43 votes

Stop thanking the troops for me: No, they don't "protect our freedoms"

We need not thank the troops for every breath we take. When we do, we reduce our entire existence as free people to something that only exists at the whim of the U.S. military, and suffocate critical thought about the military and what it’s actually doing in the world.

The millions of Americans who regularly watch nationally televised NBA games are, by now, familiar with the “NBA Cares” commercials that run quite frequently during the season. The series of promos is meant to illustrate the league’s commitment to serving the community in a variety of ways. One particularly touching example involves a collaboration between the NBA, the V Foundation and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; in the spot, several prominent players are shown visiting children stricken with cancer, many of whom look genuinely thrilled to be meeting their heroes. The league deserves credit for encouraging its players to put their fame to good use by bringing some badly needed joy to these children’s lives.

Not all of the “NBA Cares” promos are about serving the least fortunate members of our society, though. The league is determined to show its commitment to both ends of the spectrum of power. In one spot, NBA stars can be seen, not playing board games with children devastated by cancer, but, instead, touting the greatness and indispensability of the most powerful institution in the world, the United States military.

We discover that Brooklyn Nets star Paul Pierce is incredibly grateful, at a deeply personal level, that the men and women of the U.S. military are willing to “protect” him and his country (“I’m so thankful that they are able to do that for me, to make this a safer place for me to live”). Roy Hibbert, starting center for the Indiana Pacers, sees Pierce’s gratitude and raises him in a big way, making the latter’s sentiments seem woefully weak by comparison:

They’re protecting our country, they’re protecting the world, and, you know, obviously we wouldn’t have freedom without them.

This is just an extraordinary sentence. It contains three distinct, factual claims. While the first two are highly debatable, let us suspend consideration of them in order to focus on the third, which is actually an outright falsehood. Not only does Hibbert confidently assert that “we wouldn’t have freedom” were it not for the beneficence of the U.S. military, but that this is “obviously” so.


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I saw a bumper sticker on

a truck that said "Support The Troops Wherever They Go!" and the beat goes on.

"We can see with our eyes, hear with our ears and feel with our touch, but we understand with our hearts."

The NFL does the same thing. And I cringe everytime I hear it.

What to do post high school is a big decision. MANY of us, if we qualify, or if our parent's can afford it, choose to go to college. A few look for the adventure of the military (which can help them pay for college later anyway) or the chance to see the world. FEW if ANY are actually going on a noble mission of "fighting for freedom". Those are silly words they use. Those who do are inevitably disappointed when they get there.

We have wars for a million reasons, all of them economic (weapons sales, and natural resource seizing) or intended to enforce our natural tendency to support tribal behavior of US against THEM. We have a military to provide government employment and adult supervision to some of the underclasses, who lacked those things growing up.

Its the ONLY adventure many people will ever get in their lives, and when they get home, in addition to getting benefits, they want "hero" status.

"Protecting our freedom" is gobblety-gook talk to use against anyone opposing whatever the military does at its whim. It is usually accompanied by such things as "You should get down on your KNEES and thank our brave soldiers for protecting our freedom so that you can SAY those things about our military!"

And we will ALWAYS have perpetual wars as long as people worship them and worship the soldiers who go, forever.

The Article is About the Message Not About the Troops . .

and I agree with it, (though its not particularly well written.) 'Patriotism','support the troops',flag waving, and calling everyone in a uniform a 'hero' are used as a psy-op to prevent people from looking at what's being done in our name overseas. (And perhaps for what might happen stateside if things continue going as they have.)
I'm from a military family and served. Perhaps most of you 'woke up' while you still were in diapers. Not me . . . it only happened about 5-6 years ago. I didn't know any of this stuff when I was serving. And most Americans (military or civilian) don't know it now, or wanna know it. Multiple generations of us were more concerned about making a dollar and enjoying life, rather than preserving our Liberty and republic. Thomas Jefferson warned of that during the American Revolution. He saw it happening as soon as that war ended. One smart man, for sure.

So no, I don't say "Thank you for protecting our freedoms." when I run into a vet who served in a recent combat zone. I just say "I hope you're doing well. Enjoy your time with the family."

I fully agree. We thank them every payday with our tax dollars.

And furthermore, when you join the military, you sanction the evil foreign policy of our government.

You sanction the drone killing, the undeclared wars, the illegal occupations, the lies, and our continued defending of other countries with our military (Japan, Germany, Saudi Arabia etc) which is breaking us financially.

I talked at least two of my nephews OUT of joining the military and possibly dying for the central bankers of the world.


"We have allowed our nation to be over-taxed, over-regulated, and overrun by bureaucrats. The founders would be ashamed of us for what we are putting up with."
-Ron Paul

The demegogs come out of the woodwork...

What about the taxes you pay, that go to support the system? I guess you are part of the evil empire as well.

In short this is also true and why you are equally responsible to change things.

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
www.yaliberty.org - Young Americans for Liberty
www.ivaw.org/operation-recovery - Stop Deploying Traumatized Troops

You have the freedom not to serve, or care for that matter.

I would never claim the OP has bad intentions with this post. I actually thought it thought provoking though nothing new. I would certainly like a public forum to elaborate on this concept just a bit more but alas the Daily Paul remains one of the few places to really get to the nitty grit with out being called un-patriotic or whatever else.

I agree with your premise to a point. That point being the unintended consequences of having no volunteer military at all. At which point I am curious how freedom is preserved in grand sense if it should not be defended? This of course leads us down a conversation on Anarchy which I would rather stay in the realm of libertarian society first (lets not complicate this further).

If you believe in liberty it needs defending no? I would say yes and our voluntary armed forces does one thing that you might not give it credit for. It at least insulates all the rest of us from having to go and fight wars that we don't believe in and imho, some we might. I think we need to be honest about the role our military plays but sometimes I think we go a bit overboard demonizing the soldiers who are sworn to an oath. The draft is only a generation behind us.

Because they volunteered you have the freedom not to serve.

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
www.yaliberty.org - Young Americans for Liberty
www.ivaw.org/operation-recovery - Stop Deploying Traumatized Troops

The Major Problem

I see is, that millions of people now know with out a fact these wars were fradulently executed. However, the soldiers who come back refuse to unite to back this empirical evidence, but instead the majority continue to cheer the fraud. I believe it's honorable to sign up to defend America, but if they realize this isn't what you are actually doing, your honor to the oath taken would be to state the treasonous fraud the government has led the masses into believing. I understand they have friends who were killed in action, but how is it honoring them to praise the fraud allowing more to die, when they could unite together voice the fraud they learned, and hopefully hold those responsible for executing it. If this occured, the majority of Americans would give even more praise to those who have done the honorable thing to force an end to the wars, and exposed the Corporatist to be held accoutable. Honor is to defend the Republic and the Constitution, and when our rights are being lost as these wars continue, IMO, they are being unhonorable not respecting their oath.

I agree to a point.

What do you people want? You want the military to march on Washington and take it by force? Because that is what I read in your response. You want vets to come out and voice the fraud without proof? All I have is what I saw with no proof. What does this do for the movement other than give the media more fodder to claim we are all a bunch of conspiracy theorist and liars. Better for me to be a vet and allow my status as such to be used in the campaign for liberty.

You are right there is fraud. And I do speak out against it. What I get pissed about is people saying that fraud is my fault. That I am some sort of a shill or stupid. Every time you insult what a vet did you push them a little further from the cause of liberty. Trust me we know much better than you what we did. I know what I supported and what I didn't.

...Then they came for me —
and by that time no one was left to speak up.

-Pastor Martin Niemöller

ecorob's picture

Yeah, the powers that be will thank the troops...

endlessly and incessantly for "protecting our freedoms" right up until the time the troops become veterans and then they start calling them domestic terrorists!

its 'cos I owe ya, my young friend...
Rockin' the FREE world in Tennessee since 1957!
9/11 Truth.

Lol hot damn you nailed it.

Don't forget that Janet Napolitano has a Ph.D to diagnose those Veterans, as well:


5th paragraph down:

Janet Napolitano has already warned law enforcement that some of the most dangerous among us are America’s heroes, our veterans, and now according to this letter from the VA they can be prohibited from buying or even possessing a firearm because of a physical or mental disability.

If you don't know your rights, you don't have any.

ecorob's picture

I am a veteran.

And I KNOW that all I did in uniform was to protect the fiat dollar's dominance and project imperialism across the globe.

I was brainwashed, too. But, no more.

It is why I would never give my son my blessing to join the military today. He KNOWS that and is ok with that.

Thank you, God.

its 'cos I owe ya, my young friend...
Rockin' the FREE world in Tennessee since 1957!
9/11 Truth.



For Freedom!
The World is my country, all mankind is my brethren, to do good is my religion.

oh guess you found me out

as a private first class i was the one who planned and executed the iraq war. you wanna be mad at someone dont push it on us, the ones that best know what liberty means. be angry at the politicians who start this shit. you people make me to want nothing todo with the daily paul and you can fucking sink back into obscurity a minor foot note in any historical context.

and some of you idiots thinks that every soldier in iraq had to of killed someone. lets just ignore the part were 1.5 millionish were just support.


And you BEING a soldier, sworn to kill innocent people in

foreign countries at the whim of your commanders, have no fault of your own. I got it. They must have dragged you kicking and screaming into the recruiting office when you signed up.

I dont think folks hate the troops

I think its more of this glorification that is getting old...

also a dilemma when were asked to thank the troops....for what? Not sure I asked them to go to war, As a matter of fact, I was forced to cover the bill...That's what rubs me wrong, then they have the gall to tell me to be thankful...

For Freedom!
The World is my country, all mankind is my brethren, to do good is my religion.

I beg to disagree, some do hate the troops, but that isn't new.

As a vet, I have always felt the vibe here toward the military and although I get it, at times I feel like this makes the members blind to the absolute strife them and their families have to go through.

I recognize that pretty much every person in this movement I've worked with worth their grain of salt happened to be a veteran. Why is that? Why also do we find it convenient to tout the support of our military, overwhelming toward figures like Ron Paul, but throw them under the bus in many other instances?

This can not stand. I find it unnerving that a story like this and atrocities get lots of play and any post of our dying, abused, and misused soldiers fall to the wayside.

I am not the only one who has made this observation. I think we need to have a little compassion for kids that join the armed service. They don't know everything but many have a lot of heart and care about doing the right thing. Let us be educators and not judges. Let's help them live up to the standard the public puts on them.

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
www.yaliberty.org - Young Americans for Liberty
www.ivaw.org/operation-recovery - Stop Deploying Traumatized Troops

If "our kids" didn't voluntarily join the armed forces there

would be fewer wars. Oh sure, many were drafted into Vietnam, but there were many protests and that created the anti-war culture that we had for years afterward.

There are few protests today, because the government entices our kids to go, with otherwise high unemployment and a plethora of benefits when they get out.

Ever heard of stop-loss?

It really wasn't a choice for many. The rest were patriotic, kinda like Snowden. He joined the Army after 9/11, like so many stones that lay in the grass at Arlington. Don't blame us, then you're just as bad as the ones at the top. Place blame where it deserves to lie.

The military was raped basically. Now they're committing suicide in record numbers. Your thread is equivalent to blaming the rape victim, don't try to walk back you position. It's bullshit. Stop.

It isn't rape if you consent.

It isn't rape if you consent.

Andrew Napolitano for President 2016!

"Patriotism should come from loving thy neighbor, not from worshiping Graven images." - ironman77

Again, another members who expects everyone to know better.

Guess what? That kid doesn't know better. In fact, neither does 90% of the public. I think this is intellectual laziness, abdication of your role as a truth seeker, and at the end of the day not conducive to change.

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
www.yaliberty.org - Young Americans for Liberty
www.ivaw.org/operation-recovery - Stop Deploying Traumatized Troops

I'd thank the troops if they

I'd thank the troops if they arrested BO, Holder, and a few other traitors for me.

No disrespect to our troops

No disrespect to our troops and veterans meant, but they failed miserably at protecting our freedoms. The First amendment is on it's last legs and our Forth Amendment freedoms have been completely eviscerated. I hope they resurrect their Honor and do something about it.

And to be perfectly honest, It was the citizens that stood up and fought to protect our second amendment freedoms with no help from our military.

What did you do to stop it?

Instead you have gone along with the whole standing army mindset. Our country was never meant to have one, so guess what, that responsibility was always men like yours. Oh, but we have a standing army now so lets blame them for everything wrong with the nation.

If YOU can keep it!

We are spinning our wheels till we look in the mirror. Placing blame on potential allies in the cause is not productive. Seeing all your upvotes only goes to show how behind the power curve we are. Let's take some responsibility and start getting these guys back on our side.

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
www.yaliberty.org - Young Americans for Liberty
www.ivaw.org/operation-recovery - Stop Deploying Traumatized Troops

The American People as a whole failed

not just us Veterans, and I've been fighting and trying to make people wake up for a while now as I'm sure quite a few others have. I am proud to call myself a Veteran, but I don't ask anyone to thank me, I do however support and thank the WW2 Vets and hold them in the Highest esteem. I come from a long line of vets and I'm proud of that too. It isn't up to the Vets to resurrect their honor it's up to every last one of us, the people, to fight for our Freedoms. How we do so and how far we are willing to go, is an individual decision. When the shtf we will all see how far we are willing to go, but trust the fact it will take more than just Vets to do anything about it. No disrespect intended, but it struck me wrong, that you "Hope" Vets will do something, when we all need to, and I can't see Veterans as being the only ones who failed miserably.

The first of my ancestors arrived in 1687, Indentured to serve another for 4 years, we fought in the Revolutionary war, Civil war, WW1, WW2, Korea, Vietnam, and Served during Desert Shield/Storm, Now my Family and I serve The "Revolution"

ChristianAnarchist's picture

I would like to add that I

I would like to add that I have nothing against vets (some of my best friends are vets ;).. ). I do take exception to "Troop Worship" and "Flag Worship". Only God should be thanked for giving us our freedom. If someone wants to take a "job" as a military man, they will be paid for their "service" and they know what the risks are going in. I do not thank them. I do not hate them. I do not worship them. They are men like me doing what they choose to earn a living. No one needs to be "thanked" for doing their job. Sometimes people thank me for doing my job and I just say, "no problem". It really is no problem and I don't expect thanks for doing what I'm getting paid to do...

Beware the cult of "government"...

ChristianAnarchist's picture

Makes me cringe every time I

Makes me cringe every time I hear that they are "fighting for our freedom". What a crock. They are fighting for the powers that be so that the uber-wealthy can have extra profits in everything from oil to poppies (and of course the best "crop" of all - Federal Reserve Notes)!

Beware the cult of "government"...

That's regime propoganda.

It's target is as much the troops as it is the general public. The troops genuinely believed they were fighting Iraq because they believed they were involved in 9/11. So who is to blame? So, yea, you don't need to thank the troops if you are so opposed to it, but an apology from a place of love and compassion and a shoulder to cry on might be in order.

The German troops were just doing there job too

They were innocent victims just doing what they were told as they shoved people into ovens....

Sure, that's pretty extreme but the way things are progressing at what point do you stop supporting the troops?

For Freedom!
The World is my country, all mankind is my brethren, to do good is my religion.

That was the SS, as in DHS

Domestic "armies" are always a bad idea for human health.