JS-Kit/Echo comments for article at http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2007/10/supporting-troops.html (11 comments)

  Tentative mapping of comments to original article, corrections solicited.

jsid-1193712606-582819  Sailorcurt at Tue, 30 Oct 2007 02:50:06 +0000

He mischaracterizes the contention and then says that the contention constitutes language manipulation?

How ironic is that?

Mark: Opposing the war is not what distinguishes one as being anti-military or not supporting the troops. Calling the leading general a liar before even hearing what he has to say, condemning troops for alleged crimes before they've been tried...or even indicted, refusing to acknowledge ANY good news from the war zone, glomming onto any potential piece of bad news...regardless of how unlikely or unsupported it may be...as conclusive evidence of the overall failure of the mission, refusing to acknowledge any heroic actions from the war zone, calling the troops names and equating them to Nazis, condemning all military personnel for the actions of a few, lionizing "phony soldiers" who falsify their records and invent stories of abuses and atrocities and then excoriating those who call them out and expose their slander and treason, advocating surrender and masking it as "concern for the troops" who still believe in the mission and have no desire to surrender...etc, etc, etc...

THOSE are the things that causes one to be properly categorized as not supporting the troops. And it is not "language manipulation" to so categorize...it is "calling a spade as spade."

Changing the name of something without changing the substance in an attempt to evoke an emotional response rather than a response based upon substance and reason...that is "language manipulation".

jsid-1193758260-582840  Markadelphia at Tue, 30 Oct 2007 15:31:00 +0000

That's funny. Because I think that supporting the troops means asking them to sacrafice themselves only when it is necessary, which is what some of these protesters are saying.

No doubt, there are plenty of people on the left who are out of line. But that doesn't mean they all are and I took Kevin's post to be quite refreshing in regards to "liberals" and "conservatives"-and how labels are misleading and so the comment about "leftists" seemed overgeneralized in addition to being wrong.

At the end of the day, though, as far as war goes, I value a soldier's word over a protester's word anyday. Check it out...


jsid-1193759174-582841  Mastiff at Tue, 30 Oct 2007 15:46:14 +0000

That's funny. Because I think that supporting the troops means asking them to sacrafice themselves only when it is necessary…

Define "necessary."

Indeed, that is the crux of the debate.

But even if I believed that our military were being used imporperly, I would not lose myself in the kind of personalized bile towards anyone in a uniform that you find in some quarters.

And THAT is what we are talking about when we say someone "does not support the troops."

jsid-1193759341-582843  Ed "What the" Heckman at Tue, 30 Oct 2007 15:49:01 +0000


What does a person's speaking ability have to do with the quality of their ideas?

jsid-1193770400-582852  Markadelphia at Tue, 30 Oct 2007 18:53:20 +0000


I left a comment down in the other post in response to your comment about language manipulation. I apologize for not answering sooner. Could you respond up here? The threads seem to tie together and it would be easier to debate in one place.

To your question here, if President Bush has a disability, then NO ONE should fault him or make fun of him. I have really tried not to since I don't know for sure if he does.

If he does not, I guess if you're the President shouldn't public speaking be a strong point? It just seems like that should be in the top five things you do well. Sgt. Perkins felt that, regardelss of the quality of Bush's ideas, he seemed unprepared and, thus, disrespectful.

jsid-1193772135-582856  Kevin Baker at Tue, 30 Oct 2007 19:22:15 +0000

I guess if you're the President shouldn't public speaking be a strong point?

It would be nice, but it apparently didn't prevent his election - twice. (And yes, he actually did win both times.)

jsid-1193780806-582862  Dave S at Tue, 30 Oct 2007 21:46:46 +0000

Man, am I glad my parents and their friends aren't like that. One of the most important things for a soldier deployed to Iraq is the support of his family.

The way I see it, regardless of the reasons for entering the war, we are committed. The worst thing we could possibly do is pull out, and calls to pull out early will negate all the good we do here. I've personally seen a major change in the city I'm in, a large city in northern Iraq, since I got here a year ago. The efficiency and capability of the Iraqi Security Forces have skyrocketed, and our focus is no longer combat operations but intelligence gathering and support of ISF. Our ultimate goal is to turn over the reins to ISF and gain a true ally in the Middle East, and guess what? It's working. But it takes time. We must stay the course.

That's just me. Regardless of how you feel about it, now that we are committed to this course of action, the best thing you can do if you don't support the war but do actually care about soldiers is shut the fuck up within their figurative hearing. Soldiers are put in extremely difficult situations and it really helps to have the support of your friends and family back home. You can not claim to support the troops and then tear down everything they do. I'm sorry, but you just can't have it all.

Dave S, SPC, US Army Infantry
Currently deployed, Oct 06 - Present

jsid-1193782644-582865  Markadelphia at Tue, 30 Oct 2007 22:17:24 +0000

Dave, I hope you are aware that there are plenty of soldiers who do think that we should pull out. They don't share the same view that you do. I have known five total soldiers who have been deployed, two of whom are still there. The three that have come home have mixed feelings. The two that are still there don't think we are helping at all anymore and our presence makes things worse.

That being said, until there is a new president in 08, there would be nothing gained by a pullout. I would like to see a re-targeting of the fight against people using terror as a weapon but that is just not going to happen with our current administration. They don't have a clue what they are doing.

Hey, speaking of retargeting...just saw this at the checkout aisle at the grocery last night...


Article is here...


The money quote:

"Today no other country on earth is arguably more dangerous than Pakistan. It has everything Osama bin Laden could ask for: political instability, a trusted network of radical Islamists, an abundance of angry young anti-Western recruits, secluded training areas, access to state-of-the-art electronic technology, regular air service to the West and security services that don't always do what they're supposed to do. (Unlike in Iraq or Afghanistan, there also aren't thousands of American troops hunting down would-be terrorists.) Then there's the country's large and growing nuclear program. "If you were to look around the world for where Al Qaeda is going to find its bomb, it's right in their backyard," says Bruce Riedel, the former senior director for South Asia on the National Security Council.

Hmmm....methinks someone else we all know and love has been saying the same thing...

jsid-1193787861-582868  Mastiff at Tue, 30 Oct 2007 23:44:21 +0000

I'm getting the sense that if someone Mark knew were ever put in a hospital with a broken foot, Mark would start critiquing his choice of sneakers over boots instead of giving the guy some F'ing empathy…

jsid-1193826318-582889  Dave S at Wed, 31 Oct 2007 10:25:18 +0000

I'd be interested to know the backgrounds of the soldiers you're talking about, their jobs, etc. I have seen a major difference in the attitudes of soldiers based on what they do and where they are.

Most of the soldiers I serve with--in an infantry line company, boots on the ground out in sector in one of the largest cities in Iraq every single day--think we're making a positive difference. Some don't, but I think most of the negative reaction to what we do here is based on emotion, or the thought that we're not doing ENOUGH.

Many soldiers want to pull out for selfish reasons they won't admit to others--so they rationalize and make excuses. I'll admit that it has crossed my mind that pulling out wouldn't be bad, because it would make MY LIFE simpler and easier. No more second deployment, no more back injuries, no more risking my life, etc. But as quick as I think it, I squash that thought because it is repulsive to me to be so selfish as to leave the ISF, who we've promised to help, before they're ready--and if you didn't know, the terrorists attack them and civilians more than they attack US forces. It also disgusts me to think that I would put myself above the welfare of my friends and family who may be at risk without the lightning rod of Iraq to act as a buffer to the United States.

I could go on, but there's no need. Fact of the matter is, most of the reasons I've been presented with for pulling out early are based on misinformation, misunderstanding, or emotion. That just doesn't cut it for me.

jsid-1193845087-582896  Markadelphia at Wed, 31 Oct 2007 15:38:07 +0000


Soldier #1 was in special forces deployed to both Afghanistan and Iraq. Was in the early fighting and then came home in late 2003. He was very gung ho when he came home and said we needed to be there. After about six months he began to develop PTSD and has really struggled with it. He has awful nightmares of carnage, committed by all sides. Now he has mixed views, wanting us to complete the mission but can't see how we can without killing a ton of innocent people.

Soldier #2, communications specialist in Iraq from 2003-2004. Also saw a different part of the war, in the earlier "happier" time. He thinks most of the fault lies with the generals (like Eaton) and has since come to regret voting for Bush twice. He too wants to complete the mission but feels that we need new leaderhip at home to build a consensus.

Solider #3, naval officer stationed in Baghdad to support the Army. He arrived feeling like we were helping out and left thinking we should go. He was there from 2005-2006.

Solider #4, infantry. I don't hear much from this fellow. He tells me he can't talk about it much but he every email he sends me is really depressing. I think he is in and around Baghdad but I don't know for sure because he won't tell me.

Soldier #5, infantry, is back and forth between Baghdad and the south part of Iraq. He likes to give me shit about how great Haliburton has been to the soldiers, setting up water tanks etc for the troops. He thinks we can do a good job there if we have competent leadership at home and perceives a need for change now. His big issue is that he sees himself as a go between, not a soldier, trying to play neighborhood peacekeeper with all the various factions. The factions aren't talking to each other and he sees the US as being in the way.

I wish I could give you more on their backgrounds but they asked me not to....anyway, I hope that's a clearer picture.

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