T Nation

Do You Support the Troops?


It has become very fasionable to say "I support the troops". This is great, and being on active duty I really appreciate the support.

However, there are a lot of folks out there who say they support us, but then hate the President and hate the mission. You can't have it both ways. We are all volunteers. We know what we are getting in to. Not a single person has joind the military in the last 5 years without knowing they would probably end up in Iraq or Afghanistan.

So, how can someone support the troops AND at the same time hate the mission and our Commander? That's like saying I'm against abortion but support abortion doctors. Thoughts?


You're kind of slow.

What people mean is that they hope the young American men and women complete their missions safely.

I hope not one more American dies in this conflict.

YET...I think the Administration should be put in the dock at the Hague for starting it.

Can you wrap your mind around that one?


No, it's more like saying "I'm against abortion, but I support the right of the abortion doctors to not be killed by some psycho anti-abortion avocate."

The armed services is a tool of the President. We Americans do not have to agree with the President on how he uses the tools, but we can hope that the tools can be returned in good shape.


No its not.

Everyone says, "Support The Troops". To some it means help them kill, to some it means bring them home, to others it means give the denfense department billions and screw everything else, to some it means support Bush, to others it means end it now.

By meaning everything, it means nothing.

I have very good friends that have been over there, are over there now, and one of my closest buddies who's going there soon. I, for one, want all of you guys out of there now. But until that happens, I want to see you all safe and alive.

Good luck bud.


I too hope no more Americans get killed, and when I get there I hope I don't get killed. But no freakin terrorist is going to use my words or actions to prove their point. I could understand your point if the left wasn't so absolutely crazed about the situation. Some have even called American troops the terrorists. All the bashing and calling of names and accusing the President of illegal evil acts does not support the troops.

Terrorists use our own words against us to support their propaganda machine. "See, even the Americans believe this war is unjust, illegal and wrong. Even they believe Bush is evil". I think Al Gore should be tried as a traitor for his little comments before the Saudis recently. Yeah, he support the troops.

What do you say to the troops who reenlist for another tour in Iraq? What do you say to the troops who ask to deploy to the war? Do you support them and their decisions?


You are right. It means different thing to different people. You forgot the guys who say it because it's trendy. And don't give me the whole "the military gets all this money while people go hungry stuff". A whopping 3-4% of the national budget goes into the military. Some countries (N. Korea, for instance) spend 30-40% on the military. Where does the other 95+% of the budget go? I think a public united front would really help the war effort. Why should the Iraqi people trust us if we can't even agree if we're there legally and for the long haul?


Dick Durban compares the actions of our troops to Nazis on the Senate floor.

John Kerry accuses them of terrorizing women and children on national TV.

This is not support for the troops.

It is possible to be against the war and support the troops, but it is very rare.

Most people that speak out against the war usually end up speaking out against the troops either directly or indirectly.

I still don't know if the invasion of Iraq was the right move in the war on terror but we are well into the fight and the time for debate on this issue is over.

It is time to finish the job.


I was't saying anything about their budget at all, or how much they get.

But what do you mean "a united front"?

I was not for the war at the start. I'm not for it now, nor will I ever be. I question everything the government does at all times. Unfortunately, this doesn't have much to do with the troops that are on the ground, and you guys get the short end of the stick.

However, just because there are troops fighting a war does not mean

1) Dissent should be quieted
2) People should rally to this "cause"
3) The leaders of this country should be trusted.

I despise the people that started this war, and all the politicians that voted for it. This has nothing to do with you or other military guys. Again, you guys are the workhorses - you're doing the work. It's where your riders are leading you that's the problem.

I hate to sound like a cynic, but good men have died for terrible causes and unjust wars for centuries. That will never change. And I'll never agree with it, no matter how many troops are on the ground or what flag they fly. It just hurts more when I see them under the American one...


Good post. Today you can't even have a disagreement without being villified. I don't know if invading Iraq was the "right" thing to do either, but I support it. I (we) have to assume the President knows more than we do (VERY hard for any liberal to digest), that he has our best interest at heart, and that he will do WHATEVER IT TAKES to protect us. You don't have to agree 100%, but you shouldn't go to another country and bad-mouth the man, um...Dixie Chix and Al Gore.

For all the haters here...who's your national defense advisor? When's the last time you were personally briefed by the JCS, world leaders, SecDef, Sec of State, NATO, CIA and the FBI? If the answer is "Never" then how can you say the President is making bad decisions? Maybe YOU just don't fully understand the situation.


First, American troops themselves use "terror" as a weapon.

What do you think "shock and awe" was meant to be, a feeling of slight discomfort?

So to call the American military "terrorists" is exaggerated, but terror is in their arsenal, yes.

If you think your point of view through to its logical consequence, all an American president had to do was to declare a war on a concept and a tactic, like "war on terror", and he would be save from critizism for the rest of his term.

How completely un-American. You are sure you know what you are fighting for?

You know America, the idea of freedom, the shining city on the hill where people can actually disagree with their government whenever they please, or is this just a you vs them ass-kicking contest?


I can sense your compassion, and I appreciate it. But don't ever think of the troops as cattle being led to the slaughter by uncaring leadership. That's the problem, I think most people who say they support us actually pity us like were this big stupid herd who have no control of our destinies.

You said "you guys are the workhorses - you're doing the work. It's where your riders are leading you that's the problem."

If I didn't have confidence in my leadership I would get out of the military. I volunteered for this. I and everyone else understand the risks and the mission. Nobody was drafted or forced to be here. We do not want your pity.

"I question everything the government does at all times." - that's very sad. Move to Canada please.

Spending billions of dollars to improve military equipment is not wasted money. It saves lives. Maybe we should go back to spears and shields, those are cheap. Maybe we should stop being so far advanced technically and tactically compared to the enemy and even up the battle field.

Dissent is fine, blind hatred and contempt is childish and dangerous.


"First, American troops themselves use "terror" as a weapon."
-WTF? Are you serious? Are we blowing up suicide boms in public markets? Are we sawing heads off? Are we dragging bodies through the streets. Yes, war is brutal. In case you didn't know, the primary obsective of American military tactics is to destroy the enemy's will to fight. If you are the enemy, then you will be terrified. But we're not going to chop your toes off or anything. (And don't tell me naked pictures are torture).

Please cite how Americans are using terrorism in this war. Or is this a liberal "what is the definition of "is"" conversations.

Freedom has ALWAY come by armed conflict. It will always be that way as long as guys like Saddam are around.

Freedom is not free. What have you done to serve your country?

You are frightening.


Are we going to start arguing about how unpatriotic it is to criticize anything done by the administration or those who implement the administrations policies?

Grow up already.

I'm not American, but I respect the honor, dedication and risk that US soldiers are taking over there. There are Canadian troops dying in Afghanistan if not in Iraq.

When those troops come home, I will be eternally grateful for the sacrifice and risk they have undertaken on my behalf.

However, that doesn't mean I have to agree with their mission or the government administration that put them in harms way.

If the government didn't want to face so much criticism, then it would hold itself to higher standards and attempt to act above reproach. Generally, it hasn't been doing that.

[I know I sort of went back and forth between Canada and the US as well as Afghanistan and Iraq, which leads me through conflicting viewpoings on the conflicts... so don't jump on my back for it.]


No. You can be critical. That's not the problem. It's the HATRED and total disrespect directed at President Bush. The guy can't even tie his shoes without being criticized for the way he laces them. This level of criticism is unprecedented. Then we have politicians going overseas calling troops terrorists and bashing America. THAT is un-American and inexcusable. The left has no other policy than "hate Bush". Who the hell ACTUALLY voted for Kerry because you liked the guy's ideas and believed in him? Or was it simply a vote AGAINST President Bush? Be honest.


No, the American military does none of the above, you do not have to. Your bombs fall out of airplanes which makes them somehow morally superior to roadside bombs or suicide bombers.

However, they inspire "terror",um, "shock and awe", oh well, whatever you like to call that feeling when your guts turn to water and you only want to go home.

Well a lot of Iraqui soldiers did go home, mission accomplished.

If you would just go home, Iraqui "terrorists" would stop blowing up Americans too.

See, the same feeling is inspired and the same outcome is desired.

However, that is not the same?


Yes and much, much longer...

People tend to forget, they start trusting their governments, suddenly huge organisations with vast powers are created, government agencies spy on their own people...

Maybe someone goes as far as to start a war to unite the people against a common enemy...

If the main US defense suppliers where called Krupp or Thyssen and had spend a huge amount of money for a conservative candidate...

Nevermind, just because it has happened again and again, we should all trust our presidents.

Again yes.

We have a saying in German "the opposite of doing well is meaning well" which comes from the whining of some people after they have fucked up "oh, but I meant well".

Meaning, you "serve" your country in a technical sense, i.e you work for it, but if that makes the US a better place, i.e you really "served" it, remains to be seen.

No, my way of dealing with ideas is.



I honestly don't think are as bad as they are made out to be. By this I mean that, sure, there are some loony lefties around, but often the message they actually tried to give is mischaracterized.

If you skip the loony stuff, I think you'll see that most criticism is fairly reasonably, but if you only hear the characterizations of the criticism by Bush defenders, you'll hear incredible inflated claims instead of what was actually said.

The world of spin is way out of control and I hope that is what you are perhaps reacting to?

Perhaps not, I don't really know. Regardless, though I'm a big mouthpiece in the politics forums, I do generally appreciate when people have their own opinion and are able to voice it -- whether or not I necessarily agree with it.

Keep in mind, we do argue about what does and does not constitute anti-American statements down here...


Now I understand...you are a German socialist. Your posts make sense now. You have a lot of balls coming here and talking about war and government leaders and so on. Mind your business. Your country already capitulated. For once, Germany isn't the source of a world war. I guess you feel superior now.

Bombing military targts = sawing off heads. I got it.


Who said anything about pity? I don't pity you or anyone else in the Army.

You guys do what you're told. You're the Army. That's your job.

You fight the fights, but it's the politicians that tell you where to fight. You don't control your destinies at all- you're the property of the US government.

You don't like questioning politicians? But you just said that you weren't the blind herd.

Can you read correctly? I said once I had no problem with military spending. Now you're starting to irritate me. I'm agreeing with you, dick.


No Vroom, he came on here and he wants a fight. I think that's clear.


There are loons on both sides. I, too, am quite politically active. I try not to get too involved on the internet, but I couldn't resist this site. I am a regular in the opinion pages of my local paper. That's my thing. I am a staunch conservative, but I don't hate democrats. I don't agree with a lot of their platforms, but I don't hate them. "Liberals" are different. I'm all about personal opinion, but what's happening now is WAAAAYYYY beyond personal opinions. It's a well-funded, strategically planned personal attack on the President and all things conservative. I can not let that go uncontested. You seem like a reasonable guy. I like your style.