Friday, June 1, 2007

Back on the Job "Supporting the Troops," my way

Hi Newshackers,

I'm back on the job as of today, June 1st. By the time I had this space well under way in late April, I needed to take a breath mentally, meet my commitments to other causes, and do some money-making work. This evolved into taking May off.

I almost posted over the Memorial Day weekend because I was really depressed about the Democratic leadership caving in to Bush's demands on the funding of the Iraq war. There was so much patriotic sounding bullshit about "supporting the troops" being intoned in Big Media news outlets by Democrats and Republicans that I was really annoyed at both parties.

This idea that Bush and the Republicans are supporting the troops by insuring they have the means to prosecute the war is among the most cynical of political ploys. Almost as cynical is the Democratic leadership's claim to be "supporting the troops," while caving in to Bush's demands for a blank check, even though they know that those who elected them did so expressly to end the war.

The way politicians use "Supporting The Troops" to pull on the heart strings of their constituents and generate uncritical media coverage is repellent. It works primarily because most civilians, who have never done military service, presupose that troops in the field are sitting around questioning the justness or validity of the war they're in. That they will be depressed and feel betrayed by what politicians and pundits say.

That's too abstract for the battlefield. They're too busy not getting killed or maimed to think much about what politicians or peace activists are saying "back in the world." They are totally focused on the here and now and covering their buddies' backs. "The world" won't matter to them until they leave the combat zone.

If the politicians on both sides of the aisle were really serious about supporting the troops, there are many ways they could do so besides stopping the Iraq War, which Bush won't do and the Democrats don't yet have enough votes to push through the Congress and bypass a Bush veto.

Among these needed improvements are: provide soldiers with the best vehicle and body armor available (Israeli "Dragon Skin" not U.S. military issue); fully fund the military medical corps and Veterans Administration to provide for the needs of war casualties and their families; pay soldiers enough so their families don't need to depend on food stamps to get by; and many, many more.

I have been saving emails, posts, etc., about media-related topics, and I'll be posting my current concerns over the next few days. I expect to be checking in daily from now on.


/Dick Jones

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