A blog focusing on politics in Central Illinois.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

A patriot and a liberal

A patriot and a liberal, two words that are not opposites believe it or not! Today the men and women of the 106th, i believe aviation wing returned to Decatur. Fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, and friends they all are of someone, and they have spent considerable time in constant danger in Iraq. I could not be prouder of these people, they are truly what America is about.
Yet, at the same time I can say unequivocably that I do not, and I have never, supported the war in Iraq. These soldiers aren't in control of their destiny, they are being given orders that originate from the very top. They have no choice as to where they are going to go or how long they are going to be there. They are simply doing their job, and I will not look down on them for that.
Too often the conservatives of this country have wrapped themselves up in the flag, and proclaimed anyone that disagrees with them as being unpatriotic. But, I disagree with this notion. What is more patriotic than standing up and saying that we as a country must do absolutely everything possible before we allow these brave men and women to die. We have not done that, instead, we have failed the ones that we need the most. We have rushed into a war in Iraq based on lies, and shifting reasons. Is there anything more unpatriotic than letting our soldiers die needlessly? Can you as an individual actually say that the over 1200 soldiers that died so far, not to mention the much greater number of those that have been injured and maimed in Iraq, is justified? I am not unpatriotic for not wanting a war in Iraq, I am patriotic because I value the lives of and well being of our soldiers.
While we are on the case of patriotism vs. unpatriotism I would like to venture this question as well. Is it unpatriotic to send soldiers into war, where they can die, where they can be maimed, where they can be injured, where they can be scarred for life when it is not neccesary, then when they return here as veterans we cut their benefits? Is that a way to thank someone for their service to our country, by turning a cold shoulder to them? That is an outrage, and that is what the same party that is so quick to label people as unpatriotic are doing to our soldiers that have served us already.
Welcome home to our brothers and sisters in Decatur that have been serving us in Iraq. I love you and I thank you, with undying gratitude. I remain,
A liberal and a Patriot,