I really, really despise being patronized. To wit, a recent comment in another blog.
"kutti - those soldiers did not ask to be there, they have no choice. Many of them volunteered thinking the President would only use them in defensive wars, not wars of aggression. For their sacrifice, they deserve our respect."
Posted by the guy whose blog is here:
Doesn't seem like a bad fellow, really, so I kind of feel bad about using his comment (wherein he probably meant well) as the springboard for a complete rant. But that just really drives me up the wall.
This argument is how liberals and anti-Americans justify to themselves that they "support the troops" while arguing that the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq are illegal, immoral, made with artificial preservatives, fattening, and cause cancer.
Sorry, but no. The invasion of Iraq was launched in early 2003. To anyone with any Nous, it was obviously in the works for a few months prior to that. By that I mean staging large US forces in Kuwait, etc. Everyone should have known by then that Bush was no Clinton, to stage troops then withdraw with his tail between his legs (or, rather, Monica's).
The average initial term of enlistment for new Soldiers is 3-4 years. Some folks sign up for six years right off the bat, but those are the exceptions, not the rule. We then re-enlist for terms ranging from 2 to 6 years, until we hit 10 years of Active Service and then we re-enlist again for an indefinite time period. The minor point I'm driving at here is there are not many Soldiers in the United States Army who have not either enlisted or re-enlisted since 2003. There are almost none who have not done so since 2001, when it became obvious to anyone but a devoted reader of the New York Times that the United States was at war, and that that war would require global commitments of force.
But that's a side note. What really honks me off is the patronizing way the comment treated me and mine. We don't know better. We were duped. Oh, pity the poor soldiers!
I can put up with a lot. I laugh at hatred or opposition. It actually amuses me. What drives me nuts is being patronized. The assumption is that I and those like me were too stupid or uneducated to know what we were doing when we signed the contract. Not by a long shot.
You fold that until it is all pointy corners and pick and orifice to insert it into.
We are all grown men (although I wonder in the case of some of these new privates) capable of reasoned thought and making our own moral decisions. Whatever we do is the result of decisions we made of our own free will. And I believe that we will be held accountable for our decisions eventually.
You cannot seperate the Soldier and the cause he fights in. You can criticize the intelligence gathered before the war, or question whether that intelligence was interpreted correctly. You can bash the timing, the strategy, operational decisions, tactics, or logistical aspects of the war if you actually know more than you can read in your newspapers and see on CNN or al-Reuters. But if you say, "Well, of course Hitler's overruning Belgium was an illegal war of agression against a declared neutral, but I support the average German landser," then you are talking out both sides of your mouth at once.
You cannot have your cake and eat it too. Either you believe the war against Iraq was legally and morally justified, or it isn't. That doesn't adress the details of how well it was planned and executed, nor whether certain decisions made in the initial phases of the occupation were the best decisions that could have been made. It even sets aside the question of whether invading Iraq in the spring of 2003 was the best of all possible methods of dealing with the Iraqi Question. But criminality goes up and down the chain of command. Executing illegal orders is just as immoral as issuing them.
On a lighter note: