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VoteVets.org at it again
Posted by: McQ on Friday, February 09, 2007

What's the one thing you can count on when I say "you can't support the troops without supporting the mission?"

Outrage from opponents of the war. Of course you can support the troops without supporting the mission, they say? The fact that the perception of many troops is the same as mine (as the NBC clip demonstrated) is deemed irrelevant.

And, of course, there is the normal pushback saying that making the claim I make implies that I'm questioning everything from their patriotism to their credibility.

OK, then how do you react to this (specifically what is said at the 11 second mark)?



Do you find that a convincing argument? And if so, how is supporting the surge not supporting the troops?

My guess is any commentary will come from two different premises. Premise one is "it is more important to "save" the troops from harm and death than it is to accomplish the mission". The reasoning for doing so is varied. From the extreme "war is never the answer" to the more mundane "I don't support this war", those that have settled on the "I support the troops but not the mission" meme believe the only way to support the troops is getting them out of Iraq. In essence they've written off Iraq and thus the mission, so in reality, and to varying degrees, they don't care what happens in Iraq as much as they claim to care happens to the troops in Iraq. Failure and its ramifications take a back seat to the claim that safeguarding the troops lives and limbs is the highest priority.

This despite almost universal agreement that pulling out of Iraq now would be a catastrophe.

OTOH premise two is the troops and the mission are inseparable, thus you can't support one without the other. Based on my experience, this is the one most troops believe. One, as far as they're concerned, goes with the other. You can't support the fireman but tell him you don't support him putting out fires. To soldiers that sort of argument is logically inconsistent.

So given these polar opposites in premises, what we'll see in argument is people talking past each other. Perhaps the best way, then, to approach any further discussion on this topic is to ask commenters, "which premise do you support" (or do you have a third premise to present)?

Then, with that as a known quantity, analyze the video and tell us if it is a convincing argument and why.

Divider

VoteVets.org link. In case you've forgotten, they're the organization that lied about the armor sent with the troops to Iraq in another video, claiming it was left over from Vietnam (and I use the term "lied" specificially because after it was pointed out to them that their ad was factually incorrect, they chose to continue running it anyway. At that point it went from a "mistake" to a "lie").
 
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Anybody who says "you can’t support the troops without supporting the mission" is using propaganda used by some of the worst regimes to try to stifle political opposition by equating that with being against people in the military. It is simply absurd, anti-American and dishonest to say "you have to support the mission to support the troops." People who make that argument are drifting into neo-fascism.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
propaganda used by some of the worst regimes to try to stifle political opposition by equating that with being against people in the military
Care to show an example Scott? How about naming the "worst regimes".
Maybe you could post a link to a Nazi or Soviet era poster about supporting the troops/mission?
 
Written By: Paul L.
URL: http://kingdomofidiots.blogspot.com/
You can’t support the fireman but tell him you don’t support him putting out fires.
Is it possible to support the cop, yet be opposed to the War on Drugs?
 
Written By: cllam
URL: http://
Yes, we all remember "The Truth Hurts" Erb accepting the statement that our current military is the most violent and murderous in America’s history. He even boldly predicts:
But watch — more and more of the truth will come out, and you won’t be able to spin around it.
But he supports the troops. Don’t you ever claim otherwise you anti-American neo-fascists!
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Is it possible to support the cop, yet be opposed to the War on Drugs?
A cops job is to enforce the law ... so what do you think (and I’m not being flip here ... as noted I’m asking you to state (or pick) a premise and defend it)?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog

Even assuming we could stop the troops from accomplishing the mission, are the anti-war types so moronic as to think.... and I use the word advisedly... that they’d not die just as easily as civilians under attact from Jihad?

Given that, one really must needs question the underlying intent of such people.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://
I may think the war on drugs is a bad idea, but that doesn’t mean I don’t support a cop arresting a drug dealer and doing their job.
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
Is it possible to support the cop, yet be opposed to the War on Drugs?
The more accurate question is:
Is it possible to support the cop, yet be opposed to the police arresting those who break drug laws?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Oops...ChrisB beat me to it!
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Premise one is "it is more important to "save" the troops from harm and death than it is to accomplish the mission".
A rare moment of lucidity from liberal columnist Rosa Brooks in today’s Los Angeles Times (sorry, hyperlink function not working on this computer):
Are there people in this country who actively dislike U.S. troops, and hope bad things happen to them? Sure, probably. But there are also people in this country who rob old ladies, molest little kids and believe in alien abduction. The far right loves to dredge up the occasional creep who thinks spitting on soldiers is cool and insists that this represents the "true" face of the antiwar movement. The rest of us should ignore this kind of idiocy.

Let’s move on. To some on the left, "supporting the troops" has come to mean "protecting the troops": keeping them out of harm’s way, ensuring that they have the support services they need and generally avoiding sending them to places where they might get hurt — such as, well, Iraq.

But the military isn’t a social welfare program, and the troops aren’t children. Americans in uniform chose to join the military. Money and educational opportunities may have been added incentives, but it’s patronizing to assume that the troops somehow got tricked into their dangerous jobs. If we support the troops, we need to respect their willingness to risk their lives on our behalf.

This means that "protecting" the troops should not be our top goal. We should never needlessly send them into harm’s way, and we should give them the resources they need. But when force is necessary — and sometimes it is — we shouldn’t shrink from calling on the troops to do the dangerous work they volunteered to do.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
Is it possible to support the cop, yet be opposed to the War on Drugs?
I don’t wish to see any Democrats undergo any harm by illness, accident, or intent.

I don’t wish to see any Democrats elected or for practically any of their political desires to be fulfilled.

If I then stated "I support the Democrats", would you believe me? If so, why?
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Support the troops but not the war is hypocritical, and criticism of that position is not fascistic. Since war is a battle of wills, discordant statements about the mission (as opposed to alternative strategies that could lead to victory) translate into aiding and abetting the enemy by reinforcing his will. Such criticism results in increased Coalition casualties and, by extension, truly a lack of support the troops.
 
Written By: jhstuart
URL: http://
Mark - I’ve asked the question myself a hundred times. Never received an answer.
 
Written By: Bryan Pick
URL: http://www.qando.net
Count me in the first group. I don’t believe Bush has any chance of ever pulling it off (whatever it is that he is trying to do) and I would rather us admit that and move on than continue to waste more money and men in what amounts to a really stupid and futile gesture. Furthermore, even if Bush were to pull it off, turning Iraq into some kind of peaceful democracy doesn’t have the return on investment that would justify the hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of American casualties that we will have spent. To use your fireman analogy, there are some fires that just don’t warrant putting firemen at risk.

As for the ’catastrophe’ that you claim would result if we were to pull out, that’s a matter of perspective: maybe a catastrophe for the Iraqis, but not for the US. I’d (sort of) feel bad for the Iraqis, but not enough so that I’d want my neighbors to have to go and die to keep it from happening. Put another way, the Iraqis just aren’t worth it.

As for the troops agreeing with the second premise, I’d discount that as it is only human for people to want to feel their efforts are being appreciated, that they’re working towards something worthwhile. Just because the troops won’t admit they’re wasting their time doesn’t mean we have to agree with them.

And how about this as a third premise of sorts: those opposed to the mission (or perhaps more accurately, those opposed to anything Bush is in favor of) who care less about the troops but profess otherwise as a means of rallying support against the conflict/Bush.
 
Written By: steve
URL: http://
Is it possible to support the cop, yet be opposed to the War on Drugs?
Pick a side, cllam.

There is a line in the sand…

Don’t you see it? It’s right there if front of you…

No… not that line. No, not that one either. … Wrong again.


If one opposes the War on Drugs. Then no doubt, one is emboldening the Drug Dealers.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://ceilidhcowboy.typepad.com/
I don’t wish to see any Democrats undergo any harm by illness, accident, or intent.

I don’t wish to see any Democrats elected or for practically any of their political desires to be fulfilled.

If I then stated "I support the Democrats", would you believe me? If so, why?
In that context… no.

But of course, having the benefit of knowing your beliefs by the many comments I have read from you, I would take your question with the forbearance of being baited. And would therefore consider your question to be disingenuous. And would rightly dismiss it.

But since I’m feeling quite playful, let us turn the question around.

Since the Democrats are in control of Congress, could not one then ask, “If you don’t support the Democrats, then how is it that you support the well being of the nation?”

So which is it, Mark?

Do you support the Democrats, or do you not support your country?

Yeah… I thought so.

It’s that same sort of pile of garbage that just stinks.

Cheers.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://ceilidhcowboy.typepad.com/
Aldo hit the point.
Let’s move on. To some on the left, "supporting the troops" has come to mean "protecting the troops": keeping them out of harm’s way, ensuring that they have the support services they need and generally avoiding sending them to places where they might get hurt — such as, well, Iraq.
That’s true, and in that sense alone, someone who opposes the war can say he also supports the troops.

But there is a line — and I’m not sure where the line lies — beyond which opposing the war emboldens the enemy and increases the likelihood that the troops will be harmed. I’ll illustrate:

Members of Congress, responding to their constituents and their own consciences, vocally oppose the war. The enemy starts a series of small-scale attacks (like IEDs at a couple of checkpoints) that end up killing one or two GIs. The same members of Congress now are more vocal, because GIs are getting killed for no apparent reason, and call for the President to end the war. The enemy, seeing that their tactics have caused the opposition to the war to be more vocal, step up their attacks. One side feeds on the other.

The result is that the actions of the Congressmen have resulted in troops being more at risk. Did the Congressmen intend for that to happen? Certainly not. Do the Congressmen support the troops? It’s easy to see that they think they support the troops. But the end result of their support is the exact opposite of their intent. And so, by their actions, the Congressmen are making it more difficult for the troops to accomplish their mission.

Paint with a wider brush, and substitute the anti-war faction for Congressmen.

It’s fair to say that those opposed to the war are, for the most part, in support of the troops. It’s also fair to say that the actions of those people have the result of working against the troops.

Not sure what the answer is here, but it is wrong for those opposed to the war to accuse those in support of neo-facism merely for pointing out that there are consequences to actions.
 
Written By: steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
Pogue is the first one not to be able to answer the question.
Anyone else want to step up?
Since the Democrats are in control of Congress, could not one then ask, “If you don’t support the Democrats, then how is it that you support the well being of the nation?”
Are you really asking that on a libertarian site?

Easy answer to that question: "I want other people to do their job, and to do it a different way. Ergo..."

C’mon, Pogue. We have no problem saying who we do and do not support. We don’t have to do your little song and dance when we’re asked if we support someone or not. If we don’t support the mission of the Democrats, we don’t claim to support the Democrats. If you don’t support the mission of the soldiers... well, I’ll just quote someone you’ll probably disagree with.
Yeah… I thought so.

It’s that same sort of pile of garbage that just stinks.

Cheers.
 
Written By: Bryan Pick
URL: http://www.qando.net
A Bridge Too Far was on TV the other night.

If the troops do not exist in sufficient number to accomplish the mission, it is "supporting the troops" to disapprove of the mission. Otherwise, you’re just cheerleading for incompetence and useless sacrifice.

The strategic mission, let’s remember, was to establish a unified, stable, peaceful, secular democracy in the heart of the Middle East to serve as a beacon to its neighbors and an ally on the war on terror.

We’re reduced to trying to figure out which pro-Iranian political party is most likely to achieve a bare minimum of stability without genocide or ethnic cleansing.

I thought that the original mission was impossible, especially with our troop commitments. I think that the current mission is not worth the blood and treasure. The Iraqis will ultimately need to determine their own course (that’s the essence of democracy, isn’t it?) and pretty much the only thing worth doing now is guarding the borders to minimize further destabilization by Iranians, Saudis and/or Turks.
 
Written By: Francis
URL: http://
Francis -
If the troops do not exist in sufficient number to accomplish the mission, it is "supporting the troops" to disapprove of the mission. Otherwise, you’re just cheerleading for incompetence and useless sacrifice.
What if the soldiers themselves do not feel it is a useless sacrifice?
 
Written By: Bryan Pick
URL: http://www.qando.net
If the troops do not exist in sufficient number to accomplish the mission, it is "supporting the troops" to disapprove of the mission. Otherwise, you’re just cheerleading for incompetence and useless sacrifice.
At this point that’s just not the case. See the two "surge math" posts I wrote.

Obviously if the Iraqis don’t pull their weight in the surge then yes, it will probably fail and for the reasons you state. But the argument that the troops ’do not exist in sufficient number to accomplish this mission’ is simply false at this point in time.

But you can certainly make failure a self-fulfilling prophesy by crippling it now, that’s for sure. And, unfortunately, those who will pay the price for denying the extra troops are those who you claim to be ’supporting’, left to try to do an impossible job.


 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
You can’t support the fireman but tell him you don’t support him putting out fires.

To be fair, I suspect that for a goodly number of the people who make the ’support the troops, not the war’ claim, their issue is with the fireman putting out this particular fire. They genuinely feel that it’s not worth the fireman’s effort/risk. Superficially a noble sentiment, the fact that it demonstrates utter contempt for the fireman’s judgement, abilities, and purpose continues to elude them.
 
Written By: Achillea
URL: http://
Achillea: since when do we have to accept the fireman’s judgment as to which fires are worth putting out? I’ll let the generals tell me the best way to deal with a particular mission, but I’m not willing to bestow upon them the moral high ground in deciding which fights to have in the first place.... that’s a job for us chickenhawks. As for contempt for their abilities, I have all the respect in the world for what they can do and can’t imagine having to rely on any other military to protect me and my family, but just because someone can perform a certain mission doesn’t mean we have to let them go ahead and do it. As for, as you put it, their ’purpose’, their purpose is to defend the United States as the people of the United States, through their elected representatives, decide we want to be protected. It’s not for the military (by themselves, as opposed to as a part of society as a whole) to determine what we need protecting from.
 
Written By: steve
URL: http://
Pogue is the first one not to be able to answer the question.
Not able!? Really, Pick?
I don’t know how you missed it, considering that it was the first thing I wrote,

In that context… no.
So…?

Are you really asking that on a libertarian site?
Yes I am. Well… I’m asking it on a neolibertarian site. Which I have confessed over and over again that I believe the term neolibertarian to mean “libertarian when it suits me”.
And I have had my beliefs confirmed over and over again by those who post here telling me, “…well, maybe the paleolibertarians… but as we have stated this is a neolibertarian site.”
C’mon, Pogue. We have no problem saying who we do and do not support. We don’t have to do your little song and dance when we’re asked if we support someone or not.
Oh really? Well, since the majority of folk would accept the term “support the troops but not the war”, the only people I see doing a song and dance is you.

And it’s obvious to me that you have no rhythm.
If we don’t support the mission of the Democrats, we don’t claim to support the Democrats. If you don’t support the mission of the soldiers... well, I’ll just quote someone you’ll probably disagree with.
Yeah… I thought so.

It’s that same sort of pile of garbage that just stinks.

Cheers.
Clever is just not your game. Is it?
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://ceilidhcowboy.typepad.com/
Achillea: since when do we have to accept the fireman’s judgment as to which fires are worth putting out?
A better question is why do you get to decide? And by what standard is your judgment deemed superior to the fireman’s?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
McQ: so we’re disagreeing on facts, not on values? are you agreeing that at some point — like for example the failure of the Iraqi army to support the surge — that one can legitimately support the troops and disapprove the tactical mission?

at what point are you willing to reconsider your support for either the tactical mission — the surge — or the strategic mission — which appears to be stability first, then figure out what we can get? Six months? Six years?

What facts on the ground must exist for you personally to feel that continuing to support the mission is futile and even counterproductive?
 
Written By: Francis
URL: http://
steve -
Then what’s the problem with admitting you don’t support the troops who want to fight this particular fight?
-=-=-=-
Pogue -
Pogue is the first one not to be able to answer the question.
Not able!? Really, Pick?
Aww, you can call me Bryan, Pogue.

And yes, really. You said, "In that context... no," but the question is all about the likeness of context, and you immediately dismissed the question as disingenuous.
Are you really asking that on a libertarian site?
Yes I am. Well… I’m asking it on a neolibertarian site. Which I have confessed over and over again that I believe the term neolibertarian to mean “libertarian when it suits me”.
And I have had my beliefs confirmed over and over again by those who post here telling me, “…well, maybe the paleolibertarians… but as we have stated this is a neolibertarian site.”
Nice little red herring. Now, what makes you think we neolibertarians are going to start supporting Democrats just because they happen to be in control of Congress?

After all, your question was supposed to imply some dishonesty or hypocrisy on our part, was it not?
C’mon, Pogue. We have no problem saying who we do and do not support. We don’t have to do your little song and dance when we’re asked if we support someone or not.
Oh really? Well, since the majority of folk would accept the term “support the troops but not the war”, the only people I see doing a song and dance is you.
A majority of folk may be hypocrites; that wouldn’t change my views at all. Now, instead of falling back on what other people believe is consistent, why don’t you start proving that your position is consistent?
And it’s obvious to me that you have no rhythm. [...] Clever is just not your game. Is it?
Golly, Pogue, it sure isn’t. Answering my opponents forthrightly instead of engaging in personal vitriol is more my game.

So, you try it. Give me straightforward answers backing your position logically. Try for one post to avoid logical fallacies and mockery.
 
Written By: Bryan Pick
URL: http://www.qando.net
McQ: so we’re disagreeing on facts, not on values? are you agreeing that at some point — like for example the failure of the Iraqi army to support the surge — that one can legitimately support the troops and disapprove the tactical mission?
I still support the mission, I’m simply pointing out that per doctrine, if the Iraqis don’t do what they’re supposed to do, the mission, in all probability, can’t be accomplished. That’s an entirely different proposition from disapproving of the tactical mission.
at what point are you willing to reconsider your support for either the tactical mission — the surge — or the strategic mission — which appears to be stability first, then figure out what we can get? Six months? Six years?
As I’ve said a number of times, we ought to have a good idea by late summer. They’ll either be standing up and meeting muster or they won’t. And, as I’ve said on the podcast and in writing, if we see, at that point, that it’s a no-go, then it will be time to begin phasing a withdrawal.
What facts on the ground must exist for you personally to feel that continuing to support the mission is futile and even counterproductive?
Lack of Iraqi involvement at the level necessary in in the three areas required (military, economic and political) by late summer. At that point we should have a good idea about how serious they are and either give continuing the mission a green light or a red light.

But that is predicated on us doing our part as well - all of it.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Well, since the majority of folk would accept the term "support the troops but not the war",
Ah, consensus. In the new reality, that means the argument is ended and anyone who doesn’t agree with the consensus is wrong.

Shucks Pogue, why didn’t you just start with this overpowering argument to begin with?

It solved the global warming debate, didn’t it?

 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I think something would clarify a great deal here:

I think I know the answer to this, but... McQ, in the event that you believe it’s time to begin phasing a withdrawal, will you say that you do not support the troops who want to keep fighting?
 
Written By: Bryan Pick
URL: http://www.qando.net
McQ: sorry, I thought I was clear on this: it’s not for ME to decide, nor is it up to the military to decide on their own. It’s for us collectively - through our elected representatives - to decide what fires are to be fought, just as it is up to us collectively - through our elected representatives - to decide on everything else this country does. And it’s not that my judgment is superior, it’s that I have one vote, just as the members of our military have one vote. Are you arguing that some people’s votes ought to count more than others?

With the American people overwhelmingly wanting the troops out of Iraq, Bush keeping the troops there is a giant f*** you to the American people, a huge ’shut the f*** up, who are you to ask that your elected representatives be responsive to you?’, and a big ’I’m going to ram this down your throat, because I know better than you what is good for you’. Quite an elitist position you find yourself on the side of, isn’t it?

If one definition of silliness is doing the same thing and expecting a different result, then a second definition should be waiting until late summer before finally concluding that the Iraqis won’t/can’t ’standing up and meeting muster" when I can right now bet dollars to donuts it ain’t going to happen. Let me ask: what evidence is there that, in the space of not too many months, the Iraqis are going to step up to the plate? One certainly can’t conclude that based on what they’ve done to date, right?

Bryan: if you want to twist the definition of supporting the troops as agreeing with what they want to do, then, fine, I don’t support the troops. By that standard, I don’t support my daughters as I certainly don’t always let them do what they want.
 
Written By: steve
URL: http://
And yes, really. You said, "In that context... no," but the question is all about the likeness of context, and you immediately dismissed the question as disingenuous.
Likeness of context!? Uh… yeah, and I stated, “In that context… no.”
I don’t know what more you want from me. I was unaware, that there was a demand from Mark that there be a certain context to providing an answer. So whatever chaotic song you sing, I don’t recognize the tune.

Nevertheless, just because you don’t find my answer sufficient, “unable to answer the question” is wrong, don’t you think?
You’ve got my answer… so eat it.

And I would be normally prone to dismiss the question because I know Mark and his philosophy by having read his many comments. And I believe his question to merely an act of baiting. But I was feeling playful… it’s Friday, you understand.
Nice little red herring. Now, what makes you think we neolibertarians are going to start supporting Democrats just because they happen to be in control of Congress?
Red herring!?... it was your question. Hey… I’m not the one who put “neo” in front of “libertarian”. So if you’re going to ask me why I ask a particular question on a “libertarian” site, you’ll have to acknowledge me correcting you. Sorry, dems da’ viddles. Chow down.
And I wouldn’t dream of any so-called “neolibertarians” supporting Democrats. Just as I don’t expect Republicans of supporting Democrats.

After all, your question was supposed to imply some dishonesty or hypocrisy on our part, was it not?
As was yours. Was it not?

A majority of folk may be hypocrites; that wouldn’t change my views at all. Now, instead of falling back on what other people believe is consistent, why don’t you start proving that your position is consistent?
If a majority of people accept a particular string of words to convey an idea, all of the parsing, arguing syntax, and etymology won’t help you. That is the nature of language and communication, like it or not. And my position is, that to descend into the parsing abyss trying to convince those who wish for the well being of the soldiers and for their speedy victory, but at the same time disagree with the policy, that the term “support the troops but not the war” is inaccurate, is folly.

I’ve stated that before on this very blog a few times.
And it’s obvious to me that you have no rhythym. [...] Clever is just not your game. Is it?
Golly, Pogue, it sure isn’t. Answering my opponents forthrightly instead of engaging in personal vitriol is more my game.
Really? Well then… you can begin at any time. I’m dying to know just how you play.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://ceilidhcowboy.typepad.com/
McQ, in the event that you believe it’s time to begin phasing a withdrawal, will you say that you do not support the troops who want to keep fighting?
No. I’ll support them and their mission until they’re withdrawn.

I’m simply saying that given certain events (or non-events as the case may be), a reevaluation of the mission may be called for, that’s all. And I’m giving a personal timeframe, given my experience, for a valid assessment to take place.

 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
If one definition of silliness is doing the same thing and expecting a different result ...
What is it we’re doing which is the "same" Steve?
... then a second definition should be waiting until late summer before finally concluding that the Iraqis won’t/can’t ’standing up and meeting muster" when I can right now bet dollars to donuts it ain’t going to happen.
At the beginning of each baseball season, experts much like you tell us who’s going to win each division. Given that, I simply don’t see why we even bother to play the games.
Let me ask: what evidence is there that, in the space of not too many months, the Iraqis are going to step up to the plate? One certainly can’t conclude that based on what they’ve done to date, right?
Right they can’t. That’s why this has been deemed by everyone (myself included) as their last chance. And, given that and their understanding that it is their last chance, the "space of not too many months" should tell the tale shouldn’t it?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
For the record, let me restate Erb’s argument that highlights its logic and rationality, and removes catch-phrases and spin:

"......" said Erb.

That is all.
 
Written By: True Social Justice
URL: http://
Pogue -

Regarding likeness of context: I thought this was pretty straightforward. While some of us don’t want any harm to come to Democrats, we also don’t want them to do many of the things they want to do, and will not vote to allow them to do so. It would be strange, then, if we were to say that we "support" Democrats.

The context one is supposed to compare that to is (obviously) the fact that some people who don’t want any harm to come to the troops, but also don’t want them to do many of the things they want to do, and will not vote to allow them to do so, are saying that they support the troops.

Instead of answering to the implied question ("why is the first part strange, but not the second?"), you dismissed the implied question and answered the first part.
That indicates that you were unable (or, I could be charitable and say "unwilling") to answer the actual, obviously implied question.

Regarding the red herring: my question was, why would you pose to a bunch of neolibertarians the following question:
Since the Democrats are in control of Congress, could not one then ask, “If you don’t support the Democrats, then how is it that you support the well being of the nation?”
The answer that would come from libertarians, neo or paleo or whatever, is obvious: we don’t believe that the Democrats in Congress are serving the well-being of the nation, so we are quite straightforward in admitting that we do not support them. My question to you is, why can’t you do the same with the troops?

The fact that you decided to make a tangent about paleolibertarians versus neolibertarians was a red herring—completely beside the point.
A majority of folk may be hypocrites; that wouldn’t change my views at all. Now, instead of falling back on what other people believe is consistent, why don’t you start proving that your position is consistent?
If a majority of people accept a particular string of words to convey an idea, all of the parsing, arguing syntax, and etymology won’t help you.
The problem is, it’s not a "term." It’s an argument. People are saying that they support the troops, but not the war. If they want to argue that, they had better start explaining what they mean by "support," because many of the troops do want to fight this war.

Now, I could spend some time asking people what definition of "support" they’ve invented that allows them to reconcile this claim, but I haven’t received a cogent answer to that yet. So I ask, "well, what exactly do you mean by ’support,’ then?" And usually the answer is (and I got this from Amanda Marcotte too), "I support them being out of harm’s way." (Never mind that many people join the military to get in harm’s way... before harm reaches us.)

steve just said,
Bryan: if you want to twist the definition of supporting the troops as agreeing with what they want to do, then, fine, I don’t support the troops. By that standard, I don’t support my daughters as I certainly don’t always let them do what they want.
And you know what? I pose the same question. Which definition am I "twisting"? steve supports his daughters doing what he wants them to do, and doesn’t support them when they do things he doesn’t want them to do, which is a pretty defensible position. I have no problem with that.

I do have a problem with people saying, "I support you," and then moving to prevent that person from doing something that that person very much believes in. It’s not enough to say, "I’m doing this for your own good, and I call that support." These soldiers are volunteer adults.
If you were fighting for something you believed in, and somebody told you that what you’re doing was a terrible mistake, and then tried to prevent you from fighting for what you believe is right, would you then say "That guy supported me"? Somehow, I doubt it.

It’s not a sin to say you don’t support the troops if you don’t support what they’re doing. I won’t question your patriotism for doing so.
-=-=-=-
And McQ, that’s about the answer I expected. Hopefully that clarifies some things for some people.
 
Written By: Bryan Pick
URL: http://www.qando.net
Steve writes: It’s for us collectively ... to decide what fires are to be fought...

The role of Congress, among other things, is to declare war and fund it (or not). The Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) signed by Congress in Nov. 2002 as well as continuous Congressional funding of the war granted the President the power to proceed against Iraq and other terrorist states. Regardless of what you believe about Bush, he has pursued the goals outlined in the AUMF with some successes and some failures. Wars are replete with mistakes; the side that makes the least wins. Sorry, you don’t get a vote in how to prosecute the war except at the polling place every 2nd and 4th year. Unlike his predecessor, Bush isn’t paralyzed by the polls or focus groups, and isn’t treating the war like some legal issue to be ’managed’. The quicker we support this effort, the sooner it will be over.
 
Written By: jhstuart
URL: http://
experts much like you tell us who’s going to win each division
predicting winners is something I stay away from, but I’m fine with predicting the losers: the Cubs, the Arizona Cardinals and anyone who thinks the Iraqis are going to step up.
What is it we’re doing which is the "same"

I don’t know, but it sure don’t seem a whole lot different from what’s gone on before... they’ve gussied it up, called it a ’surge’ rather than whatever it was called the last time they shipped more troops over there, brought some new (but, in the end, the same) generals. You tell me: what are they doing that is different?
That’s why this has been deemed by everyone (myself included) as their last chance
I’ve often seen managers give non/under-performing employees a ’last chance’ to get their act together... yet it never works and all they end up doing is wasting the time they could have used to go do something else. And there is a reason for it: people who want to do well don’t need to be given ultimatums; in fact, having to give someone an ultimatum to get their act together is proof that you’re silly to think that they will do so. I look at the evidence (all the MSM has seen fit to print) and conclude there is nothing on which to support any shred of optimism that the Iraqis are going to step up and get their act together... thus, sticking around until even Bush has to face reality, is just a waste of more money and more men, a likely condemnation of death for a hundred plus American soldiers to death... all so we can say that we gave the Iraqis a final last chance. that’s ridiculous.
The Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) signed by Congress in Nov. 2002 as well as continuous Congressional funding of the war granted the President the power to proceed against Iraq and other terrorist states.
Didn’t we pretty much accomplish what the AUMF stated our goal was? We went in, made sure there were no WMDs, got rid of Hussein. Where in there was sticking around and having our guys die to keep one crazy Iraqi from trying to kill another crazy Iraqi? I know that we only get a voice every couple of years: but in the absence of some emergency that requires a President to act without hearing from the people, it’s elitist to argue that an elected official ought to ignore the clear wishes of the people. This ain’t no 51-49 issue on which there is no consensus. With support for Bush’s plan running in the (I think) low 20s, can’t we consider you all that are in favor of a surge the lunatic fringe?
 
Written By: steve
URL: http://
You tell me: what are they doing that is different?
It is a completely different mission both tactically and strategically. Strategically they have changed from "transition" to "protect the population". Tactically they will "clear and hold" using the doctrine of counterinsurgency.
I’ve often seen managers give non/under-performing employees a ’last chance’ to get their act together... yet it never works and all they end up doing is wasting the time they could have used to go do something else.


You know I’ve done the same thing and seen exactly the opposite happen. That’s why we actually play the games in sports instead of assuming their outcome.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Regarding likeness of context: I thought this was pretty straightforward. While some of us don’t want any harm to come to Democrats, we also don’t want them to do many of the things they want to do, and will not vote to allow them to do so. It would be strange, then, if we were to say that we "support" Democrats.
Yeah, and that’s what I took from it. Which is why I stated that, “in that context, no”.
So, question asked, question answered. Glad to clear that up.

The context one is supposed to compare that to is (obviously) the fact that some people who don’t want any harm to come to the troops, but also don’t want them to do many of the things they want to do, and will not vote to allow them to do so, are saying that they support the troops.
Maybe it’s obvious to you, but since we’re parsing, let’s do a little exercise, shall we? Let’s look at Mark’s question again,
I don’t wish to see any Democrats undergo any harm by illness, accident, or intent.

I don’t wish to see any Democrats elected or for practically any of their political desires to be fulfilled.

If I then stated "I support the Democrats", would you believe me? If so, why?
And replace a few words for the comparison that you are trying to make,
I don’t wish to see any troops undergo any harm by illness, accident, or intent.

I don’t wish to see any troops employed or for practically any of their personal desires to be fulfilled.

If I then stated "I support the troops", would you believe me? If so, why?
Then yes, that would no doubt constitute a clear message that one does not support the troops. And I, nor would I believe the majority of folk, regard that as such.

But since no one of credit is talking about “I don’t wish to see any troops employed or for practically any of their personal desires to be fulfilled.” Then the comparison doesn’t match.

And that is where the wheels fly off. I don’t think anyone of credit is wishing for the dismissal of the military or their personal desires to go unfulfilled. I don’t think that those aspects enter reason. And if by chance, the wishes of some troops go unfulfilled, then that is an unfortunate outcome.

But wishing their desires to go unfulfilled, like in Mark’s comparison, is an unlikely desire for most of us that oppose the policy.
The answer that would come from libertarians, neo or paleo or whatever, is obvious: we don’t believe that the Democrats in Congress are serving the well-being of the nation, so we are quite straightforward in admitting that we do not support them. My question to you is, why can’t you do the same with the troops?
Well it’s a wonder that you can speak for all libertarians, neo or paleo, or whatever. But that doesn’t change the fact that they are in charge, and though you might wish for their policy desires to go unfulfilled, seeing as how that is an unlikely scenario, when their policies do go into action, shouldn’t one then support those actions for the benefit of the nation?

For example, though you may wish for their to be no minimum wage hike, when it does indeed go into place, wouldn’t you then wish for the hike to benefit the economy? Thereby “supporting” the Democrats and their policy?

You state that this is not about the “term” that it is about the “argument”. I think you may be not realizing what you’re then asking…
Now, I could spend some time asking people what definition of "support" they’ve invented that allows them to reconcile this claim, but I haven’t received a cogent answer to that yet. So I ask, "well, what exactly do you mean by ’support,’ then?" And usually the answer is (and I got this from Amanda Marcotte too), "I support them being out of harm’s way."
So if you keep asking, then how is it not about the “term”?

Look, I get what you’re saying. I get what McQ is all about. I have stated that much in a previous post months ago when he first started his crusade against the term “supporting the troops”.
However, it is my belief that this term, “supporting the troops but not the war”, is a popular linguistic abbreviation of a more accurate phraseology “wish for the well being of the soldiers and for their speedy victory, but at the same time disagree with the policy”. And this term is and has been cemented for some time now, into popular vocabulary.

I get it, dude. But that dog simply won’t hunt.
And don’t bother asking me what that phraseology means. ‘Cause I can’t tell ya. But what I do know, is what it means in popular culture.
It’s not a sin to say you don’t support the troops if you don’t support what they’re doing. I won’t question your patriotism for doing so.
And in there lies the pickle, doesn’t it? And isn’t this what this is all about? Because if you can battle the terminology, and if you can get people to admit that they “don’t support the troops” vis a vis your definition, wouldn’t it be just that much easier to appeal to guilt and to pride.

Can you imagine a politician on the Senate floor actually taking your advice and saying to the world, “I don’t support the troops.” That politician would no doubt be crucified by his opponents.

But that is a stupid question, isn’t it? Not only can you imagine that scenario…

You hope for it.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://ceilidhcowboy.typepad.com/
But at least we would have one the honest Democrat.
So far, we have none.

Every once in awhile you get people opening their mouths and saying how they really feel .... "our troops are mercenaries" and that kind of nonsense. We’ve seen it on and off for years, now. Each time they get called out on it and each time they scurry away from the central issue.... That they simply do not support the military. Dare I say it; they loathe the military.

Since the election, however, we haven’t had one democrat with the courage of his unstated convictions. of course, the reason is as you say it; they get crucified, and justifiably so. But at least they’d be honest about it for change.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://
“wish for the well being of the soldiers and for their speedy victory, but at the same time disagree with the policy”
It’s this dog that doesn’t hunt.

You can’t wish for "their speedy victory" and not support their mission since it is mission accomplishment which brings "victory".

Nice try subbing "policy" for "mission" though.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Pogue -
Regarding likeness of context: I thought this was pretty straightforward. While some of us don’t want any harm to come to Democrats, we also don’t want them to do many of the things they want to do, and will not vote to allow them to do so. It would be strange, then, if we were to say that we "support" Democrats.
Yeah, and that’s what I took from it. Which is why I stated that, “in that context, no”.
So, question asked, question answered. Glad to clear that up.
It’s helpful to read the whole argument before answering. I said a couple paragraphs below that while you said yes to the first part, you hadn’t answered the implied question.

Regarding the troops question: it’s not a matter just of troops being employed, but of troops currently being employed in fighting in Iraq, since those are the troops in question. Try parsing the question and what do you get?
I don’t wish to see any troops currently fighting in Iraq undergo any harm by illness, accident, or intent.

I don’t wish to see any troops employed for fighting in Iraq or for practically any of their personal desires to fight there to be fulfilled.

If I then stated "I support the troops in Iraq", would you believe me? If so, why?
The answer that would come from libertarians, neo or paleo or whatever, is obvious: we don’t believe that the Democrats in Congress are serving the well-being of the nation, so we are quite straightforward in admitting that we do not support them. My question to you is, why can’t you do the same with the troops?
Well it’s a wonder that you can speak for all libertarians, neo or paleo, or whatever.
*sigh* Move on...
But that doesn’t change the fact that they are in charge, and though you might wish for their policy desires to go unfulfilled, seeing as how that is an unlikely scenario, when their policies do go into action, shouldn’t one then support those actions for the benefit of the nation?
I personally don’t base my support on good intentions. But I’m honest enough to say that I’ve stopped supporting someone if their actions go against what I’d prefer them to do.
For example, though you may wish for their to be no minimum wage hike, when it does indeed go into place, wouldn’t you then wish for the hike to benefit the economy? Thereby “supporting” the Democrats and their policy?
Not the same thing. I can wish against the likely economic results all I want, and wish the the policy helps the economy, but I’d be forthright about the fact that I don’t support the Democrats doing it, or the agencies that enforce it.

Regarding the "term" versus the "argument": it’s not just a term if people haven’t defined it. If there was an agreed-upon definition for "support the troops" and "support the war", then sure, language changes with use. That’s not the case.

But even if it were the case, I’d like an explanation that makes some sense for why the term was appropriated to mean something else.
However, it is my belief that this term, “supporting the troops but not the war”, is a popular linguistic abbreviation of a more accurate phraseology “wish for the well being of the soldiers and for their speedy victory, but at the same time disagree with the policy”. And this term is and has been cemented for some time now, into popular vocabulary.
First, that’s not a term, that’s a couple of phrases.
Second, there are three camps in the anti-war crowd who mean different things in their opposition to Bush’s handling of the war:
(1) some think the war is worth fighting, and that the war effort is salvageable, but that we need to change tactics and Bush isn’t doing it the right way;
(2) some think the war is unwinnable, although the objectives were noble, and don’t even want to bother matching the means with the intended results; and
(3) some think the war was criminal from the beginning and do not wish for a victory, period.

There are elements of all three groups who claim to "support the troops, but not the war," but the second and third group cannot, I think, claim to wish for a speedy victory. They don’t believe it’s possible, and don’t want to try, and (importantly) don’t want to support the soldiers trying either, because they’ll just cause more damage.

Wishing for someone or some policy to succeed and advocating matching the means to that end are very different things. I may wish for a better economy, and many Democrats may think a minimum wage enforced by certain labor agencies is a means to that end, but since I disagree with that, I don’t claim to support Democrats or the labor agencies. All the same, if you wish for victory in Iraq (and many people do not even make it this far, it seems... remember, e.g., the surge poll?), but don’t think the troops are the means to that end, don’t go claiming to support the troops.

That’s not supporting the troops. You may not wish the soldiers to come to harm, but you do not go so far as to support the soldiers.
It’s not a sin to say you don’t support the troops if you don’t support what they’re doing. I won’t question your patriotism for doing so.
And in there lies the pickle, doesn’t it? And isn’t this what this is all about? Because if you can battle the terminology, and if you can get people to admit that they “don’t support the troops” vis a vis your definition, wouldn’t it be just that much easier to appeal to guilt and to pride.

Can you imagine a politician on the Senate floor actually taking your advice and saying to the world, “I don’t support the troops.” That politician would no doubt be crucified by his opponents.

But that is a stupid question, isn’t it? Not only can you imagine that scenario…

You hope for it.
First, Pogue, you’re speculating on my motives. Second, you’re doing a bad job of it.

If this mission is really a bad idea, stop the duplicity and make it clear that you don’t support those who are trying to prosecute this war. Don’t use the words "support the troops" (which, according to you, means wishing for victory) if you don’t want to pay for the means to accomplish their objectives. If you’re unwilling to bear the necessary costs of something, don’t wish for it. That’s what this boils down to, if you claim to support the troops.
 
Written By: Bryan Pick
URL: http://www.qando.net
saying "I support the troops" is similar to saying the Lord’s Prayer on Sunday — it’s a series of rote mouth noises that conveys no information. Another example is saying "God bless you" after someone sneezes. Why do we do these things? Ritual, habit, tribal identity. oh, and political survival.

Are there some Americans who wish that our troops would be killed, who truly do not support our troops? Sure. In a country of 300 million you can find lunatics who believe anything, including believing that the Democratic party is pro-terrorist.

why might someone not support the troops? He could be an anarchist, reveling in the destruction of US military might. He could be a hard-core libertarian who believes that the only way that the US will stop interfering in the domestic affairs of foreign countries is if the US loses this war. He could believe that the Iraqis’ right of self governance outweighs US soldiers’ right to life. He could even be a traitor.

The idea that one can support troops but not missions really should not be that alien of a concept. The members of the Allied command who did not want to launch Operation Market Garden supported the troops, not the mission. The members of the German command who wanted to bypass both Stalingrad and Leningrad supported the troops, not the mission.

And members of Congress who believe that the Iraqis have already had their last chance to step up and failed, and who therefore advocate various forms of withdrawal also support the troops, not the mission.

In arguments about abortion, people who are pro-choice often argue that those who call themselves pro-life are not, in fact, pro-life. If they were, the argument goes, their efforts would be much more dedicated to preventing unwanted pregnancies, shutting down IVF clinics that create more than one embryo at a time and investing in post-natal care. The usual response is that the pro-choice community does not get to dictate how the pro-life community feels or what it believes.

ahem.

I do support the troops but not the mission. and nobody gets to tell me otherwise.
 
Written By: Francis
URL: http://
saying "I support the troops" is similar to saying the Lord’s Prayer on Sunday — it’s a series of rote mouth noises that conveys no information.
[...]
I do support the troops but not the mission. and nobody gets to tell me otherwise.
Why would anyone want to stop you from saying something that you openly admit is meaningless to you?
 
Written By: Bryan Pick
URL: http://www.qando.net
Anybody who says "you can’t support the troops without supporting the mission" is using propaganda used by some of the worst regimes . . .
Isn’t that supposed to kill the thread right here? I know, he didn’t actually say "Hitler" or "Nazi", but that’s still Scott’s argument . . .
Is it possible to support the cop, yet be opposed to the War on Drugs?
Can you support Narcs and oppose the War on Drugs?

I’m inclined to support local police, Border Patrol, etc., but not ATF or DEA.
If one opposes the War on Drugs. Then no doubt, one is emboldening the Drug Dealers.
Certainly ending the War on Drugs would reduce the risks of being a drug dealer, but it would also reduce the profit of being a drug dealer. Economics and all that.

Pulling out of Iraq will only benifit the terrorists.
Since the Democrats are in control of Congress, could not one then ask, “If you don’t support the Democrats, then how is it that you support the well being of the nation?”
Simple.

I don’t support the Democrat’s mission, and I don’t support the Democrats.

However, I do support the nation. In fact, I think supporting the nation requires opposing the Democrats. It kinda goes like this:

Democrats —> Democrat’s mission —> Impact on nation

Your argument requires that the Democrat’s impact on the nation to be positive, and that we all agree with it being positive.

By contrast, the "support the troops" argument goes like this:

Troops —> Troop’s mission

To be consistent, you need to drop the "support the nation" part, and restate your argument so:
“If you don’t support the Democrat’s mission, then how is it that you support the Democrats?”
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Steve wrote: Didn’t we pretty much accomplish what the AUMF stated goal was? ...
For the most part, yes. However, there are several provisions of the AUMF that remain unfulfilled such as:

1. Whereas the President and Congress are determined to continue to take all appropriate actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations...

2. Whereas the President has the authority under the Constitution to take action in order to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States...

3. Whereas it is in the national security of the United States to restore international peace and security to the Persian Gulf region.

Al-Qaeda and Iran still have a presence in Iraq where a target rich environment exists and in which their removal, as in elimination, is significantly easier than if dispersed through the West in general and regional ’moderate’ countries in particular. Hence the rationale for ’support the troops AND the mission’.
 
Written By: jhstuart
URL: http://
The members of the Allied command who did not want to launch Operation Market Garden supported the troops, not the mission.
If true it was only true until the troops were committed and then they did everything within their power to support the troops in battle. And that included dropping the "debate".
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Well, this is an interesting conversation. I happen to know the last man in VoteVets commercial. He is Andrew Horne, a Marine Lt Col, from here in Louisville—a good man. Defended this country for 20+ years. Andrew is a fairly conservative Democrat. He ran in the primary and was beaten by a more liberal candidate who is now in Washington.

My gut feeling? I’m gonna go with the Lt. Colonel who studied the Mideast situation for years, and who has been car-bombed, before I go with a bunch of disenchanted liberals like Wolfowitz, Feith, and Perle. Our big strategy—the one saying we could whip Saddam and install Democracy was naive. Sound’s good on paper—doesn’t account for reality. I call ’em Chickenhawks, but the truth is, they just don’t have enough experience and read too many liberal writers in college. Then again, they chose to stay in college when they could have served.

This surge, (you can’t say escalation cause it’s become a dirty word like liberal) is not a strategy in my opinion, but just a tactic. Now McQ, if you are right, and we clear and hold, I’ll go with that—if it gets us out of there. Heck, I’ve been waiting for clear and hold. Clear and hold is something you do at the beginning when you take a city like Bagdad. When we beat Germany there was a soldier on every street corner. I suspect, McQ, you’re former military, and you know that. Otherwise, clear and hold is just a way for Bush and company to declare victory and get out—though it seem our Champagne Squadron leader eyes Iran with a hungry look. The middle east is a monkey trap. I’ve already been in one war where we had weak allies, many who were working for the other side. This is not Vietnam, but the folks we’re trying to help are starting to look familiar to me.

As far as support the military. First of all—men in uniform don’t get a vote on the game plan. If you diagree with the war—shut up and get out, and then talk about it—like Andrew Horne. If you agree with the mission—shut up and fight. To me, that’s an easy question and don’t understand why you guy are making a big deal one way or the other about what the troop want. We suspend most of our civil rights when we join up. That’s the deal and they made it perfectly plain to me when I was in the service.

One more thing. Is this really a libertarian site? I’ve have some "government should stop at my doorstep" thought, but this seems more like a Repubican site.

I’m not trying to be a troll here, just curious. Did Libertarians decide to spend billions spreading Democracy while I had my head turned?
 
Written By: Nick Stump
URL: http://
mcq: the difference being that they were soldiers and we are civilians. The point, poorly made, was supposed to be that even soldiers can support troops without supporting the mission.
 
Written By: Francis
URL: http://
Nick - I’m just about to go have dinner, but I think I can answer one point pretty quickly.
One more thing. Is this really a libertarian site? I’ve have some "government should stop at my doorstep" thought, but this seems more like a Repubican site.

I’m not trying to be a troll here, just curious. Did Libertarians decide to spend billions spreading Democracy while I had my head turned?
Check out the neolibertarian ideological framework for a taste of what separates us from other kinds of libertarians (although that sounds more exclusive than a big-tent ideology should sound). To call us "Republican" would be oversimplification; there are groups of Republicans that don’t fit into the framework at all.

Dale Franks recently voted for zero (edit: or pretty darn close to it) Republicans in California, and while I disagreed with some of his choices (I rather thought Tom McClintock was good for a vote, for example), he had his reasons and had no intention of rewarding anybody in the party that’s misbehaved so much lately.
 
Written By: Bryan Pick
URL: http://www.qando.net
mcq: the difference being that they were soldiers and we are civilians. The point, poorly made, was supposed to be that even soldiers can support troops without supporting the mission.
No Francis, they can’t. They may not agree with the mission at its inception and may even argue against it during planning but they do everything humanly possible to support it once fellow troops are committed to battle.

And it is from that context which soldiers view "support".
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Brian, thank you for the link. I’ll check it out. But this is a neo-liberarian site then. The concept sounds OK to me. I’m a small government man myself—at least as far as small government can go. To me it’s where do we put the funds. Right now, I am concerned with national security—something I know Andrew Horne is very concerned with. More important is how we use national security dollars. I don’t have easy answers for that question, but we should work together to find them. VoteVets is an organization to help get more vets in the Congress. I think it’s good thing, even if they are against the "surge". We get enough veterans in Washington—it will be a good thing.

Anyway, I’ll shut up, keep an open mind, and read more and come back later.

Nick

 
Written By: Nick Stump
URL: http://
disenchanted liberals like Wolfowitz, Feith, and Perle
I’ll assume it was just a coincidence that Stump mentions three jews out of everyone involved in the plans to invade Iraq.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
A cops job is to enforce the law ... so what do you think (and I’m not being flip here ... as noted I’m asking you to state (or pick) a premise and defend it)?
The question was rhetorical, McQ; since you didn’t answer it, I will assume that you would agree with me that of course you can support the cop’s role in enforcing laws (i.e. his "missions") yet vehemently disagree with the laws themselves. Cops, like soldiers, know that they will be asked to do things that much of society disagrees with (and that even they themselves may disagree with), but that’s the nature of the job and they know that. That’s what makes them professionals.

General Pace and Robert Gates agree with this sentiment:
The Defense Department’s top civilian and its top military officer, undercutting the White House and other senior Republicans yesterday, said Congress doesn’t endanger troop morale by voting on nonbinding resolutions opposing President Bush’s Iraq reinforcement plan.
"From the standpoint of the troops, I believe that they understand how our legislature works and that they understand that there’s going to be this kind of debate," said Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Peter Pace, effectively taking out of play an argument that had been made by Mr. Bush’s spokesman and other top Republicans, who had warned resolutions disagreeing with the troop increase plan would send bad signals.
Joining Gen. Pace in testifying to the House Armed Services Committee, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said the troops are "sophisticated enough to understand" that the debate is about a way to move forward in Iraq.
 
Written By: cllam
URL: http://
Is it possible to support the cop, yet be opposed to the War on Drugs?
Since you bring it up again cllam, its an improper analogy. The police have many missions under the rubric of "serve and protect." Since the question is can one oppose the mission in Iraq and still support the troops tasked for that mission, a better analogy would be: "can you support the DEA while opposing the war on drugs?" Yet even this is not nuanced enough. Many here, while against the war on drugs are absolutely opposed to ignoring drug crimes. Refined thusly, I think it would be fair to say that while we wish no ill will upon those DEA agents fighting in the war on drugs, because we do not support the war on drugs, we can not support those fighting that war. If however, the DEA were tasked to fight drug crimes, of course we’d support them.

Therein lies the key distinction, the nuance that the left is trying to use to sidestep the fact that they really dont support the troops in Iraq. If the troops were fighting the war against islamo-fascism (jihadi’s, Islamists, what ever you want to call it) in the way you wanted it to be fought, of course you’d support them. That they are not fighting it the way you would, e.g. you dis-approve of the actual mission, one can not reconcile wishing no ill will upon the troops with actual support for the troops tasked with that mission.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
saying "I support the troops" is similar to saying the Lord’s Prayer on Sunday — it’s a series of rote mouth noises that conveys no information. Another example is saying "God bless you" after someone sneezes. Why do we do these things? Ritual, habit, tribal identity. oh, and political survival.
Francis;

You’re quite correct when you suggest there’s an internal conflict in those claiming to support the troops but not the war. But by two means can a two car accident occur... A can hit B, or B can hit A. So let me ask you;

Do you consider it possible that the routine attacks on our military and its uses coming from the left is merely a ritual, habit, tribal identity, and political survival? I guess the question I’m asking is, how much of what we see is there a genuine feeling on the matter, and how much of it is mouth for simple political survival?
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://
Support the troops but not the war is hypocritical, and criticism of that position is not fascistic. Since war is a battle of wills, discordant statements about the mission (as opposed to alternative strategies that could lead to victory) translate into aiding and abetting the enemy by reinforcing his will. Such criticism results in increased Coalition casualties and, by extension, truly a lack of support the troops.
To say we can’t question the government when it decides on a policy of killing and destruction without aiding the enemy is an inherently fascistic position. If one thinks a war is morally wrong, and that soldiers are unjustly being turned into killers, then one has a moral responsibility to speak up about it, both for the sake of the soldiers being used as pawns by the government, and for the interest of the nation.

And if anyone argues that domestic debate in a democracy about policy ’reinforces the enemies’ will’, well, that’s just stupid sloganistic silliness. We can and must debate because that is who we are as a people. If we stopped that because of fear of the enemy seeing what democracy is all about, then we’ll have sacrificed our values.

But I’m not a nationalist, I’m an individualist. The idea of the "state" and this demand for loyalty to the collective when the leader decides to unleash the dogs of war is anti-thetical to my moral principles. It is that collectivism which I consider fascistic; one should never surrender ones’ individual moral soul to the will of the collective as expressed by big government.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
To say we can’t question the government when it decides on a policy of killing and destruction without aiding the enemy is an inherently fascistic position.
a) What does criticizing an action in this context have to do with the political ideology that private ownership and management of capital is acceptable, but only to state ends?

b) Since when is criticizing something that is said—by pointing out an obvious consequence of saying it—in fact the equivalent of saying it "can not" be said, or threatening it will be made illegal to say?
If one thinks a war is morally wrong, and that soldiers are unjustly being turned into killers, then one has a moral responsibility to speak up about it, both for the sake of the soldiers being used as pawns by the government, and for the interest of the nation.
And other people are perfectly free to say and literally correct to say this makes the enemy feel better about their chances. Your protesting too much makes me think your conscience pricks you about the inevitability of that truth.
And if anyone argues that domestic debate in a democracy about policy ’reinforces the enemies’ will’, well, that’s just stupid sloganistic silliness.
No it is literally true. Having an enemy that is disunited in their domestic politics about whether a war will be prosecuted can only embolden an opponent. Denying that is so is silly.
We can and must debate because that is who we are as a people.
And that debate must needs include that all consequences of debate are fair game—else it’s just your side being able to parrot it’s talking points without the other side having a fair hearing.
If we stopped that because of fear of the enemy seeing what democracy is all about, then we’ll have sacrificed our values.
And you are saying that having the debate is not merely more important that the degree to which it emboldens our enemy—getting more of our people killed—but that it is somehow out of bounds for that emboldenment to be pointed out.

Life is hard.
But I’m not a nationalist, I’m an individualist.
You’ve made a bed with collectivists, pardon my skepticism. Or take a long walk off a short pier, I don’t care which.
The idea of the "state" and this demand for loyalty to the collective when the leader decides to unleash the dogs of war is anti-thetical to my moral principles.
The leader doing the unleashing is Congress—explicitly constitutional. The manner of the unleashing is for the Executive to determine—also explicitly constitutional.

Feel free to change the constitution or attempt to overthrow it.
It is that collectivism which I consider fascistic; one should never surrender ones’ individual moral soul to the will of the collective as expressed by big government.
Then get up from the bed you are in with the left. There is nothing to them but collectivism.

At the very least, quit pretending that it is not an obvious consequence of the debate about the surge and "withdrawal" that our enemies in Iraq won’t take heart from it. And quit pretending it is fascist for that truth to be pointed out.

You are trying to silence the debate by claiming that; and being intellectually dishonest in doing it, by imputing an attempt to be silenced yourself when your opponents point out that truth.

It is a truth, own it.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://

 
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