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Support the Troops
June 3, 2003
By John Walker

Support the troops. Heard that one lately?

Of course not. They no longer need our support. They've done their duty as propaganda pawns in a war with no rational justification. George W. Bush has hopped from one of our naval jets to the deck of one of our carriers upon which he strode manfully in front of a sign saying "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" to proclaim that we've more or less pretty much won if not a war at least "The Battle of Baghdad." Thank you troops, couldn't have done it without you.

A soldier died last Thursday - the ninth that week, 31st that month. He was gunned down by somebody we liberated. Do you know that soldier's name? Of course not. He's an afterthought in a phony war that no longer needs any of the bloody-shirt-waving PR his death would have provided in the cause of shutting up the peaceniks and nervous nellies.

Had he died when such a sacrifice would have served the warmongering purposes of the neo-cons and Faux News you would not only have known his name, you would have seen your fill of picture-bites of his hometown, his weeping friends and relatives, and maybe even a few pious expressions of gratitude for the ultimate sacrifice from Bush himself.

But, this soldier died too late for such honors. Too bad - that's show business.

At least those of his comrades who can still stand can come marching home now, heads held high with hearts full of pride in a "Mission Accomplished." (Hopefully they won't notice that the "support" the Republican congress has provided them in their absence includes a $15 billion cut in their veterans benefits over the next ten years.)

But hey, at least they're home! Home at last!

Except they aren't. The 3rd Infantry Division who sucked sand from Kuwait to Baghdad where they became instant Rent-a-Cops are still there - still sucking sand, still being shot at by the liberated, and still dying. Most have been deployed for nine months or more. Nine months: the period of human gestation. Nine months out of lives in which children have been born and not yet held, and loved ones have died without proper farewell, and spouses carry on as virtual single parents beneath the burden of substandard military pay. Nine months is a long time to sit sucking sand and being shot at and being blamed for allowing the destruction of the artifacts of the origins of Civilization.

Of course Donald Rumsfeld - law-bending CEO-cum-Secretary of Offense - is sending reinforcements. Reinforcements, mind you, not replacements. It seems we're all of a sudden stretched a bit tight sniper-fodderwise. How are we to hold back the tide of angry Muslim societal chaos sufficiently long enough to pump oil and, at the same time, have enough kickass left to spank Iran (or Syria, or al-Qaeda, or Kim Il, or whomever else the Socktucker neo-con war ninnies deem worthy of our belligerent, pre-emptive attention)?

Solution simple: Leave the 3rd Infantry in-country. Let them eat MRE. They're damned lucky it isn't Spam.

Word has it that morale is not so hot these days among the troops who received so much of our generous, unqualified support when the reporters were embedded and the cameras were rolling. Now they want to come home. What a bunch of sniveling ingrates! Did they think they signed up for the Cub Scouts? Obviously all that support went to their heads.

John Walker is an unemployed Web developer and freelance writer in Denver.

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