lot’s been said about the political and military aspects of this current
war—about the “rightness” of it all and about the “wrongness” of it
all and particularly about the military conduct of it all.
Boiled down however, it pretty much stems from one political side of the
aisle trying to differentiate themselves from the other and gain some political
capital in the process.
honestly, I have very little faith in or patience with politicians anyway but
those trying to selfishly gain partisan advantage with their irresponsible,
“made for TV” sound bite statements, that place soldiers at increased risk,
really infuriate me. And make no
mistake, this disingenuous venom about how immoral the war is, how the
commanders lie and cover up, how horrible American military actions are
especially when misplaced members of the myopic media films our enemy being
killed and how our troops ought to be subject to some bogus U.N. war crimes
court, doesn’t help our sons and daughters at all. In a very real sense, it only serves to increase the dangers
they face each day in two important ways. First,
such talk is clearly demoralizing to our GIs and secondly, it further emboldens
our enemy when he interprets this as a strategic division in American resolve
that can be taken advantage of on the battlefield.
Don’t forget, North Viet Nam made effective strategic use of a similar
divisive circumstance just a generation ago.
is one of many thousands of soldiers currently serving America in Iraq.
He is a cavalry scout stationed north of Baghdad running convoy security
missions in that area. He came home
to Texas on leave last summer and asked me what I thought about the political
and moral “rightness” and “wrongness” of this war.
Was he over there for nothing, was this mission worth it and was it
politically moral? After hearing
snippets from pandering politicians, this young soldier was just expressing
normal concerns about the situation, the support he had from home, the
leadership in Washington etc. All
natural questions I’ve heard before from so many soldiers stretching back to
the Viet Nam era when soldiers then faced similar condemnation.
advice I gave my son was exactly the same advice I gave to other soldiers over
the years and it was this:
Mike, don’t give one thought about anything political concerning this war.
Don’t listen to politicians, left or right, Democrat or Republican,
don’t listen to CNN (which they have access to over there), and don’t
concern yourself with any moral opinions you may hear from anyone—to include
those who have expressed indignant outrage about the “immorality” of this
war from the pulpit of your own church. Your
only concern right now is to focus on the business of soldiering, stay alert,
put into practice all that you’ve been trained to do at the tactical level,
stay honorable in your actions as a soldier and above all, watch out for that
guy on your left and right. Beyond
that, there is absolutely NOTHING else you need to think about.”
America and I realize there is a right to express differing opinions about the
course this nation takes and I cherish that right—but only if that right is
exercised sincerely with America’s best interest at heart.
However, it always angers me when those who disagree politically with why
our nation is at war describe it as ‘immoral’ and then transfer that
condemnation of immorality onto the backs of our young soldiers—as was clearly
the case during Viet Nam.
these critics haven’t a clue about the real impact such sentiments have on
those dedicated uniformed Americans whose lives are put in the balance every
day. They haven’t a clue because
99% of those who throw such politically postured barbs never wore the uniform
and probably never stepped foot in a combat zone.
This especially disgusts me however when I hear such public condemnation
from those who did wear the uniform and should know very well the impact.
irresponsible, nonstop ranting from some of America’s political leaders and
their cronies when we have American troops in the field is inexcusable because
from what I’ve seen, the basis of those statements stems not from any sincere
concern for America. Rather, it
stems primarily from a selfish interest in personal political gain—the mental
welfare of our troops at a time when they must remain at their sharpest,
America’s national welfare which ultimately depends on those troops and even
the indisputable facts of 9-11 be damned.
don’t intend this as an admonishment targeted at a few petty politicians.
More importantly, it’s meant to pass along advice I found helpful to a
much higher and more sincere class of American than politicians—the American
GI. Politics be damned.
assured, I’m certainly not a “hawk at any cost” American—the vast
majority of soldiers are not war mongers given they have the most to lose in the
event of war. But America has many of her treasured children now fighting this
one and they need to see signs of our support. Please let them know they have
that support and that it’s truly unshakable.
gestures can range from something as simple as sincere letters of gratitude,
which are extremely meaningful for soldiers, to what Calgary Kate, Mescalero and
the 5 Dogs Club along with their many dedicated contributors have been doing
these past months in sending our GIs big love-filled packages from home they can
share with their buddies.
and to the point, please encourage them to stay 100% focused on soldiering and
concerned with nothing else; we can talk politics after they come home.
Just the view from my saddle…
Dark Canyon Home Page