Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Stein Thing

Here is the Joel Stein column that everyone is talking about (about which everyone is talking). The gist is that he doesn't support the troops. Indeed, he begins the article with "I DON'T SUPPORT our troops." He explains:

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. Supporting the troops is a position that even Calvin is unwilling to urinate on.

I'm sure I'd like the troops. They seem gutsy, young and up for anything. If you're wandering into a recruiter's office and signing up for eight years of unknown danger, I want to hang with you in Vegas.

And I've got no problem with other people — the ones who were for the Iraq war — supporting the troops. If you think invading Iraq was a good idea, then by all means, support away. Load up on those patriotic magnets and bracelets and other trinkets the Chinese are making money off of.

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. It's as if the one lesson they took away from Vietnam wasn't to avoid foreign conflicts with no pressing national interest but to remember to throw a parade afterward.
So on and so forth--you get the point.

My opinion: good for him--at least he's being honest. Stein's technically a humorist, and sure, he's being honest in an entirely unfunny way, but at least he's being honest. What he has stumbled upon in that article is that in the case of the Iraq war, if you don't support the war, either you can't support the troops, or you think the troops are all idiots who have been tricked, forced, or otherwise bamboozled into fighting.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I have been saying this for months and months.

You cannot claim the war is an immoral action of murdering US Imperialism and then claim to support the troops.

You support the troops or you do not.