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January 24, 2006


One thing missing from Mr. Stein's essay. He needs to explain to me "why I should care" what he thinks about this. Help me (or him) out here, by finishing the following statement: "We should care about whether Joel Stein supports the troops because: _________". Thanks.

If anyone comes up with a good finishing line, I promise to go back and read Joel's statements again, and might even suggest that others do the same. Until then .....

stein's piece is meant to be taken in jest and as more of a shot against people who just say "i support our troops because it's america and anything else is UNamerican." that's the wrong viewpoint to take and that's what stein is writing about.

"...Iraqis would not be voting and running their own democracy now. They'd still be cowering from a dictator and his henchmen. Saddam Hussein would be doing whatever he pleased to develop his nuclear, chemical and biological programs."

iraq is far from a democracy and we gave saddam hussein his biological and chemical weapons as well as conventional arms in the 1980's to aid his fight against iran.

Steve, you (and Joel) have a much more well-defined view of US actions in Iraq than I do. I admit to being conflicted about the situation, and probably will be for the duration (or the rest of my life, whichever comes first).

I'll challenge you on the use of the word "jest" in referring to Stein's column. I think he is quite serious in saying that those serving are themselves evidencing some moral downfall. If there is a soldier out there who is purposely attacking civilians (off on a mission of his own) or somehow taking advantage of Iraqis for his/her own malicious satisfaction, then we should condemn that.

You'd have to show me some examples of military personnel who have that attitude, and then I would disown and "not support" them. All of the others get a pass from me because they are doing something their elected government said "we" (collectively) said we want done.

And I am still left to wonder: why should someone who happens to write for a living think we should care what HE thinks about this matter? Why should YOU care about what I think? You shouldn't. When I hear an opinion from someone who has special insights for any reason, I listen. The rest is simply noise.

And, the Iraqis DO have a democracy going now; that's a fact, not just an opinion. Whether it can be sustained is debatable. Whether that will have an major effect on the larger Middle East is debatable. Whether it is worth the cost in money and lives and chaos is debatable. Those are all open questions. Whether our recent actions in Iraq are problematic because there was a time our politicians chose to side with Hussein is debatable. Your opinion on these things is not very important, and nor is mine or Joel Stein's unless any of us is in a position to influence those whose opinions DO make or will make a difference.

So again, " "We should care about whether Joel Stein supports the troops because: _________". Help me out here.

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