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Support for the war and for the troops.. The same thing?

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posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 04:20 PM
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In another thread that I have recently been participating in, the subject of supporting the war and the troops came up. Rather than derail that thread by continuing the off-topic discussion I decided to start this one. I will not directly quote the other poster since I have not had a chance to obtain their consent first, though I have sent them a U2U to tell them I was creating this thread, but I would like to discuss this issue and so I will give my take on it.

Essentially the topic we were speaking of was whether or not it is possible to support the troops without supporting the war, and the reactions of war supporters towards non-supports. It is the other posters position that they are one and the same, that you can't do one without doing the other, and that those who are supporters of the war are demeaning and hateful to those who are non-supporters. I have invited that poster to this thread so that we can continue the discussion, and I do hope that I clearly understand their point. Otherwise I will be owing them an apology for misunderstanding them in short order!
Now on to the topic at hand...

As I have stated repeatedly in threads here and out loud in real life, I have never supported or agreed with the current war on terrorism for many reasons. I do, however, support the members of our military. To me, it is entirely possible to support the military without supporting the war. I have stated this in real life to some who are such strong supporters that their disapproval of my opinion came off them in waves when I said I do not support the war. However, I have never been subjected to ill-treatment over it. They will tell me why they disagree and why they think I should support the war, but in the end we agree to disagree and nothing else comes of it. So while there are people out there who will be completely disrespectful, dismissive, rude, and angry when they hear someone say they don't support the war, not every supporter is like that and I personally have not experienced it. I'm not saying no one has, but I have not.

There are many reasons why I say it is possible to support the troops without supporting the war. Rather than bore everyone with a huge post full of reasons, I'll try to just stick to my main reason. (I can already tell this will probably be a long post, and I apologize in advance for wearing out your eyes!
)

I have family and many friends who have been or currently are fighting in this war. No one that I personally know chose this war. No one I know volunteered to go over there. The members of our military are not the ones responsible for the mess we are in. That would be the governments doing. They are the ones who condemned so many of our troops, and the Iraqi's for that matter, to death and dismemberment. They are the ones who decided that we were going to war, not the troops. The troops are in Iraq, and elsewhere, because they were ordered to. The government declared war on terror, as if you can really fight something intangible, and sent them there. I do not support the decision of our government to sentence so many people to death, but I do support the members of our military for the simple fact that they did not choose this.

I am sure that if they were given a choice, the grand majority of them would be on the first plane home to their families. Very few would choose to stay and risk their lives rather than be home with the people they love. I could no sooner shoot myself in the foot than turn my back on the friends and family that have fought in any of the wars our country has been involved in, and while I do not support the decision to send them there I do support them. It is not their fault and I will not dishonor them by lumping them in with the group who made the decision to send them there. This mess is no more their fault than some idiot on the interstate causing a five-car pile up is mine.

In all honesty I see this as being not much different than being a parent of a way-ward child. You do your best to teach them right from wrong, but in the end you can't control everything they do. You can give them a million reasons why what they decided was wrong, and you can tell them that you will not support their decision, and it really doesn't make one bit of difference once their mind is made up. In the end, they are your family and you love them regardless of how many bad choices they make. You don't have to support their decisions to love and support your child. It is the same, to me, with the military. I do not have to support the decisions made on their behalf, but I will always support them because many of them are my friends and family.

~~~~~

Now off the soap-box with me.


I would like the opinions of the rest of the members here at ATS, including the poster who inspired this thread. What are your thoughts on the situation? Is it possible, in your mind to support the troops without supporting the war and why do you think the way you do?

I'm hoping for a meaningful discussion here, obviously since I started a thread on it, and am looking forward to reading everyone's thoughts on the matter.

And a quick note to the mods, if there is a better forum for this particular thread then by all means move it. This was the only one that I thought really fit the topic, but I could be wrong!




posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 04:30 PM
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Of course we can support the troops without supporting the war. They didn't make the decision to go to war. They don't choose to be there now. They are doing as they are ordered and deserved to be honored for their service.

But facts are facts. There is no way to 'win' this war as McCian wants everyone to believe. 'Win' according to whom? Is there a referee? Is there a warring nation to sign a peace accord? Or do we set up some arbitrary conditions which, if met, constitute 'we win' and we haul-ass back home? What ARE those conditions? And how long do said conditions have to remain for the 'win' to 'stick'?

The point is, by the very nature of the situation, there can be no 'win' here. Notwithstanding the original reasons for the war, we got rid of Sadam and the country has its own government. Done deal. Pack your stuff guys you're coming home. Otherwise, this is an open-ended situation. It will never be 'perfect' and frankly, we cannot afford to finance it any longer. It was a mistake.

And that does not take one iota away from the men and women who have serverd --- and their families. Unlike McCain's position, bringing them home now will in NO way mean they come home dishonored. Not one bit. Shame on you John McCain for even suggesting that. It was not their war. They didn't start it. They didn't plan it. They executed it as well as anyone possibly could under the circumstances. God bless them. Now, bring them home.


[edit on 9-10-2008 by jtma508]



posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 04:35 PM
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Very well put jtma. That has been my thinking since the beginning. They didn't choose it, and they didn't send themselves there. The rules have changed so many times since the whole mess started, I don't even know what they are anymore. I was under the impression that once Iraq had a government of their own, we were going to back off. But I'm pretty sure that isn't the case anymore...



posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 04:43 PM
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both of you have stated that the troops didn't decide on this war. this is wrong on two counts from my perspective. they are simple and so, perhaps wrong, but i will add them here, none the less.

first, there is no draft in the states, people volunteer for the military and so, the war. the excuse worked for the first group that was deployed but it no longer holds water, they knew what they signed up for.

secound, refusal to go to war after you have signed up results in a prison sentence and a dishonorable discharge. a person isn't executed for it. threrfore they have a choice every day from the time they sign up.

support for the troops is support for the war, it is the same thing. make up your mind and support one or the other, grow a pair.

maybe a little back to front on what you were expecting, but there you have it.



posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 04:45 PM
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I am the person the OP is talking about.

The only way to "support the troops" is to bring them home. Aside from that, you are merely paying tribute to them. Nothing you are doing is actually helping them get back to their families.

Support the troops started out as a way of telling someone to SHUT UP. If you questioned the war, it was said you were not supporting the troops, and that you were a bad person, among other choice words. In response, when people wanted to complain about the war, the response became - I support the troops, but I disagree with the war.

What does someone who doesn't support the troops do differently? Nothing. You will be forced to support the troops no matter if you like or not. The rest is merely if you choose to pay tribute to them.

Democrats have been saying this "I support the troops" stuff ever since the republicans used it as a way of painting someone poorly when they disagreed. Their "support of the troops" in bills and such has only managed to extend the war. As such, they are not supporting the troops, they are supporting the war. If they just cared and wanted to support the troops, they would be bringing them home to their families, where they are warm and safe at night.

I'm sorry, but supporting the troops means supporting the war. If it weren't true, the war would be over as the democrats were given control of things just because of the war, and have continued to vote for funding the war.

If you want to support the troops, bring them home.



posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 05:03 PM
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I think I kinda see where badmedia is coming from.

I think it's possible to "support the troops" without supporting the war. But it depends on what you mean by "support".

1. We all support them, financially, if we pay taxes.
2. Then you can support (agree with) what they're doing (support the troops AND the war).
3. You can also feel proud and admire/respect (pay tribute) them because they're serving their country, even if you disagree with the war.

I used to support the troops (1 and 3 above), but most of the time these days, I only support them financially. Because I have to. I no longer can muster respect and admiration for people who keep this war going and those who continue to join the service are supporting the war and I can't feel good about that.

The very best way to support the troops is bring them home. The next best way is to make sure they have the proper protection. And if you don't care about the troops, keep the war going and keep sending them to their death.



posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 05:13 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


Not everyone is still choosing to go. My little brother is about to be going back to Iraq now. It is the 2nd time he has been called back since "getting out". The 1st time they just extended him a year. And this time they just called him back after he's been out awhile. He is a medic, so he only did short terms in Iraq and Afganistan before, but was stationed at that hospital in Germany most of the time. This time he is getting stationed directly in Iraq it looks like.

But I'd have to guess a good bit of the majority is volunteers. Plus we all know by know alot of it is done in private companies now.

I only support with my "taxes", even though the taxes never go for that. As they just print up the money, devalue the currency to pay for it. That is another topic in itself, but I get what you mean.



posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 05:14 PM
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I come from a Navy family. Dad was in submarines in WW2, brother just retired as CPO in the Seabee's, and his son is a pilot flying C-130 transports (those absolutely huge bastards) and is a Lt. Commander.

Now my opinion. I have always, and always will support all members of the armed services. My experience goes back to Vietnam, which was not a volunteer army, and the treatment of some of my friends when they came back. Did I support them? Damn right. Did I agree with our involvement there? No. Did I join voluntarily? No, I just took my chances with the draft. In case no one noticed, Vietnam is doing pretty well these days, without our help, minus a few thousand land mines scattered about.

To me the question of supporting troops and the actual war they are involved in are two separate issues. The decision to send troops into battle comes purely from politicians, not the soldier. Do they then do the duty that they swore to? Sure, but they weren't the ones that made the decision.

My troops, the ones that swore a duty to protect me and my family are human beings. My support goes beyond ideologies. My support is that no one of them should have to die or be maimed as the result of a politicians decision.

I made a suggestion on my website a while back that any President that involves this country in an armed conflict, for just or unjust reasons, be required to place, personally, a small white marker in the lawn of the White House, directly visible from his office window, for every American who dies as a result of his decision.

As an aside, when did we "declare" war anyway? The last time I can remember declaring war on anybody was WW2. And the "war on terror" doesn't count. Its like the"war on drugs". To vague.



posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 05:14 PM
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They are not one and the same. I don't support the war in Iraq at all, but on the other hand I don't want the American men and women over there to be in harms way. I want them to be okay, so I support them.

They may have all volunteered for the military, but the government abused the fact that they were willing to put their lives on the line for their country by sending them to Iraq.



posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 05:20 PM
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peh, false logic, the troops are, each and every one, responsible for their decision. even if they are called up, if they want to be home they should all just go AWOL. if they decide to be there then they deserve what they get. they are going off to fight an illegal war.



posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 05:34 PM
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Originally posted by pieman
peh, false logic, the troops are, each and every one, responsible for their decision. even if they are called up, if they want to be home they should all just go AWOL. if they decide to be there then they deserve what they get. they are going off to fight an illegal war.


So instead of following their orders, they should be deserters and risk death at the most, or an extended stay in jail at the least? Either way they potentially forfeit their lives. Rock and a hard place if you ask me. They get what they deserve? Seems like an over-reaction to me, but you are entitled to that opinion.

With the number of troops who are being involuntarily extended, it is hardly fair to say they are choosing to go to war.

Edit to add: Desertion and being AWOL are not quite the same thing and thus do not have the same punishment.

[edit on 9-10-2008 by Jenna]



posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 05:54 PM
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Originally posted by pieman
peh, false logic, the troops are, each and every one, responsible for their decision. even if they are called up, if they want to be home they should all just go AWOL. if they decide to be there then they deserve what they get. they are going off to fight an illegal war.


And the question I ask everyone that supports this idea is: Have you ever spent time in a military prison? Would you want to?

Now, I think the big thing that everyone is not asking themselves is that is it OK to support the war, but NOT support the troops?

Check this link:

www.theonion.com...





posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 06:00 PM
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I don't agree with the war.

But I don't wish any harm to US troops, and I also support Australia's own troops for being in Afghanistan, even though I don't really support that war either.

A country is wrecked without an army: if it's not war, it's relief efforts in times of natural disasters and other events like that.

I'm an extremely anti-war person, but people in the army don't have a choice in where they're deployed to, and they need to be respected for risking their lives for something the rest of us are critical of.



posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 06:08 PM
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Originally posted by Jenna





With the number of troops who are being involuntarily extended


Yes, that brings up another good point. The average deployment in Vietnam, which again used conscription, was one year.

It seems that because our forces are voluntary, they can just keep using them however they see fit, with multiple deployments becoming the norm. It must be great to make it through a deployment alive only to find out that you have to go back. Plus the reserves were meant to be just that. A reserve force to be called up in an emergency, not treated equally with active duty troops.

The average age in Vietnam 19. There are 35-55 year old reservists serving in Iraq. My brother that I mentioned above is 64. He didn't know if he would be called up right up to the day he retired. I still worry about my nephew. He's been flying support missions into the middle east for the last few months.

Something else. There were recent talks in DC that they should extend the time between deployments, not do away with them, just delay when you go back. Wow, thanks. Mighty magnanimous of you.

[edit on 9-10-2008 by zlots331]



posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 06:12 PM
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Originally posted by zlots331
[Yes, that brings up another good point. The average deployment in Vietnam, which again used conscription, was one year.

It seems that because our forces are voluntary, they can just keep using them however they see fit, with multiple deployments becoming the norm. It must be great to make it through a deployment alive only to find out that you have to go back.


Well, the US can always go back to doing it like they did in WW2. Your unit went to Europe or the Pacific, and you just stayed there. You went back home either dead, seriously wounded, or after the war was over.

"Duration of the emergency plus six months".



posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 06:19 PM
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reply to post by jerico65
 


I get your point. My only problem is when did we actually declare war and who are we at war with?

Thanks



posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 06:35 PM
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Originally posted by zlots331
reply to post by jerico65
 


I get your point. My only problem is when did we actually declare war and who are we at war with?


To the best of my knowledge we declared war on terror, which apparently includes whoever congress and the president decide it includes. I thought we originally were supposed to be going after Bin Laden, but I was apparently wrong since it was decided that Iraq needed a new government while our troops were in the neighborhood. And I don't recall an official declaration of war either... Maybe I missed it though.



posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 06:47 PM
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Originally posted by badmedia
I'm sorry, but supporting the troops means supporting the war. If it weren't true, the war would be over as the democrats were given control of things just because of the war, and have continued to vote for funding the war.


Thanks for posting, I was hoping you would!

I believe that one of the main reasons why congress has continued to fund the war even though it has been controlled by the democrats is due to the mess Iraq has been in. Had we pulled out as soon as Saddam was knocked out of power, their country would have collapsed completely. We are still there because we are supposed to be helping maintain the peace until their government, military, and police are up and running and able to maintain peace on their own. Unfortunately it hasn't been working too well because they honestly don't know what they are doing.

This new form of government is completely alien to them and it will take a bit to get the hang of things. It's a big change from living under Saddam's regime. We shouldn't have been there to begin with, but it's a bit late for that now. To just up and leave them in chaos would be absolutely horrible and we would just end up back there anyway. If we help them clean up the mess now, our troops hopefully won't have to go back. The way I see it, even though things were horrible there before Saddam's power was taken away leaving them defenseless and without a leader or leaders would be even worse. They would be easy pickings for whatever tyrant could scare them into submission first. We made a bigger mess of that country than it already was, and even though I wish every single one of our troops were home years ago it wouldn't be right or fair to their innocent civilians to leave without helping to pick up the pieces. Basically we broke it, we help fix it. Once again, I don't agree with the war that got us where we are, but you can't just leave innocent people defenseless either.



posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 07:29 PM
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This is a very good thread. It brings me back to 9/11 and all the flags people flew. Made me want to be sick. Then came all the chinese made stickers to support our troops.

The reality of supporting is...GET THEM THE H..L OUT!



posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 09:01 PM
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I'm sorry, but that part about the country falling apart is not really true. The real reason we stay is so that we can influence the direction and leadership of the country. And you can bet it will not likely be leaders who try to give freedoms to the people. We've been doing it for over 50 years. The British have been at it even longer.

The #1 reason we are hated in the middle east is because we have been supporting the bad people that have been in power, and the people know it. We do not care about the people over there, and never had. We only care about getting leaders we like, and who will bend to our wants and needs.

Just look at how bad Saddam was. In the 80's, Iraq was considered to be a model country for the middle east. No joking here at all. This was after he was doing things like gassing his own people - with the weapons we gave him, on intelligence we gave him, as the people there were starting to rebel against him.

As long as he was our puppet, he was considered great. The moment he started to not go along, he was weakened and then removed. The rest, while true, is just propaganda and half truths to garner support.

No different than what we did in Iran during the 50's. When we got rid of a democracy with a coup. Why? Because he was going to nationalize the oil fields. Which means, take control of the oil fields owned by British companies.

It's also what we did in Afganistan. Taliban meets with GWB in the 90's. Taliban gets into power, kills all the poppy fields after deals on a pipeline fall through. We go over there, take it over and suddenly it's one of the biggest suppliers of opiates again.

People also often forget that the money we spend in Iraq also goes to the big companies where the executives and politicians swing back and forth from all the time.

So I'm really sorry, but that "If we leave now, it will be a mess" is just a big fat lie. The truth of the matter is the democrats and republicans are 1 party. They split up the issues evenly, and play god cop/bad cop on the issues. Proof is in the pudding. Add the government republicans want, with the government democrats want and you get communism.

All the while, they focus on pointing out the government the other side wants, and the freedoms their side wants to give for votes. But even when republicans were in power, none of government democrats wanted disappeared. Increased funding is what they got. Democrats get back into power a bit recently. Tell me - What has changed? They won't even challenge GWB.

All I see is people saying "I support the troops". Where is the actual support? It doesn't exist. I see alot of people saying they respect the troops and all that. And I hate to be blunt, but quit saying crap to make yourself feel and look better. You don't respect by someone by saying you respect them. You respect them by not sending them to places they don't belong, when they signed up to protect the country. Just like you don't respect the dead who have fought for this country by waving a flag. You do it by standing up for the basic philosophy of freedom they died for.

Let me ask you. Lets say you are in Iraq, getting shot at on a daily basis. Living in harsh conditions in a war of profit, while your country is going bankrupt at home from paying for it. The very things you are fighting for, our freedoms and liberties are at the same time being eaten away. Do you think for a second, some random stranger saying "I support the troops" while allowing all this to happen is going to mean anything real to you?

I grew up as an army brat. Served myself and have family serving. You saying "I support you" isn't helping them. You standing up and not allowing them to be over there, and to get them back ASAP while ensuring they aren't sent into anything other than defense, now that is support.



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