By David Swanson
As war wages on in the Middle East, there’s a heated battle on Capitol Hill over which political party’s proposals to continue the war are more PRO-TROOP. There’s a raging debate over exactly what set of futile recommendations to the dictator living in the Vice President’s mansion on Massachusetts Avenue amounts to the greatest PRO or ANTI TROOP agenda.
Leading contestants are:
1.-a Republican proposal to give Cheney and Bush another $93 billion off the books for the war, no questions asked.
2.-a Democratic proposal to give Cheney and Bush another $93 billion off the books for the war but reauthorize the war with new lies in place of the old ones and/or ask the President to issue a public statement whenever he sends troops to Iraq without proper equipment or training, but not actually DO anything if the President chooses not to make such a public statement.
While political journalists are mostly tied up with the imminent national elections a mere 20 months away, there is also a lot of serious focus in the media on this contest for the most pro-troop proposal. But a lot of us haven’t given it enough thought, since we’ve been distracted by less important questions, such as how in the hell to get these bastards in Washington who pretend to represent us to end the god damned war.
But I’ve finally given it some thought. Here’s my proposal. We give the $93 billion to the troops, but we actually give the $93 billion to the troops. Say we’ve got 160,000 troops. That makes $581,250 per troop. Needless to say, this proposal would have to be recalculated if we took into consideration either veterans or the larger US population of non-troops, but I checked with Congress and verified that nobody in Washington gives a shit about either of those groups.
So, sticking with the 160,000 troops. We give them each $581,250 tax free. (What, you thought Halliburton was paying taxes?) And, as part of the deal, we free all the troops of further obligations, give them passports, and allow them to make their own way home and get on with lives we no longer give a damn about. In exchange, they give back all their weapons and uniforms – and armor in those cases where we ever gave them any armor. Plus anything they stole from any Iraqis.
With the war over, there will be thousands of U.S. non-troop mercenaries in Iraq who’ve been paid for services not yet rendered. They can be assigned to destroy all the U.S. weaponry. Anything that might actually serve a defensive purpose back in the United States could be spared, and the Pentagon could undoubtedly find the funds to ship it home.
Over a half a million bucks per troop! Find me a single troop who won’t go for that! So, now, who’s got the most pro-troop proposal?
Well, that’s the tricky part. How do you tell? If bringing troops safely home, telling them the truth, offering them health care or an education, supporting their families, and apologizing for what’s been done to them is all viciously anti-troop, and keeping troops over for extended stays in Iraq without proper equipment, and discarding them upon their return is pro-troop, then which side of the line does my proposal fall on?
Asking the troops which proposal they like best wouldn’t help decide the matter, since most of them said last year that they wanted to end the war in 2006, but we didn’t do that because that would have been extremely anti-troop.
So, how do we decide? On the one hand, my proposal seems to give the troops something they could use, which makes it seem anti-troop. On the other hand, my proposal seems rash and reckless and contains no plan for follow through, which makes it seem pro-troop. In fact, if the troops were given all their money immediately in cash, it would probably get a lot of troops mugged or murdered, which is clearly the pro-troopest of all pro-troop achievements.
Sadly, Congress is planning to spend $93 billion on pro-troopitude without actually giving the money to the troops. But there is a silver lining: they’re going to tack on over a billion extra and give it to avocado growers. Since guacamole – with or without a splash of blood – disgusts me, I’m not going to even try to enter the PRO-AVOCADO competition.