Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Joel Stein: ignorant, but at least he's honest

Joel Stein's column in the Los Angeles Times caused quite a stir when he admitted, "I don't support the troops."
I've got no problem with other people — the ones who were for the Iraq war — supporting the troops...But I'm not for the war. And being against the war and saying you support the troops is one of the wussiest positions the pacifists have ever taken — and they're wussy by definition...The truth is that people who pull triggers are ultimately responsible, whether they're following orders or not.

Stein doesn't think much of you, either. He condescendingly explains those "Support Our Troops" car magnets like the one on your car: "...those little yellow ribbons aren't really for the troops...The real purpose of those ribbons is to ease some of the guilt we feel for voting to send them to war and then making absolutely no sacrifices other than enduring two Wolf Blitzer shows a day."

Stein admits, "I know this is all easy to say for a guy who grew up with money, did well in school and hasn't so much as served on jury duty for his country."

While I am disgusted by most of what Stein says in this column, I do give him credit for being the first liberal to join conservatives in exposing the contradiction between "supporting" the troops but not the mission they are fighting and dying for. His complete ignorance and lack of appreciation for the military is probably incurable without spending some time in the presence of one of our fine soldiers, sailors, airmen, or Marines returning from their recent deployment in The Global War on Terror, who might quote Col. Nathan Jessep, USMC:
Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns...deep down, in places you don't talk about at cocktail parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone to a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post.

Hugh Hewitt had a riveting interview with Stein yesterday, and posted a follow-up on his blog. It was a tough, respectful, and revealing interview:
As I suspected, Mr. Stein really doesn't know anyone on active duty, hasn't been to any bases or any of the service academies, hasn't met with wounded or returning troops, and generally admits to being blissfully ignorant of the military. He could not recount a single book he has read about the military, and doesn't even know how big it is. He thinks the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who have died in the GWOT have died in vain. He does not feel grateful for their service.

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