Thoughts on War and Politics, Virtual or Real

I read webcomics, and one of my favorite is CTRL+ALT+DEL. I enjoy reading the thoughts of the comic authors, and Thursday’s Of war and controller ports talked about war.

Battlefield 2 was recently released, and a number of people have been enjoying it. I haven’t played it yet, but I should probably add this game to the list of games I should play. In any case, Absath talks about how people are playing Battlefield 2, which is meant to entertain, while real soldiers are fighting and dying. He also stresses the importance of remembering that it isn’t just a statistic when a soldier dies. There are families and friends involved. Many people are affected when each soldier dies.

He also made the following point:

I’ve said this before- I don’t care if you feel the war in Iraq is justified or not. If you don’t support and respect our troops overseas that are fighting and dying to defend our country, whether you think it needs defending or not, you are no kind of human in my book.

Please note that the following will likely upset a lot of people and is fairly off-topic from what I usually cover. I seldom will write on such topics in the future.

Now, maybe I just don’t come into contact with enough people, but I have yet to meet someone who was against the war AND the troops, and so I don’t think such a reminder is really necessary. I was under the impression that whether you support or are against the war, you generally didn’t want the American troops to be hurt. Then again, I’ve heard about crazier things that people have thought or done, so maybe there are such people in America. In that case, those people are just as bad as “right to life” advocates who don’t think twice about bombing abortion clinics or shooting the doctors that work there. But I have a feeling that such people don’t actually exist, but there are those who would like you to believe they do.

I think that an informed public that is allowed to give their opinions, even when those opinions disagree with those in power, is what makes democracy work. I’m tired of hearing how anyone who is disagrees with Bush’s policies are “aiding and abetting terrorists” and “putting our troops in harm’s way”. How absurd to think this way!

Which helps terrorists achieve their goals more? Allowing people to oppose the current President’s policies openly, or forcing everyone to follow the policies without complaint? One is what democracy not only allows but was created for. The other paves the way for a police state.

There are those who will read this and think that I am just spouting “liberal nonsense” and make the outrageous claim that I am both against the troops and supporting terrorism. Do me a favor and read it again. Do it. We’ll wait for you right here.

Done? Now, honestly think to yourself how you can love America and hate that different opinions exist. How do you reconcile being a patriot while making false connections between political opposition and terrorist support? It’s how the United States works! People are not only permitted to question our leaders. It’s our responsibility!

I can’t pretend to speak for any of the soldiers, but I think it would be horrible to believe that I am fighting to defend freedom for America only to come home and find that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are torn up to allow only group to be free.

I don’t have a purely left or right idealogy. The left has their problems as well as the right. Basically, I’m just tired of people making non sequitur arguments without being put into check. Being opposed to war doesn’t automatically make you opposed to the warrior. Being opposed to the President’s policies doesn’t automatically make you opposed to the United States. Exercising your rights to free speech doesn’t make you a terrorist.

It makes you American.

So can someone explain how they can profess to love America but can’t stand Americans? Can your right to provide a dissenting opinion bother you so much that you would rather have it taken away than abused? How can you still call yourself American after that? And how can you claim that you yourself aren’t aiding those who are against what America stands for?

This July 4th, please remember that we have brave soldiers fighting and dying for our freedoms. Please remember that those freedoms aren’t threats to America. Specifically, your ability and your fellow citizen’s abilities to complain about the government’s policies should be a point of pride. To consider it as simply a tool for terrorists is to insult America and those who stand for it. Celebrate your freedom! Do not be ashamed of it.

I cannot say “Thank You” enough to those who defend my freedom to say what I just said above. Some nations would try to prevent me. Some people here would prefer that the United States do so as well.

3 comments to Thoughts on War and Politics, Virtual or Real

  • Blame Vietnam. Or blame the media.

    Soldiers came home to meet utter revulsion (and in some cases, outright ABUSE) at the hands of war protestors. Being showered with blood as they returned home at the airport, etc. The ire and frustration with an unpopular war was heaped upon the soldiers themselves, since the government was too remote to touch.

  • If that is true, then it is horrible how people can treat others regardless of their viewpoints.

    I’ve never heard of it before, but I looked up Vietnam on Wikipedia. I’m not familiar with that war as it held no significance to me when I was growing up. I was in 4th grade when the Persian Gulf War happened.

    Anyway, I found this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spitting_Image

    It claims that the spitting never happened. It was something that became ingrained in our culture years after the war. So it is entirely possible that none of the abuse actually happened. I plan to read more about it because I imagine that other sources will claim otherwise, but regardless of the facts, abusing the soldiers because they participated in a war you disagreed with is horrible and wrong. If someone did so, they should be ashamed of themselves.

    It still doesn’t excuse people from making the leap in logic that’s needed when equating war protesters with terrorist supporters. This action is equally disgusting and no American should stand for such bullying of opinion.

  • No no Gianfranco, if you don’t support the war that doesn’t mean that you BELIEVE in your heart that America is at risk and that these guys are dying for a reason. You probably also don’t BELIEVE in your heart of hearts that Jesus Christ is your personal saviour. I’m almost positive that if you don’t suppot the war on terror you don’t really BELIEVE in your heart that ninjas have REAL ULTIMATE POWER.

    You must never ever challenge the carefully constructed world views of people who can’t deal with change. Seriously I actually feel for the people who will get in your face about how their love one is defending our nation against this ‘terrorist threat’ Bush keeps talking about in Iraq. Otherwise there is absolutely no way that they can justify the fact that their friends or family are in harm’s way for no discernable reason, or worse, to pad the pockets of High Party Officials. If these people can believe that their loved ones are risking their lives for a higher purpose it is easier to feel ok about it.
    This is what causes the confusion between the two camps. One group doesn’t understand why the other supports the war (when it is putting their loved ones in harm’s way for no discernible reason.) The other group cannot understand that the reason the first group opposes the war is to protect the lives of American servicemen.
    It’s a quandry on the level of the polygamy issue. I mean good lord, if we let the homos get married the next thing you know the sexual perverts will be cheating the government out of tax money.