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MEMBER DIARY

War and Politics

An Unmixable Combination

As a military veteran of the Vietnam war and a deeply-patriotic American, I will tell you that there is nothing that will raise my blood pressure more, raise my decible level more, or ignite my fiery passions more than those to attempt to diminish the courage, valor, and achievements of our men and women in uniform – or those who choose to exploit the tragic deaths of our fallen heroes to achieve a political end.I can attest to the importance and the overpowering, uplifting encouragement that comes with knowing I have the full and unwavering support of my government and my country – and to the gut-wrenching demoralization when that support turns to disdain and contempt. I have long-since overcome my own personal bitterness and have accepted the fate dealt to my generation – but I’ll be damned if I will sit quietly by and watch today’s generation of American heroes be subjected to screams of “baby-killers” or to the scorn of ungrateful Americans and power-seeking politicians.

To politicize a war at a time when our young warriors are dying on the battlefield is – in my view – unconscionable, reprehensible, shameful, disgraceful, and as un-American and as unpatriotic as it gets. Our National “leaders” like Harry “we’ve already lost” Reid, Ted “your loved ones are dying on a lie” Kennedy, John “soldiers murdering in cold blood” Murtha, and Barack “wave the white flag and retreat” Obama should be reminded that they are Americans first, and Liberal Democrats second. They should be reminded of the true meaning and of the genuine power of the centuries-old American battle cry that has guided us to victory through many wars and conflicts over the past 230 years: “United We Stand – Divided We Fall.”

They should be reminded that their calls for retreat along with the divisiveness they’ve provoked in this country only serves to embolden the enemy and prolong the war by instilling a belief in them that our withdrawal is “imminent” – that we don’t have the stomach or the will to finish the job – and that we will fold our tents just like we did in Vietnam. The enemy can “just wait us out” and have no reason to give up as long as they have a reason to believe we are too weak to continue a fight over which Americans are so bitterly divided. One could make an argument that the their political motivations border on “aiding and abetting the enemy.”

All political opponents of the Iraq war should be reminded that the United States Congress voted overwhelmingly to send our troops into battle – and are now being abandoned by power-hungry politicians who believe gaining one vote at election time is worth more than winning the war.

Those same out-spoken opponents have succeeded in driving a polarizing wedge through the Heart of America – getting us dangerously close to another 60’s era of burning flags and bitter clashes between the two divided sides. Our battle-weary troops have earned the right to come home to marching bands, waving flags, parades, and the cheers of grateful crowds – unmarred by signs of protests and angry, ungrateful citizens echoing the anti-war screams of Cindy Sheehan.

The next time you see any of our young men and women in uniform walking through an airport, down the sidewalk, or in your neighborhood bar – walk up to them and shake their hand. Tell them how proud and grateful you are for their service. Tell them how safe you feel knowing we are blessed to have Americans like them willing to stand guard over you and your family.

You will be amazed at how good that makes you feel.

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