“I don’t support our troops” take 5.

I have been taking note of this particular brand of dissent whenever it pops up. Note that I’m not the one saying this. But on the other hand, I can see where this thought-process is coming from. Which is to say I’m not saying “I’m not the one saying this” because I’m necessarily embarrassed by the thought’s existence — I’m not “being careful” to “avoid saying any unpopular thoughts”. But Here is the letter to the Oregonian that was published yesterday:

OK, if no one else will say it, I’ll say it: “I do not support the troops.”

The morons who say they do are uttering a phony, politically correct sentence or have it stuck on the back of their cars are actually saying, “Don’t bother me with that war thing. I don’t care that Bush and his cronies have attacked a pile of sand with oil underneath it and flesh and blood people above it. Let our troops kill everyone they want and if they get killed or get an arm or leg blown off it’s their own fault for getting caught up in a mess like that.”

Every time this stupid sentence is used or displayed, somebody dies needlessly.

It’s very easy to send some poor slob in the Army or Marines to hump around the dunes when you don’t have to do it yourself.

When I was 18 and as stupid as all the troops over there now, including the square-jawed, talking-head generals, I was supposed to be bringing democracy to a Third World country. It was baloney then and it’s baloney now. All we did (I was a grunt in the Marines), was make a thousand Viet Cong for every one we killed. And the ones I killed have haunted me since.

How about a new line, the short version being: “War is for Cowards” and the long version, “War gives the Pentagon’s cowardly bureaucrats, the federal government’s cowardly politicians, and America’s citizen cowards the chance to try to convince themselves that they’re not the cowards they know they are.”

AL BROWN, Hood River

The Peace Marches, and this was the case with the Gulf War in 1991 as surely as it is the case today, makes it a habit to “stay with the troops”. The Democratic Party, such that it exists, will employ “War Heroes” as a signifier — dispensing away with “Anti-War Heroes”: witness the chopping off of half of the dichotemy with John Kerry, and witness the large number of returning soldiers running for Congress in 2006. (Not many of them are going to win, mind you. They’re running in heavily Republican districts, and as Paul Hackett wrapped his political identity tightly under “Veteran”, he did not actually win that seat — and he was theoretically the most charismatic and strongest of the bunch.)

I keep hearing these pronouncements that “This is not Vietnam, where Veterans were spit upon when arriving home.” I maintain that the “spit on” riff is overbloated… I don’t believe that happened a whole lot, and largely returning Vietnam Veterans were just kind of ignored, and “spit on” thus acts mostly as a metaphor.

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