Friday, February 06, 2009

Constructive Engagement

A comment found below the McClatchy story on Cliff Cornell, the young Army "deserter" (read, "Iraq protester") who was recently deported by that holier-than-thou "peace-mongering" nation to our north. 

To those in uniform who are attacking Mr. Cornell


Submitted by tharms on February 6, 2009 - 7:54pm.

Gentlemen, your commitment to your country, under the U.S. constitution, is limited to two years. Period. Look it up. Further, that is for the express purpose of defending this country, not for freeing other countries. Not for liberating oil. Not for making the world safe for democracy. It certainly isn't for the purpose of killing and torturing innocent civilians half a world away just because they pray to the wrong god.

So waving the flag at the disillusioned and expecting them to bow down to your sacrifice if probably not the best strategy. You joined up because you wanted a salary and because you wanted to feel good about yourself--and possibly because you really were gullible enough to buy into Bush's line of Texas bullshit. And when you come home, and are protecting New York Harbor or the Golden Gate, undoubtedly you will find each and every one of these critics respecting your commitment, but until then you shouldn't be overly surprised by their hostility. You've cooperated in great embarrassment to this country -- and you did so willing. At least Cliff Cornell had the integrity to stand up and say "no" to what he knew was wrong. He's justifiably earned some respect for that.

Serving the American nation, the American people and serving the American government are two different things. One is a group composed of your families, your neighbors, your towns, cities and states; the other is a group who used to work for the former, but who has now taken over the latter -- and their intent is to build an empire paid for with the sweat of American labor and the blood of American youth. That's you, that's your blood they intend to spill, and for what? Oil? The false hope of democracy in some foreign land? For expanded markets for corporations we're having to bailout with taxpayers money anyway? Ask yourself, is this really the way it is suppose to work? Is this really what Franklin and Jefferson intended? Is this really worth dying for?

The American people have been made decidedly less safe, less respected, and less prosperous by this misadventure in Iraq -- and the blowback will haunt us, our children, your children, for generations. If you want to talk about taking responsibility. Take some responsibility for that -- or at least give it some thought. Surprising as it might be, you just might discover that, instead of criticizing Cliff Cornell, it is far more patriotic to join him.

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