Monday, January 15, 2007

Troops Home Now

George Bush’s troop surge, plus all of the sacrifice our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are making, combined with the noisy rhetoric (right and left) the rest of us are putting out, is triggering one big Vietnam flashback for me.

That war was unfair. This war is even more so. It is time for our troops to come home.

It is time.

We have deprived them of the comfort and company of their families and friends for too long. We have set their careers back decades. We have given them a vague mission and put them into situations where they can die, but can’t win – all without inconveniencing ourselves in the least.

“They volunteered,” callous, safe and comfortable people say. “They knew what they were getting into.”

To which I would respond, “Fuck you.”

“Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you.”

Generation after generation, this country lets a certain kind of people evade going to war. They are richer than average. They display a unique combination of cowardice, selfishness and cunning.

They talk patriotism. They wear flags in their lapels and put their hands over their hearts whenever they hear the national anthem. But when the chips are down, they always find a way to thrust somebody else – or somebody else’s kid – into the front lines.

They don’t do war. Not personally. They’ll shill for war. They’ll back idiot politicians who want to send more troops. But they won’t go – not actually go. Not them.

God they are detestable. They lack the courage (physical or moral) to volunteer for the war they support. They would be afraid to spend even one night in a barracks full of the young black, Hispanic and middle class white American kids they so blithely want to send surging off to Baghdad.

Barracks life or prison life – what’s the difference?

None to them. To them military service is what taxes were to Leona Helmsley – something for “little people.”

No doubt there is an elite corps of military people – a backbone – a group of people who take great (and much deserved) pride in every aspect of their service, their branch of service, and the selfless traditions of our military. No doubt members of that elite corps is more than capable of speaking for themselves about surges, staying the course, the mission – the whole shooting match.

But, God damn it, it’s time. If there is surging to be done, let the selfish assholes back here who think it’s a good idea do it and bring our proud, selfless troops home now.

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