My Troop Support Deficiencies

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Memo to the "Midwest Heroes": I WITHDRAW MY SUPPORT.

I know we're supposed to support the troops. And I have been. I mean, not to the extent of doing anything. I haven't even put a magnetic ribbon or twelve on my car. I haven't chipped in for body armor, I voted for John Kerry, I write angry left-wing screeds on the Interweb. But I still support the troops, because, well, I'm led to understand it's necessary, and anyone who doesn't constantly repeat that they're supporting the troops is assumed to be spitting on the baby-killers in their spare time.

However, I'm going to have to take a risk here and officially withdraw my "support" from the Midwest Heroes, of midwestheroes.com, specifically Lt. Colonel Robert "Bob" Stephenson of Woodbury and his friends. But it's OK, really! They don't need my support. Their support cup runneth over like a backed-up toilet.

Because they're being quite well-supported by the Progress For America Voter Fund. If you're unfamiliar with them, it's because they were too busy raising $30 million for Bush in 2004. And, with no Bush to re-elect in the immediate future, they're dropping tall dollar on a new campaign to take us back to 2002.

Yes, that glorious time post-invasion when things looked so bright and sunny. When Saddam was still a missing bogeyman and not a ranting nutjob in his underwear whose trial is a collapsing joke. When the elections would fix everything and freedom would reign any day now. When you could still say "Al Qaeda" and "Iraq" in the same sentence and not get yelled at.

That's the weird time warp reflected in the ad produced and paid for by Progress For America, starring Stephenson and company, and airing now in Minnesota. I don't know how much they spent, but I do know I saw the ad on prime-time during the Olympics, leaving me once again holding the torn scraps of my dream to one day watch propaganda-free luge. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"The media only reports the bad news. But American troops are making real progress securing free elections, and defending our country from radical Al Qaeda terrorists who want to destroy America, starting in Iraq."

God, it makes me almost nostalgic. The good stuff isn't being reported! By the media! It's not like a bank robbery, where one day they report on the robbery, and the rest of the week they report on the many successful deposits and withdrawals made at the ATM outside. The media hates freedom!

And Al Qaeda wants to destroy America... starting in Iraq? That sounds like a shitty plan to me. I mean, ignoring the fact that their, er, plan to destroy America, such as it is, didn't start in Iraq in the first place, you'd think if you wanted to destroy America, the last place you'd try to do it is in a country on the opposite side of the globe America could just walk out of.

The ad then goes on to remind us that Saddam Hussein was bad, which we knew, thanks. Don't tell me Hussein was bad. It's not like I was caught on film shaking that motherfucker's hand. That's crazy talk, shaking the hand of a mass murderer.

"You'd never know it from the news reports, but our enemy in Iraq IS Al Qaeda."

You know, even reading the occasional New York Times article, I was able to figure out that one of any number of enemies we have in Iraq is Al Qaeda. Hell, by media accounts, they've got hundreds of "top deputies" in there who keep getting killed off. Building strawmen at that rate is admirable, but it won't help the Army meet its recruiting goals.

The ad goes on to tell us that Al Qaeda is bad. Which, again, is a bit like Exxon telling us to buy gasoline from them. We've got that message, thanks. If I didn't know better, I'd think this ad was the product of a bunch of grumpy, patronizing neocons with poll numbers gripped tightly in one clawed fist.

"American troops overwhelmingly support the mission President Bush has given us." - which, depending on how you define "support", is either a lie, or the inevitable product of the chain of command and stiff penalties for insubordination.

"Where do you want to fight terrorists? We want to fight them, and destroy them, in Iraq." - Well, bully for you, Lieutenant Colonel False Dichotomy. But you know, it's taken almost four long, exhausting years to get a tiny fraction of this bullshit expuncged from the minds of the American public. And it must be working, because otherwise you wouldn't be shelling out piles of cash in an attempt to shove it all back in there. And interrupting perfectly acceptable luging in the process, shitheads.