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