Thoughts on culture, education, and having been a Canadian in the US
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Support YOUR troops with dissent

People I know are sometimes surprised to see a “Support Our Troops” magnet on the back of our van. We’ve modified it with a Y to read “Support YOUR troops,” as this is not my family’s country, nor our war. And yet, we’re paying for it every paycheque when money comes off for federal taxes. There are many tragedies at the heart of the Iraq war, and one of them is the hundreds of thousands of troops who’ve been sent there to fight a war that should have never been fought in the first place. A war based on lies, greed, corruption, and a flagrant disregard for the lives and well-being of the troops.

I can’t help feeling that just by being here in the US, that we’re doing something to contribute to the war. The only way to live with that is also to do something to speak out against it, which I do whenever I can. I’m sure some people misread our magnet as a sign of our support for the war itself. It’s anything but that. It’s simply my way of saying that we are thinking of those men and women there who shouldn’t be there. It’s not that they are not doing good things. In the end, getting rid of Saddam should turn out to be a good thing. But at what cost? This is an end that will never justify the means.

Bring them home.

Here’s an excerpt from a great speech John Kerry made a few days ago. Powerful stuff. You can’t help but shake your head and think about heading back across the border when you look at who the American people didn’t chose (Gore, Kerry etc.) and think of who they did…

So now, as in 1971, we are engaged in another fight to live the truth and make our own government accountable. As in 1971, this is another moment when American patriotism demands more dissent and less complacency in the face of bland assurances from those in power.

We must insist now that patriotism does not belong to those who defend a President’s position–it belongs to those who defend their country. Patriotism is not love of power; it is love of country. And sometimes loving your country demands you must tell the truth to power. This is one of those times.

Lives are on the line. Lives have been lost to bad decisions – not decisions that could have gone either way, but decisions that constitute basic negligence and incompetence. And lives continue to be lost because of stubbornness and pride.

We support the troops–the brave men and women who have always protected us and do so today–in part by honoring their service, and in part by making sure they have everything they need both in battle and after they have borne the burden of battle.

But I believe now as strongly and proudly as I did thirty-five years ago that the most important way to support the troops is to tell the truth, and to ensure we do not ask young Americans to die in a cause that falls short of the ideals of this country.

When we protested the war in Vietnam some would weigh in against us saying: “My country right or wrong.” Our response was simple: “Yes, my country right or wrong. When right, keep it right and when wrong, make it right.” And that’s what we must do again today.

James Boyce: John Kerry Gets His Voice Back.