One Veteran's Voice

15 November 2005

Flip-Flopping

"Some of our elected leaders have opposed this war all along. I disagree with them, but I respect their willingness to take a consistent stand. Yet some Democrats who voted to authorize the use of force are now rewriting the past. They are playing politics with this issue and sending mixed signals to our troops and the enemy. That is irresponsible.

As our troops fight a ruthless enemy determined to destroy our way of life, they deserve to know that their elected leaders who voted to send them to war continue to stand behind them. Our troops deserve to know that this support will remain firm when the going gets tough. And our troops deserve to know that whatever our differences in Washington, our will is strong, our nation is united, and we will settle for nothing less than victory."

--Excerpt from President Bush's speech last night

The President called out all the flip-floppers last night. I agree that any democrat who voted for war looks like a damn fool now. But in the words of "The Dude"

New shit has come to light, man.

  1. The indictment of Scooter Libby and the possibility (probability, in my view) of an administration conspiracy to out a CIA agent for political reasons.
  2. The Downing Street Memo and other memoranda indicating that the invasion of Iraq was planned well before September 11.
  3. The incredibly negligent and cavalier attitude of Rumsfeld in preparing for post-invasion Iraq (i.e. firing Shinseki and anyone else in the top brass who expressed doubt).
  4. The length and cost (especially the human cost) of the war.
  5. Lack of positive results--The bottom line.
Many people who originally supported the war in Iraq are now, in light of all this new shit, extremely critical of it. Although they would never admit it, most democrats who voted for the war did so because the people wanted the war. Politicians (at least most of them) don't vote their conscience so much as their constituency. To not vote for the war would have been seen as being weak on terrorism, the most seditious of acts in post 9/11 America.

I grow weary of 'the troops' being called down by both sides of the political spectrum in this debate. They are always referred to in a way that makes them seem as dumb and docile as a herd of cattle. The troops, especially those in Iraq, are hardened volunteers that get paid to do a dangerous job. A great many would rather not personally be in Iraq, fighting the noble cause. Some believe it is worth it. Some just don't care. I know that when I was in Iraq I always detested anyone, the president included, putting words in my mouth by speaking for 'the troops'.

I care very deeply about the men and women over in Iraq. I don't want any more of them getting shot up or blown to pieces. I would never do or say anything to aid the enemy. The President's insinuation that those critical of him are helping the terrorists is a desperate and pathetic attempt to quell legitimate dissent, and it's certainly not the first time Bush has played that card. To be frank, it pisses me off. Bush will continue down this tired old road until popular opinion is strong enough to force policy change. That critical mass is not here yet, but it's getting closer.

I am a realist-- I don't agree with pulling out all our forces from Iraq overnight. For better or worse, we are entangled in a mess that will take us a little while to get out of. Make no mistake--we need to start getting out, or we will only get sucked deeper in. And then one day you wake up and the 5,000th soldier has been killed. Then the 10,000th.

Supporting the troops is a lot more complicated than slapping a bumper sticker on an SUV.

To the President, people like me are irresponsible. To me, irresponsibility is blundering your way into and through a war that has cost thousands of lives and then insisting that everything will be ok, as long as the war continues. It's appointing idiots like Michael Brown to head major federal agencies. Legitimate dissent is both responsible and neccesary for the health of any democracy.

4 Other Voices:

CrbianFool said...

The Dude: "I don't see any connection to Vietnam man!"

Walter: "Well there isn't a literal connection...

The Dude: "No, face it Walter, there isn't any connection"

(can you imagine george & dick having this very conversation???)

11/15/2005 02:40:53 PM  
Anonymous said...

If only one of the two had actually gone to Vietnam, we might not be in this mess. But they are chickenhawks, and cowards.

11/16/2005 10:47:22 AM  
Anonymous said...

It's easy to complain about the war, it's another thing to have a proposed solution. Whether or not it was a mistake to invade Iraq, it's done. We can't go back in time.

So, the responsible question now is, What should we do now? Withdraw and let Iraq devolve into chaos?

No one likes war. I'm an OIF-1 vet. But I'm still looking for a good answer as to how we should move forward, given where we are today.

11/16/2005 11:24:37 AM  
OneVeteran'sVoice said...

I agree that it is much easier to nay say and complain than it is to propose solutions.

I talk more about what I think should be done about Iraq in some of my other posts, but in summary--

A phased withdrawal of US forces over the next two years or so.

Iraq will not degenerate into civil war. Our presence there is really providing most of the fuel for the real nut job suicide car bomber types. Iraqi security forces are capable of securing their country if WE FREAKIN MAKE THEM DO IT. It's time to make them do the grunt work.

I'm not advocating 'cut and run'. It's taken us a couple years to get in this mess, and it will take a couple more to get out of it.

Sorry if I am very critical of the Bush administration and of this war in general. My first loyalty is to the guys and girls over in Iraq, fighting on our behalf, and I believe that they (and you and I) have been asked to fight a war on false pretenses. If it makes you or anyone else uncomfotable to think about, I'm sorry. I am personally disgusted that I was put in a situation where I had to kill or be killed for b.s. reasons, and no one seems to want to talk about the real reasons we went to war.

I take you comment to heart though, and I will try to be more positive in the future (when it is warranted, of course).

Thanks for your service to this great country,
Brian

11/16/2005 11:54:15 AM  

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