"The Wondering Jew"
Aug. 20, 2005 - 20:00 MDT
Makes me wonder just what ones refer to themselves and us as "we" and who they think they include. An article in the Rocky Mountain News that I have been thinking about for quite some time. It was published in July some time. By Paul Campos, a professor of law at the University of Colorado. Gives me much cause for thought. In full :
HYPOCRISY OF THE WAR HAWKS
"In his memoir Fever Pitch, the English writer Nick Hornby describes how rooting for the soccer club Arsenal has been one of the great passions of his life. The book is particularly good at describing how shared suffering creats powerful bonds of solidarity between supporters of a sports team. Hornby points out that nurturing exquisitely detailed memories of the worst losses or, perversely sitting in a freezing rain watching a one-sided contest to the bitter end, is what distinguishes afficionados from bandwagon fans."
Indeed it's this suffering that gives mere fans the right to use the word "we" when talking about our favorite teams. For example, like any real university of Michigan football fan of a certain age I can recall with sickening clarity how I felt when "we" were robbed of victory by incompetent officials on Nov. 23, 1974, and Jan. 1, 1979. Like the hero of Walt Whitman's poem we can attest, "I am the man, I suffered, I was there."
"On a related but far more serious level, it makes me flinch when I hear people talk about how "we" must not give up the fight in Iraq until "we" have defeated the enemies of freedom."
"While it can be faintly ludicrous for sports fans to indentify so closely with the successes and failures of their teams, there is something absurd and offensive about people who have contributed nothing to a war, going on and on about how "we" must maintain "our" resolve etc."
"And the truth is that the vast majority of Americans have been asked to sacrifice exactly nothing for the sake of the Iraq war. "We" haven't been expected to fight in ourselves, or to send anyone we care about into harm's way, or even to pay for it."
"It is surprising that, not having been asked to invest anything of temselves in the effort, Americans have grown tired of President Bush's grand adventure so quickly."
"This is also why something like Cindy Sheehan's protest on the outskirts of the president's vacation home is turning into a public relations disaster for the Bush administration. Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq, is among the small percentage of Americans who have been forced to pay a grotesquely high price for a war that for the rest of us might as well be another reality show."
"Sheehan has inspired vitriolic outrage among many supporters of the war because, at some level, a mother's grief for her dead son reminds those supporters of how their own contribution to the war has consisted of little more than empty talk."
"It goes without saying that despite the military's increasingly severe manpower shortage, to expect those who indulge in ferocious phillipics about how "we" must win the Iraq war to actually volunteer to fight in it is to indulge in pure fantasy. Even proposing that people put their money where their mouths are, by not passing the cost of the war onto our children, is considered a radical idea."
"But consider a far less ambitious proposal. Imagine if President Bush were to ask every American to voluntarily give up driving for one day per week, as part of a plan to lessen our dependence on foreign oil, and as a symbol of how all of us should be expected to sacrifice something, when some of us are being asked to sacrifice everything."
"Such a proposal would both create a general sense of investment in the war effort, and encourage every American to consider seriously whether this war is worth its cost. And that's exactly why this administration would never consider doing anything of the kind."
I have been think about this for a long time while remembering World War Two days. People giving up aluminum ware for the war effort. Rationing in so many forms, gas, tires, shoes, sugar, butter and other things. There was the draft then too. People were involved then. Men knew what their draft classification was and that they could be called up on a moment's notice. We did without so that the military could be equipped and made able to actually win a war. Winning at a catastrophic loss as wars always happen.
Even so I think many of our folks didn't give a thought to the number of our forces lives were lost, how many crippled for life and how many mentally incompetent for the rest of their lives, the amount of money spent, and the ungodly amount of materiel forever gone, natural resouces used up, metal and machines wasted eternally. Even though I have read about it, my mind cannot conceive of the amount of everything expended to win World War Two.
Now this ?war? though pre-emptive (shoot him 'cause he might be thinking about shooting you) appears to me is being run on a free wheeling basis. No draft, no rationing, no restriction on vehicle size (Hummers on our streets increasing, no reduction in speed limits, no war taxes, nothing apparently but lost lives for some families and business and play as usual for the rest of John Q. Public.
Someday in the far future when our children or our children's children are staggered by shortages, unbearably heavy taxes and very low wages, it will be much to late for any of us to take corrective measures. While Mr. Bush is running an "Olly-olly-ocks in free" war now and we are complacent. The B-isht Mission is still being accomplished -- supposedly.
I just can't seem to be able to get things today to MAKE SENSE . . . . . . . . .0 comments so far