Monday, July 21

I Always Got Explainin' To Do

Sometimes if a story jumps out at me, I'll e-mail it to some pals of mine. These eventually get distributed to their pals who will fire back some spirited comments.

The other day, one such story with my commentary (see it here in a new window) drew comments that went beyond spirited. An example:

It is obvious it reeks of Howard's bias/agenda. It seems to me the "Girlie/Men," generally don't know or more accurately ignore the truth within the situation. They always seem to give new meaning to "Bash America First! " I may be wrong, not knowing Howard, but I am certain he has "never been there and done that!" This is a perfect example of my feeling that you cannot support the Troops if you do not support the war. They are the good souls that are there and do not not need this small minded petty shit!

Cheap name-calling aside (funny how liberals are always accused of that by talk radio), I'll agree with the first half of that last line. But the thing they REALLY don't need is the "bring 'em on" taunting of the enemy by our president - another guy who just happened to have "never been there and done that."

Here's another comment, though in a more sarcastic vein:

I think we should bathe them, dress them in new uniforms, bring them over to the States, issue them rocket grenade launchers, a-k 47's, and turn them loose in the 50 most crowded malls across the country, say at about 2 in the afternoon when the malls are most crowded. By golly, that'll show the world how fair we Amerians (sp) are!

Here's my reply to them (via my pal who's patiently playing the middleman) and to all who can't do better than name-call or think beyond the blinders. I hope I speak for a lot of us who have to keep defending our patriotism while asking the important questions:

I'm sick of these instant experts telling me where I'm coming from or who I am...or whether or not I support the troops. My parents (especially my Dad who was a WWII veteran) taught me that everything in life is not in simple black and white. Everything, every aspect, every nuance is in the shades of gray in between.

They also taught me that these shades of gray mean there's nothing that is above questioning. I can support people while choosing to not support a concept and no one can tell me otherwise. It's not as cut and dried as some of the folks who went on a character assassination spree at my expense would like the world to believe. I have my values and they have theirs. Maybe I'm not right in their eyes, and someday they have to accept the fact that not everyone sees them as right either. No one...NO ONE will tell me what I believe or who I support except myself after I process all the given information. But seeing as how they lashed out here, my words will never mean a goddamn thing anyway.

I've completely maxed out on dealing with this bullcrap mindset. No, we shouldn't dress the captured guys in tuxedos and tutus. No, we shouldn't leave our kids unprotected. No, we shouldn't turn a blind eye to the evil around them. But yes, we should look at a lot of this through the same filter as the rest of the world will view it. Because right now, the U.S. and its leaders are not as well liked abroad AND here as they think. We have a serious, serious image problem and it's got to be fixed.

And to all your veteran pals, one word: Thanks. Thank you for fighting for my right to speak out when I feel the need. And lately, I've really felt the need. So have a lot of Americans.

Do we understand each other now?