Why he joined

Mark J. Daily, a young US Army officer killed in Iraq this month, left an eloquent statement on his blog about why he joined the military after the start of the war.

Call him naive if you must. Be unforgivingly angry at the decision-makers in Washington for criminally bungling the post-invasion phase of the mission in which he took part (as I must). But regardless of one’s opinions on Iraq– and I don’t agree with everything he says– it should be possible to respect Lt. Daily’s thoughtfulness and his sincere belief in his mission.

Much has been said about America’s intentions in overthrowing Saddam Hussein and seeking to establish a new state based upon political representation and individual rights. Many have framed the paradigm through which they view the conflict around one-word explanations such as “oil” or “terrorism,” favoring the one which best serves their political persuasion. I did the same thing, and anyone who knew me before I joined knows that I am quite aware and at times sympathetic to the arguments against the war in Iraq. If you think the only way a person could bring themselves to volunteer for this war is through sheer desperation or blind obedience then consider me the exception (though there are countless like me).

…Don’t forget that human beings have a responsibility to one another and that Americans will always have a responsibility to the oppressed. Don’t overlook the obvious reasons to disagree with the war, but don’t cheapen the moral aspects either.

Read it all.

(Hat tip: Johan W.)