Mistreating Our Fighting Forces..........

John A. Quayle blueoval57 at VERIZON.NET
Tue Oct 23 16:51:44 MDT 2007

October 23, 2007

How America Treats
its its Military -

by Charles Colson


One of the really formative experiences in my 
life was serving as an officer in the Marine 
Corps. I thought military service was an 
honorable profession, so much so that I urged my 
sons to consider military service­even though that was during the Vietnam War.

But after what I have been watching the past few 
months, I wonder if I would urge my grandsons to serve today.


A resident asks U.S. Army Platoon leader 
Lieutenant Charles Staab (L) with Alpha Company, 
1st Battalion 30th Infantry Regiment, for 
medicine for their sick children during a patrol 
in the Sunni neighbourhood of Arab Jabour in 
south Baghdad October 21, 2007, near the Sunni Triangle.

One of the most disillusioning moments for me was 
when the New York Times ran that ad­at a 
discount, by the way­for MoveOn.org calling 
General Petraeus “General Betray Us.” This 
honorable West Point graduate with a 
distinguished military career: We do this to him? 
Unbelievably, a resolution in the Senate to 
disavow the MoveOn.org ad war was opposed by all 
the leading Democratic presidential candidates.

Equally bad is what the Senate did to General 
Peter Pace. The majority leader­who, by the way, 
ran an elevator in the Capitol during the Vietnam 
War­accused this most decorated marine officer, 
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, of being 
incompetent. Senate leaders attacked Pace because 
he had the audacity to express his view that both 
adultery and homosexual behavior are morally wrong.

The mainstream press has also done its share of 
harm to our service members. As General Ricardo 
Sanchez said - described in a Wall Street Journal 
op-ed piece last Thursday - “What is clear to me 
is that you [referring to the media] are 
perpetrating the corrosive partisan politics that 
is destroying our country and killing our service 
members who are at war.” He lashed out at 
Congress for rank partisanship, undermining the confidence of the troops.

The general also faulted the Bush administration 
for its handling of the war­which, by the way, 
was the only thing the New York Times reported from his speech.

This is what we have come to in America: 
slandering our generals and undermining­even endangering­our troops.

Our cultural and political leaders have 
forgotten, if they ever knew, that the 
willingness to sacrifice on behalf of others is 
why serving in the military is considered such a 
high calling­and a part of what makes just wars 
just. Thomas Aquinas in his classic Summa 
Theologica puts his discussion of just war in the 
chapter on charity­the love of God and neighbor.

And reformer John Calvin called the soldier an 
“agent of God’s love” because “restraining evil 
out of love for neighbor is an imitation of God’s 
restraining evil out of love for His creatures.”

We are blessed that so many fine men and women 
are willing to wield the sword on our behalf in 
this country. But are we, in turn, willing to 
respect and honor those sacrificing for us? And 
if not, can we blame them if one day they decide to lay down their arms?

What kind of a world would this be if that 
happened? We would have a world where evil 
reigned unchecked by justice, and where the 
strong would be free to prey on the weak.

The problem is not with our service members who 
are serving us nobly and ably in Iraq; it is the 
political and cultural leaders who are dishonoring them.

  If most Americans share their attitude, then I 
say bring the troops home. Why should they risk 
their lives for an ungrateful nation?

If we want them to continue to lay down their 
lives to protect us, then I say it is time for 
the politicians and the media to get a hold of 
themselves and give our troops the respect, 
honor, and support that they deserve.

Chuck Colson is the Chairman and Founder of 
and of Prison Fellowship Ministries. You can sign 
up for a free subscription of WorldView magazine 
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