Saturday, March 10, 2007

They just don't get it

I know that the people who are putting up the white crosses on their lawns think they are doing the right thing. In their minds, they're protesting the war. The hillside of white crosses in Lafayette, California, makes a strong visual statement, and the people behind that think they are doing the right thing.

They just don't get it.

Doesn't seem to matter how many times they hear it, directly from parents who have lost their sons and daughters over there, that using these mock grave markers is an insult to the memory of those killed in action. That those who have died were serving voluntarily - not draftees like in Vietnam. That maybe they didn't really want to be there, maybe in some cases they disagreed with the war - but they were doing their duty with honor. Voluntarily.

They just don't get it.

When you plant that white cross, you are casting those killed in service as victims. These honored dead are not victims.

They just don't get it.

It's the same mentality that believes that anyone who enlists in the service must have been duped, must be a loser, must have had limited options, chose the military over going to jail. It's a mentality that is so extremely self-centered that it cannot imagine why someone would willingly and even eagerly enlist, accept the risk, and put service above self.

They just don't get it.

It's been a facile position to say "I don't support the war but I support the troops." That is the biggest lie of our day. It's easily said, and most who say it don't really believe it. It is a PR statement, a recognition that we all bear a collective guilt for the way troops returning from Vietnam were treated.

So protest the war, protest against the White House and Bush, protest American imperialism - but leave the honored dead out of your campaign. If they were alive they would tell you the same.

Get it?

2 comments:

cat head said...

opposing the war but claiming to support the troops is intellectual dishonesty in its essence. if you can't support the mission, you can't support the troops.

Anonymous said...

I have a friend with a white cross on her lawn, and it's there to honor the many hundreds of thousands of Iraqi dead - victims to be sure. Perhaps we shouldn't assume all white crosses are for the all-volunteer American forces, but for the true victims of this war - those who didn't sign up for either Saddam Hussein or the American military.