Support Our Troops

Every time I decry the war in Iraq, I get met with the same shortsighted response. That there are people out there, fighting and dying for our country and that we should support them and their sacrifices.

The reason that’s such a shortsighted response is because, simply put, I never said I didn’t. Supporting the troops and supporting the war are not mutually exclusive and anyone who things that they are is stuck seeing the world in black and white when this issue, like everything else, is shades of gray.

Just because I don’t agree with why the troops are over there or what their end goal is doesn’t mean that I don’t support them as people. After all, our troops are our friends and neighbors. I know many people in the armed forces, a few even in Iraq, and I know well the sacrifices they are making. I feel sorry for them, especially considering the nature of the war and the reasons it’s for, but I do appreciate their willingness to sacrifice so much just to protect our freedom.

But none of that changes the fact that the reasons for this war were lies, that America was tricked into entering this war and that the foreign policy of our current president has isolated America, worsening our terrorism problem and has done nothing to actually make America safer, unless one considers stretching its armed forces to the breaking point making the country safe.

The real shame of this was is that the people who started it aren’t those who are fighting. The brave men and women who enlisted in the military to keep America safe and to preserve our way of life have, instead, been shipped off into a deadly war about politics, not security, and are bogged down in a quagmire the likes of which hasn’t been seen since Vietnam.

Worse yet, many of the troops that were due to retire or be discharged from the military are being kept on longer by new pentagon policies as the government tries to scrape together fresh troops. Not only does this defeat the idea of an all-volunteer army, but it furthers the already incredible burden placed on our “Army of One”.

Now, is it true that most of those fighting overseas support the war? Yes. History has shown us that troops have to believe in a war to fight it effectively and that is what’s going on now. However, as many of those troops come home, some with permanent disabilities or severe wounds, they’re questioning the logic of the conflict and some, like those in the VAIW (Veterans against the Iraq War) are making a stand against it.

Of course, this isn’t the first war where this has happened. The Vietnam War saw a similar phenomenon; just ask Senator John Kerry.

The bottom line to it all is that it is possible to be against the war but for the troops. The troops, like the rest of the country, were led into this war on the back of lies and deceit. While the real motivation remains unclear, what is known is that the given reasons were just false allegations fired off by a saber-rattling administration.

It pains me to no end to know that countless men and women will give so much for this senseless war. Nonetheless, I thank them for their sacrifices and their willingness to do so and, as my repayment to them, I’m going to do what I can to make sure that they come home safely and quickly.

After all, what supports our troops more, leaving them to fight and die in a senseless war or bringing them home where they can be with their families and live to protect us another day in the future.

I’ve got my pick.

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19 Responses to Support Our Troops

  1. Niima says:

    As you've effectively pointed out, it's in shades of gray, the matters involved in this war. What many people don't understand, or don't want to understand is that there are always two sides to politics and war, or for anything else for that matter….shades of gray are going to be involved in most any matter played out on the world stage. It rings true to my ears, this RavenSpeak.

  2. emberstar says:

    I totally agree supporting the war and the troops are 2 completely different issues, after all they're just following orders.

    My husband, John 22, is in the army. Today we found out that basically he will have to be away from me on training missions for the next year. There are only about two months we will be able to spend together. And then after all that training a 1 year tour to Iraq. He is with the new Stryker Brigade in the infantry. These vehicles are brand new and he cant believe all the rushing they are doing to learn this stuff. It should not be this way. He is a strong republican but is very unhappy with Bush's role in this war. Does anyone think voting for John Kerry can help get us out of this mess?

  3. Lycosidae says:

    I totally and fully support the troops. My friend's father, and a good friend of mine are going over to Iraq very soon. I want them to come home safe, but I will say that I don't agree with the war.

  4. Andrew says:

    I get ragged on by Republicans all the time about my stance on the war, for just those reasons. They think I'm an anti-american coward that doesn't love freedom or our troops in Iraq. I'm sick of people stepping on my toes like that because what I happen to believe is different from popular opinion. You did a good job of summing up good argument to those sentiments, bravo.

  5. Chris says:

    The war was started by the trrorists. I don't see any reason why they shoulden't take responsibility to finish what they started or at least try to instead of sitting around and sending religious meat puppets to sneak behind the scenes and kill innocent people. They have done worse to our country than what we are doing or have done to theirs, in fact, they do worse things to their country than we do. We may not be the "global police", but if we sit back and let this go without forcing the irresponsible people behind this to see that every action has a reaction, every country that happens to hate us for just and unjust reasons alike are going to attack us as well. How do I know this? Because that would be human nature. War is an immortal thing, and will never go away. So just be happy that unlike The Vietnam War, our attack on Bosnia, and our attack on Korea in the 1950's, this war actually has a purpose and about 300,000 less deaths with a 75% higher success rate than what we had in those wars. I am all for freedom of choice and I don't think that you are stupid, cowardly, nor a bad person for being against the war, but I just wanted to put in my opinion.

  6. Robert Yarnello says:

    Great work Raven. You're a young man, and really tuned in to your surroundings. We need more young people like you to lead the way for the future generations. Sad about Chris……..Too many questions unanswered, and we need to remove the blinders, beyond the U.S. flag. I am a Vietnam Veteran from a Ranger Batallion back in 1967, I saw a lot of action in them steaming jungles. An undeclared war that unecessarely took the lives of our soldiers as well as thousands and thousands of innocent lives from the Vietnamese people. I got to see the other side of it all. How beautiful these people were, yet they were treated like disposable human beings, bombed, napalmed, gassed, murdered, and the list goes on. Freedom for our country? No my friends…..Freedom for the corrupt rich who stand in the murky shadows of evil. The Government is just a puppet master, and our soldiers are the puppets who go out and do as they are told. Reminds me very much of how my ancestors perished in the hands of the U.S. Cavalry who desperately tried to so hard to wipe out our Native American brothers and sisters out of our God given land.
    Terrorism? thats another interesting word to correctly define. When you steal from someone, you never really own it. Such is the case when America was taken by force. Terrorism? more like simple retaliation and nothing more. The twin towers?……Interesting question that is yet to be answered. I cannot go blow my neighbors brain out with a shotgun because I think, assume, suspect, etc, etc, etc, that he did something I am not really sure of????. There are innocent people being murdered every hour in Iraq and Afghanisan because they think they did it???? Animals, vegetation, everything is being destroyed because they think they did it???? Our troops are dying for freedom???? what freedom! We have no freedom. our men and women of the armed forces are dying for the freedom of the corrupt rich, the greedy who never have enough of anything. Our troops are breathing contaminated air brought on by depleted uranium fortified ammunition fired by aircraft. Depleted uranium, a nice clean word for "Nuclear" weapons of mass destruction? look no further than what we have been using since the Nuclear attack in Japan and up to date. The corrupt wealthy, they breed hate which is an uncurable desease that society is infected with. We have absolutely no business in someone else's land. We lost the Vietnam war, and we will certainly lose in Iraq. Why? when you go start trouble in another country you never stand a chance in this time and age. They refused to learn their lesson from Vietnam. Society loves violence and treat this illegal invasion of Iraq as if it was a bare knuckle street brawl, so as long as their kids are not involved in it. I have actually heard people say "nuke them" "kill em all" "take Iraq, it's now ours" sick barbaric society, followers of idiotic blind fools with no regard for humanity. No room for arguement on this…… I know…….I was a soldier, but my compassion for people changed all that in 1967.

    Peace to the world
    Robert Yarnello

  7. Aaron Graf says:

    I admired that piece you did because what I dont' get is how people can say "support the troops" whena good deal want to come home and also Bush has cut 75 dollars a month from their immenint danger pay and 150 dollars a month out of separation allowance. To top it off 9,000 VA Pysichians lost their jobs because of Bush and 18,000 VA nurses and 7 VA hospitals have closed their doors, there are millions of veterans dependent on these programs that Bush has cut and then we hear him say "support the troops". But how is it considered supporting them when we send them there on intentional lies paraded as intelligence failures.

    ~ Aaron

  8. Lady Ravana says:

    I hate to admit it, but sometimes I'm ashamed to live in this country. When I saw the destuction wrought by this senseless war, women and children being murdered, and houses being bombed my thoughts were "Bush, what have you done?"

  9. Psh says:

    ehm, as far as i can tell Chris, you pulled some factual errors out of know where.

  10. Mark Sandino says:

    Sad what all has come to…………… I am a Vietnam veteran who served in the late sixties and has seen what war is. I was drafted into the military against my will as many of us Vietnam vets were. Being drafted is totaly different than enlisting on your own free will. When you enlist, you take on that responsibility of "serving" in the military. Apparently this new generation of young men and women are not educated to know the difference of what is right and what is wrong.
    As sad as it may sound, I do not support the so-called war (genocide) that this government has created………..No, I also don't support the troops either. Why? look at the so-called president that runs this country, the troops are just as hell-bent on glorification and going down on history books as the president is. A blind fool leading more blind fools. The media is controlled and run by the rich folks, the same rich folks that send their "prized" children to college while the poor fight for them in the name of freedom. I agree with the other Vietnam veteran that wrote to this site by the name of Robert Yarnello. He was there in the war, he knows what we went through. These young men and women need to back-off from the crap the rich folks start, and let them fight their own wars they start. Killing people in another country is not the solution and sure as hell is not the answer. The twin towers and other attacks the government "assumes" someone did it, is not an excuse to attack a country across the ocean. True what Mr. Robert Yarnello said, we have been fighting for the "corrupt rich" and nothing more, we have no freedom, we are oppressed. Saddam Hussein? Bush is way out ahead of him in evil. Wake up America, the writing is on the wall. He has put us all in extreme danger and only getting worse. The U.S. has had a bad track record since day one, when they came and invaded America, lied to the Native Americans, then tried to wipe them out of their own counrty, and now they still continue with the ignorant decisions to "Change the world" We need to change here first before going out and playing "police". All that we are told by the media regarding the loss of "freedom" in Iraq and other countries is really happening here in this country. Money is freedom, you have extreme wealth and you have all the freedom in the world in any part of this planet. The corrupt rich are the problem in this planet, they are the culprit of all evil that exists in society.
    As long as the troops keep doing what they are doing in someone else's land, we will not support them. They need to be taught morals, not fantasies of freedom we'll never have.
    There are war veterans homeless and dying in the streets, we are poverty infested, the war on drugs is a mocking joke……………This gives other countries the motive to send their own troops here to America to bomb us and "liberate us"……….Sounds ridiculous? look no further, that is exactly what we have been doing to other countries..If the shoe fits, wear it.
    Someday all this will end, I sure as hell look forward to it.

    A word for the corrupt rich, when you are in your dark hour, you are nothing special, all your money can't save your miserable live's,
    it all ends and your transition is infinite hell.
    You pay billion fold for what you do to others..and more.

    Take care brothers and sisters, we don't need war.
    Mark "Monk" Sandino

  11. Cate says:

    My husband is at the moment in Iraq. Recently fighting in Falluja. I must say. Suporting the troops has a diferent meaning to me then most americans. It simply means to me that for no matter why they are out there now. We should just simply hope that they will come back, in one piece and imotionaly stable, to the ones that love them. The parents, the children wifes and husbands. It is easily forgotten that these soldiers are human with lifes outside of that messed up job. Every time I am asked what my political opinion is I tell them how corupt our system is and that our leaders are only out for theyre own interest and not for the interest of our country.
    To those ignorant ones who say that I don't suport our troops I want to tell them that there are those who can critisize and still be suportive. I am supotive by sitting at home waiting for that long distance phone call. Hoping nobody shows up at my door in uniform wanting to tell me the horrible news and wishing his condolences. I am being suportive by telling my little babyboy lies about daddy being in Iraq to help the poor people that need to be freed from the bad guys. And reasuring him Daddy will come home when the little guy gets scared from hearing on the news about what is going on and how many troopers got killed and injured.
    So this is to all the ones who think they are suporting the troops by trashing the ones who disagree on the politics that are going on at the moment.
    I wish I could ask Bush if his kids understood words like shretnell, cassualties,rocked granade launcher by the age of five. My little boy does understand these words and many more. Without me teaching him.
    It truly broke my heart when he asked:
    Mom why can't Daddy get a little bit hurt like Sgt….. Because then he could come home and he would be safe. I wish my son would not have this wisdom.
    Our soldiers have no glory. They are not heroes. They are victems in this powerfight. They are being used to prove the big guy right
    One thing my son said was really cool. Mommy, Bush sucks

  12. Maxine Grayson says:

    Great work Raven, and continue your journey.

    Regarding Cate, dear Cate, I understand what you feel and are going through, and my prayers are with you, your husband and all the soldiers who are over seas. I lost my husband In July of this year from "agent orange" medical comlications. We were married before he was drafted to fight in Vietnam back in 1966.
    I do not support the recruits who are "Gung -ho" to go to Iraq and kill people. I hear it all the time because I live one block from the recruiting station. These young men are sick in their mind, they do not need to enlist in the military. What they need is serious counseling and anger management. They have a choice to go or not to go. My husband Brian did not have a choice and neither did the two Vietnam veterans Robert Yarnello and Mark Sandino along with many young men who got drafted to kill people that were absolutely no threat to us. We live in an evil society that brainwashes for the benefit of the wealthy. True what the two Vietnam veterans said, "we have no freedom" there is no freedom unless your part of the clique that starts these wars. Terrorists? Twin Towers? The truth is yet to be revealed. Questionable due to the history of how this country came about. This country was taken from Native Americans by "terrorism" and extreme murder, and there is absolutely no denying, or going around the fact of what the truth really is, UGLY to say the least.
    So to call these Vietnam veterans "ignorant" for not supporting the troops (or some troops in this case)is ignorance in its self.
    Seeking glorification by enlisting to kill people over seas is no differant than a thug who joins a street gang to gain respect and glorification. We all know what we are going to get ourselves into when we make these decisions, especially when it comes to go fight for the rich who have it all and want it all.

    Regards to all, and only voicing what reality really is about.

    Maxine Grayson

  13. Fudula Ablacanca says:

    i can not believe that you people can have the nerve to say this kind of things about these men who are risking their lives ever minute of every day for you and every one else in the country and you sit here and complain that they shouldnt be up there well they make their own choices and they have made the right one you all need to take a seriouse reality check and think of a better way to handle your own issues and stay away from the ones you obviously know nothing about !!! the best thing my kid has ever said is that you suck and bush is my hero !!!

  14. Robert Yarnello says:

    Learn and know your history before making a fool of yourself Fudula. Bush is Hitler, and Stalin ten billion times over. This guy has no education whatsoever. He is a foolish clown playing Ring Master. Young men and women have lost their lives form both sides over the currupt rich. If you feel that invading another country and killing people for the "so-called freedom", "democracy" and so on. Why don't you join the military ( we don't care what age you are ) and fight for the rich. You don't know what combat is, to kill people up and personal.
    Why don't you read what us Vietnam Veterans have to say about what war is about.
    Obviously Fudula, you are extremely brainwashed. You of all people need a "reality check" You are living in a world of fantasy.
    Bush is your hero……………Funny, you belong in that three ring circus of bufoons, the same ones who terrorized the American Indians to this very day.
    Fudula, go ahead. Enlist in the military and go fight for "freedom" once you're there (if you have the guts) you'll get the full picture and understand what killing and getting shot at is all about, then the let down of it all.
    As for what Ms. Grayson posted, she knows…..her husband was there.

    Robert Yarnello
    Vietnam Veteran

  15. Dale Karapoulus says:

    Right-on, Vietnam Veterans! My father is also a Vietnam Veteran who was drafted back in 1968.
    You great guys have said it all. My Dad told me all about what you guys had to endure by being drafted against your own will. True about catering and dying for the currupt ones who buy their childrens college ticket to keep from getting drafted. We don't need war, what we need
    is morals and proper education, and staying away from other countries affairs.
    We have serious issues to deal with here in the USA, such as a corrupt judicial system, poverty, drugs, poor education for low income children and the list goes on.
    Over thirty five million dollars are needlessly
    wasted everyday on bombing, gassing, murdering, terrorizing, and other unspeakable attrocities going on in Iraq and Afghanistan that the media does not want the American public to know.
    We need the money to take care of our problems here……………As the saying goes, "war is good business" Check it out, the corporate monsters are faring very well as they fill their
    pockets on someone else's mis-fortunes (middle to low class Americans). They (the rich corporate monsters) are in high heaven
    as lives are being destoyed every minute while their children are tucked away comfortably enjoying life.
    Thank God that these idiots will never come in contact with another civilization from another planet (if in fact there is life elsewhere)otherwise they'll invade in the name of "freedom and Democracy and contaminate and destroy them too. Solution? morals and believing in the supreme being (God.
    Oh yeah, one more thing…"weapons of mass destruction" ???? reality check! The United States government has used them since world war one and to date. They gassed millions of people in southeast Asia, sold and tought Iraq and Iran how to gas each other to palukaville, then they stand back and say: Oh my gosh, how sick and disgusting those people are. Uh-huh, very disgusting indeed, very disgusting on how they can turn things around and put horns, tail, and pitch fork on other cultures. The writting is on the wall, follow the money trail, it always leads to the source.


  16. chuck says:

    You know, this is a free country and we have freedom of speech and yadda, yadda, yadda, but I think nearly everyone I've ever talked to has overlooked something. It doesn't matter how much you grumble and moan, what people call protesting, now about the war now, because it's too late for you to change anything. The war is on. And if we bring our troops home now I can tell you exactly what will happen in Iraq: Total anarchy and chaos for a time until one extremist cell gains superiority over the others and there's *gasp* another oppressive regime in control. I won't debate President Bush's reasons for going to Iraq and frankly I'm appalled at every person who thinks they know "the real reason." Unless you've gained psychic powers and can read the president's mind, you don't. And frankly I don't care if his motives were oil or democracy, the result is democracy and choice in not one but two cowed nations (Iraq and Afganistan). Yes, people are dying in these two countries, I know this. People who didn't do anything wrong except be in the wrong place at the wrong time. But that's no different than before, we just didn't hear about it. Sorry to if you don't agree with me, but you don't have to. this is just another little sidenote that dosen't change anything in the grand scheme of things.

  17. Robert Yarnello says:

    You missed the whole point Chuck. You must believe everything you read on the newspaper, and news media. Try being more open minded….
    Look around you.


  18. Rick Simon says:

    I agree with Dale and Robert.


  19. tiffany says:

    I agree with eveybody on this

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