Friday, February 24, 2006

Our Soldiers Motives

A recent thread on A Tangled Web started to bring up the issue of the motives of some of our soilders going off to war. Our own Jeriamiah, Mr. Vance, properly ascribed the motives to duty, honor, and country. Another poster thought it to be more in the line of a man feeding his family.

It seems as if those on the left have a very hard time understanding the man who leaves hearth and home behind to defend his country or others around the world. Surely America must be unjust, where the have-nots must join the military to get a job. Surely patriotism (what?) could not cause a man to leave his beautiful children at home and get killed in some God forsaken place.
Here is why one soildier went, and gave the last, full measure of devotion:

"Gonsalves took his work as a soldier deadly serious. He saw the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as critical fronts in the war on terror, as bringing freedom to oppressed peoples.

He fought hard to transfer from a Special Forces team working in South America to one in Afghanistan; he departed for that country Jan. 10.

"He couldn't get over there fast enough. He was ready. He'd been preparing his whole life," she said. "To be part of it, to do what he believed in."

And as opposed to an outspoken mother of a fallen hero, (whose name I won't mention here to sully an article about a true hero) here's what Mrs. Gonsalves has to say:

"God needed Chad, evidently, more than we thought we needed him," she said. "I just wish that before something happened to Chad, that he would have had the pleasure of slitting bin Laden's throat."

Amen, Mrs, Gonsalves, amen. And may your son rest in peace.


At 12:17 AM, Blogger Alan_McDonald said...


I guess I must be on the left because, for the life of me, I can't figure out how anyone could come to the conclusions stated by Mrs. Gonsalves. I am sorry for her loss, but I can't endorse her beliefs.

At 12:20 AM, Blogger MonicaR said...

God bless that young man and his family.

I understand. How to make a lefty understand?

I put my contribution up over at ATW.

At 12:45 AM, Blogger Chas said...

I don't know how to explain it Alan. I might not really know myself. But I do know that better men than us two are standing guard tonight, keeping the wolf from the door, so that we may sleep undisturbed in our soft, warm beds.

At 12:51 AM, Blogger Chas said...

Good post on ATW Monica. Texas Monthly has the pics and bios of all 203 Texans that have been killed in the war. I started getting all choked up as I looked at the pictures, row upon row. I've talked to soldiers at the airport, who joined up after 9/11, and knew they were going to war. Not one said it was for college benefits!

At 2:02 PM, Blogger Alan_McDonald said...


I truly wish to explore this concept with you, and I promise to do it seriously and thoughtfully.

To begin, when you say "that better men than us two are standing guard tonight,keeping the wolf from the door," where specifically do you have in mind that this is occurring? Is it your door in Texas, my door in New York, or some other door altogether?

At 2:41 PM, Blogger Chas said...

Alan, You have no sense of poetic justice. I'm surprised, since the wolves did destroy 2 big buildings in your state of New york. If you can't understand, that after 3000 of your fellow citizens have been slaughtered, some of our strongest and bravest must go forth to bring justice to our enemies, how can it be explained to you?
Take politics out of it. How can one explain the bravery of all of the FDNY, who ran into burning buildings. A paycheck? Pension? or it is that there is no greater love that a man hath than to give his life for another? It's duty and honor.

At 9:31 PM, Blogger Alan_McDonald said...


You are right to say that I do not understand the term "justice" as you are using it. The "wolves" who destroyed the Twin Towers were surely killed in the destruction. I agree that justice would dictate finding and punishing any other "wolves" who were directly involved. It does not appear to me that this has been done.

I know that we suspected that the other "wolves" were hiding in Afghanistan, that we requested their extradition, and that we invaded Afgahanistan and overthrew their government when they refused. Then we invaded Iraq and overthrew their government. Whether these governments should have been overthrown anyway does not address the question of justice for 9/11 from my point of view.

At 12:48 AM, Blogger MonicaR said...

So 9/11 ought to be a criminal matter rather than an act of war, Alan? Sort of like Clinton treated the Cole?

At 12:57 PM, Blogger Chas said...

Alan, I think one problem began when the 9-11 hijackers were labeled cowardly terrorists. They were highly trained foriegn warriors who used 2 450 ton cruise missles to kill 3000 Americans and destroy a big chunk of our largest city. That is an act of war. They destroyed part of the Pentagon. That is an act of war. They tried for the Capitol, but were taken down above Penn by average citizens.

Al-Qeida is all over the world. We must send our warriors out to track them down, and git'em, dead or alive. Stick a knife in THEIR bellies, cut THEIR throats, before they come back over here to do that to us. Iraq is arguably different, but it is hitting the same problem from a different angle.

At 6:18 PM, Blogger Alan_McDonald said...

I was responding to Chas when he spoke of seeking justice, but let us put that aside and talk of war. I believe that you must engage in war with an identifiable enemy, not with a concept like "terror" (or "drugs" or "poverty" for that matter). If we are at war with a group of individuals who identify themselves as Al Qaida, then let us focus on that instead of being distracted by nation building in Afghanistan and Iraq.

At 8:21 PM, Blogger Chas said...

Alan, I absolutely agree with you that the term "War on Terror" is stupid, nebulous, and therefore open to misunderstanding. How can we fight a war when we can even name the enemy? If this was "The aL-Qaida War, going into Iraq could have been tougher. It's like calling WWII the "war against sneak attacks." Terror is a method of war, when a belligerent purposely targets civilians to break their will or to keep them from supporting their govs. History shows that oftentime it is counterproductive and usually steels the population against the side using it.

At 12:04 AM, Blogger MonicaR said...

Iraq supported terrorists. So do many other countries. We can only take out one at a time - or should I say that we are in a position that we are able to do it on our timetable.

I don't know if this is going to blow up in our faces or not. It has to be undertaken.

At 9:54 AM, Blogger Alan_McDonald said...


Let me return to the issue of motives. I completely agree with you when you highlight "the bravery of all of the FDNY, who ran into burning buildings."

My nephew is a member of the FDNY (Ladder Company 142 Queens). He ran into a burning building the week before 9/11 to save a young girl, and he sprained his neck doing it. That's why he wasn't on the job that day, but he suited up and went in that afternoon to help with the search and rescue.

I honor all those who put their lives on the line to save lives and minimize pain and suffering. Their contribution is precious, and it must be used wisely. Squandering it by trying to topple every government that ever backed "terrorists" is not the way to win the "war" or to achieve justice.

At 11:02 AM, Blogger Alan_McDonald said...

The New York Daily News ran a story about my nephew:

TOM RAFTERY DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER. New York Daily News. New York, N.Y.: Sep 7, 2001. pg. 8

Abstract (Document Summary)

Firefighter Glenn Stordeur of Ladder Co. 142 dashed up the stairs at 81-26 102nd Ave. shortly after 3:06 a.m. Menacing flames were blowing out two windows, he recalled.

Stordeur carried the girl down the stairs. Firefighters from Engine Co. 285 took over and began resuscitation. There was a gurgling sound as she started to breathe. Stordeur bounded back up the stairs to finish the search.

For a picture of Glenn and the rest of his crew, go to Ladder Company 142 Queens.

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