How to approach the troops?

Craven, Jim jcraven at
Sun Mar 30 14:13:20 MST 2003

The best response is to quietly, calmly,
present people with facts, figures and
articles from the Wall Street Journal
and the Financial Times and such to
show them it's not our leftist opinion,
but these opinions are fact-based.

Calmly, quietly, patiently, factually
explain, explain, don't yell, explain.
Including how all the Bush people
have ties to the oil industry.


You can also explain about the Pentagon Papers and how they revealed that
the assessments, opinions, analyses of the anti-Vietnam-War dissidents,
summarily dismissed as "conspiracy theories" and the rantings of depraved
anti-Americans, turned out to be, according to these papers written at the
"highest" and most classified levels of the U.S. government, dead on and
even the views being expressed by the specialists inside the U.S. government
Perhaps let them hear the White House Tapes of LBJ, who, right after giving
speeches about how "victory is certain and near", was privately telling
insiders that Vietnam could not be "won" (even in U.S. terms), it can only
lead to more death and destruction, but he will be damned if he will be the
first president to "lose" Vietnam and therefore has "no choice" but to

Also, it is important to remember, always, the reality and pervasiveness of
"cognitive dissonance." When there is a contradiciton between facts vs
beliefs; facts vs emotions (interests); beliefs versus emotions/interests;
it sets up cognitive dissonance in need of resolution. For example, if you
were in Vietnam and lost a limb let's say, you may be asked to come to terms
that you wound up diasbled due to an illegal, immoral and genocidal war in
which you participated. How to resolve that dissonance? A Common way is to
celebrate not only your "heroism" but also the "Cause" for which you gave a
limb. Or, if you were one of those who volunteered to go into the military,
didn't give as shit about "patriotism" but only a paycheck and help with
college, are you going to say that openly--especially while still in the
military? And if you come home maimed, are you going to say you wound up
disabled as a result of just trying to score a paycheck and some help with
college? No, it washes better, and is more profitable personally, if you
dress it up as "giving your all for freedom, god, Country,...

Further, when talking with folks in the military, and I do it all the time,
it is important to note that they dare not speak freely in any
communications from the inside to the outside; thhis is especially true if
they have clearances. When I speak with those presently in the military,
especially those with clearances, I am very careful not to ask them about
anything classified or about any details about their work. Sometimes it
comes up and I shut it down right then and there. I discuss only general
issues and concepts to which they are also being exposed in the military.
Also, I usually respond to what they themselves have brought up with honest
answers and evidence and reasoning behind my answers; I do not seek them out
to lay my trip on them.

Jim C.

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