Active duty and retired combat veterans respond to a Yellow Elephant's column in the Rocky Mountain Collegian:
Another coward conservative, always ready with an excuse. Supporting our troops is "letting THEM do their job and praying for their safety..."
Give me a break. If Connie Rice had done HER JOB the president would have read the Augsut 9th PDB and Osama would be in jail and the World Trade Center Towers would still be standing.
Regarding the column that Ryan Chapman ran in your paper considering the lies of liberals, I think he needs to take some courses in reality and history.
Clinton's moral conduct was personally unacceptable but did nothing to harm this nation as a whole. President Bush's lies about Weapons of Mass Destruction have led to the deaths of over 2000 brave Americans who, unlike Ryan, were willing to put their lives on the line for this nation. Oh, and yes I am a liberal who backed up his words with action-I served in the Army for 20 years. This war is the first preemptive war in our history and our involvement in the country of Iraq is based on a lie. How does that make it honorable? We can honor the sacrifice of our troops if we make sure that our motives and our cause is honorable. I will always support our troops but not always the politicians that send them there especially if their motives are suspect.
I am not a woman and would never presume to make such a momentous decision as an abortion and I caution anyone to make a moral and personal decision for another individual unless you are in their shoes. So unless Ryan is a biological abnormality, he should refrain from making the decision on abortion, just like most of our politicians. If you believe the Republican philosophy that we are better with less government, why should the government intrude in this most personal decision?
The Bush administration has done more to destroy our rights as defined in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights than any modern American administration and then hides behind the specter of 9/11. It is assumed that good Americans support his views and are patriots. Maybe I missed something in my study of history, but our founding fathers were willing to risk their lives for their dream of a democratic nation, something that President Bush, his most ardent supporters, and young Ryan don't seem to understand. Support of our nation means not blindly following the ideology of our President but following the Jeffersonian ideal of being a part of the informed electorate and being involved in our nation. Many of us have backed our words with deeds. Unless Ryan and the Bush daughters are willing to actively go to Iraq or at least volunteer their time in a Veteran's Hospital, you have little credibility in my book. And why should so many members of minorities and us "liberals" go and serve in this war so you can safely spend your time hiding out at CSU and avoiding your duty not as a conservative or a Republican, but as an American? So I challenge you to put up or shut up.
After all, in the military I pledged to serve and protect the Constitution of the United States which includes the Bill of Rights. Your opinion, although disagreeable to me, is something that I risked my liberal life to protect. Would you be willing to do the same for me?
Douglas P. Bertolini
US Army Retired
I'm sure the troops are relieved that you are praying for them and slandering "liberals" at the same time. As the troops are in Iraq fighting a tough insurgency, you're over here putting your life on the line to make us safe from those darned liberals. Your courage knows no bounds- especially as you construct and then destroy one strawman after another.
As you said, after 9-11, many Americans did think we needed to go to war- in Afghanistan. Many of us, including a growing number of military officers and conservatives, believe that the war in Iraq is a mistake and has made us more vulnerable to terrorism. Many of us believe Bush has squandered our national prestige, resources, and the lives and limbs of our fine military men and women whom you profess to admire so much.
As a former combat arms officer and conservative, I am offended by the excuse-making of many college Republicans like yourself. I don't ask that you enlist in the Army but I do ask that you don't make-up lame excuses for not doing so. Just tell the truth: "I support the war but I don't want to put my neck on the line because ______." It's that easy.
Quit your sniveling. As a 12-year veteran of the Marine Corps who was wounded in combat and medically discharged I'm sick of self-serving whining comments like yours. If you support the war then go. It's typical of Repubs to think other people should fight their wars and Bush is the prime example. I have more respect for Clinton who said he opposed the war and didn't go then Bush who strongly supported Vietnam and then used his connections to get out of it and then even National Guard duty which he deserted from.
Tell me what is conservative about Bush btw. He gives money from the poor and middle class to the rich, has run up the biggest deficit in history, and has overseen the biggest growth of government in history. Whats conservative about that? If you call yourself a conservative and you support Bush then your a fool
Wow, talk about "conservative lies".... Clinton was attacked for something that was perfectly legal and if you remember your history, most every one of the Republicans attacking him at the time for his affair were having affairs of their own, which resulted in several stepping down because of the hypocracy. You can support the troops and not the war and just because you don't support Iraq (I never did), doesn't mean that you don't support any other war or the military. The reality is that history will not look at this favorably, just as it hasn't with Vietnam, so you should get off of your high horse and realize what is going on. You claim to support our troops but it is the Republican party that cuts taxes and taxes pay for everything from education to the troops to war. Why do you think that the military has constantly complained that they are understaffed, underpowered, and improperly protected? The joke is that the same people who attacked Kerry for not voting on $80 billion for the war have been slashing the military personnelle budget since they came into office. Sure, the military has more money, but it is all spent on $800 million dollar airplanes that are truly archaic, weapons (M16) that are obsolete, and bombs that cost way too much considering what they do. Don't you ever dare to talk about the military until you have been in it, and don't you claim to support them because saying "I support the troops" doesn't save their lives. Words didn't help the almost 2000 troops that are already dead in just Iraq and the tens of thousands with debilitating wounds that will NEVER heal! As the chant goes, "join up, or shut up!"
I am very liberal and I have been in the military and the federal government, so for you to say that liberals "sit around refusing to support anything to do with the United States" is pure doggma. I would also suggest you explain how the war in Iraq has furthered my freedoms? Last time that I checked, since the Republicans came into power, we have seen anti-sod. laws, huge deficits, 2 wars at once (the military isn't that big, which is why we hardly leave the Afghan capitol... military science majors should be able to explain the parrallels between this and the Russo-Afghan war...), and our rights and freedoms restricted. If you want to talk about freedom, don't look towards General Cooco-bananas, look towards the Democrats because it is under them that we have had the most freedom. You aren't a woman, you're not pregnant, and you're not the one giving birth, so don't tell them that they can't terminate the life of an unborn child who cannot feel yet (<7 months, approx), especially if the child has a debilitating illness that would cause only pain and an aweful, horrid life. I have debated many times with "conservative Christians" and the hypocracies abound. None of them were able to claim a "higher moral ground" once I was done and those that did, weren't listening and didn't know their facts, just as you don't see to Ryan Chapman. Get over yourself. You are a chicken hawk. Fight if you think it's right, otherwise shut up because you have no idea what it's like to kill someone, you have no idea what it's like to be wounded for your country and then told that you can't feel a certain way. If we are truly free, I can feel that this war is unjust, I can hate what has happened to me, I can hate war, and I can live my life without others telling me how I can or can't have sex with my wife, what she can do to a baby that will only suffer, or if I think that the US has to live up to its treaties and obey the UN.
Maj. Ryan Oaches, RET USMC
I responded here and here.