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Michigan Governor Snyder is now a big supporter of war in Afghanistan

April 19, 2012

Yesterday, MLive ran a story based on a brief conversation that several Michigan reporters had with Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, while visiting with US troops in Afghanistan.

“This has been a tremendous experience,” Snyder said. “This is a fabulous opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to the troops in person. There’s great pride. These men and women are making a great sacrifice, putting their lives at risk and service us wonderfully.”

The article also stated that Governor Snyder was on a trip organized by the Department of Defense and that he was traveling with other Governors. What the MLive story did not report was that these trips were no doubt part of a military psy-ops campaign to gain additional support for the US occupation of Afghanistan from US politicians, as was reported last year.

These visits are designed to show a controlled aspect of US military operation in Afghanistan and to communicate key points to visiting officials from the US. Michigan Governor Snyder seems to be embracing their message based on the MLive story and the embedded video, where Snyder is responding to questions from several Michigan reporters.

Snyder stated several times that he was there to “thank the troops and learn about the sacrifices the soldiers are making for us.” Snyder said he was taken to a forward operating base and that the “progress the soldiers were making was amazing.”

Snyder also stated that he was there to talk to Michigan soldiers and to let them know he would be working to find jobs for them when they came back. Unemployment rates for US veterans has always been a problem and last year Business Week reported that unemployment for young veterans was as high as 30%.

During the video interview, WOOD TV8 reporter Rick Albin asked Governor Snyder about the moral of the US troops, particularly in light of the recent pictures of troops holding up body parts of Afghanis the soldiers had killed.  Albin did qualify his question by stating that this action was only done by a few of the US soldiers, a qualification which speaks to how well the channel 8 reporter accepts the State Department’s explanation for yet another documented incident where US troops are celebrating the brutality of war. This kind of framing minimizes and marginalizes the level of violence that occurs on a daily basis at the hands of US soldiers, NATO troops and Afghan military personnel working in conjunction with the US operation.

Snyder’s response to Albin’s question avoided talking about the US troops holding up body parts. Instead, the Michigan Governor stated that the “service they were giving was incredible. I wish more Americans could see what our soldiers are doing for us.”

None of the Michigan reporters question this claim or asked how the US occupation of Afghanistan actually served Americans.

It will be interesting in the coming weeks to see how much Governor Snyder makes a point of publicly supporting the US war in Afghanistan, especially now that he has had the official tour provided by the Department of Defense.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. jane permalink
    April 22, 2012 9:44 am

    With all due respect to your articles, it is /was fair for governor snyder to show support for the troops in afganistan. as far as snyder “working to find jobs for them when they come back” ? does he mean he is going to offer them positions working directly for him in his office? Did he say anything about a program directly for veterans to obtain employment?

    • April 22, 2012 2:29 pm

      Jane, the point of the article was to call attention to the Department of Defense campaign to bring politicians to Afghanistan as a PR effort to grow US domestic support for the US occupation of Afghanistan, despite the bloody and brutal murder of thousands of civilians and the death of hundreds of US soldiers.

      As far as Snyder’s willing to offer military vets jobs upon return, that seems pretty thin right now. Snyder made some vague statements about that, but no clear commitment.

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