Skip to comments.A Fuzzy Strategery [Cornell Student Questions Supporting The Troops]
Posted on 11/26/2006 12:07:17 PM PST by Doctor Raoul
Yesterday, Sun Columnist Billy McMorris argued that, as students, we should take time away from partying and sleeping, and express our gratitude to the nearly 3,000 soldiers who have died so far in Iraq. Billy does what George Bush does: instead of defending the Iraq War, he points to the sacrifices of our soldiers. Its a crafty strategy of misdirection, to channel our grief for dead soldiers into support for the ongoing war in Iraq.
There was a time when such sacrifices might have been sensible. Maybe at first, we could justify soldiers deaths for dethroning a tyrant; destroying chemical weapons; or smokin terrorists out of their caves. But three years later, Saddams statue has been toppled, and hes about to be hanged; the WMDs have been revealed as the stuff of myth; and were breeding terrorism rather than eradicating it.
Even David Brooks, the columnist for The New York Times who had previously supported the war, recently conceded that our current invasion will simply not succeed: The war was an attempt to lift a unified Iraq out of its awful history, he wrote, but history has proved stubborn. Its time to adjust the plans to reality.
Just yesterday, insurgents dressed as Iraqi policemen rounded up over 100 people from a college office in a mass kidnapping conducted in broad daylight.
When John Kerry stuck his foot in his mouth and told students theyd get stuck in Iraq if they didnt study, he broke the cardinal rule of opposition to a war: protest the war, but dont cricitize the troops. With the recent election returns reflecting calls for withdrawal as the number of American casualties in Iraq approaches the 3,000 mark, I wonder how much longer we can separate the actions of our troops from the White Houses stubborn policy of Stay the Course.
When the war started, dissent was seditious; when the Iraqis didnt greet our troops with flowers and hurrahs, we saw some measures of dissent. Now, with the situation in Iraq dissolving into chaos, condemnations of Bush are commonplace. Yet questioning the actions of those on the ground remains taboo.
Aaron Sorkins brilliant military drama, A Few Good Men, explores the legitimacy of just following orders in the rigid military hierarchy. At the end of the trial, when Jack Nicholsons Col. Jessup incriminates himself by spitting out the truth, the tribunal still holds Pfcs. Downey and Dawson culpable for carrying out an illegal Code Red.
In the aftermath of the real-life Abu Ghraib prison scandal, Specialists Lynndie England and Charles Graner tried to argue that they were just doing their jobs. I thought the Nuremberg Trial of Eichmann had put to bed the defense that you can just follow orders.
Of course, all this is not to say that our men and women in the Middle East should be held accountable for our governments policy decisions. After all, theyre just following orders and dying for them.
Consider the case of Cpl. Jason Dunham, who will posthumously be awarded the Medal of Honor after perishing in Iraq in April.
If the four Marines hoisting the American flag at Iwo Jima embodied the struggle of the Greatest Generation, then Dunhams death will surely come to represent our generations conflict overseas. What better metaphor for the undermanned and under-equipped invasion in Iraq than a 22-year-old desperately trying to blunt the force of a grenade with only his helmet and his torso?
Were not going to succeed in Iraq, so why are we still sending troops there to die? Without an underlying cause, these soldiers sacrifices amount to little more than assisted suicides. If my generation is guilty of anything, its not failing to thank our troops; its failing to castigate our government for sanctioning so many senseless deaths.
Billy writes that Dunham will be the second service member to receive this award since hostilities began in Iraq in 2003. He will, however, certainly not be the last. Why not?
Its a pernicious paradox that the Bush Administration flaunts: when the wars not going well, theres a fresh supply of bodies to glorify, so in the public relations war, the Republicans can never lose. But for the wars opponents, criticizing the war is unpatriotic, and questioning the logic behind the soldiers deaths is unheard of. So while Bush and his cronies exploit the connection between the war and the troops, people who oppose the war are merely supposed to say thanks.
The imagery that gave the Bush Administration so much political capital firemen and police offers on 9/11 running into the wreckage, instead of out is still driving the neoconservative ideology today. So when an insurgents grenade hit the deck, so did Jason, Billy wrote yesterday, but he did not dive out of harms way as one would think He, instead, dove on top of the grenade without so much as blinking.
The metaphor has simply outlived its usefulness. Were creating victims, not saving them.
With control of the Congress, the Democrats need to inundate the American public with symbols that illustrate the realities in the Middle East. Releasing pictures of the thousands of coffins that have returned from Iraq images that the Bush Administration has worked hard to suppress would be a first step. But moreover, we need to be reminded that, like Pfc. Dunham, the Bush Administration is trying to contain an explosive region with just a few helmeted human bodies.
After three years in Iraq, semantics no longer matter. Whether youre supporting the war or supporting the troops, in the end, youre just supporting George W. Bush. And in glorifying heroics on the battlefield, were consenting to being on the battlefield in the first place.
Rob Fishman is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be contacted at email@example.com Agree to Disagree appears Wednesdays.
Hey Fishman, that was fiction! Written by a pot head, doper, stoner, coke snorting liberal.
Come here you little bastard.
Youth is obviously a dangerous quagmire. The sooner this dope grows up the better.
Top 20 Causes of Death - Young Adult (20 - 24) 2002
Rank Cause of Death Total Deaths No of Deaths Percent
All Deaths 19234 19234 100.00%
1 Unintentional Injury 8275 43.02%
* MV Traffic 5712 29.70%
* Poisoning 1193 6.20%
* Drowning 309 1.61%
* Fall 164 0.85%
* Other Land Transport 113 0.59%
* Fire/burn 110 0.57%
* Firearm 103 0.54%
* Other Spec., classifiable 102 0.53%
* Suffocation 87 0.45%
* Pedestrian, Other 86 0.45%
* Other Transport 83 0.43%
* Unspecified 71 0.37%
* Struck by or Against 46 0.24%
* Machinery 29 0.15%
* Natural/ Environment 27 0.14%
* Other Spec., NEC 23 0.12%
* Pedal cyclist, Other 10 0.05%
* Cut/pierce 7 0.04%
2 Homicide 3327 17.30%
3 Suicide 2497 12.98%
4 Malignant Neoplasms 1007 5.24%
5 Heart Disease 617 3.21%
6 Congenital Anomalies 244 1.27%
7 HIV 140 0.73%
8 Cerebrovascular 118 0.61%
9 Diabetes Mellitus 116 0.60%
10 Chronic Respiratory Disease 99 0.51%
11 Influenza & Pneumonia 92 0.48%
12 Anemias 69 0.36%
13 Septicemia 69 0.36%
14 Nephritis 63 0.33%
15 Complicated Pregnancy 61 0.32%
16 Benign Neoplasms 46 0.24%
17 Pneumonitis 28 0.15%
18 Liver Disease 24 0.12%
19 Aortic Aneurysm 19 0.10%
20 Hypertension 17 0.09%
All Others 2306
Fishman is a POS and has no idea who has made it possible for him to write trash like this without being tarred and feathered and run out of town.
What is it with lefties and using fictional movies as the basis for real life discussions? For years Michael Douglas' character in Wall Street ("Gordon Gecko") was used as a straw man for the liberals wanting to bash the Reagan years. Now they're using some hokey Tom Cruise movie to criticize Iraq?
Vapid defense of their own cowardice.
Arts and Sciences. Thats a study for a "real man" allright.
When I read this I am reminded of a scene from the movie Saving Private Ryan of the weak cowardly liberal reporter simpering on the stairs as the German, staring is disgust, walks by. Later this coward kills the German soldier because he is the only witness to what a worthless piece of shit he really is.
Uh, news flash, you little brat; We are already there, whether or not you give your damned "consent".
If the four Marines hoisting the American flag at Iwo Jima embodied the struggle of the Greatest Generation, then Dunhams death will surely come to represent our generations conflict overseas. What better metaphor for the undermanned and under-equipped invasion in Iraq than a 22-year-old desperately trying to blunt the force of a grenade with only his helmet and his torso
First of all you need to get your money (or your parents Money) back on your education, there were six Iwo Jima flag raiser: Four in the front line and two in back. The front four are (left to right) Ira Hayes, Franklin Sousley, John Bradley and Harlon Block. The back two are Michael Strank (behind Sousley) and Rene Gagnon (behind Bradley). For the second part Corporal Jason Dunham did what all Marines are taught to do, sacrificing ones self to protect others (All freedom loving people in need) is a very small part of being a Marine! Rob Fishman be part of the solution, join the Marines, if you can make the grade. What a waste of human flesh.
Hey Fishman, by writing columns like this you're only angering conservatives and creating more of us.
How 'bout them apples?
"What is it with lefties and using fictional movies as the basis for real life discussions?"
I was going to ask the same thing. I figure the ideology isn't based in reality so naturally their arguments come from works of fiction.
What better metaphor for the undermanned and under-equipped invasion in Iraq than a 22-year-old desperately trying to blunt the force of a grenade with only his helmet and his torso?
First, if it was "undermanned and under-equipped", thank the Clintons for that. The cuts from eight years of their criminal enterprise are still hurting us. There's a long and shameful history about body armor and armored humvees, and it all belongs in Bill and Hitlery's expansive laps.
Despite the troops tied down in eternal commitment to the Balkans and South Korea (thank you, Bill, for both), the American military blew through a still-functional and well-armed Iraqi military in just a few weeks. And that despite being a division short after Fr*nce bought off Turkey, who denied us staging areas in the north.
As far as throwing yourself on a grenade to save your comrades, that has nothing to do with desperation. It has everything to do with deciding in a split second that you will protect your buddies, even at the cost of your own life.
This punk has no concept of honor, history, or even common decency. He should go far in the RAT party.
Nicholson's brief role was the only good part to that dull flick. I just about fell asleep watching it until Jack showed up.