August 26, 2009
Ever wondered what the “antiwar Left” is up to these day? Well, it looks like they’re now calling for a national draft!
Bob Herbert actually begins his latest New York Times column referring to the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns as “absurd” and “obscene”:
The war in Afghanistan made sense once but it doesn?t any longer. The war in Iraq never did. And yet, with most of the country tuned out entirely, we?re still suiting up the soldiers and the Marines, putting them on planes and sending them off with a high stakes (life or death) roll of the dice.
America?s young fighting men and women have to make these multiple tours because the overwhelming majority of the American people want no part of the nation?s wars. They don?t want to serve, they don?t want to make any sacrifices here on the home front ? they don?t even want to pay the taxes that would be needed to raise the money to pay for the wars. We just add the trillions to deficits that stretch as far as the eye can see.
To the extent that we think about the wars at all, it?s just long enough to point our fingers at the volunteers and say: ?Oh yeah, great. You go. And if you come back maimed or dead we?ll salute you as a hero.?
You can probably anticipate where this is going. Bob’s lament over the absurdity and obscenity of war soon gets transformed into a call for more Americans to sacrifice themselves in said absurdity and obscenity.
A clear idea of the pathetic unwillingness of the American people to share in the sacrifices of these wars can be gleaned from a comment that President Obama made in his address last week to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. ?We are a country of more than 300 million Americans,? he said. ?Less than 1 percent wears the uniform.?
The president was not chiding those who are not serving, he was only intending to praise those who are. But the idea that so few are willing to serve at a time when the nation is fighting two long wars is a profound indictment on the society.
If we had a draft?or merely the threat of a draft?we would not be in Iraq or Afghanistan. But we don?t have a draft so it?s safe for most of the nation to be mindless about waging war. Other people?s children are going to the slaughter.
Instead of winding down our involvement in Afghanistan, we?re ratcheting it up. President Obama told the V.F.W. that fighting the war there is absolutely essential. ?This is fundamental to the defense of our people,? he said.
Well, if this war, now approaching its ninth year, is so fundamental, we should all be pitching in. We shouldn?t be leaving the entire monumental burden to a tiny portion of the population, sending them into combat again, and again, and again, and again …
If Obama gives the word, Herbert and friends will bear any burden, meet any hardship, oppose any foe…
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