Friday, July 28, 2006

Supporting Our Troops - My Journey

Supporting our troops is a way of life for me. It comes from my family, from my experiences, from my value system. To me, it is part of being an American, because without our military securing everything we hold dear, there would not be an America.

My first war as a "thinking person" was Vietnam. At the time, I lived in Hawaii which was an R&R location for troops serving in Vietnam. It was impossible to go anywhere or do anything without meeting troops who were in my peer group. They had a different perspective on the war than I was hearing from the media of the day. I also watched politicians try to micromanage the war, rather than allowing the military to manage their own battles. Without ever losing a battle, we tucked our tail between our legs and ran away, because the only battle we had lost was the biggest battle of them all - the battle for public opinion in America. So, Vietnam fell and, as a result, millions were slaughtered in Vietnam and Cambodia. But, Americans no longer cared about those deaths, we were safe at home.

As I watch the War on Terror, I see the same larger battles being played out. President Bush has thus far prevented politicians from micromanaging the battle space. And, I think that this is the reason that his detractors really hate him. Our press is notoriously bizarre, and they seem to enjoy creating problems, leaking secrets and being on the opposite side of any issue. Since Americans are lazier than ever about gathering information and making informed decisions, it is easier to let the press (with all of their agendas) form their opinions. Worries are expressed with great outrage regarding "collateral" death, but no one cares about the mass graves, the murders in the stadiums for the slightest affront. But, this time, if we quit, they will come after us and they will kill us. They have set us up as the "Great Satan" - they have used us as a control mechanism for the under-educated, unemployed, unfed and unhappy. They hate us all. They hate our way of life, they hate our version of civilization, and for those of you who think they can be "talked to and understood", they hate you, too, and will kill you just as dead as they will me.

Fortunately, in this war, we have more communication with the battle space. We have milbloggers, faster mail delivery, email, chat and other technological wonders. For those who want to know, they can find the information. Unfortunately, most Americans are too lazy, too selfish, too unconcerned to find out the information. They just spew forth the talking points the press has given them without thinking about how they came to that conclusion.

I am proud to say that I write to the troops, I email the troops, I spend time with the troops, I read the milbloggers (and, if I ever learn how to do it, will post links to some of the blogs I depend upon for news!) So, I don't buy into the media version of the news. I rely on the best reporters of them all - those that are on the ground, living the experience.

1 comment:

CJ said...

As a soldier, thank you for what you do. I've added your site to my blogroll. more people should see it. Good luck.