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  Bush Bashers Behaving Badly
by J. F. Kelly, Jr. [writer] 1/17/07

It would be helpful, I believe, if reflexive Bush bashers took a time out, caught their collective breath and considered the consequences of some of their actions and positions. Sure, I know that they are exercising their constitutional right as Americans to criticize their president and any other elected official with whom they disagree whether their criticism is based upon fact and logic, blind emotion or, as is commonly the case today, just visceral hatred of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and all who support them.

J.F. Kelly, Jr.

J.F. Kelly, Jr. is a retired Navy Captain and bank executive who writes on current events and military subjects. He is a resident of Coronado, California. [go to Kelly index]

It’s time for us as a nation to decide whether or not we are really a nation at war or just a nation at war with itself. By war, I mean the real kind, fought by real soldiers who are dedicated to achieving a mission, not the make-believe, civilian kind such as the war on drugs or the war on poverty.

If we really are at war, then we should endeavor to rally behind the troops who are fighting it and the wartime president who is their commander-in-chief. That’s the American way, isn’t it? It doesn’t mean you have to agree with the war or love the president. Feel free to vote against his party whenever you get the chance but meanwhile, at the very least, refrain from saying or doing things that weaken the nation’s image, harm morale of the troops or provide comfort and encouragement to the enemy.

Egregious examples of the latter include demonstrations demanding return of the troops now and threats by Congressional Democrats to deny funding for military operations deemed necessary by the wartime commander-in-chief. Lesser examples include the unremitting condemnation of the president’s plan for a last ditch military effort to salvage something out of the Iraq fiasco without offering an alternative plan which the president has said time and again he would consider. By alternate plan, though, I mean something more substantive than recommending that we consult with our enemies in the region, Iran and Syria, both of whom are sponsors of terrorism which we are supposed to be at war against. Why on earth would we do that, knowing how they feel about us?

The anti-war protests are starting up again and nothing good for America will come from them. Protestors may truly feel that they are acting in America’s best interests but here’s a reality check. Ask any active duty soldier or marine who has seen combat in Iraq or Afghanistan how the anti-war demonstrations back home affect troops in combat. They are at best disturbing and unsettling to the troops and at worse, downright harmful to morale. The troops are, for the most part, too dedicated and disciplined to complain or to let it affect their performance but everyone I’ve asked has told me that it is important to know that the folks back home support them. Supporting them, however, entails more than just saying the words. It includes supporting the mission that they are putting their lives on the line for.

I’m certainly not going to bet the farm on the prospects for the president’s latest plan to succeed. Our troops will, of course, do everything in their power to achieve some manner of success in this so far mismanaged war. They deserve solid support from the home front and restraint from the Bush bashers while their lives are on the line. In the final analysis, though, success depends on the Iraqis themselves and their performance to date gives little cause for optimism. I personally have little confidence in their ability to put aside religious and tribal hatreds long enough to salvage their country.

Given the low regard that large numbers of Iraqis seem to have for Americans, it has become a matter some indifference to me and probably to most Americans whether Iraqis live happier ever after or whether they go on killing one another after we leave. I am far more concerned with the safety of our troops and with American interests in the area. A precipitous withdrawal, such as advocated by some, including Sen. John Edwards, Sen. Edward Kennedy and Rep. John Murtha, would be inimical to both concerns and any attempt to deny funding for wartime military operations would be an outrageous infringement of a wartime president’s authority. CRO

copyright 2007 J. F. Kelly, Jr.



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