Mailvox: the philosopher-generals

Steve barks on command:

I think that the point that the marine was trying to make is that the troops and the mission are united. You cannot support one and not the other. The “folks back home” should understand this and have the courage to face up to all its implications. If you want our troops to win then you are on their side and are supporting them. If you want the enemy to win (it doesn’t matter if you want the enemy to win by killing all of our troops or just win becase we quit the field and bring all our guys home, the end result is the same)then you are on their side and are the enemy of our troops.

This is the most specious reasoning in defense of unquestioning obedience I’ve ever heard. First, it is very easy to oppose the mission and support the troops. Only someone without friends or family in the military could possibly fail to understand the concept.

Would one argue that Saddam would win if US troops were pulled out today? Wasn’t that who we were fighting? Wasn’t the war fought to ensure that Iraq had no WMD? Then by Steve’s reasoning either the mission has been accomplished, the war has already been won and the troops can come home, or Saddam, sitting under the guard of US troops, has won the most Phyrric of Phyrric victories.

Not only is this a foolish and illogical argument, but it is a stupid one. Calling people traitors is hardly a good way to convince them to come around to your way of thinking, it is instead a very good way of convincing them that you have a complete lack of confidence in your case. Steve apparently thinks we should cheer unchecked mission creep until American troops occupy every single country in the world. Anything less would be unpatriotic!