One should not fight for country, right or wrong

All you need to know about Sarah Palin can be found in this statement to her followers in Washington, DC, the last weekend in August, as reported on

“Palin told the crowd she wasn’t speaking as a politician. ‘No, something more, something much more. I’ve been asked to speak as the mother of a soldier and I am proud of that distinction. Say what you want to say about me, but I raised a combat vet and you can’t take that away from me.’ It was a reference to her son, Track, 20, who served a yearlong deployment in Iraq.”

While no one wants to blame a soldier for going to war, no matter how misguided the reasons, haven’t we had enough of this chest pounding and military posturing?

The time has come to challenge the myth that one should fight for one’s country right or wrong. It’s that attitude that got us into this mess. That people did not stand up in greater numbers to this country’s totally irresponsible decision to commit its young men, women and resources to an unnecessary war is shameful. As anyone with a sense of history would understand, whatever has been achieved in terms of stability and democracy in Iraq is fragile at best.

We are already seeing the fruits of these brave men and women’s labors start to unravel as the US military presence winds down. We are about to witness the same phenomenon in Afghanistan. Our leaders, including President Barack Obama, have chosen to defy history’s lessons and we will wonder down the road (as we did with Vietnam) why, once again, we didn’t pay attention.

Michel L. Spitzer
Jamaica Plain

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