I linked to Hugh Hewitt’s brilliant interview with punk LA Times columnist Joel Stein in an update to my post on Stein’s “I Don’t Support Our Troops” column below, but the interview is so, so good, I’m linking it again.
A snippet of the interview:
HH: Let me ask you a tough question, Joel, because this is the toughest one. J.P. Blecksmith was a young Marine lieutenant, graduated from Annapolis, killed in Fallujah on November 11th, 2004. Just a tremendous human being and man. If you meet his parents on the street, what do you say to them?
JS: That I’m so, so sorry.
HH: Do you honor the service that their son did?
JS: To honor the service their son…now this is a dumb question, but what do you mean by honor? That’s a word you keep using. I’m not entirely…maybe that’s my problem. But I’m not entirely sure what you’re…
HH: Honor usually means gratitude and esteem. Are you grateful for and esteem what he did? Honestly?
JS: Honestly? I admire the bravery. I don’t…you know, I feel like he did something I could never do, so I’m kind of in awe on some level. Am I grateful, that I feel like he protected me? Um, no I don’t.
HH: And so, do you think he died in vain?
JS: Yeah. I do. And that’s why I’m so horrified by all this, and why I don’t want empty sentiments prolonging the war.
HH: And the people who’ve died in Afghanistan. Have they died in vain?
JS: Well, if they haven’t, what have they accomplished?
HH: I’m asking you, Joel. You wrote the column. You tell me. Have they accomplished nothing?
JS: Well, um, do I think that I, as an American, are safer because of what they did?
HH: That wasn’t what I asked. I askd did they accomplish anything in going to Afghanistan.
JS: If I were an Afghani, I would probably…if I lived in Kabul, I probably would think that they accomplished something, sure.
HH: All right. Now have you read any books on the military? I mean, do you read this stuff at all, like Robert Kaplan’s Imperial Grunts?
JS: No. No, I’m not an expert at this at all. I mean, I think you certainly can tell.
Listen and savor the whole thing. Doesn’t get much better than this. Thank you, Hugh.
Reuters covers the controversy.
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Hugh absolutely destroyed Stein in his interview this evening, which I caught on the way home.
I will remind Stein and the Left that these men and women elect, as free citizens, to join the armed services of their own free will to protect all of us, regardless of partisan standing or philosophical bent. They follow the orders of their duly elected Commander-in-Chief, as authorized by Congress and organized by the officers commissioned under the Constitution. If one has a problem with the direction given to these men and women, take it up at the ballot box. We have an open and free society that allows for the peaceful transfer of power over the military by popular vote. If you find that your viewpoint does not get shared by a voting majority, don’t blame the soldier for the lack of appeal that your partisans had in the election.
Supporting the troops really just means that you appreciate that they stand ready to carry out the policies of the United States in defense of our freedom and liberty, as expressed in the policies of our elected government. That has no bearing on any particular mission or enterprise, but instead comes from the sacrifice offered by our fellow citizens in uniform to give their lives so that we may remain free — free to select our own leaders, free to write blogs, free to disagree with each other … and in Stein’s case, free to make an ass of himself by writing one of the most ill-conceived pieces of tripe published in a major media outlet.
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