31 May 2010

Our soldiers deserve our respect

...and they have mine. Pity about the politicians who order them to risk their lives to accomplish goals that are either stupid (Iraq) or beyond military competence (Afghanistan).

Don't forget that GW Bush started these wars.


  1. I basically agree with your point here, but it's really complicated. On the one hand, I have an immense amount of respect for the ethos of service that drives members of the military to risk and sacrifice their lives for their country. This has hit my family in a direct way, and I can't help but be in awe that people would give up so much for the ideal of serving their compatriots.

    The flip side, though, is that that same devotion to their country also shows itself in a willingness to take human life. And I'm not sure I see the virtue in killing others for your country. I see the idea bandied about that anything that saves American lives must be worth it, and it makes me really sad.

    My point is that I'm not sure the line b/t political culpability for bad decisions and the virtue of service members is quite so separable given the fact we have an all-volunteer force. At some point shouldn't a moral agent refrain from outsourcing her moral decision-making faculty to a body of people she should be aware have abused that privilege many times in the past?

  2. David and anonymous, you both make very good points. Any other day, I may dive into this conversation more fully, esp. in regards to the ethical muddle it creates.

    However, today is about remembering, not just those who serve, but specifically those who have died in military service to our country. It isn't a day about politics or blame, it is a day to consider those who have died. It is a more somber day.

    I remember a friend and a high school student of mine, Jian, who died fighting a fire aboard a ship in the Navy two years after graduation. Anonymous, I am sorry for your and your family's loss, as well.

    Tomorrow, I would love to talk about the issues you two raise.

  3. Well said, Josh. Sorry, my comments were not made at the right time.


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