09 July 2011

More on Independence Day

"Then I began asking what they were doing volunteering to engage in wars that are unjustified and unjust, and once I asked that question I no longer thought they deserve my thanks"

This is basically the problem with unblinkered support for "the troops". Realistically, some troops are volunteering to, euphemistically speaking, "serve their country", and some troops are volunteering, almost explicitly, to fight in its wars (as happened after Pearl Harbor and 9-11, among other historical events). The portion of the latter is probably somewhat smaller than is indicated here, but nevertheless with a volunteer professional military class it would be impossible to conduct such wars of choice or conduct them in the manner we have if people began to cease to volunteer entirely for such services. That means to me that there's a not small number of "troops" who don't deserve my support at all because they are engaged in practices that are tragic and wasteful at best, or immoral at worst (cops and other authorities fully engaged in the prosecution of the drug war, ATF/FBI/etc, are in a similar boat for me).

It's not necessary to protest that these people are themselves (all) immoral, merely that they're engaged in something hideous and cruel and that this action should stop before I would lend credence to their service and dedication to the country. If the people asked to carry such things out begin to refuse to do so, we might get somewhere. Because clearly the people asking them to carry it out (us, most of the time, sometimes just a few of us, but usually most of us are to blame)... aren't going to stop asking too much of a sacrifice of them for pitiful causes.
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