"Well, I have an ugly confession to make: I don't support the troops - at least not unconditionally. When somebody tells me they serve in the military, my first impulse isn't to say, "Thank you for your service!" like those insufferable chickenhawks on talk radio.
My first impulse is to say, "I'm sorry to hear that." Because I am...
blah blah blah...
WARNING! GIANT CAVEAT AHEAD:
"There are, of course, plenty of laudable functions that soldiers serve. But their sworn duty is to wage war. They may perform this duty with courage. They may feel great love for their country. But we don't pay them simply for their patriotism or integrity. We also pay them to kill people."
That last line is absurd. He makes it sound like they give them some training, a loaded weapon and set them off in downtown Manhattan with no bag limit.
"And here it's worth making a point often overlooked. Anyone who pays taxes in this country "supports the troops." We're the ones who subsidize their training and equipment and medical care and education."
Heaven forfend! We ask them to risk their lives and they expect to receive equipment, training, medical care and education! This from the same group who blather on about how people join the military because they are uneducated. I guess they want them to stay that way.
"I'm happy to do so, (Ed: I call BULLSHIT!) as long as I believe those soldiers are being deployed on a mission that feels morally necessary - targeting terrorists who seek to kill civilians, for instance, or trying to prevent a genocide."
Feeeellllings. It's always about feeeellllings. I seem to remember some terrorists trying to kill civilians somewhere. Where was it? Oh yes, Iraq. When they threatened to blow them up for voting or joining the Iraqi police or blowing up civilian in Yemen outside the US Embassy. I suppose he's all in favor of the 82nd Airborne landing in San'a.
There's a few more paragraphs of boilerplate and blather that any Kos Article Generator could create.
The final paragraph:
"Americans have often looked to heroic violence as a means of spiritual regeneration. Our most powerful national myth is the notion that anyone fighting on our behalf is a hero. I understand why friends and families of our soldiers feel this way. But for the rest of us, too often "supporting the troops" isn't about the troops at all. It's about the childish desire to feel morally exempt from the violence carried out in our names."
Americans are not seeking spiritual regeneration through violence. That is just stupid. We view soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and guardsmen as heroic because they often do heroic things. They put themselves in harms way that others might live. I do not bask in any reflected glory from that. I am simply humbled by it. I stand in awe of the things these men do. Too often being "anti-war" isn't about war at all. Rather it's about denigrating America under the veneer of righteous indignation.