Editorial: A rebuttal to Ted Rall’s “Don’t Support Our Troops”

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Client: Internal application, Charlottesville, VA
Category: An editorial to defend the U.S. military against a hateful, lie-filled attack by a nationally-syndicated columnist

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By Jon Sutz

On March 18, 2003, C-Ville Weekly, one of Charlottesville, VA’s free weekly news and arts papers, published a full-page, inside back-cover editorial by far-left hate columnist Ted Rall. The title of the article, “Don’t Support our Troops,” immediately caught my eye.

Upon reading the article in its entirety, I was shocked that an otherwise quality publication would include such a statement, let alone a diatribe which likened the U.S. military and its leadership to Nazis, in such a prominent space, without affording any opposing viewpoint on the opposite page.  An excerpt:

We find ourselves facing the paradox of the “good German” of the ’30s. We’re ruled by an evil, non-elected warlord who ignores both domestic opposition and international condemnation. We don’t want the soldiers fighting his unjustified wars of expansion to win–but we don’t want them to lose either.

Our dilemma is rendered slightly less painful by the all-volunteer nature of our armed forces: at least we aren’t being asked to cheer on reluctant draftees. Presumably everybody in uniform knew what they might be in for when they signed up.

I later found out that C-Ville Weekly regularly devotes the inside back cover to Rall’s “rants” against the U.S., its military, etc., which motivated me to take action.

Over the course of the next few days, I wrote a 1,000 word rebuttal to “Don’t Support our Troops.”

To my great surprise, C-Ville Weekly inserted my article in Rall’s usual space, on the entire inside back cover, its April 8, 2003 issue. Unfortunately, it also assigned the title “Search and Destroy” to my article — which I don’ t understand.

A steady stream of Letters to the Editor appeared in C-Ville Weekly regarding my rebuttal article, and Ted Rall, for several months (example here).

Excerpt of my editorial (here):

There are two key differences between the conflicts in Iraq, Haiti and Kosovo. The first is the name of the president at the time. The second is that while both Haiti and Kosovo were ruled by brutal dictators, neither presented any clear or present danger to America’s security. In contrast, if even half of what the U.N., President Bush and our defense and intelligence agencies say about the Iraqi regime is true, America now faces or will face danger from the weapons that Hussein has developed, which – in either his hands, or those of the terrorists he supports, protects and arms – could kill so many Americans that 9/11 would look like a subtle, albeit violent prelude to a larger series of unprovoked attacks.

In contrast, the “far left” in America – with whom Rall aligns himself – cheered President Clinton on to initiate wars in Haiti and Kosovo. They hailed him for “liberating” innocent peoples from being oppressed and murdered by butchers – like Saddam Hussein.

Just as a citizen has a moral right to protect an innocent person from impending physical attack, America – and indeed, all free or semi-free nations – have a clear moral right to protect free or semi-free people from being encased in a totalitarian bubble. Whether, when, and where they employ this right, is up to the discretion of their elected leadership. They don’t need the approval or sanction from anyone – let alone the moral sham that is the U.N. (which recently elected Libya – one of the world’s most brutal regimes – to oversee its “human rights” investigations).

In regards to Rall’s “good German” comment, applying this concept to our troops, and America’s heritage, is about as close to national blasphemy as I can imagine. The Nazis were determined to conquer the world, while exterminating “undesirables” such as Jews, homosexuals, gypsies, etc. When the Nazis marched into Poland and began murdering its citizens, any “good German” who supported these acts of barbarism would be as guilty as those who committed them. So when Rall states that a “good German” wouldn’t want the Nazis “to win or to lose,” this means that this person sit on the fence, watching as his/her military goes on a brutal rampage, in the hope that the world will sits by, holding peace marches, and that eventually, the Nazis conquer enough territory and peoples to be placated, without first being defeated by the Allied forces.

Read the rest here.

Also see my “Support Our Troops” flyer.

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