ROS sends us a link to a Salon article in which some dainty-smelling fellow, Steven Salaita, pontificates about why we shouldn’t say we “support the troops”, all because the stingy little shit didn’t want to donate the 18 cents left over from his purchase to “the troops”. Obviously, the gentleman is too young to remember the years after the Vietnam War, when supporting the troops that returned from that war opened people up to ridicule. Somehow Salaita conflates supporting the troops to supporting corporate glut.
In recent years I’ve grown fatigued of appeals on behalf of the troops, which intensify in proportion to the belligerence or potential unpopularity of the imperial adventure du jour.
In addition to donating change to the troops, we are repeatedly impelled to “support our troops” or to “thank our troops.” God constantly blesses them. Politicians exalt them. We are warned, “If you can’t stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them.” One wonders if our troops are the ass-kicking force of P.R. lore or an agglomeration of oversensitive duds and beggars.
Such troop worship is trite and tiresome, but that’s not its primary danger. A nation that continuously publicizes appeals to “support our troops” is explicitly asking its citizens not to think. It is the ideal slogan for suppressing the practice of democracy, presented to us in the guise of democratic preservation.
I wonder if he’d feel the same way if the store clerk had asked him to donate his change to support lesbian witches for abortion. I wonder if he’d just as proudly told the store clerk “No, thank you” if asked to support the homeless fish mongers of the Sahara and then yak about it incessantly in the pages of Salon mostly trying to justify his niggardly denial of eighteen friggin’ cents to himself.
Ya know what? I don’t even want little Stevie, anti-corporation, anti-troops, anti-whatever to support the troops or anyone else he doesn’t want to support. I could give a tiny rats ass and the troops are probably better off without his whopping eighteen cents. I just want him to shut up about it, because he comes across as less than a man and it makes me feel sorry for his son who won’t grow up with a male role model. I hope his son rebels against his effeminate father, joins the Rangers and excels at kicking ass on some foreign enemy and then comes home safely. Then we’ll see how much Stevie “supports the troops”. Because it has to come from somewhere and right now Stevie is empty.