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What it Means to Really Support the Troops

We are continually subjected to interminable bloviating by the pro-war crowd about supporting the troops. However, when it comes to actually making changes to deployment and readiness practices in use during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan they fall strangely silent.

Oak Leaf, over at Polipundit has some comments on a report just released by the Office of the Surgeon General:

What was a key Combat Readiness recommendation of the report?

Extend the interval between deployments to 18-36 months or decrease deployment length to allow additional time for Soldiers to re-set following a one year combat tour.

...and a suggestion of what we can do to make it happen:

If you have any compassion left in your heart, you can support the troops by sending a copy of the report to every Member of Congress and ask them if they listen to the Office of the Surgeon General.

For once, it would be nice to see the "support the troops" crowd actually back up their words and take some action that really does support the troops. Somehow, I have the feeling that's not going to happen and they are not going to like this report.

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Comments (2)

ryan a:

Look, on one hand I do understand why many people on the right get upset about this issue. I'm sure we all do. There are, in fact, people on the so-called left who run around spouting things about fellow US citizens which aren't exactly very supportive. And I can understand how that might be VERY upsetting to someone whose husband, wife, brother, son, daughter, or sister has been deployed overseas for 8 months.

So ya, I understand why people get upset about this subject.

On the other hand, what many of the so-called "pro-war" folks seems to misunderstand is the fact that many people have issues not with the men and women who constitute our military, but with the policies and decisions that have been enacted by the current administration.

Members of the military do not shape our foreing policy decisions; they do not make decisions about starting wars. We all know this, right?

There are many, many people on the right who cannot separate people who are against this war from people who wish harm upon US troops.

I happen to live near a large military base, so I meet my fair share of military men and women. And you know what, there's some pretty cool people, and they are just like the rest of us...people who want to live their lives.

Here's the point: it's perfectly logical, and valid, to be against this war and still be supportive of the men and women who have to fight this war. Perfectly logical. And there has to be some way to change direction and solve problems in Iraq WITHOUT undercutting the people who are over there.

This whole "support the troops" meme is getting very old. Here's a little something for the "support the troops" conservatives out there to think about: Let's say Bill Clinton invades some country and you completely disagree with the decision. You think that it was an incredibly foolish decision, and you are 100 percent against the war. Does that mean that you must hate the men and women who have to go over there and enact those decisions?


ryan a:


Well, I think that many people have a strong case of selective political memory. I disagreed with Clinton when he decided to launch missiles into Sudan; does that mean that I hated the troops? No. It means that I disagreed with what the Clinton admin's decision.

Same goes for the Bush admin and Iraq.


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