I am BARRY HESS > Blog

The Irony of "Support Our Troops"

I would like to ask those I know who appear to blindly support the current administration how the heck they are able to ignore the “black and white” moral questions that are ongoing and sanctioned torture and insufficient troop numbers in Iraq? Why does “support our troops” somehow equate to “support our administration that isn’t supporting our troops?” How can someone who has a child fighting for Iraqi freedom get incensed by John Kerry’s Vietnam war record but not give a rip about an administration fueling an insurgency (via torture) while not offering its native sons protection (via improved equipment and more able bodies)?

If I had a child or close relative over there I would be incensed with the actions of George Bush, Dick Cheney, Rummy, Gonzalez and the rest. I’ve never fought anyone, but I can imagine coming to blows with an opinionated military family member who would dare to disagree with me.

And this reaction is not even considering the basic moral questions of the torture; only its affect vis-à-vis the safety of our troops. Indeed there are moral questions to be answered with regard to invading a country we have not planned to secure for the innocent civilians we are trying to deliver from oppression. Oh yeah, and there is another practical question of missed intelligence gathering opportunities the torture has caused.

I realize that it is kind of late to lash out at Bush. We have to wage war with the president we have, not the president we wish we had.

Yet if I were just a little more directly tied to this ongoing war, my first goal as a citizen would be to elect a president in 2008 that had no desire to retain a single employee from the Bush cabinet. While I could care less if that candidate were a Republican or Democrat, there is probably only an infinitesimal chance a nominated right-winger would not toe the party line. A party line that apparently involves co-opting the World Trade Center dead to get a flag burning amendment passed and perpetuating the idea that Christians are one of the most put upon groups in America.