Small Wars Journal

Virginia Tech Professor's 'Troops' Remark Stirs Up Anger

Virginia Tech Professor's 'Troops' Remark Stirs Up Anger by Tonia Moxley, Roanoke Times.

… Salaita's commentary, which critiques the ubiquitous "support the troops" meme as a barrier to questioning of American foreign policy and treatment of returning war veterans, has caused a social media firestorm this week that has pulled in Virginia Tech, too.

For his part, Salaita said his central message has been misunderstood as anti-military, when in fact he meant to argue for better treatment of veterans…

Response began small, with a handful of minor conservative bloggers picking up the story and responding with varying degrees of outrage. But within days, Facebook and Twitter postings became vitriolic at times, and calls, emails and social media postings were directed at university officials as well…

Read on.


Move Forward

Sun, 09/15/2013 - 10:56am

<blockquote>She wasn’t expecting a refusal of 18 cents, even from a guy who looks very much like those responsible for the danger to our troops. </blockquote>

Steven Salaita's parents are from Jordan and Nicaragua so he is implying that he looks Arab, or at least like a foreigner.

<blockquote>I don’t consider patriotism a beneficent force, for it asks us to exhibit loyalty to nation-states that never fully accommodate their entire populations.</blockquote>

Salaita is an English associate professor who attended Radford in Virginia. I've heard it said that students go to Radford when they can't get into UVA or Virginia Tech. Apparently VT <strong>did</strong> fully accomodate Mr. Salaita in granting him his tenured position at a more prestigious STEM university. His narrative already is falling apart.

Contrast Salaita the English professor with our current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Martin Dempsey. The latter not only got into and graduated from USMA, but he got his Masters in Literature at Duke and taught English at USMA. He also rose through the ranks to command one of the largest divisions in combat during OIF before assuming his current position. The fact that ROTC, service academies, and our military in general accepts high school students of every race and gender from all 50 states again disputes the notion that the U.S. does not fully accommodate its entire population.

<blockquote>One wonders if our troops are the ass-kicking force of P.R. lore or an agglomeration of oversensitive duds and beggars.</blockquote>

Nah, his article was not anti-military....

<blockquote>Displays of hypermasculine prowess frame the reciprocal virtues of courage and devotion embedded in American war mythology. </blockquote>

Is Salaita’s lack of hypermasculine prowess, exemplified by many in the military to include our share of superwomen, the basis for his incendiary attitude? Revenge of the nerds?

<blockquote>Who, for instance, are “the troops”? Do they include those safely on bases in Hawaii and Germany? Those guarding and torturing prisoners at Bagram and Guantánamo? The ones who murder people by remote control? The legions of mercenaries in Iraq? The ones I’ve seen many times in the Arab world acting like an Adam Sandler character?</blockquote>

Nah, his article was not anti-military. I seem to recall Hawaii was attacked in WWII. Germany looked down the barrels of multiple adjacent Soviet armored divisions for many decades. Both remain potential U.S. intermediate staging base launching grounds for other potential theaters and certainly are within range of some tactical ballistic missiles of sanctioned rogue states, not to mention superpower longer range missiles.

<blockquote>Supporting the troops is a cheerful surrogate for enabling the friendly dictators, secret operations, torture practices and spying programs that sustain this terrible economy.</blockquote>

Guilt by innuendo. Al Jazeera and Muslim propaganda say its true so it must be.

This guy isn't worth getting that upset over...until I think of the multiple years of deployments that Soldiers have put up with over the past decade. He states elsewhere that not all troops are heroes. Yet I would advocate that any man/woman who serves so many times in a war zone or other world location is exhibiting uncommon valor compared to most in our population. They are the 1% who may not always have excelled in high school academics, but found their calling when they entered the service and learned practical skills...unlike many of their peers exploiting the system and doing nothing for entitlement freebies.