2.22.2007

Supporting Our Troops Means Bringing Them Home

In Support the Troops: Bring Them Home (TIME 2-19-07), Michael Kinsley get's it right.

President Bush believed that Iraq was a major threat to the U.S. and that the best course of action was to strike first before the gathering storm. However, the intelligence was wrong, so the war is wrong.

But under the circumstances, which position best exemplifies support for our troops: bring the troops home to their families, or keep them in Iraq and send in yet more of our bravest?

Here are two excerpts from Kinsley's persuasive article:

[President Bush's] intentions were noble, however naive and pigheaded. But the war was a horrible mistake. And as everyone comes to realize it was a mistake, continuing it becomes something much worse than a mistake.

There is something backward here. Congressional opponents of the Iraq war are "supporting the troops" in the best possible way: by trying to bring them home to safety and their families. It is those — those few, apart from President Bush — who want to send even more troops to Iraq who should feel defensive about their support for the troops. Some of those troops are on their third tour of duty in Iraq, and few of them are pleased to be there. Maybe, as Bush and his advisers no doubt sincerely believe, the drip drip drip of young American blood is worth it. Maybe the critics underestimate the peril of pulling out. Maybe the "surge" will turn out to be a huge success and vindicate Bush's strategy. But please — let's not pretend that staying the course is a favor to the troops.