Toronto's decision to remove the "Support Our Troops" ribbon from EMS vehicles actually clarifies something for me. Council is afraid that supporting our troops might be confused by the public with supporting the war in Afghanistan. Heaven forbid that someone get the idea that if you support the person performing a particular job, that you also support the job they're working at.
Often we'll hear people like Jack Layton and David Miller say that they support the troops, but not the war in Afghanistan as though the two ideas were not inconsistent. Maybe it's time we stop pretending to believe them. It's one thing to have questions about the mission and how it's progressing, its end date etc. but these are guys who are ALWAYS anti-war and have always been against any military action that was not exclusively a peace-keeping mission.
I'm sorry -- but I find it difficult to believe that you can 'support the troops' but not the war. It seems like one of those mantras people recite because they don't want to be seen as being as cruel as Americans were to their soldiers during Vietnam.
How can you support the troops if you don't support their work?
Can you support Wade Belak in a hockey fight if you are against hockey fights on principle?
Can you support the Pope if you are against Roman Catholicism and what it stands for?
Can you support abortionists if you are anti-abortion?
It doesn't mean to say that anyone wishes ill-will toward Belak, the Pope, abortionists, or the troops if they don't support their work, but it stands to reason you can't support the employee if you are morally opposed to his job. You might not want him to die, but that's not the same as 'supporting' him.
Say it Mr. Mayor, Mr. Layton and all of you who have pretended to support the troops -- you think war is wrong. And if this war is wrong, so are the people who are participating in it. Just own up.
As for me, I support our troops.