The Army doesn’t see much genuine support from the American public for the troops in Iraq. A NYT story on American troops in Germany being reassigned to Iraq says their commanding general told the families not to go back home to the States, because they wouldn’t find much support there. They would find more support at their Army base in Germany. The article said:
One thing General Hertling pointedly did not suggest was for the families of the soldiers to return to the United States. The Army’s goal is to create a support network strong enough that the spouses will decide to wait out the deployment on the base in Germany, a country that many of them scarcely know and that pointedly declined to take part in the Iraq war. “We tell them, ‘You will not get the support you think you will, if you go back home,’ ” he said in an interview.
But it also demonstrates, General Hertling said, how the gap between American society and its volunteer military has widened as the Iraq war has dragged on. “Many people there have just moved on,” he said.
The extension of the last deployment — which came at the last minute after some troops had already reunited with their families in Germany — strained relations between the families and the Army. “There have been so many changes in what we’ve asked soldiers to do, that we may have put spouses in a position where they question what comes next,” said General Hertling, who has had two sons and a daughter-in-law serving in Iraq.
For most Americans, supporting the troops means putting a bumper sticker on their car, or watching a program about the Army on TV. The real way to support the troops is to enlist in the Army or the Marines to go fight. Because nobody does that, those in the service go back to Iraq again and again. Bush and Cheney don’t care. They were both draft dodgers during Vietnam who have contempt for the military; to them, serving in the military is something that poor, stupid people do who can’t get a real job working for Halliburton or the Texas Rangers.
To me an example of contempt for the military is that the last two Democratic candidates for President, Al Gore and John Kerry, were both Vietnam veterans. The public said, “Naw, we don’t like veterans. We didn’t serve, and we don’t trust those do-gooders who did serve. Give us a draft dodger.” And the public got what it deserved: cowards who were afraid to fight in Iraq, who got us into a horrible war that will destabilize the Middle East because they were afraid to fight hard enough to win. Why? Because they would have to raise taxes and re-institute the draft to get enough soldiers to fight and win the war they started. Cowards! Republicans, draft dodger Rudy Giuliani included, are cowards, except for John McCain, Chuck Hagel, and a few other veterans.
I’m not happy with Sen. John Warner, who was Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee during the invasion of Iraq and during the first years of the war, although he is a veteran. He did not support the military, and has let Bush and Cheney virtually destroy the military by not providing the necessary manpower and equipment to fight the war in Iraq. Warner just got an award from the George Marshall Foundation, but instead of an award he should have gotten a censure for doing the exact opposite of what Marshall did to build up the Army to win World War II. It’s time for Warner to go. He has failed his country.