Friday, November 04, 2005

Iraq, Afghanistan, and Minneapolis

Kathy Kersten has a piece in the Minneapolis Star Tribune about the organizers of the recent high school student rally against the Iraq War and military recruitment. I have my own take on the rally.

Like many anti-war activities, the rally seemed to be selective -- protesting military action in Iraq, but not Afghanistan. By itself, that is a perfectly reasonable position. And I am supportive of high school students making their voices heard. We had a sit-in at my high school during my senior year (more on that later).

When they combine the anti-Iraq War rhetoric with the anti-recruiter rhetoric, the message gets muddy. If the troops come home from Iraq next week, will the students stop protesting the recruiters? After all, the remaining combat will be that which they support or are ambivalent toward. If only a portion of our foreign and military policy is immoral, the protestors should embrace recruiters when we align the policy to their liking.

I wonder if the hasty return of veterans from Iraq should also result in them being immediately mustered out of the military ranks. That would seem to be the logical extension of the position that their recruitment was somehow illegitimate.

If you were expecting nuance in the protestor's positions, you walked away disappointed.


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