Thursday, August 25, 2005

Legionnaires “Hang Loose” in Hawaii (Maybe Too Loose)

In yet another example of how people are losing their minds over the war in Iraq, the Legionnaires have effectively said we are not entitled to right to free speech. The American Legion, at their National Convention in Honolulu, released a statement that condemns public anti-war protests. Rather, we should simply speak to our leaders in congress. They should follow their own suggestions.

They have “vowed to use whatever means necessary to ensure the united support of the American people for our troops and the global war on terrorism”. So, they are going to force me to support the war in Iraq by whatever means necessary. What is that supposed to mean? Are they going to torture or put a gun to my head and say, "you must support the war in Iraq?" Holy dictator Batman! One of alleged reasons for going into Iraq was to get rid of a dictator who used "whatever means necessary" to impose his will on his people.

“Warriors, above all other people, pray for peace, for they must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war,”…

If they truly believe that, they really should have unanimously approved a resolution calling for an exit strategy to end the war as soon as possible. And yes, at 1800+ deaths and thousands more have been wounded and scared by this war.

“The resolution passed unanimously by 4,000 delegates to the annual event.”

There must be some heavy partying going on at that convention. How can 4000 people be unanimous on anything let alone condemning Americans’ right to free speech? I have a challenge getting 5 people to unanimously agree on what they want on their pizza. The right they are saying we should not express is one many of them have risked their lives to defend and many more have died to uphold.

“For many of us, the visions of Jane Fonda glibly spouting anti-American messages with the North Vietnamese and protestors denouncing our own forces four decades ago is forever etched in our memories,” Cadmus said. “We must never let that happen again. I assure you, The American Legion will stand against anyone and any group that would demoralize our troops, or worse, endanger their lives by encouraging terrorists to continue their cowardly attacks against freedom loving peoples.”

Hey most people think Jane is a freak and should never have done what she did in Vietnam. No argument there. However, I suppose you should condemn the president and his “bring ‘em on” comments. Let’s be clear, the war protests are not denouncing our troops. People are protesting the policies of the administration and doing so in hopes of minimizing casualties to our troops. Regardless of one’s view of the war, I have yet to hear somebody condemn our troops.

“President and Congress did authorize military actions in both Afghanistan and Iraq.”

To my knowledge, Congress did not formally declare war on Iraq so in reality this is an unconstitutional war. Oh, but you guys don’t really appear to support that sacred document.

On a related note...

When Clinton was in office, the Legionnaires had no problem challenging the policies of the president very publicly. They had sent the letter below to then President Clinton. They should send the same one now to our current president as some of the topics still apply.

Mr. President, the United States Armed Forces should never be committed to wartime operations unless the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • That there be That there be a clear statement by the President of why it is in our vital national interests to be engaged in hostilities;
  • Guidelines be established for the mission, including a clear exit strategy;
  • That there be support of the mission by the U.S. Congress and the American people; and
  • That it be made clear that U.S. Forces will be commanded only by U.S. officers which we acknowledge are superior military leaders.

"Our troops are not pawns in a chess game," Miller said in separate remarks. "They are our sons and daughters. If they must be sent into harm’s way, it must be upon careful reflection of their commander in chief, and the consent of Congress and the American people."

Except for US Commanding in charge, we are not really abiding by the conditions they themselves set say we should adhere to. Yet, they are willing to simply go along with this administration.