August 05, 2004


There's an interesting discussion going on at Tim Blair's blog about Michael Moore's claim that more Congressmen should send their kids to Iraq. There are all sorts of discussions going on (and lots of tangents being taken), but a comment by Sam caught my eye:

... The bottom line, sure it would be nice if more of the congressmen had a personal link to Iraq so that they could take that into account when making decisions. But as congressmen one would expect they would do that any way. ...

I'm thinking I'd like to disagree here. I would like Congressmen to acknowledge how this war affects individual families and soldiers, but I'm not sure it's appropriate for them to look at the war through a more personal lens. What's good for individual persons is not always good for the country. If the war becomes too personal for our leaders, they might have trouble making the tough decisions. I see that happening a fair amount around here with wives' voting intentions: they want to vote for whoever will bring their husbands home. Instead of what's best for the country as a whole or what's best for Iraq, they just want their Soldiers home at any cost. I personally don't think that's a principled stance. In the military, the country should always come before the self.

Yes, I want Congress to fund body armor and HMMWVs because they keep our Soldiers and Marines safe, but I don't want them to make decisions based on emotion. If a larger number of them had children in Iraq, there's a chance it could cloud their judgement about what's best for the country.

Posted by Sarah at August 5, 2004 12:33 PM

I've always had issue with wives who think like those you mentioned. I have to wonder if they tell their soldier the same thing. A husband off fighting expects support from home, not whining.

Posted by: Mike at August 5, 2004 01:15 PM

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Posted by: David Boxenhorn at August 5, 2004 01:34 PM

I know with Moore's film he asked my Congressman whether he had children in the military and he said no.....but (and this is the part Moore cut out of his mockumentary) my children are still in elementary school. He went on to tell Moore he did have 2 nephews in the military where one was in Iraq now and another was home from Iraq. The other point is a friend of mine with the 101st out of Ft Campbell heard a lot of this from younger guys about voting for Kerry cause they think Kerry will keep them home!!

On another thing: anyone know how to get thru to AAFES where they are going to be showing MM's F911? I think this is a terrible idea and wonder if they are showing this "documentary" did they ever show the "documentary" made on Clinton during his administration? Sorry for the length.

Posted by: Toni at August 5, 2004 01:55 PM

Toni, all I could find was this. All we can hope for is that they work to get the movie here on post and no one goes to see it! I guess I admire the military for not banning the movie and letting Moore's garbage speak for itself. Hopefully most servicemembers react like these Marines!

Posted by: Sarah at August 5, 2004 04:01 PM

Micheal Moores documentary is going to be a big hit on military bases because it is so sympathetic to our soldiers. It is ruthless in pointing out the flaws of George Bush, flaws the media has ignored, but very sensitive with regard to our soldiers and their families.

Kerry will win a large percentage of the military vote. Not from those who put love for Bush above love for America or love for their families. But from those who see in Kerry a brother in arms who knows firshand what it is like to go on patrol in a war where the enemy could be anyone you meet along the way. Or not.

I have to disagree with you though on the utility of having congressmen share a little of the personal sacrifice that military families share. During most of our history most of congress was composed of war veterans and it would be unthinkable to elect someone to office who did not have some personal relationship with the military. Of course for most of our history our military was expanded only in time of need.

This all ended with the establishment of a permanent professional military. This has led to a growing alienation between the military and the general public. The depiction of service men and women in films like the Moore documentary helps to bridge that gap but mere media accounts can never replace the knowledge that comes from first hand experience.

Posted by: dc at August 5, 2004 04:42 PM

Nobody I know who has served in the military view Kerry as a brother in arms. At best, they see him as someone who went to Vietnam. At worst (and most) they see him as a contemptible opportunist.

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