Support troops even if not in agreement with war

I suppose it’s a good time to be a patriot in America, or at the very least a staunch supporter of the war. In an abrupt about-face, the American public went from a clear majority wanting a United Nations resolution before war to that same majority supporting the present war.

But I guess that should be expected. Ardent hawks unfurl their necks and proclaim they were always in support of this war and our wonderful president.

More accurately, this change is attributable to support of U.S. troops risking their lives in Iraq. While this show of support might irk some in opposition to war, I am glad to see the American public behind the troops (though not necessarily the war).

I, of course, have been accused of hoping that the body count will rise tremendously and give my opposition to the war a bit of gusto. People who have said this to me, privately or otherwise, should be, in the words of Garfield the cat, “drug out into the street and shot.”

My father fought in Vietnam, another superfluous American war. His knee got practically blown off, and when he arrived home, he got mud and cigarette butts flicked on him. I am adamantly against this terrible and illegal war, but I want nothing more than for American soldiers to return home safe (and soon).

I love how being a blind supporter of this war is equated to being a true lover of the United States and the only true definition of a patriot. Meanwhile, dissenters are arrested for civil disobedience and told to “love it or leave it.”

This shouldn’t be a measure of how much you love your country. True, there are many educated and knowledgeable people supporting this war, but the number of supporters who don’t know a thing about it is terrifying.

During this past week, I talked with scores of people who know little about the conflict but have stupid opinions on how to solve it. “I say we give them (innocent Iraqis) three days to get out, and then we level the country,” one person ignorantly told me. “Turn it into ‘Lake Iraq.'”

Mercifully, the United States hasn’t yet reverted to this. In fact, if there is one good thing I can say about the Bush administration, it’s that it has been more than careful to make sure civilian losses are minimal. I am proud to see our military doctors working to save the lives of injured POWs, while the Iraqi army cowardly and illegally ambushes American soldiers.

What will happen if the fighting gets any tougher, if American and British casualties start to mount? Will the United States decide to bomb the hell out of Baghdad, risking the lives of thousands or tens of thousands of civilians in order to keep American losses to a minimum?

If you think our president wouldn’t do that, the God-fearing man he is, you should look at another God-fearing man, Harry Truman, and his decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan to save American lives in World War II.

Yes, it’s a great time to be a patriot, just so long as you’re the type of patriot who toes the line and doesn’t ruffle the feathers of our perfect and admirable (and imperialistic) foreign policy.

Joe Roma is a junior majoringin political