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Those Who Say "I Support the Troops" Should Just Stop


January 4, 2013
Michael Moore, Open Mike / Michael Moore.com

Commentary: "I don't support the troops, America, and neither do you. I am tired of the ruse we are playing on these brave citizens in our armed forces. And guess what -- a lot of these soldiers and sailors and airmen and Marines see right through the bull**** of those words, "I support the troops!," spoken by Americans with such false sincerity -- false because our actions don't match our words."

http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mike-friends-blog/those-who-say-i-support-troops-really-dont

(January 4, 2013) -- I don't support the troops, America, and neither do you. I am tired of the ruse we are playing on these brave citizens in our armed forces. And guess what -- a lot of these soldiers and sailors and airmen and Marines see right through the bull**** of those words, "I support the troops!," spoken by Americans with such false sincerity -- false because our actions don't match our words. These young men and women sign up to risk their very lives to protect us -- and this is what they get in return:

1. They get sent off to wars that have NOTHING to do with defending America or saving our lives. They are used as pawns so that the military-industrial complex can make billions of dollars and the rich here can expand their empire. By "supporting the troops," that means I'm supposed to shut up, don't ask questions, do nothing to stop the madness, and sit by and watch thousands of them die?

Well, I've done an awful lot to try and end this. But the only way you can honestly say you support the troops is to work night and day to get them out of these hell holes they've been sent to. And what have I done this week to bring the troops home? Nothing. So if I say "I support the troops," don't believe me -- I clearly don't support the troops because I've got more important things to do today, like return an iPhone that doesn't work and take my car in for a tune up.

2. While the troops we claim to "support" are serving their country, bankers who say they too "support the troops," foreclose on the actual homes of these soldiers and evict their families while they are overseas! Have I gone and stood in front of the sheriff's deputy as he is throwing a military family out of their home? No. And there's your proof that I don't "support the troops," because if I did, I would organize mass sit-ins to block the doors of these homes. Instead, I'm having Chilean sea bass tonight.

3. How many of you who say you "support the troops" have visited a VA hospital to bring aid and comfort to the sick and wounded? I haven't. How many of you have any clue what it's like to deal with the VA? I don't. Therefore, you would be safe to say that I don't "support the troops," and neither do you.

4. Who amongst you big enthusiastic "supporters of the troops" can tell me the approximate number of service women who have been raped while in the military? Answer: 19,000 (mostly) female troops are raped or sexually assaulted every year by fellow American troops.

What have you or I done to bring these criminals to justice? What's that you say -- out of sight, out of mind? These women have suffered, and I've done nothing. So don't ever let me get away with telling you I "support the troops" because, sadly, I don't. And neither do you.

5. Help a homeless vet today? How 'bout yesterday? Last week? Last year? Ever? But I thought you "support the troops!"? The number of homeless veterans is staggering -- on any given night, at least 60,000 veterans are sleeping on the streets of the country that proudly "supports the troops."

This is disgraceful and shameful, isn't it? And it exposes all those "troop supporters" who always vote against social programs that would help these veterans. Tonight there are at least 12,700 Iraq/Afghanistan veterans homeless and sleeping on the street. I've never lent a helping hand to one of the many vets I've seen sleeping on the street. I can't bear to look, and I walk past them very quickly. That's called not "supporting the troops," which, I guess, I don't -- and neither do you.

6. And you know, the beautiful thing about all this "support" you and I have been giving the troops -- they feel this love and support so much, a record number of them are killing themselves every single week. In fact, there are now more soldiers killing themselves than soldiers being killed in combat (323 suicides in 2012 through November vs. about 210 combat deaths).

Yes, you are more likely to die by your own hand in the United States military than by al Qaeda or the Taliban. And an estimated eighteen veterans kill themselves each day, or one in five of all U.S. suicides -- though no one really knows because we don't bother to keep track. Now, that's what I call support! These troops are really feeling the love, people!

Lemme hear you say it again: "I support the troops!" Louder! "I SUPPORT THE TROOPS!!" There, that's better. I'm sure they heard us. Don't forget to fly our flag, wear your flag lapel pin, and never, ever let a service member pass you by without saying, "Thank you for your service!" I'm sure that's all they need to keep from putting a bullet in their heads. Do your best to keep your "support" up for the troops because, God knows, I certainly can't any longer.

I don't "support the troops" or any of those other hollow and hypocritical platitudes uttered by Republicans and frightened Democrats. Here's what I do support: I support them coming home. I support them being treated well. I support peace, and I beg any young person reading this who's thinking of joining the armed forces to please reconsider.

Our war department has done little to show you they won't recklessly put your young life in harm's way for a cause that has nothing to do with what you signed up for. They will not help you once they've used you and spit you back into society.

If you're a woman, they will not protect you from rapists in their ranks. And because you have a conscience and you know right from wrong, you do not want yourself being used to kill civilians in other countries who never did anything to hurt us.

We are currently involved in at least a half-dozen military actions around the world. Don't become the next statistic so that General Electric can post another record profit -- while paying no taxes -- taxes that otherwise would be paying for the artificial leg that they've kept you waiting for months to receive.

I support you, and will try to do more to be there for you. And the best way you can support me -- and the ideals our country says it believes in -- is to get out of the military as soon as you can and never look back.

And please, next time some "supporter of the troops" says to you with that concerned look on their face, "I thank you for your service," you have my permission to punch their lights out (figuratively speaking, of course).

(There is something I've done to support the troops -- other than help lead the effort to stop these senseless wars. At the movie theater I run in Michigan, I became the first person in town to institute an affirmative action plan for hiring returning Iraq/Afghanistan vets. I am working to get more businesses in town to join with me in this effort to find jobs for these returning soldiers. I also let all service members in to the movies for free, everyday.)

A selection of the growing number of comments on this essay. The complete discussion continues online.
ThinkRodan 2013-01-04 08:16
The so-called VOLUNTEER ARMY is unequally staffed by poor & minority personnel. It was created to save the RICH KIDS from doing their share of the sacrifice in "service to our country"! They profit while others lose life and limb and are POORLY TREATED when they return home with broken bodies,minds and desperate financial affairs! Where is the SHARED SACRIFICE in this arrangement?

edge 2013-01-04 09:01
Quoting ThinkRodan:
The so-called VOLUNTEER ARMY is unequally staffed by poor & minority personnel. It was created to save the RICH KIDS from doing their share of the sacrifice in "service to our country"! They profit while others lose life and limb and are POORLY TREATED when they return home with broken bodies,minds and desperate financial affairs! Where is the SHARED SACRIFICE in this arrangement?

YOU ARE DEAD WRONG!!!
Personally I have two WHITE nephews currently serving. One in Afghanistan right now!

The all volunteer is because it takes too long and too much money to train a soldier these days. With all of the technology involved you would always have new recruits that don't know how everything works and training new people is much more expensive than keeping trained people around.

RLF 2013-01-04 11:13
Thank god some one finally said it. I'm soo tired of the empty bullshit on oall of the politician's lips. We've got to get our military down to a size we can drown it in a bathtub!

NormRichardson 2013-01-04 11:24
The "All volunteer Army" was created by Richard Nixon To keep the offspring's of the wealthy safe at home and he nearly doubled the military pay to get enough volunteer's. Does that sound like something a republican would do If they were not desperate? Your nephew's don't make you an expert, they are both brain washed as are all the other enlisted personnel.

womyn 2013-01-04 11:27
Uncle, mark my words:
Tragically, your two nephews, gullible victims of propaganda created by the WAR MACHINE who voluntarily joined the military, will return home, if they do, as broken men, perhaps limb-less, certainly with PTSD and depression for the rest of their lives. Or they may join the shamefully high statistics of Vets who commit suicide, commits murder, or ends up homeless on the streets.
This is how the US takes care of its veterans. Don't forget
Agent Orange and how the US government lied, deceived and turned their backs away from countless thousands of Viet Nam Vets who greatly suffered the effects.

Billsy 2013-01-04 11:40
What do you have to say about the number of returning vets suffering from PTSD? The human mind is much to fragile to tolerate extended (years) tours of duty. I hope you don't have to bury your nephews after their suicides. It's sadly all to common today. btw, I'm one of the last americans drafted into service (1972) and serve as a volunteer at the san francisco VA. The all volunteer army came about in 1974 in response to public denunciation of the vietnam war. The quality of volunteers was noticeably low in terms of intelligence and socialization. It wasn't until the stagflation of the late 1970s and the dismal economy under Reagan, that young men and women desperate for work looked toward the armed forces for employment. So, aside from sharing some anecdotal information about your 'white nephews" what are you doing to support the troops?

Roxanne 2013-01-04 12:10
When some people have little to say or substance they try to make the conversation into a "racial" issue, especially if they are like Mr. Moore, who is always one-sided and feels his views are accurate an intelligent, when they are not! Far too "left" Mr. Moore

Misguided Uncle, read this:
Suicides Outnumber Battle Deaths in the Armed Services
S.E. Smith, Care2: Approxim ately every 80 minutes, a US military veteran commits suicide in the United States; for Iraq and Afghanistan, the numbers of veterans lost to suicide now outstrips casualty lists of those killed in action.
Read the Article
http://truth-out.org/news/item/13702-suicides-outnumber-battle-deaths-in-the-armed-services

Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-01-04 09:42
George Bernard Shaw has passed away. But his words still ring true. "The longer I'm here the more I think this planet is used by other planets as an asylum for the insane."

Robt Eagle 2013-01-04 09:44
ThinkRodan: Absolutely mis-information . see page 8 of the following report for the reality of troop breakdown by race: http://s3.amazonaws.com/thf_media/2008/pdf/cda08-05.pdf

Billsy 2013-01-04 11:41
Stick to subject please. What are YOU doing to support the troops?

bmiluski 2013-01-04 10:45
Yeah.....the very same thing was said during the VN draft.
Hmmm, I didn't know that Joe Biden's son was a poor minority.

KrazyFromPolitics 2013-01-04 08:17
I'm glad someone finally said this in a public forum, and especially, the reminder about the form of support rendered by bankers.

DLT888 2013-01-04 08:50
Me, too. Thank you for saying this out loud, Michael Moore! I remember the first fight I got into when we attacked Iraq. I was driving through a street that was anti-war on one side and pro-side on another. The pro-side (OLD WHITE MEN!!!) yelled into my car to Support the Troops. I yelled back that I DID support the troops because I believed they should NOT killed just to gain oil rights! I told him if he thought they should, then HE didn't support the troops! He actually shut up completely for several minutes.

Grout4cake 2013-01-04 08:17
Wow, let's cut through the crap- how many of our troops would go and fight if they weren't paid?
Lets say they just got uniforms, guns and food.
Certainly not enough to even begin to occupy Afghanistan or any of the other 130 bases around the world the empire governs for corporations .
So lets call the troops what they are- mercenaries for global capital

# jon 2013-01-04 08:49
Quoting Grout4cake:
Wow, let's cut through the crap- how many of our troops would go and fight if they weren't paid?
Lets say they just got uniforms, guns and food.
Certainly not enough to even begin to occupy Afghanistan or any of the other 130 bases around the world the empire governs for corporations.

So lets call the troops what they are- mercenaries for global capital

If you define mercenaries as those who can't find a job because they have all been sent overseas, and the military is the only alternative to absolutely nothing, then yes, they are mercenaries.

BUT, I don't define them as mercenaries. I define them as disenfranchised poor people who have been propagandized out of their presence of mind by too many "Rah-Rah" war movies.

Support Our Troops by bringing them HOME.
Michael has never been more correct than he is with this essay.

Grout4cake 2013-01-04 10:14
"If you define mercenaries as those who can't find a job because they have all been sent overseas, and the military is the only alternative to absolutely nothing, then yes, they are mercenaries."

It is time we need to recognize the mercenary nature of the military and quit all the hypocrisy about freedom, democracy etc.Those words are a cover that legitimizes the violence and destruction that the U.S. metes out daily in order to advance so called capitalism( in reality taxpayer subsidy of the top 1%)Violence and destruction delivered through the "job"of being a soldier.
I am not against self defense,in fact soldiers who would protect our country under attack would do so because they love our country and its people, not in order to gain a monthly salary, benefits,career advancement or college degrees.However Our country has not been under military attack from an outside force for more than 60 years, instead we have wantonly destroyed, maimed and murdered millions globally.Perhap s if instead of taking the "job" of killing. (why are soldiers different than working for the Mafia , thats a paid killer too) people who become soldiers would apply themselves to uniting in order to create a future of safety and hope for all people,our country would not rest so uneasily.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

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