Recently, I have noticed a lot of soldiers from Iraq writing articles, editorials, blogging, and posting on message boards. A lot of their comments were in response to comments from former soldiers like John Murtha and John Kerry. Maybe I missed some, but all of them seem to disparage the former soldiers' views. Of course, there are other former soldiers, such as Oliver North and John McCain, who are supportive of our current soldiers' efforts in Iraq, and the war effort in general.
Why do we place so much credence on what our soldiers have to say? By their service in the military, do they somehow achieve superhuman status? Or superhuman wisdom?
Of course they don't.
"Men are wise in proportion, not to their experience, but to their capacity for experience." - James Boswell
A man can go through Hell, but that does NOT mean he understands Hell, or even why he was there.
On the other hand, they have earned the right to be heard, more so than the average citizen. We owe them that much.
However, we also are NOT required to agree with them. Much like regular citizens, some in the military are smarter than others. For those of us outside the military, we need to look at these comments and judge by our own experience. Also important is to look at who is saying it, and whether they deserve our respect. The consideration of military service should be tossed aside when we recognize them to be fools.
Thus ends the common sense part of this editorial.
In my opinion, the most important point made in this discussion came from several of the soldiers currently serving in Iraq. Their point was: If we leave Iraq without finishing the job, we will have to go back in a few years to finish it anyway.
That is a point not addressed by the Murthas and Kerrys of the world. They seem to either think Iraq will be fine if we pull out now, or it doesn't matter because our soldiers are in harm's way. The first view is in contradiction to the views of the people there. The second view is irrelevant because a soldier's life is inherently dangerous.
While we want our soldiers to be as safe as possible, we have to weigh that against the risks involved. Our soldiers are aware of the risks. Yet they want to finish the job in spite of the risks.
At this point in time, I am of the view we need to let our boys finish the job. But that leaves a further quandary: What to think of Murtha and Kerry?
I decided during the last election Kerry is a fool. When I read his Senate testimony from the 70's, it was clear his allegations against his fellow soldiers were absurd. Nothing he has done since then has altered my opinion.
"I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it." - John Kerry
As for Murtha, his views are representative of two possibilities: One, he is a fool like Kerry; or two, he is using the pacifist position for political purposes. Whichever is true, I have no use for Murtha.