Saturday, July 28, 2007

I Support the Troops

First saw this here, where it, the guy who made it, and anyone who enjoys it (so far only me at the site, though there are many elsewhere) are being roundly trashed...

I can't blame 'em... It is offensive, particularly if one holds "the troops" up as better than the rest of us for making the sacrifices they have (a number that includes me, but not quite so much as some--particularly many folks on the right). But while it is offensive, it also contains some truth, and a whole lotta humor...

"But what about those troops who are not so brave? Perhaps they just signed up hoping for some extra money for college, for the medical insurance, or even some hot gay military sex.
Suddenly they find themselves in Iraq for the fourth or fifth time and they’re not so brave. In fact they're crapping in their pants. Shouldn’t we support them just as much? I think we should. In fact we should support them more, because a brave man does but once, whereas a coward dies a thousand deaths."

"I support our troops - cowards, queers, and all."

Are there soldiers who didn't join up out of an overwhelming sense of patriotism? Of course there are... Pretending otherwise doesn't make it any less true.

My brother is a Gulf Vet. He served honorably and bravely. But I know that defending this country was darn near the last thing on his mind when he walked into the recruiting office, and he left the service as soon as it became possible. There is no dishonor in serving for money, or experience, or even sex of one kind or another.

There are gay soldiers. And some of the same people who're up in arms about the offensiveness of this video think little of treating gay men as second class citizens. In fact, the gay soldiers risking their lives in Iraq cannot even tell anyone they are gay, or they will become unwelcome to serve... Talk about offensive...

"Now I know there are some cynics out there thinking, sure you say you support our troops but what do you actually mean by ‘support’? That’s a fair question and all I can say in response is that any one asking that question is a traitorous bastard and probably should be hung for treason."

Message? How dare you question support of the troops... How many quotes that're variations of that theme do you think I can find dripping from the lips of Con speakers from the last 5 years?

"But to answer the question, what I mean when I say I support our troops is that I actually pay for their food, their ammo, their upkeep, transport, everything. I pay for all of it. And I do that not only because I’m a patriotic American, although I am, but also because they take 35% out of my check every week and if I don’t pay it I will end up in jail. That is what I mean by ‘I support our troops’. I mean I am involuntarily, under threat of prison, forced to pay for their support."

It's a fact. Whatever you think of war, you're obligated to pay for it. Just like Cons are obligated to pay for PBS and the NEA, regardless of whether or not they like the art. I'm not against that... I believe in the common good.

"But do I still support the individual men and women who have given so much to serve their country?
No. I think they’re a bunch of idiots. I also think they’re morally retarded. Because they sign a contract that says they will kill whoever you tell me to kill. And that is morally retarded. Friends, the most important moral decision a man makes in the course of a day is "Who am I going to kill today?" That’s a decision you should agonize over, dream about, rehearse in your mind for hours, not just leave up to some hare-brained President you didn’t even vote for. A man’s killing list is a very personal matter. It should be between him and those persistent voices in his head."

It ain't practical (and as I said above, I believe in the common good, which means somebody has to make such decisions), but there'd be some benefit to deciding for yourself who is the enemy, rather than being told who deserves to die by your hand for their beliefs & actions.

One would hope that those who take that "thou shalt not kill" (or murder) thing seriously did not sign up, but any who did are now faced with the dilemma of sinning or breaking the law.

"So to sum up, I don’t like our troops, I don’t like what they’re doing, I don’t like their fat, whining families, and yet, I support them. Thank God I live in a free country."

A free country where we all are obligated to pay for war, and the troops are obligated to kill whoever the President tells them to...

One more point: While some--particularly on the right--are offended by this video, they have no problem taking down some soldiers.

And that's the point. "The troops" are not some monolithic bunch of holier-than-thous who're beyond reproach & should be insulated from offensive content, even when it's about them. Some soldiers are real heros. Some are real assholes. And a whole lot more (almost all of 'em, in fact) are both, depending on when you catch 'em.

No comments: