Sunday, November 08, 2015

"What's strange is that demanding an end to the wars in which the troops are fighting, killing, and dying seems not to count as support."

Who Supports the Troops? - Hit & Run : "You'd think that the ultimate expression of support would be, "Bring them home now!" But that's not how typical troop supporters see things. In fact, they think that's the opposite of support—and even treason. Topsy-turvy. While I believe their expressions of support are sincere, I also believe they haven't thought things through. Good intentions aren't enough. Their expressions in effect are only in support of the regime that moves the troops to dangerous spots on the map like pawns on a chessboard in the ruling elite's geopolitical games. I concede that opposing the wars—how many are there today?—is also little more than a declaration not backed by much action and therefore without immediate effect. However, I see a difference. To the extent that declarations of support for the troops reinforce the government's militarism, it endangers those troops, and those not currently deployed—and that really doesn't seem much like support. In my book, merely making the troops feel better about what they are doing (if that is indeed the effect) doesn't count as actual support."


  1. Sad and true. Always torn by UFC "support the troops" events. Why the F do I have to donate money to support troops once they return home? What do we pay taxes for? US has been in continuous war with someone since WWII. Seymour Melman wrote about the Permanent War Economy in the 1970s. Heard him speak in early 1980s. No one listened and nothing has changed, except, like your post illustrates, questioning why the US is always at war/wasting billions is not supporting the troops. End diatribe, I need to read some comic books :)

    1. Lots of truth. As a veteran [and on the USMC b-day is one of the few times I really feel it] I'm wildly uncomfortable with the cult of 'support the troops' that's popped up in the last couple decades. I get it's an overreaction to the 'spitting on the troops' [both mindset and actual events] that Vietnam brought about - but we've swung too far in the other direction, imho. People use "support the troops" or the implicit fear of *not* supporting the troops as a blanket approval for American foreign policy. It's disturbing. I'm more accommodating to those charities that help vets though, as [sadly] I've come to realize that the government and power structures-that-be have little authentic concern.