By Doug Newman

June 13, 2009

Several times, I have been asked to join a Facebook cause called "Support the Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan" and each time I respectfully declined.

Time and again I hear people say they "support the troops" and that I need to do likewise. What they you mean when they say that?

It has been said that "In war, the first casualty is the truth." The War on Terror is no exception. You don't "support" the troops by sending them to war based on a bunch of lies. You don't "support" the troops by leaving them at war based on a bunch of lies.

On 9/11, a horrible crime was committed and 3000 Americans died. Our Constitution provides a tool to deal with these things. It is called a Letter of Marque and Reprisal, which is a sort of warrant that was often used against pirates, but can also apply to other non-state criminals. For a splendid discussion of these letters go here:

If Uncle Sam is at all serious about getting Osama Bin Laden, who supposedly masterminded the 9/11 attacks, this is proper way to do it. It requires a warrant, not a war. After all, we get these videos of OBL from time to time. Why can we not trace them back to their source and bring OBL to justice?

We could do this without 5000-plus American deaths, tens of thousands of American casualties and God only knows how many deaths and casualties of innocent people in Iraq and Afghanistan who never lifted a finger to inflict harm on America.

Pat Buchanan said this about Iraq: "(Saddam) invaded Kuwait, a sandbox half the size of Denmark, and got tossed out after a 100-hour ground war. His country has been overflown 40,000 times by U.S. and British planes, and he has not been able to shoot a single plane down. He has no navy, a fourth-rate air force, and a shrunken, demoralized army. His economy is not 1 percent of ours." Over 4000 American soldiers have died there based on a bunch of lies. Even Dick Cheney said recently that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.

And if Saddam actually had those WMDs, wouldn't he have used them in self-defense?

Afghanistan was even more insignificant a nation than Iraq, both economically and militarily.

OBL has never been formally charged in connection with 9/11. The FBI's "Most Wanted" poster on OBL says nothing about 9/11. It talks about the 1998 embassy bombings in Africa and "other terrorist attacks" Calling 9/11 "another terrorist attack" is like calling the Grand Canyon another hole in the ground. You see it yourself.

In a constitutional world, the military is a dignified profession with a solemn duty: protecting a nation's borders and shores. If another country invades America, then bygummit let Congress declare war and let's get after it.

That is not what happened on 9/11. OBL governed no country and Al-Qaeda was not a military. There was no invading army, no naval battle group in New York Harbor and no aerial bombing raids by some terrorist Luftwaffe. It was a horrible crime, but not an act of war. It needed to be treated as a crime and not an act of war.

One other thing: it was not an attack on "our freedom." To hear the official story the 19 hijackers are dead. You cannot take over a country, impose Islamic law, make everyone pray to Mecca five times a day and do all these other horrible things WHEN YOU ARE DEAD!!!

"But shouldn't we stand behind them now that they are there?" WHAT DO YOU MEAN?

If you really truly support the troops as much as you say you do, don't send them to war based on a bunch of lies and don't leave them at war forever based on a bunch of lies. There is only one way to support the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan: bring them home now!

In Ron Paul's words, we just marched in so we can just march out.

My anger is in no way directed at the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines in harm's way. They have been lied to horribly. My anger is directed at those in the government, the media and, yes, the pulpits who beat the war drums and sent them there. Most of those people have never done a day in the military. Now it is their turn. Let them go fight it themselves. Let them spill their own blood. 

If you would like to post this, please e-mail me and include this URL.

Freely Speaking: Essays by Doug Newman