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David Sirota

David Sirota

Posted: November 22, 2005 01:35 PM

Iraq War Critics Are the Real Friends of Freedom, Democracy & America's Troops


I'm confused. We're now being told that the War in Iraq is being waged to promote freedom and democracy. Beyond the fact that such a rationale is an opportunistic departure from the rationale we were originally given (aka. Iraq's supposed possession of WMD), this freedom/democracy rationale is being undermined here at home by the same folks making the argument in the first place.

The latest example of this comes from the Washington Times, the Republican Party's paper of record. This rag today reports that unnamed Bush "Pentagon officials" (read: political appointees) are essentially claiming that critics of the war who have raised questions about the Iraq conflict are supposedly undermining the troops. But how is that possible? Aren't the troops fighting to spread freedom and democracy? And aren't the major tenets of freedom and democracy the right of citizens to challenge their government and raise questions about the decisions made by people in power? How can the troops be undermined by people at home who are exercising the very rights and privileges the troops are supposedly fighting for?

The questions are, of course, rhetorical. The troops aren't being undermined by war critics - they are being helped by war critics who are doing everything they can to end the ridiculous situation whereby American soldiers are being forced to carry out a misguided policy that has needlessly endangered their lives, and left them as sitting ducks in an Iraqi shooting gallery. The story's assertion that troops don't "understand" this is both a lie, and an insult to the intelligence of our soldiers.

It is the right-wing, pigheaded proponents of the status quo who actually seem to have no regard for our troops. Many of these proponents did everything they could to avoid military service when their country called, yet have no problem sending soldiers to die in pursuit of the hairbrained schemes that a bunch of neocon pinheads came up with from the plush and well-guarded confines of their offices in Washington, D.C. And remember, as the Center for American Progress details, this is the same disgusting bunch that has questioned the patriotism of anyone who raises any questions about anything that the Bush administration doesn't like.

So next time you see the latest casualties on TV, and then see chickenhawks like Dick Cheney get up in his fancy tuxedo, conveniently forget his five draft deferments, attack a Vietnam War hero's courage, and claim war critics are hurting our troops, ask yourself this simple question: Is the Bush administration actually arguing that continuing to support this crazily misguided Iraq policy actually helps the troops?