July 12, 2005

Do Democrats Support The Troops?

An interesting column from Dennis Prager:

Liberals, Democrats and others on the Left frequently state that they "support the troops." For most of them, whether they realize it or not, this is not true. They feel they must say this because the majority of Americans would find any other position unacceptable. Indeed, for most liberals, the thought that they really do not support the troops is unacceptable even to them. Lest this argument be dismissed as an attack on leftist Americans' patriotism, let it be clear that leftists' patriotism is not the issue here. Their honesty is. In order to understand this, we need to first have a working definition of the term "support the troops." Presumably it means that one supports what the troops are doing and rooting for them to succeed. What else could "support the troops" mean? If you say, for example, that you support the Yankees or the Dodgers, we assume it means you want them to win. But most of the Left does not want the troops to win in Iraq. The Left's message is this: "You troops may think you are winning; you may think you are doing good and moral things in Iraq; you may believe you are fighting the worst human beings of our age and protecting us against the scourge of Islamic terror. But we on the Left believe none of that. We believe this war is being fought for oil and for Halliburton and other corporations; we believe you are waging a war that is both illegal and immoral; we believe you have invaded a country for no good reason and have killed a hundred thousand Iraqis [the Left's generally mentioned number] for no good reason; but, hey, we sure do support you." Honest people on the Left need to understand that the two positions are not reconcilable. . .One example is the claim made by Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry and almost all other Democrats and liberals that the war in Iraq is "the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time." How does one support troops that are fighting a wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time? A few leftist writers have been honest enough to say, "Nothing personal, guys, but I sure don't support you." But the vast majority of the Left and all Democratic politicians have not been honest on this matter. . . An honest leftist would say: "Because I view this war as immoral, I cannot support our troops." What is not honest is their saying, "Support the troops — bring them home." Supporting people who wish to fight entails supporting their fight; and if that fight is opposed, those waging it are also opposed. Many on the Left angrily accuse the Right of disparaging their patriotism. That charge, too, is false. I have never heard a mainstream conservative impugn the patriotism of liberals. But as regards their attitude toward our troops, the patriotism of those on the Left is not the issue. The issue is their honesty.

From my stand point, I think that most "mainstream" Democrats and liberals do not wish ill will upon our soldiers (I am, of course, not talking about the idiots who frequent the Democratic Underground or Daily Kos). However, this does not mean that they support the troops. How can you be providing your support to someone, who is risking his life on a daily basis, by telling him that he is "fighting the wrong war at the wrong time", that he is "fighting a war for Haliburton" or that he is "fighting a war for oil"?? How can you claim to support our troops by openly stating that you hope we lose or quit.

Here is a simple analogy. I support my son's desire to play soccer by coaching his soccer team or by rooting for him during games. Would I still be a supporter if I showed up at his games and started screaming at the top of my lungs: "Soccer Sucks!!" or "you shouldn't be playing these guys - this is the wrong game at the wrong time against the wrong opponent"? Would I be supporting my son if I openly stated that I wanted his team to lose the game? Or better yet, would I be supporting my son if I told him to quit playing the game?

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