Saturday, May 5, 2007

Gut-Check Time

Do you support the troops? I mean, do you really support the troops? Or is that just some words you say when the subject comes up? If you really do support the troops, you need to take stock of reality.

Our military is seriously compromised. These kids – and most of them are kids – are in the middle of an urban guerrilla war in an Arab country. Four years on, it has taken it’s toll, and the situation is unsustainable.

Here is reality – we are apace to create a couple of million people who have been repeatedly exposed to percussive trauma. It has an effect on the person after the frontal lobes bounce off the inside of the skull a few times. Couple the physical compromise with the constant anxiety. Now tell those same soldiers that they just had their out-date yanked and they have another three freakin’ months in this hellhole, and you have a recipe for atrocity. Especially when you are rotating people back in with inadequate dwell time, and things like War Ethics aren’t being taught.

Human beings can only take so much, god-damnit. What the fuck do you people want? How much more do you expect your Army to give? You have to knock this shit off and face the fact that you have asked too much. Not only has too much been asked, it was all predicated on lies. In a just world, the architects of the war would be charged with one count of murder for every “comma” out of Iraq.

Bullshit slogans like “Defeat is not an option” are a fucking insult. You got that? If defeat is not an option – don’t get in the pissing match in the first place, because you know what? Both sides always believe that, and one side always has to accept that they were wrong.

Reality trumps rhetoric every god-damned time. And the assholes who work at the think tanks need to get a new name for their various ventures if they can’t accept that.

A study released last week revealed some disturbing trends in the psyches of soldiers.

More than one-third of U.S. soldiers in Iraq surveyed by the Army said they believe torture should be allowed if it helps gather important information about insurgents, the Pentagon disclosed yesterday. Four in 10 said they approve of such illegal abuse if it would save the life of a fellow soldier.

In addition, about two-thirds of Marines and half the Army troops surveyed said they would not report a team member for mistreating a civilian or for destroying civilian property unnecessarily. "Less than half of Soldiers and Marines believed that non-combatants should be treated with dignity and respect," the Army report stated.

About 10 percent of the 1,767 troops in the official survey -- conducted in Iraq last fall -- reported that they had mistreated civilians in Iraq, such as kicking them or needlessly damaging their possessions.

Now think about this: These guys are going to come home and reintegrate into society. We are already failing returnees with TBI and PTSD on the mental health front. Society –it has the potential to get really ugly. We have vets becoming homeless waiting for benefits. First they get blown up, then they get blown off. What a fuckin’ deal.

If you really support the troops, if you realize they are beings with lives, loves, hopes, dreams and futures that are being denied them at your behest, and you have half assed it from the get-go, you need to suck it up, admit the error of your ways, apologize, and bring the troops home now.

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