Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Joel Stein and Kay Lebowitz: Two Sharply Contrasting Approaches to "Supporting The Troops"

Joel Stein is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times. I've commented on his tasteless writing before, here. Today Mr. Stein writes about the concept of "supporting the troops." This will give you a taste:

I DON'T SUPPORT our troops. This is a particularly difficult opinion to
have, especially if you are the kind of person who likes to put bumper stickers
on his car. Supporting the troops is a position that even Calvin is unwilling to
urinate on.

I'm sure I'd like the troops. They seem gutsy, young and up for anything. If you're wandering into a recruiter's office and signing up for eight years of unknown danger, I want to hang with you in Vegas.

And I've got no problem with other people — the ones who were for the Iraq war — supporting the troops. If you think invading Iraq was a good idea, then by all means, support away. Load up on those patriotic magnets and bracelets and other trinkets the Chinese are making money off of.

In contrast, Mudville Gazette reports on the activities of one Kay Lebowitz. Note the contrast with Mr. Stein's attempt at humor, or satire, or whatever he's trying so hard to achieve:

It is well after dinnertime for Kay Lebowitz, but she hardly notices - she has hundreds of American troops to greet.Here at Bangor International Airport, she bustles about, sliding next to them at the snack bar. "I always ask them if they have children," she says. "They love to talk about their babies."

A planeload of US Marines, heading to Iraq, files in line to board. She strives to hug all 263 of them. "See you on the way back," she tells them.

"Kay, let 'em go," shouts a fellow volunteer at the front of the queue. "You're holding up the line." But the 90-year-old hardly notices that, either.

Ms. Lebowitz is a member of the Maine Troop Greeters, a community group that has dutifully gathered at this tiny airport in central Maine since May 2003. . . .

Read the whole thing here.

UPDATE: Hugh Hewitt has much more on this.

UPDATE II: So does Dennis Prager. (Looks like I jumped on this one after about 98% of the rest of the blogosphere. I'm working too hard!) Prager's point is that when American leftists say that although they oppose the war, they support the troops, they are being dishonest; one cannot think the war is wrong and yet "support the troops:"

The Left's message is this: "You troops may think you are winning; you may think you are doing good and moral things in Iraq; you may believe you are fighting the worst human beings of our age and protecting us against the scourge of Islamic terror. But we on the Left believe none of that. We believe this war is being fought for oil and for Halliburton and other corporations; we believe you are waging a war that is both illegal and immoral; we believe you have invaded a country for no good reason and have killed a hundred thousand Iraqis [the Left's generally mentioned number] for no good reason; but, hey, we sure do support you."

What the Left is really saying is, "We think the war is horribly wrong, troops, but we don't blame you for that (except for the generals) and we hope you get out of it safely." I'm not sure many of the troops see that as support.

But at least Mr. Stein gets points for being honest. He's many other things, I fear, but he seems to be honest about his view of the war. That's more than we can say for most on the Left.


Blogger Rosemary said...

I know how you feel. lol. I had to take a break for a while, but it seems I don't do breaks very well. I still am trying to read everyone on my sidebar. Argghhh! Have a great day. 

Posted by Rosemary

Wednesday, January 25, 2006 4:39:00 AM  
Blogger Malott said...

I appreciate Stein's comments because I believe he is being more honest than most Dems and others on the Left. They believe the troops are as guilty as the president and that's why they feel justified in undermining the war effort and encouraging the enemy.

You've probably heard, they loathe the military.  

Posted by Chris malott

Wednesday, January 25, 2006 5:23:00 AM  
Blogger Stan said...

My take is the same as Chris'. This is just part of Bill's "loathe the military".

Posted by stan

Wednesday, January 25, 2006 1:54:00 PM  

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