08 January 2008

Veterans: Beware of Political Exploitation

Brothers & Sisters: Watch out for political opportunists

I read an interesting article in 2Dinar entitled "Pimping Troops; Pimping Themselves" which advises veterans to beware of using their societal status to incur free goodies from large corporations. I strongly agree with this sentiment. Primarily, since it cheapens the uniform collectively, and also it encourages a paradigm for the citizens of America to surrender their private property (note: that's why the third amendment is still in effect). But what about in the realm of political discourse? I strongly believe that veterans have an interesting perspective to bring to the discussion on foreign policy, since they have experienced many of the realities of it first-hand. But when a far-left organizations like ANSWER, who is the kind of organization that would be quick to demonize US troops as mongrels for the sake of political maneuvering, begins working with the anti-war veterans organization IVAW, I immediately grow concerned. You can see video of a march/die-in in the capitol here in which both organizations took part. It's a concern since these far-left organizations are exploiting a group of veterans just because it gives them some credence, since they have guys in make-shift uniforms on their side. While I respect IVAW opinions, I do not agree with their methodology as evidenced by their "Befriend a Recruiter" campaign, which seeks to gum up the works in recruiting districts so that military recruiters can't meet quotas. Then, I see this Lewrockwell post which highlights an active duty sailor who is anti-war and supports no one other than Ron Paul. I used to read Lew Rockwell back in the day, but his 10/day posts about the glories of Ron Paul have turned me quite cynical in recent months. Does Lew Rockwell really care about what veterans have to say, or is he just using Petty Officer Hutto for political exploitation? I find it troublesome that people carry on with this political opportunism. I'm just suggesting that everyone watch their backs so that your words aren't twisted around on you, and veterans can be a strong voice of reason and logic, regardless of their political dispositions. We don't need any more Jesse Macbeth fiascoes, so that bloated gasbag Rush Limbaugh can't start on a tirade about "phony soldiers".


David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 01/08/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

Army Sergeant said...

Ron Paul, Ron Paul, Ron Paul. Oh, how I hate him.

Of course, that's hardly an Official IVAW position.

Honestly, though this is just my opinion, I think the reason that you often see IVAW march and speak with other groups is simply because it takes so much time, effort, and unfortunately money to exercise your right to free speech these days, especially in DC. You can't just go down to your local police station, pick a time and place, let them know what you'll be doing, and cheerfully go on your way. Now there's a lot of complicated paperwork that goes on, a lot of legal challenges, and the DC police in particular end up lumping everyone together anyway. Plus, you can't exactly hold a public gathering and keep people /out/.

I'll say that there are a lot of IVAW members who greatly prefer only working with vet groups, and I'm one of them. For what that's worth.

I have to say, though, while I may not agree with Befriend a Recruiter, given that I have a lot of buddies that got stuck on that detail (and what does it say when everyone desperately begs shops to redeploy them early just to get out of recruiter duty?), I do find the concept hysterically funny.

LT Nixon said...

Army SGT,

Touche! I agree that most anti-war rallies generally will bring out the crazy element, despite the fact that IVAW may be a rational organization, so you have an excellent point there. But if I saw some of the groups marching here, I would be running away! Ron Paul...sigh...I'm sure you saw this TNR article about he's some kooky racist. I admit I had some hope, but this is pretty much the nail in the coffin. As a guy who once worked in recruiting, I can't say I much like the idea of Befriend Recruiter. Take care. Thanks for coming by!

Army Sergeant said...

And you still have a soul! *ducks* Just kidding!

In all seriousness, recruiters do have a hard job. The only reason I vowed to never get caught alive by the recruiter's brush (despite being recommended on every NCOER for it due to being outgoing) is because of the quotas. I'd love to recruit good people to join the Army, but I wouldn't want to put people in that wouldn't make good soldiers, and I hear that if you don't make quotas, you get bumped out of recruiting with a relief-for-cause.