October 10, 2014


A lot of you like to say that you support the troops a couple times a year. Like on Veteran's Day and Memorial Day. It sounds good. You support the troops. I am glad that able-bodied men and women can protect us, or be sent to help out with the Ebola crisis. That's very noble. But what does "I support the troops" mean? Blindly approving of any mission they're sent on, or having a genuine concern for their well-being?

The first US soldier has died in this new war the US has started. The one where we said there will be no boots on the ground, but I guess since this marine was in an airplane, he wasn't technically on the ground. If you support the troops, are you not aware that we've just "ended" a quagmire of two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Are you not aware that the troops' deployments in the last decade were so brutal that our military is deeply battle-scarred? That they will need physical and mental therapy as they struggle with PTSD--and that they often have scandalously long waits for care? That many vets become homeless because war is that unhinging to the psyche?

There will be more deaths of American soldiers. So if you support the troops, shouldn't you support their safety and question what the hell Obama is getting us into? If you simply support any mission the troops are sent on after George W. Bush tricked us into attacking Iraq, you're asleep. Those soldiers weren't protecting the US, since Iraq never attacked us, never had WMDs and never had a thing to do with 9/11.  All of the generals say that it's uncertain how long this new conflict will last. Can you honestly say that you even know what we're doing in Iraq and Syria, or do those 1,000 tribal factions start to blur together so you begin to rely on the same news sources which have misrepresented wars to explain the situation? Supporting the troops is taking the time to figure out why we are putting young men and women in harm's way. Especially after our presidents have lied about why we went to war in the past. And especially since the country just rejoiced that Obama sort of got out of the messes George W. Bush started in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The mess is starting again. US troops were used by Bush to create the chaos that led to the rise of ISIS. Unless ISIS is attacking the US--and I don't mean beheading a journalist or two--supporting the troops means staying out of wars you can't win. And if the US, which spends more on defense than most other countries combined, can't win a war--we don't want to win a war. We want constant military engagements. Republicans want it and sadly, Obama is proving that Democrats want it too, with an even more hawkish Hillary waiting in the wings.