Much Ado About Stein

If anyone hasn’t heard about the whole Joel Stein fiasco, then skip reading.  Maybe Google his name and see what’s what.  Long story short, he wrote a semi-humorous piece in the LA Times about how he doesn’t support the troops.  The right-wing blogosphere erupted on him.  The left-wing blogosphere apparently didn’t get the memo.  Whatevs.

Here’s the deal: there was nothing wrong with what he wrote.  He said what right-wingers have been pointing out for a long time: that it is hypocritical to support the troops while cursing the war in which they fight as imperialistic/for oil/misguided.  So what happens?   He gets pilloried and called unpatriotic.  That’s foolish.  He is being truthful and confirms the ranting of conservative pundits, yet they get angry at him for telling them they are right. Joel Stein was correct.  It IS hypocritical to be against the war but hold up those who fight in it as the bees knees.  Not supporting them is completely different from protesting them as people, calling them baby killers, and making a fuss outside of Walter Reed.  That earns a mofo a satchel speedbagging in my opinion.  But to be against the war and still have a yellow ribbon magnet on your car is asinine.  I disagree with Mr. Stein about the necessity for the war, his dislike of parades, and some of his comments on I Love the 80s, but other than that, he’s shiny.

PS: I really don’t care if someone has a yellow ribbon on their car, or a bumper sticker, or anything.  That doesn’t indicate to me that they are more patriotic, understand the military more, or any of that. The only ones I notice are those that say “Half My (Heart) is in Iraq”, or something similar, because they deserve special treatment.  I can tell you that being deployed is far easier than being at home whilst a loved one is deployed.  Those stickers I notice.

PPS: I’ve conducted some unscientific research and it truly freaks us out when people approach us and thank us for what we do.  I’ve confirmed this with 10-15 other soldiers.  I don’t know why, but it is scary.  Save the adulation for Audie Murphy.

~ by kinshay on 2006-01-26.

No Responses Yet to “Much Ado About Stein”

  1. the link: Joel Stein: Warriors and wusses

    KinKine you are the smart one but isn’t democracy the right to free speech, freedom of expression, the right to assemble and all that jazz? I know that it is a government for the people by the people but I was always under the impression that the bill of rights and most of the constitution was concerned with making sure that the things needed for people to be able to actually define their ruling body were sacrosanct.

    I was under the impression that the reason we continue the war in the middle east was because we wanted to safe guard that idea of democracy, bring it to the poor Iraqis. It seems kind of like a slippery slope, or perhaps it is the fact that I was awake in history class once, but it kind of familiar that trampling on the rights of people to express themselves in the name of bringing to some other people the right to express themselves is a bit hypocritical. Kind of like slave owners writing about all men being equal and all that.

    Personally I could give a shit that you bought a five dollar magnet, or whatever. Mostly I just think that the person inside the vehicle is so sheep like that major facets of their individual can be expressed by a mass produced piece of plastic. I would even go so far as to say I didn’t give a shit that you married a soldier. It was your half a heart to give away. We should make stickers that say, ‘half my mortgage is in Vegas’ or something it would move me about as much.

    Most of the people who I have met volunteered to go to war. The soldiers I know train hard and want to be there where the bullets are flying. To them it is fun. Saying I support them but not the war is like saying I support the Klan member but not the Klan. Stein had every right to his opinion and to express it. I couldn’t even really say he was wrong. I do think you need to know what a hawk is as a basic intelligence meter.

    bill maher is still a smarmy douche bag who should be lit on fire and eaten by dogs.

  2. Personally, I couldn’t disagree more. It seems perfectly natural and sensible to disagree with the (perceived) reasons behind any given conflict and still support the men and women whose job it is to perform the ins and outs of said conflict. To lock one opinion in with the other seems simple minded at best.

    I second the dogs and fire for Bill Maher.

  3. But the folks who are fighting are all volunteers. Throwing a parade for them is an acknowledgement of the mission they have done; it is a celebration of their accomplishments. If you don’t agree with what they have accomplished, then why throw a parade?

  4. Who said anything about a parade? I’m talking about sentiment.

    I always have good feelings for the people who volunteer to serve in the Armed Forces, but they have nothing to do with the politics of war. It’s those high-level decision makers that I have a problem with. Why should I lump the soldiers in with them?

  5. Joel Stein spoke about a parade.

  6. seriously, kine, is my take on democracy correct?

  7. You are correct. That is what democracy is. I don’t think I ever said anything indicating otherwise. My post wasn’t to argue about the correctness of the war, but to defend Stein against the vicious attacks of people whose opinion he has validated.

  8. Nor did you link to Joel Stein’s article, so the discussion was more or less removed from that by default.

  9. Ah, but I said in the first paragraph that this was only worth reading if’n one already knew the deal.

  10. I wasn’t trying to argue the correctness of the war either. I find it difficult too to divorce the soldiers who comprise the army from the cause the army is fighting for. As you said they all volunteered. In my opinion they voted with the ultimate vote, their feet, to support it. If they had serious moral compunctions about what they were being asked to do they could just leave.

  11. Don’t you end up in military prison if you do that?

  12. that has a certain appeal for some 😉

  13. I’m generally of the opinion of “fuck the soldiers,” but I can acknowledge that in a lot of areas there is an economic draft of sorts. I don’t support the troops, but I’m not one of the anarchists who feels entirely comfortable with celebrating their deaths, either.

    My daddy was in the navy. He volunteered. The recruiters in southern WV told him that if he didn’t enlist voluntarily he’d be drafted into the army and go on the front line with all the other hillbillies.

    So I guess what I mean to say is that, like most issues, it’s nuanced.

  14. Ben Stein: Saints in Armor

  15. I think I just rolled my eyes so hard I sprained my ankle.

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