I'm sure pretty much everyone has by now heard about the Democrats slamming Rush Limbaugh for suposedly calling anti-war soldiers "phony soldiers" even though he was calling phony anti-war soldiers "phony soldiers". There's not much to add to that since you can go to Rush Limbaugh's webpage and read what he really said if you so care to. I do, however, have a bone to pick with the Democrats.
There have been frequent Democrat smears of our troops (reminscent of Genghis Khan, same as Gulag torturers, terrorists terrorizing the Iraqi people, etc.) for which they have been unapologetic. When last month a liberal group called General Petreus "General Betray US" half the Democrat's in the Senate couldn't even bring themselves to condemn it. This is not to even mention the Democrat's problems with substantive support for the troops (such as supporting more money for their needs and not using defense budget bills as political pawns). Now though, we hear paeans from various Democrats about the anti-war soldier and they rush to the defense of soldiers who disagree with the war (or so they would have us believe). I suppose it's a start since there is at least one kind of soldier the Democrats have decided to support, now what about the rest of our soldiers? When will the Democrats decide to support them?
Now for my own opinion of anti-war soldiers. So long as they don't use their views to affect the morale of their unit I support them as much and believe they are as patriotic as the rest of our military. They are the true representation of the "patriotic dissent" liberals blather about to try excuse their lack of patriotism. Opposing a war is perfectly fine and patriotic, seeking to bring about your country's defeat is not. As such anti-war soldiers deserve all the respect and support that pro-war soldiers do. I know they have, do, and always will get it from me and I've never heard them not get it from Rush.
As for anti-war politicians, such as the Democrats and a few Republicans, "patriotic dissent" is also not trying to sabotage your country's foreign policy in a time of war. The patriotic thing to do would be to voice opposition to the war but actively seek to help bring it to a victorious conclusion. That would include doing things like voicing support for our soldiers, not using every setback for political gain, voting for a bigger defense budget to increase combat pay, equipment procurement, number of soldiers, and so forth to ensure that our military has everything it needs to win the war. Politicians who disagree with the war could then use their maturity in dealing with our nation's interests to have a civil debate about how our foreign policy should be conducted. They could possibly persuade the country that their ideas are better without serious acrimony since they have shown they will always put America's interest first. Last but not least, they would give our soldiers the comfort of knowing they will not be defeated in Washington and deny the enemy the comfort of thinking what they can't win on the battlefield can be won in Washington.