That's below, but I'm afraid my Biggest Objection to this, isn't enumerated here. My Biggest Objection is the poor, ugly, and wrong path articles like this - on both sides - always take. That there opposition is ignorant and un-educatable. The absolute belief in the argument, "You wouldn't understand".
If thats truly the case, then all hope is lost. If we as a society have reached a point past being able to show, explain, and articulate, then there is no chance of reconciliation.
In this war, there are no Geneva Conventions, no cease fires. Medics and Chaplains are not spared from the enemy's brutality because it's against the rules. I can only imagine the horrors a military Chaplain would experience at the hands of the enemy. The enemy slinks in the shadows and fights a coward’s war against us. It is effective though, as many men and women have died since the start of this war.
There is no such thing as a cowards war. Any 'rules' in war have always been tenuous at best. War is an ugly, dirty, despicable thing, and no Convention will ever make it a 9-5 job.
Might I also point out, that some of us who were against fighting this war in the first place also publicly stated that This Enemy wasn't going to be like what we've fought in the past.
I will watch the television and watch the Cindy Sheehans, and the Al Frankens, and the rest of the ignorant sheep of America spout off their mouths about a subject they know nothing about. It is their right, however, and it is a right that is defended by hundreds of thousands of boys and girls scattered across the world, far from home.
People like Cindy Sheehan are ignorant. Not just to this war, but to the results of their idiotic ramblings, or at least I hope they are. They don't realize its effects on this war.
And the memory of their service to America is tainted by the inconsiderate remarks on our nation's news outlets.
It really angers me when you start burdening my freedom to speak out against this war by insinuating that by speaking out, by saying that we shouldn't be there, I am IN ANY WAY 'taint'ing the fallen soldiers memory.
Similarly, insinuating that people couldn't possibly understand the consequences of their remarks on this war. Why do you think we are Saying this stuff?!? Specifically, to convince people that we need to leave Iraq. Specifically, to have an effect on this war. But you hope we don't realize that?
In a way they are right, this war is becoming like Vietnam. Not the actual war, but in the isolation of country and military.
See Making of the Corps. Although this is probably another thing that I couldn't possibly understand.
America is not a nation at war; they are a nation with its military at war.
The crazy thing of it all is that the American people have not even been asked to sacrifice a single thing. It’s not like World War II, where people rationed food and turned in cars to be made into metal for tanks. The American people have not been asked to sacrifice anything. Unless you are in the military or the family member of a servicemember, its life as usual...the war doesn't affect you.
They will be where they always are, somewhere far away, where the horrors of the world can't touch them. Somewhere where they can complain about things they will never experience in their lifetime; things that the young men and women of America have willingly taken upon their shoulders.
How Dare You! How dare you say that this war doesn't affect us. How dare you be so $*^@ presumptuous as to tell ME and everyone else out there who isn't in your neat circle that agrees with you that we aren't Affected by this war.
I can't speak for all anti-war activists, but I can speak for me. It kills me a little more inside every article I read, every account I hear, every time the death toll rises. It hurts to see soldiers funerals blacked out of our media, and the Casualty Toll effectively hidden.
Most of all, I hate what I've had to become to oppose this war. I'm a military minded person. I was raised in a military family, and came damn close to joining up myself. Now, in saying that We Should Not Be in Iraq, I'm labeled as hating the troops. I cannot effectively voice my opinion without being lumped into a category of people who dislikes the Military. Branded a coward. A dissenter by people I know and care about.
Do you honestly think people who oppose the war are just doing it on a lark? Hey, you know what would be fun today, lets go oppose the troops, then a mochachino at Starbucks, and some reality TV?
Similarly, you state later about how none of us will be here for you when you get back. Probably not if you're so set against everything We stand for. Nevermind how many of us support Veterans Rights, the VA hospitals, and believe, if anything, soldiers should be getting more benefits.
Get it through your head, its this government and this war we are against; not the military.
And supporting us is more than sticking yellow ribbon stickers on your cars. It's supporting our President, our troops and our cause.
Wrong. You couldn't be more wrong. I support you, not the CiC or the 'cause'. Troops 'go where they're sent' (Vinegar Joe). Most of you will espouse the ideal that it isn't your job to question orders, or fight political battles. Thats my duty.
I recognize and empathize with the fact that a soldier needs to obey unswervingly an not flinch from whats asked of him or her. I'm not similarly encumbered. I can stand up and say that this country is doing the wrong thing, and need to if we're going to avoid complete disaster. It's my job to act as a check on the government so that you (the troops) aren't used towards bad ends. It's my job to stand up and yell that the trains is about to run off a cliff, the bridge is out, Stop!
I take this responsibility as a citizen of the United States seriously. The alternative is a military state - where the few elite have control of the weapons, and the means to use them, without the consent of the people. Where we are brainwashed by the mainstream media, and things look suspiciously like Orwellian 1984.
We are the hope of the Iraqi people. They want what everyone else wants in life: safety, security, somewhere to call home. They want a country that is safe to raise their children in. Not a place where their children will be abducted, raped and murdered if they do not comply with the terrorists demands. They want to live on, rebuild and prosper. And America has given them the opportunity, but only if we stay true to the cause and see it to its end. But the country must unite in this endeavor...we cannot place the burden on our military alone. We must all stand up and fight, whether in uniform or not.
I don't want to get too much into the politics of should we or should we not be in this war. My position is clear, but I've avoided that aspect of the debate in this response purposefully. It's too easy to get bogged down in a point by point debate. If we want to have that, let me know an I'll start a forum on it. Suffice it for me to say, How is this America's responsibility? WWII was a long time ago when we mistakenly forged countries in the Mid-East of relatively random land areas. Iraq has not attacked us. The Iraqi people didn't ask us to invade. We are putting or own wants on them. Sure some are grateful. Some will forever hate us. But none of them are the children here who need schools, or the borders here that need guarding.
Let's stop all the political nonsense, let's stop all the bickering, let's stop all the bad news and let's stand and fight!
Isn't that what America is about anyway?
No. America is about the Pursuit of Happiness, our Sacred Rights, the freedom to be a dissenter, and many other Good Things (tm). Fighting, while necessary at times, is Not what we are about.
Well, my friends will no doubt think - there goes Sam being all melodramatic again. Ah well - it happens. Pidge - if you so desire you can republish this in part or whole (I know you worry about the DMCA).
UPDATE: I see Sgt. Jeffers has a contact link. I will send him a link to this post. And might I add, that none of the aboe is against him. It's an honest response to his published article. I imagine he's a swell guy, and would welcome any discussion with him.
2nd UPDATE: Sent the following to Sgt. Jeffers
Hello Sgt. Jeffers,
I was reffered to your article by a blog I read frequently here http://www.themadpigeon.com/diary_of_the_mad_pigeon/2007/04/hope_rides_a...
I posted a response on my blog, and when I saw the contact link, thought it was only fair to let you know about it.
I disagree with you pretty fundmentally, but I believe above anything else, keeping the conversation going between Military and Civilian is essential. We are all on the same team in the end.
Thanks for taking the time to write your views.
So Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff comes out with these lovely jewels http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6360469.stm
"We know that the explosively formed projectiles are manufactured in Iran," Gen Pace said while visiting Australia.
"But I would not say by what I know that the Iranian government clearly knows or is complicit."
"What [the evidence] does say is that things made in Iran are being used in Iraq to kill coalition soldiers."
which, forgive me, seems to pretty well contradict this http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6362307.stm
President Bush has insisted a branch of Iran's Revolutionary Guards is linked to some attacks on US troops in Iraq.
The US was "certain", he said, that the force was providing a weapon known as an EFP, which the US says has been used in particularly deadly attacks.
And for anyone tired of me being a BBC-pundit heres the NYTimes
President Bush said Wednesday that he was certain that factions within the Iranian government had supplied Shiite militants in Iraq with deadly roadside bombs that had killed American troops.
So which is it?
Of note in this to me is that the military is publicly countering the administration. Thats the kind of thing that you lose your career over. You only draw that line when you know disaster is looming.
For anyone who doesn't know the Army has been enacting Stop-loss policies for a while now. Stop-loss isn't quite the last step before a draft, but in this scenario it might be. See, standard policy post stop loss, I believe (and if you know better please correct me) is to activate the reserves and National Guard. Problem is, we started with that maneuver, which was wrong, but as long as I can't change history I'm not up to debate that point.
We're stretched to our limits now; we've over-reached. Any thought of action in Iran is beyond folly.
I'm of the opinion that the Joint Chiefs of Staff know this.
How is it that if I were to join the army tomorrow it would take 6 weeks of bootcamp + another 6 weeks of advanced training to make me 'ready', and yet the Iraqi army that we are helping to train still isn't ready.
I realize this is an unfair question. But who said the questions were going to be fair?
There's been some talk about deploying a multi-national peacekeeping force in Southern Lebanon. There's also been some talk about deploying a U.S. peacekeeping force in Southern Lebanon. The later, I find highly doubtful.
For anyone who doesn't think that we are starting to wear a little thin on the troop rotations, I give you today's headliner from The Stars and Stripes
Under the changes in the SRB program for fiscal 2007 outlined in MARADMIN 334/06, the bonus for first-term Marine air traffic controllers has been increased from $24,000 to $40,000, Morgan said.
Aviation specialties and other combat arms specialties will also see a boost.
In another change, Morgan said the maximum bonus has been raised from $45,000 to $60,000 for Marines in the following five military occupational specialities: counter intelligence, intelligence specialist, reconnaissance, explosive ordnance disposal and Middle East cryptologic linguist.
While I think this is telling, I also think it is a fine thing. I'd rather have experienced troops dealing with these situation than greenies, and reservists. I also, will never complain about giving more to our troops.
A lot of people are saying this is the start of WWIII and I'm not sure I disagree. This in from Al Jazeera via the BBC
Al-Qaeda's deputy leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has said in a video the militant network will respond to attacks on Muslims in Lebanon and Gaza.
The video was broadcast by Arabic television station al-Jazeera.
Al-Qaeda could not remain silent in the face of a "Crusader war" and now saw "all the world as a battlefield open in front of us", he said.
Events in Lebanon and Gaza showed the importance of the battle in Afghanistan and Iraq, he added.
"The war with Israel is not about a treaty, a ceasefire agreement... It is rather a jihad for the sake of God until the religion of God is established. It is jihad for the liberation of Palestine, all of Palestine, as well as every land that was a home for Islam, from Andalusia to Iraq," he said.
"As they attack us everywhere, we will attack them everywhere. As they have joined forces to fight us, our nation will unite to fight them.
"The shells and rockets which are tearing the bodies of Muslims in Gaza and Lebanon are not purely Israeli. They are produced and financed by all the countries of the Crusader alliance.