July 20, 2005
Hands Off Cuba! and Bring the Troops Home! were slogans designed to consolidate majorities, but also to achieve agendas that would never have been defended by most of the people who eventually supported them.
Horowitz was talking about the Vietnam era, but I was struck by the parallel to today's cries. And it made me start thinking about all of the people who are offended by the suggestion that they don't support the troops.
My father has had little contact with the military. He didn't go to Vietnam, but he had friends who went and didn't return. He recently surprised my mother with a diatribe about how we should bring our boys home. My father votes Republican, so it's not a matter of politics; I assume he simply can't stand the idea of any Americans fighting and dying, especially when his only daughter's husband is involved. I don't think that makes my dad anti-war...and I would hope that he would be horrified to hear of the birds who have flocked together. That's what struck me about Horowitz's statement.
Who can honestly say that they don't want our soldiers and marines to come home? "Bring the Troops Home!" is a huge umbrella statement that covers many points of view, indeed "designed to consolidate majorities". The scary part is when people who fall under that umbrella don't know about the company they're keeping. ANSWER wants us to bring the troops home too, but they're an offshoot of the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party, organizing anti-war protests that I'm sure many unsuspecting, good-intentioned people attended. (Hey, if my father went to a protest, maybe some activist could hand him a "Bring Home the Troops" sign, you know, since he's got his hands full with his "Death to Jews" sign anyway.)
Several people emailed or commented to say that they had done X,Y, or Z for friends and family who were deployed. Fabulous. But by being on the Left, you need to be aware of the company you're keeping. Do you know about the reporters such as the one Toby Harnden met?:
Not only had [a well-known journalist] known the Iraq war would fail but she considered it essential that it did so because this would ensure that the evil George W. Bush would no longer be running her country. Her editors back on the East Coast were giggling, she said, over what a disaster Iraq had turned out to be. Lots of us talk about how awful it would be if this worked out.
Many mainstream writers and people on the Left are actively hoping for failure in Iraq. So are Daily Kos' readers, and that left-wing blog gets more traffic than any other blog out there. Disgusting characters like Ted Rall and Michael Moore want to bring the troops home, and I wouldn't be caught under any umbrella with them.
Most Americans want the servicemembers to come home safe and sound, but if you google "bring troops home", you get a list of anti-war sites and writings. If you want to bring them home, then admittedly you don't want them to all die (which is more than we can say for some), but it's not the same thing as supporting the troops. Support has to be more than sending a box of deoderant and candy and hoping they don't all die. As Prager said, you have to support their fight too. That's where we argue semantics, and I think it's an important distinction. I wrote about this before, and I stand by my original assertion:
LT Smash points out that we have an all-volunteer military and that "the troops are committed to winning the war. If you dont share that goal, then you are not, by definition, supporting them." People in his comments section disagree, but Smash points out two different definitions of supporting the troops: "Your definition would appear to be 'wish them good health and hope they come home safe.' My definition of 'support' is a bit more robust than that. In my world, 'supporting the troops' also means letting them know that you appreciate the sacrifices they are making, and believe in the cause they're fighting for."
I tend to think that the first definition should be an understood, that no human would wish that soldiers should be injured or die (though some of the posts on Democratic Underground might suggest otherwise). Therefore, it's not worth broadcasting, just as "I support cancer patients" or "I support the disabled" seem inane.
Not everyone agreed with Smash, as the volume of comments shows, but I do agree with him, as I do with Prager. You don't have to agree with me on the definition of "support" if you don't want to, but just be careful of which umbrellas you're under.
July 15, 2005
But what's the deal with the new Wheel of Fortune? It was so much simpler when I used to watch it with my grandma; now I can't figure out what's going on a lot of the time. Since when did they get rid of bidding on dog statues and stuff?
July 13, 2005
In the words spoken by these politicians I hear affirmation that my child's blood, a Jewish child's blood, is of a different color. I shivered as I heard London's mayor, Livingstone, lamented that this was "mass murder... by terrorists bent on indiscriminate... slaughter... aimed at ordinary working-class Londoners...." and an ugly thought entered my mind.
What of the slaughter of my children, 'ordinary, working-class' brothers and sisters in Haifa and Jerusalem, Ashdod and Ashkelon? What about my working-class Jewish fellow citizens whose simple wants and needs are the same as those in London? Where is the determination to eradicate the vermin who have turned Israeli streets into infernos as they blow up buses, restaurants and malls?
Do those murdering and maiming my children deserve a state of their own from which they can peacefully continue to bathe my country in blood? Why are the snakes in London to be pursued and eradicated, while those who have killed young Jewish mothers, Jewish infants and the unborn are to be rewarded and feted as heroes in every corner of every continent in the universe?
We've let those Islamobarbarians kill in Israel for far longer than we've noticed. In our eyes, the Islamofascist fight started in 2001, but it's been going on for far longer than that. We pretend somehow that they're not the same people killing in Iraq and New York. But they are. They're the same sombitches, and they need to be stopped too.
Israel, I cry for you. I really do.
July 08, 2005
July 04, 2005
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