How to approach the troops?

Jeff Kinkle jeffkinkle at
Sun Mar 30 12:43:27 MST 2003

I thought you all might be interested in this.  I was in a discussion
over email with some guys I went to high school with about the war.
None of them could fathom why anyone would be opposed to the war let
alone protest against it so I basically did my best to outline the
myriad of reasons I'm opposed to the war.  Most of them seemed to
concede my points but in the end most clung to the notion that
Bush/Blair must possess some top secret evidence proving that there is
a link between Saddam and 9/11 or that regardless of whatever actual
reasons this war is being fought, Iraq will be better without Saddam no
matter what follows.  Anyways, one of them apparently forwarded by
emails to this guy I went to high school with that went to West Point.
He and I were constantly in political arguments when I was in high
school so I guess they thought he'd be able to disprove my arguments or
something.  He basically responded by saying everything I had written
was nothing more than a conspiracy theory and that the war is about
protecting our nation from terror. In the email he made a lot of
factually incorrect statements (particularly in a pathetic attempt to
prove the inaccuracy of the Euro vs. dollar issue) and in my response I
think I proved the inaccuracy or irrelevance of all of his arguments
(and a few people who had witnessed the debate told me they were made
at least a bit more skeptical about the causes behind the war).  So
this is they army guy's response to my response...

'ok's my reponse.
I don't know shit about that OPEC crap...I'm not gunna lie. So I'll
take a break from my training next week to look it up. But for now, I'd
like to say that I think you are looking way too deep into the reason
behind this war. I don't think its about oil, even though a significant
case could be made for that. Unlike you, I don't generally assume that
everyone in government is full of shit. With that being said, I believe
that this war is not for oil, and not to boost the US economy, but is
rather based on the honorable cause of protecting our nation from
terror. If I find out in the future that I'm wrong, then I'll admit my
faults then, but I refuse to look beyond the obvious and try to dig up
a conspiracy. I think the Bush administration made the right call for
war, and I wish I could be there jammming my hellfires in some
republican gaurd  ass.'

My question is, and I think it has to do with Walter's question, how
should we respond to questions like this when every attempt at
unraveling the truth behind the actions of power is dismissed as being
a 'conspiracy theory'?  When there is absolutely zero proof that Saddam
and Osama are linked yet a large percentage of Americans still believe
they MUST be?  Any thoughts?


On Sunday, Mar 30, 2003, at 22:15 Europe/Stockholm, Walter Lippmann

> Excuse me, Richard, but how would YOU
> appeal to the troops? What would you be
> saying to the troops right now as they're
> being killed thanks to Bush and Blair?
> Remember, this is NOT a conscript army
> in that the soldiers individually signed up.
> Most didn't REALLY think they'd be killing
> or less being killed themselves and there
> is no reason to write the troops off now.
> They are mostly poor Black, Latino and
> working class people mostly looking for
> jobs and education, but are getting a
> hell of an education at a paltry salary.
> Walter

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