Whenever I hear someone say they “support our troops”, but “not the mission”, that person is going to have a less than optimal next several minutes.
This construct is intellectually untenable when applied to a volunteer force that is winning a war that will grant a good chance at some form of democracy to a formerly totalitarian state. Ask Japan and Germany.
Oh, and as a bonus this mission is thus far keeping Islamofascist mass murder away from the United States.
Nonetheless, regarding any war as criminal can be an honorable position. However, to simultaneously claim that one supports the troops “committing” it is another matter. If the mission is evil, then those who carry it out are either evil or brainwashed or both.
“Supporting the troops” therefore requires picking “brainwashed.” What this parses out to is: “We really feel sorry for you guys, fighting BushChimpHitler’s war. We know what a crock it is, no matter what you might think. We have to get you out of there before you commit more atrocities. The Iraqis can commit their own. [John Kerry]”
This thinking is protected by the Bill of Rights. You can even advertise it and collect money to support it. The Bill of Rights, fortunately, insists on neither individual logic nor self-preservation.
We also have real-world examples of mission-perpetrators. The perps even tell us why they committed the mission – aside, that is, from the fact that as a nation we asked them to.
Here’s a deluded troop defending the mission:
David Bellavia earned the Silver Star in Iraq and has been recommended for the Medal of Honor.
He has some thoughts about what “supporting the troops” means in general and about Rep. John Murtha, et. al., in particular.
Bellavia’s last paragraph is telling, and I would excerpt it but I want you to read the whole thing.
The figurative spitting on our military by American senior politicians – “terrorists”, “broken”, “can’t win” * – is unforgivable and sickening. The fact that Democrats held press conferences today and castigated George Bush about Valerie Plame without even mentioning world-historical voting in Iraq is clear evidence that they care more about US elections in 2006 and 2008 than the long term interests of the United States. *(Kerry, Murtha, Dean)
They urge timelines that vary all the way from immediate to some unspecified time shortly thereafter, for a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq. They often refer to polls “proving” the American people, and/or Iraqi voters, agree.
Today Iraqi voters proved them wrong. Not that the Iraqis don’t want us to leave. Not that we don’t want to leave. But if we’d begun withdrawal when John Murtha and his fellow travellers called for it, what voter turnout would we have seen today? What country would ever again think of America as an ally? What power would accrue to Al-Quaeda? Who would volunteer for US or Iraqi military service? What would happen to Iraqis?
What George Bush knows, and the poll-obsessed Dems don’t, is that victory in Iraq is more important than elections in 2006 or 2008. Bush’s “cut and run” critics think their fate in future US elections justifies threatening to desert the Iraqis on the eve of their first Parliamentary election.
These deliberate attempts to erode American national will will be judged by history. If the erosion is successful that history will be written by Islamofascist scholars.