“I support the troops!”

A sheep running through a battle field with a helmet on. Caption reads, "nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go."

There is something that truly irritates me which habitually falls out of the mouths of thoughtless masses, “I support the troops!”

“Really?” I wonder to myself. Do you have one living in your house? Are you providing them with food, transportation, spending money, etc.? Or maybe you just mean that – by default – you support the troops, because you pay taxes,

No… what is usually meant by this mindless utterance is that one APPROVES of the troops, as though that approval carries any weight in real terms what-so-ever. And how far does your approval extend? Does it apply to everyone who joins the military? Do you realise that by giving your approval of troops, you inadvertently give your approval for the murder of women and children? These are the things that happen in war… and make no mistake about it, every American combat that has ever occurred saw the death of innocents.

Desert Storm was lauded as a relatively bloodless war with only 147 US battle deaths…. but no one in America wanted to hear about the thousands of civilians – women and children – who died. In fact, with all the propaganda about the supposed “smart bombs” that were able to hit specific targets, approval of the war went through the roof at 85%. Of course, the propaganda pedallers didn’t bother to mention that the smart bombs missed their targets 40% of the time.  Here is just one example: a quote from the director of a paediatric hospital in Baghdad as told to a New York Times reporter about the first night of bombing during Desert Storm, “Mothers grabbed their children out of incubators, took intravenous tubes out of their arms. Others were removed from oxygen tents and they ran to the basement, where there was no heat. I lost more than 40 prematures in the first 12 hours of the bombing.”

The troops you support did that… caused the deaths of dozens of newborn babies. Do you still support them?

What’s this argument I hear? “Oh, but the troops didn’t do that, the people running the war did that!” There hasn’t been a single draft in my lifetime. The people who signed up for the military did so because of people like you… revering without thought those who slaughter others, simply because it’s seen as patriotic to do so. In the back of their minds, they had to have known that signing up for the military might result in them either advertently (if following orders) or inadvertently killing innocent civilians. I have known more than a few military men who have expressly joined up for that very reason… they wanted to kill people.

Of course, some of our “brave men and women” are not able to cope with the destruction and death caused by their own hands. They come back with PTSD, emotional wrecks. THESE are the troops I support… veterans. Maybe if YOU would stop blindly “supporting the troops” and by default lending your approval to war, death, destruction and bloodshed, the troops I support would cease to exist.

What’s this other argument I hear? “They are fighting for our freedom!” If you really believe so, then that’s a discussion that is far beyond the scope of a blog. I will leave it at this:

Reads, "war, good for few, bad for most" with one image of a hand holding a glass of wine and another hand being shot.

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TyLean Polley is an avant-garde recording artist. You can get a free download of her music at TyLeanPolley.com

Posted in Cultural, Political.

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