Someone close to me has this bumper sticker and it bothers me. Not that certain bumper stickers bother me to the point to where I write about them. This one bothers me more than others because I don’t know if the owner of the car realizes exactly what they’re insinuating.
I won’t mention her name, as she doesn’t read my writings, so she wouldn’t be able to defend herself, but I will address this issue, as I’m sure there are many people who have a similar bumper sticker.
The sticker: “If you don’t stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them.”
This sticker disgusts me, as many bumper stickers do. But the idea that a loved one has this on her car bothers me. I go to her family’s house frequently, and have to look at this sticker all the time. I can’t help it. I’m drawn to it. I guess I hope that it had been removed. Or that it has been replaced. I like to think it was on the car when she bought it, and just hadn’t gotten around to removing it.
But it’s still there. I picture myself in front of the car, as if that sticker is saying that if I’m not pro-military I might as well be ran over. By her.
On top of the message that I dislike, I also feel that she might not really realize what it is saying. More likely, she doesn’t know much about what our military does, or what is going on in the political realm. Her family knows little about foreign affairs, or where their federal tax money goes, as I’ve had some brief conversations with the family. Chances are, it’s a sticker that she has adopted, endorsing it, based on her fellow church-goer friends say, or what the general view of the town is on political matters.
I don’t judge her, but am tempted to bring it up. I’m not formally anti-military, but I am against wars. I assume she and I are a lot alike in matters of utopia: We want to live in peace, we love our fellow man or woman, we want the best for other countries.
But I feel her views are distorted, based on hear-say dialogue. Perhaps they’re based on a typical nationalism pride that most Americans have. I too am proud to be an American and love my country, but I hate that goddamned sticker.
I don’t stand behind the troops. How can I endorse our military?
I don’t endorse random civilian killings. I don’t endorse the fact that American soldiers have killed 2.7 million civilians in Iraq (far more than Saddam Hussein could ever have dreamed of killing). I don’t endorse that 1 out of 3 female soldiers are sexually assaulted by their own fellow male counterparts. I don’t endorse that we have U.S. bases in most foreign countries. I don’t endorse that 54% or so of my federal taxes fund weapon development, soldier salaries, and foreign invasion. I don’t endorse that serving in the military is so non-transparent and hypocritical, that a soldier is twice as likely to die from suicide than enemy warfare. I don’t endorse that once you’re out of serving, you’re ignored as a Vet. I don’t endorse that the homeless in America is not only uncared for, but 1 in 4 of the homeless in America are veterans. I don’t endorse that the U.S.A is the shot-caller of the world.
No, I don’t support the troops per se, because that would be supporting the horrors that they do, or have to go through in lands they shouldn’t even be in.
I’m all for democracy and choice. I’m all for defending invasions. But when the American military branches are the dictators, invading other countries, I wish I can take that sticker and set it afire. The “Support the Troops” mentality is a brainwashing, setting one up to say YES to any American-made horror and atrocity.
I hate that goddamned sticker.
Originally published at CounterCurrents.org