Deviant Paradigm: Of The Wolf Within
Random garbage. Remarks about the comic Deviant Paradigm, notes about my life, comments about politics. This is my place to rant and rave. Fear this, World! FEAR IT!

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Nickname: Avvy
Age: 24
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Technomancer and troubleshooter by trade. Programmer by choice. Creator of Deviant Paradigm, somewhat by accident.

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Friday, November 11, 2005

Veterans' Day
Today is Veterans' Day here in the United States. It's a time to remember the brave men and women who have served our country in times of war. We all owe an incredible debt of gratitude to these soldiers. I find it very frustrating how many people don't seem to realize this. Everything we have, everything we are, we owe to our veterans. But then again, I'm speaking as a student of a discipline that wouldn't exist were it not for the U.S. military. And you're reading this blog on something that wouldn't exist without the U.S. military. And many of you reading this might not be free to read it were it not for the U.S. military.

Every freedom that I enjoy every day was purchased for me at the cost of American blood, whether shed at home or abroad. I have an immense amount of respect for our soldiers, those who have the strength of character to serve our country, those who are willing to give the ultimate sacrifice for us at home, even if we mock them and their cause. For those of you who "support the troops but not the war," consider the hypocrisy of that statement. If I support environmentalists but then go and burn down the rainforest (i.e., I don't support their cause), what is my support worth? What reflection would this have on me?

I cannot imagine everything that I owe to the soldiers of the United States of America. Thank you for everything. All of you out there reading this, if you are military THANK YOU, more than I can express, if you are not, find a military man or woman and thank them for their sacrifice. Honor our fallen. Send our soldiers a message of support. Never forget, always look forward. It is the Marines who say "No better friend, no worse enemy," but this is true of all our courageous soldiers. And they have proven it time and time again; and will continue to prove it until they cease to draw breath.

4 Comments:

  • At 5:39 AM, November 13, 2005, Blogger Sapph said…

    I agree with you save for you example. You're essencially saying that disliking the war is same as disliking the military in general, and even working against them. That's contrary to a certain Christain ideal that I hear a lot. You know, the "Love the sinner, hate the sin" thing. The idea is the same. One that says that they are apposed to the war, but support the troops is merely saying that they are wishing, hopeing, and possibly praying for the troops to be safe and to come home as soon as possible. That's hardly like commiting an act of treason as your comparision would sugest.

     
  • At 2:58 PM, November 13, 2005, Blogger Avvy said…

    You bring up an important point, so allow me to elucidate. Merely disagreeing with the war is something different. There are a lot of people who I would not lump into that ugly group I outlined who do disagree with the war, and this has been true of all wars. But there is a difference between saying "I don't believe that this war is right, but now that our troops are there, I am behind them all the way until they return, which I hope will be soon," and saying "This war is wrong, and we are doing horrible things over there. We deserve to be defeated. Our government are crooks and liars who tricked us into this, and even now we are engaged in doing atrocities. But oh, troops, you're okay." This disingenous divide is what I despise. It's the hatred and hypocrisy of "supporting the troops" and marching on Washington, making the most of the 'milestone' 2000th death since we began the war.

    There is a major difference between my line and the Christian ideal however. Loving the troops and supporting them are two different things. To love the sinner and hate the sin does not indicate that I support the sinner in what they do. I can love the rapist as a person, but I will not support them in their process of rape. That separates the identity from the action. Essentially, that allows you to say Sheehan-ish things, like when she offered to take her son to Canada when he was supposed to ship to Iraq. You can indeed love the troops and pray for their return, but without some support, you make a mockery of what they do. Is it really "supporting the troops" when you tell them you want them all home safe as soon as possible, because what they are doing is both wrong (to the tune of war-crime) and useless?

    It is possible for someone to support the troops while disagreeing with the war, but it's a very hard line to walk. I ask for those who walk this line to examine themselves, and make sure that they do truly support the troops and aren't merely mouthing empty words.

     
  • At 7:44 PM, November 13, 2005, Blogger Sapph said…

    Makeing that distiction makes a lage difference as I also dislike the people that decided to celebrate the 2000th death with a march on Washington. I don't like that we're over there any more then they do, but what's done is done and pulling out now would only cause more harm then good.

    Um...you seem to have left out the second half of the line. "Love the sinner, but hate the sin." Supporting a rapist in the act of raping would not only not be hating the sin, but would be commiting a sin yourself by not stopping it. Since what they are doing is wrong, (legally as well as morally) supporting them would actually mean trying to get them help with their problem. Not help them commit the same act.

    Given the situation in Iraq, it's a bit hard to come up with the best solution to 'help' the troops. Thoes who don't think that what we're doing over there is right and there is no way to make the deaths of the soldiers that have died already meaningful the way to do that is easy. Get them out of there NOW.

    However thoes who may not like that the troops are over there, but can see that they are doing good, despite the questionable motives for sending them there, the best way to help them is to suppor them in finishing their jobs as soon as possible so they can get the hell out of there. This honors the memories of thoes who have died trying to bring democracy to Iraq, doesn't strand the fledgling Iraqie goverment, and shows the troops that despite personal distaste for the war it doesn't mean we're willing to let their hard work and sacrifce go to waste or is unappreciated.

     
  • At 9:43 PM, November 13, 2005, Blogger Avvy said…

    While I don't find our motives "questionable" (I find the fact that the Administration doesn't emphasize the points of why we went in questionable, but I don't find those points questionable at all), and I could potentially debate there, it's not really important for this argument. Suffice it to say that the "big point" most people point to is not the same point I consider most important. Your final paragraph, Steve, is the key. You understand the issue. To support the troops means that you understand that they are there now. If you disagree with the war but support the troops, the only ethically defensible position you have is to urge us to disengage as soon as it is prudent. That is not now. Pulling out now would undoubtably destroy everything the troops have worked for. But things are progressing very quickly. It took Japan six years just to regain its sovereignty after WWII. It's been two and Iraq has a constitution. Perspective is highly important in these sorts of situations, and patience is a virtue to be well remembered. I don't consider it very difficult to come up with good ways to support the troops. Send them a letter that says "I hope you come home safe." That effectively leaves out any sort of politics and would be a welcome form of support. Donate to a charity for the families of those MIA and KIA. That keeps you from even having to decide if you want to "support the war" but I sincerely doubt any soldier would deny that as a form of support for them.

    Now to defend my metaphor. To establish, I consider rape evil rather than just wrong. But as I have not yet posted on the differences I see between wrong and evil, that may not be clear, and it can be regarded as a moot point for the purposes of this argument. As said, loving the sinner and hating the sin divorces the two from each other. This is important -- to see the sinner as a person rather than the personification of their sin. This can be seen in many instances where Christians pray for even the most despicable criminals, with little regard for their crimes. Now to define "support." In the instance of "supporting the troops," support indicates a solidarity. As Dictionary.com states:
    4. To keep from weakening or failing; strengthen
    5. To provide for or maintain, by supplying with money or necessities.
    So to support a rapist actually would make one an accomplice in their actions, as to support them, you would keep them from weaking or failing, strengthen them, and provide for them. The usage of support does not indicate a division between the person and their actions. When was the last time you were "supported" by someone saying, "You're a great guy, I hope you keep safe, even though you're doing something terrible and vile and I hope you fail at it?" The point is this: There is a difference between offering support and the Christian ideal of loving the sinner and hating the sin. Support implies an agreement with the cause. Loving the sinner and hating the sin explicitly denies any form of agreement with the cause. This is what I see as a matter of definition, and this is the definition that I am operating under. And I am not the only one who sees the word 'support' thusly.

    All of this sort of commentary about "supporting the troops" is argued far more eloquently than I can in places like this Townhall column by Dennis Prager.

    And finally, 'support' does not indicate agreement in every possible instance. I support the troops and what they're doing wholeheartedly. But when they do wrong (think those idiots involved in Abu Ghraib), I fully support bringing the hammer down on them. I support the President, but I disagree with him on a number of points. However, the main cause of each, the reason that they do what they do, that is where my support lies. If I disagreed with the cause, I would not support them, I would merely agree with a few of their actions. I certainly do not support most of the "rights" movements prolific in American society today, but I do agree with them on a number of their arguments.

    There's a lot of nuance to these sorts of decisions and discussions, and that's why I want to have these sorts of debates. Understanding is terribly important, and it can reveal new ways that things should be thought of.

     

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