So I found a link to this article by Ted Rall over at Right Wing News. Needless to say when I read it I was livid. Here is an excerpt but please read the whole thing:
Soldiers, they say, must obey orders. However, "just following orders" wasn't an acceptable excuse at the Nuremberg trials, where the charges included waging a war of aggression. Do our government's poorly paid contract killers deserve our "support" for blindly following orders?
...What are members of the military to do? They should certainly refuse to applaud when Bush uses them as backdrops to his logo-ridden pro-death pep rallies. Moreover, just as Muslim leaders were pressured to speak out against Islamist extremists after 9/11, soldiers ought to step forward to condemn the atrocities at Bagram, Fallujah and Guant�namo in letters to newspapers and other public venues.
The military used to be an honorable calling. Not under Bush. Ethical Americans considering a military career should seek a civilian job until a lawful, elected government has been restored in Washington and we have withdrawn our forces from occupied Afghanistan and Iraq. Those who are already enlisted should refuse to reenlist. Soldiers trapped by "stop loss" orders should apply for conscientious objector status (which is difficult to obtain) or refuse deployment based on the unlawful order principle. And if all else fails, there's always desertion."
I was going to post a blistering screed calling Rall every name in the book and pointing out once again what was wrong with the left today. But I was watching pre-game football stuff and put it off for a while. After I had cooled down I thought it might be more interesting to hear what bona fide liberals thought of this article. In other words not traditional Liberals like me. So I emailed 3 that I have read, or linked to and this is what they had to say.
“I put Rall in the same category as Ann Coulter... don’t take him seriously enough to engage him. He's a blabbering fool. ”
Well said Marc.
From The Scribe:
This writer, in my opinion, represents an extreme left wing view not shared by many of the liberals I know. I am opposed to this war and have been from the beginning. I think that it is indeed possible to support the troops and oppose the war; additionally I think it’s possible to not support the president and this administration, but still support the soldiers.
I found the ideas expressed in this article to be unrealistic and unreasonable. Too much burden is placed upon the soldiers who are trained to follow orders without question. I agree that soldiers should refuse to obey to clearly immoral orders; short of that, they have to use their best judgment. The responsibility for engaging in a war is the responsibility of our leaders. The average soldier, especially at the “grunt” level, cannot be expected to weigh all the profound philosophical, ideological, ethical and legal issues surrounding a military action they’ve been deployed to.
I do not agree with the premise or the general assertions made by the author. It certainly does not represent my views or the views of those around me, even if we do oppose the war.
Great job Scribe.
Finally John from Salems Lots had this to say:
My opposition to Iraq lies in different coordinates from Mr. Rall. I view the war in Iraq as a geo-political mistake. After we leave, the theocracy evolving from a Shiia takeover will align with Iran, making a true terror-supporting state that much more powerful. The civil war that will occur after we leave will result in many more deaths and a destabilized region.
Does this mean that our troops are evil thugs that should desert the cause? Does this mean that we can’t or shouldn’t support our troops? Of course it doesn’t mean that, despite the fact that there are thugs – small in number – among our troops who have set our cause back by torture and degradation of prisoners.
Our troops have done and will continue to do wonderful things. Mr. Yon’s blog is a testimony to the true nature of what our men and women are largely about. There is a perceived disconnect between lack of support of the war, and support for our troops, but I believe that there are many of us who pray for, and support every man and woman over there without believing in the war itself.
Our troops overall have been doing a good job in a horrible situation. I admire the vast majority of troops who do not only NOT torture, but believe in the Iraqi people and the cause. I also admire the soldier mentioned in Rall’s article that refused to follow the order to shoot what probably were just normal Iraqi citizens. The administration has placed these troops in a horrible situation. If we stayed there 20 years or 50 years, we could continue to do a lot of good, but sadly our presence there is often impetus for terrorism (not from our folks), but for those people who will gladly give up their lives to rid the middle east of any vestige of American influence.
On broad terms, I agree with Rall’s opposition to the war, but I couldn’t disagree any more with his premise that the troops are war criminals. When history is written many years from now, I honestly believe the criminals will be found in the halls of this administration who have managed to line the coffers of corrupt contractors and war profiteers. Sadly, those people will be living off the spoils of the war, while the veterans will remain underpaid and under-appreciated, and even worse, the people of Iraq will still be wondering just what the hell happened.
Now while John responds with the most extreme view of the three folks I asked to comment, hopefully you agree he falls far short of the moonbat whacko Rall. The problem is Rall is the guy who gets his articles and his infamous comics published in major newspapers every week. I do think its safe to say he is not representative of the mainstream left. So the next question is why is this guy still employed by major MSM outlets?
I invite any of you who consider yourselves to be on the left to comment and tell us if Ted Rall speaks for you.
Tracked Back to: MacStansbury, Bloggin Outloud, Third World County, Land of Ozz, Right Wing News,
Right Wing of the Gods isn't very impressed with Mr. Rall. I hope the responses above make him feel a little better.
Conservative Dialysis also has comments on Mr. Rall's article.