Number 340 brings us to the top of the Bass Ackwards category in the entries. Written by someone named Andi (no relation) it says,
“I appreciate all that the military does for us b/c I could never do that kind of a job. I am a wuss! Not everyone will agree as to why our troops are in Iraq but that doesn't matter. The point is, they are there! Support what they do anyway! They didn't volunteer to go over there!”
Ummmm, yah, they actually did volunteer to go over there. While there may still be a draft board, there is not, as far as I know, a draft anymore. Therefore, anyone who is in the military had to sign up for the job or ‘volunteer’, to be there.
As far as the rest of her statement is concerned it is all a little baffling. The fact that you would never do that kind of job because you are “a wuss” pretty much means that you do not believe in what is going on enough to actually fight for it, making you a conscientious objector. (Maybe not by the military’s definition of it, but still…) However, asking me to “support them anyway” just doesn’t make sense at all, because I do not support them in what they are doing, because I don’t agree with it. That’s like saying, I don’t agree with people killing baby seals, but they are doing it, so they deserve our support. It is counterproductive. It DOES matter whether or not we agree with why our troops are in Iraq. Not only does it matter whether or not we agree, but it matters that, by there presence and participation, the soldiers also agree, either explicitly or implicitly with what they are doing there. For them to say otherwise is a bullshit cop-out.
The fact is that it is voluntary. Being in the military is a job that you have to sign up for. Whether you agree with what goes on or not, you chose to be there. I have friends in the military, but I hope that they knew what they were getting into when they signed up. For anyone who doesn’t then they are truly ‘just doing their job’ much like a much maligned military of the past who just followed orders—probably after having responded to an ad offering to “show them the real Europe”—but whatever. The point here is that the military is a job. You sign up for it, you perform duties, they pay you for it. And like any other job, you know what you are getting into. You have to ask yourself, do I really want to do that in exchange for money? For example, if someone says to you, “Hey I have a little shop on the edge of town where we make soap out of human fat that we render after killing bad people.” you have some options at that point. You can say either A: “No, that is gross and illegal, I am calling the cops.” B: “I’ll have to think about it.” or C: “How much does it pay?”
All in all you have options. Going into the military is much the same deal. You have to know going in that you may be asked to kill someone. You have to know that you may be killed yourself. You have to know about collateral damage. All of that goes into your decision to do what you do. The way the military stays staffed is that everyone has their price. You are either in it for the money, or you truly believe in the ideals. Either way there can be no separation between the government and the soldiers. Because, by signing up for military service, you are agreeing to do whatever they send you to do, be it fighting in Iraq, Iran, or wherever the next hot zone happens to be.
I am concerned about people who say they support the troops but not Bush, or the government, or whatever, because it seems to me they are just trying to place the blame anywhere but on themselves, their friends, or their family. Those in the military, i.e. the troops, have entered into an agreement to do—for better or for worse—what Bush and the government decide they want them to do. If they truly disagreed with what they were doing, or where they had to do it, they wouldn’t sign up in the first place, would they?
I know that all of this seems cranky and long-winded, and for that I am sorry. All I really want is for people to examine the world around them more closely, think before they act and speak, and most of all, take responsibility for your actions. But above all I want everyone to remember that all of this—everything I have said, everything I have quoted, and everything said by anybody in the group that dislikes the troops—is only a collection of words. Something to be pondered, considered, rejected, or accepted. And for those of you who have made it this far, I thank you for considering what I have had to say. Take what you like from it, dismiss the rest, but above all form your own opinion. Think for yourself. Follow what you truly believe in your head and your heart and you will never be wrong. Because in the end, we’re—every one of us--just different, that’s all.