"Supporting the Troops"
I have long maintained that peace groups, including faith-based peace groups and pacifist churches, need to work with military veterans, especially those involved in military-related peace groups. Many of these military and veterans-related groups are NOT committed to nonviolence as a way of life (although some are–Veterans for Peace is composed of military veterans converted to nonviolence). Most follow some form of Just War Theory and/or celebrate military culture in a way that makes many traditional peace churches and pacifist Christians squirm. Tough. Get over it and get to know these folk as real human beings.[via Levellers]
Look, the simple fact is that very few nations (Finland and Costa Rico are exceptions) are doing without standing militaries in the near future. The U.S. has a national culture that celebrates an independance achieved by a military revolution. Our national narrative (somewhat inaccurately) celebrates our military as the defenders of all our cherished freedoms. We honor military service as among the most patriotic and selfless ways of service. None of this is going to change overnight. So, if peace groups want to make a serious impact on foreign policy then, above all, they must not seem contemptuous of the military. Rightwing militarist policies win over more peaceful, or even more realistic, policies time and again by the simple tactic of making peace groups look and sound “anti-soldier.” They constantly paint opposition to militaristic foreign policy as failure to “support the troops.”