Friday, November 12, 2010

Hypocrisy is not patriotism

So, yesterday I spoke about my distaste for those who disrespect our veterans. But I think I let some people off the hook too easily—politicians.

As bad as it is for ordinary citizens to thumb their noses at our veterans, the treatment our vets receive from our elected officials is exponentially worse.

They like to fuck our military from all sides. It starts with the tough talking, my dick is bigger than yours bullshit. But that doesn't last long before they like to whip it out and inject our troops into far away lands where the objectives are sketchy and the motives unclear. Once they get inside, the action gets really hairy, thanks to a lack of support, inadequate armor and on-the-fly mission changes.

And when our politicians realize they're never going to finish what they started? They still insist on pumping more money and manpower into what is ultimately, an exercise in futility. Which puts more and more lives at risk.

Eventually, they pull out. And decide to treat our returning troops like a used up whore, barely acknowledging their existence and hoping they'll just keep quiet about the whole experience. Gone is the false bravado that led us into war, replaced by empty promises to 'honor our vets". The final shot in the eye comes in the form of inadequate medical care, homelessness and quite often, a lifetime of post-traumatic stress.

The worst part of it all is the hypocrisy. The photo-op patriotism that rears its ugly head each year on Veterans Day (and Memorial Day and any other day there's a spare soldier around for a quick picture).

Instead of pressing flesh and flashing your overly whitened grin, how about thinking for more than 2 seconds before sending the troops you claim to respect into harms way? How about adopting a rational budgeting process that eliminates wasteful spending and leaves more room for things that soldiers actually need to do their jobs? How about including a few more bucks in that budget for programs that ensure our veterans can return home and live dignified, productive lives worthy of their sacrifice?

And you can still have your photo op. Only now, the soldiers might actually be smiling too. It's so much easier to put on a happy face when your not worried about the guy next to you stabbing you in the back.

No comments:

Post a Comment