Grandfather Tree

Now having come to understand that we are all spiritual beings who have chosen to temporarily live a physical existence on this planet, certain musings are inevitable, and shared here.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Support the Troops?

He who joyfully marches to music rank and file, has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.
--Albert Einstein

Why is this so difficult to write about? I have been wanting to say this since the invasion of Iraq by my country, but haven’t had the guts to do it. I have been thinking though that if I cannot write what I want in my own blog, then I shouldn’t have a blog at all.

If I have a son who joins a gang and he sets off one night and I press him to tell me what’s going on, and he tells me that one of his buddies was shot by a rival gang. He is going out to avenge the death. Do I tell him, “Well son I really don’t approve of this war of yours, but I support you fully. I hope you don’t get killed, and that you do whatever is necessary so you don’t. In fact, son, I want you to know that I really do not approve of what you are doing, but I noticed that you do not have the best equipment. Let me buy you a more powerful gun so you won’t as likely get killed.”

I don’t think so. I do every thing I can do to make sure he doesn’t go out tonight and I work as hard as I can to find a way for him to get out of that gang, at all costs, even if it means him going to prison instead.

So I guess the big question is “What kind of support?” If support means to let our soldiers know that we are praying for them that they don’t die, (read kill real good) and that we must give them the best equipment (read weapons of human destruction), and that we think they are brave and noble, then:


There. I said it. I hid a little behind Einstein, and I couldn’t quite say it at the beginning of the blog, and I couldn't find the courage to put it in the title, but I said it.


  • At 12:41 AM, Blogger Jamie Goodwin said…

    Our Troops are just people. They are not gang members or bullies, they are just people who volunteered to serve for a variety of reasons, not least among them to honor and protect our country, including our right to speak our mind.

    If this war is unjust, it is unjust mostly to the service men and women, our troops, who are placed in harms way.

  • At 7:53 AM, Blogger Wally Nut said…

    Thank you for commenting Jamie. I agree wholeheartedly that the war is unjust to the service men and women, and I do not question the intentions of those who volunteer. However, I believe that it is important to question not only intention but actions as well. Our troops invaded a small country who posed no significant threat to us. Yes, our troops are in harm's way, but they also kill other human beings who are in their own country and who did not ask to be forcibly occupied. When I struggle with the issue of support, I want to support the humanity and ethical responsiblity of other humans. When someone is engaged in violent, arguably illegal action under international law, it is not clear to me how I can support them as a person without being complicit with their actions.

  • At 10:09 AM, Blogger Indigenous Red Man said…

    This is awesome (the first to elequently put it in simple REAL terms)!

  • At 2:47 PM, Blogger PeaceBang said…

    Jamie, although I agree with you that our troops are just people (and not gang members or bullies), I think Wally's analogy is apt. Also, by failing to acknowledge that our servicemen and women are not just volunteers, but are paid professionals, you undermine your own claim that the war is unust to our soldiers. How can it be unjust to them when they both volunteered to be there and are being paid to serve?

    I don't think we need to make our servicemen and women into victims. Let them be who they are: paid soldiers in the service of an unjust war.


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