Wednesday, November 08, 2006

So, You Say You Support Our Troops, eh?

How many times have we heard, “I don’t support the (P)resident but I support our troops!”

Ask yourself the following: Question: Did all Germans support Hitler? Answer: No! Question: Were all Germans Nazis? Answer: No! Question: Did the vast majority of Germans ‘support their troops’? Answer: Yes!

I know, I’ve already lost the argument because I have transgressed the Hitler principle; once you bring up Hitler in an analogy, you have lost the argument. However, in this particular case, the Hitler analogy is eerily apropos. Even at the height of his popularity, Hitler was not supported by wide swaths of the German population. However, from the moment Germany’s army was committed to the field, virtually the entirety of the German population ‘supported their troops’ if, for no other reason, it was almost guaranteed that a member of their family was among the number of the ‘troops’

This is not to say that the German people were explicitly in favor of the atrocities that their troops were committing in the field; no more so than the American people were explicitly in favor of the atrocities our troops were carrying out in the field in Vietnam. Granted, most of the German people were neither keenly aware nor upset by those atrocities, after all most of the atrocities were being committed against ‘untermensch’. It has to be admitted that the attitude of the ‘average American’ in the 1960’s was not very much different; they certainly didn’t know the particulars of American atrocities but, even to the extent that they may have had an inkling it wasn’t that important, after all it was happening to “those little brown people over there”.

When Eisenhower’s troops liberated various concentration camps, neither Eisenhower nor the troops in general would believe that the German people living in the towns surrounding the camps could possibly have been ignorant of what was taking place in those camps. This actually is not that difficult to accept, especially in light of the willful blindness the American public has exhibited and continues to exhibit regarding the concentration camps which our government is constructing at this very moment.

Support our troops? I support the individuals as human beings; as soldiers in the field, I simply can’t. Maybe I just don’t have what it takes to be a good German err American.

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