Joel Stein's Sickening Revelation
LA Times columnist Joel Stein is an idiot. A seriously confused idiot. Sorry for the repitition, but the fact that he is an idiot needs to be repeated. Trust me.
In his column today he states that he cannot support the troops in Iraq because he is against the war and those two thoughts are mutually unsupportable. One cannot be for the troops and against the war because the troops, and thus the military as a whole, make the collective decision to follow their orders, pull their triggers and thus actively participate in a war that Stein considers unjust.
"I'm not advocating that we spit on returning veterans like they did after the Vietnam War, but we shouldn't be celebrating people for doing something we don't think was a good idea. All I'm asking is that we give our returning soldiers what they need: hospitals, pensions, mental health and a safe, immediate return. But, please, no parades."
He doesn't advocate spitting on our troops. Isn't that mighty nice of him. You will notice he did not say such an act was a bad idea, just that he wouldn't encourage it. And who is this "we" he invokes concerning the war being a bad idea. That is his personal opinion. He shouldn't be putting words into other people's mouths. There are enough individuals who agree with him without including the world's entire population.
Stein, like so many in his position, admits he has never so much as served jury duty, yet he feels he has the innate intelligence to decide whether or not someone else is doing the right thing. Stein has no idea why people join the military. "Why don't you just go to Stanford instead of enlisting the Marines," seems to be his way of thinking.
I hate to paraphrase a movie quote on such a serious topic, and a comedy at that, but I will. When Bill Murray's character is admonished by his drill sergeant he is told, "You have no idea about duty, honor and courage."
That is Stein's problem. He has never thrust himself into a serious situation where one has to think beyond himself, and I don't just mean in the military. His broad generalizations concerning soldiers is so far off base it makes me think he probably doesn't even personally know anyone who is a cop, fireman, nurse or EMT or any other person who routinely puts his or her neck on the line so society can go along on its merry way with as little interruption as possible.
It takes duty, honor and courage to do many things in life and before you stick your two cents into a topic that you do not fully understand you should separate yourself from your fellow travellers tucked away in their Hollywood offices and find out why men and women are joining to fight in Iraq. They were not tricked, as he said, these men and women knew exactly what was involved. Stein should at least give them credit for being smart enough to understand the consequences of their actions.
I used to read Stein's column when he wrote foolish missives about celebrities in Time Magazine. He was pretty funny. However, now he is obviously fighting out of his intellectual weight class and should return to making fun of Cameron Diaz and Ben Affleck.