We have often heard the talking heads on the media try to draw comparisons between the Global War on Terror and the Vietnam War. There is one similarity that seems to be quietly building steam and sneaking up – the growing speech directed against our military.
First and foremost, this is not a political debate and we actually frown upon discussing politics on this site as it is kind of a no-go for members of the military as well as federal employees to engage in political discussions on the Internet (as in what happened to Gary Stein).
From the beginning of the Global War on Terror their was the voice of those against the war – most people dismissed them as just remnants of the Flower Power generation and paid little mind to them. It wasn’t until the Iraq invasion and war that followed that the anti-war movement really gained traction.
The movement Code Pink officially started in November of 2002 and was heavily involved in protesting the events leading up to the invasion of Iraq in March of 2003. While initially an anti-war movement it is hard, especially for soldiers, to make a difference between someone claiming to be anti-war out of support of the troops while claiming that U.S. troops committed war crimes in Fallujah in 2004.
Then came Cindy Sheehan on the anti-war scene following the death of her son who was killed in action on April 4, 2004 while part of a QRF to rescue American soldiers. I am not about to speak ill of a Gold Star Mother and merely mention her to give historical reference to the current atmosphere. With Sheehan it seems things became more in your face and allegations of wrong-doing and the blaming of senior military leadership became fashionable.
What does the collapse of markets on Wall Street and the Global War on Terror have in common? Very little if anything other than they happen to exist during the same point in history. Yet the overlap between protesting Wall Street and protesting the war and the soldiers themselves for serving something evil (their idealogy, not mine) became very clear. I recall attending a Memorial Day parade and being angered by the sight of “No War for Oil” signs and talk of sympathy for the poor “baby killing Nazis” we were remembering that day.
Perhaps it is the type of person, the political allure or flavor, that is drawn to the Occupy movement. There is at the very least a perceived image that is very critical of soldiers, to the point of being anti-soldier. This element was very vocal and very tech savy as well.
There is not aday that goes by that our Facebook page isn’t messaged at least once with information about a new group or page that sprouted up that is very negative and hostile towards soldiers. In fact, today we were informed of a new one called Soldiers are Murderers and of course we can’t forget the people at The Troops Are Welfare Queens?
There are probably hundreds if not thousands of groups like this littered across Facebook. Recently our page was bombed by people making such anti-military comments and threats on our page, directed to our page by a page that claims to support the military but just not us – I know, seems legit right?
Most of this anger directed towards members of the military seems to be generating from young teens to people in their late twenties, and some older people who never learned to grow-up and like to stay trendy apparently.
Does this mean that American society is raising our children to be increasingly less respectful of the military that protects them? I think that answer can very easily be yes, it would seem that we as a whole are doing a terrible job and giving our youth a sense of pride of being American and acknowledgement that that comes from the sacrifices of our military.
So, as I sit and write this I realize I don’t really have a glimmer of hope to end this with – well yes, maybe I do. There is one thing that gives me hope – we that have served have always been the minority in this country, perhaps not as bad as today. For every soldier that leaves the service there is another standing behind him raising his hand willing to serve. I am pretty confident that as long as that remains true we as a nation will always prevail despite the efforts of those against us.
Someone has been very vociferous in confronting my connecting the anti-war movement with the anti-military movement. To be clear, I am pretty sure in the article what I was saying was that the anti-military movement is something that evolved from the anti-war movement.
But, as you can see in this seething condemnation of my association it is clear that my point is valid. You can’t claim to not be anti-military when you claim to take issue with the military leadership (NCOs?), officer corps (officers are soldiers too) and brass at the Pentagon (career soldiers).