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Commentary :: International
I support the troops, but I'm against the war
15 May 2006
Reprinted from www.anarchistblather.com
If there's one thing I'm incredibly sick of hearing, it's that little phrase. I'm aware that this makes me look like an unpatriotic dick, and you wouldn't be far from the truth in pointing that out. However, my professed disgust of this particular shibboleth does not find its foundation solely on my predilection for anti-state thought. No, the revulsion that I hold for this little morsel of statist illogic is due mainly to the fact that it is thoroughly incongruous. It makes no sense, and I'm going to explain to you why that is.

One of the first steps one must take in the process of dissecting a statement such as this, is to decipher what is actually meant when one says,"I'm against the war, but I support the troops.(referred to hereafter as 'IATWBISTT')" Naturally, this statement is nebulous and evasive, which is typical of most catch-phrases employed by state worshippers. Since the meaning of this statement is somewhat cloudy, the best thing to do is to ask actual statists what they really mean when they say this.

Having voiced my objections to IATWBISTT with a number of statists, the variety of counter-arguments quickly boils down to about two (2). The most oft heard response to my objections run somewhere along the lines of:

"The troops are just upholding the oath they swore when they joined the military. They're just following orders and doing their jobs. You can't hold them responsible for the war. They aren't to blame for the bad decisions of the policy makers."

Granted, that wasn't a verbatim quote, but it serves to give a general idea of what the majority of responses consist of. There were slight variations, though most of them were grammatical, having no real impact on subject matter. Now that we have a general idea of the meaning of IATWBISTT, I would like to point out some of the glaring mistakes that the state worshipper makes when defending his ludicrous position. Firstly, if a person swears an oath to something that he thought was a good idea at the time, but then decides later that it was a foolish idea, is he obligated to uphold the oath? In short, no. Obligations are self-imposed duties. A person cannot "obligate" another person into travelling overseas to maim and kill other people. If it were possible to impose obligations on another person, I would "obligate" you to send me your credit card information via email.

Secondly, since the entire idea of "imposed obligations by someone other than the self" is daft, the decision is then left to each individual soldier. Using an "oath" to attempt to excuse yourself from exercising your individual judgement is absurd. It is impossible to avoid using your own judgement, no matter how much you may wish that it were not so. Of course, this ties into the next part of the counter-argument: Following orders. The omnipresent order. No other excuse has been used as often to justify the commission of harm against other humans. Instead of blowing wind in a twenty page academic treatise about the evils of the concept of "authority," I'm going to ask two simple questions. Can a "superior officer" physically override your own judgement? Also, do shiny medals and rank insignias on a man's epaulet connote the absolute moral righteousness of his commands?

No and no. You are responsible for your own actions, regardless of whether or not a commanding officer barks an order at you. I'm not going to sugar coat this with cinnamon buns and blowjobs. I'm going to say something that is (or should be) immediately obvious, yet most are too panic-stricken and poltroonish to even consider it in the privacy of their own skulls. I know this may come as quite a shock to you, but yes, the troops ARE responsible for the war. They are dropping the bombs. Driving the tanks. Shooting the rifles. Flying the jets. Soldiers make war possible.

Soldiers aren't to blame for the slipshod decisions made by politicians, although they do hold the blame for abiding by those decisions. Those who join a military organization ought to know what they're getting themselves into. They are joining an organization of people whose express purpose is to kill other humans and destroy things at the behest of some lying, forked-tongued vermin that wears a $3,000 business suit. In fact, I think it'd be safe to say that there are two kinds of people who affiliate themselves with an armed force run by politicians; the well-intentioned but deluded (which comprises the vast majority) and murderous psychotics who enjoy killing (a very slim few, but still there, nonetheless). Of course, there are also those who are pressed into service by the draft, but that's still no excuse. Moving out of the country and living elsewhere would be preferable to being shipped half way across the world to kill people you've never met, for a reason you don't fully understand. If you don't agree with that, your sanity should be brought into question.

Contrary to what you might think, I don't blame politicians for war. Rest assured, most of them are commode scum and they do cause a great deal of harm. However, I blame the individuals that allowed themselves to become duped by propaganda they see, read and hear on the radio, the television and public schools. If everyone ignored the commands of politicians, they would become devoid of any potency. I couldn't easily see George Bush Jr. and his entourage of double-speaking cabinet members slinging rifles over their shoulders and flying over to Iraq to duke it out in a firefight with Saddam & Co. Could you? Of course not. It is the belief of each and every ordinary individual that either lends potency to the edicts of lawyers and paper pushers or renders them clawless.

This is a global truth. One that applies to every human, no matter where they live. Troops ARE responsible for war. Don't ever forget that. Holding a position against a war, yet supporting those who carry it out is a keen example of cognitive dissonance. Of course, this brings us to the second possible definition of IATWBISTT. Some statists have implied that what they mean by "support the troops" is "bring them all home safely." That is unarguably noble. I'd rather that no one is killed in any war, regardless of nationality. The only possible way for that to happen is for the involved parties to perform a radically simple procedure. This idea is so spartan in it's simplicity that I cannot understand why no one has thought of it before:

Shut the fuck up and go home.

Seriously. Shut. The fuck. Up. Go home. That's all it takes. You don't have to say anything if you don't want to. Just leave. Go home. Sure, you might face time in the brig, or execution, depending on your geographical location. However, this procedure is best implemented as a group maneuver. All of you. Go home. There isn't much the brass can do on either side if the grunts simply decide to stop fighting. That's all there is to it. Remarkably simple, yet most people seem to have a problem with following it. The ability to shut your mouth and go about your own business is an incredibly undervalued skill. Sadly, it is a skill that many people lack. This is especially so with politicos, whose primary purpose is to meddle in the affairs of other people and incur typically disastrous results.

In conclusion, IATWBISTT doesn't make a lick of sense when used in the context of it's first definition, which is encountered the most frequently. For those of you who use it in the context of the second definition, might I make a suggestion? Simply say,"I hope nobody gets hurt," and leave it at that. For any troops reading this, nationality be damned, I urge you to consider my idea for world peace.

Shut the fuck up and go home.

This work is in the public domain
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Comments

Support Our Constitution
15 May 2006
All troops swear to uphold the Constitution. They don't know what they swear to. If they did? I'm sure Iraq wouldn't be occupied.
The Constitution. The Word.
Let's keep it sacred.
Re: I support the troops, but I'm against the war
16 May 2006
Oh yes, the Constitution. One of the greatest works of fiction ever written. It was a fairly good read, that part about negros being three-fifths of a person was hilarious.
They just don't write good fiction like that anymore.
Re: I support the troops, but I'm against the war
17 May 2006
STFU and stay at home. This is not news. Post something intelligent!