What is a robust liberal attitude toward America's warriors?
As A Simple Issue
To me the logic is simple... supporting troops can mean and somtimes must mean wanting to stop fighting a war. It's like wanting to support someone by pulling them from a fire. Like "supporting" the justice system by making sure it doesn't convict the wrong guy.
I think this is pretty evident... but it is entirely beside the point.
The Real Issue
The real issue is that by not supporting the war, you tell them that their sacrifice, a really costly sacrifice, is worthless. WAIT! Many balance this by measuring the soldier by his duty and ethics to country. But only a very perceptive warrior is likely to perceive the sincerity of your respect when the translation is "you did the wrong thing with honor". It is sincere, I know speaking for myself, but it's worth making an extra effort to visualize the meaning of support in a way the warrior can appreciate. This can be done without violating one's progressive principles because their public service, horrible as it is FOR THEM, is part of a democratic society.
Another issue is people that think the warrior should protest, refuse, so the world can have a war and nobody comes. I find this pretty naïve although I know where people thinking this are coming from. That day can come. But right now my opinion is that if there were no military at all, then we would be invaded. Military security is still necessary, right now.
Some suggested, in response to the last revision of my point, that a Nuclear-Only armed force, or a well regulated defensive national militia would be sufficient to repel invasion. Those are both types of military. And this is my point, we should be debating what sort of military progressives want to have, instead of persisting in the idea that the military isn't really needed. It IS needed, we can debate what sort best serves our interest, but since it IS needed, we support the warrior right now.
The debate is only what kind of defense force is appropriate and which conflicts are worthy. Thus, the issue of if we need a military is solved, and one must conclude that we need soldiers that are duty bound to do things for their country. For their country, that means, not directly for themselves. The military is a device that embraces a hierarchy of commands which is necessary to its operation.
The military is necessary although there are many reforms imaginable within a progressive context. I could imagine, for example, war requiring a 2/3-majority national authorization vote being an interesting position. I could imagine all sorts of approaches. But in all cases the progressive position must be to support the warrior, not by ignoring their service, but based closely on their service, their ethics and heroism with respect to their mission and to the human standards of mankind. A military where the soldier is the arbiter of a just conflict is a world in which a military coup is acceptable, for this is one case where militaries decide what they think is best for their nation. The military must have a principle of service, duty, and fidelity for their obedience to nation is all that protects uf from a forced obedience to them.
How to explain this to the warrior is the real problem. If you have ideas speak up. I'll bet most of us don't. Talking to warriors and their relatives is the path to an answer, but the warriors and their representatives can't be expected to have the answer either.
- Listening to the Warriors
- Figuring out "Progressive Appropriate" items to send to deployed soldiers
- Healthcare for returned vets, mind and body
- Support GI benefits and issues
- Emphasize the positive as well, don't wait for the Republicans to come up with stories of courageous soldiers.
- Emphasize the positive, the mission in Afghanistan was necessary
- Emphasize the positive, soldiers serve world wide and are serving under many difficult conditions from South Korea to Germany
- Other things...
Even Afghanistan could have been done differently but that's always the case. Progressives are, and -certainly- Democrats are, pro civil service and the sacrifice of the soldier is sacrosanct to the protection of our Constitution.