I am looking at the Memorial Day faced book page of one of my class mates who NAVY ROTCEd and took a lot of crap for being the military on campus in 1970. I have a memory of An Air Force ROTC kid in an English class who was jeered for wearing his uniform to class. I didn’t think it was fair at the time, or smart… we need educated soldiers.
How the left deliberately chose to abuse fighting persons in the Vietnam era is a lesson in how not to oppose a war. The people who fight are not the ones to blame. We need soldiers and sailers and air persons and we are better off if we don’t let them choose the wars they fight. Their job is to follow the civilian leadership. Soldiers who choose their own wars are as likely to choose their own leadership. Not a good idea in a Democracy.
Still, I cringe everytime I hear a service person honored for “fighting for our freedom” in Iraq and Afghanstan. This is bullshit. In Iraq we fought because George W. Busch is an ignorant dumbass and was surrounded by arrogant uneducated fools. In Afghanistan, we went In to get Ben Laden and failed for 10 years to get him because George W. Busch is a moron.
There are few good wars. In our history we can be proud of the Revolution, the Civil War and WWII. (There is a valid argument that if we had not entered WWI, WWII would never have been necessary. Because we upset the balance of power, France and England were able to impose unnecessary demands on Germany… which led to the collapse of the Weimar Republic and the rise of Hitler. We would have been better off to have allowed them to beat each other senseless and write an armistice as equals.)
When it comes to wars we have had a lot of stinkers. The Mexican Conquest, the Spanish-American, WWI, Vietnam. Iraq and Afghanistan. (I don’t know about Korea.) Most of these wars were the result of incompetence and greed and stupidity. A lot of good people died… some of whom I went to school with… in no good cause that I can name. Certainly, in most cases, it had nothing to do with keeping America free.
Still we must honor the soldiers for their steadfast bravery, their willingness to serve, their unquestioning loyalty to the nation.
We owe them our honor and respect. And we owe them one other thing. We owe them better leaders.