I’m frustrated to see Keith Gottschalk arguing that a poll suggesting troops in Iraq support the President is cause not to support the troops:

Taken all the above quotes into context it shows that truly we do cull the ordinary Americans from the heartland to serve in the military. No critical reasoning skills among the majority of this bunch, even when their own lives are being used as cannon fodder. In this they reflect the simple majority of Americans who have been dumbed down and trained not to think critically or question what they are told.

The poll itself is highly questionable, insofar as it draws only on subscribers to military magazines. And “Support the Troops” as a slogan is more often than not cynically manipulated by the same crowd defending Rumsfeld’s “Screw the Troops” approach. That said, whether our politics line up with those of the majority of the soldiers currently bearing the burden of the failed policies of much wealthier, safer politicians is an awful way to judge whether their needless death and suffering, like that of Iraqis, should trouble and pain us. Too often the left has made the mistake of blaming those in the working class carrying out policies when our animus should be directed at the rich bastards who are fashioning them. And deriding the poor as stupid is a terrible and offensive excuse which makes it that much easier to avoid confronting the organizing failures of the left, and in so doing perpetuates needless suffering and savage inequality.

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