Thoughts and intuitions crystallize around words. The Ira Chernus essay that I quoted here led to such a precipitation for me about miaculpa.
Chernus brings up two things - the debate about the war in Iraq avoids the question of whether it is a moral war; and the "support the troops" as used in the discourse is not about supporting real people. Two excerpts to those points follow:
And we can expect both parties, and the media who keep the show going, to abide by an unspoken agreement that one kind of question will never be asked, because the tension it raises might be unbearable: Is it moral for our troops to occupy another country for years, bomb its cities and villages, and kill untold numbers of people halfway across the planet?
"Supporting our troops" is not about helping individual soldiers to live better lives or, for that matter, making their lives safer. It's about supporting a morality play in which the lead actor, "our troops," represents all the virtues that so many believe—or wish they could believe—America possesses, giving us the privilege (and obligation) of directing all that happens on the world stage.
I hope Ira Chernus discovers Desi's blog. Desi hasn't sipped any of the Kool-Aid - miaculpa is a relentless blitz on the right side of precisely these two issues. (If I have a criticism of the blog it is that it moves too fast to have an extended conversation.) Desi posts on the damage the war is wreaking on individuals, Iraqis and Americans alike, pictured and named when possible. The anti-war focus of the blog is rooted in this. "Support the troops" and "the war is wrong" come from the concern for persons, real persons not abstract ones.
I don't know where Desi finds the energy to do this day in and out, but I hope it never flags.
Desi is a voice in a million. Just sayin'.