Let's Debate Yellow Elephant Geoff Smock
Thanks to all Real Americans who have mentored 19 year old Geoff Smock and encouraged him to Be A Man! Enlist!
He's finally responded. Please read the whole thing.
If you disagree with an opinion that I express, or believe that I have no standing to express that opinion, then say so in a respectful and mature manner. Provide a counter-argument to my own, and I will be happy to respond in like manner. As a politically active young man, I relish any opportunity to discuss issues of national importance with those who agree with me as well as with those who do not agree with me.
OK, Geoff, here goes: If you're going to be politically active, you've gotta have a somewhat thick skin. I've reviewed all of the comments on your piece, 81 at last count, and I don't think any is over the top. Please be specific and we can discuss this further.
We're questioning how you can think that the war in Iraq is an "issue of national importance" for everyone but you. And don't worry. We're not calling you a "chickenhawk," since, by any definition, a chickenhawk is an old man and you're 19 years old.
You're a Yellow Elephant - now. But we're trying to encourage you to become a credible leader of our nation while you still can.
One need not be one of the brave and heroic men and women fighting and winning the war over there to believe that they should be given the opportunity and the time to win it, or that the ultimate sacrifice thousands of Americans have given should not be forsaken.
What do you mean by "they"? Do you personally know anyone in our military? [Not "the" military, but "our" military.] And, if you are unwilling even to consider volunteering for military service, are you not forsaking their "ultimate sacrifice" yourself?
There are many ways to serve your country; serving in the military is only one (though it is without a doubt the most noble of them). We do not have a shortage of highly-trained and highly-professional brave young men and women willing to serve in our military.
We very much disagree with you here. Our military faces serious recruiting challenges; stop-loss is only the most visible symptom of other serious problems. If you continue to insist that "we do not have a shortage . . . ," then you clearly know nothing about our military. We welcome your response.
What we do have is a shortage of leaders back home with the fortitude and willingness to let our armed forces complete the awesome job they are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Geoff, I'm sorry, I don't understand what you mean here. The American people have chosen our governing party to run our country, giving it control of both Houses of Congress as well as the White House. President Bush has vetoed one bill (not on our topic). Which leaders, exactly, are you talking about? Please be specific.
We very much agree with you on one thing: We do have a shortage of leaders who want to lead, and who will urge real Americans eligible to serve who support the war, such as Geoff Smock, to Be A Man! Enlist!
For those who would like to know why I have not decided to enlist, I was a sophomore in high school [in 2003?] when I made the commitment to myself to finish my education before I made a decision on which profession I would enter into. Whether that decision is to ultimately join America's professional fighting forces, or go to law school, or study history, I told myself I would finish college before I began down a specific career path.
Geoff, if the Global War on Terrorism is so important, as you say, has it prompted you to reconsider your decision? And if it hasn't done even that, why should we listen to your opinion about it?
The only development that could cause me to stray from this path is if there was a draft instituted. If called upon by my country I would gladly and enthusiastically serve without hesitation. But finishing my education is very important to me, and I hope doing so will give me the tools necessary to serve my country in the future, in whatever capacity that may be.
Geoff, we certainly agree on the value of education. If you enlisted and served the standard period, plus stop-loss, your opinion would have credibility with all of us and we would applaud your resuming your education, which would be enhanced by maturity and credibility from military service in the Global War on Terrorism.
But you clearly haven't learned one thing in your education thus far: the value of personal credibility in attracting, and retaining, respect.