So I was driving to work listening to Morning Edition on NPR yesterday (or, now, the day before), and on came a story about homeless veterans. This story touched my outrage button.
Before I begin, let me lay out my philosophy towards the military. I have the utmost respect for the individual men and women of the armed forces. They do a job that I most likely could not handle emotionally, and they do it well.
However, I often disagree with the decisions made at a higher level. For instance, claiming that Saddam Hussein was one of the masterminds behind the attacks of September 11th, 2001 (a claim which the administration is now backpedaling from) and then sending troops to invade was, in my opinion, a dumb move. I still support the troops who did the job — again, something I could probably not handle — I just think the job should never have been done in the first place.
So, given that, I think that it’s incredibly hypocritical that politicians and such who wrap themselves in the flag and beat the drums of ‘patriotism’ turn their backs on the troops and don’t shed a tear or bat an eye when something like this occurs.
Examples? We have:
- An attempt to cut troops’ pay by 20%
- Draft avoidance by several prominent conservatives, all of whom seem to advocate the war on Iraq
- The above-mentioned story about how, once they’re back from service, military veterans are often left to the streets without assistance.
Can someone please explain to me how it can be that dissent hurts the troops but cutting pay, disdaining the same job one asks them to do, and leaving them homeless shores them up?
I really wish more folks would seek out news beyond their TV or the front page of the local paper. Or that the ‘mainstream media’ (which according to this Guardian article acts more like semi-official propoganda than the check and balance against the government that it used to be) were a bit more probing and dug deeper, for more of the story.
I can only chalk up this abandonment of the troops up to hypocrisy; I wish more people knew about it and understood the mindset behind it — it’s a conservative philosophy, not a small set of anomalies.
Anyhow — enough rant for now.