Support The Troops

Elisha Stephens elishastephens at
Fri Mar 28 09:34:45 MST 2003

My take on the subject question:

With a war underway, antiwar activists are being told we must "support the
troops." I don't know what that means. I certainly don't support the troops
in their overall mission to invade a sovereign country and overthrow its
leaders. Nor do I support their specific activities, which include killing
innocent civilians and equally innocent Iraqi soldiers, guilty of nothing
more than defending their country against a foreign invasion.

I'll be glad to support those troops who follow their consciences and heed
the words of Bishop John Michael Botean, bishop of all Byzantine-rite
Romanian Catholics in the U.S., who has instructed his flock that
participating in this war is a "mortal sin" and that anyone participating in
it will be guilty of "murder." I'll be glad to support those troops who
refuse to disobey the laws of the United States and participate in a war
which has not been declared by Congress as required by the Constitution (the
"authorization" for this war notwithstanding, the Constitution can only be
amended by the legislatures of 3/4 of the states, not by a vote of
Congress). And I'll be glad to support those troops who do not wish to be
called before the International Criminal Court for participating in a war
which violates the charter of the United Nations and international law, as
made clear by Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

If George Bush really wants to support the troops like I do, he can give the
order today for them to withdraw immediately and come home. If he doesn't,
the deaths of American (and British and Iraqi) soldiers and civilians are on
his hands, not on the hands of those of us who are doing our best to stop
this criminal slaughter.

Of course, what people REALLY mean when they insist we should "support the
troops" is that "you lost the argument and now you should shut the heck up."
And that I will not do.

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