Monday, September 24, 2007

The High Price Of Our Complacency

Or, Really...Who WOULD Jesus Bomb?

I was a pre-teen during the waning years of the Vietnam Conflict and as a result I am predisposed to distrust the stated motives of any military action. Particularly challenging is our current war against "implied" aggression, what MIGHT happen. Shoot first, round up the bad guys later.

It was the threat of the dread (and imaginary) WMDs that initially starred in the current administration's four-year runaway hit THE UNITED STATES VS. ANYONE WHO EVEN THINKS ABOUT ATTACKING US AND STUFF:THE MUSICAL. The irony at the core of this show is that even after a four-year run, the seats are mostly empty - tickets sit at "will-call" unclaimed and unwanted. The show is costing our economy $9 BILLION and 90 or so lives a month to stage and yet we can't sell tickets in Europe or to any of our mid-east allies.

Even though we are losing blood and treasure every day, our leaders are contemplating a spin-off of the show - tentatively named WE BETTER START A WAR WITH IRAN BECAUSE THEY MIGHT SOMEDAY BE STRONG ENOUGH TO THREATEN OUR OIL SUPPLY, ER I MEAN UH NATIONAL SECURITY AND STUFF:THE MUSICAL PART II.

Escalations of the Vietnam War to Laos and Cambodia flooded the streets with protesters in the late sixties/early seventies. Potential escalation of our WARS in the mid-east are flooding both houses of Congress with growling, chest thumping diatribes of our willingness to sacrifice additional American young men and women to a threat that MIGHT someday occur.

Should our leaders follow through with a show about military action agaist Iran or Syria or Islam or Druids or Disney or Snake-Handling Chistian Crazies or Your local High School Girls Hockey Team - we will need more actors and stage hands (soldiers) than our Armed Forces can currently supply. Historically our country has turned to Selective Service - the Draft - to cast those that MIGHT die.

I have nephews that range from 6 to 17 and a year old niece. Which of them, any of them, all of them am I willing to sacrifice? Perhaps not a question that I must answer now but have you ever wondered when people say "I just never thought it would happen here/to me/to our family" how they have escaped seeing other people on CNN saying the same thing and yet have never imagined a WHEN those things MIGHT happen?

If we do nothing, if we continue to allow our leaders to take us into war and more war we will all have those things happen here/to me/to our families. Currently we only sacrifice the willing volunteers of our soldier-class (and tens of thousands of Afgan and Iraqi civilians) but someday soon we may be registering thousands of young Americans to fight and die in wars we have been frightened into allowing.

Can any of us really avoid the bad things that MIGHT happen to us in our daily lives? Is there a PRE-EMPTIVE STRIKE TO LIFE that I haven't found? How then do we imagine that our leaders can conduct wars against the bad things that MIGHT happen to our National Security? They aren't any smarter than we are. That is worth repeating. They aren't any smarter than we are. The unknown is just as unknown in Washington DC as it is anywhere else.

I may not have children of my own but I am not willing to sacrifice ANYONE'S child to a WAR against the UNKNOWN.

Once more with feeling - They aren't any smarter than we are.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You have no idea how right you are or how close this hits to home. My son is a Combat Medic stationed at Fort Hood in Killeen, TX and my son-in-law is a Chaplain's Assistant stationed at Fort Gordon in Augusta, GA. My son-on-law leaves for Afganistan at the end of next month and my son leaves for Iraq in March '08. I have a very difficult time sacrificing my whole world for the guesses of those who have no one over there! The boys knew what they were signing up for and I applaude their courage everyday of their lives. I do wish we had someone driving this ship, who had a clue about what was truely happening. Thanks for supporting those who are willing to pay the ultimate price for their country.

Carolyn (Dinky) Stout