Thursday, June 01, 2006

I'm politically incorrect...a rant.

**This is long, rant-y, and concerns a subject that most people have strong feelings about...but I felt like getting it off my chest. Read at your own risk.

You know what won't stop the war? Military personnel going without equipment they need. I swear, I hate living here sometimes because there seems to be a pervasive belief that military personnel have any say whatsoever about policy decisions made by Congress and the President. Soldiers (by which I mean Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines) go and soldiers do...and they vote. That's it. Just like everyone else. They don't decide when we go to war and when we come home, and no amount of protesting and trying to stop cargo ships from taking them things they (presumably) need is going to change that.

The argument that military personnel should "not go" or should "stand up and say no" when asked to go to Iraq is idiotic and is uniformly made by people who have no idea what being in the military means. You take an oath. You are bound to protect and serve the U.S. Constitution and the orders of the officers appointed over you, including those of the President. If those orders were to be declared illegal, that would be one thing, but until then, working military men and women have no choice but to do their duty, and likely wouldn't have it any other way -- because they believe in what they do and they are professionals.

How many of these protestors would go to Fort Leavenworth for what they believe? And I don't mean a night in jail for civil disobedience ("Daddy? Is that you? I need you to post bail, I got arrested at a die-in"), I mean years of hard time for treason, insubordination, failure to follow lawful orders during a time of war, or failure to go.

Would any of these protestors actually DIE for their cause?? Because military personnel have put their bodies where their mouths are, they ARE willing to die for a cause. The cause of protecting America. The cause of keeping us all safe. The cause of safeguarding our liberty.

Even if you don't believe in the war (and not many people do), what about the military's humanitarian missions? Lifesaving medical aid in catastrophes? Logistical support during emergencies both domestic and international? Selfless service in the face of nearly insurmountable obstacles, including derision by the general public they are serving?

I am so sick and tired of people making the simplistic argument of "why don't you just say no" (a common argument presented to me all the time regarding the "Don't Ask Don't Tell policy" as well). And the reason that this story has been pissing me off so much is that lately I've seen a couple of bumper stickers "urging" military members to "just say no and don't go" to the war, and I've heard people espousing that same general sentiment out in public. Maybe it's been a hot topic on the news and that's why people are talking about it, but I kind of doubt it. It seems like one of those things dreamed up by someone with absolutely no earthly idea of how the military works or is organized and thinks it's just like their job assistant managing the Footlocker at the mall. Quit if you don't like it?! Not so much!

For a bunch of people who are protesting something they supposedly feel strongly about, they just couldn't do a worse job. It makes me so mad. If you're going to spend the effort protesting, why not protest to the people who actually can make a difference??? I'm all for free speech, but no military member has the power to make the decision to get us out of Iraq, that's an issue for Congress and the President, and that's where political activism should be directed. So, why try to deprive military personnel of equipment they need? If it makes them safer, improves their living conditions, boosts their morale, or keeps them healthy and happy, why take that away from them? Does the fact that it's warfighting equipment make the difference? What if it's new equipment that is actually armored and will save American servicemember's lives? How does taking anything from the warfighter on the ground help the cause? He or she isn't making the big decisions...we all know this, right?

I have friends in Iraq right now. Good friends. Believe me when I tell you that no one is more against open warfare than the people being shot at and blown up in roadside bombs.
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