Support troops, not war decisions

John and Dorothy Dreher

This Letter to the Editor was originally submitted to the Appleton Post-Crescent April 12 and printed April 23. It is reprinted here with the permission of both the Post-Crescent and Professor John Dreher.
Must we stand united behind our troops in wartime? You bet. Let’s support them with everything they need in the field and give them huge expressions of gratitude when they come home.

Must we also unite behind the politicians who aborted what seemed to be promising diplomacy and who ordered the invasion of a poor country ruled by a terrible dictator? No.

A loyal opposition is a key part of a democracy. It is wildly undemocratic to try to silence citizens by ordering them to hush. We are told to hush because, allegedly, George Bush and Dick Cheney know best. We are told that, if we don’t like it here, we should move to Iraq.

That’s silly. It’s just as silly as saying that if you want to support a leader blindly, you should move to North Korea, where you can praise “dear leader” non-stop.

Let us work together in our democracy to figure out better ways to use the power of our nation to promote human flourishing on our planet. As a simple first step, let us be clear that we can support our troops without also supporting recent (and future?) decisions to launch pre-emptive war.