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Thursday, December 01, 2005

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I cannot count how many times I have heard leftist and left politicians make this comment. My question to them is: How do you support the troops? I have asked more than one leftist this, and my question has been ignored each time. Think about it. As I go to work every day and do my job--what do I look for? Validation that what I am doing is the right thing and doing it well, or am I looking for someone looking over my shoulder feeling sorry, thinking fully that I am doing things wrong and for the wrong reasons? Saying "I support our troops" is saying that I think they are doing a good job and doing the right thing. It is validating their purpose and existence. It is indicating to them that what they are doing is important in the grand scheme of things, and will count for the greater good in the future. If you are going to say "I support our troops" and then turn around and say "I don't believe they are doing the right thing", "I don't believe they are accomplishing anything or doing the wrong thing", or "Your commander in chief is in it for the oil", then you are full of it. Stow your lies or lose your integrity.
posted by Jack Mercer @ 12/01/2005 07:33:00 PM  
  • At 12/01/2005 10:12:00 PM, Blogger Bookworm said…

    Good post. I linked.

    BTW -- who is in that picture?

  • At 12/02/2005 08:48:00 AM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    Hi BW!

    This is PFC Rob Jacobs. Here is his story:

    Source: NYPost

    The New York City Department of Education, red-faced over Brooklyn sixth-graders who slammed a GI with demoralizing anti-Iraq-war letters as part of a school assignment, will send the 20-year-old private a letter of apology Tuesday.

    Deputy Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina who has a nephew serving in Iraq, plans to personally contact Pfc. Rob Jacobs and his family, said department spokeswoman Michele McManus Higgins.

    "She knows how difficult it is to have a loved one in a war zone," Higgins said.

    Jacobs is stationed 10 miles from the North Korean border and who has been told he may be headed to Iraq in the near future.

    The GI got the ranting missives last month from pint-sized pen pals at JHS 51 in Park Slope.

    Filled with political diatribes, the letters predict GIs will die by the tens of thousands, accuse soldiers of killing Iraqi civilians and bash President Bush.

    Teacher Alex Kunhardt had his students write Jacobs as part of a social-studies assignment.


  • At 12/02/2005 10:00:00 AM, Blogger overflow said…

    I support our troops. I try to send coffee to them on every order (!) I make.

    I also show old school respect to a man or woman in uniform (for those not raised by a military man, that means inviting them to dinner or offering to pay for the drink or meal they are buying. If I can't afford that or they are from my town so don't need the tour of LA, I thank them personally and talk to them about how the service is going)

    I support our men and women fighting and dying for us. I do not support the people who ship them there.

  • At 12/02/2005 10:31:00 AM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    Hi O!

    You are a good and gracious person. I'm not certain you are particularly one of those "left-leaners" whom I am talking about.
    (Your conservatism often surprises me! :)

    I think that we can disagree with actions by our government and leaders, but when we launch and all-out assault to undermine them in their actions, we are not consistent saying one thing and doing another. John Murtha spoke out and told the troops in Iraq that what they were doing was worthless--their sacrifice was worthless, the 2000 deaths were for naught, that they have accomplished nothing, that what they are doing is making matters worse in the world. This is not support.

    O, I am still probably the only American that maintains no position on the Iraq war. I guess that is because I am the only one in America that is not omniscient. There are so many variables to consider from both sides that I cannot come to a fact-based unequivocal position. That goes for many of the wars that have been waged. Believe it or not, I still reserve judgment on Clinton for his multiple military actions around the world. This is because I am not privy to the information that our leaders are, and so I can't come to a fundamentally absolute position on it. Maybe some issues I can--but that is often in retrospect when the action is long over and the facts surrounding it begin to trickle out. (I am against fundamentalist thought unless there is absolute and factual evidence to base it upon--fundamentalist though is prevalent among the religious and ideologues nationwide and is more often based on faith and beliefs than on facts or evidence).

    So till I can absolutely without a doubt (remember, I was a judge and had to base decisions on the facts and evidence) say that Iraq was not necessary, I have to rely on those who have more information than me to do what they were elected to do and what they think is right. (I don't buy into kook-conspiracy stuff until it proves true either--although I am always entertained by it:)

    President Bush is the elected leader of this nation and as such is the Commander-in-Chief of our armed services. While I may not always agree with the man, I respect the position.

    I hope this makes sense.


  • At 12/02/2005 12:58:00 PM, Anonymous johnny pain said…

    jack, didn't know you were on this blog... glad to see you are still writing. I'll be back... I notice I scared you off my blog... sorry. Taking the baby off the charts now, I am afraid, since I am trying to get the novel shoved in there. Love ya.

  • At 12/02/2005 06:58:00 PM, Blogger BRUISER said…

    Jack your a dumbshit...not because you call everyone who disagrees with the war anti-troop or anti-american...but for the simple fact of being from South Cakalacky. Yes there I said it bitch. Now go join the war in Iraq take the balls out of your collective Republican purses, shoot up some oxycontin, send Bill O'Reilly some fallafel and louffa's and bite the ass of Big Oil companies that actually run this country and its policies. I Do Support our troops. Do you? I doubt it you sound like everything Americans have always fought against there Mr. McCarthy. Your Republican party smears troops like John Kerry who actually tells the truths you ass bandits can't handle. TELL ME HOW MUCH YOUR PRESIDENT SUPPORTS OUR TROOPS BY CUTTING THEIR VA BENEFITS AND ACTIVE DUTY BENEFITS WHILE TELLING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO PAY FOR HIS WAR? A WAR ON SAUDI ARABIA IS WHAT WAS CALLED FOR AND YOUR PRESIDENT IS TOO MUCH OF A PUSSY TO ACTUALLY YIELD ANYTHING AGAINST HIS FAMILY FRIENDS EVEN AFTER THEY FLEW PLANES INTO OUR NATIONS CAPITAL.

  • At 12/02/2005 08:03:00 PM, Blogger Mike of the North said…

    Well jack I pretty much have to agree with that last comment, although I really don't give a rat's ass what state you're from. If you are wrong you're wrong. I am tired of the same old shit argument that I don't support the troops because I call bullshit on a war that is a waste of human life on both sides. You write,

    "...John Murtha spoke out and told the troops in Iraq that what they were doing was worthless--their sacrifice was worthless, the 2000 deaths were for naught, that they have accomplished nothing, that what they are doing is making matters worse in the world. That is not support."

    I have to ask, is it support to realize that the war is a mistake, and that we are there for the wrong reasons, but in order to spare the feelings of the wounded and the families of those that have died, continue to let even more die? What kind of support is that? Personally I think if I was pinned down in a foxhole in a no win situation and somebody pulled my ass out of there and said, " Wow, we really fucked up sending you in so we decided to get you out." I'd be pretty happy that I was still alive. That's support!

    Troops Out Now!!!

  • At 12/02/2005 08:45:00 PM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    Hi Bruiser,

    Always appreciate differing perspectives here at the Snipet. Drop in often.

    Mike O,

    I understand your sentiment. I understand the pain and feeling also. Keep in mind that every soldier over there is over there because they voluntarily joined the service. Most of the left treat them like children--but these are men and women, many of which are doing what they want to do, many who take this job as seriously as you take yours. They are dedicated to doing it and doing it well.

    Also, I can have an opinion about something, but how I handle that opinion defines who I am and if it is handled with a degree of appropriateness.

    Also, I don't know if you know this about the service or not, but anyone in the service can leave at any time. If there are soldiers who do not want to fight they can leave the service. They will get a dishonorable discharge, but then again if I quit my job without serving adequate time or without giving sufficient notice I wouldn't get a good reference either.

    Mike, I respect the men and women in the service. They are doing what they think is right, dutiful and in the best interest of this country. Your sympathy for their "plight" is elitist--support is only in validation.

    Quick question: Mike, have you been in the service or would you join? (not asking this abrasively or disrespectfully--just want to know for our continued discussion)

    Good to hear from you,


  • At 12/02/2005 08:54:00 PM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…


    A quick question. HOW do you support the troops?


  • At 12/03/2005 01:42:00 AM, Blogger SheaNC said…

    Support for the troops means, for one thing, utilizing them for national defense. NOT using them as corporate stormtroopers to invade and conquer nations who posed no threat, to steal their resources, and using lies as justification.

  • At 12/03/2005 12:28:00 PM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    No, Shea. I'm sorry that I have to disagree. Political ideology is not part of the equation. The purpose of troops is to carry out the will of the government and those in charge of them.

    Does that make sense?


  • At 12/03/2005 01:30:00 PM, Blogger SheaNC said…

    It does for people who support the soldiers of Hitler's Nazi Germany, or Hirohito's Japan, or Stalin's USSR, etc. They all did what they were told, Jack.

    It's too bad you are advocating "the end justifies the means". You think soldiers are good no matter who they kill, no matter why they do it? You support hellish atrocities because the soldiers were "just following orders"? Shame on you, Jack!

    I'll stick with having morals and a concience, rather than praise hired killers just because they are willing to do the job.

  • At 12/03/2005 06:24:00 PM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…


    I know I will always get honesty from you!

    By your comments then do I understand that you don't support the troops?

    That's what I was getting at. It is time that liberals be honest and tell the truth like you did here.


  • At 12/04/2005 12:14:00 AM, Blogger SheaNC said…

    I can't speak for all liberals, but I apply my support selectively. I cannot just offer blind support with no thought given to the circumstances. Why does it have to be so black-and-white?

    I support the troops who defend our country. I do not support troops who commit atrocities for reasons taht have nothing to do with our defense.

    Look at it this way: It's like the concept of supporting the police. I support police who protect us, justly enforce the law, etc. I do not support corrupt cops who take bribes, who rape and murder and steal and assault and violate civil rights (all of which have happened).

    I believe it is wise to consider what one is supporting. If you simply support them because it is politically correct, you are prostituting your endorsement.

  • At 12/04/2005 01:21:00 AM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    Ah, Shea--I see what you are saying now. I think that it was another of my misunderstandings. (Good at that aren't I!)

    Are you saying that because Iraq has nothing to do with the defense of our country that you do not support the troops in Iraq?


  • At 12/04/2005 04:17:00 AM, Blogger Mike of the North said…

    Hi Jack! Uh oh, I just typed hijack, I know an alarm is ringing in some dark little office at the NSA. Have I ever been in the service? No. I briefly considered it right out of h.s. but realized that military life and I wouldn't make a good match. You've been to my blog so I'm sure you've noticed the references to anarchy. I'm an anarchist. A pragmatic one that realizes that govt isn't going to go away in my life time but an anarchist none the less. I have also been attending a friends meeting (quakers)here in fairbanks, I am very sympathetic to many of the quaker beliefs especially those concerning respect towards authority. When any one earns my respect I give it to them.

    In the comments to one of your other posts you mentioned respecting the president because he was the commander in chief, I respect no one because of title. I respect only those that earn it. That goes for the troops too. I live in an military town. Hell I live in a military state. Fairbanks is home to Eielson AFB and Ft. Wainwright army post. We currently have a striker brigade in iraq, the post is almost deserted. I have dear friends over there right now. And I respect them because they've earned my respect. They didn't do it by putting on a uniform. I've met lots of good people that are in the military. I've also met lots of jackasses in the military just because they've volunteered to "serve" our country doesn't mean they've earned my respect. They're still jackasses, they as Rodney Dangerfield would say, "...don't get no respect".

    I'm confused by your statement, "Your sympathy for their "plight" is elitist--support is only in validation." Validation of what? The stupidity of war in general? The highly likely probability that this war is based on the lies and out right criminality of this administration? Validation of someones choice to volunteer for service in the armed forces of a state apparatus that is inherently oppressive? What am I supposed to validate? I'll tell you what I do validate. I validate the human goodness that I think is in the majority of people in this world. I validate personal actions that make the world a better place. I validate love and compassion.

    And how does my, sympathy for their "plight", make me an elitist?

  • At 12/04/2005 08:59:00 AM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    Mike O!

    Now this is what I'm talking about! I think the world is so full of rhetoric and dishonesty. Most often we hear one thing, it sounds good to us, so we are like parrots saying things over and over again without knowing the reason of the words. I know you are way up North there in Alaska but down here everyone is on the "I support the troops" kick because it is politically expedient for both sides. Mike, most left leaners are mired in the Vietnam war and equate everything to it. In the 80s we understood how intolerant the left was of soldiers when they came home from that conflict thanks to movies like Rambo, etc. Ha! I think even the left was apalled at their own behavior and were determined that they no longer would spit upon soldiers and call them "baby-killer". So the left determined to become more PC about their position and therefore utter empty words like "I support the troops". I just want honesty, and for those on the left (I have many friends as such) to understand what they are saying when uttering such. The Snipet has always been about trying to make people think.

    Ok, let me hop on to some of the other topics.

    Mike, true anarchy can only exist temporarily. Because of man's nature it quickly becomes ochlocratic. Like you, I believe that if men shouldered their responsibilities and abided by the golden rule, that there would be no need for government. But in reality, they haven't, and so men have to establish governments to enforce (government IS force) those things that man should be doing. I think you know this already though.

    I would like to make a small differentiation. I respect posts and positions, not necessarily the individual. I agree that an individual has to be worthy of respect in order to gain it. An example would be if the CEO in your company was a jerk, you would be wise not to go tell him and punch him in the nose, because he has a degree of power over your plight in the company. Respect of dignitaries and all is neither love nor acquiesence. But as far as respecting individuals, I generally respect people until they give me a reason not to.

    I have always had a hard time explaining to the left the last concept. I will do my best. Having sympathy for someone and trying to enable without being asked is often insulting. It is often looked at as if that person is coming from a position of superiority. Charity is often not wanted by those who have a degree of self-respect. The worse thing that you can do TO a handicapped person is the "feel sorry for them" and doing something for them when they are willing, capable and determined to do it themselves. It is like making special rules that apply to black people because of the color of their skin like affirmative action which insult both their intelligence and self-confidence. I don't think that leftist often think of what they do as "elitist" but the perception is that they come off as such uppity saints--that they are better than everyone else and are constantly crusading to make everyone like them. Those "less fortunates". Now, Mike, I am not in any way accusing you of this, just saying that the emotion and action is often unwanted by those it is lavished upon--often an insult to one's character. I HAVE dealt though with many leftist who think that they are much better, more moral, more giving, more loving, more everything else than everyone else, and are out there trying to make everyone else in their own image. (These people remind me of "religious righties"--just a different brand of religion). As I told one of my dear friends here who is a local psychologist and staunch leftist, "if you would devote as much time giving as you do trying to make others give the world would be a better place". Again, I repeat that I doubt this is your intent.

    Just looking for honesty, Mike O. And looks like I got it from both you and Shea!

    Looking foward to more great discussion!


  • At 12/04/2005 03:28:00 PM, Blogger SheaNC said…

    I'll add a couple of thoughts to Jack's comments above.

    Regarding this one, "...most left leaners are mired in the Vietnam war and equate everything to it." I know it appears that way, but I don't think we are "mired" in it, I think that we frequently refer to it because it was a profoundly important event in American history, and a recent one at that, and it is also very relevant to our present situation, not to mention that the key players were around at the time, and their conduct during that war and this is very telling. Also, one could say that if the left is "mired" in Vietnam, then the right practices some serious avoidance of the issue when they really shouldn't. They draw analogies between the Iraq war and WWII or the cold war, when Vietnam is a more accurate comparison.

    Now, as for the "I support the troops" rhetoric, (stand back world, Jack and I are agreeing again), I too think it has been employed as politically-correct empty rhetoric, and I have held that opinion since the first Gulf war 15 years ago. Back then, people used the whole phrase, "I oppose the war but I support the troops," and I always wished I could know how they defined that statement because I'll bet no two people had the same idea of what it was supposed to mean. In any case, the "support.." part stuck, and all these years later, it has turned into a big money maker for Chinese car-magnet manufaturers!

  • At 12/04/2005 03:34:00 PM, Blogger SheaNC said…

    I forgot to add: Just imagine if more people had refused to support the troops when they should have - the death and carnage that could have been avoided!

  • At 12/04/2005 07:15:00 PM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    Just a note to all. I have known Shea for quite some time in blogdom. One thing that has always struck me about Shea is his honesty--and often his consistency. When it came down to party or principle Shea would ultimately side with his principle. Often Shea would stick with the topic at hand instead of manipulating everything toward the scoring of political points. While we have not always agreed on those principles, I have always noted that Shea stuck to his. As a matter of fact, on my post of Wednesday November 23 in regards to Shea I noted: "Shea--as far left as I am right, but a friend with principle nonetheless."

    I think that it is our responsibility not to necessarily to change people ideologically, but to encourage people to be honest. While I differ from Shea I respect his principle.

    We have become a society of minced words and parsed sentences--a society of dishonest discourse. Even language has become poluted and diluted to the point of inneffectiveness. When this happens DIALOGUE ceases to exist, and to quote one of my favorite bands, "it's all psycobabble to me"

    "I can't turn to the left or the right
    I'm too scared to run and I'm too weak to fight
    But I don't Care it's all psychobabble rap to me" APP

    If we can learn first to be honest, then we have a better chance to communicate in a positive and constructive manner.

    Shea, thanks for your comments on this post. As always your your opinions and insight are appreciated on the Snipet.


  • At 12/04/2005 11:19:00 PM, Blogger SheaNC said…

    Thanks for the kind words, Jack 8^)You could have also said, "Shea has been known to be a rude, sarcastic s.o.b. who should take a 20-minute timeout before typing those snarky rebuttals!"

    I do try to avoid being stuck in the partisan mold, and I do try to be honest and true to my values. Sometimes, that means facing harsh truths, admitting errors (not easy!), and finding strength in the idea that an argument is not a competition, but process, to arrive at the truth.

    I also know that ultimately, you and I share the same goal... we both want people in this country and elsewhere to live happy, healthy, free and fulfilling lives, without the fear of being blown up, ripped off, etc.

    So... here's to freedom of speech!

  • At 12/05/2005 02:07:00 AM, Blogger Mike of the North said…

    Here, here! A salute to free speech! Let us pray to our respective gods (or not) that the neocons fail in their attempt to take it away.

    Btw, it's cold as hades up here in the interior, -40 degrees, yipes!

  • At 12/05/2005 09:52:00 AM, Blogger SheaNC said…

    Damn, Mike. This weekend I had to decide whether to wear shorts or long pants... 8^)

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