Monday, June 27, 2005
Enduring Freedom Veteran: How My Conversations with Conservatives Go
I'm an Enduring Freedom vet and I'm soon to be and Iraqi Freedom vet as well. I joined the Army "Reserves" shortly after 9/11 so I could do my part in the war, and look after one of my high school buddies that was about to be deployed. I've been on active duty since late 2002, doing constant tours. My last one was a stateside tour that I volunteered for because I got home when the recession peaked (late 2003), and no one wanted to hire somebody in the Reserves for fear of losing an employee to the war.
Since then I've volunteered for several liberal groups, such as MoveOn, Democracy For America, and a few local grassroots organizations. I also volunteered with the Democrats for John Kerry.
Whenever I get into an argument with a conservative, the story is always the same. First, they tell me I'm unamerican and unpatriotic. After I show them my military ID and mention I was in OEF, their next response is to say that I'm hurting my fellow soldiers. Then I confront them and ask them what they've done for the troops. Have they petitioned congress to make sure that the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan have all the armor they need? Do they make sure that the Reservists still have jobs when they come home? Do they lift a finger to look out for soldiers families while they're away? Did they even send a care package? So far, everyone I've debated has given me a no to all of these questions.
Then I ask them why they haven't stood up and fought against Bush when he slashed veterans benefits. Why don't they care about troops being undermanned and underequipped in Iraq? Their answer is always the same: Vet's have all they need, and troops in Iraq are doing just fine. Nevermind all of the reports and newspaper stories saying otherwise. Nevermind that soldiers are dying. We're doing just fine over there.
Finally, I ask them why they don't go and fight the war themselves if it is so great. I get all kinds of excuses for this one. If they are over 38 they simply say that they are too old. I respond by telling them "Halliburton is hiring." They make excuses for not wanting to go to Iraq as a civilian.
In the end it's all the same. I'm sure that there are some conservatives out there that do genuinely support the troops. But I have yet to meet one. The ones I know are all wimps who don't have the balls to enforce the policy that they believe in.
Karl Rove is no exception. When I heard his words I was livid. I didn't think the Bush administration could ever say something to make me hate them more than I already do. That changed with Rove's comments.
Don't worry, Karl. While your punk ass is hiding behind the safe walls of the White House, I'll protect America. In the meantime you can kiss my liberal soldier ass.