That dinosaur of the Jurassic Age, Andy Rooney, has just published a column that's going to get him strung up -- Drudge is smugly show-casing it, inviting an onslaught -- but ole Rooney is still capable of telling the acerbic truth:
...Our soldiers in Iraq are people, young men and women, and they behave like people -- sometimes good and sometimes bad, sometimes brave, sometimes fearful. It's disingenuous of the rest of us to encourage them to fight this war by idolizing them.
We pin medals on their chests to keep them going. We speak of them as if they volunteered to risk their lives to save ours, but there isn't much voluntary about what most of them have done. A relatively small number are professional soldiers. During the last few years, when millions of jobs disappeared, many young people, desperate for some income, enlisted in the Army. About 40 percent of our soldiers in Iraq enlisted in the National Guard or the Army Reserve to pick up some extra money and never thought they'd be called on to fight. They want to come home.
One indication that not all soldiers in Iraq are happy warriors is the report recently released by the Army showing that 23 of them committed suicide there last year. This is a dismaying figure. If 22 young men and one woman killed themselves because they couldn't take it, think how many more are desperately unhappy but unwilling to die.
We must support our soldiers in Iraq because it's our fault they're risking their lives there. However, we should not bestow the mantle of heroism on all of them for simply being where we sent them. Most are victims, not heroes.
Monday, April 12, 2004
Aiding & Abetting?
Posted by J.W. Williamson at 4/12/2004 08:31:00 PM
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