Support* the Troops

It is easy to dislike politicians and what they do. It is not so easy to publicly oppose their henchmen: the police and the troops.

The police are only enforcing the law. If you want it changed, lobby the legislature, said the serf to the slave. After all, it is not the military’s fault they are being ordered to invade nations that pose no threat to the American government’s security, what they call “national security.” It is the commanders and the politicians who got them into this mess.

I agree somewhat. But the troops are the ones who chose to join the military — for the adventure, or for self-improvement, or for whatever lie their recruiter fed them. Soldiers are the ones who bomb wedding parties, who torture other indoctrinated men, and who massacre families. Of course, I bet a good number of troops perform a lot of heroic missions to save their comrades in the field. Most of the troops are just there to do their part to fight for a country they love. I am friends with a handful of them, so I know they are probably in the majority.

We are constantly fed guilt that we should support the troops — and by extension the politicians and bureaucrats who put them in danger. But how should I support the troops?

Should I pay taxes to buy their overpriced toys? Should I support their immoral occupation of countless countries? Or, should I support the hegemonic government of which they play an integral part? I know a more moderate position is to support the troops by insisting they be returned home. But is that much better?

Even if the troops were not abroad, they would be that much easier to deploy in our cities. Conceivably, it would become more difficult to scale down government spending once an influx of soldiers boosted depressed local economies.

With all that said, I believe we should support the troops. I support troops who stop following orders and take personal responsibility for their behavior. I support the troops who stand down and refuse to deploy.

Image credit: legofenris, with Creative Commons license

3 thoughts on “Support* the Troops

  1. A thought-provoking question no doubt but I think we may disagree on our conclusion. Should an individual be supported – even if they stand in opposition to immoral orders – if their position and training were paid for by theft?

    I'd love to see some pro-freedom activists do outreach outside of military recruiting centers. Hopefully get potential recruits to think about their actions. The biggest difficulty I'd guess would be to offer them something tangible in terms of a better standard of living or other opportunities since many who do sign-up are looking for a way out of their current environment (the negative characteristics of which are often caused and/or exacerbated by government).

  2. No doubt, part of taking personal responsibility should include providing some sort of restitution.
    I would personally offer my forgiveness if someone was truly remorseful, but others who have been more directly affected may feel differently.

  3. I think we should be willing to offer forgiveness if we expect soldiers to turn their back to government (and their government pensions).

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