Pro-Soldier vs. Anti-War

I wanted to publicize my belief that people can be pro-soldier and not support the war. This is based off a comment I made under the Message From The Sands post.

I agree that those who do not support the war can be supportive of the troops. As a matter of fact, I’m anti-war in general. I think most soldiers are. The last thing most of us want is a war. I’d be more than happy to go 20 years, retire, and never have to fire a shot at a living target.

The problem with today’s anti-military crowd isn’t their motives, it’s their actions. Like it or not, protesting in Crawford, DC or anywhere else with calls to “pull out now” are not translated into support by soldiers. It’s actually a slap in the face to what we’re doing. When soldiers are found trying to talk to these people at anti-war rallies, they’re treated like dirt, spit on, and chastised. That’s not soldier support. Does the anti-war crowd seen on CNN reflect every anti-war American? No, not at all. If you support our soldiers but not war, then an appropriate action would be to write your congressman that we finish the job in Iraq the right way and let it run its course to avoid future wars. Let him/her know you don’t support this war, but understand that we’re there now and need to finish the job. It’s also time to stop disrespecting the office of the President. It’s okay to disagree with his doctrine or decisions, but he’s still our President. He was voted into that office TWICE.

It’s important that we do this one right to avoid the next one. If we simply pull out without leaving Iraq to defend itself from internal or external threats we’ve only created more future wars. The terrorists will be emboldened and more will support their cause.

I have not personally met many people that like war. Yes, I’ve met some, but they are few and far between. I don’t think I need to revisit my beliefs that this is a just war in my mind. War is ugly, dispicable, and destroys souls. I came out of Iraq a different person in many ways. Sometimes I think I left a part of me there that one day I’ll have to go back and retrieve.

That’s why war should be a last resort and I think it was in this case. I appreciate the sacrifice of those soldiers and their spouses. It’s not easy being in the military and seeing the things we do on the news. It’s disheartening.

It is possible to be anti-war and pro-soldier…they just haven’t figured out how to do it yet.

19 Comments on “Pro-Soldier vs. Anti-War

  1. the way to support the troops is to support an updated GI Bill, the webb amendment, etc.
    wasting taxpayer dollars on imperial adventures will not stop with letters to congressmen…
    BTW, if you are under 42 years old and are pro war you need to enlist the army will take people up to 42 y/o…
    if you are over that age and pro-war there are any number of veterans groups that you can donate too or volunteer with.
    IMHO people need to put their money where their mouth is..
    also consider that most of our fighting men and women come from working class and poor backgrounds, we really need to consider the greater economic issues we are facing…

  2. DJ Flashback,

    because it isn’t possible. Just because one is anti-war doesn’t mean there will never be war.

  3. Where is the anti-war part? All of this seems to be pro-war, i.e. “I am sad about the lost lives but we are justified because Saddam did this…” or “It sucks but we have to stay the course because…”. How about “Defend America and no war”? So, either this is all people who have swallowed the propaganda or… Just an opinion.

  4. i agree that peopple should be pro soldier and anti war. soldiers need to survive out there with this message in their head;
    i belive stronghly in prosoldier antiwar. Survive and you will be soliders are pro towards war. childeren need to survive because they are the children of the……. corn!

  5. I suppose it’s possible to be anti-war but pro-soldier, for instance having armed forces solely for the purpose of defence and nothing else?

  6. I agree with Jon. And I write from the perspective of a 28 year Navy retiree who served in two wars.

    Firstly, the need for this IRAQ war was sold to the American public on false information that was known to be false by people in a position to influence the process.

    Secondly, this war was VERY poorly planned. Those senior military advisors who were against the plan were simply fired.

    The timing of the Iraq war was 100% under our control, yet we started it with grossly insufficient resources due to the poor planning.


  7. Jon, thanks for your points of view. While I continue to disagree, you raise logical argument and do so in a calm and respectful manner. Thank you. Please continue posting.

  8. I’m going to disagree. Strongly.

    But first I should probably preface it with the fact that I believe every American soldier deserves nothing but respect for the work they do and the sacrifices they make to defend me and my freedoms.

    However, this noble cause in no way makes them infallible, nor does it make me a bad person for disagreeing with them. And I heartily disagree. (Bracing myself for the flaming of your fellow readers lol)

    1)Now, I don’t know what protests you’ve been to, or where you’ve been spit on, but I’m a very big activist and attend protests and such all the time. Not one of the people I’ve worked with or stood beside has ever derrided the soldiers. I’ve never seen anyone spit on or mock a soldier. If someone did that, then they are deserving of everyone’s contempt. But I’ve never seen it, and I consider myself a pretty solid source on the issue just from my level of experience. We are mad at the people that sent you to war, not the people who weren’t given a choice of whether or not to go.

    2) No one is disrespecting the office of the President more than George W. Bush. I don’t hate the presidency, I merely detest the man that has done nothing but make this world a far worse place. He has done so little good with the power he wields that it boggles the mind how someone can be so insensitive. The United States Presidency is an institution that should uphold the vitues of law and justice. That is why is wields so much power. But this president has used that power for pithy self-service, volence, and repression and has done nothing to better the world.

    3) It’s important that we not go to war when it is not necessary to begin with. I don’t think we should necessarily pull the troops out now, but I do think that we should hold those responsible for sending you to die for a lie. I’m pretty sure that this war cannot be done right, and it’s initiation has caused far more violence in its after effects than non-action would have. Furthermore, an entire generation of terrorists are now being raised within this obviously unjustified use of force. We are breeding violence and terrorism with this war, not preventing it. this war has ensured that there will be others, not the other way around. By sending you over there, George Bush has put MY life and thel ives of every other American in far greater danger than it ever would have been otherwise, because now isntead of just the desire to hurt America, this war has reated an entire generation of people with the motivation to follow through.

    4) I don’t know how you can claim to speak for the soldiers when there are plenty of soldiers over there like you with similar blogs saying the same things I’m saying right now. This is why argument by mass appeal is a logical fallacy.

    Anyway, I appreciate your views. I love hearing from soldiers about their experience and ther persepectives on the politics of the war. I mean, you guys are the only ones that have experience enough to give an honest interpretation of what’s really happening. Keep it up and thank you so very much for what you do.


  9. Cindy Sheehan should join up with former U.S. Attorney General, RAMSEY CLARK who is now over in IRAQ participating as a member of SADDAM’s “Defense Team” What in God’s name are our brave Americans fighting & dying for? AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO IS OUTRAGED?? I would love to hear from someone.

  10. People who think we need more Soldiers In Iraq show their lack of understanding of the current state of the military. Unless you’re ready to have no rotation and they stay till it’s done troop numbers are pretty close to max. This kinda argument irratates me because these options for a “plan” have no basis in reality. Same with the “We disbanded the Iraqi Army theory”.. Hello you can’t disband something that’s disolved in the first place. I think the troopers are doing one hell of a job. If the politicians would keep their brown noses out of it by trying to position themselves for 2006 elections and Liberals would get over the fact they’re “guy” isn’t in charge we might be more as one country speaking with one voice.

    I support the countries current strategic goals in the Middle East. I support our men and women in uniform who are doing a tremendous job under very tough conditions. I support my country.

  11. CJ,
    Thanks, I so agree with what you said. We all need to respect our military and our president as well. We may not like our president’s positions on some things but we should respect him because he is our leader. Our military deserves the utmost respect as well because without people like you, our country would be in a world of hurt!!

  12. Very good post, CJ, and good comments from your visitors.

    Sometimes people can’t get beyond “stage one” thinking…they don’t look at what the actual results of their actions are. That’s how I look at many liberal policies. They mean well; but they don’t see how the policies they set forth are actually exacerbating the problems they are trying to solve.

    Similarly, the anti-war protestors don’t stop and think how their public actions may prolong the insurgency and keep the embers burning. You’d think the lessons we would have also learned from Vietnam, is how tragedy news and agenda-driven news that also fueled the anti-war movement, contributed to a North Vietnamese victory. The leadership in recent years has come out and said how they had lost the war on the battlefield, but were following the news back in the States; and they knew that what they could not win militarily, they could win in propaganda, via the American MSM and public protests, pressuring for a defeat.

    I can only imagine what it must feel like to be fighting in a war that your country doesn’t seem to support. It must sap some of the will and morale right out of you. I will never do that to our soldiers. I love what you guys are doing for our country. I’m not talking about the war specifically, although obviously I am a supporter of that; but I appreciate your service and sacrifice for the “greater good”; for this country, and for our children. It is because of our military that our country is where it is in the world.

    And I think “pro-war” is such a misnomer. Most of us are “pro-peace”. It’s just some of us don’t see how war and violence can be a part of that. I will never understand pacifists who will not stand up and fight to preserve themselves, if their lives depended upon it. The ones who believe all wars are immoral.

    And I think one of the big problems with the GWOT, is that not everyone sees it as a “real” war. They are all stuck in the past, believing that real wars involve invading armies and uniformed enemies. If they are able to sit comfortably at home playing their gameboys and sipping their vanilla lattes…how are we at war? It’s like they’ve gone back to sleep, pre-9/11 days.

    I keep seeing bumper-stickers out here that read “Peace is Patriotic” or “War is not the answer”. I want a bumpersticker that reads “No…terrorism is not the answer.” And “Peace is patriotic. That’s why we went to war.”

    Wow…if I knew I was going to write this well and extensively, I would have posted this on my blog since I’ve not written anything new to talk about in days.

  13. I would like to weigh in here if I may. The Cpl. who wrote the Message From the Sands is my friend. I’m lucky because i actually have quite a few friends in Iraq right now. I can’t tell you one of them who wouldn’t rather be home with their families than over there. But they are doing a job that this country, their country, our country called upon them to do. And each of them will tell you that. They are doing the best they can to make it home safely. And from talking to them I can tell you first hand how they feel about the protests and the negativity of the media. It hurts their morale. How could anyone think it wouldn’t? Whether it’s meant to or not. Every American is given the right to free speech, by all means excercise that right. Spend 23 or 37 cents and send a soldier a post card or a note and let them know you support them because they sure won’t get that message from the media.

  14. “Sometimes I think I left a part of me there that one day I’ll have to go back and retrieve.”

    That’s the best reason of all to leave Iraq only when the Iraqis are ready. I dream of a future of friendship with the country you helped to liberate; one which can be visited and appreciated by all of us.

  15. A military member who loves war is a danger to himself and his brothers and sisters in arms. I think as you and probably only those who have dodged bullets can understand that no one hates war worse than those sent to fight in it.

    I was not so much against this war-I saw it as a necessary evil. But I was against the way it has been fought because it went against everything I was every taught about tactics. I was one( and still am ) that believed we should have had more troops on the ground from the beginning and disarmed the population village by village. Any Iraqi not in uniform caught with an AK 47 should have been shot on sight. We half stepped into this war and did not give it everything we had to win. Now we are paying the price. But, we cannot just cut and run until after the Dec election. If a government is approved then stay the course. If a government is not approved it is time to start drawing down and come home. We met the ojective-Saddam is no longer a threat.

  16. Great post CJ, I agree wholeheartedly. (I had a huge post but it got to emotional I had to erase it.)
    Keep up the great work and know I am with ya here.

  17. Sabo, funny you should bring up the difference in uniforms. I recently had a discussion on the phone with a SGT. who served in Iraq in the intial engagement in Iraq. Although, I wasn’t surprised, pissed, but not surprised. The thing is, he now intentionally wears his desert camo just to get a reaction. He is a young man, but wise beyond his years. If war changed him (as his wife confirms with me) is that he is stronger and more convinced than ever that protesters are just foolish. He is a man of God, as are most who are serving, and he can physically take anyone out. His agenda has changed. He fights with words that only those who have been there can. I asked him a couple of weeks ago, “Do you think you’ll have to go back?” “No.” he replied. “What’s wrong? You don’t sound like you wanted to answer that question.” “Well,” he said, “times have changed since I was there. I had you and all Americans behind me. Now, it’s different. I know how these a-holes who are demonstrating are affecting my brothers. I want to go back to show them that I have not let these #*%&#%&#) change my mind. I want them to know that I am proud of my mission.” He tells me also, “Sometimes on my day’s off from work, I wear my desert uniform and go out to the local mall. I’m not looking for a physical fight, but I want people who see me to know I am proud of my service.”

    Uniforms….only the outsiders and non-supporters can not understand.

  18. CJ – I was just talking about this same subject with a young soldier this week-end who lost his left hand in Baghdad. His platoon is still over there and he supports what they were and are doing, but he was angry about the war in general and about the politicians making the decisions, as well as for his experiences with people in the US who are not supporting our troops. He shared with me an interesting observation with respect to the reactions he has gotten from when he wears the green uniform vs. the tan one. The latter provokes a more hostile reaction from the general public in his experience. I had never heard that before from anyone else.
    I pretty actively protested the Vietnam War when I was in my youth, but now I am hopefully wiser and definitely older and while my feelings about engaging in a war haven’t changed much over the years, I do see things differently that I did in the past. And, after experiencing first hand what effects this war has had physically and emotionally on our troops, I would be devastated if we were to simply pull out of this war without a sound plan.

  19. CJ,
    I have tried to explain this to so many people that I’ve just about given up. The problem is that those who are anti-war, hold protests, and spew hate at our Commander in Chief are usually so radical that they can not understand. I happen to believe OIF was warranted. Saddam himself was a WMD and he was captured. I am also VERY pro-military. However, it never occurred to me to perch myself in Texas or DC waving signs. At least not until the anti-war protesters started doing this. Why? Because I believe all Soldiers KNOW they are supported. It is only until ignorants start demeaning them and their mission that I am compelled to speak out and counter-protest. Sometimes, I think these radicals are worth some pity and I find myself shaking my and saying, “God forgive them, for know not what they are doing”. Truly, they do not understand what their “actions” cause. So, CJ, I suspect you’ve reached the same conclusion that I have….explain it and have pity upon them. They are misguided and simply ignorant.

    Thanks for a great post and remember this, my friend: “If you expect people to be ignorant and free you expect what never was and never will be.”~President Thomas Jefferson

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