Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007
Operation Yellow Elephant mourns the death of Blogger Steve Gilliard, a charter member of this non-partisan grass roots movement to Support Our President by encouraging his strongest supporters, the College and Young Republicans [if healthy, heterosexual and 41 or under] to volunteer for military service.
"An Honest Conversation," posted June 22, 2005, says it all:
This will be brief.
We need to be honest here: Iraq is not worth one more dead American.
People on the right and left want some deus ex machina to save Iraq, but we have, collectively, come to a simple conclusion:
Iraq is not worth dying for. Not for the warmongers on the right or the liberal hawks on the left.
It's bad the soldiers are trapped there, but we have made it their problem, No one is willingly going to join them, and 5,000 have deserted so far.
When you ask liberal hawks to enlist, they are offended by the question.
When you ask conservatives to enlist, they are offended by the question.
And America's parents are NOT sending their kids to die in Iraq if they can, at all, help it. No one blows up IED's at Wal Mart.
We have a volunteer army with fewer and fewer volunteers, and people reenlisting only to save their friends. There is a time limit to their ability to be in combat. They cannot serve forever. They will have to be replaced. And fewer and fewer are willing to replace them.
What I want people to do is be honest.
If you will not serve in Iraq, and no one you know will serve, stop expecting someone else to do what you will not.
Therefore, it is time to stop calling for more troops, or the US to make Iraq safe. We cannot do this and even Americans are refusing to join the fight. It is time to look at your actions and realize, that despite your ideals, you oppose continuing this war. In practical terms, you have decided that this war is not worth your life or anyone you know. And million of Americans have joined you in this decision.
So, with this fact evident, it is time to call for US troops to withdraw from Iraq. Not save it, not add more boots on the ground. You have already voted by your actions. It is time that you match it with your words.
We thank Steve for giving us permission to use his stuff. We will miss you.