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the price of freedom

I didn't forget about the pro-war jingle contest. I'll be announcing the winner tomorrow.

the price of freedom

It occurred to me today that this is getting serious. Every day we are getting closer and closer to a real war. Although today's vote by the Iraqi Parliament had about as much meaning as a mime doing opera, it still brought an air of urgency to the whole matter.

I don't want a war. I don't sit here rooting for Saddam to give us the middle finger so we can launch an all-out blitz on Iraq. But I do feel it is necessary. I do think it is what we have to do to assure the future of this country, this planet, still exists.

People will die. Soldiers will go to Iraq to defend freedom and they will not come home. It will be a fearful time and a sad time, but one thing it will not be is a time to stage protests and start a counter-revolution.

The protesters of the Vietnam War did not stop the war. They only succeeded in making it a failure. We cannot let that happen again. We cannot turn the tide of war against us.

I don't want bloodshed. I don't want death. I only want freedom. Freedom in our future, freedom for the people of Iraq, freedom from oppressive, dangerous, barbaric dictators.

The imminent war against Iraq is just a battle. The complete war, the whole show, is the war on terrorism. They are all part of each other. Until we wipe out every group that is waging a jihad against democracy and freedom, we have not won. I am talking about the groups for whom killing 3,000 people is not enough. Groups for whom good parenting means strapping a machine gun to your child when he is five and teaching him how to hate.

Hatred grows like a disease. It spreads and strengthens and multiplies until it smothers anything trying to stifle it. And when that hatred is taught in tandem with violence, it becomes a cancer that knows how to do nothing but kill.

I know that war is violence. I know that war means death for some. But our reasons for violence are different than that of a terrorist or tyrant. Our reasons for death are not gratuitous; they are not borne out of hatred. They are borne out of defense, out of protection, out of wanting the future to be free of falling skyscrapers and exploding buses.

The reasons to wage war are often more urgent than the reasons to not wage war.

Perhaps it will not come down to war at all. But if it does, I am going to stand behind our soldiers as they go out to protect the freedoms that we hold dear. Yes, those freedoms include the right to shout down those who support the battle. But please, just remember who won that freedom for you.

Comments

The military is chomping at the bit for the most part. I remember from my guitar-playing days entertaining a lot of the 1st Ranger Batallion soldiers from Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah. I made good friends with one of them, and after his enlistment was over and he went back home, he called me from Minnesota when we launched the invasion of Greneda. He was crying over the phone.

"I TRAINED FOR THAT! I WANT TO BE THERE!"

Yeah, war is hell. Especially if you're fighting against American soldiers.

The military people knew the job was dangerous when they took it. That's WHY some of them took it.

I'm with SBD of USS Clueless: their defeat must include a whopping dose of humiliation.

As long as our tanks keep playing "Alley Cat," and as long as we keep our strategic reserve of butterfly nets full, we are invincible!

Since I think anything less than removing Saddam is a waste of time I am rooting for him to "give us the finger." The sooner we get all this screwing around with inspections that can't possibly work out of the way, the better.

I know you frown upon those who would rummage through your blog looking for little bits and pieces to throw back at you, so I won't. I wouldn't want to get kicked out anyway, I like it in here. How about just one?
"Talk war to me, baby!"
Ew. I'm under Hawkins.
ps. don't know if I mentioned it, but I do support military action.

Michele,

Good post, great comments. I loved this line:

"The protesters of the Vietnam War did not stop the war. They only succeeded in making it a failure. We cannot let that happen again. We cannot turn the tide of war against us."

I've felt that way for years and it really pisses me off when my fellow "boomers" get up ont their high horse about their days as protestors...

Lord yes, as a boomer I must say I am sorry for the whole stupid thing. I'm starting over.
Ta,
P

Lord yes, as a boomer I must say I am sorry for the whole stupid thing. I'm starting over.
Ta,
P

"The protesters of the Vietnam War did not stop the war. They only succeeded in making it a failure. We cannot let that happen again. We cannot turn the tide of war against us."

All of the current revisionism in the world does not change the facts of the Vietnam conflict. Maybe start with "The Rise to Globalism" by Stephen Ambrose, and the history of the conflict starting with Truman. The protestors were only a symptom of failure.

I think the Vietnamese themselves had something to do with making the Vietnam War a failure for the US, and certainly those assholes the French did. Those Vietnamese who were US allies were notoriously uncommitted, corrupt and piss-poor at fighting, while those lined up against the US were willing to endure great hardship against great odds to achieve victory. They were fighting for their country (I'm talking about soldiers not the Communist leaders necessarily), while the Arvins were "fighting" for kickbacks, mafia control of the hamlets, a piece of the steady stream of dollar bills rolling in from US taxpayers, and finally, in their last acts of desperation, seats on the US planes evacuating Saigon. The Communists also happened to have a damn good military commander, Vo Nguyen Giap ... Tet notwithstanding. The biggest problem with the war was that the US picked the side (or really, power clique) that gave absolutely not a shred of a shit for anybody but themselves, and had no connection to the justified rebellion against French colonialism that was most prominently led by the Viet Minh.

The anti-war protestors in the states picked up on the fact that the US was backing a corrupt pack of thugs -- and was even encouraging coups and assassinations within the thugocracy to get a more malleable puppet regime -- against, if not a "noble and heroic national liberation movement", then at least the heirs of that movement ... who actually might have softened up quite a bit on their communist agenda had the US had some balls and delivered a nice, big hearty "fuck you" to a washed-up France in its ahistoric and racist quest to recapture its toppled pride by getting all its pre-war colonies back under the thumb after the Allies had done the dirty work of rescuing them from the Axis powers.

Thus the whole problem with this war came long before the 60s radicals started protesting it, indeed, long before the 60s even happened or radicals existed in any numbers.

The point being, your statement about Vietnam War protesters must be examined in light of the whole context of the several stages of the Indochinese war, and not just as a single image, sliced from history, of masses of protesters marching on Washington in the late 60s as grunts lay dying in the rice paddies of Vietnam.

There's a common meme about how we betrayed our "allies" in the Vietnam war, but the fact is, as a country founded on the principle of managing our own affairs, free of overseas tyranny, we betrayed the Vietnamese people way back when we decided to help the French run their country as a colony.

I don't know as much about history as I should, but here's a conversation I overheard at at Liquor store beteen two veterans about the Vietnam war & war in general:

Customer [wearing VFW t-shirt]: I’d like to give the Chilean wine a try this time. I don’t want any of that French stuff. They don’t like Americans.

Cashier: [pointing to VFW shirt] I was in WWII. And you..?

Customer: I was in the war we lost - Vietnam.

Cashier: I was stationed in Burma. The Brits – couldn’t take the island, no matter how hard they tried. Finally, they went all out – blew the place to bits – women, children, they didn’t care who got in the way. They leveled it. It was war, you know. That’s what they had to do..

Customer: Umm..well..

Cashier: In Vietnam, you had kids, women with grenades - you’d let them into camp.
They’d blow you to bits!

Customer: Well, yeah, but that’s not why we lost…

Cashier: We should have won that war..

Customer: ..we lost it at home. In America, there was no support..

Cashier: When I was on watch, they’d tell me – "if someone comes up to you, you shout halt three times – if they don’t stop, you shoot them." My sergeant took me aside and said "you shoot first, yell halt later"

Customer: [Laughs] Yeah

Cashier: I’ll tell you, the worst thing I ever saw - in my whole life - was New York. Those skyscrapers on fire, people jumping out.. That was the worst I ever saw..

Customer: Yeah..

Remin me again how the US army/govt is about defending freedom.
Those guys in yemen, not any immediate threat to US lives, blown away. No trial. No jury. No human rights.

Those guys in the cuban camp guat..soemthign or other bay, with no legal representation, what of their treatment.

If a us citizen was treatd lie that by anothyer country even if it was legal in that country the US would invade.

The us does it and then claims to defend freedom.

Um, hello?

I dont like terrorism but if you use the same tactics which the US seems willing to o, you are no better.

PS US troops arent all that good.
US technology is however.
Dont get the two mixed up.

Ive seen US marines and USArmy grunts and arty guys crying over here( Australa) on exercise.

Your technology is good. Your troops on the whole medicore. Dont confuse the two.

You'll win any conflict your politicians allow you to win, but it wont be by quality of manpower.

Nail that illiterate Asshole,Michele.
If you're really from Australia. You should at least be able to SPELL it!

I was there, protesting Vietnam. I can tell you when we lost interest in Vietnam, it was when we ended the draft and got out. After the collective asses of my peers weren't at risk, we didn't give a shit over what happened to the Vietnamese. It was all about cowardice.

Those guys in yemen, not any immediate threat to US lives, blown away. No trial. No jury. No human rights.

the guys on the uss cole, you mean? right, fuckwit?

Michele - thoughtful post with some very sound points. It's linked. Thanks

"US troops arent all that good.
US technology is however.
Dont get the two mixed up."

You need a big stirrer. For example, mix "Those guys in yemen, not any immediate threat to US lives" with the guys who attacked the USS Cole, taking the lives of 14 sailors, and you'll find they are one and the same.

Mix that same technology with truly mediocre troops (pick your country), and you'll get mediocre results. The guys with the best tools in the world will lose if they don't know how to use them, and use them well. The record of the US military over the past couple of decades speaks for itself. As does your spelling.

Who cares about the opinions of someone too cowardly to leave their name?

To Posted by: blank

Your criticism of the U.S. army is full of errors, and lacks even the illusion of research. You can’t even be bothered to look up the spelling of Camp Guantanamo.

You haven't put any effort into this and your opinions don't seem to be based on any facts, so this is my only reply.

ummm

not wanting to start an argument but just because the geeza cant spell, it doesnt mean he is wrong.

during the gulf war the uk lost more men to american friendly fire than to the actual bad guys.

if that shows that your guys are well trained then we need to do a check and see if they know what side that they are fighting for.

and before anyone says i dont know what i am talking about they should realize that i have served in the british army and i am extremely proud of it. we realize that fire power isnt everything. common sense counts for alot as well. u guys should think about that? by the way your president is going to get us alll killed sooner or later with his itchy trigger finger. must be in your DNA?

sas - british and the best

thankyou america...........goodnight :)