Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Supporting our Troops and Airmen

Ah, another "patriotic" American who actually admits the truth of the matter. If you don't support the mission, if you are calling for "withdrawal" (i.e. defeat and retreat), then you really do NOT support our military forces: Adam's blogbox: why “support our troops” is a crock Come with me to a gathering of the faithful. A gathering of Congress, say. Democrats and Republicans as far as the eye can see. Bickering, posturing, name-calling. Then one of them utters this phrase: “support our troops.” What happens? Suddenly, the sound of a heavenly choir is heard. All hands on deck are placed automatically on all hearts. The assembled eyes cast their assembled gaze heavenwards. In their minds’ eyes, Democrats and Republicans alike fall to their collective knees and bow their collective heads as if God Himself deigned to speak to them. A look of the utmost piety bonds them all in a holy consensus of bipartisanship, hammered by angels into hoops of steel. What a total crock. “Support our troops” has got to be the most cynical use of language since a serpent told Eve that an apple would be good for her digestion.I’m happy to say that as a proud patriot, I don’t “support our troops.” At all. Ever. Not in the slightest. Not with a single cell in my body. Not, that is to say, in the accepted use of the term. I believe the only way to support our troops is to keep them back home with their loved ones, where they can have a life like the rest of us. I’m happy to pay for their livelihoods via my taxes when they stay home, because I think every country needs a deterrent force. In other words, our troops are our first line of self-defense, there to discourage others from attacking us by their mere stay-at-home presence (like a never-to-be-used nuclear deterrence).However, when our troops are used to attack others, I don’t support them at all. Because what is really going on? I’m not being asked to support them to have a good life. No, I’m being asked to support them getting themselves killed. And for what? For some dubious political agenda.Let me explain the difference between supporting our troops for real and “supporting our troops” for BS.Take World War Two. This was a war where the allies had to defend themselves against an unholy threat, the Nazis under Hitler, who attacked first. That’s how you know someone is a threat: they attack you or your friends. If I had been alive then, I would’ve had no problem supporting our troops. In fact, I would’ve become one of them.Vietnam and Iraq are a different story. They’re examples of political agendas that are further removed from defending our country than Paris Hilton is removed from Gandhi. They’re attacks on nations nowhere near us, and nowhere near a threat to us. I have never seen a threatening Vietnamese or Iraqi in my neighborhood, and I live in New York, where you get all sorts.When Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama or John McCain or Rudy Giuliani or my best friend tells me I should “support our troops,” or that they “support our troops,” I want to draw them over my lap and spank them with the Constitution of the United States till they cry uncle and promise never to “support our troops” again when our troops are fighting for Big Oil or god knows what in some foreign land.Hillary and Barack and John and Rudy are being pious hypocrites who should burn in hell every time one of our troops is killed or wounded. They should have their tongues torn out and eaten by cannibals. Shame on them. The inference is that now that our troops are in harm’s way, it’s our duty to supply them with funds and body armor and whatnot to help them survive the terrible position they’re in. I call BS on that. The way to support them is to get them the hell out of there. Don’t support them with funds. Starve them of funds so they can’t fight anymore, and so their leaders have no option but to bring them home, which they should never have left in the first place. “Support our troops” is a species of sloganeering made up to replace rational thought. It sits on top of a big heap of claptrap phrase-making, which includes “taking the fight to the enemy,” “culture of corruption,” “war on terror,” (a biggie), “war on drugs,” “fighting the terrorists over there so we don’t have to fight them here,” “ownership society,” etc. You know, polspeak. Orwellian propaganda. The opposite of common sense.When a pious Democrat says, “support our troops,” he or she wants to say, I don’t support our president but I support our troops. The implication is that unlike our president, our troops are innocent, and that supporting their innocence proves that this pious Democrat is a good patriot for whom you should vote. What a cynical use of the plight of our troops to boost a politician’s self-righteousness. (Off-topic but interesting: since our military code says no US soldier is obliged to execute an inappropriate order from a superior, a case can be made that being ordered to go kill Iraqis is not all that moral, which means the innocence of our troops is open to debate. Then again, a better case might be made that our troops are being duped.) When a Republican who backs Bush (not many of them left) says, “support our troops,” he’s trying to insinuate that those who attack the policy aren’t supporting American kids trying to stay alive. It’s total BS. It actually masks a flat-out betrayal of our troops. Of course, Bush is the Betrayer-In-Chief of our troops. You don’t send kids to get killed for BS reasons and then ask everyone to support them. Bush is really saying, “support me.” Translation: “support my failure.” It’s like a kid killing his parents and asking for mercy because he’s an orphan. “Support our troops” is a species of sickening piety. It’s the good liberal trying to claim he or she is all for our soldiers but against what they’re fighting for, a kind of personality-splitting madness. It’s the crazy warmonger’s excuse to continue warmongering. I imagine some US general dying in Iraq like a latter-day Kurtz out of Conrad’s “The Heart of Darkness”, but instead of his last words being “the horror, the horror,” he moans “the piety, the piety.” This pious monstrosity about our sacred duty to “support our troops” must be unmasked for the cynical hypocrisy it is. Because what lies behind it? Over 600,000 Iraqis dead. Women and children blown to smithereens with your tax dollars. 3,050 US troops dead. Thousands of them crippled, brain-damaged, faces blown off, armless, legless, traumatized for no good reason (unless you think oil is a good reason) and by now, worst of all, simply to save US face. Kids sacrificed so the feelings of the worst President in history won’t get hurt. If you want to support that, go ahead, “support our troops.” Put your hand on your heart while you do it. Enjoy your piety. Support their continuing death, maiming and trauma. But I absolutely, completely and totally refuse to “support our troops.”

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