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Friday, March 16, 2007

Smokey Briggs

Sage Views

By Smokey Briggs

Supporting the troops -
and a little common sense

When I was a kid, I only rarely heard my Dad curse. When I did, it was a slip of the tongue brought on by a smashed thumb or some such.

Still, it happened. There is a tone in a true curse.

I’m not talking about the casual vulgarity of much modern language. What I am talking about is a curse word, with the emphasis on curse.

There is a tone that goes with the word or words and that tone communicates as much, or more, than the words.

As a kid, your ears perk up when you do hear that tone in your dad’s voice.

I had heard it once or twice before the day came when I heard the tone, but the words were wrong.

The words were: “Jane Fonda.”

Those may not be curse words in the Good Book, but around our house, they were.

Papa enlisted in the Marines right out of high school when the Korean War was going on.

I know, it was not officially a war, but no matter what a bunch of lying politicians want to call it, it was a war.

Later he did time in Viet Nam.

If you do not know about Jane Fonda’s “anti-war” activities, a bit of education is worthwhile.

Fonda is a card carrying socialist/communist (no difference in the two in my book) who protested the war in Viet Nam in every way possible - well every way that would also grab her some publicity - and is famous for her flirting about with North Vietnamese during the war.

Her posed picture at the triggers of anti-aircraft guns that were being used to shoot down U.S. pilots was treason as far as I’m concerned. That is where she earned the nickname “Hanoi Jane.”

In the end, Fonda, and the rest of the anti-war crowd focused their supposed hatred of the war on our servicemen.

So did a lot of other people. For the anti-war crowd, every draftee was a baby-killing monster.

How could intelligent people make such a foolish connection? How could they blame draftees and patriotic young men volunteering to do their duty to their country for all the right reasons, for Washington-based policy decisions?

Well, Fonda and company hated/hate a lot of things other than war. For the most part, I would say they hate all things and people that do not subscribe to their feminist/socialist agenda. And, let’s face it, young jarheads and soldiers usually do not go for that kind of stupidity. So, Jane hates young servicemen.

So, while everybody that protested Viet Nam may not have agreed with Jane Fonda, the end result was that our nation heaped much blame and dishonor on men who deserved nothing but honor and appreciation.

Today, it seems America carries a good bit of collective guilt over its shoddy treatment of the soldiers it mostly drafted, and then sent to kill or be killed.

And so, the wheel turns full circle. Now, every car has a yellow “Support the troops” sticker. And, our elected liars in Washington are not stupid. They jumped on the bandwagon the minute it became convenient and “support the troops” at every photo op.

Of course, in the process, they have desperately tried to equate all criticism of the current war in Iraq with failing to support the troops.

In essence, if you do not support our current shenanigans in Iraq, you must be in Hanoi Jane’s camp.

What a crock. By that logic, any declaration of war is beyond criticism. (Or war without declaration for that matter since our chicken-livered Congress has handed over its constitutional duty to declare war to the president).

Supporting our troops does not require toeing the Washington propaganda line.

It does require that we search our souls and make sure that when we commit their lives to the battlefield, we do so within the bounds of our Constitution. It requires that we arm them as well as possible. It requires that we demand sound, logical leadership and policies from our officers and politicians. And it requires that we treat them with honor when they return.

One out of four does not cut it.

Not for Fonda, and not for anyone else.

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