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I don't support the troops - and neither do you.

 
 
Reply Fri 4 Jan, 2013 01:10 pm
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 estimated to be 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, every day.)


Michael Moore
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Type: Discussion • Score: 17 • Views: 3,434 • Replies: 44

 
DavJohanis
 
  0  
Reply Fri 4 Jan, 2013 01:20 pm
@edgarblythe,
Absolutely eye opening!

4 Is disgraceful, I had known it went on, but they are animals, with a grimace to excuse it!.

What strikes me is that a country where buying a refrigerator with two doors as big as the porch is commonplace and at the same time can leave the real men on the street.. exists in this place we call a planet of freedom and plan to advancement.

Perhaps I make a nugget of a nice spread though?.

Irritated?

D.
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Fri 4 Jan, 2013 01:46 pm
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:

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?

In the past 10 years, I have written to Hilary Clinton when she was a senator, I have written to George W. Bush when he was president, and have written to Sen. Chuck Schumer, and Rep. Carolyn Maloney regarding the issue of protecting the VA hospital's budget in times of possible budget cuts. Admittedly, I am a vet myself and part of my involvement here is selfhelp.

Quote:
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?

I have written to Rep. Carolyn Maloney on this issue and I have tried to promote Invisible War (2012) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2120152/ here at a2k and was basically ignored for the most part. http://able2know.org/topic/196911-1

Quote:
5. Help a homeless vet today? How 'bout yesterday? Last week? Last year? Ever? But I thought you "support the troops!"?

For a brief period of time, I was a homeless vet. I could do better in this department.

I really hope that Michael Moore's call for help is actually listened and responded to not with blatant cynicism as that's far too easy but with actual support and by support I mean actual footwork towards all of these reforms that are so needed to truly support our troops.


Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jan, 2013 02:17 pm
Given that the man is a multi-millionaire, i find his list of support he provides to be a tawdry and paltry statement. Did i miss something here? He supports the troops by adopting a particular attitude?
ossobuco
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 4 Jan, 2013 02:43 pm
@edgarblythe,
I have no patience for michael moore except that we to the left of u s center need our own foolmouth.
0 Replies
 
Val Killmore
 
  3  
Reply Fri 4 Jan, 2013 02:55 pm
@edgarblythe,
I never did support the troops other than paying my taxes without complaining about it.
The 'support the troops' bumper stickers and other such thing is just a PR stunt invented by the folks who launched wars in the first place to make Americans feel guilty for not supporting the war by merging the issue of the people fighting the war with the war itself. It is a brilliant yet diabolical move, seeing that supporting a volunteer service is an oxymoron. Freedom is the right to serve and serving is the right to choose.

Now President Eisenhower understood this dilemma of our growing military quite well. He warned the Nation of the growing "Military- Industrial complex" in his farewell speech to the Nation. This was in the early 60's, and I believe it was the first time this was used by a President.

I'd like to end my rant saying that Michael Moore is an idiot for not understanding that the rhetoric about "supporting our troops" is born in the guilt of knowing in our heart of hearts,that we are paying the men and women in our armed forces to do the dirty work that we don't what to do, or worse, think about.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Fri 4 Jan, 2013 03:16 pm
@Val Killmore,
Val Killmore wrote:

I never did support the troops other than paying my taxes without complaining about it.
The 'support the troops' bumper stickers and other such thing is just a PR stunt invented by the folks who launched wars in the first place to make Americans feel guilty for not supporting the war by merging the issue of the people fighting the war with the war itself.


Excellent observation. Those bumper stickers kind of put me in mind of those American flags, proudly flying from the monster pickups. They both let someone identify with something they probably know nothing about.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jan, 2013 09:04 am
@DavJohanis,
Thanks, DavJohanis.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jan, 2013 09:07 am
@tsarstepan,
tsarstepan, I put the article here for people to see, to see if it would be accepted, amended or rejected. It is a little over the top, but the best calls to action usually are. In essence, it may be true, since there is little pressure on the government to change anything.
0 Replies
 
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jan, 2013 01:53 pm
@edgarblythe,
Thanx for posting that, edgar. I agree with a lot of what the other posters have said in re: Michael Moore and his posturing, but the sentiments are well expressed.
edgarblythe
 
  3  
Reply Sat 5 Jan, 2013 02:05 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
I had considered posting and omitting Moore's signature, as I knew many would prefer to castigate him and not really care what he wrote.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jan, 2013 02:26 pm
I worked at the v.a. for several months, while the building our labs would be in was finishing being built at a nearby university.

That lab, once built, was my first serious job - I had my own small but interesting clinical lab, under the aegis of the department. I could see the v.a. cemetery from my window and I heard taps often, usually starting at exactly 10 a.m. This was from '65-'68. My parents are buried there, my father also in '68, age 62. One of my smart ass group of girlfriends was a long time v.a. nurse, good woman. Let's say I'm very sympathetic to the vets.

My father was also sort of a victim of the times and the procedures of the v.a.
He seemed to be fine though depressed and then he was deemed a psychiatric case - which really depressed him. At one point he was sent to Camarillo, long story, not directly by the v.a. Camarillo was a famously difficult place to be confined at the time. He wasn't on the streets in his despair because the big legal change re emptying the "asylums" hadn't happened yet - so he was confined. Eventually he was transferred to the v.a. in the valley and died there. I thought he was misdiagnosed all along but I was in my early to mid twenties and stupider than I am now, re what to do, who to ask for help, especially as we as a family were for many years financially strapped. Me, who worked with doctors, but they weren't a big help either.
Again, I am sympathetic to the vets.

On the wars, I'm almost but not quite pacifist re our government's moves in my lifetime (I was born just before Pearl Harbor). I was a short timer as a Woman in Black, not one of the women who stood all the time - I just did it to be there, show up and stand, but the time when they gathered was within my job hours. For years I actually knew my state and US congress people in person and talked with them because I was in those action meeting things.



I get to not like Michael Moore.

ossobuco
 
  0  
Reply Sat 5 Jan, 2013 02:45 pm
@ossobuco,
Adds - of course I am for fixing the VA system.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jan, 2013 03:42 pm
I agree with most of the sentiments expressed but as I read along I found myself hoping that it wasn't a Michael Moore screed. Alas.....

The points he makes are valid and, no, I don't support the troops nearly as much as I should. Michael Moore, or not, I could and should do more.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Sat 5 Jan, 2013 06:11 pm
@Val Killmore,
Val Killmore wrote:

I'd like to end my rant saying that Michael Moore is an idiot for not understanding that the rhetoric about "supporting our troops" is born in the guilt of knowing in our heart of hearts,that we are paying the men and women in our armed forces to do the dirty work that we don't what (sic) to do, or worse, think about.


interesting take on it as the one thing I get from the piece is that this " paying the men and women in our armed forces to do the dirty work that we don't want to do, or worse, think about" is precisely what Michael Moore is talking about.

He makes me crazy a lot of the time - and then he writes something like this that I really agree with.
Setanta
 
  -2  
Reply Sun 6 Jan, 2013 05:08 am
I don't have a personal opinion with regard to Moore. I've never seen any of his motion pictures, and this is the first thing of his i've read. I've heard radio interviews and was not terribly impressed, but my response here is not based on any pre-existing prejudice. He is basically using the issue of what service people endure, and the abandonment of veterans as a basis for a polemical screed. As i've already said, he's in a far better position to help veterans than we are, or at least than i am, and i don't see that he's doing jack **** for them.
Thomas
 
  6  
Reply Sun 6 Jan, 2013 12:18 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
As i've already said, he's in a far better position to help veterans than we are, or at least than i am, and i don't see that he's doing jack **** for them.

Indeed he isn't. That's exactly what he's saying, genius.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Sun 6 Jan, 2013 12:23 pm
@Setanta,
That's his point.
0 Replies
 
IRFRANK
 
  3  
Reply Sun 6 Jan, 2013 12:45 pm
@Setanta,
As usual, you miss the point and attack the messenger.
0 Replies
 
IRFRANK
 
  3  
Reply Sun 6 Jan, 2013 12:45 pm
@Setanta,
As usual, you miss the point and attack the messenger.
0 Replies
 
 

 
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