Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Shock And Shame

No awe. Our military is stretched too thin, flailing uselessly in a country that is in the midst of imploding. Currently there are several units preparing to return to Iraq for the third time, like it's going to make a difference. Meanwhile the Pentagon is considering writing off the Anbar province and moving the marines to Baghdad which is tantamount to defeat. On several levels.

The draft, while evenly distributing the pain of loss across most economic levels, is not the answer. Neither is contracting out to private companies for the day to day running of the military (at a greater expense to the taxpayer) or having almost 30,000 immigrant soldiers (almost 2% of the military willing to die for a chance at citizenship) but that has been our solution. War is no longer a matter of honor and citizenship, it is a financial decision. From the war mongerers to the lowly private.

This creates several issues, not the least of which is a mercenary army whose loyalty will not be to the United States of America but to the almighty dollar, such as it may be. Serving in the military will become the poor person's only option for improving their life. Provided they survive whatever conflict that the war profiteers have deemed necessary for that decade.

Of course we could always supplement active duty military with the Reserves and the National Guard. Oops, we did that already. What to do, what to do? The cynic in me says the most expedient solution is to go back to that idea of selling citizenship for military service. If they are willing to die to live here so real Americans don't have to, why not? Umm, because it's wrong?

This begs the question, why would someone be willing to die for a country where the citizens don't care enough to participate by backing up their words with actions? It's not like veterans are held in high regard after their usefulness has passed. Why would you want to take the chance of dying for a country that starts a war and then blames the victims for not doing more to make it a success?

In war the only flowers are the ones on the graves of the service members who died in vain. Death doesn't care if you are a citizen or trying to provide for your family.

Crossposted at the usual place.

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