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So war protesters are out waving their signs and displaying their faux-coffin. Good for them; for unlike Saddam Hussein's Iraq, dissent against our government is not a death sentence. I take particular offense, though, at two of their signs. One says "Support our troops: bring them home" while the other reads that "War is not the answer."
I suppose those rescued from concentration camps at the end of World War II might disagree with the latter, but perhaps they wouldn't have welcomed the war which liberated them. Perhaps the over 800,000 Rwandans who were massacred in 1994 because the U.N. and the United States refused to step in could have benefited from American war actions. But war was not the answer for Bill Clinton nor the United Nations, and so those poor people died. Or the women who were raped by Saddam's sons and the thousands of Iraqis who were killed on the orders of Saddam might not have thought war was the answer; but they're dead so we'll never know. War is a terrible action, but sometimes, it is indeed the answer.
Now let's talk about supporting our troops. The United States has an all-volunteer force, we who have served, or are serving now, are aware of the obligations and the hardships that even a reservist might face. I am a U.S. Navy and Alaska National Guard veteran. You cannot support our troops by devaluing the very mission in which they are engaged. It is impossible to say that "I hate the commander in chief. I detest the mission. I abhor how the military acts in Iraq, but I still support the troops." That is an intellectually weak argument, and our troops deserve better.
If you oppose the war, just say it that simply. That's more honest then disguising an agenda as concern for our sailors and soldiers.
Graham G. Storey