Monday, May 27, 2013

27 May 2013 Memorial Day= Lots Lost

Cassi Creek:  Memorial Day 2013.  We have troops in an active war in Afghanistan – ten years of warfare with very little hope of any real change in cultural or governmental conditions.  The social changes we have tried to create will likely be gone with the last of our troops.
          Iran, 9 years of a war that happened only through the manipulations of the Bush 43 administration, manufacturing false reason for a full-scale invasion coupled to tax cuts for the wealthy and no authorized funding for war in Iraq, We still have “advisors” in Iraq and will have for years.  The country of Iraq is descending into another round of religion-based civil war. 
          We’ve avoided too much military involvement in most of the “Arab Spring” conflicts.  Those little gems will eventually become battles between rival groups of Islamic extremists for political control.  We may yet be sucked into the brushfire that is the Syrian Civil War,  Iran, driving the Syrian regime against rebel groups of extremists will do its best to escalate the conflict into Lebanon and then Israel.  If Israel becomes engaged, we will also. 
          There are many more nameless places on the globe where our troops are deployed.  Most of them are in regions, which feature long-standing wars based upon religion.  These are not wars we can win.  If we had an active duty military the size of our combined forces in WWII to throw into these wars we would still lose.  Ideology is hard to execute with bullets or bombs. 
          This nation, with its “All volunteer military, has removed warfare and its demands upon a populace from the realities of being a nation at war.  Today’s Johnson City Press had photographs of men and women who had served in uniform in one of our current or previous wars.  Perhaps they left this life overseas in a shooting war, perhaps they returned safely and live long lives here.  They are veterans and deserve to be remembered. 
          There was another page; one that I believe should not have been printed.  It consisted of photographs of local residents’ pets.  Not War dogs, who have some claim on the day, but house pets.  It is a horrid example of how far from sharing the wars with all our citizens. 
          For most of this nation, Memorial Day (a is just another excuse for car dealers to take out large adds and TV spots.  It’s the “beginning of summer” 
          For me, it carries a lot of unpleasant weight.  It reminds me of the cost of my CMB, Combat Medical Badge.  Fellow soldiers were WIA or KIA, their lives lost or changed forever.  I remember them.  I remember the generations before mine who have been gathered into national cemeteries to [prevent their sacrifices being forgotten.  Sadly, it is all too easy to overlook many of today’s troops.  It’s much easier to wage war if the cost is not evenly borne by all Americans. 
          Maybe next year we’ll have no troops involved in foreign wars.  Maybe Next year we’ll honor our fallen troops instead of the vacation season.  Maybe! 

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