Monday, March 10, 2008

Berkeley and the Marines

I realize that if I was doing a blog on current events, I would really suck at it, since I don't seem to write about controversial issues until everybody else has already beaten it to death.

Doubtless that you probably already know that in Berkeley, which is a short drive from where I live, has asked the Marines to leave and no longer recruit in their city. The city referred to them as unwanted intruders.

Of course, all the conservative pundits are up in arms about this, and I'm pretty sure that Bill O'Reilly called for a boycott. You also hear the usual arguments about how somehow the war in Iraq is being done to protect our freedom to protest in the first place, which doesn't make any sense at all.

That said though, I can't seem to defend the decision makers in Berkeley on this one. I mean, I'm as against this war as a person can get, but it doesn't seem right to take it out on the Marines. They're not the ones who decide where we go to war; they just do their jobs.

Now, if you want to try and educate people about what to expect while joining the Marines, then I suppose that's fair. After all, you're definitely going to get nothing but pro-Marine propaganda when you go to their recruiting center, but what can you expect? So, I don't see anything wrong with engaging in debate or discussing these issues, but things have gone too far.

The thing is, I do believe that our country needs a military. I think that we need the Marines. I don't think that sending them to Iraq is the best use for them, but that's hardly their fault. It's kinda like getting mad at the police because you disagree with the laws. I mean, I think that arresting people for growing pot is dumb, but I don't blame the cop who does his job.

The Daily Show did a funny bit on it, which I'll post below once it's online. They got their correspondent Rob Riggle, who actually served in the Marines, to cover the story. I was pleased to see that they mocked the whole situation, and they come out in favor of The Marines. Of course, they edit it in such a way to make the protestors look as foolish as possible, but this is a situation where I just can't think of a way to justify the arguments coming from the protestors.

So, am I going to boycott? Well, I probably only go there about once a year as it is, so a boycott on my part won't really make much difference. I think that if I have the occasion to go there, I still will. However, I think that there are a lot of lame people there who I wish weren't on my side when it comes to this current war in Iraq. (I'm looking at you too, Rosie O'Donnel.)


Gary Fouse said...

Glad you see the light here, Lance. However, I, like most on the right, have reacted very emotionally to this story. To me, the protestors in Berkeley and the Berkeley City Council represent everything I detest. For them to treat the Marines like this while they are fighting and dying on our behalf, is sickening.

Boycott? Sure! In my view, the federal govt should cease all federal funding to that place.

If you are against the Iraq War, I respect that belief, though I would argue that we are, indeed, killing the bad guys there as we speak. But, as you pointed out, don't blame the soldiers when they are sent to do the fighting.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

I understand the feelings behind wanting a boycott, but I just think that too many innocent people, who might not approve of what the city is doing, would get hurt in the process.

Gary Fouse said...

Innocent people in Berkeley?!!? My God, you could drop a nuclear bomb on that place and not harm one innocent bystander.

....Just kidding. Save your cards and letters.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

Hey, there are breweries there. That fact alone means it can't be all that bad.

Gary Fouse said...

Breweries, eh?

That's why we invented smart bombs.