Supporting the Troops!

The Talking Dog interviews James Yee! You might remember that Yee was the Muslim Chaplain at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. While on leave Captain Yee was arrested and accused of espionage and spying, charges which carried the death penalty. He was then placed in solitary confinement in the Naval Brig in Charleston, South Carolina, under conditions resembling those in which Guantanamo detainees were kept, for 76 days. As the case against Yee fell apart, the military instead added criminal charges of adultery and having pornography on his computer, charges that were also eventually dropped. Captain Yee left the Army with an honorable discharge and service commendations.

Lindsay Beyerstein interviews Nina Berman, who took this iconic photograph of an Iraq vet and his bride.

Mark Benjamin reports that injured soldiers are being sent back to Iraq.

As the military scrambles to pour more soldiers into Iraq, a unit of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Ga., is deploying troops with serious injuries and other medical problems, including GIs who doctors have said are medically unfit for battle. Some are too injured to wear their body armor, according to medical records.

Feel free to snark about how Bush supports the troops in the comments.

18 thoughts on “Supporting the Troops!

  1. The report on injured soldiers was on NPR this morning, as I drove to work. Not only physically injured are apparently being sent back, but also those who have serious mental injuries.

  2. Why am I not surprised. This President is a heartless, soulless shell of a human being who has NEVER cared about the troops. In fact this latest action may even be the action of a spoiled little brat who is angry because the troops didn’t win his great war in 2003. This is his idea of getting even. Is that snarky enough. Please note not one curse word.

  3. How long will it be before the Republicans start spitting on those Troops???…Again…

  4. I have never understood how one could support the troops and not support the war. Mad Dog Cheney, he who had better things to do than to join the military, is now accusing the Dems of not supporting the troops. Mad Dog knows if you support the troops, you support the fight they are waging. Tell me, if I’m against abortion, but support the people who commit abortions, how am I against abortion.
    During the Vietnam days the Purists were hostile to our troops knowing that to be consistent they could not support both the troops and the war. Our Government officials knew the troops were demoralized by the Purists attacks on them so it came up with a way to wage war without affecting the Purists. In 1973 it did away with the draft. With that, the Purists being no longer at risk, went off to other things. This enabled our Government to conduct wars that on affect a tiny, tiny portion of our population. It also allowed them to make it politically difficult not to support the troops.
    So we have this idiocy that you can be against the war and support the troops fighting it.

  5. So, Matt…. We can’t say that we support the troops in the sense that we think that all deployed troops should be healthy, properly equipped, well paid, and cared for when wounded (a reasonable, compassionate policy toward the support of public employees sent into harms way by their government), but that we do not support the policy of the White House that put them in harms way in the first place (a political statement)?

    Instead, we have to behave as if the troops made up their own mission all on their own and took themselves to Iraq and put themselves in harms way, so if we don’t support their mission, we don’t support them?

    Sorry, guy. This makes absolutely no sense to me.

  6. Matt Connolly –

    Well, if you equate “support the troops” with “hope they don’t get maimed or killed,” or “make sure they have access to proper medical care upon their return,” (two perfectly reasonable equations, in my view), then of course you can simultaneously support the troops and oppose the war. “Support the troops” might also mean “get them the hell out of Iraq in order to prevent them from being blown up by car bombs.” Troops carry out policy – they don’t make it. I’m not sure why you’re ignoring that

    Certainly, the Bush administration has made ample use of the tactic of conflating troop support with war support, and I suppose some (many?) people don’t think hard enough to recognize the fundamental inanity of this. The problem isn’t that it isn’t logical to support the troops and oppose the war, it’s that the prevailing narrative has made it politically difficult to argue against the war without being labeled a weak-kneed, troop hating, flag burning communist (slight exaggeration, but you get the point). So Democrats, in order to inoculate themselves from this, have to spend a lot of time falling all over themselves proving how much they love/support/cherish/respect/ the troops.

  7. I read where Cheney is out there speaking to the AIPAC and spreading his you don’t support the troop if you deny or limit Bush his 100 Billion dollar budget request message.
    I don’t know how many of you reading this message have been in abusive relationships or have had the time or interest to study the dynamics of language when used as a weapon in abusive relationships.
    What Cheney is doing is using the bedrock tactic of imparting guilt onto his victim by way of an unrelated issue to dilute the argument and weaken his victim. The same dynamic as child who responds to a parental correction for a misdeed with a reply of ” you don’t love me”.
    I know most everybody sees through Cheney’s lame deception, but I feel compelled to point it out for those who are not wise enough to see how they’re being played by Cheney. Cheney is the pits, totally. What a low life scroundrel!

  8. Supporting the troops involves bringing them home before any more get hurt, maimed, disfigured, forgotten, or killed. That is true support. Our troops should never be sent into a foolish war of choice. They should not be sent into an immoral and illegal war. War should be the last resort. Evidence has been shown that this war was not the last resort. It is based on lies. And, that makes things even worse. Supporting the troops is seeing that they are never misused again.

  9. Supporting the troops is not letting them die for a lie. Their lives are only worth the value we place on them. And if we let them die for a cheap lie than we are not supporting them.

  10. Don’t be too hard on Matt Connolly, folks. Righties tend to be stuck in a linear thinking rut.

    Matt: I took the “support the troops/support the war” dichotomy apart some time back in this post, which you are welcome to read.

    A bit more:

    Dave sees the flaw in Matt’s thinking; since “the troops” are not responsible for making the political decision to invade and occupy Iraq, “the troops” and “the war” are not inextricably fused.

    Many of the troops want the war to be over asap; does that mean those troops don’t support the troops? I don’t think so.

    During the Vietnam days the Purists were hostile to our troops knowing that to be consistent they could not support both the troops and the war.

    It wasn’t that simple. Although certainly there were linear thinkers who blamed the troops for the war, most antiwar protesters felt they were acting on behalf of the troops. Indeed, as time went on, more and more antiwar protesters were returned Vietnam vets. Also as time went on many people who supported the war did not support the troops and blamed them for losing. For example, there were a number of VFW chapters that refused to accept Vietnam vets as members until many years later. The older guys thought Vietnam vets were all drug addicts and slackers..

  11. Guess where so much of the stuff blowing up our soldiers came from. Iraqi arsenals that were left untouched in the march to Baghdad because our military believed they might contain nuclear devices which could be set off. The Bush-Cheney cabal knew they didn’t but, hey, covering up and perpetuating a lie – even to your own military – is a lot better than saving the lives of a bunch of dumb soldiers. That and bringing the soldiers home in coffins or pieces is the Cheney version of supporting the troops.

  12. Really, by any standard this is not a war. General Peter Pace said, under his breath I might add, just the other day before a Senate committee, “How do you fight in a country you’re not at war with.” (I think of that as my LA cops might be “fighting” gangs in East LA but they’re not at war with America.)

    We’ve got to change – among a thousand other things – the language around our involvement in Iraq. Supporting, not supporting, troops, the war – it’s gotten a life of its own when the “war” wasn’t born in the first place.

    That said, what about the 100,000 plus contractors in Iraq? People rarely mention how much of our “support” is going in their pockets I bet that support is far more important to Cheney etal than troop support. Anybody have a break-down of where the proposed $100 billion for Iraq is going this year?

  13. I think “supporting the troops” is just like “taking responsibility” in Junior’s eyes. He’s brave enough to utter the words, and by gum that should be good enough. And anybody who suggests this is inadequate probably hates freedom.

  14. The thing about supporting the troops, not the war, is that the troops don’t get to pick their conflict. A soldier who fights bravely and honorably in Iraq would have fought bravely and honorably in WWI or WWII, or Korea or Vietnam, or in any other conflict.

    I don’t understand how people can *fail* to understand that one can think the troops are doing a hard, nasty job, and doing it to the best of their ability, but that the job is one that they shouldn’t have been ordered to perform.

  15. I’m hesitant to add my 2 cents about “support the troops/oppose the war” because a lot’s been said already. I’ll only add:

    So many of our young people enlisted because they see it as one of the few legitimate ways out of an abysmal future in some backwater town or barrio. There is an unofficial draft going on, called a “poverty draft”. Recruiters know it, and they deliberately target kids from poor high schools who don’t have much of a future. More affluent kids have better options open to them, and so the recruiters don’t waste much time with them.

    Others have said a lot about the dismal treatment these young people get once they enlist: the lack of body armor, the gutting of the VA hospitals, and now we learn about how mentally or physically unfit wounded soldiers are being recycled back to the active theater.

    The other side of the coin has little to do with the troops at all, it’s the obscene profits made by the war profiteers and their mercenaries, and the even more obscene profits envisioned by the energy and arms cartels in the form of their desire to control the oil wealth of the middle east. Thesse people utterly don’t care what it takes to achieve their ends, including the ruin of the United States.

    And so on the one hand, you have our troops – who, when you come down to it, are our neighbors and family members: real people with names, faces, families, hopes and dreams – people we love and care about – being shoddily treated as cannon fodder, all in the service of the most outrageous, greedy enterprise this country has ever engaged in.

    You’re darn right I support the troops, who are performing heroically under terrible conditions: get them out of this obscene hellhole of an assignment – and I condemn this war, and the greedy criminals who started it.

  16. Supporting the troops?
    Naw, it’s more like “sportin’ the troops”
    All props, all the time…..Just more Bushspeak.

  17. Moonbat – I liked your comment and wanted to add a sidebar to your message about ‘obscene profits’ and ‘war profiteers’.

    It seems Halliburton is mooving their headquarters to Dubai. At first the MSN got it wrong, expecting it was a tax dodge. On closer examination, it looks like the move has little to do with taxes and EVERYTHING to do with getting executives out of the reach of Congressional subpoenas.

    Consider the quandry. If they lie they will go to jail. If they tell the truth they will go to jail. Dubai may not be a garden spot, but it beats the hell out of sharing a cell with Libby.

Comments are closed.