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Saturday, May 18 2024 @ 02:34 MDT

Supporting our Troops.

Canadian PoliticsOver the weekend I was at the Alberta NDP convention. On Sunday Jack Layton gave a federal leader's report in which he gave his views on what support for our troops is. Naturally, this differs from what Harper and his merry band of Tories says. The Tories seem to think that blind, unquestioning support for their policy in Afghanistan is the only way to support the troops there. Jack thinks that a discussion of why the troops are over there is appropriate. Here's my two cents worth. First a little about me before the right-wingnuts get up in arms that I'm not fully on their side. I've been a reserve force officer with the CF since 1988, so to say I'm just some flake that wouldn't serve his country would be untrue. I've often noted that many of these right-wing support our troops types would themselves never be in the military which I see as kind of hypocritical. Anyhow, on with the way I see it.

First off, I see support for our troops as ensuring that they have the equipment and training to do the job we ask them to do. Remember, the CF just doesn't hop around the world because it wants to, it does so because the government, acting in our name, tells them to do something. If we fail to give them the this support, they won't be able to do the job we ask them to do.

Secondly, when we have troops in theater, not blaming the troops for their presence and the job they're doing. Remember, they didn't ask to be sent there. The government sent them there. There's a difference between questioning if they should be there and blaming them for the problem. Militarizes in western democracies only do what the government tells them to. The soldiers didn't ask to be sent there, so don't blame them for being there.

Finally and this is the part the conservatives would disagree with is that as a democracy, we need to question the government as to why we've put our troops in harms way. Yes, to be put in harms way is what soldiers, sailors and airmen are for, but we need to be sure that we're doing it for the right reasons and that what they're doing is productive and important to the national interest. To do this requires us as citizens to participate in a dialog on the reasons why we've sent the troops. This also includes discussing any changes to the mission should that be necessary. If the mission has changed to the point where it's something we, as a nation, decide isn't what we can support, then support for our troops in that case is returning them home.

Unfortunately for the neo-cons and the Tories, support for the troops means blind support for the government and the Conservative Party. This shows that they are actually more concerned with their staying in power and not support for the people actually doing the fighting and dieing. In point of fact, only dictators or dictator wannabes demand unquestioning support for their policies. Makes one wonder about the Tories, doesn't it?
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Supporting our Troops.
Authored by: Anonymous onWednesday, October 25 2006 @ 06:45 MDT
I've always argued that I can support the troops without supporting their political masters.

- Grog