If you aren't willing to send your own kids, do you REALLY support the war?

I was just reading Bob Herbert’s NYTimes column, Someone Else’s Child. There was a curious quote in it:

I support the war and I think we need to be there.

I would not want my children to go.

Huh? I understand that (a) this is just some random person (not even named), and you can find anybody to say just about anything and (b) some people are just stupid or unbelievably selfish or both, but … huh? How can you say, with a straight face, that you support the war (not even the ambiguous “support the troops”, but the war itself) and think we need to be there, but also say that someone else’s children should be the ones to do the dying?

Is this sort of schizophrenic thinking common in our country? Or is this just a tempest in a teapot?

I’m pretty glad there are firefighters, and police officers, and people who brave the stormy oceans to put fish on my table. I’m thankful too for the Coast Guard personnel who help out those fishermen when they get into trouble.

If my kids were to go into dangerous work like this, I would worry. That’s what parents do.

My folks went through this a bit, especially my mom, when both my brother and I were in the Navy and he was out on subs a lot. I know she valued the military and the Navy, and said so, but she would have been happier if we weren’t there and she was overjoyed when we finished up and came home.

National policy shouldn’t be set on a parent’s worry, and I say that as a parent and as a son who later became a veteran myself.

It’s not that much of a stretch to believe that a war should be fought and yet at the same time not want your family or self to actually be in it. Most rational people, in fact, should not want to be exposed to war.

Personally having been to war I think anyone who supports the war should be forcibly put on the first thing smokin to Bagdad. If you really support it then support it, or shut up.

That’s an issue I often wondered about. Could I state that I support a war when I know that I personnally wouldn’t be willing to personnally fight it (not even speaking of children)? And there are extremely few cases where I would.

As a result, I’m extremely uncomfortable with stating that I support a war. Doing so reeks of hypocracy to me…Not that I would tend to often accuse other people doing so of hypocracy, but I personnally feel very uncomfortable mentionning any support for a military action, as if everybody was then going to point at me saying : “then, why aren’t you there yourself?”, a question that, I feel, would be highly justified.

That’s the main reason why I only mentioned once on this board my opinion regarding the war in Irak, and when I did, I precisely mentionned too the issue we’re discussing.

So…on the overall, yes, I think there’s a big issue if you’re stating that you support a war but wouldn’t accept yourself or your loved ones to be put at risk in the process.

Ah hah, the old chickenhawk argument. I knew it would be brought up sooner or later.

Suffice to say, it is a stance I have little respect for, as the right to have an opinion and vote according to it is not contingent in this country on one’s veteran status, nor should it be.

Thanks, though, for your service to our country, askeptic. I do have respect for your past service, if not for this opinion.

Once again Bob Herbert shows he is willing to make any ridiculous argument in order to bash Bush. The whole nature of government is forcing others to do stuff you don’t want to do. Liberals sit around fulminating about the government not doing enough to help the poor, and yet they don’t give all of their money to do so. Conservatives press for the war in Iraq but don’t enlist or send their kids. People on both sides of the political spectrum want government to do their bidding, but with everyone else’s money or manpower.

If Americans against the war weren’t being so viciously slandered by war supporters, it probably wouldn’t be an issue. But after years of being called unamerican, pro-terrorism, freedom-hating and any number of other epithets, the question “if you’re so gung-ho about this war, why haven’t you enlisted yet?” seems like a fair one.

War is unique. In deciding to go to war one is saying that the issue involved is so important that I, me personally, I believe that people should kill and die for it. It is inconsistant to state that the issue is important enough to kill and die for but neither I nor my family should have to kill or die for it. Only the little people should.

You claim to have the best interests of soldiers at heart, so why don’t you train to become a medic and help them that way, hazel-rah?

That’s at least as fair a question as the one you just asked, which means, of course, that they’re both unfair.

Mr. Moto, your points are weak. The war in Iraq exists because a political movement brought it into existence. And at the same time it cannot exist unless enought bodies are on the ground there to conduct it. If you support the war, you share responsibility both for the fact that it was begun and for the need to recruit enough troops. You cannot support the war and be fine with the prospect of no Americans volunteering to fight it.

And don’t distort the OP. It’s not a question of parents “worrying” about their kids as they head to Iraq, it’s about those who do not want their kids to go, and by implication, want other people’s kids to go instead. These people might not support the war and therefore do not share the same responsibility to make sacrifices in it.

Is it unfair to demand that *other * people’s kids should go, but not yours? Are other kids simply less important?

It’s the very heart of the matter. Going to war means sending kids to die. You had damn well better be sure it’s necessary and the last resort first. Hell, yes, you need to be able to honestly say your own kids’ lives, or your own, are worth it. If you’re already in the military and your own life is already on the line, should you be willing to accept any less seriousness than that from those who can order your death?

The editorial is about that old reliable, hypocrisy. Most certainly it needs to be examined and exposed wherever it exists, and it damn sure exists on this subject.

That might be true if we had a draft system in place that disproportionately conscripted the poor. We don’t. Instead, we have a system where people volunteer to serve.

Not volunteering is not an immoral act. Someone does not violate a law, a rule, a social nicety or a requirement of citizenship by not volunteering. He merely chooses another job with safer conditions and better hours.

I am proud of having served, and my past and continued work with the Navy is very valuable to me (and, I presume, my country). But I don’t believe for one second this gives my statements about the war one way or the other any additional moral weight.

MM you are setting up straw men. I never intimated that having served gives more importance to my opinion. I merely stated that if people think something is important enough to kill for then they should start killing. I am not referring to all war. I am not saying that everyone during WWII should have been on the front lines. They all contributed to the war effort. The current case is different. There is no attack on our country the war is a result of policy decisions not an attack on our soil. There are plenty of people to keep the economy going and maintain the military industrial complex to allow all those in favor of the war to go do their part.

No. But I can be fine with an individual’s decision not to fight, which is a very different thing altogether.

Liberals pay their share of taxes just like everybody else (I’m single with no kids, so guess who’s paying more). And their latest position on taxes is that we shouldn’t have cut them as much, and that rates should continue to based on ability to pay. Conservatives aren’t saying, “There are enough kids from large families who can be called up that my only child need not go”. The people of the OP don’t care who goes, as long as it’s someone else.

And look who’s getting their way in both sets of issues. The rich get tax cuts and the poor go to war.

Not really. People deciding not to fight are undermining the war you support in a very real way.

Then why are you telling those who are pro-war to shut up until they’ve done their share of killing?


So this “shut up until you’ve done some killing” only applies to good wars that you agree with?

Look, why don’t you just allow people the freedom to advocate war if they feel it is needed, and the freedom to sign up for an all-volunteer military if they wish?

Its just my opinion.

No I do not see, what is your point.

You missquoted me, that is a violation of the rules here. I did not say “shut up until you’ve done some killing” nor did I imply it only applied to “good wars” read the part you quoted again.

I do not allow or dissallow anything I am merely stating my opinion. And I really wish you would quit missquoting me.

Offered without comment, “Operation Yellow Elephant”