21. March 2006 · Comments Off on Two can play that game · Categories: General

“I know more about war than troops” is the headline of a WorldNetDaily story concering Richard Belzer. Mr. Belzer was on Real Time with Bill Maher recently and in an exchange with Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen he remarked that “[The Soldiers are] 19 and 20-year-old kids who couldn’t get a job,” and since Soldiers don’t read as much as Detective Munch does we’re not qualified to have opinions about the war in which we’re involved. I’m being unfair, I think he means that we’re not as qualified to have an opinion as a well read actor.

There are several things in that article that just set my teeth on edge. The biggest one is the disconnect between what Mr. Maher and Mr. Belzer think the Army represents. They both remark how the people serving in the military are there “because [they] probably couldn’t find other employment,” and “couldn’t get a job.” I’d like to point out that being in the Army is a job. And it’s a job that’s a damn sight better than most entry level positions available to a fresh-out-of-high-school kid. You can find jobs that pay better, but between the GI Bill, full health and dental insurance, and vocational training that is second to none, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better opportunity for a kid who just walked across the stage. And I doubt I need to mention the pride, honor, and respect that come from wearing the uniform, things hard to come by when you’re asking “do you want fries with that?” while doing the jobs most other recent grads are going into.

My distaste at Mr. Belzer’s remarks goes deeper than his misconception that the Army is filled with dead-enders who don’t have any other options. What really sticks in my craw is his belief that the opinion of Soldiers returning from the fight is less valuable than his because they may be less well read. I’ll be the first to admit that not every Soldier is going to be applying for Rhodes Scholar status. But there are quite a few Soldiers who are every bit as educated and well read as Mr. Belzer, and I’d be thrilled to have them on my team in a game of Trivial Pursuit.

This article makes me wish that the left side of the politcal spectrum had an evil mastermind like Karl Rove. The entire reason Cindy Sheehan hasn’t disappeared from the media conciousness is because she was sold as having absolute moral authority over the war becasue of being a Gold Star mother. Mr. Belzer’s opinion that Soldiers lack the authority to have valuable opinions on the war because of their proximity to it kinda flies in the face of the “absolute moral authority” arguement. At least it seems like it does to me. An evil mastermind for the left would do a better job of controlling the herd to keep their message focused.

I watch Law and Order: SVU almost nightly. I like the show, and find it interesting. Sometimes they drive me nuts by inserting a political edge that I don’t agree with, but if it gets too heavy-handed I can always change the channel. I think that Mr. Belzer plays a very good left-wing, conspiracy theory driven detective. Turns out the only part he was acting was the “detective”.

Oh well, I’m on leave this week and Mrs. Detailed Recruiter is down for the count with a stomach flu, so I need to go check on her.


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