Sunday, November 14, 2010

No. 14: The US Military

Over the next few weeks I will be performing my own little political countdown. It's more for my amusement than anything else, but I also feel that it's a good way to glimpse into the mind of the average Liberal. Such humorous creatures these Liberals, and yet so mysterious. This is my list of the top 20 things Liberals don't believe. We'll say it's in the interest of understanding one another.

“The United States should not have a military. All in all, we would be in much, much, much better shape.” – San Francisco city supervisor Geraldo Sandoval

“The only true heroes are those that find ways to help defeat the US Military.” – Nicholas DeGenova, Univ of Columbia professor

“Over time, however, the endless war in Iraq played a role in natural selection. Only idiots signed up; only idiots died. Back home the average IQ soared.” – Ted Rall, political cartoonist

“…655,000 Iraqi civilians are dead. Who are the terrorists?” – Rosie O’Donnell

For the average Liberal evil does not exist, only misunderstandings. Anyone who uses the word “evil” is either too lazy or too superficial to understand those with whom they disagree. They believe that all disagreements can be solved peacefully by those willing to put forth the effort; and that militaries and weapons are not necessary. Number 14 on my list of things Liberals don’t believe in: The US Military.

Ask any Liberal what they think about the military and you will get the standard, pre-packaged political answer. You’ll hear words like “hero”, “brave”, “courage” and so on. There are few phrases more popular among Liberals than “I support the troops”. They say it over and over in an almost pathologic sort of way, trying to convince themselves and others. Occasionally, a more outspoken Liberal may praise the troops while cursing the commanders and, of course, the Pentagon and just about any Republican President. The point is they wouldn’t dare openly criticize our troops. However, there are times when they slip (see above) and the truth can be seen. Liberals can’t stand our military and anyone who wears the uniform.

Liberals see military folk through many different prisms. In some cases, they take pity on those who serve. They believe that no intelligent, self-aware, self-respecting person would ever knowingly join the military without being duped, deceived or ill-persuaded in some way. That explains the latest national trend among Liberal activists to drive military recruiters away from college campuses. These students are bright, with lots of potential. The military is no place for such a person.

In some cases, they see military folks as just plain dumb, with limited options (see Ted Rall above). Believe it or not, I dealt with this one personally. Even though I was in medical school, on the verge of receiving my MD with a higher class rank than the majority of my peers, a physical therapy student suggested that my decision to join the military was “stupid” because I could make so much more money in the private sector, and the military would be a waste of my talents. Interesting and quite enlightening. The Liberal opinion about the Marines and the Army, the “grunts” if you will isn’t much different. They’re just a bunch of dumb kids who couldn’t make it in the real world so the military was their only option. Which is why they view our troops as reckless, dangerous and in need of supervision. This is evidenced by President Obama’s recent push to award our troops with medals for “showing restraint”. It’s his way of saying “good job not killing any babies”.

And then there is the “killer” view. Simply put, Liberals see our troops as a bunch of blood-thirsty brutes, killers who have found a sanctuary, a place where they can kill. John Kerry compared our troops to Ghengis Khan and spoke of them raiding villages and terrorizing innocent people. Obama used similar language. Dick Durbin compared our troops to the Gulag. John Murtha suggested they were murderers. The “restraint” medal crosses over into this viewpoint as well, but no one exemplifies this opinion better than Hollywood. I could fill page upon page with movie references that portray our troops as a bunch of uncivilized, violent beasts. And I could fill many pages on Jane Fonda alone. But don’t take my word for it, just take a trip to your local video store. Rent “Casualties of War” and “Platoon” and you’ll think that our troops in Vietnam were murderers and rapists. “Dances With Wolves” portrays them as ignorant, unrefined and brutal. In “Men of Honor” and “Hart’s War” they’re racist. Even “Saving Private Ryan” shows the greatest generation to be hesitant, reluctant to carry out their duty, and quick to execute prisoners of war. And this movie was supposed to glorify our World War II veterans. I dare say there is only one topic that has received more negative scrutiny from Hollywood than our military…Jesus Christ. There must be something about making the ultimate sacrifice for others that Hollywood finds repulsive.

Then there is the media, those who dance the “we support the troops” while hating them routine the best. Who can forget the General Betray Us ad that was purchased by from the NY Times at a discounted rate? And have you noticed that news coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan seems to be inversely related to the results that American troops are achieving. During Bush’s troop surge in Iraq, one media study showed that over a month’s time – as Petreaus made progress in Baghdad and surrounding areas – news coverage of the situation in Baghdad dropped as much as 40%. We certainly don’t want any news stories about US troops doing good things now do we?

But all of this is not to say that the Liberals don’t see a genuine use for the military. Even though they hate using the military for war purposes, most Liberals will universally agree that using them in humanitarian missions is just fine. In their protests against the Iraq War, many of those Liberals were calling for action in Darfur using – you guessed it – our troops to help stabilize the region and dispense humanitarian supplies. Taking away their weapons and giving them a bag of wheat is the Liberal’s idea of putting our troops to good use. And there is no better place for social experimentation. The US military has been the frontline in the gay rights issue, the women’s rights issue and our effort to be sensitive towards the Muslim culture. Don’t ask Don’t tell is unacceptable if you wish to engage in homosexual behavior; but print up some business cards referring to yourself as a soldier of allah, and it works just fine.

So perhaps it is a bit unfair to say Liberals don't believe in the military.  They believe, just in a military that does no harm, hurts no person, and provides a social channel for others to advance their political causes.