Here’s a little morsel to chew on and get the digestive juices flowing.
This morning while I was washing the dishes and having imaginary conversations with non-existent people all caught up in my head (momentary lapses of sensibility being rife before I’ve had my coffee), I thought to myself “what kind of person voluntarily signs up to be trained to kill total strangers (and very often innocent people)?”
I’ve never bought into the propagandic rhetoric of “support our troops” regardless of your feelings about the wars being fought. The truth is, I don’t support the troops. I don’t support what they do, I don’t support them getting paid to do it. I don’t support the choice they made to take part in the mass murder, rape and torture of people around the world. I don’t support the total lack of justification for their actions.
They weren’t conscripted. No one forced them to do it. They can cry about it all they like. They can expect us all to cheer them on and enable their bloody, murderous ways, but I won’t be there at the tickertape parade. I’ll be standing in my kitchen, elbow deep in suds, wondering what specific piece of DNA they are missing to turn them into monsters.
Meanwhile, I do acknowledge the absolute horror of military recruitment specifically targeting underprivelleged children before they even graduate from highschool, offering them “leadership training” and free university with the promise they’ll probably never be deployed. I realise how powerful the war propaganda machine is, and I do feel a pang of sadness that some people feel they have no option but to be trained to kill people, but not everyone in that position makes that same choice. There are those that do and those that say “no way, Jose” and besides all that, I still refuse to support any part of it.
By supporting the troops, despite your feelings about the wars being waged in the name of Christianity, or democracy, or whatever spin you put on it, you are creating the message that it’s OK to be a soldier, that’s it’s OK to go out killing people, that’s it’s OK to go invade other countries and fuck with their political systems because the troops aren’t to blame.
Then who is to blame? The politicians? The parents? The education system? Democracy? Christianity? Where does it begin? It doesn’t really matter because it ends with the individuals who are physically acting out the wars. Take the troops away and you have no war, just pointless political debates and failed ideologies. It’s the troops that make the war a reality. It’s the troops I do not support.