NARN, The Support The Troops Edition

posted at 8:39 am on August 16, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

The Northern Alliance Radio Network will be on the air today, with our six-hour-long broadcast schedule starting at 11 am CT. The first two hours features Power Line’s John Hinderaker and Chad and Brian from Fraters Libertas. Mitch and I hit the airwaves for the second shift from 1-3 pm CT, and King Banaian and Michael Broadkorb have The Final Word from 3-5. If you’re in the Twin Cities, you can hear us on AM 1280 The Patriot, or on the station’s Internet stream if you’re outside of the broadcast area.

Today, Mitch and I will be checking in with Lt. Col. Joe Repya (US Army, ret) as he distributes “Victory over Terrorism” signs at Stephano’s Restaurant, located at the corner of Cliff Road and Highway 13 in Eagan between noon and 3 pm today. Get out there early — Joe only has a limited number of signs for distribution!

Of course, Mitch and I will also talk about the leading stories of the day, including the war in Georgia, the presidential campaign, the continuing Edwards affair, the conventions, and much much more!

Be sure to call 651-289-4488 to join the conversation! Plus, be sure to join a live Ustream chat during the show:


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In the past few years, “We Support the Troops,” has become a sort of cliché whose meaning has never really been discussed. One hears it all the time: on the radio, on billboards, those little yellow-ribbon magnets, from politicians on the stump, from store marquees… It makes people feel good about themselves. One doesn’t win an audience by saying, “We Don’t Support the Troops.” The question though remains: What does it mean to “Support the Troops?” Speaking for myself, it means three things; 1) Supporting their mission, 2) Encouraging more of-age men to enlist, and 3) Encouraging our troops, not by showing their sacrifice, but their accomplishments. What does it mean to “support the mission?” Americans must decide: Are we a military at war or a country at war? Right now, most folks go on with their lives without a clue as to what occurs overseas. The debate for going to war has already taken place. The votes fell as they did. The President, as the Commander-in-Chief, has made his decision; however, success depends not solely on military might. Either we fight as a nation, or we fail. It is that simple. For any campaign, especially counterinsurgencies, to succeed, as has been written by smarter men than I, a nation must have the support of the Government, the People, and the Military. I and many others can vouch for the military. What say you?
We can argue the strategy for victory all day long, but to argue as to whether or not we should quit is out of the question. The keys to any contest of strategy are the second and third order effects. If we cut the funding now, if we pull all of our troops out of Iraq or Afghanistan before they are self-sustaining, then what will the effects be? Certainly genocide will take place in Iraq, among other things. Any questions on this, read about the Bay of Pigs, Somalia, or Vietnam. Afghanistan will return to its previous state as a safe haven for terrorists. The third order effect: How many freedom-seeking people will place their confidence in American aid in the future? What encouragement would any dissidents under tyrannical rule have from an America that has stopped short in helping others so many times in the past? U.S. forces encountered this issue in southern Iraq in 2003. Trust in America will certainly wane if we leave prematurely, and talk thereof does not help either: it only provides a glimmer of hope to those seeking to defeat us. Also, consider this: if we have “lost”, as one U.S. Senator has stated, then my question is this: who won?
Another aspect of “Supporting the Troops” means encouraging more of-age men to enlist. I cannot count the number of times I have heard people say, “Oh, I could never do that” or “I don’t think I’d want my boys doing that.” Of course, Army training, much less war, is hard, both physically and mentally. But, I ask, to any of-age men and/or their parents, if you or your kids don’t do it, who will? So, you won’t do it, but you’ll watch someone else or their child go to war for you, and then give them a pat on the back and say, “We Support the Troops?” British philosopher John Stuart Mill said this of the American Civil war in 1862: “War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse… A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature, who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.” Yes, deployments are hard. No, Soldiers do not like leaving their families every other year. But, the truth of the matter is this: if more citizens heeded the call to arms, then deploying units would not have such a high deployment rate. Many would shoulder the task, ergo most Soldiers would not have to deploy the two, three, four times, like they are now. In WW1 and WW2, there were lines of men trying to sign up. The reason for the draft was not to make sure we had enough men to fight, but rather a means of making sure all of the college students didn’t drop out of school to fight. Back in the day, so many college students were leaving that it created a problem when looking for the engineers to design and build our bridges or doctors to perform surgeries at the hospital. What happened since then?
Lastly, to “Support the Troops,” encourage them, not by showing their sacrifices alone, but their accomplishments in spite of those hardships. Honor those who have overcome great odds to win. Football players experience quite a bit of pain from week to week, but it’s their accomplishments on the field that fans praise, not their pain. Why are Soldiers different? 22 Apr 2004: A date commonly used to show either the naivety of Soldiers or their status as victims. Pat Tillman was killed on this day, but not in vain. While tragic, his life has encouraged many. His courage and sacrifice are greatly appreciated and serve as guides to others. Instead though, his status as a “victim” overwhelms the media, which sours our memory of him. On the same day in Iraq, which receives very little coverage, CPL Jason Dunham saved two fellow Marines by jumping on a grenade while fighting an insurgent hand-to-hand. The President posthumously awarded him the Medal of Honor. This is seldom mentioned.
I am not saying that all people should serve in the military, but all people should find some capacity to serve and participate in their community and country. I understand that not all people are physically able to serve in the military. Part of serving in the military is fighting for those who cannot fight for themselves. I truly do appreciate the support myself and my comrades have received while deployed. The many care packages are not forgotten. I appreciate, moreover the amenities, the things that help us win the trust of the people with whom we are working, such as school supplies, shoes for the kids, and medical supplies. My petition focuses on those whom live their daily lives oblivious to the war this Nation is trying to fight. As a nation, we have gone from the fighting spirit of the Spartans, whose mothers would send their young men off to war by exhorting, “Come back with your shield… or on it” to “The military is great… just not for me or my kids.”

Send_Me on August 16, 2008 at 11:07 AM