Yuck. Conservatives are gonna make me prance out here and offer a “slight” defense of Michael Moore. Or at least offer a list of context:
-I’ve seen posts from conservatives, those that have served and others (like the Tweets in the picture I posted the other day) advocating the death of either Michael Moore or all Muslims or both. I like to think that’s a fringe belief, so we’ll move on.
-In my view, we seem to have learned nothing from our invasion of Iraq. 1.) It was an invasion. 2.) It had nothing to do with freedom or defending the country. 3.) It was a war of choice — awful, disastrous, deceitful choice. 4.) It’s still harming and influencing actions we take and that are taken against us today. 5.) Most importantly, we killed, humiliated, disrupted, turned into refugees, radicalized and otherwise fucked up a lot of innocent Iraqis’ lives.
-Not all soldiers are heroes. Let’s just say it. Not everyone is a hero. By the definition and logic of what we mean by hero, not every soldier can be one. Most certainly, since we’re talking about war and that becoming a soldier is voluntary, you’re going to attract dicks, psychopaths and people that aren’t heroes and people that engage in activities (well-documented at this point) that are far from heroic. Personally, I wish we were a culture more vitriolic and vehement about upholding and sanctifying the honor of the one that questions war rather than fights it as opposed to a country that can’t withstand even the remotest criticism of the military.
-To reiterate an above point: It’s another unfortunate reality, but no soldier fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan or any number of other places in the Middle East and Africa right now, are defending my freedom. My freedom is fine. To suggest they are defending my freedom is to suggest my freedom is under threat; it’s not. At least not from foreign enemies. (Now, you could make the argument that the existence of a voluntary standing army protects my freedom and I’m more inclined to that argument.)
-Piggy-backing on the last point. From my understanding, soldiers do tour after tour not because they give a fuck about some abstract notion of protecting the country (maybe it started out that way), but because of protecting their brothers and sisters getting shot at.
-Finally, Chris Kyle was a racist that enjoyed killing people. Did he save lives in Iraq? Absolutely. We can separate that from the man, so we avoid sanctifying a racist killing machine.
-Now, what does all of this mean? A few things. 1.) All of these, “Fuck yeah, America, support the troops!’ people, I find surface-level. They’re not actually interested in supporting the troops to the depths of what that means re: not sending them to bullshit wars, “fixing” them when they come back home, addressing the suicide and rape problem and addressing all other manner of systemic issues that are hurting the military today. See Fallows article here for more 2.) In a time of the war drums, advocating for peace seems a violent act. Yet, it is precisely those people who are truly, in my view, interested in supporting the troops by not sending them to places where they’ll be shot at for no reason. 3.) Finally, yes, Michael Moore is an idiot most times, although taken in full context, his Tweets about snipers versus the regurgitation of spoon-fed conservative trite that I’m seeing is a bit different, but all the time.