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I don't support the troops, America, and neither do you. I am tired of the ruse we are playing on these brave citizens in our armed forces. And guess what -- a lot of these soldiers and sailors and airmen and Marines see right through the bullshit of those words, "I support the troops!," spoken by Americans with such false sincerity -- false because our actions don't match our words. These young men and women sign up to risk their very lives to protect us -- and this is what they get in return:

1. They get sent off to wars that have NOTHING to do with defending America or saving our lives. They are used as pawns so that the military-industrial complex can make billions of dollars and the rich here can expand their empire. By "supporting the troops," that means I'm supposed to shut up, don't ask questions, do nothing to stop the madness, and sit by and watch thousands of them die?  Well, I've done an awful lot to try and end this. But the only way you can honestly say you support the troops is to work night and day to get them out of these hell holes they've been sent to. And what have I done this week to bring the troops home? Nothing. So if I say "I support the troops," don't believe me -- I clearly don't support the troops because I've got more important things to do today, like return an iPhone that doesn't work and take my car in for a tune up.

2. While the troops we claim to "support" are serving their country, bankers who say they too "support the troops," foreclose on the actual homes of these soldiers and evict their families while they are overseas! Have I gone and stood in front of the sheriff's deputy as he is throwing a military family out of their home? No. And there's your proof that I don't "support the troops," because if I did, I would organize mass sit-ins to block the doors of these homes. Instead, I'm having Chilean sea bass tonight.

3. How many of you who say you "support the troops" have visited a VA hospital to bring aid and comfort to the sick and wounded? I haven't. How many of you have any clue what it's like to deal with the VA? I don't. Therefore, you would be safe to say that I don't "support the troops," and neither do you.

4. Who amongst you big enthusiastic "supporters of the troops" can tell me the approximate number of service women who have been raped while in the military? Answer: 19,000 (mostly) female troops are raped or sexually assaulted every year by fellow American troops. What have you or I done to bring these criminals to justice? What's that you say -- out of sight, out of mind? These women have suffered, and I've done nothing. So don't ever let me get away with telling you I "support the troops" because, sadly, I don't. And neither do you.

5. Help a homeless vet today? How 'bout yesterday? Last week? Last year? Ever? But I thought you "support the troops!"? The number of homeless veterans is staggering -- on any given night, at least 60,000 veterans are sleeping on the streets of the country that proudly "supports the troops." This is disgraceful and shameful, isn't it? And it exposes all those "troop supporters" who always vote against social programs that would help these veterans. Tonight there are at least 12,700 Iraq/Afghanistan veterans homeless and sleeping on the street. I've never lent a helping hand to one of the many vets I've seen sleeping on the street. I can't bear to look, and I walk past them very quickly. That's called not "supporting the troops," which, I guess, I don't -- and neither do you.

6. And you know, the beautiful thing about all this "support" you and I have been giving the troops -- they feel this love and support so much, a record number of them are killing themselves every single week. In fact, there are now more soldiers killing themselves than soldiers being killed in combat (323 suicides in 2012 through November vs. about 210 combat deaths). Yes, you are more likely to die by your own hand in the United States military than by al Qaeda or the Taliban. And an estimated eighteen veterans kill themselves each day, or one in five of all U.S. suicides -- though no one really knows because we don't bother to keep track. Now, that's what I call support! These troops are really feeling the love, people! Lemme hear you say it again: "I support the troops!" Louder! "I SUPPORT THE TROOPS!!" There, that's better. I'm sure they heard us. Don't forget to fly our flag, wear your flag lapel pin, and never, ever let a service member pass you by without saying, "Thank you for your service!" I'm sure that's all they need to keep from putting a bullet in their heads. Do your best to keep your "support" up for the troops because, God knows, I certainly can't any longer.

I don't "support the troops" or any of those other hollow and hypocritical platitudes uttered by Republicans and frightened Democrats. Here's what I do support: I support them coming home. I support them being treated well. I support peace, and I beg any young person reading this who's thinking of joining the armed forces to please reconsider. Our war department has done little to show you they won't recklessly put your young life in harm's way for a cause that has nothing to do with what you signed up for. They will not help you once they've used you and spit you back into society. If you're a woman, they will not protect you from rapists in their ranks. And because you have a conscience and you know right from wrong, you do not want yourself being used to kill civilians in other countries who never did anything to hurt us. We are currently involved in at least a half-dozen military actions around the world. Don't become the next statistic so that General Electric can post another record profit -- while paying no taxes -- taxes that otherwise would be paying for the artificial leg that they've kept you waiting for months to receive.

I support you, and will try to do more to be there for you. And the best way you can support me -- and the ideals our country says it believes in -- is to get out of the military as soon as you can and never look back.

And please, next time some "supporter of the troops" says to you with that concerned look on their face, "I thank you for your service," you have my permission to punch their lights out (figuratively speaking, of course).

(There is something I've done to support the troops -- other than help lead the effort to stop these senseless wars. At the movie theater I run in Michigan, I became the first person in town to institute an affirmative action plan for hiring returning Iraq/Afghanistan vets. I am working to get more businesses in town to join with me in this effort to find jobs for these returning soldiers. I also let all service members in to the movies for free, everyday.)

Originally posted to Michael Moore on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:03 AM PST.

Also republished by DKos Military Veterans, Military Community Members of Daily Kos, In Support of Labor and Unions, Invisible People, and Group W: Resisting War.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (159+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pat of butter in a sea of grits, Dreaming of Better Days, ericlewis0, RaulVB, roseeriter, psilocynic, CFAmick, david mizner, Gooserock, One Pissed Off Liberal, Azazello, BigAlinWashSt, GwenM, MBNYC, detroitmechworks, triv33, absdoggy, Chi, dov12348, kitebro, rapala, Habitat Vic, Shahryar, Shockwave, side pocket, ladybug53, ktar7582, FutureNow, statsone, Mother Mags, ruscle, JBL55, BOHICA, shaharazade, Sandino, JekyllnHyde, gulfgal98, Danno11, SneakySnu, happymisanthropy, mookins, regis, Dem Beans, kl5, quill, Gowrie Gal, FrY10cK, JayBat, MelKnee, kevin k, sfinx, leftykook, doingbusinessas, ItsaMathJoke, JayRaye, Keone Michaels, RandomNonviolence, jm214, FogCityJohn, berko, Late Again, enhydra lutris, maryabein, profundo, Mentatmark, divineorder, allenjo, Bluesee, Skennet Boch, rogerdaddy, Syoho, WheninRome, bnasley, roses, cv lurking gf, NapaJulie, glitterscale, elwior, Nowhere Man, ZhenRen, Jeffersonian Democrat, FloraLine, Puddytat, cyncynical, Asinus Asinum Fricat, lawstudent922, Spirit of Life, NearlyNormal, puakev, zerelda, fuzzyguy, kbman, Liberal Mole, eeff, Lily O Lady, collardgreens, vmibran, Aaa T Tudeattack, SpecialKinFlag, jhb90277, Preston S, rsie, bladerunner, TexDem, slampros, mahakali overdrive, Angie in WA State, Simplify, CwV, Cassandra Waites, stormicats, NWTerriD, Horsefeathers, pat bunny, magnuskn, Heart n Mind, Nova Land, angelajean, GayHillbilly, tofumagoo, Joieau, glitterlust, MarciaJ720, technomage, seefleur, eru, Santa Susanna Kid, anodnhajo, MaikeH, ilo, Words In Action, Chaddiwicker, annrose, Recovering Southern Baptist, ksuwildkat, Miss Jones, greenomanic, equinespecter, hotheadCA, Ironic Chef, elginblt, Mathazar, Illinois IRV, Matt Z, Laurel in CA, vinny67, BYw, Oh Mary Oh, cap76, CA wildwoman, lostinamerica, brae70, Yo Bubba, blueoasis, TexasLefty, Shotput8, agoldnyc, Moongazer, drnatrl
    •  Same here. We need to retask all that (8+ / 0-)

      funding to creating sustainable jobs for them back home.

      Love to see the President and our Dem leaders lead on this!

      Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

      by divineorder on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:07:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I want them to get decent pay (4+ / 0-)

      For soldiers with families the pay is so low, they qualify for food stamps and other life sustaining programs.  It's sinful to pay them so poorly, deny them benefits, and treat them like scum when they return home.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:52:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  actually no (3+ / 0-)

        Our pay is quite reasonable.  Yes, some with large families qualify for assistance but frankly if you are a very junior soldier (think entry level) and you have a very large family you have made some choices that you have to live with.

        There was a time when our pay was not keeping up but even the most junior soldier gets paid enough to support a spouse.  A spouse and 4 kids is a different story.  Don't forget that the pay chart does not include housing allowance, food allowance, or special pays.  Additionally medical is free and the value of retirement is immense.  

        It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

        by ksuwildkat on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:04:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My information comes mostly (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CA wildwoman

          from the patients with families I cared for (before my stint in the prison prior to retirement).  They felt ashamed they had to go to the welfare office to get benefits they needed and some felt so stigmatized by the experience they never went back.

          I'm happy to know it's better, but still needing "help" when supporting a family means that the paycheck still isn't where it should be (as is our minimum wage in this country).

          There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

          by Puddytat on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:17:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  However, wanting them back home... (4+ / 0-)

      and doing something about it are two different things (which I think was Mr. Moore's point here).

      I want to see them back home, I want to see them honored with good jobs and good health care but I have done far too little to back up those words.

      As one of our esteemed writers here at Dkos uses as their sig line:

      "Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe ...

      "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

      by Buckeye Nut Schell on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 11:41:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I support them when the return (8+ / 0-)

    through donations to charities like the wounded warriors and Florida Trauma Rehabilitation Fund (even though I'm not a UF alum). Our government doesn't seem to give any fucks about them when they return. Stingy with their fucks our government is. I don't support the wasting of resources and killing of humans in foreign lands bit though. I'd highly recommend these two charities (one charity, one research advancing technology and science for later charities to use) to anyone who wants to help.

    Lo que separa la civilizacion de la anarquia son solo siete comidas.

    by psilocynic on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:13:50 AM PST

  •  Michael - while your points may be valid (21+ / 0-)

    I don't agree with your closing comment such as suggesting that our service members punch someone.

    As someone who wore a US Army uniform with pride in an era where not everyone "supported the troops" I know it means a great deal to the members of our armed services when people tell them they appreciate their service. In addition, whether it's a box of goodies from our friends here at DKOS, or family, friends, and neighbors at home when that box reaches you in some hostile place the feeling of appreciation cannot be described.

    So continue to tell the people you meet in uniform that you appreciate their service or go one step further. When I am traveling I always make a point of doing at least one good deed for someone in uniform, a Starbuck's gift card, picking up their check for a meal at the airport, sharing a cab and picking up the entire fare, anything that touches them in a positive way. Show them you care, and if you can afford it, do something nice as well.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:17:34 AM PST

  •  Support our troops: Stop the next war (18+ / 0-)

    Thank you MMoore, for this article.  

    The outrages you identify are so numerous and damning.  Yet the same outrages have existed since men first assembled to do battle with one another.  Yet each generation seems to have to discover for itself these horrors.  Most recently, it was the "flower-children" that grew up to send their own kids off to unwinnable wars for the most political of reasons.

    "The words fill my head, and fall to the floor.
    If God's on our side, He'll stop the next war."

    But it is not God's job to stop the next war.  He left that work up to us.

    "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:21:21 AM PST

  •  I disagree with the jist but understand (11+ / 0-)

    Where you are coming from.

    I've worked with facilities for Drug & Alcohol rehab for troops; have family members who are military, etc.

    There are those in our society who do, in fact, "support" the troops in every meaningful way.  They are spouses waiting for a loved one, they are children hoping a mom and dad comes home.

    They are care providers in facilities around the country, and they are good people.

    I understand your meaning, a lot of people are bumper sticker slogans and nothing more, "all hat and no cattle" as they say.

    But it's too broad a brush for those who really do.

    Some questions are just more complex then a litany of complaints.

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:23:09 AM PST

    •  I think it's fair to say (0+ / 0-)

      that the items in 3-6 are all about supporting the troops in concrete and specific ways.  2, arguably, though I don't know why soldiers should get special treatment in foreclosure proceedings (more than a teacher?), whereas 3-6 are all veteran specific.  Saying that people who support a certain war don't support the troops is just the inverse of what the right does -- using this as the primary example makes it harder to complain about the phrase being devoid of rhetoric in light of powerful examples of specific needs of vets.

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:25:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  #1 - nothing to do with defending America. (16+ / 0-)

    Yet we still accept that as the reason for our global military, for Full Spectrum Dominance of the planet and space, for the drone attacks, for the Global war of terror, for U.S. imperialism, and for assassinating anyone our government, or our President, determines is an enemy of the state.  
    If that doesn't change, nothing will.  
    As a veteran, support the troops has always been a hollow refrain, especially from people who literally hate you other than that.  "I support the troops, unless they're republican".
     

    "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:25:17 AM PST

    •  You're right, any ethical person (6+ / 0-)

      can't "support the troops" who are doing the stuff you recite above (kidnapping, torture, murder, rape, etc. of innocent people all over the world who are not any existential threat to the US).  

      The worst part of all this is that "we" (the US) are setting up new standards of international behavior (assassinations, kidnapping, torture and imprisonment without trial, etc.) that only "rogue" states previously engaged in.  Our military is being used to redefine "rogue."  And we're "it."

      Anybody who really "supports" that, is either not paying attention, or doesn't really care about the fundamental values that make America a civilized nation instead of a set of borders around a ruthless, money grubbing, criminal enterprise.

      •  In the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (7+ / 0-)

        we have a saying "Honor the warrior, not the war."

        Our men and women in uniform have made an incredible committment to We, the People. They've written us a blank check for any amount up to and including their lives. The very nature of that committment requires that it be unquestioning.

        The troops endure many hardships, willingly put themselves in harm's way to serve the greater good. Any failure to put them to good and moral use is ours, not theirs.

        If we truly want to be ethical we need to examine our own consciences before we get all holier than thou with our dedicated servants.

        Guns don't kill people. People kill people. Monkeys kill people too, if they have guns.

        by DaNang65 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:38:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  They also "Support" us... (11+ / 0-)

    By blocking medicine that actually helps with PTSD...

    By claiming for years that both TBI and Gulf War syndrome were... "Just soldier's Whining"...  

    By ensuring that those of us who actually now know the cause of war and fight against it in civilian life are known as "Lousy soldiers who probably skated by".

    Purging the ranks of soldiers who don't 100% follow all orders without question, and putting those who reveal the military's duplicity in jail.

    Cutting soldier's pay and family benefits whenever there's a Democrat in office, just to make sure soldiers support the Rethugs.

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:26:53 AM PST

  •  What? (7+ / 0-)
    And an estimated eighteen veterans kill themselves each day, or one in five of all U.S. suicides -- though no one really knows because we don't bother to keep track.
    How entirely shameful.

    They're not "assault weapons"; just call them "Freedom Sparklers".

    by MBNYC on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:27:18 AM PST

    •  Suicide Help Hotline (5+ / 0-)

      800-273-8255

      I work at the VA, so while I understand the "bashing" that goes on this website related to the backlog of benefits, it is quite frustrating in lieu of the very real and dedicated efforts of thousands of us that work VERY hard to aid and assist our heroes.

      I get just as irritated at the person  that claims to support the troops because they bought a Chinese-made magnet for their Chinese-made vehicle, or wore a red shirt of Friday, or whatever mental pablum they practice to make themselves feel better ...

      as I do at the person that bashes the VA having never even visited a medical center or attended an outreach clinic to see what we do.

      Thanks VERY much for the diary.  Well written.

      If your presence doesn't add value, your absence makes no difference. Make the effort to matter.

      by vmibran on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 11:54:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Actually, yes I do (11+ / 0-)

    I never agree with the wars

    Have given resources towards an Occupy group attempting to stall a foreclosure

    I actual do visit the VA, often. Mostly to give comfort, sometimes to offer assistance to help them sign up for various public programs and I also help others navigate the crazy mined filled paperwork required to get your benefits.

    I also just not that long ago, got a homeless vet into the VA signed up on assistance and he is now living in a tax credit based multifamily unit.

    I am also aware of how bad mental health is for our veterans. My Aunt, who is one, has had psychotic breaks and been on a myriad of medications since her discharge years ago. She's on the extreme end of the spectrum, but I know many others suffer without comfort.

    But I am aware of your point, if there were more people like me then our troops wouldn't be hurting as bad as they are.

    --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

    by idbecrazyif on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:36:12 AM PST

  •  I wrote a hundred diaries here on the war. (7+ / 0-)

    Iraq too -- trying to end them.  They were all but ignored - especially when Obama was President.

    Preparing for the Mayan doomsday prophecy by hastily trying to get in the good graces of snake-bird god Q’uq’umatz

    by dov12348 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:40:16 AM PST

  •  What? A bumper-sticker isn't enough? (6+ / 0-)

    Geez Louise!

  •  How many of us even remember we are at war? (13+ / 0-)

    Men and women are sent overseas every day and not all come back.  We have the occassional funeral with full military honors but then we go back to our lives and forget the waste and injury.  This war is being fought by many that have little opportunity.  The armed forces give them shelter, food and a very small paycheck for a few years and then forget them when they leave the service.   We have a volunteer army but if you have no other choices how "volunteer" is it?  Maybe if there was a draft we would feel different if the troops were all of us and we all shared equally in the horror and the pain.

  •  Actually, I DO support the troops (9+ / 0-)

    in one very tangible manner - I pay my taxes and don't endeavor to avoid doing so, unlike so many other Tea Party "patriots."

    My other car is a pair of boots.

    by FutureNow on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:55:03 AM PST

  •  Conservatives love water-soluble patriotism. (0+ / 0-)

    Ever notice how conservatives "support" troops by displaying easily removed tokens, such as lapel pins and magnetic ribbons on their car?

    We all remember the moron who had Romney/Ryan 2012 tattooed to his face. But I don't recall ever seeing a conservative uber-patriot sporting a "Support the Troops" tattoo.

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:27:03 AM PST

  •  The Army: It's not an adventure, it's a job (7+ / 0-)

    That is a fact that few wish to address.  Couple that fact with BigAl's observation that hardly any of these military engagements have anything to do with "protecting Americans", and a lot of the posturing on this issue becomes easy to understand.

    The all voluntary Military turned military service into a career path.  An economic decision.  A way to gain a skill, or get the hell out of Dodge, or get money for college down the road.  

    That's not to say patriotism has nothing to do with it, but there are certainly a whole host of motivations for signing up beyond a desire to "defend the country."

    People take jobs in the Gulf region to work on offshore oil rigs.  It's risky work, but the pay is good, and the job market doesn't afford many similar opportunities.  It isn't love of BP that seals the deal and prompts people to apply for those jobs.

    Democrats have been beaten up for decades as being "weak on national defense" in national elections.  Much of the whole "support the troops" competition now is a byproduct of trying to defuse that critique and drive a stake through its heart.

    Oregon: Sure...it's cold. But it's a damp cold.

    by Keith930 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:32:52 AM PST

  •  Mr. Moore: Please turn your lens to this subject (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lily O Lady

    War on the cheap comes at a terrible cost to those serving in uniform and to us as a nation. Regular, Reserves and National Guard soldiers used in combat setting far longer than our other soldiers were required to do in our other wars. And while they do not face the public vehemence that greeted soldiers returning from Vietnam, the neglect on the part of our government is, I would argue, even greater.  

    I do not disagree with your point that for most who say they support the troops their actions may not live up to their words in deeds, but I disagree with your mixing of lumping the failure of each of us to visit the VA Hospital with the likes of bank foreclosures, military suicides and rape, homeless vets, and the military-industrial complex.  Our personal failures are not separated from these other matters by degrees but by vast orders of magnitude, and to use those comparisons in an effort to shame us should be beneath you.

    You have the unique standing to apply your talent and lend your voice to the real issues you listed by addressing their direct causes: the abject failure of our elected officials and military leadership. Give the country a Sicko version of Support the Troops.  

  •  it's been upsetting (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nowhere Man, MaikeH, CA wildwoman

    for the last 10 years the utterly fake sayings. The little flag lapel pins. The ribbon magnetic bumper stickers. And if you didn't agree that sending the soldiers off to die was "supporting them" there was something unpatriotic about you.
    Sheeeeesh.

  •  Republished to Group W (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allenjo, CA wildwoman

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:03:41 AM PST

  •  I'm a pacifist (4+ / 0-)

    and even I Support the troops more than republicans. Because while I don't think war is ever okay, I also don't think suffering is okay, which is why I dont mind the long-term healthcare for our returning soldiers. Or in the case above, helping them keep their homes.

    In this society, no matter how unjust I feel it is, people call the soldiers heroes. I think its apalling that they treat their heroes so badly.

    Were I not on the edge of poverty myself, I'd gladly help financially. I do donate blood though! Im O- so anyone can use it.

    The only Bug-type Pokemon that can learn the move Fly - Volcarona and Genesect - Are not Flying types.

    by kamrom on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:14:29 AM PST

  •  I've never seen an *I* Support Our Troops (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Loge

    decal. Its always more of a bullying directive:

    Hey, You! Support our troops or I'll kick your ass!

    Support Our Troops sounds so judgmental and it doesn't even give an indication of the bearer's support for the troops.

    It's never sat well with me. I've always felt it should be more personal as in:

    I Support Our Troops

    Instead, its this Bush-era, cowboy, with-us-or-against-us, suspicious attitude that made the aughts decade so unsufferable by way of the macho American bully posturing when the fact remains that real people have been dying everyday in those BS "wars".

  •  1.6 million uniformed military personnel (3+ / 0-)

    in 2010, according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, with data only available thru 2010.

    Since we are now into 2013, perhaps it is time they issue a new total.

    And we had "only" ......
    1.59 million in 2009
    1.45 million in 2008

    The MIC maintains 5000 military bases.

    Perhaps the best way to protect our troops from combat deaths, suicides, maiming, brain damage, etc. is to reassess our decades long foreign policy of being the global police force, so that we do not need 5000 military bases and 1 .6 million troops.

    The MIC is so out of control in this country, as congress never lacks the votes to fund the MIC.

    Just think if we were not practicing the "smart diplomacy"  that Obama and Clinton were committed to, how much worse the above figures would be.

    "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

    by allenjo on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:23:18 AM PST

  •  When I say "I support the troops" I mean (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lily O Lady, CA wildwoman

    I want them to live at home and not die in combat.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:25:00 AM PST

  •  Thank you for being here Michael Moore (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lily O Lady, CA wildwoman

    You have been a beacon of consciousness for me. And my heart bleeds for what has been done to MI and WI over the past few years. They deserved so much more than that.

    I agree wholeheartedly. It is time to shut the whole fiasco of our war mongering down. AND at the same time give our troops the support they deserve for giving so much.

    American Television is a vast sea of stupid. -xxdr zombiexx

    by glitterscale on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:41:56 AM PST

  •  saw a bumper sticker the other day (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MaikeH, CA wildwoman

    "If you don't stand behind the troops, stand in front of them"

    what pish-posh!  i can't imagine any American not standing behind the troops.  many might be against whatever war they are sent to fight but that doesn't mean the troops don't have our support.  bumper slogans as those above are terribly misplaced.

    the same goes for autos and trucks emblazoned with red, white and blue and plastered with "patriotic" slogans.  another day, another truck with a bumper sticker that said, "If my flags offend you then...."  i don't remember the rest.  i just stopped reading at that point.

    patriotism is in the heart and the over-the-top show does not make you more patriotic than me. if anything, it seems to be a lot of embellishment and fake sentiment to make you feel superior.  worse, if you have never served in the military but content send the boys off to war just so you can fly your flag.

    I'm a blue drop in a red bucket.

    by blue drop on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:53:33 AM PST

  •  I support humans (5+ / 0-)

    All of them.

    Troops are human.

    I support the troops by voting for people who would bring them home, because what kind of soldier wants to fight useless wars?

    I support the troops by opposing torture, rendition, indefinite detention, drone bombing of innocent civilians, because what honorable soldier wants to be ordered to do these acts?

    I support the troops by supporting human rights, because what true solder wants to violate human rights?

    What I don't do is confuse supporting the troops with supporting our war mongering.

    "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

    by ZhenRen on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:57:45 AM PST

  •  I have (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CA wildwoman
    3. How many of you who say you "support the troops" have visited a VA hospital to bring aid and comfort to the sick and wounded?
    I've personally delivered several thousand dollars worth of new clothes and personal care items to the local VA hospital, which specializes in treating PTSD and TBIs.
      I've also delivered food and other goods to the local homeless shelter which helps veterans.

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:58:51 AM PST

  •  There is a wonderful chance (3+ / 0-)

    right now to support troops and vets by not supporting chained CPI

    see further Armando's earlier diary for action

    As a reminder, the federal law governing VA disability payments states thus:

    38 U.S.C. 1104 - COST-OF-LIVING ADJUSTMENTS, Sub-chapter 1, Sec. 1104 - Cost-of-living adjustments
    (a) In the computation of cost-of-living adjustments for fiscal years 1998 through 2013 in the rates of, and dollar limitations applicable to, compensation payable under this chapter, such adjustments shall be made by a uniform percentage that is no more than the percentage equal to the social security increase for that fiscal year, with all increased monthly rates and limitations (other than increased rates or limitations equal to a whole dollar amount) rounded down to the next lower whole dollar amount.
  •  Mr. Moore.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CA wildwoman

    I wanted to thank you for, well, everything.  I've followed you on Twitter for a while but since the CT shooting, I'm always seeking your tweets out.  You've provided much-needed comfort and generated a thoughtful discussion about gun control, in particular, and American culture, in general. Keep up the good work!  

    It's not easy being a Floridian: PS I'm a lawYER now; no longer a lawSTUDENT.

    by lawstudent922 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 11:04:00 AM PST

  •  I support troops (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CA wildwoman, brae70

    Also firemen and policemen. And maybe the best way to show this support is to demand they have the proper equipment, safety procedures and care for when the job is done. But the best example of supporting troops is not placing them in unnecessary danger.

    "If that's what Fallujah is, then what's that band with all the Mexican kids in it?"

    by iSenseChange on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 11:04:15 AM PST

  •  This may make some people angry . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldhippie

    but two minor points:

    #1:  the troops all volunteered.

    #2: as long as there are enough willing bodies, the MIC will continue to wage corporate wars around the world, protecting interests which are not necessarily those of the American people.

    If we want to force the powers that be into acting democratically, we need young people to refuse to provide themselves as cannon fodder bought cheap.

    I support the return of troops and the closing of at least 80% of the 1,000+ military installations the corporate overlords have created in 130+ countries around the world.  

    We are an empire; empires are rarely other than evil.

    I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

    by bobdevo on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 11:08:04 AM PST

    •  Part of disaster capitalism is the ability (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bobdevo, CA wildwoman

      to crash the economy so that military service is a way to get a steady job with health care included. The job market is still bad, if improving, but if you are young and want to have a guaranteed paycheck, the military begins to look pretty good. Young people of 18 still haven't fully matured and don't fully grasp the consequences of their actions.

      The reason that 18 year olds can sign contracts is because they are the optimum age for military service and as we went to an all volunteer army that is what they needed to be able to do. Recent research has shown that they aren't fully mature, but that's just what makes them good soldiers. So we have kids in a crap job market making what seems to be a reasonable choice. And the signing bonuses and other inducements offered by recruiters help too. It's too hard for some to resist, especially if you are poor to begin with.

      "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

      by Lily O Lady on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 11:52:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Indeed, They have made it very attractive (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lily O Lady, CA wildwoman

        for young people looking for some route to a future to focus on the positive accoutrement to enlistment without thinking too long or hard about possible downside . . . . such as tour after tour in a desert hellhole . . .

        I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

        by bobdevo on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 12:17:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Too many people who "support the troops"... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MaikeH, CA wildwoman, brae70, Panurge

    ...actually just support militarism and the penis-enhancing feeling they get by the mere thought of Mighty America flexing her muscles to get those foreign cowards into line.  America: Fuck yeah!

  •  You're a great American, MM, but you're wrong, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CA wildwoman, Panurge

    I believe, to suggest that Americans get out of the military or not enlist.

    The military has been misused, abused, exploited, and so on, not just by our country, but by virtually every other empire and would-be empire in history, and by non-imperial nations, as well.

    But military service itself is honorable, and a military is necessary in the world as it is. I joined the Army in 1968 to beat the draft, and found a rewarding career for 35+ years, during which I believe I contributed to the military and to the larger society. It's that society that is responsible for our imperialism and what our military does in our name; the mission of the military, its authority, and its budget, all need to be taken to the chopping block. So does the attitude that sanctifies military service. (I can't find the Will Rogers quote to the effect that, "We will always have war until a mother says of her dead son, 'He died in the war' with the same emotion as, 'He was hit by a bus.'")

    I always enjoy and learn from your diaries. Thank you.

    Joe

    "There is just one way to save yourself, and that's to get together and work and fight for everybody." ---Woody Guthrie (quoted by Jim Hightower in The Progressive Populist April 1, 2012, p3)

    by CitizenJoe on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 11:24:42 AM PST

  •  Yep. A bumper sticker on your car doesn't (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CA wildwoman

    Do a thing for the troops but it makes the car owner feel self-righteous. Bringing them home from senseless wars--alive and well-- is the best way to support our brave men and women in uniform.

    "Let's stay together"--Rev. Al Green and President Obama

    by collardgreens on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 11:47:34 AM PST

  •  This is for Michael re point #5 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CA wildwoman, Yo Bubba

    Look them in the eye, Michael. Recognize their humanity. Look at them. If you do they will talk to you.

    I look at them. First thing a lot of them say is I'm the only person who looked at them today. Some  tell me I'm the first person to look at them  in days. How anyone can survive while the balance of humanity shuns them and treats them as invisible is beyond me. I think it's the main reason so many die young.

    Do not hurry past. Look at them. Look at them. Look at them.

  •  Actions speak louder than ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CA wildwoman

    I'm soooooo tired of hearing people state that 'They support the troops'.  I find it to be like saying 'I like good food'.  My reply is always: 'Who doesn't?'.  But I find that those who say it don't really do it or back it up with anything.  Or worse do the opposite, like the Bush administration; re: Walter Reed.  I also lump these people in with those that say: 'I'm not a rascist'.  Hearing people profess something like this always makes me wonder why they have to tell me that.

    ... like tears in rain

    by bladerunner on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 12:13:45 PM PST

  •  I helped feed homeless vets in my community (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angelajean, CA wildwoman

    for several years. It was really amazing to meet these people on the flip-side of the combat zone. It solidified my views as someone who does not support the MIC.

    I would like to see our military return home safe and sound.

    I've had a few friends who have served and none had a very positive view of it. Most just missed friends and family.

    And our Government has shameful and fairly predatory recruitment practices to target low-income and non-white folks, so there's that issue as well. I've gotten into it with military recruiters on my campus, to be honest, because they're siphoning off of kids who already have a good pathway paved for them in college. Why would they want to interrupt that? It strikes me as wrongful.

    Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

    by mahakali overdrive on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 12:16:17 PM PST

  •  For you affirmative action program, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    exlrrp, CA wildwoman

    you might want to consider adding military family members to that list. Many a vet is married to a spouse that needs a job too. Sometimes, that spouse's job is what sees the family through tough times while a vet is unable to work.

    I would love to see a civilian support network built that offers support for veteran and active duty families. Every community has military in their midst - Guard and Reserve are in every state and they don't always live right next door to a military base - but even those communities with bases nearby don't have a civilian organization set up to offer support. We need to see more civilian/military partnerships, like spouses' clubs and welcome wagons, etc. aimed at improving these relationships.

  •  Thanks for giving me a New Years (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CA wildwoman

    resolution that involves doing something productive. I resolve to DO STUFF to help our troops and our vets, as well as use my big mouth to do my best and make sure our politicians do the same. The numbers in this essay are heartbreaking.

  •  Nothing says I support the troops than taxing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Santa Susanna Kid, CA wildwoman

    the douchebag war profiteers to make them pay the costs of our service people re-entering civilian life - jobs, training, housing, rehab if needed.

    Everything else is lip service.

    My old ship, USS Flint (AE-32) - named after the city of Flint MI had the motto:  Judicemur Agendo

    meaning 'Let us be judged by our actions'.

    So appropriate.

  •  It is too difficult (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pitbullgirl65

    for me to separate "supporting the troops" for "supporting what the troops are made to do as pawns of corrupt American imperialist regimes".  I guess I can understand the idea of supporting troops if they're protecting us from some grave harm at the moment, such as invasion inside the continental US.

    But if I can be reprimanded for not doing enough to bring troops home, or at least off the battlefield, why can't the troops themselves be reprimanded for not revolting against their leaders who are trying to force them to do immoral acts in the name of the people of the United States?

    Yes, they'll be court-martialed, or shot by their commanders, for resisting.  But maybe it would take that kind of uprising against their own misuse, to teach the commanders the value of morality.

    That covers those who entered the military in the spirit of defense, that were later forced to do things they thought we wouldn't be stupid enough to try.  But even worse are the soldiers that gleefully, willfully participate in the current military actions because they approve of the corrupt actions of our imperialist government.

    I fear soldiers when they walk by.  As with police officers, there are many many of them who are good people.  But I've been burned by the ones that are alpha white-male-power-worshiping brutal cruel assholes, enough times, that I dare not approach a soldier without caution.  I befriend people with previous military experience with caution, only after a long period of exposure and proof that they aren't using it as the ultimate power trip--the ability to kill human beings without punishment.

    Soldiers that swallow whole the commands of our government this past decade, are just one step away from being turned against us, because they have lost their moral compass.

    I support getting the soldiers out of the military, and drastically shrinking the military's size to what is needed to protect our borders against direct attack.  Shutting down all foreign bases.  Stopping any military action in the Middle East, including any foreign aid to either Palestinians or Israel.  (No better incentive to get our energy independence worked out, hopefully with a large dose of renewables.)  Not playing police anywhere in the world.  It would cause massive unemployment among former military.  But there's so much more that could be done with that gigantic waste of resources.

  •  Support the troops by (0+ / 0-)

    making war a thing of the past. When my maternal Grandfather came back from WWII, he was a changed man.
     He fought in the Pacific theater for four years.
    He lost all of his friends.  He felt guilty for surviving.

    He never, but never talked about what he went through, nor bragged about being a WWII vet.

    The troops who brag about being in combat would have angered  him. Being in a war zone is not an acomplishment, but something to avoid.  

    "I have to go... There are two gay men knocking on my door asking me if I need any abortions or marijuana. Diary, this may be my last entry" Facebook hysteria after 2012 election

    by pitbullgirl65 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 02:44:28 PM PST

  •  Stop with the thanks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mathazar, CA wildwoman

    Unless it is completely unavoidable, I no longer go anywhere off post in uniform.  Why?  Because I dont want to be assaulted with thanks - thanks I believe are hallow words not heartfelt feelings.  

    You show your true colors when you "thank" me and then vote for someone who thinks his son working on his campaign is the same as me being in Afghanistan.  

    You insult my profession when you "support" me by claiming I can't handle free speech and vigorous debate.  Any soldier who cant deal with "I dont support war" has no business being in the business of war.

    Im a soldier because I want to be.  Its my profession.  I love what I do.  And I dont protect any American.  I have protected Germans (and the rest of Europe), Koreans, Qataris, Saudis, Iraqis and Afghans but not Americans.  Police officers protect Americans.  I set the conditions for the police, firemen, doctors, nurses and EMTs.

    If you see me in uniform pretend my camouflage makes me invisible.  If you want to thank someone, go to the VA and thank them.  They completed their mission, I still have work to do.  

    It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

    by ksuwildkat on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:25:04 PM PST

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