Hiding Behind "Our" Troops

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Jazzman Chronicles
Jack Random
 
The Republicans in congress have a new strategy for continuing the war in Iraq, continuing the occupation, and backing the president on his strategy of escalation and expansion of hostilities: Support the Troops.

It is not in fact a new tact but one as old as the first military action in the age of the nation state. It is rather the final fallback position of the scoundrels and lackeys who hurled us headlong into this debilitating, illegal and grossly immoral war – a war that was from the outset a betrayal of all Iraqis, the community of nations, our own principles and the armed forces compelled to fight in it.





HIDING BEHIND THE TROOPS
A COWARD’S LAST REFUGE

By Jack Random
 
THE JAZZMAN CHRONICLES: DISSEMINATE FREELY



For some time I have resisted use of the term “troops” because it tends to dehumanize the men and women of our military. The term is invariably used in a collective sense, never in reference to individual soldiers, marines or sailors. “Support our Troops” has become an abstraction, a political slogan that does not translate into protective equipment, long-term health care, mental health services or support for military families but rather a cover for politicians wishing to avoid accountability for their complicity in the moral and literal bankruptcy of the nation.

The accusation that principled opposition to the war is a betrayal of our fighting forces is as empty as the heart of a neocon warlord. If you believe that we have sent our soldiers into a war that should never have been launched and that we have abandoned them in the crossfire of civil war, then the best and only way to “support our troops” is to hand them a ticket out by the most expedient means possible.

If congress were to act boldly in cutting off funds for the war, the ball would be placed in the president’s hands to pull them out safely. If he dropped the ball, as he has so often done, the responsibility would belong to him and him alone.

The congressional leaders who believe they have found safe haven in hiding behind “the troops” deserve only the contempt of every man and woman in America, including most especially the men and women of the armed services and their families.

As law professor Walter Dellinger of Duke University testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, in the event congress severed funding for the war:

“There would not be one penny less for salary of the troops. There would not be one penny less for benefits of the troops. There would not be one penny less for weapons or ammunition. There would not be one penny less for supplies or support. Those troops would simply be redeployed to other areas where the armed forces are utilized.” [1]

The law is the law and a lie is a lie and this lie is nothing but a continuation of the steady stream of lies and deceptions the White House and their allies in congress have fed the body politic for more than four years.

While the United States Senate and to a lesser extent the lower house are stuck in the quicksand of disingenuous timidity and antiquated parliamentary procedures, our fighting men and women are stuck in the sinkhole of Iraq. Presumably, no one will die in the crossfire of congressional debate but as a direct result of congressional stasis, the inability to act on the mandate of the people, more of our soldiers and marines will certainly die on the fields of a futile and self-destructive war.
 


Could there be a better definition of cowardice?

Virtually everyone outside the oval office understands that the war is lost. In private spaces where truth is unguarded, virtually everyone knows the war was unwinnable from the beginning, for to “win” this war would only mean more wars and a perpetual circle of self-sustaining violence. None of the nations in the region, whether allies or adversaries, or in the greater community of nations would be content with a permanent American client state (other than Israel) in the Middle East.

Listen carefully to the stern rebuke of American foreign policy by former Bush ally Vladimir Putin of Russia and the absence of serious rebuttal anywhere in the world. We have broken the unspoken promise of civilized nations. We have committed the crime of aggressive war and steadfastly refused to make amends. We have lost the trust of the world and our defenders are isolated and few.

The consequences of our betrayal – not confined to but epitomized by Iraq – are profound and enduring.

To point the finger of blame at Iran or Syria for the utter failure of our criminal policies is to move audacity to unprecedented heights.

To hide behind “the troops” while blocking the way out of this disaster is a clear and compelling example of cold-blooded mendacity.

This is not the blocking of judicial or executive appointees; it is the life and death issue of our times. It is the issue that must be resolved before the nation can move on.

We are only citizens. We cannot end the war ourselves. We can only speak out in protest. We can only urge our elected representatives to stand up in our behalf. We can only vow to remember those who hid behind an empty slogan while our fighting men and women were left on the killing fields of an unnecessary foreign war.

Jazz.

[1] See the “Statement of US Senator Russ Feingold on Opposing the President’s Iraq Escalation Policy and Using the Power of the Purse to End our Military Involvement in Iraq.” Congressional Record, February 6, 2007.

 
 
JACK RANDOM IS THE AUTHOR OF THE JAZZMAN CHRONICLES (CROW DOG PRESS) AND GHOST DANCE INSURRECTION (DRY BONES PRESS). THE CHRONICLES HAVE APPEARED ON THE ALBION MONITOR, PEACE-EARTH-JUSTICE, THE NATIONAL FREE PRESS, PACIFIC FREE PRESS, LEFTWARD, DISSIDENT VOICE AND COUNTERPUNCH. SEE RANDOM JACK: WWW.JAZZMANCHRONICLES.BLOGSPOT.COM
 

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