We Don't Have to Support Wars We Don't Agree With
I have a nephew who is over in the Middle East. He is in the Air Force. I remember him as a small child and now he is a young man. His mother is nervous for him. Another nephew of mine was married to a young woman who had a cousin who saw combat in Iraq.
I was in the military myself, a little over a decade ago, though never in combat. I had bullets fly over my head while I was crawling under barbed wire, but that was only during my basic training in Ft. Dix, New Jersey. I am really glad I didn't have to face those bullets for real. So, while I have family and personal connections to those who are going overseas to fight on behalf of our republic, it is still important that I be as objective as possible about these wars.
I cannot and should not support a war overseas anymore because my nephew is there than I should support drugs being illegal because if he was in the DEA. It is very important that when we send young men and women (with some members old enough to be my mom or dad) overseas we do so because it is good policy. That it makes sense for our nation.
After all, the purpose of a war has to do with achieving real policy objectives. The objectives of WWII were defeating the Nazis and Hitler in Germany and defeating the Empire of Japan. The Korean War was holding off the North Koreans and Chinese from overrunning the Korean peninsular. These wars had real reasons they were fought.
You might ask, why is this guy even bringing this up? Of course, we fight wars for real reasons you might say. Well, I bring it up because we are often told that we are required -- as good citizens -- to support a war and not to dissent with the president. We are told by bumper stickers that we must "support the troops." We are told by talk show hosts who criticized wars that they disagreed with previously, that it is wrong to dissent from a war. These are always, by the way, wars those hosts support.
During these times, a president suddenly becomes a czar to some instead of our elected employee. The fact is, to state that we must support a war that we disagree with, effectively strips us of our liberty. It strips us from the fact that we the people are sovereign. It strips away the fact that the American people should check bad policy decisions by our government.
This check should not apply when it comes to foreign or military matters? Of course not! I did not join the military with the idea that the citizens I served, had their free speech effectively stripped when it came to a possible mission I might have been sent on. I joined to serve a free people, not one shamed if they dissent.