What the President Should Say to the Troops

W.J. Astore For George W. Bush, American troops were the greatest force for human freedom in the world.  For Barack Obama, the troops represented the world’s finest fighting force, not just in this moment, but in all of human history.  What is the reason for such hyperbolic, I’d even say unhinged, praise for our troops? …

The Misfortune Teller

Polemical Poetry X: Dead Metaphors

Michael Murry I wrote this poem in 2005, two years after U.S. President George (Deputy Dubya) Bush’s notorious “Mission Accomplished” proclamation. With the U.S. Military hopelessly mired in the twin quagmires of Iraq and Afghanistan and desperately searching for any face-saving way out, I understood the predictable predicament, since I served eighteen months as a…

Thanking Our Troops for their Service

W.J. Astore I served for twenty years in the Air Force.  Service in the military involves sacrifice even when combat isn’t involved, but it also conveys privileges and provides opportunity, or at least it did so for me.  I can’t recall people thanking me for my service when I wore a uniform, nor did I…