support the troops?

If I could ban one phrase from the American lexicon, it would be: “But I support the troops.” It’s shorthand for “I don’t support this war, but I also don’t want a bunch of Americans to die.” Well, who in this country does want a bunch of Americans to die? (I’m excluding members of any al-Qaeda sleeper cells here.) It’s silly that people feel they have to say it.
The whole reason for the phrase is the idea that in Vietnam, the general public somehow didn’t support the troops — that opposition to that war wasn’t against policies in Washington, but somehow against actual soldiers. The tale this always comes back to involves soldiers getting spit on when they returned home from the front lines.
Too bad it’s not even true.

7 thoughts on “support the troops?”

  1. any second now, someone’s going to post “but it DID happen. really. my uncle got spit on when he came back from the war.”

  2. I always suspected those stories were apocryphal -but as the piece states, you can’t prove a negative.
    Still – it did raise a question for me. How much fact-checking is considered “enough” in modern journalism?

  3. Here I go proving Mike right.
    My dad was one of 9 and the only son of age who went to Vietnam instead of Canada (like the rest of his brothers). When he did return, he was treated very badly by the people who should have supported him the most, his own family. I always gloss over this fact because it sickens me to know my own family is that disgusting… but it DID happen, and I have 8 corroborating witnesses. (My dad says they spit on him and generally attempted to beat the snot out of him… none of my uncles disagreed with this fact. Actually, most of them attempted to embellish their roles.)

  4. you cant have it both ways…the war is going , protesting it does nobody any good. when did protesting become so sheik? can someone please tell all of these hollyweird losers to shut their traps, WE DONT GIVE A S*IT WHAT A BUNCH OF RICH, OUT OF TOUCH, M*F’S THINK ABOUT WAR….at least i don’t.

  5. mike, you need to take a deep breath. who said celebrities can’t have a valuable opinion? after all, we did elect one as president (don’t tell me you forgot about reagan the ACTOR).
    josh, i think the problem here is the way the media has framed this thing. they consistently characterise the demonstrations as “anti-war” or “support the troops” as if the two thoughts were mutually exclusive.

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