Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Temptation to Fury

In an instant, we walk a narrow ledge. The political blogosphere was a bubble, held aloft by it's own angst and the policy wall built between the president and the truth. Just as Watergate began with a small item in the Washington Post, the Downing Street Memo popped the bubble and released us, angry, into the world. The temptation to fury is great. The concept of got them running has appeal. The desire to pin every transgression mounts. The siren's song of righteousness beckons.

We need to be exceptionally careful. We need to know our history.

The national shame we carry into future generations from the Vietnam War is personal. We mistreated our soldiers. We did not separate them from the policy. Worse, we took the policy to them on a personal level. We are sorry, but it cannot be undone, and it still colors our actions.

I understand the difference between supporting our troop financially and supporting them emotionally. Squeezing the funding leaves them vulnerable. We can't do that. Congress has approved the money requested time and time again. Still, the condition of the equipment is deplorable. Marine Corps units fighting in some of the most dangerous terrain in Iraq don't have enough weapons, communications gear, or properly outfitted vehicles, according to an investigation by the Marine Corps' inspector general provided to Congress yesterday. This is not just an Army issue.

There is a growing number of people who question the decision making of our President. There are some gaps he is declining to fill in, such as discussing the DSM or releasing the documents requested on Bolton. I'd like to know why. I'm not alone. His public stance on the status of the war in Iraq is not shared by all, including members of his own party: "Things aren't getting better; they're getting worse. The White House is completely disconnected from reality. It's like they're just making it up as they go along. The reality is that we're losing in Iraq." -- Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-NE

However, when I look at what a soldier does, and why he/she does it, I am grateful, but troubled at the same time. You see, I believe that the oath taken when you serve is not to a man but to an ideal that was established by our founders and embodied in our Constitution. Honor of that caliber cannot be sullied by lies and manipulation.

I see the Patriot Act, which violates Amendments 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 of the Bill of Rights. I see false pretenses for invading Iraq. I see Osama at large. I see our judicial branch under siege by Frist. I see Veterans programs willfully set to go under the knife by Mr. Buyer, R-IN. I see war being waged on the very document our service men and women swear to serve, and the people bringing this war are American. To keep us distracted they trot out the lie machine to try to discredit what they don't want discussed. When that fails, blame the questioners of planning to spit! Spitting? Nobody I know of on the left would contemplate for a nanosecond spitting on our troops. The bruises on the national psyche after Vietnam are still tender. From where I'm watching, from congress down to the regular Joe's, the troop are spoken of respectfully.

The goal? Slander us until we shut up.

Silenced? Not this American.

So, while I agree we have to fund this mess, that does not preclude demanding truth; nor is demanding truth unpatriotic or unsupportive. The narrow ledge we walk, and MUST walk well, is how we fund, emotionally support, and understand the degrees of separation of what this war is to our people on the ground. You do not put yourself daily into a position of losing your life if you do not believe in your cause. They know, as we never will, what Iraqis say to them, how they respond to them, what the common man's actual skinny is.

The ledge is this: How do we fully support a war and bring down a lying President?

Hold history close, walk that ledge, and don't look down.


At June 22, 2005 5:56 AM, Blogger frstlymil said...

Outstanding. Brava. I'd like to copy this and forward it to my senator, with your permission.

At June 22, 2005 7:40 AM, Blogger Jet said...

Permission granted!

At June 22, 2005 11:41 AM, Blogger Gun-Toting Liberal said...

Jet, I knew your response would be great and of course, you did NOT disappoint me in the least. Let me just say, my status as a "troop" prohibits me from saying some of the things I'd love to say, so I depend upon great Americans such as yourselves to pick up the slack for me.

Once you realize this one fact about me (one I don't try to make massively known), you can see why I am resigned to only be able to attack and/or promote general ideals, party positions, and legislation attempts on my blog.

So anyway, keep up the great work, my friend :-)

At June 22, 2005 12:29 PM, Blogger Jet said...

Thank you, GTL. It was your post that inspired me to write this one. We approach a crossroads here; we must be careful, deliberate and focused on the truth. If we do it well, we all serve the nation's best interest.

At June 22, 2005 1:03 PM, Blogger windspike said...

Another great post, Jet.

I think Frstlymil has a good notion - copy and send this post to various congressional reps, bearning in mind that we, as voters can always cast our opinions at the polls. However,it's congress that has the ability/responsiblity to impeach the liars in the W, Rove and Co.

At June 22, 2005 2:06 PM, Blogger Brother Kenya said...

Jet, you have it. We're in a sticky spot in which supporting the president can be equated, by some, with supporting the troops. Attacking him, attacking them. Nothing could be further from the truth, but it's the state of discourse.

We have to keep in mind, though, that calling a spade a spade where Bush is concerned will help restrain him for the next three years. We can't stop this war, but maybe we can make additional ones politically impossible.

At June 22, 2005 2:56 PM, Blogger Jet said...

Thanks windspike! If any of you aren't checking out Educational Whisper, please do.

BK, the challenge is to call Bush on the carpet without letting it mushroom into a "no funds for the war". We can't hang our people out to dry. If we finesse this well, we'll see seats picked up in 2006, and a real shot at 2008. Bush looks lame-duck already, we just need to keep a cool head and an iron purpose.

At June 22, 2005 6:46 PM, Blogger Gun-Toting Liberal said...

"... without letting it mushroom into a "no funds for the war"."


Please keep those funds coming. We're winning, and we appreciate them, all the way down to the "troop" level.

They (funds) can make the difference between MRE's (meals ready to eat: in a vacuum tight plastic bag with crumbled crackers), or having a grilled cheeseburger a couple of times a week; armour, or NO armour; cots in tents, or double beds in cheap hotel rooms with a shower, etc.

Your help and support is GREATLY appreciated.

At June 23, 2005 6:27 AM, Blogger Pia Talks said...

You so eloquently expressed what many of us feel.

During the first Gulf War, I worked with many young women who had husbands in the service. Did I have to say every five minutes "I support the troops?" No because it was taken for granted that while I might not have really understood that war either, I supported the troops.

Something fundamentally sick has happened to this country since then

Under the Bush dicator..ugh presidency we're not supposed to question anything, but follow blindly.

If you don't mind I'm going to link to this post this weekend

thanks again Jet

At June 23, 2005 11:13 AM, Blogger Ken Grandlund said...

Well said Jet. Why should disagreement with presidential positions or party politics be connected to ones support for our fighting men and women? It shouldn't, and despite the rhetoric, it doesn't.

Support for the men and women is often greater among the public than among the politicians who place them in harms way. If we were to believe that this administration truly believes that "putting troops in harms way is the gravest act a predisent can make" then why don't they make everyeffort to provide those troops with everything they need to get the job done. Why do they continue to gut veterans affairs programs and make veterans health care so dismal? Why don't their kids sign up to serve?

The hypocrisy is astounding. If only more people would speak out what they are thinking, and, as windspike says, get ready to make those words reality with the next vote.

At June 23, 2005 1:36 PM, Blogger Indeterminacy said...

Give 'em hell. They deserve it.

At June 23, 2005 2:30 PM, Blogger Jet said...

GTL, it's US who appreciate YOU. Thank you for protecting us.

Excellent point, Pia. This avowal of support smacks more of a way to push Dems down that build troops up. Thanks for the link!

Ken, the public support is greater because it's OUR children. It'd be interesting to add a requirement that children and grandchildren of congresspeople be required to serve two years for each election won. Might increase reading of bills and decrease rash decision making, who knows?

For me, a key issue is how vet's benefits are under the knife. It says a great deal about what this administration is comfortable with. We can do better than these guys.

At June 23, 2005 2:32 PM, Blogger Jet said...


Sorry, Indeterminacy, didn't mean to miss you. We're doing our best. Get your absentee ballot in early in 2006 -- we'll need every vote.


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