There is a pervasive sentiment in the U.S. that people who don't support the invasion of Iraq also don't support our military. It's the same mentality that says being in disagreement with the current administration is un-American, unpatriotic.
I believe that is an outright fallacy.
I believe supporting our troops is trying to ensure they don't go into battle without just cause. That if their precious blood is going to be spilled, it's for the right reason.
It's one thing to sacrifice lives in defense of our country, but to send our military into a war of aggression, which we initiated, is a whole different matter. We should make damn sure our ducks are in the right row before we ask these folks to give their lives. To think we're allowing our fellow Americans to die for some hair-brained scheme to acheive global prominence, or, worse, for profit, sickens me.
I think having a volunteer military has desensitized most of us to the gravity of war, so that we are much more flippant about sending our military into harm's way. It's somebody else's children/brother/sister/spouse/parent, so what's the big deal?
We would probably be a lot more gun shy about sending our troops off to war if we knew it was a distinct possibility it would be one of our own who was going to be in the line of fire.
Unfortunately, withdrawing from Iraq now would create more problems than it would solve: In my opinion, we have to see it through. Even so, we still need to do a better job. More troops, better planning, and every tool available to do the job right.
One aspect in particular really sticks in my craw: Contractors. The military was able to take care of all of its needs for over 200 years, why muck it up with a bunch of leeches? These contractors cost us as taxpayers far more than leaving it to the military to see to, take much more coordination, far more complex, and they're basically a bunch of mercenaries who don't have a mission beyond their self interest and bottom line.
From my personal perspective, I generally trusted a fellow member of the crew with my life. I would never do that with a contractor.
The military would be much better served if we gave them what they needed, and let them take care of the whole job.
<small>[ 06-02-2005, 06:58 PM: Message edited by: OperaTenor ]</small>