"[T]here are, at bottom, basically two ways to order social affairs, Coercively, through the mechanisms of the state -- what we can call political society. And voluntarily, through the private interaction of individuals and associations -- what we can call civil society. ... In a civil society, you make the decision. In a political society, someone else does. ... Civil society is based on reason, eloquence, and persuasion, which is to say voluntarism. Political society, on the other hand, is based on force." ~ Ed Crane
Supporting the Troops
Okay, here's the deal: I don't feel that I should be expected to support anyone, anywhere, who is actively engaged in a cause that I cannot, by virtue of my own powers of reason, get behind.
So many people, actively opposed to the assault on Iraq by the United States military, are coming forth with this idea that 'We don't support the war, but we support the troops.'
Bullshit. The war is not possible without the active participation of the troops--do you honestly believe that Bush and Rumsfeld are going to go fight a war, themselves? No, of course not. They will spend their time looking over maps of the Middle East, licking their thumbs and mentally counting the proceeds. They will spew their noble words about the bravery of the fallen American servicemen and the liberation of the people of Iraq . The usual empty verbiage intended only to sway the gullible toward a support of the insupportable. Disturbingly, this is usually a successful tactic, and it says a lot about us as a nation. But are we listening?
This is not to suggest that I am going to rejoice over the demise of any American who gets killed in Iraq . I will not. I recognize that many of these people are channeled into the war machine by the pressure of economic incentive, unaware, for whatever reason, of the sociopathic nature of the those who call the shots. The conditions for this slaughter are realized by a systematically undermined system of education and by a media bought out by corporate interests; by the schools, and by the incessant urge to bleed--and bleed copiously--on behalf of the flag, for some vague sense of security which will never be attained in this lifetime, by the troops or by those of us who watch from the sidelines, from the comfort of our own homes.
And isn't it just too goddamned bad--for the troops, for us, for the innocent Iraqis who are blown to smithereens by our increasingly sophisticated methods of killing? Those who benefit will be those same names who have always found a way to turn a profit from conflict and carnage, death and destruction, at home or abroad. They feed on our apathy, our ignorance, and our fear, which they have learned to translate into a thoughtless and ever-present hatred, after years of minute observation and careful study of our innate and unquestioned stupidity, leeches whose natures are hidden by national pride and noble rhetoric, which we nourish with the very blood of our veins, which we open to them too easily.
I wish I could hate the troops--or love them. I wish that I could change the messages written upon the missiles that they so eagerly launch. I cannot--I can only watch, appalled, as the horrors come home to roost.