Now that it has become obvious to all that every stated reason for the Iraq War was either an outright lie or a gross exaggeration, and that any hope for a successful outcome was squandered by the incompetence and myopia of the Bush administration, the Right’s know-nothing political lackeys have been reduced to bleating about the left’s hatred of the military.
Weekly Standard editor William Kristol offered up his version a few weeks ago in this editorial, subtly titled, “They Don’t Really Support the Troops:”
With the ongoing progress of the surge, and the obvious fact that the vast majority of the troops want to fight and win the war, the “support-the-troops-but-oppose-what-they’re-doing” position has become increasingly untenable. How can you say with a straight face that you support the troops while advancing legislation that would undercut their mission and strengthen their enemies?
You can’t. So those on the cutting edge of progressive opinion are beginning to give up on even pretending to support the troops. Instead, they now slander the troops.
Kristol has been publicly humiliated in recent weeks for, like his neo-con brethren, getting everything wrong in the run-up to the war. So he falls back on old reliable: They don’t support the troops.
Of course, here on planet Earth supporting the troops means giving them the equipment they need in the field and taking care of them when they return. Kristol’s beloved Republicans, the party of insufficient body armor and lack of armored vehicles, the party of cutting veteran’s benefits while passing huge tax breaks for the wealthy, the party that allowed Walter Reed to fall into decreptiude, does not have a good record on that score.
Incidentally, the slanders Kristol has in mind are articles in The New Republic and The Nation reporting on first-hand accounts from Iraq veterans about some of the less heroic things that have been going on over there. I’m sure the troops appreciate Kristol’s vigorous and courageous defense of their interests. I suspect, however, that they’d prefer some genuine leadership from Washington and a reason to believe our goals in Iraq are attainable.