Thursday, September 20, 2007

Life Support

I made some comment the other day about the Iraq war, and a staunch defender of Der Fuhrer in the group gave me a shot about "not supporting the troops."

Why is it that any anti-war comment is taken as "not supporting the troops," but anything pro-war - whether it's extending tours, staying indefinitely in Iraq, attacking Iran - is somehow supporting the troops?

Repeating tours so that those lucky enough to make it out alive the last time get another shot at getting shot? (Pro-troops?)

Extending tours so that troops spend more time in combat than they do with their families? (Pro-troops and Pro-family)

Shutting down public debate on options to get out of the horrendous mess? (Pro-democracy, pro-free speech)

How is it that Senator can vote against a bill that would allow our troops some time at home, away from a war zone, and be considered as supporting the troops?

There is no support for the troops, just those who want them to stop dying and those who think their goals are worth the ultimate sacrifice of others. There is no debate, only two sides that won't listen to the other. There is no victory, only attempts to keep things from getting worse. There is no end, only years of death and suffering.

There is no making sense of the messes we make. Not yet, anyway. Maybe when we understand ourselves and our motivations better, we can behave better.

Here's a debate for you that is relevant to the war, I think, but hopefully one that doesn't evoke the knee jerk reactions that the war does.

Take one second to imagine a person behaving the way some countries do. After all, a person is a group of cells and organs. A country is a group of a group of a group, just an entity at a larger level of organization.

What do we think of individuals who threaten others? What do we think of individuals who won't play well with others, who always want things their way? What do we think of someone who pulls a gun to get what they want? What do think of individuals who bully others, who beat them up and leave them broken and bleeding?

We use sociopath, bully, crazy, dangerous, criminal as words to describe people who act like this. What do we call countries who act like this? How have we come to expect such deviant behavior from countries?

Should we continue to allow countries a lower standard of moral behavior than we demand of individuals?

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