Spend anytime perusing conservative (and even some leftist) websites and you're bound to come across a display that encourages readers to 'support the troops.' These displays are usually adorned with Yankee war flags and yellow ribbons. It seems almost mandatory that one who calls him/herself a conservative, no matter how anti-government they may be, must absolutely and without equivocation be 100% in support of those in uniform. Though this sentiment is certainly compassionate, is it a wise or rational attitude to maintain by those who genuinely seek protection of and, in some cases, the return of their inalienable freedoms?
Certainly, emotionalism is a large part of this predilection of unwavering support. Most do not want to see harm come to those in uniform, as do I. Even if one disagrees vehemently with the mission the troops are embarking on, the argument is that not showing support would give the appearance of not caring for their safety and lives. This is not necessarily so.
If your support of the troops is based on compassion, and you have a profound disagreement with the nature of their mission, then true compassion would be expressed by the call of 'Bring the Troops Home!' This is a much better way of expressing concern for them than agreeably seeing them march off to an unjust, illegal war (the only kind the U.S. government initiates) while yelling, 'We support you!' How will that very lame gesture protect them?
When you kiss the cheeks of family or friends as they march off to 'serve,' please remember exactly who they are serving. It most certainly is not you. The soldiers' job, foremost, is to protect the ruling regime, despite their sworn oath to the contrary. Soldiers take their orders from the regime that they work for--the same regime that also claims power over the citizenry they claim to govern. These soldiers 'fight for you,' you say? But who gives them their orders? 'You' and your opinions are not considered relevant. You, noble serf, are not part of the chain of command.
The fact is that 'supporting the troops' only strengthens the resolve of the tyrants that control them. This support, wrapped in emotional fervor and embellished in a wave of patriotic color, confers legitimacy upon The State's rule and policies--a legitimacy it must constantly work to protect. Believe me, when Bush II sees the prevalent displays of 'Support the Troops,' he is only emboldened to maintain and even expand his criminal policies.
You cannot 'support the troops' without supporting their mission. In a voluntary military, every soldier who signs on agrees to carry out whatever mission he's ordered to without question or hesitation. Being a volunteer, he must resolve this in his mind before he even enlists. He has voluntarily given up any opportunity for disagreement. The soldier and his mission, in a sense, become one. Seeing he lacks the support of his compatriots may cause the soldier to question, at least in his mind and conscience, the validity of his mission and seek ways to end, by whatever means necessary, his enlistment.
The fact is, armies are first and foremost the tools used to maintain the power and position of ruling regimes. The fallacy that state-controlled militaries exist to protect the security of the citizenry is used to maintain the citizenry's enthusiastic devotion towards them. This is a very key element in state-sponsored propaganda.
Seeing how the military is bound to serve the needs of the ruling regime, supporting the troops is contrary to and incompatible with supporting the cause of liberty. Withholding visible support of the troops and the de facto support of their mission will ultimately lead to the demise of the ruling regime's legitimacy. Tyrants without armies are helpless and impotent, powerless to hold back the resistance of their adversaries. Without armies to carry out his criminal, cowardly edicts, Bush II's status would change from arrogant, obscene posturing in the Oval Office to disgraceful, fearful crouching in a rural Virginia spider hole.
Those who value liberty would consider it despicable that any individual would support the King's army in colonial America. How is that situation any different now, if not worse?
The day will come when unhappy individuals face off with a military bent on restoring domestic order and compliance with the regime's mandates. Law Enforcement, the military's counterpart in civilian life, has shown they are more than willing and ready to bang heads. Ask the Branch Davidians, Randy Weaver, etc.
The troops are now busy depriving the life and right of self-determination of Afghans and Iraqis, among others. How long will it be before they turn their attention toward YOU? How will you respond when 'The Troops,' rifles drawn, politely request that you accompany them to the nearest gulag?
You'll no longer need to hang yellow ribbons--they'll be home. But will you still have one?