The most politically incorrect I've ever been in my classroom was when, before the war in Iraq was launched and everyone was debating the pros and cons as though our opinions mattered, I suggested somewhat pitilessly that US soldiers were instruments of the state. My already-cynical students were genuinely shocked, and I've thought a great deal about what my statement meant and whether I actually feel that way about volunteer soldiers. On a structural level, my statement is of course true: while of course there are honorable soldiers and soldiers who signed up for a college education and soldiers who are just ordinary guys and soldiers who have families and needs and are somebody's son or daughter, they all signed up to become the force by which the US government pursues its policies. Of course the US government must honor its contracts with its soldiers: veteran benefits and services must be guaranteed and respected.
That's my frame for a couple of links. This
connects to a warblog that points out a 1942 law that entitles a family whose children are all deployed to demand that their children be transferred to a safer unit when one of them is injured or killed.This
links to an "opinion" piece in The Onion
. Headline: "I Support The Occupation in Iraq, But I Don't Support Our Troops."