Thursday, February 12, 2015


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.

[Image source]


Jim and Gayle said...

Sid, James Fallows makes the same point in this article. Well worth reading.


Sid Schwab said...

Nice to hear from you, Jim. Fallows is a favorite, but I'd missed this. Much deeper, wider, and more convincing than anything I've written.

The F-35 is the perfect avatar for our love of the wrong things, militarily and otherwise.

I've often been tempted to approach someone with a "Support our Troops" sign or sticker and ask if they'd like to sign a petition for a surtax to provide full funding for the needs of veterans.

One of the striking statements in the Fallows article is this: “We are vulnerable,” the author William Greider wrote during the debate last summer on how to fight ISIS, “because our presumption of unconquerable superiority leads us deeper and deeper into unwinnable military conflicts.” And the separation of the military from the public disrupts the process of learning from these defeats.

Also, his pointing to the Foxified outrage over Solyndra, which cost around $800 million, and the silence over the useless pile of pork F-35, now costing an estimated $1.5 trillion. Simply amazing.

Thanks for the link. I think I'll write something specifically about it.

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