11
Jun
09

“Support the troops”

Have you ever wondered what that statement means and what it implies? While I members of the U.S. military elisted voluntarily, I cannot help but wonder what it means to “support” them.  The word “support” has many, many meaning:

  1. give moral or psychological support, aid, or courage to
  2. the activity of providing for or maintaining by supplying with money or necessities
  3. support materially or financially
  4. aiding the cause or policy or interests of
  5. back: be behind; approve of
  6. hold: be the physical support of; carry the weight of
  7. a military operation (often involving new supplies of men and materiel) to strengthen a military force or aid in the performance of its mission
  8. confirm: establish or strengthen as with new evidence or facts
  9. documentation: documentary validation
  10. subscribe: adopt as a belief
  11. the financial means whereby one lives
  12. corroborate: support with evidence or authority or make more certain or confirm
  13. supporting structure that holds up or provides a foundation
  14. defend: argue or speak in defense of
  15. the act of bearing the weight of or strengthening

So let us first figure out what possible meanings to “support” in this sentence may be.

Removing all which do not apply to individuals (7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15) I suppose one could argue rather effectively that we already (willingly or not) give support according to definitions 2, 3, and 11, so they shall be removed, leaving 1, 4, 5, 12, and 14.

Considering one does not have to necessarily approve of what the troops are doing to “support them” as stated by thousands of politicians, this removes definition 5 from the running.

Considering most military personnel have little or no say in cause or policy, and most citizens do not have access to information which would allow for a presentation of some kind of evidence to support them as per 12, it similarly cannot be definitions 4 or 12.

To claim to “speak in defense of” all military personnel is a bit of an over-generalization as a number of military personnel have done illegal activities. This leaves only definition 1 remaining.

1. give moral or psychological support, aid, or courage to

What would be the most psychologically beneficial activity one could do for the individuals still overseas? Support the troops; get them the psychiatric help many of them need. Support the troops; don’t send them on three tours in rapid succession. Support the troops; except the commanders using people as pawns in a very deadly game of chess.

Individuals using this phrase to mean “don’t say bad things about the war or the soldiers fighting for us,” while they imply it only means “comfort them.” Such phrases with hundreds of possible meanings are worse than useless. Do I agree with what they are doing? Yes and no; I appreciate them enlisting in the military, but I do not support the reason for our military being in Iraq (or still being in Afghanistan). Both of these military opperations were as organized as a herd of cats. How about we apologize to our military personnel for putting them in this situation?

Advertisements

2 Responses to ““Support the troops””


  1. June 11, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Yea this is typical compartmenatlized thinking. Implying that if you are concerned for the individual troops health and welfare then you ought to support political reasons for their being in danger.(in the first place)

    The mind boggles.

  2. June 12, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    I actually think that what they do is pull off a slight meaning switch within definition 5. You are expected to “support” the troops, as in backing and approving of the military members and appreciating them (similar to definition 1 in effect) whereas they use the phrase to intentionally suggest that doing this is linked to the same “support”, or approval, for the actions that the military as a whole is undertaking. “Support the troops” masks itself as being uncontroversial and linked to the individuals involved, but is intentionally phrased in order to suggest that, in order to attain the “support” for the Americans who are involved in military duty and doing the things that their country asks of them, you also need to “support” the things that the country asks of them at the same time! So, more or less, the phrase is just a propaganda tool. Color me surprised!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Join the best atheist themed blogroll!

RSS Adventures in Ethics and Science

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Blag Hag

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS denialism blog

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS ERV

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Greg Laden’s Blog

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Laelaps

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Lawful Good Wonk

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Pharyngula

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Tetrapod Zoology

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS White Coat underground

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Older stuff

wordpress stats

%d bloggers like this: