Enough of that worn-out GOP chestnut about the war - that if you criticize the Iraq war you criticize the troops.
As usual throughout his privileged life, President George "C-Minus" Bush is asking for, and expects us to give him, a free pass from the consequences of his decisions. A fresh start, a do-over. He used to hide in his Daddy's narrow shadow, letting his father's friends fix things when he broke them; with that option now gone, he needs to find cover somewhere else. And fast.
We demand to know why the war has been such a disaster, what he plans to do for four million starving Iraqi refugees, how bringing 190,000 AK-47 assault rifles to Iraq and promptly losing them, makes America or the Middle East any safer. What about Gulf War Syndrome? Or PTSD? Or Afghanistan? And when will this end? And how much of my money is this gonna cost?!
"Don't ask," the manchild says, with a straight face. "It's disloyal. It's bad for the troops' morale."
A thin reed, the but he's selling it to high Heaven, and it may be the only chance left for Junior to score a free pass out of this, the biggest of his big messes. When the hard questions come, where can he finally hide, if not behind the troops? He's the Commander-in-Chief, they'll damn well stand there and take a few rounds for him, and without shit to say about it, either.
"The troops' morale"?
There is not a shovel on Earth big enough for this steaming pile of Orwellian shit.
Personally, if I were an active-duty soldier, my morale would be hurt less by people questioning the crooked leaders of the government than by getting my ass shot off while trying to survive Baghdad for a third tour of duty. Refereeing a three-way civil war with no end in sight. Watching private security guys pull in six figures a year in an endless desert Wild West, protecting the brass and shooting anything that moves. Total immunity to U.S. or Iraqi law. No possibility of being punished for anything - from simple robbery or rape to cold-blooded murder.
The GTL is not bad for troop morale. Blackwater definitely IS.
But back to the President's classic theme: that to question the war in any way strengthens our enemies and hurts our troops. Why is this absurd? Because what gives America its strength in the first place is our ability to fearlessly and constantly question authority and accept nothing less than government of, by, and for the people. So if our boys and girls are dying to protect our unique American freedoms, let's show our respect by living and speaking freely. Especially when the leaders tell us to "watch what we say."
Criticizing the politicians of this war - of any war - is an insult to the grunts who fight in it, we are expected to believe. But it's not the soldiers who got us into this, and they're not going to get us out, either. They are not to be blamed one way or the other. They were just a tool in the president's folly and no one is blaming this war on them. Did they deploy themselves? Is it their failed experiment we criticize?
It's the old switcheroo: demand answers from the president, and he shoves a grunt in your face. It's his war. Don't let him down.
The long war drags on. When already? The generals say military force alone can't win; only political progress can. So don't ask us, ask the Decider. Ask the Decider and he'll tell you he listens to the generals.
It's a new kind of war, a "post 9-11 war." Old rules don't apply and we can't bother with our own laws for treating prisoners like human beings or not spying on our own people without a warrant. Screw habeus corpus. Screw Old Europe. However, it's exactly like WWII.
Let's arm Saddam with chemical weapons. Let's kill Saddam for having chemical weapons.
Iraq is nothing like Vietnam, that's a dirty liberal smear. Iraq is JUST like Vietnam; liberal traitors commit treason when they speak out against the war.
(Incidentally, the U.S. was in Vietnam from 1958-1975. Not long enough, apparently, for the doughy, sunlight-averse, revisionist Republican think tank heroes who cooked up Iraq.)
As I've posted before, I'm trying to learn to speak Republican. It's hard but I think I'm beginning to grasp it:
We support the morale of our troops by miring them in roadside bombings and house-to-house combat for as far into the future as the eye can see. In endless redeployments against an invisible civilian enemy we don't know or understand, in a ruined land where no one speaks our language...
Actually, our enemies are not in Iraq at all, but back home, sipping lattes at Starbucks and reading the New York Times.
Let's protect our soldiers' morale by leaving them in Iraq forever.
Anything less is treason.
Oh yeah, and watch what you say.