Thursday, February 22, 2007

“If You Don’t Support the War, You Play Into the Hands of the Enemy, and you Help Destroy the Morale of the Troops…”

OK, regarding the ’morale of the troops’, let’s put the B.S. above to rest:

First, virtually no member of the administration or in Congress who makes this kind of statement ever served in the Armed Forces, therefore they don’t understand troop morale or anything about its dynamics.

Second, how many senior military officers in the news have made this kind of statement? Not very many – if any.

So, the administration and its remaining backers in Congress are using the troops and their ‘morale’ as pawns in making you feel guilty about your increasing opposition to the war in Iraq – 2/3rds of you in this country.

It’s a shameless tactic, it’s disgusting, it’s despicable – and most of all, it’s wrong.


- No soldier, airman, sailor, or marine worth his or her salt believes their morale is tied to what any politician or private citizen says or does.

- Many may not agree personally with what is going on, but the overwhelming majority will do their job anyway to the best of their ability. Why? They are professionals who will do their best to achieve the objectives they are given – that’s what they swore an oath to do - and they will do their best to protect each other so that they can come home safely, at some point.

One blogger puts it this way about the morale of soldiers:

...To the extent that they are concerned with political debates in Washington, it is mostly about the small picture: ensuring they get the tools and equipment they need to survive and get the job done. While they may be interested in grand strategy, it seldom motivates them to risk life and limb. They may agree or disagree with establishing a foothold for democracy in the Middle East but they fight for their comrades-in-arms, out of genuine concern for locale villagers whose situations they empathize with, and for hundreds of other reasons unique to each soldier.

That said, there are some things that definitely could and do impact troop morale, for example: failure of leadership (e.g. Abu Ghraib), improper and inadequate equipment to do the job and protect troops (e.g. body armor & helmets, HUMVEE armor), and failure to provide adequate and responsive health care and facilities (e.g. Walter Reed hospital recovery) to returning physically and mentally wounded veterans.

Bottom line: it’s way past time to put up or shut up with ‘supporting the troops’ - and really support them - and most importantly to stop putting the troops in the middle by mouthing a bunch of platitudes about troop morale and using them to threaten political opponents while dumping undeserved guilt on our citizens.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The War Gets Closer...A Time-Out

An email note from a friend:

"On Sunday a CH-47 Helicopter crashed in Afghanistan after the engine failed. On board was my closest and best friend, a U.S. Army Ranger. In the crash, eight soldiers died, but he survived. However, he is in serious condition with head trauma. He is in a trauma induced coma and has some back fractures. The doctors in Germany where they flew him had to remove some of his skull to stop the hemorrhaging, with the hopes that there will be no or less brain damage. I was with his family yesterday and talked to his wife; they are being flown out to Bethesda Naval hospital which has a head trauma unit today and will meet him there when he is transported.

I ask that prayers be made on his behalf that he would recover and that the family would endure."

...and I would add: also keep the families and friends of those who lost loved ones in your prayers as well...

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Monday, February 19, 2007

New Talking Point Catch Phrase for the Repugs?

'...we didn't lie intentionally...'

No, it wasn't Tony Snow or another administration spokesperson - it was the Jet Blue rep on NPR this morning commenting on their no-news-to-the-customers approach during their Valentine's Day Massacre 9-hour plane entrapment on the ground.

Yet the phrase has a certain ring to it - you have to wonder why Snow et al haven't made use of it before the airlines beat them to the punch...

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

"I don't read them (newspapers) much, but..."

...from this morning's Presidential news conference...

And if you had read them on last Nov 8th (and since), Mr. President, you would know that 2/3rds of the people no longer support your performance in Iraq (including you, ironically) - although you don't appear to care about that. So what is it that makes you think that this country should continue to give you chances with regard to the lives of our sons and daughters? Have you earned it? Not especially - in fact you've cried the 'sky is falling' so many times since 9/11, that few believe you about ANYTHING anymore. In that sense, your administration has in fact made it more dangerous for us as a country. For example, Iran may well be involved in Iraq and a threat to our troops, but skepticsm is rampant about that report because of two things: Track record in telling us the truth - and past competency with regard to Iraq.

But while the Republican Congressional leadership of our country countinues to use our troops shamelessly as pawns (more on this later this week) by their continued mantras of 'you encourage the terrorists if you are not with us' - and - 'we need to fight them over there or otherwise we will fight them here' - the House at least is saying what it thinks it was recently elected to say.

Please pick up the papers more often Mr. President, although it probably won't do much good.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

If He Can Do This, Appoint Him the Head of Our Homeland Security...

B.S. story of the day:

Lt. Gen. Aboud Qanbar, who was named by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki to head the new security crackdown in Baghdad, announced the new campaign, which he said would have the force of law, during a nationally televised speech in which he claimed sweeping emergency powers.

The border crossings to Iran and Syria will be temporarily closed effective immediately, as the Iraqi security forces tried the reassert control in this lawless capital city.

Good luck general - we'd love to know how you are going to do this...

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link