Support Our Troops ≠ Support the War

Support Our Troops - I see it on bumper stickers, though less often than a few years ago. And I've heard many people assert that if you don't support the Iraq war, you don't support our troops...though, again, less often than a few years ago. I guess we are finally separating the ideas of supporting a policy of war and supporting our troops. We realize we can support our troops and not support a war.

It's like supporting students but not supporting the school.

Sometimes the best way to show your support is to pull the students (or soldiers) out.

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Iraq Reckoning - Peter Oborne - Documentary

Dispatches - Iraq Reckoning - Wow! Iraq Reckoning is an absolutely riveting analysis/critique/documentary of Iraq war from British reporter, Peter Oborne.

In Iraq Reckoning, Oborne reports how Bush/Blair went into Iraq without a plan for post-war Iraq. Interviews with former officials confirm this. The opinion that Saddam was "evil" seemed justification enough to invade the country for both Tony Blair and George Bush.

Oborne then describes how soldiers fought a losing battle with local insurgents and terrorists for control of the country--or more accurately, regions of the country. At first Baathist party members were shunned, thrown out because of their ties to Saddam. Now they are being welcomed back into the governing fold, at least in Baghdad. Why?

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Final Goodbyes for Two Brothers

Final Goodbyes for Two Brothers - These two photographs gave me chills.

Steve says goodbye to his brother, who's off to Iraq.

Months later, Steve says final goodbye at his brother's funeral.

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Water Kills More Kids Than War - UNICEF Poster

Water Kills More Kids Than War - UNICEF Poster

water kills kids

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Mary McHugh Mourns Her Slain Fiance

Mary McHugh mourns her slain fiance, Sgt. James Regan, a US Army Ranger killed in Iraq, at Arlington National Cemetery May 27, 2007.

This photograph by John Moore (Getty Images) won 1st place for Feature Photos in the 2007 Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar Contest.

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Torture and Collateral Damage - Jonathan Glover

In modern war, what is most shocking is a poor guide to what is most harmful.
~ Jonathan Glover

I read that quote by British philosopher Jonathan Glover in Sam Harris' book The End of Faith. Glover and Harris expose a moral oddity or failing. They argue that while our conscience is repelled by the torture of one person, that same conscience can somehow accept when a "precision bomb" causes "collateral damage." Yet the harm caused by the bomb is much greater than the harm caused by torture of one individual. How do we accept or discount that greater harm? Why do we focus on pain torture causes an individual? Surely, the pain, suffering (not to mention death) caused to the innocent by the anonymous bomb exceeds that of any torture chamber. Both acts are abhorrent. Why does our moral compass fail us?

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Young Boy Receives Father's Funeral

No words....

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Bush, Iraq and the Emperor's New Clothes

War is a cowardly escape from the problems of peace.
~ Thomas Mann

When it comes to the public perception of Bush's Iraq policy, I think much of the U.S. population has been guilty of playing the crowd in the Emperor's New Clothes. Bush said Iraq was an imminent threat, building a nuclear bomb, connected to al Qaeda and the 911 attacks. And many agreed with Bush's declaration, saying, "Yes, Emperor, attacking Iraq is a great solution to terrorism." But since the election, many realized that their friends and neighbors no longer saw what Bush saw, they no longer believed Bush's statements about the war and Iraq; public opinion shifted...we finally woke up. I only wish that Iraq was a fairy tale and that there could be a happy ending.

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We Were Soldiers

Mel Gibson as Lt. Col. Harold Moore

We Were Soldiers - Based on the book We were Soldiers Once...And Young: Ia Drang--The Battle That Changed The War In Vietnam by Lt. Col. Harold Moore (ret.) and journalist Joseph Galloway, the movie We Were Soldiers reminds us that the Vietnam War produced many heroes.

I was so moved by this film. Mel Gibson's performance felt right on, as did the performances of all the cast. My feelings were confirmed by a few who should know (read the reviews below).

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Missed Tributes at the Oscars - by Ben Stein

In his critique of the Oscars, actor/economist Ben Stein points out...

...there was not one word of tribute, not one breath, to our fighting men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan or to their families or their widows or orphans...not one prayer or moment of silence for the dead and maimed.

Whoa. Got my attention.

I think he may be right, though I didn't see the whole awards show (Stein admits he didn't watch it all either). Even so, I had very mixed feelings about his comments. Yes, as he observes...

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