thousands of military personnel before me and thousands more since my time
in service, I have sacrificed so that each and every American would have
the right to protest. As a former military man, I can also say, the very
instant a war begins the time for protesting is past.
We are a nation that loves sports, so allow me to pose an analogy. You support
your local team. They are your team. You support them in good times and in
bad. The local coach announces he is going to start the back up quarterback
in next week’s game. You have every right to voice your protest to this decision,
but the instant the game begins, do you continue to protest? Do you cheer
the opposition on, or do you get behind your team, even if you oppose the
coaches decision? The answer to this is obvious. If you truly support your
team, you rise above your disdain for the coach and pull for your boys to
win decisively. If you are a fair weather fan, and you put your own animosity
of the coach above all else, you hope for your teams failure. Your bitterness
and implacability will not allow you to hope for success.
I have heard people over and over since the war began in Iraq, trying desperately
to make the case they support our troops, but oppose the war. To that I say,
hogwash. Protesting the war now is a slap in the face to every son and daughter,
father and mother, who wear our military uniforms. The time for protesting
is over, and now the time for support has begun. Consider how it affects
our soldiers when they find themselves in harm’s way, facing grave danger,
only to hear that the very people they are sworn to protect oppose their
What is to be accomplished by the protesters? Will their action bring an
end to the war? No. The truth is Saddam Hussein knows the only chance he
has of surviving is to prolong the war as long as possible, to facilitate
a negative attitude and loss of support by the American people. Protesting
this war is playing right into the hands of an evil dictator which we have
sworn to remove from power. It is the equivalent of supporting Saddam Hussein,
not our troops. Should the efforts of the protesters be successful, which
they will not, and we pull out of Iraq without a conclusion, then the fine
sons and daughters who have already given the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq
have done so in vain. I find that unacceptable.
And I would ask every American who is protesting this war, is it really this
war you are so vehemently opposed to, or is it the coach? Since the Supreme
Court ruling that put George W. Bush in office, he has faced a constant barrage
of hatred, and this protest is nothing more than a continuation of that hatred.
Where were the protests when the previous administration sent our troops
into Somalia without the armament necessary to survive, much less complete
their mission? Where was the protesting when the previous administration
bombed Iraq in 1998 without a UN resolution? Or where was the protesting
over the previous administrations involvement of our forces in Bosnia? Where
was your support of the troops when the previous administration was cutting
our military budget to shreds while increasing welfare benefits? If you won’t
be honest with the rest of us, at least be honest with yourselves and admit
that your hatred is not for the war, but rather for the coach.
Is it the fault of the second string quarterback that the coach made a decision
that was unpopular for some people? No. Nor is it the fault of any one of
our soldiers that an unpopular war has begun. (Actually, the polls currently
show, it is only an unpopular war with about 28% of Americans). But the fact
is, the war has started, and it will continue until its conclusion. If you
really want to support our troops, the best method is to support their mission.
Pray for a fast and decisive victory so they may return home soon. Our troops
need real fans, not the fair weather variety.
Monty Rainey is one of the founders of the Junto Society, on the web at www.juntosociety.com.
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