Friday, May 25, 2007

John Edwards Calls for Protest Over Memorial Day Weekend.

Democratic Presidential hopeful John Edwards has come out with his Memorial Day weekend message. Officially titled, “Support the Troops and End the War,” Edwards is hoping many Americans will hold anti-war rallies this weekend. Memorial Day is the one holiday during the year that our nation has set aside to recognize the greatest sacrifice our soldiers have made to protect our rights. The man who would one day be Commander in Chief has called on his supporters to protest the war during Memorial Day weekend.

In case you are like minded, Mr. Edwards has set aside an entire website to tell the loyal followers what activities would be most helpful this weekend. Under the “10 Things You Can Do Over Memorial Weekend to Support the Troops and End the War,” there are a few things one would expect, and a few more repulsive suggestions. John Edwards instructs us to pray, greet a veteran, and say thank you. I think these suggestions are great, and I hope to do them myself. He also has more sinister suggestions such as “…make signs that say ‘SUPPORT THE TROOPS-END THE WAR. Bring them to your local Memorial Day parade.” Showing that Edwards realizes that this may be just a little much for our veterans to see on the day set aside for them, he asks that you not do this if your parade is on Monday. However, if you are one of the lucky ones who has a parade on Saturday or Sunday, he ask that you take pictures of you and your sign at the parade and send them to his staff so he can put them up on their site.

I find there aren’t words for just how offensive and repulsive this is. Memorial Day is a time we should be remembering those who have fallen in service. Regardless of your feelings on the war, this weekend is not the time to sully the memories of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to our nation. There are 52 weeks in the year, is this really the only time anyone can make their thoughts on the war known? Is it asking too much for Mr. Edwards to simply reflect on the sacrifices made by those who died in our service, and the sacrifices of the families of our fallen soldiers?

John Edwards has lowered his name and actions to the same level of Rosie O’Donnell. He has shown he has no respect or compassion for our service men and women and their families. Calling for anti-war protest this weekend is an action we would expect from an activist. Making a political statement against our troops on the weekend set aside for them is not the actions of a future Commander in Chief. I believe many, many Americans of all political stripe will call this what it is, a shameless political stunt that is far beneath one who wants to be President. I hope and pray that none of our Veterans see any of the signs at any parade this weekend. I hope that this action reveals to the world that John Edwards hasn’t left the days of being an ambulance chasing lawyer behind.


Anonymous said...

all the vets I know want the war ended and support public efforts to end it. there's such a thing as "supporting our troops" over a cliff.

Andy D said...

It really doesn't matter what you think about the war. Calling for Anti-war protest on Memorial Day weekend is repulsive. It also illustrates that John Edwards doesn't know how to think like a Commander in Chief.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't really matter what you say about Memorial Day. You've already called critique of Bush "treason" in a previous post--whether or not it occurs on a holiday. You, along with Comrade Stalin, would outlaw protests on any day.

Your type of conservative is like an abused wife who can only defend her abusing husband.

What would we have to do, in your opinion, to make protest legitimate? Torture innocent people, invade on false premises, kill tens of thousands of innocents, imprison American citizens without charge, out covert agents, make Saddam look good by comparison?

Sounds like you'd just have us keep saluting daddy, no matter what happens, like a scared little abused girl.

Andy D said...

You or anyone else is allowed under law to criticize the President, or anyone else. It is legal for John Edwards to call for protests this weekend if he wants. I am also free to disagree with him. I feel like it is disrespectful to our veterans to call for protests on a day when we are suppose to be remembering their sacrifices.

I have called senior representatives in congress treasonous when they do everything in their power to undermine our war effort. Our congressional leaders meet and attempt to negotiate with our enemies while playing politics with funding for our troops. I would say that is a far cry from a simple protest.

Also bear in mind what you or I say is a very different thing from what the President or an elected member of congress says. As I said before, if I say something it is simply one person sounding off an opinion. If a US Senator or Representative says something, it carries much more weight and authority. I personally believe that many of our elected officials don’t realize how much they aide our enemy when they vote to retreat from Iraq on a certain date. Surely you wouldn’t equate those actions with a simple protest?

Anonymous said...

Let's run that logic by the elementary school civics teacher...

1) Since calls for withdrawal from armed conflict by a "senior representative in congress" is "treason," then John McCain should have been killed by now. (Treason is punishable by death in the U.S., and McCain called for precipitous withdrawal from active armed conflict in both Haiti and Somalia).

2)Even though 95% of the people in my district oppose Bush's war in Iraq, our elected congressional *representative* must not *represent* this view as a *representative* because to do so would be treason and he could be killed for it.

3) The people who are constitutionally charged with deciding whether or not to wage war (i.e. congress; see article 1, section 8) are guilty of treason for actually debating the question.

So your logic executes John McCain, forbids representatives from representing, and makes following the constitution punishable by death.

Have your really thought this stuff through or are you just throwing words around like bodies at Abu Ghraib?

Andy D said...

“Have you really thought this through or are you just throwing words around like bodies at Abu Ghraib?” Anonymous, it sounds like you are the one engaged in political theatrics now. It seems like you are intent on pushing this issue, so let’s address these point by point:

1) I would hold John McCain to the exact same standard I would hold Edwards, Pelosi, Reid or any others too. Just because he is a Republican, it does not excuse his behavior. Do I really think Congressional and Senatorial members should be marched out of the chambers and hung? No. I do think we should view their statements with a similar disdain. The US Military is engaged in an armed conflict. We can win this conflict, though it will be a hard fight. To call for us to withdraw simply because times are tough gives aide to our enemies. If you don’t believe me on this one, go review the latest statements by Al-Queda. They are talking about our elected representatives and their will to fight (or lack thereof).

2) Being a representative does not mean that you take a poll in your district and vote according to that poll. There will come times when you have more information than the public does and you must act accordingly. There will also come times when doing the right thing is unpopular, even in your home district. As a leader, you are required to do the right thing. Polls can also be misrepresented and can be taken out of context and twisted around. The only thing a poll really means is that a sampling of people answered a particular question a particular way. Policy decisions and Wars should not be based on polls.

3) The question should be debated and diplomacy should be exhausted before we enter a war. However, those same members of Congress are not constitutionally charged with how to prosecute the war. If they truly believe we are doing the wrong thing, they can remove the funding for the war. So far, for all its political rhetoric, our Congress has not done that.

And don’t forget the original intent of my post. Anyone is allowed to protest the war in our country. However, I think it is distasteful for anyone to do it on Memorial Day weekend. I think it shows the true character of a Presidential candidate who would call for those protest.

Anonymous said...

I didn't invent theatrics at Abu Ghraib. U.S. policy did.

1) If you don't want people killed, don't accuse them of treason.

2) Representing constituents isn't just "taking a poll." It's democracy.

3) You can't remove funding from a war without debating it.

You find war protests on Memorial Day "distasteful." I'm o.k with that. That's a judgment call on your part. I prefer the "taste" of a protest over the taste of a deceitful war that is increasing terrorist recruitment and destroying the lives of the people we purport to honor on Memorial Day.

But defending this war (and attacking its critics) shapes your logic into a pretzel and makes you opposed to the things I think you actually want to defend: democracy, free public discourse, and innocence until proven guilty.

Or, maybe you don't want to defend those things. You wouldn't be alone...

Andy D said...

I am glad you are commenting Anonymous. You sound a lot like someone who posted on here fairly often. One of my blogs apparently pushed him too far and he left. I was very sorry to see him go. Maybe you can replace him, but I am getting sidetracked.

If you really think the “theatrics” at Abu Ghraib were terrible, do a quick google search for Iraqi torture house that the American forces uncovered last week. The one that came complete with torture manual, 4 victims, and one boy the terrorist had been torturing. That and Abu Ghraib aren’t even in the same league.

1) I think that is a fair complete. I will simply acknowledge guilty as charged.

2) Representing constituents is much more that simply doing what ever you think the majority of your constituents want you to do. Hopefully the majority of the time that is what you are doing. Every now and then, you are probably going to do something different than what a random poll of your constituents might want. That is what a republic tends to be.

3) True. But most Democrats in Congress seem to be more interested in posturing for the cameras than actually doing something constructive for the war effort. I have said it many, many times. If the Democratically controlled Congress really believes the American people want us out of Iraq with the current condition of Iraq, and the obvious results of what will happen if we leave, they should pull funding.

Defending the Iraq war doesn’t shape my logic one way or the other. It is my moral judgment that leads me to believe we need to stay in Iraq and continue to fight this war. Protecting our Allies in Iraq is simply the right thing to do. You can disagree with me if you want. That is your right.

familyman said...

Quote - "It really doesn't matter what you think about the war. Calling for Anti-war protest on Memorial Day weekend is repulsive."

That's a funny thing to say. And I mean HA HA funny. To say an anti-war protest is repulsive is just a very ridiculous thing to say.

Memorial Day is about more than just patting veterans on the back and saying thanks. It's about recognizing the sacrafices they've made. And as ugly as it is, War, is what that sacrafice is all about.

I don't see what's wrong, especially on Memorial Day, with publicly recognizing the fact that war is horrible and saying I respect and admire our troops, but I think this War is wrong.

Andy D said...

I have taken a bit of a beating for the “It really doesn’t matter…” quote. I fell into the trap of not re-reading what I wrote. My intention was to say, “Regardless of your belief on the issue.” But it didn’t come out that way.

I have trouble understanding how any antiwar protest is suppose to make a soldier feel good, supported, or proud of their country. I feel like antiwar protests are typically not a source of comfort for troops. Because of that, I think a weekend that is used to honor our fallen soldiers shouldn’t be used for antiwar protests.

familyman said...

Quote- "I have trouble understanding how any antiwar protest is suppose to make a soldier feel good, supported, or proud of their country."

Well, it's freedom of speech. One of the exact things they are usually out there fighting for.

Of course I'm not a soldier so I can't say I know how they feel. But my guess is there are some soldiers that whole heartedly support people speaking their minds even on Memorial Day, and there are probably many who wish the protesters would shut up for a day.

Also, people need to stop equating anti-war with anti-soldier.

familyman said...

Also andy, I wasn't reacting to the "It doesn't really matter..." part of your post.

The thing that struck me as funny was that you would characterize an anti-war (and therefore a pro-peace) demonstration as "repulsive".

Andy D said...

This is going to sound like an attack, but I don’t mean it as such:

I think the vast majority of people who participate in an anti-war protest are also anti-soldier. Isn’t an anti-war protest trying to force the government to end a war before the government is ready to leave the field of battle? If the government removes forces from a conflict with no regard to what is happening on the field of battle, doesn’t that undermine any success soldiers have had on that field? If you are trying to undermine those successes, how can you be “for the troops”?

I am open to anyone trying to convince me I am wrong on this point.

Anonymous said...

Hypothetical: would an anti-war protest in, say, Hitler's Germany be pro-soldier or anti-soldier? Would you be pro-war (i.e. Germany should invade Europe) or anti-war (i.e. Germany should not invade Europe) under such a government? Would your opposition to the coming German blitzkrieg make you "anti-soldier"? Or would you "support the troops" and hang up the Nazi flag? Or would you just play it safe and keep quiet?

Unless you suddenly want to become a (hypothetical!) Nazi sympathizer, you just joined your first (hypothetical) anti-war protest movement. Congrats.

Challenge met?

Andy D said...

Actually, I think you continue to prove my point. Let’s accept your illustration as a continuation of my logic. You have taken my example to its extreme (I don’t believe there is any comparison of our government to the Nazi government). If I was a citizen living in Germany during the Nazi rule, I would want the government, and its army to fail. I would be against the invasion of Europe because the Nazi government was evil and I wouldn’t want that to spread. That would mean I would also be against the Nazi army. I can’t support the Nazi troops and hope they fail at the same time.

As an American you are able to protest your government, unlike in Nazi Germany. I simply don’t believe you can be against a war we are engaged in, and support the troops at the same time. You could say you don’t like the reasons we went to war. You can say you wish we didn’t invade Iraq. But if you are hoping we fail in Iraq, you don’t support the troops.

Try again?

Anonymous said...

Maybe you've got a point.

By your logic, if you were a German under the Third Reich who supported the Allies, you were also "anti-" and "against" the many German soldiers who, like you, also opposed the war.

In order to support the many German soldiers who opposed the war, you had to support what they hated, and hate what they supported.

For example, if my uncle was fighting for the Nazis against his will, I would be "against" him by hoping that the war ended. I would "support" him by shouting "Heil Hitler," working nights at the concentration camp, and saluting the Nazi flag.

Do I get your logic right?

Anonymous said...

Andy, I think you have a logical fallacy (false binary) in your nazi scenario about "failure."

Here's a clarifying example: if my 6 year old son is "fixing" my laptop with a hammer from my toolbox, I still love and honor my son, and I think he's trying to be helpful and I agree with his long-term goal. I do, however, want him to *stop*, because the way he is "solving" a problem is doing more harm than good. But it's not accurate to say that I want him to *fail*. In fact, I worry that his choice of a solution (the hammer) will cause him fail quite spectacularly. I want him to succeed.

The same is true in Iraq. For the sake of argument, I'll grant that we are really in Iraq to set up a free, democratic government, and to continue the job of freeing a people from an abusive dictatorship. But the method we have chosen to achieve that goal *from the beginning* is the equivalent of using a hammer on a laptop. I know you disagree with that. But you can see that my opposition to this war is not a wish for our troops to "fail," but rather a hope for success.

I don't want the U.S. to "fail." I want us (and our soldiers) to put the hammer back in the toolbox and use some tools that have a better chance of fixing Iraq. Again, we could have a discussion about which tools are the right ones, but I hope you'll grant the point that discussing which tools work best is not hoping for "failure."

Andy D said...

Anonymous of the nazi uncle…

I don’t know if you get my logic or not. Your illustration is very confusing. My logic boils down to this very simple point: If you don’t support the war & hope we leave Iraq no matter what the consequences, then how can you support the soldiers in their effort to win that war?

I am not saying you actively wish harm on the soldiers, but if you are against something they are doing, how can you support what they are doing? It is a volunteer military, no one is conscripted.

Anonymous of the false binary….

I feel like this is a very different discussion. I think you believe we should fight the war but don’t like the way it is being fought? If you are hoping for a stable, democratic Iraq, then I don’t think you are against the war effort, you simply believe it should be pursued differently. I think that is a valid point.

The issue I am trying to get across with this post is that there are 365 days in a year. Stage antiwar protest until you can’t stand any more. I think if you truly have feelings for the troops, you should leave the weekend set aside for remembering those soldiers who have fallen for us for that. Don’t muddy Memorial Day weekend with anti-war protest. And I think it is terrible for a prominent candidate for President to call for protest at that time of year.

Anonymous said...

Andy's catch-22 logic:

It's *ok* for regular citizens to protest the war (just not on memorial day). And it makes you anti-soldier.

It's *not ok* for elected officials to speak against the war, ever.

So: the public can protest a war, but the people to whom the protests are directed shouldn't listen to the protests.

Andy wants to rig the argument so that there can be no effective democratic dissent--opposing the war is being anti-soldier and paying attention to the protests is treason. I.e. there can be no legitimate dissent against the war anywhere--the act of dissent itself is always nefarious.

All this in the name of democracy!

Andy D said...

Anonymous, this was a tough comment to decipher, but I think I understand what you are trying to say. Unfortunately, I don’t think you have understood what I am trying to say at all. It is legal for citizens to protest in this country. I have never said it is ok. I think you were the same one who criticized me for not being careful with my words. Personally, I don’t like anti-war protest in this country at all. But, citizens have a right to protest if they wish to.

They have a right to protest on Memorial Day weekend. I think it is simply in very poor taste. And I don’t believe an anti-war protest can be pro-soldier. But if you are protesting the war, why do you care if I think you are for or against the soldiers?

As far as elected officials are concerned, I think they should know when their constituents have any sort of rally or protest about an issue. I think many issues should be debated in congress. However, I think if a politician wants to debate surrendering or retreating from a war, regardless of what is happening in that war, then the politician should be careful what they say and choose their words very carefully. In today’s age, their words, both good and bad, will be broadcast to our enemies. They should think very carefully about saying things that our enemies can use in a public forum.

I don’t wish to outlaw any of these behaviors. I do want to point a spotlight on them and show them for what they are. I don’t think a Presidential candidate is being Presidential when he calls for a protest against our soldiers on Memorial Day weekend. I can’t imagine any of our recent President’s doing that.

Marijke said...

Good post.