"It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers, to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, and to restrain their expence, either by sumptuary laws, or by prohibiting the importation of foreign luxuries. They are themselves always, and without any exception, the greatest spendthrifts in the society. Let them look well after their own expence, and they may safely trust private people with theirs. If their own extravagance does not ruin the state, that of their subjects never will." ~ Adam Smith
It's Your War! You Go Fight It!
According to the Denver Rocky Mountain News, a survey of high school students in Jefferson County, Colorado, just west of Denver, revealed that 25 percent of them opted out of allowing military recruiters to contact them. This is up from 13 percent one year before. In highly affluent Douglas County, south of Denver, the number is 55 percent. As one high school junior in Boulder told "the Rocky": 'The whole getting-shot-at thing - I have better things I want to do.' This survey comes on the heels of a recent Pentagon study stating that the US Army 'has become a 'thin green line' that could snap unless relief comes soon.' I know exactly where the Army can find such 'relief.' Millions of Americans who support America's policy of perpetual war have never served one day in the military. Most of the pundits, politicians and policymakers who promote and vote for America's troop presence in 130 countries, as well as the Iraq war and ' this is a safe bet ' a war with Iran, fall into this category. For some "sacrifice" means reading an e-mail from a Democrat. Dick Cheney is a classic example. While those less fortunate and well-connected than he were doing the 'getting-shot-at thing' in Vietnam, the young Mr. Cheney 'had other priorities.' There is a black wall in Washington, DC, with 58,000 names on it. Most of these folks also 'had other priorities.' (I'll go to my grave saying one thing and one thing only on John Kerry's behalf: for better or worse, he put himself in harm's way for four-and-a-half months during the Big Muddy.) These chicken hawks get substantial mileage out of the hypocrisy of limousine liberals like Ted Kennedy and ivory tower academics like Ward Churchill. However, these couch commandos become most indignant when you ask about their military service. If you desire perpetual war, go fight it yourself. Enlist in the infantry. If the military won't have you for whatever reason, form your own volunteer unit. There are precedents. Prior to America's entry into World War I, a group of American fighter pilots formed the Lafayette Escadrille and fought alongside the French. Although America never entered the Spanish Civil War, a few hundred Americans formed the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and fought in that conflict. (Yes, they were Communist sympathizers, but I'll give them this: They were willing to spill their blood for their convictions.) Prior to America's entry into World War II, a few hundred Americans joined the Flying Tigers and fought in China and Burma against the Japanese. (1) Your right to your opinion does not mean that your opinion has value. If you want to believe that the earth is flat, believe it! If you want to start a new religion devoted to the worship of Mungabunga, go do it. It just does not give your opinion any validity. The first 20 minutes of Saving Private Ryan were not gratuitous. Iraq in 2006 -- like Omaha Beach in 1944 -- is not a football game. It is war! It is the gravest step a government can undertake. If you are going to wring your hands about where oh where America is going to find the raw meat for the perpetual war that you glorify, look in the mirror. If you have never served, now is the time. It's your war! You go fight it! Yeah you, Rambo! War is like any other government program. People love to talk about it in theory. Just do not bother them with the details. It is not their head being shot off; it is the head of some kid from South Central Los Angeles whose name they will never know. It is not their intestines being ripped out and strewn all over the ground; it is the intestines of some kid from Colorado's eastern prairie whose name they will never know. It is not their dead body being dragged through the streets of some Third World stink hole they had never heard of when they enlisted; it is the dead body of some coal miner's son from West Virginia whose name they will never know. One other point: I have heard quite a bit of whining from people who never served in the military about the French 'wimping out' of the Iraq War. If it is 'wimping out' when the French won't fight, what is it when you won't fight? Yeah you, Rambo!