Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The "forgotten" war

I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks now. Not for lack of topics… no, they keep me awake at night, in fact. No, it’s laziness; or perhaps that my computer is loaned out. Excuses; merely excuses.

I find a frightening reality in the nightly news. Not in what is reported, but what is not reported. The war in Iraq is still raging. Men and women are being killed and even more being maimed. What is sad, frightening, to me is that it is no longer news. It has dropped off the radar of the public consciousness. It is no longer interesting to the viewing public. The “sheep” of this great nation now regard the war in Iraq with a resounding “whaaaa”?

Polls show that “the economy” is most on the minds of American voters. The Economy…as if it was something divorced from the war. It costs $390,000 to deploy one soldier for one year in Iraq. The war is sopping up billions of dollars from the US treasury. That’s an expense you and I pay for. That is money that doesn’t go to improving medical care or job training or any other useful function that ordinary Americans need daily.

And now the war in Afghanistan is ramping up. Donald Rumsfeld stopped bombing there years ago after we had bombed their “rubble into rubble”. Currently 91% of the world opium (Heroin) traffic comes from Afghanistan, which feeds the Taliban and keeps them supplied with arms. A nation that is on the brink of lapsing into the dark ages… with horrible horrible weapons.

Meanwhile the American consciousness is focused on gas prices. We don’t want to trade in our SUV’s, we want to obtain more oil and cheaper, no less. Which is what got us into this mess to begin with… our lust for oil, intoxicating us into making bad decisions about the Middle East.

During the Viet Nam war, American households felt the pain. Kids were pulled out of there homes; drafted into the Army and were being killed in Viet Nam. It hit Americans where they lived… and it was an outrage. But now, there is no draft. If your kid or husband or loved-one doesn’t die in Iraq, and now Afghanistan, it is like it isn’t happening.

And thanks to the news media… it truly isn’t happening. These wars - these drains on the national wealth, on the humanity of American citizens, is now “old news”… it’s boring, it kills viewer ratings.
The most important thing on the minds of most American citizens today is who will be the next winner on “American Idol”.

It is a disgrace that the news media doesn't show, every night, in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen, the human and financial cost of these two wars. It should remain there during the entire broadcast, every night. A jog to the national mindlessness that is serving to suck the strength from this once great nation.

I fear our nation is lost.


Mary Witzl said...

Well said.

I can't bear to watch the news anymore. I just feel sick at the carnage and the knowledge that it isn't even resulting in anything positive. These kids are so young and so vulnerable. They have no idea what they are getting into, and then it is too late.

My husband and I were talking about this earlier. America won the Cold War by outspending the USSR. It seems the Taliban have profited from that lesson. They can keep those poppies growing and keep that heroin coming -- and funding this horrible war. When will we ever learn?

You should consider submitting this to Raging Dove.

Kara said...

it's up to people like you to remind us. which is a shitty job. and you should get paid for it.