“Enlisted military and veterans hold the American flag
during the national anthem prior to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ baseball game”
(Credit: AP/Mark J. Terrill)
AN EXCELLENT OBSERVATION:
“Compulsory patriotism does nothing for soldiers who risk their lives — but props up those who profit from war”
“In recent years Ive grown fatigued of appeals on behalf of the troops, which intensify in proportion to the belligerence or potential unpopularity of the imperial adventure du jour.”
“A nation that continuously publicizes appeals to ‘support our troops’ is explicitly asking its citizens not to think. It is the ideal slogan for suppressing the practice of democracy, presented to us in the guise of democratic preservation.”
“I returned to the car, wondering if it will ever be possible to escape the inveterate branding of war as a civic asset in the United States.”
…”corporations care far less about the individuals who happen to have served in the military than they do about the troops as an exploitable consumer category. Unthinking patriotism, exemplified by support of the troops (however insincere or self-serving), is an asset to the modern business model, not simply for good P.R., but also for the profit it generates.”
Who, for instance, are the troops?
Do they include those safely on bases in Hawaii and Germany?
Those guarding and torturing prisoners at Bagram and Guantnamo?
The ones who murder people by remote control?
The legions of mercenaries in Iraq?
The ones Ive seen many times in the Arab world acting like an Adam Sandler character?
The troops traverse vast sociological, geographical, economic and ideological categories.
It does neither military personnel nor their fans any good to romanticize them as a singular organism.”
By Steven Salaita in SALON.