war is being fought to bring liberty to the liberty-hating people of the world. But that's an argument for another time.

More importantly, just who are these people Stein who holds should receive none of our accolades--these mindless tools of American hegemony? The Rocky Mountain News did a story on some of them here.

After you read the story and the accompanying slide-show, come back to Rule of Reason and let me know if you agree with Stein that the American people should withdraw their support for them members of our armed forces and their families--or if you have something of a different thought when it comes to Stein and his opinion.

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