“Support our troops.” I have no idea what that phrase means anymore. In the reality of a war that parallels the War in Vietnam in every way that I can see, it is a hollow phrase, an empty phrase that has become almost devoid of any real meaning. It flows, calculatedly, from the mouths of politicians who seem to have no more grasp on what this War in Iraq is about than the Johnson and Nixon administrations had over “their” war. Not knowing, they equate “Support Our Troops” with a demand for carte blanche approval of the Administration’s actions from the American people.
The new word “Surge,” introduced in early Spring, has led only to a surge in the number of American casualties and in the number of young Middle Easterners willing to cause them to be casualties. It is a war which we know now was founded on falsities, promoted as patriotic, and is now draining our nation of our financial and moral resources. It has caused us to acquiesce, as a nation, to making an everyday reality of that hackneyed movie phrase which always indicated an imminent confrontation with the bad guys: “May I see your papers?”
It is a war which has been used purposefully, intentionally, and with malice and forethought, to twist the words and actions of Jesus into those of a ventriloquist’s dummy: “Love your neighbor,” he said, simply. “Make the world safe for our brand of Walmart and Halliburton democracy,” the politicians and corporate profiteers make him say instead. Manipulated by profit-minded preachers from pulpits of egomaniacal pomposity, millions believed that “their” Jesus had somehow transmogrified between the year 37 and 2004 from a Savior who laid down his life for all sinners, into an American Superman, dedicatedly focused on Truth (as Bush/Rove defined it), Justice (as Rumsfeld understood it), and the American Way (as Cheney ordained it to be).
Support our troops? Absolutely! I add whatever voice I have to the demand that they be brought home as quickly as possible, away from a civil and guerrilla war which will only cause another 3600, then another 3600, then another 3600 to be killed because of some deadly, false, and temporal, corporate-instilled American pride that has infected our nation’s governmental and spiritual leaders. Take care of those soldiers who have been injured and the families of those who have been killed; we must do without hesitation, and without having investigative reports on network television to prompt us in doing so. Support our troops? Yes, now; bring them home.
Bring them home. Then hold the feet of those preachers with private jets and diversified portfolios, whose own children are, and will remain, far from any war zone, to the fire. Demand an accounting from them for taking the Lord’s name in vain to feed their own vanities, and for then becoming cheerleaders, safe on the sidelines, for a war that never, never, never should have been.
I could go through the motions of an American-affirming, sea-to-shining-sea treatise for the Fourth of July, and I would love to do that. And, normally, I could do that. But, this year, I cannot. In our national response to genuine evil, we have willingly handed over so much that is good about this country and ourselves, to the corporate and political elite, who are not. And I hate coming to that conclusion but they have left me no more choices.