Sunday, December 24, 2006

Sorely Disappointed

I was originally going to write about a family Christmas experience from my child hood, but something came up this week end that troubles both of us.

One of our daughters had several friends over last nite for a bit of cheer. Over all it was a pleasant evening with one notable exception.

While listening to the chit chat going on between the young adults the topic of who was doing what on graduation came up. One of their social circle who was not present, has opted for military service. My daughter floored me when she condemned this person for "supporting a bankrupt Bush policy" Could our daughter really be that foolish?

She can.

We knew when we sent her to school in Wisconsin that it was an extremely liberal school and that it would probably influence her thinking. Exposure to differing view points is healthy mental exercise and the only way we can truly establish opinions as our own. As we dug into it, it became apparent that she was parroting what she had been hearing and not really thinking about it.

We had a long discussion about those who serve versus those who set policy. I hope she now understands that those who choose to serve in the military are ultimately serving us and not an administration. By long tradition and law, the military does not make policy but is subject to direction from the civilian authorities we elect. If we do not like the policy, it is our fault as the electorate, not those who have chosen to serve.

However we feel about the Bush administration policy, it is wrong to condemn those who serve. It was despicable when this happened during Viet Nam. I would have hoped we learned better by now. It appears we have not.

They deserve our respect and our gratitude.

Best of the New Year to you all! I will be off until the 30th.


Gary said...

You are very correct, we have the same situation in the UK where even the most rabid of anti-war protestors doff their caps to the work that our armed forces are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan and acknowledge that their vindictive should be directed at the government of the day.

Its an absolute necessity of a liberal and democratic country that the military should be politically neutral.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Merry Christmas, my friend! And don't be too hard on the girl. If I understand correctly, she was merely saying that Bush was wrong, and there was no point in continuing to provide fodder for the War Machine. She wasn't saying that the military suck (from what you say). Both of my brothers are in the military, and both privately say that Iran is a real mess. A great number of the troops believe that.

Notsocranky Yankee said...

Wow, that is disappointing. I thought that sentiment had been eliminated too. As a veteran, I'm sad to hear that there are young people who feel that way today.

Hopefully, she will take your lesson to heart and spread the word to her peers that military service is honorable, no matter who is running the country. Did your brother fly in the military?

Sheri said...

Ah, an interesting conversation that must have been. Glad to hear that "supplemental" education is going on west of the big river. It is much needed, sometimes, to offset the very liberal thinking in some areas of Planet Madison. Kudos for taking the time to assist the "formal" education processes.

Fantastagirl said...

Merry Christmas!

Good luck with your daughter!

jj mollo said...

It's amazing the number of college students who feel qualified to judge the President but unqualified to vote in an election.

jj mollo said...

As far as the UK is concerned, I have heard that officers have been refused housing because they served in the Middle East. I think that the citizens of the US have learned a lot since Vietnam, most of them anyway, about proper treatment of the people who serve their country. I have been aware that some folks in the UK are not necessarily as enlightened, which is surprising to me.

Balloon Pirate said...

As a liberal/progressive father of a military officer, I thank you. I have found it wise to never categorize any large group. Neither in condemnation nor praise.

Because, as I have found out through my son and my nephew (a Marine who served a year in Baghdad--never once setting foot in the Green Zone), there are people who are serving simply to be able to kill and hurt people and get away with it. There may not be a lot of them, but there are enough. So, while I do not throw blanket condemnations on those who serve, I also do not laud them, simply for wearing a uniform.


United We Lay said...

I am a huge supporter of the mlitary in general, but I do believe ta at this point the military has become a personal pawn of the President, supported nearly in full by the American people. At this point I feel that those joining the military have to take a look at it from a perspective they didn't need before - what kind of person will be their Commander in Chief, and will they feel they can morally support what that person will use the military for. If they want to really defend the country, join the National Guard. Joining te Army, though, is directly supporting Bushs' policies at the moment, and that is what your daughter and her friends were against.

Old Man Rich said...

Regardless of the rights and wrongs, on armistice day I stand in silence and pray for all those who fought and died. Braver men and women than I.

Senor Caiman said...


I had a similar problem with one of my girls. Sent her on mission trips to Mexico, Brazil, etc., but I never sent her on a mission trip to Atlanta. I feel partly responsible for her crazy thinking. One more semester teaching in Atlanta and I think she’ll be working for Conservative Caiman Industries.

sage said...

I feel for our soldiers over there and hope this thing doesn't drag on too long. We got to support them, yet be critical of those who do go over the line. We got to find a way out of there soon.

Anyway, I hope 2007 is good for you.

mal said...

Gary- it sounds like you folks are bit more rational than we are at times

Saur-I know she was bashing Bush. I just wanted to make sure she understood that service and supporting Bush are seperate issues

Not So- Yup, big brudder put in 23 years flying beans, bullets and stuff he does not talk about. He is a good man

Sheri-she seems to have taken the lesson to heart...or at least shut up *G*

Fantasta- Thank you!

JJ- she did vote anyway. I am fairly certain it was not for Bush though

BP- an interesting thought.

United- the Guard is also seeing duty in Iraq. It is not the out it was when Junior served in it

Rich-or me either

Sage- thank you and the same for you and yours

Gary said...

jj mollo : I haven't heard of any unfair treatment of returning troops to the UK after serving anywhere in the world and I'm sure its something that our press would pick up on, the blame (if blame is the right word) for Iraq is being very firmly attached to Blair and not the military over here.

On the other hand I read a piece last week in which it was mentioned that amongst the homeless street people in London, ex-servicemen make up a large and disproportionate number - so there may be some truth in your story.

jj mollo said...


I have searched unsuccessfully for the article I read. I suspect you are right. Despite my impression of the Left in the UK, the servicemen on the streets may be there for reasons other than discrimination.