A Vet’s Thoughts on Protest

Yesterday I wrote about why I believe that protesting the war is still important, and briefly explored the notion that being antiwar does not mean one doesn’t support the actual soldiers involved in the fighting.

Today I came across an interesting post over at will wheaton dot net. Will shared the thoughts of a friend of his, a US veteran, regarding soldiers and leaders, and who gets the blame for what. Here are some of the key thoughts, though the whole article (short) is worth reading:

Good question. I think what it boils down to is being able to separate the two things (the war and the people on the front lines fighting it) in your mind. Most people can’t get their mind around that: How can I support that guy that just dropped a bomb that went off target and took out a day care center?

As I said, it’s a tough concept. I’m not going to go, “Hey, man, great job with that napalm on the aspirin factory! Woo hoo!” But I am going to say, “Thank you for dedicating part of your life to service to our country,” because I think that’s a noble thing.

I could say a lot more about this, but to my mind, you can protest the war, and at the same time, hang a yellow ribbon in the hope that the troops come home safely. Hoping for our folks to come home safe isn’t at all pro-war, to my mind. Writing a letter saying, “Hey, hope you guys are doing okay” doesn’t imply you hope anyone else (like the Iraqis) are being blown to smithereens.