Monday, July 5, 2010

Jeffery John and Jay Haug

I have spent the day trying to "tie into" the Jeffery John issue. There is a great deal being written about it -- that is, whether or not he will be elected Bishop of Southwark and what that might do to the Church of England. There is a "ton of stuff" being written and a bunch of speculation on Dr. John's approval, non-approval, maybe approval, maybe not approval, ad infinitum. While there may be something there I cannot quite get into it but -- look what I found along the way.

In a guest editorial on Virtue Online I found an editorial about the possible appointment of Jeffery John by a person named Jay Haug. Buried in that editorial was the following comment:
It's somewhat like the far-left anti-war crowd who told us we should be fighting in Afghanistan rather than in Iraq. However, when we finally took the war to Afghanistan, they didn't want to fight there either. Conclusion: the war the far left wants to fight is never the one we are fighting now.

Well, as a combat veteran of Vietnam and a citizen concerned with the loss of life in both Iraq and Afghanistan I got curious real fast. Well, turns out Mr. Haug is not a very private person, a self proclaimed "leader of the troops of the vast right wing conspiracy". So, I took a closer look. It appears that Mr. Haug was in college during the Vietnam conflict and continued to enjoy his education from 1969 through 1977 -- well beyond the end of the Vietnam Conflict. Now, I could be flat out wrong but let me simply say the following, as I have said this before.

In war, men and women lose their lives. Our military personnel are prepared to commit the ultimate sacrifice based upon the needs and demands of the government and our leaders. This is a tremendous responsibility for anyone. So, what does the former president, George W. Bush decide? He decided to, in my opinion, sacrifice lives for the sake of his own personal agenda-- namely, getting even with Saddam Husein for trying to assassinate his father. An Air National Guardsman during the Vietnam War decided that the sacrifice of men and women's lives was "worth it".

But let's hit Afghanistan head on. When the then president sated that he wanted to kill or capture the person responsible for the Twin Towers I agreed with him. Not because the cause was just, but because when we say we are going to do something, we do it. Now, with our current president, we have expanded that role from simply getting the guy to "stabilizing the government" or some such nonsense. Well, I fought in Vietnam and the reasoning that sustained our efforts in Vietnam sound like the reasons sustaining our effort in Afghanistan, and that is just nuts! Apparently we learned nothing more from 1975 until now than how to mask our efforts.

I am not a sure what Mr. Haug wanted to say about anything else but he sure lost me with that quote. I am hopeful that he has been to war and that he has experienced the loss of friends and colleagues. I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that no one gets to commit troops to armed conflict unless they have had that experience. It is impossible to fully understand and genuinely appreciate the loss any other way.

Of course I am a combat veteran of Vietnam and my ideas, much like John Kerry's, are to be discredited.

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