Exploit the troops, it’s the “American” way

November 29, 2007 | Filed Under War 

As I was perusing the Internet for the latest gems of American culture, I found an article that highlighted a member of the U.S. military who was offended by John McCain’s position at the debate. I’ve seen McCain say the same thing in the past, he’s been on the Daily Show before and uses the “troops don’t want to lose” argument. It’s pretty despicable, I know he served our country but he doesn’t speak for the troops. In fact, the troops are speaking with their wallets and giving all of their cash to the anti-War candidates, including Ron Paul, Barack Obama and the rest of the Democrats. So next time John McCain wants to exploit the soldiers the way President Bush does, he might think twice before letting loose his “support the troops” bombs.

Below are some select i-reporter answers from the post-CNN debate by relevant parties:

anon from WA says the don’t ask, don’t tell policy is no good, the morale argument is a cop out

I am a lieutenant in the U.S. Army. I served as a platoon leader, and am now working at the battalion level and am about to make the rank of captain. I ask that you not use my name because I am active duty. In response to the candidates’ remarks on gays in the military, not a single one will get my vote. Sen. McCain said he has talked to the leaders in the Army, the generals.

These are not the people to talk to on this issue; the people to talk to are the lieutenants, the captains and the sergeants. They are the ones who serve with these soldiers. They are the ones who see how these soldiers serve. Openly gay soldiers should not be discriminated against. They do not damage morale; they do not damage the ability of a unit to fight. Years ago, the ability of women to fight was questioned, yet now we are in a war where there is no battle line, everywhere is the front line. I’ve lost friends both on the FOB and outside, both men AND women.

Jeff Stevens of Peekskill, New York – United States Army offended by John McCain’s ‘troops want to win’ propaganda.

As a member of the U.S. Army, it greatly offends me to hear John McCain say things like “Our troops want to finish the job.” I have never in my few years as a young Soldier in both an active duty and reserve component heard anyone say such things. It is a soldier’s job to be neutral and fulfill the duties that the American people task us with. I think it is wrong to fool the American people into thinking that soldiers actually enjoy the brutal environment in Iraq and wish to stay there.

Stephen Farley of San Francisco, California referring to the man who wanted equal treatment for gays in the military.

The bravery of the brigadier general in the audience was the highlight of the evening.

Despite my annoyance with John McCain exploiting “the troops” ™, he did do one great service to America. He has taken a strong stance against torture, waterboarding and showed his disgust with the pussyfooting by various Republicans on whether or not waterboarding constitutes torture. Good for him, if not for that strong bit of character I’d have him in the Rudy Giuliani basket (aka loser). Below is another comment that is relevant to this matter.

Frank Richmond of Wichita, Kansas
I’m amazed to hear all these well-fed people who have never felt any pain talking about what is or isn’t torture. If you kicked in any of these candidates’ doors, dragged them out of bed naked, threw them in a cell for a few days, then tied them upside down to a board with a wet towel around their head and started hosing them down, they would think it was torture.

They might think it’s necessary on occasion, but at least be man enough to call it what it is.

Being honest about difficult policy issues isn’t their forte, sorry to say. Over the last decade, it’s been all about how our politicians could exploit the troops for political gain then turn around and leave them to drown, pardon the pun. How many veterans are homeless, suffer from mental illness, have experienced divorce and broken families as a result of our military abuse? Bush isn’t the first president to exploit them, but he’s certainly been the most blatant with it and he’s been downright shameless.

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