On my growing list of phrases that should be banned, like "accidental shooting" when a kid gets hold of a gun and shoots his brother, or mom, or himself, is "boots on the ground."
How sanitary. How easy. How whitewashed. No big deal. Boots. Not human beings, with families. Not even soldiers. Boots. So we don't have to think too much about it, or feel bad. Send in the boots, problems solved, roll over and go back to sleep.
How about this: body parts on the ground. Blood on the ground, bleeding, dying, or dead soldiers on the ground. Boots with feet still in them, attached to nothing, on the ground. Bits of brain, lost memories and dreams of a future, rotting in the sun, on the ground.
Because that's what it is. If we send troops to war -- and I'm not saying it's never necessary but it sure as hell wasn't in Iraq and look what happened to the region -- it's not just their boots we're sending. It's their bodies and lives, their lovers, their kids. So there better be a damn good reason, a reason worth more than sitting behind your desk, or someone's microphone, and speaking those soothingly simple words. A reason that resounds even if you tell the truth of what will result, within and above the boots. Think about that, John Fking McCain. I guess you've forgotten. I haven't, and I was there, too.