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Sun Dec 30, 2012, 11:57 PM

The point of public relations slogans like "Support our troops" is that they don't mean anything...



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Reply The point of public relations slogans like "Support our troops" is that they don't mean anything... (Original post)
Turborama Dec 2012 OP
samsingh Dec 2012 #1
OffWithTheirHeads Dec 2012 #2
TwilightGardener Dec 2012 #3
Squinch Dec 2012 #4
Solly Mack Dec 2012 #5
6502 Dec 2012 #6
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #8
Turborama Dec 2012 #17
6502 Dec 2012 #18
Turborama Dec 2012 #22
6502 Jan 2013 #31
Turborama Jan 2013 #36
Flabbergasted Dec 2012 #10
obamanut2012 Jan 2013 #33
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #7
BanTheGOP Dec 2012 #9
DissidentVoice Dec 2012 #15
BanTheGOP Dec 2012 #23
DissidentVoice Dec 2012 #30
SheilaT Dec 2012 #11
Scuba Dec 2012 #19
Taverner Dec 2012 #12
DissidentVoice Dec 2012 #16
Amonester Dec 2012 #13
tavalon Dec 2012 #14
AngryOldDem Dec 2012 #20
Capt. Obvious Dec 2012 #21
maxsolomon Dec 2012 #24
meow2u3 Dec 2012 #25
fadedrose Dec 2012 #26
tj_crackersnatch Dec 2012 #27
gulliver Dec 2012 #28
DollarBillHines Dec 2012 #29
DirkGently Jan 2013 #32
Owl Jan 2013 #35
whatchamacallit Jan 2013 #34
Turborama Jan 2013 #37

Response to Turborama (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 12:06 AM

1. they are especially meaningless when spoken by the repugs

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 12:08 AM

2. Should be "support our cannonfodder for our corporate masters"

Cause they are fighting for our "freedom" to let multinational corporations exploit the resources of far off lands. And that's it in a nutshell!

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 12:10 AM

3. Can't argue with that.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 12:32 AM

4. Those ribbons make me a little nuts, and especially used to make me nuts in the early

parts of the Iraq and Afghan wars when we were not providing the soldiers with sufficient body armor. The decent body armor would cost $50 for each soldier, but INSTEAD Americans were spending truckloads of money on Chinese novelty car magnets that said, "support our troops."

Ugh.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 12:33 AM

5. K&R

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 01:20 AM

6. I does mean something....

... it means that we will not turn our back on our military people when they come home LIKE WE DID AFTER VIETNAM.

Those were our young ones sent on orders fight.
The ones who sent them got to point their fingers at those returning from war.
And we joined in.

Those young ones returning were broken.
Needed just a hug and a cup of coffee and help getting back into society.

And we ground them up to blame them for the Vietnam war.
But it was the government that sent them.

And we didn't go after them.

The slogan means something very important:

We understand that the soldiers fight on the command of the government.
It's their job.
We know that the soldiers NEVER choose the war.
It's the government that ALWAYS chooses the war.

So, if we're pissed, we don't yell at the soldier...
... We know to go and yell at the government.

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Response to 6502 (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 01:34 AM

8. The country *is* writing them off. Slogans don't mean shit unless backed up with actions.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 04:15 AM

17. Shame some posters still don't see beyond the headlines

And don't actually read and reflect on the body of OPs.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 04:35 AM

18. Hmmm... maybe if I might add...

I think I see what you might be trying to say:

The slogan has changed how THE PUBLIC views and treats soldiers.

Vietnam War era vets: Our behavior against them was shameful... those young folks suffered so much and we were so cruel. Many of us will be made to pass time in Hell for things we said and done in that time...


Post Vietnam War era vets: We don't blame them and we totally want to help with their healthcare and other stuff and helping them get back into society.


The issue I imagine that you seem to have is that THE GOVERNMENT has not caught up with this PUBLIC sentiment.

There were of course may reports of the under-funding of VA hospitals and different kinds of VA services for physical and mental health services and such. I remember those during the Bush years.

It could be argued then that THE GOVERNMENT has not kept pace with THE PUBLIC's sentiment on this issue.

Of course, that could be said about everything from Voting Rights for Women to The Civil Rights legislation.

But, that being said, that would suggest that we are in a good situation here: As in the two other situations above, once a certain tipping point is reached, GOVERNMENT moves in the direction of the PUBLIC.

Case in point: LGBT Equality Rights.

My recommendations are as follows:

(1) Get rid of that JPG. It takes a single statement of Chomsky and presents it without context.
(2) Get rid of that JPG. It does not present a "call to action" or "solution path" of any kind. It only serves to stir up emotions without any purpose.
(3) Create a new JPG that makes it clear that the PUBLIC long since moved to accept providing for veterans is the obvious duty of us as Americans and that the GOVERNMENT should do so as well.
(4) List in that JPG a FEW key points where the GOVERNMENT missed and how those could be fixed --- but make them only as suggestions for STARTING POINTS in the discussion.


The LGBT community kept at this for decades.
Over time we came to find out that some of our friends were LGBT.
Then I found out my uncle was.
Then an aunt (she always seemed to come to BBQs with the same lady friend... it was her girlfriend... all those years).
And so on.
And when the public's position hit a critical mass... local governments changed... and then Federal.

Sorry, I can't help with JPG.
My vision is not particularly sharp and I am not an artist.
But, it's obvious from all the JPGs with slogans I see flying around that you folks know how to do it.

Make it happen.

The good news (heck, great news) is that you already have the majority of Americans on your side already. They are just chomping at the bit to rush in and support something that makes the government live up to the commitments at the level they have come to envision.

But, let's be clear about your current JPG:

* Random image of soldiers.
* Random quote by Chomsky with no context.

Result:

* People are pissed, but they don't know why (never directly stated)
* Nobody knows what you meant.
* Nobody cares.
* Definitely nobody does anything to try to fix anything.
(What was wrong was never stated nor were any solutions).

That is a formula for FAIL, I'm afraid.

But, if you make the right message, it will be a big meme in America.
And, heck, if it catches on here with lots of Americans really pushing for helping their vets, and if the world sees it, other countries will take the same JPG, translate it, if necessary, then use it in their own societies.

Major positive feedback loop.

Anyway...
... that's it.

Fix the JPG.
Save the world.

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Response to 6502 (Reply #18)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 02:07 PM

22. No context?

Do you really need to be spoon fed the "context" of what he said?

"Either you're with us, or you're against us!"

Will that do?

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Response to Turborama (Reply #22)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 07:28 PM

31. Yes: "No context"? (And no... your response wont do...)

I was generous with you before by not forcing you to explain your position and offering a possible rationalization for your originally short and inadequate reply to my comment.

But, you obviously did not realize that I was "throwing you a bone" so that you could say simply "Yes! That's it!" or "No. That's not... let me explain what I really meant."

But you chose to not explain your message.

Then you chose to go on to to insult my intelligence...
You used the common English expression "Do you really need to be spoon fed..." which is another way of calling someone "stupid".

That is out of line.

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Response to 6502 (Reply #31)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 12:56 AM

36. You weren't replying to me

And the message I shared in the OP is Chomsky's not mine.

The "context" of what he said is obvious.

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Response to 6502 (Reply #6)


Response to 6502 (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 07:32 PM

33. The Gov't has turned their backs on our vets as always

And, our active service members... as always.

This is nationalistic propaganda. as it has always been.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 01:31 AM

7. kr. ditto for magnetic yellow ribbons made in china & all the rest of that crap. it's just crap,

 

a signifier of personal 'identity,' it doesn't affect anything and doesn't accomplish anything.

americans have been so brainwashed into the ethos of 'shopping for change' it's all they know how to do anymore, display empty signifiers.

'shopping for change' is just another way for corporations to make more money while giving small feel-good charitable donations that don't change the status quo & getting a tax write-off for them. Plus some good PR.

Charity is a corrupt racket.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 01:41 AM

9. The Military is 100% VOLUNTARY.

 

The reason I post this is because there is NO NEED for ANYONE to join the military. If they are smart enough to join the military in the first place, then they are smart enough to actually get real jobs elsewhere. Even though the Reagan/Bush economy is in the crapper, there is no reason to join the military. IF more people would turn it down, then the military would HAVE to adjust to the fact that, hey, we DON'T need all these billion and trillion dollar programs to destroy the planet through bombing, shooting, and land-mining. We DON'T need to create Ronald Ray-Gun military hardware, and instead use the peace dividend to create wind generators and solar power.

The bottom line: If we REFUSE to join the military, then it will force the government to force us to join, which will be impossible with a progressive presidency and congress, or to actually adjust our diplomatic efforts to actually work with other countries through peaceful, progressive manners.

The only ones losing out are the rethugs and their military industrial complex Halliburton heathers. And THAT'S one huge victory!

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Response to BanTheGOP (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 02:38 AM

15. It is voluntary, but not once you're in

Once you raise your right hand and take your oath, your life is not your own any more.

I still remember my first night of Basic Training at Lackland AFB, Texas. It was the "Full Metal Jacket" stereotype, except that the Military Training Instructors aren't allowed to hit you, lay hands on you, etc. Oh, they'd threaten to, but it was a big line of bullshit.

You may feel that there is no need for anyone to join the military. There are a hell of a lot of veterans, like myself, who will dispute that.

I was in the Air National Guard. 100% of the air defence of the CONUS is entrusted to the Guard. The Guard makes up the lion's share of NORAD, along with the Royal Canadian Air Force.

I'm no hero. I wore stripes, showed up, did what I was told, got a few pats on the back/ribbons for my chest and a piece of paper that said "honorable discharge."

Personally, I resent someone who claims to be open-minded being so judgemental of another's life choices.

I'm the first one to say that the military is not for everyone, and that there are some recruiters who spout a load of bullshit about how great it is. But I have absolutely no shame for serving, and I will not permit anyone to shame me for serving.

I also fully agree with Ike's warnings about the "military-industrial complex." But, damn it, don't extend the shit that goes on in the military-industrial complex to individual Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coasties.

"Support the troops?" I'm only speaking for myself here, but for someone to say "thank you for serving" is all the "support" I need.

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Response to DissidentVoice (Reply #15)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 04:30 PM

23. That still doesn't address the point

 

I appreciate your service, and your own recognition that even while you served that the military wasn't always on the up and up vis a vis the military-industrial complex (which I have further tweaked and called it the "republican-military-industrial complex").

But today is another day. There is no reason the US needs a standing army that can wipe out the entire planet many times over. THAT task should ONLY be undertaken by an organization that represents ALL people, not just the chosen few from a land in which it was taken through murder and oppression.

I would cede entire control of the US military to the UN, who will undoubtedly use it for more humanitarian efforts across the world, as to help enforce our progressive message, particularly in the United States. But that if for another post. The point is that one can NOT join our current military without understanding, GOING IN, that they are part of an organization that is owned and operated primarily for the interests of the republicanist/corporate agenda. Pure and simple.

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Response to BanTheGOP (Reply #23)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 10:16 PM

30. The point?

A few points of contention:

Ceding military control to the UN...because it just ain't gonna happen. Canada is far more active in UN operations (especially peacekeeping), with a much smaller military, as are smaller, neutral countries like Ireland and Sweden. None of them have ceded control to the UN, nor are they likely to. The UN does not have its own military force, nor is it likely to. It draws upon contributions from member nations, which we have woefully not contributed a lot to. It is not a formal military alliance, like NATO, or does it have historical defence pacts, such as British Commonwealth countries have (UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand).

I would also contest that the UN represents "all people." Not all countries who belong, or have belonged, to the UN are free nations. North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria and China all belong to the UN. None of those are representative democracies. As well, Pinochet's Chile, Fujimori's Peru (both fascist states that we, unfortunately, propped up) and apartheid-era South Africa all belonged to the UN.

Don't misconstrue. I support the UN in a lot of ways, and I think the John Birch Society is cracked in their view of the UN (among other things), but don't make it something it's not.

"Enforce our progressive message?" It seems to me that there is a bit of cognitive dissonance between the terms "enforce" and "progressive." "Enforce" comes off to me much too closely to the failed "Pax Americana." Progressivism, to me, is a free society moving forward through the will of free people who recognise that we need to help one another, and many times the only way to do that is through "government," which has been reviled by the far right.

Understand the republicanist-corporatist agenda by those enlisting? Even with a Democratic President and SECDEF? As I've said elsewhere, some recruiters I've known are bullshit merchants who only want to make their quota. Mine told me, "You can make what you like out of it...a part-time job (I was Air National Guard) for a few years, or a career (after a while, you can apply for Active Guard Reserve positions, which are full-time). Some decide they don't like it and get out after their enlistment and others make a 20+ year career out of it."

I don't know how it is now, but back when I was in the topic of politics was assiduously avoided.

I also have problems with your "ban the GOP" outlook. Banning other parties is more characteristic of a totalitarian state (including those in the GOP who want to "abolish liberalism") than progressivism. I want to beat them too, but I want to do it honestly.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 02:18 AM

11. Here's the thing.

We've had a volunteer military since -- when? the 1980's? The young men currently enlisting were born long after the last draft ended. They enlisted. They had a choice. The pure evil of our wars is not exactly breaking news.

I am genuinely horrified by all the Support Our Troops crap I see everywhere, including here on DU. I do not support the reckless murder of civilians. I do not support our military-industrial complex. I do not support any of this bullshit.

I can respect a person's job choice. There are lots of jobs I wouldn't do, but I'm glad that others will do, such as driving a garbage truck, or teaching six year olds. But killing people? I'm sorry, I don't support that.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #11)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 06:11 AM

19. Nixon ended the draft, knowing that the mothers and fathers of drafted servicemen would protest ...

... the wars, while an "all volunteer" force means less criticism for the war machine.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 02:20 AM

12. Shrug - try telling that to the military worshippers

 

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Response to Taverner (Reply #12)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 02:39 AM

16. It seems that...

...anyone who disagrees with you is a "military worshipper." I call bullshit.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 02:26 AM

13. "Criticizing the President in a time of war is un-patriotic."

"Funny" how fast "they" forgot that one....

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 02:31 AM

14. Great quote

and truer than true.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 06:23 AM

20. It's particularly meaningless when the troops come home.

If this country really supported them, the incidence of homelessness, joblessness, and other issues among vets wouldn't be so goddamned high.

It's easier to tie a yellow ribbon around a tree and sing "I'm Proud to be an American." Anything beyond that is just too much effort.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 06:34 AM

21. After 9-11, many people enlisted

Many more just slapped cheap magnetic ribbons on their cars and started wearing clothes with American flag prints on them.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 04:44 PM

24. It means "Shut Up, Hippie"

It does exactly what Chomsky contends: it shuts down debate of the policy by linking it to the individual soldier who has fuck all to do with it.

Remember, "Support Our Troops" has been with us since Gulf War 1 - 1990! I remember because I had that sticker on the underside of my toilet seat before I moved to this Godless West Coast Bubble of Sanity in 1991.

The DoD is a stimulus & a welfare program rolled into 1 gold-plated ball of eagle shit. Cut it by 2/3 and balance the budget.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 04:50 PM

25. "Support the Troops" is much catchier than "Bow to the Military Industrial Complex"

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 04:54 PM

26. There's more than financial support, which most of us can't do..

The end of putting down veterans of the Viet Nam War and other wars with that phrase, "Support Our Troops," has come. Most of them appreciate your showing you approve of them and their service.

And that approval matters to most of them..

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 04:59 PM

27. support the troops is also better than fuck the troops

Why can't we support them for being Americans who are willing to serve (while losing much of their civil rights in the process) when some of you can't or won't? Somebody's gotta do the job, whether you like it or not.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 05:08 PM

28. They are also good rhetorical gestures.

Platitudes divert attention from the argument subject, but they also divert attention from the character of the person making the argument. That's how people like George W. Bush get to be president. Ten or fifteen "support our troops" platitudes are equal to serving in the armed forces in the minds of a lot of people. It's the thought that counts.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 06:17 PM

29. If possible, I ask them just what THEY are doing to support the troops.

Try it, those people are clueless. It can get pretty hilarious.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 07:31 PM

32. Vague calls for "support" are often propaganda

designed to short-circuit analysis.

Ahem.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #32)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 07:35 PM

35. Yep.

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 07:35 PM

34. Chomsky is 100% correct n/t

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Response to Turborama (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:38 PM

37. Coincidentally, just seen on my FB news feed Michael Moore has been picking up on this issue, too...

I guess I should've assumed that this would happen. For the past three days Fox News and other right wing media have been having a field day with my Facebook post about how the troops "we support" are not really supported but rather used as cannon fodder and then spit out onto the "I-thank-you-fo r-service" street. It was, I thought, a well-reasoned piece about the hollow platitudes we mouth about our troops. when in fact we send them to die in useless wars that have nothing to do with our self-defense. I then pointed out how the suicide rate, homelessness, joblessness, and home foreclosure among service members and veterans is disgraceful. And I asked young people to carefully reconsider if they are thinking about signing up for the armed services.

So how did Fox and company report on this? By taking out of context the words "I don't support the troops" and running stories about how I am attacking the troops. I can see how they might have misconstrued this -- IF THEY HAD ONLY READ THE FIRST FOUR WORDS! Are they that stupid? Illiterate? Professional liars? All three? They tried to whip up a lot of anger amongst soldiers and veterans against me by stating the COMPLETE OPPOSITE of what I wrote.

As you can see from some of the comments here on Facebook, it's clear that either what I wrote was too intellectually complex (doubtful!), or hit to close to the bone of the hypocrisy the right displays when they say they "support the troops" and then do anything but. I know I was speaking some pretty ugly truths about this great country, but the USA will never be great if its citizens are afraid to point out the wrongs done in our name.

AND NOW THIS: A few hours ago, I was sent a notice from Facebook stating that they have received a number of complaints about my post from the haters. Facebook informs me that, by posting my piece on the troops, I "may have violated Facebook policies." They say they are now deciding what to do. Of course, the only thing I violated was the fallacy that America supports its troops. We'll wait and see if young Zuckerberg and company pull down my post or this site.


https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10151172519171857&id=24674986856&refid=7&_ft_=qid.5830168580764638359%3Amf_story_key.4769491049175758872

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