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Location: LaGrange, Kentucky, United States

The opinions and interests of a husband, analyst and Iraq war veteran.


Monday, July 10, 2006

Joel Stein, Jr.

Chas Chiodo doesn't support the troops.

I don't support the troops

I'm a military combat veteran and critic of our government's invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, and I don't support the troops. I'll protest in the streets to end the war, and when the troops come home, I'll do what I can to see that they get the benefits and treatment they need and deserve. That's my contribution to the troops.

Many people "oppose the war but support the troops." Rotten war, brave soldiers. I don't buy this at all. Although little Johnny or Judy might have once been that nice kid next door, he or she may now be engaged in massacres and atrocities...

At least he admits we only "may" be engaged in atrocities. Big of him, really. And the same sort of subtle nuance continues throughout his screed. But for a former military man, he shows a surprising naivete about the actual, you know, rules governing the military.

You always hear that the troops signed a contract and must obey orders. Not if they deem such orders to be illegal or beyond moral bounds. They can always refuse to obey, go to jail, go AWOL or move to another country.

Either he doesn't know that refusing illegal orders isn't just an option for contracted soldiers, (it's a legal obligation) or else he's betting that his readers don't know and won't bother to find out that, rather than refusing "illegal" orders, soldiers are re-enlisting in droves. Either way, Chas doesn't come off as very savvy on military matters. "They can always refuse to obey, go to jail, go AWOL or move to another country"? Sheesh. Of course, Chas is free to hold his own service in such low regard, but his projection is, well... sad.

In any case, Joel Stein already showed that this "See how honest I am to say I don't support the troops! Look at me! Follow my brave example!" line of attention-getting is a proven argument-loser. (Don't miss the audio. It's a classic takedown.)

Chas? Instead of "I don't support the troops" try saying, "I condemn the troops for disagreeing with my opinion." I might be impressed with that bit of honesty.

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