Saheli*: Musings and Observations
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
 
Liberal and in the Military

I often say, somewhat timidly, that not all members of the military are conservative. I say this because I went to college with quite a few veterans, reservists and ROTC students, and had classmates from high school who are now serving. Many of them are liberal. It's an anecdotal sample biased by my Northern California location, but the assumption that the military is overwhelmingly conservative is so deeply entrenched in our political discussions--and is so thoroughly impossible to reliably verify--that I feel need the need to point it out.

Well a new blog has gone a step ahead in light of Karl Rove's disgraceful comments and is collecting the testimonials of veterans and active soldiers who are protesting his recent set of disgusting comments. Taking the Fight to Karl claims to collect the letters along with name, address, rank and unit, and publishes the former while withholding the latter. The impassioned letters have the ring of truth. Coming up on our national birthday, it's kind of awe-inspiring to read the words of people in my generation who are so passionate about both defending the Republic and righting its course. Some samples include this:
I'm an Enduring Freedom vet and I'm soon to be and Iraqi Freedom vet as well. I joined the Army "Reserves" shortly after 9/11 so I could do my part in the war, and look after one of my high school buddies that was about to be deployed. I've been on active duty since late 2002, doing constant tours. My last one was a stateside tour that I volunteered for because I got home when the recession peaked (late 2003), and no one wanted to hire somebody in the Reserves for fear of losing an employee to the war.
Since then I've volunteered for several liberal groups, such as MoveOn, Democracy For America, and a few local grassroots organizations. I also volunteered with the Democrats for John Kerry.
and this:
What the hell have you done in service of this country? I'm a proud liberal and a vet (US Army 91-95). Back when I first took that oath to defend this country against all enemies, foreign and domestic, I never understood what a real domestic enemy to this country could be. Thank you for showing me.
And this:
I'm writing you from [Location Withheld] Iraq, about 35 miles NW of Baghdad.. And I'm too tired to give Karl the verbal beating he deserves for his insults. I'm too tired because we're jsut a bit shorthanded over here, fighting his war for him. A war taht has made nearly every country in the world fear and distrust America, a war fought for a knowing lie dreamed up by Karl and his buddies, none of whom have ever heard a shot fired in anger, or helped pick up the parts of another human being after an IED blast.
I enlisted after the war beganm and after I'd gotten my degree. I could easily have stayed home and watched the war on TV, and Karl does. I do not support this war in the slightest, but I will not sit at home and lecture others on their insufficient patriotism when the nation is in need. I joined because I believe in giving back some measure of service and devotion to my country.
This is definitely a group that needs to find its voice and raise it. Emphases all mine.

Many, many thanks to Saurabh at Rhinocrisy for pointing this out.
 


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Saheli Datta started this when she was a journalism student at Columbia in New York. Now she lives in the Bay Area. *Old people call me R. New people, call me Saheli. Thanks! My homepage. Specifically, my links. Email me: Saheli [AT] Gmail [dot] Com

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Blogs I Read (Or Try To)
113th Street
american footprints(Nadezhda & Praktike)
ANNA's Diary
Apartment Therapy
Armchair Generalist
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
Dave Barry
The Bellman
Mine's On The 45 (Brimful)
Campaign Desk (CJR)
ChennaiCentral
ClimateBoy
Combing the Sphere
Crooked Timber
Daily Dose of Imagery
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Dark Days Ahead
The Decembrist
Brad DeLong
Atanu Dey on India's Development (Deeshaa)
Daniel Drezner
Ennis
Ephemera
Cyrus Farivar
Finding My Voice
Forsv
Neil Gaiman
Ganesh Blog
Geeky Chic 2.0 (Echan)
Geomblog
Green Ink!
Heliolith
Alexandra Huddleston
Iddybud (Jude Nagurney Camwell)
Indeterminacy
India Uncut
InSpiteOfEverything
Intel Dump: Phillip Carter et al
The Intersection (Chris Mooney)
Jesus Politics
John and Belle Have a Blog
Mark A. R. Kleiman
KnowProse (Taran Rampersad)
1Locana
Maenad (Nori Heikkinen)
Scott McCloud
Mind Without Borders
Electrolite: Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Corey Pein
Political Animal(Kevin Drum, formerly Calpundit)
Kevin G. Powell
QuakeHelp (South Asian Quake)
Radiation Persuasion (Nick)
Reneebop
Rhinocrisy
Scott Rosenberg(Salon.com)
Rox Populi
Felix(&Rhian)Salmon
samVaad
Nick Schager
Idea Spout: Daniel Sanchez
Sepia Mutiny
Amardeep Singh
Snarkmarket (Robin Sloan & Matt Thompson)
South-East Asian Earthquake and Tsunami Blog
SreeTips: New To Sree
Steprous (Bear)
Robert Stribley
Subjunctive.net:klog
Talking Points Memo: Joshua Micah Marshall
Tech Policy
TiffinBox
A Tiny Revolution
To The Teeth
TreeHugger
Unfogged
VatulBlog
Venk@
Manish Vij
Vinod's Blog
War and Piece
Nollind Whachell
Wonkette
WorldChanging
Matthew Yglesias:Old
Yglesias:Tpmcafe
Zoo Station:Reuben Abraham
Ethan Zuckerman
Zwichenzug



Some Categories

Blogs focusing on policy, politics, and national security:
Armchair Generalist
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
The Decembrist
Brad DeLong
Daniel Drezner
Eschaton(Atrios)
Green Ink!
Iddybud (Jude Nagurney Camwell)
Idea Spout: Daniel Sanchez
Informed Comment: Juan Cole
Intel Dump: Phillip Carter
The Intersection (Chris Mooney)
Irregular Analyses
Jesus Politics
Mark A. R. Kleiman
Liberals Against Terrorism(Nadezhda & Praktike)
Political Animal(Kevin Drum, formerly Calpundit)
Talking Points Memo: Joshua Micah Marshall
War and Piece
Wonkette
Yglesias:Tpmcafe

Photo Blogs
Daily Dose of Imagery
Ephemera
Alexandra Huddleston
Radiation Persuasion (Nick)
TiffinBox

Columbia Journalism Folks
Apartment Therapy
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
Campaign Desk (CJR)
Ranajit Dam
Cyrus Farivar
Alexandra Huddleston
InSpiteOfEverything
Corey Pein
Nick Schager
Zoo Station:Reuben Abraham

Literature, Fiction and Entertainment
Dave Barry
Neil Gaiman
Electrolite: Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Scott McCloud


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