I have been at Daily Kos for a long time, and I don't do rants very often. However, I have been dismayed and disheartened by the number of inappropriate comments in the IGTNT diaries for the past few days. I want to talk about appropriate behavior in the IGTNT diaries here. I have not used IGTNT in the title or in the tags because I do not want our military families to read this diary. Many do, and like many other people across this country, they have varying opinions on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Please follow me below the fold, and I will explain why I am an IGTNT diarist and why I react so badly to the inappropriate comments in the diaries.
Let me say that I disapproved of the Iraq War from the start. My political background starts with the anti-war and second wave feminist movements in the 1960s. I was one of the 10% of Americans who did not approve of President Bush right after 9/11, and I work in lower Manhattan. I believed and still believe that the Iraq War was the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time. Having said that, I have absolute respect for every man and woman who chooses to join the military. Some who serve in Iraq and Afghanistan strongly support both wars. Others, like my neighbor who served in Iraq, have reservations. Every man and woman who dons the uniform has been willing to give up several years of his or her life to serve our country. We owe these service members and veterans our utmost respect, even if we disagree with the politics behind the wars. I started writing the IGTNT diaries in 2007 because I wanted the world to know about the wonderful men and women who we are losing in Iraq and Afghanistan every day. Yes, some come from military families, but others joined to military to further their education or because they wanted to serve their country. Their motivations do not matter.
I do not come from a military family. Blue jersey dad served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War, but he was a military pay and travel accountant, and he was never anywhere near combat. He was stationed in Hawaii for much of his tour of duty. My cousin served in Vietnam, but he was a lifeguard (think China Beach). Blue jersey dad's niece married a man who is a career army officer; he has served in Iraq. Most of us are probably less than 6 degrees of separation from someone who is serving or has served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Please remember that the IGTNT diaries are read by our military families. Many have contacted the IGTNT diarists. I have also posted diaries about men and women whom other Kossacks have known in real life. The diaries are designed to honor the fallen. Please do not say anything there that you would not say to a grieving parent, husband, or wife. Feel free to write your own diary if you want to complain about the conduct of the war or discuss the socioeconomic status of the current members of the military. No one is forcing you to read the IGTNT diaries. There are about 200 diaries published each day on dKos. While it is a Democratic political blog, the recent diary list is full of everything from bird blogging to hard political analysis of today's news.
All I am asking for here is a little respect. Respect those men and women who have given their lives for our country, and honor their families and friends in the IGTNT diaries. Don't say anything in the IGTNT diaries that you would not say aloud at a funeral, memorial service, or wake.