Rob recently quoted our Prime Minister:
“You cannot say you are for our military and then not stand behind the things they do,” said Harper. “We don’t start fights, but we finish them and we won’t leave until they’re done.”
It’s extremely common for liberal politicians to spout some variation on “I don’t support this war, but I do support the troops.” That always struck me as wishy-washy, and seemed to render these troops as unthinking automatons or poor saps who are just doing their job. The latter, of course, is kind of true.
Prime Minster Harper’s comment seems directly levelled at those in the opposition who are floating this idea. I’ve gotta tell you, I kind of agree with him.
What do we really mean when we say ‘I support the troops’? Something like “hey, good job over there, engaging in a conflict I totally disagree with. I’m really proud.” That doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it? It’s a bit like being a Mets fan yet supporting the Yankees as well, because they come from the same city.
How can something be bad at the macro level but supportable at the micro level? It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Yes, our troops are over-taxed and under-equipped in Afghanistan. Yes, they’re getting killed and wounded at an alarming rate. But that, as far as I can figure, is what they signed up for.
UPDATE: Rob struggles with sports metaphors but provides a thoughtful reply.