Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wars as "Commonplace"

Katy AbramsThis is a picture of ignorance, stupidity and dishonesty with curly hair. She was a questioner at a town hall held by Arlen Specter, and notably had to read her question from a piece of paper she was holding in her hand, and Lawrence O’Donnell brought her onto Hardball to talk about what had led her into asking that angry question.

He asked her if she was in the group of people who made more than $250,000 and would be one of those paying the higher taxes to which she was objecting. She did not know. “My husband pays the bills and takes care of the family.”

He asked her if she believed that Obama’s plan would permit choice and she said she did not. After claiming that she had never been interested in politics until this year, she says that she “saw Obama on television in 2002 or 2000” say that we would move to a single payer plan. Even people very interested in politics were not watching Obama on television seven or nine years ago. She then decided “it was a couple of years ago.”

O’Donnell prefaced his next question by saying that she must have lived through 9/11 and the subsequent invasion of Afghanistan. She must have lived through the build up to and invasion of Iraq, the years of war there and the Surge. After all of that, he asked her, why did not all of that awaken her political interest? Why now? Why did this debate over healthcare awaken something that all those things did not?

"I always seemed to have faith in the government. And, honestly, I didn't really care. I had other things going on, you know, getting married, having children. It just-it wasn't a priority in my life.

"And, you know, I really didn't start even watching the news at all, I think, until maybe 1991, I guess it was, when we first went to the Gulf War. I remember watching CNN with my dad and watching the-the infrared missiles going across that you could see. And I think it-to me-maybe I'm just not that smart, but, you know, it seems like we have kind of been at war for-since then. I mean or maybe even before. I don't know. It just always seems like we're-we're having some kind of conflict. So, that-you know, whether-about wars, I don't know. That just seems commonplace now. I think everybody's just so used to it."

Emphasis mine. That may be the most ringing condemnation of this country I have ever heard. Admittedly, this is a particularly stupid and selfish young woman. She is almost certainly not typical of young America. Still, that anyone can think that being at war is a natural status for our nation simply horrifies me.

Unfortunately, I think to some degree she may be right. We fight wars too often and for too long. The American people accept wars that we should not accept. Because of the all-volunteer force, the citizenry at large has no stake in our wars; we aren’t even taxed to pay for them any more. We say, “Thank you for your service,” to the soldiers we meet, but they are empty words; we know nothing, nothing about the price that those men and women and their families are paying. We have no clue what we are thanking them for. If we did, if we actually saw even a small measure of that cost with our own eyes, we would be down on our knees begging their forgiveness.


Mad Mikie said...

Only those who have actually served can even understand the sacrifice and the cost that our men and women in uniform make every day.Only those who have served understand the price the families of our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines make every day. Without the sacrifices made by the men and women, both service members and their families, we wouldn't be able to enjoy the things we have or the rights to express ourselves or even make asses of ourselves in a public forum. Unless you've walked a mile in a service members boots, you have know idea of the lives they lead and what they give up for the rest of the citizenry.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bill. I've linked to and quoted this over here. Thanks for the great post. Dan

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