Gee, why don’t you tell me how you REALLY feel?


DISCLAMER: This is a LONG post. I am not meaning to offend – as usual – just letting off some steam.

I often feel the need to apologize for being an American when I meet people. There are so many things that are embarrassing to me about what my birth country portrays, but I am an American and I am appreciative that I am an American, I just am not very proud of my country these days. One of the things that happened after 9/11 was that the country became hyper patriotic. Please don’t get me wrong, I am all for patriotism (is that a word?), but it is when it is displayed as in the following e-mail when I remember that the majority of our nation has no freaking clue of life beyond their borders (weather it be state or nation). This is what the e-mail said:

Your alarm goes off, you hit the snooze and sleep for another 10 minutes. He stays up for days on end.
You take a warm shower to help you wake up. He goes days or weeks without running water.
You complain of a “headache”, and call in sick. He gets shot at, as others are hit, and keeps moving forward.
You put on your anti war/don’t support the troops shirt, and go meet up with your friends.
He still fights for your right to wear that shirt.
You make sure you’re cell phone is in your pocket. He clutches the cross hanging on his chain next to his dog tags.
You talk trash on your “buddies” that aren’t with you. He knows he may not see some of his buddies again.
You walk down the beach, staring at all the pretty girls. He walks the streets, searching for insurgents and terrorists.
You complain about how hot it is. He wears his heavy gear, not daring to take off his helmet to wipe his brow.
You go out to lunch, and complain because the restaurant got your order wrong. He does not get to eat today.
Your maid makes your bed and washes your clothes. He wears the same things for months, but makes sure his weapons are clean.
You go to the mall and get your hair redone. He doesn’t have time to brush his teeth today.
You are angry because your class ran 5 minutes over. He is told he will be held an extra 2 months.
You call your girlfriend and set a date for that night. He waits for the mail to see if there is a letter from home.
You hug and kiss your girlfriend, like you do everyday. He holds his letter close and smells his love’s perfume.
You roll your eyes as a baby cries. He gets a letter with pictures of his new child, and wonders if they’ll ever meet.
You criticize your government, and say that war never solves anything. He sees the innocent tortured and killed by their own government and remembers why he is fighting.
You hear the jokes about the war, and make fun of the men like him. He hears the gun fire and bombs.
You see only what the media wants you to see. He sees the bodies lying around him.
You are asked to go to the store by your parents. You don’t. He does what he is told.
You stay at home and watch TV. He takes whatever time he is given to call and write home, sleep, and eat.
You crawl into your bed, with down pillows, and try to get comfortable. He crawls under a tank for shade and a 5 minute nap, only to be woken by gun fire.
You sit there and judge him, saying the world is a worse place because of men like him.
If only there were more men like him.
If you support your troops, send this on!!!!
“Dominus Fortissima Turris”
IF YOU DON’T STAND BEHIND OUR TROOPS,PLEASE, FEEL FREE TO STAND IN FRONT OF THEM!!!

This e-mail made me furious. I am not really sure which part of it offends me the most…..

First of all, I am the wife of a MAJOR in the ARMY…… So, you tell me, do you think I support our troops? The answer, would be yes, I do – in more ways than most people could ever imagine. What strikes me is that people don’t realize that just because you don’t agree with the war(s), it doesn’t mean you don’t support the troops. I am thankful and proud of all of our men and women in uniform – military or otherwise. It takes a special kind of person to volunteer (essentially) to potentially put their life on the line; no questions asked. I will do what ever I need to do to support my husband and the armed forces and be understanding of their situation, but I will not compromise my feelings on war to do it, and I don’t have to. I think that war is an absolute last resort and/but I also believe that snipers and small tactical teams are more effective and less damaging that this fiasco we call war…But that is a completely different post that I probably won’t do.

Back to the e-mail……
The part about “if you don’t support them, you can stand in front of them”….HIGHLY OFFENSIVE. How dare you threaten me with your holier-than-now attitude and tell me that I should die because of my opinion. Supposedly that is the reason these troops are fighting anyway – so I can have MY opinion. Besides, I don’t see your a$$ joining the military, so step back and don’t threaten me or my right to have an opinion as a human being!

What REALLY urks me about this e-mail is the fact that it is supposed to show how privileged my life is and how “he” is suffering. “He” is supposed to be a soldier, but when you think about it, “he” ultimately volunteered for the damn job. No body forced him to be a soldier. What I don’t understand is why is it so important to most Americans to recognize how the troops are suffering when there are millions of people the world over who are experiencing this same suffering BUT NOT BY CHOICE. There are thousands of soldiers, but MILLIONS of civilians who LIVE life as described above in those comparisons. What are you doing to help them? If given the choice to financially, or morally support one of the two: the soldiers or the starving masses of the world, who would you choose? Would you choose the soldiers who signed a contract of their own will and are being PAID TO LIVE LIKE THIS, or would you choose the people of the world who are starving, have no medical care and are living and dyeing in the streets of the world, by no choice of their own? There are countries – whole countries – that are starving. There are women all over the world who are killed for being in love or for just being suspected of committing a moral crime. There are women all over the world who are subjected to mutilation in the name of tradition. There are children all over the world who have no families because theirs were killed either by war or starvation. There are families in your own back yard (in America) who are living out of their cars (or worse) because they can’t afford a home. “He” is such a small little piece of the equasion of the world and “he” chose to live like this.

Yes, I support our troops, not the war. I think it is more important to support our world. It is more important to help those who can not help them selves. It is more important to find some way to help Iraq rebuild itself so it’s starving people who live in filth and muck (as a result of this war) with no electricity or running water can begin living again. It is time to put down your guns and pick up your hammers.

I completely understand that there is a lot more to it than what I am suggesting here. I am not stupid. I am just trying to convey my point. I don’t understand politics and war. I also don’t understand the hatred and the deep seeded and ingrained dislike of all things Western (specifically American). I have never had the kind of passion for something that I see in these people’s eyes when they are chanting “death to America”. I don’t understand it. It scares the absolute shit out of me to see the kids chanting it on TV and to see the same passion in their eyes that I see in the eyes of the 80 year old man. This feeling is not going to go away in the Middle East. You can’t erase that sort of commitment and faith, but why feed it by being ignorant to it? Why stick your chest out and say “I am an American, Damnit! Respect me!” No, I don’t condone this type of behavior and this e-mail disgusts me.

Thanks for reading to the end…. I am still too pissed off to post anything else.

~JAM

Honor Killing
Mutilation
World Hunger
Humanitarian
What about Afghanistan?

PS: What the hell does “Dominus Fortissima Turris” mean? I tried to do a search and couldn’t find this phrase anywhere. “Fortes Fortuna Adiuvat” is Fortune favors the brave, but from what I am finding this other one is this: Dominus is: The lord (or master; leader); Fortissima is: Chance/fortune/luck or strong/brave…; Turris is: disturbance/uproar, foul/ugly….
Maybe the Lord protects the fighters/soldiers???? Don’t know. I never took Latin and am an idiot when it comes to translating it. So stop your laughing and tell WTF it means, OK?

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6 thoughts on “Gee, why don’t you tell me how you REALLY feel?

  1. It has been a long time since I took Latin, but I think that I know what it means. Dominius is lord, but it is frequently used to mean The Lord (Jesus) (Latin doesn’t have a definite article).Fortissima is the superlative form of forte, which means strong, so fortissima is strongest.Turris I think means tower like a castle tower. (ee this page http://www.turrisfortis.com/)So I guess that it is something like:The Lord [is] the Strongest Tower.However, I could be completely wrong.

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  2. Unfortunately, a lot of people seem to confuse patriotism with jingoism. And in lieu of arguing their point logically, they try to guilt-trip their critics with “Support the Troops” speeches.

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  3. “I often feel the need to apologize for being an American when I meet people.”Yeah, I can relate to that. Sometimes we become this involuntary ambassadors, particularly in the region. It doesn’t bother me when people criticise the US govt or ask me about it in a critical manner, but I often find that in the Gulf states you can’t turn that around. A westerner’s commentary on what’s wrong w/ the UAE is almost never welcomed with the common response being, “If you don’t like it go home.” As for that email, I actually fell out w/ a few friends over the “God is on the side of the Americans” type emails that went out before the Iraq war. Check out this video. It should give you chuckle.

    Was it Noam Chomsky that said, “Sticking a magnetic sticker on your car is the least you can do to support the troops”? He was right. It’s the absolute VERY least. Sending stupid emails must be a close 2nd. 🙂

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  4. You are so right about everything I read in this rant. I too support the troops, always, but do not always support our wars. That being said I have friends in the Armed Forces and they are not offended by my questioning where our military goes, because even when they themselves have doubts about the politics they are not allowed to express it in anyway. Therefore it is practically the DUTY of our non-armed citizens to make sure our troops lives are being valued and that they are only risking them in the most needed areas. A democracy needs people to question and look after it, if we follow our leaders blindly it will only result in a loss of our freedom.

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