Thursday, November 29, 2007

In order to support the troops, you have to have an inkling of an idea of what's happening to them.

I have to say, this was a jaw-dropper when I read it this morning. Raphael Alexander may be one of the saner members of the right-blogosphere but this little piece indicates a level of intentionally erected insulation or, as Red Tory in CC comments calls it, willful obduracy. (Emphasis mine)
One could write it off if it were one or two stories in the media, perhaps even from news sources considered to have a political bias. But more and more lately we are hearing about Iraq war veterans being cheated out of bonuses, compensation, and basic benefits in all forms of the American media. Not too many bloggers have picked up on this story, but it's an important one to tell. The idea that the U.S. is cheating war veterans first caught my attention in October...
This recently past October?!

I would like to remain polite during the writing of this. That will depend on where my mood takes me, however. I have no particular opinion of Raphael's political posture nor do I spend much time reading his blog. Regardless, I am still asking, "Which frigging rock have you been living under, Raphael?"

I was going to provide a list of links from this blog over the past couple of years which highlight the occasions during which the contributors to this blog pointed out the abysmal treatment endured by US troops at the hands of the Bush administration. I've decided not to do that. Look it up using the search function, or perhaps even Google. Do some digging. We have.

I was going to provide links to a plethora of progressive blogs which are relentless in exposing and making public all manner of injustice perpetrated by the Bush administration on US veterans. But why should I? The blogosphere is rife with posts on the subject. You do the work, if it can even be called that. Your new found awareness should provide you with enough curiosity to expose a litany of horrors with a few keywords in a search engine.

There's more. We have also been very vocal on the problems faced by other troops involved in both Afghanistan and Iraq, notably Canadian and British.

Yet, unlike you Raphael, according to more than one of the Blogging Tories, we don't support the troops. I have personally been harangued by some mouth-breathing cretin who wouldn't know where to find the ejection port cover on a C7 because, in the vacancy that exists between his ears, I am not supporting his beloved troops. I've also watched a few lies in comments as one individual attempted to tell me that he was the Canadian forward air controller responsible for a blue-on-blue US air attack on a Canadian position and that I didn't know what I was talking about. I let that particular dough-head go on believing he had scored a point even though what he purported to be was completely and utterly impossible.

This and thousands of other blogs, Canadian, American, British and beyond, have spent the last few years documenting a stream of injustice perpetrated on the troops by American, Canadian and British governments. From inadequate medical care and misappropriated pay and allowances to equipment that simply doesn't pass muster, the progressive blogosphere has been jumping on each and every instance.

But, apparently, we don't support the troops.

Then you come along, two years out of sync, sporting your little yellow "support the troops" fridge magnet to tell us about the latest Bush atrocity committed on his own armed forces as though it's something new and revealing. There's a lot telling in that.

Look up some of the following items:

- Walter Reed

- Extended deployments

- Day short rotations

- Loss of combat allowance due to being wounded in action

- Involuntary extension of enlistments by implementing "Stop Loss"

- Troops forced to buy their own body armour

- Families forced to pay for lost or damaged equipment of sons and daughters killed in action

- Failure to treat PTSD

Just to name a few of the subjects which the progressive blogosphere pounds on and all of which occurred before you noticed something wrong this recently past October.

But we don't support the troops, because we don't display some stupid depiction of a fridge magnet.

Let me put a lie to that.

I was one of the troops. I spent a whole, very long career as a member of either the British or Canadian Forces and served on exchange with US forces. It's impossible for me not to support the troops. They're my people. And I won't insult any of them with a fridge magnet.

As you are just now becoming aware of the treatment troops receive at the hands of the Bush administration, the progressive blogosphere has been vociferously attacking every injustice against those people that passes our eyes. All the while a palpable silence on those subjects has been evident amongst the Bush and Harper cargo cultures.

So, to repeat Canadian Cynic's words, we really do have the situation under control on this side of the aisle. In fact, it is the progressive blogosphere which has been supporting the troops all along by pointing out every occasion when government has fucked them over.

I suppose we're expected to thank you, that "centre-right" element of the blogosphere, for suddenly waking up and noticing that returning veterans are being treated as some form of waste product by the government which committed them to combat. That isn't going to happen.

No, Raphael, you came along late in the game. Earn your own stripes. They come with a cost. Some of the targets of any expressed outrage will eventually have to be some of the politicians you so admire. Ready to take them on?

If you are, then watch out for the booby traps. If you're not, then please feel free to going back to admiring the little yellow fridge magnet with our blessing.

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