Morale in the Army is a very complex thing. Living conditions, good leadership, training, proximity to single women and beer are all factors that contribute to a unit's morale. High morale can keep a unit moving forward through tough times. Low morale can be fatal. And that is why so many soldiers in Iraq talk about the media today with such anger. Being told day in and day out that you are fighting a lost cause, your commander is an idiot and that your mission is morally wrong will eventually kill the morale of even the best units. I believe in the concept of supporting the troops without supporting the war. It is possible to do. But there is a very thin line between opposing the war and protesting the war in a way that hurts morale. Perhaps it is because so many Americans today have never served in the military. Or perhaps it is so many older Americans have mixed their memories of protesting the Vietnam War with legitimate protests of the 60's and 70's, like feminism and civil rights. If it were just naivete, that would be understandable. But too ofton what we get from the media is outright distortions. Like this from the StarTribune editorial staff-
But the central, painful truth that gets ignored is this: Nothing can reverse American fortunes in Iraq. The United States has failed. Bush failed. It's over. All that remains is working through the best way to get American troops out of Iraq.
I don't know one soldier here in Iraq who thinks the war is already lost. Some think we are on the wrong track. Many think mistakes have been made, myself included. But already lost? what the heck are you people talking about? The only way we can flat out lose this war is if we lose our will to win. Politics is perception, as the saying goes.