Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Support the troops?

Warriors and wusses
I don't support our troops. This is a particularly difficult opinion to have, especially if you are the kind of person who likes to put bumper stickers on his car. Supporting the troops is a position that even Calvin is unwilling to urinate on.


I do sympathize with people who joined up to protect our country, especially after 9/11, and were tricked into fighting in Iraq. I get mad when I'm tricked into clicking on a pop-up ad, so I can only imagine how they feel.

But when you volunteer for the U.S. military, you pretty much know you're not going to be fending off invasions from Mexico and Canada. So you're willingly signing up to be a fighting tool of American imperialism, for better or worse. Sometimes you get lucky and get to fight ethnic genocide in Kosovo, but other times it's Vietnam.
It's interesting. It's something I've considered before. I generally say I "support" the troops, and what I mean by that is that I've got no issue with the individuals who are in the military, only the use to which they're put. That said, I do agree with the gist of the article. I have always voiced the opinion that if you join the military during an immoral war, you are willingly volunteering to be put to immoral use. Nobody could sign up after March 2003 and not reasonably expect to be used in the service of the invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq.

I would say my "support" is much greater for those who joined before the invasion -- perhaps expecting to actually be fighting al-Qaeda, or perhaps earlier still -- and therefore had no volition in the matter. However, a good friend of mine recently joined the Marines, and I would not hesitate to say that I think that is an utterly immoral decision, and frankly in-fucking-sane at this point.

But some people honestly think bringing violence upon Iraqis can bring peace to us, and I'm not saying that to them they are not acting on a moral obligation for the country, and that is why I would still never wish them harm and hope they all come back in one piece. In that sense, I will always support the troops. I just think that the entire idea of war for any reason other than literally repelling invasion or preventing genocide is morally bankrupt, and cannot understand the mindset that leads some to feel otherwise.

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