Or, Those Bumper Stickers Are Sticking in My Craw
I’ve had it.
I never want another current Republican, or Democrat office holder for that matter, ever again to utter the phrase "Support the Troops" or assert they do so.
● It is not supporting the troops if you do not adequately equip or train them to do their job.
● It is not supporting the troops if you don’t have enough of them to do their job.
● It is not supporting the troops if you keep them too long or too often overseas.
● It is not supporting the troops if you do not allow them adequate rest and recuperation time in between.
● It is not supporting the troops if you do not adequately take care of the wounded, whether mentally or physically.
● It is not supporting the troops if you do not keep your promises about how long they have to serve.
● It is not supporting the troops if you do not give them the GI Bill benefits you bragged about to entice them to join.
● It is not supporting the troops if you keep relying on the National Guard except in emergencies.
● It is not supporting the troops if you hire mercenaries like Blackwater guards with taxpayer funds to do the same thing as privates for five times the pay privates get.
● It is not supporting the troops if you fire the generals who got it right and promote those who got it wrong.
● It is not supporting the troops if you ignore the advice of them on how to do their job.
● It is not supporting the troops if you send them in alone with just token allies.
● It is not supporting the troops if you discriminate against non-Protestant members of the military or harass the females or those in uniform who might be gay.
● It is not supporting the troops if you do not abide by the Geneva Conventions or our own Constitution.
● It is not supporting the troops if you use them under false pretenses, frivolously, for your ego or arrogance or ignorance, for your personal economic gain or greed, for your political party partisan purposes, for using it as an attempt to distract from domestic woes or personal stupidity, for keeping "score" internationally or bragging about "winning" or being "#1", or without adequate attempts at all other alternatives.
● It is not supporting the troops if you have not studied history and investigated thoroughly your opponents.
It is a harsh thing to say, but I personally believe you are a liar or an ignoramus if you claim to be supporting the troops and yet you have allowed any of the above things to happen unchallenged. Worse, you are arguably a traitor to everything this country once stood for. You have made Osama bin Laden gleeful if you have remained silent these past several years.
I am not insisting you enlist and serve in a shooting war close enough to hear the bullets impact as I did, but if you want to assert you truly do support the troops, then speak out regarding the malfeasance our elected officials have been committing against our own troops. It is bad enough the cowardly REMFs in the West Wing have encouraged atrocities against foreigners and international laws. It is worse for us to metaphorically do the same thing to our own troops and laws.
In any event, you are not entitled to use the phrase hereafter if you voted for or encouraged any of those things in the "bullet list" above that are still coming out of Washington, or voted for anyone who voted for any of those things once in office, especially if you continued to do nothing about those in power once you discovered any of those things had occurred. It is particularly odious if you utter the phrase after having avoided military service for yourself or your family members, or after complaining about taxes or petroleum prices, or after sacrificing little or nothing while troops were in the field. A special place in Hell ought to be reserved for those who say they are going to give up something like the Prez claiming he was going to give up golf as long as the troops were off in mortal combat and then was filmed secretly cheating on his pledge. It was an idle, worthless, even demeaning gesture to begin with, but to then to dishonor it altogether by ignoring even that minor inconvenience shows how low some hypocrites can go.
Thoughtful, reasoned, intelligent supporting of our combat soldiers, sailors and airmen who happen to be legally doing their job is a duty of all citizens at all times. Blind obedience to a President or empty bravado or pasting a yellow ribbon or a bumper sticker on your big gas guzzling SUV or Humvee with the phase or wearing a flag lapel pin made in China to pretend you are a patriot is not. Those naked and minuscule whims cannot be considered as really supporting the troops. It is posturing.
Those troops who put themselves in jeopardy for you deserve more. If you have not at least carefully followed and independently questioned what is going on, then you have failed in your duty as a citizen and you have failed those who needed you.
Keep in mind, there will be a test on such duties. It is about time you stopped failing it.