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IPFS News Link • WAR: About that War

Should We Thank Russian Troops for Their Service?

• Jacob Hornberger - FFF

After the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the American people were constantly exhorted to thank the troops for their service. The mantra spread throughout American society. Politicians used it in their campaigns. Church ministers emphasized it in their sermons. Airliners  used it when giving the troops early boarding privileges.

That raises an obvious question: Should we also thank the Russian troops for their service?

I think most Americans, especially those imbued with a strong anti-Russia mentality, would say no. They would say that Russian troops don't deserve our thanks because they are waging an illegal or unjust war against Ukraine.

But doesn't that imply then that when we thank the troops for their service over here, it's not because there is something special and noble about being a soldier? If that was the reason for thanking the troops for their service, it would seem logical for Americans to thank the Russian troops for their service too.

The decision not to thank Russian troops for their service obviously requires an American citizen to make a determination of whether the war that Russian troops are fighting is legal and just. If Americans decided that Russian troops were fighting a legal and just war, I don't think they would have any problems thanking them for their service. For example, during World War II most Americans, including U.S. officials, effusively thanked Russian troops for their service against the Nazi regime.

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