President Obama ended his war speech tonight by saying, “We as Americans can come together behind a common purpose.” He also said our “cause is just” and “our resolve is unwavering.” If these phrases are more than soaring rhetoric, I have a few questions:
When will this military venture become something more than a rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight?
Working class men and women fighting these wars (Iraq and Afghanistan) are either killed or broken mentally and physically through repeated deployment to these god-foresaken battlefields. I don’t see the upper classes and politicians who are making war decisions sending their children to this particular war. If Afghanistan is so important to our national security, then we need to begin the draft now. I am increasingly disgusted by the sentimentalizing, romanticizing, and patronizing of our “brave men and women in uniform,” many of whom are in uniform because they needed a job. Does this self-indulgent society really care all that much about the mental and physical damage and stress experienced every day by the troops on the ground in Afghanistan? Or is it “out of sight, out of mind?”
When will the upper classes begin paying their fair share of taxes so that our quality of life can stop its decline due to war spending?
If the middle classes and working classes continue to pay a disproportionate share of the taxes needed to fight this war, and the upper classes continue to profit while bearing a lower tax burden, that won’t seem to me to be “coming together behind a common cause.”
What happens if an Afghan Army and Government are not able to pick up the fight in 18 months?
There is an old labor movement refrain to promises from politcians: “We will get pie in the sky when we die by-and- by.” It is likely that we will attempt to buy off villagers (the Petraeus approach), sacrifice the lives of several hundred American troops and god knows how many of the villagers. We will have hundreds of Americans with severe injuries that most of us will never see…and wouldn’t want to look at anyway. At the end of 18 months, we will be coming out. Yea right.