Anyone else not feel like "supporting our troops"?

I know most of our troops would rather be home than fighting in the desert. And I know we would all like to have them home, out of harm’s way. But this stupid war has left such a bad taste in my mouth that I don’t feel like “supporting our troops”.

“Supporting” to me means standing by their actions and the political decisions that govern them. I could never do either. I know the decision to put them there rests with one man, their pretender-in-chief, but I can’t believe that a lot of servicemen, or even most, weren’t already just itching to go in and fight Saddam Hussein. We do still have a volunteer army, not a compulsory one. I don’t have a good cite (here’s a pretty biased one), but I’m certain nearly every soldier on the field is aligned with GW Bush’s political agenda.

I am wholeheartedly opposed to this war and those who think it is the right thing to do.

If, however, “Supporting” just means hoping for everyone’s safety and for this whole thing to be over quickly, well then I guess I am “supportive”. But I don’t think this is the definition most people are using.

Maybe my real question is “What does ‘supporting’ mean as it applies to our armed forces in battle?” I welcome some feedback on that.

Before you ask, I don’t have any friends or relatives in the armed forces. I’m sure I would want to send good vibes and whatnot their way if I did.

Hoping for the safety of everyone is something I can do. Putting myself behind this ridiculous travesty is not.

By the way, I put this thread in the pit so nobody has to hold back their feelings about it.

You may find it difficult to support this particular war but the young men and women that are in the thick of it play many roles. Their willingness to serve and train and sacrifice, protects our freedom to express our opinions and criticize our leaders.

To me, support means not saying disparaging things about them. Differentiating (if necessary) between the higher-ups who make policies and decisions, and the troops who carry them out. Thanking them for their work over there, and their sacrifices. Acknowledging their role throughout history in terms of defense and international stability. Sending letters and care packages. Sending good vibes, prayers, whatever.

It might seem like, except for the actual sending of stuff, these efforts don’t really matter to the troops who are (after all) thousands of miles away. But they’ve got families, and friends. And there are lots of local people who are having to fill in for deployed reservists. And reservists who are filling in for deployed actives. So there is an audience for such positive sentiments right here in the U.S.

I agree with Cranky 100% in her sentiments. That’s how I see supporting our troops.

jacksen9, that is a good point. Their willingness to play the role of defenders of our liberty cannot be questioned and should be lauded.

I think I would offer my moral support, etc. if that was really what this war was about. But it’s not. Our liberty is no more threatened by Iraq than it is by North Korea or Pakistan or al Qaeda. By that I mean it may be threatened, to a certain extent.

But this war is being waged on conjecture. What “might” happen. That is no way to behave in the world.

I don’t think I’d be hypocritical in saying that I would support our troops if we were genuinely defending our liberty. But that is not the case now.

I cannot see how Saddam the Idiot has threatened our ability to express ourselves. Our freedoms were not jeopardized, and therefore will not be protected by this action.
That said, I think the world will be a better place without Saddam. Surely, Iraq will be a better place. I don’t really have a moral problem with what we are doing. I just do not believe the administrations stated motives for doing it. (and selfishly, I have a problem with the cost we are going to have to pay)

Admittedly, arguing about the war, and protesting the war, seem moot now. We’re in it. It’s best that we do it right, and then get the fuck out. So we don’t end up going back in a couple of years.

Agreed. That is not what I meant. I was trying to make the point that while you or anyone may disagree with this particular war, the folks in the military perform whatever tasks they are assigned. It may be a volunteer force but once you are there, you have sworn to obey orders. What I was wanting to emphasize is that without them, and the soldiers before them, our lives would be very very different.

bolding added by me

Let me call bullshit on this before Airman Doors gets here. Like the country that they represent, the military has a gamut of ideals and principles. However, because they are highly trained soldiers, they tend not to openly voice dissent publicly to their commanding officers. Such thing is not good for unit morale.

Once sent to the desert, you can bet your behind their itching to march on Baghdad. The sooner they march, the sooner they come home. Some might be more gung-ho than others, but to a (wo)man, they all want to come home. When the Navy promises they’ll see the world, the deserts of Iraq aren’t the first things that come to mind.

As long as the President has issued a legal order*, every soldier has sworn an oath to obey it. Doesn’t matter if they joined when Bush, Clinton, or Bush Sr. was in office. It’s their duty, regardless of ideology.

Former Senior Airman D_Odds, USAF, proudly having served 1989-1993

*I’ve been following the debate in various media sources as to the legality of the war. Better legal minds than mine have argued both sides, and I’m not qualified to say which one is correct. I do know the Senate voted unanimously to back President Bush’s decision to attack Iraq and feel he was legally justified.

You’d be wrong. Our church has a number of “young people” [said the Old Lady] who are “over there”, and none of them were particularly thrilled to be sent there, but hey, it’s the job, ya know? They signed up for it, so they’re gonna do their best, no matter how they may personally feel about George W. Bush or Donald Rumsfeld or the Republican Party.

If you don’t feel the men and women who have volunteered to defend our country deserve your support because you don’t like the decision their comander in chief made, then don’t support them. It’s a free country, remember.

Oh, and to answer your question – NO, I don’t feel like not supporting them. As corney as it may sound, I respect them, and the job that they have to do, more than any armchair critic sitting comfortably behind their keyboard

I agree.

Well then, I’m glad to be educated on that point. Those soldiers who are politically opposed to this war have my sympathy.

I’d like to hear more about dissenting soldiers. I don’t think I’m likely to find anything about it on Google, so if anyone has anecdotal evidence, I’d listen to it.

Other than the bit about over-generalizing the political beliefs of our men and women in uniform, I’m right there with you, Jpeg Jones. While I think this stupid war is a horrible mistake, I would never, ever insult or attack the soldiers for carrying out the orders of our political establishment to the best of their considerable ability. And that leaves me in a quandary, wondering how to define “supporting the troops.”

Once you swear in you are under UCMJ. You will obey orders or … something will happen. They could jail or discharge you. I would assume that your discharge would not be “Honorable”. That could be very bad for your career. I was in the Army Reserves. I really do not remember all of the details regarding UCMJ. I do remember sitting there thinking “well there goes the Bill of Rights”.

To answer the OP: For me, “support our troops” means not holding them responsible for the circumstances that put them there. It means being aware of their sacrifices. It means helping them cope when they return home. It does not mean blindly following the administration and waving a big honkin’ flag thinking supporting troops = supporting war.

I got an email from my Army Friend the day before fighting started. She did not want to be there, she did not want to hurt the Iraqis, but she had to follow orders. She was in the Army, therefore when the military was called upon to fight a war, she had to go and fight.

Now for all those people who think anti war means anti military and suggest that those who oppose the war ship their asses over to Iraq and “fight for our freedoms so you know what they cost,” I have strong words. But right now this thread seems to be pretty civil so I’ll save them for when the yelling starts.

We do indeed have to follow orders. OTOH, we are sort of morally bound to not follow an illegal or immoral order.

The bottom line, though, is that there is nothing vaguely illegal or immoral about what we’re doing over there. Especially taking into account the support Bush has enjoyed from the rest of the government.

On a personal note, I’m just barely on the “let’s get rid of him” side of the fence. I think it needs to be done. I also think that people forget that it’s the U.S. (and, to a lesser extent, the Brits) who’s job it was to enforce the U.N. No-Fly-Zones. And get shot at by Iraq on an almost daily basis while doing so. Was this situation supposed to go on forever? I think on these grounds alone, the U.S. was justified in pushing this issue.

I think your attitude is ignorant, Jpeg Jones. To not support the troops because you make a sweeping generalization that we all support Bush is… well, I don’t really have a word for it. Stupid? Prejudiced? Misguidedly idealistic? Naive? Anyway, if this is really your attitude toward us, please either leave the country or forfeit your right to be defended by us. I think it’s depressing that part of my job is to defend an ungrateful idiot such as yourself.

I supported my troops by spending some time sending them e-mails thanking them for their service to our country. Tomorrow I’ll probably send a USO package to a serviceman for $25.00.

Simple answer for a (seemingly, after reading responses) complex question.

I don’t think it is repulsive to think that our military would support the Commander In Chief. I guess, in a very selfish way, I would want it that way. I mean, I would rather have soldiers pursuing their missions because they believed in what they were doing, rather than “mindlessly” following orders.

I certainly do not wish to offend you. I hope you do not take it that way. I just think it would be terrible to carry out orders and actions that you were “conflicted” about. Couldn’t you say that it is your duty to be loyal in thought and deed? Or am I being repulsively naive?

Be safe, btw. :slight_smile:

Sorry, but that post was to flyboy88 . Oops.

Well, now I’m confused. Which of your commanders is prepared to negate the President’s orders because they are illegal or immoral. I’ve seen plenty of argument that the current orders are both.

This is where you and I clearly disagree.

Like I said earlier, I’m not even sure what support is supposed to mean. So exactly what is it you think you’re condemning? My lack of blind faith in our “president”? My willingness to question this stupid war in the first place? I already said I hope everyone remains safe.

Finally some vitriol! In response, I think it’s depressing that your job requires you to put your politics aside and bomb the hell out of a sovereign nation on nothing but speculation.