Greeting cards support troops? Nope

Call me a cynic (go on, you know you want to) but an ad I saw on Facebook the other day ticked me off.

It was something called “Two for the troops,” selling greeting cards that would come with two of them pre-addressed to soldiers in Afghanistan or Iraq or somewhere.

The group claims to be non-profit, and maybe they are, but things like this bother me because they’re mostly a feel-good way for Americans to pretend they’re doing something meaningful when, really, it’s all just wind.

Sure, a troop in Afghanistan might want a greeting card. But I bet he or she would rather have a ticket home, or better body armor, or better logistical support, or the knowledge that the folks back home are making some actual sacrifice to support them.

Remember, so far, despite costing more than $1 trillion, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have not raised your taxes one cent. Bush had them both “off budget” as emergency expenses so they wouldn’t even show up in the deficit. Under both Bush AND Obama, your taxes have gone down. Yes, down. The wars are being charged to VISA but our men and women in uniform are getting all the frequent flier miles, going back and forth to the war zone.

Want to really support the troops?:

– Skip the cards and donate money to the USO (www.uso.org) which provides help to the troops in the form of entertainment, communications with loved ones, morale support and so on.

– Demand — yes, demand — that your taxes be raised to pay for the war. Our boys and girls can fight better knowing that the folk back home have some real skin in the game. They’ll also feel better knowing they’re coming home to a country that isn’t deeper in debt because of the war.

– Join the military and go off to fight. If more people would join up, our people in the military now wouldn’t have to do so many tours of duty.

– Don’t want to go fight? Hey, who does? Fight to bring our troops home. The war in Afghanistan is rapidly turning into even worse a quagmire than Iraq was.

– If you have one of those “support our troops” magnets, ask yourself: Is it on a car that gets fewer than 20 miles per gallon? If so, buy a smaller car. This war is all about oil, don’t kid yourself.

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10 Responses to Greeting cards support troops? Nope

  1. Bob Becker says:

    The cards are just another version of bumper-sticker-patriotism, which is both popular and lucrative for the companies that feed it — that make all those “I Support Our Troops” bumper stickers, yard signs, decals, etc. Costs little to the citizens who buy them but allows them to feel good, all warm and glowey, as if they were actually doing something to support the troops, or their county. Added bonus: some of them get to feel all-over super-patriotic by questioning the patriotism of anyone whose car or lawn doesn’t sport the bumper sticker, yard sign or decal du jour.

  2. ME says:

    I donate $300 annually to the USO. Am retired from the AF, have support the troops magnets and an Army Dad license plate holder.
    Demand a tax increase??? Oh the troops would love you for that one – their taxes would go up as well. What a foolish statement that is.

    What the troops really want is for us to vote that pinhead they have to pretend to respect out of office. That would make them happy: to have a CiC who is a true patriot, not a pantywaist Marxist.

    You can have your death trap car, I’ll keep to my gas-guzzling V-8. The war is about Islamic terrorists that hate America because of our freedoms. The lie about it being about oil is a load of crap made up by Algore and the fools that buy his junk science.

  3. Bob Becker says:

    Well, ME a few things worth noting:

    1. When we went to war in WWII, taxes helped to pay for the war, and the government asked people as well to buy War Bonds to raise even more. When we went to war this time, President Bush, as Charlie notes, kept the war costs off -budget and asked the American people to “go shopping” as a way to help. Odd sort of patriotism.
    2. When we went to war in VN, LBJ tried to avoid tax increases ["Guns and butter!"], but in the end he and Congress, added a 10% income tax surcharge to pay for the war. Politically costly but fiscally responsible.
    3. You may think it patriotic to fight [now] an eight year plus war [initial invasion if Afghanistan, plus Iraq] half way around the world without raising the money to pay for it. I don’t.
    4. Kind of arrogant , isn’t it, to claim the you speak for all American servicemen and women in Afghanistan and Iraq and beyond. No figures I’ve seen indicate that all of them voted for McCain by any means. And when President Obama visits the troops, he seems to have grinning soldiers crowding around him, just as Bush did. Seems to be an occupational hazard of some retired military to attribute their political opinions to “the military” in general. Talk about chutzpah….

  4. Willbike says:

    Hey ME,

    I was in Iraq with the army in 2004. What I would like is for people to respect the president of the United States. And another thing, troops in a combat zone don’t pay taxes, zero.

  5. Willbike says:

    One more thing. I also told people to respect President Bush even while I cast my absentee ballot from Baghdad for John Kerry.

  6. Bob Becker says:

    Willbke:

    Exactly. Under the American constitutional system [which so many critics of President Obama claim to revere], the Commander in Chief of the armed forces of the United States is the President of the United States, regardless of who he [or she] may be, having been chosen by the American people in their states by election to fill that office.

  7. laytonian says:

    Thank you, Willbke, for your service.

    ME, your trolling is lame.

  8. ME says:

    Hey laytonian, does not my service count? Is it just liberals who hate Bush whose service counts?

    I have devoted 42 years of my life to the military, the last 22 as an advisor on aircraft mechanical and avionics systems. I work directly with maintainers and pilots.

    You nimrods have no clue.

  9. ctrentelman says:

    chill out ME — nobody denies your service, but when you make it sound as if your oath to uphold the Constitution — which includes respecting the office of the president — is based on whether you agree with the politics of the guy in that office — I believe you called him “that pinhead they have to pretend to respect ,” — what do you expect? Cheers?

    The man is the C in C and the fact of civilian control of the military is one of the hardest cores of the Constitution. When the military only pretends to believe that, our nation ceases to exist, it’s that simple.

    For you to imply that troops are only pretending to observe that basic foundation of the nation is rather disturbing, at best, and will get you a ration of flack from the vast majority of those troops who I believe — OK, hope — really do take that oath seriously..

    Dish it out, learn to take it. Thanks for your service, but get that chip off your shoulder.

  10. laytonian says:

    Hey ME:
    I am the wife of a two-tour Vietnam veteran. My father served in the US Marines for FOUR YEARS during WWII, and again in Korea during that conflict.
    My father-in-law served in WWII, a proud US Navy veteran.
    Me, I worked for the Defense Department for almost 28 years.

    Do NOT denigrate the service of those of us who are NOT “double dippers”.

    I can’t believe someone like you, can say the Pledge of Allegiance without crossing your fingers.

    You who despise our country, are promoting terrorism as certainly as Timothy McVeigh and other right-wing homegrown terrorists did.

    You should be ashamed. You may have served, but you didn’t earn anyone’s respect with your anti-American comments.

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