If you believe as the MoveOn.org ad claims, that General Petraeus "Cooked The Books", you do not understand the motivation of men and women who join the Military. Today's Military is all Volunteer. There are no draftees. Most Enlisted soldiers joined the military after 9/11, and realized their Tour of Duty would probably be Afghanistan, Iraq or both. They are smart and most have College Degrees. They serve because they believe in the cause.
I am Proud of our Military and Grateful for their service. I consider it an honor to salute all of them and I pray for them and their cause. I will continue to work to support all our Troops.
Nearly six years into the war on terror--which is being fought by less than 30% of the military and less than one-half of 1% of the nation--and the stark irony of America in modern war has emerged. Our professional warriors who take the most risk believe the nation must commit to a long-term fight that includes Iraq in some form. Overall support for the endeavor wanes with distance.The preceding quote is part of an Editorial at the OpinionJournal of the Wall Street Journal, which answers the questions of Who, What, Where and Why. Our New National Divide provides insight into the mind and motivations of the Vast Majority of our Military. This story also makes clear that there is a National Divide of civilian opinion which must stop. As Abraham Lincoln said, "A house divided against itself, cannot stand".
The article's author is Owen West.
Mr. West, a trader at Goldman Sachs and a director of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, served two tours in Iraq with the Marines.Mr. West highlights the service and sacrifice of Major Douglas A. Zembiec.
A Marine company commander during the battle for Fallujah in 2004, Maj. Douglas A. Zembiec was famously profiled by the Los Angeles Times's Tony Perry as an "unapologetic warrior" who was ferocious while fighting al Qaeda in Iraq from house-to-house. "One of the most noble things you can do is kill the enemy," he said, expressing what many soldiers feel but lack the courage to trumpet for fear of being castigated outside the combat zone, as was Marine Gen. James Mattis when he expressed a similar sentiment.Major Zembiec was a soldiers soldier. He lead from the front, and unfortunately he was killed in Iraq this past May. He understood the cause.
Here in the United States, the vast moral chasm that so clearly separates the combatants in Iraq is too rarely discussed. Disillusion with the entire effort has obscured and in some cases mutated the truth that small numbers of evil men tilt entire populations. Many Americans, including prominent senators, cringe when they hear about warriors like Zembiec going door-to-door, notwithstanding the fact that most Iraqis in the neighborhood greet them as deus ex machina.This is the disconnect of the General Public in America. The Soldiers on the Ground, understand the truth of evil men tilting entire populations, while the public sees only the lack of progress and the cost of battle. The General public is tired and doesn't truly understand that the evil, like a cancer, must be at the very least contained.
This divergence isn't new. Those who have battled the enemy up close have always been more heavily invested in the cause. What's different is that in past wars, the nation was tied to its soldiers and had a familial barometer. Today most Americans have never met a Gold Star family, let alone shaken the hand of a fallen soldier. The military community is increasingly insulated even as the burden of global war swells. Within it there are those who drift in and out of the fight according to orders. But there is also a group that is distinctive--those who join the military to hunt the enemy for a living, and for the rest of us. Doug Zembiec was such a man.So why do men and women join and continue to serve in our Military? They do it for Honor. They do it for the respect of their peers. They do it for country.
Men who carry rifles for a living do not seek reward outside the guild. The most cherished gift an infantryman receives is a nod from his peers. When Zembiec, "The Lion of Fallujah," fell this May 11 while commanding a raid on insurgent forces in Baghdad, the loss was symbolic of all those men whom the rest of us aspired to be in combat: fearless guardians of our fellow soldiers and our nation. It's not surprising then that more than 1,000 mourners--generals and enlisted men alike--attended Doug's memorial service in Annapolis, Md. And when Defense Secretary Robert Gates spoke of his courage at the Marine Corps Association annual dinner in Arlington, Va., he fought back tears.General public recognizes the Military's integrity and honesty. Polls consistently show the Military as receiving the highest marks from the public.
It has become commonplace to assert that the nation's most precious resource is our children. [...] But during wartime our greatest asset may be our guardians. We should take solace that while we are off to a terrible start in the long war, having allowed the Iraqi battlefield to embitter and weaken the country, our nation produced men like [...] Zembiec. And right now somewhere some other American walks their tracks.Based on the Gallup Poll, we should question a Congressional Representative as to motive, not a Distinguished, Career General.
The public recognizes this blessing. In July's Gallup Poll on America's most trusted institutions, the military ranked highest with a 69% confidence rating. Congress ranked last (below HMOs), with a 14% confidence rating. [emphasis mine]
Monday's MoveOn.org advertisement, which depicted Gen. Petraeus as a traitor, has been dismissed by Sen. Reid as an inconsequential distraction. But according to the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan research group, the ad reflects the growing distrust of a Democratic Party that may be taking cues from its leadership. Last month 76% of Republicans expressed confidence in the military to give an "accurate picture of the war," while only 36% of Democrats did. [emphasis mine]There is a real difference in the way Democrats and Republicans view the Governmental actions. Democrats preach big Government, but are afraid of it. Republicans advocate small Government, but see the "Big Picture" collective benefit. Democrats are pessimistic, while Republicans are optimistic. It is really a glass half-empty vs half-full approach. Democrats view things from an individual or my personal privacy is threatened approach. Republicans view things from a collective benefit to society approach.
For Example, look at the NSA Electronic Monitoring Program. Democrats see negative abuse in terms of I could be a target. Republicans see positive benefits in terms of we (Society) will benefit. Democrats don't want to believe the Surge Could Work so General Petraeus must be lying.