Phoniness In and Out of Uniform

So Rush Limbaugh called troops who oppose the war in Iraq "phony soldiers"? That's not what I heard, and I was listening to his program that day. To me it sounded like he was talking about seminar callers who pretend to be soldiers and people who barely served in the military and/or who slandered their fellow troops by creating phony accounts of their exploits in a scramble for the adoration of fringe left antiwar groups like Media Matters. Media Matters attempts to give loud voice to these phony soldiers in an effort to disgrace the military in order to turn the public against the war and consolidate Democratic political power.

One aspect of what Rush referenced has occurred thankfully rarely. Service members who lie about what they experienced are few, but it does happen, as in the case of Jessie McBeth -- which Rush noted in that discussion. It is the actions of these men, not their political affiliations or views, that define them. Veterans who fought in any war have a profound right to decry it, which is what makes them such tasty morsels for groups like Media Matters.

Vendettas

The left wing political apparatus funded by Soros and others has been in a terrible hurry to pocket veterans who oppose the war. It has also scooped-up service members motivated by vendettas. Some of them are angry at their command, squad mates, and even the United States. Some of them are desperate for attention or have crafted a route to fame before even joining the military. People in the military usually just call them "dirt bags." But phony soldiers is an apt description.

Soldiers can oppose the war publicly within certain parameters. Following those rules is part of what it means to be a soldier. Lying about your buddies and experiences to bring discredit upon them violates these tenets. Wearing a uniform does not make one a soldier. Living up to your responsibilities to your subordinates and command does. When a service member purposely attempts to disgrace the military he or she forfeits the right to be considered a soldier. This is one reason why military inmates at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas hold no rank.

Genuinely Phony Soldiers

In this war, perhaps the earliest example of phony soldiers propelled by the left was the case of two army soldiers who peddled a story about the U.S. Army using chemical weapons in Fallujah, Iraq. While these men may have been in the battle (though some witnesses claim they were mostly just listening over the communications radios), their statements in a documentary about the battle of Fallujah were beyond absurdity, much less technical accuracy. Publicized in an Italian television documentary, their charges went nowhere, but are no doubt still believed by credulous leftists and America-haters.

Whether driven by a vendetta, ideology or politics, or the prospect of fame, adulation, and maybe even some money along the way from the well-financed left and its friends on the college lecture circuit (for example), soldiers who fabricate misdeeds become phony soldiers.

Real Support for the Troops

But let's give the Democrats the benefit of the doubt as to motives and look at who is really supporting the troops: Dems or Rush. Rush has been to Afghanistan to visit the troops. Can all the members of the Democratic Caucus who are condemning him say the have been to a war zone?  Unfortunately no. Many Democrats have sidestepped the war zones, because to go would be seen as showing support for George W. Bush. A little too brutal a thing to say? Read this from the Christian Science Monitor, January 6th, 2004:
"Secretary Rumsfeld has encouraged members very strongly to go to Iraq. He believes that when they go there and examine the situation, they're more likely to be supportive," says Powell Moore, assistant secretary for legislative affairs in the Pentagon.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who voted against force in Iraq, is not encouraging Democrats to visit Iraq, but "neither is she discouraging it," says a Democratic leadership aide.
Rush Limbaugh has visited the war zone of Afghanistan, yet our House Democratic leadership saw fit to diminish the Pentagon's invitation for Members of Congress to visit our troops in Iraq.

If Congressional Democrats worry about "slandering the troops" then I bet they wasted no time storming the podium to condemn William Arkin, writer for the Washington Post who outright called US soldiers "mercenaries" and taunted them for their "obscene amenities"  in Iraq. Doesn't ring a bell? Didn't see Reid denouncing that on C-Span did you?

You didn't just miss it; the Democrats didn't leap to defend the troops when a liberal made that disgusting comment. All of this should make it clear that to the Democratic leadership the honor of our troops is nothing but a political football to be tossed at any political enemy who can have his conversation chopped up by the Media Matters editing department.

Ray Robison is proprietor of the blog Ray Robison: Pointing out the Obvious to the Oblivious.
So Rush Limbaugh called troops who oppose the war in Iraq "phony soldiers"? That's not what I heard, and I was listening to his program that day. To me it sounded like he was talking about seminar callers who pretend to be soldiers and people who barely served in the military and/or who slandered their fellow troops by creating phony accounts of their exploits in a scramble for the adoration of fringe left antiwar groups like Media Matters. Media Matters attempts to give loud voice to these phony soldiers in an effort to disgrace the military in order to turn the public against the war and consolidate Democratic political power.

One aspect of what Rush referenced has occurred thankfully rarely. Service members who lie about what they experienced are few, but it does happen, as in the case of Jessie McBeth -- which Rush noted in that discussion. It is the actions of these men, not their political affiliations or views, that define them. Veterans who fought in any war have a profound right to decry it, which is what makes them such tasty morsels for groups like Media Matters.

Vendettas

The left wing political apparatus funded by Soros and others has been in a terrible hurry to pocket veterans who oppose the war. It has also scooped-up service members motivated by vendettas. Some of them are angry at their command, squad mates, and even the United States. Some of them are desperate for attention or have crafted a route to fame before even joining the military. People in the military usually just call them "dirt bags." But phony soldiers is an apt description.

Soldiers can oppose the war publicly within certain parameters. Following those rules is part of what it means to be a soldier. Lying about your buddies and experiences to bring discredit upon them violates these tenets. Wearing a uniform does not make one a soldier. Living up to your responsibilities to your subordinates and command does. When a service member purposely attempts to disgrace the military he or she forfeits the right to be considered a soldier. This is one reason why military inmates at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas hold no rank.

Genuinely Phony Soldiers

In this war, perhaps the earliest example of phony soldiers propelled by the left was the case of two army soldiers who peddled a story about the U.S. Army using chemical weapons in Fallujah, Iraq. While these men may have been in the battle (though some witnesses claim they were mostly just listening over the communications radios), their statements in a documentary about the battle of Fallujah were beyond absurdity, much less technical accuracy. Publicized in an Italian television documentary, their charges went nowhere, but are no doubt still believed by credulous leftists and America-haters.

Whether driven by a vendetta, ideology or politics, or the prospect of fame, adulation, and maybe even some money along the way from the well-financed left and its friends on the college lecture circuit (for example), soldiers who fabricate misdeeds become phony soldiers.

Real Support for the Troops

But let's give the Democrats the benefit of the doubt as to motives and look at who is really supporting the troops: Dems or Rush. Rush has been to Afghanistan to visit the troops. Can all the members of the Democratic Caucus who are condemning him say the have been to a war zone?  Unfortunately no. Many Democrats have sidestepped the war zones, because to go would be seen as showing support for George W. Bush. A little too brutal a thing to say? Read this from the Christian Science Monitor, January 6th, 2004:
"Secretary Rumsfeld has encouraged members very strongly to go to Iraq. He believes that when they go there and examine the situation, they're more likely to be supportive," says Powell Moore, assistant secretary for legislative affairs in the Pentagon.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who voted against force in Iraq, is not encouraging Democrats to visit Iraq, but "neither is she discouraging it," says a Democratic leadership aide.
Rush Limbaugh has visited the war zone of Afghanistan, yet our House Democratic leadership saw fit to diminish the Pentagon's invitation for Members of Congress to visit our troops in Iraq.

If Congressional Democrats worry about "slandering the troops" then I bet they wasted no time storming the podium to condemn William Arkin, writer for the Washington Post who outright called US soldiers "mercenaries" and taunted them for their "obscene amenities"  in Iraq. Doesn't ring a bell? Didn't see Reid denouncing that on C-Span did you?

You didn't just miss it; the Democrats didn't leap to defend the troops when a liberal made that disgusting comment. All of this should make it clear that to the Democratic leadership the honor of our troops is nothing but a political football to be tossed at any political enemy who can have his conversation chopped up by the Media Matters editing department.

Ray Robison is proprietor of the blog Ray Robison: Pointing out the Obvious to the Oblivious.