January 25, 2006
Here's a portion:
Hugh Hewitt (HH): I want to make sure I quote it correctly. "I don't support our troops. This is a particularly difficult opinion to have, especially if you are the kind of person who likes to put bumper stickers on his car." Evidently, supporting the troops is a bumper sticker position?So Stein is pretty adamant about how he feels about our military and their various deployments overseas when he sits down and craps out what he undoubtably believes is a masterpiece. But when asked for clarification, he doesn't have the sack to say what he really means - that deep-down he really would like to spit on returning Veterans they way people like him used to do back in the good old days. But the most he's comfortable advocating these days is "no parades please".
Joel Stein (JS): It's not. Supporting the troops is. I think a lot of people have bumper stickers, and really don't do anything else, and are against the war, and have the bumper sticker anyway.
HH: "And at the end, I'm not advocating that we spit on returning veterans like they did after Vietnam." That's big of you. "But we shouldn't be celebrating people for doing something we don't think was a good idea." What I'm trying to figure out is what do you think is a good idea for the military to do?
JS: Well, again, that's not what my column was about, and that's something that people talk about constantly, and people give opinions on. There's a lot of Americans who are against this war and still think we should have a military.
HH: Now wait. This is the last...well, let me give you the two last paragraphs of your column. "I'm not advocating that we spit on returning veterans like they did after the Vietnam War. But we shouldn't be celebrating people for doing something we don't think was a good idea. All I'm asking is that we give our returning soldiers what they need: hospitals, pensions, mental health, and a safe and immediate return. But please no parades. Seriously, the traffic is insufferable." So you obviously do not honor their service?
JS: I don't honor their service? The people serving in Iraq right now?
JS: I honor them as human beings, and I want them home safe.
HH: But you don't honor their service?
JS: And honestly, I think that all these...for people who don't believe in the war and are putting up these stickers saying they support the troops anyway, my fear is that it's prolonging the war and putting them in further danger they don't need to be in.
HH: But Joel, I'm talking about you. I'm talking about what you honor, and you obviously don't honor military service.
JS: I honor police service. I honor military service. Any...I just think that...
HH: You do honor military service?
JS: Yeah. No, I'm grateful for people that serve in the military.
HH: But you don't support our troops?
JS: I don't...I don't believe in supporting the troops in an action that you don't believe in.
HH: And so, that would be everything I've named thus far. So I guess...did you support and honor the troops in the Pentagon on 9/11?
JS: Sure, yeah.
HH: All right.
JS: All the troops that are here to defend our country, I'm very, very grateful for. I'm grateful for the police...
HH: Provided they don't leave the country?
JS: Yeah, provided they don't fight in wars that I think are endangering them for no reason.
HH: And the moment they do, you stop honoring them?
JS: The moment I do, I think it's a poor idea to show support for them and prolong that engagement.
Reading through the transcript, I can't help but recall a quote from the movie "Goodfellas" when Joe Pesci's Tommy DeVito says "You know Spider, you're a f*****' mumbling stuttering little prick. You know that?"
UPDATE: From around the 'sphere:
Supporting the troops really just means that you appreciate that they stand ready to carry out the policies of the United States in defense of our freedom and liberty, as expressed in the policies of our elected government. That has no bearing on any particular mission or enterprise, but instead comes from the sacrifice offered by our fellow citizens in uniform to give their lives so that we may remain free -- free to select our own leaders, free to write blogs, free to disagree with each other ... and in Stein's case, free to make an ass of himself by writing one of the most ill-conceived pieces of tripe published in a major media outlet.
LetÂ’s break this down. Patriotism means Â“love and devotion to oneÂ’s country.Â” Dissent means Â“to withhold assent or approval.Â” Showing love can include disagreeing, but most often is an expression of approval and acceptance. Unless youÂ’re a bumper sticker lefty, in which case according to the one on whoÂ’s car I spotted the ratty sticker, the highest form of love of country that itÂ’s possible to show is one that constantly withholds approval of that country. Period. Being a bumper sticker, there werenÂ’t any qualifiers like Â“when itÂ’s clearly, unambiguously wrongÂ” or Â“when itÂ’s run by totalitarians like Stalin and Hitler and freedom has to be won back.Â” Just any old time, the best thing you can do for your country is to disapprove of it.
Very nice. I guess that makes me a very patriotic Frenchman.
WhatÂ’s most disturbing is that the same person who thinks that bumper sticker is true enough to make it a part of their car is actually allowed to operate that car on the same roads as the rest of us.
In the final breakdown, the sticker really is an exercise in self-flattery. Â“I disagree with this country. And that makes me better than you and all those deluded fools sent off on that war and stuff.Â”
Dr. Rusty Shackleford:
The underlying assumption of [Stein's column] is that wars are fought by Administrations, not by nations. By joining the military a soldier is volunteering as an extension of the Bush Administration. Hence, the soldier is complicit in Bush's alleged crimes.
While Administrations may start wars, they do not fight them. Nations fight wars.
There was no war against the Nazis. We fought Germany. And the Roosevelt Administration did not fight in WWII, America did. America is at war. When did the Left stop being part of America?
This is why the antiwar position is unpatriotic. This is America's war, and to be against it is to be against America.
There is a time to be against a war, and that time is before the war begins. Strategies for victory are legitimate debate, but as long as troops are on the ground then that is where debate should end.
In past wars an article like this would have landed the author in jail. Encouraging troops in battle to disobey commands is worse than the kind of defeatism that FDR would have arrested you for--it is inciting to treason.
UPDATE II: Another article by the unfunny Stein that shows how he really feels about the military.
Posted by: wordsmith at January 25, 2006 10:33 AM (nrGCx)
Posted by: Gary at January 25, 2006 11:08 AM (QoxB+)
Posted by: Cynical Nation at January 25, 2006 11:51 AM (vC1jc)
Posted by: wordsmith at January 25, 2006 01:30 PM (nrGCx)
Posted by: Gary at January 25, 2006 02:47 PM (PLHs9)
Posted by: wordsmith at January 25, 2006 03:28 PM (nrGCx)
Posted by: Gary at January 25, 2006 03:53 PM (PLHs9)
Posted by: wordsmith at January 25, 2006 10:36 PM (nrGCx)
Posted by: Wordsmith at January 25, 2006 11:52 PM (nrGCx)
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