How Low Can You Go?

Andy Rooney has five questions for our soldiers in Iraq:

1. Do you think your country did the right thing sending you into Iraq?

2. Are you doing what America set out to do to make Iraq a democracy, or have we failed so badly that we should pack up and get out before more of you are killed?

3. Do the orders you get handed down from one headquarters to another, all far removed from the fighting, seem sensible, or do you think our highest command is out of touch with the reality of your situation?

4. If you could have a medal or a trip home, which would you take?

5. Are you encouraged by all the talk back home about how brave you are and how everyone supports you?


Andy thinks he’s being brave with these questions, because, “there’s no Ernie Pyle,” to tell us “what our soldiers in Iraq are thinking or doing.” Well, you know, except all those interviews on the TV news, when our soldiers answer questions very much like the ones Andy is asking.

But that’s not enough for Andy, who thinks it would be better if we just told them they aren’t that great:

It’s disingenuous of the rest of us to encourage them to fight this war by idolizing them. We pin medals on their chests to keep them going. We speak of them as if they volunteered to risk their lives to save ours but there isn’t much voluntary about what most of them have done.

According to Andy, our fighting men and women are actually worse than mercenaries — they’re simply dupes, easily fooled by nice words and shiny medals.



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