"Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people. When the people give way, their deceivers, betrayers, and destroyers press upon them so fast, that there is no resisting afterwards. The nature of the encroachment upon the American constitution is such, as to grow every day more and more encroaching. Like a cancer, it eats faster and faster every hour. The revenue creates pensioners, and the pensioners urge for more revenue. The people grow less steady, spirited, and virtuous, the seekers more numerous and more corrupt, and every day increases the circles of their dependents and expectants, until virtue, integrity, public spirit, simplicity, and frugality, become the objects of ridicule and scorn, and vanity, luxury, foppery, selfishness, meanness, and downright venality swallow up the whole society." ~ John Adams
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.