Sunday, May 27, 2007


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The Armchair Curmudgeon
May 27, 2007
A Few Memorial Day Thoughts..

Why the War goes on…

It should be over. We all know that. We all know that the ‘surge’ by definition is temporary and the rest of the signs are perversely negative, yet our Commander in Chief stubbornly continues on.

How can this be?

It can be because most of us, the majority are not touched by this travesty.

We continue doing the things we did before going to the War; we continue to separate or not separate our detritus; we continue to power up our gas guzzlers—although I suspect that market forces will change that…and we do all the rest of the things before Sept 11.

Those who are impacted by the war are, dare we say it, tend to be on the lowest rungs of the economic ladder for the most part. No Congressman’s kids for the most part is joining up or anxious to be a hero. As teacher at the college level, most the kids I taught didn’t have the first clue that there even was a war going on so to say that the rest of us may be a tad disconnected, is putting a nice spin on it.

Many of those who were either volunteers or joined the Guard to supplement their income or get enough money to go to college really believe Bush’s admonition that they are doing God’s work—that they are bringing democracy to the Middle East.

As a result of the constant propaganda they’ve been subjected to, many literally buy into the absurdist notion that Saddam and bin Laden were in bed together—never a more laughable proposition considering that they were polar opposites.

For the rest of us, we’ve never been asked to sacrifice a thing. We’ve never had to roll our own cigarettes, give up meat on Thursdays, or buy from a ration book. We don’t even have to save our tin cans, collect aluminum foil or grow a Victory garden to help the War effort.

And that’s the problem.

Thinking back to Vietnam, I remember at the beginning, today’s population was not unlike the general population at the time.. They didn’t know Ho from Adam; they didn’t know Vietnam and they couldn’t even find the place on a map.

What changed it all was one thing: Johnson’s draft.

As soon as the first numbers were called, young people from all walks of society started to protest and those protests spread. And the media started to cover the protests.

The draft was very ecumenical; it touched everyone.

And if we had a draft over Iraq, I guarantee that the war would be over faster than you can say, “General Petraeus.”

Sadly, we have a president who started on a false premise and still doesn’t get it even when his dad tells him that he is on an path that is going to lead to his failure.

Yet, people like Bush think that inflexibility and rigidity connote strength; they don’t, if anything they show him for the dolt that he is.

For the rest of us, it’s time to get connected. What better time than Memorial Day…

Les Aaron
The Armchair Curmudgeon


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