American Empire, War Civil Rights (Minorities, Race, Immig, Vets)

Op-Ed & Editorial in Rural Nebraska Rip Bush Escalation Plan, Call for Support for the Troops

Wow. Two on the same page.

The McCook Daily Gazette (my hometown paper, on Thu Jan 11) ran an op-ed critical of Bush’s escalation in Iraq that said, among other things,

“It’s unacceptable.” [to many groups in our country]

“And still he [Bush] fails to listen.”

And the editorial that day used a headline tying Bush’s war to Vietnam, and pointed out that support of the troops does not necessarily mean we support the President.

“Regardless of the president’s action, we must support troops.”


And she (Shary Skiles, the editor) quotes both Nebraska US Senators speaking out against the escalation (Ben Nelson and Chuck Hagel).

Here’s a letter to the editor I wrote in response.

Dear Editor,

Thanks to Gloria Masoner (“Glory Daze,” Jan 11) for telling it like it is about Bush’s plans to escalate our war in Iraq.

She’s right. It’s unacceptable for Bush to put more young Americans in harm’s way “to make up for the mistakes he admits are his own.” It’s unacceptable for him to refuse to face facts, to refuse to listen to good counsel.

You support the troops by understanding what they are being asked to do, under what circumstances, and why, and by holding accountable those who give them their orders. We ARE supporting the troops when we question those who deploy them thoughtlessly or dishonestly.

And thanks to the Gazette for the editorial that day which also stressed the importance of supporting and honoring “the troops and their families during deployment, and again when the troops return home.”
If we support the troops we concern ourselves about when and how (and how often) they are being used. We also watch carefully how they are treated when they come home. This administration has practiced very poorly that kind of real support of our troops, and needs to be called on it.

Larry Harvey, McCook

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  • Perhaps the consistent barrage of supporting the troops is coming from a national conscious of shame of what happened in Viet Nam. Those troops were faced with protests when they came back, being labeled as “baby-killers” and shown no support for an unpopular war. It wasn’t until many years later that the Viet Nam vets could get the compassion they deserved. Perhaps that is what is being communicated; compassion for those who go and place themselves in the line of fire. We may not agree with their decision to go yet are we not called to compassion for them facing such situations?

  • I think a lot of reservists that were in at the beginning of the war got more than they bargained for. Now the rules keep changing on them. This group and their families is the one that I have the most compassion for. The regular military from before the war and those that have enlisted since certainly should have known what they were getting into.

    The phrase I’m most tired of hearing is that “they are fighting the keep us free.” That is the big lie so many people are willing to swallow.

  • Excellent website. It’s nice to read about PROGRESSIVE Christians’ opinions on the matter.

    >>“Regardless of the president’s action, we must support troops.�

    Oh please…can someone find some other default retort. This is getting tiring.

  • Support the troops?

    Love them? Yes. Welcome them? Yes. Sympathize with their point of view? Yes. Understand that they often mean well? Yes. But support them? Maybe if the only alternative to a person’s enlistment was poverty, I could ‘support’ that troop’s decision to become a troop. But, apart from extenuating circumstances, I do not approve of the decision to put oneself under the command of whoever the majority elects to be commander-in-chief. You can’t serve two masters.

    So, I’d say that I would support troops in concrete ways, but I do not support the decision to become a troop. Besides, it’s all polemical rhetoric anyway.