Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Query to a Best Friend "Liberal"

Dear John,

Did you volunteer for the duty with Stars and Stripes, or were you drafted?

I ask this because you have always projected a positive, tho critical attitude toward your  service.
It is a point of intellectual honesty and logic, I approach.
Some Americans  hate  the present armed conflict and the administration that mounted it because, they say, in print, on the air and in flim / tape  that it is criminal for the United States to  "kill 900  American kids"  and that these "kids' " families and all Americans should be outraged.

This is couched in language that brings up, at worst images of press-gangs and privateers  savaging the populace by  wresting children from the protective and loving arms of their parents and teachers---and at best,  leaves the impression that the United States still conscripts unwilling youth for the armed services.
Actually, Senator Scoop Jackson (D)  and Gordon Allott (R)  teamed up with a couple of their astute advisers, Richard Perle and Dr. George Will, to draft the legislatiuon that ended the draft and created an all-volunteer armed force for the United States.

These are mostly young men when they first train, yes.  But, they are no longer mostly black, or mostly latino, but a pretty  homogeneous cross section of the populace.

They are professionals.  They sign contracts to train and learn how to kill people and break things and sink and blow up stuff. 
Without regard to their admittedly low pay  and poor family living conditions in SOME cases,  they are hired to do what they are doing.
In fact, in most cases, theri parents sign them into the armed services.  And they get perks,  skills, education guaranteed, and so on.

As the grandfather of a Marine pfc at Camp Pendleton, headed for Falujah in September,  I keep up with them and hear from them weekly.

By "them", I mean a Master gunny  and a T-4 at Quantico  who have done more than their year in Iraq.They  were among some people I was lucky enough to salvage, and in some cases, restore their families.
So, all I'm asking, is...Isn;t it either illogical or intellectually dishonest to decry the deaths of the 900 as  cruel and unnecessary?
They were doing the job they and their failies signed up for.   I understand that.  Grandson John, Godson Eddie  and Sheri's Husband Richard and all their living relatives understand that.
It  devalues them, and devalues all of us to make invidious characterization of their  service, which is, after all, a professional contract held inviolate by them.
Thanks for listening.  I trust your level head to straighten me out if I am off base.

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