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Monday, May 02, 2005

Support Our Troops

I picked up one of those ubiquitous “Support Our Troops” magnets off the street this morning. In this time of war, when American soldiers serve in great peril in a part of the world that is now almost entirely hostile to even the idea of Americans not to mention American soldiers, I think that buying a $2 magnet that says you support our troops and putting it on your car is just about the lamest, most hollow gesture in the entire history of lame and hollow gestures.

I’ll wager a round of drinks that these magnets are made in China. What you are really supporting is a bigger trade deficit, but if the damn thing makes you fell better then by all means stick one on your car. How about getting a magnet for the front and another for the back of your SUV? Wouldn’t that make you twice as patriotic as the commies who only have one magnet? We won’t even mention the filth who don’t have a single $2 magnet on their car.

Since before the invasion of Iraq began I have heard lectures from conservatives about the need to support our troops. I was told that by participating in an anti-war demonstration weeks before the war started I wasn’t supporting our troops. I thought that the war was misguided and not necessary and would not strengthen the security of the United States. I thought that the Bush administration’s claims of Iraq’s threat to world peace were hyperbolic at best and outright lies at worst.

The tattered “Support Our Troops” magnet serves as an apt metaphor for the short attention span of a lot of people who initially were in favor of the war and now choose to forget all about it. If only it were that easy. The problem is that we still have an occupying force in Iraq and they are still dying at an unacceptable rate. Unacceptable to the people who are losing people they love in what is still (to me) a misguided and unnecessary war.

For too many Americans the only stake they have in this conflict is a $2 Chinese magnet they bought two years ago when they were whipped into a patriotic fever by the administration’s call to war. I don’t blame the magnet people; I blame our president who did not ask the American public for the slightest sacrifice in support of the invasion. In fact, he dished out huge tax cuts to our wealthiest citizens at the same time that he sent our soldiers to war. As anyone who has served in the all-volunteer military can tell you, there aren’t too many rich kids in uniform. If you make over $1 million a year you got upwards of a $90,000 tax cut. That is $89,998 after you buy the stupid fucking magnet. Supporting troops has never been easier, cheaper, or more meaningless than it is today.


My favorite is "Power of Pride". Isn't pride one of the seven deadly sins? Are we supposed to subconciously think "Proud of Power"? I don't get it.
Also funny is "Proud to be an American". I dunno... I didn't have to *do* anything to be an American. I was just born here so (btw, Bill Hicks already covered this.)

I love the Wikipedia entry for Pride, especially that the "See also:" part lists Narcissism and Victory Disease.

As for the yellow ribbons, I just try to ignore them and whistle that old Tony Orlando & Dawn song Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree.

-- Jeff Spicoli
-- # May 17 2005, 05:44 pm homepage

Just a couple of comments from "a right-winger" ...I agree the "Support our Troops" magnets and the like are a bit meaningless...but your bit about the wealthiest and tax cuts...my feeling is quit with the rich are evil. Why do you think our wealthiest citizens should be punished? Obviously...if you make more money...your tax cut should be more. Fair is fair! Hope about everybody pays the same percentage on their income...say 5%. Then the government could send out pre-stamped envelopes and if you wish to donate more...then do so on your own. Lets see how many "citizens" do so.

-- Susan
-- # May 19 2005, 05:44 am e-mail

Did I say that the rich are evil? I know this is one of the right's talking points when dealing with progressives, but try not to put words into the mouths of others. This is a subject for an essay but the rich should pay a higher pproportion of their income in taxes. In a nutshell they derive more advantages from the system and should pay for it.

-- leftbanker


Quit your bitchin'. Get your ass back into the military - you probably have knowledge that could be put to immediate use and that would keep our young men and women out of harm's way.

Otherwise what are you doing that a thousand pierced-faced, black tee-shirt wearing Seattle dudes aren't already doing? Sitting around pissing about magnets is unworthy of you, soldier.

Talk about cost-free actions! This is America Jack. You can sit around as bitch about Bush until the grass grows on your back. Anti-war protest is a big zero because nothing is risked - nothing will ever be gained except your eventual sense of shame.

So Bush and the rich are your big enemies, huh? How safe, how safe indeed.

-- das

So your idea of patriotism is buying a $2 magnet and mine is serving honorably in our nation's military. I object to a pointless war that has cost hundreds of billions of dollars and countless lives, and you rail against perceived liberal bias on NPR (one of the only decent sources of news in America). I guess we can agree to disagree.

P.S. I was in the Air Force which means I was an airman and not a soldier--a minor point that only a veteran would appreciate.

-- leftbanker


Stop assuming you understand the minds of thousands of people who buy stickers or magnets to support the troops. It is just a symbol for people to say that they stand behind the whole effort, including, tragically, sending young men and women into battle because, yes, they believe in the cause. Should we all just trapse along and pretend that young men and women aren't dying for us (we already did that during the Vietnam years)? Go ahead and make fun of them but that is their right as citizens. You don't know all these people - stop belittling them.

You seem to have an excess of piss and rage coupled with a deserved pride in your military service - why don't you take it out on terrorists who want to bring us to our knees rather than a president who would destroy those same terrorists?

I like a lot of things about NPR but I get tired of its default anti-Bush stance. I guess if it were well-done anti-Bush reporting I might respect it more; but often NPR strikes me as incomplete and lazy in their reporting.

-- das

There are no minds behind the SUPPORT OUR TROOPS!(TM) ribbons that don the backs of the gas guzzling SUVs. The sheep blindly follow their leader and never question anything. They denounced us as being unpatriotic when we tried to get the troops body armor. They denounced us as anti-American when we complained about stop-loss. They called us whiny liberals when we tried to get adequate health care for the families of deployed troops. We did all of this despite the fact that we mostly opposed the war.

When you are living paycheck to paycheck and you are paying the same taxes as wealthy people, it is NOT the same or equal. When lower income people have less disposeable income, they cannot contribute to the economy as much, and the wealthy have a disproportionate say over how the economy is run. That is not equal. Plus, when you say everyone should pay the same taxes, you are not taking into account unearned income. There should be a price to pay on unearned income, yet the largest tax cuts went to this unearned money. If you don't do anything to earn it, why should you enjoy all of it? Someone who lives paycheck to paycheck doesn't get to invest extra money. It's a vicious cycle that is quite difficult to get out of.

Amen to the power of pride sticker. I've had those same thoughts.

-- Daedalus

Ah yes, Leftbanker, you whiny Seattle hippie, don't you understand that das and his ilk of neo-modern patriots need do nothing more than prove their patriotic worthiness by justification by faith.

They are the masters of empty words and gestures.

"Believe in Bush and ye shall be safe from the evil terrorists."

There's no need for discussion or compromise with the faithful flock. They are right and blessed by God, and the rest of us are unworthy scum. They carry themselves with the kind of single-minded certainty that comes from faith in a false religion.

I'm sorry, das, but you're full of shit, you creepy little small-minded jerk. I don't have to mince my words with assholes like you, and I wonder what great contribution you have made to the cause in your life to carry yourself with such great sanctimony and condescension.

I mean, really, you have demanded TWICE on here that Leftie, a military veteran, must re-join the military to “cleanse” himself of his liberalism and dissent to the Bush cult.

Have you ever served, weasel? Please dazzle us with your lofty tales of national service that gives you such license to question the patriotism of others.

I dare you, I double-dare you. 'Cos I just know you haven't.

-- mat

You Americans, all you need to do is stop taking so much energy and you'll be fine, your economy will be on better standing and everyone won't hate you so much. Wake up and smell the bomb shells

-- Rich Jerk

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