Just My Thoughts

Posted: Saturday, January 27, 2007 by Travis Cody in
9

This is my place. These are my thoughts. I'm entitled to them. You may agree or disagree as you see fit.

I've seen some disturbing things and I've heard some disturbing words spoken recently. This is how I feel about those things and those words.

I would prefer that my country was a nation in which lived people who truly understood that disagreement is OK. When my opinion differs from yours, that doesn’t make either of us right or wrong; it simply means we believe differently. And disagreement gives no one the right to insult another person.

Disagreement with or protest of our actions in Iraq does not mean that I don’t support our troops, or that I am hurting them in any way. Our troops are not this war. Our troops are the instrument of our foreign policy. I can disagree with that foreign policy, and that does not mean that I think our troops are in any way to blame for it. I can work to change our foreign policy, and that does not mean I want our troops to be deprived of anything that will keep them safe and help them accomplish their mission.

How is it that so many people do not understand that?

I have two cousins who are Marines. One has done three tours in Iraq and the other begins his second this month. I respect them, and I fear for them, and I am proud of them. And I require that my government provide them with the tools they need to come home.

Neither of my cousins believes we should be fighting in Iraq. But they do their duty for the honor of service and because of the kind of men they are. They fight for their buddies.

There must be discussion of issues in this country without letting differing viewpoints be grounds for name calling. It’s clear that some passionately hold the point of view that staying in Iraq, and in fact starting that war, is and was the right thing to do to protect America and Americans. The passion of this opinion must be respected whether you agree with the opinion or not.

It is also clear that others hold just as passionate an opinion that our government’s actions with respect to Iraq are wrong, and are only exacerbating the terror threat to this country. The right to this alternate opinion must also be respected.

Strong belief in an idea gives no one the right to call another person names. In my opinion, it is that rudeness that harms and goes counter to everything upon which this country was founded.

It is the duty of all citizens in a democracy to speak in opposition. We have freedom to speak. We have opinions. Those opinions will not always track with others. But no citizen of this country should ever be intimidated for his opinion, and no one has the right to dissuade a person from speaking. Calling another person names or shouting them down will accomplish nothing but divisiveness. It isn’t the opinions themselves that drive wedges between people; it is our reactions to them.

Embrace your differences of opinion and work to understand. This is the higher goal to which we should all strive. Anything less is simply petty and ignorant.

I thank all those who have in the past and currently are serving in the military. I thank those who are in training to join the ranks of our military services, for they knowingly prepare to go into harm’s way. I thank any young person making the decision to enlist today.

But I know that there is honor in service, and not only in the type of service. So I also thank those who find the courage to challenge our leaders and require them to account for their decisions to put our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines in harm’s way. I thank those who search their souls and find the strength of character to speak out in opposition. I thank those who endure insult and accusations of un-Patriotism for their disagreement.

I welcome your comments and your differing opinions. I do not moderate comments here because I believe in freedom of expression. Please comment with respect.

9 comments:

  1. Janna says:

    I agree with you 100%.
    It's amazing (and appalling) how many misguided people think that "Support the Troops" means "Support the War."
    As if people who disagree with the war are showing disrespect for the troops.
    The two are very separate issues.
    Most people, from what I've seen and heard, DO 'support the troops', yet conversely, I have yet to meet one person who actually 'supports the war.'
    In my opinion, the war is dead wrong, it was founded upon lies, arrogance, and misinformation, and is kept going only because our President thinks stopping the insanity is equivalent to cowardice or 'admitting defeat'.
    I'm SO tired of hearing him dismiss the anti-war effort as a cowardly "cut-and-run" strategy.
    He just doesn't get it.
    I don't think he's EVER gotten it.
    *sigh*.

  1. Excellent post, Trav. It's an issue that dates back to Vietnam, the whole supporting the troops = fully supporting a war. I just hope that these vet's don't suffer the backlash that the vietnam vets had. And I will keep your cousins in my prayers.

  1. tiggerprr says:

    I am squarely behind you in support of this post 100%. As a military brat, I have an understanding of what the soldiers and their families endure to provide the blanket of freedom that we so easily take for granted. That said, I do not support the war, but you can best believe I support the men and women over there doing what they must.

    It annoys me to no end when people confuse the two issues. I think it's high time we got out of Dodge and start working on our domestic policies before we continue policing the world. In a country when so many of our children go to bed hungry or worse are homeless, our money is better spent doing good deeds at home.

    ::leaps off her soapbox:: I'm sorry, but you touched a nerve and said many things I've been thinking for a long time! :)

  1. Travis says:

    Ladies - thanks for weighing in. This post was a little heavy for a Saturday. But the thoughts have been rattling around in my head and it was time to put them down.

  1. Anonymous says:

    I too do not understand why people sem to "attack" when faced with a different opinion. Our diversity is one of our better qualities as a nation IMO. To disagree is fine, even necessary at times. But to be disagreeable is, well, a waste of time.

    Robin

  1. TopChamp says:

    Ranting is ok - I like a good rant.

    And in this case I think you're justified.

  1. Anndi says:

    *stands up, applauds*

    So proud of my Bro. Well said!

    Lest we forget.

    These soldiers have families and friends who worry, who need to know their sons and daughters, fathers, mothers, wives and husbands, and cousins are appreciated for the sacrifice they are making.

    How you feel about this war should not diminish the troops.

    Difference of opinion is what makes life interesting, leads to debate and a better understanding of the world. The right to have an opinion, thoughts, and the right to share them are after all what many of these fine men and women are fighting for.

    *sits back down beaming with pride*

  1. Maryfly says:

    wow, fabulous post Trav! Soldiers go where there told to. period.

    big hugs!!

  1. JohnH985 says:

    It seems that for a lot of people if you speak out against the war you are speaking out against our military. That could be not be farther from the truth. I think a lot of it has to do with Vietnam and how our troops were attacked by those against the war and now how we look aghast at that behavior, so it's an easy tactic for those that don't want to hear anyone speak out against the war to try to tar such speakers with that same brush.

    Very good post. Very well thought out and very important to voice.