Monday, April 02, 2007

Troopocracy And The Butterfly Effect

Normally, U.S. troops support and serve as instruments of U.S. policy, not the other way around. Of course these aren't normal times. Now, national policy in Iraq and elsewhere is fixed around "supporting the troops" -- who are no longer the means to an end, but an end in themselves in our budding "troopocracy." One example: this letter in which Robert Gates and Condi Rice warn Nancy Pelosi against a Congressional vote to classify the killings of Armenians by the Ottoman Turkish government early in the 20th century as genocide:
Turkey remains an indispensable partner to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, helping our troops accomplish their mission to combat terrorism and build security in both of these young democracies...When the French National Assembly in October 2006 voted in favor of a bill that would criminalize denial of the events of 1915, the Turkish military cut all contacts with the French military and terminated defense contracts under negotiation. A similar reaction by the elected government of Turkey to a House resolution could harm American troops in the field, constrain our ability to supply our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan...
At this rate, the Butterfly Effect will soon refer to a new theory in which any change or movement anywhere, no matter how small or seemingly unrelated, affects U.S. troops.

By the way, has anyone noticed that many of those now yelling about the need to "support the troops" also said "they volunteered, didn't they?" at various times during the past four years?

11 Comments:

Anonymous neondesert said...

Excellent observation. And from the standpoint of the troops supporting the policy of the U.S., it puts Bush's planned veto of the emergency funding bill into a different light - if he has his way, U.S. policy will rest on the opinion of just one man from one branch of our governemnt, rather than that of over 500 congressmen and senators from another.

Looking at it from the perspective of Bush commandeering the troops to support his own personal policy kind of puts it in a really ugly light.

4/02/2007 5:13 PM  
Blogger wendyo said...

God forbid that "support for our troops" is undercut in ANY way:

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/46234

4/02/2007 5:37 PM  
Blogger Lifetime Fiscal Conservative said...

"Support the Troops!" is the shield used by those who have no arguments, few accomplishments, wretchedly bad performance, and a string of false/incorrect statements to their credit. They use it to blunt intelligent and thoughtful debate.

4/02/2007 6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

See, it's all "Support the troops" when we're talking about healthy, viable human livestock for the Oval Office Occupant's LARP games, but it's "Not my problem, they volunteered didn't they?" when it's a question of spending money to actually *provide support*, either in the field or to the poor stupid suckas who watch their families fall apart & their jobs disappear while they're getting shot up like clay pigeons. Because for too many people -- including, gawd help us, some of the military commanders who are supposed to be protecting them -- politics is a "sport" and the troops are interchangeable, disposable markers in the "game". -- Anne Laurie

4/02/2007 8:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought "Support Our Troops" was shorthand for, Never Say No to Lockheed Martin.
-- sglover

4/02/2007 10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seen on a car in Baghdad.

Yellow Ribbon with 'Support your Insurgents' on it.

Nice!

http://grouper.com/video/MediaDetails.aspx?id=1660533&ml=o%3d1%26fi%3d%26fu%3d2002840

4/03/2007 7:05 AM  
Blogger arubyan said...

The French bill criminalizing the denial of the Armenian genocide is not the same as what Pelosi is doing.

That said, the French bill is stupid in the same way the Turkish law is that criminalizes any act that "insults Turkishness."

Both laws are an insult to free speech.

P.S. Again, as I understand it, Pelosi's legislation doesn't fit that description.

4/03/2007 9:22 AM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

"Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy."
- Henry Kissinger, quoted in "Kiss the Boys Goodbye: How the United States Betrayed Its Own POW's in Vietnam"

4/03/2007 11:50 AM  
Blogger David S./ Southern Calif. said...

So Rice and Gates are on record as favoring kowtowing to extortion by Turkey. I sure hope the E.U. is paying attention, and denies this non-democratic regime membership in their union permanently.

4/03/2007 12:06 PM  
Anonymous Andrew J. Lazarus said...

We saw this in the Vietnam era, not with the troops as a whole, but with the POWs. For some reason, we were creating more POWs in order to guarantee Hanoi would free our POWs, or something like that. Sounded a lot like Capture-the-flag to me.

4/03/2007 8:37 PM  
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