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
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
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!