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Sunday, April 08, 2007



How often I have heard this: “I support the troops, but”. The “but” may be any of a number of qualifications, most of which we have all heard. I do not wish to address the “buts”, as I am really not concerned with the reasons so many Americans feel it necessary to add some disclaimer or explanation to the statement. Frankly, I don’t care what kind of exclusion follows, because the insertion of the word “but” is proof that the first part of the statement is a lie.

If you feel it necessary to add any disclaimer, qualifier, limitation or equivocation to the sentiment that you support the troops, the addition of such an addendum is a self-indictment that you really don’t support the troops. Whether spoken or written, those who feel they must add the word “but” to their statement of support are being disingenuous at best, or intend to deliberately deceive the listener or reader. In either event, they are in point of fact, lying. And we should recognize that, so that our response is appropriate.

Those who support the troops are rooting for them to win, whatever and wherever the conflict, and whatever the reason for that conflict.

Those who support the troops want them to have every resource necessary for them to win. That includes funding, equipment, training, reinforcements, encouragement, recognition and leadership.

Those who support the troops want accurate, honest and complete reporting on the progress of the conflict, without agenda driven commentary disguised as reporting. Editorials and opinions should be so identified, and properly belong on the editorial page.

Those who support the troops want them to use whatever lawful tactics, rules of engagement and methods are necessary to defeat their adversaries, without excessive limitations that either restrict their ability to achieve their objectives, or endanger themselves unnecessarily.

Those who support the troops do not want any unrealistic or artificial timetables or politically driven “benchmarks” put in place that may have unintended consequences.

Those who support the troops do not want our elected representatives undermining their efforts by exaggerating the successes of the adversary, or diminishing the accomplishments of our military.

Those who support the troops do whatever they can to provide assistance and comfort to the families of our military.

Those who support the troops understand that the men and women in the United States military are often the best and brightest among us, and recognize that they are the most honorable, humane and noble military ever to take the field.

There are many more indicators I could cite to assist you in identifying those who actually support the troops, and those who do not. However, I will add just one more that I consider relevant, and vital. I am sure you have more examples, and invite you to add them to your own list.

Those who support the troops understand that America cannot afford any more ties when dealing with an adversary in armed conflict. The world must have a clear understanding that opposing the United States on the battlefield will result in the destruction of any aggressor that engages our troops, because that understanding will lessen the chances that it will be necessary for our military to prove the point again and again.

So please, if you are one of those “support the troops, but” people, do not bother offering your explanations to me. I already know what you really think.

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