Friday, October 11, 2013

Do you really...?

Support the troops.

That, for me, is both a statement and a question. The question is not whether to support the troops, but rather in what way should we support the troops. Also, in what way do the troops support us?
It has become rote in this country to qualify any critical statement about the military or military spending with a statement indicating that you support the troops - I do it myself. I guess it's because people don't want to be seen as patriotic or insensitive of young men and women sacrificing their lives for their country. But are they sacrificing needlessly? What exactly are our troops killing and being killed for? Is it really a security issue? Is the colossal expenditure of our national budget that goes to the DOD (not to mention other security-related issues) really worth it? Aren't the soldiers supposed to be supporting the ideals of our country like Democracy, freedom, equality, and rights? But if you think about it, our country doesn't uphold these things.
We have a Congress that is completely inept at working together and a general populace that does give one iota about supporting their fellow countrymen. We as a country are still plagued by racism, sexism, sexual orientationism, agism, regionalism, and probably many other -isms. We love nothing more than slicing our country up by as many demographic factors we can think of, and then doling out opportunity, power, and money to those that are deemed most worthy.
The irony of the military support is a lot of young members of the military come from places and circumstances that the people who support them once they're troops couldn't care less about. They're from poor, rural areas where the lack of opportunity forces them to find something to open up doors for them, and the military is often this option. Also, the people with those stickers on their cars tend to be the very people who support the troops only, but not where those troops came from or the the economic circumstances that drew them to the military in the first place. This is why we see so many young men and women who have completed their military service left in the lurch by these "troop supporters", because now that they're back to being civilians they have nothing to offer - whether it be security or a political statement. Veterans are ignored by these "support the troops" folks. This is very similar to the anti-choice protesters who care so much about the life of an unborn fetus, but once that baby comes into the world they care nothing about refusing assistance for food, medical care, or education. It's all hypocritical, political bull$hit.

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