Bumper sticker “support the troops” slogans mean nothing to US military personnel
How dare some people claim they “support the troops” just because they have some bumper sticker or magnet on their car. Every time I see one of those worthless slogans on a car I want to rip it off and admonish the driver. Why? Because supporting the troops is so much more than the $3 purchase of a car decoration (that’s probably made in China and doesn’t even support American workers).
Supporting the troops is about doing all you can to demand your elected representative bring the troops home from this worthless war in Iraq. It’s about demanding your elected representatives give all US military personnel bigger pay raises than they did at the start of 2007. How many average people know that Congress last year (109th Congress, Republican controlled) supported the troops by giving the military their smallest pay raise in the last 13 years? Is that supporting the troops? Did all those bumper sticker “troop supporters” write their Congressperson to complain and demand better pay for the troops they “support”? No, most people did nothing.
Supporting the troops is about speaking out against a war where American soldiers are being killed (4,000+) and wounded (28,000+) to support a country (Iraq) that doesn’t want us there and doesn’t represent the “freedom” we say we’re fighting for. How many people know women are not treated as equals in Iraq and do not have the same rights as men? How many people know American troops have repeatedly been killed or injured by the very Iraqi soldiers they are trying to train? How many people know that while the media reports Iranian and Syrian involvement in the everyday mess in Iraq, very little is really being done to demand Iran and Syria stop their involvement in helping insurgents kill and injure American soldiers?
Supporting the troops is about stopping this ridiculous funding that’s being sent to Pakistan while Al Qaeda is growing and operating freely in the tribal regions of the country. On September 20, 2001, President Bush addressed a joint session of Congress and said (in part)
“We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. (Applause.) From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.”
and yet the administration has looked the other way as Al Qaeda has restrengthened itself in the safe-haven sanctuary of the tribal regions of Pakistan.
It’s time for Americans to “support the troops” and listen to the words of American Patriot Melissa Etheridge:
I need to speak out
Something has to break up
I’ve been asleep
And I need to wake up
Some of you may say who am I to say what “supporting the troops” means and how dare I question the actions (and inaction) of our leaders. Well you see, I am an American Airman (18 years and still on active duty) and I’m the one these bumper stickers are supposedly “supporting”.
So, do you REALLY support the troops or do you support a bumper sticker slogan?