Support our troops

I’m really fighting the temptation to post about the rallies going on in our country. I’m trying to adopt my best Voltaire impersonation and let people have their freedom of expression. I think a lot of protesters have questionable motives and I think there are a good number that don’t know what the heck they’re talking about. But, they have a right to express themselves – even if doing so just confirms my previous statement. So, I’ll just go “Voltaire out” over here.

One “voice” that isn’t being raised loud enough (at least for my liking) is the single, clear, unified show of support for our troops. If you feel the same way, here are some tools:

Printable US Flag Poster

Send an Email to our Troops

VFW’s “God Bless America” Support Our Troops Campaign

VFW’s Operation Uplink – Donate a phone card for our troops

Buy a Flag from the VFW

11 thoughts on “Support our troops”

  1. OK. That didn’t last long. 😉 Someone has drawn me offsides with another hateful email.

    #1- This is my site. Go get your own. #2- Yes, I will explain myself:

    I believe a lot of protesters have a beef with who is running this war, not with the actions themselves. I think a lot of people in this world would tell you that America is doing the right thing, but it may scare them that America is so willing to do the right thing. Here’s my support for my point:

    Quote #1: “What if [Saddam] fails to comply and we fail to act, or we take some ambiguous third route, which gives him yet more opportunities to develop this program of weapons of mass destruction? … Well, he will conclude that the international community has lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction. And some day, some way, I guarantee you he’ll use the arsenal.”

    Quote #2: “Look, we have exhausted virtually our diplomatic effort to get the Iraqis to comply with their own agreements and with international law. Given that, what other option is there but to force them to do so? That’s what they’re saying. This is the key question. And the answer is we don’t have another option. We have got to force them to comply, and we are doing so militarily.”

    OK, who said it?

    Quote #1 (Regime change through military force) was President Bill Clinton in 1998.

    Quote #2 (No other option but military force) was Sen. Tom Daschle in 1998.

    What’s changed? Not the message, that’s for sure. The US policy of regime change has been authorized by Congress for almost five years. It began under Clinton and continues under Bush. The only change is who’s running the war. Even Sen. Daschle seems to have forgotten it and he sponsored the resolution authorizing the policy!

    Now, there are some protesters who have been fighting this policy for five years. I respect them. They seem to be of very high moral character and -despite my differing opinion- they have my respect.

    But the majority of the protesters seem to have come to these rallies very recently. You can spot them in a heartbeat because their signs always include one word: “Bush”. To them, the issue is the President himself. They either don’t understand the evolution of the policy or they have more questionable motives. And for them to attack our government, it’s leaders, or it’s policies for purely political reasons is intolerable to me. It just says to me that these protesters are either 1) uninformed or 2) lack the moral character to admit their bias. It’s just that simple.

    Now, for the rest of the world, I think Andrew Sullivan said it best in the March 10, 2003 Sunday Times:

    “The truth is: Bush’s diplomatic headaches have much less to do with his own poor diplomatic skills than with the simple fact that he is trying ambitious things. Rather than simply forestall crises, postpone them, avoid them or fob them off onto others, Bush is actually doing the hard thing. He’s calling for real democracy in the Middle East. He’s aiming to make the long-standing U.S. policy of regime change in Iraq a reality. He actually wants to defeat Islamist terrorism, rather than make excuses for tolerating its cancerous growth. And when this amount of power is fueled by this amount of conviction, of course the world is aroused and upset.

    What the world, after all, is afraid of is not the deposing of the monster, Saddam. What the world is afraid of is American hyper-power wielded by a man of very American faith and conviction and honesty. Bush’s manner grates. His style – like Reagan’s – offends. But, like Reagan, he is not an anomaly in American foreign policy – merely a vivid and determined representative of a deep and idealistic strain within it. And history shows that the world has far more to gain from the deployment of that power than by its withdrawal. If the poor people of Iraq know that lesson, what’s stopping the Europeans?”

  2. How about the captives your government is still holding in cap X-ray Cuba?

    I’m not against removing Sadam from power, not by a long shot, but really, do you honestly believe in the motives of your government?

    It’s about oil, and control over oil, nothing has changed this past year in Iraq, nothing got better and nothing got worse, but this time last yeah Europe was debating lifting sanctions on Iraq, the only thing that changed was Bush’s govt’ coming up with the idea of war.

    What happened to not giving up untill Binladen faces justice, is this going to be a similar hunt that just gets dropped.

    If supporting terrorism was so bad, how come the US still donates so much money to the I.R.A, responsible for nearly 30 years of terrorist actions, bombings etc.

    It’s all so damn hypocritical, i’m not saying stop the war, that’s pointless now, to pull out without nailing Sadam would be dumber than going in their in the first place.

  3. First of all, please learn to spell and punctuate properly. Next, it is futile to argue with Kevin, because, although you may not agree with his views, his research is in fact impeccable. Third, in case you have not been paying attention to all global events of the past five days, we are currently engaged in an operation called “Valiant Strike” in Afghanistan, where we have proceded to flush out several Al Quaeda operatives along with several WMD (that’s Weapons of Mass Destruction), capable of producing both Anthrax as well as a multitude of chemical warfare. To say that we have been ignoring the hunt for Bin Laden is ignorant and insulting to the U.S. troops currently engaged in a combat situation in Afghanistan. Finally, I urge you to think back to Bush’s address of last year in which he named the powers that make up (and bear with me, because I am not a Bush supporter) The Axis of Evil. Please do not forget about the imminent threat of North Korea and Kim Jong Il. If we fail to address the issues in Iraq, we will then set a dangerous precedent and be powerless to defend ourselves from the much greater threat that lies in North Korea. Please remember to research your facts before commenting. While I do not support violence or war, I understand that it is a cost of maintaining national safety and the security of sovereign democratic nations everywhere. If we don’t do it, no one will, and no one else has the capability. The price of being a global, social, and economic superpower is sometimes measured in human lives. As crappy as that is, this is a structure that will never change, simply because BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS must be defended. I’m not just talking about the things that give you the freedom to dissent, and on a much more basic level, give you the freedom and prosperity to use the internet, talk on the phone, go to the grocery store, sleep with a roof over your head, go to bars with friends….in other words, all of the things I’m sure you take for granted on a daily basis, and things that 85% of the gobal population are unable to enjoy. I’m referring to a life free from fear of rape and torture, death and destruction. If you’re interested, see the conditions some women are facing here.
    I implore you to do your research before flaunting your views. I support your right to disagree, but if you’re gonna do it here, at least come prepared with intellectual ammunition. You’re in our house, now, and though we welcome debate, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.
    Sorry, Kevin, for taking over.

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  5. Let’s play along with Tristan and presume that he’s right. (I know – it’s a leap off a cliff, but Tristan doesn’t know it just yet – so, play along.)

    OK, Tristan, it’s all about the oil. Well, why even fight Saddam? Why not declare victory over Kuwait? We’ve got plenty of troops there already. Sure would be easy. Or, better yet, let’s just take over Canada. Canada is the US’s #1 supplier of oil (16.7% of US imports) and it’s a lot closer. Who needs the fuss of moving all those troops? But, since we’re not fighting with Kuwait or Canada, maybe it’s not about oil, huh Tristan?

    Or, Tristan, maybe it’s because the big, evil US oil companies are forcing the government to wage a war and increase the supply of oil on the market. Oh, but wait, that wouldn’t work because increased supply would lower the price of oil. The big, evil companies would have diluted margins and lower profits. That explanation doesn’t seem to fit either, does it, Tristan?

    In all honesty, the only people who stand to gain from the oil in Iraq are the French. They have billions invested in oil contracts with Iraq and get to keep those contracts as long as Saddam remains in power. Those contracts are contingent on the lifting of UN sanctions and here’s where the “No War for Oil” thing actually works: The French deliver “No War” and Saddam delivers “for Oil”. That equation actually works for Saddam and the French. And it almost came to pass, didn’t it, Tristan?

    France & Germany have been keen to lift the sanctions on Iraq. They’ve been very adamant about lifting sanctions for years. You’re right. I’m gonna recall the Clinton quote above that defines the US “regime change” doctrine (see above comments). The Germans and French have much to gain from trade with Iraq. Their exports are desperate for a market and Saddam has contracts committed to both nations that would pay handsomely. Some of those agreements are worth 100-200% their fair market value anywhere else in the world. Of course France and Germany want to collect on them. But, that’s just blood money, Tristan. Nothing has changed in Iraq, as you note, so there is no reason to lift the sanctions. We will, I assure you, bring about a change within months that will allow sanctions to be lifted.

    This conflict with Iraq is not about oil and it’s not about sanctions. The US policy of regime change is about giving freedom of choice to the Iraqi people. (Well, that’s 90% of the reason. The other 10% is to position two free peoples on either side of Iran in Afghanistan and Iraq. That might be a little sinister, but if someone can explain why the Iraqi or Afghani people don’t deserve freedom, we can have that debate, too.)

    OK. Let’s move on to your other “deep thoughts”:

    Bin Laden – That pot still boils. American forces, both overt and covert, are working throughout the world to take Al-Qaeda apart piece by piece. Take a look at the number of senior Al-Qaeda that are now in custody or dead. Add those folks to the aforementioned detainees. We will bring them to justice or we will bring justice to them. The world will be a safer place for everyone. But, that does cycle us back around to Iraq, doesn’t it, Tristan? Saddam gives money to suicide bombers in Palestine. He funds terrorism. There is also evidence that Saddam trains terrorists (see links in previous comments). Saddam — and any leader that supports terrorists — must go, Tristan.

    Camp X-ray – Yes, we have a lot of Al-Qaeda and Taliban members imprisoned at X-Ray. I kinda thought your argument said that we were no longer fighting the war on terrorism, Tristan, but I do appreciate you pointing out that it is proceeding with some measurable results. We will hold these criminals until they cannot threaten us. How long is that? Umm…I don’t care if they spend their lifetimes there. Yes, I’m paying for it through my tax dollars, but I’d rather buy them three meals a day, health care, religious items, and pay for their interment for the rest of their lives than to have them put a single child in harm’s way. Wouldn’t you, Tristan?

    IRA – Tristan, I’m gonna need you to educate me a little here, because I can’t find anything that says the IRA gets one penny from the US. You say, “The US still donates so much money to the I.R.A”. How? Where? When? Don’t bring that argument in here, because I doubt even you believe it. The IRA, and it’s splinter group (CIRA) are on the US terrorism lists. Assets are being frozen and the IRA will be eliminated. Are we currently engaged in overt actions to take out the IRA? No. Why not? Well, we have to have priorities. But, Tristan, if we fail to pursue Al-Qaeda, if we fail to pursue Saddam, we have no moral basis to pursue the IRA. Surely you can understand that, Tristan.

    Finally, you have provided two links. The first is a story about the missing ITN reporter Terry Lloyd, who is now thought to be dead. He may have died, according to his cameraman Daniel Demoustie, after being hit by “friendly fire”. In the article you mentioned, Demoustie says that the “friendly fire” was aimed at two nearby vehicles containing about a dozen Iraqi soldiers who were killed. Being a journalist is a tough, tough profession. If you are in a combat zone and you are traveling with enemy forces, you might get shot by coalition troops. It is a human tragedy, but I can’t fault our troops for firing on them.

    You also quoted an article regarding the Tornado that was shot down by a Patriot missile. All British deaths are painful for us – this one is especially difficult. Clearly there was an accident. The American people, especially this one, Tristan, feel an incredible loss. The last thing we want to see is a flag draped casket. Be it a Union Jack or the Stars and Stripes, we cry for every lost hero.

    Tristan, there is a lot that happens in this world. Some of it is so very good and some of it is so incomprehensibly evil. The trick is to see the difference and to try to make sure that evils that can be prevented are prevented. That is the spirit of America.

    The time to be involved is right now. Things are happening right now that will shape history minutes, months, and years from now. You have to follow the entire time line. If you just jump in and make a rash decision in a vacuum, Tristan, you often fail to see the forest for the trees.

    America is on a course to set a new standard in the world. It didn’t start on 9-11, but that Tuesday sure gave every American a look at what could happen if we didn’t hold to our commitments.

    The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe-the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.

    We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans-born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage-and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

    Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

    This much we pledge-and more. — John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address. Friday, January 20, 1961

    Never were these words more true than they are today. People give it fancy names like “The American Century”. Call it what you will, but the truth remains: America remains a beacon of light to the free world. Leaders must lead, regardless of how difficult the road may be. America will not let this obligation fall to anyone else. We are committed to bringing freedom and justice to the world, and we will see it through.

  6. Wanted to let everyone out there in Iraq that People here in Caruthersville Missouri are thanking about them everyday.
    Thank you

  7. My apologies, I didn’t mean to imply that this war was about oil alone, but I still believe it’s a big factor. As far as oil supply goes we all know one of the largest concentration of oil on the planet is underneath Yellow Stone park.

    For the record it’s my belief that France, Germany and Russia don’t want war because Iraq owes them a heap of cash for various things.

    Regards senior Al-Qaeda operatives that have been captured or are indeed dead, the only news on this in the UK is that the son of Binladen was ‘allegedly’ captured, no proof or further news has been reported on it.

    On X-ray, yes it’s better to keep them there than have them active as terrorists, I wont argue with that, but has there been any proof offered yet that they are indeed terrorists? And are they being treated humanly? (I doubt shackles and blindfolds are listed as human treatment for prisoners of war).

    I do understand the lack of action in ‘taking out’ the IRA, though mainly I put it down to simply this, the IRA doesn’t threaten the US. As regards US funding of the IRA see this story.

    All in all I apologize, I’m new to your site and I should have read more into you posts before disputing your opinions, in truth I didn’t expect you to be so able in backing up your arguments, you’ve gained a reader and though I don’t necessarily agree with your opinions, you most definitely have my utmost respect.

  8. Tristan, thanks for your comments and your respect. That’s all I could ask for. A lot of people (starting with my wife!) think I’m wacko, so you’ve got quite a club to join.

    Re Al-Qaeda, I think I posted the link after you came through. If you didn’t see it earlier, check here. I, too, enjoy the BBC and losts of other newspapers worldwide via this link at Refdesk:

    Thanks for the link on the IRA. I still believe that we are doing a much better job of confronting this danger. I hope the close relationship of the UK & the USA will only speed this process.

    Thanks and please, please come around again. Comment any time. It’s always fun to hear other views. Now that we’ve sparred a little, you won’t catch a barrage next time. I promise! :smile

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