« Wizbang Podcast #52 is up | Main | Only Two More Days To Wait For Your Jack Bauer Fix »

Respect, Not Sympathy

In my Townhall column this week, I talk about how those who support the troops by treating them as victims deserving of sympathy are not doing them any favors.

While I have great sympathy for the loved ones of fallen soldiers, it seems that for many on the Left their "support" of the troops is expressed as sympathy for anyone in the military. Some lament that our soldiers (or kids as they often refer to them) have been sent to fight an unjust war by an idiot President who decided to invade Iraq to line the pockets of his rich oil buddies. To those people, the troops are seen as victims to be pitied....

I have been married to a Marine Corps veteran for the past 15 years, and I am confident in saying that sympathy is not what those in the U.S. armed forces want. They want the support and the respect of those they risk life and limb to protect. If they get spat upon, or accused of being terrorists or torturers instead, they do their jobs anyway. It makes the job easier though when they know the support and respect is there, and it is impossible to properly respect those in our military without acknowledging the work they are doing and the value of the sacrifices they are making.


Comments (14)

Lorie, you pretty much hit ... (Below threshold)
John:

Lorie, you pretty much hit the nail right on the head;

Some lament that our soldiers (or kids as they often refer to them) have been sent to fight an unjust war by an idiot President who decided to invade Iraq to line the pockets of his rich oil buddies. To those people, the troops are seen as victims to be pitied....

I can't speak for all progressives, but that's certainly how I feel.

I feel particulary for those maimed, or with mental health issues, I feel for the families that have had to make due in their spouse or parents absence, and I feel expecialy bad for the families of the fallen ones.

I feel this way for all the reasons you list above. That's how I support the troops. They are not a tool to be used, or a fun wind up toy to play with. They are flesh and blood, and they deserve our respect, and when appropriate our sympathy.

John, I know they are flesh... (Below threshold)
Lorie:

John, I know they are flesh and blood. I sleep next to one every night and I have a father in law, several cousins and many friends either currently or formerly serving in the military.

As I said in the piece, I have sympathy for those who have lost loved ones in combat. I also have sympathy for those who lost loved ones in training exercises during non-war time. We used to see those pretty regularly around here since I live within a two hour drive of Fort Bragg, New River, Camp Lejeune, and Seymour Johnson.

But I recognize the value of those sacrifices. I do not see them as pointless.

What I don't understand is how you see what you admit to as pity for those in the military as victims, as a way to support them. You seem to find plenty of sympathy for those in the military, but can't seem to repect them enough to acknowledge the good work they have done in Iraq. Good news from Iraq, most of it the direct result of actions of those in our military, was downplayed or ignored for most of the past three years. Abu Ghraib and other abuses got plenty of press. I just have to wonder if the reason the good news wasn't reported (except by people like Arhtur Chrenkoff and milblogs) isn't because any good news out of Iraq could possibly help George Bush and hatred for Bush far outweighs giving credit to the troops for their accomplishments. Trust me. They would much rather have your respect, than your condescending pity.

What Lorie said. Spot on.</... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

What Lorie said. Spot on.

So, when are the Bush twins... (Below threshold)
maggysturn:

So, when are the Bush twins going to Iraq

Sorry, that was a question:... (Below threshold)
maggysturn:

Sorry, that was a question:

When are the Bush twins going to Iraq?

"when are the Bush twins... (Below threshold)
cmd:

"when are the Bush twins going to Iraq?"

As soon as Chelsea Clinton signs up to join the troops in Kosovo. You know, the ones the Syphilitic Hillbilly promised would be home for Christmas? If the President's daughters have to fight in Iraq, you should be calling on Chelsea to honor her sleazebag father's war.

Now screw, moonbat. Daily Kos is over that way.

Lets see, so far John and m... (Below threshold)
epador:

Lets see, so far John and maggy have kicked the Tar Baby and can't quite figure out their error. Can Lee and aR be far behind?

Seem's Brer Fox has a few relatives who haven't learned much since Reconstruction.

Good point Lorie and the first comment supports your contentions better than any I could have made.

I read earlier today that t... (Below threshold)
blackcat77:

I read earlier today that the government has now decided that reservists can be mobilized for up to 24 months and then mobilized again after a short return. And the government habitually reneges on their promises of medical care for those who have served.

So, since Bush has decided that our troops deserve no more respect than a used Kleenex, I'd say they absolutely deserve our sympathy. Except I'd say that we need to put our sympathy into action and get them out of harm's way and keep the promises we made to them when they joined.

Good news from Iraq, mos... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Good news from Iraq, most of it the direct result of actions of those in our military, was downplayed or ignored for most of the past three years. Abu Ghraib and other abuses got plenty of press. I just have to wonder if the reason the good news wasn't reported ... isn't because any good news out of Iraq could possibly help George Bush and hatred for Bush far outweighs giving credit to the troops for their accomplishments.

Lorie, aren't you the one who recently posted that when you asked Tony Snow if the alleged and amorphous "good news" was going to be reported, he deflected your question? Are you going to blame the liberal media for that one too?

I know that you need to believe that your friends and relatives in the military are doing good work, and that they are sacrificing for their country. They are most certainly brave, patriotic, and respectable citizens. But if Bush orders your husband into traffic and he gets hit by a car, his death does not automatically become meaningful simply because a) he was brave, b) he followed orders, c) he was patriotic, and c) believing it wasn't meaningful is too hard to bear. It is possible for our soldiers in Iraq to still be all of those things, and also die for no good reason. They are not mutually exclusive. What you call "pity" for the soldiers is really "protection". And if they don't want to be protected from senseless deaths, that doesn't matter. The US military is a public institution, and the public has a say in how it's used.

Wow.Brian, you are... (Below threshold)
Wanderlust:

Wow.

Brian, you are amazing.

Let's hear that last sentence again (emphasis mine):

"The US military is a public institution, and the public has a say in how it's used."

Wow.

Out of the mouth of a staunch Liberal, the best Conservative refutation of the entire, useless "chickenhawk" argument.

I don't think anyone here could have summed it up better.

Thanks, Brian!

Now if only your side of the Political aisle would understand that the "public" comprises both sides of the argument, and that the "public" includes those of use whose "say in how [the US military] is used" is to apply it - liberally - in the fight against worldwide Islamofascism.

And we also believe, firmly, that the best place to apply this glorious "public institution" is off our own shores.

Brian, I owe ya.

Man, that's all you care ab... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Man, that's all you care about? Our soldiers are dying, and all you care about is how to refute a bad name that someone called you? Fine, let's pretend that's the most horrible thing in the world to be discussing right now. I've never used the term, and I've read multiple posts from "staunch Liberals" right here on Wizbang discouraging the use of the term. Among other things, the term has rarely been used correctly. But if it helps you feel less the victim of name calling, you're welcome to my "amazing" argument.

Yes, Brian, soldiers do ten... (Below threshold)
Wanderlust:

Yes, Brian, soldiers do tend to die during wartime, in a hot zone. Although our military have taken Patton's famous quote to heart these days, in that so comparatively few have actually died.

Soldiers died during Clinton's so-called "humanitarian" escapades during the 1990's as well; however, there is one important difference. Under Bush, soldiers who die in battle died fighting on behalf of the national interest of their country, even if their country is populated by people who, like you, have no idea what that national interest really is, at times.

(psst: here's a clue, Brian. The vast majority of soldiers who signed up in our all-volunteer military understood that they might be called on to fight, and possibly die, for their country. The ones who signed on just because they saw a military career as something to breeze through while on the way to getting all those nice benefits, without ever worrying about actually being called up to fight, generally wash out during Basic.)

Now if you want to talk about something truly horrible, we could always talk about shari`a law, and how women are treated by those who live under it...

Brian and black feline appe... (Below threshold)
epador:

Brian and black feline appear to have kicked the TB too. Good points wander, but really, their words speak for themselves. Still no words from Lee or aR. Hmmmm...

Under Bush, soldiers who... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Under Bush, soldiers who die in battle died fighting on behalf of the national interest of their country

People like you seem to think that whatever Bush orders is by definition "on behalf of the national interest of their country". Others apply independent thought to evalutate the costs and benefits.

even if their country is populated by people who, like you, have no idea what that national interest really is, at times.

Yes, I'm one of 2/3 of the country who don't think policing an Iraqi civil war where neither side is US-friendly helps our national interest.




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy