Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Support the troops

Armando posts a letter from a friend in the military who makes a really good point that a lot of liberals and progressives lose sight of: that as much as we might think the war in Iraq is unwinnable, to the soldiers on the ground, considering anything less than winning is unthinkable.

You think it's hard for families and friends to deal with the idea that their loved ones might be fighting and dying for a lost cause? Imagine how much those loved ones want to avoid dealing with that possibility! The horror they are living with on a daily basis can at least seem worth it if they continue to believe they might "win" some day. For many of them it is probably the only thing keeping them sane.

This is why, as much as liberals and progressives may think they are supporting the troops by wanting to bring them home, a withdrawal will be seen by them as a slap to the face. What was it all for if not at least some semblence of victory? And who stole that victory from them? George Bush, who put them in an unwinnable war, or the liberals who brought them home before they could "get the job done"? Telling them that we are doing it in order to protect them just makes it sound like we don't have faith in their ability to "get the job done". It just adds insult to injury.

I know this seems twisted to many on the left, but that really is the way a lot of people think about this. Railing against it as illogical won't help any. It will just cement in their minds that you are an elitist who doesn't really understand what it is the common grunt is dealing with.

And they would be right.

If we just "bring them home", a large percentage of those soldiers will resent liberals and progressives for forcing them to live with the idea of losing a war. They will resent us for decades to come (just think of the anger Kerry's candidacy inspired amongst a certain segment of Vietnam vets).

Many of them would rather die for a hopeless cause then live with the idea of losing a war.

So what is the answer? Hell if I know.

All I can say is fuck George Bush for putting us into this impossible situation.


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